ATTN: Audible Users June 2019

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It’s the first of the month, which means you’ve got credits. I’ve got 4 books currently available on audio so please grab them with your credits and get in on the series:

For Steam And Country – my most popular steampunk novel. Zaira von Monocle inherits and airship and has to grow up fast for her kingdom’s sake. (Blood of Giants will be out soon!)

Knight Training – James Gentry gets trained in the special forces of steampunk as an apprentice knight!

Guard Training – James Gentry, The Steam Knight, uncovers a plot to assassinate King Malaky.

Make Science Fiction Fun Again – My short story collection. A HUGE assortment of stories, a little something for everyone who likes sci-fi. There’s laughs, there’s tears, there’s action and everything in between as well as my acclaimed novella “Gravity of the Game.”

You can’t go wrong. Check them all out today!

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Spy Training Is Live – Full Steam Knight Trilogy Out Now!

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Spy Training – New Steampunk book is live!

Deadly secrets lie behind enemy lines…
…will he make it out alive?

The Kingdom of Rislandia sends their finest Knights of the Crystal Spire on an espionage mission in hopes of uncovering plans to the one weapon that could turn the tide of the war in their favor—the airship.

James Gentry takes on this difficult assignment while juggling overwhelming personal troubles that threaten his ability to do his job. If he can’t regain his focus, it could lead to his death.

To compound his problems, the Wyranth have a secret plan far more dangerous than the knights could have even imagined.

Buy the thrilling conclusion to The Steam Knight’s first year of adventures and experience the epic gun slinging action of the special forces of Steampunk!

The third book in my reader-favorite Steam Knight series is out, this one really giving James a lot of character growth in the midst of some HUGE developments in the world for Rislandia. Things are about to get crazy.

This is a great jumping on point as you get a taste of all the major characters who will be moving and shaking the two steampunk series.

Read the #1 Bestselling books that are redefining the genre! 

The first two are available on Audio to make it very easy to catch up!

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Guard Training Now Out On Audio!

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The moment’s finally here! The sequel to my first #1 Bestseller on Amazon is available on audio.

You can get the book for an Audible credit and continue your Rislandian adventure.

Spies and traitors everywhere!

Apprentice Knight James Gentry is used to a life of travel and adventure, but now he’s been assigned to stand guard for Princess Reina. Tensions mount with King Malaky, as James can’t keep his eyes—or hands—off the beautiful princess. To make matters worse, the Wyranth have discovered the location of the king’s retreat, and they’re coming to assassinate Rislandia’s royal family.

James must keep his heart in check as Princess Reina’s passions steam up for him in return. Negotiations for crucial aid to the kingdom could depend on Reina’s hand in marriage to another man. With his heart and the kingdom at stake, can James perform his duty for his country?

Read the follow up to the summer’s #1 Amazon Bestseller, “Knight Training”, and enjoy another tense steampunk tale of romance, betrayal, and knighthood.

Book 3, Spy Training, will be out soon.

Get it today and catch up!  

 

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Worldcon 76 Committee Member Attacks Hispanic Author With Fake Review

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One would think that while Worldcon was in a lawsuit with me over their defamatory statement calling me a “racist bully” that they would at the very least instruct their committee members not to further tamper with my business or try to harm my reputation over their angry extremist political stances.

Well, it looks like they’re at it again.

Worldcon Committee Member, speaker, and attendee, Christopher Garcia, has taken to the internet to leave one-star reviews on my books in an attempt to hurt my rating and my career.

I’ll also note real readers don’t agree with his statement on my book, as they’ve given me an incredibly high 4.8/5 star rating.

Given his odd phrasing, it’s impossible to tell whether he even actually read the book, though it appears as if he has not. He also implied with “I’m glad I didn’t pay for it” that he pirated the book, which is almost more troubling than the fact he’s trying to harm my business over his personal malice of me (I do not have any personal contact with Mr. Garcia, so it seems his anger directed at me is due to the lawsuit).

It’s a very strange look, and a reminder that the SJWs will stop at NOTHING to try to force us out of business. They are malicious and mean-spirited, and very upset that people on average enjoy our books over theirs.

I’m committed to fighting back, and I will not let people like this bully me or anyone else because we don’t ascribe to their extremist philosophies.

We’re going to keep crowdfunding, starting tomorrow with my new book Flying Sparks Volume 2: Mob Ties. And we’re going to keep releasing great books to Amazon.

If you want to check out my writing, please do so on Amazon, or come back tomorrow when we go live with the Kickstarter for the new comic!

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Make Science Fiction Fun Again Now On Audiobook

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Very excited to get this short story collection out on audio, including fan-favorite novella “Gravity of the Game”. This took quite a while to make because of the length of the book, so it should be well worth it on the audio side.

It’s available through audible, so if you have a credit, now’s the time to check out Make Science Fiction Fun Again.

Most of these stories have only been released to Patreon supporters, and some not at all outside of this collection. They have all sorts of different concepts– high action, some romance, some harder conceptual stuff, but what they all have in common is fun, and no holding back in terms of ensuring the sense of wonder that you would expect from sci-fi.

It includes my first published story, “The Romance Chip”, which appeared in the Irony of Survival anthology but went out of print a long time ago, so I’m happy  this is available again.

My favorite characters I’ve developed outside my novels are in “Love IRL” and its sequel “Altered Program” — I’ll probably be writing a little more in this world soon over on the Patreon front.

Regardless, I’m proud of this collection, and it’s a great sampling of my writing. You can get it on audio or any other format here.

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A Phenomenal Review + The Lunch Stream with Brian Niemeier

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I received about the most substantive review of Flying Sparks to date last night from Elzibar. This person truly understands the importance of character to drive a story, and what I’m going for by proxy.  It’s not a puff piece, he has very good critiques on the book but on the story front, you can tell that I knocked it out of the park. My stories are going to be a cut above a lot of crowdfunded books in general, but don’t take my word for it, just get to where he says “I want to read more” — that’s exactly what a reader should be feeling at the end of a serialized book.

 

And today we’re going to have a NATIONAL EMERGENCY lunch stream, featuring Brian Niemeier and his new kickstarter project, Combat Frame XSeed (volume 2).  You’ll not want to miss this as Brian’s a great guest. You’ll want to tune in, and make sure to subscribe! We’re growing nicely and still need to get to 1K. It’s just a click!

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The Great Rislandia Wiki Project

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As I mentioned yesterday, I started going through and updating all the information on Rislandia contained within the books and short stories. As there’s 3 novels, 2 novellas and 5 short stories of content, it took some combing through and doing. I spent the last 3 days re-reading through all of them and taking note of locations, characters, important military battles, myths and legends and cool steampunk-y devices to list on the site.

Everything is now in. I created close to 200 articles, cross linked many of them and set up a basic structure. Because of how monumental the task ended up being and how complete of a resource it is, I decided to get the domain Rislandia.com and have it direct to the site. I also registered @RislandianArmy on Twitter as a handle to be completely dedicated to the books (no politics).

I’m going to be fleshing out a lot of this into real articles that look more like an RPG supplement and adding new information. If there’s anything you’d like to see, let me know. And if you have suggestions for organizing, also let me know. Right now we’re working on prettying it up and making it feel more like “Rislandia” as a theme, where yesterday the site felt like a generic fantasy site. Again it’s Rislandia.com

And if you still need to get into Rislandia, start with For Steam and Country here. The book was just updated with a fresh new version, a re-edit for continuity and cleaning up the prose. It’s a brand new book and feels great!

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For Steam And Country Revised Edition Is Here!

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I am pleased to announce we have released the brand new, updated For Steam And Country. This includes a fresh edit which brings the prose up to my current standards, addressed a couple of continuity issues within the book, and helped a couple of the descriptions which were necessary. It also changed the formatting so it matches all the other books in the series.

Overall, it provides a MUCH better reading experience. If you have read the book — the overall plot really didn’t change, so you can continue with the series without any issues. There were just a couple of spots in the book where there were some errors across different edits (such as something happening in year 16 of Malaky’s reign instead of year 15 when it was supposed to).  They’re minor things, but they were bugging me, and they’re fixed now.

If you want to update your file though, everyone who bought the book gets this update FREE. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Go to “Manage Your Content And Devices” which is here: https://www.amazon.com/hz/mycd/myx#/home/content/booksAll/dateDsc/
  2. Scroll down to For Steam And Country.
  3. You’ll see a little “update available” orange bar on it. Looks like this. 
  4. Click the orange bar. You’ll get some terms, then click “Update”. (It warns you you will lose your annotations or place in whisper sync)
  5. Redownload the book on your kindle. You might need to delete the file then hit download again.

And that’s it! Simple.

If you haven’t picked up the book yet, now’s a great time. I’m adding to the world via short stories I’ve been releasing on Patreon which you can subscribe to and read, and I’ve also started archiving all of the characters on a new wiki-type site called World of Anvil. It’s my goal to get every named character in there for my reference and yours, and if people like it, I’ll keep adding to the history of the world and developing it as I come out with new books. My maps are up there and so are some sketch drawings. This will be the best resource for Rislandia for the near future.

A new print edition will be available later this week.

And For Steam and Country is available here if you’re new to the world. It’s a story about a girl who inherits an airship, and it’s up to her to save her country from a deadly invading force. The book won the CLFA book of the year award, it’s highly reviewed and the series is a #1 bestseller. You’ll love it, just gotta give it a read (also available on audio):

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The Distribution Problem In Comics Is Solved

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Peter Simeti, owner of Alterna Comics, made a post inquiring as to whether would support a crowdfund to “make a new distribution system” for comics the other day. He’s interested to see what people would pay for that. Overwhelmingly, comics fans acknowledge Diamond Distribution’s role in being a problem for comics, and of course, the vast majority of Simeti’s followers voted yes, they would fund such an effort.

Here’s the thing — alternative distribution exists. Even Simeti has his own system where a comic shop can buy direct from him for cheaper than they can buy books at Diamond, though it requires certain quantities to do so. Just like all Distribution.

Comic shops have not adopted his platform very much however. Why? Because they put in their monthly orders from Diamond and 90% of the product they sell is available as a Diamond Exclusive. If they want to try to help Alterna, they’ll just buy a couple of books from there and not have to have a quantity minimum for shipping. They’re already in there to do their order, they don’t want to have to remember to do something new for $5-10 in profit a month.

Unless Alterna really creeps up on the Big-2 (which won’t happen in comic shops), their platform won’t matter.

It’s because the hard truth is the specialty comic shop is part of the distribution chain that is part of this monopoly. Marvel/DC > Diamond > Shops> Marvel/DC collecting customer base. It’s how it works. Customers buy mostly Marvel/DC at these shops and have forever. The percentages aren’t really changing. They will special order product for customers who ask for specific things that are coming out, but they’re not out there stocking the indie revolution. Regardless if my book Flying Sparks was available to every comic shop in the nation (it is, which I’ll get to), it doesn’t matter, they’re not going to grab it and feature it.

That chain isn’t something one can penetrate without being an Image Comics, and even then, Image only has a couple of big sellers and the rest are in the same obscurity land that Alterna or Kickstarter/IndieGoGo books are.

It’d be like trying to start a book store distributor for books, not carrying anything by the big 5 publishers, and throwing hands up and saying why isn’t Barnes & Noble buying from me.

The thing is, in books, other options were set up, and those other options won. They cut into the big 5’s almost full market share and now indie books represent almost 50% of the market. How did they do it?

The same way Arkhaven Comics has built what they have so far. The distribution system went out to a broader customer base, to everyone. Anyone can find the book and buy it at any time, and get it delivered free through Prime. If you don’t want to use Amazon as the outlet, you can buy direct through Arkhaven’s very own bookstore which the distributor handles its shipping and processing so they’re not in the business of holding a warehouse of print like it’s the 1980s, and hiring people to ship themselves.

That’s what a distributor does and is for. Getting the producers out of the shipping business, handling all that themselves so we are free to create product. Making the product available to people to purchse at any time. This is the modern way to do things, this is why Amazon’s won out in almost every industry so far (and why even Marvel/DC cater more toward Amazon/Comixology sales than a lot of specialty shop buyers) because there’s an ability to go wide there without a consumer having to travel ever increasing distances to a specialty book shop.

Arkhaven took great pains to set this up, has good printer discounts which make indie books cheaper and more hassle free than a lot of alternatives, it’s available in multiple formats (Kindle, CBZ digital, Print), and the books are ALWAYS available. The distribution system is a solid one and doesn’t rely on anyone else, which is the same way I’ve sold thousands of copies of my steampunk novels without the gatekeeping of big publishing or agents.

And the best part is, any quality comic creator could come, show up, make the deal and make it happen, as it has been since September lsat year. The only reason the clique on twitter won’t acknowledge it is because of a few YouTubers who don’t even represent 1% of the market share. Those YouTubers are bitter and don’t want a solution so they can keep complaining about problems. Stop listening to YouTubers who don’t care about comics, and start producing and paying attention to the actual solutions in the industry.

You can get Flying Sparks on Amazon or through the Arkhaven Bookstore direct. I ran out of my initial print run, but it’s still available cuz of this awesome distribution system–and even better, we’re able to charge lower prices than I originally anticipated because of it. Check it out and pick up the book now.

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10 Books Every New Sci-Fi Reader Should Read

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I was asked the other day by a reader where someone should start with sci-fi. There’s a lot of good books out there, but these are 10 which can give you a nice smattering of what sci-fi is. I didn’t include fantasy, but there’s a couple of books which skirt the line of fantasy from a sci-fi perspective. They’re mostly classics, they;’re not necessarily my top 10 favorite books, but each and every one of these is worth the read and especially for newer readers will paint a nice picture.

They’re not in a particular order, so I hope you enjoy.

Robert Heinlein – The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress 

An easy classic. Heinlein has to be on the list and this is his best book by far. Moon is rebelling against the Earth, doesn’t want to be governed from a far, and wants a more open society with libertarian leanings cuz they’ve learned from past mistakes.

Anne McCaffrey – Dragonflight 

The Dragonriders of Pern is very interesting. It’s fantasy on the surface but it has underpinnings of sci-fi as people on dragonback fight off spores that fall from the sky called “thread.” Very interesting stuff and the series as a whole is a wonderful world.

Lois McMaster Bujold – The Warrior’s Apprentice

This entire series is gold. Here, Miles Vorkosigan starts as a failed military cadet due to physical flaws as it looks like it’s going into a military sci-fi series, but each book is so different, has cool sci-fi concepts. Miles ends up being like a scrawny James Bond with the intellect of Sherlock Holmes as he progresses through the series. I can’t pick one in the series really that’s better than the series as a whole, but this is a good one because its’ the first Miles character adventure.

Edgar Rice Burroughs – A Princess Of Mars

The John Carter series really defines manly adventure. He goes from situation to situation in a cool world that’s out of control cool.

Frank Herbert – Dune

Dune is really the epic fantasy in space. It’s your Game of Thrones but better as you delve into the world of Arakis and the geopolitics of the entire universe here. It’s so big it’s impossible to really describe in a couple of sentences, but it’s one of the best books ever written.

Ensign Flandry – Poul Anderson

I wasn’t sure which book of Poul’s to put on here because there’s so many excellent concepts, but from a fun perspective, starting with Flandry won’t steer you wrong. Earth’s empire is in decay, and it’s being accelerated by an enemy called the Mersians who are just picking at the outer fringes. Flandry needs to put a stop to a plot of theirs to take over a world wtih intelligent life.

Spider Robinson – Stardance 

This is an underrated classic I can’t believe doesn’t get more attention. A dance troupe is formed who wants to perform zero-G dance and start a new art form, aliens take notice. The character depth and the attention to detail on how dance in space would actually work makes this novel one of the best out there.

Douglas Adams – Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

One you probably heard of. Zany sci-fi concepts to make you LOL all the way through. This is humor all the way as Earth has been declared a demolition zone for galactic imminent domain.

Jack Vance – The Dying Earth

Technically a series of short stories, this book really has a crazy beautiful world. The sun’s exhausted, everything’s falling apart, just the attention to the setting across these stories is incredible.

Ray Bradbury – The Martian Chronicles

This is another fix up of short stories which flow together that show man’s colonization of Mars. It’s got a nice mix of action/adventure with the “science problem” style fiction so it’s enjoyable on a lot of levels and because it’s a bunch of shorts, you get a nice smattering of different stories.

And if you already like sci-fi, this list, or just want to try out something new, you can get my book Make Science Fiction Fun Again. I wrote a book of short stories that are all over the map in sci-fi, so there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy, but with a focus on FUN and WONDER like the old books listed above. Grab it on Amazon.

 

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