My warmest thanks to Robert Altbauer for making this map using ideas from the depths of my noggin’. The Kingdom of Rothesia is the setting I created for all the books within The Legacy Series. You can check out more of Robert’s phenomenal work at his website.
All posts in category E-Books
Posted by Jason Varrone on March 11, 2013
The time has come for a little spit shining. I am coming up on my one-year anniversary of self-publishing. Let’a face it, many of my covers truly stink. It’s OK, I know this, you won’t hurt my feelings. This last year has been about writing and understanding the ins and outs of the self-publishing game. What I’ve learned is that I have no graphic design eye whatsoever. I can write and I can format e-books, two out of three solid traits to have to succeed long term in this business. As for the covers, it is time for improvement.
I recently purchased two new pre-made covers. The first is for The Deathbed Mindset. It’s a beautiful blue, clean, minimalist, and represents the book perfectly.
The second is for Tales, my short fantasy fiction collection. It is a simple cover reflecting the fantasy genre.
In addition, today I commissioned two covers with a professional designer for my Legacy Series books. One cover will be redesigned for Warrior’s Tale (book one), and the other will be for book two, my first novel which I am working on now, entitled King’s Reaping. It is such a load off working with a professional on a cover. Now I can concentrate on writing. I’ll also be upgrading the covers for my short stories going forward as well, here and there, when a pre-made cover grabs my eye.
I am about 26,000 words into my novel, and hope to have it published by June 2013, at which time work on book three will begin. While my short fiction days are not one-hundred percent over, my concentration going forward will be on novel-length works.
Stay tuned for more!
Posted by Jason Varrone on January 9, 2013
Tales: A Collection Of Short Fantasy Fiction is now available in paperback for $6.99! It is available at both Amazon (along with the e-book) and CreateSpace. I cannot express in words how cool it is to see your work in print form. This is my five-story collection that includes all five of the shorts I published earlier this year: “Loyal,” “Dragon’s Vengeance,” “Courage,” “Knight’s Oath,” and “Second Son.”
I hope you enjoy it!
Posted by Jason Varrone on October 23, 2012
My life clock ticks to forty today. I admit I am having a hard time with that. My angst didn’t kick in until two days ago, when I realized that potentially my life is half over. It is a sobering thought. But it has been a wonderful ride thus far, enriched with a beautiful wife who supports me in everything I do, kids who drive us insane, and a family that is always there for me. I cannot ask for much more.
In my thirty-ninth year of life I finally took up writing again. So much time had passed since I put down the pen as a teenager that I didn’t think I could do it. But that itch was always there, a tickle in my brain that constantly made me wonder if I could do what I always dreamed of but never had the confidence nor the time to do.
Now, as I turn forty, I reflect on what I’ve accomplished since I sat my booty down to begin The Deathbed Mindset in October 2011. I have published four short stories, two novelettes (one in a series, also in print form), and one short non-fiction e-book. And today, I announce the publication of Tales: A Collection of Short Fantasy Fiction, which is the collection of those four short stories and the one non-series novelette. This collection is important to me, and it is appropriate that it arrive on my birthday. Beginning with Loyal, my journey in writing short fantasy fiction began. It was so enjoyable it is difficult to express in words. I fell in love with characters taken from deep within, characters filled with emotion, stories filled with drama. This collection represents the start of my journey and the joy of the ride. Tales is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.
In addition to those publications, I also started Short Fiction Spotlight, a website dedicated to expanding the reach of short fiction. It has grown popular faster than I expected, and I expect that growth to continue. One last project that I began in late 2012 with some fellow indie authors is the creation of the Short Fiction Writers Guild, a group of writers of the short form whose sole purpose is to help other authors market their work. Details on that launch are forthcoming.
Going forward from this point, I’ll be working on longer fiction, into the novella territory (above 17,500 words). I will first begin work on completing The Legacy Series trilogy, and the sequel to Warrior’s Ascension will begin shortly. I have ideas for two other series already in mind, one of those catering to young adults, so 2013 will be a busy year as I focus solely on series work and continue to foster the growth of the websites and guild.
I am not a fan of setting goals or assessing where I’ve been at the start of a new year. To me, that time should come on your birthday. It’s been a great journey, but my destination is nowhere in sight, which is fine with me. For too long I wallowed in a haze as I thought I could do it, but never sat down and tried. I finally did, and my soul is so much the happier for it.
Thanks, as always, to my family and friends for their continued support and encouragement.
Posted by Jason Varrone on October 14, 2012
“Loyal” is the featured short story this week at Alain Gomez’s great site for short fiction, Short Story Symposium. It is a site dedicated to expanding the reach of short fiction, be it short stories, novelettes or novellas. A hearty thank you to Alain, a wonderful short fiction writer herself, for featuring “Loyal” this week.
Posted by Jason Varrone on June 29, 2012
Cover design: I spent $7 on the photograph used for my cover. Using Picassa, I created a simple, clean cover design. It is not state of the art by any means, but I think it works. Some writers spend hundreds of dollars on covers using graphic designers. That may be right for their books, and perhaps I’ll need that level of sophistication, but it didn’t make sense here. Readers do not buy books because of a cover, but they may not buy a book because the cover looks amateurish or rushed. The cover is the first symbol of a decent book. But the image is digital, and after it is reduced to a thumbnail image, all the time and extra money spent making a perfect cover seems wasted.
E-Book Formatting: This is vital and what I spent the most amount of time on. The Smashwords Style Guide was invaluable. I used it to format my Amazon and Barnes and Noble versions as well. Microsoft Word has many gremlins built into it that try to make your job easier with auto-formatting and auto-correction settings. But these can wreak havoc on your e-book. I used Calibre, an e-book conversion program, and was able to convert test copies of my book to see how they looked. Now that I know how to format, I should have an easier time going forward. This was only a 6,000-word e-book and it took me hours. I can only imagine what it takes for a 50,000-word novel.
Editing: At first I thought, for such a short book, that I could use a Beta Reader or two and get away without a professional editor. Wow, was I wrong. Shelley Holloway, at Holloway House, was my angel. She pointed out mistakes in structure and word selection that I would never have seen. I paid $75 but could and would have paid more. I learned that regardless of the length of your work, be it a 1,000-word short story or a 200,000-word novel in the vein of Dostoyevsky, an editor is crucial.
A Non-Fiction Book is Not a Long Blog Post: I have a blogging background. Blogging typically uses a stream-of-consciousness style of writing. My first pass at The Deathbed Mindset resulted in an overly long blog post. It was written in that same stream-of-consciousness style, wherein I talk “at” the reader. Not good. It was a horror show and required considerable rewriting. I added fiction-style elements into the second draft as well, but had to remove a lot of “I” references and slang.
It Was Awesome!: And the last lesson learned? I loved every minute of this experience. Without that, why bother?
Posted by Jason Varrone on February 18, 2012
I am very proud to finally announce the self-publication of The Deathbed Mindset, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. This has been a wonderful, but difficult, journey, and I believe the hard work has paid off. It is my first foray into self-publishing and has been an incredible learning experience. As described on my home page, this e-book is about time and how to change your mindset to better take advantage of what little we have. Time is not our enemy. Wish as we might, time does not stand still, and slowly our lives slip away with dreams unrealized. It is time to take a stand against time, and The Deathbed Mindset can help. Based on an experience I had some time ago, the book describes how I realized that time was slipping through my fingers. I altered my approach to time and now understand what it means to seize every moment.
I welcome your feedback and would love to hear from you. My e-mail and Facebook pages are in the Contact Jason section above and you can always leave a comment at this website. Click the links below to buy whatever version suits you. Thanks for your support.
Posted by Jason Varrone on February 12, 2012