Tag Archives: Cover Art

Twosies Sale?

NewCoversBkI&IIIn honor of the 2nd anniversary of the release of ALL IS SILENCE and the launch of the Deserted Lands series in February 2014, I am having a sale on all of my currently available works of fiction. In November I did an Elevensies Sale, so in February, I’m doing a Twosies Sale. In the 22 days around and leading up to 2/22/2016 readers can get every one of my e-book works for a total of under $10 on Amazon Kindle. Or both DESERTED LANDS novels on e-book for under $10 from Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Smashwords. Or you can get either print novel signed and shipped for $11 each.  That’s $22 for 2!

TWOSIES SCHEDULE:

ALL IS SILENCE – Deserted Lands Book I. $2.99. Reg. $4.99. February 1-29Kindle. Kobo. Nook. Smashwords. Print $11.00 [including shipping and handling – regular price $15.]

STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS – Deserted Lands Book II. $5.99. Reg. $6.99. February 1-29Kindle. Kobo. Nook. Smashwords. Print $11.00 [including shipping and handling – regular price $16.]

TOILS AND SNARES – A short novel of the Deserted Lands. $0.99 Reg. $2.99. February 2-8. Kindle.

One Tin SoldierFREE. Reg. $0.99. February 6-8, 16-17. Kindle.

Just DesertFREE. Reg. $0.99. February 1-5Kindle.

Outward BoundFREE. Reg. $0.99. February 11-15Kindle.

I have only THREE copies left of the original pressing of my debut Singer/Songwriter CD – Some of the Parts.  I have several copies of the family poetry book, Blue Deer, that my mom released. I also have quite a few ALL IS SILENCE T-SHIRTS. Only in February you can get any two of the three: CD/Poetry Book/T-Shirt for only $11.

And the last TWOSIES deal. All Four of my ebooks as signed download Signed Download cardscards, available for all major ebook platforms. Also, only $11.00 including shipping. Regular price $23.96 See more info on download cards here.

Too Much to be Happy for…

STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS-front
Click image for FULL COVER REVEAL

Well, not too much. But a whole heck of a lot.

#1. Check out my new cover art for Straight Into Darkness!

#2. My family and friends.

#3. My readers/fans.

#4. A new novella: Toils and Snares

Toils rob

 

 

#5. Wrote new words today, though I cut more than I wrote.

#6. Updated webpages: this one, www.robslater.com, and www.rockettears.com.

#7. Many recent blog posts.

#8. 1381 Wattpad followers.

#9. A great job at Windward High School

#10.  Coming up on my 30th high school reunion. HHS Class of 85!

#11. Music: amps and rooms and lists that go to 11.

Too Much To Think About…

STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS-3quarter
61.67% of the front cover of STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS. Coming this summer.

Sunday morning:11:07. I hab a code. Ruddy doze. Sore trote. But I did go for a short run! Yah!

Getting ready to dive into the physical manuscript of the book to the right. Actually might do some good old fashioned cut and paste. Logging off of social media for the next few hours. As Marshall Ryan Maresca would say, “Going down into the word mines.” I’ll let you know how it goes…

Sunday afternoon: Checking in. 2:31. Struggling. Papers strewn all over the living room, trying to find order in the chaos of the first draft. Three hankies down. Okay. Back to work.G

Sunday evening: 7:25. Well. Yes. Well. After making lots of stacks of paper and lots of marks on them as well as some cutting and pasting, I have decided that I need to step back and think a bit more about what’s happening in the book. ALL IS SILENCE is essentially a quest book. We don’t see a lot of character growth. There is a goal of safety, of going from being alone to being surrounded by loved ones. STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS is about character growth, maturation, transformation. So I’m thinking and reading before diving in.

Next step will be pulling the parts that definitely don’t fit. I found several of them today. Then I should be ready to write in the missing parts. The first five chapters are off to the editor. I have the beginning, many rising actions, the climax and the falling action and resolution, but some are not as fleshed out as they need to be. And there is still the fate of the world and of Zach, Nev, Mannie and Saj…

So, more thinking is needed. And sleeping… Hopefully my throat will be up to teaching tomorrow. I’m going to give it a shot.

Too Much To Say Today…

Okay. Too much to do, too much to say. So. Short bullet-like sentences. As if my story is building to a climax…

Wattpad Right Now! [DATA OVERLOAD WARNING]: ALL IS SILENCE is at 504,471 reads! So many people read it yesterday [11513 reads] that I forgot to upload the next section. 71,396 individuals have read chapter 1. 17,554 [24.59%] have continued on to the next chapter. 13,499 of them read the entire first chapter! 7K+ read 3 ch. 5K+ read 12 ch. 3+ have read 24 chapters. 1000 people have read everything I’ve uploaded so far. About 800 individuals read it every day. I have nearly 1200 followers. 18,877 votes. 1786 comments.

More WATTPAD. Next Monday, 6pm, Mar 23, 2015 at the Upstart Crows Writers Association Meeting at the WECU Building, 511 E Holly S, +Amanda June Hagarty and I will share our experience as successful Wattpad authors. All welcome. First meeting is free! Bring snacks and drinks to share.STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS-c4-fronteaser

Cover art is practically finished for Straight Into Darkness. I’ll give you a bit more on Sunday. I’m back into writing, rewriting and editing on the first draft. I plan to have the second draft off to the editor by the end of Spring Break, April 10th.

TOILS AND SNARES is selling well, I think. And my suspicion that 1/4 of the readers would go on to buy ALL IS SILENCE  seems to be an accurate guess! If you want to Read and Review Toils and Snare for free. Send me an e-mail. This offer will continue until I have 10+ reviews on Amazon.

Amazon has ALL IS SILENCE on sale for $3.82 cents. Not sure how that happened, but happy that they’re promoting it and I still get full ‘royalties’ from them. Be one of the first 50 to Review it on Amazon and get a 1 in 50 chance of winning a limited edition 1 of 50 signed hardcover copy of ALL IS SILENCE! Currently there are 29 reviews. So 21 slots left!

I’ve decided to forgo going to Norwescon this year. I’m a bit conned out and still have Worldcon in Spokane coming up this August. Besides, I need the writing time to finish  Straight Into Darkness.
My magical realism, women’s fiction, short story JUST DESERT will be free this weekend and next. I have two other short stories in the hopper to release on Kindle once I finish the draft of the next novel: both are speculative fiction on the science side. Expect those end of April and May.
PLEASE sign up for my newsletter if you want to be on the list to Beta read Straight Into Darkness. Now, back to writing.

Coming to the end of 2014! Thanks and more…

Looking forward to 2015 as we wrap up 2014!

What’s to come? 2014 was amazing for me as an author. It was everything I hoped for, if not everything I dreamed of. Where is that contract for the foreign rights, and the option on the screenplay? 😉

indiereadernextpicsSeriously, I hit some top ten lists, got reviewed by Don Sakers for Analog magazine, won an award, rubbed elbows literarily with Veronica Roth and Scott Westerfield and literally with Hugh Howey, who complimented my pagination! In addition to Hugh, I met Matt de la Pena, Corinne Duyvis and Mark Leslie. I sold more than half of my first printing, plus a whole lot more e-copies. I’ve exchanged e-mails with Mindy McGinnis and been retweeted by Neil Gaiman himself!

I wrote more than 100,000 words of new Dystopian-compactfiction by the 1st of December, setting a new record. I am sending out a newsletter tomorrow with information on how to get beta-reader copies of my Deserted Lands novella, TOILS AND SNARES. I’m filling in the gaps in the ALL IS SILENCE sequel STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS.

WattPadWorldMap-AiS
Readers of ALL IS SILENCE on Wattpad. Darker blue is more reads! No one is reading me in Mongolia. Neither upper nor lower.

As of tonight ALL IS SILENCE has had 91,000 reads on WattPad–over 1000 folks have read the first 12 chapters. AiS averages about 150 unique readers each day, 27% of which are in the Phillipines! It hit #2 behind Scott Westerfield’s UGLIES back when Wattpad allowed each work to be listed in two categories. Now that it’s only listed in Science Fiction it has gotten as high as #13. Maybe tomorrow it will break into the top 10! Thanks to Amanda Hagarty for all the advice and support. And to everyone else who has been so amazing this year:

  • The readers. The readers. The readers.
  • My beta readers, my family, my students, my friends… [many of you fit more than one of these categories.]
  • Brendan, Sam, Christina, Paul, Rachel and everyone else at Village Books
  • Don Sakers and Analog
  • Kiffer Brown and Chanticleer Reviews
  • Bellingham Writer’s Group and Cozy Corner Coffee and Books for hosting it and selling my book, too!
  • The Hoquiam Timberland Regional Library
  • Harbor Drug in my hometown.
  • Mark Leslie and the crew at Kobo Writing Life
  • Whatcom Community Library System
  • Bellingham Public Libraries
  • My editors, proofreaders
  • Upstart Crows and the Whatcom Writers & Publishers
  • Pintado for an amazing cover
  • Damian Vines for amazing author photos
  • The Heinlein Forum on Facebook
  • All the writers who inspired and inspire me
  • And everyone else I forgot!

THANKS FOR THE AMAZING YEAR. See you in 2015!

Please Pubslush with me…

SiD pubslush kobo

Pubslushing… A kick-start for Writers!

About six months ago I entered a random drawing from the Kobo Writing Life blog for a Pubslush Writing crowd-funding support Giveaway. As with so many other times that I’ve tossed a hat in the ring, I won one of the second prizes–Bronze level support for a Pubslush Campaign.

I had not seriously considered doing any sort of crowd-funding kick-start or other funding model. But then I got to thinking… What if I ran it like a pre-sale? Folks could buy existing or future books from me at a reasonable level rather than essentially donating to a company that might not be successful. I wanted to provide less of a gamble for people willing to invest in me.

All_Is_Silence_coverThe next step was thinking of what would I try to fund? I was very happy with how book one, All Is Silence, turned out. I loved the cover art created by Pintado. I loved the editing by Amanda J. Hagarty. But what I really missed was being able to pay these folks and the line-editors later in the process, more of what they really deserved.

So I created award levels that would provide a level of value similar to the investment of my supporters. For example, for $5 supporters will receive an ebook copy of the new novel Straight Into Darkness [retail $6.99]. For $20 supporters will receive a Signed Paperback copy of All Is Silence & All Is Silence T-Shirt [retail $21.99].

Please pass the word, let your friends know about this opportunity to get stuff from me for near the regular price and it will help me fund other artists and editors who will help me produce an even better book the the first!

Thanks for coming along for the ride. Please come fan the Pubslush campaign even if you can’t afford to pledge anything. And many thanks to the wonderful folks at Kobo Writing Life and Pubslush!

One Tin Soldier pre-order and other updates…

I’ve released another short story, One Tin Soldier final microOne Tin Soldier on Amazon as a pre-release. I’m experimenting with the marketing tools available to KDP select so I can decide what to use for my next novel. Here’s the cover art for One Tin Soldier. I created the art work with Canva for $1 and many hours of work and feedback from friends, family and fans. I highly recommend trying it out if you are planning on releasing any e-books.

Just Desert Cover Art

It’s my second self-made cover. I also designed the cover for my first short story on Amazon, Just Desert. Both are available for free through Kindle Unlimited.

In addition to this work on cover art I have also finished the design brief for Straight Into Darkness and will be running a PubSlush crowdfunding campaign in order to compensate my editors and cover designer at the professional levels they deserve. You can become a fan of the PubSlush here.

The rewards for the campaign are closely related to the amount pledged. For example, you’ll receive a Signed Paperback copy of All Is Silence & All Is Silence T-Shirt pubslush-logofor your $20 pledge. In some ways, my idea for crowd-sourced fundraising is to pre-sell and resell items at near regular price so that people pledging funds get a good return on their money along with my greatest thanks and some good parking karma!

Now, I’m off to finish up some trainings for my day job teaching high school English. Then I need to grade papers. In anticipation of tomorrow nights Open House. Thank you for your support. Page 2.

The Doldrums, Rising Tide and Banned Books

The last month has been a hard one in terms of writing. Though I wrote 55,000 words this summer, probably more than I have ever written, it was not the 75,000 and the finished rough drafts of a novel and a novella. Instead, I have unfinished drafts of two novels and a novella. I also hit some walls in terms of writing everyday, one of the biggest was my day job as a teacher coming back into 45+ hours a week focus.

My sales also fell, despite being involved in two sales for e-books. My book is no longer new and no longer getting lots of attention. Now is the time to be gearing up for the next book, but the state of the next book is not where I want it to be which is also somewhat crippling.

I’ve had a steady increase of readers and reviews on GoodReads, followers and readers on WattPad and followers on Facebook. Twitter has stabilized at about 1000 followers and my e-mail list at about 130. I feel like I am in a good place, but the doubts of the doldrums decimate my desires. [Can you tell I’m teaching poetry and literary devices?]Hot#3WP

On the other hand, the good news is really good. On WattPad the number of people who read the first section and go has been trending steadily upward from approximately 3% to 4% and now over 5.64%. It’s broken the top hundred in Science Fiction and hit #3 on the SF/Teen Fiction list! At this rate I’ll hit 100,000 reads in April as I release book two, Straight Into Darkness.

This weekend I got to hang out with readers and writers at The Chanticleer Conference, Awards Banquet and Books By the Bay festival. I sold more books than in the previous month and got to network with some awesome authors.

I’ll be starting my PubSlush campaign October 17th to crowd-fund higher payments for cover art and editing on book two so that it is an even stronger book than All Is Silence was. Glad you’re along for the ride!

Oh, check out my Banned Books reading from Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. “I grok humans, Jill.”

 

 

Can’t Make it to WorldCon Sale and more marketing thoughts…

This post is really about marketing experiments. If you’re not interested in marketing and haven’t bought All Is Silence and would like it on ebook, go here. In paperback or hardcover go here. Now back to the topic: marketing! In Three Parts.

1. So. Do sales help? I’ve marked All Is Silence down temporarily in part to support other writers and on the off chance that I might sell a few copies. It’s currently $3.99 here. It will stay on sale until the 20th. The weird thing? And this happened the last time I marked it down as well… I had no sales. Not a one. No bump. Like I said… Weird. Yet. At the regular price of $6.99? It sells a few each week. At $4.99 it sells a few each week. I’ll continue to explore.

2. Does exposure help? Last Sunday after literally [not figuratively] six months of self-debate, I uploaded the first section of the first chapter of All Is Silence onto WattPad. What convinced me? More like who. Amanda J. Hagarty, Mark Leslie and Margaret Atwood. Amanda has been gently proselytizing WattPad for months. Mark Leslie got me on the site to read Evasion. And Margaret? Her novel Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy, #1) is up on WattPad as well as available for sale everywhere else. So, I’m planning on putting up sections of chapters a few times a week with one chapter per week. It will finish about the time Deserted Lands book two: Straight Into Darkness comes out next March or April. It’s got a few more fixes than the final print version and it will remain free and readable through WattPad’s interface. Will it have an effect on sales? Mailing List? Fans? Who knows. Maybe I should put a how did you hear about question on the newsletter sign-up.

2. Does Kindle Select Help? Over the last year, I have sold half a dozen copies of my debut Fiction/Poetry collection Outward Bound. I probably purchased at least two of those copies myself. It cost me far more to create and upload it only figuring cover art, formatting, fees [BookBaby special $29! The same services they do for FREE now!} and not including writing time. Most of the stories and poems are a decade or more old and most have been sold and appeared in print. The goal was to create an ebook and get it up on all the platforms and perhaps get some exposure in the process. It was mostly a warm-up for All Is Silence. In that, it was successful. I made errors doing it so I could make new errors the next time.

A few weeks ago I decided to pull Outward Bound from all markets and try Kindle Select and see if I could use this collection as a marketing tool. I reordered the ebook so that the forward became an afterward thereby letting folks read a complete story, a poem, and part of a third piece, the title story. I also added more ‘bonus’ materials: a teaser for the Deserted Lands novella: Toils and Snares that I plan to release in the fall. So, if you are currently on Kindle Unlimited you can read it for free. I’ll also do some sales, I think, especially as I get close to other releases. And we’ll see. Does it get some traction with marketing? Does it lead people to buying the novella, signing up for the newsletter? We’ll see.

Now, back to writing the next books.

 

 

Best Laid Plans: Falling and getting up again…

I broke my 500 words a day streak two weeks ago at 34 days. I restarted and went another five days. Now I’ve blown it two days in a row. Not just the 500+ words a day streak, but the Write Everyday Streak after 52 days! No words. No fiction. No blog posts. A few social media posts, but very few, at that. And now the anti-streak is started…

Did I get Word Count Paralysis? Maybe. Did I fall out of love with my WIP [Work In Progress]? Well, WIPs in this case, but yes, perhaps. What I didn’t do? I didn’t sit down and say, “I’m going to sit here until I write 500 words.” I have been thinking intensely about the two pieces I’m working on, but both are at a bit of a waiting point. And I don’t really feel like starting on the next two WIPs. Yes, there is a queue. Yes, I know what I’m going to write next. Do I want to start on them without finishing drafts of these? No way.

What I did do while I was not writing? I did put in several hours of Author Work. I reworked the order of the Outward Bound: made the Foreword into an Afterword and cut down the stuff a reader must read before getting to the fiction. Tis also allows the potential reader to read a whole story, plus the beginning of the Title Story. I also added a bonus sample of Toils and Snares. All this is in anticipation of a re-release on KDP select.

Outward Bound has sold a total of FOUR copies on non-Amazon distribution (and about SIX sales on Amazon!), at least one of which was to me. So, I am pulling it from Bookbaby for the time being. In the early years of self-publishing [2012] they charged $100 to list a book and then $ each year. I snagged a killer coupon $29 deal, which obviously never paid off. Even with sales of All Is Silence. BookBaby still made $ off me!

So, I’m going to use Outward Bound to play around with Kindle Select. It can’t do much worse. My goal with Outward Bound was to learn about self-publishing systems, so I am still going to use it as such. I’ll be giving it away for free from time to time. Maybe doing a countdown deal and probably eventually make it PERMA-FREE (kinda like Permafrost, but different.).

So, I did some marketing. Coming Soon, in addition to the Pubslush for Straight Into Darkness’ Editing and Cover Art jumpstart [Save the date 10/17/2014], I will be running a short “Can’t Get to Worldcon” ebook sale on All Is Silence. I’ve also started releasing All Is Silence on Wattpad as an experiment to see if I can expand my readership before the next book comes out. Come check it out, vote for it, comment, tell when needs to happen in the next two books!

Now. Back to writing.