Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Responses to a Great Review - Paperback and Sequel News!

So almost a month ago "Anthony P." wrote me a great review for SMARTASS. Some comments I had on what he wrote:

1. I actually, swear to God, had never read any Leigh Brackett until I was about 3/4 of the way through the book. I want to say I finished the first draft before I'd even heard of this lady. And I'm old enough that I should've already. To be honest I can't completely remember. Anyway, I was glad to be compared to her as she was doing a lot of the stuff I wanted to do from the beginning. I will admit that I read basically every Mars book of hers while revising the book but I didn't change the characters all that much. Nothing wrong with admitting your influences.

2.Very gratifying to hear about the proofreading and formatting. Partial credit for this goes to Guido Henkel and his ZEN OF EBOOK FORMATTING, which helped the book look awesome on the inside. I did all of it myself. That book comes very highly recommended, even if you don't have any knowledge of HTML, which admittedly I do.

And I have always been a neat rather than a sloppy writer -- part of my process is that I proofread while re-reading the previous session's writing. Really helps make that work go by very quickly. Still takes a lot of work -- so good to know it was appreciated! He's not wrong, folks.

3. A paperback version of SOM will happen -- once I can pay for it. Formatting a paper book is a more involved process than formatting an ebook, because paper gives you a lot more freedom for crazy fonts, etc as well as being more punishing in terms of getting the words right on the page. I have made enough money from SOM (THANKS AGAIN, EVERYONE!) that I can afford to pay someone to lay it out and fix the cover so that it will look right on a paper book. Keep watching here for the announcement. My "big" royalty check should be dropping any day now.

4. The sequel will drop "when its done". I am working on it at a pace somewhere between George "RR you ready for some football" Martin and Bukowski on coke. Which means some days I blast it and some days I blast fools in Team Fortress. Good reviews like this help motivate me so HINT FRICKIN HINT if you want the book faster, write more reviews! It will, however, certainly NOT be titled "Gods of Kunilak" as no one knows what the fuck Kunilak is and it goes against the philosophy of the book (and my others) to avoid a lot of the nerdiness of the genre.

Not that I'm too cool -- I mean, I am a hipster but let's be real, a hipster is a nerd that knows how to match a pair of pants with a shirt -- but I just have always hated the way scifi book titles just read like so much argle-bargle. "The Vecunian War Cycle Part Two: Fallout on BindleSea" is me just making one up off the top of my head to show you what I mean.

The title will PROBABLY be "<something> of Mars" until I write enough books that that gets old. By that point I think I would be done writing about Mars anyway, but you never know.The title will probably be the last thing I know since I wrote a list of about fifty and didn't really like any of them.

Hell, I didn't really like "Smartass of Mars" all that much. I was leaning towards "Queerbait of Mars" but thought people wouldn't really get what I meant there. "Slacker of Mars" was also in the running but seemed too generic to me.

5. Just wanted to clarify that while Alex McVey did the cover ART, Zach McCain did the cover LAYOUT. What does that mean? It means that Zach was the one who made it look like an old 70s paperback with some photoshop skills and his usual flair for design. Alex did everything that DOESN'T involve letters and numbers. I think "OICU812" was his idea, though. If you're an indie author, HIRE THESE GUYS. Good work for reasonable rates.

Anyway, really uplifting to see that out there in the big wide world there was at least one guy who got exactly what I was trying to do, and liked it. Thanks, Anthony P.

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