It Was A Good Day…

For starters, I got a guest blog spot over at PJ Media.

Then I got a good blurb from Midwest Book Review:

Critique: With the launch of “Acts of War”, author James Young shows himself to be a master of that science fiction sub-genre called ‘Alternate History’. Exceptionally well written and deftly crafted into a compelling read from beginning to end, “Acts of War” is very highly recommended and will leave its fully entertained readers looking eagerly toward the next installment of this outstanding series.

Finally, got hard copies of Barren SEAD, my new non-fiction book.  Good times.

I got asked to guest blog the Con post over at Cedar Sanderson’s joint.  I’ll link back to it when I get a chance.

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Of course, this means that the aliens are coming tomorrow…but for today, it was a very good day.

Wrath of Con, Part I (The Eve)

Several months ago, I made the decision to attend my first Con as a vendor.  Given the concentration of sci-fi geeks in one place and what have you, I figured I’d see how the first one went and then make decisions on whether it was worth the time, $$ (oh, I’m sorry, we’re at $$$$ now), and effort.  While this won’t be a live blog of the Con (will be selling!), I figure this helps as a running after action review (AAR) of what is happening and how things are going.  For those of you following the blog, I’ll be at KC Planet Comicon in Artist Alley’s Booth 327

Things I have learned so far:

  1. Never has the phrase “you have to spend money to make money” been so appropos as preparation for a convention. Ankle biters after ankle biters, from “Oh, wait, you thought we were providing you electricity free of charge?  HA!” to “Hmm, might want to get order forms made up…” will rear their ugly head.
  2. Some companies, despite glowing recommendations and clear deadlines, will still manage to screw the pooch.  Other companies (Hi Stickermule!) will go above and beyond.  Make sure to give shout outs to the latter.

    3. Try to get things you’ll use over and over again.  While the lockable, rollable containers I got were not a pleasant expense, after loading them up I realized that this is something I should have done a long time ago.  No more “Man, why am I carrying all these books in here?!” moments.

    4. My friend Leslie Stein passed along a saying her family has about “paying tuition” for life lessons.  Basically I’m going to look at this as a life lesson.  Even if my sales experience mirrors that of a pork rinds vendor on the outskirts of Mecca, I figure you only get so many chances to have thousands of geeks in one place.

Velocity and Trajectory

Interesting. For those also doing the indie author shuffle…

Mad Genius Club

This is a guest post by Dorothy Grant, Peter’s wife.

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Sarah just informed me that the Giant Obvious Change to Amazon’s algorithms wasn’t so obvious – not to authors who are busy writing and moving. So, let’s talk about organizing book promotions in the current market.

About the time Amazon shook up the writing world by releasing a competitor to Scribd and Oyster (namely Kindle Unlimited, or KU), it also implemented a major revision to its sales ranking algorithm. The obvious impact was that KU borrows have the same impact on sales rank as an immediate sale, but no payment is made until 10% of the text is read. This had the effect of decoupling the strict cause and effect relationship between a book’s actual sales and its sales rank.

However, Amazon also implemented a more subtle but much more massive change to the algorithm. The name of…

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“After the Scythe” Announcement

Feeling a bit blue this Single’s Awareness Day? Sickened by all the shiny, happy people getting flowers and want to read about death, destruction, murder, and mayhem? Do you think dystopia > dinner dates? Well, folks, today’s your lucky day, as in honor of all you lonely singletons (or soon to be if tonight goes poorly) out there, I’m making “After the Scythe” available for free through the 18th.

Welcome Everyone!

So for those of you who do not know, I was featured in the Topeka Capital-Journal yesterday!  This was great news to get surprised by (knew it was coming, didn’t know the day) even if I had to rush home to get extra papers.  For those coming from the paper, welcome.  😀

In addition, since last blog post (wow, has it really been since November?  Sorry!), I commissioned a gentleman to perform the song referenced at the tail end of An Unproven Concept.  There will be a fuller version done around the time Though Our Burn (the sequel to Concept) is complete, but for now, The Spartan War Song.

Last but not least, for those who prefer audiobooks, I have gotten “Ride of the Late Rain” recorded by the wonderful Arwen Gwyneth Hubbard. If you’re wanting to start the Vergassy Series but don’t have time to do the traditional “dead tree” route, the short story is available through Amazon, Audible, and I-tunes.

Audio, Audio, Audio…

So at the moment I’m in the midst of getting the Vergassy series turned into audiobooks.  “Ride of the Late Rain” is 95% complete, while I’ve received (and approved) the first 15 minutes for each version of An Unproven Concept.  Here’s a listen for each:

An Unproven Concept (Kraken Edition)–First 15 minutes.

An Unproven Concept (Base Edition)–First 15 minutes audio.

“Ride of the Late Rain”–Five minute audio sample.

When complete, these projects will be available on Audible and I-Tunes.  More information to follow as I get it.  😀

New Omnibus! More Reading! Coming Attractions

First, I’d like to announce the publication of Anita C. Young and I’s short story omnibus, Across Four Realms.  Married to someone with radically different tastes than you?  Buy this book and make everyone happy!  Murder (urban fantasy and post-apocalypse style), Mayhem (alternate history and space opera style), and Misery (in everything) for the whole family!

Second, I will have a short story entitled “A Midwinter’s Ski” in an anthology being published in November. It’s being put out by the Fear the Boot role playing group out of St. Louis.  Good times will be had by all. 😀

Finally, if you’re looking for additional reading in Sci-Fi and Fantasy for this last weekend of summer, please check out the following list put together by Amanda Green.

That’s all the news for now.  More to follow, especially on the alternate history novel.