$10,000 prize for Canadian authors

If you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and you published a debut book in 2015, you might be eligible to nominate your title for Kobo’s second annual Emerging Writer Prize.

They’re now accepting nominations in categories of Literary Fiction, Romance and Non-Fiction. All submitted books must be available for sale in the Kobo store. Nomination process: Publishers and authors (traditionally published and self-published) can submit debut books published in 2015 at www.kobo.com/emergingwriter.

The application process opened February 4th and closes on March 11, 2016.

They’ll announce shortlisted titles on April 26. They’ll make final sections between April 27 and June 8, and then they’ll announce the winners at a coctail reception on June 23, 2016. The winner in each category will earn $10,000 and special merchandising between June and December of this year.


New Smashwords Forum Writers Anthology ebook

Smashwords Forum Writers is the publishers’ name for a new anthology ebook by Smashwords Forum authors Bret Allen, John Chapman, Shelia Chapman, Şerban Valentin Constantin Enache, Julie Harris, Kell Inkston, Alan James, Ian Kotze, Jennifer R. Povey, Ria Stone, and Bonnie Turner.

“Tales from Indies: Smashwords Forum Writers Anthology 2015” is comprised of eleven contributions ranging from short stories, an essay, chapters from science-fiction, fantasy, historical retelling, to paranormal romance. It is available now for free from Smashwords using Coupon code BU68H


Threesome ebook links for Apple iTunes worldwide

Here are the Apple iTunes links to my latest word puzzle ebook titled ‘Threesome”.

100 word puzzle games for US$0.99. (Threesome is also available at other leading ebook outlets)

Threesome cover

threesome cover

Argentina: http://itunes.apple.com/ar/book/isbn9781927418253
Australia: http://itunes.apple.com/au/book/isbn9781927418253
Austria: http://itunes.apple.com/at/book/isbn9781927418253
Belgium: http://itunes.apple.com/be/book/isbn9781927418253
Bolivia: http://itunes.apple.com/bo/book/isbn9781927418253
Brazil: http://itunes.apple.com/br/book/isbn9781927418253
Bulgaria: http://itunes.apple.com/bg/book/isbn9781927418253
Canada: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/isbn9781927418253
Chile: http://itunes.apple.com/cl/book/isbn9781927418253
Colombia: http://itunes.apple.com/co/book/isbn9781927418253
Costa Rica: http://itunes.apple.com/cr/book/isbn9781927418253
Cyprus: http://itunes.apple.com/cy/book/isbn9781927418253
Czech Republic: http://itunes.apple.com/cz/book/isbn9781927418253
Denmark: http://itunes.apple.com/dk/book/isbn9781927418253
Dominican Republic: http://itunes.apple.com/do/book/isbn9781927418253
Ecuador: http://itunes.apple.com/ec/book/isbn9781927418253
El Salvador: http://itunes.apple.com/sv/book/isbn9781927418253
Estonia: http://itunes.apple.com/ee/book/isbn9781927418253
Finland: http://itunes.apple.com/fi/book/isbn9781927418253
France: http://itunes.apple.com/fr/book/isbn9781927418253
Germany: http://itunes.apple.com/de/book/isbn9781927418253
Greece: http://itunes.apple.com/gr/book/isbn9781927418253
Guatemala: http://itunes.apple.com/gt/book/isbn9781927418253
Honduras: http://itunes.apple.com/hn/book/isbn9781927418253
Hungary: http://itunes.apple.com/hu/book/isbn9781927418253
Ireland: http://itunes.apple.com/ie/book/isbn9781927418253
Italy: http://itunes.apple.com/it/book/isbn9781927418253
Japan: http://itunes.apple.com/jp/book/isbn9781927418253
Latvia: http://itunes.apple.com/lv/book/isbn9781927418253
Lithuania: http://itunes.apple.com/lt/book/isbn9781927418253
Luxembourg: http://itunes.apple.com/lu/book/isbn9781927418253
Malta: http://itunes.apple.com/mt/book/isbn9781927418253
Mexico: http://itunes.apple.com/mx/book/isbn9781927418253
Netherlands: http://itunes.apple.com/nl/book/isbn9781927418253
New Zealand: http://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/isbn9781927418253
Nicaragua: http://itunes.apple.com/ni/book/isbn9781927418253
Norway: http://itunes.apple.com/no/book/isbn9781927418253
Panama: http://itunes.apple.com/pa/book/isbn9781927418253
Paraguay: http://itunes.apple.com/py/book/isbn9781927418253
Peru: http://itunes.apple.com/pe/book/isbn9781927418253
Poland: http://itunes.apple.com/pl/book/isbn9781927418253
Portugal: http://itunes.apple.com/pt/book/isbn9781927418253
Romania: http://itunes.apple.com/ro/book/isbn9781927418253
Slovakia: http://itunes.apple.com/sk/book/isbn9781927418253
Slovenia: http://itunes.apple.com/si/book/isbn9781927418253
Spain: http://itunes.apple.com/es/book/isbn9781927418253
Sweden: http://itunes.apple.com/se/book/isbn9781927418253
Switzerland: http://itunes.apple.com/ch/book/isbn9781927418253
USA: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9781927418253
United Kingdom: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/isbn9781927418253
Venezuela: http://itunes.apple.com/ve/book/isbn9781927418253

How do you decide to buy a book or ebook?

Recently I’ve read a number of articles and posts by authors, cover designers, book publishers which, when taken together, suggest readers only buy ebooks/books with great covers, readers only buy ebooks/books because the sample content is great and could care less about how the cover looks, readers only buy books/ebooks because of great reviews, readers seldom buy books/ebooks based only upon reviews, readers never buy cheaper ebooks, readers mostly buy cheap ebooks.

With all the contrary advice being bandied about I thought a place where readers themselves can quickly voice their book/ebook purchasing decisions would be a good start to adding some clarity amidst all the confusion.

There are five separate polls listed below. Please provide your answer to all five polls.

How important is a cover design to your decision?

Is sample content more important than a great cover in your purchase decision?

Does a high price mean high quality to you when purchasing a book or ebook?

The price I usually pay for an ebook is…

Book/ebook online reviews are….


A flood of “Professional” ebook formatters

The advent of self-publishing through online retailers such as Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and distributors like Smashwords has brought forth an assortment of ‘professional’ people willing to help a new author format an ebook or provide other services for a good size fee.

I manage a forum called the Smashwords Forum. This forum is for authors who need help with formatting, marketing, promotion, and all the other aspects of publishing an ebook. The forum is free to join, and has close to 700 members now.

The forum has a “Read before posting” section which contains a variety of topics with information on the forum, how to use the forum, and posting do’s and don’ts among other topics. The “Read before posting” section clearly states this is a forum for authors. It is not a forum open to everyone and anyone. It certainly isn’t there to help ‘professional’ people solve some problem with formatting or whatever.

To my way of thinking a ‘professional’ should possess an above average degree of knowledge on publishing ebooks. This knowledge, especially relating to formatting or conversion problems which are often the case with new authors, should be something a ‘professional’ knows about and can quickly solve.

The reason I bring this up is a ‘professional’ joined the Smashwords Forum and sought help with a problem which has been known about for a long time and discussed many times even on the Smashwords Forum. (Free registration required for full access.)

This ‘professional’ didn’t bother to read the “Read before posting” articles available on every forum board section, didn’t Search the forum before asking the question (very unprofessional), and at first didn’t bother to post the question in any of the forum boards.  Instead, this ‘professional’ just popped it into the Shoutbox at the very bottom of the board which few, if any, members ever scroll down to see or use.

To my way of thinking this was not professional. The way I see it, a ‘professional’ charging a goodly sum for services should possess a modicum of knowledge on a subject before charging for it. The ‘professional’ could have easily found the answer to his/her problem by simply searching the net for the answer, as his/her problem had been discussed many, many, many times over the years.

But this ‘professional’ was too lazy to even search the Internet for the solution. Not very professional.

So I barked at him/her on my forum. I wrote, “Marti or Jim, you offer your services as professionals (UCS Press) selling authors formatting for ebooks, so you really should have some understanding of epub coding. At the very minimum you should possess a modicum of formatting knowledge before selling your services.

Your UCS Press mission statement exclaims “To be known for exceptional customer service, and to provide a quality product in return for a fair price.”

This site is for helping authors, not self-proclaimed professionals who charge fees for their services and yet seek free help when they have a problem.

You’re a professional. Get professional help.

PS: Thank you for posting here as requested. Posting in the Shoutbox as you did multiple times isn’t the proper way to use a forum. I realize you needed a quick answer, being a professional charging money for your ‘services’, but posting here is proper etiquette.”

He/she didn’t like my reply. “I started doing formatting on SW before epub started.  This is something that I am trying to learn.  I had thought one of the reasons for this forum was to offer assistance.  I will look elsewhere for someone who wants to take the time to be professional about it and offer some assistance.”

My reply was “-members username-, if you had taken the time to review the “Please Read Before Posting” pages included on every forum board you would have seen this forum is for authors. Even if you had taken a moment to perform a Search using the two words paramount to your problem – epub start – you would have found links to posts which had help for that issue.

You were too lazy to even search for previous topics on this subject. Again, if you had bothered to read the “Please Read Before Posting” pages you would have had a good idea on how to Search this forum. But you are lazy and and unprofessional in your conduct and manner. You are a professional offering professional services for a healthy fee, but this forum is for authors seeking help, not professionals such as yourself. Be professional. Seek professional help, -members username.”

Maybe UCS Press does fine formatting and authors who use his/her services are quite satisfied. But it riles me when people who charge for services expect to get help for free when they have a problem. For geezus sake buy a book on the subject, search the Internet, take a course. At the minimum use the Search function on a forum and show a tidbit of professionalism.
I’m not saying the people operating UCS Press should never be used by authors, they may do good work. But there is a flood of ‘professionals’ stalking the ebook world seeking to make some money after failing to earn any as authors. Authors should cautiously approach any ‘professional’ and perform due diligence before consenting to any work agreement.

Promorrhea; a dilemma for authors.

I know it’s tough being an author and even more tough trying to get someone, ANYONE, to look at or even purchase one of your works, but an author doesn’t have to resort to promorhea to try and get attention.

Promorrhea, or spamorrhea or whatever you want to call it, sometimes occurs when an author uses an automated Twitter or Facebook posting system and sends updates every ten or fifteen minutes. Updates being the same bloody post plastered over and over and over and over and over ad nauseam.

Promorrhea sometimes occurs when an author sends emails to ‘followers’ or ‘subscribers’ repeating the same – or very slightly different – update as the one delivered to Twitter and/or Facebook.

I don’t mind a little promotion of literary works, I do promote my works so I can’t be offended by someone promoting their works. But I don’t send out continual promotional material.

There isn’t any known cure for promorrhea, other than blocking the offender or ‘unfriending’ or ‘unfollowing’ the rascal.

Perhaps an author will read this post and think twice before having a promorrhea attack. Let’s be honest, probably nobody actually reads and acts on promorrhea. Most recipients may be like me; I delete, unfriend, unfollow, or perform some other manner of stopping the offensive blight upon my screen.

Be brave. Beware of exhibiting signs of promorrhea.

6-Letter Word Puzzles ebook now available

Maintain your brain with these 320 fun ways to test your vocabulary knowledge and perhaps discover new words in a challenging word puzzle game.

You are given a word like CARPORT or a series of words like DONALD DUCK, and you make as many 6-letter words as you can from that word or series of words using each letter only once.

Sound simple? Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. Great fun and a great way to maintain your brain with these vocabulary puzzles.


View free sample at this link to Smashwords. Available in all popular formats including ePub, mobi, and PDF for just $0.99.