War May Never Change, But My Marketing Sure Does

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Hi All,

After much reflection–and an authorial meltdown leading to an epiphany of sorts– I’m making marketing and networking changes effective immediately:

1) No more blog-whore-style self-promotion. Why? Because I have found that it is neither effective for myself nor the vast majority of authors. It creates noise, engenders insincerity and annoys busy people, present company included.

The most effective long-term marketing is a well-written, well-edited, entertaining story with a well-defined market positioned in an accessible, highly visible place. If you want to aggressively promote your book, then either get a publisher or use a direct book-promotion service like BookBub which is designed for maximum effect for a nominal investment. If you’re going to promote on social network sites, please don’t spam other writers’ feeds.

2) If you’re an author, and you haven’t actually read at least one of my books, don’t contact me to peddle your crap. Real authors are also voracious readers, and my books are short, tight novellas that can be read in a single afternoon. I have read at least one book from every author I have actively networked with, and the only time I have contacted an author before I finished is when I really loved their work. If you as an author can’t do that much, then you’re either not serious about your craft, not careful about who you work with, or seeking an exploitative, one-sided relationship. Do not try to play me for a fool, you will not like the result.

3) I will no longer write long-form reviews. Hell, I’m so untalented that I can barely write books, much less anything else. Short reviews and comments are about all I can handle with my limited mental and temporal capacity. And don’t let the self-promoting, alpha-douche marketing scum of the world fool you, pessimism, humility and honesty are all fine and necessary traits.

4) I might continue working on this magazine project and the Original English Light Novel Reddit, but only if there is any energy or outside interest, and so far, there appears to be little of both.

Well, that’s it for now. I hope all two of my fans aren’t too disappointed with these changes. I’ll update next week after I finish this meltdown. Have a good weekend, Take Care, and stay in touch.

Best,

James Kresnik

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I’m Now a Reddit Caporegime: New OELN Subreddit

Hi All,

I went looking on Reddit for an Original English Light Novel (OELN) space, and I didn’t find any, so I made one: http://www.reddit.com/r/OELN/. “Great, more work.,” I’m thinking. But what the hell, it had to be done.

Now, if you have any stories, commentary, critiques, art, or blogs related to Original English Light Novels, then feel free to throw it up there, just don’t be too spammy about it. Also, if you know of an existing subreddit that feature original English language light novels, please let me know so I can promote those sites on the sub.

In other news, it looks like I’m about to move again, so my schedule will be disrupted a bit. The reviews will be up on my blog shortly, and new Return – Dreadknight chapters will follow as soon as possible. This is basically a spell-checked draft, so if you find any story problems, please feel free to comment here, Wattapd, Reddit, wherever you feel comfortable.

Thanks again, Take Care and stay in touch.

Best,
James Kresnik

Moving On Now

Hi All,

I’ve finished the current revision of Return – The Survivalists, however, it won’t be published again as an e-book anytime soon. Instead, I will resume with the next part of the story, Return – Dreadknight on Wattpad as an ongoing series until I get sick of the whole farce and pick up something more productive and healthy, like wingsuit flying.*

Both books will be published as a print volume in the near future, but that depends on budget and audience. I want to bring a full editorial team on board to polish the work properly, and of course my artists needs to eat. If anyone has any good ideas for fundraising that does not involve vain attempt at selling e-books, I’m all ears.

I’ll finish work on the review for Bhavana Murali’s Light Novel Thrist and Jeno Marz’s epic Falaha’s Journey soon. I’m also working on a new project featuring Original English Light Novels (OELN). Please watch this space for more details.

Thanks again for your support and I look forward to continuing Return – A Light Novel Series. Take Care, and stay in touch.

Best,

James Kresnik

*Yes, that was sarcasm, I think.

Return – Dreadknight Draft Progress 2014-01-06

Even as I’m slogging through the second edition of Book 1, I’ve been plinking through the final act of Book 2, Dreadknight. All I can say at this point without spoiling too much is that it will involve a rather interesting air raid.

I’ve also decided on keeping the blog on WordPress.com for now, but I’m going to scape up the money to ditch the ads sometime this month. Rejoice.

Speaking of ads, I’ve set up an e-mail list, but I will only bug you with actual publishing updates, as well as discount promotions, when available because I hate spam as much as you do.

Finally, I turned Likes back on for some posts, so please like my stuff if you like, like it. -James Kresnik

RE: START 2014

I hope everyone has launched into the new year in good spirits and in good shape. My 2013 was–how shall we put it–an exciting and perilous year for myself, along with many other aspiring authors who are taking our first modest, shaky steps into self publishing. Continue reading

The Survivalists 2nd Edition and Blog Changes

I’m about one-third the way through this re-edit of Return – The Survivalists, and while it is going smother then I expected I do not regret the decision pull the first book from publication. I’m taking advantage of this opportunity to make more changes–so many that the next release can be considered a second edition. I have already struck down the old preview chapters and the new material will be forthcoming. Any comments, criticism and participation is welcome.

And on that note, have any other authors with WordPress blogs notice that they receive a bunch of likes and follows on posts from people who aren’t actually bothering to visit the log or post comments? To nip that problem in the bud I’m turning off the Likes on posts for now. I see no point in receiving self-promoting drive-by likes from the WP Reader.

Thank you for your patience and I look forward to your comments and support. -JK

Novel Fail 2

I had a chance to pick through the manuscript and it’s not quite as bad as I thought. There’s a few typos and some pronoun deficiency but nothing completely hackish.

Still, it’s going to take several weeks to finish and republish in all the stores and even more time to make it free on Amazon.

I’m also using this as a chance to rearrange some deck chairs on the front and back matter. So, there are no more crazy rants in the back matter, for now.

I’ll keep you posted. Thanks for waiting. -JK

First Novel Fail

Three months after publishing, I took another read through the manuscript and I’m not at all happy with what I’m seeing. I also appeared to have completely flubbed the launch and store set-up.

I will relaunch the first book someday, but I can’t make any promise when that’s going to happen.

Once I re-publish, the first book will stay free as a favor to anyone who has already read it and hoped for better.

Finally, I may well take down this entire blog. No one seems to care about this one and I want to set up a new blog on my own server.

Please accept my most sincere apologizes and have a Happy New Year. -JK

Update: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, DRM and Book II Progress

I’ve taken down the mostly dead Facebook page, so if you need a social-networking feed please subscribe to my Twitter and Tumblr feeds. I also expect to have my Goodreads blog fleshed-out by the end of next week.

I’ve resumed progress on Book II, tentatively titled Dreadknight. I’m about three-quarters the way through the first draft and things are going smoothly. I may post up some chapters after the first couple revisions but that won’t happen until after the first of the year.

I’ve also been curating my recent book purchases in the hopes of writing up some reviews. I have three different reading devices using three different operating systems and concatenating my collection into a single directory using the reader I liked has been a nightmare. I expect to publish my first review in the next few weeks.

Finally, I’ve extended the free offer through November 15. If you’re interested in a free copy of The Survivalists then send an email to admin@returnnovel.com. Thanks again and have a good weekend.

Return – The Survivalists Launches Tomorrow

Es, as always, is driven to win. Copyright 2013 Decisive Origin and Return Publishing. Do not duplicate without permission.

Es, as always, is driven to win.
Copyright 2013 Decisive Origin and Return Publishing.
Do not duplicate without permission.

The final edits are done and the ebook for Return – The Survivalists launches on Smashwords tomorrow (9/30/13) at around midnight. The Kindle version will be up sometime after that.

Some free copies may be up for grabs, depending on how Tsundere I still feel when I’m done grinding meat.

EDIT: The Smashwords page is up. The book launches at midnight 9/30/13.

I now smell like meat and I have a couple of deep cuts on my hand from text butchering.

I’m in a totally Tsun mood now, and since you can grab a chunk of the book for free or all of it for 99 percent of an ever deflating dollar, you will just have to settle for them choices. Enjoy!

Best,

JK

99% Done – The Perils of Self-Publishing and Editing

Even after announcing the publishing date for Return – The Survivalists my “final” manuscript is still roughly 99% done.

It seems forever “99% done.” After two rounds of professional edits, critiques, endless polishing and an untold number of head-to-desk moments, I’m still finding things I don’t like and things I want to change, tinker, improve and even fix. The script came back from my editor well enough, but as I was reading it aloud I found some things I wanted to add and needed to trim, which in turn,  introduced other things that wanted adding and needed trimming.

Now, I’m not saying that all my effort for the past three months is for naught. I am, after all, mostly reduced to making very minor changes that better reflect what the characters are saying and doing. And as for what characters are saying, I will, hopefully, never try to put words in the character’s mouths. At this point, it is really more their story than mine. I’m mostly a historian, trying to get the facts straight while creating a narrative that doesn’t put people to sleep. But I digress.

There are a litany of complaints about the quality of self-published novels clogging the shelves, none of which I am going to reiterate here. From what I’ve observed, and read, it is not because us relatively inexperienced authors refuse to edit or even that we somehow fail to take editing seriously. It is that editing a book well is a much more difficult effort than any neophyte can even begin to imagine.

I admit that going into this project I completely underestimated the amount of work and attention to detail it requires to produce a quality book. There’s a reason that reputable publishers perform at least three different edits: development, line-editing and proofreading. Now that makes me wonder, are those three separate people or three people who do the same exact job? I’ll have to ask my editor. But again, I digress. It’s far too easy to get small but pertinent details wrong, repeat a word too many times, make a consistency breaking change, or even insert a typo when making an edit.

Moreover, I don’t think there is a single book in existence that couldn’t somehow be tweaked. You have to know when to let go which should usually be somewhere between coherently laying out all the plot points and excising all typos and writing the next Pulitzer Prize novel.

Either way, I’ll keep banging at this until the wire, because somewhere in this manuscript will always be something I hate and something that will completely embarrass me and something I love and something I want someone to hear no matter what.

My hope for the next book is that I use my experience to properly formalize the revision and editing process. Needless to say, I no longer find formalizing my writing process as “stifling” as it surely beats the sheer terror of getting picked apart on an Amazon review for clumsy dialogue, typos and inconsistent subject-verb agreement.

Best,

JK