Sunday, June 30, 2024

upcoming print book

I have one more round of edits for Book 17 before it's done, but after finishing the latest edits last night, I decided today to take a break to complete a more tedious job... formatting. 😵

I've been working most of the day on formatting for the print version of Collection 3 (Books 11-15) to set up a hardcover on Barnes and Noble and a paperback with Amazon. Editing is difficult, but formatting is tedious.

And while formatting the file for the interior, I discovered a few formatting issues from the ebooks of these, so I'm going back and cleaning up those files to be sure the ebooks don't have any hidden issues (extra spaces, tabs, returns, etc.). I'll finish these five, then go back to the first ten and give those another pass.

There's always something, but the good thing about being indie is that I can easily make these changes and upload a new file... when I have time, because this is a tedious, time-consuming process, which is why many indies hire it out to others. It's also why I hate setting up print books--a LOT more steps to clean up and then reformat into a clean PDF and upload. Ebooks are just a matter of the DOCX file being directly uploaded. I don't have to worry about where a print page ends and a new chapter begins or where a section break ends and a new book begins (applicable to omnibus editions) or messing up my table of contents with page numbers of each book's starting page in the omnibus collection.

This is why I don't just make print books for all the books I have. I could, but it's also cheaper for readers to buy a 5-in-1 omnibus than individual print books. I can sell the paperback omnibus editions on Amazon for $19.95 versus $5-6 per individual book; and since these are 5-book omnibus editions, that's like getting one whole book free. For a hardcover, it's an even bigger savings. However I do have to keep them exclusive to specific stores to keep the prices as low as possible.

So, if you're waiting on a print edition of the next five books of the Starfire Angels: Forgotten Worlds series, it's in the works, as I had mentioned this past winter. These are the projects that I work on when I need a break from writing or editing. They require a different set of skills that's more process-oriented than creative in nature. It's a way to switch gears for a while.

I won't finish at this time, but I will work on it again after Book 17 is out. For now, the initial setup is done. I have a final clean-up of the files, then uploading and waiting on approval, ordering proofs and waiting on those, evaluating proofs, likely making changes and going through the approval and proof process again (one more more times), and finally approving the print books for sale. The approval and proof processes, since I like to see actual printed copies, are where the delays really come in.

If you're looking for a more exact time frame, I would expect to see Starfire Angels: Forgotten Worlds Collection 3 (Books 11-15) print edition available by the time I'm getting Book 18 ready for publishing; in other words, within the next four months.

That's my best estimate. I'll announce when it's ready, and the links will be available from my website at that time. For now, the individual ebooks are available from all major book retailers, and the first two omnibus editions are available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble in paperback and hardcover respectively.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 28, 2024

Book 17 editing... one more week

I keep finding the little things to fix.

That's how progress on Book 17 of Starfire Angels: Forgotten Worlds is going. I'm on the fourth round but still finding things to fix, although, as my normal editing progress goes, I am, predictably, at the stage of doing more removing than adding or rewriting.

It's cleaning up nicely, although the first chapter required a lot of work. First chapters always do, though. They should set up everything or at least introduce a question/issue that is the sprout that blossoms fully as the story moves along. Getting that set up requires a lot of finesse.

I'm nearly mind numb from editing, but one more round after this should allow me to be sure the other issues that came up are polished. I had almost forgotten a couple of details from the original Starfire Angels series that became the Dark Angel Chronicles, back when I established the rules of this universe. This one has a lot of continuity requirements since it brings back some of the DAC characters. I didn't want to over-explain things to those who started with this series but get just enough to understand the characters brought just over ten years into the future of that series to interact with Nya and her friends. I typically overwrite and have to cut. It's better than not having enough and having a reader that's lost.

I'm halfway through the current editing round and one more should take me into next weekend, after July 4th. I should have HOMECOMING available by the following week. This is about the time of the 15th anniversary of the release of the first Starfire Angels book. Book 17 of Forgotten Worlds will be the 37th story (or book, if you count a novelette and a few novellas as books) in the series. After this, there will only be eight more books to wrap up the series.

Book 17 is coming very soon!

Friday, June 14, 2024

Coming soon... Book 17

Edits of Book 17 of Starfire Angels: Forgotten Worlds are progressing with the hope of releasing the book before the end of the month, although no guarantees on that; by early July for sure. I'll have the next book in the Starfire Angels: Forgotten Worlds series out in less than four months since the last book. It's now been about three months, so this is a much better pace than the last few books.

I'm maintaining two books ahead of publishing. This allows a cushion if I develop something or think of something later that I want to go back and add into a book. Experience in the past showed me that when writing a series, that's the best option. Not everything comes at once up front, and series ideas develop and change.  Usually something like that doesn't happen more than two books later.

This series has changed in small details as each book is written and I tweak things from the original outline. Sometimes it's the character development, but most often it's realizing that plot development and/or the science doesn't fit what I had originally planned and I need to make adaptations, which ripple out beyond that book. Of course, if you know how wave physics work, the further out from the source the ripple travels, the larger it becomes, so that requires adjustments in the outline so that ripple flows right along instead of crashing like a wave against rocks.

And then there is the issue of the writing itself. I've had a couple of scenes in this book (like every book) that really needed major hammering to mold them into what they needed to be. Chapter one has a major impact on the whole story; in this, the big revelation that I had mentioned long ago, so certain elements had to be included. This required more than my usual attention, because I've been hinting at this since the first book to prepare readers, unbeknownst to them; but the hints did get more and more obvious (or I thought they did; readers can chime in once they see it come to fruition). I had to reorganize the opening conversation of Book 17 to bring together all the hints that spark the rest of the story and will change dynamics of the whole series. This has been a delicate task. I knew it was a problem after writing it but just wanted to get everything possible for that scene out so it was on the page. It's smoothed out now and everything is in place for the setup of the rest of the book and the series.

As for the rest of Book 17, I'm halfway through this major editing stage with at least two more rounds of edits to go. Chapter one could still see a bit of editing, but nothing like this round of reorganizing and rewriting. I'm finding other places that need a lot of rewriting, but nothing like the first chapter (so far). Opening chapters area always the big ones for me, even when they aren't a big revelation. They should ignite the reader's interest by introducing tension immediately that needs to be resolved (aka the plot). I don't like slow openings.

So, watch for HOMECOMING... coming soon.

Thanks for reading!

God Bless!


Pressured by L'Ni's persistent concerns, Nya finally agrees to a medical exam with Nik. Although Nik is surprised by the results. Because of fears to Nya's health and to learn what may be known of the connection between the Inari and Feri, Nya and L'Ni leave friends behind to visit Inar'Ahben in search of answers.

They soon discover that threats against the Starfire still lurk on the Inari homeworld. Although the Shirukan were defeated more than ten years earlier, they're still a threat to Crystal Keepers. No one is more aware than Security Chief Rajeun Leksel, but even he underestimates the determination of the remnants of the former Shirat Empire. When Nya arrives, the Shirukan see the opportunity to retake what was once theirs. They will stop at nothing to obtain a Starfire shard and complete their plans for domination.

Nya must overcome her worst nightmares against an enemy who understands the power of the Starfire too well.


(Note: I'm still tweaking the description, so it could change by the time the book is published.)

Monday, June 3, 2024

Final scene

I've pretty much finished the first draft of Book 19 of Starfire Angels: Forgotten Worlds but might add a small final scene with this book's secondary characters just for fun. I have to see how the read-through goes. Right now, the book is just under 49K words, so the full first draft should be 50-51K words, a bit more than expected.

I looked back at when I published Book 16 and noticed that it's only been 2 1/2 months. It felt like it was longer since I published the last book. Boy, is my sense of time off!

I struggled a lot with this book and am glad that I fixed things along the way. It turned out very good! I posted about some of those struggles since the early stage of writing this, without getting into spoilers. One of the biggest issues was working out why technology wouldn't work on a world without using some artificial neutralizing force. I think I managed a plausible explanation, although it's still a bit of science fiction hand-wavium.

But I have a world where the civilization can't advance technologically and stayed at a medieval setting. It's interesting. And the word Feri can be manipulated in different ways. It's mentioned in Book 17, so you'll get a hint of what's to come in Book 19, but given how the species is described, it's probably obvious.

Anyway. Once I get through this read-through and write that little scene, I'll be off and running on editing Book 17.

Happy reading!