Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Super Summer Sale!

For a limited time, my publisher, Briona Glen, is offering the ebook version (in all formats) of "A Memory of Grief" for only $2.99.

Go to the following link, and when buying, enter the Coupon Code SE86U:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Another great response by Joe Konrath, to a rather silly article in the Guardian, Are Books Dead, and Can Authors Survive?

Well, to answer the twit who wrote the Guardian article, NO to the first, and YES to the second. Just not in the way of the past. Yeah, it's going to change, but article-typists like this bozo think change means death.

Ya gotta love it when these nitwits opine with unsupported claims about the future of working writers-- without quoting any working writers...

According to them, the changes in many industries means artists can't make a living anymore. Wow. In the world of dumbass claims, that's gotta rank right up there.

Konrath slices and dices the article in his usual style, exploding the fallacies. Good reading.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Editing, Writing Blog Notes

Have spent this hurricane-y day doing deep editing on "A Fall From Grace," the follow-up book to my mystery novel "A Memory of Grief."

Writing well is hard work. No matter how good my drafts are, there are many ways in which the final can get better. My critiquers are superb, though. Every time I took a shortcut or didn't do the best on the draft, they noted it on the manuscript. So I have to go through line by line and make everything shine.

Tough work. But worth it, when I get comments like the one from last night. I'd sold the novel to the guy at around 4 yesterday afternoon, and he'd finished it before midnight-- and said it was a great read.


In other news, the battle still rages between ebooks and print lovers:
Joe Konrath has a couple of postings with some cogent comments:

And from NY Times ebook best-seller Debbi Mack:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Distribution News

So yesterday someone was trying to buy the ebook version of my novel on Smashwords, but a search on both my name and the title yielded no results. When it had worked wonderfully up until then. So I tried, and still no results.

Finally figured out that their stupid "Adult Content" filter keeps getting flipped to on, which means you get nothing but kids books, and it won't show books that are for sale on the site.

Aw, fer cry-yi, folks, at least put the thing where this crap won't happen! I almost lost a sale because of this. What a PITA. Your site is less than useless with this filter on.

And I got great advice from the NY Times Best-Seller writer Debbi Mack, who said that I should get my book up on the Kindle store and through PubIt. I checked, and it was available on the Nook store, but not on Kindle, although you can get a Kindle version by going through Smashwords (and all other formats as well).

So I sent word to my publisher, and Director of Operations Dana Blythe
leaped to the rescue. As of today, the Kindle store now sports "A Memory of Grief ."

So Dana is The Heroine of the Day! And my Best Friend for the day.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Now In Bookstores

Yesterday I was in one of my favorite places, Portland, Maine, and approached my first bookstores, with new novel in hand, new press kit, an invoice agreement, snappy business cards, and a carload of hope, to see if they'd be willing to stock copies of my new mystery, "A Memory of Grief."

Yowza! When they heard I'd been a resident of that lovely city, and the novel itself was set there, they went for copies like Summer tourists go for lobster!

The first place was Nonesuch Books, and turned out to be such a charming, cozy place, I wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon there reading. You instantly feel welcome and comfortable-- maybe they've figured out some way to permeate the place with endorphins.

Then we went downtown, to the heart of Portland, to Longfellow Books. This is a real urban bookstore, full of funky character. You walk in and instantly feel smarter, knowing there's some solid reading material surrounding you, and books that are old friends. Once again, I'd have stayed and browsed and bought, if I hadn't had a prior engagement.

Am happy to work with some great indie bookstores, since they've got nice people in charge, and they're terrific places. I'll return to both, just because they're very cool places to be.

There are lots of reasons for doing your shopping at an indie bookstore, rather than at a chain or online-- not just to get my book, but for all the other ones they stock. They support whole communities, and the money you spend stays local, to help the area, rather than go off to some foreign corporate office. There are connections to be made-- people who smile and can recommend good reading for you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Simon Wood and the Rocky Road

Great guest post by Simon Wood on the influential blog of JA Konrath today.

Simon had quite the rocky road of publishing, depsite going the old legacy traditional method. Publishers falling apart, insufficient print runs, all kinds of issues that kept him from breaking out for years.

Ebooks have given him a second chance, and he now seems to be coming into his own. I'm going to be checking out his works.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Words of Inspiration

Today I'm posting someone else's words, not because I'm lazy, but because she says it better.
This is from Holly Lisle, one of the hardest-working writers today, and one pushing for a higher quality of writing and for writers to feel better about writing.

Read this, and you'll know why I love her.

"The economy sucks. We know this.

But did you know that if you're a writer---even if you're
a kid sitting at home writing your first novel by
hand in a three-ring binder---you are a positive
force for good?

Today? Right now?

That the FACT that you are a working writer, even if
you've never sold anything, matters to people you will
never meet?

You need to know.

You matter BECAUSE you're a writer.

In the new article on my site, I demonstrate what
writers from beginner to successful indie and commercially
published writers do to create jobs, feed people, and
undo some of the damage being done in other parts of
the economy."

Money From Nothing: The Economic Value of Writing
Original Fiction

Sunday, August 14, 2011


It's been an inspiring week, which is much needed to keep me going through the mountain of hard work and issues of life.

Being able to finally sign copies of my novel for people, and include a personal message is great. It provides a real connection with a person, rather than just some anonymous reader out in the void.

Having sold another story recently is a good validation of the work I continue to do, that editors know the work will be enjoyed by their readers.

Another one of my poems is being considered for publication after a rework. It's a good piece that needed a little more to make it much stronger.

A friend asked me for something I'd written in hopes it would help her friend get through a tough time. If my words could do that, I'm humbled and grateful. Even having her ask for such a thing is a compliment.

And another person found inspiration in some of the links I posted, about perseverance in the face of incredible odds.

All told, it's a good feeling.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Another Top Writer Who Got Continually Rejected

Another best-seller turned down 60 times by "professionals" who know the business and what sells and doesn't:

And yet, for validation in the old traditional legacy model of publishing, some self-serving hacks continue to spout that writers are supposed to kowtow to these moronic gatekeepers, of whom it looks like about 1 in 61 know a good product when it bites them in the ass.

At my last Crime Bake mystery convention, author after author held up one of their best-sellers and told how many times the book had been rejected before getting to someone who recognized talent, whereupon it shot to the top of the charts. And yeah, many were in the 60's range of rejections.

Roughly 1 in 60 "pros" who can spot a good writer and a good product. In any other business, that would be abject failure.

Joe Konrath is right. Write something good, get it edited properly, self-publish if you have to, and do a ton of promoting. If it's good, the readers will come.

We don't need these bozos anymore to act as the gatekeepers of talent. Especially since so damn few of them can recognize it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Another sale- and books are in!

Yahoo! First, I'm gazing fondly on a box-- chock full of my novel "A Memory of Grief." Wow. It's real. Lots of beautiful copies that I can sign for people.

So you say, "Well, how could this night get any better?"

With a story sale, that's how. Just sold "The Mousetrap" to Over My Dead Body.
Will post the pub date when I hear.

Anybody got some champagne?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kindlegraph, New Signing Technology, Max Barry

One of the things lost with digital ebooks is not being able to sign a copy for readers. Losing that personal connection is no fun.

We figured out one way around that. Give readers a CD with the PDF on it, and sign the label on the CD.

Now, as part of the revolution, new technology has being developed to allow for a form of signing. Check out Kindlegraph, where an author can now attach a digital signature to a file, so it's a form of signing your ebook! Cool, or what! Big help with promotion and connections.

It's a great time to be a writer!

Just heard about a new book due out tomorrow. Machine Man, by Max Barry, and it looks like a good one. I've never read this author before now, but will be checking this out.

It's also interesting because Barry apparently crowdsourced the editing of the novel, putting it out online for comment a couple of years ago. This drastically edited version is said to be superb.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Featured in the Spotlight

This week I'm the featured author on the blog of Ken Hoss, author of Storm Rising, a tense thriller featuring character Kelli Storm.

It's a great place to showcase new talent. Thanks, Ken, for helping to spread the word!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

In the Featured Spotlight Tomorrow

In the continued journey to get the word out about my novel "A Memory of Grief," tomorrow I'll be featured on the Indie Spotlight of writer Ken Hoss.

Ken is the author of Storm Rising, and every Sunday he features another writer on his blog for you to check out. This Sunday, I'm the one featured.

One of the best things about the writing community is how so many writers help each other out, and help readers to discover new authors.

I just started a book by China Mieville, King Rat (no, not the James Clavell novel). Mieville looked like an interesting writer, so I'm checking him out.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Trad Pub vs Self-Pub, Lotsa Links

And the big debate continues about traditional legacy publishing versus the new way.
Good post from Joe Konrath, on the side of authors:

But some silly people seem to think that traditional legacy publishing is the only legitimate way to be a writer, that nothing but good flows from it, and nothing but bad comes of self-publishing:

And another commentary:

Some of the commenters on these postings are priceless. One author who left traditional legacy publishing had suffered at one point when the "know what they're doing professionals" put a picture of a dog on the cover of one of her books.
She asked, “Why is there a dog on the cover? There’s no dog in the book!”
Her answer from the pros: “People like dogs.”

And there are still morons who insist that authors must submit to idiots like these!

Tim Greaton had a great comment:
"As a guy who spent four years at the feet of the gatekeepers with two well-known NY agents, a legacy publisher offer that fell through when a board disagreed with an editor, and a movie supposedly in the stable for two years before it dissipated, I can tell you I much prefer the alternate track. One agent’s exact words to me were “I hope you’re loyal, because I’m going to make you rich.” Well, I was…and I’m not. I like my chances better in the new world!"

--Me, too, Tim. I spent years going through the damn gatekeepers, remaining unpublished and unread, while seeing mountains of crap get professionally published and sold the traditional way. Now I have a quality novel out, and am getting 5-star reviews from professionals, and comments from readers on how much they liked it and how good it is. I like this world better.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Another Pro Writer Goes Indie

Another long-time pro writer, Holly Lisle, has decided to chuck the world of traditional legacy publishing and go independent.

She's one of the hardest-working writers I know of, constantly creating new material, despite health issues. And she runs a writing program as well. She's the kind of person that makes you feel like a slacker.

And up until now, she's toiled in the world of legacy publishing, and never got her due. So she details her decision and why she's striking out on her own. She has some justifiably harsh words for the traditional publishing world.

Now understand, this is a person who scratched out a living doing a thing a certain way. Now she's completely changing the model. She has joined the revolution.

We salute her and hope for her success. She's earned it for many years.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Benefit to Help a Writer, Spineless Pols

Joe Konrath, the self-publishing powerhouse, once again shows his mensch creds. His recent blog posting is a notice about the plight of writer L.A. Banks, who has cancer and a mountain of medical bills:

Once again, it is disgusting that our country has neither the will or brainpower to enact decent healthcare legislation. The spinelessness of politicians can be seen in our current "financial crisis," all because this bunch of crooks can't agree on how to divvy up the money they steal from us, so they can waste billions for wars on the other side of the planet.

Because stupid, pointless, expensive wars are WAY more important than healthcare, safe roads, good schools, food inspection, and real safety, right?

Next election time, remember how they sold out the country-- and vote for ANY third-party candidate. Get rid of all the gutless bastards and incumbent thieves-- replace them with someone not affiliated with big-money machines.

Have you had enough yet? When will you? When the country is bankrupt and you can't feed your kids?

Some days I shouldn't watch the news.