Head over to this page and check it out. I think they are still building the page to include descriptions ect. But feel free to leave a review if you have already read it. If it does well on Nook, I’ll start releasing all my titles on Nook on release day. Happy reading.
Don’t forget the Paperback is also available at Amazon.com for $7.99. That is a Trade Paperback at mass market price!
As of this morning Amazon.com has officially begun selling Dissolution of Peace! It is one week early, but I am over joyed to see all this hard work finally amount to something.
I hope people enjoy the book and spread the word about it. I’m still offering signed paperbacks for only $5.99 for the next week. You can get that from the BUY BOOKS tab at the top of my blog.
Here are the Amazon.com Links:
Don’t forget to add it to your shelves on Goodreads!
Here is the trailer again, just to get you a psyched up as I am.
Book Release Announcement
I am pleased to announce that I finally have a release date for Daddy is Tired, the children’s book my son and I wrote over a year ago. On June 28th, Daddy is Tired will be officially released for sale on Amazon.com. But, I got good news for you all. You can order now on Createspace and get a special discount (see below). Everything the book makes goes directly to Cinco and I really hope to encourage him to continue his pursuits of writing and the arts. So take a moment to share the links below and share this wonderful book. It is a great, fun early reader that I feel parents and children can relate to. Now, a little about the book:
Daddy is Tired
Authored by Richard “Cinco” Flores V, Illustrated by Lorikitty, Authored with Richard Flores IV
Full Color on White paper
BISAC: Juvenile Fiction / Readers / Beginner
Daddy is Tired is a children’s picture book about a dad who wants to rest while his son would rather play. Dad hopes for a little nap, but his son just wants to play.
This book was written by Cinco, at five years old, in one of his own quiet time sessions. Of course his dad didn’t get to rest either, he had to help.
Use discount code: 78VZNJ65 to get 10% off. This code will only be good until the book is released officially on June 28th, 2012. Feel free to share the link (https://www.createspace.com/3671972) and discount code with everyone you know.
Click here for the Amazon Listing.
In other news, I have been hard at work getting the Print Edition of Plasma Frequency Magazine Issue 1 ready for it’s release. I am working on advertising spots now, and there are still a few spots available for this issue. We have been hard at work on the layout. And, once the print edition is final, we will begin work on the Kindle Edition. One great thing in the subscriptions are coming in all over the world. We have subscribers in the US, Singapore, the UK, Denmark, Canada, and elsewhere. So I am excited about the release of Issue 1. Here is the cover art by Tais Teng and it is inspired by “Frequencies” by Michael Hodges.
Of course, we are hard at work on reading for Issue 2 now. And this has left me little time for much else. I suppose the if I wish to get more of my own writing done, I will need to seek more volunteers to help me with the reading, artwork, layout, and advertising. All of which take a lot of work.
I still don’t have cover art to show you for Dissolution of Peace. But, I suspect it will be released in Late August. I plan to have an official release date in the July updates.
My novel in progress has ground to a halt. Mostly because of all my other life commitment. The Magazine, my volunteer activities, and my job keep me pretty busy most of the time.
No new short story acceptances to report either.
So that is the June Updates. See next week for my next blog post, not sure what Topic I will choose though.
It is funny that most people ask me the question: Should I self publish or should I try the traditional publisher? There are other options for publishing your book that just those two options. We’ll explore some of those with this post. I’ll give you my thoughts on each of these, and you can give me your thoughts in the comments.
The Conglomerate Publisher
We like to say “Traditional Publisher” but truthfully traditions are changing and the term doesn’t really fit anymore. And, truth be told, traditional publishing can be divided up. So we’ll talk about the conglomerate publisher. These are the big guys in publishing. Orbit Books, Tor, Del Rey, Bantam, Baen, and Scholastic are just a few examples. And, if you look most of those up you will find a parent corporation they are under. The parent corporation often has a number of press names they use depending on the genre. They employe a ton of editors, copywriters, printers, and basically just a lot of employees that work to publish books.
Advantage: Well they are the big guys. Land a deal with them and you are likely to get exposure in a wide market area. They will handle most of your book’s marketing. They have the ability to print out mass copies. They may offer you a higher advance and royalties too (maybe).
Disadvantage: Getting accepted is hard. Many talented authors spend a lot of time just to get rejected from these guys. Nearly everybody submits to them. You often have to sell off a lot more copies to pay off your advance (they have a higher overhead then any other option). Even if you do get published you tend to find that it takes a long time to get anything going. And, I see a lot of people published by these conglomerates that are still marketing the heck out of their own works. The other HUGE disadvantage is that authors often think getting published by these guys guarantee a hit novel, it doesn’t. Plain and simple these guys can do little to make you any better of a writer and story teller.
The Mid-level Publisher
A lot of sites go straight from Conglomerate to Independent when they talk about types of publishers. But there are a few mid-level publishing companies. These companies may be only big in one genre, or maybe are big in one country. The main difference here is that they tend to publish more books then the independent publisher, but not as many as the conglomerates.
Advantage: They handle the major marketing. They can produce a moderate amount of books at one time. They offer you a good advance and royalties. They tend to have a smaller overhead which means more profit margin and hopefully more money in your pocket.
Disadvantage: Acceptance is still hard. Exposure is not as big, but in the days of the internet and Amazon it is getting much better. There can still be lengthy delays from acceptance to publish date.
The Independent Press
This is often confused with someone who sits in their basement printing books. That is not the case. These are simply smaller companies working to publish books. They tend to specialize is a genre or two. They often only have one or two editors (sometimes more). They often don’t work to make huge profits. Sometimes they are Sole Proprietorships (one owner) or Partnerships. But many are now LLC, LLP, or even incorporating.
Advantages: Acceptance times are often faster. They are far more approachable. They will market your book as well. And, with the internet as big as it is. They are often on the virtual shelves of Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and their own private stores. They often pay lower advances but higher royalties (though not always). It often takes less sales to “burn off” the advance and start earning royalties. They are in the business of getting good writers out to the readers that other presses are simply over looking. But, you will find more and more authors are going with smaller presses to get their voice heard. First, you still have to market your book no matter what way you go about this. Here you get a little help. Plus, even if your Novel is rejected. The smaller presses are far more likely to tell you why. Giving you a chance to fix the mistake and try again.
Disadvantage: They simply aren’t the big guys. Most don’t stock book shelves of brick and mortar book stores. But, some do. But with how many books are purchased on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. It is starting to be irrelevant. Last, many authors worry about using a Independent press simply due to brand recognition factors. But, I frankly never looked at who published a book until I started writing. Most readers don’t care who published it, only how the story is written.
A vanity press is often confused with a Independent Press. But they are vastly different. A vanity press publishes almost every thing they are sent, provided you cut them a check. That’s right. You pay them to publish your book. They offer many of the services other presses offer, editors, marketing, ect. But you have to pay for it. They slap a publishers name on it and sell it. They came is to play when self publishing was hard, and carried a much more negative image then it does today.
Advantages: Frankly it is hard for me to think of any. Money should always flow in the direction of the author. I suppose if you wanted to self publish, but didn’t want to let people know you did it. This is the way. But why?
Disadvantages: It’s a rip off. Frankly they over charge for just about everything. You may as well hire a good independent editor, and publish it yourself. Or better yet, give a few of these Independent Publishers a shot and not have to pay a dime.
This is just as it sounds you self publish your works. You pay for the cover art (or make it yourself), you solely market, you format it on Createspace, KDP, or where ever. You are the publisher of your own book.
Advantages: No middleman to work with. You get final say on everything. You do it all. You are guaranteed to get published.
Disadvantages: You do it all. Self publishing is the most underestimated form of publishing. It is by far the most work. You have to pay for an editor (and you really need to do that if you plan to self publish and maybe even if you plan to use a different method). Sure you could just take your story, look it over and then throw it together on KDP and tell you friends to go buy it. But, is that really getting published? Or just perpetuating the stereo type that nothing good is ever self published? Of everything I mentioned here, self publishing is the hardest.
You can see there are a lot of options, you can choose what works for you. I strongly recommend that you look at them all. I think Independent Presses give you the best balance between self publishing and “traditional” publishing. That is just my opinion though. Perhaps in another post I’ll highlight a few independent presses that specialize in certain genres. If you know of one, visit the contact page and let me know.
I can’t believe we’re already six days into March. A lot has happened since my last updates and as a result my regular scheduled blogs had been disrupted. I hope to start posting every week again, but instead of Sundays it will be on Tuesdays. So keep an eye out for regular blogs posts again, hopefully I can keep up the advice blogs.
Let’s start with some personal updates. I spent President’s Day weekend moving. I didn’t move far, just back to my hometown of Vacaville, but the move still took three days. My advice… DON’T USE BUDGET. I reserved a truck with Budget Truck rentals, and AFTER I confirmed the reservation they decided to tack on a $200 deposit. Had the online reservation tool mentioned that prior to confirmation I would have canceled. So, I called Budget and told them I wanted to cancel. They charged me $50 to do that. I can’t possibly believe that the 10 minutes from the time I pressed confirm to the time I canceled, inconvenienced them that much.
Well, that took away half my moving truck budget and made it impossible for me to rent from anywhere else. So I had to move my whole three bedroom house with my minivan. That made the move tiring, exhausting, and LONG. But we got everything moved but we are still working on unpacking.
I finished that move on a Monday and started my new job on the Wednesday after I had been out of work for just under a year. I know many other people have been out of work even longer so I feel blessed and fortunate to have found work. That being said, it is still hard to get back into the rhythm of working full time after so many days off. I hope to get a schedule figured out soon so that I can fit in my scheduled writing and gym time. But it feels good to have a reliable income again.
On the writing front, I haven’t got much done. My January short story is still in it’s infancy. I think it is just short and it needs to be developed more. I didn’t get one done in February, but I may start in on another novel based on the Characters and world of “Dream Job” (you can read it here in the first issue of Cygnus Journal).
The two short stories I have out are still making their rounds. “Miles from the Future” recently received another rejection. However it was a rare personal rejection explaining that it made it all the way to final stages, but was apparently just nudged out by other works. I am debating on where to send it next. I have a very promising story called “Compassionate Death” that is currently still circling with some Pro Markets. I haven’t got much feedback on it from editors, but my trial readers really seemed to enjoy it. I think it could still be some time before either one is published, but I look forward to when I can share them with you.
My son’s Children’s Book, Daddy is Tired, has hit yet another road block in its journey to publication. The illustrator has developed a medical issue that has impacted her drawing arm. While it is not anything major (as in life threatening) it is very painful. I hope she can get the treatment she needs and gets well soon. There is one plus side. I did get this sample image to share with you all:
My recently completed first draft for my untitled novel, is still resting. I plan to get to the first rounds of edits this month, schedule permitting. I am excited to get that one out to you guys as well. I know it is a bit premature but I already wonder about cover art for that one. I also hope the sample readers like it. It will be a ton of work, and I do intend to use professional help for the final draft. But that is still a long while away. If I can think of a good title, I will certainly share it with you guys.
On this blog, I plan to work on another help piece for authors on the subject of properly critiquing other writer’s works. I have found that helping others with their works has helped my writing improve more than any other method. In any case, I am not sure if that post will be out next week or the week after.
But, I will have something to share with you next week. So, until then, happy writing. As always you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
A lot has gone on since I wrote my January Updates in the first part of January. There are new announcements and progress reports to share. Let’s get started, shall we.
On February 5th, I finished the first draft of my still untitled novel. It game is at just over 67,000 words and only took forty seven days start to finish. As I mentioned before, I didn’t write everyday. Life gets in the way sometimes. So, it took 21 days of writing. I am pleased to be finished, but now the real work starts. There are many other steps ahead and I will probably start the self editing in March.
I did write a January short story. I put it out for critiques and the overwhelming response is that it seems unfinished. I originally wrote it with a quick little idea, thinking a flash piece. But it seems it needs some expanding. The problem is, I am not sure where I will go from here. We will see.
Daddy is Tired, the children’s picture book, is still waiting on the illustrator. So, unfortunately there is no cover art to show you yet. I also don’t think a March release will happen either. The lead time from the publisher is lengthy. So, perhaps April. The illustrator has told me she will be staying up late tomorrow and hopes to finish then. Official release dates will be announced as soon as I have them.
I’ve done a lot of reading since I finished Shining in Crimson by Robert S. Wilson. I read Shadows in Flight by Orson Scott Card and The NanoTech Murders by Lee Gimenez (review here). Right now I am reading I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. I know it is amazing that I have not read this book yet, not sure why I never got to it but I am reading it now. Once I finish that, I will have to head back to the book store.
I’m planning a move any day now. I plan to move back to Vacaville, my hometown here in California. I’m living just up the road in a neighboring city right now. We moved here for cheaper rent, but we miss home (even with it being so close) and we hope to move before March 1st. But, that may not be possible. It all depends on if we hear back from the applications we have put in.
Well, that’s the updates for February. We’ll have to touch base on these again in March. Hopefully then I will have release dates and other fun stuff to share.
Recently I found out that my short story “Death Watch” was nominated for the Preditors and Editors Best of 2011 Award in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Short story category.
The Preditors and Editors Award is based on votes. So please take a moment to vote. Voting is easy. “Death Watch” is listed alphabetically. Select it and scroll to the bottom. Fill in your name and email. If you wish you can leave a comment for other voters. Then click the submit button. Then they will email you and you verify your vote by clicking the link in the email. Done.
Thank you! Thank You to all those who already voted!
Click Here to vote
Click Here to Read “Death Watch”
I haven’t mentioned this much, maybe a few posts here and there, but I love video games. Like many people in my generation, I have grown up with the video game industry. As it has grown so have I. I started with Mario on the NES, and this week I began playing Battlefield 3 for my PC. That is a lot of growth in a short amount of time.
Just like writing, I don’t have as much time for games as I used to. In life, you have to make time for the things you love to do. So I make time for the games when I can. And, of course, when a new game I love comes out (such as Battlefield 3) I tend to spend a lot of time with it. And, while getting my butt kicked last night, I thought a lot about my uncontested favorite video games: Tomb Raider. It got me thinking about a different aspect of video game evolution. So this morning, I figured I better get this blog out now before I started in on the Battlefield.
Its easy to notice the evolution of graphics, controls, consoles, or even the sheer size of the games. But, story telling has almost become a requirement in the video game world. Take a look at the original Mario Bros., a game that is still great today, but really tells a limited story. Scroll Right and save the princess. The story has since grown, so that even the newest Mario games have a far more detailed story.
But stories have gotten even more important in the over all game play. Characters’ stories are often crafted and even the slightest of changes are contested by the fans. Katie Fleming, the Queen of Tomb Raider Fandom, recently hosted a Youtube video debate on the changes to Lara Croft’s character bio. I mention this because it demonstrates the affect of story telling on today’s games. This was a very passionate debate by loving fans to Lara and the Tomb Raider franchise. There is true love there for the character and her story.
People can now get even more immersed in the game world by an entertaining story, a creative world to be explored, characters you care about, and a protagonist you love to hate. Sounds a bit familiar doesn’t it? The same recipe for a good story has now become the recipe for a good game. Games have become more about being playable stories then just a game. I have spent many nights up late playing one more “level” just to find out what happens next in the story. Just as I have done so many times with the pages of a book.
I think the evolution of gaming in the direction of story telling started early. Almost all games had a story of some sort. But, it has become so important now that even games like Battlefield 3, that are primarily played for their massive multi-player interaction, have ensured they have a story to go with their game. Picking up a gun and shooting other players has no longer become good enough for most of the gamers.
With the development of another Tomb Raider in the works, story telling comes to the forefront again. Almost all the buzz about this game has been about the story: The reinventing of Lara (again) for our playing enjoyment. I have not heard much talk of graphics, moves, or controls. The talk has been about Lara’s new look, the story of Lara’s past, and the world she will be stuck in. The same things I talk about (and look for) in a good book.
In fact, video game characters have made the move into other story telling medium as well. Of course you have movies like Final Fantasy, Tomb Raider, Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil, and Prince of Persia. Tomb Raider had a great run of Comic Books. Some have even made their way into novels. In fact, if the right people are reading this I should note that I would love to write a Tomb Raider Novel (HINT HINT SHAMELESS PLUG).
As a writer you may have considered writing a novel, a comic book, or even a movie. But the world of video games offers another chance for story telling. And, video gamers can be the most fun and challenging group to write for. We love our games, their characters, their worlds, and the story they have to tell.
Now if you will excuse me, I am needed on the Battlefield.
So you want to be a published author? Well, me too. Many writers do. There are many ways to get published. There are short works, there are novels, and of course there is the “traditional” way and the “self-published” way. I am going to talk mostly about the Traditional Publishing Method, with a focus on short stories.
A Quick Mention to Self Publishing:
I am not downplaying self publishing, but I don’t have experience in it. You certainly don’t have to deal with the rejection of an editor if you self publish. It is relatively easy to get the story published in self publishing, but hard part comes in reaching an audience. You likely don’t have an audience, and getting people to read your stuff is harder then you think. Don’t think you avoid rejection either. You have to get rejected by the audience and that can often be a lot worse then an editor. At least an Editor rejection is between you and them, the public often posts it’s rejection on the web for the world to see. Ouch!
Traditional publishing is the opposite. Hard to get published, but most publications have an established readership.
The Cycle of Getting Published
Some of you may have recently seen my post on Twitter:
“Write, submit, get rejected, submit again. Rinse and Repeat.”
This is a pretty accurate cycle to expect when trying to get published in the vast market of short fiction available to Speculative Fiction writers. I might modify it now to add “edit” after write. Its a vicious cycle and it can be a damn discouraging one. However, when you get that first acceptance letter, it can be really rewarding. You just have to get past the discouragement and press on. Hopefully this can act as a guide to getting past that discouragement and get you to the acceptance letter.
Step 1: Write
It seems obvious that if you want to get published you need to write. But you can’t sit around on one short story and wait for it to publish. You need to write and you need to write a lot if you ever plan to get published. When you are done with one, move on to writing something else. Keep writing. Write in blogs (you can start by leaving a comment on this one), write in writers groups, but above all write in your Works in Progress (WIP).
Your WIP is your ticket to getting published. I don’t know of any author who’s blog was seen and they were offered a publishing contract. It is your WIP that you have to get out to the editors. Find the time to write and do it.
You will improve with each completed story. You will improve with each submission. You will improve. Every author has only been improved over their years of writing.
Step 2: Edit
This is where we separate the hobbyists from aspiring artists. Editing is where most writers give up, put the WIP aside, and never touch it again. Editing is where most people give up on their dream of being published. There are two reason for this:
First, is perception. They either look at their work and see it as garbage, worthless, and unfitting. They are harsh to themselves and they get discouraged and they shelf it. Or, they look at their WIP and see it as gold, the best thing ever written by man kind. They don’t change a thing.
Second, they get stuck in the editing cycle. They never stop editing.
Lets go back up to the first. Perception. You really need a combination of both these perceptions. You must be your toughest critic and your biggest fan at the same time. It is the toughest thing to do. You have to know what works and what doesn’t. Truthfully the writer is the only person who knows what’s best for their story.
But your own perceptions can easily get in the way. You need that second opinion. This is where your writers groups come in handy. Share your work with others. Take a look at their opinion. Don’t be discouraged by a “bad” critique. They will make suggestions and point out things you may not have seen. Then you decide what works for your story and make the changes needed. Remember you don’t have to accept every suggestion. But even suggestions that don’t work are more valuable then you think.
The editing cycle is dangerous. I know many writers on their eighth or ninth draft of a work in progress. To tell you the truth, they will continue to edit from now to infinity. They will not stop editing, as a result they will never move on to the next step to get published. You have to know when is enough.
It may be different for each of you. But I strongly urge you to set a limit. For me it is four drafts and done. I write it (draft 1). I edit it (draft 2). I get other writers to critique it and I make changes (draft 3). I give it to my Grammar Cop and make changes (Draft 4). Then I go to Step 3.
This is not a hard and fast rule. If there is a major change made in Draft 3, I may resubmit it to my writers group for critiques again. However, the point is, I know when is enough. You won’t please every reader, you probably won’t even please yourself. It will never be “perfect”. When I read my manuscripts for my published works, I still find things I would change now. Because I have learned a lot more since I completed those. It is part of your growth as an artist.
Move on, its best.
Step 3: Submit
Submit your story to a publisher. Since I am focusing on Short Works that means a magazine, ezines or anthologies. There are so many of them it is difficult to know where to start. My tip is to aim high. Start with a professional market. A market that pays six cents a word or more. They pay more, tend to have more subscribers, and what is the worse they can say?
I always start with SFWA approved markets. It is my quest to join them someday. After that I go to other pro markets. Then Semi-pro, then others.
A little research goes along way too. I use Duotrope. A free submission tracker program that has tons of markets listed. If they don’t have them all they are pretty damn close. They track everything from response times to acceptance rates and everything in between. They can give you a lot of information about a market.
After pay rate, you should take a look at response times. Most markets will not accept stories that are awaiting a decision from other publications. So if you send it to a market that takes five months to reply, your story will be tied up for at least that long. So keep that in mind when you send out a piece. It takes time to hear back. Fast markets take 10 days, slower ones can take up to a year to reply.
Next, look at acceptance rate. Some markets are very challenging and have less the 1% acceptance rate. Others, have acceptance rates in the 80-90% ranges. In my opinion, the latter is worse. I avoid markets that seemingly accept everyone. It doesn’t make it a very strong credit in your portfolio. Often they have small readership because the quality of story is low. Remember Editors act as a filter to filter out what is either poorly written and, more commonly, what doesn’t work for their readers. With out a good filter, the quality and identity of the publication goes down.
Last, you may consider electronic or print publication. Ezines are taking things by storm. But, some people just really like seeing their name in print. For me this is not really a factor. Ezines are a creditable publishing venture now. However, it may matter to you.
NEVER SUBMIT TO A MARKET THAT CHARGES YOU A READERS FEE! All money should flow in the direction of the Author. You should never have to pay someone to consider your works for publication.
It will happen. You will get a rejection letter. It is more likely to be a form letter. You will likely never know why the editor rejected it. And you will be disappointed no matter how much you prepare yourself for it. It is just part of getting published.
I hate this part. We all do. I make it a game in some ways. I have all my rejection letters.
The form letters are the worse. There is no way to tell what the reason they have for rejecting it. Most likely it is a simply matter of the opinion of the editor and his/her own taste. It rarely has anything to do with the author’s ability to write. There people who simply can’t write, but think they can. But mostly editors reject stories based on their own subjective opinions.
Personal Rejections are nice, for being rejections. I have only got one. There you might get some glimpse into what the editor was thinking. In mine, the editor didn’t like the ending. While is was simply one line, it let me know one key thing… the editor got to the ending. They liked my writing enough to read to the end. So you might get a glimpse to the editors thoughts with a personal rejection.
Rewrite requests are even better, and rarer. There is much debate on if a rewrite request is really a rejection. To me it is. You can rewrite it send it back in and you are still not guaranteed to get published. If you get one of these, you have to make the choice to do the rewrites and submit again to the same market, or simply move on. It really depends on you and what the editor wants you to change. I have not received any rewrite requests.
Step 5: Submit Again
I get the rejection letter, and I submit to a new market. Always in the same day, sometimes in the same hour. Don’t dwell on the rejection. Submit again. I don’t even look at the manuscript again. Some authors do. However, going back to the edit step, may well trap you in the edit cycle. The one I personal rejection I mentioned about about the editor not liking the ending. I didn’t change a thing, submitted it to another market and they bought it. Point is, that changing for one editor’s opinion may not be wise.
Dwelling on the rejection is the part where many authors, who got past the edit step, fail. They get that first rejection, begin to think they are not good enough (or at least the story is not), and weeks go by and the story never goes back out. One editor’s opinion ruined their entire writing career. Writers have to know that getting rejected is part of the publishing world, and they need to push forward.
I suggest you just move on and submit again right away. Trying to analyze the form letter, or dwelling on the rejection, will never get you published. The only way to get published is to submit.
Step 6: Rinse and Repeat
Really you should do Step 6 right after you submit the first time. Rinse yourself of that story you just finished, and start at Step 1 with a new idea. But, I put it as Step 6 because it is just as important to Rinse yourself of the rejection. Rejection is something humans attempt to avoid. So in short: Get over it and move on.
Get to work on Step 1 again and get yourself published.