Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blue Car Racer book trailer, the future of Kindle and e-publishing, and other news

My first trailer, made through Wish I knew how Amanda Hocking does hers so I could get more than a 30-second vid, but I think it does the job well enough =)

Now to get back to work on my editing and formatting for Kindle. I can't wait to start some more books. Right now, I really love the idea of a ragtag group of people traveling together on a pilgrimage of sorts, so here's the premise of a book I just started a couple days ago.

After his family left Earth and its terrible conditions two generations ago, a young boy named Sam and his parents are again taking to the stars from the unstable system of Alpha Centauri to search for new planets with habitable environments.

But an unknown accident occurs and their ship is sucked into a black hole and shot back to the other end of the galaxy. Entering the orbit of an unknown desert world, their vessel crash lands onto the planet below, releasing all cryo chamber locks...except for Sam's. Not having the heart to forcibly open his tube and take the chance of him dying, his parents decide to instead try their hand at survival and leave behind videos to document their travels in case he ever wakes up.

Eight years pass and everyone is gone when Sam's cryo tube finally opens. Despite the ship's computer constantly warning him of the outside environment and lack of oxygen, Sam discovers that the air is plenty breathable.

Leaving the ship behind, he runs into a bitter man named Dixon whose spaceship also crashed on the planet, a robot who calls itself Timmy, and a bounty hunter woman named Akiel. Together, the four of them travel to a city called Providence in an attempt to discover why their ships were brought down and, if possible, hitch a ride back to the Centauri system.

But those who live in Providence are the gatekeepers of the stars, and the group soon discovers that there may not be any operational vessels left on the entire planet...a planet whose name no one can remember, but whose residents seek revenge on those who have returned...

Providence will be the first book in a series called The Promised Land. I'm really excited for that one. Unfortunately, it might be awhile until I'm able to work on it. I have other book series plans as well, so my vampire series The Orphaned Ones is going to take precedence.

In between those, I also have The Swarm and Full Spectrum to be working on. I hate getting too many ideas at once, but I suppose that's how it all goes. There are days where I'm honestly like, "Why can't I think of anything good?" and then a whole barrage of ideas comes to me within the next month and then I start worrying that I have WAY too much on my plate.

And I do. But I'm the one who is making this my life more or less, so I can't complain. It's just that I wish I had more time to devote to writing itself and not have to worry about formatting text and covers etc. for Kindle and such. So I completely understand Amanda Hocking's decision to sign with St. Martin's Press.

At the same time, I enjoy this, but I think you can only enjoy everything so much. Once it gets to be all that you're doing, it can get overwhelming. And this is me just starting right now, so I shouldn't be whining, but I'm just expressing the realities of it I suppose.

And I understand why publishers and literary agencies don't have the options to help authors a bit more since they're quite busy as well.

That being said, I also worry about the e-publishing industry and Kindle now because--let's face it--this guy's absolutely right:

At first I balked when I went to watch this, but I had to make sure. This happens in every avenue, so I get what he's saying. Here's a few examples of what I can remember:

- Bands got famous from Myspace
- Justin Bieber, Lucas Cruikshank, Shane Dawson, and others have risen to the top from YouTube fame
- Everyone now has a Twitter and Facebook page and bands, artists, writers, etc. are usually REQUIRED to have one
- Easy-to-use computer software has guaranteed that anyone can now make music
- And right now, and Barnes & Noble, along with many other sites, have guaranteed writers and artists a much easier way to accomplish their dreams and gain a fan base.

What has happened? ALL OF THOSE MARKETS HAVE BEEN FLOODED. Not only have they been flooded, but the flooding does not seem to have stopped. This presents a growing problem and a major lack in opportunities.

Some of us work very, very hard at what we want to do. One person--and usually all it takes is ONE--will find something totally different, perhaps untapped, not so mainstream, whatever. And they'll have great success.

Their story gets out...then the market is flooded by, as the guy in that video says, "money chasers". And all of us who bust our asses to make quality products might someday get lost in the fold.

I'll be honest. I hate thinking of writing as a business, but that's exactly what it is if you're planning to make money from it and be serious about the craft and the products you offer to people, it's as simple as that. You can't just write a book, shove it into a Kindle format, and put it out there without editing, proper grammar, cover art, etc.

I take the time to do that. I do that because I love my creations and because I care about those who read them and what their first impression will be. I've even read complaints about Amanda Hocking's grammar. At least she recognizes that issue and is working to fix it, but to be honest, I think she may have cranked her books out too fast when she realized they were selling like wildfire.

One thing to be aware of: The faster you write, the more time you need for editing. The slower you write, the less work you make for yourself later, so I think that in many cases, it's crucial to take your time. But everyone writes differently and has their own methods, so I won't judge.

I've read that Anne Rice only makes one final copy of her finished work. She edits as she writes!! I have no idea how anyone can do that, but she does.

In any case, I have to get back to preparing Blue Car Racer.

More to come later =)

Monday, April 18, 2011

BLUE CAR RACER slated for release in May on Kindle!! =)

So here's the story. I've been working like a mad dog, and I've recently discovered a few very important things:

1) Caleb Warnock's blog
2) My novels involve far too much unnecessary turmoil and tears
3) YA novels really resonate with me (i.e. Paranoid Park by Blake Nelson...I finished it in 2 days)
4) The next book I'm going to buy is Party by Tom Leveen
5) I love teenage characters
6) I love Skittles
7) A novel is best formatted BEFORE you begin writing it
8) I enjoy making book covers a little too much
9) I need to get hopping on vampire series again, and finally....

10) I'm nearly done with all edits on Blue Car Racer. I just need my sister to read through it next month after she finishes her law classes so I can get a more thorough opinion.

Also, here's the updated cover:

I'll be releasing this first as an eBook on Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook and maybe on SmashWords as well. This is only because I don't have the necessary funds right now for paperbacks, but we'll see how the eBooks do first.

I have to admit that I was thinking of sending this out to Sarah LaPolla at Curtis Brown, Ltd. since she's interested in coming-of-age stories, but the truth of this is that I need to put my stuff out there to get my name out and also because I've done so much work with formatting and covers and title pages already that to throw all that away for a traditional publisher for this work would be a waste, at least in my eyes.

I'm working my ass off because I'm very passionate about this, even if I'm slowly growing to hate this story since I've read through it so many times, but I'm finishing up my second editing run for now and then I'll be DONE with it for a while to get some beta readers and opinions on it before I release it.

Here's the summary that'll be included on the back cover:

It's 1993 and Colin Dirk is a quiet, lonely boy who clings tightly to two possessions: an over-sized hunter's cap and a blue Hot Wheels race car.

After living through the pain and trauma of his father's death in the Gulf War, he doesn't seem eager to grow up and face reality.

Being bullied at school by Aaron Kinkirk only makes matters worse; that is until Colin meets Eric, a former friend of Aaron's who has begun to stick up for him.

But Eric has a dark side of his own.

Loyalty will be tested. Truth leads to anger. And the most painful of secrets, when laid bare, will change everything about the race.

Can Colin learn to grow up before it's too late?

Hmmm...on second thought...I think I might try that e-query. Can't hurt, right? Write!!! =)

More news later, I'll post the release date when I'm confident, if of course I don't hear anything back from a literary agency. I'll keep trying. I'm not burnt out yet!!!