Tag Archives: Dave Freer

As Promised . . .

If you sent us anything during our January submission period, you should hear from us Monday or Tuesday of next week.  Thanks again to everyone who sent in something.  We received some really great stories/novels and it’s been difficult to choose what to accept.

We also have a schedule adjustment to announce.  Lawyers of Mars, by Pam Uphoff, and Hunter’s Moon, by Ellie Ferguson, have been reslotted to May.

We have also added several more titles to the list of books we’ll be bringing out in both digital and print formats.  Included in this list are Death of a Musketeer (Sarah D’Almeida), Nocturnal Origins (Amanda S. Green), ConVent (Kate Paulk), The Calvanni (Book 1 of Chris McMahon’s Jakirian series), and Without a Trace (Dave Freer).  Two of these are books where the rights have reverted back to the authors and they (D’Almeida and McMahon) have re-edited them, etc.  The others are new works.  NRP is excited to have all of these joining our first print books.

This is an exciting — and busy — time for NRP and we thank each of you for helping make it so.

 

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Deadlines, deadlines and more deadlines

That seems to be the life of not only authors but editors as well.  It’s stressful enough being one, but wearing both hats is enough to drive any sane person over the edge.  So I guess it’s a good thing I’ve never made any claims on sanity.

The Borders watch continues.  Barnes & Noble has issued an open letter to Amazon associates in an attempt to lure them into the BN fold.  Then there’s this article about McNally Jackson Bookstore in NYC and its new expresso book printer, or “book robot” as they call it.  This is yet another step in the new world of publishing, a step that authors need to keep an eye on because it is being billed as a way to keep books “in print” forever.  As with e-books, there are going to have to be contractual changes to define what “in print” means as more and more bookstores install these expresso machines and more and more titles are made available to them.

Don’t forget we put up two new short stories yesterday (and they should go live on Amazon and Barnes & Noble sometime today).  Check out Legion: The Enemy Within, by Dave Freer and Kate Paulk, as well as Free Surprise in Every Box, by Ellie Ferguson.  And don’t forget the e-arc of Dave’s middle grade/early YA novella, Without a Trace, is also available now.

 

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Monday Morning . . .

and my brain is almost working.  So a couple of links and thoughts and then a reminder.

The first link is to Mad Genius Club.  This morning, Dave Freer is blogging about the potential of an e-book avalanche.  Not only does he discuss the signs he’s seeing, but also his plans and thoughts on the changing of the industry.

Of particular interest are his comments on Amazon giving authors access to their Bookscan numbers.  I’ve heard the same stories Dave has from authors who are convinced — and some probably rightly so — that the numbers they are getting from their publishers are, at best, mistakes and at worse works of fiction.  Amazon, by giving authors free access to data many hadn’t been able to afford before, is doing two things.  The first is simply giving authors a means of double-checking their sales numbers (which is a good thing.  I know authors who have had royalty statements reporting the exact same number of sales reporting period after reporting period).

But it’s the second thing Amazon is doing that I think is a brilliant piece of marketing.  They are building loyalty with these authors.  Especially since Bookscan will soon be reporting e-sales, iirc.  Simply put, Amazon is saying, “Here you go, authors.  We are on your side and we want to give you as much information as possible.  We have nothing to hide.  Can your traditional publishers say the same?”

(Of course, this still doesn’t deal with the problems inherent with Bookscan numbers because they don’t count all outlets where books are sold.  But it is still a tool that has not been available to a number of authors before now.)

The second link this morning is to agent Rachelle Gardner’s blog.  She has an excellent post on the dilemma faced by a prolific author, especially an author who has just signed a new contract.  As a writer, her comments struck home with me, especially those about publishers who insist on contract clauses tying the author to that house either through the right of first refusal or by not allowing an author to sell to another house until after their contract with the first house has been fulfilled.

From a publishing standpoint, I can understand the need to see how a book does before committing time and resources to another book by an author.  Even as a digital publisher, it’s an important consideration.  Most e-publishers — NRP included — don’t pay advances.  But that isn’t the only cost that goes into publishing an e-book.  You still have multiple people involved in the intake process, editorial process, conversion process, promotions, etc.  All that takes time and money.  If those expenses aren’t met and profit made — very important so you can pay the author and they can then write more for you — you can’t keep publishing.  Negative cash flow can only go on for so long before a company will fold.

But from a writer’s standpoint, it’s a frustrating issue.  This is especially true if you’re just breaking into the business.  It leads to having to decide between sitting on a manuscript — or three — while your first book is published and those first sets of numbers come in or not writing — ACK! — or finding alternative means of getting your work out there.

Can you can, “vicious circle”?

Finally, the reminder.  Our submission period is open for one more week.  We are currently looking for short stories, novellas and novels in all genres except erotica.  For more information, you can check out our guidelines here.  Or if you have any questions, you can e-mail us at submissions-at-nakedreader-dot-com (you know what to do to make it a valid e-mail addy).

Now, I’m off to find more coffee so I can dig into the work on my desk.

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Monday News

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Looking outside this morning and seeing the remnants of snow, and watching the reports of all the people not thinking about ice on bridges, I was glad I didn’t have to get out in it.  I hope those of you who had inclement weather this weekend stayed safe and warm.

A new Drooling for Books review is up.  John’s been under the weather and, like so many of it is seems, has had family emergencies to deal with as well.  But he’s back to work and starts the New Year off with a review of Written in Time by Jerry and Sherry Ahern (published by Baen Books).

Here’s a reminder as well that Dave Freer’s Teen/Early YA novella, Without a Trace, is now available as an e-arc.

Also, Wedding Bell Blues by Ellie Ferguson is on sale for $1.99. It is available at the discounted price through our site, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Our spotlighted short story is Fancy Farmer by Pam Uphoff.  It is free on our site and available for 99 cents through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Enjoy!

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New Schedule Announced

Let me start out by once again thanking everyone who submitted either short stories or novels to us in November.  We received quite a few submissions and it was difficult to choose exactly which ones to sign.  However, our editorial board was up to the task and contracts have been sent out and returned.  Now I have the pleasure of announcing the schedule for the first quarter of 2011 as well as some of the titles we will be publishing later this year.

January

The e-arc for Dave Freer’s YA novella, Without A Trace, is already available for purchase.

A Deeper Silence, a collection of short stories by Charles Edgar Quinn.

Legion, a short story by Dave Freer and Kate Paulk.

February

Lawyers of Mars by Pam Uphoff.

Short story collection by Dan Hoyt, title to be announced later.

Death of a Musketeer by Sarah D’Almeida.  This is the first of the Musketeer Mysteries and has never appeared in digital format.  We are very pleased to be able to add this title to our catalog and to announce that we will be offering later this year The Musketeer’s Confessor, a new book in the series.

We will also offer an as yet to be determined short story or two this month.

March

Impaler by Kate Paulk.  A mix of alternate history, historical mystery and a new take on the Dracula myth.  This is the follow-up novel to Kate’s novella, Born in Blood.

Hunter’s Moon by Ellie Ferguson is a mix of urban fantasy and romance.

Blood Ransom, a short story collection by Sarah A. Hoyt.

Last, but certainly not least, we will be offering our own irreverent take on St. Patrick’s Day, much in the vein of Robert Hoyt’s Christmas Campaign.

April

The Great Flying Saucer Conspiracy by Tom Easton.  Tom will be doing a guest blog for us later this month complete with information about the book and a giveaway.

An as yet to be titled short story collection by Dave Freer.

Want, a short story by Jay Caselberg that came to us during our November submission period.

Skipping Stones, a short story by Darwin Garrison that also came to us during the November submission period.

May

Revocare, a short story by Leslie Fish that was submitted to us during November.

Here There Be Faeries, a short story by Stephen Simmons that came to us also during the November submission period.

There will be at least one novel added to the lineup.  We’ll announce which title as soon as possible.

Summer/Fall/Winter

Among the titles we’ll be offering the second half of the year are the following:

The Musketeer’s Confessor by Sarah D’Almeida.  This is a new title in the Musketeers Mysteries and we are very excited to be able to offer it to you.

Firefight by Tom Easton will be published in August.

Tiltamouse is Hunger, a YA novella by Sarah A. Hoyt.

Vengeance Mine, a mystery by Jenny Schall that is also a product of the November submission period.

ConVent by Kate Paulk.

Robert A. Hoyt’s holiday collection which includes Christmas Campaign.

These are just a few of the titles we’ll be bringing you over the next year.  As new titles are added, we’ll let you know.

 

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E-ARC Available

The e-arc for Dave Freer’s new YA fantasy adventure, Without a Trace, is now available.  This is your chance to be the first on your block to have Dave’s newest work.

For those who aren’t familiar with what an e-arc is, it’s an advanced reader copy of the novella.  In other words, this is not the final product.  There may be spelling and punctuation errors present.  It’s possible there will be some text changes made as well before the final product is published Feb. 15th.  While you may find some errors in this product, those who purchase the e-arc will get to read it before anyone else.

In this YA offering, a boy’s search for his grandfather’s downed plane leads to a parallel South Africa with pirates and worse.  His quest to clear his grandfather’s name turns into a desperate race against time to return to his own reality before it’s too late.

CHAPTER 1

HISTORY
“Universes, endless parallel universes, may lie right next to next to ours. They are as unreachable as the stars. Or are they?”

You’ve heard of the Bermuda triangle? You know, where compasses suddenly start to spin wildly, with a sudden darkness at noon, where ships and planes sometimes just disappear. When they’re gone, they’re just… gone, and nothing ever comes back. There are other places where this is supposed to happen too. There’s a spot deep in the Gobi, and another above the Java Trench. And then… there’s the Wild Coast…. some very strange things have happened there. Over the years Portugese Carracks, British East Indiamen, and, in 1908, the Wahratah have disappeared off that coast.

On the 27th of July in 1981 my Grandad flew his Piper Cherokee out from the little bumpy airstrip on our farm, in the direction of Port St. Johns. He flew off to go and take a swarm of bees out of a friend’s holiday cottage. He flew out of our lives, and for all anyone knew out of this world. He, and his plane were “missing”. They’d just disappeared, disappeared without a trace. No wreckage was ever found. Then the problems started.

For starters he was in trouble with the security police. Politics, guns. They reckoned Grandad was a gun-runner. My Old Man says it was quite possible. He says his Dad was up to anything, provided it was totally lunatic. Everyone had thought he was a rich man, but it seemed he owed a lot of money. There was very little money in his bank account.

Then the story came out. He’d drawn out twenty thousand Rand the day before he flew, and bought Krugerrands with it. He’d been buying gold for years, it seemed. Suddenly, nobody believed he’d crashed anymore. Everyone said he’d cut and run. Everyone but my Dad.

“My father never ran away from anything in his life!” That’s what he said to the papers then. That’s what he said to me maybe a thousand times since. My Dad was twenty three then, not even married a year, and still having a grand old time at University. Me, I was three months old.

Suddenly he wasn’t a rich man’s son anymore. Suddenly he didn’t have any friends. Three days later he didn’t have a wife either. She left him with a baby boy, a stack of debts and no future.

He’d lost everything but the farm. Fortunately my grandmother had left that to Dad. Grandad couldn’t be proved to be dead, so my father never got to see Grandad’s will. Grandad was well insured, but Dad couldn’t claim anything because Grandad wasn’t legally dead. The plane was insured too, but it was just “missing”.

Dad had to sell what the creditors hadn’t taken. Most of the livestock, almost all of the farm implements, Grandad’s cars, radios, TV, and antique furniture went. Dad had no money to replace anything that broke down. While there was still money owing there was no chance of credit from anyone.

Grandad had built quite nice staff houses, with electricity and running water, and paid his employees far more than anyone else in the district. This had made all the local farmers mad with him. Apparently one of them had come around to the farm and had a shouting match with him, about how he was “spoiling the Kaffirs”. Grandad had picked him up, and tossed him into a rose bush.

The old man had also never been scared to speak his mind about anything, and it seemed he’d trod on a lot of toes talking about the way the farmers treated their labourers. The result was, now that Dad needed help, he found that even those people whom Grandad didn’t owe money to, treated him as if he was a scorpion on a picnic blanket.

Dad couldn’t possibly afford to pay the all the farm workers. Eventually only one family stayed, but some months Dad couldn’t find the money to pay them either. Still, because of the way Grandad had treated them, they stayed with us. They had a few cows and goats and patch of mielies, so nobody starved. They were more like friends than labourers though.

Often the only customers Dad could find for the farm produce were the local black people, because no one in town would buy from him at a fair price, and he had no transport to take our stuff to anywhere else. Fortunately, virtually everyone who had ever worked for Grandad came to the farm buy from Dad. Dad spoke Zulu and even Xhosa — because we were pretty near the borderland between the two languages — and people liked that. “Respect begets respect,” he always said. I was never too sure what ‘begets’ meant. I think it had something to do with the way people greeted him.

Dad just kept trying. Somehow he made enough money to pay cash for everything. Somehow we made it through the droughts. Nothing was going to stop my Dad from paying off the debts, proving he was an honest man, and making that farm rich again. He loved the place and he was going to keep it. If I’d known it was something special, I’d have been really proud of him. I suppose I didn’t. I just thought that was the way grown-ups (especially my Dad) behaved, when I was a little kid. I guess my Old Man was the centre of my universe. He told wonderful stories. About Granda’Al, about the San, about the Zulu wars. He was interested in that kind of thing.

So I grew up on the farm. We were dirt poor, but nobody told me about it, so I didn’t know. The farm was a bit wild, and run down, but we had electricity from the Pelton wheel, plenty of milk, fruit, mielie meal and eggs. Occasionally we’d eat a chicken. My milk brother, Amos, and I ran after the chickens, rode the pig and generally got chased out of every kind of trouble. He was the best friend you could ever have to grow up with.

Fat Mamma Lena, who’d raised us both, looked after us in a cheerful lazy fashion, usually just telling one of her older daughters to make sure we didn’t kill ourselves. The big old house was bare, as most of the furniture had been sold, but the kitchen with its smokey woodburning stove was always warm.

When I was six I started going across the river to Mevrou Cronje to learn my letters. She was a kind, gruff old lady, a widowed ex schoolmistress, who thought everyone ought to be able to read. On her stoep she taught me and a few of the other farm workers’ kids to read, write and count. She never said a word about me being the odd one out with straight black hair and a sunburned nose, when the other kids were lucky enough not to get sunburned. Dad said I look black Irish, but I wouldn’t have minded just being sunburn-proof dark brown back then.

Then I turned eight and I had to go to town to school. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just go to the local farm school with Amos, but that was the law back in 1988. One law whites and one for black people. Pretty dumb, but that was the way it was.

School was the worst thing that ever happened to me. All the other kids knew each other. Their clothes were new. All of them had shoes. I had horny bare feet, threadbare shorts and a kahki shirt one size too small. Even the teachers sort of steered away from me.

It must have been a week before any of the other kids even spoke to me. It was the class bully, a brute called Butch Visser. He was nearly a head taller than me, and maybe five kilos heavier. He said “Hey thief! Why aren’t you in jail?”

I didn’t answer straight away. I was still translating everything anyone said into Zulu, and I couldn’t believe what he was saying. He must have thought I was scared.

“Why do you stink, thief!” he closed in on me, standing too close.

“I’m not a thief!” I blurted, scared and hurt.

“Well your Grandad was, so you must be. He was a thief and he ran away! He owed my Dad money.” He leaned over me and I had to look up to see his face.

My best goodnight stories ever since I could remember had been about my crazy Granda Al. Stories about places with wonderful names like Casablanca and Tangiers. About small boats and misty nights. I could recite some of them, word for word. Dad always finished every story with these words “He was a real man, son. He never ran away from anything in his life!” I didn’t have to think about what to say. I just yelled “My Grandad never ran away from anything in his life!”

***

One final note, our home page will be undergoing some redesign tomorrow, so I’m not going to risk mucking it up and bringing down the wrath of our tech gurus by trying to add links and images myself.  So just follow this link or click on the “new novelettes” link on the right side of the homepage for Without a Trace.

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Update and Freebie Announcement

Sorry, guys, the promised e-arc will be posted in the morning.  The gods of the internet didn’t play nice this afternoon — as in my internet went down — and then I spent most of the rest of the day dealing with a furnace that decided it didn’t want to work.  Usually, in the DFW area, that’s not an issue.  But it’s cold tonight.

Any way, the e-arc will be posted in the morning.

Tomorrow’s freebie will be A Touch of Night by Sarah A. Hoyt and Sofie Skapski.  If you like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice or if you like shapeshifters and dragons, this is the novel for you.  The downloads will be free tomorrow, starting at 9 am CST (possibly earlier) and will remain free until 9 am CST Monday.

Again, apologies for the delay.  Check back tomorrow for more information about Dave Freer’s e-arc for Without a Trace and for more information about upcoming giveaways.

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