Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Memories of The Dead Redux

So Memories of The Dead went out of print back in October. Since then I've been trying to sell it to a bigger publishing house with little luck. The feedback I've been getting back from agents and editors are chiefly: It's too big and has been published before.

Boo!

I finished writing Memories about three years ago. Right off the bat I knew it might be a hard sell since it was huge, about 250k words, and contained some traditional fantasy tropes, like dwarves and wizards. In a nutshell, Memories is the first book of an epic fantasy trilogy, which itself is the first in a saga. Everything about the series is set on a massive scale, but dwarves and wizards aside, the word count was the larger problem. George R R Martin, Robert Jordon, and Tad Williams can get away with 300k word novels but not little guys like me. I'm stuck in the 80-100k range for now.

When I was looking for a home for Memories,  I already had several projects under consideration at the bigger houses, so I decided to try a smaller one and found that Class Act Books was the only one accepting novels the size of Memories...the only problem I saw was, looking at Class Act's other titles, they seemed to primarily be a Romance publisher...still, the guidelines said they accepted fantasy, so submitted I did. 

In truth, I really hadn't been expecting an offer back; I was more testing the waters until one of the bigger houses opened up again, but within weeks I got a contract in the mail. The terms seemed good, and it was only for two years, so I went for it.

Big mistake.

First off, my editor (a nice lady) knew nothing about fantasy, which made the editing process akin to nails on a chalkboard. And then, once the editing was complete, out of the blue the editor tells me the book is too big and needs to be broken in two. So that was done, literally, making it Part One and Part Two, same cover, same title, giving it all a very generic feel, to me.

When it was finally time to market and promote the book, I did  my best, as I usually do. But dealing with a generic Part One and Part Two made my pitch hokey and awkward. So, I contacted the editor and suggested we pull Memories as is and re-publish as two different books, two different titles, two different covers, the trilogy can become a tetralogy; a bit of a hassle but much easier to promote and market. I got an enthusiastic, "Yes, maybe! We'll get back to you!"

I waited and waited...months later I contact the editor for an update. She tells me we can't break the already broken books into two different books because, "blah blah blah, printer, blah blah blah, ISBN, blah blah blah, excuses, excuses." What if I pay the $50 bucks for the ISBNs? "No, no, blah blah, legalities..."

So I let the contract run out and when the rights of the book reverted back to me, I re-submitted to the biggies...but, well...see above.

My thought was to let Memories die a quiet death. It'd only sold about five copies, and I might be generous in that assessment, so no one would be shocked to see it gone. (PS: to those fiveish people who bought it, I love you and I'm sorry)

But now I'm thinking something different. The story is one of those that will refuse to die even if I truly wanted it to (which I find, that I don't) and its a good one, in my biased opinion. Deep, emotionally-driven story lines, action, battles and wars, love, betrayal, magic...and I truly think it deserves a wider audience and that said audience will enjoy the story and all its epicness.

I might be pulling my own prick here but I've decided to publish the series through Varsavian Press, starting with Memories, which will be broken into two books, two different covers and titles. Part One is tentatively titled Shadows of The Past while Part Two will be Memories of The Dead. And I'm not gonna simply re-publish them: both books will have new content, giving the readers more bang for their buck.

I can't say when Shadows will be published, but it will be very soon. Weeks, not months, with Memories following shortly after. This doesn't mean I've stopped work on Settler. The writing there is going very well. What I plan to do is split my days between both:Settler in the morning, Shadows at night. By the time Shadows and Memories are published, I should have the first draft of Settlers complete and will be able to focus solely on it.

That's my plan, I'll keep you guys posted as usual.

And just a small reminder, if you wish, don't forget to visit and nominate my Horror novel , Crossroads, over at Kindle Scout. Here's the link: Vote For Crossroads!

Smooches,

JJS

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

Wanna sit on this guys lap?

Hope you're all having a Happy Easter (or Pasch, or Resurrection Sunday) filled with family, fun, and egg-shitting rabbits.


JJS

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Help Me Get A Kindle Scout Deal!!!

Hi Everyone!

So I submitted my horror novel Crossroads (Facelessdoll: Book One) to Kindle Scout. What that basically means is that, for the next thirty days, readers like you can check out my campaign page for Crossroads, read an excerpt from the novel, and if you like what you see nominate the novel with a simple click of the mouse...or screen if doing so from a phone. The more nominations I get, the better my odds are of winning a publishing contract.

I get a contract, but what do YOU get? First you get a free version of each novel you've nominated and that gets published. Second, you get a say in what gets published by the industry; which is the way it should be.

Anyone with a valid Amazon account can participate. To get started, simply click this link: JASON J SERGI/KINDLE SCOUT If you like what you see, click NOMINATE and Amazon will take it from there.

And that's that.

Thanks to all of you who participate from the bottom of my black twisted heart. I love you all in my weird way.

JJS


Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Near Future

Hello.

After a bit of streamlining and rescheduling, I've finally settled on the next project. And it's a big one...that will be chopped into manageable-to-read increments. You all know the drill by now: since the project's in its early stages, I can't reveal too much about it. I can say that it's a fantasy, it's a series with the working title of Pillars (very, very tentative--downright temporary, in fact), and that the first book in the series has the working title (also very tentative) of Settler.

I currently have about five books fully or partially outlined and which are to be included in the series, though each installment will be a stand alone for all intents and purposes. All the books will exist in the same world(s) and share the overall series arc. Think in terms of The Saga of Recluce and Malazan Book of The Fallen in terms of style, if not necessarily content. 

I will officially begin work on Settler tomorrow and will continue to update and release details on the project's progress as I go. 

In addition to gearing up for the new project, I've also been working on a slew of short stories these past couple of months. More on those if I get any good news, but there are about thirty editors out there probably shaking their heads after seeing my name come up in the slush pile.

That's it for now; hope you're all having a good Spring day wherever you are.

JJS

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Updates, rants, and thangs (or Career Suicide)

Hey, everyone. Just droppin in to tell you all what I've been doing and what I'll be doing, and what I am planning.

First things first: as I said in my last post, most of my Varsavian Press titles had been discontinued, though Forvian Sphere and Children of The Forgotten are still active for now. My reasoning behind taking down the other titles was that I've long been feeling like I've been hitting the proverbial dead mule. Self-publishing has it's ups and downs. In my personal experience there are more downs than ups...a lot more.

An issue all authors have, high and low, is when you first burst onto the scene you're usually a small fish among thousands of other small fish in a really big fucking ocean filled with sharks and kraken. The goal is to become one of the big shots and that requires whoring one's self out to Agents, Editors,  Reviewers, and Readers, all in the hopes that at least one will pick up the book you've slaved months and years over and lead you to the first rung on the ladder to The Writer's Promise Land. 

I need a revitalization: I want to break away from the self-pub world and separate myself from the stigma. I've read hundreds of self-published stories by a few dozen different authors over the past four or five years, and the fact is: some were really great; some were good; but the vast majority sucked in one way or another, be it because of story, grammar, structure....and this hasn't changed. Logic dictates that as the self-publishing industry grows, the quality of the works should improve.

Nope.

It got me thinking that the publishing industry DOES need a slush master, a divine hand to cast judgement down on the unworthy.

And maybe I'm deluded; maybe most of my work sucks as well; I'm willing to admit that. But I'll evolve and continue to get better with the goal of giving any potential reader the best possible product; something that will take them away from reality and enrich their lives in some way, large or small.

Since my last post (and even before) I've been working on several projects, including a plethora of short stories, and outlines on two series...one a Fantasy, one an Alt History/Future. Nothing more to report on those right now though.

That's it for now.

From one very small fish to the sharks above....I'm coming for you.

JJS

PS: My non-self-published books: The Vatters of Klon and The Road to The Golden Griffin series are still in print as well; check them out---wink

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