So, here is the agreed cover for Bolivar’s Sword, the next instalment of The Weapon Takers Saga.
I really like the colours and feel we now have a ‘brand image’ for the series. What do you think?
I’ve still got some work to do on the text, and struggling to find the time at the moment. But looking forward to getting this story published in the new year!
Toric’s Dagger has fallen at the semi-final stage of the SPFBO contest. The blogger ventureadlaxre put the book into her Top 10, but—let’s be blunt—still didn’t like it very much. You can read her review here.
The book has also recently been reviewed by The Weatherwax Report, a prolific fantasy blogger who is taking on 100 of the self-published books in the contest. She has a great site and you can read her review of Toric’s Dagger here.
I’ve finished writing the sequel to Toric’s Dagger and I am really happy with it. I think it’s a darker, more expansive follow up. The ‘fellowship’ from book one has now been scattered to the four winds, and war comes to Dalriya.
I’m transitioning into the publishing phase for this book, which includes things like formatting & cover design. When I get more news on this I will post it here.
The Virtual Fantasy Conference
I’m taking part in the 2017 VFC, hosted on Facebook. It’s a chance for fantasy fans to connect with authors and runs for a week, from 15-22 October. The organisers have worked really hard to make it interactive and fun, with panels on fantasy topics. Please visit my Author Booth/Page here from the 15th October.
From now until 2nd July the eBook version of Toric’s Dagger will be on sale at all Amazon stores. And it’s an absolute steal at £/$/€0.99. What a bargain! Can’t wait to get some more readers…
Edit 16/5/2017: it was great seeing people on Goodreads requesting my book, with over 1,000 requests by the end of the giveaway. The winner (from Canada) has been selected and their copy of the book is on the way. The book was added to a lot of to-read lists as well, which is the point of doing this kind of thing. Goodreads frowns on contacting participants, but I’d like to thank everyone who did, for showing an interest. I am thinking of running a second giveaway, so stay tuned!
Get your hands on a free copy of Toric’s Dagger in its pre-launch Goodreads Giveaway!
The first chapter of Toric’s Dagger, entitled Three Corpses, is now on Wattpad. This gives potential readers a free taster of the book.
More news coming soon!
I’m excited to reveal the official front cover for Toric’s Dagger, agreed with Streetlight Graphics.
All the advice I get is that the cover of the book is vitally important to reach the right audience. I like this design because it sends out all the right signals that this is a fantasy series. It ties in well with the title of the book and the series too.
Seeing the cover is an encouraging sign that the project is heading towards completion. There are lots of other jobs to do, and I hope that I will soon have a release date for the book.
After a brief hiatus, I am back to work on getting Toric’s Dagger published. The script has received a professional line edit from Invisible Ink Editing, resulting in many improvements. Next, I need to get a final edit done and then get it formatted for publication. I will also need to get a book cover done and I think the book needs a map of Dalriya in it.
I have joined Wattpad, a cool site to discover new writers. I intend to put my first chapter there, in instalments. I will post here when it is up!
So, becoming a self-published author is turning into an interesting journey. I am learning about the industry all the time at the moment, largely thanks to the websites of other writers who have been kind enough to share their experiences and give a newbie like myself a leg up.
The ‘traditional’ way of publishing would involve landing a deal with a big publisher, who sees enough in your work to think they might make a profit with it. They would then use their in-house experts, such as editors, cover designers, publicists etc to get your manuscript up to scratch and your book marketed to potential readers. If you are self-publishing, you have to do all this yourself. This can seem quite daunting. Some of it you may need to pay someone else to do. This can be expensive. DIY can be empowering and, of course, cheaper. But if you DIY and produce something crap, you’re not doing yourself or your book any favours.
I am currently embarking on phase one of outside help, which involves improving my novel. To simplify more than a little, there are two ways in which you can do this. One is to ask people to read your manuscript and give you their feedback. The idea here is that you use said feedback to improve what you have written (rather than ignoring it all because actually what you have written is brilliant and perfect and they are idiots, which is my initial response). You can get family and friends to do this: if they are prepared to be honest – if they have the skill set to give helpful feedback – & if they understand the genre you are writing in. If you are not blessed with such people in your life, you can get strangers to do it. These people are often referred to as beta readers – willing to read your work and give constructive feedback. One option is for two writers to read each other’s material and swap critiques.
Method two is to pay a professional editor to look at and improve your work. With the growth of the self-publishing industry, there are plenty of professional editors about. There are a number of things they can do to what you have written, from a proofread correcting your written errors to an analysis of your story elements, such as plot and character. If you are going to spend any money on this, you should carefully research the options before committing to anything.
I am about to try both options and hope that the result will be a better first novel when I come to publish next year. Anyone interested in beta reading my manuscript, please let me know!
If you are interested in self-publishing, here is a list of some of those writer websites I mentioned who discuss the ins and outs of the industry.
The Creative Penn