How to Publish Stuff on iBooks, using Tablo…

I laid out the steps some weeks ago on my Ello page. If you like having your stuff iBooks, Tablo takes much of the work out for you. Here’s the basics:

Step 1Put Your Book on Tablo. You can write (or copy-paste) your work there with their Bookmaker software, which is intuitive and very easy, or you can upload a Word document. I’ve only done it the first way.

Step 2 – Publish. Having your book on Tablo, even available to read there, is separate from it being published to iBooks. When you click on your book, you will see three links at the top of the page: “Write,” to continue working on a book, “Publish on Tablo”, to allow it to be read on the web site for free, and “Sell on Bookstores,” which will send it to iBooks. You can have all, some or none of your book available on Tablo to read. You can select and deselect individual chapters. You can post chapters as you write them, to build a readership. Or you can skip this step entirely and go straight to:

Step 3 – Sell. Setting your book up for sale is all done on a single page. You will need to input the following:

  • Title
  • Subtitle
  • Description
  • Author Name (pseudonyms permitted)
  • Language of Book
  • BISAC Category (there’s a clickable drill-down to find yours, so don’t worry)
  • Tags
  • Pricing for US, UK, and Australia (there will be a suggested price point for each, but you can set them to be whatever you want)
  • Paypal email (Yes, you need a PayPal account to play)
  • Book Cover (Upload any high-res image)

Then just click the button and wait. This is the downside: you will wait.

I didn’t end up waiting as long as I thought I would, because as of a few days ago The Devil Left Him is up on iBooks. It has an alternate cover from the Amazon version but is otherwise the same. It’s also cheaper.

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Barabbas was a Terrorist?

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Today, with The Devil Left Him out and available, I’d like to talk a little about the connection between Jesus and Barrabbas, and the latter’s role in the Biblical story.

1st Century Judea had a number of divisive sects vying for control of what Judaism meant. The Sadducees, the priests, were the most Hellenized, the most docile with regard to the Roman occupation. The Pharisees, the scribes, were most determined to emphasize their Jewishness, and to appeal to Rabbinical authority and black-letter Mosaic Law. The Essenes were the proto-monastic mystics who hungered for God in the desert. They were most connected to John the Baptist, and according to some New Testament Scholars, to Jesus himself.

Then you had the Zealots, who imagined themselves as the successors to the Maccabees who had thrown off Greek rule and in the previous century and briefly established Jewish independence before the Romans showed up. They favored a violent overthrow of Roman rule, and believed that Divine aid would secure this goal as it had secured the Promised Land for Israel in Joshua’s time (Linguist’s Note: “Joshua,” “Yeshua,” and “Jesus” are all the same word as expressed in English, Hebrew, and Greek). A subset (or ally, depending on which source you rely upon) were the sicaroi, or “dagger-men”.

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Sicaroi were literal terrorists, they would practice stealth assassination with their sicarii, or short-bladed daggers, and then blend back into the crowd. They practiced this not only against Romans, but against Jewish collaborators.

What has this to do with Barabbas?

Well, the Gospels have it that Barabbas was an unsavory character. Matthew refers to him as a “notorious prisoner” (Mt 27:16), and Mark (15:7) and Luke (23:19) say that he took part in a riot, and committed murder. John 18:40 calls Barabbas a “bandit”, using a Greek word (“lestes”) that the Jewish historian Josephus later used to refer to rebels.

Is that enough to justify my headline? Maybe not. Some historians say that the sicaroi were active in the run up to the Jewish Revolt of the 60’s AD, not during the 30’s.

But there’s an even more interesting link between Jesus and Barabbas. “Barabbas” in Hebrew means “son of the father”, and early editions of the Gospel of Matthew refer to Jesus as “Jesus Barabbas”. It may have been changed to avoid confusion.

This presents an interesting contrast between the two guys Pilate had on hand to execute on Good Friday: there’s the Messiah that Jesus claimed to be and the more direct,  political type that Barabbas could well have been. The Messiah of God vs. the Messiah of Man, as Augustine might have put it.

Which is why The Devil Left Him has a tragic, dagger-wielding Barabbas encountering Jesus prior to their more famous meeting. Check it out.

Everything is Back on Track!

New books are live. More books are coming.

The Devil Left Him is up on sale on Amazon. I just did the official announcement on Periscope.

That should have showed up on Facebook as well. I explain that the book is available, and go into a little bit about why I wrote it: a literary experiment on the Divine Character Problem. I talk about Luke Skywalker for a minute, and then can’t figure out how to turn the broadcast off, because it’s my second one.

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I’m going to publish it on iBooks as well, probably with an alternative title. I’m also doing an Amazon Ad campaign for it, to see how that does. All in all, very exciting. I conceived this and brought it to market in about a year, while working on other projects as well, and holding down a full-time job and taking care of a family. I think I can improve that time, but the future is a tease, always arriving different than expected.

Next up: getting the next issue of Unnamed Journal up. Then publishing Last Tomorrow and Void. I should be getting back on track with The Sword as well.

That’s Three Novellas Done, Gang.

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I just put the most satisfying words – THE END – an author ever composes onto Void. The last three chapters will be available in their entirety in the next issue of Unnamed Journal.

Which means I’ve finished almost a week ahead of my June 1st deadline.

Which means I’ve hit all my deadlines this year – with time to spare. In January I had none novellas finished. Now I have three.

So now what?

First, these need to be revised, and then published. On Kindle certainly, and with paperback versions as well.

I’ll probably go back and revise them in order of composition – Devil, Last Tomorrow, then Void.

So let me set myself some more arbitrary deadlines:

  • The Devil Left Him – Let’s say June 23rd. That ought to be plenty of time. I don’t think this one needs that much revision.
  • The Party at the Last Tomorrow – I’m going to give myself more time with this one. It’s kind of half-baked at this point. We’re going for July 28th.
  • Void – I don’t know that Void is going to need much work. I’m going to give myself three weeks. August 18th.

While I’m doing this, I will be working on a full-length novel. It’s the Civil War novel I’ve already started, working title The Sword. If I can get it done over the summer, I’ll be pretty pleased with myself.

Watch this space.

Quick Void Update

Last time I posted, I sounded a little overwhelmed by the threads I needed to nail down to finish Void. Today, I can safely report that I’ve finished the 6th Chapter, and am confident that I’ve set the third act up in such a way as to be able to be confident of a quick Chapter 7.

In the end, it’s all about character. I stopped trying to create competing motives and just let the protagonist and antagonist work it out for themselves.

I also snuck in a classic philosophy problem, which students of the art should catch right away. Hopefully it’s not too on-the-nose.

Also, since 6 is done, I’ve made 5 available to read on Tablo, for anyone who wants to catch up. Enjoy!

Pre-Vacation Update

A bunch of merry business has gone by. Allow me to fill you in:

  • The Party At the Last Tomorrow is finished. Drafted, anyway. I’m going to go back in the summer and give it a thorough edit, tie down some loose threads, establish the things in the early chapters that I pantsed in the later ones, but you can read the existing draft on Tablo. Since my due date for finishing this draft was Easter, I’m pretty pleased with myself.
  • Unnamed Journal put it’s ninth issue out, and it’s full of WWI-related shenanigans, plus some other fine fare. You’ll never look at scarecrows the same way again.
    • Included in the above is the first piece I wrote using Scrivener instead of Microsoft Word or the Tablo app. It took some adjustment, but I really do like the way Scrivener works. I look forward to using it for the Summer Novel (I NaNoWriMo whenever I damn well please).
    • Also included is the fifth Chapter of Void. It’s the shortest chapter so far, but I like what I did with it. It sets up the actual thing that made me want to write this in the first place. Read it on UJ exclusively for the next few months. Get caught up with previous chapters on Tablo.

Oh, and Void has a new cover:

Void

 

Not bad. I’m not sold on it, though…