Tag Archives: kobo writing life

Kindle Scout, Thunderclap and HeadTalker

Well I am afraid that this morning I received the news that A BLURT IN TIME was not selected for the Kindle Scout program. I am not crushed by their decision. Entering a manuscript into this sort of a program is ALWAYS a crap shoot.

I got the message this morning and I promptly submitted BLURT to both the Kindle and the Kobo e-publishing system. The e-book should be live in the next day or so. I hope to have it out in paperback as well, hopefully by the end of the month.

I’ve been up for an hour and I have already uploaded A BLURT IN TIME into the Kindle portal – so it should be available in e-print within the next few days.  I’ve also got a Createspace cover already constructed and I plan a paperback release within the next week or so.

I’ll be releasing A BLURT IN TIME as a 99 cent promotion but I will be bumping the price up to $2.99 – probably by December. I had contemplated going Kindle Select – but there are quite a few options available for me through Kobo – so while I type this kboards entry on one screen, my Kobo portal is likewise chewing into Blurt. Otherwise I would have happily have released BLURT as a freebie so that all of you folks here could grab it for free.

I am NOT beaten – not by a long shot. I have been writing and selling my work for about forty years. If I haven’t given up yet I do not expect that I ever will.

I want to thank EVERYONE here for all of the help and support that you have given me. I have learned an awful lot during this whole process. I met a new cover artist who has already created three new covers for me. I have learned how to pester people creatively upon Facebook and Twitter and I have learned how the whole Kindle Scout program works.

I did this all while still working on a NaNoWriMo manuscript that I am already 22000 words into – in fact I should be writing THAT – but I am trying to handle THIS first.

Thanks all. I’m going to be pretty busy this morning – but come this afternoon I expect to reach new heights as I climb up onto the roof to re-adjust the heating cables to be ready for this coming winter.

I have waffles and fine dark maple syrup simmering in my belly and a cup of hot tea to help rev my engines.

How is your day going?

The Tale of a Time Traveling Toilet.

The Tale of a Time Traveling Toilet – out soon in Kobo and Kindle format.

NEWS FLASH – A BLURT IN TIME is NOW available for 99 cents at Kindle.

What’s it about?

Burt was certain that if he hadn’t hit King Kong with Darth Vader’s head he would not have fallen into that Citadel Hill time traveling toilet. He wouldn’t have met and been shot by the one-armed ghost and he would NOT have found himself in the wrong place at the wrong freaking time. A BLURT IN TIME is a YA time-travel horror story that grown-ups will want to read when the kids aren’t looking.


Come December I will bump it up to $2.99.

Before I let you go I would like to talk to you folks about a promotion mechanism that has seemed to do pretty well for me so far.

I want to talk about Thunderclap and HeadTalker.

Let’s talk about Thunderclap first – since they have been around longer.

A Thunderclap is basically a mechanism that allows a writer to promote a new release or a sales price or a book launch – or whatever they want to promote.

Here is a look at my latest Thunderclap campaign – promoting a Black Friday – Cyber Monday 99 cent sale of my vampire/hockey novella, SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME.

So – let’s say that you want to create your own Thunderclap.

First, swing on over to the Thunderclap homepage and sign in. You have to basically be a member – but it does not cost a dime.

Then – once you are signed in have a look around at some of the sample campaigns. The site is VERY user-friendly and it took me about five minutes of poking around to figure out just how everything worked.

Trust me – if I can figure it out – YOU can figure it out.


Then click onto START A THUNDERCLAP and set your first Thunderclap up. Remember – you are going to have to gather up 99 other people with active Twitter or Facebook accounts.

The way it works is pretty simple. Let’s say I sign up to support your next Thunderclap. Let’s say that you have a new e-book coming out – a moving yarn entitled I WRITE GOOD – and you are offering it for the low promotional price of 99 cents.

Let’s say that I WRITE GOOD is coming out on November 25.

Let’s say that you want to promote I WRITE GOOD on that very same day.

SO – once I sign up to support your I WRITE GOOD Thunderclap then on November 25 on whatever time you decide to set up – a promotional Tweet will pop up on my Twitter account.

Something like this:

Buy a copy of I WRITE GOOD for only 99cents today on Amazon!

That Tweet only comes up the once at the agreed-upon time.

In addition – that tweet is simultaneously coming up on each of the other 99 Twitter accounts – which means that your new book, I WRITE GOOD, is simultaneously being promoted on ONE HUNDRED Twitter feeds.

Let me give you a few numbers.

As I type this entry my book SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME has 74 out of 100 Thunderclap supporters. That is 74 Tweeter feeds that can reach 389,234 readers on November 26th.

Now – if I do NOT get the 100 supporters within the next 12 days that I need the Thunderclap does NOT go live – unless I am willing to pay a certain fee to help make up the difference. Judging from the numbers I do not anticipate that it will be a problem to find those necessary 26 Thunderclap supporters.

STILL, if you want to sign up as a supporter you are more than welcome!

In fact – if you are setting up your own Thunderclap and want my support I would be more than happy to trade you my support for yours – just so long as your Thunderclap was supporting an e-book release and/or promotion.

That is the second most important thing to remember about setting up a Thunderclap. A lot of folks who support you will have Thunderclaps of their own and they will expect you to likewise support them.

Quid pro quo, Clarice.

Quid pro quo, Clarice.

HeadTalker works a lot like Thunderclap – except you can get away with a minimum of 25 supporters for your campaign – so I believe that I prefer using HeadTalker. Also, HeadTalker has a mechanism set up that will give you three or four supporters right off the bat.

Here is a look at my latest HeadTalker campaign.

You see – even though I created my HeadTalker campaign at about the same time as I created my Thunderclap – my HeadTalker already has FIFTY supporters, even though I only needed 25 to launch it.

I will let you folks know how both campaigns work out for me, saleswise. Keep in mind that this will be the very FIRST time that I have used either service to promote an actual e-book.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Is your writing stuck?

Anybody stuck out there – just write one more sentence.

Just take it from that first capital letter to that final punctuation mark.

Take a breath.

Pat yourself on the back.

That was easy, wasn’t it?

Now write one more.

Every journey starts with one step. Every step takes you a little closer to your destination. Don’t worry about looking pretty. Just take one step down the road – one word, one sentence – and just see if your feet figure out how it is truly done.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Nine Rules for Effective Tweeting – Written in Tweets

My wife is always telling me how she doesn’t get Twitter. So – in the interest enlightenment and education – and to fill up time when I REALLY should be writing – I’ve put together nine entirely nonessential guidelines for Tweeting.

1 –  If you want to learn how to tweet listen to the birds. They sing so sweetly – but it all boils down to worms-worms-CAT!!!-worms…

2 – Tweeting – or twittering – is best done at a regular random intervals – say like whenever you fart.

3 – The better you are at tweeting the worse you get. Don’t ask me why. It’s one of those Zen things.

4 – 140 characters isn’t much forget about punctuashn

5 – And spellin

6 – You don’t need to know anything to tweet. Even Lady Gaga can do it.

7 – Forget about italics, Twitter doesn’t allow for nuance…

8 – Tweeting is small talk for geeks.

9 – Tweeting effectively probably sells books – except when it doesn’t.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Kobo Writing Life

Earlier this year I was approached by the folks at Kobo to help Beta Test their new KOBO WRITING LIFE program. I jumped at the opportunity because it fit perfectly in my plans. I had been inching my way towards exploring the world of the self-published author – and this new program seemed tailor-made for me.

My progress has been slow. I have only released the one e-book so far – FIGHTING WORDS – through Kobo Writing Life. Sales haven’t exactly been heroic – and I hold that to be my fault – because I have done very little to help market that particular e-book, beyond mentioning it in my blog and posting a few notices on Facebook. That is my fault – like I said – and I will not offer up a bag full of excuses.

So just the fact that there have been any sales whatsoever is a promising sign of the marketing possibilities with Kobo Writing Life. I’m just putting the finishing touches on my next Kobo release and hope to have a third release by the end of the summer – although this summer is getting awfully busy.

So I am woefully ill-prepared to offer up any sort of “this-is-how-to-do-it” advice on using the Kobo Writing Life portal beyond this. Kobo makes their portal very user-friendly. It is dead easy for a complete moron to figure out how to use it. They have gone out of their way to make it easy for a technologically handicapped old fart such as myself to figure out how to get his words into e-book format. The support folk have been very helpful with aiding me at every step of the way and I can only whole-heartedly recommend getting into this new self-publishing program.

Here’s a link to the Kobo Writing Life introductory page.


I really like the way that Kobo does not seek to bind you into only marketing through Kobo. And I like the way that you can keep the epub file of your book once it is released – which makes offering review copies very easy. The Kobo dashboard – which is where my sales figures are made visible to me as a Kobo author is very old-fart-friendly.

For more info on writing for Kobo check my blog entries –



yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


Attention, Attention.

…loudly clearing throat…

I am very pleased and proud to announce the release of my very first YA novel FIGHTING WORDS.

The e-book was released today as part of the KOBO WRITING LIFE beta test program.

Have a look at the cover!

So what is it about?


Max was just a thirteen year old nobody – until the fight.

He didn’t plan the fight. He didn’t even want the fight to happen – but after he stood up to Rodney freaking Hammerhead to protect his sort-of-best-friend Tommy – Max decided that fighting could be a good thing.

People looked up to fighters.

Girls liked fighters.

Now Tommy and Max have decided to create their own personal fight club.

It seemed like a good idea – but what can I tell you?

Sometimes stupid just gets in your eyes.

Please download a copy today.


yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon