Weekly Update – September 6, 2016

This week’s big announcement: The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot: Assassins Brawl is now available for pre-order!

The Kindle edition is scheduled for a September 27 release and will retail at $3.99. The print edition should be available around that time as well, and I’ll post price info when I get it.

SandA Ad SquareThe week before Assassins Brawl‘s release, the first book in the series, The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot – Scratching a Lich will be available for free through Amazon for five days, You’ll be able to get the Kindle edition for free from Monday, September 19 until Friday, September 23, so grab a copy for yourself or gift one to a friend.

WRITING PROJECTS

Action Figures – Issue Six: Power Play: Pre-editing revisions are done, in the queue for editing.

Action Figures – Live Free or Die: Pre-editing revisions are done, in the queue for editing.

Action Figures – Issue Seven: The Black End War and Action Figures – Issue Eight: Got some good work on both books done over my long writing weekend. The great thing about having book six already in the pipeline is that I can take my time working on the next two in the series, which is a big benefit in light of how very different book seven is going to be from the other stories.

Action Figures – Issue One: Secret Origins:  I received the first chunk of the audiobook this morning and it’s sounding pretty good. I asked my narrator, Jen, to re-do the exposition-heavy first chapter to punch up the pacing and energy a bit, but that’s a minor tweak. I’m eager to see how things sound once she really gets into the meat of the story.

APPEARANCES and EVENTS

MISC.

First, as a mere point of amusement, I stumbled across this German blogger who reviewed Action Figures – Issue Two: Black Magic Women. The Google translation isn’t perfect, but it works well enough to know this reader liked it.

Last week I learned that Secret Origins and Scratching a Lich had been nominated for something called the Summer Indie Book Awards. I don’t know how they ended up on the nomination lists — I have to assume a fan of the books submitted them — but they’re there.

While it’s nice to be nominated, I’m not putting a lot of stock in this. There are a ridiculous number of awards programs for indie authors to apply to, almost none of which are, in my opinion, worth anything. They’re too often backed by a for-profit outfit rather than an industry organization such as the Horror Writers Association or the World Science Fiction Society (which present, respectively, the Bram Stoker Awards or the Hugo Awards), charge a hefty entry fee, have extremely liberal guidelines for nominations (if they have guidelines at all), and aren’t judged based on a given work’s merits.

The Summer Indie Book Awards, for example, is a flat-out popularity contest. I could literally go onto the voting site every day and vote for myself. I could rally readers to go vote for me on a daily basis. The eventual winner is more likely to be whoever coordinated the best “vote early, vote often” campaign rather than who wrote the best book.

And what does the author get out of winning? Bragging rights, mostly, a chance to say they’re an “award winning” author — which is what so many of these awards are counting on. They’re preying on authors’ egos to make a buck, and there is too much of that going on in the industry.

Friendly word of advice for fellow indie authors before you fork over an entry fee for any kind of awards program: Google the award’s name and add the terms “Writer Beware” of “Water Cooler” to see if the program has been red-flagged by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America or Absolute Write. If it looks like a for-profit venture, avoid it.

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