Resources for writers

I’m making absolutely no money off listing these. This is just my way of paying it foreword. If you’re blown away by how much I’ve helped you, I won’t stop you from buying one of my books.    🙂

Covers: It’s mind-blowing what people will pay for covers. All you really need it a decent photo program, a small bit of cash and about an hour. First, visit shutterstock.com and pick out a few pieces of art (they’re 2 for $29 at time of blogging this). They allow commercial use once purchased. Next, head over to cooltext.com and work up some text. Save the text and then import both the text and photo into your editing program. Slap the text on and BAM!

Meatgrinder: If you know what I’m talking about – you know the struggle. Smashwords can be mighty tough to get through. There was (at last check) a working template on this website.

Open Office: I’ve used this program since day 1. It’s simple, yet mighty. Oh, and it’s as free as free can get. Get it here.

Music: Music, you ask. Of course! It’s a trick that I learned a while back. I created a playlist online and each day I listen to it as I write. What we do is fun, but routine is important. The music eventually trains your mind to be writing while it’s on. My actual playlist is here.

How do you promote effectively? Want secrets from best-selling authors?

Grab my book. I’ll show you how to do it for the price of a cup of coffee. -JD

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5 Tips for writers

  1. Go into it with real expectations.
  2. Write as much as you can.
  3. Link everything.
  4. Concentrate on 1 social media outlet.
  5. Be a professional.

Go into the profession of writing with real expectations. On average, we don’t make a lot. And in most cases it’s a hand-to-mouth line of work. If you accept this early on, it’ll soften the first blow. That’s when a bulk of authors become frustrated and quit.

Write (and read) as much as you can. Not just a little each day. You need to treat writing as your job and approach it as though every month is NaNoWriMo. If you want to be successful, you need to outwork everyone around you. 15 pages a day, no less.

Link everything. Create a decent website and every other spot your writing shows up online should be linked back to your home page. We all know that. But a lot of folks neglect to link their books in other books or they get lazy and refuse to link their newer work inside their older books. Don’t be lazy.

So #4 won’t be so popular, but I believe it’s correct. When promoting, it’s always better to find your niche rather than try to promote your work to everyone. The same goes with social media. Focus on one social media site and build it up, rather than spreading yourself too thin.

If writing is your job – be professional. You’re going to be competing with some of the brightest minds in the world! Don’t come at this with a generic cover. Don’t skip having your work edited. Readers are fantastic people and they’ll pick up on things very quick. If you can’t do your very best then do everyone a favor and do nothing.

How do you promote effectively? Want secrets from best-selling authors?

Grab my book. I’ll show you how to do it for the price of a cup of coffee. -JD

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G.I. Joe

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I promised big news and what could be bigger than writing stories for a series that I absolutely loved as a child? I collected the comics, I had buckets filled with G.I. Joe action figures and now I get to create original stories for the franchise!

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G.I. Joe: The Face of Fear should be available in the coming months and will begin the story of Cobra like you’ve never seen them before. Expect plenty of familiar faces, though I am designing my first original character. Things are about to get very interesting. This upcoming series will be exclusive to the Amazon Kindle (or Kindle app). Sorry, but my hands are tied on that one.

$2.99 – coming soon!

 

The eBook Gold Rush is Over

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Amazon Kindle authors circa 2011

At last, the eBook Gold Rush is over. In case you haven’t heard the news, paper books are once again surging in popularity while eBooks have apparently hit a sharp decline. The message boards on KDP are filled with authors who’ve “had enough”. They’re packing it up and calling it quits in search of the next fast money market. Meanwhile, us authors remain.

Upon talking a walk through the graveyard (otherwise known as Nook Press), I can confirm that sales are down across the board for most of the authors I know. The bubble has burst and I, for one, am glad to see it.

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Amazon Kindle authors circa 2016.

You see, I was never in this for the money. In fact, during the height of eBook sales I was still eating Spam sandwiches. The authors you see leaving (in droves, I might add) weren’t here for the best of reasons. This is about providing stories for readers to sink their teeth into, while allowing them to escape the real world for a few hours. Not getting rich. If you’re writing with money as your #1 motivation – shame on you. Writing was never designed to make anyone rich. Sure, some of the big fish in the profession are eating better cuts of Spam than I am, but it’s because they write with pure joy as their motivation. Lots of writing (and reading) spawns better writing and, with time, that brings success.

Happy trails to those who dashed in, grabbed what money they could and bolted off to the land of whatever market promises the next pile of gold. It’s 2016 and I’m still standing. God willing, I’ll be here for another 40 years or more. And to the readers who’ve stuck around and supported me – thank you. I’ve clawed my way from newbie writer to a pretty good author, thanks to you (and a great editor)!

JD

Why I’m The Last Pulp Author

OK, so I need to blog more often. It’s gotten so bad that when I do actually blog, my cell phone gets an alert for suspicious activity on my account. No seriously, that happened last week. Anyway…

Today I thought I’d ramble a bit on why I’m the last pulp author. Now let’s be honest. I’m not actually the last pulp author on the face of the planet. Still, I’m one of very few and the marketing people keep telling me to find my “brand identity”. Well, I write short stories by the bucketfuls and I write about science fiction, fantasy, steampunk and other strange tales. I don’t really do book signings because I’d rather be at the local bookstore, I dunno… Looking at books? I’m just that way about things. I write because it’s a creative outlet for me and I’m truly happy while doing it. My happy place is sitting in front of my computer late at night with a cup of coffee and a blank page to butcher.

As it turns out, I’m cut from the same cloth as your average pulp fiction author from around 1930. I don’t do this for riches or fame. For me, it’s about following my passion while trying to put food on the table. So there you have it, folks! I’m the Last Pulp Author by choice and if you haven’t read any of my work yet, please allow my growling stomach to point the way.

🙂

4 FREE BOOKS!

Grab these 4 free Kindle books: Heroes of Destiny – FleetColonyGunship 

*Offer valid for U.S. Amazon Kindle Store. Several free books are available w/ other retailers. Titles may vary.

Why am I willing to give you 4 free books? It’s very simple. Each story sets the stage for an entire series and (if you enjoy it) there’s plenty more to buy. It’s a ruthless marketing tactic. It’s also a very good way for readers to discover their next great story with 0 price or risk. Enjoy!

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How to manipulate the #Facebook “News” Feed

Just a short blog here, but an important one if you get annoyed with Facebook’s serving of “news”. You’re not alone. Facebook serves up “news” as they see fit and it’s only human nature for their “unbiased” employees to pluck “news” that they feel you should see. You know, things that will ultimately make your blood boil or click bait. I’d like to share my workaround with you.

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Here’s an actual screenshot of my “news” feed. Look, no debate on gun control. You’ll see nothing about folks arguing over public bathrooms. And, for the love of God almighty, you’ll see nothing related to Miley Cyrus. Nope, my “news” feed in now 100% sports. How? Simple.

Anything that you see listed in your “news” feed that you don’t want to see… Click the ‘X’ to the far right of the story and report it as offensive. See, Facebook wants to sell your information, therefore, the last thing they want to do is offend you. Marking something as offensive will guarantee that nothing close to the same subject hits your “news” feed again. I just happened to report everything but the sports stories. Oh, and I’ll leave you with this. Log out when you’re not using Facebook. They love to sell your internet usage tendencies to companies who want to sell you shit.