Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Signed Copies of The Covenant

I just got a shipment of my own book, The Covenant. I don’t have many, but if anyone wants a signed copy of my book, all I’m asking is for you to cover store price and shipping (should come to $14 or so, depends on where I’m shipping it to). Hit me up in the comments section below if interested.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Writer's Thoughts

There I sat, for the one-hundred-thousandth time in front of the computer, staring at the screen, waiting for inspiration to come to me so that I could pick up writing my story from the day before. Fifteen minutes passed with not a single key press occurring. I got some snacks, I had a drink, I checked my email, I played some music, I took a walk around the house, I did everything but write the next paragraph in my story.
I was about to give up and close down the application window, frustrated at how this creative impotence recently had become a common occurrence, when, one-by-one, my characters floated through my mind. They depended on me. Is it strange to care about fictitious characters? They really don’t matter, they’re not real, but it felt that I owed them life. Could what they are be considered life? I wondered if the more read and appreciated a fictitious character became, the more “alive” they became.
I pondered the strange paradox I had stumbled upon until the answer came to me, the answer to my writing hold-up. These characters, they are alive through me. In some way, in my head, they act and react, and then come into existence once put down on paper. Having given them personalities, they each respond in different ways to different circumstances. So, all I needed to do was take care of the circumstances in which they were placed, then get out of their way—they’d tell their stories just fine.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Moving, What Sweet Sorrow

The path to writing a book is a long and difficult one. I rarely get writer’s block, but I think I’m starting to hit a bout of it. It might have something to do with us moving this week. My brain seems to want to be in planning/packing mode, and the creative side of me is taking a vacation. Anyways, just wanted to give a quick update with where I’m at in my next book (the last book in The Bracken Covenant series) since it’s been a while since I posted, and might be a bit before I post again.

The move is going to make my life crazy for a bit, so that may mean a few weeks without posts here. But, if you’d like to follow me on myauthor’s Facebook page, I’ll still update that since I can post sentence-long updates instead of feeling like I need to write paragraphs.

The last book in the series is almost complete. I’ve only got a few more chapters to write; unfortunately, my writing juices ran dry throughout the last few attempts to write. I think I need a recharge instead of just powering forward. This week is moving week, so I’m going to just focus on moving and not worry about getting my daily word count taken care of. I’m still on track to finish the book by the end of the year, so all is good.

I don’t usually do life-updates, but figured on letting you know where I’m at with the next book, and why I might go silent here for a bit. Thanks always for reading, and if you haven’t yet picked up the other two entries in The Bracken Covenant series, here’s a link to them below.

The Source (Book Three—I’m finishing it currently)

On a side note, I've been working on the image for the book cover, and thought I'd share my initial sketch. I rarely enjoy showing unfinished art. Just realize There's much to do with this piece before it's completed (obviously, it's just a line sketch).

Friday, September 13, 2013

Winter Shadows by Casey Bond -BOOK REVIEW-

First off, what’s it about

Winter Shadows is a coming-of-age apocalypse/survival type of book. The closest book I can compare it to is The Hunger Games, but with a protagonist that’s 19 instead of 16, and though the government is corrupted in Winter Shadows, somewhat as it is in The Hunger Games, here the majority of the book takes place in the wilderness away from the government rather than under the government’s watchful eye.

What kind of read can you expect from Winter Shadows?

Taking place mostly in a cave in the wilderness, Claire, the main protagonist, learns to cope with the others that inhabit the cave, her new found home, and with living in the wild. Both the environment and other passer-throughs pose a dangerous threat to her and her friends while there, and by the end of the book, learning to cope with death has been established as a reoccurring theme.

My thoughts on the book

This is a promising beginning to an author’s career. Bond has command of certain key storytelling elements (such as an excellent use of suspense, knowing how to use just the right amount of love interest without making a scene sappy, bringing grit and authenticity with her outdoor descriptions) and she doesn’t ease back on her strengths as a writer the entire novel. If you like the first few chapters, you’ll like the rest of the book—there’s no ebbs and flow with her talent, it’s there throughout the entire story.

The characters are believable, and the scenarios that they must deal with are as well. I always appreciate when a Christian character’s personality and lifestyle isn’t hampered by the author’s standoffish tendency to not want to get into religion, thinking they might offend readers who want nothing to do with religion. Claire struggles with her faith throughout the book, and it’s good to see that struggle, and it’s good to see that Bond doesn’t hide the lifestyle of the other religious characters that are present in her book.

I really enjoyed this book, even more so than I did The Hunger Games. Where The Hunger Games seemed overly sensationalistic to me, Winter Shadows feels more down-to-earth, the characters and the scenarios that play out felt more relatable and meaningful.

Length, pricing, where can I get it

Winter Shadows is 183 pages. The pricing and outlets are listed below.

Amazon Kindle edition $9.99

Tate Publishing as a paperback ($13.99) or in eBook ($10.99) format

Friday, August 23, 2013

Have You Thought About Self-Publishing?

Have you been searching for a home for your finished manuscript for months with no luck of finding a publisher that is taken with your book? That doesn’t mean that your book is not good enough for print. There are options in today’s publishing scene, other than simply going with an established publishing house, which are viable, and in some ways are an even better deal than going with a publisher.

Now the argument between writers of “publishing vs. self-publishing” will always be an issue of debate. From my experience in publishing with both a publishing house and self-publishing, I can say there’s good points about both, and there are drawbacks of both. But so far, I’ve enjoyed, and have gotten more out of, self-publishing.


A few pros and cons of going with a publishing house.

PRO: Marketing  and customers. In my opinion, the greatest asset a publisher can offer you is their ability to market your book to a wide span of people. It doesn’t hurt to have a budget when market, and with their access to many proven outlets to market your book, this can be one of the biggest helps an author can have when looking for sales.

PRO: They take a load off. Editing, proofreading, formatting, printing, sometimes cover art designing, and many other mandatory steps, a publisher can help you with. Each publisher is different in what they provide, but most publishers help to get your manuscript from computer to paper (or epaper), taking care of some, if not all of those steps that I mentioned above. If you’re not tech, or business, or art savvy, this can be a big help.

CON: Royalties. Be prepared to have a large bite taken out of your book sales from your royalties pie. Most publishers offer mere cents on a sold copy of your book, forcing your title to sell tens of thousands in order to start making you any kind of worthwhile income—and the hard fact of the matter is, most books published do not sell that well.

CON: The hassle. You probably are already well aware of this, but signing a deal with a publisher is a long, and usually very stressful endeavor. It can take months to hear back from a publisher who received your manuscript, just for them to look over your first chapter and send it back (if they send it back at all). I don’t even want to know how much I’ve spent on manila envelopes and postage, when only half of the time the publishers would even bother to use my self-addressed stamped envelopes to return my couple hundred page manuscript, which alone was an arm and a leg to print. Dumping money into the off chance that a publisher will pick up your copy can be disheartening.


Next, the pros and cons of self-publishing

PRO: Royalties. These depend on who you’re self-publishing with and how much you’re pricing your book for, but generally the average profit made from a book sale will be somewhere around $2.00, a bit more if we’re talking about paperback or hardcover. When comparing this profit per book opposed to the 20 cents or less per book with a publisher, you have to sell roughly 10 times more the amount of books with publishers to make what you would when self-publishing.

PRO: No publisher contracts. You retain every right with your work. You can print it here, or there, post it on your blog, do whatever you want with it (within reason, even self-publishing has contracts, though they’re much looser). Once you sign a contract with a publisher, you’re locked in for however long you signed for, and you’re stuck fulfilling that contract on your end until the contract is up. Be very careful if you do sign one. Make sure it’s worth it. With self-publishing, you don’t have to worry about that.

PRO: Open-source. I compare going self-publishing vs. publishing house to PC vs. Mac. Sure, Mac products (publishing with a publishing houses) are flashy and impressive, like showing off your new iPhone (your badge of honor stating that your published with xyz publishing), but when it comes down to it, what should matter is which style suits you and your personality. Do you like the ability to do whatever the heck you want with your work, or do you want a publisher to tell you what’s important and what you should be doing with their product? Do you want to be able to hire a favored artist to design your cover? Most publishers have in-house designers that will work with you on cover art, and not always will they agree with you on who, or what, should go on the front of your book, even if you are a professional designer yourself.

CON: Marketing is left to you. Now, you’re part of the marketing plan even when you’re with a publisher, but with self-publishing, everything’s on you. Marketing can be like a second job that you don’t directly get paid for.

CON:  You take up the costs. Cover art, ISBN, printing, editing, proofreading, not to mention all that time dumped into research for all of this stuff. This can add up to a hefty price if not done carefully. Most of these costs can be avoided if you have the right connections though.

A consideration: Pride. neither a pro or con to some I suppose (some really aren’t affected by this point), but usually you deal with this issue in some way: and that issue is the stigma of self-publishing authors are lesser authors than those who sign on with a brick and mortar publisher. We all know the merits of a writer are unique and can’t be wholly determined by this one point alone, but your family doesn’t know that, your friends don’t know that, and people who ask what you do and find out that you’re a *dramatic voice* “self-published author” don’t know that. And it can hurt the pride every now and then when one of these people jokingly jab and say, “Oh, so you’re not like…you know, a real author,” when in reality, you’ve put just as much, if not more, into getting your book published and marketed than the author who signed with a publisher.


Now, which route is best for you?

For me, I usually go with self-publishing. This isn’t to say that going with a publisher is the wrong choice. In fact, given certain circumstances (big enough publisher, publisher that goes beyond the extra mile, doing multiple contiguous series, etc.), I’d say that I might sign on with a publisher instead of going it alone. But, in most cases, I’d go with self-publishing—and here’s why.

Tech Savvy: If you know your way around the most recent word-processing programs, know how to properly format a book for print or eprint, upload documents in the appropriate file extension, and can navigate and tinker with whatever self-publishing platform you’re going to be publishing with, then you’re set to go to self-publish. If not, you’ll need to do some homework before you choose to. Ask people you know how to do these things. (You know me now. :) don’t be afraid to ask questions)             

The Covenant
Artists/Designer: This isn’t a must, but it can help save a thousand bucks or so from hiring an artist to whip you up a cover photo. I love art, and almost went down that route in college. Regardless, I’ve painted off and on and keep up with design regularly. My wife is a professional designer, so we’ve pretty much got book art under control.

Editing/Proofreading: You can get away with having your stuff edited by a writers group, or proofread by friends and family for a while, but it’s advised you seek out a professional editor/proofreader. I own an editing/proofreading business, so I feel a bit more comfortable going through my own work and having writer friends help me out with particulars than most, but even I often consult professional editors, because nobody knows everything.

Networking: You’ll need to work on building a large network of readers. These readers can be anyone interested in what you’re writing about, whether they be other writers, friends, family, acquaintances, or, and most preferably, plain ol’ bookworms.

Time: Probably the biggest qualifier in this list. DO NOT SELF-PUBLISH IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE TIME TO. If you just write your book, throw it up online, and leave it, you’ll only end up selling a few copies. Don’t waste your time writing a book to have it fail miserably. You need to market that book once a week at least, but every day if you can. That’s how you get started. You have to find new ways to introduce your book to people who may have already been marketed to by you. There are countless ways to do this, and they’re strewn all across the web, so go look for them. (I’ll try to do another post down the road on this point in particular.)

I have all of the mentioned above, so it makes sense for me to go down the self-publishing route, pocket the extra $2.00 per book (opposed to the $0.20 I would be making with a publisher) and remain free of contracts and dealing with the headache that follows when you throw an organization in with creative works.

Again, I understand that each person is different and appreciates different things. Publishing houses work great with some authors, and there are other authors, like myself, who would rather just be on their own in this regard. To each their own it’s true, but it helps to know before you go down either path which path is right for you.