Gone Quiet

Apologies to anyone looking for a wealth of posts on this blog. As of late I’ve started to focus on a number of projects that I’d like to publish soon, as well as an entirely new novel.

If you’ve followed along on Facebook you’ll know that I’m working on getting two short stories published. The Island and Angela’s Cell. I’ve deemed them both to be long enough to stand on their own. Closer to novella length than short story. In addition I’m also planning the release of a Sci-Fi short story collection which contains stories that are closer to 2k to 3k words in length.

While going through the editing stages on those works. A new project has been taking up a large portion of the time that is left over. Another dystopian science fiction novel. This time not straddling genres between post-apocalyptic and dystopia, just pure dystopia in the same vein as classics like Fahrenheit 451 and Brave New World.

–Maybe minor spoilers below–

There are plans for a CWNN sequel, as anyone who has read the teaser at the end of the Amazon exclusive edition may have seen. Currently I have a lump of stories and ideas to work through and while I am sorting that out I’m doing my best to pump out additional work.

I’m also torn on where to take the CWNN world. One of my definite plans is to explore where Tarshish and the Stranger go after the towers fall but I’m not entirely sure whether I want to explore that in it’s own work or if I should include it in a larger novel about how the rest of the world around the city is affected by the void left in the wake of the AI’s destruction.

That also leads me to another issue I’m having. By exploring the wasteland outside of the city, I’m moving from the dystopia genre to post-apocalyptic. I’m not sure how pleased folks will be with that. I do have a dystopian society in the wastes that I planned to introduce, but I think we’d still be at a scale of something like !0% dystopia and 90% post-apoc. Unless of course I devote entire novels to each of the societies in the wastes. Which is possible but it becomes an enormous undertaking that feels akin to George RR Martin’s work.

Maybe that could work though, Game of Thrones: Wasteland Edition. Ha!

In the mean time I’ll keep everyone posted on where my work stands and when to expect new releases.

-JS

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Second Review | On Editing

City With No Name received its second review! This one, another four star, comes from Amazon user azog.

azog writes:
—–
I would consider this book a diamond in the rough.

The story is dystopian. It was relatively fast-paced, and I read it from start to finish without feeling distracted or losing interest.

The story-telling and editing is a bit rough. I noted a few typos and the like, but the majority of editing issues were with comma usage: misplaced commas (“So, what it isn’t here?”); missing commas (“Well I am you sycophant”); or comma splices (two distinct sentences mistakenly joined by a comma, creating a run-on sentence). Some of the storytelling techniques were a bit ambiguous, with unclear pronoun references, or awkward pileups.

Either way, I quite enjoyed the book. At the end of this book, there is a teaser for a sequel, so I will keep this on my radar.

—–

I am glad to have another verified review and doubly glad that the reader enjoyed it. Additionally, I want to thank both of my reviewers so far and any future reviewers. As an ever growing author I really appreciate those who take the time to leave me feedback on my work. It is a huge help, seriously, you guys are awesome.

The bits about comma usage help me segue into the next topic… Editing.

One thing that was especially helpful in the review was that the reviewer mentioned specific weak points. This allowed me to go in and update the text so it would not appear for future readers. I’m not sure if Amazon propagates updates to the books post-purchase, but I certainly hope they do. In any event, I apologize for those two egregious typos. The paperback copies will also be updated, but it is a longer process to complete so I want to make more corrections before submitting those changes.

For anyone who is curious, the text was indeed edited – and not just by myself. Three different editors looked over my work and made corrections/suggestions/etc. For my part, after every story and every chapter I’d re-read the entire section twice. Once silently and once aloud. This helped me fix some otherwise awkward parts and forced me to give up on some of the more interesting (read: difficult to pronounce) names I came up with. I can’t tell you how many times I went over the entire novel length work before I decided to publish.

That brings up a tip I have for any other self pubbing authors out there: No matter how good of a writer you are, you always need another pair of eyes to examine your work (preferably professional). There are certain things, that no matter how many times you read your text, how long you put it away for, you will always just glaze right over them.

All that said, it is funny that those two issues the reviewer mentioned managed to make it past everyone and myself multiple times. Because of this, I’ve decided to invest in a Grammarly.com account to supplement the human editing. It seems to do a good job of finding things similar to those mentioned in the review – things Word apparently did not notice either.

On a final note – My blog posts, facebook posts, reddit comments, and other social media mentions are all raw and unedited. Usually I just want to get my thoughts out there and discuss them quickly. Point being, I see these posts as not being representative of my published writing style. That may be a bad move on my part, as I’m sure someone may see mistakes here and there and decide my work isn’t worth their time, but it is a risk I’m willing to accept.

-js

As an aside — If any reviewer happens to see my posts regarding reviews (I’m not going to post on every one, but these first few have been special to me) and does not want to be quoted or would rather I not feature them, please feel free to let me know and I’ll edit my post ASAP. I don’t want to put anyone out.

Also, if you notice any issues with my published text that you believe need addressed, feel free to contact me through the many outlets available (FB, email, comments, etc) and I’ll make sure to check it out. I try to be as open as I can as an author and I appreciate the input that everyone has to offer.

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Some Stats and a Verified Review

If you’ve been following along I’m sure you know that CWNN recently had a free weekend on Amazon’s Kindle storefront. Below you’ll see I’ve thrown together a graph of this initial download session for the folks who like data.


That also gave me the opportunity to play with some charts online, so my apologies if the graph is less than useful. Eventually I get the hang of it.

For just the hard numbers, look no further:

USA – 465
UK – 72
DE – 9
FR – 1
IT – 2
JP – 1
CA – 3
BR – 1
Total: 554

With those downloads CWNN reached a peak of #5 on Post-Apocalyptic fiction, and #11 in Dystopia. Not bad for a first time out in my humble opinion. And hopefully with more reviews and more effort on my part to spread the word the next session will be bigger.

Now on to my second piece of news…

CWNN got it’s first verified review on Amazon, something I am very excited about.

B. Brocker writes:
—–
(4/5 stars)
Artificial Intelligence ‘saved’ humanity by destroying the world; humans succumbed to slavery in the guise of efficiency. Humans are merely alpha-numeric elements in the collective cog. You find executives, analysts, computer technicians and death squads in conjunction with twin A.Is running the city with no name. You have the wastelands and the rebels, the latter trying to save humanity from slavery. The action is good, the pacing keeps your interest, and if you like dystopian stories, this is a hidden gem: Think 1984 combined with Galactica’s Cylon Centurion. Enjoy.
—–

To me, that is very cool and I was elated to read what the reviewer had to say. I’m also glad the reviewer had another way of describing the book, something I have struggled with. Hopefully that will help other potential readers decide if this is the text for them or not.

Honestly I was surprised at how much getting that first review impacted my feelings towards the work and writing in general. Given that, I can only imagine how much the first negative review will sting. But, to borrow an overused cliche, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

-js

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Available in Paperback

CWNN is now available in paperback from Amazon and CreateSpace!

Amazon moved a lot quicker than I expected, I was told to wait about a week before it would be available but it showed up in their listings the day after I approved my proof copy. Pretty good stuff.

Since it is cheaper on Amazon and also prime eligible, I’ll provided the Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/City-No-Name-James-Stone/dp/1492100862/

 

-JS

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City With No Name – Novel Debut!

City_with_no_name_cover5City With No Name has finally been released as a full length novel! You can grab it while it is free at: http://www.amazon.com/City-With-No-Name-ebook/dp/B00ED5HK5G/

If you enjoy it, be sure to make your voice heard as a fan on the CWNN Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CityWithNoName

The novel will be free through Sunday til midnight, I hope you enjoy it!

More posts and an updated website still to come…

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Final Days of the Smashwords Sale

Come the end of May, he free coupons for all published serials on Smashwords will expire. From time to time new promotions will appear and I’ll post them here and on Facebook for everyone to see.

In the mean time, you can check out the entire series on Smashwords here through my author page:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JamesStone

The free coupons are as follows:

Serial One: SG69X
Serial Two: RZ56A
Serial Three: YN34T

More coupons can be made available on request, but I may ask for a review in return! 🙂

As always, all three versions are available on Kindle and Nook at .99, if they allowed me to create coupons, I would.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/James-Stone/e/B006ZKX704/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/?series_id=800926

Serial Four is due out  late next month, time permitting. With five and six to follow shortly thereafter.

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Serial Three Released!

Serial Three has been released and is now a part of the City With No Name universe. You can pick it up at the following digital retailers:

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/City-With-Name-Anthology-ebook/dp/B0084UDYEM/

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/164366

B&N Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/city-with-no-name-serial-three-james-stone/1110954662?ean=2940014461399

All priced at .99

Serial Three might be my personal favorite so far, but Four is shaping up to be a contender for that spot as well. A physical copy collecting the first three serials and a preview of four will be available shortly, more news on that later.

While we’re at it, here’s a coupon for a free copy at Smashwords, good until the end of the month: YN34T [Expires 05/31/2012]

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