Congratulations to Ed, vanquisher of foes and claimer of books!
Your spoils will arrive shortly, signed by yours truly. Signature authenticity will be verified by Cher and, in the event that there is any doubt , co-verified by Mojo. BB used to be on the validation committee, but he tends to nip the corners off the covers as part of his ‘process’.
Even though the contest is over, you can always join the mailing list by clicking the link the sidebar. After all, isn’t the real prize being notified of free and forthcoming books?
Well, no. The real prize is a box of actual books that are being mailed to Ed as soon as I deface them with a Sharpie. But the mailing list is still awesome and you should totally sign up.
Thanks to everyone who entered!
How do I copyright my work?
This is a popular question in writing communities, and not just among people looking to self-publish. It also comes up from new authors worried about sending out short fiction to magazines, posting snippets on their blogs, or even before sending out novels to agents. Fortunately, it has the best possible answer.
Don’t worry about it, you’re already covered.
From the horse’s mouth, aka the U.S. Copyright Office official FAQ:
When is my work protected?
Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.
Do I have to register with your office to be protected?
No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work.
Piece of cake. You’re covered for your entire lifetime, plus 70 years after your death. Personally, even as a holder of copyright myself, I feel that’s a bit much. If you’re interested in why and what the downsides are for these extremely long copyright terms, take a minute to listen to the entertaining and eloquent CGPGrey on the topic:
Here’s the deal. I am, without a doubt, the least organized writing guy in the world. Among my many failings is the fact that I announce time sensitive stuff on my blog. Or worse, put on a promotion and fail to announce it anywhere. I have been informed that this is not super helpful.
I suppose you could stalk me to fix this, but as they say on the internet, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” Also, there’s only room for a couple of people to peer through my office window at a time anyway.
So, in the spirit of being less crap about this kind of thing, I’m announcing the following contest:
At midnight on Friday, January 25th, I will pick one person from my mailing list at random and send them the three books pictured above. I will even render them slightly used by scrawling my signature inside.
Once on the list, you can expect to hear from my lazy ass very rarely. I’ll send out a notice when I do a free promotion, which is about once a quarter, and whenever something new is going to come out. That’s pretty much it. I’m not a fan of being bombarded with sales stuff, and I know you aren’t either. That said, I would like people to know I’m doing stuff while they can still get in on it.
To put your hat into the ring, enter your email address at the link below. Please make sure it’s an address you actually use, because that’s where i’m going to send the winning notification. Also, note that if you are already on the list, there’s no need to do anything else. Your name is already in the drawing.
Fun fact number one: writing is a sedentary profession. The first tenet is AIC or Ass In Chair. This often means 4 to 8 hours of near motionless staring and typing.
Fun fact number two: your brain hates that and will retaliate by stabbing you right in the creativity. Like it or not, your brain is a physical organ that is heavily influenced by the rest of you. Fitness in general and recent exercise in particular have a significant impact on cognition. There are a bucketload of studies that demonstrate this, if you want to read up on it.
Fortunately, fixing this is pretty easy, even for those of us that like to count coffee cup raises as ‘reps’. For those that are wondering what the absolute minimum effective dose is, it’s about 30 minutes of brisk walking three times per week. But frankly, that’s pretty weak sauce. For best results, you want to hit 20-30 minutes of cardio per day, where your heart rate is some distance above from it’s resting rate.
You can get a basic idea of a good heart rate target here. It takes about three seconds to figure out. A metric is good, but now you need to measure. If you have an iPhone, here’s an excellent heart rate monitor that uses your camera (similar to the way throwaway hospital pulse monitors work). Here’s the Android version. I’ve tracked these against a dedicated device and they’re surprisingly accurate.
The excuses for not exercising come from the same pool of suck as the excuses for not writing. What works for me is combining the two into a single event. Start your writing with a walk/run/chin-up marathon/burpee throwdown/whatever, and use the time to not only get your blood moving, but also as a chance to get away from your desk for a bit and clear your head.
If you follow Neil Gaiman’s blog or tweets, you know he frequently goes running to work out sticky bits in his stories. It works. Part of it is just letting yourself think about nothing in particular. If you’ve ever had an epiphany in the shower or while driving, you know what I’m talking about. But doing it while exercising works even better, since thinking while moving is what humans do best.
The results are non-trivial.
This is something that I’ve been aware of for some time, but it really hit home in the last couple of months. I’d let myself fall out of the habit of regular exercise sessions since I was putting in a ton of hours on the final draft of Liar’s Harvest. Priorities, right? I’d just let it slide. Huge mistake. I wasted a ton of time staring at the screen and making crappy revisions.
Fortunately for me, while casting about for a way to procrastinate and avoid more painful writing sessions, I picked my exercise routine back up. Guess what? I had to stop my first workout before I was finished to run downstairs and jot down a fix for a passage I’d been struggling with. I kept my daily routine up through the completion of the book and it made a world of difference. Higher daily word counts, easier to get started, less time feeling stuck on a difficult section.
Oh yeah, and I feel better. So there’s that, too.
There are ton of reasons why you can’t find half an hour to exercise every day. But none of them matter as much as the reasons why you should.
The paper edition of Liar’s Harvest is now available to be grasped and fondled!
Try that with an ebook! (But not where I can see you, thanks.)
At long last, Liar’s Harvest is out the door and on sale! Huzzah!
I had a lot of fun writing this one and I feel like I learned a lot along the way. Which is as it should be. But! I have a confession to make. These book launches scare me to death. I keep thinking that next time I’ll be a jaded veteran with my feet up, smoking a cigar and heaving world-weary sighs as my latest novel sails out into the world. Turns out, not so much.
Fortunately, I had a lot of help along the way, which makes me feel like at least those parts of the book are under control
I’d like to thank Vincent Chong for yet another stellar cover. Fun fact, we actually did this cover twice. The first one was good, without a doubt, but I felt like it needed some kind of small tweak to make it stand out a little more. So I asked Vinny for advice, and his thoughts. He came back with a completely redesigned cover, which was a heck of a lot more work than a tweak, and brilliant. Thanks, Vinny.
I’d also like to thank my editor, Neal Hock, and my copy editor, Cory Whiteland. It’s kind of humbling to send out what you consider to be a pretty clean copy and get back a thoughtful, concise list of your errors. Your many, many errors. If this book is readable at all, then you have these gentlemen to thank for it.
I also want to express my sincere appreciation to Jennifer at 52novels.com for the fantastic formatting. She put up with multiple revisions, crazy chapter heading formatting requests, and all sorts of deadline shenanigans with the kind of patience and good humor that I will never, ever possess.
Finally, I want to thank my wife, Susie, for her tireless support and enthusiasm for my work. None of this would have been possible without her.
Likewise, all of you folks. Thanks for sticking with me.
You know what’s a long time from now? Tomorrow, that’s what.
I sympathize with your lamentations, fellow calendar-haters. Like the hallowed chorus of, “Are we there yet?” from the back seat, you have been heard.
I’m giving away three pre-release copies of Liar’s Harvest today. Winners will receive their choice of an epub or Kindle formatted ebook, given away at 8pm CST tonight.
To win, all you have to do is drop a comment below. Winners will be chosen at random by the great and mighty RANDOM.ORG.
HOWEVER! If your comment happens to be in haiku form, well then, your name will appear three times in the Grand List of Choosing. This will not only make your chances of winning go up, but it will also make your opponents seem tiny and ineffective by comparison! It’s a good strategy, I recommend it.
Let the contest begin!
Aaand it’s over, folks! Thanks for the lovely and hilarious poems: we laughed, we cried, we pointed fingers at the monitor. It was lovely.
I do have one confession to make, however. No winners will be chosen by RANDOM.ORG tonight.
In a decidedly un-random fashion, everyone in the comments is a winner! And not in the self-esteem preserving, elementary school science fair sense, either!
Please email me at: langlois.mike (at) gmail.com and specify if you’d like your copy in epub or kindle format. And if you’d like me to send directly to your kindle, please give me your @kindle.com address *and don’t forget to authorize my email account under ‘Manage Your Kindle/Personal Document Settings’ on Amazon so that I can send you the ebook.* Note that this only allows me to send you books, it doesn’t give me any rights on your account or device. It’s just a spam prevention measure.
Thanks again to everyone who commented, and I hope you enjoy Liar’s Harvest!
So, a few of my fabulously
stalkerish perceptive readers have pointed out that I tend to give away a lot of free books, especially around the time I release a new one. This is a true statement. They have also asked if that’s such a good idea for me from an income perspective. I think the better question is if it’s a good idea for me from a career perspective.
Turns out, a new author’s greatest challenge has less to do with money and a great deal more to do with obscurity. I’ve been very fortunate with my sales since the release of Bad Radio back in October of 2011, but even so, the number of copies of my books out in the wild, both free and purchased, is less than 100K. I’m a microscopic drop in a bucket the size of Lake Superior.
From a career standpoint, gaining a reader is more important than making a sale. Every time, no exceptions. As has been mentioned elsewhere, most people are introduced to a new author for free. Either through libraries or being lent a copy by a friend. Today, it can also include ebook piracy, but for my purposes that’s just as good as any other method for getting in front of readers.
Don’t get me wrong, I loves me some book sales. But people who like your work are happy to purchase books when they can, provided the price is reasonable and the quality is there. I spent most of my youth reading out of friend’s collections and libraries. The result was a love of books and an adult lifetime of purchasing them. Even as books trend towards electronic versions that might be hard to get from libraries or lend to friends, everyone should still have that opportunity.
To that end, I will continue to offer all of my previous books for free during the launch week of each new book, as well as periodic surprise freebies every couple of months. It’s not charity on my part, just good business sense. And if it helps keep someone out there in free books, then all to the good.
It’s finally time. Liar’s Harvest will be released at the end of this week on Friday the 16th!
It’s like a party, except without my dog running all over the house barking and popping the balloons. And without cake. I mean, for you. *I* had cake, and I think we can all agree that’s the most important thing. It was good, too. What was I talking about?
RIGHT. If you haven’t read Bad Radio yet, here’s your chance to grab a copy for free. If you know someone who hasn’t read it, and for whatever reason your friendship has survived knowing this, point them in the right direction. Like I always say, it’s never too late for my friends to stop being wrong.
Walker is also free this week because, hey, maybe you’re already caught up on Bad Radio and just need something to do until Friday.
So, there you go. Enjoy and I’ll see you on launch day!
Mmm, I love a good cover proof! Here’s what the back cover blurb says:
Abe put an end to the threat of the Devourer once and for all.
So why does the world keep getting more dangerous?
Unsettling events pile up one after another: animal corpses appear on the front porch each night, an abandoned graveyard in the North Carolina woods is now home to something unnatural, and wooden men with eerily familiar faces are spotted lurking in the nearby town of Halfway.
Abe finds himself caught in a game set in motion long before the rise of mankind. A game in which even the Devourer was merely a pawn and where losing means the death of every man, woman, and child on earth.
Standing with him are the survivors of Belmont: Anne, Chuck, Leon, and his old squadmate, Henry “The Professor” Monroe. Together they intend to hold the line against the encroaching darkness and prove that there are still things in the light to be feared.
Looking forward to launch day, coming up soon!