With literal hordes of grasshoppers descending upon Las Vegas like a biblical plague (minus the destruction), one thing is abundantly clear:
These are the end times. We’re in the end game now. It’s a bad time to vacation in Vegas.
It’s time for another status update.
So let’s get to it!
See These Bones
There’s a lot going on in preparation for See These Bones‘ release, some of which I can’t share just yet1. But I can say that I’ve finally finished formatting the manuscript for digital and print editions.2 It took longer than expected, but hopefully, the process will become less painful with practice. I also have my KDP account created, most of my copyright block done, and I’ve written all of the extra front and back matter3 for the book.
What’s left? A lot. One of the big things is that I still need a cover. I contracted with a design company about a month ago and we’ve been going back and forth on what the cover should look like. It’s been… a challenge. See These Bones is a post-apocalyptic superhero fantasy with a bit of ghost story and thriller thrown in for good measure, and the cover needs to somehow convey all of that. I definitely don’t want the standard urban fantasy cover4, and I don’t want to play up the horror elements too much either. To top it off, I prefer style over photorealism; something with strong graphic elements and a sense of dynamic motion.
Is that what I’ll end up with? I sure hope so. The first round of cover mockups missed the mark, but it’s an iterative process. I hate5 having to tell another creative ‘no, that’s not what I want,’ but ultimately, this is my book, and the cover needs to reflect my vision.
In addition to the cover, I still need to purchase ISBNs for the two formats, and procure a PCIP block for my copyright page. I also need to send out advance review copies (ARCs) to online reviewers to try and generate some word of mouth buzz in advance of the release. When all that’s done, I’ll upload to Amazon, read through both versions one last time for formatting mistakes, and finally flip the switch to release it into the wild.
I have no idea how any of that will go. It’s definitely going to be a learning process!
All of my books are going to be published under the Ghost Falls Press imprint, created and run by my wife and I. My wife did a fabulous job with the website! I left the design and layout to her6, but had a great time writing synopses for the books. Give it a look and see what’s coming!
I’m planning to release See These Bones sometime in late September. I’ll know more once the cover and [top secret marketing stuff] are further along. When that date is finalized, I’ll count down to the release, sharing a new chapter from the book each week. And then, a month or two later, I’ll do my usual post mortem; what went well, what went wrong, and what lessons did I learn for future books. Because there will be future books!
As soon as See These Bones is published, its sequel becomes a priority. I’m only a few chapters into Red Right Hand right now, but the goal remains to have a draft done this year. There’s a godawful amount of writing left to be done, and all the prep work on See These Bones has really impacted my productivity. Hopefully, I’ll get back on track soon. Starting in 2020, my goal is to release two books a year, trading off between The Murder of Crows and The Many Travails of John Smith.
I’ve already written four of the seven John Smith books, but the first book, Investigation, Mediation, Vindication, needs a fairly significant rewrite. After flailing around this spring, I found an approach that I’m happy with, so I’ll tackle that rewrite as soon as I finish Red Right Hand.
The tentative schedule for book releases is as follows:
Fall 2019: See These Bones
Spring 2020: Investigation, Mediation, Vindication
Fall 2020: Red Right Hand
Spring 2021: Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff
Fall 2021: One Tin Soldier
Spring 2022: Ghost of a Chance
Fall 2022: Stories from a Broken World
Spring 2023: The Italian Screwjob
Fall 2023: TBD
Spring 2024: A Dead Man’s Favor
Fall 2024: TBD
Spring 2025: Godswar
Fall 2025: TBD
Spring 2026: John Smith Doesn’t Work Here Anymore
I haven’t decided yet what TBD will be, but you’ll know as soon as I do! If you want to know more about the listed books, head over to the Ghost Falls Press site! In the meantime, feel free to screenshot this schedule so you can mock me when it inevitably crumbles beneath the awful weight of reality.
As a brave few of you noticed, there wasn’t a blog post for June. I have nobody to blame but myself. Leaving these posts to the last moment makes such an outcome all but inevitable. So, on top of the other stuff I’m working on, I need to set aside time to write posts in advance. Ideally, I’d have a vault of posts I could pull from when necessary. Really, one blog post a month shouldn’t be too much to ask for!
I also want to share another short story here at some point. Unfortunately, the next short story in The Murder of Crows world contains spoilers for See These Bones, so I can’t post it online until after that book has been released. Also… it’s not written yet7. I’m hoping to squeeze it in between Red Right Hand and the IMV rewrite.
In August, I’ll start off with the usual poetry post. By the end of the month, I plan to both share the cover for See These Bones and let you in on some of the secret stuff we’re doing to help promote the release.
- Super duper top secret stuff
- Be warned; print will cost an arm and a leg because it’s print-on-demand. Amazon won’t even let me set a price below ~10-12 dollars.
- Dedication, Acknowledgement, About the Author, etc.
- Basically neon lights and one central figure, usually in black leather with ample cleavage.
- Really really hate. It gives me literal cold sweats.
- I’m a former web dev/software engineer, but my design style leaves a lot to be desired.
- Minor issue.