In the Beginning…

You’re looking at the beginning of a new feature in my blogging efforts.  We’ve had a lot of fun here, but I must never lose sight of the fact that whatever else I am, blogger, mentor, conversationalist, or raving lunatic, I am first an author, and a big part of an author’s raison d’être is to sell books.  Hence, this new feature.

Traditional advertising costs money, generally lots of money.  A good many people who write and publish independently don’t have lots of money, so we have to rely on unconventional channels, employing the same sort of creativity that brings fantastic worlds into being to get the word out about our books.  Now that Goodreads has decided to charge about what a typical independent book can be expected to realize in royalties for the last really reasonable place to advertise, we’re down to our blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media to try to get the word out.  With so many new books coming on the market every day, it’s really hopeless, but we must continue to try, so you will be seeing this sort of post with a fair degree of regularity in the future.  I apologize for the necessity, but it isn’t personal, it’s business.

Beyond the Rails began its journey in 2013 with the first book of six stories published on CreateSpace and Kindle.  This is the blurb, which is still accurate:



In the Spring of 1882, a young man arrives in Mombasa, Kenya with a plan to change the world of science.  A man ahead of his time, Nicholas Ellsworth is a botanist fresh from Cambridge whose mission is to catalog the flora of Africa and unlock its medicinal secrets for the benefit of mankind.  Intrigued by a lovely young woman who happens to be an airship pilot of extraordinary skill, he falls in with a crew of expatriates, misfits and castoffs all, whose cargo blimp, the Kestrel, carries them from one adventure to the next as they try to eke out a living moving all manner of cargo out Beyond the Rails.  Their captain, a disgraced former military commander, is employer, protector, and father figure to the young pilot, the Anglo-Prussian engineer, and a fugitive American gunslinger whose mysterious past could catch up with him at any time.  Climb aboard and hang on for a thrilling ride through an alternate history!

The book consists of six novellas of about 20,000 words each, the first of which, The Botanist, can be read in its entirety at the tab above.  Should you find that to your liking, the book is available from Amazon in Kindle or paperback formats, where the two versions carry a 4.6 average rating attached to some major reviews.  One of my early reviewers described it as “Jules Verne meets Firefly,” and several have agreed that these character-driven stories are an excellent introduction to the fabulous world of steampunk, so take a look.  The sample is free and the fun is real.  Treat yourself today!

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