All posts by roblogger

Rob’s wRiting Residency – Not at work working…

Tomorrow is an interesting day. I’ve been teaching less, so I can write more, one less class a day since early December. I got a lot of new writing done in December and January, slowed down in February. Now instead of writing before I go to work a little late, I will be doing my writing time inside of my school day. Due to complications of scheduling our students who need both chemistry and calculus in the morning, I will be teaching a class and then NOT WORKING AT WORK for 70 minutes, then teaching the rest of my day. So, during second period, I will take my writing device into the library attached to my classroom and begin a daily writing residence!

Will it work to write fiction while I am at my day job not working? All sorts of potential complications: procrastination, interruption, lesson planning, weird schedules, etc. Staff and students have agreed to recognize and respect this time, in return we get a schedule that works for everyone else! 😉 Now, one of the best ways to motivate myself to getting lots of writing done is to hold myself accountable and publicize my progress.

I also want to share some of what I am writing with the students. So, even though finishing Book III is my biggest goal right now, I’m planning on writing some new work that will be appropriate to share with my students and the public.

I don’t know what I am going to write tomorrow. I’m thinking, I’ll break up the 70 minutes as follows. 30 minutes focused on NO MAN’S LAND, then I’ll take a few minutes to stretch, breath, visit the facilities. I will likely have finished all my coffee sometime previous. Then 30 minutes focused on something more PG rated. It could be Charley’s or Grace’s Deserted Lands stories. Or maybe I’ll finish the story about the Chip Monks set 100 years in the future in Whatcom County. Or should I write something new completely from scratch? I’ve got that steampunk idea about Col. Koobedarg rolling around in my brain as well….I’ll be posting regular updates on Facebook as well as bringing back my word-count progress meters on this website.

Don’t wish me luck, wish me hard work

 

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A REAL AUTHOR WHEN… PART II

So we all hear about authors who love particular phrases, sometimes they’ll appear dozens of times in a novel. For me that phrase for ALL IS SILENCE was Too Much Testosterone or TMT. There are THREE [!] times it appears in the novel. A bit much? Yes, but it seems to be a good enough concept that other people are latching onto it.  I liked it, so I put it as a quote is on GoodReads

Not too much later, I found memes of it on WordPorn and Quoting.

Then, surprise, surprise, I found it on the header of an article about testosterone’s effects on the stock market here at CDR Capital in a post titled Men Behaving Badly.

But to top it all off, I was looking it up so that I could quote myself correctly and what did I find? Me. Misquoted in a Psychology textbook right under Bela Abzug. [Don’t know who Bela Abzug is, look her up, she rocks!] You can purchase the book on Amazon, though I’m not sure I’d recommend it, since they screwed up my quote! 😉

So are these the words I will go down in history for? Perhaps. It could be worse. My other favorite quote from ALL IS SILENCE?

“Lizzie ignored the hair in her armpits and on her legs. It had gone from stubble to dark hair. F*** it. End of the world rules apply.”

Not sure when I’ll continue this series. You can read Part I here.

February Smorgasblog

Here’s a quick update. Warning: This post goes to eleven…

  1. Here is the new Cover art for
    CLick to see Full-Size

    TOILS AND SNARES.

  2. I turned 50 on February 15th. My kids are sending me to SPACE CAMP!
  3. Which reminds me, “Not to 50″ Series went to 55 with Part V on www.robslater.com. Missed my goal of getting Parts IV and VI out, but will get to them in March. 😉 I’ll just say I forgot?
  4. Writing update. Hit 20,416 words in February so far. On track for three new novels worth of rough drafting this year! NO MAN’S LAND – Deserted Lands Book III, is at 69,000 words.  Almost 77,000 words in the last 120 days. Project to hit 300,000 this year, beating my goal of 222,222 words!
  5. Working on a non-Deserted Lands story, working title – Thumbscrewed. It’s FantSciFi, alt-universe with magic for my writer’s group. Protagonist is a young hispanic teen in the PNW. A conglomeration of kids I worked with over the years.
  6. Young adult readers, my new short story, Drift Away, is still featured in the anthology THAT MOMENT WHEN… You get to sample 42 Young Adult Authors for FREE. For Amazon click the cover. Read more about it and get links to other e-reader stores in the blog post below. It’s FREE in all of them.
  7.  I’ll be doing a daily Rob as wRiter in Residence at my school for 70 minutes a day during our third trimester.  This will make the school schedule work and will give me an interesting challenge. I’ll be disappearing into the library with my non-internet friendly laptop and emerging with new words to share with you and my students.
  8. Hoping the March does not come in like a lion, as the last three months have given me enough stormy weather to last a while. At least until next year.
  9. I’m playing more guitar and have the crazy idea of maybe recording some of Lizzie’s songs for a bonus offer for my readers. Some live performances will be occurring in my future and I’ll let you know when I do.
  10. I will be publishing my Print E-book collection now that I have new cover art. If you are interested, you can have a printed collection of almost all my ebook short stories: Outward Bound Collection, TOILS AND SNARES, One Tin Soldier and probably a couple others tossed in for good measure.
  11. And finally, I will be appearing at the Chanticleer Authors Conference in Bellingham, March 30 – Apr 2. If you’re a reader instead of a writer, there will also be a three-day book fair, Books by the Bay, sponsored by my favorite bookstore, Village Books.

You know you’re a real author when… Part I

 

Accidentally posted this without finishing it. Oops…

I kind of forgot that I officially released All Is Silence February 18th 2014, so it just passed its third birthday. But it’s release party didn’t happen until March 14th.

If it hasn’t already happened, sometime in the next few weeks the 10,000 person will likely have finished reading All Is Silence.

I’ve sold nearly 2000 copies and more than 8,000 people world-wide have read it in bite-sized pieces on WattPad in countries like the Philippines, India, South Africa, England, Australia, Nigeria and Kenya. That’s a pretty damn cool statistic… This doesn’t count folks who read my books in libraries as far away as Australia, New Zealand, India and both Buffalos in the U.S….

It hasn’t turned into a “give-up-your-day-job” temptation, but it has been pretty steady. I could pay my cable and phone bill with my writing income most every month!

All is silence in the world down under

ONE MORE DAY AT $0.99 [and 0.99 in most other world currencies!]

A massive thanks to Patty Jansen, who lends her considerable publishing clout out monthly to indie authors who want a boost.

She’s an amazing cross-genre writer who deserves to be better know in the United States. Since I’ve been doing well in Australia [Those Australian’s love them some Apocalypse!], I’m hoping that doing her promo will help bump me up towards another BookBub promotion. Please check out Patty’s $0.99 deals and all of her friends, and some of mine, who have all joined together to give you some awesome #FantSciFi books on a bunch of platforms. Click on the graphic below or go here. Then pick your e-reader format of choice and check out the fabulous deals!

Check out 100s of deals thjis weekend only!

January Smorgasblog…

[Accidentally posted this before I was ready and by that time it had gone out to the feed, so, this is updated from yesterday. ~Rob]

  1. Turning 50 in February. There will be a great sale! And I am truly happy and blessed about hitting middle age!
  2. Which reminds me, “Not to 50″ Series continues with Part III on www.robslater.com. Hopefully have at least two more by the big day.
  3. My high school, Windward, a most awesome place to work and go to school celebrates its 14th 13th birthday this week. I’ve been there since 2010ish and absolutely love it.
  4. Another birthday this month. Lizzie Gooden-Guerrero turned 15 on January 11th in an alternate universe near this one. She celebrated by walking in the March for Humanity the day after the presidential inauguration. Guess what her sign said? [Please keep it cleaner than the books!]
  5. Writing update. Hit 26,423 words in January. On track for three new novels worth of rough drafting this year! That’s Lizzie Book III, sitting at 57,000 words, another Deserted Lands novel, possibly middle grade, and Non-Deserted Lands, #FantSciFi novel. I have a number in the works. We’ll see which one floats to the top.
  6. Young adult readers, my new short story, Drift Away, is now featured in the anthology THAT MOMENT WHEN… You get to sample 40 Young Adult Authors for FREE. For Amazon click the cover on the right. Read more about it and get links to other e-reader stores in the blog post below. It’s FREE in all of them.
  7. Quotes in weird places: “Too Much Testosterone” Search it in quotes with my name. Pretty cool. I’ve got a post started about it for February.

Dang it. I posted it.  Well, I guess we’re going for lucky 7 this month… More to come…

 

All Is Silence in A Small World After All…

OMG. [My thirteen year old rolled her eyes when she saw this in one of my comments, so I thought it should feature prominently in this post.]

Tonight I headed over to my favorite bookstore of all time, Village Books in Bellingham. A friend I’ve never met on the far side of the country sent me a note saying he’d purchased two of my books online from Village Books [they ship them anywhere in the U.S. for only $0.99] and asked me to personalize them. Since I had to take my 13-year-old to a violin lesson and find something to do, rather than sit in a cold car I went to Village Books to personalize them for him. It took a bit to find the copies that were set aside, but we did.

I signed them for JT, an online friend through an internet service once known as Prodigy in a land called the Heinlein Forum. That was in the early 1990s when AOL was at its prime sending out a new CD of download software in a new fancy piece of packaging. Prodigy went the way of Montgomery Wards and the Dodo, but the Heinlein Forum survived the turbulence migrating to other new lands and finally settling in FaceBookland, where JT and I reconnected. He was a reader of some of my earliest published fiction in a fanzine titled: The Galactic Citizen. So, he is definitely one of my oldest fans (sorry, Granny, longest running fans?).

Anyway, I personalized the inscription and asked if there were any of the Bookmarks the say SIGNED BY AUTHOR. There were so I took a few and placed them in the double wide stack in the Young Adult section. Then I went up to the #FantSciFi section upstairs and found only one copy of each of my two books in practically the worst placement in the store. On the bottom shelf about one hand high hiding in the shadow on the end of the shelf! At least my shelf-hanger ebook download cards were visible. You might actually snag your nylon on the plastic shelf-hanger if you weren’t looking. [Not complaining. Village Books has my book in three places in their store. They rock!]

So, I put a Signed by Author card in each of them and went to order a little dinner at Book-Fare, a wonderful little restaurant inside the bookstore. They sell stuff that “cooms in pints.” As I was comparing the porter to the stout, the gentleman and his son who were looking at books in the SciFi/Fantasy section came over with my book in hand. Was I the author? Heck yeah! I gave a quick pitch about what sets it apart from other Post-Apocalyptic novels: realistic, devastating plague, no zombies, and the power stays on. We introduced ourselves and shook hands. The son goes to Sehome High School where I student-taught and substituted and his mother works at the district office. The son also has the great good fortune of working with one of the best high school science teachers in the world, Mr. Chuck Schelle!

So, as my pint came, I personalized their books, They bought both Book I and II! I bid adieu and thanked them for reminding me that I hadn’t donated any copies to the library at Sehome High School [or Squalicum for that matter. Dang it. Or Ferndale High School. Sigh…].

As I paid for my killer fancy grilled cheese and stout, the kind employee said something about me being a celebrity. I smiled and said, “only here.” Then she told me she had just graduated from Sehome and had Mr. Schelle as a science teacher, too, and agreed how awesome he is.

So, here I sit, finishing a lovely dinner, inspired to write a few more words, riding high on a surge of positivity… Watch out small world, here I come. [But please, no need to sing the song… Disney will sue.]

What Deserted Lands Fans can expect in 2017…

Dear Deserted Lands readers,

Thank you so much for sticking with me through this fantastic journey. If you’ve been with me since the beginning, you’ve been waiting to hear more of Lizzie’s story for a long time! Good news? The last book in this section of Lizzie’s story—the end of the 1st Deserted Lands Trilogy is currently sitting at 49,632 [Update: Broke 50,0000 on January 20th] words. That’s pretty much 50%. Whoa-hoa, halfway there… Still aiming for a release in the first half of 2017.

I’ve been chipping away at that goal successfully, 609 words a day, for the last 20 days. My daily average of fiction words for the last 72 days is somewhere above that, about 644 words at last count. I save the non-fiction and the non-NML for after I’ve finished these every morning. At 8am on February 6th, I will have written more than 22,222 words [Update: Hit this goal on January 26, 10 days early.], 10% of my total for the year: 222,222.

What can you do to help? Check in with me. Ask me how the word counts are going. Suggest things you think should happen with Lizzie and her friends. Sign up for beta reading the manuscript [rough draft], volunteer to proofread for typose [my hand always does that. Is that ironic?] missing words, and grammar issues. The one thing I really feel is difficult with Indie Publishing is not having a small army of interns and layers and layers of editors to catch all but the tiniest of errors. I’d like to release a book somewhere with less than half a dozen of those things that hang up a reader.

What do Deserted Lands fans have to look forward to this year besides NO MAN’S LAND in paperback and ebook.? Print book of Toils & Snares and Outward Bound. Yup, that’s right I’m printing my ebooks! 😉 Hardcover of Straight Into Darkness At least one more Deserted Lands short story. Something completely different by the end of the year. Still YA, still at-risk teen, but this time, it’s got travel to alternate fantasy worlds and a ring. The working title is Thumbscrewed.

Send me an e-mail. Make a comment. Sign up for the newsletter. Tell your friends. Review one of the books. Request one at your library. Books I & II can be had on OverDrive, the ebook system available through your local library.

Thanks,

Path to Indie Publication: Part XIII – The Base of the Holy Grail?

Path to Indie Publication Series is a companion series to Marshall Ryan Maresca’s Path to Publication. I have been avidly reading Marshall’s posts since I discovered his blog. Read Path to Indie PublicationPart IPart IIPart III. Part IV. Part V. Part VIPart VII. Part VIIIPart IXPart XPart XI. Part XIII. Part XIV.

Part XIII: Promotions II – The Base of the Holy Grail?

What is BookBub? It is a service that will send readers vetted book recommendations for books on sale or free. If you read a lot of ebooks and you haven’t heard about BookBub, get on over and check it out. You can follow me here and get notified of new releases and sales. 

BookBub Promotions have been referred to as the Holy Grail of Indie marketing. So, I was able to snag a Non-U.S. BookBub Promotion, more or less the base of the grail, I suppose. Still hoping to get the cup! So for $150 they sent out a promo to buy ALL IS SILENCE for only 0.99! Euros, pounds and dollars. 

I wanted to wait to report on the data until the sale’s tail had dissipated. A couple days ago I had the first day in 35 days without a sale. After 11 days the sales didn’t rise above 6 a day, but the sales continue better than before. 

Let’s talk about the before. In the 77 days before the sale I had $40.65 in U.S. sales on Amazon, plus an ASTOUNDING 0.29 GBP. On Kobo, I had U.S. sales of $6.58, one copy of each book! Internationally on Kobo, I had $110.69 in sales for the same period. On GooglePlay, I had NO sales and on Nook, I had $6.48. A small handful of other sales on Streetlib, Smashwords, Apple and others rounds out the results.

On December 8th, my Book Bub promo went out on an e-mail. There were glitches. Google Play was not active in India and U.K. because of my errors. In India it was the wrong country code; in the U.K. it was because I did not factor in VAT, which other companies include, but GooglePlay does not. Still. There were sales. Many sales. 316 sales on Amazon, 89 on Kobo, and 23 on Googleplay. Enough in the first 24 hours to pay for the $150 promotional cost. Ironically, I ran a BookBub advertisement for the following four days on Toils and Snares. It seems to have sold 16 copies. For a total income of about $10. I spent $200 plus a tip for the wonderful gentleman, David R. Bernstein, a fellow author [of the YA Dystopian INFLUENCE] who created the advert and helped me run it. We decided that the timing right before Christmas, up against everyone else on the planet running advertisements, might not have been the best choice!

In the 10 days after that rush, I rolled up $89.08 in Amazon sales, $108.79 in Kobo sales, and about $10 in other sales. Though to be fair to Kobo, They also were running a sale on both novels for four days during that run. I can’t differentiate which sales may have come from which impetus. So, at this point I have sold at least one book internationally for the last 17 days. [The run lasted 35 days! and I’ve only had two days with no sales.]

The take-aways? Do a BookBub advertisement if you can get it. The $200 in sales of Straight Into Darkness, Book II, certainly made it worthwhile. I continue to see sell through as people finish All Is Silence,  Book I. What surprised me was how many sales of All Is Silence continue at full price, though I dropped that full price to $3.99 from $4.99.

I will be applying for a U.S. BookBub for the same book for early February and resubmitting if don’t get it until I do. [Already rejected this month. Will try again in February.] 

In February, I plan to do a birthday build-up of advertisement. It will be All Is Silence’s 3rd birthday and my 50th. I’m hoping for a blow-out and a final push to get the snowball turned into an avalanche of sales and attention. Then when book III, No Man’s Land, comes out there are 10,000+ potential readers who have read at least Book I, if not also Book II. At that point I hope to get the Wholy Grail and run a promo that will push new readers to my completed trilogy. I’ll report back about that in about six months. 

Things I realized I should have done better? My Back matter in All Is Silence did not have live links on all platforms. Who knows how many sales of Straight Into Darkness that cost me? That along with not showing up in India and Great Britain initially also cost me sales. But with over $500 in collateral royalties, I’d call it a big success.

Thanks for following along. Let me know if you have questions.

* Adapted and expanded from the Foreword to Outward Bound: Science Fiction & Poetry, a collection of some of my published and unpublished works. Top

New Anthology of 42 FREE Young Adult stories…

My new apocalyptic short story, Drift Away, is out in the Young Adult Anthology THAT MOMENT WHEN… It’s FREE in all the following stores. Click the cover for Amazon. Kobo | B&N | iBooks |

Love YA paranormal, urban fantasy, science fiction and dystopian books?

We’ve gathered thrilling stories from all of your favorite genres into an epic anthology of young adult fiction. Some of them are just the beginning of a unique adventure, while others are complete stories that will spark your imagination.

With over 200,000 words (about three full-length novels) That Moment When will provide weeks of reading pleasure.

OUR THEME
Have you ever reached a moment in your life when everything changed? A crossroads of sorts… a point of no return. An event or realization so enormous you knew it would impact you forever in ways you couldn’t begin to understand? Discoveries so momentous they changed everything you thought you knew about the world, and yourself? That Moment When is filled with these kinds of moments.

Many of my writer friends are included in this, we’d appreciate a download to raise our exposure! 😉