“The Mad Voyage of Prince Malock” Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale for 99 cents on all major ebook platforms!

Hi, everybody!

With the onset of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, everyone everywhere is running deals like crazy. Now’s the perfect time to buy great gifts for your friends and loved ones at really great prices.

So I thought I’d get in on the holiday deals fun as well.

Starting today, Friday, November 28th, to Tuesday, December 2nd, you will be able to buy the first novel in the Prince Malock World series, The Mad Voyage of Prince Malock, for a mere $0.99. Normally $7.99, this is an almost 100% drop in price, as close to free as you can get without it actually being free.

But again, I must stress that this price will only be from November 28th to December 2nd. After that, the price will go back up to $7.99 and will likely remain that way for the next half year.

Here are the links to all of the ebook platforms you can buy The Mad Voyage of Prince Malock from:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Google Play

DriveThruFiction

Libiro

XinXii

Omnilit

Smashwords

Remember: this book is normally $7.99 and is now going to be $0.99 for the next five days. After that, the price is going straight back up, so if you want to get it now for slightly less than a dollar, click on the links to whichever ebook platform happens to be your favorite and buy it RIGHT NOW. This promotion won’t happen again for a long time, so don’t put it off, buy it today, whether for yourself or as a gift for a friend or family member.

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Feedback on the blurb for “The Return of Prince Malock” wanted

Hey guys.

Next month will be the official release of The Return of Prince Malock, the sequel to June’s The Mad Voyage of Prince Malock and Book Two in the Prince Malock World series of novels.

I’ve been working on the blurb for the novel, but it’s been a kind of frustrating process, largely because I’m not sure how interesting it is. Just to be sure, I am going to post it here for my readers so they can tell me if it sounds good or not.

Here it is:

After the disastrous voyage to the once-mythical island of World’s End, Prince Tojas Malock is no longer sure what he believes in anymore. All he wants is time to think about what he and his crew have experienced and to see his home once more.

But upon returning to Carnag, Malock’s parents — King Halock and Queen Markinia, the rulers of Carnag — reveal that they have already arranged a marriage between him and Princess Raya Kabadi, the Princess of Shika, to take place exactly one month later. This leads into a series of events that Malock couldn’t have possibly foreseen or prepared for, including the rise of a new social movement dedicated to ending worship of all of the northern gods.

In this riveting sequel to “The Mad Voyage of Prince Malock,” author Timothy L. Cerepaka delves deeper into the world of Martir, a world where the gods are divided and the mortals must do whatever it takes to survive.

Does this sound interesting? If you saw this on an ebook store or on the back cover of a print book, would you be enticed to buy the book (or at least read the first few pages just to see if it’s as interesting as this makes it out to be)? If not, why not?

I would really appreciate as much feedback on this as I can get. A novel’s blurb is very important in helping it sell, so if it’s uninteresting or badly written or whatever, I would like to know so I can rewrite it and make it better, if necessary. Specific comments would be more helpful than vague ones, though I’ll take what I can get.

And if you would like to be the first to know of this novel’s release, you can subscribe to my newsletter here.

“The Mad Voyage of Prince Malock” is now available in print!

I am pleased to announce that the first novel in the Prince Malock World, The Mad Voyage of Prince Malock, is now available in trade paperback form via CreateSpace for $20.99 USD.

You can buy a copy of the book here.

Also, because it is available via extended distribution, you should be able to order it through your local bookstore, if for some reason you don’t want to buy it through CreateSpace.

The print version will also become available on Amazon in a few days. I’ll be sure to update this post when it is.

And remember: If you want to be the first to know of my new releases, sign up for my newsletter here.

Edit: You can now buy the paperback from Amazon here.

My take on the Amazon/Hachette Dispute

For those of you who may not know, Amazon and book publisher Hachette have been in a pretty public and major dispute over how much Amazon is allowed to price Hachette’s ebooks. From what I understand, Hachette wants higher ebook prices ($9.99+), while Amazon wants to price them lower (less than $9.99). This dispute has been going on for a while now and doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon.

In the beginning I eagerly followed every update about the dispute I could find. I did this because I believe it is part of my job, as an indie writer/publisher, to keep as up to date on news about the publishing industry as I can. I don’t want to be taken by surprise by some sudden or unexpected change, after all, the way some publishers and writers have in the past.

But recently I’ve been avoiding almost every article written on the subject, even if it is written by someone I like. Why?

Because the dispute has nothing to do with me*. I could honestly care less about who ‘wins’ because neither side’s victory or loss is going to affect me in any way. I am certainly not going to raise or lower the prices of my books in response to whatever happens. If I were a Hachette author or Amazon worker I might care, but I am neither, so I have no reason to give a hoot about which way the conflict goes.

Basically I just think there’s more drama surrounding this conflict than it deserves. I was especially disappointed when Stephen Colbert weighed in on it a while ago, not helped in the least by his misunderstanding the whole situation. I think that was the point when I just got fed up with it.

If Amazon and Hachette do come to some sort of agreement soon, I’ll definitely read about it. But I’m honestly not holding my breath and definitely won’t be altering my own plans in reaction to whatever agreement they come up with.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to return to writing my next novel, which does concern me and therefore deserves my attention.

*Dean Wesley Smith wrote a good blog post about it back in July that reflects my own attitude toward the dispute quite well.

“The Mad Voyage of Prince Malock” is now available!

First book in the Prince Malock Duology

The Mad Voyage of Prince Malock

You read that headline right. My fantasy novel, The Mad Voyage of Prince Malock, is now for sale on Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords* for $7.99!

Here’s the synopsis:

Prince Tojas Malock, Crown Prince of the island of Carnag, is chosen by the sea godess Kano to go on a dangerous and potentially lethal voyage to the island at the edge of the world, World’s End.

Confident in his own skills, Malock assembles the finest crew money can buy and sets out into the mysterious southern seas beyond the edge of the Northern Isles. But when he loses almost the entire fleet in a month, leaving a single ship struggling to remain afloat and a ragtag crew that wants to be anywhere but, Malock realizes that he is in way over his head. It doesn’t help that the information about the southern seas provided to him by his lover – an aquarian woman named Vashnas, the only mortal to ever reach World’s End and return alive – turns out to be less-than-accurate, causing him to wonder what else she might be hiding from him, and why.

Kinker Dolan, an old fisherman from the small and obscure island of Destan, has a secret. It’s a terrible secret, a secret that fills him with guilt and shame in equal measure. Yet when he attempts to flee Destan to escape his guilt, he ends up getting drawn into Prince Malock’s mad voyage, where he must use all of his wits and knowledge to keep his life – and his secret – safe.

With mortal-eating gods, murderous aquarian pirates, and betrayals within the crew itself, will Prince Malock, Kinker, and the rest of the crew of the Iron Wind make it to World’s End alive? And even if they do, how will they react to the true purpose of the voyage?

And if you want to be immediately notified of when the sequel, The Return of Prince Malock, is released, then subscribe to my email newsletter here.

*Will be available in Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and other ebookstores very soon.

Starting Editing

Recently I have started editing my soon-to-be-released first novel, The Mad Voyage of Prince Malock. I am largely doing this to fix some of the more obvious errors I made while writing it, as well as to figure out the book’s exact timeline. It takes place over several months, which is longer than usual for my works, but I didn’t work out a timeline while writing it and now I am doing so to make sure I didn’t make any glaring errors.

Keeping track of time in a novel is always a difficult task, even if you keep it vague and nonspecific. So far, I have not found any glaring time errors, but I just started and there’s still quite a bit to do, so I may spot something later on.

After that, I intend to have some friends look it over, then have it copyedited, finalize the cover, format it, and then publish it on as many ebook stores as I can (Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, B&N, etc.). I will also do a print edition that I will release shortly after the ebook version.

I do not have a release date for it yet. Depending on how fast things go, I may publish it as early as the end of June or as late as the beginning of August. It’s actually coming along a lot faster than I thought it would, really. I’ll make sure to announce the release date on this blog so I’ve decided on it, though, so stay tuned.

-Tim

Another victory

Today I finished the third draft of my upcoming novel, The Mad Voyage of Prince Malock.

I am done rewriting or, as some writers call it, ‘redrafting.’ I will put it aside for now, work on a few short stories, and then come back to it to do some editing. I could do the editing right away, as I know of several problems that need to be addressed, but this draft was a lot harder for me to write than the last two and I would like to focus on something else for a while, just to give my mind a break.

After I edit out those errors, I will then give it to some friends of mine to look over. And after that, I will get it ready for publishing, which should be sometime later this year if all goes according to plan. So excited.

-Tim

Worldbuilding and short stories

Short stories generally do not require as much worldbuilding as novels.

That may seem an obvious thing to say, but it’s something I sometimes struggle with when I’m writing fantasy or science-fiction short stories. Unless I set a short story in a universe I have written in before, it means coming up with a new world to write in. I try not to do a whole lot. Whereas with a novel I might map out the history of the world (to varying depths depending on the needs of the story, of course), with a short story I will stick strictly to what I need and never make notes on it, again unless it happens to be set in a world I’ve already written in before.

Still, despite that, writing short stories can be difficult for me because I run into a couple of temptations.

The first is to expand the short story into a full-length novel. This isn’t an entirely bad thing to happen, mind you, but I don’t always want to write a novel because I’m not always interested in fleshing out a world or universe in immense detail. Sometimes I just want to explore a simple idea, without having to commit to the length of time a novel usually requires.

The other temptation is to not use any of my good ideas. This thought stems from my fear that I might “waste” a really good idea that I could use for a novel later on, but it’s a really silly fear when you think about it. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “wasted” idea. After all, there’s nothing stopping me from taking that same idea later on and expanding upon it in greater detail in a novel.

Nonetheless, every time I sit down to write a speculative fiction short story set in a universe I’ve never written before, I feel like I have to do the same amount of worldbuilding I would do for a novel. This is where I am thankful for the Ambage, my writers’ group. For both of the anthologies that I’ve contributed to so far — Constellations and Fantastic Depths — I’ve forced myself just to write my stories and do only as much worldbuilding as each story requires, no more, no less.

Once I get past this irrational desire to worldbuild in excess, however, short stories are usually great fun for me to write. Not quite as fun as novels, true, but they are still fun, as writing should be.

-Tim

Taking Charge of my Business

I hope to make a career out of writing fiction.

That is a rather ambitious dream, when you consider all of the obstacles that new and old writers alike must constantly deal with. Scams seem to be around every corner, plenty of people will take your rights and your money with a smile on their face, there’s a ton of misinformation about writing and publishing everywhere you look, and sometimes you get sick and you miss a few days of writing and you think, this is it, this proves I’m not a writer, that I’m a fraud, that I’ll never make any money off this. Even though you have not yet published even one book yet.

Indeed, there is no guarantee I’ll ever make a living at this. Joe Konrath calls publishing a lottery and I am starting to think there’s some truth to that metaphor when you consider the millions of books published each year, traditional, indie, or otherwise, and how many new writers give up early on. Indie-/self-publishing has made it easier to make a living writing fiction, true, but it still takes a while to build a dedicated readership who will buy basically anything you write.

Nonetheless, I still want this to be my career. I’m taking a long-term view of the business, trying to give myself time and space to learn and make mistakes and to write a lot of books. It’s not easy because I want to be published now and I want to be making a living now, too, but I still have a lot to learn and it wouldn’t do for me to upload my first novel to Amazon or some other website right away until I’ve got a proper grasp of things like formatting and cover design, for example.

This is why I am indie-publishing, actually. I would like to have as much control over my business as I can, even if that doesn’t guarantee me anything except a lot of hard work. Indie-publishing gives me that control and indie-publishing is a viable option in today’s world, so I’m gonna give it a go and see where that takes me.

Oddly, I am excited for my future, maybe because I have set realistic goals. Right now, all I want to do is make enough money off my fiction (both novels and short stories and maybe other things, too, later on) to live off of. True, it may take a while for me to achieve that goal, but it seems far more reasonable that uploading one book to Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Kobo or whatever and expecting it to sell a million copies within its first few weeks or months.

Whenever I get worried or depressed about my future as a writer, I remind myself to keep writing and learning and to never give up. I believe that as long as I do that, then maybe someday I’ll achieve my dream of becoming a fulltime career writer. Maybe.

I can only hope.

-Tim