Serial Release

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In the grand tradition of days gone by (and really because publications like logoSerial from the creators of This American Life and download Wool by Hugh Howey have shown that it can work), I’m considering using a serialized format for the release of two of my three current books.

I want to put the two books through a more traditional (if still freelance) editing process, but I don’t have the money to hire the editors. My thought is to release them in a serialized format (probably eight to ten parts each), and then put any money made towards freelance editors and book-cover-designers. My goal would be to release them starting in March and release every two-ish weeks. So by the end of July they would both be entirely released in the serialized format.

I’ve been working through the first with this goal in mind. It’s a children’s/young-adult fantasy series that follows a ten-year-old named Luther who wakes up in an entirely different world. It’s strange to release even that amount of information because no one (other than my wife) even knows that much.

I would then focus on my second. It’s a young-adult sci-fi series following Cassidy, a thirteen-year-old girl who has an Enhancement (essentially a computer integrated with her body). Again, strange to put that in public.

I don’t want to release my third book in a serialized format. First, I don’t believe it would do very well. Second, it is heavily based on my own experiences and is not as commercially-viable as the first two. It is also the most “grown-up” of the three. It is focused on a few days in the life of a twenty-something bartender. If any of my books will be commercial successes, it will not be this one. It is too dense and depressing. It was also the least-fun to write. I haven’t reread it much. So why write it, you might ask? I don’t know. Because it needed to be written. It needed to be said.

I’m setting myself a goal of March 12 to release the first parts of both my fantasy and sci-fi books in a serialized format. I know what I want the cover to look like for my sci-fi book, and I’ve already made a mock-up. I will obviously need to clean it up before release. But I’m still struggling to come up with a good cover for my fantasy book. The most obvious choice would be to have something cartoon-y. But I’m not crazy about that idea. I like my idea for the sci-fi book cover. It’s clean and intense. But that same idea would not work for the fantasy book. It’s a gentler, more playful book in many ways. I’ll have to keep thinking.

51ont5IBWhL._SS280One of my dogs is licking my foot as I write this. She has been annoyed with my purchase of a new desk because there is much less room under it for her to sit. I had a desk unit and conference table in my old rental house, and there was tons of space for her to stretch out and still be at my feet. At this rental? Not so much. She does not approve. She is the most “dog” of my dogs, fulfilling all the classic stereotypes. But I do rent by the water here, which is as glorious as everyone says.

I’m listening to Hot Club Sandwich. Highly recommend for some calm writing music (especially Green Room). And Daniel Roure (who doesn’t love French Jazz?) and his Le Temps D’un Jazz.daniel-roure-Le-temps-dun-jazz

I must stop neglecting my poor blog.

January 11, 2015

Children’s Books Are Not All The Same!

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Little-Blue-Truck-Board-Book--pTRU1-13280611dtI was discussing the topic of children’s books with someone today, and they were surprised to find out that I have favorite children’s books. “Aren’t they all the same?” this person asked.

What? Of course not! There are great and boring. Dull and fun.

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle. The second is Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson.51o3sjWyQOL The best part of both of these books is the rhythm and phrasing used. They’re fun to read out loud. They rhyme (but lots of children’s books rhyme). But there’s something more. A jauntiness to the rhymes. If anyone has young kids and hasn’t read them yet, it’s worth the purchase!

December 18, 2014

Why Be Famous?

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I want to become famous enough that people in the future will come up with really clever quotes and misattribute them to me.

Sea Turtles and Mad Hitmen

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We recently moved next to the water, which has been truly glorious. But tonight I discovered one of my new duties now that we live on the water: I am expected to dispose of the dead sea turtles that wash up on our beach so that their bodies won’t make us sad. I also discovered that dead sea turtles float and the tide just brings them back to us.

So there I am – in my work clothes and overcoat digging a hole in the cold, frozen rocks of our beach in the pitch black to bury a turtle – and I couldn’t help but think, “I’m like some mad hitman who has hit rock bottom.”

Paper or Plastic?

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Reading an actual book to me is far more enjoyable, but ebooks are just so convenient! I can easily read in bed; I can have dozens of books with me in a single-book-sized device. You just can’t beat it!

But, it turns out that (unsurprisingly, I guess) reading on a screen is not the same as reading on paper. Your paper brain and your Kindle brain aren’t the same thing highlights the difference. Being able to “deep read” by immersing ourselves fully in the text in front of us is a crucial skill and one that is not exercised enough while looking at a screen.RTR2KOTX However, the article states that the mind shifts towards “non-linear” reading (for example, skimming a screen). I wonder how that applies to ereaders where you are still reading in a traditional format (just text on a page) but reading off a screen?

Either way, I still like a good, paper book if I can manage it. But I love to read, and I consume well over fifty percent of my books from a screen. So I will just hope that I still get some deep reading exercise from an ebook (and I can be bi-literate!).

September 30, 2014