Looking for writing-related posts? Check out my new writing blog, www.larrykollar.com!

Thursday, December 26, 2013 5 comments

Stocking Your eReader Sale!

So Santa brought you a new Kindle, or an Amazon gift card, or both, and you want to get the most reading for the money? The authors at Green Envy Press, and several friends, have got you covered:

All eBooks are 99¢ or free, so you can get a lot of reading for a little money! There’s also giveaway for a Kindle HDX, so click on the pretty picture to see all the details… and come back every day through the end of the year for more books and more prizes!

Christmas might be over, but we’re still giving stuff away…

Thursday, December 19, 2013 10 comments

Writing Wibbles: Looking Back

This will be the last Writing Wibbles of 2013, so I think it’s a good time to look back on what-all happened in my personal writing world.

It was a grueling year, production-wise. I started the year with a lot of stories completed or nearly completed, and ended up launching seven titles. That doesn’t count the books I edited or proofread for the co-op. The pace forced me to examine how I did things after the editor sent back those last changes, and I did manage to streamline a lot of the processes. Part of that was making checklists, so I didn’t forget something important.

That was the supply, what about demand?

In a nutshell: I was blessed. I didn’t make nearly enough to quit my day job, let alone rack up sales like Amanda Hocking or Hugh Howey, but I did a lot better than others. I haven’t dug up exact numbers for how many books sold (let alone how many of each), but most of the books sold were 99¢ each, giving me a royalty of 35¢ give or take. I have a reasonable handle on income and expenses. Being in a co-op, where we all help each other out, I didn’t have production-related expenses like editing or cover design (but I paid by editing and formatting other books). There were other expenses… so, here’s the round numbers:

Income: $3000

Promotional expenses (giveways): ($150)

Nook HD (for verifying EPUBs): ($180)

So while I didn’t pay off the mortgage or anything (rats), I was able to afford a badly-needed replacement for my ailing Civic, which died about a month after I came home with the Miata. Writing made a difference for me this year, an important difference, both financially and emotionally.

And for that, I’m grateful. With any luck, it will make more of a difference next year. I don’t plan to have such an aggressive release schedule, but maybe I’ll have more time for promotion and for rolling out paperbacks. That’s going to be interesting, especially once I automate the conversion from EPUB to typesetting markup. Stay tuned…

Saturday, December 14, 2013 2 comments

The Sorcerer's Daughter has Launched!

And… there's the Launch Cannon! Now, how about a blurb?

As Bailar and his apprentices help the Conclave prepare for conflict with the rogue sorcerers, Sura learns that she is a descendant of a noble House in the Alliance. But when she discovers the price of her history, it may be too late.

If you haven’t got it yet, there are links to stores that carry it on my eBooks page. Amazon and Smashwords have it now, more to come. There’s a bonus flash story that only members of the mailing list have seen otherwise, and excerpts from Angela Kulig’s Heroes and Vallenez and Tony Noland’s Verbosity’s Vengeance.

Around the blogosphere, check out these posts:
Happy reading, and happy holidays!

Sunday, December 08, 2013 8 comments

This Isn't the Future We Were Promised

Image source: openclipart.org
When I was little, I ate up all the stories about the future: flying cars, moon colonies, cruises to Saturn’s rings, robots doing all the work, and an end to poverty and racism.

What we got was: none of the above, plus the Internet, and powerful computers that we can carry around in a shirt pocket. And texts like this:

Daughter Dearest: Will you bring me some toilet paper?

Can I exchange this future for the one I actually bought?

Friday, December 06, 2013 13 comments

Wolf in the Night (#FridayFlash)

This was supposed to be much less serious than it turned out to be.

Image source: openclipart.org
Once upon a time, in the Strange Lands north of Aht-Lann-Tah, a wolf harassed a certain village in the Rival Kingdom. They would hear the wolf howl on dark nights, and livestock was always missing the next morning. King Tightfisted offered a reward for anyone who would bring in the wolf’s hide, but none thought the meager sum worth the risk.

Finally, one day, a poor boy’s hunger spoke louder than fear. He sat quietly in their tiny house, wrapped in his blankets, until his father’s drunken snoring shook the walls. (His mother had fled to Aht-Lann-Tah some time ago, with the butcher’s brother.) The boy took his father’s hunting spear, covered in dust from long disuse, and slipped away into the evening.

It was a new moon night, and the boy reckoned that the wolf would choose this night for its depredations. He walked the dusty street, until accosted by the watch guard at the edge of town.

“It’s past curfew, boy,” said the guard. “What do you here?”

“I’m wolf hunting,” the boy replied.

“Eh. Your funeral.” The guard waved him through.

After a few minutes, the boy reached a copse near a large chicken farm. Wolves have a keen nose, but standing downwind of chickens would do to a wolf’s nose what looking into the sun did for one’s sight. He wandered into the trees, hefting his spear, and waited, hoping to catch the wolf by surprise.

He heard a voice growl behind him: “Drop the spear, boy.”

The boy jumped, but did as he was told. He turned, hands raised. “I was just—”

Before him crouched the wolf, teeth bared! “Just what?” the wolf snarled.

“Just—I—I was—waiting for someone,” he stammered.

“Oh, really? Were you waiting for Lupé?”

“Who is Loop-pay?”

“I am Lupé,” said the wolf. “Why would you be waiting for me with a spear, eh?”

“We’re poor. It’s hard enough to live, when the wolf is taking our food. Why would you do such a thing?”

Lupé sat and scratched behind one ear. “Follow me, boy, and you will see.”

The boy thought. If the wolf was going to eat him, he’d already be dead. Curiosity overcame fear, for in fact the boy was rather brave, and he followed Lupé through the copse.

Presently, they reached the edge of the copse. Before them stood the fences of Baron Griid’s large farm. Guards walked the perimeter.

“What are we doing here?” the boy whispered.

“Watch and see. Do not move or call out,” said Lupé, and the wolf eased into the tall grass. The guards walked by, and Lupé charged, bounding through the grass and leaping high into the air—over the fence, and disappearing into the night.

The boy did not have long to wait. Lupé again jumped over the fence once the guards had passed, and slunk into the copse, carrying a dead chicken. The wolf trotted into the trees again, and the boy hastened to follow. They worked their way around the village to a tiny croft in the shelter of a grassy knoll. Here, Lupé left the chicken on the doorstep, then returned to where the boy crouched on top of the knoll, and loosed a mournful howl.

The door opened, and an old lady looked toward the knoll before picking up the gift. “Oh, Lupé,” the boy heard her tell the darkness, “I say again, run free. Do not worry for me. I will be all right.” She brushed a hand across her face, then closed the door.

“Why did you do that?” the boy asked.

“She is alone,” said Lupé. “There is no one to take care of her. She cannot tend her garden on her own. So I take care of her, as best I can, since she took care of me when I was a lost pup.”

The boy thought. “I can take care of her,” he said. “At least, I can work her garden. It would be a better life than the one I have now.”

“Perhaps.” Lupé cocked an ear to the wind. “And perhaps there is something I can do for you. Let us fetch your spear.”

Again, Lupé led them through the night, until the boy could hear cries for help, and yelping and snarling. Before them stood a coyote, leaping at a tree and foaming from the mouth. On a branch stood two people, just out of reach of those dripping fangs. “Go collect your reward, but remember your promise,” said Lupé, and disappeared into the night.

The boy slunk forward, spear in hand. He spitted the rabid coyote, which thrashed in the grass then lie still.

“He has killed the wolf!” one of the people in the tree shouted, leaping down to embrace the boy. “Let the entire village rejoice!”

Before the boy could drag the carcass back to the village, all the people turned out to meet him. They raised him on their shoulders and made merry until dawn.

The boy kept his promise and took care of the old woman. The reward money bought them a milk-cow, and food enough until the garden was producing. In time, the old woman died, and left her croft to the boy.

As he stood in the garden, soon after the funeral, he heard a voice behind him. “What will you do now?”

“I once thought to sell the croft, and find my destiny in Aht-Lann-Tah,” he told Lupé. “But I have found my destiny here.”

“You, and perhaps another.” A tiny wolf-pup ambled around Lupé’s still form. “He is a runt, as I was,” Lupé explained. “Take care of him, and he will take care of you.”

The pup hopped to the boy’s waiting hands, and Lupé loped away. Boy and wolf grew together, and not all their days were happy, but they had each other. And it was enough.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013 6 comments

An Impromptu Launch

The Launch Cannon? Not the exploding pen graphic? That must mean there’s a new book out, right?

It’s true. But it’s not The Sorcerer’s Daughter, which I have nearly finished beating into shape and hope to have ready in the next two weeks. This was a spur of the moment kind of thing. 'Tis the season, and I had a few Christmas-themed short stories laying around, so I had +Angela Kulig find me a suitable cover image and started formatting. And thus…

The Christmas Guardians (and Other Stories of the Season) was born!

This mini-anthology brings five short, and somewhat off-beat, stories to both Amazon and Smashwords. As with all my shorter works, Christmas Guardians is 99¢. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013 2 comments

Green Tuesday Sale!

Save a tree, buy an eBook: it’s Green Tuesday!

My co-op, Green Envy Press, is running the show. I’m happy to be one of ten authors (not all of whom are in the co-op, mind you) offering twenty Kindle books for 99¢ or (even better) free, today. Go check out the sale page: http://www.angelakulig.com/2013/12/the-green-tuesday-sale-is-here-many.html On Twitter, follow the hashtag #GreenTuesday to join the festivities.

The sale runs until midnight PST (3 a.m. EST, or 0800Z).

Go forth, and load up your Kindle!


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