J.M. Williams

A home for all things fantasy and sci-fi.

Win a Free Copy of “The Adventures of Iric”!

Dec
03
Justin Cover small
Friends,
I am giving away 5 free copies of my ebook “The Adventures of Iric”! It’s a collection of short-short stories following the same character through his fantasy adventures in a magical city. The giveaway will run until December 17th.
Unfortunately it is only open to US residents.
If you do win a copy of the book, I would ask you to write a short review on Amazon. Every comment is a boon for new authors!
You can find the giveaway page HERE.

My First Book is Finally For Sale!

Nov
20

I just got the news from Amazon that my book is now for sale. It’s been a long road getting to this point. I hadn’t intended my first book to be a self-published one. Perhaps a bit of that was concern about the complexity of the publishing process, perhaps it was due to certain views I held–and still hold–about self-publishing. But I feel like I’ve put the effort into this book to make it stand out, whether that be the nice cover, or the hours I spent tweaking and formatting.

I definitely feel like this experience has changed me. I’ve even updated my Facebook Page to look like a more established author’s page! I feel like an author now, for sure. I am not so intimidated by the publishing process. So little anxiety do I have that I might have shot down the first positive reaction to my first manuscript, In the Valley of Magic, the book that started this whole thing, the book that 50-plus agents have passed on so far. I didn’t feel good about the contract and asked for some pretty significant changes. My demands are so severe, I am almost certain the publisher is going to deny them.

But that doesn’t scare me anymore. I know now, that if I need to, I can publish the book myself. I know how it’s done. I know where to get a good cover, and what it should look like. I know how to format the manuscript for ebooks and print. I know that, this being my primary book (and my pride and joy) that I will need pay the extra money to get on IngramSpark rather than just going through Amazon, like I did with the Iric book.

If I have to go it alone, I know I can, and that is an incredibly empowering feeling.

But I am not alone. I have worked with many great indie publishers–such as Fiction Vortex, Fantasia Divinity, Bards and Sages, Roane Publishing–that have shown real concern for my success. I am sure they would be more than willing to offer me advice.

All in all, I’m feeling pretty good. Got my first book out and two more on the way. This thing is starting to happen!

Thanks for joining me on this journey. I wish you all the same success that I have found. And if you ever have any questions or are in need of advice, don’t hesitate to look me up!

~J.M.

Pre-orders Now Open

Nov
17

The PRE-ORDER PAGE for The Adventures of Iric is now live on Amazon. I’d like to think it will be the same page for regular sales, once the release date arrives, but I’m not sure.

Justin Cover

Thanks to everyone for all the support you’ve given me over the past year here on the blog, on Facebook, and all the places I’ve been published. Finally things are starting to take shape in the way I had expected when I started on this writing adventure over a year ago.

~JM

The Adventures of Iric–Release Date Set!

Nov
17

Well, I did it. I pushed the button that handed my baby over to Amazon. The official release date is set for Monday, November 20th. But it should be available for pre-order some time soon.

Without further ado, here is the cover:

Justin Cover

That’s pretty decent, right? E. Rachael Hardcastle did a good job. I wasn’t actually trying hard or hoping for much with this collection, since it’s a first and just collection of my blog stories. But it came out very nice. I was shocked when I found the stock photo with this guy. I almost shouted to myself, “It’s Iric!” Really close to what I had in my head when I started writing him.

I struggled a lot trying to decide on the right pricing for the book. In the end, I decided to go a bit lower than what I thought was right. I’m hoping to use this book to build my brand, so I think I need to preference distribution over income. Accordingly, the book will be priced at $2.99 (US) and whatever the equivalent is in other currencies. The length is about average for a novella and seems longer than many flash collections out there.

I have put a lot of work into making this a great collection. All of the stories have been revised, some significantly. For many, this happened during the editing process when they were published across the web in a variety of magazines, ezines, and flash sites. For the rest, I revised and edited as I added each to the collection.

Though this is primarily an Iric collection, there are some bonus stories at the end, featuring my other flash fiction characters from the same setting: Sparrow and Faline.

I really hope you’ll consider picking up a copy of the book when it drops. And if you do give it a read, please give me an honest review on Amazon!

This is just the beginning. I’ve got several more projects coming up soon. Keep an eye on this blog for further news. Things are starting to get busy!

~JM

Random Updates

Oct
14

So one of my stories was just accepted for publication in Roane Publishing’s Flash Fiction Fridays. This was a story that I really liked, but I struggled to find a home for it. The story is a very broody tragedy, not my typical heroic stuff.

(Tangent: Is there a story of mine I don’t like? I always have good feelings about things I wrote, even when they are clearly not the best piece of writing, even the horrible stuff I wrote as an elementary student. Maybe it’s because they are mine and are part of me? I don’t really understand folks who hate something they wrote enough they are willing to just trash it.)

Anyways, the publisher has offered to provide a link to one commercial work, i.e. something I am currently selling. The problem is, I don’t have one! So, I need to get something out by December 1st, if I want it linked and promoted.

As you may know, I have been planning to publish the “Adventures of Iric” collection as my first Amazon ebook, though I was not rushing the project. Seems now it would be beneficial for me to have that done before this story goes live. Just like that, my priorities have shifted again. I need to get a cover made, need to withdraw any pending submissions, confirm all rights have been restored for anything that was previously published, edit the manuscript, and reformat to fit Amazon’s requirements. That’s a bit of work to do in the next month or so.

But maybe that’s not a bad thing.

~J.M.

The Adventures of Iric Collection

Sep
25

If you have followed my blog since the beginning, you will be familiar with my “Adventures of Iric” series of flash stories, many of which have been published elsewhere. This series represents a substantial amount of work on my part, and I feel it is time to do something more significant with it.

I have compiled all the stories into a single document. It’s just over 19k words now, and I’m sure it will break 20k once I add in the necessary descriptions and character development that is required of a novella-length work but was missing in the flash stories.

I plan for this work to be my first self-published book. It will take some time, though–a couple stories are still awaiting external publication, and I will need to get a cover made and do more revisions. Still, I hope to have it done and on Amazon by the end of the year.

The Iric series began as a world-building exercise for my first book In the Valley of Magic, but grew into something more. I still have not received any positive replies from agents on the book, and I am becoming convinced that the unconventional structure of the book is a deal-breaker for them. Agents are risk-averse by nature; they want something easy to sell. They are not looking to roll the dice on innovation. Thus, I may have to go the self-publishing route on that book as well, despite my resistance.

For now, I am going to focus on The Adventures of Iric, as a preview of the world of In the Valley of Magic. I also have my novella, The Nightingale, being released by Fantasia Divinity early next year. We just completed the cover and have to finish editing now. I also have my episodic fantasy series Call of the Guardian, coming out soon on Fiction Vortex. I am three 10k word episodes in to a 10-episode series, so I have a long way to go with that one. Man, I am busy, ain’t I? I think the novel can wait.

I’ve become very fond of Iric as a character, and I hope you will join me in celebration when his adventures are formally released.

~J.M.

Here’s to breaking new ground! – Check out my story now on Eternal Remedy

Mar
30
1

I just love the colors here. Great cover photo choice!

Things seem to be picking up for me. I had another story published today, this time by Eternal Remedy. This story was originally posted on my blog under the title The Adventures of Iric, Vol. 7. A unique title was added during the submission process. The story is now called “Memories of the South.”

The stuff Etre publish is a bit more introspective and moody than what I usually write, so I am very happy I found something to their liking. This is new thematic territory for me, but the group is looking to build enduring relationships with their writers, so I will have to think of a good way to blend my fantasy/SF focus with the sort of emotional narratives they want. It will surely be an interesting exercise.

I have to say, I like what Etre are doing with their site. I think theirs is one of the best examples of a minimalist setup done right. They’ve added some imagery to my story, and I think they made some good choices. It reflects the mood of the story but is also in line with the general vibe of the site. And the subtle graphics like the fading thumbnails to text and the jump-out author’s bio are pretty cool.

But that’s enough blabber from me. Go check out my story Memories of the South, and when you’re done, take a look at the other stuff on the site.