Friday, November 25, 2011

Decision time

Well, I guess I get to make a post this week after all. No amount of turkey can stop me! Heh.

Anyway, I've got an interesting dilemma on my hands here. When I was ready to publish No Place Like Amestraton, I put a little byline in the title page that read "A Ballad of the Northlands". It was a nice touch, since I planned for there to be an ongoing series.

...except that there's already a book called Ballad of the Northland. Granted, I doubt there ought to be much confusion, except that Google apparently likes pointing me at that book when I search for "ballad of the northlands", despite the latter obviously being plural.

You know the old saying "there's nothing new under the sun"? When it comes to book titles (unless you use made up words like me), that looks to be the case.

The thing is, my book has already begun to sell, so I don't want to issue a new version just yet. It's just a little too soon. But I have to decide either way. At least I haven't been trying to market my book as part of a series (for a number of reasons, which I may explain in a future blog post).

Maybe I'm trying too hard to be unique. I suppose that's a pitfall I could have expected, being a relatively new author. It's just one of these issues that tickles the back of my brain, even when I'm working on other things. Such is life. And despite it, life is fantastic, yes?

Well, enough of worries. I had a fun Thanksgiving with lots of good food and good company. The potato rolls, the dressing...damn it, now I'm hungry again. And I just ate a snack.

Well, go ahead and turn your Christmas music on, while I carry on. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have other things to do.

Friday, November 18, 2011

With all apologies

Well, I hate to do this, but it needs to be said.

It appears that the distribution of No Place Like Amestraton through Amazon and Kobo will be delayed. If you use a Kindle (as quite a few do), I am sorry.

With that said, the book is currently available via Apple, Diesel (although we're still working on that "which Chris is which" issue), and Barnes & Noble. And Smashwords itself, of course.

Now for some better news. I've already started making good progress on my next book. Again, because I am determined to earn the title of Mr. Secretive, I can't spoil many details. All I can say is that it's in the same setting as No Place Like Amestraton. So you'll probably want to read my existing novel. (Yes, I am guilty of shameless plugs.)

I will say that I am taking a bit of an odd approach to continuity. I promise that in the future (translation: some time in 2012) I will get into the details of that decision. But I assure you that (I think) I know what I'm doing. (Not very reassuring, am I?)

At any rate, I've also been sending out copies to various e-book reviewers. No response yet, although I'm sure they have queues longer than Michael Jordan is tall. Sadly, there aren't that many. One of these days, maybe I'll start reviewing a few. (Yeah, right.)

One final thing: I may not be able to make a blog post next week, due to being caught up in all the preparations for Thanksgiving. The turkey, dressing, and potato rolls are totally worth it though, so no complaining, you got it? Good.

Have a good Thanksgiving, and don't stuff yourself too much...ah, what the heck, go ahead. Eat all you want, to your heart's content. I know I will.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chris Mitchell-itis

Well, it looks like my name finally caught up with me.

In the very first post on this blog, I stated that there were many people with the name Chris Mitchell. At the time, I was vaguely aware some of them had published their own books through different methods. However, since I was the only one who used Smashwords, this did not overly worry me.

It apparently should have. Diesel E-Books, one of the stores that Smashwords releases e-books to, apparently decided to list my book as being by a different Chris Mitchell. Despite the fact that we use completely different publishing methods, and apparently write about different subjects (the other Chris Mitchell's book is apparently a behind-the-scenes look at Disney).

I'm not sure how the two of us could be so readily confused, but I'm not going to play the blame game. Instead, I've contacted both Smashwords (so they can help fix it) and the other Chris Mitchell (so he knows what is going on).

I really hope this gets resolved. If not, I may find myself in the position of rescinding publication via Diesel. I'd hate to have to do that, as I'm fairly certain this was just a (rather large) mistake. But I don't want to step on any other author's toes, nor do I want them stepping on mine.

At any rate, it's just something I knew I'd have to deal with from the beginning. While I expected it more in terms of readers confusing me with other people instead of the actual stores, I suppose I can't complain. At the least, I get to meet someone with the same name as me. That's cool, right?

While it might be tempting to do it J. K. Rowling style and market myself as C. D. Mitchell (for the record, my middle name is Daniel), I don't like that idea. Chris is who I am, and I've always seen myself that way. Why would I stop now?

Well, now you know (insert G. I. Joe joke), so you don't confuse me (hopefully) with other Chris Mitchells out there. I have just one book out, No Place Like Amestraton, and anything else is not my work. So just make sure that what you're buying is the genuine article.

On that note, I'm out.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The "write" stuff

Recently, I've been getting involved in a number of writing communities, and giving out some advice.

The biggest of these is SFFWorld (find me here), where I've been helping a couple of other people with their work. While I'm hardly the biggest expert, apparently I know just enough for my advice to be "good".

Of course, as I've mentioned before, there's really no right way of doing things. Since I'm definitely the sort to spread bad puns around, I guess you could say, however, there are "write" ways of doing things.

Please don't hurt me.

Since I know there are quite a few people from there and other sources who will read this, I will say that I am fully open to answering questions about writing. Either in how you might want to go about it, or in how I approach things, I'm open to questions.

One thing I can say now, for everyone, is that writing is not easy. You are taking bits and pieces of your thought processes, and putting them out there for everyone to see. As surprising as it may sound, writing is actually harder for introverts, despite that it may seem to be easier due to the lifestyle involved.

Of course, I'm fairly extroverted, so that's not so much of an issue with me. But for an introverted person to do it...I have to give them full props for having that kind of courage.

Either way, from the moment you release your work, you will be judged. Sometimes harshly, sometimes in a friendly manner, but you will be judged nonetheless. If you have a thin skin, you need to shed it. If you're used to criticism, it will help you.

The best thing you can have is a sense of humor about yourself. After all, if you're the first one to crack jokes at your own expense, how much power does the rest of the world hold?

Just stay honest, and keep on writing. And since I need to do the same (I planned on doing more today on my new book than I've done so far), I shall leave you to it. Have fun writing!