Posted in Books, Publishing

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.

Devil3

Posted in Books, History, Publishing, Religion

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”.

sciarius

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.

Posted in Books, Publishing, writing

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.

Posted in Books, Publishing

One, Down, Two to Go…

The first draft of The Devil Left Him is finished. Read up to the penultimate chapter for free on Tablo. Just in Time for Lent, which, among other things, honors Jesus’ Fast in the Desert.

The last chapter is done, too, but I’m holding on to it for now. It will be edited and then published on Amazon and iTunes.

So that’s a deadline done two days ahead of schedule. Next plan is to finish Last Tomorrow by Easter and then Void by June 1st or so. I’ve also got short stuff to work on, and I’m just about narrowed down what the next novel will be.

This is happening, people.

Posted in Books, Publishing

The Year of the Three Novellas (which are probably novelettes, but whatever)

First, update to The Party at the Last Tomorrow (Click image to go to Tablo and read it)

last-tomorrow

I am now 4 chapters and about 8500 words into this one. That’s the least amount of progress on any of the things I’m working on right now, which is surprising because it’s the one I conceived earliest. I chalk that up to pantsing, or “discovery writing”. Other than a bare scene outline and it’s inspiration (Poe’s Masque of the Red Death), I am making this one up as I go along. This is both freeing and frustrating. But progress is progress, and progress pleases me.

Of course, I should probably talk about what I’m progressing towards. I decided sometime before the New Year to make 2017 The Year of the Three Novellas. The Three Novellas are the books I’m currently writing on Tablo, and they’re on my Books to Preview page, but basically:

The latest Chapter of Void is exclusively available in newly-arrived 8th issue of Unnamed Journal for the next month. Did I mention subscriptions are free?

Unnamed Journal Issue 2, Volume 2

Anyway, the plan is to finish Devil this month, Last Tomorrow sometime in March/April, and Void by June. Then I’m going to give them each a deep edit, and put them on Amazon and iBooks over the second half of the year, while I’m writing the next project, which will be a bigger novel. I’ve got a couple of ideas started, and I just need to decide which way to go.

Right now Devil is sitting pretty at about 11,000 words and one more chapter (possibly two) to go. I should round off at about 15,000 words. Last Tomorrow and Void are about the same in terms of word count, and have the same number of finished chapters. My guess is Last Tomorrow will end up slightly longer than Devil, and Void longer still.

I’d originally conceived Void as being 6-7 Chapters, and I’m starting to think I’ll go as high as 8. The story is taking it’s time. I’ve got more of an outline with this one than with Last Tomorrow, but the exact nature of antagonist is demanding a slower reveal. Which is all to the good, in my opinion, because any good author should like it when characters start making their own demands on you.

Of course, according to Wikipedia (by which I of course mean, according to what Wikipedia sources), anything between 7,500 – 17,500 words is really a novelette rather than a novella. But two of the three might just qualify, so nyah.

challenge_accepted

Posted in Books, Publishing

Naming the Dark One: a “The Devil Left Him” Update

First off, there’s a new chapter up. It’s actually an old chapter, since I update on Tablo one chapter behind. So When I finished Chapter 5 this morning, I made Chapter 4 available. I do it that way because it feels good not to be behind my audience.

That means I have about 1, maybe 2 chapters to write, and the first draft will be finished. Then I’m going to give it a good, deep edit, then put it up on Amazon for the world to enjoy.

I’ve also added the new cover I showed in the last post:

devil-1

And I’ve done something else, which has to do with the title of the post, and the title of the book. I’ve taken out every time in the text that “the Devil” is used, and replaced it with “the Satan”.

Wherefore did I so?

The word “devil” comes to us from the Greek, diabolos, which means “slanderer” or “accuser”. This makes it a rough translation of the Hebrew Shaitan, which also means  “accuser”. In the Hebrew texts of the old Testament, “satan” is usually preceded with a “ha-” indicating that the word is a title, rather than a name. Some English translations also reflect this.

This raises the question of whom the devil is accusing. We find our answer in the Book of Job, the first text in the Old Testament where the word “Satan” is used. In it, Satan argues with God that Job is not really righteous, only comfortable, and so God gives Satan permission to test Job. The Problem of Evil ensues.

Some traditions of Judaism thus regard Satan as an agent of God, whose purpose is to tempt and try men, to find the wickedness in them, and then accuse them to God. Christianity takes a different view, of Satan as a fallen archangel and lord of demons.

So because Yeshua bar Mariamme spoke no Greek (that we’re aware of), he likely never heard the word “Diabolos” in his life any more than he heard “Jesus” or “Christos” (both of which are Greek translations of his name and title). So replacing “Devil” with “Satan” serves the same Judiaizing verisimilitude as that of referring to Yeshua by name. Also, it lets me consider how I might toy with title vs. name in the climax.

Other names of the Devil:

  • Lucifer comes from a Latin translation of the Hebrew “Heylel”, meaning “morning star” or “Light-bringer”. The word appears in the Book of Isaiah, referencing either a Babylonian King, the Kingdom of Babylon itself, or a Canaanite deity. It is often used to reference the Devil before his fall.
  • Beelzebub is Hebrew for “Lord of the Flies” and is a pun on the name of a Philistine or Canaanite God. It is sometimes used to refer to the Devil, and sometimes to a lesser demon, as in Milton.
  • Mephistopheles is a demon from German folklore, usually as part of the Faust legend. The word either comes from Hebrew or Greek. It’s not usually intended to refer to the Devil, but an agent or representative.

Anyway, Enjoy!

Posted in Blog, Books, Publishing

Email Lists, Book Covers, Periscope, and Other Assorted Jazz

In my research as to the proper way to have a career as an indie author, I’ve read a good few useful books and absorbed what some successful authors have had to say. The boys over at Realm and Sands, who do the Self-Publishing Podcast, have coined the phrase “Write. Publish. Repeat.”, which is the title of their indie author self-help book, which I’ve read, and found useful.

Then, scrolling through my twitter feed today, I found this:

You need not watch to the whole thing, as his cheeky meta-obvious promotion might or might not be your cup of tea. But he’s a success, what he and Write. Publish. Repeat. have in common is the insistence on the importance of an email list.

I’ve resisted this, because I get so much email that I barely bother to read it. But apparently it works, so I’m going to have to get a list going. I’m leaning towards MailChimp right now, based on initial research, and also because it’s free until I hit 2,000 subscribers. Free is the right starting price for an indie author.

Also, I have this urge in me to start Periscoping. I think it might add something to my social media presence and help get the word out when I have some new content to talk about, like a book or a new issue of Unnamed Journal. Speaking of which, did you see this?

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February 1st, people. Mark your calendars.

I made this on my iPad using Adobe Spark, which is a fun little photo design app that’s allowed me to up my book cover design game. At least, I think so.

For example, here’s the current cover for The Devil Left Him, along side a cover I just did on Adobe Spark:

thedevillefthim

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The second one just Pops more to my mind. What do you think?