Friday, November 21, 2014

New cover for Guest Of Honor / Happenings In The Outhouse 21-Nov-2014

My novelette, Guest of Honor, just for a face-lift.

Here it is:



Pretty cool, huh?

Yesterday morning, I hit the 30K mark on Straight Razor.  My publication goal of January 2015 is looking grim, but never fear, miracles could still happen.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Keep track of all sales (even if they're small)

I've been self-publishing since April 2012, and I've recently been going back through my Amazon sales reports (as well as Kobo's and Smashword's), and putting them all together.

"Mark, how many copies of Guest of Honor have you sold?"

A friend of mine asked me this a few weeks ago, and I honestly couldn't provide an answer.  I could only guess.

If you're going to treat your writing as a business, then you need to keep track of your sales.  Even if you only sell a handful, you still need to know what sells and where.

I've been putting together the data, tweaking the spreadsheet here and there when I think of what's being left out.  Each one will put one together differently.  There is no right or wrong way to do so, as long as you understand it.

Speaking of Guest of Honor, this novelette is currently free on all platforms.  One reviewer even called it "Hitchcock"-like (which I think is way cool!).  Click on this link for a list of retailers where Guest of Honor can be found.  And did I tell you it's free?

Yes, yes it is.  Pick it up today.

Shortly, I will be putting together some exclusive content for all newsletter subscribers.  Click on this link to subscribe to my newsletter, if you already haven't done so.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Beholder's Eye available on all platforms / Happenings In The Outhouse 14-Nov-2014

"Minneapolis PD Investigator Kolin Raynes may be new to the job, but that doesn't stop a serial killer from targeting him."

That's the tagline for my thriller novel Beholder's Eye.  And, just this week, it is no longer available only on the Amazon Kindle store.  It's available on all platforms.

In the Barnes and Noble Nook store?  Yes.

How about the iBooks store?  You betcha.

Kobo?  You better believe it.

Smashwords?  Most definitely.

And still on Amazon?  Of course.

Click on this link to take you all of the available platforms.

Speaking of Beholder's Eye, I am around the 28,000 word mark on the first draft to Straight Razor.  This is the second book in the Central Division Series.  This past weekend, I put together a rough mental draft of the third book--this one I will right as soon as the second one is complete.

I am planning some exciting exclusive content for all newsletter subscribers.  If you haven't subscribed ot my newsletter yet, click on this link, enter your e-mail and first name, and you'll be signed up.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Be Nice / Happenings In The Outhouse 07-Nov-2014

Are you serious?  You haven't subscribed to my newsletter?  Well, now's your chance to do so.  Click on this link, to take you to my newsletter page on my website.  It's real simple.  Just enter your e-mail address and first name, and . . . well, that's it.  Click on here to do so.

Patrick Swayze, in the 1989 movie Road House, had some great advice when training bar bouncers on how to deal with unruly customers.

"Be nice."

This week, millions of Americans participated in the 2014 Election.  What always strikes me as odd is how mean some people get when their party or their candidate didn't win.  I always sigh relief when the elections are done because the political ads are now over.  All of the mudslinging (from both sides of the aisle) is over.  For the time being.

In life, whether you're a writer or an actor or a factor worker or a fast food cook or whatever you are, one of the best pieces of advice you can do is to be nice towards others.  It's funny how "turning the frown upside down" can change someone's mood.

So remember: be nice.

Thanks, Mr. Swayze.

I finally obtained the cover for the second book in the Central Division Series: Straight Razor.  Here it is.


Also, be sure to stay tuned, as I will be posting a chapter or so from the new novel shortly.  I am currently around the 25,000-page mark.  Or, better yet, subscribe to my newsletter and you won't miss a thing.  (Hint: I might even give some exclusive access to even more chapters, so what are you waiting for?  Click here to subscribe.)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween and helping others / Happenings In The Outhouse 31-Oct-2014

Happy Halloween, to all of those who celebrate said holiday.  For others . . . well, it's Friday.

Last week, my family and I got back from a short trip to Walt Disney World.  We had a blast, and it was great just getting away.  Of course, there is always work to come back to.  Work does go on.  But we must work in order to play.

This week, I also helped out a dear friend who has finally decided to put the first of many ebooks up on the Kindle store.  I have to admit, for many people, the process of putting an ebook together can be daunting.  It was for me at first.  Over time, and after seven ebooks so far, I have a lot of the process down to a science.  I'm far from an expert though.  But for some simple formatting, I can handle it.  I helped my friend out, and all she has to do now is have a cover designed.

And when it's up and for sale, I'll share the details.

I am also in the 19th chapter on the second book in the Central Division Series.  It's titled Straight Razor.  I have over 22,000 words written so far.  Not sure if it'll get done by the end of the year.  Stay tuned.

Speaking of staying tuned, did you know I have a newsletter.  I have only a handful of subscribers right now, so if you like this blog, please be sure to sign up.

Friday, October 24, 2014

On Hiatus / Happenings In The Outhouse 24-Oct-2014

I have been on vacation most of this week.

Even though little new words have been written, stories still swirl around in my head.

Hiatus doesn't mean lack of activity.  Hiatus, in my case, means I am taking a brief vacation, I am recharging my mental batteries, and will continue my work (my craft) upon arrival back home.

Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter too. That way you'll get updates on upcoming publications.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Stay out of debt / Happenings In The Outhouse 17-Oct-2014

There are tons of writing advice out there:

Butt in chair, hands on keyboard.

Write everyday.

Think of your writing as a business.

And so on . . . and so forth . . .

Now, all of this is fine, great, and dandy.  However, I am going in a different direction when it comes to writing, especially when you're thinking of self-publishing (indie publishing).  Here it is:

Stay out of debt
 
When I examine what I'd love my publishing empire to look like, one major factor hinders it.  Debt.  The dreaded d-word.  Debt has hindered much of what I've been able to accomplish.  I've had to do everything on a shoestring budget.  From covers to editing and everything in between, our major debt load has handcuffed me.
 
But has it stopped me?  No.  I just keep trucking, working a full-time job and diligently working at reducing our debt.
 
So, although the sit-butt-in-chair-and-write-everyday writing advice is worthy noting, one very few talk about is debt.
 
Stay out of debt.