News, Updates, Recap

Hey readers! It’s time for an update! So let’s start with the biggest thing on everyone’s mines: Covid-19, AKA the Coronavirus.

By now I imagine no matter where you are in the world you’ve been affected by this thing, and it’s no different in where I am. In pursuit of slowing the spread of this thing to manageable levels, public gatherings have been limited to ten people, no more, by law where I’m at.

For entirely understandable reasons, mind. I don’t disagree with it. I bring it up to illustrate how serious things have gotten over these last few weeks.

But everyone’s dealing with that seriousness fairly well. I say fairly because I have no idea why everyone got it into their heads that toilet paper was the new gold. For that matter, after going to the grocery store last night, I also have no idea why people are stockpiling Oreos and ice cream. The chips and popcorn I somewhat understand, as everyone’s ready to look at nothing but entertainment for the next few weeks, but Oreos? Ice cream? The latter isn’t even a good survival food, since you have to chill it.

Or maybe I’m just being picky and everyone really wants comfort food right now. Regardless, I’m getting away from the topic at hand, which is Covid-19 and its effects.

The big effect? Book sales have slowed massively. Saw a news article about it the other day, and it confirmed what I’d already seen. This week has been dead. Which, since book income is my only income right now, is not a good sign.

There’s not much I can do about either. After all, it’s a symptom of a pandemic, and I don’t have any control over that. This last week people have just been hunkering down, getting ready to ride things out. Maybe once that’s over and people are in the “ride” phase they’ll start buying books again, but it seems right now they’re more worried about other things.

Oreos, I guess. No, I’m not stopping harping on that one. Who loads up on Oreos in a disaster?

Still, if sales are dead for me they’re probably dead for a lot of other authors and creative types out there. Which … hurts. It takes a lot of work to even get both arms on a rung of the ladder of success in creative fields. Getting your feet kicked out from under you is brutal.

With luck, this downturn is temporary, and people stuck at home quickly decide they want some reading material to make their day better. If not, well … I don’t know. A bummer of an answer, but times like these are full of uncertainty and difficulty.

A bit depressing, sure, but I can’t help that. Sometimes bad news is bad news. So then, onward to some better news!

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Life, The Universe, and Everything Starts Tomorrow at Nine AM! Plus LTUE Sale and Fireteam Freelance News!

It’s here, folks! Starting tomorrow at nine AM, Life, The Universe, and Everything begins!

I don’t know how much more there is I can say on this (but clearly a lot, judging from the size of this post). I mean, I’ve just about covered it backwards to forwards pretty clearly. Life, The Universe, and Everything is the Fantasy/Sci-Fi writing convention all about creating Fantasy and Science-Fiction. With hundreds of panels staffed by authors from all across the industry, LTUE is absolutely the best place to be if you want to learn about the art of writing a well-crafted story.

Seriously, take a look at the schedule (PDF warning for those on mobile) and all the different topics that’ll be on display as soon as LTUE opens its doors tomorrow, and marvel at the awesome contained therein. There are panels on various scientific methods for building cities on and under the ocean (surprisingly, I didn’t end up on this one). There’s a panel on building a brand. There’s a panel on using weather in fiction (I’m on that one!).

All of these are in the first hour. LTUE is awesome. Every year I inevitably find two or three panels I wish to attend that are all at the same time, and lacking the ability as of yet to be in multiple places at once, must choose which panel to attend.

Some are laugh-out-loud funny. Others are fascinating explorations of technology or writing techniques I’ve not explored. Some are just (for myself) a nice refresher.

But there are so many to chose from! Even just glancing at the schedule, I can see panels I’d love to attend. The Cold War and Science-Fiction? Or Folk, City, and Farm Magic?

Well, I’m on the latter, so I think my choice has been made for me. This is another “two places at once” situation. Anyone got a time-turner or a delorean I can borrow?

70081760_568294170598543_7425837595373862912_oOh, and let’s not forget that the launch of A Dragon and Her Girl also happens tomorrow at LTUE. Those of you that have pre-ordered your copies, start checking your accounts then! I’m excited to get my hands on it as well, since while I’ve read my story in it, there are still nineteen other stories about dragons and heroines in there I want to pore over!

If you’re not going to make it to the launch party but will still be at LTUE, you can also track me down during the con or during the signing event on Friday night and get your copy signed by yours truly! Yes, I will be at the book signing/sale fair. Curious how that’s going to work out as my books are all digital? Well, they are … but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a presence, sign copies of A Dragon and Her Girl, and a few surprises in store for those that swing by my table.

Semi-Pro Kinda LifeSeriously, LTUE is going to be awesome. Those of you attending, if you spot me walking the halls (see my mug there to the left) feel free to say hello! If I’m running to a panel I’ll let you know, but if not, you’ve got a very good chance of snaring me in a conversation! Many a time at LTUE an entire hour has vanished in conversations between folks in the halls, sometimes digging deeper into the topics of a panel, other times books, and even sometimes obscure but fascinating topics like the restoration of Santa Fe 2926 (a conversation which I look forward to engaging in once again this year and hearing how the last year’s progress has gone).

Also, before we hit the jump, which will head to my LTUE schedule so those of you attending can know where I’ll be, some other bits of news you’ll want to be notified of.

Jungle CoverFirst, everything is on sale for LTUE. Colony is 50% off, Jungle is 25% off, Shadow of an Empire is 50% off, Dead Silver is 67% off, and Unusual Events is 50% off. The only one that’s not discounted is One Drink, because it’s already as low as it can go under the current store rules. It’s 99 cents, folks.

Anyway, the big LTUE sale will run through Monday, February 17th, so if you’re looking to complete your collection, or looking to expand it as a newcomer who just picked up a copy of A Dragon and Her Girl, you’re in luck! You can literally grab everything I’ve published to date for $15. That’s over a million words of adventure, mystery, magic, mayhem, and more.

But only until the 17th. Click the cover to the right to go to the Amazon page and start browsing!

Now, onto the final bit of news before the jump and the schedule: Fireteam Freelance. Episode 0 dropped last week and, within a single day, became the most-read feature on the site that week. Off to a good start, I’d say. Well, for those of you that are fans, I’ve got good news. This weekend you’ll be getting an interlude. Not a whole new episode, but a smaller piece that slots in between “0” and “Kamchatka” while work continues on that next episode.

Patreon supporters, meanwhile, will get that interlude today. Rewards for supporting Being a Better Writer and all that. So if you’re a Patreon supporter, look for that interlude today, if you’re not, then come back this Saturday for a small glimpse leading into Episode 1!

All right, that’s all the news. Hit the jump for my schedule, and I hope to see you at LTUE!

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Hello Readers, Do You Like Art?

Hello readers! Max here with some really good news, and a question for you: Do you like art?

Let me be more specific. Would you like this art? As a 12″ x 24″ glossy print suitable for framing?

Shadow of an Empire - Textless Wallpaper

This is the glorious cover image from Shadow of an Empire in all it’s full-sized glory, and there’s definitely a good reason I’m asking.

As most of you know (but some may not, hence the statement), LTUE is next week! That’s right, Life, The Universe, and Everything is next Thursday through Friday. The big writing con … and if you’re still drawing a blank, check this post for details.

So, at LTUE there’s a book signing and sale event, where you can get books and whatnot from your favorite authors. And yes, I will be there. Not with physical copies, sadly. Not this year. But I will have facilities for folks to grab my books anyway (I’m pretty proud of that).

But as I’m getting things printed up, well … this is a lovely cover for Shadow of an Empire, and I’m curious … how many of you attending LTUE would be interested in a 12″ x 24″ glossy of it? The kind of thing you could stick in a frame and hang on your wall?

Because I can print some up and bring them to the con. They’d be $14 cash or if someone showed me receipts right then and there for having just bought Colony, Jungle, and Shadow, complimentary.

If I print up a couple. So now I turn to you, readers. Are any of you attending LTUE interested in something like this? Post in the comments below and let me know!

Other good news: I would expect the first chapter of Fireteam Freelance this weekend. Just … letting that one out there.

Never Stop Working (Even in a Drought)

Hey readers! Max here with, well, just a sort of general catch-all update post to yap about stuff with. Tomorrow I might have one of those interesting topical ones, like last week’s set of posts on MacMillan’s burning of their own market, but for today I just don’t have the time because I picked up an extra work shift and I need to get some editing done.

So this is going to be one of those news summary posts that goes over all my current projects and keeps you all appraised as to what’s going on with each one of them. Now, it’s easy to see from the stats I have on posts like these that they aren’t as popular as other posts … but hey, that’s drama-free news for you. And some of you do read these, which means you like being informed about my progress and what I’ve been up to. Plus, I like writing them because, well, lets face it, a long period of time can pass in writing without you readers seeing much coming of it until a book pops out of ether, and this does show that “Yes, I’m accountable for these projects, here’s how they’re going, etc, etc.” Which I think you guys like.

So, the quick of it? Yesterday I added about 5500 words to my quota, between editing on Jungle and writing. Then I’m writing today before taking an extra work shift, and well … Basically I’m keeping super busy guys. Good old 10-12 hour days are back again.

With that said, let’s get to the talking about what I’m doing with all that work, starting with Axtara: Banking and Finance.

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HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

And if you’re Great Britain, well no hard feelings. I think we made up for it during WWII.

Jokes aside, I hope you all have a fantastic Independence Day, and find something to celebrate for. Me and mine? We’re going to marathon season 3 of Stranger Things. That’s not a plug or anything. We’re just really excited for season 3.

What is a plug is a reminder not to forget the big 4th of July sale on all my books. Sorry, had to say it. And for those of you in countries where the deal hasn’t started yet, sorry about that, it’ll start for you on the 5th, because … You know, I’m not really sure. Regional differences?

Anyway, all you people have a great 4th of July!

The Independence Day Weekend Sale is Live!

Hey readers, just a quick heads up and plug: If you’re a fan of my writing, be it on the site, or the fanfiction I’ve written, or you’ve picked up one of my books, and you’re interested in reading more, well … Have I got news for you! The Independence Day Weekend Sale is live reader! Live!

How live? How about “You can grab every book I’ve ever written for nine bucks!? Yeah, it’s that live.

Colony, my biggest hit? $2. Yeah. Two measly dollars. For 1500 or so pages of mystery, discovery, and of course, insane action!

Shadow of an Empirethe Wild-West Fantasy Epic? 50% off. $4. Yeah, for a thousand pages of horseback chases, mystery, action (because both of those are givens), and magic across a sweeping desert!

Unusual Events? 99 cents. Dead Silver? 99 cents. One Drink? 99 cents.

So yeah, nine dollars nets you it all.

Sale extends through this week until next Monday! Don’t miss it!

“Being a Better Writer: Summer of Cliche Writing Advice!” Announcement

Welcome back readers! Today’s post is going to be a bit of an unusual one. Why, you may ask? Well, because of the news you’re about read, which will be followed by a shorter, micro-blast level Being a Better Writer post.

Wait! Don’t skip ahead. The news is about BaBW! The whole Summer of Cliche Writing Advice title? Yeah, that’s vitally important. You don’t want to skip that.

But it’s only half of the news you need to see today. The other half is a heads up that starting tomorrow, June 2nd, my entire lexicon will be on sale! That’s right, all my books. Well, save One Drink, but it literally cannot go any lower in its price. That one’s beyond my control.

But the rest of my library can match it. Starting tomorrow, Dead Silver and Unusual Events: A “Short” Story Collection will both be 99 cents alongside their old sibling.

What of Colony and Shadow of an Empire? 67% off and 50% off, respectively. Grabbing all 1500 pages of Colony‘s 4.5 star-rated adventure will set you back a bare $1.99. And Shadow of an Empire, the wild-west Fantasy Epic? $3.99.

In other words, you can pick up every book I’ve ever written for less than ten bucks. Just in time to start catching up before Jungle arrives in a few months, too.

The Independence Day Weekend Sale is live from July 2nd through July 8th. That’s right, all through the 4th of July weekend! So it’s time to fill out that collection and detonate a bunch of fireworks!

So, that’s the Independence Day Weekend Sale (it’s an extended weekend, don’t look at me like that)! Now, what about this Summer of Cliche Writing Advice thing mentioned in the title that you really need to hear about?

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