The Apex Predator — Releasing on Dec. 15, 2013

Anatomy of Vitruvian ManWe’re just now finishing up the final edit of The Apex Predator, Book 2 of Part 2 of The Human Chronicles Saga.

The release date will be Dec. 15, 2013 on Amazon.com.

The next book after this will conclude the sequential series of Adam Cain and his band of space travelers, but that’s not to say I won’t be putting out a book or two of simple Adam Cain adventures per year. I believe this will free up my readers — both old and new — to jump into a book without having to read the entire series ahead of time. Once you reach eight books in a sequential series, that becomes essentially one very long book, and you can’t simply start reading in the middle and have it make any sense. Future Adam Cain books will be one-shot, one-kill type of stories. Appropriate metaphor if you’ve read the books.

The final book in The Human Chronicles Saga should be out around the middle of February, so my fans will not have to wait as long for the final edition.

It’s been a long and exciting journey. I want to thank all those who have been there since the beginning, as well as those new readers who are just now discovering the series. The timeless sense of adventure found within the pages of the Adam Cain novels will continue, I promise. But for now, two more books to wrap up the Human-Juirean-Klin-Kracori saga. I wonder who’s going to come out on top?

Update on The Apex Predator … Book 7 of The Human Chronicles Saga

ApexCover5I’m about to play poker with my next novel. Let me explain.

I wrote this book a little differently that my others; essentially in sections that now must be shuffled together. I have three major plot lines running throughout the book, one with Adam Cain and Sherri Valentine, one with Riyad Tarazi and another with Nigel McCarthy. These are almost complete stories in their own right, yet related to the overall novel. I’ve completed these three storylines, and now I have to shuffle them together to make one complete story.

In nearly all novels, the perspective shifts between characters, either through chapter changes or within the chapters themselves, and as the storyline moves along, the author switches from character to character and from locale to locale. We normally do this within the writing process, so one moment you may be writing from the perspective of Character A, and then the next Character C. And then you may go to Characters B and D before returning to Character A. With this book I decided just to stick with one character throughout and entire section of my master Word document and tell the entire story from that perspective. And then, with the miracle of Microsoft Word, I can cut and paste all the various perspectives together. This will involve some segue writing to tie everything together and then a careful examination of timelines. Yet it has allowed me to blast through one character’s (or set of character’) complete story without the constant switching of personalities and perspective during the writing process. Now it just needs to be all tied together and mingled so that the story flows and makes sense.

I’m planning on releasing the new book on December 15, 2013 … after the editing and proofreading process is complete. I know fifteen to twenty days doesn’t sound like enough time to edit and proof an entire book, but in the world of ebook publishing things can move very quickly. I have a number of beta readers already lined up who will receive advance copies and check for typos and other issues, while my editor and professional proofreader are on standby as soon as I do my last run-through of the book and email it to them. The Apex Predator should be my best-edited and proofed book. At least that’s my goal. (Of course, some things will fall through the cracks, and when this happens I hope my readers will email me with the corrections. Again with ebooks, I can make changes and upload a new version of the book in about five hours.)

Galaxy Cover60With The Apex Predator being book 2 of part two of The Human Chronicles, it will end up being the middle book of a trilogy. As such, it picks up where Cain’s Crusaders left off and sets up the reader for all the wild climax stuff that happens in the final book of the trilogy — A Galaxy to Conquer. I had the opportunity this time to essentially plot out two books at once, so the day after I send The Apex Predator to my editor, I’ll be starting to work on A Galaxy to Conquer, with the projected release date around the end of January 2014. This will the soonest I’ve released a follow-up book, so hopefully my continuing fans — plus all the new ones who come onboard during the holiday season — will find gratification sooner than others have in the past.

It appears — at least for now — that The Human Chronicles Saga will run for a total of eight books. But don’t worry, I’m sure Adam Cain will surface again in the not too distant future — he always does. However, as an author, I have a number of other projects rumbling around in my brain that I’d like to get to first. I’m not quite ready to announce these yet, since I still have two more Adam Cain novels to release. But rest assured, if you like my writing style, you will find the same in every book I complete. And no matter what the subject, they will always contain their fair share of humor, along with unfiltered realism. One thing I will never be accused of is bowing to politically-correctness!

Now, back to my poker game. I’ve got some shuffling to do!

T.R. (Tom) Harris

As always, I will be sending out broadcast emails to my registered fans announcing the release of all my books, so if you haven’t been put on the list yet, go to Contact Me at the top of this page and send me an email. Thanks.

Some Come Easier Than Others….

ApexCover5Book Seven of The Human Chronicles Saga is coming along nicely. It should be completed by November 23-25 and then sent off for editing and proofreading.

The issue I’m having now is with the title.

It has evolved from Starlight Falls to A Galaxy to Conquer … and now to The Apex Predator. Since the story revolves around mankind being the supermen in the galaxy — and therefore the greatest predator around — the new (or proposed) title seems appropriate and strong. I’ve put together a mockup of the cover, and I really like it. Any comments would be welcome, of course.

Since the final book in the series is already plotted and planned for release in late January, the title of A Galaxy to Conquer appears to fit that one better. That cover will probably be kept and used for that book. But for now, I’m adding The Apex Predator to my inventory of cover art.

Title change for the next Adam Cain novel

Starlight Falls just wasn’t doing it for me, so I’ve changed the title of Book 2 of Part 2 of the Chronicles to: A Galaxy to Conquer.

Since the story does Galaxy Cover60deal with the collapse of the Expansion and the Kracori attack on Earth, everything is up for grabs throughout the galaxy, and everyone is out for their piece of the pie.

I’ve put together a tentative cover. If anyone has any opinions or suggestion, let me know.

(By the way, this cover mock-up still has the Fotolia watermarks on the artwork. Rest assured, these will not be in the final version!)

I went to a book signing tonight and met Colleen Hoover

SlammedFor those of you who are not aware of the Colleen Hoover story, let me take a moment to fill you in. If there’s ever been a story of inspiration and motivation for aspiring indie writers, this is it.

Colleen began her writing career with the self-publishing of her first book on Amazon (Slammed) in January of 2012. Now just think of that for a second. First book she’d ever written … published January of LAST year. That book went to #1 on Amazon, and the next month she published her second book (Point of No Return), which also went to #1 on Amazon.

In December, 2012, she released Hopeless, her third #1 bestseller. It was at this time that I asked her how many copies you have to sell on Amazon to be #1? She said between 12,000 to 15,000 copies PER DAY! (By this time, the big publishers had come calling and thrown enough money at her that Colleen has since left the ranks of the indie/self-published, but we won’t hold that against her … too much. She also sold the movie rights to all three books during this time.)

Again, let’s put things in perspective.

It’s now December, 2012 — not even a year since the first book came out — and she’s already had three #1 bestsellers, sold the movie rights to her books and is selling 12,000 to 15,000 copies per day of just one of her books, not counting the other two plus the sales from other ebook outlets and her paperback sales.

All in less than a year.

Before this, Colleen was a $30,000-per-year social worker.

The reason I’m telling you all this is not from some sort of celebrity worship — or just because she’s in my writer’s group on Facebook. It’s simply to show what CAN be done with self-publishing. And since aspiring authors just love to be shown the money (I know I do), I’ll just extrapolate a little. Since Colleen now has traditional publishing contracts, it’s hard for me to tell exactly how much money she was making last December off the book Hopeless on Amazon alone, so I’ll use my own net figures as a baseline:

My books sell for $4.98 on Amazon, and after Amazon takes their cut, I net out about $3.20 per book. Just using my net profit per book (Colleen probably makes more per book, since even though she gets less of a percentage from the publisher, her books are higher priced), if you multiply an average daily sales of 13,500 copies … she was pulling in $43,200 PER DAY last December and into January as she remained in the #1 spot for around thirty days.

You do the math. And this was the royalties from just one book, and through only one outlet. I think she had a very good Christmas last year….

I don’t care who you are, but that’s some good coinage!

I know we all dream of hitting the big jackpot in Vegas or winning the lottery. Well Colleen Hoover did, yet she did it with her own talent, an incredible idea and effective plot execution. And since ANYONE can publish to Amazon, you, too can hit it big just like Colleen. (Disclaimer: Opportunity guaranteed, not the results!)

With publishing on Amazon (or Barnes and Noble, or Sony or Apple), there are no snooty gatekeepers keeping out the so-called riff-raff, like there are at the Big-6 publishing houses. There is no agent to find or editor to impress. It’s just you and the reading audience. You bypass the gatekeepers and go direct to the public. And if they like your work, then maybe you, too, can have a life-altering year such as Colleen Hoover had in 2012 — and which is continuing to this very day.

Damn … $43,000 PER DAY! I could live on that. How about you?