Inventory!

Here’s an inventory of items I will be selling in the dealer room at Chattacon this weekend.

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky: The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe season one                 9 copies

Waves of Darkness books (Physical copies of books 1 & 2, Blood Curse and Demon Bayou, are sold out/out of publication. However, I will gladly email a free digital copy to any new readers who purchase any of the other books in the series.)

Silent Fathoms 5 copies

Black Venom  5 copies

Hell’s Dodo  5 copies

The Daedalus Enigma  3 copies

Maelstrom of Fate  3 copies

I will also have prints of a Dragon Riders of Pern fan art I originally created for Dragon*Con ’89. The work is pen and ink stipple art titled Young Queen and Rider and is printed on 8×11 card stock.

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This copy was signed by Ms. McCaffrey at a book signing in 2002 held at Legible Leftovers in Longwood, FL.

And finally, I have a few jigsaw puzzles, should anyone be interested in them. These will be at yard sale prices: 25-50 cents, depending on number of pieces, and 10 cents for those missing pieces. I got them at yard sales and have had my fun with them. It’s time to pass them on.

Books for Sale!

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I will have 9 copies of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky: The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe Season 1 available for sale at my table in the Chattacon dealer room!

I’d ordered 10 copies, but I already sold a copy to a coworker who is a fan and a speed reader. He wanted a signed copy, and waited until I had them available in person. I guess he worried he might read any copy he ordered before he could get my signature, since we’re on different shifts. (He did over pay, at his insistence, which more than covered my shipping cost.)

I will also have copies of Silent Fathoms, Black Venom, Hell’s Dodo, The Daedalus Enigma, and Maelstrom of Fate, books 3-7 of the Waves of Darkness series available. The first two books in the series, Blood Curse and Demon Bayou, have been sold out since early last year. Rest assured, I do still plan on getting these titles back into publication, one way or another.

Speaking of the WoD series, writing has stalled on book 8 for now. I’m not happy with chapter 12 and plan to rewrite it, moving some of the events about. Otherwise, this book might end up a novella instead of a novel.

The majority of my free time has been taken up with working on a previously mentioned art commission. I’ve really been enjoying the challenge as well as exercising my rusty portraiture skills.

As soon as I’ve figured out my schedule for Chattacon, I will post it to my Appearances page here. I’m not slated as a panelist, so I imagine a large portion of my time will be spent at my table. Hope to see you there!

Happy New Year!

Looks like Mr. Grimm wishes to give a New Year’s greeting of his own.34

(Image “borrowed” from one of the many FB pirate groups I haunt.)

While my writing has stalled out a bit lately, I have been working on an illustration commission. Fans of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series will really like this one. That’s all I’m at liberty to say at this point, until I get the clearance from my commissioner.

I will be at Chattacon January 24-26. Click on the link for location and other details about the convention. I will have a table in the Dealer Room and will have copies of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky: The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe Season One available for sale. Just placed my order this morning. If you’re in Chattanooga, TN that weekend, please stop by. It’s a fun con to attend!

Wholly Shake Up!

Had a slightly sour experience this past holiday weekend, one which led to a valuable lesson. However, it will mean an even further delay to the launch of season 2 of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe.

After a single denial to post on a particular FB book promotion group because the graphic on my cover didn’t meet the admins’ definition of “professional”, I did a little marketing research. I have to admit that cover art is not really my forte. As proud as I am of the cover I did for The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, it really does scream “self-published/amateur.” I’m better equipped to do illustrations and portraits.

A friend has supplied me with links for some better fonts, and I have a design in mind which I believe will look as good as anything put out by a large publishing house. I just need to find an affordable artist with the correct skills and digital tools to pull it off.

I’m also planning to do new, more detailed B&W illustrations for the book’s interior, when I get the time. I am keeping the pipework frame from the current cover for the new illustrations. I will probably enhance the line art for the current cover with more shading and insert it a splash page in the front of the second edition, as well.

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In the meantime, I will leave the current first edition up on Amazon. I will pull it maybe a week or two before releasing the second edition. This will allow me time to get everything just right as well as get and look over a galley proof of the new version.

I have not decided on a design for the individual ebook covers, but they will be uniform and without illustrations. That being said, yes, I will be issuing second editions of the first 12 episodes with new covers and a bit tidied up. There are some errors I’ve spotted since original publication that need to go away, after all.

Oh, and I am changing the publishing name from Steele Rose Press to Steele Rose Publishing. There is a winery with the name, and I don’t want any legal issues to crop up.

Heads Up

The second season of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe will debute January 2020. I had hoped to have Episode 13 out this year, but I can see that life isn’t going to make that very feasible for me. My current plan is to go ahead and get the episode cover art for the entire season prepped before publishing the next episode. My work schedule is slated to change once again at the start of the year, so this seems like the smarter play to me.

In the meantime, the season one omnibus, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, has sold a whopping three copies. I would like to get a little more traction with this book before rolling out the second season.

You know a book makes a great stocking stuffer, and $12.95 is CHEAP for a paperback these days. (I’m old enough to remember when paperbacks cost about what they charge for comic books these days, and when comic books cost about 35 cents.)

Also, I know it’s still over a month away, but come this Christmas break, remember to vote for The Girl Who Fell from the Sky in the critters.org Preditors and Editors Readers Poll in the Steampunk Novel category.

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Don’t forget to come see me at Chattacon January 24-27 at the Double Tree by Hilton in beautiful Chattanooga, TN. I will have copies available as well as my remaining copies of my Waves of Darkness series books.

Hopefully I can start getting them back on the market next year with fresh new covers AND added internal illustrations! Of course, what would really be great would be to get them released as audio books as well. I have had interest in entering that format with the series over the past few years.

Captain’s Log: LibertyCon 32

My table at the Kaffeklatsch Sunday morning

LibertyCon 32 has come and gone. As I’ve stated in the past, this is my favorite convention. It is my home. It is my family.

We lost one of our own earlier this year. Richard Timothy Bolgeo, the founder and former chairman of LibertyCon, left this world in May. He was to have been the Special Guest of Honor this year. Instead, he was memorialized and his life celebrated by all.

I count this year’s convention as a personal success. I sold 3 more books than I bought, for a change. I also sold 4 prints of some Anne McCaffrey’s Pern fan art I created for the Dragon*Con ’89 art show. Although I no longer have the original (lost it about 6 residential moves ago), I was informed by the art show staff at D*C that year that the only piece Ms. McCaffrey bought was a print of my Young Queen with Rider.

I will have prints available at my table at Chattacon next January. I’m still debating whether to do a table at ConNooga in February or not. I’ve never made the table fee back at that con. If I don’t, I might reach out to some of the vendors I know about selling on commission at that one.

The art sales may be leading to some art commissions for me. I haven’t been in touch with the potential client yet to hash out details, so I’m not at liberty to say more at this time.

Picked up some tips and information which may apply to that at the first panel I attended: Cover Art and Illustrations for Fiction Books. The panelists, Amanda Makepeace, Mitch Foust, and Melissa Gay, talked about contract dos and don’ts, what to ask a client for or supply an artist with when commissioning book related art, what fees are separate, how the negotiation of art rights affects the final price, and to subscribe to the Patreon of an artist you want to work with in order to get in good with them.

Trust me, during the course of the convention I heard horror stories from both sides about cover art contracts gone bad or artists who were prima donnas to work with. I also heard stories of fantastic collaborations between artists and/or authors and publishers.

I also picked up some VERY helpful tips about getting professional looking cover art on a budget. This gives me hope for stepping up getting Waves of Darkness books 1-7 back on the market.

I learned some very good tips on marketing in the Newsletter Marketing workshop presented by Russell and Morgan Newquist of Silver Empire Publishing. While I’m not sure if a newsletter is right for me, given my very limited free time, I believe much of the advice can be carried over to the management of this site.

Of the panels I was on, in the Crossing Steampunk panel we discussed what genres work best with crossing over. We determined there really are no limits, since Steampunk is more an asthetic than a defined genre. It is open to individual interpretation and taste. My co-panelists were D . Alan Lewis, Claire Count, Quincy J. Allen, H. P. Holo, and Dan Hollifield.

On the Allure of Pirates panel, which I moderated, we discussed why pirates hold such a draw, whether they be historical or fictitious, on the high seas, in space, or even in Hell (Michael H. Hanson was a contributor to Perseid Press’ Pirates in Hell edition of the Heroes in Hell anthology series). The other panelists were D. Alan Lewis, C. S. Ferguson, and James Hunter, a former Marine and real-life pirate hunter. It was really entertaining to watch Mr. Hunter go all fan boy over Blackbeard when some of us revealed tidbits we’d picked up about him during the course of research on pirates and piracy for our books.

I actually had someone show up for the reading I shared with David Burkhead.

Also, the Kids’ Costuming / Masquerade practically doubled in size this year. We had 4 participants. All the kids put some great work into their costumes and props. It was NOT easy to pick a Best in Show. I hope next year’s is even harder. My co-judges were Susan Brady, Debi Chowdhury, and Jonna Hayden. The kids played Cthulu Dice while we adjourned to the con ops room to make our decisions on who won what.

I do have to admit I didn’t make it to a single science panel this year. This is the first LibertyCon I’ve attended where I didn’t go to the Space Update or the Mad Scientist Roundtable. I have shamed myself.

All in all, I had a great time and am looking forward to next year.