Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Very Merry Blog Tour Is Beginning

The other day, I was discussing the sales of my Kindle short stories (available here) with Matt Mitrovich. Sales have been declining for some time and he, having reviewed one of my stories, said chances are that the problem is not with the quality of the content, it's with my marketing. He recommended I do a blog tour--for those of you not in the know, that's writing a bunch of guest posts for a bunch of blogs.

I gave the matter some thought and decided to go with it. I'd just published three new stories on Amazon in quick succession, so I had the occasion for it. I posted a request for hosts on my message-board and received some interest, so I'll call this the "Very Merry Blog Tour" based on my board user-name MerryPrankster.

Here's the first post in the tour, a discussion of my experiences Kindle publishing on the blog belonging to my writer friend Jeff Baker.

My Career as a Kindle Direct Author, Thus Far

Sean C.W. Korsgaard, Matt Mitrovich, Alex Shalenko, and Christopher Nuttall have all agreed to host blog posts, as has the member of my message-board whose handle is Talwar. I've also gotten a bite from someone on Blogger Linkup, which arranges for people to guest post on each other's blogs.

So far I've made one sale of "I am the Wendigo," but considering how William Meikle re-tweeted the first post to his 71,000 followers, hopefully that'll only be the beginning.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Some Kindle Formatting Advice...

If you self-publish short fiction on Amazon.com for the Kindle like I have, I just figured out something that could be very beneficial for you.

Something I've noticed if one uses Tab to indent paragraphs and then uploads from Word directly to Amazon Kindle Direct, the paragraph indentation sizes vary. Most of the time they're the same size or vary only slightly, but occasionally you get really severe indentations that look like you hit Tab twice. That's not good.

Today when I was uploading "Picking Up Plans In Palma," I decided to use block-style paragraphs--no indents and a space between each paragraph. The result was much, much more readable. As a self-publisher I've already got one strike against me--I don't need more due to mediocre formatting. I went back and reformatted all but two of my stories into block paragraphs and I'll do the remaining two later.

I hope this proves useful to any indie writers out there...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Another Afrikanerverse Story Is Coming

My first story set in my Afrikaner Confederation timeline, "Coil Gun," appeared in Pressure Suite - Digital Science Fiction Anthology 3. Now, ladies and gentlemen, I will announce that my second story, "Picking Up Plans In Palma," will be available soon on Amazon for the Kindle.

Here's the cover for you, courtesy of Alex Claw.


In its current form, this story is 7,500 words long. My friend Sean C.W. Korsgaard is giving it one last look-over before I post it. Although it's possible he could find so many places for me to cut that I could send it to additional paying markets (it's rather long for a short story), that seems rather improbable at this juncture.

After that, I'll post the second Andrew Patel story, "Needs Must." The first story, √úbermensch, is already available for purchase. Alex has already done a cover for a collection of four Patel/Silverbolt tales, so all I need to do is just write two more. :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The 2013 Georgia Big Picture Conference Blog I Manage

Behold the new blog of the 2013 Georgia Big Picture Conference!

I will be managing this blog on behalf of one of my clients. Information about upcoming Atlanta-area film events and workshops and the conference itself will be appearing there.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Andrew Patel Is Coming...

I will soon have some new independently-published material for the Kindle posted soon on my Amazon.com author page.

Here's some back story. Last year (or perhaps earlier), my Kennesaw writing group discussed a "Southern Superheroes" anthology that ended up not going anywhere. However, before its implosion became clear, some of us had written stories. My contribution was two tales starring Andrew Patel, a Nietzsche enthusiast anti-hero who thinks transcending the merely human translates into making himself a cyborg.

(Hint: His is a situation of "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" as far as Nietzsche's philosophy is concerned.)

Given how I've done some research and found that superhero short fiction is a hard sell these days and how I've been told the way to succeed at independently publishing short stories for e-readers is "churn and burn," Mr. Patel will be making an appearance soon.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with the covers for √úbermensch and "Needs Must," courtesy of Alex Claw, illustrator of The Beast of the Bosporus:




Depending on how successful these are, Mr. Patel will be making more return appearances. Today I came up with a new potentially recurring (worse) villain for him to face.

July Writing Contest Results

Here're the results of the writing contest involving Lauren, Nick, and me. I wrote a total of 13,598 words, beating out Nick (13,000) but losing to Lauren (14,614). Fortunately Lauren picked a restaurant we both absolutely love for me to take her to. :)

Here's how it breaks down:

*Early in the month, I spent a lot of time editing Battle for the Wastelands, getting it down to 100,000 words in preparation for submission to #PitchMas (no luck this time) and a new batch of agents. That took up a great deal of writing time but resulted in relatively few words. I also wrote some material for a later Wastelands novel, but not a whole lot.

*I also started a new project, which I will not go into a lot of detail on at the moment. Sufficient to say it plays to my great strength (worldbuilding, technology, etc.) and avoids one of my major weaknesses (characterization). Maybe around 1,000 or so words on that. Given the threat graduate school (more on that later) will pose to my fiction-writing productivity, this could be worth shifting my focus onto.

*I broke 30,000 words on The Thing In The Woods, writing around 9,000 words this month. Three days alone in which I wrote an excess of 1,000, 2,000, and 3,000 words respectively provided the bulk of that. Finishing chapters to submit them to a writing group one must commit to in advance is a powerful incentive. Still concerned it might be too short, but my plan is to finish it before

For August, I plan to write a good bit more material for Thing and do some more edits on Battle, since my friend Jeff from my Lawrenceville writing group posted a blog on some particularly-unnecessary words. However, graduate school approaches, and that will cut into my writing time considerably.