In July, I finally finished editing my latest book: God of Small Affairs (first three chapters are available here). It will be a while before it gets published, but it is nice to move into the next stage of this story’s life. I have a cover that I like…I have several! Here are two:
Here is a book description that will definitely NOT appear on the cover of this book:
Time is made out of threads. Pull one and someplace somewhere things unravel. We know how to pull on the right thread because we see the whole tapestry of life’s possibilities. That’s why we are so good at finding a good path into the future. I say a future because there is no such thing as the future.
We are made of time threads — thick bundles of knots that can pull and twist and change the course of history. It’s all about connections — pull one strand, and the others twist with it. Like Newton’s second law, for every action, there is an equal an opposite reaction. But humans are small in relation to civilized time, planetary time, cosmological time. To make a big change requires a course correction many many years prior. Like if you want to deflect a meteor hurtling toward Earth, you need to change its course far out in space where just a nudge would do it. To make a course correction close to the impact event, a lot of energy is required. Same with history…
So we are great at little things, at manipulating tiny threads of life. We are the gods of little affairs…until we are not.
You can read the first few chapters by following the link above or you can ask me for an ARC copy (advanced reader copy). I would be thrilled to jumpstart the process of asking for reviews…nope. Yes, just keep reading…
I’ve also started (over and over again) on my new project on the power of words. Below is the first paragraph (maybe possibly):
The hospital library cart rolled into my grandmother’s room. I was told by my parents that she had a week at most. Why would one want to order more books just days before dying? Why bother reading so close to death? I sneaked a peek at the titles the librarian in white scrubs left behind: “Propaganda Wars During the Cold war,” “Analysis of False News Networks,” “The Best Political Speeches of the 19th Century.” These were thick books with small type. These wouldn’t be something I would want to read just before I passed away — what’s the point? All education should be halted days before death, I say. But my grandmother seemed eager. Didn’t she know she was about to die? She literally didn’t have time to read this stuff…
“Why bother?” I asked after getting enough courage to come closer to the skeletal body, wrapped in tubes, supported by machines.
“I need to know what worked,” she said in a barely audible voice.
“What? What worked?” But she closed her eyes and I never got the answer to my question.
Later that night, my grandmother passed away. That was the beginning of my real life.
I belong to quite a few writers groups. Writing is a lonely business. And there is much to learn. I’ve been hitting my head on a brick wall as I figured out how to organize giveaways, create ads, set up marketing campaigns. I kept hoping that the world worked on the principle of “I write it, and readers will find me by magic.” But that is really NOT how it works. Everyone does a book tour, everyone submits their books to awards, everyone buys ads on Facebook and Amazon, everyone tries to talk their books up to possible readers. It doesn’t matter if you are an indie writer or an author with a giant publisher behind your back — everyone participates in the selling of the book. No exceptions. And in many cases, it is a catch-22 problem — you would like to join a big promotion, but you can’t because you don’t have 20 reviews on Amazon. But you don’t have 20 reviews on Amazon because you have never participated in a big promotion!
This summer, I’ve spent reading and learning about marketing (in addition to reading that was strictly for the benefit of my soul). I’ve learned a ton! (I swear I can teach a class now…) It is all the stuff that I should have known and done when I first started writing books… Oh well, I hope it’s not too late!
In the meantime, for your entertainment (because books are the best entertainment), here are a ton of choices to spend quality alone-time…just you and the book (I’m reading, don’t bother me!).
Choose one or get all 17 sci-fi books from indie women writers of science fiction: Women of Science Fiction Promotion
And here is another ALL women writers giveaway! Support our indie gals — get the books, read them, review them, help spread the word: All Women, All Storytellers, All Authors (If you like the book, buy it! Really, ebooks are cheap and it will make a difference to all these amazing writers.)
This summer, I am also participating in a little friendly competition: SPFBO 5 competition. SPFBO Mission statement:
The SPFBO exists to shine a light on self-published fantasy. This year is the fifth year of the competition: SPFBO 5. It exists to find excellent books that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. It exists to help readers select, from the enormous range of options, books that have a better chance of entertaining them than a random choice, thereby increasing reader faith in finding a quality self-published read.
Here is a running list of winners and losers (yes, there are losers already! Oh my!). My book, Twin Time, is entered and is being judged by “Thoughts Stained with Ink” blog. Exciting! (That’s because my book hasn’t been cut yet!)
If you would like to read some of these books on the cheap, check out a 99ç promotion that was organized by one of the authors:
Note that Twin Time is fully illustrated and thus its price can’t be lowered below $1.99 per Amazon. I tried… But I will schedule a 5-day free giveaway on Amazon and I made it available on KindleUnlimited for a time being by pulling it off ALL other markets! That’s the rules…
So another thing I’ve learned this summer is that it doesn’t really matter how much I love the cover of my book if the readers don’t get it. I’ve spoken to a book-cover illustrator and was surprised that she didn’t read the story before coming up with an illustration! How could it be? How can one illustrate a book without knowing what’s it about? But apparently, this is common. My ideas for covers are all high-concept — how can I show the story via an illustration? But my stories are very complicated — no one illustration can capture the idea. AND because I’m trying to say so much with my covers, they stray from the “herd” of other books in the same genre — readers don’t recognize my books as something that they would like because they look so different! Well then… So here are a few new covers that I’m experimenting with. Perhaps the reader would like these more?
Here are three versions of Coding Peter:
Which one is better? Well, now I know that I can run some ads and see if a cover sells the book. If not, I’ll try another…
Here’s another example — two cover versions for The FATOFF Conspiracy:
As you can see, the main element consisting of three women of diminishing size is still there. But it is less busy. Is it better? Sales will tell!
And here’s another example for my latest book Harvest:
I’m hoping that by editing the covers, I will help these books find their audience.
Well, that’s it. Happy reading!
PS: One more cover was changed…