Kick off the New Year with a new short story by yours truly!

Cover of "Not Malicious. Just Unlucky"

Not Malicious. Just Unlucky

A fantasy short story

That’s right. I have FINALLY succeeded in indie publishing all four of the short stories originally published in Fantastic Depths. You can now find all four of them on ebook retailers everywhere.

Here’s the sales blurb for Not Malicious. Just Unlucky for those who don’t know what it’s about:

“For four years, Alica Onok has been trying to get rid of a mysterious enchanted staff that has caused her nothing but trouble since her grandmother gave it to her on her twentieth birthday. Yet it seems like no matter what Alica does, the staff always returns to her, whole and in one piece, as if it had never left her side at all.

Then Alica finds out that an unlucky spirit lives within the staff, a spirit who has been bounded to the staff for years and wants his freedom now. Without knowing any magic herself, however, Alica is powerless to free the spirit, forcing her to come up with an alternative means of doing so. Because if she fails, she will remain cursed with unluckiness forever.

Also contains an excerpt from Timothy L. Cerepaka’s next novel, “The Last Legend: Glitch Apocalypse,” set for release in January 2015 from Annulus Publishing.”

Buy Not Malicious. Just Unlucky from:

Amazon I Barnes & Noble I Kobo I Smashwords I Google Play I DriveThruFiction I Libiro I XinXii I Omnilit

In my opinion, the biggest selling point is that it has an excerpt from my upcoming science-fantasy novel, The Last Legend: Glitch Apocalypse, which is set for release later this month. So if you want to get a sneak peek of my next novel, I suggest downloading Not Malicious. Just Unlucky from your favorite ebook retailer and reading it right away.

Regarding my new website: It’s still not ready to go live. However, I think it will be ready to go live after January 5th, which is three days away. I will post more about my new website once I have a firm launch date in mind.

Advertisements

Looking Forward: 2015

As I said in the previous post, today I will be writing about my plans and goals for 2015. This is a post I’ve been looking forward to write since the beginning of this month, as I have some really cool things planned and I just want to share them with everyone who reads this blog.

So here are my plans for next year:

#1: Write (and submit to traditional markets) one short story a week every week

That’s right. I am going to do what hundreds of other writers have done before me and take up the “one short story a week” challenge.

I have a few reasons for doing this: First, it will make me a little bit of extra cash, cash that could help fund my indie publishing efforts; second, it will act as advertising for my indie books; and third, it will give me more practice writing short fiction, which I feel is an area I am weak in.

I will still be indie publishing my novels, don’t worry, but my short fiction will likely not see an indie release immediately. I will only publish my short fiction if I fail to sell it or once the rights revert back to me from the market I sell it to.

I think this challenge will be GREAT fun. I will probably rack up an impressive list of rejections, just like most writers, but if I can sell even one short story, it will all be worth it.

#2: Create a new website

I’ve had this WordPress.com website for a year and a half now, I believe, but now I think it is time I moved onto a self-hosted WordPress.org website.

Don’t get me wrong. I like WordPress.com a lot, but it doesn’t offer as many options as a self-hosted WordPress site does. I feel limited in my choices and options here (for example, I can’t include a sign-up form on any of my pages for my newsletter, which is a BIG problem, in my opinion).

This new website will probably launch in January. I am still in the process of designing it and learning about everything I can do with it, but I am hoping to have it online by January 1st. I am also going to make sure that I move all of my followers on this blog to the new one.

Whenever I manage to get it up, I will be sure to post about it here. For now, here’s a link to the “Coming soon” page: http://www.timothylcerepaka.com/

#3: Books, books, BOOKS!!!

With a smooth workflow set up, I think 2015 will be the Year of Tons of Books for me. I have several series planned, not counting the 52 short stories I will be writing as part of the “one short story a week” challenge I will be undertaking.

Here’s a glimpse of what I have planned for next year:

-The Prince Malock World Omnibus
-My 2014 NaNoWrimo novel, The Last Legend: Glitch Apocalypse, plus the four short stories I wrote to go along with it, will be published in ebook and trade paperback in January
-A sequel series to the Prince Malock World, currently titled Mages of Martir, with the first book slated for release in early 2015
-A series of humorous science-fiction short stories
-A science-fiction trilogy
-A science-fantasy series
-A mystery novel about an ex-superhero detective

As you can no doubt tell, I have A LOT of product to start writing next year. Whether I will actually finish it all and get it published in 2015, I don’t know, but I will certainly try my best.

Also, the Prince Malock World novella series is canceled for now. I wrote a couple of them, but they didn’t feel right to me, so for now I am putting this subseries on the backburner. It will instead be replaced by the Mages of Martir series I mentioned above, which will be a series of four (possibly five) novels taking place thirty years after the end of the last Prince Malock book. Stay tuned for that.

I will be talking more about these books and other projects as the year progresses.

#4: Promotion

Promotion is a difficult topic among indie writers. Some will create huge elaborate social media campaigns for their book, while others will rely solely on word of mouth to get the sales going. There’s a lot of disagreement about how much promotion a writer should do, although no one disputes that you have to do some promotion in order to bring your books to the attention of potential readers.

Myself, I have not been doing much promotion (outside of this blog, Facebook, Twitter, and the newsletter) because I have been researching all of the various kinds of promotional techniques other indies use to bump up their sales numbers. I want to make sure I pick the right promotional techniques that give me the best return on investment without wasting precious time that could be better spent writing the next novel.

Next year, I will be doing more promotion than I did this year. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I have a few promotional ideas I’d like to try out next year, which I hope will work really well. Only time will tell, I suppose.

#5: Audiobooks

With the rapid growth in the audiobook market over the last few years, I’d be a fool to ignore this source of possible revenue.

Therefore, next year I will work on getting the Prince Malock novels into audio, followed by the rest of my novels shortly thereafter. I will probably use Audible to do it.

Besides, I already have electronic and paper covered. Audio is the next frontier for my indie publishing adventure, one I will conquer just as I have conquered the others.

So those are my plans for next year. I suppose you could think of them as New Year’s Resolutions, but honestly I don’t really like that term because a New Year’s Resolution, to me, is something you swear you will do in December of the last year and then forget about it by January of the next year. All of these will be ongoing challenges that I won’t be able to complete in a week or a month. I guess you could still call them Resolutions if you want, but I won’t, so there 😛 .

And I am very, very much excited for all of them. I think 2015 will be a great year if I achieve even half of what I hope to accomplish.

What are your plans for the New Year?

New short story, “The Most Beautiful Island in the World,” is out!

the most beautiful island in the world cover

That’s right. Just in time for Christmas, I have published the third of the four short stories from Fantastic Depths, called The Most Beautiful Island in the World, with a cover designed by jimmygibbs.

If you don’t know what this story’s about, here’s the blurb:

“After the destruction of his island’s once beautiful civilization and ecosystem, King Igici believes he may have finally discovered the solution to all of his people’s’ problems.

When his solution to these problems appears to fail, however, Igici begins to doubt his own ability to save his people. It does not help that his childhood friend, Gikil, expresses severe skepticism toward his plans to save his nation, thus eroding his already shaky confidence in himself.”

Buy The Most Beautiful Island in the World from:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Google Play

Smashwords

DriveThruFiction

Libiro

XinXii

Omnilit

Even if you are not much of a fantasy reader yourself, this short story would make a GREAT last minute Christmas present for any fantasy readers you know, whether friends or family members. At $2.99, it’s a steal!

Anyway, keep an eye out for the fourth and final short story from Fantastic Depths, titled Not Malicious. Just Unlucky, which will be available before the year’s out. Stay tuned.

New short story, “The Gift of Valgink,” now available! (Plus a special announcement!)

the gift of valgink ebook cover

As part of my mission to publish all four of my short stories from the Ambage anthology Fantastic Depths, before year’s end, I have published the second short story I contributed to that collection, a rather quick read (mere 11 pages in PDF) titled The Gift of Valgink.

Here is the sales blurb for those who don’t know what it’s about:

“Backed up against a cliff, with nowhere to run to, Desdar Bandas—a human slave who is only one year away from freedom—must figure out how to save his life and the life of his elvish mistress, Kencha, from a pack of violent, bloodthirsty smoke wolves.

Yet when it turns out that Kencha has stolen from the pack a sacred object of immense value to the smoke wolves, Desdar is forced to choose between his freedom and Kencha’s survival.”

Buy The Gift of Valgink from these ebook retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Google Play

Smashwords

DriveThruFiction

Libiro

XinXii

Omnilit

Regarding the special announcement mentioned in this blog’s title, sometime after Christmas but before New Year’s I will write up a post detailing all of my writing and publishing plans for next year. I have a lot of awesome plans, but I don’t want to announce them just yet, as I want to keep the focus on this year’s last few releases before I bring attention to next year’s plans.

Anyway, keep an eye on this blog for the announcements of the releases of the next two Ambage short stories, The Most Beautiful Island in the World and Not Malicious. Just Unlucky, as well as the release of the Prince Malock World Omnibus, all of which I will get up before year’s end.

If you would like to be the first to know about the release of the last two short stories and the Omnibus, you can subscribe to my newsletter HERE.

New short story, “The Creator’s Dilemma,” now available for $2.99 in ebook form!

Hi, everyone!

With the recent publication of The Coronation of Prince Malock (which you can read about here) and the Prince Malock World novella series not set for release until January or February of next year, you might think I have nothing to publish in December.

Not true! In fact, I have a few things set for release this month, starting off with one of my short stories from the Fantastic Depths anthology, titled The Creator’s Dilemma.

Here’s the awesome cover:

the creators dilemma ebook cover

Pretty awesome cover, eh? It was designed by jimmygibbs. I picked out the cover art, but it was jimmy who made it awesome, so all credit goes to him.

Here’s the sales blurb:

“The being called Listener must help his master, the enigmatic 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.”

Buy it for $2.99 from:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Google Play

Smashwords

DriveThruFiction

Libiro

XinXii

Omnilit

Over the next three weeks, I plan to get the other three Fantastic Depths short stories–The Most Beautiful Island in the World, Not Malicious. Just Unlucky, and The Gift of Valgink–up on all ebook retailers as well. Stay tuned for that.

So if you’d like to be the first to know about the release of these short stories, you can subscribe to my newsletter here.

Changes to the Blog

As of this morning, I made a few minor changes to this blog.

Firstly, I updated my Works page to include links to the Fantastic Depths anthology and a link to the short story I posted on this blog last month, The Most Beautiful Island in the World.

Secondly, I added a new Contact page, complete with a contact form, for anyone who wants to send me a message privately. Been meaning to add one for a while and I finally got around to it earlier this morning.

That’s about all for now, so see ya,

-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