In response to a conversation I had recently with a friend about their dyslexia I’ve begun publishing additional copies of my books in a Dyslexia-Friendly font (Open Dyslexic) which is designed to increase readability for those with dyslexia.
The first to hit the shelves is my comedic Viking fantasy “The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior“, other books I’ve written will come over the next few months.
Apparently the newer Kindles (like the Oasis) also come with this font as an option for those who prefer eBooks.
I am ridiculously excited to announce I’m taking my first steps towards producing an Audiobook version for The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior.
About a week ago I put the pieces in place on http://www.acx.com to start getting auditions for the book, and I’ve had a number of fantastic audition pieces come back already. I’m now running a poll to help decide on who I should choose. My favourite audition pieces are embedded below.
Update: I’ve removed the poll as I was also running one on Facebook. I’ve extended an offer to Basil Sands so all things being equal he’ll soon be the voice of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior! You can listen to his audition below.
The first draft of my current work in progress is almost done. I’m at about 80% of my 30,000 word goal for this one, so I’m sitting on a little over 24,000 words.
Once that’s done though the real work begins.
By real work I’m talking about going back and reading through the whole thing. Adding where necessary (I tend to gloss over parts on my first run through, so need to add in parts for it to make sense) and deleting where necessary to tighten up the story where it’s messy. And then going back to fix grammar and typos I introduced by adding new bits.
I’m happy with the current cover design I’m using, the Heaven / Hell split you can see at the top of this post. My name is smack bang in the middle of the Hell section. I’ve no doubt the subject matter of this one might make me a target of religious nut bags who can’t see the funny side of life, so at least I’ve got a head start on them.
I’ve also been actively avoiding thinking about the blurb, since that’s one of my most hated parts of the process. Trying to condense the novel into a couple hundred words that makes people want to click the “Buy Now!” button.
But these are the evils one must accept when trying to carve out a life as an author, especially a self-publishing one.
Last week I ran a 0.99 sale on The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior. I’m happy to say it was a huge success, and as it happens, it was my most successful sale I’ve ever run, with heaps of people grabbing a copy to read.
I’m quietly hopeful that some of these will turn into Amazon reviews. They’re one thing I’ve never had much luck at getting. I’ve read somewhere that only like one out of every hundred or more readers will leave a review, so I would have thought I’d have seen a few more by now. Perhaps the 1 in 100 is actually much higher.
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The last month has been hectic. My pay-the-bills job has been keeping me busy, plus other things outside of work have got me to the point of not wanting to do any writing when I finally have spare time.
I know that’s not the attitude to have, but it’s just been exhausting. That said, I think things are finally easing up a little which is giving me time to think about my next project.
I’ve decided to work on a new idea that’s been floating around in my head rather than the other story I got part of the way through before stopping to write Badlands and The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior.
It’s still a little too early in the game to give away too much, other than to say it may make me a target for religious nut-bags. It’s a humorous tale of God and the Devil, Christ and few other family members and the havoc they cause.
Other than that I’ve been spending a lot of time over on Reddit as a way of not doing any writing. The Writing Prompts subreddit is one of my favourite places to hang out, reading all the prompt-inspired responses. I’ve posted a few of my own over the time, none that have really taken off until the one I posted the other day.
The prompt I submitted was: You accidentally summon a demon by trying to pronounce IKEA product names. I honestly didn’t expect it to get any traction, much like the ones that I posted before. But to my utter astonishment it took off, trending as high as top spot in the subreddit and garnering over 7,800 up-votes and even a gold star.
If you’ve got a bit of time, go over to Reddit and check out the awesome responses people have posted. It’s great to see how people interpret the response in different ways.
In The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior related news, it’s now been a little over a month since I released this book and I can honestly say it’s by a wide margin the best-selling book I’ve ever put out there.
It’s been snapped up by people all over the world, including countries I’ve never reached before. Sales have slowed a little since its initial release but I’m still seeing lots of people grabbing copies through Kindle Unlimited, and even the odd paperback copy being sold. Having people read and enjoy something I’ve written really makes my day.
That’s all for now. Back to
procrastinating …er… working on my next book. 🙂
I should preface this review with a <POSSIBLE SPOILERS> warning since Goddamned Freaky Monsters is book 5 in The Tome of Bill series. If you’ve not read the first four, maybe look away now.
After reading the first 4 books in quick succession I decided a short break was in order before continuing with the series. That short break turned into 6 months as other books kept demanding my attention.
But finally I’m back on the Bill train, having finished this one over the weekend and lining up to read the next one when I’m finished what I’m currently reading.
Three months have passed since the fateful encounter in New York City that ended with the disappearance of Bill Ryder – gamer, geek, and legendary vampire. Now he’s back, awakened halfway across the globe with no allies, clothing, or clue as to how he got there. The only thing he’s certain of is that his captors plan to use him for their own nefarious ends and don’t care how much blood they spill in the process.
Escape might be the least of his worries, though. Civilization teeters on the brink of chaos. Mythical beasts, once thought the stuff of fantasy, are breaking through the veil, intent on waging war against mankind. At their forefront stands an ancient evil, the last remnant of a cult thought long dead, and he’s about to cut a swath of destruction through the world not seen since biblical times.
Bill’s only chance is to reclaim his life, reconcile with his friends, and muster every bit of attitude he can – because if he fails, Hell on Earth will become far more than just a corny saying.
I’m sure you’ll be eager to hear that my work in progress – The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior – is now at the “beta reader” stage of editing.
That means it’s getting much closer to being completely finished! Once I get it back and comb through the notes, adjusting my draft where necessary, and it’ll be one step closer to putting it onto Kindle Scout.
In the meantime I’m busy working on some other things for the book. Firstly, in my books I like to have a custom “mid-chapter break” or “section break” if you prefer. In a lot of books these are three little asterisks “***” or bullets “•••” or the like that usually denote passage of time during a chapter.
I’ve always gone with a little symbol I like in all of my books to date – – for no other reason than I happen to like it. But with Gustav I’ve made a custom symbol, Gustav’s head:
My focus this week has been split between first-round editing of my work in progress, the comedic Viking fantasy “The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior”, and reading the superb superhero coming-of-age story “Dreadnought”. More on Dreadnought further down because first up it’s all about me! lol 🙂
So my first round edits basically involve me printing out the entire Word document as well as converting it to spoken word with a text-to-speech program. Then I sit and listen to the mechanical voice reading my story back to me. Any errors or awkwardness I find I correct on the print out. When I’m done with that, I’ll update the Word doc and convert to Kindle for a read through before I send it off to my beta reader.
I’ve also been tweaking my cover art for my work in progress. I had a brainwave late one night earlier this week that the cover I’d settled on was a little too flat and it might look good if it was stacked-paper. So I got to work editing the artwork which resulted (after a few horrendous attempts) in the new cover design shown here.
I had to adjust a few of the colours because once I shrunk it down to thumbnail size I couldn’t read any of the title text. To make the colours more complimentary, I changed the water and the background to green, and I think overall it works. So it’s the one I’ll be publishing with (unless hit by some major inspiration and redesign the whole thing, unlikely).
Below is a quick progression of how the cover art matured over time. The first (lame) attempt was mainly to get the bones of the idea in place (such as the Viking long boat at sea) and then go from there. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s been a little while since I’ve posted an update on my comedic fantasy work in progress – The Totally True Adventures of Gustav Gustavson – Legendary Viking Warrior (TTTAOGGLVW for short, lol).
Well, it’s going really well, about 95% complete or thereabouts, and is now officially the longest single work I’ve written to date. Currently weighing in at a little over 47,100 words, I’m aiming to get it above 50,000 by the time I wrap it up.
Why? A couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s a nice beefy number for a novel, and make it a good 10,000 words longer than my second longest. A decent sized read and makes for a nice thick book on the bookshelf. 🙂
I admit it. I totally spaced and forgot to post my review of this book from when I was reading it back in September.
No matter, I’m here to correct that. So, back in September I re-read Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore.
Biff has been tasked by heaven to pen a new gospel, to fill the missing years of the Son of God before he was 30. As it turns out, those missing years were “filled with remarkable journeys, magic, healings, kung fu, corpse reanimations, demons, and hot babes.”
If you’re easily offended by someone poking fun at your religion, then this book is probably not for you. You’ll want to throw around words like “blasphemous” and “sacrilegious”. If however you’re an enlightened human being who can understand satire and enjoys a good laugh, then this book is for you. Read the rest of this entry »
“Dinnie, an overweight enemy of humanity, was the worst violinist in New York, but was practicing gamely when two cute little fairies stumbled through his fourth-floor window and vomited on the carpet.”
As opening lines go that’s an absolute clanger.
Over on Amazon and Goodreads, The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Miller gets a lot of mixed reviews, with lots of people hating it, but many more people loving it. I’m most certainly in the latter category, having now read this book three times and enjoyed it each time. Read the rest of this entry »