First draft of Book 3 (Fury of a Rising Dragon series) nearing completion.

I just passed 200,000 words in book 3 to the Fury of a Rising Dragon series (title to be announced). The book is rapidly nearing its conclusion—and it’s one epic conclusion. But it’s only one battle in a war, which means, you guessed it:

Yes, there will be a book 4!

The expected release date of book 3 is December of this year (2019).

Thank you for your patience and your continued support. Your letters and comments inspire me to give it my all with my writing.

I love this job.

#fantasybooks #youngadult #ya #epicfantasy #fantasy #fantasyauthor #fantasywriting #fantasynovels #fantasyfiction #dragons #books #writing #author #writerlife #writeratwork #writersdesk

Augum, Bridget and Leera news; audiobook news; and an interview with AC Cobble.

Items in this update:

1. Augum, Bridget and Leera news.
2. Audiobook contract signed for Fury of a Rising Dragon series.
3. I interview AC Cobble, author of the bestselling fantasy series Benjamin Ashwood.

Item 1: Augum, Bridget and Leera news.

I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking when Honor’s Price (Fury of a Rising Dragon, book two) will be ready. Well, I finally have some news on that front. I finished the first draft of the book and the first edit round. It’s now entered the deeper editing stages, which will be compromised of approximately six more additional rounds of editing before it will be ready. So we’re looking a late summer-ish launch.

It’s a big book, almost as big as Legend (The Arinthian Line, book five), and is packed full of action, drama and plot. Augum, Bridget and Leera discover ancient secrets about Arcaners while facing a Canterran cult, assassins, and the Von Edgeworth line. There’s a turning-sixteen womanhood ceremony for a certain someone, numerous personal trials for the trio, a frank encounter between Augum and Jez, new spells, and loads more.

Item 2: I signed an audiobook contract with Tantor for the Fury of a Rising Dragon series.

I’m excited to announce that Fury of a Rising Dragon will become an audiobook series! I’ll announce who the narrator will be on my author Facebook page shortly. As to The Arinthian Line, I’m in talks with Grammy winner Stefan Rudnicki to finish the series, so keep your fingers crossed (Audiobooks are notoriously expensive projects and I write long books, so no guarantees yet).

Item 3: I’m trying something different: an interview with an author some of you may have already heard about :) Away we go!

I’d like to welcome AC Cobble, the author of Benjamin Ashwood, to this edition of “Milk Crate Interviews with Sever Bronny.” AC, there’s your milk crate (mind the dust and piles of half-read books) and I’ll take my seat on mine after this awkward pause.

(Awkward pause)

All right, isn’t this fun? My wife works with me in my author career and is super supportive (she set up the milk crates for this interview. You might find her lurking about the place munching on granola bars, Kindle in hand). I also have a cat named Buddha. She’s a small loaf with big eyes and likes to wander about the place like a princess. Any pets, kids, dolphins on your end? Wife? Husband?

Hi Sever, thanks for having me! I’m married to a wonderful wife who … well … initially said no to me becoming a full-time author. She came around though! She has an open mind, if not an initial faith in my ability to tell a good yarn. To be fair to her, my last creative endeavor was painting. It ended in a lot of brainstorming and a still-blank canvass, which she’d bought me for my birthday 6 years ago (someday, someday). We have three children, all boys, ages 8 months to 5 years. Now that I work from home, taking time out of the day to deal with the fighting, crying, and people yelling for food is a wonderful reminder of what my corporate life used to be like. It’s like I never left! My wife has a dog, which after 10 years of dating and marriage has still not accepted me. Maybe the nightly battle where the dog “forgets” she has her own bed in our room and doesn’t need to be in my spot is just a friendly joke? Every night I get a look from the dog that says, “I would prefer it if you died”. Ah, what else? I’m from Tennessee originally but live in Houston, TX now. I love to travel but have very few hobbies outside of writing and the family.

You mentioned you lived a “corporate life.” What exactly does that mean? Any parts of that life you miss? What do you love most about being a fulltime author?

Before making the jump to the book business, I worked for a massive, global corporation (think top 5 in the world). My days were filled with the normal things at any place like that – meetings & e-mail. There were plenty of the stereotypical people and politics that you can imagine going on, which I don’t miss a second of. But there were also some really awesome people who I keep in touch with still (had a few over for dinner this weekend!). I also really enjoyed my final role at the company. I was something like an internal consultant. I traveled about 25% of the time, worked from home 74%, and went to my local office 1%… That was pretty cool – and helps explain how I held a full-time job and wrote a couple of novels. I role allowed me to travel all over the world. I worked in 8 different countries. I saw some really amazing places that I never would have seen otherwise, and a lot of those influences made it into my books.

What’s best about being a full-time author? Freedom. You’re the captain and crew of your own ship, and you can sail where ever you please. I imagine many people who own their own businesses feel the same way, but as Authors, we don’t keep a storefront, we don’t have hours we’re open, we don’t have clients we go visit. What we do, is entirely up to us. That is an amazing feeling.

You’ve written a story in the same genre as me which makes me feel like we’re kindred spirits (come here, buddy! *awkward hug*). What made you so badly want to write coming of age fantasy? What initially inspired Benjamin Ashwood?

Nothing better than meeting another author and doing the handshake, fist-bump, hug dance! Somehow, that always ends up with me gently punching people. I’m ready for the union to proscribe a standard greeting we can use when we emerge, pale faced and blinking, from the writing caves.

Oh, you asked a question…

I was inspired by the books I grew up reading. Robert Jordan, JRR Tolkien, David Eddings, those guys. I love the way all of their stories start, and that’s how I started my tale. A young boy leaves his small village on an adventure. It really spoke to a younger me, and it still does today. It’s the sense that you don’t know what will happen next, but anything is possible. It’s one of the times a fantasy trope connects really solidly with my real life experience. Sometimes, I feel like I hewed too close to those books in the beginning of Benjamin Ashwood, but it’s intended as an homage to the stories I love. As you read deeper in my series, the themes and plots diverge wildly from the books I grew up with. I started on the shoulders of those giants, but the core of the story takes the expectation from those tales and turns it on its head. In real life, I don’t think heroes are Chosen Ones, and I wanted to write a story about that.

What challenges you these days?

In addition to writing my Benjamin Ashwood series, I’ve started a small press called Cobble Publishing. I have 3 other authors under my banner and we’re in production with several of their books! Juggling that along with my own work is a logistical nightmare, but it’s the kind of challenge I really enjoy. At heart, I’m still the business guy I was before I began writing, and I love that part of publishing.

In the creative space, one thing that is tough for me is keeping it fresh. I’m writing my 5th Benjamin Ashwood book, and like the others, there are fights, magic, and all of that great stuff. How is a fight in Book 5 different and more exciting than one in Book 1? That’s the challenge. I want to keep raising the bar for myself and delivering ever more exciting scenes to my readers. It has really pushed me to innovate and expand my writing. I mean, how many ways can you hit a guy with a sword? We’ll find out…

What’s coming up next for you that you’re excited about?

You ready for this? I just released a Boxset for my first 3 Benjamin Ashwood books. On April 17th, I have a debut YA Fantasy from one of my authors, Tanya Schofield, titled “Awaken: Melody’s Song Book 1”. On May 8th, another author, Thomas Webb, has a Steampunk Alternate history called “Stalemate: Clockwerk Thriller Book 1”. I’ll sneak a small collection of Benjamin Ashwood short stories out there sometime in May as well, then on June 5th, “Burning Tower: Benjamin Ashwood Book 5” hits the shelves! Oh, did I mention that there’s a German language version of Benjamin Ashwood Book 1 in the works, hopefully arriving in June? July, we’ll release a currently untitled epic fantasy from author Mark E Lacy. That covers the next 4 months…

Whew. I told you there were some logistics involved!

Finally, I’m doing some early groundwork for a brand new series that I hope to unveil in late 2019. The amount of world building and character development I’m doing is far more than I’ve done before, but if this works, it will really pay off for readers (um, I hope).

That’s a lot on your plate, are you not worried it will take away from your writing energy?

I’ve found that having something else going on really helps keep the creative juices flowing. This began as a hobby for me, a way to relax from the stress of the job, new kids, etc. Writing is my down time, and it relaxes me. When I’ve tried to ramp up and go full bore, I burn out pretty quickly. Very rarely have I been able to sit down and write for a full day. When I have managed it, I needed several days off to recover. So, maybe because it’s how I got my start, I tend to write in bursts of 2-3 hours then switch gears and focus on something else. The great thing about starting a small press is that “something else” keeps me engaged in the industry. I love books, being around books, writers, and every aspect of this process. It’s all fun to me, and it keeps me busy while those creative juices recharge.

You and I are extremely lucky to do what we do full-time. I occasionally dole out advice to budding writers who dream of becoming full-time authors. What advice would you give to those who wish to make this a full-time living?

I completely agree – we are extremely lucky. I tell people that being a writer is exactly as awesome as you imagine it to be. Being an Author (caps) is an easier job for me than Every Other Job I’ve Ever Had. It pays better, too. Seriously. There cannot be a better job than this! But, as Cypress Hill once said, “It’s a fun job, but it’s still a job.”
Yes, you get to do all of the awesome creative stuff. And yes, you are your own boss. It’s completely true, you can work anywhere in the world, at any time. Literally everyone you meet will be jealous. You make up stuff and write it down for a living! But, you also have to do the icky parts of the job. This is your business – you should treat it like a business. You have to market, you have to do book keeping, you have to negotiate, you have to invest in your product, and you have to hold yourself accountable for getting it done! More so than anything else, like a business, you have to serve your customer. Everyone telling you to “write only for yourself” is, in my mind, doing you a huge disservice. It’s not to say you can’t write what you love – see earlier about my influences – but if you want to sell what you’ve written, someone has to want to read it. At the end of the day, the job of the writer is pleasing the reader, not themselves.

They’ve made you walk the plank. What was your crime, and any parting final words for humanity?

Ha, I love this question! Because it’s easy for me to answer… I’ve been in the rum barrel.

In fact, the rum barrel is now more like – just a barrel. So, the rest of you scurvy scallywags are going to be high and dry for the rest of this Caribbean cruise. Up until this exact moment, my trip was quite pleasant. Now, let me raise my tankard with the last of the grog, and share a little wisdom with you:

“In life, with few exceptions, you only achieve what you strive to accomplish. No one wins the lottery without buying a ticket. No one becomes a rock star without putting in countless hours of practice. No one writes a book without pounding out the words. Life isn’t always fair. When you try your best, you still may not reach your goal. But I’m willing to bet everything I have – you’ll never get there until you do try. Study, effort, work – those are your lottery tickets. Being a full-time author (and rum thief), it feels like I hit the lottery. The truth is, I put in the work. I earned it. I DID IT. Whatever your dream, DO IT. Start. That is the only way you can get there.”

Now, I’ll turn up the grog, scream to the heavens, “I regret nothing!”, slip, bang my head on the plank, and fall limply into the water where I’m brutally consumed by vicious sharks and mutant sea turtles. Let’s be honest, there are worse ways to go…

Thank you, AC Cobble and my readers have brought you up a few times, so it’s been a real pleasure getting to know you both here and behind the scenes :)

AC Cobble is the Amazon bestselling fantasy action & adventure author of the Benjamin Ashwood series.

Sever

News about book 5

I’m super excited to report that the first draft of LEGEND (The Arinthian Line, book 5) has been completed this morning. It clocks in around 234,000 words (about 15% longer than CLASH).

The next stage is editing, followed by prep and launch. If all goes well, you should have the final installment in The Arinthian Line by Christmas.

It’s been an emotional ride with this book. Years of work came to a head, and somehow, it all resolved in a way that made me feel personally content as someone living in that world five days a week (could you imagine?). Yet in many ways I feel like one of the luckiest people alive; I get to adventure alongside Augum, Bridget and Leera for a living.

If you want to receive an email notice when LEGEND launches, simply click here. I don’t email often, as my subscribers can attest. I’ll still keep you posted though.

Email / msg me anytime, I love hearing from readers. All my best,

Sever

A letter from Anna Atticus Stone

 A letter from a distant land …
(The following is an excerpt from the coming book four in The Arinthian Line series) 

The trio watched as their infamy steadily grew in the Herald; as armies continued to amass on the Nodian border; as excitement grew for the coming warlock tournament; and yet there still came no news of Mrs. Stone … until the morning of the tenth day, when a grizzled, mud-splattered courier arrived to hand Mr. Okeke a letter at his cabin.Jengo did not even raise his head from eating his porridge. “Another demand from the Legion for tax moneys, Father?”

Mr. Okeke tipped the courier, thanked him, and closed the door. “Not sure,” he said, breaking the wax seal on the weathered yellow parchment. He began pacing as he read. Suddenly, he froze. “It’s from Mrs. Stone—”

The trio bolted from the table, knocking over dishes, scrambling to gather around the parchment.

Leera was breathless. “What’s it say?”

Mr. Okeke cleared his throat and began reading aloud. His slight Sierran accent gave the words a distant slant. “ ‘My dears, I hope this letter finds you as I am very far away in a strange land I have never been to before, with even stranger people. Regretfully, I lost the pearl somewhere in southern Tiberra in a battle. I had forgotten to enchant it so I could find it again. Alas, my memory is not as it once was.’ ”

Bridget placed a hand over her mouth, eyes welling up. Leera laid her head on Bridget’s shoulder while giving Augum’s hand a tight squeeze. It was a difficult letter to listen to. Augum’s heart squeezed. He missed Nana so much.

Mr. Okeke swallowed and continued reading. “ ‘The spell has been an onerous undertaking under the circumstances, especially as I am already quite old. It is taking its toll. I have developed a bit of a cough, and my spectacles have become inadequate. I have eluded the Legion thus far, but there have been many close calls. The tracking party’s prowess has made it impossible for me to visit you at this time. They have proved to be formidable opponents especially well-equipped to thwart me. My days are spent on the road. My feet and bones hurt and I am always tired. I fear I cannot keep this up for much longer. It seems there is never enough time now, for time has become a most precious thing indeed. It seems eons ago since I have laid eyes upon you. I yearn for the simple things most—clean linens, a quiet fire, a good book, a warm meal, pleasant company, and above all, watching you grow before my eyes.’ ”

Haylee gave a sniffle as she drew Leland close. “Oh, Mrs. Stone,” she whispered.

“ ‘How are your studies coming along? I trust you have been working very hard and pushing yourselves. I trust Mr. Harvus has been a good and thoughtful mentor. Have you discovered anything about the artifact in question yet? Perhaps you will have received this letter before your departure.’ ”

Mr. Okeke took a deep breath before reading the last portion. “ ‘I sign off hoping you are all together, that you are warm, safe, in good health and high spirits. Please know that you are in my thoughts often. As for me, my greatest challenge awaits, and that is mastering this formidable spell, and somehow teaching it to you. I only hope to live long enough to accomplish this last act. Remember, my dears, that you are strongest together, that life is precious and short, and that all things must pass. With love and deep affection for you all, AAS.’ ”

Mr. Okeke stared at the parchment before gently folding it up and handing it to Augum, who held the wrinkled letter close, finger tracing over the broken wax seal. For a long time, nobody spoke.

……………………………….

The above is an excerpt from The Arinthian Line, Book 4 (title, cover and blurb preview to be released soon). Expect the book to be released within the coming three weeks or so. I’m working as hard as I can to get it to you as soon as possible though.

I’m extremely proud of this work. It’s my best writing. Augum, Bridget, Leera and the supporting cast grow a tremendous amount in this book. They face new challenges, not just personally, but physically. It’s also the longest book, clocking in at about 190,000 words, which is about 10% longer than Riven. You’re going to get your money’s worth ;)

A grand adventure awaits, my friends, I really cannot wait for you to read it!

Questions? Comments? Just hit reply and email me back here.

All my best to you and those you love,

Sever

P.S. Thank you all so much for your patience. ART team: you’ll hear from me very soon! :)

I was interviewed on a Fantasy podcast

How was everyone’s new year? Let’s kick things off on my end with something new–my first public podcast interview! Aldus Baker celebrates his 50th Fantasy podcast by interviewing me.

Enjoy :)

UPDATE ON BOOK 4:

Book 4 of The Arinthian Line has just undergone another major edit, and is on track to be released within about a month’s time. I wanted to sincerely thank each and everyone of you for your kind patience.

And for the Advance Reader Team: you’ll be receiving an email from me soon, hang in there! :)

I could have updated you guys more, but I’ve been very busy with book 4. It’s the largest one yet, completely packed with story and adventure. It has quite the emotional ending, leading nicely into book 5, which I’ll be starting next ASAP. I’m very proud of this work, and can’t wait for you to read it!

All my love to you and yours,

Sever

A year ago today, an author’s life changed … because of you :)

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WHAT A YEAR!

A year ago today a simple story forever changed my life. When Arcane was released, I didn’t know what to expect. I hoped to hit the top 100 in my genre in five years’ time. Instead, it rocketed up to the #1 spot in the fantasy coming of age genre on Amazon within three weeks of release.

Since then, The Arinthian Line has sold around 20,000 copies; a Grammy winner narrated Arcane’s audiobook; and over 1000 people joined my mailing list. The series has found a diverse audience, from young children all the way to retirees, and I get mail from all over the world.

Oh, and I quit my day job. I can’t believe I am a professional author, writing full time. It’s a dream come true, a dream I owe to you, the reader. So thank you, from the bottom of my heart :)

FOR THE LOVE OF THE UNNAMEABLES, WHAT’S GOING ON WITH BOOK 4?!

Guess what — it’s finished! Next step is editing. Book 4 was an emotional roller coaster. I did not expect to get so attached to the characters. Now that I’m a full time author, I kind of live in Sithesia with Augum, Bridget, Leera and Mrs. Stone. I watch over them, worry about them. I get scared when they get scared; emotional in poignant moments; luckily, I also get to experience their triumphs.

Anyway, book 4 is packed with adventure. There’s a greedy and controlling mentor, an ancient library, and an epic warlock tournament. I am currently expecting it to be ready for January :)

CONTEST WINNER (this small portion is for mailing list subscribers only)

Remember that Name a New Character Contest I held a while back ? A winner has been selected. His name is Michael and he’s from the United Kingdom. The character he came up with is named Caireen Lavo, and she’s already written into book 4. But Michael really went all out — Caireen Lavo is also an anagram! Can you figure out what the name spells?

As soon as the fourth book is printed, I’ll be mailing Michael a signed copy. His name will also be mentioned in the back of the book.

There will be another contest, so don’t worry if you missed this one.

AND FINALLY …

Thank you for reading The Arinthian Line; thank you to those who have taken the time to review the books on Amazon and Goodreads; and thank you to those who have joined my Advance Reader Team.

All my best to you and those you love,

Sever

My new (less formal) author biography

Thought I’d change it up and relax the formality of my official bio. It kind of gives a bit more insight behind why The Arinthian Line is the way it is:

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ABOUT SEVER BRONNY*

I’m a full time author living in Victoria, British Columbia. I grew up on Dragonlance and probably spent way too much time playing video and role-playing games (particularly Rifts and AD&D). My favorite sagas are Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones. Much of my youth was spent exploring dungeons. Now my cat likes to keep watch from a customized Lego castle near my desk.

I love to bike camp with my amazing wife, who is my biggest supporter. I play tennis, leisure chess, and once wanted to become a pilot. When I was a kid, I dreamed I could jump off the ground and fly. My head was in the clouds, and in some ways, still is.

The Arinthian Line is my first series, currently consisting of ARCANE, RIVEN, and VALOR. It was inspired by my youthful adventures spent as a boy scout. I am very fortunate in that each of the books hit #1 on Amazon in the Fantasy Coming of Age genre at one time or other. I enjoy talking to my readers very much, so email me anytime at severbronny@gmail.com

Subscribe to my newsletter to receive a notification of release of the next book in the series at http://eepurl.com/HIxzX

I only email 1-2 times a month, so you don’t have to worry about useless spam clogging your inbox.

Oh, I was also a musician at one time, having released three albums with my industrial-rock music project Tribal Machine, including the full-length concept album The Orwellian Night. One of my songs can be heard in the feature-length film The Gene Generation.

I know how lucky I am to be a full time author. I am grateful for it every day.

* — Meh, ended up tinkling with it a bit more. Latest version in the margin.

VALOR (The Arinthian Line, Book 3) released!

Fantasy book cover valor arinthian line high young adult best selling series epic warlock witch wizard augum bridget leera book 3 three third magic, adventure, quest, castles, wizards, coming of age, saga series story about like apprentice sword and sorcery warlocks witches action knights kingdom legend myth thriller tale hero mystery love youth dragon teen teenage villain lord kids telekinesis fun twelve thirteen fourteen year old fifteen childrens boys aged ages novel paperback genre kingdom third three aged ages to 11 12 13 14 15 16 Fantasy book cover valor arinthian line high young adult best selling series epic warlock witch wizard augum bridget leera book 3 three third magic, adventure, quest, castles, wizards, coming of age, saga series story about like apprentice sword and sorcery warlocks witches action knights kingdom legend myth thriller tale hero mystery love youth dragon teen teenage villain lord kids telekinesis fun twelve thirteen fourteen year old fifteen childrens boys aged ages novel paperback genre kingdom third three aged ages to 11 12 13 14 15 16 Fantasy book cover valor arinthian line high young adult best selling series epic warlock witch wizard augum bridget leera book 3 three third magic, adventure, quest, castles, wizards, coming of age, saga series story about like apprentice sword and sorcery warlocks witches action knights kingdom legend myth thriller tale hero mystery love youth dragon teen teenage villain lord kids telekinesis fun twelve thirteen fourteen year old fifteen childrens boys aged ages novel paperback genre kingdom third three aged ages to 11 12 13 14 15 16 Fantasy book cover valor arinthian line high young adult best selling series epic warlock witch wizard augum bridget leera book 3 three third magic, adventure, quest, castles, wizards, coming of age, saga series story about like apprentice sword and sorcery warlocks witches action knights kingdom legend myth thriller tale hero mystery love youth dragon teen teenage villain lord kids telekinesis fun twelve thirteen fourteen year old fifteen childrens boys aged ages novel paperback genre kingdom third three aged ages to 11 12 13 14 15 16

Apprentice warlocks Augum, Bridget and Leera have reunited with their legendary mentor, Anna Atticus Stone. But her epic battle with the diabolical Lord of the Legion has taken a toll, and now she suffers from a deadly arcane fever. To revive her, Augum will have to earn the respect of a warrior people … by facing his childhood tormentors.

Meanwhile, Augum and Leera’s feelings for each other are complicated by the upcoming Star Feast, a magical midnight dance to mark Endyear. Their revelry will have to be short-lived, however, for a perilous quest beckons—the trio must infiltrate an ancient castle that will pit them against enemies old and new, while testing every ounce of their skill and courage

KINDLE    |   PAPERBACK

Thank you all so much for your patience and support. If you’re a fan of the series, consider sharing this post on Facebook / Twitter / other social media. Thank you so much :)

All my best,

Sever

Sneak peek ;)

Coming soon …

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The Arinthian Line Book 3 (title TBA)

Title: To be announced, (The Arinthian Line, Book 3)
Cover and blurb reveal date: To be announced (subscribe to get a notice of release as well as a 24 hour window to purchase book 3 at a steep discount)
Release date: To be announced

Arcane (The Arinthian Line, Book 1)
Riven (The Arinthian Line, Book 2)

Author’s thoughts: Who releases a book with a winter cover in the middle of summer? I know, crazy, but I figure you’d want it sooner than later. This one is packed with adventure; Augum, Bridget and Leera are tested unlike ever before. I’m ultra excited, and I really can’t wait to get it to you. Not long to wait now!

Thank you to each and every single one of you for your amazing support. It means so much to me :)

All my best to you and those you love,

– Sever
Want to get involved? Join my Advance Review team

David Neth Guest Post: The Differences Between Indie Publishing and Traditional Publishing

It gives me great pleasure to introduce an up-and-comer, David Neth:

The Differences Between Indie Publishing and Traditional Publishing, by David Neth

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Lately the publishing industry has been divided between authors going the indie route and those still pursuing the traditional route. As someone who has received his master’s degree in publishing in NYC (whose teachers worked at some of the largest publishing houses in the world), it might come as a surprise that I’m choosing the independent route to publish my work. Confused? Let me explain…

Throughout the time I spent learning (and discovering) the publishing industry, I found out that self-publishing was a force to be reckoned with. Fifty Shades of Grey had just been picked up by Random House at the time and was blowing up the bestseller lists. My teachers (the traditional publishers) were discussing how they were looking into other self-published titles for the next hit.

Fast forward to that following summer, when I first decided to try out the self-publishing route, I discovered Joe Konrath’s blog and was obsessed. This guy had been traditionally published and switched to self-publishing in its infancy and was making bank. Way more than he was when he was traditionally published. My publishing education was expanded further as I embraced self-publishing.

Previously I had been shocked and dismayed that the publishers on Fifth Avenue were so dismissive to authors. Not all of them, but the vibe I got from the classes was that the authors spit out the first draft and then let the publishers take it from there without any input from the author on the cover design or style changes. That wasn’t the way I wanted my books to be handled. Not only that, but we had several entrepreneurs and innovators that came to guest speak in my classes and they inspired me. I wanted to forge my own path, my own way. I wanted to carve out a lifestyle that would work for me and would enable me to do what I loved to do.

It’s important to note that indie publishing isn’t all bubblegum and rainbows. Equally, traditional publishing isn’t a horrible route to take. It just wasn’t going to work for me. I wanted to make a career as a novelist. That just wasn’t possible with traditional publishing. I knew my book wasn’t a runaway hit like Harry Potter, but it was at least publishable. I knew I enjoyed it and someone else must, even if it was a midlist book. The problem with midlist books is that they don’t make traditional publishers a lot of money. In fact, they cost publishers money. It’s a business risk they don’t want to take so understandably they’re picky with their selections. If they don’t think it might be a hit, it’s rejected. No matter how well-written it is.

With indie publishing, I’m the one taking the risk on my own book. Since it’s my baby, I have the passion and enthusiasm behind it to push it to its best. Traditional publishing houses don’t always carry the same enthusiasm, especially if they feel your book is only going to land on the midlist.

Whether you choose to publish independently or pursue the traditional paths to publication, you need to weigh the pros and cons of each. Here are some key points about the differences between indie publishing and traditional publishing:

– Production:
With indie publishing you handle everything, unless you decide to outsource it, but that costs you your own money. With traditional publishing, they handle everything and you anxiously await the final proofs and product. This is different for each person. While it would be nice to have complete creative control over the final product with indie publishing, you may lack the skills necessary to make it a stellar product comparable with a traditionally published book. Likewise, while you lose your complete creative control over the final product (publishers may consult with you throughout the process, but they get the final say), the product is designed by professionals who have been working in the field for years and years. Not only that, but the bill is footed by the publisher.

– Advertising/Marketing:
Again, with this it depends on the publisher if you decide to go traditional. If they view you as a midlister, your advertising and marketing dollars drop significantly. You might as well be self-published and on your own with the budget they give you for advertising and marketing. However, if they think your book is the best thing since sliced bread, you’re going to be all over the place. You’re going to be the center of creative marketing and interviewed by newspapers, blogs, and magazines without having to ask. The publisher will take care of that for you. With indie publishing, you need to discover and beg, plead, and steal to get any sort of free promotion. In the end, hopefully your hard work (and possibly money) pays off since you’re also battling the stigma of self-published authors.

– Publishing Schedule:
The traditional publishing cycle, from acquisition to publication, is 18 months at the fastest. That’s a new book every year and a half. While that time is good for building hype and having a massive release day, it’s still a long time between each book. This is where indie publishing shines through. When you self-publish, you put out a book as fast as you can produce it. However, be mindful of the frequency at which you’re putting books out. Readers will come to expect it and then abandon you when you eventually burn out and miss your typical publication date. Conversely, they may abandon you if you saturate them too much. Think about it when all your favorite musicians decide to put out new albums around the same time. You either go broke or you pick and choose which ones you can’t live without.

Fortunately, neither path is the end-all-be-all. There are successful hybrid authors putting out books independently and traditionally. If you’re good at it, this might be the sweet spot. You get the attention and free promotion on your traditionally published books and those eyes will be led to your self-published books. It’s a win-win.

This post avoids the most obvious difference between indie publishing and traditional publishing: the royalty rate. Indies earn 60-70% royalty on their titles while traditionally published authors see 20%, which then needs to be split with their agent (since you can’t get a book deal without a literary agent). This is also something to consider when deciding which path to choose, but it’s certainly not the only thing. Create a list for yourself and determine what’s important to you. Are you looking to create a career or fulfill a hobby? Do your research and make a decision for yourself. Which path will you choose?

David’s first book is up for pre-order now

David Neth book

The Blood Moon by David Neth

The wars that inspired Game of Thrones

Beginning around 1377, medieval England was shaken by a power struggle between two noble families, which spanned generations and involved a massive cast of characters, complex motives and shifting loyalties. Sound familiar? Alex Gendler illustrates how the historical conflict known as the Wars of the Roses served as the basis for much of the drama in Game of Thrones.

Lesson by Alex Gendler, animation by Brett Underhill.

I interview the enigmatic CN Crawford

Thank you for coming over to this blog. Sorry for the mess, been bit of a dump around here lately. Uh, have a seat between the ferns. So, what’s with the parrot?

We have a bird thing going. Book three is going to have some pirates, and probably some parrot familiars. It’s like the old adage says, “put a bird on it.”

That video. lol. So the CN in C.N. Crawford is two people apparently. Explain why you’re not crazy.

Either there are actually two of us, or it’s just me in a yellowed wedding dress with a moldering rat-eaten cake screaming into a dead garden about a husband. I’m not going to tell you which of these is true. 

Since you’re not crazy, why is there a knife in both your hands? I don’t do interviews like this.

It’s for your own good. There’s a better place for you than this world. Or at least better than Canada. 

*Whistles Canadian anthem* Since you’re definitely not crazy or murderous, tell us what roles each of you serve in writing the book.

Nick started working on the book, with the idea that it would be about a witch-boy traveling from a magical world into ours. It began with a crow flying to a creepy old school in Boston. I started doing some world-building, which was very history-focused since that’s my main interest. Then I started taking over the writing of the story. Apart from a few scenes that Nick started, mostly I would write a draft, and Nick would go over it after. The plot came out of discussions between the two of us.I’m gradually taking over almost all of this series, but Nick has another series in the back of his mind, which I’m excited about. He’s an evolutionary biologist, and he’s working on an idea for a thriller about a genetic researcher who uncovers a supernatural conspiracy.

How violent is your working relationship? If it’s not violent, can you make something juicy up? This is practically Jerry Springer here. I mean, look at the raving loons in the audience.

It was pretty tame for the writing, but making crafts for our giveaway was awful. There were super-glued hands, tables getting bumped, bubbles in the resin… It was brutal. Sometimes Nick still wakes up in a cold sweat, shouting, “So many microbeads glued to my fingers!” Never make crafts with a loved one. Just don’t.

No crafts with the wife. Got it. So I bought and read The Witching Elm and really enjoyed it, particularly how Toby and Fiona grew on me as the story went along. It’s a best seller in the occult subgenre, with excellent reviews. How does it feel seeing your baby do so well?

It feels great! It’s hard sending it out into the world, but I’ve really enjoyed reading people’s responses. I especially love when people home in on my favorite things about the book, which are the humor and the creepiness. 

How would you describe your book to a new reader in the genre?

One of the blog reviewers described it as “what we would have had if Joss Whedon wrote Harry Potter,” which might be my favorite description, since I love Joss Whedon. A few other people have noted comparisons to the show Sleepy Hollow. I haven’t see the show yet, but I think it also draws on morbid American history in its world-building.

Speaking of Potter, if Toby [lead protagonist] got in a fight with Harry, who’d win?

Toby would eat him alive, assuming he had his pike. Toby’s often missing his pike, though he will gain access to weapons in the sequels. As a psychologist, the phallic reference is not lost on me.

What type of person is NOT going to enjoy your book?

Someone who’s dead inside. Or I guess, someone who doesn’t like dark fantasy.

The story is set in Boston. Give me two lines in a Boston accent.

We’re evacuatin the youngest philawsiphas. You three ah goin to Boston fuh safety, to Mathah Academy. Now get me a spuckie and take a dudley, ya haw-mongas.*
 
*(That last line is not in the book, and is in a deep boston accent decipherable only to the inititiated). 

Why do you write?

I think both Nick and I need a creative outlet for surreal ideas and concepts, or our weirdness will start to come out in other ways. And writing is much less rage-inducing than crafts.

I’ve got a set of questions I ask all authors: If you became very rich, what would a typical day look like for you?

My son would wake me up at 7, and then I’d pound a few cups of coffee. The nanny would come to play with my toddler while Nick and I sat around making up stories about tree gods and witches. It would look very much like a day now, except Nick would be home, and we’d have a nanny, and our light switches would work. 

What’s been your greatest challenge in life?

For me it was probably moving to London when I was 21 with only $500 in the bank. I stayed there for over 8 years, and for at least a few of those I was on minimum wage in a very expensive city.

And of course first few sleepless months after having our baby were a challenge for both of us. 

How much of you is in that werewolf character?–just kidding, that question was asked of Chris Fox, who wrote some book about werewolves.

Chris Fox actually based the werewolf character entirely on me. Little known fact.

What do you hate most about the publishing process?

There is a lot of multi-tasking involved, and sometimes you feel like you just want to focus on one thing at a time. You end up juggling social-media, learning new software, finding cover designers, getting feedback–all while trying to keep the focus on writing the next book. But the varied tasks definitely keep things interesting.

What do you love about indie publishing?

I love the flexibility. For example, a couple of the reviewers were confused by the first few pages, so we were able to clarify things and re-upload the book really quickly. 

What advice would you give to someone thinking of publishing their book independently?

My main advice is to find a way to get as much feedback as possible for the first books, and listen to people’s input. There’s a lot of advice out there to just “write write write,” and there’s a lot of focus on word counts and cranking out books. I would counter to say–at least for a first book–take your time, and make sure you’re getting it right. Don’t try to edit it yourself, even if you’re an editor, and don’t design your own cover. Unless you’re a designer. If you’re totally broke there are still ways around these things.

What are you going to to do after you’ve won your second pulitzer?

Do they give pulitzers for books? Shows how much I know. I thought it was a newspaper thing. Well anyway I’d definitely insert it into every possible sentence for the rest of my life. “As a two-time pulitzer winner, I would like a fish sandwich with fries.”

Punchable face. Name one. Explanation optional.

Dapper Laughs, a British “cheeky chappie” “entertainer.” I would also like to punch the phrase “cheeky chappie” in the face.

Ask yourself a question and answer it.

Best book you’ve read in the past year? I have yet to read Arcane, so I’m going to go with Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantell, which is a fantastic historical fiction book about Thomas Cromwell, one of Henry VIII’s advisors. I love the Tudor-era books.

C.N. Crawford is not one person but two. Christine (C) grew up in the historic town of Lexington, and has a lifelong interest in New England folklore – with a particular fondness for creepy old cemeteries. Nick (N) spent his childhood reading fantasy and science fiction further north during Vermont’s long winters. Together they work to incorporate real historical events and figures into contemporary urban fantasy novels.