Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Quickie

Ha! Title got your attention? Don't be ashamed; we're all weak.

Just a short post to keep my toe in the water. I'm heads-down with a lot of things, so my posts have been few and far between--but as a writer it's important to keep active and visible in social media.

The Winds of Heaven and Earth is wrapping. My editor and I are in the final stages on the final chapters, and all the formatting, cover art, back and front matter, blurbs, ISBN and all that fun peripheral stuff is done. Once the last chapters are added, the long pole in the tent will be ordering and receiving the proof copy of the print version for review and approval.  The Kindle version isn't dependent on that, so it may ship a week or two earlier.

I'm tentatively targeting September 19th--International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  Why?  Because. Because the book has a lot of nautical themes and imagery, and just because I think it's fun. We'll see. Avast, ye hearties. Arrrrrr . . .

Work on the sequel, The Dark Paths of the World is coming along, slowly but steadily. (I saw the other day in my notes that the original title was Through the Dark Paths of the World. Hmm. Maybe. Have quite a while to decide; that's looking like a spring 2014 release. The title comes from the quote "“The hero is one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark streets of life for men to see by. The saint is the man who walks through the dark paths of the world, himself a light.” And there's a lot of dark paths in the book.)

I launched another project to fill my infinite spare time. I went though a lot, and learned a lot while wrestling with the setup/ formatting / uploading / proofing for the different mediums (print and Kindle / eBook.) I decided that other Indie authors would benefit from my experiences, so I'll be publishing a step-by-step guide to this process, hopefully by the end of the year. No working title, but it will be something like "Self-Publishing Your Book to Amazon: A Step-by-Step Guide to Formatting and Publishing Your Work to CreateSpace and KDP."  I need a shorter WIP title. I think "SPP" works.(Self-Pub Project.)

The average price for an eBook, as reported today by Digital Book World, is an all time low: $6.33. Fist pump.

Have a safe and fun holiday weekend.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Big Reveal

Although I was sort of happy with the original cover of The Winds of Heaven and Earth, I felt it was too placid; it didn't convey the sense of fate-driven helplessness that the Moby Dick quote that inspired the book's title warranted:

Know ye now, Bulkington? Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?”

I also wanted to amplify the nautical themes that emerge in the work, and thematically link it with the look and feel I already developed for the second book.

So I changed it.

The front cover is below, and then a shot of the complete jacket.

My editor Rebecca and I are 40 chapters of the book's 55 through the editing, so we're about 75% done; I'm still targeting a September publication date.

Please visit my new website if you haven't, http://stephenmholak.com

Full jacket:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Big Announcements

I've launched a new author website, stephenmholak.com. Not only can you find everything about me and my works, if you click on the book cover on the rotating widget or the link on the "Writing" page under the book, you can download a huge chunk of the upcoming novel--over 120 pages!

The first 100 people who email me through the site's Contact page will be placed into a drawing for an autographed, advance copy of the print version of the book. **Those of you who send me the promo code (again, via the website's Contact page) found at the end of the sample will be placed into the drawing TWICE.** Those of you who also correctly answer the question on the contact page will be placed in *THREE* times!

Links to and info about my other works can be found there, along with a bio and links back to this blog, as well as the above-described Contact page.

The cover, back jacket blurb, front materiel and print formatting for The Winds of Heaven and Earth is wrapped. My editor and I are roughly halfway through the editing pass, and the sample posted on my site is about 60% of the final edited materiel. If we stay on pace, we're still looking at a September launch for both the print and Kindle versions of the book.

And speaking of my amazing editor, Rebecca T. Dickson, a big congrats: Her book, The Definitive Guide to Writing on Your Terms, Using Your Own, Honest-to-God, Gut-Wrenching Voice  

has just hit #25 overall in Fiction and #1 in Writing Skills on Amazon. If you're a writer, you owe it to yourself to download this book. As of this writing, it's gathered 18 reviews on Amazon: 17 five-star and one 4-star. I'm pretty lucky to have an editor of her caliber, and the final polished product of the book will certainly reflect her skills and benefit you, the reader.

So do me a favor: checkout my site, read the sample, (and do yourself a favor--download the Beckster's book.) And be sure to get your name into the drawing for the free autographed copy of The Winds of Heaven and Earth

September will be here before we know it.