Tighten the Belt

So, continuing the week-long run of “I’ve got news and stuff to say!” here we are at Wednesday. And, to no one’s surprise, there’s still stuff going on.

So, today’s post? A financial update. Effectively, I’m tightening my belt and going into drought mode.

Why? Simple. The part-time job I have has hit some dry spells in these summer months. Said part-time job already cut corners where it could, but now that we’re in the realm of little business for the next month, that means fewer hours for everyone. Fewer hours means less pay and, well … yeah, a tighter belt for the month. And odd gigs around town.

The interesting bit about this is that Shadow of an Empire launched just around the time everything started to slow down. And while Shadow of an Empire‘s launch wasn’t as strong as Colony‘s (the Sci-Fi Epic continues to wear the crown) it was strong, and as of right now has left a longer-lasting tail.

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Colony Print Copy Updates and Issues

I said I had a lot of news this week. This is part of it.

So, those of you who have run into me at various places online may know that a few months ago I let drop that after Shadow of an Empire released (Which it did on June 1st of this year!) I would be once again looking into the possibility of print copies of Colony at last.

Well, I have done so. And unfortunately … I’ve got some bad news.

Colony is just too long.

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Settling into the Rhythm

Well, it seems like once again I’m moving into one of the lulls after a big release. Shadow of an Empire is out in the world, which means I’m trending back to relative silence as I sink into typing out the next big project.

It is kind of a weird feeling. There’s this brief moment when launching a book—more of a window, really—were everything is huge and in the open. You’re out in the public mind every day. You’re doing all this promotion and talking about what’s coming, the fans are excited and you’re eagerly watching for reviews …

And then it’s over. The book is out there, and you’re still noting it from time to time, but life resumes its old pace. You hunker down and get back to work. The next project starts. You watch the royalties collect, hoping they’ll arrive before your bank account finally makes that dangerous switch from black to red.

Yeah, that bout of the flu I had about two weeks back did a number on my paycheck. Let’s just say I’m glad I can subsist off of rice. Royalty money is delayed by several months, so while Shadow of an Empire and Colony are both actually doing great right now (between Kindle Unlimited Reads and sales, I’ve got a few copies of both going out every day right now, which is fantastic), I don’t actually get to see the fruits of that for … oh, another two months or so. Going to be a tricky few months ahead, especially with hours at my part-time being reduced.

Straying off topic here. Point being, this “lull” between the excitement of getting a most recent book out and the beginnings of the next project always feels strange.

But … despite my silence, that’s only because I’m working on the next project. I got the opening laid down last night, and today I start rolling through chapters in earnest.

Speaking of which, I’d best get to it. I’ve got a lot to accomplish today, and a chapter or two on the next project is high on the list.

Actually, one second. I do have a question for the readers of this site. Aside from the Monday Being a Better Writer posts, what sort of stuff are you looking for from Unusual Things? Discussion pieces? Places to chat about my books? Weird social commentary? Comment and let me know!

The Cycle Begins Anew

This one might be a little … scattered. Why? Well, I just got back from the dentist.

hate going to the dentist. Nothing against dentists, actually; they’re some of the kinder doctors I know. And it’s not because I’ve had a traumatic experience in my past or have horrible dental problems (I take meticulous care of my teeth because I don’t like the dentist). I just have a weird, paranoid, irrational fear of people messing with my teeth.

Weird, right? Go figure. I know it’s irrational, but that doesn’t stop my body from flooding me with enough adrenaline that my hands shake during a checkup. Those poor dentists. I put on some tunes and zone out as best I can, but even then they can tell I don’t want to be there.

Point being, I’m coming off an adrenaline rush right now. Which is fitting. Because coming off of a book launch feels a little similar in a lot of ways. Just … more spread out.

So then, how is Shadow of an Empire doing? Well … it’s doing pretty well.

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Shadow of an Empire Releases in Two Weeks!

Shadow of an Empire

I mean, do I really need to say anything else? It’s almost here! Two weeks from today, you’ll finally be able to get your hands on this sweeping Fantasy-Western adventure! If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet so that you can have it in your hands for the first weekend of June, click the cover there to get cracking!

In the meantime, look forward to some related events coming up next week! In addition to the usual Being a Better Writer post, you’ll get the unveiling another X-Com 2 character pack! Starring—Who else?—Salitore Amazd and Meelo Karn from Shadow of an Empire. Fun side note, these two were actually the first custom characters I made in X-Com 2. I’ve had them in my roster for a long time … and now it’s your turn.

Next week will also see me doing an AMA on Reddit! That’s right, Friday, May 25th, at 1 PM Mountain Time, I’ll be doing a Reddit AMA for several hours to promote—naturally—Shadow and just answer any wild questions you guys might have about writing, Shadow, my other books, or really anything else.

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Shadow of an Empire on Goodreads

Just a heads up, readers, but Shadow of an Empire is now listed on Goodreads (alongside the rest of my books). Which means you can let Goodreads know that you’re planning on reading it or that you’re excited for it to come out. You can also recommend it to others on Goodreads and even (once it comes out) leave a star rating for it!

Naturally, I wholeheartedly recommend doing show, especially the bits about letting Goodreads know you want to read it and sharing it with others. Just like with Amazon pre-orders, Goodreads recommendation metrics get a boost out of readers letting other readers know they’re looking at a book, which in the end is a big help to me.

So if you’ve got a Goodreads account, let ’em know you’re excited for Shadow of an Empire and spread the word!

News Blast: Shadow of an Empire, Colony, and Milestones

Welcome to Monday, readers! I know the culture, at least here in the US with it’s workaholic pastimes, is to despise Mondays, but maybe I can make things a little shinier for you at the start of this week. After all, I’ve got a nice news post here for you to read (and then we’re getting Being a Better Writer), with lots of good news about the upcoming weeks that’s sure to excite a good number of you!

The first and most important bit of news? Shadow of an Empire is available for pre-order and releasing June 1st! That’s right, the Fantasy-Western Epic is sweeping onto e-readers and devices everywhere in just under three weeks! Swing by the Amazon page and pre-order your copy now so it arrives ASAP! And share that link; the more people know about Shadow, the better. Redditor? Facebook user? Fanfic socializer? Let people know. Word of mouth is majorly helpful! Also, if you’re an Alpha or Beta Reader, feel free to talk about the book now and tell people all about it! I’d advise not dropping too many spoilers, but I’ve seen your enjoyment for months now, so go share it with others!

Second bit of news? Well, it’s related to that first one. In the coming weeks (date not officially set), I will be doing a Reddit AMA to promote Shadow of an Empire. Yup. For several hours I’ll be answering any and all (within reason) questions there, both to help spread writing knowledge and to talk about—of course—my newest release, as well as what else to expect from me in the coming year and whatever else people bring up. If you have a Reddit account, please come and participate. The more people show, the better off the AMA will be, and the more traction it’ll gather! Check back here for more details as I narrow the date down with Reddit mods!

Third bit of news: Shadow of an Empire‘s preview chapter will be getting updated to the final version tomorrow. There will be a notification of it, the cover art will be included, etc, etc. Following this, chapter two will go up the following Tuesday, and the Tuesday after that, chapter three. The final book, by the way, is thirty-one chapters, so you’re only getting the first little bit as a preview.

Okay, last bit of news (I promise!): Colony is getting its first price-drop. As well as a text update. Okay, don’t go wild, it’s the standard “This book is now X months old” drop I’ve done for my other works. Colony will soon be $5.99 instead of $7.99. In addition, the text will be updated with a number of small corrections and error fixes to promote a smoother reading experience. Those of you who already own Colony should see the update the next time you connect to the web, and those already connected will just, well, have it!

And, last but not least … I didn’t even realize it, but I’ve passed a review milestone! Specifically, an Amazon review milestone: 50 Five-Star reviews! To be more specific, 52 of them! Out of—get this—82 reviews total. That’s right, well over half of the reviews I’ve ever gathered are Five-Star reviews! Huzzah! Now just to keep getting those reviews out in front of readers! Oh, and to keep collecting them. The more reviews a product has, the more people trust what they say.

In any case, that’s the news update! Lots coming in the next few weeks as we move closer to the release of Shadow of an Empire. Don’t forget to pre-order your copy!