books & writing

Adventures in Self-Publishing: Week 1 Results

Well the first week has past since I took the plunge into the self-publishing pool, put a short story out there, and here’s the results:

Sold 9 copies of my short story, not all of which were to people I know (huzzah!) and 1 Kindle Unlimited borrow.

That’s a total success in my book! That’s 9 more pieces of writing than I have ever sold previously and I’m pretty thrilled about it. Sometimes it’s the smallest win that can propel you. This week has definitely been a win. It’s amazing how different I am looking at my writing after seeing a couple of numbers tick up on a line graph.

It just goes to show that these days the gatekeepers don’t exist anymore. The only thing that you can hold you back is not trying or believing in what you can do.

Thanks all for the support!

show your work, austin kleon
books & writing

Should You Read It? Show Your Work

I just finished reading Show Your Work (10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered), by Austin Kleon today. Austin is the same guy who wrote Steal Like An Artist which I haven’t read YET, but keep hearing about on my favorite podcasts.

Before I talk about the book. YES, you should read it.

If you’re a creative in any way, you should be reading this book. Show Your Work is one of the reasons I’m back to blogging full time on this site. I stopped talking about what I was doing and just wanted to work on finished products. Then I got stuck. I felt like I had to start censoring the process because if anyone was to find out that I’m just a schmo and the whole idea of “being a writer” would come crashing down around me.

I think pulling the curtains back is completely necessary. I think when people want to become a creative in some fashion they get caught up in a lot of schemes. They tell themselves they need to read 100 books on how to write before every putting pen to paper. They think they need to attend Art School before ever making anything solely for their own enjoyment or saying something that’s important to them.

Show Your Work is the kind of short read that you pick up on days when you’re stuck, read a couple of chapters, then use that mental cappuccino and get back to business. It should be in the top five books every creative keeps in their vintage leather messenger bags. The ones next to the MacBook.

So in conclusion, why aren’t you already getting the book?? YES, YOU SHOULD READ IT.

books & writing

Adventures in Self-Publishing: One Format To Rule Them All

So, after having pretty much thrown in the towel on iBooks Author as way to submit an ebook (still a great PDF maker though), I spent the weekend starting to work with the Kindle Direct Publishing site. Again. The last time was confusing. It’s still a bit complicated, but they seem to have cleaned the process up a bit.

I’m still not sure what format works the best for uploading, but I’ve been able to use Pages for Mac to easily export epub files that can be uploaded and previewed on the KDP site in an emulator that will show you how your book will look on all the Kindle’s as well as iPhone and iPad. Things are starting to get exciting now.

I did have a bit of set back in that I’m getting some weird converting anomalies such as blank pages showing between chapters which I really didn’t want. Looks like the only resolution for that might have to be actually using Microsoft Word to create the file. It’s funny because I went from Word to iBooks Author to Pages and now back to Word. The whole world needs Microsoft Office rehab and a 12 step program to get us away from it.

In any event I’m going to finish the editing on a short story I loved writing and uploaded to the Kindle store this week. It’s high time I took that big step. Done is better than perfect. If one person picks it up, I’ll be feeling like Charley Dickens.

books & writing

Should You Read It? A Feast For Crows

I had never read any of Martin’s A Song Of Fire And Ice series until watching the first two seasons of Game of Thrones. I’m totally hooked. I love a good fantasy series and thoroughly enjoyed the characters that Martin brings to life. Plus I was getting too damned impatient wanting to know what was happening so I downloaded the books and quickly caught up to where the show was.

A Feast for Crows is book 4 in the series, but is chronologically where season 5 will be when the show picks up again. I can’t wait to have that look of smug satisfaction when I watch the next season and know pretty much what’s going to happen.

The question is, what is going to happen? Whereas the previous three books moved a lot of characters around the world and moved the story forward in exciting ways, A Feast for Crows could be retitled: A Smorgasbord of Second-Tier Characters.

A lot of people get put in dungeons and beat up. People ride on boats forever. And the biggest battle of the book is actually a bloodless surrender. I still love reading Martin’s style, the guy knows his enormous roster of characters like the back of his hand. I think he just forgot why people read the series for this book. It doesn’t help that he actually wrote an epilogue saying “your favorite characters are gonna be in the next one, I swear“.


Yeahhhhh, I guess. If you read the series you don’t really have much of a choice, so I guess you have to, but you could probably skip every other chapter and still get the gist of it.