Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ROW80 - My Round One Goals Updated

I wrote about the Round of Words in 80 Days writing challenge just over a week ago. It kicks off in a few days, and it's now time for me to "officially" state what my goals will be for the challenge.

Claire Farrell used a very clear way of stating her goals on her blog, so I'm going to adapt her method for my own use :)


Write at least 7,000 words every week (ie: average 1,000 words a day) for my current WIP. Weeks are considered to end on Friday - I don't always get a chance to

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"On Ice" Cover

Normally a cover for "On Ice" isn't something I'd be thinking about at this stage - I'm still very early (~12k words) into the first draft, and it will be at least mid-2011 before it is ready to be released.

However I was lucky enough to win a free book cover in a Christmas draw held by Glendon & T.L. Haddix. Glendon is one of the people involved with Streetlight Graphics, and as I found out he is extremely talented when it comes to graphic design.

Glendon asked me a series of

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Amanda Hocking, Indie Author Superstar

For many indie authors (especially those who hang out on the Kindle Boards or read JA Konrath's blog), the name Amanda Hocking is well known. Amanda is an author who started self-publishing her novels to the Kindle in April this year. She has quite a few out now (she had a large collection of manuscripts from many years of writing), and she has been doing ok as far as sales go.

Where ok means that she has now sold over 100k of books in just 8 months!

Just think if someone had said a few

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How We Write

There has been an interesting thread over on the Kindle Boards that started with a simple question - how do you write your novels?

As you can imagine, there have been a huge number of varied replies. I'm pretty sure that if you asked 100 different authors how they write, you would get 110 different answers :) There has been talk about discovery writing and multiple redrafts, and using an outline. Constant writing, and writing when the mood takes you. Edit as you write, and powering through

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Monday, December 20, 2010

A Round of Words in 80 Days

NaNoWriMo was a lot of fun, no doubt about that. But the one drawback to NaNoWriMo is that it only happens once a year. There is something about having a set goal in front of you that seriously motivates you to get moving. I was planning to set myself a writing goal after NaNoWriMo, and now I've found a writing challenge that is just what I wanted.

A Round of Words in 80 Days aims to let writers set their own goals. It is intended to have four challenges in the year, each of them 80 days

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Book Review: Lessons by Michael Crane

NOTE: I do not accept books for review. Reviews posted here are only for indie books that I have bought, and that I enjoyed enough that I want to tell others about them.

I first heard about Lessons and Other Morbid Drabbles from a review Red Adept did on her blog. The concept of the book (stories written in 100 words or less, also known as a drabble) intrigued me. Thirty seconds later I had bought the book, and set about learning what a story of less than 100 words looks like.

As I

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas 2010 Giveaways & Contests

Several writers are running some giveaways and contests on their blogs. Since free things are always nice, have a look to see if anything catches your eye.

Helen Smith is offering signed paperback copies of her books, Kindle editions of her and other authors' ebooks (this is only available to customers because it uses the Kindle gift facility, which isn't up and running on yet), and an Amazon gift card worth $50/£30.
Three lucky people can win a paperback or

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Friday, December 10, 2010

First Draft for Gears of Wonderland Complete

I've been a little hesitant to declare it, but now I'm going to. The first draft of my novel Gears of Wonderland has been completed.

I know there are some gaps in the story, which is why I delayed calling it done for a few days. I need to expand the descriptions in a lot of scenes, at least one more scene with the main character needs to be inserted in the middle to develop his relationship with his travelling companions, and I need to add a number of scenes for the second viewpoint

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Funny Video On Checking Sales Rankings

For any authors (indie or otherwise) who get obsessed about checking their sales ranking on Amazon, here's a cautionary tale for you to consider... :)

On a slightly more serious note, this video is a great example of viral video marketing. I've seen it posted on Twitter and more recently over at KindleBoards, and I'm sure it's being posted to a few blogs as well (like I'm doing ;) ). If nothing else, it gets the titles of the authors books out there in front of more people, and I'm sure

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Indie Author Sales in November

Over on the KindleBoards, a number of indie authors are posting a summary of their November sales. I decided to tabulate the results to try and get an overview of how everyone was going. The thread starts here, while my summation post (which I'll continue updating for a few days as more authors post their results) is here.

I found the results interesting (and a little surprising). While there are a big number of authors selling less than a book a day (it's the largest group overall), there

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Reviewing The Strider Kids Bike

If your toddler is able to walk, the good news is they can begin to learn how to ride a bike with the Strider Kids Bike. The Strider Running Bike teaches your child the essential skills of balance and coordination, allowing them to develop the confidence for later on when they progress to a full bike.

Trikes or traditional bikes with training wheels focus on teaching a child how to pedal first, with no thought for balance or coordination. Additionally, these bikes and trikes are often heavy a

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Radio Flyer Big Wheel Reviewed - A Look At The Radio Flyer Big Flyer

If you're looking for a chopper style tricycle that your children are sure to love, the Radio Flyer Big Wheel is definitely one bike you'll want to take a look at. For a start, the Radio Flyer Big Flyer has a soft rubber front tread along with wide rear tires, to ensure the bike remains stable when your child is going around turns. The seat is adjustable between three different positions, making it easy to adjust as your kid grows (or if you have several kids of different ages who all want a go

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Friday, July 09, 2010

Diamondback Mini Della Cruz Review

If you're looking for a trouble-free quality bike to get your kids off to a great start with riding a bike, it's hard to go past the Diamondback Mini Della Cruz. Designed to look sweet and stylish to your daughter while providing the solid construction and reliability that you desire as a parent, the Mini Della Cruz is a bike that will last your child a long time.

The key to the reliability of the Diamondback Mini Della Cruz is the quality replaceable parts used. The heavy-duty steel frame an

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