Wednesday, April 27, 2011

TrAuSt Tour #5: Derek J. Canyon

It's Wednesday, Weblings! That means the TrAuSt Tour is stomping through my blog :) Today we get to have a rousing good time with Derek J. Canyon. I read his blog and was one of the first to sign up for the Twelve Worlds anthology. He's a really good guy, very level-headed when dealing with my agony about editing other author's works :P So, here he is, sharing some behind-the-scenes about Twelve Worlds!

Late last year, Kevin McLaughlin raised the suggestion of trading excerpts with other new self-publishing authors. This would help cross-promote each participant, hopefully trading new fans as well! I agreed and decided to see how much interest there was in excerpt trades and maybe even collaborating on an anthology.

Within a few weeks I had thirteen other authors sign up! This was great!
First, we discussed various aspects of the project. Story length, genre, timeline, etc. For me, the most important factor was figuring out how to handle the author royalties. Amazon does not let independent authors give away books for free. Therefore, there would be profit involved in this project and Amazon only pays out to one person. I didn’t want to have to send out 13 royalty checks for eternity, so someone suggested donating to a charity. Great idea! That’s one check for me to send out every few months. We took a vote and decided to donate to Reading is Fundamental, the nation’s largest non-profit children’s literacy charity.

Next, we all agreed to not publish our story in any other way for at least 6 months. This way, each of our respective fans would have to buy Twelve Worlds to read out new story. This is the best way to ensure maximum cross-promotion for all authors involved.

With all the niggling details ironed out, we could start writing the stories!

Over the next couple months, we all worked on our new stories, which range in length from Jaylin Baer’s speculative SF story, The Light Stream (3060 words), to Edward L. Cote’s epic fantasy story, Iron in Shadow (14,900 words).

Then, Tony Lavely wrangled all us into editing at least three other stories in the collection. This was a very helpful process and I definitely saw some great suggestions and ideas resulting from this process. The editors for my cyberpunk story, The Price of Vengeance, gave me some great advice. I also saw great improvement in all the stories after the editing. I think this taught all of the writers involved about the value of getting feedback before publishing.

While this was going on, we searched for a cover artist. I asked Les Petersen, the artist who did the cover for my Dead Dwarves, Dirty Deeds ebook, if he’d be interesting in donating a cover to the project. Despite having over a hundred covers under his belt, Les is very helpful to new authors. He was even more helpful to the Twelve Worlds project, offering to donate a brand new cover! We told him the concept of multiple stories in SF&F genres and we wanted a cover that suggested this. He came up with the cover you see today and we all think it’s great, because it is! If you need any artwork for your own books, don’t hesitate to contact him at his website.

With 14 stories and a cover, we were ready to go. I formatted the book for Kindle and Smashwords, and it’s now available on both sits for $2.99. It should be available on Barnes & Noble in a few weeks. After that, it will be available for Apple and hopefully, in print!

I am very pleased with the final results. Each of the 14 stories in the book offers something different for you to read. Whether it’s author voice, genre, plot, or characters, I think you’ll find something to enjoy!

Even if you aren’t sure about the ebook, you should at least download the free sample. You’ll get to read the entire first shorty story, By a Whisker by Kevin McLaughlin. It’s a great story and I’m sure it will prompt you to buy the whole book and read the other stories.

If you like the stories, it would be VERY helpful if you write a review on Amazon. The more reviews we have, the better chance we have of selling more books.
Finally, I’d like to thank all the authors and artist who participated in the project. Really, they were all topnotch professionals working toward a common goal that has come to fruition in just three short months!

So, there you have it :)
You can check out Derek's blog here!

If you like sci-fi, or want help formatting your book, please peruse his additions to the widget on the right!

Thanks Derek for stopping by! I'm sure we all enjoy hearing from someone who is finding as much success e-pubbing as yourself :)

1 comment:

  1. Awesome. Behind the scenes is always fun. I will have to pick up a copy in the near future!

    Three Before Dark
    One More Day