Moving Onwards Monday

Relaunch of Skylord Approaching

The relaunch of Skylord is getting closer!  Naturally, it is going to be necessary to withdraw the current free edition of the ebook.  It will be replaced with the new edition when it is available.  The new edition will be fully illustrated throughout with black and white images, to reflect the fact that the book is most suited to the junior market.  I will also be looking into a print edition, though that may be subject to the size of the revised book, especially in terms of the page count.

If any of you have experience in self-publishing print versions of children’s books, I’d be very grateful for any advice or guidance.

Shade of Evil Now Fully Available

The paperback edition of Shade of Evil is now available from both CreateSpace and Amazon stores (Amazon.com and Amazon Europe only).  The links are available on the book page.  It also remains available through skoobebooks.co.uk.  At the time of writing this, the existing Amazon reviews for the book aren’t currently included under the paperback edition, unfortunately.  If you wish to read them, they can be found under the Kindle version.

Have You Joined the Event?

If you haven’t already done so, please do consider joining the new book launch event on my Facebook!  It’s a great place to discuss what’s going to happen, and to let me know what you think about the new book.  If you need a Facebook invitation, please let me know!  While you’re over there, perhaps you’d be kind enough to answer the post about sharing the good news.  The more feedback I get, the better the planning in future – I hope!  Also, any suggestions you may have would be gratefully received.  A blog is wonderful, but, by its very nature, discussions can be difficult to keep going.  Facebook event pages are much better for that.

Obviously, if you’d like to ask me any questions or make any observations on the event page, please feel free to do so!

~ Steve

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What a Shame!

Blog Browser Day

It strikes me as being a shame that nobody nominated any blogs for Blog Browser Day this week.  To me, this opportunities to bring the spotlight of free advertising to bear are priceless.  Okay, so this one is really intended to direct folk to blogs that we, ourselves, like, but I would have thought that there’s no shortage of those!  Please, my friends!  Don’t be shy about these chances!

What the…?

Those of you who follow me on Facebook too will know about this.  My feelings are, however, still strong on the whole thing!

Yesterday, while doing a quick check on my Smashwords Dashboard, I discovered a whole bunch of my books had been taken off “Premium”!  Now, that setting means that the books can and are sent to numerous other online bookstores.  A very desirable state of affairs, of course.  So removing books from it is devastating!  But why?  Well, all but one had, according to the Smashwords ‘autovetter’, a very, very tiny fault.  Now hang on!  I was under the impression that this system was part of the initial submission process for books.  All of these books have been available for several months!  So why did this happen?  I’d love to know but, to be honest, the folk handling such questions at Smashwords get very defensive and I’m really in no mood for such nonsense.  Suffice it to say that it took me bout 11 hours to make the amendments!

On a Very Much Happier Note…

I was delighted to discover that my short story, Skylord, had received another 5 star review!  It’s on Smashwords (yes, that same place) but I repeat it here:

Skylord is a short story depicting the plight of a young dragon nearing adulthood who is testing his mettle. When he flies too close to Ydren and makes an enemy of her, he tells his parents a lie about their encounter. There is an overabundance of dragons and not enough open territory. His lie leads his parents to go to war over territory. When Skylord learns that he cannot fly in the Phalanx and do battle because he is not yet an adult, he despairs that others will die and he cannot right his wrong. He flies off to the Lost Caverns and meets Belarth, a wise old dragon long presumed to be dead. Belarth gives him some valuable advice which gives Skylord the answer to the problem for which he as been searching. Great adventure fantasy for children ages ten and up.

Barbara Mojica on Aug. 16, 2013 : starstarstarstarstar

Thank you so much, Barbara!

And Finally…

Apart from being able to get the brand new ebook version of Shade of Evil from Smashwords or any Amazon store, with the great new cover by Chris Graham, the 2nd Edition paperback is being prepared right now.  In addition, my new novel is with skoobebooks and will, hopefully, be available in paperback by the launch date of 10th September.  In fact, and this is very exciting, it may also be available in hardback!  The ebook will be processed on the launch date, simultaneously at Amazon and Smashwords.

More exciting news:  I have an artist friend looking into producing illustrations and a new cover for Skylord!  The illustrated version, a fully fledged children’s book, will, I’m afraid, not be available as a free ebook, and the text only version will be withdrawn at the end of this month.  This will reflect the additional work involved in producing an illustrated book.  I will do all I can to keep the price down but ebooks generally can’t be priced below $0.99 USD.

~ Steve

Book Promo Day: 15th August, 2013

Jaded by Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie

Teen love story meets murder mystery within an eye color obsessed, “idyllic” commune.

After sixteen-year-old Jade discovers her late grandmother was poisoned, she’s devastated yet determined to find the killer commune member and their motive.

With help from her mysterious friend Tyrian, and Peaches, the commune leader’s sweet daughter; Jade unearths dark secrets that involve her mother’s affair, her maternal grandparent’s abandonment, and a plethora of murders. To make matters worse, someone is hell bent on ending Jade’s mission for the truth.

Jade can’t continue conforming to an evil society and yet she fears the Outside is just as corrupt. If she resolves to flee and is caught, the punishment is banishment to the slave cabins… and blinding.

Read the entire book at Swoon Reads

More information:

Author’s blog


Letters of a Convict Girl – Age 11 by Kate Walker

At age 11, Rosie O’Brien, daughter of an Irish Rebel, is sentenced to 14 years in prison and transported to the other side of the world – to the far Colony of New South Wales (Australia). The year is 1804 and in this wild place Rosie has only herself to rely on. Her letters home record the trials, hardships and miracles that befall her. Somewhere in this God forsaken land is her convict father. Even if he still lives, can she hope to find him? This young girl’s survival is based on real convict experiences. Suitable for readers aged 8 – 12 years.

Price: $1.99 – Illustrated PDF download from Scribd.

More information:

Author’s website


PURE TRASH: The Story by Bette A. Stevens

The year is 1955. If you grew up in the 1950s and the 1960s, you may be among those who recall those good old “Happy Days” of television fame. Even younger generations enjoy watching TV reruns to get a peek into what life was like back then. In this short story, Shawn and Willie Daniels are off on a Saturday adventure in search of trash to turn into treasure. It is going to be a great day. Shawn is sure of it. No school and no bullies to remind him that he’s not one of the crowd.

“This short story is filled with images and flavor only better provided by an ice cream cone…  PURE TRASH gives the reader pause for thought, and I recommend it to the adult reader and the YA reader alike. ” Kathryn Elizabeth Jones, author of fiction & non-fiction

PURE TRASH: The Story is about bullies, both in the traditional and non-traditional sense.  It may redefine your definition of bullying. Torment, persecution, intimidation…  These are a few descriptors of what those who are considered “different” in some way may suffer. For Shawn and Willie, their “difference” is based upon the social status of the dysfunctional family, the alcoholism and the abject poverty in which they grew up.

More information:

Author’s blog/website
Amazon Author’s Page


Blog Tours, Teasing and More

SKSmyButtonHome Page: What It’s All About

Yesterday, I completely revamped the blog’s home page, which is listed as What It’s All About.  This reflects some changes in circumstances.  There’s nothing staggeringly revolutionary about its content, as it mainly indicates what the blog is all about (if you hadn’t guessed).   The significant change is that, sadly, there is no longer any intimation that there will be, or is, an entity known as either Imagineer ebooks or Imagineer Books, in publishing terms.

Continue reading

Fumbling Through Friday

MysteryBookCover.pngMy Conscience Is Being Difficult

I have been considering what to do about the short stories in my Thief series.  These have been available for free download for a considerable length of time, now.  I have, however, been considering withdrawing them from the list of free ebooks I have out there.  If I did so, I would place all of them in a single, omnibus, volume, possibly with the title The Thief of Ur’gavan.  This would allow something that I don’t think is viable while they are just short stories: release in paperback!  Obviously, there’s absolutely no way that I could do that for free!  So, that leaves Continue reading

Book Promo Day: 25th July, 2013

An exception to normal Book Promo Day entries:

Smashwords Sale from Sarah Baethge

Smashwords is having a sale!
If you want a cheap read, now is the time to check out Smashwords.

My short story, Right Now is free with the code SSW75 .

My novel, Panoptemitry is only $1.25 with that same code: SSW75 .

My other two short stories are always free, you can get to them from my Author Page.


Fraudulent Robert Spake Fraudulent by Robert D. Spake

It’s the late 19th Century. William Traven is returning home to England after four years of travelling. Along the way he feels as though he’s lost himself, so he comes home hoping to recapture his lost spirit. However, he’s worried that a sense of belonging will still elude him and if he can’t find it at home he fears that he’ll lose all hope. There’s also Eleanor, the girl who promised to wait for him while he went away. He feels an obligation to marry her but he doesn’t know whether he can carry out his duty if he doesn’t truly love her, or whether he can be the man his parents expect. He’s torn between honour, duty and love, and death hangs like a shadow over him as he struggles to find a place in the world.

Purchase details:

Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com

More information:

Amazon author page
Goodreads
Author’s Blog
Facebook


Letters Home: Afghanistan by Teresa Jones

Letters Home: Afghanistan is the story of a soldier and his family that experience the ups and downs of a year of deployment to an active war zone. In this story we watch as the son John, deals with the reality of war in addition to missing out on all the wonderful things that come along with being part of a family and a community. We also get a peek into how the family on the home front deals with their son being so far away and in harm’s way each and every day.

Together they must find the strength to stay strong and positive while struggling daily to be a constant source of encouragement and support to each other.

~This book is a novella that is the first in a set of four from the “Letters from War” series. ~
~This book reads like a packet of old letters instead of in typical chapter formation~

Available exclusively on Amazon.com with Createspace version coming soon!

Purchase Location: Amazon.com
Current Price: 0.99 cents!

Contact the Author:
Facebook
Goodreads
WordPress
Twitter


Book Promo Day – 13th June, 2013

Dessi’s Romance by Goldie Alexander

Dessi’s Romance explores some of the choices these young people make. As the story continues, all have the value of their friendships confirmed, and learn that their adventures in life and love will help them mature.

End of school is a crucial time for life -making decisions.Eighteen year old best friends Dessi Cowan, Lilbet’s grandniece, and her best friend Emma Simpson have planned a celebratory trip to the Gold Coast. Emma is an artist, Dessi a poet; their mothers long term ‘best friends’.  In the past the girls have always been there for each other and this relationship is central to their lives. However, when Emma meets charming Abdul Malouf and Dessi is forced to stay in Melbourne to recover from a car accident, Emma asks her friend to look after Abdul while she is away.

More information:

Author’s Blog


The Eye-Dancers by Michael S. Fedison

Seventh-grader Mitchell Brant and three of his classmates inexplicably wake up at the back edge of a softball field to the sounds of a game, the cheering of the crowd.  None of them remembers coming here.  And as they soon learn, “here” is like no place they’ve ever seen.  Cars resemble antiques from the 1950s.  There are no cell phones, no PCs.  Even the spelling of words is slightly off.

A compulsive liar, constantly telling fantastic stories to garner attention and approval, Mitchell can only wish this were just one more of his tall tales.  But it isn’t.  It’s all too real.  Together, as they confront unexpected and life-threatening dangers, Mitchell and his friends must overcome their bickering and insecurities to learn what happened, where they are, and how to get back home.

The answers can be found only in the mysterious little girl with the blue, hypnotic eyes.  The one they had each dreamed of three nights in a row before arriving here.  She is their only hope.  And, as they eventually discover, they are her only hope.

And time is running out.

Current price:

ebook: $2.99

Purchase from:

Amazon.com
Barnes and Noble.com
Smashwords.com
Kobobooks.com

More information:

Author’s Blog


Charlie the Horse by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Charlie dreamed of becoming a famous racehorse like his dad, Charles the Great. But will he have the talent to succeed? Does Charlie focus on his work? What happens when Charlie encounters problems on the racetrack?

Charlie the Horse is a humorous, entertaining story that will delight your child, while teaching important lessons. Charlie the Horse has received several 5-star reviews, as well as a book of the week selection.

Recent review:

jemsbooks.wordpress.com

Purchase from:

Amazon.com (ebook or paperback)
Barnes & Noble

More information:

Author’s Website/Blog
Author’s Facebook Fan Page


I Was In Love With A Short Man Once by Kim Dalferes

Have you ever wondered if the life of the woman standing next to you in the check-out line is as weird as yours? Could it be possible that you are trapped in a bizarre reality show, where the object of the game is to get the crazy lady to flip-out; just one more time? If so, then this book confirms that you are in good company.

I Was In Love With a Short Man Once is a story collection written from the perspective of a crazy, southern, Irish gal. Follow her as she reflects on: growing up as a child of limited means in South Florida; managing a self-financed college education; balancing work as a federal official with the joys of single motherhood; and navigating the amusing challenges of being a second-time-around wife.

•       Coming Up Stories reflect the distinctive surroundings of South Florida through stories such as “Flagpole.”
•       Jimmy Stories illustrate the bond between mother and son.  Stories here include “Kool-aid Mom” and “Zamboni” and reveal the life lessons that our children teach us.
•       The Rest of the Stories round out the author’s quirky observations, including “Naked in a Hot Tub in Vegas” and “Crazy Virgo Tendencies.”

Available as an ebook, paperback or hardback.

More information:

Author’s Website


Reviewing The Adventure So Far

DSCN7533 I thought I’d share a photo’ or two.  These are the first two paperbacks of my novelettes.  I was finally able to get some batteries for my camera.  Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to get them into good light so there’s some flash flare on the photo’.  Still, I think it’s better than a simple scan!  I still can’t begin to describe just how it felt, after waiting 43 years, what it’s like to hold them in my hand.  Don’t get me wrong!  I doubt very much that I would have them now, if I hadn’t first discovered the miracle of ebooks.  Seeing my ebooks receiving interest gave me the courage to go for the ‘real thing’!

Perhaps that’s the true importance of ebooks and self-publishing.  Without ebooks, I would have continued to write, but what I wrote would have remained forever a curious pile of paper or collection of computer files, gathering dust, getting damaged or lost.  I’ve never had the resources to mail agent after agent, publisher after publisher – well, not since my youth, anyway.  As many manuscripts I produced were either written longhand or typed in non-manuscript format (MS format took far too much paper), I couldn’t even afford to have them typed professionally, ready in case somebody actually showed interest.  But ebooks!  Oh what a revolution!

DSCN7525 Early experiments with PDFs had not convinced me.  I don’t like them.  It’s as simple as that.  SO a handful of half-hearted attempts at writing on the computer simply sat there, doing nothing.  discovering Kindle ebooks and ePubs transformed everything!  A good number of short story ebooks yielded the fact that I could get readers – judging by the number of downloads.  It was this that led to the novelettes.  Naturally, like the vast majority of Indie writers, translating hundreds of downloads of free stories into sales of longer tales has not been quite so impressive.  In fact, I still get excited by a sale.  That gives you some idea of how quick sales are going!  Despite that, I know that there are millions of people who don’t like ebooks, so I decided to issue the novelettes as paperbacks, at the absolute minimum price.  I’m not sorry I did, even if I’m yet to get any sales!

And that’s the thing.  I have made a discovery.  I now know that the dream on its own is enough!  Yes, some sales would be very nice, and no, they’ll never make me rich – or even financially ‘comfortable’, but, I have realised the most cherished dream of my life!  Yes, I would feel immensely honoured to have readers, especially ones who come back for more, but that would be icing on the cake, and icing without a cake is rather pointless.  After all these years, I now know that it is simply the sense of having moved from a manuscript to a finished, honest-to-goodness, book is incomparable in terms of satisfaction.

Does that al sound egocentric?  It probably does, but I’m honest enough to acknowledge the truth, now that I understand it.  This realisation of a simple fact caused me to consider something.  Is my ambition now fulfilled?  Do I now move to something new?  Well, you may be unhappy to learn that I intend to continue writing.  I have another ambition, and it may even be the one that has driven everything else this far.  I want to see one of my novels not in ebook format, nor even in paperback.  I really wish to see one in hardback!  More, it should be a stylish hardback, such as anybody would be proud to display on their most publicly visible bookshelf.  Sure, it can have a slip cover, but the bare book, without that paper wrapping, however ‘pretty’ is very much secondary.  And here, I will make a confession.  I came very close to having that a very long time ago.  I contacted a company I thought were legitimate publishers.  In fact, I discovered that they were ‘Vanity publishers’.  Still, if I had had more money and less sense, I would have leapt at the opportunity to see my book published.  I had a clear impression of how it would look, and I so wanted it!  Yet, with the good sense instilled in me by excellent parents, I recognised that it would be an expensive way to massage my ego.  As a result, and not without a few twinges of regret, I rejected the deal and returned meekly to the realms of the author dreaming but not succeeding.  Today, I am very glad that I didn’t take that route.

The other two of my novelettes are on the brink of appearing as paperbacks.  My recently completed novella will follow as swiftly as possible.  I’ve now begun writing another book, which will be the fourth of the G1: The Guardians series, and I don’t yet know what length it will be.  It is my hope that it will be the longest tale yet, but that could mean that it will still be of novella length.  My production rate has declined, but that’s natural given the increased length of each book.  I’m not really writing less, it’s just more concentrated.

So far, this adventure has been fascinating and fun.  With any luck, it will continue in the same vein!

~ Steve

Dancing With Joyness!

‘Joyness’?  What the heck is that?

Okay, so I know there’s no such word as ‘joyness’!  The word ‘joy’ was insufficient and ‘ecstasy’ has an unfortunate alternate meaning.  So I got inventive for this post.  What am I feeling joyness about?  It’s very easy to answer that: I have another novelette available in paperback with one more almost there!

The Ossilan Affair - Spec Fic

The Ossilan Affair, which is the second novelette in the Captain Henri Duschelle Stories series, is now available through skoobebooks.  It should be noted that, while skoobebooks are in the UK, they do fulfil international orders – please check the website!

I am very excited to see these paperback editions appearing.  While there have been no sales so far, unfortunately, I feel that I’m now offering my books in a more complete sense, and not confining them to only those with eReaders/computers with eReader apps.  I’m seriously considering bringing together the Thief series short stories in a compendium, which would be offered both as an ebook and a paperback.  If I did so, however, I would have to remove the free ebooks, which is a stumbling block to the idea’s progress.  I would love to hear from you if you have any views on the possibility, especially if you’ve done something similar!

The next ‘ebook goes paperback’ will be Evil Under The Circle, which is the second of the G1: The Guardians series.  I decided to go to skoobebooks for this, too, because my experiences with them, compared to FeedARead, were so good.  With the third in this series now completed, I’m still trying to decide whether to release the ebook or the paperback first.  If I choose to go for the paperback, there will be a delay before the release…

Where next…

I’m between stories now.  The novel is still in limbo.  I haven’t yet been hit by inspiration as to what comes next.  I’d love to pursue the Duschelle and Guardians series, but both obviously require the vision of where they are to go from the last books.  It’s obvious that I’m building up in length of these tales, so I really need some storylines appropriate to a longer format.  That said, there’s still room for more stories in the Thief series – or do I look to writing a longer tale there too?  Finally, I started writing a children’s story, but lost several pages of work when the battery died on my netbook!  Despite OpenOffice autosaving, all I had left was a little over one paragraph – which was soul destroying.  I do have notes for that story, but I’ve not had the heart to start again, so far.  It would also be complicated, because I’d like to include some black and white illustrations and my own drawing skills are not adequate for the images I’ll need.

It’s all very unclear at the moment.  In the meantime, not writing is an unhappy state for me!  Ah, the joys of being an author…

First Paperback Released!

Yes, that’s right!  My first paperback has been released!  You may recall that I mentioned in previous posts that I was trying two different ‘Print On Demand’ (POD) services.  Well, the clear winner in terms of timescale and level of communications is skoobebooks.  Skoobebooks had everything but the final )printer’s) proof sorted by last weekend, and that last proof was sorted yesterday.  I would like to express my thanks to Keith at skoobebooks for all his hard work.  Needless to say, more paperbacks will be entrusted to them!

FeedARead are still processing the novelette I sent them.  They have finished the interior but the cover hasn’t yet been finished.  Considering the fact that I sent the manuscript to FeedARead first, I’m not overly impressed with their performance so far.

Now, as to the actual, real live paperback:

For the Sake of Mercy (A Captain Henri Duschelle Story) is available for ordering.  It costs £3.99 GBP, plus post & packaging, and is normally despatched in 5-10 days from skoobebooks.

To repeat the book’s blurb:

Merchant Captain Henri Duschelle, a man Union Fleet wish they had, must lead his loyal, hard fighting crew on a seemingly impossible mission: to deliver a vital organ to the dying son of one of his crew, across the longest span of the colonised worlds – to an insane deadline. He is convinced that only his ship, the stunningly beautiful Persephone, can make such a journey in the time allowed. But dangers lie in wait on this, perhaps the greatest voyage ever made by humans…

A novelette in the series: The Captain Henri Duschelle Stories.

The paperback has 68 pages.

About the Series:

For those ‘not in the know’, the series of The Captain Henri Duschelle Stories made an early start with the short story To Sail The Dark Sea.  I decided that that tale would, for now, constitute Number 0.5 of the series, with For the Sake of Mercy being Number 1 and the next novelette, The Ossilan Affair, being Number 2.  At this point in time, there isn’t a set chronology, other than the fact that Number 2 most definitely follows immediately on from Number 1!  That may sound obvious, but those numbers may change in time, if new tales actually precede them chronologically.  The numbers, therefore, are rather arbitrary.  It’s not even certain, at this point, that the short story occurs earlier than the tales in the two novelettes.  The numbers are there purely for convenience.  Also, there is no certainty that future tales will all be either short stories or novelettes.  It is an entirely flexible arrangement.  All I can say, with any certainty, is that the existing short story will continue to be available for free download, though it may be added to another, longer, tale in the future, as ‘bonus material’ for anybody who hasn’t availed themselves of the offer.

~ Steve