Stories on the Go: 101 Very Short Stories by 101 Authors – FREE!

I have another Christmas present for my readers: Stories on the Go: 101 Very Short Stories by 101 Authors. For this one, my contribution was very small, as you can gather from the title — less than one percent. :) This is a mutual project from a whole bunch of indie authors who hang out on Kboards, including Hugh Howey, Toni Dwiggens, Lisa Grace and many, many more. All of the stories are flash fiction pieces, under 1000 words. We have Andrew Ashling to thank for doing most of the editing, with some help from various beta readers among our ranks, and Scarlett Rugers for the cover.

Stories on the Go

Here’s the description:

This anthology aims to be a showcase of recent indie writing.

Hugh Howey launched the idea on Kboards, a forum for Kindle readers, but also the meeting place of an active community of indie writers.

The result is this anthology of 101 very short stories by 101 authors.

To make it more attractive for you, the reader, we set ourselves a limit of a thousand words. You should be able to read each story in under five minutes — on your desktop computer, laptop, or tablet at home or in the office, but also on your smartphone, on the go, while you are commuting or waiting at a coffee shop for your significant other to arrive.

We included as many genres as we could. We hope that maybe, with only five minutes of your time on the line that would otherwise be wasted anyway, you’ll be tempted to venture outside your comfort zone and try out some new genres and new authors.

Enjoy!

Why the Sony hack is unlikely to be the work of North Korea.

Ruth Nestvold:

This has nothing to do with Indie publishing, but it does have to do with the dangers creativity is faced with in a digital age — an besides, it’s a fascinating analysis, with all kinds of food for thought, and maybe fiction.

Originally posted on Marc's Security Ramblings:

GOP Image
Everyone seems to be eager to pin the blame for the Sony hack on North Korea. However, I think it’s unlikely. Here’s why:1. The broken English looks deliberately bad and doesn’t exhibit any of the classic comprehension mistakes you actually expect to see in “Konglish”. i.e it reads to me like an English speaker pretending to be bad at writing English.

2. The fact that the code was written on a PC with Korean locale & language actually makes it less likely to be North Korea. Not least because they don’t speak traditional “Korean” in North Korea, they speak their own dialect and traditional Korean is forbidden. This is one of the key things that has made communication with North Korean refugees difficult. I would find the presence of Chinese far more plausible.See here – http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/30/world/asia/30iht-dialect.2644361.html?_r=0

here – http://www.nknews.org/2014/08/north-korean-dialect-as-a-soviet-russian-translation/

and here – http://www.voanews.com/content/a-13-2009-03-16-voa49-68727402/409810.html

This change in language is also most…

View original 917 more words

Important info: How Amazon’s sales algorithms work

Probably the biggest German site for indie authors, Die Self-Publisher-Bibel, recently did an extensive test of sales rankings on Amazon with books published deliberately for that purpose. They wanted to test three basic assumptions about sales algorithms used by Amazon:

– Price influences sales rank
– Enrolling in KDP Select influences sales rank
– The dynamics of sales influence sales rank

The results are eye-opening. Fortunately, they have also published an English version on their site. I highly recommend it to anyone involved in self-publishing:

http://www.selfpublisherbibel.de/test-how-amazons-algorithms-really-work-myth-and-reality/

The guard and the princess for #WIPpet Wednesday

Hi, everyone, I’m back! I still haven’t really gotten back into the swing of things as far as writing is concerned, with only a measly 800 words written so far this week. But on the family front, things are looking a lot better, and my head is free for creativity again. In the next few days and weeks, I will be working on reestablishing my old writing habits, and hopefully the word counts will pick up again. I still have some present wrapping to do, but I got most of that done while I was still having more difficulty writing.

I realize that I have not yet done a write-up of the Villa Diodati workshop in France last month. I hope to get around to it in the next few days.

As a result of the family complications, I am woefully behind on all of my goals. Some of the things I did get done:

- Completed Life in the Fjord Lane and published to Createspace (I’m not sure if I want to bother publishing that one to Kindle, since it’s mostly a photography book)

- Published my first erotica story under a pen name

- Created the Epub version of Ein Krieger der Wikinger, the German translation of Judson Roberts’ Viking Warrior

- Set up a Countdown Deal for Shadow of Stone, including experiments in advertizing a 99c ebook

Gosh, looking at that list makes me feel that I got more done than I’d thought! Just not much in the new words department. But marketing and formatting and publishing has to get done too.

With the update out of the way, on to WIPpet Wednesday. This week I’m returning to Facets of Glass, and an excerpt directly following the last one you may or may not have seen here. As a result of critiques at the last Villa Diodati workshop, Gaetan’s name has been changed to Gaetano, since Gaetan didn’t sound Italian enough for my fellow writers. My math for 12/17 is to take 12 away from 17, giving me 5 paragraphs for today’s excerpt:

Gaetano bowed low, honored to be called into the presence of the dowager princess for a personal task.
When he straightened again, she gave him a warm smile. It always amazed him how beautiful she still was, although she was the mother of the most powerful prince in Venice. And today she was particularly stunning. The gleaming gold of her hair, usually covered, was pulled up on top of her head in a crown higher than the modest circlet she wore. In the back, curls tumbled artlessly around her long neck. Gaetano couldn’t help imaging how long her golden locks must be to achieve such an effect. Did they reach to her waist? Her hips?
He shook himself mentally. He shouldn’t be thinking about her this way — not only was she the female head of House Foscari (since no one took the new Princess Anastasia seriously) — she was old enough to be his mother. Not that anyone knew how old the dowager princess really was, but Prince Vittore was her son, and he was older than Gaetano.
Ergo … It was wrong on any number of levels to feel lust for Her Grace the Dowager Princess Zilia of the Foscari Dynatistic Princes of the Venetian Empire, Princess of Trentino, and Dowager Duchess of Ferrara.
There, much better. Reciting even a mere handful of her many formal titles in his mind made him feel much more like himself.

I doubt if I’ll have any time to post next week, since it’s Christmas Eve, and I will have a house full of people that I’ll be cooking for. So wishing you all a Merry Christmas ahead of time! As a little Christmas present from me, my short story collection Dragon Time is free through Saturday. :)

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts.

How Jessica Mitford Exposed A $48m Scam From America’s Literary Establishment

Ruth Nestvold:

Every now and then we need a happy ending, where those who are defrauding others are exposed. This is one of those stories.

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

Cerf1Jessica Mitford took on the American funeral industry, the California Department of Corrections, and the Ku Klux Klan, but it was her 1970 exposé of The Famous Writers School which led to Time calling her “The Queen of the Muckrakers.” And if a courageous editor hadn’t reversed his decision to kill her story, it might never have happened.

Mitford had been aware of The Famous Writers School’s existence for some time. Anyone who was a frequent reader of newspapers, books or magazines would have seen its ever-present advertisements, inviting aspiring writers to cut out and apply for the free aptitude test. While Mitford was suspicious, she didn’t have anything concrete until her lawyer husband took on a new client.

Bob Treuhaft was approached by a 72-year old widow, living on Social Security, who had cleaned out her bank account to make a down-payment to The Famous Writers School. On the…

View original 2,540 more words

Shadow of Stone on sale for 99c through Dec. 19 – and testing ad sites

In my on-going attempt to get back into the swing of things marketing-wise — and figure out what works in this new self-publishing era of Kindle Unlimited and various other changes — I set up a sale this week for Shadow of Stone, the second book in The Pendragon Chronicles.

Shadow of Stone on Amazon

For over ten years, there has been peace in Britain after Arthur and his warriors soundly defeated the Saxons at the battle of Caer Baddon. But sometimes peace is deceptive …

After a series of hard winters and famine, an alliance of dissatisfied northern kings attack the rich cities of Southern Britain. But in the years of peace, Arthur’s army has grown soft; jealousies and trivialities rip once strong alliances apart. Cador, who is mockingly referred to as “farmer king,” must go to war again. The threat to their way of life throws him together with Yseult, the woman he has secretly loved since he was a youth.

But can their politically expedient marriage help bring peace to Britain again? Or will it only lead to further conflict?

As betrayals both real and imagined shake the foundations of former British unity, Cador and Yseult must try to negotiate their own personal peace. Who will survive the upheavals to come? Will Britain rally once more behind a common leader to fight off the common threat?

For the purpose, I found a few sites that will advertize 99c sales for free, as well as several cheaper ad options, which I have staggered throughout the week to test their effectiveness. It is well known by now that a Bookbub ad will get you hundreds of sales, but it can be very difficult to get a slot with them because of all the competition. Besides, placement in their newsletter costs hundreds of dollars. And while most books with a Bookbub ad earn the expense back, not everyone has that kind of ready cash up front.

So I am testing various options so you don’t have to! *g* Next week, I will summarize the results and put together a list of the advertizing sites I’ve found.

In the meanwhile, feel free to take a look at Shadow of Stone. And if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can now borrow it for free, since it is back in KDP Select. Just for the record, that is not because I am an Amazon fanatic, it is because my sales on other sites were so abysmal, the advantage of making money through borrows on Amazon just amounted to the better deal for me. When and if any other market seems to be developing more potential, I will add more of my books to other sites.

Russell Blake’s Six Things Successful Indie Authors Have

Great post the other day by indie thriller writer Russell Blake, who manages to earn six figures a year with his self-published books. This is how he distills the habits of a successful indie author:

What do all of these authors have in common, though? All these indies who are making serious, and in some cases, insane, bank? First, they publish regularly. As in once every few months, and in some cases, once every month. Second, they work in genres that will support them. While most of the top earners are in romance or one of its offshoots, others are in science fiction, which voraciously consumes indie work; some are in my genre (action thrillers), some in mystery, some in fantasy. Third, they all work long hours and take this extremely seriously. Fourth, they operate their publishing businesses like businesses, not like hobbies. They have production schedules they stick to. They market and promote. They invest in professional help when necessary and grasp that you have to spend money to make it. Fifth, they write books readers enjoy reading, as opposed to books their muse dictates they write. That’s an important distinction, because what we as authors often want to write might not be all that marketable. So we compromise based on our understanding of the market. And sixth, they’re constantly adjusting their sails to best negotiate treacherous water and ever-shifting winds. They’re pragmatic. And most have great senses of humor, as well as a keen appreciation of irony. That goes with the gig, I suppose. As does pragmatism.

Of course, your mileage varies. It all comes down to how much you want to
1) devote to writing, and
2) devote to the market (which might involve giving up on that beloved project involving atheists colonizing a planet in space to flee fundamentalists …)

I’m not condoning all of Russell’s opinions in this post. I’m just offering it up as food for thought.

You can read the entire post here.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,267 other followers

%d bloggers like this: