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Recovering and a Cyber Monday Sale!

V&A Shipping

Hey! What’s that? a new cover for V&A Shipping? Why yes, yes it is. (recovering, see what i did there?).

Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the cover that Starla did for me. I love all the covers she did for me. But i ran into an issue and it had to do with cost. I have a lot of books and need a lot of covers. So rather than wait until i have enough money for new book covers, i decided that the best thing to do was take a the time needed to learn enough about PhotoShop and build my own. I also took the time to rebrand all the covers so there is a common theme not only for the books in a series, but across all titles. So I’ll be posting all the covers here over the next few days while i get ready to post new titles in the coming year. I have three books done, written, complete, ready to rock and roll. So while I spend some time posting those covers here, I’ll be getting those ready to post for sale.

It’s an exciting time. I can’t wait to get these news books out there. I hope you’re excited as well.

Now, for the sale!

For Cyber Monday week (sure, why not. All week long) if you buy any one of my books and email me your receipt, I’ll send you any two of my titles FREE! Just let me know what you’d like and what format, and I’ll send it on over. So what are you waiting for? Get on over there and buy a book!

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!

V&A Shipping is NOW AVAILABLE!

V&A_Shipping

I’m a well-known idiot.

Ok, so I’m neither well-known or an idiot, but I’m still quite capable of doing really stupid things. I’m good like that. Honest. I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my time. Like that time I took the egg beater and…well…nevermind.

So what did I do that’s so brilliantly stupid? I’ll tell you what I done went and did. I accidentally released V&A Shipping a full two weeks early! D’OH!

My mistake is your gain. For the next two weeks, here’s what I’m going to do:

1) If you buy a print copy of V&A Shipping, I will mail you the ebook version. Just send me a copy of your receipt and the version of your choice and I’ll get that right over to you.

2) If you buy an ebook version, I will put you in a drawing for a print edition. What are the odds of winning? For every 10 copies sold I will put up one copy (that I will defile with my signature and perhaps a crazy little picture) into a random drawing. That’s a one in ten chance. Where you gonna find odds like that? No where, that’s where. You’d have a better chance of getting hit over the head with an egg beater.

3) For every 10 comments, for every 10 tweets (or retweets), for every 10 facebook likes, for every 10 Google +1s, for every 10 ways of getting word out about V&A Shipping, I will give away 1 ebook version of V&A Shipping in a random drawing.

4) What? You want more? Fine! If you buy a copy (print or electronic) I will send you a copy of Astel. FREE! That’s like…like…like 2 ebooks for the price of one or something.

This will only be until February 1st, so get out there and pick up a copy! Leave a comment. Post about it on your favorite Social Media site. You don’t want to get left behind. I made a stupid mistake, you reap the rewards! What are you waiting for? What, do I need to tell you where to go and get a copy as well? Oh, yeah. I guess that would help, wouldn’t it?

For the Amazon Kindle

For the Nook

Over at SmashWords

IN PRINT!

For the KoBo

So how am I going to do this random drawing? I’ll record it and put it up on YouTube, that’s what I’ll do! I will do all the leg work to find out who’s doing what, so if I miss your comment, or miss your tweet, or I miss you blogging about V&A Shipping and how excited you are to see this book, make sure to drop me a note.  I’m pretty easy to find!

How much easier can I make this? I’m all kinda excited to be getting this book out to to readers. This is just the start of something bigger! Can you feel it? Can you? I know I can.

WOO WOO!

New Story Available

You went to the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences to listen to my latest tale, didn’t you? You say you’re not a fan of audio and you’d rather read the story I wrote in Tee and Pip’s world? Well wait no more!

Head on over to Amazon today and pick up your own copy. What are you waiting for? It’s only 99 cents for some steampunk goodness! GO GO GO!

If you’d prefer you can also pick up a collection with my story and three others for only $2.99! Head on over to B&N and pick up a copy of that.

Leave a review, leave a comment, pick up Tee and Pip’s books, read, enjoy!

WOO WOO!

Unorthodox Writing Tips 7: Plotting and Planning and Playing Goalie

I’ve always written more for my own entertainment rather than writing for someone else’s. I’ve written quite a bit. To date I’ve completed ten novels, and I have four others started with ideas for five different novels. Only four are part of a series, the rest are all the first of a potential series, but work as stand alone novels as well. I have also completed quite a number of short stories.

One thing I have mostly avoided. Plotting. I usually come up with an idea, have a vague direction, and go for it. Yes, I’ve written by the seat of my pants. This has lead to some good stories (I feel) but overall I always had a direction in mind and on occasion I would end up stuck. What I never did was write down the actual plot and direction, be it for shorts or novels.

I plan on changing this. I’m going to start writing at least a paragraph plot that will give beginning, middle, and end. Obviously I can flesh out the details as I write, but I’ll start with the act of getting the idea on paper (1st draft?). What I hope to achieve by doing this is getting the idea down and not just letting it flounder around in my brain until I’ve talked myself out of writing the work. When I was at my most productive I kept a running log of story ideas and I’d cross them out as I’d complete them. This helped me with writing one hundred short stories in one year. I doubt I’ll try to write that many again, but this leads me into my next topic…

Planning is another thing I’ve never done well. I would write stories, send them out, and start the next. I kept an excel spread sheet and made sure not to send the same story to the same place twice. I’ve long since lost this spreadsheet, but it was interesting to keep track of the ‘red’ cells which noted rejections and ‘green’ which noted publication and even the ‘yellow’ which showed waiting response.

What I didn’t have when I did this was a clear plan of action. It was just write, submit, and hope for the best. I didn’t know why I was doing it other than to try and gain publishing credits and improve my writing. Obviously I stopped as the rejection process is grueling and after hundreds of rejections it just wore me down (and the year ended). Once I completed that year I had intended to get back to writing novels, but I never sent anything out. Rejection of a short story was easy to take, but a novel? I didn’t think I’d be able to handle that kind of rejection.

It’s all part of the game, though. Rejection is just getting you one step closer to publication. So I now have a plan for getting my works out there. Beyond that I’ve taken on an ambitious project that will run parallel with Scott Roche. The idea is to write, edit, and publish a short story each month during 2012. Sounds ambitious, doesn’t it?

I’m excited, but I know I’ll never, ever, be able to complete this task without a plan. I have explained to my wife that my writing needs to move from a hobby to something more like a part time job if I’m ever to make it successful. I need to plot my stories so I’ll have a direction. I need to plan my time so I’ll be able to perform the work.

So where does playing goalie come in? Plots and Plans are nice, but I need to have an overall direction. I had always wanted to be a published author before I was forty years old. Well, that ship has sailed. Why? I let life happen and didn’t make life happen. I am going to change that by setting goals. Not just setting goals, but sharing those goals with my friends and family. I’ve started writing down where I want to be at the end of 2012 and it just starts with the ambitious project of a short story a month. It also includes getting worked cleaned up and/or completed and finally getting those works in front of a publisher or agent.

Yes I’ll be self publishing my shorts, but I am going to look for traditional publication for some of my works. I’ll also be continuing to self publish works as well. I had an ambitious desire for 2011 to have three books out, but I didn’t follow through and I now know why. I didn’t set out clear, definable goals.

I’ve read J.A. Konraths’ blog. I’ve read Mike Stackpole’s blog and newsletter. What I haven’t done is apply those teachings. Yes, being creative is a wonderful thing, but unless I treat my work as work and a business, I’ll only have limited success. So included in my goals for 2012 are to seek out ways to promote myself. Ways to get more eyes on my work. To have a definite number of sales. I’ll, of course, share those in my blog.

If all goes well, next year I hope to write nearly half a million words. Yes, I know that’s a lot. Yes, I know I’m aiming high. But I’ve got my goals written. I’ve got my plan laid out. Does it begin in 2012? NO! It begins today. Why should I wait for January 1st to start on the road? These are just the plans I want to accomplish in 2012. If I don’t get started on them, no one will start on them for me. There’s no better time than the present!

Until Next week.

WOO WOO!

I’ve been thinking about…

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. Usually that just gets me into trouble, but lately there’s a lot of thinking that needs to be done. What have I been thinking about? Funny you should ask.

Self Publishing.

I’ve written a lot and I feel I tell a pretty good tale. I know what it takes to make a story interesting and write characters that are enjoyable. I’ve written and edited the stories and sent them to many agents and publishers. I’ve gotten request for full manuscripts and partials and I’ve had a lot of rejections. In fact everything has been rejected. It’s not rejection that bothers me. It’s that I’ve always gotten notes on the rejections like “good writing”, “great premise”, “I like the way this sounds” and then I get the ‘but’. “We just don’t have room in our schedule”,”We just can’t take on another client at this time”,”Please try us again another time”.

Frustration has been had aplenty. Obviously my query letter and synopsis were good enough garner attention and warrant a request for more. I just haven’t been able to make it past that point. This is where my thinking cap has been put on firmly and I sit in front of the computer and wonder if I’m doing this all for myself or is there something I could do better? Or could I really do this myself?

What’s prompted all this thinking about self publishing? I cannot take all the credit myself. I have wanted to see my name on a book for a long time and almost succumbed to the temptation of such scams of sites like Publish America (back in the day) though I always felt I was going to make it one day.

That day has still not arrived and I continue to hear people like Mike Stackpole and Mike Mennenga on The Dragon Page talk endlessly about doing it yourself and that the day of big publishers is nearing its end. I hear podcasts like Get Published doing interviews talking about the great success people are having with doing it yourself.

The fact is that I can find an editor to edit my books fairly inexpensively. Back when I wanted to do this myself it was anywhere from $2500 – $5000 to have a manuscript edited. Now you can find people willing to edit your manuscript for as little as $150. That’s a huge difference. You can also find people willing to do book covers for around the same price. Suddenly it’s not so daunting to get an edit on your book and a cover and be ready to publish a book.

So where has all this thinking gotten me? Well. I did podcast two of my novels and it would seem that many people do enjoy my stories. So I’ve decided to head out on my own and start publishing my own books. You may have heard me on a podcast or two lately talking about my YA Fantasy story Astel. In my next post I will tell you a little more about the story and what I’ve done to prepare it for print. I know it could have been as easy as saving the word document as an HTML file and loading it up to Smashwords but I want to do a little more than that. Stay tuned. I’ve decided to start blogging and self publish my books and I’m not looking back.

Look out 2011! Here I come!