KB Featured
Stone and Silt
by Harvey Chute

$2.99
Kindle Edition published 2013-08-14
Bestseller ranking: 713665

Product Description
Big Al's Books & Pals 2014 Readers' Choice Awards: Young Adult Nominee

A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.

Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love....

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Topics - Benjamin Douglas

Pages: [1] 2
1
Writers' Cafe / Critique my cover (it's a trap)
« on: January 03, 2018, 01:27:04 PM »
Hey I just paid many moneys for this cover for my new epic urban fantasy whqt do you thin





...

(disclaimer: fake on purpose. What's the point if we can't all laugh a little at ourselves?)

2
Writers' Cafe / 2018 Author Affirmations and Goals
« on: December 31, 2017, 05:57:59 PM »
I'll start! Jump in with your own if you feel so inclined. And Happy New Year  :D

Suggested format:
Affirmation (I am a ________). Goal (In 2018 I will ____________).


I am a father. In 2018 I will work to build an income to support my family.
I am a husband. In 2018 I will encourage my partner in her own goals and dreams.
I am a creative. In 2018 I will feed my creative muse faithfully.
I am a writer. In 2018 I will write regularly. I will improve my craft and output.
I am an author. In 2018 I will grow my catalogue by publishing no fewer than five co-authored novels and no fewer than five of my own books.
I am an entrepreneur. In 2018 I will have my first $5k gross income month from my books.

3
Writers' Cafe / Scrivener for iOS: anyone have experiences to share?
« on: November 27, 2017, 01:24:35 PM »
Hey 'dere Cyber folk,

I just noticed that Scrivener does indeed now have a mobile version (iOS). See here:
https://www.literatureandlatte.com/store/scrivener?tab=iOS

Has anyone used it? Have any experiences to share? I want to try it. It's cheap for what the desktop version can do, sure, but I'm still a bit annoyed that there seems to be no free trial option. This is exactly the sort of situation in which a trial would help me decide whether or not to buy, as I have no experience using software like this on my iPhone. *shrug* Any rave testimonials, insightful criticisms, or anything in between is welcome.

I ran a google kboards search and this old thread was the only other place I saw it mentioned:
http://www.kboards.com/index.php?topic=229257.0

Thanks, all!

4
Writers' Cafe / CAPS-LOCK WEDNESDAY: EXOTIC LOCATIONS AND JIM CARREY
« on: November 22, 2017, 05:10:10 AM »
ALRIGHT PEOPLE, LET'S DO THIS:

IN RECENT WEEKS WE'VE LEARNED THAT INDIA WANTS TO BUY ALL YOUR BOOKS, RANK IS RANK (HAHA VERY CLEVER BEN), EVERYONE YOU KNOW IN HOLLYWOOD OR WASHINGTON IS A TERRIBLE EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING, AND IF A CAPS-LOCK WEDNESDAY THREAD FALLS IN THE FOREST AND NO ONE IS LISTENING, NO ONE MAKES THEIR .00455 PER PAGE READ.

IF YOU WERE SURPRISED BY MORE THAN ONE OF THOSE, YOU'RE AN ODD DUCK.

(AND IF YOU'RE AN ODD DUCK THERE'S A 50/50 CHANCE YOU'RE ACTUALLY A GOOSE. GIVE IT A MINUTE. YOU'LL GET THERE.)

TODAY I'M JUMPING IN AND TAKING THE REINS FOR A WEEK TO ASK US ALL ANOTHER QUESTION ABOUT EXOTIC LOCATIONS. IF YOU HAD UNLIMITED FUNDS AND NO EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES THAT TIED YOU DOWN TO THE PART OF THE WORLD WHERE YOU CURRENTLY RESIDE, WHERE WOULD YOU GO LIVE (AND WRITE?). CURIOUS MINDS WANT TO KNOW. WELL, MAYBE DAYDREAMING MINDS THAT SHOULD BE WRITING BUT ARE CURRENTLY DAYDREAMING INSTEAD.

WELL ME AS FOR ME, I'M ALWAYS A LITTLE TORN BETWEEN THE CLASSIC LITTLE BEACH SOMEWHERE IN THE CARIBBEAN, AND A REMOTE (BUT AWESOME) CABIN SOMEWHERE IN THE NORTH WOODS. THE KIND OF PLACE YOU CAN JUST HOLE UP IN FOR DAYS (WEEKS?) AT A TIME--GRAB YOUR SUPPLIES FROM SOME NEARBY TOWN AND THEN JUST DISAPPEAR FROM CIVILIZATION FOR A LITTLE WHILE. MMMMMM YEAH.

WHAT ABOUT YOU, SHEEPLES?

FOLLOW UP QUESTION (THANK YOU NETFLIX). JIM CARREY: GREAT CANADIAN, OR THE GREATEST CANADIAN? BONUS POINTS FOR ANSWERS FROM REAL LIVE CANADIANS.

5
Writers' Cafe / KDP down, or just me?
« on: November 07, 2017, 02:00:52 PM »
Hi All!

Have been trying to publish a story on KDP for about an hour... I get to the last page and click the final "Publish" button, and get a message saying there was an unexpected error loading the page, I should try again later. Have tried a few times, no dice.

Just wondering if anyone else is hitting the same wall or not. I've tried a couple of browsers, but just one laptop. Meh.

Good luck to us all! Lol

My apologies if this has already been discussed today--a cursory scan hasn't turned up any hits.

EDITED to clarify: I'm able to save my progress as a draft, and I'm able to access reports. Just can't quite finish the job on the publishing end.

6
Writers' Cafe / KDP Accounts Q: 2 accounts, 1 bank account: ok?
« on: October 31, 2017, 11:59:37 AM »
Hi all!

I've a quandary for the KDP experts in the room. My wife would like to publish, and she'd like to have her own KDP account, but the payouts will go to the same bank account / bank routing number as mine. Does anyone know if that's going to cause any trouble for us? Anyone have any experience, anecdotal evidence, or a better understanding of the TOS than I who wants to chime in, opinions/insights welcome. I don't want to be perceived by KDP as running afoul of the system, especially when they're out on the hunt for scammers and the like.

If this has been asked before, feel free to merge. I did some searching and found similar Q's, but not quite this one.

Thanks!

7
Hi Everyone!

THANK YOU to everyone who's chimed in on my blurb thread. Y'all are awesome! As I continue to gear up for my first Book 1 KU free days promo run, I'm taking one more look at my cover(s) as well.

These are homemades/bespoke. I am aware of two certainties: 1.) They are not as good as custom designed covers, for sure! and (perhaps related) 2.) It's a shame the ships look like something from an early 2000's game instead of being custom designs. I know. But these covers are part of my experiment to bootstrap everything. I made the ships using a spaceship seeding code in blender (free 3D rendering software). I also use GIMP and paint.net, both also free.

So here are all the covers for the series:



And here's a larger picture of just Book 1:



Short of paying for other artwork, which I acknowledge would be wise but which would also defeat the purpose of the experiment, what can I do to make these (and specifically Book 1) better? What do you see? What do you like, what do you hate, etc.--you know the drill. I'm tough, I can take it. Thanks in advance for any critiques! And a big shoutout and thankyou to those of you who have already given me invaluable input on these. Thanks  8)

8
Updated 11/23/2017

tl;dr: Thanks everyone for your help! I've bootstrapped my jump to a 3 figure monthly income.


Wow. Just wow. I am so incredibly grateful to everyone here and elsewhere who has taken the time to offer me advice, critiques, and a helping hand. Thank you all so, so very much! I am humbled by this community, and more excited than ever to embark on my indie author journey! Here's what's happened so far:

At the end of June 2017 I published Book 1 of my first series, Starship Fairfax (books in sig). It took another two months for me to get Book 2 out, and another two after that for Book 3. Book 4 comes out in a couple of weeks. I'm hoping to significantly up my production speed eventually, but for now, this is life (with a toddler at home and a couple of teaching jobs in the evenings). I made a conscious choice to bootstrap as much of the process as I could, having nil for overhead in the beginning. I started networking with other indies with a free blog and podcast (all wordpress.com, archive.org, and youtube--all free), and by participating here and in a couple of FB author groups. I got the free trial of Scrivener and did all my writing in Word, saving my trial days for formatting .epub and .mobi files through the compile tool. I got my hands on some free graphics software (paint.net, GIMP, and Blender) and started working on cover design, workshopping the POOP out of it. To remind everyone, this is where the cover for The Lunar Gambit began:



And after a lot of experimenting and workshopping here and elsewhere, this is what I ended up with:



I started a thread here and elsewhere to workshop my blurb. Twice. I wrote and submitted a prequel short story for Alasdair Shaw's The Officer anthology (see sig)--got in, got some dedicated readers right away. I wrote another short story, made it a mailing list exclusive (hosted the .mobi and the .epub for free on googledrive), started a mailing list (oh yeah, ha!) for free with Mailchimp, and included the link in the anthology. Folks who signed up for the list saw that Book 1 was on preorder for 99cents, and I got my first handful of purchases. Woopee!

By the end of October 2017 (a month ago) I had two books and two short stories and a low 2-figure mailing list with high engagement, and I decided it was time to take it to the next level. So I set up my first Kindle Select free days promo, which is discussed in the rest of this thread. I applied for a passel of free promos, most of which I don't think happened (though I'm convinced that askdavid.com is GOLD right now for low-level indies doing a free promo and not wanting to spend much. I saw a little spike everytime they tweeted, which they did everyday for no charge). I paid for ONE promo (BKNights, asked for the KBoards special. BK, if you're here, thank you). And I leveraged my earnest networking to ask a couple of peers and a couple of influencers (above my level) to share the freebie with their lists.

They did.

That was the real magic, I'm convinced. On the days of the NL shares, my book shot up the rankings in the free store subcats. Here's a little screenshot I took of sitting at no. 2 in Space Fleet, with one of my favorite indie authors a few spots below me  :P:



And here's a shot capturing my best overall rankings during the free run:



The freebie did well, I got some sell-through, and I got some KU reads. Not an earth-shattering amount, but enough to set the stage for phase two of my evil plan:

The day that Book 1 went back to full price, I began my first FB ad. True to my bootstrapping roots, I paid peanuts for this thing. I mean a budget of just $1 a day. I went to my local Biolife and gave plasma for $25. I think I spent $5 on a meal, $10 on gas for the car, and set the rest aside for the ad. Here's the ad preview and a screenshot of how it was doing a few days in:



You know what? The cost-per-click never really got much higher. Right now it's at $0.18. Conversion came primarily by way of KU page reads, which continue to be a substantial part of my income. To that point, I set up an omnibus of the first three books just a week or so ago, and have seen good reads on it. I have every intention of moving the entire series wide eventually, but I may let it all sit up there for a second KU cycle first. I want my eggs in many baskets, but right now they're growing in this one, ya know?

Alright, so: results. I set myself a goal. Spend no more than $20 (really $21, because $11 went to BKNights through Fiverr, $10 to FB ads), and make the jump from a low two-figure income to a three-figure income within the month of November. And now, on November 23, Thanksgiving Day, I'm extremely happy to present the following:



 ;D ;D ;D

That's $140.89 for November so far, with a week still to go. I know this is a negligible amount for some of the rockstars on the 'boards, but for me, a tiny prawny noob investing almost nothing but time and just starting out, this is beyond my dream coming true. And beyond that, I also just included my ML exclusive in a couple of IF group promos for the first time, growing my mailing list from around 30 to just shy of 500 in a few days. Here's hoping I can keep them engaged ;)  I'm looking forward to the next release with great anticipation.

So I'm here to share all of this very transparent information to say THANK YOU, Kboards! Huge shout-out to Jim Johnson for his invaluable work with my blurb; to Jeff Tanyard for his amazing help with my cover(s); to my influencers who shared with their NLs, you know who you are, and I owe you for life; and to everyone else who has chipped in with your time and wisdom along the way. Dan C Rinnert. C Gold. Everyone who humors me with my goofball threads. Everyone who's let me read their work on The Book Speaks Podcast. You. Are. All. Rockstars.

Forever.

You all have paid it forward to me, and I'm beyond excited to pay it back. I can't wait to invest in other authors, and to support places like KBoards and software like Scrivener financially. This is indies helping indies. This is awesome. This is SPARTA. (Ok... maybe not that last bit.)

Book 4 comes out in about a week. Book 5, end of the year. I have another prequel short set up in Alasdair's next anthology. After that? A couple of hush-hush co-authoring projects in the works. It's the hot new thing!  8)

See you all in the Writer's Cafe, folks.

-Ben




(OP Below)
___________________________________________________________________________

Hi Everyone,

Thanks in no small part to the many pieces of invaluable wisdom garnered here, I'm a month out from releasing the third book in my action/adventure/military SciFi series, Starship Fairfax (preorder goes live October 30). Woohoo! Let there be drinking!

In conjunction with the release, I'm doing my first free run of Book 1, The Lunar Gambit (in sig). But as with everything I've done so far, I'm running it on the most epic shoestringy of shoestring budgets. Almost all of the promo will be free, followed by some very low-cost PPC (probably just FB ads; I'm still mulling over whether to split my meagre budget between FB and AMS). As the date draws closer, this is the thread where I will outline my strategy and share my results. Follow if you want to shine but you don't have any money to put in the money machine!

For now I'm kicking this off with an open solicitation to any and all authors of scifi or related speculative fiction, but most ideally action/adventure/military scifi, and MOST most ideally something kind of fun and campy in the vein of Firefly, to ask if anyone would be willing to share The Lunar Gambit, either via your NL or social media, during the free run, 10/30-11/4. What you should know:

My own list is very small because I'm new and relying on organic growth; I only have two digits at this time. So a 1-for-1 swap will not be fair to you right now via a cost-benefit analysis. I'm still willing to do a simple swap of title sharing, but I am also willing to bank you for a future date to plug to my list if you prefer--a date you'll share with no one else (I never send more than 2 emails a month, and never feature more than one author besides myself). I am also willing to barter my skill as a beta reader (I freelanced as a paid beta for a couple of years on odesk/upwork), do some proofreading, or feature your work on my show, The Book Speaks Podcast (see sig). I'm open to negotiating so that you feel you are getting value.

My writing is solid for a first-timer. The copy is pretty clean, and my reviews, though few, are high. My handful of readers seem to be interested in what I'm doing--my last Mailchimp NL had a 70.6% open rate and a 41.2% click rate. About the only complaint I get is that I'm writing too short, and I agree... so I'm working on that.

There's my no-nonsense spiel! If you're interesting in helping an indie out or in gambling on a new author by plugging my free book, let me know--here or in a PM is fine. You can also reach me at benjamindouglasbooks@gmail.com if you prefer. The Lunar Gambit is in KU, so you can check it out there if you like. I'm also happy to send a private copy (not via a vendor/distributor) if you require.

Thanks all!

9
Writers' Cafe / CAPS-LOCK WEDNESDAY: TELL A STORY FROM WORK DAY
« on: September 06, 2017, 04:19:41 PM »
PEOPLE WHAT IS WITH THIS NO CAPS-LOCK WEDNESDAY THREAD ON CAPS-LOCK WEDNESDAY SHENANIGANS!!!!!! DAN AND CTHULHU AND I ARE ALL VERY UPSET! AND IN THAT ORDER!

 >:(

ENOUGH WITH THE MERRY-DESTROYING. TODAY FOR CAPS-LOCK WEDNESDAY I BID YOU ALL SHOUT A STORY FROM THE DAY JOB. DON'T HAVE ANY JOB OTHER THAN WRITING? REACH BACK INTO YOUR DISTANT PAST, YOU LAZY BILLIONAIRE RECLUSE, AND REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE ONE OF THE LITTLE PEOPLE! NEVER HAD A JOB OTHER THAN WRITING? GO AWAY.

I MEAN TAKE ME AS YOUR PADAWAN AKSULLY

OK SO I'LL START. IN MY OTHER LIFE I'M A CLASSICAL SINGER. THIS ONE TIME I WAS SINGING IN AN OPERA AT SCHOOL, AND WE HAD A BIT WHERE I WAS SUPPOSED TO MAKE A POCKETWATCH ON A CHAIN "DISAPPEAR" BY DROPPING IT INTO A POCKET SEWN INTO THE INSIDE OF MY VEST AS I TURNED AROUND IN A CIRCLE. I TURNED, DROPPED THE WATCH, AND MISSED THE POCKET. I PROCEEDED TO WALK DOWN TO THE EDGE OF THE STAGE, SINGING MY BIG NUMBER, COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS TO THE FACT THAT THE WATCH HAD FALLEN THROUGH THE VEST, THE CHAIN HAD CAUGHT ON THE BOTTOM BUTTON, AND THE WATCH HEAD WAS NOW SWINGING LOW BETWEEN MY KNEES IN THE FACES OF ALL OF THE AUDIENCE.

REALLY, THOUGH. IT WAS ONE FOR THE AGES.

YOUR TURN! TELL ME A STORY ABOUT YOUR DAYJOB/OTHER JOB/OK WRITING IF YOU HAVE TO. REMIND ME WHY I'M AN AUTHOR.

DAN WHERE ARE YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

10
Writers' Cafe / I just had my first 10k day! Send me drinks
« on: September 01, 2017, 10:48:24 PM »
Dear Kboards,

I just had my first 10k word day. I'd like to thank the Academy.

Biggest takeaway of a whirlwind week of pulp-speed writing so far: when you're cranking out at least 5k every day, 2k a day starts to feel like a piece of cake. And 2k a day can get you a novel a month in a lot of genre fiction, so... doing the math, dreaming of making this a habit.

Go do it, you!

11
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS DAN C RINNERT?? COMPULSIVE CAPS-LOCKERS AND PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO SHOUT AS THEY TYPE WANT TO KNOW. THIS WEEK: EGYPT EDITION. I'LL START.

MY FAVORITE EGYPT-ISH HISTORICAL FICTION IS BY LIBBY HAWKER. WHO WRITES YOURS?
AND MY FAVORITE EGYPT PICTURES ARE THE ONES NAUGHTY PEOPLE TAKE FROM THE TOP OF THE PYRAMIDS AFTER CLIMBING THEM (SHAME SHAME)



TELL ME THIBGS, PEOPLE


OH AND FIND DAN HE OWES ME MONEYS

12
Writers' Cafe / Ben's Big List 'o Podcasts
« on: August 15, 2017, 04:47:09 PM »
Ranking System:
(Ranking is as of 8/15/2017 unless noted in an update)


*0-24 iTunes ratings
**25-49 iTunes ratings
***50-74 iTunes ratings
****75-99 iTunes ratings
*****100+ iTunes ratings




RankTitle/LinkHost(s)FormatFocus
****Author AudienceShelley HitzInstructive monologueChristian/Inspirational Writing, Publishing, Marketing
**Author Hangout, theBook Marketing ToolsInstructive monologue; InterviewsMarketing; Mindset; Hacks
*****Authority Self PublishingSteve Scott & Barrie Davenport Observational group talk; InterviewsMarketing; KDP; Indie publishing news analysis
*Authorpreneurs AlmanacSterling & StoneObservational dialogueSterling & Stone; Indie publishing & marketing
*Ask ALLi Podcast: Advanced SalonALLi; Orna Ross & Joanna PennObservational dialogueAdvanced self-publishing tips, tools, trends; Indie publishing news analysis
*Ask ALLi Podcast: Beginner's SalonALLi; Jay Artale & Michael La RonnInstructional/observational dialogueBest practice beginning advice for writing, publishing
*Ask ALLi Podcast: Indie Author Fringe HighlightALLi; VariousInstructional monologue; Interviews; Q&AWriting; Publishing; Marketing
*Ask ALLi Podcast: Member Q&AALLi; David Penny & Debby YoungInstructional dialogue; Q&AWriting; Publishing; Marketing
*Ask Us AnythingSterling & StoneInstructional group talk; Q&AWriting; Publishing; Marketing; Misc.
*BackstorySterling & StoneObservational group talkSterling & Stone; Personal indie publishing stories
*Baron FrostiBaron FrostiInterviewsWriting; indie author journeys; LGBTQ authors and fiction
****Book Launch Show, theTim GrahlInstructional monologueMailing list; social media; booklaunch; marketing
*The Book Speaks PodcastBenjamin Douglas (that's me!)Observational monologue; readings; rare interviewsStories and work of indie authors
*Breaking the Glass Slipper Lucy Hounsom, Charlotte Bond, Megan LeighObservational group talk; interviewsWomen writers & characters in genre fiction; feminism; gender in genre fiction
*****Creative Penn Podcast, theJoanna PennObservational monologue; interviewsWriting; publishing; marketing; mindset; futurism; global markets
*Creative Writer's Toolbelt, theAndrew J. ChamberlainObservational and instructional monologue; interviewsWriting craft, motivation, lifestyle; publishing
**Eight QuestionsSterling & StoneObservational group talk; interviewsAuthors, artists, and entrepreneurs; life, work, inspiration
*Go Creative! Show, theOrna RossObservational monologue; interviewsNews, discussion, insights on writing, publishing, creativity
*****Grammar GirlMignon FogartyObservational and instructional monologueWriting; English grammar, punctuation, usage, and etymology
*Internet Book Promotion PodcastBob BakerObservational and instructional monologueOnline book marketing; appears to no longer be active
*Kobo Writing Life PodcastMark LefabvreObservational and instructional monologue; interviewsWriting; publishing; marketing
*Lackadaisical Writer, theAnma NatsuObservational monologue; readings; rare interviewsPersonal writing/indie publishing journey; misc.
*Meet the Thriller Author PodcastAlan PetersenInterviewsThriller authors interviewed on writing, publishing, marketing, misc
***Novel Marketing PodcastThomas Umstattd Jr. and James L. RubartInstructional dialogue; Q&ABook marketing; mindset
*****Portfolio Life PodcastJeff GoinsObservational and instructional monologues and dialogues; interviewsWriting; mindset; creativity
**Publishing Profits Podcast Show, theTom Corson-Knowles (TCK Publishing)InterviewsWriting; publishing; marketing
*****Rocking Self-PublishingSimon WhistlerInterviewsWriting; publishing; marketing
**Science Fiction & Fantasy Marketing Podcast, theLindsay Buroker, Joseph Lallo, Jeffrey PooleInterviews, observational group talkBook marketing (typically SFF); author journeys
*The Secrets Podcast for WritersMichael A. StackpoleInstructional monologue; Q&AWriting craft; publishing; appears to no longer be active
**Self-Publishing Formula, Mark Dawson'sMark DawsonInterviews; observational and instructional monologueWriting; publishing; marketing; hacks; best practices
*Self-Publishing JourneysPaul Teague, Clixeo Ltd.Interviews; observational monologueWriting; publishing; marketing; indie author journeys
*****Self-Publishing PodcastSterling & StoneObservational and instructional group talkWriting; publishing; marketing
*****Sell More Books ShowBryan Cohen and Jim KukralObservational and instructional dialogueWriting, publishing, marketing news roundup; tips; best practices; the publishing market
*Smarter Artist, theSterling & StoneInstructive group talk; Q&AMindset; hacks; creativity
*So You Want To Be a WriterValerie Khoo and Allison Tait, Australian Writers' CentreObservational and instructional dialogue; interviewsWriting; publishing; marketing; blogging
*****Storygrid PodcastShawn Coyne and Tim GrahlInstructional dialogueWriting; plotting; story structure; scenes; beats; mentor-mentee
**StoryshopSterling & StoneInstructional group talkWriting; pre-writing; productivity hacks; appears to no longer be active
**Write Podcast, theJulia McCoyInterviewsContent marketing; blogging; creative entrepreneurship
*****Write To Be Read / Brand ArchitectAni AlexanderInterviews; observational and instructional monologueBranding; content marketing; creative entrepreneurship
***Writer 2.0 PodcastA.C. FullerInterviews; observational and instructional monologueWriting; publishing; marketing
*Writer Files, theKelton ReidInterviewsWriting; productivity; creativity
*****Writing ExcusesBrandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, Howard TaylerInstructional group talkWriting craft
***Writing for ChildrenKatie Davis (Institute of Children's Literature)Instructional monologueWriting, querying, and submitting children's literature
*Writing Podcast, theLindsay Buroker and Adam PoeObservational and instructional dialogueWriting craft; publishing; marketing; appears to no longer be active




Please suggest others, and feel free to correct any factual inaccuracies. Suggestions will be added and amendments made as I have time. Please check above before suggesting, to avoid duplicates.

Rankings are as of the date of this post, unless otherwise noted in an update at the top. I recognize that this ranking system is imperfect. It fails to take into account a number of critical factors, including how long a podcast has been active, the quality of its iTunes rankings, and whether or not a given podcast host calls for listeners to rank their show on iTunes. Nevertheless I believe it gives some idea of relative popularity. I invite anyone perusing the list to consider more than rank when choosing a show.

13
Hi all,

Did anybody share my permafree mil scifi short, "Totaled," recently? I saw a big leap in downloads today--like over tenfold. Not that I'm complaining! And if you shared it, I'm very happy, lol. Just want to know who to thank, I suppose  8)

14
Ok All,

We've seen farcical blurb threads before. Heck, I think I even started one. But this time I'm serious. In a time when truth is stranger than fiction (don't read into that), what can fiction do but get weird? So I'm asking you all to help me plot a serial. Working title for now is 'I Was a Dragon Vampire Spacewitch,' just for genre/trope expectations. No erotica please. Everything else is fair game, but so far I'm seeing dragon shifters, vampirism, magic, and spaceships.

Please plug your ideas in whatever format you like (blurb, haiku, stream-of-consciousness). Anything you post may in fact be incorporated into an actually published title, so by posting you agree to be ok with that. Just the ideas; I won't use your name or anything.

Aaaaaand... GO!

15
WHERE ONWHERE HAS OUR FEARLESS LIEDER GONE? HAS ANYONE SEEN THE SHINING BACON OF HIS GLORIOIS CAPS-LOCKING TODAY? WHEEEEEEEERE WHERE

CHALLENEGE FOR THE DAY: IF YOU ARE ON A SMARTPHONE OR ANY DEVICE THAT SUGGESTS THE NEXT WORD FOR YOU TO TYPE, TYPE THAT WORD. REPEAT UNTIL YOU COME TO A LOGICAL STOPPING POINT. THAT IS YOUR SMARTPHONE POEM. ILL START:

I'M SO GLAD I HAVE BEEN ABLE TOO MUCH TO SLEEP FOR THE DAY TODAY AND I'M SO GLAD THAT MY DAY HAS COME BACK DOWN AGAIN FOR ME SOME TIME I THINK I SHOULD BE ABLE FOR MY BIRTHDAY AND MY MOM.

16
Hi All,

Picture this scenario: you write a series, putting each title in KU as you publish them. After the first title reaches the end of the first 90 days, you pull it out and make it wide to go permafree. But you want to leave the rest in KU.

Seems like a potentially viable strategy to me, but something I keep getting hung up on is that it means no boxed set of your series that includes book 1. No trilogy set, no duo set, no complete set. Which sort of bothers me, because I tend to think of boxing up the first three as an equally viable strategy.

Obviously you can just go wide with everything, or keep everything in KU, and either way you can have a boxed set. But I'm attracted both to KU and to the permafree loss leader, even if KU is having some trouble right now and the golden age of the loss leader is fading. So you can see my dilemma.

But I'm speaking from observation, not experience (yet). So I put the question to all of you: which, in your experience, has proven to be the better option, and why? Discuss. The generic pros and cons of KU v. Wide can, I believe, be found elsewhere... but what about how it affects these two strategies?

17
Help! Instead of hammering out a couple thousand words of scifi (AHHHRRRGGGGH) this morning, I farted around in design and made a couple of cover mock-ups for what I want to write next. It's a series of pirate/fantasy/steampunk novels or novellas, complete with sailships, airships, pirates, dragons, military fantasy, and magic:





I'm not married to these yet and I'm still learning the ropes of graphic design, so changes are likely, but you get the idea. LOL that airship and sailship mash-up looks corny, I know. Will probably pick one or the other for the final.

Tentative titles for the books are:

I. The Serpent's Bones
II. The Giant's Back
III. The Spider's Legs
IV. The Witch's Eye
V. The Dragon's Teeth

With most of those being place-names (islands, mountains, etc.). Nation names: Thalia, Cahran, Nalland.

BUT I NEED A SERIES TITLE!

Any great ideas for a title that anyone would care to share, gratis? I'll sing your praises if you give me a good one and I use it.

18
Writers' Cafe / Class of 2017 Thread: Tell me who you are
« on: July 09, 2017, 03:06:34 PM »
It's July of 2017--if you can believe it--and we've made it this far! I for one have been lurking for a couple of years, but finally waded into the indie publishing waters this year, 2017. So I'm calling out all of my fellow mates from the Class of 2017, no matter who you are or what you write. If you've published for the first time this year, I want to hear about it. Here's a little ice-breaker to get things started; a little get-to-know you form for you to post:

Author Name:
Genre(s):
Published This Year:
Where To Find Me Online:
My Dayjob:
Why I Decided To Write:
Why I Decided To Go Indie:
My Goals:


I'll begin:

Author Name: Benjamin Douglas
Genre(s): Action/adventure military sci-fi so far, with an interest in epic fantasy, steampunk, and historical fiction
Published this year: 'Totaled' (short story); The Lunar Gambit (novella-length scifi, first-in-series)
Where To Find Me Online: Honestly, probably Twitter (@cantankerousben). I've also got a bloggish thing (see my sig), and I host The Book Speaks Podcast (see my sig). I lurk a lot in 20booksto50k on FB, and I lurk and engage here with you lovely people ;)
My Dayjob: I just recently finished coursework for my Doctorate of Musical Arts in Voice Performance and Pedagogy, so I'm a classical singer and voice teacher, which is really quite lovely, but hard to make ends meet. I currently teach voice as an adjunct professor and a part-time instructor at a couple of community colleges while I'm working on my dissertation. The career path leads to a tenure-track job at a four-year University... but I wouldn't mind retiring young-ish with a huge backlist of novels  8)
Why I Decided To Write: Ehhhh I'm one of those people who isn't happy unless I'm engaged in some creative endeavor or another. If I weren't writing fiction I'd be making more music instead. But like many of us, I've been a storyteller for a long time. I still remember a superhero comic I wrote in 4th grade, and a scifi short story called 'Portal' (a portal opens in the sky and a boy goes back in time to plantation-era America to help people escape slavery via the Underground Railroad) in 5th grade. Not that they were any good, mind you  :P
Why I Decided To Go Indie: I have primarily Joanna Penn and Lindsay Buroker to thank for convincing me, via podcasts and blogs, that indie authorship is a viable career. I have amazing support groups like y'all in the Writer's Cafe to thank for keeping me inspired in that endeavor.
My Goal: Right now I just want to learn the ropes of decent book-writing, gain some traction in the audience arena, and make enough income to invest back into good covers and editing. But eventually I would love to pay off some student loans, buy a house, and retire from teaching with a few decades left to build a little cabin somewhere in the north woods.

That's me! Who are you?

*I ran a search for a Class of 2017 thread and didn't see one, but mods, feel free to merge if I missed it*

19
Alright, folks. It's time for Thanksgiving in July. Feel free to give a round of thanks to anyone you like, if you'd like to join in! I'm going to kick things off with a little rundown of my story so far, then get on with the thanking.

I was sitting on my rump one day, daydreaming about what it would be like to write a novel and get it published and become a famous, adored, rich author like Stephen King or JK Rowling, when I decided, what the heck, I like to write, I should just write one for my own pleasure. So I started. And I'll be honest, it was dreadful. But along the way I began looking into self-publishing, and discovered the indie author revolution. Now, a handful of years and two laptops full of abandoned half-drafts later, I've finally released my debut title, The Lunar Gambit, written two prequel shorts as magnets, and been included in an anthology (see all but the ML exclusive in my sig below). I'm also engaging the community as best I can, whether that's here, on FB or Twitter, or via my own show, The Book Speaks Podcast. And I'm loving the ride!


Thank you, Joanna Penn, for constantly putting out such valuable content. I have, indeed, found your blog and podcast full of information and inspiration since the day I first found it years ago. I listen to the show every week.

Thank you, Lindsay Buroker, for keeping a blog (a few years ago), and for now engaging the community so actively through the SFFM Podcast, AND for making the first title in The Emperor's Edge permafree. I discovered your books shortly after getting my first Kindle, and I've been a super-fan ever since, always looking forward to your next release, and always inspired by your indie example.

Thank you, Edward Robertson, for your wonderful, wonderful books, both fantasy and scifi, which have actually inspired me to hold off on releasing anything too hastily (ha!) because I've seen just how good an indie product can be.

Thank you, Jim Johnson, for your constant encouragement, especially when I engaged in my fledgling writing challenge a year ago. Thanks for always having a kind word and an offer to help, like when you gave me a masterclass in blurb-writing a few weeks ago (seriously, thank you!).

Thank you, Chris Fox, for personally encouraging me in that same instance, and for creating a wealth of content in your non-fiction and your YouTube channel, which I find a valuable source of inspiration.

Thank you, Jim & Bryan of the Sell More Books Show, for providing us all with such an excellent weekly rundown of what's going on in publishing and business and how it might affect indie authors. Yours is another show I listen to every week without fail.

Thank you, Michael Anderle, and other outliers who come out of left-field and blow everyone else out of the water by seemingly ignoring all of the rules, just to remind us all that rules were made to be broken, and to remind all of us indies of where we come from. Whether or not I always agree with what you do or say, I'm tremendously inspired by your stories.

Thank you, Jeff Tanyard, for doing a noob a real solid and giving me lots of free help with my cover design. Man, you rock--I hope karma smiles on you and that you get lots of helping hands from up the ladder.

Thank you, Elizabeth Ann West, for being SO rad and offering to do an interview on my podcast, and for troubleshooting the tech, and then for hanging out on the phone with me afterward and giving me lots of great advice AND for networking me even more. That was very, very cool of you.

Thank you, Alasdair Shaw, for including "Totaled" in The Officer: Eleven Short Science Fiction Stories. I'm so excited to be included in that anthology!

Thank you to Michael, Patty, Timothy, Mark, Evan, Joseph, Izzy, Alexa, Jeffrey, Chris, Elle, Elizabeth, the other Elizabeth, Stella, Aderyn, and Alan for letting me feature you and read from your work on The Book Speaks Podcast. I've been learning a great deal from those readings, and I love doing the show! It wouldn't be possible without you.

Thanks to everyone over at 20booksto50k, many of whom I know are here as well, for all the wisdom and commiserating you share.

And thanks to KBOARDS, especially to Betsy (is there something on my nose?), and to all of you who regularly chime in here in the Writer's Cafe. You are my support group, my mentors, some of you are my peers. I look up to you all, and I admire what we are all doing together!


Those are my thanks (for now). Now ending the sappiness. Bring on your own, people!

20
Writers' Cafe / Cover Models (click this for a rib-bruising laugh)
« on: June 13, 2017, 05:55:53 PM »
This had me actually gasping for air--thought I would share it for the laughs.

So, I'm pretty much bootstrapping this writing game so far. That means I can afford to just hire people I know to stand in as models for my cover art, right?
 
:P :P :P

http://www.boredpanda.com/simple-people-recreate-romance-novel-covers/

21
Writers' Cafe / Got my first rating!
« on: June 08, 2017, 12:24:27 PM »
 ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Pardon this prawniest of all prawnly noobs whilst he attempts to joyously splash about in the puddle...

I got my first rating today! 4/5 stars on goodreads. No review, but HEY! Not too shabby, for a short story. I'll take it!
 

 8)

This calls for celebratory congregating. My people, I yield the floor to anyone else in need of braggardly exclamation!

22
Writers' Cafe / MilSciFi jargon help: Coms! Comms? Arghhh!
« on: May 31, 2017, 08:01:47 PM »
Hi All,

I'm seeing different versions of the various uses of this word: [kam] (IPA)--short for communication--in military sci-fi, and I'm unsure now as to what is standard, if there is a standard. So here are some options that could use clarification:

Com or comm?
Ex: Commander Doofus hailed us on the com.
One m or 2 in the noun?

Com or comm?
Ex: She would com them if they needed to know.
One m or 2 in the verb?

Com'd, Com'ed, Comm'd, or Comm'ed?
Ex: He com'd engineering.
Past tense: help, help, help! M-count, E or no E, apostrophe good though right?

What say ye, Lords of SF? Asking for use in my WIP, and general knowledge. Thanks!


23
Writers' Cafe / That moment when...
« on: May 30, 2017, 06:09:40 AM »
Hopped onto KDP this morning to check and see if my 99cent prequel short story happened to have magically been pricematched to free yet (I wrote two magnet shorts: one to be permafree and draw people in from the Zon; another as a ML exclusive), and instead I found...

SALES!

Ha ha! I wasn't expecting sales out of nowhere! I just put the title up last night, and my "promo" has basically consisted of putting it in my kboards sig.  ;)  Still going with the plan and making it free--it's not like I'm selling a million, here--but what a lovely moment that was.

My first-ever book sales as Benjamin Douglas! WOO-HOO!!!!  :P :P :P  Raise a glass, one and all! Viva l'crivain!

24
Writers' Cafe / Let's play: what's your poison?
« on: May 19, 2017, 05:30:40 PM »
Avast, ye lubbers!

If you're super cool like me, and you're spending your Friday evening at home, trying frantically to catch up your wordcounts to meet a deadline, then the least you owe yourself is a good old-fashioned adult beverage.

 8)

Alcoholism is a disease and of course we should all respect anyone's decision to abstain for any reason. So soft drinks, fancy teas and coffees, and ice cream treats are all also allowed ;)

I'll start: tonight I'm pairing my military/action & adventure scifi mailing list magnet with a tall, cold can of Leine's Grapefruit Shandy. Because summer. Cheers, skol, bottoms up!

25
UPDATED October 12, 2017 (at response no. 10):

Thanks to a handful of you wonderful people, especially Jim Johnson, who really workshopped with me in this thread, I released my first action/adventury/mil scifi title with a blurb I was pretty proud of over the summer. But I'm gearing up to do my first KU free days promotion of that title, in conjunction with the release of Book 3 in the series on 10/30, and I'm revisiting things. I think the blurb can be hookier still, especially after seeing the Chris Fox revise and revise his blurb hook for Techmage (see his youtube channel--it's the uber-hook). So I'm asking for opinions, from any and all, on my current reworking. I'm tough and can take it if you want to help but don't have time to sugarcoat! Lay it on me, people. Thanks in advance ;)

---------

Current/published blurb:

The Kuiper Fleet has two duties: keep the peace; and protect the colonies.
The people of the Belt left Earth long ago to seek their own way of life, and have been fighting ever since to stay free of the Old Earth Empire. But Earth is still the most precious treasure in the Sol system. So when both sides agree to a peace summit on Pluto, the Fleet's first objective has never been more important.

Lucas Odin looks like a qualified First Officer--on paper.
But his only battles to date have been simulations, each one a miserable failure. Truth be told, he would rather be hacking into the ship's computer to mod the simulations into awesome games than be in a position of command. The Starship Fairfax is given the task of shuttling an important Earth ambassador to the summit, and Odin thinks he can relax under the temporary armistice. But when they run afoul of space pirates, the Fairfax takes brutal damage and the captain and ambassador go missing. Can Odin harness his true potential and use his unorthodox methods and creative thinking to keep his crew alive and rescue the captives before all hell breaks loose?

The Lunar Gambit is the first-in-series of Starship Fairfax, a military science fiction adventure set in the Kuiper Chronicles universe. You can learn more about the series and the author at:
http://benjamindouglasbooks.wordpress.com

---------

Revision 1, 10/12/2017:

They wrecked his ship. They stole his guns. And they thrust him into command.

Lucas Odin looks like a qualified first officer--on paper. But his only battles so far have been simulations, each one a miserable failure. Now the Starship Fairfax, flagship of the Kuiper Belt fleet, has been waylaid by pirates, and Lucas has inherited a mission already doomed to fail. Can he harness his true potential and use his unorthodox methods and creative thinking to keep his crew alive and take back what was stolen before all hell breaks loose?

The Lunar Gambit is the first-in-series of Starship Fairfax, a military science fiction adventure set in the Kuiper Chronicles universe. It is precluded by "Totaled," a free short story available on Amazon, and "The Trials of Io," a free short story available only to subscribers to Benjamin's newsletter (subscribe here: http://eepurl.com/cQnop9).

You can learn more about the series and the author at:
http://benjamindouglasbooks.wordpress.com

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