Chuck Wendig, Jedi Master of Writing Advice, gave me and Terms of Enlistment a shout-out in his latest blog post about self-publishing. Chuck has gone the self-publishing route, but he’s also traditionally published, so he knows both sides of the coin pretty well.
Steven Gould, author of the Jumper series of SF novels and one of my instructors at Viable Paradise XII, had some nice things to say about me as well, particularly concerning the way I use social media like Twitter. (Hint: I don’t use it for marketing.)
I am a little behind on the blog and email stuff because the last few days (hell, weeks) have been a bit wacky around here.
Terms of Enlistment is still climbing the lists, it seems. As of this morning, it’s #1 in Kindle > Science Fiction > Military and Kindle > Science Fiction > Adventure, #2 in all of Amazon’s Science Fiction >Adventure category, and the #3 Science Fiction novel on Amazon. It’s also the #109 paid novel in the Kindle store. (It cracked the Top 100 for a day on the weekend.)
That’s pretty good for any novel, especially a self-published first-time novel by an unknown author. To say that I am pleased would be a massive understatement. I wrote the thing, which took a year or so, and then spent the next three and a half years trying to get a publisher or agent to bite, with no luck at all. It’s really nice to know that I wasn’t just doing finger exercises.
This month, I’ll re-release Lucky Thirteen, a short story in the Terms of Enlistment universe, on the Kindle for free. It’ll be a little bonus for those who have read the novel, and maybe get some people interested who haven’t read it yet. And next month, I’ll release Lines of Departure, the follow-up novel. If it does only half as well as Terms of Enlistment, I’ll still be very pleased. I think it’s a better novel than its predecessor, mainly because I didn’t have to spend half the novel with Basic and Tech School before things start blowing up. It also delves a little more into the situation on Earth and the social issues back home, something I’ll explore in much greater detail in a future novel.
Some reviewers on Amazon have said that the novel feels like two different stories, and that’s true. I did, in fact, have an alternative second half in which Andrew stays on Earth and explores the backstory behind the Detroit riots. It would have been really gritty, but it would have been a narrative dead end for Andrew because in order to get him where he needed to be to go sniffing around in a PRC, he would have had to leave the service and do things that I didn’t want him to do just yet. He’s a cog in a really large and really faulty machine, and his story needed to get him into space before it can get him back to Earth.
Anyway, back to the salt mines for me. More later. And if you’ve bought Terms of Enlistment, reviewed it, recommended it, mentioned it on your blog, or passed it on to a friend or three: thank you, thank you, thank you.