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A Janus Look

This time of year I like to take a Janus look at my goals.

Janus, looking backward and forward in time.

Janus, looking backward and forward in time.

Janus was the Roman god of beginnings and endings. He looked into the future and to the past. So, as we end one year and begin another, I like to take a Janus look both back and forward in time.

I write goals every year and, as the year winds to an end, I enjoy looking back at those old goals and seeing how I have done. That look into my past helps me set goals for the coming year. While for us mortals, every look forward in time is seen as if through a dark glass, I still like to imagine what I may achieve in the year ahead?

So, here is my 2017 look back into the past and into the future. These seven points were my goals of 2016.

1. Complete the first book in a new series. As 2016 started this project was so new the novel didn’t have a title and neither did the series. It was planned as a three book series dealing with the issue of electromagnetic pulse. In the first novel, storms on the sun throw off massive Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that hit Earth over a twenty-four hour period. The resulting electromagnetic pulses set technology across the planet back a hundred years.

I failed on this goal and have only written thirteen chapters of this still unnamed novel. However, as 2017 starts, I’m updating this goal with a plan to finish the first book and release it by May of 2017. You can read more about this upcoming novel on the projects page of my website.

2. Complete the second book in the Guardian Knights series. At the start of 2016, I had completed the first novel in the series Seekers of Earth, a 39,000 word prequel that ends in a cliffhanger. I wanted to finish the second book, Recall the Earth, and have both available near the same time.

I succeeded with this goal. Seekers of Earth will be released in March of 2017, and Recall the Earth is scheduled for release in April. Since I’ve achieved this goal I’m adding a new one, complete the third book in the series, Return to Earth, by December 2017. You can read more about this series on the projects page of my website.

3. Write 130,000 words in 2016. I planned to complete the EMP book, Recall the Earth, Nightmare in Slow Motion and The Long Way Home. I finish all of them except the EMP book and wrote 107,342 words.

While I’m pleased with what I accomplished, I didn’t make my goal. I’ve updated the projects list with The EMP book and Return to Earth and set my writing goal for 2017 at 110,000 words.

4. Release the Strengthen What Remains omnibus edition. Planned for release in April of 2016, this ebook only edition would include Through Many Fires, A Time to Endure, Braving the Storms, a short story, Nightmare in Slow Motion and a novelette, The Long Way Home. The boxset came out late, in August, but is now available. Click here for more information on the boxset.

5. More book promotions. My only book promotion of 2015 was tied to the release of Braving the Storms. I planned for three book promotions in 2016 with two tied to the Strengthen What Remains series.

The promotions went off close to what I had planned making this fifth goal a success. So, I’m planning five in 2017, three large scale events and two smaller campaigns. The first major event, discounting A Time to Endure to 99 cents, has already been scheduled for January 19th.

6. Update the website cover pictures regularly. This turned out to be a burden and received mixed reviews from website visitors. As with goal number three, I’m pleased with what I did, but need to do better, or in this case, different. I adopted a more landing page style for the website and have been working on other changes that visitors will see over the coming year.

7. Make shorter blogposts. A year ago my wife looked at the goals blogpost and said, “People don’t have time to read long blogposts.”

Yeah, I’m still working on that.


 
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To receive a weekly digest of blogposts delivered to your inbox click Follow me

Now on Walmart.com

I’m excited to announce that the print editions of my novels are now available on Walmart.com.

Kyle Pratt with the four novels now on Walmart.com

Since writing is my business I work hard to expand the distribution of my stories, but I didn’t have anything to do with the addition of Walmart distribution. I didn’t even realize my books were on Walmart.com until a fellow author mentioned that their books were. So I checked.

Imagine my surprise.

From what I’m hearing from other authors this is all due to an agreement between Amazon and Walmart. I'm just thankful it happened.   

At least for now, Walmart.com is only selling print books, not audio or ebooks. The four novels that are available on Walmart.com are Through Many Fires, A Time to Endure, Braving the Storms and Titan Encounter.

Backdoor Book Festival

Backdoor Survival has featured my books before.

This month, Backdoor Survival, one of the top survival and prepping websites, featured my latest novel, Braving the Storms, and they’ve highlighted my books before.

In early 2014, Through Many Fires had begun to sell and I knew that if I found bloggers and reviewers willing to read my book, I could reach an even wider audience. At the time I still taught in Alaska, and wrote in my spare time.

I sent an email to Gaye Levy, founder and editor of Backdoor Survival, and she agreed to read Through Many Fires. Gaye featured the novel in the Backdoor Survival Spring 2014 book festival. With help from her, Through Many Fires reached that wider audience. In 2015, Gaye featured my novel A Time to Endure, in another website book festival

Book Festival and Giveaway

My debt to Gaye continues to grow. Earlier this week in her eleventh online book festival, Backdoor Survival featured Braving the Storms. Along with the review there is an interview with me, and a chance to win one of ten copies of Braving the Storms. The winners can choose their format: print book, eBook, or audiobook.

So, click here to go straight to the Braving the Storms page at Backdoor Survival, read the interview, and enter.

New Audiobook Release!

The Braving the Storms audiobook is now available.

Braving the Storms audiobook by Kyle Pratt

Narration and production of the audiobook edition of Braving the Storms took less than a month. Even the Audible quality review seemed to go quicker than it had in the past. I certainly expected everything to go smoothly with the talented Kevin Pierce behind the project. This is Kevin’s third production for me and my fifth audiobook overall.

The unabridged audio production of Braving the Storms is eight hours and eleven minutes long. It is currently available through Amazon and Audible and will soon be on iTunes.   

You can see all of my audiobooks here, on my website.   

Three in the Top Ten

Three of my novels are simultaneous bestsellers

Kyle Pratt holds the Strengthen What Remains series

All three of my Strengthen What Remains novels have reached the Amazon War Fiction top ten bestseller list at the same time. Braving the Storms, my latest novel is at number eight. Through Many Fires, the first novel in the series is in the number five position, and A Time to Endure has reached the number one spot.

Currently, we’re promoting A Time to Endure, so I expected it to move up in the ranks and, of course, I hoped that it would reach number one. What I didn’t expect is for people to buy the other two books at the same time, and have all three in the top ten this morning.

Thank you, everyone, who bought the books, reviewed them and helped spread the word. This is a great start to 2016. 

Local Author Display

I guess it’s only natural for writers to support libraries.

Amy and Victoria with the books of Author Kyle Pratt

Back in September I blogged about finding my novel, A Time to Endure, at my local Chehalis library. When I visited the library to get a picture for that September blogpost, my friend Amy, who works there, checked the database and discovered other libraries in the system had copies of Through Many Fires. This surprised me since I’ve never made an effort to get my novels in any library. I guess I never thought about my books being there, but I was happy when I found out they were.

Several weeks later Amy contacted me and asked if I would donate a copy of each of my novels for a display of local authors at the Chehalis library. Of course, I agreed.

The picture here is from when I delivered the copies of Braving the Storms, Through Many Fires, Titan Encounter and A Time to Endure. I’ll go back, and get a picture of the display, when it is complete.

Braving the Storms Unboxed

The year 1985 was a memorable time for me.

That year I was stationed in Japan with the U.S. navy and writing short stories that I hoped someday might be printed. That was also the year Back to the Future came out. Along with my family, I saw the movie in a Japanese theater. Kanji scrolled along one side as we watched.

While I enjoyed the whole movie a scene at the end stuck in my memory. In the last minutes of the film Bif rushes into the McFly home with a package and announces, “Mr. McFly, Mr. McFly, this just arrived … I think it's your new book.” They open it and lift out a copy of George McFly’s novel, A Match Made in Space

As I walked from the theater I recalled that scene, and thought that opening a box and seeing your book for the first time would be a really cool moment. I never forgot that scene, and I think of it again each time a package arrives containing my copies of a new release.

This is the fourth time books have arrived on my doorstep and the moment in Back to the Future flashed through my mind as I opened the box and lifted the first copy of Braving the Storms.

This recent delivery contained twenty copies of that latest novel. I’ll be keeping one or two. The rest I’ll be signing and sending off to editors, bloggers, reviewers and beta-readers or handing to critique group partners.

So, if I said you’ll be getting a copy of my new book—it’s coming soon! 

 

Braving the Storms Audiobook

My fifth story will soon be available as an Audiobook.

A few weeks ago on December 18th, the paperback and ebook editions of Braving the Storms, the third book of the Strengthen What Remains series, were released.

Kevin Pierce the voice of Strengthen What Remains.

Even before the December debut, Kevin Pierce, the producer for both Through Many Fires and A Time to Endure, agreed to continue his role as the voice of the series. Kevin is a respected, Audible-approved, producer and narrator of both fiction and non-fiction audiobooks.

Through Many Fires, my first book to be released as an audiobook, came out just over three years ago. Now Braving the Storms will be my fifth. You can listen to samples of all them here.   

Yesterday, Kevin sent me the first chapter of the Braving the Storms audiobook for approval. Click on the embedded app to hear that first chapter. We expect the full audiobook to be completed and available on Audible and iTunes by the end of the month. When that happens, I’ll announce it here, on Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter.

A Look Forward

I like to look forward this time of year.

The first website cover picture of the year was snapped by Paul Itkin. Unfortunately, I know nothing more about him. However, it is with his beautiful picture that I begin my own 2016 journey.

While every look forward is seen through a dark glass, I like to imagine what I’ll get done in the coming months and what my life will be like as the year winds down. I usually write my goals and post them near my desk. This year I thought I’d share some thoughts about the coming year with all of you.

1. Complete the first book in a new series. This project is so new the novel doesn’t have a name and neither does the series. However, right now it is planned as a three book series dealing with the issue of electromagnetic pulse. In the first novel, storms on the sun throw off massive Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that hit Earth over a twenty-four hour period. The resulting electromagnetic pulses set technology across the planet back a hundred years. You can read more about this upcoming novel on the projects page of the website.

2. Complete the second book in the Guardian Knights series. This may seem strange since the first book doesn’t yet have a release date, but I have good reasons. Seekers of Earth, the first book in this science fiction series, is a 39,000 word prequel that ends in a cliffhanger. I can imagine the angry reader reaction if they read that book and the second novel wasn’t available. So, my plan is to release the second novel, Recall the Earth, at the same time as the first book. That will happen this year, but we don’t yet know when. You can read more about this series on the projects page of the website.

3. Write 130,000 words in 2016. Last year I set a goal of completing four manuscripts and writing 120,000 words. I completed three of the projects and wrote nearly 128,000 words. The Long Walk Home, a short story in the Strengthen What Remains setting, will be completed this year. In addition to The Long Walk Home, I plan to complete the two projects listed above, and finish editing another short story in the Strengthen What Remains series, Nightmare in Slow Motion. I estimate that will entail writing 130,000 words during the next twelve months.

4. Release the Strengthen What Remains omnibus edition. Due for release in April, this ebook will include Through Many Fires, A Time to Endure, Braving the Storms and two short stories, Nightmare in Slow Motion and The Long Walk Home. You can read more about the short stories on the projects page of the website.

5. More book promotions. The only book promotion of 2015 was tied to the release of Braving the Storms. My 2016 goal is to have three book promotions. At least two tied to the Strengthen What Remains series in February/March and September/October. The third one will be tied to the release of the Guardian Knights books. We don’t have a date for the third one but, what this means for you is, more chances to buy my books at a discount.

6. Update the website cover pictures regularly. This is a minor thing, but last year I used five different website cover pictures and changed them at irregular intervals. I have many beautiful pictures available, so this year I want to change them during the first week of each month. Stop by at least every four weeks to  enjoy the new cover image.

My wife looked over this blogpost, as she does with most of my writing, and said, “People don’t have time to read long blogposts.”

Sigh. Perhaps she’s right.

7. Make shorter blogposts.

Find previous cover pictures here.

Great Release

Braving the Storms is off to a good start.

With the holidays I’ve been slow to write anything, except Christmas cards, but this deserves mention. The release of Braving the Storms, the third book in the Strengthen What Remains series, was released on December 18th. By the next day the book surged onto the Amazon war fiction best seller list and reached number 77 later in the day.

What thrilled me about the early sales was we hadn’t started any paid advertising yet. Braving the Storms made it to the best seller lists based on the support from fans of the earlier books. Thank you!

This is the Day

Today Braving the Storms was released worldwide!

I was barely out of bed this morning when my wife Lorraine said, “Check your sales—how many books have you sold?” Braving the Storms, the third book in my Strengthen What Remains series, released worldwide this morning as an ebook.

Kyle Pratt with the three books of the Strengthen What Remains series

If you pre-ordered it on Amazon, Kobo or Smashwords the book should be on your device. By the time you read this it should be available on Barnes & Noble (Nook), and iTunes.

The paperback also released this morning, but will take a while to show up on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

So, I told Lorraine about the sales and was hoping for a quiet extended weekend leading up to Christmas. Then I remembered that Kevin Pierce, the narrator for both Through Many Fires and A Time to Endure, still needed the Braving the Storms manuscript. I emailed the script to him and we formalized the production agreement. The audiobook should be available by late January.

After that I recalled the newsletter for my readers still hadn’t been sent. Many of them had been waiting since the release of A Time to Endure. They deserved to be told that the next book in the series had been release. Then I needed to update the blog …  

Maybe I can take tomorrow off. 

Braving the Storms Update

The latest paperback copy of Braving the Storms is ready for release!

I received the proof copy of my latest novel today. The copy is identical to what readers get when they order the book and is my last chance to make changes before the release.

Kyle Pratt with the proof copy of Braving the Storms

After this picture was taken my wife sat down and proofed the book. She checks it page-by-page for errors. At this point we’re not looking for manuscript errors so much, as style and format errors, such as incorrect margins, wrong type fonts or pages numbered incorrectly. I’ll check it too, but she is better at proofing the books than I am.

The ebook edition of Braving the Storms is ready and, as long as we don’t find any problems, the paperback edition will go to press tonight. Both editions will be released worldwide on December 18th. Production of the audiobook will begin after Christmas with a release date sometime in late January.

This is an exciting Christmas season!

Getting Closer to Release

Next Friday is the big day!

I’ve been working on Braving the Storms for over a year, writing, rewriting and editing all of the nearly 78,000 words. My wife has read each of the forty chapters at least twice. Micah Hansen worked with me to create the covers, while others have worked as critique partners and beta-readers. So, I’m really excited to say that the manuscript is done!

Braving the Storms by Kyle Pratt

Braving the Storms, is the third book of the Strengthen What Remains series. In the first book, Through Many Fires, nuclear terrorism strikes the nation’s capital and six other American cities. In the second book, A Time to Endure, society continues to unravel, and civil war threatens the divided and economically-crippled land.

Now a new and even more lethal problem emerges. A swift and deadly flu epidemic sweeps out of overcrowded FEMA camps and strikes the nation with horrific results. Caden Westmore struggles to keep his family and community safe, while others use the plague to advance their own military and political agendas. Caden must succeed, but how can he, when both the epidemic and chaos attack his hometown and family?

Now the harder job begins, getting the word out to readers about the new book. The paperback and ebook editions will be released worldwide on December 18th. Production of the audiobook will begin after Christmas with a release date sometime in late January. 

Thirty Days!

The release date is only 30 days away!

I’m meeting later today to review a chapter of Braving the Storms, the third book of the Strengthen What Remains series. After that I’ll be doing final editing. The release date for the ebook and paperback editions is December 18th.

In the first book, Through Many Fires, nuclear terrorism strikes the nation’s capital and six other American cities. In the second book, A Time to Endure, society continues to unravel, and civil war threatens the divided and economically-crippled land.

Now a new and even more lethal problem emerges. A swift and deadly flu epidemic sweeps out of overcrowded FEMA camps and strikes the nation with horrific results. Caden Westmore struggles to keep his family and community safe, while others use the plague to advance their own military and political agendas. Caden must succeed, but how can he, when both the epidemic and chaos attack his hometown and family?

Braving the Storms is available for pre-order in the United States, Canada, Britain, and Australia on Amazon, and worldwide on Smashwords and Kobo. Order now and have Braving the Storms load right to your device the moment it’s released!

Pre-Order Braving

The release date is only 61 days away!

However, you can pre-order the ebook version of Braving the Storms now and have it load right to your device the moment it’s released.

Braving the Storms is the third book of the Strengthen What Remains series. In the first book, Through Many Fires, nuclear terrorism strikes the nation’s capital and six other American cities. In the second book, A Time to Endure, society continues to unravel, and civil war threatens the divided and economically-crippled land.

Now a new and even more lethal problem emerges. A swift and deadly flu epidemic sweeps out of overcrowded FEMA camps and strikes the nation with horrific results. Caden Westmore struggles to keep his family and community safe, while others use the plague to advance their own military and political agendas. Caden must succeed, but how can he, when both the epidemic and chaos attack his hometown and family?

Braving the Storms is available for pre-order in the United States, Canada, Britain, and Australia on Amazon, and worldwide on Smashwords and Kobo.

Things I Forgot

I recently sent out my July email newsletter.

Despite my forgetfulness, there were several things in the email newsletter that I wanted all my readers know. So, if you receive my free monthly newsletter, you’ve already heard the news below.  

The July newsletter of author Kyle Pratt

The July newsletter of author Kyle Pratt

Braving the Storms

First, the covers for the next book, Braving the Storms, Strengthen What Remains, book three, are out. I’m still writing the last third of the book, but beta-readers and editors are examining every line of the manuscript I’ve written. The graphic artist, Micah Hansen, has been busy creating covers for the paperback, eBook, and audiobook. You can see larger versions of the covers and read the first few chapters (with no spoilers) by clicking here. The book should be out at the end of October.

Deals & Discounts

Every month in my free monthly newsletter I list the latest discounts for my books and audio books so that you, my readers, will receive the best price for any of my books, ebooks and audiobooks. All you need to do is subscribe.

A New Website Feature

I try to find ways that make it easy for you to know what I’m doing. While I’d love it if all my readers regularly visited my blog, I know that is not possible, people are busy. However, you can now subscribe to receive my free weekly email digest of blogposts. Each Monday you’ll receive a single email containing any blogposts I posted the previous week. For more information about this new feature, click here.

If you would like to receive the weekly email digest or the monthly newsletter, go here to sign up.

First Sale

Book three of the Strengthen What Remains series is off to a good start.

Kyle Pratt and and Bill Radtke with the check for book 3.

I haven’t finished the novel or even named it yet, but I’ve sold at least one copy.

Bill Radtke, a friend of mine, is a busy man, and has little time to read for entertainment, but he recently bought paperback copies of both Through Many Fires and A Time to Endure. While we talked he asked me about the third book. I told him that I haven’t come up with a title yet, but otherwise it was coming along fine. I’ve written about 15,000 words and plotted out most of the novel. (You can track my progress on the book here.)

As Bill wrote the check for the first two books he said, “I’m going to add extra for the third book."

I told him it wasn’t necessary, that I would make sure he got a copy, but he insisted. The more I thought about it, the more I enjoyed the idea of selling a book I haven’t finished or even named, so I asked him to pose for this picture with me.

Bill, I hope you enjoy Through Many Fires and A Time to Endure and I will personally deliver your signed first edition copy of the third book (whatever it ends up being called) as soon as they are available.