Neptune Crossing Completes the Set!

Neptune Crossing - paperback

With this brand-new print edition of Neptune Crossing, the complete set of The Chaos Chronicles (to date) is available in matched format and design. The previous edition was in a 6×9 inch trim size, while for the rest of the series, I chose 5.5×8.5 inch trim. I chose the smaller size because it feels better to hold in the hand (according to my crack test team), is easier to slip into a bag or backpack, and (I felt) looks a little more professional.

Choosing a trim size is a trade-off, because the cost of printing is based on the number of pages, not on the size of the pages. So a smaller trim size means more pages, and therefore higher cost to print, and naturally, higher sticker price. But the difference was only a dollar or two per book, and I decided it was worth it.

But that’s not the only change. The interior is completely reset, using a font called Merriweather for the main text, which I first used with The Reefs of Time. I find it attractive and readable, and also fairly compact, which helps to minimize the page count in my long tales.

On top of that, my crack cover designer, Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, redid the titles and byline with a beveled look suggestive of embossed designs, used by most publishers on books they really want to sell. And I’ll admit it! I really want the books to sell! (But you knew that, right?)

Anyway, I’m pleased, and I hope you are, too. I’ve been noodling over the question of how I might sell autographed complete sets online, which I would like to do. (Without the administrative headache of sales tax across different states, etc.) Anyone out there have a good idea?

Neptune Crossing in paperback: Amazon | Barnes&Noble

 

Books in the Year of Covid-19

You probably didn’t think of books as a sector that would be hammered by Covid-19. Writers can write anywhere, right? Maybe, but that’s not the whole story, by far. Traditional publishing and bookselling are in deep trouble due to the shutdown of the economy. Even audiobooks are apparently being hit hard. If you’re at all interested in books, publishing, and reading, please read this summary by Beth Meacham, Executive Editor at Tor Books. She knows what she’s talking about, and it’s sobering.

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I want to talk for a minute about why publishing is in so much trouble right now. It's way more complicated than most…

Posted by Beth Meacham on Friday, April 3, 2020

Read the whole piece…

Go ahead, I’ll wait….

Looks like I picked the wrong year to put my money on audiobooks, right? Possibly. But seriously, this is hitting a lot of people in the creative arts hard. I will just add as a ray of hope: Ebooks do not seem to be suffering in the same way as print. Ebooks are all handled online, and you can download them (and publish them) while shut up in your home. So they remain a (generally) inexpensive and readily available way to keep information, stories, and entertainment flowing.

Still, what hurts books in any sector hurts everyone. So please keep supporting audiobooks and print books if you can. (Mail-order from your local bookstore, perhaps?) And keep reading!

 

 

New Way to Buy Print Books AND Support Local Stores!

Bookshop logo

Stuck at home, and you want to buy a book on paper (hey, it happens!)—and buying online seems the only option but you’d rather support local indie bookstores? There’s a new way to do that, and it doesn’t require an app! It’s called Bookshop, and it’s an online store dedicated to supporting authors, book communities, and bookstores! Whaaat?

The way it works is, you order online just like at any of the big stores. The print books are sourced from Ingram, just like at your local store, and you get it in the mail. If you go in through a link like one of the ones I have below, the author or community that created the link gets a referral fee. In addition, a significant portion of the profit from the sale goes into a fund that gets distributed regularly among participating independent bookstores. It’s sort of like Indiebound, if you’ve used that, but even better. Right now, they only ship to the U.S., but they may expand in the future.

Authors can set up their own pages at the store, featuring their own books (just print right now, and some audio). They, or anyone else, can also set up pages where they feature books they’d like to recommend to you. Buy one of those books, and the author gets the regular royalty, and the recommender gets a referral fee, and money flows toward independent stores. It’s a great way to support authors and bookstores, all while buying online—particularly useful right now, when the storefront economy has slammed to halt, due to the coronavirus.

Here are some links! These folks are my friends and colleagues. They write all kinds of stuff. Try any of them, and you’ll support the author whose link you picked, even if you browse around and buy other books by other authors. I’ll add more as they come in. Folks are just getting ramped up on this.

Give it a try! It’s fun!

Jeffrey A. Carver | Laura Anne Gilman | Deborah J. Ross
Pati Nagle | Gillian Polack | Madeleine E. Robins
Doranna Durgin | Nancy Jane Moore

What’s Wrong with This Picture?

Alert reader Laura _ sent me this copy of The Reefs of Time that she bought from Barnes and Noble online. Anything look wrong to you?

Reefs of Time defective copy

As you can see from this shot, I am holding just the cover open. The first page inside the cover is Prologue Two. Missing are all the front-matter pages, including title page and copyright, dedication, “Previously in The Chaos Chronicles” synopses, and Prologue One. Yikes! How many other people got defective books like this, and didn’t trouble to get in touch with me to let me know?

The book, as far as I have been able to determine so far, was printed by Ingram, a usually solidly reliable producer of books. I’ve asked for an investigation, but I don’t expect to have an answer anytime soon.

If you, or anybody you know, received a defective book, please let me know! Thanks!

Oh, and ditto if you get a copy of Sunborn with the cover type skewed to the side (which happened to me).

Psychedelic Thursday: Part Two

posted in: books, recommendations 1

Now that I’ve flogged my own books (not to death, I hope!), I thought I’d make some other gift suggestions. Books, of course, but not mine. Have you read:

Richard Bowker’s Portal trilogy, about a young man making his way through life-and-death situations in the multiverse? Starts out YA, but as the characters grow up, so too does the tone of the books. Richard’s a fine writer, who deserves notice. Here’s the trilogy at Amazon, to get you started.

Covers for the Portal Trilogy by Richard Bowker

Craig Shaw Gardner’s Temporary Magic Series, a totally silly trilogy about Lenny and the magical temp agency he goes to work for, saving the world with the help of Bob the blue horse/pooka, among others. Craig, by the way, has started working on a new Ebenezum book, for those who love his wizard who’s allergic to magic. Here’s his Temporary Magic Series.

Temporary Magic trilogy covers, by Craig Shaw Gardner

And if that isn’t enough, there’s a continually evolving panoply of fine writing at Book View Café, never to be missed!

Book View Cafe storefront

New Print Editions: Strange Attractors in Paperback!

I know this seems crazy, coming right after Reefs, but the new paperback version of Strange Attractors (Book 2 of The Chaos Chronicles) has been almost ready for months. I got it done just before taking flight to Atlanta. Right now it’s available only through Amazon, but I’ll be getting it into Ingram soon, to make it more widely distributed. This is all part of my effort to get the entire series of Chaos books back into print editions.

And the audiobook is coming! It’s been recorded, and while some final tweaks have to be made, most of the hard work is done. By Stefan Rudnicki! Stay tuned!

New Print Editions: Reefs of Time in Hardcover!

Yes—the hardcover is finally out! I made it live just before I left for Dragon Con, and by now it should have trickled into all the store catalogues. I think it came out great!

If you would like to ask your local library to order a copy (Please do! Ask nicely, but ask!), you can tell them it’s available from Ingram, and the ISBN is 978-1-61138-834-3. Same info applies to your local bookstore.

It’s also available from Barnes & Noble online: http://bit.ly/ReefsBNhardcover

and Amazon: http://bit.ly/ReefsHardcover

Reefs and Crucible Rolling Toward Publication!

Like a runaway freight train. I haven’t posted in a while, and that’s because I’ve been busier than a one-armed steam-locomotive engineer without a fireman, boosting this project toward launch date!

The editing is all done, and both books are out with a colleague for proofreading. The cover for Reefs is done. Preorder buttons are starting to appear. The website is updated (for Reefs, not yet for Crucible.) A newsletter announcement with an excerpt from the beginning of the book is in prep (going out soon!). I’ve submitted advance ebook copies (eARCs) to Publishers Weekly and other review sites, and queried some more. I have not yet seen Avengers: Endgame. This thing is really happening!

Here’s the long and the short of it:

The Reefs of Time (Part 1 of the “Out of Time” sequence) is scheduled for launch on July 23, 2019. Simultaneous ebook, trade paperback, and hardcover. Prices TBD, except that during the preorder period, the ebook is discounted to $6.99.

Crucible of Time (Part 2 of the “Out of Time” sequence) is scheduled for launch on September 10, 2019. Pricing similar. Not yet out for preorder. (The cover is still being developed.)

More news to come. I’m excited! I hope you are, too!

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For All Battlestar Galactica Fans

 

Here’s the perfect book for all fans of the multifaceted Battlestar Galactica! Just published, it’s called Somewhere Beyond the Heavens: Exploring Battlestar Galactica, edited by Rich Handley and  Lou Tambone. It’s a large collection of essays about the series in all its incarnations, from the original (let’s admit it) cheesy show to the far more realistic and thoughtful Sci-Fi Channel’s incarnation from 2003.

As it happens, I contributed an essay on how I experienced the show as the writer of the 2003 Miniseries novelization (which you can download here for free), and my editor wrote the story of the licensing and publishing of books in the BSG universe by Tor Books. It’s only just out, so I haven’t dipped into the other pieces yet, but I look forward to doing so soon.

If you’re looking for a gift for that BSG fan in your life, here it is. In paper and Kindle formats.

 

 

Dragon Space!

Make space for dragons with my first big sale of the year: Dragon Space: A Star Rigger Omnibus is just two bucks, for two novels, for three days! Any way you count it, that’s a bargain, especially if you like science fiction with dragons. The two novels are Dragons in the Stars, and Dragon Rigger, with a map of the dragon realm sandwiched in between. These two novels are set relatively early in the chronology of the Star Rigger Universe, though I wrote some of the later novels before them.

If you already have the two novels as separate books, then you don’t need this, unless you really just love a good deal. But if you don’t have both—even if you have one but not the other—this is a fine way for you to complete the pair. Regular price is $7.99. Regular price for the two separately is $4.99 each. Did I mention that the sale price is $1.99? Go ahead—buy it. Get your friends to buy it. Make this a good promotion. Please. And if you like the books, and you haven’t already posted a review at Amazon or Goodreads or BN or Apple or the like, you could help more than you know by doing so now.

Thanks! And watch out for low-flying dragons! Not to mention a cyber-parrot named Ed, and those ghostly ifflings.

 

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