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Sunday, September 28, 2014

First Bookstore Appearance of ‘Fool’s Illusion’ and Ebook Price to Increase


Wizard reading a book and a skull sitting on a book stack.
Photo Credit: Openclipart.org



The Fool’s Illusion has finally made its appearance in its first brick-and-mortar bookstore! I delivered two copies to The Avid Reader in Davis Wednesday afternoon to be sold on consignment.

Why purchase books (not just mine but in general) at a brick-and-mortar store when you can simply do that at online stores such as Amazon? With online shopping you don’t have to leave your seat in front of your computer or you can shop from anywhere using your mobile device. But, more than any online bookstore, independently owned brick-and-mortar bookstores bring their local communities together and promote those communities’ authors. The money that goes into the community business revenue keeps the local bookstore in business which is a meeting place for both authors and readers alike who can discuss their favorite books in a real time and space setting.

The locally owned bookstore is a kind of literary town hall that gives the community an opportunity to meet its authors. It also introduces local readers to a new book of their favourite genre, a book produced in their very hometown or area. In addition to this, it helps local readers meet each other face to face in a way that may be harder or less intimate to do online where, like with us authors, billions of readers the world over are competing for recognition even if unintentionally. Purchasing at your locally owned bookshop (at least when it comes to area authors) creates possibilities for a fan base to spring up in your community, a fan base that isn’t just a following of the author but a sub-community of local fans of the book’s genre itself. For example, in a similar way Harry Potter or The Hunger Games has created a sci fi or fantasy fan base on a nation-wide level through the chain bookstore, a local author’s book of either of those same genres can do the same on a local level through an independently owned bookstore.  

I’m not saying that online bookstores are inferior to local ones. The more distribution of books there is, the better not just for their authors, sellers, distributors or publishers, but for the world’s readers to access them. Online book distribution gives readers easier and better access to authors and their work that may not be so easily accessible through local or even big chain bookstores. While online book distribution brings the world’s readers together, local book distribution does the same with local readers. Plus, simply the presence of an area author’s book in a locally owned bookshop reflects and perpetuates the local culture, particularly in the arts.

Fool’s Illusion will eventually reach many other bookstores in the Sacramento area. I’ll keep you updated on that. Meanwhile, if you missed out on The Fool’s Illusion first anniversary giveaway, don’t despair. You can still purchase the ebook version for only 99 cents at Amazon. But I wouldn’t wait too long. By Wednesday of next week (October 1st) the ebook version rises to at least $2.99!


Until next time . . . 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Book Giveaway for ‘The Fool’s’ First Year Anniversary

I can’t believe it will have already been one year this Monday, September 22nd, since the publishing of The Fool’s Illusion! Although the self-publishing process felt like it took several years.

I was new to self-publishing when I started FI on its journey to publication two years ago and so knew very little about what was coming up after each step or two of the process. When I thought I had come to the final destination, it turned out that I had several more miles to go. For example, once I finished the book cover, I didn’t realise until after that I couldn’t just submit my manuscript to Amazon’s Create Space so they could format it for print. I had to format it myself. Fortunately, by that time, Create Space offered their free print format template and so I didn’t have to worry about taking measurements or setting tabs. However, because of relatively slight compatibility issues between my version of Word and the template’s, I still had to grope my way through the darkness of the template of no return (as it seemed to be).

I stuck with it, though, and got through. I have to give credit to Amazon for making the conversion from print to electronic format easy with their Kindle Select service. Without it, FI would probably not have the distribution it has had.  I also give credit to fellow author friends who gave me advice and encouragement.

I learned about self-publishing through some of the authors who have been great inspiration to me. These have been namely Nicholas Grabowsky of Black Bed Sheet Books and Emerian Rich, hostess of HorrorAddicts.net podcast and creator of great vampire novels such as Night’s Knights. It was their panels at some of the many cons I attended that gave us unknown and aspiring authors of the time hope in publishing our work that traditional publishers would not want. And so I thank them greatly for it. I also thank family and friends who have been encouraging with my publishing of FI, some of who were my book’s earliest buyers and readers.

Speaking of buyers, Fool’s Illusion has not done bad in distribution considering it’s been on the market only a year. Within just two weeks after its release more than 200 copies sold worldwide! Besides that, it received two great reviews including one from HorrorAddicts.net. And its print version will be making its first brick-and-mortar bookstore appearance on the shelves of the Avid Reader in Davis, CA within, hopefully, the next week. (I need to work out the pricing.)
   
To celebrate this first anniversary, I decided to give away ebook copies of The Fool’s Illusion. From now until September 22nd, you can download your free ebook of Fool’s Illusion at Amazon! This is especially great if you want to get a head start on your Halloween book shopping since FI has plenty of vampires, ghosts and zombie-type characters in its stories. If you don’t have a Kindle device, no need to be left out of the celebration. You don’t even need a Kindle to read FI. All you need is a Kindle app in which you can download for free on your smart phone, tablet or computer! Just go to the box that reads “Free Kindle Reading App” on my ebook’s Amazon page and follow the instructions.


Until next time . . . 



Grim Reaper presents a birthday cake while warrior makes a toast on pile of skulls
Photo Credit: Openclipart.org






Sunday, September 14, 2014

Science fiction Art for 'The Assassin'

I didn’t finish the science fiction art for “The Assassin in time for when I posted the story early last month. If you haven’t read it yet, you should check it out. It’s still up and, of course, it’s free! I’m just now posting the illustration here this evening. I’m not replacing it for the clip art (which is not mine) I provided the story with because it isn’t really complete to serve as an illustration. In other words, I screwed up on it. And here's how:






Pen and ink drawing of an atom punk laser gun

This pen and ink drawing for “The Assassin” is supposed to be of a laser gun in semi atom age/space age, 1950s style. This style is what we now call atom punk for newer work based on the sci fi of that period (roughly the 1950s through mid ‘60s, but it’s often debatable). Most of this subgenre of science fiction is based on the idea of an alternative history (also referred to as "alternative timeline") which my story involves. To learn more about this far out subgenre, check out author Philip Reeve’s article

The problem I had with this drawing was the butt of the laser rifle. The butt is supposed to be elongated in order to support the person’s arm that’s holding it. I posed the rifle at a kind of diagonal angle as you can see (and if you can’t see, then I must’ve really screwed up with this picture, eh?). And of course, at such an angle you would not be able to see the full butt and so it should appear smaller than if the gun was shown from a side view. Somehow, the butt came out to look more like the smaller, more knob-like handle of a 17th or 18th century pistol! Talk about an alternative history story! That would be a real time clash wouldn’t it?

I made the oval object at the top of the gun for the target monitor which is a camera in this retro-futuristic weapon as opposed to a scope like that of an older gun. The tiny circle in the centre is the lens. If that whole front of the camera looks like an eye it’s because I intended it to in order to add a kind of surreal effect. The “eye” represents two qualities. It represents the protagonist’s ambition to kill the ruler, UCoNet, who is a living interplanetary computer network. The "eye" also stands for the tyrannical UCoNet’s omniscience, and so UCoNet is a kind of mock biblical God in this story.





Atom punk laser gun pencil drawings

These are practice and brainstorm pencil drawings for the above picture.



Want to see some real atom punk art? Check out the links below!







As you may have noticed, I’ve been making a few changes to the blog, mostly with pages, to make it easier for you people to navigate my site to the topics you want. I hope it will help. If not then please let me know in the comments box or drop me an email at strosejr@gmail.com (please put "Comments for Far Out Fantastic Site" in the subject line). I want your experience here at the Far Out Fantastic Site to be as easy yet as exciting as possible. Just to let you know, however, I’m still in the process of adding pages so it may be another week or so before I get them all up. (I’m not a web design expert, as much as I love working with web design.)

Also, September 22nd will be the first anniversary of The Fool’s Illusion! And to celebrate, I may have something special such as a freebie! So check back here often between now and next weekend.


Until next time . . .