Monthly Archives: November 2015

Confucius Speaks

First, the important stuff: I am deeply offended that I was ‘upstaged’ by a Goodreads Giveaway Announcement last week. We all know cats are more important than selling books. Jeez! Now, on to the rebuttal of my whining human’s complaints:

My human clearly is not cut out to write. He can’t take the pressure. Afraid of a little bit of competition from Amazon. Hah! Boo hoo! It’s not like they have a complete monopoly on milk. I mean, that would be a travesty. Milk! Yum yum. Meeow. A few books here. A few books there. And he’s complaining because he’s not making any money at it. You have to have gumption to write! Nerve. And tenacity. It takes persistence and more persistence. I know. Back when I was being worshiped in Egypt, so many eons ago, I wrote a book in hieroglyphs. Perhaps you’ve heard of it: The Book of the Dead. Yes, I am the font of ancient Egypt lore. Because I’m a cat. And we know things. Most specifically we know that the human race will know no peace until we are worshiped once again as gods. And fed. Regularly. And have our ears rubbed. Just the way we like it.

Get your priorities straight Mr. Ryan. And get me some cat treats!

 

Upcoming Goodreads Giveaway

My cat, Confucius, is still in the line-up. You’ll hear from him next week. In the meantime, I wanted to inform everyone of my upcoming Goodreads Giveaway. It starts November 26th and lasts through December 30th. Three hardcover copies of “The Sceptre of Morgulan” are on the line; each winner will win just one. Here’s the code:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Sceptre of Morgulan by Matthew D. Ryan

The Sceptre of Morgulan

by Matthew D. Ryan

Giveaway ends December 30, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

The Trials and Tribulations of an Indie Author

Methinks I’m going to vent a little, today. Perhaps it is not good form to spout angry vitriol at the ‘Net and all it offers. And perhaps it’s not good form to point out your own weakness—or maybe the whininess of such makes one look bad, but I’m finding the life of an Indie Author a bit tough to take of late. I enjoy the writing. I enjoy the editing. All the parts of the writing process are cool for me. I even enjoy developing new concepts for my book covers—although that’s not my forte and I hire someone to do the final cover. My big problem is that I’m just not making any money.

 

Yes, my chosen career is actually a money sink. I keep pouring more and more in, and getting pennies in return.

 

Part of my problem is that I have the business sense of a stone. I have no clue what to do about marketing. None. Whatsoever. I’ve posted interviews on-line at various sites. I’ve done virtual blog tours. I’ve bought advertisements on various ebook newsletters and similar sites. But no one wants to buy my books. I write well enough; I usually earn four or five stars on Amazon, and rarely fewer than three on Goodreads. I just don’t know what the problem is. My dashboard on Smashwords indicates that people just don’t want to pay money for an ebook—even when it’s consistently earned five stars. I have a number of sample downloads for all of my books, but very few actual paid downloads. Perhaps I’m not supposed to share that because it shows weakness. But it’s the truth. And I feel obligated to warn other potential Indie authors. If they wish to go into this business, they should go in with their eyes wide open.

 

Furthermore, if you want to be an Indie author, you should know that just being a good writer is not good enough. You need to have some business skills, not to mention a certain degree of Tech savviness. Like I said above, my business skills are sorely lacking. I never studied business in college and I’m having to learn the ropes the hard way. As far as Tech is concerned, I’m reasonably comfortable on-line; I just don’t like spending my whole day hunting through various web sites or visiting Social sites. I would much rather be writing. Or editing. Or brainstorming. Or what-have-you.

 

Then there is the whole Amazon factor. It is my belief that Amazon is going to put all the Indie writers out of business or force them into slavery. I don’t know much about business, but I do know that I can’t compete with Amazon when they offer all the books you want for a $3 monthly fee. Which is what they are doing. No one wants to pay for books anymore. Amazon is conditioning the consumer to expect free books. I gave Drasmyr away for free. And I may even give a Novella or two away for free. But that’s it. Every book I write represents a substantial investment of both time and money: for my novels, close to two years and a painful amount of money.

 

It’s enough to make me pull out my own hair in frustration.

 

Next week: my cat, Confucius, will reply!

Guest Post on Cirsova: My Influences for My Fantasy Literature

Hi All,

Just a note to let you know I’m guest posting on Cirsova today. Just a few thoughts on some of my influences in fantasy literature and how they have affected me. I talk a lot about J.R.R. Tolkien. Check it out!

It’s Out! The Sceptre of Morgulan is Now Available!

The wait is over. The Sceptre of Morgulan is now available as an ebook and a pbook as of today. It can be found on-line at the following ebook retailers:

SceptreMorgulan_ebookcoverSmashwords (ebook)
Amazon (ebook)
Barnes and Noble (ebook)
Kobo (ebook)
Lulu.com (hardcover)

Yes, Book II in my series, From the Ashes of Ruin, is now available. Previously, you have borne witness to Drasmyr, the prequel, and The Children of Lubrochius, Bk. I. Now, I give you Bk. II, The Sceptre of Morgulan. Book II continues the story where Book I left off.

Dark Cults. Ruined Castles. And Ancient Magic: The ingredients of life in Athron. The ancient cult of demon worshipers known as the Children of Lubrochius has grown numerous and strong. Can they lay claim to the artifact their leader, the sorceress Korina, longs for: The dreaded Sceptre of Morgulan? Who can stop this devilish sorceress with her eye on the city, the sceptre, and more?

Regecon and Ambrisia fight to restore their guild. Coragan of Esperia is imprisoned and facing execution. Galladrin, Borak, and the others are caught up in a desperate game to prove Coragan’s innocence and bring down the ancient demonic cult that framed him. But all that is distraction and shadow. Even as each of the heroes struggles with his and her tasks, The Children make their move. And if they are successful, nothing will be able to stop them.

The Labyrinth and the Maze

I figured I would post on my blog something interesting that is loosely related to fantasy. I learned something new the other day, while I was reading a book on Sacred Geometry and again in a book on Crop Circles (yes, I read several books on the two subjects—got intrigued in the matter by watching the History Channel’s program “Ancient Aliens”). Apparently, a labyrinth is not the same thing as a maze, nor is a maze the same thing as a labyrinth. I never knew this. I played AD&D for years and in the process killed my share of minotaurs. Unfortunately (or perhaps, fortunately), I never encountered a minotaur in a labyrinth, only in a maze. What is the difference? Funny you should ask. A labyrinth is unicursal; that is, there is only one path in a labyrinth. No choices. No decisions. You walk along the path twisting and turning about, and, assuming you don’t collapse from exhaustion, you will find the center—or the exit, if you are leaving. A maze, on the other hand, is what I always thought a labyrinth was supposed to be. A complicated interconnected series of paths, sometimes even rooms, in which it is very easy to get lost. They were a favorite pastime of the nobility of Europe. They would cut their hedges in the pattern of a maze to delight themselves and their noble visitors for hours on end. On the other hand, labyrinths were used as a form of meditation. One would walk on the path of a labyrinth in contemplative thought. They could be found in churches and other holy places. Of course, there is the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur. And it is my understanding that that legend confuses the two terms (so I don’t feel so bad). They always referred to it as the Labyrinth of the Minotaur, but it was, in fact, a maze. The Minotaur hunted its victims in a mind-boggling maze, always killing and devouring them, until along came Theseus one day who put an end to his predations. Yeah! Anyway, that was my random thought for the day.