Only two weeks to go now and Imperial Towers is due for release!
While you wait, I thought I'd post a random quote from somewhere random...page 113 as it turns out:
When Pacela’s Spire finally came into view Never’s arms were burning from the stretcher but he didn’t bother calling a halt, better to reach the comparative safety of the spire sooner. The square resting beneath the Spire lay empty. Silver figures of Pacela in her flowing robe stood at each corner though naught but new weeds crept between the flagstones.
Here's a little preview from the forthcoming Imperial Towers - the first 3 chapters of the conclusion to Never's story :)
Click for the PDF
Here's a Christmas gift idea that has absolutely zero chance of arriving in time for Christmas!!!!!!
But seriously, if anyone was looking for a paperback copy of Greatmask, it's now available :) The two retailers I've noticed so far are Amazon and B&N, but others will doubtless follow in the new year.
Hope you have a good holiday if you're lucky enough to have time off, unlike folks in retail for instance (used to be me) or hospitality (like my brother)!
One of my anthologies is part of a holiday giveaway, along with Fantastic Creatures and From the Stories of Old and over at the release party you can win one of the three Fantasy Anthologies or a $30 Gift Certificate to Amazon :)
The Giveaway ends on the 28th of December, just click the link to enter!
Imperial Towers (Book of Never #5) now has its cover and you can view it over at Lynn's Book Blog, who generously offered to host the official cover reveal :)
Lynn's book blog is fantastic so check it out while you're there, her top tens and other themed posts especially are always great. You can also read her review of The Amber Isle here, when it was featured as part of Mark Lawrence's Self Published Fantasy Blog Off :)
NOTE: If you haven't finished reading Never #4, the cover art to #5 will pose a bit of a spoiler!
And thanks once more to Lin Hsiang for the amazing illustration and VividCovers for the ace title work :D
Just click on the image to jump to 120 free ebooks via Instafreebie :)
Coming up this weekend (but also available right now) I have The Amber Isle featured within a group promo over at Instafreebie, where you can find of heaps of free SFF books, so if you're browsing for something new to read, have a look as there's bound to be something you like :)
In other news, I'm revealing the cover to Imperial Towers (Never #5) very soon - details forthcoming :)
A note, if you haven't read Never #4 yet the cover to #5 does pose a spoiler, so tread carefully when I post the link to the cover reveal :D
Since I’m hoping to take a bit of a break from the blog during December, I want to do a bit of ‘looking back’ over 2016 with this post, before I get so busy relaxing or finishing Never#5 that I overlook doing so :D
So, on to the reflection!
There have been negative things in 2016 of course, but they’re things that I won’t dwell on here as it would be a bit boring. Instead, I’ll focus on some of the writing goals I set back in Jan or March and see if I met them (spoiler, I met most of them :D).
And now, in a touch more detail:
Goal 1 – Achieved...just
• Increase my average monthly royalties by %50 - %100
Here I wanted to increase my monthly income by enough to enable me to pay a small bill or two with my writing and it’s only been in the last three months that this has been achieved. Of course, I don’t earn a supplementary income by any stretch but it has certainly increased compared to where I was at the end of 2015 or even mid 2016.
I attribute this success, aside from marketing, to three things a) releasing a fair few titles this year, b) rights reversion for my Bone Mask Books and c) Kindle Unlimited.
Goal 2 – Exceeded!
• Release 5 titles over the course of the year
This goal is linked to the first, since more books tends to naturally relate to increased sales. So my plan was to release a few extra titles, above and beyond what I’d achieved in 2015.
Looking back, by the end of 2014, between myself and my publishers, I’d released three titles – one poetry collection and two novels (The Fairy Wren and City of Masks.) Hop forward to 2015 and my total climbed a tiny bit to four. One poetry collection and two novels (Crossings and The Lost Mask) along with a novella (A Whisper of Leaves).
For this year, I wanted to increase my releases so that I’d put out five titles. It was a modest leap up from last year and I was confident of reaching it, since I’d planned a few novellas and some shorter releases too. In addition, I had hoped to finish two series this year, meaning I felt like I’d guaranteed myself at least two releases.
My total ended up being twelve!
Now that I look back on that number, it’s quite insane, even with the shorter projects. No wonder I’m deeply, deeply weary lol. I pushed myself harder than I ever have and in 2017 I want to take it easy by comparison :)
So, here’s what I managed to get out into the world this year:
Somnus & the March Hare
The Yellow Butterfly (appears within ‘Steampunk Fairy Tales Anthology I’)
Esmeralda (appears within ‘Steampunk Fairy Tales Anthology II’)
The Amber Isle (Book of Never #1)
A Forest of Eyes (Book of Never #2)
River God (Book of Never #3)
The Peaks of Autumn (Book of Never #4)
Greatmask (Book #3 of the Bone Mask Trilogy)
Book of Never (Boxed Set, Vol 1-3)
Poetry & Place Anthology
A pen-name Title
So I definitely exceeded this goal and aside from being tired, I’m very happy with it and I hope readers enjoy(ed) the flurry of releases :)
Goal 3 – Not Quite :D
• Finish off 2 series by December 31st
At the beginning of the year I had two series I wanted to complete in 2016.
One was a new series called The Book of Never and the other was my first series, The Bone Mask Trilogy. 'Never' would feature novellas and novels, while the Bone Mask books were each much longer. Luckily, I was able to complete the Bone Mask Trilogy this year, as Greatmask was released just last week. However, the conclusion to the Never books will have to wait until 2017 but to be honest, I don’t mind that this one is taking longer. It’ll definitely make the book better :)
And there it is, an incredibly long post on goals! Thrilling, huh?
Looking forward to 2017 I’m keen to finish a few projects that I’ve been working on, planning or thinking about for a few years.
First will be the conclusion to The Book of Never, with Imperial Towers (#5) slated for a March release. Then a sequel to A Whisper of Leaves and a new suspense novel and in the latter half of the year, I want to start work on the first book in the Bone War Trilogy – where, among other things, we get to see Notch’s visit the land of the Ecsoli :)
Here's my progress on a few projects!
While they're not in priority order, I will say that Imperial Towers is the 1st prioity. The conclusion to Never's quest for truth is the story I'm most keen to finish and I hope also to launch a Kickstarter for it early next year, so stay tuned for more news in 2017!
The unnamed speculative fiction project might end up being used for a penname - I've been working on it for years but haven't found the right ending yet. The sequel to A Whisper of Leaves is something I'm excited to get back to but for now it's only at outline stage.
This one might well be a shorter post than usual, since I don't believe social media in and of itself is a huge driver of sales or audience-building and feel like writing more books is probably a better bet than spending too much time on promotional posts via such networks.
(The possible exception to this is paid promo on Facebook, but I consider that a category of advertising, rather than social media - since the whole idea of social media is being social, ie: interacting.)
I do maintain something of a presence on Twitter and Goodreads, but I try to share stuff or talk books/track my reading process on those two sites. However, on Twitter I do also love to share the art for my book covers and will over indulge in that :D I also post a few links to this blog, but mostly check out what my fellow writers are up to.
There are various book promotion services geared toward twitter and such - two I've trialed over the years are AskDavid and BooksGoSocial and will report on them soon. It can be quite difficult to effectively track such promotional material for sales results.
If you're unsure of whether or where to start with social media, I'd recommend only using a social media platform or two and focus on them rather than spending time trying to cover fifteen different bases. Stick to a few you enjoy, be approachable and don't get sucked into the horse-radish that passes for 'debate' on such sites and you'll probably find social media fun, though perhaps not essential for marketing.
Very happy to report that 'Space and Sorcery' have given me my first review of Greatmask, and I'm also pleased and relieved to report that the conclusion to the trilogy was indeed well-received :D
Here's the beginning (and you can read on via the link below) too:
Now, as the third book starts, we follow each individual group as they struggle to overcome the mounting difficulties: at the beginning this fracturing of narrative threads makes for an apparently disjointed storytelling, but little by little the pieces start to come together to build the main tapestry, non unlike smaller streams that flow into a wider river, and we understand that each single incident is part of an overall – and ominous – picture. And once our “heroes” manage to regroup, the story takes on speed, driving toward a breathless fight for survival.
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Ashley Capes is an Australian writer of fiction, poetry and very occasional non-fiction.
Imperial Towers (Never Book 5) - draft 1
Moss Dragon - draft 1
Reed Lavender (working title) - draft 1
Unnamed Spec Fic - draft 1
Whisper of Leaves (sequel) - Outline