#REVIEW: 5 Critical Things for Successful Book Signings, by Adam Dreece

Calling this a “review” might be overstating the case a little bit, I dunno. Think of it more as a public service announcement for those of you who are authors who do book signings:

Pick this book up, and read it, (it’s only about 130 pages, so it won’t take terribly long) and internalize its teachings. The meat of the book is right there in the title, so there’s not a whole lot of need to go into details about what the book covers; just be aware that Adam is really good at this sort of thing and the advice in the book is spot-on.

Necessary disclosures: I got to see an early ARC and provided a blurb for the back cover and the Amazon description, and even before then I’d been stealing ideas from Adam since my first show at InConJunction several years ago. That said, he rejected my first blurb– which is fine, as I suspected he was going to, and provided him with the one he actually used a few minutes later. That said, since this is my blog, and not his book, here’s the first blurb I tried to get him to use:

“This book gives you all the advantages of Adam Dreece’s knowledge and experience without the mess and effort of hunting him down and consuming his brain and living soul. Highly recommended.”
—Luther M. Siler, author of THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES

Can’t imagine why he didn’t use it.

Anyway, if you’re an author, this will be money well spent. And you can even write it off on your taxes! So everybody wins.


unnamed.jpgMy buddy Adam launched his new book, The Man of Cloud 9, on Friday.  I was supposed to run this then.  I flaked.  We’re all going to pretend that it’s September 30 right now and no one is ever going to mention this again.  I read an early version of this and enjoyed it quite a bit; I look forward to seeing what the final version looks like.  Attached is a blog post and the back cover text.  Check it out!

Science Fiction from the Steampunk meets Fairytale, and Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy guy?

After writing 4 novels and a novelette in the universe of The Yellow Hoods, I needed a break from my steampunk meets fairytale universe. I decided that this year would be about showing two completely different sides of me. I started with The Wizard Killer, which has been called “Harry Potter meets Die Hard” and “Mad Max meets Lord of the Rings.” Whereas that post-apocalyptic fantasy world was an exercise in showing my adrenaline junkie side, The Man of Cloud 9 is a much more cerebral science fiction side of me.

Rather than hard science fiction, I’ve been told it’s more in the vein of The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell. It was wonderful to get such a positive review from Readers’ Favorite right out of the gate.

So what’s The Man of Cloud 9 about?

It’s set 70 years in the future. Civilization has been scared by the effects of climate change, but worse than the toll in human lives, has been the loss of appetite for real innovation. Brilliant inventor Niko Rafaelo finds himself fighting every inch of the way to get people to listen to his vision for resurrecting the banned technology of nanobots, connecting it with the bacteria cloud around people, and taking features like video calling out of the history books and bringing them back.

This is an intimate story, dealing with a handle of characters, and the choices and consequences of Niko’s relentless need to see his vision realized. It’s genius versus conscience versus company.

Your other works are YA, is The Man of Cloud 9?

Yes. While it doesn’t have any non-adult characters, I tried to make sure that a teen reader would be able to relate to the story, even when reading a boardroom scene. A lot of classic science fiction could be categorized the same way, and so I see The Man of Cloud 9 really for those ages 12 and up.

What was your greatest challenge writing the book?

This book was definitely the one that terrified me the most to write. Part of that was because I really reached into myself for core elements of the main character, his issues, and his relationships. There were many times in my life where I went left, and I made Niko go right. Another part was because in some ways, it felt like I was saying goodbye to my technology career. I spent 20 years in software, from Silicon Valley to Toronto, from startups to Microsoft to my own business. Lastly, there was the difference in style between The Wizard Killer and The Man of Cloud 9 that scared me, would I lose readers? It was a risk, a risk I was willing to take. 

Where can we get it?

The eBook is available on Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble. The paperback will be available on Amazon in the next week. However, signed hardcovers are available from Owl’s Nest books, which is local to me and a wonderful little bookstore.

“Adam Dreece continues to surprise, enthrall, and sweep us, his avid readers, along – with his elegant prose and insightful story telling. If you, like I, enjoy the sci/fi fantasy genre, you can’t do better than THE MAN OF CLOUD 9.”

– Rene Auberjonois, Avid Reader, Actor/Director

Niko Rafaelo is a brilliant and driven inventor, determined to flip the late 21st century on its head with a new take on a banned technology, nanobots.

In a world that has been battered and bruised for decades by endless natural disasters, Niko’s ambitions are seen as reckless and wasteful.

Following in the footsteps of his Silicon Valley heroes, Niko’s startup takes the planet by storm. But what happens when the corporate beast and Niko’s conscience conflict? And what is his ultimate goal?


“a truly unique voice and story”

– Readers’ Favorite

No, YOU’RE not blogging!

Today was a raggedy little groinfungus of a day and was obnoxious in at least a dozen different and distinct fashions and I am going to watch an episode of Luke Cage and go the fuck to bed.

I was supposed to help Adam Dreece launch his new book The Man of Cloud 9 yesterday, but what with all the nonsense about the flooring I completely flaked.  I’ve got a promo piece from him I’m gonna run tomorrow.  We’re gonna pretend it’s still September 30, okay?  Don’t tell anybody.

GUEST POST: Messing with a Good Thing, by Adam Dreece

Sunday.  I am likely tired and crabby by now, and it’s the last day of the con.  I cannot emphasize enough how much you need to drive to Chicago and come see me RIGHT NOW.  Do it.  I have to drive home tonight and I need entertaining stories to keep me awake.  

Today: Indie author extraordinaire Adam Dreece!  

XwLwfWihFirstly, thanks to Luther for letting me guest post today. We’ve been friends for going on two years thanks to Twitter, and I hope we get to meet in person sooner rather than later.
Now, how about some “Messing with a good thing.”
When I told a friend of mine that I was writing The Man of Cloud 9, and how it wasn’t for the same audience as my series, The Yellow Hoods, he shook his head.
Phil has written a lot of books, and a few of his books have sold over 100,000 copies. He’s traditionally published for the most part, though he has some indie things, like an anthology with a few other authors, which has sold ‘only’ about 30,000 copies or so. Compared to him, when it comes to sales, I’m still thinking about writing.
So when I told him that I was writing a science-fiction novel that didn’t have any young characters, that it was ‘classic science-fiction’, he asked me, “Why? You already have an audience. You’re at an early point in your writing career, you should build that, not divide it.”
Since April 2014, I’ve released four novels and a novelette in my steampunk-meets-fairy tale world. The layered style of writing has been a hit with kids 9-15 and adults (usually over age 28). I’ve been building up my newsletter, and sharing goodies there that give me a very high open rate. So why-why-why-why, why would I not just keep feeding that group? Well, from my perspective, I sort of am.
I don’t want to be known as only “The Steampunk Fairy Tale Guy.” I want to be known as “A Great YA author.” An author you can trust for a great read that won’t leave you feeling like an emotional train-wreck, or bring graphic violence or sex into the story. I’ll bring you right up to the border of YA, I’ll make reference to things, I’ll infer things, but there’s a line that I won’t cross. I’ll be the ‘mature adult’ author who stepped over the line to YA, rather than someone who writes children’s stories with an edge or two.
WattPad-Cover-PNGAlong this line of thinking, I started writing The Wizard Killer several months ago. It’s a serial that I publish every week (while it’s in preview, i.e. unedited and unrevised). It’s gritty and intense, a very different feel from The Yellow Hoods. And when my daughter, who’s 11, read it and loved it, it reinforced the idea for me that I can tell a great tale while still within the realm of “YA.”
So when I wrote The Man of Cloud 9, I wanted to bring to the table my life in technology, my experience in Silicon Valley and with startups, I wanted to tell a tale that a fourteen-year-old me would probably love to get into, and the thirty-year-old me would have been able to connect with. As for my younger audience? Well, they have Book 5 of The Yellow Hoods that’ll be coming out at the end of the year.
This all said, my friend had a really good point. I could end up with people buying the book for their kid, without reading the back, without seeing the recommended age we put on it, and the kid hates the book and the parent never buys another Adam Dreece book again. It is a risk. Also, people could look at the back of the book, not like it and decide not to give any of my other books a passing glance. But there’s an upside I’m willing to risk it for.
Suppose for a minute that I release The Man of Cloud 9 and it is a run-away success. Suppose I discover that I wasn’t meant to be known as the “Steampunk-Fairy tale guy,” but rather as an author of science-fiction? Would that be terrible? Nope.
And what if the adult audience that I’ve already built up loves the book and feels that this was for them? Something that reinforces their support and love of my work even more, by allowing them to have a different take on it, similar to how different Wizard Killer is?
As authors, we shouldn’t just write things in all sorts of genres and leave the burden to the reader to feel like there’s a dozen different people writing under the same name. In my case, I’m being consistent with my writing style, with my view on people and humanity, and how I capture the story, it’s just a more mature story than the other series I write. And guess what? That’s what a brand is about. You have different product lines (Cloud 9, Wizard Killer, The Yellow Hoods) but they are all unified by some base characteristics: Great stories, solid female characters, no real swears (what do I look like, a flaring pargo? Yig.), etc.
Will the experiment in branching out work? Sure. How much? That’s yet to be seen.
– Adam
Adam Dreece is an indie author and speaker. He’s one of the founders of ADZO Publishing, and has 4 novels in his series The Yellow Hoods, and has been published by Sudden Insight in its anthology, Paw for a Tale. His serial, The Wizard Killer, and blog posts can be found at AdamDreece.com. He’s also very engaged on Twitter @AdamDreece and on Facebook AdamDreeceAuthor.
His books are available as eBooks and in print at AmazonIndigoKoboSmashwordsBarnes and Noble, and elsewhere.


71iL99WEEvLThis one’s gonna be a bit tricky, so bear with me.  The tl;dr version is this: if you’ve enjoyed the previous Yellow Hoods books (and you should have!) you’ll enjoy Adam Dreece’s ALL THE KING’S-MEN.  I have a couple of gripes about this particular volume, and I’ll fill you in on them, but I think they’re less problems with the book itself and more an issue of the author zigging when I wanted him to zag.  In general, you should be reading this.

Let’s address an elephant in the room, too: see that hyphen in King’s-Men?  Did your eye twitch just a little bit when you saw that hyphen?  Did you, perhaps, think oh, God, he didn’t put a typo right into the title of the book, did he?

Worry not.  They actually address it in the story, and it ends up being relevant, believe it or not.  Pay more attention to the awesome King’s-Horse (yep, another hyphen) and the Yellow Hood with the mechanical horse riding it.(*)  Dreece has always called his series emergent steampunk, meaning a world that is not quite a steampunk world but is on its way, and Book 3 takes some large strides in that direction.  The biggest difference between ATK-M and the previous volumes in the series is Dreece’s willingness to broaden his story.  This book begins with a map, and while I think the map has appeared in at least one of the previous volumes this has been the first one where I thought it was necessary.  What started as a story about a young girl named Tee and the cool club she and a few of her friends were in has gotten much larger and much, much more complicated.

Which is either a weakness or a strength, depending on how you look at it.  If you enjoy Dreece’s worldbuilding, you’ll see much more of that here.  I found, unfortunately, that I missed the titular Hoods, who are in the story, but aren’t really the focus of the story as much as they have been in previous books.  Tee herself isn’t remotely as present as she has been, and spends most of her time on-page being pissed off.  Is this automatically a weakness?  Not necessarily; again, Dreece is going a different direction from maybe where I wanted him to, but that’s his prerogative as an author.  The worldbuilding is unique and cohesive, the villains dastardly, and the backstory is interesting and well-integrated into the rest of the story.  It’s just not quite what I wanted.  And while the book is still YA, it’s an order more complicated than the previous books, and at least one character’s arc ends up dark by the end of the book.  So maybe be prepared for that.

All in all, though?  I’ll be back for Book Four, which I believe has just finished first-draft status and is moving into editing now.  I’m going to make sure to reread the previous volumes before it comes out, too.  Go check it out.

(*) I said this in my review of Book One (I appear to not have reviewed Book Two, which surprises me,) but Dreece’s cover artist is spectacular, and I want to steal her for a project in the future.  Just not sure which one.