Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

PO Box 20648
New York, NY, 10009
USA

Cesar is the author of the standalone novel “The 13 Secret Cities” the book series "How to Kill a Superhero" (under the pen name Pablo Grene). He is also the creator and publisher of Solar Six Books.

For  media inquiries, please use our contact page.

BLOG

Filtering by Category: Startups

Podcast 25: Daniel Stalter, Dreamcrasher and Kickstarter-Funded Comic Books

Editor

Daniel is a storyteller and a comic book writer based in Brooklyn, NY. He launched his first series Dream Crasher in 2015 with artist and frequent collaborator Reed Olsen. They have since published 4 of the 12 planned chapters, and have run two successful Kickstarter Campaigns. He joins me today to talk about his writing, why it took 10 years to write Dreamcrasher, and how he funded it via Kickstarter.

Related links

Got a question? Email me at my web site here.

Podcast #19: Your role as art director if you self publish

Editor

In today’s episode:

  • I reveal a special suprise about 9 Lords of Night, which you can see with your own eyes here.

  • Your role as an art director if you are a self publisher and entrepreneur.

If you like the show, leave us a review in iTunes here. Thanks. If you want to support this show, visit my Patreon page. Got a comment? Send us an email at our contact page.

Beyond Built: A short documentary

Editor

This past winter, I asked Dave De Young, if I could make a short documentary (under 10 minutes) about Quads , the legendary gym located in Chicago, which Dave founded. his gym and how he runs his business. I am happy to say that the project is now in the editing stages and will release in late May or June to my YouTube channel.  


If you would like to contribute to this project, please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber. Thank you. For any questions regarding the project, please email me at editor at solarsixbooks.com.

Podcast #18: Why a book author launched online clothing boutiques

Editor

In today’s episode:

 

  • I tell you why I launched online boutiques that are part the universes of my published novels.

  • Want to check out these stores? One is 13SC Apparel, and the other (NSFW) is How to Kill a Superhero.

If you like the show, leave us a review in iTunes here. Thanks. If you want to support this show, visit my Patreon page. Got a comment? Send us an email at our contact page.

Pocast #15 Don’t overthink it, use Createspace for paperbacks

Editor

In today’s episode:

  • Big news, I’ll be performing at Homolatte in Chicago on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7:30. It’s free, and you will hear selections from 13 Secret Cities and 9 Lords of Night.

  • Updates on audio issues in the last episode

  • A quick primer on Amazon’s book printing service Createspace, and why you should use it for self publishing your book


If you like the show, leave us a review in iTunes here. Thanks. If you want to support this show, visit my Patreon page. Got a comment? Send us an email at our contact page.

Podcast #12 Updates on 9 Lords of Night and the launch of 13SC Apparel

Editor

In this episode:

  • Updates on the podcast, and why I was absent for a few weeks
  • Updates on 9 Lords of Night by Cesar Torres, due out in 2017
  • The launch of 13SC Apparel, a clothing line designed by Cesar Torres that is bringing community to Chicago strength sports
  • Other updates

For more info, visit cesartorres.me

Solar Six and 13SC seeking designers and illustrators

Editor

Solar Six, Cesar Torres’ publishing company, and 13SC, its related apparel brand, are  seeking illustrators and designers for Winter of 2016/2017 to actively work on book covers, book illustrations, tee designgs, men’s fitness apparel design, video and web branding. These opportunities are on a freelance basis, with the possibility of more long term options if there is a fit. We prefer to develop a relationship with a business-minded artist, and we select candidates who show promise and interest in working with startups and innovation. We pay a flat fee per project with clear deadlines for deliverables.

We are seeking two kinds of people. If you happen to fit both, even better.

  • Illustrators with strong experience in drawing human figures in movement. Any artists who have comic book experience are welcome, though this is not required.

  • Graphic designers who can develop branding elements for tees, posters and other physical products in photoshop and illustrator. We are looking for folks who have a real visual style but can adapt to the needs of the creative vision.

To apply, please email your resume, cover letter and link to an online portfolio to editor@solarsixbooks.com.

More information about Cesar Torres:

Cesar Torres is a writer and journalist with more than 20 years of experience across various areas of publishing and business including digital news, book publishing (fiction), startups, human-computer interaction and emerging technologies.

Cesar graduated from the undergraduate program from Medill at Northwestern University in 1996, and he earned a masters in science in human-computer interaction from DePaul University. He spent the first ten years of his career at Tribune Company and Tribune Interactive as a producer, developing breaking news content for Tribune’s network of newspaper web sites. During the tech boom of the late 90’s he also served as a syndication producer for Encyclopaedia Britannica’s foray into search technology and web-based encyclopedic content. After spending a few years in the middle aughts as editor and web publisher for healthcare entities such as HIMSS and The Rehabilitation Institute in Chicago, Cesar made a change in his focus by turning his focus to technology and the ways in which tech is impacting human culture and human behaviors. He served as Social Editor for the Conde Nast tech publication Ars Technica. Cesar also served a key role as managing editor in the founding stages of the consumer-product sites The Wirecutter and The Sweethome.

Cesar is also a longtime fiction writer. Even as far back as his undergraduate days at Northwestern, he wrote short stories. Cesar’s first published short story ran in the now-defunct Willows magazine in 2008. In 2012, Cesar created Solar Six, a startup that publishes his books in paperback and as e-books. Cesar’s debut novel 13 Secret Cities, launched in 2013. Since then, Cesar has published three more novels under a pseudonym. His next novel, 9 Lords of Night, a thriller set in Chicago and New York City, is scheduled to publish in 2017.

Cesar is also the designer and creator of 13SC apparel, a brand of gym and fitness wear inspired by mythical figures.

How to Kill a Superhero books and clothing now available in Chicago retail

Editor

Gratitude post 🙏: I am proud to announce my partnership the men's fashion and fetish boutique Men's Room here in Chicago to sell my How to Kill a Superhero book series (NSFW!) and the clothing line inspired by the superheroes from the books, starting this week, in their store. This is a HUGE milestone for my books, and I am grateful to all of you friends, family and loyal readers who support my efforts. If you are curious about the crossover between superheroes, LGBTQ and fetish communities, then stop into the store (located in Boystown at 3420 N. Halsted) where you can purchase the books, leggings, and wrestling singlets that are part of my artistic vision. This ain't no 50 shades! It's BETTER.

And don't forget, I write How to Kill a Superhero under the pseudonym Pablo Greene. Don't forget it! Hugs.

Why I launched my own clothing label

Editor

Earlier this month, I launched the beta version of 13SC Clothing, my new label that tells the narrative of my life through archetypal images. Visual artists, from El Greco, to Frida Kahlo, to Cindy Sherman and Jose Clemente Orozco found the courage to tell stories through painting and photography. I too, have this urge to use images to express the deeper parts of my consciousness. The storytelling I am able to do through the designs of 13SC Clothing is very personal for me. I employ archetypal images. These are the symbols and representations of thepeople, events and figures literally threatened to destroy me. These images will also tell you how I was able to face them, and what happened when I survived. The storytelling in the designs of these tees and streetwear is not concerned with chronology. In other words, you don't have to read the images in a sequence to understand their power. In some other instances you will notice that I am using typography as an image. Since I was a boy, I have experienced synesthesia, where I see letters, words and numbers in particular fixed colors. These designs convey that phenomenon.

I am the designer of most of the images you see on the site. In a few instances, such as in Corazones (by JJ Roberson), I have commissioned artists to tell those stories better (because I do have some limitations in my skill as a visual artist, let's get real).

13SC tees are printed on American Apparel tees that are both athletic, durable, and soft. We ship world wide, and my hope is that when you put that tee on, that something special happens for you and to you. I have many designs to come, and if you have questions about the history of these pieces of art, please be sure to contact me.

13SC Clothing continues to move me forward in my journey as a storyteller. If youhave friends who love fashion, design, literature or the archetypal ideas brought forth by scholars like Carl Jung, please tell them to check out my store at 13SC.net. This is a way you can support this independent artist in a way that is different from simply buying one of my books once every couple of years.

I hope you enjoy the designs, and I hope they encourage you to tell your own story someday.

Cesar Torres

Chicago

Why I Dress as a Superhero to Promote Books at Comic Con

Editor

Those of you who haven’t heard from me in some time, listen up. I’m alive and well, living in New York City. Working, writing, working, writing and publishing, in iterative loops.

It’s good to see you. You look good. Pull up a chair. Come see the show.

When I started my quest in self-publishing at the end of 2012, I did so as an experiment. Did you know that? No, of course you didn’t. That’s because I haven’t written about that story until now. Of course, there are those in the industry who do know. After all, among writers, editors and publishers, people know that I chose the independent route to publish my books.

The idea to self publish arose from a conversation I had at the time with my friend and colleague Jacqui Cheng. We set out to write some short pieces of fiction (tipping our hats to Mary Shelley and her writing contemporaries). And over the course of 2012 and part of 2013, I wrote and published a book.

It was a weird book, and it wasn’t meant to be a novel. Instead, I designed it as interlocking short stories. That didn't turn out as I expected. When I finished, I had a novel, and not a handful of stories. It was a filthy book, and a transgressive one. It blended eroticism with a narrative about transformation and the occult, and though I felt passionate about the project, the honest truth is that I didn’t think anyone would really want to read it. I called that book How to Kill a Superhero. That was the first book that I self published, and the one that kicked everything off.

Looking back, I definitely can see that I didn’t believe in the book’s viability in late 2012, when I was writing it. Yet, I had the urge to experiment with self publishing using tools from Amazon, Apple, Smashwords. And I went for it. I used every bit of knowledge I had from working in newspaper and web publishing, and I asked many questions about what I didn’t know about book publishing. I hired an editor. I had the book copy edited. I hired a designer, and I bought a URL. In the course of about 9 months, I had a paperback that looked nothing like a typical erotica or fantasy book. Its cover was a throwback to classic James Bond novel covers from the 60s, though the content of the book was intense enough to make everyone blush. I used a pen name at the time, as a way to explore ideas about identity and superhero themes, but very soon, I regretted having done so. Why? Because people started reading the book, and they started talking about the book. It caught on with a certain subset of gay men who had grown up with superhero stories but didn’t see their desires and identities expressed in fiction.

That book opened doors for me. As readers came across the novel, people came knocking at my door. I was invited to podcasts, leather conferences, author signings. The momentum created by Pablo Greene’s book about an occult book and the nurse who absorbed its powers led me to write a second book in the series, called World Without Daylight.

And all through this time, I still didn’t really believe in myself. Yes, that’s what I am telling you. I lacked so much confidence. Despite making sales, generating revenue and talking to my readers about a book they loved, I still didn’t have the confidence in myself to let the world see what I had done. None of it felt “real” enough, successful enough. So I kept my Pablo Greene identity secret.

I don’t recommend shrinking away from the world during moments of doubt. I don’t recommend shrinking away from who I am. Not at all.

By the time the second superhero book published in early 2014,  it was apparent to me that this was going to be a tetralogy. I knew I could publish a professionally edited and designed book and e-book using my own name, and something told me to push, to make it a reality, to use the powerful tool of creation in my mind and make my debut novel under my regular name a reality. I would not wait for an agent to come and rescue me and validate me (because I had tried the agent route for years).

In 2014 I launched my debut novel 13 Secret Cities as a serial, in a similar vein to John Scalzi’s 2013 serial, Old Man’s War. Writing that book almost killed me. I wrote each of the four parts in real time, getting each section edited and produced and launched every 2-3 months, all the while working my regular job. I went through various cover concepts with two designers, and I ran into major issues in the Amazon store, but each serial piece released starting in early summer all the way through winter of 2014, and in December, a paperback edition collecting them into a single novel also launched.

I tried my best to promote this new novel, but the schedule for its release almost killed me. And then, 2015 started, and I felt so scattered, so utterly exhausted from releasing two books in one year, that I basically forgot to promote my books. I was burnt out, and my health started to diminish as a result. I started losing sleep, and nerve pain in my limbs started to affect my daily life. This condition of mind and body, which some people call sciatica, but which health experts refer to as PPD (or psychophysiologic disorder),  almost destroyed my everyday life. Dealing with pain on a daily basis became a full time job, and I am still dealing with pain currently. The response in the body is real, but attacking the source, which in my case comes from life stress, is a bitch. And it all stems from emotions like fear. As I battled each day just to get out the door of my house and go to work,  I was afraid, more afraid than I had ever been before. It was as if I had wandered into the woods and could no longer find my way home.

Well that was then. That was a time when I couldn’t reconcile both halves of my publishing career. I write novels as Cesar Torres and as Pablo Greene, and I have been too careful in the past in curating those two images as separate people. Each one of those writers is one and the same.

And you know it. I know it.

At New York Comic Con October 8-11, I will be there promoting both book series: 13 Secret Cities AND How to Kill a Superhero. The superhero books that I write as Pablo Greene are explicit, filthy, and they combine elements of violence, BDSM, religion and sex, and I don’t give a fuck who they offend. They are as much a part of my imagined worlds as the universe I created in 13 Secret Cities. They have things to say about the human condition and the nature of the universe as much as anything else I have ever written in my fiction. I have wanted to show the world that those superhero books have a place alongside my other published books, 12 Burning Wheels and 13 Secret Cities.

Those main characters from each series, Clara Montes and Roland, deserve equal respect and readership.

And so, when I attend NY Comic Con, I put on a superhero costume, because that’s a habit I started as Pablo Greene. It was something that came naturally to me the first time I attended an event as the author.

And I haven’t stopped. Fuck tweed jackets, fuck sensible reading glasses, and fuck all the conventions of what an author is “supposed to do.” I put on a superhero’s tights, and I sign books, I talk to readers, and I have a great time.

My life as Managing Editor at The Wirecutter is a busy one. My hours are long, and I love that job. But it doesn’t leave a lot of free time to promote my books. And so, the events that I choose are very strategically chosen. That’s why NY Comic Con is something I attend every year. I don’t have to travel far, and I get to meet readers in a way that allows me to get the best results as an independent publisher and author.

I don’t even have a booth as an exhibitor at Comic Con. Did you know that? Yeah, it’s true. The people I meet, the readers I talk to — those interactions help my books get read by readers. I also use my experience as a journalist, to talk to other people about their books, and the ideas they care about. This year I will be doing several daily interviews on both my Cesar Torres and my Pablo Greene YouTube channels, to show once again that books are alive, and that geek and book culture have a lot to offer the overall global culture.

I will do all of this while dressed as a superhero. Like I ALWAYS do.

I am not after fame or the NYT bestsellers list. What I am after is my existing readership. There are people who love 13SC, and there are people who love How to Kill a Superhero.  So far, they have been mutually exclusive audiences. But not anymore. In just a few years I have gone farther in self publishing than what many traditionally published authors will ever do.

And there’s more to come. Transformation Fetish, book 3 in the How to Kill a Superhero series, will publish this Fall, and the sequel to 13 Secret Cities is on its heels. That book is slated to arrive in late 2016. This, my friends, is a dream life. It’s more than I could have ever imagined when I was just a boy using his father’s Olivetti typewriter in Little Village in Chicago in 1987.

So join me. If you love or you hate my books, please tell people about it. The word of mouth is what makes indie books grow and flourish. But don’t be surprised when I show up at city near you hauling a box of books dressed like Superman or Venom, talking about cosmic horror, mirrors and the craft of writing.

If you’re attending NY Comic Con in person, let’s hang out. If you won’t be there, watch my YouTube videos. They will not be boring.

It will be a good meeting of my mind with yours. We’ll have a laugh. And you’ll see the real me.

Self-Publishing 101: Do It Like a Pro

Editor

Latest update: January 28, 2015

  • Added Author Earnings REport and new section on the Business of Publishing

As the creator of Solar Six Books, I firmly believe in sharing knowledge about publishing to dispel myths and make it more transparent. Thanks to the tools that are available today for authors, self-publishing is a viable route for writers who want to publish their own work. For a small subset of these authors, it's possibly even a way to get paid for their writing. 

This page will be constantly update over time as I expand my series. So far, you can view Self Publishing 101: Do It Like a Pro on YouTube as on ongoing series (which will consist of about twenty episodes). I am also kicking off a resources section at the end of this post that can also help you find more resources to get you started.

Self-Publishing 101: Do It Like a Pro

Part 1: Jobs

Part 2: Manuscript

Part 3: Team

Part 4: Fearless

Part 5: Design

Self-Publishing Resources

THE BUSINESS SIDE OF PUBLISHING

The Author Earnings Report -- I highly recommend subscribing to this incredible free resource. It contains detailed title-level analytics on book sales, aggregated data (from Amazon e-book sales, other retailers and more), as well as insights into book buying trends. Our secondary mission is to call for change within the publishing community for better pay and fairer terms in all contracts. 

Editors (updating soon)

Design

Dribble

Deviant Art

 

This guide is published as a free resource from Solar Six for other authors to self publish. To learn more about Solar Six and its published titles, please visit solarsixbooks.com.