Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amazon, a hit and a miss! The New Kindle win and the crash and burn of the Kindle Fire Tablet

So unless you live under a rock you saw Amazon has some new family members. New Kindle touch and some at a great price. This news is great, something for everyone. Granted if you get the lower priced one you may have to put up with some adds but hey... only 79 bucks!

B&N beat them to the punch on the touch screen Nook and so it was only a matter of time that Amazon jumped in. The surprise to me is the follow-the-big-bookstore-off-the-cliff move with the Amazon Fire.

This is their tablet. If you remember the Color Nook, a sub-par tablet aimed to compete with the iPad. And for anyone with said iPad it was a sorry joke. Smaller screen and so many other things that I will not list them here as I want a short post not a new book.

So after watching B&N leave the eBook race to fight in the tablet wars I was shocked that Amazon followed into this same losing war right behind B&N. Now I get they want to offer the same kind of things as B&N but why put out something lame just because your competition did?

The Kindle touch was a good move, B&N came out with one they came out with three (two but three different versions). B&N comes out with a lame tablet and you... do what? Come out with a lame one as well? Come on Amazon, I love you but get with the program. Why buy this tablet unless I get the same amount of APPs and screen size? Why would I jump the Apple ship for this? Not the price, yeah you are going to kill B&N and if that is your plan good job, but in the long run you just gave Apple more time to be the king of the table market.

Amazon should have waited and come out with this same tablet with the same screen size as the iPad and priced the same as it is now and we would all look the other way on the APP thing as the price would make it worth it. Amazon and Android will get there in that department so it would be a huge win.

As to the other thing no one will talk about is color eInk. We know it can be done and we want it. Yeah the touch is cool for our eReaders but we want a eInk screen full color. Whoever comes out with this first will own, flat out kill everyone else. Why are Amazon and B&N not putting their R&D into this instead of trying to split their forces and fight Apple. Win the eBook war and the tablet war will be a small town along the path to the celestial city.

We don't want a small tablet, we want a low cost iPad or something like it. We don't want a touch eReader, we want Color eInk on the cool non-glare screen.

You hit a double with the New Kindles but struck out with the Fire...
Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I am giving away a FREE KINDLE!

Who wants to win a FREE KINDLE? No joke... Free. How you might be asking with your eyes full of glee!?

Step One: RE-Post this message to your blog, Facebook profile or RE-Tweet.

Step Two: Go to the Airel Facebook Fan-page, and "like" the page as well as post your link on the wall. Everyone who does this, will be automatically entered to win a free Kindle. The prize will be drawn at random and I will post the winner on the 15th of October.

If you want to say something nice about me or the book I will give you a online hug! Now that is worth almost more! Thanks everyone and I can't wait to see who wins!

Good luck all and happy posting!

Here is the link to Airel on

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Luck Factor

As a publisher, author, and blogger I read study and look for new publishing news and information. What I try to do is planned and I am always testing things to see if I can do more to better our sales and our reach.

Sometimes this can be overwhelming and frustrating, as it is a never-ending process. As soon as I learn something new, it is buried under the next great thing. Like most things in the social media world, things are in a constant state of flux. How are we to keep up and bend? Can we ever master the art of meeting people and building a brand we can be proud of? Is skill even a factor? Can we learn or is it all just a mess of SEO and dumb luck?

The answer is both. I look at these authors that hit the top ten list and have no social media presence and when I hear hear them talk they have no clue to how they made it... it is this fluke, some sort of funny joke the gods have dropped on us just to mess with our minds. How is it that some do so well with little or no planning?

Everything I do is planned and tested, thought about and so on. But what about luck? It seems that every author that "Makes It" has this fun little luck thing going on. They try something and it just works, others follow and it does not seem to have the same results. I admit, I have this luck, some of it, but not all of it. I try something new in tweeting or promoting and it works most of the time.

This may sound great to you but to me it is a huge pain. I don't want to be a part of something that I can't duplicate or control. I want to be able to copy what works and spread it across to all our authors, but can it be done?

No, you can't teach luck, it just is...

Does that mean you have to have the Luck Factor? Nope, it just means that study, hard work, and doing the right mix of promotion and magic will still work. We can figure out what to do to be successful, but some will make it faster because of the LF.

I guess what I am saying is that if you have some luck, do not try to teach it to others as it will not work for them as it does you. But teach the things that will work even without the little dash of luck, because it is or is not... can we control it or force it to happen to us? I don't know, but I think no.

I believe everything can be done through hard work. But it does not hurt to have a little luck. If you have it, be glad but don't boast, if you don't, stop trying to get it or rub against someone who has it, work hard and we can all enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Real Me

We all have this mask we wear, the one for the public, Facebook, Twitter and so on. I have tried this last year to let that fall away and be more open and honest with who I really am and because of that I have lost some friends and gained others.

What does it mean to be real? Well... something like this.

Dream and take time for yourself, life is short.

Forget most of what people tell you and go with your gut.

Friends will never leave you but will always tell you the truth even if it hurts.

Money will never make you happy.

If you never try anything you will never fail or succeed.

You are not your job.

Sometimes the right thing is the wrong thing.

We are all not as cool as we think we are.

Being a nerd is not all that bad.

I like coffee, and books, and sometimes I need to be left alone.

Going out on the town every weekend gets boring.

Even the people you trust will let you down, cut them some slack.

Trust first and doubt later.

Most stories have three sides, your side, my side and the truth.

Sometimes I hate myself.

I do things I don't want to do because it is right and do things I don't want to do because I can't help myself.

My worst enemy is me.

Forgive me for being a jerk, I don't mean it but am stupid... a lot!

I am happy even when I am sad.

One day I hope to be a good writer, but in the meantime join me in my journey.

Never regret.

Learn something from everyone you meet, even if it is what not do do.

Most people that fail in life are scared.

Sometimes just getting out of bed is enough.

It is never as bad as you imagine it will be.

Cut yourself some slack.

I wish I was a better man.

People will hate you if you fail and hate you if you succeed.

And last of all... You Are Enough!


Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Risky Business: Guest post by J.E. Fishman

I met J.E. in New York at Thriller Fest. He let me butt in on a conversation and I found that he was up to date on the publishing world and was doing things that most authors were scared to do. He is the model for DIY publishing as he has done his research and looks and feels like a New York Press. Great cover, editing and distribution. Take note as this is just the beginning and I am sure we will all see more of this amazing author.

Risky Business

Life is risky. We fall ill, we trust too much, we have business or career setbacks. One accident, one wrong word to our boss, giving in to a single temptation…boom! All of a sudden we’re fighting for our lives or watching our bank account empty or our spouse walk out the door. No wonder we avoid additional risk when possible or lay off our risk on others when we can persuade them to take it.

Writing is risky. From deep within us we conjure images and characters and stories, then lay them out for the world to judge. No wonder books like The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes become perennial bestsellers. Some people find writing so risky that they can’t get past the blank page.

Publishing is risky. All that effort and money and time expended up front, then the book put out into a crowded and noisy world where it’s just as likely to get swamped as it is to get noticed. No wonder publishers and independent authors so often cut corners on their way to the marketplace.

We know all these things are risky, but here’s something we rarely acknowledge: Every time potential book readers consider whether to buy your book, they, too, are weighing risk. Not just the risk of wasting their money, but also the risk of wasting their time, which is usually far more important.

People can judge a picture’s value at a glance, judge the quality of a garment at a touch, the taste of a meal perhaps by a single bite, but it can take hours of immersion in a book before we know whether it was worthy of our time.

Thus, before we commit to purchasing a book (or even reading one we acquired for nothing), we look for signals as to its riskiness. Do we know the author’s previous work? Are there reviews? What does the jacket tell us? How do the first few pages read?

When I decided to publish independently — and to do so via Verbitrage, the authors’ consortium that I founded — I realized I had to find ways to tell readers that their risk would be minimal. Here’s what I did:

1. I wrote the best book that I could and solicited feedback from a group of readers to make it better.
2. The manuscript I chose to publish, Primacy, fit into a popular genre — in this case, thrillers.
3. I signed up a professional editor with a stellar reputation.
4. I found a distributor that would offer my book not only through select websites but also through the book trade.
5. I committed to offset printing the physical books, a process that still yields a higher quality product than print-on-demand technology does.
6. I hired two of the best designers in the business for the jacket and interior.
7. Finally, I engaged a world-class publicity firm that could help me get media attention.

These things were all risky because they cost me money, time and other considerations. But they lower the risk my customers must take. The jacket grabs their attention in the familiar way of major commercial fiction. The story engages them and doesn’t let go. The book — if they’ve bought the physical version, not the ebook — feels substantial in their hands and looks like a book should look in all the subtle ways. And they’ve likely found it through a reputable bookseller rather than in some far-off corner of the blogosphere.

Will it work as a business proposition — this allocation of risk away from the book’s purchaser and onto myself? It might not; it’s a risk, after all. But early signs are encouraging.

Primacy has received good notices from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, the latter listing it in mid-August as one of five “Top Books to Pre-Order This Week.” Barnes & Noble decided to carry it. Before publication date, I received word that some wholesale warehouses had gone quickly out of stock and re-ordered. Most important, the book will appear on tables and face-outs at 185 Hudson News airport stores this fall.

By now maybe you’re wondering about the subject matter. Kirkus succinctly described Primacy this way: “In Fishman’s eco-thriller, a voluble primate threatens to bring down the animal-testing industry.” Yeah, it’s a thriller about a talking ape. Sound familiar?

I didn’t have Planet of the Apes in mind when I wrote Primacy, but that doesn’t mean I won’t benefit from the glow of the film’s success. That would be a break I couldn’t have anticipated, but as the saying goes, you gotta be in it to win it.

With the movie’s success, buying and reading Primacy may seem to strangers like even less of a risk than it would have otherwise. That should be fine with them and it sure is fine with me. As Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors only the prepared mind.”

About the Author
J.E. Fishman’s first novel, the mystery Cadaver Blues, was serialized on The Nervous Breakdown in 2010. He is author of Primacy: A Thriller, available wherever books are sold. When he isn’t writing fiction or blogging, Fishman — a former Doubleday editor, literary agent, and ghostwriter — works as an entrepreneur, dividing his time between Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and New York City. Follow him on Twitter (JEFISHMAN) or Google+ (J.E. Fishman) or find him at Verbitrage (

If you want to buy PRIMACY you can get it here: Amazon and B&N.

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Writing Contest: Rules and Legalities

Ever want to write? Ever want to be a published author? Well, here is your chance!

StoneHouse Ink
StoneHouse Inklings Blog
Writing Contest Rules

We’re having an open contest to write a new compilation eBook, chapter by chapter. If you want to get noticed, this is a great opportunity to do so. Anyone can enter—published authors, fans, amateurs, even your pet goldfish, provided he can write. We’re posting up one chapter per month, and at the end we’re going to release the full eBook, edited, polished, and awesome. Each month’s contest winner will have their work published, along with all the other monthly winners, in a full length compilation eBook by StoneHouse and/or StoneGate Ink. Who knows where this story’s gonna end up? You may get to influence it in a big way if you win. Want the lowdown skinny? Here are the rules:

Follow our lead. Write a follow-up chapter to those that are previously posted on the blog, and try to keep it under 2k words. Submissions should be emailed to us at shwcontest at gmail dot com and sent as a Word doc or .rtf file. Submissions are due by the 20th of each month. You can enter only once per month, so make it good. Just FYI, we're looking for thriller/paranormal type stuff because it fits our brand. We're not looking for sci-fi, fantasy, erotica and all that.

The StoneHouse staff will judge the best 5 entries received each month. Our nominations will be posted on the 25th of each month so you, the blogosphere, can vote. Votes will be tallied by commenting “vote” on the chapter you like best. Get your votes in by the last day of the month, because on the 1st the cycle starts all over again with the winning chapter.

Vote, tell your friends, spread the word, link your blog, share on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and on and on. The post with the most votes wins. And even if you win this month, you can enter again next month.

There are monthly winners and there’s an overall winner. Each winner will be credited as a contributing author for their chapter in the final published eBook.

The StoneHouse package prize for monthly winners will be a surprise each month, and you have a little bit of choice in the matter. You can choose a free eBook download, or a print copy if it’s available, from any of our superawesome writers. Or maybe you just want us to plug you on Twitter all month long. Be creative. We’re open to suggestions/bribes/begging.

The overall winner will receive a professional literary agent representation package. Specifics are TBA.

The legal poop: By submitting your work to this contest you the entrant are granting worldwide rights to use and publish your work in any format now known or to be devised in the future. You also understand and agree that you will not be compensated for any and all earnings produced by your submitted work. You agree further to hold blameless and indemnify StoneHouse Ink and all its affiliates and associated ventures in the event of a dispute. Happy writing!

To read each chapter and follow along and to vote go to the StoneHouse Inklings Blog HERE

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.