Jordan Castillo Price's Blog

November 30, 2015

Initially, I was going to post a link to the Cyber Monday sale on Kindle Unlimited, figuring that maybe some of you are so fed up with the emails that you’re just deleting them all without looking. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was important for me to talk about what I’m getting out of KU myself.

With a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you can check out as many as 10 books at a time from a library of the books that are enrolled in the program. Is every book available? No, especially not in M/M. This is because Amazon demands exclusivity from smaller publishers to participate in the program, and many of us prefer to have our titles available more widely available.

So, if you prefer to read primarily M/M, it’s best to look at whether you would find enough titles you’re interested in to make the subscription fee worth your while.

I tend to read more broadly. I read a lot of urban fantasy and thrillers. So, for me, Kindle Unlimited is a big deal. A few things I’ve read and enjoyed include:


The Pines

The Paper Magician
These were all Whispersynch titles, which meant I could flow back and forth between reading them and playing them as audios. I absolutely love this flexibility.

And as a publisher, I placed some of my ebook titles on Kindle unlimited to test the waters.

The Starving Years

Hue, Tint and Shade

I'm a slow reader. I've subscribed to ebook services before and never felt I was getting my $8-$10 worth out of the deal every month. But KU has enough variety and format to actually increase the amount of fiction I enjoy and I easily get my money's worth, and more.

As far as I know, this deal—up to 40% off—is only available in the United States, and only today. Check it out here.

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Published on November 30, 2015 06:02 • 42 views

November 21, 2015

Readers, put your thinking caps on! I need a title for an M/M book that could be either a thriller or an urban fantasy. Lou Harper and I are going to do a mashup of exquisite corpse meets digital book cover designer. She and I have each selected a subject and a background, you guys suggest a title! Make sure it can work for either thriller or urban fantasy, we'll be mocking up two different styles. And we have very different taste and a huge amount of respect for each other, so this will be interesting!!
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Published on November 21, 2015 14:58 • 146 views

November 20, 2015

Today I took a trip to the library to see if I could clarify some ideas for a couple of covers I'll be working on in the near future. I don't even know exactly where to look. One cover needs to look sexy and paranormal but a bit wry, and the other one maybe dreamier and slightly sci fi but not with aliens or Godzillas or anything. Yeah, I know, it would be a lot easier if I just wrote in an obvious genre.

Here's some of the stuff that caught my eye today, and why.

We can start with a weird typographical thing I noticed. I snapped a pic of this book with my phone then came home and found a better image on GR. But the typography was rearranged so that the very thing I really liked about it was stripped away. So I dug deeper and...

Phew, there it is. I liked the way two sans-serif fonts were not only used together but layered so cleverly. It wouldn't have occurred to me to do that with with the fonts. I also loved the way "Lear's" was so fat and bold that it could be ghosted in more subtly.

I can't help but wonder why they un-stacked them for most of the editions. It was perfectly legible stacked together. It was COOL that way. I feel like so many things get dumbed down and made unspecial for public consumption, and that's a shame.

In City of Savages I was intrigued by the interplay of the foreground trees, background trees and typography. I wonder if the 45° angles are part of the font or if the designer altered the typography. It looks like pieces were sliced off, which I like.

I'm intrigued by diagonal type. I did some with my Channeling Morpheus box sets. I liked the diagonal in Archetype, and the simplicity.

I really liked the subtlety in City of Stairs. It's like, I expected there to be literal stairs on the cover and I was glad there weren't. I love the layers of clouds and particle, the monochrome treatment with the hint of peachy yellow warmth against gray, and the arc of light separating the city from the heavens. that transition from lower third to upper two-thirds is really well done. Different.

For A Local Habitation I was looking for a way to handle the typography that didn't take itself too seriously. I don't know how successful it is here. It's a slightly playful type on a grim/dour background. And I don't think the author name typeface works well with the title typeface. I also don't understand why the author name and title are aligned the way they are, neither centered. The title would need to be smaller to be a flush-left balancing a flush right of the author name. Things that are almost-centered (but not quite) look like mistakes to me.

Layering, layering, layering! I loved all the layers and the light in Traitor's Heir. I'll bet the size of that photoshop file is massive. This probably looks really sharp at thumbnail size with those vibrant reds, yellows and blacks.

The reds in Everneath were more vibrant in the paperback. I liked that the font wasn't super fussy, and I loved the swash connecting the E and the R. Then I saw the dress was turning to smoke and very nearly took it home. (But I don't have time to read it...but I want to now.)

More typography, I liked that a fairly round sans serif had some fanciness going on. I like the idea of taking a plain, bold, round sans and altering a character.

I loved all the textures in the Lovegrove Legacy books. I'm a sucker for smoke and particles. I'm not sure how I feel about the font, it feels too widely kerned for my taste. I think maybe I don't like the extra fiddliness in the characters either. I liked the way the bottoms scoop to black so you can really see the author name.

I didn't necessarily think Fearscape was a successful cover. The model layer wasn't altered enough for my taste, plus I like more textures. But I thought it was interesting use of smoke as a framing element. I also like the altered S character in the middle of the title.

I wish I was this good with typography. I'm interested in the notion of splitting longer words without hyphens. Maybe that's a more literary thing?

I didn't notice the score-marks in Nil Unlocked until I got home. I liked the way the visual lines all pulled my eye to the word Nil. I loved the colors. The content was secondary to me (I'm really unlikely to read anything set in a place with palm trees. You may notice it's shitting down sleet and snow in practically every one of my books. I grew up in the snow belt.) I thought using a distressed, hand-drawn type for the author name was an odd choice. I don't think it works here because of the "nn" in Lynne. It's too obvious they're not really hand-drawn when you see the duplicated characters side by side.

So if you look at all the O-characters in this title, they're all different. They invested in someone to actually hand letter it.

It's hard to lay your title over the entire photo and still have it make sense. I think this one works. I'm also really interested in black and white with red lately.

What's your favorite cover among these? What do you think is the element that draws you to it? Is it a genre you typically read?

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Published on November 20, 2015 14:14 • 57 views

November 16, 2015

How much car accidents suck, and more, in this month's JCP News.
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Published on November 16, 2015 08:38 • 48 views

October 24, 2015

Queen ClareComfort food for me is mac and cheese. Lasagana. Quesadillas. Basically anything with melted cheese on it, I'm there. But Clare London's got a thing for Dairy Queen.

I haven't yet figured out why. Don't get me wrong, I think they're good. But I really don't get THIS excited about hitting the Dairy Queen.

It makes it really easy to keep her happy when she visits me.

But now she's back home in London and I'm here, Clare-less. Sigh.
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Published on October 24, 2015 07:11 • 63 views

October 10, 2015

Prism Book Alliance is spotlighting my Channeling Morpheus series today, and they've reviewed several more of my backlist titles as well. What a big treat!

There's also an all-new interview with me that may pique your interest.

New reviews of my "classic" stories Hemovore, Sleepwalker, Hue Tint and Shade, and Starlight (this is a real oldie, the second m/m story of mine that was ever published, in a print anthology called Blood Lust in 2005.)

The other day I was thinking that it's a shame that so many of my ideas are not novel-sized ideas, since my perception is that readers don't connect to shorter stories. And then I get a review like this for Fire Thief and it allows me to rethink my preconceptions. Very cool. 
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Published on October 10, 2015 12:54 • 27 views
Will you be joining me in San Diego this week at the GayRomLit Retreat? If so, here are the places you can definitely find me. I’ll try to make the late night parties too but sometimes I get so tuckered out with the excitement of the convention I fall asleep embarrassingly early :D

Click here for my schedule, plus a snippet from my new PsyCop novella Everyone's Afraid of Clowns, avaiable exclusively in the Charmed and Dangerous anthology!
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Published on October 10, 2015 05:57 • 43 views

September 29, 2015

PayPal sent me a credit card slider to use with my iPad, and I've gotta admit, selling books with it was easy and fun! I manned my own table at GRNW and the slider was easy enough to handle while having conversations and signing autographs.

If you're going to GRL, there are a few ways you can buy paperbacks from me. I'll have some available at the GRL IndiePub table in the bookseller's room. (I'll also be co-running the table at 10 am - 11am Thursday, Friday and Saturday if you want to stop and chat.)

I'll also sell them at my book signing slot, Saturday 12:30 to 3:30

But the best way to make sure I have the title you really want is to pre-order. I'm also offering exclusive bundle deals and a coupon for the pre-orders. I'm taking orders through tomorrow night, then I've gotta hit the "go" button and have the order printed in time for the convention.

Pre-order here
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Published on September 29, 2015 15:46 • 64 views

September 21, 2015

This weekend I had a little romp with friends in Milwaukee. It's not far from Madison but there's a LOT more people there and apparently all of them were out celebrating the last day of summer.

We started at a modern art exhibit, Van Gogh to Pollock, Modern Rebels at the Milwaukee Art Museum and it was so jam-packed you couldn't have jammed another person in there with a shoehorn.  This is really exciting to me. I did my very expensive Bachelor's and Masters at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and found myself wondering lately how relevant fine art really is. Seeing this crowd in a blue collar city for an art exhibit rather than a football game makes me reconsider my perception of what the general public values.

We then had a dandy time tasting vinegars. If the thought gives you yucky-face, like it did me, I'm here to tell you OMG NO THEY'RE FAB. It was hard to pick just one. I went with the lemon white balsamic (with which I'm making a little chicken stir fry later) but the cranberry pear was also stunning.

Later on I was so moved by a relief print at a street fair I almost wrestled my friend for it. (May have been a little tipsy at that point.) Luckily they had two and we each got a copy. It's a portrait of Milwaukee's four beer barons, Pabst, Blatz, Miller and Schlitz, and instead of carving wood or linoleum, the artist used historic yellow Milwaukee brick.

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Published on September 21, 2015 15:48 • 53 views

September 16, 2015

It's newsletter time! This month, I'm heading to Seattle for the Gay Romance Northwest Meetup. Find out where I'll be and what's on the agenda!

Characters: must everyone really be perpetually 30? Judging by the feedback so far, my readers sure don't think so.

Will you be in San Diego for GRL? Pre-order your paperbacks now!

All this and more at this month's JCP News.
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Published on September 16, 2015 15:03 • 52 views