My Illustrator’s Daughter Gets Involved

My latest book ‘Claymore’ has been on Amzon.com for a few weeks in all three formats now (ebook, black & white paperback, and color paperback). Besides my day job as an engineer, I have been a bit lazy since then, playing games and watching shows on Netflix. Soon I will need to start my next project in earnest.

Meanwhile I have had some exposure and sales for the new book, especially with friends and relatives. My illustrator bought an expensive version of the book (the version with color interior illustrations) for her daughter. As you can see in the attached picture, she is really happy to have my story in her hands. (Okay, she is happy to have the illustrations in her hands.) I appreciate her positive response.

TizianaDaughter

I am indecisive about my next project. I have two more books planned and outlined for the Tomek series that I want to complete, but I also want to do a ‘hard science fantasy’ story that I have in my head.

I’ve never heard that term (hard science fantasy) before and I may have made it up. The general concept is a world similar to the one Tolkien created (not too similar, but with magic, magical beasts, and wizards). Earthling astronauts land there and try to make sense of it. I have specific ideas in mind (about the science behind the magic and about plots and characters) but haven’t outlined them in any document yet. I would want the plots and characters to dominate and not have it all about the science. It would be, at some stage, a battle of science against magic where science is losing. Later as they ally with the good guys they learn to meld the two technologies together.

I am sure something like that has been done before somewhere, but I want to do my idea with it.

Waiting for the Author’s Proof

I submitted my book cover and interior to createspace.com. They will send me the printed author’s proof (first copy of the book for my review). I already know it will be perfect (from the electronic proof) so I expect to click the “Publish” button. My book should be on Amazon in a couple weeks. It’s exciting.

Last week I told you I would include the first chapter page from the interior of an earlier book (Baktu in this case) which I formatted myself using default Microsoft fonts and styles (BaktuInterior6x9.paperBW.FirstPage), and the first chapter of this new one that I paid to have it professionally formatted (Claymore_Proof_Interior_FirstPage). I am real happy with the professional one. It is clean and stylish.

As I mentioned, the cover is done (by Tiziana of Freelancer.com) and I will feature it in another blog. It’s beautiful.

It’s always a relief to me to have finished a novel. But getting it on Amazon is when it will really be finished. However, in this case, I still need to submit the color version to createspace.com, so it won’t really really be finished until that one is also on Amazon. Color is so expensive on createspace.com that it is hard to recommend buying the color version of a book to friends with a straight face. But Tiziana’s color illustrations are so beautiful that I must publish it.

The featured picture this week is the illustration for chapter 49, the last illustration. This is a moment of suspense when Claymore is injured and fading. One of is nemeses is about to kill his friends that are chained to the wheelchairs.

Chapter 49

 

Short Stories in the Appendices are Fun

I have recruited two authors to write short stories for my next novel ‘Claymore’ (one of them is a maybe). I also sent an invitation to Gavin Parish but it is too soon to know if he accepts.

With my last novel ‘Baktu’, I had three short stories added to the book’s appendices, written by independent authors. These stories focused on back stories for minor characters. I gave the credit to the author at the top of each story. It was a lot of fun for me and I thought the stories were great and added a valuable dimension to the book. So I decided to do the same with ‘Claymore’.

I expect it to take four to six weeks for all my planned illustrations and short stories to be done (by freelancers). The novel itself is done except for grammar edits. In parallel, I need to start planning the book cover.

The second chapter to have an illustration is Chapter five. I plan to post on this blog each Monday or Tuesday until Claymore is published and include a chapter illustration with each post.

chapter-5

In this illustration, Claymore is presenting his bill to the legislature of the Azten Empire. He is pushing for more resources for government law enforcement agencies to take the pressure off citizen vigilante work and to create reliable justice. Good luck with that Claymore.

Prepare for the Visual Feast!

BaktuIllustrationsFrontCoverSmall

Baktu Illustrations Newly Released as FULL COLOR Special Edition!

Welcome back friends!

Happily, there is even more great news to share about Baktu! Cass here at the blog helm again, checking to inform you of the latest developments about the printing of the book and distribution on Amazon.

As those who purchased early copies of book two in the Tomek series will know, the novel contains beautiful illustrations from contest winning artists, sourced from around the world. As he shared the novel with others Jimm learned personally of Baktu collaborators and fans of the written word who wanted to badly to see the original versions, that he pulled the trigger on an accompanying printed graphic which is just now available to the public, also on Amazon.

Due to the cost of full color publication of the entire epic, the artwork had to be printed in black and white throughout. As you experience the image in only the form of light and shadow, it gives the drawings within the full length novel a nostalgic and dream like quality. Each visual likeness leaves your imagination to explore and envision the colors, hues, and contrast of every depicted scene. This difficult choice to remove color from the pages was done with the purpose to make the book more economically priced and therefore accessible to more readers.

After seeing full novel in print, Jimm knew he wasn’t quite done sharing the diversity of talented artists who had contributed to the novel. It then also became of high importance to Jimm, as he progressed through the project, that the audience be given the opportunity to enjoy the full beauty of the different graphic styles of the artwork in high resolution full color.

Personally, it is such a treat to see both the black and white, as well as the full color side by side as I read the novel again. Sometimes my imagination closely matched the artist’s rendering, and other times I was delighted to see that the artist had chosen nearly the opposite colors to what sprang from my imagination.

In the full novel your imagination really makes the drawings your own as your mind’s eye fills in the details between light and dark – whereas the stunning high-resolution drawings provide every detail and some surprises as to the artist’s interpretation of the story. The full novel and the special edition collection of color illustrations are complimentary books, and make a beautiful set for avid readers and science fiction fans of all ages! In this newest release of the drawings accompanied by a short blurb about each artist, you may find yourself lost in the soulful pictures, and dreaming up the prequel as well as back story for Wra, Spri, and the other natives of Baktu.

After you’ve enjoyed them both, please feel free to leave your comments or questions for the author about both the story and illustrations here! I’ll be back with you to share the next developments for the Tomek series! Thank you again to all the fans for your support and interest. Your continued curiosity and compliments have been a joy for everyone who contributed to the project, and especially for those artists who thanks to Jimm are able to bring the adventures of Tomek to both the digital and print world in black and white and brilliant color! Thank you!

Amazon: Illustrations in Baktu (54 pages): collected by Jimm Grogan

Amazon: Baktu: Book Two in the Tomek Series, By Jimm Grogan (356 pages, black and white)

For more information: https://jimmgrogan.com/

Contact: https://jimmgrogan.com/contacts/

Baktu Finally

After what what seemed like forever to me, I have finally published the kindle edition of my book Baktu. It took a while to have all the illustrations created. Now, it is available on Amazon.com here.

The two paper editions will be available this week. There will be a cheaper black and white edition, and a color edition.

Illustrators

All 33 chapters except two have illustrations, and two of the appendixes also have illustrations. See the small thumbnails of the illustrations in above excerpt from the acknowledgments page. I hired eight different illustrators, each with a different style. It was fun having different visual interpretations of the chapters from each of them, and hopefully it won’t be too confusing to the reader. I am excited to show their work. After the fact, I see I forgot to acknowledge one important illustrator: GrayCactus, who illustrated chapters 8, 12, 13, 15 & 33. I don’t know how I missed that. I will need to update the kindle edition of the book to mention Gray Cactus in the acknowledgements in a couple weeks, and hopefully add the two new in-progress illustrations while I am at it.

Also, I really like the short stories in the appendixes of the book. These were written by other writers (not me) and they did an excellent job for me. Each of the three short stories revolves around a different minor character in my book. I think each add some depth to the Baktu world. I am thankful for these writers participation.

It is nice to have this project unleashed into the world so I can finally show it to those who have been waiting, and I can turn my attention to the future big thing.

Baktu Accepted Into Amazon’s Scout Program and Publishing Competition

Amazon Approved Baktu to Move Forward – Includes First Sneak Peek For Readers!

Baktu Novel Cover

Baktu, the second science fiction novella in the Tomek series.

Great news fans! You’re invited to a private sneak peek of Baktu hosted by Amazon Kindle!

Hi Everyone! Cass here again, guest blogger, with the pleasure of sharing the first official flames of attention for Baktu! As you know Jim’s book is complete, has now also gone through the sometimes complex editing process, and as the publishing date approaches, more and more good news for fans of the series keeps coming out!

Just this week Baktu was awarded admittance into Amazon’s Kindle Scout competition for unpublished manuscripts. You the reader directly benefit in this unique competition, because as part of the program, Amazon allows you to check out the first few chapters and nominate Baktu for publishing through the competition, for free. As well as another benefit after the competition concludes.

Starting today you will have a full month to check out Baktu’s opening section, nominate it for publishing, and share it with anyone – for free!

After that, and with the most nominations in this competition group, their program additionally rewards those readers who nominated Baktu by providing each of you a complimentary Kindle eBook edition of the entire book to keep!

Please do support the continuation of this fun sci-fi series by enjoying Amazon’s advance preview and offering Baktu your publication nomination after you have taken pleasure in the exhilarating opening scenes and developing story! When Baktu moved onto the next stage your participation at this early stage guarantees you a complimentary copy of the full novel as soon as it’s released by Amazon!

The anticipation of Tomek’s landing, at the outset of Baktu, and escape from the dangerous powers in the previous novel, Negative Zero, are only the first mysteries revealed to readers who take advantage of Amazon Kindle’s sneak peak. You will soon be lost in this fascinating world that is both totally alien and not all that much unlike our own world. If only we had the intergalactic travel, Baktu would definitely be a must see destination.

It has been noted that along with the book’s cover, a large part of Tomek’s journey includes the mysterious illustrations always intended for inclusions the final print publication. Amazon’s Scout competition, however, only allows for the novel’s cover and text to be reviewed and nominated. But, we are glad to report that after winning, when published and sent by Amazon to all those who nominated it, we can confirm that Baktu’s eBook will definitely include the full set of color illustrations!

This is a really great opportunity and deeply appreciated honor for Baktu to have met their standards for publication and to have gained immediate admittance into the active competition. We invite you to please visit Baktu on Amazon’s contest page, enjoy the sneak peek, and give Baktu your nomination! Please do also share the experience of your reading it with everyone you know and also with Jim directly here on the site!

Amazon’s Scout Competition: Kindle Scout Amazon: Baktu

URL Link: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/3KSTIP7RAU1QL

 

For more information

https://jimmgrogan.com/

Contact: https://jimmgrogan.com/contacts/

Baktu Marketing Copy Essentials

createspace.com sells a service called “Marketing Copy Essentials’. I love this service because I can never seem able to summarize my books into something to put on the back cover. I always think my book is too complicated to express in two paragraphs. It’s even worst when a person asks me to my face what my book is about. They obviously don’t want a 30 minute review. What do I say?

Marketing Copy Essentials to the rescue. It took createspace.com about 10 days and $249 and here it is.  This book, titled ‘Baktu’, will publish next month (depending on how fast my illustrators are). Do you want to know what it is about? I am finally glad you asked.

First, the “Tagline“, the “elevator pitch”, the 30 word summary.

The action-packed sequel to Negative Zero finds Tomek on the forbidden planet of Baktu, hunting for the fearsome creature that abducted his friend—and on the front lines of an imperial invasion.

Now if I memorize that, I can answer passing friends or elevator passengers when they ask. Thanks createspace.

And now the book description. createspace says this is what should be my book’s description on the Amazon.com web page. Apparently this needs to be different than the book’s back cover.

The sequel to Negative Zero blasts off with our intrepid spacecraft engineer finding himself mere minutes from being fired upon by two elite warships of the Azten imperial navy. In direct defiance of the Azten Empire of Federated Worlds, Tomek is headed to the surface of the forbidden planet Baktu.

After being stranded on the low-tech planet for almost a year, the human Tomek has found a home—even falling in love with a young Bakti named Spri.

But the Bakti have been keeping a secret from the foreigner—a secret that could lead him to find the creature who abducted his friend Claymore. The same awful secret also holds the answer to why the planet has been isolated by the Azten government for the past two hundred years.

Meanwhile, as Tomek hunts for monsters on the tranquil planet, a civil war has broken out in the empire and the sinister Trident organization hasn’t forgotten about their clever nemesis.

Then there’s the Golantan armada that’s heading toward Azten, crushing all resistance in its path…

With Baktu located at the edge of the empire, how will the Bakti manage to resist an invasion on their own?

I love it. I will need to keep it in my back pocket in case someone asks for an in depth description.

And finally the back cover text that createspace designed for me.

“Baktu.”

It’s the word Tomek’s friend Claymore cried out just before being carried off by a monstrous creature. At the time, Tomek didn’t know what it meant.

Now, in the fascinating sequel to Negative Zero, he’s hovering over that exact planet in his damaged spacecraft—with the Azten imperial navy threatening to destroy him if he continues on his present course.

No life-form may land on or leave the planet.

But Tomek manages a daring escape while under fire, marooning himself on the mysterious forbidden planet.

The ingenious engineer starts out with three goals: find out why Baktu is under quarantine, find the link between this little-known planet and the creature that abducted Claymore, and find a way to escape.

But other intergalactic forces are at work—including a little thing called “love”—and Tomek will soon find himself rallying to the defense of the empire.

Ah, that is nice. I can’t wait to read it. Although technically (since I am an engineer) “intergalactic” is probably the wrong word. I may change that to “interstellar”, since everything happens among hundreds of worlds (if you include the Golantans) but within just the one galaxy.