Tag Archives: Camp NaNoWriMo

Running Madly In All Directions – E-Book Edition


This is me - squinting blindly and blithely, straight into the rising sun.

This is me – squinting blindly and blithely, straight into the rising sun.

Let me see if I can give you a final summing up here.

Over the month of October I have sold almost 300 books in total on Kindle alone – which is pretty huge for me. I haven’t EVER sold more than 200 e-books in one month before.

Specifically, that was 214 copies of TATTERDEMON and 36 copies of DEVIL TREE – as well as a smattering of other sales.

On Kobo I sold 49 copies of TATTERDEMON and 1 copy of DEVIL TREE. I am pretty certain that was primarily due to my taking part in the Kobo promotion. I’m not sure if ANY of my prom websites made ANY sort of difference to my Kobo sales.

I feel that the Kobo sales were worthwhile, over all.

On Nook and Apple I sold 4 copies of DEVIL TREE and 1 copy of TATTERDEMON.

I am really beginning to grow discouraged about my lack of action on Nook and Apple. I feel that part of that inaction might be because I reach both of those services through an aggregator, namely D2D but because I am Canadian and I do not own a Mac computer I am really hamstrung when it comes to publishing directly onto Apple or Nook.

There are ways to do it – but I am not particularly inclined to going about all that much trouble for what might be a limited reward. Nook has not been shining for a lot of e-book authors. I know some folks do really well there – but every day I hear nothing but bad news about Barnes & Noble and Nook in general.

I had been trying to decide whether or not to go all-in for KU or to continue playing it wide. Given that I am still happy with Kobo’s results I probably WON’T let go of Nook and Apple yet. Why should I? It doesn’t take any effort on my part. They are already formatted and entered. The only reason to leave Nook and Apple would be if I were ALSO leaving Kobo – so why bother?

All that remains for me to figure out is whether or not my promotion expenses were worth it or not. I am definitely going to have to take a long look at what worked and what didn’t.

I’m going to leave both books – TATTERDEMON and DEVIL TREE – on for 99 cents for the rest of the week and then bump them up to $3.99.

I sold 66 copies of TATTERDEMON yesterday, thanks to a ROBIN READS promo that is still in effect this morning. The promo spot on Robin Reads cost me $15.00 – which I made back and then some yesterday.

So – what’s going on for November?

Well – it is going to be an awfully busy month.

For starters – my e-book UNCLE BOB’S RED FLANNEL BIBLE CAMP – FROM EDEN TO THE ARK was free yesterday and is still free this morning.

Just click and grab it while you have got the chance!

Just click and grab it while you have got the chance!

I am in my last week of my Kindle Scout program and any nominations are gratefully appreciated.

The Tale of a Time Traveling Toilet.

The Tale of a Time Traveling Toilet.

And I am in my third day of NaNoWriMo – which I still have to talk about – but not today! I am 3600 words into my new novel – THE NOVA SCOTIA BROTHERHOOD OF UNITED GHOSTS – and I need to bang out 1700 more words this morning.

NaNoWriMo 2015

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Please click this link and nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program.

Please click this link and nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program.


Camp NaNoWriMo – a wrap-up

Those folks who were wondering how I wound up with Camp NaNoWriMo will glad to hear that I finished my novel by the last day of July with a total of 51,700 words.

I have begun the revisions and clean-up within the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime I have begun work upon my next project – a paranormal romance entitled LADY MACBETH AND THE KELPIE.

Or at least that’s the working title for now.



In a recent blog I lamented the loss of the Canadian penny – which has gone and died and gone to copper heaven some time ago – thanks to the Canadian Mint who decided that a penny was just too darned expensive.

I rolled most of my pennies and traded them in at the bank but I’m holding a few back for next summer’s gardening season.

Here’s why.

If you salt the ground with pennies early in the season it will keep away slugs. They don’t like the taste of all of that metal.

Apparently you can use them to turn your hydrangeas blue, as well, if you liberally plant your pennies close to the hydrangea bush’s root system.

There is also the remote possibility that by planting those pennies I might actually grow me a money tree.


Slug of Something or Otheryours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

And, if any of you folks would like to send me a few pennies – why don’t you do that electronically by picking up a Kindle copy of my latest short story collection DO-OVERS AND DETOURS.

With 18 of my favorite stories you are bound to find something you like and at 99 cents it won’t hurt your wallet very much – but I warn you – I do not accept any slugs.


Day 30 at Camp NaNoWriMo – Ride Out With Me

Helms Deep

I started this morning at 43500 words.

Which means I need 6500 words to reach my 50000 word goal – by the end of tomorrow.

What can one man do against so reckless odds?

Ride out with me.

Ride out wielding nouns and verbs to the left and the right of you. Ride out with me carrying whole sentences under your arms and paragraphs on your back and clenching a couple of critical transitions in your teeth.

Ride out with me and help me finish this book!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

PS: I am at 44,250 words as I type this. I probably shouldn’t have stopped long enough to bother with a blog today – but I wanted to make this gesture.

PPS – Getting ready for a short night shift – but I’ve reached the 46,500 word mark. Only 3500 more words to go by tomorrow midnight. Wish me luck.

Follow along with me and cheer me on if you like.

Don’t Blow Your Own Horn

“Let someone else toot your horn and the sound will travel twice as far.” – Will Rogers.

All right.

Just so that you won’t think that I am being holier-than-thou let me make one thing clear. I do occasionally blow my own horn on Facebook and Twitter and all of those other social networks.

I try not to overdo it.

The fact is I don’t really know if it even helps. Occasionally a well-placed Facebook posting will result in a sale or two – but I get more sales when a posting comes up on a promotional website.

I’m talking Bookbub or e-Book Soda or the many other websites designed strictly for promotional purposes.

It may cost me a few dollars but in the end it brings results.

So the next time you find yourself impulsively shooting out twenty or thirty Facebook “Buy-my-book” postings – stop and think about it.

Wouldn’t you be better off spending the time signing up with a reputable promoter who can get the word out to folks who actually might buy your books.

Or – wouldn’t you better off writing a few more pages on your next book rather than shooting off thirty eight more “Buy-my-book” tweets?

Don’t blow your horn so darned hard so often.

Don't be this dude.

Don’t be this dude.

Take a lesson from Gimli.

If you are going to blow – blow with a little soul.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

PS – I’m at 43,500 words today at Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m stumbling towards the finish line on my knees and I believe I can hear Gabriel blowing his horn.

Oh wait a minute, that’s just Gimli again. 🙂

Chasing rabbits…

The old people have a saying.

You chase one rabbit you got supper. You chase two rabbit, you’ve got sore feet.

Sometimes a writer just seems to spend their whole entire day – just  chasing rabbits.







You know how it goes. You find yourself working on a novel and that gets you to thinking about that novella you wanted to work on and the next thing you know the idea of trying to write that novel and that novella at the very same time gives you an amazing idea for a wonderfully structured sestina composed about the theme of a single man trying to ride the backs of an entire stampede of golden palominos.

Before too long you’re chasing rabbits.

You might kid yourself and say that you are just following the whimsical frolicking call of your innermost moose!







(or is that muse?).

You might even convince yourself that – by god, you must be the single-most creative writer in the universe – filled with a never-ending fount of ideas and inspiration.







Horse-puck and hogwash.

You’re just chasing rabbits.

You see, the nearer that the human spirit comes to accomplishing, the more likely it is to try and come up with some reason not to finish.


Because once you finish something, it’s over. And once it’s over, then you got to do something else.

And you got to do it right.

So rather than finishing something properly and then starting something new, properly – a fledgling writer – and even us old fart veterans – will all too often allow distraction to jump up and lead them into the time-honored pursuit of chasing rabbits.

The distraction is nothing more than a fear of commitment. Of finishing it – because once it is finished somebody else will actually read it.

And they might tell you it stinks.






As long as the project remains in that ephemeral state of incompletion you can kid yourself into believing that you’re brilliant.

Only you’re not.

A writer is a craftsman, first and foremost. Like any carpenter he needs to sink that nail into the board, cut the next board and then nail that up to. He has to finish whatever he is building – so that somebody can sell it so that he can buy more boards to keep on building.

The only real difference between a carpenter and a writer is a carpenter often has a foreman who is more than happy to kick his butt.

Oh, we writers have foremen too.

Only we call them editors, publishers and readers.

Sitting at our desk, in our comfortable chair, puts us a long way away from the foreman’s boot.

So a good writer has got to learn to boot himself in his butt.

Hard, and often.

So, here’s what I want you to do.

Sit down with one work and tell yourself that you are going to add a paragraph to it. Don’t look at any other work. You find yourself thinking about any other work give your head a good hard shake and remind yourself that you set out that day to work on one piece of work.

Let me mix a few more metaphors and see if I can muddle this out for you any clearer than I have.

Writing any story is a little like a first date. You work at that story and you don’t look at any other story while you’re working at it. You try and turn that date with a story into a long term commitment and then you try and turn that long term commitment into a marriage and then when you’ve married the heck out of that manuscript and your finally done with it – divorce the sucker and start hitting the single’s bars.

And stop chasing rabbits.

Happy Easter

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


PS: I’ve passed the 41000 word mark yesterday at Camp NaNoWriMo.

Only 9000 words to go in the next four days. Wish me luck.

Follow my progress at Camp NaNoWriMo!

Day 21 at Camp NaNoWriMo – I Ain’t No Sissy-Wuss…

The original rock and roller…

I passed the 34000 word mark this weekend.

That is over 2/3 of the way through my 50000 word manuscript target.

This is the hard part of the storytelling. Like Sisyphus, I have been pushing this rock up that hill all month long and gravity and momentum and my aged sinew are all beginning to tell on me.

This is where the going gets tough.

This isn’t just about Camp NaNoWriMo.

This is about novel writing in general. You line up any ten people at a writers convention and at least half of them have about twelve unfinished novels sitting up in a pyramid of shoeboxes scrawled on fistfuls of yellowed foolscap with a little sticky note on top of each of those shoeboxes reading – I GOT TO GET ROUND TO THIS ONE OF THESE DAYS!

Round TuitBut this isn’t just about novel writing, either.

Any damn thing that you have been MEANING to get around to doing – go and do it now.

Fuck the bucket list.

Make your dreams a reality now.

Start small. Run to big. Huge is going to happen.

Write that novel.

Say those words you mean to say to that person you mean to say.

Do it now!

Get your ass to the gym.

Mow the lawn.

Climb Mount Everest, bare naked, yodelling, in grease paint!

Don’t be a Sissy-Wuss!

yours in storytelling

Steve Vernon

PS – I just hit the 35000 word mark. I’m behind on my quota. The rock is getting heavier but I am going to lean on in and look for an elevator.

You can follow my progress over at Camp NaNoWriMo, if you’d like.

Day 16 at Camp NaNoWriMo – A 30,000 Word Celebration

How many of you folks out there have watched FINDING NEMO?

Hands down, all of you steampunkish Jules Verne fans.

That isn’t the NEMO that I am talking about.

Captain NemoI’m talking about that Rosie O’Donnell voiced fish with the Aphasiatic tendencies.

“Just keep swimming,” that fish would say.

That is deep.

That is at least twenty thousand leagues deep.

All right. So maybe I am reaching by about nineteen thousand nine hundred ninety nine and nine-tenth of a league – but you try to brilliant this early in the morning.

Sometimes the words aren’t going to be wonderful.

Sometimes you’ll think that your words are absolute crap.

Sometimes your inner muse is going to sit there on that fence and just thumb her nose and maybe spit on you and kick you a few times if you are lucky.

Never mind the muse.

Never mind awaiting upon the spark of inspiration.

You don’t go to work and tell your boss that you have got “WORKER’S BLOCK” no matter how badly you feel about going to that day job. You just get up off of your ass and you go do it – on account of you are inordinantly fond of that whole concept of keeping a roof over your head.

Treat your writing with that same sort of matter-of-fact intensity.


Just keep writing.

Just keep swimming.

You get this deep and nothing will look clear – so don’t trust your judgement. Don’t over-think. Get this first draft done.

Just keep writing.

Just keep swimming.


I added another 800 words on Day 16. That brought my average daily word count down to 1612 – which is about the original quota I started at.

It also put me over the 30000 word mark – which is why I want to celebrate.

I’ve still got another 20,000 words to go – but so long as I just keep on writing I expect to get there by the end of the month.

But I want to celebrate.

Just a couple of weeks ago I released my short story collection DO-OVERS AND DETOURS in e-book format. The book was originally released in trade paperback and hardcover format by Dark Regions Press. I have hung onto the e-book rights because I prefer to handle those myself and I set the price at $2.99 a copy.

I didn’t do any promotion – which is always a mistake but I knew I did not have the time to give to any promotion if I wanted to hit my July Camp NaNoWriMo deadline. So the e-book sold a few copies but it mostly sank – about 20,000 leagues beneath the Amazon.

You like that?

I thought about that line for ten whole seconds before writing it.


For the rest of the month DO-OVERS AND DETOURS is available on Amazon for a mere 99 cents.

I apologize for the punky cover but I did not have much of a budget to run with this month.


There are eighteen stories and over two hundred pages of some of the wildest storytelling you could ever imagine. There’s a couple of my favorite stories in there and it is sure to give some of you writer-folks some inspiration for your own work.

If you would like to help me celebrate my 30,000 word mark PLEASE pick up a copy of DO-OVERS AND DETOURS. At 99 cents it is cheaper than a cup of lousy cold coffee. How can you pass up sweet words like that?


Available at Amazon.com

Available at Amazon.co.uk

Available at Amazon.ca

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


Day 15 at Camp NaNoWriMo – Writing Makes You Grin

A lot of people wonder why somebody would want to spend a perfectly good summer morning with his head plugged into a computer screen making up lies about imaginary people.

For starters – I like to write.

It makes me grin.

It keeps my mind awake and active, like a good cup of coffee.

Coffee 2Writing is creative – and creativity is a necessary component of healthy human existence.

Scientists have proven that the exercise of your own creativity increases brain levels of the antidepressant hormone serotonin.

Which is a big-winded, multi-syllabic long-way-around-the-barn sort of way of saying that creating makes you feel good.

I often think about my Grandfather Hanlan who would spend whole days in his basement tinkering on some new contraption. The man was a chronic putterer. I sometimes thought that he did that just as an excuse to get away from the stress of raising grandkids. He might also have done it to forget about the stress of work or the stress of being married.

We human beings do ALL kinds of activities to reduce stress.

Still – nowadays as I get older I believe that my grandfather was just being creative in his own way.

I always think about that he built himself a revolving platform for an outdoor Christmas tree display out of the motor from an old spin washer. He never did manage to get the speed properly geared in – so when that sucker started spinning it looked a little like a Tardis on a seriously bad acid trip.


But that’s just the thing.

You don’t have to be GOOD at what you do to get yourself a grin out of it.

So whether you are creating some sort of masterpiece or just composing a dirty limerick for your favorite Tardis washroom stall – you will get a grin out of it.

So go ahead and make something today.

Make it up out of your own imagination.

A painting, a poem, a brand new recipe or a wooden box to put your rubber bands in.

Make it – and just see if you don’t grin.


I had a slower morning and I have to get ready to go to work – but I am still grinning.

I wrote 700 words and I am at the 29700 word mark. I’ve come up with a story angle that I hadn’t thought of which is going to give me material for several other chapters and I am grinning.

Follow my progress at Camp NaNoWriMo.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Day 14 at Camp NaNoWriMo – Busy As A Bee

Old bold bumblebee

Okay – so bees aren’t nearly as busy as their P.R. would have you believe.

An average honeybee work in the daytime but when it is dark they sit around and get buzzed.

Now bees don’t really sleep like people do.

For starters, they don’t have eyelids to close – but they do stop moving and they do relax their muscles and even let thier antennae slump to the northwest, just a little.

Even the queen bee gets to take a break every now and then – once they’ve laid their thousand or so quota’s worth of eggs in the day.

They relax, they suck back on a little nectar and sometimes they even dance.

But then they get back to work.

I had a great weekend and I let my writing quota slump a little but I hammered out 2000 words this morning – which brings me to 28700 words – give or take. It is July 14 and I am a little more than halfway through the manuscript – and right on schedule.

So – to any guilt and bad feelings I might have for skimping a little on my quota over the weekend I say “Buzz off!”

(there is a looong old musical intro to this – but stick around for the lyrics and you get a chuckle or two)

I am an old bold bumblebee. Got a stinger twice as long as my arm. If you see my buzzing ’round you woman you know I don’t mean you any harm.

At least that is the way that I heard the song played way back when.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

If you want to follow along with me at Camp just hit this link and watch me get busy!

Day 13 at Camp NaNoWriMo – A Lull in the Storm

Some days life just seems to catch up on you and it gets in the way of your writing.

That is going to happen. Life is not something that is easily controlled.

Do not beat yourself up about it if life gets in the way so much that you miss a day of writing or just slow down on your quota.

The fact is yesterday I had just such a slowdown. I had a middle of the day shift and work that absolutely needed to be done around the house and I also wanted to spend some time with my wife – so I only got 1200 words written. The day before was only 200.

But today I managed 2000 words – which is a fine morning’s work.

Sometimes life gets in the way.

Whether you are trying to make a diet happen or trying to work out everyday on a new exercise regime or maybe – like me – you are trying to write a certain amount of words every day.


If you beat yourself up about it I guarantee that your long-term production will suffer. Guilt gives rise to self-doubt and self-doubt is their surest way to screw up your production level – WHATEVER you are trying to accomplish.

Remember – that life that keeps getting in the way of what you are trying to do?

Well – odds are that that all-too-inconvenient life stuff is exactly the same sort of stuff you are writing about. So a big old chunk of life gets in the way today – don’t freak out – because tomorrow you will pick the guts out of the life stuff and inject it into your writing.

Life isn’t in the way.

Life is the way.

Get busy, get writing – but most of all have fun.

Odds are before you know it your words will find their own wings.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon