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Thread: Math, Guns, and Snark: SLHuang's Self-Publishing Thread

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  1. #1
    Inappropriately math-oriented. slhuang's Avatar
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    Math, Guns, and Snark: SLHuang's Self-Publishing Thread

    I'm almost ready to hit the big red button, so I thought I'd start one of these threads. Some of you have been with me on this journey already, answering my questions, being beta readers, critting my blurb . . . AW is amazing. I honestly shudder to think what I would have done if I hadn't found this site.

    About my book:
    It's what I call "mathematical fiction," but since nobody knows what that is I'm going with "speculative thriller" instead on the advice of people here. It's about a protagonist whose superpower is being really, really good at math. I've spent YEARS thinking this would be the coolest superpower ever, because if you could do math -- any sort of math -- really, really fast, what couldn't you do? The first book is titled ZERO SUM GAME (I'm starting with Book 0, hahaha! <-- nobody thinks that's funny except me), and it's the first book in the Russell's Attic series, which is planned to continue sort of indefinitely in an episodic manner, the way some urban fantasy series do (I have a rough story arc that could potentially take me through 10 or 20 books if I let it).

    Here's my cover, done by the marvelous Najla Qamber:



    Here's my blurb, thanks to the squirrels in QLH:
    Cas Russell is good at math. Scary good.

    The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight. She can take any job for the right price and shoot anyone who gets in her way.

    As far as she knows, she’s the only person around with a superpower . . . but then Cas discovers someone with a power even more dangerous than her own. Someone who can reach directly into people’s minds and twist their brains into Moebius strips. Someone intent on becoming the world’s puppet master.

    Someone who’s already warped Cas’s thoughts once before, with her none the wiser.

    Cas should run. Going up against a psychic with a god complex isn’t exactly a rational move, and saving the world from a power-hungry telepath isn’t her responsibility. But she isn’t about to let anyone get away with violating her brain — and besides, she’s got a small arsenal and some deadly mathematics on her side. There’s only one problem . . .

    She doesn’t know which of her thoughts are her own anymore.
    My process so far: I wrote the book (seven months), self-edited it (16 months), sent it through 4 beta readers, had a language expert copyedit some of the dialect, sent it to my wonderful pro editor Anna Genoese, formatted it by hand-coding the HTML and CSS according to Guido's guide, and did a proofread / device check with family and some AWers.

    Upcoming: The second book is written and in editing. The third book is about 2/3 of the way written. The fourth book is about 1/5 of the way written.

    I'll be looking at sending out ARCs this week but based on what I've read and my particular genre I don't have terribly high hopes for responses. I'm guessing (read: hoping ) that the genre/audience for my book will play well into the long game: building word of mouth, building up my mailing list, and writing the next book.

    And one other thing I'm doing that I'm hoping will help marketing is releasing under Creative Commons, which means I'm purposely making it legal to pirate my book. Yup, you read that right, I'm purposely legalizing piracy! (In fact, a stalwart belief in Creative Commons is a large part of the reason I chose to self-publish.) I believe in free culture, but I also believe that people pirating me will ultimately earn me more money, because the number one thing most authors struggle against is obscurity. So. We'll see! It's an experiment. I'll be sure to report back to you all.
    Last edited by slhuang; 03-16-2014 at 04:24 AM. Reason: forgot a link :)

  2. #2
    Love the cover. Blurb sounds intriguing too.

    The creative commons thing will be interesting. Looking forward to following your journey.

    *lurks and waits for the big red button to be pressed*

    - HEDGEPIG

  3. #3
    Inappropriately math-oriented. slhuang's Avatar
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    Hee, thanks everyone!

    OH! I forgot I wanted to add one other bit of news, which is that Ana of The Book Smugglers featured me on her "books on my radar" post this morning!

    http://thebooksmugglers.com/2014/03/...radar-158.html

    The Book Smugglers is one of my favorite review blogs in SFFdom, so needless to say, I was thrilled! I haven't really promoted the book much at all yet and didn't even know *anyone* knew about it, let alone one of my favorite review sites. Eep!

  4. #4
    Twitching ap123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slhuang View Post
    Hee, thanks everyone!

    OH! I forgot I wanted to add one other bit of news, which is that Ana of The Book Smugglers featured me on her "books on my radar" post this morning!

    http://thebooksmugglers.com/2014/03/...radar-158.html

    The Book Smugglers is one of my favorite review blogs in SFFdom, so needless to say, I was thrilled! I haven't really promoted the book much at all yet and didn't even know *anyone* knew about it, let alone one of my favorite review sites. Eep!
    That's fantastic, what a great start!
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  5. #5
    It's too hot Mclesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slhuang View Post
    Hee, thanks everyone!

    OH! I forgot I wanted to add one other bit of news, which is that Ana of The Book Smugglers featured me on her "books on my radar" post this morning!

    http://thebooksmugglers.com/2014/03/...radar-158.html

    The Book Smugglers is one of my favorite review blogs in SFFdom, so needless to say, I was thrilled! I haven't really promoted the book much at all yet and didn't even know *anyone* knew about it, let alone one of my favorite review sites. Eep!
    Oh, yay! Hopefully this will be the first of many book bloggers to promote your book and help spread the word!

    And I'm glad you started this thread. It makes it easier for me to stalk you.

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW girlyswot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slhuang View Post
    Hee, thanks everyone!

    OH! I forgot I wanted to add one other bit of news, which is that Ana of The Book Smugglers featured me on her "books on my radar" post this morning!

    http://thebooksmugglers.com/2014/03/...radar-158.html

    The Book Smugglers is one of my favorite review blogs in SFFdom, so needless to say, I was thrilled! I haven't really promoted the book much at all yet and didn't even know *anyone* knew about it, let alone one of my favorite review sites. Eep!
    I saw her tweet about it a couple of days ago, too! She sounded really excited about the book. That's great news!

  7. #7
    permanently suctioned to Buz's leg Putputt's Avatar
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    Yay Lisa!!! *drums table impatiently for publishing date*

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW
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    Ooh this one does look like fun.

    I chuckle at 'Book 0', by the way, and no mathematician here, at all.

    I do know some folks who will assert that God is Math. I get what they mean. This is ubercool stuff you're putting out there, IMO, and I hope to be able to read it.

    Good luck and congratulations!

    ETA: Fabulous cover, too.
    Last edited by Kylabelle; 03-16-2014 at 03:51 AM.

  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW beckethm's Avatar
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    I'll be looking for it to hit the shelves!

  10. #10
    not to be taken seriously LAgrunion's Avatar
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    This is very exciting!

    I'm especially intrigued by the Creative Commons license, which if I understand correctly has different levels of granted rights (e.g. you can use it for anything, only non-commercial use, etc.). What will you grant?

    If you write a prequel, will it be called Book -1? Heh.

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  11. #11
    Inappropriately math-oriented. slhuang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAgrunion View Post
    I'm especially intrigued by the Creative Commons license, which if I understand correctly has different levels of granted rights (e.g. you can use it for anything, only non-commercial use, etc.). What will you grant?
    Yes! I'm publishing under a CC-BY-NC-SA (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike) license, which means I am granting rights to share noncommercially and to create derivative works (fanfiction, etc.) as long as everything is attributed to me and the derivative works are shared under the same license. But if other people want to make money off my book, they'll have to strike a separate deal with me. (It's the same license Cory Doctorow publishes his novels under.)

    There are a fair few commercial genre authors who take lax stances toward piracy and fanfiction; I want to take an additional step to go ahead and de-criminalize them for my book series. I would, of course, prefer that people buy it, but I believe -- and we'll see if this bears out -- that the greater audience I have, the more people will buy it, even if a smaller percentage of my readers is buying my books. If that makes sense. Basically, rather than trying to enforce that everyone in the tent pay for a ticket, I'm trying to get as many people into the tent as possible and figure that if some percentage of the bigger crowd pays, I'll end up doing better! (<-- Ack, I didn't come up with the tent analogy, but I can't find the original attribution! It's something I've heard said before with regard to freer licensing.)

    And I just believe in freer culture philosophically.

    If you write a prequel, will it be called Book -1? Heh.
    Don't think I haven't thought about it . . .

  12. #12
    not to be taken seriously LAgrunion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slhuang View Post
    I would, of course, prefer that people buy it, but I believe -- and we'll see if this bears out -- that the greater audience I have, the more people will buy it, even if a smaller percentage of my readers is buying my books.
    Percentage? Why do you have to get all mathy on me?

    Basically, rather than trying to enforce that everyone in the tent pay for a ticket, I'm trying to get as many people into the tent as possible and figure that if some percentage of the bigger crowd pays, I'll end up doing better! (<-- Ack, I didn't come up with the tent analogy, but I can't find the original attribution! It's something I've heard said before with regard to freer licensing.)
    Doode, I don't understand tents. Why would you want to squeeze many people into one tent? It's like an elevator: one person farts, everybody dies.

    You'll have to put it in ways people can relate. For example, if you were explaining this to pizza-addicted Bu, you'd say something like this: Traditional licensing is like getting a tiny personal-sized pizza. CC is like getting a slice of an XXXL pizza. Hopefully, that slice will be bigger than the personal pizza.

    Barfing alphabets at my
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  13. #13
    Inappropriately math-oriented. slhuang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWest View Post
    01001001 01100110 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100011 01100001 01101110 00100000 01110010 01100101 01100001 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100100 01101111 01101110 00100111 01110100 00100000 01101110 01100101 01100101 01100100 00100000 01100111 01101100 01100001 01110011 01110011 01100101 01110011!

    01010101 01101110 01101100 01100101 01110011 01110011 00100000 01001001 00100000 01110111 01100101 01100001 01110010 00100000 01110011 01110101 01110000 01100101 01110010 00100000 01100001 01110111 01100101 01110011 01101111 01101101 01100101 00100000 01100100 01100101 01100011 01101111 01100100 01100101 01110010 00100000 01100111 01101100 01100001 01110011 01110011 01100101 01110011 00100001



    Quote Originally Posted by LAgrunion View Post
    Doode, I don't understand tents.
    Oh, right, it's camels in tents.

    Why would you want to squeeze many people into one tent? It's like an elevator: one person farts, everybody dies.
    Dammit, you've uncovered my nefarious plan!! *shifty eyes*
    Last edited by slhuang; 03-16-2014 at 04:59 AM.

  14. #14
    It's just a jump to the left... SWest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slhuang View Post
    01010101 01101110 01101100 01100101 01110011 01110011 00100000 01001001 00100000 01110111 01100101 01100001 01110010 00100000 01110011 01110101 01110000 01100101 01110010 00100000 01100001 01110111 01100101 01110011 01101111 01101101 01100101 00100000 01100100 01100101 01100011 01101111 01100100 01100101 01110010 00100000 01100111 01101100 01100001 01110011 01110011 01100101 01110011 00100001




    ...


    01010011 01101111 00100000 01100001 01101100 01101100 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01101110 01100101 01100101 01100100 00100000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100111 01101111 01101111 01100100 00100000 01101100 01110101 01100011 01101011 00100001 00100000 00001010 00001010 00101010 01110011 01100101 01101110 01100100 01110011 00100000 01110011 01101111 01101101 01100101 00100000 01110111 01101001 01110100 01101000 00100000 01100001 00100000 01101000 01101001 01100111 01101000 00100000 01100110 01101001 01110110 01100101 00101010

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    Wish Me Away

    Ours is characteristically the kind of if-it-isn't-this-it-has-to-be-that, dichotomized, either/or thinking that philosophers from earlier times have cautioned can lead to a simplistic misreading of reality. And, indeed, psychologists today have discovered it is the mark of a lower or less psychologically evolved stage of cognitive and emotional development. - Riane Eisler

    I couldn't be here in spirit, so I came in person. - Red Buttons

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by slhuang View Post
    ...

    And one other thing I'm doing that I'm hoping will help marketing is releasing under Creative Commons, which means I'm purposely making it legal to pirate my book. Yup, you read that right, I'm purposely legalizing piracy! (In fact, a stalwart belief in Creative Commons is a large part of the reason I chose to self-publish.) I believe in free culture, but I also believe that people pirating me will ultimately earn me more money, because the number one thing most authors struggle against is obscurity. So. We'll see! It's an experiment. I'll be sure to report back to you all.
    I follow a similar belief, so I'll be curious how this works out for you.

    Go Lisa!


  16. #16
    It's just a jump to the left... SWest's Avatar
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    01001001 01100110 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100011 01100001 01101110 00100000 01110010 01100101 01100001 01100100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100100 01101111 01101110 00100111 01110100 00100000 01101110 01100101 01100101 01100100 00100000 01100111 01101100 01100001 01110011 01110011 01100101 01110011!

    ebooks & stuff Twitter
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    Wish Me Away

    Ours is characteristically the kind of if-it-isn't-this-it-has-to-be-that, dichotomized, either/or thinking that philosophers from earlier times have cautioned can lead to a simplistic misreading of reality. And, indeed, psychologists today have discovered it is the mark of a lower or less psychologically evolved stage of cognitive and emotional development. - Riane Eisler

    I couldn't be here in spirit, so I came in person. - Red Buttons

  17. #17
    practical experience, FTW
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    (they are actually saying intelligible things to each other in binary.)

    *runs from room where too smart scary peeples are!*


  18. #18
    phoenix blazing Parametric's Avatar
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    01010100 01101000 01100001 01101110 01101011 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101111 00100000 01000111 01101111 01101111 01100111 01101100 01100101 00101100 00100000 01100101 01110110 01100101 01101110 00100000 01001001 00100000 01100011 01100001 01101110 00100000 01110011 01110000 01100101 01100001 01101011 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100001


  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW grayworld's Avatar
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    I failed Trig many moons ago, but I'll definitely take a look based on the cover, title, tagline, and Book 0-ness alone. Sounds awesome!
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  20. #20
    It's all about grace
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    Great cover. I wish you much success!
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  21. #21
    Hijacked by barnyard animals. Wanderluster's Avatar
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    I can't wait to buy eet and read eet and snorgle eet and slather myself in eet!!!

    Congratulations on the Book Smuggler feature!! Yaaaaaaay Leesa!

    Also,

    01001111 01001101 01000111 00100000 01111001 01101111 01110101 00100000 01100111 01110101 01111001 01110011 00100000 01100001 01110010 01100101 00100000 01110011 01110101 01100011 01101000 00100000 01101110 01100101 01110010 01100100 01110011 00100001 00100000 00100000 01010111 01100001 01101001 01110100 00101100 00100000 01001001 00100111 01101101 00100000 01100001 00100000 01101110 01100101 01110010 01100100 00101100 00100000 01110100 01101111 01101111 00100001 00100000 00100000 01011001 01100001 01111001 00100001 00100000 01000011 01101111 01101110 01100111 01110010 01100001 01110100 01110101 01101100 01100001 01110100 01101001 01101111 01101110 01110011 00101100 00100000 01001100 01100101 01100101 01110011 01100001 00100001 00100000 00100000 01010000 01110101 01110011 01101000 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01110010 01100101 01100100 00100000 01100010 01110101 01110100 01110100 01101111 01101110 00100001

  22. #22
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    This is a brilliant thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by slhuang View Post
    The first book is titled ZERO SUM GAME (I'm starting with Book 0, hahaha! <-- nobody thinks that's funny except me)
    It made me laugh.

    My mathsy son did a sort of squiggle with his face when I told him. I'm not sure if it was a laugh or a grimace but he's a man of few words.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kylabelle View Post
    I do know some folks who will assert that God is Math.
    My aforementioned mathsy son was told this once:

    Biologists think they're biochemists; biochemists think they're chemists; chemists think they're chemical physicists; chemical physicists think they're physicists; physicists think they're god; and god thinks he's a mathematician.
    V JVFU LBH GUR IREL ORFG JVGU LBHE FRYS CHOYVFUVAT RAQRNIBEF, FYUHNAT, NAQ UBCR LBH FRYY URNCF BS PBCVRF.

    Anyone struggling with the binary code earlier in the thread could look here; anyone struggling with my coded piece could think about the number 13.


    Good luck on your journey, slhuang.

  23. #23
    It's just a jump to the left... SWest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    ...



    V JVFU LBH GUR IREL ORFG JVGU LBHE FRYS CHOYVFUVAT RAQRNIBEF, FYUHNAT, NAQ UBCR LBH FRYY URNCF BS PBCVRF.

    ...
    JR ERNYYL FUBHYQ CHG HC OBBXFURYIRF...
    ebooks & stuff Twitter
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    Wish Me Away

    Ours is characteristically the kind of if-it-isn't-this-it-has-to-be-that, dichotomized, either/or thinking that philosophers from earlier times have cautioned can lead to a simplistic misreading of reality. And, indeed, psychologists today have discovered it is the mark of a lower or less psychologically evolved stage of cognitive and emotional development. - Riane Eisler

    I couldn't be here in spirit, so I came in person. - Red Buttons

  24. #24
    Inappropriately math-oriented. slhuang's Avatar
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    Aaaaa this thread is amazing!! You guys are amazing! *hugs you all*

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack View Post
    It made me laugh.

    My mathsy son did a sort of squiggle with his face when I told him. I'm not sure if it was a laugh or a grimace but he's a man of few words.
    Ha! I'll take it. You can tell him that I'm the only mathy person in the world who still thinks the abelian grape joke is funny.

    V JVFU LBH GUR IREL ORFG JVGU LBHE FRYS CHOYVFUVAT RAQRNIBEF, FYUHNAT, NAQ UBCR LBH FRYY URNCF BS PBCVRF.
    Quote Originally Posted by SWest View Post
    JR ERNYYL FUBHYQ CHG HC OBBXFURYIRF...
    LBH THLF NER JBAQRESHY! *FAVSS*

    Thank you!

  25. #25
    Writing! Writing! Writing! Requiescat In Pace
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    Looking forward to following your journey.
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