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Help Release The Dragonswarm

Incidentally, if you want to check out my KickStarter campaign, it’s here:

The goal of the campaign is to pay the production costs of publishing an indie novel. I won’t beg and plead with you to share your hard-earned money, because I’ll be publishing this book even if the campaign isn’t funded. I’ve been covering the costs myself for more than a year now.

No, this campaign (and every one that will follow) is an opportunity for those of you who want to be a part of it.

For those of you who want to see me (or any of our other writers) getting to be a full-time writer instead of holding down a day job to pay the bills.

For those of you who want to support a community that creates art as a thing of worth (not a thing of commercial value).

In short, if you want to help me keep doing what I’m doing, KickStarter gives me an easy way to accept your support. And it lets me respond with some very cool rewards. If you want, you can just look it as a way to pre-order your signed copy of The Dragonswarm, sent straight to your door.

Check it out. There’s 12 days remaining, which is just enough time for me to thoroughly freak out. Wish me luck.

23 Responses to “Help Release The Dragonswarm”

  1. Taylor says:

    Love the first book and can’t wait for the next one. I’ll see if I can spread the word and help chip in.

  2. Sharla says:

    Love the book!!!!!!! I have read it 3 times and found new details I had missed each time. I CAN’T wait for the next book. I have checked my Kindle account 5 times today to see if it is out yet?!?!?

    • Aaron Pogue says:

      Aww, thanks so much, Sharla!

      We are scrambling to try to get The Dragonswarm out by Dec. 12, but it’s probably going to slip by a week. Sorry to make you wait!

  3. Eric says:

    I loved Taming Fire. Great book. I just went back to Amazon hoping to find the whole trilogy there, but no such luck! 🙁 Rest assured that I’ll be buying The Dragonswarm as soon as it comes out. I dont see it listed on Amazon, otherwise I’d set up a notification or preorder.

    • Aaron Pogue says:

      Thanks, Eric! Sorry to disappoint, but I promise we are moving just as fast as we can. Book Two will be out in a couple weeks, and Book Three should be out in June.

      In the meantime, I’m juggling the day the job, the publishing company, the Master’s program at OU, my family, and my writing. It’s almost enough to drive a man crazy.

      Then someone pops along to say he loved Taming Fire and absolutely everything is worth it. You made my day. Thank you.

  4. Eric says:

    No worries Aaron. Sounds like your plate is full these days! It’s a testament to how good Taming Fire was that I’m chomping at the bit for the sequel. It was just a damn fun read.

    I’ve got to applaud you on the price point too. I’ve paid more for less entertaining books, that’s for sure. It was a brilliant move to price like that though. With the way things are financially these days, I find myself unwilling to spend the $10 or so for a book that I’m unsure of. Lately I tend to stick with the $1-3 ebooks. Worst case scenario, I’m out a cup of coffee. Best case, I find a gem like Taming Fire. Thanks for the great story. I’ll be sure to drop by Amazon and write a review for you.

    • Aaron Pogue says:

      One of the lessons we (writers) have learned from the new digital marketplace is that we can make just as much money and reach a much larger audience by pricing our books under $5. Especially because the big publishers are so anxious to price theirs at $15. There’s no way a small outfit like mine could compete with someone like Tor, but they’re not even playing the same game.

      And, of course, I’ve been a reader even longer than I’ve been a writer, so it’s really easy for me to see the thing from both sides. I want a world with more books, cheaper books, and richer authors. That sounds like too much to ask for, but here it is.

      • Eric says:

        I dont want to say that publishers are obsolete, but with Amazon, I dont think any publisher could market your work better than Amazon can with reader reviews. Well, short of plastering billboards and trains, anyway, but that’s a fraction of a fraction of authors.

        • Aaron Pogue says:

          You’re exactly right. And it’s the fraction of authors who don’t need it in the first place.

          And I highly doubt it really makes and significant difference anyway. People who spend any serious time reading have (and need) better methods of discovery than billboard ads.

          • Eric says:

            Well, with something like a billboard, I think that’s just the publisher trying to expose the work to fans outside of the genre. For example, recently I’ve seen trains plastered with Ads for A Game of Thrones. Now, if you’re a Fantasy fan, you know the book has been out for ages. The average joe though, they think it’s a new series. Little do they knw that in that case, all they’ll be doing is waiting 6 years for the next book to be published, only to find that 90% of the book is descriptions of people traveling from one town to the next, and the last 10% is finding out that the only characters they like get killed. But that’s a whole different rant, right there…

          • Aaron Pogue says:

            I really shouldn’t say things like this, but it always makes me smile to find another fan who dislikes George R. R. Martin’s style. It gives me hope for the fantasy genre I want to write in.

  5. Eric says:

    I loved A Game of Thrones. I thought it was a great start, and I thought that the murder of Ned Stark, though sad, was shocking, and a masterful twist. After that though, the books just started going downhill. Less and less happened in each book. It was like 75 pages of substance and 900 pages of filler. It saddens me that people compare his work to, say, The Wheel of Time. I continue to read GRRM only because I’ve invested so much time in it, but I have little hope for the series, as the last character left alive that I liked was killed in the latest book.

  6. Toni says:

    I am a 52, and love fantasy as much as any teenager or young adult. The problem is, that so many writes tend to write for that fan group. Thanks, for writing a book everyone can enjoy. Your book is well thought out and intelligent, and I enjoyed it immensely. It’s nice to read a book where the hero is 16, and actually thinks and acts like a 16 year old. To me, it is really annoying to have teenage characters that act with the wisdom and understanding of an 80 year old. I know how I was as a teenager, and I didn’t resemble these characters in the slightest. I look forward to your next project.

    • Aaron Pogue says:

      Thank you, Toni! And you’re most welcome.

      I’ve mentioned on the blog a couple times that the Taming Fire I released last June was a major rewrite of a story I wrote back when I was twenty (and hadn’t much looked at since). I started the rewrite planning to redo a couple chapters to insert some narrative structural elements I’ve been studying as part of my Master’s program….

      But then when I got into the text, I realized it was a much bigger job. I had to rework almost every single scene. Even though most of the same things happened, I was constantly having to change Daven’s reactions or just his perceptions of events, and that was for precisely the reason you’re describing. Half the time he responded to a slap on the face with a long soliloquy extolling the virtues of self-restraint, and the other half of the time he laughed like a maniac–he jumped between being an 80-year-old, and being an adventure hero from a Saturday morning cartoon. It was silly.

      I’m glad to hear the work was worth it. I’m sure it’s still not perfect, but it’s so much better than it started out.

      • Eric says:

        I’ve got to agree with Toni. I appreciate that for once, the child acted like a child. It reminded me of reading the Belgariad for the first time, and how the book started with a child who acted like a child, and gradually grew into their power. Part of the fun was watching them grow.

        That said, I’m ready to see Daven start learning, and gaining control of his power. I’m also hoping that he gains control over magic and not just sorcery. Either way, I’m sure it’ll be a fun ride.

  7. Corrie Rosetti says:

    Just finished Taming Fire. I enjoyed it immensely and in checking for the second volume, discovered Consortium press and the Kickstarter Dargonswarm project. I pledged a few bucks–what I’d be willing to pay for volume II. And then I began to read this blog.

    Fantasy is all derivative. Someone may step out of the mold now and then but rarely significantly. Still I keep coming back to it. It is not the originality that I seek, but rather the way it is handled. And that is why I’m concerned about the direction of indi-publishing.

    I have to be very careful not to get stuck with a read that is strictly amateur imitation of better, more mature writing.

    While I share the dismay I see on this list with GRRMartin’s ever more plodding volumes, I like even less the clumsy narration and awkward structuring of some independet writers I’ve read thinking they had met at least minimum standards of excellence.

    Yes, new writers may find an audience in this bright new world, but readers are at an even greater risk of finding a writer not yet ready for prime time.

    I believe there is a place for careful editing,The new world of indie-publishing may undermine itself if it doesn’t demand as much from its writers as any publishing house would–perhaps more.

    • Aaron Pogue says:

      Thanks for your support, Corrie!

      You make an excellent point about writing quality, and I understand your concern for indie and self-publishing in general. Of course, the potential’s there now for any writer to put out whatever trash they want. I can’t stop that (I wouldn’t want to), but we at the Consortium are committed to addressing all the problems you’ve mentioned.

      The problem is that what you (and a lot of other voices) are asking for isn’t really a filter. What you want is mastery on the part of the writers. We’ve learned to settle for these filters as a clumsy way of finding mastery, but it doesn’t do anything to produce it.

      The way the filtering system works today, you get to be a legal assistant for twenty years, rewriting the same book over and over until a publisher decides it’s bestseller quality, and then you get to release that book and start being a writer.

      But writers used to learn how to be better writers by writing for a living. Look at Bradbury or Heinlein. Some of their earliest stuff is extremely amateurish. But they were able to make a living writing, and learn on the job, so instead of spending twenty years rewriting the same book, they spent five years putting out amateur stuff, five years putting out mediocre books, and the rest of their lives working at the master level. They improved much faster because they got to focus on writing even when they weren’t masters yet.

      That does put a little extra burden on the readers who toil through those first five to ten books, but it also gives readers another ten to fifteen master-quality books from the author, and much sooner than they would have had them otherwise. Readers win.

      The Consortium is set up to accelerate that process even more, with Master Writers helping train the Apprentices and Journeymen, and with editors and publishers (filters, of a sort) actively participating in the conversation.

      We’ve also got some plans to help from more of a curating angle, creating reliable and worthwhile reviews of digitally-published books in a way specifically designed to help readers separate the wheat from the chaff. That’ll take a while to get up to speed, but I’m sure I’ll talk about it here in days to come.

  8. Steve J. says:

    (speaking in hushed tones)I found it interesting when you mentioned that you were not overly fond of George R.R. Martins style. I had gotten away from reading for a long while and have just started reading again. In my search for books, I keep getting the ‘you have got to read..’ I have tried 3 times to read the first book. Just cant do it. Dont care for it. Perhaps its because I have an attention span of a gnat.(resuming normal volume and feeling silly for actually speaking in hushed tones while writing this)

    Been reading since the early 80s and have read a lot of books and have found a hard time finding anything that didnt seem like a re-hash of something I have read before. While the begger peasant thief seems to be a common staring point of a lot of would be heros of late, I still found your book fresh and interesting. Great job and I look forward to your next release.

    With so much fantasy beeing written these days, it seems like an original story would be hard to find. You did it and keep it up. 🙂

    • Aaron Pogue says:

      Thanks, Steve!

      I’ve had some other indie writers ask me recently for advice on selling lots of books. That leaves me in a pretty sticky situation now, because I didn’t really do anything clever in terms of business plans.

      One of the old reliable rules is “write a really good book,” but I can hardly give that as my answer. It’s not very useful (we’re always trying to write a really good book, even when we’re writing awful ones), and it also makes me sound like an arrogant jerk.

      But your comment helped me realize something I did do deliberately with Taming Fire. I wrote the book I wanted to read.

      I’d spent most of a decade getting sick of the direction popular fantasy seemed to be trending. Like everyone else who had grown up on fantasy, I found myself wanting more grown-up fantasy than the Forgotten Realms and the Dragonlance stuff, but the version of “grown-up” I found was…well, George R. R. Martin. And worse.

      I don’t want bleak and abysmal. I don’t want unlikeable heroes and depressing realism. As a grown-up I want more complex, complicated worlds and plots and characters, but at the end of the day I still want to read an adventure story.

      I like to think that part of the success of Taming Fire comes from the fact that other readers wanted fantasy like that, too. If that’s true, then I’m going to have a wonderful time writing what my readers want, and I really look forward to shifting the market back in that direction a little bit so I can find more fantasy like that to read, too.

      • Eric says:

        Is there any update on the release of The Dragonswarm? I’ve been checking Amazon…nothing yet, obviously.

        • Aaron Pogue says:

          The page is actually live now, but not yet filled in (you can’t purchase the book yet, but you can see the cover and the product description).

          Our official release date is tomorrow, but in all likelihood it’ll be available for purchase sometime in the next few hours. I’ll make a lot of big noisy posts as soon as everything has fallen into place, though.

  9. Eric says:

    Sweet! Time to charge the Kindle. Just ring the bell when the time arrives. I’ve got the wallet hand prepped.