Saturday, January 31, 2015

A proud parent!

I've been watching the numbers over the past few months for Guest of Honor trickle upward.  Of course, it's free, but ever since I changed the cover, free sales of Guest of Honor has skyrocketed.
Now, if you want some raw numbers to go along with it, as of this morning, I've had 1,245 downloads in the US market, 300 in the UK, and 21 in the India market.  The numbers below are only for the US Kindle store.  The numbers in the UK and India market rank even better.


  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,587 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
  •  
      No, I'm not going to go around declaring myself a bestselling author as I am ranked fairly well on the Kindle Short Reads categories, but I do want to share what company I'm in the space with.

      Under Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense:
      Free Fall: A Prelude to Hidden Order...
      Kindle Edition
      Free
      6.
      Virtually Scared To Death (Julia Blak...
      Kindle Edition
      Free
      7.
      8.
      Guest Of Honor: A Novelette
      Kindle Edition
      Free
       
       
      I am a proud parent, indeed!

      Friday, January 30, 2015

      Let the edits begin / Happenings In The Outhouse 30-Jan-2015

      As of Tuesday morning this week, Straight Razor is complete.  The first draft, anyway.  It is just shy of 60,000 words.

      Now, let the editing begin.

      I don't, however, have to start at the beginning.  In the process of writing the first draft, I'm nearly halfway done with the first round of edits already.  To recap: as I have a full-time job and unable to bring my laptop with me at work--it's a bit immobile at the moment, which is a long story in and of itself.  The Cliff's Notes version can be summed up as I'm too cheap to buy a new one.  Anyway, in the mornings, I write the new stuff.  New words to the first draft.  At work, I work on past chapters, editing them.  Now, with the first draft done, I can on the edits fully.

      So far, it seems to have worked out well.  For me, at least.  It may not work for you.

      Changes.  The world is full of changes.  As the world changes, as our lives change, we must adapt and overcome.

      Wednesday, January 28, 2015

      Get your Netflix fix: Criminal Minds - why we love it vs. the "other show"

      LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!

      TODAY, WE HAVE A SHOWDOWN BETWEEN "CRIMINAL MINDS" AND "CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR"!

      Honestly, the truth is in the numbers on this one.  The original show Criminal Minds seems to be far superior to the Suspect Behavior spin-off.

      Why, you might ask?  For crying out loud, it's even got Forest Whitaker in it.  Sorry, my friends, not even he can pull this one out of the primal ooze.

      I think it can be summed up by what Janeane Garofalo said near the end of episode seven, titled "Jane."  In the episode, a number of women went missing.  Women no one seemed to care about.  Janeane's character told Whitaker's character (see, I can't even remember their names) that the In Case Of Emergency contact on her employment records is blank, and if she ever went missing who would miss her.

      Bingo!  From minute one, we did not care of any of the characters in Suspect Behavior.  In the original series, we loved them all.  They were like family.  In the other show, they were distant and it was too plot-driven.  There was no human interest in their personal lives.

      And that, my friends, is why Criminal Minds wins with a TKO!  We care about Morgan and Reid, Prentiss and Penelope, Hotch and Gideon, and even the lovely J.J.  We know about their personal lives and they work as a team.

      So, be sure to catch all 9 season of Criminal Minds on Netflix.  The one and only season of Suspect Behavior is on Netflix too.  If you care to comment, please do so below.

      Friday, January 23, 2015

      The fallacy of ebook pricing / Happenings In The Outhouse 23-Jan-2015

      Over the past few months, I have been conducting a . . . well, unofficial survey.  I've spoken with a number of ebook readers (mainly Kindle with a few Nook sprinkled in) and inquired how they go about finding books to read.  Many said the covers, the descriptions, and even if it's an author they've read before.

      There are several articles over the past year or more concerning ebook pricing.  "Ebooks are too high."  "Cheap ebooks are the way of the future."  "If a book isn't free, it's not worth it."  And so on.

      Here's what I found with my survey.

      Not a single person I met was concerned about the price.  Not one.  They're readers.  One even commented that because of their reading habit, it equalled the amount they paid in cigarettes in a month and quickly decided one had to go.

      (Goodbye cigarettes)

      For all the fellow indie authors out there, here's a simple message: ebook pricing may not be a big a deal as you think.  These people I talked with didn't care if an ebook was free or $.99 or even $12.99.  They loved reading and would pay to do so.

      So let's entertain them.  Sure, we do have to factor in some thoughts on pricing.  I won't argue there.  In late November, I looked at the various wedding planning ebooks that were in the same category as my first ebook Debt-Free I Do: 99 Ways To Have A Memorable Wedding On A Shoestring Budget.  Many of them were priced $2.99 and above.  Mine was $.99.  It sold a few a month.

      Then I rose the price to $2.99.  It still sells about the same, but with a much higher royalty.  Go figure.

      Now, for me personally as a reader, I do focus on price.  I love free, of course.  And $2.99 is really all I can do because of my budget.  Occasionally, if it's an author I really like, I will pay a little more.  But not very often.

      I am so close to the end of Straight Razor I can taste it.  I am around the 56,000 word mark.  Editing will add more to it to raise the word count closer to 70,000, but right now I only have a few thousand more words to write on the first draft.  I told myself at the beginning of this month that I'd love to finish by the end.

      It seems that goal is coming true.

      What's next, you might ask?

      As Paul Sheldon, the fictional author in Stephen King's Misery would say, "You'll have to wait."

      But not too long, my friends.

      Wednesday, January 21, 2015

      "Garcia, you're on speaker." Get your Netflix fix for Criminal Mind's Penelope Garcia.

      I like practically all of the characters on "Criminal Minds", however one of my favorite two is the quirky, electronics-saavy Penelope Garcia--played by Kirsten Vangsness.

      Garcia is like the Wizard of Oz, in her own special way.  She's the woman behind the curtain, with her fingers flying across the keyboard and a ton of information to be had at her fingertips.

      Early on in the series, whenever anyone would call her--she was typically back at the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) headquarters while the team was out in the field--it was usually Special Agent Derek Morgan and she would say something odd and unprofessional if you didn't quite know her.  Morgan, when he did call her, would call her nicknames like Sweetness or Baby Girl, which she completely ate up.

      Over time, whenever they would call and put her on speaker for other agencies to hear, they would say, "Garcia, you're on speaker."  This was her clue to speak more professionally.

      Throughout the seasons, she has fallen in love, been asked for her hand in marriage, been shot, and has had friends pass out of her life.  She loves anything that has to do with technology and was even recruited by the FBI due to her "hacking" abilities.

      So get your Netflix fix by watching "Criminal Mind" and Penelope Garcia.  Her loving wit will make your smile and laugh every time.

      Saturday, January 17, 2015

      Beginning The Day With God by E. I. Glass

      A friend of mine--also a fellow member of our local writers' group--has just published a book.

      Beginning The Day With God, is a new 30-day devotional ebook available now on Amazon's Kindle Store by E. I. Glass.

      This devotional ebook contains 30 days of inspirational tales from her life along with a Biblical Scripture. Each devotion is designed to be read in just a few minutes, starting each day out on the right foot with God.

      If you crave devotionals, be sure to pick up Beginning The Day With God, by E. I. Glass.

      I highly recommend it.

      Friday, January 16, 2015

      Nearing the finish line / Happenings In The Outhouse 16-Jan-2015

      Yesterday morning, Straight Razor, the second novel in the Central Division Series, crossed the 50K word mark.

      Story-wise, it is nearing the end.  I still have the climactic finale to write, then tie up some loose ends.  Then what will I do?

      Edit, of course.  I don't dare upload it for pre-orders just yet, because the furthest I can do that is 90 days.  It's possible it could be completed by then, but just in case . . .

      I got some news this past week that a friend of mine, who has also served as one of my faithful beta readers, has been cancer free for a year.  The friend also requested some more stories to read, so I will be sending off my latest--the ones they had not read yet.

      Another friend of mine, a member of my writers' group, has also published her first ebook on the Kindle.  Her name is E. I. Glass.  Her daily devotional guide is called Beginning the Day With God.  All she needs to do, at this point, is upload the new cover and I will provide a link to it.  It's an incredible ebook, with a lot of thoughtful stories from her life along with a Biblical Scripture passage.  This is the first of many in this series of devotionals, so be sure to pick this first one up.

      This also brings up another point.  Writing may be hard, and for many who have reasonable technical skills, the publishing part on Amazon's Kindle Store (or on Smashwords, KoboBooks, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and even on Google Play) can be daunting.  I assisted E. I. Glass with the upload process, which she stated repeatedly was overwhelming.  I agree.  It is.  But I will bet that before too long, she'll be a pro and will navigate the indie publishing world with ease.