Monthly Archives: September 2013

My Big Kindle Push – Part Two…

Okay – so by now you’ve seen the first part of my push – the release of five short sea tales as displayed in my last blog entry.

With the exception of the first book the stories were ALL published with covers made with the Kindle Cover Creator.

I am NOT saying that this is the BEST way to make your cover. I would still much rather purchase my covers from professional cover artists. Let’s face it – the covers leave a LOT to be desired.

But I’m not looking to create a huge bestseller. I am just trying to chum the waters a little in preparation for some bigger moves. Then – when I’ve made a bit more money I’ll invest in some proper covers.

At the same time I have just released a weird western novella. This isn’t my first weird western – and it won’t be my last – but I believe it just might be my best. I am REALLY proud of this little yarn.

Rueful Regret - Kindle Cover II

RUEFUL REGRET is a novella that asks the question “How far would one man go for vengeance?” Think of Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove) writing “The Cask of Amontillado” and you might find yourself somewhere close to the mood of this particular yarn.

Well – I have to go and cook a pot of spaghetti.

Come tomorrow and I will tell you ALL about Friday 13th…

Yours in storytelling,
Steve Vernon

My Big Kindle Push…part one

Okay – so for some reason I’ve done pretty well at Kobo. Now ground-shattering – but most months I make over the hundred dollar mark – so my bank account gets a little bit of a goose. I want to do better and I know that it is possible – but for me this is a long game and right now I’m happy with the way that Kobo has been selling.

However, over the summer, my Kindle sales have atrophied. I’ve been thinking about this for a while – and I have come up with a bit of a strategy. It’s a long-term strategy – like I said – this is a long game for me and I am prepared to pay my dues.

But I do want to see some sort of action with my Kindle releases.

The first thing I did over the last few weeks was to begin a line of single story releases. I’ve created a new line of stories that I call STEVE VERNON’S SEA TALES. So far I have FIVE books in the series.

The Dark and the DeepIt was Billy McTavish’s first sea voyage.

He had signed on to the serve as convoy escort on the THISTLE a Royal Canadian Navy corvette.

Through U-Boat attack and Luftwaffe bombing runs, Billy had thought he had seen all the horror that the Atlantic could offer a young Canadian sailor.

But Big Jimmy Noonan had other ideas…

Built For Hanging On

This is one of my favorites and one of my wife’s favorite as well.

In fact, this is probably the closest thing that I have written to a romance. It’s the tale of how a fifty year old marriage of two VERY stubborn Maritimers survives the apocalypse.

It hasn’t sold a copy yet – but it is early days and I am hoping that folks will discover this one.

And no – I am not hinting.

Harry's Mermaid

This story originally appeared in ON SPEC magazine a couple of years ago.

It is the tale of a group of homeless who catch something that is ALMOST like a mermaid.

If that doesn’t tell you enough to go on than just try and imagine John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row written by H.P. Lovecraft.

Now that’s a mental image that you don’t visualize everyday – now is it???

I Know Why The Waters of the Sea Taste of Salt

This is a story set in war-torn Okinawa – back in the final days of the Pacific Campaign of World War 2. The story is told from the point of view of a young Kamikaze pilot preparing to fly his fighter plane into the side of an American battleship. It is a story of guilt, loneliness, memory and the taste of the sea. It is probably the “heaviest” story in the entire series – think Yukio MIshima and you are somewhere close to the mood of the piece. Slow, thoughtful, sombre and highly symbolic.

Oh, and there’s a sea monster as well…

Finbar's Story

The last story is more of a dark fantasy tale. The best way to describe it is to start out by telling you that water is a constant liar. If you tell a story with water it cannot be trusted and it will wash away in the first hard rain or in the tears of a long good cry. And stories told in blood and stone stick longer by far.

Finbar Tanner is telling a story to his son, Isaac. It is a story of love, desire and sacrifice. It is a story of blood and water and stones. It is a story of the deeper currents that flow within a man’s heart. It is a story of the sea.

So that is the entire five sea tales – so far.

Each of them are a stand-alone story. Each of them is priced at ninety-nine cents. You don’t have to read them in any particular order. Each one is a separate unique tale – with nothing in common but a bit of salt water.

If you want more info – just click one of the pictures.

Along with these five sea tales I’ve also released two brand new novellas and a stand alone story. I’ll tell you about them tomorrow.

And on Thursday I will tell you all about my big Friday 13th promotion.

I know I’m being a stinker – but ANY good storyteller knows how to leave his audience hanging in suspense.

Yours in storytelling,
Steve Vernon

Bottom-Dwelling E-book Authors RISE UP!!!

Just tonight I came across an interesting question over at Kboards – and if you Kindle authors haven’t heard of Kboards you REALLY don’t know what you are missing.

A fellow named Frank was asking how bottom-dwelling authors – that is, the folks who have to settle for selling double-digits every month. Say like eighteen books sold in a month or twenty-three or thirteen.

(remember that number)

It seemed that Frank was major-league bummed out over the fact that his books had been selling at a pace that made a frozen road-killed snail look fast.

Well – I thought about his question and then I stepped into the thread and rattled off this answer.

Listen Frank – I have sat and watched my Kindle sales freaking PLUMMET over the summer – and even before that.

Now – just these last couple of weeks I’ve begun a renewed campaign to goose those sales up a bit.

And I have seen some results in just these last couple of weeks. Brown bars have begun to slowly disappear.

I’ve got a big Friday 13th push coming in four days. I’ve got more promotion planned over the month of October. I am already beginning to figure on Christmas.

I have just begun to fight!

The good thing about being on the bottom is it gives you a pretty good idea which direction you need to head in.

Remember this – and this is coming from a hybrid author who still has foot in the traditionally-published camp.

These aren’t the old days. This isn’t the era when books would poop around on the bookstore shelves for three or four weeks before getting their covers torn off and their pages thrown into the landfill. Brothers and sisters we are publishing freaking kowabunga e-books – tiny wonderful immortal bundles of raw data that CANNOT BE KILLED.

Sure, you may be on the bottom today. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay there. Roll your pennies and collect your bottles and sell your baby sister for a couple of brand new nifty covers. Plan that next big promotion – with about three more promotions after it. Write a new book – or three new books – each one of them and advertisement and a potential life line for those books of yours that are inspecting the be-barnacled belly of the Titanic.

Remember – children – the e in e-books stands for EVOLUTION – which rhymes with REVOLUTION – which bespeaks of wheels and cycles and whatever is on the freaking bottom rising up again to the top.

Get at it now. Get writing and get promoting and just forget about the numbers are telling you now. E-rase that blackboard and e-volve your product and e-something-or-other yourself the heck off that bottom and back up to the top where you belong!

So that’s what the next month or two is going to bring. I’m going to tell you folks all about my upcoming promos and strategies over the next few days and I will tell you all about the HUGE sales event I have planned for this Friday 13th – at least for you folks who read Kindle.

But for now I just want to tell you that you should never, ever surrender in this business. Your book has not sunk forever – anymore than the Loch Ness Monster has gone and drowned himself. The fact is – what has sunk can and will rise again.

Here’s somebody who says this a little better than I do.

You might also want to give a read to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s speech to the RWA – what she went through before hitting publishing success is incredible!
You just follow this blog for the next few days and see what luck I manage to pull out of my bvd’s.

If you want to read the actual Kboard thread check it out HERE!

And – if you are looking for something to read why don’t you pick up a copy of the fifth story in my collection of Sea Tales – BUILT FOR HANGING ON – which tells the story of a long-married Maritime couple and how they survive the Apocalypse.

Built For Hanging On

Just click the photo-link. I guarantee a good read. Warning, though – this made my wife cry.

Why Slow is Good for E-Publishing

I like these numbers a lot.

This is a long game we self-published writers are playing.

We are spiders casting our webs. Every day we spin them a little bit further – trying to entangle a few more readers in our sticky little snares.

Keep the words flowing.

Promote a little, every day.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

How To Do a Virtual Book Tour

I have been looking at this for an upcoming e-book release.

How To Do a Virtual Book Tour.