Blood Armistice Cover Reveal

The book is in the final phase of prep for publication, so maybe another month before you’ll be able to get it in print or on kindle. Blood Armistice is the second book, following Blood Atonement, of the True Tales of Elizabeth Bathory novels. Preview a section of the forthcoming book here: https://wilogden.wordpress.com/2018/01/14/preview-of-truce-by-blood/  (that’s two blog posts down from this one on wilogden.com)

Blood Armistice Cover A.jpg

Advertisements

Aurora’s Smile by Wil Ogden

This is a reprint/new edition of Aurora’s Smile by Wil Ogden (me). The original was published in Bards and Sages Quarterly in January 2010. I usually recommend not publishing stories on blog pages – it makes it almost impossible to publish a story in a magazine after it’s published online. The major difference between this version and the one published 8 years ago is that this one is past tense and that one was present tense. So, for your enjoyment. For best results, right click and choose “View Image”

Aurora's Smile for WebPage.png

 

How to Get Published: The Real Answers

As a published author, I get this question all the time. The answer is simple: Write well.

Okay, that’s the first part. It’s far from the whole answer. It’s the most important part, however. Let’s assume we’re talking about being chosen by a traditional publishing house and not talking about self-publishing – I’ll cover that in the very last paragraph.

Stop here if you want help publishing any kind of self-help book. Unless you’re famous or have a PhD, the only option to publish self-help books is self-publishing.

Step One: Write something. (What you write is less important than how well you write it. Both are moot if you write nothing. So Step one is just to write something.)

Step Two: Spend a ginormous amount of effort making sure it’s well-edited.  People have the delusion that the publishing house will clean up their writing before they publish it. That’s 100% true. A publishing house will edit the f**k out of your work-if they decide to publish it. However, the people that decided whether or not to publish your work will not read two sentences of poorly edited work.

Step Three: Now, make sure, once it’s edited, that it’s great. If it’s not, write something else and restart at step 1.

Author’s note: I have not brought up anything about style and skill as a writer. Here are some quick notes: A) Understand Point of View and use it correctly. B) Understand Tense and use it correctly. C) Understand the limits of narrative omniscience. Use omniscience correctly. D) Don’t write in 2nd person. Ever. E) If you write in First Person, it’s got to be 10x better than anything on the 3rd Person slush Pile. Writing in first person is amateurish 99% of the time. Statistically speaking you are not the 1%. (I’m right when I say this 99% of the time). So, don’t expect your first published work to be first person.

Now you’ve gotten something written. It’s edited and edited well. And It’s good. Go on to step 4.

Step Four: How long is your work? Is it short enough to be included in an anthology or magazine? Is it so long as to be a stand-alone book? If it’s short go to step Five. If it’s a book, go to Step 6.

Step Five: Publishing a Short: Go to Duotrope.com, find a periodical/anthology that prints your genre. Submit to that periodical/anthology following their guidelines. When you get rejected, repeat step five with another periodical/anthology.

Step Six: Get an Agent. This book has all the big agencies and many small ones: Follow the instructions in the book: https://www.amazon.com/Writers-Market-2018-Trusted-Published/dp/1440352631/

Honestly you could have skipped my whole blog post and just bought that book. It’s THE definitive guide to getting published.

Step Seven: Self Publishing. When all else fails or if you’re just too lazy or impatient to keep sending out manuscripts just to be rejected over and over again, go to kdp.amazon.com or http://www.createspace.com and work through their steps to publish the book yourself. You’ll be ridiculed by authors who have published the traditional way, but someone might read your work. You won’t make money unless you’re willing to front a few thousand for marketing. Even so, there’s no guarantee. If you didn’t hire an editor and you self-publish, expect to lose stars by people who start to read your book but can’t get past the misplaced or missing commas, mispellings and utter incomprehension of how to use semi-colons and em-dashes.

Good Luck!

Postscript: You’ll notice I have not mentioned contacting publishers to get a book published. Simply don’t. Get an Agent. As a novice writer you’re just prey to the many pay-to-publish companies out there. Remember, no matter what, never pay any money to a publishing company. An agent only gets paid a percentage of whatever publishing contracts they arrange for you. So you don’t pay an agent directly either. You can, as a self-published author, expect to pay for editing, cover art and marketing. Pay directly to editors, artists and marketing firms. Don’t pay anyone calling themselves a publisher, ever.

 

 

Nine Princes of Blood Promo Video

My first attempt at creating a promotional video.

Some tech talk about what went into making this video: (I’m typing and thinking as I go here, so forgive me if I ramble or go off on tangents for what might seem like days.)

First, I wrote a book. This is for the first of my Nate Silver, Vampire, Hunter series. There are currently 3 books in that series. I find that the only advertising for the second and third book that works is that the first book is awesome.

A couple years later, yesterday, I decided I needed to move to video advertising.

The first thing in the video is a post card. This postcard is what drives the beginning of the book and shows up on page one of the novel.
I went out and did some image searches for the backs of postcards and found a postcard from 1985 with a cancelled stamp.
Using Photoshop, I cropped everything but the stamp and the words “POST CARD”. I then stretched the edge of the remaining image back out to fill in the size of the post card.
Then I blurred it and smeared it around so it didn’t look like five pixels stretched out across a canvas.
Now, with the background of the postcard in place, I started on the stamp. This postcard was mailed from Los Angeles in 1985 so the stamp represents that. The stamp is entirely fabricated in Photoshop using text and circle fills to get the outline.
The line up the middle is just a line of text turned sideways.
The Hallows in the corner was the word Hallows written with a couple spaces where the A would go and then an anarchy image pasted over it.
I tried handwriting the message and address but it didn’t come out well, so I used a corsiva font.
And the end result is the postcard – no there is not another side to that.

For the next bit I used DAZ3d software.
I already am very fluent in the use of 3D modeling tools, and I have models I’ve created for the major characters.
I placed those all on a virtual stage at four corners and manipulated the materials to create a black and white look. That’s all 3d rendered.
You can tell because if you watch closely, the light and shadows move from one side to the other as the camera approaches each figure. All of the movement in those
black and white people shots is just the camera sliding around the stage.

Adobe Premiere, which I had never touched before yesterday, helped with putting it all together.
The text scrolls are from Premiere as well.
I had a different ending with just the book title on the screen, but changed it to the book’s cover in the second try.
I contemplated adding music, but it took me a long time for listen to lots of free-to-use music only to not find anything I felt would fit.

The American Flag

 

Does this symbol threaten you?

American Flag

Do you feel intimidated by people who brandish this symbol brazenly?

 

If so, you should take up this symbol and wear it, carry it and display it.

 

Don’t let this become the symbol of fervent nationalism. Make sure the American flag continues to represent all of us. This flag represents a freedom from tyranny. This represents the freedoms of the constitution.

This represents equality among all Americans. Racial Equality and Equality of all sexual orientations. It represents Freedom to worship whatever god(s) you wish or the right to not worship any mythical beings, if that’s what you believe or don’t.

It does not represent only white men, but all Americans of any color or gender.

It does not represent only Republicans, but all Americans, of any political leaning.

It does not represent only nationalist zealots, but all Americans, regardless of how proud you are to be an American.

It is not a Christian symbol.

So, put this symbol alongside the other symbols that are important to you.

It can be proudly displayed along these other symbols: The American flag is supposed to represent the same things these do:

I could go on with other symbols of equality, but the truth is we should only need one—the first one displayed in this post.

 

(all images used in this post are believed to be in the public domain or creative commons 3.0 share and share alike)