The Rolling Sale – Round 2 Has Begun!

Those of you who are regulars to the site may have noticed the sudden color change that’s swept over everything. That dull red … it can only mean one thing …

That’s right! The Rolling Sale is in round 2! And Dead Silver is now on sale! You can pick up a copy at the 33% discount unlocked by the copies of One Drink that moved last week. Which works out to be $1.99.

Even cooler, each copy bought builds towards a new discount tier for the next book in the sale, Unusual Events! Currently the discount for Unusual Events sits at 17%, but once Dead Silver hits three units moved, that discount climbs to 33%! Eight units? 50% off! It just keeps going! You can check the breakdown on all the tiers here, but there are six of them in total. If Dead Silver unlocks the last one, Unusual Events becomes free!

Now, a quick reminder, while buying a copy of Dead Silver is the easiest way to make that counter on the left climb, you can make it go up in other ways. Especially if you’ve already purchased it. For the record, here are all the ways the counter can climb!

  • Buy a copy. That’s one unit moved!
  • Read Dead Silver on Kindle Unlimited. All you KU readers can pitch in!
  • Leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Each review counts as five units moved!

Of course, you can also share Dead Silver with any you think may enjoy it and point out that it’s on sale! That’s a good way to help unlock those higher tiers!

That’s all! Go! Buy! Review! Share!

Being a Better Writer: Forward, Pioneers

Today is Pioneer Day in the state I live in, a day when everyone celebrates the forward-looking, pioneer spirit of the old west that sent so many explorers forth. And I thought “You know, I can make a Being a Better Writer post out of that.”

Which brings us to the here and now, where I am. Writing this post. About pioneers. Man, that was a short recap. Like the thirty-second backstory of a cartoon. Anyway …

So, pioneers. Don’t worry, this is still a writing post. This is still about sitting down and putting hands to keyboard, pen, whatever, and creating a world of wonderful characters and adventure, tragedy, comedy, or what have you. But what does it have to do with pioneers?

Well, I’m going to take a step back further in history to look at an earlier explorer. Namely, a man who put his name on history for the ages by insisting that India could be reached not by traveling around Africa or over land, but by sailing west across the Atlantic Ocean. Now, we know this man as Christopher Columbus, who stumbled across the entirely unexpected Americas and got a lot of credit for discovering them in the modern eras. And yes, I know the vikings and the people that lived there beat him there, but Columbus was the one that put the Americas on the center stage and kicked off … well, just about everything that lead to the shape of the modern world.

Anyway, why do I bring up this story? For one reason, and one reason only: Most everyone considered Columbus insane. They thought the voyage he was attempting was going to be too treacherous. Pop-culture claimed that his detractors thought he would sale off of the edge of the Earth (despite people knowing back then that the Earth wasn’t flat). A lot of people simply thought he would get caught up in a storm and he and all his men die at sea.

Basically, there were a lot of fearful reasons that no one had ever attempted the journey west before. And if they had, they hadn’t made it back, so there was more to those fears.

Of course, we know the result of this story. Columbus secured his funding at last for his trading expedition. And as it turned out, his calculations were wrong. There wasn’t a direct, westward path to India because someone had put a blasted continent in the way (not that they realized this for a while). But soon they did, and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. All it took was someone willing to take a chance on sailing west, against the “common current” that ruled the minds of the current climate.

Why I am I telling you this and what does it have to do with writing? Well, let’s look at one other success story first. Have you seen Stranger Things?

Continue reading

The Rolling Sale – Round 2! (And Dragon Award Reminder!)

The final results are in! One Drink moved 142 units and garnered three new reviews, for a final tally of 172. I’ll admit, it was a lot less than I’d expected, considering it has reached over a thousand copies in a single five-day freebie run several times before. I actually did expect it to quite easily shatter 500 moved, and make Dead Silver free. Market saturation, maybe? I don’t know.

But, I do know the results, and the results are that One Drink’s final tally was enough to knock Dead Silver down by 34%. Which means, starting Monday, July 24th and running through Friday, July 28th, Dead Silver will be marked down from its normal “heroic” price of $2.99 to $1.99! Two bucks for a 450-page mystery novel? Pretty good deal.

Of course, that’s not all. If that was all that was going on with Dead Silver, it would barely warrant a special post. No, that date also marks the beginning of Round 2 of the Rolling Sale! Which means that copies sold and reviews added once again start adding up to massive discounts for the next title in line. Which is—Are you ready for this?Unusual Events: A “Short” Story Collection!

Now, the nice thing about this next title (Unusual Events) is that there’s a much wider array of discounts going for it. It is a more costly title, after all (it’s still on “veteran” status in age). That, and the numbers needed to unlock the various sale tiers are much lower than Dead Silver‘s were. Why? Because One Drink was free, but Dead Silver is only at a 33% discount. So the tier numbers have been adjusted to reflect this. Additionally, the value of a review in terms of units moved has been adjusted as well.

So, how many tiers are there, and how many units need to be moved to unlock each deal? Here we go!

Deals Unlocked for Unusual Events Per Units of Dead Silver Moved:

  • 0 units moved: Original Price: $5.99
  • 1 – 3 units moved: 17% Discount – $4.99
  • 4-8 units moved: 33% Discount – $3.99
  • 9-15 units moved: 50% Discount – $2.99
  • 15- 25 units moved: 66% Discount – $1.99
  • 26-50 units moved: 84% Discount – $0.99
  • 51+ units moved: 100% Discount – FREE!

Now, the lower number of units moved in this case does necessitate a small change to one other number as well: Reviews will not count as ten units moved with Dead Silver, but five. It’s a necessary change to keep the tiers from being too easy to leapfroged by just a few individuals. The goal of a rolling sale is to get everyone involved!

So, same as before, units of Dead Silver moved will unlock successively higher tiers of deals for Unusual Events. Here’s all the ways you can contribute to that number:

  • Buy a copy of Dead Silver during the period of July 24th through July 28th
  • Read a copy of Dead Silver via Kindle Unlimited (This counts!)
  • Leave a review of Dead Silver on Amazon.com OR Goodreads to add 5 units moved to the total!

Ready? Set! You’ve got until Monday, relax! But then, GO!


Now, two other bits of news here. The first is that the SUBMISSION DEADLINE for The Dragon Awards for excellence in Science-Fiction and Fantasy is July 24th! Which means this weekend is the last chance you’ll have to nominate your picks for the best of Sci-Fi and Fantasy in a wide array of categories for July 2016-2017! You don’t have to nominate something in every category, but there’s bound to be something you’ve read/seen/played with this many categories!

Speaking of which, Colony IS eligible for nomination. And yes, The Dragon Awards are okay with authors outright saying “Vote for/nominate me!” So at my urging, you can totally nominate one of my own books. Do I expect a win? Not very likely. But a nomination would be awesome … and you never know! Colony is a pretty freaking fantastic book according to all the reviews, responses, and the like. So if it got its name out there …

Anyway, it’s your ballot, so fill it out how you’d like. Just, you know, fill it out before the end of the weekend!


Now for one last little note. Both the BOOKS and the WRITING SAMPLES pages accessed by the tabs at the top of the site have been overhauled! Both now contain embed links to Amazon samples of each of my books, meaning you can just click and link and start reading a short sample of each book without the muss and fuss of going to the book’s page on Amazon, clicking the cover, loading the popup … etc. You just click the link, and a new tab opens dedicated to letting you read a free sample in a nice approximation of a kindle layout! Handy! Good on Amazon for this feature; it’s much better!

All right, that’s all the news for today! See you Monday!

The Final Moments …

Less than 24 hours to go, now! By the end of today, One Drink will no longer be free, and the final tally will taken to carry over to the sale of Dead Silver. Which is currently looking at a 33% discount, thought it’s very close to hitting the 66% discount.

Current numbers? One Drink is at 155/200 copies moved needed to drop Dead Silver down to the next deal. So only 45 free copies away, or 4.5 reviews. And don’t forget, reviews on Amazon or Goodreads count!

It’s totally possible for it to happen. All it needs is a final little push. If any of you have been sitting on the fence about grabbing it, or have already had it, read it, and are considering leaving a review, now is the time! Give it that one last little boost to push Dead Silver over the hump!

Final tallies (along with the unlock tiers for Unusual Events) will go up Saturday. Good luck!

Classic Being a Better Writer: Romance and Gender

It. Is. Time …

For another Classic Being a Better Writer post! If you’re new to the site, or found this page through a search, well, here’s how it works, just to get you up to speed before you click away: Unusual Things is home to Being a Better Writer, a weekly article designed to help new, young, or even experienced writers with their craft. This has been ongoing now for … almost four years, actually. Which means that sands and storms there’s quite the backlog by now. Around 50 articles a year for four years is a pretty impressive pile of writing guides!

Now, each post is tagged, and there’s the archives and the search function to make do with, but sometimes it’s simply easier to give those seekers of knowledge an even easier collection to find. Hence, classic reposts!

Well, not reposts. Each of these posts links to the original articles. So, are you ready? Because today’s classic posts are three on writing Romance and Gender. from the archive of Unusual Things! Get cracking!

Starting Romance—
Romance—real romance—is a topic that humanity has written, studied, and explored for thousands of years, and yet many of us are still very much in the dark. I don’t think it hurts that it’s a little different for everyone, but the end result is that we’re probably still going to be writing about romance thousands of years from now. Or watching movies about it. Or whatever form of entertainment the future happens to hold (new rom-com collection—dozens of media memories from the greatest love stories in history beamed right into your brain!). Romance will always remain a topic that inspires and infuriates our species equally.

Romance—
If that sounds both hard and complicated, then you’re thinking along the right lines. Real romance is hard. Writing out a romantic relationship between two characters is a complicated, difficult dance of keeping track of both their lines of thought, emotions, reactions, and flaws. Mistakes are make. Apologies are given. Both parties learn. Where a “romance” book is more concerned about getting both characters in the same room (and then the same bed, in lurid detail), a romance is a story or subplot wherein two characters are discovering and building a love between them, one that’s far more than just a bedroom.

Writing the Opposite Gender—
Don’t go into it with the idea that men and women are two alien, almost irreconcilable creatures. Clear your mind of the pop-culture junk that’s infected television, facebook, and twitter, because 99% of what’s out there is, taken straight, junk. Take all that pile of “men do this, women do this, etc” and toss it out for the moment. Gone. Clear your head.

Then write a character. Someone fully 3D. Wants, desires, wishes, flaws.

You know why? I’ll give you the same answer I gave at LTUE: Because ordinary people don’t consciously flavor everything they do with their gender. Most men don’t wake up and think to themselves “Right, waking up … like a MAN! Using the bathroom … like a MAN! Eating breakfast … like a MAN!” Neither do women thing “Driving to work … like a WOMAN. Taking the elevator to my office … like a WOMAN! Saying ‘hi’ to my boss … like a WOMAN!”

 

Like what you saw here? Want to see more? Support via Patreon!

Just a Little More …

If you give the counter in the upper left-hand corner there a quick glance, you’ll see that One Drink is currently sitting at 119 of the 200 free units needed to unlock the next discount for Dead Silver. Currently it’s only at a 33% discount, but if One Drink‘s counter hits 200, the discount goes to 66%. And if it somehow reaches 500 … Dead Silver will be free!

We’re halfway through the week now, so time is starting to tick down. Be sure to grab your copy to help that number climb, or if you already have, leave a review to add a 10 to that number!

And if you’ve somehow been on this site for a time and completely missed the basic crux of One Drink, you can read a sample here, but here’s the gist of it: Jacob Rocke is a “Spook,” an individual licensed by the National Security Agency, Unusual department. Which means he’s one of the few whose job it is to actually deal with things that go bump in the night. Usually, while Unusual, these cases tend to be fairly standard. So when a client tracks him down claiming that a ghostly wolf bounded through her walls and attacked her husband, it’s definitely Unusual. Not too much. At least, not at first …

One Drink is free through Friday!

Rolling Sale Update!

In just over a day, One Drink has moved 99 units! Halfway to unlocking the next sales tier for Dead Silver! Keep it rolling! If it can hit enough, Dead Silver ends up free!

Don’t forget: If you’ve already purchased a copy of One Drink, a review on Amazon or Goodreads counts as 10 units moved, so you can still help tick that number up by jumping on one or both places and leaving your opinion on the book! Or you can just do the classic thing and share the sale!

Be sure to watch that counter in the upper-left tick along! We’re halfway to the second reward tier!