Ads for The Great Way (asking a favor)

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Sales of The Great Way trilogy have lagged pretty significantly, and while I’m working on my new project, I thought it would make sense to do some advertising.

Buying book ads isn’t the usual thing, but I keep hearing that it does well for other self-publishers, and I’m not averse to spend a little money as long as I make back more than I spent. However, before I put anything online, I thought I’d ask for feedback on the ads themselves as well as the landing page.

My son made these ads as part of a homeschool project. He’s fourteen. Please be gentle.

"leaderboard" layout

Ad number one

"banner" layout

Ad number two

"Skyscraper" layout

Ad number three

I know there’s not a lot of data there, just images and a little text, but it’s supposed to be intriguing enough to entice a click. Readers who go for the ad will arrive at this landing page. Input on that page would also be most welcome.

I’m planning to run them through Project Wonderful, probably at the forums for OOTS. I’m not sure where else. It depends on how things go. I’m told Facebook is a useful ad space, but I’m not in a hurry to go there.

Comments on this blog are usually turned off, but I’ve tried to turn them on for this post. WordPress can be cranky about this stuff, though, so if you find you can’t (or don’t want to) offer your comments below, you can tweet them at me @byharryconnolly or post them to my LiveJournal, Facebook, or Google plus pages. If you’re old school (or prefer privacy) you can email me at harryconnolly at sff dot net.

Thanks for your help.

The Way into Chaos is currently 99 cents

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[UPDATE: The sale’s over, but I’ve permanently lowered the price since. Grab yourself a copy, or read a sample.]

Tomorrow, the second of January, The Way into Chaos is going to be included in a Bookbub promotion, and I’ve already lowered the price to 99 cents in anticipation.

With luck, this will give me a worthwhile sales boost, not only of book one but the whole trilogy. I’ll post about that later. In the meantime, if you’re an ebook reader and you haven’t tried this series–or you know someone who might like an epic fantasy merged with an apocalyptic thriller, you can pick up a discounted copy from one of these vendors:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iBooks
Kobo

But only for a limited time.

The paper edition is still available, too, naturally, but without a discount. However, the Amazon “Matchbook” program has changes so that if you buy the paper edition from them, you get a free version for your Kindle.

The Way into Chaos makes the PW/Booklife “Self-Pub Stars of 2015”

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Self-Publishing Stars of 2015 is the list of self-published books that received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly’s Booklife service, which allows self-publishers to submit work for review in that venerable institution.

And I’m on it.

Apparently, only 18 books in the fiction category received stars this year. That’s a pretty small list, and I’m pleased to be on it.

Also, next time I should seriously consider how my titles turn out in alphabetized lists.

You can buy the book here

Get Limited Edition Omnibuses of The Great Way from Worldbuilders

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This year I sent four copies of the limited edition hardback omnibus version of The Great Way to Worldbuilders. Fewer than 200 were printed and they aren’t designed to be sold in stores; there’s no ISBN, no listed price, no bar code. I created them for Kickstarter backers who pledged at $100 or more, and while I shipped out a whole bunch, I ended up with a significant number in my back hallway, still in their boxes.

I’m not planning to sell them, but I have sent one of those boxes to Pat Rothfuss for his Worldbuilders. The picture of the three books included in the book lottery is here. (Remember, that’s not the three books of the trilogy, that’s three separate copies of the entire trilogy).

However, if you really want that particular limited edition, there’s an ebay auction going on right now. And it benefits charity. If you’re interested in learning more about Worldbuilders and its charity work, you can.

To sum up: If you’re a fan and you missed out on the Kickstarter, you may think you also missed out on your chance to pick up a limited edition hardback. You didn’t! Just click on that ebay link above and do your part for charity.

Help Refugees and Maybe Win Some Limited Editions of my Work.

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Most everyone who’s following the news knows about the difficulties facing Syrian refugees. Author Kevin Hearne has decided he’s going to do something to help.

Basically, he’s giving away books to people who donate to UNHCR. All you have to do is donate, send him proof, and you’re entered to maybe win something.

And, to support his efforts, I’ve sent him four copies of the limited edition omnibus of The Great Way. Did you miss out on the Kickstarter? Would you like to get one of fewer than 200 copies of that omnibus edition, the one with nothing on the cover but the fantasy map?

If so, pop over to that link above and follow the directions, so you can get a chance to win. It will help people who need it, and maybe you’ll get some books, too. Admittedly, my books aren’t pictured (yet) but he should be receiving them today, so maybe there will be a picture later. Check out the update page with my (and several other authors’) books.

Time is short, though, so don’t wait.

N Things Make a Post

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1) I just dropped the fully signed contracts for a German edition of The Great Way (read the first few chapters starting here). The money won’t be coming to me for a while, but it’s much, much better than what I was paid for the German rights to Child of Fire, and CoF was published by the largest English language publisher in the world. Epic fantasy seems to do much better than urban fantasy.

2) Monday was my wife’s birthday. She got a Pencil by Fifty-Three, along with their art program, so she can try yet again to make art on her iPad. After so many years, I’m doubtful this will work, but we never stop trying.

3) Those of you who’ve known me for a long time will know that, while we celebrate my wife’s birthday on June 1, it’s also my birthday. However, we don’t do presents and stuff for me until July 1. (Sharing your birthday with your spouse sort of sucks.) I just turned 50.

4) You can tell that I put a lot of importance on that number by the way I’m burying it in this post. It’s a perfectly arbitrary number, but it does help me realize that I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be at this point in my life.

5) If you’ve been following my #15in2015 posts, you’ll see that I’m almost certainly going to make it. That’s partly because I’ve chosen a bunch of shorter books, have mostly stopped reading graphic novels (and mostly don’t miss them), and I’m reading bestsellers in the hopes of understanding them better. My current novel is also on the short end, but I think the next one should be meatier, just for variety’s sake.

6) Have I mentioned that the Fate Core game supplements I’ve been working on are in revisions? Well, they are. Someday soon I hope to return to novels. SOON.

7) Finally, my to-do list has grown so large that I’m tempted to just chuck huge portions of it just to clear my schedule. I’m supposed to organize a Goodreads giveaway for The Way Into Chaos, which means research into best practices. I’m supposed to work out a Bookbub promotion, but the promotional price can be a pain in the ass to arrange. The Great Way has been offered a slot in a Kickstarter Humble Bundle, which is no small thing and not to be ditched. Plus there are tax headaches around foreign sales, and I don’t have an accountant. Also, Goodreads supposedly allows discussion threads on author home pages (rather than the pages for books) but I’ll be damned if I can see the link I’m supposed to click. At least I’ve found someone willing to help with the creative commons licensing issues with the game supplements.

You know how John Scalzi talks about working with a publisher because he doesn’t want to be bothered with doing all this extraneous crap? Well, I’m living the life he doesn’t want. I’m his cautionary tale. All I want to do is write and watch dvds of mopey British detectives. Instead, I deal with all this stuff. Ugh.

Progress, I has it

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Ugh.

So, the Fate Core game supplement I promised to create for my Kickstarter is finished in the first draft.

Originally, I’d intended to write about six thousand words to cover the whole of The Great Way. I added a supplement for Key/Egg as a stretch goal, and figured that would be another 2K words, tops.

Just a few notes. Nothing fancy.

In truth, the first draft is over 45,000 words long. It’s half a novel.

Worse, the sort of writing that games require is very dense; finishing a thousand words in a day was the best I could hope for, and many days I couldn’t manage even that.

Fuck, man. Writing for games is hard.

Now I have to go through again. Not only will I need to revise the text, I’ll have to make sure I’ve got the rules basically correct. After that, I pass it to my GM for his notes.

In the end, it will all be fine, I hope. Fate Core operates on an open license, so I should be able to sell them for a nominal fee. Even better, I hope they’ll be effective promo for the books.

But Kee-rist, this has taken a sizable chunk of my lifetime productivity. I don’t think I’ll be doing this again.

The Blog Tour Continues, Part Nexter

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Continuing from the previous blog tour link farm

1. Like every writer, I sometimes I have to write a synopsis. It will surprise no one to learn that I have a system.

2. Here’s a post about genres, protagonists and exposition at SFF World.

3. Advice you won’t hear from sensible authors: Always Blame Yourself.

4. The way that studying screenwriting helped me as a novelist, and the way it didn’t.

5. Self-publishing vs traditional publishing, with an agenda to push one over the other.

6. He Always Runs While Others Walk: Pacing in Fiction. My ideas about pacing aren’t what I hear from so many other writers.

7. God is All Loving (Some Exemptions Apply) Religious Magic in Horror and Fantasy. I talk about vampires, crosses, and dehumanized enemies.

8. King Queen and this Three Seasons: ARROW and the Challenges of Long Term Narrative.

9. SF Signal Mind Meld: which series got better after the first book?

10. I Search the Body: What Role-Playing Games Taught Me About Writing Fiction.

11. Helpless in the Face of Your Enemy: Writers and Attack Novels.

— 11a. That Black Gate post was linked at io9. Comments are interesting.

12. The Loneliest Student: Writing as a Subject of Study. Applying education research to the process of learning to write.

And that’s it for my blog tour. It’s Dee Oh En Ee, done. I hope you find these interesting; please share if you do.