Sunday, October 15, 2017

Just hit publish

Just published The Lattice, a 6300-word short story.  Should start appearing on all retailers over the next few days.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mysteries of space

The more we learn about the universe, the more questions arise.  There is, quite simply, a lot of weird stuff out there.

For example, Jupiter has auroras, but they don't behave in the same way as Earth's auroras.

Jupiter has the most powerful auroras in the solar system, so the team was not surprised that electric potentials play a role in their generation. What’s puzzling the researchers, Mauk said, is that despite the magnitudes of these potentials at Jupiter, they are observed only sometimes and are not the source of the most intense auroras, as they are at Earth.

Saturn has a big hexagon on its north pole.

There's the infamous Tabby's Star.

Astronomers have hypothesized that the objects eclipsing KIC 8462852 could be parts of a megastructure made by an alien civilization, such as a Dyson swarm, a hypothetical structure that an advanced civilization might build around a star to intercept some of its light for their energy needs. According to Steinn SigurĂ°sson, the megastructure hypothesis is implausible and disfavored by Occam's razor and fails to sufficiently explain the dimming. However, he says that it remains a valid subject for scientific investigation because it is a falsifiable hypothesis. Due to extensive media coverage on this matter, KIC 8462852 has been compared by Kepler's Steve Howell to KIC 4150611, another star with an odd light curve that was shown, after years of research, to be a part of a five-star system. The likelihood of extraterrestrial intelligence being the cause of the dimming is very low; however, the star remains an outstanding SETI target because natural explanations have yet to fully explain the dimming phenomenon.

And, most relevant to me, is the mysterious Hoag's Object:

I say "most relevant" because Hoag's Object was the inspiration for the Wheel of Fire galaxy.  I saw the photo, and then I started to wonder about it, and, well, the rest is history.  Or the future, I guess, since most of the series has yet to be written.

Added Hostile Planet to the sidebar

It hasn't gone live at all retailers yet.  I'll add those links when they are active.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Friday, October 6, 2017

Free Space trilogy readability scores

I ran the texts of all three books through this site.  Here are the results.

For Clouds of Venus:

For Caverns of Mercury:

For Cities of Mars:

None of those results are surprising.  I already knew Buddy was written at the fifth-grade level and Mr. Wilson was written at the fourth-grade level.  Basically, I write at about a fifth-grade level with some minor fluctuation.

I consider this a feature of my writing, by the way, not a flaw.  People read genre fiction for pleasure, not pain, so it's in the writer's best interest to make the reading experience as effortless as possible.  My goal is to write in such a way that the reader forgets he's even reading a book.

Free advice for authors:  Impressing the reader isn't about writing big words and convoluted sentences.  It's about the story behind those words and sentences.  Come up with an awesome story first, and then write that story in the most easily readable way you can.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Promotion results

On Tuesday, October 3, I ran two promotions: Freebooksy and eBookBetty.  I got the spike in free downloads I wanted for Clouds of Venus.

The horizontal line represents a thousand units.  I had 1400 downloads on Tuesday and nearly two hundred on Wednesday.

I also received 140 downloads across all D2D retailers on Tuesday.

Sell-through has been a little disappointing, but not surprising; lots of people download free books but don't get around to reading them soon, if at all.  A few sales of books 2 and 3 are trickling in, though.  Apple and Amazon are neck-and-neck as far as income is concerned.  I've had a slightly higher number of sales via Apple, but D2D takes its cut, so the money is basically even.  I'm still "in the red" as far as this trilogy goes, but I'm making progress.  If momentum holds up, I'll be in the black in a matter of weeks.

(FYI: Expenditures = $120 for covers, $105 for copyright registrations, and $94 for promotions.)

So that's where I'm at after two weeks.  For my first real "planned" launch, I think I've done pretty well, considering.  I plan to publish Hostile Planet this month.  I may publish a short, too; we'll see.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Clouds of Venus on The Book Speaks Podcast

Benjamin Douglas was gracious enough to read a chapter from Clouds of Venus for his podcast.