Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Little Things Make Me Happy

Sometimes the little things excite me, grab my attention and make my day.  Today my older daughter gave me a belated Father's Day gift, since I was out of town a few weeks back.  She gave me a bag of ginger chews--a candy made from ginger.  BTW, ginger is an acquired taste.

This morning I spotted PATBC paperback listed on Barnes and Nobel and at a $1 off.  I had not even planned for it there.  And I found two other booksellers offering it!

The other day I got a great review on Amazon for the paperback version from Anna Baker. "Wonderful, whacky and lots of fun.... A great read for a dark and stormy night." She said exactly what I wanted to do in writing this book. 

 I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I am beat down, dragged out, feel like someone reached down my throat, grabbed my butt and pulled me inside out pooped. Been working on promo stuff all weekend. Did one press release. Printed up some promo business cards. Sent out a few promo e-mails. Got some reviews on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I didn't think being a writer was so hard.

The dream I had of writing everyday for four hours, taking an afternoon nap, doing some reading and relaxing the rest is just that...a dream. I did get some writing done on Penelope #3. Didn't do much reading.

One piece of R&R from the weekend. Watched some movies. VANISHING ON 7TH STREET and DEATHWATCH. Only three star movies but didn't require much focus.

Also set up Promo on Paperback edition of PATBC. Go to CreateSpace Estore and use  coupon code: JTL3TVFA for $2  off.

What did you do too much of this week end?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Just About There

The ebook version of PENELOPE AND THE BIRTHDAY CURSE is now available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Apple Bookstore and Smashwords. Although I have not figured out how to check, it is also available at Scroll motion, Diesel and Sony. Amazon and CreateSpace now carry the tradebook version. 

A few things that perplex me.  When on Amazon, I must search on the entire title to find the tradebook version, but the ebook only needs a partial.  Not sure why when finding one, the other version does not come up.  Another thing is tradebook description is missing on Amazon. I guess those things will sort out.

The entire effort took a little over 30 days.  Going in to the project, I had the front cover ready and an edited version of the book.  Only had to format for the platform I was printing on and with the help of designer Joleene Naylor, we go the back cover done.

That's how I did it. What would you do differently?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Round Two with CreateSpace

Yesterday my second iteration of PENELOPE AND THE BIRTHDAY CURSE arrived.  I was much happier with tweaks I had done. I am probably just being picky, but I wanted the book as professional as possible.  One thing that has impressed me, whether I give credit to CreateSpace or UPS, is the speed with which I received my proof copy.  I chose standard shipping which implied up to 10 days and actually got it in 2 business days. For anyone wanting to see it on the estore at CreateSpace, here is a link.

Other accomplishments: the book cover image on Barnes and Noble is no longer "Image not available" but actually shows the cover.  I had sent a note to Mark Coker atSmashwords on Monday and poof! there itwas on Tuesday.  Here is link to that.

All and all things are taking off.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Penelope Popping Up All Over

I have been surprised where I find  PENELOPE AND THE BIRTHDAY CURSE.  The ebook is now on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords and the Apple Bookstore.  But here are some places I have no clue how or why.

Netbookguides      Cassidy at Friendfeed

Booksheaven           Goedang

 Newbookreleases    Megasale

Friday, June 17, 2011

Waiting for the Book Cover to appear on B&N

Earlier today I sent a note to Smashwords that the web page on Barnes and Noble did not have my cover image.  I found this disheartening, although the section "People who bought this also bought..." did give me hope that I must have sold something.  That being true, imagine what having the book's cover loaded would do.

I received an e-mail back from Mark Coker to waint until Monday as it takes time, and if nothing appears by then to let him know.  So that is the plan.  Here is the link if you want to check it out, although perhaps the problem will be resolved by then.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Almost there with CreateSpace

My proof copy of PENELOPE AND THE BIRTHDAY CURSE came today from CreateSpace.  Actually I was pleased with it but found a few places that could be tweaked.  So I bit the bullet and made the changes. What was interesting was that I got the proof book two days after I ordered it even though I paid regular shipping that was advertised as 10 day shipping.

Here are some pictures of the book.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Life is Fish Poofy!


Chapter 2
Life is a Fish Poofy

 Penelope slammed the backdoor of the Manor with enough force to rattle the pots and pans hanging above the eight-burner stove. She pivoted off a throw rug in the mudroom and turned left, kicking it back into the corner. Ten feet into the kitchen, she stopped, breathless.

“Where have you been?” Mother scolded. “And must you wear that silly hat? It looks like a stretched out sock. It was cute when you were nine, but you’re almost thirteen, and much too old for such nonsense.”

Penelope pulled the stocking cap tighter around her head, forcing her curly hair to bulge more from around its edges. “I like this hat. It says me.”

Mother wrinkled her nose. “Look at the rest of you. Your hands are dirty, your shirt’s stained and your pants are too long. You’re a mess.”

Penelope pushed her hands into the pockets of her bib overalls and stared down at the bunched fabric by her ankles. “I’m four-foot-nine, Mother. Everything I wear is too long.”

Winifred Amour, author of seven books of the Old American West, stood with perfect posture at the counter, chopping vegetables with a vengeance. She never wore an apron while cooking, and she never spilt anything on herself. Her red fingernails contrasted against the growing mound of green peppers.

“Wear the white lace dress with pink ribbons for our guests.” She punctuated her sentence with a chirp.

Penelope gritted her teeth and shuddered. “It looks like the bathroom curtains. I never wanted that dress.”

“As I recall, the dress was a gift for your twelfth birthday.” Mother grabbed another pepper and turned it to pulp.

The back door slammed again.

Father rushed into the kitchen, waving a snow shovel with a six foot AC cord attached to it. “We’re having a blizzard. At this rate, we will have enough snow to test my self-defrosting snow shovel.”

Gustaf Amour, Penelope’s father and inventor, always wore three-piece suits, always in grey tweed, always pressed. His face was chiseled, his jaw square. A handlebar mustache floated above a droll smile. To battle the weather, he had wrapped a red scarf around his neck.

“A fabulous invention.” Penelope examined the back of the shovel where Father had attached heating coils. She held the AC cord out at arm’s length. “Unless you plan to only remove snow on the porch, shouldn’t this be longer?”

Father stroked his mustache and studied the invention. “Excellent observation. I will need an extension cord.”

“Gustaf, the snow can wait. We have guests.” Mother stopped chopping. “My sister Natalie will not be coming. Her illness again.”

Penelope could not remember her aunt. But she had a son, Cousin Lemmy. She remembered him from a week at the beach when she was five.

“She never comes to these things.” Father walked to the back door and held up the shovel. “I’ll put it away.”

Penelope hoped to escape, too, but Mother pushed a tray of appetizers in her hands.

“Take the fish poofies to our guests.”

“My life is a fish poofy,” she said, yielding to Mother’s demand.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Penelope Makes the Big Time

Wednesday I took the big step and uploaded the the book to Amazon.  I found the adventure to be relatively easy with no real bumps.  After uploading the text, I used the online viewer, spied a small format error, fixed it and uploaded.  When ready I hit publish.

I expected to wait a few days but it was up in full regail in less than 24 hours. There is something awesome about seeing your name and book on Amazon.  It's like saying, "I have arrived."


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Some Mid-Week Thoughts

Some things have changed.  I lamented a few days ago about being stuck in the pending status with Smashwords.  As of Monday I am now approved.  On June 7 my account indicates that THE BIRTHDAY CURSE shipped to Barnes and Noble and Apple.  So now I wait again as it takes 1 to 2 weeks to appear on those sites.

I was not comfortable with the TBD ship date to Amazon.  I know there have been negotiations between Apple and Smashwords.  I have heard in September maybe, but I am not a patient person.  So I opted out of shipping to Amazon and uploaded directly at  Did some reading at various blogs and my perception is that this is a good move.

Last thing to report: Joleene Naylor, the talented artist who did the Penelope image displayed on the blog, sent me the cover artwork for the CreateSpace book.  She did an awesome job.  I sat at my computer and stared at it thinking it is all finally coming together.  If a cover sells a book, then this one is a winner. (I'll share the actual artwork later after the book is upload.)

That is all for tonight. Catch you later...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Over 2.2 Billion Words Served

Check out the Smashwords blog at  To-date, over 2.2 billion words have been printed. Kinda reminds me of the old McDonalds slogan over (fill in with any big number) served.  The hamburger business has done well, and from the looks of things, self-publishing isn’t doing too bad either.  Mark Coker touts the same thing I have said in this blog for a few months now: the publishing industry has not clue about what is happening.

And now I have a craving for a Big Mac hamburger with fries.

Catch you later…

Friday, June 3, 2011


I uploaded my novel PENELOPE AND THE BIRTHDAY CURSE to Smashwords on May 21.  I downloaded the epub version to my reader and was quite pleased with the results.  I checked the other versions and felt they all looked good, too. My status was “Pending Approval” which means that some human at Smashwords looks it over and blesses it. Then it can move on to bigger and better places like B&N, Amazon and IBookstore.  But after two weeks nothing!

Now I should be patient.  According to the SW site the approval process takes a week, give or take a few days.  So technically I have only passed the max by a few days.  But there are times when your gut tells you something is not working and this is one of them.  I bopped around some forums and have seen that others have had this issue before. Some reported weeks or a month or more while still others said only a few days.

I am patient, but if still nada by mid next week, I think it wise to send an e-mail. I had seen in my searching that some forgotten SW souls have written Mark Coker direct, and that will most likely be the next step.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Some Rambling Thoughts

Still don’t get it. Money published recent article about BookExpo America.  Bottom line: Amazon’s recent announcement that e-book sales have exceeded paper-and-ink sales, but not everyone in the publishing business is buying it. And that’s fine. What you believe or don’t doesn’t matter.  It’s what the rest of world is doing that does.

Came across this website.  A place to share fiction. Did some browsing and saw some big numbers.  Pieces of fiction with reads in the 100,000’s. Nice numbers. 
I always thought it would be great to publish a book on Twitter.  Perhaps not as terse as six-word stories, but think 140 characters a chapter…a chapter a day…a book in a month.  Interesting challenge. 

Catch you later…