Unnamed Journal, Caligula and Punk Rock: Big ‘Ol July Update

Summer is an odd time. I should be filling the blog with posts, but somehow, other projects take precedence. To be fair, I’ve definitely fallen from my 10-post-a-month threshold I was hitting in the fall and winter. That means something, but I’m not sure what.

The point is, I’m behind on posting stuff. It happens. So lets get on with it.

This has been up for a little bit. It’s one of our more rambling episodes, per the effects of the Rule of 30 in Podcasting. Punk as a style and an aesthetic has become vast over the last 40 years, but it doesn’t ever really escape the superposition in started in. So there’s lots to talk about, and all of it relates.

But that’s the secondary bit of news. This is the big bit of news:

Available for $2.99 on ebook, $3.99 in Paperpack. The ebook looks really good, as I used Scrivener to create it, and previewed it before uploading it to Amazon. This closes the chapter on a project I’ve been playing around with for years. Now I can move on, to polishing up Death Riding and The Sword, before moving on to other works in embryo.

Finally, this is also available on Amazon:

Been on Gumroad for a while, but I’ve got the ebook up on Amazon and am finalizing the paperback edition as well. All in all, it’s been a pretty big month.

The Process of Editing

I’ve been saying for some time that I’ve been working on editing The Meditations of Caius Caligula. The initial draft appeared serially in Unnamed Journal (a distinction it shares with Void), except the final chapter, which has not been seen anywhere. Composing it rather pointed out some of the weaknesses of the draft. As conceived, my Caligula largely existed to subvert the myth around him. Less madman, more edgelord, was the main point of doing it. But that rather scuttles the climax. I needed Caligula to feel something. He’ll just be irritating if he’s not human.

So, I’ve had to expand him. To give life and memory to his utterances. And this has required adding more Novel elements, i.e. scenes and dialogue, to what was initially a monograph. I’m trying to insert this into his existing flow, rather than overtake it. It’s a challenge.

All of which means this thing is nowhwere near as ready for publication as I would like it to be. But that’s fine, because it’s given me opportunity to grow the text, to drawing off my readings of Ovid, and Lucretius and Suetonius, and have my Caligula adress the ideas inherent therein.

This is what they call Developmental Editing, as distinct from Line Editing, or Copy Editing. According to Bookbaby, Developmental Editing looks at the characterization, structure, pacing, plot: the nuts and bolts of your story. Line Editing looks at how well you use language to tell the story: flow, transition, and other elements of Style. Copy Editing is just making sure you don’t have egregious typoes.

In the past, I’ve done all of these things at once, which is a bit, shall we say, unstructured. So it’s looking like I’m really doing a rewrite right now, and then will do some more extensive editing. Such is the way of things. I’d rather do it right than rush it.

The Old Phase of UJ… Must End

I’ve talked about this before, but it’s becoming official.

The last free issue of Unnamed Journal has gone live. It’s available on Joomag. We’ve had great fun building and growing the magazine, and now it’s time for the next phase.

Our Patreon is going to go live next. The plan is to have Subscribers have access to new issues, plus early access to our other content and other type things. I’ll be detailing this in a later post, with links.

Additionally, for people who prefer to buy direct, we’ll be setting up an account on Gumroad to sell

  • new issues
  • old issues
  • collections/omnibi
  • other books and stories

That’s going to be in a few months, when the next issue goes live there. In the meantime, let’s get this party started.

Updating a Classic: Giving Solar System Blues a Cover it Deserves

I like to call Solar System Blues my first novel. Certainly it was my first serious attempt at self-publishing, and my first serious review. Because of this, I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted for the cover, and just kind of used the templates that CreateSpace and KDP offered.

That has changed.

Ssb2

Self-Publishing Review had this to say on it:

The world building is subtle and the author avoids too much information dumping on the whole. This book is a quick read and is only 140 pages. While the action and mystery come at the reader fast, after you get past the first few pages, it doesn’t feel overwhelming.

In honor of the new cover, I’m doing a Kindle Countdown Deal starting July 2. That means between July 2 and July 5, you can get the ebook for the low low price of $0.99, and between July 5 and July 9, for the low price of $1.99.

Honestly, what do you have to lose? Click here to buy.

I Don’t NaNoWriMo, But I Do Self-Publish

I’m definitely an agnostic on National Novel-Writing Month. I’m not down on it, and if someone wants to take the moment as a inspiration to create, I’m the last guy to wrinkle my nose at such. Write, you guys. Write like the wind.

But I also don’t participate. I’ve got a few reasons for this:

  1. I Can’t Write a Novel in a Month. Based on past experience, it just doesn’t work for me. I’ve got a job and a house and a family. I consider having finished The Sword as fast as I did an achievement, and I had to abandon that several times, because reasons. Trying to squeeze one out in 30 days just isn’t realistic for me.
  2. I Don’t Like Being Told When to Create. Call it a mental habit or even a mental block, but trends annoy me. Jumping on a bandwagon because everyone else is doing it makes some part of me not want to. I want to create according to my own time and schedule. I want to set my own goals, and then meet them. Again, if you find NaNoWriMo useful, good for you. I personally don’t.

That being said, I have some plans for this November. First of all, I’m planning on rolling out some new covers on my back catalog, including giving Solar System Blues a hardcover edition. Second, I have some new poems I want to offer up in a ebook-exclusive collection, as it’s likely to be shorter than Stir. All of them were written this past year. Planned title: The Short Cool Summer.

Watch this space.

Poetry Imminent. Stir to be Released on Amazon.

I’ve made a decision to cut the cord on my ongoing poetry anthology, Stir, and release it for Kindle and paperback.

I’m going to finalize selections and upload in fairly rapid order.

I’m doing this in large part because I’ve decided I’m no worse at poetry than some of the things I’ve seen in lit mags. This stuff deserves to be seen.

Details to follow.

On Tablo’s New Publishing Plans

Tablo is now moving into the publishing business, at least into the distribution side. Click here to check out the details of that. In essence, you pay $99 per year/ per book, to have your stuff published on iBooks, Amazon, Booktopia, Barnes & Noble, and the rest of the 10 largest ebook retailers. Tablo gives you an ISBN and everything. For $149 per year/ per book, you get that plus the remaining 10% or so of the online market, and digital libraries. For $299 per year/per book, you get paperback distribution to about $40,000 retailers.

That per book/per year seems somewhat daunting to me, and I’d really have to test it out and run some numbers before I could commit to it. But it would save time and trouble.

One of the things I like about Tablo is how responsive they are to their users. So when I ask about the details of their plans, I get immediate feedback. After asking for verification that the publishing plans are per year/per book, I share some thoughts vis-a-vis cost registration. Here’s the response I get:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Andrew! It is a different model to publishing independently, and for some authors this still may be the preferred path.

For us, the model we’ve tried to create is similar to the model of a blogging or website service, like SquareSpace or WordPress, where there are no servers, no domains, no DNS etc, and the owner can pay $8 per month or $100 per year to have a live and fully hosted website.

We hope that for authors, the value of reaching all of the world’s bookshops at once, without thinking about assets or ISBNs, and even having a paperback version available, is akin to hosting a blog without having to think about your own server or domains. In a scenario like this, the value of the service might outweigh the costs of publishing independently.

Worth considering.

Another Creation in Embryo…

Why I might:

  • On the DL, I’ve been sketching pieces of verse. I’ve got notebooks full of them. I’ve even laid them out in Scrivener. In the last year I’ve done maybe ten or twelve. There’s enough for a short paperback volume, anyway.
  • They’re always saying, get the content out. It would be nice if some of these saw some eyes.

Why I might not:

  • I don’t know if any of them are any good. I mean, a few definitely are. But all of them?
  • Nobody reads poetry books. Especially not self-published ones. My sales don’t justify it. It has Vanity Project written all over it.

Still, though…

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.

nailed-it-4

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.