When the Reading Audience is Captive

Smashwords givebackSW
Sale has been extended to May 31

There isn’t a corner of the world the Coronavirus hasn’t hit (well, maybe Antarctica) and now millions of people are stuck at home with nothing to do. Some are diehard readers, and others choose to binge watch stuff on Netflix or another online platform. For many people the social isolation is too much to bear. They can’t figure out how to productively pass the time. And then there are those of us who spend much of our year in social isolation, and this is just business as usual.

Smashwords has set out to ease the pain of isolation. They’re holding a sitewide Author Give Back program that lasts from March 20 to May 31. Authors can enroll some, or all, of their books, and those can either be listed as free, or you can set a discounted price. I’ve been a part of Smashwords for many years, and each time they have an event like Christmas in July or another promotion, I’ve always enrolled my books and short stories. Readers can find the sale books here. This is a good, free way to get your books promoted. But do you make money off giving away books? Yes, you do! Continue reading “When the Reading Audience is Captive”

Author Eats Crow – Never Say Never

raven on a tree branch courtesy of pixabayWay back in 2014, I wrote an article here on Indies Unlimited about how I would (almost) NEVER write a sequel or a series. I ranted quite a bit about inspiration vs. conscious, mechanical design of a plot, and I named names. As you might imagine, I got both positive and negative comments on that post, as I fully expected.

So here I sit, five years later, and I’m writing Book #22 of my paranormal mystery series!

What changed? Nothing.  Everything. I have no idea. Continue reading “Author Eats Crow – Never Say Never”

When Is a Serial Just a Tease?

To be continuedThe serial has had a long and distinguished career in the annals of publishing. Its heyday, arguably, was the 19th century. That’s when a host of factors – a more literate public, improved printing techniques, and better distribution – came together to create a market for popular weekly and monthly publications. Editors had to fill the paper or magazine somehow, and often turned to writers of fiction, who would then write a segment of a continuing story for each new edition. A surprising number of books that we consider classics today first appeared in installments, among them Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers, Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Amazon instituted a program in 2012 that was intended to bring back the serial novel. With Kindle Serials, readers pay upfront for the whole book, and installments are delivered to the customers’ devices as they become available. (Don’t bother looking for information on submissions; they’re not taking any right now.) Continue reading “When Is a Serial Just a Tease?”

The Anatomy of a Box Set

PWC Omnibus 2 FINAL smallOnce you’ve written a series, one of the things you can do is promote the books as a set. You can do this in one of two ways: 1. by lowering the prices on each book individually; or 2. by putting some, or all, of them together in a single file and calling it an omnibus or a box set.

I would have had to charge upwards of $20 per copy for the Pipe Woman Chronicles Omnibus if I’d gone the dead-tree route. But as an eBook, it’s doable, and not much more difficult to format than an individual book. Basically, you open a new document; create (or copy, paste, and edit) your front matter; copy-and-paste the text of each book in the series into your new document, using a “next page section break” at the end of each book; create (or copy, paste, and edit) your back matter; and save the file. Poof, done. Continue reading “The Anatomy of a Box Set”