Tag Archives: Library

10,123 word post [Please don’t be afraid to click]

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this post is worth 10,123.GoSkagitReview-Soneda

I don’t mention these often, but here’s a pretty phenomenal review in the Skagit Valley Herald for a twenty month old book. Thanks to Brian Soneda at the Mount Vernon Public Library.

 

SmashwordsPresale

Preorder up on Smashwords.

 

 

Preorder up on Apple iTunesPresale iBooks thanks to Smashwords.

 

CoolWorldCatWebShot

A cool screenshot of ALL IS SILENCE on Worldcat.

 

 

 

 

International AiSinAuckappearance in Aukland, Australia!

 

 

AiSinWAust

And another in a WA library. Perth in Western Australia that is!

 

 

Side effect of presales SiDeffectof2presales#417on Amazon…

 

 

Yes, to 50

 

“Not to fifty!” “This is for posterity!

 

Some great numbers AiS0nGoodReads4stars120Reviewsand quantities of reviews/rankings on GoodReads.

 

 

 

WP-A Cool Number-almostAlmost a really cool  number on wattpad is still a really cool number!

Thanks for taking a look if you made it this far! Hope to see all of you sometime in the next year!

Coming to the end of 2014! Thanks and more…

Looking forward to 2015 as we wrap up 2014!

What’s to come? 2014 was amazing for me as an author. It was everything I hoped for, if not everything I dreamed of. Where is that contract for the foreign rights, and the option on the screenplay? 😉

indiereadernextpicsSeriously, I hit some top ten lists, got reviewed by Don Sakers for Analog magazine, won an award, rubbed elbows literarily with Veronica Roth and Scott Westerfield and literally with Hugh Howey, who complimented my pagination! In addition to Hugh, I met Matt de la Pena, Corinne Duyvis and Mark Leslie. I sold more than half of my first printing, plus a whole lot more e-copies. I’ve exchanged e-mails with Mindy McGinnis and been retweeted by Neil Gaiman himself!

I wrote more than 100,000 words of new Dystopian-compactfiction by the 1st of December, setting a new record. I am sending out a newsletter tomorrow with information on how to get beta-reader copies of my Deserted Lands novella, TOILS AND SNARES. I’m filling in the gaps in the ALL IS SILENCE sequel STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS.

WattPadWorldMap-AiS
Readers of ALL IS SILENCE on Wattpad. Darker blue is more reads! No one is reading me in Mongolia. Neither upper nor lower.

As of tonight ALL IS SILENCE has had 91,000 reads on WattPad–over 1000 folks have read the first 12 chapters. AiS averages about 150 unique readers each day, 27% of which are in the Phillipines! It hit #2 behind Scott Westerfield’s UGLIES back when Wattpad allowed each work to be listed in two categories. Now that it’s only listed in Science Fiction it has gotten as high as #13. Maybe tomorrow it will break into the top 10! Thanks to Amanda Hagarty for all the advice and support. And to everyone else who has been so amazing this year:

  • The readers. The readers. The readers.
  • My beta readers, my family, my students, my friends… [many of you fit more than one of these categories.]
  • Brendan, Sam, Christina, Paul, Rachel and everyone else at Village Books
  • Don Sakers and Analog
  • Kiffer Brown and Chanticleer Reviews
  • Bellingham Writer’s Group and Cozy Corner Coffee and Books for hosting it and selling my book, too!
  • The Hoquiam Timberland Regional Library
  • Harbor Drug in my hometown.
  • Mark Leslie and the crew at Kobo Writing Life
  • Whatcom Community Library System
  • Bellingham Public Libraries
  • My editors, proofreaders
  • Upstart Crows and the Whatcom Writers & Publishers
  • Pintado for an amazing cover
  • Damian Vines for amazing author photos
  • The Heinlein Forum on Facebook
  • All the writers who inspired and inspire me
  • And everyone else I forgot!

THANKS FOR THE AMAZING YEAR. See you in 2015!

New Books I’d Nominate for Awards & IndiesFirst

As I came to the realization that my debut novel is coming up for its first awards season, I thought about what I’ve read in the last year and what books I think are deserving of awards. I’ve read many great books this year and have even more to read thanks to a number of conventions. ALA was the clear winner I took 10 copies of my book to give away and brought back 36 new books. Well, actually mailed them from the handy-dandy temporary post-office at ALA. Of the four books, two came from that book-booty.

I’m not certain what books these awards are up for. After reading the rules for half a dozen awards, I find that the definition of a year of publication and where things fall is confusingly difficult to decipher. Nevertheless, each of these books has some great reasons to be deserving.

I’ll also be talking about these books at Village BooksIndiesFirst presentations from 4:00pm to 5:00pm on Small Business Saturday—11/29/2014. So, I’ll be talking to patrons about books that I am passionate about including these four. If you’re in the area, come say hello. On another really cool note, when I tweeted about doing IndiesFirst, Neil Gaiman, retweeted my tweet! Yeah!

Without further ado…

#1 – Not A Drop to Drink – Mindy McGinnis. One of the descriptions: Little House on the Prairie as written by Cormac McCarthy is especially appropriate. This book is so amazing, I am now the proud owner of three copies: e-book, paperback and hardcover. The paperback disappeared as soon as I got it to school. I wouldn’t let the hardcover leave the room, but I had to share it with two students in order to read it! It will make you laugh and cry, it has pain and joy, love and hate. Another book set in the same universe with some of the same characters, In A Handful of Dust is already out, so no waiting

#2 – Otherbound – Corinne Duyvis. A young man in the real world has been plagued with seizures, including one that caused him to lose his foot in accident. When he has a seizure, he gets stuck in the mind of an abused female slave in an alternative universe. She is an incredible drawn, strong character with special healing powers that require her to take on the injuries of the person she’s curing. Couldn’t put it down. Gender identity and disability issues.

#3 – Sons of Zues – Noble Smith. When I first started reading, I was a bit put off by the really short chapters, but then my life got busy. It was actually the perfect book for sitting down and reading a chapter or two. Action, politics, espionage, sex, history, family relationships. Athens versus Sparta in ancient Greece. Oh, and Pankration. [I’ll make you look that up if it doesn’t mean anything to you.] I’d give it a PG-13/R sort of advisory.

#4 – The Living – Matt de la Peña. Okay. First spoiler. It is a cliffhanger. Almost literally. Three pages before the end, there is a cliff and people being chased and then… Well, you’ll have to read it. It’s got a great, believable character in Shy, the teenage Hispanic narrator. He takes a cruise ship job to help pay some bills for college or family, but then things go south by southwest. I would call this an apocalyptic thriller genre-wise. De La Peña is great at capturing modern teenage colloquial language. It’s definitely a page turner, some of the coincidences are a bit far-fetched, but why write a story about an average ordinary time? Perfect for the young adult reader.

All Is Silence is eligible for a number of awards this year. The biggest of which is the Andre Norton Young Adult Award sponsored by SFWA and the Nebula folks. It is also eligible for The William C. Morris YA Debut Award.

Noveling: 7 Ways You Can Help

Okay. Really, really, need to get more fiction written. Lots of marketing, some plotting, etc. Some great times with family in the last 10 days, but not enough words!

How can I help, Rob?  Here are a variety of options that take anywhere from a little time to a lot. You can also ask me if you see anything on a social media site whether I’ve met my daily word goal! 🙂

  1. Write me a review. Post in on Amazon, GoodReads and anywhere else you feel like! Here are one-click links to All Is Silence for all major markets so you don’t have to search for the book.
  2. No time for a review? You can still rate it/rank it on Amazon/Goodreads. Those count, too. Please be honest. If it’s a TWO STAR please give me TWO STARS! “This is for posterity!”
  3. No time to rank/rate? Share/forward one of the links on WattPad, FacebookGoogle+Twitter, Pinterest, or THE CAN’T MAKE IT TO WORLDCON SALE. Like my author page on Facebook.
  4. Other things that may take slightly longer. Fan me on PubSlush for my crowdsource fundraiser to increase what I can pay editors/cover designers up front.
  5. Request a copy at your local library. Donate a copy to your local alternative high school, or any H.S.
  6. Buy a copy of the signed, limited edition [50 only] Hardcover editions. Or buy a shirt, a paperback, a CD or an e-book.
  7. Make me dinner? 🙂

 

Slater is Streaking in Seattle (and Salt Lake City).

Sick of Seattle by the Smithereens. Sleepless in Seattle. Stuck In Seattle with Slater’s Airport blues. And now, streaking in Seattle. Basically, alliterating all over.

So, after screwing up parking and missing my flight, I logged onto the SeaTac Airport wifi and discovered that I’ve sold a book a day on Amazon for three days, a book a week through Neilsen Bookscan for three weeks [Brick and mortar bookstores that report sales] and I’ve written at least 500 words of fiction a day for nine days. I wrote 800 on the flight to Vegas. So, that’s what I mean by streaking.

Looking back from the Salt Lake City airport 9 days later. I got good news in Vegas. My three days in a row, became 4 in one day. Then a day of no sales. And another and another. 3 days. No sales. Not the streak I want. Then 2 and 1, 2 and 1… Hhmmm, another streak except this time with alternating single sales and double sales? Or a steady rise? Either would be great.

The difference between all these streaks? I can only control one of them—writing 500 words or more each day. I figure if I can run a streak while traveling and get 500 words a day in short bits and pieces I can hit my annual writing goal which is 182,500 words for 2014, which is equal to 500 words a day for 365 days. At the moment I am way behind, but this streak gave me a big month so far. 13,000+ words bringing my fiction total for the year to 22,000+ words. If I average only 870 words a day for the rest of the year I will still hit the 182,500. My streak of 500 words a day stopped at 11 days, when I only wrote 258 after a big travel/ALA day. Those 258 words I was not even happy with. They may eventually get cut, but my aim was to move the plot forward by the next definitive action and hit 500 words. I did half of it. So, I decided that the important component is writing everyday and wrote those 258 words after everyone else had gone to bed. The writing everyday streak is now at 15 21 and the 500+ words/day streak is now at 3 8. Even with the short day, I have averaged 676 words a day for the everyday streak.

In November of 2012 when I was writing All Is Silence for NANOWRIMO, the third novel I’ve written and the first published, I wrote over 58,000 words in November, Nearly 2000 words a day. In November 2013 I managed 1000+ words a day for NANOWRIMO. Since releasing All Is Silence, my word counts have been abysmal. No words of fiction in February. And minimal words in Jan/Mar/Apr. In May, I realized I had written more words of non-fiction: blog posts, guest posts, and marketing materials than fiction—10,000+ compared to 9,000.

How did I turn things around? Two tools. The tools I used? Scrivener and Google calendar. I’ve started scheduling writing time to hold myself accountable. If it’s on the calendar, I’ll be able to tell people, “No, I have an appointment.” Yes, the appointment is my butt in a seat and my hands on the keyboard, but it is more than a hobby. If I don’t schedule it, it is even less likely to happen.

The second tool is the writer’s software Scrivener. Scrivener’s Project Goals lets me set a word count goal and then as I type a bar of color moves across the box. It starts out red and gradually turns to orange to yellow and finally to green as I reach my goal. In addition, I have been keeping two Scrivener projects open and each day I have been setting goals in both. Usually 500 words per project, or 250 words if I don’t have scheduled writing time and the day is likely to be chaotic. I’ve proven to myself that I can write 1000 words per hour IF I know what happens next in the story. My goal for July and August is at least 1000 words a day. I will write for four hours each workday morning Monday-Thursday in the summer] or until I hit 2000 words, whichever comes first. On the non-work days, I’m planning on at least an hour each morning.

Updates: Analog Review, #46 on Amazon, Teen Writer’s Conference…

No new content this week. Sorry. Working on a post tentatively titled: Why I wrote a novel for a target audience that doesn’t read…

Tomorrow, Friday, June 20th, I will be volunteering at the Write On! Teen Writer’s Conference. Event is presented by Whatcom Young Writers and Village Books, and co-sponsored by the Fairhaven Village Inn, Whatcom Educational Credit Union, poetrynight, Peoples Bank, and Lithtex NW Printing Solutions. For more information and to register, visit www.writeonconference.com.analog_2014_09

Biggest news. Checkout this review from the Referance Library for the September issue of ANALOG. “This is hardly the familiar post-apocalyptic novel of zombie attacks and desperate efforts to rebuild civilization—it’s a very personal story of one scared girl and the survivors she finds in the ruins of her world. Lizzie is hard-edged and gritty, but also vulnerable and kind.  Her personality is so compelling that she grabs you by the heart and pulls you along until it’s three in the morning and the story’s over and you just want to read more.”

And from Amazon, a STORE, I neither love or hate, that sells my books and gives me reasonable payments for them as a retailer should….  Really not sure why it would show up in children’s ebooks, but I won’t complain!

Next week we’re off to ALA14 in Las Vegas, seeing sights, friends, relatives, and then up to Salt Lake City/Provo for some first person novel research for Straight Into Darkness.

My Path to Indie Publication: Part IX– Party On.

Path to Indie Publication Series is a companion series to Marshall Ryan Maresca’s Path to Publication. I have been avidly reading Marshall’s posts since I discovered his blog. Read Path to Indie PublicationPart IPart IIPart III. Part IV. Part V. Part VIPart VII. Part VIII

Party On.*

One of the ideas I had picked up from Mary Robinett Kowal’s Debut Author lessons, an excellent and concise primer for how to act pro as a newbie author, was that I needed professional author photos. I had been crossing paths for several years with Damian Vines, an acquaintance from my Grays Harbor wannabe rocker years. We played some guitar, exchanged Facebook posts and I marveled at his growing body of fine art photography. When it came time, we agreed that the grounds of the old Northern State mental hospital grounds in Sedro Woolley would be perfect for some apocalyptic shots. The day was cold, but we got some great photos

Then during a chance conversation at Village Books with Paul Hansen, store manager, he suggested I have the Release Party at Village Books. I had been thinking of other venues around town, churches, former churches, even Windward High School where I teach. But what better place to do a release party? I wanted to do it almost immediately, this was the second week of February and I wanted to do it on the 20th of February, but Christina at VB events convinced me to put it out a month so we could get the word out.

Elena, my partner, and Amanda, my editor, gave me advice to improve on the reading I had done at AWP in Seattle. I cut down the one section I had read, leaving it on a cliffhanger and chose another short one that I also hoped would leave the listeners wanting more. I put up a Facebook event, a Google+ event, posted it on my blog, my newsletter, Goodreads and my Amazon author page. I invited 500 of my various followers who might be within driving distance. When the day came, 50 people had RSVP’d they would be there. I created a powerpoint to run before the event started, I rehearsed to songs I’d written that I thought seemed to fit thematically. I ordered pizza and Mountain Dew, food for the Apocalypse, as well as cookies, tea and coffee for those wanting a kinder, gentler end of the world.

I printed up cards for a free giveaway of my short fiction and poetry collection. Each card was numbered so I could not only see how many folks attended, but also do drawings for door-prizes:robslater a copy of Some of the Parts, my CD of original music, and a copy of Blue Deer: Four Generations of Poetry, my mom’s poetry book which includes poems by her father, me and some of my kids. Everything was going well, albeit a little harried. Parking near Village Books was practically non-existent. I parked in a no parking zone to unload boxes of books, guitar and other stuff. And then realized that I only had my school computer which did not have the VGA connector to hook up the presentation. Oops.

I played an extra song while folks were continuing to stream in and then started the show about five minutes late, but with most of the chairs filled. We ended up with at least 75 people as I gave out all 75 cards I had printed. We had a nice break midway through and most of the pizza and all of the cookies disappeared. After each of the readings I fielded questions including my favorite, “How old should you be to read this book?” I suggested that anyone under 15 probably should check it out with parents first. We sold 24 books and had a lovely, lovely evening ending in drinks with friends across the green at the Archer Ale House.

I followed the release party up with a Hometown Reading the first weekend of my spring break. [Immortalized in this Seussian poem] The reading took place at the Hoquiam Timberland Regional Library, a home away from home when I was growing up and the place where some forward thinking librarian got me hooked on Science Fiction. We did essentially the same format as the release party minus the pizza. This time we got the projector up and running the presentation. The crowd was smaller, and many called me, “Robbie,” as they’d known me since childhood. We sold a few more books, had a pleasant weekend of thrift store shopping and ate at two of my favorite restaurant meals: Casa Mia Pizza’s Special and The Canton’s Egg rolls. I brought extra servings of both back home to Bellingham, after doing a reading at Harbor High School in Aberdeen. I also left copies for the other two local high school libraries and fundraisers. Not long after getting home with the food, my high school buddy, Derek Cook, principal of Harbor High contacted me to buy a classroom set of 30!

I realized the price I had quoted, once shipped would be nearly at cost. Thankfully, I managed to send them south with my niece, another former Grays Harborite, saving the shipping cost of 30 pounds of books.

Next Week: Part X—Finding Equilibrium, the agony and the ecstasy of new authorhood. Where our author goes to conventions and finds success and failure.

Write on…

* Adapted and expanded from the Foreword to Outward Bound: Science Fiction & Poetry, a collection of some of my published and unpublished works. Top

Oh, the Places I went on my Spring Break

A poem by Robert L. Slater, inspired by Theodore Geisel

In the spring of the year of twenty fourteen
There was found a kind author with a penchant for green
He printed his novels on backs of DOOSpaper*
And tried to recycle all of the newspaper

When to his hometown he returned for a read
His welcome surprised him, too true, yes, indeed
Old friends and family called him all Robbie
And they sat and they talked in the library lobby

After the show, many books he did sell
Then off to the pizza place still feeling swell
He met with his editors, partner and friends
And they talked and he bubbled all over again

Then back to the motel, dingy and old
To wait till the sun came to check for the mold
The innkeeper was sorry, but not sorry enough
To give any discount, oh, boy that was tough.

The next day was better, a run on the beach
And a trip to the bookstore not far out of reach
The bookstore was closed on the Sunday and Mon
So back to the drawing board where he’d begun

He found a drugstore that sold books, drugs and gifts
The fact that they knew him gave him quite the lift
They took six new books to sell to more people
Then off Robbie went avoiding the Fleepell**

He went to a high school, to students he read
Though loving of Zombies, none were undead
They paid good attention and asked many queries
Till after an hour the author was weary

He headed north and did battle with Seattle traffic
But good news awaited at home, wait a tick,
The school wanted 30 new books signed right quick

He quoted a price that would fleece his accounts
Then hoped he could send the books south on a bounce
An ex-wife said no, I am already here
But a cousin, a niece said, “I’m going, no fear.”

So the author, our friend, settled in to do flooring
Replacing old fake wood with tile’s not boring
But hard work it was and tired he got
So watched he Star Wars movies with his youngest daught-
er or something like that.

The second Star Wars that was numbered Part Five
Was really refreshing for those still alive
A swim at the YMCA was quite cool
But, boy, was tired when he crawled from the pool

He mowed the high lawn ‘fore rain started to fall
[And yes, I know this bad grammar is all]
The spring break did end with a film that was Bella
And then some more pizza—what a happy fella

When he got back to school he found students galore
Awaiting to tell him ’bout the week gone before
So Kevin and Gabe did not know what to do
So they sat and made fun of Rob’s writing too

* D.O.O.S.paper is Dirty On One Side or the paper formerly known as scratch paper.
** I had to make up at least one proper noun!
Top

Coming Home: What is a moment when it’s gone…

My first reading as a published novelist in the library where I discovered science fiction went very well. I had old and new friends, family and, hopefully, some new fans. We had 30+ people, I sold 17 books and had plenty of hugs and fond remembrances and fond farewells with future meetings hoped for.

I ended the evening at Casa Mia with my parents and my partner, Elena. The pizza was excellent and not quite what I remember, but the salad was exactly the same. I also ran into three other Harbor folks I knew. The place was hopping. Good to see continued success.

Today, I was shopping for little stands to display the books and a young woman came up to me and said, “You’re that book guy. I remember your face from the paper!” She’s a senior at Hoquiam High School, my alma mater. Totally surreal. I gave her a card with the cover art and told her the book should be available in the school library soon.

A run on the beach and some bird watching rounded out a day that alternated between sunshine and rain. Then we went to the Canton restaurant in Aberdeen for the “should be world famous” egg rolls. Amazing still. When I found out they would be closed tomorrow I asked for an extra order to go.

Tomorrow I’ll be talking with students at Harbor High, an alternative school in Aberdeen blocks from where I used to live, in a building where my mom used to teach parenting classes.

This weekend I felt warmth and gratitude for the things that have remained, some sadness for things that have changed and people we have lost.  Though the words I sang in the song I wrote say, “You cannot pass the rainbow and you cannot go back home…” This weekend I got partway back home. Far enough.

Cheers.

Hoquiam — Hometown Library Reading

Robert L. Slater HoquiamTRLHere it is, a reading by me in my most favorite library of all time. The Hoquiam Timberland Library. Please let people know. There will be doorprizes. You can buy my books and I’ll sign them. Along with me you can even make a donation to the Hoquiam Library, one of the coolest Carnegie Libraries in the nation. I will donate a dollar to the Friends of the Library for every person who shows up. Thanks. I’ll see you there.