How Threshold Came About

This is how Threshold came about:

From the beginning I wanted to write a story that could have actually happened. In short, I wanted magic without actual magic. Something that could make us all look at the world a little different. Something that would help us see the magic that is all around us. The magic we grown so accustomed to that we ignored it completely.
I had heard about astral projection before, in fact, I’d experienced it a few times. So, right from the start I decided that astral projection was going to be my magic, the portal to wonderful world of Threshold.
With that information, I got to work. I drew a map of Threshold, I figured out the weather, time, currency, inhabitants, etc…
I wanted a world different from ours, Since it was in astral plane, it didn’t have to follow the same physics rules as our universe did. So, I decided to make Threshold static, that is without night and day cycles.
Having all the ground work done, I got typing. I had a wonderful time jolting down the story. My mind didn’t like taking breaks. Even when my fingers stopped typing, the story stream didn’t stop flowing. Which, worked out great because I was ‘forced’ to sit-down and write, or risk losing chunks of the story.
Some days I wrote 5,000 words, others I wrote none. I tried really hard to put in at least 1,500 words each day. I set myself deadlines, most which I met.
I had the time of my life writing, I got lost in the story, I even became good friends with the characters. I know, weird right? We even fought, Mark and I had a serious disagreement one day, I wanted to change his name but he didn’t. Guess who won?
The day I finally finished The Guardian of Threshold, I had mixed feelings. I was happy for having finished it, but I felt like I was saying goodbye to dear friends. I think that I even missed Phasma.
Now that book one is published, I’m looking forward to continue writing book two. All I can tell you, is that they’re back, but not necessarily how you may remember them.

The Guardian of Threshold Released

Today my debut novel The Guardian of Threshold was released on ahead of schedule.

It’s on sale now on US kindle book store for $4.99, check it out here

I had to decide things like DRM (Digital Rights Management) or no DRM, price in different countries, categories, keywords, etc… I opted for DRM free book because, I believe DRM hinders the user experience more than it helps the author.

Interesting enough, fantasy fiction is overpriced in places like Brazil. But, I believe I know why that is. Brazil like many other places are emerging markets for Amazon and they lack of content quantity and widespread adoption kind of forces content creators to charge more. Everyone’s got a theory, why I should be any different?

Perhaps, what surprised me the most was that clicking the final button on site in order to finalize the release took more time and courage than I’d imagined.

The release of The Guardian of Threshold couldn’t have come in a better time, with Christmas fast approaching, it makes a great holiday gift. Time to fill all those Christmas Kindle devices, so here over to amazon and get reading.

The Guardian of Threshold – A young adult contemporary fantasy by: A.A. Volts.

The Guardian of Threshold – Book Cover

I want to publish The Guardian of Threshold before this christmas. So, I decided to go ahead and employ a type of service called crowdsource.

Crowdsource is when you post a project requirements and then lots of people around the world tackle the problem and present a solution.

In my case, my problem was that I needed a cover for my debut fantasy novel. I even tried designing my own cover, but in the end I decided that it was unwise.

"The Guardian of Threshold"

Book One of The Threshold Series








For you to have an idea that’s the cover I designed above.


Now these are the two finalists from a crowdsource cover design contest.

This was my favorite, but since taste is subjective I wasn’t sure.

After an online poll I found out that people also preferred this one.


PS: The text on the back covers are just filler text. It’ll be different in the final version.





As you can see the difference between my 30 minute design hack job and the ones above is great.

Another great thing about crowdsourcing is that there are several tools to help you achieve the desired results. For example, after eliminating some less desirable covers I was lost about which one to choose.

So, I created an online poll and asked my friends and colleagues to vote.

You can see the results of that poll here.

I believe that I made the right decision in going with a crowdsource solution, but only time will tell.

I used a service called I can honestly recommend them. However I would caution against guaranteeing to award too early in the contest. Basically, the way works is this, if at any point you don’t like any of the designs you can have your money back, so satisfaction is guaranteed. However if you click on Guarantee this Design, then you basically committing yourself to award a winner in the end. Before doing that it’s a good idea to make sure you really like at least a couple of the designs already submitted. At least, that’s what I did.

I hope that this quick summary of my 1st experience with crowdsourcing helps others in the same situation as I was.


Threshold Series

Threshold Series

The Threshold series consists of three volumes. The Guardian of Threshold Dweller on the Threshold Life on the Threshold (placeholder title)

Book Cover Contest

I’m currently thinking about using crowdsource for my book cover.

I came across a site called 99designs, apparently for a fee, dozens of design artists design a book cover and I can pick my favorite.

I haven’t yet made up my mind but it’s tempting, assuming it works the way I think it works.

Here is the link in case anyone is interested in checking them out.




I ended up using the services of 99Designs, the whole experience was fantastic and the end result was better than I had hoped for.

See for yourself in my updated post here and don’t forget to look The Guardian of Threshold on Amazon starting December 15 2012.


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