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Summer Sale!

Summer sale! Regarding Ducks and Universes is on sale for all of June on Kindle. Mystery! Parallel universes! Ducks!

The book is part of a promotion, “150 Kindle books for $1.50″. You can find all the included books here.



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Order a Personalized Copy of My Books

Uncle Hugo’s is a science fiction bookstore here in Minneapolis. They’ve just celebrated their 40th anniversary, which makes Uncle Hugo’s the “oldest independent science fiction bookstore” in the U.S.! Needless to say, forty years is a long time to be in business, especially in the publishing business, so a big congrats to Don Blyly–you can read his take on How’s Business? in this store newsletter. The store is next door to its mystery twin, Uncle Edgar’s, and is packed from floor to ceiling with new and used books. It’s an excellent place to find out-of-print and vintage books.

Uncle Hugo’s is also the one place you can get signed copies of my books (unless you run into me somewhere). They do ship, so you don’t have to come by in person.
If you do feel like stopping by, I will be at Uncle Hugo’s on Saturday, May 10, from 1-2 pm signing books, along with Douglas Hulick, who is signing copes of his newest book, Sworn in Steel.

Otherwise, you can pre-order a signed and/or personalized copy of any of my books. I will sign and/or personalize the book when I’m there in May and Uncle Hugo’s will ship it to you.

I’ve been meaning to take pictures of the inside of Uncle Hugo’s, and will do so this time around and post them!

Cheers,
Neve

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Title and Pub Date Reveal

For anyone who’s been wondering about what’s happening with the sequel to The Far Time Incident, I have a quick update:

  1. The title of Book 2 in the series (drum roll please!) is The Runestone Incident.
  2. The expected publication date is February 11, 2014



The one-sentence description reads thusly: In the second installment of Neve Maslakovic’s addictive time travel series, St. Sunniva University duo Julia Olsen and Nate Kirkland are in the fourteenth century on the trail of a mysterious runestone and a missing postdoc. No cover yet, but the listing has already gone up on Amazon.


Speaking of Amazon, Regarding Ducks and Universes recently passed a hundred reviews there, which seems like a milestone. It’s been two years and a couple of months since the book came out and reviews are still trickling in as new readers continue to discover it, which is, of course, awesome in itself. So I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who read the book — I appreciate if you took the time to leave a review, whether you liked it, or didn’t, or thought it had just the right number of ducks or needed fewer ducks or more ducks or whatever. You guys rock!


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News on This First Week of May

Today’s news is that the big May snowstorm veered off at the last minute and just missed us — towns just south of us got 8+ inches, but our lawn stayed green. Also that I was invited to write a guest post for the Kindle Daily Post. The topic suggested was What are your five favorite time travel novels? Had I thought about it really deeply, it would have been hard to choose from all the great time travel novels out there, so instead I went with the more straightforward method of listing the first five books that popped into my head (figuring that was a sure-fire way of guaranteeing they were my favorites). Read my guest post here and let me know what your favorite time travel novels are!

In other news, I’m doing a giveaway on Goodreads for both the new book and my first one. If you’re a Goodreads member, you can enter to win a signed copy of The Far Time Incident or Regarding Ducks and Universes (or both!). The giveaway runs until May 13.

Finally, The Far Time Incident has been picked by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Kindle editors for their list of books “no self-respecting geek should go without,” which is, of course, unbelievably cool. I don’t know how often they change or update these lists, but for now you can spot the book there, nestled between Flatland and Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. Like I said, very cool stuff.

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Five Writing Truths That Should Be Obvious but Aren’t… And a Happy New Year!

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 Hope everyone had (or is having) a good holiday break. The new year is just a few days away and, as I look ahead, I realize I’ll soon cease to be a debut novelist—the publication of The Far Time Incident is just around the corner (early April, more than three months from now, isconsidered just around the corner in the world of publishing.) I’ve learned many practical things since Regarding Ducks and Universes came out, like where to order business cards (I like Moo) and how to make a pic like the one above that says 2013 and incorporate it into a blog post. But I’ve been thinking about the big things, the ones that perhaps should be obvious but aren’t. These five writing truths will probably be of interest mostly to other writers, but here they are anyway:
1. Not everyone will like your book. In fact, someone somewhere will think that it’s the worst book in the world. And say so publicly—on a forum, in a tweet, in an Amazon review, or all three. Don’t worry—yours and my book can’t both be the worst book in the world. Only one is and I’ve yet to come across it.
2. What goes up must come down. For every promotion where you excitedly watch your book climb the Amazon bestseller lists, there is an inevitable reversal that follows (how soon depends on how big your book gets) where you get to watch your pride and joy slowly sink in the ranks. Writing is a business where your sales numbers and royalties (i.e., your paycheck) can vary wildly from month to month and from year to year.
3. Reviews—you don’t have to read them. I’m not talking about reviews from Publisher’s Weekly or Kirkus, but the ones readers leave on sites like Amazon, Goodreads, and LibraryThing. I am very grateful for these and appreciate that people take the time to write them—a good reader review is almost irreplaceable in helping spread the word about a book. But if you drop everything and run off to read every new review that pops up on Amazon, only to emerge elated or crushed, you’re setting yourself up for an emotional roller coaster. I recommend staying away from the one and two stars (see point 1: Not everyone will like your book) unless you have nerves of steel. I don’t. Besides, I figure that book reviews are meant for other readers, not for me as the author.
4. No one can predict how well your book will sell. Regarding Ducks and Universeshas done better (sales-wise and review-wise) in the US than in the UK. Why? I don’t know. Maybe they just like me better over here. The just-released German translation seems to doing nicely so far on Amazon.de (Danke, German readers!), better than the English version in the Canada store. Was there any way to predict that? Not in my, uh, book. The point is that, as with reviews, tying your worth as a writer to your book’s sales numbers at any given moment is a recipe for a lot of emotional ups and downs. So don’t do it. (Easier said then done, I know.)
And, finally:
5. Writing is just like any other job. But only the people you live with know this (and that’s if you’re lucky, and I am). Friends and neighbors will wonder why your house is always messy and why you’re perpetually behind on your errands, when as a writer you are flush with free time. After all, you’re your own boss, aren’t you? Yes, but you’re also the only employee—there’s no one to pass on the job of writing to. If you take a sick day, the manuscript word count doesn’t budge. As a rule, you don’t get up in the morning and wonder when you’ll get around to doing some writing; you get up and you do it. On a side note, yes, you do have to pay taxes, as in any other job.
And that’s it. Just five things. As I write these, I realize that knowing them is not the same as keeping them in mind, which I know I need to work harder at. A New Year’s resolution, then.

May the New Year bring lots of good things to you and yours! 

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A Publication Date and New Editions

A couple of weeks ago, I learned a bit about how an audio book gets made—the audio version of Regarding Ducks and Universes is being recorded by the lovely people at BrillianceAudio, with the talented Alexander Cendese narrating. Mainly I learned that there wasn’t much for me as the author to do, as my contribution consisted of supplying preferred pronunciations of names (Mrs. Noor, to rhyme with “sure”) and of words unique to the novel (macar tree, ma-CAR; yabput, YAAB-poot), all of which took about fifteen minutes. I’m very much looking forward to “hearing” the story — the audio book is available for pre-order and will be released on November 6, 2012.

Another bit of exciting news is that a German translation of Regarding Ducks is in the works, through Amazon Crossing (as translated by Peter Friedrich, author and translator). I don’t have many details yet, only the thought that being a translator is probably hard enough without having to deal with finding German language counterparts for made-up terms such as A-dweller, B-dweller, and yabput. (I speak from experience, being bilingual and needing occasionally to translate a phrase in one direction or the other for a family member. There is an art to it. I tend to flounder and say, “uh,” a lot.) But Peter sent me a nice note saying he had fun translating the book, so perhaps it’s all in a day’s work when you do it for a living….

Finally, the publication date for the novel I’ve been working on for the past year, The Far-Time Incident, has been set—March 26, 2013, which would seem like a long time away, except that I know there’s a lot to get done before the big day. This month the final edits are going in with the help of my editor extraordinaire, Angela Polidoro, after which there’ll be cover choices to make, the polishing of the back blurb, the proofreading of the ARC… All great fun.

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A duck. And a birthday hat.

Yes, it’s a duck with a birthday hat. (And also definitive proof of why I’d make a really lousy graphic designer. For one, I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of the outer square that delineates photo edge — I thought, being white on white, everything would blend nicely. Second, I cut-and-pasted the duck from my ARC cover. Need I say more?)

Anyway, the duck with the birthday hat is here because it’s been a year since my debut novel came out. Thank you to everyone who bought the print or Kindle version of Regarding Ducks and Universes in the past year, or borrowed it from a library, or left a review, or sent me a kind note, or left a comment saying you enjoyed reading it. You guys are great!

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the next book — for now all I can say is that there are things in the works. That’s all I can say mostly because that’s all I know for now. Stay tuned. More to come.

Cheers,
Neve