Tag Archives: Hugh Howey

Friday Link Pack 05/01/2015

Happy Friday! It’s time to share a few links I’ve found over the last few days. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Click here to email me and let me know! (Include a website so I can link to you as well.) Let’s get to it…

Writing:

A Question About Editing
Interesting post from Hugh Howey about editing, today’s reader, and the modern expectation of perfection in writing.

The State Of Storytelling In The Internet Age
A quick overview covering how amazing things are to how much of the industry is in flux. It’s now so much easier to reach so many people, and the internet has opened up so many new channels for creators, but new struggles have emerged.

Little Triggers
I am wary of the phrase “trigger warning”, and I’m glad to see Neil Gaiman is with me. I highly recommend checking out this post from his new book Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances. In this excerpt Neil explores how fiction is supposed to push us, teach us things, and help us grow.

The Story You Want to Read
Fellow author and writing group pal, Michael Ripplinger, explores a specific story arc—the return of an ancient evil—that attracted him to writing. It’s always fun recognizing these sort of things in our writing.

A CthulhuCon Debriefing
Last weekend we didn’t have a Friday Link Pack because I was heading down to Portland for CthulhuCon. How did it go? Fantastic! I break it down in this post, hit the highlights, and share a few pictures.

Art:

Artist Transforms The 12 Zodiac Signs Into Terrifying Monsters
I love monsters. Who doesn’t? So I was on board when I saw Damon Hellandbrand‘s take on the familiar zodiac signs. Libra is my favorite.

Catch My Fade – Seamus Conley
So one of Kari-Lise and my favorite artists is Seamus Conley. There’s something so emotional in every one of his pieces. His latest series, Catch My Fade, currently being show at the Andrea Schwartz Gallery in San Francisco, California is nothing short of amazing.

Re-Covered Books Contest: ‘The Old Man and the Sea’
I really enjoy these recover contests that the Fox in Black does occasionally. They’re really handy for indie authors to get some good ideas on cover designs, plus you always find some really beautiful pieces. April’s contest for re-covering Hemingway’s The Old Man and The Sea is no exception.

Random:

The Dezeen Guide To Brutalist Architecture
Not everyone is a fan of brutalism, but I am. There’s something so combative about the buildings, something arrogant. I love the brash unapologetic retro-future style. In this article Dezeen Magazine explores brutalism architecture, and discusses how we should preserve the legacy.

It’s Time to Retire “Boob Plate” Armor. Because It Would Kill You
I think we’re all well aware at how ridiculous (and often sexist) “boob plate” armor can be, but armor’s job is safety, and in this article for Tor.com writer Emily Asher-Perrin gives us the best reason to avoid it: it would kill the wearer. [Thanks to Spencer for sharing this.]

18 Delightfully Artistic Vintage STD Posters
These vintage PSAs from the U.S. Army shows their focus of stamping out VD. They are amusing, terrifying, and well… a bit strange. It’s interesting how it seems to point the finger at women and not the male soldiers who were the guys actually doing most of the sleeping around. Ah, good ol’ sexism solidly alive and well in postwar America.

The Wikipedia Entry For Guam, Retold As A YA Novel
The fake-wikipedia article you always wanted to read. Tropes delightfully abound. [Big thanks to Christine for sharing this one. Hilarious stuff.]

Random Wikipedia Article of the Week:

The Hyphen War
“The Hyphen War (in Czech, Pomlčková válka; in Slovak, Pomlčková vojna—literally “Dash War”) was the tongue-in-cheek name given to the conflict over what to call Czechoslovakia after the fall of the Communist government.”

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Other Gods
Barzai the Wise and his disciple Atal climb a mountain to gaze upon the gods of the earth and discover more than they bargained for.

Gif of the Week:

gotta go fast!

The Stars Were Right Print Proof

It’s Been A Good Week

I started this blog to document my journey as I began writing. I’ve have always wanted it to be as candid and honest as possible. So I have made sure to share ups and downs, highs and lows. I have talked about my fear. I have talked about rejection. I have shared my successes. I want to let others out there know they’re not alone, we all struggle through this creative process. Through it all I have trudged forward, writing my strange little novels, and working to create the best books I can.

Well, something pretty amazing happened Monday, and to stay on theme I wanted to share it with everyone here. A few weeks ago I was able to secure a 99¢ promotion with Book Bub—a daily deal promotional site for ebooks. That promotion launched on Monday, and well… I sold a lot of books. A lot. I have nearly doubled my readership and as a result The Stars Were Right took off and began flying up the charts.

Then this happened:

The Stars Were Right hanging next to Hugh Howey's WoolYep, that’s my book sitting next to Hugh Howey’s Wool on Amazon’s Best Sellers in Science Fiction Adventures list. It also ranked pretty high on a few other lists:

The Numbers Were Right
By Monday’s end I was feeling pretty overwhelmed, and excited, and flattered, and humbled. It’s incredible that so many folks took a chance on me and my book. I didn’t expect this. Sure, I expected a few sales, but nothing of this magnitude. Since this was a promotion it stuck around for about a day before slowly settling back down, but I had to share even my momentary rise with you.

I really look forward to hearing from all my new readers. I hope you thoroughly enjoy meeting Wal, exploring Lovat, and discovering just a small sliver of The Territories. Feel free to drop me a line at any time and let me know what you thought. There’s a lot more to come in The Bell Forging Cycle and I am glad to have more of you join me on this crazy adventure!

Friday Link Pack 12-12-2014

Friiiiday! It’s time to share a few links I’ve found over the last few days. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Let me know! All right, let’s get to it.

Writing:

Turning Your Manuscript Into A Paperback
Hugh Howey put together a great video showing his process for laying out the internals of a paperback. His process is similar to my own, very much worth a watch.

How J.K. Rowling Plotted Harry Potter With A Hand-Drawn Spreadsheet
I swore I had posted this before, but I couldn’t find it. So I am including it again. I love process and comparing process, it’s interesting to see how different authors approach their notes to a story. J. K. Rowlings attention to detail is fantastic. (Thanks to Lola for reminding me of this.)

Old Broken Road Giveaway
You can enter to win one of five signed copies of Old Broken Road (and some other stuff) on Goodreads. Signing up to win is easy. Winners will be notified January 6th. In the meantime, buy a copy for friends or family.

How Facebook Changes For 2015 Could Affect Authors
Good write up from Edie Melson regarding the changes coming to Facebook next year. It doesn’t matter if your traditional or indie, odds are you use Facebook to reach readers. It’s good to be up on what’s coming.

Poetic Dogs by Dan Bannino
Handsome dogs that look like famous poets. IT’S WRITING RELATED. STOP GIVING ME THAT LOOK!

Random:

Mari Lwyd – The Zombie Christmas Horse
Scary Little Christmas is a fantastic blog I discovered over the past week. It is a place to learn about the strange holiday traditions from around the world. In this case, we have the Welsh tradition of the Gray Mare.

Lovecraft-Inspired Gift Guide
Looking for a gift for the mythos enthusiast on your list? I have assembled a handy gift guide that includes books, games, music, and more!

Style Guide: The Looks That Made Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks is coming back, and what better way to celebrate than by assuming the style of your favorite character?

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Electric Executioner
“As the train rattled onward through the night I saw a subtle and gradual metamorphosis come over the expression of the staring man. Evidently satisfied that I was asleep, he allowed his face to reflect a curious jumble of emotions, the nature of which seemed anything but reassuring. Hatred, fear, triumph, and fanaticism flickered compositely over the lines of his lips and the angles of his eyes, while his gaze became a glare of really alarming greed and ferocity. Suddenly it dawned upon me that this man was mad, and dangerously so…”

Gif of the Week:

:(

Friday Link Pack 12/06/13

Syd Mead Blade Runner Concept Art
Syd Mead Blade Runner Concept Art

It’s time to share a few interesting links I have found throughout the week. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have any suggestions, let me know.

Writing:

12 Real Life Inventions That Science Fiction is Neglecting at its Peril
One of my favorite bloggers, Charlie Jane Anders, compiles a list of real life inventions that has been neglected by modern science fiction. If you’re looking for some inspiration for your own project look no further. There’s a lot here.

The Stars Were Right trade paperbacks are available!
As of yesterday my book The Stars Were Right is now available as a trade paperback from Amazon! Nab it today! It makes a great gift! To celebrate I also discounted the Kindle edition to $0.99 for the rest of the week. You can’t even buy a decent cup of coffee for a buck these days.

The Stars Were Right Giveaway!
Now through January 5th you can enter to win a copy of The Stars Were Right on Goodreads. It’s as simple as following the link and clicking “Enter to Win!” Tell your friends (or don’t and give yourself a better chance at winning.)

Learning to Write
Hugh Howey offers some frank and simple advice on what it takes to write.

Art:

Syd Mead’s Bladerunner Concept Art
Some of the coolest concept art you’ll see. Ever. Really. I promise.

Wars on Kinkade
One part painter of light, one part dark side. DeviantArt artist Jeff Bennett merges Star Wars and Tomas Kinkade paintings into fantastic (and amusing) pieces.

Random:

The National x Bob’s Burgers – Sailors in Your Mouth
Two of my favorite things combine to create an amazing Thanksgiving song for the 2nd year in a row. If you missed “Thanksgiving Song” from last year make sure you listen to it as well.

Getting Lost on North Brother Island
Situated between the Bronx and Riker’s Island, New York lies a small bird sanctuary that was once the site of a hospital. After 40+ years of abandonment the result are some amazing (and creepy) pictures.

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Beast in the Cave
A lost man. A dark cave. A potential threat.

Farewell Gif(s) of the Week:

This is basically what dinosaurs looked like. Too bad.

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Hugh Howey’s 10 Counterintuitive Tips for Self-Publishers

Hugh Howey
I am a big fan of Hugh Howey‘s work. I have recommended his book Wool before as apart of my Reading Recommendations series. (Which you should read.) Over the last few years he has exploded on the speculative fiction scene and along the way he has hit the New York Times Bestsellers list multiple times. Not bad for a self-published guy who bootstrapped himself through his whole project.

Over the weekend I came across this Publishing Perspective article where Howey lists ten handy tips for self-publishers. It’s really good advice so I figured his ten tips were worth a share on here:

  1. Asking people to buy your book doesn’t work. Instead, try to entertain or enlighten with your Facebook posts and tweets.
  2. The people who sell your books are your existing readers. Concentrate on interacting with them and being accessible.
  3. There is no promotion as strong as writing the next book. None. That always comes first.
  4. It doesn’t matter how quickly your book jumps out of the gate upon release. An undiscovered book remains fresh and new. You have the rest of your life to promote or gain sales, so keep writing!
  5. Give your books away. You need to build up a fan base. That means free ebooks, sample chapters, and not worrying about piracy or DRM.
  6. A good agent is your best friend. Even if you don’t want to sign with a publishing house, there are overseas markets and media rights that they can help you with.
  7. An email list is more powerful than Twitter or Instagram (though not quite as powerful as Facebook). You want to reach out to those who are receptive, those who have signed up to hear from you. Build that newsletter email list as soon as possible.
  8. Videos are worth a million words. Readers love connecting with and getting to know their favorite authors. Shoot a video rather than typing out a blog post. They are quick to watch and easy to share.
  9. Be yourself. This shouldn’t be counterintuitive. I hope it isn’t. Don’t lose sight of who you are. Embrace the awkwardness, the glee, the dumbfoundedness.
  10. Authors are not in competition with one another. We are in this together. A happy reader buys more books, so celebrate others doing well and help who you can. Remember those who helped you. Pass it along.

I see a lot of self-published authors doing the exact opposite of Howey’s 10 Tips on a consistent basis. Their blog posts and twitter feeds read like advertising, their posts are little more than hashtags lists. There’s no content.

The biggest takeaway from these 10 tips can be summed up in one word: engagement. Find a way to engage with your readers: provide them quality content, have a conversation, respond to emails, be yourself. You wouldn’t want to buy a book from some weird sales obsessed robot so why would your potential readers?

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Reading Recommendation: Wool

Wool Omnibus

First off do yourself a favor, go over to Hugh Howey’s website and subscribe to his RSS feed. It’s great and you’ll thank me later. Secondly go buy Wool. There’s a reason why it has sold an amazing amount of copies for an indie book (last I read somewhere over 300k,) and was picked up by a traditional publisher, and has been optioned for a movie: it’s great.

It takes place in an underground shelter hundreds of years (and many generations) after an apocalyptic disaster destroyed the surface of earth. It’s smartly written, well paced, and surprisingly fresh. Howey’s characters —even the minor ones— stand on their own and come across as real people with strengths, weaknesses, goals, and visions. I chewed through all 5 novellas (included in this omnibus) in about a week, couldn’t put them down. Part post-apocalyptic, part action-adventure, part romance, it just might be my favorite book of 2012.

Oh and when your done with Wool and find yourself wanting more… fret not, Howey is hard at work on the sequel.