Friday, April 7, 2017

Update: Another Update?

Hello, readers!

The pace has slowed slightly here at Empyrean Dreams, but hardly stopped.  In fact, Nathan can't help preparing new books and new stories, despite life's other demands.  

First, our thanks to Books Galore in Erie, PA, the second independent bookstore to carry our first two printed books.  Whenever the Empyrean Dreams RPG setting is finally realized, they'll be on the list to carry the first copies.

Next, our third book... two candidates are in the final run-off for that honor: the next Scape Grace novel (a double volume containing both the prequel and sequel to Wreck of the Untranslatable), versus the first Stchvk Casefiles, featuring our favorite saurian detective in his first two stories, Bad Egg and Broken Record.  

Outlines are also ready for fourth stories in both of those series: Third Time's a Curse and Biological Clock, respectively.  In the latter case, a second story would be enough to finish Stchvk Casefiles #2.  

All that's needed to produce these future volumes is time (to write) and money (for expenses).  You can help with the latter: buy more Empyrean Dreams books!  If you like what we do, help us make more!

We'll still make more, even if you don't like it... just more slowly.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Update: Buy Our Shorts!

Once again, we're doing our part to support the logging, paper-making, and printing industries... and to beat back the relentless assault of the arboreal masses.  

In other words, Empyrean Dreams has released a second book.

Empyrean Shorts contains the compiled short stories of Empyrean Dreams.  All five completed, stand-alone stories from this site - Royce's Dilemma, A.I.I.A., A.I. Codger, Darkness My Friend, and The Swarm - are included, along with two new, previously unpublished tales: Labyrinthine and An Apostate's Path.  This lineup means that both Laine and I are listed as full co-authors.  

It's available first through CreateSpace and on Amazon.com.  Introductory joke aside, we're preparing an ebook version, as well.  If you'd like to look at a print copy locally... ask at your local bookseller.  Seriously.  Encourage them to stock Empyrean Dreams books.  

On that note, The Wreck of the Untranslatable went on the shelves at its first bookstore, Werner Books in Erie, PA.  That's Nathan handing them copies for consignment sale.  We'll be working on encouraging wider distribution, but first we need to show success on a small scale.

Thank you to anyone reading this, for checking out our site.  We'll have more updates either as these books expand or when we get the next book (further Tales of the Scape Grace) ready for market.

-Nathan

[Updated 3/20 to add the Amazon link. -NL]

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Update: Do You Wanna Buy a Novel?

Hello again! 

It hasn't been very long, has it?

Call that a credit to Amazon CreateSpace, which handled the setup and proofing of our novel with excellent speed.  It probably didn't hurt that everything was prepped and formatted from the first printer/distributor.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still hoping it was worth all that effort, in the long run.

In the short term, you can buy a copy of The Wreck of the Untranslatable right now, if you want to.

Seriously: Buy Now!

The link goes to a small CreateSpace page.  Soon, we'll be able to sell via Amazon.com, if you'd prefer that.  It's just limited, direct distribution, but if we can make a good start, wider distribution becomes a greater possibility.

And if space pirates aren't your thing, you're in luck.  I'm formatting the short story book, Empyrean Stories, right after this post.  If all goes as well or better than the first attempt, we should be able to offer that one in short order.

Thanks for reading this, thanks for reading Empyrean Dreams, and thanks in advance for any purchases.  If you really want to warm our hearts, share copies with anyone you know who might enjoy, as well.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Update: Moving Paper from Wallet to Printer

Hello, readers!

We're hoping to welcome many more readers not only to this site but the Empyrean Dreams universe.  A print version of our first novel-for-sale, The Wreck of the Untranslatable, is in process with two different Print-on-Demand distributors.  The one that you'll likely see first is CreateSpace through Amazon; we'll post a link here when the sale page goes live.  The other is via IngramSpark, for eventual retail distribution (possibly including an ebook format, though that's on hold due to technical mishaps).

What's next?  The second Empyrean Dreams book, Empyrean Stories, a collection of our various short stories, should be ready soon.  Note that this book will include a few new stories never before published, on this site or elsewhere. 

Now that I've got the formatting steps worked out, we should be able to turn out additional books even faster.  There's enough material, between the site and unpublished work, for at least two more books: another Tales of the Scape Grace, and a compilation of Stchvk detective stories (my "dino-noir").  

Beyond that?  I just started another Scape Grace story.  I might write a fourth Stchvk story and split that series into two books of two stories each.  And who knows, Laine and I might get busy with another round of short stories... or finally put together the Role-Playing setting like we originally intended.

Note that we're only self-publishing because commercial publishers don't like content previously posted online.  If these books get popular enough - if we sell enough copies - someone might overlook that prejudice and bring Empyrean Dreams into mainstream publication... not only for the reprints, but for new content.

We're debating whether to pull down the stories we publish, in whole or in part, to create more incentive for sales.  That's only partly to make Laine and I money; some retailers might not want to stock a book readers could get elsewhere for free.  We'll update once a decision has been made.  Particularly note, though, that the printed versions - even for stories we've posted here - are better edited, trimmed and sharpened, and updated for consistency with the rest of the Empyrean Dreams setting.  So even if we leave content here, the books are still better! 

Buy them!  Buy them all!  Please?

-Nathan

Monday, January 2, 2017

Update: A Gestating Literary Litter

Hello again, readers!

Work on the official Empyrean Dreams books proceeds steadily, if not as quickly as we first hoped.  I hear such things are normal for any project, much less a book.  Considering that we're compiling multiple books, a longer estimate might have been wise.

Still, we're crossing off tasks.  The third Stchvk detective story, "Binding Threads", is complete in its first full draft.  It will appear alongside "Bad Egg" and "Broken Record" in the largest of our four planned books.  The Scape Grace stories fit nicely still into two volumes, one containing the first story, "Wreck of the Untranslatable" and a second containing "Escape from Grace" and the new story, "A Change of Plans".

Book number four will contain short stories from both of us, all set in the same Universe but filling in various smaller corners.  This book will include the newer, unpublished stories "Labyrinthine" and "An Apostate's Dilemma". 

What's yet to do?  A lot of editing and formatting, mostly.  We also need to choose a printer and adjust our layouts to their preferences.  Art would be nice, but a basic starfield will do if necessary.  Our current target is to have at least one book ready for sale before the end of January, ideally with a few physical copies delivered to local bookstores on consignment.  After that?  Advertising!

Note that we will happily take suggestions for a print-on-demand service, if anyone knows one they particularly like.  We'll also take suggestions for an artist, although our demands for such a person could be steep and our budget, though non-zero, is also not high. 

Maybe we'll save the fancy art and style for a second edition, once the first edition has pulled in some profit... and maybe a publisher's attention?

We can always Dream.

-NL

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Update: NaNoWriMo and the Publication Plan

Work on the Empyrean Dreams print books is proceeding steadily. 

Remember how I mentioned each volume would include at least one original story, not previously published on this site?  To that end, I challenged myself to write several stories as part of NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month (http://nanowrimo.org).  I won the challenge with only two stories: a new tale of the Scape Grace (#3, "A Change in Plans") and an original short story, "An Apostate's Dilemma", which explores the Mauraug Apostasy from the inside. 

So those are ready.  However, I'll have to break one promise, a little.  The Scape Grace story is longer than expected.  Fitting all three stories in one volume (much less four, if I included the related tangent, "A Bureaucrat's Tale") is a bit much.  So, I'm planning to make "The Wreck of the *Untranslatable*" a stand-alone introductory volume, with "Escape from Grace" and "A Change in Plans" together in the second volume.

Book number three should have three stories about Stchvk, Private Investigator: "Bad Egg", "Broken Record", and an as-yet-unwritten third story.  There's my next task!

That makes book four the compiled, separate short stories of Empyrean Dreams, now additionally including "An Apostate's Dilemma", along with another unpublished story, "Labyrinthine", and all my prior short stories from this site.  We'll also include any and all short stories from Laine that she selects...

...which means I could be wrong again.  If the short stories pile up too high, we'll have to split them into two volumes!  In that case, I'll split the new tales across the two books.

So this three-book project is now four books and possibly five.  I can't say I'm sad about having more to offer.  It just means that finishing everything won't happen as fast as I originally hoped.  Apologies, but we probably won't have an Empyrean Dreams book available for your holiday gift shopping.

Early next year, though!  That's the plan!


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Update: A Space Station for Now

with apologies to RJD2 for the title...

I wanted to let readers know what's happening with Empyrean Dreams.  Posting has slowed down again, but there's activity behind the scenes.  I've written another long story in the Empyrean setting, titled "Labyrinthine".  It won't appear here, since I'm still trying to publish it in a science-fiction magazine.

The problems with selling our already self-published work and our new stories specifically set in Empyrean have started Laine and I thinking... why not keep doing it ourselves?  We're planning out several volumes of the stories we have already, plus one or two new, unpublished tales for each book.  For example, in one volume, I would put together all the Scape Grace space pirate stories, adding one of the new stories I've had planned for ages.  That way, you get the reading convenience of print (or electronic copy), plus new content, as an incentive to purchase.

Another book would contain all the Stchvk detective stories; a third would be short stories from both Laine and I.  If "Labyrinthine" doesn't sell, it becomes the bonus content for the short story book.

We're just getting started, compiling existing material and seeing how long each book would run.  The next step will be editing and layout, not to mention writing and polishing the new stories.  We'd love illustrations, but if that doesn't happen, it won't be an obstacle. 

We'll also be comparing publishers to get the best bargain on printing and promotion.  Any feedback would be welcome, though if you are selling publishing services, please don't spam.  Over-insistent salespeople have turned me away from more than one company already. 

If all goes well, though, we might have books available for purchase sometime next year.  I'm planning to put some copies on shelves at local bookstores, to start, as well selling online.  It will be a learning process, but it's worth the trouble for material we already have written and love sharing.  If people want to pay money for it, that's a bonus.

This plan will mean fewer content updates on the site, for which I apologize.  We won't disappear entirely, though.  We'll give progress updates as the project continues, and there might be some stories posted as side-effects of the process.

Watch this SPACE.

-Nathan