Sunday, September 30, 2012

To The Bone Day!

Wow, it's October 1st already!  I'm incredibly excited because that means that today is the official launch of To The Bone!

It's only $.99 and you can get it at Amazon or at Smashwords right now!  Just as a reminder, here's the blurb about the story:

Two teenage girls go missing in the span of one year- both are labeled runaways and forgotten by the system.

Forgotten, until Rachel, a determined mother, walks into the office of private investigator, Gavin English. She needs to know for sure what's happened to her daughter, Jennifer. A nice pair of legs and a little cash go a long way, so he's on the case.

When the mangled body of the first runaway is found downtown, and all the signs point to a cannibal, Gavin worries that Jennifer may suffer the same fate. Can he find the girl, and the killer, before it's too late?

To The Bone is a bloody, dark, and sexy Psychological Thriller, and the first Gavin English novella. 

And, to help get the new novella off to a good start, I am dropping The River Runes to free for today and tomorrow!  If you don't have your copy yet, go get it Here on Amazon for free! (Only the first and second of October) 

Anyone who helps me spread the word is my hero.  Seriously.  Especially you.

Yes, you.

No, not that guy.  You.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

To The Bone (coming soon!)

Hey, everyone!  I just wanted to let you all know that I will be releasing my first psychological thriller in mid-late September.  I've had a ton of fun writing this one, and the ebook ARC should be ready in the next week or so.

If anyone is interested in getting and reviewing and advance copy for your blog, or just to review on Amazon, Smashwords, or Goodreads, please let me know!  I'm also up for interviews or even guest posts, and if I get enough bloggers involved I'll have a Rafflecopter to give away some ebooks and other prizes.  It's a novella, a pretty quick read, but if you like noir or psycho thrillers, I think you'll enjoy it.  Here's the promotional cover animation, and my first shot at a blurb.  Any feedback would be much appreciated. :)

Two teenage girls go missing in the span of one year- both are labeled runaways and are forgotten about by the system.

Forgotten until one of the girls' mother walks into the office of private investigator, Gavin English, and asks for his help. She just wants to know for sure. Long legs and a little cash go a long way, so he's on the case.

When the mangled body of the first runaway is found downtown and the signs point to a cannibal, Gavin worries that his missing girl is in for the same fate. Can he find the girl, and the killer, before it's too late?

To The Bone is a bloody, dark, and sexy Psychological Thriller, and the first Gavin English novella.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just a Little Soapbox

 I don't like taking a stand in public.  I want people to like me, to look back at the things I've blogged about and the things I've written, and say, "Yeah, I can get behind that."  So when I blog about how awful it is that some blonde demon is on video throwing a box full of puppies into a river, I'm not really stepping out on a limb.  When I say that any writers, especially self publishers, need to edit edit edit so that they can turn out the best book possible, I'm not saying anything that most people shouldn't already know.

Today, I have something to say that isn't universally approved.  Some people may not like it, and you might be one of those people.  I'm not sorry, and I won't apologize.

A New York Times article came out on the 25th, about a man who made a business out of writing favorable reviews for books.  I'm not going to get into all of the details, here's the link: NYT Article

Doesn't self publishing have enough of a bad reputation already?  Come on!  Paying people to give your book five star reviews is abhorrent.  If you don't believe that your work will stand up on its own, DON'T PUBLISH IT.  If you don't have the faith in your novel/short story/book of snot paintings, why are you willing to ask readers to pay for it?  Shame on you.

Okay, breathe.

It's hard to get people to read your book when you're unknown.  I get that.  I am that.  But I don't write for a paycheck.  I write because I love it.  I always have.  It's been said a million times, but I'll say it again: If you are writing because you want to get rich, you might as well quit now.  Writing should be work, hard, scary, sometimes a little heartbreaking.  But totally worth it in those moments when the white of the page is just melting away, when it feels like the story is writing itself.

There are honest people out there willing to read your book.  Just keep looking.  Goodreads is great, the Amazon forums even, your damn Facebook.  Or, if you just have to get a hundred reviews, go to somewhere reputable, where the reviews are honest.  Believe in your work enough to let people be honest.

Full disclosure: I had a blog tour for The River Runes not long ago.  I paid a third party $45 to get five or so bloggers to read and review my book, and others to do interviews with me and let me guest post on their blogs.  I don't think the bloggers got paid, I'm not sure how they work that out.  It was made clear to me, from the beginning, that the reviews would be honest, even though I was paying for the service.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'll be honest, I was a little scared that I had just paid for people to read my book, and they might all hate it.  But I believe in my book.  I wouldn't have published it if I didn't.  The reviews came back better than I expected.  They ranged through three, four, and five stars, but they all had very kind things to say.  I even picked up a few new readers that have contacted me since then, because they found me on blogs that they already followed.

After reading this article, though, I don't think I'll even be able to use this kind of service again.  It feels too close.  Although, I think the service was great, and probably a very good idea for people just starting out.  I don't know, maybe I can just stop being antisocial and contact the bloggers myself next time.  I think I'll feel better about the whole thing if money never exchanges hands.   But big publishers also pay for reviews.  The New York Times, Kirkus, and lots of other reputable sources accept money or trade advertisements to give reviews.  Honest reviews.

Back to the point.

Write the best work you can, and then trust the readers.  Some of them are not going to like it, some of them will hate it, but if you poured your heart into it, and edited it until it was raw, someone will like it.  I believe that there is an audience for everything out there, even if it takes a while to find.  Best of all, you can feel good knowing that any good reviews you get are honest.

Self pubbing is hard work.  Anything that gets done to your book, gets done by you.  After writing you still have to edit/choose an editor, edit again, find/make a good cover, format for publication (on ebook and/or paperback), and then you have to help that book find an audience.  And if you are self publishing your first book, you are starting at the very bottom.  I think it's worth it, though. 

I know how disheartening it can be to be an unknown.  I'm still unknown.  Since I first published The River Runes, over a year ago, I've given away/sold less than a thousand copies.  I'm okay with that.  That means that almost a thousand people have bought/asked for/maybe even read something that I wrote.  Now, that's cool.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Things and Stuff

I've been gone for a while, kind of an unofficial hiatus.  Sorry about not giving warning, but life does get in the way sometimes.  Thanks for sticking around though!

I don't have a ton of news to share, but there are a couple of things.  Brace yourself!

I am ridiculously excited about Mars and the Curiosity and all the gorgeous photos and space-type amazingness.  If you have somehow missed out on all of that, go do the Google thing and get yourself a faceful.  Do it.  Now.  I'll wait.  (No, this isn't exactly news about me, but I'm excited so I'm sharing my excitement.  you're welcome.)

Ken!  You were going to tell us about how your marketing and stuff has affected your sales and stuff.  And stuff.

Right!  I'll do that now.  I haven't learned anything.  Sorry to disappoint, but I haven't seen any real changes with either the blog tour or the free Amazon days.  I did, however, give away several hundred books.  Hopefully some of them will be read by people just like you, and maybe even a few of them will enjoy the book.  That's what it's all about anyway, and I am very happy to gain any readers that I can.

Ken!  What about Clockwork Charlie and the next book in the Caithiir series?

Yeah...  Clockwork Charlie is still puttering along, but I've started another couple of things so I'm not as close to done as I would have liked.  It's going well though, and I'm still very excited about CC and I can't wait to get it out there for everyone.  As far as the next book in the Caithiir series goes, it's on the back burner for now.  Frankly, I have other things that I am in love with right now that I want to get done first.  It will be coming eventually, and the story is already pretty well outlined up in my brain meats.

Ken!  What other stuff are you working on?

I've started a noir style mystery/thriller that I'm having a lot of fun with.  The language is rough and the main character is rough and the violence is rough and the alcohol/drugs/sexiness is rough, so it's definitely not for the kiddos.  No title yet, but once I get it figured out I'll let you know.  I'm targeting this one at a much shorter word count (probably only 30,000 to 50,000 words) which might mean that it's a novella rather than a novel.  I'm never sure about the lengths of the different types of stories.

Ken!  What are you reading, and should we be reading it too?

Right now I'm reading The Mists of Avalon and Stories.  The Mists of Avalon is good so far, and has a lot of great Celtic religious stuff in it that I enjoy.  Honestly, it started out slow, but once you get to the meat of the story it's well worth it, in my opinion.  I'm also reading Stories, which is a collection of short stories by folks like Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahniuk, Diana Wynne Jones, and a ton of others.  It's great and you should read it immediately.  That's all I have to say about that.

Ken!  Why do you keep doing this?

Because I'm bored and I like to imagine a whole lot of people just as excited as can be to hear what I have to say.

Alright, that's it for today.

Thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The River Runes, Free!?!

Hey, everyone! 

Just wanted to update to let you all know that The River Runes is now officially exclusive to, and starting today you can get it for free, throughout the weekend.

That's Friday the 13th until Sunday the 15th!

Go get your free copy Right Here, and please be sure to tell your friends!  I would love to see how far up the Amazon free list The River Runes can get. :)


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kindle Select?!

In my continued effort to streamline my marketing strategies before I release Clockwork Charlie, I am going to be enrolling The River Runes in KDP's (Kindle Direct Publishing) Select program for 90 days.

What does that mean?

Well, for one thing it means that The River Runes won't be available in ebook format anywhere but Amazon for three months. I know there's a chance that this will limit my sales, but to be honest, sales outside of Amazon have been pretty sad so far anyhow.

The good side of going exclusive with Amazon is that I can run up to five promotional days where I can offer The River Runes for free on Kindle.

Free? That's crazy!

Maybe so. However, going free on Amazon should help me to gain some exposure, plus get my book out there for thousands of potential readers that are afraid to spend their hard earned money on an author they don't know. Hopefully, some of them will actually read the book, decide they like it, and be more likely to buy the other books that I put out. This could also be a great chance to get more reviews out there.

Unfortunately, I'm still new to all this, and it is all definitely conjecture at this point. Everyone out there seems to have a different opinion, so for right now The River Runes has to be my guinea pig. I don't think she minds, I know she's strong enough to carry the burden. :)

Why is my book a girl?

I don't know.

This is all an experiment for me. The sales I lose on other platforms will be made up by the information I get out of the whole thing. Maybe exclusivity is awful, maybe it has its advantages, or maybe it'll be just the ticket to getting my work to a larger audience. I don't know yet, but I promise to tell you whatever I learn from it all.

Also, once I start KDP select the price for The River Runes is reverting to its original $2.99 price tag. So, if you wanna grab it for $.99, now is the time. Hey look, there's a link to it! RIGHT HERE

As of now, you can still get it from Barnes and Noble and other stores as well, but it'll be gone soon.

Alright, that's it for today.
Thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Thursday, June 21, 2012

300 Words

That's all it would take for a person to write a novel every year.  One page, or 300 words, every day, and you would be writing a pretty good length manuscript every year.  That's awesome.

Now, there is a lot more to it than that, there is grammar and punctuation and storyline... and reading. 

"If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write.  Simple as that." -Stephen King

However, the point of this post is to talk about the act of writing.  The words have to hit the page if you want to write a story.  Short story, novel, epic, poem, screenplay, it doesn't matter what it is, if you don't sit down and write it, it won't get done.  There are some writers that swear by their word count, and others that don't have one at all.  In my case, I need the daily word count.  (I don't always stick to it, I'm slacker.  There are far too many days that I don't write at all, but I feel like crap on those days because I don't feel like I've accomplished anything.)

When I'm being good, my word count is 2500 words a day.  That's a lot.  On writing days, though, I hit that number and life is good.  Some of it is trudging, and sometimes my brain is numb because I know that I'm writing things that will just be deleted later, but the story moves forward.  Forward motion, hopefully every day, is paramount to finishing what you start.

300 words is a very low number.  Fourth graders are hitting 300 words for their essays and book reports, the night before it's due.  However, if I wrote every day, and my word count was only 300 words, I would still be writing a novel a year.  Now take that back to when I started this blog, when I finally decided that I was going to do it, (my first post was in May of 2008) and I would have at least four novel-length manuscripts. 

Would they all be worth reading?  Maybe not, but even without writing every day, I have written thousands of pages that will never see the light of day.  Every writer has.  (Okay, probably not every writer)  The sad truth, though, is that I have those four novels in my head already.  They are good stories, that I think people will enjoy them, because I think I would love to read them.  I just haven't written them because, as I said earlier, I'm a slacker.

What's the point?

Write every day.  You should, I should, anyone that hopes to get their story out there should write every day.  Even if it's only one page.

Alright, that's it.  Thanks for reading.
buh bye then

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

End of the Tour

Well here we are, folks.  The River Runes blog tour is officially over, and it's time to talk about the results.  First, I'd like to welcome all of the new readers to Just 1 Writer, who came in from other places in the tour.


I am truly excited to see so many new subscribers, I believe there are 23 of you, and I can't say how much I appreciate your support of the blog tour.  Feel free to browse around, check out some of the popular posts, and comment as much as you'd like.  I'm really glad to have you here!

I have already reached out to the winners of the tour, there were several ebook giveaways throughout, and the big giveaway here, so check your emails to see if it's you.  If not, I'm sure this won't be the last giveaway we have here.  If it is you, congratulations!

Next, I want to talk a little about what changes I've seen, thanks to the blog tour.  As I said earlier, this blog has gotten over 20 new subscribers!  I'm excited about this, and I can't wait to see how many of you guys turn into regular readers of the blog.  My twitter account has also gained quite a few new followers, and this is the first time my followers number has been higher than my following number.  I hope I'm not to boring!  If you're a new follower on twitter, @ me with a question or comment sometime and I'll be sure to get back to you.

As far as sales go, I think it's too early to say.  Getting my name, and The River Runes, out there was the big point.  At least as far as this tour was concerned.  The more people that know the book is out there, the more of a chance that they will buy it.  No one buys something they don't know exists, they have to hear about it first.  Overall, the experience was a good one, and I think this helps me in my planning as I rev up to release Clockwork Charlie.  The launch for that will be much bigger, more blog stops, more giveaways, more everything.  I'm already psyched.

So, my thanks go out to all the great folks that hosted during the tour, and all of you that paid attention.  The blog will go back to normal on Thursday, or at least as normal as it ever is.

Thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Friday, June 8, 2012

Great First Week!


It's been one hell of a week.  This is the end of week one on the blog tour for The River Runes, and it's been very exciting.  Eight stops so far, and more to come next week.  The reviews have been kind, and the interviews were fun and I've been able to share the book with a bigger audience than ever before.  If you haven't checked it out yet, GO HERE

Also, Welcome to all of the new followers to the blog!  I'm excited to have you guys and girls along as I make this writing journey.  I'm not the most reliable poster, but I do my best. :)

Once the tour is over, I will post more specifics about how it went, and do my best to tell you how it may or may not have affected my sales and marketing plans for the future.

This is a short one, just wanted to say hi, and thanks for reading. (new readers and those of you that have been here awhile, alike)

Thanks for reading
buh bye then

Friday, June 1, 2012

Animated Covers!?!

I don't know how many of you read J.A. Konrath's blog, A Newbies Guide To Publishing, but yesterday he posted some examples of his new animated covers.  Here's the post: Animated Covers!. (I'm sad Stephen King's book won't be in ebook format for awhile, but I'm not mad.  I still buy paperbacks all the time)  I fell in love, go check them out if you haven't seen them.

I liked them so much that I spent almost the entire day trying to make one for myself that was halfway decent. I'm sad I couldn't do one for The River Runes (since my laptop went bye bye I lost most of my non-essential book files), but I'm psyched about the one I did for Clockwork Charlie.  Once I launch this book, hopefully in August, this baby will be making its way through blog tours galore:

What do you think?  I'm very happy with it, but I'm not sure if I should keep the wink at the end (Opinions Please! lol).  And hey, if you are interested in getting an animated cover to help show off your book, you can contact Deer Watson Media at to see what they can do for you. 

Also, Monday is the official beginning of the blog tour for The River Runes!!  Make sure to follow along Right Here so that you can enter for your chance to win an ebook version of  the book and a $50 Amazon gift card.

 Alright, all, that's it for today.
Thanks for reading.
buh bye then

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The River Runes Blog Tour

Hey there!  So the blog tour is all set up and ready to go, and I want to hold my first giveaway.
"Did he say giveaway?!"
"Yes.  Yes I did."

With a little help from Rafflecopter, I am going to be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and a free copy of The River Runes at the end of the tour.  All throughout, from June 4th to June 15th, you will be able to tweet, blog, follow, share, and answer questions to earn entries that could make you a winner.  Some of the stops are also holding drawings for you to win your own ebook version of The River Runes, and there is another gift card out there somewhere!   

Here are the dates:
Taking It One Page At A Time -June 4th
So Simply Sara and Reflections of a Bookworm -June 5th
FireStarBooks and  Reflections of a Bookworm -June 6th
Bookhaven Extraordinaire and Reflections of a Bookworm -June 7th
Bookworm Lisa -June 8th
The Masquerade Crew -June 11th
Embrace a Book  -June 12th
Snag a Bargain -June 13th
Reading a Little Bit of Everything -June 14th
Inside BJ's Head and New Age Mama and Night Sky Reviews-June 15th

Make sure to visit all the stops as you go and come back here to enter for this prize.  There are more chances to win all throughout the tour, and another gift card out there at one of the stops!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Self Publishing vs Traditional!!

I don't see any reason for all the commotion, really.  This vs. That, Us vs. Them... it all seems kind of silly to me.  Independent publishing is not a new thing, but it is definitely on the rise.  Does that mean it's the only option?  Not at all. 

There are lots of authors out there just looking for a way to get their work out there.  I'm one of them.  But guess what...  Stephen King was one of them at some point as well.  King is one of the highest selling and most read authors in the world.  Basically, he could spit on 1000 pieces of paper, bind them together with a picture of two dogs humping on the cover, and he would probably sell a million copies.  However, it hasn't always been like that.  King wrote for years while he still had to keep a day job.  Rejections and bills piled up for him, just like anyone else that is just starting out.  Would he have self published if the tech was then what it is now?  Who knows.

That's not the point.

The point is:  It doesn't happen over night.  Not for anyone.  Whether you self pub or query agents and publishers to get your work out there, success won't come overnight. 

Things are changing.  Does anyone really know where publishing will be in ten years?  No.  If they did, there would be no reason for all the arguing.  However, one thing that will always be the same; If you want to make it an author (or hell, if you want to make it as anything) you have to keep working.  Keep writing, keep reading.

"But I self pubbed and my book didn't make it to the best seller's list and I can't quit my job and spend all my time writing and the world isn't made out of fluffy puppies and rainbows and robot unicorns!"

Right, well get over it.

"But I queried eight million agents until I found the right one and they contacted a thousand publishers until we finally got a deal and now my book is out there but I still don't have a million dollars and I don't live in cloud city and etc..."

Yeah, get over that too.

No matter how you decide to get your work out there (btw, there is no reason you can't do both throughout your writing career) you still have to keep working.  Here are some quotes, because I love quotes:

"They pay me absurd amounts of money, for something that I would do for free" -Stephen King

"Work hard for four years, and you can get an engineering degree. In seven years, you're a lawyer. Eight and you can practice medicine. Hard work = success"- J.A. Konrath

Are you willing to work hard, really work hard, to get what you want?  Then you should already know that it won't happen overnight.  If you don't want to work hard, then writing isn't for you.  Simple as that.

Would you keep writing if you could never make a dime from it?  Be honest, this one's important.  If your answer is no, then it's time to move on.  If you don't read and write because you can't not do it, (see if you can swim through all those negatives) then it means you don't love it.  If you don't love it, then you won't succeed.

If writing is what you love to do, keep doing it, no matter what.  Can I guarantee you will make money from it?  No.  Can I guarantee that you will spend lots of time doing something you love? Yes.  There's no reason for self publishers to hate on authors that publish traditionally or vice versa.  We all write because it's our dream, it's what we want to do.

My point in all of this.  So what if other people are taking a different road than you are.  Let them.  Everyone's idea of success is different, so everyone's journey will be different as well.  

Okay, those are my thoughts today.
Thanks for reading,
buh bye then 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I've Been Writing

I know, it's strange.  Why would I spend time writing when I could play Angry Birds or Robot Unicorn Attack: Evolution (yes it's real and it's fun and addicting and I'm not going to link it here because I don't want to be responsible for the untold hours you are likely to waste playing the game and the only thing I will say is that if you do play it, turn the music off because it may cause suicidal/homicidal tendencies) or even just hit that little StumbleUpon button for the rest of the day?

Because I love to write.  I always feel better when I'm writing, and when I am writing well and leaping through pages without much effort, I feel a bit like a keyboard Superman.  I am so incredibly excited about Clockwork Charlie and book two of the Caithiir series, and all I want to do is write and write and write and drink coffee.  And write.

I don't know if I'm going to be able to get back to Flipped anytime soon.  :(  Sorry if you're looking forward to it, but I just don't have the 4-8 hours it takes to write, edit, draw, do sound, etc...  I would like to come back to it at some point, but for right now I have to let it go.  I do have a few reviews to catch up on, but I'll be doing them here, just as written reviews.

 "So, what's so damn important that you can't take a few minutes to draw your big fat head being mauled by angry unicorns once a week?" you may ask.

Well, as I said earlier, I've been writing. 

Also, I am gearing up for my blog tour, which will be going on June 4th-15th.  There will be interviews and guest posts and basically you will see my goofy face all over the internets for two weeks.  This is my first blog tour, and really, it's a trial run.  I want to see what affect it will have on sales, readers, blog numbers, and so on and so forth, before I am finished with my next few books.  If it goes well, I will have a much better idea of how to launch a book than I did a year ago.  If it doesn't, then I still have plenty of time to readjust my plans before my next ones are ready for human consumption.

There will be lots of free copies of The River Runes going out during the tour, and I will even be hosting a big giveaway here, for folks who will follow and participate throughout the whole thing.  As we get a bit closer I will post all of the tour dates and blogs and more info about giveaways and other stuff and things and yeah.

Thanks for reading,
Buh bye then

Friday, May 4, 2012

Indie Book Review: Wrath and Remembrance

I still don't have a microphone :(  so no Flipped Book Review this week.  But I wanted to give you guys something, and I only just realized that I have yet to review Wrath and Remembrance, by John Walker.  I read this book months back, and somehow never got around to the review.  So here it is :)

Title: Wrath and Remembrance by John Walker

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Goodreads description:
As Jack Parrish struggles to survive and hold onto his sanity in an ever-changing world, someone from his forgotten past is hunting him.
The car crash he survived as a child has left him without parents and struck by amnesia for the next 18 years.
What do his nightmares mean?
Are they distorted flashes from his past or premonitions of what will be?
Why is someone out to kill him?
Just when life seems to be going right for Jack those close to him are being murdered and Jack is forced into a deadly game of cat and mouse.

First and Foremost, I really enjoyed the story of Wrath and Remembrance.  There is some great character development and the plot is strong and easy to follow.  

Jack Parrish is the protagonist, and I have a hard time believing that anyone could read this book, and not be on his side.  The author guides us seamlessly through Jack's world, and kept me on the edge of my seat through most of the book.  Since I remark on editing for all of my indie reviews, I have to say that Wrath and Remembrance was well crafted and honed and well as any big label book.  However, I am not a huge fan of the cover art for this one.  I think with such a great story, John would do well to get a cover that will draw people to his work. 

Now I don't have any problem with an author sharing some political or religious views through his or her writing, (in fact, I think that this is one of the things that most great literature has in common throughout history) but it's something you should be aware of before you start reading.  This one has some definite religious themes, but they don't take away from the story at all.  

I give John Walker's, Wrath and Remembrance, 5 stars out of 5!

This title is available at, right now for only $.99! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blog Tour in June! (and an excuse for being a slacker)

Hey there, everyone!

Hope you've all been having a wonderful week, mine's been good :)

I have a blog tour coming up!  Yay!  It will run, on weekdays, for the first two weeks in June.  There will be giveaways and I will be doing interviews and guest posts and some kind folks will even be reading The River Runes and telling other people what they thought of it. (hopefully most of it is good)

I'm excited.  The second edition is now out for all the world to see, with more editing and polishing, and now I want to learn all I can about this new world of internet marketing.  It's one of the pieces of the indie publishing world that I am still not all that sure about.  I know that a lot of finding readers comes down to luck, but I'm sure that if I do the proper work, I can at least point my novel in the right direction.

I hope.  :) 

If, by chance, any of you lovely people has a blog and would like to be a part of the blog tour, please send me a message.  I would love to expand the tour and talk to as many people as possible!

Other things and stuff!

Some of you may have noticed that right after I posted my new schedule, I missed my Thursday post (Flipped Book Review).  I'm sorry, but I have excuses.  (Don't we all?!)

I don't have a working microphone!  That's right, it's lame, but true.  It's hard to make a video, where speaking is a large percentage of the work, without the proper equipment.  (fun fact:  I'm low on coffee right now, and I just typo(-ed?) the word equipment about four times.  Is there a correlation?  I think so!

But, Ken!  you said you had excuses... as in more than one?

I do.  The other reason there was no post last week was that I put a lot of time into reading a book... a book, about which, I just could not find nice things to say.  I really wanted it to be good.  I wanted the story to be good enough to make me look past the not-well-edited writing.  It didn't work out.

I feel like crap because of it.  Every story has some redeeming qualities, but I promised not to give any review if I couldn't give a book three stars.  I guess it's bound to happen, but I hate it.  It bothers me so much because I want to support my fellow indies out there.  I want to believe in their work, and promote them as much as I can.  However, I can't, in good conscience, give a positive review for a book that had me cringing every time I turned the page.

I almost didn't even mention it here (or anywhere).  But I want other indie authors to know how important it is for us to put out the best possible work we can.  We are asking folks, loved ones and strangers alike, to believe in what we're doing.  We're asking them to spend their hard-earned money on the work we are putting out there, and they deserve our very best efforts.

Here are some of the steps I take, with links to some of the tools I use (not that my writing is anywhere near perfect): Ken's Editing Tips

I get it.  I can't afford an editor either.  But there are tools out there for us, you just have to look.  No one is asking you to be perfect, (well, some people will) but you have to go as far as you can.  Not just for you and your readers, but for your story.  It deserves every chance in the world, but it won't get a chance if you send it out before it's ready.

Okay, now I feel mean.  Here is 8-million pounds of cute to make up for it:)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ken's Writing Tips: Editing

Hey there, everyone!

A quick note before we get started: From now on, I will be regularly updating this blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tuesdays I will talk about writer-type things, (my process, tips that you are free to ignore, other misc.) and Thursdays I will be posting this week's Flipped Book Review videos. Thanks for sticking with me as I work all this new craziness out! 

Now for my own thoughts on editing for indie authors :)

Finish your manuscript! Feel free to edit as you go, if that's your thing, (it's how I roll) but know in advance that you are still going to need to edit half a dozen times once you are all "finished" writing.

It's a sad thought, but one that you need to be comfortable with so that you don't make the mistake of publishing too early.

Once you've finished up your writing, and your manuscript is shiny and new oh so exciting, get ready to tear it a new one. That's right, that baby's going to need a facelift and some lipo before she's ready to share with the world.

"But she's so pretty! I mean, I know that all authors say that about their manuscripts, but in our case it's true. I've been working on this for so long and so hard and I know that every word and every sentence is relevant and pertinent to the story. She's beautiful, and I know the world is gonna love her just the way she is."


A good first step that I've found is reading the story out loud to yourself. No mumbling or inner-monologue, read it out for you and all your super cool manga posters to hear. Every time you stumble over a word or phrase, it needs work. Cut it, change it, whatever you have to do. Just make it smooth. If you hear yourself say the same word three times in under two minutes, do something about it. Anything that sounds awkward to you, is going to read awkward for the folks that are kind enough to spend money on your book. Fix it.

Now you've read through the entire manuscript and it all flows so well that it practically rolls off of your tongue, so you're done, right?


The next step I take is to find all of the common issues that writers run into. Heavy adverbs, too much use of passive voice, saying seems thirteen million times... ok, that one was mine, but you get the point. Luckily for all of us, there are tools out there that can help you identify these issues. I use Edit Minion. I can't tell you how much it has helped me with my writing.

Next, read it aloud again. You cut and changed things, now you need to be sure that your baby is still smooth.

Then, find some folks to read it for you. Not your mom. Or your wife. No one that is related to you, and no one that would fly across country to go to your funeral, if you died. These people are untrustworthy. They don't want to hurt you. Find strangers. There are forums and blog circles and whole websites dedicated to just this thing. I use Most of the folks there are writers, looking for the same kind of help that you need. You'll have to read for others, critique their work, but they will be doing the same for you. Be honest with them, but don't be a jerk.

Take what they say with a grain of salt. If they touch on something you noticed, or if more than one person mentions an issue, it probably needs to be addressed. But if someone says that calling a character beautiful makes her seem like a b*tch, you have every right to ignore their advice.

Take notes from your critique-ers.

Do more edits.

Read it aloud again. Fix as necessary.

"Then I'm done, right? My baby and I are ready for the world, ready to make a million dollars!"


Walk away. Leave your baby in a file drawer or on a flash drive, and walk away. For at least two months.

"But she's delicate and she needs my love! And food... or something!"

No she doesn't.

Walk away. Write other things, blog about food or monkeys or your own writing process (wink). But walk away. When you come back to her, you are going to find that she's a teenager now. She's rebellious and not as pink and shiny as you remember her being. She has adverbs in all the wrong places and her dialogue is stiff and ridiculous at points.

Make more edits.

Read aloud a lot.

Make more edits. Now you can ask your mom to read it. She's still untrustworthy, but with your baby growing away from you, you're going to need some encouragement.

Get an awesome cover. Pay for it if you have to. No matter how many times we've been told not to judge a book by its cover, we still do.

Read aloud again.

Set up a blog tour. Your baby's been through a lot, but she's so close. She deserves to be sent off in style.

Read aloud one more time. Edit as you see fit.

Is she perfect?


Is she ever gonna be perfect?


If you're ready, and you think she's ready for the big world out there, it's time to send her off.

Publish in as many formats as you can. Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, and Createspace are just a few places that can help you with this.

Alright, this one was long.
Thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Monday, April 16, 2012

Everything is Changing! Ahhh!

It's really not all that terrible. Things aren't changing for the worse, I'm not giving up blogging or writing or breathing. I'm just changing a few things (like the look of the blog, please let me know what you think!) in an attempt to streamline all of the new projects I have going on.

This process would be faster if I were better at HTML and Javascript, or if I knew all of the best ways to consolidate the oh so many social networking tools that are now available. I'll get there. I'm learning.

Just a quick list of some new stuff: (some things have already been mentioned here, like Flipped Book Reviews)

Flipped Book Reviews! This has been a ton of fun so far, and I only see it getting better. I get to joke around and have fun, and I can't wait to see how people take to it.

Book Covers! As my design skills improve I will be building a portfolio, mostly here on the blog. There will be a page for covers that I've sold (when that happens) and there is already a page for cheap covers just up there on the tab thingy. :)

Short Films! This is the youngest and least developed of my new ventures, but one that I am crazy excited about. Not a lot to say just yet, but there will be plenty of awesomeness to come.

Consolidation! Very soon, I will be bringing all of these things together (with lots of help from friends, both old and new).

So there you are, just a little update and explanation as to the changes you will be seeing around here as time goes by.

Thanks so much for reading,
buh bye then

Friday, April 13, 2012

Flipped Book Reviews! (calling authors!)

Hey! Here are the first two videos for Flipped Book Reviews!

If you are an author and would like your book reviewed on Flipped Book Reviews, comment below or send me a message at:

You can check out the Youtube page here: FlippedBookReviews

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Book Reviews! (and other stuff)

This is not a book review. Sorry if you got suckered in, but keep reading. The title is still pertinent.

I love writing. I have loved writing for as long as I can remember, and I will do it until it is no longer possible (death... or pirates take my hands and leave me on a deserted island and I have no voice-to-text enabled technology available and no matter how hard I try I just can't get my new loyal monkey sidekick to take the notes I need for the rough draft because he is far too busy typing hamlet and throwing poo at the birds that keep coming in and trying to eat my eyes since I have no hands of my own to slap them away). One of the best things that has happened through my writing in the last couple of years is finding that there are other things I enjoy as well.

I have recently become obsessed with graphic design. I am making new covers everyday, though I have no books to put them on. I also really enjoy doing book reviews. I love the chance to read new books, learn about new authors, and take new adventures in the worlds they create.

So, I have decided that I am going to branch out. With the help of some old friends and new friends, I am creating a new book review channel on Youtube, called Flipped Book Reviews. The channel is going to be lots of fun, with animation and humor and of course, book reviews. I would like to be able to focus mostly on indie authors and their books still, but I am also going to do some main stream reviews of books that I love to talk about. I don't know the exact launch date yet, but it will be soon. :)

So, the point of this blog: If you or someone you know would like to have a book reviewed, let me know. I am not promising that I will be able to do it, time will be limited with all the work I will be doing on each review, but I will do my best. I will not be accepting any forms of compensation for my reviews (as always) and I will continue to be honest. However, I don't want to look like a jerk. If I can't give a book at least 3 stars in my review, there will be no review.

I will still be writing!

Also, I am now building a portfolio of book cover art. As I am just getting started, I am keeping prices as low as possible ($50 as of today). I will post my own covers here in the next couple of weeks so people can see my work. If anyone wants to know more, just contact me!

Ok, that was a lot of info for one blog. Sorry :)

Thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Friday, March 23, 2012

Look! A Book Review: Hollowland

The Novel: Hollowland (The Hollows #1)
Hollowland is an urban fantasy/romance/zombie tale, written by Amanda Hocking.

Goodreads Description:
"This is the way the world ends - not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door."

Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way - not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.

I downloaded this one on my computer quite a while ago, and then just never really got around to reading it. I wasn't worried because, let's face it, Amanda Hocking has no shortage of reviews, whether they be good or bad.

However, one snowy afternoon, when I was too lazy to get my butt to the library, I busted out my smartphone and decided to start reading Hollowland. It was definitely a pleasant surprise. I was well absorbed into the story of Remy King as she stomped across the country on the skulls of a dozen zombies. There was a good amount of action and enough gory descriptions to make this a zombie story well worth the read. I was a little worried about the romance part of the story, but it was comfortably down-played in the wake of the zombie uprising.

I can't say much about the story itself without spoilers, but I'm glad I read it. I either got it for free or for 99 cents at Amazon (I can't remember) but either way it was worth it.

Hollowland gets 4.5 stars from me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Losing Blood...

I'm giving blood today, and for some reason I'm just a bit nervous. I've given before, I don't get queasy or nauseous, but it's been about two years (since just before I got my tattoo) and I feel like it's my first time.

In other news, my editing is going well! I can't remember all the times I've had to stop, shake my head and say, "What the hell, Ken?!" Right after I finished The River Runes I was flush with excitement and ready to start selling a million copies. So it's not surprising that I got impatient, half-assed my line edits, and convinced myself that my pixelated cover art was awesome.

Ouch. Here I am, almost a year later, and only now doing proper edits and re-writes (oh, and I have a much better cover that I am in love with!).

What have I learned? PATIENCE! Holy rusted metal, Batman, be patient with your work. Putting out something that isn't quite finished isn't going to help anyone, and may even be harmful. Learn from my mistakes and don't publish or send queries to agents and publishers until your book is DONE. If you can afford it, hire and editor. If not, edit once, walk away from your story for at least two months, (if not longer) and then do another edit.

Oh well. :) I'm happy with where The River Runes is now. Even if I wasn't, it's not like I could take it back, so what's the point in being upset? I'll fix what I can and make it better.

Besides, everyone loves a second edition, right?

Thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Pi Day!

(image borrowed from

It's Pi Day, and although I'm not really a math guy, I can totally appreciate Pi Day. So, if you are a math nerd, or know a math nerd, be sure to celebrate Pi Day with as much enthusiasm as you can muster. Go 3.14!

Anyhow, I'm not doing a ton of social networking right now, but I will be around. As much as I want to build an awesome legion of followers by being witty and loveable, it is more important that I actually do the work of writing right now. After a lull like the one I have just been through, writing is the only way I can really get back on track.

But, I'm not going to disappear. I want to get to know more of you folks out there. I want to read your blogs in the morning whilst I chug gallons of coffee like a frat boy with a funnel full of PBR. If you want to talk, email me or Tweet @kenlindsey1981 or leave a comment.

I'm still reading as well, but I'm not promising when I'll post book reviews. When I can, I will. I'm still reading indie books, and eventually, when I'm caught up and feeling better about having been a huge slacktard for the past six months, I'll probably jump back into a weekly review to help support my indie author homies.

Some good news: I've been doing writerly type stuff and things everyday. It's mostly been editing (I'm going to be re-releasing The River Runes soon, with better editing, a bit more story, and a much better cover) but at least it's productive.

Ok, folks, thanks for reading! I think that's all I have for now :)

Buh bye then

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Six Months...

Wow, has it really been that long? A lot has happened in my world, Dear Readers, although none of it has been anything to write home about (and by home, I mean the internets, and by write, I mean blog).

I got a job, the kind that takes huge chunks of your life away and replaces them with little pieces of paper that you can use to pay rent and buy food (you know, the unimportant stuff). I've had this job for... can you guess? Six months. I'm glad to be able to pay the bills, so in part I am grateful for my job. However, I have this feeling just about everyday. It's a feeling that rises after another 12 hour shift, before the next 5 or 6 hours of sleep. I feel like I am working only to pay the rent, only so that I can have a place to sleep, only so that I can sleep before I have to go back to work.

Wow, that all sounds kind of angsty. I suppose it is, but it's also honest.

I need to write. When I'm not writing, things start to feel very closed in. I need to make better use of my time, but sometimes it feels a tiny bit hopeless. However, I know that I'm the one in control of these things, and if I want to write, I should just write. Right?

Well, here's to managing free time. :) If you live within walking distance, the coffee is on me.

Thanks for reading, I feel a little better already,
buh bye then