Winter Is Coming. (A Transmedia Fiction Experience with J.C.)

This afternoon, a package from HBO arrived at my doorstep. Curious, I grabbed my vidcam and documented what quickly became not only an awesome "unboxing" video, but an amazing -- and remarkably unconventional -- narrative journey. Ride shotgun with me as you get an unfiltered, as-it-happens look at this amazing HBO package as I experience it ... and learn a little about the world of HBO's upcoming fantasy series Game Of Thrones (based on the terrific novel series by George R.R. Martin) along the way.

For viewers who want a closer look at the images seen briefly in the videos, check the gallery below for larger versions.

And do be careful out there. Winter is coming.

--J.C

Click the image thumbnails below to view detail shots of the HBO package. (Click your browser's "back" button to return to this page, and the gallery.)

Interview: Ami Greko and Pablo Defendini from The New Sleekness

Welcome up, listeners! After weeks of radio silence, Hey Everybody! returns with a terrific interview with Ami Greko and Pablo Defendini from The New Sleekness, a blog that provides brilliant and progressive analysis on the mainstream publishing industry. Ami and Pablo are two (of several) talented contributors at the site.

Both Ami and Pablo hail from the publishing biz, and know their stuff. Their perspectives are influenced by their involvement in digital content creation, marketing and publicity ... as well as years of exposure to the traditional publishing model. If you're looking for a respectful and progressive exploration of the state of publishing and where it's going, this interview is a must-listen.

Dig what you hear in this podcast? Tell a friend! Use the "Share This" feature found at the end of this post!

The anthem for Hey, Everybody! is "Chip Away" by Jane's Addition, distributed freely via BitTorrent and the Nine Inch Nails/Jane's Addiction tour site, Ninja2009.com.

Baby, I'm Ready To Go

There are few songs that fire me up like Republica's US mix of "Ready To Go." While the mid-90s tune is actually about a damaged romantic relationship, its pop-rock beat and chorus are an anthem for anyone craving to break free and take on the world: Baby I'm ready to go ... I'm back and ready to go ... From the rooftops, shout it out. Shout it out. (Listen to the song here.)

Goodness, yes. A thousand hell yeses. From the rooftops, shout it out. With the new year here, are you ready to go? Ready to roll up your sleeves, put on a playful self-confident sneer, and get your hands dirty with some go?

I am. 2009 was an epic year. Personal Effects: Dark Art. 7th Son: Descent. Both on bookstore bookshelves, a dream come true. I conceived and personally executed several ambitious never-before-seen online promotions -- Commit Yourself To The Brink, groundbreaking "vlurb" book trailers, multi-site cross-promotional projects (including a 10-chapter 7th Son excerpt distributed across more than 20 websites, and the recent "In the Nick of Time!" holiday sampler). More than 30 promotional blog guest posts. More than 70 podcast and radio interviews. Lots of first-evers and more-thans and many-mores.

I spent most of 2009 running on three or four hours of sleep each day. I went broke promoting the books. (This is not an exaggeration. Flat-ass, overdrawn-bank-account broke. My finances still haven't recovered.) The result was stellar "Week One" debuts for both novels, followed by weeks of better-than-average sales. The publishing business is brutal and hyper-competitive, people. Standing out requires a lot of creative thought and effort (which I had) and money (which I didn't, and wasn't provided).

I also released two podcast-exclusive fiction projects in '09, both prequels: Personal Effects: Sword of Blood, and 7th Son: 7 Days. Both were written in the midst of actively promoting the novels, and I'm pretty proud of how they turned out. This brings me to 2010.

I love the crazy-cool creative challenge of podcasting and promoting my stuff. For the past four years, I've lived to entertain you with my stories, and dazzle you with unconventional, fun promotions. I've made deliberate, informed decisions on how to spend my time, money and creative energy. Since 2006, most of my free time has been funneled into projects designed for you to consume and enjoy, for free.

Businesspeople talk about ROI: return on investment. I realized long ago that it would be impossible to receive an equitable ROI on the time, energy and monetary investment I've made in being an active creator in the social media space ... so I stopped thinking about that. Instead, I bit into new media and social media with the same abandon I have when chomping into a nectarine -- and you rewarded me with amazing feedback and unrivaled devotion, and helped make my lifelong dream of becoming a published novelist come true. My wallet may be a burnt cinder, but my soul lives in a palatial emotional mansion thanks to your generosity and kindness. I am forever grateful for that.

But baby, I'm ready to go.

Here are some not-so-secret secrets about most social media creators: We obsess about statistics. We keenly watch our blog subscriber numbers, our downloads, our website traffic, retweets and more. We crow about consistency, and how a steady output of content ensures the sustained interest of longtime readers (or listeners), and attracts newcomers. We relentlessly "feed the feed," as I call it -- we pipe out stuff of varying quality in our blog/podcast feeds to keep you coming back for more. Some of us do this successfully, and turn a profit. Some of us do this successfully, and don't turn a profit. Still others feel beholden to these rules and produce content, even when they don't want to. Burnout. A lack of perceived value from the audience. Real world obligations. It goes on.

I've been obsessing and red-lining it for so long, I've forgotten what a normal life feels like. I need to know what a normal life feels like. What eight hours of sleep feels like. What writing fiction feels like.

That last part -- writing fiction -- is critically important, peeps. This year, I felt my most alive when I was writing Sword of Blood and 7 Days, and brainstorming new projects. I took great pride in creating stories around my promotions (World War 7 is a recent fictional scenario that was a blast to concoct and execute), but when just it's me and the page and the words ... oh baby-baby, that's the primo stuff. I live to tell tall tales, my friends. I've missed telling tall tales.

And so it's time to go.

Time to roll up my sleeves, put on a playful self-confident sneer, and get my hands dirty with some go, that is. You didn't think I was abandoning this site, and you, and several thousand other awesome peeps, didja? Heavens no. The party's just getting started. I may not be the ever-present host I was in 2009 and years past, but I'll certainly be here to entertain you in 2010.

There's lots to give you. The Personal Effects: Dark Art serialized audiobook. My new podcast fiction project, The 33. I'll still interview people who amaze me -- the people I call UltraCreatives -- and I'll post written and podcast updates on my life, creative projects and other sundries. (I know most of you care less about my non-fiction content than my fiction. That's okay. But these non-fiction projects are important to me, and I will continue to pursue them.)

So yes. Content shall abound in this blog/podcast feed in 2010. But I need to make something clear, in the kindest and most constructive way possible: this content will be released when my schedule permits. In addition to the Dark Art audiobook (which will debut by Spring 2010) and The 33 (which will debut not long after), I have other creative projects to pursue. There are movie treatments I owe my film agent -- original story ideas we want to sell to Hollywood for big bucks. There are other novels to write, which I want to sell to publishers for big bucks. God willing, there will be 7th Son books Two and Three to edit for print release. And I want to pursue ways of telling stories you've never seen before; stuff that's as wide-eyed and untested as a newborn.

Jeepers, all the stories. All the stories I need to tell.

If you choose to abandon my blog/podcast feed because I won't be delivering free audio content on a weekly basis in 2010, I understand. I do hope, however, that you have an equal understanding and respect for my decision. Of course, I also hope you'll stick around. There's a great deal of fun and adventure in what I do ... and you can't beat the price with a stick.

2010 is my year of go. Go beyond podcasting, beyond 7th Son and Personal Effects, and Twitter and Facebook, and my always-shameless, sometimes-crass ass-shaking. It's time to take down the megaphones. It's time to start building more worlds. New worlds. Go worlds.

Wanna come along? Just take my hand. There'll be weeks when I'm loud and sassy, and weeks when you may never hear a peep. But we'll be running toward the horizon together, grinning at the sun. Running together, adventurers.

Come with me. Baby, I'm ready to go.

--J.C.

7th Son: Descent - Episode 10

7th Son: Descent cover

Welcome to the final episode of the free audiobook, 7th Son: Descent. 7th Son is now available in bookstores and for immediate purchase online. Catch up with the story by downloading past episodes. Learn how you can support the novel's print release at this page.

7th Son: Descent's anthem is "Descent" by Celldweller. Learn more about the band at Celldweller.com.

Like what you hear? Tell a friend, and give a shout in the comments!

7th Son: Descent - Episode 10 PDF

Transient

Welcome to the final serialized PDF episode of the novel 7th Son: Descent. 7th Son is now available in bookstores and for immediate purchase online. Learn how you can support the novel's print release at this page.

Like what you've read? Tell a friend, and give a shout in the comments!

"In the Nick of Time" - Free 300+ Page Holiday Sampler of Bestselling Books!

Books make terrific holiday gifts, but finding those perfect books for friends and family is always a challenge. If only we could flip through those books’ pages on our schedule. If only if the bookstore could come to us.
That’s the idea behind this In the Nick of Time! holiday sampler PDF. Inside are excerpts from a dozen new novels and nonfiction books by New York Times bestselling authors, successful entrepreneurs, and wickedly talented storytellers, including:
Laurell K. Hamilton -- Divine Misdemeanors
Seth Godin -- Tribes and an exclusive excerpt of Linchpin, out next year
Joseph Finder -- Vanished
Cory Doctorow -- Makers
Chris Brogan & Julien Smith -- Trust Agents
Robert J. Sawyer -- Wake
Mitch Joel - Six Pixels of Separation
Cherie Priest -- Boneshaker
Tara Hunt -- The Whuffie Factor
Scott Sigler -- The Rookie
Seth Harwood -- Jack Wakes Up
J.C. Hutchins -- 7th Son: Descent
If you spot a great gift opportunity, you can order from online retailers directly from the PDF. You can also print the order form at the end of the document, and present it to your local bookseller. Helpful staff will find what you’re looking for.
From high adventure to savvy business advice, you’ll find something special for the special someones on your holiday list -- including you. You're also welcome to share this free sampler with friends and family. Refer them to this web page to download In the Nick of Time! -- http://JCHutchins.net/hoy .

I'm delighted by this project, which I coordinated -- and am honored to have worked with the amazing authors who participated...

Books make terrific holiday gifts, but finding perfect books for friends and family can be a time-consuming challenge. If only if the bookstore could come to us.

That’s the idea behind this In the Nick of Time! holiday sampler PDF. Inside are excerpts from a dozen new novels and nonfiction books by these New York Times bestselling authors, successful entrepreneurs, and wickedly talented storytellers:

DOWNLOAD THE IN THE NICK OF TIME! HOLIDAY SAMPLER

Spot a great gift opportunity? Order from online retailers directly from the PDF, or print the order form at the end of the document and present it to your local bookseller. Helpful staff will find what you’re looking for.

From high adventure to savvy business advice, you’ll find something special for the special someones on your holiday list -- including you. You're also welcome to share this free sampler with friends and family.

Click here to download the In The Nick of Time! holiday sampler -- and have the happiest of holidays!

7th Son: Descent - Episode 9 PDF

Transient

Welcome to the ninth (of ten) serialized PDF episodes of the novel 7th Son: Descent. 7th Son is now available in bookstores and for immediate purchase online. Learn how you can support the novel's print release at this page.

Like what you've read? Tell a friend, and give a shout in the comments!

7th Son: Descent - Episode 9

7th Son: Descent cover

Welcome to the ninth (of ten) serialized episodes of the free audiobook, 7th Son: Descent. 7th Son is now available in bookstores and for immediate purchase online. Catch up with the story by downloading past episodes. Learn how you can support the novel's print release at this page.

7th Son: Descent's anthem is "Descent" by Celldweller. Learn more about the band at Celldweller.com.

Like what you hear? Tell a friend, and give a shout in the comments!

What Matters Now - Free eBook

whatmattersnowcontrib

It's not every day that the world's most popular marketing blogger asks you collaborate on a project designed to get folks thinking about their lives, the world, and positive ways to improve them. So when bestselling writer Seth Godin invited me to participate in What Matters Now, I dove right in.

As Seth wrote in his post announcing What Matters Now, this eBook "encourages people to focus and use their energy to turn the game around," providing big thoughts and small actions to make a difference in the world. More than 70 authors contributed to the project, including big thinkers I've followed and respected for years: furturist Kevin Kelly, publisher Tim O'Reilly, writer and programmer Gina Trapani, artist Hugh Macleod, brilliant writers and entrepreneurs such as Merlin Mann, Derek Sivers, Chris Anderson, Guy Kawasaki, Paco Underhill ... the who's who list goes on and on.

I'm honored to be in such ultra-creative, ultra-talented company. My contribution, titled "Gumption," can be found at the end of the eBook.

Each contribution is well worth your time, and may provide a nugget of resonance -- or encouragement -- for you as we enter the new year. If you find value within its pages, please share What Matters Now with your friends and coworkers.

--J.C.

7th Son: Descent - Episode 8 PDF

Transient

Welcome to the eighth (of ten) serialized PDF episodes of the novel 7th Son: Descent. 7th Son is now available in bookstores and for immediate purchase online. Learn how you can support the novel's print release at this page.

Like what you've read? Tell a friend, and give a shout in the comments!

7th Son: Descent - Episode 7 PDF

7SPDF-7

After a week off for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, 7th Son: Descent is back! Welcome to the sixth (of ten) serialized PDF episodes of the novel 7th Son: Descent. 7th Son is now available in bookstores and for immediate purchase online. Learn how you can support the novel's print release at this page.

Synopsis: The story shifts to Houston, where billionaire oil tycoon A.U. Rookman conducts a videoconference with a business associate. Michael, John, Dr. Mike and the 7th Son soldiers reach Los Angeles. After a tense ride through the streets of West Hollywood, the team arrives at Folie a Deux. The mission to stop John Alpha -- and save Dania Sheridan -- begins. At the 7th Son facility, Father Thomas, Jack and Jay learn more about Kilroy2.0's world. A powerful benefactor lends a hand.

Like what you've read? Tell a friend, and give a shout in the comments!

7th Son: Descent - Episode 7

7th Son: Descent cover

After a week off for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, 7th Son: Descent is back!

Welcome to the seventh (of ten) serialized episodes of the free audiobook, 7th Son: Descent. 7th Son is now available in bookstores and for immediate purchase online. Catch up with the story by downloading past episodes. Learn how you can support the novel's print release at this page.

Synopsis: The story shifts to Houston, where billionaire oil tycoon A.U. Rookman conducts a videoconference with a business associate. Michael, John, Dr. Mike and the 7th Son soldiers reach Los Angeles. After a tense ride through the streets of West Hollywood, the team arrives at Folie a Deux. The mission to stop John Alpha -- and save Dania Sheridan -- begins. At the 7th Son facility, Father Thomas, Jack and Jay learn more about Kilroy2.0's world. A powerful benefactor lends a hand.

Chatter: J.C. teases a fun 5-minute fan-powered presentation that appears after the chapters. 7th Son: Descent needs your support now more than ever.

7th Son: Descent's anthem is "Descent" by Celldweller. Learn more about the band at Celldweller.com.

Like what you hear? Tell a friend, and give a shout in the comments!

Beta Clone Army Update – Episode 5

Beta Clone Army Logo

We break 'net with a special report from the WORLD WAR 7 front lines! Would you like to know more? Learn more about WORLD WAR 7, Warvember and Division 7...

Like what you hear? Tell a friend, and give a shout in the comments!

7th Son: Descent - Episode 6 PDF

7SPDF-6

Welcome to the sixth (of ten) serialized PDF episodes of the novel 7th Son: Descent. 7th Son is now available in bookstores and for immediate purchase online. Learn how you can support the novel's print release at this page.

Synopsis: Coming soon; J.C. apologizes for the inconvenience. He's currently speaking in NYC.

The Descent podcast will take a brief break next week for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, and will resume the following week.

Like what you've read? Tell a friend, and give a shout in the comments!

7th Son: Descent - Episode 6

7th Son: Descent cover

Welcome to the sixth (of ten) serialized episodes of the free audiobook, 7th Son: Descent. 7th Son is now available in bookstores and for immediate purchase online. Learn how you can support the novel's print release at this page.

Synopsis: Coming soon; J.C. apologizes for the inconvenience.

Chatter: J.C. is short on time in this episode -- he's about to hop on a plane for NYC. (This is explains the current lack-o-synopsis.) The Descent podcast will take a brief break next week for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, and will resume the following week.

7th Son: Descent's anthem is "Descent" by Celldweller. Learn more about the band at Celldweller.com.

Like what you hear? Tell a friend, and give a shout in the comments!

7th Son: Descent - Episode 5 PDF

7SPDF-5

Welcome to the fourth (of ten) serialized episodes of the free audiobook, 7th Son: Descent. 7th Son is now available in bookstores and for immediate purchase online. Learn how you can support the novel's print release at this page.

Synopsis: The clones continue to decipher the Morse Code clue. Dr. Mike takes charge. John Alpha's intentions become more clear. The second half of the clue is decoded. Meanwhile at a military base in the Russian wilderness, a former CIA agent named Doug Devlin reminisces about his past -- and his current alliance with a man the clones know very well. A much larger conspiracy is unveiled. The implications of John Alpha's plans become clearer.

Like what you've read? Tell a friend, and give a shout in the comments!

7th Son: Descent - Episode 5

7th Son: Descent cover

Welcome to the fifth (of ten) serialized episodes of the free audiobook, 7th Son: Descent. 7th Son is now available in bookstores and for immediate purchase online. Learn how you can support the novel's print release at this page.

Synopsis: The clones continue to decipher the Morse Code clue. Dr. Mike takes charge. John Alpha's intentions become more clear. The second half of the clue is decoded. Meanwhile at a military base in the Russian wilderness, a former CIA agent named Doug Devlin reminisces about his past -- and his current alliance with a man the clones know very well. A much larger conspiracy is unveiled. The implications of John Alpha's plans become clearer.

Chatter: J.C. briefly mentions the news found in the most recent Beta Clone Army update podcast. He also mistakenly says that there are two chapters in this episode. There are more than two. :)

7th Son: Descent's anthem is "Descent" by Celldweller. Learn more about the band at Celldweller.com.

Like what you hear? Tell a friend, and give a shout in the comments!

Anyman EP Track 5: "Katabatic"

Anyman Cover

"Katabatic" is the fifth of six free folk songs from Anyman, written and performed by John Smith, which will be released on a weekly schedule here at JCHutchins.net.

While a link to more songs was mentioned in John's 7th Son: 7 Days prequel story, J.C. wanted to provide all five songs to all 7th Son fans ... with a bonus track on the sixth week.

Miami resident John Smith, a character in J.C.'s upcoming thriller 7th Son: Descent, is a man who dreams big ... but lives a small life. Determined to change his life's course, he recorded a five-song EP titled Anyman, and posted it to the Web. This occurred two weeks before the events seen in 7th Son: Descent.

Lyrics for this song appear beneath the audio player. Learn more about 7th Son: Descent’s print novel release here. Order your copy today.

"Katabatic" Lyrics

When the power fails
And the walls come down
Pickin' flowers in the rubble
That's where I will be found

When the levy breaks
And the ground gives way
I'll be swimmin' down your street
Just another perfect day

Ain't no need to feel pathetic
Don't go aneurismatic
Everything is katabatic

And when your wishing star becomes a meteor
Aimin' at your house
Baby don't you grouse
Just take a page from Johnny's Big Book of Advice
'Cuz I'm cold as ice

If the lightning breaks
Its only rule
I just make like Tesla
Baby I'm no fool

You might think I got it wrong
But if I'm not dead
I must be crazy strong

Ain't no need to feel pathetic
Just embrace the copacetic
Everything is katabatic

Stand in front of the freezer, wheezer!
Suck on an ice cube, noob!
You must chill, daffodil!

7th Son: Descent - Episode 4 PDF

7SPDF-4

Welcome to the fourth (of ten) serialized episodes of the free audiobook, 7th Son: Descent. 7th Son is now available in bookstores and for immediate purchase online. Learn how you can support the novel's print release at this page.

Synopsis: In Washington D.C., Vice President Charles Caine visits a civilian hospital to receive a routine physical examination ... but things do not go as planned. Back at the 7th Son facility, the John, Kilroy2.0 and the other Beta Clones puzzle over the clue John Alpha left for them. The clones begin to work together for the first time. Gen. Hill reveals an unexpected hobby. A breakthrough is made.

Like what you've read? Tell a friend, and give a shout in the comments!

7th Son: Descent - Episode 4

7th Son: Descent cover

Welcome to the fourth (of ten) serialized episodes of the free audiobook, 7th Son: Descent. 7th Son is now available in bookstores and for immediate purchase online. Learn how you can support the novel's print release at this page.

Synopsis: In Washington D.C., Vice President Charles Caine visits a civilian hospital to receive a routine physical examination ... but things do not go as planned. Back at the 7th Son facility, the John, Kilroy2.0 and the other Beta Clones puzzle over the clue John Alpha left for them. The clones begin to work together for the first time. Gen. Hill reveals an unexpected hobby. A breakthrough is made.

Chatter: J.C. shares some remarkable stories about Descent's Oct. 27 debut.

7th Son: Descent's anthem is "Descent" by Celldweller. Learn more about the band at Celldweller.com.

Like what you hear? Tell a friend, and give a shout in the comments!