Getting it Right: Horses and Tack

Horses, ah, yes, magnificent creatures: bold, beautiful, noble, fast, and usually misunderstood by the common person. Yup, you got it, Joe Schmo on the street couldn’t tell a Hackney from a Hanoverian. So why should writers need to know? Because there are several million horse owners/lovers in the world; and chances are, they like to read too.

You’ve decided to write a story involving equestrian sports. And just where do you start if you don’t have a clue about horses? To the internet! If you can narrow down your story, you have a better chance of getting the right research material for the job; thus presenting a more believable story.

Okay, I’m a horseperson. I’ve been riding and training 20+ years. But that doesn’t make me an expert on everything horse. Admittedly, I have a library of over 200 horse books. Yes, I own three horses. And when it’s not chucking down rain, or knee deep in mud, I get to ride once in a while. But I don’t claim to know everything about them. Continue reading “Getting it Right: Horses and Tack”

Don’t Pussyfoot Around – Vote Now

Who will be the next Flash Fiction Star? It’s time for IU readers to choose. Kudos to the entrants.

Check out this week’s entries here. Vote for your fave then use those share buttons at the bottom of the post to spread the word.

Remember, all our winners will be included in the next edition of the IU Flash Fiction Anthology. So, support your fellow writers and participate in this week’s voting, then spread the word, bang the drums, and share the link to let everyone know the vote is on.

Polls close tomorrow at 5 PM.


Which author wrote your favorite flash fiction story this week?

  • S.A. Molteni (30%, 14 Votes)
  • Jon Jefferson (19%, 9 Votes)
  • Marjorie McCoy (15%, 7 Votes)
  • Sara (15%, 7 Votes)
  • T.D. McKinnon (11%, 5 Votes)
  • AL Kaplan (11%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 47

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NOTE: Entrants whose submissions exceed the 250 word limit are eliminated from the poll.

BIG AL: Latest Amazon Changes May Help Indie Authors

Amazon.comIn case you haven’t noticed, there is a BIG difference between how Amazon sells books and how everyone else that purports to be in the book selling business does it. When talk turns to what Barnes & Noble could change to sell more books through, the answers always boil down to “be more like Amazon.” The problem with that is that Amazon started innovating the day they went into business and have never stopped trying out new things.

In the last couple weeks I’ve discovered two new innovations that are being tested by Amazon and appear to be headed our way. I’m guessing that if they’re deemed successful (meaning Amazon makes more money and it is a positive for their customers) then both programs will get rolled out to everyone. Each of these has the potential to be positive for indies.

The first is allowing indies to schedule the release of their book and for customers to pre-order that book prior to release. They’ve run a pilot program with selected indie authors being invited to give this a test run. The benefits should be obvious to any of you who have tried to schedule book release activities while coordinating the timing of your book being available on Amazon with your “official” release date. I know Amazon quizzes authors from time to time asking for ways they can improve and I’m sure this idea has been dropped in the suggestion box many times. (I’m going to assume it is coincidence that Smashwords recently started offering this ability for books distributed through them to some retailers.)

I suspect this will also change the way the game is played for those trying to maximize the help they receive from Amazon’s algorithms on a new release. How that will change, I don’t know. I’ll do like the rest of you and wait for David Gaughran to weigh in with the answer. Continue reading “BIG AL: Latest Amazon Changes May Help Indie Authors”