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I’m currently working on getting the back matter links in my other published works updated for the link to BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING, at least on the Amazon versions.

BecomeCover

It’s fiddly little housekeeping stuff–which tends to mean that I do a book or two and then go off and do something else. But it needs to be done.

It also serves as a nice buffer before I turn back and start the polishing edit on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING. The revisions are done, but a few days of not looking at it will help me come back to that with fresher eyes.

At some point soon, I’ll have to go back and do the same for the those books that have also been published through Draft2Digital. Which, thankfully, isn’t all of them. The reason I’m not doing that at the same time I do the Amazon book–besides saving my sanity–is that I would like to include a link to D2D’s author page, which is a relatively new feature. 

First, I’ve been trying, off and on, to clean up that author page. See, D2d creates the page, allowing the author to edit only certain portions. Well, so does Amazon, come to that. But, while Amazon’s author page isn’t exactly the way I would have done it,  there’s nothing there that I really object to. (If I’d done it, I would have put the series books together and in series order, for example.)

I couldn’t say that for the D2D author page, though. See, their author page draws it’s content from both D2D and books2read (same company), which is actually good. It means they also pick up the books that are currently still exclusive with Amazon. But, there’s a hitch–or three.

The first is that if I’ve already created a custom link for a book on books2read before publishing it through D2D, D2D apparently creates a whole new link on books2read. Which means many of my books were listed twice. I think I’ve got that mostly fixed, although some (but not all) of the Dual Magics books appear both in the series group (which is a nice feature) and mixed in with the non-series works in the bottom row. I haven’t figured out how to fix that one yet. Not a deal breaker, but . . . .

I really like the series feature, especially since it puts the books in the right order. (Everything else is alphabetical.) But D2D only knows which books belong in the series based on the information provided when a book is published through D2D. Which means, for example, that there is no series grouping for the BECOME series, yet. I will be publishing BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING through D2D when I have a final version. But I won’t be able to publish BECOME: BROTHERS on D2D until it’s exclusive term on Amazon ends at the end of June.

It also means that I can’t get “Becoming Lioness”, which is a Dual Magics short story, in the Dual Magics group. Because “Becoming Lioness” is still exclusive with Amazon and has to stay that way. Because it’s included in BY SWORD, TALE, OR MAGIC, which is a boxed set of three stand-alone novels that I’ve left in Kindle Select, for now.

But the real kicker is the one I’ve just run across. I can’t find anyway to get an external link to that author page that I can share with readers, like the one above for Amazon. Which kind of defeats the purpose of having an author page. I’ve sent an email to books2read, which is where I have to go to access the author page (took a while to figure that out).

So, that’s on hold, for the moment. No point in updating the books twice if I can help it.

 

 

 

 

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So, I have a new deadline. When I raised my head out of first draft mode and started working on revisions to BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING,

BecomeCover

I realized something. I have five of my books–including the prequel novella to the BECOME series–scheduled for a group promotion over the first weekend in May–a May the Fourth promotion, as in “May the Fourth be with you.”

And that is a perfect time to start getting a little promotion for this next book, specifically by getting buy links for it into my other books–especially the ones in the promotion. Now, fortunately, that doesn’t mean that I have to have all the revisions done. I can get a buy link by putting it up for pre-order. And I always planned to have this book out around May or early June at the latest, anyway. That’s way sooner than the 90 days Amazon permits for a per-order.

What I do need to do is get a really good feel for how long I think these revisions will take and add a bit of cushion, plus the ten days Amazon insists the final version be uploaded before publication. The best way to do that is to get as far as I can in the next week or so. Because I will need a little time to revise my other books to include the new buy link. And I will have to set the release date when I set up the pre-order.

Just in case you’re interested, these are the books that will be free from May 4th thru May 6th:

Because of the complexities of making a book that’s published wide (rather than exclusive to Amazon) free, THE SHAMAN’S CURSE is already free.

So, back into the revisions trenches for me.

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I still hope to finish this chapter of BECOME: TO RIDE THE STORM soon.

StormCover

Probably not today, but hopefully tomorrow so I can move on to the read-through and revisions on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

BecomeCover

But I’ve had some of those other authorly things to take care of this week, too. When I started, last spring, to publish my books more widely than just to Amazon, I used Pronoun as the distributor for the DUAL MAGICS series.

Dual Magics 1-3 Boxed Set

And Pronoun closed down on January 15th. The plan was to start up a newsletter, which I’ve procrastinated on for years, but I really, really need especially to assist in marketing the audiobook version of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. And then add the subscription link to the back matter of the books before I redistribute them through Draft2Digital.

But, I keep running into things I need to take care of first before I can finish setting up the newsletter. So, two things:

  • I’m going ahead with the publication through Draft2Digital. I’ll just have to upload a new file when I get everything together–eventually. It’s not that big a deal. I’ve been doing one book a day. By Saturday, I’ll have the series, including the short story “Modgud Gold” republished through Draft2Digital.
  • I also need to prep a short story to use as a subscriber incentive. The problem there is that I haven’t written very many short stories–I’m just more comfortable writing at novel length. And most of the ones I have written have been published. However, I do have one–“Infected With Magic”, which I haven’t published mainly because it’s the germ that started MAGE STORM (which will be my next epic fantasy after I finish the BECOME series). And it’s probably my best short story. It was good enough to earn an Honorable Mention from Writers of the Future in 2011. But, of course, that means that I need a cover for it, and at least read it through again, and formatting. And all of that before I can try to finish up the setup for the newsletter. Which is partly why I decided to just go ahead and the get the books out wide again.

And, of course, all of that takes time away from the writing.

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Blurbs

Okay, so I took a little break from the first draft of BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING

becomeblue

to work on the blurb for THE SHAMAN’S CURSE.

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Here’s the old blurb:

Vatar risked his life to try to save his friend–and failed. Now he has an implacable enemy in the vengeful shaman, who blames Vatar for the death of his only son. In his isolation, Vatar finds some comfort in daydreams. He knows the strange girl he sometimes imagines is just that–a dream. She’d better be.

Because, if she’s real things could get even worse for Vatar. The accepted magic of Vatar’s plains tribe wouldn’t enable him to see or communicate with a girl he doesn’t even know–or know where to find. That would be more like the magic passed down in certain, closely-guarded bloodlines among the ruling class of the coastal cities. And that’s bad. Very bad.

Unlike their own, Vatar’s people think the city magic is evil. If the shaman ever found out, it could be the weapon he needs to destroy Vatar. And yet, finding a way to accept the other side of his heritage may be the only way Vatar can ultimately defeat his enemy.

The two kinds of magic have always been separate. Until now.
 

It focuses a little too much on the girl. Not that she’s unimportant–far from it. But, it doesn’t exactly communicate that this is the first book in an epic fantasy series.

Here’s the new one:

The two kinds of magic have always been totally separate. Until now.

Vatar risked his life to try to save his friend–and failed. Now he has an implacable enemy in the shaman, who blames Vatar for the death of his only son. He’s forced to flee his home, at least until the shaman’s thirst for revenge cools.

Taking shelter with his mother’s people in one of the coastal cities, Vatar learns more than he bargained for. He agreed to learn to work iron and steel, but he never suspected to find a magical heritage as well.

And that’s a problem. A huge problem. Because unlike their own Spirit magic, his people regard the city magic as the work of Evil Spirits. If the shaman ever found out about this, it could be the weapon he needs to destroy Vatar.

And yet, finding a way to accept the other side of his heritage may be the only way Vatar can ultimately defeat his enemy and win more than his freedom.

I’m sure this one is still far from perfect. But it hopefully does a better job of communicating what kind of story this is.

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I’ve been trying to figure out how to share a sample from the audiobook of The Shaman’s Curse.

TSC Audio

Of course, you can listen to the sample right there on Amazon, but I wanted to share it more broadly.

Unfortunately, WordPress won’t let me share the audio, here. (Well, they would, if I was willing to pay for the privilege.) And Facebook doesn’t let you share audio, even though you can share video–which makes little sense to me. But anyway. Then today I was watching a podcast from ACX University where it was suggested to make a video by just using the audiobook cover and the sample.

Well, that diverted me into getting the software (free) to do that and create said video. Of course, I still can’t upload that here. But I can upload the video to Facebook–it just takes a really long time, for some reason.

I’ve been waiting for Facebook to finish, which is in part why this post is so late. But it’s still thinking. Eventually, you may be able to listen to the video on my Facebook author page. I hope.

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Sale!

For a limited time, THE SHAMAN’S CURSE is only 99 cents! (I’ll be changing the price back on Friday.)

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Vatar risked his life to try to save his friend–and failed. Now he has an implacable enemy in the vengeful shaman, who blames Vatar for the death of his only son. In his isolation, Vatar finds some comfort in daydreams. He knows the strange girl he sometimes imagines is just that–a dream. She’d better be.

Because, if she’s real things could get even worse for Vatar. The accepted magic of Vatar’s plains tribe wouldn’t enable him to see or communicate with a girl he doesn’t even know–or know where to find. That would be more like the magic passed down in certain, closely-guarded bloodlines among the ruling class of the coastal cities. And that’s bad. Very bad.

Unlike their own, Vatar’s people think the city magic is evil. If the shaman ever found out, it could be the weapon he needs to destroy Vatar. And yet, finding a way to accept the other side of his heritage may be the only way Vatar can ultimately defeat his enemy.

 The two kinds of magic have always been totally separate. Until now.

 

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Not much progress to report today. I’ve spent most of my writing time wrestling with the boxed set, BY SWORD, TALE, OR MAGIC so I can publish it wide through Pronoun.

By Sword Boxed Set

The formatting of this one is more complex than my other boxed sets, because this one has three unrelated stories, each with its own fonts and glyphs.

First, I had some stray fonts that didn’t belong. Then I realized all the images had mysteriously disappeared and had to put them back. Then I realized I had left in an individual call to action that hadn’t been updated.

And, of course, everything takes longer with a boxed set–saving the file, compiling the .epub, uploading, and checking–just because of its size.

But, I think I’ve finally got it right. And, hopefully, it will be worth it. The boxed set for DUAL MAGICS is currently my best seller on Pronoun

Dual Magics 1-3 Boxed Set

(which is still not much to brag about, but it’s only been a little over a month and I haven’t done any promos, yet.)

So, that project will nearly be finished. The only thing remaining will be to upload the newest versions of the last four books to Amazon after they figure out the glitch that was turning all my text red.

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