Tag Archives: almost all the way home from the stars

Over 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy books for only 99c each!

99c books in July

It’s that time of the month again — when we roll out another big Science Fiction and Fantasy ebook sale!. 🙂 July 2-3 you can get over 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy books, organized according to store and sub-genre, all for only 99c each.

My contribution this month is the collection of previously published short stories that I wrote with Jay Lake, who we lost two years ago last month, Almost All the Way Home From the Stars.

Almost all the way home from the stars

Enjoy! I hope you find something you like. 🙂

Advertisements

Book covers and an enchanted hero for #WIPpet Wednesday

I missed last week again, sorry. I was finalizing the paperback version of my latest collection of short stories, Oregon Elsewise, containing previously published works set in the state where I grew up — and that in many ways still feels like home. While I was at it, I decided to also finally put together the new paperback version of Almost All the Way Home From the Stars, the collection of published science fiction stories I wrote with Jay Lake. The original paperback version was done by Draft2Digital, and I was never completely happy with it, so doing it myself has long been on my to-do list. At the same time, I tweaked the cover a bit, trying to make the font stand out more. Here’s what I have now:

Collection with Jay Lake, new cover

For the sake of comparison, here’s the old:

I was noticing that in thumbnail, the font on the old version was looking unfinished somehow, so I decided to mess with it. Happy to hear any feedback you might have!

With all the work on formatting interiors and creating / messing with covers, I haven’t gotten a lot of writing done in the last week or so. Last week, I managed 1600 new words on Shards of Glass. I also did some editing, and cut 2000 words from the manuscript — which means I ended up with a weekly total of -400 words! 🙂

For Wippet Wednesday, we will back up and return to the previous book, Facets of Glass, which is also still in draft mode, so I’m not cheating. I’m just waiting to finish this last book before I go back and start on the edits of the second.

Two weeks ago, we left Gaetano talking with the unconscious Minerva while her sister watches in amazement. This excerpts picks up exactly where that one left off. Today I am giving you 12 sentences for the day of the month, plus 1 to finish the paragraph:

“Who are you speaking to?” Anastasia asked.
“Your sister. She asked me if I am the one who enchanted her. But I have no magic.” Nor did the dowager princess. But she had access to a bevy of witches and alchemists to turn lead into gold and beautiful young women into living corpses.
“Do you have any idea who might have done this to my sister?” Anastasia asked.
“No,” he lied. He still had to stay on the good side of the dowager princess. And he couldn’t trust Anastasia to keep his suspicions to herself.
Anastasia clapped her hands to her cheeks. “Enchanted! Perhaps I can find a witch to lift the spell.”

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts.

Almost All the Way Home From the Stars #6 in Australia

In the middle of all the turmoil, I got a little consolation prize today:

That’s right, Almost All the Way Home From the Stars is #6 in Free Kindle Books in Australia. This is not a genre list, it’s free books overall. This is what it looks like at the time of this writing:

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Space Opera
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Dystopian

I don’t generally sell much in Australia, so this is great news. With any luck, it will result in one of my books being more visible there for a while. I’ve had a couple of sales of my other books in Australia this week too. Since Amazon opened its AU store, I’ve sold a *total* of 5 books down under, so I can really use a little visibility. Cross your fingers for me. 🙂

FREE though Friday – story collection with Jay Lake, Almost All the Way Home From the Stars

Almost all the way home from the stars

From now through Friday, you can get Almost all the Way Home From the Stars, a collection of seven science fiction stories that I wrote with my friend Jay Lake, who passed away in June after years battling cancer.

The description:

Near future dystopia, colonies in space, galactic empires: this collection has it all! “Almost All the Way Home From the Stars” is a collection of seven science fiction short stories by award winning writers Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold. The settings range from galactic empires on distant worlds, to a dystopia in the near future warped by fundamentalism, to an alternate US where slavery was never abolished. Here a sampling:

“Rivers of Eden”: In a world transformed by a virus affecting faith, one lone scientist wants to set loose a cure for fanaticism.

“The Big Ice”: On Hutchinson’s World, Vega and Mox are trying to unravel the mystery of the Big Ice — until the family responsibilities Vega has been trying to escape come back to haunt her.

“The Canadian Who Came Almost All the Way Home From the Stars”: An NSA agent is assigned to look after a Canadian scientist whose husband has left Earth to visit the stars — and the strange dimple in the lake that she is watching, waiting for his return.

Five of the stories have been previously published elsewhere, in various online and print markets, including Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best Science Fiction. Two stories are new with this collection.

If you get a chance to download and read, I hope you enjoy the stories!

Many words, a story sale, and then off to France!

The word production has been going quite well since I decided to do Nano again. Last week, I got 13,000 words written, and so far this week it’s another 5400. Doing word sprints has been helping a LOT (thank you, sprint pals!) No writing so far today, though — I’ve been packing and setting up my little netbook for the trip. Tomorrow I fly to Paris for the next Villa Diodati workshop. We won’t actually be in Paris, though. This is where we’ll be:

Three days and four night of writing talk and good food and critiquing great fiction (which I finally have to make a bit more progress on! I’ve been concentrating too much on word production lately.)

I also have some good news: I sold another short story the traditional way, with payment on publication, to the online zine Abyss and Apex. It’s another one of my Alaska stories in the Tales From Far Beyond North series, “Degrees of Separation.”

Finally, I’m going to be giving away another book next week, Almost all the Way Home From the Stars, a collection of stories I wrote with the late great Jay Lake. So far this year it’s sold a handful of copies, so I pulled it from other venues and put it in KDP Select so that I would be able to at least push it with free runs. Although I published it over a year ago, it still doesn’t have any reviews. Of course, the people who pick up a book during free runs may not be my target audience (I’ve gotten a lot of negative reviews for short story collections that way), but with at most 1 sale a month, even some reviews complaining about the short stories being short would be an improvement. So mark your calendars for Nov. 17 – 21, and grab yourself a copy sometime next week!

Now we come to WIPpet Wednesday! Math is fast and dirty today: 12 sentences for the 12th of the month from Facets of Glass — plus 2 to end the scene. 🙂 The Evil Dowager Princess is planning some nasty stuff involving a glass apple:

The dowager princess lifted the apple of glass up from the table next to the raised chair where she sat and handed it down to the witch. “I was wondering if there were some enchantment you could give to this apple to create the illusion of illness in someone.”
Vanna turned the apple over in her hands. “Create the illusion of illness?” she repeated.
Zilia shrugged. “I am not the wielder of magic, so I do not know what is possible.”
She noticed the precise moment when the witch found the clever wormhole in the glass apple. Her hands stilled, and she gazed at the spot, her forehead creasing in lines of thought. The dowager princess was struck once again by how few wrinkles lined Vanna’s face, given her silver-white hair. It made it very difficult to guess her age.
Vanna looked up form her contemplation of the apple, and her eyes met those of the dowager princess. “I believe I could insert a spell in this apple through the wormhole that might, under the right circumstances, seduce a soul to leave its body and be one with the enchanted apple.”
Zilia found herself — totally against her inclination and training — wanting to clap her hands in glee at the witch’s suggestion.
If it worked, it would be perfect.

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts.

Amazing deal on Amazon.de: Get Almost All the Way Home From the Stars for under 1000 Euros!

Once again, a vendor on Amazon has outdone itself, and is offering my collection of SF short stories with Jay Lake, Almost All the Way Home From the Stars for only 999,11 Euros! Since I don’t know how long this incredible deal will last, I took another screen shot:

Amazon.de deal

I only wish I could sell it for that …

I wonder what bots were at work this time to come up with such an incredible opportunity.

Publishing to multiple stores through Draft2Digital: Almost All the Way Home From the Stars

A while back, I promised to blog about the process of formatting a book for all sales channels offered by Draft2Digital, including CreateSpace. Before I published this collection of stories I wrote with Jay Lake, Almost All the Way Home From the Stars, I only used D2D for B&N, Kobo, and the Apple bookstore. For that, I could upload the EPUB file that I compiled with Scrivener. For this collection, however, I also wanted hard copy, and in order to generate the PDF for CreateSpace, D2D requires a DOC file.

So I made a clean doc file of the book, (I talk more about that here), uploaded it to D2D, and waited to see what would happen.

I had a couple of problems with the upload that writers who use the service in the future will not have, at least according to a recent email I received listing some of the improvements they’ve made. I knew, for example, that the generation procedures used by Draft2Digital at the time of my upload stripped away all the scene break symbols, like “#” or “* * *”. On the Kindle Boards, I’d read the recommendation to use a graphic to indicate scene breaks in order to get around that “feature”. So I found a dingbat I thought fit in a science fiction book and replaced all the scene breaks with that.

Unfortunately, the D2D generators didn’t understand it, it defaulted to something else, and I ended up with a random letter between scenes.

Next try, I found a symbol native to Word in the hopes that it would stick, a simple diamond, and replaced all the scene breaks in my DOC file with that. That worked for the ebook venues, and I approved the ebook for publication.

Next step, CreateSpace. I wasn’t completely happy with the PDF that was to be the basis for the print copy, for several reasons. The most important was that it didn’t have a Table of Contents. That’s perfectly fine for a novel, but a short story collection really needs a TOC. So the wonderful Draft2Digital folks decided to use our book to test a new and improved PDF generation.

Now, after a lot of PDFs sent by D2D support and suggestions for improvement made by me, not only does the print version of Almost All the Way Home have a TOC, it also has running headers. You can take a look at how it turned out here.

Once I approved the PDF, I had to make the wraparound cover for the paperback. This is what it looks like:

The disadvantage of publishing to CreateSpace through D2D, I discovered, is that I don’t get a discount as an author, boo hoo. But now that it’s live, I think I’ll manage to buy myself a copy anyway. 🙂 (If you’re interested in other stores carrying the ebook, I listed them here.)

As to writing, rather than formatting and publishing, I finished the new version of Island of Glass last week. It is now 23,000 words, 7,000 words more than the last incarnation. Most of that is through adding Chiara’s step-sister Minerva as foil for the protagonist, as well as more detail where I had skipped it. Right now, I’m going through a printed copy before sending it to my niece, who will be my first reader.

Anyway, never a dull moment. And now, the winter that never wanted to end is finally showing signs of ending, and we have SO much to catch up on in the garden! That has taken a lot of my free time the last few days, I have to admit. 🙂

Wishing everyone a great week and much success with whatever you undertake!

Almost All the Way Home From the Stars now available on Amazon, iTunes, B&N, & Kobo

I just realized that I never posted the links to Almost All the Way Home From the Stars (the first collection of my stories with Jay Lake) here on my blog, only on Facebook. So without further ado, here are the links to the various ebooks stores where you can buy it:

Amazon

iBookstore

Kobo

Barnes and Noble

The CreateSpace version is still in the works. Draft2Digital is a great service, but it’s still in Beta, after all, and the helpful folks there are working on a way to generate a Table of Contents for books that need them. Their default PDF generation didn’t include a TOC. That’s fine for a novel, but a table of contents is necessary for a short story collection. Non-fiction too, for that matter.

Once that procedure is complete, I’ll blog about different ways of getting your book up on Draft2Digital.

If anyone is interested in a review copy of the collection, drop me a line, and I’ll be happy to send you whichever format you need.

“Story Hunger” up on Amazon, a new mini collection – and various other updates

After getting my story collection with Jay Lake, Almost All the Way Home From the Stars, up on Draft2Digital, I decided to get one more big thing off my to-do list, and finished another collection of my own stories, Story Hunger:


Here’s the blurb:

“Story Hunger” is a short collection of two stories and one flash fiction piece: a tale from the cycle of the Rose knights; a fantasy prose poem; a story of Native American magic and of Raven in an alternate Pacific Northwest.

What these stories have in common is that they all revolve around the power of words; to affect us, to move us, to change us.

In preparing Story Hunger for publication, I tried to take a shortcut, since I’ve been so pleased with the way Scrivener makes EPUB and MOBI files: I skipped the step where I make a clean copy by going through HTML and a text editor. (I’ve talked before about how I do this here.) Boy did I regret skipping that step. When I uploaded the mobi to Amazon, I kept finding centered passages, even though they looked fine in Word and Scrivener. I ended up uploading Story Hunger about four times, sigh.

If you’re interested in getting the collection, wait a few days. Even though I no longer believe KDP Select is particularly effective, I enrolled this little collection and am planning to make it free soon. I will announce it here once I have the free run organized.

I still haven’t gotten back to the cover for Chameleon in a Mirror, but as soon as I have a new version, I will upload it and pick y’all’s brains for feedback. 🙂

I’ve had a request to write a post on uploading a book to Draft2Digital, and that is now in the works. Another thing to look forward to is a post on my experiences uploading Yseult to Createspace.

Me, I’m looking forward to concentrating mostly on WRITING in the coming week. I’ve gotten a lot of stuff off my business to-do list, but I’ve done next to no writing. Time to get back to the reason I’m in this business to start with!