Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Tale of Two Reviews

I imagine authors don't typically like to show brutal reviews of their books but I'm going to show one anyway. I'm going to show you a recent 1-star review for Legends Reborn as well as a 5-star review, because I think it demonstrates the point I'd like to make for this blog. Everyone who has ever put something creative into the world will already know what I'm about to say. Art is created with the best of intentions and whether someone likes that art can go any way imaginable. One person might enjoy short chapters while another person may despise them. One person might like deep character descriptions down to the chipped front tooth, while others quickly scan those long, descriptive paragraphs just to get to the action. If an author spends too much time world building, he/she might be criticized while an author who doesn't build the world enough might be equally trashed by someone else. That's what makes art great. For instance, I watched the movie World War Z this week and loved it. Some of the reviews I've read haven't been so kind.

These opinions can often emote a visceral response. If that response is, "This is the greatest thing ever and I need to tell the world," that's what the artist had hoped for. On the other hand, if the response is, "This is the crappiest piece of crap I've ever read and I need to tell the world," well, you understand how disappointing that would be. I once heard someone a lot smarter than me say, "If you believe the great reviews, then you must believe the bad ones." (That might not be the exact quote but you get the point.) I believe that quote but it doesn't dull the edge of the bad ones.

Let's look at my most recent 1-star shellacking.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ohio Comic Con 2013

Well, another successful comic con has ended and I'm exhausted. I don't feel this comic con had as much traffic as the last two that I've attended, but I managed to sell 85 books. A little less than previous cons, but still pretty good I'd say. Special thanks to the talented Steve Murphy for all his help.

Continue to see pics from the con.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lemons into Lemonade

As I begin the re-launch of my books (see my announcement about Rhemalda closing here), one of my first orders of business is changing the covers in my Epertase trilogy a bit. Thanks to Steve Murphy, I couldn't be happier with the results. Here is a look at Epertase covers 2.0.

Next, I will be getting the ebooks up and running so that I can keep the reviews and rankings at Amazon and others. I'm also using this re-launch opportunity to revisit Legends Reborn and tweak it a bit, because I feel my writing has gotten smoother in the years since I wrote it. I'm like George Lucas except that I'm making my trilogy better. (Yes, that was a shot across the "Greedo shoots first" bow.) Legends Reborn won't change much, just some of the flow. I'm also fixing a couple minor inconsistencies that had been missed during the first run.

Short of the covers, I'm not changing A Kingdom's Fall or The Rise of Cridon at all. I'm happy with them. The paperback versions of all my books should be available in a month or so.

As far as Tamed goes, the cover will be identical minus the Rhemalda logo, but I may tweak the interior a bit on it as well. That'll be next week's project. I'm overwhelmed with work, but once it's finished it'll be worth it. Keep an eye on this space for more.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A New Beginning

I have a bit of news. Not life-or-death news, just disappointing news.

Sometimes a door can close when you’re least expecting it. And when it does, you have to roll with the punches because that’s just how life is. Once a door closes, you have a couple of choices. You can give up and move on, or you can push onward. Sometimes, the door that just closed needed to close in order for the next door to open. I’m hoping this is one of those times. In fact, I consider myself an optimist and, therefore, choose to believe that this is one of those times.

If you follow Rhemalda Publishing or any of the other Rhemalda authors then you probably already know my disappointing news. If not, read on. It is with regret that I relay the announcement from Rhemalda Publishing that they are closing their doors effective October 1st. I am officially a free agent. There are several factors that contributed to this decision by those in power at Rhemalda, but let’s just leave it at this: The publishing industry can be a tough business and the headwinds against small press publishers have grown too strong. In addition, the Internet has made it possible for authors to print their own books with a quality that had previously been reserved only for publishers. Even the big publishers are struggling to compete in today’s environment.

As a company, Rhemalda started their business with the goal of being author friendly at all costs. As far as I’m concerned, they have consistently made good on that goal. Also, Rhemalda set out to release a high-quality product, and if you've read any of their books over the years, I think you'd agree that they have succeeded. In the end, I consider myself fortunate ...