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Posts Tagged ‘Paradisi’

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

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Well, that was fun.  On 13 July, I underwent percutanaceous nephrolithotomy.  Which is a fancy way to say “we stuck a tube through your back, into your kidney, and took out a big honking kidney stone.”  Now big?  About the size of a stack of 10 US nickels.  22mm.  If I didn’t get it out, it would eventually kill the kidney.  We can’t have that.  So, it was under the knife, then a week-long carnival of pain meds, not-bad hospital food, some really good nurses, and an unhealthy obsession with the contents of the drainage tube.  I finally got the tube removed from my back yesterday, and it’s time to move on to other things.

Like Riddled Space.  Yes!  The original novella, first written seven years ago is finally being fully fleshed out, and the other four novels in that universe are being written.  I have the first draft through the editor, and am working to get the final draft in by the end of the month.  Expect publication some time around late August.

I have a bunch of titles out, too.  One novella and two short stories are set in the Paradisi Chronicles open universe.  I also have one other novella, Ownership, set in the Family of Grifters universe.

I love all these tales.  All of them are fresh, new, and NOT recycled 3DN entries.  Well, I did write Live Wire for 3DN, but that was done deliberately, with the full intent of publishing it as soon as the contest was over and the winner selected.  I will put their reveals in separate posts over the next day or so, but in the meantime, I urge you to head over to their Amazon pages.  Here are the links (just click on the titles)

Paradisi Chronicles stories

Nuking the Noomies – The original story that was selected to lead the Chronicle Worlds: Paradisi anthology.  If you’ve not read that anthology, start with this one.
Live Wire – a novella set in the near future, where civil order is on the verge of breaking down, and 10 plutocrats are banding together to escape Earth. Some folks want on the ships, though, and are not above kidnapping to get their tickets.
Eye of the Needle – a short story that is a sequel to Live Wire (though written first).  A dangerous mission to secure an orbital cable, a headstrong woman, and the indulgent father who is bankrolling the mission all figure in this tale from the near future.

Family of Grifters stories

Ownership – The result of a bet that I couldn’t do a 3DN-style writing challenge over President’s Day Weekend, Ownership is a novella that explores who owns what, and who, and how our grifting crew can make changes to it.

 

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Subject to change, of course!

Under the gentle prodding of other Indie authors, I have finally put together a launch schedule for the rest of the year.  All of these dates are subject to change, of course, and it’s always a good idea to sign up for my newsletter (http://SmartURL.it/BillsWorlds) to get all of the latest info.

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apollo11_liftoff_clearslaunchtowerAfter months of intensive preparation, it has happened!
Chronicle Worlds: Paradisi has cleared the launch tower! 


The Road to Indie has finally reached its first waypoint with my first ebook only story release.   From the Amazon description:

From Samuel Peralta, creator of the bestselling ‘Future Chronicles’ speculative fiction anthology series, comes a line of anthologies charting new territories within a shared universe, within already-existing worlds.paradisi-cover

In the last decades of the twenty-first century, ten families seeking to escape a devastated Earth focus on constructing spaceships to colonize the world they call New Eden, in the Paradisi System. But the world they claim for their own is already inhabited, and the Ddaerans, although human in appearance, possess abilities that the Founders and their descendants do not…

In this latest title in the acclaimed ‘Future Chronicles’ series of speculative fiction anthologies, twelve authors take us on that incredible journey with adventurers, scientists and colonists, as they push the boundaries against the unknown, against alien civilization, and themselves.

Discover Chronicle Worlds. Discover Paradisi.

 

CW:P is also special to me for another reason:  “Nuking the Noomies,” my story, was selected as the first story in the anthology.  I want to thank Samuel Peralta for his trust in my story to lead off this excellent anthology.


godsandbox_snipSince, occasionally, people want to see more of my writing, I wrote a second short story set within the Paradisi Universe.   It was published today, and I urge you to check it out.

Ten Foundering Families exploit the intersection between digital copies of human brains and virtual reality, ‘running’ brains to more efficiently manage their global empires. All seems well, but some of the living humans are having some horrible dreams.

“God’s Sandbox” is available for purchase, but if you attend The Chronicle Worlds:Paradisi Launch Party on November 3rd, I will be giving away copies when I am running the party.  Just be there at 7pm (Eastern Time), and check out the party!

All readers who purchase “God’s Sandbox,” receive a free download, “Sciencing God’s Sandbox” where I discuss the various science-related elements of the story.


Wow!  It’s been a blast figuring out this new space.  Thanks for being there with me, every step of the way.

 

 

 

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I’ve gone ahead and crossed out the steps that I have already taken to set myself up as an independent author.  Now I am down to the last two:

  1. Create a Amazon KDP account.
  2. Panic because I forgot something.

I am actually somewhat pleased with myself–I have almost a whole week to plot my 3 Day Novel entry for this year.  I know I’ll have to do some research, but I had to be ready to leap when the publication date for Paradisi Chronicles gets set.  So, I am testing BookFunnel now by spamming my friends.  I really hope it goes well.

Did you miss the signup for my newsletter?  Click here, and you’ll be part of the launch of my indie career, and read some fiction that you might just like.  Some stories are going to only go out to newsletter subscribers, so don’t be left out.

 

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Remember, way, way back, when I said that I was going to really push for traditional publishing?  Well, I still am.   Most of the reason was marketing.  I’m an author, not a salesman, I say.  And to an extent, that is still the case.  However, when I stumbled into the world of the Future Chronicles and Chronicle Worlds:Paradisi, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to launch an indie career as well.  After all, every single FC anthology that Samuel Peralta has launched has hit #1 in the Amazon SFF Anthology ratings.  With that many eyes getting the anthology, and perhaps even reading my work, it would be a tremendous waste not to have something else of mine for the readers to sink their teeth into.  And it has to be ready before the anthology launches.

Thus, this list.  Here’s a number of things I have to do before the end of August, which is when Paradisi is scheduled to launch.  I am posting this as a public checklist for my benefit as well as a guideline for others who might wish to follow me.

  1. Set up a mailing list via MailChimp (cheap for now.  Might have to move to AWeber later)
  2. Using the link for my newsletter, complete my blurb and Author Notes for that story and get the list to Samuel Peralta, the anthologist.
  3. Put the link on this blog (in case someone is moved to sign up)
  4. Write a newsletter (what a concept!)
  5. Set up a BookFunnel account, so I can send out the freebie stories that I am promising my subscribers.
  6. Format the freebie stories.
  7. Get a cover for the freebies!
  8. Convince someone from here to sign up for my newsletter, so I can test the whole thing out. (I’ll test it out first, I need a second tester)
  9. Format the next paying story (God’s Sandbox)
  10. Create a Amazon KDP account.
  11. Panic because I forgot something.

If anyone notices something I’ve forgotten, please let me know.

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In August of 2015, while wandering around in one of Facebook’s Open Call groups, I discovered The Future Chronicles, a collection of anthologies curated by Samuel Peralta. He had some pretty prestigious folks either writing for him, or praising him. Within FC, I noticed an Open Call for something called Chronicle Worlds: Paradisi. Simply put, a group of authors had collaborated in creating a future history with timelines, events, and characters. They had written seven novels, and Samuel wanted to anthologize a series of short stories set in that universe. Did I want in? Heck, yeah!

The process involved understanding a timeline, understanding the settings (it involves the migration of ten plutocrats and 100,000 of their closest friends through a wormhole to Andromeda and the Paradisi star system), and coming up with something compelling. It was, in a sense, a competition, but one unlike the usual markets that I haunted.

First off, it was indie run. Samuel publishes these anthologies via Amazon, and not through a press. CW:P is something like his seventeenth, so funding like author compensation is already baked in. He hires professional editors, cover artists, and such. This is the big time. His anthologies hit the Top Ten in the SFF category in Amazon within a few days of launch, so yeah, it’s a big viable market.

I wrote a story, “Nuking the Noomies”. There is a large back-story behind that, but you’ll have to get the anthology to read about it, as I put it in the Author Notes. I finished the story on October 16th and sent it off to the Canon Keepers. This step was required to ensure that my story didn’t violate any of the novels that have already been published, and any of the stories that were planned for the anthology.

Then my younger brother, John, died suddenly, two days later. I got comments back the next week, but I was in no state to work on the piece. However, I did manage to address the Canon Keeper’s concerns and in before the December 15th deadline. There was a LOT of editing at this phase, so by the time the story ended up on Samuel’s desk, it was pretty polished. Sam sent it off to the anthology editor, so I was happy that he accepted it.

By this time, I had befriended a few of the other authors in the anthology. They all got comments from the editor on their work. For me, nothing. I didn’t know what to think. Finally, I got the email. There was exactly one question, some stray punctuation adjustments, and the editor seemed to like contractions. I was happy that I didn’t have a lot to do, but it felt a lot like I was trying to climb a step that wasn’t there.

I got a call from my mother that evening, and raced down to her place (~200 miles south of me) to get her to the emergency room, then to rehab. I let the editor know about the family emergency, and she reassured me that a small delay was OK. Five days later, I was able to get back to Noomies, perform the changes, and send it back. Then the weird stuff started happening. OK, weirder stuff.

The editor told me how much she liked the story. Then Samuel sent me this: “Bill Patterson – I kid you not, I am already getting fan mail about YOUR upcoming story from readers.” What readers? Maybe Samuel has a bunch of beta readers he sends stuff to. Then, last night, I got this: https://www.facebook.com/groups/futurechronicles/permalink/1111605112267390/?comment_id=1115231275238107

Translated: based solely on the strength of Noomies, the anthologist has invited me to write a story in a new anthology!  The only requirement is that history has changed from what we know. I have already sent him two ideas. Samuel has 175 authors on his list, yet he reached out to me. I’m (obviously) fit to burst. Then I look around at all of the other authors who have been invited. Oh, dayam–now I’ve got to deliver!

Lesson: You never know when your big break is going to come. Just keep pounding the keys, going to events, exploring those Open Calls. Someday, something’s going to give you that big break you’re seeking.  It’s The Thin Edge in practice.  If I had blown off Facebook as mere fluff, I’d never be where I am now.

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