Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday Specials: Mirrors & Mist Sale, Crimson & Cream Giveaway

This week, my 4.7-star rated epic fantasy adventure Mirrors & Mist (Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy) is on sale at Amazon for $0.99. The Countdown deal will increase to $1.99 next weekend before the deal ends.

Crimson & Cream (Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy) is free at Smashwords through the holidays with this coupon code: JH88U. Crimson & Cream currently has a 4.4 star rating on Amazon and a 4.7 star rating on Smashwords.

I've included some descriptive reviews below, to provide an idea of what to expect. My best wishes to everyone on a safe, joyous, and peaceful holiday season. I'll be back in 2016 with a progress update on Warlock & Wyrm (Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy).

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An exciting and excellent second book in The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy!
By Shay VanZwoll on March 14, 2015

Mirrors & Mist, the second book of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, continues the story of the orphan Jetsam and the "kingslayer" Seryn. While Jetsam finally has a chance to learn magic under the tutelage of Seryn, his training is interrupted when Seryn is captured and taken back to Dwim-Halloe. Jetsam must now help Seryn escape certain death and discover the truth of King Tygan's murder before the secrets of the past are lost forever.

CM Skiera has managed to write another spellbinding tale, expanding on the first adventure while also tying in Seryn's past. Not only are we able to see the events unfolding that led to the banishment of magic in Dwim-Halloe, we also learn how the paths of Seryn and Jetsam are woven together through the teachings and loyalty of Jetsam's parents. Interspersing the present with past memories helps keep the story moving forward quickly without feeling as if too much background information is forced on the reader at once.

It's difficult to believe that this is only the author's second book, with well-written and interesting characters and an exciting plot. A mixture of High Fantasy and Sword & Sorcery genres, this story does contain some of the staples, including dragons, wizards, and trolls, though it also introduces creatures unique to the Oxbow Kingdom. The author has created a complex world, giving a deeper understanding to the politics and motives of the characters while still being entertaining. Most importantly, you want to learn more about the people and discover what happens next!

As this is the second book in the trilogy, the ending leads us straight into the adventure waiting in the final volume. I'm already eagerly anticipating the events to come in Book Three!

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
C.M. Skiera Raises His Own Bar!
By Dii TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 16, 2015

C.M. Skiera is back! The second addition to the Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, Mirrors & Mist is another trip into a world where magic and wizardry are feared and unlawful. Once again we share in Jetsam’s life and the lives of the orphans who were his only family as his life is again caught up in turmoil and magical entanglements.

Jetsam is now apprenticed to the one of the most powerful wizards ever. Seryn Vardan is the most wanted man in Dwim-Halloe and Fate has placed them in the right place at the wrong time, Seryn allows himself to be captured to save Jetsam and is now scheduled for a public death. Can jetsam find a way to save his mentor? Can he enlist the help of the boys underground, would they still risk their lives for him, as in the past? Time changes people, but has the bond of being unwanted orphans still held strong? Will any of his old comrades still be there?

In another twist of Fate, a lie has been revealed that could shatter the very foundations of the kingdom. Is it another trap for Seryn and Jetsam or will the truth set them free? Will they live long enough to uncover the evil that has been lurking in the castle?

Once again, reality faded away and I was transported into C. M. Skiera’s world of dark fantasy, emotion and wickedly fast-paced action, both physical and mental as Jetsam finds himself caught up in more deceit and danger. Being reunited with his friends felt like a homecoming as their personalities came back in full-color detail! Each page uncovered another twist, another revelation and more of the man Jetsam was turning in to as C.M. Skiera smoothly brings another tale to life. The tension created by Mr. Skiera’s words is thick, the energy, heady and the loyalty of allies simply amazing!

2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Holiday Specials: Mirrors & Mist Sale, Crimson & Cream Giveaway
link : Holiday Specials: Mirrors & Mist Sale, Crimson & Cream Giveaway

Read Also


2015

This week, my 4.7-star rated epic fantasy adventure Mirrors & Mist (Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy) is on sale at Amazon for $0.99. The Countdown deal will increase to $1.99 next weekend before the deal ends.

Crimson & Cream (Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy) is free at Smashwords through the holidays with this coupon code: JH88U. Crimson & Cream currently has a 4.4 star rating on Amazon and a 4.7 star rating on Smashwords.

I've included some descriptive reviews below, to provide an idea of what to expect. My best wishes to everyone on a safe, joyous, and peaceful holiday season. I'll be back in 2016 with a progress update on Warlock & Wyrm (Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy).

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An exciting and excellent second book in The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy!
By Shay VanZwoll on March 14, 2015

Mirrors & Mist, the second book of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, continues the story of the orphan Jetsam and the "kingslayer" Seryn. While Jetsam finally has a chance to learn magic under the tutelage of Seryn, his training is interrupted when Seryn is captured and taken back to Dwim-Halloe. Jetsam must now help Seryn escape certain death and discover the truth of King Tygan's murder before the secrets of the past are lost forever.

CM Skiera has managed to write another spellbinding tale, expanding on the first adventure while also tying in Seryn's past. Not only are we able to see the events unfolding that led to the banishment of magic in Dwim-Halloe, we also learn how the paths of Seryn and Jetsam are woven together through the teachings and loyalty of Jetsam's parents. Interspersing the present with past memories helps keep the story moving forward quickly without feeling as if too much background information is forced on the reader at once.

It's difficult to believe that this is only the author's second book, with well-written and interesting characters and an exciting plot. A mixture of High Fantasy and Sword & Sorcery genres, this story does contain some of the staples, including dragons, wizards, and trolls, though it also introduces creatures unique to the Oxbow Kingdom. The author has created a complex world, giving a deeper understanding to the politics and motives of the characters while still being entertaining. Most importantly, you want to learn more about the people and discover what happens next!

As this is the second book in the trilogy, the ending leads us straight into the adventure waiting in the final volume. I'm already eagerly anticipating the events to come in Book Three!

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
C.M. Skiera Raises His Own Bar!
By Dii TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 16, 2015

C.M. Skiera is back! The second addition to the Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, Mirrors & Mist is another trip into a world where magic and wizardry are feared and unlawful. Once again we share in Jetsam’s life and the lives of the orphans who were his only family as his life is again caught up in turmoil and magical entanglements.

Jetsam is now apprenticed to the one of the most powerful wizards ever. Seryn Vardan is the most wanted man in Dwim-Halloe and Fate has placed them in the right place at the wrong time, Seryn allows himself to be captured to save Jetsam and is now scheduled for a public death. Can jetsam find a way to save his mentor? Can he enlist the help of the boys underground, would they still risk their lives for him, as in the past? Time changes people, but has the bond of being unwanted orphans still held strong? Will any of his old comrades still be there?

In another twist of Fate, a lie has been revealed that could shatter the very foundations of the kingdom. Is it another trap for Seryn and Jetsam or will the truth set them free? Will they live long enough to uncover the evil that has been lurking in the castle?

Once again, reality faded away and I was transported into C. M. Skiera’s world of dark fantasy, emotion and wickedly fast-paced action, both physical and mental as Jetsam finds himself caught up in more deceit and danger. Being reunited with his friends felt like a homecoming as their personalities came back in full-color detail! Each page uncovered another twist, another revelation and more of the man Jetsam was turning in to as C.M. Skiera smoothly brings another tale to life. The tension created by Mr. Skiera’s words is thick, the energy, heady and the loyalty of allies simply amazing!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Confessions of a Failure; A Post-Game Wrap-Up of My Kindle Countdown Deal

I conducted my first Kindle Countdown Deal last month for my epic fantasy adventure Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy. Unfortunately, the results failed to meet even my tempered expectations. But you may recall, I promised to compare the sales from the KDP Select Free events versus the Countdown promotion to see if one is more advantageous than the other.

I'd previously done a few KDP Select Free events where I would typically see a spike in free downloads, and an associated (much smaller) spike in sales. My hope was that the Countdown Deal would produce more sales (albeit at a discounted price), however, this did not happen.

During the Kindle Countdown Deal that ran November 10 through 17, I sold a total of four e-books on Amazon. In comparison, my last Amazon giveaway produced an additional six sales of my first book (which was not being given away) and around 150 free downloads of the featured book.

I advertised my Kindle Countdown Deal on several websites that feature discounted book promotions and I promoted the event on my Twitter, facebook, and Google+ feeds. In retrospect, these efforts appear to have had little effect on sales.

At this point, for my books, the free promotional giveaway appears to be the more effective strategy, for two main reasons:
  1. The uptick in additional sales during my free promotions roughly matches the  number of sales at the discounted price. When you factor in the reduced sale price during the Countdown promotion, I actually earn more revenue with the free promotion from the associated sales.
  2. During the free promotion, I also give away a decent amount of e-books, regardless of sales numbers. This achieves my goal of getting more readers exposed to my writing (even at no revenue).
I suspect the Kindle Countdown Deal can be an advantageous promotion when you have a greater demand for your books, however, I'm not at that point, yet.

Since my KDP Select 90-day term resets soon, I'll be planning another promotion. I'm going to try a second Countdown Deal in December to collect more data, and hope that Christmas shoppers will be more alert for bargains than they were in mid-November. This time, I plan on skipping the website promotions in an effort to gauge their effectiveness.

Do you have any stories to share about your Kindle promotions? I'd be interested in reading them, if you're willing to share.

Author Update:  I'm  finishing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy and recently passed the 81,000 word mark. 

If you'd like to try the trilogy, you can get a free copy of Crimson & Cream, Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy at Smashwords with this code: JH88U.


2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Confessions of a Failure; A Post-Game Wrap-Up of My Kindle Countdown Deal
link : Confessions of a Failure; A Post-Game Wrap-Up of My Kindle Countdown Deal

Read Also


2015

I conducted my first Kindle Countdown Deal last month for my epic fantasy adventure Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy. Unfortunately, the results failed to meet even my tempered expectations. But you may recall, I promised to compare the sales from the KDP Select Free events versus the Countdown promotion to see if one is more advantageous than the other.

I'd previously done a few KDP Select Free events where I would typically see a spike in free downloads, and an associated (much smaller) spike in sales. My hope was that the Countdown Deal would produce more sales (albeit at a discounted price), however, this did not happen.

During the Kindle Countdown Deal that ran November 10 through 17, I sold a total of four e-books on Amazon. In comparison, my last Amazon giveaway produced an additional six sales of my first book (which was not being given away) and around 150 free downloads of the featured book.

I advertised my Kindle Countdown Deal on several websites that feature discounted book promotions and I promoted the event on my Twitter, facebook, and Google+ feeds. In retrospect, these efforts appear to have had little effect on sales.

At this point, for my books, the free promotional giveaway appears to be the more effective strategy, for two main reasons:

  1. The uptick in additional sales during my free promotions roughly matches the  number of sales at the discounted price. When you factor in the reduced sale price during the Countdown promotion, I actually earn more revenue with the free promotion from the associated sales.
  2. During the free promotion, I also give away a decent amount of e-books, regardless of sales numbers. This achieves my goal of getting more readers exposed to my writing (even at no revenue).
I suspect the Kindle Countdown Deal can be an advantageous promotion when you have a greater demand for your books, however, I'm not at that point, yet.

Since my KDP Select 90-day term resets soon, I'll be planning another promotion. I'm going to try a second Countdown Deal in December to collect more data, and hope that Christmas shoppers will be more alert for bargains than they were in mid-November. This time, I plan on skipping the website promotions in an effort to gauge their effectiveness.

Do you have any stories to share about your Kindle promotions? I'd be interested in reading them, if you're willing to share.

Author Update:  I'm  finishing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy and recently passed the 81,000 word mark. 

If you'd like to try the trilogy, you can get a free copy of Crimson & Cream, Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy at Smashwords with this code: JH88U.


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My NaNoFiMo

As you may recall, I didn't attempt NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, although I did set a goal to finish the first draft of my novel, which was already started, by the end of November. I felt like I was fading down the home stretch and wanted to challenge myself to complete the first draft. Tagging along on the coat-tails of NaNoWriMo, I dubbed my fictional endeavor NaNoFiMo, as in National Novel Finishing Month. Since I don't keep a writing log or journal, I decided to document my results here, so I can look back at this post, once I forget the details.

My goal for November was 1,000 words a day, and although I fell short of 30,000 words for the month, and didn't finish the first draft by my self-imposed deadline, I did come close. For the month, I wrote 24,912 words (830 words per day), which is 5,088 words shy of my goal. I know it seems like I'm fixating on the numbers (I'm a bit of a statistics nerd), but I'm also looking at the results as a way to measure my progress and forecast a realistic writing schedule going forward.

The bust in my goal was expecting to write every day for 30 consecutive days. I ended up not writing anything on seven days in November. I blame part of the failure on my oversight of a birthday and a national holiday (as well as an exceptionally good month for my Spartan Football and Basketball teams). The upside is that for the 23 days in November that I did write, I beat my goal of 1,000 words per day (1,083 wpd, for you numbers freaks).

So what's the lesson I learned? I enjoyed challenging myself, and didn't set a goal so high that it turned writing into drudgery (which I fear a full NaNoWriMo would have). I also found the upper limits of my current productivity level and came close to finishing the first draft. The 5,088 words I fell short still wouldn't have been enough to finish the first draft, since, as of now, I estimate I still need at least 10,000 more words to finish.

Based on the data, I hope to finish the first draft by the end of the year. Since December will be a busier month for me with vacation and holiday travel, a 10,000-word month seems like a challenging, yet achievable goal. In a month from now, we'll see how I fared.

The first draft of Warlock & Wyrm sits at 78,773 words, with 26 out of 31 chapters completed. Now, on to December!


2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : My NaNoFiMo
link : My NaNoFiMo

Read Also


2015

As you may recall, I didn't attempt NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, although I did set a goal to finish the first draft of my novel, which was already started, by the end of November. I felt like I was fading down the home stretch and wanted to challenge myself to complete the first draft. Tagging along on the coat-tails of NaNoWriMo, I dubbed my fictional endeavor NaNoFiMo, as in National Novel Finishing Month. Since I don't keep a writing log or journal, I decided to document my results here, so I can look back at this post, once I forget the details.

My goal for November was 1,000 words a day, and although I fell short of 30,000 words for the month, and didn't finish the first draft by my self-imposed deadline, I did come close. For the month, I wrote 24,912 words (830 words per day), which is 5,088 words shy of my goal. I know it seems like I'm fixating on the numbers (I'm a bit of a statistics nerd), but I'm also looking at the results as a way to measure my progress and forecast a realistic writing schedule going forward.

The bust in my goal was expecting to write every day for 30 consecutive days. I ended up not writing anything on seven days in November. I blame part of the failure on my oversight of a birthday and a national holiday (as well as an exceptionally good month for my Spartan Football and Basketball teams). The upside is that for the 23 days in November that I did write, I beat my goal of 1,000 words per day (1,083 wpd, for you numbers freaks).

So what's the lesson I learned? I enjoyed challenging myself, and didn't set a goal so high that it turned writing into drudgery (which I fear a full NaNoWriMo would have). I also found the upper limits of my current productivity level and came close to finishing the first draft. The 5,088 words I fell short still wouldn't have been enough to finish the first draft, since, as of now, I estimate I still need at least 10,000 more words to finish.

Based on the data, I hope to finish the first draft by the end of the year. Since December will be a busier month for me with vacation and holiday travel, a 10,000-word month seems like a challenging, yet achievable goal. In a month from now, we'll see how I fared.

The first draft of Warlock & Wyrm sits at 78,773 words, with 26 out of 31 chapters completed. Now, on to December!


Monday, November 9, 2015

KDP Countdown Deal - My Gameplan

I'm running my first Kindle Countdown Deal starting today with Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy. I've previously done a few KDP Select Free events, so I thought I would try the other Kindle Promotional option.

A Kindle Countdown Deal is a KDP Select benefit that allows you to run a limited-time discounted-price promotion for your book. Amazon customers can see the book's regular price and the limited-time promotional price. A countdown clock shows how much time is left at the promotional price.

I selected the following days, durations, and discount prices from my KDP dashboard:

1 - On November 10 at 12:00 AM, for 108 hours the price will be $0.99 (67% off)
2 - On November 14 at 12:00 PM, for 60 hours the price will be $1.99 (34% off)
Then, on November 17 at 12:00 AM, Mirrors & Mist returns to the list price of $2.99

During the prior KDP Select Free promotions I ran, I would typically see a spike in free downloads, and an associated (much smaller) spike in sales. I'm going to compare the sales from the free promotion versus the countdown promotion and try to see if one is more advantageous than the other. I'll report back in my next post once the final numbers are in.

I'm advertising my Kindle Countdown Deal on several websites that will feature discounted book promotions. Most of these websites also feature free book promotions as well. For this event, I'm only using the free listing options, though I'll likely start experimenting with paid promotions in the future, but more on that in a future post.

For this event, I've submitted my promotional info for the Mirrors & Mist Countdown Deal to the following websites:
  1. addictedtoebooks.com
  2. ebooklister.net
  3. choosybookworm.com
  4. ebookshabit.com
  5. readingdeals.com
  6. ohfb.com
  7. armadilloebooks.com
  8. bestebooksfree.com
  9. ereaderutopia.com
  10. free99books.com
  11. ebookasaurus.com
  12. discountbookman.com
I'll also be mentioning the promotion on Twitter, facebook, and Google+, of course.

Author Update:  I'm  writing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy and recently passed the 61,000 word mark. I'm trying my own mini-version of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) by setting a goal of finishing the first draft by December. I'm calling this my NaNoFiMo (National Novel Finishing Month). 

If you'd like to try the trilogy, you can get a free copy of Crimson & Cream, Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy at Smashwords with this code: JH88U. And don't forget, Mirrors & Mist is discounted on Amazon this week!


2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : KDP Countdown Deal - My Gameplan
link : KDP Countdown Deal - My Gameplan

Read Also


2015

I'm running my first Kindle Countdown Deal starting today with Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy. I've previously done a few KDP Select Free events, so I thought I would try the other Kindle Promotional option.

A Kindle Countdown Deal is a KDP Select benefit that allows you to run a limited-time discounted-price promotion for your book. Amazon customers can see the book's regular price and the limited-time promotional price. A countdown clock shows how much time is left at the promotional price.

I selected the following days, durations, and discount prices from my KDP dashboard:

1 - On November 10 at 12:00 AM, for 108 hours the price will be $0.99 (67% off)
2 - On November 14 at 12:00 PM, for 60 hours the price will be $1.99 (34% off)
Then, on November 17 at 12:00 AM, Mirrors & Mist returns to the list price of $2.99

During the prior KDP Select Free promotions I ran, I would typically see a spike in free downloads, and an associated (much smaller) spike in sales. I'm going to compare the sales from the free promotion versus the countdown promotion and try to see if one is more advantageous than the other. I'll report back in my next post once the final numbers are in.

I'm advertising my Kindle Countdown Deal on several websites that will feature discounted book promotions. Most of these websites also feature free book promotions as well. For this event, I'm only using the free listing options, though I'll likely start experimenting with paid promotions in the future, but more on that in a future post.

For this event, I've submitted my promotional info for the Mirrors & Mist Countdown Deal to the following websites:

  1. addictedtoebooks.com
  2. ebooklister.net
  3. choosybookworm.com
  4. ebookshabit.com
  5. readingdeals.com
  6. ohfb.com
  7. armadilloebooks.com
  8. bestebooksfree.com
  9. ereaderutopia.com
  10. free99books.com
  11. ebookasaurus.com
  12. discountbookman.com
I'll also be mentioning the promotion on Twitter, facebook, and Google+, of course.

Author Update:  I'm  writing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy and recently passed the 61,000 word mark. I'm trying my own mini-version of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) by setting a goal of finishing the first draft by December. I'm calling this my NaNoFiMo (National Novel Finishing Month). 

If you'd like to try the trilogy, you can get a free copy of Crimson & Cream, Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy at Smashwords with this code: JH88U. And don't forget, Mirrors & Mist is discounted on Amazon this week!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Indie Writer Starter Kit - Tools for the Frugal Author

One of the underlying themes of this blog has been finding cost-effective (i.e., free) tools available to writers. Below is a list of my favorite free tools that I use and find very helpful and effective. Together, these resources provide an excellent starting kit for any aspiring writer:

WRITING
For writing your novel, yWriter5 is a free word processing software (for Windows PCs) that has a ton of features to help you plan, plot, organize, rearrange and analyze your work in progress, all from within the program. It is the best free writing software I've ever encountered. If you're interested in Scrivener, but want to try a similar program at no cost, give yWriter5 a shot. You can find my full review of yWriter5 here.

EDITING
Pro Writing Aid (PWA). Cut and paste up to 3,000 words into the PWA online editor and receive 19 writing reports for free. The full feature package costs $35 a year. Use PWA to polish your work and identify weaknesses in your writing. I've tried a lot of online editing programs over the years, and PWA is still my favorite.

LEARNING VIA BLOGS
Indies Unlimited is a blog with more resources than I can cover here. If you're looking for a comprehensive website about writing, this is as close to one-stop-shopping as I have found. As a brief overview, Indies Unlimited posts articles on all segments of the indie publishing industry; provides a platform for authors to receive advice from industry veterans; lists writing contests and magazines which accept submissions; offers opportunities for authors to showcase their works; and contains a Knowledge Base and Resource Pages for an innumerable amount of topics related to writing.

Jami Gold, Paranormal Author has an excellent blog which features posts specifically on the craft of writing. In addition, Jami blogs about other writing-related topics like e-book pricing studies and where to find beta readers. Jami's website also has an excellent collection of workshops and 'worksheets for writers'. Jami posts frequently and has a treasure trove of information for writers on her website. Jami's archives back to 2010 and is searchable, so finding relevant content is easy.

LEARNING VIA E-BOOKS
The e-books below can be downloaded for free online. I've found reading each of them to be worthwhile:

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide By Mark Coker. An easy-to-implement guide on how to market e-books.

The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success By Mark Coker. The 30 best practices of bestselling self-published e-book authors.

Put the Cat In the Oven Before You Describe the Kitchen By Jake Vander Ark. Twenty writing tips for novice (and intermediate) writers.

The New Author by R.A. Barnes is no longer free, but a still-bargain at $1.06.

SPREADSHEET
I'm kind of a spreadsheet junkie, and I use them a lot for my writing. Windows Excel is generally the default spreadsheet, but if you don't have Excel, Google Sheets is an excellent free alternative. I personally use Excel because I own it, but I have experimented with Sheets enough on my tablet to recommend it. If you want to learn more, GCF LearnFree.org has some fantastic learning tools for Google Sheets, and a whole lot more.

FILE BACKUP
If you don't already use The Cloud to back up your files, Google Drive and Dropbox are two proven websites that allow you a large amount of online storage for free.

ORGANIZING YOUR RESEARCH
Evernote is a web application (the Basic version is free) that lets you clip content from anywhere on the web and save it to your Evernote account, where you can organize it, label it, add tags, and more. Evernote syncs across your phone, computer, and mobile devices, so anything you find on the Internet can be cataloged and saved for future reference.

MIND MAPPING (CAPTURING IDEAS)
Mind mapping (aka concept or mental mapping) is a process designed to organize ideas into a visual outline format where you capture your concepts on a chart that can be expanded, modified, prioritized, and rearranged as you need.  I use a free program called VUE, but I've also used MindMup, which lets you save directly to Google Drive.

So there you have it--free tools to write, edit, organize, learn, brainstorm, and back up your files. This is really the tip of the iceberg as far as free resources go. If you search my blog, you can find posts about free resources for video making, royalty-free music and images, book promotion, and more. I also have a page on my website (Links for Indie Writers) with a plethora of hyperlinks to all kinds of great websites for writers. Feel free to check it out when you get a chance.

Author Update:  I'm  writing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy and recently passed the 53,000 word mark. If you'd like to try the trilogy, you can get a free copy of Crimson & Cream at Smashwords with this code: JH88U.


2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Indie Writer Starter Kit - Tools for the Frugal Author
link : Indie Writer Starter Kit - Tools for the Frugal Author

Read Also


2015

One of the underlying themes of this blog has been finding cost-effective (i.e., free) tools available to writers. Below is a list of my favorite free tools that I use and find very helpful and effective. Together, these resources provide an excellent starting kit for any aspiring writer:

WRITING
For writing your novel, yWriter5 is a free word processing software (for Windows PCs) that has a ton of features to help you plan, plot, organize, rearrange and analyze your work in progress, all from within the program. It is the best free writing software I've ever encountered. If you're interested in Scrivener, but want to try a similar program at no cost, give yWriter5 a shot. You can find my full review of yWriter5 here.

EDITING
Pro Writing Aid (PWA). Cut and paste up to 3,000 words into the PWA online editor and receive 19 writing reports for free. The full feature package costs $35 a year. Use PWA to polish your work and identify weaknesses in your writing. I've tried a lot of online editing programs over the years, and PWA is still my favorite.

LEARNING VIA BLOGS
Indies Unlimited is a blog with more resources than I can cover here. If you're looking for a comprehensive website about writing, this is as close to one-stop-shopping as I have found. As a brief overview, Indies Unlimited posts articles on all segments of the indie publishing industry; provides a platform for authors to receive advice from industry veterans; lists writing contests and magazines which accept submissions; offers opportunities for authors to showcase their works; and contains a Knowledge Base and Resource Pages for an innumerable amount of topics related to writing.

Jami Gold, Paranormal Author has an excellent blog which features posts specifically on the craft of writing. In addition, Jami blogs about other writing-related topics like e-book pricing studies and where to find beta readers. Jami's website also has an excellent collection of workshops and 'worksheets for writers'. Jami posts frequently and has a treasure trove of information for writers on her website. Jami's archives back to 2010 and is searchable, so finding relevant content is easy.

LEARNING VIA E-BOOKS
The e-books below can be downloaded for free online. I've found reading each of them to be worthwhile:

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide By Mark Coker. An easy-to-implement guide on how to market e-books.

The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success By Mark Coker. The 30 best practices of bestselling self-published e-book authors.

Put the Cat In the Oven Before You Describe the Kitchen By Jake Vander Ark. Twenty writing tips for novice (and intermediate) writers.

The New Author by R.A. Barnes is no longer free, but a still-bargain at $1.06.

SPREADSHEET
I'm kind of a spreadsheet junkie, and I use them a lot for my writing. Windows Excel is generally the default spreadsheet, but if you don't have Excel, Google Sheets is an excellent free alternative. I personally use Excel because I own it, but I have experimented with Sheets enough on my tablet to recommend it. If you want to learn more, GCF LearnFree.org has some fantastic learning tools for Google Sheets, and a whole lot more.

FILE BACKUP
If you don't already use The Cloud to back up your files, Google Drive and Dropbox are two proven websites that allow you a large amount of online storage for free.

ORGANIZING YOUR RESEARCH
Evernote is a web application (the Basic version is free) that lets you clip content from anywhere on the web and save it to your Evernote account, where you can organize it, label it, add tags, and more. Evernote syncs across your phone, computer, and mobile devices, so anything you find on the Internet can be cataloged and saved for future reference.

MIND MAPPING (CAPTURING IDEAS)
Mind mapping (aka concept or mental mapping) is a process designed to organize ideas into a visual outline format where you capture your concepts on a chart that can be expanded, modified, prioritized, and rearranged as you need.  I use a free program called VUE, but I've also used MindMup, which lets you save directly to Google Drive.

So there you have it--free tools to write, edit, organize, learn, brainstorm, and back up your files. This is really the tip of the iceberg as far as free resources go. If you search my blog, you can find posts about free resources for video making, royalty-free music and images, book promotion, and more. I also have a page on my website (Links for Indie Writers) with a plethora of hyperlinks to all kinds of great websites for writers. Feel free to check it out when you get a chance.

Author Update:  I'm  writing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy and recently passed the 53,000 word mark. If you'd like to try the trilogy, you can get a free copy of Crimson & Cream at Smashwords with this code: JH88U.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Trying to be a better Tweeter

I'll admit, I've been slow to adapt to Twitter, and even now that I've been tweeting for over two years, I still feel out of my element and without focus when using the social media giant. I've been guilty of using Twitter to spam my book promos and haven't been a very interactive participant thus far. So I've decided to educate myself on using Twitter effectively and engaging with people, instead of just broadcasting lonely little tweets into cyberspace. I'm going to share my lesson plan with you here. These are not my ideas, rather a collection of tips I've picked up from all over the Internet, with a specific focus on Twitter for indie authors. My ultimate goal is to build followers through interaction on Twitter. Ideally, some of these followers will be interested in my books.

The directions below will be the road map I use to try and become a better Twit:

The Do List (some are painfully obvious, but I've been know to miss the forest for the trees):
  • Follow, thank, and reciprocate people who retweet (RT) your tweets.
  • Ask people questions (if you truly are looking for an answer, not just as bait).
  • Follow the '80/20 Rule.' Write 20% percent of your tweets about you and/or your writing, and focus the remaining 80% on others. RT, comment, share relevant content, recommend books and blog posts, etc.
  • Use hash tags, but no more than 2 per post. I've read that this is good Twitter etiquette (Twitiquette?).
  • Attach links to your tweets (Twitter will automatically shorten them). You can squeeze out a few more characters by shortening your link with bitly, Hootsuite or a similar tool.
  • Maximize your 140 characters. List your message, be concise, add hash tags, links, and/or pictures when possible.
  • Vary the content and presentation order of your tweets to avoid stagnation and repetition. Don't become predictable.
  • Tweet quotes from your best book reviews and link to the review or the book (in moderation).
  • Tweet quotes from your books, and link to where they can be purchased. This technique is like a mini-version of Bublish or Microcerpt. Again, use moderation.
  • Try tweeting in the afternoons and near weekends, especially Thursday and Friday afternoons. Reportedly, these are high traffic times for Twitter. I am using Hootsuite to schedule my posts during these hours, but I also plan to be available online at these times, to interact with any followers who respond.
  • Use Twitter Lists to organize your followers. For example, create a list of followers who comment about your book as a way to keep track of and stay in touch with them. Same thing for book reviewers, blogs, regular retweeters, personal favorites, friends, etc.
  • Check the Twitter Glossary when you're confused or uncertain.
The Don't List:
  • Don’t set up an auto-message that sends a tweet to everyone who follows you. Since I find these tweets annoying, doing it myself would be hypocritical.
  • Don't try to sell your book, especially with spammy tweets. This one is tough. Try to craft a creative tweet that is not a sales pitch and contains some value to the reader.
  • Avoid validation services, for the same reasons as auto-messaging. It's like telling your potential followers "my time is more valuable than yours."
  • Don't recycle your tweets. Nobody likes reruns.
Do you have Twitter tips of your own? I'd love to hear about them!

Author Update:  I'm  writing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy and recently passed the 46,000 word mark, which, based on the way I write first drafts is approximately 2/3 complete. If you'd like to try the trilogy, you can get a free copy of Crimson & Cream at Smashwords with this code: JH88U.


2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Trying to be a better Tweeter
link : Trying to be a better Tweeter

Read Also


2015

I'll admit, I've been slow to adapt to Twitter, and even now that I've been tweeting for over two years, I still feel out of my element and without focus when using the social media giant. I've been guilty of using Twitter to spam my book promos and haven't been a very interactive participant thus far. So I've decided to educate myself on using Twitter effectively and engaging with people, instead of just broadcasting lonely little tweets into cyberspace. I'm going to share my lesson plan with you here. These are not my ideas, rather a collection of tips I've picked up from all over the Internet, with a specific focus on Twitter for indie authors. My ultimate goal is to build followers through interaction on Twitter. Ideally, some of these followers will be interested in my books.

The directions below will be the road map I use to try and become a better Twit:

The Do List (some are painfully obvious, but I've been know to miss the forest for the trees):

  • Follow, thank, and reciprocate people who retweet (RT) your tweets.
  • Ask people questions (if you truly are looking for an answer, not just as bait).
  • Follow the '80/20 Rule.' Write 20% percent of your tweets about you and/or your writing, and focus the remaining 80% on others. RT, comment, share relevant content, recommend books and blog posts, etc.
  • Use hash tags, but no more than 2 per post. I've read that this is good Twitter etiquette (Twitiquette?).
  • Attach links to your tweets (Twitter will automatically shorten them). You can squeeze out a few more characters by shortening your link with bitly, Hootsuite or a similar tool.
  • Maximize your 140 characters. List your message, be concise, add hash tags, links, and/or pictures when possible.
  • Vary the content and presentation order of your tweets to avoid stagnation and repetition. Don't become predictable.
  • Tweet quotes from your best book reviews and link to the review or the book (in moderation).
  • Tweet quotes from your books, and link to where they can be purchased. This technique is like a mini-version of Bublish or Microcerpt. Again, use moderation.
  • Try tweeting in the afternoons and near weekends, especially Thursday and Friday afternoons. Reportedly, these are high traffic times for Twitter. I am using Hootsuite to schedule my posts during these hours, but I also plan to be available online at these times, to interact with any followers who respond.
  • Use Twitter Lists to organize your followers. For example, create a list of followers who comment about your book as a way to keep track of and stay in touch with them. Same thing for book reviewers, blogs, regular retweeters, personal favorites, friends, etc.
  • Check the Twitter Glossary when you're confused or uncertain.
The Don't List:
  • Don’t set up an auto-message that sends a tweet to everyone who follows you. Since I find these tweets annoying, doing it myself would be hypocritical.
  • Don't try to sell your book, especially with spammy tweets. This one is tough. Try to craft a creative tweet that is not a sales pitch and contains some value to the reader.
  • Avoid validation services, for the same reasons as auto-messaging. It's like telling your potential followers "my time is more valuable than yours."
  • Don't recycle your tweets. Nobody likes reruns.
Do you have Twitter tips of your own? I'd love to hear about them!

Author Update:  I'm  writing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy and recently passed the 46,000 word mark, which, based on the way I write first drafts is approximately 2/3 complete. If you'd like to try the trilogy, you can get a free copy of Crimson & Cream at Smashwords with this code: JH88U.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Stream of Consciousness

I was deep into my routine of Greco-Roman grappling with my inner daemons when nature called and I retreated from the mat with the latest issue of Interview (which, according to the front cover, retails for $12.00 an issue, yet I somehow manage to get for free). Inside, on page 142, much to my surprise, I came upon an interview with Ursula K. Le Guin. As I had only moments before been mentally assembling reasons why I couldn't sit down to write this evening, I found it serendipitous to stumble across a wonderful article on a much-admired fantasy author that snapped me from my writerly doldrums.

As I devoured the interview and succumbed to nostalgic yearnings to return to the land of Earthsea, one exchange in particular resonated with me. In response to the interviewer's (Choire Sicha) statement that "It's very important to have good counsel in this world." Le Guin responded by saying "It sure is, and that is where I sometimes tremble for the self-published people, who seem to get such various counsel that sometimes sounds to me lunatic. I hope people aren't being scammed and ripped off too much. 

And that struck a nerve with me so profoundly that I felt like describing my brush with synchronicity, so I sat at my desk and thought of a pithy Google+ blurb to post, when I decided to try and capture something more substantial--and meandering--to share with the people who actually take the time to read what I write on this blog.

I also read a post this morning on Indies Unlimited by Melissa Bowersock about Synchronicity (a word, which I must confess, I associate more with the Police album than I do with the actual definition). And after reading this excellent article about Synchronicity, I felt a smack of it this evening reading the Ursula K. Le Guin interview. It's very possible that without reading Melissa's post, I would never have used the word 'synchronicity' to describe my experience of having Ursula Le Guin's words snap me from my writing lethargy. After all, serendipitous is a very apt word for the occurrence as well.

So to bring my rambling narrative full circle, regarding the importance of good counsel to the self-published writer, in my experience--and this is going to sound like a plug, but it's really not, as I have no vested interest in the site--Indies Unlimited is the very best collection of indie authors sharing good counsel with other aspiring writers. So, if you, like me, occasionally flounder with counsel that sounds lunatic, take a breath and ground truth your concerns at a place like Indies Unlimited, where authors do watch out for each other.

And now I'm off to write some fiction...


2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Stream of Consciousness
link : Stream of Consciousness

Read Also


2015

I was deep into my routine of Greco-Roman grappling with my inner daemons when nature called and I retreated from the mat with the latest issue of Interview (which, according to the front cover, retails for $12.00 an issue, yet I somehow manage to get for free). Inside, on page 142, much to my surprise, I came upon an interview with Ursula K. Le Guin. As I had only moments before been mentally assembling reasons why I couldn't sit down to write this evening, I found it serendipitous to stumble across a wonderful article on a much-admired fantasy author that snapped me from my writerly doldrums.

As I devoured the interview and succumbed to nostalgic yearnings to return to the land of Earthsea, one exchange in particular resonated with me. In response to the interviewer's (Choire Sicha) statement that "It's very important to have good counsel in this world." Le Guin responded by saying "It sure is, and that is where I sometimes tremble for the self-published people, who seem to get such various counsel that sometimes sounds to me lunatic. I hope people aren't being scammed and ripped off too much. 

And that struck a nerve with me so profoundly that I felt like describing my brush with synchronicity, so I sat at my desk and thought of a pithy Google+ blurb to post, when I decided to try and capture something more substantial--and meandering--to share with the people who actually take the time to read what I write on this blog.

I also read a post this morning on Indies Unlimited by Melissa Bowersock about Synchronicity (a word, which I must confess, I associate more with the Police album than I do with the actual definition). And after reading this excellent article about Synchronicity, I felt a smack of it this evening reading the Ursula K. Le Guin interview. It's very possible that without reading Melissa's post, I would never have used the word 'synchronicity' to describe my experience of having Ursula Le Guin's words snap me from my writing lethargy. After all, serendipitous is a very apt word for the occurrence as well.

So to bring my rambling narrative full circle, regarding the importance of good counsel to the self-published writer, in my experience--and this is going to sound like a plug, but it's really not, as I have no vested interest in the site--Indies Unlimited is the very best collection of indie authors sharing good counsel with other aspiring writers. So, if you, like me, occasionally flounder with counsel that sounds lunatic, take a breath and ground truth your concerns at a place like Indies Unlimited, where authors do watch out for each other.

And now I'm off to write some fiction...


Monday, September 7, 2015

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad - Book Giveaway

September 7 through 9, 2015, Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy will be available for Free on Amazon via KDP Select. Get your copy HERE! And as a special to anyone who reads this, you can also get Crimson & Cream, Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy free at Smashwords with this code: FF63B.
Here are some details that may help you decide if these books are 'in your wheelhouse.'
  1. The main character is a 13-year-old orphan boy who's coming-of-age story is revealed throughout the trilogy.
  2. The story is epic fantasy in the traditional style, set in a nostalgically-familiar Medieval European-style mountainous world.
  3. The books currently have 30 reviews on Amazon, with ratings of 4.4 and 4.6. respectively.
  4. The fantasy writers who I love to read, and who inspire me, and certainly influence my story-telling in subtle ways are, in no particular order, Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin, Joe Abercrombie, and J.R.R. Tolkien, of course.
  5. Book III of the trilogy (Warlock & Wrym) is well under way, and targeted for a 2016 release.
Reviews for C.M. Skiera's Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy:

Tome Tender: "Absolutely wonderful reading and the perfect cornerstone for a new fantasy trilogy! The tension created by Mr. Skiera’s words is thick, the energy, heady and the loyalty of allies simply amazing! High adventure, dimensional scenes, sounds, smells and inner turmoil, it’s all here, all riveting, all addictive and an epic fantasy that will engage anyone with an eye for great storytelling."

Shaykitteh's World of Books: "A fun and exciting story, full of magic but - more importantly - likeable characters, I highly recommend reading Crimson & Cream . . . CM Skiera has managed to write another spellbinding tale, expanding on the first adventure while also tying in Seryn's past."

Author Brian Beam's Blog: "C.M. Skiera has a wonderful talent for description and dialogue, and his characters are unique and interesting . . . Mirrors and Mist, book 2 of C.M. Skiera's Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, far surpasses its predecessor in just about every way. The characters are given more depth, there are more twists and turns throughout the increasingly complex plot, the action scenes are more exhilarating, and there is a bigger dose of emotion."

Author Jennifer Thompson: "For those devotees of Fantasy/Epic Fantasy this is a definite "must read." I wholeheartedly, and without reservation, recommend CRIMSON & CREAM!"

A TiffyFit's Reading Corner: "I absolutely loved every minute I spent in this world. Your heart breaks for Jetsam, his band of orphans will make your heart ache . . ."

Rabid Readers Reviews: "The negative aspect of this novel is that I couldn't put it down."
  
Books, Reviews, Etc.: "There is never a dull moment when you think you want to quit reading."

The Reader's Hollow: "Just like the first book, I think fans of classic High Fantasy will really enjoy this trilogy."

Please give these books a try, and thank you very much in advance.


2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Two Out of Three Ain't Bad - Book Giveaway
link : Two Out of Three Ain't Bad - Book Giveaway

Read Also


2015

September 7 through 9, 2015, Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy will be available for Free on Amazon via KDP Select. Get your copy HERE! And as a special to anyone who reads this, you can also get Crimson & Cream, Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy free at Smashwords with this code: FF63B.

Here are some details that may help you decide if these books are 'in your wheelhouse.'
  1. The main character is a 13-year-old orphan boy who's coming-of-age story is revealed throughout the trilogy.
  2. The story is epic fantasy in the traditional style, set in a nostalgically-familiar Medieval European-style mountainous world.
  3. The books currently have 30 reviews on Amazon, with ratings of 4.4 and 4.6. respectively.
  4. The fantasy writers who I love to read, and who inspire me, and certainly influence my story-telling in subtle ways are, in no particular order, Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin, Joe Abercrombie, and J.R.R. Tolkien, of course.
  5. Book III of the trilogy (Warlock & Wrym) is well under way, and targeted for a 2016 release.
Reviews for C.M. Skiera's Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy:

Tome Tender: "Absolutely wonderful reading and the perfect cornerstone for a new fantasy trilogy! The tension created by Mr. Skiera’s words is thick, the energy, heady and the loyalty of allies simply amazing! High adventure, dimensional scenes, sounds, smells and inner turmoil, it’s all here, all riveting, all addictive and an epic fantasy that will engage anyone with an eye for great storytelling."

Shaykitteh's World of Books: "A fun and exciting story, full of magic but - more importantly - likeable characters, I highly recommend reading Crimson & Cream . . . CM Skiera has managed to write another spellbinding tale, expanding on the first adventure while also tying in Seryn's past."

Author Brian Beam's Blog: "C.M. Skiera has a wonderful talent for description and dialogue, and his characters are unique and interesting . . . Mirrors and Mist, book 2 of C.M. Skiera's Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, far surpasses its predecessor in just about every way. The characters are given more depth, there are more twists and turns throughout the increasingly complex plot, the action scenes are more exhilarating, and there is a bigger dose of emotion."

Author Jennifer Thompson: "For those devotees of Fantasy/Epic Fantasy this is a definite "must read." I wholeheartedly, and without reservation, recommend CRIMSON & CREAM!"

A TiffyFit's Reading Corner: "I absolutely loved every minute I spent in this world. Your heart breaks for Jetsam, his band of orphans will make your heart ache . . ."

Rabid Readers Reviews: "The negative aspect of this novel is that I couldn't put it down."
  
Books, Reviews, Etc.: "There is never a dull moment when you think you want to quit reading."

The Reader's Hollow: "Just like the first book, I think fans of classic High Fantasy will really enjoy this trilogy."

Please give these books a try, and thank you very much in advance.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

M. Howalt, Serial Author on JukePop


Today I'd like to introduce fellow indie author (and World Literary Café member) M. Howalt and share a sample of her latest serial novel: ConvictionM. Howalt's works are available on JukePop, which is a website for authors to release stories one chapter at a time, receive community feedback, fine-tune along the way, and publish upon completion. M. Howalt's debut serial novel, Aconitum, is available on JukePop in its entirety.

M. Howalt grew up in suburban Denmark, but writes stories that most often take place in a far-away, magical land or a nitty-gritty alternate reality. Armed with a master's degree in English studies, a head full of ideas, a pet cat (or feline overlord as he likes to think), this writer pens supernatural fiction with a literary twist and emotional realism. You can find her blog Muse X-ing here and on these sites as well:

http://www.mhowalt.dk
https://www.facebook.com/mhowalt
https://twitter.com/mhowalt

Conviction is a cross-genre, high fantasy novella that you can read for free here:

Book blurb:
In a world where wizardry is an integrated part of warfare, some kinds of magic are considered too dark and destructive to be acceptable even for military use.

Iliya Radov awaits his sentence for war crimes, and it soon turns out that his fate is in the hands of one of the continent’s most influential men who insists on hearing Iliya’s side of the story before the trial.

Conviction is a tale of courage and carnage. It is a universal story of poverty, education and ambition, of scars on the human soul and of decisions of life and death that no one wants to make. 

An excerpt from M. Howalt's Conviction:

“Fire!” an officer yelled, and one of those useless cannons hurled a metal ball across the battlefield. Yes, it would do damage, but the time it took to load those things … Iliya could have managed two or three destructive spells in that time.

“I can't hold it!” screamed the young wizard next to him.

“You keep up that shield, soldier!” Iliya shouted at him. Sympathy was useless now. “You will not fall! You hear me?”

The blocker nodded and bit his lip so hard it would start bleeding soon.

Iliya never understood how they worked, those defence wizards. He knew the charts and the calculations, of course. How they deflected or absorbed the energy, how they created a bubble of safety around themselves or their peers. Numbers could tell him exactly how heavy and how frequent attacks a wizard of a given strength could take. They made sense logically, but they meant nothing to Iliya personally. He took in the powers around him. He asked to them to lend themselves to him for a while. And in the heat of the battle, when so much was going on, when there was so much magic being used, it was easy to take it and make it his, shape it to become exactly the kind of spell he needed. It was never about not being able to take in enough. Some wizards had that problem. For him it was a matter of controlling the power, directing it, and of physically being able to handle it. But he was in excellent health. His body could take the stress.

Yet, none of that mattered in the middle of a battle. Theory had no place when people around him were dying.

An officer passed the line just behind him. “Hold the formation! Hold it!” he bawled.

Iliya didn't turn around. “We should retreat, sir!” he shouted.

“Your order is to stay on your post, soldier!” the officer cried into his ear, much like he had yelled at the blocker. “Understood?”

“Yes, sir!” Iliya replied. He knew it was a mistake. Perhaps the officer did too. But he had no way of assuming command of them all and this late, a helter skelter retreat would be even more catastrophic than standing their ground. He'd rather die fighting than be hit in the back while fleeing.

An inhuman wail pierced the air. The young wizard next to Iliya was on his knees. The shield wouldn't last for … Iliya didn't finish the thought before a blast hit them. The wizard managed to absorb some of it. It was the last thing he did in life.

A stab of pain in his thigh made Iliya stagger. He glanced down. Blood was already soaking his uniform, but it was not a life threatening injury. He could still fight.

Somewhere on the other side of him, the only place that he could possibly have gone, the defence failed too. “Sir?” he yelled, but the officer never answered. The enemy was advancing quickly. And they were only … How many were left standing? Iliya sent a bolt of nothing towards the advancing troops. It was just light, a blinding flash that would confuse them, but he needed a moment to gather his faculties. No commanding officers. A few soldiers around him, getting ready for close combat. And the other wizards … Iliya realised that he was alone. He was the only magic user left.

Did he make the decision then? He must have. But he had no recollection of it although he remembered exactly what he did. Oh yes, every wretched moment of it. Just not deciding. Perhaps he had already decided long ago that if something of this kind happened, he would do it. Perhaps he had paid more attention to the books without spells in them and the stories that made sane wizards and witches cringe than he had cared to admit to himself. In any case, if there were a moment of decision, it was forgotten, or simply buried so deep in his mind that there was no telling how it happened.

2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : M. Howalt, Serial Author on JukePop
link : M. Howalt, Serial Author on JukePop

Read Also


2015


Today I'd like to introduce fellow indie author (and World Literary Café member) M. Howalt and share a sample of her latest serial novel: ConvictionM. Howalt's works are available on JukePop, which is a website for authors to release stories one chapter at a time, receive community feedback, fine-tune along the way, and publish upon completion. M. Howalt's debut serial novel, Aconitum, is available on JukePop in its entirety.

M. Howalt grew up in suburban Denmark, but writes stories that most often take place in a far-away, magical land or a nitty-gritty alternate reality. Armed with a master's degree in English studies, a head full of ideas, a pet cat (or feline overlord as he likes to think), this writer pens supernatural fiction with a literary twist and emotional realism. You can find her blog Muse X-ing here and on these sites as well:

http://www.mhowalt.dk
https://www.facebook.com/mhowalt
https://twitter.com/mhowalt

Conviction is a cross-genre, high fantasy novella that you can read for free here:

Book blurb:
In a world where wizardry is an integrated part of warfare, some kinds of magic are considered too dark and destructive to be acceptable even for military use.

Iliya Radov awaits his sentence for war crimes, and it soon turns out that his fate is in the hands of one of the continent’s most influential men who insists on hearing Iliya’s side of the story before the trial.

Conviction is a tale of courage and carnage. It is a universal story of poverty, education and ambition, of scars on the human soul and of decisions of life and death that no one wants to make. 

An excerpt from M. Howalt's Conviction:

“Fire!” an officer yelled, and one of those useless cannons hurled a metal ball across the battlefield. Yes, it would do damage, but the time it took to load those things … Iliya could have managed two or three destructive spells in that time.

“I can't hold it!” screamed the young wizard next to him.

“You keep up that shield, soldier!” Iliya shouted at him. Sympathy was useless now. “You will not fall! You hear me?”

The blocker nodded and bit his lip so hard it would start bleeding soon.

Iliya never understood how they worked, those defence wizards. He knew the charts and the calculations, of course. How they deflected or absorbed the energy, how they created a bubble of safety around themselves or their peers. Numbers could tell him exactly how heavy and how frequent attacks a wizard of a given strength could take. They made sense logically, but they meant nothing to Iliya personally. He took in the powers around him. He asked to them to lend themselves to him for a while. And in the heat of the battle, when so much was going on, when there was so much magic being used, it was easy to take it and make it his, shape it to become exactly the kind of spell he needed. It was never about not being able to take in enough. Some wizards had that problem. For him it was a matter of controlling the power, directing it, and of physically being able to handle it. But he was in excellent health. His body could take the stress.

Yet, none of that mattered in the middle of a battle. Theory had no place when people around him were dying.

An officer passed the line just behind him. “Hold the formation! Hold it!” he bawled.

Iliya didn't turn around. “We should retreat, sir!” he shouted.

“Your order is to stay on your post, soldier!” the officer cried into his ear, much like he had yelled at the blocker. “Understood?”

“Yes, sir!” Iliya replied. He knew it was a mistake. Perhaps the officer did too. But he had no way of assuming command of them all and this late, a helter skelter retreat would be even more catastrophic than standing their ground. He'd rather die fighting than be hit in the back while fleeing.

An inhuman wail pierced the air. The young wizard next to Iliya was on his knees. The shield wouldn't last for … Iliya didn't finish the thought before a blast hit them. The wizard managed to absorb some of it. It was the last thing he did in life.

A stab of pain in his thigh made Iliya stagger. He glanced down. Blood was already soaking his uniform, but it was not a life threatening injury. He could still fight.

Somewhere on the other side of him, the only place that he could possibly have gone, the defence failed too. “Sir?” he yelled, but the officer never answered. The enemy was advancing quickly. And they were only … How many were left standing? Iliya sent a bolt of nothing towards the advancing troops. It was just light, a blinding flash that would confuse them, but he needed a moment to gather his faculties. No commanding officers. A few soldiers around him, getting ready for close combat. And the other wizards … Iliya realised that he was alone. He was the only magic user left.

Did he make the decision then? He must have. But he had no recollection of it although he remembered exactly what he did. Oh yes, every wretched moment of it. Just not deciding. Perhaps he had already decided long ago that if something of this kind happened, he would do it. Perhaps he had paid more attention to the books without spells in them and the stories that made sane wizards and witches cringe than he had cared to admit to himself. In any case, if there were a moment of decision, it was forgotten, or simply buried so deep in his mind that there was no telling how it happened.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

BookLikes Giveaway Success

If you're the sort of author who likes to use giveaways to try and boost your readership, or a reader who enjoys free books, Booklikes has a feature you might be interested in. But if you're not familiar with Booklikes, let me take a step back and explain.

Booklikes is a European website that identifies itself as a blog platform designed for book lovers. Booklikes is similar to sites like Goodreads and LibraryThing, but with its own unique personality. One of the things an author can do on Booklikes is stage a giveaway.

I've held two giveaway events for my epic fantasy novel Crimson & Cream. Although my KDP Select giveaways were more successful in sheer volume, I'm hoping the Booklikes giveaways reach a different audience. And, in fairness to Booklikes, their giveaways are not set up like Amazon's, so comparing them is not really 'apples to apples.' For example, on Booklikes, the author determines the number of books to giveaway and agrees to supply the the winners with books (so you want to keep the number manageable).

I held my first giveaway in April and offered 25 free Crimson & Cream e-books. I had 17 Booklikes members request copies and e-mailed all the winners Smashwords coupons to claim their e-books. I also offered to e-mail them e-books directly (pdf, epub or mobi format), if they didn't want to use Smashwords. The nice thing about the Smashwords coupons is you can track how many people actually claim their books if you use a unique coupon code number, which I did. Fifteen of the 17 winners claimed their books via Smashwords (and I gifted one  on Amazon UK to a winner who asked nicely). Unfortunately, I have no way to track who actually reads and reviews the book, but that holds true for a KDP Giveaway, too.

I held my second Crimson & Cream giveaway in July to coincide with my KDP Select giveaway for Mirrors & Mist (Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy). Unfortunately, the second giveaway paled in comparison to the first. I gave away 9 out of an available 20 books, and what makes those numbers even worse is four of the winners from the second event also won and received the same book in the first event, which leads me to believe some of the Booklikes members enter every giveaway without checking if they already have the book.

Speaking of giveaways, one of my favorite authors, Robin Hobb, recently held a Goodreads giveaway for 20 ARCs of her latest book, Fool's Quest. She had 1,475 people enter her giveaway, if that gives you some idea of what kind of response a best seller giveaway receives. Alas, I wasn't one of the lucky 20, so I'll be buying Fool's Quest in August when it releases.

I plan on holding another Booklikes giveaway for Crimson & Cream, but I'll wait longer than three months between events and see what the results look like. Have you used Booklikes or any other giveaway platforms? I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences.

Author Update:  I'm  writing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy and recently passed the 30,000 word mark. I've also completed a draft of the book cover, which turned out significantly nicer than the previous two. If you'd like to try the trilogy, you can get a free copy of Crimson & Cream at Smashwords with this code: JH88U.


2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : BookLikes Giveaway Success
link : BookLikes Giveaway Success

Read Also


2015

If you're the sort of author who likes to use giveaways to try and boost your readership, or a reader who enjoys free books, Booklikes has a feature you might be interested in. But if you're not familiar with Booklikes, let me take a step back and explain.

Booklikes is a European website that identifies itself as a blog platform designed for book lovers. Booklikes is similar to sites like Goodreads and LibraryThing, but with its own unique personality. One of the things an author can do on Booklikes is stage a giveaway.

I've held two giveaway events for my epic fantasy novel Crimson & Cream. Although my KDP Select giveaways were more successful in sheer volume, I'm hoping the Booklikes giveaways reach a different audience. And, in fairness to Booklikes, their giveaways are not set up like Amazon's, so comparing them is not really 'apples to apples.' For example, on Booklikes, the author determines the number of books to giveaway and agrees to supply the the winners with books (so you want to keep the number manageable).

I held my first giveaway in April and offered 25 free Crimson & Cream e-books. I had 17 Booklikes members request copies and e-mailed all the winners Smashwords coupons to claim their e-books. I also offered to e-mail them e-books directly (pdf, epub or mobi format), if they didn't want to use Smashwords. The nice thing about the Smashwords coupons is you can track how many people actually claim their books if you use a unique coupon code number, which I did. Fifteen of the 17 winners claimed their books via Smashwords (and I gifted one  on Amazon UK to a winner who asked nicely). Unfortunately, I have no way to track who actually reads and reviews the book, but that holds true for a KDP Giveaway, too.

I held my second Crimson & Cream giveaway in July to coincide with my KDP Select giveaway for Mirrors & Mist (Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy). Unfortunately, the second giveaway paled in comparison to the first. I gave away 9 out of an available 20 books, and what makes those numbers even worse is four of the winners from the second event also won and received the same book in the first event, which leads me to believe some of the Booklikes members enter every giveaway without checking if they already have the book.

Speaking of giveaways, one of my favorite authors, Robin Hobb, recently held a Goodreads giveaway for 20 ARCs of her latest book, Fool's Quest. She had 1,475 people enter her giveaway, if that gives you some idea of what kind of response a best seller giveaway receives. Alas, I wasn't one of the lucky 20, so I'll be buying Fool's Quest in August when it releases.

I plan on holding another Booklikes giveaway for Crimson & Cream, but I'll wait longer than three months between events and see what the results look like. Have you used Booklikes or any other giveaway platforms? I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences.

Author Update:  I'm  writing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy and recently passed the 30,000 word mark. I've also completed a draft of the book cover, which turned out significantly nicer than the previous two. If you'd like to try the trilogy, you can get a free copy of Crimson & Cream at Smashwords with this code: JH88U.


Friday, July 24, 2015

The Complete INDIE Editor Review

I recently read The Complete INDIE Editor - 55 Essential Copy-edits for the Professional Independent Author by Kev Heritage. This book is an excellent little guide that works great as a checklist for polishing your novel before sending it to your editor. Succinct with just enough examples to get the point across, this book not only tells you how to edit your manuscript, but why you should do it.

The eight sections (chapters) cover copy-edits for adverbs and adjectives, overused words, italics, quotations and capitalization, showing (not telling), speech, tricky words, and word pairs and homophones. Each section provides examples of common errors and suggestions on what to look for in your novel and ways to correct the problems. The Complete INDIE Editor also provides tips on writing numbers and time properly and includes lists of overused words and phrases and a glossary of the 55 copy edits.

On the down side, at $7.99, the price may be a little high on the cost per page ratio, but in defense of the price, I envision it as a resource I refer to multiple times. In addition, one Amazon reviewer points out that for a book on self-editing, it suffers from a lack of proofreading. I did check out the reviewer's claims, and the examples she mentions are still present in the version I own. Personally, I find the advice useful, even if the presentation is not flawless.

Have you read The Complete INDIE Editor? If so, what did you think?

Author Update:  I'm currently writing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy. My word count at the moment is around 30,000 words, so I'm inching toward roughly the half-way point.


2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : The Complete INDIE Editor Review
link : The Complete INDIE Editor Review

Read Also


2015

I recently read The Complete INDIE Editor - 55 Essential Copy-edits for the Professional Independent Author by Kev Heritage. This book is an excellent little guide that works great as a checklist for polishing your novel before sending it to your editor. Succinct with just enough examples to get the point across, this book not only tells you how to edit your manuscript, but why you should do it.

The eight sections (chapters) cover copy-edits for adverbs and adjectives, overused words, italics, quotations and capitalization, showing (not telling), speech, tricky words, and word pairs and homophones. Each section provides examples of common errors and suggestions on what to look for in your novel and ways to correct the problems. The Complete INDIE Editor also provides tips on writing numbers and time properly and includes lists of overused words and phrases and a glossary of the 55 copy edits.

On the down side, at $7.99, the price may be a little high on the cost per page ratio, but in defense of the price, I envision it as a resource I refer to multiple times. In addition, one Amazon reviewer points out that for a book on self-editing, it suffers from a lack of proofreading. I did check out the reviewer's claims, and the examples she mentions are still present in the version I own. Personally, I find the advice useful, even if the presentation is not flawless.

Have you read The Complete INDIE Editor? If so, what did you think?

Author Update:  I'm currently writing the first draft of Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy. My word count at the moment is around 30,000 words, so I'm inching toward roughly the half-way point.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Oxbow Kingdom Giveaway - Free Fantasy e-Books

July 14 and 15, 2015, Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy will be available for Free on Amazon via KDP Select. Get your copy HERE!

In a suspicious coincidence, Crimson & Cream, Book I of the Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy is available for free via a Booklikes giveaway.

And as a special to anyone who reads this blog, you can also get Crimson & Cream free at Smashwords with this code: FF63B.

So why pick up a free copy of these books? I mean, after all, there are a buh-jillion free e-books available online. Let me try to help determine if you may actually enjoy these books.
  1. The main character is a 13-year-old orphan boy who's coming-of-age story is revealed throughout the trilogy.
  2. The story is epic fantasy in the traditional style, set in a nostalgically-familiar Medieval European-style mountainous world.
  3. The books currently have 30 reviews on Amazon, with ratings of 4.4 and 4.6. respectively.
  4. The fantasy writers who I love to read, and who inspire me, and certainly influence my story-telling in subtle ways are, in no particular order, Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin, Joe Abercrombie, and J.R.R. Tolkien, of course.
  5. Book III of the trilogy (Warlock & Wrym) is well under way, and targeted for a 2016 release.
And here are a few unbiased opinions for your consideration:

Tome Tender: "Absolutely wonderful reading and the perfect cornerstone for a new fantasy trilogy! The tension created by Mr. Skiera’s words is thick, the energy, heady and the loyalty of allies simply amazing! High adventure, dimensional scenes, sounds, smells and inner turmoil, it’s all here, all riveting, all addictive and an epic fantasy that will engage anyone with an eye for great storytelling."

Shaykitteh's World of Books: "A fun and exciting story, full of magic but - more importantly - likeable characters, I highly recommend reading Crimson & Cream . . . CM Skiera has managed to write another spellbinding tale, expanding on the first adventure while also tying in Seryn's past."

Author Brian Beam's Blog: "C.M. Skiera has a wonderful talent for description and dialogue, and his characters are unique and interesting . . . Mirrors and Mist, book 2 of C.M. Skiera's Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, far surpasses its predecessor in just about every way. The characters are given more depth, there are more twists and turns throughout the increasingly complex plot, the action scenes are more exhilarating, and there is a bigger dose of emotion."

Author Jennifer Thompson: "For those devotees of Fantasy/Epic Fantasy this is a definite "must read." I wholeheartedly, and without reservation, recommend CRIMSON & CREAM!"

A TiffyFit's Reading Corner: "I absolutely loved every minute I spent in this world. Your heart breaks for Jetsam, his band of orphans will make your heart ache . . ."

Rabid Readers Reviews: "The negative aspect of this novel is that I couldn't put it down."
  
Books, Reviews, Etc.: "There is never a dull moment when you think you want to quit reading."

The Reader's Hollow: "Just like the first book, I think fans of classic High Fantasy will really enjoy this trilogy."

And if that's not enough, I'm also a very polite author, so please give these books a try, and thank you very much in advance. See? Very polite!



2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Oxbow Kingdom Giveaway - Free Fantasy e-Books
link : Oxbow Kingdom Giveaway - Free Fantasy e-Books

Read Also


2015

July 14 and 15, 2015, Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy will be available for Free on Amazon via KDP Select. Get your copy HERE!

In a suspicious coincidence, Crimson & Cream, Book I of the Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy is available for free via a Booklikes giveaway.

And as a special to anyone who reads this blog, you can also get Crimson & Cream free at Smashwords with this code: FF63B.

So why pick up a free copy of these books? I mean, after all, there are a buh-jillion free e-books available online. Let me try to help determine if you may actually enjoy these books.

  1. The main character is a 13-year-old orphan boy who's coming-of-age story is revealed throughout the trilogy.
  2. The story is epic fantasy in the traditional style, set in a nostalgically-familiar Medieval European-style mountainous world.
  3. The books currently have 30 reviews on Amazon, with ratings of 4.4 and 4.6. respectively.
  4. The fantasy writers who I love to read, and who inspire me, and certainly influence my story-telling in subtle ways are, in no particular order, Robin Hobb, George R.R. Martin, Joe Abercrombie, and J.R.R. Tolkien, of course.
  5. Book III of the trilogy (Warlock & Wrym) is well under way, and targeted for a 2016 release.
And here are a few unbiased opinions for your consideration:

Tome Tender: "Absolutely wonderful reading and the perfect cornerstone for a new fantasy trilogy! The tension created by Mr. Skiera’s words is thick, the energy, heady and the loyalty of allies simply amazing! High adventure, dimensional scenes, sounds, smells and inner turmoil, it’s all here, all riveting, all addictive and an epic fantasy that will engage anyone with an eye for great storytelling."

Shaykitteh's World of Books: "A fun and exciting story, full of magic but - more importantly - likeable characters, I highly recommend reading Crimson & Cream . . . CM Skiera has managed to write another spellbinding tale, expanding on the first adventure while also tying in Seryn's past."

Author Brian Beam's Blog: "C.M. Skiera has a wonderful talent for description and dialogue, and his characters are unique and interesting . . . Mirrors and Mist, book 2 of C.M. Skiera's Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, far surpasses its predecessor in just about every way. The characters are given more depth, there are more twists and turns throughout the increasingly complex plot, the action scenes are more exhilarating, and there is a bigger dose of emotion."

Author Jennifer Thompson: "For those devotees of Fantasy/Epic Fantasy this is a definite "must read." I wholeheartedly, and without reservation, recommend CRIMSON & CREAM!"

A TiffyFit's Reading Corner: "I absolutely loved every minute I spent in this world. Your heart breaks for Jetsam, his band of orphans will make your heart ache . . ."

Rabid Readers Reviews: "The negative aspect of this novel is that I couldn't put it down."
  
Books, Reviews, Etc.: "There is never a dull moment when you think you want to quit reading."

The Reader's Hollow: "Just like the first book, I think fans of classic High Fantasy will really enjoy this trilogy."

And if that's not enough, I'm also a very polite author, so please give these books a try, and thank you very much in advance. See? Very polite!



Saturday, June 20, 2015

Book Review: Showing and Telling in Fiction

I finished reading Showing and Telling in Fiction by by Marcy Kennedy a few months ago, and have been meaning to review this excellent how-to guide since I put it down. Eliminating 'telling' is an issue I needed a lot of help with to fully understand and overcome in my own writing, and this book has helped set me in the right direction. In a nutshell, the classic argument states that writing that shows the reader what is happening is more compelling, engaging, and descriptive than writing that tells the reader what is happening (or has already happened).

"Chapter One defines showing and telling and explains why showing is normally better."

Showing and Telling in Fiction begins by clearly explaining what defines showing and telling, the differences between them, and why showing is (usually) the preferred choice for exciting, engaging prose. If you like to know the reason behind the rule, you'll find this part satisfying.

"Chapter Two gives you eight practical ways to find telling that needs to be changed to showing and guides you in understanding how to make those changes."

Understanding the differences between showing and telling is just the first step in addressing the problem. Chapter Two provides practical techniques to easily spot weak writing in your own manuscript. By identifying the 'red flags' of telling, the book teaches you to recognize the signs in your manuscript.

"Chapter Three explains how telling can function as a useful first draft tool."

Kennedy states that using telling to write your first draft may help you capture your story, which can then be edited in the ensuing drafts to turn telling sections into showing. If you're struggling to write your draft by 'showing' everything, using 'telling' to get the words out of your head may be a useful technique. Although I understood the point of this chapter, I'm personally not going to intentionally experiment with the technique, as I've had so much trouble with this issue, I'm trying to avoid writing 'telling' prose whenever I can.

"Chapter Four goes in-depth on the seven situations when telling might be the better choice than showing."

Obviously, writing that is 100% showing is not the goal of this book. In certain situations, telling can be more effective and appropriate than showing. This chapter shows you opportunities for using telling effectively to make your story flow cohesively.

"Chapter Five provides you with practical editing tips to help you take what you've learned to the pages of your current novel or short story." 

An apt finish to Showing and Telling in Fiction provides you methods to attack your manuscript efficiently, and offers a link to print versions of the revision checklists.

In summary, this concise (88 pages) instructional tome is full of examples and techniques, light on fluff and filler, and currently has a 4.8 star rating on Amazon (48 reviews). I'd definitely recommend this book if you struggle with any part of the showing versus telling battle.

If you found this review helpful, links to some other writing guides I've reviewed are listed below:



2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Book Review: Showing and Telling in Fiction
link : Book Review: Showing and Telling in Fiction

Read Also


2015

I finished reading Showing and Telling in Fiction by by Marcy Kennedy a few months ago, and have been meaning to review this excellent how-to guide since I put it down. Eliminating 'telling' is an issue I needed a lot of help with to fully understand and overcome in my own writing, and this book has helped set me in the right direction. In a nutshell, the classic argument states that writing that shows the reader what is happening is more compelling, engaging, and descriptive than writing that tells the reader what is happening (or has already happened).

"Chapter One defines showing and telling and explains why showing is normally better."

Showing and Telling in Fiction begins by clearly explaining what defines showing and telling, the differences between them, and why showing is (usually) the preferred choice for exciting, engaging prose. If you like to know the reason behind the rule, you'll find this part satisfying.

"Chapter Two gives you eight practical ways to find telling that needs to be changed to showing and guides you in understanding how to make those changes."

Understanding the differences between showing and telling is just the first step in addressing the problem. Chapter Two provides practical techniques to easily spot weak writing in your own manuscript. By identifying the 'red flags' of telling, the book teaches you to recognize the signs in your manuscript.

"Chapter Three explains how telling can function as a useful first draft tool."

Kennedy states that using telling to write your first draft may help you capture your story, which can then be edited in the ensuing drafts to turn telling sections into showing. If you're struggling to write your draft by 'showing' everything, using 'telling' to get the words out of your head may be a useful technique. Although I understood the point of this chapter, I'm personally not going to intentionally experiment with the technique, as I've had so much trouble with this issue, I'm trying to avoid writing 'telling' prose whenever I can.

"Chapter Four goes in-depth on the seven situations when telling might be the better choice than showing."

Obviously, writing that is 100% showing is not the goal of this book. In certain situations, telling can be more effective and appropriate than showing. This chapter shows you opportunities for using telling effectively to make your story flow cohesively.

"Chapter Five provides you with practical editing tips to help you take what you've learned to the pages of your current novel or short story." 

An apt finish to Showing and Telling in Fiction provides you methods to attack your manuscript efficiently, and offers a link to print versions of the revision checklists.

In summary, this concise (88 pages) instructional tome is full of examples and techniques, light on fluff and filler, and currently has a 4.8 star rating on Amazon (48 reviews). I'd definitely recommend this book if you struggle with any part of the showing versus telling battle.

If you found this review helpful, links to some other writing guides I've reviewed are listed below:



Monday, June 8, 2015

A KDP Select Giveaway Promotion Suprise

Due to the fact that my 90-day KDP Select period was expiring soon, and my day job exploded with excess demands on my time, I ran a KDP Select giveaway for my epic fantasy adventure Mirrors & Mist on June 2, 2015. Because I was so swamped at work, I didn't do any promotion for this event. Zero. Zip. Nada.

If you recall, I posted results from my first Amazon giveaway for Mirrors & Mist on May 14 and 15, where I promoted the event on my blog, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and two dozen websites. My first-day results for my promoted event were 129 units on Amazon. So how did the un-promoted giveaway do? On June 2, the no-fanfare giveaway totaled 130 books, or one more than the giveaway I spent several hours (possibly more) promoting.

So does this mean I wasted my time filling out all those online forms and posting and tweeting like crazy? I'm afraid it might. Other than the day of the week the event was held (Thursday versus Tuesday), all other factors are the same as far as I can tell. I have heard that Tuesday is the best day to hold your KDP giveaway, but I haven't actually seen any data that backs this up. Certainly my second giveaway could be interpreted to support Tuesday as being a good day to give away books.

I also ran a second un-promoted giveaway on Sunday, June 7 (since my 90 days expires June 11). This 'under the radar' giveaway totaled a whopping 18 e-books--a big drop-off from 130. Was this event too close to the last one (only 5 days apart)? Or maybe Sunday is a bad day for giveaways? Or a combination of both, plus other factors? I don't know. I've got one more free day left this period, so I'm using it on Thursday, June 11, which is the last day of this 90-day period. I'll let you know how it goes.

The market is dynamic, and what works today may flop tomorrow, but this is one little peek into how the Amazon KDP Select market performed for book two of an indie epic fantasy trilogy. And all of this evaluation hinges on the assumption that giving away books for free is a successful technique to increase sales.

My plan for my next 90-day KDP Select period is to use a paid promotion and compare the results. Do you have an experience with KDP Select you'd be willing to share? I'm interested in what others are encountering with their promotional efforts.

This is a screenshot of my KDP Select report for the two giveaways

Author Update: Progress on Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy sits at 15,810 words, which is only about 8,000 words in the last month. Considering the last two weeks have been insanely hectic, I hope to crush these numbers by the next update.

2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : A KDP Select Giveaway Promotion Suprise
link : A KDP Select Giveaway Promotion Suprise

Read Also


2015

Due to the fact that my 90-day KDP Select period was expiring soon, and my day job exploded with excess demands on my time, I ran a KDP Select giveaway for my epic fantasy adventure Mirrors & Mist on June 2, 2015. Because I was so swamped at work, I didn't do any promotion for this event. Zero. Zip. Nada.

If you recall, I posted results from my first Amazon giveaway for Mirrors & Mist on May 14 and 15, where I promoted the event on my blog, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and two dozen websites. My first-day results for my promoted event were 129 units on Amazon. So how did the un-promoted giveaway do? On June 2, the no-fanfare giveaway totaled 130 books, or one more than the giveaway I spent several hours (possibly more) promoting.

So does this mean I wasted my time filling out all those online forms and posting and tweeting like crazy? I'm afraid it might. Other than the day of the week the event was held (Thursday versus Tuesday), all other factors are the same as far as I can tell. I have heard that Tuesday is the best day to hold your KDP giveaway, but I haven't actually seen any data that backs this up. Certainly my second giveaway could be interpreted to support Tuesday as being a good day to give away books.

I also ran a second un-promoted giveaway on Sunday, June 7 (since my 90 days expires June 11). This 'under the radar' giveaway totaled a whopping 18 e-books--a big drop-off from 130. Was this event too close to the last one (only 5 days apart)? Or maybe Sunday is a bad day for giveaways? Or a combination of both, plus other factors? I don't know. I've got one more free day left this period, so I'm using it on Thursday, June 11, which is the last day of this 90-day period. I'll let you know how it goes.

The market is dynamic, and what works today may flop tomorrow, but this is one little peek into how the Amazon KDP Select market performed for book two of an indie epic fantasy trilogy. And all of this evaluation hinges on the assumption that giving away books for free is a successful technique to increase sales.

My plan for my next 90-day KDP Select period is to use a paid promotion and compare the results. Do you have an experience with KDP Select you'd be willing to share? I'm interested in what others are encountering with their promotional efforts.

This is a screenshot of my KDP Select report for the two giveaways

Author Update: Progress on Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy sits at 15,810 words, which is only about 8,000 words in the last month. Considering the last two weeks have been insanely hectic, I hope to crush these numbers by the next update.

Monday, May 25, 2015

KDP Select Giveaway Post-Game Wrap-Up

I ran my first KDP Select free giveaway for Mirrors & Mist on May 14 and 15, 2015. I thought I'd share the statistics I collected to try and get some idea on what worked and what didn't.

On May 14 (Day 1), 139 copies of Mirrors & Mist were claimed on Amazon and 6 copies of Crimson & Cream were downloaded off Smashwords in my coinciding giveaway of Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy.

On May 15 (Day 2), 40 copies of Mirrors & Mist were claimed on Amazon and 3 copies of Crimson & Cream were downloaded off Smashwords.

In the days following the giveaway, two copies of Mirrors & Mist and one copy of Crimson & Cream were purchased on Amazon, along with two Kindle Unlimited selections.

So, in total, 188 e-books were given away and three follow-up sales occurred. Obviously, those were not the kind of sales numbers I was hoping for. But, Mirrors & Mist did peak at #31 on Amazon's 100 Free Best Sellers in Epic Fantasy and hovered in the 30s and 40s during the two-day giveaway. I'm treating it as a learning process and hope to do better next time with the additional experience of this event.

My statistics mirror what fellow writer and blogger Tony Jones experienced during his Kindle giveaway, as discussed here. Basically, you move the most units on Day 1, with a steep decline on Day 2 and beyond. Because you can offer a book enrolled in KDP Select free for five days during each 90-day enrollment period, I'm considering using my remaining 3 free days as separate 1-day events to maximize my giveaway potential. It's more work to promote four events verses two or three, but looking at the data, I could potentially find 200 more readers with four 1-day events as opposed to two 2-day events. 

Regarding the sites I used to advertise the giveaway, I posted here listing the free promotional posts I applied to. Of those applications, the following websites actually featured Mirrors & Mist on their listings/newsletters, twitter, etc.:
  • askDavid.com
  • Author Marketing Club
  • eBook Stage
  • JustKindleBooks.com
  • eBook Korner Cafe
  • eBookasaurus
  • AwesomeGang.com
  • frugal-freebies.com
  • eBookLister.net
It's possible I may have been featured on some of the other sites, but just missed my posting, so don't discount them based on my experience. If you missed a chance at the free Crimson & Cream giveaway, or know someone who may be interested, you can still get a free copy at Smashwords with this coupon code: HB78A. I'll also be doing another KDP select giveaway soon, and will let you know once it's scheduled. 





2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : KDP Select Giveaway Post-Game Wrap-Up
link : KDP Select Giveaway Post-Game Wrap-Up

Read Also


2015

I ran my first KDP Select free giveaway for Mirrors & Mist on May 14 and 15, 2015. I thought I'd share the statistics I collected to try and get some idea on what worked and what didn't.

On May 14 (Day 1), 139 copies of Mirrors & Mist were claimed on Amazon and 6 copies of Crimson & Cream were downloaded off Smashwords in my coinciding giveaway of Book I of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy.

On May 15 (Day 2), 40 copies of Mirrors & Mist were claimed on Amazon and 3 copies of Crimson & Cream were downloaded off Smashwords.

In the days following the giveaway, two copies of Mirrors & Mist and one copy of Crimson & Cream were purchased on Amazon, along with two Kindle Unlimited selections.

So, in total, 188 e-books were given away and three follow-up sales occurred. Obviously, those were not the kind of sales numbers I was hoping for. But, Mirrors & Mist did peak at #31 on Amazon's 100 Free Best Sellers in Epic Fantasy and hovered in the 30s and 40s during the two-day giveaway. I'm treating it as a learning process and hope to do better next time with the additional experience of this event.

My statistics mirror what fellow writer and blogger Tony Jones experienced during his Kindle giveaway, as discussed here. Basically, you move the most units on Day 1, with a steep decline on Day 2 and beyond. Because you can offer a book enrolled in KDP Select free for five days during each 90-day enrollment period, I'm considering using my remaining 3 free days as separate 1-day events to maximize my giveaway potential. It's more work to promote four events verses two or three, but looking at the data, I could potentially find 200 more readers with four 1-day events as opposed to two 2-day events. 

Regarding the sites I used to advertise the giveaway, I posted here listing the free promotional posts I applied to. Of those applications, the following websites actually featured Mirrors & Mist on their listings/newsletters, twitter, etc.:
  • askDavid.com
  • Author Marketing Club
  • eBook Stage
  • JustKindleBooks.com
  • eBook Korner Cafe
  • eBookasaurus
  • AwesomeGang.com
  • frugal-freebies.com
  • eBookLister.net
It's possible I may have been featured on some of the other sites, but just missed my posting, so don't discount them based on my experience. If you missed a chance at the free Crimson & Cream giveaway, or know someone who may be interested, you can still get a free copy at Smashwords with this coupon code: HB78A. I'll also be doing another KDP select giveaway soon, and will let you know once it's scheduled. 





Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Biowars - Free Online Digital Comic Book

My avid comic-book reading years are far behind me, and although Batman: The Dark Night Returns and Watchmen are two of my favorite books, I'm by no means an expert on 21st century comics. That being said, I like to feature speculative indie fiction on this blog, so when I was asked if I'd be interested in featuring the indie comic book Biowars, it piqued my interest. 

I checked out the Biowars website and was impressed by the professional presentation and phenomenal artwork, so I proceeded to read the first issue of Biowars-The Battle Rages Within titled Infection. Two things immediately jumped out at me. First, the artwork was top-notch; bold, colorful, vibrant, and bursting off the page. 

Second, the premise of an entire world full of characters and action set inside the main character's body struck me as unique and intriguing. I found the writing succinct and the dialogue crisp and realistic, and the characters possessed individual, developed personalities. I'll be reading the second edition as soon as I get a chance. 

If you're a fan of comics, great artwork, or an intriguing sci-fi premise, it's definitely worth checking out. After all, it's free! Currently, nine issues are available on the website, which is also chock-full of concept art, character portraits, a glossary, and other goodies. 
Here's the 'official' hook:
Every hero’s journey begins with a central character that is thrust onto a path that will take him away from the world he knows and into a conflict that can only be resolved using his own inner strength.  
In the story of Biowars, that character is Alexander Hawking, a regular guy attending a city college in Manhattan. There is, in short, nothing remarkable about Alex. But then his father inadvertently passes a germ to him, and with it, a destiny. It’s not just any germ, but a microbe designed to annihilate the human immune system. The inner-realm of Alex’s body is a universe unto itself, as vast and complex as our own world. It is an alien setting where strange creatures inhabit living terrain and glide through pulsating corridors. To them, it is the BioCosmos.  
As in human society, each of these beings has a role to play that supports the greater whole. The BioCosmos has its own supreme council, defenders, messengers, intelligence officers, and healers. These characters are known as the BioWarriors.
2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Biowars - Free Online Digital Comic Book
link : Biowars - Free Online Digital Comic Book

Read Also


2015

My avid comic-book reading years are far behind me, and although Batman: The Dark Night Returns and Watchmen are two of my favorite books, I'm by no means an expert on 21st century comics. That being said, I like to feature speculative indie fiction on this blog, so when I was asked if I'd be interested in featuring the indie comic book Biowars, it piqued my interest. 

I checked out the Biowars website and was impressed by the professional presentation and phenomenal artwork, so I proceeded to read the first issue of Biowars-The Battle Rages Within titled Infection. Two things immediately jumped out at me. First, the artwork was top-notch; bold, colorful, vibrant, and bursting off the page. 

Second, the premise of an entire world full of characters and action set inside the main character's body struck me as unique and intriguing. I found the writing succinct and the dialogue crisp and realistic, and the characters possessed individual, developed personalities. I'll be reading the second edition as soon as I get a chance. 

If you're a fan of comics, great artwork, or an intriguing sci-fi premise, it's definitely worth checking out. After all, it's free! Currently, nine issues are available on the website, which is also chock-full of concept art, character portraits, a glossary, and other goodies. 
Here's the 'official' hook:
Every hero’s journey begins with a central character that is thrust onto a path that will take him away from the world he knows and into a conflict that can only be resolved using his own inner strength.  
In the story of Biowars, that character is Alexander Hawking, a regular guy attending a city college in Manhattan. There is, in short, nothing remarkable about Alex. But then his father inadvertently passes a germ to him, and with it, a destiny. It’s not just any germ, but a microbe designed to annihilate the human immune system. The inner-realm of Alex’s body is a universe unto itself, as vast and complex as our own world. It is an alien setting where strange creatures inhabit living terrain and glide through pulsating corridors. To them, it is the BioCosmos.  
As in human society, each of these beings has a role to play that supports the greater whole. The BioCosmos has its own supreme council, defenders, messengers, intelligence officers, and healers. These characters are known as the BioWarriors.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Book Giveaway - Mirrors & Mist on KDP

My epic fantasy adventure Mirrors & Mist is free on Amazon today (May 14) and tomorrow (May 15). Click here to get yours:

Because Mirrors & Mist is Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, I'm also offering the first book, Crimson & Cream, free on Smashwords with this coupon code: HB78A.

If you're unfamiliar with Smashwords, here are instructions on how to get your free e-book:
Step 1: Click on the yellow Buy button
Step 2: Smashwords will ask you to log in. Either log in or create a new log-in ID at the bottom section.
Step 3: Enter the Coupon Code HB78A on the Shopping Cart screen and click the “checkout” button.
Step 4: A link will take you back to a page that allow you to download the book in any of several electronic formats. Download the one that suits you and enjoy.
If you're not convinced this is a great deal, Mirrors & Mist currently has a 4.5-start rating on Amazon (and Crimson & Cream is 4.4 stars) and you can get both books for free.

Jetsam fled Dwim-Halloe as a runaway orphan, escaping both a zealous bounty hunter and a dragon-obsessed fallen knight. Now, the teenager finds himself a fledgling apprentice to the infamous wizard Seryn Vardan, the Oxbow Kingdom’s most wanted fugitive. When Jetsam attempts a heroic rescue during a foray with his teacher, catastrophe strikes as Seryn is captured and slated for execution.

Jetsam vows to free Seryn from his mysterious captors before his public beheading in the city where they are both falsely accused of murder. With his canine companion, Jetsam attempts a risky homecoming by seeking aid from old friends. Can Jetsam save his beloved mentor from certain death, or will he once again be left homeless and alone with a bounty on his head?
"CM Skiera has managed to write another spellbinding tale, expanding on the first adventure while also tying in Seryn's past." -- Shaykitteh's World of Books
"High adventure, dimensional scenes, sounds, smells and inner turmoil, it’s all here, all riveting, all addictive and an epic fantasy that will engage anyone with an eye for great storytelling."-- Tome Tender Book Blog
"Mirrors and Mist, book 2 of C.M. Skiera's Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, far surpasses its predecessor in just about every way. The characters are given more depth, there are more twists and turns throughout the increasingly complex plot, the action scenes are more exhilarating, and there is a bigger dose of emotion."-- Author Brian Beam
"Just like the first book, I think fans of classic High Fantasy will really enjoy this."-- The Reader's Hollow
"Once again, Mr. Skiera has given us another wonderfully written book." -- Books, Reviews, Etc.
2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Book Giveaway - Mirrors & Mist on KDP
link : Book Giveaway - Mirrors & Mist on KDP

Read Also


2015

My epic fantasy adventure Mirrors & Mist is free on Amazon today (May 14) and tomorrow (May 15). Click here to get yours:


Because Mirrors & Mist is Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, I'm also offering the first book, Crimson & Cream, free on Smashwords with this coupon code: HB78A.

If you're unfamiliar with Smashwords, here are instructions on how to get your free e-book:
Step 1: Click on the yellow Buy button
Step 2: Smashwords will ask you to log in. Either log in or create a new log-in ID at the bottom section.
Step 3: Enter the Coupon Code HB78A on the Shopping Cart screen and click the “checkout” button.
Step 4: A link will take you back to a page that allow you to download the book in any of several electronic formats. Download the one that suits you and enjoy.
If you're not convinced this is a great deal, Mirrors & Mist currently has a 4.5-start rating on Amazon (and Crimson & Cream is 4.4 stars) and you can get both books for free.

Jetsam fled Dwim-Halloe as a runaway orphan, escaping both a zealous bounty hunter and a dragon-obsessed fallen knight. Now, the teenager finds himself a fledgling apprentice to the infamous wizard Seryn Vardan, the Oxbow Kingdom’s most wanted fugitive. When Jetsam attempts a heroic rescue during a foray with his teacher, catastrophe strikes as Seryn is captured and slated for execution.

Jetsam vows to free Seryn from his mysterious captors before his public beheading in the city where they are both falsely accused of murder. With his canine companion, Jetsam attempts a risky homecoming by seeking aid from old friends. Can Jetsam save his beloved mentor from certain death, or will he once again be left homeless and alone with a bounty on his head?
"CM Skiera has managed to write another spellbinding tale, expanding on the first adventure while also tying in Seryn's past." -- Shaykitteh's World of Books
"High adventure, dimensional scenes, sounds, smells and inner turmoil, it’s all here, all riveting, all addictive and an epic fantasy that will engage anyone with an eye for great storytelling."-- Tome Tender Book Blog
"Mirrors and Mist, book 2 of C.M. Skiera's Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy, far surpasses its predecessor in just about every way. The characters are given more depth, there are more twists and turns throughout the increasingly complex plot, the action scenes are more exhilarating, and there is a bigger dose of emotion."-- Author Brian Beam
"Just like the first book, I think fans of classic High Fantasy will really enjoy this."-- The Reader's Hollow
"Once again, Mr. Skiera has given us another wonderfully written book." -- Books, Reviews, Etc.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

KDP Select Free Book Promotion Links

Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select Free Book Promotion is a feature where an author can offer a book enrolled in KDP Select free to readers for up to five days.  You can pick the specific days you want to run your giveaway, from between one and five days in a row. I've decided to offer Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy free through KDP Select on May 14 and 15 (next week).

Below are websites that will promote your KDP giveaway for free. Some of these sites don't guarantee a listing with their free option (but they offer paid options for guaranteed and/or increased exposure). I've applied to list my free days on all of them, so I know they're active and current (and have a free option, since that's all I used this time).
If you're going to promote via these sites, I recommend having all your book information ready to cut and paste, as they each have forms asking for some (or all) of the following:
  • Author name and e-mail
  • Book Title
  • Link to Book (Amazon)
  • ASIN Number
  • Genre
  • Book blurb
  • Book cover jpg
  • Link to your website
  • Twitter name
  • Days your book will be Free
There are several more sites that cater to niche books (erotica, christian, children's) and can be found here (along with many of the links above).  Best of luck with your KDP giveaways!

Author Update: After much outlining, plotting and story-boarding, I've begun writing Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy in earnest, and am sitting at about 8,000 words, which is still way to early to start predicting a finish date.


2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : KDP Select Free Book Promotion Links
link : KDP Select Free Book Promotion Links

Read Also


2015

Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select Free Book Promotion is a feature where an author can offer a book enrolled in KDP Select free to readers for up to five days.  You can pick the specific days you want to run your giveaway, from between one and five days in a row. I've decided to offer Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy free through KDP Select on May 14 and 15 (next week).

Below are websites that will promote your KDP giveaway for free. Some of these sites don't guarantee a listing with their free option (but they offer paid options for guaranteed and/or increased exposure). I've applied to list my free days on all of them, so I know they're active and current (and have a free option, since that's all I used this time).

If you're going to promote via these sites, I recommend having all your book information ready to cut and paste, as they each have forms asking for some (or all) of the following:
  • Author name and e-mail
  • Book Title
  • Link to Book (Amazon)
  • ASIN Number
  • Genre
  • Book blurb
  • Book cover jpg
  • Link to your website
  • Twitter name
  • Days your book will be Free
There are several more sites that cater to niche books (erotica, christian, children's) and can be found here (along with many of the links above).  Best of luck with your KDP giveaways!

Author Update: After much outlining, plotting and story-boarding, I've begun writing Warlock & Wyrm, Book III of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy in earnest, and am sitting at about 8,000 words, which is still way to early to start predicting a finish date.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Can You Optimize Your Smashwords Coupons?

I'm approaching my first KDP Select giveaway (in May--stay tuned), but my conundrum is that the event will be for the second e-book of a series (Mirrors & Mist), and I'm worried about the appeal (or lack of) for a free e-book that's mid-trilogy. Obviously, if you don't have the first book (Crimson & Cream), getting the second book of a trilogy for free isn't that special, so I'm trying to make them both available for free over that short time period. I didn't go the KDP Select route with Crimson & Cream (Book I), so I'm trying to coordinate a preemptive strike using Smashwords coupons to coincide with the KDP Select event for Mirrors & Mist.

The problem is that while there are a plethora of websites to promote your KDP Select days on, I've found very few websites where you can promote your Smashwords coupons. If I happen to be missing any great sites to advertise your coupon codes, please clue me in! In lieu of that, I conducted a little experiment, which, unfortunately, fell rather flat.  Here's how it went:

After unsuccessfully scouring the Internet for sites that promote Smashwords coupon codes, I stumbled across some coupon-centric sites that allow you to post your free Smashwords coupon codes (along with all other types of coupons). I posted on several of these, using unique codes so I could track which sites were more successful in giving away free books. Unfortunately, I haven't given away any books on any of these sites in over a week since I started my experiment.

In case you're curious, these are the sites I tried giving away the free e-book coupon codes at:


Just because they haven't worked for me doesn't mean they won't work for you. And you aren't restricted to free giveaways, either. Smashwords lets you create coupons for percentage-off discounts as well. If you've had luck with this method, let me know if you have any good tips to share. Oh, and by the way, if you'd like a free copy of the YA epic fantasy adventure Crimson & Cream for yourself or to give away, here's a code you can use on Smashwords: HB78A.


2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Can You Optimize Your Smashwords Coupons?
link : Can You Optimize Your Smashwords Coupons?

Read Also


2015

I'm approaching my first KDP Select giveaway (in May--stay tuned), but my conundrum is that the event will be for the second e-book of a series (Mirrors & Mist), and I'm worried about the appeal (or lack of) for a free e-book that's mid-trilogy. Obviously, if you don't have the first book (Crimson & Cream), getting the second book of a trilogy for free isn't that special, so I'm trying to make them both available for free over that short time period. I didn't go the KDP Select route with Crimson & Cream (Book I), so I'm trying to coordinate a preemptive strike using Smashwords coupons to coincide with the KDP Select event for Mirrors & Mist.

The problem is that while there are a plethora of websites to promote your KDP Select days on, I've found very few websites where you can promote your Smashwords coupons. If I happen to be missing any great sites to advertise your coupon codes, please clue me in! In lieu of that, I conducted a little experiment, which, unfortunately, fell rather flat.  Here's how it went:

After unsuccessfully scouring the Internet for sites that promote Smashwords coupon codes, I stumbled across some coupon-centric sites that allow you to post your free Smashwords coupon codes (along with all other types of coupons). I posted on several of these, using unique codes so I could track which sites were more successful in giving away free books. Unfortunately, I haven't given away any books on any of these sites in over a week since I started my experiment.

In case you're curious, these are the sites I tried giving away the free e-book coupon codes at:


Just because they haven't worked for me doesn't mean they won't work for you. And you aren't restricted to free giveaways, either. Smashwords lets you create coupons for percentage-off discounts as well. If you've had luck with this method, let me know if you have any good tips to share. Oh, and by the way, if you'd like a free copy of the YA epic fantasy adventure Crimson & Cream for yourself or to give away, here's a code you can use on Smashwords: HB78A.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Exposure Websites for Indie Authors

As many of you know, I just released my epic fantasy e-book Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy. In my bumbling, masochistic, and often embarrassing attempts to self-market my e-books, I've revisited the habit of joining free websites that promote indie authors and their work. Not just the big names like Goodreads, Library Thing, Wattpad, and Shelfari, but the lesser-known sites as well.

Unfortunately, I have no way of correlating book sales with my participation in any of the smaller sites listed below. By no means am I selling a ton of books, although Mirrors & Mist is off to a much better start than its predecessor, Crimson & Cream. Whether any of these websites contributed to that, I've yet to discover.

I'm fully aware that my posting on these websites may have accounted for exactly zero sales, and that I may have done nothing more than expose myself to more scams, spams, or worse. However, following the old adage of There's no such thing as bad publicity, I did what I did.

So far, I haven't noticed any negative impacts (knock on wood), although shortly after joining Bookbuzzr, I noticed a curious influx of Google Plus additions by what appear to be fake accounts (no posts, real name, or actual photo). This may just be a coincidence, and there's no real harm, since I don't add people that don't appear to have legitimate accounts. Anyhow, this isn't an endorsement for any of these sites, just a listing for those of you curious to explore them for yourself.
If you have experience (good or bad) with these or any other similar sites, I'd be interested in hearing about them, if you'd post below.

Also, in promotion for the Mirrors & Mist release, I'm giving away free copies of Crimson & Cream at Smashwords for a limited time with this coupon code: HB78A. Feel free to share.
 

2015 - Hello Reader of 4concpoesiaecsps, In the article you read this time with the title 2015, We have prepared this article for you to read and retrieve information therein. Hopefully the contents of postings We write this you can understand. well, happy reading.

Title : Exposure Websites for Indie Authors
link : Exposure Websites for Indie Authors

Read Also


2015

As many of you know, I just released my epic fantasy e-book Mirrors & Mist, Book II of The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy. In my bumbling, masochistic, and often embarrassing attempts to self-market my e-books, I've revisited the habit of joining free websites that promote indie authors and their work. Not just the big names like Goodreads, Library Thing, Wattpad, and Shelfari, but the lesser-known sites as well.

Unfortunately, I have no way of correlating book sales with my participation in any of the smaller sites listed below. By no means am I selling a ton of books, although Mirrors & Mist is off to a much better start than its predecessor, Crimson & Cream. Whether any of these websites contributed to that, I've yet to discover.

I'm fully aware that my posting on these websites may have accounted for exactly zero sales, and that I may have done nothing more than expose myself to more scams, spams, or worse. However, following the old adage of There's no such thing as bad publicity, I did what I did.

So far, I haven't noticed any negative impacts (knock on wood), although shortly after joining Bookbuzzr, I noticed a curious influx of Google Plus additions by what appear to be fake accounts (no posts, real name, or actual photo). This may just be a coincidence, and there's no real harm, since I don't add people that don't appear to have legitimate accounts. Anyhow, this isn't an endorsement for any of these sites, just a listing for those of you curious to explore them for yourself.

If you have experience (good or bad) with these or any other similar sites, I'd be interested in hearing about them, if you'd post below.

Also, in promotion for the Mirrors & Mist release, I'm giving away free copies of Crimson & Cream at Smashwords for a limited time with this coupon code: HB78A. Feel free to share.