Monday, February 08, 2016

Germany's Fixed Book Price Law and Unprintable Fiction

Some interesting news from last week.

This first one could have a big impact on book sales and the entire industry. The German cabinet’s law on fixed book prices will be extended to include electronic books.

From Reuters:

“The law on the pricing of German language books, under which publishers must determine a price for every title they sell, traces its roots to the late 19th century.

“It is aimed at protecting small bookshops from being priced out of the market and at allowing publishers to make enough money via sales of bestsellers that they can afford to print more niche but culturally valuable publications in smaller runs.

“Germany's highest court last year ruled that certain discounts U.S. online retailer Amazon offered had breached the law.”

While the law covers German language books, the spread of such a law to other countries could have an impact on book sales.

It’s also ironic that Amazon is the one in trouble after the whole fiasco with ITunes and publishers setting their own prices. Don’t you think?

Another article unveiled “unprintable” fiction. Developers are working with technology to create a new breed of interactive book apps.

From The Guardian:

“We’re trying to make books that are delightful, surprising and completely unprintable,” Gerber says. “They’re not games and they’re not apps – they’re all built out of HTML – but each one is impossible to envisage on paper.”

“The first two titles are The Truth About Cats and Dogs, a Janus-faced account of a collaborative poetry project that flips between chapters by authors Sam Riviere and Joe Dunthorne; and Entrances & Exits, a love story from Reif Larsen where a key discovered in an abandoned bookshop unlocks a journey that the reader can follow using Google Street View.”

Books as apps with interactive features aren’t new. But it is really fascinating to see where developers are taking this technology.

What elements could be featured in our books? The sky’s the limit. Instead of just background music, a character could attend a concert or play and the reader could experience it with the character. Google Street View also gives rise to all sorts of possibilities. Wouldn’t it be exciting to write a book that features such a unique experience? What story would you write?

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The Insecure Writer's Support Group, IWSG Newsletter, IWSG Anthology, and Book Formatting Special

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Alex created a new badge for us! Looks snazzy.

I’ve been busy editing and working on projects, so my regular posting is down to first Wednesdays and two Mondays a month. I’m having fun working on my stories though!

I also have a special offer for the month of February! I’m offering my formatting services at a huge discount - $50.00 for print formatting and $20.00 for ebook formatting. (Extra long manuscripts and those with more than 40 chapters are a little extra.) See Spunk On A Stick - Services for details.

We have two special announcements from the The Insecure Writer’s Support Group:


Chrys Fey needs your articles for the IWSG Newsletter! If you’d like to submit an article for consideration, please follow the instructions below:

Who Can Submit: Insecure Writer's Support Group Members

Topic Ideas: your number one writing, publishing or marketing tip; a motivational pep talk or inspirational story; a snippet about something you used to be insecure about but overcame or an Aha moment you had about writing/publishing.

Length: 200 words or less

How to Submit: Send a DOC attachment to Chrys Fey at
ChrysFey(at)yahoo(dot)com. Put “Member Article” in the Subject Line.

Deadline: March 2nd (Next IWSG Day)

NOTE: Chrys needs a member article for our first newsletter coming out February 24th. If you’d like to be considered for that issue, please send your article to her no later than February 17th.

Thank you for reading! We hope to feature you!

First issue goes out on February 24. Sign up here.


Parallels: Felix Was Here
Print ISBN 9781939844200
eBook ISBN 9781939844118
Science Fiction/Alternate History

Enter the realm of parallel universes!

What if the government tried to create the perfect utopia? Could a society linked to a supercomputer survive on its own? Do our reflections control secret lives on the other side of the mirror? Can one moment split a person’s world forever?

Exploring the fantastic, ten authors offer incredible visions and captivating tales of diverse reality. Featuring the talents of L. G. Keltner, Crystal Collier, Hart Johnson, Cherie Reich, Sandra Cox, Yolanda Renee, Melanie Schulz, Sylvia Ney, Michael Abayomi, and Tamara Narayan.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will expand your imagination and twist the tropes of science fiction. Step through the portal and enter another dimension!

Due out this spring.

Monday, January 18, 2016

IWSG Newsletter, Barnes & Noble & Beer, and Upcoming Anthology

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group just welcomed a new admin - author Chrys Fey. And she dove right into her duties - putting together a newsletter for us.

The Insecure Writer's Support Group Newsletter will feature articles by industry experts, IWSG members, and administrators. There will also be a dozen links to helpful articles for writers in each edition, as well as a special Member Spotlight. Even if you're not a member of the blogging group, you'll greatly benefit from these FREE monthly newsletters.
First issue goes out on February 24! Sign up here.
(Those who are part of the IWSG monthly blogging are already signed up.)

New Republic’s article, Barnes & Noble’s new strategy: Get people drunk, really caught my attention!

Apparently Barnes & Noble is experimenting with bringing beer and wine into certain stores. Now, this is nothing new. There are independent stores that serve alcohol all the time and many who serve it during special events.

Whether it will work for Barnes & Noble remains to be seen, but they are willing to try. Some fear it might alienate families and change the dynamics of the store, although the company insists they aren’t turning stores into bars. At the rate the stores are losing money, they need to try something.

I’ve done book signings at coffee shops on wine tasting night and they were successful. My theory is that drunk people will buy anything!

What do you think about Barnes & Noble serving alcohol?

Finally, I wanted to do a little promo for an upcoming anthology I was proud to contribute to - “The Thing That Turned Me.” Put together by Stay Classy Publishing, it will feature stories about turning points and those things in life that motivate us to change. It will be released in paperback and e-book mid 2016.

Here’s the trailer:

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

The Insecure Writer's Support Group

It’s time for another edition of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

I’ve been on this author journey for many years now. While many things become routine or not as fresh as they were in the beginning, it’s neat when something surprises or pleases in a new way. One of those boo-yah moments.

A couple recent boo-yah moments:

Last week, I finished editing one of the stories for my next collection. And you know what? I was just as excited about it. I love the story. It’s been so long since I wrote anything fiction, I was worried I’d forgotten how. But I love how this one turned out.

Since I teach seminars on publishing and promoting, I’m always on the lookout for new sites and ways to market books. I’d compiled some websites in a Word document and finally had time to go through them last weekend. I found a couple really cool ones that I can use myself, which was exciting.

I even learned a new trick last month concerning book formatting!

Anyone else have a boo-yah moment lately?

Over at The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, we are announcing the winners of the anthology contest today.

And for anyone looking for an editor, my dear friend Crystal has been editing professionally for over seven years and does a great job, plus she’s very reasonable. Read about her services at Crystal Cleaer Proofing.