Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Like" The Skull Ring For $

(WINNERS!!!! Mildred dot Cady, WilsonWriter, and Kristie D have each won $10 gift cards. Thanks for entering, and you're welcome to subscribe to my monthly newsletter where there are more great prizes and contests and freebies--just email scottsinner-circle-subscribe AT

So here's the deal. Go to The Skull Ring's page at Amazon and hit "Like," then hit the F in the bubble to share it on Facebook (or Twitter if you don't use FB)--it's important to hit the F so you share it on Facebook, which is the goal:

Come back here and put your contact info below (such as "hauntedcomputer AT yahoo dot com"). On May 6, I randomly select three $10 gift card winners. Simple enough?

No purchase necessary, though of course you are welcome to buy the book! This is a kooky experiment to see if Facebook can sell books. Anyone having trouble commenting here can ding me on Facebook or Twitter and I'll add your entry. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Positive Presence--author Jeff Bennington

As an author and a family man I’ve found that writing and working a day job can be extremely hazardous to my health. As the years go by, my wife and I have determined that with the effort it takes to be an indie author, I’m working the equivalent of a second job. I never thought of it that way, but then again, I’ve just recently crossed over from the self-pubbed world into the do-it-all-myself world…a world that’ll snatch you away from your family if you’re not careful

When you take on the task writing a novel (Hello! That’s a job in itself!) and contracting an editor, working with editor, cover art,  formatting, marketing, blogging, uploading etc, etc, etc, you tend to have a little too much on your plate. If you have a day job, it’s even worse. If you have a family, worse yet!
I have four children and a wife and plenty of chores to do. I’m no different than other writers with responsibilities. Scott Nicholson might have to feed the chickens and repair the barn, but I’ve got a basement to remodel and boys who need to be taught how to cut the grass and a daughter who has a lot of questions that she needs me, and only me to answer! Aaaauuuuughh! 

I love my family dearly and I would never put writing above them, but I have had to learn that I can’t be the dad and husband that I want to be if I let writing consume me. Now you might be thinking that this is the point where I bring up time management for writers, or a four point system for prioritizing your prose. If so, you’re wrong. There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to organize. Every minute is already full. I’m not sure, but I think I’ve already micro-managed my time. What I want to talk about is how indie authors have to fight to be present at home.
If you’re an indie, and you have a family, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Have you ever been told, “You’re here, but you’re not really here!” or “I know you were listening, but did you hear me?” or how about this one, “I don’t want you to be here, I want you to be present, not just physically but mentally and emotionally.” Sound familiar? 

These are all reminders to me that I’ve let writing consume my life. It’s not so much the writing that gets me; it’s the twittering, blogging, facebooking and kindle-ranking obsessions that take over my though life when I have family business to tend to. The extra activities aren’t bad things, but I have certain goals for my family, certain objectives that I’d like to accomplish with those four kiddies before they become adults. When I’m constantly thinking about what I should tweet, or who I can promote on a Saturday morning, or if I’m caught up on my blog tour, I’m not thinking about what I really need to be doing in my home, with my wife and kids. I’ve always been keen on my family. They mean everything to me. But writing, writing and everything that goes with it, especially with indie publishing, can take a serious toll on me if I’m not present when I’m at home. 

Okay, now I’ll tell you my Four Point Path for Positive Presence (That’s psycho-babble for how to manage your family and be an indie author).

1.      Before you write, get all of your chores done. My wife educates our children and teaches piano and does 80% of the chores that keep our home functioning. I do the laundry, pick up the house, make repairs and help with meals and keeping the kitchen clean. I will not write if the sink is full of dishes or the laundry needs done; it’s not fair to my wife and I need clean clothes. When the house is clean, I don’t have to worry about my wife feeling like everything rests on her shoulder.

2.      Frequently take your spouse on dates. My wife needs time to talk to me. She needs to keep me updated on the state of our children, the state of our extended family, our schedule, children’s events, etc. She also needs to be with an adult and get away about once a week. I cannot give her what she needs if all I’m doing is writing or thinking about writing stuff. When we go out, I leave my writing world behind. As expected, when she’s talked herself back into a state of sanity, she’ll inevitably have the energy to ask about my writing…our evil, yet beloved stepchild.

3.      Turn the computer & iPhone off. When it’s time to be with the family, I literally have to turn my world off. Clicking the switch on my phone and powering down my computer is the best way for me to make a conscious choice to be present with my precious little boogers. 

4.      Make an agreement with your spouse. I have found that good communication is always the best way to avoid hurt feelings. As writers, we need to be aware that our second job (writing) can very quickly pull us away from our families. And your family will most likely notice that you’re no longer present before you do. Your emotional absence can cause hurt feelings if your spouse or children begin to think that your writing is more important than they are. If that’s not what you want, than you should make an agreement with your spouse/family on what times work best for you to write and how you can meet their needs without neglecting your literary masterpiece. The key is to talk about it before your writing spills over and makes a mess of your life. 

The point is, when you write… write. And when you need to be with your family… be with your family. They need you more than your book does. There are thousands of books published everyday and your book will be just as much a tiny drop of water in the ocean of words today as it will be a week or month from now.
If you’re a newer author, heed these words. If you’re a veteran, tell us how you manage to be present at home. Thanks for reading.

Jeff Bennington
Author of Reunion & Other Thrillers (linked to


Monday, April 25, 2011

The $6 Bestseller: The Fallacy of "Use Pros"

While we are engaging in new thinking, there's a new universal truth that is clearly not so universal--that you need to be edited by a pro and that you need pro book covers to be successful, and you need to invest $2,000 to get published.

Here's a little secret--nobody touched Liquid Fear or even saw it besides my all-star proofreader, Neal Hock at Bookhound's Den. I did the editing, I did the cover, I did the formatting, all in house, all with easily available and free tools. Besides my time, I have maybe $6 invested in the book (Neal and I work in trade). It hit #25 on the Kindle bestseller list and has sold pretty well. Conclusion: You DON'T need to pay a whole bunch of money to look like a certain thing in order to be "successful."

In fact, I've found the opposite to be true--if you duplicate the professional-quality look of NY, the expectation of what a book should "look like," guess what? You look like all the other hundreds of thousands of books. If you have your kid go into a Paint program for the first time and make you a cover, you're going to look like the other hundreds of thousands of people who totally don't get the new era and do the amateur thing because they are trying to imitate a book cover but don't know what one is.

Here's why I will probably do all my own covers from now on: it's fun!

I don't claim to be a graphic designer, because I'm not. I did spend a couple of years learning basic skills to function in the new arena, but since I don't care about making a NY cover, or a crappy cover (which may take even longer than a pro cover), I can just find an image that tells my story and then come up with clean, legible font and look at in it postage-stamp size, in black-and-white.

That's another reason I started doing my own covers--I was having a difficult time explaining to people with big, fancy computers and large, high-resolution screens that this wasn't art, this was NOT a book cover, it's an icon button for a digital product. An entirely new product, and it needs an entirely new presentation.

The third reason-- since few cover artists ever read the books for which they do covers, they work only from their own idea of what the book should be. In NY, that may be a synopsis or editorial instructions, but very rarely is the author consulted. See the problem? The author knows the book better than anyone else and would complicate matters tremendously by trying to explain it to an artist. I know the tone and feel and nuance of my book and how I think it should be presented. I should know better than anyone how I want to invite my reader inside.

I hear my writer friends talk about the exhausting back-and-forth with a cover artist, or the four-month wait, and I can only shake my head. That's another reason I re-did a few of my existing covers. I discovered the ones I did in 20 minutes were more effective than the ones I labored over for days, because simplicity is the keyword for today.

Editing. I am a professional editor, but that doesn't mean I think everyone needs to be edited. Potential clients send me five-page samples for free. Sometimes the writer is not yet at a stage where I can help--that writer needs more experience and it would be immoral for me to take the money. If I feel we can each benefit, I will take on the job. But it's also not uncommon for me to realize a particular writer doesn't need my services, and I tell the writer so.

I don't think editing is an absolute need. I do believe you need a proofreader, no matter who you are, and preferably several, even if your book is professionally edited. I would probably be kicked out of the editor's union if I were in one, but the idea that "Every book can be improved by editing" is one of those stories told to keep editorial jobs alive. Why should anyone know the book better than the writer? And if editors are so brilliant, why aren't they writers instead?

Formatting is another skill that can be learned. I like doing it and I put in a year tinkering, even though I am not naturally a tech whiz. It's hard work. But I realized it was critical to my business. If you sell widgets, you should understand how widgets are made. My friends at Dellaster Design and Book Looks do low-priced e-book formatting, and Stephen at Book Looks does the print formatting of my books. I can use them if I want, but I don't need them.

The point of all this is not to minimize the wonderful skills of artists, editors, and e-book formatters everywhere. If you personally need them, by all means, you owe it to your book and your creative happiness to do everything within your means to make your baby shine. But you don't need them. That type of thinking is just setting up another gatekeeper system, where only those with money can play in the sandbox.

Could Liquid Fear have been improved with the guidance of an outside editor? Maybe. Or maybe it would have been merely changed. That's subjective, and the world will never know. I may even revise it myself later--I have revised at least four of my books while they were already on sale. Why not? I can do it, and if it improves the book, I have an obligation to do so. Maybe an editor would have pushed Liquid Fear to #1. I don't care, because I don't need #1 to be "successful."

I play in my sandbox because it's fun, and I love every single aspect of what I do, and there are no rules and no absolutes and no certain direction--it seems like every universal truth I ignore, the happier I am and the more creative I can be and the freer I am. That's "success" for me. And, guess what? I earned my $6 back. The rest is candy.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Indie Flip Side: The Fallacy of "Just Writing"

(Note: This is NOT a judgment of someone else's decisions, or a declaration that a traditional publishing deal is "wrong," or that I think anyone makes a "mistake" by accepting a traditional publishing deal. This is simply a philosophical exploration of consequences of paths you choose in your life, and what you want. If a publishing deal gives you what you want, you absolutely, positively should take it.

I refer to Amanda Hocking for the sole reason that she is the current symbolic lightning rod. Two years ago, it would have been Boyd Morrison. Last year, J.A. Konrath, and in two months it will probably be John Locke. While "Scott slams Amanda" would get me more blog hits, I'd rather take the post--and the entire blog--down than suggest such a thing.

I can't make those choices for you or anyone else, only myself. And I won't even know until the next one is offered, and then I will only know it for that one deal at that time for me, not all deals for anyone at any other time. That is the point of what follows. I thought it was clear but I apparently failed to communicate it well)

The discussion (and it is now a discussion, not an "argument" or a "debate") on whether writers should choose the indie or the traditional path, or both, usually focuses on money alone. That's odd, because money is usually one of the least valuable considerations when you are choosing how to spend your life. Clearly time is the most valuable resource, because it's non-renewable and finite, unlike money.

A successful writer friend recently gave me a "hot tip" on an emerging book sector--it was all the rage at an international book fair, and now publishers have the stats to back it up. Stats mean sales people can buy in, which means editors can spend money, and writers can get book deals, and everybody's happy. Right? He was trying to get me in on it as an act of generosity, with connections in place and everything. And I thought about it, because that siren song of "Your name on a REAL BOOK" is still pretty melodic. I could do it. I have an agent and enough success and this market is new enough that my old genre sales numbers wouldn't matter.

The next morning I woke up and thought, "No way in hell." Think of the drama. First off I'd have to explain it all to my agent, come up with an outline and sample chapters, wait to see if it sold, then work with editors and PR department and then wait up to a year for anything to happen, all the while getting approvals and requests for revisions. Dozens and probably hundreds of emails and phone calls. Just thinking about it exhausts me, when my biggest worry today is whether I should plant beans or plant spinach.

When compared to just typing and publishing as I do now, a big manufacturing process is not very appealing. That's not to say a good editor can't greatly improve a book. But you know what? I am already an editor. I edit other people's books, and I am probably better at it than some who are doing it on salary, because I'm a writer and not just a reader. That's not ego, that's 15 years of experience.

I have to laugh every time someone quotes Amanda Hocking saying she took her deal so she could "just write." I saw on a blog that her assistant had turned down a request by the blog for an interview. So, aside from the layer she's now installed from her former real life when she dealt with the book bloggers who were important to her success, she is managing an assistant, as well as the "lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors" that success brought. And an agent, and probably several agents if you count film and foreign rights, and Hollywood people for the movie versions. And at least one editor, until those foreign rights sell, and then there are multiple editors.

And despite the oohs and ahs over a $2 mil contract, that is not a lot for four books/English world rights when the superstars earn $10 mil per book. By industry standard definitions, she is an upper midlist writer, which means she will still have to do a lot of promo work, which means dealing with a PR department--and book signings, events, travel, and she will be working harder than ever to run a business, because now it's not as simple as watching it dump into her bank account now. She is managing a staff, or perhaps a better word for it is an "empire." And even if she continues self-publishing on the side, she can't remove those layers and obligations and interruptions.

Before you light the torches and storm the castle, please note I am in no way demeaning, second-guessing, or wishing Amanda Hocking ill--we have traded emails in the past and in her social media presence she is clearly sweet and compassionate, and I wish her all continued success and happiness and nothing less than utter joy. But I suspect her life just got more complicated than ever and the one thing she can no longer do is "just write." Perhaps there's a reason J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer went dark.

People overlook the value of quality of life and how time is spent. I can't speak for anyone else, but for me, I realize lots of money would NOT make my life "better." Just having to buy the next used car fills me with fear--choices! My wife and I tried to picture ourselves in the perfect vehicles for us, and we agreed--for me, it's the rusty 1986 Isuzu pickup I already own. It's my dream car, I love driving it, I like my self-image when I am driving it (a working-class hero), and it's useful. I am incredibly happy when I stop by the landfill to salvage firewood or get a load of manure from the neighbor's pasture.

A boatload of cash would just create more burdens and deplete the one finite resource that is most valuable--time. Another friend of mine is struggling with this same situation--whether to go corporate and what the gain would be, when he's already living the life of his dreams.I'm already burdened by the money I do have, because it begets desire. I am going to find the cheapest potatoes in town, buy a truckload, and drive it to our local Hunger Coalition. I trust God will fill that hole back up in my bank account, because She's done it over and over. I don't say that to brag about how humble I am, but from the acute awareness that all the goodness that comes to me is an obligation to return goodness to the world.

There's no way a big fat book deal would improve my life. I don't care how much money it is. It would be a step backward. Because I am already doing everything I want on my own terms, and that is all I ever wanted. Going that route would be someone else's (many someones) routes. I'd go from being a business owner to a temp contract employee.

That's not to say I'd never take a corporate deal. The point is, I don't need to. Just the offer from my friend made me anxious and unhappy, because it sounded like the sort of opportunity I should leap at, and that I should rush before the crowd gets there.

But, guess what? I am quite happy outside the crowd. And I've had my best success, luck, and happiness following my own path. That doesn't mean I am isolated, because without you, my writing and my dream becomes rather meaningless. But we're connected precisely because I am outside the crowd, not because I'm in it.

I am already doing everything I wanted in my writing career--writing stories for a living. My life wouldn't be improved by a shinier car or a third house or a bass boat. While there is a "next" to shoot for, there's not a "better" or a "next level." When you're living a dream, why leave it for someone else's dream?

If your dream is $2 million, there are tons of millions out there. If you want to spend more time on the phone with strangers talking about money, that is possible, too. I just hope each of you are happy. It's the hardest thing in the world to be, and a thing writers often seem least capable of achieving.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Liquid Fear sequel

For the Indie Writers in the crowd (which is almost everyone int he English-speaking world at this point): my buddy Jim C. Hines from Writers of the Future, back in 1999 when we both had more hair, interviewed me about indie publishing. (mirrored at Live Journal)

I'm working on the Liquid Fear sequel, planning to release it before the Liquid Fear buzz evaporates. Or freezes. Or some other physical-state metaphor. Dribbles away? Goes down the drain? Gets flushed?


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kindles In Libraries

The wonderful CJ West hosted me on Book Talk Radio, you can catch the archived audio file here:

The big news in the book world is Amazon's announcement of a partnership with Overdrive to get Kindle books into libraries. It's unclear how that is going to affect writers (usually the last part of any business equation, the Afterthought of Books) but I believe it is going to help almost everyone--writers will be getting tax dollars, libraries will get a lot more content with their shrinking book budgets, and readers will have a virtually unlimited supply of reading material. The losers, of course, are those who want to sell their e-books for more than the price of a paper book. 

Savvy librarians stretching a budget are going to broaden their choices and seek out more writers. "Hmm, I can buy these 10 books for my patrons, or I can buy this one book. Whatever do I do?" And with 11,000 libraries buying books, if every indie writer in America sells one book to each library, that's a nice bundle of cash. We'll have to see how it plays out. I already have an accoiunt with Overdrive but their upload and distribution system is a little awkward. Hopefully, the Kindle will smooth things out for everyone and be big news for readers.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Book Bucket List from Guido Henkel

A guest post from Guido Henkel, a indie author who is generous in sharing technical information as well as delivering the spooky fun Jason Dark series)

As you are reading this, I have just released Curse of Kali, the tenth Jason Dark supernatural mystery that I have written. Taking place in Victorian England, it is once again a riveting mystery that our occult detective has to solve — though this time he has some help from a very, very famous detective of his time, also.

Releasing a book is always a little like the end of school. You take a breath, sit back and just kick back for a tick, enjoying the moment with a clean slate.

For me, this usually also means I need something new to read. The past weeks have kept me busy with rewrites, edits and the preparations for the launch and I did not have a whole lot of time to read other than my own stuff.

So, as I am trying to decide upon a new book, — most likely one I’ve been pushing off for too long — it occurred to me that there should be some kind of list of books that everyone should read. I’m not talking about the classics like Dickinson, Shakespeare, Kafka or even books like Dracula where it is implied that everyone has read them. No, I’m talking about books that I have read over the years and that impressed me so much that I would like to recommend them to you with my warmest regards. They are the books I would not want to have missed out on. Of course, such a list can never be complete and reflects my own personal taste, so feel free to suggest other books that you find too valuable to be missed.

So here goes my Book Bucket List for you in no particular order

And then last, but not least, Curse of Kali. Yes, I know it reeks of self-promotion but if you want to know how Jason Dark and Sherlock Holmes met for the first time in their lives, you have to read this mystery. If you have only half as much fun reading it as I had writing it, we should all be in for a treat.

Marketing is not selling

Since I pounded and expounded my sales philosophy at IndieReader yesterday, I won't rehash here too much, but there's some good energy going around about "positive marketing" or "idea marketing." Al Boudreau has a clear post on The Mystery of Marketing. He also references the generous LM Stull.

My skull is incredibly thick so any idea that finally penetrates from the outside instead of clanging around from within must be a good one. If you take the words "Buy my book" out of your marketing, you immediately become a better marketer. I couldn't even do it when I was sitting at tables in bookstores, and while I probably have been a little overzealous from time to time in proliferating my new books, I hope I've evolved to a more generous and compassionate model.

A constant barrage of "Buy my book" will isolate you, and then you can't do anyone any good, much less yourself. You get unfriended and unfollowed, and then where are you? Screaming "Buy my book" in the desert.

My daughter likes #4 for Liquid Fear, and I wonder if I am afraid to go there. I will have to think on it, because it feels a little like overreaching. Instead, I am shifting some energy into sharing The Skull Ring, because I think it hasn't reached its full audience yet, plus I've revised a lot of my covers to make my mystery/thrillers a more cohesive brand and separate from my supernatural thrillers and short stories. And I am not screaming "Buy my book." I'd rather you feed your family, or buy some seeds, or donate to your favorite local charity. That's what I do when you buy my book.

Thank you, universe, and thank you, friends. Let me know if I can help you, because you have been so incredibly good to me.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Think "#27" If You Like

I was just telling my friend and collaborator JR Rain about how James Patterson used to make mock charts of the bestseller list for his sales and publishing meetings. He'd put his book (not yet published) at #1 and show the sales staff. It made success easy for them to visualize.

I'm too lazy for that, but I do believe in the power of creative visualization. When Liquid Fear started its run, my family picked #27. We committed to thinking #27, and while I don't want to feel greedy, focusing on ebooks when so many people need prayers, food, and shelter, I generally try to share my success and spread my resources where people benefit. (My daughter wants #4, but first things first). If you care to think "#27, Scott Nicholson," in a positive way, for the highest good for all, then I'd appreciate it.

I am also re-doing some of the covers on the less-successful books because it feels like a fun time to take chances. I hope your life is as fun and crazy and free as mine.

Time to kill? Go to Tina's Book Reviews where I am giving away an e-copy of Duncan the Punkin and waxing on "The 200."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Top 100 Ego Trip

Thanks to everyone who helped Liquid Fear break the Kindle Top 100! We're in the 70s tonight as I write this. For some reason, this time around seems a lot simpler--I did a launch but it actually made its rebound run while I was in the wilds of Kentucky and away from the Internet for three days. That means YOU did it, not me.

I was sitting in the parking lot in my rusty old truck, picking up wifi from a coffee shop when I saw it had cracked Top 100. I high-fived my daughter, but she hasn't really been impressed since she saw me at #1 in Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy last year, ahead of Stephen King and--even bigger to her--CS Lewis. Now it's just that thing Dad does. I look out the truck and the world goes on--no one really cares! They're on their own trips.

Since this was so painless, my wife and I agreed to picture the Number 27. It's a square root of three and has cool multiplication factors, so it's more fun to shoot for than 29. Disintegration hit #30 at the end of last year. It slid since then, so I know these things are ephemeral, but I also know to just enjoy it, know it will end, and know it will come back. So #27 is the goal, since I like having goals.

I was thinking today that the Amazon real-time rankings have been one of the worst things ever for writerly ego--we can tell whether people love us or hate us at any moment of the day, but worst of all, we can tell HOW MANY OTHER WRITERS YOU LIKE BETTER! No number is ever good enough. If you're #1, you know somebody's gunning up behind you. If you're 300,000 (I have a book or two way done there) you think you are crud, even if the books are awesome (and IF I WERE YOUR MONSTER is a neocult classic).

And the numbers really don't validate anything, except other numbers. They don't mean a message is valuable, or good, or helpful, or in any way instructs us or redeems the human race. The rankings have totally removed quality from the conversation. Now it's "units sold" and "rank" and "income" and I'm probably as fixated as anyone, because I run my business like a conductor, keeping every product humming in tune to fill its role in the symphony. When a lesser-known book hits a sour note, the music seems off, and it's hard to enjoy the many other wonderful harmonies. Just like when you finish writing a book--you're more likely to obsess over the thing you didn't quite nail than the hundred things that tied up nicely.

I don't know. Today I am in the Top 100. I nailed it. For a day, at least, it's in tune. Life is good. Thanks for listening.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Czerwony Kościół

Okay, I published my Polish translated version of The Red Church to Smashwords, through a creative arrangement with the publisher (basically trading print rights for ebook rights), and discovered Kindle doesn't support Eastern European languages...yet. So my move to take over the world hits a snag. That's good, because I'm a little tired at the moment!

Of course, the big news is Kindle has introduced an ad-supported Kindle for $25 cheaper--if you don't mind an ad as a screensaver you can save money. I am not putting up a link because it's easy to find. Just go to Amazon and you can't avoid it. As a writer, I think it's great that it will help expand our markets, and Amazon is going to make a ton on content long after the devices are cheap. But it's also the first move into ad-supported e-books. My unpopular prediction ("unpopular" because people somehow feel threatened by change) is that e-books will be primarily ad-supported by in five years (well, now just a little more than four). I am optimistic there will remain a way for writers to make money, or the books will stop, and the content will collapse, and so will the advertising. So everyone will find a way to make it work.

My friend Stacey Turner has featured an interview with me today at Spot Speaks.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Back from the dead

Just back from three days without wireless--I am surprised to find the Internet is still here. You may find me at October Country if you're looking for interviews, though I am getting kind of tired of talking about myself. In summary: e-books are cool, writing is fun, and it's great to be alive...

Stephen James Price over at Generation Next Publications is working up print files for the children's book Duncan the Punkin, which we hope to have online for print in a few weeks. The print edition of Liquid Fear is also wending its way through the pipeline. If you participated in the April 1 Fool's Gold Rush, those blogs should be announcing winners in the next day or two. I hope you got one of those groovy gift certificates, and I appreciate everyone who made the tour a big success!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cool things to look at

Getting ready to go out of town for a brief trip (combining business with pleasure). In the meantime you can find me today at Candace's Book Blog:

Wed: Stella Ex Libris
Thursday: Gina's Insatiable Readers

Featured books are Tuesday: Burial to Follow, Wednesday: Liquid Fear, and Thursday: Curtains. Hey, thanks for all your support! A column on calculating agents called "Fifteen Percent for Life" is up at Indie readers and JA Konrath and Barry Eisler kick around the pros and cons of self-pubbing if you are a writer type.

Also, cool news--I've traded my "paper advance" for the ebook rights to the translated edition of the Polish edition of The Red Church! So look for Czerwony at an ereader near you! This will make my third translated edition to go live.And a great, simple writing chart by Kurt Vonnegut to help you understand story arc.

If you need any book design, my recs are Stephen at Generation Next for book layout and Ted at Dellaster Design for ebook formatter.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Where I Am Today...

...besides sitting at my computer in ratty old sweatpants:

Infinity Books, blog of UK star Keith Brooke
Lost for Words (with signed paperback giveaway!)
Books and Things with Melissa

Aaaaaand the $200 gift card giveaway still has four days left, so hop your little buns around to these 11 blogs and tweet and Facebook from each to increase your odds!

Rewind: If you missed my post last week, I chimed in on some indie math at Thanks for all your support. I'll be off typing in the woods later this week, so don't forget to pretend to be me on the Internet while I'm gone!

Oh, yeah, while doing my taxes, I found I had written a check to an (alleged) double murderer who delivered a load of firewood to our house. He dropped a log on my finger and mashed the heck out of it (I eventually lost the nail) and he just laughed like crazy. Lesson is never let strangers come to your house for any reason. Keep an eye on the mailman!


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Where I've Been This Week

Thanks everyone for your Liquid Fear love--we hit #130-something on Amazon US, around 2,700 on Amazon UK, around 36,000 on BN com, and now it's hanging around in that weird land of #150 at Amazon, teetering on the edge. It could go one of two ways, but I doubt it will hang right there, because it's a volatile territory for rankings and algorithms. I will be raising the price to $2.99 as soon as it finds its plateau, so if you know any mystery/thriller lovers, please encourage them to jump in. And the Fool's Gold Rush is going on all week, so you still have time to enter at the participating blogs for the $10 gift cards and hopefully the $100 bonus booty!

Here are some blogs I've been at recently, apart from the Fool's Gold Rush blogs:
Indie Good Cop/Bad Cop at Joe Konrath's Newbie's Guide
One For the Money, Two for the Show at Indiereader
Liquid Fear and bioethics at Seduced By Books
Writing talk at Character Happens

Thanks for all your support! Currently working on a secret dark fantasy project, of which nothing will be revealed...and a few options for the next "Scott Nicholson" book...


Friday, April 1, 2011

Liquid Fear Fool's Gold Rush

Edging toward that $100 gift card giveaway at Amazon or these blogs and win your $10 gift cards for the Liquid Fear launch and I hope you enjoy the book!

It's simple. On April 1, stop by one or all of these 10 blogs featuring my new thriller LIQUID FEAR. You get one point each for commenting, tweeting, or Facebooking from that blog or about that post. I give away a $10 gift certificate to Amazon or at each stop. You can enter at each of the 10 stops if you like. If LIQUID FEAR hits the Top 100 by April 1, I give away an additional $100 gift certificate.

Paperback Dolls (Dr. Sebastian Briggs)
VVB32 Reads (Wallace Forsyth)
Rex Robot Reviews (David Dunn)
Kindle Obsessed (Martin Kleingarten)
Jenn's Bookshelves (Roland Doyle)
Not Really Southern Vamp Chick (Anita Molkesky)
2 Read or Not 2 Read  (Mark Morgan)
Minding Spot  (Sen. Dan Burchfield)
Bewitched Bookworms (Wendy Leng)
The Unread Reader (Dr. Alexis Morgan)
More Ebooks Please (Scott Nicholson)