STANDING IN THE STORM, The Many Worlds of William Alan Webb

We Sleep At Night Because America's Armed Forces, Police and Fire Fighters Never Do

Announcement: Be my advisor

 

I need help.

To be more precise, I need your help.

If you’ve ever wanted to be part of the publishing process, now’s your chance. See, I need folks whose advice I can trust to give me feedback, honest feedback that tells me what is good and bad in my work. The only requirements are that you love to read, you promise to be honest, and to leave a review when a work is published.

In return I’ll keep you up to date on the inner happenings of my writing business, (things such as how many books I sold last month, which many might find of interest. Or which writers/agents/editors I had a chance to chat with recently, and their input on the business).

You also might get a freebie from time to time. For example, your name in an upcoming book. Or a signed copy of a recent work.

To help me, please do two things: first, subscribe to the site and second, leave me a comment with your name and email address.

Thanks in advance!

 

Bill

 

My voice audition for Standing The Final Watch

 

Hey folks, I’ve had requests for audiobooks and I’m starting the process. I may do it myself, or I may not. The following sample is to get a general impression of how it sounds. This is just a first test and the acoustic aren’t great, nor have I practiced much.

Before I open it up to producers, and thereby lose some control of the finished product, I’d like to at least try my hand at it.

World War 2 book

 

I thought some of you might like to read something I just wrote five minutes before making this blog entry. What you might find interesting is that the two paragraphs below took maybe three minutes to actually write, but represent about 45 or 50 minutes worth of research. Not only that, but I had to buy the book I used for the research, since it’s not something you can find on Kindle or in the library.

The cheapest copy currently on Amazon is $195. I bought it from the publisher years ago for, I think, about $75. My personal library for producing this book exceeds 300 volumes of all kinds.

Near the southern end of the Vienna Woods at Heiligenkreuz, the storied 1st Panzer Division re-grouped and counted its losses. The town had long been an island of solace close to Vienna, with a backdrop of firs and pines to ease the pressures of the capital. The ancient Cistercian Abbey in the town had been continuously occupied since the Twelfth Century and was not abandoned even as war approached its gates.

Typical of the time, 1st Panzer was assigned to whatever corps headquarters made sense at the moment. At the beginning of April that was IV SS Panzer Corps. A strength return on the 1st indicated how devastating the material losses had been during the retreat across Hungary. Total manpower (ration strength) remained high at 11,473 men. But the equipment ready for combat tells the true story. 3 Mark IV panzers were on hand, but none were operational. A whopping 39 Mark V Panthers remained on the rolls but just a single tank could fight. The SPW numbers were about sixty percent of authorized numbers. The division’s heavy flak regiment was reorganizing at Bratislava, where the flood of war washed it away.[i]

[i] Nevenkin, pp 85

3 at once

 

Not that.

Books.

Today I’ve written parts of three different books. I didn’t plan it this way, it’s just how my mind works. Or doesn’t work.

Inspired by suggestions from my street team and in brain-storming with the world’s best publisher, Gunnar Grey, the plot points for Book 3 of The Last Brigade are really coming together. As the series goes on the stories become bigger, because the 7th Cavalry’s influence spreads and they encounter new friends, and new enemies. I keep getting ahead of myself writing it because I’m so excited by where it’s going. October 1 is the target date for release.

Meanwhile, the fantasy stories are coming along nicely. The publisher has a semi-edited version of Two Moons Waning, the first of the four novellas I’m working on. Today I worked more on The Queen of Death and Darkness, the second one. It’s 95% written, I’m just doing some back fill and minor editing. A Night at the Quay is about 98% finished, with one minor scene change to write. The last one, The Demon in the Jewel, is about 20% done.

And the third book is my WW2 history of the Battle for Austria in 1945. Still without a final title, I’ve cranked it back up in a big way and made a lot of progress. Now I’ve got to write a synopsis, which I dread.

So that’s a fast update for now. As always, if you have any questions just ask me!

Bill

Open writing call

 

If you’ve read the first two books in The Last Brigade series, especially if you’ve also read the shorter book The Ghost of Voodoo Village, I really want to hear from you!

What do you want to see in Book Three and beyond? What did you like best and least in the first 2 1/2 books? Who are your favorite characters, and do you want to see more from them?

I’ve done the basic plotting for the future adventures of the 7th Cavalry, and book three is 26k words long already, but I’m trying to do things differently from most writers. I want this series to be as interactive as possible, but for that to work I need YOUR input.

The best way to do this is to comment on this post. And watch for my next request, because I’m going to suggest some titles and get your thoughts on what you like best.

Thanks for being part of the creative effort!

 

Bill

ZERO TO HERO: 8 Months from First Draft to Top Seller

 

I’m thrilled to have published the first part of my story about writing Standing The Final Watch. I hope readers find it interesting and writers maybe find something helpful to their careers.

Purchase it here: https://smile.amazon.com/Zero-Hero-Months-First-Seller-ebook/dp/B071DWNFV9/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=28W0W0JAQ82WDM99S6HN

Zero to Hero: My 8 Months From First Draft To Top Seller

 

I’ve just completed the first draft of a short new book, Zero to Hero: My 8 Months from First Draft to Top Seller.

When my first book launched last August 17, Standing The Final Watch, a number of long-term friends wanted to know how I came to write a book so fast.

Fast?

To me, writing both Standing The Final Watch and Standing In The Storm back-to-back seemed to have taken years, whereas it really only took thirteen months. Now, for some writers that is agonizingly slow. But I hadn’t written any fiction in thirty years, much less two novels, and compared to my usual output it was a whirlwind.

Anyway, I tried to explain what all I did but it just never seemed clear, even to me. What exactly had I done? Then I focused on the final eight months leading up to publication and it was all a blur.

So for those interested I created a timeline, did my research and wrote an account of what I did and when, all leading up to publication day. I also want non-writers to get some taste of what it’s like to be a fiction writer in today’s saturated, hyper-fast market.

Challenging would be an understatement.

I’m hoping to finalize it and get it published within the next two weeks.

The Booksellers at Laurelwood – Update on event

 

I’m copying this in full from Emmett Miskell, who is leading the charge to try and save The Booksellers. Please share!

Feb 3, 2017 — GoFundMe link: https://www.gofundme.com/booksellerspetition

Good morning everyone, in case you haven’t heard yet, we are having a love campaign for Booksellers on WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15. It’s called “Show Your Love for Booksellers” and I’m planning on making this a massive 24-hour campaign in support of Booksellers. Look at yesterday’s update if you want to see exactly what we’ve laid out for this event. For the next several days, I will be elaborating on the numerous aspects of the event to give you a better idea of how the love campaign will play out and today I’d like to share with you the most time sensitive one: fundraising.

So far, we’ve raised $100 out of our $1200 goal. What will the money we raise be used for? Well here are the things we are raising money via donations for:
-Upgrading and expanding the current Booksellers Petition website: https://emsfilm.wixsite.com/booksellerspetition) and moving it to a new domain.
-Fund a social media ad campaign to encourage people to participate in the February 15th “Show Your Love for Booksellers” event online.
-Pay for all the paper/ink and other such supplies necessary to spread the word about the February 15th event.

Fundraising is an extremely important aspect of making this a successful campaign. Maybe you can’t donate more than a few dollars and that’s perfectly fine…every dollar counts. Every dollar we raise is just that many more people we can reach and encourage to participate on February 15th. If you don’t want to donate online, you can send your donations to Emmett Miskell, 5217 Park Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38119. Here’s the link: https://www.gofundme.com/booksellerspetition

I’d additionally like to strongly encourage you to share this GoFundMe with your friends and on social media and help us get to $1200! I’m currently working on setting up our new website, working with our local leaders to garner support for the February 15th event, and working to save Booksellers.

Don’t forget you can contact me at savebooksellers@gmail.com.

Upcoming at Booksellers
-Liquidation Sale: 40% of all products & Buy 2 Get 1 free on all children’s books
-No other upcoming events right now (other than the February 15th event of course), but visiting the Bookseller’s staff is always an enjoyable experience 🙂

Don’t forget to save the date: February 15th and remember #MemphisGetsLit,
Emmett Miskell

Self, Indie or Big 5 – Book publishing by the numbers

 

It’s the big question for writers, right? Once you’ve finished writing your book in your own blood, what then? In today’s publishing world there are more answers than ever, but which is right for you?

Traditional Big 5 publishers give an advance against royalties to first time novelists averaging $10,000 (the range can be $4k to $15k, but those are simply estimates). Think of this as an interest free loan from the publisher to the author. Every time a book sells, a royalty is earned. If the writer has an agent, part of any money they earn goes to the agent, usually 15%. So $10,000 is actually a net $8500 to the writer.

With me so far?

Best guesses for how many writers fail to pay back their advance range from 70% to 85%, but that includes advances below $10k. If we use $10k as the baseline, the best calculation I’ve seen indicates only 6% of Big 5 authors earn more than $10k in a given year.

Some authors earn millions, it’s true, but 94% are believed to earn less than $10k per year.

Indie and self-published authors get no advance. Every expense comes out of their pocket. All marketing is done by them, all editing, covers, illustrations, layout, etc., is either done and paid for by the author, or the indie press that signs them. Regardless, if the author is serious about selling a lot of books, they will probably spend more time marketing their work than writing new ones.

So why choose the latter route? Because 11% of indie and self-published authors make in excess of $10k per year, nearly double the rate of Big 5 authors.

Writing is a business. View your publishing options like the business person you must be.

Save The Booksellers Valentine’s Day event

 

A major event is being planned for The Booksellers at Laurelwood for February 14th, involving as many local authors as possible. Times and details aren’t available yet, but keep reading this blog for details.

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