Carl from America writes: Hey, man, how’d you get all them dang ol’ robots and explosions in my electronic book? I wanna do that with my pappy’s farm stories ‘fore the harvest come. Well, Carl, publishing your book of allegorical farm stories is actually pretty easy, if you know the true secret. But, can the true secret just be told to anyone, especially someone from America, a country that is not known for keeping secrets? My research says yes, yes it can. So, Carl, let’s take a look at the steps involved in publishing and maybe, just maybe, learn the true secret of publishing. Step 0: Finish Your Book Let’s assume you’ve already written your book, because like it or not, you can’t publish a book if you don’t have a book to publish (not the true secret). And when I say finish your book, I mean your book has been rewritten, revised, edited, and proofed. Alpha and Beta readers have all given feedback. You’ve pored over it for months or years, making it just as perfect as it can be. If it’s December 1st and you just finished your 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo, you don’t have a book to publish. Yet. Step 1: Talk Yourself Out of Traditional Publishing The first thing you’ll want to do is research publishing houses and literary agents. There are hundreds of websites on the world wide website collective that list where you can send your unsolicited manuscript. Visit enough and you’ll start seeing common requirements, like: a cover letter hyping the book and yourself a spoiler-filled synopsis of 1, 5, or N pages an outline of the story the first N chapters of the story, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 or Courier, name and title at the top of every page, page numbers centered, no adjectives as the final word of any line, paper smelling vaguely of peaches, bound in human flesh the entire goddamn manuscript printed and mailed via “media mail” a self-addressed stamped envelope a self-addressed stamped postcard six to twelve months to allow for a response You may be tempted to actually start producing the above materials, especially the synopsis, because really how hard can it be to write a synopsis of your own story? Answer: rather difficult. Writing a synopsis is like writing technical documentation — there’s no soul in it and at the end you want to die. At this point in the process, just say to yourself: What’s the point? They’re just going to say no anyway. I should just skip this part, go straight to self-publishing, and get on with the next book. Congratulations! You’ve just learned the true secret, which is to lower your expectations. Step 2: Choose Your Format(s) If you’re old enough, you’d probably like nothing more than to hold your book in your hands and watch as your tears blot the pages. While there are many options for turning your Word doc into printed pages, you can save yourself some time by choosing between two on-demand publishing services: Createspace and Lulu. Before…
Veneer is Snow Crash mixed with The Matrix mixed with Degrassi High… …if the kids of Degrassi Street swore and engaged in R-rated activities. I’ve been a fan of Verastiqui since reading his first novel, Xronixle, and I’m happy to say his sophomore effort is just as exciting and suspenseful, if not more. Veneer had me from the very first sentence, which if you read the preview you’ll get an idea of Verastiqui’s sense of humor. He masterfully blends elements of science fiction, the coming of age of adolescents, and a suspenseful story line with multiple twists that will make you laugh and question your reality at the same time. I found myself letting loose a hearty guffaw on one page, while on the very next page I was murmuring a “holy cow!” whilst raising my brow, which leads to those rare “I must finish this chapter” moments. While Veneer uses typical Cyberpunk themes (gritty technology gone awry, what-is-real-what-is-not-ness, evil ethereal-like corporations hell bent on the destruction of the protagonist), Verastiqui peppers in brilliantly-written sarcastic teenage characters that have the ability to change reality with their mind and, well, I can honestly say I’ve never read anything like it. An epic quest for redemption? Death? Sex? Check, check, check. The only reason I’m rating this 4 stars is because Verastiqui still has room to grow in his writing in order to be held in the same regard as upper echelon Cyberpunk authors like William Gibson and Neal Stevenson – a feat I wholeheartedly think he can achieve. Get this book.
Verastiqui is back and better than ever . . . I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of Perion Synthetics, this soon to be released novel set in the Vinestead series. While this latest release is a stand alone novel, like those that have come before it, readers familiar with his earlier work will notice references to familiar names, places and entities. None of these references though take away from Perion Synthetics in any way or slow the momentum of this newest addition to Verastiqui’s mythos. You’ll find the same strong character development that marked his earlier novels and a story that quickly pulls you in and builds in momentum all the way through the conclusion. Be prepared to read large swathes at once as there are few good points to stop and catch your breath once you’ve gotten started. Perion Synthetics takes a much more hard science fiction approach to a number of key elements of the story. Verastiqui’s vision for our near future is both startling in it’s complexity and in the very believable possibility that many of the things that his characters take for granted as parts of their daily lives, may easily find their way off the pages and into our own in the not so distant future. It is this perhaps more than anything that distinguishes this novel from some of his earlier work. Having read each novel in the Vinestead collection, I can honestly say, I can’t wait for the next installment.