Saturday, April 28, 2012

Atticus for the Undead and KDP Select

So I'm trying an experiment.

For th"e next 90 day period, starting today, I have enrolled my novel Atticus for the Undead in the KDP Select program. This means that members of Amazon Prime can now read the book for free by borrowing it from the Kindle Lending Library. (And by the way, when you do that, I still make money!)

I hesitated to do this because I didn't want to shortchange the non-Kindle owners who like my work. But the reality is that the book has sold perhaps a dozen copies on all non-Kindle platforms combined since I published it in November, and I think that readers being able to check the book out of the Lending Library might help it to get better known more quickly.

If this experiment flops, or if I get a sudden flood of hate mail (that's, folks) from Nook owners asking how I could do this to them, then, at the end of 90 days, I'll put the book back on B&N, Sony, etc. And the Weaver Saga novels will remain available on all platforms.

But in the meantime, you can now try the book at no cost! Tell all your Kindle-owning, Amazon-Prime-subscribing friends!

By way of a reminder, here are some of the things folks are saying about the book:

"...I must say, I'm impressed ... This novel is one of the best I've read in years." Lorraine Nelson

"...creative genius and exceptional writing." Christine Butler, author of The Awakening Trilogy

"It just flies along, and it kept my interest for every page." Book Briefs

So come on -- join the fight for arcane rights! You've got nothing to lose!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

So what's next?


It may sound a touch absurd to be discussing my next book/project when I haven't even launched The Void yet, but that's how I roll. So what is that next project, you might ask? As you might be expecting, I can't tell you. But what you may not be expecting is why I can't tell you.

Quite simply, I can't tell you what my next project is because I don't know.

That isn't to say I have no ideas. Far from it. I have ideas for no less than three potential new series in the pan. Each lights up different pleasure centers in my brain, and I'm sure any one of them would be thrilling to write. So what's the problem, you ask? The problem is that I can't get any of them quite to the point where I'm ready to start writing them yet. I've been doing plotting for all three, on and off, since about 48 hours after I finished principal writing work on The Void. But in each case, something is wrong. In each case, there's a roadblock -- some vital element that I can't get my mind around or that won't fall into place the way I want it to.

So I continue to plot, and plan, and read other authors' work in my spare time. It's nice to be a consumer of fiction every now and then rather than a creator of it. Also, I'm hoping that something in their words might inspire me, and fill in that last piece of the puzzle.

So, here's where things stand: The only other book I'm promising this year is Identity Theft (Legal Fiction #2), which I'm hoping to have out this fall. That does not, however, mean that that's the only other entertainment you'll get from me this year -- the other projects were never intended to be books. They are being designed as serials. I will continue to develop each of those universes if and as ideas for it come to me. If one of the worlds hasn't fallen completely into place in about two more weeks, I'm just going to start writing Identity Theft -- aside from editing The Void, I haven't put pen to paper in about 3 weeks now and am starting to get guilty conscience.

In the meantime, keep telling your friends about The Void. The more hype we can build up by release day, the better. And remind them that Weaver is free on most platforms (except Amazon, which won't price-match). And keep watching this blog for updates.

Good things are coming soon.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Inspired by Geek and Sundry, a Subscribe-a-thon!

UPDATE: Need to make very slight change to the terms of the Subscribe-A-Thon -- it looks like Weaver has actually gone free everywhere but Amazon, so don't bother choosing that one as your reward. :)

All right, folks, here's the deal: inspired by the lovely Felicia Day and her marvelous internet startup Geek and Sundry, I am proud to announce On The Bird's very first SUBSCRIBE-A-THON! This is your chance to help me build my membership base -- and get rockin' free stuff in return! Here's how it works.

At the moment, I have three stories available: two books and a short story. Specifically, they are:
Weaver: Revised Edition;
The Antlerbury Tales; and
Atticus for the Undead

So! If you become an On The Bird member (with the Google Friend Connect tool below) -- I will send you any one of these three, for FREE! Your choice!

"But wait, John!" you say. "I'm already a member. Now I feel left out and am going to go cry in a corner."

No no, wait! If you're already a member, all you have to do is get a friend to join up. Then all they have to do is leave a comment on this post saying that you referred them, and I'll send you both a free book of choice! Sound like fun?

I hope so, because it gets better. How, you ask?


If you go pick yourself up an Amazon copy of any of the three stories listed above (again, your choice), I'll send you both others free! Yes, really. 3-for-the-price-of-1.

How can you go wrong?

Note: This Subscribe-a-thon will last until the stroke of midnight, Monday, April 23, 2012. After that, it will turn into a pumpkin. Or self-destruct. Or something.

So, that's the deal. Let's build this city on rock-and-roll (or zombies and cheesy jokes, one or the other)...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Weaver: Revised Edition

UPDATE: Weaver: Revised Edition is now available FREE on Smashwords!

Just uploaded the Amazon edition. Apparently you can't make books free on Amazon, except for the 5 freebie days on KDP Select. Does anyone know differently? I really don't want to break the "It will be free forever" promise I made.

Please leave comments if you know how! I R begging!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

An interview in Jolly Ole' England!

I recently sat down with Sharon Goodwin, a book blogger over in the UK! I'd like to thank Sharon for the time it took to do the interview (I know book bloggers are busy people), and also convey how impressed I was with the effort she put into doing her homework on me and my projects when writing up the questions.

 Here's one of my favorite questions and answers from the interview:

Q: Joss Whedon has an influence on you. In what way has this affected your writing style?

A: The better question is, in what way hasn't it?

I think that consuming a lot of Joss Whedon's fiction is what gave me the tools I needed to make my writing good. As I said before, for a long time it wasn't. I took creative writing classes, read books in which other writers talked about their craft, and all sorts of things like that, but I still wasn't telling stories the way I wanted to tell them.

And then I found Buffy. The things Whedon did with his plot and character arcs just blew me away. He took his characters to places you didn't think they were capable of going, and he did so believably. Whedon's development wasn't BOOM, this bad guy is now good. It was gradual, it was step-by-step, and Whedon made you understand why the characters were taking each step they took. For a brief period in the series, he had turned things on their head so successfully that he had me feeling more sympathy for Spike than Buffy. That was when I knew that this was how I wanted to tell stories.

There are other things, too. For instance, I learned genre-mixing from him (although he has said that it has hurt his career). I won't say I got mood-mixing from Whedon, since that was something I already liked in my stories. I wanted fiction that could engage all my emotions. But he definitely taught me how to do it better.

The full text of the interview can be found here.