Tag Archives: writing

Perfection is the Enemy

Perfection is the enemy.

Don’t think that you are EVER going to get a manuscript PERFECT!

It is NOT going to happen.

You will misspell. You will break tense. You will forget that your protagonist’s hair is raven black, and call it canary yellow.

Don’t sweat it.

Perfection IS the enemy!

Get your first draft finished.

Read it.

Revise it.

Get the final draft done.

Don’t freaking try to get it perfect.

Perfection IS the enemy.

Listen to your drill sergeant!


Drill Sergeant

I’m closing in on completing a final draft of my very next Kindle Scout campaign – KELPIE DREAMS.


I get done with this one and I need to jump right into my next project, the final draft of a YA Nova Scotia ghost story novel that I want to complete for my regional publisher.

Right now, I absolutely NEED this kind of drive and motivation.

And even after 40 years of writing – this final lap still comes with difficulty.

So do not beat yourself up when you face this point yourself.

Just remember.

Perfection IS the enemy.


And if I am not enough motivation for you then give a listen to this dude who REALLY knows what he is talking about!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


Nanowrimo Housecleaning Blues…


So what I want to know is WHY – if I am writing a young adult novel in NaNoWriMo – does my freaking house look like the crime scene from out of a police procedural? Housecleaning is a joke. Both my wife and I are hard at work on simultaneous NaNoWriMo projects.

It is not that I am all that fussy about keeping the house tidy. We pick up what we can. If we can see the occasional glimpse of floorboards between the dust, the dirt and the accumulated debris – we are happy. But yesterday I swear that I saw the film crew from HOARDERS walking through my living room…


So how is your day going?

chalk outline

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

PS: Do me a favor and grab a copy of TALES FROM THE TANGLED WOODS today. It is FREE on Kindle for today only. Happy Monday, folks!

E-Book Holiday Promotion How-To

For those folks who have been following my blog for a while, you might remember that I had a HUGE October promotion for two of my books – TATTERDEMON and DEVIL TREE.

Well sir, I have to say that all in all my promotion was a good short-term success. For starters it sold an awful lot of copies of both books and it has left me with a fine long “tail”.

So what is a tail, you might ask?

A tail is kind of like the splash that a rock makes after you throw into the nearest pond. Basically what a promotional tail is – is the effect on future sales that a short term promotion has.

I made over a hundred dollars in Kindle sales alone in October. No, that isn’t a lot for some of you more successful writer-types – but it is a pretty good month for me. Currently, two-thirds of the way through November I am already past the hundred dollar mark in Kindle sales alone. With a little bit of luck and a few extra sales I might even hit the two hundred dollar mark in Kindle sales as well.

And THAT is a big first for me. Two triple digit sales months in a row is definitely a bit of a personal record. The last two years I have mostly been in the double digits, barring a couple or three out-of-the-average months.

Now, as I reach the back end of November my sales have begun to slow down. I am coming to the end of my “tail”. So it is in my best interests to throw another rock into the pond and see what sort of splash I can make on my upcoming December sales figures.

Fortunately, some thoughtful marketer invented Black Friday some time ago.

Now – Amazon has been getting on the Black Friday band wagon for a while now. Some folks are upset about the notion of Amazon saying “Hey, you can do all of your Black Friday shopping from your living room couch” – but the older I get the more I hate shopping malls – so I am NOT necessarily against this whole concept. It isn’t like Amazon INVENTED online shopping, is it?

And even Canada has jumped onto the whole Black Friday concept – and why not? We’ve already got over our October turkey comas and we are still riding high on a sugar-buzz of leftover Halloween candy.


Admit it – how many of you out there have JUST developed a sudden craving for candy corn?

So I have been taking a VERY close look at the Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend of November 27-30th.

Here’s what I have been up to.


First off – I have signed on for the Master Koda Black Friday Cyber Monday Facebook Party. 

This is a group effort put together by about four dozen authors – who are each chucking their own particular sized promo-boulder into the great collective pond.

In addition I have set up several HeadTalkers and one Thunderclap each of them advertising several of my e-book bargains including several 99 cent e-books and a couple of freebies.

I have also signed up for promotions at ebookstage  and My Book Cave – both of which cost me absolutely nothing – because both of these promo-sites are just getting started.

I have also spent two five dollar bills on a Fiverr promo with bknights and Bookkitty – both of whom have performed well for me over the last year or so.

So WHICH e-books am I promoting?

I am glad you asked.

My Halifax-based time travelling toilet extravaganza A BLURT IN TIME is available for only 99 cents all November long. I have set up a HeadTalker campaign as well as using the bknights and the bookkitty and the My Book Cave listing to help promote this one – as well as talking about it during the Master Koda weekend.

My hockey-vampire novella, SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME is likewise available all November long for ONLY 99 cents. I have set up a Thunderclap campaign to help promote this one.

My mermaid short story, HARRY’S MERMAID  is going to be available for FREE from November 27th to November 30th. I have set up a HeadTalker campaign and an ebookstage listing to help promote this one.

And – as a reward for reading all the way down to the bottom of this blog entry, my story collection TALES FROM THE TANGLED WOODS is free today and tomorrow on Kindle.

Tangled Wood

Click the cover and it will take you directly to the Amazon.com listing. 🙂

Yes sir and yes ma’m – I am throwing one big old multi-faceted promo-rock into the pond of Black Friday. It isn’t too late to set up your own promotion as well. You’ll find some VALUABLE tips in Penny Sansevieri’s ULTIMATE HOLIDAY PROMOTION.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon





How To Create A 99 cent Bargain Book Promotion

Hi everyone!

I have been messing with indie publishing for over three years with mixed success. This year I have decided that I want to hit the puree button on that mix and see if I cannot speed things up a little bit.

I have planning out a very large promotion for some time now. The promotion will involve THE TATTERDEMON OMNIBUS — a book that has so far been one of my best indie sellers. Which means my sainted maiden aunt, three bums from the local park, and my pet cat all think that my book is cool.

Understand now – I do not wish to give ANYONE the sense that I ACTUALLY know what I am doing.

In fact, I DON’T know what I am doing.

I am totally lost, somewhere between west-what-the-f**k and north-by-don’t-you-dare-drag-that-Dane-into-the-mix.

In fact – you couldn’t be more lost if you burned the map and then stirred up the ashes into a funky sort of ink that you used to freehand your own map with your eyes tightly closed. Stomp on the GPS and cram your pocket compass somewhere that I would rather not talk about right now.

So let’s get right down to the promo.

The Tatterdemon Omnibus — usually about $2.99 depending on which way the wind happens to be blowing has been recently marked down to 99 cents. I marked it down about a week and a half before the promo was scheduled to take place and I have been Tweeting and Facebook quietly about this price change and have jogged a few loose sales from a few happy Tweeterers and Facebookogians.
Those are technical terms, by the way. You might want to go and Google them, the next time you are about six drinks into a bottle of strong Scotch.

I set it up this way under the theory that this “soft” opening would bump up the Kindle ranking just enough to give the illusion that this book was written by someone who could actually write and even maybe sell a few books.

This will take you to the Amazon.com sales page where TATTERDEMON is already listed at 99 cents. It might even be cheaper depending on where you are ordering from. Why don’t you order a copy today?

Current ranking — as of October 20th, 2015.
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,545 Paid in Kindle Store
#263 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Fairy Tales
#271 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales
#377 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales
Twenty reviews — 4.3 out of 5 stars average.

October 24: My Book Cave
October 26: BookSCREAM
October 26-31: Kindle Book Review Halloween Party
October 27-31: Discount Bookman
October 27: Just Kindle Books
October 28: Fire and Ice Promo
October 28: Buck Books
October 28-30: Awesome Gang
October 28: Book Tweeter
October 28-30: Kobo 99 cent promo
October 29: bknight (a VERY reliable Fiverr book promo service)
October 29-31 Choosy Bookworm
October 29 — Book Sends/Pixel of Ink
November 2 — Robin Reads

Note: Some of you will point out that I missed a few obvious choices but I am simultaneously running a big promo on my historical horror novel, DEVIL TREE and I used some of the other sites that you might name for them. I am hoping that the boost between the two novels will help stir up some heat for the rest of my work.

I am also (naively) hoping that this big push will stir up a few more nominations for my Kindle Scout Campaign for A BLURT IN TIME — my novel of time travelling toilet terror.

Or at least that is the plan.

This is not the best way to create a 99 cent book  promotion. There are better and much more expensive websites to work with – but I am on a deep budget. The main bit of advise that I would give you is if you want to make a big splash and create a big bump in your ranking and hopefully a tail of sales that you will follow you after the promotion is over you ought to concentrate on length.

That means that you shouldn’t be necessarily thinking about a one-day promotion or a three day promotion. I do use mini one-day promotions quite often – but for this sort of a big push you ought to give yourself a good running start.

Think of it this way.

If you sell fifty copies of your e-book tomorrow – your Amazon rank will bump up – but then it will fall down just as quickly. HOWEVER – if you sell twenty copies tomorrow, followed by twenty more on the day after and twenty more the day after that your bump will last a little bit longer. Amazon rewards consistency as well as numerical performance. The more steady your sales are, the more consistently your rating and your VISIBILITY will rise.

I should also mention that a lot of these promotional sites promote WIDE – which means that they also promote your book if it is available on Kobo, Nook, Apple and other sites. Both TATTERDEMON and DEVIL TREE are available at all of these other sites and are marked down to 99 cents already. I am going to be watching closely over the next month to see how my Kindle sales compare to my Kobo, Nook, Apple, Googleplay and other assorted e-book distributors.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

If this blog entry was the least bit helpful and/or interesting - PLEASE CLICK this banner and nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into the Kindle Scout Publishing Program you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

If this blog entry was the least bit helpful and/or interesting – PLEASE CLICK this banner and nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into the Kindle Scout Publishing Program you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

Leaping to Conclusions On Top Of A Roof

It has happened to all of us.

Every now and then life just seems to get in the way of your writing.

This month – for instance. I have been busy with my Kindle Scout Campaign. I have been busy phoning and e-mailing various contractors regarding the construction of a brand new driveway. I have been working extra hours at work. I have been getting ready for several October public appearances. I went to a wake last night and there will be a funeral today.

Life gets in the way sometimes.

It does for all of us.

Let me tell you about some of these interruptions.

One of the problems I am dealing with is some much-needed work that has needed doing around the house. There is the new driveway, as I mentioned. This is a necessity. Our old driveway – on the back of the house backs into a very busy intersection, which makes it very hazardous to drive out of on certain times of the day. Besides the risk of collision it is also a less than ideal position for snow shoveling. Last winter our little gold Toyota was buried in the driveway by the combination of me being flat on my back with pneumonia during a VERY heavy snowfall, and the numerous visits of the snowplow completely burying our vehicle. By the time I could get at it our car was embedded in about a foot of accumulated ice and about two feet of snow. I was not able to free the car for use until the arrival of springtime. As a result we suffered some serious rust damage and are facing a trip to the mechanic for some body work.

Besides that problem, last winter also buried our roof beneath a mass of ice and snow that ALMOST broke the roof. The kitchen roof was leaking and the rafters in the upstairs were beginning to push down against the ceiling. I had to get up there and hack the ice off and shovel a couple of tons of snow.

Needless to say all of this took up a large chunk of my writing time. I try and not mind these sort of interruptions. Every kite needs a string, I tell myself. All of this foolishment and challenges that fate throws in front of me just give me all that more to write about.

So – this winter in addition to the new driveway I decided to put up heating cables. You know – the kind that melt the ice build-up to help prevent ice dams.

roof cables

Let me tell you about those heating cables.

I’m not handy. Not one little bit. I make Red Green look like a mystically-talented handyman prodigy. So I have to put a LOT of study into any home renovation that I contemplate.

So I studied and I carefully measured and I decided that we needed two lengths of heating cable to get the job done properly – a 100 foot length and an 80 foot length. I picked those up at Kent and brought them home. Then last Saturday I fished the 100 foot cable out of the box.

“I am going to read the instruction sheet,” I told my wife. “I am going to go outside and sit on my favorite lawn chair and study the instruction sheet closely.”

“You have fun with that dear,” she told me.

Only there wasn’t an instruction sheet in the 100 foot box. Somebody had opened up the box and neglected to return the instruction sheet to the box.

“I am going to get the instruction sheet out of the 80 foot box,” I told my wife. “Some cold hearted shoplifting bugger has stolen my instruction sheet from my 100 foot heating cable box.”

“You have fun with that dear,” she repeated.

You see, my wife has learned to stay a safe distance away from me whenever I am attempting something that is the least bit mechanically challenging – such as turning a door knob or tying my shoe laces – (God bless Velcro).

So I pulled the 80 foot cable out of it’s respective box and found the manual and went back to my lawn chair with the cable and the clips that fasten the cable to the shingles and the instruction sheet – which was really more of a manual with about thirty two pages of English instructions followed by thirty two pages of French instructions.

I’ve got a thing about how-to manuals. The way I figure it there really ought to be some sort of intuitive logic involved in the presentation of a this-is-how-you-do-it manual but MOST manuals these days are put together as if somebody had handed the directions and the illustrations to a pack of chimpanzees with a glue stick and a half a bushel of raw bran and prune juice.

Poop fling

I mean it might be an idea if some of these large manufacturing corporations hired a writer or two to actually write their instruction sheets, rather than relying upon graphic artists and committee-think.

This instruction manual was NO exception. It was strewn with this-is-how-you-install-your-heating-cable-when-the-wind-is-blowing-from-the-west and this-is-how-you-install-your-heating-cable-when-the-wind-is-blowing-out-of-your-wazoo. There was no real logical pattern as far as I could see. Tables and photographs were thrown haphazardly into the twenty-some pages of the English version of my how-to-tack-these-freaking-cables-to-your-roof-manual. I had to keep flipping back and forth between six different illustrated scenarios.

I mean really – wouldn’t it be better if the world was run by writers? Every possible world crisis could be averted by a simple “Fuck this shit, I am going to go and diddle about on Google and call it research.”

Every single problem on this planet could be blamed and handily dismissed by something along the lines of – “Well this is just a rough draft. Come the next strafing edit job I’ll clear that mess up in no time at all.”



So – eventually I worked up enough nerve to clamber up on top of that ladder and begin tacking my heating cable up. And – after a few attempted “drafts” I actually began to look as if I knew what I was doing. Only that cable kept looking smaller and smaller until I reached the end of the front side of the house – about ten feet shy of the mark.

Let me tell you the thing about heating cable. It’s not like extension cords. You can’t just run to the nearest hardware store and pick up another length of cord to plug into the first length. These suckers are NOT meant to connect together. You have to cover your house with one cable OR start a second cable from another end of the house and circle around to meet where the first cable left off.

What the hell happened.

I clambered down the ladder and took a few steps backwards to look at the situation. That’s something my grandfather taught me a long time ago. If you are faced with ANY sort of a problem the best way to handle it is to take a step back and smoke yourself a cigarette while you let your eyes work out what went wrong.

To this day I rely upon this simple redneck strategy. I don’t smoke, you understand. I never have. But I take a step back and I visualize my grandfather lighting a hand-rolled cigarette and puffing away slowly. And son of a gun, it usually works for me.

“I know what happened,” I said to myself. “Some bugger took the instructions out of the 100 foot box.”

Remember, the instruction manual HAD been missing from the 100 foot box.

“Some bugger took the instructions out and took the 100 foot cable out and switched boxes with an 80 foot cable in the store so that they could buy their 100 foot cable for the price of an 80 foot cable – leaving me with a freaking 80 foot cable in a 100 foot box!”

I tell you, when it comes to solving mysteries, Sherlock Holmes should be taking notes from me.

So I ran in the house.

“Did you fall off the roof?” my wife asked me. “Should I call for an ambulance?”

“I solved it,” I said. “I figured out WHY I have got an 80 foot heating cable up on my roof where a 100 foot cable out to be. Some dirty cold hearted shoplifting bugger stole my 100 foot cable and left me with an 80 foot cable and…”

The rant went on for about five minutes or an hour or so. I was simultaneously amazingly satisfied at my uncanny deductive skills and enraged at the audacity of some cold hearted shoplifting bugger having the nerve to shoplift MY 100 foot cable from the Kent store before I got there to buy it.

Columbo would have been so proud of me.

“What about that cable on the table?” My wife asked.

“That’s an 80 foot cable,” I told her half-smug at the thought of my wife actually thinking that she could out-think me when it came to handyman work. “That isn’t long enough.”

“Did you check?” she asked.

So – just to humor her I checked the cable.

The 100 foot cable.

When I had been busy fishing the instruction manual out of the 80 foot box I inadvertently hung onto the 80 foot cable and banged it up where the 100 foot cable ought to have been.

Mind you it isn’t going to be all that hard to fix this galactic-sized goof-up.

The clips that hold the cable on the roof are easy to bend open. So today – if the weather cooperates – I will clamber back up the ladder and unhook the 80 foot cable and replace it with the 100 foot cable which WILL reach the end of the roof edge and do it’s job properly.

Maybe next week I’ll attack the Christmas light situation.

I want to apologize to any cold hearted shoplifters out there who are reading this. No, you did not steal my 100 foot heating cable – although you probably DID steal my even-an-idiot-can-do-this-drunk-and-blindfolded instruction sheet – which didn’t help me all that much anyway.

Let me tell you – if you leap to a conclusion on top of the roof you are bound to leave head-shaped dents in your front lawn.

It’s day five of my Kindle Scout Campaign.

I have spent 80 hours off the Hot & Trending List which means that I need to get some more nominations. Odds are, if you are reading this you have probably already nominated my time-traveling toilet ghost story A BLURT IN TIME for Kindle Scout publication – BUT if you did get a giggle or two out of this blog entry and you haven’t nominated me why not click this link  and read the two chapter excerpt and if THAT made you giggle me than help me reach my goal with a nomination.

OR – if you have already nominated me than share this blog entry anyway that you can and maybe some of your friends might giggle enough to nominate me.

I know.

I have no pride.

Click this banner. Nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into Kindle Scout you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

Click this banner. Nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into Kindle Scout you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

My Kindle Scout Campaign – Day 4

Mirror Evil Dead

Every morning I get up out of bed and go down the hall and walk into the bathroom.

THEN – I do the man-thing. I stare into the bathroom mirror and I make a few discrete muscles and I say to myself – “Dang, I am HOT!”

I have to do that BEFORE coffee to help ward off the inevitable invasions of reality that clear vision can incur.

It turns out that my Kindle Scout Campaign offers me the very same phenomenon.

Every morning I get up and I take a peek at my Campaign and I say “Dang, I am STILL hot!”

This is my fourth day and I have enjoyed 69 out of 96 happy hours of Hot & Trending.

I have 335 views so far.

That means that SO FAR I am still keeping my head above water. This could end tomorrow – but not for lack of trying.

Somebody at kboards asked me if I could offer any tips to a newbie.

I told her that the biggest tip I could offer a newbie – considering that I am a rank newbie myself – is to get the word out there as best as you can. Emulate the waves upon the beach. Turn over every stone that you can find in your own social network and then spread out and reach other social networks. Tweet like a drunken parakeet, Facebook like it was the end of the world and you were trying to personally message every single living human being on the planet. Tell your family and your friends and blog like a yodeling alpine bullfrog. Be persistent without being obnoxious.

Most of all, try and have some fun. Remember that this is NOT the end of the world. Drunken parakeets and yodeling alpine bullfrogs are not overtaking our planet. Even if you DON’T get a single freaking second on the Hot & Trending list; even if Kindle Scout does NOT accept your novel – remember, you can still publish it yourself – and all of those people who did think enough of your creative efforts can still be reached to alert them to the release of your book.

Kindle Scout is a fun sort of game that way.

Even when you lose, you win.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Click this banner. Nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into Kindle Scout you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

Click this banner. Nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into Kindle Scout you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

My Kindle Scout Campaign – Day 2

Okay, so I am coming to the end of my second day of my Kindle Scout Campaign and I have a bit to report.

Kindle Scout is a little like American Idol for e-books in that you depend upon your e-book getting noticed and nominated by a whole lot of people. The only trouble is that (as far as I can tell) you are not able to determine just how many actual nominations you have accumulated.

The second problem is the Kindle Scout system is set up so that the actual statistics only update themselves ONCE a day – about 5am or so.

So when I got up this morning my book A BLURB IN TIME was listed as being HOT AND TRENDING. In fact – according to my Kindle Scout Campaign Statistics my book was HOT AND TRENDING for at least three hours today.

I am pretty sure it was more than three hours – but again – that hour count is ONLY updated once a day – at about 5am.

The other critical piece of data is that A BLURB IN TIME’s campaign board  received 124 views.

Understand – that doesn’t necessarily mean the book was NOMINATED 124 times. It just means that someone clicked on my page and took a look. I am not sure how and/or when I will ever find out exactly how many nominations I receive.

The Statistics page also tells me that 39% of my page traffic came directly from the Kindle Scout and 61% came from external sources – like Facebook.

Furthermore the Statistics Page informed me that about 37 of my 124 views came directly from Facebook links. Another 16 came from kboards and a dozen or so came from the pages of my blog.

The HOT listing did change about midday when it simply read NEW – but shortly after suppertime the campaign was HOT again.

Remember – that 3 hours and those 124 views were all listed this Monday morning at 5am – so none of Monday afternoon and evening views are showing yet. So tomorrow ought to bring me a whole different picture.

Here’s hoping. Wish me luck and if you can – PLEASE help spread the word. I really, really, really want to make this work!

Click this banner. Nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into Kindle Scout you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

Click this banner. Nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into Kindle Scout you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

yours in storytelling

Steve Vernon

For more info on the Kindle Scout program don’t forget to check out Jill Nojack’s guest-blog entry.

So I am Running A Kindle Scout Campaign…

So I told you that I was going to give you all a little bit more information on my brand new time travelling toilet novel – A BLURT IN TIME.

The Tale of a Time Traveling Toilet.

The Tale of a Time Traveling Toilet.

Well let me tell you all about it.

The novel is about time travel and ghosts. It takes place on Halifax’s Citadel Hill and is my take on the infamous one-armed Color Sergeant ghost who is rumored to haunt the vicinity of one of the old wells of the Citadel. It is dark and it is funny and it is the kind of novel that grown-ups will want to read whenever they think that their kids are not looking.

I wrote this book thinking about submitting it to the Kindle Scout publishing program.

Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.

Why am I doing this?

I believe that A BLURT IN TIME would do really well with a bit of Kindle muscle behind the promotion. Kindle is the largest book distributing network on this planet  and I want to be a bigger part of this big grand machine that Kindle has built.

So how can YOU help me?

Well – to do this I need nominations. Just click this image right here and nominate A BLURT IN TIME and if it is picked up by Kindle Scout you will automatically win a free digital copy of A BLURT IN TIME to read on your very own Kindle.

Don’t own a Kindle?

That’s okay too. Even if you don’t own a Kindle you can still download a Kindle app for free and read the book on your computer screen, your smart phone, your tablet or what-have-you. OR you can just accept your free e-book and congratulate yourself for owning it and never bother reading it.

Just think of how many you times you re-read STEPHEN HAWKING’S A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME.

(and I am NOT talking about looking at the pictures in the illustrated edition…)

So – PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE (I’d say please a fourth time but hey, even a writer has some sort of dignity) nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program.

If I get 100 nominations I will – on Youtube – chew up a live Scotch Bonnet Hot Pepper and recite a Shakespearean soliquoy.

If I get 1000 nominations I will actually READ Stephen Hawking’s A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME.

(yes, I consider reading Stephen Hawking to be harder than eating hot peppers)

All them darned multi-syllable words…

Click this banner. Nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into Kindle Scout you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

Click this banner. Nominate A BLURT IN TIME for the Kindle Scout program. If the book makes it into Kindle Scout you will automatically receive a free Kindle copy of the book.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Messy, Yet Necessary – A Review of Sandra Hutchison’s THE RIBS AND THIGHBONES OF DESIRE

Click this photo if you want a copy - it is ONLY available through Amazon Kindle.

Click this photo if you want a copy – it is ONLY available through Amazon Kindle.

Do you remember when you were growing up and you lived in constant blithering terror that your Mom or your Dad – or worse yet both of them tag-teaming up together – were going to catch hold of your ear and have that long old talk with you.

You know the talk that I am talking about.

THE talk.

Face it.

You would rather stuff your ears full of flaming worm boogers than to hear your Mom and Dad talk to you about all of that stuff that you had already figured out – but what you did not figure out is that sort of a talk is both uncomfortable, somewhat painful – but absolutely necessary.

That is the kind of book that Sandra Hutchison has created in THE RIBS AND THIGH BONES OF DESIRE.

It is uncomfortable, painful – yet absolutely necessary.

The novel deals with the uncomfortable subject matter of an odd yet undeniable attraction that slowly grows between a thirty-odd physics professor who has recently lost his family in a plane wreck and the teenage girl who used to babysit his young daughter.


Can’t you hear those alarm bells going off? Oh my god, some soft-headed folks are shouting out – this is a novel of pornographic pedophilia.

Holy shades of Nabakov, Batman.

THE RIBS AND THIGH BONES OF DESIRE is a slow yet painstakingly crafted study of lust, love and the part that the human desire plays in personal healing. Sandra Hutchinson’s prose reminds us that life is never simple or neat. Life is sticky and messy like elephant boogers flung upon a wall of flypaper and fish glue.

If you are looking for a John-loves-Marsha romance you had better call up Harlequin.

If you are looking for a thoughtful organic dissection of the mechanics of human want than you really had better stop farting around with this review of mine and just get over yourself and go ahead and pick up a copy of Sandra Hutchison’s THE RIBS AND THIGHBONES OF DESIRE.

Go ahead.

You know you want to.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Promoting Your E-books On A Deep Discount Budget


Welcome to the time warp.

All right – so I fell off of the promotion wagon all summer long and my sales figures reflect that. However, in July I noticed a slight bit of a bump in my Kindle income thanks to the new KINDLE UNLIMITED per page bonus. It wasn’t much of a bump but it was enough to get me thinking. SO – I have decided to begin promoting again and have a few promos lined up over September and October – and I have signed another half dozen books or so into the KINDLE UNLIMITED program. We’ll see how that works out.

Tomorrow – for Labor Day – I used one of my KU freebie days for TALES FROM THE TANGLED WOOD.

Tangled Wood - smaller size

I lined up five different promotional websites to help promote the freebie.
(or at least I thought I had lined up five different promotional websites)


Yes, I am working on a budget.

You have  to understand that this all happened over a week ago – so welcome to the time warp.

Let me tell you how it all played out.

First off, I goofed up on the FREEBOOKSY. I actually had booked FREEBOOKSY for a BIG upcoming Halloween promotion that I will tell you all about later in October. I really don’t know where I came up with the notion that I had booked it for Labor Day.

I wasn’t drunk.

I wasn’t wearing a straight jacket.

Actually, I’m wearing a burgundy muscle shirt, tailored to allow room for my pythons of power to protrude comfortably.

Let me get back to the punkass promotion.

Secondly, I never did get the BOOKS BUTTERFLY lined up either. The folks at Books Butterfly replied to my initial submission with a counter-proposal that made more sense – but then I forgot to get back to them in time.

So all I have got lined up are these three promo pages.

BOOKSCREAM – http://bookscream.com/history.php?id=362

PEOPLE READS – which did not come through. That is what I get for not sending them any actual money and just relying upon their good will.

IT’S WRITE NOW – which did not come through either. Again – it is better to pay actual money.

Then, to make matters worse I forgot that I had also lined up two other freebies for Labor Day – but had COMPLETELY forgotten to line up any other promotion.

I suck.

I can say “I suck” on my blog without any censor-bots bleeping it out?

So – there is two rules for you to remember the next time you line up a promotion for one of your e-books.



Those five dollar and ten dollar promo sites can do a bit of good – but if you REALLY want to make a big thumping boom you ought to shell out a bit of money to somebody like Bookbub or Ereader News Today or Free Kindle Books & Tips. Still, I find that the smaller promo sites can do a lot to fill out your promotional campaign.

Whether you go with a big promotion website or something smaller you REALLY need to get freaking organized.

Let me give you an example.

While I was busy neglecting to get promotional website services lined up for TALES FROM THE TANGLED WOOD I goofed again. I COMPLETELY forgot about setting two other e-books to freebie status for that same date.

This is the ONE e-book that is STILL a freebie for today - Sept. 11, 2015 only!

This is the ONE e-book that is STILL a freebie for today – Sept. 11, 2015 only!

A Hat Full of Stories
So all three of these were free on Labor Day but I had only promoted ONE of them.

Again – and again – and again – I tell you that you REALLY need to be organized for this sort of promotion.


In any case – here is the total results at the end of my poorly-managed Labor Day promotion.

REVENANT (permafree) – 2 copies
FLASH VIRUS: EPISODE 1 (permafree) – 1 copy

(and who out there does NOT love Book Report – that makes this sort of tallying easy?)

That is a total of 75 freebies moved yesterday with very little labor – which is supposed to be how a Labor Day promo works, isn’t it?

On top of that there was ONE (that’s 1, folks) page of A Hat Full of Stories showing up as read on my KU2 tally-meter.

That first page sure must have put somebody off!

That’s 75 books that might net me a couple of more reviews, and a few more appearances in the also-bought, as well as 75 more copies to (hopefully) turned into a little bit of jingling change in the KU2 piggy bank.

Okay – so now that you have seen what a promotionless promotion looks like – stick around.

Later in October I’ll post all of the details on my big-butted Halloween promotion.

I believe the numbers will be VERY different that month.

At least that’s the plan.

Lastly, let me tell you about what I have got going on in the way of promotion for TODAY.

My good buddy M.L. Katz has put together a little duct-tape-and-fish-glue-and-thumb-tacks-and-hope group promotion for myself and six other fantasy and spec-fic authors that you can check out right here.

It is advertising SEA TALES – my collection of seven way-out nautical yarns – which is on sale for this weekend for a mere 99 cents.


Click here if you want it!

And then tomorrow and Sunday I will be taking part in a HUGE freaking 99 cent group promotion of all-speculative-fiction. So if spec-fic is your bag you will REALLY want to swing on over here and check it out. I will talk a little bit more about this promotion this weekend  – but for now here is a link for you to take a peek at.

Click this image and it will take you DIRECTLY to the promo page!

Click this image and it will take you DIRECTLY to the promo page!

Now – if you are on a budget and are looking to promote your latest e-book OR an e-book from your back catalogue – this is one of the most economical and efficient ways of doing it. The only thing you REALLY need to remember is to find yourself somebody who is as organized as Patty Jansen is.

Click onto that image.

Check out how you can clearly see each author’s e-book cover. See how easy Patty has made it for a reader to view and order whatever e-book they desire. That – brothers and sisters – is how you want to set up a group promotion.

Over the weekend each of the authors involved will tweet the sale out. They will share it on their Facebook pages and on like-minded Facebook groups. They will hang it on their Pinterest pages and G+ it like you would not believe. Heck, some more organized writers will even send it out to their mailing list.

What’s that, you ask?

Well, a mailing list is something that every indie e-book writer ought to set up. It is one of the very best ways for you to get word of your latest promotions or your latest releases to your hungry, hungry fans.

I don’t have one yet – but if I did I would use it to keep my hungry, hungry fans alerted to all of my new Steve Vernon releases.

Just in case any of you folks out there reading this blog – all the way down here to the bottom – might be interested in signing up to be an exclusive member of my mailing list and to be eligible for FREE e-book specials – well this here bearded fellow pictured below might have something to say about such a matter.

You should ALWAYS listen to a fellow with a beard.

Click this picture if you would like to sign up for my mailing list for news on new Steve Vernon releases and exclusive opportunities to receive free e-books.

Click this picture if you would like to sign up for my mailing list for news on new Steve Vernon releases and exclusive opportunities to receive free e-books.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

PS: I want to apologize for the whole throw-the-bowl-of-pasta-at-the-cupboard-and-see-what-sticks nature of this blog entry – but I have been far too delinquent in keeping this blog current and I am just trying to shake the clutter out of my creative system.