The Sword of Dragons is available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle!!! :D This is so exciting, the first time I have ever seen my writing on a store page!! WAHOO!! :D
I wish I could make the print edition and the Nook available for pre-order, but unfortunately they don’t have a mechanism for that for independently published authors. I even bugged their help desks to ask about that and they said they do not currently have that feature :(
Never-the-less, this is so exciting! I’m so happy to finally be able to share this story with the world, heheh. Thanks for following, and stay tuned, there is more to come before release! :)
With the release of The Sword of Dragons just around the corner, I thought I’d give you all a quick brief on some of the characters.
For those of you who missed it, I previously wrote an article that featured info on three of the women in The Sword of Dragons, Sira, Kailar, and Elaria. Click here to read that article. Today, I’ll feature a few of the men, including the protagonist. So, without further ado…
Characters of TSOD
Cardin grew up learning to become a Warrior, training and honing his abilities as a Mage while practicing his technique with a longsword. He was skilled, adept, and cunning, and had the makings of a future leader of the Warriors’ Guild…until he turned down membership.
On the day of induction, he refused and turned away from the Guild, betraying his friends. He believed that the Guild had become corrupt and lost its way, and refused to be a part of an organization controlled by greed and lust for power.
For nearly ten years, he has lived as an outcast, scrounging resources where he can, living by hunting and taking any odd jobs he could find for a freelance Mage. He had hoped his actions would have changed the Guild, but no one listened. He is alone.
Until an inexperienced Wizard chose him to protect The Sword of Dragons…
Reis grew up with Cardin and Sira, but unlike his two best friends, he has no magical abilities whatsoever. Always envious of his friends’ skills, throughout his Warrior training he chose to forgo a shortsword and shield and chose to learn the longsword, as a Mage would.
Reis was always known as a joker, and often was the life of a party. If he could help it, he never was without a smile. Even when life got serious, he found a way to lighten the mood and make everyone smile and laugh.
But in battle, there are few who can match him. He fights with a determination and strength that has made him one of the most valuable Warriors in the Guild.
More than that, he is the most loyal friend to be found.
Considered a young Wizard at the age of 287 years old, Dalin was born and raised in the Grand Wizard Hall, a complex constructed in a realm beyond Halarite.
Dalin is brash, and finds the policies and attitude of the Wizards’ Guild frustrating and counterproductive. He often goes against the will of his mentors and has been chastised and punished many times for it. He was very nearly held back from graduating beyond apprenticeship for this reason.
The only reason he does not leave is he finds the training itself valuable, and the knowledge contained within the Guild library invaluable.
On a leap of faith, the Master Wizard Aenar decided that giving Dalin increased responsibilities would allow him see the bigger picture and better understand why the Guild works the way it does. That was when he learned about the Sword of Dragons, how it was created, and why.
When he learns about a rogue Mage on the hunt for the Sword, Dalin is the only Wizard who truly believes her to be a threat. With no support from his peers or mentors, he must seek help on Halarite itself.
Pre-order on Kindle
I hope you all enjoyed that look into the characters! I have good news: as soon as it is approved by Kindle, The Sword of Dragons will be available for pre-order on the Amazon Kindle!
Better still, those of you who choose to buy the physical copy will receive a special discount on the Kindle edition!
Yes, you read the title correctly! And no, I’m not going to make you read a long tirade: without further ado, here is the final cover of The Sword of Dragons!!
I am so incredibly excited! I have waited 20 years to be able to finally hold a physical novel that I wrote, and that day has finally arrived!!! Woohoo!
What’s more, the day is almost here! May 12th!
…except that it may be sooner.
Why? Well, it turns out that Createspace.com doesn’t allow me to set a specific release date. Instead, what I do is I click “approve” for the final version, and then within “3 to 5 days” the novel will be available to order. I asked their customer service if I can set a date, and they said they do not currently offer that feature.
So what I intend to do is approve it far enough in advance that it will be available no later than May 12th. Yes, you read right: the paperback version will be available early!
Actually, it turns out Nook Press has a similar issue, but it specifies “up to 72 hours.” It seems this is the downside to self-publishing. But then again, this can be an upside, cause it means it’ll be out to the readers sooner than expected. Yay!
I still have work to do: now that the novel is the way I like it, I need to format it for Nook and Kindle. That won’t take too long, so I will definitely be ready in time :) I also want to have content ready for the website in time for the release date, so lots and lots of work ahead of me, heheh.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned: I still have many things I wish to share with you all!
….and just cause I can’t help it, here’s the actual cover in it’s full glory for you all to see :D
That’s right, you read the title right: I have a release date set for The Sword of Dragons! I’ve had this date in mind ever since I decided to self-publish, but I didn’t want to announce it until I was sure I could make this date:
May 12th, 2015!
I can’t believe it is almost here, just over one month away! …Okay now that I think about that, I’m excited and terrified!
This will be my first book release. This is such a completely new and amazing experience! I know I’m supposed to have a release party, and my plan is to get in touch with a local book store this weekend to see if I can have my release party at one of their shops.
Beyond that…well, I think I’m ready. No, I know I am ready. I mean I still have some questions about how to get the release timed on Nook and Kindle, but minor technicalities aside, I am ready.
Like, beyond ready. This feels like the right time. I’ve been a writer for over 20 years, and I feel like all of that has been preparation for this year. For this release.
And what’s great about it is that this novel has a history almost as long as my writing career. No joke! I don’t recall if I talked about that here before, but I would like to leave that story for a future article. That story really does deserve it’s own article.
So what’s next? Getting the word out. And that starts with the official The Sword of Dragons website. I got chills writing that just now, heheh. An official website for a soon-to-be published novel. Oh yeah, that freaking rocks!!
Oh and for those of you who have stuck with me so far, as of today, you get a sneak-peak at the cover of The Sword of Dragons!
That is just a taste of the full cover! And if you click on that image, it’ll take you to the teaser page I setup on the website :)
Is that all the website will be? Heck no! I have soooo many plans for it! You see, this isn’t just going to be a launch site for the novel. The Sword of Dragons is book 1 in a series, and the new website will become your gateway to that universe beyond the novels! Character bios, history, side-notes, and as soon as humanly possible, a map of Halarite, the world that is central to The Sword of Dragons!
This, my friends, is just the beginning. And I am so glad you are all here to see it from the start with me :)
I am so, so excited to announce that the cover for The Sword of Dragons is complete!!! :D
At least, it is for the hard copy edition. Christian Michael will be creating versions of it for the eBook release and for business cards. The cover came out incredibly well, and I can’t wait to be able to show you all!! But that’ll come later, when I have a physical, proof copy in my hand and I’m sure the cover will work as well as I think it will, heheh.
In the mean time, I do believe I promised everyone the abstract for the back cover. I hope you all like it! :)
For over 3,000 years, the Sword of Dragons has remained hidden in the remote realm of Halarite. Forged to end the catastrophic civil war of the dragons, it was feared by its creators and was buried and forgotten.
When the rogue Mage Kailar learns of the Sword and begins to search for it, only the fledgling Wizard Dalin recognizes the threat that she poses. When his plea for help is turned away by the Prince of Tal, Dalin’s only hope is to recruit the outcast Warrior Cardin Kataar.
Cardin and Dalin scramble to find the Sword and its guardian dragon before Kailar, but she already has a head start. If they fail, a new age of darkness will begin.
Very shortly I’ll be uploading the finished product, both the cover and the novel, to createspace, after which I’ll be able to order a proof copy. I can’t wait to hold a physical copy of my first (soon-to-be) published novel!!! :D
Thank you to everyone who has followed me and stuck with me this far. I look forward to keeping in touch with all of you as I continue forward! For next time, I would like to post a few paragraphs from the novel itself. I did that for Chronicles of the Sentinels many months ago and had a lot of positive feedback from everyone here :) So stay tuned!
Today I came across a blog article by one of my favorite bloggers, Carly Watters, the article was called “5 Things You Didn’t Know About Querying as a Debut Author” First and foremost, if you are a debut author looking to find an agent, check out that article. She makes 5 very excellent points!
In fact, what she said in that article really helped give me some perspective on agents. First, and I think this is the most important part, agents are individuals with individual tastes that are as varied as readers’ tastes. Keeping that in mind, chances are good there is an agent out there somewhere who would love to see and represent your work (and mine :D heheh.)
Second, agents aren’t “creatures of the night” or scary monsters. They really are people. More to the point, they do what they do because they love to read. Which means agents, good agents, want to read debut authors. They are excited about finding new talent to bring to the world, not just for everyone else’s enjoyment, but for their own as well.
However, another thought occurred to me as I read through Ms. Watters’s article: relief.
Relief that my choice to self-publish The Sword of Dragons means I don’t have to worry about refining my query letter or synopsis. I don’t have to wade through the vast sea of agents to find one whose interests may coincide with my story. Relief that I don’t have to hit that dreaded ‘send’ button when I query. Relief that I don’t have to get any more rejection letters.
Well, no more rejection letters for The Sword of Dragons. I do still want to one day go down the path of traditional publication for one of my works. Why? Because I want to see my book on bookshelves at Barnes and Noble or The Tattered Cover (it’s a Denver thing :) ) Right now, print-on-demand doesn’t really allow for that, nor do eBooks.
So there will still be query letters in my future, and, I hope (crossing my fingers) an agent :)
But I just have this incredible sense of relief that I no longer have to query for The Sword of Dragons. My writing future, this novel’s future, it’s in my hands.
I kinda like that :)
I do know that I have a ton of work ahead of me. I also recognize that I probably don’t even know the half of it. I’ve already put in more work than I anticipated just formatting the novel for createspace.com.
But it’ll be worth it in the end. Of that I am certain :)
Oh and I know I promised the abstract last week, but I had to be sure it would fit in the cover’s back page. Well it didn’t, so I have pared it down. If it fits in with the cover, this will be the first place I post the abstract, I promise!
Yep, I’m back :) It’s been a long while, or that’s how it feels anyway. September was my last blog post, and a lot has happened in that time, some of which has made me reconsider the direction I’m going with my writing career.
Since I first started writing stories, I always wanted to pursue what is now called “traditional” publication. Essentially that is finding an agent or editor to represent me, to spend time and money on me and my stories, and help get my work out there to the mass market.
However, there is another avenue, one that I’ve been resistant to for a long time: self publication.
Some people still shudder when they hear that. And honestly, it still scares the hell out of me. Why? Time and money, and lots of it.
Granted the scene has changed a lot in recent years. It used to be that self-publication meant hiring a printing company, paying for every copy of your novel, and then distributing that novel to whomever was willing to sell it for you. It was expensive, risky, and making a living off of it was extremely difficult. I don’t know if this existed before the internet, but if it did, I can only imagine how difficult it was.
At least with the internet, writers could promote their work and have methods for readers to order a copy online. I know of at least one online comic book writer who uses this method, Scott Christian Sava of The Dreamland Chronicles. His comic is free to view online, but hard-copies can be purchased, and this has given him at least some modicum of success (and has helped him garner interest from Hollywood!)
However, today it has become much more common for writers to begin making a living from self-publication, but not through the old printed method. E-books have begun to take a real foot-hold in the market. I’ve seen varying numbers for the market share of eBooks, ranging from 20% to 40%. I’d more likely believe the 20%, but the point is, the market is growing.
This is why I have begun to consider pursuing eBook publication for my high fantasy series, The Sword of Dragons. For more information on the first and second novel in this series, check out the “My Novels” section of my blog.
Pros and Cons
I still have lots of research to do, but I’ve discovered that there are multiple pros and cons of eBook self-publication.
One thing I like about self-publication is that I am essentially in control of my writing career. My success, or failure, is almost entirely in my hands. I do not rely on an agent or a publisher to represent me. But there-in lies a con: that puts ALL of the work on me.
Agents and publishers do a lot for a writer. Granted our work never ceases on a book, but they are the ones in-the-know for the market, and know how to advise you on what to do, they have the contacts, and they give you your best chance at the widest distribution.
Another big, big pro for eBook publication: you don’t have to pay to get your novel published. Both Amazon and Barnes and Noble’s nookpress are completely free to use. If I wanted to, I could get my novel out there for publication in a couple of days. Plus neither vendor requires exclusivity, I can publish through both AND still get a hard-copy published some day.
However, it isn’t quite that easy. There is still the cost of finding and hiring someone to create cover-art for the novel. Granted I could make a very generic cover on my own, but I’ve found that even with eBooks, if the cover doesn’t catch a person’s eye, they are less likely to check out the book, let alone purchase it.
Another cost is advertising. I don’t know yet if Nookpress or Amazon include advertising on their websites for books published through them, but any and all marketing beyond that would be solely on my shoulders.
When it comes down to it, there is one big advantage: guaranteed publication. For all the cons, I get my name out there, I get my work out there for readers to see. There are no limited copies, it’s available, worldwide, for all to read. But can I make it as a writer via electronic means only?
Making It Big on the Internet
The fact of the matter is there are examples out there of varying artists who either make it big, or at least get a really good start on the internet. Lindsey Stirling has been a huge inspiration for me this year, and she got her name out there thanks to youtube and collaborations with other musicians. The aforementioned Scott Christian Sava got his name out there thanks to the internet. And I see writers like C. Miller who has written quality work and has both hard-copy and eBooks available of her Reave series, and I’m inspired by her work.
So while there’s no guarantee, it is entirely possible. I recognize that it will eat up a ton of my time, and I’d basically have to split between my full-time ‘day-job’ and writing, at least in the beginning. The goal would be to eventually make writing my full-time job.
I’ve gone over it again and again in my head, and I still am not sure. I’ve heard that if I fail to sell a book well online, it makes it more difficult for me to find an agent or publisher willing to invest in me. So of course, the what-if game keeps playing through my head.
I have a lot to think about. And I would greatly appreciate any and all feedback from all of you. Those who are writers, what are your experiences with self-publishing? Those who are readers, how often to you read eBooks? Anyone and everyone, your thoughts and opinions in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Please leave comments below :)
Trials and triumphs of writing, finding an agent, and publication.