Pitch Perfect?

So this week I started reviewing my last completed but unpublished manuscript, Father’s Books.  This one is essentially a ghost story, set, like Crows and Long Before Dawn, in a thinly veiled version of the Mohawk Valley region of New York.  But more on that in a week or two, because this week, I heard from Underground Book Reviews that Shards is a Pitch Perfect Pick finalist for this week.  Pretty cool!


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“Dragon Stones” Now Available On Kindle

The Kindle version of Dragon Stones is now available!   There was a slight delay while I satisfied Amazon.com that I am, in fact, the author of and have electronic rights to Dragon Stones; no doubt this process was tightened up somewhat after the 1984 fiasco, when Amazon allowed a publisher without distribution rights to sell 1984 in the Kindle store, then reached out and deleted it from customer Kindles when the mistake was discovered.  They certainly don’t want a repeat of that; plus I wouldn’t want someone else peddling copies of Dragon Stones to Kindle users, so I guess it’s a protection for both Amazon and authors/publishers.  (But we know who Amazon is REALLY protecting.  Nudge nudge wink wink.)

I’m pretty happy with how Dragon Stones turned out for the Kindle,  so I’ll probably do this with the other books I have electronic rights for.  At the moment that’s just Long Before Dawn (Hard Shell Word Factory, which is in the process of being acquired by Mundania Press, has electronic rights to Night Watchman), but I am working on a reissue of Crows through Lulu.com which will, among other things, have the missing epilogue restored, along with a new cover, and without any missing pages (thanks for reporting that, Mango’s mom!).

Anyway, I’d encourage anyone with an Amazon Kindle to check out Dragon Stones.  As with other Kindle books, you can get a free sample, and text-to-speech is enabled because unlike some publishers, I don’t mind if you want to have your Kindle read to you in the car. The more opportunities for reading the better, I say.

Don’t forget to vote for the November scene of the month!

Dragon Stones Now On Amazon, B&N

Today, during my semi-monthly auto-Googling, I discovered that Dragon Stones has made its way out to Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and the like.  Interestingly enough, Long Before Dawn hasn’t reached those outlets yet, but it is available from online bookstores in the U.K.  Go figure.  Perhaps the British are more amenable than the Americans to proper vampire stories, where the vampires are monsters.

Anyway, for all my legions of fans out there who have just been waiting to be able to purchase my two latest books from somewhere other than Lulu.com (you know who you are), your wish has been granted!  You can get Dragon Stones from Amazon.com or BN.com, and Long Before Dawn from Blackwell Online and WHSmith in the U.K.  Both should be available elsewhere as well.

“Long Before Dawn” Available From Lulu.com!

Long Before Dawn is now available from Lulu.com in both print and electronic versions. Huzzah! It will eventually be available from Amazon.com and other booksellers, but that is still a week or two away as I have yet to receive my ISBN. I will post a follow-up when this is ready. In the meantime, if you’re interested in purchasing a copy of Long Before Dawn directly from my Lulu storefront, you can do so here (check the link in the sidebar) or here.

In the past, I’ve made a habit of giving free, signed copies of my books to anybody who asks for one. This is partly because I’m more interested in having readers than in making money (although I wouldn’t turn down big bucks for the movie rights), partly because hardly anybody asks for one, and partly because I’m not really comfortable exhorting people to buy my stuff. (This is why I need an agent.) However, it’s been pointed out that giving away books online could get prohibitively expensive, so I’m going to have to forgo the “free” part, and exhort people to buy my stuff*. I will still be more than happy to sign copies, though. If you’re interested, drop me a line.

Thanks, and happy reading!

*Please buy my stuff. (Maybe if I keep saying it, I’ll get used to it.)

Free Software For Writers: Scribus

So you’ve written your book and have either self-published it or gotten it published by a small press (because if your book is being put out by Random House or Tor or HaperCollins, you certainly aren’t reading this), and now you want to publicize it. This is of course going to be your own job, because the publisher isn’t going to do it for you. Some simple ways to make a nice display include making little handouts, colorful bookmarks, or other promotional material that can be easily handed out to or taken away by people who may be interested in your work.

It’s possible, of course, to do brochures, bookmarks, signs, etc., in a word processing program or a publishing application like Microsoft Publisher; it’s even possible to misuse presentation software, such as PowerPoint, for this purpose. However, this is a blurb about open source software, and I’m going to point you in the direction of Scribus. Scribus is page layout software that lets you design a document to your exact standards, positioning each item precisely on the screen. You have exact control over every element of your document in a way that is difficult or impossible to achieve with regular word processors. I’ve used it to create bookmarks with excerpts from various of my books and stories, as well as a small display card for Night Watchman. (Crows was still out of print at the time so I didn’t make a card for it.) This can be a simple way for you to enhance a small store display or signing. Scribus can also be used to create PDF files, including forms that can be filled out.

I wouldn’t really recommend taking advice from me about self-promotion, because I’m not at all good at it, but even I can hand bookmarks to people. Nobody wants to accidentally start reading five pages ahead of where they left off.

Scribus is available for Windows, Macintosh, and (of course) Linux.

Thanks to Chess Griffin at Linux Reality

A big “thank you” goes out to Chess Griffin at Linux Reality, a podcast for the new and not-so-new Linux user, for mentioning my site in his latest podcast!  I’ve been a Linux user since about 2004 (originally using Mandrake, currently using Ubuntu) and highly recommend Chess’s podcast for anyone who’s using, interested in using, or just curious about Linux, a free, stable, secure alternative to Windows.  You can even order a computer now with Ubuntu preinstalled, for example, from System 76 or Dell.

Consider Linux for your next machine.  You might be surprised.