Geronimo!

Capaldi

Some things I’m excited about lately: I’ll kick this off with something that has nothing to do with writing but it’s just true: Season Eight of Doctor Who kicks off this coming Saturday, which for this family is a MAJOR event. Make your own conclusions about my family (as in, maybe we’re total nerds?) but we adore that show and cannot wait to see how Peter Capaldi fares in taking the reins from Matt Smith, who we thought couldn’t possibly top David Tennant but kind of did—or, at least, put a totally new spin on things (we still love you, David Tennant—in our opinion, you rescued the show).

On the writing front, things have been going nicely. I ran an Amazon free promo on Streetlights Like Fireworks after having not been in KDP Select for a while and the book saw over 17,000 downloads and stayed in the Top 100 free list for the entire week, which kind of blew me away. I always have mixed feelings about that type of promotion since you just never know but it’s been gratifying to hear that people have been enjoying the book and leaving kind reviews (much appreciated!). But, from there, I was even more pleased to see Streetlights holding its own nicely in both US and UK rankings. I’ve never had that happen before to that degree and it was really exciting. I know this will fade (Amazon is Amazon, after all, and new books come out every day). All the same, very cool.

Best part: When I told my wife and kids how well Streetlights was doing in both markets, I received a genuine (no eye-rolling involved) ovation. I will never forget that moment and will always treasure it, no  matter what, as the pinnacle of my publishing journey. You just can’t top that kind of memory, no matter what.

Oh, and I was off last week and we did summer things as a family. We hung out at the pool, took a few day trips, spent time with friends, saw some movies (Guardians of the Galaxy, much recommended—my son laughed like crazy). Just a great week.

Lastly, back to one of the earlier points: I know this might make me sound simple but I’m always blown away to learn that people are reading my books and saying nice things about them. This was the dream after all (really, all I ever wanted from this whole adventure). It could be that for more established writers, finding out that people enjoy your books not only in your own country but in countries you’ve never been to is no big deal. I can’t say and maybe, like me, they remain amazed. I certainly hope they do. For me, it’s just the coolest thing ever.

Meanwhile, I’m working on Jump When Ready, Book 3 and Memories From A Different Future (Jump When Ready, Book 2) will be coming out in September.

Yes, I’m having fun and couldn’t be more excited about the future. Especially, this coming Saturday when the new doctor learns how to fly the TARDIS.

Geronimo! (well, that was Matt Smith’s line). What do you have for us, Peter Capaldi? Cant’ wait to find out!

Memories From A Different Future

Guess what’s happening next month. Well, that big book cover below might have tipped you off but Memories From A Different Future (Jump When Ready, Book 2) is coming out in September! Sorry, that took a little longer than expected but I kind of got sucked into writing Streetlights Like Fireworks. That wasn’t the plan originally but I just had this idea for writing a summer road trip novel and I had to go with it. Glad I did but then I got back to working on the Jump When Ready series. Oh, and I’m already writing Book 3 (I’m really excited about it so far).

Would you like to know when you can snag a copy of Memories From A Different Future for free? Sign up for my newsletter and I’ll be sure to let you know about any new book releases. I almost always offer new books for free or $.099 for a limited time. Also, I will never clutter your inbox or share your email address. I promise.

Just in case you haven’t yet, you might want to kick things off by reading Jump When Ready. By the way, I’m offering it for $0.99 this week only.

Jump2_FinalKindleCover

Arm Cast Podcast

Did you know that Armand Rosamilia has started a new podcast? I just heard about this and will definitely be checking it out. Why would I be interested in a “dead, sexy horror” podcast? A reasonable question, definitely, since I don’t write horror. That said, the book I’m currently working on has my characters sailing some pretty dark supernatural waters, so I could learn a lot from tuning in. And it’s not like I’ve forgotten my teenage years when I could not put that Stephen King novel down. My god, I carried The Stand around with me for an entire summer. All I’m saying with regard to my own writing is, you never know. I like to change things up every so often. And I still like to read all kinds of genres. Why miss out on great stuff?

Oh, and the name. Arm Cast Podcast? Think about it for a few seconds. Heh, heh. Yeah, right there I was in.

Here’s the link: http://armcastpodcast.com/

In each chest a clock, its spring wearing

David Pandolfe:

This post from Robert Chazz Chute is beautiful and touching. Time has always been, will always be, our ultimate enemy, and paradoxically is the one thing we must hold most close and never lose sight of. This one was brave. Thank you.

Originally posted on C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m:

Tonight I thanked a friend and said goodbye for the last time.

It is a grim ritual, this business of the last goodbye. My friend didn’t look like the man I knew. He appeared as a sleeping wax figure, an ill-conceived doll imitating the man, the fingers too long and too thin. He was a poor approximation of the funny, vibrant, fit fellow named Wayne. He brought joy wherever he went and now he is dead at 56. Fifty-six used to seem old, but I was very young then.

I write horror that is an escape and a distraction. This is real life and it is often horrific in the end. When such good people disappear from our lives so suddenly and unexpectedly, this is the Slow Rapture of the Taken Too Soon. I’d be furious if I didn’t feel so empty.

By now you’re wondering why on Earth I’m telling…

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80 (Short) Facts About Being an Indie Author (The Full List!)

David Pandolfe:

Just so true. I really enjoyed this post from indie writer Therin Knite.

Originally posted on Knite Writes:

Regarding Sales…

1.) Your first book will sell 5 copies in its first month. If you’re very lucky.

2.) Your first book will sell 50 copies in its first year, if you’re even luckier.

3.) Your second book will cause your first book to sell slightly better. If it’s a sequel.

4.) If your second book isn’t a sequel, both your first and second book will sell…probably nothing.

5.) You might start seeing an uptick in your overall sales numbers…once you hit book 5 or 6.

6.) More likely, you won’t see any sales increase until you get somewhere around book 10. If you ever see a sales increase at all.

7.) You will see sales when you run ads with certain popular ad sites (like Kindle Books & Tips and Ereader News Today).

8.) Unless all of those sites are Bookbub, the sales tail won’t last but a few…

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Kindle Unlimited Just Happened

Well, a major bomb has been dropped on the publishing world today and it’s going to be interesting to see what happens (to say the least). The new Kindle Unlimited subscription model allows readers to borrow as many books as they’d like from the Kindle Unlimited library for a monthly fee of $9.99 and the first month is free. There’s lots of speculation right now about whether this is good or bad for authors (I don’t see how readers could possibly lose but maybe I missed something). This link to Hugh Howey’s blog offers a good look at a cross section of reactions from authors, many of whom sound very concerned while Hugh Howey himself seems to be looking at the optimistic side as well as how readers benefit .

What this means for indie authors might be a big deal, indeed, since inclusion in this library means going into KDP Select (making their books exclusive to Amazon). Typically, I get most of my sales from Amazon so for me it might make sense to go back to Select. I like the idea of my books being available on other platforms, though, such as Kobo and BN (especially Kobo since it’s a really friendly platform for writers). If I understand correctly from the blog post mentioned above, high profile authors like Hugh Howey are being included in Kindle Unlimited anyway but might have to choose regarding exclusivity down the road (seems hard to believe Amazon would make them choose but that’s what I gathered). I have to  say, I was amazed to hear him say he’d actually consider going exclusive with Select as he has in the past. I was planning on it anyway for my new book  (Jump When Ready Book 2) when I release it since that program offers some nice promotional tools. So, an interesting coincidence there for me, at least.

I know there’s going to be tons of conversation about the repercussions of all this and will be very interested in learning more. Many have been saying for years that this model is coming. Well, now it’s here and we’ll just have to see what happens next. One thing is for sure, though. There’s never a dull moment in indie publishing.

Digital Book Today Weekly Great Read

I just received an email telling me that Jump When Ready has been included by Digital Book Today as one of their Weekly Featured Great Reads! This is a really nice feature Digital Book Today is running to help promote indie writers and I was thrilled to see Jump When Ready included. It’s also great timing since I’m just finishing the edits for Memories From A Different Future (Jump When Ready Book 2), which I plan to release very soon.

Anyway, it seemed a good occasion for dropping the price for a day or two to $0.99 (I just pushed that button so it might be a couple of hours before that price shows in Amazon; you never know—sometimes their amazingly fast with those sorts of updates). I was already in a really great mood (just got back from the pool, actually) but this just made my day that much better. So, if you haven’t read Jump When Ready yet, this would be a great time to snag a copy. I hope all of you are having a great day too. Now it’s time to grab a  beer and wait for those fireflies to come out…

JumpCoverNew_June7

We Love What We Do

“Why don’t we approach literature like we approach music and the fine arts? Yes, there is a commitment when it comes to time and money. Yes, the chances of “making it” are slim. But with music, photography, and the fine arts, we “self produce” while we grow our audience and hone our craft. We work our way up, rather than break out. We love what we do, and we dream of making a living doing it, but it isn’t necessary.”

These words are from a recent blog post by Hugh Howey, which I just loved. One idea that struck me as a really cool and unique way of looking at things is the idea that, while people often ridicule indie writers as being unlikely to ever make any significant money publishing, Hugh Howey points out that 98% of those who pursue the traditional publishing route make no money at all. They never get the agent they spent years writing query letters to, they never see that big publishing deal they dreamed of, they never see any publishing deal at all. Finally, they quit and stop writing altogether. On the other hand, indie writers may make little money at first but they get to keep writing and reaching new readers. Eventually, the money may come but even if it doesn’t to the degree one might have hoped, that writer gets to keep on writing and no one is going to remove those books from the shelves. Writers who love what they do have no reason to stop doing it.

I really love indie publishing for many reasons. I’m thankful that so many opportunities exist that didn’t before—all those platforms where we can sell our books. Yes, I’m thankful for that big monster called Amazon for giving all writers an equal chance at finding an audience. This idea was unheard of just a few years ago and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. The fact is, I’m thrilled each time I sell a single book. I’m utterly elated each time one of my books receives a good review on Amazon or Goodreads. I agree with Hugh Howey’s point that publishing is a miracle and it’s magical that we can now write a book knowing it will be published, that no one can say “No, we’re not allowing that for you.”

I was one of those lucky few whose work actually was offered representation by a literary agent. Not once, but twice for two different books. I know I’ve mentioned that before on this blog but that’s not because I think I’m cool because of it. Just the opposite since both times, when I thought the world was about to turn on its axis, that a totally new day was about to dawn, nothing much happened at all (other than a great deal of back and forth regarding revisions). At the end of those two experiences, I was almost one of those who walked away from the whole deal. Thankfully, I came to my senses and, like so many authors are doing now (an ever increasing population as more authors choose indie publishing over traditional), I decided to go ahead and publish first Jump When Ready, and most recently, Streetlights Like Fireworks. This is wonderful new world of publishing these days and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. It’s just a great time for writers, in general, which is why many of us have been pulling together like never before as things keep changing rapidly around us.

There’s so much bickering going on lately, once again driving a wedge between those on the traditional side and on the indie side. Honestly, it’s getting tiresome (even though I do have some strong feelings about who the good guys really are in that particular fight). So, I appreciate that much more the point that Hugh Howey closes with: “Finally and most importantly, there shouldn’t be any animus between writers, however they publish. This is hard enough without trying to tear each other down. We are in this together. It’s our world that’s changing. In many ways, we should be standing together and demand that it change faster.

 

Gatecrashing the Cosy Consensus on Amazon

David Pandolfe:

For those of you who may have missed Hugh Howey’s Change.org petition (not likely, I know), it’s a link definitely worth clicking on in this excellent post from David Gaughran. Please consider adding your name to assure you keep the authority you’ve earned and deserve as a reader.

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

amazonhachetteA group of bestselling traditionally published authors – including James Patterson, Scott Turow, and Douglas Preston – engaged in an act of breathtaking hypocrisy on Thursday with an open letter calling on Amazon to end its dispute with Hachette.

The letter is incredibly disingenuous. It claims not to take sides, but only calls on Amazon to take action to end the dispute. It also makes a series of ridiculous claims, notably that Amazon has been “boycotting Hachette authors.”

Where do I start?

The Phantom Boycott

First of all, refusing to take pre-orders on Hachette titles is not a “boycott.” Pre-orders are a facility extended to certain publishers – not all publishers. Many small presses don’t have a pre-order facility. Most self-publishers don’t have a pre-order facility.

I don’t know why Amazon has stopped taking Hachette pre-orders, but both sides have stated that negotiations aren’t likely to be resolved any…

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