Discussion

Hello Dear Readers,

Just wanted to send a quick update to let you know that The Battle Within is entered in the fourth annual Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. 

Did you like the novel? Even if you didn’t, why not give it a rating on Kobo? The contest may use reviews and ratings as judging criteria and more importantly, it’s always great to hear feedback. If you want to leave a rating, just head over to the following link:  https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-battle-within-1

Stay tuned, the short list will be announced on May 1, 2018!

All the best,

Alastair Luft


Good evening everyone,

Just wanted to check in with a quick service announcement as I’ve recently heard of some people who haven’t yet received their paperback pre-orders of The Battle Within. To confirm, if you pre-ordered a copy of The Battle Within, you should have received your copy by now. If for some reason you haven’t received your paperback copy, please contact Inkshares at hello@Inkshares.com, and they will be able to help figure out the status of your order.

For those that have received their orders, I hope you enjoyed the story. Or, as the case may be since it’s summertime, I hope you enjoy the story when you eventually read it. In either event, I’d love to hear what you think and I’d like to thank those who’ve shared their thoughts already – the feedback is enormously helpful. If you’re willing (and I apologize since I know it’s kind of a hassle), please consider sharing your thoughts about the novel at Goodreads and Amazon.com – every bit of reader feedback helps not just me, but other potential readers who might be considering the novel.

Thanks again and all the best,

Alastair Luft

Hi everybody,

Well, here we are, a little more than one month since The Battle Within’s publication date. I won’t take much of your time as I know it’s the middle of summer.  

Thanks again for all the support. The book launch was a success, and the feedback that has been coming in about the story to date has been very positive.

For those who missed the book launch, there’s a book signing on August 19, 2017 at the Chapter’s in Kanata Centrum, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. And for those in southern Alberta, I’ll be signing books at the Irricana & Rural Municipal Library on August 5, 2017, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

If I can ask one more favour, please consider leaving a rating and / or review at the following sites:

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Battle-Within-Alastair-Luft/dp/194264549X

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31922135-the-battle-within

The bottom line is that ratings and reviews help drive exposure and every little bit helps. I’d love to get to 100 ratings on each site and would greatly appreciate your help to do so. Of course, please also feel welcome to send me feedback directly; I’d love to hear what you thought of the book.

I hope everyone is having a great summer and once again, thank you for your support.

All the best,

Alastair Luft

Hello everybody,

So we’re finally here, one month to the pub date for The Battle Within. It’s been a long trip to get here and I thank everyone for their continued support. Some details as we head into the final stretch:

The books have been printed and advance copies have been mailed to a number of media outlets. Over the next few weeks, the books will be mailed to backers and those who’ve pre-ordered, although you may get an e-book as early as next week.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to marry up with the books so I could sign them without affecting the launch date. In place of signed books, Inkshares designed and developed themed bookmarks, all of which have been personally signed and which will come with the books. As nice as the bookmarks are (and Inkshares did a great job), I recognize they’re not the same thing as a signed book, so please know I’ll make myself available for signatures as much as I can. There will clearly be some logistics to sort out, but please just get in touch with me directly and I’ll see what I can figure out. On that note:

24 June 17:  Book Launch Party, from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at Perfect Books (www.perfectbooks.ca), located at 258A Elgin Street, Ottawa. This would be a great opportunity to get a book signed and also take in downtown Ottawa as it readies for the 150th birthday celebrations the week after.

27 Jun 17: The publication date.

The last thing I’d offer is that I hope you enjoy the book. All of you made this possible and after nearly a year of production following the crowdfunding campaign, I hope you’ll find that it was worth the wait.

Thank you again and all the best,

Alastair Luft 

Hello everybody,

I hope everyone’s spring is going well, just wanted to take some time and provide an update on The Battle Within and a few other topics.

Timeline

The novel is proofread, final cover blurbs have been submitted, and the book is now in the stages of finalizing the cover, so very much on track. Media engagement has begun, with pitches of articles to various outlets, and this will become more intense as we draw nearer to the publication date. Some specific dates to mark in the calendar:

24 June 17:  Book Launch Party. This will be from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at Perfect Books, a wonderful independent bookstore located at 258 Elgin Street, Ottawa. It’s located in downtown Ottawa, close to many other sites and attractions, and it would be great to see as many people there as can make it. Check them out at www.perfectbooks.ca.

27 Jun 17: The publication date.

Developments

Very excited to say that The Battle Within is now available for pre-order at a number of sites:

Chapters / Indigo: http://bit.ly/2nBw2We

Amazon.ca: http://amzn.to/2ozYKEm

Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2mR1nWa

Chapters / Indigo has also pre-ordered a number of books, so I can’t wait to see The Battle Within in the wild. Maybe we’ll run an Instagram contest, #TBWInTheWild!

Lastly, The Battle Within is up on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2ni6SbG

With The Battle Within being up on all these sites, a very easy way to help promote the book is to add it to your wish list or ‘to-read’ list for each respective site; more clicks helps draw more attention.

In other news, The Battle Within has received several endorsements and I’m very grateful to the early reviewers who took the time to read the book, and of course to those who provided a blurb. I won’t include the full texts here, but if you’d like to read the blurbs, please head to the link on my webpage at: http://alastairluft.com/books/

New Projects

Progress continues on my second novel, Jihadi Bride. I finished the second draft in January and since then have received some very valuable input from beta readers, so I’m very excited to improve this story even more.

I’m also happy to announce that I was accepted into the Creative Writing – Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Poetry program at Humber College. This is a distance studio program that will see me partnering with a member of Humber College’s faculty for one-on-one writing mentorship on a manuscript. Needless to say, it’s a great opportunity for me to improve as a writer and I can’t wait.

That’s it for now, I look forward to sharing more updates as the launch date gets nearer.

All the best and my continued thanks for your support.

Alastair Luft

Hello everybody,

I hope everyone had a great holiday period and are off to a good start for 2017. It’s been a couple of months since the last update on The Battle Within, so here’s the latest information.

Timeline

We’re still on track for a book launch of 27 Jun 2017. At this moment the manuscript is about to enter the proofread stage and while that’s happening, advance reader copies are going out for endorsement. I’m happy to say that initial feedback has been very positive. We’re already starting to make plans for the book launch party, so if you’re going to be in Ottawa during the last week of June, please include that in your plans!

Upcoming Developments

Being new to the publication process, this experience has been great in learning everything that goes into marketing a book. One of those aspects is getting the book into brick and mortar stores (or their electronic equivalents). Believe it or not, but there’s great opportunity for an author to get involved here and one thing I’ll be working on over the next few months is engaging the regional distributors in the United States who provide books to the Army Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES – or the PX for a more familiar term).

Also, The Battle Within is featured on Goodreads at  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31922135-the-battle-within?from_search=true#other_reviews. If you have a minute, please click on the link and add the book to one of your shelves!

Other Projects

The big news on this front is that I’ll be finished the second draft of my next novel, Jihadi Bride, by the end of this coming week. After that comes the search for beta readers and then I’ll start the editing process in earnest. Still a lot of work to accomplish, but I’m very happy with how this novel is taking shape.

That’s it for this update, but as always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions. Thanks again for your support and patience, and all the best in 2017,

Alastair Luft

Hi Everybody,

My apologies, as it’s been awhile since I’ve provided an update for the production timeline for The Battle Within. Part of that is by design as I haven’t wanted to flood any inboxes, but part of it is also a lack of discipline. On that note, please find below a quick update!

Timeline           

The manuscript for The Battle Within is currently with Girl Friday Productions as it goes through a line edit, which is punctuation, grammar, and other ‘in the weeds’ details. This edit will be done by the end of November, following which the manuscript goes into the proofread stage. Not to get into too much technicalities, but the proofread isn’t as easy as it sounds because it takes into account visual appeal based on how the chosen font breaks across the page sizes. Bottom line, the proofed manuscript is scheduled to be complete by 12 January 2017. On a separate note, the cover has been finalized, very happy with how it turned out! 

What does all that mean? It means that the book itself will be completed by mid-Jan 2017. Unfortunately for readers, the end of the production process is only the beginning of the marketing process.

From Jan 2017 to Jun 2017, Inkshares will be identifying prominent people who would be interested in reading and possibly endorsing the book. In addition, Inkshares will be laying the groundwork for the book launch, which could include interviews, reviews in national or local media, and getting the book into more bookstores. When all is said and done, The Battle Within will be released on 27 Jun 2017.

Opportunities to Help

Although The Battle Within production process is largely transparent to anyone not directly involved, that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to help out, if you’re interested. As I mentioned earlier, once the manuscript is done, Inkshares will be looking for influential people (based either on their involvement in the book industry or through links to subject material) to read and (hopefully!) endorse the book by having a blurb on the jacket cover or as part of the marketing campaign. If you know someone who might fit that bill and would consider reading an advance copy, it would be a huge help.

Other Projects

As The Battle Within progresses, I’m keeping busy with some new projects that may be of interest. First and foremost, I’m halfway through a second draft of my second novel, tentatively named Jihadi Bride. I won’t give any more detail for the moment as I haven’t even engaged beta readers yet, but I think that it’s an exciting story that I hope to be able to share within 9 – 12 months.

I’m also running a blog at www.AlastairLuft.com, where I’ve been publishing articles on various challenges I’ve encountered so far as a writer, as well as interviews with other authors. Lastly, I’ve been playing around with writing poetry (mostly as a method to improve my writing) and I’m toying with the idea of perhaps releasing a short e-book later next year, although lots will depend on continued inspiration! Please find attached a short poem I wrote several weeks ago – would love your feedback if you have the time.

So that’s it, I hope this update was helpful and I’ll endeavour to provide more frequent updates. As an alternative, please consider liking my author page at www.facebook.com/AlastairLuft if you’d like updates via Facebook, or signing up to an e-mail list through my blog. As always, should you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with me at any time.

 All the best,

 Alastair Luft

Hello everyone,

Two quick updates, the first being confirmation that Alban Fischer is the artist who is designing the cover for The Battle Within. Had a great phone call with Alban last week, as well as with Emily Zach from Girl Friday Productions, and I’m excited to see what the first round of designs will bring. For a taste of what Alban can do, please check out his portfolio at: http://cargocollective.com/albanfischer.

The second update is that I’ve just launched my official author page, www.AlastairLuft.com. It’s a fairly simple page, but I think it will meet the intent of providing a virtual shingle for me to hang out while also hosting a blog that I’ve started. I’d love to get feedback on usability and layout, so please check out the site, send me critiques and feel free to share.

That’s it for today, as always, thanks so much for your support.

All the best,

Alastair Luft

Hi Everybody,

 Just wanted to follow up my e-mail from last night by providing a quick status update on The Battle Within.

The manuscript is currently in the developmental edit stage with Girl Friday Productions, basically making sure there isn’t a gaping hole in the plot. Concurrently, a professional cover is being designed. When the developmental edit is done – around end-August – the manuscript will move into the copyediting stage, which is more of an ‘in-the-weeds’ edit for things like grammar, punctuation and spelling. This stage will last until almost the end of October, which should coincide with completion of the final cover design.

Around November-ish, the marketing plan will kick in as a long lead-up to the release date, which is tentatively set for April 2017.  November through January will see proofreading and interior designing of the book in both digital and physical formats, culminating with the book being ready for print around end-January. From there, the marketing moves into high gear until the book is actually released.

 The team at Inkshares and Girl Friday Productions have been incredible and I’m not only eager to see what they can do, I’m excited at the opportunity to work with them. Although it seems like a long process, the time is necessary so these professionals can unlock the potential of the story and make this product the best it can possibly be. I’ll keep you posted on new developments.

 Thanks for your support and patience,

 Alastair

Hi Everybody,

Apologies for the lack of updates, however, I’ve been taking some time to figure out the way ahead over the next few months. Now that I’ve got a plan, over the course of the next week I’ll roll out some updates about the status and timeline for The Battle Within, as well as some other upcoming activities.

In the interim, I wanted to confirm that the donation to Soldier On has gone through to the tune of $1500, or $2 / pre-order. In lieu of one of the big cheques (we’ll set up a photo shoot for when physical copies of the book are actually available), please find the next best thing. Thanks again to everyone who pre-ordered, you helped make this happen.

For those who are interested in non-Battle Within updates, please check out my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AlastairLuft. More details to come this week!

Have a great night and a great week,

Alastair Luft

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