7 Days till Launch! Join me in Kickstarting The Soul Smith

Click here to go to The Soul Smith fantasy novel Kickstarter page

1 week. That’s all that remains. 1 week to raise the rest of the funds to meet the goal. It’s going to be extremely stressful. It’s going to be a lot of work. And it’s going to be a lot of fun.

To celebrate the last 5 days of the Kickstarter campaign, I’m giving away my short story, The Ravenous Flock, for free on Kindle! Go here on Amazon anytime between February 8th – February 12th, 2015 to get your free ebook.

The Ravenous Flock is a quick read and a great example of what to expect with The Soul Smith since it preludes the events of my novel, and was also edited by Derek Bowen – the same editor that is signed on to do The Soul Smith!

So back The Soul Smith project today and then help spread the word while there’s still time!

Editing Has Begun as the Kickstarter Surges On!

Help Kickstart The Soul Smith!

The Soul Smith has officially entered the editing stage! This is unreal! My editor, Derek Bowen, sent me a list of 20 questions after he finished reading my manuscript. At first I was nervous, but then I was surprised at how “easy” his questions were to answer. Despite them being “easy” it took me many hours to finally answer them all.

And to top it off, more backers keep coming in! We are now well past the 50% funded mark and it’s all down hill from here. But there is still a long way to go. At this current point in time, with $1635 needed to complete the funding, and expecting $32 per backer, I need 51 more backers to reach my minimum. So please continue spreading the word! Every bit helps!

Thank you to all those that believed in this project with me! Let’s turn it into a reality!

Kickstarter Progress – 50% Funded!

It’s been 3 days since the launch, and the Kickstarter campaign for my epic fantasy novel, The Soul Smith, has already raised half of my goal! It’s such an amazing achievement! However, carrying that momentum is going to be the tough part.

I’ve begun writing numerous press releases and articles across the blogosphere in hopes of reaching a wider audience (and still more to do). With the campaign scheduled to end on February 13th, 2015, I know I’ve got over 3 weeks left, but I feel a constant worry that I’ll somehow fall short. I mean, $3,500 is a *lot* of money to raise. I’m hoping that I can achieve that well before the deadline so I won’t have the added stress of relying upon a last minute surge.

The Soul Smith - Epic Fantasy Novel -- Kicktraq Mini

If I reach my funding goal early, then my editor can begin work early, plus I can begin handling the ISBN and Print-On-Demand setup costs. Additionally, it will give my artists extra time to start work in preparation for the possibility of reaching my first Stretch Goal. I’ve thought about setting up mini funding goals for myself, but other successful Kickstarters show a trend of generating a lot of activity at the beginning of the campaign, and at the end (with minimal activity in between).

So if you haven’t stopped by my Kickstarter yet, please give it a look! And if you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word! Thank you for your support!

A Path Forward – Kickstarting My Dream

The path of publishing is a long, arduous, grueling road to walk. My journey has taken me down a new road, a road where I am in control of my own destiny. I’m now planning to self-publish and I’ve just launched a Kickstarter campaign to make it into a reality!

Check out my Kickstarter for The Soul Smith here:

I’m looking to raise a minimum of $3,500. The core of the funds will be used to pay my independent editor: Derek Bowen. He’s the same guy that I worked with previously on my short story The Ravenous Flock (which is free on Amazon until 1/18/2015). Having worked with him before gives me confidence in his quality of work, as well as our compatibility working together.

I’m working with IngramSpark as my Print On Demand service in order to provide my backers (for specific tiers of donations) with a printed copy of The Soul Smith. This is such an incredible experience and I’m so excited that it will finally become a reality. I hope you join me on this journey and follow along in the backer forum boards!

See you there!

The End of the Hunt for An Independent Editor

After a short hiatus with writing in order to complete my Masters degree, I began a search for an independent editor. This search occurred after 3 years of pursuing writing and publishing, where I arrived at a fork in the road. I traveled this long, arduous road, receiving rejection after rejection, with only a few glimmers of hope along the way. Once faced with the split pathways, I knew I had to choose the path where I was in control of my own fate. I immediately decided that I would self-publish my novel, but I knew that the sales and reviews are directly correlated to the quality of the product – I recognized the need for an independent editor.

My first knee jerk reaction was to email Derek Bowen, the editor of my published short story The Ravenous Flock. My previous experience working with him was very positive, and he was already familiar with my work. Additionally, having him as my editor would allow my short story and my novel to have the same voice. When I sent him an email, I waited and waited and my beacon of hope began to dim. I gave a shout out to Twitter and got 3 interested parties, as well as began googling for independent editors. But then on January 2nd, out of the blue, Derek Bowen responded. His enthusiasm for this project echoed my own and we immediately joined forces to bring THE SOUL SMITH to life!

So the hunt was over, and now I’m one step closer to achieving my goal. But now, one last hurdle lay before me: Funding. Please stay tuned as I plan to share my experience with Kickstarter as I attempt to raise the funds needed to bring my novel to fruition.

Book Review: The Way of Kings

The Way of KingsRating: 5 out of 5 stars!

Overview: This is a #1 New York Times Bestseller, written by the infamous Brandon Sanderson. It is the 1st book in The Stormlight Archive series and is just over 1,000 pages long. It is an adult fantasy novel, but is appropriate for even young adults.

Spoiler Free Plot: Brandon Sanderson is a master at world building. This is a world that gets hit by recurring highly destructive storms called highstorms and the plant life has adapted to live in these conditions. The book follows many different characters: a highprince, a bridgeman, and a ward. Each character has intriguing character traits, riveting personal backgrounds, and dilemmas that they are trying to overcome. The plot is about a 6 year long war that has been going on in an attempt at vengeance over the assassination of the King, and what this war means for the future of the kingdom.

Review: I quickly grew addicted to the characters and their lives. I felt connected to them, sharing in their struggles and their moral complications. I can’t recommend this book enough; it was one of the best books I’ve ever read and I can’t wait to start the sequel! I’m convinced that any fan of fantasy would love The Way of Kings as much as I and will appreciate the artwork that was sprinkled throughout to help bring the world of Roshar to life.

DRM – should you use it?

Whether you are published or self-published, you have choices to make about the Digital Rights Management (DRM) of your ebooks. DRM, if enforced, helps you protect the copyright of your work. Logic would tell you that if you protect the DRM of your novel, then it forces people to purchase your book instead of share it and sales should go up, right? Then why did this July 2014 Earnings Report just reveal that indie authors without DRM sell twice as many books compared to indie authors with DRM?

Disclaimer: Just because you turn off DRM for your ebook does not mean you will automatically double your sales. (Note: Amazon does not let you change your mind about DRM once you’ve published your book.)

book sales with and without DRM

This issue isn’t localized to the publishing industry. It has dramatically affected the music industry as well. In fact, the two industries are more alike than they are different, which suggests that the book industry should learn from the mistakes that the music industry made. But, what is at the core of the DRM issue that makes non-DRM novels sell better? Are consumer’s even aware if a title is protected by DRM before purchasing? I looked everywhere on the Amazon page for my short story (The Ravenous Flock), but did not see anything that mentioned DRM. That means that user’s are the ones that spread the word about a specific title having DRM protections. However, Kindle readers can still lend my ebook to other users for a short period even though I have DRM enabled. Additionally, they can still purchase the book as a gift for another user from the Kindle store.

As a side note, it’s also important to point out that DRM only applies to the ereader format that you selected it for. If I were to sell The Ravenous Flock on the Nook, I could set it for non-DRM.

So is DRM actually the root reason why sales were lower? Or is that just a correlation that was made? The folks that created the sales report believe that it is more than a strong correlation since non-DRM indie books sell better at almost every price point. But all that tells me is that price isn’t a factor. While I trust the fact that non-DRM books do sell better, (and is echoed in the music industry) I can’t help but question the reason why. According to the logic of the report, the answer lies in the behavior of the Kindle users. Apparently, the Kindle readers that purchase indie books must somehow find it easier to share the book when DRM is not enabled, and therefore become a word-of-mouth marketing machine for those books. Perhaps that is what is occurring, I can’t be certain. But whether or not we understand the true reason of why, it would be wise of us to learn from the music industry that has suffered from this same issue in the past, and would behoove us to follow the path that successful authors have already blazed before us.

What are your thoughts on DRM? Please your opinion in the comments below.