Month: June 2012

Chase of a Lifetime on Smashwords, Kobo, and More…

When I first published “Chase of a Lifetime” on Amazon, I opted for the lender program and with that program I wasn’t allowed to distribute the book anywhere else for three months.

It’s been three months and COAL is now available on most major retail web sites where e-books are sold. I’m still working on getting it up on and a few more sites.

But here are a list of places where it is for sale:



Barnes & Noble




And still on Amazon.

I know it’s up with my other published books on Smashwords as I publish this post, but it might take a while for it to be added to the other sites. I’ll keep checking over the weekend.

When it’s for sale on ARe, I’ll post about it with links. This is the hard part about self-publishing…learning how to upload and distribute to all these different places without messing up. Thankfully, Tony’s been doing most of this for me.

Fred Karger Ends Campaign

I just received an e-mail from the Fred Karger staff informing me that he’s ended his campaign for President. It’s been interesting to watch. I’ve enjoyed posting about it for significant historical reasons. Here’s the e-mail below as I received it.

Statement by Fred Karger LAGUNA BEACH, CA – “After 2 ½ years of campaigning as a candidate for President of the United States I am officially ending my historic campaign today June 29, 2012. It’s been one hell of a ride, and I want to thank the thousands of people across this country who volunteered, contributed, opened their homes, came to our events and cheered me on. Special thanks to the thousands more who shared their stories with me in person, via email, facebook, twitter, etc. Every one of you kept me going. It’s been the experience of a lifetime. I’ve made many new friends and undoubtedly picked up a few more detractors. I hope and trust that my discussion of the key issues helped to open dialog on fixing the economy, balancing the federal budget, creating jobs, education reform, the environment, immigration reform, ending the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and fighting for full equality for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. We must move forward on these issues and many more. A big thank you goes out to our incredible campaign team, most of whom have been around for nearly the entire 2 ½ years. Your dedication, spirit and great ideas made all the difference. I plan to rest up for awhile and then I will be back at it to help in the fight for LGBT equality. We will let you know as soon as our exact course is determined. We closed our Utah Primary campaign with a big bang by airing the hard-hitting commercial “STOP THE HATE!!!” aimed at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church). It was produced and directed by Melanie Marden of MM Films, LLC. CLICK HERE to Watch.

Writing About a Medical Marijuana Dispensary for Next Book in Chase of a Lifetime Series

Writing about a medical marijuana dispensary sounded like fun when I first started. I’m finishing up the next book in the Chase of a Lifetime series, “Chase of a Dream,” and I needed something interesting for one of the characters. For those who have read the first book, the character I’m talking about is Cain Mayfield. He’s Len Mayfield’s grown son from his first marriage to a woman.

In short, Cain shows up in Los Angeles in the beginning of the book and he moves in with Len, Jim, and their three-year old, Culum. And Cain’s connection to the family isn’t just because Len is Cain’s father. Cain is also Jim’s best friend from childhood and Cain’s the biological father of Culum.

The problem with Cain is that since he graduated from Standford he’s been floundering around. He flunked out of grad school and moved to Hawaii to live with his mother and screwed up there. So now he’s in LA, trying to find his own dream at the expense of Len and Jim’s regular routine. But he’s also Culum’s biological father and they want Culum to grow up knowing his dad.

Cain is an interesting character in the sense that he’s still not fond of the fact that his dad is gay…but he doesn’t hold this against old friend Jim, who happens to be his dad’s husband. It gets complicated sometimes, but the point is that Cain is always doing something unexpected. And one day he decides he wants to open up a legal medical marijuana dispensary in the LA area and his dad, Len, hits the roof. Len is conservative and he doesn’t get the concept of legal weed. So Len tells Cain that if he wants to open his own marijuana dispensary he has to get a job at an estabilished dispensary first to see if that’s what he really wants to do with his life.

And that’s exactly what Cain does. He applies for a job at a legal medical marijuana dispensary on Sunset that’s not only very high-end and caters to the best clients in Beverly Hills, but is also owned and operated by a transgender with whom Cain winds up having an affair. Without giving out any spoilers, this creates an interesting conflict…with regard to both the transgender relationship and Cain’s career goals.

My problem in writing this is that I discovered that owning a medical marijuana dispensary anywhere is not as simple as they make it look on TV or the movies. It’s one of the most complicated businesses to run in the universe and there are legal details that never seem to end. And even if all those details are covered, there are still many risks and costs can run very high. And I’m not expert in the field of running a legal medical marijuana dispensary. The information available is sketchy at best. So I ultimately decided to handle this subject with great care. I can’t go into any details about it because that would spoil a few surprises. But I did take the topic very seriously and I think I made the right decision with regard to how I did it.

Aside from all this, the basic plot of this next book in the COAL series revolves around Len and Jim building their family, their lives, and their careers. Though they love their completely renovated home in the Hollywood Hills, Len starts to miss Texas, his horses, and his old ranch. So they wind up moving to a ranch outside of Los Angeles that’s still close enough to their jobs and Culum’s pre-school in West Hollywood. And dealing with Cain and the medical marijuana dispensary is just one of the challenges they face while doing this.

Do Authors Need Outlines?

I spotted an interesting post about writing outlines, written by a young blogger I’ve been following who I think is very talented.

I commented about being on the fence with regard to outlines. I’ve written outlines with some projects and I haven’t with others. For me it all depends on how fast the story is coming, and whether or not I have it outlined in my head…if that makes sense.

And for me it’s only with novels. I never use an outline for a short story. Something (or someone) inspires me and I get the idea and run with it, so to speak.

You can get there from here to read the post in full.

Teens Raise Money Through Kickstarter

I’ve posted about kickstarter before. It’s a web site where struggling artists can ask for financial support for projects they are working on. If people believe these projects are worthy of support, they can patronize the artist through kickstarter. I published a guest post about what author/publisher Cecilia Tan is trying to do here.

In this case it’s a group of teens.

The authors and editors behind Canteen Magazine work with under-served Harlem 7th-graders to promote a love of reading, writing and photography. At the end of each academic year, the volunteers produced a printed book compilation called canTeens. This year, they lack the funds to create the 2012 edition of “canTeens” which is why they have turned to Kickstarter in the hopes of raising $5,000. Above, we’ve embedded a video about the project–what do you think?

I think it’s a wonderful idea and a good example of how the web has enhanced our lives. This couldn’t have been done twenty years ago. No bake sale or car wash ever raised THAT much money for any school function.

You can read more here, at galleycat.

Amazon, Dorchester, Vacuous Nasty Bloggers, and Thoughts From Nora Ephron…

This seems to have been a particularly evil week on the Interwebs for nasty bloggers. I read where one extremely decent elderly gay author (who happens to have great books and great sales with a great publisher) was ripped to shreds on one particularly vicious blog. As a result, he announced he no longer wants to write. I’ve seen so-called gay fiction authors attack other authors in public, which is something I rarely see people in other professions ever do (try to get a doctor to trash, or even testify against, another doctor). And I’ve read blog posts where many authors seem both disillusioned and frustrated about all of this. I don’t blame them. I feel the same way.

On top of all this, Nora Ephron passed away. I wasn’t always a huge fan of everything she did.I would have rather seen more Julia than Julie in the film “Julie and Julia”. (Many don’t know this but Julia Child was often attacked by vicious jealous people in the world of cookery during her time, so it’s not something new.) But I loved how Ephron did it, and I respected everything she did. I think Ephron will go down as one of the greats of our time.

This photo I found on social media is a great example of what I’m talking about. And when you think about how short life is, those vicious, vacuous blogs that go for the kill really don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. I’m not a huge fan of authors behaving badly in public. But what is considered bad behavior covers far more ground than authors attacking reviews/reviewers. It also covers authors who attack other authors with reviews and opinion pieces for no other reason than to spread hate.

I also saw this good news this morning. It looks as if Amazon is trying to acquire Dorchester’s assets, which would mean all authors/agents who haven’t been paid will finally see their money.

Amazon Publishing would buy Dorchester’s entire backlist and customer list and would pay Dorchester authors any outstanding royalties they are owed.

I remember following the Dorchester debacle while it was happening and I felt bad for the authors. And what happened to Dorchester is something that could happen to any publisher. Once again, you can’t fault Amazon for doing something no one esle seemed willing to do. You can also read more here at a blog I frequent often, written by Richard Curtis.

And a little further down is the good news that authors and agents who had despaired of recovering royalties from the sinking publisher will be made whole by Amazon: “All publication contacts regarding certain literary works (collectively, the “Works”) and related outbound license agreements of DP (collectively, the “Contracts”), subject to the purchaser negotiating certain amendments with the authors of the Works in exchange for payment by Amazon Publishing of the full amount of back royalties that DP indicates is owed to those authors as of May 31, 2012…”

Another Way for Libraries to Evolve That Involves Self-Publishing

I’ve been watching how libraries will change in the coming years because I’ve always been a library supporter. I’ve seen doom and gloom posts that say libraries are dead, and I’ve also seen posts that say libraries will evolve into something different…more like community learning centers.

I tend to agree with the latter. I don’t think libraries will ever disappear. And the article to which I’m linking might be an indication as to how they will evolve in the near future. Also take into account the mention of self-publishing, which seems to be making headlines everywhere I go these days.

Digital publishing company Smashwords and Califa, a consortium of 220 California libraries, have formed a partnership to distribute Smashwords eBooks in libraries and to give member libraries the ability to let patrons publish eBooks through Smashwords.

Library Journal explained the self-publishing process: “A patron will be able to use the Califa interface, being built with VuFind, to upload their manuscripts to Smashwords, which then will make the books available to its retail partners (such as Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Sony). But Smashwords will also notify Califa that a patron has uploaded a title and see if Califa wishes to purchase the title for its collection.”

Less than four years ago publishing professionals were not only laughing at e-publishing, but also self-publishing. You can read more by clicking the link below.

What in the world will happen next?