Category Archives: Uncategorized

Old Cover versus New Cover

All right – so with Valentine’s Day coming up I decided it was time for a Valentine’s Day promotion – so I am offering BAD VALENTINES 1 and BAD VALENTINES 2 for 99 cents each the whole entire month of February.

Only I don’t want to just talk about folks buying my books here today.


I want to talk about fixing up old covers. There are quite a few of my older books that need new covers and bit by bit I have been trying to remedy that. I’ve been involved with several group promotions – the kind where a bunch of authors shout out a page full of books by these authors.

Nothing says “Don’t buy this book!” like a book with a crappy cover proudly displayed amongst a whole entire page full of books with wonderful covers.

So – I decided to spring for a new cover for BAD VALENTINES.

Let me show you the old cover first.


Now, it’s not terrible but it still doesn’t have that layered depth that a lot of classy covers have. So, as I said, I decided to spring for a new cover on Fiverr.

I know – but I’m broke.

Now, buying a cover on Fiverr is ALWAYS a gamble, but I thought I would take a chance, just because the copy of the cover that I had was of such poor resolution that it came out blurry on a lot of pages.

So I got this one instead.


Now I don’t know about you, but I feel that this is a heck of an improvement over my first cover. Now – for a measly five bucks – I believe that I have a lot more of a chance of selling copies of my book.

Never be afraid to upgrade your older releases. Even if you kind of like the old covers, a new cover will give you a new look that might just catch the eye of some brand new readers. It can be worth the investment. Remember, a cover is one of the most obvious selling features. You want something that is going to catch the eyes of your prospective readers. You want a cover that says – “Dang, I got to have me that!”

What do you folks think?

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Lessons Learned; First 30 Days of Self-Publishing

There’s some great inspiration right here for all of you folks out there trying to make your way through the world of indie publishing!

Joynell Schultz

Since deciding to self-publish my novel, Love, Lies & Clones, I scoured the internet and obsessed over every “My First 30 Days of Self-Publishing” post; intrigued by everyone’s experience. All of them were slightly disappointing and had the same theme. How do you find readers?

Well, I thought I’d throw mine out into cyber-space too since today marks the end of my first 30 days.

Firstly, those of you who’ve been following me know my goal with writing is just to have people READ what I’ve wrote (and enjoy it.) Writing is completely a hobby so I’m not trying to make any money doing it, but I did want to share the economics. (Incidentals of writing books, computer, desk, notebooks not included.)


  • Pre-publishing costs: $265 (editing, stock photo for cover, ISBNs)
  • Post-publishing costs: $124 (advertising, print advanced reader copies)
    • Grand total of expenses: $389

Net Income for…

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Am I Happy With Kindle Scout?

So, it is Tuesday and I have been busy all morning pushing digital doorbells and banging on virtual doors attempting to stir up a little more interest in Kelpie Dreams and the rest of my February promotions.

Kelpie Dreams, my Kindle Scout winning shoot-em-up paranormal romance involving the love story between a suddenly-mermaid and a two hundred year old kelpie is marked down from the usual $3.49 price down to a lowly $1.00 price tag in the North American market. Which means that you can purchase a digital copy for single greenback at or a well-thumbed loonie at OR you can grab it for free if you are a member of Kindle Unlimited.


So – how have I been doing?

Let me tell you how things are going for me.

Kelpie Dreams was released by Kindle Press (the folks who publish Kindle Scout winning works) and it has been hovering around the 40000 to 50000 Amazon ranking all February long, meaning that it is selling at an approximate rate of about 8-10 copies per day, during this February one dollar promotion. I’d like to see that number improve, but so far at least I’m holding steady. I was hoping for enough Kelpie Dream sales to pay off the last few hundred dollars of my original advance, so that I can start putting some of these royalties into my bank account.

SO – I repeat – am I happy with Kindle Scout so far?

Yes I am, actually.

This is me, doing my Happy Dance!

I’m ten months in and I’d like to pay off the advance before the end of May, if not sooner – but I am still happy with the results.


Let me tell you.

The thing to remember is that the Kindle Scout program is still fairly young, as is Kindle Press. I know that a few authors are disgruntled because most of us haven’t seen the kind of returns that the Kindle Press contract originally promised. Nevertheless, I’ve sold more copies of Kelpie Dreams than any of my books. Which means two things. Number one – I am still happy with my results at Kindle Press, even though I am still a few hundred dollars short of paying off my advance. Number two – I really suck at selling books by myself – so I am REALLY easy to please.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Reviews – how NOT to get them!

Recently someone posted on one of the private Facebook writing groups that I belong to that we – (the group) – ought to band together and start swapping reviews back and forth amongst each other for a small ten dollar charge.

I called bullshit on this idea, big time.

I don’t swap reviews.

I don’t pay for reviews, either.


Let’s say just for example I give $10 to Joe Blow and he says – “Yes, I will read your book and write a review”. Odds are he will take the ten bucks, skim through the book – MAYBE – and post up some minimalist say-nothing barebones review with zero sale potential.

Because sooner or later Joe Blow is going to fall behind on his reading or he will want more than a single ten dollar book review a day. Sooner or later he is going to say – “Hey, I can make a business out of this.” and then he is REALLY going to have to force himself to step up the speed of the delivery system. Read faster. Skim through the books. Just force the page count through. Two reviews a day. Hell, why not three reviews a day? Thirty bucks a day, hell, that’s good money. Wait a minute – what if I write five reviews a day? In the end it’s ten bucks thrown out the window and doesn’t have any more effect than a billion tweets of this particular image!

Blog Photo 001

What’s the point? I’d rather save that ten bucks for a BookBub promotion. Reviews are simply NOT that important a sales mechanism. Sure, it’d be nice to have 100+ reviews – but I get a new review every couple of weeks or so – FOR FREE! I say “Yes” to some crazy paid-for review trade and all of a sudden I’m involved in an agreement that is way against the Amazon Terms of Service.

Besides that – it just plain wouldn’t work.

Even if I’m honest and say “Yes, I will read and review each book I receive ten bucks for!” then what do I get out of it? I’ll tell you what I lose out of it. TIME! Time I could be using to write my next novel – which is something I’ve got in damn short supply. But hey, I took your ten bucks – then I’m agreeing to read the whole thing – that takes time – and come up with a good review – and that takes time. I pay ten bucks, I lose money – it’s not worth it. I take ten bucks and I lose time – and it’s STILL not worth it.

Nope, I’m sorry.

I don’t pay for reviews and I do NOT swap reviews either.

It’s just a bad idea all the way around.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

If you enjoyed this blog article why don’t you grab a free copy of KELPIE CHRISTMAS. It is a short, fast, fun read – and yes, it could REALLY use a few more reviews.



FREE – on

FREE – on Kobo 

FREE – on Apple 

FREE – on Nook 

FREE – on Smashwords 

It’s free a couple of other places as well, but if I keep this up I’m going to develop a case of carpal tunnel syndrome!

Call for Scary submissions!

Might have to put some thought into this one.

Engen Books

After the colossal success of Sci-Fi from the Rock and the sheer amount of amazing submissions we got for Fantasy from the Rock, Engen Books has decided to continue the From The Rock line with Chillers from the Rock, to be available in Spring 2018 at the 12th annual Sci-Fi on the Rock convention.

“The response from fans old and new over the course of this year has been overwhelming,” said Engen founder Matthew LeDrew. “Last year we we able to publish a number of first-time authors alongside established pillars in the Newfoundland science-fiction community like Kenneth Tam and Scott Bartlett, of Iceberg Publishing and Mirth Publishing, respectfully. This year we’ve got some equally stellar talent on board, as the formulae of combining new fiction writers with established fiction writers has worked out to the benefit of both and made for really great, new, dynamic collections that are…

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DBW ’17: Why are print sales up? Data Guy gives his reason—and it isn’t adult coloring books

Perhaps the reason print book sales are on the rise has nothing to do with coloring books, digital fatigue, the “ebook fad” or book store appeal. Data Guy has offered a different reason based on the data he has scraped for Author Earnings.

To start, independent book store sales are up 5 percent from 2015, but the rest of the brick and mortar stores are down 5 percent, on average. However, the industry is up 15 percent as a whole with the difference coming from Amazon.

Data Guy states that the real reason print sales are up is because a change in how Amazon priced its titles. In 2015, discounts on ebooks for large traditional publishers was eliminated. In turn, Amazon discounted the prices of print books in mid-2015 – and that’s dbw_2017_logo_withdatewhere we see the change in print sales.

To break down the data even further, when Amazon discounted sales…

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Big 99c sale of Science Fiction and Fantasy eBooks, Jan. 7-8

I’ve got a book in this event as well.

Anyone looking for a bargain price on scifi/fantasy REALLY ought to check this out!

Ruth Nestvold - Indie Adventures

We have another big sale coming your way to start the new year, over 100 eBooks in science fiction and fantasy genres, all for only 99c each.

January promo

Just go to and click on your favorite retailer to see what’s available! The promo officially begins tomorrow, January 7, but a lot of books have already reduced the price.

My contribution this month is Shadow of Stone, book 2 of The Pendragon Chronicles. The books are standalone novels, though, so you can easily start with the sale-priced one. 🙂

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