David Fingerman writes SPYDER:
a street-wise antihero of inner city society.
Experience his strange wisdom, and his twisted sense of humor.
Thirty-year-old Spyder doesn’t waste time thinking how much lower he can sink. When he finds his girlfriend dead as the result of drugs he supplied, Spyder contemplates his life and decides it’s time to do what he’s avoided most of his days—join mainstream society. All he needs to do is kick the drug habit, find a job, a place to live, and earn some money. Easy. He’s done it hundreds of times, but never all at once. As always, Fate steps in and knees him in the groin. All the dregs he’s ever known want their say. George won’t stop his pestering, Sal needs a huge favor, Coon is hunting for a certain arachnid, and Spyder’s dealer doesn’t want to lose one of his best customers. As things spiral out of control, Spyder tangles himself in a web so tight that even he might never be able to escape.

Meet the author David Fingerman at:

Buy SPYDER at the following outlets:


SPYDER is published by L and L Dreamspell, a small independent and POD publisher. Fingerman appeared on my blog introducing his collection of chilling shorts called Edging Past Reality, and a novel that was on the verge of being released called Silent Kill.


David Fingerman very kindly wrote a guest post about self-publishing. Something I’ve been blogging about recently. Check out the post: Here.


Let’s speak to David Fingerman!
Hi Louise ~ thank you so much for letting me appear on your blog.


http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1935097075&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrYou’re very welcome. Tell us how are Edging Past Reality and Silent Kill doing?
Edging Past Reality is still doing pretty good, especially in downloads. Downloads are way outselling hard copy which tells me that’s where the future is. With Silent Kill I’m really not sure – I’ll know more when I get my next quarterly statement from the publisher. Going strictly by Amazon rankings, I’m a little disappointed that it’s not doing better. I’ll keep marketing that at the same time as Sypyder.
 
So, who or what inspired you to write Spyder?

Oh, this is embarrassing. There used to be this persnickety old woman who attended the same writers’ group I did. She drove me nuts. When it came http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1603182306&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrtime to critique she would interrupt and go on and on about how it wasn’t anything compared to her life. No matter what the person wrote, she could somehow twist it into how her life was so much better, worse, etc. It got to the point where we’d run out of time before everyone got a chance to read even though the moderator would explain we were here to critique the writing. It didn’t matter ~ to her it was a social gathering.


My goal was to write something so insulting that she’d be speechless and Spyder was born. It was a short story (now chapter one in the book) and it worked. For the first time since I’d started going to the group, she had nothing to say. I thought that was the end of Spyder, but no. One day I was researching guidelines and found a small press in England that was looking for raunchy inner-city stories. I sent it in and the editor loved it. He asked that if I had any more Spyder stories, I should send them. With that encouragement I wrote another and sent it in. I got a letter back saying that he liked that one even better than the first, but unfortunately the magazine was going under. By that point I was having way too much fun writing Spyder stories.

What is it about?
Spyder is a streetwise punk with a very warped sense of humor. As he gets older and the streets become more dangerous, he comes to the conclusion it’s time to clean up his act and try mainstream society. But because of his self-destructive behavior . . . well, I don’t want to give too much away. It’s marketed as mainstream but I like to think of it as an urban adventure.


Was there a character you struggled with in Spyder?
This was the only novel where I can honestly say that I had no trouble with the characters. I had a blast writing each and every one.


How many unpublished books do you have lurking under your bed?
Yikes. I don’t dare look under the bed to see what’s lurking (I’m guessing killer dust bunnies). However, I do have a couple of unfinished novels hiding in the deep recesses of my computer. I started them years ago and one day I might pull them out again. If I still like the story line I’ll rewrite and complete them.


You’re still with L and L Dreamspell how did you find them, and are you still happy with them? Would you still recommend them?
Whenever I see a new book that looks interesting, and also looks like the type of thing I write, I always see who the publisher is. I can’t recall what the book was that I checked, but the publisher was L & L Dreamspell. I checked out their website and decided to give them a try. Wonderful for me, they liked my work. They’re a small, independent, POD publisher and I couldn’t be happier. They treat their authors almost like family. I highly recommend them ~ but read their guidelines before submitting!


In your original interview with me you said that you had a plan to self-publishing primarily to get your name out to the masses, and then I would try the traditional route . Have you not tried with Spyder?

I did self-publish Edging Past reality in hopes of getting a wider name recognition. Whether it had anything to do with my signing on to L&L Dreamspell I highly doubt. L&L Dreamspell is a small independent POD publisher, and I definitely found a wonderful home with them. L&L published bother Silent Kill and Spyder, but I’m pretty sure they hadn’t heart of me prior to sending my writing to them. Still, I think it was a smart business plan and I learned a lot about the publishing world by going the self-publishing route first.


What’s the best/worst part of being a writer?
The best part is I’m doing what I love to do. I’m in the enviable position where I can write full time. The worst part is marketing. Although it’s getting a little easier, I’m still way out of my comfort zone. Being an introvert, I much prefer sitting alone in my office and typing away.


What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I try to treat my writing like a job and write during the day (otherwise my wife will make me go out and find a ‘real’ job). I normally start at around 9 a.m. and go until about 4 (taking an occasional break). On those rare occasions when all the stars are in alignment and the creativity is flowing, I’ll keep going well into the night. I’ve also been known to wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning and feel creative. (Like I’ve mentioned earlier ~ I love what I do.)


Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer
The only time I use pen and paper is when I don’t have access to my computer.


What/who do you draw inspiration from?
Anything and everything. I just put a “What if . . .” in front of the thought and set my imagination free.


Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
I’ve found that it’s self-defeating setting goals for myself. I know that it works for a lot of writers but not me. I do try to spend at least 6 hours per day writing, but that includes research and editing (and when my new books come out ~ marketing). As long as I’m productive, I’m happy.


What are you working on now that you can talk about?
At present I’m working on a horror novel. I shall say no more. : )


How do/did you deal with rejection letters?
I actually led a seminar at a writers’ conference on dealing with rejection letters. Doing research I found a number rejects some great writers had received ~ I’m in good company. I also learned of how many rejects some classic novels received. I always wonder what happened to the people who rejected J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (over a dozen rejections) or Stephen King’s “Carrie.” (30 rejections)


For the most part rejects don’t bother me unless it’s one where I really thought I had a perfect fit – those sting a little bit. Fortunately for me, I’ve had enough acceptances that I’m secure (some call it egotistical) enough to feel that it’s them and not my talent.


Do you have a critique partner?
I belong to two writers’ groups – each one has an average attendance of about 12-15 people. People will read pieces of their work and get critiqued. So, I don’t have a specific critique partner, but I do have a couple dozen.


And to whet readers’ appetite for Spyder, here is a snippet:


When Sal opened his eyes he looked shocked, as if the coffee appeared by magic. I poured us each a cup and waited for him to start.

“I wanted to visit my ma, let her know I was okay. She had this big bruise on her face, and her arms were all black and blue. I could tell that she was happy to see me, but she kinda whispered that maybe it would be best for me to leave. Then the ass-hole came to the door. He was drunk as hell and the first thing he does is start dissing me. I politely told him not to call me those names.”
I could imagine how he made those “polite” comments.

“It was self defense. He took a swing at me and I guess I went kinda crazy.”

“But you didn’t kill him.”

“No. He didn’t die ‘til later.”

I choked on my mouthful of coffee. “So how did he die?”

“After I showed him who was boss, he ran out of the house. I chased after him and told him never to hit my ma again. I caught up to him and he just collapsed. I didn’t touch him.”

I didn’t think now might not be the time to tell him that the courts would most definitely disagree on his theory of murder and self defense.

“So what do you want from me?” I asked.

He stammered a bit. “Well, a lot of the neighbors came out to see what all the noise was. I was wondering if you could, ya know, kinda set ‘em straight on what really went down. Tell ‘em it was self defense.”

“You want me to go door-to-door, and tell all your neighbors that they really didn’t see what they thought they saw?”

“And I was wondering,” he continued. “Well, I know you’ve got a roof now. I was wondering if you’d let me crash there for a while ‘til the cops quit looking for me.”

It was like he reverted to a giant mound of stupid. I silently pulled out my knife and hugged it next to my leg. I knew he wasn’t going to like my next words and wanted to be ready.





Pros and Cons of self-publishing

Self-Publishing Snobbery

 

There’s a lot of snobbery in the air when someone mentions self-publishing. A lot of pursed lips and tut-tutting. It’s the last resort of a poor writer having been rejected by countless agents and publishers, isn’t it?

 

Many think so, sadly.

 

I’ve read a few SP books and loads of traditionally placed books and have found errors in both. Funny, they are called spelling errors in SP books, but printing errors in books with a publishing house behind them.

 

I suppose I’m biased having written and POD-published my last two books. I regret not finding a decent designer for the Eden but I discovered Jane Dixon for A Proper Charlie who supplies fantastic covers to your design at a great price.

 

Self-publishing, POD, vanity, Indie, whatever you call it is second best but only because you are editor, promoter, and writer all rolled into one neat ball, and being all of those is a lonely and time-consuming business (especially when all you want to do is write!).

 

The real downside is the confidence thing. You always wonder if, because you’re ON YOUR OWN, you’re good enough. It’s always there at the back of your mind.

 

I have made a list of the pros and cons of self-publishing to help you make up your mind.

 

Pros (the Latin word for “for”) 

  1. The author keeps the majority of the profit. 
  2. If you pay for an ISBN number you’ll automatically be on Amazon and other on-line shops. 
  3. No-one can demand you change this or that before publication. 
  4. An excuse to use social networks because you’re promoting your book. 
  5. There’s no deadline to work to. 
  6. Print on demand (POD) is cheap nowadays. No need to use an expensive vanity press.
  7. POD is easy and straightforward with sites like Lulu or YouWriteOn.com 
  8. No more rejections.
Cons (Con is an abbreviation for the Latin word “contra” that means against.)

  1. There is a lot of prejudice about being a POD/Indie/self-publisher. In the end this may get you down.
  2. You may find the entire process daunting. From the outside it does look difficult.
  3. You’re totally on your own. No-one cares about your book other than you.
  4. Marketing on social networks is one thing, but how are you at giving talks, book signings and getting shops like Waterstones interested in stocking your book?
  5. You risk having your book out in the big wild world with all its faults if you have not properly edited.
  6. Once you’ve self-published landing an agent or publisher with that particular book is very unlikely.
  7. Having a garden shed full of books (if you’ve chose vanity publishing).
  8. Lacking time. You want to write, not chase publicity.

 

Editor Sean Hayden talks to us about ORIGINS

A Demonkin Novel
Ashlyn Thorn was born different. She was born with all the characteristics of a vampire, but in a world where vampires, elves, and werewolves work, play, and die side by side with normal humans, everyone knows vampires aren’t born, they’re made. The only thing she ever wanted is to know her true Origins. Ashlyn’s tale takes her on a quest to find out what makes her different and to find out the truth, but with every question she gets answered, she uncovers more uncertainties.
 To make things worse she makes enemies of the most powerful vampires of the city who consider her powers to dangerous to let go unchecked. She is saved by the government only to be trained and used to serve their purposes, and Ashlyn finds herself torn between two worlds. She can either be a monster, or help fight the monsters.

 
 
 
Not only did Sean Hayden bag a contract to have the Demonkin Series published with Echelon press he was offered a job too, which eventually became a senior editor within the company. Now that’s what I call a book deal! See

post about Echelon Press where he shares his knowledge of “life as an editor”.
He says, “After an extensive search for an agent and publisher, debating self publishing, and massive amounts of hair loss, I finally found Echelon Press, a small Indie publisher out of Maryland.”
 
Sean started writing about a year and a half ago. His debut novel, Origins is an urban fantasy about vampires, how they came to be, why there are different breeds, and the main character Ashlyn. If you want to look at what the book is about, Sean has a website devoted to the series as well as an author website.
He received the contract for Origins, which is out this month. He has finished the sequel, Deceptions and has received a contract for that, as well. He has also penned a steampunk short called Lady Dorn.
 

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004MYFS5M&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrWhat inspired you to write your book?
I’ve been an avid reader for almost my whole life. Growing up it wasn’t TV that fascinated me, it was the written word. I remember reading a book one day. I had gone to B&N and bought the whole series without reading the first one. Needless to say, I got about halfway through the first book before setting it down and never picking it up again. “I could do better than that,” I said. I finally gave it a shot. Origins is my result.

What is it about? Genre etc.
Origins is pure Urban Fantasy. Within its pages you will find that vampires, werewolves, elves, and every other fantasy creature is alive and well and working, playing, and dying right beside everyday humans. Some are good, some aren’t. I have taken all the legends surrounding vampires and explained the differences as them being different subspecies. Origins focuses around the central character, Ashlyn. She is the newest subspecies. She’s quite a bit different and that makes her a target with the rest of the vampire community.

Was there a character you struggled with?
Struggles? Oh, yes. Struggles aplenty. The one thing that stands out the most to me was with Ashlyn, the MC. She was hidden for the first few years of her life and had very limited contact with the outside world. That made things very difficult in writing her. Every time she did something in the story, I had to stop and think, “Would she know how to do this?” The other issue came with setting her above the other kinds of vampires. I had to make her more powerful, but not perfect. That was difficult at times.

How many unpublished books do you have lurking under your bed?
Actually, NONE. I wrote Origins and submitted. It’s due out Feb 15th. The sequel Deceptions is written and contracted. I wrote a steampunk short called Lady Dorn and it is also under contract. I’m currently working on a steampunk short series for YA readers as well as a YA urban fantasy called Soul Seeker.

How did you find your publisher? How do they treat you? Would you recommend them?
Writing a book was easy. Getting it into the hands of the reader was like scaling Mt Kilamanjaro with two broken legs. My book was written and I started querying agents. That was a complete waste of time. Know how many agents are even willing to read your work if you’re previously unpublished? Ya, not many. I didn’t even find one in fact. So after wasting six months of my life on that, I decided to go for the gold and look for a publisher. I figured I would spend some time on the slushpile, but that’s the price to pay for glory. I queried all the big publishing houses. The results were the same as looking for an agent. They won’t even look at your work if your previously unpublished. Then I found a website called duotrope.com. If you’re looking for smaller publishing houses, I highly recommend starting there. I queried two publishers, and they said, “We’d love to look at your work but we are afraid your genre is over written at this time.” Okay. Then I found Echelon Press. They’re a small Indi Pub out of Maryland. The owner of the company is named Karen Syed. I could go on for hours about how wonderful they are. I am completely happy there and the owner treats her authors with respect, dignity, and like they were family.

What’s the best/worst part of being a writer?
The best part of being a writer is getting to tell my stories. I love that people are going to hold my book in their hand and read something I WROTE. It’s kind of heady. The worst part of being a writer is the frustration of finding time to do it. I work as a fiber-optic engineer during the day, and that leaves little time to write, especially with two kids and a wife at home.

What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
Believe it or not, my lunch break. I seem to get more written in that hour than the other 23 hours in the day.

Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer
I’m a digital kid. Paper just wastes trees. I don’t even make notes, jot down ideas, or outline. I sit at the computer, open my file, and start writing. I have no idea what the characters are doing next, or even where the story is going.

What/who do you draw inspiration from?
What if’s. I make it a game and did a blog stop for a friend explaining where i draw my inspiration. It’s all around, but you have to play the “what if” game. For example, you’re walking down the street and you see a squirrel run up a tree. “What if” that squirrel wasn’t really a squirrel, but an alien scout sent with squirrel cloaking, sent to earth to subjugate us before its imperial overlords land? See, inspiration can come from anywhere.

Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
Absolutely not. With as hectic as my life is, I write when I can. To set goals would be a self induced lesson in disappointment.

What are you working on now that you can talk about?
World domination…oh, wait I’m NOT supposed to talk about that. Actually I mentioned before about the steampunk YA short series I’m writing. I’m going to have to leave it at that. Details I’m not allowed to share, but I’m writing it with my 11yo son and he is super excited about it. The other item I have in the works is a YA urban fantasy about making bad choices and getting exactly what you wish for.

How do/did you deal with rejection letters?
With a shot of bourbon. Just kidding. Kind of. I don’t usually deal well with rejection. I pout for a while and then realize that everything happens for a reason and that you cant please everybody at the same time. Some people will love what you’ve written and others won’t. It’s the nature of the human persona.

Do you have a critique partner?
Actually, I do. She’s another author/editor with Echelon Press. I never submit or revise anything without sending to her first. I owe a great deal to her for catching mistakes AFTER something’s been edited. I do the same for her when she needs it.

About Demonkin Series:
What age group is the Demonkin series geared towards and what genre?
 Its geared towards adults. The main character is young, but she is thrust into the world of adulthood at an early age. It would seem that all the vampire series out there are meant for YA readers. Adults are infatuated by vampires, too. I wrote this book for them. It’s fun, it’s edgy, it’s sometimes dark, but never gloomy or full of angst.


Tell us a little about the series? Do I have to read book one, before I reach for book two etc? How many books are there to be?
The series is centered around the main character Ashlyn Thorn. She was born with all the traits of a vampire, but everybody knows vampires are made, not born. She knows she is something different, but she hasn’t got a clue about her true origins. The series follows her life as she is picked up by the FBI to help police the supernatural world and learns a little more about herself every day. The second book is complete and under contract and is entitled Deceptions. It’s not necessary to read the first one before picking up the second one, but I would recommend it. As for how long the series is, I never plan ahead. Demonkin is my favorite project, and I plan on keeping it going as long as there’s somebody who wants to hear what happens next.

What is your favourite scene in your book? Can we have a snippet?
We pulled up to another vampire club a few miles away after an uneventful ride in a nondescript cargo van. Didn’t these people believe in offices? They could have spiffy names like the vampire offices of Dewey, Bitem, and Howe. The van pulled into an employee parking lot in the rear of the building and my escorts ushered me to the back door. Demitri knocked three times, and the door opened. I gasped at the more impressive muscle standing before me; they stood taller than the bouncers I had seen at Fangloria’s. The vampire wore what looked like a 1920’s gangster approved pinstripe suit and hat. I thought it might be a personal attire choice until I saw the two behind him wearing similar outfits. Either I had entered a themed club, or I really stood before prohibition era vampires.

Have your characters or writing been inspired by friends/family or by real-life experiences?
 My family has always been my inspiration for writing, but my characters are pure fiction. I try to throw a little of me into each of them, but as they progress, they become more unique on their own.

Can you sum the series in one sentence?
Demonkin is a fast paced thrill ride centered around a new breed of vampire.

Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
Mine is Ashlyn’s partner, Thompson. He is grumpy and cool, and just fun to write.

Which comes first for you – characters or plot?
Characters definitely. You could have the most exciting story in the world, but if your characters are weak, unlikeable, or unbelievable, everything will fall apart.

Prior to being contracted to Echelon Press, had you submitted to traditional publishers?
When I finished writing Origins, I did some research. Everybody told me that in order to get published with a traditional publisher, you had to have an agent. I spent the first five months of my writing career querying agents. Vampires were in such popularity at the time, I couldn’t even get an agent to read my manuscript, so I gave up on the traditional publishing route. I did query Penguin Books and Tor, but I didn’t expect anything to come from them and I wasn’t disappointed when they didn’t even ask for a submission. That’s when I decided to look for a really good independent publisher.

Do you have an agent?
No, I do not. I spent a good portion of my life just trying to get one to read my manuscript, and now I’m a little thankful none did. I’ve seen too many authors who do have agents, that are getting absolutely nowhere. Now they are stuck in a contract with an agent and counting the days until their contract expires so they can find an independent publisher. It’s kind of scary how the publishing world is changing.

Will Origins be available only as an ebook?
It comes out Feb 15th as an eBook, but will be available in paperback shortly thereafter. I don’t know the exact release date of the paperback as of yet.

Are there any upcoming signings or appearances you’d like to mention?
 I’m planning on attending Readercon in July and the South Carolina Book Festival later this year. In April, I’m planning on doing a virtual signing at Calico Books via webcam. As for local signings, etc, I’m waiting til the paperback comes out and plan on touring most of my home state, Florida as I can schedule.

What marketing have you been doing to help sales?
Blog tours, marketing materials, social media, I plan on being on the radio for an interview, press releases, forums, you name it. If it’s out there, I have tried it or will try it. Marketing is without a doubt the most quintessential key to success. I could not stress this more. You can not rely on word of mouth to get your book out there to the masses.

You have written a steampunk short called Lady Dorn, what is steampunk exactly? How does it differ from fantasy or science fiction?
I’ve been asked this question a lot as of late. When you hear the term steampunk, think of Jules Verne. It can be set in any time period, but everyone should have technology that is anachronistic. Steam powered cell phones. Brass computers with typewriter keys. Flying dirigibles attached to wooden naval ships. The possibilities are endless. I’ve actually started writing a series of steampunk shorts with my 11yo son geared toward younger readers. The Magnificent Steam Carnival of Professor Pelusian Minus. The whole genre is growing in popularity every day. I can see why. It’s fun to read, but absolutely fantastic to write. Think of it as rewriting history as it would have been if you could travel back in time and give key players technological advancements.

Contacts:

Torc of Moonlight by Linda Acaster, plus her thoughts on POD and ebooks.

Torc of Moonlight by Linda Acaster
Cross-Genres Embracing New Technology

Linda Acaster is a three-times mainstream published novelist and writer of over 70 short stories covering an array of genres published in the UK, USA and Europe. Her latest novel, Torc of Moonlight, she indie authored as a POD paperback, and has subsequently published two of her rights-reverted backlist novels as ebooks. I asked for her thoughts of the process of becoming a POD and an ebook author:

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1906558752&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrTorc of Moonlight is a contemporary thriller with supernatural overtones, what my past agent and various publishers’ editors described as a cross-genre novel. No matter how they applauded the writing, it wasn’t going to find a UK publisher because it didn’t fall neatly into one of the industry’s pigeonholes. Such is life for the UK writer. Writers in the USA don’t have this problem. Cross-genres are embraced by a plethora of publishers, large and small, with the best novels coming across to the UK under licence and given the sort of publicity budget and self space that leaves Brit writers breathless.
But new technology is starting to level the playing field. Print On Demand paperbacks have been around for a while, but like all new technology its costs were high. In 2008 the first of the lo-cost POD publishers started up, and in 2009 Legend Press opened a POD arm, New Generation Publishing. Torc of Moonlight was sitting in a drawer, so I submitted it.
Lo-cost POD publishers work by leaving typesetting and editing to the author. They claw back their investment when a novel sells, much the same way as does a mainstream publisher, and the royalties paid to authors are similar. ‘Typesetting’ is simply a case of following instructions. Editing is a whole different matter and why self-published fiction, either as POD or ebooks, is still fighting suspicion.

I’m lucky in having a lot of experience in this field, and in being a member of a local authors’ support group which pulls no punches. However, there’s little excuse for any writer being slap-dash – it’s all down to a careful eye during proofreading. But if your writing skills are in the early-medium stages of development it could save a lot of heartache later to pay for an analysis now. No editor can make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, so handing over a full script for ‘editing’ can be an expensive flop. Sending the first 50 pages for a critique, rather than an edit, will show up flaws, and armed with that knowledge a novelist is in a better position to make future decisions. Websites such as Authonomy.com offer something similar via peer evaluation, but your writing might be at the mercy of a peer at the same stage as yourself. As a first step, though, what is there to lose?

Torc of Moonlight came out as a paperback at the end of 2009, and because it had been allotted an ISBN number it was listed in the major distribution channels: Amazon (UK and USA), Waterstone’s, WH Smith, Book Depository, but getting it onto bookshop shelves, even in my own area where the novel is set, was no easy matter. The amount of effort in gaining publicity in general should never be underestimated, a problem faced by authors of mainstream published books as well.
In January 2010 Amazon USA announced that it was opening its indie authoring ebooks scheme to those living outside of the US, and with rights already reverted to two historical romances I began the research to bring these to new readers using new technology. The Kindle e-reader uses Amazon’s proprietary AZW format as well as its own ASIN numbering system. Other formats, most notably e-Pub on its way to becoming universally accepted, are catered for by Smashwords.com which will issue a free ISBN number so a novel can be included in its premium catalogue for e-readers such as the Nook, Sony e-reader, and Apple’s new iPad. Formatting and editing is again down to the author, and the same advice as above applies.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003MNH4BA&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrSo why an ebooks and not POD paperbacks? Hostage of the Heart, my Mediaeval Romance, won an award when it was first published; Beneath The Shining Mountains, set among Native Americans in the 1830s, sold just over 30,000 copies. Both remain very decent reads as reviews are beginning to attest, but readership patterns have changed, and continue to change at an accelerating rate. I’m no longer aiming for a reader who indulges in an easy afternoon browsing the shelves of a bookshop, but one who logs on, chooses a read, and expects it to arrive either on a PC or direct to an e-reader within a minute. This is why many indie authored ebooks are priced for impulse buying, $3 or less. Torc of Moonlight will follow in October and the good reviews I’ve gathered for the POD copy should help promote the ebook.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003VTZZNO&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrAmazon is accelerating its rollout of the new generation Kindle and its UK ebook store has been open since the beginning of August. The UK iPad store is open for anyone who can fathom its use, and Waterstone’s online has been selling e-books for Sony’s e-reader for a while. At the moment I read both e-Pub and Kindle formats on my laptop via the free PC applications, and they are so good that an e-reader will be on my Christmas list. And I won’t be the only person doing that, which means that my prospective readership is growing all the time.

And sales for the Historicals? Slow, but I didn’t expect otherwise as I’m in a learning curve with publicity. However ebook readers, like POD book readers, embrace cross-genres. They are looking only for a ‘damned good read’, not a publisher’s stamp of pure-genre approval. And Amazon allows an ebook to be listed under five of its categories, more than enough for any cross-genre novelist.

Torc of Moonlight -What happens when a Celtic past reaches forward to a disbeliving present with determindation, resoursefulness and sexual avarice? First in a trilogy set in univeristy cities aruond North York Moors.

Available from most online bookshops including Amazon UK and USA, and the Book Depository for free shipping worldwide, or to order from your local bricks and mortar retailer.
– Amazon UK http://tinyurl.com/39jpmlf 
– Amazon USA http://tinyurl.com/38qyyhq
– Book Depository http://tinyurl.com/39oqlxv

To read the first chapter visit http://www.lindaacaster.co.uk/

Beneath The Shining Mountains – Historical Romance set among the Apsaroke people of the Northern Plains of America in the 1830s
– Amazon US Kindle http://tinyurl.com/35sfkhq
– Amazon UK Kindle page http://tinyurl.com/27trs49
– Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/18144
–  Review 5 wings Classic Romance Revival http://tinyurl.com/2wodfco

Hostage of the Heart – Mediaeval Romance set on the English-Welsh borders in 1066, dealing with battle hostages.
– Amazon US Kindle http://tinyurl.com/3a2dyz5
– Amazon UK Kindle http://tinyurl.com/24xbekn
– Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/14120

Both Historicals are available from Kindle stores Amazon UK and USA, and for other e-readers from www.smashwords.com/books/view/18144

To read the first chapters visit http://www.lindaacaster.blogspot.com/

Amazon Kindle app http://tinyurl.com/28zbaf8
Adobe Digital Editions app http://tinyurl.com/28drft2

Do we ignore the history so close beneath our feet because it is dead, or because we fear it might rise again?
Torc of Moonlight
out NOW

David Fingerman on the Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing

David Fingerman would like to introduce two novels:
EDGING PAST REALITY and
SILENT KILL



http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wise044-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1935097075&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrGet ready to expect the unexpected when you read this collection of chilling short stories by David Fingerman. The short stories of Edging Past Reality will take you to the precipice of reason and then push you over the edge. If you think you can always believe your eyes, and you’re sure that what you believe is true, it’s time to check your certainties at the door … and start Edging Past Reality.


Imagine an inviting, lush meadow that turns shockingly deadly. A mirror that holds more than mere reflections. A trial where your life hangs by a call-in vote.

David Fingerman, a master of the unforeseen and unpredictable, will take you on a number of seemingly ordinary journeys and then smoothly veer off course, surprising you with twists and turns that propel you toward destinations that are not only unexpected, but often terrifying.

Edging Past Reality has received rave reviews so far, so if you like your stories short, sharp and terrifiying then why not give the book a go?

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1603182306&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrComing soon is Fingerman’s next novel, a suspense/thriller titled Silent Kill. Keep checking his website for its release date. Out now!
Louise Miller is a Minneapolis Police Officer whose friend and fellow officer is found murdered. Being gay, Louise has is plagued by homophobic comments from her fellow colleges, and being only a regular street cop she’s not privy to inside information. She and her brother Andrew, a deputy sheriff, team up to track down the killer. As the body count rises, they’re led into a maze of violence and killing where all the clues seem to revolve around a rottweiler.

David Fingerman on self-publishing:

Although Silent Kill is my first novel, Edging Past Reality is my first book. I was under no illusions, or at least became very quickly aware, that a traditional publisher would never have any interest in a book of short stories. That’s not to say that I didn’t try. Along with the form letter rejects, I got some very nice and complimentary personal rejects.

It’s then that I started researching self-publishing. My plan was that self-publishing would get my name out to the masses, and then I would try the traditional route with my novels. I was stunned at how many companies wanted to publish my book. The price ranges I found went from $0 to over ten thousand dollars. I quickly decided free was not the way to go for me. After days of turning my brain to mush, I opted for a local company and chose a package I could afford. What I liked about going local was I actually drove down to their office and got to meet the people face-to-face. That’s certainly not a necessity, but it made me feel better about my choice. About five months later, Edging Past Reality came out, and I must say that it looked every bit professional as any traditionally published book

Here are a few advantages and disadvantages I found with self-publishing.
Advantages: (again, do your research – not all of these will apply with every company)
(1) You retain total control of your book.
(2) You set the price of your book.
(3) You keep a much higher percentage of royalties.
(4) Your book will be out much faster than with a traditional publisher.

Disadvantages:
(1) Good luck getting your book into major bookstores. (I got “EPR” into some wonderful indi bookstores, but B&N and Borders wouldn’t even talk to me.)
(2) There’s still the stigma that self-publishing = crap. It’s not as bad as it used to be and getting better, but the label still there.
(3) It’s very possible that the money you invest will not be made up in sales (welcome to the world of marketing, but that’s another blog for another day).
Self-publishing is a great viable option. I don’t know if I’ll go that route again, but my over-all experience was good. I’ve also read some excellent self-published books that, if traditional publishers rejected them, it’s their loss.
Anyway, as far as my plan, I have no idea if it worked. It doesn’t really matter. Silent Kill found a fantastic home with L & L Dreamspell, a non-traditional, but not a self-publishing company. I don’t think they had ever heard of me before, so in that respect I guess my plan failed. In another respect – so what?



Before anyone heads down the self-publishing route check out these sites first: Writer Beware and  Predators and Editors. They are invaluable websites to assist in research.

Self-Publishing Snobbery

There’s a lot of snobbery in the air when someone mentions self-publishing. A lot of pursed lips and tut-tutting. It’s the last resort of a poor writer having been rejected by countless agents and publishers, isn’t it?

Many think so, sadly.

I’ve read a few SP books and loads of “ordinary” books and have found errors in both. Funny, they are called spelling errors in SP books, but printing errors in books with a publishing house behind them.

I suppose I’m biased having written and POD-published my book. I regret not finding a decent designer for the book cover, but other than that it’s my debut book and I’m proud of it, God dammit!

So, would I do it again?

Yep, is my answer. Self-publishing, podding, whatever you call it is second best but only because you are editor, promoter, and writer all rolled into one neat ball, and being all of those is a lonely and time-consuming business (especially when all you want to do is write!). But I’d still do it again. I’ve learned so much along the way, and met so many wonderful people.

The Pros and Cons of self-publishing can be found in the links highlighted. But, at all costs, make sure your book is the best it can be if you follow the SP route (by any route, really). Pay for a detailed edit/proof-read. Pay an artist for a good cover: these don’t have to be expensive. Shop around.

Thanks to Lulu.com, youwriteon.com etc self-publishing (POD – print on demand) isn’t expensive anymore, so don’t get suckered into paying more than you can afford.

Vanity publishing is not to be confused with self-publishing. These are companies out to get as much money from authors as they can. You’ll end up with a garage full of books and an empty bank account, so be aware.

But be prepared to sell yourself; pimping on Twitter, Facebook etc. You’ll make a lot of friends from all over the world, as I have found, but you’ll also encounter a lot of snobbery.

Have you self-published? Thinking about it? I’d love to hear from you.

Self-Publishing snobbery

There’s a lot of snobbery in the air when someone mentions self-publishing. A lot of pursed lips and tut-tutting. It’s the last resort of a poor writer having been rejected by countless agents and publishers, isn’t it? .

Many think so, sadly.

I’ve read a few SP books and loads of “ordinary” books and have found errors in both. Funny, they are called spelling errors in SP books, but printing errors in books with a publishing house behind them.

The Pros and Cons of self-publishing can be found in the links highlighted. But, at all costs, make sure your book is the best it can be if you follow the SP route (by any route, really). Pay for a detailed edit/proof-read. Pay an artist for a good cover: these don’t have to be expensive. Shop around.

But be prepared to sell yourself; pimping on Twitter, Facebook etc. You’ll also make a lot of friends from all over the world, as I have found. I may not make my fortune from Eden but I’m sure going to have fun selling it!