Thursday, April 25, 2013

Five Sentence Fiction – Shadows

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.


This week, Lillie chose the word "Shadows." Some shadows are forever.
***
It isn't possibleor at the very least, it shouldn't be possible—but it is.
So powerful was its blast, that when the light first struck, frozen shadows painted on walls and sidewalks became permanent reminders of the dead who once stood in those exact spots.
The people were gone, forever shattered into innumerable pieces of ash, yet their silent silhouette remained, giving grim testimony to the raw power unleashed in the wake of the atom’s sundering.
Godlike power: the power to destroy a world—our world—had been ushered into being by men of science, who, like the good men they are, tried only to bring an end to the War—an end to the suffering and death—but in their callousness failed to realize that all they had done was to create a new form of devastation the likes of which no man had ever seen or contemplated.
This all happened a lifetime ago; yet we still live under the specter of those painted shadows—and forever will they chill our soul.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Would you like to be a "beta reader" for MINIMAL?

With the recent completion of the first, rough-draft of MINIMAL, I am now taking applications for persons wishing to be a beta reader.

What is a beta reader? Well, they are kind folks who read the story before anyone else. Their job is to point out any and all mistakes they find, and to let the author know that there may be problems with the story, the pace, the "feel," or basically anything.

Consider them the front-line soldier in the War of the Books.

If you're interested, here's how you can sign up, send an email to me at MemoriesoftheDead@gmail.com, with the subject "MINIMAL beta reader"

We'll go from there.

Thank you for your willingless to help! I appreciate it!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Five Sentence Fiction – Angles


The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:

Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, Lillie chose the word "Angles." Sometimes I wonder...what was my brain thinking? Enjoy!
***

Each life is a line, and we, on our own curve, often intersect with the lines of other lives.

All together, these lines weave the Great Tapestry and each thread is integral to the design.

Two lives cross and might never exchange again; or, they might merge and build a bold statement, defining a theme in the weave.

Others cross each other tangentially, and can give the appearance of discord, destroying the fabric laid down.

But if one were to pull back in order to see the greater pattern—the design whole and complete—it would be known that no disturbance can fray, and in fact the Tapestry propounds ever greater because of the interaction.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Five Sentence Fiction – Edge


The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:

Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, Lillie chose the word "Edge."
***
With a razor's keen edge he began his cut. 
 At first, there was just a release of air, a gasp, a whoosh, a flutter; but no remorse. 
 Slowly he drew it across, he needed this to go just right -- not too fast or there would be shredding, and that's not seemly at all, and would surely ruin his fun. 
 Carefully and with practiced patience he made his cut against the grain -- slow, deliberate, and masterful. 
 Then came the scream, and the balloon wailed like a banshee, shot across the room, and scared the living crap out of a sleeping Grandpa Joe.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What it cost me to self-publish Memories of the Dead

Ok, here's the scoop. I wrote Memories of the Dead on Tuesday and Thursday of each week for 13 months straight. Following that, I put in approximately 40 hours of editing, formatting, and general clean-up for the print version--the e-copy was pretty much ready to go prior.

So.... 3 hours a day, 2 times a week, is 6 hours a week. There are 52 weeks in a year, and 4 in a month. So that's 56 weeks times 6 hours per week, that's 336 hours. Add to that 40 hours (more or less) for the formatting and whatnot and we're at 376 hours.

That's just to get the book ready.

If I multiply that by what my "free time" is worth, which coincidentally is nearly identical to my hourly wage, I "spent" $7896 just to get the book that far.

Now, to add to this misery, I spent additional time emailing reviewers, buying print copies for giveaways, and the postage that went along with it (one winner was in Canada, FYI.) We are now looking at close to $8000+.

Marketing time: getting people to notice you, what's that worth? Well, hell if I know, but I've spent a ton of time trying my damn hardest to get the book "out there", this includes Twitter, Facebook, my blog, Goodreads, LitPick, and anyplace else I could think up or stumble upon in my wanderings headlong into the morass.

But what's that worth? I don't know. But let's just say $1000. Ok, we're at $9000, right? Wow, that's a ton o' virtual cash spent.

This brings us pretty much up to today. Memories of the Dead has decent reviews, and nobody that has reviewed it has anything horribly bad to say about it, which is nice. One might think that positive reviews and/or praise will automatically lead to sales. This is, I hate to inform you, not the case at all.

How do i know this? From experience. To-date, Memories of the Dead has garnered me a whopping $30 (Rounding to the nearest dollar.)

If I subtract this $30 from the $9000 I’ve put in, I discover that I am in the red to the tune of $8970. Ouch.

Now, if I had more of a presence, mind you, perhaps bought an ad or two on Facebook, or who knows what... There's a chance that the book would have sold more, and as a result the situation would be far less bleak. True, however it is also important to keep in mind that for a book to really hit its stride it has to be in the right place at the right time--it has to ring with the right audience. The old tale that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink is applicable.

Take this as a cautionary tale based solely upon my experiences. Your mileage may, and I hope does, vary. And I wish you the very best of luck.

And who knows...maybe Memories of the Dead will hit the target in the upcoming year! Remain hopeful, my friends.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Five Sentence Fiction – Words

The Five Sentence Fiction is a simple idea:

Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week, Lillie chose the word "Words," and again...I go off the deep end....
***
There was nothing but dust and cobwebs to keep him company--he had been alone for a very long time.
He wept for a companion; and indeed his tears were bitter.
But then came another, and soon she sat beside him.
"I am Thesaurus," she said, "and I am here to complete you."
Then Dictionary smiled as never before; they have been together ever since.