humor

Amelie, Griffins, and Ninja Santa

If you’ve ever dreamed of quitting your day job to have adventures with friends, this book is for you. Or if you’re an aspiring technomage. That’s cool, too.

Keep reading: Author Interview: Ben Y. Faroe

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May in Review + June Goals

Hi friends! May completely snuck up on me. Between a series launch, a string of family visits, and a heavy workload at the day job, I seriously didn’t even notice we were in a new month until about the 10th. It was, frankly, unsettling. Nevertheless, May was full of exciting developments. Let’s take a look.

May Accomplishments

1. Hubris Towers series launch!

Hubris Towers

Seriously! Go check it out!

Bill and I published Episode 1 of our new comedy series. It’s so good! You should totally read it!

  • Reader response has been phenomenal, with almost unanimous 5-star reviews to date. Brilliant!
  • First-month ebook sales were a little lower than I expected, but should pick up as we release new episodes.
  • The paperback Pocket Edition was surprisingly popular. I expected to sell a few to die-hard fans, but we sold dozens of them. Maybe because it comes with a free Kindle copy on Amazon. (Boom! Marketed.)

2. My first free promo I made The Stone & the Song free for two weekends in May, and—wow! Suddenly I understand why people use free promos!

  • My book hit #1 Free in Fairy Tales on the first day of the promo and stayed there for the rest of the weekend!
  • Downloads in the first day more than doubled my first month’s sales, and over the course of the two weekends I ended up with hundreds of downloads.
  • This is the first time I’ve definitively broken out of the friends-of-friends sphere of readers, and also resulted in my first (5-star!) review from a total stranger.
  • The first weekend did about four times as well as the second, and I have no idea why. Let me know if you have any theories or have seen similar results.

3. First multi-platform release The Stone & the Song is my KDP Select guinea pig, but long-term I definitely want to build up a robust cross-platform audience. Hubris Towers was my first multi-platform release.

  • So far, Hubris Towers is available on Nook, Kobo, Google Play, and Amazon.
  • So far no real traction on the non-Amazon platforms. I’m curious to see how this develops as the series matures and gains momentum. Still pretty sure it’s worth it long-term.

4. Released 2 more sections of the Dream World Collective

5. Wrote about 8,000 words of Hubris Towers Episode 2. (Now with Russians!)

  • Planned release date is June 13. That’s so soon!
  • This is by far the fastest-paced large-scale project I’ve attempted to date, and I’m really excited to see how that helps us build momentum.
  • Sign up here to get a reminder when it comes out

6. The Clickworks Press catalog is expanding! I can’t say too much yet, but I’m getting ready to release the first Clickworks Press book I didn’t write.

  • This is a game-changer. My plan from the beginning has been to make Clickworks Press bigger than me. Bringing in new authors makes it a fundamentally different kind of endeavor, and I’m so excited to be bringing in brilliant talent this early on.
  • Short-term, this helps authors streamline their publishing experience, cross-promote, and get more exposure. It points readers to great new reading experiences. It helps Clickworks Press develop legitimacy, flexibility, and a robust catalog. Long-term, just wait and see. We’ve got some incredibly cool ideas in the pipeline.
  • I’m still thinking through the details of the business model and I’d love to hear what you would find cool and useful. Drop me a line at byfaroe@gmail.com if you’re interested in brainstorming or have some ideas for me.

June Goals

That was long, so I’m going to keep this quick.

  1. Release Hubris Towers Season 1, Episode 2.
  2. Write 1/4 to 1/2+ of Hubris Towers Episode 3.
  3. Release more sections of The Dream World Collective.
  4. [Stretch] Set up a weekly auto-delivery system that will give people happy stories in their inbox.
  5. Iron out the first-phase Clickworks Press model.
  6. Investigate the costs and mechanisms of a Clickworks Press website that can support my super-cool ideas.
  7. [Possibly] Write more of The Unaccountable Death of Derelict Frobisher. Frobisher is the crème de la crème of my writing endeavors (which is saying something). It will not do to neglect it much longer.

What’s new with all of you? Anything I can get excited about with you? Tell me!

Cheers! —Ben

Friday Fiction Freebies!

The weekend is almost here! Time to grab a good book and a cup of tea (or coffee, or, as the case may be, whiskey) and settle in. To assist, here are some free books I want to share with you.

Cheers!

—Ben

The Dream World Collective

The Dream World Collective

Five friends quit their jobs to change the world. Sort of like Friends, but with more art, geekery, and tea.

Chapters 1-8: PDF | Kindle (Mobi) | ePub

Chapters 9-14: PDF | Kindle (Mobi) | ePub

Chapters 15-18: PDF | Kindle (Mobi) | ePub

More FREE episodes posted regularly at: http://bit.ly/latestdwc


argentstar1_2cover

The Argent Star

What if your decisions affected an entire universe?

FREE on Amazon today and tomorrow!

Learn more | Get it now at Amazon

Living on the last surviving island on Earth, Ren has put herself on the path to become an archaeologist. She’s defied her father’s wishes and gone out on her own, barely keeping in contact with him as he commands an army somewhere across the universe. And it was all going well until her brother Elian discovered a planet.

Lost for centuries, Novae was thought to be a legend. It vanished years ago and since being rediscovered the Monarchy has stepped in to take over. What Ren didn’t realize was that she and Elian and their father are the chosen leaders of Novae, thanks to a scorched piece of paper that claimed her ancestor named the star Novae orbits.

With suspicion and doubt, Ren is forced leave her life on Earth to go to Novae with her estranged father and rule over the planet she doesn’t think wants her there. Her suspicions are confirmed when she learns there are insurgents hiding in the darkened forests, and her father assigns her a guardian, Sheridan; a woman with a threatening gaze and silent steps.

Now Ren is just trying to stay alive long enough to figure out what the Monarchy is planning for the planet, because she doesn’t believe that they’re on Novae for the good of the people. But going against the Monarchy means going against a government that spans across galaxies, and Ren doesn’t know if she’ll be enough.

Novae is already at civil war that gets worse with each passing day. Ren doesn’t have long before the Monarchy decides to “neutralize” the threat. Will she be able to stop the hostile takeover? Or will her actions ignite a rebellion across the universe?

Learn more | Get it now at Amazon

Character Improv + Bonus Bundle Sneak Peek

Do your characters ever perform improv with each other?

My wonderful patrons just received their January Bonus Bundle. I had so much fun putting it together that I wanted to share a taste of it with you guys. These are spin-offs, little side projects my characters do for fun when they’re not busy on The Dream World Collective. The cool part is that they become almost like improv sessions, with the characters egging each other on and filling in each other’s gaps and putting each other in tricky situations. The results often take me totally by surprise and make me laugh out loud.

Writers talk about characters taking on a life of their own, but this takes that to a whole different level. It’s a great experience when you can depend on your characters—and they can depend on each other—as collaborators in the creative process. Enjoy!

A Modest Contribution, Episode Two: History of the Moustache

All patrons received Episode Two of A Modest Contribution, in which Sushi joins Otto for an enlightening exploration of the history of the moustache. It’s over 1,000 words of little-known history and insight: all highly edifying, all highly inaccurate. Here’s a snippet:

OTTO: The word ‘moustache’ derives, of course, from the German ‘Maus-Tasche,’ or ‘mouse-bag.’
SUSHI <incredulous>: What?
OTTO: But what is a ‘mouse-bag,’ exactly? Sushi, talk us through it.
SUSHI: Well, for starters the word’s origins are actually Prussian, not German. There was no unified Germany in those days. The Prussians, as you know, are a proud folk, renowned for their extremely bushy facial shrubbery and their stylish spiked helmets. In those days a man was only considered half a man if his moustaches couldn’t hold a gulag of raw milk when dipped in the churn and squeezed out.
OTTO: A gulag being roughly half a pint in modern measure.
SUSHI: Precisely. Now, in those days…

Character Sketch: Maria “Sushi” Vasquez (Excerpt)

Tickled Pig patrons also got to see three full sections of my character outline for Sushi from The Dream World Collective. Here’s a taste:

…tends to bounce on her toes.
9. Drinks: Green tea lightly brewed, especially when sketching ideas for a new project. Soda when watching movies (preference for…

…when feeling silly and feminine.
10. Indulges in: terrible romance novels. Indie comic books, especially with…

Kitchen Adventures, Episode One: The Canny Gruelsmith

Sun Room patrons also received Episode One of Kitchen Adventures, over 1,500 words of history and hilarity, culminating in a delicious real-life recipe. Here’s a quick peek:

OTTO: I believe a shot of root beer could give it the old-world root-and-herb flavor palate that a good sweet gruel so desperately craves.
SUMMER: Ew. We’re not doing that. How about cinnamon?
OTTO <snickers>: What is this, a porridge? I thought we were making gruel.
SUMMER: Fine. How do you sweeten a classic sweet gruel, Mr. Expert?
OTTO: Well, I’m hardly a gruelsmith. Honey, perhaps? And sweetmeats?
SUMMER: Nobody knows what sweetmeats are. That hasn’t been a thing for like five hundred years.
OTTO: Very well. Then I submit…

Join the Fun!

If this matches your sense of humor, I’d love to get you in on what I’m working on. I’ve got over 100 pages of The Dream World Collective and counting up for free download starting here and continuing at bit.ly/latestdwc. Visit my Projects page to see some upcoming projects and more ways to get involved.

Cheers!

—Ben