Tag Archives: Christian Michael

The Big Announcement – My Next Publication!

Hi everyone!

I’m excited to write this blog post today, because I’ve been hinting around my new writing project for some time, but I’ve not actually made any official announcements.

As many of you know, my life has been extremely crazy and busy lately, between moving, wedding plans, and work going through a busy period, so I knew I was not going to get the 3rd book of Sword of Dragons finished in time for its planned release.

In fact, I’ve not had a chance to really focus on writing the 3rd book at all, I don’t have the time to devote to it.  But with all of my conversations with my fiancee about book covers, and all of the research I’ve done online, I knew there was a project I could do that would allow for very short spurts of work on it between the busy times.

The Sword of Dragons novels have all received high praise from those who have read it, but getting people to give it a chance has been a difficult task.  All of my market research and discussions with other authors and my fiancee point to several factors, including but not limited to the cover.

As such, I am officially working on the 2nd edition of books 1 and 2 of the Sword of Dragons series!

What does a 2nd edition mean?  More than just a new cover.  A whole lot more!  But let’s start there.

The New Covers

Books 1 and 2 side by side :)

As I talked about in my last blog, I’ve learned that keeping marketing in mine from the get go has been important.  This was a key focus for when I started working on new covers for books 1 and 2 while also planning covers for book 3 and for The Orc War Campaigns.  I wanted to create a theme that could be carried through all 4 books, as well as be something I could carry into the rest of the series beyond book 3.

My focus on marketing this time around actually was a big help in coming up with the final cover layout for the entire series!  I also followed the advice of publishers, editors, and cover artists, and created multiple versions for each novels’ cover, and then worked with several people to decide which one worked best, and even how to make the chosen one for each book better.

This involved sending the version to everyone helping me, as well as following my fiancee’s advice and taking a screenshot of an Amazon page, and editing in the versions of my cover to see which stood out best, and how my improvements to them changed how it popped on Amazon.

The result?  4 very amazing covers!  That I can’t reveal just yet.

Cover by Christian Michael

*ducks*  Hey don’t throw things at me!  ;)  But seriously, I am not yet ready to reveal the covers.  What I can tell you is test prints have turned out amazing, and even Christian, the man who made the cover for book 1, agrees that the new cover scheme is well done and works well with my genre.

Where did I get the cover art?  That was where a ton of my time was spent: looking for cover art.  And I ended up finding a cover artist on some stock photo websites who has done several pieces of dragon artwork that is stylistically similar.  This allowed me to find 4 pieces of cover art that are stylistically similar, and I have knowledge that there is plenty more for me to use for future books.

The best part is, being stock art, I can buy the rights to use them on the novel.  No legal issues, no ‘I hope they don’t realize I used their art without permission.’  I’ll have followed all proper procedures and will have legally procured the rights.

However, before I did purchase the rights, I took the watermarked, low-res versions of the artwork and made test covers, then printed them out to ensure they would look good.  This is a method I intend to use from here on out, to ensure that I don’t spend money on cover art that I end up never using.  I am, after all, working on a very limited budget.

Maps Will Finally Be Included!

I’ve heard it from countless readers: maps are a must!  So the 2nd edition of books 1 and 2, and all future volumes of Sword of Dragons will include maps.  I’ve had physical copies for a while, but haven’t had a chance to get them scanned, and a visit a couple months ago to Office Depot to get them scanned was highly disappointing, resulting in totally useless files.

Thanks to Wayne Adams from VtW Productions, I was able to get high-res scans finished last weekend.  This means I now have digital copies to edit and prepare.  These will first be made available on the website, http://www.theswordofdragons.com/, but will also be included in the novels.  I hope this will be a big help to everyone who reads the novels!

Much-needed Editing

Photo by Wayne Adams of Death’s House Productions

My original plan with the 2nd editions was to do another set of proofreads to catch any spelling or grammar issues.  As I started on book 1, it became very clear that my first published novel was in need of some serious TLC beyond copy-edit.

I am not changing the story, but I am fixing up how the story is told.  Sometimes this means very few changes, but sometimes this means entire paragraphs are rewritten.

My beta readers have read through the rewrite of chapter 1 and thoroughly enjoy the changes, while noting that even though they have read the original version several times, the changes weren’t distracting.  In fact, this is what I am working on right now, and am about 1/3rd through book 1.

Furthermore, Wayne and 2 of his friends have volunteered to perform copyediting on books 1 and 2!  So this will further ensure a polished edition :)

But…book 1.  Hmm.  The Sword of Dragons book 1.  Naw, that needs a better title.

Naming Book 1

When I first prepared book 1 for publication, Christian insisted that I should give book 1 its own unique title, different from the series title.  I didn’t listen.  And now I regret that decision.

So that will be part of the change in the 2nd edition.  Book 1 officially has its own title!  *drum roll*

Rise of the Forgotten

Rise of the Forgotten

It fits quite well, not just in a big way, but in many small ways :)  Plus, giving book 1 a unique title has allowed me to keep a theme for the covers of all novels.  (And yes, I just showed you a sneak-peak of book 1’s cover ;) )

Those are all of the big changes coming in the 2nd edition!  “What about book 3” you might ask?  Well, that already has a title and a cover!  But I still need to finish the actual manuscript.  The Orc War Campaigns also has a cover, but again, I need to finish edits on it before it is ready for release.

“When will these be released?”  I do not yet have a timeline for that, and I’m hesitant to try to set one at the moment.  There’s still too much going on in my life to be able to predictably work on the edits.  But I am working as diligently as possible, and I am looking forward to revealing more as time goes on!

I hope with these 2nd editions to please the fans I already have with a nice, polished, worthwhile product, while also attracting new readers!

Thanks for reading! :)
-Jon Wasik

Advertisements

What Does Your Cover Say?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past couple years, the cover of your novel can make or break you.

Recently my fiancee found an article that we read together today, found here, and it made me think of a lot of things, and I think even helped me answer one very important question: why have sales for Burning Skies been so much worse than The Sword of Dragons?

It boggled my mind, because almost everyone who has read Burning Skies told me they loved it as much if not more than The Sword of Dragons.  So it wasn’t that it was poorly written or a bad story.  And my advertising campaigns for Burning Skies have all tanked.  Fewer clicks than my ads for book 1, and no purchases.

Your Cover Describes Your Book

I’ve said this in a previous blog, long ago, but what’s the first thing a person sees when perusing either a book shelf or an online book store?  The cover.  “But don’t judge a book by its cover!”  So the expression goes, but frankly, everyone does.

David Penny's original covers...Thriller or Historical Mystery?
David Penny’s original covers…Thriller or Historical Mystery?

So what does your cover tell potential buyers?  What does it tell people your book is about?  The one time I went to a writer’s convention, one of the panels I went to covered this very idea, and again in the article I mentioned earlier.  An example writer, David Penny, had a well-crafted cover for his historical mystery series, but what he was shocked to realize one day was that his cover made readers think it was a thriller.

David Penny's redesign.
David Penny’s redesign.

So he had his cover redesigned and re-branded his series, and suddenly sales skyrocketed!

Why?  Not because the original covers were bad, quite the opposite.  But because the original covers weren’t attracting the right readers.  Those looking for a thriller would click on the cover to see what the novel was about, only to find it wasn’t what they were actually looking for.  And those looking for historical mysteries didn’t look into the book because they thought it was a thriller.

Target audience.  Who is your target audience?  All of your marketing should reflect who your target audience is.  If your book is a fantasy adventure but the cover makes it look like a teen romance, you are very unlikely to attract readers.

What Does This Mean For The Sword of Dragons?

Cover by Christian Michael
Cover by Christian Michael

Well…….I’ve been thinking.  A lot.  Lately I’ve felt like a failure as a writer.  A failure in a lot of things.  And I’m a bit lost as to where to go.

But…maybe the author David Penny is on to something.  Maybe this article was exactly what I needed.  The original cover for The Sword of Dragons was great, Christian Michael is a talented artist.  But for one thing, I didn’t do a very good job as a client helping him create an appropriate cover.  I was, to put it mildly, an amateur at being a client to a cover artist.  The article helped me realize my short-falls in that regard.

I also didn’t have maps ready for the release of books 1 and 2.  Not to mention I’ve since come up with some ideas to make the book as a whole even more attractive.

But the cover…I know some people say a cover isn’t that important, but everything I’ve been seeing and reading in the past year completely disagrees with that claim.  And I think I need to take a step back and reassess some things.

I am very strongly considering doing a re-brand.  Designing new covers for the first two novels using the tips and advice in the referenced article, as well as giving book 1 it’s own unique title.  Since this is the Sword of Dragons series, book 1 needs a title to indicate it is the first in a series.

Burning-Skies-Digital-FinalAnd the more I look at book 2’s cover, the more I think: this does not in any way convey that this is a fantasy adventure novel.  Even book 1’s cover, as well-crafted as it is, does not necessarily convey that it is a fantasy adventure.

In other words, I need a 2nd edition of the series…

I have some thinking to do.  What do you all think?

Thanks for reading,
-Jon Wasik

100 Posts and Big News!

Hey everyone!

Wow, so today’s blog article is definitely going to be something special!  Why?  Included in this article will be big news for both The Orc War Campaigns and for Burning Skies!!!!  But first, there’s something else…

This is “A Writer at Heart’s” 100th post!!!!

Image source - ericsson.com
Image source – ericsson.com

It’s taken me 18 months to hit that mark, but I couldn’t be more excited :D  What have I learned about blogging throughout those 100?

For starters, regular updates are key…which I’ve failed to do twice.  Each time, I lost a lot of readership :(  I completely understand, too, it would be like me writing a couple of novels in a series, stopping for a few years, then picking up the series again.  Without ever explaining why.  Unless your novels are best-sellers, you’re going to lose readership doing that.

I’ve also learned how important it is to participate in the blogging community at large, something I slacked off on in the latter half of 2015.

The blogging community is amazing!  There are some truly wonderful people out there, and a lot of fantastic articles to read and participate in!  But if you don’t participate…how do you expect to get the word out about your blog?  More importantly, how do you expect to learn and grow as a blogger?

All in all, I had no idea what I was doing when I started.  That’s only changed a little bit in 100 posts ;)  But I have enjoyed it all.  I enjoy the feedback I get from everyone, and every time I see a new like or a new follower, it puts a smile on my face :D

Thank you to everyone who has tuned in during the first 100.  I hope you enjoy the next 100 :)

Launch Date for The Orc War Campaigns

The next big news is that I have finally set a launch date for the new Sword of Dragons web series, The Orc War Campaigns!  When is it?

January 19th!

Artwork by Tsabo6 from DeviantArt http://tsabo6.deviantart.com/
Artwork by Tasbo6 from DeviantArt http://tsabo6.deviantart.com/

In less than two weeks, the Orc War begins, leading into the next chapter of the epic Sword of Dragons saga.  I haven’t even announced that on the website yet, so you, blog readers, are the first ones to find out!

Also big news, I’ve found an artist who will be creating character sketches for the web series!  I don’t believe they will be done in time for the series launch (especially since I haven’t even sent him the character descriptions yet….doh!) but I am so excited to see what he comes up with!

Speaking of art…

Burning Skies Cover Art

Yes, that’s right, I have a cover in work for the next book of Sword of Dragons, Burning Skies!

Who’s the cover artist, you might ask?  Well, funny story.

It started when I found a piece of artwork that I thought would be perfect for the cover of Burning Skies.  Actually, funnier story still, I’ve used that piece of artwork in a blog article one year ago.  Here it is:

Artist - treijim.deviantart.com
Artist – treijim.deviantart.com

In fact it fit so well that while I waited for the artist to respond to my request to purchase rights to use it, I broke out my old graphic design skills and started working on making a cover with that artwork.  And it turned out incredibly well!!!

And then, the artist replied and declined to sell the rights.  :(

But then I started thinking…I used to do a lot of graphic design as a hobby.  I used to be pretty good, and making the cover with that artwork inspired me.

Cover by Christian Michael www.christianmichael.org
Cover by Christian Michael www.christianmichael.org

I was also reminded by a friend that I had intended to make the covers of the Sword of Dragons saga simple, more symbolic, more theme-based rather than traditional fantasy artwork.  That’s why the cover for book 1 was made the way it was.  Simple, but oh-so beautiful, thanks to Christian Michael’s talent.

With book 1’s cover as a baseline (thank you to Christian for setting the standard,) I started working on it…and while I am not yet ready for a cover reveal, the results have turned out better than I could have ever hoped!

So much so that I have ordered the first proof copy of book 2!!!!!!  The first physical copy of Burning Skies is expected to be in my hands next Friday :D

pilgrim-waits-for-package

———————————————————–

That’s all for today, but that’s a lot!  I look forward to being able to share new stories, and eventually, a new cover with all of you :D

Thanks for reading!
-Jon Wasik

Trials and Triumphs – Looking Back at 2015, Looking Ahead to 2016

Hi everyone!

In about 10 hours where I live, 2015 will officially be over.  And what a year it has been.  It was one of the most exciting years of my life, and simultaneously one of the most difficult.  But rather than spend an entire post reminiscing on the past, I want to only briefly touch on it…and then look forward.

For that is what many consider to be the best part about a new year: starting with a blank slate.  Leaving the past behind, and marching courageously into a brave new future.

inspirational-happy-new-year-quotes-book

2015 – The Year I Became Published

Cover by Christian Michael
Cover by Christian Michael

Without a doubt, my greatest triumph this year was publishing The Sword of Dragons.  My first published novel!!!  :D  Even now, it feels almost unreal.  I’ve been writing for nearly 20 years, so to finally have a book out there…it is just an incredible feeling.

While sales did not end up being what I hoped, they have begun to pick up again as word is finally starting to spread.  And I end 2015 with more copies in the hands of readers than I anticipated!

gamefest-jokeOther highlights this year included reaching over 100 followers, attending the Gallifrey One Doctor Who convention in Los Angeles (and meeting fellow author Lily Gunning!), being interviewed on Show X from VtW Productions, attended VtW’s Gamefest (totally incredible, and sooooo looking forward to the next one), and started the brand-new Orc War Campaigns series for Sword of Dragons.

All in all, so much good happened this year.  While heartbreak overshadowed much of the 2nd half of the year, even that has subsided, and I am glad to say that I am in a happy relationship with a wonderful, gaming-geek, sci-fi/fantasy loving, gorgeous woman :)

Triumphs were made, hard lessons were learned, but in all, I look back at 2015 in awe…

Braving 2016

Image source - earthlightacademy.blogspot.com
Image source – earthlightacademy.blogspot.com

While 2015 saw the publication of my first novel, I am stepping up my game a bit for 2016.  Coming in January, I am going to start releasing, free of charge, a series of short stories set in the Sword of Dragons universe called the Orc War Campaigns.  These stories take place right after the first novel, and will lead into the 2nd novel, Burning Skies.

As long-time readers of my blog know, Burning Skies is already written and proofread, all that’s missing is a cover.  Which brings me to another goal I have for early 2016 – crowdfunding for book 2.  More details will be coming on that soon :)

galaxyfestOther goals: I am looking into attending more conventions, including possibly getting a booth at them to sell my books.  I also am looking into a book signing at one of my favorite coffee shops in the area :D  and I also wish to start getting The Sword of Dragons on actual bookshelves, via consignment.  Local to Denver, the Tattered Cover supports local authors in this manner, and will also host book signings :D

And finally, something I have slacked on for over a year – I wish to focus more on the blog community.  While I’ve tried to be consistent on getting content onto my own blog, I have not participated in many other blog communities like I did in 2014.  There are so many incredible and wonderful people out there that I met in 2014, and I wish to regain contact with them, and meet more!

The hard part will be time, all of this will require so much time, and that has been my biggest bane this year.  My life has become increasingly busy, and I’ve had to make sacrifices in areas that I wish I had not been forced to.

In a way, I wish we still lived in an era of patrons of the arts.  Hey, anyone out there want to become my patron, so I can quit my I.T. job and write for a living?  ;)

That seems like a lot of big goals, with a lot of work ahead of me.  Whew.  But I’m determined, and with clear-set goals, perhaps I can reach them.

Final Thank You To All of You!

To anyone who is reading this, thank you for following my blog, for any past comments, and for all of the encouragement so many of you have given in 2015.

See you all in 2016!

-Jon Wasik

Writing Is Only Part of the Battle

Hi everyone!

When I was a little kid and first dreamt of becoming a writer, I never could have imagined how there is sooooo much more to it than just writing.

Don’t get me wrong, writing is very important.  I’ve spent 20 years honing my craft, and I intend to never stop striving to be better, no matter how good I become.  If I somehow become the #1 best selling fantasy author in the world (if only) I will never stop trying to one-up my writing style, my stories.  I want to be better.

Cover Sword of Dragons DigitalBut 7 months after publishing The Sword of Dragons, one thing has become very, very clear to me – writing is only part of the job.

Let’s pretend for a moment that I had published via the traditional method: found an agent, who found a publishing house, who paid me up-front for my work and helped with a lot of the ‘other stuff.’  That still would have left me with a lot of work to do.

As the author of my novels, I am the one best qualified for promoting it, and I believe that rings true for all writers.  You know your target audience.  You know your novel.  You know its strengths, its highlights, what makes it worth reading.

But promoting it, and building a platform, is in and of itself is a full-time job, I’m discovering.  And right now, I still suck at all of that, lol.  Seriously, I would never have gotten this far if it hadn’t been for the advice and help of people like Wayne Adams, M. H. Lee, and Christian Michael.

But there’s still so much more to do, so much more that can be done.  As I prepare to launch the Orc War Campaigns web series, my shortcomings are becoming even more apparent.

Challenges of the New Series

Image source - earthlightacademy.blogspot.com
Image source – earthlightacademy.blogspot.com

The story is turning out beautifully, in my opinion (hopefully my beta readers will agree :) ).  Where it is now, where I plan to take it, it will make an excellent addition to the SoD universe (not to mention free to read!)

But how do I build up anticipation?  I’ve tried to do so here on my blog, but I feel like I’ve fallen short.  I’ve wanted to put more about it on the SoD website, but I’m struggling with how to present it there.  And I need to do at least something to help present it graphically on the website, but once again, I’m struggling.

The first three stories are pretty much ready to go.  Some final tweaks, that’s it.  In fact I consider the first story, “Invasion,” completed and ready for public consumption!  But presentation is important.  I can’t just put it on a file upload and say “here ya go, folks, enjoy!”  It deserves more than that, and so do the fans.

Which is why I made the decision (but never officially announced it until now) that the web series will not be launched this month.  I am instead aiming for early to mid January.  Nebulous, I know :(  But with the first 3 ‘episodes’ all but complete, my focus for the next two weeks is creating a platform from which to launch :D

Not All is Lost

While I’ve struggled considerably with the ‘business side’ of writing, it has not been a complete failure.  Sales are up!  :D  Almost all have been eBook, but there were even more print sales this month than the prior 4!

And this is the coolest part – it is safe to say that I have fans.  :D  Fans who are supportive, excited for the series, and bugging me almost every week for updates on the release of book 2.  (For the record, I love being bugged about that, it inspires me to keep moving forward!)

Image Source - http://www.rmfw.org/
Image Source – http://www.rmfw.org/

So in light of all of this, and in light of the fact that I have achieved more than enough sales to be considered a member of RMFW’s IPAL (though I must now put in the paperwork for that), I am comfortable in calling the release of my first novel a success!  And while I cannot yet live off of writing, this has turned out to be a giant step in the right direction.

And you know what?  I have all of you, those who have followed my blog, read my book, and encouraged me, to thank for that success.  Thank you everyone for a successful, life-changing first year!!

Image Source - www.tech.co
Image Source – http://www.tech.co

-Jon Wasik

(Note: this will not be the last blog entry of the year.  Stay tuned for more!)

Good News and Bad News – Exciting New Direction!

Hi everyone!

I’ll come right out and say it: the release of Burning Skies, book 2 of The Sword of Dragons, has been delayed.  Originally slated for a Fall 2015 release (October was my goal), the release will now be delayed until a likely Spring 2016 release.

This is unfortunately due to funding issues. The manuscript itself is completed, formatted, and ready to go!  And it pains me to have to delay its release.  I’ve so looked forward to getting the next chapter in this saga out to all of you, especially after the purely positive feedback I’ve received from everyone who has read The Sword of Dragons.

But unfortunately my recent, unexpected relocation cost too much, and I no longer have the funds to pay the cover artist, Christian Michael, at this time.  I will recover and be able to afford the cover in due time, but I am still pulling myself back up from the move.

A Brand New Story on the Horizon

I didn’t want to bring you all only bad news, so I came prepared with some exciting news!  As I’ve been hip-deep in development for book 3, I came up with the idea of creating a series of short stories to bridge book’s 2 and 3, to lead up to the events of book 3.

Today, I thought “Why not do the same for book’s 1 and 2?”  And immediately, countless story ideas came to mind!  :D  Well, okay, I needed some prodding from a friend.

masterharper-of-pernInitially my idea was to have the series cover only the major characters and major events.  But then my friend (you all know him from my interview, Wayne Adams from VtW Productions!) started telling me how much he loved stories that covered characters, organizations, and events outside of the main story, such as the novels that feature the Harpers from Dragonriders of Pern.

That was when I started coming up with ideas.  A way to flesh out more of the universe of The Sword of Dragons, to see more of the characters and places that were only glimpsed in the novel.

Kate from A Knight's Tale
Kate from A Knight’s Tale, another great blacksmith!

For instance, what about Veral Adas, famed blacksmith of Daruun?  After all, if there is a renewed campaign against the orcs, weapons and armor will be needed, right?  What of other guilds, beyond just the Warriors and the Wizards?

And what about the orcs?  I’ve thought about possibly developing them more, so that would be an interesting challenge to develop their society more.

Of course, I’m not one to write a story just for the sake of the story itself.  I love when stories intertwine amongst each other, so this isn’t going to be a quick and easy “write this story, write that story, there we go, there’s content.”

The series will require its own development cycle.  Certainly shorter than my usual cycle for novels, otherwise it’ll take me forever to get the series out.

This is still a very fresh, new idea, so I’m not even 100% sure what direction I want to take the stories in.  But I want to give you all something to hold you over until book 2’s release, and I want that something to be truly meaningful.

So tell your friends, tell your family, the Sword of Dragons universe is about to get a whole lot bigger :D

Thanks for reading!
-Jon Wasik

From Writer’s Block to Creative Outpouring

Hi everyone,

On release day of The Sword of Dragons, I began telling the tale of how this epic story came into existence.  This is part 2 of that tale, the first part can be read here.

Four Years of Writer’s Block

The path to writing the first 12 chapters of what was still called Sword of the Dragon was a slow but eventful one.  I rewrote the first chapter about 3 times before I was satisfied, and then moved on from there.  At the time, my system was to write a chapter, and then go back and proofread it before moving on to the next chapter.

Little did I know at the time that this was a mistake for me.  It slowed down the flow of the story, and stifled my creative outflow.  Wow, it sounds so technical when I put it that way…

College-GraduationIt was right around the time that I graduated from college in 2007 that the dreaded writer’s block hit.  And it hit hard.  From 2007 until 2011 I wrote two chapters of the novel, and maybe only 2 short stories.  It was the least productive time of my entire writing life.

What caused it?  A multitude of things.  But a big part of it was uncertainty in my life.  I was graduating with a Bachelor’s of English, but I was dissatisfied with it at that time.  I was already on course for switching to IT for a career, but was unable to secure a job right after graduation.

Concept image of a lost and confused signpost against a blue cloudy sky.
Concept image of a lost and confused signpost against a blue cloudy sky.

My life became chaos.  I didn’t know where I was going, what I was doing, and my writing suffered for it immensely.  I did eventually find a part time job that then led to a full time job, but even as I changed jobs and began to make incredible progress in my IT career, my writing continued to suffer.

Breaking the Chains – Inspiration Strikes

I’ve been told that pulling out of writer’s block is one of the hardest things to do for any writer, and until this had happened, I had no idea just how hard.  But I did.

It wasn’t instantaneously, though.  I began writing short stories again, but didn’t complete any of them.  I had some false-starts on chapter 14 of Sword of the Dragon, and I went back and rewrote chapters 12 and 13 a couple of times.

What finally seemed to do it?  I moved to Colorado.  And my inspiration soared!aspen_colorado

In many ways, my move to Colorado was the best thing I could have ever done.  I was unhappy where I was in New Mexico, I was unhappy in my job, and I had a lot of painful memories there.  I was stuck in the past.

So I found a better job in Colorado and ran away from New Mexico.  There was more to do where I moved to, better quality of life, and a job that didn’t require me to work 12 hour shifts.  Massive improvements.

Within months, it started.  I finished chapter 15.  Then 16.  Then 17.  On and on it went.  And before I knew it, Sword of the Dragon was completed in 2012!!

Changing the Title

So why did I change Sword of the Dragon to The Sword of Dragons?  Because it’s such a cooler title?  Actually I think I lucked out on it, because I was dead-set on the original title.  I like The Sword of Dragons better :)

But the reason behind was simple: The day I decided to start querying for an agent, I did a search on amazon, and found a novel subtitled “The Sword of the Dragon.

Image Source - http://www.authorappleton.com/
Image Source – http://www.authorappleton.com/

While published long after I first came up with Sword of the Dragon, I am not despondent nor do I believe the author knew about my novels, how could he?  And the description of Scott Appleton’s novel sounds really cool, I fully intend to buy it and read it :)

Never-the-less, this required me to change the title of my series.  It took me about 5 minutes of thinking (the first 3 of which was me getting over the fact that I couldn’t use my title) to come up with the revised The Sword of Dragons.

Rejections, Redirects, and Self Publishing

With the title changed and all references in the manuscript changed, I began the arduous process of writing query letters and synopses.  After each rejected query letter, I reworked it.  Checked out some awesome helpful websites (Agent Query Connect is the best!  :D)

But no hits.  This didn’t deter me.  While I worked on finding an agent, I completed book 2 of the series, Burning Skies.  Compared to book 1’s six-year development, book 2’s year-long development was insanely fast!

I took a break from the series when I came up with Chronicles of the Sentinels, but that was yet another incredible outpour of creativity: I developed, wrote, and completed 2 rounds of proofreading on the novel in 3 months!!!!  It is safe to say that my writer’s block is really over, heheh.

But when a potential agent for Chronicles fell through, something sparked in me.  I realized how annoyed I was at the whole process.  And I kept thinking about Lindsey Stirling, who was rejected (quite brusquely) by the panel of “America’s Got Talent”, but through social media, was able to make a name for herself!

lindsey-stirling-celebrity

The key was when I asked my girlfriend one question: “Do you think I should self-publish?  Do you think I can even do it?  Can I make it as a self-published writer?”

Her unequivocal “yes” was that last boost I needed.  :)

The result of that decision so many months ago?  Well, you’ve all seen it.  The Sword of Dragons :D

Cover by Christian Michael
Cover by Christian Michael

Thanks for reading!
-Jon Wasik