Book Review – Straight Outta Fangton by C.T.Phipps

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A really good review of STRAIGHT OUTTA FANGTON that gives the highest praise of making someone like vampires again.

via Book Review – Straight Outta Fangton by C.T.Phipps

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Two new books – Predestiny and Blackest Knights

Hey folks,

I know everybody is waiting for me to release THE TOURNAMENT OF SUPERVILLAINY and I’m extra excited about that. However, in the meantime, I’ve got two new releases which I hope people will check out.

PREDESTINY 

By. C.T. Phipps and Frank Martin

Robbie Stone thought he was on the right side of history. He wanted to make a difference by protesting Butterfly, a megacorporation slowly taking over the United States in the near feature. But after he’s attacked by a group of assassins, Robbie’s rescuer, a mysterious white-haired girl named Jane, makes a startling claim: the assassins were sent to kill Robbie and prevent his fate of becoming a merciless dictator responsible for the genocide of millions across the globe. 

Horrified by his destiny, Robbie must now face a choice: give up his vendetta against Butterfly or risk becoming the worst mass murderer the world has ever seen.

I’ve always been fascinated by time travel morality. In this case, Robbie is the guy who might turn into a monster in the future. Is it right to kill him before he can? Is history more complicated than heroes and villains? Frank and I had a blast writing this. I also got a chance to get in on the Young Adult dystopian sci-fi market. It’s not quite cyberpunk but nicely sets up a world where those qualities are facts of life.

Available at Amazon.com

 BLACKEST KNIGHTS

Edited by C.T. Phipps

Honor is just a word.

Throughout fiction, there have always been heroes who have fallen from grace. Champions of honor, decency, and order who have become villains through some traumatic event or a deep personal flaw. Blackest Knights is a collection of 19 tales by some of independent fantasy’s best authors that follow a collection of those heroes who fell to temptation. From tales of bloody-handed hypocrites to space pirates, you’ll find some truly fascinating works within.

Contains fiction by: David Niall Wilson, C. T. Phipps, James Alderdice, M. L. Spencer, Paul Lavender, Ulff Lehman, A. M. Justice, Matthew Johnson, Matthew Davenport, Frank Martin, Allan Batchelder, Martin Owton, Richard Writhen, Jesse Teller and Michael Suttkus.

I am a huge fan of dark fantasy and grimdark storytelling. More the former than the latter. I’m also a huge fan of independent fantasy writing. So, I decided to combine two great tastes which go great together and make an anthology featuring my favorite indie fantasy authors writing stories about dishonored heroes. Fans of my Bright Falls Mysteries, Straight Outta Fangton, Wraith Knight, and Lucifer’s Star series will also note that I’ve included stories from those worlds inside. Its paperback is already available and the ebook release is on October 20th!

Pre-Order from Amazon.com

Lucifer’s Star Book Bub Sale: 99 cents for space opera action!

Hey, LUCIFER’S STAR which is a dark space opera with proton swords, rebelling robots, starfighter battles, treachery, lies, and politics. I hope people will check it out. It’s been called an R-rated Star Wars and I certainly agree. For this week only, it’s available for 99c. You won’t find a better deal for a massive epic!

BookBub Sale Page

Cassius Mass was the greatest star pilot of the Crius Archduchy. He fought fiercely for his cause, only to watch his nation fall to the Interstellar Commonwealth. It was only after that he realized the side he’d been fighting for was the wrong one. Now a semi-functional navigator on an interstellar freight hauler, he tries to hide who he was and escape his past. Unfortunately, some things refuse to stay buried and he ends up conscripted by the very people who destroyed his homeland.

LUCIFER’S STAR is the first novel of the Lucifer’s Star series, a dark science fiction space opera set in a world of aliens, war, politics, and slavery.

“If you’re into big intergalactic epics where your heroes are just as sharp with the banter as they are their guns (in the spirit of Han Solo) this is for you.” – Kenny Soward, author of Galefire and GnomeSaga

“C.T. Phipps knocks it out of the universe with his sci-fi debut.” – Tim Marquitz, author of Demon Squad, The Blood War Trilogy, and Excalibur

“LUCIFER’S STAR is a space-going romp through the star-speckled back streets (on several worlds), and I’m actually quite looking forward to more novels in this series, and this universe.” – Shawn P. Durnin, author of Keep Your Crowbar Handy

“The plot is very complex, with many twists and turns, betrayals, double and even triple crosses. It seemed everyone in the book had at least one secret, and many of the characters had multiple secrets. As always, even when dealing with very dark subject matter, CT Phipps manages to inject some humor and snark into the proceedings, keeping this from turning into Grimdark Game of Thrones in space.” – Steve Caldwell, author of The Bookwyrm Speaks

Agent G: Assassin is now available on Kindle

AGENT G is a series I’ve really enjoyed writing. At present, I have it set up for five books with the third book in the series, AGENT G: ASSASSIN having recently been released on Kindle (and for Kindle Unlimited).

From the best-selling author of THE RULES OF SUPERVILLAINY:

Agent G, now going by the name Case, thought he’d won. He’d exposed his former employers, shared Black Technology with the world, and killed the man who’d started it all. Unfortunately, history slows for no man. After a volcanic eruption decimates the United States, G spends the next decade witnessing humanity rebuild itself into a corporate-run dystopia.

Preferring to the be the boot rather than the ant, Case has become a powerful executive in the new cyberpunk world. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean he’s immune to his past. Contacted by the only woman he ever loved, Case finds himself once more embroiled in a conspiracy to take what little the public has left. Now he has to decide whether to save what remains of the world or rule it.

Available for purchase here

15 tips for Indie Authors

1. Generally speaking, indie authors benefit most from networking. This is something that I’ve taken to heart and it’s great to make friends with other authors and promote their books because they’ll be inclined to promote yours. Authors who worry about their own success alone generally fail in this business. Authorship is not competing for readers because when someone finishes Anne Rice, they’re more inclined to pick up another vampire novel in the same “vein.”

2. Diversity is the key when attempting to get your books to the largest audience possible. The Rules of Supervillainy is my biggest success so far and it’s a huge success for a mainstream publication instead of just an indie press. Part of that was the fact it managed to hit a niche in genre fiction but also because it reached a huge audience of audiobook listeners versus the somewhat overloaded ebook market. Try to make sure your books are available in multiple formats of audiobook, ebook, and paperback.

3. A lengthy portfolio is pretty much a necessity in the modern ebook marketing world. You probably won’t make your fortune on one or two books but will benefit most from having a robust series of novels with multiple complete series. The fact Amazon and the internet means books “stay” in print means that you probably will get a trickle from each of your series as long as you’ve promoted them enough for people to want to check them out in the first place. In short, don’t expect to be a full time writer after your first book, expect it after your thirtieth.

4. Contradicting number 3# to an extent is the fact you need to manage your release schedule. Releasing a bunch of stuff at the same time or in rapid succession means the people you actually have managed to win over with your writing may be overwhelmed. After a release, you should spend time promoting your new release and make sure that people know about it.

5. Methods of promotion include Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Reddit, and other social media presence. Generally, no one cares about spam and if you show up to mention your work is now available for 5.99 on a group then don’t be surprised if the reaction is a resounding “meh.” Engaging with fans and making yourself interesting enough they actually check out your work is a big deal. Basically, making yourself a presence in your genre’s community is an important part of success.

6. Managing expectations is something that a lot of authors have difficulty with. Gone are the days of which you can just depend on a big publisher to release your books to all the bookstores in America and assume you’ll release in the 10s of thousands (and lose 99% of each sale to your publishers). Instead, a 1000 copies is an extremely good lifetime sale for an indie title and sometimes takes a while to take off. Success also breeds success as you can expect sales to pick up when one book succeeds and develops a fandom who buys your others.

7. Beware of scams. I feel like this is something that is unfortunately endemic to the indie scene but there’s no end of people who want to charge you $100 to publish your book on their mailing list of people who don’t actually read the books. There’s also plenty of scam publishers who will take every dollar you have and then go bankrupt. Beware, too, of editors who give it a spellcheck and charge $400. Check out sites like Writer Water Cooler and get help from your fellow authors to avoid this.

8. Understand that financial success in writing is an ongoing process, which is a polite way of reiterating the earlier point that becoming a full-time writer is a long process. You’ll probably not be able to quit your day job for a good long time if ever. Do it for the art first and the supplementary income second unless you’re one of those people who knows how to write porn for $10,000 a month. No, I don’t know how they do it.

9. Engage with the community projects of fans like the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off, ABR awards, interviews, blogging, and guest posts. It’s not going to be an automatic boost to your book and plenty of blogs, like mine, have like 20 people who follow them but every bit counts.

10. Reviews provide the illusion of success, which can sometimes lead to real success. Lots of people don’t trust independent books with 5 reviews or less. Instead, they tend to view books with 60-200 as things which are successful or worth reading. This requires the equivalent of MMORPG grinding to get people to check them out. Amazon, Audible, Goodreads, and blogs all help.

11. Try and have multiple installments of a series in order to get people who like the original work to pick up the next. If you can develop a fanbase then it’s good to have people who want to buy the next novel. This is something of a risk because there were always be diminishing returns. The first book will always have more books sold than the second and the third with some people dropping the series. It’s best to keep a 3-5 book series and any subsequent novels in your world to be spin-offs.

12. Don’t go chasing trends. There’s always someone seeking the “next big thing” and that’s just a recipe for disaster because yes, sometimes the market will be over-saturated and sometimes you’ll luck out by being at the ground floor of something awesome. Superhero fiction was niche enough for me to be one of the people someone looking for “superhero fiction” found when they entered it into a search engine but it also was a massive genre to begin with. Write, instead, the books you’re inspired to write because a wide pool often is deep in its fanbase.

13. Remember a book is and always will be judged by its cover. Something eye-catching and memorable will always be more likely to get you picked up than something which isn’t. Commissioning art is an expensive investment but something that is worth investing in if you can afford it. Pre-rendered art are a good investment if you look around but beware you’ll probably see someone else using it. I’ve encountered 3 series that use my Agent G model after all and that’s just people who have brought him up.

14. To directly contradict my earlier point about trends, there’s something to be said for the power of public domain. The Cthulhu Mythos, Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur, fairy tales, various Pulp heroes, Alice in Wonderland, and more come with their own fanbases. If you are already a fan of something, you can potentially jump on the bandwagon. Don’t expect your dark and sexy interpretation of the Wizard of Oz to be an automatic best seller but it’s not like there isn’t a market for it.

15. I cannot stress this enough but make sure you have a proper editor and don’t be surprised when mistakes slip through. Being an independent author means that you can probably fix every single one of your problems before your next book sale goes out but there’s no getting back your first impressions. Make sure you identify your flaws grammatically and work to correct them, follow the standard editing format, and always incorporate corrections you’ve identified. Mind you, no one actually cares if you have a few commas off, but readers (as well as fellow authors) can make mountains from molehills. Also, don’t panic about the mistakes either as many readers don’t care as long as it’s legible–don’t panic but do fix.

And some bonus advice:

Remember that you’re not actually competing with your fellow authors. When someone finishes reading your book, you’re not losing a reader when they pick up another one. Review other author’s works and promote them. The good will you get from directing readers to work you like will reflect back on you and fellow authors will often return the favor.

Lucifer’s Nebula is now available on audiobook

LUCIFER’S NEBULA, sequel to LUCIFER’S STAR, is now available on audiobook from Crossroad Press.

From the best-selling author of The Rules of Supervillainy:

Captain Cassius Mass can only run so far from his problems and the galaxy isn’t big enough to hide from those pursuing him. Cassius soon finds himself blackmailed into a mission that will clear him of all charges as well as protect him from future persecution: bring an end to the civil war currently racking the galaxy. Accompanied by a new set of untrustworthy allies, the crew of the Melampus, and the A.I duplicate of his dead wife – Cassius needs to figure out how to not only deal with his target but also his employers. 

Because the entire universe is at stake.

Buy at Audible.com

Eldrtich Ops is now available on Kindle

 Finally, the sequel to ESOTERRORISM is now available!

Derek Hawthorne has ascended to become a member of the all-powerful Committee, which rules the world through the nebulous House. The House, officially, exists to protect humanity from the vampires, demons, and other forces of darkness that imperil humanity. Unofficially, it exists to protect its own power.

When his old partner, Christopher Hang, turns up as one of the undead–Derek is nonplussed to say the least. Christopher also has a message that troubles the tiny remains of Derek’s conscience: the House is running a secret project to not only control supernaturals but eliminate them. Now, Derek has to figure out if he’s to side with the supernatural or humanity or neither. Oh and did we mention Dracula, pirates, and werewolves were involved too?

Buy at Amazon.com

Lucifer’s Star on sale for $2.99

Hey folks,

Good news from the wonderful folks at CROSSROAD PRESS. Lucifer’s Star is the first of my dark space opera trilogy and is on sale for $2.99 this month.

From the bestselling author of The Rules of Supervillainy:

Cassius Mass was the greatest star pilot of the Crius Archduchy. He fought fiercely for his cause, only to watch his nation fall to the Interstellar Commonwealth. It was only after that he realized the side he’d been fighting for was the wrong one. Now a semi-functional navigator on an interstellar freight hauler, he tries to hide who he was and escape his past. Unfortunately, some things refuse to stay buried and he ends up conscripted by the very people who destroyed his homeland.

LUCIFER’S STAR is the first novel of the Lucifer’s Star series, a dark science fiction space opera set in a world of aliens, war, politics, and slavery.

Buy at Amazon.com