Cover reveal, and a release date

Wooohoooo!!!  I have a date all set to go for The Bull of Min: February 24.  Looking forward to it.  And here's the cover!

It's kind of weird to think I won't need to make any more covers for The She-King.  Am I getting a little nostalgic over it?  Maybe.  I'm not saying for sure.  I did just whip up the covers for the print editions, too.  Yes, now that I can finally get a non-hideous matte cover (ugh, I hated those glossy covers) I am putting all the books out in print.  The Sekhmet Bed and The Crook and Flail are currently processing with the printer.  I still need to review them and make sure they look good in person.  If they do, all the rest of the books will follow.

Narrator Amanda C. Miller has been hard at work on The Crook and Flail's audio edition, and man, is it ever killer.  I can't wait to get this one out there.  I am loving how it's turning out.  If you haven't heard it already, the audio version of The Sekhmet Bed is available on Audible.com and on Amazon.com (I think on iTunes, too, but I never visit there...)

With a new book coming out, I'll be running a few sales in the days ahead.  Plus, I'll be bundling all four books in the series into one ebook collection, which will save you some money if you've only read The Sekhmet Bed (or haven't read any yet) and want to read the entire series.  As always, the best way to find out about sweet deals is to subscribe to the mailing list.  I only send out newsletters when there's actual news, so I won't spam you; fear not.

Oh, did I forget to mention the most exciting news of all? I put in the longest "notice" in the history of notices at my day job.  I gave my boss my final date and have finalized what will be my first day as a full-time, money-earning writer.  I gave plenty of a heads-up because I actually really love my day job -- it's seriously the best job in the world, other than writing -- and I want to give them plenty of time to find and train the right person to replace me.  I love the company and love the people I work with even more, so leaving is actually kind of tough to face, though I am thrilled to finally stand on the edge of the dream I've had since the age of eight: being a working writer.

I guess since I never blog anyway, I ought to take this opportunity to express exactly why this is significant, because few readers out there know much about the inside world of publishing...what goes into making the books they love.  Until very recently -- until the advent of the Kindle -- the majority of authors really didn't have much chance of making a living from their writing.  Contracts and terms from publishers were typically abysmal, restrictive, and exploitative.  Actually, contracts and terms still are all those things, and they're getting worse as publishers feel the pressure of competition from the new world of independent publishing.  Prior to the Kindle, almost all writers held down day jobs and wrote on the side, or they lived on the edge of poverty if they wrote full-time.  They frequently lost the rights to their own work in labyrinthine contracts.  Agents came along and for a while it was a good partnership, but in recent years it's been abundantly clear that both the majority of agents and organizations like ironically named Authors' Guild are much more on the side of the big publishers with their damaging contracts than they are on the side of the authors who produce the content they sell.  Only a few short years ago, a writer like me had one choice: work with a publisher and take whatever crumbs they tossed your way, or don't get your work in front of readers.  Period.

Now, well, that's no longer the case.  Not only do I have a thriving and growing audience (Hi, by the way.  I love you.) but I'm about to start writing full-time!  Only a few years before, there'd be no way I could even realistically dream of writing full-time with only four, soon to be five novels to my name.  It just wasn't possible.  I'm astounded at how quickly the winds of change have scoured the face of the publishing industry.  I'm thrilled with what's been uncovered, with all the grime swept away: a world of books that is far more varied, far more exciting, far more inspiring than it ever was before.  I'm insanely grateful to be a writer right here, right now, in 2014, when it's possible for my childhood dream to come true.  I feel deeply indebted to all the writers who came before, who struggled and suffered under the old system but who kept telling stories I loved in spite of the hardships they faced.  I'm so unspeakably grateful to the folks who thought up and engineered and marketed early e-readers and the Kindle.  They made this happen.

Most of all, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude toward my readers.  I can't get enough of hearing from you all via email about the enjoyment I've brought you (that's why I do this!)

All of us -- engineers and makers, dreamers, strugglers, writers and readers -- made something spectacular happen in the arts.  We made the Independent Literature Movement.  We made the New Golden Age of Literature.  This is so significant that I have no doubt it'll be called that someday.  It feel so strange and wonderful and so moving to think that we're living in the midst of history right now.  We're seeing a renaissance unfolding.  We get to be a part of it.  I feel lucky every single day.

Love you guys.  Go read a good book, and keep on rocking in the free world.