I’ve promised to give occasional updates on my progress with The Reefs of Time. If the average picture is worth a thousand words, this one’s worth 125,000 words. That’s how far I am into the major rewrite of the manuscript, which as you can see from this picture is a little more than halfway through the 240,000-word monster total. For comparison, Sunborn was about 140,000 words total.
In pages, I’m at around 620 of 1200. So, I’ve come a long way, and still have a ways to go. But I’ve gotten through some really thorny rewrite problems, and what’s behind me feels solid. I think it’s a good story! I’m making excellent progress now, better than I have in a long time. Pray for it to continue!
Great news on the audiobook front! While many of my older books have been available in audiobook for some time, my most recent work has never been recorded in commercially available audio.
Well, we’re about to start changing that! Neptune Crossing is coming to audiobook, and with a vengeance. I’ve signed with Skyboat Media and Grammy Award-winner Stefan Rudnicki to both produce and narrate the book. In short, I’ve just signed with one of the premier audiobook producers in the business! I could not be happier.
I have long noted Stefan as one of the narrators I most enjoyed listening to as a consumer of audiobooks. (Audiobooks are how I get most of my reading done nowadays. Some people use them to while away long commutes. I use them to while away long dog walks. In fact, my most recent listen was to Zeroboxer, a wonderful young adult science fiction novel by Fonda Lee, narrated by Stefan.) I have long felt that if Audible or any other audiobook producer were to ask me who I would like to narrate any of my books—and no, they’ve never asked—Stefan’s name would have been right at the top.
My road to getting Neptune Crossing into audio has been a rocky one. Tor Books, the original print publisher, controlled the audio rights, but didn’t exercise them. A few years ago, I started trying to get just the audio rights back, but it was a slow slog; and when I finally got a complete rights reversion, it came just too late for a particular window of opportunity. That was pretty discouraging, and for a time, I didn’t do anything further. But when one door closes, another opens. When a colleague of mine at Book View Café mentioned that Stefan’s Skyboat Media was open to new material, I thought, “What have I got to lose?” I queried, and sent them an ebook to peruse. About a week later, Stefan made an offer for a production deal, with Blackstone Audio as partners—and because he liked the book so much, he wanted to narrate it himself!
I didn’t have to think long about that. I brought my agent in to handle the contracts, and a few weeks later, we were signed. Stefan tells me we’re aiming for a release date of September 6, in both CD and MP3 download from all the major audiobook vendors.
This will be an important trial. If sales go well, the hope is to continue with the other Chaos titles, and maybe Eternity’s End. So everybody, Please pull with me on this one! Spread the word! Neptune Crossing hits the airwaves on September 6! If you don’t listen to audiobooks yourself, you probably know someone who does. What a great gift! Or get your local library to order it! That’s the ticket!
But not for long! My accountant (pesky alter-ego) says I haven’t been running enough promotions lately. So here’s one for the glorious beginning of Spring. One of my favorite children is on the sales block for less than the price of a dollar bill! Don’t miss out on this, because it’s only on sale for a few days.
This is a book that Roger Zelazny called “a fast-paced puzzler, rich in invention, and Jeffrey A. Carver’s most ambitious book to date.” (No, I didn’t pay him for that.) And Spider Robinson said that it has “one of the most powerful endings in science fiction.”
If that’s not enough to entice you, I don’t know what will. How about this gorgeous cover by Shusei?
Or this: It’s only $.99 for a shiny new ebook! Booyah!
Hah! You’re already here! Most of the previous content is still here, but presented in a much more readable way, especially information about my books. It’s a WordPress site, and fully responsive, which means it’s friendly for viewing on smartphones and tablets, as well as regular computers. I hope you like it! If you have any problems, please let me know. (There’s an email contact form under Meet the Author.)
Thanks and kudos to Abigail and Brian McMurray for their expert work in setting it up!
My blog is moving here to stay, as well. In fact, this will likely be my last regular post on the old site at Blogspot. (Sniff. G’bye, Blogspot!) I’ll be keeping the old blog alive as a backup archive, but all my posts from there have been ported over here, as well.
At the moment, the Subscribe to Posts function at the bottom of the page is acting a little wonky, but I hope to get that straightened out quickly. (The RSS feed should be fine.) I hope you’ll all subscribe! (But if it doesn’t work, give it a day or two.)
A long time ago in a publishing house far, far away, my novel Neptune Crossing, Volume One of The Chaos Chronicles, was published by Tor Books. (Okay, Tor, now part of Macmillan USA, is in New York, which isn’t that far away.) The book has been out of print in paper for not quite as long, but long enough.
Now it’s back—in a nice trade paperback—from my Starstream Publications imprint, in association with Book View Café! You can order it! You can buy it! You can give it away!
For the moment, it’s available direct from CreateSpace, an Amazon company. Edit: And now it is available at Amazon.com. In a few days, it should become available at Amazon.com. I make a smidge more from selling it at CreateSpace, but do what works best for you. Can you get it in time for Christmas? I honestly don’t know. I ordered copies from my publisher account, and they will not be here in time for Christmas, but it might be different for regular customers. If you find out, let me know! Edit: I think it’s possible, if you order from Amazon.
In the fullness of time, it will be available through other stores, as well, including (perhaps) your local bookstore. But that may take a while, and possibly a second printer/distributor.
The tide waters have receded, and I am back to my usual shenanigans. Today I am mercilessly giving away ebooks of my novel Panglor, to anyone who will take a copy.
That’s right. Panglor’s story is FREE, for a limited time only, in just about every ebookstore you can ask for. Buy it now! It’s free! It’s almost like not buying it at all! (But you still have to “buy” it to get it for free.)
If you are a regular listener, you know that I have done this sort of thing before. In fact, last May 21st, I ran a Bookbub ad for Neptune Crossing free, and over about a week and a half, there were something like forty-thousand downloads. That’s a lot of new readers and potential readers. (Even I realize that not everyone is immediately hunkering down to read their free downloads. But you know what, it turns out a lot of them did.) That last giveaway, intended to /s/e/t/ t/h/e/ h/o/o/k/ i/n/t/o/ entertain readers who were previously unaware of The Chaos Chronicles, was a big success. Sales were up for a good two, two and a half months after the ad.
Just to clarify for the sake of you aspiring writers hoping for fame and fortune, this does not mean I’m getting rich. I could still earn more in just about any other line of work, except maybe teaching. But sales are going nicely indeed, and I’m getting occasional gratifying emails from appreciative readers who discovered those books via the free intro.
So I’m trying again, but this time with the Star Rigger Universe—which is a more loosely bound collection of stories than the linear Chaos series. Panglor is the first book, at least in the chronology of the future history, but after that, the order is not intuitively obvious. I’ve spent much of the last week, when not fighting back floodwaters, writing all-new “from the author” notes at the end of each book, suggesting the next read in the series—and putting in appropriate excerpts of the recommended next book. Time consuming, that, but I hope in the long run it will help readers find their way in an enjoyable tour of the Star Rigger Universe.
In just twelve hours since the Bookbub ad ran, there have been over 21,000 downloads—in the Kindle store alone!
So what are you waiting for?? Queue up and buy your free book!
My novel Dragon Rigger, sequel to Dragons in the Stars, has been unavailable as a stand-alone book for over a year now. No more! My new edition has just gone up in all the stores, with a new cover and all-new formatting.
Dragon Rigger continues the story of Jael and the dragons she met in Dragons in the Stars, but much of this book is the dragons’ stories more than hers, and much of the book is told from the viewpoints of fire-breathing lizards. It’s not fantasy, though, except in the broadest sense. It’s science fiction, with a mythical and fantasy feel, set in a universe of interstellar travel. It’s a book I’m particularly proud of, even if it didn’t gain its full audience in its original print publication from Tor. The ebook audience seems to like it.
Here’s the blurb (short form):
A realm at war. The star dragons struggle under the oppression of a terrible power, one that’s intent upon twisting spacetime itself into a web of subjugation and death. According to prophecy, One will come from outside to challenge the darkness. Star pilot Jael may be that One. But if the prophecy is true, the price of victory over the darkness will be Jael’s own life.
It’s been almost a year since my novel Dragons in the Stars was available as a standalone book. Well, it’s back, all reformatted and with a brand-new cover! The artist, Magdalena Almero Nocea, is a European artist. This is the first time I’ve worked with her, and I’m quite pleased with the result. (She’s hard at work right now on a new cover for the sequel, Dragon Rigger.)
This book was something of a departure from the hard SF I had been writing, even from the other Star Rigger novels, which were a little more rubbery than, say, The Infinity Link. For one thing, it had dragons. In space. Dragons that felt very much like fantasy dragons. Except that they appeared in the Flux of hyperspace, and liked to duel with unsuspecting star pilots who ventured too close. (The first mention of them was in Star Rigger’s Way, in an offhand comment in a spaceport bar. They appeared for real in a short story, “Though All the Mountains Lie Between.” And that story became the basis of this novel.)
I was deliberately blending the genres of SF and fantasy, and that presented both writing challenges and marketing challenges. My editor was all for it, but my agent was a little skeptical. They were both right. The final book was one I liked a lot, and would have wanted to read, if I hadn’t written it myself. But marketing it, and especially the sequel, which ventured even further into mythic fantasy territory, was a tougher sell than my other work.
But that was then, and this is now. You don’t have to pay attention to any of that. It’s a story I’m glad to have told, and whether you already own it or are just hearing of it for the first time, I hope it’s one you enjoy.
(By the way, it’s also in ebook as part of Dragon Space: A Star Rigger Omnibus*. If you own that, you don’t need this. Unless you prefer individual books, or just really like that cover.)
*To folks who’ve recently bought Dragon Space: Some typographical issues with the recently revamped edition have come to light. I expect to have a corrected version up by sometime next week.
The ebook in question is Neptune Crossing, which has been my free loss-leader for several years now. I ran a Bookbub ad on it the other day, to try to goose interest in the downloads, which had dwindled to a small handful every day. The result? Over 32,000 downloads in two days! Zounds! (About three fourths of the free downloads are at Amazon Kindle, and the other quarter are spread out among B&N Nook, Apple, Google, and Kobo.)
Why would I want to do such a crazy thing? Ha-ha, crazy like a fox! (A smart fox, I hope, not a rabid fox.) The answer, of course, is that I hope everyone who reads their free copy will be so eager to read the next books in the series that they’ll fall all over themselves rushing to buy them. Stampede! That’s what I’m talking about.
So is it happening? Well, paid sales went up the same day at Amazon Kindle. Not out-of-the-ballpark up, but nicely and encouragingly up. At the other stores, I haven’t seen any change whatsoever. Is that because of the sheer weight of Amazon, or because of some difference in the algorithms of how books are shown to customers in the stores? Wouldn’t I like to know.
Anyway, time will tell. People need a chance to read the books, after all. I hope it looks interesting enough that they won’t put it on their to-read pile and forget about it. Excuse me a moment while I shout:
“Hey, folks who downloaded Neptune Crossing! I hope you read it and like it! And if you do, please leave a review! And try the next book in the series!”
I haven’t been present here much lately, and that’s partly because I’ve been focusing on my other writing, specifically the next Chaos Chronicles book, The Reefs of Time. I am without doubt leaving in ruins any previous record for length of time spent writing a new book. But I hit a marker recently when I finished the major part of the rewrite on Part 1 of the book. That might not sound like a lot of progress to you. But to me, it was huge. (Actually, I only figured out a couple of weeks ago that the book needs to have major parts to it.)
I’ve worked my way through a lot of places where the first draft had hand-waving and confident notes to myself that something would happen here, or that chapter would get fixed in the second draft. So far, I think it’s actually working out pretty well.
In July, by the way, I’ll be attending a several-day workshop called The Schrödinger Sessions, which was conceived for the purpose of teaching science fiction writers as much about quantum theory as can be crammed into three days. I can’t wait. As it happens, I’m invoking elements of quantum theory, especially quantum entanglement, in an important subplot of The Reefs of Time. Won’t it be great if I can actually get it right?