Progress news


Revealing Exciting New Cover Art!

After four days of intensive work, I now have new cover art for the first Astronomicon novel. The book rewrite has gone well, creating a novel which is substantially different and much improved from the original. A new front cover seemed like a good way to draw a clear distinction between this novel and the original.

That was enough of a reason on its own, but as the novel has a new name (Inception Point) and the design of the Elysian spacecraft featured on the existing cover art has completely changed, the existing artwork is also completely obsolete. I created a 3D model of the Elysian vessel over a year ago but it was only ever supposed to be a diagram to help me write the novel. Several attempts to improve it enough to work for illustrations did not produce good results, so my only other option was to rebuild it from scratch.

This time, with rendering in mind, I built it again with considerably more detail and appropriate lighting. It was a huge amount of work, but I think the results are more than worth it.

3D photorealistic render of Elysian space craft cover art.

Of course, the big advantage of creating a 3D model is that I can produce shots of it from any angle, at any distance and infinitely vary the lighting. For example, producing a rear-view shot like this took less than forty minutes:

3D photorealistic rear view of Elysian spacecraft cover art(Sorry, I forgot to change the background before rendering that one!)

I am so pleased with the results of this exercise, that I will definitely give it a go for more of the Astronomicon novels. Building the ship models at this level of finish, and matching detail, is certainly time-consuming, but just look at the results! It’s the best cover art I’ve ever created myself. I just hope it helps my sales on Amazon.


Read the new Astronomicon #1 on Wattpad for #FREE!

Inception Point front cover artI’ve already posted the first 27 chapters of Astronomicon: Inception Point on Wattpad and I’m trying to post a new chapter every day! If all goes to plan, I’ll have all fifty chapters posted before this time next month.

I haven’t decided yet if I will leave it up on Wattpad indefinitely but it will be there for at least 30 days after the final chapter is posted. Ultimately, I’ll be publishing it on Amazon. In the meantime, I’m looking for feedback and I’m especially keen to hear what you all like (or don’t like) about each of the chapters. Please don’t feel shy about leaving comments. Feedback can be extremely helpful.

If you like a chapter, please, please vote for it. It helps me target those chapters that need improvement by looking out for those with lower vote ratios.

 

Read Astronomicon: Inception point here for free..

 

All the feedback I’ve received so far has been very positive. Inception Point has the highest vote to read ratio that I’ve ever had on Wattpad and far above the average. I’m hoping that’s a good sign! My own opinion is that this new version of the novel holds together much better, the science is more accurate and the pacing is vastly improved. I’m hoping my readers feel the same way but, if not, please let me know. I’m tough – I can take it!

 

Thank you for reading it and even more if you leave a comment there too!


Astronomicon #1

Astronomicon: The Beginning old cover designIt’s been a lot of work and it’s STILL not finished, but the first batch of chapters have been sent to my trusty proofreaders. The second and third (final) batch will be going that way very soon and I’m now trying to sort out a new front cover too. The layout and font are in place but I’m missing the actual cover art. I did consider going with a pure black cover with just the title of the book across the middle in the classic Astronomicon font, but for that to work, it needs to be embossed or foiled. Less than that tends to look more like a printing issue!

There’s still a round of editing and then a final proofread to go before I publish the initial release version on Wattpad. An Amazon launch will follow within weeks after that but in a break from my previous business model, it will not be free. Being free on Amazon now is a quick way to disappear in a sea of poor quality junk, so Astronomicon #1 will be priced at 99p (99c) instead. It’s a token payment (the lowest Amazon permit) but it means the novel will be competing with paid books rather than all the free stuff out there.

One more thing which hasn’t happened yet is the title reveal. It will no longer be named “Astronomicon: The Beginning” but the new name is a secret for now.


35,000 Words into Astronomicon #1

Whilst I didn’t finish the NaNoWriMo challenge this year, it did get me 35,000 words on the way to completing the rewrite of the first Astronomicon novel. That’s not bad progress. It’s shown me that it’s entirely possible to squeeze in 500-1000 words per day most days of the week, so I can keep some momentum going until the book is finished.

Unlike the original, this new one will not be perma-free. There are SO many free books out there these days that most people equate free with poor quality. I’ll be pricing it at Amazon’s minimum of 99p (99c) but running a bunch of free days immediately after launch so people who already have the original version but want to see the new one, don’t have to pay.

I’m most pleased with the pacing of the new version. The original had some patches which were too slow and not particularly interesting. This one is structured very differently and makes it a drastically more exciting ride for the reader. This left me with some problems with character development. I have had to be someone covert with the character development, weaving it discretely into the action and brief conversations as the long, evening conversations of the original just don’t happen in this one.

With things getting busier the closer we get to Christmas, I’m most unlikely to finish it this year, but I’m hoping to be posting chapters on Wattpad before the end of January 2020. I’ll post updates here and do a big announcement as soon as the new version launches. The Amazon release will follow a few weeks later.