Saturday, September 27, 2014

Promo: Tracking A Shadow is 99 Cents from 9-27 thru 10-3

PROMO PRICE 99 Cents on Amazon 9-27 thru 10-3
In this unique case for him, Private Detective Jarvis Mann is hired to discover who is stalking his female client Emily White in the Mile Hi City. Eluding danger coming at him from all sides, while balancing the affections of two sexy women, each with their own agenda, Jarvis must track down the stalker that is elusive as a shadow.
Pickup this eBook for only 99 cents while you can...

Friday, September 19, 2014

My Experience with Kindle Direct Publishing

Love them or hate them, Amazon is a powerful online retailer, selling more electronic books than anyone else,. They have earned this with their powerful online presence and low margins. But they also created programs and tools for Indie authors that are easy to use, with lots of features to make uploading your book to their servers very simple; to a point. I'm going to cover my experience with using their Kindle Direct Publishing model for eBooks.

First you need to get your document formatted correctly. There are many books out there that cover this, and even templates you can purchase or a formatting service that will expensively covert your work. I've found with a couple of tweaks I can do this myself to get the document just right for KDP. I use Word, which works fine, but you need to setup the Styles for the document with certain settings, depending on what part of the book you are working on.

  • Single spacing should be used
  • Don't use tabbing to indent paragraphs or it will indent too far
  • Enable Show/Hide Command (Ctrl + *) to see extra spaces, tabbing and other hidden formatting symbols and remove them
  • Keep font size to Times New Roman 12 or something similar
  • Create and save your own Style pages for Chapter Heading, Main body of text. Title Page and Copy-write page and so on. Format them to what works best.
Body of Text Example:
Right click a current Style page from Home Tab and select modify
Give it a name and then change the font and pt size to what you want
Click Format and Paragraph-Set Paragraph settings for Indents and Spacing:
  • General-Alignment left
  • Indentation-Special First Line 0.3
  • Spacing-Line Spacing Single
Set Paragraph settings for Lines and Page Breaks:
  • Remove checkmark on Window/Orphan Control
  • Remove checkmark on Keep lines together
You'll then want to create a Chapter Heading Style, just be sure to choose a large font size, center it with no indentation. Then select the Style page you want to use before typing and it will be automatically formatted. Play with it to find the right one for you.

Once you have your document written, save the file as a Web Page Filtered (HTM/HTML) format. Then you can use the Kindle Previewer program Amazon provides to open the HTML file and see how it will look on the variety of Kindle devices Amazon sells. Be sure you still keep the original DOC or DOCX version for editing.

Depending on the version of Word you have, the steps may vary some. I'm using Word 2007, 2010 and 2013, and they are basically all the same. Pre-Ribbon versions of Word maybe different. It may take some time but once you find the right configuration you can carry it over to your next novel. At least until Amazon throws you a curve and changes their conversion techniques.

The novel is written and formatted, so it's now ready to upload to the KDP site. Next posting I'll run through the steps, as there are many of them, so you can publish your eBook.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Facebook Author Event

I will be participating in this Facebook Author event both Saturday 9-27 (9AM Denver Time) and Sunday 9-28 (12PM Denver Time). This is an event where readers and authors can meet up to talk, check out new books, genres and authors, have the opportunity to win prizes from the donation authors and play lots of silly games in the process. You can ask questions and learn all my deep dark secrets. If you have some time stop in and say hello.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Becoming Jarvis Mann PI

Of the 5 people who've read my Jarvis Mann PI stories, OK maybe it's little more than 5, they ask me if the character Jarvis Mann is actually me in written form. Well my answer is a definite, Maybe!

The cliche is "You write what you know." In the case of Jarvis that is true. Since my stories about him are in the first person I become Jarvis while writing. I see, hear, feel, speak and react as him. Describing through his eyes all that he is experiencing, his inner most thoughts and emotions.So there are things about him that are similar. Examples are:
  • Jarvis grew up in Iowa, as did I
  • Jarvis now lives in Colorado as do I
  • Jarvis likes the finest in fast foods (oxymoron), as do I
  • Jarvis is a big Green Bay Packers fan to be revealed in next book. My bio picture tells you I am as well
  • Jarvis has a witty personality. Many comment I have a odd sense of humor, though some in my immediate family don't think so some times!
But there are many difference as well:
  • Jarvis is a Private Investigator. I'm an IT professional full time, Though at one time I wanted to be a police officer
  • Jarvis drives 1969 Mustang Boss 302. I drive a slightly less exciting Toyota Corolla and a Honda Forza Motorcycle
  • Jarvis is much more of a ladies man. I was much too quiet and shy in my single days to ever be a ladies man
  • Jarvis is in his mid-thirties, while it's been a couple of decades since I was that age
I pull some of my life experiences into my stories, as I'm sure all writers do. I try to use real life locations when it's appropriate. The people in the story are made up, designed to fit the story. Some aspects of my characters may be similar to people I've known through the years, but nobody is a carbon copy. In some ways Jarvis is me, but mostly he isn't. The common denominator between us is, we are flawed, with weaknesses and some bad character traits. While he also has some strengths I wish I had, as I live vicariously through him. I will be exploring more of these strength's and weaknesses in future novels already in the works

Jarvis Mann is not me, and I'm not him. Yet we are one in the same on the printed page.