Quick Update on the Book Plates

Bookplate final low-res

Back when I did the ARC contest for “Sworn in Steel”, one of the things I said I would do is 1) send out signed book plates to all the entrants, and 2) have contest to give a bunch away to other people. This is still the plan.

However…

It turns out there was a mis-communication with the printer, and the plates I got weren’t what I was expecting. On the plus side, the printer has been absolutely wonderful about correcting the error and I have new plates being run. This takes a bit of time, though, which is the reason for the delay. Once I get the new shipment in, I will contact all the contest entrants to get their mailing address, and then work on putting a contest up here for the rest of you.

Thanks for being patient.

On signings, and ordering signed copies of SWORN IN STEEL

I know people have been asking elsewhere, so here is the signing/release information for SWORN IN STEEL (I still can’t believe it comes out next week. Eep!)

All the gory details, along with info on other appearances, can be found on this page of the site, but the basics boil down to:

Tuesday, May 6: Reading, Q&A and signing at the Har Mar Barnes & Noble in Roseville, MN. Things kick off at 7:00 and go until they go. Details, address & directions in the link. (We had so many people show for the AT signing, the store ran out of copies. They’ve ordered even more copies of SIS. Let’s see if we can make them run out again! :D )

Saturday, May 10: Signing at Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore in Minneapolis. This runs from 1:00 until 2:00 pm. Hugo’s is also where you can PRE-order a signed, dedicated copy to have it mailed directly to you. I will be signing all unsold stock there as well, so you can still get an autographed copy after the event; however, if you want it made out specifically to you, or you want a specific message put in it by me, you’ll need to order from Hugo’s before the 10th.

And that’s it. As much as I would love to do a tour, at this point any travel is still on me in terms of expense and planning. And since we have kids and I have another book to finish, it’s a bit hard to fit that in. I WILL be doing a signed bookplate give away some time after the launch (and I will send them internationally) — but if you want to be sent an autographed copy of the US edition of SIS (or AT, for that matter), Uncle Hugo’s is your best bet.

And as a final reminder: first week sales are critical for an author. Part of the reason Among Thieves is still stocked in BN (and has thus been able to keep selling) is the impact that first night made on the local manager, who then sent word on to Corporate, who tagged the book for automatic re-order when there is no longer a copy on the shelf. This kind of thing is a Big Deal, especially for a debut paperback, especially when they see the book moving in other stores during that first week as well. If you are planning to buy a copy and are able, doing so in the first week of release (or even pre-ordering it now) makes a big difference. Whether it be at BN or your local indie bookstore or even on-line, every sale is important. Just something to keep in mind.

Hope to see a bunch of you at one of the signings, and if not, to be signing a copy to be sent to you!

ARC contest update: Judging Is Imminent!

Aside

After an unanticipated delay (for which I offer my apologies), ALL of the entries for the “Sworn In Steel” ARC giveaway have now been uploaded. I will be putting all thirty-two(!) entries before the judges tonight, right after they get home from work and school. ;) The three lucky winners will be announced shortly thereafter, and I will contact them directly to get all the pertinents necessary for sending along the ARCs.

In the mean time, go take a look at the entries. I think it is safe to say I have a bunch of fun, clever, talented readers who really know how to get into the spirit of a contest.

Good luck everyone!

Free books are FREE

My publicist sums up the plight of these poor, poor books. Won’t you give them a forever home?

Woot! My publisher, Ace/Roc, is giving away 15 copies of AMONG THIEVES over on Goodreads in anticipation of the release of SWORN IN STEEL. Contest closes April 4. So, if you know someone who hasn’t read the book yet but would like to win a free copy (or if you want to win a copy for a friend or the like), send them/head over!

 

Stumbling on the Up Slope

Last night was the biweekly meeting of my writer’s group, the Wyrdsmiths. Things have been a little light lately with the hand outs, what with some members either being between contracts, or in the middle of a hiatus, or just general attacks of life. It’s summer, it gets that way.

For the first time in a long time, I had handed something out for the meeting. It felt both good and strange to be on the receiving end of their critiques, and I have to admit that I had a little flutter in my gut as the group turned away from the general pre-business chatter and got down to going over my piece. You have to understand that I started with this group long before any of us were published, and long before I’d finished my first book. The people know me, know my writing, know my strengths, know my weaknesses. We’ve grown (and in some cases, grown up together) as writers. If anyone was going to be able to help me tear apart the material I’d handed out and figure out if it could be knocked into some form of marketable prose, it was these people.

That can be both reassuring and terrifying, especially if you’ve gotten out of the habit of being the one in the crosshairs.

All of which makes me appreciate something that has been going around in some writing circles on the web lately, and especially my friend and fellow Wyrdsmith Sean Murphy’s take on the matter. The subject? Stumbling as a beginning artist.

Notice I don’t say falling down. We all do that early on, and we expect it. No, it’s not the falling that’s hard–it’s the stumbling that comes later, after you’ve learned how to walk but are still figuring out how to run. The hurdles we face that arise from our growing self-awareness of our art, and the gap we find between what we produce and what we desire to produce.

Sean does an excellent job of talking about it from someone who is in the trenches, facing that hurdle right now, and I urge you to go read his piece Mind the Gap.

The only thing I would add is that that feeling of being dissatisfied with your work never fully goes away–the perspective and focus merely shift. But more on that another time.