Free Tools to Work With

Just thought I'd do a really quick post, so I can get back to my temp job and do some editing on my 2nd novella/short novel (I do have to take breaks from the temp job. :-))

I don't know where I found the link for this, but this post gives indies/self pubbers 26 free tools to work with...or not work with, as you see fit.

I decided to give the 1st Chapter thing a try. Will it bring me some readers? Who the hell knows? But it's free, and the site is supposed to get a lot of hits, so we'll see. (Hey, that rhymed! A gold star for me! :-))

Now, back to summarizing and editing and slinging tchachkis together for an event later in the week...


My Production Schedule

Wow, that sounds so weird - a production schedule. But since writing is a business - and I'm now a sole proprietor, lol - I already have ideas to finish out this novella/short novel series (99% sure it will be a trilogy, but who knows?).

Night Terrors

The 2nd in the series, Night Terrors, will be out in September. I'm shooting for beginning to middle of that month, God willing and the creek don't rise ;-). (Or "crick" as the people out where I live like to pronounce it.) I originally wanted to get the first one out on my birthday (June 21), then my mother's birthday (June 24), but neither of those happened. I was spending too much time on the cover, and as much as I love doing that stuff, I couldn't commit to putting it online. My original idea, I realized, was waaaay too complicated. It took me until the beginning of July to simplify that idea.

Lesson learned. And although it's not the greatest cover going, I'm happy with it. The whole self pub/indie thing is great because I can change the cover at any time (just like I can bring out a 2nd edition of a story), and it'll be live within a day or two.

Demon's Mother

The tentative title for the 3rd in the series, Demon's Mother, was originally called Demon Daughter; right now it's up in the air. The reason for the change was due to a plot change that came out of Me Olde Braine, probably hiding behind some stringy cobwebs. Or something. ;-)

Anyway, I have it scheduled for end of November/early December. I'll admit that I only have the sketchiest of sketches on this one, but I should have it worked out better once Night Terrors is up.

And I also have 10 Cent Wings, the short story, which I still want to shop around to magazines. It was rejected the other day, with a "Just wasn't for us" email, and that's okay. In the past, I would have been depressed to keep sending it around, but I don't have to be that way anymore, because I can always put it online. I'll probably pair it with another short, in the same universe...as I already have an idea for a story that will go well with the first. It's in the germination stage, though, so we'll see what we shall see.

Beautiful day here in the northeastern U.S. - go out and enjoy it!

And keep writing, no matter what! :-)


Authors Commenting on Reviews on Their Own Books

Lindsay Buroker has a post on her blog about this very thing.

As I don't have any reviews as yet (oy!), I can only say what I think I would do, knowing how emotional I can get at times.

I wouldn't comment on a review at all. Let me hedge a little: I might comment on the very first review I receive if it's positive. Otherwise, I'm not going to bother, and I'll just forge ahead with my writing no matter what.

Does everyone remember that poor soul who decided to have a popular review blog (set up by a reader who is strictly a reader) review her book...and then exploded at the way the review turned out? I read the post and all the comments, and to tell you the truth, the reviewer was exceptionally gentle in his review. I then read a sample of the book...my.  The poor dear. I think that with a little more writing knowledge under her belt, she'd be a good writer.

But I digress. This is what I'm afraid I might do; having a bad day due to something or other, and I take it out on the reviewer. And then I'd get depressed about my writing, and I'd have to go thru all that angsty crap again. (You know: "Am I any good?" "My writing sucks." "I'm never going to write again.")

So...what would you do? Is this something you'd do, or is it something you've done? What did you say?

Like Lindsay, I'm curious as to what others would do/are doing.


Because Writing and Reading Genre is Bad For You

If you haven't read it as yet, Eric Felton wrote a really silly article in The Wall Street Journal:


If you haven't read it as yet, go ahead, I can wait. ;-)  ::taps toes::

Okay, the wait is over.

I don't know about you, but this pissed me off. Whether you like literary/genre/whatever, why is there this snobbery from those who enjoy literary novels? Do they get their jollies that way? Does it make them feel better, more superior (my guess is: all of the above).

People are going to like what they like, depending on how they were brought up and a slew of other things. You like literary novels. So? I like fantasy. So? He likes gay erotica. So? Who cares?


Do readers really need to go to the Big 6 (or whatever they are now) for their jaundiced selections as to what is printable? I mean, they buy what they like and know will (probably) sell. That's why so much urban fantasy, IMHO, looks so similar. Similar book covers, similiar stories. I know, I know; it's part of that particular subgenre. But do all of the covers have to show a dark-haired chick in tight leather? (Not that there's anything wrong with that. ;-)) It would be nice for something in that subgenre to be a little different - how about a blonde-haired chick in jeans or something, lol?


And do writers really need the gatekeepers to tell them what to write? There are small niches out there that I'm sure haven't even been touched by self pubbers. NY would tell you that it's not worth their money for them to cater to such small niches; fair enough. They'd probably lose a bundle. So what's wrong with self pubbers exploiting such a niche? Why be so condescending?

I think it's fantastic that self pubbers are writing in such niches - and finding readers.

Hey, Eric, dude: How about writing that elf detective novel? Sounds like a self pub winner to me - despite what you might think.

Lighten up, and have a Weyerbacher Quad on me! :-) (Google it, and you'll see what a potent brew it really is!)


Short Story

During lunch yesterday, I sat down and banged out a short story.

I've gotten some ideas from song titles and certain lines within songs; go get the lyrics to Eleanor Rigby (do I have to tell you it's a Beatles song? :-)), and look for something about a face...and that's where I got the idea for the first in the Haven New Jersey series.

For a little over a week, I kept thinking of Jonatha Brooke's 10 Cent Wings. It's a lovely little song that hubby put up on one of his You Tube channels around that time. So I was humming it, thinking I might be able to make it into a short story of some sort.

Of course there had to be a fantasy element, which was easy for me to decide: An angel. But where would I set it, who would the story revolve around?

A boxer.

Stay with me...

I saw a boxing film earlier this year, one that I originally read about as a teenager in the RKO movie book. (I spent hours and hours devouring this and other movie studio books; still do, on occasion), and this was one of many, many movies I wanted to see.

It's called The Set-Up, and it stars Robert Ryan. He really was a boxer in college (Dartmouth, I think), and that comes through in this film. He's a down-and-out, over-the-hill boxer who thinks this bout, this fight, is the one he'll win; what he doesn't know is that his manager has sold him out, thinking that Ryan (playing "Stoker" Thompson) will lose anyway. What I really liked about this movie was its grittiness, in the best noir style.

So, using that as an idea, I set the story in 1950, in a "tank town" (a small town) that was big enough to have its own redlight district and sports district (boxing ring, basically). Then I set to writing and writing and writing.

And finished it. Yes, the angel is involved. For once, there really isn't any humor in it, so that was a departure for me.

The ending? It's not nice, to put it simply. To take on a happy ending would have been a terrible injustice to the story.

I'm actually (seriously) thinking of sending this one to a magazine. I'll let it go for a month or so, see if there's any interest. If there isn't any...meh, I'll just upload to Amazon and Smashwords.

Anyone typing out any shorts right now? Going to send it the magazine route, or is are you going to self pub it?


I always wanted to say that, lol. :-)

My ebook is now live on both Amazon and Smashwords. It was easy to upload to Amazon; since I use Open Office on my laptop, I just saved the document as an HTML doc, and had no problems.

It's so exciting to see something up on Amazon and on Smashwords.

Smashwords Can Be a PITA

If the upload on Amazon was easy beyond belief, Smashwords wasn't quite that way. It wasn't torture (altho being 1,350 in the queue can try your patience, of which I don't have much). Fortunately, I kept it in perspective and didn't pull my hair out. (I still have to upload a pic of moi onto Author Central on Amazon; how would I look bald, I asks ya? ;-))

Everything was going fine on SW, until I checked it the next day, only to find out the document didn't pass EPUB muster. That's the format not only for Nook but a bunch of smart phones/whatever. (I don't have an infinite supply of moolah coming in for a smart phone or tablet - or both.)

Anyway, SW suggested a site to get the poop on what was wrong with the document, and of course it returned a bunch of techno gobbledygook that made no sense. So I did the Nuclear Method, copying everything in the document to Notepad, which stripped out all the formatting. I also took note that SW now doesn't require you to have the cover image in the document, so I took that out. (Like Amazon, they have a separate upload just for the cover.)

This is when I noticed I made a slight boo-boo in the story; nothing major, but it irked me, so I redid the Kindle doc, uploaded the revised doc, and it's (re)publishing today.

I had the stripped doc and the original SW doc both open, so I could redo all the formatting (italicized words, chapter headings, and paragraphs), and tweaked the bio.

I reuploaded the doc yesterday, checked this morning: It worked! But SW is out of free ISBNs, so I won't be able to get into the Premium Catalog until tomorrow (when a new supply is due in).

You'll see that I already have the Kindle title up in the right-hand column; I'll be putting up the SW link sometime later today.

Onward and forward! :-) Good luck to everyone, and may you all sell a ton of your books!


It's Not Alive - Yet

Okay, so I did the Kindle and Smashwords thing today.

Here's the cover:

Once it goes live, I'll put up the all the pertinent stuff, so all you nice people can buy oodles and oodles of copies. :-) (You are, aren't you?)

Just kidding. Sort of. Heh.

As I write this, the Kindle version is in review, while I'm #512 in the Smashwords queue. So much for my idea that people in the U.S. wouldn't be bothering with this during 4th of July weekend.

Oh well.

Waiting and waiting...


Coming Soon!

The writing and editing is all done. And the cover would probably have been done today if I had remembered to bring my laptop with me.

I can be such a doofus, lol.

So it will have to wait until tonight, after dinner, for me to upload my debut, Changing Faces, which will be available on Amazon and Smashwords (which will also take care of EPUB, Sony, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera). There's some last minute formatting to be done, which is actually just setting up for Kindle. I'm hoping everything goes smoothly with the upload (crossing fingers, because you never know how things in the electronic world are going to go).

I'll have an excerpt up a little later today. Just have to figure out what excerpt - and it won't be a long one, I promise. :-)

But I'm jacked to finally be at this point! (Wanted to make sure I used the correct punctuation, because I don't want any Elaine Benes' out there telling me I should've used an exclamation point rather than a period ;-))  BTW, this will be a series of short novels/novellas, about 25,000-30,000 words each, give or take. I could've stretched it out to novel length, but I don't want to add on for the sake of adding on; why give people extra stuff the story doesn't need?

I've also got my FB author page, altho I haven't done anything with it as yet (hmm...maybe that's something I can do next, putting up an excerpt or two, and then the cover).