What a day!

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THE HARDCOVER COPIES OF “SOUTH POLE VENDETTA” CAME TODAY!

The first thought I had was that it seems so much more “real” now.

After everything that has happened with the book it doesn’t seem like this event should have been the pinnacle, the climax of the publishing phase of the work, but I really felt as though the final hurdle had been cleared when I opened the box of hardcovers. Maybe the word “final” isn’t the right one, because now marketing becomes the core of my life, but – seeing the hardcover – it seemed as though all of the pieces were in place to see the book move forward. There was just something different about these books and all the rest.

For that reason I began asking the question, “What was so special about getting the hardcovers as compared to all the copies received before this?”

I don’t know that I have a good answer to that question, but I do have some ideas; and some further related questions. 1. Even with the artistic abilities I have, the professionally-finished book has a certain feel that I didn’t get with the books I had done. Is it because of a certain level of familiarity, or something more? 2. There is something special about a hardback compared to a paperback version. Does that carry over to being able to sell hardbacks to potential customers? 3. I have waited on a large portion of the early sales techniques and ideas until I could share this special part of the process with those who have been so supportive. Have I given those copies too much power and potential, or am I trying to stay connected to those who have been so much help – whether it helps with selling books or not? I think, and hope, it’s the second.

Much of the reason for this blog is to share the things I have learned, and am learning, through the process of being published – so I’m not sure that I have any great insight into these things. But I do hope that it can help someone else through the process.

I don’t know if you are considering some of these things, have considered them at some point in the past, or are just getting ready for your debut in publishing; but I would be interested in hearing what you think of these questions and thoughts. If you have any insight or questions, please feel free to respond – and I will try to share those in future blogs.

Oh yeah – if you’re interested in a pre-release copy of the paperback or the hardback please let me know. The cost is $20 for paper, and $30 for hardback. You can reach me at chuckmyers2@me.com — so much for having marketing figured out!

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“South Pole Vendetta” pre-release copies now available!

20130828-220639.jpgWhat an amazing day!

After months of preparation the news came today – pre-release copies of “South Pole Vendetta” can now be ordered to prepare my personal author’s inventory. That means I can now sell books to friends and supporters, before they’re available anywhere else.

Part of the excitement of that news is the fact that I have a certain level of control over the price, number, and type of books I order.

I have decided – knowing so little about marketing I may cut my own throat, but I’ll do it with a smile on my face – that I will offer a “social media – introductory offer” to my friends and supporters.

Here’s what I’d like to do:

1. The regular price for SPV is set at $26.99.
2. Those books that I buyback give me an impressive amount of “wiggle-room” in setting the prices of the books that I will sell to my “niche market” – or sell myself at book signings, over the internet, and at other events.
3. I have also discovered that I can purchase “hardback” books, for author resale only, at a substantial savings as well. These books will not be available to anyone other than me as the author.
4. My ultimate reason for writing SPV was to get my name out on the market so that I could market the more “important” books – those that are part of the Country Life Discipleship Ministry.
5. I am also hoping that there might end up being finances available to make resources more available for small and rural churches.

SO…

1. I want to offer the paperback at the lower price of $20.
2. I am also interested in offering the hardback “special edition” copy of the book for the nearly equal price as the bookshelf price of the paperback at $26.99. For $30 I can give a very limited and special edition of the work to those who might be interested, both those who purchased the earlier copy and those interested in an rare copy.
3. Every copy that I release personally will be signed.
3. This approach allows me to commit whatever – if any – profit to the ministry that birthed this whole venture; Country Life Discipleship.

Whether you’re a fan of techno/military fiction, a personal fan, friend, or family member, or simply someone ready to try a book by a new and different author; I hope this will be your chance to join the “SPV fan” community.

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“Country Life Discipleship” site is up and running

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The long awaited day has arrived!

Maybe “a” long awaited day would be better, but it’s still an amazing step.

After spending the last weeks working on “South Pole Vendetta” the time opened up to address the related issue of a website to call home. The result is countrylifedisciple.com.

Home to all my books, a page for freebies, and a store all my own, I have taken the next step down the road of “Country Life Discipleship Ministries”.

If you’re interested in the latest on my books, have a passion for discipleship, or are just a genuinely nice person; may I invite you to stop by and let me know what you think? I’m very interested in any comments or ideas – and you could even buy a book while you’re there. Except for “South Pole Vendetta” – we’re still a few months away from that release (but you can pre-order).

Anyhow, meander on over and visit for a minute or two. We’ve tried to create a comfortable, easy site to look around on; and we think you may just learn something while you’re there.

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Content Edit 101

Ever thought about going back to school and getting a Masters in Creative Writing? I have, I just can’t do it at this point. Instead, I’m getting a crash course at the UAS (more on that in a moment). Consider the two week period of working on my content edit as a course on the subject offered by a Creative Writing University, and this was the FINAL EXAM. For your consideration:

20130620-192817.jpgNow that I’ve finished my first deadline-based content edit, I feel like a freshman after his first final; “dead week” is over and I feel just a bit “wasted” – and I don’t know if I flunked, passed, or maybe even got a good grade yet! I feel like I’ve just been through a very intense exam on the subject of my book, “South Pole Vendetta”. Here are my thoughts on the process.

My feelings about how I did on various parts of the exam I was asked to answer (addressed as essay questions on the test):

1. Question One: How well are you doing in creating a story that appeals to a vast number of readers?

You can learn a lot in a “lab-based class”. I’ve had a number of people critique my work, but getting the expectations of a “publisher-based” critique let me know that I have a lot to learn. Rather than just getting individual and biased feelings, emotions, and desires; I was getting what a professional wanted to make the book successful – so they’d be successful. I’m quite sure that the reason for these changes is to make the story as appealing as possible, so I trust that addressing those things will result in a better read.

My editor did a great job of explaining what I was lacking in the areas of POV, dialogue, character creation, and so forth. What I learned over the period of two short weeks was of great benefit. If I can remember what was wanted (it’s all written down, thankfully) my next story will be better to begin with as I make changes in my writing BEFORE the story goes to the editor.

2. Question Two: How advanced are you in the area of being a professional story-teller?

If I thought I was at the head of the class before, I feel like I’m at the back of the class now. There is so much to learn about this craft that you constantly feel a bit overwhelmed.

I could look at my story before the edit and say that it was very similar to a lot of books found on the shelves of libraries and bookstores, in the level and ability of the writing; I wouldn’t think there was more than a minor amount of differences. But, now, I find myself saying, “Most of those who are writing are going to be able to do it with a fairly high level of ability, it’s the five to ten percent difference that sets a piece apart. That small difference that speaks to professionalism.”

After finishing the edit I’m quite sure that my work is MUCH better than it was before, but I couldn’t see what I was missing until it was shown to me. Once I realized that there were several things not up to par, I could address them; but before that I couldn’t even change something I was unaware needed to be done.

3. Questions Three through (um) Ten?
There were some questions on the test that I know I got right. Yeah, I have the ability to be a writer. I may not be a senior, a junior, or even a sophomore – but I am in the University of Advanced Story-telling. The UAS has a ring to it, wouldn’t you agree?

My editor liked a lot of things I had done. I was told that I wrote about war quite well, my dialogue was basically pretty good, and I have a story that a lot of people are really going to enjoy. There were enough things in my story to interest Tate Publishing, so there are some people out there that want to read it.

So, what grade did I get?
Asking a student to grade their own work is always a bit “iffy”, but I’m going to give it a try. 20130620-192942.jpg

Let’s start with the questions I got right:
Story plotting – A (I think it’s a great idea; timely, intense, and exciting)
Dialogue – B (Got some good stuff going on, but I missed on some parts)

Questions that had some problems:
Character development – B (Main characters were good, but minor characters needed help)
POV – D (Big problem here. I was trying several different POV in the story, and didn’t do it well – now I have most of it in 3rd Person Limited, and some in 1st Person s the MC draws the reader into his thoughts and actions)

Overall grade: 95 – 85 – 85 – 70 divided by 4 = 83.75 (round up ‘just cause’) 84—C
I’m pretty sure I didn’t flunk, but I have plenty of room for improvement.

So, how about AFTER the edit? Using the same four scores 98 – 95 – 95 – 93 = 95.25—solid A
The indication of a good professor is the ability to assimilate knowledge (done), correct error (done), and encourage growth (done).

No doubt whatsoever, the class was well worth it. Now it’s time for Content Edit 201! We’ll see you in class next fall.

I don’t know if this is helpful or not, but I wanted to get some of my first reactions down before they fell into the abyss of my short memory. Content editing is so helpful, and an unbiased, outside voice is even better.

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2. The Switchblade may be the next generation of military aircraft.

The movies “Stealth” and “I Spy” both have one thing in common, do you know what it is? Of course there’s more than one thing, but the one that concerns us is – they both feature a military airplane very close to one called the “Switchblade”. As a matter of fact, the plane is even called the Switchblade in “I Spy”.

As we continue looking at the fascinating things I found in researching the book, we are nearly to the number one futuristic storyline in “South Pole Vendetta”.

I promise, I didn’t get the idea for South Pole Vendetta from either one, at least not directly! The idea is much more sinister, or exciting, depending on your point of view.

I was doing research for the book when I came across a very interesting idea.

Of course the newest, greatest thing I had run across that fits under the category of next generation aircraft for the US military is the F-35. But what about the NEXT generation? For that, I went looking for the unusual, unsubstantiated, and “under-wraps”.

This quote, from Pakistan Defence gives us an interesting concept to pursue: “F/A-37 unique switch-wing design closely resembles patent #5,984,231 for “Aircraft with variable forward-sweep wing”, issued to Northrop Grumman Corporation in 1999. This patent caused a wave of rumors about actual aircraft build with that design, with fictional name “Switchblade”, that was publicized in November 2000 issue of Popular Science magazine. Moreover, according to aerospace journalist Steve Douglass, Northrop Grumman was one of the technical advisors for the Stealth film. Yet another plane sharing design characteristics with the Talon is the VF-19 Excalibur.”

The articles itself is quite interesting: “On moonless nights, a secret aircraft taxies out of a remote hanger complex at an Air Force base in Nevada. The security lights at the base are dimmed as the aircraft rolls out onto the active runway. Under cover of darkness, the fighter-size aircraft takes off on a training mission over the sprawling Nellis Bombing Range.

“Sources tell us that this mysterious plane, officially called the Bird of Prey, will soon be declassified…”

I didn’t know at the time, and still don’t know, what the word “soon” means, but it sure gives a delicious taste of something new – doesn’t it?

Source: http://www.defence.pk/forums/members-club/145492-fictional-military-aircraft.html#ixzz2UYJhhuWT

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