Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Apocrypha Studios is returning to Hal Con!

Apocrypha Studios is returning to Hal Con!

I am excited to announce the release of my first novel, Seven Crows.  A supernatural thriller set in the world of Eden Falls, Seven Crows is suitable for adults of all ages.  I will have copies of Seven Crows available for purchase ( $10 ) AND I will be having the release of the Seven Crows RPG at Hal Con.  You all will have the FIRST chance to purchase the Seven Crows RPG!

One crow for sorrow,
Two crows for joy,
Three crows a girl,
Four crows a boy,
Five crows for silver,
Six crows for gold,
Seven crows a story,
Never to be told.
– anonymous folk poem

Seven orphan children;
Bron: poor child of sorrow and resolve in the face of a town of bullies. Mab: capricious child of boundless mirth, and fierce protectiveness. Kendra: young girl struggling to find herself in the whirlwind of an exclusive school. Akeem: a reader of what should not be, withdrawn and scheming. Onshuuko: a student of perfection and tradition, haunted by demons. Nathaniel: a “good” boy, struggling with his own power and just trying to remain good. Unknown: perhaps the biggest mystery, will this story ever be uncovered?

Bound together by fate and a mysterious friend that only they can see, these seven have been separated ever since the incident that left their orphanage in ruins. Years later, something powerful and frightening begins to awaken within them, darkness stirs around them, and they are propelled out into the world to find each other once again. This is only the beginning...

Bound by fate,
Seven Crows awaken
to power and tragedy.

Like previous years, I will also be running RPG gaming, this year I will be running an scenario for the Seven Crows RPG.  For those of you who have been involved in previous Hal Con games of Eden Falls, Seven Crows is set in the same world, but is a sort of prelude to the Eden Falls world.

The novel, Seven Crows, is already available on Kindle and Kobo, and if you are on Goodreads you can enter into a draw for a free softcover copy of Seven Crows (the draw will be September 8th).  If you pick up a copy of Seven Crows, I thank you.  Please let me know what you think of it and drop a review on (reviews really help draw attention to the novel).  Thanks for your support and see everyone at Hal Con!



Facebook Author Page:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Release Day Sell Out

With Seven Crows available online for Kobo, Kindle, and Amazon Softcover, I still wanted to do a small print run to have my official release day here in my hometown of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.  So I did, and it went VERY well.  So well that I sold ALL of my copies and now have more on the way!  If you live in Yarmouth or nearby, send me an email at and I can set you up with an autographed softcover copy of Seven Crows for $10.  If you live in Canada and would like an autographed copy, again send me an email.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Interview with the Vanguard

The local paper, the Vanguard, interviewed me this week about the upcoming release of Seven Crows.  Good interview, the article is already online here:

Vanguard Article

The Progress: Week Two

I forgot to mention Smashwords in my week one post. I went directly to Kobo to try to have Seven Crows published on the Kobo eReader. Several indi-publishers advise focussing on Amazon. That way everyone goes to that one place to buy, and all reviews go there. True, and made even better with an option in Kindle to join an exclusive Kindle program. However, a large number of students, that I know would like to read my book, have Kobo. So I wanted to hit both the Kindle and Kobo markets. The kobo website was a bust. The banking information for payments just wouldn't work. I called my bank and got everything the website was asking for, yet still would not recognize it. So I went to the Smashwords website, and publishing through Smashwords was quick and easy. Smashwords formats a word doc into numerous ePub formats, all available on the Smashwords site. However, if the doc is approved, then it is also sent out to several partners, like Kobo. Seven Crows showed up on the Kobo store about a week later. Two things about Smashwords; 1. You NEED to make sure your document is formatted to their specifications in order for it to approved to be sent out to the other sites (where you really want it). 2. A friend and indi-publisher (B.C. Laybolt) cautioned me about Smashwords. Other indi-authors had used it, then later found their books showing up on Amazon and Kobo under other author's names. When you publish through Smashwords, by default it does format your book into A LOT of different eBook formats. Which would make it easy for someone to download one of the formats, make a few changes, and then republish your work under their name and rip you off. :( I went back into Smashwords and it was very easy to remove almost all of the formats. I only left Kobo and Sony eReader there. None of the others were necessary. Hope it works and I have no issues.

Week Two
Seven Crows is live on Amazon in print and on Kindle, as well as Kobo and Smashwords (Links are all this blog page). The release day is Friday 23rd at the local Yarmouth library (which only cost me 2 copies of the book for the library, which is awesome). I am running a giveaway on my Facebook Author page. 1 Name to be drawn for a copy, 2 if I reach 100 likes. And I have updated my Goodreads author page and created a Goodreads Giveaway of 5 Copies. As of today, over 100 people have added Seven Crows to their "to-read" shelf and about 250 people have entered the giveaway draw, which will end Sept. 8th. I had an interview with the local Yarmouth newspaper (the Vanguard) yesterday, talked about Seven Crows and the indi-publishing process, and had some pics taken (I shaved this time :P). And the box of books, my first order of Seven Crows, arrived very early. For a box of 35 books, the customs only cost me $15, not too bad.

I Have Done It!
I wrote, in the week one post, about having your indi-novel published and then feeling underwhelmed that it was done. Instead of feeling joyous and in awe, I just felt like nothing was happening. Well nothing happens until you go out and make it happen, and that takes people. The first moment I felt that joy and awe at my accomplishment was when my first review went up at Amazon. It was a great review, written by another writer who's opinion I hold in high regard, and it didn't hurt that it was a 5 star review. Then a few other people, who's opinion I also hold in high regard, started messaging me with their thoughts as they read the book. Their thoughts were good, great even. They were loving the book, and hopefully that is continuing. The point is, my sense of accomplishment did not occur until people began to enjoy my work. So, please, if you enjoyed reading Seven Crows, tell me why (then tell everyone else why). If you did not enjoy Seven Crows, also tell me why, so I can improve. :D

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Seven Crows by Justin Killam

Seven Crows

by Justin Killam

Giveaway ends September 08, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Process: Week One

Just over a week ago I submitted the files to Amazon to publish my first novel: Seven Crows. [links are to the right, go buy it. ;) ]  This is the first week so far...

I don't know what happens if you do this the other way around, but I started with Creatspace, which is Amazon's print on demand publishing site.  This is where I submit all the details and files for a physical copy of my novel to be created.  One thing to note: the print on demand option is available only on the amazon.COM site.  At the end of the process there is a link to upload the same info to KDP, which is Amazon's kindle publishing site.  However, it wants to transfer the PDF files used in the POD process and PDF files DO NOT transfer to Kindle's MOBI format well.  So immediately that fails and I have to start the process all over again of uploading a Word DOC and filling out all the product info again.  Whew...  at first both published separately.  What I mean by that is, if you load up a book on Amazon it will have all formats available on the one page, so you can click between paperback / kindle and easily compare prices, etc.  So I was worried that my paperback and kindle versions were not going to link, but after a couple of days they did indeed link up.  So that was cool!  Both processes were easy to work through, and I had to re-upload a couple times after reviewing the files and realizing I had missed a couple of mistakes.  Easy process!  The time length between submitting and the novel showing up on Amazon was a few days, and since then I have updated the book's description, which took less than 24 hours to update on Amazon.  So far, I am pleased.

Post Publish:
So the very first thing that hit me once the submission button was hit was a paradoxical wave of excitement [after all that work I am finally published!] and discouragement [why isn't everyone in the world buying my masterpiece?]  I think, to be honest, this came about because of the traditional idea of being published and suddenly your novel is on every shelf and ads are everywhere and it all happens at once and "BAM" your a success.  If you publish independently, this will NOT happen.  At least not until you have a following of loyal fans and have made a name for yourself, which takes time and lots of work.  Once your first novel is published, your work has just begun.

First Rule: do NOT let yourself get discouraged and just sit and expect it to happen, get to work and MAKE it happen.

Now I have to promote the hell out of my masterpiece.  I have published before [RPG Material] but this is my first novel, so promoting it is going to be a new experience. Luckily for me, there are a lot of indi-writer/publishers who have blogged about how they have promoted themselves.  I have been reading, taking advice and info from:

Like the IMDB for books, Goodreads is the place to start.  So I sat around waiting for my novel to appear in Goodreads. Then, the other day, I found a button that says "manually add book" and I nearly slammed my head into the desk I felt so foolish for just sitting around and waiting.  So now Seven Crows is added to Goodreads for all to see, and 24 hours later my Goodreads profile updates to an Author Profile.  Today, one of the things I have on my to do list, I plan on updating my author profile page in Goodreads.  Soon I will promote Seven Crows via Goodreads with a book giveaway and some Ads.

Oh yeah, I am just getting started.  I have an author page on Facebook, a Facebook group for the Yarmouth Release Party I am planning in a couple of weeks (should hear back from the town library today about them approving me to use their location), and contacting some large book review / blog sites about sending them copies of my book to review.  IMPORTANT:  Tell everyone about your book, avoid mass e-mails (cause those are just annoying), don't be afraid to ask for help, remind anyone who might buy your book to post a review in Goodreads and/or Amazon.  Reviews boost your book recommendations to other readers, etc.

That is all I have for now, but for the first week that is a lot.