As we have worked, poked, and prodded Crossroad Press into something fluid – a publisher that works with change instead of against it and strives to provide opportunity where so many times in the past it seemed there was none, some important shifts have occurred. I wanted to take just a moment to talk about some of the things we can do and that we are doing with authors, their backlists, and their new material.
In the old days – if you wrote a series, you were at the mercy of your publisher. If they decided, for instance, after two or three volumes were published, that they no longer wanted to continue the series – odds are that series was dead. Getting a new publisher to take book three, or four of a series was iffy at best, and usually never happened.
At Crossroad Press, we are more than willing to take up a viable series that is already in progress and help the author to continue it. In fact, if you have books two and three of something that died long ago lying about…you should contact us. There is no reason you can’t continue to publish your series, and if the original publisher is actually still offering the earlier books, the two sets can only feed off of one another. Something to think about.
Another thing is those books you may have written on spec for a series, or a particular editor or agent, who decided to go a different direction, or just flat turned you down. No reason your work should go to waste. We’ve actually developed a couple of original series – The Tales of the Scattered Earth and O.C.L.T. to allow a lot of genre series books to be re-vamped slightly and published…again – this was not something that was going to happen under the old publishing models.
Cross genre books. How many authors write what they want to write, and how many write what they, their agent, or some editor they are trying to please believes will sell? How many have a novel, or two, or twenty, that has never seen the light of day? Why? If you are a successful horror author with a mystery and a fantasy and a young adult you’ve written that no one would touch because you are a horror writer? For God’s sake…contact me. I am willing to bet that if more authors were writing what they feel like writing, the quality would leap dramatically.
Lastly – old books you think aren’t good enough anymore, or are dated, or you just aren’t sure about. We have done one such title, revised heavily in collaboration with a second author – retitled – and back into the publishing mix. We have more in line. If you were forced to rush, or compromise, hated your cover, your title…guess what? We care what YOU think, and we’re here to work with you.
The world has shifted. Stephen King’s Roland would say – The World has passed on – Ka is a wheel, after all. Publishing, also, is a wheel. Don’t let it grind you under…wheels are for traveling. Climb aboard.
Today is the start of the thirty day exclusive run of KALI’S TALE on Barnes & Noble. It’s part of a special promotion I was chosen for (I love it when that happens) called NOOK FIRST LOOK – I am hoping it can get me some more notice for not only this book, but the first three in the series, and some of my other titles as well. Kali’s Tale crosses over to a number of my books. If you are NOT a B&N buyer, you could read “The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & The Currently Accepted Habits of Nature,” and “The Preacher’s Marsh” for background on the setting of Kali’s Tale, as well as “Vintage Soul,” the second book in The DeChance Chronicles, where we meet the vampire Kali and first get th hint that she might have less than happy thoughts about her “sire”.
Kali’s tale includes a lot of subjects I hold near and dear. Alchemy – some of you will have watched the indie, artsy movie GODHEAD that I wrote the screenplay for…in which two young men run their lives and minds through the alchemical process. Others will have read Deep Blue, and will appreciate the segment of Kali’s Tale spent in the back alley of a Memphis Juke Joint.
DeChance fans will learn more about Asmodeus, the old crow that joins the crew during Vintage Soul, and will get a few more peeks into Donovan’s past.
This also marks the first direct cross-over between DeChance and the other original series, O.C.L.T. – about an agency Donovan sometimes consults for. If you are a fan of that particular series, you’ll find two old friends, Geoffrey Bullfinch and Rebecca York making appearances.
Now…hie thee to B&N and buy yon book. Srsly.
Does Amazon’s new KDP Select Program Work?
I don’t know the answer to that. I know it has worked for a number of others. I know that it has – in fact – worked incredibly well for some others. It has also – to my knowledge – worked mediocre, and not much at all for still others, so, like anything – there are tricks to it. Everything has secrets if you dig deeply enough for them.
One person I know has given away incredible numbers of downloads…but ended up with a ton of bad reviews for the trouble. Make sure you have a good book.
One person I read about went from “dead in the water” to selling more than 4k copies of their book.
Several people I know have given away 500-3000 copies and it DID lead to continued sales in every case, but in those cases, not to major numbers, just numbers.
There are some places you can advertise your free promotion days:
You can blog about it (see this blog for a clever example). For instance…MY first KDP Free Promotion runs from 31 January to 2 February. It is for my brand new collection ETCHED DEEP & OTHER DARK IMPRESSIONS – if you are an Amazon.com PRIME member you can already get it for free. If you own any Kindle reading device you can borrow it through the KDP Lending Library. If you go to Amazon.com during the promotion – also free. If you download it, I’d appreciate a review.
You can ask your friends – Authors – Readers – whoever – to download your free book, and to spread the word (please) to everyone ELSE who might want a free book.
HEY! FRIENDS! AUTHORS! Do me a solid? My eBook is FREE! If you could, like, download it..and tell EVERYONE about it…that would be cool.
You could make a Youtube Video about your book (I have not done that, but others have, and you could).
You could make a LOLDOG using the soulful eyes of man’s best friends to draw them in…
I have put together what I think will become one of my most important collections. The title story, “Etched Deep,” is a good example. This is a very short story that originally was published in THIN ICE #7 decades ago. I lost the story, but it stuck with me, and later on I rewrote it from memory, in a more modern voice, and it’s stronger. These are stories that I believe in. Some of them were buried in themed anthologies, or in books and magazines where I appeared alongside much more popular authors and was delegated to the “And Others” land I have spent so many years in. A couple among these are borderline literary fiction, and at least one has been rejected more than one time for being “too literary”. I’ll leave it to readers to figure out which one.
There are also a couple of very old stories in the book. I’ve tried not to change them very much, but when you edit your old work, even trying just to proof read it, there is only so much you can stand. The point is, you’ll find a couple of rougher pieces here, but I wanted to include them to give them another shot at a new group of readers.
There are fourteen stories in this book, and I added fourteen poems as well. These are an even wider variety, spanning many, many years. There is a poem I wrote very early in my relationship with Trish, there is the only known poem by the famous Angus Griswold (as well as one story, “One Off From Prime,” that has never been published prior to this book, and that features Angus as a character. There are some of the poems I wrote for the three-word poetry challenges that Rain Graves invented – I’m given any three words and have to find a poem in my head that uses them all. I love that game.
Here are the contents. Starting on Tuesday, January 31st, this collection will be FREE ON AMAZON for three days. It runs from Tuesday through Thursday, and I am hoping the promotion will help find me some new readers for my other books… Also included in this collection is Chapter One of “My Soul to Keep,” the Donovan DeChance origin story.
SHORT STORIES INCLUDED:
Through an Eyeglass, Darkly
Fear of Flying
One Off From Prime
The Purloined Prose
Pretty Boys in Blue, and Long Hair Dangling
To Strike a Timeless Chord
Also included are the poems: The Acropolis, Clamdigger, Cuttlefish Squeezings, Thanatology, A Poem of Adrian, Gray, The Fishmonger, Revelation, Loch Ness, Mirrored Hearts, Dark Man, Banished, End of Days, & Longhaired Puppies.
Today I completed the revisions on the fourth book in The DeChance Chronicles, Kali’s Tale. This book is the one I started, way back at the beginning of November when Nanowrimo began. I got de-railed twice. The first time was when the flashback I’d planned in the beginning of the book got out of control and grew into a novella of it’s own, My Soul to Keep – which tells the origins of the character Donovan DeChance. The second was when in early December our online store crashed, and the back-ups turned out to be no good. I spent most of December rebuilding that..and meanwhile, I picked up a deadline. Kali’s Tale will go live on Barnes & Noble’s online site for the Nook on the 6th of February. It will be exclusive to the Nook for thirty days as part of a promotion they have – Nook First Look. I am happy to say, the book will make the deadline, and the promotion will go on as scheduled. Below is the author’s note from Kali’s Tale…just to get you excited!
This will mark the fourth book in The DeChance Chronicles, which starts with the novel Heart of a Dragon, moves on to Vintage Soul (which was actually written first – long story for another time) and the novella My Soul to Keep which is the origin story for Donovan DeChance, and not to be missed by fans of the series.
This book also accomplishes something I have intended for some time. In this volume, The DeChance Chronicles make a direct connection and crossover to another series I write for, O.C.L.T. In that series, I’ve written the novel The Parting and the novella The Temple of Camazotz. The characters Rebecca York and Geoffrey Bullfinch appear in this novel, as does Cletus J. Diggs, from my book The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & The Currently Accepted Habits of Nature. This book takes place largely in Old Mill, North Carolina, which is Cletus’ stomping grounds. My books and my stories have long shared certain locations – San Valencez, Lavender, and Friendly California, Old Mlil, North Carolina, and Random Illinois. If you enjoy this book, you should look up the titles above – you’ll find some old friends waiting.
If the story The Preacher’s Marsh – which involves a legend mentioned in this book appeals to you, that novella is also available. In North Carolina I’ve found that all roads lead to highway 17, and in my writing, it seems the same may be true.
There will, with the grace of whatever power watches over me, be many more Donovan DeChance books in the future, and many more adventures for Cletus J. Diggs & and for the agents of O.C. L.T. I hope you’ll join me. I’m always ready to tell a story.
David Niall Wilson
Just off to the side of The Great Dismal Swamp
We just finished the basic rebuild of the Crossroad Press online store. In early December we lost it to a server crash, only to find that our backups were corrupt. The most recent good backup we had was from 2010, so I just started from scratch.
This time out, things are better. There is an “About us” page, a contact page, and a symmetry to the layout that was lacking before. Instead of audiobooks and eBooks and print books being separated, there is one page per book, and on that page you can purchase whatever formats are available. The books, instead of being organized just by genre, are separated by author now, making it possible for some coupons and sales we hope to try in the New Year.
We remain a DRM free digital publisher. You can read our books on just about any reading device, and we’ll be happy to help you figure out how to get the books ON your device if you need assistance.
Over at the Crossroad Press blog, http://www.crossroadpress.com we are nos serving up news and updates, including the most recent Crossroad Press bestseller list – the top ten from our 78 Audible.com audiobooks.
So check us out at the newly revamped CROSSROAD PRESS STORE … use the coupon code welcomeback for a one-time 25% off savings.
If you don’t see me, I’m writing – I have a Donovan DeChance novel to finish…
I wanted to take a day out today and direct you all to a friend and colleague of mine, Dr. John B. Rosenman. John and I met at a writing group long ago in Virginia Beach. We were two of the members of the group who wrote horror – most of the others were (at the time) fantasy and Sci-fi oriented, and the whole shooting match was led by the talented and (often) wise Mr. Richard Rowand, who eventually edited STARSHORE Magazine and published my first important story.
Anyway…through those years, and all of those between (decades) John has been writing stories and novels and finding them homes. He may be the single most dedicated writer I’ve ever met. He’s always working on a story, reworking an idea, searching for flaws where too many other writers would hit send and move on…and he has produced some remarkable stories. He has appeared in literally hundreds of magazines and anthologies, and has a number of novels to his credit, and I’m hoping this little nudge will encourage you to check some of them out.
I will point you specifically at two Sci-Fi novels that we have published at Crossroad Press. Both of these were previously published, but we were fortunate enough to pick them up. John writes novels on a sweeping scale. There are messages and socially significant sub-themes in his alien cultures, and deep emotional insights in his romance. While they qualify, probably, as space opera, they go beyond that. Here are the two we’ve published to date. Read them and let me know if I’m not right!
Aaron Okonkwo, a Nigerian scientist, travels with a crew in the 24th century to evaluate Viridis, which proves to be a beautiful and fabulous world. There, Aaron discovers a strange, alien species and amazing machines and technology left in a vast underground complex by a mysterious race called the Creators.
Aaron soon falls under the irresistible, seductive spell of Nightsong, a green alien female with ominous and bewitching powers. However, an even greater danger rises. He will be forced to fight for the planet’s survival against a ruthless invasion of many ships to conquer and enslave the planet – just as Africa itself was once enslaved. Aaron knows it’s A Senseless Act of Beauty to try to reclaim his ancient warrior heritage and fight back against such overwhelming odds, but he knows he must try. – $2.99
Killer angels are roaming outer space looking for their messiah. If Captain Latimore can’t make them believe he’s the one, everyone on his crew – and many more besides – will die.
Captain Eric Latimore leads a four-person crew to Lagos to investigate a previous team’s mysterious disappearance. Once there, he discovers that an ominous alien presence is invading their dreams. Each member of his crew has the same dream – huge, seductively beautiful “angels” speak to them telepathically.
The creatures strand his crew on the planet and only Latimore can free them – if he survives. $2.99.
I have been writing about Donovan DeChance for quite some time now. I wrote the novel Vintage Soul years ago during Nanowrimo and it was picked up by Gale / Five Star for their horror fantasy line. Unfortunately, when that line died, and they moved it to their mystery line, something got mixed up…I think a total of 60 copies of the HC sold, and my agent managed to wrangle the rights back out of them. In the meantime, however, I’d written the second book in the series, “Heart of a Dragon,” and the way it played out, chronologically, that second book became the first. When I released them through Crossroad Press, first as eBooks, and then as unabridged audiobooks, Heart of a Dragon was BOOK I and Vintage Soul was Book II. There was one standard wish among readers and fans, and I think (hope) I have made it come true.
Just released is the novella “My Soul to Keep,” the Origin of Donovan DeChance. In this story, we return to Rookwood, setting of the novel Hallowed Ground, in the year 1842, when Donovan was 16. If that is confusing – read the book – all is explained, including how Donovan came to meet Cleopatra, the Egyptian Mau who is his famiilar. Also explained is a bit how Donovan became the man, and mage, that he is – and also a little of how Rookwood, the town, became the setting for Hallowed Ground.
This novella will help tide readers over as I finish up “Kali’s Tale,” which will be the third full-length novel in the DeChance Chronicles.
I hope you’ll read it – review it – love it (I do) – and come back for more. My Soul to Keep is available now at Crossroad Press, Smashwords, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble – and more to come, including the unabridged audiobook.
The novel Deep Blue finds its origin in the novelette by the same name published in an anthology titled Strange Attraction. In Strange Attraction, all the stories were inspired by the “Kinetic” Art of Lisa Snelling, each author choosing one of the characters on an intricately detailed Ferris wheel sculpture. I was honored to be among authors such as Neil Gaiman and Gene Wolfe in presenting our separate visions of what lay buried behind her art. From the images presented, I chose a harlequin, hanging by a noose from the bottom of one of the Ferris wheels seats. I took the image, made it the wallpaper on my computer, printed it out and carried it around with me, and let it sink in. I could have written any number of stories that would have sufficed, but somehow I knew there would be more to this work, and so I waited.
The publishers of the anthology, Vince and Leslie Harper, invited me to have dinner with them one night when my mundane job took me to Washington DC. We met for Mexican food and went together to see the movie PI which, at the time, was newly released. On the way to meet the Harpers, I walked down into a shadowed subway, and I was assaulted by some of the most haunting saxophone music I’ve ever heard. It bordered the blues, walked down old jazz roads, and I never saw the musician. That set the mood for what was to come.
I reached the restaurant without further incident, and we spent a pleasant hour scalding mouths and stomachs with jalapenos and washing them down with beer. Then came the movie. I won’t go into detail about PI, but I’ll say it’s a black and white film, very surreal, filled with symbolism, and it left me visually and emotionally stunned. I parted company with Vince and his wife, found my way back to the subway and my hotel, and called it a night.
The next day, a friend of mine and I set out to visit The Holocaust Museum. I have always wanted to see it, but I was not prepared for the intensity of the images, the displays, and the words I would find in that short hour visit. I purchased a book of poetry written by the victims, and left with so much bottled up inside from those two days that I thought it would be the end of my sanity.
That night, I started to write. I started to write about The Blues, and how deep they might really get. I wrote about pain, not my pain, but the pain bottled up inside the world, as the pain had been bottled up inside me, and I wrote a way out. That was Brandt, his guitar, and his blues. The story, like the pain, refused to be bottled up in just the few lines of that novelette, and so I released it into the novel you now hold.
Everyone comes to their crossroads eventually – the defining moment of life. As Old Wally, one of the novel’s main characters tells us – “Crossroads, or the crosshairs.” Forward or back, but you can’t stay stagnant – that way lies madness. I give you . . . Deep Blue.
My new collection, The Call of Distant Shores, is out now in digital. You can buy it already at Crossroad Press & Smashwords, and it will be live in the next 24 or so hours at Amazon & Barnes & Noble. I thought I’d post the Author’s Introduction here…
A lot of authors of dark fantasy and horror will cite H. P. Lovecraft, William Hope Hodgson, Hugh Cave, and Manly Wade Wellman as influences on their writing. Clark Ashton Smith is another name you’ll hear, and in this volume, you’ll find my tribute to that great talent, as well as a number of others that dip into the wells of darkness and magic – a world I’m familiar with from endless hours of reading, dreaming, and spilling my own words onto the page.
I have never considered myself a huge fan of Lovecraft. Pulp writing, in general, appealed to me when I was much younger, and in the middle years of my writing career, I pushed it aside. I was, of course, deluding myself. When someone pointed out to me that I actually had a body of work loosely fitting this sub-genre of horror / dark fantasy that was probably enough for a book, I laughed. Then I looked. Then I stopped laughing. What I found was that these writers – these storytellers I grew up with and believed I’d left behind me – were responsible for a huge chunk of my output as a writer. There are elder gods, ancient evils, and everything that attends them walking the corridors of my creative consciousness, and that reader was correct. There was more than enough to make a book.
I also note that, of all my works, most of my favorites, and some that have garnered critical notice, are among the stories you are about to read. “The Call of Distant Shores,” the title piece of this collection, is one of my most popular stories to date, and Cockroach Suckers, which is more recent and set near my current home town in the fictional Old Mill, North Carolina, could not be more Lovecraftian without being set in New England.
Anyway…there are a lot of words ahead – a lot of images – a lot of nightmares. I hope you’ll enjoy them, and I dedicate them to those authors who have gone before, paving the way for an ever-widening realm of new worlds and deep-rooted fears.
Welcome to my nightmares.
-David Niall Wilson