Tag Archives: Indie

Have you read a book not written by a bestseller…

…that you really enjoyed? Would you be so kind as to do me a favor and rate and/or rank it honestly somewhere? Especially if they are small-press or Indie published. We can handle the harsh reviews. We love constructive reviews. And everyone likes the reviews that say the story is amazing or perfect! 😉  [Personally, I like the ones that give me some idea of what didn’t work.]

As a writer, asking for reviews feels weird. It’s like asking for a tip if you are wait-staff and you didn’t just serve a party of 18.  How do we get around it? Building up a quantity of reviews opens doors. Some quality promotions, like BookBub, require that enough people have rated the books submitted to give some verification of quality past the writer’s best friends. Some writers have even got desperate enough to pay for reviews.

I haven’t succumbed to that. What I have decided to offer is a chance at winning a random drawing of a signed physical copy of my debut novel, ALL IS SILENCE, for people who leave a review of either ALL IS SILENCE or TOILS AND SNARES on AMAZON. When the novel reaches 50 reviews [It’s at 41 47 reviews now!] on ALL IS SILENCE, I will pick a random number and send that reviewer a free signed Hardcover copy of ALL IS SILENCE.  For TOILS AND SNARES, my goals are lower and so is the prize. When it gains 25 reviews [Only 6 reviews currently.] I will use the same procedure to give away a signed paperback copy of ALL IS SILENCE.

Hopefully, it’s someone halfway around the world who couldn’t afford a signed copy! I won’t give it to a family member or close friend, but will draw another number if that happens.  So far this method seems to be working well for ALL IS SILENCE, but not so much for TOILS AND SNARES. To further sweeten the pot, I will give readers who promise to give an honest review, a free ebook of TOILS AND SNARES.

If you want a copy of TOILS AND SNARES. please send me an e-mail requesting a copy in one of the following formats: nook/kobo[epub], kindle[mobi], or pdf. Thanks for reading all of these words and so many more!

All Is Silence – 1 year anniversary

A year ago today I became a published author with the e-book release of All Is Silence. I’ve been a published writer for years, but until this novel came out it only felt like a hobby. In August of 2013, I released Outward Bound, an e-book collection of mostly previously published stories and poetry with science fiction themes. That was intended to be a warm-up for releasing the novel. It went well.

I have big plans for 2015, and every year after that! The news isn’t all good for Indie authors, but it’s not all good news for any industry. Persistence is the key. With the recent addition of SmashwordsAll Is Silence is now available on all the primary, secondary and tertiary markets, as well as, nearly directly from me on Unbound Words.

I haven’t made back the investment on the Outward Bound collection and probably never will. I’m now giving it away nearly all the time and by the time Straight Into Darkness comes out it will be perma-free.

A year ago, I had no idea what I would learn. And I am still learning. I’m already behind on my goals for the year, but ahead of where I was this time last year! No one to measure myself against except me.

New Books I’d Nominate for Awards & IndiesFirst

As I came to the realization that my debut novel is coming up for its first awards season, I thought about what I’ve read in the last year and what books I think are deserving of awards. I’ve read many great books this year and have even more to read thanks to a number of conventions. ALA was the clear winner I took 10 copies of my book to give away and brought back 36 new books. Well, actually mailed them from the handy-dandy temporary post-office at ALA. Of the four books, two came from that book-booty.

I’m not certain what books these awards are up for. After reading the rules for half a dozen awards, I find that the definition of a year of publication and where things fall is confusingly difficult to decipher. Nevertheless, each of these books has some great reasons to be deserving.

I’ll also be talking about these books at Village BooksIndiesFirst presentations from 4:00pm to 5:00pm on Small Business Saturday—11/29/2014. So, I’ll be talking to patrons about books that I am passionate about including these four. If you’re in the area, come say hello. On another really cool note, when I tweeted about doing IndiesFirst, Neil Gaiman, retweeted my tweet! Yeah!

Without further ado…

#1 – Not A Drop to Drink – Mindy McGinnis. One of the descriptions: Little House on the Prairie as written by Cormac McCarthy is especially appropriate. This book is so amazing, I am now the proud owner of three copies: e-book, paperback and hardcover. The paperback disappeared as soon as I got it to school. I wouldn’t let the hardcover leave the room, but I had to share it with two students in order to read it! It will make you laugh and cry, it has pain and joy, love and hate. Another book set in the same universe with some of the same characters, In A Handful of Dust is already out, so no waiting

#2 – Otherbound – Corinne Duyvis. A young man in the real world has been plagued with seizures, including one that caused him to lose his foot in accident. When he has a seizure, he gets stuck in the mind of an abused female slave in an alternative universe. She is an incredible drawn, strong character with special healing powers that require her to take on the injuries of the person she’s curing. Couldn’t put it down. Gender identity and disability issues.

#3 – Sons of Zues – Noble Smith. When I first started reading, I was a bit put off by the really short chapters, but then my life got busy. It was actually the perfect book for sitting down and reading a chapter or two. Action, politics, espionage, sex, history, family relationships. Athens versus Sparta in ancient Greece. Oh, and Pankration. [I’ll make you look that up if it doesn’t mean anything to you.] I’d give it a PG-13/R sort of advisory.

#4 – The Living – Matt de la Peña. Okay. First spoiler. It is a cliffhanger. Almost literally. Three pages before the end, there is a cliff and people being chased and then… Well, you’ll have to read it. It’s got a great, believable character in Shy, the teenage Hispanic narrator. He takes a cruise ship job to help pay some bills for college or family, but then things go south by southwest. I would call this an apocalyptic thriller genre-wise. De La Peña is great at capturing modern teenage colloquial language. It’s definitely a page turner, some of the coincidences are a bit far-fetched, but why write a story about an average ordinary time? Perfect for the young adult reader.

All Is Silence is eligible for a number of awards this year. The biggest of which is the Andre Norton Young Adult Award sponsored by SFWA and the Nebula folks. It is also eligible for The William C. Morris YA Debut Award.

My Path to Indie Publication: Part VIII–Print Release, Awards and Readings.

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 VIII. Part IX.

Print Release, Awards and Readings *

February 15th was my 47th birthday and that week Pintado’s cover for All Is Silence was awarded a Gold Star by Joel Friedlander’s Book Designer Cover Contest.ECDA-GoldStart-Jan-2014 The shipment of 500 books came in and I was ushered into the bowels of the Village Books store, where I discovered that 28 boxes of books will fit in a RAV4. The first of many surreal moments was sitting in the VB basement signing a box full of books. Paul Hanson, Store Manager, suggested that VB could host my Release Party. We set a date for March 14th which would give us time to advertise.

That weekend I wrote and published the first post in this series as I tried to create content for my blog instead of just announcing my writing progress. I spent the weekend away on Lummi Island in a friend’s cabin, updating my blog, creating the Rocket Tears Press website and a website for the cabin we were renting. [You can rent it, too. Special discount for Educators.]

Dystopian-compactThe following week the 2013 Dante Rossetti Young Adult Fiction Awards were announced and All Is Silence won 1st Place in the Dystopian category. Not only did it feel great to have the recognition, but part of the award is a professional review and promotion by the Chanticleer Reviews folks.

The next few weeks were a blur. Chanticleer Reviews invited me to do a reading at their booth at the Association of Writers and Publishers in Seattle and asked for books to sell. The reading was standing room only, since it was in the middle of an aisle, (As you can see in this photo montage by fellow author and editing peer, Jesikah Sundin) but it gave me a chance to try out my material. My editor and writing buddy, Amanda J. Hagarty helped out at the booth and got folks excited about the book. After the reading she came running. Hugh Howey had been sighted at the Amazon Booth. Jesikah and I rushed after her with books in hand.

We got pictures and Hugh asked if I was the writer of the book in my hand. He took it and flipped through it, seeming impressed. “Did you do the pagination yourself?” I nodded,  way too FanBoy at the moment to think of much to say other than thank him for all he’s done for Indie Authors with the Author’s Earnings site. I didn’t even offer him a copy of my book. Oops.

While researching this post I found a draft of a post [now published] I had started March 3rd titled: Pubslush & Kobo Winner. I had entered a random drawing this time and won! So, this summer I will be running a Pubslush crowdsourcing fundraiser so I can pay my cover artist and editors more on the second novel. Mark from Kobo had asked me to write a post about my relationship with Village Books for the Kobo Writing Life Blog. I had written the first draft over my Birthday weekend, submitted it and then forgot about it. It appeared somewhere in there.

Indieinsiders-nextpicksAll of these interactions with Kobo lead to the next big win. Thanks to Mark Lefebvre [writer name: Mark Leslie] of Kobo who nominated ALL IS SILENCE, it was listed as #1 on the inaugural IndieReader Next Picks list for April. In this maelstrom of excitement, I also forgot to post this one!

Next: Part IX – Party On. Where our author protagonist does a release party and some readings.

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