Happy Midsummer everyone!
It’s the middle of July and warm weather has finally come to Maine. Birds are chirping, the black flies are (mostly) dead, and most fun of all is seeing the pictures showing up in my Facebook feed of people showing off their copies of It’s All Fun and Games. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year since it was released, but time has the tendency to keep moving forward, doesn’t it?
I keep running into people who want to know when the sequel will be coming out, so I wanted to give you an update on how More Fun and Games is progressing. My summer teaching has been taking a bit more time than I’d hoped, which means editing has slowed down a bit. I’m still chipping away at it, however - I’m maybe a third of the way through so far. I’ve added Chapters 1 and 2 to the preview read on the project page, so you can read about the start of this new adventure.
Now my part is only half of the work. YOUR part is the other half. Inkshares only publishes books that a) cover much of the up-front cost; and b) show an established interest. The 2400 or so copies of It’s All Fun and Games that have already been sold shows the interest. Now we just need to cover those editing and design costs. Please, if you’ve got the interest and means to do so, head on over and preorder your copy now.
I also have one additional (less costly) favor to ask of you. DragonCon, one of the largest fan conventions in the country, gives out the Dragon Awards annually. I would deeply appreciate it if you could swing on by the nomination page and nominate It’s All Fun and Games in the "Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel" category. Sure, it’s a long shot, but so was publishing in the first place, so why not give it a try?
As always, you can find me on twitter @llabak and on Facebook
Thank you all for your continued support, and enjoy the rest of the summer!
Hey everyone! Happy Summer!
At least they tell us it’s summuh up here in glorious Maine. Hard to tell with highs in the upper 60s and nights in the 40s. At least it’s keeping the black flies down. A little.
May 31 in Maine, Ladies and Gentlemen
So have I got some news for you!
The crowdfunding sequel to It’s All Fun and Games is now up and running!
As I mentioned in a past update, More Fun and Games has been written (for several years) and now needs the spit and polish (and in some cases massive reworking) to get it up and ready for publication. In the meanwhile, I need your help.
Many of you rallied to It’s All Fun and Games because I harassed you, begged you, and after all, it was only five bucks. Unfortunately (for us…financially appropriate for Inkshares), the price to support has increased - $10 for an ebook and $20 for the paperback. This is a bigger commitment, for sure, so I don’t feel comfortable doing the same level of begging. Having said that, I would really appreciate your tossing a few bucks my way.
Also unfortunately, this isn’t part of a contest, which means no getting the big win on a near miss (that is, the target of 750 copies is much more firm than it was last time). So even if you don’t feel like you can preorder a copy, if you know anyone who liked the first book and would be willing to pitch in on the sequel, please spread the word. Do you know someone who runs an indie bookstore? Rope ‘em on in. Are you a Reality TV family with 19 children (and counting)? All the rug rats need a copy, maybe two.
I will continue to post updates from both projects, so for those of you following both, I apologize for the spam. I’m hopeful that over the summer we’ll be able to get enough momentum to get the process up and running and the sequel out in a timely fashion.
As always, I am humbled by both the kind words and the financial support of my first novel.
It’s February 13, so happy birthday to me! The universe gave me a birthday gift in the form of at least 2 feet of snow on the ground and a snow day at the University. Yay!
Of course I’m writing to you not about my birthday, but about some news I’d like to share. I’ve finished my first editing pass through “More Fun and Games,” the sequel to “It’s All Fun and Games!” I hadn’t even looked at it since penning it during NaNoWriMo back in 2011, and I’m pleased to announce that it’s a fun little story, with quite a few twists and turns. The story follows the friends to the busy streets of Providence City as they make their way east and attempt to establish alliances to help them on their quest.
I do all the editing by hand on paper, and then I go back to the computer to input all the changes, working through wording and making other edits as I go. This acts as a second full editing pass. Once all the writing has been cleaned up (and some of it was pretty messy), I’ll then turn to think about bigger structural and story continuity issues that may need to be addressed. Only once that has been done will I start seriously looking at how to bring the book to market.
I’ve been at it for about a month now, and finally finished, so wanted to share. I’m proud of the story and can definitely see it turning into something everyone will enjoy.
And now some announcements -
I’ll have a table at the Bangor Toy and Comic Con at the Cross Center over Memorial Day weekend, so if you’re in the area, feel free to stop on by and say hello!
More immediately, I’ll be at TotalCon at its new home in Marlborough, MA the weekend of February 25th, mostly playing in the Pathfinder Society area. Again, feel free to say hi!
Lastly, since it’s my birthday, if you wanted to give me a present, head over to Amazon or Goodreads and leave me a review! I’m up to nearly 80 on Amazon, averaging 4.6 stars. I’d love to break the 100 review barrier!
Some of you folks may get this twice, once from Inkshares and once from my own mailing list. I apologize for the spam, but am trying to be more savvy about marketing stuff and getting more eyeballs on my posts.
Thanks again for all your support!
Happy New Year!
Happy December Everyone! I hope that as we move to the darkest time of the year you have your own lights to guide you through until spring.
I’ve got a few pieces of news I want to share with you all, now that November is all done. Why November, you ask? Because of NaNoWriMo, of course. The genesis of these incredible Fun and Games was a month of throwing myself into “literary abandon,” and each year since 2007 (with the exception of last year’s editing frenzy) I have written a 50,000+ word first draft between November 1st and 30th. For instance, the novel that you read was written in November, 2010, with the sequels written in 2011 and 2012 (yes, the series is complete(ish)). After taking a year off into a different direction (don’t ask, it was awful), 2014’s novel was a standalone Chuck-centric story. This year focused on Stu, and while I’m not done yet (about 53k words and counting), I can now take a breather without feeling guilty.
A couple exciting things happened during November. First, we crossed the 2,000 sale threshold, which is absolutely amazing. I sold just under 800 copies during the frantic funding phase, so that’s over a thousand copies purchased by readers through amazon and friendly local booksellers all across the country. That’s super cool. If you come across a free range novel, feel free to swing by Facebook and share it!
Second, the audio book was released, and is now available for download via audible. You may remember that I shared the webpage of the supremely talented actor who performed it, Cassandra Lee Morris. I’ve listened to a good chunk, and she really knows how to bring a story to life. Sitting on some audible credits or just want to experience It’s All Fun and Games on your commute? Swing on by and pick it up.
December is a season for giving, and my publisher, Inkshares, is giving everyone a great deal – you can order It’s All Fun and Games through my project page for only $4.99, and that includes free domestic shipping. A great gift for all those cousins, nephews, nieces, and anyone else who would like a fun fantasy adventure to read this winter. It’s not just my novel on sale, either – there’s a whole host of books all there for the grabbing. Want a suggestion? Shoot me an email, or check out my blog at authordavebarrett.com. I’ve been away from it, but I think a nice book recommendation list would be a great addition, once I re-learn how to work the website.
On the review front, after my last email there was a flurry of posts on Amazon. As a reminder, indie authors live and die by the review and the referral. If you liked it (or your kid liked it, or your dog liked it) please pop over to your favorite ecommerce site (Amazon, B&N, BAM, or all of them!) and leave me a review! And of course, if you’ve got a Goodreads account, that’s a great place to go too. I’ve got 66 reviews at Amazon right now. I’d love to hit 100 by Christmas!
Lastly, I’ve had a bunch of people asking me about when the sequel would come out. At least three or four people, that is. I’m not entirely sure if Inkshares is the place for book two (in a non-contest world I would need to sell 750 preorders at an increased price of $20 per book to fully fund), but I will probably be testing the waters along that front sometime in the near future. Look for another update with a link to the new project page.
As always, you can find It’s All Fun and Games on Facebook, and me on Twitter.
And as always, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support.
Hi everyone! Happy Fall!
Long time, no chat, huh? It’s been about a month and a half since It’s All Fun and Games went live, and I’ve got all sorts of news to share.
The first thing is that I was fortunate enough to receive some pretty cool media attention to coincide with the release. I had a nice sit-down with John Holyoke from the Bangor Daily News, and I was featured both in their online paper and on the front page of the Lifestyle section. IAFAG also was in a segment on the 207, a statewide public interest show that airs nightly in Bangor and Portland. It was fun hearing people tell me that they’d seen or read about me. Look out Kardashians, I’m coming for you.
I’ve also been out and about for a couple public appearances. I had my first public book signing at The Briar Patch in downtown Bangor. If you live locally, make sure you stop on by – it’s a wonderful store filled with books, games, and other things that the little people in your life will enjoy. And then at the end of August I was the featured presenter the Orono-Old Town Kiwanis (which, having just recently seen Calendar Girls at Penobscot Theatre Company (Season Tickets Still Available!), makes me chuckle at the role of “featured presenter”), where I talked about NANOWRIMO, Inkshares, and all the nuggets of stuff that go into making the sausage we call a novel.
I had the horrifying experience of being asked by my award winning voice actor, Cassandra Lee Morris, how to pronounce a few words and realizing that I never really thought about how those combinations of letters would actually sound. Garbaldar is a tricky one to roll off the tongue, and don’t even ask me how to pronounce Gahrauah. I actually just punted and told her to make something up. Memo to me – read all future novels aloud before sending them for publishing and make sure the names are actually pronounceable. If you’d like to read more about Cassandra, you can visit her web page here. She’s pretty impressive, that’s for sure!
Sales have remained steady, though they have tapered off somewhat. Word of mouth is a wonderful thing, so if you know anyone who might be interested in It’s All Fun and Games, have them swing by their Friendly Local bookstore or Amazon and pick up a copy. Or grab it on an e-reader, or in a week or two the ebook!
Also, if you’ve read the book, please swing by Amazon, Goodreads, and (if you have an account) Barnes And Noble and leave a review. They don’t need to be long – “I really liked it” is plenty! I’m currently sitting at 51 reviews on Amazon, but there were 578 people who preordered the book. It’ll take just a few moments of your time, and can make a huge difference. We haven’t yet broken into B&N’s retail stores (which would be instantly several thousand copies sold), but a couple hundred reviews on Amazon and Goodreads would make a pretty convincing argument.
In fact, go do it now. I’ll wait.
See? That wasn’t so hard, was it? And now you have a warm fuzzy cause you know you did me a solid. Speaking of which, I’ve had a number of people tell me that they’ve let the book around their office or circle of friends. That’s great, and I hope your friends all enjoyed the book too. Please ask all those folks to leave me a review as well. 3 minutes of clicking and typing is a great price to pay for a novel.
So, I think that’s all the news that’s news. You may or may not have received an email from Inkshares regarding new contests. There are three right now. Of perhaps the most immediate interest to backers of It’s All Fun and Games are the Geek and Sundry Fantasy Contest and the Crypt TV Horror Contest. If you’ve got any interest in helping another author fund their novel, here are some suggestions of books written by some of the buddies I’ve met throughout my own contest process –
A Beast Requires
Phew! That was long! Thank you again for all your support, and I promise not to wait so long between mailings next time!
It still hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but as of today I am a published author.
Almost a year after I first started pestering people with buymybookbuymybookifyou’rereallymyfriendyou’llbymybook harassment, it’s finally out. If you’re reading this, you’ve already gotten your copy (I hope!), but now they’re available online at Amazon, B&N and others, and at dozens of independent bookstores all around the country.
Thank you so much.
The amount of effort that goes into publishing a book is truly awe inspiring. My editors Kiele Raymond and Michael Trudeau transformed some mediocre writing into the polished manuscript you received this past month. I’m beyond over-the-moon about the cover Elyse Lyons produced for me, and Emily Zach and the rest of the production team at Girl Friday was professional 100%.
Meanwhile, at Inkshares, my marketing manager Avalon has been working overtime getting me interviews, reviews, and my books in stores, while newly appointed CEO Adam Gomolin has been in overdrive on the derivative properties side.
And then there are the Nerdist folks, who not only sponsored the contest in the first place, making this whole thing possible, but who also treated me like a real Author when I visited them at Comic Con in San Diego.
Thank you all for your tireless work to make this project as successful as possible.
Now, some news:
Monday night I was featured on The 207, a Portland and Bangor local features show on NBC. The boys from Bull Moose were extremely kind in their promotion of my novel.
Today I woke up to a Bangor Daily News review, which was similarly positive.
I’m also looking at scheduling book signing events around the Bangor area over the next several weeks. Check out my Facebook page to stay current!
Lastly, in case you missed it, I’ve got a Comic Con recap on my blog, which you can find here.
So that’s pretty much it.
I can say thank you enoughDave
PS: Leave reviews!!!!!!!!!!111
OMG 3 days left!