Short Stories #Free for you to #Read

I have a short story collection I have compiled over the years. Every time I write another one I add it to this collection. The eBook edition is easy enough to update and add new ones to it. The paperback is updated every so many years, when necessary.

Since this book is a sample collection, it will be my free sampler. I’m making it per-ma-free. It is already free on Apple. Barnes & Noble will be free in a few days. I’m not sure how long it will take for Amazon’s bots to pick up on the free price. You are welcome to notify them that you’ve found it free at Apple.

Then, there is always Smashwords.com too.

Happy Easter and Happy Reading!

Time Pieces
eBook short story collection
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Monadnock Writers’ Group Meeting Minute and #ROW80 Check-in

It is the third Saturday of the month and time once again to let you all know how my monthly Monadnock Writers’ Group happened to be. Our speaker for today was Hilary Weisman Graham. I met her a few months ago when she spoke at our NHRWA meeting in Bow, NH. That time she had told us all about the marketing things one should not do. This time she spoke about her other form of writing that she feels she loves even more than writing fiction. She is a screenwriter at heart.

Hilary wrote a YA Contemporary a year ago called Reunited. I still have yet to read it. Winter is coming. There should be plenty of time to read then.

Her explanation of what she had to go through to pitch a screenplay for TV Shows, explained how difficult that kind of writing tends to be. It is a never ending battle to come up with the right story line, the right characters, and what they are looking for in a screenplay during that actual moment. Many screenplays are tossed in the file after file to become lost in time.

She was asked about the difference between managers and agents. Hilary said that the managers are more personal, and she can cry on her manager’s shoulder about things easier than crying on an agents shoulder. The relationship tends to be closer.

All in all, I found her screenplay presentation much more enjoyable and funny. Thanks Hilary. Hope to see you again soon and good luck on your screenplays.

Other News:

Along Came Neil is up on Smashwords – finally.

I don’t believe I will bother taking part ever again in the Kindle Select program, especially now that Smashwords has come out with the prerelease feature. I really do like Smashwords so much more than any other venue. The meat grinder was my nemesis in the past, but I do believe I may have conquered that. Now I just need to wait for them to approve the file for their catalogue. In the meantime I have a little treat for my readers. I have a coupon code to share with all of you and if you want you are free to share this code with your friends and your friends’ friends, and their connections too. So please pass it around. I am hoping to get some ratings and reviews if possible in exchange for this code.

For your Free eBook in your choice of format. Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: MH37M – Not Case Sensitive
Expires: November 19, 2013 https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/368935

ROW80 Check-In:

I missed my check in for Wednesday. So much for my goal of not missing a post, but I won’t give up on that goal just yet. I plan on trying again and again until I finally meet that goal without having to force myself to make the posts.

What I do have to report: I started working on the next Orgarlan Book. The first 1k words are done. I will give it a shot again tomorrow and see what kind of word count I can get before noon time. I know that 3k would be too much to ask for, but then again, that can be about the same length of a chapter, so one never knows.

How’s your writing going this week? I would love to hear from you. Do you attend writing groups? Who have your speakers been?

Follow the Linky Link to see other ROWers' check in progresses.

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Why I love Smashwords

Back in 2010 I came across an eBook publishing house called Smashwords. It was kind of big at the time, but not like it is today.

I remember trying to upload my very first book to the site and pulling my hair out because I kept getting vetting errors. I fussed and fretted about the meat grinder (that’s what they call their formatting tool for making all the different formats for the venues they submit to). Finally after about the twentieth try I did it. It was such a frustrating experience. I had two choices at that point. I could either give up hope of ever publishing my book on their site or persevere.

Well we can all see what really did happen.

Over the years I have heard Authors complain about Amazon. It is always the same kind of complaint. Their too big – they keep changing the rules – they don’t seem fair – but I’m making money.

Okay – yea – so – Let’s look at Smashwords:

I don’t like the meat grinder – why – because you don’t know how to format your book properly.

Once you learn it is pretty easy peasy.

What else don’t you like about Smashwords?

I can’t think of anything that comes to mind.

What do I love about them?

They distribute our books to lots of great venues, plus Mark Coker is always out there trying to find us more venues.

He never gives up. He is for the author.

Mark gives us tips and trade secrets and hope to be a great writer someday, the hope that the readers will discover us the way we discovered Smashwords.

He has given us ways to be found and not just by using SEO as Amazon does. Coupon codes are one of his great features on the site. These allow us to distribute our book for free or a reduced price to those who are part of our growing platform. This is a great way to secure reviews.

He takes part in Read an Ebook week on the site and also promotes NaNoWriMo.

The best part is, Mark Coker is always out there advocating for the authors, it does not matter if they are the little guy who has no platform as of yet or the best-selling author with millions of followers. Mark is always there for us.

So I want to say: Thanks Mark Coker for all you have done for us since 2008

Mark’s latest post: http://blog.smashwords.com/2013/03/how-libraries-can-launch-community.html

After Thanksgiving #ROW80 Check-in

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Holiday.

I know I did. This was the first year in a long time that my son has been home for the holiday. It was so good to have him here.

Main Aisle, Macy's 1st Floor, Black Friday
Main Aisle, Macy’s 1st Floor, Black Friday (Photo credit: LarimdaME)

On Thanksgiving night we went out and did the unthinkable and went Black Friday Shopping. What an insane idea that was. I didn’t know that there could be that many people living in the area to fill a store up the way it was that night. I mean everyone was parked everywhere, on the grass, in the road, and up on the highway. Then there wasn’t one single shopping cart to be found in Walmart. People were sitting on them waiting for 10 o’clock to come around so they could turn in their tickets to get their TVs they were waiting for.

I only managed to find three out of nineteen items I had on my list. I should have printed out a map of the store before going. Then I would have known where everything was going to be. Maybe next year, even though Mike said there won’t be a next year. I guess he didn’t have a good time being my personal shopping cart. But he was a good trooper none the less.

ROW80 Update:

This year I did not officially take part in NaNo WriMo. I was too busy struggling to get the first draft done for Road Salt.

So, I am happy to announce folks, the first draft is done. I made it to the end of the story. I even formatted the file for Smashwords and I think it passed the vetting process on its first time around. Now I have to begin the edit process. Hopefully I can have the first edit done by Christmas.

I did not make my end goal for word count on the first draft. One of the problems I have when I write is that I tend to write very tight, almost too tight. When I go back through the story I am sure I will be able to make my end goal after answering the same questions for each chapter.

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • How
  • Why

If I can answer all the above I am sure that there won’t be too many gaps in the story. This is what I did when I did the last edit on Friends of Choice. Just by answering those questions I was able to add another 14k words to the manuscript.

If anyone is interested in being a beta reader for me and giving me some constructive criticism on Road Salt you can view the first draft on Smashwords for free… https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/258513

The more ideas I can get on this story the better. I do know that I need to delve deeper into my characters for this story. That will be what my main focus will be on while I do the first edit.

It really isn’t supposed to be an entertaining read, but if I could make it entertaining that would be all the better.

Stop by to support other Round of Words in 80 Days participants found here on the Linky List of other ROWers

Independent Bookstores Alliance Themselves with Kobo

I guess it is now official, the Indie Bookstores have allianced themselves with Kobo eBooks and it is about time they partnered up with an eBook Powerhouse. Maybe now they will be able to recover some of their sales by being able to offer their customers some of those great eBooks coming from Smashwords authors around the world.

I am really excited about this news.

In the past I went ahead and loaded my books onto the Google eBook site. Their site is a horror show. It is hard to maneuver and it is just plain quirky. And when they post the reviews for my books that are coming off of GoodReads, for some reason they like to grab all the lowest review ratings instead of the top ratings. I thought this to be an odd practice for a company who was looking to sell eBooks.

Now with the new Kobo deal with the indie bookstores, anyone who publishes with Smashwords and selects the distribution to Kobo will be able to have their books distributed to the US Brick and Mortar Stores.

It was not too long ago that I spoke to the owner of our local bookstore. He really didn’t know what to expect with this new Kobo deal. He was kind of apprehensive about the eBook movement and was afraid that eBooks would replace print books just as mp3 files took over the CD market.

Hopefully he decides to carry the Kobo eReader so he can actively promote eBooks from his store.

So move over Amazon, the Independent Bookstores are back in business.