Archive for the ‘The Coppersmith’ Category

And a new interior file to follow.

I’ve just finished uploading a redesigned cover for the book on Amazon, which you can see below. Soon, I’ll be uploading a new version of the interior file as well. Not to worry – the only change I’m making is moving the Author’s Note to the end of the book.

For the print version, the new cover will be along shortly, as well as a reformatted interior that ought to make the book a little easier to read and enjoy. At any rate, here’s the cover!

Of course, this also means I have to go through the interior files of all my other books and change the graphic of this one (I include a list of published works in the back of each book), but that’s not really a major problem. I think most of the hiccups will be done soon.

Until I finish a new one and have to do the interior print files all over again!

On a related note, I spend a lot of time powering through The Tree of Liberty yesterday, and the story is ramping up toward the end of the second act. It has dawned on me that we’re almost into August, and I still have less than 30K words written on a book promised to be done this year. Gah! So I’m working on it.

I’ve redesigned the cover for Tree as well, but I’ve run into a little hiccup with one of the images – copyrighted photograph. I have an email out to the photographer, to see if the image is licensed for book covers. If not, I’ll have to come up with something else. Something similar, I think.

Oh, and yes, I desperately need REVIEWS FOR THESE BOOKS! So if you’ve read them, please help! Log into Amazon.com and leave your thoughts and comments!

All good things must come to an end, and finally, Eye of Darkness has done so! Woohoo! I have finished the book. 106,662 words and 55 chapters long. Now all that remains is to finish the map (and it’s a little different building one electronically than drawing it from hand) and drop it into the text. And a little editing, too, of course. Cover art needs a little TLC yet, too.

But it is relieving to be done, finally. I’ll wrap up these items in the next few days, and should be able to release it via Createspace, Amazon, and Smashwords shortly thereafter. Of course, the fun part will be learning how to incorporate images into e-books. Not something I’ve done before, but it’ll be a good experience.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to plunge ahead with Topheth rather than Tree of Liberty. Given that The Coppersmith is outselling both Jefferson’s Road books, it seems to make sense. I’ll still get TOL done before summer, I’m sure. Topheth already has 26k words or so and a pretty complete outline of where to go, so I should be able to ramp up the speed needed to finish it by the end of March. That’ll give me about three months to work on TOL before the end of June. Worst case scenario: TOL waits for a September release. Regardless, it’ll be cool to have these books and The Lost Scrolls coming out around the same time.

Yikes! Is it September already? I’ve been busy making Facebook pages to promote my books, as well as releasing Patriots and Tyrants in paperback, and I’ve found the time to do some editing for my nephew and some cover assistance for my friend Linda… I just haven’t found the time yet to write!

I don’t think I’ve been avoiding it, but maybe that’s not true. Time will tell.

Regardless, I’ve made a little more progress on Eye of Darkness, getting a whole lot closer to being done, and I’m eager to wrap it up and get started on the next project on my plate.

The Coppersmith continues to be my newest “runaway” best seller (for me, at least). I’ve sold almost as many copies of my psychothriller as I have of my political thrillers, and in far less time. Maybe it’s the price point, maybe it’s that the subject matter is less controversial, and therefore less frightening.

Apple I-tunes is where I’m selling it most. I sold 35 copies in June and 23 in July. I don’t have figures for August yet, but it’s crazy that it’s doing so well over there. Weird. I’m sure the fact that I share the same first and last name as another major author isn’t hurting me any at all. I know for a fact his name is just a pen name (Michael Scot was the name of a Scottish “wizard”), whereas my name is the real deal. Besides, I had it first. I’m sure people will figure it out eventually. Hopefully, by that time I’ll have established my own credentials as a writer.

Oops. It’s time to go to work now. Gotta run!

Just got in some of the updated sales figures from Smashwords. Looks like The Coppersmith is taking off in the Apple I-books store. In June I sold 38 copies there (and 4 Spirit of Resistance). Wow!

This means that in a single year, coming from behind, I sold almost 200 books. If I lay it out by quarters, it looks something like this:

Q1 –  15, Q2 – 18, Q3 – 45, Q4 – 118.

I observed this phenomenon in an earlier post, that my third quarter numbers are more than twice my first two, and my fourth quarter numbers are more than the first three combined. Exponential growth, baby!

This still doesn’t reflect the full sales figures, as I haven’t seen updates yet for Kobo and Sony books, and I only have the first two weeks from Barnes and Noble.

Ahem. Therefore, I am more determined than ever – just as soon as I finish Eye of Darkness – to get cracking on Topheth and try to finish it as quickly as possible. It also reconfirms that releasing more books is definitely a key to success in Indie publishing.

Gets me outta my funk from yesterday, that’s for sure!

The good news is that I’ve finally broken through the log-jam I’ve been experiencing with Eye of Darkness. I admit that I was stuck right around 50K words or so for a few weeks there. I suppose we could chalk it up to vacation or my folks visiting (not that I’m complaining), but I think the reality is that I ran out of steam sometime around the end of May. Regardless, I’ve broken through, and we’re steaming ahead toward the finish line.

In the meantime, I’ve released The Coppersmith in paperback form through Createspace. It’s a dollar more than The Spirit of Resistance because of it’s size. I priced it as low as possible, and I haven’t paid the $39 charge to get it listed in the premium catalog – which I probably won’t do unless it starts selling like hotcakes or something. But it’s there if anyone wants to snag a physical copy.

I’ve almost got the sales figures in to wrap up my first year. Three days more will represent a full year of selling books, and I’ll report the final tally once I have it. The good news is that Smashwords updates their sales figures on the fifteenth, so I’ll be able to incorporate those numbers as well.

I received a very nice note from a reader the other day. I’ve asked her to post a review on Amazon, but this is what she had to say:

Finished Jefferson’s Road last night….wow!  Can’t wait til the next installment!

Now if that isn’t short and to the point, I don’t know what is. But now, I’ve got to get a shower in (yes, I’m writing this in my bathrobe. Sigh.).

I have to admit, I’m a little torn right now. Been looking at the sales figures for May so far (yeah, I know. It’s early in the month), and naturally there’s been a bit of a drop-off in interest for The Coppersmith. Jefferson’s Road: The Spirit of Resistance continues to plod along in the single digits, as it has been doing for some time now.

Thing is, everytime I release a new book, I get a sales bump. It’s only been a few weeks since I released The Coppersmith, and I am tempted to release Patriots and Tyrants ahead of schedule, if only to kick that sales bump into gear. 

I’ve told myself to wait till the end of the month, but I’m questioning that wisdom. Wouldn’t it be better to release the books I have available a little closer together, say two to three weeks apart instead of four or five?

The downside of that is not having any real feedback yet from some of the people I’ve offered it to. I don’t know how significant that will be, and in all fairness, I have gotten positive reviews on it from my Wednesday Night Writer’s group as it is, so it’s not as though I’m tossing something half-baked out there.

Of course, what I really should be doing is knuckling down on Eye of Darkness. I have been working on it, of course, but I’m nowhere’s near done. Right now I’ve got slightly less than 34K words, so not quite to the halfway mark. But I have to do better if I’m going to have it ready by June.

I dunno. Maybe I should just stop looking at sales figures…

Sales of The Coppersmith took off after releasing it at the end of April. In a week I’d sold seventeen copies. All in all, very exciting news. Of course, at such a low price ($.99), I only receive about $.35 of that, so it adds up to a little more than $5 (one of them is through Smashwords, which means I won’t see it for a while.). But as I’d suspected, I think it’s having a positive effect on the sales of The Spirit of Resistance as well, though whether or not this holds true throughout the month remains to be seen.

In the meantime, I’m slated to release Patriots and Tyrants later this month, but today I’m working on Eye of Darkness. The story has capped 28,600 words so far (yeah, I’m a little behind the 1,200 mark, but I’ll make that up today I’m sure), with no sign of stopping. Twice now, I’ve hit a roadblock (I’m doing this sans outline, which is fun!), but each time I’ve found a way around it.

All I know is that today I’m going to try and get them through the mountain pass to the Ronami village on the other side… okay, okay. No context. You’ll have to find out what that means once it’s done. Believe me though: this one is worth waiting for.

Here’s the back cover blurb for  The Coppersmith:

He calls himself the Coppersmith…

A religious fanatic bent on murder, he begins systematically eliminating pastors in Upstate New York. From small towns to large cities he selects his victims, seemingly at random, and subjects them to a torturous death.

Janelle Becker is the agent with the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit charged with solving the crimes. But even with the Bureau’s resources, she finds herself ill-prepared to unravel the Coppersmith’s message. Why do his methods keep changing? How can they know where he’ll strike next? And can she escape her own dark past before it’s too late?

As she and her fellow agents track down the clues of the Coppersmith, they find themselves following an ancient itinerary that hearkens back to the steps of the apostle Paul. It becomes a race against this faceless killer as they struggle to predict his movements and get ahead of his deadly message of judgment. Can they stop him in time?

The Coppersmith is finally available through Smashwords, and coming soon to Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Sony, Apple, I-Tunes, Diesel, and any other e-reader I can think of. Also, I’ll have the paperback version available through Createspace just as soon as I can afford the $39 it takes to buy the premium purchase.

Anyway, it feels good to have it out there. I’ve made an update on Mobile reads, and I’ll do the same on Kindleboards just as soon as it appears on Amazon. Still waiting for the final approval on that one, though.

And now, on to bigger and better things!

Oh, here’s the link to find it!

The Coppersmith

Real tough critique of Patriots and Tyrants today at my writer’s group. I’m grateful for it. Still reeling, of course, but grateful. Thing is, I knew this going in. I knew this chapter was an info dump, but rather than do something about it, I delayed and chose to let the critique group tear into it.

In all fairness, I’ve received nothing but praise from this group for the last fifty to sixty chapters. I’m deliberately including the chapters from Spirit of Resistance because they were loving the story that far back. So I’m certainly due for a criticism.

Of course, all that previous praise went to my head, and now I’ve got the emotional gunk that comes with a tough review. Not a big problem, though. I’m a big boy. I can handle it (cries into coffee).

The real problem, of course, is figuring out how to fix this chapter. It’s integral to the whole narrative of Jefferson’s Road. Naturally, it’s the chapter on Cultural Marxism, the one that explains the whole justification for the coming war. It’s central to the entire series – if readers don’t understand Cultural Marxism, they won’t understand why the Civil War is necessary (I’m speaking fictionally, of course).  But now I have to find a new way to tell the story of Cultural Marxism without resorting to an annoying info dump.

I’m toying with a prolonged dialogue between Peter Baird and the members of the militia campground he’s just met, which means that not only do I have to rewrite the chapter, I also have to expand  and probably add a new one as well. That’s okay, of course. Patriots and Tyrants feels a little lean right now anyway.

My natural instinct is to cut away what doesn’t work, but this time I genuinely can’t do that. I want this information out there. And the story isn’t quite long enough as it is. So adding is the solution, not cutting. Changing the lecture Peter gives to a dialogue will do that, certainly, but I also have the arduous task of keeping it interesting and active-less cerebral than it is now.

I can do this, but I do feel a little depressed about it right now. Oh well. I’ve got two weeks before the next group. That’s time enough to fix it and print out a new set of chapters.

On a related note, I finished the edits to The Coppersmith yesterday, and I spent the bulk of my morning typing them in. I’d hoped to get the rest of the changes in before the end of today, but it doesn’t look like I’ll make it. Frustrating. Once I finally get all the changes in, I have to find someone willing to give it a read and give me honest feedback. ‘Course, I need the same thing for Patriots and Tyrants, and I can only take two chapters at a time to my crit group. Just not sure who I can go to.

And in my heart, I really just want to spend more time exploring this new world I’ve created and the characters who inhabit it. Editing and rewriting is boring! Oh well. I’ll man up and get it done.