Weekly Update – November 21, 2017

This week! The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich will be available for the Kindle for 99 cents from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. I expect this will be the last time the e-book version will be on sale through Amazon (read this if you don’t already know why).

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: Chipping away at the first draft of book two.

The Going Rate for Penance: The final draft is finished and is now in the hands of the editors of the upcoming New England Speculative Writers anthology, so now it’s time to stay busy with other projects so I’m not constantly checking e-mail for (hopefully) an acceptance letter.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, in the editing process.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and, hopefully, speaking on several panels.
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

First, a reminder that the New England Speculative Writers group is holding an open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. Go here to get the full details.

Finally, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

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Weekly Update – November 14, 2017

The process of bringing my e-books to the Nook continues. The first two Action Figures novels, Secret Origins and Black Magic Women are now available at Barnes & Noble. I hope to have the entire series available by Black Friday.

Speaking of which, The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich will be available for the Kindle for 99 cents from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday. I expect this will be the last time the e-book version will be on sale through Amazon (read this if you don’t already know why).

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: Time to get back to work on this. It’s sat untouched a little too long.

The Going Rate for Penance: I’ve done three drafts of my short for the New England Speculative Writers anthology (more on that below) so it’s time to send it out to test readers.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, in the editing process.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and, hopefully, speaking on several panels.
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

The New England Speculative Writers group is holding an open call for its first anthology. If you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story. Go here to get the full details.

 

Finally, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Action Figures – A Series Overview

What’s it About?

The series focuses on Carrie Hauser, a 15-year-old girl who one summer experiences two life-changing events: her parents announce they’re getting divorced, and she gains superhuman abilities after encountering a dying extraterrestrial after he falls to Earth.

Her adventure begins after Carrie and her mother Christina move back to Christina’s childhood home town of Kingsport, Massachusetts, and Carrie meets four teens with powers of their own: superhero fanboy Matt Steiger, who owns a pair of magic gloves that can produce any object he can envision out of thin air, like a living cartoon character; Sara Danvers, a telepath and telekinetic who is afraid of her own abilities; the easygoing Stuart Lumley, who possesses superhuman strength; and Missy Hamill, an adorable motormouth with enhanced strength and reflexes.

The teens form a superhero team almost on a whim, but soon find themselves fighting for their lives against very real super-villains – much to the dismay of Kingsport’s hometown hero Concorde, leader of the super-team The Protectorate.

Who is this Series For?

Fans of superhero comics, TV shows, and movies in general, but particularly of titles featuring teen heroes such as Young Justice, Teen Titans, Young Avengers, and Champions.

The tone is generally lighter than a lot of YA books out there now. While there is drama and conflict, and some later stories deal with darker issues, I try to keep the series fun, upbeat, and optimistic.

Is it Suitable for Young Readers?

Action Figures is a PG-13 series that contains mild to moderate profanity, non-graphic violence, some mature themes, and later on in the series mild sexual content.

An added word about the violent content: while the violence is not graphic, the consequences are not downplayed. This isn’t sanitized Hollywood violence. People get hurt just as they would in real life and do not easily shrug off injuries, and in some cases the characters have to deal with the emotional trauma of their experiences.

What are the Books in the Series?

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret OriginsCarrie and her new friends in the Hero Squad (yes, they know their team name is awful) find themselves caught in the crossfire as the deadly mercenary Manticore comes to Kingsport, on the hunt for the rogue artificial intelligence known as Archimedes.

Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women – The sorceress Black Betty threatens to raise hell – maybe literally – as she pursues her vendetta against the Protectorate’s resident paranormal expert Dr. Enigma.

 

Action Figures – Issue Three: Pasts Imperfect – Missy’s life is turned upside-down when she learns the truth about the source of her powers, and her connection to the bloodthirsty killer Buzzkill Joy.

 

Action Figures – Issue Four: Cruel SummerSara finds herself in the crosshairs of the mysterious hero killer the King of Pain, but to save herself, she might have to sacrifice everything she holds dear.

 

Action Figures – Issue Five: Team-UpsThe Hero Squad, still reeling from their devastating encounter with the King of Pain, get a little help picking up the pieces from their friends in the Protectorate and the Quantum Quintet.

 

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play – The Squad finds itself outnumbered and under-powered after one of their members goes missing – and at the worst possible time as foes from their past reappear, more dangerous than ever and ready to exact revenge.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War (spring 2018)

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage (spring 2019)

How Long Will the Series Run?

The series is plotted out to ten books but might run one or two books longer. In any event, it will come to a firm end at some point and not run on indefinitely.

Where Can I Learn More?

Read can read sample chapters from Secret Origins, short stories set in the Action Figures world, buy signed copies, connect with me through social media, and get regular updates at my website: innsmouthlook.com

Thanksgiving Sale Ahoy!

As I’ve mentioned a few times recently, I am moving away from exclusivity on Amazon and making my e-book formats available on other platforms. I’ve already begun moving Action Figures over to Barnes & Noble, and once that’s done I’ll do the same with The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot.

One of the significant points here is that by removing my books from Kindle Direct Press Select, I won’t have the ability to put the books on sale or do free giveaways, so I am doing one last sales hurrah for Scratching a Lich during the post-Thanksgiving orgy of commercialism.

From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, Scratching a Lich will be available for the Kindle for just 99 cents on Amazon. If you haven’t given this series a try, now’s the time to do it. And if you are a fan, this is your opportunity to grab a copy as a holiday gift for a friend or family member. Spread the word!

Now on the Nook!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

As I mentioned previously, I’m moving away from Amazon exclusivity with my e-books and making them available on other platforms. As of today, I’ve officially expanded into Barnes & Noble, and Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins is now available for the Nook! I’ll continue to add the Action Figures series to the B&N catalog over the coming days, and then add it to other venues as I find them.

Weekly Update – November 7, 2017

I want to put this right up front because this might be of interest to some people — especially those who are still trying to figure out your NaNoWriMo project.

The New England Speculative Writers group is holding an open call for its first anthology! Go here to get the details, but the short form is this: if you’re a New England-based writer, you’re eligible to submit a story.

I’m already working on mine, so maybe we’ll appear in the pages of this cool new project together.

WRITING PROJECTS

Well Behaved Women: I wrapped up a second draft of book one and am trying to focus on book two, but I have some plot work yet to do before this will really get rolling. In the meantime, I’m continuing to lay out the groundwork for a cool cover photo shoot early next year. I’ll share details as they come.

The Going Rate for Penance: This is the working title of my NESW anthology submission. I am about 1,400 words in, so it’s off to a strong start.

The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – book four: First draft in progress.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War: Fourth draft finished, in the editing process.

Action Figures – Issue Eight: Crawling from the Wreckage: Third draft written.

Action Figures – Issue Nine: Rough plotting in progress.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins (audiobook): Review completed, final editing in progress.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

  • Friday, January 12 through Monday, January 15, 2018: Arisia at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. I’ll be back selling books and, hopefully, speaking on several panels.
  • Friday, February 16 through Sunday, February 18: Boskone at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel (tentative).

MISC.

I’m in the process of making some changes to how my books are distributed. This isn’t a big deal for you folks but it could be for me.

If you need more details, you can go read this post from Friday, but the TL;DR version is that I have pulled Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins from the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program and will be doing the same with The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich after the post-Thanksgiving weekend orgy of commercialism. The pros of being part of KDP Select no longer outweigh the drawbacks, so I am changing strategies that will, hopefully, benefit me in the long run.

Finally, if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any news from me, remember that I have a weekly newsletter that features some of the stuff you see posted here plus new, newsletter-exclusive material. Click this link to sign up.

Changes Are Coming

Happy Friday, everyone!

Now, I know the headline might sound a little ominous, but it’s really not that big a deal — at least not to you, but it could mean some good things for me.

Last night the New England Speculative Writers group met to discuss ongoing and upcoming projects, and one of the subjects that came up was increasing one’s exposure. One of the specific points of discussion centered on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Select program, and whether the benefits outweighed the drawbacks.

For those unfamiliar with KPD Select, the gist is that authors give Amazon exclusivity rights on e-books, i.e., I can’t sell e-books enrolled in the program through other retailers such as Barnes & Noble. In exchange, I get to periodically set up sales on Amazon that let me lower the price of my books without affecting how much I earn off each sale, and the e-books are included in the Kindle Unlimited program. Readers get to read unlimited e-books and I make my money there off each page read.

For a while this approach worked pretty well. I kept Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins and The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich in KDP Select as feeder titles, figuring people would check them out and then go get the other books in the series, and I’d still make a decent payday off the KU reads.

For reasons far too complex to go into here, the amount authors make per KU page read has gone down a LOT over the past few years. That, coupled with other, better ways I’ve found to entice readers into giving my books a try, had me on the fence whether it was worth continuing on with KDP Select, and last night’s discussion helped me make up my mind that it was time to leave it behind and try other things.

As of today, Secret Origins is no longer a KDP Select title and is not available through KU. Scratching a Lich, however, will have one last hurrah and will go on sale for 99 cents from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. After that, it’s coming off KDP Select.

Aside from the fact these books will no longer be available as KU titles, what this means is they, along with all my other books, will soon start popping up through other retail venues. This will be a bit of a process as I will have to set up the books for delivery via these other means, but it will expand my books’ availability and give consumers an option other than Amazon.

Now, I know in some circles it’s fashionable to bash Amazon, and I won’t deny the company is in ways problematic — especially when it comes to indie authors — but it has in the big picture sense been perhaps the single greatest boon to independent and small press authors who would otherwise struggle to make a dent in the marketplace. Nevertheless, there are readers who absolutely do not want to spend their money with Amazon, and this step will help me reach some of them.

So keep an eye out here and in my newsletter as I announce new retailers for my books, and please spread the word of the Thanksgiving sale. Thanks!