From the department of “It’s About Damn Time,” I’m happy to announce I’ve set a new Breakers book helpless into the world. Go catch it! Quick, before it escapes!






Amazon UK




Google Play




I’m happy to have added Google Play to my list of distributors. For those of you here for the publishing-related stuff, I’ll try to get up a post about them before too long.

Until then, buy early and buy often!

What’s up everyone. I’ve been quiet lately–working furiously, if there’s anything furious about “sitting in a chair seven days a week”–but in the meantime, here’s something new: the complete book of my previously serialized time travel thriller The Cutting Room. And for the next few days, it’s just $0.99.

Amazon  |  B&N  |  Kobo  |  Apple

Thanks for taking a look. Once I’ve got a bit of breathing room with my work in progress, I’ll start blogging again–including a look at my experience with The Cutting Room as a serialized novel. It’s been an interesting process.

As usual, a quiet blog means I’ve got a new book on the way. This time, I’m trying a new format, too: a serial.


In the future, there are many parallel Earths–but only one of them has time travel. Its criminals break into the pasts of other worlds, far beyond the reach of conventional police.

Blake Din is the top agent of the Cutting Room, the group tasked with stopping these trespassers. But on a mission to undo the murder of a young boy, he steps into a far-ranging conspiracy. For the first time, it isn’t one of the other Earths under attack. It’s his own.

A sci-fi thriller in the mold of Minority Report and Quantum Leap, THE CUTTING ROOM: EPISODE I is the first in a six-part serial novel. New episodes weekly.

Get it on any store you like:

Amazon  |  B&N  |  Apple  |  Kobo

Additionally, if you’re a Kobo reader–and they’ve got an app–I’ve got a limited amount of copies to give away. Just follow the (very quick and easy) instructions here.

If you’re new to serialized fiction, it’s pretty much like a TV show: each episode tells its own little story, and the complete book tells an over-arching story of its own. With The Cutting Room, I’ll be releasing new episodes every Wednesday. Each episode is about 30-50 pages long (12,000-15,000 words), and there will be six in total.
Writing in this format was more of a challenge than I expected, but it was really fun. If this book does well enough (and frankly, my standards for “well” are pretty mild), I’d love to write another. Thanks for taking a look.

I will improve this writeup tomorrow. But it’s been a long day, and I need to collapse. In brief, then, a dozen of us indie fantasy writers are doing a one-day Kindle giveaway of some of our books. This runs the classic fantasy gamut–epic, historical, urban. Below are the authors involved, as well as a link to the Amazon pages where their books may be downloaded. Goodnight!

EDIT: Here’s a much nicer link, including snazzy covers, to all the free books.

Also, the list:

Dave King: Betrovia

Edward W. Robinson: The White Tree

Cate Dean: Last Chance Jack

Colin Taber: Fall of Ossard

Matthew Musser: Jadeflies

S. M. Reine: Death’s Hand

Brendan Carroll: The Red Cross of Gold

E. Stoops: Corner of a Round Planet

MeiLin Miranda: Lovers and Beloved

Tristan J. Tarwater: Little Girl Lost

J. R. Tomlin: Blood Duty

Christopher Bunn: Ice and Fire

Kate Danley: Maggie for Hire


I’m nearing the halfway point of the first draft of the unnamed sequel to The White Tree. It’s a big book. A lot of travel. A lot of new characters. A lot to keep in mind, in other words. Oh, and it might be the better part of 700 pages long. I’m thinking I could use a couple-three beta readers to help me out.

What’s a beta reader? A beta reader’s somebody who reads an early draft of a book with an eye for making it better. This can cover everything from proofreading (“You misspelled ‘rein’ again, dummy”) to problems with characters and plot (“How did they get from the Cauldron of Scalded Souls to Naked Fairy Lake in two days? In chapter 42 you said they were 1000 miles apart”). It’s a pretty broad role, really. Your feedback would pretty much be whatever you feel comfortabe giving. And what do you get in return?

…Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Ah ha ha ha!

Well, not quite nothing. It would be a volunteer position. In most ways, the compensation will be pretty minimal: a free copy of a book you were (presumably) going to buy anyway. Getting to read it weeks or months in advance of when the final version will be released to the public. Helping me increase the book’s overall awesomeness. And a thank you on the acknowledgements page.

It’s probably going to be about three months before I reach this stage, so don’t expect to see any hot new copy until then. But I figure I may as well start casting the net now. So if you read The White Tree, you liked it, and you want to help the sequel be even better, please let me know–just leave a comment with your email here, or drop me a line at edwrobertson AT gmail

From there, I’ll let you know when completed draft day draws near. Thanks, everyone.

David Gaughran has a great post on this today. Here’s the quick summary: people continue to attack Amazon for its monopolistic, predatory, anti-competitive practices when it comes to ebooks, particularly when it comes to the Amazon’s KDP Select program, which allows authors certain perks in exchange for offering their content exclusively to Amazon.

The thing is, the reason this program has been so effective is because it works. For self-publishers, it’s far from impossible to establish a presence at Amazon and sell some serious books. At B&N? The sledding is much, much tougher. As Gaughran points out, at B&N, the playing field continues to be tilted significantly in favor of the big publishing houses. For everyone else–indie and small-press books–sales are almost entirely driven by direct traffic to their books’ pages. In other words, B&N isn’t doing anything to help them be seen.

My experience there has been and continues to be just that. Last year, my books were never going great at Amazon, but there were always 15-20 sales at the end of every month. With B&N, most months the totals were zero.

So last month, I signed up for Select with all my novels. After all, I had nothing to lose. (Actually, I had a little to lose by pulling those books from Smashwords, but we’re talking about hamburger money. Not Fatburger money, either. A lucky month might get me a cheeseburger at In-N-Out.) In the last four weeks, I’ve done very, very well.

I’ll get into that in greater detail pretty soon. And Select isn’t a magic bullet, either. It doesn’t work for everyone. But it’s yet another example of the way Amazon is making it possible for more and more authors to make a living. Right now, B&N simply isn’t doing that. And that’s why so many authors have no problem in giving them up without a look back.

Short answer: Yeah. I’m working on it right now, in fact. I’m about 160 pages into the first draft, which I envision being about four times that long.

What does that mean for its completion date? Well, it’ll be at least another three months until the first draft is done, and more like 4-5. I’ll need to give it at least a couple weeks to cool off after that before I start revising, which will probably take another 1-2 months, say. It’s almost March now, so barring any localized tornadoes, meteor strikes, etc. (and who ever heard of a natural disaster in Southern California?), I would guess it’ll be ready somewhere between August and October.

Why so long? Yeah, I know, Amanda Hocking can write a book in 9 days. Well, for one thing, it’s going to be a long book. Most novels fall into the 70,000-120,000 word range. YA, paranormal, and romance tend to be on the shorter side of that range, which is part of why you often see those authors with so many titles and such fast turnarounds. Also they are very prolific and dedicated.

Epic fantasy’s a whole ‘nother beast. I’ve got this book outlined for about 175-200K words. In other words (if I’ll have any left at this point), about twice as long as your average book. I’m not sure how long the longest epic fantasy runs, but those 1000+ page tomes from George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss and the like have to be 300-400K words. Man. Typing that out, I suddenly understand why it’s taking them 4-5 years between books.

Anyway, so right, a sequel. And yes, there will be a sequel to that, adding up to the trilogy that is mandatory by all bylaws of Big Fat Fantasy Epics. The Cycle of Arawn. Don’t worry, I’ve already got the entire story arc planned out, more or less. The series won’t bloat beyond that. And in terms of plotting, if you’ve read The White Tree, you know the series isn’t going to be the story of one vast quest to find a Master Sword and defeat a Ganon. There will be an overall arc to it, but it’s going to be a little different than the unified quest story personified by The Lord of the Rings and books like it.

And I think that’s all I’ll say for now. I need to get back to actually writing the thing!

Sapphire Book Reviews has posted their review of The White Tree. Spoiler alert: it is a very nice review. Giving it 4.5 stars, she calls The White Tree “an instant page turner” that “has everything you could ask for in an adventure story.”

I’m sure I’ll wind up with a nasty review one of these days, and I’m sure it’ll sting, but it’s been pretty nice to keep reading these positive ones in the meantime.

The reviewer does some nice analysis of the religion in the book, too. It’s pretty interesting as an author to see what readers and reviewers hone in on–religious strife drives most of the action of the book, but when I was writing it, religion as an entity wasn’t one of my main concerns. I mean, I wasn’t particularly trying to say anything about it beyond how history, legend, and meaning can be distorted, misinterpreted, and mistranslated by those in power, resulting in profound changes to the original beliefs. That and how these beliefs can divide us.

But it sounds like if the book had been more spiritually-oriented, or obviously trying to make points about specific real-world religions, positive or negative, the reviewer would have been turned off. Which I completely understand–it would take a pretty special book to get me to want to read Christian or inspirational fiction. That’s just not my thing. But it just didn’t occur to me that what I was writing was that concerned with religion, that close to being a potential social landmine. I was just writing medieval-era epic fantasy. In the medieval ages, religion drove an awful lot of politics, economics, and various social forces. Plus I’d been fascinated by how much of the embedded meaning of ancient parables and stories is lost as, over the course of centuries, a culture moves further and further from the one that created that story in the first place.

Which makes it sound like the religious angle was the driving motivation to write The White Tree. Really, I wanted to tell a story of a kid who discovers a life-long passion while trying to keep himself together in the midst of a harsh and violent world. The rest was just additional color.

The White Tree‘s available, FYI, in electronic formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

In the fine tradition of Sample Sunday, here’s an excerpt from my near-Earth space opera The Roar of the Spheres. By chapter 9, the crew of the Frontier Assessment has gotten themselves into some trouble on Mars. With their brilliant lawyer Shelby framed and jailed, their plan to free the colonists of Titan is about to be knocked off the rails. Here, the future of thousands depends on busting one woman out of jail.

The alarm raged through the Creative Reform Services detention facility before we’d even reached Shelby, an up-and-down cry of panic and fear that sounded exactly like an old air raid siren. Like they were trying to evoke some primal memory of hiding under desks while nuclear fire stripped the world to ashes. Like they meant to scare us.

It was working.

The plan, like all good ones, had been simple: Pete and I would go in as Shelby’s visitors while Baxter, whose artificial body couldn’t pass the security scans no matter how cunningly it resembled the real thing to human eyes and touch, waited outside with a rented electric cart. Fay, tapped into CRS’ security network, would unlock our path to the front doors while sealing off everything else. At most, we’d have a receptionist and a stray guard to karate chop on our way back to the street. Baxter’s idling cart would then whisk us away to the spaceport’s private gate, where a local pilot would rocket us to Fay, who’d be running interference the whole time, keeping CRS locked down and isolated while ensuring nobody tried to do anything insane like seal us in a dome or cut off the spaceport.

None of which sounded all that simple to me. It sounded like an awful lot of running through enemy territory with a limited number of exits, all of which could theoretically be blocked off. Fay assured me if we moved fast enough no one would be able to react in time to pin us down, and if it was wrong and they had their shit together and had a security force waiting for us at the spaceport (“And how would they even know you’d be headed there at all?” Fay asked), it could, as a last resort, respond with violent force. As the alarm keened up, freezing me in place as I shuddered like a dying engine, I was reminded, for the millionth time, how we don’t always get what we want.

“That does not sound like a positive development,” Baxter said through our earbuds, barely audible over the whooping alarm.

I sprinted deeper into the deserted reception room, as if expecting Shelby would materialize like an anti-mirage once I got close enough to see her. “What’s going on?”

“Badness,” Fay said.

“More badness.” Pete pointed to a door sliding open in front of us. He roundhoused the first face that showed itself—a white-uniformed guard, fortunately, who collapsed in the doorway and tripped his partner onto the tile. With his face so close to my foot, I gave it a kick, then knelt down to punch him out. Pete stripped them of their stunners and lobbed one my way.

“To define ‘badness,'” Fay said with a brightness that suggested more curiosity than concern, “if they knew about our plan in advance, they could have moved Shelby. She could be anywhere.”

“They don’t know what you can and can’t know,” I said. “If they moved her, they’d have risked tipping you off.”

“If they thought I was that powerful, why bother resisting at all?”

“Because we can’t all be as smart as you! Now tell me what the hell to do.”

“Well,” Fay said, “abort, return to Baxter, and get up here with me. Or try to get to Shelby’s cell, which may or may not contain a Shelby. They shut me out with a backup network, but I can still help you get there.”

The air raid siren switched off.

“Okay,” I said, awkwardly loud in the fresh silence. “Which way?”

“Straight.” We ran into the off-white hallway the two guards had come through, breaking left at Fay’s direction as we reached a T-intersection. On all sides the doors stayed sealed, though by command of Fay or CRS I couldn’t tell. “Convicts are through the next door to your right,” Fay said. “No, the next door.”

It wouldn’t budge. Pete, who’d also stripped the kicked guards of their ID thumbsticks, inserted one into the maglock. Inside, the cellblock looked more like a shined-up Pueblo cliff town than a prison, with rooms recessed into the six-story walls reachable by a sturdy staircase set into each corner of the open rectangular space. Though the cells had the familiar bar-grille doors, the bed and toilets were concealed behind white walls. This mix of the punitive and the private—one room open to the eyes of all, the other hidden behind a wall; the airy space of the main floor, tiled in a geometric gray array; the narrow windows beaming bands of dusty red sunlight into the blacks and whites of the vast chamber—addled my senses with its schizophrenic contradictions. I didn’t see the second pair of guards until Pete stepped into a side kick that arrested his meaty, goateed assailant mid-charge. The man fell to the gray tiles, wheezing and clutching his ribs.

The other guard, the smart one, drew his stunner and shot me.

My body went fuzzy and warm and swimmy, collapsing like the loose pile of organic material it was. I was peripherally aware of my side banging into the hard floor, then directly aware of nothing as my head followed suit. I came to tingly and numb. Two thoroughly beaten guards sprawled on the tile. Overhead, footsteps clamped on metal steps. Female prisoners filled the air with calls and questions and unintelligible hoots.

Someone moaned. It was me. “What’s going on?” I slurred into my throat mike.

“I’ve got most of the place clamped down,” Fay said, “but there’s a lot of staff I can’t account for, and their communications are regrettably functional. We’re going to have an interesting time getting to the spaceport.”

“‘We’?” I coughed weakly. Tingling pins prickled my skin. “What about Shelby?”

“Inside her cell. Wait, no she isn’t.”

“What? Where is she?”

“Outside her cell, where Pete just let her.”

My head hurt like five bitches in a bitch boat, but my fingers and toes had started to twitch. I tried wiggling them (crashed on my side, I couldn’t see or really feel them yet), forcing my body back into mobility.

“We should let all the others out, too.”

“But they’re criminals!” Fay said.

“This is a cushy pad for embezzlers and petty thugs, not Sing Sing. The only crime they’d commit on the way out is stealing any loose office supplies.”

“They could hurt innocent people. That’s bad. I don’t want to do bad.”

“Fuck bad.” I swung my stupid body to a sitting position. “It’s about survival now.”

Available for Kindle, Nook, and various other ebook formats through Smashwords.

That’s right. My near-Earth space opera The Roar of the Spheres is now available in all formats via Smashwords. The first half’s free to sample, so you have literally nothing to lose by checking it out. Except your mind.

Well, not really. I just wanted to say that once. Thanks for indulging me.

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