Guest post by Stephen Zimmerman
From the Literary Underworld Blog Tour
STEPHEN ZIMMER is a an author/filmmaker of epic fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror. Visit his site at www.stephenzimmer.com, add him on twitter @sgzimmer or Facebook.
The trials and travails of the modern author are more numerous than ever before. Just to survive, today’s author has had to adapt and evolve into quite a multi-faceted creature, and we all know that survival was certainly hard enough for authors in any age of publishing.
I often term it the “wearing of many hats,” and this applies to authors who are with small presses and those who are self-published. It is indeed quite a hat collection too! Hats for marketing, networking, public speaking, knowledge of graphic design, accounting, publicity, and so much more fill the collection of today’s author.
I would surmise that a great majority of authors are not predisposed to all of these kinds of things, and it takes both effort and a learning curve to acquire the additional skill sets to handle all of the things that an author must attend to in order to be successful in today’s publishing climate. With so much falling on authors’ shoulders, it is a ray of light in the storm when you encounter an organization like the Literary Underworld.
My own encounter with the Literary Underworld came from the convention circuit. It was at conventions where I had met and gotten to know the colorful, vivacious, and downright fearless author named Elizabeth Donald. From the moment I met her, I knew she was both savvy and perceptive regarding the world of writers on all levels. Her readings were something to behold, and you usually came out of it with some nice goodies such as Zombie Survival Kits, but underlying all the flair, pizzazz, and show-womanship I could see a keen mind with a good sense of marketing and publicity.
Another thing I noticed quickly with Elizabeth was how supportive she was to other authors, one of those rarer types of individuals that really gets the “win-win” model. She was intensely focused on her own work and career, as any author should be, but that didn’t mean she could not advocate and promote other authors. In this regard, she stood out from many authors I had met. She understood the plight of the indie author, and she was one of those willing to help.
Therefore, it was of great interest to me when the genesis of the Literary Underworld took place, and Elizabeth had asked me to participate as one of the authors to be carried in their catalog. Of course, being a writer of epic fantasy, I had to admire her generous invitation as she was committing herself to lugging around my larger tomes on the road! Yet she did, grinning and bearing along my larger books, and along with her noble cohorts such as the lovely and witty Angelia Sparrow, she helped expose my novels to more readers at conventions I could not personally attend.
Out in the perilous landscape of the modern author’s world, there are many kinds of author consortiums, and not all of them have authors’ interests at heart. Many want to make money off of authors desperate to promote their work, and sadly many are successful at this.
The Literary Underworld is not one of those types of groups. The Literary Underworld is one of the shining lights among author consortium-type organizations. They operate on a consignment basis to carry an author’s titles in their online store and at conventions, and the percentage they ask of the author is more than reasonable.
In fact, I must be candid here and state that they could ask for a little higher percentage and still be far more than fair. As an author who has done consignments with many bookstores and book fairs, I can say without question that The Literary Underworld is more than generous when it comes to what they ask for in the arrangement with a consigning author.
Let’s be frank. Attending conventions costs money. Gas, food, wear and tear on the car, hotels, booth space, and all manner of costs build up, and these things are taken on by the Literary Underworld when they are on the road. Packaging, time (yes, time has value!), gas (unless you live next door to the shipping center), office supplies, marketing, taxes (yes, the government always has a hand in your pocket when you do these sorts of things) and more is involved when running an online store. Not to mention stocking boxes and boxes of books, which have to be stored and inventoried.
It is quite and undertaking and it is one that is quite admirable when you look at what The Literary Underworld does for authors, and what it asks for in return. It is a real friend to the indie author, is operated with great integrity, and does a lot for raising perceptions of small press and self-published titles in an age where an ocean of content has emerged in the age of eBooks.
The big retailers online are doing just fine right now, but you can make a real difference with a purchase from the Literary Underworld. Now that you know a little more about them, I encourage you to take a visit and browse their catalog, and pick up a title or two. All of the authors they carry are vetted, so you’ll find excellent quality. You will also be helping both indie authors and a great organization with your support!
While we are at it, here’s a 15% off coupon code to help you save even more money with a purchase! Thanks for reading! Just enter this code at checkout: LUBLOGTOUR
SPIRIT OF FIRE: Deep Within Everyone, There is a Spirit of Fire…
A maelstrom of war engulfs lands resisting the designs of the Unifier to bring about a new order, of a kind that has never existed within Ave. Battered by a massive invasion force from Gallea, the tribal people of the Five Realms and their Midragardan allies are being driven eastward, toward the sea, while the Saxan lines are wearing down ever thinner on
the Plains of Athelney.
Time is running out quickly, as an ancient creature of legend soars through the skies with a brave young Saxan. They carry the desperate hopes of two realms sorely beset by a voracious enemy. Diabolic entities conduct a great hunt, as a malignant darkness deepens across all of Ave. Exiles from another world must gain refuge, or find themselves ensnared by the long reach of the Unifier. The very nature of creation itself stands in the balance.
It is a time when the honor and fortitude of many are put to the test, and terrible prices are paid for resisting great evils. It is also a time of awakening for many, old and young alike, some of whom may yet discover the spirit of fire that lies within.
The third installment in the Fires in Eden series, Spirit of Fire is richly imagined epic fantasy with a diverse ensemble of characters that offers a new world to explore for readers who enjoy large-scale tales along the likes of George R.R. Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Steven Erikson, and J.R.R. Tolkien.