Out Now – The Girl in the City

Philip HarrisBooks, Indie Publishing, Out NowLeave a Comment

About a year ago, I discovered Michael Bunker’s Amish science fiction series – Pennsylvania. The story really intrigued me, and I blasted through all five books and really enjoyed it. I thought that was the end of it but my muse, Ethel, had other ideas. She started sowing the seeds of a story in the darker recesses of my subconscious. Just a title and an image at first, a scene from the life of a young girl living in the city from Michael’s book. That image, and the story behind it, stuck with me. It grew bigger and more detailed. More scenes materialised and the girl got a name – Leah. With some encouragement from Michael Bunker himself, I eventually gave in and decided to write the story. It quickly took on a life of its own and became a novella, gaining a fantastic Jason Gurley cover and interior art by Ben Adams along the way. Now, finally, The Girl in the City is available from Amazon for the low low price of 99c/99p (US UK Canada). Here’s the description… With the oppressive Transport Authority controlling every aspect of their existence, Leah and her father do what they can to carve a good life for themselves. Leah spends her nights scavenging in the rural zone around … Read More

The Art of The Girl in the City

Philip HarrisBooks, Indie PublishingLeave a Comment

The Girl in the City really took on a life of its own last year. When I started writing the story, I wasn’t even sure I was going to release it. But as I wrote the first draft, I grew to like Leah and her story more and more. By the time I’d finished I was convinced I had a story that was good enough to publish. I can’t say that about all the stories I write, I’ve got a folder called Abandoned for a reason, but I could see Leah (as it was known then) had a lot of potential. For the first time, I sent an early draft off to some beta readers and got some very positive feedback. That feedback reinforced the feeling that I should release the book. I always use editors for my indie books but I also sent Leah to Joe Nassise for a development edit. I revised the story based on his feedback and then used Red Adept Editing for copy editing and proofreading passes. The end result is a story I’m really proud of. But while all that editing was going on, I had another idea. Michael Bunker commissioned illustrations for Pennsylvania from Ben Adams, a very talented artist that had … Read More

The Girl in the City Preorder

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My science fiction novella, The Girl in the City, is now available for pre-order from Amazon (Amazon US, Amazon UK).   Here’s the description… With the oppressive Transport Authority controlling every aspect of their existence, Leah and her father do what they can to carve a good life for themselves. Leah spends her nights scavenging in the rural zone around the City, risking capture by the Wild Ones as she hunts for salvage her father can trade for food and other essentials. But when Leah takes a bag of salvage from a dying stranger, she and her father are drawn into the world of Transport and its war against the terrorist organization, TRACE. A war that could cost them both their lives. I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out. I got the final formatted ebook this weekend and Polgarus Studio did a great job. The Girl in the City is set in the world of Michael Bunker’s Pennsylvania, and I’ve continued Michael’s tradition of including illustrations by Ben Adams in the Pennsylvania books. Ben created three fantastic images for The Girl in the City (TGITC?) – check back next Monday for a look at them. The Girl in the City will be released on Kindle on February 2nd, 2015 but you … Read More

Coming Soon – The Girl in the City

Philip HarrisBooks, Indie PublishingLeave a Comment

My novella, Leah, now has a proper title – The Girl in the City – and a superb Jason Gurley cover.   The Girl in the City is a science fiction novella, roughly 60 pages long. Here’s the description. With the oppressive Transport Authority controlling every aspect of their existence, Leah and her father do what they can to carve a good life for themselves. Leah spends her nights scavenging in the rural zone around the City, risking capture by the Wild Ones as she hunts for salvage her father can trade for food and other essentials. But when Leah takes a bag of salvage from a dying stranger, she and her father are drawn into the world of Transport and its war against the terrorist organization, TRACE. A war that could cost them both their lives. Those of you who’ve read Michael Bunker’s Pennsylvania may recognise some of the elements of the story. That’s because The Girl in the City is set in that world and runs parallel to some of the events in Michael’s book. Apart from an ill-advised piece of flash fiction set in Clive Barker’s Hellraiser universe, this is the first time I’ve felt compelled to write in another … Read More

Indie Publishing Update – January 2015

Philip HarrisIndie PublishingLeave a Comment

I finally decided to give indie publishing a try last year – starting with three short stories. Bottled Lightning (available on Amazon US UK Canada) was officially released on 29th September. Saviour (available on Amazon US UK Canada) was released on 6th October. Curfew (available on Amazon US UK Canada) came out a week later on 13th October. All three titles are in KDP Select so are exclusive to Amazon and can be borrowed through Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited. One of the things I like about indie publishing is the transparency in the indie community, so in the interest of continuing that transparency, here’s the numbers for the first three months of those titles. In total that’s 14 sales, 2 borrows and 181 free copies given away. That’s not quite Stephen King levels of success, but I’m very happy with those results, for several reasons. Firstly, it’s completely in line with my expectations. Short stories generally don’t sell unless you’ve already got a following of some sort, and even then they’re a tough sell. I wouldn’t expect people to spend money on a 15-20 minute read from someone they’ve never heard of. Secondly, those three titles were an experiment to get comfortable with indie publishing and limit the damage done by … Read More

Five Reasons I Built My Own Ebooks

Philip HarrisFive Things, Indie PublishingLeave a Comment

Over the past three weeks, I’ve released three short stories as Kindle ebooks – a science fiction story called Bottled Lightning, an urban fantasy story called Saviour and Curfew, a supernatural thriller. The three stories are my first dip of a toe into self-publishing waters and I chose them because a) I like them and b) they gave me a playground in which to learn. Coming straight out of the gate with a full length work would have made any mistakes I made more costly. I did most of the work of making the ebooks myself, the exception being the covers. I can put together a cover but it takes time and the quality can be hit and miss. I found some premades for all three of those titles that worked well (from Go On Write for Curfew and Bottled Lightning and from The Cover Collection for Saviour) so I went with those. I handled all the other tasks associated with building the actual ebooks and I did it manually (although I then automated one part of it to avoid making mistakes). And when I say manually, I mean manually. I didn’t use Scrivener or a Word file. I took the raw text … Read More

It’s a Wrap

Philip HarrisBooks, Indie Publishing, Publications, WritingLeave a Comment

Today marks the release of my third and final-for-the-time-being indie release – Curfew. I lovingly hand-crafted all of these books and I’ll be posting a few lessons I’ve learned along the way but overall it’s been a fun experience. It’s been fairly time consuming though and although I was getting quicker with each release, there’s still a few things I’d do differently. In particular, the experience has reinforced the fact that no matter how many times you go over a manuscript, you can always find something new to tweak. And I’m not talking about mistakes or typos. These are just changes that make the text that little bit better. But eventually those changes aren’t really making the story better, they’re just making it different and you have to call it a day. I had to keep reminding myself that “Perfect is the enemy of done” and move on to actually publishing the story. This is my last indie release for a while but I have more titles lined up – both short stories and longer works. I won’t be building all of them by hand, I have writing I want to get done, but having that experience will help a lot when I start working … Read More

Cover Reveal – Curfew

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As promised, it’s cover reveal time, this time for my third-and-final-for-the-time-being release – Curfew. Curfew is a post-apocalyptic supernatural thriller featuring a photographer living in a war ravaged city. It’s a short story, slightly longer than Bottled Lightning and Saviour at about 22 pages. Here’s the opening The war had been raging for one hundred and sixty-eight years, two hundred and ninety-four days, seventeen hours, thirty-two minutes and six seconds when I was arrested. No one could remember why we were fighting. Was it north vs south? East vs west? Black vs white? If it had been any of those things in the beginning, it wasn’t now. Whatever boundaries there had once been had been blurred to extinction; now there were simply two sides hell-bent on destroying each other. And here’s the cover, courtesy of Humble Nations. Curfew will be released on Monday, 13th October for 99c in the US and the lowest I can make it in other territories. Kindle only at this point I’m afraid. And don’t forget, Bottled Lightning and Saviour are both available at an Amazon store near you: Bottled Lightning US UK Canada Germany France Italy Spain Japan Mexico Brazil India Australia Saviour US UK Canada Germany France Italy Spain Japan Mexico Brazil India Australia [Curfew by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 9th October 2014]

On Genre

Philip HarrisIndie Publishing, Out Now, Writing1 Comment

My name is Philip Harris and I’m a genre hopper. More of a genre careener actually. One minute I’m writing a straight up horror story like The Bone Boy, the next my characters are discovering alien lifeforms on Mars, the next they’re talking to people made of newspaper. I’ve written horror, fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, science fiction horror, something that might actually be a fairy tale, and pretty much everything in between, Sometimes, I can’t even tell what genre I’m writing in. My story, Piece Number 7, (published in Garbled Transmissions) is about the profound effect music can have on a person. To me, there’s a speculative fiction element to the story but it’s firmly rooted in the real world. In the end I filed it under magical realism. Whatever that is. And don’t get me started on Only Friends, the ebook I give away here on the site. I have no clue what genre that is. Depending on how you interpret the story, there may actually be no speculative elements in that one at all. And it’s not just my short fiction. My novels are all over the place as well. The Ghost Smuggler, is science fiction with a … Read More

Cover Reveal – Saviour

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My second indie release will be Saviour. It’s a…fantasy…yes…fantasy, short story, about a creature in a cave and the girl she befriends. Like Bottled Lightning, it’s roughly 20 pages long. Without further ado, here’s the cover (thanks to The Cover Collection). I’m particularly fond of the Sisters of Mercy font – it reminds me of my youth. Saviour will be available Monday, October 6th (although Amazon will probably put it up at some point on the Sunday). And don’t forget, Bottled Lightning is now available at an Amazon store near you: US UK Canada Germany France Italy Spain Japan Mexico Brazil India Australia [Cover Reveal – Saviour by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 2nd October 2014]