Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pro Edit funding campaign starts today!

I've done it. I'm admitting my editing skills leave much to be desired. Check out my fundraising campaign for a professional edit of The Adventures of Reztap here:

Really, check it out! I tried to make it as humorous as possible so it would be at least entertaining to anyone who comes across it. I don't want to ruin the surprise, so give it a quick visit.

Been in a bit of a writing funk lately, but that's turning around and I'm resuming work on the sequel even as I type (this line will appear in the sequel). Seriously though, I'm energized, jazzed and altogether optimistic about the next couple of months. Hopefully the fundraising campaign will actually take off and The Adventures of Reztap may get a review by a national reviewer. It can use the exposure, nut only after it's been edited and edited well!

More to come soon.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Here it is, almost two months after I've pulled the eBook from circulation, and I've received notification of an eBook sale of The Adventures of Reztap. OK, maybe that doesn't sound strange to you, but consider this - it is through Amazon where the eBook isn't even listed on my Dashboard of books! Evidently, it really is difficult to remove a publication from the internet once it's been posted there in one form or another.

For those keeping track (I think there are about five of you, maybe?), I've been writing both the sequel and revising the original. Neither of those very fast, I might add. I have other projects I'm working on as well, and all of them seem to have suffered the same fate. Just not concentrating as well as I used to on writing. Maybe it's the new grandson that is distracting me more than anything else.

So, back to concentration and focus. Would that writing were a full-time occupation for me, it would be easier to justify the number of hours required. As it is, it's still a part-time endeavor. The full-time job still occupies a vast chunk of time - 11.5 hours a day including commute if there is no overtime. Finances being what they are, there is also the part-time job which consumes an additional chunk of time on the weekends. Time left over for writing is very sparse. I have less of it now than I did this same time last year. Not a positive prospect to be sure.

However, now I have an additional array of tools at my disposal. During lunch time, I can easily access my writing documents and add a little here and a little there. That could be another 2.5 hours of writing a week. It's not the best, but it's better than a kick in the pants. Given the circumstances at home with the new grandson, it may actually behoove me to devote a couple of hours away from the house to writing rather than try to cram it in with the distractions there. I'm going to try a four-hour window every weekend and see what I can accomplish away from the home office.

Enough musings! I hope your own personal pursuits are more fruitful than mine have been of late.


Monday, January 21, 2013

eBook Pulled

As some of you may have realized from the publication of The Adventures of Reztap, it has been an exercise in marketing for a self-published book. I've learned many things in the last nine months. I'd like to share them below:

1. People will complain about price, no matter what it is, and changing it to something lower will not affect sales. In fact, it's more likely to impact them.

2. A professionally edited book has more avenues to be marketed. There are some book reviews sites that will not review a book unless it has been professionally edited. Anything that reduces your opportunity for exposure is bad, especially if you don't have a large marketing budget to advertise but depend on the reviews of others to get the word out about your book.

3. Many have commented that the book was not long enough. It was not even something I'd considered when I published it, but people have an expectation for a book that it be a certain length. I think my book was about 75% of the length people expected.

4. Word of mouth is hard to build. Many of the successes you've seen in the self-publishing world (those books that got picked up by a large publisher) built a large fan following before ever being published. A lead time of one to three years would go a long way to building an audience for the book ahead of it being published.

5. Many self-publishers have a dedicated web site to the book (or books) and you can buy the eBook or hard copy through a link directly on the site (not many actually sell it directly, but point to a major retailer's web site for the book).

6. Pushing the book at conventions requires a lot of pre-planning and an outlay of money for a table to hawk your wares. I don't think there's anything wrong with this, but I was definitely not prepared for the financial outlays, especially just to push a single book.

7. The act of publishing the book and eBook is actually fairly easy now with the tools available on the internet.

8. Marketing is NOT easy.

9. Actual publishers want a built-in audience for your book - it is a plus when approaching a publisher and sometimes a requirement. Catch-22 - if you already have a built-in audience, why do you need a publisher? You can get additional exposure through the publishers web site, promotion through retail outlets, and prestige that gets reviewers to look at your book and review without you even asking. Ok, maybe you still have to ask, but it's easier to get them to do it when they see it was published by a major publisher.

What does this mean for the future of The Adventures of Reztap? I've pulled the book because it does need to go to a professional editor. I thought I did a bang up job editing it, and many normal readers may only notice one or two errors, but it is riddled with errors mostly due to a rewrite from third person to first person. I missed point of view changes in many places, even after three very thorough editing reviews.

I figured if I'm going to send it to a professional editor, I might as well address additional issues with the book. Length being the primary one. I will be adding an epilogue and an appendix with information about the universe according to Reztap. Where appropriate, I may add some passages and information within the story itself, but it will remain the same overall story. I won't introduce any major plot changes or anything like that. As I'm halfway through writing the sequel, I have a better insight into areas where I may be able to expand the original story where it makes sense to.

For now, the hard copy of the first edition of The Adventures of Reztap is still available from Barnes & Noble, Amazon/Createspace, and The Book Patch. I will likely leave them there for now.

I will continue to write the sequel and the third book in the series. After making changes to the first book and completing the next two books, I will approach some major publishers to see if there's interest in publishing the books.

As a complement to the books, I will be investing in a dedicated web site to the books and intend on putting blog posts and short stories with the characters on there, as well as some book reviews of other authors. I hope I can build a decent audience over the space of a year or two and bring the world back to readers. Until then, grab a first edition hard copy if you can. I'll probably pull those after a few months as well.

Thank you for your support and attention!

Artemus Withers

P.S. Keep tuned to this blog for updates on the aforementioned web site, sequel(s) progress and other news.