News: Axtara and a Mini-LTUE

Great news! Beta 1 for Axtara is done! And yeah, as a reader said, it was impressively clean. But not perfect. There were some typos and errors fixed, and a few aggressive searches to hunt down really pervasive and hard-to-catch issues, but at the same time … it was remarkedly clean.

No, this doesn’t mean it’s up for pre-order yet. I’m trying to get the cover first so that there’s something to show. Today will be that (if I hear from the artist) and moving into copy-edit.

With that comes something I’m sure most of you are wondering about: Release dates.

So here’s the thing: November is dead. Save maybe at the tail-end.

Why? Well, two reasons. One is that Brandon Sanderson is releasing a new book in November. That’s like a giant that crushes all other news of books, and for those people who buy one book a month, a dedicated sale. Two: It’s an election month, and politics kill book sales. You can actually see the debates, political movements, etc in a bar graph of my book sales. Something political happens … no one is thinking about books.

And yes, I know I launched Colony in November of 2016. I’ve also been told that while the sales were good for me, they were also a lot lower than they should have been because there was an election that month.

So I’d like to avoid November if at all possible. If that’s possible.

Which means what? October? December? Well, if I get the art ball rolling and have a cover in the next week or two, I can open pre-orders, and Axtara will be out before the end of the month. Digitally, at least.

Okay, let me clarify on that. So I’ve already said I expect Axtara to be a print release as well as digital. Don’t worry, that hasn’t changed. What I’m not sure it will be is a simultaneous release.

See, I’ve not done a print book before (something about a print book only being able to be so many pages and most of my titans eclipsing that for now). But I do know a bit about the process and it does still require some extra time the digital edition does not. A digital release is one where I can make instant changes, then drop the title onto my reader and see immediately if everything is working or not.

With a print run, I can’t quite do that. I have to order a sample, wait for it to arrive, and then go through and check to see that everything has held up. I can do a lot of digital work beforehand to minimize the chance of an issue, but the chance is still there.

So depending on how the next few weeks go, it may be that the Ebook version of Axtara drops at the end of October, while the hard copy drops in December.

Maybe not. Some of these tools are new to me, so we’ll see. Also, a lot depends on when I can get finished cover art.

But tentatively hope for Axtara in October!

Now, one more bit of news for after the jump. But a juicy one. News regarding an online Mini-LTUE. On October tenth.


If you’re not familiar with LTUE, or Life, The Univere, and Everything, it’s a Utah-based Science-Fiction and Fantasy Writing convention, and one of the best writing conventions out there.

When I say writing convention I mean it. LTUE is about writing. How to write. How to brainstorm. How to publish. There are panels on Sci-Fi tropes, panels on elements of fantasy … Okay, it would take all day to cover everything. Point is, there are a lot of panels.

Better yet, these panels are crewed and helmed by some of the biggest names in the industry. Even Brandon Sanderson shows up.

Now, LTUE is commonly held in February, and this coming year will be no different. However, according to what I’m hearing and seeing from the LTUE folks, this year’s LTUE will be digital.

On the plus side, that means that many of you who have not had a chance to see it before will have a chance.

But that’s so far away, right? So why talk about this now?

Because LTUE is having a mini conference online on October 10th (my guess is to stress-test things early and see what works and what doesn’t).

Oh, and this will be something you can watch.

You can read more about it here, at their website, but the gist of it is that on October 10th, from 6-9 PM Mountain time, there will be a mini-LTUE with a couple of different panels you can watch (maybe even interact with)!

So yeah, take a look!

That’s all. I’m getting back to the copy-edit of Axtara!

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