The process of creating a POD version of Freedom Club continues to progress well. After uploading my content PDFs for both the book’s interior and cover, I finally received my proof copy by UPS.
And the final result? You can see here:
It’s a perfect bound 5×8 trade paperback, perfectly square with soft cream paper. Just over 400 pages, it feels like a quality product. Lightning Source has done an outstanding job, and it sure does feel like I made the right choice using them for POD distribution.
I must say, seeing the book on real paper does give one a true sense of accomplishment. Now all I have to do is market the book, and get everyone to read the darn thing. That…will probably end of being a life long endeavor.
I am of course indebted to everyone at Hotspur Publishing who helped bring this to fruition. I’m certain my first book would have been a disaster if I’d gone it alone.
Stay tuned for more on my humble attempts at marketing.
Posted in Bookstore, Speculative Fiction, Writing
Tagged Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing, Amazon, Book review, book reviews, books, Bookshop, Bookstore, CreateSpace, ebooks, ePub, Hotspur Publishing, Independent Publishing, Indie Publishing, POD, Print On Demand, self publishing, Writing
The process of creating a POD version of Freedom Club has progressed very well. After having my designer create PDFs for both the book’s interior and cover, it was fairly painless to upload the files, and request a proof copy. Cost of the Proof? $30
One thing I’d like to highlight is the Lightning Source customer website. It shows all the titles that have been submitted, and contains an instant link to on-line chat with their customer support team. Below is a screen capture of my chat with them. They were nice about confirming the status of my new submission and the next steps of the process. I must say, it was wonderful having their on-line chat– right there on the spot. All my questions were answered, taking a lot of worry out of the process.
Customer service website with full overview and on-line Chat. Very nice!
Another point worth mentioning is the fact that Lightning Source is having a campaign, allowing me to set up new titles for free. Normally, it costs $75 to set up each book, but this fee is dropped if I order 50 copies. Since I needed promotional copies anyway, this was great timing!
So far, so good. I’ll keep writing as this process continues.
Posted in Bookstore, Writing
Tagged Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing, Amazon, Book review, book reviews, books, Bookshop, Bookstore, CreateSpace, ebooks, ePub, Hotspur Publishing, Independent Publishing, Indie Publishing, Lightning Source, POD, Print On Demand, self publishing, Writing
To complement my Amazon version of Freedom Club, I’ve created a Smashwords version that is now on sale. The main reason I’ve done this to increase the number of channels my book can be sold through. Namely, I want Freedom Club to be sold not only on Smashwords, but also through Apple’s iBooks and Barns and Noble dot com. There are more channels available, but from my point of view, these three are the big ones I wish to cover at minimum.
Like Amazon, Smashwords makes the “basic” process simple. You make an account, fill out a few fields of metadata, and then upload your book and cover via a Microsoft DOC file. What could be easier? Well, the process is deceptively complex, primarily because Smashwords claims to require “minimal formatting” requirements to make the book available via all participating channels. Now you may ask what that means? It means that the converted file formats (converted by Smashwords themselves) must pass their internal testing engine called EpubCheck. I’m not going to explain what technical magic it takes to pass this test. If you want to know about that, just search the interenet. There, you’ll find boatloads of people pulling the hair out of their heads trying to figure out why errors occur, even when they follow the Smashwords guidelines precisely.
To make a long story short, I simply used Amy Gilbert Design to format my book for me. Amy is (as far as I’m concerned) a goddess of ePub formatting and has figured out not only how to pass the dreaded EpubCheck-a-monster, but makes the books look very good after Smashwords conversion is finished. This is no small feat, I assure you.
Having avoided most formatting issues, the more positive side of Smashwords was available to me. They have a fairly reasonable royalty sharing scheme, the breakdown of which can be seen in the image I included above. There may be those who feel the amount paid is not worth it, but as an aggregator (a company which collects royalties from other channels and pays you one check) I think Smashwords’ royalty scheme is acceptable. In the end, they save me from having to upload my book to various channels, and monitor everything on my own. For this service, I’m happy to pay.
In the end, Smashwords seems like a good choice. However, I will hold back my final recommendation until I gather more experience with them. It’s not like I expect bad things to happen. But I live by the credo: hope for the best, but expect the worst.
Will keep you all posted.
Posted in Bookstore, Writing
Tagged Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing, Amazon, Book review, book reviews, books, CreateSpace, ebooks, ePub, Indie Publishing, POD, Print On Demand, Sci-Fi, science fiction, self publishing, smashwords, Writing
I’ve begun the process of creating a POD version of Freedom Club. There are several choices on the market: LuLu, CreateSpace, LightningSource, and scores of others. However, based on the information I heard from other authors/indie publishers, it seems the best reviews I received were about Lightning Source. Thus I begin this process with them.
My publisher, Hotspur Publishing, is also looking into other sources for POD. CreateSpace is for sure a strong runner up. However, the quality of the books printed by Lightning Source are really something to behold. If it comes down to just printing quality, their output is perfectly square, printed on the finest bond paper, and are thinner than their competitors. I’m told the ability to create fairly thin books is due the superior quality of their POD press. At least, that’s what I heard from other Indie publishers in Australia.
The only comment I can make so far based on experience is the difficulty I’ve had setting up an account with Lightning Source. It started with an online submission, followed by an email that required I reply to it (same questions asked as on-line version), followed by another round of on-line questions, followed by PDF contacts and W-9 forms, followed by me signing it all and faxing them back. All done: yay!
The cumbersome process for initiating my account was annoying . However, in retrospect I’m thinking its how they avoid the flood of I-have-no-idea-what-I’m-doing self publishers out there. Another negative is the up-front set up fees required by Lightning Source. However, these amounts are not huge. Freedom Club will cost a little over $100 in total to set up (including the ISBN I had to buy), so it’s not an amount I would complain about.
With the account setup and ISBN in place, now all I have to do is get my content in order. For that I’m once again relying on Amy Gilbert Design. She worked wonders on my eBook versions, and I looking forward to the final design and layout she provides for my POD.
So far, so good. I’ll keep writing as this process continues.
Posted in Bookstore, Writing
Tagged Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing, Amazon, books, Bookshop, Bookstore, CreateSpace, ebooks, ePub, Independent Publishing, Indie Publishing, Lightning Source, POD, Print On Demand, self publishing, Writing
Shaun Farrell, who runs the Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast, interviewed my editor David Bischoff last week. The whole thing went very well, and David did an excellent job talking about his long career both as a writer and editor of SF, and his recent foray into indie publishing. As you may know, David started Hotspur Publishing, an independent company to publish his backlog that has accumulated over the years, along with new titles like Freedom Club, written by me.
I’m especially pleased that my book was mentioned as well during the podcast. It was really nice of Shaun to help promote the book, and I would urge everyone to listen to episode 154 of Adventures in SciFi Publishing and even comment on the the podcast web page if you can.
Posted in Sci-Fi, Science, Science Fiction, SciFi, Writing
Tagged Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing, Book review, book reviews, books, Hotspur Publishing, Sci-Fi, Science, science fiction, Writing
Some of you may not have heard about Conflux, a speculative fiction
convention that just took place in Canberra, Australia. Unlike last year’s Worldcon (aka Aussicon4), Conflux is small. Only a few hundred people attended. But what Conflux lacks in size, it more than makes up for in passion
and soul. The sense of community is everywhere, from the shared joy of a book launch to the palpable loss of fantasy author Sara Douglass, who died shortly before the conference began. Overall, Conflux was a cozy get-together, where likeminded fans and writers mingle and enjoy their love of SF and Fantasy.
Of course, lots of stuff happened over the 4 day event. I’m not going to post
everything here at this time, but a full report will appear soon on the Adventures in SciFi Publishing website. Keep your eye out for it.
In the meantime, special congratulations go out to Patty Jansen, a major figure in the Australian writer’s scene. She was kind enough to spend time talking with me during the entire event. Having won the second quarter of the Writers of the Future contest, the fruits of all her hard work have now gained her global attention. It’s well deserved in my opinion.
Posted in Sci-Fi, Science Fiction, SciFi, Speculative Fiction, Writing
Tagged Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, ASIM, Australia, Book review, book reviews, books, Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild, Patty Jansen, Sci-Fi, science fiction, Worldcon, Writing
People reading Dune may have noticed that its Point Of View (POV) changes from time to time within individual scenes. This of course is the style employed by Frank Herbert, its author.
Now I’m not trying to say a shifting POV is right or wrong, or that it’s never used anymore. However, I do feel that today’s writers seem to shun this technique. There appears to be some fear that changing POV within the same scene gets one labeled a: “head-hopper”; and is evidence that a writer is inexperienced. Is that a reason to place it in the “not-advised” bucket?
To be fair, I can agree that one must employ greater skill when changing POV. It should be subtle, and invisible to the reader. Certainly, its overuse can lead to confusion. But when one reads Dune, does is truly have such ill effect?
I for one find the prose poetic, and soothing, and I would appreciate hearing the thoughts of other readers.
Posted in Sci-Fi, Science Fiction, Writing
Tagged Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing, book, Book review, book reviews, books, Frank Herbert, head hopping, poetry, point of view, POV, Sci-Fi, science fiction, Writing, writing workshop
Does anyone remember this novel? The Second Trip was written by Robert Silverberg and first serialized in Amazing Science Fiction. It was later released in novel form in 1972 . It’s quite enjoyable to read a book like this. With a story set in the year 2011, seeing how the author envisioned our “present day” is a blast.
The book’s theme revolved around capital punishment, which was deemed too harsh. Instead, violent criminals are subjected to coercive therapy that effectively erases their personalities, which are replaced with artificially constructed memories to form a person deemed useful to society.
The novel includes graphic scenes of copulation and sexual assault, and long stretches of the narrative between the pro and antagonist which must share the same body. In my opinion, this placed The Second Trip squarely within the New Wave sub genre.
Perhaps its shock appeal has diminished over the years, but it’s still a good read. Check it out if you have time.
Posted in Sci-Fi, Science Fiction
Tagged Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing, Amazing Science Fiction, book, Book review, books, capital punishment, Hugo Awards, New Wave, Robert Silverberg, Sci-Fi, Science, science fiction, Writing
Will a second coming of New Wave of Science Fiction arrive? Self publishing makes it possible to read stories the traditional gatekeepers would never approve. To some degree, the slush pile from hell is about to be unleashed. That’s how some see it, but maybe that’s not the right attitude to have.
From my perspective, what occurred in the 1960’s may yet take place again. Namely, the creation of a New Wave. Think about it: the publication of books and short stories which challenge the establishment, and edify readers. Is it not time to celebrate?
Harry Harrison wrote: It was an age of experiment. The old barriers were coming down, pulp taboos were being forgotten, new themes and new manners of writing were being explored.
Good words. I truly hope we can enjoy this freedom a second time, where Science Fiction reaches the literary heights so many had hoped for.
Posted in Sci-Fi, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Writing
Tagged Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing, books, Brian Aldiss, ebook, ebooks, Harlan Ellison, Harry Harrison, J. G. Ballard, New Wave, Norman Spinrad, publishing, Robert Silverberg, Roger Zelazny, Sci-Fi, science fiction, self publishing
Looks like I’m going to Conflux 7, the seventh speculative fiction convention held Saturday October 1 to Monday October 3rd in Canberra. That’s in Australia Mate!
The first was in 2004 and was the national convention (Natcon) for that year. Since then, Conflux has become one of the most well known cons in Australia.
This year’s special guests include Kim Westwood (Author), Natalie Costa-Bir (Editor), Lewis Morley and Marilyn Pride (Artists), and others. Check the Conflux website for more details.
Posted in Speculative Fiction, Writing
Tagged Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Armageddon, ArmageddonExpo, ASIM, Australia, Bookshop, Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild, Convention, CSFG, Hugo Awards, Sci-Fi, Science, science fiction, Worldcon, Writing