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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Year One


One year ago on Dec 24th 2014 my first book Dex Territory was published. It was exciting. My publisher took a chance on me and we worked really hard to get a novel out the door. I was never in it for fame and fortune and good thing, because if I were, I'd be sorely disappointed.

Writing isn't a get rich overnight endeavor. It's a lot of hard work. In the case of Dex Territory it was four years of writing, rewriting, writing courses, and time spent learning English composition all over again. It was a long time since college. Even with that, I had no idea how to put a novel together. I wrote a story, but I didn't know where things belonged, I had issues keeping things in their proper tenses. It took me another four years of sending my book out to publishers to get reams of rejection letters. They weren't even the nice hand written ones. I hated that I could put so much time and effort into something and not even get a human response. That's the game. Getting a book published is really, really, unnecessarily, soul-crushingly hard. (FYI, remember that when someone expects you to give them a free copy and I'm not saying don't; I am saying, be selective.)


Today's world is a little different. In today's world there are choices. A writer can self-publish, there are vanity presses and there are small presses. Self-publishing is a double edged sword. The writer can put their own work out. It's completely up to the writer to do everything, write the book, edit it, create a cover, and release it. Then the real work begins of marketing and showing the world that the book is worthy of a reader's time. Does that sound exhausting? Well, it is. Self-published authors have complete creative control over their work. That also means the book can vary between masterpiece and complete drivel. It's a crap shoot and I've read books that fall into both of those categories. The smart authors have done their work, hired an editor, found a good cover artist and they put out the best product they can. There are a lot of passionate people that put out amazing work and I urge anyone to take a chance on self-published authors, many live on the cutting edge and can take you to new worlds. Be prepared to lay eyes on a few rocks before you find that diamond.


Vanity presses are for anyone who has written a book. They advertise everywhere. For a fee, they will publish a writer's book. I looked at a few of these and my advice, don't just walk away, run. I don't know anyone who has had a good experience with one of these companies. If there's someone out there that had a great experience and became a success with one of these companies, I want to hear from you. I want your story. I want to be proved wrong, because I've heard nothing but nightmares. I've been shown books that were "edited" and still full of mistakes and in some cases made worse. Poor cover art that had nothing to do with the story and even on author who has his name misspelled on his cover. Buyer beware. Again, I'd love to be proved wrong, because an author trying to get their work out and frustrated by publishing houses can find this option very tempting. I seriously looked into it. Luckily, I followed up with some of the authors that went that route. I invite anyone looking that way to do the same. Be informed.


The route I went with was small press. In my case, it was TWB Press out of Denver, Colorado. My book was referred to my editor, Terry, by a good friend. At that point I'd given up. I had thrown Dex Territory in a drawer and I was done with writing. I had been done for two years. I had written some stories for some magazines, did some interviews and was content to get on with my life and write just for fun. Then I was invited to send in my manuscript. I did. I figured I had nothing to lose and I really didn't. Terry liked what he saw, it need a lot of work, but he really took the time to help develop the story. I turned in a hundred thousand word manuscript and by the time we finished it was a tidy sixty-five thousand words. We left a lot of good stuff on the floor, but get rid of anything that wasn't necessary to the story, we worked on tenses and sentence structure and I think he normally wouldn't have take on something so rough. It was a lot of work for us both, but from my side, it felt like a had a partner. That what a relationship with an editor is, it's a partnership.


There was a lot of tough love involved. His job isn't to tell me how great my words are and what a great little author I am; his job is to tell me how I can make the work better. Sometimes, it was really hard and sometimes it was triumphant. It was absolutely worth every sleepless night when I held that book in my hand for the first time saw my name on the cover and saw my words spread between my open palms. There were tears that day.

2014 was a hard year for me. The year started off with the death of my Dad and about everything negative life could throw at me, home repairs, job insecurity as my company was bought by another and I didn't know if my life was about to make an unexpected turn. Then I had a published book. While it didn't solve my life's problems, it let me put a solid landmark in a chapter of my life. I'd have a almost equally sized landmark ten months later when TWB released Knight and Dex my second book on October 31st. I'm currently working on book 3 Dex Machina now and my goal is to have that out on the shelves late next year. I'm really looking forward to the next book. That's the one lesson I've learned through all of this enjoy the now, but work toward the next. The next book, the next project, the next day, the next chapter, the next word, because anything can happen next.


My newest book Knight and Dex is available in paperback and e-book on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and don’t forget my publisher www.TWBPress.com has copies also! Support small business and please buy from them direct.

Dex Territory and Knight and Dex are on sale!

Keep those reviews coming!!

Where can you find me?
www.twbpress.com
www.twbpress.com/authormarkaberdeen
www.amazon.com/author/markaberdeen
www.twitter.com/Mark_Aberdeen
www.facebook.com/mark.aberdeen
www.facebook.com/DexTerritoryBook

You can find Dex Territory for every possible device at:
TWBPress.com

Amazon.com
Barnesandnoble.com
smashwords.com
iBooks
Kobo



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Lack of Progress but moving forward

Lack of progress. My blog is called author in progress, but I’ve decided that it’s a misnomer at this point in time. I’m stuck, mired and unable to move forward. It’s certainly not a lack of desire as that remains constant. I’ve written about half of my third book and it’s been that way since before I took pen to my second book. I have the entire story outlined and it’s as twisty-turny as a bucket of eels. I have good character interactions, the dialog is what you’d expect from my books, snappy banter and fun. Yet, I can’t seem to write another word.

I know what you’re about to say, you’re blocked and work through it. The problem is I’m not blocked, if fact just the opposite, I have ideas running around my head, knocking over shit, tripping over themselves to get out. Yet, I’m more concerned about the picks in my college football pool and how we’re setting up the post season in the NFL. Being from New England, you might guess where my loyalties hang their woolen beanie. If you were to say Boston, you’d be right.

Here’s the thing. While I’m a sports fan, it’s not everything I am. I have a day job and it keeps me pretty darn busy. We’re in our push to the telecom Christmas shutdown. My focus has been there. I’m a husband, A dog rescuer, a friend, a brother, a son, a firmly committed movie buff, a pop culture fan, a homeowner with gutters that desperately need to be cleaned and honey-do list as long as my arm and in the middle of that I write books. It’s been causing me a little stress that I have a book to write, but haven’t been doing much about it.

Last night I’m lying in bed, wide awake, which is more often the case. I had an epiphany and right after I had my first real sleep in days. The pressure and stress were all in my head. I was causing my own problem. I rolled it around my head to be certain, but never had I tried to write anything from October to December. Last year I was editing Dex Territory, but that was different. Knight and Dex came to me in January. I’m always writing, but I’m not always writing books. Then came the sigh of relief. It’s not my time to be worried about the next book. I’ve released two book in less than a year. I’m marketing book 2 and living up to those obligations and it’s time you gave yourself a damn break, Mark. You’re no use if you’re a babbling idiot.

I made a deal with myself. Sanity first, Dex Machina can wait until you stabilize. Keep writing down those ideas, those bits of dialog and live life. I’m a writer that writes from experiences. While the tales are very fictions, what lies underneath comes from personal experiences. There is a nugget of my life way down deep in the core. To write about experience, it’s important to have them.

My plan is to have some experiences, enjoy the holidays with my family and friends, laugh, catch some ball games, watch my local ECHL hockey team take the ice, watch Star Wars more times than is healthy, hang out a Johnnie McCracken’s Irish Pub, whip up some culinary art in my kitchen and then get back to doing what I really want to do. Write damn good stories.

This may not be my last blog post of the year, but when the next one comes it will be with a vengeance!
Don’t forget we’re in the middle of the Rave Reviews Book Club Book Trailer tour
My trailer is Dec 18th!!! Here are the details:


LOCATION: Winder, GA

DAILY GIVEAWAY(S): When: December 18th

(1) Grand Prize - Autographed copies of both Dex Territory and Knight and Dex

(2) Second Prizes - Autographed copies of Dex Territory

(3) Third Prizes - e-copies of Dex Territory

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today! I am a participant in the Rave Reviews Book Club’s HOLIDAY TRAIN “BOOK TRAILER” BLOCK PARTY, which is running thru the entire month of December, 2015.

Check out the trailer on December 18th to my book Dex Territory, like it and leave a comment. Perhaps win an autographed copy delivered right to your door. Easy peasy!

For my stop along this tour, I am giving away six awesome prizes and if you’d like a chance at winning one of them, please view my book trailer on YouTube at https://youtu.be/wpVTRVddOLw and then leave a comment! That’s all you have to do to get a chance at winning!!!

Winners will be announced daily here! Good luck to you and please, don’t forget to also “LIKE” my trailer while you’re there (if you do), and also tweet it out and share it on Facebook and your other social media forums before you leave. I’m so thankful to you in advance!

For more awesome chances to win daily prizes for the entire month of December, do check out the other stops along this tour here!

My contest goes live on Dec 18th. Watch, like, say a few words and win!

My newest book Knight and Dex is available in paperback and e-book on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and don’t forget my publisher www.TWBPress.com has copies also! Support small business and please buy from them direct.

Dex Territory and Knight and Dex are on sale!

Keep those reviews coming!!

Where can you find me?
www.twbpress.com
www.twbpress.com/authormarkaberdeen
www.amazon.com/author/markaberdeen
www.twitter.com/Mark_Aberdeen
www.facebook.com/mark.aberdeen
www.facebook.com/DexTerritoryBook

You can find Dex Territory for every possible device at:
TWBPress.com

Amazon.com
Barnesandnoble.com
smashwords.com
iBooks
Kobo

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Welcome to #RRBC’S HOLIDAY TRAIN “BOOK TRAILER” BLOCK PARTY!


LOCATION: Winder, GA

DAILY GIVEAWAY(S): When: December 18th

(1) Grand Prize - Autographed copies of both Dex Territory and Knight and Dex

(2) Second Prizes - Autographed copies of Dex Territory

(3) Third Prizes - e-copies of Dex Territory

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today! I am a participant in the Rave Reviews Book Club’s HOLIDAY TRAIN “BOOK TRAILER” BLOCK PARTY, which is running thru the entire month of December, 2015.

Check out the trailer on December 18th to my book Dex Territory, like it and leave a comment. Perhaps win an autographed copy delivered right to your door. Easy peasy!

For my stop along this tour, I am giving away six awesome prizes and if you’d like a chance at winning one of them, please view my book trailer on YouTube at https://youtu.be/wpVTRVddOLw and then leave a comment! That’s all you have to do to get a chance at winning!!!

Winners will be announced daily here! Good luck to you and please, don’t forget to also “LIKE” my trailer while you’re there (if you do), and also tweet it out and share it on Facebook and your other social media forums before you leave. I’m so thankful to you in advance!

For more awesome chances to win daily prizes for the entire month of December, do check out the other stops along this tour here!

My contest goes live on Dec 18th. Watch, like, say a few words and win!

Best of luck!

Mark