The Self-publishing Three-year plan is now a book

Hello all, I haven’t been here for some time.

I’ve been busy writing new books.

But I have just published a series of three books that readers of this blog might find useful.
Over the years, I have found that a lot of people ask for advice on self publishing. I think this is a good thing, because when you google self publishing, a lot of vanishing publishers come up.

Asking other authors is certainly the best way to find out about the best practices, so I don’t want to discourage that. But there are only so many hours in my day! I need to spend more time writing my own fiction instead of talking to people and answering questions via email or Facebook.

Often, the answers will repeat the same things over and over again, so I have decided to make it a series of books.

The first book, Self-publishing Unboxed, is 101 guide to self publishing for people who know nothing about it. It covers the basic principles of self publishing, the dos and don’t’s, the potential pitfalls, and the attitude necessary to turn this into a successful venture.

There are quite a few books out there that cover a lot of the nitty-gritty, but not many of them give an overall perspective from the viewpoint of a writer’s career. Books will concentrate on marketing, on the publishing process, or on writing craft. But in reality, all three of these need to come together. I have attempted to give a bird’s eye view of all three.

In the self publishing community, I have become known as someone uses mailing lists to great effect.

In the second book, Mailing Lists Unboxed, I describe some of my tactics and the underlying principles and attitudes necessary to use your author mailing list to its full potential.

Again, this is not how to guide with detailed instructions, because I assume that you can read the instructions on your email provider’s website on how to set up the processes I talk about in the book.

Rather, it is a book that describes how the things work and why they work. I cover different types of mailing list and the different strategies necessary to engage them, how to recruit people for your mailing list and what are the consequences of each type of recruiting, the risks with mailing lists, the unspoken rules about them, and how to use your list to sell books.

The last book, Going Wide Unboxed, is a short companion guide for writers who are listed in Kindle Unlimited, and who want to take a stab at listing at other venues than Amazon and take their fiction into the world. Kindle Unlimited has its largest market in the US. That is all very well if your fiction is geared towards the US, but it is not even the majority of English language readers.

These days, I sell a lot more outside the US than inside it. The sales of English ebooks is a growing market in countries other than the US, and in general, not even on Amazon, one that has embraced Kindle Unlimited in great extent.

By increasing your focus on international sales, you can also increase your sales on Amazon, especially in non-US stores.

This book discusses the non-Amazon venues that are open to self-publishers and where it is useful to list your books. It discusses if you peculiarities of each platform that can be useful to know.

It also discusses the fundamental shift in attitude that you need to have with regards to marketing your books. For one, your mailing list will become much more important.

There isn’t anyone easy way to increase your sales. Taking your sales worldwide is hard. This book aims to better prepare you for taking that step.

The book is only short, and will be free for a limited time.

The three books will be available to all writers, and not just the ones who sent me messages on Facebook or send me emails.

I hope to have served the writing community by writing these books. There will not be any online courses or any webinars to sell. I will get back to my fiction.

You can see more information about the books and find out where to get them here.


Crazy Science Fiction and Fantasy ebook sale on this weekend!


Click here or on the image to go to the promo (opens a new tab).

This weekend, I’m taking part in a crazy promo with 166 authors, where we have lowered prices to 99c. Unlike so many other promotions, this is NOT a purely Amazon-centred event, and you will find a page for each retailer. I’m looking to expand this co-op to become more international. About a third of our visitors are currently not from the US.

Something for the weekend: 15 novellas 99c


I recently pulled all my more recent novellas and short stories together in an anthology. There are 15 of them:

This Peaceful State of War – WOTF winning story
Geospermia – published in Analog
The Rebelliousness of Trassi Udang – published in Belong, ISF-Allion world
The Shattered World Within – published in Giganotosaurus
Survival in Shades of Orange – published in Analog
Quarantine – published in Dead Red Heart
Party, with Echoes – published in Redstone SF
His Name In Lights – published in Universe Annex of the Grantville Gazette
Abode – published in Aurealis
A perfect Day off the Farm – published in Extreme Planets
Santiago Dawn – published in Neo-opsis
Where the Plains Merge With The Sky – published in Scapezine
Luminescence – ISF-Allion world novella
Charlotte’s Army – ISF-Allion novella
Looking For Daddy – absurd horror novella

It’s only 99c.


I’ll soon nuke this blog.

There will be a replacement, and it will probably look little different from this version, so you may not notice except for the fact that some key posts are no longer here. I am in the process of copying them to my author website. Those posts that still get visits probably deserve to have a more permanent home anyway.

The wordpress install in this blog is badly corrupted. I can still post (duh!) but no one can comment and on odd occasions that people do comment (although don’t ask me how), I can’t even see their comments for me to approve them. Also the theme is meant to be mobile-friendly, except Google says it’s not. Then there is also the mysterious auto-multiplying post issue where my old posts produce clones in dark corners. And the funny thing? I can’t even delete that rubbish! I can’t delete anything within the wordpress back-end.

So, I’ll be typing DELETE *.* in this directory, and re-installing wordpress again, re-installing the theme and starting over again.

I’ll be looking forward to getting a blog were people can actually, y’know, comment.

Announcement was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

Mini-course on self-publishing basics

Self-publishing is easy. You write a book, edit it, put on a cover and upload it. Easy.

However, without help, the vast majority of books sink into oblivion with nary a sale. If it was your aim to get the book out of your system, you’ve succeeded, but what’s the fun if no one is reading it? You might buy a $10 ad, get two sales and the next day the book sinks again. With no reviews, you’re not even eligible to submit to many promotion sites. No sales = no reviews = no promotion. Dog, meet tail.

A sale a day per book, 30 sales a month, makes a huge difference in both your income and your book’s visibility. There are a few simple things that you can do to increase the visibility, but if you google “self-publishing”, you get hit in the face (in the search results and for months afterwards!) with ads for vanity publishers. URGH!

This is why I’ve written a free three-part mini-course on self-publishing tactics for beginners. It covers presentation and a few simple tricks that have been beneficial to many writers.

The course will go out in three emails that will be sent two days apart. Sign up for my mailing list before Saturday 9pm AEST or 4am US west coast time and you will receive the signup link with the newsletter that goes out that day.

Did I mention it’s FREE?

Mini-course on self-publishing basics was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants

Yet again women locked out of SF

Multi-author box sets are a good way to garner readers. But. They’re usually by invitation only. The person who puts them together has the final choice.

Several of my writing friends ended up in this science fiction box set, which is currently doing well.

Seriously, guys, congrats.

See, that word?



Shoot me now. Self-perpetuating stereotypes anyone?

Yet again women locked out of SF was originally published on Must Use Bigger Elephants