Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dead Dwarves, Dirty Deeds will be available within 2 days

I just uploaded my first ebook, Dead Dwarves, Dirty Deeds, to Amazon. It should take 48 hours or less for it to show up for purchase ($0.99). I’ll post again as soon as it’s available.
The three short stories in the ebook are the same stories that you can get from the Free Stuff page of my website. But, if you want to support an aspiring writer, you might as well buy it on Amazon. It’s just a buck!
If you want to get a sneak preview of the full-length novel, Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance, you’ll have to buy the Amazon version of Dead Dwarves, Dirty Deeds.
I’m surprised at how easy it was to get an ebook published. It’s just a two page wizard to enter book information, cover, upload the manuscript and set pricing. Of course, you also have to create an account and provide payment information.
Formatting the text is also very easy. I think it took me less than an hour to get the HTML coding set up. I have lots of experience with HTML and so I did it myself, instead of using the Word HTML conversion or the Amazon converter. I like having complete control of how things look.  If you’d like to try your hand at formatting your ebook yourself, I’d suggest buying the ebook Kindle Formatting The Complete Guide by Joshua Tallent. It has lots of helpful information in it.
The total monetary cost for Dead Dwarves, Dirty Deeds ended up at $612.50 ($500 for the cover art, $112.50 for editing). There’s also about $20 for website hosting and how-to books, but those are expenses that apply to all my ebooks.
I’m selling the Dead Dwarves, Don’t Dance ebook for $0.99 since it’s only three short stories. For each download, I get royalties of $0.35. So, I’ll need to sell 1750 copies of the ebook to break even on my expenses. Everything after that will contribute to my novelist salary. ;)
Since I’m a completely unknown author with no previous publishing experience and no marketing budget, I’m going to take a wild guess and say that it will take me close to a year to get 1750 sales. I’ll be posting my sales numbers as I get them, so keep checking back to see my progress.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekend progress report

I managed to get quite a bit done this weekend.
I formatted the short story trilogy into the format required by Amazon Kindle. It’s pretty easy HTML work, but works better if you do it manually instead of letting Microsoft Word do it. I’m ready to publish this as soon as I get the cover from Igor, hopefully on Wednesday.
I also went through 40% of the novel, getting it ready for editing. I should be able to hand over the novel to my editor Joel by Oct 11th as planned.
Hope the rest of you had as productive a weekend as I did.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The short story trilogy cover!

Good news! I have the finished cover (by Les Peterson) for my short story compilation, and I should have the cover for the novel on Wednesday.
I’ll be publishing the short story compilation to Kindle sometime Wednesday, hopefully. I will be including the first 5 chapters of the novel in it.
I had originally intended to give the compilation away for free. However, Amazon doesn’t give me that option. So, the compilation will be set at the lowest price possible, $0.99. I’m hoping the low price will entice readers to give it chance.
The compilation contains all 3 short stories that are available for free on my website. It’s titled DEAD DWARVES, DIRTY DEEDS. Here’s the cover:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back from vacation

We just returned from our South Dakota vacation (where I was doing research for another book).

If you like monuments, geology, hiking, wildlife, the Old West, and lots of stuff to do, you should consider visiting the Rapid City area. We were there for 10 days and didn't get to do everything we wanted.

There's Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Wind & Jewel Caves, Deadwood, Lead, Custer, Reptile Gardens, Badlands, Wall Drug, Devil's Tower, Harney Peak, Bear Country, Custer State Park, Journey Museum, Dinosar Park, buffalo, pronghorn, mule deer, chipmunk, red squirrel, swift fox, wild turky, turkey vulture, harrier, prairie dog, casinos, ghost towns, Roundhouse Restaurant, Sioux City Sarsaparilla, and sparkly dirt!

Anyway, now that I'm back I can get to work on my writing again. There is now nothing stopping me from finishing up my scifi novel (nor my other novel) except procrastination. And, I will crush procrastination into a a mealy mush!

I just received some prelim images for the short story trilogy cover from Les Peterson. I'll post them soon.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Two more stories uploaded

I've uploaded two more free short stories. Both are set in a future where neohumans are genetically engineered, technology provides plenty, and the one world government provides all.

Gift Horse - A criminal kingpin is brought back from the brink of death to deliver a message.

Money Is Everything - Street thugs hunt a deposed crime boss carrying a case of cash.

These are now available in the Dead Dwarves, Dirty Deeds PDF available on my website's Free Stuff page.
Let me know what you think of them.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The results of editing

Joel Palmer edited all three of my short stories and he did a great job. He caught the simple wording/grammar errors, but also noted plot issues and possible points of confusion. He charged me $112.50 to edit about 15,000 words, which comes to about $7.50 per 1,000 words. That’s a really good deal! Joel said my stories were in pretty good editorial shape to begin with, so he was able to shoot through it quickly. He charges $25/hour for editing, so his final fee varies based on how clean your manuscript is. He usually averages about 1,250 words per hour.

Before editing, my first short story, Angel, weighed in at 4,742 words. After I incorporated Joel’s edits, it came to 4,709 words. I agreed with virtually all of Joel’s edits, probably around 98%. He also noted three areas of confusion in his comments, which I made changes to address.

So you can see the effects of editing, I’ve uploaded all three versions of the first story. The pre-edit writer draft, the edited version with Joel’s revisions left in, and the final, cleaned up version.

Angel (pre-edit version)

Angel (edited version)

Angel (final version)

I think that Joel’s edits were incredibly helpful in polishing the stories. If you need an editor, I would definitely recommend him. Before you actually hire him, he will do an edit sample on some of your work so you can see his editing and he’ll estimate the time it will take him to edit the whole work.

Here are a couple ways to contact Joel:

Thanks, Joel!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cover art draft and edited short stories

Soon after the long holiday weekend I received two cool bits of email: Joel is done with editing my three short stories and Igor sent me a draft of the cover for the novel! I'm working on incorporating the edits right now. I'll be posting the final versions of all three stories later this week. Here's the draft of the cover:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Editor found!

I found a great editor for my three short stories. His name is Joel Palmer and he's also up here in the Seattle area. He charges $25/hour and, depending on the amount of editing required, can average about 1250 words per hour.

For my 15,000 words of short stories, he figures it will take about 4.5 hours (due to the stories being in "very good shape editorially").

If you need editing work, you can contact Joel at and

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Short story: "Angel"

I've cleaned up one of my short stories:

In the future, a corporate hit-man imprisoned for mass murder escapes with the help of two strange men and a mysterious benefactor.

Read Angel, 109K PDF, 12 pages (pre-edit version)

Let me know what you think of it.

This version has yet to benefit from an editor pass. I thought it would be fun to show the different stages of writing, to see how it changes.

On other blogs, commenters are debating the merits of editors. Personally, I think they can only help.

I'll post the edited version of Angel later so everyone can form their own opinion.