Okay, so it’s a little past mid-year, but it’s been a busy year so far. I’ve been a little remiss on the blog here, so I’m going to try to get back to weekly posts, at least. With Frontiers of Chaos done, look for some preview chapters coming up soon. This weekend is the Galaxy’s Edge Fan Expo in Whidbey Island, WA. I’ll be there, with books and some merch, along with Jason Anspach, Walt Robillard, Doc Spears, Joshua Gayou, and Tom Trimbath. It’s a new and pretty small con, but it’s growing. If you live close enough, get your tickets and come on out. Speaking of Galaxy’s Edge, my contribution, Order of the Centurion #7 – Always Legion, is complete and already with the GE Insiders. Hopefully it should be out this fall. Having written Silver or Lead and Frontiers of Chaos back to back, I’m going to be taking a short break from the Pallas Group Solutions thrillers, and starting work on a science fiction series I’ve had in mind for a long time (going back to high school, as a matter of fact). Wargate Nova will be publishing it, sometime early next year. Big space battles, big land battles, aliens, intrigue, and all the
So, I wasn’t planning on posting about this until release date, which is this coming Tuesday, 1/31. However, recent events with Amazon have forced my hand. I’ve been planning this new series of Pallas Group Solutions Thrillers (a couple series, actually) for a while. The first book, Gray War, comes out on 1/31. I already have the preorders for Books 2 and 3 up, as well, with release dates in March and May. However, things have started to take a turn with Amazon. First, the Hardcover and Paperback are up, but not linked with the ebook. That might just be algo weirdness, since both are through Ingram, and I had to adjust the data to match up with the ebook, since some things didn’t save the first time around. It’s gotten weirder from there, however. I submitted a scheduled ad campaign two days ago. I got back the reply that Amazon Marketing Solutions wouldn’t run the ad, because the cover contains “violent content,” i.e., there are guys in an action thriller pointing guns at each other. “To ensure a good customer experience, we don’t allow ads containing images of weapons (including realistic and non-realistic firearms, swords, bows and arrows, etc.) shown
It’s that time of the month: time for the American Praetorians livestream (or whatever we’re calling this). At 6PM PST/9PM EST, I’ll be going live once again with Mike Kupari, Coop LoPresto, and special guest James Rosone. We’ll be talking about warfare and how it’s changed, how some of the “new” changes are actually quite timeless, and how thriller writers and prognosticators past and present have gotten things right, and other things quite wrong. Tune in on Facebook, or on YouTube, here: Also, if you want to support us, check out Mike’s Amazon page, and James Rosone’s.
For those interested, I’ll be doing the May/Option Zulu livestream tonight. I won’t be alone this time, either, as I’ll have fellow author Mike Kupari and our friend Coop LoPresto joining me. Tune in at 2100 EST.
So, over the weekend, someone or somebot at Amazon apparently decided that Galaxy’s Edge Press was in violation of their terms of service, and deleted and banned their KDP account. Dozens of books disappeared from Amazon in a heartbeat. An entire weekend’s cash flow was disrupted. It did get resolved, and all the books are back up this morning, though a lot of the details of just what happened are still hazy. There are some ideologues at Amazon who like to pull these little fast ones from time to time. Entire authors have been deleted. There’s no evidence that this is what happened this time, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. As Nick Cole has said, it still makes one wonder about being Amazon exclusive. Now, this is concerning to me for a couple of reasons. One, my upcoming releases through GE Press’s Wargate imprint were also affected. But that’s almost a secondary concern. Amazon has been a hell of a tool for the independent author. Kindle Direct Publishing has enabled thousands who might not otherwise have gotten published–not necessarily due to the quality of their work, either–to get their stuff out there. That’s one of the
While Blood Debt is just around the corner, there are some other things going on. Last night, I released the second American Praetorians Box Set – The Americas Duology. Some who have come to my work through Brannigan’s Blackhearts or Maelstrom Rising might or might not have read the American Praetorians series. Now the entire series (in ebook, at least) can be had for about half the price of the individual books. Part of why I released this now is because of Lex Talionis. Many factors have changed or accelerated since I wrote that book in 2017, but some of it remains as timely as ever. It was, in many ways, intended to be a cautionary tale. A parable of what we were heading for if we kept letting outrage rule. In many ways, I think I might not have gone quite deep enough with it. Some of the digging I’ve done since has exposed the faction I described as “Sulla” as more extensive and real than I’d imagined four years ago. Perhaps some elements will work themselves in to later series. In other news, after receiving some good feedback on the questionnaire I put up a couple weeks ago, I have decided to finally
There’s a lot going on this October. It’s been a busy year, and some of it I haven’t been able to talk about yet. With Area Denial having come out as the seventh Maelstrom Rising book just last month, a new option has become available through KDP Print: Hardcovers. I got the proof for Escalation just a couple weeks ago, and that volume is now available in hardcover on Amazon. The system’s still in Beta, so I’m taking it carefully, one volume at a time. Holding Action should be up soon. So far, I’m impressed. The proof printed beautifully, and the binding is solid. The rest of the series will be out in hardcover over the next couple of months, and hopefully Power Vacuum will come out in Kindle, paperback, and hardcover on release. I’m wrapping up the first draft of the third book in a series I’m writing for Nick Cole’s and Jason Anspach’s Wargate Books. Nick approached me about this project a few months ago. Three more books to get written than I’d had planned for this year, but when somebody like Nick asks, you say, “Yes.” It’s a little different. Recon Marines meet a world of myths and monsters. There’s some of my
Facebook was already getting to be an unreliable tool for this business. Too many long-time readers have told me that they had no idea a release was coming out until they checked Kindle, despite the fact that I’d been posting about it for a month. Facebook has set its algorithms to determine what you should see, regardless of what you want to see, unless you’re using something like Fluff Busting Purity. As a result, I’ve been urging subscriptions to my newsletter for some time. At least then, you’ll get notification in your email, provided you check it, when something comes out. Now, it appears that Facebook is in quite a bit of trouble. Whether due to astounding degrees of incompetence or hostile action remains to be seen. There are a lot of rumors flying around, many of which I have yet to see corroborated. The end result is essentially the same, however. The biggest platform is down, hard, and it’s a good thing I didn’t have a release scheduled for tomorrow. I’ve had a backup social media presence on MeWe for some time, complete with a backup to the Action Thriller Renaissance group I built on Facebook. A lot of my
Interesting times. There’s a lot of backlash building against Amazon over the Parler fiasco. And while it’s entirely understandable (and I might even agree on a certain level), it presents some serious logistical problems for many of us. Amazon isn’t just a monolithic, faceless, leftist corporation. It’s a set of infrastructure that a lot of indies and small businesses use. I’m one of them. Amazon has been the 800lb gorilla in the room for some time now, and, like it or not, there aren’t a lot of good alternatives out there. The granola-eaters have been pushing “Bookshop.org” for a while, but they take a much larger cut than Amazon. It’s entirely possible that the backlash might amount to a drop in the bucket. Inertia is a real thing, and people tend to forget outrage for convenience over time. But it is only prudent to start looking at alternatives. Unfortunately, there aren’t a huge number. The obvious one would be simply to start publishing here, through AmericanPraetorians.com. I already sell paperbacks through the shop (though currently not many). I’d have to move ebooks there, as well, and (and here’s the hard part), figure out marketing. Locals.com has been brought up as a
Some of you have already noticed the new covers for the Brannigan’s Blackhearts series in the sidebar. While I know a few have been getting close to despair that the series was ever going to continue, never fear. The facelift (to include descriptions on the Amazon pages) was all I was waiting for–well, that and the need to get some serious work done on Maelstrom Rising. Now that the cover revamp is done, I can get back to work on Enemy of My Enemy. In fact, I already have. It’s coming along nicely, and is already up for preorder. It’ll be out in December. A new terror mastermind is on the rise… …And the Blackhearts might have a chance to stop him But is the opportunity a trap? Abu Mokhtar al Shishani wants to be the next Osama bin Laden. And if he takes delivery of the five former Soviet backpack nukes making their way across Central Asia, he just might accomplish that goal. But no one knows where the nukes are. The Russians have located the money that al Shishani intends to buy the nukes with. And since they have a mutual enemy, they’ve approached the US for help to seize it.