GLEAM UPON THE WAVES is coming March 30th

Based on emails I’ve gotten over the last few years, I suppose this is the moment many of you had been anticipating. I’m very proud to announce that Gleam Upon the Waves is done and will be arriving on March 30th, 2021. Nope, that’s not one long typo. It’s actually happening, and I can’t stop smiling about it. In twenty-seven days, you’ll be able to return to Lovat and the world of the Territories and join Waldo Bell and the crew of the Bell Caravans on their next adventure.

eBook Preorders are live!

You can already preorder the digital edition of Gleam Upon the Waves should it strike your fancy. (And it should.) Use any of the links below, and your eBook will magically appear on your e-reader on launch day.


KindleKoboNookApple BooksGooglePlay


Paperbacks are coming!

Paperback editions will land on launch day and they’re looking really good. Currently, the book is sitting at the 450-page mark, making Gleam Upon the Waves the longest book of the series (so far). I think all you paperback readers will be pleased.

The first print proof arrived last week – feels so solid in-hand

Read a Sample Chapter Tomorrow!

Tomorrow I’ll be releasing a sample from Gleam Upon the Waves. So for those interested, you’ll be able to dive in a little early and discover what’s happening in the city of Lovat. As before, this will be the Prologue. It’s a little different from the previous prologues—I think you’ll dig it. [Update: It’s live! You can read it over here.]


But wait, there’s more!

I can’t tell you how great it feels to finally announce this. I hope you’re as excited as I am.

There’s lots more coming over the next few weeks, as well. I have all sorts of stuff planned between now and the 30th. New swag and bookmarks are on their way. I’ve assembled a themed playlist to tantalize your ears, and I’ll be sharing that soon. There will be new Old Haunts to visit. Plus, I’m planning on doing a live reading from the book—just need to figure out when to do it and where I want to host it. Pull up a chair and stick around. Gleam Upon the Waves is nearly here.

Crunch Time: The Realities of Indie Publishing

Crunch Time: The Realities Of Indie Publishing

This is not a pity post. I say that because I know some folks will read emotion into blog posts like this and I’m not looking to garner sympathy. My intention is to share my own experiences and inform people about the work it takes to launch an indie title. It’s no secret that indie publishing is hard work. It requires a lot of time and intense dedication, the cliche “blood, sweat, and tears” applies. I want to help in that regard, I want to let you know what the book-launching part of indie publishing entails so when you face your own launch you are better equipped.

First, a little bit of background. For those unaware, I work two full-time jobs. There’s my day job (UX designer) which I have been doing for a long time and I love. It helps support my second job… which is being this writer here, the guy who writes books, blogs blog posts, tweets tweets, etc. It’s another job that I absolutely adore. Both are incredibly fulfilling, and every day they take me down different paths creatively. I have mentioned before that I chose indie publishing because I didn’t want to give up control. I wanted to be responsible for my books from start to finish from the moment a reader hears about it on the web, to the moment they crack open the paperback. I wanted to curate the reader’s experience by making the story of The Bell Forging Cycle to be as cohesive as possible. To achieve that I felt I needed nuanced control over everything. I wanted to have control over the design of my web presence, the covers of my books, even the interiors of the paperbacks. Many of those elements are involved in a book launch, and as the series has grown, so has each consecutive launch.

It’s easy to write, but in reality it’s tough. It makes for a lot of work. September for me has become crunch time. Right now, here’s my typical day: I wake up around 7:30 a.m., pour coffee down my throat, run to work, spend eight to nine hours at my day job, run home, eat a quick dinner with Kari-Lise, and then it’s into my office where I work until at least 12:00 a.m. (recently it’s been closer to 1 or 2:00 a.m.). Then when the day ends, I crash out. The following morning, I am back at it. While I enjoy the work, it has made most of September a weird routine of cycles. I also haven’t done much writing (or reading for that matter). Life right now is the launch.

To put it in perspective, here’s my list of things that I need to get done before Red Litten World’s launch. Some of these take more time than others, some less, but I feel each of them are an important part in making the launch of Book III as successful as it can be.

  • Finalize edits & copy edits (Yay!)
  • Finalize paperback interior (I think I’m real close)
  • Finalize paperback cover (Again, real close)
  • Finalize ebook interior (Close, if not done)
  • Finalize ebook cover (Aww yiss)
  • Deal with Nook layout (Yeah, it gets its own line item)
  • Finalize bookmarks
  • Finalize stickers
  • Product photos
  • Finalize buttons (Yay, done!)
  • Prep redlittenworld.com for launch
  • Prep bellforgingcycle.com for launch
  • Prep kmalexander.com for launch
  • Prep updates for store.kmalexander.com
  • Prep [REDACTED] (Got to keep some things secret)
  • Finalize [REDACTED]
  • Work on [REDACTED]
  • Prep launch blog posts (I usually write posts in advance)
  • Prep advertising (For the sake of brevity I am listing this as one line item, on my real list it’s four or five due to the various ad networks and their various requirements)
  • Finalize new contests
  • Set up Goodreads page (Done! Add RLW to your To-Read list)

It’s a formidable list, an it’s just the start, my to-do list continues to grow and deadlines approach. There’s a misconception out there (one I have spoken about before) that indie publishing is easy and cheap. But it’s not. To do it right takes time, money, and will. All those things have a cost. Not everyone wants to spend the effort, and that’s okay. Thankfully there are other alternatives for people who aren’t as insane as folks like me. (Traditional publishing, while stressful in its own way, removes a lot of this labor.)

As I said at the start, I’m not looking for sympathy. I love this. I love the thrill. I love being able to insert little secrets and details, not just in the books themselves, but throughout the experience as a whole. For me, it’s a rush. I’m lucky I have an understanding partner and I’m blessed (#Blessed) that I am able to carve out time to do all of this. (Usually this comes at the expense of time-sinks like games, movies, and television. Try cutting back yourself, you’ll be amazing at how much time you have.) I share this because I like transparency, I enjoy telling of my journey to publication. It’s why I started this blog in the first place. I hope my experiences can help others learn and grow in their own lives. I also hope others are able to understand what it takes to “do it right” as it were. I think some of the usual shade thrown at indie publishing comes because there is a group who dive into the deep end and don’t fully understand the work involved with launching a quality product. Our collective reputation grows the better we all strive to become.

The best part about all of this: it’s all totally worth it. Whenever I hear from a reader, talk with a fan, meet someone at a convention, or see a new review, all the effort fades away. I tell stories to entertain, to enrich, to challenge, and to thrill. If I can do any of those for even one person, I’m a pretty happy writer.

Now, back to it, Lovat awaits and the launch is near.