Advice for the Beginner Author by Pat Sawtelle

Once you start writing a book, friends and family will push you to finish it with promises to buy the book, confident you will get rich. However, when the day of publication arrives the number of those people who actually buy it is very slim. They have good intentions, but their lives are just too busy. Now you have to find a way to get other people to buy your work.

Authors can easily get distracted by scanning the internet looking for sure bets on how to sell their books and get rich. While the proverbial celebrity lightning strike will strike someone, everyone else has to work hard to make a few dollars. Here are a few tips to help you on your way:

1. Don’t believe everything you read. Check the dates on the postings. Articles on the internet are many times outdated soon after they are posted. Google, Amazon, even bestseller lists, change their processes and algorithms regularly to prevent scams and take advantage of the latest search and buying trends.

2. Don’t stop writing. You got into this because you enjoyed letting the words form into sentences and paragraphs. Set aside time to write on a regular schedule to maintain the fun.

3. Read. Make time to read works from other writers. It will improve your own writing.

4. Give Back. Take time to post an online review for every book you read. Without reviews, books languish at the bottom of the list forgotten like a rough draft stuck in the back of a drawer. Really like it? Take time to post a review on multiple sites like Amazon, Goodreads, BookBub, and others.


Catching What the Writing Muse Flings at You (Part 1) by M. B. Weston

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but ideas rarely come to me when I’m sitting peacefully at my desk and can write them down in an organized fashion. No, no, nooooo… My muse prefers to toss ideas my way when I’m in the middle of something else, usually without access to pen and paper. (Yes, I prefer this old-fashioned method for taking notes.) I still remember the day (pre-smartphone) when I went running around Walt Disney’s Polynesian Hotel looking for something to write with as a scene unfolded in my head. Ended up buying a Minnie Mouse notepad, but I was able to write it down. If you’re a writer, you know that when your characters start taking, you’ve got precious little time to record what they are doing.

Over my next few articles I’ll share a few “writer’s life hacks” that helped me record and organize my ideas even if I’m nowhere near a pen and paper. As long as you already own a smartphone or tablet, all of these (except one) are free.

Writer’s Hack 1: Put MS Word on your smartphone. I’m not sure about androids, but MS Word is free if you have an iPhone or iPad with at least iOS 7. I use Dropbox (more on that next) to store my writing manuscripts and notes. I can pull up any Word document on my iPhone and work on it. I can also start a new manuscript on my iPhone when the ideas strike. Unfortunately, I’ve found that trying to use MS Word on the smartphone/tablet, is nearly impossible, but it can work well with short stories or just taking notes during brainstorming sessions. Watch for Part 2 and keep writing!

Surviving the Day Job and Family while Writing and Promoting by Kristi Bradley

Balancing the day job while writing is not easy. Add family to the mix, and it becomes even more of a challenge. But with the three Ds – dedication, discipline, and determination, you can achieve your goals. Free time is now WRITING time. Sleep? Phfft. Who needs sleep? My children are older now, but my writing time was after their bedtime and lasted way into the night until I had to get a few hours’ sleep before the alarm went off.

Okay, I won’t sugar coat it. It’s not easy. You have to set boundaries, even with family. They have to learn when to leave you alone.

“Mommy?” Knock, knock, knock. “I want a snack.”
“Unless you’re bleeding from your eyeballs, go away!”

And once you’re published, it gets even more difficult. Now you have to promote. This means you have to put yourself “Out There.” An introvert’s worst nightmare. Bottom line, it comes down to planning. Most writers set a goal of a number of words they plan to write per day. Just as you plan your writing time, plan for promotion time. Social media is at our fingertips. Use it. Just don’t make your fans, or soon-to-be-fans, sick of you by over-promoting yourself. That defeats the purpose. Include fun stuff or things that interest you, not just your writing. And don’t forget to promote your friends and other authors you follow as well. Mix it up.

If you’re serious, you’ll find the time. Forget the excuses and figure out a way. With the three Ds, you can balance the day job, family, writing, and promotion. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure proceeds success. Keep writing.

Superhero Summer Shorts!

Capes & ClockworkDuring a forgotten time when the world was powered by steam and clockwork, heroes arose to do battle against the forces of evil. Some were outfitted with the latest technology. Others were changed by the mysteries of science and magic, while a few came from the skies. Capes and Clockwork fuses the fantasy and beauty of steampunk with the action and adventure of the superhero genre. Tease your imagination with sixteen stories of good versus evil, monster versus hero, and steam versus muscle!


The Tales:
Roger Dawkins and the Steam Daemons by Adam Millard
Keely by D. Alan Lewis
Catching Steam by Andrea Judy
Clockwork Demons by Logan L. Masterson
At the Quiet Limit of the World by David J. Fielding
Indestructible by Alexander S. Brown
Ectoplasmic Eradicators Wanted: Professional Inquiries only – A Timothy Flood Adventure by Nikki Nelson-Hicks
Captain Amy and the Steam-Driven Kittens of Doom by Azrael Wolf
Thursday Morrow by Robert J. Krog
Lost Child’s Little Protector by Herika R. Raymer
The Gears Of Justice by Brent Nichols
Aeolus, Chiron, and Medusa by John A. McColley
Blastbucket by Christopher J. Valin
Beneath Familiar Suns by Konstantine Paradias
Deep Diving Death Defying Dwarves of the Deep: A Tale from the Cycle of Ages Saga by Jeremy Hicks
White Lightning by John G. Hartness

Possessed Raccoons and Deranged Ducks

allancollection430Discover 19 extraordinary stories ranging from dark fantasy to science fiction and steampunk. Allan Gilbreath has created a stimulating collection of possessed raccoons, doubtful demons, secret potions, Hellish mornings, murderous black holes, dangerous missions, miniature dragons, fake vampires, real ducks, and a cranky detective. This collection showcases Allan’s astounding attention to detail and the sensual imagery his works are famous for.

The Stories:
My House – Enjoy a new house complete with a demonic raccoon.
The Little Demon Doubt – Infidelity and a knife thrower.
Afternoon Lemonade – How to straighten out those pesky teenagers.
By The Numbers – Why you should always stick to the plan.
Just Beneath the Surface – Are you doing the right thing for all the wrong reasons?
Good Intentions – As a matter of fact, the road to Hell is paved by the Good Intentions Paving Company.
Time To Come Out And Play – How do you find something you don’t believe in?
Twilight’s Last Gleaming – If you could travel in time, could you just sit by and watch?
First Impression – How do you make a good first impression with an alien species?
The Glamour Of It All – Now you know how those interstellar cruise ships stay so squeaky clean.
Origins – Accidents and dragons do happen.
Anatidaephobia – Two nuns and a vampire with duck under his arm walk into a bar …
Mr. Crump Don’t Like It – Never play where you get the pay.
The Tale Of Two Shelves – You never know what you can do yourself.
The Smile – A touching moment can happen at any time.
An Odd Demise – A locked room and spontaneous human combustion mystery.
Lepus Europaeus – Jack Lago tries to unravel an Easter mystery.
Toradh Of The Gem – Jack Lago solves the case of thieving faeries.
The Abere – Jack Lago and the beautiful man-eating crocodile woman

Shorts for Poolside!

piratesxlgA Tall Ship, A Star, And Plunder edited by Robert Krog

Piracy has been around as long as there have been ships plying the seas with anything that might be valuable enough to take by force. Piracy will still be around when merchant vessels are traveling the galaxy with cargoes of potential plunder. Explore the past, present, and future of our favorite scallywags in these 24 amazing tales of bravado, daring, and dastardly deeds committed by the legendary pirates.

Good luck, and may the wind be in your favor, blowing you toward good pickings, and a safe harbor.

The Tales:
Yo Ho by Melinda LaFevers
Rumble the Dragon by Cindy Vallar
The Princess and the Sea by Sydney Blackburn
Ghost of a Chance by Paula Gail Benson
The Making of a Privateer by Melinda LaFevers
Not I by Jerri Hardesty
Fireflies on the Water by Michael Krog
The Celeste Affair by D. Alan Lewis
The Tale of Tizur the Red by Tom Sheehan
Bottom of the Mug by S. P. Dorning
The Captain’s Woman, the Dagger, and the Serpent by Robert Krog
The Gods Must Clearly Smile by A. Christopher Drown
Corey of Steel by Jerri Hardesty
The Jamaican Dragon by D. G. Driver
Rosa and the Pirate by Laura Nelson
The Ghost of Queen Anne’s Revenge by M. R. Williamson
Of Wing and Song by Kirk Hardesty
One Way by Herika R. Raymer
Puffystuff the Pirate by Jerri Hardesty
Theft of the Royal Jewels by Kathryn Sullivan
Eighty-Six Pitrell Becomes Dread Admiral by Paul Calhoun
Rasputin’s Whimsey by T.A. Riddell
Pirates of Happenstance by HC Playa
Blood is Thicker than Pirate’s Gold by Kent Swarts

Chill in the Summer Heat!

Tales from a Goth Librarian
Kimberly Richardson

Take a fascinating and disturbing walk through this collection of stories the darker side of the Gothic/Steampunk point of view as written by a Goth librarian.

Kimberly Richardson guides you through modern situations and intrigues from a darkly poignant point of view. Her characters will take you back to the Victorian mindset as they deal with desperation, obsession, and despair. In this anthology, Kimberly embraces the Gothic/Steampunk style and adds her unique voice to the genre.

Madison de Macabre – Dance if you must.
Non Compos Mentis – Can the long needles make you better?
Silk – Skin so silky smooth.
Dream Guardian – Dreaming in vivid colours and sounds.
Multicoloured Souls – You never know who you might meet.
Peau – Just what is a book?
Sulfur – A tale of elves, demons, centuars, and magic.
Purple and Black – Beware the price of a muse.
Cover Her with Violets – Every family has dark secrets.
Goth Poetry – A unique view into dark thoughts.