Orangeberry Virtual Book Tour, Defined

It’s August, and I’m virtually (almost or nearly as described, but not completely or according to strict definition) starting a virtual (not physically existing as such but made by software to appear to do so) book tour.

Orangeberry Summer Splash

The Orangeberry Summer Splash! 100 authors waxing elegant and cracking snide all over your local internet. Giveaways, prizes, virtual hotdogs and a watermelon seed spitting contest. (Don’t even try to beat me. I’ve got an intellectual patent on my spitting technique, the tongue cannon.)

What’s a Virtual Book Tour?

But semi-seriously, part of the fun of this brave new world we live in are the ample opportunities to discover new books and new voices who were barred from public platform only a few short years ago. The virtual book tour acts as a surrogate promoter for books lost in the digital woods. In this case 100 authors have rallied to the teat of Orangeberry for a month of nourishing via the mother’s milk of book bloggers all around the world. (Yes, this is as serious as I get.)

This is How it Can Work [Read more...]

My Plan for Kobo Books

Kobo eReader device w/wifiWhat the world needs now is an online version of the neighborhood book store, for eBooks. Kobo, I say it should be you.

It appears inevitable that the Department of Justice will soon dish out a top-rope body slam to the world of traditional publishing. For those who haven’t been following the matter like so much O.J. carnivality let me explain. No, there’s no time. I’ll sum up. “Colluding” major publishers will no longer be able to dictate the price of eBooks. Thus online retailers (ie. Amazon) will be able to affectively sell major titles for whatever price they want (without suffering a year end loss).

Bad News for Readers

Alas, I am feared this heralds bad news for both writers like me and readers like you. “How do you figure?” you might ask. Well, gentle reader, even though eBook prices on some of the most popular titles will most certainly fall (good for readers) the end result of this could be a loss of diversity for the written word (bad for readers unless you only want to read vampire romance and legal thrillers).

Crap man, and just when the eBook revolution was cracking the market open for all sorts of original (some terrible, some terrific) creations of fiction. Now it appears inevitable that lower prices on major titles will squeeze indie authors out of a job. If The Hunger Games and the latest Tom Clancy thriller are available at $7.99 (or less) how many readers will continue to take risks on unknown authors for $4.99?

Enter Kobo Books (or any other eBook retailer with the gonads to step up). [Read more...]

Branding & Business Cards for Indie Authors

Twitch and Die! in the Kindle storeSome are saying that the eBook is the new business card.

Crap.

If that’s the case then I’m one of thousands trying to make a living from handing out business cards that take between four and twelve months to write. Which would make me an idiot something fierce.

This isn’t a road I want to go down. But if eBooks aren’t the new business card, then what are they? What is the new business card? What am I? (And what’s this I’m sitting on… oh, my son’s Cheerios.)

Of course the industry word at the heart of all this piss and rambling is “branding.” As I wipe the cereal crumbs from my britches I think of all the heart-smart mornings I’ve spent watching my sons eat these crunchy little ohs which have become ubiquitous with snack-traps and toddlers. Branding.

I’m a story-teller. A liar by trade. I don’t mind saying I’m pretty damn good at it. [Read more...]

Finding Free eBooks in Nook Store

GreenPorch Winter of eReadingThe miserly quest continues. The aftershocks of the largest eReader giving (and getting) season still shake the foundations of the eVerse. Like gorging on so many turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving, you’ve stayed up late blurring eBook into eBook on your nifty new Nook.

Now your budget is paying for it. Even $2.99 seems like a chocolate mint too far (“but it’s wafer thin“). Now it is time to unabashedly scour the Nook store for quality free eBooks. There’s no shame in it. And there’s no trick to it. It’s just a simple trick. But it won’t be quick, so let’s get to it. [Read more...]

Filtering Porn Out of the eVerse

GreenPorch Winter of eReadingJust like the rest of the internet, the eBook eVerse consist hugely of porn. It is sorta the plankton of the eVerse — the simplest life form that feeds the mindless that in turn feed the suckers and bottom-dwellers who in turn feed the commercial fiction writers who feed the how-to-write-commercial-fiction writers who feed the I’m-too-sexy literati who feed themselves (as they cannibalize the top echelon with scathing reviews).

Hey, I didn’t create the life cycle. I’m just stating the fact that stuff always grows out of… how do the French say it… shit.

It’s not pretty, people. But with a little effort we can rise above the manure zone and better ourselves. But how, you may ask? Well here at the Green Porch we’ll tell you. [Read more...]

Your Indie eBook Sucks. Now Look Right Here.

GreenPorch Winter of eReadingAfter self-publishing my second eNovel in December, I’ve been increasingly tormented by the fear that it possibly may not be quite the classic in the making I assumed anything pouring from my fingers would instantly be. Understand, this is a strange sensation for me. Even as a kid I used to imagine what it would feel like to be one of the dumb kids. I’ve just always been blessed/cursed with an ego the size of a professional athlete’s (despite neither being very professional or athletic).

Maybe my ego is more the size of your aunt Edna’s goiter. Anywho, as I’ve said in an earlier post, I’m stoopid like a fox. Steven Pressfield’s quote about artists and writers is so great that I’ll include it here again: “Ignorance and arrogance are the artist and entrepreneur’s indispensable allies. She must be clueless enough to have no idea how difficult her enterprise is going to be—and cocky enough to believe she can pull it off anyway.”

Normally that is me to a “T.” I’m as cluelessly cocky as they come. But lately I’ve rather non-stoopidly become aware that lots of self-published eBooks are ludicrously crappy. I have a collection of free Kindle samples to prove it.

[Read more...]

Finding Free eBooks in the Kindle Store

GreenPorch Winter of eReadingYou’ve given into the darkside and bought a Kindle. You’ve been tempted to sign up for Amazon Prime. You find yourself ordering everything from diapers to champaign (despite the fact you don’t drink or have any children). Welcome to the club.

As a result, your spending habits during 2012 have to be a bit more restrained. If like me you simply can’t give up your box wine addiction or expensive hemp clothes, The Green Porch offers some help in trimming back on the reading budget. The Kindle store actually has tons of free eBooks to choose from, and the list is constantly changing in order to rotate in new titles. But you have to know how to find them. And then you need to know how to sift through the garbage. [Read more...]