Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Warlock's Curse Blog Tour!

Why I decided to self-publish my third book (and it’s not why you think.)
By M.K. Hobson

I very clearly remember the moment I decided to self-publish The Warlock's Curse, the third book in my Veneficas Americana historical fantasy series.
I was sitting in a little Chinese restaurant near my work--one of my favorite places to take my notebook and write during my lunchhour. My agent had broken the news to me a couple of weeks earlier that Ballantine Spectra, the publisher of my first two books, had decided not to take their option on the next book in the series, so I was grinding feverishly on a proposal for a new stand-alone novel.
The news from my publisher had been disappointing, and it had also kind of taken me by surprise. The Native Star, my debut novel, had been nominated for a Nebula award and it had "earned out" (meaning that it had made enough money to pay for the advance Spectra hadpaid me.) I had thought these factors might allow my publisher to look beyond the lower sales number on the second book in the duology, The Hidden Goddess.
I was so confident, in fact, that I had already written the first draft of The Warlock’s Curse. And I was really excited about it--more excited, honestly, than I was about the (admittedly nifty) secondary-world political fantasy I was pitching.
What really bugged me, however, was knowing that even once I finished the proposal, I wouldn’t have an answer back for months. And there was certainly no guarantee that the answer would be yes. And even if the answer was yes, it would be at least another two or three years before the book saw print. And it could even be significantly more than that. I know other writers (all at a roughly similar stage of their career as I am) who’ve had to wait four, five, even six years for their book to get on to their big publisher’s release schedule.
The thought of waiting all that time to get another book on the market really worried me. After a lapse of that length, even if it I filled it with short fiction and internet antics, I’d be right back at base camp, packing my oxygen tanks for the arduous climb up PR mountain. But I’d put a lot of hard work into building an author platform and reader goodwill. I didn’t want to see it all go to waste. And that was the moment I decided that I was going to self-publish the next book in the series myself.
This decision had many immediately attractive elements. I could continue publishing on a nice, predictable, book-a-year schedule. I’d have the final say over the look and feel of my books. I’d get to keep all the rights. It was only as time went on that all the less-attractive parts started to reveal themselves. The huge risk, both financially and professionally. The long hours spent learning esoteric aspects of print and ebook production. The lingering stigma of being a “vanity published” author.
  Would I like to nestle comfortably under the wing of a traditional publisher again? Well sure, if it were as comfy and downy as I’d always imagined a traditional publishing arrangement would be. Even though self-publishing has come a long way, there’s still a feeling that I’m not quite a “real” author. But then, back in the days when I was running my own small business--working fifty hour weeks and hustling like mad--I never felt like I had a “real” job, either.
But to be quite honest, when you get right down to it, an armpit is still an armpit. And at this point, I’m more interested in testing my own wings.

Author's Bio:
M.K. Hobson’s debut novel, The Native Star—the first book in her Veneficas Americana series—was nominated for a Nebula award in 2010. She lives in the first city in the United States incorporated west of the Rockies. Her favorite writers are Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, Booth Tarkington, Gore Vidal, and William S. Burroughs. The Warlock’s Curse is her third novel. You can find out more at her website,

The Warlock's Curse
THE YEAR IS 1910. Eighteen-year-old Will Edwards has landed a prestigious apprenticeship at Detroit’s Tesla Industries, the most advanced scientific research center in the United States. It’s a plum prize for a young man who dreams of a career in the new science of Otherwhere Engineering.But his father doesn’t want him to go. And he won’t tell him why.Determined to get there by any means necessary, Will finds unexpected support along the way. His old friend Jenny Hansen—daughter of a San Francisco timber baron—is eager to help him for reasons of her own. And so is his estranged brother Ben, who he hasn’t seen in over ten years.But running away turns out to be the easy part. On the first full moon after his eighteenth birthday, Will is stricken by a powerful magic—a devastating curse laid upon his ancestors by the malevolent sangrimancer Aebedel Cowdray. Will must find a way to control the magic that possesses him—or the vengeful warlock’s spirit will destroy everything and everyone he loves.
Twitter: mkhobson

Prize package of *signed* copies of The Native Star, The Hidden Goddess and The Warlock's Curse as well as a swag pack of a Tesla Industries pin, magnets and a sticker *not shown*.
*Open to US only*
13 ebooks of The Warlock's Curse 
*Open worldwide*
Ends 12/30/12
Just fill out the rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. it must be very difficult to have a news like that but I'm glad you still chose to publish your books because I'm sure your readers must be excited about it... I read a series like that, two books and they stopped, I hope the author will do the same. I don't participate as I didn't know the series but I think I'll check the first one now. thank you!

  2. Exciting stuff, I know my sister-in-law loved the first two books.

  3. I have not heard about this series. I don't see the problem with self-publishing your book. Sometimes that is the best way to go.

  4. I can't imagine all the stress that comes with self-publishing and having to deal with all the aspects of publishing/marketing/manufacturing rather than the part you love most, which is the writing. I'm a small business owner myself, working from home, and there is many a day where I feel like I should get a "real" job, but like she said, there's something infinitely satisfying about testing out your own wings:)

  5. I'm glad you have decided to keep writing and go the self publish route. It sounds like a huge step, but I've read a lot of great self published authors. Wishing you the best.

  6. Thank you for the post. I think it's interesting why some authors go to thru the self-publishing route. As a reader, I sometimes forget that the publishing is also a business too.

  7. I have this coming up on my blog sometime soon. I am glad that self pubbing has come a long way and that it presents so many options for the reader, now just to get someone to wade through all the rough to find the diamonds!

    1. Hi Heidi:

      It's interesting you mention "getting someone to wade through all the rough to find the diamonds," because I just had this same discussion with some folks about this at Orycon last weekend. My thought is that while big-house editors used to fulfill the "gatekeeper" role, now we have book bloggers (like Melissa and all the other awesome blogs who're going to be hosting me on this tour) to help guide readers. Once you find a book blogger you trust, who shares similar tastes, then it's almost like having a personal "editor" selecting books for you.

      At least, that's the ideal-world answer. Not sure how far apart the "ideal" and the "real" are :-)


  8. I remember the previous books and wanting to read them :D

    And yay Tesla industries, lol, I just like him

  9. Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments! I'm at work today so I can't reply as often as I would like, but I just want you all to know they're appreciated. :-)


  10. First of all Melissa, thanks so much for hosting the kick off post for the tour! I met Mary (M.K.) a couple years ago when I went to sci fi authorfest and randomly went up to talk to her because her book cover (just The Native Star was out then) was so gorgeous. I had recently discovered steampunk and I was definitely interested in reading more that fit the genre. I really hit it off with Mary and I have seen her each year at sci fi authorfest since. I was SO relieved when I heard she was going to self publish instead of not put out the book she had wrote. I didn't really know the whole story though. I think that authors who have published traditionally and have a fan base really shouldn't hesitate to self publish. Self publishing has gone a long ways and finding readership is much easier than it use to be. When booking this tour I found people who don't normally read self published didn't seem to hesitate to accept because she had been traditionally published before.

    She is a fabulous person and a tremendously talented story teller, so I hope she just keeps putting them out! The more books the better, in my opinion!

  11. Sounds fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing! Definitely going on my want list :)

  12. I've read Native Star and enjoyed it immensely. I'd love to win the 3 books and the asst swag pack.

  13. I am really glad that there is a place for authors to publish outside of the traditional outlets. I think it pushes both sides to be better and work harder :) I think that can only be good for readers!

  14. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book. It sounds really good.

  15. It is a very long time to be waiting for your book to be published. I'm glad you were able to take control of the way you want your work to be published now.

  16. The video looks scary!

    Twitted about your giveaway at:

    Goodluck everybody!

  17. Thanks for the post. I was wondering why you'd decided to self-publish, and it makes sense that you did. Were most of your KS supporters established fans, or did you pick up a lot of new supporters?

  18. I saw a very favourable review of The Native Star somewhere, so I put that one on my "must read"-list, but then I found out you had a new book and the fact that it's self-published really makes me want to support that step and prove Ballentine Spectra wrong!

    If European Amazon (.de) has it in stock, does that mean you have an international distributor?

  19. Only this stop! So excited! I lovelovelove this author and can't wait for her next releases!

  20. Looking forward to reading your book it sounds great .

  21. Good for you - pushing forward with your new book! This sounds like a great series and I look forward to reading it. Best of luck!

  22. Sounds like a good book. I like historical ones.

  23. Hoping to win a new winter read for the upcoming months - I have a rare disorder and I am unable to go out in any sort of chilly weather - can't leave the house from December - April - so I need some books to keep me busy.

  24. This is new to me and sounds like a fantastic series...I'll check it out! thanks for sharing!


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