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.

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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.

KDP-Amazon Price Reduction

Looking over my bookshelf yesterday, I noticed that some of my books had prices that were all over the map.

For example, The Devil Left Him was $3.99 for Kindle, $6.99 for Paperback. Last Tomorrow was 5.99 for paperback. The Right of Revolution was $2.99 for Kindle. I think at the time, I was testing to see what priced worked and what didn’t, acting on the “you need to value your product, so others will, too.” But still, standardization was in order.

So I made some changes.

As of now, all my novellas are $2.99 for ebook, $3.99 for paperback. That’s the floor for Amazon’s 70% Royalty rate. And some of my earlier works I brought down to the 35% Royalty rate so I could drop the price further. Short essays like Revolution are now 99 cents.

Savings – Passed on to you.

I’m also considering doing a Hardcover version of Solar System Blues. Because I love that book.

Check out my Author page to take advantage of this.

ddb

New Stuff! New Stuff! New Stuff!

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Why would recycle a Ron Paul meme? Why wouldn’t I? Why aren’t you?

Okay, so first thing, the new edition of the new quarterly Unnamed Journal is out tomorrow. Layouts will be finished tonight.

Next, Void will finally see the light of day as a completed novella, at month’s end. The final edits are done, I just need to upload them to Amazon.

Next, back to  The Sword. Now that the Three Novellas are out of the way, the plan is to devote full time to this. I’m currently in Chapter 6 of a planned 14, so a few month’s determined work could finish it.

In the meantime, I’ve got a western novella I’m toying around with, and the question of what I’m going to work on after The Sword is finished continues to bemuse me. I have one of several paths to take:

  1. The Lord of the Black Tower – swords and sorcery in my home-brew fantasy world, Cevalon.
  2. The Bastard of Maryland – alternate-history of America if Washington had died prior to the Treaty of Paris being signed. An actual (heavily altered) historical figure – the last, illegitimate descendant of the Calvert family –  for the protagonist.
  3. Pilgrims of Elysia – Sequel to Solar System Blues. The descendants of Burton discover how the planet he discovered isn’t exactly as it seems to be.
  4. The Fires of Tirzah – A tale of palace coup, blood, and fire, taken straight from the Old Testament.

It’s not a question of which one I’ll write. It’s which one I’ll write first.

Strap in.

The Solar System Blues Review is In!

T.B. Markinson at Self-Publishing Review calls it “an exhilarating read”.

Not only is this story science fiction, but it’s also a thriller.

As Burton and his assistant travel further and further into space the story slowly unfolds. It all starts to make sense. In the meantime, Burton has music from decades ago to keep him company since it’s lonely in space. Very lonely. Of course Burton also has the ship’s computer to talk to, but have you tried to have a philosophical conversation with a computer? It’s not easy.

There is much to like about this story. Burton is an interesting character: witty, flawed, loving, determined, and obsessed. The teenager is your typical teenager. She wants to rebel but has no friends to rebel with. That doesn’t stop her from doing what she can do to antagonize the one adult in her world.  Even in space there’s no controlling teenage hormones.

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.

Read the whole thing. Then buy the book. On Amazon, or Barnes & Noble, if you prefer. All one to me.

 

Content? Fie Upon Your “Content”

Is there anything lamer than  having two “Sorry I no blog” posts in a row?

But I seriously had a good reason. Seriously.

Seriously.

Anyhoo, while I prep for the school year, here’s some nonsense. First my first feedback on Solar System Blues from someone who doesn’t know me and is therefore under no pressure to say they liked it (Goodreads link):

This book was just amazing. I won it through a good-reads giveaway and was so excited when I won. The whole idea and aspect of the book keeps you on your toes and excites you to turn every page. I recommend reading this book.

So there, people who have not the readiness to slam down $2.99 (more for dead tree) for a copy of an “amazing” book! How stupid do YOU feel?

Yeah, not very. I get that. God carried away. Sorry.

Here’s some vintage 1978 French punk rock, by way of an apology. I know, but listen to it:

That just rocks, that’s all that does…