“The Mad Voyage of Prince Malock” is now enrolled in Kindle MatchBook, and some other news

For those of you who are interested, I just enrolled The Mad Voyage of Prince Malock in Amazon’s Kindle MatchBook program.

For those who don’t know, Kindle MatchBook is a program where if you buy the print version of a book from Amazon, you can get the ebook version either for free or priced at $0.99, $1.99, or $2.99, depending on what the writer/publisher priced it at. I think it’s a pretty neat idea myself, even though I don’t know how often people actually use it.

So if you buy the print version of The Mad Voyage of Prince Malock from Amazon, you can get the ebook version absolutely free. Since the ebook version is currently priced at $7.99, you’re saving that much money when you buy the print version and get the ebook version through MatchBook.

Also, the sequel–titled The Return of Prince Malock– is almost finished. I expected to publish it sometime in late September. After that, I will start work on Book 3 in the Prince Malock World.

You read that right. There will be a third book in the series (currently untitled). I didn’t plan for it to be that way, but the story grew again and I decided to roll with it. I don’t think there will be a Book 4, but if there is, I will make sure to let y’all know.

Also, I have activated the “Ask the Author” section on my Goodreads profile. So if you want to ask me some questions on Goodreads about my books or writing or whatever, go to my profile here.

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“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.

Two new ebooks: “The Activist, or the Snake’s Chuckle” and “The Activist, or the Snake’s Chuckle: A fantasy collection” are now available!

theactivistorthesnake'schuckleebookcover

Hey everyone. Just blogging here to announce the release of my two newest ebooks: A fantasy novella called “The Activist, or the Snake’s Chuckle,” and a fantasy collection called “The Activist, or the Snake’s Chuckle: A fantasy collection,” which, in addition to having that novella, also has four short stories in it by yours truly.

Here are the blurbs, first for the novella:

When Koromo Samver, leader of the spiritual/social movement known as the World Activists, receives a letter from her old mentor, Mother Dimina, summoning her back to the Mountain Monastery, she answers it without believing much will come of it.

As it turns out, the Mountain Monastery is under attack by Lord Skamva and his Trinity, a group of demons thought to have been banished three hundred years ago. Even worse, a terrible skin disease–one which drives the infected insane and often leads to suicide–has spread throughout the Order of the Monks, infecting almost all of the Monks, including Mother Dimina herself.

And when Koromo herself comes down with the disease, she must race against time to find the cure for the disease and stop the demons before they succeed in destroying the Monastery. Because if she fails to stop the demons, then not only will the Order fall, but the rest of the World as well.

And the collection:

In “The Activist, or the Snake’s Chuckle,” the first and longest story of this fantastic collection, Koromo Samver, leader of the spiritual/social movement known as the World Activists, receives a letter from her old mentor, Mother Dimina, summoning her back to the Mountain Monastery, which she answers it without believing much will come of it.

As it turns out, the Mountain Monastery is under attack by Lord Skamva and his Trinity, a group of demons thought to have been banished three hundred years ago. Even
worse, a terrible skin disease–one which drives the infected insane and often leads to suicide–has spread throughout the Order of the Monks, infecting almost all of the Monks, including Mother Dimina herself.

And when Koromo herself comes down with the disease, she must race against time to find the cure for the disease and stop the demons before they succeed in destroying the Monastery. Because if she fails to stop the demons, then not only will the Order fall, but the rest of the World as well.

In the second story, “The Creator’s Dilemma,” the being called Listener must help his master, the engimatic deity known as the Creator, decide the fate of a woman’s life. When the Creator confesses his love for the woman, however, Listener realizes the situation is far more complicated than it first seemed.

The third story, “The Most Beautiful Island in the World,” features Igici, the King of the Island of Niji, as he works tirelessly to save his people. But after one too many failed schemes on Igici’s part, his friend Gikil is no longer sure she wants to support him.

In the fourth tale, “Not Malicious. Jusy Unlucky,” Alica Onok finds herself alone with the strangest toy fox terrier she has ever met. He claims to be an unlucky spirit named Ginor, but can Alica trust him? And just where did he come from, anyway?

And finally, the collection concludes with the fifth and final story, “The Gift of Valgink.” In this tale, the human slave Desdar and his elvish mistress Kencha are trapped by a tribe of smoke wolves, who claim that Kencha stole their most precious treasure. Will Desdar and Kencha escape alive or are they destined to be little more than fresh meat for the wolves?

Buy them both at these ebookstores (novella for $4.99 and the collection for $5.99):

Amazon/Amazon

Kobo/Kobo

Barnes & Noble/Barnes & Noble

Google Play/Google Play

Smashwords/Smashwords

DriveThruFiction/DriveThruFiction

XinXii/XinXii

Libiro/Libiro

Omnilit/Omnilit

A print version will come out sometime later. If you want to be the first to know about it, then you can sign up to my mailing list here.

“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.

What are your goals as a writer?

One of the most important things I have learned about the writing business is that you should be clear about the goals you want to achieve. Your goals determine how you approach your writing career . . . or your lack of one.

As an example, the writer who wants to publish only one book will have to approach the writing business differently from the writer who wants to make an entire career out of writing. The writer who wants to publish one book need only think short term, whereas the writer who wants to make a career out of this writing thing has to think long term, as in five, ten, or more years.

I’ve already written about my goals as a writer before. These goals–to be great and to make a living off my fiction–inform nearly every decision I make regarding my career as a writer. If a decision will not help me become a better writer or help me make money off my writing, I generally don’t do it.

Notice how my goals don’t include:

-Getting on the New York Times Bestseller List
-Becoming a household name that everyone knows (but not necessarily loves)
-Writing The Great American Novel
-Selling a million copies of my first novel
-Writing a book that becomes a classic
-Being published by a big publishing company
-Becoming a creative writing professor at a prestigious university
-Getting a blockbuster movie made out of one of my books
-Having my stories analyzed in creative writing classes across the country
-Appearing on every late night talk show whenever I have a new book out
-Getting represented by a literary agent from a famous literary agency
-Being invited to speak at campuses, writer’s groups, libraries, and bookstores around the country

There’s nothing wrong with wanting any of that and if any of it does happen to me, hey, I won’t complain. Those just aren’t my goals at the moment. Perhaps I may aim for some of those later on, but right now all I want to do is become a great writer and make a living off my work and I can do all of that just fine without any of that other stuff.

You might differ. Maybe you want all of that or only some of that or maybe you want something else entirely that I didn’t even mention. Maybe you have the same goals as me. Whatever your goals may be, it is important to be clear about them. If your goals are muddled and confused, then don’t be surprised when that happens to your career.

I’ve notice that a lot of beginning writers don’t have very clear goals. They talk about making a career out of their work, but get obsessed with one book or don’t try to learn business or anything that could help them long term. I used to be that way, too, until I realized that writing is a business as much as an art and that if I didn’t want to get screwed over by agents, publishers, or anyone else who tries to take advantage of unsuspecting beginner writers, then I needed to learn that business.

If you do not care to make a career out of writing–maybe you only do it as a hobby or simply want to do it as a side thing to have some extra coffee money–that’s fine. It means you will have to approach the business differently from how I or other writers like me do, but again that’s totally fine. As long as you are clear about what your goals are and don’t try to pretend your goals aren’t what they are (such as publishing only one book and claiming that’s enough to constitute a career, for example), then you will probably do fine (‘fine’ being relative here, of course, depending on your goals).

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

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