It has been great participating with you all for the launch of Tethered Worlds book 03, Star in Bankruptcy. But you can’t start the Tethered Worlds Series in book three! So for all of you who want to jump in and launch your hero’s journey, we are offering for seven days a lower introductory price on book one, Unwelcome Star.
It is a true hero’s journey. From humble beginnings, protagonist Jordahk and his allies will take their first tentative steps against the star spanning, life-ruining government known as the Perigium. You will travel to the far reaches of known space, encounter vicious artificial intelligences, and face off in a hacking battle that might determine the outcomes of the entire mission.
Go on a journey and realize the greatest limits are those we put on ourselves.
This is an exciting time to be reading the Tethered Worlds Series. Honestly, it is an exciting time to be writing the series. Book 03, Star in Bankruptcy builds on what has come before to bring an even deeper experience. The twists, turns, and challenges will bring the reader face to face with the impossible.
It took years to get Star in Bankruptcy just right. The Tethered Worlds universe is complex. Like our own world, many factions are vying for money and control. One has only to look beneath the surface of today’s news to discern this. And for Jordahk, it is not just about seeing it, but being forced to engage it to save lives, and ultimately for freedom’s sake.
Book one, Unwelcome Star, remains on sale until August 16. It is a great time to jump in and have three full books of content ready to go. Come on along for the ride!
The long awaited third installment in the Tethered Worlds Series is at finally at hand. It will be launching world-wide on August 13th. There is no better time to jump into the series than now, because we are celebrating the new release with an awesome five-day sale of book one, Tethered Worlds: Unwelcome Star. From the morning of Wednesday, August 11 to the evening of Monday, August 16 get the Kindle version of Unwelcome Star for only 99 cents.
Book one started it all. The first action-packed, emotional roller coaster ride which spawned the award winning series. Jordahk thought he was a normal guy—right up until the day the great star-spanning collectivist government tried to annex his world. Then his eccentric grandfather showed up. It all leads to an encounter with ancient but dangerous technology—dangerous to the target and the user!
We will reveal the title of Tethered Worlds book 03 Monday, August 02 at Tethered Worlds.com. It will continue the series in ways long time readers will have hoped for, but also in ways they could not have expected.
We were gratified to see such a thoughtful reviewof Tethered Worlds Book 2, Blue Star Setting, by DED over at The New Podler Reviews. We are doubly pleased to find it now named best of 2015. If any of you enjoy reading fun science fiction, please go over to Podler and check out what they have to say. It’s illuminating.
A series should be connected by more than characters and title. A series book bears responsibility beyond what’s necessary for its standalone plot, it owes allegiance to a greater whole. The first job of the first book is the obvious one. Launch the reader to a new universe.
Consider the Star Wars that started it all, A New Hope in 1977. It executed a wonderful standalone story while at the same time introducing us all to Empire versus Rebels, Luke Skywalker, and a gizmo called a light saber. It laid the foundation upon which even the prequels were built.
A truly connected series does another import thing, it plants seeds for future entries. This doesn’t take away from the single book plot carried and concluded between the covers, but rather speaks to a greater mission. Content whose full consequence will not bloom until a future book. It makes for an even greater payoff, although there’s also immediate benefit in letting the reader know more is yet to unfold.
The first Harry Potter book, much like the first Tethered Worlds novel, does a fine job introducing the reader into a whole culture. These books teach you their unique terms. From wands and gristers, to quidditch and threshes. But they do more. They plant seeds for the future, teasing at content that serves double duty for current and future book.
It was once pointed out to me that some content I wrote was not strictly necessary to the current story, but I knew it was there for a fun, future payoff. A reviewer who really understands this concept is DED over at The New Podler Reviews. Check out his take on Tethered Worlds Book Two: Blue Star Setting and then jump into a great adventure.
Tethered Worlds: Unwelcome Star launches you into a multi-book adventure. See for yourself who your favorite characters are and hold out hope for them. A journey, begun in Unwelcome Star, continues (hopefully for your favorite) in Blue Star Setting.
A bountiful harvest of apples may still conceal a worm.
The information age is changing just about everything. Few barriers now lie between content creators and the end user. But the marketplace is full of choices, and making money from creative endeavors can be challenging. Less challenging (and less scrupulous) is profiting from the endeavors of others with ebook marketing scams. Enter eBookPro.org whom you might see in your inbox as “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “McNew Publishing.”
Letting people know about your new creation is the challenge. Quality work can go unseen. However ebook marketing may be one of the few areas in which money is being made. Authors, striving for sales, confident in their work, contract promotion services. I’ve hired many contractors over my writing career for a variety of services. Almost all were professional, and the interactions good.
I contracted eBookPro.org for a one-time $12 promotion for the first book in the Tethered Worlds series, Unwelcome Star. It was seemingly a modest introductory offer for placement on their website and perhaps inclusion on their mailing list. Ebook marketing companies are popping up, and this one seemed new and hungry for business.
Their services bore little if any fruit. About three weeks later I noticed hundreds of dollars of charges on the credit card I used to pay them. Unauthorized charges stemming from eBookPro.org. Of course I immediately contacted them, trying to pierce their internet insulation.
Eventually I got an email from a representative named “Shivangi Mahesh ACCOUNTING SUPERVISOR” who suggested going to some online form page. No acknowledgement or even discussion of the fraudulent charges occurred, which obviously was not satisfactory. Repeated pleas for communication from Mr. Mahesh went unanswered, eventually forcing me to cancel the credit card.
If the story ended there, the lesson learned would be enough, but there’s one final chapter. I surmise Mr. Mahesh or someone from eBookPro.org/McNew Publishing was not pleased with my complaints about their unauthorized charges. Though the bank re-issuing my credit card is charged with keeping my information confidential, Mastercard inexplicably exposed me to serious fraud by sharing the new card with the very organizations whose charges I was contesting.
The eBookPro cartel racked up over $7000 in charges before I canceled the second card. One charge alone was for $3200. All this from a simple, one-time $12 trial. What tips can be taken away from this incident?
Take your time. Sign up for a potential marketing firm’s mailing list and see it for yourself.
Monitor the social media of new firms to ascertain more about their legitimacy and results.
Seek out online forums and writing groups for more information on potential service providers. This may be difficult for new companies in this fast-paced publishing environment, but it’s worth trying.
Analyze your credit card statements. Scam artists may start with a small charge to test the waters.
Your marketing dollars are an investment in yourself, they should command scrutiny. When that’s not enough, be ready for the necessary hassle to get your money back, like I did. It was no fun, but the commerce in which we engage in the free marketplace almost always reconciles fairly, and this truly was an exception. There are reputable companies out there, run by good people who will show your self-investment the respect it deserves. Find them.
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The Tethered Worlds universe still uses currency. But some planets wouldn’t take too kindly to fraud. But worlds are as diverse as those who settle them. Some bring forth heroes of noble character, and some spawn those who would seek to control others. Read the Tethered Worlds books and join Jordahk’s family in fighting for what’s right.
POST SALE UPDATE: We are grateful to those who helped support our sale. To all who purchased, thank you and happy reading. We hope you enjoy the series, and if you do, let us know!
UNWELCOME STAR For $0.99—Thanksgiving Weekend Only!
We are running this special for four days, November 27-30. The Tethered Worlds series has been well received. Now you can start from the beginning with the Kindle edition of book one, Unwelcome Star, for only $0.99.
Be there with Jordahk as he is thrust into a quest to save his world—and find out more about himself. Glean hints from Jordahk’s mysterious grandfather who knows more than he’s willing to say. Watch the whole family square off against a cunning fleet commander and a ruthless technology hunter.
Check out our newly released trailer and then go on an adventure!
Gregory Faccone hopes you will also check out the Tethered Worlds series. It may not make colorful fractals leap off the page, but they still can in your mind!
The back cover blurb may be the three most important paragraphs to whoever picks up your print edition. In those 150-175 words, your potential readers may decide if they are going to become actual readers. And even if you are published in eBook formats only, the ever present description box needs the blurb to accomplish the same thing.
You might let your literary agent do it, or your publisher. But it is your book. Want to give it a go? (If you are self publishing, you will have to.) Now there are places online where you can get good tips for writing a blurb. I just want to highlight a few as I see them.
First, keep it lean and to the point. Do you have an ensemble cast? There is not a lot of room for, “Meanwhile, back on Tau Ceti 5, the brother-in-law discovers…” Focus on your protagonist and keep the description to their key arc. That is really what your book is about, isn’t it? The rest of the supporting content is good, but belongs in the book interior.
Also, I recommend a classic format. Introduce your protagonist in paragraph one. Are they relatable? Even the most way out character has something to which a reader can relate. Paragraph two sets up your conflict. It upsets you lead’s world and often starts with an action word. And finally, the third paragraph is the big tease. You’ve set up your protagonist and the conflict, now hint at the journey, the stakes, and the awesome forces at odds. But do not give away too much.
And lastly, some practical advice. Have you paid a professional artist to make your cover art? Your blurb and that art need to coexist. Make sure your text is not tiny, is easy to read, and not some crazy font that gives customers headaches. I decided to not obscure my fine cover art with an opaque text box. I wanted it to blend in organically, and even have some color and life to it. So many little things go into a professional book. You know this if you are doing it all yourself. Whether you are or not, it is YOUR book. Make sure all the ingredients comprising your fine creation are the best they can be.
Tethered Worlds is a series full of color. It may even have some practical advice on life, relationships, and destroying robots. The time spent reading it may inspire you to overcome your daily challenges.
You can also check out Lorenz’s site and see his interesting work.
This is the third and final post on creating an excellent book cover. The first post discussed refining your vision to keep it clear and simple. The second talked about bringing that refined vision to reality with a contract artist. This third is about the all important titling. Now I am not talking about the actual words you use, although that is important and worthy of its own post. Rather I am referring to the readability of the title.
That sound basic? You might be surprised at what a perusal of Amazon offerings reveals. Your book is going to first be seen in a 150 pixel thumbnail! That may make or break a potential reader’s interest right there. I will not embarrass any author’s book cover here, but it will not take you long to see a block of color and maybe a figure. At the bottom a series a squiggles hints at a title. Sometimes certain fonts drop right out of existence altogether at that reduction.
Now you have determined a sufficiently large font size for your book title. You have left appropriate space in your cover for it. (You did leave space, right? Do not cover your protagonist’s face!) What about font choice? Beware the dark side here. Avoid the temptation and the pitfall of overly stylized fonts. You know the kind. Some are so sci-fi that you spend a minute just trying to figure out what it is supposed to say. Fail. Such fonts can easily be cliche or dated; both messages will not serve you well.
Classics are classics for a reason. Use them to your advantage. Consider book interiors. 90% of them are Times New Roman or something similar. “Hundreds of years of book tradition” (as one online expert put it) make for a difficult trend to buck. Find your individualism someplace else. I am not saying be boring on your book cover. No way. But there are a lot of interesting and pretty things you can do to a readable font. I consulted my own local font expert for some tips as I navigated and polished my title presentation.
Make sure (to avoid headaches) you have your exact pixel size and proportional dimensions accurately nailed down. I had a minor issue with the ratio which I did not discover until after the font work was more-or-less done. Thank goodness again for leaving all the elements in layers. I had the extra room to widen because the original art is suitably large for the coming print edition. I also had each word and even the symbol ready to be scaled and nudged individually as needed.
As I have found out on this journey, a book is comprised of so many elements. The writing is the bulk of it, but all these supporting factors play a part. How many car choices come down to finish and color? Both cars in question may be quality vehicles, but the exterior of one grabs the attention and compels a second look. Make sure you do justice to your months or even years of writing by investing the appropriate final portion of effort. Do not leave your cover in jeans when black tie is called for.
Tethered Worlds is a well dressed story that never goes out of style. Put on your spacesuit and join an adventure. The time spent may inspire you to tailor other aspects of your life to exactly fit your daily challenges.
You can also check out Lorenz’s site and see his interesting work.
There are book covers out there that would make your brows seriously rise in skepticism. You might think, and rightly so, that some authors just phoned it in. (Perhaps using the “generate cover” button available on some programs.) How can one work so hard and so long on a written piece and then approach its cover so lackadaisically?
As noted in my previous post on this topic, Book Covers: Done Last – But Seen First, a good novel can overcome its cover. But it should not have to! If you have thought through the basics, and you know what will serve your novel, it’s time to take it to the next level. If you have hired a professional, work with them and make the second revision better than the first. You are the customer. You are paying. (Even if you have hired your cousin and are paying with a dinner at Applebee’s.)
I wanted a slightly rough, painterly style. My artist had demonstrated it already, and his first take from my written descriptions was on the right track. Now we strived to make it even better. I sent him a sketch of how I envisioned it. He was influenced by that and the revised piece advanced even closer to what I wanted. If you pick a pro, act like a pro. Engage in some healthy back and forth. You both may find new things that work better as you do.
But be wise, and pick your battles. Do not nit-pick over micro things you can adjust yourself. Time is money for your contracted artist. Do not squander professional goodwill. Ask for your image to be left in layers. This was of immense help to me in making final adjustments. It also was instrumental in fully utilizing pieces of the art for my various web presences. Additionally, after all the details I originally wanted were added, I made the wise decision to drop some for simplicity and clarity (see last post). This was an option facilitated with minimal trouble by the layers.
In the next post, the final for the Unwelcome Star e-book version cover, I will discuss the last crucial elements. Font and readability.
Tethered Worlds takes place in a vast and complex universe. But that does not mean the cover has to be overly complex. Read this series and go along on an adventure. You may find that the time spent in it spills over into your real life daily challenges— and triumphs.
You can also check out Lorenz’s site and see his interesting work.