Sunday, December 8, 2013

Generating a Discount Coupon on CreateSpace

Well, I guess this week is Createspace week! Yesterday we have a post by our Dick Waters showing us how easy it is to create your own print title with CreateSpace.

Authors know that selling a book directly through CreateSpace (CS) yields a much higher royalty than selling through So then, how do you entice readers to purchase your book through CreateSpace? Offer them a discount coupon. Maybe that sounds crazy, BUT, usually the difference in royalties is large enough that you have at least a couple dollar’s worth of room to move, so a discount code could help sell print books and make you a better profit!

Now, keep in mind that some people are going to be reluctant to set up a new account just to buy a book. (I’m not certain, but they may be able to just use their Amazon log-in to access CS.) Also keep in mind that now that Amazon is discounting print books – so, depending on how deep they’ve marked down your book – whatever discount you offer on CS may not end up being worth it. (Not to mention that we don’t know whether purchasing a book directly through CreateSpace will show as a verified purchase when the reader reviews it.) Then, of course, Amazon also offers free Super Saver shipping. So why issue a coupon? Because this way, beta readers, advanced copy review readers, friends, and family, can all get themselves a print copy at reduced cost – and, it’s a nice gesture, even if they don’t take you up on it.

Want to know more? The rest of the article is here on Indies Unlimited.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

My Birthday Wishlist

A few too many candles...
I may or may not have had a birthday a few weeks ago. I’ll never tell. But if I did have a birthday, I might be inclined to put a wishlist together. Since my life revolves around being a writer – you guessed it – my wishlist is pretty much writerly dominated. Here’s what I want – and what I shall stomp my feet in a fitting tantrum until I get – in no particular order.

Part rant, part satire, part me just being me... If you'd like to read more, you can check out the rest of the article at Indies Unlimited.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Claiming Your Book to Your Author Central Page Part 2

Last week, we showed you the shortcut method to claim a book to your Author Central page. If you missed that article, you can read it here. If you want to do it the more reliable way, we’ll show you that method today.

In order to claim a book to your Author Central page using this method, you must log in to your Author Central account. You can do that here: Once you’re logged in, your home page will look like this:

Click on “to your bibliography” which I’ve highlighted in yellow above. That is where you will see...

Want to see more? You can, for free, over at Indies Unlimited here.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

When Is a Book Not a Book?

When people ask me how many books I have written, that’s a tough question to answer. It may seem cut and dry to many, but I’ve not only created novels, non-fiction books, children’s books, and workbooks, but also calendars.

Is a calendar actually considered a book? A title? I don’t know. One would think the answer would vary depending on who I ask, but no – everyone says yes – the calendar counts.

So, why do I have such a hard time counting it?

To read the rest of this article and to cast your vote as to whether a calendar should be considered a book, click to Indies Unlimited here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tutorial: How to Embed a Link in WordPress (with a footnote for Blogger)

I’m going to use our own Mr. Dick Waters’ recent post on Createspace as an example.

Dick wanted to refer to Lynne Cantwell’s post about Createspace in the body of his post. So, when he sent it in to me, he sent me his text along with the link to her article. I added the title of her article in between the reference and the link. Since it’s a title, I italicized it. It’s still highlighted in blue. See the screen below.

To see the screen below and read the rest of this article, please click through to Indies Unlimited here.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Who Knew: Creating a Book’s Sell Sheet Headed for Internet Stardom

Sounds good, right? I had no idea when I wrote this article that so many people would go nuts over it. That's put a smile on this curmudgeonly face for certain. Since it has had such a great response, I wanted to post it here right away so everyone on my list would have timely access to it as well. So, without further ado, here is...

Creating a Book’s Sell Sheet

Many, many years ago, back when we were still using stone tablets and chisels to write, my first novel was published. The year was 2001. That was also when I created my first “sell sheet.”

A book sell sheet (or book one-sheet, as some people call it) is designed to provide the necessary information to people who would buy your book. This is not for consumers, however, it targets buyers at book stores, libraries, other retailers, and wholesalers. These people want quick facts about your book, without schmaltz. Save that dazzling salesy stuff for consumers.
The main things these buyers want to know are:
  • What the book is about
  • Who the book’s audience is
  • How/where to buy the book
  • Why the book is appropriate for them
  • Who the author is
  • How you will be marketing the book (libraries don’t care so much about this)
  • What your book looks like
Use whatever program you’d like to create this sheet – MS Word, Publisher, whatever you happen to use. You don’t need fancy software to do it.

To read the rest of this article, please go here:



Monday, September 2, 2013

Triple Dog Dare Is Now Available!

Triple Dog DareMy new chick-lit/comedy novel, co-written with five-star author and humorist Stephen Hise, is now available! Triple Dog Dare is for sale on at the introductory price of 99 cents through September 9th. Grab your copy now, because after that, it will be retailing for $3.99.

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon Canada

You can read the book description and watch the video trailer here:

According to the 19 reviewers who have already left comments on Amazon, it's a fun, light, fast read. I hope you'll give it a try!

Thank you, and have a great holiday!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Wild Ride – Book Promotion

On August 3rd, 2013, I did my first ever promotion. I was nudged to do this by the wise and benevolent bestselling author Martin Crosbie. He really is a super swell dude. I decided to try to keep the momentum going for my latest book, Mr. Pish Goes to the Farm, which was released back in June. The planning for this promo started in June, in fact. After the book was out for two weeks, I raised the price of the book from the introductory offer of 99 cents to $2.99. This way, when the promo sale price dropped back to 99 cents, people would feel like they were getting a deal, indeed!

Despite hitting the top of three different “ Hot New Releases” lists in June, there were ZERO sales in July. ZERO! We’re talking an internationally-known traveling terrier spreading knowledge and joy! Oh, the humanity! In any case, I was glad I’d plotted with Martin back in June to set up my promo. Here’s what I did.

Want to know more? Please click here to read the rest of the article:

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Mr. Pish Goes to the Farm One Day Sale!

Mr. Pish Goes to the Farm is featured today on Kindle Books & Tips!
Mr. Pish Goes to the Farm, by K.S. Brooks, is regularly $2.99 but has been discounted 67% to just $0.99 today in the Amazon Kindle store, and this book has received an average user rating of 5 out of 5 stars based on 29 customer reviews.

See the post here:

Or go directly to the book on here:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Martin Crosbie is on the Money

Martin Crosbie's words to live by - and it doesn't matter what you do for a living. If you're human, this post is for you.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BigAl's Books and Pals: Bad Book / K.S. Brooks, Stephen Hise, & JD Mader

A 5-star review of BAD BOOK - if BigAl says it's good, you can't go wrong.

BigAl's Books and Pals: Bad Book / K.S. Brooks, Stephen Hise, & JD Mader: Reviewed by: BigAl Genre: Satire/Parody Approximate word count : 50-55,000 words Availability     Kindle  US: YES   UK: ...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Marita Fowler: Authors Giving Back

This morning I'm hosted by author Marita Fowler. Check out her books, Fat Assassins and Fat Bodyguards, and stop by to say hello.

Marita Fowler: Authors Giving Back: I recently joined a writer's group with a special purpose - to help restock libraries impacted by natural disasters 'n such. This e...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Wordlovers by Melissa Bowersock: Best Children's Books I've Seen in a While

A fantastic review of the Mr. Pish Educational Series!

Wordlovers by Melissa Bowersock: Best Children's Books I've Seen in a While: I have recently found a wonderful series of children's books that star a captivating curly-coated Jack Russell terrier named Mr. Pish. T...

Monday, June 17, 2013


Animal Blogging With Dill The Cat: RECOMMENDED ANIMAL BOOKS FROM DILL:                                            Recommended Animal Books From Dill is a dedicated page on Dill's blog that will showcase ...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Exercises for Authors

Yeah, that’s right. I’m an author. That means I’m cerebral. I work out with my brain, not my body, which means that my Nordic Track machine is used to hang laundry. It works quite nicely in that capacity.

Do those coffee crunches!
Our Laurie Boris tried to get us to start some good habits like stretching and some strange, new-fangled ergonomic stuff. All that’s fine and dandy, but I can’t really see someone like me actually making the effort to do any of it. So, in the true spirit of entrepreneurial opportunism, I’ve developed an exercise program tailored specifically for authors (and anyone who spends extended hours at a computer). Because what good is a program you won’t actually use?

That’s right, I’ve taken activities in which you participate every day and turned them into exercises! How can you go wrong? Well, duh, you can’t.

If you'd like to read the rest of this article, please go here:

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Formula for a Bestselling Horror Novel

Of course, yes, I know you’ve been waiting for this. Who hasn’t been? I’ve already shared with you the formula for writing a blockbuster action/adventure bestseller, a knock-em dead romance bestseller, a spine- and pants-tingling romantic thriller, and a Young Adult Paranormal Romance. I know – that’s really benevolent of me, right? Despite that, you thought I left out a market with huge potential: horror. Well please, patience! I can only turn out one of these labor-intensive formulas each month. They’re quite draining, you know.

Speaking of draining, this book’s got it all: vampires, werewolves, zombies – a story destined to be a bestseller once you add your personal touch to it. How can you go wrong?

Follow my advice below, and you’ll be fighting off a legion of dedicated, zombie-like fans!

Formula for a best-selling horror novel:

If you'd like to read the rest of this article, please go here:

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Tips: Top 10 Common Book Mistakes

Between the submissions we receive here at Indies Unlimited and the ones I receive for consideration for the Hurricane Sandy Library Recovery project, I’ve vetted close to 200 books in the past two weeks. Yes, my eyes are tired, and there’s a slight chance I may be just a teeny tiny bit cranky.

I’m noticing a lot of common errors while reviewing the previews of these books, which I’m going to list below. People complain (no, I don’t know which people, just people, all right?) that indie and self-published books don’t meet the same level of quality as traditionally published books. I don’t believe that can be made as a blanket statement. What I will tell you, however, is that these errors are DEAD giveaways that a book is a not-so-high-quality self-published product. Isn’t the goal ultimately that someone can pick up an indie book and a traditionally published book and not be able to tell the difference? Well, let’s do away with the issues below and we’ll be well on our way.

If you'd like to read the rest of this article, please click here:

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Advice to a First-time Indie Author

How tight does it need to be?
Last week I received an email – a cry for help – from a new Indie Author. He had a number of questions about how he should proceed with his manuscript. I told him he came to the right place – because, as you know – I’ve been doing this for a REALLY long time. Here are his questions, and my responses.

The only person other than me who’s read my very first book is my Mommy. I’m a little uncertain of my skills – should I get someone outside of my family to reassure me that the book is good BEFORE I publish it?

To read the rest of this article, please click here:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Author Tools: Help a Reporter (HARO)

Help A Reporter (HARO) is a handy tool for authors in two ways. HARO can help you find a source to interview when researching a book, and it can provide you with publicity and other related opportunities that you couldn’t have found on your own.
HARO Email
Add caption
Signing up for HARO is free. Just go to their home page and click “sign up today.” Yes, HARO does now offer pay packages, but if you scroll down to the bottom of the page – you will see the Basic page is still available for free. What does this mean? Well, three times a day you will receive a HARO email with a list of stories being worked on by reporters who need sources to interview. Not all of these are newspaper reporters – they are bloggers, authors, television shows, magazines and more. The stories are organized according to category, and if you see one that interests you, just click on it and it will bring you to the details further down in the email. The key to getting reporters interested in your “pitch” is to make sure you respond immediately. These emails go out to thousands of people, and whoever replies first is going to get their attention. Be concise with your pitch and be quick.

If you'd like to read the rest of this article, please click here:

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Tutorial: Building Your Video Empire

Mr. Pish with Jessica Biles of Busy Bee Videography
Now, now, Indies Unlimited is “Safe for Work.” Goodness no, I’m not talking about secret sex tapes or video from the hidden camera in the ladies’ locker room. I don’t want to talk about this anymore.

I do want to talk about book trailer videos. Those are for your book. Let’s stay on topic here, shall we?

Why have a video trailer? Really, now – a video trailer is like a commercial for your book. It’s a multimedia bubble-gum for the eyes attempt at getting someone interested enough to purchase your book. Some potential customers like static magazine ads, some like flash, color and motion. Magazine ads cost money. Making your own video trailer costs you only time. We’ve had posts here on IU explaining how to make a trailer on and Animoto. Take the time to read those. Animoto is an amazing tool and has a much shorter learning curve than xtranormal. I’ve made trailers using both and in my humble opinion, Animoto’s where it’s at. Read the tutorial. Trust me.

So, now you’ve made your video trailer. Congratulations! I’m sorry, what? What do you do with it now? That all depends on how ambitious you are. Here are my recommendations.

If you'd like to read the rest of this article, please click here:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Blog Nobody Wanted to Publish (Except Indies Unlimited)

Today, Indies Unlimited ran an article by best-selling author Martin Crosbie that made me want to jump up and shout "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Martin takes on the fear-mongers and doesn't pull any punches. The only gatekeeper now - is fear. EVERY author should read this.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Authors' Snarkopaedia

Enjoying all this snark? Check out the Indies Unlimited Authors' Snarkopaedia - Volume I.

We are pleased to announce the release of the Indies Unlimited Authors’ Snarkopaedia (Volume I). In this single volume, we have hand-picked the finest mountain-grown snark from an entire year of splendiferous snarkilepsy.

This epic work is bound in rare leather-covered pixels, and rendered in the finest imported lettering available.
Sure, you could expend the time and effort to find some of this treasure on the Indies Unlimited Site, but that could take years and cost thousands of lives. Besides, we know you weren’t paying attention the first time around.

With the Indies Unlimited Authors’ Snarkopaedia (Volume I) you’ll learn and laugh at the same time. Isn’t that better than how you usually do it?

This compendium of work includes articles by the eminent K.S. Brooks, the venerable Laurie Boris, and the irascible Stephen Hise.

Get your copy now at Amazon!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Frustrated Fairy Tale

Fairy Tale Author
Once upon a time, there was a lovely author. She was smart, and sexy, sassy and…okay, okay, I said it was a fairy tale, remember? Anyway, she’d been writing her whole life, and finally finished her first novel. Now, this gorgeous author was alive back in the days before there was internet. Yes, I know, that was a very long time ago. You probably weren’t even born yet! But such a time did exist. Ha, ha, very funny. Yes, there was electricity. And typewriters. You’ve probably never seen one of those, have you, smarty pants?

This voluptuous writer, her dream was to have her book represented by the William Morris Agency in New York City. She sat in their waiting room when she was 15 years old, just watching the goings on. It was a magical afternoon in the city that never sleeps. She believed it was her destiny. How could she be denied?

To read the rest of this article, please click here:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Postcards from Mr. Pish is up for BigAl's Books and Pals Readers' Choice Awards

Postcards from Mr. Pish East Coast Edition is up for a Readers' Choice Award!

You can vote for Mr. Pish's book by going here:

A special message from Mr. Pish: Please go to the link above.

When you get there, you can scroll down to see a $50 Amazon gift card. Underneath that, to the right, click "Log in." A little screen will pop up with a blue button that says "Log in with Facebook" - click on that. Like magic, back on the original screen, a list of book genres will appear. Children's books is the second category down. Click on the black down arrow and three books will appear. Mine is in the middle. Click the dot in front of my book to select it, then click the big green ENTER button, and you've voted! You're also entered to win the gift card. How cool is that?

Every vote counts as an entry, so feel free to check out the other genres too. And so you know, Internet Explorer has a problem with the voting software, so you'll need to be using a different browser.

Thank you in advance for your vote! Let's win this! WOOF!

BigAl's Books and Pals: BigAl's Books and Pals Readers' Choice Awards: In the twelve months ending February 28th, 2013, BigAl and the Pals received over 1,400 books to consider for review. Almost 300 o...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Author Tools: Google Earth

Yeah, I said Google Earth. For research. What do I know about that? Well, not to brag, but some people may even consider me a bit of an expert on research. Either that, or I completely fooled the staff putting together the Writer’s Guide to 2011 – in which I am quoted numerous times in the chapter titled “Making the Most of Research with Technology.”

But enough about me. Let’s talk some more about me.

I decided, for some reason I cannot explain, that the sequel to Lust for Danger HAD to contain a scene in a skyscraper next to the Danube River in Vienna. Keep in mind, I write faction, so that building had to actually exist. I asked a number of people, and they couldn’t think of one. So, I turned to Google Earth. I scanned along the banks of the Danube until I saw a long shadow: from a skyscraper. Voila!

But that’s not all. Google Earth does SO much more than let you look down from a satellite.

To read the rest of this article, please click here:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Formula for a Romance Bestseller

All romantic blockbusters should
 have smoking hot women and 
half naked men.
In my last installment, I shared with you the formula for writing a blockbuster action/adventure bestseller. I really can’t believe you missed it, but in case you did, you can read it here. In this installment, I’m going to give you the top secret formula for writing the romance novel that people just can’t resist. That includes the people in Hollywood. They’re going to be banging down your door to get their hands on this one, so watch out. I hope you’re prepared for all that fame and fortune, because it’s coming!

What makes me think I can tell you how to do this? Well, sure, I haven’t actually written a romance novel, but there is romance in my novels. Also, they filmed Failure to Launch and The Wedding Crashers right near where I lived. Not good enough? I’ve won awards, for crying out loud. Whether they have anything to do with writing doesn’t matter, really. They’re awards. Be impressed and shut up.

Now let’s get to it. Follow my advice below, and you’ll be Hollywood-bound, my friend!

To read the rest of this article, please click here:

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Formula for an Action-Adventure Bestseller

Every action-adventure blockbuster 
needs babes, guns and explosions. 
Special Agent Kathrin Night drawn
by Artist Bernie Shuman.
Yeah, yeah, I know: I shouldn’t be sharing this for free. So, what do I ask in return? Remember me when you’re at the opening night of your blockbuster film. And…you can always make a donation using the PayPal button on this page. You can’t really put a price on the advice I’m about to give you, but give it a shot. More zeros after the number in front and before the decimal point is a good start.

I know how it goes – you’re sitting there staring at your screen trying to figure out how to make that action-adventure work-in-progress into a grabbing, mind-blowing, future bestseller. Look, I’ve been doing this a long time, and I’ve seen all the Rambo movies – so I know a thing or two. And I am now going to help you by taking the guess work out of this whole shebang for you. Follow my advice below, and you’ll be Hollywood-bound, my friend!

Formula for an action/adventure bestseller...

If you'd like to read the rest of this article, please click here:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

What Is a Book Trailer Video?

Also known as what is a book trailer video. Or a book video. Or a book trailer. It really doesn’t matter what you call it…it needs to get the job done.

Recently, I was very surprised at the responses a fellow indie author (Nick) received to a poll he conducted on his Facebook page. It went something like this:

a. Video trailers help sell books
b. Video trailers don’t help sell books
c. What is a video trailer?

To read the rest of this article, please click here:

A Bit Late

Okay, so this post is a bit late. Clearly I’ve been slacking again. Here’s a list of things I’m going to try to accomplish and/or be better at this year.

#1 – I will try harder not to stab someone when they blurt out completely useless information while I’m trying to concentrate on my writing.

#2 – I’ve learned my lesson about creative license and won’t use “matters of homeland security” as an excuse not to have dental work done. I apologize to the nice men in suits who had to come all the way out to my house to, uh, interview me.

#3 – I won’t wait until October to kick it into gear this year. Books can be written in quarters one, two and three, not just Q4 in a ridiculous marathon sprint.

If you would like to read the rest of this article, please click here:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I Don't Have Anything Yet

You’re not yet published. You don’t have a website, or a blog, or an Author Central page. You work. You go to school. You’re broke. You have no idea if or when you’ll ever get that book finished. But you’re trying. Theoretically, you’re stuck.

No, really, you’re not.

Go to WordPress or Blogspot or any place you can set up a free piece of the internet that will be yours. Grab the link that will be yours before someone else does. Need an example? is mine. Put up a short and professional biography with a photo of yourself.  Post random thoughts, if you want. Post book reviews you’ve written, if you want. Post something every once in a while just to make sure they don’t deactivate your blog for lack of use. There, see? You no longer “have nothing.”

To read the rest of this article, please click here -