The Importance of Pre-Orders, via Brain McClellan

Here I was, all ready to do a post about the importance of pre-orders for authors and their books, and my friend Brian McClellan comes along and beats me to it. And even does a better job that I likely would have done, too.

The nerve of some people!

Well, I suppose the means there is only one thing to do: tell you to go over to Brian’s blog and read his post. Because it’s important. And it’s true. Pre-orders can make a big difference in how a book does and is received, even before its release date. Every pre-order helps a tremendous amount, as do first week sales. In the end, this is a numbers game to a certain degree, and bigger numbers help authors get the opportunity to write more books.

Brian was good enough to put links down at the bottom of his post to some of the authors he has pre-ordered this year. Sworn in Steel is among them, yes, but they are all good books, all good reads, and all authors who could use the help. And I can also recommend Brian’s first book, Promise of Blood, and his upcoming release, The Crimson Campaign (which has the same release date at SiS, as it happens). If you are interested in any of these titles, or any other, don’t wait: pre-order them.* It makes a difference.

And because I am sure some of you are wondering: my own pre-orders were low last time I checked. If you are planning on buy a copy of Sworn in Steel, sooner would be nice, if you can swing it. Thanks. Links here.


* = I will note that if you are planning to attend a signing, then it is fine to hold off and buy the book there. Bookstores get nothing for hosting a signing other than (hopefully) increased sales of the book itself. Considering how much effort and planning the stores that have hosted me put into a signing, I would hate to take even a single sale away from them.

ARC Giveaway Results

This was a hard one. And I wasn’t even judging. (Thank goodness.)

There were thirty-two entries for the SWORN IN STEEL ARC giveaway. Thirty-two fun, clever, imaginative entries. I asked for you people to show your creativity, and you brought it in spades. It was an absolute joy to open each and every e-mail, to see each and every photo. You guys picked up the spirit of the contest and you ran with it.

Thank you. I wish my publisher had sent me a lot more ARCs.

As it is, the judges became deadlocked. It wasn’t possible to limit it to three. So there are going to be FOUR winners of SIS ARCs this time around, because I just don’t want to be that arbitrary.

Big congratulations to:

Sarah Keuper and her dangerous paper cutter

Sarah papercutter

Ellen Cutter and her mini-mercenary


Rebekah Lund (and her dramatic sword Valermos)

Bekah & Valermos 013

Cindy  Schwenzfeier, who was willing to sacrifice a wine glass for the cause.

Cindy L. Schwenzfeier

Congratulations, and thanks to everyone who entered!

As for those of you who didn’t manage to score an ARC, I would like to send each of you a signed bookplate. Not the same as winning a book, I know, but at least something you can stick in your book (besides a sword/scissors/knife/baby’s tooth/whatever).

(This is the bookplate, btw…)

Bookplate final low-res

I will be contacting all the entrants to get mailing information, etc.

Thanks again for entering (and my appreciation to the people on Twitter who suggested ideas for the contest in the first place). This was a ton of fun. I’ll have to do more contests in the future.


ARC contest update

I am heading out of town rather last minute to visit an ailing friend. I will post the final round of entries when I get back next week, as well as determine the winners. Sorry about the delay.

Thanks for your patience. And if you can spare any good thoughts for a dear friend, please send them along.


And that, dear friends, is that. SWORN IN STEEL is off to my editor, to be subjected to her tender mercies. I think I’ll go sit in the corner and twitch now. (Although gotta say…the new final scene is a hoot. :)

No idea of release date or turn around on edits yet, but I’ll post them as soon as I know.

Sorry for the long and drawn out radio silence. I had my head down in the writing hole and I tend to get tunnel vision. Plus, it’s hard to put up updates that simply say, “Still working: don’t know when.” But I probably should have anyhow.

Thanks for being patient and for pestering me now and again. It helps to know people are still interested. I hope to be catching up with e-mails and posts the like over the next week or two, as well as some posts about the process, what happened, and the like (I just want my brain to cool down a bit first).

Stay tuned. And again, thanks for all the posts and notes!

Elizabeth Gilbert on Artists & the nature of “Genius”

This is an interesting TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert on how society views artists, and how there might be a better way. Not so much a solution as food for thought, but the more I do this writing thing, the more what she says here resonates. I especially like the classical view of “genius” that she cites.

The approach to art and inspiration she discusses at the end is something I hope to achieve at some point. Not there yet, but a worthy goal (and a sanity inducing one, I think).

I may have more thoughts to add when it isn’t on the wrong side of 12 AM; but in the meantime, enjoy.