Saturday, December 28, 2013

Giveaway Running Now, and Best Wishes

On Goodreads, I've offered ten paperback copies of Freedom Does Matter. You still have ten days to sign up, until January 10. If you'd like a chance, at this writing about 1 in twenty, to get this book, click here for more info and to enter.

Of course, the odds of obtaining a copy in ebook format is 1 in 1 if you click the Buy Now link on Amazon or Smashwords. Or B&N, or Kobo, or Apple iBooks (search for "Freedom Does Matter"). For the paperback,  check CreateSpace. The Amazon link above can lead you there, too.

I wish for everyone the best in the New Year; that everything that you work for comes to pass.

Comments welcome.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Working with Smashwords

Probably most writers know this, but in case there are others, learning their way...

When I published Freedom Does Matter in September, I only uploaded an epub. I hadn't read the (not so) fine print... and didn't until last week. The fine print that says if you upload your own epub, that's all that will be available.

Specifically, no samples would be available.

There have been page views of the Freedom Does Matter page, but (obviously), no sample downloads. And no purchases, either, which makes sense; my two friends use Kindles! I hasten to add that the sample is available at Amazon, and sales have been... slow, so perhaps the story isn't as engaging as I hoped. However, Amazon doesn't provide any data on page views (I know; I asked and was politely told they'd consider giving that info up in future.) or on numbers of samples downloaded (if any), so it's hard to judge if potential customers are not visiting, are turned off by the cover image, or are turned off by the sample... Or just think the price is wrong.

In any event, this post is about Smashwords. I created a .doc file and put it through the process, keeping the epub that I uploaded, but generating all the other formats. That was yesterday, and today, according to SW statistics, the only apparent visitor downloaded the sample. So, maybe...

No matter, the upshot is, even if you want control over the look of the epub distributed by Smashwords -- sold by them, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple and the host of other retailers you might opt in for -- do the work to create a MeatGrinder ready Word file, and upload it as well.

At least, the sample will then be available.

Comments welcome, unless it's just to say "read the rules!"

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's December, so NaNoWriMo is Over

Yes, NaNoWriMo is history for another November. With 60K words validated, they declared me a Winner. So, good job, me. And Even Better Job to all the other NaNoWriMo’s who won, who came close, even those who wrote a word. Less of a better job to those who thought about it but didn’t actually get a word written. Better luck next time, which I think is in April, if enough people donate. Shameless plug: I gave to them, Not much, but what I could afford. If you can, throw something their way.

So what did that 60K words accomplish? Draft .7 of a front to back treatment of Coda?, the next story in the Mercenaries stories. There are rough spots—Hoo, boy, are there rough spots!— and the 60K will balloon to 85 or 90K by the time the pieces now marked with either an ^ or an … are added, and the roughness smoothed a little.

Description: Losses mount quickly as Beckie makes what she believes to be an unforgivable error, and has to live with the consequences. In that process, she meets an old friend, an acquaintance, and a new friend. Will her decisions lead to the life she’d hoping for?

 I’m having trouble putting any detail into the description, to avoid spoilers.

I will put Coda? aside for a while now, and work on (not necessarily in this order): Adapt the Past (the new title for Background Check), three different authors' stories I’m in various stages of critting, and trying to wrangle some reviews for Freedom Does Matter.

Another shameless plug: Edward L. Cote, one of the contributors to Twelve Worlds, has published his first book, a YA novella entitled Violet Skies. It’s available for Kindle and in paper at Amazon,  and at Smashwords in epub format. I liked it the first time I critiqued it, and it’s gotten better since. Disclaimer: I did the ebook formatting, so if you find a problem with the mobi or the epub versions, sing out to me. I’ve copied the description below for your enlightenment.

Taya Mindaerel and her mother, the Oracle of the Prairie Winds, must flee their home or face certain death at the hands of a dark hunter and his man-eating horse. Their journey takes them to Aurum, the City of Gold, where they seek the aid of the Great Magus Olbinaar.

On the way they meet three allies- Alex, a vagabond; Brand, a master swordsman, and Ogger, a wild creature. They will need all the help they can get to surmount all the obstacles in their path.

In the city, however, they learn that their journey has just begun.

Violet Skies is the first book in a YA series of the same name. Each book is a novella, short and easy to read. This is a fresh twist on classic fantasy, but it keeps its essential nature intact. The writing focuses on compelling characters first and appeals to fans and critics of the genre alike. Influences ranging from anime to Zelazny combine in a way familiar yet unique.

Comments are always welcome.