Interim Post

Sorry for my irregularity in posting lately. Not sure how long it will be before I get back to a regular schedule with the site. There has been a major change in my job responsibilities and work schedule, plus still getting my new house in order.

However, in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve opened my Smugglers Cove and Hucksters Haven as a showcase for the various vendors, authors, artists, and other enterprising convention attendees I’ve met over the years. Look for new content and updates on the page at least once a month.

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Captain’s Log: Chattacon 43

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Author D. Alan Lewis (Blood In Snowflake Garden) tries on a yarn Krampus hat from Spinner’s End Studio (Joy Wandrey, knitnick@gmail.com).

Chattacon 43 turned out quite enjoyable and much more cozy at The Chattanoogan hotel. While the space for the Dealer Room was a bit snug compared to the space we had at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, it was still plenty of room for a wide variety of vendors. For the first time since I’ve attended this convention, all of the book vendors were individual authors; no travelling book stores. Artists, crafters, costumers and leatherworkers, jewelry makers, memorabilia and collectibles dealers, steampunk prop makers, and a t-shirt vendor rounded out the group.

Programming covered literary and writing topics, art, film, costuming, fandom, and gaming. I picked up several ideas and pointers as well as offers of future advice for my plans to go  into self publishing some of my works from some who have already made forays into that aspect of the publishing world. I hope I was able to offer some useful tips to the budding authors I met who are just now entering this often frustrating and occasionally rewarding world.

I only attended one room party (Libertycon’s party) Friday night and none Saturday. I’m not sure how many there were, but I don’t think the hotel management really wanted any of them. Room parties don’t mesh well with hotel security features. Convention security had to maintain a person at the elevators in order to enable them. One cannot make the elevator go up from the lobby in this without a room key card. This is great for keeping someone from off the street gaining room access for burgling, but it makes for an inconvenience for convention goers wishing to enjoy the tradition of circulating among the room parties.

Thanks to convention staff for running a con suite at this con; a tradition I hope never goes away. If not for them, some of us would have gone hungry. The main restaurant in the hotel was NOT what I consider affordable; a sentiment I heard echoed frequently by the second day. This may also have played a factor in the low sales in the dealer room. Does one buy books and nifty stuff or something to eat? (I only sold 4 books; even authors with better sales said the numbers were lower than what they were used to.)

On a side note: I plan to set up a page on this blog dedicated to sharing links from business cards, post cards, and bookmarks I’ve collected at conventions over the past few years. These are for your use at your discretion. If I’ve actually purchased from any of the vendors or authors linked, I’ll give my recommendation; otherwise, it is purely free signal boosting for those who’ve worked the cons I’ve attended.

So watch for it.

Chattacon Schedule and Library Pic

I’ve updated my Appearances page with my schedule for this coming Chattacon. I will have 8 full sets of books from the Waves of Darkness series available at my table in the Dealer’s Room, and will be sharing a table with A.G. Carpenter.

As promised, a pic of my new library. 004.jpg

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The books stacked on the table are duplicate copies I found in my collection. I have two copies each of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain and Sherlock Holmes and the Mummy’s Curse (both signed) by Stephanie Osborn. I have THREE copies of The Complete Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm.

 

Advice To Self-Published Authors

Reblogging both to share the advice and to make it easier for me to find again.

Cereal Authors

instagram_9a796db7c8 Image via Pixabay

In 2009, I decided to become an author, unfortunately, I had no idea what kind of journey I was signing up for.  As I threw my hat into the race, publishers were closing left and right due to the Great Recession.  Also, Amazon had just started challenging the U.S. publishing industry by creating the Kindle e-reader and their Kindle Direct Publishing company.  Now in 2018, the publishing industry has changed so much, today, many authors are choosing to go indie and major publishers are being even more selective about what they acquire.  So what would I say to an author just starting out today?  Well, I gathered some of the best advice I could and decided to publish it all here.  Hopefully, you too will pass it on to the next generation of newbie authors who don’t have a clue about how the publishing thing works.

  1. Educate…

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New Year New Beginnings

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I hope 2018 will bring good things to all of my fans and followers as well as to myself, family, friends, and coworkers. Happy New Year!

I’ve just completed my first month in my forever home. (The lawn furniture left with the previous owner, but that’s okay.) All my adult life I’ve been a renter. Finally, I have a place of my own.

The new (to me; the place is 40 years old) house is not the only new beginning I’ll face this year. At work, I’ll be going on permanent night shift. I volunteered for it when we voted to have non-rotating shifts.

Around February or March, I will be releasing the first episode of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe under the aegis of Steele Rose Press.

Steele Rose will be my personal, self-published imprint, which I plan to run as professionally as I can. Friends from my AB:VH fanfic days will know the story behind the name for the publishing venture. This is a new venue for me, so I ask for your patience as I learn the ropes. (There will be MUCH brain-picking of other indie and self-pubbed author-friends at conventions this year.) As I get things in place, I will set up shop on this site or possibly build a separate WordPress site just for the publishing.

I have the first couple of episodes of TAoPaW out to an editor-friend who was soliciting free editing in exchange for permission to use samples in their portfolio (she has since received more than enough manuscripts to keep her occupied for some time, so the offer has been closed). Lori Alden Holuta is also the author of a series of Steampunk YA stories set in Industralia; specifically, the city of Brassbright.

Another change to this site I plan on is going through the con swag I’ve picked up over the years and highlighting the authors, publishers, artists, musicians, and others whose cards, bookmarks, postcards, and such which are in my collection. After all, isn’t advertising/marketing the purpose of such items? I haven’t made up my mind yet what frequency these types of posts will have.

There are a few more new beginnings I will announce later in the year. I still have some serious prep to do before I can reveal what I’m up to.

Next week, I will post pictures of my new library (formerly a dining room; but I don’t USE a dining room, and haven’t for decades). Here’s what it looked like before we bought the place.

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(Yeah, I saved the pictures from the real estate listing for comparison purposes.)

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE FOR MAELSTROM OF FATE FOR BEST HORROR NOVEL IN THE PREDITORS AND EDITORS READERS POLL! Voting closes on January 14th. Current standings have the book tied for 9th place. I think we can do better than that, and I heartily thank you for your support.

Also, don’t forget I will be in the Dealers Room at Chattacon, January 19-21. I will have multiple copies of all seven titles in the Waves of Darkness series available, and will be more than happy to sign them. Chattacon has a new home this year, BTW. They are now housed at The Chattanoogan hotel.

 

Merry Christmas and an Update

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Had my picture taken with the Salvation Army Santa bell ringer outside the grocer just 5 minutes from my “new” (40-year-old) home a couple of weeks ago.

My office/studio is getting in shape. I was a bit irritated to have to order a new power cord for my printer (which will not arrive until next week/year). Guess I should have unplugged it from the device before I boxed it up to move. The plug prongs broke off. Thanks to a pair of tweezers, I was able to extricate them from the printer’s receptacle. I still have a lot of organizing to do in here; but most of the stuff is unpacked, at least.

I’ll soon have a proper library! There was room in the den for the eating table and chairs, so bookcases will be going into the dining room. No more books piled on the floor (for now, at least).

Speaking of books… Maelstrom of Fate is in the running in the Horror Novel category for this year’s Preditors and Editors Readers Poll! Be sure to place your vote! The six previous titles in the Waves of Darkness series have placed in the top ten during their respective years. I would dearly love to see the series sweep as a set.

Maelstrom of Fate proposed coverAlso, if you’re looking for a way to spend that money Grandma sent or the cash you plan to get back from returning unwanted gifts, you could do much worse than buy a copy of one of my books (be it digital or print). Remember, I’ve posted purchase links on each book’s landing page on this site. (Hey, I’ve got a mortgage to pay, after all.)

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday.