Words and pictures

Since today is my birthday and since there’s less than one month until The Caledonian Gambit1 hits stores, it seems like a great time for a few quick updates—including a special present, oooooh.

How to help

A lot of folks have asked me what the best way is to support me and the book. That’s incredibly generous, and I really appreciate it. The short answer is: pre-order the book. My understanding is that pre-orders count as Week 1 sales, and that Week 1 sales are instrumental in determining the success of a book—and in helping ensure the existence of future books.2

Some people ask if one format (ebook vs. paperback) or one vendor (iBooks vs. Amazon, say) is better than another, to which I’d say: whichever you prefer. Seriously, it’s all up to you. Buy the copy that you’ll get the most out of.3

For those of you who’d prefer not to buy online, I totally dig it. I’m not sure yet how broad the paperback distribution will be, but if you want to support your local independent bookstore—and who doesn’t?—you can always ask them to order The Caledonian Gambit for you. They’ll do it! Honest!

Beyond that, if you still want to help, tell other people about the book. Twitter, Facebook, carrier pigeon, “real life”, et cetera.

And, hey, if you really want to go above and beyond, you can ask your local library to order a copy as well. You can certainly ask a librarian about the best way to do that4, but a lot of libraries now have pages on their websites for just such a purpose. For example, here’s the one for my local library in Somerville.

A thousand words

Hey, it’s my birthday! So I decided to get myself a little present—and fortunately, it’s a present that I can share with all of you.

So, The Caledonian Gambit is set against the backdrop of a Galactic Cold War. On one side, the Commonwealth of Independent Systems, a confederation of worlds that have allied for the purposes of self-defense. Arrayed against them, the Illyrican Empire, a former colony of Earth’s long thought lost, but which returned with conquest on its mind.

To me, those conjure specific images built up over the long period I’ve spent working on this book, but I realize that for most people, they don’t carry that kind of weight—you haven’t been living with this world in your head for over a decade. So I wanted to come up with some concrete imagery that I could share with all of you.

Here’s the thing: words I can totally handle. But, as we’ve previously established, art is not my strong suit. So I got in touch with the mysterious Forgotten Towel, who you may know from such podcast logos as Liftoff, Lazy Doctor Who, and Relay FM (not to mention other fantastic designs like the PCalc icon), and I pitched him on an idea: creating the emblems for the Commonwealth and the Imperium.

Let’s just say he succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. I’m so psyched to share what he came up with. So let’s do this:

Commonwealth of Independent Systems

Illyrican Empire

Pretty cool, right? Let’s just sit with those for a second. Really take ’em in. Bask in them. Gorgeous. I’m beyond thrilled with them, and, hey, if you need design work done, I cannot recommend Forgotten Towel enough.

Anyway, I’ve got some exciting plans for these, which I’ll dish on a little closer to the book release.

Mail call

Finally, you might be wondering about the best way to keep up with me. You can always subscribe to this site, of course, and I’m still over on Twitter (though I understand that a lot gets lost in the shuffle over there these days). So I’ve set up a very low-volume mailing list to keep people apprised of updates like when the book gets released, my appearances, and other salient details. I’m going to say “low-volume” again just because I know I hate getting spammy emails, and that isn’t my intent here at all.

I’m also plotting some exclusive things to share with people who sign up for the mailing list, but I haven’t quite worked out all the details yet. (If there are specific things that would encourage you to sign up, let me know! I’m open to suggestions.)

Signing up is easy: there’s a form on the front page of the site, and hey, let’s drop one in right here to make it even easier.

The form you have selected does not exist.

Thanks again for all of your support. I quite literally could not do it without you. Now, let’s buckle down: Just three and a half weeks to go.

  1. You’ve put your pre-order in, right?

  2. I’d like to keep writing more books for you, so the better the sales, the more likely that is to happen!

  3. And, if you want to buy multiple formats, well, I am not going to stop you.

  4. Because librarians are awesome.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.