Posts Tagged ‘wizards’

Back to Books

Back to writing about books! Any fellow writers out there know that book sales have crapped the bed across the board. Anybody who says they aren’t is lying – or they’d better have evidence to back it up they’re willing to present. In spite of that, a fellow fantasy author and a hell of a guy named Michael Mathias just recently sold his one millionth book. That, I think is one hell of a milestone. A milestone I hope one day to reach, although at the rate things are going that might take a lot longer than I expected.

Amidst congratulating him on his success he admitted that book sales were down for him too, but KU was keeping him going. KU (Kindle Unlimited), which I’ve blogged about in the past, is a system where people pay $9.95 a month and get access to pretty much any book in the KU catalog at no additional cost. I think there’s a tie in to Amazon Prime Members too, but I forget exactly what it is.

My past blogs have discussed how I’ve been shying away from KU after trying it out here and there. The price per word paid to authors keeps going down and I felt I made more by going abroad with my books. You see, to be in KU a book has to be exclusive to Amazon (in digital format). I ran my tests and did my research and it seemed to me I could make 30% – 50% of my net royalties off of non-Amazon retailers if I could get my books out to said retailers, whereas leaving them exclusive to Amazon did not earn me enough extra money to offset the loss on other sales channels.

After talking to Mike, it occurred to me that I might need to look at things again.

About the same time I got an email from Smashwords. Smashwords distributes books enrolled to them to other sales outlets (iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, etc.). I used to put all my books through them as well as Amazon direct. Then Draft2Digital came along and I tried them out – much easier, faster, and a far better system. I highly recommend and praise D2D. Smashwords… not so much. Especially after I received an email from them letting me know that several of my books that had been in their premium catalog and doing just fine for years were suddenly no longer eligible because the covers weren’t sized properly.

What. The. ****.

Those two unrelated events came together and made me decide to try another experiment. My fantasy trilogy, Blades of Leander, had once been incredible popular. They were stories in a knights, wizards, and dragons kind of setting. Typical fantasy fare with my spin on things that put the characters first. Anyhow, they did awesome a couple of years ago but then they dropped off the charts. Dropped off as in now they are practically non-existent on said charts. When it comes to non-Amazon outlets, they were completely non-existent.

Well, Child of Fate, Victim of Fate, and Silver Dragon are now exclusive to Amazon and available to KU members at no cost! Not only that, but Child of Fate is free as of this morning and tomorrow to anyone on Amazon that wants to grab it.

I’m switching more things over too in the near future, so keep checking to see what comes up on special next!


To learn more about Jason Halstead visit his website to read about him, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at

Writing for Survival

This year started out pretty good for me. December of 2013 and January and February of 2014 were very solid. Comfortable sales numbers that made me feel great about how 2014 was going to go. Then March started to slack off and it didn’t get any better in April or May. I became almost desperate and tried some new books that broke away from my usual routine to try some new stuff. New stuff that I really enjoyed writing, even though it didn’t take off.

Then my wife stepped up and said why don’t you do something different? That’s what people are reading, and that’s the kind of books I like to read. Why not…

And so I did. With her ideas, support, and feedback along the way, we put together a paranormal serial romance called Claimed by the Beast. It’s done great so far and, honestly, saved us from some rather embarrassing financial shortcomings. It could do a lot better still, but neither of us is complaining in the least about what success we’ve had.

But I missed my books. I missed pure fantasy and science fiction. I missed my characters. So after we finished the last bit of Claimed by the Beast, I went straight into my next project, my seventh Voidhawk book (Voidhawk – Broken Shards). I’d been talking about what I wanted to do for a while and finally I had the chance. But I had to be quick. I was out of circulation for a couple of months now and my wonderful readers were probably beginning to wonder. I went from publishing at least one novel a month to nothing for over 2 months? Had I died?

So Broken Shards had to be written fast. I started it on June 19th and finished the rough draft on July 19th. Not my best, but it’s also 95,000 words (give or take a handful). It’s in my editors hands and cover art has been moving along nicely. But that’s just numbers and stats, it doesn’t share why it’s such a great idea.

Broken Shards returned the crew of the Voidhawk (a fantasy vessel that sails through the void between worlds using the solar wind to power it). I’d forgotten how much fun they are. Diverse, exciting, flawed, and mighty. The thing is, there’s always something bigger and badder, and they have a talent at finding it. This time around their only hope to stop what’s happening takes them to a very special place. A world called Kroth.

Kroth not only has the means of helping them put an end to their troubles, but it has some special people that can help along the way. People my long time fantasy readers will know and love. Alto, Patrina, Garrick, Karthor, Mordrim, Kar, and Namitus. It’s a little rocky, putting two very strong and opinionated groups together, but when the fate of their very realm is at stake they either have to get along or find a new reality to live in.

As much fun as all of that was, I shocked myself with the ending. I know, the thought of me leaving myself shaking with excitement is kind of weird, but the end wrote itself and just turned out to be absolutely amazing. Granted, I may biased and kind of close to the topic, but even so the way it worked out felt like poetry. The good kind, where the words makes sense and you’re not wondering if you’re supposed to like it because people who think they are sophisticated tell you to.

And what’s next? Well my month off writing Broken Shards saw Dawn Michelle dreaming up all sorts of thing for us to collaborate on next. So we’re working on a prequel to Claimed by the Beast. Taken by the Beast is the name and it’s going to be a historical paranormal romance. It will also flesh out a couple of the characters in Claimed by the Beast that deserve to have their backstory told and understood. And yes, it will contain a lot of what made Claimed by the Beast so fun, meaning some flaring passions and a lot of action and excitement.

Fans of Dawn Michelle, be on the lookout for Claimed by the Beast – Part Six coming out around August 1st. Fans of Jason Halstead and the Voidhawk series (and Blades of Leander) watch for Voidhawk – Broken Shards a week or so after. Then Taken by the Beast will be next and when that’s done, we’ll have to see what’s next. So far we like the concept of me writing a novel and giving my wife chance to come up with what’s next and then working on it together, so alternating books might be the way things go for a while. Whatever the case, I know I’ve got another Vitalis book burning in the back of my head and with the way Broken Shards ended, I’m dying to write the next book in that series too! I guess the one thing I can guarantee is that there won’t be a shortage of great books to read.

To learn more about Jason Halstead visit his website to read about him, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at

Victims of Fate

November 12, 2012 Leave a comment

No funny word play today, Victims of Fate is the title of book two in my Blades of Leander fantasy series. It starts up where Child of Fate left off…well, sort of. Several months have passed and the characters have grown a bit. Alto has been training hard, Namitus has been getting into trouble, Karthor has been working hard within the church, and Kar has been making snide comments about his son’s religious practices while researching everything he can about the menace that looms in the mountains to the north. That’s a lot of ‘has beens,’ but it’s for a good cause. And that cause is your entertainment!

Circumstance will call these men to service again, although I’ll admit I’m not quite certain how it’s all going to work out yet. I’ve got plans though. Great plans that will take them back to the mountains in the north (and beneath them). They’ll discover amazing things and suffer amazing losses. It’s going to be tough book for them, but one worth the ride. The only thing I still have to figure out is where, and how, the unpredictable troll shaman, Thork, is going to fit into the book.

Last night I began writing it. I stopped at a measly 500 words, content that I’d gotten my foot in the door. After bath time and bed time for the kids I sat down and realized that I had no done an acceptable job of starting the story. So I rewrote it. What was 500 words turned into 2300. I’d have kept going but it was getting late. That’s how the truly great stories work, they pull things out of me that I didn’t know existed. It’s almost like I’m discovering the book at the same time the readers are. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

In case you can’t tell, I’m excited about it. I was in a bit of low state after finishing Bounty and sending it off for editing. How could I find that much fun and excitement again? I felt burned out and feared I needed some time off to recharge. It turns out I was wrong. Once I started Child of Fate it filled me up with the energy I needed. Once again I live vicariously through the characters! It is a wonderful blessing to be able to live multiple lives. To see things through the eyes of others, even if those others are fictional beings. Writers and readers alike are gifted in that sense, and I can’t wait to share these characters and what they see and feel with the world.

And since Victims of Fate will be two to three months out until it’s available, why not pick up Child of Fate so you can see how it all started?

Child of Fate, by Jason Halstead


To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at