This past weekend at the Storybrooke Cafe!

I want to thank Natalie at Storybrooke Cafe for having me at a signing, as well as inviting other writers! I met a bunch of nice people, and I’m going to talk about them! I’ll end up by talking about other projects Sword & Lion Publishing is looking into.

First is Natalie, herself. Natalie, you rock! It felt honored that you invited me to your shop, and that you’re supporting local writers. I look forward to attending another signing!

There are the writers I met:

Continue reading This past weekend at the Storybrooke Cafe!

Sword & Lion Publishing at Oddmall Akron

Since people are, no doubt, waiting for a post about Sword & Lion Publishing’s experiences at Oddmall Akron, I’m gonna talk about that!

Short form: it was a very positive experience for both Ashlan Swain and myself.

Everyone was very friendly and helpful. We got a bunch of people on the mailing list, and we sold some books, too. And, for the first time since starting this whole business, the flow of money changed directions – instead of everything going out, some money flowed back in. While I’m committed enough to keep losing money at shows for at least a couple of years – I have no illusions that it will take quite some time to find the readers for the kinds of books that S&L publishes and that getting those first few fans will be the roughest – but it was really nice to see the flow of money reverse. It makes me think that my business strategy will work.

I was also pleased that I was able to keep up a running line of patter for both days. At shows, I know I’m primarily a salesman. While I know the quality of your product gets return business, to get your foot in the door requires selling. I was worried that my social anxiety would get the better of me, and I’d take every rejection personally. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. When someone said that dark fantasy wasn’t their gig, it was just someone expressing their preference and I was glad to be able to end my pitch and move on to the next person. When someone didn’t buy into my pitch, it just meant that this wasn’t the right place or time, not an indictment of my art or character.

I know that even very good books don’t appeal to everyone. One of my favorite books, after all, is <i>Dune</i>. Lots of sci-fi fans can’t get through it! Does it mean <i>Dune</i> isn’t a good book? Of course not.

Otherwise, it was a learning experience.

There’s only so much research a person can do before jumping in with both feet. I’d reached that point. There will always be something new I “should” do before acting. Sometimes, it is best to act and clean up the mess. At the show, I learned I had some messes – but nothing that can’t be cleaned. Over the next several shows, I expect to put what I learned into effect – make my booth better, my presentation slicker and see overall improvements. Insofar as I had a goal with the booth, I reached it – it looked pretty good, and people thought I looked professional.

We met a lot of people, and they were all great! If I have left anyone out, it’s just that we were so overwhelmed with how friendly and helpful everyone was!

First, I’d like to thank the people at the show.  Of particular note is Andy Hopp of Mutha Oith Creations!  Thank you for everything, Andy!

Next, I’d like to thank Sam from Leaf Filter for an honest critique of the booth and where we can and should improve things. Also, Pendragon Chainmail for being such great neighbors and drawing such big crowds!

Additionally, I’d like to give a shout out to Jordan and Sophia who make the adorable Taneko – part cat, part octopus, all adorable, though Jordan argued that both cats and octopi are apex predators, thus the taneko undoubtedly imbued with fighting spirit – as well as great art over at their Etsy store. We had dinner with them, and they were wonderful, so you should go over and buy their stuff RIGHT NOW. Or you’re a bad person. There. I said it.

We also met Corey Sheldon, who is the writer of the Valley of Progress books. In addition to being retro-science fiction with oodles of social commentary about the interplay between technological progress and environmental preservation. Additionally, you should go to the site and find him at cons just to look at his beautiful art. The art deco inspired art – also done by Corey – is to die for, and he has made all kinds of bennies for his work. To me, of particular note are the various advertisements done in art deco style for the companies in his books! It’s just beautiful stuff, and everyone should check it out.

There’s also Jeff over at The Goblin Trader, who was friendly as all get out, Dan Arman at As Dreamers Do Press, D. Lieber the writer of Conjuring Zephyr, Rose Withering, and far too many others to mention!

Also, of course, thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth! You’re the reason we come out, after all!

Presenting Heroism and Other Lies, Episode 1, Pilot, by Douglas S. Miller

In association with Douglas Miller, Sword & Lion Publishing presents Heroism and Other Lie’s first episode, Pilot.  (It’s possible Doug likes puns.  Just saying.)  Doug’s bullet description is, “A former hero and a pilot get caught up in a conspiracy with megacorps, a hacker, and a super-powered madman.”  Go grab it, now!  Also available in paperback!


Introducing Mere Anarchy: Lord Goblin’s First Joint

Sword & Lion Publishing is proud to publish an exciting new modern fantasy novel, first of a series.  Described by author Kit Bradley as “a mixed martial arts apocalyptic dark modern fantasy with goblins,” Mere Anarchy is the first of an ongoing series about Channing Montmorency who struggles to survive and thrive after a supernatural cataclysm.  Join him and his friends as they battle not just the mysterious alvar, brutal trolls, and cannibalistic goblins from the Otherworld – but all-too-human forces of cruelty and barbarism at the end of the world.

If you like action-filled dark fantasy stories written for intelligent and adult audiences, you should buy Mere Anarchy immediately!

Introducing Night War: The Dark Side of Dayton

Sword & Lion Publishing is very proud to present the first volume of Ohio’s premier fantasy-horror anthology, Night War.  Inside are stories from six Ohio writers, stories about werewolves and ghosts, frogmen and vampires.  They are stories of mystery, terror, blood, violence, and horror.

Sword & Lion is very grateful and proud of all the contributors: Kit Bradley, Quinn Cheshire, K. E. Conway, Warren Fitzpatrick, Douglas Miller, and Ashlan Swain!  In the future, Sword & Lion is certain that some of them will be internationally recognized authors!

If you like horror and tales of the modern supernatural, Night War is for you!  Buy it now, and please comment!  Tell us what you love, and we’ll do more of it!

Why a Publishing Imprint for a Self-Published Writer

I find it slightly weird to have to make this post, but a friend of mine said that he didn’t trust publishing companies that were primarily about one writer’s work.

For my part, I see writing and publishing as my business, and it is typical to name your business.

A great deal confuses me about the way that many – if not most – writers approach the business of writing. Mostly, that few see it as a business. I understand the desire to put off the publishing details on someone else. It’s a giant pain in my ass to have to handle editing, marketing, and publishing – and I’m not good at some of these jobs, to boot. But I feel that many writers, in their rush to find someone else to do the business of publishing, also forget it is a business.

Continue reading Why a Publishing Imprint for a Self-Published Writer

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Night War: The Dark Side of Dayton
Heroism and Other Lies: Episode 101: Pilot
Lord Goblin's First Joint: Mere Anarchy