New release: “Dimensions”

Hey, everyone! I am pleased to announce that the fourth Young Neos book, Dimensions, is now available for purchase from Amazon and Kindle Unlimited!

Click the above cover or this link HERE to go directly to its Amazon product page!

The fifth and final book of The Young Neos, Heroes, is scheduled for a July 2017 release date. After that, I will start a brand new superhero series in August, which I will talk more about later. I’m very excited for it, however, and think it will be great, but first things first; namely, finishing up The Young Neos. Then I will talk more about my next series.

Enjoy,

Lucas Flint

Last chance to win a FREE paperback edition of “The Superhero’s Test”!

Hey, everyone! Just a quick reminder that the Goodreads giveaway for the paperback edition of The Superhero’s Test here is ending TODAY!

So if you have yet to enter, just head on over to the giveaway page and click ‘Enter Giveaway” for a chance to win a free paperback copy for yourself! I rarely do Goodreads giveaways, so there is a fair chance this will be your last chance to win a free paperback edition of any of my books for quite a while.

Enjoy,

Lucas Flint

The Superhero’s Test One Year Giveaway!

Hey, everyone! The one year anniversary of the publication of The Superhero’s Test is coming up later this month.

To celebrate, I am running a Goodreads giveaway of the paperback edition. I am giving away 10 free copies of the paperback edition of The Superhero’s Test for the whole month of Goodreads, which you can enter by clicking this link here. You can also enter by clicking the Goodreads giveaway widget on my website, which should be on the right side of the screen on the desktop version of this site.

Also, Counterparts, the third book of The Young Neos, is still scheduled for release later this month.

Enjoy,

Lucas Flint

Cover reveal: Book 2 of The Young Neos, “Powers”

Hey, everyone! I thought I’d do a quick post about the current status of the next book in The Young Neos, Powers, as well as a cover reveal.

Powers was originally supposed to come out last month in March; however, I decided to push the release of the book back to this month, April.

The reason I decided to do this is because I was not happy with the quality of the book itself. So I decided to rewrite it entirely and will publish that new version instead, because I don’t want to publish something I feel is below my standards of quality.

To make up for the delayed release and build some hype, however, I decided to do a cover release today, which you can see below:

As you might tell from the cover, this book will focus on Shell and Blizzard. I won’t say much more about it than that, but if you enjoyed the last book in the series, you will definitely enjoy this one.

REMINDER: Last chance to get “Brothers” for 99 cents!

Hey, everyone! Just a quick reminder that today is the last day to get my newest novel, Brothers, at 99 cents before its price goes back up to $2.99 tomorrow. And I can’t guarantee when or if its price will be this low anytime soon.

So if you forgot about this deal or didn’t even know about it in the first place, head on over to the book’s Amazon product page HERE to pick up your copy before it is too late. Also, it is available for free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, so this would be a good book to borrow if you’re looking for something new to read in KU.

Enjoy,

Lucas Flint

New release: “Brothers”

Hey, everyone! I am pleased to announce that the first book of The Young Neos, Brothers, is now available for purchase on Amazon! It is also free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, in addition to being 99 cents until March 4th as part of its special launch price (normal price $2.99).

Click the cover image above or this link here to go directly to its Amazon product page. Remember, it is only 99 cents until March 4th and I can’t guarantee when or if it will be this low again.

A trade paperback edition will be available in early March.

Enjoy,

Lucas Flint

The Problem with Sensitivity Readers

Recently, some publishers have been hiring people called “sensitivity” readers to “scan the book for racist, sexist or otherwise offensive content,” according to the Chicago Tribune article on the subject (which you can read here on archive.is if you are interested). It’s caused a minor stir among the circles I run in and, while I normally don’t comment on these sorts of things, I felt this was worth making an exception for.

To be frank, I think this is a dumb idea, possibly one of the dumbest ideas ever conceived of in publishing (and there have been lots of dumb ideas in publishing, believe me). I think it is nothing more and nothing less than certain individuals taking advantage of the fears that certain writers and publishers have offending certain groups of people in order to profit, to say nothing about how this could lead to extreme censorship at any publishing houses that choose to employ these kinds of people.

I’ve seen some people defend sensitivity readers by comparing them to having a friend from, say, a police background reading a police procedural to make sure that you get the facts about police work is right. But that’s a bad argument because there is a very big difference between fact checking and sensitivity reading (at least, sensitivity reading as I understand it; perhaps some do it differently).

For example, let’s say I wrote a police procedural; however, not being a police cop myself, I have probably gotten some details and facts wrong even if I thoroughly researched the subject beforehand. To catch the mistakes I didn’t notice, I employ a friend of mine who is a police officer and ask him to read the manuscript and report any factual errors or mistakes about police work that I might have unintentionally made due to my ignorance and lack of experience as a police officer.

Let’s say that my police friend reads the manuscript and gets back to me, but instead of providing me with the errors he caught, he takes offense at my portrayal of police officers in the book (for the sake of this example, let’s say my police procedural deals with police corruption and features a few bad cops as prominent characters). My police friend demands that I rewrite my book in order to make the police look better, even if I already have some good cop characters in the book. Perhaps my police friend even tells me that the way I portrayed corrupt officers is really problematic and offensive and contributes to society’s negative views of police, which makes life harder for police officers. Maybe he will even accuse of me being a cop hater if I don’t revise according to his subjective opinions.

Is that reasonable? No, of course not. Nor does it have anything to do with fact checking or even telling a good story. My hypothetical police friend did not tell me, for example, that I described characters using the wrong kind of guns or referring to each other with incorrect titles or something objective like that. He simply got offended by the fact that I portrayed some cops as corrupt or immoral or perhaps simply incompetent and he wants me to revise according to his personal ideas about how cops should be portrayed in fiction so I can push his agenda, instead of staying true to my own.

That, as I understand it, is sensitivity reading in a nutshell, and why I am against it. It is less about fact checking and more about making sure that writers portray things according to the tastes of certain easily offended people.

See, I have nothing against fact checking. As writers, we owe it to our readers to get the facts right as much as we can. That requires doing research and, yes, sometimes having people more knowledgeable about certain topics than you read the book to catch any errors you may have unintentionally made.

But I draw the line at people telling me how I “should” portray this person or this group of people, as if I broke some sort of unspoken and unwritten rule about how to portray certain minority groups. I especially would never pay for such advice; I can’t think of a bigger waste of money than paying someone to tell me how to censor myself to appease certain unappeasable groups who probably don’t even read what I write anyway. I have the freedom to portray anyone however I want, even if offends some people in the process. If my books offend them, they don’t have to read them.

Really, what sensitivity readers reveal is a lack of courage among certain publishers and writers. Instead of learning to trust their own opinions and experiences and to write what they want, they choose to let themselves be bossed around by people who, as far as I can tell, are not even successful writers themselves and care more about pushing a particular agenda or narrative than telling a good story readers will enjoy. Writers already suffer from huge self-confidence issues; all sensitivity readers do is make that problem even worse by causing writers to worry about being unintentionally bigoted. We need to teach writers that you can’t please everyone and that you will always offend someone, so it’s better to ignore those people and just write the best stories you know how.

Personally, I would never use a sensitivity reader myself, much less pay $250 (which is what some sensitivity readers charge, according to the article) for one’s services. I can understand paying for covert art, paying for developmental and copy editing, paying for formatting, but paying for sensitivity readers is nothing more than adding another unnecessary expenditure to your budget. Big publishers may be able to afford it, but smaller and indie publishers cannot, and I don’t want indies in particular thinking that they ‘need’ sensitivity readers; that money could go toward something more important, like cover art, for example.

In the end, though, I don’t lose any sleep worrying about sensitivity readers, given how I am an indie who doesn’t publish with any publisher, big or small, which makes it unlikely that I will ever use one myself. Still, I find it a disturbing trend in the industry, one I hope either dies out or stays small and insignificant, and I hope that this post has helped some people understand why sensitivity readers are not a good thing.