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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The State of the World of Children of Sophista

Hi there,
It's been a long time since I have made a blog post and I just want to say my efforts to become a publisher, write, and illustrate books is still an active project. I have been suffering under a remodel which will give me much needed modern office space for the birthing of my book creation efforts. I've had to do a great deal of design work on this remodel and manage the day to day work on it. It has been a major source of stress since I have had to do some structural, electrical, and networking design as well as aesthetic design. As my company evolves, it's use of the space will evolve and planning for all possible eventualities is quite taxing. Working in this environment of sequential tasking and precise yet evolving timetables (I cannot control the schedule of the people doing the work) basically destroys the parallel/creative environment. I have done a good bit of writing but not nearly as much as I would have accomplished in an undistracted environment I can totally control. 

By the end of January, I will have enough money to do the first professional edit of the "Sophistan Children of Earth". This book will an enormous advance in writing depth as it will be my first book written completely in a literary fiction style (#scifi, #fantasy, #magic subcategories). What that means is that you will get to know the characters as if they are your close, personal friends. What it doesn't mean is a fast paced, plot driven book. For that style of writing, I would suggest the publisher Baen.  

I know that changing to this style of writing will not be popular with some people, especially those who want a very fast read. If you are looking for an extended experience with the characters as if you are there with them, this book will be for you. If you like seeing kids who feel they are trapped into a particular fate, seeing them contemplate, then try to bend their fate to something they like better, then you will like this book. 

When I say professional edit of this book, I don't mean an English major who has put out their shingle but someone who has had significant industry experience and will understand this writing form. For me, it is not just a cleaning up of the book, but an in-depth course in writing in this style. The editors I use are usually pretty good about getting to the heart of the matter and giving excellent advice. The net result is not just a significantly improved book, but a significantly improved author.

"The Owl from Oblivion" has had one professional edit and those changes have been incorporated into the book. I put out a limited run of that book to get feedback and see the thoughts of people who have read it. The book needs some tweaking to bring it line with the "Sophistan Children of Earth" and stylistically a little more orientation toward the #literary #fiction style. Following that, it will need two more professional edits before it can be released for general consumption. I will need to do a Kickstarter or other crowdsource funding effort to raise the money for those two edits. The real pot of gold will be if I can, in a separate campaign, raise the money to do an initial print run of the title. This book will serve as the bootstrap for the publishing company. These books are written to be as independent as possible so that either book can be read first. "The Owl from Oblivion" represents the furtherest extent of the timeline so far and the "Sophistan Children of Earth" represents the beginning of the timeline or one of the prequels to "The Owl from Oblivion". There will be several prequels which occur between the "Sophistan Children of Earth" and "The Owl from Oblivion". If you have read the first four books of my original series, those books vaguely serve as the outline for the new books. The new books contain lots more material and are not plot driven like the original books were. 

At the beginning of the year, I will get started again on my two other projects: illustrations I create myself for the books and a new website for the publishing company. I have the beginnings of the site located here:

This site is far from complete and some pages are just template pages. But there is enough there to get a little glimpse into things to come. When completed, the site will have complete information about the books, a private discussion area for people who signup on the site, and an ecommerce area for individual readers to purchase books, posters, and possibly T-shirts from the publishing company. I also plan a private site for bookstores to electronically submit payment for books they have sold. Books for the bookstores will be orderable through the standard channels.  All this will require a lot of work and in some sense, I am probably getting ahead of myself telling you these plans. To my current readers, all I can say is bear with me and give me your support, and you will receive books that are far better than my previous books and likely unlike anything you have read before. 

One last note: You may see me post stuff about #gifted kids and adults. These postings do not imply that you must be #gifted to read these books. However, metaphorically, these books do contain some situations similar to what some gifted kids (and possibly their parents) may face. These kids (and adults sometimes) have difficulties navigating through the social eddies of society and it is always nice for them to see someone they can identify with in fiction---a source of comfort if you will. From time to time, I may point out the similarities. Like any #scifi author, I may also point out some new scientific developments which allude to a possible scenario in which parts of the story/technology could be transformed from fiction into fact. And of course, there are many situations, such as #bullying which certainly have relevance to today's society.  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Anashivalia Illustration for "Sophistan Children of Earth"

Here is the Anashivalia (the fairy queen) for the back cover ‪#‎illustration‬ of the "Sophistan Children of Earth". My plans say that in the back cover illustration, 7 year old Stefan will be sitting at her feet reaching up for the wand and crying. We'll have to see how things develop. I'll probably take a break and get back to writing on the book. The book is a ‪#‎scifi‬/‪#‎fantasy‬ written in a ‪#‎literary‬ ‪#‎fiction‬ style. It will be my first attempt to write in that style. I always like big challenges. Like trying to #illustrate the characters in my books.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Launching Children of Sophista Publishing Company

Launching a new #publishing company, even if you want to just publish books you have written, is a very difficult affair. Isn't that self-publishing? Well, not really.

In self-publishing, you use a number of vendors of over-priced services to create your book and make your book visible to the world. The services that you use have no interest in your success. They want large amounts of money upfront because they don't expect to see you around for very long. Mostly it's an ego game between ego's and ego strokers. You are promised mass exposure. You are promised the mythical "distribution". Amazon will promise to put your book on your their site (10,000 books below the top listings). 

Some people have found a way to make a bit of money doing the self-publishing dance. My favorite is the author that claims they left traditional publishing to make a fortune in self-publishing. That's a cool way to do it. The author lets the traditional publishing pay to promote them a bit to get some limited name recognition. Then you self-publish and claim you did it all. You claim the publisher never did anything for you. The secret story behind that is that most readers reached by the traditional publisher never said a word and probably never bought a book. That's the way advertising works. Mostly the publisher spends lots of money and sees no results. But do that for a decade or two and people will recognizes their brand. The cumulative years of hard work advertising, finding the channels that work, and then not only targeting those channels but pressing the flesh with those that influence those channels finally pays off. So if you are a traditionally published writer gone independent, whether or not you want to admit it, the PR helped you start above zero. It tagged you as someone worth reading---that and lots of blogs where you tell people that you built your following from zero using your impressive skills.

Another way to make some money self-publishing is to learn to avoid the ripoff services and to practice writing a lot. Eventually a lot of small sales can add up to a meaningful amount of money. Practicing by writing large quantities can improve your writing enough to where people want to read you. The weight of your enormous volume of written material promotes add credence that you might be someone worth reading. If you get skillful at gaming the Amazon sales system, you can almost make a living, if you call that living.

Or you can publish your stuff for real. It just requires lots of time and money. More than you can possibly imagine, if you are just starting out. One of the expenses you will likely pay first is learning how to write. It is possible that you were born with most of the talent of a good writer. But not likely. You go to school or you pay someone really good to repeatedly edit your stuff. In some ways, it is about the same price. Then you can play the crap-shoot  agent, publisher game and perhaps get your stuff out there. It probably won't sell initially and the publisher will likely pocket most of the money on your early novels. Everything, but the quality of your writing will be beyond your control.

Or you can take control, become the real publisher, and be a real publisher of your books (and possibly other people's books if you get good enough). You can let humiliation shape your career. Of all the businesses you could choose to go into, publishing is one the crapiest legitimate businesses. Any bozo can be taught like a monkey how to program and can make more money. Come to Silicon Valley and you can learn how much money it is really possible to make (you can also learn how outrageously expensive the cost of living can be). Write earnestly for years and get professionals, not writer friends, to edit your writing repeatedly ($$$). Learn (and continue to learn everyday) the nuts and bolts of the of the publishing industry (most of it involves raising large sums of money and losing large sums of money when you screw-up and you will screw-up).  Learn about logistics, crowdsource funding, and about how the bookstore/publisher relationship was forged during the Great Depression (starvation economics). Learn how to sell (a product which is less appealing than a fancy cup of coffee).

I, having been forged in Silicon Valley, where long death marches on projects with low probabilities of success are the status quo, have chosen the "become a publisher route" as my impossible challenge. In choosing this route, I have had to think about things in a strategic way which the writer side of me finds very uncomfortable. I've spent about 8 years writing. Though I meant to sell books, I have given away huge volumes of actual print books. And I have received considerable feedback. I have been screwed by countless self-publishing service companies, promoters... I have called up my scientific side to analyze the bleak economics of publishing to find out how people really make money in this business. And now I have a strategy. For one thing, pure science fiction has very few readers and the publishing business only makes meaningful money in large volumes of low margin items. Think about that for a minute. For anyone wondering what all that means, I suggest reading the blog of the founder of Baen, a successful science fiction publisher. If you think about the implications of what he actually says, it's pretty depressing. I tend to write stuff with lots of embedded philosophy, so it is even more so.

What I am doing is this: I am taking my genre novels (science fiction/fantasy) and rewriting them into a #literary #fiction style. Rather than laying out a cool plot with lots of deep philosophical thoughts and saying "Look at my cool book", I am rewriting them into a character focussed novel, where the characters' lives, personalities, and thoughts play a very important role. I also illustrate these new novels myself, not with with wonderfully expansive gee-whizz, detail scifi drawings but with simple #illustrations involving the characters that highlight an emotion of the character described in the book (I'm not good enough to do gee-whiz scifi-scapes anyway). I am set up to write, illustrate, and layout for publication, print books.  I have done the basic initial financial plumbing for a business.

I have two books in the pipe right now: "Sophistan Children of Earth" and "The Owl from Oblivion". Currently, a version of "The Owl from Oblivion" has been self-published. This version has one professional edit. I need to raise money to get it at least two more edits. Before publishing, I usually do three professional edits but "The Owl from Oblivion" is such a different book that has such a strong emotional impact, I decided to put out an early version to get a little feedback and understand how it affects people. Now I would like to take what I have learned in addition to folding in changes inflicted on the series by the "Sophistan Children of Earth" #book, and put the changes into "The Owl from Oblivion", increasing its impact even more. There are two more pools of money I will need to raise: a pool to do a mass offset printing run of the book to get it down to the price bookstores like and another pool to plumb the business for orders from and promotions directly to bookstores. There is software that basically links me as a publisher in the book ordering network, manages the inventory and logistics of the books, and keeps track of who needs to pay, etc.

#Bookstores not #Amazon are a central part of my new strategy. Why? It's simple: I am writing deeply thoughtful, long books which a reader will want to spend a long time with. They are not fast reads. No one can tell if they want to read such a book from a quick read of a blurb on an Amazon page. They need to pick up the book and flip through it to get to know it. This will not be a cheap Kindle read but a hardcover. Before someone forks out a larger amount of money, I think they should get to know the book first, like a friend. 

Maybe this will be a challenge I can meet and maybe it won't. All I can do is give it my best effort and learn from my mistakes. In the process, maybe I will make books that readers will remember for the rest of their lives. If you want to contribute, look for my #crowdsource campaigns, contribute, and win some neat #rewards!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Updated Cover for the "Sophistan Children of Earth"

I thought I was done with the cover I illustrated for my new book but I couldn't resist messing around with it. So now I have added a bit of "sparkle" to it.

#illustration #scifi #fantasy #HarryPotter #magic #literary #fiction #gifted 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Cover for "Sophistan Children of Earth"

I've been working on the #cover for the "Sophistan Children of Earth" which I am currently writing. I always like working on the cover early because doing the artwork really helps me focus in my writing and work out the focus of the novel. I've a very visual person which is sort of an ironic trait for an author. The blood dripping of the word "Earth" lets you know that this will be a rather intense novel. Children just want to be children but having extraordinary talents can get in the way. Especially when some on Earth become jealous or fearful of them and want to take apart these children to find out where those talents come from.

Let me know if you think seeing this cover in a bookstore would encourage you to pick up the book and give it a look!

#scifi #fantasy #literary #fiction #HarryPotter #gifted #illustration

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Sophistan Children of Earth

"The Sophistan Children of Earth" will be the title of the rewrite of ‪#‎book‬ #1. Here is the book ‪#‎blurb‬ for the new book:
Why, Mom and Dad, didn’t you tell me… Even the ants hate my blood as the bullies pound me. The others say I have to be a super-child—a warrior. My love, Amy, will grow up, having someone else’s children—having mine would kill her from the inside; I am immortal. Stefan, shunned by his mom, beaten by criminals—his power is frightening. His older girlfriend protects us from black-op crazies, hostile aliens… everyone wants us dead. Sometimes I wish they would succeed. My young friend, Ty, wields the power of secret aliens; his magic wand is his life’s core. Why does the incorporeal Sophistan1, seventy-three light-years away, care about us? We are the first Children of Sophista to emerge. I hope the future ones know some good games.
Since this book is written in a ‪#‎literary‬ ‪#‎fiction‬ style, it delves into each of the characters lives in a lot more detail than the original book. The reader gets a strong feeling of how it feels to be one of these supernatural kids from the kid's point of view.

This book is considerably more #intense and #dark than other books containing children. Other children recognize the how odd these kids are and they torment and bully them. Adults try to make these children compliant to their every wish by trying to crush their free spirits. The governments and rulers of present day Earth recognize that the power these children possess means that they could one day rule Earth and are thus a threat to their power structure. In some cases, they try to kill the children while they are still vulnerable. There are a few adults who wish to help and protect them. Some of them wish to manipulate them for their own reasons while others work covertly, not wanting to become targets themselves. As you can see, this setup can lead to numerous intense situations with children in roles a reader may not be accustomed to seeing them in.

The original book was written along the lines of being traditional genre fiction so that it depends on the actual plot events themselves to provide the tension. The genre fiction was also written with a limit to the intensity and issues so that it wouldn't shock sensitive younger readers. The new rewrite goes wherever it has to and has no such limitations. It is frighteningly realistic and adults are not portrayed universally on the children's side. Some adults unabashedly want the kids dead and as it can develop in a literary novel, it comes through  forcefully and powerfully. As you might imagine, the children have emotional problems and frustrations dealing with all of this. For them they were simply born as children and while they are extremely brilliant, emotionally in many ways, they are still just children wanting to have fun. And yet there are the adults on their side that want these kids to survive and so they and other experienced children of power must toughen these sensitive souls so they can survive the roles they were thrust into not by their choice but simply by fate. The new children must defend and earn their right to survive.

#‎scifi‬ ‪#‎fantasy‬ ‪#‎HarryPotter

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Excerpt from Rewrite of Book #1: Ms. Loveless

Ms. Loveless, school administrator, explains to Jenny, six-year-old Stefan's nanny how they have made Jenny's job easier:

Ms. Loveless points through the glass. “We have made great progress with Stefan. When we started with Stefan, he would squeal and thump books that frustrated him. Eventually he would yell, “Die!” and throw the book into the corner trashcan across the room. If a book was too basic for him, he would do the same thing. Now, we make him write a paper explaining why the book is bad and quietly place the book in the center stack. The left stack are books he has completed successfully. We never let that stack get too big. When Stefan’s imagination starts to run away, I slip a few rejected high school math texts into his reading stack on the right. It’s a cheap way to get him to write since there are lots of them laying around. He is a much more compliant child now.”

Jenny shakes with repressed anger. She realizes that she cannot intervene since she is just the nanny. To do otherwise might blow her cover.

“So you see, Jenny, we have made your job a bit easier by civilizing Stefan. We see this kind of child quite a lot from parents that indulge their children too much, though never before to the degree that Stefan exemplifies. His mother has told me that his father indulges him with science books that are too hard for a child his age in an effort to make Stefan believe he is a genius.”

“Isn’t he?”

“I see he has fooled you too. No, he actually requires an inordinate amount of help compared to what a child is entitled to. We were able to make him compliant when we pointed out how the other children were suffering because he was taking too much of the teacher’s time. Thank goodness he is an overly empathetic child.”

Friday, March 11, 2016

What's It Like to be a #Gifted Fairy

What's it like to be a gifted fairy among humans. Stefan can tell you in the rewrite of book #1.
Stefan turns back toward the light and looks up inside the shade. “I wonder how this drab, decrepit little light makes such beautiful colors?” He taps the lamp. “Make it again!” Nothing happens. “Come on. Don’t you talk?” Silence. Stefan feels his shoulder length hair with an expression of puzzlement. He holds a piece of hair near the light and a bright rainbow light shines from it.
He collapses to a sitting position on the bed with a frown and his arms crossed in frustration. “Well if that isn’t like the squirrel stealing my nuts.”

Neshalia coughs. “Let’s not use that expression, Stefan.”

“But the squirrel does. I want to magnetize his brain and stick him to the side of the building for the duration. I never get to finish my bag during recess. It’s weird that they are not afraid of me. They leave all the other children alone. Why me? Everyone always picks on me. If the sun comes out, all the mean boys come to me to pull on my hair. Now I know why. The world hates me, Neshalia. It just hates me. Why do I even exist? Why? I thought I would tell the mean boys some neat stuff about the sun. Maybe that would make them stop. But they just got even meaner. They said I was my mom’s toy and that my father programmed my brain like one of his computers. Why do they say such things?”

Monday, March 7, 2016

Excerpt from Book #1 Rewrite Rough Draft

I am rewriting Book #1 to give it more a literary novel feel to it. The more in depth characterization should fill in many of the omitted but implicit facts of the original book #1.  Below is an excerpt from the rough draft of the first chapter. As first lines go, how do you think I did? Did I hook you on the story?


Ten-year-old Tyco screams with the desperation of a child being murdered as the sun, rising on Tucson, Arizona, peers into his room like laser beams from a monster's eyes. He sits up in bed as he awakes from the nightmares about the "Lizards" torturing him, his black Mayan hair fanning into a shoulder length glistening sheet with drops of sweat embedded in it. The rubber band holding his hair into a ponytail popped during his nocturnal wrestling with the bed, and now he was sitting shirtless in silence, wearing only black boxers. No one would be coming to comfort him, as this was a nightly occurrence; his parents had grown weary of its lack of resolution. His dark brown eyes, with faint yellow rays radiating out from the pupil, glistened with newly minted tears. The yellow rays command his body to rise and seek the comfort of their kindred—he peers through the blinds at the sunrise. His street ends unceremoniously, without an ending curb, at a piece of undeveloped desert. There are no houses beyond, and Tyco is able to observe the morning rise of his desert animals, seeking their last tidbits before they must hide from the blazing sun. He suddenly feels the expected arms of his mother thread between his arms and chest, coiling around him to give him a firm hug. She kisses him on the cheek and momentarily grips the well the developed muscle of his upper left arm as if to reassure herself of his continued health. She holds the mix of emotions within her quietly, knowing that though her son is the pinnacle of health, his body will never develop further—that his body was effectively frozen in time. She reaches up and rotates the control to where the blinds are angled for the convenience of their common gaze. She looks at his face in the orange glow of the morning light and observes where his gaze terminates. She sees a girl from Tyco's former public school class sitting across the street on her front porch, reading a book; her long flowing blond hair radiates the orange morning light as if it were a comet tail.

While firmly gripping Tyco with her left arm, his mom strokes his hair with her right hand as if she is carefully polishing her prized work of art. "What they told you is true, my son. You can never have her, not even for a friend."

Tyco's body shakes from a muted cry. "She is not my possession or pet. She is wonderful. She is not dumb and crude like the other kids in the class. She knows so many wonderful things. She cares for me, doesn't treat me… doesn't treat me as some stupid…"

Tyco's mom sighs. "You will never be going back to that class again. You know why. By this time next year, your mind will be filled with so many wonders… so many your dad and I won't be able to imagine. Her mind will not be so attractive then and she will be getting ready to enter her teenhood."

Tyco turns to his mom and hugs her tightly, crying aloud. "And I will still be just a boy."

"You will always be mom and dad's cherished boy. But you well know you are not just a boy anymore."  

"I wish I had grown up in the past as a Mayan warrior. Life would be so much simpler."

Tyco's mom coughs. "I know I taught you to be a Mayan warrior. That was my insanity. I don't think it is wise to think about Mayan warriors… certainly not anymore."

Tyco hugs his mom, crying again. "You are scared of me. Mommy please don't be scared of me. I love you so much."

She hugs him tightly and rubs his back. "I will always love you my son. No matter what you may do, I will love you."

A boy's voice outside begins screaming and is answered by the angry screams of a girl. Tyco's body whirls around, staring angrily out the window. An eleven-year-old boy with red hair cut military-style circles on a bicycle in the street in front of the girl’s house. The boy was the class bully and instigator of several group altercations against Tyco.

“You cannot intervene,” says his mom. “He will not harm her. He has never had the guts to face you one on one. He is just a lost boy.”

“He is not the one that is lost.”

“You are not lost. You are loved by a mom and dad. Remember, the others love you too.”

“When they are not thinking of euthanizing me.”

“Don’t say that!” She hugs him tightly from behind again. She picks up his right hand and begins rubbing his palm with her thumb, exploring the texture of a large, raised, green patch of skin formed in the shape of a large sun symbol. 

“You think I’m freak now.”

“No, I was thinking of what you might do to that boy if you got angry.”

Tyco smiles. He mumbles, “Or hungry.”


“Oh mom. You are so gullible sometimes.” He turns around and smiles at her. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Disillusionment: The Day Syon Went to Oblivion

This is a day that puts the capstone on my disillusionment. This is the day that my Kickstarter for publishing a new and improved bookstore version of Book #5, “The Owl from Oblivion”, dies in total failure. It is one thing to not get enough contributions but quite another when no one shows up despite my best promotional efforts. 

The book series and especially book #5, go to great pains to have a wide variety of different gifted children, accurately portrayed, as characters. I certainly pointed this out to the members of the gifted community I could reach. My response for the most part was dead silence. I mean people couldn't really be bothered to retweet a promo for the Kickstarter. And then there were the readers, the over one-thousand of you who received a free book, a few of whom even received the initial version of Book #5, POD printed in hardcover. 

The lesson I learned is that free books do not seem to attract readers willing to pay, even among the readers that had received books. No one could be bothered to even make a single $15 contribution. Considering I put in over $50,000 into the series and functioned virtually as a book charity, I didn’t think it was too much to ask for a few contributions to keep the series going. 

Sure there are people writing books every few months and pushing them out on Kindle on the cheap. And those books cater to those who want a fast read or something they can read while they wait in line. That’s a fine business if you like making Amazon rich and for most people, keeping yourself in the trench making virtually no money, having to turn books out on a pretty rapid schedule. 

You can’t write really deep and detailed books that way. They can take years to write. You need backing in the form of pretty steady sales to readers who want to spend extended, thoughtful time with a book. So Kindle, as a first platform for that kind of book, just doesn’t work. As a result, I have stopped releasing my newest books in eBook format. I confine them to real printed books.

When I release a book, I usually release it after it has had at least 3 professional editing passes. I knew book #5, “The Owl from Oblivion”, might be controversial, so I released a POD printed version that had only one professional editing pass. I wanted to see how early readers would react to it and get some feedback, which I did. And so, sitting on my hard drive is a better version of book#5. But without the money for the two remaining editing passes, it can go nowhere. Without the initial funding to perform an offset print run of the large book with lots of color illustrations, it can go nowhere. A POD print of the book is too expensive to be sold in bookstores—it really needs to be offset print to be cheap enough. And for the lack of contributions, it will sit there in oblivion, until I figure out how to run a successful crowdsourced campaign. 

Meanwhile, I am writing a new version of book #1 that will be much more in-depth and have a much more detailed characterization. Eventually this will hit the point of needing an editor and it will sit on my disk until it gets one.

Both book #1 and book #5 are being changed to be more acceptable to the mainstream. Why? Like any product, if your target customer base does not support your product, then you alter it until it appeals to a community that does. While my books will always be unusual, there is no longer a reason to make the gifted characters have such extreme differences which, while the gifted community might identify with them, the mainstream might find them too annoying to read. My original goal was to give some comfort to gifted children who experience extremes in emotion and perceptual differences from the mainstream. But if those kids never get to read the book because of the lack of support needed to take it to visibility, there is little point to maintaining those extremities at the expense of mainstream support. 

I have to say, I would have never predicted this situation. But the large publishers did. It’s why any query letter I made 6 or so years ago took an express trip to the trashcan if I mentioned “gifted”, even in the context of an underserved group. They knew that you cannot serve a group, underserved or not, if it leads you to going broke. And yes, I do track such things. I try to make data-driven decisions whenever I can.

So what are the plans? As always, I am writing. To the limited extent I can afford to, I myself will create some new illustrations, especially for the new book #1, whose story is sufficiently different that it will need some new illustrations. I may tinker some with book #5 now that I obviously don’t have any delivery deadlines on it currently. 

Once I have recovered emotionally for this failure, I will be back in the crowdsourcing arena, this time on Indiegogo. That campaign will focus on staged funding that will build the publishing business for my imprint. My idea at this moment is to structure the campaign towards much higher value rewards. For example, I’m thinking I will be able to offer for a $40 contribution the new and improved hardcover book #5 as a reward. That’s a pretty good deal considering a backer gets to make a significant contribution to the campaign and get a 640+ page color, hardcover book that would normally sell for $29.99 in the bookstore. I can do this by breaking the build of the publishing business into smaller steps. The original print books, including the POD version of book #5, will remain on sale on my site. At some point I might want to withdraw the POD version of book #5, “The Owl from Oblivion” if the differences with the future official bookstore version get to be too great.

If you are wondering about free giveaway books, there won’t be any for a long time, if ever. I want all my scant remaining money to go toward the development of the new books. You’ll have to excuse my harsh tone, but this will be a difficult period with limited resources for me to work through. At some point, especially when faced with failure, harsh reality has to be considered and harsh decisions made for there to be a chance of future success. This kind of critical examination has been key to my past tech success. I was foolish to abandon it for writing and publishing. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

PRESS RELEASE "The Owl from Oblivion" Kickstarter

Children of Sophista Imprint

Santa Clara, CA 


“The Owl from Oblivion” is the Latest Installment of the Popular, Fantasy Children’s Book Series, The Children of Sophista

Children of Sophista is a newly emerging book imprint poised to disrupt traditional publishing from the inside. This producer of a complex, exciting fantasy/science fiction series has fine-tuned its brand of ultra-realistic fiction with an underlying social message to capture the attention of a niche following of devoted teen and adult readers. Following the test marketing of the first four books and an early developmental version of the fifth book, author Rusty Biesele is preparing to release a bookstore version of the fifth book entitled “The Owl from Oblivion,” which incorporates much of the feedback from hundreds of readers and industry leading editing professionals. This latest installment examines how teens with telepathic and telekinetic powers come to grips with their enhanced identities as well as explores the dark side of intellectual teens and their caretakers. The new heights of intensity in this latest novel are guaranteed to bring tears of empathy to the most cynical teen as well as spurring adults to greater activism. 

Basing his stories in a universe in which humanity has been genetically modified throughout its existence by aliens, Rusty has crafted compelling and profoundly human characters that young readers will readily identify with. Unlike other superhero stories, these intriguing books are thoroughly grounded in personal and real storytelling.  Often told from the perspective of the young protagonists, the Children of Sophista books take on challenging issues like abusive parents and fear of persecution.  Rusty integrates the many supernatural concepts into the organic narrative in a manner that heightens the suspense without diminishing the realism of human interactions.

“The Owl from Oblivion” is a powerful and moving literary creation, but due to the many challenges of the current publishing environment, Rusty is asking his fans to assist him in getting the final editing passes completed, scaling up of the manufacturing of the book, and construction of a unique book distribution system to booksellers nationwide.  Although he has spent thousands of his own dollars in creating this 640 page novel with 27 illustrations, there are enormous costs in raising the visibility of the imprint and scaling up the manufacturing so that sustainable profits can be achieved on slim margins.  This has forced him to ask for financial help to reach his Kickstarter project goal of $85,516.  

In return for your generous support, you can receive valuable perks like posters, paperback versions of Children of Sophista books, hardcover editions, signed memorabilia, T-shirts, handwritten letter of appreciation from the author, or acknowledgement on the Contributors’ or Patrons’ Page of the “The Owl from Oblivion.” 

To learn more aboutThe Owl from Oblivionor to make a donation to this worthy project, please visit