Being a writer is often a lonely occupation.
I spend a great deal of time inside my own head. Too much time almost certainly. For me, writing stories mainly involves staring at a computer screen while my fingers peck away to fill the white space with darker pixels, punctuated by periods of gazing at a blank spot on the wall of my office while I ruminate on how best to continue the current scene or chapter. In the realm of spectator sports, it ranks just below watching grass grow or paint dry.
Unless you’re inside my head.
In there, the action flies at a blistering pace, with a multitude of permutations for each action by the characters playing out almost simultaneously until I settle on one with the most conflict/danger/insight/humor and the process starts anew. Have you ever read a book, or watched a movie, where something happened and you thought, “Man, it would have been so much cooler if they’d done _______”? That’s basically my creative process, for each and every scene. I don’t always get it right, but I examine a number of possibilities before deciding on any particular path for each story. It’s sort of like a choose-your-own-roller-coaster.
Recently, I signed up for another type of roller coaster: crowd funding. I’ve seen a number of other authors try this route to gain exposure and help with the expenses of publishing and promoting their books. One of my writer friends showed me a site called Inkshares.com, which is a new take on crowd funding, exclusively for books. Skeptical, I took a look at the long, steep uphill stretch of track before me and shuddered. The lonely introvert within me reigned supreme and I stepped away, giving it little thought after that.
Then, the Sword & Laser stepped in. Now, if you’re a scifi/fantasy fan and haven’t heard of the Sword & Laser, let me direct you to their YouTube channel and Podcast. Oh, and they have a thriving GoodReads group as well. Tom and Veronica are smart and funny and do an amazing job of presenting scifi and fantasy books and authors to the world through their monthly book club, interviews, and news discussions. For the second time now on Inkshares, the Sword & Laser is sponsoring a contest where the winning book will be published and promoted in conjunction with the group, as well as the other top two of three receiving the full backing of Inkshares, regardless of the number of copies preordered. The contest runs until January 15, 2016.
Unlike my first foray, this time I’ve jumped into the front seat and thrown my arms up high, a look of glee mixed with sheer panic plastered on my face.
Here’s where you, dear reader, come in.
Having the opportunity of presenting my work to such an active and vibrant fan base as the Sword & Laser commands is amazing, to say the least. Achieving that goal requires pledges in the form of pre-orders for the book I’ve entered in the contest: The Devil You Know. Here’s the cover I’ve worked up, along with some “back cover” copy:
Two alien races vie for control of Earth amidst a human population decimated by a merciless plague, famine, and war.
Hell is not pleased and the denizens of the Underworld have decided it’s time to fight back.
Doing their best to create new lives in the aftermath of the chaos triggered by the aliens’ arrival, Abraham Black and Neri White are about as different as their last names would indicate. Yet, together, they may hold the key which allows humanity to remain the primary tenants of Earth. The question is: how much are they willing to give up to save the world? Their memories? Their lives? Their souls?
I’m describing it as post-apocalyptic, epic, suburban fantasy… with aliens.
You can read the first two chapters on the Inkshares site.
“How can I get my hands on this enormous slice of awesome?” You ask. Here’s how:
- Create an account on Inkshares.
- Once you’ve done that, Inkshares will gift you with $5.00 in credits you can use toward funding the project of your choice! (Sometimes the credits take a few minutes to a couple of hours to show up, so be patient)
- Click on The Devil You Know and pre-order an ebook for only $5.00 (after applying your credits) or a printed copy, shipped directly to you when it’s published, for only $10.00 more.
- Tweet or Share on Facebook the fact that you’ve just been a completely awesome person and done the above!
“Why do I need to do that last step if I did all the rest?” You wonder.
Because I’m sweetening the pot, that’s why! For every 10 new readers, you’ll be entered into a giveaway for a $10.oo Amazon gift card. (I’ve already given one away!) Yep, every time we hit another 10 readers, all the previous readers will have a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon card. So, the more you share and get the word out, the more chances you’ll have to get a little bonus for yourself! Additionally, if someone places an order based on your Inkshares recommendation, you’ll receive more credits to spend on other interesting works from the site. How cool is that? You get an amazing book, chances to win Amazon gift cards, and credits to get even more amazing books — all for just a $5.00 investment! They even accept Bitcoin if you happen to have some of those lying around.
Now, I realize for many folks even $5.00 can seem like a lot to spend on someone you may not even know or have read before. Believe me, I’ve been there. Rest assured, you aren’t tossing your money away on nothing. If the project doesn’t reach the top three in the contest and isn’t funded, you’ll get your money back and you might have even won a gift card along the way.
Being the lonely, introverted writer type I referenced at the beginning of this post, it’s extremely hard for me to ask others for help. I don’t like doing it. My anticipation at realizing a dream, however, has overridden my fears of reaching out and asking for this assistance. I can’t do this alone. So, please, if you can sacrifice that double mocha latte, or a Happy Meal, on fulfilling a dream, I’ll be forever grateful. Thank you and Happy Holidays!