Endless thanks to the hospitality of Avid Bookshop who let me put on a wizard robe and prance around for a while. Also – all photos were taken by Matt Hardy Photography, if you want to reuse any of these you may with photo credit given.
There’s so much more to process as AMOD lumbers out unfettered into the wild, but I wanted to get these pics up post haste. Don’t I look like fun? Want me to come to your bookstore? I WILL COME TO YOUR BOOKSTORE.*
*Within driving distance of Athens,GA currently -until we sell way, way more books. Contact gderekadams AT gmail DAWT com.
As noted – my first two books are FREE AS HELL on Amazon Kindle from 4/5-4/9. Download them like the wind. They are not required reading for enjoyment of AMOD – but consider this my welcome to the Grand Game for anyone who wants to play along.
I’m going to be on Twitter of course – @gderekadams – as much as I can during the day, and the rumor is I’m going to be given temporary control of my publisher’s Twitter as well, unless someone realizes what AN AWFUL IDEA that is in the next few hours. Come talk to me! Are you hating this book already – well, pull up some internet and let’s jaw about it for a spell.
Now available on Audible, Amazon,and iTunes. I haven’t been talking about this much, because I’ve had lots of AMOD on my plate – but this has been quietly progressing in the background and now it’s here!
For those unfamiliar:
Rime is a wild mage. She can bend the very fabric of reality, but at a cost – a cost to her health and her sanity. Her power is unstoppable but it leaves her empty, weak, and often unconscious. Jonas is a squire on the run – running away from the shadow of murder. They travel together to find the one person that can save Rime from the wild magic, from the inexorable madness and death that comes to those who are born to ignore the rules of the universe. The Gray Witch of the Wheelbrake Marsh, a creature out of a fairy tale.
The audiobook was produced and narrated by Rachel Ahrens (no web presence! – this just adds to my theory that she is some sort of wandering inter-dimensional sorceress) – and I cannot be more pleased with the final product. Her voice is wonderful and hypnotic, great shifts for the different character voices – I feel she really nails Jonas and the Gray Witch most deliciously. She was an absolute delight to work with and I cannot wait for everyone to enjoy her performance of the text. When you listen – MAKE SURE you leave a review on Audible – much like me, Rachel is just getting her start, and reviews are the lifeblood of writers and voice actors alike.
I hope this will be another doorway into my stuff in preparation for the release of Asteroid Made of Dragons coming from Inkshares in April. I really should wait until I have more time to properly launch this audiobook – but that just isn’t my style.
SO! It’s two days before Christmas – and I have promotional codes for free downloads of the audio book ( a 19.99 value, son!). How about I’ll take five of them and raffle them off to whoever comments on this post? Let’s say by 8 pm EST on Dec. 25th – sort of a last minute, last second Christmas gift. You have to comment here on my blog – no where else counts to be entered into the raffle. I’ll pick 5 people randomly from the comments and send them the promotional codes that night.
With the announcement that my publisher is running another contest sponsored by The Nerdist, I raise my creaking bones from the sharp-edged divan of Anxiety and Editing to applaud and salute all the new campaigns! More writers, more books, more readers – these are always good things. It’s easy to think of writing as a purely competitive enterprise – especially in a contest framework, but you know what’s great about readers? They don’t want to read just one book – they want to read many books! And bringing more attention to my publisher helps me too – *rubs together hands maniacally* – now more people have a chance to see MY STUPID DORK BOOK FOR DORKS.
But let’s talk about your stupid dork book for dorks. And more importantly about how you can survive the next few weeks of the contest with crying in the bathtub only every other night.
Use your campaign dashboard. Inkshares gives you plenty of easy tools to link up all of your Facebook, Google, etc. contacts and puts them in a handy list called the Reader Pipeline. This is a perfect way to start keeping track of who you have contacted, who’s pre-ordered the book, who you need to beg harder. There are also built-in tools to contact prospective readers and also to THANK people who bought your book.
Get comfortable with asking people for money. Yes, I know. It’s terrible. But you have to do it. All of the easy/passive ways you can ask aren’t going to get you there – i.e. posting on Facebook, or your blog, or Twitter. You are the best salesman of your work – you need to go directly to your friends, family, acquaintances, vague strangers, lemurs and ASK for the pre-order.
Take a long look at your writing schedule. Assume it’s going to get thrown away for most of the contest. It’s a stressful time! You are going to start refreshing the contest page a few times an hour in the last few days of the contest – go ahead and accept that your writer-brain has checked out, and you are pure rodent-lust. It can be extremely demoralizing for writers – as surprise! – writing is what keeps us happy and reasonably emotionally balanced. You need to account for that, and build in some slack in your support network. (see: crying in the tub.)
Get to know the other competitors. Not just follow their campaigns from the shadows — talk to them! 5 winners are going to make it, but there’s nothing saying that even more can hit the overall Inkshares funding goal. The more you share resources, readers, knowledge, and support the easier things will be for all of you. I made several friends during the last contest and I’m very glad that they are still talking to me. One of the winners of the last contest is putting another book up – JF Dubeau – he would be a great resource to you for help and ideas.
Noblesse oblige. No doubt, tensions are going to run high as the contest heats up – it pays to remember that you all have the same goal, the same dream. Go out of your way to play fair, to help out the other campaigns. We’re all a bunch of small-timers trying to take the leap into a bigger arena. Even if you win, you can still stumble. Nerds must be held to a higher moral code – we are all taught by the finest stories and the greatest heroes.
Updates. When you send out updates to your backers – remember that they are your allies, your friends and boon companions that want to help you make your dream come true. They are not your servants or conscripts. Ask them to help you, give them clear instructions of things they can do to aid the campaign – but don’t forget to entertain them! Show them exclusive parts of the book, concept art, videos, terrible pictures of yourself. Don’t just send out endless ‘GET MO PREORDERS’ updates – if you cause your core audience to tune you out, that’s hard to come back from!
Cry in the shower. There are going to come moments when you will wonder why you jumped into this thing. We make stuff, we write stuff – it’s a learned skill to put your work out there in the world where anyone can bang on it, or worse ignore it. This contest is 6 weeks of permanent vulnerability – it will be hard. And it’s okay to feel bad. Here’s another post I wrote all about the emotional damage of self-promotion.
It is okay to ask people for money. I’m saying this twice, because it goes against the grain for so many people. My day job is sales, so I have a much thicker skin about it – but even I get squirmy when it’s for my nerd poems. People want to help you – don’t feel like you have to make them read your excerpt, or explain the whole book to them. Don’t sell the book – sell YOU. Look in their eyes and ask for ten dollars. This contest is purely based on unique readers – not preorder count, so you don’t have to stress about getting multiple books out of people. Just ask – I promise that it is okay.
Take breaks. Seriously – as much as you can, especially those last two weeks. You are going to become an internet-octopus, dripping your tentacles across all platforms looking for information and preorders and mentions and ideas and any glimmer of aid that can come to your campaign. Go on walks. Play video games. Write if you can. There will come moments where you will stare at the contest page and try to WILL the numbers to go up – these are normal, but get your support network to pull you away from it as much as they can.
Contact Inkshares with questions or concerns. Some weird stuff happened last contest. A glitch with some referral credit, things not appearing properly on campaign pages, etc. Everyone at Inkshares was always quick to respond, eager to fix the problem, and as transparent as they could be about the source of the problem and the solution. They want to get it right and they work hard to do so – it’s why I’m quite glad to have them as my publisher. (HEARTS 4 INKS)
Cry in the shower.
Your book is not on trial. There are a lot of moving parts to this contest. People are going to pre-order your book because it sounds awesome. Or because you asked them. Or because they liked the cover. Or, or or…if you find yourself slipping down the ranks, it DOES NOT MEAN your book is bad. Maybe the other books are doing a better job of pestering people, or they have a bigger family, or, or or. Do not start beating up your book and blaming it for not being shiny enough. Unless your book is into that and has given clear, vigorous consent.
You can do it. By that I mean – you can get your book out into the world. This contest, the next contest, regular funding through Inkshares, Kickstarter, self-publishing, finding an agent, printing it out on copy paper and hiding it in Waffle House bathrooms — you can do it.
Enough blathering from me! Good fortune and good campaigning. If you have questions about anything, drop a comment below or look me up on Twitter – @gderekadams.
I’m a little muddled honestly. I think it’s a stronger book than my last, but I don’t have the same feeling of certainty after the first read. Maybe because this book has a LOT more moving parts? I feel like it all works, the baseline mechanics of it all, and some scenes really shine, and the end really surprised me? It makes me deeply happy, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t what I expected it to be.
I think it may just be a matter of form. Riddle Box was a murder mystery and that structure is a joy to inhabit — AMOD follows a three-act structure with a meta-narrative frame and all sorts of weird hyper-narrative threads that shoot off all sorts of places. I like them! I want them to be there! But I guess it’s hard to quite feel it all settle in my head quite yet. RB was a dark lance to the heart, AMOD is this strange spinning wind chime that looks different from every angle.
I’m also serving a lot of masters in this book – something that is giving me no undue amount of anxiety-knives in my spleen. As always, the book must deliver on its own merits – one episodic adventure served a la carte. But, I also want readers who’ve followed me from the first two books to find the threads and rewards there for them – BUT BUT this is a bigger debut for a larger audience with my new publisher, so I don’t want new readers to feel unwelcome or confused, I also need to introduce the world and my entire ethos in an exciting and palatable fashion, ALSO I need to set up some secrets and foreshadowing for things that will happen in later adventures ALSO ALSO AS WELL AS just frankly deliver on the fun of the premise.
I won’t say that this draft has succeeded on all of these fronts. I will say that it is in the process of getting there.
The frame story really lands for me – not sure how betas and editor will feel, but I think it will be especially nice for readers of RB and still work thematically for new readers.
First act really cooks along – lots of fun, strong starts, distinct voice for each section. May also just be because it’s been the longest since I wrote this section, but I enjoyed first act the most.
Xenon is the best. Suck it, all you old characters. You bore me.
First Act feels a lot like Spell/Sword in the Jonas & Rime chapters – wacky battles and teen angst.
Second act feels lumpy. There’s a chapter that straight SUCKS. Just halting, charmless, and bad. All connective gristle. Lots of re-writing here and the whole second act – this is where the reader gets to spend time in Gilead, and I don’t want that to be wasted.
Third Act we’re back to ACTION, ticking clock, asteroid falling, all that – the mechanics and emotion all land fairly well, need to work through the rise and fall of some of the action sequences. There’s a sequence i’m calling ‘Rime Goes Boom’ that I need to muse over and play with, going to need feedback on that one to get it to sing properly.
Denouement makes me grin like a huge nerd, its the anime ending – I can already feel the wind of the next adventure blowing and it’s exciting and makes me happy, especially because the plan is to leave Aufero to its own devices for a while after AMOD.
So, a complicated reaction. Lots of work to be done. God I’m glad I’m not doing it alone.
If you aren’t already – follow the book’s progress on my Inkshares page – where you can BUY IT if you’d like, or just malinger in the shadows and watch it change and grow and get better and better until its too hot for you, just way the fuck out of your league.