Friday, July 25, 2014

Happenings In The Outhouse 25-July-2014 / my next "short" project

I took a slight detour with the sequel to Beholder's Eye, as I am working on a "short" project.

Over the years I have a number of short stories in my arsenal, and I decided at this point to publish a collection of them.

Now, what I've decided to experiment with is the whole "first free" thing.  So, with this short story colleciton, I've published one of the stories and have put it up for free on other publishing sites, like Kobo and Smashwords.  Here's the cover:

The Things They Collected, short story, in the Amazon Kindle store.

Now, here's the kicker.  I don't want you to buy it.  Seriously.  It's only $.99 (because I can't list it as free on Amazon), but in all other places it's free.  If you really, really want to buy it and give me money, I don't complain.  However, what I'd like you to do is tell Amazon about the free price elsewhere.

In the next week or so, I hope to have the short story collection finalized and formatted.  In the meantime, I have a link to sign up on my website in the short story--I also have a previous post, so please take the time to sign up if you are so inclined.

Once this is complete, I'll head back to Straight Razor.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Take a break

I recently concluded a six-month long edit to Killzone.  For the weeks and months prior to its publication, I've been wondering what I should work on next.

Whenever I complete a project, it's my natural inclination to start on the next project right away.  Instead, I take a day or two off.  In fact, even when I'm in the middle of a project, I still take the time to sit back and do something non-writing related (i.e. watch something on Netflix or play Tiny Death Star).

My next project--or two--I may start out slow, but I built up speed rather quickly.  My weekends, however, I usually sleep in a little instead of rolling out of bed at the crack of six.

Remember to take a break once in a while.

How do you spend your free time?  How do you commit to taking a break from your projects?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Happenings In The Outhouse 18-July-2014 / Experimenting with free

I know, I know, a few months ago I discredited the whole "have a book free" or "have your first book in a series free" thing . . . and now I'm experimenting with it.

Call me a hypocrite if you want--okay I will then.

Actually, I want to see if it really works.

Currently, my novelette Guest Of Honor is available for free in the Amazon Kindle Store.  It's available on other platforms too, like Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, the iBooks store, and Kobo, also for free.

So far, as of today's date, I've sold over 100 free ebooks of Guest of Honor.  I'll let you know how well it translates into sales of the non-free books.

I'm working diligently on the sequel to Beholder's Eye.  I currently have over 8,000 words written.

I'm also putting together a short story collection, which will hopefully be ready to go by the end of the month.  My plan is to also have a "free" short story as a teaser, which will lead to the collection.

Lots of free stuff in the works.

Yes, I'm a hypocrite.

If you have any successes with offering "free" works, please share it in the comments.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Happenings In The Outhouse 11-July-2014 / The year is half over - how are your goals?

It's July.  Six months of the year are over, never for you to get back.

How are your 2014 goals coming along?

What can you cross off the list?

Better yet, now that your priorities may have changed or with new ideas, what can you eliminate and add to your goals list?

One of the goals I added at the end--in late January, I believe--was to get my personal website updated.  Well, I can cross that one off my list.  My website is Mark S. R.

It's a simple Wordpress site, but it does the trick for now.  I will enhance and update it later.

After my 2014 goals list was created, I started prioritizing what I should be focusing on.  And that is writing and publishing.  Simply, writing and publishing new stories for my readers.  I had named a few contests to enter as part of my 2014 goals.  I have since decided not to at this time.

Another one I added was exercise.  I am in desperate need of doing something.  I need to lose a considerable amount of weight.  I'm tackling it bits and pieces at a time, but I am seeing a little progress.

And, of course, I recently published Killzone in the Amazon Kindle store.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Oldboy by Spike Lee - one of the best movies you've never heard of

Oldboy, a 2013 remake by director Spike Lee, was just released on Netflix this past weekend.

It stars Josh Brolin as a self-centered alcoholic advertising salesman named Joe Doucett, who is married and has a young daughter.  In a drunken stupor, he finds himself kidnapped and locked away in an apartment for 20 years.  All he knows is that his wife was murdered and he's the prime suspect.  At the end of twenty years, in which time he does clean himself up and even tries to escape, he finds himself free and is hell bent on discovering the secret to his twenty-year captivity.

Now, this is all I'm going to say at this point, because, if you have Netflix and love a great action movie, this one should be the next one on your list.  Here's the Wikipedia link to Oldboy (2013 remake), but skip the critical reception.  I'm saddened that it did so poorly at the box offices.

There are a number of action scenes in this movie that completely blew me away.  I'm not sure if Spike Lee used the power of computer-generated enhancements, but the majority--if not all--of the action scenes are lengthy, masterfully crafted, complex, and appears to be done all in one shot.  Well done!  There was even a scene where a certain father figure (you'll have to watch the movie to see this) goes around the house with a double-barrelled shotgun, and blows his family away.  It's tragic and the end to that scene--also appears to be done in one shot (no pun intended)--is mind blowing (or, rather, head blowing).

If you love a good action flick, be sure to check it out.  It's one of the better movies you've never heard of.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Killzone: Book 1 of the Shadowkill Trilogy is now a published novel

Yes, you heard correctly.  I spent my 4th of July holiday working diligently on the final edits to Killzone, and it is now on the Amazon Kindle store.  Here's a link to the ebook.

"These are the events the government doesn't want you to know about in the war on terror."

Ramadi, Iraq, 2006.

Lucas Simmons and Tre Paxton are recruited to be part of a top secret military project.  Along with a group of four other highly skilled video gamers, they're brought to a government installation in the heart of Washington DC.

Instead of testing game simulations, they're powering a team of robotic soldiers called SHADOWs.

The Strategic Hazardous Androis for Defensive Operations and Warfare is the latest innovations in robotic technology.  These androids look and act just like real people.

But there's a problem.  One of their team membershas a secret project of their own, and is bent on revenge for the catastrophic disaster perpetrated on September 11th, 2001.

Are Lucas, Tre, and the other team members of Shadow Team strong enough to stop him?

Please be sure to pick up Killzone: Book 1 of the Shadowkill Trilogy from the Amazon Kindle store.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happenings In The Outhouse 04-July-2014 / What do you say no to? (And what do you say yes to?)

What do you say no to?

How do you prioritize your life, so that you can get your work (or art) done?

Are there commitments people spring on you, obligations you wish you hadn't said yes to?

Managing one's time is something I've struggled with, and for the most part I can do well--most of the time.  Things do get in the way, whether it's a sick child or a dentist appointment or the lawn needs mowing, but knowing how to deal with it can mean all the difference between success and failure.

Well, not really failure, per se.  I'd say it's the difference between finishing something and not finishing something.

Prioritize your life.  Learn to say no.

Then, you can find the things to say yes to.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What I Listen To - The Rocking Self Publishing Podcast

A fair number of people who interview authors seem to take their task with an aura of "this is just a job" and exhibit no sense of interest at all in the author or their work.

That is not the case with Simon with the Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast.

Simon interviews authors on his weekly podcast from all aspects of self-publishing.  From online comics to book marketing to the big names in self-publishing today, his interviews go in-depth as authors share the nuts and bolts of their craft and business.

His interviews run roughly an hour in length.  Simon's skillful interview style is professional and thought-provoking.

The Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast is a new podcast I've picked up these past few months, and with a little more than 50 podcasts so far, they are well worth going back and listening to them all.  Simon always digs up the nuggets of gold in the self-publishing world and hand-delivers them right to you.

So check out Simon and the Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast.  You'll thank yourself for doing so.