A SWORD INTO DARKNESS = 99 cents!!!

ASID Sale1

If you haven’t yet read my debut novel A Sword Into Darkness and all the awesome hard science fiction, military sci-fi, space opera kickassery inside, IT’S ONLY A BUCK ON KINDLE THIS WEEK.

And, SECRET, it’s totally, frickin’, no lie, gosh-darned FREE every day, all day if you have Kindle Unlimited!

If you have read it, now’s your best chance to gift it, or to move on to my next novel, The Mutineer’s Daughter, done with the great Chris Kennedy, and also full of awesome hard SF, military sci-fi, space opera, but ALSO including my growth as a writer, his deft wordplay and gritty ground-combat action, and a great coming-of-age story wrapped up in the classic tale of a father going to great lengths for his daughter, along with nuanced moral conundrums!  Honestly, how can you NOT?

Go!  Buy!  Download!  Read!  Review!  And Thank You!

News, Progress, & SWEET, SWEET FREE SHIT!

Howdy, fans and random stoppers-by!  Welcome!

Tom here, writer of all that stuff over there to the right (or below, if thou art a visitor from the mobileverse), here with a progress report.  I’m very glad you stopped by — make it a regular thing!

Mutineers Daughter Print Cover

  1. The Mutineer’s Daughter is doing well, with solid, consistent sales and page reads.  I don’t have the numbers and tracking I did with A Sword Into Darkness, since I’m just one of the writers on this one vs the (self/indie) publisher.  The great Chris Kennedy has been tracking the day to day sales and page reads there, and he’s satisfied, if not blown away by it.  We’re not doing the numbers that ASID did when it exploded in sales and reviews, surprising me right out of the gate, but it has not yet flashed out of the pan.  As I can’t track sales and Kindle Edition Normalized Page (KENP) read data (which is how Amazon monetizes reader interest for the Kindle Unlimited patrons), I can and do track the book’s sales ranking and my author ranking.  As you can see below, I did see an immediate rise, and it has stayed fairly steady since then.

TMD Sales Rank

Mays Author Rank 2014 to Present

However, it has not drawn the massive numbers of eyes either ASID or the Fourth Horsemen Universe novels have.  A couple of 4HU novels have been released since TMD, and they are all outselling it.  Now me, I’m very proud of TMD.  Its writing, characterization, and complexity are much better than ASID’s, and Chris seems very happy with what we did as well.  So why isn’t it boosting through the roof?  I dunno. The cover?  I love it, but it does look much different from the other covers in its sub-genre.  The fact that Chris’s fans weren’t expecting my hard sci-fi space stuff, and my fans weren’t expecting his gritty ground-level teen rebel angst?  Now me, I think of it like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  “You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!  You got your peanut butter in my chocolate!”  They’re two great tastes that go great together, but for fans that aren’t expecting the other, does it look like a Frankenstein’s Monster amalgamation?  I dunno.  I think the main issue is that we need to get eyes on it and reviews in it.  So far it’s received 29 positive 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon, and only got one negative-ish one rating on Goodreads.  The fellow involved tweeted with me and he regretted the fact that he just bounced off some of the plot choices in the last few chapters.  That’s gonna happen, so I’m not bent out of shape.  Me?  I’d love to hear what y’all think?  If you’ve given TMD a read, please consider messaging me and/or giving it a review.  If we can get the numbers up, the Amazon algorithm will start to work for us, and bring more eyes on.  I also have sent out a number of review copies that I hope will begin to bear fruit soon.  (and if you are a reviewer, I’m happy to send you a paper or e-copy with my compliments)  We are not sitting idly by awaiting an audience, however.  Chris and I have already met up and semi-plotted out the next two books in the In Revolution Born series, and each is more epic than the last!  Now is the time to get on board.

2.  Speaking of A Sword Into Darkness, followers on Twitter will know that I’ve finished the first “half” of the sequel Lancers Into The Light.  I put “half” in quotes because it finished about 40% over my targeted word count.  The first half is practically a novella in and of itself at 70K words vs the planned 50K words.  I’m mighty tempted to just publish it stand-alone, but it really should have the second (smaller) half to balance it out.  I still plan to finish the second half by summer and have the book out before fall, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, if you would like to be a beta-reader for the first half, so I can fix whatever doesn’t work while I’m building off of that in the second, please drop me a line.  You will need to have read ASID first, but the numbers say there’s about 40,000 of you that have done that, so just let me know.  It’s been a long, arduous, frustrating 4 years of work on the sequel, and my profound apologies to those who gave up on seeing it, but life intervened and I lost the will and wherewithal to work on it for the longest time.  With the patient support of fellow writers and my lovely girlfriend Kristin, however, I’M BACK, BABY!  Stay tuned!

ASID Full Cover 3c

3.  And for those who DON’T know what I’m yammering about, and who would like a preview of what my writing is like before you try on The Mutineer’s Daughter or put Lancers Into The Light on your pre-sale list, there’s NEVER been a better time to try out A Sword Into Darkness.  On April 20th and running through the 27th, ASID will be ONLY 99¢!  And if you are a Kindle Unlimited member, it’s free like always!  ASID is a good bet, with around 420 reviews at Amazon to help convince you.  So, try it yourself, push it onto your friends and family, proselytize it to your co-workers until security carts you out of the building.  DON’T MISS OUT!

Stay tuned for more SOON!  Take care, y’all.

 

Achievements Unlocked for THE MUTINEER’S DAUGHTER!

Woo-Hoo!  First of all, THANK YOU to all of you that hopped to and helped Chris Kennedy and I have such a GREAT book launch weekend, no Foolin’ (get it?  Because it was April Fool’s Day aaaaaand Easter . . . .  I’ll shut up now).

Eggcellent . . . .

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I won’t bore you with the whole play-by-play but, briefly, when The Mutineer’s Daughter launched on Amazon on Friday, it had an insurmountable, back-of-the-pack sales rank in the 600,000’s — which basically meant around 600,000 books were ACTIVELY selling better than it.  Pitiful, but it was pre-official launch.  After the early readers, early reviewers, my Facebook and Twitter friends, Chris’s minions from his mailing list, etc. got done pushing it, it rose to the lofty sales rank of 11,600.

Now, that may not sound really impressive to you . . . but it kinda is.  For a self/indie/small-press publication, opening weekend, with just word of mouth and a bit of intra-Amazon advertising, THAT’S AMAZING.  Yes.  11,000 books were selling better.  But that’s 11,000 out of ALL the books Amazon sells.  Which is a lot?  I’ll have to ask Chris what the actual sales were, but I’m pleased.

Along with garnering 19 4-and-5-star reviews, getting an aggregate of 4.7 – 4.8 stars, and reaching the lofty rank of 11,600 before falling into a more reasonable 16,000 range, I thought it couldn’t get any better.

Then I googled myself.

(don’t look at me that way . . . it’s not a sin . . . .)

And that’s when I saw that the great Nyrath (Winchell Chung of Atomic Rockets — the best dang science resource for space sci-fi authors and game designers on the internet) had not just given TMD a glowing review, he had also awarded our book the prestigious Atomic Rockets Seal of Approval!  Aaaaand the Radiator Award!

 

The first goes to books or games that are suitably “hard” with their science and space physics.  Things have inertia.  Acceleration takes time and velocity builds, which then has to be decelerated against.  Nothing is 100% efficient.  Energy and reaction mass has to come from somewhere and they impose limitations which then have to be accounted for.  There’s (for the most part) no stealth in space.  There’s no sound and distances are VAST.  You can’t zip around or bank your space fighters.  You, in fact, realize space fighters don’t really work that well, even if it means your inner X-Wing or Viper pilot dies a little inside.

That doesn’t mean you can’t cheat a little for the sake of telling an exciting story.  If you didn’t cheat a bit, every realistic space story would be slow and methodical and locked in our solar system using drones and probes.  You can have great stories like that, but too much reality can limit the imagination.  However, you don’t have to go full space fantasy like Doctor Who or Star Wars either — not that those aren’t fun in their own way.  Too often, though, they require the use of oo much secret handwavium or macguffinite to resolve the story in favor of the protagonists.  That’s like writing (and reading) on easy mode.  Deus ex machinas everywhere.  The Doctor’s sonic screwdriver and Star Trek’s transporter basically do WHATEVER the stories require, and after a while that just gets lame.

Writing/reading “hard” science fiction is a joyful challenge, sort of like solving a puzzle, or really getting into a game of chess.  Everyone knows how the pieces work.  The enemy can see your every move, and you can see every one of theirs, and you still have to pull out a victory or achieve tactical surprise!  There are no 11th-hour saves from out of nowhere.  Instead, whatever cheats you MUST use in order to keep your adventure moving briskly at the speed of plot have to have limitations.  They need to have well-defined rules and costs that prevent them from being some sort of deus ex machina, and — once established — YOU CAN’T BREAK THEM, even if they involve physics that don’t exist (yet) in our reality.  That’s how you can have faster-than-light travel (even if it breaks causality in our physics) or super-duper-efficient fusion drives, like in the suitably-hard The Expanse series and novels.

So, yeah.  The Mutineer’s Daughter does that, as A Sword Into Darkness did before it.

The second award is — in its words — For Excellence In Realizing Heat Needs To Go Places ‘N Shit . . . .

The ships in TMD have fragile, easily crippled radiators to expend all that pesky waste heat into the vacuum of space.  They are both a hassle and a constraint to be exploited.  Remember, on a fusion-powered ship, the worry isn’t that you’ll freeze in the cold vacuum of space if your systems fail.  The worry is that you’ll be roasted for years as your whole hull reaches thermal equilibrium with the reactor and you SLOWLY cool off via inefficient infrared emission.

Not enough people appreciate convection through the atmosphere.

So, THANK YOU, Atomic Rockets!

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And as if THAT wasn’t enough, Chris Kennedy sent out a shout this morning that the fun of the weekend WAS NOT OVER.  Because this morning, Amazon ranked TMD as the #1 New Release in Children’s Science Fiction Ebooks regarding Aliens, which jumped our numbers up all over again.  From 16,000 back to 11,000, then 10,000, 9000, 8000, 7000 . . . finally peaking at a sales rank of 6920!  Again, big number, but MUCH SMALLER than many.  That made us rank not only on the New Release list but also on the regular list.  At this point we are at #2 of all Children’s Sci-Fi Ebooks – Aliens, ABOVE in the list A Wrinkle In Time at #4.  That’s not to say we’re better than Madeline L’Engle’s classic, just that it’s nice to be in such company – especially as that book has a movie out now.

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Now, would I think of TMD as a Children’s Ebook?  Heck no!  It’s young-adult at most and is written to appeal to teens and adults alike.  Sailors are in there.  Sailors curse.  I’m just waiting for the first angry parent to dress me down because the antagonist in chapter One says “Fuck”.

But until then, I’m enjoying these lofty ranks, these 23 stellar 4 & 5-star reviews, and looking forward to where this might go.  Thank you all!

ASID & REMO: Kindle Countdown Deal, 8-13 September!

BookSale8-13September

You want some AMAYSING AMAZING science fiction for cheap?  You like operating under pressure of a deadline, right up against the wire?  How about both?

Monday morning, both A Sword Into Darkness (316 reviews and 4.4 stars) and REMO (33 reviews and 4.3 stars) go on sale for the low, low price of 99 cents at Amazon.com.  That’s both e-books for your Kindle device or app for less than two bucks!  But maybe you’re not sure, so you decide to think it over for a day or two.  TOO LATE, SHIPMATE!!  On Wednesday, the price jumps to a still low, but not as insanely low $1.99.  That’s okay, you think.  It’s still in cheeseburger territory.  I can wait.  WRONG MOVE, MISSY!!  It’s a countdown deal!  The time is counting down and the price is counting up!  Now, Friday, REMO’s back to $2.99 and ASID joined it, still a dollar off the usual price but the sale is almost through.  Will you allow yourself to miss it?  Will you allow your fun and sci-fi loving friends and family to miss it?! 

I think not!

And if that wasn’t enough, I’m offering a discount code for trade paperback version of A Sword Into Darkness during that same period.  Use Discount Code 5TF4MWZN at Createspace this week, and you’ll get $4.00 off the regular list price of $15.99.  That’s just $11.99 for physical ASID you can hold in your hot little hands, this week ONLY.

Plus (I CANNOT BELIEVE THERE IS A PLUS) you can still get the ASID audiobook for FREE at Audible.com with your free 30-day trial membership.

Honestly, it’s like Chistmas in September.  I am far too good to you people, but that’s me.  Selfless.  In love with the world and always trying to give back.  If I wasn’t just the humblest person on the planet, I might put myself in for saint-hood.

😉

Awesome, Cool, Good, & Bad News

First, Hi!  Howzyadoin?

Second, prepare for AWESOME NEWS:

99cent-price_sticker_ysalepric

Happy Father’s Day!!! A Sword Into Darkness and REMO e-books are both on sale!!!  There’s soooo much sci-fi goodness to be had for both you and Dad, you should tell all your friends and followers about it.  Shout it from the rooftops (provided you have the training and appropriate safety gear)!  ASID is on sale 11-15 June (on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Apple iBooks, and Smashwords) and REMO is on sale 12-17 June (exclusive on Amazon Kindle).  If ever you needed an excuse, you just got one, shipmate. Think of all the Poppas, and just follow the links above!

Cool news, I just made the final edits to the ASID Audiobook.  And judging by how AMAZING it sounds, even if you’ve read it, you’ll want to experience it a second time on Audible.  I hope to have it available before month’s end, and I will absolutely NEED your help to make its launch a rousing success.  Ya see, nobody really knows who the hell I am, so if they’re going to shell out $20, they’ll need some good word of mouth.  I hope I can count on you all!

Good news, everyone!  I’m writing again.  Just tossed down half of Chapter 1 for Demigod (formerly CoPilot) and the initial line is a corker:  “The end of the world as Demeter Sedaris knew it began with a lie — her own.”  Plus, I submitted my fantasy short story to the Baen Fantasy Adventure Short Story contest.  The title is a state secret so’s I don’t taint the voting, but cross your fingers.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  And in other cool news, I’ve got two reviews for ASID coming out this week.  One is from Carol Kean of Perihelion Science Fiction and the other will be the Publisher’s Weekly review that will either doom or continue my bid to win the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (Semi-Finals).  Wish me luck!

And in mild bad news (more awwww, than OH NO!), “Bumped” was rejected by Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, but they were encouraging in their form rejection, so I will be trying again.  I’m not too busted up, because Baen has expressed interest, but I’m not stopping with just them.  It’ll get sold somewhere.  The story is too fun not to!

How can you cheer me up?  Send people to buy the books on sale and boost those sale rankings!!!  After all, ASID and REMO are only

ninetynine

 

All I Gots Time For Is Bullets . . . .

– Hi!

– There’s whole bunches of stuff to catch you up on, so I’m turning down the effervescent charm and wit, turning up the maximum information flow (while still remaining effervescently witty and charming.  Handsome too.  It’s a curse).

A Sword Into Darkness has now topped over 200 reviews on Amazon and sits at 4.5 stars overall with 123 5-stars and 58 4-stars, alongside a whole buncha real nice write-ups between ’em.  If you needed an excuse to get yourself a copy, that’s a pretty good one.  I’m still continually surpised about the folks that are reluctant to give it a try because of its indie-published beginnings.  It’s good, folks.  Trust the hoi polloi.

– Speaking of good, I just listened to the first half of the A Sword Into Darkness audiobook from ACX and Will Perez of Sci-Fi Publishing, and it’s like experiencing a brand new story.  It really comes alive, and even though I wrote the damned thing, it’s like I’m just discovering it.  If you’ve read it, but haven’t heard it, you gotta!  And if you haven’t read it or lent it to your friends, ummm, see the bullet above.

REMO continues to chug right along, though it has not had the explosion of popularity that ASID had.  Is it because it’s short stories?  A relatively short collection?  Not as much advertising as ASID had from third parties?  I dunno.  It has gotten great reviews (4.8 stars in 6 reviews) on Amazon, but it has not made it above 7000 in sales ranking yet.  It has more than paid for the investment in its cover from 99Designs, so I’m happy about that, but I would love for it to do ASID numbers.  If you haven’t tried it out, I urge you to give it a shot, or to recommend it to your friends.  And I’m also producing an audiobook on ACX for it as well, with the talented Heidi Mattson of VO Hollywood reading.  It would make your perfect commute companion!

REMO remains Amazon Kindle exclusive, but ASID has turned out to be a dirty little book that gets around to all the e-book sites.  Shameful.  But apparently the elder book has been a bad influence on the innocent story collection, and they will soon both cheapen themselves for all the world to see in an internet wide sale!  I am shocked and you should be too.  In fact, you should tell all of your friends about it and urge everyone to get their own copies during the sale so you can tell them youself how dissapointed you are that such good books would just put themselves on the streets for a mere 99¢.  More details to follow.

– In other news (and these are the reasons I’ve been so busy), I’m waiting on the approval draft of “The Rememberists” for Daily Science Fiction, I’ve gotten a commitment from Baen on “Bumped” if I make some revisions, and I’ve completed the first draft of “The Commuter” for the Baen Fantasy Adventure Short Story competition.  For Stealth Books, I’ve also reviewed and blurbed Graham Brown’s latest SF masterpiece, and I’m working through John Monteith’s latest Rogue sub-thriller.  On top of that, I’m still working on the ASID tabletop game and app with Nathaniel Torson of Jabberwocky Media.  Then there’s life (Don’t Talk To Me About LIFE . . . .) where my brave, strong, and beautiful wife keeps kickin’ cancer’s ass and staying busy, and my three kids are ALL in baseball and softball, each of which have both simultaneous and consecutive games in different locations.  Plus work at my unspecified Day Job, which eats about 14-16 hours a day.

– What this means is, I have not yet made progress on Lancers Into the Light or on Co-Pilot, but I pledge to!  Soon(ish)!!

– Congrats to Ancillary Justice for winning the Nebula!  I gotta read that one to see what all the hubbub is about.  Best of luck to it and all the upcoming Hugo nominees, though I’m pulling for a Larry Correia and a Brad Torgerson win.

– Final note about goings on, I got to spend an afternoon with Chris Kennedy, author of Janissaries and When the Gods Aren’t Gods,  at the Virginia Beach Central Public Library’s AMAZING event devoted to their new Local Author collection.  It was a pleasure to donate books both for the collection and to circulate, as well as to meet so many great local authors and small press publishers.  A good time was had by all and I really look forward to doing it again next year.  If you live in the Hampton Roads area, I urge you to go and check out ALL the books!

– And that’s about it.  I obviously don’t understand the concept behind brief, bulletized statements.  I have a problem.  Pity me!

– Toodles!

A Sword Into Darkness – Kindle Daily Deal for 17Apr!

Retweet! Forward! Share! A Sword Into Darkness is only 99 ¢ in the good ol’ US of A today!!!  Go there now, buy it for yourself, buy it for a friend, buy it as a hedge against inflation, buy it for someone you don’t even know and Pay It Forward! Then after you’ve bought it for that reason, BUY IT FOR ALL THE OTHER REASONS AGAIN.

I’m basically not gonna stop until Amazon’s servers are all tied up, everyone has the book, and I have all the money.  Simple enough goals, I think.

Kindle Daily Deal