Tag Archives: indie author

Novel Writing Made Simple EBook is now FREE!

Novel Writing Made Simple — Seventh Edition EBook PDF is now FREE!

Novel Writing Made Simple (PDF) is now FREE!

Novel Writing Made Simple (PDF) is now FREE!

Let’s talk about writing really great stories!

THE Book on Novel Writing.

An easy to understand study manual for the beginning novelist, a reference and review for the experienced fiction writer; Novel Writing Made Simple is a comprehensive guide to the novel-writing craft. Its straightforward approach breaks down the rules and conventions of one of the most revered and subjective of all creative arts to their simplest forms. This thorough text covers everything from storytelling basics to manuscript submission. If you have room for but one writing reference book beside your keyboard, Novel Writing Made Simple is the one to have–and it’s now FREE!

Novel Writing Made Simple (PDF) FREE!

Look for Novel Writing Made Simple in large-format (8.5″ x 11″) paperback on Amazon.com and Lulu.com.

Also available in eBook from Amazon.com (coming soon), Barnes & Noble, Lulu.com and iBooks (Apple iTunes).

THE Book for Novel Writers!

Novel Writing Made Simple (PDF) FREE!

EBOOK ***Coming Attractions*** Contest!

 The

EBOOK

***Coming Attractions***

Contest!

IS NOW OVER: Winners to be announced soon!

The BEST Indie EBook Novels Coming Soon To an EReader Near You!

A Writers’ Contest for Future Indie Writers!

The First Three Pages (750 words) of Fantastic Fiction

No Entry Fee!

Any genre (category)!

Simple rules! Submit:

  1. Up to the first 750 words of your novel
    1. Formatted in MS Word, with one-inch margins, double spaced, and in any very readable font;
    2. No title page is necessary, and the author’s name may appear on the submission.
  2. A synopsis/description of the work of no more than 250 words. We suggest including:
    1. A brief pitch (perhaps up to fifty words—this is your grabber or elevator pitch);
    2. A brief summary (this is the synopsis that you hope will sell your book and help it to become a bestseller—check out examples on Amazon)
  3. Ensure your entry email includes author’s name and story genre (category).

*Entries cannot be presently published as eBooks on Amazon.

Entries will be judged on the author’s storytelling ability, ability to follow the contest submission’s very simple guidelines, and the judges’ opinions of marketability (sales potential).

What do you win?

The First Place entry:

  1. Will be showcased on not only the Indie Writers Alliance blog /website but on Gordon Kessler’s author’s site, as well;
  2. Will be linked to Amazon book page once ePublished.

The First Place entry will also receive:

  1. Free eBook formatting for winning entry for Kindle & Nook (when ready, but must be requested within six months of contest deadline);
  2. Free ePublishing phone consultation for uploading eBook to Amazon and Barnes and Noble, (when ready, but must be requested within six months of contest deadline);
  3. Choice of print or eBook version of Novel Writing Made Simple or EBook Writing Made Simple!
  4. Full, line-by-line edit of entry.

The First Place entry and five Runners Up:

1. Will be linked from Gordon’s and IWA’s sites to authors’ sites;

2. Will be listed on both Gordon’s and IWA’s sites with the stories’ synopses/books submitted for the contest;

3. Will have the books’ cover images or authors’ photos, if available, posted on IWA and Gordon Kessler’s blog/websites.

First 100 entries:

  1. Will receive a free PDF version of Novel Writing Made Simple or EBook Writing Made Simple!
  2. Will receive a single-paragraph summary including strengths and weaknesses of the entry as well as suggestions on how to improve the work (feedback will be sent in the format of an email by March 31, 2013).

Have a story opening? With nothing to lose, it’s a no-brainer: dust it off and send it in today!

Deadline: midnight PST, February 3, 2013 (by email date and time confirmation)

First round judging will be completed and finalists notified by February 11, 2013.

The EBook ***Coming Attractions*** Contest winners will be selected and posted on  http://gordonkessler.com and http://writersmatrix.com/wordpress/ (Indie Writers Alliance’s blog/website).

The EBook ***Coming Attractions*** Contest is sponsored by Gordon A Kessler and the Indie Writers Alliance.

Send entries by email as a single attachment (synopsis and story opening), with “coming attractions” in the subject line, to:

Gordon@gordonkessler.com

Questions? Email Gordon with “question” in the subject line.

E Z Knight Versus Your Favorite Fast Food Customer Service Engineer.

(With Russian beauty Zoya & E Z’s golden retriever Jazzy Brass)
Excerpt from KNIGHT’S RANSOM, near the end of Chapter 12
© 2012 by Gordon A Kessler
Available at:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007F08MU8

It was 1:00 p.m., and Zoya, Jazzy Brass and I were getting hungry. While looking for an In-N-Out Burger or maybe a Del Taco, I checked my cell phone video to see if I’d gotten anything useful from just prior to our shootout. It was nothing but blurred gun barrels — completely useless.

We couldn’t find any of the more popular fast-food chain restaurants — usually you find them everywhere you look in SoCal. Finally Zoya pulled into one I hadn’t tried before, a Burger Bender. We ordered three cheeseburgers, fries and drinks. Jazzy loved chicken nuggets, but they weren’t on the menu. She’d have to make due. I promised her next time we’d find a Wendy’s, and she could have it her way. It was hard telling when she’d get back on her normal diet of dry dog food and an occasional spoon of pumpkin or slice of apple.

I gave Zoya a twenty-dollar bill and she paid the kid at the window. He didn’t look like a high school student, had to be at least twenty, hair spiked, with body piercings and tattoos. Jada, my young friend back at the marina, has a similar look. But I soon found out that she wears it with a hell of a lot more personality.

The young man, obviously a career fast-food customer-service engineer, dumped the change into Zoya’s hands.

Don’t they teach kids to count back change anymore?

I figured by the looks of him, he’d have a heck of a time counting back more than a nickel anyway.

He gave us the drinks.

They’d overflown their lids, and soda was dripping down the sides of the cups.

We asked for napkins.

He stuck a wad of them out the window.

A minute later, he handed us the bag of food.

We had to ask for straws.

He passed us half a dozen for two drinks.

We had to ask for ketchup.

He handed us mayonnaise instead.

I told him we wanted ketchup not mayonnaise.

He gave us a fistful, without reply.

We asked if there was salt in the bag.

He said, “No.”

We waited. Ten seconds later, I asked, “Well, can we have some?”

He didn’t say anything, but grabbed a handful of the tiny salt packets and stuck them out the window. At least a half dozen fell to the driveway beside the car door.

Zoya cupped her hands to receive the rest. He’d passed us enough salt to season every potato in Idaho, let alone two orders of French fries.

At that point, I considered pulling Zoya’s Mac 10 out from under the seat, pointing it at him and informing him that I was a trained assassin and had snuffed more people than he had stainless steel rings on his face and dick — there were at least twenty on his face alone.

Instead, I swallowed the venom surging in my throat, and we thanked him.

Then…and this is the kicker — what do you think the little shit said in return?

Come on, guess?

He said, “No problem.”

I don’t know that you’ve noticed, but my day began two popcorn farts less than great, and it was turning out three root canals and a kidney stone more than terrible.

I was stressed. I’d had a bad day. My head was about to explode from the pressure building inside. My good nature was stretched across my face like a two-bit condom over a pineapple — let’s say it developed a few holes.

To start with, first thing this morning, I get the finger from an old woman. That alone would ruin many a man’s day. But then I discover my goddaughter has been kidnapped by people who want me dead; a boat blows up that was supposed to have been mine; I find a good friend beaten into hamburger by guys trying to kill me; I get shot at; I nearly fall off a cliff; I have to kick a big bald guy’s ass; and then, to top it off, I only get half a BJ before finding out I’m being setup to be murdered.

Okay, that was just this morning. Next, the goombas who took a pot-shot at me come back and riddle my beautiful classic muscle car full of holes. I have to leave it in a heap of smashed up, smoldering metal because the cops are coming and, if I stick around, they’ll arrest me, and I’ll go back to prison.

So far today, I’d done nothing wrong — so far.

And then the kid at the fast-food window says, “No problem,” in response to our polite “thank you” without so much as a glance at us.

*  *  *

I stretch over Jazzy and Zoya to the little convertible’s driver side, get a foothold on the center console, and then reach into the drive-thru window. Jazzy and Zoya lean out of my way.

With my fists full of the server’s uniform shirt, I pull him to me and our noses touch.

“All right, booger-eater; listen to me this one time.” I start low and slow. “Your job is to wait on us; provide us with courteous service and a quality meal,” I say, my voice coming out louder, words faster. “We; your customers — the reason you even have a job — say ‘thank you.‘ And how do you answer? With a smile and a respectful ‘you’re welcome — thank you for your business. Please come again,’ right?”

My eyes are bugging, spittle comes out unintentionally with my elevated words.

“No-o. You say,” I whine with a sneer in exaggerated imitation, “‘No problem,’ as if you feel the need to tell me it wasn’t too damn far out of your way for you to do the job you’re being paid to do —”

I take a deep breath, “— instead of what you’d be doing if we hadn’t come to your little window: sitting on your dumb ass, atop a box of frozen beef and sawdust patties, listening to gangster rap while popping pimples with one hand and rubbing your balls like they’re Aladdin’s lamp and you’re wishing you had something more than a three-inch pecker with the other.

No problem? You say no problem to your neighbor when you pull a turd out of his toilet that got stuck sideways and clogged it up. You say no problem when you stop and fix a stranger’s flat tire in the rain, even though you’re going to be late for work. You say no problem when the guy with no arms standing beside you at the urinal asks you to shake the dew off his lily and put it back in his pants for him — that’s when you say, no freaking problem!”

I’m glaring at him. He’s gaping back, as are Zoya, Jazzy, the burger joint employees and the few customers who can see me from the inside.

“No problem?” I ask quietly, but with a ragged edge. My next words come out from between my barred teeth. “Of course it was no damn problem, you little freak!”

The kid is in shock. He finally stutters, “Yu-you’re…wu-welcome — s-sir!”

“There. Was that so goddamn hard?”

I let him go, push off and slip back into my seat without looking at him. I answer, “No problem.”

Zoya, with her heavy Russian accent, says, “Have … nice … day!” and we pull away.

*  *  *

 I took a deep breath and within five minutes I was feeling pretty good.

Chocolate & Mystery Lovers’ Contest!

The top three words that cause mystery readers to snap their heads and say, “Huh?”

“Chocolate,” “Mystery” and “Contest”

And the winner is?

And the winner is?

And it’s all rolled into one post: The Brainstorm Thriller Novel Cover Contest! is going on now through June 15!

You could win a box of the coolest chocolates ever: Christopher Elbow’s Artisan Chocolates–they’re designer, wildly flavored chocolates at their best! You’ve never tasted chocolate like this before, guaranteed–and you’ll love ’em! Check it out!

To enter, all you have to do is select the most popular choice of eBook cover for my thriller novel Brainstorm (it’s a mystery, it’s a thriller, it involves a taste of sci-fi and now chocolates, too!). On June 16, in a random drawing from those who’ve picked the most popular of covers, I’ll select the winner. Be a part of it!

WE HAVE A WINNER!

BRAINSTORM EBook Cover Contest Winner!

This cover design stuff is so difficult, but so very important, as well. So I asked for your help and you gave it to me! Thanks so much to everyone who participated.

J-4

J-4

J-5

J-5

M-7

M-7

We had a tie between J-4 and J-5 for the most attractive and professional-looking cover.  The names of those who selected one of these two covers were then entered into a random drawing, and Tom Wingo of Oklahoma came out the winner! Again, thanks to all of you who entered the contest! Now it’s up to  me to decide which one to use (I’m actually leaning toward a slightly modified M-7)!

Congratulations, Tom! Here’s your 9-piece box of Christopher Elbow’s famous Artisanal Chocolates:

Okay, I’ll actually send you the real thing! But you have to promise to tell everyone how much you enjoyed them!

Check out Christopher Elbow Artisan Chocolates at this link: http://bit.ly/bNJLZp .

Google EBooks Store No More?

What had been hoped to be an excellent way for indie bookstores to compete with all the online eBook retailers, has folded.

Google books announced that they’re quiting their program directed toward helping the small brick and mortar bookstores to easily sell eBooks. This program was anticipated by many to be a much-needed shot in the arm for indie bookstores. With the Google Books’ eBook program, the mom and pop independents would have been able to supplement slumping paper book sales created by the consumers’ ever-increasing trend to purchase eBooks online and, in a small way, would have helped fill the large hole in their retail business caused by Internet sales.

I don’t know about you, but as an indie author, I won’t miss this program. Months ago, I tried to publish my books in eBook form with Google Books, and found their process so tedious and confusing that I gave up.

So how will this affect indie bookstores? How about indie authors?

Here’s an article that explains more:

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-technology/google-to-nix-ebook-sales-via-independent-stores-20120406-1wg1r.html

More EBook Sales Information–Latest for Early 2012

This is an interesting article that I thought I should pass along about how eBook sales are doing since the holidays, 2011. It’s a bit like I’d mentioned on my last eBook post–when I couldn’t find anyone else giving any evidence of a drop in sales or a saturation of eBooks.

I don’t know that I’d go along with everything that’s said in this article, but it’s “food for thought”. Check it out:

http://www.teleread.com/paul-biba/are-ebook-sales-reaching-a-plateau/