The #SPFBO competition hasn’t officially started yet, but there’s already quite a buzz about it, and a number of bloggers are getting into the spirit by looking at the entrants for themselves and trying to guess what might make the final cut of 10 books from the starting grid of 300. Blogger M D presley is one who’s been trying to pick likely winners, and he’s started a ‘brackets’ contest to run alongside the main competition. The idea is to come up with your own selection of three books from each blogger’s batch of 30. The winner is, presumably, the one whose choices are closest to the actual picks. Now obviously there’s no way of predicting how the individual bloggers will react, so the game becomes an exercise in how to approach the problem Just how do you pick? By covers? Blurbs? First chapters? Throw darts at a list? You […]
Category: The Dragon’s Egg
For the third year running, Mark Lawrence (author of the Broken Empire series) is organising a contest for self-published authors. He’s rounded up 10 bloggers who read and review fantasy books, usually traditionally published, and 300 books submitted by self-published authors, and thrown the two groups together. Each blogger gets a ‘slush pile’ of 30 books to whittle down over six months to just one to go forward into the final. Then the ten bloggers read all ten finalists and score them, to come up with an overall winner. And for the third year running, I’ve submitted one of my books. The first year, Bookworm Blues blogger Sarah Chorn looked at The Plains of Kallanash (she gave it 3/5 stars). The second year, Sarah looked at The Mages of Bennamore (she gave it 3/5 stars – I think we can see a pattern here!). This year, I’ve submitted The Dragon’s […]
When I first became a self-published author, I was right at the very bottom of the pecking order, in author terms. I had no previous published history with a major or independent publisher. I’d never had a short story published in a magazine. I had no fanbase, no mailing list, and my blog had maybe three people following along. I’d hung around the forum at Kboards (the Writers’ Cafe), for a while, so I knew a little bit about starting out. I knew enough to get a professional quality cover, for instance, although not enough to know what sort of cover was needed (luckily, my cover designer did, and came up with a great set of well-branded and striking covers). I knew to have other eyes look at my work before tossing it up on Amazon. I paid a proofreader to tidy up my wayward punctuation. But there was so […]
Well, blow me down, I forgot to post an announcement about this! Why did I forget? Because I’m an idiot! But also because this is the first book that didn’t have a pre-order set up, so when it was ready, I just – pushed the button. And, of course, forgot to do a lot of the usual things. My sixth book set in the Brightmoon world is now available at your local Amazon. You can buy it for $3.99 (or equivalent) or borrow it for free, if you have a subscription to Prime or Kindle Unlimited. If you’d like to buy it in paperback, you’ll need to wait just a little longer but anyone buying the paperback will be able to download the Kindle version free of charge. Click here to go to your local Amazon to buy or borrow.
Prologue: The Dragon’s Egg (Rak) There was no warning. The dragons burst into the sky just above Rak’s head, their battle screeches shaking his very bones. He caught a glimpse of one scaly leg with claws as long as his arm before shock sent him rolling from his perch. Half slithering, half falling, heart thundering, he scrambled down to a hollow a few man-lengths below the ridge and threw himself behind the shelter of a large boulder. With luck, the dragons wouldn’t notice him there. All he could hear above the rasping of his own breath was the clanking of the goats’ bells far below. They were panicked, too. The sky above remained blue, unshadowed by dragon bulk, and he’d heard no more bellows from them. Was he safe? He dared a peek from behind the boulder. They were still there, way below him now, grappling in mid-flight right above […]
With The Dragon’s Egg winging its way to my trusty proofreader for a final check before publication, I thought it might be time to show you what the cover looks like. Once again, I’ve called on the services of Glendon Haddix of Streetlight Graphics, who’s done an awesome job taking my vague arm-waving and turning it into wonderful covers with strong fantasy branding. Here’s his latest – enjoy!
I’m deep into the final edit of The Dragon’s Egg at the moment, and I thought it might be of interest to go into my editing process a little bit. Everyone has their own way of tackling the editing part of the job, and none of them are better or worse than any other, as long as the end result is a more polished and well-written piece of work. The only strategy I don’t recommend is skipping the editing process altogether. There are people who write a single draft and send it off into the world; Mark Lawrence, author of Prince of Thorns, is one of them, and if you write as well as he does, you can do whatever you like, frankly. But for mere mortals, or those of us with less experience, a solid editing process is essential. Here’s my system: 1) First draft editing This sounds like […]
January 2016 sees me enter my seventeenth month as a self-publisher. To date, I have four books published, the fifth is imminent and the sixth is written in first draft form. The seventh is already taking shape in my head. All of these are part of the Brightmoon Annals world, a connected series of (mostly) stand-alone books. There is also a new project, tentatively entitled the Allamont Annals, a series of Regency romances. The first of these is almost finished. In 2015, I wrote 318,000 words. In terms of sales, the books have had some modest success. Total sales 4,000, borrows 2,000 and over a million pages read. This is nowhere near bestseller status, but it’s satisfying to know that there are complete strangers out there who read and enjoy the books. In addition, I’ve given away more than 20,000 copies for free. But now that I’ve worked out how […]