Please Read

If you'd like an account, please email accounts at this domain name  to ask for one. Include your email address and an explanation of why you want an account.

this is just a formality, to weed out spammers.

Navigation
User login

PostHeaderIconThe Eighth Succession

PostHeaderIcon August Books of the Month

Welcome to a new feature. Every month I'm going to highlight one or two of my books.

August's books of the month are The Eighth Succession and Children of the Eighth Day. These titles introduce the Hoister Family Eighth Generation, a family of paranormal clone geniuses.

Both books will be one sale during a specific week in August, and I'll be giving a lot of information about them, mostly on Twitter. Click here to find out more.

PostHeaderIcon Boxed Sets

 

The published Scattered Worlds books are now available in two ebook sets in Kindle format.

Beyond Our Stars: a Scattered Worlds omnibus ($8.99) contains Weaving the Web of Days, A Voice in Every Wind, All Roads Lead to Terra, A Rose From Old Terra, and The Leaves of October.

Worlds Afire: a scattered Worlds omnibus ($6.99) contains three novels of the Hoister Family: Dance for the Ivory Madonna, The Eighth Succession, and Children of the Eighth Day.

These ebook sets are the most inexpensive way to get up to date on the Scattered Worlds Mosaic.

PostHeaderIcon Worlds Afire

Worlds Afire
Author/Editor: 
Don Sakers
A Scattered Worlds Omnibus
Genre(s): 
Science Fiction
Series: 
Scattered Worlds
Series Order: 
99
Reading order: 
99
Three Scattered Worlds novels in one ebook.
One-Paragraph Description: 

Contains three Scattered Worlds novels featuring the Hoister Family. DANCE FOR THE IVORY MADONNA is a near-future cyberthriller; THE EIGHTH SUCCESSION and CHILDREN OF THE EIGHTH DAY are space opera that pits a family of paranormal clone geniuses against the Galactic Empire.

PostHeaderIcon Hope Eyrie

Song number: 
3600
Song Artist: 
Julia Ecklar
Album: 
To Touch the Stars
Era: 
Act X: Pre-Imperial Terra

This song is Leslie Fish's masterpiece. I hope Humans will still be singing it on far-off worlds in the distant future.

PostHeaderIcon The Eighth Succession

The Eighth Succession cover
Ebook cover: 
Author/Editor: 
Don Sakers
Clone paranormal geniuses against the galactic empire
Pages: 
176
Genre(s): 
Science Fiction
Genre(s): 
LGBT Interest
Protagonist(s): 
Bi
Black
Woman
Character(s): 
Bi
Biracial
Black
Queer
Woman
Interests: 
Adulthood
Black
Polyamory
Queer
Setting(s): 
East Asia
Exoplanet(s)
Our Galaxy
Genre(s): 
Adventure SF
ESP/Psionics
Galactic Empires
Gender Roles
Psychological/Sociological SF
Robots/Artifical Intelligence
Space Opera
Teleportation
Transhuman
Series: 
Scattered Worlds
Series Order: 
4.74
Era (SWM only): 
4.740
Reading order: 
2
Galactic intrigue and adventure, in the tradition of Theodore Sturgeon & James H. Schmitz (LGBTQ interest)
One-Paragraph Description: 

When Yewanda Hoister (five-year-old clone paranormal genius) heads out into the big, wide galaxy on an unauthorized trip to see her beloved cousin Rikky, what could go wrong?

Long Description: 

In the tradition of Theodore Sturgeon and James H. Schmitz, a new tale of galactic intrigue and adventure.

Rikk Hoister is the first of new breed of cloned, paranormal geniuses, able to defeat the Imperial Navy with his mind alone, bound only by a rigid sense of ethics...

His cousin Yewanda is equally powerful, and also able to teleport herself anywhere. She's innocent, inexperienced...and just five years old.

When Yewanda sets out on her own to visit Rikk, the galaxy better watch out!

Remember when science fiction used to be filled with galactic intrigue and bigger-than-life heroes? The wonderful Don Sakers certainly does! The Eighth Succession is a rip-roaring yarn, impossible to put down. If John W. Campbell's Astounding Stories had been published in an LGBT-friendly era, this is the cover-story serial you'd have been waiting anxiously for each month. What a ride! 

--Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Red Planet Blues

The Eighth Succession is an exuberant novel, rich with intrigue, superheroes, super tech, and a galactic empire -- with something, in short, for every SF taste. Enjoy the ride.

-- Edward M. Lerner
   co-author of the Fleet of Worlds series

Don Sakers has written a fast-moving story that has almost everything you might want: galactic empires, political intrigue, comic relief, surprising plot twists, and -- most important -- a cast of characters who make us want to turn the page to learn more about them.  This is that rare story which doesn't overstay its welcome.  It leaves you hungry for more.

--- Daniel M. Kimmel, author of the Hugo-nominated Jar Jar Binks Must Die and Shh! It's a Secret

 

PostHeaderIcon Launch Party Preparations Continue

We're just over two weeks out from the launch party at Balticon, and preparations are continuing. Melissa Scott has selected the teas for the event: our black tea will be Upton's Robert Fortune Blend 41, a Darjeeling/Yunnan blend. The organic teas will be Blood Orange Pear and Evening Comfort. We'll also have some iced tea selections.

We've also had a great time picking out some of flourishes, such as star-shaped sugar cubes (with edible glitter!) and some of the nibbly things (most of which I will leave as a surprise, but remember this is Baltimore, home of the Berger Cookie).

We're also making the rounds of thrift stores to pick up secondhand teacups and saucers -- Melissa and I will both sign these so partygoers can take them home as a unique bit of memorabilia. If turnout is heavy, we may not have enough -- so if you have your heart set on an autographed teacup, make sure you get there early.

Of course, it's all about the books, and there's progress on that front, too. Here's what I received on Thursday: A box of 50 copies of The Eighth Succession. Some of these have already gone out as review copies, but I'll have plenty to sell at the launch party.

(I'll also have some copies of my other books, and Melissa is bringing some of her books as well.)

And, of course, we'll have door prizes too.

All in all, it looks like this is going to be a truly memorable event.

Just as a reminder, here are the particulars:

When: Sunday, May 26, 2013, 5:30 - 6:30 pm

Where: Balticon, Parlor 1041, Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD 21031 

PostHeaderIcon Gay Pride Month Free Ebooks

To celebrate Pride Month, I'm making a different LGBT-themed Kindle ebook available for free each weekend in June. Click on the titles to go to the Amazon page.

June 1 & 2: "The Centaur Child"

When a child born to a Human mother and a Centaur father is orphaned, both Humans and Centaurs claim the boy. The threat of war between the two peoples looms...unless the Mistress of the Flying Mountain can find a way out of the dilemma.

June 8 & 9: Act Well Your Part

Since its original publication in 1986, Act Well Your Part has become a classic, an unabashed teenage love story set not in the world that was, but in the world as, perhaps, it should be.

June 15 & 16: "Parental Discretion"

A lesbian couple struggles to survive and thrive on the colony world Hylggra, where their only friends are the outcasts of the Frontier -- and the non-gendered alien natives.

June 22 & 23: Lucky in Love

When his best friend Keith moved away, he left a big hole in Frank's life. Then a car crash put him in the hospital. While there recovering, he got a visit from the star of his high school basketball team, Purnell Johnson. It wasn't long before his luck started to improve.

Bonus Title: The Curse of the Zwilling

Patapsco University: a small, cozy liberal arts college like so many others -- except for the Department of Comparative Religion, where age-old spells are taught and magic is practiced.

June 29 & 30: "The Mauzy Broadway Show"

"The Mauzy Broadway Show" has just about everything you expect from a Don Sakers story: cool aliens, kids in danger, drag queens...and neat ideas about gender, identity, and sexuality.

Bonus Title: The Eighth Succession

Clone paranormal geniuses against the galactic empire.

 

Check back each Saturday and Sunday during June to get that weekend's free ebook(s).

PostHeaderIcon Not Yet Publication Day...

It's not yet Publication Day, but The Eighth Succession is already available if you know where to look.

Specifically, the trade paperback is available here (for $12.50) and the Kindle edition here (for $2.99).

If you buy a copy of either edition, please post a review on Amazon. Reader reviews really, really help a book to find new readers. Posting a review is the single most useful thing you can do for me.

So if the book is available now, what's with the official publication date of September 2013? Here's the scoop:

The publishing industry is accustomed to working on a positively glacial timescale. Three months is about the shortest interval anyone in traditional publishing can conceive. Traditional review outlets -- such as Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Kirkus -- ask for review copies at least four months before publication.

At Analog, I'm currently working on my book review column for the November 2013 issue...which will probably appear in August.

Amazon, however, works on a timescale measured in hours and days. They see no sense in having a finished book sit around for an arbitrary couple of months not earning money. I submitted the Kindle edition of The Eighth Succession yesterday afternoon, and by the evening it was available for sale.

But I have to get copies to review outlets. So the official publication date is four months from now.

So...officially, these current sales are pre-publication sales. If you don't tell Publishers Weekly, I won't either.

wink

PostHeaderIcon Kindle version submitted

Today's job was creating and submitting the Kindle edition of The Eighth Succession.

This is actually a fairly straightforward process, albeit one with a lot of back-and-forth.

Unfortunately, I don't have any tools for editing a Kindle-format book directly (I don't even know if they exist). So the process goes like this:

  1. Edit in Pages on my MacBook Pro.
  2. Convert to epub format with Pages.
  3. Convert epub to Kindle format with Amazon's kindlegen app.
  4. Open in Kindle for Mac and inspect for problems.
  5. Open in Pages and correct the problems.
  6. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Most of the problems are relatively minor ones involving spacing, page breaks, and tabs.

Eventually I got all the problems cleaned up. I also created a new version of the front cover -- the book cover is a little dark for online use, so I lightened it up using the indispensable Graphic Converter app. This will serve as the cover of the Kindle version.

After that it was a matter of logging onto my Kindle account, answering all the questions, setting prices, and uploading my files.

Pricing

I set the US price at $2.99. Have you ever wondered why so many Kindle books are $2.99? No, it's not collusion between publishers.

Amazon has two levels of royalties for Kindle books. Books priced at less than $2.99 earn a 35% royalty, while those priced at $2.99 or above can earn 70%. At $2.99, it's the difference between earning $1.04 and $2.06. And small publishers aren't stupid.

(Incidentally, for non-US sales there are two pricing options: convert the US price, or use a set price in the local currency. For Canadian and UK markets, which are the bulk of my foreign sales, I set the price at $2.99 (Canadian) and £1.99 (UK). For all other markets, I use converted prices. So if you've after a (slight) bargain on my Kindle books, move to Canada.

A Secret

The official publication date of The Eighth Succession isn't until September 1, and the street date comes after our launch party at Balticon. However, when poking around today, I noticed that Amazon hasn't really paid any attention -- right at this moment, The Eighth Succession print verison is available at this link. I don't know if this will last, but for now, if you want to get a jump on everyone, you can order a copy.

(Just don't tell anybody official, okay?)

PostHeaderIcon Another Quote

This new quote just came in. Needless to say, I'm ecstatic.

Remember when science fiction used to be filled with galactic intrigue and bigger-than-life heroes? The wonderful Don Sakers certainly does! The Eighth Succession is a rip-roaring yarn, impossible to put down. If John W. Campbell's Astounding Stories had been published in an LGBT-friendly era, this is the cover-story serial you'd have been waiting anxiously for each month. What a ride! 

--Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Red Planet Blues

 
The Eighth Succession will be available soon; if you're at Balticon, come to the Launch Party.
 

PostHeaderIcon Proof Arrives!

Despite the usual mix-ups with UPS, my proof copy of The Eighth Succession arrived today.

There was a minor goof -- somehow, I managed to get an extra blank page at the very beginning of the text. The result was that all the left-facing pages were now facing right, and vice-versa.

Otherwise, the printed book looks great. I quickly submitted a corrected interior block, and the final book should be ready to go real soon now.

Meanwhile, I'm keeping this proof as the ultimate collector's edition. smiley

PostHeaderIcon Cover and Text Files Submitted

This weekend I finalized the cover design. I used several graphics apps, including Intaglio, Graphic Converter, and Poser (for creating the figures). You can see the front cover on the right. Click to embiggen.

A book cover is more than just the front. The back cover uses the same background as the front, and includes a lot of information. There's an indication of genres (I used both "Science Fiction" and "LGBT Ficton"), a brief summary, two promotional quotes, a space for the barcode, the publisher's name, and the price ($12.50). The back cover is also pictured to the right; again, click to embiggen.

On the spine I put my name, the title, and the Scattered Worlds symbol along with the Era (these elements are on every Scattered Worlds title).

After the cover was complete, I had to convert it to Adobe PDF format. Now, you'd think all PDF documents are the same -- it is, after all, "portable document format" and the whole point is that a file can move from equipment to equipment and still look the same. Au contraire...my printer, Lightning Source, is incredibly picky about the exact pdf format. Basically, a file must be produced by Adobe Acrobat to be acceptable.

Well, the verison of Acrobat I have (8.0) doesn't work right with the version of OSX I have (10.7), and I don't want to spend a thousand bucks on a new version of Acrobat. After hours of wrestling, I think I finally managed to save something that looks right.

We'll see. I don't think I've ever had a cover that Lightning Source accepted on first try.

Anyway, after the cover came the text -- the actual interior pages of the book. Since I do my writing in a template that mirrors the actual book, I had very little prep to do. I sent the file to Acrobat and soon had a regulation PDF of the book.

The final step of the night involved signing onto my Lightning Source account and starting a new title. This requires various details about the book, including page count, a description, bibliographic information...and an ISBN.

For those who don't know, the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique number attached to every title published in the world. It's used in ordering, inventory, purchasing, etc. Publishers in the US buy individual ISBNs (in blocks of 10, 100, 1000, etc) from Bowker, the company tasked with maintaining the ISBN system in this country.

When I first became a publisher, I bought 10 ISBNs for about $100. Sometime later, after I'd determined that I was going to continue, I used $900 from a tax refund check to purachse a block of 100 ISBNs. Those should last Speed-of-C Productions for a good long time.

After giving Lightning Source all the info (including the ISBN), it was time to upload my files. Then comes the waiting. In a few days, I should get an email telling me what's wrong with my cover file. After I fix that (whatever it is), it'll be another few days before I get a proof copy of the actual book. They always charge for next-day delivery, and inevitably it takes UPS several days to get it to me. There's no way around this, it's part of the extortion price of doing business.


ADDED LATER IN THE DAY: Son of a gun, I just logged on to Lightning Source and found the message "proof generated," which means they accepted my cover file on the first try!

The proof should be here in a few days. Stay tuned.


 

PostHeaderIcon Second Quote

"Don Sakers has written a fast-moving story that has almost everything you might want: galactic empires, political intrigue, comic relief, surprising plot twists, and -- most important -- a cast of characters who make us want to turn the page to learn more about them.  This is that rare story which doesn't overstay its welcome.  It leaves you hungry for more."

 

--- Daniel M. Kimmel, author of the Hugo-nominated Jar Jar Binks Must Die and Shh! It's a Secret

PostHeaderIcon First Quote

The first quote is in.

The Eighth Succession is an exuberant novel, rich with intrigue, superheroes, super tech, and a galactic empire -- with something, in short, for every SF taste. Enjoy the ride.

-- Edward M. Lerner
   co-author of the Fleet of Worlds series

 

PostHeaderIcon Sabina Odegaard Six

Significance: 
Leader of Odegaard
Race: 
Human (Mundane)
Physical Description: 

Skin:
Hair:
Eyes:
Height:
Weight:
Colors:
Other:


Birthdate/place: 
TE 278, Odegaard
Deathdate/place: 
TE 390, Odegaard
Biography: 

 


Family: 

Parents: 
Sibling(s): 
Children: 
Spouse(s): 
Other Family:

Clone of Sabina Odegaard One


Personality: 

General:
Profession:
Likes:
Dislikes:
Food, Drink:
Other:


Other: 

 


PostHeaderIcon Krisjen Elendan

Significance: 
Adjutor of Elendan TE 281-326
Title(s): 
Adjutor
Race: 
Human (Mundane)
Physical Description: 

Skin: zebra-striped
Hair:
Eyes:
Height:
Weight:
Colors:
Other:


Birthdate/place: 
TE 204 Elendan
Deathdate/place: 
TE 326 Elendan
Biography: 

 


Family: 

Parents: 
Sibling(s): 
Children: 
Spouse(s): 
Other Family:


Personality: 

General:
Profession:
Likes:
Dislikes:
Food, Drink:
Other:


Other: 

 


PostHeaderIcon Ladyshock

A very popular musical group in the First Terran Empire c. TE 315 - 330.

PostHeaderIcon Moopsball

A team sport played in the First Terran Empire.

There are various leagues, and a series of playoffs leading up to the yearly championship.

Moopsball teams include:

  • The Credix Cavaliers
  • The Phuctra Paladins
  • The Marcreni Meerkats (perennial league underdogs)

 

PostHeaderIcon Kyron Pasutri

Significance: 
Family of Maarten Adelhardt
Race: 
Human (Mundane)
Physical Description: 

Skin:
Hair:
Eyes:
Height:
Weight:
Colors:
Other:


Birthdate/place: 
TE 315
Deathdate/place: 
c. TE 400
Biography: 

 


Family: 

Parents: Tyma Pasutri
Sibling(s): 
Children: 
Spouse(s): 
Other Family:


Personality: 

General:
Profession:
Likes:
Dislikes:
Food, Drink:
Other:


Other: 

 


PostHeaderIcon Dorota Abikaasa

Significance: 
Family of Maarten Adelhardt
Race: 
Human (Mundane)
Physical Description: 

Skin:
Hair:
Eyes:
Height:
Weight:
Colors:
Other:


Birthdate/place: 
TE 314
Deathdate/place: 
c. TE 400
Biography: 

 


Family: 

Parents: Dal Abikaasa
Sibling(s): 
Children: 
Spouse(s): 
Other Family:


Personality: 

General:
Profession:
Likes:
Dislikes:
Food, Drink:
Other:


Other: 

 


Have you read?
The Book That Predicted Google Glass
The final battle of the Empress
Clone paranormal geniuses against the galactic empire
Two Tales of the Scattered Worlds
Visit a world in which scent and taste are as important as vision and hearing
Opening a new chapter in the Scattered Worlds Mosaic
How would intelligent, long-lived trees judge the Human race?
Classic gay teenage romance
The Fey vs the Galactic Empire
A Datebook Like No Other
Carmen Miranda's Ghost is Haunting Space Station Three
Lucky's Life is Turning Around
An anthology in celebration of queer speculative fiction.
An anthology celebrating queer speculative fiction.
The PsiScouts: X-Men meet Buck Rogers
collection of sf & fantasy stories, essay, and poetry by Maryland-area writers
A Scattered Worlds Omnibus
a Scattered Worlds omnibus
Psi-gifted teens tackle theocracy & a threat to history itself
A collection of sf/fantasy diversions
Search
Eras