Hello everyone. Today, and today only, there's a contest featuring four of my writing peers and their books. Peep the description/details below as well as the covers for the respective books and make sure you pick up one (or two or three or all four) and support a writer.
Let me start by saying.... AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Sorry, just had to scream and get that out.
Now that that's out of the way, for us unsigned/independent authors, especially those like myself who have spouses and children to support, trying to do everything that you want to do with your book isn't always feasible and, no matter how much you deal with it, it always sucks and hurts.
I was supposed to be attending SoonerCon 20 in Oklahoma City, OK this weekend but, due to a lack of funds, I'm not going to be able to attend. This is the second convention where I've lost money by paying for a table in advance but then not being able to have enough money to either a) finish paying off the balance of the table in time or b) not having enough money for the rental car, hotel & the rising gas costs.
Having to carefully monitor my funds it feels like I have to choose the battles I fight: I can get the copyright but the book cover is going to have to wait until the 15th; I can't get the $20 ad but I can get the $5 ad; it's always something and it's FRUSTRATING!
I really don't know what to do except to keep trying to save and keep writing and know that ONE DAY I will look back on this and laugh. Right now I feel like crying, though.
Morning/afternoon/evening to all of you.
Work on Humanity's Ultimate Battle (H.U.B.) Volume 3: The Tipping Point is pretty much done (at least the writing portion of it, anyway). I'm really happy with the way that it has turned out and serves a perfect bridge between the first two volumes and volume 4 which is where the s**t really hits the fan. So far the reviews from the few people that have read it have been extremely positive and includes the following:
"After reading Volumes 1 & 2, I was really excited about been given the chance to exclusively read the next Chapter in what has got me so enthralled. Volume 3 is a lot more laid back than the first two BUT make no mistake there may not be as much blood shed this time around but the storyline unravels what potentially could lead to volume 4 being the best book in the series of HUB. The book ends on a very sad note for the Vampire nation and its at this point you know that the War between the two nations is about to get cranked up and made a thousand times worse, am glad I don't live in this world that has been created by Author Benjamin Jones cause World War III could about to erupt in Volume 4. A thoroughly enjoyable read that left me wishing Volume 4 was already witten and was right next to me ready to read.
Rating 4 Book out of 5!!! " - Mark Horrobin from Manchester, UK
And this from my good friend Benjamin Rogers, author of Faith & The Undead: "Just finished Hub 3 and I have to say that it is incredibly strong and well written. As with the second edition you are really building a world here and it is really good and intriguing!"
So, based off those reviews, I know that it's going to be something special when it drops. It will arrive on 9.10.11 as an e-book (be on the lookout for it on Smashwords, the Kindle and Nook) and possibly as a printed up version as well depending on how my funds look. Either way, be sure to check out http://www.whatishub.net for information on how to get your copy!
I submitted the cover design that I want to Chris Leepow, the artist who did the wonderful cover for Volume 2 and he thinks my vision is easily do-able so I'm waiting to get the results back. Based off the sample pic he provided I can already tell that the cover for Volume 3 is going to be MEAN!! That should be debuting very VERY soon!
The trailer for the H.U.B. book series is up and I encourage you all to check it out. You can find it by visiting the HUB Youtube page at http://www.youtube.com/user/hubiscoming .
Also, while I'm on the subject, be sure to visit and become a fan of HUB on Facebook by visiting http://www.facebook.com/pages/HUB-Book-Series-Fan-Page/150468231664121
Get your copy of HUB Volume 1 & 2 by visiting http://www.whatishub.net (available as an e-book and in paperback). Support independent artists!
One last plug, be sure to visit my good friend Mark's hip hop blog/site at http://underground-dope-hiphop.blogspot.com/ If you love hip hop then you can't go wrong here!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @maddwriter and @hubiscoming
I accomplished absolutely nothing that I had planned to do over the weekend other than finishing Duma Key by Stephen King (good book by the way). Having said that, today I did some things that I intended to do over the weekend which was mail two copies of my book off, one to a reviewer in Maine and one to an independent bookstore in Alaska in the hopes that she will like it and will carry it on consignment in her store. Keep your fingers crossed for me on both of those. I've sent out a TON of email across the United States and even to Canada to help get the HUB brand and my name out and I know that with much effort and hard work good things HAVE to emerge from it. I still have a few more states to work through.
I feel like a rapper/MC sometimes because the roads traveled are pretty much the same. At first no one knows you so you're independent and you're trying to get your name out (selling records out of your trunk for rappers, putting books out on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, etc... for writers) in the hopes that people will eventually take notice and then a major will come sign you (a label for the rapper, an agent/publisher for us writing types). So we continue to hustle, building a buzz, not really making a lot of money but we don't do it for the money - we do it for the love. The money is great - don't get me wrong - but there are plenty of other things to get money than write.
It takes a LOT of self confidence to be a writer and it's a "slow burn". I would even say it takes a bit of arrogance as well. I have to believe that I have something so good to say that, when I write it down, people will pay to read it (same thing with music). So we put ourselves out there, never knowing how it's going to be taken - will people love it? Hate it? Consider it blah?? Who's to say but we do it anyway because we believe in ourselves - all we have is our faith in ourselves to get us through because if we don't believe then how can we expect others to?
A lot of it is the spirit of competition. As a hip-hop head I'm all about the battle. When I hear that one of my friends on Twitter or Facebook sold xxx amount of books I'm 1) happy for them but 2) thinking in my mind that I can do better than that. I hope that makes sense. It's not that I'm hating on what they have done, I just want to be better. I love all my writing peers and wish them all success - anything I can do to help them get the word out about their project or even sell one book, I'm all for it - but I still want to out do them. I want to win at anything I do. I want to be bigger than Stephen King one day because, to me, he's the man at the top of the mountain.
Got back to work on Head Above Water today at work during my lunch hour and I plan on doing more work on it tonight while I'm watching the Red Sox game. Last night we had heavy winds that damaged my fence and sent my trampoline that was in the back yard flying OVER the fence to the other side (true story) so I have to work on that when I get home so that the dogs can be able to go back in the backyard.
I try to not think about H.U.B. Volume 4 much but I can't seem to help it. I keep having these ideas in my head and I may have to start work on it sooner than I thought because I would hate to lose these ideas that I have in my head. I think that I think about it so much because writing this series has been SO FUN for me. Never have I had this many ideas floating around in my head and had something SO EASY to write. I can only hope that people enjoy this series 1/10th of the amount that I've enjoyed writing it.
I feel like I'm rambling and bouncing all over the place so I'm going to wrap this up. One final note, on April 14th be on the lookout for a special GUEST BLOG post from my good friend and fellow writer Reena Jacobs on why she decided to go indie. I'm looking forward to it and you should as well.
More later. Peace! Go Red Sox!!