State of Writing


The first book in my new series is DONE! The rough draft for Hoods of the Red Order weighs in at just under 50,000 words but I still plan to write the prologue and epilogue–though I hope to write the pro/epi for all 5 books at once since they tie the 5 together in continuity.

Lots of other big news. The Kakos Realm 3 is now live and available for purchase! Death Upon the Fields of Splendor should be available anywhere you get paperbacks… still working on the Smashwords edition that will push to BN, Kobo, etc. I should get around to audio by this summer.

Wolves of the Tesseract #2, Through the Darque Gates of Koth is also now completed. I want to launch that on June 1 and do a release party at my huge multiauthor event happening on June 9 at Har Mar Barnes and Noble.

I’m hoping to indulge in a few weeks of rest, queries for other books I’ve written, and short fiction writing now 🙂 and then on to the next book!


How to get carried by Bookstores Pt.1


I belong to a few writing groups. A question came up that often does and is worth looking at again.

“Can anyone help me with info on how to get into bookstores.”

There is nothing as rewarding as walking into a bookstore and seeing your book on the shelf. It’s up there with a random stranger saying, “I read your book.” As an Indie author, until you’ve peeled back this curtain, the process for getting carried on bookstore shelves can remain a mystery. Continue reading How to get carried by Bookstores Pt.1

State of Writing


Well, the good news is that I will definitely be finishing Hoods of the Red Order this week. Technically, I finished it already, but I wanted to add a foreshadowing segment that builds the characters up better and so I sketched out a small 1-2 ch subplot which I will write this week to complete the chapters of the book. (I have a prologue and epilogue forthcoming, but the epi/pro will stitch together to form a separate narrative that ties into the last book and gives the backstory of the major villain and a couple supporting characters in book 5 and so I want to write that entire piece as one and then break it into manageable chunks to split it up).

Over the weekend I blitzed down to Nebraska for some bagpiping and then back up to SD for another gig before returning home. I might’ve otherwise completed the book in its entirety. I have big plans for this week as well, including completing my publishing files for TKR3: Death Upon the Fields of Splendor and the TKR Alpha Collection.

Also, I am speaking at a library in New Ulm on Thursday and then again this weekend as a part of the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council on independent publishing. Hope to see some of your smiling faces there!

The struggle is real. Author’s, don’t ask for honest feedback unless you really want it.


I have the privilege of offering support and feedback to many authors who query me through my site or through other avenues. Some of you  have probably even acted as beta readers, proof reviewers, or been asked for honest (even brutal) feedback. I appreciate it all–which is why I’m so ready to offer assistance to others.

The blogs that come out over at the CSPA often mirror many of my feelings. A recent blog chronicles the struggle of a new comer to the industry who asked for feedback, but really just wanted to hear “this is the best new thing since sliced milk!”

The author insisted that he did not want to change the font he chose for his title—that he liked it. He stated that he liked the interior layout because he had envisioned such a layout for a larger landscape book (however, this book was a traditional smaller portrait paperback). He kept insisting that he liked what he had done.

I suggested that if he had just published the book for himself and his family, that liking what he had chosen was perfectly acceptable and sufficient. However, if he wanted to sell this book beyond his small circle, as he had indicated to me, then he needed to make the book industry standard.

full article:

I’ve written about this before, but are you a writer or an author? I don’t feel they are necessarily always synonyms. Know your writing goals: ask the tough questions before you pick your publishing path, and even then, revisit the questions regularly along the way. Are you writing to be read by other people (author) or are only producing a book for your own pleasure (writer)?

Refusing to take quality advice (or try to see through the lens that seasoned professionals look through) typically means you are writing for your own enjoyment. There’s nothing wrong with that, but lets not kid anybody, you don’t have some secret idea as an undiscovered writer that will demolish a hundred years of publishing standards (for example, I recently turned down a book review request that was center formatted. I don’t know that it was intentional, but to be taken serious in this industry you are only allowed to color outside of the lines a little bit… use that freedom to engage in creative writing, not being clever with fonts, formats, graphics, or layouts.

Readers have certain expectations. Failing to meet those means you’ve failed to be a real author. You can do it, just put in a little more effort. It will be worth it at the end–I promise!

Be Careful With Facebook Ads


Marketing is important. I’ve been mulling overdoing a blog about this for a while after reading Chris Symes’ article about Facebook ads (Why I Am Cutting Back on Facebook Ads). If you haven’t been following the news, they are essentially running out of ad space for Facebook Ads… this makes them less effective in terms of cost. FB still has some of the most powerful tools to help reach very specific target demographics. However, because the demand for digital real estate has increased (especially given Facebook’s announcement that they will even be reducing what has been available in the past) the cost per conversion is increasing well beyond that of feasibility for the average author trying to sell their books. Continue reading Be Careful With Facebook Ads

Review: Darling Girls


Darling girls isn’t my usual kind of novel, but I do like vampire books and tropes. The setting and feel of Darling girls is more like Pretty Little Liars meets Vampires than it is Underworld. I’m more an Underworld kind of guy (so take my review with a grain of salt.) I also love White Wolf/WoD stuff and this book really has a World of Darkness kind of feel, but more with battles of intrigue than straight up adrenaline fueled slugfests. Continue reading Review: Darling Girls

State of Writing


This weather is getting straight up ridiculous. Snow made me miss a speaking engagement for the Minnspec group in the twin cities (bummer—I was really looking forward to it.)

I did get my chapters done, however. Hoods of the Red Order is currently sitting at 20 complete chapters and 40,000 words (technically it’s already a novel… it’s just a little light.) Another two chapters this week and again next week and it’ll be done! After my current book is completed I plan to begin pre-work in earnest on launching TKR3 and work out final kinks on Wolves of the Tesseract 2 for May and June launches.

Reading has been slow, however. I don’t have any book reviews ready for this week. I’m overwhelmed with this other house project in my spare time and I’m only halfway through my next book. I anticipate finishing it this week and then maybe I’ll start on Beren and Luthien.

What I Wish I Knew About Audiobooks Before Choosing ACX/Audible


Audiobooks are the next big thing, and ACX (Audible) has been a boon to DIY Indies, but not everything is as smooth and shiny underneath the gold-plated exterior. Here are some things you might want to be aware of before/if you’ve already waded into the system.

With audio established as the next big thing, I discovered a bunch of things I wish I knew before I had signed up for Amazon’s ACX/Audible service as an author.

Continue reading What I Wish I Knew About Audiobooks Before Choosing ACX/Audible

State of Writing


I’ve had a heck of a time lately. Between snowstorm after snowstorm and a crazy workload as of late I’d normally feel frazzled. But over Easter one of my renters moved out after some major nonpayment issues (they trashed the place and I’ve spent most of my spare time hauling trash, replacing carpets, painting, and cleaning). You’d think I would’ve fallen behind… but remember what I said weeks ago about how I tend to fixate on my writing during the last third of my book or so? I’m way ahead of schedule and still making time to write. I’m only 16-18,000 words from completion and plowed into the climax chapters last week… Hoods of the Red Order is planned as fairly short by comparison (about 50,000 words, YA) and currently sits at over 31,000 words, with 16 chapters written.

I’m still on target! woohoo!

Some of the other stuff I made sure to do was revamp my Amazon Marketing Services ads for a couple books and run a promo on Dekker’s Dozen because I was accidentally locked into a new term for KDP that was expiring soon (so use the promo or lose the option). I did no media and zero advertising of The Last Watchmen being free on Kindle as an experiment to see how effective my adverts normally are. It got over a hundred downloads over a few days. My books usually do several hundred per day with free ads and other media blasts that have no cost. It’s an important lesson that I wanted to see for myself: authors must always be promoting.