Summer Marketing Programs

IMG_0174A shout out to locals that I will be at the Northwest Book Festival this Saturday July 26 with special deals on my paperback versions of the Alysian Universe Series. Come by Pioneer Square in Portland, Oregon from 11:00 to 5:00 p.m. I’d love to see you at booth #14.

There will be candy.

And loads of great reads.

Also…(da dum)

On August 9 from 1:00 p.m. To 4:00 p.m. at Jan’s Paperbacks on TV Highway in Aloha, OR, I’ll be signing books and chatting with everyone. Meet me there.

As you can see, summer weather stirs the body and our recent gorgeous weather means I just have to get out and about to enjoy the company of others. (sorry Jo Walton)

Lately, I have been experimenting with several of Amazon’s marketing programs to see which is more effective.

In May, I enrolled in KDP Select and made Caught in Time available for free for five days after Mother’s Day.

As I reported, 4,500 downloads all over the world resulted. And then, my other books in the series took off.

Readers appear to read the first and then continue on with the series.

I was so excited with the program that I couldn’t see how the Amazon Countdown could be any better.

But I was willing to experiment.

I started the Countdown Deal on July 5th, and extended it through the 12th. Once again, I enrolled Caught in Time since it deals with the earliest events.

The surprise is, that now near the end of the July, the net revenue of both programs is within a dollar of each other.

The only difference is that I still have a large number of books sitting on to-read shelves from the free downloads, and once read, hopefully readers will want to continue on with other exciting stories in the series. I’m curious to find out how the long tail plays out.

Because I write time travel, Cosmic Entanglement can also be read as a first book. Therefore, I decided to offer it this August 16-23 under the Amazon Countdown Program. It will start at $.99 and every two days increase in one dollar increments for seven days.

This one is a nice summer read roundup.

 

After reviewing Sharon Shinn’s Angel series, I discovered she has started another series.

And there was a book in the Twelve Houses Series I hadn’t read, actually a companion piece put out after the series wrapped up.

So….I couldn’t resist.

Fortune and FateFortune and Fate proved very satisfying.

The story centers on Wen who is one of the fifty elite riders sworn to protect King Baryn, only she is fighting at his side when he gets mortally wounded from a rebel attack on the palace. On top of that emotional blow, her lover marries another and Wen runs away and changes her identity, roaming the land, trying to save others as atonement for not saving her king.

Unexpectedly, she saves from abduction and rape, young serramar Karryn, noble lady to one of the rebel houses. With her father dead, her uncle Jasper Pallamar looks after Karryn and her scatty mother. Upon returning the young lady to House Fortunalt, Wen notices how poor security is, and comments to Jasper. The uncle is more intelligent nerd than brawny soldier and convinces Wen to stay for a short period of time to organize a home security guard. Her subsequent experiences at House Fortunalt are touching and exciting, and worth a read.

Royal Airs

The new series, Elemental Blessings, starts with Troubled Waters as book 1 and continues with the second book Royal Airs. I started with Royal Airs first because of availability,  and may pick up Troubled Waters now.

I enjoyed the light romance between the mysterious professional gambler Rafe Ardova and Princess Josetta. Shinn deploys a new and interesting magic system based on the elements: air, fire, earth, water, plus wood. Each element pairs up with human attributes. However, when blessings are drawn for Rafe, they are either extraordinary blessings or blanks. Then he is told that his parents are from another country. Several mysteries develop over Josetta’s position in the royal ascension and Rafe’s true origins.

A light and enjoyable fantasy read.

Summer is flying by. Enjoy every juicy bit of it and I hope to see you out and about.

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Science Fiction: More Marketing and An Exciting Military Series

IMG_0165Word of mouth..still a powerful means of getting your book out there, but there’s no way to control it except by writing a story worthy of mention.

As Mark Coker says, “Content trumps all.”

I am still figuring out the best path in which to offer my books that is both cost effective and energy efficient. As a counterpoint to Coker’s idea of spreading distribution access to your book across distribution lines, Hugh Howey has a thought provoking blog entitled. http://buff.ly/1llCPY6No More Shitty Baskets | Hugh Howey hughhowey.com

Once again, I enrolled Caught in Time in Amazon’s KDP Select and this time tried the Countdown Deal. I did very little marketing on my own and was pleasantly surprised at the results. There are hordes of readers who have found the website for Countdown deals, and also sign up for daily offerings of free books through other websites. Avid readers are cleverly pursuing cost effective ways to satiate their reading experience.

As much as I honor Coker’s efforts, for my genre, or maybe just my books, they are not selling in Smashwords. Two books have been listed there for over two years and sales are dismal. I’m not sure why as they are listed on Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Sony, Diesel, Scrib’ner and now, libraries. While Smashwords sets my books on other shelves, Amazon helps me market and seeds the entire globe with them. And I am selling well there. I sell in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, India, Canada, Australia and more.

It makes me dizzy. It thrills me.

So the word is spreading and not always in American English.

Which brings me to this week’s selection suggested by fellow writer Ted Blasche. Ted just recently published a gem of a short story in VFW…or Veterans of the Future Wars, an anthology of short story military science fiction. Ted holds the rank of LTC USA (retired), and is in the process of writing an exciting military science fiction series that will eventually reach publication.

Aurora He leaned forward at our last meeting and with eyes alight recommended I read Aurora cv-01 by Ryk Brown. If you check out this series, you’ll notice there’s lots to it. Within days, Ted was on book#8 and intravenous feedings so as not to have to stop reading in order to eat.

Aurora follows a well known storyline. The influential senator’s son, Nathan Scott, rebels against his father and enrolls in the space academy where he is noticed by Captain Roberts. There is competition for the spot of helm with a smart and feisty female, Cameron Taylor but Nathan’s unorthodox strategies win him the helm position. Anal and by-the-book Cameron is paired with Nathan as his navigator. Sparks fly between the two competitors.

Unexpectedly, the unit is shifted to a brand new, top secret ship, named Aurora, and ordered out for a trial run and shake down cruise to Jupiter. To Nathan’s chagrin, a one night stand from his father’s party shows up in uniform in a security position on board the ship. But Nathan can’t be distracted by complications at the moment.

Upon arriving in the orbit of Jupiter, Captain Roberts unveils a prototype jump engine on board and receives orders from Earth Command to jump to the Oort Cloud to test its effectiveness. Captain Roberts also informs the bridge that the Jung, a powerful enemy, has recently conquered yet another system, and Sol system is the last remaining free system left in the galaxy. He speculates that within a few years, the Jung may attack Sol system with the intent to take it over. However, the trial jump lands them in the lap of an unexpected Jung fleet and they’re immediately engaged in battle.

Hit and barely functioning, the Aurora inflicts damage on an enemy ship that appears to be inoperative, but a boarding party finds surviving soldiers have activated an anti-matter self destruct sequence. Tension, non stop action ensues as the boarding party scrambles away, one brave soldier staying behind to give the Aurora more time to escape the imminent explosion. In desperation, the Aurora jumps as the anti-matter explodes in the nearby ship, kicking the ship 10,000 light years across the universe, landing it in the middle of yet another unexpected battle. Immediately, the Aurora’s crew is attacked by a huge unknown alien ship. Winning, the fight, Captain Roberts gets mortally wounded, leaving Nathan, three weeks out of the academy, as captain. Now the ship is badly damaged and again involved in active combat, but this time thousands of light years from Earth.Rings of Haven

As you can see, Ryk Brown provides breath taking action. Young Nathan scrambles to save what’s left of the crew and try to figure out what’s happening in an unknown sector far, far from home. He needs to fix a damaged jump engine that is limited in how far it can function and get home so he can warn Earth of the Jung attack…but first…he needs to survive.

Legend of CorinairI don’t care if the scenario has ever been done before, I was breathing heavily through several action-packed episodes. The storyline has some great twists and turns and enough emotion and character development for most military scifi readers. The one screaming flaw was the disruptive changes in point of view. I would be reading in one point of view and suddenly flip to another, then within two sentences flip back. When you’re trying to fight a battle, this can become annoying. But other than that, I agree that this is the start of a fine new series and if military scifi is your interest…welcome aboard…and hang on.

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Filed under alien life forms, Alien worlds, Hugh Howey, Indie authors, Indie Publishing, Indie Science Fiction Authors, Marketing and selling novels, military science fiction, science fiction series, Science fiction thriller, space ship

Science Fiction Marketing and a few Sequels

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Before reviewing two sequels, I want to mention two new marketing programs I have recently experienced.

The first came about when Catherine Asaro showed up to follow me on Twitter. Wow! Me!

Her series of the Skolian Universe is one of my favorites. (Received a Nebula for A Quantum Rose ) and I dream….dream of having my Alysian series do anywhere near as well as hers. So I was excited when she popped up in my e-mail and wanted to tweet me.

Turns out she was putting out the word for an innovative Kickstarter Program for an audible book, Aurora in Four Voices. The goal was $4500 and by the time I tweaked to what she was doing, she had exceeded that goal reaching $5595 with 121 backers and promising to write a new novella for the series if she got to $9000 by the deadline…and it looks like that might happen.Aurora in Four Voices

The idea of funding books, and other projects, with Kickstarter is getting a lot of notice resulting in notable success stories. Most likely you need to be as famous as Asaro or have a compelling story to tell to achieve your goal, but it’s gaining enough traction to keep an eye on and think about.

The other new marketing program I want to mention is Amazon’s Countdown Deal. I found the five days free with KDP Select extremely successful, so I decided to try the CountDown also, as an experiment.

Often five days, especially over a weekend, isn’t enough time for some busy readers to act on a special. However, if you missed my KDP Select deal, (and many didn’t) here is another opportunity to get Caught in Time at a discount. Starting July 6 at .99 the price escalates every three days for twelve days and then the price resumes at the normal retail rate of $3.99…still a bargain, and you have twelve days to act…although time is already running out. Tap on the cover at the right, open the window to Amazon to get the current status, get a great price and enjoy a fun adventure through time to a medieval past.

I am currently #84 out of the hundreds of time travel books and moving up. *smile*

For all the commotion and negative comments currently going around about Amazon, if you are an author and want to sell books, Amazon does it far better than any other venue. They also strive to come up with ways to help market your book if you are an author, or help you find what you want to read if you’re a reader.

I am both, and grateful.

It’s unfortunate that success often makes you a target. I don’t remember the big publishers having such tender hearts over fledgling authors back in their day. If they deigned to respond at all, they called the tune and made the authors dance through their narrow publishing gate. Now they’re trying to characterize Amazon as the greedy guy? And…The big chain stores that squeezed out the mom and pop bookstores are suddenly calling Amazon a bully? How memories fade.

Deep breath.

Leviathan WakesWhen I suggest a series, I usually start with the first book of the series in my review. If I really like the series, often I continue on with other books in that series. This week, I want to briefly mention a few. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to know whether to start a series or not.

The first comment is from the Expanse Series. See my opinion on Leviathan Wakes in my June 9th blog. James S. A. Corey’s (pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) third book. Abaddon’s Gate, continues this saga. It didn’t disappoint.

The story continues as the proto molecule escapes Venus and hurtles out to Uranus where it creates a self assembling ring or gate. James Holden and crew join ships from Mars, Earth and the Outer Belt to investigate the strange structure. Neither one wants the other to get an advantage over them in the exploration of space, so all parties show up. Drawn through the structure at high speeds, all ships suddenly come to a deadly halt and are forced into a slow crawl with many suffering damaged crew, cargo, ship and passengers. On the other side of the ring only empty dark space is visible.Abaddon's Gate

Without going into too much detail, so as not to spoil the story, a new character is introduced who wants to kill Jim Holden. So intrigue and drama continue in this third of the series. How will Holden survive and dodge an assassin’s obsession? What message does the proto molecule alien deliver to Holden through the now dead Detective Miller? What political intrigue results as ships jockey to survive and conquer each other?

The bottom line…Did I like it? Yes. And if you liked the first two, you will also like this one.

There is also a fourth coming up…Cibola Burns. Hatchette has priced the Kindle at $12.99 and hardback at $25.Cibola Burn

Envision me ranting on a worn-out soapbox.

Another third book in a fantasy series with the same results is the Republic of Thieves by hot author Scott Lynch.

Republic of thievesThe Republic of Thieves picks up from the dramatic conclusion of Red Seas Under Red Skies and starts with Locke Lamora dying. After exhausting every avenue and every local physician, stalwart companion Jean convinces Locke to enter into a pact with the Bondsmagi to save his life.

In return for purging Locke’s body of the sorcerer’s poison, Jean and Locke agree to orchestrate a winning ticket for the Deep Roots party in Karthain, Capitol of the sorcerers. Unbeknownst, but not for long, the opposite party, The Black Iris, will be run by Sabatha, Locke’s up to now mysterious love, briefly mentioned in the two previous books, Two stories of their relationship alternate throughout this book. Once again, all three are up to their eyeballs in chicanery, manipulation, a Shakespearean style play and all around laugh out loud bantering dialog.

Again…a great read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under award winning scifi, Best selling science fiction, Book reviews, ebook marketing, ebook science fiction, Marketing and selling novels, Nebula nominations, Political Science Fiction, science fiction series, Science fiction world building, space ship, space travel, The future of publishing

Science fiction: Time Travel and Robots

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Two books on robots and time travel…perennial favorites.

But first.

Are you curious about social media and want some hard numbers? Check out this interesting blog by Jeff Bullas as to, who and how many, are on our favorite websites.

http://www.jeffbullas.com/2014/01/17/20-social-media-facts

So robots and time travel:

While blogging about time travel recently, several readers commented that The Door into Summer by Robert Heinlein was one of their favorite time travel novels. I hadn’t read it.

So I did.

Door into Summer

And really enjoyed it. I recommend it strongly to time travel enthusiasts.

Dan Davis, a brilliant electronics engineer, creates the invention of a lifetime…a robot that does almost anything called Hired Girl. His best friend, Miles, becomes a partner and they hire a curvaceous Belle Darkin to handle the administrative side of the fledgling company. Dan immediately falls in love with her.

The salesman inside Miles wants to get the product out the door and make money right away while the engineering mind of Dan wants to make sure it will work. His fertile imagination already has two more robots on the drawing board: Windows Willie and Protean Pete, named after his sidekick cat, Pete.

Pete accompanies Dan everywhere. Well, almost everywhere.

And when Miles and Belle collude to take over the growing company, Dan nosedives into depression at their betrayal, and signs up with Mutual Insurance to take “the Big Sleep.” Then he changes his mind, but keeps the contract on him. Half drunk, Dan goes to confront Miles and Belle about their deception. After a scuffle and threats, Dan is knocked unconscious where the two discover his ticket and bundled him off into the cryo crib to get rid of him, sending him thirty years into the future.

Heinlein deftly uses cryogenics to get Dan into the future where he discovers a time machine that will transport him back into his past to right the wrongs done to him.

Time travel like this can be tricky, but Heinlein weaves a delicious story of revenge that satisfies at all levels.

The character of Dan is especially well drawn as he continually has new ideas popping into his inventive mind on how to make life easier for the average housewife, even years in the future. And the machinations of time travel and how to use it are a fun read. The exploits of Miles and Belle are also interesting as you read how Dan tries to thwart them.

Fruit of the Gods

Dan’s robots assist the ordinary person, making his or her life easier. They have no independent intelligence. However, in Fruit of the Gods by Gary Naiman, robots have evolved in intelligence and form the army that supports twelve global corporations called the Consortium.

This science fiction dystopia peeks into a future where nuclear war, political terrorists and a devastating earthquake plunge the world into chaos, poverty and starvation. Humans roam about unemployed, and economies have collapsed. Only the mining of algae off the seabed and conversion to a food called “manna” prevents worldwide starvation.

The Consortium is the ruling body that dispenses the manna and tries to run the world efficiently through robots. With all this unrest, underground rebels led by top scientists plan to bring down the Consortium.

To avert a takeover and bring down the insurgents, the current leaders bring in their top spy. Enter 0021, or Lucinda, and her robot companion, Gog, who are sent to ferret out rebel activities, but instead uncover the truth of what is really happening.

While Naiman’s Amazon reviews are glowing, it took me a little while to warm up to the story. It was well written, I just struggled to follow hints and clues as to what was happening.

Still, it moved along well and is an interesting story along the lines of IRobot by Asimov. If you like robots, dystopia stories and spy games, then you will like this.

 

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Filed under Alien and human bonding, artificial intelligence, Best selling science fiction, Classic science fiction, Disaster Fiction, Dystopia Earth, Post Apocalyptic, Robots in science fiction, science fiction, Science fiction thriller, time travel, Transhumanism, Uncategorized

Quantum Theory Noir Thriller: hard science in science fiction

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Grab your chisels ladies and gentlemen. For those of you who have been mumbling that McCartha has gone soft, this week’s review is for you.

It’s all about hard science fiction.

For what is the most challenging, the most difficult to get your head around, the least understood of all the science theories?

Quantum Theory.

You bet. It changes even as you look at it, and a cat-in-a-box can be both dead and alive until the observer decides it’s fate.

Schrodinger’s Gat attempts to explain Quantum Theory, Probability and Permutation as the main characters manipulate events at every toss of a coin.

Welcome to a hard science novel that tackles a challenging subject and gives lectures along the way. Yes, throughout the book are serious science lectures where the author warns you that if you’re after story only, you should skip the next several paragraphs of dense science theory.

Of course, when anyone says, “Don’t read this, or look away,” that’s when I dig out my glasses.

Told in the first person,using the voice and ambience of a Dashiell Hamnet novel, Schrodinger’s Gat is a simple story that  explores the quandary of fate versus free will and the puzzle of parallel dimensions.

Interested?

Yes, please.

Schrodinger's GatFailed writer, teacher and divorced father, Paul Bayes succumbs to depression, tosses a coin and lets its outcome direct him to step in front of an oncoming Bart subway.

There are several depression ridden moments…be warned.

While moaning over his life in true Hamlet fashion, he is still male enough to notice out of the corner of his eye, a pretty dark-haired girl watching him and when the coin comes up tails and he begins to step forth, she yells, “No!” and runs away.

Flummoxed, he hesitates just long enough to miss his train, and instead he takes off and chases her to begin a wild ride into the realm of quantum physics. For Tali, can locate tragedies and prevent them from happening. She dices with fate at the toss of a coin and the possibility of breaking free from the grip of fate fills Paul with hope…until the future begins to punch back.

This two-hundred and eight page story is full of action, but is also a mind-bending romp into the hard science of Quantum Physics.

You wanted it.

And if you haven’t had your fill yet,  this fascinating link shows how the dreams of science fiction writers have turned into the reality of present day science. http://www.buzzfeed.com/microsoftmsn/10-science-fiction-technologies-that-are-now-real

Check it out…science fiction technology becomes real day technology.

 

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Filed under Alternate Universes, Best selling science fiction, blog information, hard science, Hard science fiction, Quantum Theory Noir Thriller, science fiction, Science Fiction Detective Story, Science Fiction Mystery, Science fiction thriller, time travel

The Writing World and Critique Groups

 

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Writers’ Critique Groups

Writing about the new book publishing age, I mentioned the importance of a good critique group to help polish a self-pubbed book. My critique group has been invaluable, so I asked D. Wallace Peach to say a few words about what makes a good writing critique group.

Known to me as Diana, she has published her third book, SunWielder, which I recently reviewed, and has submitted the rest of her Myths of the Mirror Trilogy: Eye of Fire, and Eye of Blind to her publisher. So stay tuned for that sometime in 2015.

Even with an editor and Diana’s exact eye for copywriting, I believe the critique group helped make the final books of the Myths Trilogy even stronger and better.Sunwielder

So here’s what she had to say:

Diana:  “A critique group is different from a support group, though they overlap. My mother is a one-woman support group; she loves everything I’ve written since I was six. And for that reason she’s an awful person to ask for a critique.

Joining a critique group may be one of the smartest steps we can take in our careers as writers. Pointed, honest feedback is essential to learning and refining our craft. But finding the right group is like finding the right psychotherapist; sometimes you have to work at it to get a good fit. You want the truth, but in a way that’s helpful and encourages you to grow.”

Sheron: Cross mom and Aunt Susie off the list.

Diana: “Group Composition

Not all groups are alike. Some are loosey-goosey, others more formally structured. Learn as much as you can about the expectations of a group and be honest with yourself about your needs and the time commitment you’re prepared to make.

A few considerations:

  1. Not everyone in a critique group needs to work in the same genre, but there may certain drawbacks to being the only romance writer is a group of military science-fiction buffs.
  2. Four to five members is ideal, providing sufficient feedback while not overwhelming members with critiques.
  3. A mix of male and female participants is great for garnering different perspectives.
  4. Though some writers may prefer a group with equivalent experience, a mix of new and seasoned members can be extremely rewarding. New writers often bring fresh energy.
  5. If a group experience leaves you discouraged and angry, don’t stay. Groups are supposed to vitalize your love of writing, not drain your enthusiasm.

Structural Norms

How groups are run and structured varies group to group. Some meet face-to-face, others are entirely on-line. In general, guidelines for effective critiquing are the same, but I am a strong proponent of face-to-face feedback where verbal and physical cues (like smiling) augment the words we chose in our critiques. Meeting in person offers an opportunity to elaborate on comments and ask/answer questions.”

Sheron:  I like to look them in the eye when I tell them what needs fixing. Sometimes, they have a reason for the story to be that way. In addition, you should have a rule that all weaponry be left at home.

Diana:  “However a group is structured, there are generally norms related to timing, submissions and how critiques are returned to the authors. The critique group I belong to meets twice a month in person for approximately three hours and a written critique is completed between meetings. This is how we work:

  1. Via email, we distribute our submissions to other group members. Submissions are limited to 20 double space pages (with occasional exceptions).
  2. Group members critique each submission and return it via email to the writer with comments. (Word has a “comment” tool that is very helpful in this regard.)
  3. Prior to the face-to-face meeting, we review our comments so we’re prepared to discuss ideas and answer questions for the author.
  4. Meetings start with a focus on one member’s work. One at a time, readers offer additional feedback and respond to questions. The process repeats itself until all submissions have been discussed. (Set time limits for face-to-face feedback if meetings run over. Don’t skip discussing someone’s work.)Myths of the Mirror

Receiving Feedback

Rarely do two people provide the same advice, and sometimes what one person loves, another would “suggest tweaking”. Sally may be great at tracking emotional themes; Margo is the queen of punctuation. Larry gives a man’s perspective of … well, everything. Jenny adores lurid descriptions, and Katie is the verb-police. Everyone brings something to the table and the author uses what’s helpful and dumps the rest.

Sheron: This is amazing. No two people read the material the same way and just when I think all’s been “fixed,” someone makes an important comment.”

Diana: “Some writers submit first drafts, others a final product, and most something in between. What a writer turns over for critiquing will flavor what comes back. A first draft may point at awkward dialog, holes in the story, punctuation problems, word choice, and grammar. Often a first draft will benefit from a second look after the writer has smoothed the rough edges. For a “final draft” the critique may serve as a last review before the manuscript wings off to the publisher. Either way, a critique group does not eliminate the need for repeated, careful editing on part of the author.”

Sheron: Read that last sentence twice.

Diana:  “Giving Feedback

Writing is personal, and when a writer shares her work and asks for feedback, it’s an act of trust, worthy of respect. Be cognizant of your personal preferences and writing style and separate these from your critiques.

An effective critique starts by emphasizing the strengths of the work. An initial focus on the writer’s successes makes hearing suggestions easier on the ears and heart. There’s always something positive to comment on – story, scene, character, section of dialog, a description, humor, rapport, tension, punctuation, word choice, grammar, pace. A critique is successful if a writer feels good about his or her work and eager to tackle the hurdles.

As much as possible provide suggestions so that the writer gets the gist of your comment. If you identify a weak verb, give a few suggestions for stronger ones. If a sentence is awkward, suggest a possible rewrite. If you think a section of dialog feels stilted, explain why. If you think the character’s emotion is inappropriate, explain your perspective.

You may end up critiquing the equivalent of a chapter or two every two weeks. Remember that this isn’t a typical pace for pleasure reading. A book may seem as though it’s dragging, but that may be more a result of the group’s pace than the book’s.”

Sheron:  This is true if the work is long. Or you meet with lots of time between the critique.Melding of Aeris

Diana:  “When we critique another’s writing we are commenting on the work, not the person. The most helpful criticism is specific to the piece. It points to a word, scene, or paragraph and explains what isn’t working for the reader. Then the writer can see exactly where the challenge lies, learn about another’s perspective and make a choice. Broad negative statements aren’t only signs of a poorly crafted critique, they’re unhelpful and demoralizing. Broad positive statements are fine, but grounding positive feedback with examples shows the writer the strengths he can build on.”

These are great comments and thank you to Diana.

BTW: Diana and I will be signing our books at Jan’s Paperback Saturday, August 9 at 1:00 p.m.

We invite you to join us there.

Address: 18095 SW Tualatin Valley Hwy, Aloha Check out their website@ http://www.JansPaperbacks.com

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Filed under blog information, Book reviews, fantasy, fantasy series, gene modification, genetic manipulation, Indie Science Fiction Authors, science fiction series, Self-publishing, Writing Critique groups

An Exciting new Space Opera

IMG_9518Sometimes a book is so good that you can’t wait to talk about it. Such is the case with Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey.

But first…

For my hard science followers, this Utube link discusses how we see our universe and contains some interesting concepts on how big it must be. I just had to include it in my blog. There must be a book in there somewhere. Misconceptions about the Universe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBr4GkRnY04

On to Caliban’s War…

Caliban's war

Caliban’s War is the second book in The Expanse trilogy that is slated to be made into a mini series on the syfy channel sometime in the future. It will be interesting to see how they present this series.

I read and reviewed the first book, Leviathan Wakes, (February 11, 2014) but dragged my feet on delving into this 600 page adventure because of both price and title. The title just didn’t excite me, but the price did.

Leviathan Wakes

I went on a rant.

The publisher is Hatchette and that house puts out expensive hardbacks at $25 by popular authors until the next book debuts, a year later, and then publishes a trade paperback so they can charge $17 a book. That’s high for my budget, in addition to a wait.

So, I went to Kindle where I found the Ebook at $9.99. For an Ebook! Fortunately, I had a credit at Powell’s Bookstore so I justified buying the paperback…but now I want to read Abaddon’s Gate, the next in the series with a cool title, and I’m faced with the same high cost and so I am impatiently waiting until it shows up in my library (which it hasn’t yet).

Maybe that’s what Amazon is protesting in their suit with Hatchette.

After struggling through some Indie books and a few traditional novels of mediocre writing, the professionalism of the writing and formatting in Caliban was a welcome change. Hatchette does that right at least.

Abaddon's GateFour main characters reveal the story. On Ganymede, breadbasket to the outer planets, Roberta Draper, a Martian marine, watches in horror as an alien super soldier easily slaughters her entire platoon and destroys the critical food installation. As the sole survivor, she is taken to Earth and questioned about what happened where she meets and becomes involved with…

Chrisjen Avasarala, an elderly, powerful, politician from Earth, who deftly manipulates the game of politics in a desperate attempt to prevent interplanetary war. Cracking pistachios in a bright orange sari, the assistant to the undersecretary of executive administration wields her power as she tries to out maneuver war-mongering generals and power hungry, good old boy politicians.

While on Venus, the protomolecule from the first book evolves, spreads and overruns the planet, threatening to escape and take over the solar system.

Meanwhile, James Holden takes on the job of keeping the peace for the Outer Planet Alliance until Prax, a desperate scientist from the devastated Ganymede, pleads with him to help find Mei, his daughter, who has been kidnapped from Ganymede by mysterious scientists.

In order to pay for the rescue, Holden crowdsources the funds, showing pictures of the kidnapped child while her father, Prax, emails and communicates with millions who sends what they can to support the endeavor. The idealistic Holden pursues a trail that becomes more and more dangerous and complex, until the future of humanity rests on whether his single ship can stop the alien invasion that threatens them all. With the help of the Earth politician and Martian soldier, he tries to dismantle a secret conspiracy that unwittingly may destroy humankind.

Lots of action with real characters and emotion, this space opera should be on any science fiction enthusiast’s reading list.

So, start saving your pennies now.

 

 

 

 

 

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