Where do they come from?

Typo’s… geez. You edit, you proof, you have other people edit and proof. And you still find mistakes.

Did another run-through of Open Gate – mostly was reading to refresh my memory on some details to try to keep continuity with the next book, but found another bunch. I think the best thing is time away to help you spot them. Or maybe they breed over time? Yeah, that’s it.

Anyway, fresh, updated copy published on Amazon… go check it out!

Open Gate

Intriguing

From another review:

I seldom read science fiction, so expected an immediate infusion of little green men. But, there was a captivating storyline with just a hint of what’s to come in the alien department. The characters were plausible–especially Rachel. The ending is the perfect segue into the next book. I would recommend it as a good read, especially for those who don’t normally delve into science fiction.

A first review

Yeah!

3 stars – not a 100 5 stars reviews from a legion of admirers, but not a slam, either.

He had his gripes, and his compliments. I’m thankful for a reader who seemed to enjoy the book and even asked for more:

"So, I liked the concept of the book, and do hope that there are more books to follow to complete the story arc."

Check it out for yourself:

Open Gate

Open Gate Giveaway!

Sorry, contest is over now… congrats to the winners!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Open Gate by Bruce Dillahunty

Open Gate

by Bruce Dillahunty

Giveaway ends December 20, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Paperbacks

I’ve been working my way through the round of getting a paperback version of Open Gate ready for sale by CreateSpace (Amazon’s print-on-demand arm). It was tougher than I expected, but I did succeed.

This included having to expand my cover artwork to have a spine and back cover. I kept things simple and went with all black, since the "background" of my professional cover was black. I think it looks pretty good.

Had to work on lots of updates for page breaks on the front matter. Managed to get it all done using compiles from Scrivener, although I had to use the Mac version, since some of the options aren’t yet available on the Windows/Linux world. I actually prefer a Mac for many things, but my current desktop is a Linux box. Windows I use on occasion (well, lots at work, but not for book writing).

Got it all finished and sent for a proof copy. Glad I took their advice and actually had one shipped. My wife found I had messed up and included the "ebook" text on the copyright page. Duh. Fixed that and got things for sale.

So now I’ve actually sold ebooks (in multiple countries) and physical books.

Open Gate – It’s Alive!

It’s alive!

Rachael and James have found an opening to another world. It’s the chance for the human race to get off our planet and have breathing room. A place for the explorers at heart to blaze new trails.

But the government is breaking down, there is rioting in the streets and the authorities are in pursuit.

And what about the original owners of these new-found cities? Where are they, and are they wanting visitors?

That first sale

If you’ve seen my previous post, you know that I listed my first book for "public sale" last night. After a few hours, Amazon put it up, and there it is for all the world to see.

Yes, it’s exciting. Quite. But what really counts is whether somebody will buy it (and then what they think of it, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves).

Since the book went live in the wee hours of the morning, and I had told no-one except household family members that I had punched the button, I didn’t really have high expectations.

But of course I checked this morning. And I had a sale! One intrepid person had bought the book. At least I assume it was a person, and not some automated system I have no information about. Regardless, I have sold a book!

If you’re that person, and you read this, drop me a note. Regardless, hope you enjoy the book, and that you tell all your friends!

Cover – check

Open Gate

Well, in my last post I talked about picking a cover. Well, I can mark that step off the list.

I worked with Melody Simmons of eBookindiecovers and got things as I wanted. She was great to deal with, quick turnarounds and willing to work until I was happy with things. Make sure and check out her blog and other web resources to learn some good information on ebook covers and marketing.

I know it sounds dumb, but the old saw about how special it feels to see your book in print? Well, it may not be published yet, but just seeing a cover sure makes it more “real”.

Picking a Cover

Writing a book is all about words. Words, words and more words. Then there are those pesky characters to keep straight, names, dates, hair color. And a plot. It always helps to have a plot it seems.

Assuming you get all of that, and lots more out of your head and onto the page(s), then you edit. Edit, edit, and more edit. You attempt to get your beta readers to read the book and give you feedback (a bit harder than I expected).

Eventually you get to the point that you are going to "put it out there". You are going to open yourself up to the public with your baby. Hopefully somebody will be kind. Hopefully people will enjoy the story as much as you do. Hopefully the blasted thing will sell a bit and maybe even make you a little money.

To have much of a chance in the modern ebook (or physical book) marketplace, it helps to have a cover. I don’t (or haven’t) thought about covers all that much, but looking back, I know that my eye is attracted to some books and not others. Some just turn me off before I even read the title. Others make me pick them up (or virtually look over the synopsis) and decide if they are something I want to invest money and more importantly time out of my life to read.

So where do you find this great cover to put a public face on this pile of paper on your desk? If you are publishing via the traditional path, the big publishers have departments of people that whip up artwork. Sometimes it might even match the theme of the story (I know I have plenty of books on my shelves where it is obvious that no-one involved in the artwork knew a thing about the book).

For those of us looking to go the independent route, we are either blessed with artistic talent besides our (hopeful) writing skill, or we are looking for someone who can help us out. There are lots of great artists who can provide artwork. A subset of them know about ebook (and print book) covers, the sizes and formats required, and what drives readers to pick up your work. There are options for pre-made covers (less $$), and custom designed covers (more $$$).

I know it’s worth the investment, but this ebook publishing is also a bit of a shot in the dark. Will anybody like this book? Will it ever sell? Can I get my friends to even buy a copy? With these concerns running around in my head, I don’t feel comfortable with a large $$$ expenditure, at least until I get a bit more feedback. That left me looking at pre-made covers.

There are several artists that had things I liked, and they regularly post new designs. I’ve periodically kept my eye out for a good match. The other day I opened up a couple of the folks that I thought matched my style most often and they each had a likely candidate. One was pretty close to my mental image of the planet that has a central role in my book. The other was a set of three with a more abstract design, but themed "together".

I showed both options to my critics (my wife and son), and they both agreed that the "series" batch was best. I engaged the designer and we’re working through some of the details. Once that’s done, I’ll actually have a cover and will post a link to the supplier.