Galactic Empires set: cross-promotion, female SF writers


A year or so ago, someone who organises a lot of very successful book bundles for writers made a bundle of space-based science fiction. I got really pissed off with this bundle, because somehow the organisers managed to find not a single female writer of Science Fiction to be included.

OK, the top 100 of the genre is a sausage-fest, especially in self-publishing, and when you remove the odd man-titty that wriggles its way into the genre, but I know several female writers of science fiction who could have participated.

So, I always thought I’d do a space-based science fiction collection. It would consist of free books, because I don’t want to have to deal with US tax declarations. I’d thought of doing an all-female or all-Australian collection. I could do the first but came up severely short for the second. Anyway, I’ve never been much of an agendas person, so and decided to hell with agendas and just include some varied books from a variety of authors who write space opera.

We released Galactic Empires late last month, with books by Mary Pax, Mark Cooper, Daniel Arenson, Jo Lalllo, Chris Reher, David VanDyke and Felix Savage and it hasn’t dropped out of the top 300 free since. The success of this set has astonished us.

Which is my long-winded way of saying:
– Cross-promotion works
– Readers of SF are really not that fussed about the gender of the author. Now let’s get more female writers actually *writing* it.

You can get this collection for FREE here


Plans to dominate the world. Coming to a screen near you in 2016

Let’s make an obligatory end-of-year post.

Some good stuff happened in 2015. I published a couple of books, and improved my sales. I also managed to get the husband’s “Oh, you really CAN make a living out of this if you continue” stare, and that’s a good thing.

In 2016…

I will publish The Necromancer’s Daughter and Blue Diamond Sky. The Necromancer’s Daughter will complete the For Queen And Country series. It was fun, but hasn’t, overall, sold as well as my other work, so unless you buy a crap-tonne of it, I won’t be doing any more.

I’ll do a cover reveal for the Necromancer’s Daughter on 14 January. If you want some easy content for your blog, I’m looking for a few more spots to release the cover. The book will go on pre-order on that date as well (aside from Apple where it is already on pre-order, sans cover). Release date: 23 February.

The rest of the year, I will concentrate on…

Ambassador: at least one book this year. I have ideas for more. We’ll see how it pans out.

I really should be starting something new. I’ve played around with a lot of stuff and I may start a completely new Space Opera. I’ve learned a lot about marketing and launches. I want to play with the big boys, so I’ll probably sit on them until I can release three books in quick succession. I’ll get the covers done right from the start, and make some other investments like getting a professional copy-editor to write the blurbs. Then I’ll do pre-orders and use a pen name. Want to know what it is? It will be revealed to my mailing list.

Why a pen name? Because it’s fun clearing the slate. Because the top 100 Space Opera is a sausage fest, and I’ve always wondered if being female *really* hinders. Or not and it’s a myth. I’ve had some nibbles at the pen name thing, but I need to set a good slab of time aside for a new project, and I’ve been unable to do that so far.

The awesome thing about epublishing is that you can re-join the fiction from both names at the push of a button. You can even change your name on the cover. Easy. I emphatically do NOT want to do that with my existing series.

Ambitious project of the year… Last year it was to list direct at Apple. This year, I’ll look into audio. Problem is that this is extremely expensive. There is not much point going into audio without a good narrator, and they charge up to $300 per finished hour of narrating. Most books are 10-15 hours. Yikes. Maybe I can raise some of it through a kickstarter? I don’t know. Something to look into.

Plans to dominate the world. Coming to a screen near you in 2016 was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

By pattyjansen Posted in news

What’s coming up, Christmas giveaway and news

Ambassador 4 will probably head off to the editor within 2-3 weeks. It may be out before Christmas. I hope so, because for Christmas, I’m going to give away a signed copy of the book with Tom Edward’s awesome cover, shipped to anywhere in the world. And I’ll add a Christmas card.

The trick? To enter, you need to be on my awesome “Beast” mailing list (self-evident in the window in the right-hand column of this page).

When I finish this book, I will start on the final book in the For Queen And Country series, The Necromancer’s Daughter. In this book we can expect some fireworks as all leaders of the countries come together at Johanna’s invitation, including the magician Kylian.

Coming Home signals a pause in the Ambassador series, where a good number of threads will be resolved, many of which have been kept hanging over the past two books. Book 5 in the Ambassador series will be Blue Diamond Sky.

As Cory takes a well-earned rest and finally submits to proper weapons training, he and a couple of people from his household take a hunting trip in the marshland between Barresh and the turquoise sea. A bad storm has come through recently and on the shore of a tiny uninhabited island, Cory finds something Earthly that doesn’t belong there: a message in a bottle. A piece of plastic with HELP scratched on it with a sharp object. In Isla.

Cory has a list of all humans in Barresh: it’s very short and no one is missing. A few days later, he receives a weird message through official channels, from a woman on Earth whose rich businessman husband went on a trip of a lifetime “in a place where you can surf with plesiosaurs in turquoise waves”.

Cory knows the guy advertising the trip. He’s a shady character. He also knows where the “plesiosaurs” are. They’re not particularly friendly. Not to mention that the area is on the land of a viciously territorial Pengali tribe.

It looks like he’ll be using his new weapons skills sooner than he expected.

What’s coming up, Christmas giveaway and news was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

Showing off all new covers for the Ambassador books





Do I need to add words to this to say how awesome they are? Click on images to learn more about each book, or go to my Amazon page.

All done by Tom Edwards. He will be working on book 4 Coming Home soon. I better hurry up writing The Dragon Prince (for which I also have the cover but will show off a bit later) so I can start on that book.

Showing off all new covers for the Ambassador books was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

Cover reveal: Ambassador 1: Seeing Red


Awesome artwork by Tom Edwards in the UK. Tom is becoming fast known for his signature style space art. He has done some amazing covers for fellow authors, as well as games and other illustrations. Way back when I started, he also did the cover for The Far Horizon.

I have waited to make this post, because I wanted to make sure that the cover was updated at Amazon, and they took their sweet time about it.

I’ve now placed the book, and the rest of the series in Amazon’s Select programme for a minimum of three months. Unlike my other series, the vast bulk of sales came from Amazon. I now means that you can buy it on Amazon, but if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can read it for free.

The next Ambassador book, The Sahara Conspiracy, will be done and off to the editor by the end of the week.

Cover reveal: Ambassador 1: Seeing Red was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

News: Shifting Infinity and Ambassador

Shifting InfinityIt’s been a while since I posted here, and I guess most of you will have seen that Shifting Infinity is now live.

See all the info with website links here.

Another tidbit of news I can probably share is that it looks like the Icefire Trilogy will be available in Spanish later this year. This will add significantly to my stable of translations, since This Peaceful State of War is available in Dutch.

I’ve bitten the bullet and commissioned new covers for the Ambassador series. This is mainly because I’m looking at making all books available in print, and I don’t have highres versions of the covers, and also because of Tom Edwards! He did the cover for The Far Horizon a few years back, and his artwork has developed from really good to amazing! I have the cover for book 1 ready, and will reveal it in a separate post once the new cover has been added to the ebook files.

Also about the Ambassador series:

I’m in the process of (probably temporarily) removing them from all non-Amazon outlets so that I can try out the new KDP Select. The sales of this series, in contrary to my other series, are very skewed towards Amazon, so I thought what the heck, let’s try it. This will be for a period of at least three months, but it will also mean that if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you’ll be able to get them for free. Otherwise, you can still buy them as normal.

The next book will be Ambassador 1a: The Sahara Conspiracy. This is a short novel in between book 1 and 2, set entirely on Earth, but with a good deal of extra-terrestrial fire power. I’m sorting out some backstory, but the book should be done within the next few weeks.

News: Shifting Infinity and Ambassador was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

Ambassador and Fire Wizard and other news

As you can see in the side bar, Ambassador 3 is now out everywhere. To celebrate this, I’ve made book 1 99c.

I’m going through all my book listings, streamlining the website links. I’ve signed up with Payhip, a self-serve payment system in lieu of running your own plug-ins and ebook delivery. They charge a very small percentage for the service, and take Paypal as well as credit cards. Gumroad, that I was using before, doesn’t accept Paypal (neither does Selz, a similar service that’s based in Sydney). If you take the Payhip option, you get an extra 25% off for sharing the link through social media.

I’m also listing all my books on DriveThruFiction.

Next will be Fire Wizard, book 4 of For Queen And Country. This book will go to the editor before the end of this week and should be available this month.

Here is another special: Book 1 of For Queen And Country is free everywhere. If you sign up for my new release mailing list, you get book 2 free as well!

It is very likely that after completing Fire Wizard, I will get serious about Shifting Infinity, after having left Melati and Ari and the others in limbo for over a year. Eight months have passed. Melati has completed her ISF officer training and Ari has signed up to the International Space Force and is becoming a flight technician aboard the large ship where they fled at the end of Shifting Reality. They’re hanging around in orbit close to New Jakarta station, but have been unable to return to it. They’re not entirely sure what goes on at the station save that it’s in the hands of Allion and the new command is making ever more bizarre demands and ultimatums.

Then they capture an independent merchant said to have come from the station. His story about the station is even more strange. The Allion-led command appears to be battling to get the ship’s computers under control and are struggling to keep the station functional. Melati is sent to talk to him, because “you’re brown, too”, but the man is not of Indonesian descent, and she suspects that he’s not a merchant but an Allion mole. But the plea for help that he brings on behalf of her relatives still on the station seems genuine. She and Ari are sent with a more official delegation to find out what is really going on in the limping station.

Ambassador and Fire Wizard and other news was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

Ambassador 3 will be out soon and what is next?

Sahara conspiracy Ambassador3

Ambassador 3: Changing Fate

Status: edits have been completed. To be published very soon. Register here to be notified.

Fifty thousand years ago, a meteorite hit the planet Asto, giving its Aghyrian inhabitants mere days of notice. Three ships escaped the Armageddon. Two went to the neighbouring planet. The third, a massive generation ship, refused to take on refugees, and then vanished without a trace.

It’s coming back.

Its initial burst of communication caused the outage of the Exchange, the FTL network for transport and communication, but since then the ship has been silent. It jumps about at random, using wormholes it generates with a drive the likes of which no one has seen before.

Meanwhile at the gamra assembly, people jostle to be in the best positions when it inevitably turns up in inhabited space. What the ship wants or whether there is anyone on board no one knows, but diplomat Cory Wilson knows one thing: when it turns up, he must avoid a conflict at all cost.

If only gamra  presented a united viewpoint. If only Asto’s  army wasn’t keen to get involved. If only the Aghyrians at gamra didn’t do what they do best: manipulate and play games with everyone. While the ship approaches, the delegates bicker, and the time for negotiating and peace is fast running out.

For Queen And Country 4: Fire Wizard

Status: I’ve started writing this and it is my next priority. ETA March/April.

Johanna and Roald  and the others return to Saardam pretending to be peasants and farmers going to market. They find a town badly scarred and whatever citizens have survived are too scared to stand up to Alexandre  the fire wizard. It is thought that he burnt down the town because he wanted to eradicate the Church of the Triune  which forbids magic and denies that it exists. But things are not quite as simple as that.

The Sahara Conspiracy: an Ambassador story

Status: apparently, this is a thing, and I have written a few thousand words. I’ve always wanted to write a novella or short novel about things that happen on Earth after book 1 ends, during the election campaign. This will be one of the background projects that will simmer until I feel a strong urge to finish it.

Very rough blurb:

Two hundred years ago the planet Asto was highly overpopulated and the inhabitants, the Coldi people, planned a large colony in Earth’s Sahara Desert. The revelation of these plans nearly brought about a war.

Now, in the 23rd century, humans and Coldi have buried their disagreements. The plan for the colony is dead, isn’t it? Well, not quite, discovers diplomat Cory Wilson when he is urgently called into President Danziger’s office.

Someone has been using very similar designed facilities for training private militias in Ethiopia. While not in the Sahara, Ethiopia’s Afar region is the hottest place on Earth, and most people have fled the salt-ridden wasteland years ago. The troops are likely to be Coldi. They’re in the employ of the African war lords, and fight with off-world weaponry in many of the world’s nasty conflicts.

Danziger’s order to “get rid of these idiots” is every bit as dangerous as it sounds. And that is before Asto’s enormous and secretive military becomes involved.

Note: the cover is very rough, too.

And Their Ilk

Status: no pretty cover. Maybe mentioning it here will actually make me finish this urban fantasy tale. It’s a tale about contemporary Sydney, about corruption and murder and property developers, with some magical animals thrown in.

In the leafy and gentile suburbs of Sydney’s North Shore, a war is waged.

The Night Ilk, who are human at daytime and who change into creatures of the night–bats, possums, frogmouths–have fallen out with the Day Ilk–the ibises, the kookaburras, the magpies, the currawongs–who change into people at night.

Because the Day Ilk hold the den, the Night Ilk need to establish a new home. They have little money, but there is nothing Mr. Fixit Mikhail Andressan can’t bribe from councils. Until he makes a bad deal.

Freelance journalist Bindi Winslow stumbles by accident into the world of festering corruption, politics and crime when looking for her brother. Getting him out of that world is another matter, never mind getting him out of it alive.

Ambassador 4: Coming Home

I will start this after I finish Fire Wizard, and it will assume priority at that time.


Ambassador 3 will be out soon and what is next? was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

New covers for the Icefire Trilogy

I have been talking about this for a while. Yes, the trilogy needed new covers. And yes, I also like the old ones. They’re effective and quite distinct. But when you have them on full screen (and it’s even worse when you print an image), you can see that the images are lowres. And some of the artwork is really rough.

I had been trying to update the crummy typography, but couldn’t get it to work. What I needed was a crash & burn.

Here they are!

(Whoa! WordPress is playing silly buggers with the media library again. I intended the covers to show up small, but that doesn’t look like working unless I manually re-size them. Bleh. You can see all the detail now)

New covers for the Icefire Trilogy was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants