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!

Knee’d-ful Things (A News Post)

Yes, that title is pungent. As was that. Gotcha looking though, I hope. Because it’s time for the news update! There are a couple of things to bring up, from an injury, to new fiction, to progress on Jungle, Patreon, and info on a Rolling Sale! So keep reading!

So first, why the pun in the title? Well … because one of the things that’s been controlling my life lately has been a knee injury I acquired last month at my part-time job. And on Wednesday, at long last, I got to go see a doctor!

So, turns out I tore my meniscus, which is why I was limping everywhere and pretty much couldn’t walk for a short time (a few weeks, really). It still hurts and swells up a little if I walk very far at all. But the good news? It’s not a permanent injury. Or at least, it doesn’t look like it. If it’s not healed in a few weeks I need to go back and get it looked at again, this time with an MRI, but at the moment the doctor’s pretty sure that it’ll make a full recovery. Now I just need to worry about collecting my workman’s comp (this was a work-related injury) and hope it’s enough to keep me financially solvent. In the meantime, I’m wearing a brace or a wrap everywhere (up from just the brace) and taking anti-inflammatory meds to help with the swelling.

I’ve never wanted to be able to go on a walk so much in my life. I can’t wait to be able to get exercise again.

Anyway, that’s the news on the injury. May I be walking fully again soon! So, onto the next bit of info!

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Being a Better Writer: Getting in the Zone

Welcome back, all, to another Monday! I’ve got to type fast with this post, as I’ve got another shift at my part-time today. This time, it’s in the afternoon rather than the morning, however, so as long as I keep my fingers moving, you’re getting a Monday post! Really quick, however, before I get started: some quick news updates!

Jungle is currently sitting at about 190,000 words (check the “Current Projects” page) and is over 50% done! The only part that saddens me about this is how long it has taken me—now I fully see the effect of working part time and trying to write a book: I just don’t have the same amount of time. I’ve been cutting back personal time, however, and gotten my monthly goals back on a somewhat reduced track … but it still sucks, because I’d really like to finish up Jungle and get started on the editing for Shadow of an Empire so that I can get that out by the end of the year. Granted, I could just stop writing massive epics … but what’s the fun in that?

Discord Day Care, meanwhile, is almost ready to go up. I’m going through the last stages of Beta right now, giving it the final polishing touches. That just leaves me with a cover to find, and to get it all uploaded and ready to post. The publishing schedule for the story, I have decided, will follow the timeline of the story itself. Each chapter will be published as it occurs in the story, in real-time. The only thing that won’t match up will be the dates. I debated back and forth about the best way to do this, but concluded that for Day Care, a publishing schedule like this one should work best. So be excited, it’s almost here at last!

Just a bit more, I promise, then we’ll dive into this week’s topic. First, last month’s Patreon supporter post was a pretty in-depth look back on the origins of my first book, One Drink. It’s something I’ve meant to do for a while now, and yes, for those of you supporting me on Patreon, you can expect in-depth retrospectives on each of my other works to make their way to you as time moves on. Those of you who are not Patreon supporters, it’s only a $1-pledge to become one, and you’ll get access to some behind-the-scenes stuff and previews. Plus, you get the satisfaction that your dollar helps support content like Being a Better Writer!

Now, last, I swear, and then we’ll be on topic: The Rolling Sale. No defined date on this one yet. I’m still working out some details. But the general idea is that it will be a month-long or so event, starting with One Drink and stretching up to Colony. The general idea will be that the first title in the chain will go on sale, alongside an announcement of tiers for the next sale. The more copies go out, the deeper the discount on the next book in the chain. Ditto for when the sale shifts to that title. Kind of a “the more people take advantage of this, the better it gets for everyone” angle.

Right, that’s all the news. Now on to today’s topic: getting in the zone.

So I’m fairly certain that some of you may be scratching your head over this title … and that’s partially my fault. After all, there are a lot of “zones” authors tend to get into when writing. There’s getting in the character’s heads. There’s getting into the world so it feels like we’re living and breathing it. And there’s even just hitting our stride and typing out endless chains of smooth sentences that come together to build the perfect paragraph. Technically, there are a lot of zones in writing.

But today, I’ve going to talk about the most general ones. This is, actually, a requested topic from a reader who wanted a bit of advice on this matter. I don’t recall their exact, word-for-word question, but it went a little something like this: When you sit down in the morning and get ready to write, how do you get yourself into the mindset to write? How do you clear your head? How do you pull yourself away from the rest of the world and immerse yourself in whatever fantastical world you’re putting together?

And … the truth is, this time, that there’s actually a magic bullet.

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Fisking an Anti-Amazon Article From the New Republic

Oh boy. I woke up this morning to see this article on the front page of r/books, and you  know … I’ve never fisked anything … but this piece couldn’t be ignored. For those not in the know, a “fisking” is when someone replies point by point to the salient points of an article, offering a piece by piece rebuttal. I’ll let you read the original article first, so you can get it in your mind, but it’s just part of the continuing—You know what? You be the judge. Read the article, then check this rebuttal.

The quoted article bits are both quoted and italicized. My responses are the normal text.

So, let’s get started.

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It’s a Jungle in Here

So, Thursday update …

You ever have one of those moments where you’re all gung-ho to do something, and then you sit down and your mind goes blank? Yup, that’s me at this post right now. So I suppose I’ll just go with the basics, starting from the top.

First, don’t forget about the Birthday Sale! Seriously. Even if you’ve already bought my books, April 19th (which is now just six days away) will be a great day on which to share one that you particularly enjoyed on Facebook or another site or what have you. So please do, as it would be really helpful.

No, it really would. Right now it seems the biggest wall I’m running into is just getting my name out there. Which, in today’s very crowded world, isn’t easy.

Anyway, that’s my pitch. Please share a book when April 19th hits!

So, on to other news: This month I have been working my tail off. See, the last three months I’ve come in just below my quota every single time. And that’s a reduced wordcount quota of about 60k-70k, on account of me having this other job I have to spend time at. And quite frankly, while I’m fairly tired of that job, I’m not so tired that I can’t do the math and see I’d be homeless without that little income (it’s risky enough and I cut far too many corners even with it).

In any case, I decided that this month I was going to get things back on track. Saturday is no longer a break day, for starters, and I’ve become a lot more stringent with my time. The result: I am keeping up with my quota this month. Which means a quicker turnaround for some of the newer stuff down the line.

Speaking of which, the update on that.

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Back in Business

You know, it’s funny, but I always find that it takes me a few lines worth of errors to readjust to using my big, awesome keyboard again. Just like it takes me a little while to adjust to using someone’s laptop keyboard when I’m traveling and going to make a post. The fingers go to the expected locations, and … Whoops! See? Well, you can’t, because I fixed it, but just there, with the “whoops,” I did it again.

Anyway, I suppose this is a long way of saying “Guess who’s back!” Or returned. Or whatever. For me it’s a return to work, for others a sad “awww …” as I left once more.

Enough semantics. I’m back! Arrived late last night.

And … no, I haven’t written anything today. Still unpacking, etc, etc. Jet lagging a little, oddly enough. Which doesn’t make sense because west to east … Oh well. Whatever. Anyhow, this post needs a point! I mean aside from going “Hey hey, I’m back!”

Okay, I actually do have some news for you guys. A couple snippets of it, in fact.

The first bit? There’s a new Patreon supporter post going up today! As soon as I’m done here, I’m bouncing over there (I’ve already got the tab open) and I’m putting it together. For those who are Patreon supporters, this time you’re getting a fun treat: A sneak peek at some of the new characters that are being introduced in Jungle (that Colony sequel you should be really excited for). Nothing that spoils anything—so nor worries there. I’ll cut anything that drops too much info. But you’ll get not only the character sheets themselves that I wrote up, but also some of the side stuff that’s been developed since then. Thoughts, impressions, changes to the characters as they came to life, etc. So if you’re a Patreon supporter, pop on over and take a look! And if you’re not, a dollar a month is all it takes!

Now, the second bit of news, this one concerning my books and the month of April, which starts tomorrow. What could those two have in common, you might ask? Well, there’s one thing in particular about April that’s quite special, at least to me. Those of you who’ve been regulars here for a while might know this already, but …

April 19th is my birthday.

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Two Years Online: Looking Back and Racing Forward

What’s that? A special event? You’re right!

As of yesterday, Unusual Things has passed its second annual landmark. That’s right, as of March 2nd, 2017, Unusual Things is now two whole years old!

Holy cow. Two whole years. Which means that it’s been over four years since my first book was released. And maybe three, three-and-a-half since I started writing posts about writing that would transform (or evolve, take your pick) into a weekly series called Being a Better Writer.

But the work hasn’t stopped there, either. Since the creation of this site, I’ve released several new books, completed drafts on a few more yet to arrive, started a Patreon account … and who knows what all else. I’m probably forgetting a few things.

It’s been a busy year. Few years, really.

Anyway, my point is that it’s the second anniversary of the site! And you know what that means!

Stats! Oh yes. It’s time to dig in and see how the site has done compared to the first year, and how it’s doing overall! So, to start—

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