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Messages - Steve Vernon

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1
Writers' Cafe / Re: Fantasy authors - 99c promo March (sign-ups open)
« on: February 20, 2019, 12:39:38 pm »
Okay, so I've signed up.

2
Writers' Cafe / Re: Ingram codes for October? Or November?
« on: October 31, 2018, 01:18:40 am »
Good to know.

3
Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone know how to put an audio book up on Kobo?
« on: October 24, 2018, 04:58:09 am »
Contact them at Kobo. Odds are they'll help you make it happen. Kobo is still pretty hungry.

4
Writers' Cafe / Re: A book a day wide. Your thoughts...
« on: October 24, 2018, 04:56:20 am »
I think you're better off writing a 50k novel a month over a story a day. Working harder isn't always working smarter.

Unless you're really attached to shorts, I would focus on novels or at least novellas. They sell much better.

Likewise, ditto. A 50k romance (or whatever genre you are working in) has the chance of selling a lot faster than a dozen short stories.

Even better, think about a three book SERIES - with a 50k book a month, you could get four three book series out in a year. You'd make out like a devil.

5
Writers' Cafe / Re: A question for writers thinking about their senior years
« on: September 05, 2018, 03:38:03 am »
I hit 60, just a week or two ago. By the end of this month I'll get my first pension check. By the time I hit 65 I'll have 3 pensions coming in - but all 3 of them are going to be awfully punky. I want to retire at 65. Writing is going to be a big part of my exit strategy. I'm just releasing a brand new regional book and am working on another through my Nova Scotia publisher. I'm also working on my 7th release under a pseudonym. I'm glad to be living here in Canada where medical bills aren't usually a problem - barring a disabling illness.

Writing has always been a come-by-chance way to pay the bills. The income I generate is VERY unpredictable. It probably always will be. A lot of the checks I receive are in the double digits. A few are in the triple digits. I get a half a dozen four digit checks a year and so far it barely keeps my head above the water - and that is counting my day job.

Old age isn't for sissies!

6
I've advertised through BuckBooks a couple of times and was pleased with the results - but that was a couple of years ago.

Truthfully, I haven't used a lot of advertising sites over the last year or so. I've been squeezing my nickels and dimes.

7
Writers' Cafe / Re: Smashwords distribution
« on: September 05, 2018, 03:13:42 am »
Go to your Smashwords Dashboard and hit the CHANNEL MANAGER. That controls WHERE Smashwords distributes your work.

Scroll down on the Channel Manager until you come to your books. Each book will have a list of the channels that Smashwords distributes. You either check DISTRIBUTE or OPT OUT. My advice would be to check OPT OUT for every distribution network that your Draft2Digital already distributes to.

I hope that helps.

8
KDP paperback now has an extended distribution option as well.

9
Welcome to my world.

I am just about to release my fifth collection of ghost stories from a regional publisher here in Nova Scotia. I have told some of these stories all across Nova Scotia and right across the whole country of Canada. These are all stories that I have gathered up out of old newspaper articles and oral tradition and plain old-fashioned folklore.

I go to schools every year presenting writing workshop using various folklore tales to illustrate writing techniques. I'm wicked good at this sort of thing. I'm not bragging - I can keep a room full of students spellbound, and I have presented to kids from primary right on up to university level, as well as telling stories to grownups.

I also go to festivals and craft shows and farmers markets with a table full of my books, selling them in person. I've been on television and radio and podcasts.

In spite of all of these achievements, skills and credentials - I still get asked at every public appearance I make that horrifying question "Is this true?"

I do not know if it has always been this way, or if it is a recent development in humankind, but people want to see their fiction wrapped up in a robe of facts.

I think if I were you I'd have your main character be uncertain of the source of his ghostly vision.

"I don't really know just why I can see ghosts. I don't know if I am psychic or psychotic. All that I know is I can see them and they keep on talking to me."

That's my two bits, anyway.

10
I know that it is a LOT of prop to ask for - but that biker needs a bike.

11
I should be writing right now - but let me just stop here for a minute and drop a few horror series to think about.

Jim Butcher's THE DRESDEN FILES.

Graham Masterton's THE MANITOU series.

F. Paul Wilson's REPAIRMAN JACK series.

Brian Lumley's NECROSCOPE series.

Uh...uh...uh...

Goosebumps?

Shoot, you're right, there isn't all that many written horror series. I wonder why? I'm thinking how much I loved the Universal monster movies and the subsequent Hammer monster movies - with Dracula and Frankenstein and the Mummy coming back over and over and over. I freaking loved them.

Now you've got me scratching my head.

12
Writers' Cafe / Re: Everyone is starting to freak me out!!
« on: June 27, 2018, 05:09:08 am »

Seriously though I think it's the lack of experience and impartial feedback that is adding to my worry. 

Don't worry about lack of experience.

Remember this.

Writing is just talking on paper. You have learned to talk. You will learn to write. As you continue to talk and write and talk about writing you are only going to get better - so you had better get going on it!

And don't worry about what your sister does or doesn't do. She is a whole other human being and the realms of experience and inner knowledge that she draws upon comes from a completely different pool than your own does. You will find you way, one step at a time and one word at a time - just the same as all of us.

13
Writers' Cafe / Re: Everyone is starting to freak me out!!
« on: June 26, 2018, 04:47:12 am »
One quick word of advice.

Do NOT trust what your Mom or family say about your unpublished work.

No matter what you put on the cover, all that your family are going to see is a great big picture of YOU on the cover. Every single one of their comments is going to be reflected in the family picture.

For example, my Mom thinks that the sun shines out of my butt. No matter WHAT I write, she says that she loves it. Which is great for my heart, but not much use critically. Find yourself some impartial sources to critique what you've written.


14
Writers' Cafe / Re: Dart Frog Books
« on: June 17, 2018, 03:38:48 am »
If they're expecting you to hand over $5500.00, they are a vanity publisher.

Even if you just hand over the $89 and the $386 - you are still just throwing your money out of your window and into that frog's pockets.

Step away from that frog.

That frog is going to give you warts.

You'd be better off putting your book out through Ingram Spark. They distribute to bookstores and libraries and they only charge $49 for the processing. Besides that, if you keep your eyes open they offer freebie codes that allow you to eliminate the $49.00 charge.

Even if Dart Frog is on the level, how many books do you think they'll distribute over three months? And, out of those few books they manage to distribute, how many do you think they will actually sell at these bookstores?

Nope. I don't want to be mean, but this is a bad idea.

15
Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone ever invited to talk at a school?
« on: June 13, 2018, 03:22:54 am »
I've been a member of the Writers In The School program here in Nova Scotia for almost twenty years. I give workshops and presentations to kids anywhere from primary on up to University. You get better and more used to it, the more gigs you take part in.

The Grade 7's that you'll be talking to are at a challenging age - but murder and crime are still cool topics. Bring in a few paperbacks to show them what you've written. I like to lean them up against the front board (which might be a white board, a black board, a cork board, or a screen - depending upon the school. Rehearse your presentation in the bathroom in front of the mirror. Don't let the kids freak you out.

16
Writers' Cafe / Re: Audiobooks and hardback copies
« on: June 07, 2018, 03:27:30 am »
Colleagues, has anyone tried working with a local amateur or school theater group to get the voices for their books? What was the experience like? Thanks!

I haven't tried it - but I do have about 30 audiobooks out there through Audible - so here's my two bits.

First off, you'll need the proper sort of recording equipment or access to that sort of thing. Proper soundproofing can be essential. If you're recording and a fire truck goes roaring by outside of your house you're screwed, unless you were recording a scene with a housefire. If the neighbor upstairs decides to turn up the hockey game, or to have a top-of-the-lungs heart-to-heart with his significant other - or even his dog - you're screwed.

Then you've got to ask yourself about the training of this group you are talking about working with. A school troupe can be tricky. You've got six adolescents in the same room trying to be totally quiet and not fart or burp or even giggle while somebody else is talking into a mike - well, that could be an exercise in total frustration.

So how about that theater troupe you mentioned? Well, how trained are they? Voiceover work - which is essentially what an audiobook boils down to - is a whole entirely different discipline than acting on stage. Again, do they know how to stay quiet? Does one of them suffer from respiratory difficulty?

As the Romans would tell you, caveat emptor.

17
Just wait until you see what I do with "cocky"!!   8)

18
I am offering you folks a measly FIVE DOLLARS for "best".

That's right. For every five dollars you send me I will remove the word "best" ONE TIME from my current manuscript.

In fact, I'll even offer you a discount of 12 "best"s for ten bucks!!!

You can't beat that price with a pair of boxing gloves.

That's right - I may not be a bestseller, but I am SELLING BEST!!!

(let me beat that dead horse one more time...) :)

19
Writers' Cafe / Re: Which of These Three Covers is Best?
« on: June 05, 2018, 02:03:41 am »
I like #1, mostly because I like the clarity of it. Sure, the two figures are in silhouette - but they AREN'T blurry.

#2 and #3 are too blurry. I see a blurry cover and I think to myself "Okay, the author is drunk. Or confused. Or worse yet, the author is confused AND drunk."

Also, I don't like the back image of the stars and stripes on #2. That gives me the feeling that these folks are running from the government. Unless maybe they are, which would make it a good thing. But that flashing blur of #2 gives me a whole Quantum Leap meets Back To The Future kind of feeling, more scifi than thriller.

So yeah, #1.

Of course I might be drunk, or confused, or both...

20
No, just change it to "Kindle Scout Kahuna 2015 -2018" - you've earned it.

That's a thought...

21
Writers' Cafe / Re: The short, happy life of indie publishing
« on: June 01, 2018, 04:50:42 am »
Why am I hearing the opening theme from THE SOPRANOS playing in my head?

Amazon has got a system that ACTUALLY works, and so everybody wants to dip their beak. Before you know it's Tippi Hedren all over again!

22
The sky has fallen.

Looks like I'm going to have to change my subtitle from "Kindle Scout Kahuna" to ???...

Let me think on this.

23
Writers' Cafe / Re: Cozy Erotica... is it a thing?
« on: May 24, 2018, 04:00:00 am »
"Dang, Hercule," Miss Marple said. "You have got some mighty fine looking gray cells there. Why don't we go meet up with Professor Plum in the billiard room and I'll show you a certain maneuver that I like to call the Orient Express!"  8)

(I'm going to hell, aren't I???)

24
Writers' Cafe / Re: Making something free through Streetlib
« on: May 23, 2018, 02:53:54 am »
Nothing wrong with simple prawny thrills. I love the map-gadget on Streetlib as well as on Kobo. Hey, I've sold 3 books in Finland and 1 in the Ukraine, thanks to Streetlib.

Cheap thrills, baby. Cheap prawny thrills!  8)

I've got a few books out with StreetLib. Haven't made a lot, but once I get a little more time I am going to push a few more out that way. I think a lot of my Babelcube translations go that way as well.

25
My last kindle scout reject is free right now:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CJ26ZHW

And close to breaking top 100 on the Amazon free store!

I grabbed a free copy. :)

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