D. Robert Pease's Blog

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book Tour Roundup - First 10 Days

I have been having a great time reading all the posts from all these excellent bloggers. It is so amazing to get other people's views on a book that has been mostly a labor-of-love for just me for several years now. I've been posting regular links to the posts on twitter, and on my facebook page, as well as my website, but I thought I'd just do an update every ten days or so here on the blog too. Take a look at the links listed below. Leave a comment, and you could possibly win a $50 Amazon gift card.

Also if you want to join the blog tour it's not too late. There are spots still open. You can register here.

Thanks, and I hope you enjoy!

December 9 - Stop Ten | Interview - The writing coach is back with some more interview questions. Find out what I think is the most important element that makes a good story (hint it has to do with things blowing up.) http://mywritingandeditingcoach.blogspot.com/

December 8 - Stop Nine | Review - Another really nice review, from a science nerd like me (no offence meant.) She also discovered one of the hidden easter eggs in the story: http://stefanides.wordpress.com

December 8 - Stop Eight | Interview - Noah Zarc, Jr. is interviewed on subjects ranging from his favorite animals to his favorite movies (Star Wars or Star Trek). A shipload of fun: http://triciakristufek.wordpress.com

December 7 - Stop Seven | Review - A detailed summary (contains some spoilers) and review of Noah Zarc. "Noah Zarc proved to be a delightful read overall." Have a look: http://jasonbeineke.wordpress.com

December 6 - Stop Six | Interview - As you read this interview you will learn about my twin brother, Chip, and how he impacted my writing career: http://donna-mcdine.blogspot.com

December 5 - Stop Five | Interview - First interview for the tour. Find out just what all those animals on the ARC are eating. http://thecrookedword.blogspot.com

December 4 - Stop Four | Review - Oh man, there's nothing better than getting an awesome review from an amazing kid! Take a look. Seems like a young man that's going places: http://kidsnbooksdonna.blogspot.com

December 3 - Stop Three | Review - A fun review from Nancy over at Tumbling Books. "...this book was totally entertaining! I read most of it in just one sitting." Read the whole review here: http://tumblingbooks.blogspot.com

December 2 - Stop Two | Review - An Editing Coach uses Noah Zarc to illustrate a literary archetype, the Coming of Age story. Have a read: http://mywritingandeditingcoach.blogspot.com

December 1 - First up! | Review - A great review by Mrs. Duff at Oelwein Middle School. She sounds like a fantastic teacher. Check it out: http://spottoread.blogspot.com

Posted by D. Robert Pease at: 9:18 AM   2 COMMENTS

Monday, September 26, 2011

Interview with Tobias Buckell

Author of Sly Mongoose and the New York Times Bestselling Halo: The Cole Protocol.

Welcome to the blog, Tobias. For those who don't know you, can you tell us a little bit about your background? I know you grew up on a tropical island, and now live in Ohio. How in the world did that happen?

My stepdad hails from Akron, OH, and I was living with my family on a boat in the Caribbean. We got hammered with a real bad hurricane, lost our home, so my stepdad moved us up to Ohio with family. I've somehow not been able to escape the state since then.

Wow! I was born and raised in Akron, OH. Of course I never got out.

What books have you published?

Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin, and Sly Mongoose are the first three books in my Xenowealth series. I also wrote a Halo novel in 2008. I have a collection of short stories, Tides From The New Worlds as well as a book about writing called Nascence, which examines some early fiction of mine and dissects it to help new writers.

Specifically, can you give is a brief introduction to the Xenowealth novels?

They're a series of books set on worlds connected by wormholes, dominated at first by aliens who oppress the humans living within this network. There are some humans among them who are old enough to remember the legend that was Earth, and who hail from there. Most of the characters have some Caribbean background or heritage, and some of the planets do as well.

What were the roadblocks to getting this latest project sold? Wasn't the publisher who released the other Xenowealth novels interested in this new one?

Well, we built up a loyal fan base for the books. On Sly Mongoose we had the best first week sales out of all the books. But these were all from direct orders (like Amazon) or preorders. In the bookstores we were losing real estate, as they were ordering fewer books with each title. So we were losing ground in the stores, gaining ground in direct orders, and sales were flat or slightly rising. So my editor, Paul Stevens, at Tor, and I, decided to go in a different direction for a while with a novel called Arctic Rising. And Tor released the Xenowealth novels.

I started to realize, after I released info a couple months ago about Arctic Rising, that a lot of people were disappointed to hear the Xenowealth books were on hold. Got a lot of email about that. So I started planning a Kickstarter project.

Can you tell us about the new project you have posted on Kickstarter.com?

The Apocalypse Ocean is the 4th Xenowealth book after Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin, and Sly Mongoose. It centers around a young girl, Kay, who's been raised by aliens to be a bit of a weapon against humans under their control. So she's something of a loose canon, and out for bloody vengeance. And as she wreaks her havoc, she falls afoul of many of the characters from the previous books. The 48 worlds have all become connected by wormholes deorbited to sit in oceans, so the landscape tour has changed quite drastically from the last novel.

How viable an option do you think Kickstarter will be for authors to get their writing funded? Do you think you'll do it again?

Well, I only have to page through the fiction projects section of Kickstarter to see all the viable projects. About half of all Kickstarter projects make it, so we'll see where I fall, I guess! I think it's a fascinating way to pre fund sales of a book, and it gets around the problem some authors have of spending half a year or more to write another book in a series, only to find out that while a vocal minority wanted it, there isn't really actually enough economic demand. I think Kickstarter is fairly revolutionary in that it lets you raise book venture capital, then move forward.

If everyone is happy (my readers) with the experiment of The Apocalypse Ocean, and I feel that making the books that are the rewards and the costs of it balance out with the time it takes, then yes. I think people are viewing Kickstarter as a way to bring a venture capital model to artists, and if that is true, it's cool. But if people get burned out and feel like it's begging for money on your site, and it begins to leave a sour taste, then I'll probably drop it. But so far, everyone's been so really enthused about a chance to see a 4th Xenowealth book it's been a very positive experience. If we raise the needed amount, I can see this being a way to continue to wrap up the series (there are 5 books that I had planned in total).

Is Pepper going to be in The Apocalypse Ocean? And for those who don't know, tell us a little about him.

Pepper is most certainly going to be in it. He's a central character to most of the books, a dreadlocked mercenary, more metal than man, he's always involved in trouble in the Xenowealth...

When complete, will you self-publish, or are you planning on trying to find a traditional publisher?

I would be happy to work with a publisher. Of course, we will be producing a limited edition hardcover that goes to anyone who backs the project for $50 and higher. And everyone who backs at $25 or more also gets the eBook. So it's like a limited run self-publish, unless something works out slightly differently. You never know.

What are your thoughts on the state of publishing today? Do you still have books coming out with a traditional publisher? Or do you see a day when you might self-publish everything? Or somewhere in between?

I always try to keep a lot of different pots on the stove, so to speak. I saw this chance to test out Kickstarter with this book and jumped for it. I also have a short story collection in eBook form, as well as a book about writing in eBook form. I've tested those out to see how sales work on those. I'm also happily working with Tor/Macmillan for my next novel 'Arctic Rising.' I'm writing one more for Tor after that as well. I'm also shopping around a YA novel right now to various publishers, and just recently was talking to a publisher about a fantasy novel. I'm fairly agnostic about platforms, I care about words and readers.

The truth is, though, there's more money still in the big publishers for me than things like this, so far. I mean, Kickstarter really suddenly might kick into overdrive and blow me away, who knows? Ask me after the Kickstarter project is done and I know what the various support levels ended up being and what the overall total was, and I'll have a better idea! But so far I'm cautiously optimistic that it can be another tool in my collection of possible ways to connect to readers.

Is there anything else you'd like to add, either about your books, or the state of publishing?

There's a lot of sturm und drang out there today. Personalities stating one thing or another strongly about the state of publishing. I find most of it to be self serving attention-getting behavior. Everyone needs to take a page from Douglas Adams: Don't Panic. As things settle in, courses will become clear. Not everyone needs to be a first adopter. If there's money to be made, people will figure it out, others will follow. Relax and follow your passions, that way if things fall apart or don't work out, you still got to do something that excited you.

I have no idea if this Kickstarter thing will work, and it opens me up to some public ridicule or attention if it doesn't. But I love these books, and it was worth it to see the core readers get excited over the possibility of seeing another Xenowealth book. We're all having fun.

Thanks so much for visiting with us today.

For those of you who are interested, here are links to Tobias's books:

Crystal Rain: www.tobiasbuckell.com/crystalrain
Sly Mongoose:
Tides From The New Worlds:

And if you want to get in on the action, here is how you can help "kickstart" his next novel:


Go there now, I can't wait to read it.

Posted by D. Robert Pease at: 8:15 PM   1 COMMENTS

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