I bought 2 books today.
I bought 2 books today because there was a sale, so…books.
The first was Game of Thrones: Book 1. Yes, I’ve read this book before. I didn’t really care for it, but after seeing the HBO Series, I feel I need to give it another chance and read the additional books. There was so much more in the book that never made it into the series, that I feel that’s why I should give it another chance.
The second book was The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel. I’ve known about this book for a very long time and I’ve heard it referred to as “caveman erotica”. No, that’s not why I picked it up. It’s one of those books I’ve been meaning to dig into for a long time and, well, it was on sale. Why not?
I must be losing my mind! Again!
My Teacher is a Zombie is free all week! Yes. From RIGHT NOW until Friday, you can pick up the first in the Supernatural Learning series totally free!
Hop over here to grab your copy! http://www.amazon.com/Teacher-Zombie-Supernatural-Learning-Book-ebook/dp/B007MHI75O
You don’t need to have a kindle to get a copy. If you need help learning how to read ebooks, contact me and I’ll help you as much as I can.
If you don’t do kindle (or Amazon) let me know and I can hook you up with an epub version that should work on nearly any other reading device.
What are you waiting for? Go get yourself some Zombie Teachers! And thank you for your support!
P.S. Last week I gave away 56 copies of V&A Shipping. If you didn’t get a copy, let me know and I’ll email you one!
Climbing the Charts!
V&A SHIPPING! STILL FREE! http://www.amazon.com/V-Shipping-J-R-Murdock-ebook/dp/B00B1MVTYM
I woke up this morning to see that V&A Shipping had reached #42 in free Space Opera! That’s quite exciting! My Goal and hope is to get it into the top 10 of Space Opera! Now that would be something.
But I cannot do this alone. I do need your help. If you have an Amazon account and you haven’t picked up a copy yet, please consider doing so. It will help move the book up the charts and help it gain some much needed visibility. And hey, you get a free ebook out of it. 🙂
I’ve sold a few copies of V&A Shipping II as well as a couple copies of Giant Robot Planetary Competition. This was the goal all along to help get some other titles a little bump while getting this one moving along.
If you’ve gotten a copy, THANK YOU! You’re awesome! If you’ve shared my post in your social media feeds, THANK YOU! You’re even awesomer! If you’d like to help a little more, please consider leaving a review on Amazon.com or goodreads.com. Both help tremendously.
Again, thank you for all your help and support.
Paradise Palms: Free through Sunday!
Do you like a good murder mystery? Do you like Time Travel? Do you like Trailer parks? Well, get ’em all here!
Paradise Palms: A Murder Mystery in a Time-Traveling Trailer Park is free NOW through Sunday!
If you have a kindle, get a copy!
If you have an ipad, get a copy (and use the kindle app to read it)!
If you have a smart phone, get a copy (and use the kindle app to read it)!
If you have a tablet, get a copy (and use the kindle app to read it)!
If you have a computer, get a copy (and use the kindle app to read it)!
You don’t have to have a kindle device to get this free ebook! Run out and grab a copy NOW NOW NOW!
Whew. Ok, I’ll turn off the yell and sell. I hope you pick up a copy, enjoy it, and let me know what you thought! Thank you for all your support!
Until Next Time!
Weekly Update: Cancelling Magazine Subscriptions.
Let me start by saying that yesterday would have been my father’s 70th birthday. I still miss him.
In lighter news (okay, maybe not lighter, but not as sad as losing your father news), today I cancelled my magazine subscriptions. I did this for a variety of reasons. I won’t tell you which magazines I was subscribed to or which issues I had with which magazines. If you take away anything from this, understand that this is a general frustration.
The most common writing advice you see ALL OVER is ‘show don’t tell’. I mean, it’s all over the place. Honestly, do a search. You’ll see reference after reference. From Stephen King to Michael Stackpole to me. You’ll see it in writing forums. You’ll see examples of what to do and what not to do. Mostly it’ll explain why not to tell, or, in other words, explain.
Trust me, this isn’t going to be writing 101, I’ll get to the point in just a minute, keep with me here.
When you write a short story, you have a limited number of words to get a story across. It’s very easy to explain what’s happening in your story. Very easy. So easy that many writers will do this (yet still complain about writing a synopsis of a novel which is basically explaining your story). So when someone starts a story out explaining the history of the world they’re about to throw me into, and then spend the rest of the story explaining events that happen, and then spend half the story still explaining things to me, and throw in one line of dialogue, and then go back to explaining the story to me, I get bored.
Now I know you’re asking yourself, why did I subscribe to these magazines in the first place?
Well, it was an investment. I figured if I wanted to get printed in these PRO level magazines, I needed to read and see what kind of stories they were accepting. They accept a wide range of stories and I write a wide range of stories. I’ve been rejected time and again. I could have kept banging my head against a wall or I could have figured out why I was getting rejected. So I subscribed to a number of magazines.
Now, in their defense, there are a few gems out there. Not many, but there are gems. There are stories that actually have a story, not an explanation of a story. What I felt is that these stories were so far and few between, I could no longer justify keeping my subscriptions. I didn’t want to keep reading stories that bored me to tears where I kept thinking “I wrote like this when I first started writing and got rejected because I was explaining a story”.
I could rant on the show don’t tell business for a long time, but there’s another reason I cancelled. The way the magazines work on the Kindle. Sure they were only a couple bucks a month (each) and that wasn’t a big investment. The deal breaker for me was that if I was reading a novella in one of the magazines and wanted to come back to it later, it would never remember my place. Maybe i could have hassled with setting a bookmark, but when I’m in a novel it REMEMBERS my place for me. This is a frustration I’ve suffered more than once and I know what I could do about it, it’s just the fact that I shouldn’t have to do it.
So, sadly, I’ve decided to cancel my magazine subscriptions. I have a better idea of what they publish and don’t think I need to keep looking. What I have concluded is that they publish what they want and what they prefer. The sad fact will remain that I want to write stories that actually reveal a story to the reader, not read like a synopsis of a half-way decent book. I don’t want a story explained to me. I don’t want a story told to me. I want to experience a story and sadly the magazines I was reading (again, all professional level magazines) aren’t delivering.
It’s with a heavy heart that I logged into my kindle account, and hit cancel.
What are your experience with some short story magazines? Good? Bad? Indifferent? I’ve love to hear from you.
Until Next Week!
Weekly Update: Giving Books away and what I learned.
Last week I did a giveaway on Murdockian Tales (you can still buy a copy for $2.99 or a print copy for $7.99). It’s a short story collection and I’m happy with the stories I chose to put in there. They give a good representation of my work to-date even if I’ve done a lot of writing since these stories were written. Most of those are on submission and therefore not included in the collection.
So the big question I’m sure will be on everyone’s mind will be “So what did you learn through the process?” Well, let me tell you first off that I’ll be learning from this for some time. That’s just the way it goes. But I did learn a lot during the process. Here’s what I learned.
I learned that people like getting things for free. Well, okay, I already knew that, but I didn’t realize just how much. Over the course of the freebie deal I gave away 339 copies of Murdockian Tales making it my most widely distributed book so far.
I learned that free doesn’t always equate to sales. I did, however, sell two copies of V&A Shipping (both people told me they picked it up because they found me from the Free deal. I also sold a print copy of Murdockian Tales. So out of the 339 copies I gave away, I sold 3. I was hoping for a slightly better return, but at least I know people are out there with copies of my short story anthology. If they like what they read, hopefully they’ll be back. At the front and the back of the collection I have my URLs. Hopefully that will drive some traffic to the blog and generate more sales.
I learned that during the giveaway I did not encounter more traffic than normal. I did get one person that found me by doing a google search on Murdockian. I can only assume that person came from the freebie deal.
Now that the free is over, hopefully people will read it. I’m confident that most won’t. Most probably picked it up just because it was free. I did this 100% for exposure. To get my name out there. Nothing more. If I pick up a couple new readers, then it was worth it. If I don’t, it was a learning experience. I’ll learn from it and try again with another title at another time. I’ve got a lot of books to get out into the world and this helped move a lot of books only people’s kindle devices.
I have noticed that Kobo, Smashwords, and Nook result in nearly no sales for me. I find this sad. I like these devices and their reading apps. Well, Kobo and Nook. I cannot get into iBookstore because I don’t have a mac (and won’t be buying one any time soon). I wish Apple would fix that and allow anyone one to upload their books. I won’t see any sales increase in those sites as I released Murdockian Tales through KDP Select (amazon only). But I’m hopeful that my name will start to spread from this.
All in all it was a good experience. I had a lot of people retweet me on twitter, like me on facebook, join me on google plus, and social media really helped propel this book up the charts. Yes, it was a free book, but I was still excited to see it peak out at #5 on SciFi short stories and #55 on Free SciFi. As I said, during the week I gave away 339 copies. I’m astonished. I honestly didn’t expect to give away quite so many copies. I would have been happy with 100. I actually think I would have been happy giving away 50. But 339? I’m overjoyed. I think this is outstanding. I couldn’t ask for more.
I kept a level head through all of this. I understand the ‘Amazon Rush’ concept of having as many people buy your book on release day to try and give it an extra push. I understand getting your name out there and trying to get as many people as possible to buy your book. I also understand the need for social media to accomplish these. I did all of that and wow did it work.
I’ve got a podcast to edit and get produced. I’ve got recording to do. I’ve got words to write (I finished My Teacher is a Vampire and started a giant-robot story that will be set in the V&A Shipping universe). I’ve got editing to do (I’ve got 4 completed books to go through and do rewrites and 2 to apply edits to). I’ve got so many words I want to get done this year and a lot of books I’d like to release this year. It’s an exciting time! Watch for more!
Until Next Time!