Tag Archives: self-publishing

SPFBO 99¢ Fantasy Book Sale

The SPFBO 99¢ Fantasy Book Sale

Today, August 1st which marks the beginning of the 2018 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off and to celebrate the kickoff many entrants are offering our books on sale for only 99¢!

The Stars Were Right is a part of this year’s entrants, and I was happy to participate in the sale. So if you’re looking for a genre-bending Lovecraftian urban fantasy thriller to sink your… uh, tentacles into for the summer, now is an excellent time to pick it up.

The sale runs August 1st through August 5th, and along with my own book, you’ll find over one hundred twenty others on sale spanning a multitude of fantasy subgenres. It’s a great way to support the participating authors and save yourself some money. You can see the full list by following the link below.


Shop the 2018 SPFBO 99¢ Fantasy Book Sale →


Big thank you to Andrea Domanski for heading this sale up. It’s a lot of work to get this sort of thing off the ground. Make sure to check out her Omega Group book series—the first novel, Crossfire is on sale, and is an entrant in SPFBO 4. It’s currently slated to be reviewed by Lynn’s Book Blog. (You can see the full list over at Mark Lawrence’s blog.)

Welcome to SPFBO 4 everyone, and good luck to the participants.


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The Stars Were Right is an entrant in #SPFBO 4!

I’m in SPFBO 4

I’m excited to announce that my first novel, The Stars Were Right, has been accepted into this year’s Self-Publishing Fantasy Blog-Off. This will be my first book award contest since I started writing and I’m excited to be a part.

Here’s how it works: each year 300 fantasy authors submit their books. Those books are then divided among ten bloggers—Stars will be reviewed this year by the good folks over at Booknest. In Phase One, the books are read, and each blogger chooses one book to advance to the next round. Then in Phase Two all the bloggers read the submitted ten, and score each of them. Out of those ten books only one will be selected as the winner! It’s fun and great for the indie fantasy community. Check out the past winners here.


300 Books. 10 Judges. 1 Winner.


Big thanks to author Mark Lawrence for championing all of this, organizing events like this can be a lot of work, and Mark has been a tireless supporter of indie authors. Be sure to check out Mark’s books, follow him on Twitter, and read his blog.)

Also, I want to thank my pal Mihir from Fantasy Book Critic for letting me know submissions were open. I’ve watched the SPFBO from the sidelines for a few years now, and for whatever reason, I never thought my books qualified. I’m happy I listened to him and took the opportunity to submit.

Win or lose, I’m excited to see how The Stars Were Right does. The contest skews heavily towards fantasy fiction, and while The Stars Were Right is very much urban fantasy, the weird world of the Territories has a lot in common with many other subgenres. As my readers know, I tend to eschew the standard fantasy trappings in exchange for something more… um, strange. So, we’ll see! Fingers crossed!

Phase One runs from August 1st – December 31st, 2018. If you want to read along, you can see the full list and bloggers participating over here. Follow along on Twitter by using the hashtag #SPFBO. Regardless of the outcome, I’m excited to join in, and I want to wish good luck to everyone who is competing. It should be a good year!

A Norwescon 39 Debriefing

A Norwescon 39 Debriefing

This past weekend I attended Norwescon 39 in SeaTac, Washington. This was my second year attending and like last year I had an outstanding time. As readers of my blog know with all my convention appearances, I like to do a debriefing wherein I recap the events, share photos, and talk about what I experienced during the con. (Check out my debriefing from last year.)

It was a wild weekend. I ran my table, sold a bunch of books, sat on six panels, and did a reading. Somewhere in there, I tried to get some sleep. Thankfully, unlike last year, I was not alone for the fours days; this time, I had assistance. My friend and fellow author, Steve Tontounghi came out on Friday and Saturday helped me out at my table and talked to people about his forthcoming novel, Join. And my wife Kari-Lise stepped up and pitched in Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. It was fun hanging out with them both. With their help, there weren’t any eleven-hours-on-my-feet days for me to deal with like last year. That alone made my time significantly more enjoyable.

Okay, let’s get to those highlights:

Books, Readings, Swag, and More

  • Once again, I sold a ton of books. Many were to new readers who seemed excited about stories set in a post-Lovecraftian world, and many were to my current readers who loved my books and wanted more. It was wonderful hearing directly from so many people and very encouraging.
  • I love when folks stop by and tell me how much they love my covers. I take a lot of time and effort to make sure they are something you’ll be proud of having on your bookshelf and knowing you notice means a lot.
  • This was the first year I handed out badge ribbons. I brought along three: Roader, Shambler, and Caravan Master (the rare one). I made a bet with my buddy Ace that he wouldn’t be able to collect all three. (I only allowed people to draw once.) He won. *grumble grumble* It was fun, and I think it might become a thing for everyone. Still trying to plot out how to make that work.
  • So many people came to my reading! As many of you know, I had the readers of this very blog choose what I read. As decided by the voters with 56.25% of the votes, I read the prologue from Red Litten World. People enjoyed it in all its grisly details. The next day quite a few attendees came to my table and bought a book because they liked what they heard. That made my con right there.

Friends & Fellow Authors


Oh, The Panels!NWC39_Set4

  • The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Battle Royale was easily the best panel I was on, I know I’m not alone in thinking this, here’s proof. It was hilarious, snarky, and a total blast. Big thanks to Matt Youngmark for putting it together and keeping things organized. The format was a bracket-style who-would-win-in-a-fight “discussion” in the end it came down to Rey from The Force Awakens and Marvel’s Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers. I was on team Rey in the final matchup, and sadly by popular vote, she lost. Maybe next year. #ReyWasRobbed. Agree? Feel different? Leave a comment and let me know why!
  • The horror track was really well put together. I was lucky enough to sit in on four different panels and had some incredible conversations about location, inspiration, and how horror is often a reflection of the time in which it is written. The first panel, expertly moderated by Logan Masterson, was about horror’s fantasy roots and stood out as the best of them, a lot of intelligent discussion.
  • The last panel I attended was ‘Level Up Your Self-Publishing Skills’ moderated by Elliot Kay. It was packed, and there was a lot of great questions from those in attendance. I wish it could have been more than an hour. There’s so much more all of us authors on that panel could have said, I wish we had more time. If you ever have a question about self/indie publishing you are always more than welcome to email me at hello@kmalexander.com. I’m happy to offer tips or advice where and when I can. As always, the best advice I can give is this: keep at it, write what you love, and never give up.

Cosplay & Norwesconners

  • Have I mentioned the incredible cosplay, yet? Well, as always it was fantastic, people put in a lot of time and effort, and it showed.
  • Tiny Rey was easily the most adorable cosplayer I saw. Let me go on record saying that I am so stoked to see another female character in Star Wars that young girls can emulate. Mad props to the writers for making that decision. It was needed.
  • Rorschach and I recreated out selfie photo from last year. Here was the photo from Norwescon 39 and the photo from last year, Norwescon 38. Kari-Lise pointed out that they are mirror images of each other. Not intentional and kind of funny.
  • I got a quest from an NPC. It was hilarious. That card is now pinned to my cork board above my desk. Someday I’ll find you drunken ghost.
  • I mentioned this last year, but it’s worth mentioning again. It’s remarkable to see the diversity, openness, and acceptance between Norwesconners. The world outside of a convention can be mean. It’s nice to see a place where everyone is super considerate and goes out of their way to be encouraging and welcoming. Norwescon is unique like that.

Little Incidental Highlights

  • The Philip K. Dick Awards, I had a panel and was running a table, so I didn’t get to attend. But congratulations to Ramez Naam for his novel Apex winning the award. Also, congratulations to the special citation winner, Marguerite Reed for her novel Archangel.
  • Sunday’s cello accompaniment was lovely. Is this a regular thing? I remember there was music last year as well.
  • The green room staff, wonderful people there. They made the room a nice respite before and after panels.
  • The Norwescon staff were all really great. Thanks to everyone for making the event such a success. It’s a lot of hard work. Next time you see a volunteer, thank them.

It was a packed weekend, but so worth it. I’m already missing the whole buzz of the convention halls and the enthusiasm from my fellow attendees. There were a few times I wanted to get into the nitty-gritty details of writing horror and time just didn’t allow it. It would have been great to have sat in on a panel that was specific to cosmic horror/weird fiction and Lovecraftian mythos, but that might be too narrow for a general sci-fi/fantasy convention like Norwescon.

Sunday night Kari-Lise and I came home exhausted but feeling accomplished. Monday morning, I rolled right from convention mode back into work mode. No rest for the wicked. I’ll see you again Norwescon, until then, it’s back to writing. Time is wasting, and I have many more stories to tell.

Welcome back to Lovat

Friday Link Pack 10/09/2015

We’re coming to the end of Red Litten World launch week which means it’s time for the Friday Link Pack. Some of these links I mentioned on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Do you 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…

RED LITTEN WORLD:

Red Litten World Is Out Now!
You should go buy it! It’s available as an eBook from pretty much anywhere ($5.99) or trade paperback ($15) from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or my store. It’s high time you head back to Lovat. Hooray!

WRITING:

Writing Vs. Having A Life
My friend and fellow writer, William Munn looks into the idea of a work/life balance when it comes to our writing. What does it take? What should one  be willing to sacrifice. Also, as an added bonus, you should check out his serial story, Rue From Ruin.

10 Terms Coined By Ernest Hemingway
From ciao, to cojones, to the moment of truth. Here are ten modern-ish terms coined by Hemmingway himself.

Absolute Zero — The Temperature At Which Writers Give Up
Fantastic post from Kameron Hurley on perseverance, writing, and the creative life. It’s just what you, me, and any creative out there in “the struggle” needs right now. Go read it.

#WriteTip—New Struggles In Self-Publishing
Dave Farland offers up some great thoughts on the challenging (and ever changing) landscape of self-publishing and what it takes for success.

Give All Your Secrets Away
The ever badass Setsu Uzume wrote a great little post on writing what we want to write and telling the stories we want to tell and denying nothing.

RANDOM:

Scarfolk Council
Scarfolk is a fictional northern English town created by writer and designer Richard Littler. The whole thing is an amazing satirical project poking fun at themes of totalitarianism, suburban life, occultism, religion, school, childhood, racism, and sexism. Delightfully subversive and highly recommended.

A Poetic Vision Of Paris’s Crumbling Suburban High-rises
Sometimes, Paris pretends to be Lovat. Stunning pics in the Washington Post article, showing some truly amazing architecture.

Sad Topographies
The world can be a bummer of a place. From Uncertain, TX, Point No Point, WA, to Mamungkukumpurangkuntjunya Hill in South Australia (the name means “where the devil urinates” in the regional Pitjantjatjara language) this Instagram account works to collect the saddest place on earth.

WEIRD WIKIPEDIA:

Boy Scout Lane
“Boy Scout Lane, sometimes written Boyscout Lane, is an isolated road located in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. A number of ghost stories and urban legends have become associated with the road, including the fictional deaths of a troop of Boy Scouts. The area has been the subject of several paranormal investigations, and has been a ‘haunt’ for youths hoping to experience a paranormal event. The land surrounding Boy Scout Lane is now privately owned and is off limits to the general public.”

H.P. LOVECRAFT STORY OF THE WEEK:

The Mound
In honor of Red Litten World launching, I feel we should revisit the tale that inspired the title! In Binger, Oklahoma there is a strange mound which is, in fact, a gateway into another world.

GIF OF THE WEEK:

Quoth the raven, "c'thump c'thump, c'thump"
[Thank you Steve for sharing this. Corvids are the best.]

Red Litten World arrives October 6th, 2015

On October 6th, It’s Time To Return To Lovat

“…legend said that it had come from a mysterious inner realm beneath the red-litten world—a black realm of peculiar-sensed beings which had no light at all, but which had great civilisations and mighty gods…”

H. P. Lovecraft & Zealia Bishop, The Mound

The sharp scent of ash lingers in the air, the city’s cold streets feel deserted, and the revolver rides heavy in the pocket of our hero. In the distance, a jazz band warbles through an ancient tune from a crackly radio speaker. You can feel the tension on the wind, it sparks across your skin like static. But, the wait is nearly over. On Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 you’ll be able to join Caravan Master Waldo Bell in my next book, The Bell Forging Cycle, Book III: Red Litten World.

As I promised yesterday, you can check out a free sample chapter right now! Read it over at the official website: redlittenworld.com (which is the best reading experience, IMO) or you can read it right here on my blog. I hope you enjoy it. The goal with the Bell Forging Cycle’s prologues has always been to treat them like the cold open of a television show. Set things up, get the plot moving and hint at what’s to come. As you can probably tell from Red Litten World’s prologue, things for Wal are going to get very interesting.

While I’m very excited to share the sample chapter with you, there’s more. As of today, Red Litten World is currently available for pre-order for Kindle users! Really! Just click here and you can preorder the Kindle edition for $5.99 and it will automagically appear on you device launch day.

There’s a lot more to come. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be revealing a bunch of fun little things. Check back often, add Red Litten World to your to-read list on Goodreads, and please tell your friends!

It’s high time we to return to Lovat.

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!