Progress Report: Pirates of the Siren’s Sea

I’ve been hard at work on the rough draft for Pirates of the Siren’s Sea. I’m projecting that the final novel will end up being around 80,000 words and right now, we’re sitting at 30,150. So we’re about a third of the way home.

There is still time for you to be a part of the adventure. The Pirates of the Siren’s Sea Kickstarter campaign is still running. Your pledge could get you a part in the book. If you’re interested in supporting the project, please take a look here: http://kck.st/1sAbU3C

Back to writing!

~MFHengst

Pirates of the Siren’s Sea Kickstarter Stretch Goals Announced

We’ve reached our funding goal, but don’t rest yet. Keep sharing the project with your friends and family, anyone who might want to show some support.

If we reach $2000 funded before the project ends, I’ll write a special Solendrea story for the backers of this Kickstarter…and you’ll get to vote on the content. Want to know more about the elves? Want to see Tiadaria battle a sea-serpent? Cast your vote and influence the direction of the story.

If we reach $2500, not only will I write the story above, but I’ll also see that everyone who backs the Kickstarter receives a Magic of Solendrea bookmark and bumper sticker, regardless of reward tier.

Thanks for supporting this project, you guys are the best!

That’s all for now.

~MFHengst

Ethics in Self-Publishing : An Indie Author’s Manifesto

I just read a very interesting post by Porter Anderson on the topic of ethics for independent authors. (Original article: http://thoughtcatalog.com/porter-anderson/2014/08/8-issues-in-author-ethics/) I think there is a great deal to be said for elevating self-publishers and independent authors to the point where our work isn’t dismissed out of hand by so many.

It is our job as independent authors to show that generalizations of poor quality and sub-standard content are just that…generalizations.

I’ve always prided myself on the way I conduct my career as an independent author. I work very hard to put out a quality product that I, myself, would be willing to pay for. As such, I’m willing to take up the gauntlet of the ethical challenge for independent authors.

This manifesto is my answer to the question of ethics and I share it openly with both my readers and my fellow authors in hope that more indies will step up and make a public declaration of their intent to stand head and shoulders above the common denominator.

My Independent Author Manifesto

I promise:

1. I will: always strive to produce and release a professional, complete, and error-free final product to my readers and listen to their feedback on any issues that should be addressed post-publication in the event that errors (as they often do) slip through the best laid plans.

2. I will: always treat my readers with the respect they deserve, regardless of whether or not they like or agree with what I write. When an independent author interacts with his or her readers in a negative way, it impacts the reputation of all.

3. I will not: resort to dishonest, underhanded, or manipulative ways of gaining an advantage over my fellow authors.

4. I will: allow my works to stand on their merits, accepting gracefully the opinions rendered by my readers and associates.

5. I will not: review other author’s works and I will strongly discourage other authors from reviewing my works, in an attempt to maintain the integrity of the review cycle. There are plenty of readers to go around. Authors shouldn’t need to review their peer’s works.

6. I will not: purchase reviews for my works, unless such a purchase is made from a legitimate, respectable, industry-standard source of reviews, such as Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, etc., wherein the reviews can be dependably counted on to be objective and assess the complete work on its merit.

7. I will: make every effort to ensure that readers I interact with know who I am, what I’ve authored, and that I am representing myself in an “official” (for lack of a better word) capacity when frequenting the same circles (social media, forums, etc.).

8. I will not: employ fake accounts, sock puppets, shill accounts, or any other deceptive means to manipulate reviews, rankings, or ratings of my works, promotions, or other endeavors.

I understand that any attempt to impose ethics onto a group is likely to be ignored by those most in need of the guidance. However, it will at least provide an outward signal to readers and our fellow authors alike that some of us take our ethical duties as professionals seriously.

~MFHengst

Removing The Swordmage Trilogy Bundle from Smashwords

TrilogyLittleI don’t suspect this is going to affect very many people, but I wanted to mention it anyway just to be thorough. I’m in the process of removing the Swordmage Trilogy bundle from Smashwords, so if you want to get a copy of it there, or at any of the retailers they distribute to, you’re going to want to go ahead and do it now.

I’ll be republishing to other retailers manually, so the bundle will eventually appear in those places, but I won’t be using Smashwords for any further distribution.

~MFHengst

Enter to Win – Signed Copy of Volinette’s Song

You can enter to win one of five signed copies I’m giving away via Goodreads. This giveaway is open to residents of the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. If you’d like to enter to win, head over to Goodreads and sign up.

~MFHengst 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Volinette's Song by Martin F. Hengst

Volinette’s Song

by Martin F. Hengst

Giveaway ends August 31, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

The First Long Terrifying Step Into The Void…

OffTheCliffThere is something about the blank white page that is both terrifying and exciting. The whole world is hidden there, waiting for my words to reveal it. All I have to do is sit down and put the words on the page that will bring my world to life for all of the people who don’t live inside my head.

I’ve never jumped off a cliff, or out of an airplane, but I imagine that there is a similar rush that we crafters of the written word get to experience when we finally spill blood, sweat, and tears onto that first blank page and watch as our world, our characters, and our ideas are formed out of nothingness.

I started the rough draft of Pirates of the Siren’s Sea yesterday and worked on it more today. The word count is slowly climbing as the characters take their place on the stage and say their lines. I haven’t gotten much done yet, but it’s a start…and starting is always exciting.

Are you looking forward to Pirates of the Siren’s Sea? Stop by the comments and tell me what, or who, you most want to see in the next installment of the Swordmage saga.

~MFHengst

The Last Swordmage – 99 cents Very Limited Time Only

SwordmageLittleBook2For a very limited time only, you can get the book that started the Magic of Solendrea series for 99 cents. If you haven’t yet read The Last Swordmage, or have family or friends who enjoy sword and sorcery fantasy, now is an excellent time to grab a good book for a great price.

The Last Swordmage – 99 cents @ Amazon

Dangerous Bonds – A Magic of Solendrea Single – Now Available

DangerousBondsSingleCoverFollow Torus and Tiadaria on a training mission that goes horribly wrong. Dangerous Bonds is an exclusive Solendrea Single that isn’t available on Amazon, or any other ebook retailer for that matter. The only way you can get your hands on this Solendrea tale is to sign up for my newsletter.

Head on over here and sign up to get your copy and start reading today: http://martinfhengst.com/newsletter-sign-up/

~MFHengst

Limited Time Only – Back to School Sale – 25% Off

BacktoSchoolSale

Load up your Kindle before you head back to school with five pulse-pounding tales of sword and sorcery. The Last Swordmage, The Darkest Hour, The Pegasus’s Lament, Volinette’s Song, and Quintessential Tales are all ON SALE NOW for 25% off. This offer won’t last forever. If you haven’t caught up on the tales of magic and adventure from the Solendrea universe, now is a great time to do so.

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