It’s becoming harder and harder to get the word out to you, the fans, that I’ve got new books out. Facebook throttles everything. Amazon Marketing Services has gotten less and less effective over the last six to nine months, as the market has gotten more and more saturated. And that same market saturation makes visibility more difficult, as well. So, the solution is more of a direct contact between me, the author, and you, the reader. The newsletter is one of the best ways to accomplish that. So, if you haven’t read Drawing the Line before, or even if you have, go ahead and sign up. It will help ensure that you do get the word when I’ve got stuff happening, instead of letting it get lost in the noise.
It’s been a slow couple of weeks, because that’s how outlining goes. I’d hoped to speed that process up, but the Cogitation Engine only seems to work so fast, and outlining a book still takes the better part of a week. A week for less than 5k words (Grumble, growl), but those 5k – are necessary to get the machine running when it comes to hammering out the draft. In the meantime, however, the aforementioned updates to the American Praetorian series have begun. Task Force Desperate has been reformatted, bringing the front and back matter (and the rest of the interior formatting) more in line with later stuff. Applying the lessons of the last six years, you might say (yes, it has been six years since TFD first was published). There’s also a new cover. Over the five years of the series, the style was developed to a sharp point, and so we’re going back and touching up the first couple to match. Feast your eyes: Hunting in the Shadows will be getting a similar update soon; I’ve just got to figure out what reference photos to send Derrick for him to work the silhouettes. Currently, the Kindle edition has
So, a week and a half after Fury in the Gulf‘s release, I see I still have some learning to do when it comes to making Amazon’s algorithm sit up and do tricks. Working on it. There might be a new push just before launching the pre-order for Brannigan’s Blackhearts #2 – Burmese Crossfire next month. As for Burmese Crossfire, it still has one editing pass to go, plus I have to get the preview for Enemy Unidentified done to put in the back. As I’ve been thinking about Enemy Unidentified and the later books in the series, there might be some adjustment in the planned schedule. There seems to be more of an arc forming in my head, contrary to the original idea for the series. (I’ve already established some continuity with characters–no, not everybody’s going to survive–so this won’t be quite “’60s TV show episodic.”) With the series sitting where it is, I’m adjusting to an every-sixty-days schedule for releases. This will allow me to work on a couple of other projects, one of which has already been started. Not going to say too much about ’em yet, since they won’t be launching for a little while (February
It was brought to my attention that the option to update the Kindle version of Kill Yuan, for those who have already bought it and would like it with the new cover, was not automatically showing up. I had thought that it was supposed to, but after some digging, I found that I needed to contact Kindle Direct Publishing and ask them to make the update available. I did so, and just now got a reply that, while the changes are “minor” enough not to justify notifying those customers who had already purchased the book, the update is now available. If you have already bought Kill Yuan, and want the new cover, go to the “Manage My Content and Devices” page on Amazon (or this link: (www.amazon.com/gp/digital/fiona/manage), and there should be an “Update Available” button to the right of the title.
I know, I was going to blog more. Twice a week or so, I said. Well, it’s been busy, but here’s a quick rundown as to why. I had to take a few days “operational pause” on Lex Talionis to do some re-thinking. As originally outlined, the final chapters were a bit too episodic, as in, “This happens, and then this happens, and then this happens.” Good storytelling ties things together a bit more. It should be more along the lines of, “This happens, which leads to this happening, so then this happens, but then…” The new direction should tighten things up and get it more into the latter model. Still a lot to do; probably 20,000-30,000 words left, which will put it as the longest Praetorian story to date, a title presently held by Hunting in the Shadows, at 148.5k. Audiobook production on Kill Yuan is about half done, and it’s coming along well. That’s bitten into writing time a little, as well, as I’ve got to review each chapter as Cody finishes and uploads it. But it’s solid. He’s doing a great job. Somewhere in there, the idea that led to the “New Ideas” post down below began
Been pretty busy lately. Got the first (and second) draft of an Heroic Fantasy story done that I’m trying to sell to an actual publisher, but while I wait on Reader Force Alpha, I’ve embarked on a couple more projects. The big one is, of course, Lex Talionis, American Praetorians Number Five. I’m still outlining, as this one is going to be a bear and a half. But it’s getting there. In the meantime, I’ve started in on a Jed Horn short story/novella (probably going to end up about the same length as Rock, Meet Hard Place). It’ll be going up on Kindle exclusive once it’s done. (Though it might get included in a later edition of one of the existing novels for those who want to have a paper copy.) Now back to the word mines.