A good cover alone doesn’t make a good book.
I’d wager there are plenty of books out there with gorgeous covers that were quickly forgotten because the story inside didn’t live up to the captivating image on the front. But on the flip side, amazing stories go overlooked everyday because the cover is ugly or bland.
A cover has a critical job: to get readers to pick up the book.
As an indie author, I have complete control over my covers. This is great, because I won’t end up in one of those situations where the publisher chooses an inaccurate or just plain bad cover, and the author can’t do anything about it. This is also terrible, because I’m a writer, not a designer or marketer, and I don’t always know what type of cover will sell best. And I pay for the cover up front, so if the book doesn’t sell, I don’t get that money back.
What I’m trying to say is this: trying to figure out the best cover for your book can be… stressful. Continue reading Creating a Book Cover: The Ghost Machine
You know that feeling when you finish reading a certain book? When you just have to tell everybody how awesome and amazing it was? You’re a reader, so you know what I mean
I finished Cold Stone & Ivy: The Ghost Club by H. Leighton Dickson a little while ago. I was in a bit of a reading slump beforehand, and boy, did this novel shake me out of it. Take a look:
Jack the Ripper gave her his heart. Now he wants it back.
The year is 1888, the clockwork British Empire is crumbling and young writer Ivy Savage has literally received a heart in the post. Terrified, her father sends her north to a strange sanitarium in Lancashire where the brilliant but unpredictable “Mad Lord of Lasingstoke” makes his home. Continue reading Book Review: Cold Stone & Ivy
You know the feeling of finishing a good book? You loved it but end up depressed that it’s over, longing to spend more time with the characters.
If I did my job right, that’s the feeling you got at the end of The Ghost Machine. And do I have good news for you.
The Braden Banshee, a short story set after the end of The Ghost Machine, is available for free in the latest issues of Mirror Dance Fantasy Magazine. You can read the whole thing online here.
The basic premise is that Ella, working as a spirit medium after everything that happened in The Ghost Machine, is hired not to do a seance but to banish a banshee to prevent the death its wail foretells. There are plot twists, steampunk machinery, and ghosts, of course. I hope those of you who liked The Ghost Machine will enjoy another gothic adventure with Ella Rosenfeld. Continue reading Free Short Story: The Braden Banshee
Grab your steampunk goggles and get ready to board the airship Sultana, everybody. Clockmaker is now available on Amazon.com. Go download a copy for your Kindle or Kindle App.
I first announced this book a few months ago and have been talking about it and posting excerpts on Twitter, so I’m happy to finally be able to share it with all of you. I hope those of you who read The Ghost Machine will like Captain Melek’s solo adventure. But this is a spinoff, not a sequel, so you can still read and understand the story if you never read The Ghost Machine. If the cover and blurb intrigue you, I hope you’ll give it a try.
The crew of the airship Sultana is nearly destitute. No one knows this better than its captain, Melek, who’s almost desperate enough to sell her treasured family heirlooms to pay her crew’s wages. Then a reclusive gentleman wearing a golden mask offers a fortune to transport him and a mysterious cargo to Istanbul. Needing the money, Melek can’t bring herself to refuse, even when her instincts warn of trouble.
Now strange noises haunt her airship at night, and deadly warships stalk the Sultana through dark, stormy skies. Melek’s masked passenger refuses to explain his private affairs, and she enjoys arguing with him perhaps a little too much. But he’s even more dangerous than she suspected, and she’ll have to unravel the dark intrigue he’s brought aboard her ship before it kills them all.
If you like gothic thrills and swashbuckling adventure, then you won’t want to miss this exciting steampunk novel. Download Clockmaker now and take to the skies!
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Hey, guys! If you haven’t read The Ghost Machine yet, it’s on sale for 99¢ this week as part of the promotion for Clockmaker‘s upcoming release. Grab the ebook off Amazon before it goes back up to $3.99 this weekend.
Also, I had so much fun making a Pinterest board for Clockmaker that I decided to make one for The Ghost Machine, too. Check it out to see pictures of beautiful Victorian Era gowns, steampunk robots, and spooky scenery.
Finally, here’s a bonus look at one of my early drafts of The Ghost Machine‘s first chapter. It’s not as drastically different as that early draft of Hero Status that I posted a while back, but there are still some interesting changes.
The Ghost Machine was originally an epistolary novel told entirely through diary entries and letters like Dracula or The Woman in White. When early beta feedback pointed out that format killed the tension, I changed it to a regular novel with letters and journal entries spaced throughout. Continue reading The Ghost Machine Sale and Extras
Two weeks until Clockmaker drops! Are you excited? I’m excited. As we count down to release day, here’s a sneak peak at the first chapter. I really enjoyed writing from Melek’s point of view, and I hope you like this little teaser.
I read the telegram one last time before crumpling the paper into a ball and tossing it to the floor. My stomach clenched, and I leaned back in my chair and stared at my desk—or rather the papers showing the airship’s accounts, which I had spread across the surface. The math wouldn’t change no matter how many times I checked it. Too many expenses and too little income; that was the hard, uncaring truth.
Despite being the captain’s quarters, my room was as small and cramped as the rest of the ship. The Sultana had been built to fly fast and strike hard, not indulge passengers with luxury. High shelves stuffed with records, books, and maps encroached menacingly on my desk. They lined every wall except the one I’d had constructed to separate my office from my bedchambers. That one displayed ornamental sabers and some beautiful blue İznik pottery that had belonged to my mother (strapped very securely to the shelf). If all else failed, I supposed I could sell the pottery for some extra funds. Turkish ceramics would fetch a decent price here in France.
Two sharp knocks at the door announced Emin, and I told him to enter.
“I beg your pardon, Captain.” My first mate, Emin, was a giant of a man with a thick mustache on a face that fell naturally into a gloomy glower. He wore an old Ottoman military coat over baggy navy pants, and a red fez topped his head at an angle. His thick belts held a sword, two pistols, and a knife, but those were only his visible weapons. He stepped on the crumpled telegram and glanced down. “Bad news from Monsieur Courtemanche?” Continue reading Clockmaker Sneak Peak
Clockmaker‘s release date is a little over a month away, so while you’re all waiting, check out this Pinterest board of images related to the novel. Since the book is set in the late 1800s (albeit an alternate steampunk version), I did a bit of research on historical settings and costuming. Some of the images are from that, but others just look like how I picture certain characters or objects. And of course, there’s plenty of steampunk goodness.
So if you’ve always wanted to see what Captain Melek is wearing or want a sneak peak at some of the locales in Clockmaker, click here to browse the board. And put your plot theories and predictions in the comments.