John G. Hartness
The Black Knight Chronicles Omnibus is the Kindle Daily Deal for Science Fiction & Fantasy today. That means that you can pick up the first three complete volumes of my Black Knight Chronicles for just $1.99 on Kindle, which will likely be price-matched across other formats. If you don’t already own the book, please take a moment to click the link below and go buy it.
Thanks. So why is the Kindle Daily Deal a big deal? There are several reasons, some of which are general and one is very specific to me and my world at this point in time.
Specifically, this is very important to me because I have a new book coming out June 30th. Even more specifically, I have the fifth book in this series coming out June 30th. So my sincere hope is that the visibility of the entire series will get a […]
Continue reading The Daily Deal – big deal?
Today is the official release day for Spell Blind, the first book in my Case Files of Justis Fearsson. I’ve already blogged about the book in some detail, and so I think that at this point a description of it would probably be superfluous. Instead, I’d like to use this post to revisit the idea of defining success.
Spell Blind will not be debuting on any bestseller lists. It’s possible that the book will do well enough in these first few weeks to creep onto a list or two (and if you would care to help in that regard by purchasing a copy for yourself and perhaps sending one to a friend, I would be most grateful), but even that is a long shot. The book will receive some good reviews, I’m sure. It already has gotten a few. But if I define the success of this book in terms […]
Continue reading David B. Coe: Release Day and Defining Success
Good morning All.
I want to share my feelings with you this morning. And yes, I waited until this morning, Tuesday, Oct 7th, to post this, because of course — no Internet all night until now. Because this is book release day, and it’s also “if it can go wrong, it will, day”. It’s make or break time in a writer’s career. It’s a day of excitement, after weeks of building up to a book release. It’s a day of … nothingness because although the book went out, nothing has happened. I am still waiting to see how many sold, how well my readers liked it, who will excoriate me personally on a review because they wanted my character’s love life to go another direction, or they hate complex plots, or they wanted a more complex plot, or they wanted a particular character to reappear, or they wanted fewer […]
Continue reading The Insanity of a Writer
As I’ve mentioned before — and as Faith and others have mentioned as well — the release of a new book can be incredibly stressful. Of course there is satisfaction in seeing the finished product in print (or ebook format). Writing a book is a big deal. That completed volume represents a tremendous amount of work; it required a huge investment of time, and of emotional and intellectual energy. It represents as well, an admirable accomplishment, and there is nothing wrong with taking pride in that. The problem is, releases are fraught with additional significance. Right or wrong, the success of a new book is judged on a collection of external factors that have little or nothing to do with the work itself, and everything to do with how others receive that work.
Every writer, aspiring or established, knows what I’m talking about. How many of you have finished a […]
Continue reading D.B. Jackson: The Writing Life, part II — Living With Success and Failure
I call myself a full-time writer.
What would be more accurate (and it’s something I do sometimes say) is that I have a handful of interrelated part-time jobs.
For two to four hours a day, I write fiction. There’s another one to two hours I spend teaching writing, via the UCLA Writers Extension Program. I review books and write articles about pop culture within the SF/F field (my recent Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch on Tor.com, for example). I sometimes pick up one on one mentoring gigs, helping writers work on completed novel manuscripts.
Part of what makes it possible for me to have this lifestyle, which is rewarding but also a bit catch-as-catch-can where income is concerned, is that I am also the primary homemaker for my two-person family unit. This means cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping mostly falls to me. (As John Scalzi says, in his brilliant […]
Continue reading Alyx Dellamonica: Slivers of a Writing Life
John G. Hartness
There might be a little hyperbole in the title, but probably not much. A friend who self-publishes posted her new cover on Facebook this morning, and it was beautiful. A striking image on the front, very nice typography, it looked good in a thumbnail (which many, many major publishers are terrible about, especially in urban fantasy, BTW. Those incredible dark, moody, painted covers look like nothing but black and blue blobs when shrunk down to Amazon thumbnail sizing. That’s why the author names have to be so big, so the consumer has SOME way to figure out what the book is!), until I started reading the back cover matter.
Back cover copy is critically important for any book, but it’s only really relevant to a self-published or small press author. Most major publishers A) Do back cover copy pretty well most of the time and B) won’t give you […]
Continue reading Nuts & Bolts – Back Cover Copy and Why Yours Is Bad
Last week I talked about how most Fantasy writers do a great deal of Worldbuilding. We like to be able to explain every aspect of our worlds, even if we don’t do so on the page (in order to spare the reader.)
But what about those things we can’t explain?
I’m not talking about Differential Equations or Quantum Physics. I’m talking about some piece of our world that we simply can’t pin down. It happens.
Here’s my example: I’m very cautious about shapeshifters. I like to have a reasonable explanation of how they’re doing what they do. At a most basic level, what they’re doing is Magic, but…what kind?
For most of the shapeshifters I create, I use a physics-based standard; if their mass changes, then I like to have an explanation for the difference in mass. For my horse shapeshifters (puca), they draw energy from the world around […]
Continue reading Explaining it All — J. Kathleen Cheney