Category Archives: Novels that take place in the moon

Ten Indie Publishing Trends You might Want to Know

We are trying to survive the drippy days of a Portland winter, but thank goodness we have no snow like the East Coast. Still it’s hard to keep cheerful spirits when all outside is gloomy and gray.

So here’s a fun piece that I wanted to include in my blog to raise the mood.
It’s a summary of the different social media platforms.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VARIOUS SOCIAL PLATFORMS?

Funny, but true (kinda): • Facebook: I like donuts. • Twitter: I’m eating a donut. • Instagram: Here’s a picture of my donut. • YouTube: Watch me eat a donut. • Vine: Watch me eat a donut for six seconds. • LinkedIn: My skills include donut eating. • Pinterest: Here’s a donut recipe. • Google Plus: I’m a Google employee who eats donuts.

It really clarifies the various functions of the bewildering array of media platforms out there and offers you a smile.

January is the time when seers and prognosticators appear on the publishing scene. Written Word has gathered ten publishing trends they see for 2018. As an author, you may find it helpful to see which direction the business might go. I encourage you to read the blog in its entirety, but I have a few comments to make on it. bit.ly/2DjqULH

Of the ten listed, a few caught my attention. The first is that marketing is getting more expensive with poorer results. Ad sites now talk about “stacking” your book or offering the same book on several ad sites on the same or consecutive days. This can get expensive if your royalty is a few dollars per book or you’re offering the book for free. Just about all ad sites require a discount on your book of some sort, if not free. Add to that the idea that readers are getting more selective in their downloads and picky about price, and author’s margins are squeezed.

However, serious Indies are continuing to build their catalog. Perseverance is key in the writing business. It’s a long game. Here’s what Written Word says to give authors hope :

“Ever year we (Written Word) conduct a survey of authors to identify what high-earning authors are doing to achieve success. In 2017 the number of authors who reported making over $100,000 from writing grew by 70% over 2016. The percentage of authors making between $5,000 and $10,000 per month doubled year over year. Indies who persevere and continue putting out books slowly increase their earnings over time. Is it easy? No. Will it take time? Yes. But there are plenty indie authors who are making money. They will continue to grow their businesses in 2017 and a new batch of high-earning authors will join their ranks.

What this means for you: Successful indie authors see themselves as entrepreneurs who are running a business. And they are. Their product is their books. Successful authors are those that focus on their business and manage the ups and downs. In 2018 be honest with yourself. What are your goals? Are you writing to pursue a passion? Are you writing to supplement your income? Are you building or growing a business? Then align your efforts with your goals to achieve what success means for you.”

The last comment from this blog I want to point out is “Everyone will talk about going direct to reader.” Several efforts and young companies are causing even more disintermediation in the publishing business. Publica.com talks about direct transactions between authors and readers via blockchain and could very well be the next step in publishing. Stay tuned on this idea and check out their website for more information.

I have five more books to put on my 2018 reading list. (The first five are on my previous blog)

In the absence of blockbuster stand-alones this past year, I’ve added several follow-up books in a series to my 2018 reading list. To address a title that is on most science fiction lists and traditionally published, I have chosen Artemis by Andy Weir. The Martian was a smash hit, both movie and book, and now Weir writes an adventure involving the moon. I expect this will be good.

Next, I selected Helios by N.J. Tanger. I read and reported on the first in this series, Chimera, and now I’m ready to read the next. The story trends to YA since the main characters are teenagers.

Summary: A distant planet colony no longer receives supplies or transmissions from Earth, and after several years, they are running low on resources. The colony tries to reactivate the sleeping AI and repair the colony’s ship in order to send it to Earth to find out why they have been abandoned. Five young people are selected to crew the ship. The first book tells that story and the conflict of relationships among the candidates for crew.

Now in Helios, the story continues as an exchange ship breaks through fractal space to arrive on the planet. Celebrations break out, but collapse when all on board are found dead. More than ever, Stephen’s Point Colony wants to send the ship to Earth and find out what has happened.

Sounded interesting. So, I included book two.

Everyone tells me how great Neil Gammon is, but I couldn’t finish reading American Gods, in spite of all its acclaim. Now the Powell’s Reading Group has listed Neverwhere to read. They have assured me that I will like it, so I’m willing to give it a chance.

I loved the Merchant Series by Charles Stross, so when I saw Empire Games continued this interdimensional espionage and political science fiction romp, I put it on my to-read list.

I’ve had the book cover of Remnants of Trust on my desktop ever since reading The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel as a reminder to read this next in the series. The blurb says, “A young soldier finds herself caught in the crossbar of a deadly conspiracy in space.” Here was my military space thriller, then, and the final selection on my list.

Here’s these last five with the caveat that I add additional interesting books throughout the year as they catch my attention or pop up on my list of books that I think readers will like. I encourage you to try any of them and let me know what you think.

 

 

Artemis Andy Weir
Helios N. J. Tanger
Remnants of Trust Elizabeth Bonesteel
Neverwhere Neil Gammon
Empire Games. Charles Stross

Have a great 2018 reading year.

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Filed under Alien worlds, Aliens in Science Fiction, Alternate Universe Stories, Best selling author, Best selling science fiction, Discovering New Worlds, ebook marketing, Indie authors, Indie Publishing, Marketing and selling novels, military science fiction, Novels that take place in the moon, Political Science Fiction, Portal fiction, Publishing Trends, science fiction series, Science fiction thriller, space ship, The future of publishing

Cutting edge science in science fiction

IMG_0174I have now reached a timeline in my Alysian series where I have to peer into the future for what tech might be current in my stories.

This is fun.

At best, it’s a guess…but an informed guess, as I investigate a lot of the interesting science research going on currently.

Check out Ray Kurzweil’s newsletter for what scientists and researcher are now working on. http://www.kurzweilai.net

In my current novel, Touching Crystal, out in November, (fingers crossed),  I use micro robotics to enable a rescue of two kidnap victims that are being held on one of Alysia’s moons.

This was a fun scene to write. So, imagine my delight when last week the newsletter came out with an article on current research in this field.

http://bit.ly/17K5epK  Check it out.Microrobotics

There’s also been a lot of talk about discovering Earth-like planets with the recent Kepler Mission that wants to find “Goldilock” planets habitable for humans.

This was a theme in the most recent novel by Ben Bova called Farside.  I had not read much Ben Bova, and especially not recently, so this struck my fancy.

Ben Bova is a six time Hugo award winner, former editor of analog, editorial director of Omni and past president of Science Fiction Writers of America.

So, worth a mention.

How could I lose?

FarsideFarside is located on the side of the moon that never faces Earth and therefore is an ideal location for building an astronomical observatory. Telescopes on Earth have detected an Earth sized planet circling a star that is less than ten light years away…but is it habitable? Is there an atmosphere? Can it support life?

But building on Farside is a dangerous undertaking. An airless surface, constant bombardment by radiation, 270 degree temperatures, incoming micrometers…

And those are the easy challenges…

Competing jealousy, a chief researcher who is hell bent on winning a Nobel prize, tangled politics, love and murder all up the ante.

Someone lets loose dangerous nanomachines that used in the body can make one immortal and protect against radiation and disease, but if configured another way they eat through certain metal.

And on the moon that can be extremely dangerous.

Say murder.

I found this particular story one that I really wanted to enjoy. It had all the elements in it, but I had a hard time believing some of the characters or getting involved. I did find myself rooting for the plodding Grant Simpson, the construction engineer who does most of the work, but is considered just another “grunt” by those he serves.

I found it hard to believe the chief of research and leader of the project could be so obsessed with winning a Nobel prize that he was willing to jeopardize his project.

And I found the writer and editor in me trying to analyze the writing. Bova writes smoothly, describes adequately, but somehow the characters felt like they were being moved around on a game board that had an obvious ending.

Still, I do want to introduce Ben Bova because he is so prolific and has won numerous awards for his writing.

The Exiles TrilogyTwo other novels that got higher reviews were The Exiles Trilogy and Star Conquerors.Star Conquerors

I might give him another chance and read one of these…and report back. Anyone else out there have an opinion here?

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Filed under Ben Bova, Best selling science fiction, Classic science fiction, Cutting Edge Science ideas, Discovering new a Earth, Hard science fiction, Hugo winners, Microbots in science fiction, Novels that take place in the moon, Political Science Fiction, science news, The moon in science fiction