Being an Indie Writer!

Though it feels like a decade ago, it was only last year, around this point in time, when I had the opportunity to participate in Indie Author Day hosted by the Edmonton Public Library. Never did it occur to me then, that a year down the road, I would have published my second book.

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Indie writers who choose the path of self-publishing often have their work cut out for them with a slew of responsibilities ranging from editing and proofreading as well as marketing their finished product. There are of course a variety of reputed services (ranging from cheap to quite expensive) to assist authors with this, but it largely rests upon the individual’s efforts and motivation to get the book out to their readers.

Attending events such as Indie Author Day, not to mention, scouring through vast resources online I have also had the chance to engage with my fellow indie authors. My own experiences with self-publishing began with Our Last Summer: A Personal Memoir. Purchasing a book publishing plan, I was provided with professional proofreading and marketing services that helped in getting my first book out to the world. While the venture was quite expensive (one that I wish I could have averted), the experience was akin to a trial through fire, allowing me to learn from my mistakes and get a clearer picture of the enormously complex industry of book publication, and marketing. Moving on, I decided to publish my second book through Amazon, being a little more observant of my budget and goals this time around.

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It is a never-ending but largely satisfactory struggle to be an Indie writer.

Though my books haven’t necessarily been successful in their own right, I can’t deny that I’m still happy with the end result. As a writer, one has to believe in their work, and take pleasure in the art of eliciting one’s thoughts, emotions, and imagination to their intended audience. My goals with the two books I have published so far have largely been to satisfy and pay tribute to particular events in my life. Altogether, Our Last Summer: A Personal Memoir and A Little Bit Of Everything represent my journey over the last 15 years of my life, reaching back to my adventures in high school, all the way to where I am now.

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For so long, I have looked back upon the memories of our last summer, cherishing them, and holding them close, afraid to let go…Now, riding along the winds of a greater adventure, filled with a little bit of everything I’ve always longed for in my life, I wish to move forward toward that endless horizon spanning a brighter future.

In the end, the peace and happiness I found in writing about my life, my friends, my love, and my family are representative of what I take away from my experiences in self-publishing. Of course, I don’t deny the obvious difficulties and complications that followed in publishing and marketing my books. It is A LOT of work, and while self-publishing may grant a certain level of flexibility within every phase of publication (from budgeting to choosing selective services in marketing and proofreading etc.) it IS largely an independent and never-ending effort (one must be persistent in promoting their work even after publication).

Moving forward, I hope to explore other outlets of publishing. For a change, I have decided to go the traditional path. It is never too late to begin researching, and as I spend the next few months brainstorming my novella, I also intend to obtain the necessary resources required to eventually get me across the finish line (once I set foot on the final lap). Does this mean I’m no longer an Indie writer? Nope. To me, being an indie author is a matter of self-definition, an approach that defers to every individual writer in their approach towards writing and publishing their work. I have always identified myself as the creative director of my books, from concept to completion and beyond. The decision to vie for traditional publishing is nothing more than another opportunity to exercise my knowledge in the writing industry, and establish partnerships that may facilitate my spirit and creativity as an indie-writer while collaborating with other publishing professionals in producing a good book for my readers.

My takeaway message to my fellow Indie authors and aspiring writers would be that one should never not lose sight of their true objectives. For me, the writing always comes first. My goals with Our Last Summer: A Personal Memoir and A Little Bit Of Everything was largely to share my personal experiences with my family and friends as well as mature in my own right as an individual and identify with my true passion in life, writing. In that measure, I have certainly been very successful. As of now, I’m setting my sights on a trifecta of writing projects. Two of said projects will  assist in establishing my humble beginnings as a mangaka, while the third will  hopefully become my breakout novel in the world of writing. Though my goals may be far-fetched on the outset, it is necessary to have a certain degree of aspiration (and a big dreamy heart) to succeed as a writer, and that is just what I’m going to do!

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A part of me always knew that I wanted to be a writer, even though it took me long enough to actually admit it. While I have no clue as to how my dreams will fully manifest, I delight in the mystery of not knowing, as it has only made my experiences so far all the more adventures and awesome. Now, having said all of this, it is time for me to set off on my journey, across this sea of dreams!
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Exams, Assignments, and All-Nighters

Last week was a throwback to my past as an undergraduate student when I pulled off my third all-nighter over the last eight years of studies at university. Now, an exam looms upon the horizon, followed by scores of assignments and research objectives to manage…Indeed, the gauntlet has been thrown, and I have made my decision…

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While I may not necessarily have an official fellowship to assist me, I take heart in that I have my fellow classmates and friends who shall also suffer in this war with me.

Bound to this confounding cycle of…

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I find solace in my pensive reverie…So, having said that, hi everyone!

It has been a busy few days, but I’m hoping to regain my bearings once I complete my midterm exam this week. Looking ahead, I will be posting on my experiences so far in independent publishing having recently published my second book: A Little Bit Of Everything. 

September was also a month of several delightful surprises, not to mention, my first viewing of the Northern Lights (which occurred during a casual walk home one night from the superstore). As awesome as it was to observe the celestial event, which was surprisingly clear despite the light pollution in the city that night, I plan to write a small anecdote on the phenomenon itself touching base with my general passion for astronomy.

I now leave you all with this short update as I once again embark on the Sisyphean expedition that my PhD research has become, not to mention the general course of assignments and course work to follow. It is certainly the calm before the storm as I prepare for my midterm but with a creeping doubt where I’m,

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As the bells of exam halls toll,

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Correction: Mid-semester, the war will truly come to an end at the end of the semester.

I shall fight the good fight, and do my best so that I may soon reengage all of you, my fellow readers and friends, at The Pensive Reverie with some delightful tales, amid auroras and published books, of what has been a beautiful fall season.

Flash Discount Sale for my book!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update to let everyone know that I’m running a discounted sale for my recently released book A Little Bit Of Everything. It will now be available for $0.99 on all Amazon outlets (US/UK/CA … etc.) between 9/25/2017 – 9/30/2017.

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Here is the link to get you started: Amazon.Com

For those who have had the chance to read my book, I hope you enjoyed it. For those who have just stumbled onto this news recently or missed my previous updates on the release, here is a summary (detailed in an earlier post) to get you on track.

While the tale to be read is fictional in nature, A Little Bit Of Everything is the spiritual successor to my first work in Our Last Summer: A Personal Memoir. The foundation of the plot is in fact inspired from very real events in my personal life involving an assortment of themes from love, hope, and dreams to personal identity, friendship, and family. An author’s copy of the book now rests in my bookshelf alongside a massive binder consisting of three different drafts of the work through the years.,

One aspect that sets apart A Little Bit of Everything from Our Last Summer: A Personal Memoir involves the illustrations that accompany the story. A picture is worth a thousand words or so they say; I decided to roll with this philosophy in expressing the ideas and emotions of various scenarios through the drawings that span the book’s pages.

Having published the book, I’m both happy, and sad. I’m happy in that I succeeded in bringing to life a story that had resided in my heart for many years; sad in that this wonderful journey has come to an end. Moving onward, I relish in the joy of being able to share my story with all of you!

A Little Bit of Everything is now available through Amazon (Amazon.Com; it’s also available on amazon.ca/.uk/.de/.fr/.es/.it/.jp/.nl/.br/.mx/.in/.au/) as a Kindle e-book. Similarly, the book is also available in paperback format on most of the aforementioned links (a few more days before it will be available on all of them). The paperback format is also distributed through my Createspace E-store (ALBOECreatespace), and will be distributed through online and offline retailers such as Barnes & Noble and to distributors such as Ingram, NACSCORP, Baker & Taylor (which distributes to libraries).

 

Book Review – The Dragons of Eden

Until now, my coverage of Carl Sagan’s The Dragons of Eden has been on a chapter to chapter basis presented in the “Read Along” section of the blog. As mentioned in my last post,  I will be scrapping this in favor of exclusive reviews on selective books I wish to discuss, henceforth. So, without further delay, let’s bring the curtains down on The Dragons of Eden.

Carl Sagan, noted astronomer, science communicator, and author of The Dragons of Eden.

The premise of the book is clearly stated in the subtitle: “Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence.” Sagan wishes to explore the various facets of human intelligence by calling to motion a simple question: why are humans, humans? He attempts to investigate, in what has been a shared effort by the academic community, a conclusive answer to this question from a purely scientific viewpoint while entertaining “occasional excursions into myths, ancient and modern.” The title of the book supports Sagan’s approach in a compilation of ideas on the “unexpected aptness” of various different myths when compared to scientific theories.

Beginning with time immemorial at the Big Bang, we ride the waves of time flowing toward the current epoch of human civilization. Human evolution is often described in the form of a metaphor, an “abstraction of beasts,” as Sagan uses various comparative arguments to build the foundation of his work in the earlier chapters, particularly in Chapter 2 – Genes and Brains (which I provided a full summary of in the Read Along), before settling into the pivotal point of his work which focuses on the evolution of human intelligence in the subsequent chapters describing the characteristics of the human brain and its evolutionary growth.

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Very old are we men; our dreams re tales told in dim Eden… – Walter De La Mare “All That’s Past”

Following the footsteps of his predecessor in Jacob Bronowski, whose work in The Ascent of Man is an account of how human beings and human brains evolved, Sagan has presented his own unique approach to the same subject in his book.  While we don’t necessarily discover an absolute answer on the origin of human intelligence, Sagan’s book is nevertheless an exhilarating journey that offers his insight into the brains of man and beast, the plethora of recent discoveries in science supporting the theory of human evolution, and most interestingly how they serve to be the function of our most familiar myths, and legends. 

Sagan’s work doesn’t end there. His arguments and words serve as microphone toward the need for intellectual rigor, and a rejection of the absent skepticism prevalent in modern-day society. Altogether, The Dragons of Eden is an excellent book that talks about all kinds of things, from the reasons for sleeping and dreaming to the definition of death in what is a fascinating and delightfully short compendium of knowledge that should be read by everyone alike. Sagan was an influential science communicator (one of my favorites), if not one of the best; his works are well worth the effort of reading for anyone interested with or without a scientific background.

A New Adventure…

I was hoping to have this post up last weekend but unfortunately, I couldn’t get down to it. As a good friend of mine would often say,

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On the heels of a cumulative three-year journey of writing and publishing my second book A Little Bit Of Everything, as well as the completion of my Masters degree and transition to my doctoral studies, it was inevitable that at some point I was going to burn out. That is indeed what happened over the last two weeks where I got lost on the path of life, all the while feeling apathetic on just about everything.

Thankfully enough, a refreshing long-weekend trip to the nearby dino-town of Drumheller followed by a boat load of procrastination mixed in with a vicious cycle of apartment shopping, movies, anime, and Age of Empires have got me back on track. All of which leads me back to where I’m right now.

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I’m up for a long haul of work over the next four to five years comprising my doctoral studies. Being one to never look too far ahead into the future, for now, I intend to begin my grand plans on expanding this blog. While I’m still juggling various ideas on how to organize the content that I post on this blog (for example, I intend to scrape the idea of  “Read Along With Me” exclusively in favor of book reviews), as well as setting up an author page, I will begin with going back to my regular routines of posts as usual.

For this week, I would like to lay down the hatchet by completing what has been a long overdue review of Carl Sagan’s Dragons of Eden. This will be followed by a discussion of my experiences with Amazon Kindle, and self-publishing. For those among my readers who aspire to become independent writers in their own stead, I’m hoping to share the resources I have used to find a measure of success in independent publishing.

The posts will be out by this weekend. Meanwhile, I will be continuing to run promotions on A Little Bit Of Everything, while setting the stage for the next triad of writing projects I have planned to develop over the course of my PhD studies. For all my readers who have had a chance to read my book, I really hope you enjoyed it.

I will see you all very soon with my next post!

Get your e-book signed!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update!

My book sales have going quite well so far, and I’m really thankful to all of my readers who jumped on the opportunity to get a free copy of the e-book version available on Kindle. Do spread the word to your friends! While the free sale may have ended, the book is still available on Kindle and Paperback via Amazon (Amazon.Com; also available on .ca/.uk/.de/.fr/.es/.it/.jp/.nl/.br/.mx/.in/.au/) and my Createspace E-store at ALBOECreatespace.

I also made a small change on the blog. I’ve set up an Authorgraph widget on the right-hand side corner of the webpage (located right above the Calendar).

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Authorgraph makes it possible for authors to sign e-books for their readers. Just click on the link and it should take you to Authorgraph, where you can search or browse my books.

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You should find something like this once you get to the website. “Locke” is my pseudonym, as well as my Twitter handle.

You can then click “Request Authorgraph” for your selection, and if you would like, include a short message to me, so you can get your e-book signed! You will receive an email once I have signed your Authorgraph.

I will be posting more updates on further sales and promotions to come in the near future. I have been quite busy hitting a small bump of writer’s block as well as getting ready for the start of a new school year as I begin my PhD. But do not fear, come this weekend, I shall soon continue with the general regiment of posts (apart from book promotions) planned beforehand.

I hope you are all enjoying the book so far! Do provide a rating on Amazon whenever you get the chance! I’ll see you all again this weekend. Toodles!

Free book sale ends tonight!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick reminder that the free book sale of my newly released work “A Little Bit Of Everything” ends midnight Pacific time today. Get your free copy now on Amazon!

Here’s the link: Grab a copy!

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