November’s Publishing Parade

Here’s what came out this month from Superversive Press, Castalia House, Silver Empire Press and authors of the CLFA.

Superversive Press

In Issue #5 of Astounding Frontiers we bring you more of the pulpy goodness
More pulpy goodness with stories from Julie Frost and Brian Niemeier as well as continuing serials from Ben Wheeler and Corey McCleery and a new serial, Hard Moon, from David Hallquist.
When otherworldly forces conspire against those she loves, Rachel Griffin must face her most desperate hour. This on top of winter fairies, lost friends, undeniably attractive older boys, and, oh, a rampaging ogre.
MAGA 2020 & Beyond tells the tales of a prosperous future where evil is defeated, the border wall is built, society has righted itself, space exploration is common and world peace has been attained.
It is said that King Arthur will return in Britain's hour of greatest need. That time is coming.

Castalia House

Bishop Thomas Cranberry finds himself at a loss when he is confronted by a thief and realizes some disturbing truths about himself.

Silver Empire Press

Psychics, time travel, gods, and sci-fi battle angels.

CLFA

In a near-future dystopia, Jeff Hammer, airborne mercenary turned tenement guard, starts a free-market revolution.
Evelyn Adamsen grew up knowing she had to hide her psychic abilities. Then the U.S. Army Air Corps came calling.
When California declares independence, their dreams of socialist diversity become nightmares for many from the high Sierras to the Central Valley. Follow the lives of those who must decide whether to stand their ground, or flee!
When a ghostly curse of vengeance born from broken hearts starts killing men on Halloween, psychic Ariana Ryder’s going to have to face her own past to stop it… because it’s just set its sights on her boss.
A near future totalitarian regime creates a human weapon, only he’s not so sure he wants to be their errand boy.
A breakthrough in nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, but can the ends justify the means if it takes a crime to make it a reality? Two lab techs and a petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.
The second and third books of the Childers Trilogy in one volume: Colony War and Galactic Mail.
The first day of the war to liberate Occupied Earth! Follow up to the Dragon Award nominated Invasion: Resistance.
Picadilly is one of those towns where things go bump in the night.

The Fatal Flaw of “The Once and Future King”

Let me get some stuff out of the way right now.

“The Once and Future King”, T.H. White’s brilliant retelling of the Arthurian legend based on Malory’s Le Morte De’Arthur, is an incredible book. It is one of the great achievements of literature. “The Ill-Made Knight” is the second best fantasy novel of all time. The final scene of “The Candle in the Wind” stands today as one of the most moving scenes ever written. It is a masterpiece.

And it is based around a fundamental, foundational error, and error that leads directly to White’s conclusion that Camelot is an impossible dream: White’s disbelief in Original Sin, and the corollary of the impossibility of redemption. Continue reading

Book Review: Cadain’s Watch by Daniella Bova

I must admit I approached this book with trepidation, for two reasons.

My first and most obvious thought was, “Hey, a dystopian novel set in the near-future U.S., told mostly from the points of view of several characters from the resistance movement? That sounds an awful lot like my own novel. How could I possibly enjoy it without constantly making comparisons, for better or worse?”

The second source of hesitation came from the presence of a Christian Angel as a character. I’ve seen some discussions as to the difficulty of writing real-world (rather than imaginary) religions, in particular Christianity, into fiction. After all, having an all-powerful God explicitly on the side of the heroes removes much of the suspense in the outcome, at least on the macro level. The story can still be great, mind you, but generally speaking it’s not what I prefer to read.

That said, I was somewhat familiar with Daniella Bova’s writings from a couple of her published short stories, so I decided to give her full-length novel a try.

As it turned out, in spite of superficial similarities of the premise, this novel is nothing like mine, and it’s a good thing. If nothing else, it answers the common complaint that nowadays we have too many dystopias, and they’re all alike.

Well, not this one.

A few things immediately stand out, before you even get to the supernatural element. The main characters are older, and they have families. It’s understandable why most dystopias focus on the young and the unattached. It’s hard to rebel against the government, no matter how oppressive, when you have family to feed, and when said government can come after your wife and kids if you step out of line. On the other hand, in reality, people will more readily fight and die for their loved ones than for an idea, and that’s the approach the story takes. Yes, there are some characters who join the resistance because it’s the right thing to do, but for the most part, it’s a timeless tale of hard men in hard times fighting to protect their wives and kids.

Read more at Marina’s Musings

It’s A Superversive Sale!

Get some of your favorite ebooks at discounted prices through Monday.

$2.99

Her father’s been pronounced dead. Destructive earthquakes ravage the countryside. An invading army looms over the horizon. And Zaira’s day is just getting started…

Abandoned at an early age, Zaira von Monocle found life as the daughter of a great adventurer to be filled with hard work and difficulty. She quickly learned to rely on only herself. But when a messenger brought news that her father was dead and that she was the heir to his airship, her world turned upside down.

Zaira soon finds herself trapped in the midst of a war between her home country of Rislandia and the cruel Wyranth Empire, whose soldiers are acting peculiarly—almost inhuman. With the enemy army advancing, her newfound ship’s crew may be the only ones who can save the kingdom.

For Steam and Country is the first book in the Adventures of Baron Von Monocle series by top-10 Amazon best selling space opera author, Jon Del Arroz.

“Witty, charming and downright thrilling!  Del Arroz nails the feel of good old fashioned Steampunkery with wit, aplomb and of course… panache.” – Nick Cole, author of the Dragon Award winner, CTRL ALT Revolt

“FOR STEAM AND COUNTRY is a rousing girl-powered fantasy tale. I thoroughly enjoyed this action-packed airship adventure!” – Laurie Forest, author of The Black Witch

On Sale Monday Only!

$2.99

Generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals.

This was the moment we came together to elect Donald J. Trump as President of the United States of America.

MAGA 2020 & Beyond tells the tales of a prosperous future where evil is defeated, the border wall is built, society has righted itself, space exploration is common and world peace has been attained. These aren’t just fantastical stories of a farfetched future, they are stories of a future that can be obtained.

99¢

Commissioner Hideki Ichiro is planning a field of dreams on the moon. The World Baseball League’s viewership has declined to some of the most alarming levels in the game’s history. To survive, baseball needs to expand to a new market, and the only place to go is out to the stars. There’s one hitch in the plan: playing baseball is impossible without Earth’s gravity.

Can Hideki navigate new technologies, angry owners, and the drive-by media before time runs out for both baseball and his own career?

Explore baseball’s future in the heart-warming novella by multi-award nominated science fiction author Jon Del Arroz!

 

99¢

The Dark Lord’s favorite dragon is constipated. Dr. James DeGrande, veterinarian and orc-slayer, is going to have to deal with it.

This one could get messy.

Everyone says it was better in the Good Old Days. Before the Dark Lord covered the land in His Second Darkness.

As far as I can tell, it wasn’t that much better. Even then, everyone cheered the heroes who rode unicorns into combat against dragons, but no one ever remembered who treated the unicorns’ phosphine burns afterward. Of course, that was when dragons were something to be killed. Today I have to save one. Know what fewmets are? No? Then make a sacrifice of thanks right now to whatever gods you worship, because today I have to figure a way to get them flowing back out of the Dark Lord’s favorite dragon. Yeah, from the other end. And that’s just my most illustrious client. I’ve got orcs and trolls who might eat me and dark elf barons who might sue me if their bloodhawks and chimeras don’t pull through. And that doesn’t even consider the possibility that the old bag with the basilisk might show up.

The only thing that’s gone right this evening is finding Harriet to be my veterinary assistant. She’s almost a witch, which just might save us both. If we don’t get each other killed first.
TAGGED WITHSALE

The Evils of Agents and Twitter Brawl

On Thanksgiving of all days, I found myself in the middle of a Twitter brawl after a very small previously unknown literary publisher from NY posted that they would no longer accept agented submissions.

Shouldn’t be a big deal right? After all, all of the Big 5 require you to have an agent or they won’t even look at your writing. If you don’t like either scenario, you can choose to submit your work elsewhere or self-publish. Long gone are the days where traditional publishers are your only option for getting your book into print.

The publisher was getting a bit of hate over the post and I chimed in supporting the publisher’s decision. And that’s when the chairs and beer bottles started flying. Wow, the trad pub people sure do get hostile when you even suggest that an author is perfectly capable of representing themselves or that writers should research the publishing industry so that they can spot when they’re being screwed over.

There was wailing and gnashing of teeth that writers need agents to protect them from those evil publishers that writers are trying to get published through. Yeah, I don’t think they realized the stupidity of that. Why in the heck would you pay someone to get you work with people you know are intent on screwing you over? Especially when there are so many alternatives out there. But, whatever.

While agents are “protecting” the poor helpless writers who lick windows from the evil publishers, who’s protecting the writer from the agent?

I view agents as the leeches of the writing world. It’s probably a bit unfair since there are decent and reputable agents out there that are worth their weight in gold, but they seem few and far between compared to the number of sleaze bags out there.

Why do I have this opinion? Because:

1. There are no qualifications for being a Literary Agent. None. Nada. Zip. Anyone can claim to be an agent with no knowledge whatsoever of the publishing industry. Put up a decent looking website and voilà, you’re an agent. (Close your mouth dear).

2. Unlike lawyers, there are no sanctions if the agent is incompetent, lazy or a scam artist. If the agent screws up the terms of your contract, you get to pay the consequences for that screw up, not them. Your only option for dealing with a bad agent is to take them to court, which costs a lot of time and money. Not to mention once you get a judgment against them, it’s more time and money to collect on that judgment. Good luck with that. (Jail is an option IF the scam artists violate the law and it can be proven. The best ones stay just inside the law while bilking authors out of tons of cash).

3. There are far too many horror stories about bad agents to ignore that there is a problem with the profession. Cases in point:

The Agent from Hell and the Top Six Scams Targeting Writers

When literary agents screw up: 7 ways that things can go wrong 

Why I Ditched My Famous Literary Agent

Business Musings: Writers, Scam Artists, Agents, And More (Sigh)

Those are just a few of the many many many examples of problems authors have encountered.

4. Everything an agent can do, an author can do with the assistance of an attorney or on their own if they want to take that risk.

If you’re set on getting an agent, then you NEED to do your research. Don’t short change yourself or set yourself up to be taken advantage of by going into publishing blindly. There are plenty of resources out there to learn what is normal industry practices. Interested in a particular agent or publisher? Talk to authors who have worked with them before. Do a Google search on them. It’s your labor that went into that book and your labor that is going to pay the agent and publisher. In today’s environment, publishers need you more than you need them and agents are just going to leech off the minuscule profits the big publishers portion out to writers. Protect yourself and be your own best advocate.

You can do everything (except submit to the large publishers) without an agent. I’d suggest finding a IP lawyer who has experience working with authors to look over contracts and/or negotiate on your behalf. Yup, it’s going to cost you upfront, but you know exactly what you’re paying for and if you ever have to go to court, you have someone who already knows the contract to back you up. Agents CANNOT represent you in court if you should need to sue to enforce your contract or seek damages. You can’t even be sure that the agent understands the contract any better than you do. Because, anyone can be an agent. Not everyone can be a lawyer.

During this brawl, a writer on Twitter mentioned that with their agent they received an advance of up to $2500 and 8.5% of net royalties, or roughly that amount (Industry standard is around 10-15% with traditional publishers). When you consider that small publishers payout considerably more to authors (roughly 40-50%), 10% seems rather scammy considering the author still has to do much of their own marketing, especially when they’re first starting out. JK Rowling, not so much.

The big publishers do have better name recognition, distribution to brick & mortar stores, and some connections that smaller presses don’t have. But, you can’t eat any of those things. The point of publishing is to make money so that you can eat and pay bills and not have to move into a cardboard condo in a park somewhere.

According to Publisher’s Weekly, the average traditionally published book sells 3000 copies over the book’s lifetime, with 250-300 sold during the 1st year. Let’s do some math (you can stop screaming now).

The trad pub figures are for print books, so I’m going to figure a $15 paperback for trad pub. I’m going use the same quantity, but substituting a cheaper ebook, which is what small publishers sell more of.

Traditional Publisher with agent:
300 books sold @ $15 paperback = $4500 * 10% = $450 – $45 10% agent fee = $405

Small Press without agent:
300 books sold @ $5 ebook = $1500 * 40% = $600

If my math is correct, a small press selling the same number of books for a smaller price gives the author about 150% more royalties than they would receive from a traditional publisher and agent. Of course if you self publish with the same results, you make a lot more. Having an agent and publishing with a big press doesn’t look so good to me from these figures.

So is it really worth doing all that work to make 10% from a traditional publisher and end up paying an agent for work you can do yourself?

Well, only you can decide that.

What did I get out of this Twitter brawl? Free publicity for MAGA 2020 & Beyond and Superversive Press. Instead of throwing hate like most of the people coming after me, I chose to suggest they take a break and read a good book instead. It didn’t hurt sales any. We made the #5 spot in Science Fiction anthologies.

If you haven’t checked it out yet, MAGA 2020 & Beyond is available in ebook & print on Amazon.com.

BUY NOW

 

 

 

 

MAGA 2020 & Beyond Review

We have another great review by Jon Mollison up at Vox Popoli

Regular readers of this blog need no long and detailed rehashing of the decades of success globalists have achieved by injecting their message fiction into every nook and cranny of every medium of news and education and entertainment.  Regular readers of this blog have all too often put down books, walked out of theaters, or snapped off the television with an angry snarl of, “enough with the message fiction!” Nor do they need yet another reminder that technological advances have reduced the barrier to entry for books and comics and videos such that the left-wing stranglehold exists solely by dint of decades of inertia and capital accumulated by their forebears.  This being the Current Year Plus One, we can take that wonderful theory and expose it to the harsh light of scrutiny to see how well it works in practice. Before we grab our Deerstalker Cap and hold our magnifying glass up to Superversive Press’s latest collection, “MAGA 2020 & Beyond”, we need to get something out of the way.

This is not message fiction.

READ MORE AT VOX POPOLI

Students of the Roanoke Academy

The long-awaited main book trailer for the fourth book in L.Jagi Lamplighter’s excellent Books of Unexpected Enlightenment series is now unveiled. Please enjoy and share around as much as possible.

When otherworldly forces conspire against those she loves, Rachel Griffin must face her most desperate hour.

This on top of winter fairies, lost friends, undeniably attractive older boys, and, oh, a rampaging ogre.

Out now on Amazon

Buy Now