Category Archives: administrata

six freakin’ years!

I was pretty busy this month. So busy, in fact, I didn’t realize that I’ve now been self-publishing for six years. The first book I self-published was DEMONSOULED back on April 15th, 2011.

Six years! Man! There have been some jobs and activities in my life I’ve done consistently for more than six years, but not that many of them. Clearly God has been good to me. Back in April of 2011 I figured I would publish DEMONSOULED and SOUL OF TYRANTS, write one more DEMONSOULED book so I would have a trilogy, and then I would be done with novels.

Ha. That sure didn’t go according to plan, did it?

Let’s see. In six years, I’ve written:

-8 new DEMONSOULED books.

-16 new GHOSTS books (counting BLADE OF THE GHOSTS).


-7 CLOAK GAMES books.

-2 1/2 science fiction books (coming later this year).

-9 technical books.

-A whole lot of short stories.

Anyway, thank you all for coming along on the adventures of Ridmark, Mazael, Caina, Nadia, and all the others.

Now back to editing FROSTBORN: THE SHADOW PRISON. 🙂


why so serial?


Matthew asks in response to my post about writing 10,000 words in a single day:

“You ever thought about writing serially? Like releasing a few chapters of something a week and making it like 99 cents? 10k is absolutely insane. I’m not sure I know another author who makes 10k words in a week.”

Good question! Actually, I have tried something like that, and I concluded that it doesn’t work at all well.

I released THE THIRD SOUL as a serial, and I wrote THE BONE QUEST series of FROSTBORN short stories structured as a serial, and based on the reaction to them I’ve come to the conclusion that a large majority of readers simply do not like serials and prefer novels. Both THE THIRD SOUL and THE BONE QUEST get a lot of complaints because of their length.

So, I’ve concluded that the majority of readers prefer novels to short stories, novellas, and serials. (I like short stories, but I kind of suspect they might be an artifact of the old days when people did a lot of reading in magazines and there were only so many pages available.)

I think the only way a serial would work is if you wrote the entire thing in advance and made sure each, say, 10k words were ready to go every Friday, like a webcomic artist who prepares three or four weeks’ worth of comics in advance before launching his website.

Of course, if you did that much work, you could just release it as a novel to fewer complaints about length.

I’m launching three new novel series this year – SEVENFOLD SWORD, GHOST NIGHT, and a science fiction series, and I haven’t decided if I’m going to have short stories accompanying them. If I do, I think I’ll group the stories in their own series like THE BONE QUEST, but have each one be completely stand alone.


Military Fantasy Promo!

I’ve been fortunate enough to have the FROSTBORN books in the Top 20 of the Military Fantasy category on Amazon for a while now. (Thanks everyone!) Some of the other writers on the list put together a group sale, and were kind enough to invite me.

Here are the books we put on sale this week. If you’re looking for something fun to read this week, you can find it here!

FATEMARKED, by David Estes.

In the spirit of fantasy epics like George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, The Fatemarked Epic promises immaculate world building, an ancient prophecy, a mysterious source of magic, a diverse cast of characters, war, political intrigue, and romance.

The Hundred Years War has ravaged more than three generations of kings, queens, and citizens across the Four Kingdoms. Corrupt rulers dominate. Religious intolerance runs rampant. The cycle of vengeance continues to turn with the seasons.

An ancient prophecy by a legendary oracle has been long forgotten. The prophecy promises the return of peace to the Four Kingdoms on the backs of a chosen few, the fatemarked, individuals marked at birth and blessed with specific magical powers. One shall be the Kings’ Bane, and will bring death to the warmongering rulers, using fear to force peace; another shall be the Peacemaker, bestowed with the rare ability to heal. Opposite sides of the same coin, dark and light, death and life, the Kings’ Bane and the Peacemaker are responsible for the fate of an entire continent.

As they fight to achieve their destinies, adversity will hinder them in every realm: in the frozen north, assassination attempts and a brutal power struggle; in the holy west, a vicious queen and her self-righteous army of warriors; in the mysterious iron-clad forest of the east, revenge and glory rule the day; and in the southern empires of Calyp and Phanes, maturing dragons, slaves, and a civil war.

To truly fulfill the oracle’s prophecy of peace, both the Kings’ Bane and the Peacemaker, as well as the other fatemarked, will need to overcome those who seek to destroy everything in their pursuit for power.

The first book in an epic saga years in the making, Fatemarked will sweep you away to another land, another time, when magic and dragons, kings and queens, and courage and valor still meant something.

STIGER’S TIGERS, by Marc Alan Edelheit

The empire has endured many centuries but is now threatened by multiple wars and a major rebellion in the South.

A nobleman from an infamous family, imperial legionary officer, and a born fighter… Captain Ben Stiger finds himself reassigned from a crack legion to the rebellion simmering in the South. Placed in command of a truly terrible company, the 85th Imperial Foot, he is unknowingly sent on a suicide mission to resupply an isolated outpost, the garrison of Vrell. Along the way he must rebuild his new company, gain the respect of the men he leads, survive an assassination attempt, fight bandits, rebels, and an agent of an evil god. His companions on this journey of discovery and adventure are one of the few remaining elven rangers and a paladin on a quest for the High Father.

The battle to save the empire and the world begins here in the first book of this exciting new series!

Winner of the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Bronze Award for Fantasy!!!

THE KNIGHTHOOD, by Evan Currie. 

A War was waged.

Humanity lost.

Now it’s time for a rematch.

In the now near forgotten past, civilization spanned the planet and the stars. When the invasion came, it did not start with a bang but with a whimper of sickness. By the time the enemy showed themselves, the war had already been lost. Demons from nightmare, wielding magic and raw physical power, fell upon what was left in a wave of destruction. The warriors of humanity fought, and died, making the invaders pay for every inch of ground they took… but take it they did.

Now the fighting is left to those who survived, and even that has ground to a near stop as final defeat looms.
One last spark in the darkness, one last lesson to teach the enemy before humanity’s sun has set, one last stand. A spark can start a conflagration, and hope is the last, best, weapon any man can wield.

Stand against the dark. Fight in the shadows, that others may one day walk in the light.

FROSTBORN OMNIBUS ONE, by Jonathan Moeller

Combined for the first time in one volume are the first three books of the internationally bestselling FROSTBORN saga – FROSTBORN: THE GRAY KNIGHT, FROSTBORN: THE EIGHTFOLD KNIFE, FROSTBORN: THE UNDYING WIZARD, and the prequel novel FROSTBORN: THE FIRST QUEST.

RIDMARK ARBAN was once a Swordbearer, a knight of renown. Now he is a branded outcast, stripped of his sword, and despised as a traitor.

But he alone sees the danger to come, and undertakes the dangerous quest to stop the return of the Frostborn.



I didn’t get much writing done last week, because most of my time went to Business.

Alas, because of the kind of movies I watched when I was a kid, I assumed that Doing Business would involve sitting around in a pinstripe suit, smoking a cigar in a swanky bar near the Warehouse District and/or the Spaceport, and exchanging veiled threats with private detectives (and possibly with the private detectives’ android sidekicks), all while attractive waitresses carried out tumblers of expensive scotch. And then Batman would show up to engage in fisticuffs.

However, in the many years since I’ve learned that Doing Business usually involves things like this:

-Printing out large numbers of PDF forms.

-Filling out PDF forms.

-Standing in line at the post office to mail the printed PDF forms.

-Navigating phone menus.

-Discussing various types of retirement accounts with polite men in button-down shirts.

-Trying to fix one’s website.

-Attempting to locate discount refrigerator parts.

On the plus side, I didn’t have to fight Batman, so it worked out.

But! Wrapped up all that last week. I’m now on Chapter 15 of 34 of FROSTBORN: THE SHADOW PRISON.

I had hoped to finish it by Easter, but that might be unrealistic. FROSTBORN: THE SHADOW PRISON will definitely be one of the five longest books I’ve written, and there’s an outside chance it might end up being the longest book I’ve ever written. So instead I will try to be 2/3 of the way through – at Chapter 23 of 34 – by Easter. Let’s see if I can pull that off!



maintenance complete!

I am pleased to report that is back up and running!

I needed to change web hosts. I’ve had the same hosting provider for so long that I made the first version of my site in FrontPage 2003. However, while website technology has evolved since then, the hosting provider didn’t, and it had an increasingly large number of problems. The final straw was when a server misconfiguration simultaneously broke my site’s comment form while also allowing hundreds of spam comments through at once.

So, I bit the bullet, and spent the last two days moving the site to a new hosting provider. I am looking forward to enjoy modern web hosting features (automated backups! automated backups!) and hopefully less web-crashing weirdness with my site.


down for maintenance

Later tomorrow my website and email will be going down for some much-needed maintenance.

I’ve put it off for a while, but it’s time to bite the bullet and get it over with. This post, if my numbers are right, is the 7,684th post and page I’ve put up on my site, and so it really needs some maintenance at this point. I don’t think FROSTBORN: THE SHADOW PRISON will be ready until early May, so this is probably as good a time as any to do it.

If all goes well, we’ll be back up by Friday or Saturday.



a secret project

Back in October, I started writing a Secret Project, and today I passed the 50% mark on that project.

Actually, why be secret about it? It’s a series of science fiction novels, and once I have four of them, I will release them all at once. That probably won’t be until the end of the summer, though.

Meanwhile, tune in at this space tomorrow for some exciting news about the FROSTBORN series!



Apropos of a discussion in the CLOAK GAMES thread, I should mention that I liked to think of my writing career as being like the Borg from STAR TREK.

I am always trying to learn new things and adapt new techniques and new technologies.

Of course, if one day you look up and the see the sun blocked out by a Giant Space Cube, you’ll know I’ve taken the metaphor too far. 🙂


ebook sales 2016, all other series

Here’s some more details about ebook sales for 2016.

FROSTBORN was my bestselling series at 66% of the total, with THE GHOSTS/GHOST EXILE coming in at 12.2%. In a close third was the DEMONSOULED/MASK OF THE DEMONSOULED series at 11.7% of the total. Let’s look at my remaining series now:

Technical Nonfiction Books: 2.8%




That’s actually pretty cool about THE TOWER OF ENDLESS WORLDS. I started working on what would become that series in 2002, and fifteen years later it is still selling copies. Can’t complain about that!

I’m also pleased THE THIRD SOUL is still selling. I suppose it was sheer luck that I started writing more in THE GHOSTS series instead of THE THIRD SOUL. When I discovered the Kindle in 2011, I had three GHOSTS novels ready to go, so I published those and wound up writing way more in the series.

I think the CLOAK GAMES percentage will go up in 2017, partly because I’m writing more CLOAK GAMES books in 2017, and partly because the first book is now free on all platforms. For example in November of 2016, CLOAK GAMES was 1.6% of the month’s book sales. After the 1st book went free in December, the total in December rose to 6.4%.

I have to admit that while I like doing technical nonfiction books, I don’t think I’m going to do any in 2017. For one, they’re a lot more work than novels, since they need to be researched and tested. For another, novels sell better (and therefore pay better). Six years on, and that STILL boggles my mind. When I started self-publishing in 2011, I thought there would be more money writing about Linux and computers than writing novels. Sometimes it’s nice to be wrong!

(Which is kind of funny, because I never talk about my writing in Real Life since it takes too long to explain the truth. If people figure out that I’m a writer, I usually tell them I’m a technical writer. Since I’ve written nine technical books, this is technically (heh) true, and it has the additional advantage of avoiding social awkwardness since no one wants to listen to me talk about Linux. 🙂 )

So instead of writing a technical nonfiction book, I think I’ll use that space in my schedule instead to work on a different series of novels. Hopefully I can have those out later this year!

I was going to say that I’m looking forward to publishing new books in 2017, but since I wrote this back in January I’ve published two new books and two new short stories, so instead I’ll say I’m looking forward to continuing to publish new books in 2017!

And thanks for reading (and buying copies)!


The Grand Tour

Finished watching the last episode of the first season of THE GRAND TOUR on Amazon.

I have to admit I really enjoyed the show. I think my favorite parts were the Car Battleship game, the Eco-Car Challenge, and the Namibia episodes.

Anyway, if you happen to get the chance, watch the show. The highest compliment I can give it is that I actually put away my laptop and my Kindle to pay attention, which hardly ever happens when I watch TV or streaming video!