Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Stuff Going On

Might be a bit of an uninspiring title, but that's about the size of it for this post. Stuff going on.

Stuff one, and possibly most important, is that the release on Amazon of The Invisible Hand has been delayed. I'd intended that the book go live there early October and arranged everything accordingly. But my cover isn't done yet, and though I don't mind so much THI appearing elsewhere (B&N, Apple, Sony & Smashwords) with second-rate covers, I don't feel I can release into the biggest market without good work on the cover. Why isn't the cover ready? Well, it seems as simple as this - the artist has more important work to do, so I'm suddenly relegated to tail end charlie and we all have to wait.

Related to the above, there is my change of heart regarding Prison of Power. If you have read TLKA you may remember my own harsh words on that book at the end of it - in short, I don't recommend it. Well, I recently noticed that on the Smashwords page there are a few 'Facebook likes' and I realize that I have been guilty of hubris; the truth is, it doesn't matter what I think. If readers like it - and it seems that many do - then I should make it available, and if there is demand, I should also support it with another book. So, I also decided to release Prison of Power to Amazon in December, for which I would need another cover. Told you this was related to the above...

So... covers. What to do? Luckily I know an artist (which begs the question, why didn't I use him in the first place? but I'm not going to get into that right now) who has stepped into the breech and is working on covers (yes, two) for Prison of Power. The first is a quick interim cover so that I can release Prison of Power now - a month after I should have release The Invisible Hand; then a maybe better cover to replace it (though I may change my mind about that if this cover is well received): here's the cover as it is being worked on... maybe you could let me know what you think? I'll put it on the sidebar for a while...

Where was I? Oh, yes. Meeting deadlines - very important if you are a cover designer. Whatever happens next, my relationship with the cover designer for TLKA and TKTTG is compromised. Just like any other supplier in any other business, artists must deliver their goods on time. There are consequences to failing to do so - the consequences to me are clear; sales have tanked because the series isn't supported properly by the release of book three in the series, which would have appeared in New Releases for a month and been visible to attract new readers to the series.

Fortunately, as I said, I know another artist. I'll keep you posted.

Other stuff going on: well, I'm being nagged (gently and kindly, I should say) about book four in the series. That work is progressing; I have the shape of it and the first chunk is good. I don't want to say too much about it but, as usual, it is unlikely to be what is expected. Should be good, though.

At the same time - and this just happens sometimes - another story idea has reached its saturation point in my mind and has taken off. A Science Fiction novel that has been kicking around in the back of my mind for a while. I'm trying not to work on it too much but the characters are insistent. Other stories are also lurking - and it's times like this I think about publishers, whose sole function as far as I can see is to take care of the details so I can concentrate on the writing.

And that's about it for news.


  1. I just wanted to let you know that I started reading TLKA based (pretty much) purely on the cover design. I'm not a fan of fantasy usually but having been drawn in by the cover I read the reviews and decided to give it a go. I'm now halfway through the book and I'm utterly hooked! I will definitely be buying the rest of the series. You write in such an engaging manner, painting vivid pictures without resorting to overly descriptive prose. I've already recommended TLKA to a friend, who is starting it shortly, and will be telling everyone who will listen what a great read it is. I'll be sure to leave a glowing review on Amazon and Goodreads too :)

  2. That's a really nice way to start the day, so thank you for the kind words.

    Writing Sumto usually feels like watching a movie and recording it in prose as fast as I can, with barely as much as a pause button to help the process. I have wondered if reading the story works the other way around, if readers see the same scenes I did when writing, and still do when I remember a scene. No way to be sure, of course, but it may be so... who can know?

    When I first saw the cover art for TLKA I reacted with a spontaneous joyous laugh, because it was exactly right, totally perfect. Thanks for the reminder of that moment, as it still makes me smile some.