Encouragement for Indie publishers

If you haven’t checked out PassiveVoice blog and you’re a writer…I recommend it. Here is a post I read there about self-publishing. I ear stories like this all the time where an author is trying to get published traditionally and they try to go the “agent” route, only to wasting a ton of time. I love to hear success stories of Indie Authors making it their way and succeeding. If there is another case to NOT get an agent, this is another one.

Greed and E-Book Pricing

Did you get your money yet? If you haven’t heard about this yet…stop and read…HERE.  I received a few bucks credited to my Kindle account already. I guess Apple is next? It will be interesting to see if, and or what they will pay out. If this doesn’t make you want to self publish and take control of your own work then I don’t know what will? The dishonesty of some publishers is astonishing, yet not surprising. (I will not include all publishers…because I really don’t know, but there are quite a few in this law suite). As if eliminating retail books was not enough they wanted to drive the price of e-books upwards. Greed is all around these days. I feel the price of e-books that aren’t from Indie Authors are too high as it is. I love Terry Brooks books, and I have purchased some in e-book form simply because I love his writing. I paid just as much as a paperback print for my invisible copy made up of electrical pulses. Not really a fair trade. This is not Terry Brooks’ fault, yet he deserves the profit I won’t deny that. It’s the publisher’s greed! No paper, ink, glue, distribution cost and yet it cost the same? Huh? Seriously? Why should I pay to cover all the material cost when there is none? Unless it is a sure desire to reward the author, and his/her work is worth the price then I am o.k. with paying more. In most cases a patron is exploring and taking a risk. I have posted in the past on the pricing of e-books and what they should be. Pricing should be based on the amount of words written. Dean Wesley Smith wrote a post on e-book pricing last year…HERE…he states that $5.99-$7.99 is a good price for e-books. There is a fine line of under pricing and saying that your book is worthless instead of worth. I do agree with that part of Deans article. However, $7.99 and above is a little high for me. One thing for sure is that Indie Authors have total control of their own work and pricing. The public will have the final say if the price is right, and if the work is good.
My Fantasy Novel Dark Moon Shadow is up for release in early May! Be sure to get a copy!

PENNERSTORIES NEWS

DARK MOON SHADOW edit is complete, and I am in the works of applying changes. Once I make the changes I will begin the format and testing process for E-book delivery. I am targeting an early MAY 2014 release. Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime I’ve been working on a prelude to the Dark Moon Shadow novel. It will be a Four Chapter short story introduction to wet your appetite for the series. This FREE E-book will be titled: PROTECTORS of the REALM. I plan to release this free e-book on the same day as Dark Moon Shadow. This work is nearly complete and ready for edit.

Until then, keep checking back here for news and updates, and tell all your friends and family about my new fantasy series starting with Dark Moon Shadow!

What’s a good writing level?

I read an article several years ago that dealt with the topic of what level your writing should be in order to keep an even reading flow. I found it fascinating and intriguing. The writer, whom I forget, based his article on the statistics of what most American’s reading level grade (5th grade, 9th grade) and their average speed. What popped out of the text was that if your writing level were that of an average eighth grader your story would flow and move quickly as opposed to a more sophisticated vocabulary at a higher-grade level. Even though this was kind of sad, it did make a bit of sense.  I’ve read books in the fantasy genre where I literally had to keep a dictionary by my side. I usually skipped the definition and kept on reading because I didn’t feel like stopping and looking it up. Now with the ease of looking up words with my Kindle I find myself looking up words I don’t know, but rarely remember them for usage later.  I came across an article from a blog titled DAILYWRITINGTIPS that dealt with this subject and attached a readability index calculator. If you want to know what your writing level is, give this neat little tool a try.  Just to give you an example, my entire post just prior to this sentence was scored a 46 level of ease and a grade level of 12 (twelfth grade). Not bad? Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you should change your writing style to an easy reading level just for the sake of flow, but just give a thought to who your audience is. My daughter is a pretty avid reader and she just finished Lord of the Rings. I remember that Tolkien’s writing style took a little getting used to when I first read it.  I think it is good for younger folks to have a little challenge when reading, but the fact is many of my readers and yours are sporting a reading level that is well below twelfth grade.  I don’t belittle those that are because in many cases it’s just the way things are these days, and I am certainly glad that they are reading. Reading is so vital to our life and the continual development of our minds and thought process. One example I can give is my grandparent’s are in their nineties and they never read much at all. Even when they are in their moments of clarity they don’t have really much to talk about. In contrast my Grandmothers sister, who is in her nineties as well, was and is an avid reader and her mind is clearly sharper. Even if age in each person differs, and the deterioration of the mind varies, I can certainly tell the difference and wish my Grandparents read more earlier in their lives. It’s up to you on how you write, but I can attest that I’ve stopped reading certain authors that peppered each page with too many words I didn’t understand. An interesting thought for sure.

Dark Moon Shadow is targeted for an EARLY MAY RELEASE! Stay tuned and get ready for a fun adventure of magic and darkness!

Happy Reading my friends

Can you get your book into a book store?

So you think you can’t get your book into a book store? That, according to Dean Wesley Smith, is a myth. His book “Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Indie Publishing” Addresses this issue: Get Indie Books into Bookstores. Dean has a wealth of knowledge in this area and after reading this fantastic article he proves it over and over again. This article starts off with a history of publishing and how nothing really has changed today…only just a little. I tend to fall into the category of skeptic when this subject comes up, because I have fallen into the trap that Indie Authors are lowly and can never, or hardly ever get their books into a bookstore. That was certainly before electronic publishing. Technically I’m totally wrong because Amazon and Smashwords are bookstores, just virtual. I think we are talking about the tangible, feel the spine of a book, physical piece that we want in a physical, walk-in and browse bookstore. This I am still a doubter, but Dean walks you through the must and must not, easy yet not so easy, path to seeing your printed story sold in a bookstore. I can see that it is doable, but not for the faint of heart. I have to admit that when it comes to thinking like a publisher I get scared, passive, and dare I say lazy. It’s really the hard part of being an Indie Author. Luckily we have e-books and can stick to that route exclusively, but if we want to market our story in a way for most exposure and profitability we need to grasp our minds around, and think like a true publisher. In all reality that is what we are. Now, I’m not saying that I will actually follow this path and get my books into a physical bookstore, or even in their catalog, but what I am saying is that if I choose to work hard enough it can be done…that I have  no doubt about it. Dean, as I’ve mentioned in other posts, is a masterpiece of knowledge and his Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Publishing is a must read for any Indie Author ( He has links on his site where you can read it chapter by chapter). Thanks Dean for another excellent lesson in publishing!

My new Fantasy Novel: Dark Moon Shadow is coming soon!

Pennerstories News

Hello all out there! Here is a short update…Dark Moon Shadow is in edit and I hope that it will be complete by early April. Once the corrections are made I will format it in e-book form and set a release date. The cover work is also going well, and I am extremely pleased with the progress so far. I look forward to showing it to you all very soon.

A new look and website will follow, so keep checking back for that.

In the meantime here is an interesting post I read lately about Dragons in the Bible. It’s a very interesting read. http://www.eifiles.cn/dp-en.htm

Happy reading!