SFWA: Pending Membership

If you didn’t watch my Periscope this morning, it was a lot of fun. I played a little song for my viewers (of which I’m very rusty specially at singing but I think I did ok!), and, as the title of this post suggests, I filled out my SFWA Application.

I 100% qualify with the three stories I put on my application:

“Monster Mingle & Kris Kringle” – I was paid 6 cents per word on 3,770 words by Evil Girlfriend Media, editor was Jennifer Brozek – who was on SFWA’s board last year and is very reputable with them. SFWA President Cat Rambo herself also appeared in this same anthology with me, so she can verify payments were sent on that. We are peers, Cat Rambo. We are peers.  Some respec plz.

“Deconstruction” – A Setting for the Tiny Frontiers RPG.  This book came out through Gallant Knight Games, who merged with Ragnarok Publishing. Alan Bahr, editor, designer, and CEO is very well respected. In fact, he was going to do a follow up volume with my good friend Paul Weimer of B&N and Tor.com, who called me “the greatest Hispanic writer on Patreon.”  I was paid 10 cents per word on 1,497 words for this very fun space opera RPG setting.

“Lost And Found” – this appeared in the Fistful of Credits anthology earlier this year, clocking in at a full 9,996 words. Nearly the word requirement by itself. Chris Kennedy, the publisher, is a SFWA member in good standing. This one gives me royalties (so if you want to support one, buy this one cuz it continues to pay me — it’s also my best short fiction piece I’ve written by far). It’s long, so it was tough on royalties to get to this level, but this antho sells like hotcakes cuz of how good it is. To date, it’s paid me 6.1 cents per word on the story — with more to come!

SFWA requires three pieces, totalling atl east 10k words. I have that. It’s turned in. It’s very public. Now we wait for their “influx of application reviews” as they stated on their site.

To SFWA’s leadership: You can check with all these people listed to verify payment, they are all members of your club. If you try some funky stuff to disqualify me, 10,000+ people who read this blog see it, that’s 5x the amount of members you have. I know you’ll play fair.

And here’s some of the demographic details of my app I put in. They’d better respect my identified gender too:

 

To support my further efforts in SFWA and out, do read my book For Steam And Country. Everyone loves it. Including SFWA members. SFWA President Cat Rambo even has a copy! 

Marketing Advice: Use It Or Lose It!

I’ve made a major marketing failure. Yes, me, the Haas School Of Business UC Berkeley alumnus, the man who prides himself on utilizing marketing strategies like few in the business. If there’s one thing I understand and have experience in, it’s marketing. But I’m here to tell you about a mistake I made, a very big one, where you can avoid making the mistake in the future.

The e-mail list is an author’s bread and butter. It can be used for announcements, updates, checking in, just making sure your audience remembers you–and of course direct selling of books. The rates of conversion from email are far higher than most others.

Over the course of the year, I’ve built up a list that has close to 4,000 subscribers.

“Wow,” you may think. “That’s impressive, so how did you fail?”

I never used it.

This morning, in an attempt to promote Brian Niemeier’s new book, I used my list for the first time. A lot of people signed up in June/July/August, but they never heard from me. I didn’t just want to spam Brian’s book — having never used it before, so I coupled it with a free giveaway of an ebook so it didn’t come across quite so spammy. But it was still a problem for me. Why? I never used it. The readers weren’t primed for receiving emails from me.

The result was I had 25 people unsubscribe right after my post (now from my social media posts I had another 15 subscribe today so the delta was only 10, but still, not good!).

Some may have forgotten why they signed up, some may have forgotten who I was, some may just be annoyed at the extra holiday spam email.  Regardless, the fault was mine in not making sure I utilized this powerful tool in marketing. Moreover, think about the times where I could have used the email list effectively: the Paragons Anthology, MAGA 2020, Gravity Of The Game, they all came out without a blast from me.

I won’t make that mistake again. Regular updates on everything are necessary for engagement for friends, family and audience. Without those, they go away.  Use it, or lose it. That goes for any of your marketing platforms, but your email list may be the most important.

Don’t forget to sign up for my list, and while you’re at it, sign up for my Patreon, which I’m using regularly to deliver so much content, including a new short story every month! 

Brian Niemeier’s The Ophian Rising Is Out Today!

Brian is an amazing author, a Dragon Award winner for his Soul Cycle series. His 4th book in the series is out today. I’m also promoting his book on my mailing list here shortly, in which you can get a free novella from me when the post goes out in a bit!
Synopsis of Brian’s new book:

The Zadokim healed the cosmos from the ravages of the Cataclysm, and the survivors made them kings. Now the Ophians, a ruthless insurgent movement, wage a vicious uprising against their immortal rulers’ two hundred year reign.

Xander and Astlin have transformed the desert world of Tharis into the hub of a flourishing trade empire. Their Nesshin subjects spread a new faith promising true freedom in another universe. But when Astlin seeks forbidden knowledge to resurrect her long-dead family, sinister forces exact a terrible price from those she loves.

With the Ophian threat engulfing the spheres and a primeval terror rising from its prison, Astlin must turn to a shiftless gambler, the outlaw squire of a fallen knight, and a mismatched pair of smugglers to escape the ghosts of her past and save all souls from eternal death. But can mortals succeed where even gods have failed?

Do check it out. And if you like the way Brian and I write, consider supporting my Patreon. A new short story every month and a lot of other cool content in the pipeline! Every bit helps keep this engine going.

It’s Better To Be My Friend #JDAYourFriend

2017 is probably my best year in my life. I’m doing great professionally, it keeps getting better on that level, it’s also going great financially, I’ve taken steps to ensure my faith in God and His plan are rock-solid more than ever before, the family’s doing great, the economy’s doing great, I’ve read and written more awesome books than I’ve seen in my life, Taylor Swift came out with possibly the best album of all time, my Patreon is doing better than I expected… I could go on for a long time.

We’ve seen over the weekend as well that the people who tried to step in my path and tell me I’m not allowed, the people who hold me down, just seem to keep losing. And they do so in their own arenas where I’m SUPPOSED to be shut out.

Every time I’m attacked hard, I don’t just blast out and fire back. You don’t see a lot of the behind the scenes. But most anyone will tell you (even my enemies who really have no means to attack me) that I’m generally a nice person. I try to like everyone 100%, and my first assumption when someone does something wrong is that they made a mistake in the heat of the moment.

What I do first, every time, is I reach out.

When BayCon’s invites went out at the beginning of the year, and friend after friend told me about their return invites (whether they were a part of the field or not), I reached out and tried to see if there was a way to repair the programming director’s obvious anti-conservative bias before speaking out on it. I let weeks go by, I talked to several people. It didn’t make sense on the very year of my debut with a professional novel in a popular game property, edited by one of the most respectable folk in the business, Jennifer Brozek (hugo nominated, served on SFWA’s board, edited an anthology for Baen), that I’d be so shunned. When I reached out, they sent back their link to their website with a template “some folk just don’t get invited!”. At that point, I knew it was time to speak out on the anti-conservative bias I’d seen at the convention. And I was fairly nice about it, focusing on policy of the con before they went into full attack mode to try to besmirch my character. Result: it sold me a lot more books and put me on the map.

When NYT Bestseller Scalzi went off on twitter rants about me, I did the same. Emailing to see if I could repair. He gave me one of my favorite blurbs to date in response saying I’m “tiresome and insulting” and that my attempt was “disingenuous.” It was nothing of the sort. But… his continued feud with me only served to sell me a lot more books. I see from his blog he’s struggling to write even 500 words a day, where my output is typically 3-4x that.

When Cat Rambo decided to out of the blue attack me on the File 770 website, I was probably most shocked. I’d never interacted with her at all (though I did share an anthology with her! A nice reminder that we were both respected in these same circles before people like Cat decided I was evil by association.). While Scalzi didn’t like me because I’m friends with his nemesis Vox Day, she really didn’t have a reason to call my writing “egregious stupidity.” And as the president of an organization “The Science Fiction Writers Of America” — she shouldn’t be doing that to new authors coming up in the field. It’s literally her job to protect people like me. That’s the whole stated point of the organization. There’s so many awful details of how far she pressed, and because of that, I definitely am not going to let up. But after numerous attempts to reach out in friendship, she really went off the rails on me, and now some of her very troubling opinions have been exposed. Meanwhile, several people are nominating my novella for her organization’s awards, and I’m selling more books.

There’s many more situations like this .Chuck Wendig’s bizarre name calling of me, Spencer Ellsworth’s tirade after trying to defend anti-male discrimination in publishing, Beth Cato’s betrayal after I used my influence to get her nominated for a major prestigious award. All of these instances resulted in no good coming to them, but helped in pushing my career further.

The saddest part is the former “friends” who cut ties at some of the threats or perceived threats from these other writers. They’re trying so hard to impress these folk who honestly have less influence and sway with readers than I do, and it’s very short-sighted. I’ve been extremely patient in not publicly naming many of these people so far, but I’ve seen, and I’ll remember.

Where they all screwed up, is that I’m a competent writer who works hard. I’m a competent businessman who markets hard. I don’t take my ball and go home and I’m not deterred from speaking the truth by some threats or someone’s bully pulpit.

And now I’ve got a platform. It’s one a lot of people read on a daily basis. It’s only going to grow bigger in 2018. I’m a well-respected journalist, I’m a multiple-award nominated author with an avid readership. I’m winning. Readers and audiences like winners. Yet not one of these people has come forward and said “you know what, Jon, I shouldn’t have attacked you, let’s be friends.”

It’ll take awhile, but it’s going to happen, and no matter how big this platform grows, I’ll do the right thing and forgive when they make the effort. It’s the Christian thing to do. I’ve talked to Mike Glyer of File 770 about this, who I communicate with regularly believe it or not. Though he’s definitely still got the tribal streaks to him, we’re more or less friends at this point. It’s because when you talk earnestly, the nonsense can go away. He still hasn’t apologized as the person who’s largely responsible for getting all these people attacking me in the first place under false pretenses with his false article, but it will come. Once that happens, the veil on the rest of this will fall off and these folk will start treating me with respect again, like they did before this year.

When I talk to Mike about it, I talk about it in terms of Scott Adams’ persuasion model, which I firmly subscribe to and utilize quite regularly. It’s part of why I’m able to come up in the field so fast. The model follows that my career will go like this:

  1. JDA is Literally Vox Day!
  2. Jon is a liar. He’s bad. My friends don’t like him. (strict upgrade in perception from literally Vox Day! Though these folk should probably try being nice to Vox too…)
  3. I don’t like Jon’s politics, but you know, I saw one of his short stories it’s actually pretty good. I don’t really want to promote him though.
  4. Actually if you look at it, Jon’s been picked on a lot and came through it and he’s pretty nice. He also doesn’t really talk about policies so I don’t know why I thought I had so much disagreement with him.
  5. Okay, Jon’s a really great writer and makes a really great friend.

We’re starting to see point 3 in the field now pretty regularly. People are reading, and they’re talking. And it’s all positive. Look at all of my reviews for For Steam And Country and Gravity of the Game. Not one verified purchase went in and said anything remotely negative in that high number of reviews for a rookie author. while Gravity has a couple fake reviews (which came when Ben Lindbergh’s fans attacked me over my sports journalism at the Federalist), they can’t say anything bad about the quality of my product.  I estimate it’ll take to the end of 2019 to get to point 5, though point 4 will happen sometime after Worldcon 2018.

I know these folk read this. And they’re rolling their eyes, seething right now. But stop that. Man up and you know what — don’t just email blast, call me. I’ll talk to you in earnest and that usually solves everything. I have one of the best promotional platforms on the internet already, and you’ll want to get on the bandwagon before I’m overwhelmed with folk who want to promotion (who I’m happy to help — but I’m already inundated with requests to read and push manuscripts! I’m trying my best to get through when I have time, for those who have requested). I’ll remember my real friends and the people who were man enough to apologize for the wrongs done to me for merely being a voice saying “don’t blackball people!”. I’ll also remember those who weren’t.

I’m a nice guy and very friendly. Don’t be shy! #JDAYourFriend.

If you haven’t checked out For Steam And Country, this is the book driving my success. Everyone loves it, and it’d make a great last minute Christmas gift! 

Nebula Award Eligible Works

I see lots of people are posting their eligible works. I’m pleased to have one for almost every category, though my recommendations for the slate are already available via the Happy Frogs, which includes all of the best stories of the year by me and many other talented authors.

Short Story:  

“Taking Control: – Storyhack #1

“Winning Is What We Do” – MAGA 2020  Anthology

“Crisis Counseling” – Paragons Anthology 

“Black Gold” – Astounding Frontiers #6

Novelette:

“Lost And Found” – A Fistful of Credits Anthology

Novella (which I believe is my best work of the year and many are already nominating for various awards:

“Gravity Of The Game” 

The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book:

You know it, the most popular book one of the hottest new steampunk series of 2017, For Steam And Country!  Book 2 is written, though I’m letting it cool for about a month before I begin editing it. Hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze book 3 in during  the spring/summer.

Astounding Frontiers #6

Astounding Frontiers #6 dropped today from Superversive Press! It’s their adventure pulp magazine and got a story by me set in my same world as For Steam And Country — different kingdom though so it’s got a little different of a perspective compared to what’s going on in Rislandia. It’s very fun and lighthearted adventure with a lot of puns. check it out here:
 
It’s standalone, but if you for some reason haven’t gotten around to the extremely popular For Steam And Country yet, do so!

Science Fiction Publishing Is Pure Depravity

SFWA President Cat Rambo made a vile attempt to downplay Moira’s Greyland’s story of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Marion Zimmer Bradley. To someone like Rambo, MZB’s identity as a feminist and gay icon is far more important than the real human who was hurt. In her capacity at SFWA, Rambo should be championing Moira, a  best seller with a related work in the field — instead, she downplays the relevance in order to make more politically charged and wholly irrelevant attacks on the president. She’ll go so far as to protect the pedophiles in sci-fi that she’ll label anyone concerned over what happened to a real human being “alt-right” in order to dismiss them.

Sick. She refuses to disavow a dead pedophile and deflects. Why? We can only speculate, but from what I’ve observed in Sci-Fi fandom in conjunction with Moira’s story, MZB and Breen are not isolated incidents. The exposure of their story frightens the gatekeepers of the industry who have pushed an agenda of this lifestyle for decades. But what leads to such a defensive reaction to such a tragedy occurring to someone in the science fiction scene?

Moira  Greyland’s book The Last Closet: The Dark Side Of Avalon has shaken up more  than just a small slice of fandom. Going to #1 in three categories and staying there, it’s shaken the entire world. Everyone is talking about this book, and for good reason. It highlights a very dark side to our culture that some of us have been warning about for a long time, and shows the tangible end result of a creepy “anything goes” sexualized culture.

Greyland speaks in the book on how Walter Breen’s end goal was to normalize his creepy behavior and his lifestyle, and since the 1960s, with the help of science fiction fandom, he’s succeeded in doing that far after he’s gone.

A science fiction convention is now not a place to take kids. Most of them have lost their focus on their goal — promoting science fiction and fantasy as a gathering of authors meant to further and encourage the craft.  If you look at nearly any convention programming they have official programming littered with explicit sexual topics ranging from LGBT promotion to BDSM. Baycon, the convention famous for removing me from speaking, at least in 2014, had a whole room open full time dedicated to bizarre sexual fetishes, which had tables to tie up and strap down people while they were switched and other bizarre behavior. In a prior year, I vividly recall a disgusting display of two women both clad in tight pleather, one parading the other around on a leash, kicking and humiliating the other in an open display down in the main lobby of  the hotel — it  was only 6  or 7 o’clock, not that late, and well within the sight of children. There were bizarre reports at another convention a couple years back of a woman ripping her pants off on a panel in a brave act of feminism.

I’ve heard stories of orgies and other sexual favor trading at different conventions. Science Fiction as a community is a cesspool of anti-morality, not anything literary.

And these conventions are mostly filled with professionals or aspiring professionals. There’s very few average readers or fans anymore, and for good reason. One can’t have a fun weekend bringing a family to an environment like this. The behavior of Walter Breen has been completely normalized, and it’s gone well beyond that.

It’s no wonder these people are so obsessed with “harassment policies”. One innocuous off-color joke by a Tor editor several years ago sent all of fandom spiraling and signalling. He was fired and ostracized from conventions after that. But it’s as they say, SJWs always project. The reason they focus so hard on what they call harassment, is they have far darker skeletons in their closets.  They know the actions they and their friends engage in, and so they have a hyper focus on the public appearance, the social element. They witch hunt average men to call harassers, all while on the other hand promoting the most deviant, pornographic lifestyles imaginable. Ironically, my wife, a far more beautiful woman than anyone you’ll see at a sci-fi con, has only had problems with men creeping on her and going over the line twice in her life — both by self-professed male feminist science fiction professionals and at science fiction conventions.

It’s more than just protecting their friends. These are the same people that control the stories that are produced, that control the content you read and see. They’re a pipeline for  their stories to Hollywood, and these groups want stories normalizing their deviancy and depravity so that an entire culture can be brainwashed into accepting criminals like Marion Zimmer Bradley and Walter Breen. This is another reason we need  to support the independent alternatives, the new people trying to create a culture separate from what’s gone on with the elites since the 1960s.

For now, support Moira, give her your love. Show her your very human kindness and compassion. What occurred to her is beyond awful, and there’s no way in hell we should be  quiet about it or let this die down. The war just changed with what Moira exposed, and how the elites ignore, demean and defame in order to whitewash it. Our enemies aren’t just making fiction stories and we shouldn’t just “not buy them”. We have to do more, and we have to enact change. This is the tip of the iceberg  and we must purge the entertainment industry of these creeps.

 

Comic Review: Port Of Earth #1

Port Of Earth automatically made it to my excitement list when I  saw the concept — aliens use water for fuel  and  made earth into a stopping point along their transit routes. They built  a port, which is supposed to be away from human society and supposed to not have them interact with humans, in exchange, humanity got to get access to unlimited power, ending our energy dependency. Wow!

Of course, eventually, aliens act as tourist, and problems occur. Those problems lead to a  lot of deaths in situations, so an agency is formed  to both protect the aliens and the humans from each other.

The drawings are pretty solid, though  the colors are a bit washed out — I  guess which was an intentional stylistic choice, but it does make a  little monotony to the issue, which is amplified because of the  pacing.

The pacing of this book is really out of whack. It opens up with  several pages  of backstory “telling” which probably could have been condensed some. We don’t actually meet the main characters until the staple page —  halfway through the book. So the set  up, while it’s a great concept, is a lot.

Once  we get there, it’s very slow. The second half of the issue is pretty much filled with talking heads, that, with the washed out colors.

Now it sets up an interesting story where these ESA agents are going after an alien, and the media is actually going to watch them with drones to show what  they do.

The next high point in t he story is the characters. They’re  well written, rounded, and  people you can connect to as a reader. The we have one “straight guy”  character and  one over  the top type  who seems hellbent on getting them into trouble. The relationship between the main character and his woman is very well done also.This plus the concept and solid line art  is enough I’m certainly going  to pick up a second issue.

There were a couple dialogue spots where it could have used some editing. One panel has two complex sentences end in the same word choices in a row, which looks a little clunky, and there’s a couple of other spots that could use tightening up.  This didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment or the characters.

There’s a lot of potential here, but the issue itself suffered from those pacing issues.  Hopefully as the arc continues we get past the infodumpy portions. It’s worth continuing reading, and I’ll review issue #2 next week (it’s already out) to let you know if it picks up.

7/10

What A Day For Publishing

There are two really interesting books out today. one is Moira Greyland’s memoir of the chilling abuse she suffered at the hands of Marion Zimmer Bradley and lovers, which I’ve been talking about all day on social media, including an earlier periscope, which I’ve uploaded to my YouTube channel.

Second, is Sean Patrick Hazlett has a new novella in a shared universe, titled, “The Post-Apocalyptic Tourist’s Guide To The Mojave Desert” . Sean is a Writers Of The Future winner and has appeared in Galaxy’s Edge magazine as well as on vice.com. Hes one of the hottest short fiction writers out there today. He’ll be joining me live on periscope at 4 PM PST. You won’t want to miss it.  Watch it here: https://www.pscp.tv/jondelarroz and it will be up on youtube later.

Introducing The Jon Del Arroz Collection

I’m very pleased to announce my partnership with CryptoFashion to create some awesome swag to go along with my epic books. We’re working on producing a number of different designs, which will be trickling in through the first couple weeks of  the year. I’ll try to point them out as they go live.

The first item we have is a t-shirt with the Crest of Malaky, the symbol of the Grand Risladnian Army in my hit steampunk novel, For Steam And Country.

These turned out awesome, and I’m sure it’ll be a popular item especially as more books come out. On that front, I’m about two scenes from finishing the first draft of Von Monocle 2, which I should wrap up this week.

I’ve also had a number of requests for posters of the book cover, which CryptoFashion also is generously putting into production. I’m excited to see this cover art in a bigger form myself.

As I said, there’ll be more to come. I am actually working with someone right now to create a map of Rislandia — another item many readers have requested. Naturally these would make for a great poster-sized item as well as having for a book insert. I’m hoping it’ll be ready in the next couple months.

For now, enjoy these items!  This is a big step career wise. If you would have asked me a year ago if I thought I’d have a company licensing my work for merchandise, I would have laughed and said I wish! Well, wishes come true with hard work and great products. Thank you everyone for making the book successful enough to catch their eye. I’m still not tired of winning and can’t wait  to win even more in 2018.