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Quick note.  Yes, I am way far behind in updating this blog.  There’s a reason (isn’t there always?)

The biggest reason is that I was writing fiction faster than I could blog about them.
I was trying very hard to determine if I could write and publish a book every 8 weeks.  That worked (mostly) for the first two books (Riddled Space and Come In, Collins), but I fell badly behind with Dead Men Flying.  Not so much for the third book, which took me fourteen weeks to finish.  Now, there’s Book 4, which I haven’t started, despite eight weeks having passed since Dead Men Flying was released.  What’s the problem?

In a nutshell, a death in the family.  My mother passed away at the age of 87, back in January.  I am the next of kin, and I was named executor of her estate.  It takes more work that you could imagine.  I am, essentially, running two households, while at the same time, trying to sort through 60+ years of family memories.

It’s ruining my productivity, as you can imagine.  But I’ll get past this in a couple of months, and get back on the production train.  I apologize to my followers for my absence.

 

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I really do have to apologize for a couple of things:

  • I didn’t keep up this blog, because, well frankly, I’ve been killing myself cranking out Riddled Space and Come In, Collins.
  • I didn’t keep you abreast of the progress of Come In, Collins.  Suddenly, poof, there’s a whole novel, two months after I launched the first one.

But Come In, Collins is here, and in celebration, I’ve discounted Riddled Space, the first book, to 99¢ for you folks that didn’t pick it up the first time.  Here’s your chance to snatch Book 1 for a song.

I’ll generate a more detailed post later on today.

NaNo 2017

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo, you might want to check out my Quick & Dirty 3-Act Plotting Guide.

Just a quick note that RS1 has launched.  More to follow, including the link to Amazon where you can find it!  Amazon can take a couple of days to actually be able to sell a book once you press ‘Publish’.  Thus, the short note.
Time for bed!

Just a short note:  The inestimable Jessica has returned a well-clawed manuscript back to me, thus beginning a three-day effort to incorporate them into the final manuscript.

If you’d like to read something I sent out in my Bill’s Worlds newsletter earlier this month, take a gander at one of the characters in Riddled Space, Celine Greenfield.

Remember, launch date for Riddled Space is Monday, August 28th!

Authors often hector their readers for reviews, which seems strange.  What?  You have no idea if I even like your work or not, and you’re asking me for my opinion?  OK…here goes!  There actually is a method to this madness.  Reviews are important to an author.  I wrote my newsletter subscribers about the importance of reviews.  I thought it important enough to post here, as well.


At the end of all my works, there’s a request for a review.  Reviews are, quite simply, your opinion as to whether you would recommend my work to another reader.  I have no doubt that there are some of you that would not recommend my work.  That’s fine–my kids don’t eat some of my cooking.

But if you do like what I have served up, please leave a review.  You don’t actually have to give your name in the Amazon system if you don’t want to.  I also won’t give you grief about your review.


Why am I asking for reviews?  Am I that desperate for an ego-stroke?  Isn’t the royalty enough?  There are very prosaic reasons that authors want reviews.
  1. Feedback Mechanism:  I need to know how my readers feel about my work. Do you want more of this and less of that?  If you don’t email me (by, for instance, replying to my newsletter) and you don’t write a review, how am I to know what you want?  Now, while I prefer that criticism is in email, and praise is in reviews, I really do want to know what you all like.
  2. Promotional Eligibility:  Many promotional services (like Book Barbarian, InstaFreebie, and others) require a work to have at least 10 reviews, and a certain average rating, in order to make the work eligible for their particular megaphone.  There are other criteria, too, but without reviews, I’m shut out of those ways of promoting my work.
  3. Industry Notice:  Industry awards are also dependent, at least in part, on reviews.  It would be nice to win an award.  I was nominated once for an award from the British Science Fiction Association, and I can’t describe the lift that gave me.

“Bill, why are you bugging us?  Why not just pay to get a bunch of click farm critters to crank out a bunch of five star reviews?”
This is going to sound corny as hell, but here it is:  I want reviews of my work to be honest feedback by my readers.  The reason for this block of text is to inform you why I want reviews, to explain their importance, and to ask you for your honest feedback.  I know other authors have a lesser punctilio in their dealings with the indie ecosphere.  Me, I want to sleep at night knowing that I did everything with honor.

“OK, then, what about ARCs?  You ask for people to read copies of your book in advance of launch in exchange for a review.  How is that not ‘paying for a review’?”
Interesting question, and one I know is on people’s mind.  It all goes back to the idea of feedback.  ARCs or ARC-like behavior is an accepted practice amongst nearly all the arts.  How many movie commercials begin with the words “Critics rave about <movie x>”?  How can those critics rave about a movie that hasn’t been released yet?  Simple–they attended an advanced screening, the movie version of a ARC.

Here’s where I differ.  I cannot  control what is in your review, or whether it appears on the book page.  Sure, you get a free book.  I don’t penalize you if you don’t write a review.  I don’t penalize you if you write a thoughtful negative review.  You are under no pressure to even write a review, although I wish you would.

I think I’ve beaten this dead horse enough, don’t you?  So, here’s a list of my works and their review links.  If you have read any of them, I am interested in your comments.  If you have not read them, please don’t write a review–that would be dishonest.


The Paradisi Chronicles Stories

God’s Sandbox 
Nuking the Noomies
Live Wire
Eye of the Needle

The Family of Grifters Stories

The Longest Con
Ownership

The Legacy Fleet Stories

Gauss

Without going into dreary details, I was suddenly presented (about 10 minutes ago) with an opportunity: did I have a space-based SF short story, size in the 2-3k range, that I was willing to submit?

I turned to my Writing Portfolio spreadsheet (uh, you catalog your stories, don’t you?) set the words column to look for under 3500, and shazaam!  Three good candidates.

I relate this because between now and the end of July, there is no possible way I could write at 2-3000 word story.  As it is, I will have trouble making my Riddled Space deadline of 31 July.  But because, back in July of 2015, I wrote “Command Decision” for a market called The “Gernsback Writing Contest”, got rejected, but never deleted it, I have something to get to the editor tomorrow.

In the writing business, you have to be able to strike when the iron is hot.  It helps if you have a backpack full of ammo, ready to rock and roll, instead of pouring your minie-balls there on the battlefield.

Write.  Write often.  Submit to markets.  Save ALL stories.