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Category Archives: Update

The Beauty Of Free

I love free stuff.  Free stuff is stuff that I didn’t have to buy with my own money, which means that said money can go to other things.  Let’s face facts: free is everybody’s friend.  I’m not to proud to admit it.

Still, sometimes it’s tough to know what free stuff is good, and what free stuff isn’t.  For example, I used to get free toys in my Happy Meals as a kid.  Those toys actually kind of sucked, but they were free.  There are other free things that I get now.  This blog is free.  I don’t pay a dime to wordpress to host my blog, and they get to have their name in my URL.  Well, technically it’s their URL.  But that’s just semantics.  Bottom line: free stuff.  I also use a free word processor.  That’s right, instead of paying good money to Microsoft, I downloaded something comparable for free.  I’m not dissing Microsoft – they make a quality product – but I’m tight with my money.

Some of you probably think I’m picking on Microsoft.  By no means.  I use a Windows PC.  I’m just pointing out how easy it is to save some dollars.  Self publishers should know how easy it is to spend thousands of dollars. If you don’t, you either haven’t done that research yet, or you got lucky and went straight to the free stuff.  I’m looking in the direction of Smashwords, Lulu and Createspace when I say that.  They may seem a little less than professional when you look at their websites, but they’re free.  That means that anybody can use them with no upfront cost. There is a downside to that, though.  Let’s face it, Publishers have editors, who act as gatekeepers to stop a publisher from losing money on a book that won’t sell.  A self published author doesn’t have that gatekeeper.  I can pay an editor out of my own pocket to improve my writing, but if I decide to just go ahead and publish, there’s nobody to stop me.
So, since I’m talking about free stuff, what about giving away some free stuff?  Most of you already know about my free short story, “The Immortal”. You can still get a free copy. In fact, if you haven’t, go ahead and do that now. I’ll wait. Got it? Good. Now let’s move on.
I hear of some authors giving away copies of their books for free. Sounds good. How many? Depends on the budget. Keep in mind, it’s promotional. Maybe your first book can be free, as Many Smashwords authors have been doing. Me? I haven’t figured it out yet. Print is part of my plan, and giving away a free print book to anyone who asks can get pretty pricey. 
Something else that’s been gaining popularity is artist patronage. This is actually an old idea, but it’s been given a new twist: fans can pay an amount of their choosing every time an artist produces art. That plan is used by certain podcasters to pay for the time used to create the podcast, while still keeping the podcast free. Would I use that method? I’m not sure. I kind of see books as a product, while writing is the process of developing that product. In the case of a podcast, I could certainly see a benefit. Podcasts cost money, but are usually free to the audience. Patronage presents an awesome way to cover the associated costs, keeping the podcast free to anyone who doesn’t want to pay. There may, indeed, be something to this idea. 
I’m going with a fee gift for those of you who have patiently staffed with me, but I’m not giving details just yet. Suffice to say I haven’t forgotten you.

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2014 in Update

 

Working Title

I’ve been through several titles for my upcoming book now, and nothing seems to quite have the right feel.  Now, an unpublished book doesn’t need to have those details figured out, so why does it matter?  Is it really important for me to have a title I like right now?  I’m not selling yet, so it’s kind of an unnecessary obsession for me.
This is a problem that I’m sure other writers have; we want everything to be perfect before we’re even ready to submit.  First drafts are no big deal add far as details go, add it doesn’t matter until the draft is actually done.  So why seat the small stuff?
It’s an easy trap to get caught up in,  wondering whether we should self-publish or traditionally publish, and looking into all the details for both options.  This obsession had stolen valuable writing time from me, as I’ve looked into all of these fine details without first having a book to actually sell.
I’m beating myself up a bit over this, as I see myself lagging way behind in my goals. I almost wonder if this is the kind of thing that holds up certain popular series for several years.  (I’m thinking of one in particular as I write this, but I’m not saying who, as he might kill off my favorite character in retaliation.)
This is the idea of the working title: Don’t worry about what you’re going to call it until you’re ready to stay marketing the particular book.  At this time, as I write,  I only need a title from which I can work.  For that matter, I could simply call it “Work in Progress”.
If love to hear what you have to say, dear reader.
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Posted by on June 23, 2013 in Advice, Rants, Update

 

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First Publication – The Immortal

ImageI posted a couple weeks back asking what you, my beloved readers, think I should do with my short story.  I didn’t get any response at all on that one.  It seems odd to me, but that’s OK.  Not everything needs to be a democracy.  I made up my own mind, doing what I had in mind in the first place.  The story will be made publicly available for free.  At less than 2,000 words, it’s a modest offering.  Still, I’ve gotten some pretty good feedback.

So now for the details.  You can look for “The Immortal” on my site on October 31.  It will be made available on the Ibook store, on Barnes and Noble’s Nook, and on Kobo.  You’ll also find it on Lulu.com.

Alas, poor Kindle readers, Amazon will not allow me to publish free content via KDP.  Fear not, however.  There is a way.  Just visit feedbooks.com and and download The Immortal as a .mobi or as a PDF.

I’m still working on the big one.  This was a little bit of a distraction to get the creativity flowing.  I’ll likely have a few more out before my novel is finished.  On the other hand, it’s good exercise for the muse.  I’ll be keeping you posted.

Edit:

I have changed publication plans for this story.  Instead, it will be going up on Smashwords, and distributed to their retail partners.  To download on Halloween go directly to my Smashwords profile here.  Incidently, this is good for all you Kindle users out there, because Smashword makes their ebooks available in .mobi format.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Self Publishing, Update

 

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Leave of Absence

I suppose you could say I’ve been away for awhile. Never fear! I haven’t forgotten about you.  I’ve just been busy.  I guess I should say something about where I’ve been.  For starters, I had a visit from my inlaws, happily coinciding with renovations.  Big thanks to my father-in-law for that.  I’ve also been working hard on my novel.  It can be hard to fit that in with the full-time job and other challenges.  Last, but certainly not least, I’ve written a short story.  I’ll be releasing it soon, details to come.
OK, so the real question is this: should I submit to a magazine for a flat rate based on the length of my story, or should I just self publish it.  I can’t really sell one short story to the public, but it’s a good way to get my name out there.  Maybe I could make it available for free?  Yeah, you greedy readers would love that, wouldn’t you?  well, I guess that’s an idea to consider.  I’d love to hear from you.  What do you think I should do?

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2012 in Poll, Update

 
 
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