Writing Update: The Alpha Draft of Repressed is finished!

Writing Update: The Alpha Draft of Repressed is finished!

Greetings all,

kaitlynAs the title indicates, I met my goal and finished this draft of Repressed. I’m happy with how it turned out. Before I go over some administrative notes, I want to make sure I thank my Alpha Readers.

First is Ben. He’s always first. He’s my best friend, and reads every first draft I throw his way, even while working a full-time job and helping my sister raise two wonderful, but active, children. Well…the Senior is all grown up, but I digress. Ben pointed out a few of the logistical conundrums this story had, and offered some advice I’ll account for when the book is completely finished.

Next is Grace, who I met at a convention. She liked Caught and wanted more. She was kind enough to not only send some general comments, but she also sent a document that highlighted some of the more egregious typos. She could have just sent an email, but she took time out of her life to give something I wrote a degree of detail I felt was above and beyond. I can’t thank her enough.

Whenever I write something, I try to stretch my abilities.  I knew that since this book featured Kaitlyn, who’s 16 at the time of this story, the novella would fall into the YA category, which I’m honestly not a huge fan of. But art and entertainment can do so many wonderful things. I’ve always believed that not liking a person or thing has more to do with understanding it than it being bad. So trying to write this story was a way of approach the genre. However, I’m not going to pretend I know everything about everything. I reached out to the Slush Brain, and Chess DeSalls answered the call. She was my “YA” expert, and I was very happy with her feedback. She’s a successful YA author, and I’ve even reviewed one of her books.

caught-front-coverPeggy has not only read every book I’ve published, she’s also helped me sell more books than anyone else. She read my call for alpha readers, and decided to get some advanced reading done. Peggy, Grace, and Ben were particularly helpful because they’ve all read Caught, which I’m honored to say spent a few days on the Top 100 for its category (psychics) for a few days this weekend, and I was very concerned about keeping these elements together.

The reality is anyone can write up a book and get it published. I don’t want to just throw crap on the digital wall. I want stories that inspire and entertain. I want to write stories people enjoy. These alpha and beta (two drafts away) readers are critical to making that happen. They provide honest, direct feedback that lets me make the stories better.  I can’t do this without them.  Thank you!

So what’s next? Well, I’m going to take the rest of this weekend to watch football and read Oathbringer (probably not the whole book, but a LOT).

Monday, I’ll begin the First Draft of The Worth of Words, my contribution to The Power of Words anthology (Happy to report I’ve received yet another submission by the way). I’ll update you all via Twitter and Facebook on my progress there. Sara and I have began talking about how long she’ll need for developmental edits. If I finish the First Draft of The Worth of Words, I’ll start world building and outlining Betrayed (Oneiros Book 2).

That’s what I’ll be up to through December. Again, I want you all to know what a blessing it is to have anyone even remotely interested in my ramblings. It’s amazing! I’ll keep working hard to believe blogs you enjoy and books you can’t put down. As always…

Thanks for reading,
Matt

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A Quick Power of Words Update

A Quick Power of Words Update

Power of Words Cover_FRONTGreetings all,

I’m hard at work on the Alpha Draft of Repressed, which is a little more than halfway done. I’m going to make a huge effort to finish this draft and get it sent to Sara by the end of the weekend. That’s honestly an ambitious goal, but it is feasible.

Finishing that will mean I get to do another draft of Worth of Words, which means it’s time to just keep the word going about the Power of Words anthology.

I’m happy to say I’ve received a few submissions already. I honestly didn’t expect many to come in this early, but they have. I’m still hopeful to get a lot more. My intent is for the anthology to have seven stories. What I imagine is a lot of you are like me. You have the tendency to submit closer to the deadline.

I want you to know that’s completely fine. I’ve told those who’ve already submitted that I won’t start reading until the deadline. This is so I can give this project the attention it deserves. I’m a man of momentum, and I don’t do well when I have to shift gears that quickly. I like to have a project “in waiting” and a project “in progress.” For instance, right now Repressed is “in progress,” and Worth of Words is “in waiting.” This keeps me busy while I’m waiting for edits. I might have to deal with shifting gears, but if I’m reading submissions, I’m more likely to be able to do that than if I’m editing my own work. My hope is to read submissions while drafting Betrayed, Oneiros Book 2.

I hope you’re all having a proactive month of writing, and I truly hope to see your submissions during the end of the month.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Both My Books Are 99 Cents In Nov.

Greetings all,

Bob_Caught_99_SaleJust making the announcement that from now until Nov. 30, both ebooks of Caught and The Journals of Bob Drifter are only 99 cents. I figure this would make an easy digital stocking stuffer or holiday gift for the readers in your family.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Announcing the October Book Cover of the Month!

Hello everyone,

The October Book Cover of the Month bracket has just wrapped up. I’m happy to report we’re off the snide we were on.  This month had a solid amount of support, and I’m so grateful to everyone for helping make that happen. These brackets are special to me, and they grow more legitimate and meaningful each time we keep heading forward.

We had 4,007 votes this month.

We had another one of those months where someone leaps out and charges ahead of the crowd. Let’s here it!

The October Book Cover of the Month is…

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This image was taken from Amazon.com to critique and advertise the author and artist.

 

 

 

 

Demonhome by Michael G. Manning! If you’re curious about how I felt about the book, check out the Facebook post that I posted when this book first landed on the bracket, here.

Let’s look at the stats!

Manning received 297 total votes. He jumped out in front around Day 2, and never looked back.

OCT_Cover_CollageChosen by R.S. Broadhead finished second, which means that’ll have another chance to be the Book Cover of the Month for November.  Since November only has 30 days, The Fallen Queen by Janie Marie, who fell to third, also get’s a shot at another bracket. This is actually critical (see below).

That said, Manning is the winner this month, so let’s look at his book.

 

 

Amazon:

(START BLURB)

Matthew is the first human wizard to possess the true heritage of the Illeniels, a secret gift no one fully understands. Alone, he travels to another world, seeking the source of their mysterious enemies. There he will discover the origin of their ancient foe, the mysteries of the past, and possibly the future of humankind.

If he can survive long enough.

In a land beyond death and suffering, he finds the true source of evil, within the heart of humanity, and their newest creation. In the search for knowledge, some doors, once opened, can never be closed.

(END BLURB)

Confession one, this wasn’t the cover I personally voted all he way through. It’s beautiful, it just wasn’t my favorite. (For the record, no book I voted number one never actually won.) Confession two, I’m still glad this book won because I had already intended to read it, so while my TBR pile still goes up by one, it doesn’t double the way it normally does around this time. I’ll buy the audio edition of this book (my preferred medium with this saga).

5215279Manning is the first author to have two winning book covers, which is also cool. I’ve added Demonhome to my TBR. (For those who are new to the deal, I buy the Book Cover of the Month to read and review in the future. I bought Manning’s first cover, Howard’s cover, Deyo’s coverJones’s CoverHubert’s Cover,  MacNiven’s cover,  Jon del Arroz’sRob J. Hayes’sChris Philbrook’s, and R.L. Week’sThey are also on my TBR. Manning’s review is here.  Howard’s review is here. Deyo’s review is here. I’ve read Jones’s book, and I’ll post a review for it next week.


Here’s
 Manning’s Facebook page. Give it a like if you’re curious about him and his work.

I wonder if Amalia Chitulescu (who did Manning’s other BCOTM winning cover) was the artist for this one. I’m not sure.  I’ll try to find out. If so, she’d be only the second artist to win BCOTM. Shawn King has credit (or partial credit) for two covers as well.

The November bracket is still under development, but it looks good so far. It’ll kick of Dec. 1.

Now, that brings up some additional news. My first ever BOOK COVER OF THE YEAR tournament is coming. This will feature all 12 BCTOM winners and four “Wild Card” covers.

The Wild Card Round: This will be a one-week bracket featuring covers that performed well, but just didn’t ever win. It will have eight covers, and the top four will earn places in the BCOTM bracket.

The Book Cover of the Year Bracket (for which I’m purchasing an actual trophy to send to the artist) will launch Jan. 1. It will be a two-week tournament. Then, I’ll laugh the December Book Cover of the Month, which will start off a new year. Honestly, I haven’t decided weather or not I will do another year. At this moment, as I type this, I’m leaning toward doing it, but it takes a ton of energy to do this. (For the record, a lot of participation in the brackets motivates me). I promise I’ll close out the year because that had always been my plan. I’ll make a decision on next year at the end of the November bracket.

I will continue to identify and select covers for each day from Amazon’s New Release section for fantasy and science fiction. If you follow and like my Facebook page, you can see what covers will make the bracket.

Thanks for reading

Matt

The October Book Cover of the Month Begins

The October Book Cover of the Month Begins

November’s bracket has 31 new books. Last month’s runner up, The Festival of Trial and Ember, by Logan Miehl,  also has another chance to win the month.

You can vote all the way through the tournament, supporting the covers you like best through each round. I like to make sure people get the credit they deserve, so please show your support. Please vote and share as much as possible to get people a chance to pick their favorite.

As always, I’d appreciate it if you tag the authors and artists if you know them. I try to tag or friend every author I can, but sometimes it’s hard to track someone down. Max participation is a huge deal to me. The more people who vote, the more recognition these authors and artists receive, and I want this to be as legitimate as possible.

If you are the author, let’s remember to be good sports! 1) Please feel free to message or contact me at any time. 2) Please feel free to like, share, text, ask for support, and call everyone you know. I absolutely want max participation. However, if you’re going to offer giveaways or prizes, please offer them for voting, not just voting for you.

Also, while your summoning your army of voting soldiers, please make sure you ask them to vote in every match. Part of the idea of this is to get exposure to as many artists and authors as possible. By all means, if you can get 1,000 people to vote for your book, do it. Just please also send some eyeballs to the other matches.

A final note to authors and artists: I currently have links to the books’ Amazon pages. If you’d prefer I switch that link to sign up for your newsletter or like your social media page or whatever, just send me the link and let me know. I want this to help you. I want this to be as helpful as possible, so whatever you need me to do to facilitate that, just let me know.

Also, this will be the next to last month of the year. After November’s tournament, I’ll have been doing this for a year. (WOW!) That means the Book Cover of the Year tournament is coming. I’ll start out by having a Wild Card bracket, featuring eight covers that came close, but didn’t quite make it. Those covers will be runners up or high-vote earners. The top four from THAT bracket will be placed in the Book Cover of the Year bracket. The Book Cover of the Year Wild Card Bracket will kick off just as soon as the November Book Cover of the Month tournament ends. If you want to leave a comment for a cover you liked that didn’t get in, feel free. I’ll consider the options, though I think the ones I’m looking at now all have a justifiable right to be consider wild card entrants.

That’s still a month away. For now, please have fun with October’s bracket.

I hope you keep having fun. Please, vote, share, and discuss as much as possible.

All you have to do now is head over here to vote!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Submissions open tomorrow! A Call for Stories to be in an Anthology!

Submissions open tomorrow! A Call for Stories to be in an Anthology!
Power of Words Cover_FRONT
Working cover for the anthology by M.L.S. Weech.

Greetings all,

I’ve been posting about it for a while now, but tomorrow’s the big day (hopefully)! Since it’s the first, and I do the Book Cover of the Month every first, I thought I’d make this post today.

This is the official opening of submissions for The Power of Words.

The Power of Words is a science fiction / fantasy anthology inspired either by the First Amendment or the prompt of the title.

Submissions must be absolutely no larger than 30,000 words. Any entries totaling more than that will be immediately discarded.

There is not limit on the number of your entries. You can submit as many stories as you like. They must be either science fiction or fantasy (anywhere in that range). Please submit the highest quality product you can deliver. While I will be making a content edit on all selected pieces and paying my editor for her proofreading services, I need you to deliver a product you’d stand behind.

Seven entries will be selected to join my contribution. Selected contributors will receive 10 percent of all online sales. They will be allowed to order physical editions through me (Order plus shipping and handling), and authors will be permitted 100 percent of any personal point of sales. Online royalty payments will be made quarterly, on the last day of the month. Please have a  Paypal account, as this is the simplest way to make a payment. I’ll try to work something out with each contributor, but life is just far easier if you have Paypal.

correcting-1870721__340All selected authors will be expected to market the book as well. This is important as I’ll openly admit I’m not a good marketer. I’ll do my end on my social media accounts and with book promotions, but every author should do his or her part.

Entries will be accepted from Nov. 1 until Nov. 30. Once submissions close, I’ll post an update on reviews and when people should be notified. Anyone submitting this does not submit their rights to the story.  Contracts detailing rights will be sent directly to the seven selected authors.

Entries should be emailed to mlsweech@gmail.com. Please type, “My Power of Words Submission” in the “Subject” line. Please include:

Your name and pen name if applicable.

A brief (50-100 word) summary of your story.

Your bio.

Your website.

Your email.

Also please include any titles you currently have published (if any).

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All stock images from Pixabay.

I’ll be selecting the contributors. Selected contributions will be determined on the quality of the story and only the quality of the story.  For those of you interested in what I find high quality stories, I’ll say I connect best with stories containing sympathetic, proactive characters. All stories will be considered, but I thought it fair to let you know what I find the most value in.

I’ve never done anything this ambitious before. As I’ve said, I’m honestly not sure what’s going to happen, but if one never tries something, one never achieves it. This could be huge; it could fizzle out before it gets started. I fell in love with the idea, so I felt the need to at least try. I’m happy to report I have had some interest, so we’ll see how this goes.

I can’t wait to update you all on how things are going with this effort.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

 

 

The Second Edition of The Journals of Bob Drifter is In Review!

The Second Edition of The Journals of Bob Drifter is In Review!

The Journals of Bob Drifter Front CoverGreetings all,

It feels like a huge weight has been lifted. After some careful editing, careful design, and some rather comedic fights with Pages and page-number formatting, I’ve just turned in the PDF of the 2nd Edition of The Journals of Bob Drifter.

I can’t make this more clear. This is not a sequel! One of my readers thought that, and I don’t want to mislead anyone. I had some editorial issues with Bob that I wanted to hash out. More importantly, I needed more control over pricing, sales, and distribution. When I realized I was going to re-release Bob, I made a few decisions.

  1. Get the price down: The original price for the soft-cover of Bob Drifter was $28. Which is almost more than a hard cover for some larger books. That’s never sat well with me. Doing this let me bring the cover price way down (12.99). There won’t be a hard cover for the book, but hard cover books just don’t sell, at least not for me.
  2. BobsGreatestMistakeMake each part available. I’ve already shown you the covers for each individual part of Bob Drifter. This lets readers try each part out with out the price commitment of the whole story. An Unusual Occupation (Part One of the story) should come out about three months after the full version. Yes, it also puts more books on my shelf, but the main reason is to let people pay for what they want and read what they want. Buying the full version up front will probably be more cost effective, but people like paying for only what they want.
  3. Change the category. There is a magic system for Bob. I promise! But people just don’t see it as an urban fantasy novel. Putting it in the Supernatural and Paranormal categories is simply a better fit from a marketing point of view. Here’s hoping that leads to more sales.

The other good news is this means I’ll have new copies of Bob available when my convention tour begins in 2018.

I don’t have a release date. I also need to contact Archway to cancel the contract with the first edition. I’m a little worried about how that might go, but it shouldn’t be a big deal. (What worries me is if it’s made into a big deal.)  Once I get a release date, I’ll update you all.  The Ebook will be relatively close behind the paperback edition, and I’ll keep you all updated on that when I have news to offer.

kaitlynIn other news, I’ve heard back from three Alpha readers. All thought the Repressed was good. I’ve identified a few things I want to emphasis before I send it to Sara for editing, but so far, it feels like this was a very solid first draft.

This was a big benchmark for me. It lets me focus my attention on the future, which means Betrayed (Oneiros Book Two) isn’t too far from getting started.  If you liked the psychic military action in Caught, you’ll love Betrayed. Dom has a much larger role in that novel, as does Kira and Kaitlyn. The team will have to face a lot of tension on a lot of different battlegrounds. I look forward to getting on that. I’ll finish Repressed and Worth of Words.  I’m still not remotely sure how many entries I’ll get for that anthology, but I have heard from at least three people who said they’re going to submit.  That’s encouraging.  Big things are on the horizon in my neck of the woods. I’ll always keep you posted. I still can’t thank you all enough for your interest and support. I hope to keep delivering you stories you enjoy.

Thanks for reading,

Matt