Latest Event Updates

Current results of $0.99 experiment.

Posted on Updated on

So far, I’d say dropping the price of Empire of Chains to $0.99 for the weekend has been a success. Am I getting tons of sales? No. But I have sold more books in the last four days than I have in any other four-day span. I’ve also been doing fairly well in Kindle Unlimited. So far KU has been much better for me and more consistent than actual sales.

I figure that’s to be expected when you’re just starting out. People are more likely to give your book a chance when it’s free or $0.99. I’m hoping that I can start getting more good reviews. As a reader, I often ignore books that don’t have many reviews, so I’m thrilled that at least a few people have tried out Empire of Chains despite its lack of reviews.

Before publishing, I never understood just how hard it is to get reviews. When I look at my KU pages read, it becomes clear that a decent number of people have read the book. Very few of them have left reviews, however. It’s a bit frustrating, but I understand that not all readers want to leave reviews.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the results so far for Empire of Chains. I’m also working hard on getting The Shadowed Land ready for publication. I’m currently on the third draft. I’m not sure how many drafts it will ultimately have, but I expect it to be ready by mid to late September. I have to fight the urge to be impatient with it. I know that authors often see a surge in purchases when additional books in a series come out.

As it is, I will have a pretty fast and demanding release schedule. I’m pretty sure I can hold to it because I’ve written all the books I plan to release over the next nine months. It’s a matter of revising those books and turning them into the best product possible.

Thankfully, I tend to enjoy editing. I gain a lot of pleasure from taking the potential of the first draft and turning it into a story readers will enjoy by the time I’m done. It can be difficult at times, but it’s worth it in the end.

If you haven’t checked out Empire of Chains yet, please do give it a chance. There are only a few days left of the $0.99 deal.¬†Empire of Chains

Tentative release schedule.

Posted on Updated on

With the release of Empire of Chains in the books now for two weeks, it’s time for me to address when I’m going to get more books out. I have drafted two entire series, so at this point, it’s a matter of beta reader feedback, editing, and cover art before I can release the rest of these books.

Ideally, I’d like to release one book every three months or so. At times, I may go faster or slower than that. It depends on a number of factors.

Tentative release dates:

WORLD IN CHAINS

Empire of Chains (Book 1): June 30th, 2017. You can get it here: Empire of Chains

The Shadowed Land (Book 2): September 2017

The Gilded Empire (Book 3): December 2017

The Winds of Time (Book 4): March 2018

SUNWEAVER

Sunweaver (Book 1): October 2017

Fireweaver (Book 2): January 2018

Sunlord (Book 3): April 2018

THE GOD WAR

Watersong (Book 1): Spring/Summer 2018

Godchild (Book 2): Summer/Fall 2018

Endlord (Book 3): Fall/Winter 2018

Please note that Godchild and Endlord have not yet been written. Release dates for The God War are all subject to change. Some of it depends on the editing and revision process. Some of it depends on the wait for cover art. I usually send out a request for cover art while I’m drafting the final book in a series.

I will also post a page on my website with release dates.

Early results for Empire of Chains.

Posted on

It’s been two weeks now since I’ve released Empire of Chains. Overall, I’m happy with the results. I haven’t been setting the world on fire with my sales, but I’ve made some sales. I’m having more success with Kindle Unlimited.

A lot of this is a learning process. I’m happy where I am, but I’d still like to improve things. Not sure how that will happen. A lot of it is trial and error. You can do all kinds of research on the self-publishing business, but once you publish your first book, it’s a different beast altogether.

I’m enjoying it, though. Since I’m not in dire financial need of income from self-publishing at the moment, I can work on it without obsessing too much.

That being said, I am obsessing quite a bit.

Getting back in the swing of things.

Posted on

The release of Empire of Chains was a very exciting day, but it also has hurt my writing productivity. I’m spending a lot of time on social media and a lot of time obsessing over my sales and pages read.

Today, though, I managed to do some writing again. It was just over 1000 words, but that’s a good start. I’m currently working on the second book in my God War series. At this point, it looks like it will probably be a trilogy.

I have been editing and outlining while I haven’t been writing, so these days haven’t been completely lost.

For anyone who’s looking for an action-packed modern take on the classic quest fantasy, I urge you to give Empire of Chains a chance. It’s only $2.99 to buy, and if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free.

Empire of Chains is officially released!

Posted on Updated on

Today marks the release of Empire of Chains. This is a day I’ve been looking forward to, and dreading, for a long time. This book has been with me in many forms since I was 15 years old (I’m now 27, for the record). When I first wrote this book (and series), it was not very good, and that’s a nice way of putting it.

But in the 12 years since, I have grown as a writer. I’ve written other stories, but this one has always held a special place in my heart. A lot of the initial setting details and the main characters have remained mostly the same, but pretty much everything else in the series is much different from what I originally wrote.

And much better, I should add.

Originally, I wrote a cliche-riddled story about heroes going on a quest to defeat a dark lord. Since then, that story has evolved. There’s still a quest, but it’s not as much of a focus. There’s still a dark lord figure, but he’s not really a dark lord. In fact, from his perspective, he’s a hero. He does terrible things, but they’re all in the name of creating a better future.

You’re probably wondering why you should read this. First and foremost, it’s classic fantasy updated for modern audiences. As a reader, I enjoy the feel of series like The Wheel of Time and authors like Brandon Sanderson. Sanderson, especially, takes a lot of the common fantasy tropes and puts his own spin on them. That’s what I like to do in my books as well. I want to write the kind of stories that made me fall in love with fantasy in the first place, but I also want to make them feel new and fresh. I like stories with a lot of action and magic, and with characters who I can root for. If you’re looking for Grimdark, I’m probably not the author for you. I do include some dark elements in my work, and there is a fair amount of death in my stories, but I’d say I write more PG-13 fantasy.

There’s some mild language, fade-to-black sex scenes, and a fair amount of violence. But I think anyone from about age 12 and up can read my books (possibly even younger depending on the maturity and reading level of the child in question).

This is deliberate on my part because I also write young adult and middle grade fantasy. I don’t currently have any in the works, but I do love writing for those age groups, and I wouldn’t want my younger readers to read my other books and find they’re not appropriate for their age group.

In this regard, I’d say my target audience is a lot like Brandon Sanderson’s in terms of age and interests. I’m not claiming to be Brandon Sanderson. Id love to be held in the same regard someday, but right now, I’m just another self-published writer trying to find his way in a crowded field.

I hope you’ll take the chance on my series, and if you enjoy it, please do leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Also tell your friends and family. Word of mouth is the self-published author’s best friend, whether that’s telling someone in person or leaving reviews online.

Series Review: The Dragon Brigade by Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes

Posted on Updated on

I recently finished the final book in this trilogy, and it was an enjoyable ride. I’ve read Weis’s work before. I enjoyed the original Dragonlance trilogy, though it is pretty cliched stuff by today’s standards. Her Death Gate Cycle (also with Tracy Hickman) was one of those series that I really grew to love by the end. It was similar to Dragonlance in some ways, but it showed more depth and an interesting world (or rather, multiple worlds).

This series has a very different feel. It’s a world of magic and airships and dragons. Most notably, it does not have the generic Tolkienesque/D&D races that I’ve come to expect from Weis. That, for me, was a major bonus. I don’t hate these races by any means, but I rarely see them done in a way that feels fresh.

I’ve always felt the biggest strength of Weis and her various partners (from what I’ve read) is creating characters that are fun to read about. This series is no exception. I loved the dynamics between friends Stefano and Rodrigo. The priest, Father Jacob, was also a lot of fun to read about.

Description of the first book (from Goodreads):

“The known world floats upon the Breath of God, a thick gas similar to Earth’s oceans, with land masses accessible by airship. The largest of these land masses are ruled by the rival empires of Freya and Rosia. Magic is intrinsic to the functioning of these societies, and is even incorporated into their technological devices. But now a crucial scientific discovery has occurred that could destroy the balance of power-and change the empires forever.”

I’m personally not a fan of this description. It’s a bunch of worldbuilding without giving us much about plot or character. The world is fun, but there’s a lot more to the series than that.

My reviews of each book:

BOOK 1:

“Overall, this was a very enjoyable mixture of Steampunk and High Fantasy. The start was a bit slow, but there was a lot of great action in the last two thirds of the book. The writing is nothing special, but that didn’t bother me. I found myself connecting with the characters. It’s nice to see authors who still like their heroes on the heroic side.

Weis has worked both alone and with co-authors during her career. I haven’t read all her stuff, but I’d say this is probably the best first book in a series I’ve read by her. The Death Gate Cycle comes in second while Dragonlance is a distant third.

This one did recycle some ideas from the Death Gate cycle, but that didn’t bother me. This one is definitely more modern in feel. I also like that it’s a Gunpowder fantasy. It’s kind of nice to see a mixture of guns and dragons (and airships).

Overall, I recommend this book for readers who are looking for something that will hit the same spot as Chris Wooding’s Ketty Jay series and Jim Butcher’s Cinder Spires. While it’s not as good as either of those series, I enjoyed it.”

Rating: 8/10

BOOK 2

“This was an enjoyable book, probably on par with the first in the series. The characters are fun, the world is interesting, and there’s some good action. These books don’t quite make it into my list of favorites, but I still enjoy them quite a bit.”

Rating: 8/10

BOOK 3

“I really liked this conclusion to the Dragon Brigade trilogy. The final battle was very epic, and I enjoyed spending time with these characters throughout the trilogy. This series is loaded with action, airships, floating islands, and fun characters. It’s a testament to the fact that Weis can write good stories outside of her Dragonlance work.”

Rating: 9/10

Overall, I’d give the series an 8.5. It’s nothing complex, but it was fun to read, and a lot of times, that’s all I’m looking for.

SPFBO Book Review: The Crimson Queen by Alec Hutson

Posted on

This is my first review of a fellow Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off participant. I actually picked this book up before it was entered into the competition, but I just finally got around to reading it. I’m glad I did.

Here’s the description:

Long ago the world fell into twilight, when the great empires of old consumed each other in sorcerous cataclysms. In the south the Star Towers fell, swallowed by the sea, while the black glaciers descended upon the northern holdfasts, entombing the cities of Min-Ceruth in ice and sorcery. Then from the ancient empire of Menekar the paladins of Ama came, putting every surviving sorcerer to the sword and cleansing their taint from the land for the radiant glory of their lord.

The pulse of magic slowed, fading like the heartbeat of a dying man.

But after a thousand years it has begun to quicken again.

In a small fishing village a boy with strange powers comes of age…

A young queen rises in the west, fanning the long-smoldering embers of magic into a blaze once more…

Something of great importance is stolen – or freed – from the mysterious Empire of Swords and Flowers…

And the immortals who survived the ancient cataclysms bestir themselves, casting about for why the world is suddenly changing…

The first book in The Raveling, a new epic fantasy saga

Here’s my review:

This was a very good beginning to a series and author I’ll be watching closely. It’s classic fantasy done very well. Fans of The Wheel of Time will find a lot to like here. It isn’t a copy by any means, but it gives the same vibe.

The best thing about this book is the sense of mystery throughout. You get the feeling that there is always something more beneath the surface of every interaction, every place in the world, every revelation. That sense of mystery propelled me through the book.

The characters are mix of the likeable (Keilan, Nel and Xin), the conflicted (Senacus), and the mysterious (Jan and Alyanna). This mixture in the characters really worked for me because it provided a lot of variety and had me interested in every point of view.

I’m not sure what to expect from the magic of this world yet. A lot of it still remains a mystery, but that’s okay. There are definitely a lot of competing factions, both magical and non-magical, that make things interesting. You have immortal sorcerers, demons, magical assassins, paladins that hunt sorcerers. It has a lot of the great ingredients that make me love a fantasy book.

It also had some good action scenes. There weren’t a lot of them, but they were good when they did happen. I won’t quite put them up there with my favorite action scenes, though. I also thought at times that Hutson got a bit too descriptive, but that’s about my only major complaint with this one.

Rating: 9/10