July 4

Next update August 8

Happy 4th of July and a belated Happy Canada Day!

It’s summer here in Texas. It’s hot and – unlike previous years – it’s very, very humid. But we needed the rain, so who am I to complain, right?

Normally summer is a slow time for me work wise. July is usually filled with visits from friends and family, and in August my wife and I always go back up to Canada for a couple weeks. So I typically don’t get much done. In previous years, I’ve had books releasing in June and July, so I usually add an appearance at something like Comic Con to my schedule as well. But this year is a little different.

Chaos Unleashed, the third novel in my Chaos Born trilogy, isn’t coming out until October. Which means we are in the final stages of production right now. I just received my Advance Reader Copies of the book last week. For those who don’t know, ARCs are an early version of the novel, bound with a simple purple and white cover. This is the first chance an author gets to see how a novel will actually look once it’s printed, but the pages aren’t final – they still need a final editing pass, so often there are errors or other changes still to come. ARCs are often given to reviewers so they can read and (hopefully) promote the book before the final version hits shelves; it’s all about building marketing buzz!

ARCs are also handy to give out as contest prizes to help get fans excited about the book. I’ve got a few ideas about what I want to do for that, but it’s still a bit early. If you want to get your hands on an early copy of Chaos Unleashed, look for something in September as we get closer to the official release. (And be sure to follow me on Twitter for all the latest in news, promos and contests!)

Chaos Unleashed isn’t my only new release right now. Over in the UK book 2 of the Chaos Born – The Scorched Earth – has just come out in mass market paperback! The MM paperback is a bit smaller than the┬átrade paperback format it was originally released in; that’s pretty typical for most books. They first come out in hardcover or trade paperback, then six months to a year later they get re-released in the less expensive┬ámm paperback format. The whole idea is to reach as broad an audience as possible. Some readers prefer hard covers or trade paperbacks; they look good on the book shelf and they are nicer to have as collector’s items. But some readers just want something simple; they want a less expensive and smaller book they can take with them on the bus or the plane or to the beach. As an author, I’m all for anything that helps get my words into the hands of new readers!

Speaking of getting my words into readers’ hands… A Minor Malevolent Spirit and Other Tales is finally out in paperback as well! When I did my last update, this short story collection was only available on Kindle. But finally (finally, finally!) my horror/fantasy/sf anthology is available in print and other ebook formats!

The anthology sells for $3.99 in digital form, and $9.99 in paperback. Obviously, that’s quite a difference, but there’s a reason for this – it costs a hell of a lot more to print a book than to release it on e-readers! Paper, bindings, color cover art: these things add up quickly, especially when you’re doing a smaller project like this. If you’ve been following my blog, you know that A Minor Malevolent Spirit is self-published (with the help of my agency, Curtis Brown Ltd.). This isn’t a wide release; it’s a boutique book, which means costs are harder to keep down. In this instance, the paperback release of A Minor Malevolent Spirit is the flip side of the coin to the mm paperback release of The Scorched Earth. The Kindle (and other ebook versions) are less expensive, but readers who want a collector’s item – something they can hold in their hands or display on their shelves – are (hopefully) willing to pay a little more.

Okay, I guess that’s it for this update. To summarize, I have my ARC copies for Chaos Unleashed – we’re getting closer to the official release! The Scorched Earth is out in the UK in mass market paperback! And A Minor Malevolent Spirit and Other Tales – my self-published short story anthology – is out in paperback and digital formats! No wonder I’m so exhausted. (Or maybe it’s just the Texas heat…).