Tag Archives: Laira

And in the end 2013 was a pretty good year

Another year is behind us and in hindsight I have to say that it was a good one.

  • I published six books (one revision, three translations and two new ones).
  • I began work on three new ones (one of those is being revised, while the other two are in the rough draft stage, though they seem to be coming along nicely).
  • I read 126 books.
  • I did my best not to forget three languages.
  • I allowed my curiosity to get the best of me at times.
  • and best of all, I adopted a dog (or maybe I should say he adopted me)

No, it was not the year in which I found commercial success (in fact that was one of the things I didn’t even try for), but in the end that doesn’t matter.


Do you have a favorite?

One question a few people have asked me is which one of my books is my favorite. That’s a tricky one , but my answer is mostly that while I try not to play favorites, that doesn’t mean I can’t give you a hint of where to start if you want to pick one of my books. To begin with let’s get Scales at a Glance out of the way. If you are interested in music theory then that’s the best bet. If, like most people, that is one subject you could hardly care less for, well, then you will probably want to avoid it.

Soulless was my first attempt at writing a full length novel, and I still think the concept is well worth it. At the same time there is no denying that it has a few of those kinks that are commonly associated with first novels(though I did fully revise it, so hopefully it’s not that bad any more).

Citlalli has its own set of issues. To begin with there is the fact that it is something of a work in progress, not to mention that it is long (something like 800 pages and counting, to be accurate), a fact that makes tackling it a prospect that may seem a little too daunting a starting point for those who don’t know me. It is a project I hold very dear, one I have been working on and off on for a very long time, but at the same time it is one I’m not sure anyone else is ever really going to care for. I would love for people to read it and enjoy it, but it may be too much of a commitment for someone approaching my books blind.

Finally there is Laira, I’m not sure I would describe it as my favorite, or my best, work but I do realize that it is by far the most accessible one of the lot. It is a straight-forward, science fiction novella that, if nothing else, can be read in a couple of hours.

So while I don’t really have a favorite, there is one book I can recommend as a starting point (unless you have a deep aversion to science fiction, that is)… make that two if you care for music theory.

The books are coming!

They are almost here! I know I’ve been talking about this since what feels like forever, but if everything goes according to plan Citlalli and the Shards of Light, Scales at a Glance, and the Spanish language versions of both Scales at a Glance and Laira will be released on May 23.

Oh, and did I mention that I’m already hard at work in two or three projects that will hopefully be released next year? (and here I had thought that once this batch was done I’d be able to sleep for a month!)

CreateSpace, an update

Almost a year ago, as I was getting ready to release Soulless, Laira, and Citlalli on the Edge of the Wind, I wrote a post in which I tried to explain my decision to switch from Vitrual Bookworm to CreateSpace.  I admit that at the time I was somewhat worried about how that one was going to turn out. Now, as I prepare to release the next batch of titles, I am happy to say that for the most part my experience with CreateSpace has been a positive one.

Yes, I still feel that if you don’t know what you are getting into, have never had anything to do with the publishing business before, and you want to have the comfort of knowing that there is someone in charge you can talk to, who will listen to your concerns, know your name, take care of the details, and who will actually be in a position to help you out if you run into trouble,  you may well be better off with a well-established, small to mid sized publisher that charges a reasonable fee, even if the they can’t match what CreateSpace  has to offer in terms of royalties. Of course, the key words in that statement are ‘well-established’ and ‘reasonable fee’ because this is one field in which there are way too many scam artists. In fact I would go so far as to say that this is one instance in which the belief that ‘you get what you pay for’ will probably come back to bite you. Remember that if your setup fee is more than five hundred times your royalties per copy sold via external channels chances are seriously against you ever breaking even.

Anyway, and getting back to the subject of CreateSpace,  I have to say that, in addition to the fact that you don’t get as much support as you would with a (good) smaller outfit,  I also remain convinced that the issues with CreateSpace‘s TOS (namely the fact that they reserve the right to make any changes they see fit) are a problem. In spite of that, at least for experienced authors who can supply their own cover and their own interior layout (and who are not above playing a round or two of contractual Russian roulette), they offer what is by far the best deal out there. They provide a very efficient service, and a finished product that has a reasonable quality (thought there may be some minor issues with curling covers under certain condition, and with the printing of interior images).  I can also say that, for the most part, the system works as advertised.

BTW, while I mentioned above that a personalized customer support is one of the big advantages of a more traditional publisher, that doesn’t mean that you have no recourse when dealing with CreateSpace. Their customer support is pretty reliable (for the most part), and they will (usually) do their best to help you if you run into trouble, so you are not entirely on your own. It’s just that you don’t have a specific contact you can address your concerns to, and that precisely because they have a such a large staff, you never know what you are going to get.

And finally, in the comparison I gave CreateSpace three stars out of four, but that was based on how they compared to other the other publishers, and it did include their layout and cover design packages, which may have distorted things a bit. If I were to evaluate CreateSpace based only the company’s own merits, without the design extras, and using a one to five scale, I would probably give it four stars for experienced authors, and three for newbies who are at least somewhat familiar with the basics of the publishing business.

The covers are here!

As you can probably tell, I’m finally done with the covers!

When things don’t turn out as you had hoped they would

Six months after my books went live in amazon I can honestly say that they haven’t sold well. Seeing how I am a writer, not a publicist, this is not entirely unexpected and I had originally thought I would let this particular milestone slip by unnoticed. That would have been the logical thing to do (we tend to celebrate our successes, not our failures), but the thing is that the fact that my books haven’t sold made me think about what this ‘failure’ means and to try to examine it more objectively… and then I decided that that was something that might actually be worth sharing in a world of ever-cheerful, self-promoting, self-published authors.

Continue reading When things don’t turn out as you had hoped they would

Laira (excerpt)

X or Y? Utopia or dystopia? In a world in which death has become a thing of the past the answer may well depend on X or Y (click on the image to purchase).

Title: Laira
Author: Clea Saal
Genre: Science Fiction/Novella
Format: Paperback
Page count: 118


Laira 4 was overwhelmed when the 5 was placed in her arms for the first time. She had seen babies before, of course, but the mere notion that something so tiny could actually be a human being had always amazed her. She was reassured by the presence of the others, all five of them were together, as they were meant to be. It had been almost thirteen years since they had had a 5. Granted, there would be one only for a few years, but that didn’t really matter. Continue reading Laira (excerpt)

Virtual Bookworm or CreateSpace?

For well over ten years I have been maintaining a comparison of Print On Demand (POD) publishers. In those years the number of choices has expanded, new publishers have come along, while others have gone out of business, leaving quite a few authors in the lurch in the process. Through the years my first choice has remained constant: Virtual Bookworm… and yet when the time came for me to release my latest books I decided to go a different route, why? Continue reading Virtual Bookworm or CreateSpace?