15 March 2014

Excerpts (and Spoiler Alerts)

Links to the Prologue and first Chapter of The Darkest Midnight have been posted to its page.

If you haven't read Book One (aka The Stone of Shadows) yet--but hope to someday--and you enjoy a feeling of suspense or even anxiety as far as "what's going to happen?" then those excerpts are not for you. In setting up the coming events, several past events are mentioned.

Some things like "which characters survived the big event(s) in the last chapters?" will be hard to keep out of the blurb that will eventually be written and published on the back cover and online sales/promo sites everywhere…but not for a few months yet. So there's still time to read Book One with all of its mysteries intact.

If you have read The Stone of Shadows or if you don't care one way or the other about SPOILERS, then those excerpts are for you.

They are not necessarily in final form, however. When they are published, they may read a little differently.

17 February 2014

It's Here (Part One)

The Createspace/Amazon print of the Second Edition arrived today, and the results of a Twitter post (my "thank you" to Chuck Wendig for his recent posts on publishing, which got me thinking about my book covers, and, so…voila) have been very flattering. Thanks again, @ChuckWendig, and everyone who took the time to favorite or reply. It was more than icing on what was already a cake of a day--it was like getting a whole extra cake. With icing on both. 

Here's the photo I'd taken for my "thank you":

It's darker than I'd expected--but going from digital to print is a tricky thing, and in this instance, it might even work in the book's favor. Sure, maybe I'd like to see more detail in the raven, but the text and rendition of the Stone sure stand out.

I didn't photograph the back cover since the lighting was wrong for it, but I'll say that it turned out slightly less "darker" (and thus more like the digital version). That text, too, stands out nicely--which is good, since there is a lot to read there.

This time around, both the Createspace and the Lightning Source versions will be matte covers, not glossy. While I do like glossy books, and think it makes for bolder, more even colors (especially with black), they also tend to show fingerprints (especially with black). Besides, I asked my mother and her vote trumped my momentary indecision.

I look forward to ordering the Lightning Source version to see how it prints.

05 February 2014

New Cover

The Stone of Shadows is getting a new cover!

You can compare the new with the old on the book's page HERE.

Updating the various files out there is going to take some time, but hopefully not much since it's essentially only a matter of swapping cover images. If having the new cover is important to you, I'd say wait a couple of weeks before purchasing. (I'll update this suggestion once I have a better idea of the exact timeframe.)

The story has not been changed one bit, so if the cover is not important to you, go ahead and purchase--and thank you very much!

To release a Second Edition less than a year after the First was not something I'd ever considered, but when work began on the cover for The Darkest Midnight, it began to feel necessary. For one, it is important to show that these books are part of a series. For another, there was a very annoying type-o on the back cover. (Those of you who own a First Edition*, go look now! I'll wait.)

And, finally, cohesion. The style of all the covers should identify them as parts of a whole. The text, "The Wheel of the Year: Book One," should at that point be simple conformation of an idea already planted.

If anyone has the First Edition & is now disappointed in its cover style, please message me. Getting you the updated digital version would be an easy fix. Print would be more a matter of me sending you an image that you could print & use like a dust jacket. (All I ask, in either case, is that you send me a proof of purchase--a copy of the receipt or a photo of your copy of the book (or eBook on your digital reader)).

UPDATE: Feb. 6, 2014
The new edition through Createspace and Amazon is good to go, apparently. I have not held a physical copy in my hand so as to see if the cover has been set properly, but I soon will--and, besides, I assume it is fine, since the same templates were applied.

The new print edition through Lightning Source and new digital edition through eBookit are nearly there. The files have been uploaded, and I am waiting to hear back.

UPDATE: Feb. 7, 2014
The eBookit version has been updated & it is now a matter of getting that information to the various sales entities (and getting it processed by their computers.)

03 February 2014

A Book and Its Cover

While I can't post much of the interior at the moment, I can post images of the cover as it develops.

Here's the rough start:

Toned down and blended the sky, colorized and darkened the landscape. The plan is to add snow in the mountains (the story takes place in December, after all, and most years there is some snow up there), and also to paint in the city lights and a raven flying overhead—or, more specifically, in that rather blank middle area.

Please check back within the next week or two for updates.

UPDATE (Feb. 5):

Who needs a week or two? Here's the latest, although it probably doesn't look much different. (And, I hate to say, the conversion from my working file--and "dumbing" it down to 1/4 the resolution--really brings out some funky colors in the hills. Jpeg-ing at it's…uh…finest.)

UPDATE (Feb. 10):

Getting there. Still need to finish the raven and sort out the trees--put a few lights in some and strip the branches of some others. It is winter, after all.

UPDATE (Feb. 13):

Okay, I think it's done. Closer to the publishing date, I'll look at it again with a newly critical eye. In the meantime, comments (suggestions) are welcome.

Whoops--forgot to tone down the foreground trees. Now I think it's done. For now.

Ha. Made a new version already. I saw the thumbnail and realized the raven was much too small and dark to be seen in it.


UPDATE (Feb. 23):

And now this: