A Quick Note

The Leeth Dossier is a sci-fi/fantasy series about an unusual girl, set in our world about 50 years from now: and 25 years after magic unexpectedly returns. It opens with the book Wild Thing (2015), and continues with Harsh Lessons (2016), Shadow Hunt (2017); then (untitled) (2017/18?), Lost Girl (2018/19?)....
Find Wild Thing with Google

Thursday, 17 December 2015

And we're off and running...

Over on my other blog, A Toe in the Ocean of Books, I'll describe what I learned about the preparation of the ebook version and the print editions of Wild Thing (that's a globalised Amazon link, courtesy of Bookshow.me, but if that doesn't work, you can get to the book via my Amazon Author Page).

In the book, I promised that the 1st ten readers to spot typos or other errors would receive a free electronic copy of the sequel as soon as it's prepared. Well, the first eagle-eyed reader was Nikos Andronikos, who noticed that I'd not used the American/modern spelling of "medieval" in the Bio section on the back cover image. Now, I think I'd prefer to leave that "error" there for sentimental reasons, since my wife always insisted on the old English spelling of the word (just check out the Sydney Mediaeval and Renaissance Group web site - for which she was President for a good number of years - if you don't believe me). Anyway, I think that still earns Nikos a free copy, but I still want to leave the way open for 10 other people to spot errors, so I've put him in at the top of the table as a nice computer scientist-y zeroth entry.

The idea behind this, is to find and fix errors in the book, of course. I've done my best, and I dream that perhaps the list will not reach ten, :-), but telling me of errors means I can fix them, so any reader who enables auto-update will get a corrected copy. And because the printed editions will be all POD (Print on Demand), I plan to fix such errors in the print editions, too, by uploading a corrected PDF to the printer every now and then as needed. Of course, I can't fix errors retroactively in already-printed copies, but at least later buyers of the paperbacks will benefit from the keen eyes of earlier readers. I do hate typos in books.

I've also added a list to keep track of and thank the first twenty reviewers of Wild Thing. By "review", I mean a "substantive" review: at least 100 words. These don't have to be good reviews, just honest ones. Though if the review makes no sense to me, or I truly can't see how it relates to my book (I see that Wild Thing is a popular title for a book!), then in those cases I'll withhold the "award", which again earns a free electronic copy of the sequel when it's ready.

And yes, I plan to do this for all my books. As a writer, I depend on reviews and word of mouth to gain readers, and I think honest reviews are a critical piece in the new publishing model. So reviewers help both authors and other readers.

Today I prepared the cover PDF for IngramSpark for the 5"x8" paperback edition. But (cough, cough), I realised at 1am this morning I hadn't sent in my Cataloguing-in-Print application for any of the paperback editions. So I can't actually finalise the text for the CIP entry in the print editions. And they may not get to it by 22nd December, when they take a break, so I'm sitting here mildly tense, wondering if I'll get the print editions underway before the end of the year. [Later note: the Australian CIP people came through, so all was well!]

I may also mention that I'm seriously planning to offer to virtually attend (via Skype or Facebook Messenger of Google chats) book club discussion groups for people who have read the book. I made a little video where I talk for a few minutes about Emily Craven's idea, and as I say there, I think I'm not taking much of a risk by making the offer. Because I'm an unknown writer, I'm not going to be swamped with requests to do that. (More likely than not, no one will ever take me up on the offer!)

In the unlikely event that some group is interested in inviting me around via video hook-up, and if you'd like a list of possibly-interesting questions for discussion, I've made a little list, and if you'd like me to send them to you, just ask. I could just post them here, but that seems to me just a little presumptuous, somehow.

These "ten winner" lists are over on the right of the blog, just above the Follow by Email widget.

Future posts here will be more about the book(s), and writing in general. This blog is focused on the creative writing side of things, and the books themselves. My other blog is really focused on self-publishing, and covers the less creative but equally-important side of the new publishing model that's sprung into being.

Anyway, I think I've rabbited on long enough, so that should do for now. I think the top thing on my to-do list however, has become Christmas shopping and cards. I've been very slack on that front, and concentrated 99% of my time and energy into getting the book ready. I will take a little break over the festive season, too, but I'm very keen to get Shadow Hunt finished and published, too. And even more keen to get back into writing the 3rd book, Lost Girl.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, 10 July 2015

Welcome

If you're reading this, then either your Google-fu is strong, or it's December 2015 and Wild Thing has launched.

If you found this blog via the link at the end of the book, then first I'd like to thank you for reading Wild Thing, and I hope you'll find some content here of interest.

My plan for this blog is that it should be a place where I can interact with people who are interested in my books, in the ambitious hope that there will eventually be one or more people on the planet who fit that description. So my idea is that this is the place to come if you have questions about the book, or if you have spotted errors and want to be the first person to tell me about them (and earn yourself a free copy of the next book), or if you've had some cool idea that you want to share with me.

I suppose for this first post, it makes a kind of sense to talk about the creation of the book...

I started writing it, in pencil on paper, in 1991, and completed that first draft in 1993. (It occurs to me that it might be vaguely interesting to include a photo of the very first page and the "lucky pencil" I used for pretty much the whole book...)

Transcribing it to the computer (in troff/mm, for any Unix geeks), was a big effort. Over the following years I polished and revised, and sent the MS to a few publishers, each time waiting patiently for a reply. Only one ever did, with a polite “hmm, not bad” encouragement. I kept polishing, and in 1998 entered it into the inaugural George Turner contest run by Transworld. I was one of the ten finalists, but not the winner.

I continued working on it, improving my writing skills (tip: using a full-length novel makes for a lot of work fixing stylistic problems!), even putting it aside for something like eight years (appeasing my conscience with “Well, I'm just waiting for Baen to reply”), but last year I kind of looked up and around and noticed that the publishing landscape had changed substantially. So I decided to self-publish it. (I've been recording what I learn at my blog, A Toe in the Ocean of Books.)

Anyway, I think that's enough for the initial post, especially since I'm trying to get the print editions ready.