Hyphen Hate? When Amazon went to war against punctuation.

Steve Vernon:

All right. So it seems that Graeme Reynold got in trouble with Amazon over the use of a dash.

I can understand that myself. I mean, I always run into trouble when it comes to running into those troublesome dashes in cookbook recipes.
I mean, think about it.
There you are going along all fine and smooth with your teaspoons and tablespoons and all of a sudden they are asking for a “dash of pepper”.
What does that freaking mean, anyway?
Am I supposed to run-on-the-spot while I shake the pepper shaker?
(apologies for my misuse of the dash)
Am I supposed to wear an ascot while I shake the pepper shaker?
I mean – I don’t know about you but I can take “dash” in an awful lot of different ways.
But I do agree with Amazon on some of things they are talking about banning. For example, starting sentences with the word “but”.
What about italics?
I just don’t trust those italics, do you?
They are all so sneaky looking and slanted and and they’ve got their cursive little pinky artfully extended.
Let’s all dash out and ban the italics, shall we?

Originally posted on Graeme Reynolds's Blog:

10520828_935072746511716_41317665270618143_nThis is a really strange blog post to have to write, simply because the situation is absurd. It would be comedic, really, if the situation was not costing me money and resulted in one of my best-selling books being unavailable in the run up to the busiest time of the year.

Let me tell you a little story.

I was sitting in front of my computer on Friday night, as is often the case, talking to friends on Facebook, randomly browsing things that seemed interesting and, in this particular case, attending the launch party for Chantal Noordeloos’s latest Coyote book, when I had an email notification arrive in my inbox from Kindle Direct Publishing.

The email was titled rather ominously as
Kindle Quality Notice: High Moor 2: Moonstruck – B00BVC7MKW

Now – Moonstruck has been out for around 18 months now. It’s done well for itself and, at the time…

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To Be a Good Writer Means to Be a Good Thinker

Steve Vernon:

It is a very old joke but a true one – whenever my wife sees me staring out a window she KNOWS that I am most likely working. Writing goes on all day long. A writer breathes in material and breathes out stories. His mind is a constant pressure cooker and there is not telling when it is going to boil over onto the page.

Have I mixed enough metaphors for you today???

Originally posted on A Writer's Wings:

Writing is 99% thinking, and the rest is typing. — Ray Bradbury

When I first started writing, I did it the hard way. I just wrote the first thing that came to mind. I got an idea, character, setting, or ect. in my head and I wrote it down immediately.

It was fun. I produced a story, or maybe a part of a story, or maybe really just words on a page. But damn if I didn’t feel proud of my accomplishment. A proud Momma with her precious baby.

And then I got some experience under my belt and that happy bubble popped when I realized I was doing it all wrong.

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10 Reasons Why Being A Writer Is Like Being Santa Claus

Steve Vernon:

You do know that it is only thirteen days to Christmas, don’t you?

Originally posted on Tara Sparling writes:

Merry List-mas! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but before everyone stops reading blogs for Christmas, there is time for a top ten.

So, in the spirit of one of my favourite posts from the last year (10 Reasons Why Being A Writer Is Like Working In Middle Management), here’s a seasonal take on the writing life.

10 Reasons Why Being A Writer Is Like Being Santa Claus

Santa Be a Writer

1.   Most people don’t believe in you. You’re not even sure if you believe in yourself.

2.   Your greatest work is done alone, or in remote locations.

3.   You work for free.

4.   You have a long and illustrious cultural history, but people are always questioning your future.

5.   You’ve worked bloody hard for a very long time to get where you are. But as soon as people hear of you, they think you’re an overnight success.

6.

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Fair and Honest Marketing Strategies for Indie Authors

Steve Vernon:

I know that I have already sworn to step back from promoting and concentrate more on building up my pulp speed – but some of you writer-types who are still hunting for ways to promote might find something of interest in this blog entry.
I might peek at it too, when I think no one is looking!

Originally posted on Sever Bronny:

I first posted this in Goodreads (twice actually, expanding it the second time). Some of it I posted on kboards too. All in all, I spent way too much time on it, so I might as well post it here–revised and updated–to benefit some of my author friends, especially those starting out.

Book promotion is a tricky thing, and not all of book promotion is actually promoting. Too many authors end up spamming people and (rightly) getting everyone annoyed, not to mention putting self-published authors in a bad light. Hence this list–thought it might help a little. Here are the methods that have worked for some writers, including myself (though mind you I have not tried all of them yet):

- Bookbub ad (you have to apply to get in, and it can be pricey, but has been known to work)

- Netgalley review services (very pricey…

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Achieving Pulp Speed – Part Two

Okay, so I have talked about this blog entry for the last couple of days – but just in case you are new to this concept let me point you towards the blog entry where it all started – namely Dean Wesley Smith’s blog article – ACHIEVING PULP SPEED.

I have decided to adopt this principle over 2015 and as a result I have written 2767 words yesterday and about 3000 today.

Now that is a pretty impressive feat – however, in all honesty I have to admit that this is all the result of a revision of a roughed-out novel that I have already completed. So, I did not create those nearly 6000 words out of thin air. I mostly retyped and revised them.

Right now, where I get the words from isn’t necessarily the point for me.

This is all just a warm-up. I am trying to get myself used to that sort of a production level.

At the rate that I am going this novel will be in print by the end of the month – namely, the beginning of 2015. SO – I have decided that I am going to do my level best to publish ONE MILLION WORDS of e-book in 2015.

If you figure about 50,000 words for a short novel – well that is about twenty short novels in one year.

I’ve got several novels in rough draft all ready – as well as several novellas – so that gives me a bit of a head-start – although they still all need some drastic revising and rewriting which I will undertake as the year progresses.

I intend to build my stamina and my speed up as the year progresses.


There are two schools of thought regarding the creation of a successful indie writing career.

Some folks will tell you that you need a whole lot of e-books out there. If you get one hundred e-books published and sell one copy of each e-book every day – well you have got yourself a pretty good income.

Other folks argue that you need to be looking at building a platform and a fanbase and a mailing list – MORE than you need to concentrate on just pumping out books.

BUT – I have found that the last half a year or so I have been getting way too bogged down in that whole promotion end of things – so I am pulling back on my promotional activities and dedicating this year towards just learning how to produce on a more regular basis.

So far my attempts at promotion have met with mixed success.

I have sold hundreds of e-books – but not thousands.

Not yet.

So this coming year I am going to focus on building myself into a lean and mean writing machine.

Right now the way I see it, writing is like going to the gym. If you want to build yourself a truly fit body – if you want to be lean and cut and buff and powerful – well you have got to be focused and dedicated and you have got to learn how to put your time in at the gym.

Well – in 2015 – this keyboard in front of me is going to be my own personal work-out gymnasium.

I have been working on trying to goose-up my writing speed for the last half of a year. I took part in Camp NaNoWriMo in July this summer. I took part in NaNoWriMo itself just last month – and I hit the 50,000 word mark both times.

Now I am going to have write as if my muse had thrust a burning porcupine up inside of my fundament and commanded me to begin writing before she started doling out the Calamine lotion.

One million words published in the year 2015.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


If you enjoyed this blog entry why don’t you pick up one of my e-books?

Steve Vernon on Kindle!

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Achieving Pulp Speed…

Okay – so I am introducing a brand new page to my blog – a page that I intend to contribute to regularly.

You can read all about it right here!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Indie Authors: Dealing with Reviews, the Good and Bad

Steve Vernon:

Aside from the fact that one of my blog entries is mentioned here :) there are some REALLY read-worthy links in this article. I’d recommend giving it a once-over, two or three times or so.

Originally posted on Musings and Marvels:

Not everyone will like your book. And sometimes, you may end up with a one-star review. I’ve been there, and initially it feels like a punch in the gut. So what’s the best way to deal with a negative review? Respond? Ignore? Take the feedback into consideration?

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