Saturday, May 2, 2009

Now On Sale! Onyx Sun Book 1


After several years of writing, editing, searching for agents, not getting agents, looking for publishers, getting rejected by publishers, deciding to self-publish, designing the artwork with Rudy, editing the manuscript, publishing advance review copies, getting a great review from the #1 reviewer on Amazon, reading in classes, having kids tell me how much they love the book, editing the book again, working with typesetters, corresponding with young fans of the book, sending the book to the printer, and then waiting... book, The Incredible Origins of the Onyx Sun, is finally done and available for sale to the general public!

If you've ever been a fan, read one of the advance review copies, like helping struggling authors, or are dying to get your hands on what one reader called his "favorite book after Lord of the Rings" (true quote), please head on over to where you can securely use PayPal to purchase a copy! You can also order it on Amazon, but people who order directly from get 10% off a copy personally signed by yours truly. Plus, I only get $1 per book from Amazon, while I make a good deal more from orders direct from my site.

The final hardcover is very exciting because it has:
  • 36 original illustrations - one at the top of every chapter!
  • Printed endpages with schematics of the Onyx Pioneer on the front and the Citadel Spire on the back
  • An exclusive epilogue, not available on the Advance Review Copies
  • A completely new first chapter
  • A unique launch code to give readers access to an online copy of the text where they can edit the entire book and share edits with friends!
Thanks to everyone who has helped make this a reality!



P.S. - Happy birthday Aiden! You inspired this book many years ago buddy!

Monday, March 2, 2009

53 New Fan Letters

On February 9th, I did my first school reading at Redding Elementary in San Francisco. It was funny going into it, because I was a little nervous. I've done dozens of speaking engagements in seven different countries for my real job, some in front of hundreds of people, but the prospect of speaking to twenty kids in my own town about my book somehow got me more jumpy. I guess when speaking to adults, I generally know what to expect, but it's been about twenty years since I've been in a classroom speaking to Fifth Graders.

After all the build-up though, the day seemed to go really well. I spoke with three classes, and each really seemed to enjoy my talk. I described what inspired me to write my book, how long it took, what skills I learned in school that helped, and finished with a reading of the Prologue. Throughout the process, I showed the students pictures of my book as it evolved from manuscript, to 2,500 edits, to advance review copy, to final book. I also showed them how the artwork in the book evolved from drafts to finished material. The students at Redding were very engaging and asked great questions.

My favorite part was at the end of the second and third classes. At the end of the second, right when I finished my reading, one of the girls in the back of the class pushed her chair back, threw her arms in the air, and exclaimed, "THAT WAS SO SWEET!" It made me laugh because her reaction was so genuine. At the end of the third class, one boy raised his hand and waved it in the air frantically until I called on him. Then he said, "Mr. Mahoney, that is the BEST book I have ever read!" Hahaha. What great kids. They kept me smiling and helped stoke the excitement I feel finally being on the "speaking circuit".

A couple of weeks later, I returned home to find a package stuffed in my mailbox from one of the classes. In it was a wire-bound book of 53 letters from the kids. This gesture was so touching and while I'd love to display all of the wonderful letters, I had to select just a few that I could fit here.

To Mr. Toy's class: thank you! You are a wonderful, insightful, and genuinely intelligent class. I appreciate your letters!



Monday, February 2, 2009

Great Review from Amazon's #1 Reviewer!

More good news on advance reviews of my book. Harriet Klausner, the #1 Reviewer on Amazon (using the former ranking system, which has recently changed) has given The Incredible Origins of the Onyx Sun a glowing review!

An excellent middle school science fiction thriller starring an intriguing hero! The story line is action-packed and filled with twists. Zack is a terrific role model as he and his grandfather encourage children to see each day as a fun, puzzle-filled adventure. Young adults will enjoy flying to the Moon, controlling giant robots, and saving the Earth alongside Zack and his exciting friends.
- Harriet Klausner

It's exciting to see she enjoyed it, as well as other recent early reviewers.

On the final book publication date front: I have narrowed it down to two publishers and am negotiating between them. The company I want to go with is about $1,000 more expensive. So, I am exploring my options with the second company while trying to get the first to give me a more competitive quote. Should not be long now until I can commit to a final launch date!



Saturday, January 10, 2009

Book Launch Update

Just a quick update: I have gotten bids from three printers on how much it will cost and how long it will take to print the final version of The Incredible Origins of the Onyx Sun. I am going to review them this week, negotiate in a few points, then select a final printer.

Once that is done, I will - finally - have a firm date for my book launch! Will post more information as soon as I have it.



Friday, January 9, 2009

More News from Young Onyx Sun Fans

I thought this would be fun to share: the 4th grade class that wrote to me about how much they liked my book continues to share their thoughts with their community.

You can read more here:

Thanks again Mr. Titus and class for letting people know how much you enjoyed my book!