Kobo join the print-on-demand game — but should you play?

I’m tempted to look into this. With Kindle switching over to putting our their own paperbacks WITHOUT the ability to sell extra copies to authors I really need to find a better source.

I have also looked at Ingram.

Source: Kobo join the print-on-demand game — but should you play?

Should You Use An Author’s Photo?

Jeust the other day somebody asked me about using an photo of yourself on the back of a paperback.

“It feels a bit weird, putting my own photo on the back of a paperback, even one of my own paperbacks,” was what she told me. “Do you think that you should do it?”

Well, let me put it this way.

I like having my picture taken – just in case you haven’t figured that out yet. But aside from overly-needy egomania – I have a very real reason for making certain that there is an author’s photo on each of my books.

Let me explain it to you.

Part of the reason I don’t mind is because I started out as a traditional author, and my publishers ALWAYS insisted upon an author’s photo.

However, I agree with them totally.

All kidding aside, an author’s photo helps to establish a connection between the reader and the author. Think of how much you enjoyed your grandmother/mother/dad telling you a bedtime story. Just try and picture yourself listening to that same story told from a tape recording. Besides that, I often take my book table around to different festivals and sell and sign my books and it is a great help when people ask me “Did you write this?” and I say, “Yup, that’s my picture on the back cover.”

People want to get to know you – even in a sort of psuedo-fashion. They want to feel like they actually know you. People WANT to hear stories from real people, so I am a FIRM believer in author’s photos and bio material of all sorts and styles. Think of all of those records you see with the pictures of the performers. (I know – records and tape recordings – I am dating myself).

So my advise to any author – traditional or indie – is to make certain that you attach a photo of yourself to that back cover. I know you’re shy and I realize your acne might embarrass you – but heck, look at this way. These are your words that you have written and you REALLY ought to show that you are proud of your own words.

Incidentally, one of those photos is NOT me.


But, on the other hand – I actually have an author’s photo prepared for the possibility that I might someday release a book under a pseudonym and want to keep my identity secret.

warm sweater 001

If that doesn’t work I could always go with this one!

Blog Photo 001

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

I Need Your Vote! (Advertising Kindle Scout)

Joynell Schultz

First off, I’m asking for a favor. If you have an Amazon login, would you head over to Kindle Scout and nominate my novel, Blood & Holy Water? Voting ends March 5th. (Thank you in advance.)


Kindle Scout is Amazon’s publishing platform. It was designed to keep a steady stream of good books flowing into their Kindle Unlimited program. Authors need to have a polished book, including the novel itself, the cover, editing, etc, before they submit into the program.

Once in the program, it gives Amazon a 45 day exclusivity window to consider publishing your book. To keep the author busy during this time, they are urged to solicit as many nominations as they can. As a reward for nominations, your book gets to be displayed on the Hot & Trending list. Amazon never really says if the nominations matter, speculation is that they may matter if your…

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Kobo Plus Launched in Netherlands

This is potentially exciting news for all of us Kobo authors. I’ve set up all of my Kobo releases for Kobo Plus – and I am hoping that they eventually expand the Kobo Plus network into North America.

Kobo Writing Life

On February 22, 2017, Rakuten Kobo and bol.com launched ‘Kobo Plus’ – a new subscription service offering readers the largest all-you-can-read selection of digital books in The Netherlands and Belgium, with titles ranging from new releases and bestsellers to classics and old favourites, including both Dutch and international titles. Customers can try the eBook subscription service free of charge for 30 days.

“Kobo Plus allows readers to effortlessly discover new authors and try out new genres that they might not otherwise try, encouraging people to read more,” says Pieter Swinkels, Executive Vice-President, Rakuten Kobo. “The extensive selection available through our subscription service means the only thing readers need to consider is what book to read next.”

Kobo Plus was developed in close collaboration with leading Dutch publishers. The subscription service operates on a fair-share model, with payouts funded by subscription revenues, which enables a self-sustaining service built for the long-term—encouraging…

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Oscar Night – 2017

Okay – so I think that it was 2003 – the year that THE LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING shook spears and splintered shields and turned the Oscar night into a sword day, a red day, ere the sun rose – that my wife and I watched all of the movies that had been nominated for best movie BEFORE the actual Oscar ceremonies. That was a good year, a green year, a year of fat stacks and buckets of money and the time to get to see the movies.


We haven’t got around to seeing ANY of these nominated flicks and from what I saw the only movies here I would REALLY like to see are HACKSAW RIDGE and HELL OR HIGH WATER, although that HIDDEN FIGURES looks pretty interesting as well.


Don’t talk to me about LA-LA LAND or you and I might come to blows, quicker than you can say quick step.


But, just in case you likewise haven’t caught up with the Oscar-nominated movies, check out this handy guide to ALL of the movies nominated for Best Movie this year.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

The secret ingredient to true love

K. M. Carroll, Author

I once stood at the window of our apartment, watching this guy and girl have a terrible fight in the rain. She was trying to leave, but the car was locked and he wouldn’t give her the keys. He was raging about how she had disrespected him. She refused to admit any wrongdoing, blaming him for his lack of love. To his credit, he never punched her, although she hit him a couple of times. Eventually, he stormed off and she called someone to pick her up.

It was fascinating. If the woman refuses to respect her man, he withholds the love that she craves. The relationship goes into a death spiral.

In our culture, women have been elevated to goddesses. But they are also not held accountable for their lack of respect. Very rarely is that addressed in fiction: women are always princesses and men are always Prince Charming…

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Top 10 Horror Story Podcasts that Will Terrify You

I’ve actually had a story voiced-over in PSUEDOPOD!

And of course, I also have to mention my appearance in THE NIGHTIME PODCAST!


Horror Made

top10horrorstorypcastthumbEver miss being told a bedtime story that ends up freaking you out so much that you have feverish dreams of monstrous creatures? I did. So I figured I would bring you my favorite podcasts that fill my scary stories need.

As a quick side note, I did a top 10 Horror Podcasts of 2014  and I’ve discovered so many more that I’ll be expanding that into a top 20 or 50 list for the end of this year.

On to the stories!

Top 10 Horror Story Podcasts

10: Campfire Radio Theater

crt1Keywords: Radio Theater, short horror stories

This podcast has some incredibly well produced shows, it’s old time radio horror style shows produced in the modern day.

I really enjoy the stories they produce, but why this podcast isn’t higher up on the list is because it posts very erratically. Sometimes three months go by in between each episode…

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