Writing Life : More Milestones

I think that most authors probably have similar milestones in their careers.

My first big milestone was when my father, who has been a voracious reader all my life, told me that the book I had written was “pretty good” and that with some effort, I could be as good as some of his favorite authors. Names like Anne McCaffrey, Issac Asimov, Tom Clancy, and others. While I don’t have the hubris to think that I’ll ever be as good as some of those names, it was enough that he thought so.

The next major milestone came when I was able to quit my day job and start writing full time. It’s been an adventure, and one with an uncertain future, but for a little over a year, I’ve been able to support my family solely from my writing income. It hasn’t been easy, and it’s required some sacrifice from everyone, but I’m (at least for now) living the dream. For as scary as it is, it has also been amazing.

Today, I added another major milestone to my life as a writer. I walked into the local library and there, on the shelf, are the first two books of my Magic of Solendrea series. I’m sharing shelf space with the likes of Frank Herbert’s Dune and the Hugo Award Winners. No matter how you look at it, that’s pretty amazing.

WP_20140927_001

All right, that’s enough self-indulgent posting on my part. Back to working on Pirates of the Siren’s Sea. I’ve got a book to release. ;)

Best Wishes,

MFHengst

Pirates of the Siren’s Sea – New Reward Tier

About 28 hours from now, the Pirates of the Siren’s Sea Kickstarter will come to a close. However, I wanted to mention that I’ve created a new tier at the $20 level that includes all the currently published Magic of Solendrea eBooks. If you’re interested in backing the project, but not familiar with my work, you can get all of my titles for the $20 backer reward.

If you’d like to contribute to the project, you can do so here: http://kck.st/1sAbU3C

~MFHengst

PirateseBookCover

The Last Swordmage – FREE on Amazon Today Only (9/24)

The Last Swordmage, the first book in the Magic of Solendrea sword & sorcery fantasy series, is available for FREE today from Amazon. The book is only free on 9/24 so snag your copy today if you’re interested.

~MFHengst

The Last Swordmage - Free 9/24 Only

The Last Swordmage – Free 9/24 Only

Cover Reveal : Pirates of the Siren’s Sea

Work has been progressing nicely on Pirates of the Siren’s Sea. It’s nice to have Tiadaria back in action. We see a number of old friends and make some new ones. Same goes for our favorite villains. ;) So without further ado, allow me to reveal the cover for the sixth installment in the Magic of Solendrea series, and book one of the Second Swordmage Trilogy.

If you want to catch up on our story so far, you can start with Tiadaria’s adventures in The Last Swordmage, available from Amazon: click here to buy.

~MFHengst

PirateseBookCover

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