We hit our Goal! $15000 towards the Modo graphic novel

We've made out funding goal! Thanks to everyone who participated! As of this writing there are still a few hours left to join in on the steampunk fun--just click this amazing link:

One of the traditions when you make your funding goal is to have "stretch" goals. These are new perks for people if you make a certain amount beyond your original goal. We don't have enough time to do a campaign for a stretch goal (only 13 hours left!), but I thought I'd share the stretch goals that we had in mind:

 If we hit $100,000 we would have given all contributors a steam powered eye You can both see out of it and make tea at the same time. Zounds!

At $500,000 we were going to ground all those noisy jet planes and give everyone personal airships to travel in. No Hindenburgs, though!

 At 1,000,000 we would create a steam powered superman who would go backwards around the world and take us all back in time to the Victorian age and we could live in that era forever...but get this--we'd be able to bring our iPods and smart phones along. And dental floss!

Ah, the world was going to be so different!

But wait...just $84,000 more dollars and it's steampowered eyes for everyone!

Thanks for all the fundraising help!


The Brobdingnagian-sized Ebook update!

Yep, I'm going all literary with this update on my ebook sales. We all know from Gulliver's Travels that Brobdingnagian means giant-sized.* And this is a giant-sized report! Well, actually it's kind of small. It's more Lilliputian. But, really, who would click on a headline that says, "Author shouts out about lilliputian book sales!"? Anyway let's start with a chart!

Eeek! My sales have gone all Lilliputian! I was warned about the doldrums of August by other ebook publishers. Apparently sales do drop in August. Get off the beach and buy books everyone! Anyway, here are the numbers.

Feb 12 March 43 April 377 May 204 June 139 July 154 August 72

Abandon ship! That's it mateys, all hands off deck and swim for shore. Oh, wait there were some grand developments. I crossed the 1000 sales barrier. That's good.  And my little experiment last month of giving away this Norse horror book for free worked:

I gave away 7545 copies. But when I switched the book back to "paid" status Amazon's magical algorithms made it shoot up the charts and it sold 33 copies in two weeks (the highest it had averaged was 18 copies in a month). So there was some small immediate benefit to giving it away (plus it now has several new positive reviews). And I hope over time those 7500 readers will look kindly on the other books in the series.

Hey and there's other good news. I released The Hunchback Assignments  and The Dark Deeps in the UK.

The Dark Deeps

That's one of the clever things about ebook publishing. My agent sold the rights to these books to several countries, but the UK hasn't picked it up yet. So, with the click of a button, I can invade the UK. My hope is to make a little noise over there. So far...3 copies sold! C'mon Britain, remember when we Canucks helped out with that Boer war thing? You can finally pay us back!

I am doing a few experiments at the UK amazon with free books...which I'll update at a later date (see, I'm trying to make this all sooo mysterious).

Overall, I had hoped to be further ahead in the ebook world after 7 months. I think the real test of this experiment will come over the next few months which are traditionally the busiest in book sales. And, as I've said before, every copy sold is a copy I wasn't selling before. All of these books were either out of print or not for sale in selected countries, so I'm making money on them now.

And someday that Brobdingnagian load of royalties will come my way, right Gulliver! Right?


*next time you go to Starbucks refuse the Grande Latte and demand a Brobdingnagian latte. That'll shock their organic socks!

The Hunchback Assignments wins Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire 2011

I'm extremely pleased to announce that The Hunchback Assignments has won Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire 2011: Roman jeunesse étranger (The Grand Prize of the Imagination, Youth foreign). This is the most prestigious fantastical fiction award in France and it is proof that my novel's translator, Marie Cambolieu, is brilliant. The official award website is here if you want to see the other categories. The book is called Les agents de M. Socrate, Tome 1 : La confrérie de l'horloge in France and is released by Le Masque (loosely translated as The Agents of Mr. Socrates: The Brotherhood of the Clock). The award was presented at a festival in Saint-Malo, France. I nearly was able to attend in person, but had to stay home to watch the NHL Playoffs (I'm kidding, of course, great effort was made to fly me out there but the scheduling didn't work out). Instead I sent a short video of my acceptance speech:


The other award nominees in the same category were:

Roman jeunesse étranger

Le Sortilège de pierre de Cornelia Funke (Gallimard jeunesse)
Voraces de Oisin McGann (Mango jeunesse)
Alcatraz (Série) de Brandon Sanderson (Mango jeunesse)
Léviathan de Scott Westerfeld (Pocket jeunesse)

Autres titres retenus en première sélection :

Les Portes de John Connolly (L'Archipel)
Entremonde de Neil Gaiman et Michael Reaves (Au Diable Vauvert)
Un endroit où se cacher de Joyce Carol Oates (Albin Michel jeunesse)
Jenna Fox, pour toujours de Mary E. Pearson (Des Grandes Personnes
Frankly, I didn't expect for my book to win. There are some very heavy hitters on that list (and I'm especially intrigued by Oisin McGann's Voraces. Irish steampunk!). But I'll take the prize and run (actually I don't know if there is a prize--the honour is enough). The book has been selling briskly in France, so this should help it sprint to the finish line.

If you'd like to see a few photos of the event just click here.

As you can tell, I'm very excited about this award. Last night, at dinner club, we raised a glass of French wine in honour of Grand Prix de l'imaginaire (and had Beef Wellington, which also fit the theme since Modo used the name Wellington as a code name).

Au revoir,