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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Black Friday Sale!

Just a quick heads-up, but the Black Friday Sale is live and running! Here’s a brief break-down:

No matter where you are, there should be something on sale. UK-based or using that half of Amazon’s systems? You can get Shadow of an Empire for 50% off. US-based? Colony is 67% off.

No matter what, there should be a couple of books on sale for you to check out. Head on over to the books page and see what you can pick up!

“A Game of Stakes” Has Been Submitted! And Other News.

That’s it! As of a few minutes ago, A Game of Stakes has been sent out to the editor of the folks who asked for it. Thanks again to all you Alpha and Beta Readers, and as usual, when this gets published (either in the collection it’s been submitted for, or in More Unusual Events) I’ll make sure to ask how (and if) you want to be credited for all your help.

I’ll admit, I really enjoyed this one. It was just a fun story to write, and the characters and the faint inklings of the world were fun to play with too. I still do have to sit down and rewrite the original story that was going to be for the collection, which ended up being more of a novella length. That one I’ll likely publish separately (it’s been a while since I’ve done something like that) rather than stick into More Unusual Events since MUE is already going to have another novella length story in it. Two novellas in one “short” story collection is a bit much. I’ll get to that … maybe after the Halo novel submission. It’s just too good to let rest. I mean, the name is Axtara: Banking and Finance and the protagonist is a dragon. The original draft may have grown well past the scope of a short story, but as a novella? I think it’ll be a fun little adventure in economics, industry, and what happens when a young dragon moves to the edge of civilization with grand designs.

But I’m getting sidetracked. Point is, A Game of Stakes has now been sent in. Thank you everyone who helped with Alpha and Beta reading, and I’ll keep you guys updated.


Other news! Hunter/Hunted is about to enter Part three (the final part). I can see this being done early in December, or even the end of November if I get a few good writing sprints in. There is one specter hovering over it, however, and that’s the Christmas season. Long story short, Christmas means lots of hours available at my part-time job, and since hours are generally in short supply before Christmas, well … I kind of need the extra cash. I may be really limited with writing time in December.

Yeah, I know, the holiday season means working harder than the rest of the year. It’s just how things end up working out. It might mean a few delayed or missed Being a Better Writer posts, though, just so I can get Hunter/Hunted finished.


More news! Don’t fotget that a number of my books will be going on sale Thursday at midnight! Deeply on sale. Now’s the time to grab something if you’re tight on cash!


Okay, last bit of news: I’m only a few ratings away from cracking 100 ratings on Goodreads! My goal has been to surpass 100 by the end of the year, and as of right now, I’m only 14 away! If you have a Goodreads account and would like to help, well …


Anyway, that’s it for news. Thanksgiving is coming, along with a Black Friday sale, A Game of Stakes is in, and … Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

Time to get back to work on Hunter/Hunted.

More Alpha Readers! Plus News.

Hey folks! Max here with a bit of an interesting request from an Alpha Reader on A Game of Stakes.

See, I’ve got some folks going over it, picking through things, etc etc. So far, the majority response has been overwhelmingly positive, which is awesome. There are a few things to clean up and wrinkles to iron out (the ending needs a little adding), but overall I’ve already been told by a few that it’s hands-down one of the favorite things they’ve read from me.

Which is awesome. One reader however, did stand very firmly on what they see as a very large misstep and issue with a character. I disagree, and no other pre-readers have said anything about it, but there’s always a chance that there’s a grain of truth to it.

Hence? A SECOND Alpha Reader call! I want to get some more eyes on it and see if anyone else brings up the same “issue.” Personally, I doubt it, but in the interest of polish polish polish I’d rather get some more eyes on things just too see.

Crud, I won’t even say what the issue is. This is going to be 100% blind. Which doesn’t mean I want Alpha Readers that make a problem. No, that’s not the goal here. The goal is the same as any other Alpha Read: Read through and look for Alpha issues (plot errors, awkward segments, etc) all as normal. If someone else brings the same issue up, then it needs a serious look. If not … well, some things truly are opinion.

A Game of Stakes is only 15,000 words, so it won’t take too long to read through. Plus, it’s got a dragon, which is always a bonus, right?

If you’re interested in Alpha Reading, do the usual thing and contact me, and we’ll see about hooking you up with an Alpha invite.


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A News Post

Whoa! Things have really piled up lately. Between writing, my part-time job (with extra hours), running the end of a DnD campaign, keeping up with exercise, and well, life being what life tends to be, things have gotten crazy levels of tight lately! There’s a lot that’s been going on! Not all of it newsworthy, but some that is. Which means it’s time for … NEWS POST.


Patreon first! Never fear Patreon Supporters, I haven’t forgotten you. September’s post just ended up late because I spent the weekend a bit under the weather and decided to spend what brainpower and time I had trying to finish a chapter in Hunter/Hunted. Monday was another Being a Better Writer post and more work, Tuesday was  work all day, and then today … Well, finally today this month’s Patreon Supporter Reward went up! And this month, it’s a preview of A Game of Stakes, The first straight Romance (Fantasy Romance, to be specific) story I’ve ever written. Supporters get to see the first third of it. There will probably be a teaser for the rest of the site in the coming months, but for now, this is the only way to get an early look save being an Alpha Reader!


Okay, next bit of news? Sales have picked up a little again. They’re not quite back to “pre-cliff falling” levels, but they are still there, especially on the Kindle Unlimited service. So it looks like a burst sale worked. Oh, and all three titles on sale sold well during said sale. Colony again dominated everything else though. As many copies as that book has sold, Jungle I think will be the only book I release for a while capable of challenging it.

Thankfully, with sales also come more reviews. Or, at least, ratings on Goodreads, which seems to be a much bigger driver now that Amazon has restricted reviews to those who purchase more than $50 of goods through them per year. The sale saw a few new ones crop up, as have the last few weeks. If you’ve ever poked your head over to Goodreads, head on over and take a look! Maybe leave a rating of your own, or check out some reviews!


Last but not least, update news. Hunter/Hunted is still moving along. I’m nearing the end of part 2 of 3. If October goes well, it’ll be done by the end. Maybe mid-November if things run late. Which means I can then get started on the next book project (a submission for an established universe) and then get to work on Fireteam Freelance and editing for Jungle! The end of this year will be busy!

Okay, a little bit on Fireteam Freelance, since I’ve mentioned it before, and it’s listed on my current projects page as “upcoming.” Fireteam Freelance is going to be something unique: An episodic story that is posted here on this site, chapter by chapter as it’s written (and in time with the editing of Jungle). That’s right, the entire Alpha will go up for free here on the site. As an early Alpha. So anyone will be able to read it.

What’s it about? Well, all I’ll say at this point is that it’s set in the same universe as Colony and Jungle, but follows a different cast of characters. Oh, and it’s set on Earth. Directly and very clearly. Details are still being worked out, but if you were one of those readers who expressed disappointment that Colony left future-Earth for an alien world, this story is definitely one you’ll want to check out.

And since the Alpha will be going up chapter by chapter on this very site for all to read, you’ll be able to with ease.

Yes, the book will still get an editing run and for-purchase release. The Alpha chapters will stay up but be clearly marked as such. This is kind of an experiment, an idea I had a while ago that I think is worth playing with.


Granted, ALL of this might be delayed by a few months if that established-universe-thing-I’m-not-being-too-specific-about-yet gets picked up. I’ll have to swiftly flip some plans and push things back in that case, but it will be for a darn good reason. But … we’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, that’s the news for today, unless you’re interesting in fanfic news (in which case, check that blog). With that, I need to get to work!

Weekend Book Sale!

Heads up! Got a trio of books on sale through this weekend, starting today! Including my newest, the Fantasy-Western Shadow of an Empire! The deal ends when the weekend does, so if you’ve been waiting for a sale, this is your chance!


Shadow of an Empire
Shadow of an Empire
$7.99 $3.99 (50% off!)
“… a delightful ride through a new western world …”


colony-final
Colony
$5.99 $2.99 (50% off!)
“… absolutely fantastic …”


Dead Silver Final
Dead Silver
$2.99 $0.99 (66% off!)
“… a must read …”

When Is a Sale Not a Sale?

When it doesn’t sell anything, clearly.

Okay, this needs a bit of explanation, but it’s an odd one. So things have been going pretty well sales-wise lately. Colony and Shadow of an Empire just keep ticking away copies, finally moving my book income from “Spare change” to “rent payment.” Or at least, they were, save for this last week.

What happened? Well, I went ahead and put Unusual Events: A “Short” Story Collection on a random sale for the week. Starting a 99 cents. Colony and Shadow were both doing well, so I figured that a nice discount on Unusual Events (Still, to date, my only book to not generate a profit and my lowest selling of all time) would maybe allow it to move a few copies alongside its stronger siblings.

Let me tell you, did that backfire. Instead of Events selling a few copies … all other sales stopped dead.

No, I’m not kidding. Fine one day and then wham! Down came the wall. All sales stopped dead. Even Kindle Unlimited reads dried up, going from a steady number of reads per day to almost nothing.

And then on Monday, the sale was over, and what happened? The numbers took a few days to go back up, but now they’re moving back to where they were.

Honestly? I’m as confused as anything about this one. The only theory I’ve got is that people who were looking at getting their hands on a copy of Colony or Shadow saw that Events was on sale and decided to wait until one of them was on sale, maybe?

That’s literally the only theory I have. As I watch the numbers slide back to normal post sale, that’s all I can offer. And even that doesn’t explain the KU numbers dropping into the abyss.

Is it coincidence? If so, it’s one of the strangest coincidences I’ve seen. And like I said, I have no explanation. Maybe Events is even less-appealing than I thought, so much so that it taints all other books based on its price?

I have no idea. Regardless, I thought it was interesting. Guess that’s one mistake I won’t be making the future. Unusual Events goes on sale with everything else, or not at all!