Monday, August 30, 2010

MOAR Kindle Giveaways

Check out Zoe Winters Kindle giveaway and details on how to enter on her blog. 

To promote the release of Blood Lust (a compilation of her three novellas), Zoe's giving away a Kindle.  Not only that, for the first day it goes live, Blood Lust will be priced at 99c so get it while its hot.  If it gets really hot, like breaks the top 25 bestseller list kind of hot, then Zoe will be giving away a second Kindle.

As of this writing, Blood Lust is still not available to purchase but it'll be up soon.

I would LOVE to see another indie reach the top 25 so get buying, it's only 99c.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm Reading . . .

First go check out Amanda Hocking's epic post on how she got to this point.  Worth reading.  I hope there are more of these success stories to come.

Moving on.  I've been having a lot of trouble enjoying books lately so it was a huge relief to actually manage to finish one or two.  I've had lots of books waiting to be read but I couldn't get into anything so haven't posted what I've been reading for ages.  This has not helped my TBR pile.

Anyway, this week I am reading . . .

My Blood Approves

Glimpse - I enjoyed this one.  Not at all what I expected and by that I mean I couldn't predict what was going to happen.

Next up on my e-reader are:

Hush Money
Forsaken by Shadow

As always, recommendations are welcome.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Three words.  Hangover.  From.  Hell.

Considering the above, this is probably going to be somewhat incoherant but as everyone else is talking about it, I'm going to be a sheep and do it too.

Publisher's Weekly:  aka the numpties who are making what seems like a thinly veiled attempt at scamming self publishers out of $149.  They've never exactly been advocates of indies but this is a brand new level of low.  It genuinely pisses me off that they're charging people $149 to be featured in a crappy supplement.  They can do what they like but what's bothering me is the carrot on the stick.  Oh, you might get a review.  Oh, you might be seen by an agent.

It's pretty crappy to take advantage of people's hopes and dreams and mostly, their desperation.  When you first publish something yourself, there's a process that requires patience.  Firstly, nobody knows it exists, it doesn't sell, it has no reviews and even the best writers can get panicky and feel like it's a total disaster.  So this reputable name comes along and offers you what sounds like a great opportunity and you grab it with both hands.  It's an investment, you tell yourself.  You hand over your cash, your book gets a little ad and then . . . nothing happens. 

The majority of the people you're marketing to probably won't ever see it.  The possible review disappears from the equation.  Talk of agents takes on a dream like quality because you start to believe you imagined it.  Eventually, you sell some copies, get reviews and recommendations and are a happy camper but that probably would have happened even if you didn't pay $149.  Your mileage may vary but the above is the typical story for so many  people.  I know plenty will go for PW's offer but I sincerely hope they have their eyes wide open and see it for what it is. They're charging $149 for a possibility of a review.

Shame on you, PW.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Blog Interview & Congrats

Colour me excited.  Quick post -  Kipp Poe Speicher (who wrote Closing My Eyes Helps Me To See Clearly) just posted my first blog interview.  Take a look, lots of writers have been interviewed and there is even a review or two.

Also, congratulations to Amanda Hocking.  Her latest book, Wisdom, has only recently gone live and it's already in the top 25 paid bestsellers on Amazon.  Cracking news.  Let's hope it keeps on climbing!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Milestones and Madness

So the blog carnival was good craic but one of the participants let me know my blog looks bogey in their feedreader.  It looks fine in mine so I had no idea, sorry if it looks strange.  I didn't want to post again until I sorted it but I'm having a serious case of stupidity right now, nothing makes sense to me.  I'm going to keep trying to fix it, hopefully I'll figure things out when I'm less distracted.  It's a lovely sunny day and school starts back up on Thursday.  Between getting ready for that, trying to sort out a birth certificate disaster and staying up til four every night (writing/editing/poncing about online) my brain isn't running at top speed.  :)

In other news, my horror short story collection almost hit a minor sales milestone this month.  With a week to go, I doubt it's going to quite make it but I'm happy anyway.  I'm pretty sure it reached its highest sales rank too but I haven't been paying a close eye on that.  For an experiment (in a market that isn't supposed to exist), it's gone much better than I expected but that's absolutely thanks to the kind people who took the time to read and review/recommend it so cheers.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

To Be An Indie - Blog Carnival

This post is for the Indie Author Blog Carnival run by Dun Scaith. Check out the host here and of course check out the other participants below my own post.

The subject for this particular blog carnival is basically why we chose to go down an Indie route.

Looking back, I feel like I fell into it but in reality, I put a lot of time and research into my decision.  I wasn't sure if it was possible, how it worked, if I could do it all alone.  I spent more than a few hours trying to figure it all out before I finally said feck it and jumped right in.

I've always written with the vague notion that some day I'd make a living doing it.  But I've never really done anything about it.  I haven't written query letters or sent manuscripts to agents and/or publishers.  I also didn't have a realistic idea of what it is like to be a traditionally published author. 

This year I basically decided I wanted to take creative writing seriously.  I have a few years of being at home left.  I now have five small children.  One is at school, one is in playschool and next year two more will be starting playschool leaving only one at home.  When last but definitely not least mini-Farrell goes to playschool, it'll be time for me to either go back to work or find a job I can do at home.  So this time period is my chance to prove to myself one way or another whether writing is right for me - as a source of income anyway.

So I had a time limit.  And the misfortune to write things that aren't particularly marketable.  At least by trad publishing standards.  I could tone things down and try to fit into one particular genre but I really can't face that.  I write dark fiction to take a break from the fluffier stuff.  I write tame y/a fiction to take a break from the morbid stuff.  I switch genres, I go into taboo areas and I never get bored.  I have fun.

I did quite a bit of research into publishing, ebooks, contracts, etc.  I discovered that most published writers don't live on their earnings.  Many books fail to earn out their royalties, many get remaindered or aren't marketed very well and the publishing industry seems to be in an awkward place.  If I went down that road, it would be highly unlikely my manuscript would be read.  If I was successful in signing a contract, it would take years for anything to happen and after that I'd pretty much be on my own.  I might be tied into a contract.  Maybe even forced to churn out never-ending series of books, one after the other.  Success is relative but for me, trad publishing just didn't seem like a sign of success anymore.  I didn't want to hang about for years on a dream that might never happen.

Then there was the ebook issue.  Being independent and self publishing seemed like a viable option all of  a sudden.  After a lot of thought, I decided to experiment with ebooks, particularly using Amazon DTP and Smashwords.  I could do things rightnowstraightaway and receive almost immediate feedback.  I would know how people responded to my work and better yet see how my promotional efforts affected sales insanely quickly.  The excitement from other indies has always been infectious and I had realised something.  I had nothing to lose.

I tested it out with some short stories and loved every second of it.  Odd little pieces of flash fiction I never expected to sell now sell every day.  Not many copies but it is a lot more than I expected.  I had such low expectations that every day seems to bring a new high.  It's been such a learning curve but at the same time it all feels so freeing.  We can do things our own way and that rocks.

Even better is how much I've learned in so many aspects of publishing, editing and marketing.  There is such a helpful Indie community out there (Kindleboards I'm looking at you), more than happy to share what they've learned to us newbies mixed in with all of those readers who are dying to tell us what they think.  The consumers are the important ones, they're dictating how we are adapting and dealing with change in publishing.  And we're able to listen and react - something traditionally published writers can't do because they don't have as much control over what happens to their books.

Purely down to my initial introduction to self publishing these past five months or so, I am more than happy to continue.  I'm concentrating on a novella and a novel that I hope to release (after some editing and cover art help) - I don't see myself having any regrets.  I don't have the personality (or time) to wait around for somebody else to publish my book.  I have no problems editing to make a book more readable but I can't change a book to fit a certain market.  Becoming an indie will not work for everyone but if you feel like traditional publishing isn't a good fit then maybe give my way a try.  Lots of people manage to use both methods of publishing and this often works out well too.  Never say never but for me, I'm happy with what I'm doing.

If I fail, I fail on my own terms and if it all works out . . . bonus.  :)


Jess C. Scott

Ty Johnson

Levi Montgomery

Moses Siregar III

Kait Nolan

Zoe Winters

Camille LaGuire


Luna Lindsey

M.T. Murphy

Susan Bischoff

Stacey Wallace Benefiel

J.A. Marlow

Chris Kelly

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kindle Giveaways

Scott Nicholson (kick ass author of books like The Red Church and Burial to Follow) is going on a blog tour next month.  He planned on doing a giveaway while he was at it.   Yesterday, he announced he is now giving away not one but two Kindles.

Check out his blog posts for details on how to enter and get ready to follow Scott around the blogosphere to rack up as many entries as possible.  Good luck!

And buy some of his books to say thank you.  :)  (I've really enjoyed what I've read by Nicholson so far.)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

When Life Gets In The Way

This last week has been madness.  Firstly, we had an unexpected house guest which threw my "work" routine out of whack.  The reason we had a visitor for a couple of days was down to a bit of drama involving some extended family members.  I have to say, people think some of the stories I write are repulsive but truth is always worse than fiction.  I can't understand how vile people can be and how there are always those willing to keep it a secret.  Never mind me, outrage always come easily to me.

Then, my piss poor broadband provider had a major screw up so we lost connectivity for a few days.  I'm actually scared by how lost I was while we were internet-less.  I felt like I was missing everything.  When it came back, I couldn't figure out what I needed it for, I was just anxious when it wasn't around.  Sad but true.

I got a lot accomplished when I didn't have the Internet to distract me so maybe I should disconnect more often.  I finished one thing, got back to work on another and started something new so I think I'll just have to accept that some days I'll get more done than others.  At least until school starts!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tag Exchanges

Tagging ebooks on Kindle is just another attempt to get noticed.  The theory is: the more tags you have, the more visibility you have in your genre/category.  There has been a pretty successful tag exchange running on Kindleboards for a while now.  Another has been created, this time for the Kindle store in the UK.  It's kind of a good idea to get stuck in now while it is all so new and shiny.  There are plenty of websites and places that take part in tag exchanges but Kindleboards has the best ones going.  :)

Just to note, tag exchanges are based on the themes/genres/categories of a book.  They in no way represent the quality of the book and as such are not similar to review exchanges.  Tagging is above board imo.  If you're interested in tagging, take a look at the following links:

Tag Exchange -

Tag Exchange -

News of the Week

It seems like the momentum is suddenly picking up on the ebook market and changes within the industry.  Between Amazon releasing a cheap ass Kindle and opening up a UK Kindle Store, they are cementing themselves  in the foreground of the ebook market.on an international level.  They'll also encourage sales of Kindles and ebooks in Europe.  People are only really beginning to notice ebooks here in Ireland but that's mostly because nobody has provided cheap ereaders.  My Sony ereader was expensive and it can't hold too many books.  I cannot wait to get me aKindle.  The only way Amazon are really going wrong (as far as I can see) is not expanding into a variety of file types.  If they took the lead from Smashwords and offered ebooks with a choice of file type, they might open up their customer base even further.

Smashwords announced a new distribution deal this week.  This time with Diesel ebooks.  They're also  reporting record traffic, customers and sales.  Things can be a little slow over there but they are constantly working to improve and expand.  The next shipment to the Diesel ebook store is on the 9th of August but some books have already been shipped.

Interesting news - Dorechester Publishing have announced their decision to cut out mass production of print copies and concentrate on ebooks instead.  They will be using a POD service when necessary.  They aren't the only company who will be forced to go down this route because of poor sales.  To me, POD makes a hell of a lot more sense than mass production anyway.  We all have to adjust to change, Dorchester's adaptability may keep them afloat.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Open for Business

The UK Kindle store seems to have opened on Amazon.  I thought it wasn't supposed to officially open until later in the month. My books are available to buy for 75p.  I don't seem to have an author page and  my books aren't linked together in any way.  My reviews haven't carried over from the US Kindle site.  I'm still scoping it out. 

Funnily enough, I thought the new UK Kindlestore would be a more European oriented deal.  I can't buy books there, I still have to use  I'm not complaining, just surprised.  I assumed I'd have to scoot over to the UK site once it opened.

Eclipse is topping the paid bestseller list, priced at £3.14.

ETA:  The DTP has been slowly updating.  You can now view your book in either the US or UK Kindle Stores and you can also start viewing separate sales reports for either store.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Finding Your Books in the iBookstore

Smashwords posted on their site updates recently about how to see your book in Apple's iBookstore if you don't own an Apple product that allows you to view the application.  It's been really annoying not knowing if your book has appeared or not.  I noticed on my latest sales report on Smashwords that I had some sales from Apple but I also wanted to check ratings.  Working from the Smashwords method, here is the link to my free short story.  (People do not like it.  LOL)

The link is made up of the address to itunes, the country (in this case US but adjust it for other countries, Canada is CA, UK is GB, France is FR and Germany is DE.), followed by the word book and lastly the ISBN of my story.  You can find your own ISBN on your Dashboard on Smashwords, just click on the ISBN manager, copy the ISBN, get rid of the dashes and add it on the end of the address.

Just take my link and replace the ISBN with your own, go to the page and bookmark it for easy reference.  If it doesn't load up then recheck the link.  If it looks valid then it might mean your book isn't on Apple yet.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Advertise Your Books (and What I've Been Reading)

Another two useful links today.  Books on the Knob is another book review site accepting ebooks and indie authors.  A brand new site has been set up to advertise urban fantasy and paranormal type books.  They accept young adult versions.  Indie Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance are looking for book reviewers and bloggers to help make this site a success.  ETA: Just spotted this link on Kindleboards for a site called Blazing Trailers.  They advertise book trailers if that's your thing.

I haven't been reading much since I had the baby, I can't concentrate on anything for long but the following are some books I read before her arrival.  Not sure what I'm going to read next, way too many choices out there right now.  Recommendations please!  I started rereading a Charlaine Harris Southern Vampire book while I was in hospital but still haven't finished it.  I had forgotten how meh I was about it in the first place.  Anyway, the last bunch of books I read are:

A Peculiar Collection
Coombe's Wood (set this aside before but gave it another try after reading the short story collection above by the same author and really liked it.)
The Lake & Other Stories
Waiting for Spring (have to mention: this one never appealed to me by description but I really, really enjoyed it.)
Last Days and Times
Bobby's Trace

Monday, August 2, 2010

Indie Author Blog Carnival - Sign Up Now

Chris over on the Dun Scaith blog is arranging a blog carnival for Indie authors.  Blog carnivals tend to be lots of link love on similar subjects so are always handy to get involved in.  This one is the first I've noticed specifically for Indie writers who publish on Smashwords.  The theme this time is why you decided to publish your work independently rather than using the traditional route of agents, queries and publishers, oh my. 

If you want to take part in this carnival, go to the post on blog carnivals for more information.  You can leave a comment stating your interest over there.  Basically, you write a blog post on the aforementioned topic on the 19th of August and make sure to link to Dun Scaith, the host blog.  On the 20th,  Chris checks all of the participating blogs and creates his own post, including links to all contributers.  All of the bloggers can link to each other too but I believe that is an optional courtesy.  You're kind of expected to visit the other bloggers involved - the whole point is to connect and increase visibility through a group effort so it is wise to leave comments on the other posts on the topic.

Blog carnivals are (in my experience) highly useful for gaining extra traffic and connecting with similar bloggers.  They also expand pretty quickly and have the potential to turn into something huge so head on over to Dun Scaith and sign up for a blog carnival just for indies.  Feel free to spread the word through blogs/forums/facebook/twitter.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Advertising Ebooks on Blogs

It's August already.  And time for me to start getting back to work.  I've been attempting to edit in the two weeks since the birth of my beautiful little girl but I haven't been well (yesterday I passed out a couple of times - ick) so it's been slow moving.  (I just used the word been three times in the one sentence - you can imagine just how much editing my writing requires!)  I'm determined to work hard this month.  I'm behind on the blog, updating links, twitter and even just commenting on other blogs and forums.  I've been more of a lurker which doesn't really help when you need to develop a web presence.

I've been meaning to post links to blogs which advertise indie ebooks.  If you're a reader looking for something new to read or a writer searching for exposure, there are now plenty of places to go.  There are always reviewers like Red Adept but there are also blogs which list ebooks (impartially) for free such as the Indie Books Blog and Spalding's Racket.  There are also paid advertising options such as the Kindle Nation Daily blog which advertises free ebooks on Kindle, Kindle updates and paid sponsorships by indie writers.  I've heard indies have seen surges in sales after advertising there.

There are more, I'll post the links as I find them.  New ones are popping up more frequently now, as well as genre specific ones so they are pretty useful and worth checking out.

I'm going to (finally) update my blog and website links in the sidebars so if you have a useful blog or author website and want to be linked here just comment or send me an email.  Don't forget to find me on facebook/twitter/goodreads too.