Thoughts on Publishing – The First Episodes of the Multiverse Chronicles are now Available!

The Multiverse Chronicles: Trials of Blood and Steel - Logo

Prodigy beastmaster, Trish Ivers, lands in trouble when her pride gets one of the Dragon Queen’s pterosaurs killed. However, she gets a second chance when a run-in with a rogue pterosaur forms a special familiar bond between them.

In the meantime, the engagement of Prince Alfons from the Industrial Union of Prussia to Princess Cassandra of Britannia promises to ally the rival nations. But a sinister plot is brewing that threatens to destroy the burgeoning peace and throw Trish in the middle of an all-out war between the beast-commanding armies of Britannia and the mechanically-inclined Prussians.

* * *

The prologue and the first three episodes of The Multiverse Chronicles are now out!

Woot! *Throws confetti.* :-D

You can read them at their new home: https://mvchron.wordpress.com/

(Click here to start at the beginning.)

We’ve released the first three episodes today, and we’ll release the next three episodes next Friday, and once weekly after that.

So go have a look, tell your friends, and if you enjoy reading this, please, please let us know. We’d love to hear your feedback. :-D

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Thoughts on Publishing – Infinitas Publishing Status Report

Beginning of the month status report time! :-D

Magic’s Stealing: This book is finished, however, I’ve been working on promotion. I recently did a Goodreads Giveaway and sent out one book, and I did a book signing at a local book store. I’ve got plans to set up another signing soon, as well as to place a few more books in nearby stores.

The Shadow War: Progress made! I’m still editing what I’ve already written, but I’m really excited about the direction it’s taking. Plus, I’ve got a good idea as to how this book will end, and several of the major plot points of the third book. It’s still a ways off from being released, but it’s nice to be back on track.

The Multiverse Chronicles: Trials of Blood and Steel: The first three episodes are slated to be released this Friday! :-D Check out the blog on Friday for a link to the new blog site, which will be the home of The Multiverse Chronicles. Isaac and I are still doing a few final touches, but I’m really happy with how it’s coming out thus far.

Battle Decks: Trials of Blood and Steel: Isaac and I just finished smoothing out the deluxe edition of the player guide today, and now all we have left is to make adjustments to the trial and basic editions, and to do a few minor tweaks to the box artwork. Then we’ll be uploading the rest of the adjusted artwork to The Game Crafter and be ready to release in time for Stealth Con. Speaking of which, we’re debuting our game there and giving out trial versions of the cards. Isaac’s been working on a play-through video that we created with a group of people who have been play-testing the game with us, so we’ve got a lot of things in store for this. With that in mind, we plan to upload a PDF with the trial edition of the game, and release the full edition game for sale, sometime next week! :-D

SBibb’s Photographic Illustration: Per usual, I’m working on book cover design and formatting. I’ve started keeping a handy little planner so I can keep track of when everything is due. At the moment I’ve got some print edition formatting to work on tomorrow (I did some research at the bookstore yesterday regarding the particular genre), and I have a few book cover proofs to work on for this weekend.

Beta-reading: This is going slower than I intended, mostly because I’m trying to pick times to work on it when my mind isn’t distracted by everything else. I’m hoping to put this project into focus after Stealth Con, that way I can give this more attention and so the author can make the edits she’s been waiting for. Luckily, Isaac has also been helping out with beta-reading, and he’s gotten farther than I have. He just has to watch that he doesn’t give me too many spoilers…

Distant Horizon: This is another project I’m hoping to work on after Stealth Con. It’s ready to be formatted (I’ve got to adjust how the telepathic portions are formatted) and then be proofread for typos and grammar issues.

Video Blogging: I’m taking a short break from reading Magic’s Stealing while Isaac and I do the final touches on Battle Decks and The Multiverse Chronicles, but I expect to continue doing short video blog updates until I start back with the readings at the end of the month.

That’s it for now. We’ve got a lot of stuff coming up, and I’m excited to see what you guys think. :-D

 

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Thoughts on Publishing – A Video Blog Post (Battle Decks Announcement)

No reading from Magic’s Stealing today, however, I’ve got exciting announcements regarding the release dates for Battle Decks: Trials of Blood and Steel and The Multiverse Chronicles. :-D

Click here for the link if you can’t see the video.

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Thoughts on Publishing – Results of My First Book Signing

Yesterday I had my first book signing! It was held from 4-6 pm at Reader’s World in Sedalia, Missouri. I sold five books–four to people I knew from my workplace, and one to a person I didn’t know but who showed interest in my signing table (thank you, everyone!).

Today I’m going over my process of setting up and holding the book signing, in case it helps any of you who are considering doing a book signing in the future. :-)

First, of course, I talked to the bookstore. In this case, I went in with a copy of Magic’s Stealing a couple months ago to see if they might be interested in carrying the book. They took four copies on consignment (they don’t pay me until they sell the book, we have an agreed upon royalty, and I’ll pick up any unsold copies at a later date).

I signed those copies (a simple signature, not personalized) and left them with the store. One of those copies sold to my husband’s uncle, who lives in the area (thank you, too!) and knew I’d left copies there.

Then, a couple weeks ago, I arranged a signing with the manager.

I tried sending an email at first, but when I didn’t hear back from them, I was worried that maybe my email hadn’t gone through (since I’m still new to that particular email service and that does happen). Turns out the manager was out of town, but I was able to call once she came back in, and we got everything scheduled–they were really friendly and easy to work with.

I asked if there was anything they wanted me to bring in, to which the manager suggested a flyer for their door and any promo materials I wanted to leave on the table. I was still waiting for my promo cards to come in, so I created a set of small “mini” flyers which contained a picture of the book on the front, with info about the signing (date, time, location), as well as the book’s blurb on the back. I also created a larger flyer that I hoped might catch the attention of store-goers.

It took a couple tries to get the flyer to look right (the printer needed to be set at “matte” photo paper before it would print reasonably high quality on regular print paper– and even then I switched to a “parchment” paper to get the best results. I also printed about 40 of the mini fliers (four per page, duplex setting for the front-back parts) to use as walk-by ads and reminders for my book.

Readers World - Magic's Stealing Book Signing Flyer

On the bright side, I did receive the metallic print mount for Magic’s Stealing in time to drop that off with the fliers, so after work the next day, I dropped off my various pieces.

Upon verifying that the flier would work, I printed two more copies and, at the end of the day Monday, posted one to each of the employee bulletin boards where I work. I didn’t mention anything directly to my coworkers, but they did see the fliers and started asking me about it after lunch… which was really cool. The next day, during morning announcements, one of them mentioned the fliers, so I was able to announce the date and time of the signing (yay!). I’d been wondering if I should ask about announcing it, but they did that for me. :-D

Anyway, I got the promo cards in the mail shortly after, so I dropped off a set at the bookstore. They had set up a small table with the mounted picture, the fliers, and the remaining three books. Plus, they had the flier on the door. I asked if I could drop off the promo cards/bookmarks, which they said was fine. I set them up on the table, then headed out.

MS_RWS_2

The day before the signing, Isaac and I went to Walmarts and picked up supplies for the signing (other than books, I counted and found I had nineteen books (I first thought I only had seventeen) still in stock with me, so I hoped I wouldn’t need more than that). I wanted to have a few extra pens on hand (ballpoint pens keep disappearing around here–I’m not sure where), plus a pen that was a little more nice looking and wouldn’t leave a heavy indention in the paper or smear. I also found a couple “precise” Pilot pens that looked like the ones I had borrowed previously from the bookstore manager to sign their in-store copies.

In addition to the pens, I picked up a set of sticky-notes. I’d seen them mentioned before on the web, and I’d seen them in use at Conquest when I was standing in line for Brandon Sanderson’s book signing, and the sticky notes seemed like a really good idea. The concept is that, when personalizing a signing, you ask people to write the name they want the book dedicated to on the sticky note so that you make sure to spell it correctly. Not only does this avoid spelling mistakes, it’s helpful if you have a hard time hearing them (and it also avoids the inevitable embarrassment of not remembering their name if you know them but you’re terrible with names. Seriously… I spent the last week at work trying to match faces and names in my head).

The final thing Isaac and I picked up was candy to offer people walking by the table. We spent some time looking for pieces that would represent the book. We ultimately chose Hershey kisses (for the papery ribbons coming out of the wrapper, and for the colors. The chocolate truffle ones for their dark pink and brown swirls, and the special dark ones for their purple wrappers). We also picked up a bag of Andes mints (for their green wrappers).Magic's Stealing Book Signing - Candy Bowl

As a note here, only a couple people actually took a piece of candy, so I guess we’ll have plenty left over for the next signing. But several people showed excitement about the candy matching the book cover. (Even the pink and brown actually matched a shade). We served it in the same bowl that’s used as the scrying bowl on the cover. :-)

Finally, the day arrived for the book signing! I decided what to wear (business casual), and then did some last minute research on book signings to see if there was anything I was missing. First off… the email newsletter signup sheet! I put something together quickly in Excel, because I do plan to do an email newsletter, but no one actually signed up to be included. I still plan on bringing it to future signings, though.

Excel - Newsletter Signup Sheet

I also found an article mentioning the idea of having a guest book of sorts for the people who came to the signing to sign their name. I loved the idea, so I picked out a small journal that I was fairly certain could lay flat before the signing officially started, made a quick purchase, and added that to my table. I arrived about 30-45 minutes early, so I could help set up. I checked to make sure the bookstore was okay with having the candy there (they were). Then Isaac took a setup picture.

Afterward, we waited for people to show up. The very first person was one of my coworkers, as were the next couple of people. During the signing, we had one person we didn’t know show interest, to which I asked if they liked fantasy. She said yes, but she mentioned she didn’t typically buy paperbacks (instead preferring the Nook). We did give her a promo card, and Isaac said we could sign that for her, if she wanted (I was having a bit of trouble hearing her– something I hadn’t considered before that might be a problem for me. While I hear fine in most situations, if people are whispering due to being in a bookstore or library, etc, then I sometimes have a bit of trouble understanding them). After a moment, she decided to go ahead and pick up a book. I used the sticky note system so I could make sure I spelled her name right, and yay! Another book sold to a potential reader. :-D

A couple other people showed interest, and we gave them the cards, but that was about it. Overall, we sold five books during the two hours, mostly during the first hour. There were always about 2-3 groups of people in the store at a given time, with the exception of the last half hour, when the store quieted down. I would have liked to have had more people stop by, but there were two factors that might have been at play here.Magic's Stealing - Book Signing - Reader's World Sedalia

First, in regards to work, one of my co-workers mentioned that they had let a lot of people in my department go home early, which means that the event’s timing wouldn’t have been quite as convenient as it would have been if work let out at normal time (we’re in the season where jobs come in at varied intervals). Second, one of the employees at the bookstore said that one of the schools had cancelled school that day due to a stomach virus going around, and that parents might not have been taking their kids out as much as usual.

Still, I count the signing as a success, and I’m hoping to do more of these in the future. Is there still to learn? Plenty, especially as Isaac and I try to figure out how to bring more people into the events of the target audiences.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you attended any book signings, and if so, was there anything you found that they did that was particularly helpful or neat?

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Cogling Blog Tour for Fellow Author – Jordan Elizabeth

Today I’m participating in a blog tour for a fellow author, Jordan Elizabeth!

I’ve been looking forward to this for a while, since I had the privileged of beta reading one of her earlier drafts of this book. I’ll soon be reading the new version, so I’m super excited to see how the book turned out. :-D

In the meantime…

COGLING

Young Adult Steampunk-Fantasy

Jordan Elizabeth - Cogling Cover

The beautiful cover is thanks to Mandie Manzano.

When fifteen-year-old Edna Mather tears an expensive and unfamiliar pocket watch off her little brother’s neck, he crumbles into a pile of cogs right before her eyes. Horrified, Edna flees for help, but encounters Ike, a thief who attempts to steal the watch before he realizes what it is: a device to power Coglings—clockwork changelings left in place of stolen children who have been forced to work in factories.

Desperate to rescue her brother, Edna sets off across the kingdom to the hags’ swamp, with Ike in tow. There, they learn Coglings are also replacing nobility so the hags can stage a rebellion and rule over humanity. Edna and Ike must stop the revolt, but the populace believes hags are helpful godmothers and healers. No one wants to believe a lowly servant and a thief, especially when Ike has secrets that label them both as traitors. 

Together, Edna and Ike must make the kingdom trust them or stop the hags themselves, even if Ike is forced to embrace his dark heritage and Edna must surrender her family.

 

Jordan Elizabeth - Cogling Cover Wrap

 

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Excerpt:

Green smoke snaked up the side of the tenement and drifted over the sill of an open window. A breeze blew the vapor into a column before it solidified into the shape of a stout, young hag. She shook her crimson curls away from her face and straightened the hood of her cloak to keep her kohl-lined, silver eyes shadowed.

The scent of lavender clung to her robes, washing over the small room. Two brass-framed beds crowded the floor. Blankets covered sleeping children. A little boy wheezed against the head of his stuffed bear, drool dripping onto the wool.

The hag squinted to see the goldenrod dream cloud above his head—a dream about seeing his father again. She frowned at the other bed, where a sleeping teenager lay with a threadbare blanket tugged around her chin. Even squinting, the hag couldn’t make out a dream cloud. The girl was too old to be of any use.

The hag slithered to the boy’s bed and, from the folds of her cloak, drew out a rectangular box four inches long, with a circular indentation on one side. She set it on the floor to remove a vial and rag from her skirt pocket, the rough wool of the rag irritating her fingertips.

“Do it, Simone,” the hag muttered to herself as she willed her hands not to tremble. “Make the Dark Mother happy.” She couldn’t fail at her first mission.

Holding her breath, Simone dribbled three drops onto the rag, yanked the teddy bear away, and shoved the drugged cloth against the boy’s mouth. His eyes opened, his gasp muffled, and his body jerked. Simone stiffened.

The girl moaned. Her mattress rustled as she rolled over to face the wall, brown curls shifting over her pillow.

Simone’s heart thudded. By the seven Saints, she should’ve cast a sleeping spell over the girl. The Dark Mother preferred humans to think hags were harmless healers, not thieves who kidnapped children.

The boy writhed, squeaks emerging from behind the rag. Simone pressed harder. She needed his breath in the wool to disguise and fuel the machine.

The potion took hold and the boy collapsed. Simone’s thick lips curved over her broken teeth. She lifted a pocket watch from around her neck and positioned it into the crevice in the metal box. As the two pieces connected, a chime rang out. She set the box beside the limp little boy and draped the rag over it. Even though she should wait to make sure his breath stuck in the machine, she couldn’t risk waking the girl.

The metal stretched to become his replica as if it were made of putty. With a second chime, the metal shimmered and dulled into the pale peach of his flesh, becoming an exact duplicate of the child.

“Mine.” Simone hefted the little boy into her arms, leaving the duplication on the bed, and transformed to smoke before the chimes awoke the girl.

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Check out COGLING on GoodReads and Amazon.

About the Author

Author - Jordan Elizabeth

Jordan Elizabeth, formally Jordan Elizabeth Mierek, writes down her nightmares in order to live her dreams. She is the author of ESCAPE FROM WITCHWOOD HOLLOW, TREASURE DARKLY, and BORN OF TREASURE. Check out her website, JordanElizabethMierek.com, for more information on her books, contests, and bonus short stories.

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Click here to enter her Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a steampunk necklace!

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Thoughts on Publishing – A Video Blog Post – Reading Chapter Eleven of Magic’s Stealing

Today I’m reading chapter eleven of Magic’s Stealing. Plus, I talk about the Goodreads giveaway that recently ended, promo cards for Infinitas Publishing, and show off a couple trial cards from Battle Decks: Trials of Blood and Steel. Enjoy! :-)

Click here for the link if you can’t see the video.

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

 

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Last Day to Enter Goodreads Giveaway for Magic’s Stealing

Just a quick heads up– it’s the last day to enter the Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win a signed, paperback copy of Magic’s Stealing. :-)

Enter the giveaway!

SBibb - Magic's Stealing Cover

(Note: This giveaway is currently only open to US entrants.

I hope to run another giveaway later this year that’s open to multiple countries, so please let me know which countries you want to see available for the next giveaway, so I can get shipping estimates from the local post office.)

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