I love to read. And after I read a book I often post a book review of it at the major book buying sites and at GoodReads.com. If I like the book, I like to say so. If I didn’t like the book, I need to be able to say why I didn’t like it. In order to facilitate my reasoning in either case, I’ve developed a simple formula for reviewing a book on the 5-star scale. This is primarily for fiction, but non-fiction can be done the same way, you just have to substitute presentation and knowledge for dialogue and characterization.
You have a desire to write; to make your thoughts and inspirations known to others. Perhaps you are knowledgeable and wish to share your expertise with others, passing what you know to another generation. Maybe you are creative and enjoy entertaining others with stories of fiction. Or perhaps you are insightful and like telling factual tales about places, people and events; helping others to understand.
The Heretic by Lucas Bale is a lead-in novel to his Beyond the Wall series. Surprisingly, it is also Bale’s debut novel.
The story takes place in a distant future, a time when Earth: a planet once teeming with billions of souls is a vague legend at best. The remnants of humanity are now scattered across the galaxy and ruled by a body called the Magistratus: an evil empire that rules through force and subjugation.
The Heretic is set on a planet called Herse, a galactic equivalent of an impoverished third world nation, far from the powerful elite of The Core. Local governance is corrupt, of course, and cruel. The main characters are a boy: one of a handful of survivors from a village that had been “cleansed”, a man known as The Preacher: the reason for the cleansing who teaches heretical precepts about freedom and individuality, and a spaceship captain named Shepherd. The Preacher wasn’t always a preacher and gives hints of a dark background. Shepherd pilots an old, worn freighter as a freelance contractor and seems a combination of Han Solo and Malcolm Reynolds. Not all of the jobs he takes are entirely honest. Shepherd is drawn into the lives of the villagers as they attempt to flee Herse and in so doing, learns some astonishing things about his ship.
There are shades to the story borrowing from many classic sci-fi works but the one I found most clearly was a pattern from Josh Whedon’s Firefly. Bale acknowledges that influence in his remarks after the end of the novel. If one must borrow, you might as well borrow from the best.The result is a smart, well written novel that clips right along and keeps the reader fascinated. The characters are strong, the world-building is solid, yet never expository, and the editing (often a sore point with indie publications) is excellent.
If this is Bales debut novel, I can only look forward to the rest of the series with much anticipation. This fella has talent!
I’ve been working with our Pastor to get some of his books published. The first rolled out on Kindle earlier this week and is currently ranked #44 in the Asian Fantasy/Legend Fiction. If you know anyone who might like this, please share this with them.
Chronicles of Chaos
The Tengu Scrolls
Chronicles of Chaos is the first in the chronology of The Tengu Scrolls, this epic saga of beauty and chaos is steeped in the antiquity of Japanese mythology. Legendary creatures, a Samurai host, and venerated masters all play their parts in this timeless myth of cosmic revenge. Looming throughout the chaos is the emerging presence of an invincible warrior.
About the Author:
Dr. Dan Netherland: 10th Dan, Kinami-Ryu Aiki Bujutsu, is an internationally acclaimed martial artist with 60+ years training experience. He is a veteran police captain and swat team commander. He is best known as the undisputed world power Breaking champion. Holding Multiple Guinness world records as well as World Record Federation Records. He has been designated a living legend by the official United States martial arts Hall of Fame and the prestigious European martial arts Hall of Fame. As an author, what he writes about he has lived, knowing the depth of culture and combat. The genre of his work includes combat, sociology, philosophy, poetry and action adventure. Enjoy Chronicles of Chaos!
P.O.D. (Print on Demand) book machines have been in use in companies like CreateSpace and Lightning Source for years. Using these machines they are able to print your books as they are sold – one at a time if need be – instead of having to do print runs of thousands (or tens of thousands) of copies as a traditional offset press would. That means you, the author/publisher, don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on printing costs up front and don’t have to pay for storage of the books while waiting for them to be sold. Print them as you need them: what could be better?
There are now vast legions of new authors who are published in eBook form only. Self-publishing allows an author to publish their manuscript directly to distributors such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Store, Kobo, and Smashwords for use on one or more reading devices. All of these will handle eBook versions, Amazon and Barnes & Noble can handle print books as well. But there are other markets where print gives you an edge over eBook. Should you consider publishing to print?
There are still a large number of people who like the feel and smell of an ink on paper book in their hands. Many prefer eBooks for novels but paper books for reference materials. So if you write non-fiction, you need to be considering paperback at least. Book discussion groups also tend to favor paperbacks.
Brick and mortar book stores and libraries specialize in print books – where most of these do not handle eBooks. Yet. Distributors can use price comparisons between print books to make them appear attractive, price-wise.
There has been a fair bit of discussion in the forums lately about authors who open a publishing company to self-publish their work. Much of that discussion centers on whether that practice is ethical: is this author trying to deceive the readers into thinking a publishing house picked them up or simply doing business in a business-like manner. I contend the latter. I make furniture, no one questions my decision to sell my furniture as a woodworking business. Similarly, as an author who produces and sells books I see nothing wrong with my doing business with book retailers under a publishing business name. Some distributors demand this: they will not deal with the author as the publisher. Continue reading How to Start a Publishing Company→
The recent class action lawsuit filed against Publish America is just one more reminder that Indie authors need to be careful about whom they do business with in the process of publishing their books. What follows is a list of red flags that may indicate caution is required if they pop up in your dealings with a so-called “publisher”.
Many so called self-publishing houses are what are referred to as “vanity publishers” because they offer to get the author’s books in print for a fee. These often advertise that they “need” or are “seeking” new authors. If you’ve ever tried dealing with a reputable publishing house you know that rejection is the normal order of things; they will put their imprint on and marketing efforts behind only those books that meet their standards. Vanity publishers accept anyone and charge unsuspecting authors to publish their work, often producing books that are poorly written, have not been edited, have awful covers, and are (for all intents and purposes) virtually worthless in the commercial book market. Worthless, to everyone except the vanity publisher, who makes thousands of dollars from the author. Beware of these signs: Continue reading Avoiding Self-Publishing Scams→
Today, Dear Reader, I have the extreme pleasure of playing host to one of my most favorite Indie Sci-Fi authors: Mary Pax. Her short stories, which include Plant Girl, Translations, and Small Graces hooked me with her dynamic writing style. When she came out with the novella Semper Audacia my infatuation with her work only deepened. And now that she’s launching her first full length novel, which will be the first novel of a series I’m practically salivating with anticipation. Especially since I learned that her inspiration for The Backworlds was the TV series Firefly. Firefly was and still is my most favorite TV series; I have the series and it’s spin-off movie Serenity on DVD and re-watch them frequently. In today’s guest post, Mary explains how Firefly influenced and inspired her new book, The Backworlds.
Building an Author Platform that can Launch Anything: a Social Media Minibook, by Toby Neal,is a concise yet information packed mini-book that gives straight-forward advice for authors on how to build an author platform (writer-speak for a system of marketing and promotional tools) that will build readership and excitement for both the author and their book. The end result: sales!
Effective steps to building an author platform that can take advantage of free programs and launch any book into visibility and better sales.