Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Top 100!

The Kinshield Legacy made it into the top 100 of Kindle Store > Kindle Books > Fantasy > Epic fantasy novels today following its debut as the Kindle Nation Daily sponsor! Currently it's ranked #24 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Epic.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ebook pricing

There are two main schools of thought among Indie writers on ebook pricing. Joe Konrath posted a great article on it on his blog. After reading it, I agreed with everything he wrote -- he made a lot of sense.

Then I read this response by Moses Siregar III on his blog. Very thought-provoking! He makes very good points with some interesting data to back them up.

Technically, The Kinshield Legacy is a backlist title; it had been published in hardcover in 2005 and went out of print. I revived it by self-publishing in ebook formats, which really turned me on to the Indie way of life. Now that I'm getting ready to release my latest book, The Venom of Vipers, I'm thinking long and hard about how to price it. I'm still a new/unknown author without a huge following, but the points Moses makes in his blog are well-worth considering.

Monday, September 20, 2010

New review of The Kinshield Legacy

Blogger GraceKrispy wrote a wonderful review of my book on her blog Motherlode. I was a little scared when I got the email notice from Smashwords that a new review had been posted, but it bumped up the average stars to 4.8. What a nice way to start the week! I'm grateful to GraceKrispy for reading it (and so quickly, too) and thrilled that she enjoyed it so much!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Frugal Kindle

My book is being featured on The Frugal Kindle! Want some Kindle cheap-reads? Check it out!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My DRM Philosophy and Policy

DRM (or Digital Rights Management) refers to the encryption that is often applied to electronic media to prevent customers from sharing the files they've purchased, or to keep them from using the files on any but the particular device that the seller wants them to use. The principle is the same, whether it's DRM-restrictions on a music file, a movie DVD, or an ebook. The purported purpose is to protect the copyright—to prevent the purchaser from engaging in misuse of the file, whether it's uploading it to a pirate site or sharing it with Grandma.

The effect of DRM is to alienate the customers, by limiting their fair use of the media, by making it hard to archive their purchases for safekeeping, and by generally getting in their way and treating them like would-be criminals. That's my view, and I believe that many of my fellow writers share it.

I've come to hate DRM, both as an author hoping to reach readers, and as a customer of books or music or movies hoping to use my purchases in the way that best suits my legitimate purposes. Therefore, whenever I have the choice, my ebooks will be available for purchase or download DRM-free.*

* I published The Kinshield Legacy for the Kindle without fully understanding what DRM was. Unfortunately, this cannot be changed once the book is published. Check out my pledge:

My Pledge

If you buy one of my ebooks from a store that uses DRM, and you can't download or read the book on your chosen device—whether it's the reader you originally bought it for or another—I want to help. Email me, preferably with some evidence of your purchase, and I will provide you with a copy that works for you. If you want to share it with a family member or a close friend the way you might a paper book, that's fine with me. If you want to convert the file to work on a different device, feel free. I trust you not to share it indiscriminately. I figure if I treat you with respect, you'll respect my need to earn a living, so I can continue to write. And you'll get to read my book and own a copy of it, which was the whole point to begin with.

adapted with permission from Jeffrey A. Carver

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Writing tips: conditional perfect

We all use this construct, even if we don't know what it's called. Mostly it's used for something that didn't actually happen in the past. For example: If I'd known you had a Kindle, I'd have recommended some books. This sentence implies that I didn't know you had a Kindle, and because I didn't know, I didn't recommend any books. When I know someone has a Kindle, I recommend books.

It's like an If...then statement: If this, then that. Let's ditch those contractions to see what's under the covers.

If I had known you had a Kindle,
This part is supposed to be in the past perfect tense (had known)
(then) I would have recommended some books.
Here's where the conditional perfect goes.

This is where many people err. 

They improperly use the conditional perfect in both the If and the Then parts. For example,
If I would have known you had a Kindle, I would have recommended some books.
The "rule" is that the conditional perfect can only be in the Then section.

More examples of proper usage:
correct: If I had gotten paid on Friday, we could have gone out to dinner.
incorrect: If I would have gotten paid on Friday, we could have gone out to dinner.

correct: If he had proposed, she would have said yes.
incorrect: If he would have proposed, she would have said yes.

And please, whatever you do, don't type would of. It does sound a lot like the would + have contraction, would've, but it's not proper English.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A facelift for Kinshield

I got the new cover art for The Kinshield Legacy, and I am thrilled! I love it. The title and author name pop, and there's just enough of a tease of the mystery within the story without being a spoiler. Ronnell did a great job! Take a look:

He also gave me a 13x9 jpg to use for the paperback cover. I added the text on the back cover and spine, then uploaded it to CreateSpace. Once they tell me it's Good To Go, I can order the proof.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Writing tips: plurals

I critique works-in-progress for other writers and participate on writing-related forums. Typos aside, I see a few common errors made by people using the English language as a tool (to tell a story). In my mind, language for a writer is like the toolbox for the carpenter. He can't build a house without knowing how to use a hammer and when it's better to use a screwdriver. Writers can't tell a story without understanding how to put a sentence together.

Writers, there's no excuse for thinking nouns are made plural by adding 's. More than one author is "authors" and not "author's." This is a rule we learned in first grade. We use this language every waking moment of our lives. Self-published authors in particular need to be diligent about proper grammar and spelling. Their reputations may be on the line.

If you find yourself being corrected by readers on grammar problems, it may be time to brush up. Check out the Guide to Grammar and Writing -- they have some fun quizzes that will test your knowledge.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

New cover art for Kinshield

I've decided to get Ronnell Porter to create a new cover image for The Kinshield Legacy because the cover art I have now is low-resolution and CreateSpace let me know they can print it if I want, but it won't look very good. It's time to freshen up TKL's face anyway, and Ronnell does such neat covers.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Paperback edition coming soon

Today I uploaded The Kinshield Legacy to Amazon's CreateSpace for paperback printing and distribution. Although I only buy ebooks now, as do most of my book-crazy friends and relatives, paperback books still by far outsell ebooks. The Venom of Vipers will be released in paperback as well as ebook formats when it's ready, hopefully later this year.
Also, be sure to visit the Fantasy Book Critic blog and look for Liviu's review of The Kinshield Legacy coming soon!