Early cover art for Stories from Arisa

Here’s the pencil sketch for my short story collection, Stories from Arisa:

Pencil for Stories

Once the coloring is done and my editor sends me the final markups, I’m hoping to have the collection out sometime next week.

Right now, there are four stories. First  is Received Wisdom, a story featuring Li-Dirge, describing how he becomes the SarpanKum of the Eastern Plague.

Next is The Prank, a story from Rukh’s time at the House of Fire and Mirrors, one of the two Kumma martial academies in Ashoka. Keemo features prominently in this one, and I was glad to write him again. Though his screen time in A Warrior’s Path was short, he was always one of my favorite characters.

Then comes A Lesson Learned. It’s a tale about murder in Ashoka.
Finally there’s The Missing Diamond, a story about an arrogant Cherid who loses a priceless diamond. Lieutenant Rector Bryce has to catch the thief.

I’m also including the prologue and Chapter 1 of A Warrior’s Knowledge. For those who don’t remember every detail of Arisa – which includes me on most days – I’m  also including a glossary at the end.

 

 

Stories from Arisa

I just finished Stories From Arisa, a short story collection set in the same universe as A Warrior’s Path! It’s not volume two, but it is pretty awesome. I would say that wouldn’t I?

Anyway, first up is Received Wisdom, a story featuring Li-Dirge as he becomes the SarpanKum of the Eastern Plague.

Next is The Prank, a story from Rukh’s time at the House of Fire and Mirrors, one of the two Kumma martial academies in Ashoka. Keemo features prominently in this one, and I was glad to write him again. Though his screen time was short, he was always one of my favorite characters, and I’ve always felt bad about how Keemo died.

Then comes A Lesson Learned. It’s a tale about murder in Ashoka.

Finally there’s The Missing Diamond, a story about an arrogant Cherid who loses a priceless diamond. Lieutenant Rector Bryce has to catch the thief.

Oh yes. I almost forgot. I’m also including the Prologue and Chapter 1 of A Warrior’s Knowledge. For those who don’t remember every detail of Arisa, I’m also including the glossary in the back.

Right now, the stories are off to editing, and I also need some cover art. Hopefully, it’ll be ready to be published in a few weeks.

Stories of Arisa

After the funk of four months of studying for Boards (and passing – Hallehujah!), I hit the ground running for A Warrior’s Knowledge. It’s moving along, but I took a pause, and I’m writing some short stories set in Arisa.

The first is an explanation of why Felt Barnel was chosen to be the first victim of the Withering Knife.

Another is how Li-Dirge became the SarpanKum.

There will be a few more stories, and it should be ready some time in August (or maybe sooner). I’ll also be including the prologue and Chapter 1 of A Warrior’s Knowledge.

Back to writing!

Now that my stupdenously annoying and difficult ten year recertification exam is over – HUZZAH!!! I get to get back to writing volume 2 of The Castes and the OutCastes.

But not until I finish reading The Raven’s Shadow by Elspeth Cooper. So far this year, in just these four months, I’ve probably read more than I had all of the last two years, nearly all of it epic fantasy, and most of it rather large misses. My favorite book thus far was actually a book of poetry, Inside Out & Back Again.

So it was with trepidation that I purchased Ms. Cooper’s latest book. I really enjoyed the first novel in her series, Songs of the Earth, but didn’t care as much for Trinity Rising, but I find myself enjoying this latest edition quite a lot – other than wanting to whack Gair upside the head for being such a sniveling whiner.

Discount on A Warrior’s Path

I hate doing marketing. Sigh.

But anyway, starting early on the morning of April 27th, A Warrior’s Path will be deeply discounted to just $0.99 as part of Amazon’s Daily Deals. This will continue for three days before the price rises to $1.99, and then three days later, on the evening of May 3rd, the price goes back to normal.

I know most people who read this post have already purchased the book, but if you know of anyone who might enjoy it, please let them know about the promo deal.

 

Tad Williams

http://www.calgaryherald.com/entertainment/books/Williams+author+inspired+Game+Thrones+write+sequel/9711166/story.html

An interesting article on the lineage of epic fantasy. I think the author understates the impact and presence of authors of the time, such as Michael Moorcock, Tanith Lee, Roger Zelazny, and Charles DeLint, who wrote and write works very much outside the realm of Tolkien or Howard (Conan). Nevertheless, it’s nice to see Tad Williams get the credit he so richly deserves in more mainstream media.

Another marketing post – yuck!

Here are my experiences so far:

I initially priced A Warrior’s Path at $5.49. I chose a number I felt was worthy of the work I’d put into the novel, and I factored length of the book into the equation as well. Many indie titles are selling at $2.99-$3.99, but those titles are usually half as long as mine. I thought $6.99 was too much to ask (although there is one indie novel titled Crucible of Souls that is about the same length as A Warrior’s Path that is listed occasionally at $7.99 – a brave choice and it seems to be working out for the author) and $4.99 was too low. Thus, I chose $5.49, which I hope is a reasonable compromise.
As for marketing, I initially purchased a Kirkus review. I think it takes courage to do this because there is no guarantee that the reviewer will like the book (and it costs $495). However, more than anything else I’ve done, I think the Kirkus review has helped sell the book and has paid for itself many times over.
Before launch, I asked over 50 reviewers to read the book and of those who responded, 5 said ‘yes’, but only 2 actually read the book. I won’t go this route again. Too much work for too little return.
The book then launched and landed with a thud, but somewhere in January it took off. I don’t know why it suddenly started selling. Possibly it was because Amazon listed it as a ‘New fantasy to read’ on their blast emails. I wish Kobo and Nook did the same because for every one sale on both those platforms, I’ve had over 100 on Amazon.
I ‘boosted’ a Facebook post about the book, and got lots of ‘likes’, but I didn’t see an increase in sales. Overall, I can’t say that Facebook has helped with sales much, but I’ve heard other authors had greater success.
I’ve also advertised on Goodreads, but that hasn’t been very helpful except to vastly increase the number of people who’ve added the book to their to-read-pile. I also did a Goodreads giveaway, and I included basically the world. Again, that boosted the to-read-pile numbers, but it also cost me an arm-and-a-leg in shipping expenses since one book went to Sweden and another to the UK.
I also started a Twitter account (@DavisAshura) and purchased a marketing plan through Selfpublish Showcase. It only cost $37/year, and they send out blast tweets daily about the book to their >37k followers and those often gets re-tweeted. I don’t know if this is helping, but it didn’t cost me much, and it’s another data point I can use for book 2.
I did a price drop last week for 5 days. The first 3 days, I saw a definite uptick in sales, but the last two days, not so much. I think the moral is to not leave the price low for too long.
The book continues to sell well, although it’s starting to taper off, but that’s life. Can’t stay on top forever. 🙂