The Amazon pre-release sale is set to end April 12th. Based on activity on the pre-release page, (both pre-release sales and the number of people who simply browse the page) Amazon will estimate how many copies it will sell in what parts of the country and place orders for its warehouses both in the US and abroad! Once it has the physical copies in its warehouses, Amazon will end the pre-sale, and begin shipping books to those who pre-ordered and the book will show as "available" instead of as for "pre-sale" on Amazon's site.
If you haven't purchased your copy yet, now is the time! Pre-release sales are a big factor in how many copies Amazon stocks, so thanks to all who purchase one! Amazon link here!
I've gotten 4 reviews so far from readers of the Kindle version of The Quantum Contingent. All 5 stars! Your reviews help sell books, so if you are so inclined, I'd appreciate you taking the time to do a review. Special thanks to those who already did!
For those of you that prefer to listen to books instead of read them, never fear, the audio book is coming! I'm working on the Audible version with my narrator, Stephen Carter, entrepreneur extraordinaire, and founder of The Seed Tree Group. Read about Stephen and his recent book on his Amazon Author page. Stephen has recorded the first 38 chapters already. I'll let you know when the audible version of The Quantum Contingent launches!
Remember, The Quantum Contingent makes a great gift!
Enjoy your day! Talk soon,
One of the fun things about writing a book is that you can hide “Easter eggs” in the story. Some are personal that only close friends will recognize, others are there for anyone to find. One good place to find hidden meaning is in character names. One of the characters in The Quantum Contingent is Dean Dalek. The name Dalek is derived from a character from Dr. Who. Similarly, the names Jack and Sarah are tied to some famous characters. Jack is tied to Jack Bauer and Jack Reacher. Sarah is tied to the outstanding spy, Sarah Walker, from the TV Show, Chuck. In The Quantum Contingent, the character known as the Lion has the last name Clayton, the same as John Clayton II, or Tarzan. In the Disney movie version, Clayton is a villain, Tarzan’s biological younger cousin. Tasha, the president’s daughter is the namesake of Tasha Yar from Star Trek, The Next Generation. Star Trek is just one of the many popular culture references in the book. Of course, Martin Austin is a reference to the Aston Martin, James Bond’s preferred ride. Did you notice any other good character name connections? (Just a warning, many are just “names”… and don’t have a backstory!)
As you know, each chapter from The Quantum Contingent has an associated song. The songs provide another opportunity for hidden connections in the book. There is a line from the song Starship in it’s corresponding chapter. The diner in Castle on the Hill’s chapter is named none other than Castle on the Hill. Have fun finding the song to chapter connections.
One of the other popular culture references hidden in the book is LOST. The JJ Abrams hit TV Show. If you are a LOST fan, you’ll find the numbers, Hugo’s van, and even a fitting character name. (There is a Marvel reference in the character names as well.)
The drone ship that SpaceX uses in the book is called “Flexible Demeanor.” This is because the real drone ships that SpaceX uses are named after spaceships in the legendary Sci-Fi author Iain M. Banks books. I selected another spaceship from his novels for the name of the SpaceX drone ship in the The Quantum Contingent to keep up the tradition.
Some of the home descriptions are based on my own home. For example, the photos at the chapter headings of Sarah’s Smile and The Capture are described as hanging in Sarah and Desmond’s home. I have them hanging in the foyer of my home. (And they are shown below)
If you need a good novel for some spring break reading, Try The Quantum Contingent!.
The cover of The Quantum Contingent is filled with imagery tied to the book. Much of it won't have meaning until you read the book. In this post, I'll highlight many of the images while avoiding spoilers.
First, the cross like structure at the bottom of the cover. As it says on the back of the cover, this is the rock church of St. George in Lalibela, Ethiopia. A key location in The Quantum Contingent.
Next, look up toward the top of the cover. This is the bottom of a rocket ship. The flame coming out of the rocket ship is in the form of a quotation mark. This symbolizes that it is a literary work.
The prominent circle is the moon, representing space. What is that circle in front of the moon? Why does this look like an eye? What else does is resemble to you?
Sunsets and water play significant roles throughout the book. Hence the clear water and sunsets placed behind the words Quantum Contingent. However, not all of those rays are sunshine... could the ray going to the edge of the book represent another rocket? Oh, and the top rocket fins bring images of a crown overtop of that thing that looks like an eye.
Finally, note how the imagery fits inside the form factor of a smartphone... there is even a notch at the bottom, like your smartphone.
So the point of this blog is simply to make sure you take a closer look at the cover after you read the book. There are many messages in the cover!
I want to thank my son, Jason, for masterfully designing the cover!
Talk again soon!
In August of 2021, the National Security Agency released a document stating the following:
“The impact of adversarial use of a quantum computer could be devastating to NSS and our Nation…”
In 2028, that day has arrived. A mysterious group known as The Quantum Contingent has achieved true quantum computing capabilities. The Quantum Contingent have their sights set on achieving immortality for a select few that will chart humanity’s destiny. They are willing to hold the world’s governments hostage to achieve their goal.
Jack and Sarah, sibling spies, race across the globe at a frenetic pace to stop this nefarious group and their anonymous founder. Jack and Sarah are part of Quotient, a mysterious, independent, spy agency whose secret advantage is also quantum based.
Click the book baby link above to purchase the book. ebook available everywhere. Paperback available on bookbaby now. Paperback pre-orders are available at Amazon, Joseph-Beth, and Barnes&Noble. The pre-order period is until April 12th.
I’m happy to say that The Quantum Contingent ebook is available! click here to buy The paperback will be for sale at the same link in about one week. If you purchase the ebook at bookbaby, you can download an EPUB file for Apple iBooks or other e-readers, a .MOBI file for kindle or a PDF file. (Or all three) If you prefer, you can follow the link from the bookbaby page to purchase a kindle edition directly from Amazon and have it automatically loaded onto your device.
This is the ebook pre-release. The paperback will be for sale at the same link in approximately one week. I’ll let you know when the paperback is available. After reading the book, if you would like to review the book on Amazon, it would be best to purchase the ebook from Amazon so that you are a verified purchaser. You can also put reviews of the book on bookbaby or on goodreads if you’d like! (I’d appreciate the support!)
For those aspiring authors out there, I thought I’d share a little bit about the last mile of the journey. There are several things you need to do to get your book over the finish line. (For everyone else, what are you waiting for, go get that book and let me know what you think!)
First, you need an ISBN number and a barcode of the number for your cover. This is easily acquired through Bowker.com in the US. They’ll sell you an ISBN and the associated barcode. You need to provide lots of basic information about your book to get it registered, but it’s all things you should know. You may need to complete this registration after you purchase the code. For example, you upload your cover when you register the ISBN number. I needed the ISBN to complete the cover. So, I acquired the ISBN, began registration, and then came back and finished registration after my cover was completed. If you are publishing in multiple formats, like ebook and paperback, each format will need its own distinct ISBN number.
In my case, I acquired my ebook ISBN from my publisher. Since I needed to submit all of my files before I received the ebook ISBN, it means I needed to resubmit the ebook files with the updated ISBN number after I got the ebook ISBN from them. So, you sometimes feel like you are going in circles. Not a big deal, but just a note to remember this detail.
I’m using bookbaby.com to handle the distribution and printing of my book, so they are my publisher of record. One of the advantages of bookbaby is that they will provide additional services ala carte. So, if you don’t want to do the interior formatting of your book or buy the ISBN from Bowker, you can have bookbaby do it all. They can convert your word document into ebook format and insert the ISBN numbers in for you. So, I could have made this process easier for myself if I had them do all of the formatting and conversion for me, but I wanted to have full control over the formatting. This also gave me a chance to better understand what is involved in the formatting process. (As it turns out, it is more involved than one would think!) I used Vellum for formatting my manuscript. It made the formatting and ebook generation easy. Doing the formatting myself before going to bookbaby also accelerated the bookbaby portion of the process since everything had been proofed in its final form before submission. I didn't need to go back and forth with bookbaby on formatting changes. Bookbaby also provides a great storefront so you can start selling your book right away. (more on that under the sales section)
Another key component to finishing your book is your cover. This means artwork and a well written back cover. I already did a blog on the text for the back cover, and I’ll do a dedicated blog entry on my cover art after the book is fully launched. The cover art has some good Easter eggs incorporated into the artwork, Remember, the cover is a key component in the marketing of your book since most of your readers will see the cover on their screen before they click buy or read a single word inside. I am fortunate to have a son with a flair for graphic design, so I used his services for designing the cover.
The paperback/ebook editions will be available first at store.bookbaby.com since they are my distributor. So, if you are anxious to get a hardcopy, this is the best place to purchase the book. (When available in approximately 1 week)
If you want to purchase the paperback from Amazon, you’ll need to wait for the paperback to show up on Amazon (approximately 3 weeks). You will then be able to “pre-order” the paperback from Amazon. Amazon does a pre-sale for a minimum of 60 days to gauge interest so they can stock the right number of copies in their warehouses. If you are not in the US and want a paperback, you’ll probably be better off ordering from your country specific Amazon site to avoid international shipping charges from bookbaby. (or purchase and download the ebook.) The book will also be available for order at places like Powell’s and Barnes and Noble. You’d need to ask them to order a copy, since they won’t have one on the shelf in a brick and mortar chain bookstore.
I've started the audible book creation process. I hired a narrator, and have setup my account on ACX. Once my narrator is done narrating, I'll upload the audio files and link everything together so that people can get the audible version of the book. I've had multiple people ask about an audible version, so the good news is: it is on the way.
Reviews (this is where I could use your help!)
If you read the book and want to leave a review on Amazon, you’d need to at least purchase the kindle version on Amazon so that you can be a verified purchaser of the book. Of course, reviews are greatly appreciated since they weigh heavily into how the book is advertised to people looking for books on Amazon. Which leads to the last item...
The last step is marketing. If you want to get your book noticed, you’need to do some marketing. I’ll be using bookbaby for some advertising services as well as leveraging social media to get the word out about The Quantum Contingent. I will expand my marketing effort after the pre-sale starts on amazon. I'll report back on how that works in a later blog post.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. Stay tuned for blogs on the cover, future marketing efforts, and of course, the additional full paperback launch details!
Ok, it's time for pencil's down. I think the manuscript for The Quantum Contingent is now a wrap. Time to focus on getting the cover and then getting it published! Here are some random stats for those who like to hear the numbers. My biggest day of writing was 5284 words. My smallest was a net of -169. Yes, you can have negative writing days. My biggest month was last March with 37,179 words. Not surprising, since that was the first month of my retirement. So, looking back since I first started, it was 228 days of writing, for an average of 469 words per day. A total of 106,932 words written. Only about 80,000 of them made it into the final copy. These statistics average in some very low number days here towards the end.
Interior formatting is also complete. Photos for each chapter header, nicely divided sections, drop capitals to start each chapter, etc. It was much easier than formatting my master's thesis using LaTeX.
I attended a webinar on cover design this week. This is a critical component of any book, and I hope to see some draft work by Monday from my cover designer!
I've posted the opening and closing chapter photos below.
Thanks for your patience. I hope you'll enjoy it. I'll let you know when it's available!
Two new chapters and some more changes as I re-write / re-structure the ending based on the final developmental editing feedback. I've now got the final draft and am doing one last final proof. For the budding authors out there, that are interested in details, I've generated a PDF version for printing, and three different ePub files for ebooks. One specifically for Kindle, one for Apple Books, and one generic ePub for all other ebook publishers. The Apple Books ePub uses higher resolution photos than the generic file. Amazon uses a slightly older version of ePub, so my formatting program, Vellum, knows to generate an ePub that is optimized for specifically for Kindle. Thanks to Vellum, generating those different formats was as easy as clicking the generate button.
And for those of you that like the playlist, that means one of the songs that was cut earlier is back and a new song... Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran has been added. I've changed some chapter ordering as well, so you may notice the playlist song order is slightly different as well.
So, the pebble is polished. Time to dry it off and put a cover on it. Look for the order button on this website before the end of January!
For those of you who like numbers, the final stats are: 77,948 words in the text of the novel. 80,242 total words in the book. This includes things like the acknowledgements and the Spotify Playlist. There is 1 five-word alliteration and 12 four-word alliterations. The expected reading time is 5 hours and 19 minutes. In case you were wondering, the word quantum appears 241 times in The Quantum Contingent.
I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.
Sometimes I feel like a small babbling brook, just polishing the same pebble, over and over... Editing my stream of consciousness to make the pebble smoother and more pleasant to the touch. In this case, the pebble is The Quantum Contingent. Recently, I've done some heavier polishing. Thanks to some fabulous input from my editor, Bridget, I cut one chapter, consolidated a couple of others, rearranged a few more, and can now see a path to a finished product. I'm reading it again and doing some more final 'fine' polishing. For example, did you know you capitalize names of wines named after regions, but not those names after grapes? Hence it's Chianti with a capital C and merlot with a lowercase m. Yes, I'm trying to make sure I get these details correct too!
I also updated a song on the playlist. (based on an edit I did to the chapter) Therefore, Tears for Fears, Everybody Wants to Rule the World has been replaced by Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran. (and yes, the title of the song appears in the chapter) I like Ed's music a lot, so it was a pleasant change for me. Apologies to the Tears for Fears fans. Of course, the aforementioned chapter cut and consolidation resulted in the loss of a couple of other songs on the playlist. The book is now a nice round 50 chapters.
I've also been refining the photos that will head each chapter and refining the interior formatting with Vellum.
The Quantum Contingent will be out in early 2022, initially in paperback and ebook format, with an audiobook to follow. The voice talent is lined up. I just need to finish polishing this pebble. I'm seeing another pebble in this brook I'd like to work on.... but I need to finish this one first.
Happy December. Till next time!
The Photo below was taken @ Simpson Creek, in Landen Ohio.
I had the joy of attending my niece's wedding in Washington, DC last weekend. We went for a couple of extra days and made a road trip of it. This gave me a chance to do some refinement of one of my Washington, DC chapters in The Quantum Contingent. There is a scene near the Watergate steps that I needed to understand the street layout to properly convey the story. So, research done... chapter edited. I am trying to portray all the locations with as much realism as possible! Of course, since it's a spy novel, I also visited the Spy Museum while I was there. Research for a good novel never ends!
The other thing I've been curating for the novel is a set of photos. Each chapter will now have a heading image like this:
In print, they will be black and white, in the eBook, if you read it on a color device, it will be in color. Of course, all the photos will be on the website as well. I've been beta testing Vellum 3.0 for formatting. Vellum is worth checking out if you are going to format a book! https://vellum.pub
The Quantum Contingent will be available on or before March 1st, 2021, I'll let you know when it's available for purchase!
Have a great day,
Guess what. You need to format the interior of your book too. A great cover is important to capture the reader and convince them to buy the book, but interior formatting is an art as well. Being a technology guy, I decided to purchase a program for the interior formatting work. I am using Vellum. Vellum makes the chore of formatting the interior of your book dramatically easier. Here are some examples of the things you think about when formatting. First, the opening sentence of the chapter. A drop quote is nice... Do you want it to be cursive, or block? Also, the first paragraph is usually not indented, where following paragraphs are...
Here's another example. Note how the first couple of words in a new scene are a slightly different font. Also, let's not forget the artistic mark between scenes. I'll want to do something fun with that.
You get an appreciation for the attention to detail it takes to typeset a book. Fortunately for me, computers have made that much easier. Vellum allows me to adjust many different interior formatting elements easily and consistently across the entire manuscript (which is now over 300 pages). Here's another simple example, block quotes. This quote is from my foreword.
So, there you have it. I'm doing interior formatting, getting a cover designed, and doing final edits. (I really need to wait until the final edits are done until I complete the formatting, but I've got my arms around what is required so that I can do it quickly when the time comes!)
For more on Vellum, see www.vellum.pub
Till next time,
Greg's blog will cover some of the things he learned as well as some of the tech and locations he used in his new novel, The Quantum Contingent.