Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Now Available: Mirror Project

My second novel--or is it my third? How are we counting Defiant? Anyway, my new book is out today. The early readers were impressed, and the mailing list gave me some great feedback about the sample chapter I made available to them. If you're interested in being in that group that gets the sample chapters in advance of the release, you can join by signing up for my mailing list. The signup form is right under the book covers in the right-hand column of this page.

This new book is my first foray into science fiction, and it gets weird. You can read a bit about my inspiration here, but what it basically comes down to is: I love robots. I love robots, and I've always been fascinated by them, and also by the way we as humans treat our machines. I've also always been a fan of dramatizing the brutality that ensues when we as people ignore each other's rights and create power structures--states, relationships, families, etc.--based on subjugating the rights of one group to please another group. If you followed my Nineteen Eighty-Four posts over the summer, you'll see how much that kind of plot affects me.

Anyhow, Mirror Project is born directly out of that love, and also out of the sensibilities that I have developed as an adult, as I look at the world around me and see the oppressive power structures we don't question, even though we know we should. I won't quote the book description at you--you can click on the cover shot to the right to go read it for yourself--but I will say this: Mirror Project is every bit as much about relationships and expectations as it is about robots. It's what happens when someone hears "till death do us part" and says to himself "Let's see about that."

So, because of that, I owe some thanks not only to science fiction giants like Isaac Asimov and television shows like Battlestar Galactica, but also to Avenged Sevenfold, whose "A Little Piece of Heaven" inspired a good portion of Bill Vargas's megalomania.

Now, I do have a surprise for those of you who have been waiting patiently for the book. I'm going to ask for your help pushing this one. It's a good story, and I'm proud of it, and I'm willing to reward the community for helping me out. Here's what we're going to do.

Milestone Achievements

We're going to treat this like a Kickstarter, except I don't need funding because I already invested myself in finishing the book and getting it to market. That means the only thing left for you to do is to help me hit reach goals, and that's the part of the Kickstarter we really like, isn't it? So here's the deal. I have five goals below. Each time we achieve one, I will do it and put up the full description for the next one. Until you unlock each goal, you can only see the title, but each one escalates the amount of stuff--autographed books, free giveaway days on Kindle, tablet computers, etc.--that I'm willing to give out when we hit the goal.

What You Can Do

So you've bought the book. What now? You can blog it, rate it on Goodreads or Amazon, review it (on Goodreads, Amazon, or your blog), tweet it, retweet me when I tweet it, follow my Facebook page, post it on your Facebook page, follow me on Twitter--and so on. We live in a very networked world, and writers' careers live and die based on word of mouth. If you like the book and you want to see some of these milestones get unlocked, help me spread the word. If you're really ambitious or you're a superstar and you have a bunch of clippings, you could even pitch a review to your local newspaper or to an online outlet like Salon or The Huffington Post. There's a lot you can do.

Don't forget to sign up for the mailing list, too. When I give away free stuff, I will only give it away to people on that list who also bought the book. Signing up only takes a minute, and the only things I send you are sample chapters, book announcements, and book release announcements. I don't share your information with anyone else, and I don't bombard you with ads.


I'm only counting sales of Mirror Project toward these totals. I'd love it if you also bought my other book, Nothing is Right, but I'm not tracking it for this promotion. I am tracking Kindle Lending Library downloads, though. If you're an Amazon Prime member and you're short on cash, you can read it for free as your monthly KLL download.
  • 500 copies: Audience Participation. If we sell 500 copies of this book, then I will unveil my next book project and commit to finishing it no later than May 30, 2014. I will also put up a poll on my Facebook page with three pitches for books. I'll let an audience vote decide which one I write next summer and which ones go back in the drawer.
  • 1000 copies: Paperback Writer. We need to sell 500 copies to unlock the description for this milestone.
  • 1500 copies: Deluxe Collectors Edition. We need to sell 1000 copies to unlock the description for this milestone.
  • 2500 copies: Community Investment. We need to sell 1500 copies to unlock the description for this milestone.
  • 5000 copies: Tablet Giveaway. We need to sell 2500 copies to unlock the description for this milestone.
Five thousand copies is the target number for this list because it is the number of copies of any book (roughly) that I need to sell before I have made a living wage writing it, when you consider the amount of time a project like this takes. I'm not stopping there, though. If we finish this list, I will unveil reach milestones for 10k, 15k, 25k, and 50k sales, and I will count all of my book sales toward those, not just the ones for Mirror Project.

In addition to the giveaways, each milestone achievement will also include a 24-hour free download window for the book. Spread the word.