Friday, September 30, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #62 - The Independent Author Network

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.

The Independent Author Network

Writing can be a lonely business. Often times the writer is stuck at a desk for hours on end with little or no connection to the outside world. Then there are times when a writer wants to reach out to his or her peers, others walking the same road as themselves.

To help with all this, there is The Independent Author Network.

This network is a collective of like-minded writers who have come together not only to share similar interests, but to focus on and help one another market their wares. Writers are somewhat expected to be active not only on the site itself, but to promote the site as well as their own works and those of others through online social networks, aka Twitter, Facebook, etc. Basically, you get out of this site as much as you put in.

But what can the site do for you, the writer? It should be obvious that if the members of this site are active, then everyone is promoting everyone else to some extent or another. And that can be a good thing. Also, the site has a Featured Author page, which helps with promotions.

The Independent Author Network also offers connections to The Avid Reader's Cafe and Reader's Choice Books, two sites which help to promote independent authors.

There is an initial, one-time cost to join The Independent Author Network. The price is $24.95, but keep in mind this cost is only once. And as a writer, you could benefit from joining this site, meeting and greeting your peers, and helping yourself by helping others.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blog tour for November

As my next e-book novel is scheduled for release Nov. 21, I am considering going on a blog tour for the month of November. My thinking is a different site each day, though I realize that offers some challenges because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Still, if anyone is interested in hosting me on their blog for a day that month, I would appreciate it. I can come up with my own ideas for post, or you are more than welcome to throw ideas at me, or even to do an interview or something else entirely. Whatever works for you will likely work for me.

So, if you are interested, contact me through this blog. Leave a post below or e-mail me, whatever works for you. Once, and if, I start to get more than a few who are interested, I'll put together a calendar. If you are interested in my post for a particular date, please let me know and I will try to accomodate.

For those who might not know, my novel is titled "Ghosts of the Asylum," and it is an epic fantasy sequel novel to my Kobalos Trilogy.


100 sites for fiction writers: #61 - Authopublisher

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.


There are plenty of so-called self-publishing experts out there. They can tell you all about their years of experience, about all the books they have published, and usually they can give you a list a mile long of all their accolades. Ivin Viljoen of the Authopublisher blog is not one of those experts. His big claim to fame is he wrote a novel in three days, then self published it within two weeks.

You might be thinking, "Okay, that's a big accomplishment for Ivin, but why should the rest of us pay attention to him?"

Good question.

The answer is simple: Because Ivin seems to know what he's doing.

There's also the fact this blog keeps up with all kinds of self-publishing news, and not just the obvious stuff like book reviews and new e-readers, etc. Ivin also covers a fair amount of technology and other events that can be quite helpful to writers though at first they might not appear to be directly tied to writing. For instance, he has posts about apps, marketing ideas, etc.

The blog covers plenty of news pertaining to Publishing, plus there are Writing Tips and a How-to's section that covers some basics for beginners.

One of the things I like best about this blog is the author doesn't hesitate to report and try new promotions ideas. You can read a lot of familiar, same-old-same-old stuff at plenty of different sites online, but Ivin's blog stretches things to the often unexpected, giving fresh ideas for writers.

It's worth your time to check out.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Books read in 2011: No. 46 - Stonehenge Today and Yesterday

by Frank Stevens

Started: September 28
Finished: October 6

Notes: This is another freebie for the Kindle. This edition is, I believe from 1916, so obviously it is out of date. But I'm really more interested in the thoughts of that time about Stonehenge than I am about Stonehenge itself, at least for this reading. I have seen other versions of this e-book online which include various drawings and chart, but they are not to be found here in my Kindle version. The lack of images is fine with me as I've seen all of them before numerous times and I'm fairly well aware of what Stonehenge looks like and the names and general conditions of the stones to be found there.

Mini review: A quick, easy read, and it covered a lot of ground in a fairly short amount of space. It surprises me how much they knew about Stonehenge even a hundred years ago, though some of the information likely wasn't as precise as it is today. Still, today and then, much about Stonehenge remains a mystery.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Books read in 2011: No. 45 - Format Your Ebook for Kindle in One Hour

by Derek J. Canyon

Started: September 26
Finished: September 26

Notes: I don't do much beyond basic formatting for my e-books, but I'm always interested in picking up anything new. So that's why I decided to read this one.

Mini review: I basically learned something I already knew, that I don't want to get into HTML for formatting my e-books. I know basic HTML, but I find it more cumbersome than necessary for e-books, at for what I do. Still, this e-book did show me a few things in case I should ever want to do them. Worth reading for the basics.

100 sites for fiction writers: #60 - Nookboards

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.


In the modern digital publishing world, it seems the Kindle e-reading device gets all the love from the media, fans, readers and even writers. The truth is, however, there are plenty of other dedicated e-reading devices available on the market, one of the more popular of which is the Nook, sold by Barnes & Noble.

It would be a mistake for a writer to ignore the millions of potential customers and fans offered through the Nook. But how to keep up with everything that is Nook related?

Easy. Check out the Nookboards site.

As it appears on first glance, Nookboards is a blog about all things Nook. It's not a blog that is updated often, but that's fine because where this site really shines is in its Forum.

Much like the Kindleboards forum, except for Nook lovers, the Nookboards forum has thousands of users who drop in regularly to discuss the Nook, books, and just about anything else Nook related.

Writers might get frustrated because this forum might seem like just another place to have to watch online, another social network in which one has to follow. But don't look at it like that. Look at Nookboards and its forum as another site for promoting oneself and one's writing.

Of course you don't want to go in with all barrels blazing, only promoting, promoting and promoting. This will drive away and make angry any number of potential fans. Simply go to the site and hang out. Chat with others. Talk about things that interest you. From time to time it will be okay to mention your e-books or books, but don't push. If you try to actively take part in the Nookboard community, people will begin paying attention.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #59 - Kickstarter

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.


In days past, it was not uncommon for artists, sometimes even writers, to have a benefactor, someone who paid the bills while allowing the artist to create. That's pretty rare today, however. Or is it?

The website Kickstarter allows artists and writers to do just that. Well, sort of. Instead of seeking out a solitary benefactor, what the writer can do is put up a page about a current or future project while asking for financial aid. Those who want to help can then drop a few dollars (or a whole bunch of dollars, if they want) onto the writer's project. But this is not a handout. No, the artist or writer has to provide something in return, so any financing is more like an investment.

What kind of things can an author offer to investors? Well, a free book or e-book, for one. An author might also offer to include his or her investors by name as characters in the book. Other ideas can come to mind.

Kickstarter is not a fund raising site, however, nor is it meant to be a site to directly pay for an artist's bills, etc. Also, authors are not allowed to make promises of future financial gains to the investors. So, there are some limits, but a lot of those limits make sense so the site cannot be abused.

To learn more about Kickstarter, check out its Guidelines page, or its Blog.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #58 - Step-by-Step Self-Publishing

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.

Step-by-Step Self-Publishing

Christy Pinheiro has her own publishing company, is a financial writer and the author of a number of e-books. Nick Russell is an author, public speaker and the founder of an online newspaper about RV travel. Why do you need to know about these people? Because they are the people behind the scenes at the Step-by-Step Self-Publishing website.

There are a lot of sites out there that are somewhat helpful one way or another for beginning writers who want to self publish, but few of them are as blatant about offering important resources as Step-by-Step Self-Publishing. Many sites just give you a few vague ideas or some rah-rah, go-get-'em-tiger speeches. This site does more helpful than that.

How does this site really shine? As I mentioned, Resources. Beginning self-publishers often need an editor and/or proofreaders, and there's a list of freelancers at this site who can help you with that. What about someone to format your books and e-books? That can be found here as well. If you should need a copyright attorney, this is also the place to look.

Better than the resources list, though, is the Reviewer List. Reviews can help to sell books and e-books, but often enough it is no easy task to find book reviewers. The list here offers scores of reviewers, and even links to other lists of reviewers. If you've never published a book, you have no idea just how helpful this list can be.

And once you publish a book, you will definitely want this list. Not every reviewer will be right for you, of course, but it helps to find out who is out there and just what they review.

Also, as can be expected, there are a few Articles about self publishing and a Blog, and these should be looked over and considered. But I still think that Reviewer List is worth its weight in gold, and the Resources list isn't too shabby, either.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Books read in 2011: No. 44 - The First Ten Steps

by M.R. Mathias

Started: September 23
Finished: September 23

Notes: This is another e-book about indie author promotions, and since Mr. Mathias is fairly well known and seems to be doing pretty good as an indie author, I thought I'd check it out.

Mini review: I have to say, though this is a very short e-book, there were some excellent ideas here. There wasn't anything that totally blew me away, but there were several things explained to me which I didn't know before, and there were other things, reminders. Will it help me as an author? Only time will tell, but I'm glad I read this one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #57 - Backspace

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.


To tell about Backspace the website is to tell about Backspace the organization.

This is not just another online networking site. It is not just another site to chat. It is not just another forum, though there is a Backspace Forum available.

Backspace is more than all that. It is an online organization of writers for writers, sporting more than 1,400 members, nearly all of whom are professionals in one manner or another, many being represented by literary agents and having been professionally published. As the site itself proclaims, Backspace focuses upon the "idea of writers helping writers."

To that end, there is an annual Backspace Conference, the one for 2011 taking place in New York City on November 3 and 4.

On the site itself, there are plenty of Articles by professionals in the publishing industry, as well as a hefty amount of Resources, including various links that can be useful to writers.

If you want to consider joining, you might want to check out who is already a member by looking into the Members Showcase. Here you can also check out the Events Calendar, find out what new books are coming out, keep up with publishing news, etc.

Within the framework of the site's forum, there is also much to be found besides idle chit chat. Contests are held, critiques are given, as well as more expected opportunities in network and promotions.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #56 - Shelfari

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.


Oh, great, yet another online community for writers to have to keep up with. Well, you could look at Shelfari that way, or you could take a look around the site and find out just how wonderful it really is.

Sure, this online site run by Amazon has the expected Groups for talking with other people, and yes, there is a Shelfari Blog to follow. We're all familiar with that stuff.

But besides the fine community there, and the opportunity it opens for writers to do some reaching out to readers and potential fans, Shelfari truly shines when it comes to books.

Yes, Shelfari is all about books. What kind of books? All kinds.

At Shelfari, you can easily find out what are the Most Popular books at any given time. You can look up information about different book Series, as well as find out about Authors.

One of the most fun things you can do at Shelfari is to build your own virtual bookshelf, showcasing books you have read and enjoyed over the years. Or you can just keep the bookshelf to show off what you're currently reading. What you do with the bookshelf, and what you place on it, is totally up to you.

Another great thing is that if you already have an Amazon account, you won't have to create a new account with Shelfari. You can just sign right in.

So writers, don't look at Shelfari as just another place where you have to sign onto every once in a while, but take part in the community and enjoy what the website has to offer.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #55 - Aaron Shepard's Publishing Page

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.

Aaron Shepard's Publishing Page

The Business of Writing for Children: An Award-Winning Author's Tips on Writing Children's Books and Publishing Them, or How to Write, Publish, and Promote a Book for KidsIn this day and age it is quite easy to be cynical when others promote themselves. It seems everyone is hawking something. But sometimes those doing their own promotions offer plenty of free information, useful information.

Which seems to be the case with author Aaron Shepard at his website Aaron Shepard's Publishing Page.

Mr. Shepard has so much free information for writers available, across several websites, that it's difficult to know where to start. A good way to get a feel for his writing style and the type of information he offers can be found at his Blog, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

If you are interested in self publishing your works in print, you should check out Shepard's pages aboutCreateSpace and Lightning Source. If your interests are more digital, check out the article From Word to Kindle, about formatting your manuscripts for publishing through Amazon's Kindle.

If this website doesn't have enough information for you (which is hard to believe), you can always consider buying some of Shepard's Books about publishing your own works, or you can look into Other Publishing Resources.

I also highly recommend checking out Shepard's other sites, such as Shepard PublicationsAaron Shepard's Home Page, and Sales Rank Express.

Few authors offer such extensive knowledge to other writers, readers and fans, probably because they are too busy writing, but Aaron Shepard has taken the time. Some of the information he provides might seem quite basic to the more experienced, but he does keep up with changing trends within the self-publishing world, and beginners could find far worse places to learn how to get started.

Also, as Shepard has a background in children's literature which includes artwork, writers with interests in that area should definitely check out Shepard's pages.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #54 - GoodReads

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.


A lot of writers online are familiar with Facebook and Twitter. But what about a social network that's just about good reading? There is one. It's called GoodReads.

GoodReads is mainly an online social network for readers, but plenty of authors can be found there because, after all, they are readers, too. And GoodReads is an excellent site for writers to connect with readers and to promote their own material.

For you writers, check out the Author Program. This allows you to set up a GoodReads page with your photo, biographical information, a list of your books, your videos, and whatever other information you would like to make available to readers and potential readers. You can even Advertise if you want another tool for reaching out to readers.

For connecting directly with readers and other writers there are always the forum Groups, but you can also hook up and keep track of Friends, much like you would on any other social networking site.

If you're just wanting to find out about new books or what's hot right now, you can always go and Explore.

With the site promoting itself as having more than 5 million members, writers should seriously considering joining GoodReads and becoming familiar with its workings. There might not be a better online tool for reaching out to readers and fans.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #53 - AuthorsDen

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.


Without writers, you can't have readers. And without readers, you're not likely to have writers. Right? Right. But how to bring the two together in one safe place where they can interact and talk about reading and writing?

Easy. Go to AuthorsDen.

Purporting to have more than 1 million monthly viewers, AuthorsDen has become an online hub for authors who want to promote themselves and their work, and for readers who want to chat online with writers. But this isn't just your typical little website with a forum. There's much more to AuthorsDen.

For authors, this site offers plenty of opportunity for promotion by constantly spotlighting different writers and books.

For readers, there are plenty of links to ArticlesBooksStories and more, even Poetry.

If you are looking for News pertaining to writing, there's plenty here for you. There are also listings of upcoming EventsReviews of books, Videos by authors, and Success stories.

There is so much information to be found here, you'll just have to spend hours (or days) looking over the site to find all you want.

But more than anything, keep in mind AuthorsDen is an online community where readers and writers can come together to communicate and share with one another.

Monday, September 12, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #52 - The Writer's Guide to E-Publishing

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.

The Writer's Guide to E-Publishing

With digital self-publishing becoming more and more common, fiction writers are jumping on the bandwagon left and right trying to figure out how to publish their novels and short stories in e-book formats. There are a lot of questions, and it's not always easy to find the right information.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a single place online where we could go to find answers to all our questions? Perhaps there is. And perhaps it is The Writer's Guide to E-Publishing.

At this site you will find a ton of Resources and Tips, along with Breaking News concerning the world of e-publishing.

If you are already publishing e-books but trying to figure out how to build an audience, you might want to check out the E-Experiments section of the site. It highlights sites, publishers and authors who are trying different ideas at building readership. Some ideas might be great, others bad and a few outright crazy, but it's nice to have all this knowledge in one place. You might latch onto a few ideas, or you might learn a few things not to try.

I suggest you spend some time looking around this site. There are plenty of guest articles from people who are already finding success as e-book writers and publishers, and there informational articles as well.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #51 - Critique Circle

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.

Critique Circle

Nearly all fiction writers like to have someone else look over their work before it is sent to a publisher or self published. This only makes sense. Even if one has a long history of being a professional writer and/or editor, it's easy to gloss over your own mistakes. It's also a good idea to have fresh, new eyes to look over your writing for mistakes. Sometimes we writers are just to close to our own writing, missing obvious errors in plotting and sometimes even errors in spelling and grammar and punctuation.

Some writers are fortunate in that they have a critique group, either online or in real life, or at least they have a few beta readers willing to look over their material.

For everyone else, those unfortunate enough not to have a critique group, there is always Critique Circle.

At Critique Circle, writers can sign up for account, then read and critique the writings of others while also receiving critiques of their own writing. This works on a points, or credits, system. Basically, you receive so many points every time you read someone else's story, then you "spend" points to place your own writing into a pool of stories to be critiqued. Sometimes it can take a couple of weeks for your story to appear in the pool.

All of this allows writers to get feedback on their work, which is something any writer needs, but especially beginners.

Though this is a website mostly concerning writing critiques, there is plenty of other information there for the reading. For instance, there is a Tip of the Day, as well as a Publishing Q&A that answers many beginning writers' questions.

For added fun, there are a handful of Tools here for your use. You can create a Word Meter Builder that allows you to take html text and place it on your own site or blog to show readers how far along you are on a particular project. You can also use the Exercises tool to build your writing skills. There's even a game of Hangman to play. Don't forget to check out the many other offerings at this site.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Free Kindle epic fantasy e-book: Bayne's Climb

Bayne's Climb: Part I of The Sword of BayneAmazon has decided to make one of my epic fantasy novella e-books free, Bayne's Climb: Part I of The Sword of Bayne, so head over there and snag a copy while you can. I'm not sure how long this freebie will last, maybe permanently. Who knows?

In the last 24 hours, more than one thousand of the e-books have been picked up, so I'm glad for that. Of course I'd rather have had that in actual sales, but I won't grumble too much about it.

Anyone who grabs a copy, I hope you can find something enjoy.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Books read in 2011: No 43 - Dust of Dreams

Dust of Dreams: Book Nine of The Malazan Book of the Fallenby Steven Erikson

Started: September 8
Finished: October 10

Notes: I really was not wanting to read something this long, more than a thousand pages, at this point, but there are only two novels left in this series and I'm really looking forward to the end. Plus, of late I've been studying Steven Erikson's writings and I'm just starting to get a feel for how he works his plots and characters; thus, another reason to read on. Need another? The books in this series are big motivations for my own writing.

Mini review: Damn you, Steven Erikson, you actually made me cry during a battle scene. And that's never happened before! It wasn't a sadness that brought tears to my eyes, but pride. Hail the marines, indeed, sir. You keep writing and I'll keep reading.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Books read in 2011: No. 42 - The Early History of the Airplane

The Early History of the Airplaneby Orville and Wilbur Wright

Started: September 7
Finished: September 8

Notes: For historical interests, I decided to get this freebie for my Kindle. I'm only a few pages in, but so far it's an easy read and an interesting look at early aviation.

Mini review: I was pleasantly surprised how easy a read this one. There's not a ton of flight engineering data, which made it a nice read for a layman such as myself. This little e-book is broken up until several sections, and I felt the ones written by Orville Wright were the better reads, though Wilbur was not an awful writer, just a little more dry and mechanical oriented.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #50 - OneLook Dictionary Search

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.

OneLook Dictionary Search

If you've been writing any length of time, more than likely you have settled upon a favorite dictionary and other resource books and online sources. My personal favorite dictionary in print is The American Heritage Dictionary, while I keep things simple online and stick with for the most part. But from time to time I run across or need a word that isn't readily available in known dictionaries. At that point, I turn to OneLook Dictionary Search.

OneLook is basically a search engine of dictionary. As of this writing the site indexes more than 1,063 online dictionaries, and if you can't find a word in all that then the word likely doesn't exist.

You can stick to the basic search platform with OneLook, or you can perform a few other tasks at the site. If you want, you can Browse each of those 1,063 dictionaries individually. You can do a general search of all the dictionaries but you can also browse those dictionaries by their type, such as Art or Slang or Sports, etc. You can even search by languages, including English, Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian and German.

But what if you have a word on the tip of your tongue but just can't remember what it is? In that instance, you might want to try out the site's Reverse Dictionary. The Reverse Dictionary allows you to query with information, such as asking questions or supplying a definition when you don't know a word, then a list of appropriate and related words are provided.

You can even Customize OneLook settings to help make your searches at the site more friendly for you.

Books read in 2011: No. 41 - Lost Treasures of American History

by W. C. Jameson

Started: September 4
Finished: September 8

Notes: This one caught my eye in a bookstore a few years ago, and I thought I'd give it a try. The title is quite literal, with the focus of the book being upon lost treasures mainly dealing with the U.S. (though sometimes related to other parts of the Americas) from about the periods of 1650 to 1900. The author is also a noted musician, historian and treasure hunter. This is one of those non-fiction books I suspect will be full of potential story ideas.

Mini review: It was a fun, interesting read. Not an overly technical book, but there's just enough information to keep your interest as the stories roll out. Collected here are a couple of dozen or so tales about lost treasures throughout American history, and its intriguing to think of all that gold and silver still out there waiting to be found, some of it seemingly within easy reach if the right spot is located. Tons of great story ideas came from this book, and I'll have to implement some of them at some point.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #49 - United States Copyright Office

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.

United States Copyright Office

It seems at least once a week I run across a young or beginning writer who seems to have considerable concerns and tons of questions about copyright and protecting their work as if every Tom, Dick and Harry is going to try to swipe it and make a few pennies from it. I usually chuckle at this. It's not that they don't serious concerns, and it's not that plagiarism doesn't happen on a fairly consistent basis to some extent or another, but most pros I've known never seem to worry about such things.

Perhaps that's because the pros are already well aware of the protections for their works, which in the United States means copyright is secured for a piece of work automatically and immediately upon creation of the piece of work. Please do not over think what I just wrote. It is a rather simple thing, this U.S. copyright protection. You create something, it's copyrighted, right then and there, without being published, without being made public in any other form, without having to be mailed off, without any fees having to be paid. It's protected.

Of course many still want to feel better about copyrighting their work, and there's nothing wrong with having that extra protection. In the U.S., such added levels of protection can be provided by the United States Copyright Office. Please forgive me if you are not a U.S. citizen, because each nation has its own copyright laws and it would take far too long to try to outline all of them. I only point out the United States Copyright Office because I myself am a U.S. citizen, I am more familiar with U.S. copyright law than that of other countries, and the majority of writers I personally know are also U.S. citizens (though not all). Besides, even the website for the United States Copyright Office speaks to some extent to other nations' copyright laws and International Copyright (which technically doesn't exist, though there are copyright agreements between some nations).

But what can a writer find at this website? Loads and loads of information about protecting artists' rights. Much of it is written in legalese or government jargon, but if one can wade through that, there is important knowledge to be gained.

For example, if one wishes to learn about copyright law in the U.S., there are hundreds of official online Publications having to do with such, including a pdf document of Copyright Basics.

One might also wish to peruse the various Laws pertaining to copyright, or learn about Registration of one's work with the United States Copyright Office. You can even keep up with government News concerning copyright, and search official online Records concerning copyright.

If a writer is concerned about protecting his or her work, this is the place to get started.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Brief excerpt from my upcoming novel, Ghosts of the Asylum

“Where is this nephew of yours?”

A shadow fell across his table as Kerjim looked up from his dinner into a set of round, dark eyes surrounded by stringy gray hairs atop a mammoth head the size of a melon. The Docks Guild chief lifted a red napkin with frayed ends, the best the Stone Pony had to offer, dabbed at the corners of his mouth, then slid away his nearly finished bowl of pigeon stew. “He is no longer any family of mine,” he said as he lifted a wooden cup of ale and sipped from it.

The big woman huffed and those present in the tavern’s main room went quiet. All conversation stopped, as did any slurping of drinks or scraping of plates. All eyes were on the monstrosity that was Mama Kaf as she leaned forward, towering over the seated Pursian.

Where is he?” she asked.

Kerjim set down his drink and looked up at her. “I have no idea. Perhaps he is upstairs in his room packing to leave town. That would be the smartest thing he has done of late.”

The big woman grumbled and tromped off to one side, heading toward the stairs to the Pony’s upper level.

Kerjim grinned as he reached for his drink once more. Nephew, you are a fool, and you are about to be taught one of life’s hardest lessons. I wish I could feel pity for you.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #48 - Fictionwise

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.


Today's independent and self-published authors are always looking for new places to sell their e-books, and while Fictionwise isn't exactly new (quite the opposite, actually, in Net terms), it does provide one more online place to showcase and sell one's work.

For nearly a dozen years, the site Fictionwise has been promoting and selling digital books online, making it one of the oldest online stores for e-books. For the last couple of years the site has been owned by Barnes & Noble, a company obviously invested in digital books and finding readers.

As of this writing, Fictionwise does not offer its own dedicated e-reader device, but what it does offer is free software so user can read digital books on various mobile devices, including many cell phones and e-reader devices from other companies, as well as on personal computers and laptops. One of the great things about Fictionwise is the site offers its e-books in multiple formats, enough so just about any reader can enjoy e-books found on the site.

Currently a new system is being constructed for authors wanting to provide their works on the site, so details about uploading, formats, royalties and payments are somewhat up in the air. Still, all of that will be worked out eventually. In the past, Fictionwise has been known to use Paypal, so it would be logical to guess the site will continue to do so for receiving payments from readers and doling out royalties to authors.

What's important for writers to realize is that Fictionwise is just one more site that can be used to let readers and fans know about your writing.