Friday, December 28, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Friday, November 9, 2012
Monday, November 5, 2012
It's not necessarily the election ads, the gazillion signs, or even the flyers that have caused the post office to take out another box in my name. Oh no. It's the fact that Montana is on the political map.
You see, every day I've been receiving phone calls both to my house and my cell phone by random dialers that have the area code 406 programmed into them. People from Detroit, Washington, Atlanta, and other places that have absolutely no clue what is important to me or any other Montanan. Pollsters call constantly wanting to know what candidate I'm voting for in the tight senate race, or who I'm voting for in the presidential race.
None of their goddamn business, really.
The next person who calls me asking about my vote, I'm telling them I'm out hunting elk and they need to be really quiet. Because hunting elk is more important than the races. Either that, or I'm having Annie the Goat talk to them. Only she'd probably chew on the phone and destroy it. Wait, there's a thought.
I just read a news item that says about one third of Montanans have asked for mail-in ballots, and two thirds of those folks have already voted. So, you see, the phone calls have a one in five chance of reaching someone who has already voted--and is probably out elk hunting. That's huge that more than 200,000 people out of less than a million have voted. One of those people is me.
So, the next time I get a phone call, I'll tell them I voted for the opposite candidate and for them to go away. Nobody from Montana is particularly impressed with outsiders. We like it that we're really on nobody's radar.
So, I'm really looking forward to Wednesday. And back to having the rest of the country forget about us.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
Grace Under Fire by Frog and Esther Jones reviewed on Fantasy Book Review
Monday, October 29, 2012
WolfSongs - Volume 2 edited by M.H. Bonham , published through WolfSinger Press (run by Carol Hightshoe, one of our editors and a sister press) is a finalist in the Eppie (Epic) Awards! That makes two finalist awards to Sky Warrior folks! Many of our writers also have stories in WolfSongs 2.
You can certainly check out WolfSongs 2 and purchase a copy. Both Carol and I will be pleased.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
THE END IS ONLY THE BEGINNING
Friday, August 10, 2012
Monday, August 6, 2012
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Friday, August 3, 2012
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Sky Warrior Books is proud to reprint The Second Coming (The Millennium Series) by John Dalmas.
A Savior or Anti-Christ?
In the midst of a global economic collapse, when famines and natural disasters abound, one man appears with the message of a messiah to bring hope to the world. Ngunda Aran, the head of Millennium and a charismatic speaker, works miracles and brings the message of the Tao to Americans and people across the globe. But his message isn't always welcome and there are many who would put an end to this messiah. But will Aran usher in a millennium of peace, or will his dire predictions of a global catastrophe come to pass?
Explore the mean streets in Rough Magic (The Fallen) by Pat MacEwen.
When Worlds Collide
Twenty years ago, the modern world collided with the world of Faerie, leaving behind its denizens in a world of cold iron. Unable to work in the modern world of steel, those of the Fallen have been forced into welfare, prostitution, or thievery.
Once the proud Queen of Air and Light, Sathyllien works with the Stockton police department to solve the murders of elves and human prostitutes. The clues lead to a 5-year-old, cold-case murder—that of her daughter. But can she find the killer before a race war starts?
Monday, July 23, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
SaveLocal : $20 worth of E-books for only $10
When you redeem one, email me with your order and I will send you your e-books directly. Tell your friends about this.
Monday, July 16, 2012
As many of you know, I'm a professional author as well as a publisher. I've been through the big houses, and I've been working hard on my own press, as well as some of my own books.
I've received a note from a publisher via my former agent that a particular book is out of print. I'm okay with that, because, quite frankly, it's nonfiction and more than 10 years old. I own the copyright. So, I should be able to do something with it, yes?
You see, when I asked for the rights back, I got a letter stating that it wasn't "really" out of print. Yes, it is, but they're not releasing the rights back.
You heard me. They're not going to give my book back even though the book is out of print. Come to think of it, I have other out of print books there and they're "considering" whether they want to use them in the future. Maybe.
This isn't a fly-by-night operation. Oh no-siree. This is a MAJOR NYC publishing house. You'd recognize their label anywhere.
And I won't be making money on my own books even though I own the rights. Got to love it.
This is why I give my authors 5 year contracts. And this is why I don't tell them "screw you" if they want out of the contracts.
Folks, whatever contract you sell your soul to, be sure you can get it back some way if the book goes out of print. Lesson learned. Money is good, but not making any more on the book is very bad. It's your work, damn it.
There, I'm done with ranting.
Laura J. Underwood will be an Attending Professional at Dragon*Con starting August 31st. She has a reprint story titled "What More Could a Dragon Ask For" out in the new Spellbound sampler from Eggplant Literary Productions that was released as a reward to those who supported the return of this fine little childrens magazine of fantasy. Additionally, her story "Song of Mushrooms" set in her Harper Mage universe is scheduled to be released in Sorcerous Signals August 2012 issue. At the moment, she is working on writing and updated version of Magic's Song, the first Harper Mage novel as well as sequels to several previously published books and editing a standalone novel titled Thunder Hammer set in the world of the Haxons in the age before the Great Cataclysm. After many requests from many fans, she is even working on another novella about the "Demon-Bound" tentatively titled "The Axe of Wexor." Fans wanting to hear what she is up to should visit her occasional ramblings on her Livejournal page at http://laurajunderwood.livejournal.com/ or visit her website at http://www.sff.net/people/keltora.
Artist Peter Bradley reports: Interesting note, I now have a twitter, a Facebook art page, and a tumblr account all due to a couple of my lady friends who think I don't promote myself enough. Two of them took over the job. I did cover art for author Shane Moore's White Wraith book, for his Abyss Walker series of books. I also did the cover for Rachel Hunter's first novel, Empyreal Fate. I also did the interior art and layout for the Rogue Mage role playing game, based on the novels of the same series name by an author named Faith Hunter.
Alma Alexander reports her upcoming short stories: "Night Train", anthology Dark Faith 2, scheduled for the mid-August to mid-September window but I can't be more specific than that right now, "Secret name of the prince", anthology Scheherezade's Facade, September 2012, "Bones of our ancestors, blood of our flowers", Phantom Drift #2, October 2012, and short stories in two upcoming Sky Warrior anthologies, The Mystical Cat and Gears and Levers 2.
David Lee Summers says "I will be one of the participating authors at Bubonicon 44 in Albuquerque, New Mexico from August 24-26 held at the Sheraton Albuquerque Mariott Uptown. Moreover, I am this year's official chronicler of convention mascot Perry Rodent. So that means that membership in the convention comes with a brand-new, original short story by me! Learn more about Bubonicon at http://www.bubonicon.com. My Greek vampire tale "The Vrykolakas and the Cobbler's Wife" appears in the current issue of Cemetery Dance Magazine, available at: http://www.cemeterydance.com/page/CDP/PROD/_cd066 "
Sunday, July 15, 2012
I remember a time before cell phones, before cable TV, and yeah, before the Internet. I do remember black and white shows. We didn't have a VCR until I was in high school, let alone CDs or DVDs. Computers were ridiculously primitive when I was in high school--and way too expensive for ordinary people to own one. Hell, I remember when Pong came out.
GPS was still cold war era technology and you had to use a map. Microwave ovens, while they were around, didn't really catch on until I was in high school.
So, what did we do as kids, you might ask. We played with low tech toys (we didn't have high tech toys), listened to records, read books, watched TV -- 3 or 4 channels--wow! We pretty much made up games and played board games too. Phone calls were made via land lines and phone booths. Oh yeah, and I remember rotary dials.
Now that I've dated myself terribly, I have to admit I was somewhat instrumental in bringing about this technological evolution. I was a software engineer and worked with various technologies that are the backbone of what we work with today. That includes e-books.
I look at the evolution of the book to e-book. Sure, we had e-books in the 90s, but I really didn't think they would take off until the readers hit a price point that everyone could afford. (I was right). I just got a 1/2 terrabyte drive -- and it fits in the palm of my hand. When I look at our technology, I realize that the paper book is going to be just a collector's item for the few folks who really can't stand holding an electronic device.
Look, I'm sure when papyrus or parchment was introduced, people resisted. After all, stone is something that hangs around forever. And when the printing press showed up? I'm sure some Luddite complained that it sent a roomful of monks to the unemployment lines. And when we switch to paper from parchment? Horrors that we were using tree pulp instead of goat hide. And I'm pretty sure that old-fashioned typesetters hate computers.
I still have authors who cling to their treeware books and ask me to print paperbacks. I do, but it's more of a loss than a gain for me. Still, if the book does well, I'll print some copies to make my author happy, but beyond that, it's a waste. In paperback, I make more money off selling author's copies than sales from bookstores. Sad but true.
At some point, we'll see the final shift over to e-books. I've been a bit ambivalent, but I realize the need for it. Paperbacks are too damn expensive, and the large press publishing paradigm is wallowing in the tar pit trap the big publishers built for themselves. Independent publishers, self-publishers, and small press get it. They know that moving with technology, and not trying to stifle it, is a good thing. Adapting is what will make the smaller presses succeed.
Several scientists theorize that it wasn't just the asteroid hitting the earth that killed all the dinosaurs. Yes, the asteroid was the death blow, but it wasn't the entire story. You see, dinosaurs became specialized. Specialized to the point where they couldn't adapt any further.
If you've ever owned a bird, you know how fragile they can be. I have chickens, geese, ducks, quail, and turkeys, and I can tell you if one little thing goes wrong with a bird's health, it's pretty much a goner. You work on trying to keep it from killing the rest of the flock. So, for birds to survive the asteroid, I suspect the asteroid impact was far wimpier than we're led to believe. Dinosaurs were so adapted to their environment that when their environment changed, they didn't know what to do. The smaller mammals and birds survived because they probably needed less oxygen and were capable of keeping themselves warm and living underground. Small, fast, and adaptable will win over big and bloated. Small needs less resources, so when the resources become scarce, there's a better chance of survival.
Hmm, see a parallel?
I don't think you need a GPS navigation system to see where the bigger guys are going.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Michael_Levin: The Incredible Resilience of Publishing Fantasy
Monday, July 9, 2012
Self-publishing a book: 24 things you need to know – Part 2 Back to Self-publishing a book: 24 things you need to know – part 1 13. A self-publishing company does not necessarily have the best editors/book cover graphic designers Most self-publishing companies offer various packages aimed…
Friday, July 6, 2012
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
THE GUN IS LOADED
Get ready to read an outstanding collection of 29 stories including some that appear here for the first time!
THE TARGET IS SET
If you love horror, suspense, fantasy or just plain fun, you’ve come to the right place.
“The Blood on Satan’s Harley” - a headless biker roams the highways of Oklahoma searching for victims.
“By Death Abused” - a paranormal investigator helps a boy deal with his dead, but still abusive father.
“In League” - a rock band’s music opens gateways to Hell.
“Single White Vampire” a lonely vampire seeks romance while trying to avoid her master’s goons, including an Elvis impersonator vampire.
“Maternal Instinct” - a young woman hears a voice whispering to her baby over her nursery monitor.
“Broken Spirits” - two damaged people track down the man who stole their souls.
“Since I Had a Gun to My Head” - a man deals with the intense after-effects of an armed robbery.
“So You Wanna Be a Hitman” - one hitman tale alone would be worth the price of admission, but you get five (count ‘em) tales about this politically incorrect killer. He has virtually no redeeming qualities, but you’re going to love him.
PULL THE TRIGGER
Why are you still reading this? Buy the book already. You know you want it. You know you need it. You know it will help you earn millions of dollars, make you look like a movie star and win the heart of your one true love. Some say it will also cure cancer and bring about world peace. Of course, your mileage may vary. But you’ll definitely find some Quick Shots of entertainment and that’s the next best thing. QUICK SHOTS - a killer collection. Bet you can’t read just one.
Windrider Book 2: Masters of the Elements
Where do you go when the Wind knows your name?
"Leave singing to the Hag to Fifth Ranks, lad, if you don't want to end up a witless madman shrieking to the storm from a cell in the Tower of Winds." Good advice, all in all. Sheshan ak'Kal lives to regret that he did not heed it. Desperate to remember the windsong that once let him sing even the great storms off the sea to tatters, he forgets for one foolish moment of shared rage that Wind's gentle sister is the angry, vengeful--and quite insane--Hag. With the Hag stalking him across Metrenna, singing a wild, terrible note that only he can hear, Sheshan discovers that weaving torrents of living air between his hands is no longer enough to keep her at bay. For his clan, his life, and a fragile new love he has found with the most unexpected of women, Sheshan must learn a new song, and become what none of his people have managed in millennia--a Windrider indeed.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Monday, July 2, 2012
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Sky Warrior Books is publishing a werewolf anthology called Tails of the Pack. We're looking for good werewolf stories, the more unusual, the better. Light horror, dark fantasy, urban fantasy, humor, science fiction, steampunk, fantasy, eclectic, off-beat, unusual werewolf stories. NO BESTIALITY OR EROTICA.
Yes, that soon, but we take reprints.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
The reality is much grimmer. Most books won't sell more than a couple hundred copies in their lifetime--including e-books--without the author's promotion. When my e-book, Prophecy of Swords , hit the Amazon bestseller lists, the trade paperback had already sold close to 300 copies from the small press. While that isn't a lot of sales, for a small press novel, it had beaten the odds considerably, since it held a hefty cover price of $18. Even at the publisher's discount of $16, that's quite a bit to swallow for a first novel by a new-to-the-genre author.
How an Instant E-Book Bestseller was Born
When I put it up on Amazon by myself, after offering it to two other publishers, I decided to put it on sale at 99 cents. Not a lucrative price, since I would only get 34 cents for each copy. Still, I decided that I wanted to appeal to the widest audience possible who would buy a copy. Three months later after I forgot about the book, I received a check for more than $100. That meant that I had to have sold more than 350 copies. I started paying attention. I also started analyzing what I was doing to make money. And I put my other two books on Amazon. Within 6 months, I had sold more than 4500 copies. Respectable for an experiment.
The Huckster, or No One Can Sell Your Book Like You Can
One of my friends and publishers calls me (affectionately) the huckster because I chat up everyone about my book. The reality is no one can sell your book like you can. Yes, I'm emphasizing this important point. While your publisher loves your work, he or she can't possibly sell it like you can. You can pay a publicist, but he or she has other clients too, and the publicist isn't as enthusiastic about your work as he or she is about your money. You are more excited about your book than anyone else. You know who your market is. You can best describe your book. You have the time, or should have the time to invest in promoting your wonderful novel.
Consider the book publishers. Whether they're small, medium, or NY gigantic, they've all been hit with the economy. The small and medium presses often have no publicity department, or the publisher or an editor is the publicity department. This person is already swamped with work. If the press has 10 to 20 authors, you're looking at vying for attention among 10 to 20 other authors vying for attention. If the promotion budget is next to nothing (and many are), you're better off promoting the heck out of your book. Even the big New York houses don't promote most authors. If you get some promotion, congratulations! You're a rarity. Most big publishers throw the books to the proverbial wall to see what sticks.
Promote your book. Let the publisher get your work looking professional and into the distribution channels; you need to promote.
At this point, I can hear some authors grumble. Why bother to promote when it should be the publisher's job? Well, because if you don't promote, your book won't make any money.
Let's take a look at Prophecy of Swords. If it sold to a press like Sky Warrior Books and the publisher priced it at $5, Amazon gives 70% of retail as a general rule for ebooks, but sometimes the percentage drops to 35% for certain countries. For simplicity sake, let's use the 70 percentage and say the ebook earns $3.50 a sale. My contracts to authors are at 50%, so the author will make $1.75 a book. For every hundred books, the author would make $175. In six months, if the book sold 4500 copies, we're looking at the author making $7850! I don't know about you, but most authors I know wouldn't turn down that cash. New York numbers? Maybe not, but you're making more than most authors published by New York presses in less time. Even at my $2.99 price point, you'd be making close to $5000.
So, if you don't promote, you're saying "I don't want five to ten thousand in six months." Yes, you can hope it will be "discovered" along the way--and some books do get discovered by accident--but with more self-published and even spam books, (aka "private label" books), what's the chance of that?
How to Promote on a Shoestring Budget
Promoting doesn't have to be expensive or consume most of your time. You don't have to live in con central or in a major city (I live in the wilds of Montana). The reality is you can promote well without spending too much or taking up all your writing time.
People like putting a face or voice or email with a book. Unless you already have a fan base who pick up your book and buy more the moment they see your latest book, the reality is that you have to build a base. That means establishing a presence on the Internet. And that means social media.
Yep, I hear all the time about authors who complain that they hate Facebook or Twitter or can't be bothered to keep a blog or update their website.
Is it worth $5000 or more in six months? How about another contract with your publisher?
Basic Promotional Tools for Authors
The following suggestions are free except for your time and will net quite a bit of sales.
1. A Website. Not a placeholder--a real, honest-to-god website with links to your books on Amazon, Smashwords, and your publisher. Have stuff about your books, excepts, cute pictures of your pets, and links to your blog. Don't know how to program a website? There are several companies with precanned website builders. Oh, and buy a domain name. Nobody wants an odd link that doesn't roll off the tongue. You need to have a domain name so you can print them onto business cards and link to it from other social media sites.
2. A Blog. Yes, really. I don't care if you post about your rotten day writing or your failed cheese souffle. Establishing a presence on the web and that you're human will gather a fan base. Visit other people's blogs and friend and link to them. Keep it updated at least once a week. (I'm bad about this, so do as I say, not as I do...)
3. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, LinkedIn and other social network accounts. I don't want to hear that you "don't get" Facebook or you "don't want to be a twit." Get the Net, dude. Your future fans are there and want to hear from you. Post interesting articles you've read. Comment about other people's posts. Friend other peoples' friends. Talk about your cat. Don't know how these work? There are plenty of books and free online articles to help get you started.
4. Email Lists. Whether you set up a free list (recommended) or pay to have precanned content, you can ask folks to sign up for your email list. Offer specials, giveaways, and other goodies like free sneak previews into books that your fans can't get anywhere else.
5. Exchange Promotional Favors. There's nothing wrong with helping out other authors in exchange for helping you out. Ask other authors to click the Facebook Like button on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, your blog and your website. Ask them to select keywords for your books and click on what is available. Offer to review each others' books with the provision that your review is honest. Run a blog tour where each author is a guest writer for each other.
6. Try Something Different. Try podcasting your novel (if you have the rights to do so) or getting onto some e-radio shows. You know what's different about you and your book--don't expect your publisher to know esoteric things about you that would net you a radio spot. You may not have a large number of followers, but the interviews and podcasts will remain up a very long time.
Will This Really Earn Me Lots of Money?
As I always say, your mileage may vary. It's no guarantee that you'll do as well as I did, but you never know. It won't make a bad book sell well -- no one can fix that. If you're diligent and work at this, you can start seeing results. If you don't, you run the risk of having your books lost in the proverbial shuffle. The good news is that most writers aren't doing this, hence their books fall into mediocrity. Many authors fail to build fan bases, and then expect the book to sell itself. No one will buy it if they don't know about it. Now, get out there, because no one can sell your book like you can.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Sky Warrior Books is proud to announce two upcoming books. One is by John Dalmas and is the rerelease of The Second Coming. What if Jesus returned to earth as someone less recognizable, and more controversial? John Dalmas explores a black Jesus who is surrounded by computer experts and media promotions.
Pat MacEwen offers an alternative world of stark urban fantasy, in Rough Magic, where the world of Faerie has collided with our own world, leaving our world with strange creatures that walk the streets, forced to survive in a world of cold iron. When prostitutes from both races end up dead, only a cop and the former Queen of Air and Darkness can hope to solve the mystery and end the murders...
When did you start writing and what inspired you to become a writer?
As soon as I could hold a crayon, and before that I just made up stories in my head... I don't think anything "inspired" me to become a writer. I think that was something that was written into my genetic code before I was born. It's not what I DO, it's who I AM.
Tell your audience about the most interesting character you've written. Why were you drawn to that character?
In "Embers of Heaven", which takes place in an alternate-China in the throes of an alternate Cultural Revolution, I wrote a romance between my protagonist and a character who is based on on the historical Mao tse Tung. Making Mao into a character who is not only sympathetic (for otherwise how could my principled heroine fall for him?) but also still true to the impulses which lead his historical avatar into the kinds of actions that he was on record as doing was... challenging. Instead of making him a great and glorious leader I chose to show his path to where he ended up, at the top of his world - following his own dreams and convictions according to the circumstances which had shaped him, making him flesh and blood and not just a palimpsest or a pale imitation or an anti-hero. In some ways - in a LOT of ways - he is absolutely the antithesis to everything that my protagonist, Amais, wants or believes in - but there are things that he believes in just as strongly, and what she falls in love with is that passion of belief. I think that in the end this is one of the most poignant and powerful love stories that I have ever written, and it's in no small part due to the clay I had to work with. I am hardly ever drawn to characters which are wholly black or white - and Iloh, my "Embers of Heaven" character", offered me enough shades of gray for me to build a wonderful world in his shadow.
Do you ever include your life experiences in your novels? If so, which one stands out?
Not often, no - but there was one which I took from my own life, directly, in the pages of "Midnight at Spanish Gardens". The scene where Olivia stands there holding a laboratory rabbit in the palm of her hand and is helplessly unable to make herself inject it with poison so that its effects can be studied - that was a watershed moment in my own science education and career. It was the moment that I understood how mismatched I and a laboratory really were. After that, it was words, for me - words all the way - working as an editor, and as a writer. It was the only thing I could do, the only road I could take. And it took that rabbit to point the way. So he finally made it into one of my stories.
Why are you called the Duchess?
Because I am one, literally. My father's family was rewarded with a medieval Dukedom back in the 1300s, for some ancestor's valued services in a war taking place at the time. The Dukedom, of course, is long since defunct - but the coat of arms still exists, and I am the lineal descendant of that original fourteenth-century Duke. So, hence, I claimed the "title" and a number of Science Fiction conventions took to this with glee - and I practically get curtseys in hotel corridors from con attendees in the know who really enjoy the game.
Tell us a little known fact about you.
I am addicted to coffee...? No, everybody knows THAT. Well, how about the fact that I once got to march into a con opening ceremony to the strains of the Darth Vader theme from Star Wars, all decked out as a transgender Doctor Horrible (who found out that his freeze ray had, eh, unexpected side effects...) - with Alexander James Adams, the amazing music-maker, playing Benny, who used to be Penny - oh, it gets complicated from here...
Check out Alma's books Embers of Heaven and 2012: Midnight at Spanish Gardens on Kindle. For other formats, check out our books on Smashwords. 2012: Midnight at Spanish Gardens is also available in trade paperback.
website: www.AlmaAlexander.com blog: http://anghara.livejournal.com facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alma-Alexander/67938071280 Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlmaAlexander