End of an era: SiglerFest is COVID Canceled.

Photo by Bruce Press Photography

The way this year has gone, it’s not as surprising as it might have been.

But it’s still sad: SiglerFest X is officially canceled. And since it was to be our last SiglerFest due to an ever intensifying writing schedule, it’s also the end of SiglerFest.

Trust me, as bummed out as that might make you feel, it’s been a heavy hit for us. SiglerFest has marked the last decade of growth for EmptySet and for Scott and I: professionally, of course, but also personally.

SiglerFest has become, as I say, “the best family reunion I never knew I needed,” so it’s terribly hard to let it go now, when we have no idea when family reunions will be a thing again. And we know we’re not the only ones missing the feeling of being surrounded by your peeps: it’s all of us, for a million reasons.

But the Siglers are nothing if not forward looking! After a whole lot of thought, we realized that the only thing that could combat the anticipation of a wait that could be years longs was to stop waiting. We’re going to move forward in this novel timeline the only way we know how: making cool things for cool people, connecting however we can until we can connect with other humans again!

We’re such lucky people: We get to continue to create here in lockdown, bringing you long-promised stories and connecting weekly live.

Here’s to 2021, and hoping the best is yet to come!

This post courtesy of our GoDaddy Promo Code page.

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Sheltering in Place? Free eBooks for you!

15h Anniversary of Empty Set Entertainment

On March 24, 2005, Scott Sigler released his first podcast (episode 1 of EARTHCORE). Here we are, fifteen years later, still kicking out weekly content. To celebrate our crystal anniversary, we’re giving away a crap-ton of eBooks in hopes Scott’s work can help entertain people sidelined by the CORONA-19 pandemic.

Links to download the 12-book bundle:
Link one (served from Google Drive)
Link two (served from Libsyn)
Link three (served from our site)

The links are for a .zip file that contains the books, which themselves are .zips containing ePub and Mobi formats. It’s tricky to open .zips on a smartphone, so be ready to open these on a computer in order to get them onto your phone.

Don’t know how to read ePub?  Here’s a handy article by Tim Fisher at Livewire to walk you through it.

Scott has always said the goal of his work is to help people escape their real-world troubles, if only for a few minutes at a time. Whether you’ve read these works or not, feel free to share them with anyone you know who is affected by the pandemic. Money is tight for a lot of people, and many of those same people have an unexpected bit of time on their hands. We hope these books give people a momentary break from their difficulties.


  • THE ROOKIE eBook
  • THE ALL-PRO eBook
  • THE MVP eBook
  • THE RIDER eBook
  • BLOOD is RED eBook
  • BONES are WHITE eBook
  • A sneak peek PDF of the first fifty pages of EARTHCORE

We’ll do our part by keeping these download links live until this crisis is behind us. You all do your part by staying in, staying safe and Spreading the Stank™ from a reasonable social distance.

Our partnership with AuthorLoyalty made it possible to get updated files for this bundle. Plus, they have sweetened the pot by offering a passel of free audiobooks. Feel free to share these with your friends and family.

The only way out is through, and we’ve got to get through it together.

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New book release: FIRE IS ORANGE

Years in the making! Literally! Empty Set Entertainment brings you Scott Sigler’s third short story anthology, FIRE IS ORANGE. The latest installment in the “Color Series,” following on BLOOD IS RED and BONES ARE WHITE.

This anthology includes five brand-new stories, plus Scott’s first-ever published fiction.

Currently available for Kindle (other eBook formats coming soon).

Audiobook: Stories narrated by Ray Porter, Scott Sigler and A.B. Kovacs
Audible  • iTunes


Complex God
A foundation-building story of Petra Prawatt, from, the Galactic Football League series.

A brutal story from Jonathan Maberry’s V-Wars universe. Just because you spend your nights slaughtering vamps doesn’t mean you can’t spend your days baking some lovely cupcakes. Batch it up!

Dale & Mabel
Amidst the carnage of Scott’s novel PANDEMIC, a Chicago couple reminisce on their lives together and prepare to face the future that will soon come.

Fifth Girl (all-new story!)
Be careful what details you share online. A story of a young man’s fascination with a young woman — heavily assisted by technology and a disturbing gift for internet deduction.

Mister Double-M
When you date the wrong person, the wrong person’s ex can be even wrong-er. Previously only available to Kickstarter backers of Paul & Storm’s “Paulandstormonomicon.”

Pink Torpedo
A tale from Mur Lafferty’s SEVENTH CITY universe. The things some superheroes have to do to make ends meet…

Puppet Master (all-new story!)
A writer’s muse isn’t always a positive thing. Sometimes, if not all times, deep art comes from deep pain.

Reunion (all-new story!)
The bonds forged in combat are among the strongest known to mankind. What happens when the comrade you fought and bled with not only dies, but is replaced by the comrade you fought and bled with?

Splashing Contest
The first story Scott sold takes a different look at schoolyard bullies and how some kids fight back.

The Laundry Demon (all-new story!)
If you try to trick an Iron Mage, make sure he doesn’t catch you in a lie. Otherwise, you might end up with his socks in your mouth.

Need a new domain? Get one for just 99 cents with the GoDaddy Coupon code CJCSIG99C. The 99-cents offer lasts only through 12/31/19, then returns to the normally discounted price of $4.99.

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Amazon Publishing turns 10

This week, Amazon Publishing celebrates a decade in existence.

I remember when Amazon starts this endeavor, and how Big Publishing simultaneously looked down their collective nose and quaked in their collective boots. At that time, Amazon already controlled the lion’s share of the market. The company released the Kindle in 2007. After owning the marketshare, starting to own the medium on which books would be read, the company logically went after the third leg of the tripod — content.

The first book published by Amazon’s imprint was was Cayla Kluver’s Legacy, released in August 2009. That book did not go on to be a big blockbuster for the company, but several others did, including Mark Sullivan’s Beneath a Scarlet Sky and Blake Crouch’s Pines

Amazon figured out — far ahead of other publishers — that controlling the data of book buyers was the key to generation repeat sales.. If you know what people like to read, and you can tailor what books they see when they log onto your site, you can make suggestions that your readers might like. If they do like those suggestions, they keep coming back for more. Even to this day, this is not a model that Big Publishing is capable of matching. 

In the world of books, Amazon is king.

The company has so much data that when they now release a book, they can throw a couple of Wizard Behind the Curtain levers and boom, that book sells thousands — if not hundreds — of copies. 

Amazon’s dominance of the publishing world has not peaked. Far from it. They will continue to grow. As they gobble up big name writers — they just gave Sylvia Day a seven-figure advance for a novella, a 203-page book — they will further marginalize small publishers and even the Big Five. Amazon has deep coffers that the company has barely begun to tap.

Sorry, publishing world, it’s all over but the crying. By Amazon Publishing’s 20th anniversary, they might be the only Big left standing.

This blog post sponsored by our GoDaddy Coupon page. Use the code CJCSIG99C to snag a brand-new domain — including dot-coms — for 99 cents.

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A (very) small step toward Hollywood

One of our long-term goals is to write for movies and TV. One of the big hurdles in getting there is building a resume — people don’t want to hire you until you’ve written a film that gets made, and you can’t write a film that gets made until someone hires you. The Catch-22 is the bane of many aspiring screenwriters, even ones with a publishing track record like Scott Sigler, one of our company co-founders (the other being me).

So when an opportunity comes up to write for an established indie director who has a track record of actually getting things made, you jump at it — even if the movie is only three minutes long.

Scott wrote the screenplay THE PRESENT for director Adrian Picardi. Adrian is entering the picture in the Moment Invitational Film Festival — a festival featuring three-minute films that were shot exclusively on cell phones. This dark noir mini-movie stars Steven Ogg (THE WALKING DEAD, GRAND THEFT AUTO V), Kelly Thiebaud (GENERAL HOSPITAL) and Jordan Matlock (ROT).

Let me tell you this — three minutes is not much time to tell a compelling story. Scott and Adrian took on the challenge, combining to make this dark, surprising tale.

FUN FACT: To share the pain, Scott wrote the script on an iPhone, using Final Draft.

This post is sponsored by GoDaddy Coupon, particularly the 99-cent coupon code GJCSIG99C, which gets you a brand-new dot-com domain for just 99 cents.

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Stan Lee, 1922 – 2018

Stan Lee died today.

Stan Lee was a remarkable creator and a dedicated advocate of his chosen genre. He spent his life being an ambassador for the work he loved, which is loved in turn by millions around the world. It’s easy to recognize what a gift that was to the rest of us, but I have little doubt it was just as fulfilling for him.

I was not a big comic book reader as a kid. Of course, I knew about the Marvel superheroes, and the Incredible Hulk was on the television once a week, suffering through his tortured existence and scaring the bejeezus out of wee little me. So I knew about comic book heroes, even if I wasn’t much into the comics themselves.

Of course, these days I bet there are folks who don’t even realize the Fantastic Four or Spidey were ever part of a physical comic book, but just know them from their many origin-story movies. Same with the Incredible Hulk. Stan Lee created characters that people discovered on television, in movies, reading graphic novels, comic books or cartoons. Even live-action entertainment … Marvel Universe Live anyone? Once discovered, Stan Lee’s creations are loved and admired for years and years.

That is undeniably a mark of a stellar and varied career, remarkable by itself. Once you add some metrics around how loved and admired Stan Lee’s cast of characters really are, it’s humbling and awe-inspiring. It’s a helluva thing to have added “with great power comes great responsibility” to the nerd lexicon, and even moreso to have had a decades long involvement with it, and so much love and acknowledgement for these creations. As a partner at a very small entertainment company, it’s also motivating and inspirational.

At Empty Set, we see our job as “making cool things for cool people” and we take our work very seriously. Even when that work is silly, or funny, or obviously not real here on Earth. Entertaining is essential work, I have no doubt. As Stan Lee said himself, “entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it, they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain, you’re doing a good thing.”

Farewell, Stan Lee. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. Excelsior!

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This is why we can’t have nice Kindle Unlimited things.

According to Amazon, “Kindle Unlimited is a subscription that allows you to access a large selection of titles from the Kindle Store. You can keep up to ten titles to read on any Amazon device or Kindle reading app and there are no due dates.” It’s meant to give readers incentive to try new things, […]

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Should more authors go “audio only”?

Last month, this BBC article was all over my social media, talking about authors moving to an audio-only model.

I get it. I do. Seems super appealing for several reasons:

  1. Goodness is it a lot of work to make an audiobook.
  2. Audiobooks are enjoying a surge in popularity.
  3. Streamlining your formats makes more time for more writing.
  4. More writing makes more product for the now-self-streamlined marketplace.

And, ultimately, choosing an audio-only release format also has less competition than the ebook-only marketplace AND you have more control with less gatekeepers.

Audiobooks are far and away the biggest revenue generator for Empty Set, so much so that we are already discussing options for Scott’s next contract with Big Publishing — will we be allowed to keep the audio rights? Who knows, but as the marketshare grows, that likelihood diminishes.

Here’s the thing, though: I can’t understand why you’d limit yourself unless you had to do so. In the article I mentioned above, several authors participated in what was specifically an audio-only project. That makes sense to me as an interesting undertaking for the writer and a format-exploring treat. I could see writers flexing their minds differently given an audio-only format and it sure seems like it would be fun for everyone, writers and readers alike.

But only audio when the world’s readers love to endlessly debate the best format for consumption?  When we still have legions of folks who consider the treeware option to be the only true option?  When so many folks have smart phones and could read your work anywhere, even if it’s too loud to listen to the audiobook?  Just doesn’t make sense for a small business, which is just what a self-published author is at the end of the day.

I talk all the time about how Empty Set is a small business. A very small business. We work very hard to be successful at our job of making cool things for cool people. And I can’t think of a single reason to take away avenues to get those cool things to the aforementioned cool people. More is more. Simple as that.

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