The Year of the Dragon: Second Bundle (vols. 5-8) Release!


This is, most likely, the last solid bit of publishing news regarding The Year of the Dragon* series.

After finishing the series with The Last Dragon King, we’re now releasing the second bundled volume of the entire saga, containing Books 5-8:

5. The Chrysanthemum Seal

6. The Withering Flame

7. The Shattering Waves

8. The Last Dragon King

As with Bundle bundle2_thumbI (1-4), this one also contains some additional exclusive content, all the maps from the four books, and an exclusive new cover created by the same artist, the brilliant Collette J. Ellis. Fittingly, like my very first cover, this one also shows Bran himself, but for the first time with his faithful dragon, Emrys!

So this is it, friends. The final, final book. One day I might return to this world for another story, but for now I’m focused on a whole new, completely different project, of which I might start telling you in a few months.

HERE ARE THE PURCHASE LINKS:

Kindle Edition:
Amazon US |UK | DE | IT | FR | ES | JPCA | BR | AU
Also:
iBooks (coming soon) | Nook | Smashwords | Kobo 

*) ebooks. There will be paperbacks soon, I promise!

Kindle Direct Publishing – Paperback


5111xg4qthl-_sx311_bo1204203200_1About a week ago, I noticed a new chart on my daily sales report on KDP: Paperback. Turns out, Amazon decided to cannibalize its own print-on-demand branch, CreateSpace, and offer KDP authors an option to drop their books to paper straight from the KDP dashboard.

For the moment, there is little incentive to do so on books that are already printed via CreateSpace. The options are limited – there is no Alternative Distribution, no free copies. The pricing – as you can see below – is identical to CS. The service is very much in beta. So for the sake of testing, I chose to paper-ize my haiku booklet, as there’s no chance of my experiment harming its sales  🙂

screenshot-2016-10-22-08-48-35

Starting out, the interface is a combination of KDP aesthetics and CreateSpace options. You’ve got your usual setup, already filled in with information from the ebook version. If you have the ebook all set up, there’s nothing for you to do here other than approve and click Save and Continue.

Screenshot 2016-10-22 08.48.56.png

If you have the book already as paperback in CS, this screen is where you let Amazon know about it so they can automatically import all the paperback settings for you – although, as I said, at the moment there’s no incentive to do that.

Screenshot 2016-10-22 08.50.42.png

On the next page, if you haven’t imported CS settings, you’ll get a bunch of options to choose from. As far as I can tell, these all cost the same in print, except the difference in color and black & white. Here’s more pricing information from the help page – looks identical to CS prices.Screenshot 2016-10-22 08.49.54.png

NB, at the top of the second page you can assign your own ISBN, or let Amazon assign it for you.

Screenshot 2016-10-22 08.57.03.png

From the second page, you can launch the Cover Creator if you don’t want to create the cover yourself. Again, standard CreateSpace fare. The selection of layouts and colors is limited – I certainly would advise creating your own image if cover quality is important for you. There are a few bugs here, too – for example, only on the second time I launched the creator did it tell me that the book is too narrow for the spine text – after I’ve already previewed and approved the book to print. I’m not sure what the final product of this would look like, and it’s a pity I wasn’t told beforehand, especially considering Amazon doesn’t offer free author copies like CS.

Screenshot 2016-10-22 08.59.10.pngThis is the screen you get after uploading the content PDF and cover, and approving everything to get to the next stage. For me this took a long time, even though the booklet is tiny.

Screenshot 2016-10-22 09.05.46.png

The editor found one major problem: the content PDF didn’t fit the print size. This threw me off a bit, since all I did was save doc as PDF from Word, without changing anything – I guess Word took my printer settings for PDF? Anyway, the editor fixed the scaling with a push of a button, and the rest of problems were not critical to the quality of the book (mostly having to do with DPI of images and embedding of fonts, neither of which was important for this experiment).

Screenshot 2016-10-22 09.06.02.png
The standard 3d preview of the “ready” paperback

Screenshot 2016-10-22 09.06.55.png

The final page, as always, is the pricing. I thought the prices were better than CS at first, but no, CreateSpace offers exactly the same prices and royalties for its main distribution channel.

Screenshot 2016-10-22 21.32.21.png
Two versions of the same book. Unplusgood. 

Weirdly, Amazon is unable to automatically link the paperback and ebook versions, despite them both coming from the same source; same problem as on CreateSpace, but you’d think they fixed it for their in-house solution. I hope it’s just a matter of time, or of the service being in beta, otherwise it’s going to be a bit of a pain. If the two versions do get linked eventually, I’ll update this post to let you know.

screenshot-2016-10-22-21-36-28
KDP and CreateSpace comparison chart

So there you have it – the KDP paperback. The setup is easy, especially if you’ve already did some work for CreateSpace version. If you only care about selling paperbacks on Amazon, this is a valid option – but you get that from CreateSpace anyway, and you miss out on Extended Distribution. Amazon promises to add that, as well as proof and author copies, eventually – and once they do that, I guess KDP will replace CS as the go-to paperback solution, but for now that seems a long way away.

“The Withering Flame ” launching everywhere!


If you bought the Amazon pre-order, you’ll be getting “The Withering Flame” sent to your Kindle right about now. But also, you can now buy the book on Nook, Kobo and get it from Smashwords. In a few days it should appear on iTunes, too. Get the download links below. Exciting times!

Book 6: The Withering Flame

For centuries, the world outside Yamato turned, while in the island nation, little changed. But the barbarians have finally broken through the gates, and the rebels have risen openly.

Bran reunites with his father on Dejima, just as the Bataavians and the local daimyo prepare to join the rebellion against the Taikun. Nagomi follows her visions across the Dan-no-Ura Straits, only to discover there is more to the Prophecy than she ever imagined. Sato and the Kiheitai, on secret orders from Lord Mori, rush to reach the Imperial Capital of Heian before the full might of Taikun’s army – and the Black Dragons he’s allied with.

The time for whispers and secrets is over. The dark clouds burst – and the bloody civil war is finally upon Yamato.

Kindle Edition:
Amazon US | Amazon UK | DE | IT | FR | ES | JP | CA | BR | AU
Also:
iTunesNook | Smashwords Kobo 

The Withering Flame Amazon Pre-Order is Go!


I promised and promised, and looks like I am finally about to deliver! I have finished the final draft of the Withering Flame, sent it off for proof-reading, and set up an exclusive pre-order on Amazon. That’s right – you can now pre-order Book Six of “The Year of the Dragon”, scheduled for release on June 4th!

For centuries, the world outside Yamato turned, while in the island nation, little changed. But the barbarians have finally broken through the gates, and the rebels have risen openly.

The Withering FlameBran reunites with his father on Dejima, just as the Bataavians and the local daimyo prepare to join the rebellion against the Taikun. Nagomi follows her visions across the Dan-no-Ura Straits, only to discover there is more to the Prophecy than she ever imagined. Sato and the Kiheitai, on secret orders from Lord Mori, rush to reach the Imperial Capital of Heian before the full might of Taikun’s army – and the Black Dragons he’s allied with.

The time for whispers and secrets is over. The dark clouds burst – and the bloody civil war is finally upon Yamato.

Click these links to pre-order “The Withering Flame” on Amazon NOW:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | DE | IT | FR | ES | JP | CA | BR | AU

News: #SteamLit, #NovoPulp, Draft #3


Hi all, I’ve got some actual news for you this time!

Seal_Cover_250px V3First of all, The Year of the Dragon Book 5, “The Chrysanthemum Seal” is finally moving along nicely – I’m now at Draft #4, which means that, with luck, the book may be out THIS MAY! Make sure to mark that on your calendars. For me, that means I have to start thinking about the title and cover for Book 6 soon…


NovopulpA group of speculative fiction writers over on Google+ teamed up to publish a yearly short story anthology, and the first volume is launched today. It’s called NovoPulp, and the reason I mention it is because you can find one of my short stories (published before in Transmission) there along with many others. Do check it out – the stories are all good, and the quality of the edition is very high – there are even colour illustrations!
If you hurry you can sign-up for a giveaway over on NovoPulp website HERE.


1525379_723674650986774_666302074_n[1]Finally, later this month (April 21-27) I’ll be taking part in “SteamLit” Steampunk Extravaganza – a sale event, in which 13 steampunk writers lower their prices by half. So it’s yet another chance to grab the first four volumes of “The Year of the Dragon” at a bargain, just in time for the fifth book!

February News


First: “The Shadow of Black Wings” is FREE until February 6th. If you know somebody who still didn’t get a copy, now is the time!

The epic fantasy novella “Dragonbone Chest” is now available on KOBO, as well as AMAZON, and now has not only a new EPIC cover, but also contains a short story set in the same fantasy universe, “The Crown of Abyss”.
In other news, my short story collection “Transmission” (new edition, three more stories) is available on a number of devices:
That’s about it from the publishing front. “The Rising Tide”, volume 4 of The Year of the Dragon, is still being edited, and I hope to have it out in April!
In yet other news, in February I will be working hard on getting the audiobook of “The Shadow of Black Wings” ready. It will be FREE for download from Podiobooks.com!
One of my posts was recently chosen as the best self-publishing advice of January by Jane Friedman!
That’s all the news for February, cheers all 🙂

Glossary & Editor’s Choice


In a surprising development, “Birkenhead Drill” is this week’s Editor’s Choice on Figment. You can read it over here.

If you need a reminder, “Birkenhead Drill” are short scenes from “The Year of the Dragon” universe, mostly happening before the events of the book. At some point I’d like to polish and publish those as a separate prequel to the main story.

Speaking of “The Year of the Dragon” I have finished the Glossary of Terms which was requested by several readers. I’ll be adding that soon to Kindle versions of the books, meanwhile you can read the Glossary here.

That’s all the news today. Tomorrow marks the launch of my Kickstarter campaign… and a Halloween surprise – stay tuned! 🙂