Oh I’ve been busy lately. Last night I found two additional e-book reader forums, and I’ve been actively posting on both, as well as breathing new life into my presence on Kindleboards.com.

The two other forums are mobilereads.com and booksummit.com. Also, I’ve posted a pair of adds on Bookbarista.com for both the e-book and the print book.

In the meantime, I’ve collected a list of some 275 book review blogs that I have to start culling through – ’cause not all of them will read my genres, of course – before contacting them about doing a tour. That’ll be fun! Of course, I’m hoping to have The Coppersmith finished and uploaded before then, and maybe Patriots and Tyrants as well (if possible). I don’t want to wait too long, but I know I have to have more material available.

As of April 1, I will check again to see how the sales of The Spirit of Resistance are coming along, and then we’ll have a better sense how this is all taking off. It’s quite a bit of work though, I gotta tell ya! (Still, I’m loving it!)

Okay, so writing 10K words a day is harder than I thought. Heck, writing 5K words a day is harder than I thought! All my calculations on how quickly I can finish a book are out the window (though I’m still committed to trying harder!). My only hope now is to be able to finish Patriots and Tyrants before April 7th. That would mean it took me precisely one year on the book from start to finish. Been working steadily on it, too, which is more than can be said for most of my efforts. About the only other book I worked consistently on, from start to finish, was The Coppersmith, now being edited heavily.

Part of the reason–a large part that Ms. Hocking hasn’t had to deal with (to my knowledge), have been the “interruptions” of family. Not that I consider my family an interruption, mind you, but they do take up a much larger portion of my time than Ms. Hocking’s singleness does.

But the real reason is that I am genuinely struggling not only to maintain the quality of Jefferson’s Road, but more importantly, my interest and passion in it. This, I think, more than anything else, is the hard part about writing so many words a day. It’s not that I get bored with it. It’s just that I get tired easily, which leaves me thinking that I need to either learn how to ramp up my endurance levels – exercising my creativity the way I might exercise my muscles – or I have to accept the notion that I may never be able to produce at the pace of Hocking, or King, or many other authors.

There is a serious downside to the latter, though, and it is simply that I don’t want to spend a year writing a single book – or even two books, as has been the case in 2010/2011. It takes too long, and I still have wa-ay too many stories to tell to accept that pace.

Thus, I have to jump back into the fray and try again. Burn-out is a real worry, I suppose, but a necessary risk, too.

On a positive note, Patriots and Tyrants has passed the 67K word mark, which means I nearly am done (probably around 10K or less remain, I suspect). And I haven’t exactly been slacking on editing The Coppersmith, either. I’m easily 50% done with the red pen, and maybe 15-20% putting the changes in. I still don’t have any suitable cover art developed, but I’ve been working on it. As always, the hard part is coming up with a suitably quality image that will reflect something of the content or tone of the book (and you can imagine the “fun” of finding cover art about a serial killer!).

Oh well. Back to work!

What a Tangled Web I Weave…

Had me an epiphany of sorts regarding the Jefferson’s Road saga–something concerning one of the major characters which I won’t get into here (you’ll have to read the books to find out!). But what was exciting was realizing that I already had laid the groundwork for this particular development in The Spirit of Resistance. Looking into the text, I confirmed that the development could easily extend from a tiny detail I’d unwittingly written in, extrapolated into a bit of foreshadowing for what is to come.

The thing is: this is a major plot twist in the whole conspiracy–not something I’d really foreseen from the beginning, mind you, but something that will look like I’d planned it all along, which is the part that’s just so stinking cool! It totally adds multiple layers to the twists and turns in the series, and takes the believability of the series to a whole new level.

The only bummer is that I really can’t tell anyone about it, because it will ruin the surprise! Oh well. I’ll just have to chalk this up to a bit of fortuitous inspiration. It’s definitely keeping me engaged in the series, though.

Sales Pick Up in March

It’s been fifteen days since launching the print version of Jefferson’s Road: The Spirit of Resistance on Createspace, and letting everyone know about it via Facebook and email. In that time, I’ve sold 6 e-books and 11 print books. Granted, I sold 2 print books in late February, when the book went live (bringing the total to 13 so far). Thus, I’ve earned a little more than $60 for two and a half weeks of sales in print, compared to $95 for all the e-books I’ve sold in the last nine months.

Reflections: there definitely is more income from print than e-books. I have to wonder whether or not I still have the price set too high. $13.99 for the print version, and $2.99 for the e-version. I am considering dropping the price on the e-version to $.99, which is what a lot of authors seem to be doing with success (à la Hocking and Konrath, etc.), but my heart wants to wait until Patriots and Tyrants comes out. At that point, I think I’ll price Patriots and Tyrants at the current rates for Spirit of Resistance, and then drop Spirit of Resistance’s price down to the lowest possible, which is $.99 for the e-book, and $11.99 for the print version (which happens to be my coupon price). It’ll be interesting to see what happens to the book once I drop the price.

Another thought: I must work harder to get the word out. Now, I’ve sent in the press release to the Webster Post, and that hasn’t come out yet. That will let 10K readers in the local community know about the book. And I have to send a copy to Bob Lonsberry over at WHAM 1180 (contact courtesy of my friend Blanca). I don’t know whether or not I’ll hear anything from the D&C, but the press release I sent them is still out there.

Nor have I done anything with the blog chain info that Joy sent me yet. I still have to look into that as a way of getting the word out.

So, I’m not done. Not by a long shot. And I’ve yet to get more books out there selling, which I’m still working on. I’ve produced more than 10K words in the last three days, and that’s trying to finish two novels at once. The only bummer is that I won’t be applying anything with The Elixir of Life to my self-publication efforts, because that is going straight over to Ellechor Publishing House just as soon as I finish with the edits (which comes after I finish the manuscript, of course!).

In the meantime, I have a host of back novels that I started and never finished (with the exception of one), and I can pull these out, dust them off, and see if I can’t breathe some new life into them. Think I’ll post a poll and get feed back from anyone on which novel they’d like to read…

Implementing the Hocking Principle…

So I’m on my second day of implementing the Hocking Principle. There are two parts to the principle I’ve uncovered so far: 1. Write like a machine. 2. Publish multiple books one right after the other.

Since 2. is utterly dependent on 1., I have been working hard at writing like a machine the past two days. Yesterday, I managed to pump out about 3500 words on The Elixir of Life. So far today, I’ve pushed out about 4K words on Patriots and Tyrants.

I’m aiming for 10K words a day. Yes, that would be a completed book in a week and a couple days. I know. It’s wicked hard, but I’d rather shoot for 10K and only reach 5K, than shoot for 5K and only reach 1K.

There’s been a lot of discussion over at ChristianWriters about whether or not producing such quantity reduces the quality. I don’t think it necessarily does. Of course, I’ve only been at it two days, but I don’t want to just assume that quality and quantity exist in tension with one another. It’s a false dichotomy. In fact, it may be just the opposite, for the simple reason that writing more instantly gives you more experience. True, you have to learn the ground rules of writing, and submit yourself to critique so you can refine your senses of what works and what doesn’t, but that’s what editing is for.

Someone cautioned me against burn out. Right now, I’m more in danger of a cop out than I am of burn out, but we’ll see how I’m doing in a week.

In the meantime, I’ve signed up on Twitter @AuthorMichaeJS , and I’m still trying to figure out how to get my profile picture uploaded. I’m gonna kick out some household chores now, and then knuckle down on more Patriots and Tyrants.

And Just Like That…

Jefferson’s Road: The Spirit of Resistance is up and running – available to purchase from Create Space. This was a long process – large learning curve, actually. And the truth is I’m still in it. But it is up and available, and I’ve announced it on Facebook. Now I just have to learn how to maximize the marketing potential of the book, blah, blah, blah, to get it out to the maximum number of people.

Easier said than done, of course. But still, a celebration is in order – a chance to pause, reflect, and appreciate the journey.

Coming Soon to Amazon.com…

Yes, I’ve gone and bit the bullet. I’ve submitted Jefferson’s Road: The Spirit of Resistance to Amazon.com as an e-book for their Kindle reader.

Really hoping I haven’t just stepped in a big ole’ pile of poo.

Anyway, I will keep this blog posted on what happens–if anything–with the book. Assuming Amazon approves it for their store (it’s that whole “Is this guy recommending sedition?” thing that’s got me a bit nervous, truth be told), then I’ll announce it on Facebook, create a fan page there, and upload the (slightly revised) video below to youtube and any other video site I can think of. I’ll also be announcing the book on the Tea Party website I joined a while back, as well as anywhere else I can think of.

I’m sure a mass e-mail wouldn’t be too inappropriate, either. Yeah, it’s SPAM, but it’s my address book. Just saying.

For anyone curious why I’d do something like this, check out the following links. You’ll see what I mean.



Thanks for listening.

Video Trailer for Jefferson’s Road

Okay, so here is the new video trailer I just produced for Jefferson’s Road: The Spirit of Resistance. I’m curious to get anyone’s thoughts out there. Just one caveat: no, the book isn’t available on Amazon yet (or anywhere else for that matter). I’m just prepping the marketing stuff ahead of time, because even if no traditional press buys this book, I’m going to publish it anyway. Print On Demand, if I have to.

Anyway, let me know what you think.

All right, enough of that now. I have to get back to work on Patriots and Tyrants.