Monday, June 27, 2016

"Murder at the Veterans' Club" -Chrisopher Huang

Hey everyone, Ken here.  Starting today and carrying on for... well until it stops, I'll be inviting authors from Inkshares to come by the blog on Mondays and share a bit about themselves and the work they are promoting on the site.  Please take a look, leave a comment, and make sure to follow the links and find out more!

My name is Christopher Huang. I used to be an architectural technician--back in the days of hand-draughting, I'd be a "draughtsman"--until about October last year. Rather than look for other work in the same field, I decided to take a few years off to pursue the dream of full-time writing.
I enjoy mysteries, and I enjoy puzzle games. I think mysteries are the most gamelike of the literary genres, and the closest sort of game they come to is the puzzle game. It's all about following the clues as they drop in the text, and trying to reason out the solution before the detective lays it all out in the final chapter. Funnily enough, it's also a game where the player (or reader) never minds "losing", because the explication of the puzzle is often quite marvelous in its own right.
That's the sort of thing I was going for when I wrote "Murder at the Veterans' Club". Of course I wrote a mystery, and of course I went with the old-school "puzzle/game" concept envisioned by the mystery writers of the 1920s and 1930s ... and of course I set it in that same era. Not that I had to, but it seemed to make sense.
"Murder at the Veterans' Club" is set in 1924 England, at a gentlemen's club for war veterans. Quite aside from the puzzle aspect, one thing I did notice about the era was that it comes hard on the heels of the first World War and sits right in the middle of the aftermath. I don't know if very many mysteries really focus on the significance. PTSD--what they called "shell shock" or "war neuroses"--wasn't very well understood. And when most of your cast has been in the trenches, it's almost a given that they will be affected, some more severely than others.
I guess, in a sense, I'm gambling my life on this book. I know I can't expect to hit Rowling levels of success--that's sort of like winning the lottery with a ticket you found after being hit by lightning--but it would be a start towards building up a modest future. I intend to eventually produce a mystery novel series, and maybe I'll break even then; but for that to happen, I need to take a first step. That's this novel: "Murder at the Veterans' Club".

You can find out more about Christopher and "Murder at the Veteran's Club" by following This Link.  I hope you will, I promise it will be worth your time!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

WTF is Inkshares?!?

Wow.  Yeah.  I still suck at blogging with any kind of schedule.  Let's gloss over that and move on, shall we?

Yes, yes we shall.

If you clicked my blog link, you may just be here to find out, "Just exactly WTF is Inkshares?"  You've read about it online, or seen it mentioned on Twitter, or even heard about it on some podcast or another.  Or, maybe you've never heard about it, and you just happen to read my blog (if so, you are obviously intelligent, beautiful, suave, and I bet you smell fantastic).  Whatever the case, I'll do my best to shed some light on the Inkshares of it all.

It might be best if we start by thinking of Inkshares as a crowdfunding platform (i.e. things like Kickstarter and Go Fund Me) because there are certainly some of those same dynamics built-in (also, the logo... "Crowdfunded Publishing" might be a hint).  However, in joining the site and taking part in the community there, I've found out that it is a lot more than that.

Inkshares is a legitimate publishing company, with full editing and book formatting teams, traditional and online marketing, and distribution to both independent and major book-sellers all over the world.  However, Inkshares is not a traditional publishing company.  They don't force authors into eternally binding contracts or make them sign non-compete agreements.  They do offer fair royalty terms to their authors.

From the Inkshares website: "You'll make 50% of gross revenue for each printed book we sell, and 70% for each ebook."

And for some people, the biggest reason to check out Inkshares might just be this: Inkshares let's readers be the gatekeepers.  That means that people like you and I get to decide what becomes a published book.  If you find an idea or draft that you like, you can help to make sure it gets published.  And that's where the "crowdfunding" part comes in.  Inkshares gives authors a chunk of time (it seems to usually sit around ninety days, though I've seen some go for much longer, and others reach their publishing goals early) in which they can market and share their ideas and drafts to the world and make the case to get pre-orders on their book.

If they reach their pre-order goals, then... BAM! They can be published by Inkshares.

Can be.

If they so choose.

There's a lot of info out there, I'm not going to keep trying to explain it all in a single blog.  But I urge you to check it out for yourself, ask questions in the forums, reach out to Inkshares staff.  It's a pretty awesome place for authors and readers alike, and I am absolutely in love with the community there.  People support each other in their funding campaigns, offer editorial critiques, help spread the word about each other's projects... and generally it's just a bunch of people who love books, reaching out to other people who love books.

Here's a link so you can find out more about Inkshares. I highly recommend you click it.

And since I'm giving you links to click, I actually have a book up on Inkshares right now.  It's called Clockwork Charlie (if you've followed the blog for very long, you've certainly heard of it before) and I'd love if you'd check it out.  Clockwork Charlie Link  It's not in the pre-ordering stage yet, but you can read some excerpts and offer your thoughts or criticisms on my project page.

Once you join the site, find me and let me know you're there.  It's a pretty amazing place, filled with great people, and you won't be sorry you checked it out.