Legend of Kimberly sitting pretty in the top ten teen fantasy section.
So, a couple of weeks back, I began trickling out free copies of Inheritance through the ebook market. Eventually, Amazon caught wind, and price matched it. As of sometime on Friday, The Legend of Kimberly was price matched "Free" at Amazon. Shortly after, the website http://onehundredfreebooks.com/ was digging through the mucky muck and hand picked TLOK as one of their books of the day. Please view the attached photo to the left for a visual aid that explains what happened to my sales rank as a result.
Now, I was unaware of what was going on. To be honest, I was carpet cleaning cat pee (my cat had a UTI, which has been bad news for my carpet) and only knew when the author coordinator of the site dropped me a line to inform me. I didn't think anything of it until I checked my sales. In the last 24 hours, I have seen over a thousand downloads.
The reason this is so important to me is I will finally get to see my book stand on its most important quality: its story. Supposedly one thousand people will read this tale, and if ten percent of that thousand really like it, I will see the sequel become moderately successful as well. If that is the case, I am one step closer to living out my big dream of writing full time (and maybe a movie series and a toy line by Todd McFarlane).
So, how does one get their book picked by a website like http://onehundredfreebooks.com/? Well, according to the owner, that's a secret. Suffice to say, when it came time to choose which books were featured, having a professional looking product mattered a lot. Even though the website is devoted to free ebooks, they still need to make sure they are putting a quality product into their viewers hands. As I have said, time and again, have your story edited, proof-read, and have a cover that attracts attention (in a good way). It may cost money, so start saving up your holiday scratch now. A big thanks goes out to the nice people at Onehundredfreebooks.com for helping to introduce so many new readers to Auviarra and the stories of Kimberly. Check them out for free reads on your Kindle, they won't let you down!
Nintendo Power, 4th issue, Jan/Feb of 89.
I've had a lot of time to think, lately. Don't assume this means I sit around doing nothing; instead, realize that this usually means I am doing something which doesn't occupy my brain enough.
For lovers of fantasy, sci-fi, horror, whatever, there is usually some initial spark that ignites your imagination, leading you deeper down the rabbit hole. As a child, I grew up on He-man and Thundercats. Sure, I thought GI-Joe was neat, but those toys didn't compare to the Sword of Omens, or the Thundertank. I like to think that this was my first exposure to fantasy worlds that ignited a passion in me. I even dressed as Lion-O for halloween when I was six (or seven-my youth is kind of a blur).
However, it occurred to me today that there is a more profound moment in my life that led me to my current love of fantastical adventure. I played games as a child, spending hours on (and hours grounded from) the NES. Sure, I knew that each game had its goal, some form of victory that told me I had accomplished the task at hand. However, I believe that the cover of Nintendo Power's fourth issue was my fantasy breaking point.
Looking at the cover, you can see Link staring at the Princess Zelda, asleep in her bed. Now, I had seen Sleeping Beauty, so I immediately assumed he was there to kiss her and break the spell. However, the glowing sword in hand gave me pause. Why would he have it out? Was he there to kill her? Excited by the possibilities, I opened the issue and read about the upcoming game, Legend of Zelda, The Adventure of Link.
Now, let me describe this scenario to you. I read all about how the evil wizard Ganon had put Zelda under a spell, and was threatening the safety of Hyrule. It was up to Link to defeat him and bring peace to the land. I had played the original Legend of Zelda, not even considering that those little pixelated people had some sort of a story. No longer was I simply slaying monsters, I was slaying them for a reason.
I spent hours considering this cover. Of course, I had to wait to get the game, knowing that if I couldn't beat it, Zelda would remain asleep forever, her hero having failed her. I begged for it, and eventually got it some time later. When I died in the game, I would stare at this picture, hoping that Zelda would know I would try again tomorrow. For Halloween, I wanted to be Link. I remember begging my mother to make the costume for me, balking when she made me wear tights instead of actual chain-mail leggings (which I assumed were readily available for purchase almost anywhere). The kids at school teased me about wearing tights on Halloween; nobody even knew who Link was (I was in second grade). I had a sword, I had a shield, and I wore the green tunic. I remember how powerful I felt. I was a hero. I wore that tunic constantly until I outgrew it, playing games of fantasy with my younger brother where we always saved the princess in the end.
Now, these years later, I can still remember that feeling of excitement, booting up the game and watching Link stroll away from Zelda, asleep on her dais. It is the same excitement I felt when the Ohmsfords left Shady Vale in the Sword of Shannara (fun fact: after reading the Druid of Shannara, I dressed as Par Ohmsford, complete with the Sword and Elfstones of Shannara). It is that same excitement I try and capture every time I write, that sense of wonder for what is going to come next. I hope that someday, the stories of Kimberly will inspire somebody the same way this gaming cover inspired me.
As for Zelda? I never did beat the game; upon reaching the final boss (and never beating him for months), my younger brother dropped the cartridge and it never loaded. You better believe that Ganon took a pounding in A Link to the Past for the SNES, I was hungry for justice.
Rough Draft of the cover of TLOK:2
So, it looks like everything is going faster than planned, because The Legend of Kimberly: Pursuit is coming out soon.
The cover art is almost complete, final revisions are currently in the works, and within the next month, the adventures of Kimberly will continue. Until then, here is a sneak peek at the rough draft of the cover.
Also, book 3 is in the works. With any luck, that one will hit the digital shelves sometime in february or march. That's an extremely early estimate, but the editor is scheduled for December, and we will see some exciting things in the land of Auviarra.
What's new on my side of the pond? Well, to begin with, I don't live by a pond.
Had a pro take a crack at beautifying the current cover of Inheritance. It looks SOOO much better, I almost cried. More on that when I get a chance.
Sure, I don't blog as often as I should. Between work and my current book, time has been sparse. Oh, yeah, my current book. Tentatively titled Pursuit, it is the sequel to Inheritance. Kimberly is on a quest to rescue her friends, when she meets a few new allies and villains along the way. I'm trying to spend a little more time building Auviarra in this one, so hopefully it won't disappoint. Expect some cameos from fantasy favorites, such as pirates, an evil wizard, and maybe even a couple of gods. Kimberly is about to step in it big, so stay tuned.
The march give-away on Goodreads went splendidly. I hooked five happy people up with book copies, and hopefully they are still happy. Always hoping for feedback regardless, otherwise I shall remain a whisper on the wind.
So, am in the process of formatting for paperback. Also, new cover art is ready to go, just waiting for the formatter.
I wish this process could have been smoother, but I have learned plenty of things from it that I can take away. When my next book comes out, I will do things better, and I will waste far less time.
Short version of the tale: the current artist had to back out.
Seeing as how I wanted to release next week, I am now in full out battle stations mode. I've already found a replacement, am working on some formatting concerns before I start, and am still trying to keep up with my non-writer workload.
And people wonder why I've started biting my nails again...
The latest news and my opinions.