Buy it now!

Monday, February 27, 2012


The paperback has been approved for ordering! The first place the book has been made available is my Createspace page, here:

It'll show up on Amazon (hopefully linked to the Kindle book) in about a week. And then it's on to Expanded Distribution, where I'll have to hound the bookstores to pick it up. In a little over two or three weeks, my order will arrive for local sales and website sales. If you're on my local preorder list, you'll get it when that order comes in!

More product pics on the way...


My book is finished, as prettily formatted and printed and designed as my skill and brain allow. This is all very exciting. I self-published a book. I'm told that's pretty impressive. I published without querying an agent or submitting to a small press, and I had TOTAL CREATIVE CONTROL, which is exhilarating!

And yet I have a touch of melancholy. I don't do melancholy, so it's confusing. Can't quite put my finger on it, but I feel like I've overstayed my welcome on my social network sites, like I've aggravated some people and just alienated the rest. But I really know almost everyone on my Facebook, and they're not all avid readers. And I have many followers who are also writers on Twitter, who I don't expect to buy my book, really. They are the community with which I want to learn and grow, not potential readers. I just haven't expanded my readership to my target audience yet. Working on that, next...

Truth be told, I'm not a super-awesome marketing expert. :) I know platform-building comes first, and I'm trying very hard to do that. I know advertising is key. (People can't buy what they don't know about!) I even bought an experimental ad here: Top of the page. Maybe the shiniest thing on that whole blog. (Experimental because the readership of this blog is under 1000. Maybe not a good return on investment, but I needed to practice somewhere...) I have an AdWords campaign in the works, but it's still under review. I'm told AdWords can be super-effective or a total loss. Encouraging, no? :D So we'll see. 

I also submitted to Cover Contest, which is exciting!

I write stories and make art. I know where I stand there. Advertising is just a creative extension of my existing skills. I have some videos, banners, text ads, and other things in store for a broader audience. Then I'll focus my campaigns once I figure out what works, and I will thoroughly appreciate the feedback from anyone who experiences those campaigns.

What it all comes down to is time. I have no delusions about the pace of building a writer's career. I do have the very human desire to see results quickly. My "quickly" is different from many others' "quickly," and operates in 3-month quarters. Quarters feel like forever, there is much experimentation, and feedback on that experimentation may not come for weeks or months. And yet, my brain likes the exercise. So please bear with me as I learn the new skillset called "advertising." :)

Or maybe reality just needs to set in. I just published a book. This is pretty dang cool. Now comes the hard work, which really doesn't bother me. Now comes the risk that everyone or no one will love the book. Now comes the most important element to a successful writing business... the NEXT book!



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Pathos of Rowan Jun, Now On Kindle!

The Pathos of Rowan Jun, Kindle Edition 2 (the FINAL version) is up for grabs now!



“What are you, boy?” asked the Valkyrie.
“A murderer,” Rowan said. “Nothing more.”
“I will be the judge of your worth, now.”

* * *

Rowan Jun awakens to a new, violent world when the Slaveship QuellTruth crashes on the planet Unata.

The human struggles to reconcile his bloody past with that of his new home, and sets out to become the greatest warrior Unata has ever known!


This sci-fi adventure begins when the title character Rowan is thrown into the mix with a race of warriors on a new planet. The reason? He sabotages the directional controls aboard the QuellTruth, on which he is a slave, in order to save 10,000 slaves from lifelong servitude. The result? The ship crashes, killing all the slaves he tried to free. 

Rowan's guilt rises to strangle him as he seeks out refuge, freedom, and the ability to protect even just one person with his new skills as a warrior. Then a new enemy brings war upon Unata. The creatures—the warrior class from the Slavers’ race—thirst for vengeance over their losses, threatening to wipe out all Unatans. Can Rowan overcome his paralyzing past, to fight and protect his new home? Will he prove for the first time that he can become the Champion of Unata?



Not counting the full color cover, the book has 12 illustrations. The map and one other illustration are in full color, for devices that have that functionality. However, they still look great in black, white and gray!

Sample illustration, the title character:

I hope you enjoy the story. Thanks for stopping by!



Sunday, February 19, 2012


Regarding The Pathos of Rowan Jun: In reviewing my proof, I found some issues to resolve. That said, looks like one final version of the Kindle book is in order as well. Version 2 will correct minor proofreading errors and will be the final release on Kindle. In a day or so, it should be up and I'll post a notice. If you have purchased Version 1 and would like the updated Version 2 when it's released, send me a message (if Amazon doesn't let you download the update for free, that is!).

Also, I'm correcting issues found in the proof before finalizing the paper book. That version will be on schedule for the end of the month as planned.

LESSONS LEARNED: 1. The finished product gets better the more you revise, 2. The process gets easier the more you repeat it, 3. Finished is a relative term. (All obvious, I know!)


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The "Arghs" of Self-Publishing: How-To

At around 4:06 PM, Wednesday, February 15, 2012-ish... I may have successfully finished submission of my paperback novel files for The Pathos of Rowan Jun. I have illustrated, re-illustrated, tweaked and poked and prodded and screamed and kicked and stared stupidly at a screen for weeks. I have watched slow progress bars and eaten junk food and ignored family and friends. Did I mention I screamed? Yeah, I did that. I'm not saying that the following survival tips will keep you from doing the same. But awareness is key!

By comparison, the un-illustrated Kindle version was easy. (When I figure out how to accurately illustrate a Kindle book, I'll let you know! SEE BELOW!) I may have begun a pattern of un-illustrated Kindle version for a low price and illustrated paperback for a regular price.Which is fine by me at this point! Plus, later on, I'll expand distribution to B&N and Smashwords, etc., so that'll be a fun learning curve, too!

The super-top-secret secret of making images show up in your Kindle book? Save your file as an HTML, Filtered Document, and THEN ZIP TOGETHER THE IMAGES FOLDER AND THE HTML FILE!!! Then upload the zipped folder. I felt so digitally dumb, since it's the obvious thing to do. But that happens...

Here are the general steps of self-publishing I have undertaken so far...


1. Write book.
2. Edit/Revise/Polish manuscript.
3. Follow formatting instructions for manuscript using Kindle and Createspace walkthroughs and templates.
4. Simultaneously create book cover art using templates, new art, and some fly by the seat of your pants Photoshop learnin'.
5. Co-Simultaneously create art for website, merchandising, and logo/branding THEN order said materials. I have a huge, awesome banner, full-color postcards, and T-shirts featuring the book cover. ( = easy and cheap)
6. Purchase ISBNs for your book. Otherwise, Amazon will control your distribution options. (Official gov't contractor for ISBNs: Buy 10 or more. It's cheaper that way.
7. Upload files to Kindle's direct publishing website, follow steps, fill out forms and publish. (
8. Upload files to Createspace, fill out forms, approve files, and submit for review. (
9. HAVEN'T DONE THIS YET: Order paperback proof, approve final product and submit for distribution.
10. HAVEN'T DONE THIS YET: Promote and reap the benefits of your hard work! (Eventually, if it reaches your target audience, and if people actually like it...)


1. You will notice glaring, silly proofreading mistakes almost as soon as your Kindle book goes live.
2. You will anxiously fix the file, upload again, and wait hours for it to publish and go live again. The version with the errors will remain available for purchase during this time (I'm pretty sure).
3. You may have to repeat!
4. Each time you have to re-upload your Kindle eBook, your ranking will drop dramatically. I think. Maybe. I'm #132,944 Paid in the Kindle Store as of now! (Hey! Give me some time, all right?)
5. As you make corrections, rename (with version number, or something) and backup the different document or art file names. There WILL be different versions... Keeps file confusion at bay.
6. I think Createspace servers update between 3 and 4 am. The upload would constantly stop, restart and then time out. No red-eyed jubilation and sound sleep for me! But when I gave up, slept, then uploaded later in the morning or afternoon, the upload went smoothly, if a little slowly. (My .doc file was over 26MB, though...)
7. I also tried to upload from my jump drive, and that seemed to cause a time-out. Probably something related to the file's location or compression or whatever, I assume. (Though I'm no tech, I did some customer service related to file uploads.) I saved the file to my desktop backup folder and uploaded from there. No timeouts related to location.
8. You will stare stupidly at the progress bar, drawing shapes around it with your in-process-cursor until the huge interior-content file uploads. This will not speed up the progress bar! :D
9. You will have to upload several times at this slow rate of speed to make file corrections.
10. The Interior Reviewer on Createspace is your friend. Y'know... the friend who loves you enough to tell you that shirt makes you look fat. For me, things cropped up like low-image resolution (oops!), formatting (*cringe*) and margin issues (*double cringe*), and active Table of Contents issues. The conversion from Word to PDF that happens in Createspace bumped some of my chapter titles to another page, so the TOC page number and actual page number were wrong. A manual fix and yet another upload later, and the FINAL final file is in review.

There you go! An evaluation that is by no means comprehensive, but represents my personal experience with the process. Let me know if you have any questions, or if you have anything to add to these lists. I'd love to hear from you!

Here is the finished Kindle book as it appears on Amazon:

Love and Cuddles,


Tuesday, February 14, 2012



Happy New Release Day, everyone! The Pathos of Rowan Jun is now LIVE and available for purchase on Amazon Kindle!

The "Look Inside" preview function lets you read all of chapter 1, and some of 2. Enjoy!


My shiny, newer and WAY more awesome website just went live earlier this evening! I still have some work to do on content, but it looks stupendous. Everything has a page, whether that page has any content or not... :D Main concerns: The store will go live soonish, once I get product info to my designer. And I'll get all the linkable banners in soon. And the Unatan profile artworks, as I promised earlier on the THS Facebook page... 

Give it a look-see: 


I'm hoping for a February 28 release date for the hard copy novel. Due to some setbacks both human and digital, I've delayed the proof order by a couple more days at least. (Some-Tama forgot to fix the cover after a format correction extended the book by, oh, thirty pages! So now I've gotta wait for the review results to tell me I screwed up. Effectively tied my hands for now. Ah, publishing!) And I may make a couple more aesthetic changes that wouldn't much affect the timeframe. But maaan, that interior file was a pain to upload! I don't wanna, but it must be right!

And gracious! If there's another announcement, I'll think it up later. *big sigh of stress-decompression* I shall celebrate my Happy New Release Day with only some work and possibly a full night's sleep!

Love and Cuddles,


Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I'm in the final stages of publication, but these may be the most crucial. I've completed a lot of graphic work these past two days-- I finished and uploaded both versions of the book covers and redesigned my business logo.

Did I mention a shiny new Tamara Henson Studios logo! There's a graytone version with no shading, a simpler "shiny" one like below with no background, and the full retinal assault of the final logo design as you see it here:

Having completed, uploaded, accurately formatted paperback AND eBook covers is almost worth this headache. Almst... Now, onward to Tylenol, and the world map! At this rate, I hesitate to boldly state that I'm on schedule... (*whispers* But I am...)

Whelp... announcements aren't gettin' this thing finished. Off I go!



Tuesday, February 7, 2012

NOVEL RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2012

I just finished the 3rd Draft Revision on The Pathos of Rowan Jun! (Insert Fireworks and Confetti here) I'll be doing a final readthrough as I format the manuscript for publication. But the rest of the work is just that... WORK! A lot of time, a lot of effort, culminating in a big, finished project!

To celebrate the release (Feb 14), there will be T-Shirts for sale featuring the book cover. (Available through my website, when we get the newly redesigned store launched!) The Kindle eBook and the Paperback should be available through Amazon by the release date, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

I also want to hold some type of contest involving a giveaway of either a T-Shirt or a story-related artwork. I'm not good at contests, so someone throw me some ideas!