Friday, December 21, 2012

One Day Sale! (99 Authors/99 Books/99 Cents!)


Today only (December 21st) I am part of a quite large sale. We done got us 99 authors and some way cool prizes. If you want to get your hot little hands on some amazing books for only a buck click the link HERE to check out the prizes and go to Amazon to get your books.

Here are a list of books from StoneHouse Ink/StoneGate Ink:

Breaking Steele by Aaron Patterson and Ellie Ann (Mystery/Thriller)
Arson by Estevan Vega (Young Adult)
The Austin Job by David Mark Brown (Diselpunk)
The Disappearance of Grace by Vincent Zandri (Romantic Suspense)
Pyxis by K.C. Neal (Young Adult)
Cadaver Blues by JE Fishman (Mystery)
Mirror, Mirror by Les Edgerton (Young Adult)
Beauty and the Beast by Jenni James (Young Adult)
The Lonely Mile by Allan Leverone (Thriller)
Blood Sisters by Melody Carlson (Mystery)

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Social Media Rules: What not to wear!

Social Media Rules

I know, there really are not any rules, not written at least but there is a lot of unwritten ones that you should know. I mean SM is not a new thing, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging have all been out long enough that grandma is doing it so the "I didn't know!" line just doesn't work anymore. 

The first thing you should think about is WHY you are on SM. If you are a business or author you will want to do things different than a mom who just wants to chat with family and friends. If you just want to keep in touch with friends and have fun, might be a good idea to only "Friend" people you know. If you are an author like me or are looking at SM as a way to market yourself you should "Friend" anyone related to your business. 

Once you know WHY you are on SM you can begin. 

Be smart, and be a good neighbor. Bring back the tool you borrowed, don't play loud music at 2 a.m. 

First rule and the most important IMO is: DON'T COMMENT ON EVERY POST! This is a good way to stay out of trouble. Posts involving government, God, family, and justice can get heated and just because you don't agree does not mean you have to butt in. Stay out of it, your advice is not needed and it will only get you angry or worse. 

This is the problem with SM, you ready for it? 

"We were not designed to know our friends and families every thought on every subject." --Aaron Patterson

We see our friends once a week, maybe a best friend four times a week and our family every day for part of the day. In a lifetime we may never know what they think about Tuna fighting, Breast feeding or hear a crude joke come out of their mouth. SM shows us everything, the bad days, the night you got drunk and had your phone, nothing can be hidden anymore. You have to remember, if you find out something about a person you love and it is a bad thing, cut them some slack, you have things they don't like and before SM we would never know. 

Another good rule is: DON'T POST YOUR EVERY THOUGHT/DRUNK POST OR OPINION ON EVERYTHING! In a word, Shut-up. No one cares, really. We look through posts and pass over yours most days. So be fun and light, enjoy your SM time and don't use it to push your agenda. 

"Your opinion is just as important as mine." -- Me again

We live in the American Idol generation. We all think that what we think matters. We vote on shows, call in and gripe on the radio and everyone on FB jumps when we whine about something. But the truth is, you may be smart to you and your mini friend list but there are more people out there who think you are stupid and ignorant. So it is al fair... in love and SM, lol

Authors and other pushers: STOP POSTING CRAP ABOUT YOUR BOOK OR PRODUCT: Again, no one cares. It is annoying and shows your lack of skill in marketing. Post or tweet now and again but don't beat people up. If you post it all the time I will put you on the Not to read list!

DON'T POST ON MY WALL! Does my wall look like your personal banner? Do you really think I will see the link to your book and be HAPPY about it? Oh and a follow-up on this is people with an auto respond when I friend them or follow them on Twitter with a link to their product. #Lame

One more rule that seems to be hard for people: DON'T AUTO TWEET! Really, we all know you do it, we see through it and we don't respond to it, so maybe not do it?

SM is a conversation, join it or go away. Don't post and run, it is pointless. I don't care how many people follow your blog, if it does not get people to interact you are just more spam. 

These are just a few, the rest you can figure out. If you keep it light and stay out of fights you will go a long way. Hope this helps and that you got a laugh out of my spunky nature this morning. 



Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Off Topic (Cussing and other fun things to do)

***Off Topic***

To $*&@ or not to $*&@

Don't swear! Don't cuss! Don't offend me! Don't burst my bubble! I mean I have never heard a swear word in my life and own a Clean TV box that changes the word "Sex" to "Hugs" so I don't have to hear the word. This is all fine and well, I grew up in church and write clean books.

But why don't I label myself as a christian fiction writer? Because once you slap that label on yourself you become tied to a list of rules that even God himself would break as he does not have as strong a conviction as most Christian fiction publishers.

I don't write sex scenes, use profanity because in my personal decision, I am a writer, I can think of other words to use and want to show how my character is feeling. So what is my personal rule?


I think this is a solid rule. If you wish to write clean and sell into the CBA market as well as the general market--which I do, it is about as close to the line as you can get. I have yet to get a reader complaint because I didn't have profanity in my books.

Now the reason for this post is because some of you out there have a thin soft skin and think you are better than God. Better than God you say? Wow Aaron, tall claim, harsh words... all true. If the shoe fits and all that...

Who gripes about book content? Not the Christian bookstores, not the general market. I'll give you two guesses and one don't count.

So let me help you out my dear thin skinned reader.

The bible uses a few words in a derogatory way, here are a few:


Even Jesus told a woman she was a dog, others that they were vipers and so on. Now I don't want this to get into a religious post but the point is, don't have higher standards than God. He used harsh words to make a point and if he did, I think I can use them as well.

Do I use them much? Nope, maybe once in a whole book, I try to make it the right word for whatever the scene calls for. So next time you want to get all hot under the collar because you saw a word you didn't like, remember:

1. This is NOT Christian fiction, never said it was.
2. Chill out, there are so many fights about this subject and the only people fighting are the Christians, the rest are busy reading a good book.
3. You and your opinion are just as important as the rest of the universe and their opinion, which is a nice way of saying, no one cares what you think. =)
4. Be an adult. I know, this is asking a lot, but it was worth a shot.
5. If you want a down the line Christian fiction book, one that never says the word sex and everyone is nice to each other and never makes anyone feel bad, go get one, there are many to choose from.
6. Be real, if you even watch a movie, TV show, let people cuss on the subway in earshot of you than don't be all up in my grill if I decide to use the word bastard. Oh crap, you just read a cuss word!

Got you!


Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

2012 -- The Year of Change.

2012 -- The Year of Change.
-off topic-

A mentor of mine told me at the beginning of the year that 2012 was a year of change. I didn't know what he meant at the time but as we get closer to the end of the year and we are all still here, I look back at my own life and agree with him. This has been the year of change for me personally.

There were times that I wished the Mayan's had it right. My world seemed to be on the brink of ending and some days I wished it would have.

The last two years felt like slugging through mud with a messy divorce, trying to keep it calm and as safe for the kids turned out to be one of the hardest things I would ever do. But at the same time things on every other level were rockin! Business took off, I was growing in my own writing and deep down to my core I was happy.

I got this, we are going strong and just when I thought I could handle this stress and pressure I got a call. My little brother was dead. Shock, anger, fear, sadness, relief, confusion, anger again. All the feelings hit me in the face. He was a year and a half younger than me and even has three kids like I do. He left behind a wife and a large hole in many hearts.

No worries, I was good at managing stress, dealing with pain and big deal! Sometimes we lie to ourselves and don't even know it.

A month later I had to have a talk with my father and cut off all communication. This in the wake of my brothers death. My publishing house was still going strong but the demands grew. The way it felt was like being strung to a few horses and having them run in different directions.

No biggie, but that was only what my mind said, my body said something different. 6 years ago I hurt my low back and it decided to take this opportunity to go out. Three months of pain to a point that I could not sit longer than an hour and hundreds if not thousands of dollars for Massage, Yoga, PT, Personal Training and lots of drugs I am almost back to 100%.

Why am I telling you all this? Why be do blue? Because I am a person, a human with trials just like anyone. We all go through crap so why don't we cut each other some slack? Why are we so mean to each other? Why do we assume that we are alone?

In all this how do I feel, what do I take away?

*That my kids are strong and amazing. That I love them more each day and love to be with them.
*I know that true friends will stick with you no matter what, that I am a jerk sometimes and sometimes I am a good guy.
*I learned that I cannot trust myself and that my gut is right most the time.
*People are ruled by fear and change and that I need to listen to my body, when it says stop I need to stop.
*I found out that I have some loyal friends and that I need to be a better one.
*That people who are crazy will always be crazy, don't try to understand them, just learn and be wise.
*Humor is a healer, laughing is a medicine and sometimes you just need to do something stupid.

This year has been a year of change, but for the better. I have made so many mistakes but have also done some good things. Life is like a tree, it grows and along the way picks up a few scars and knots. But when it is old it shades and protects younger trees.

Please don't comment if you feel sorry for me, I don't! I love my life, and I have a great one. We all have things we want different but is what it is.

Now go out there and connect with someone, and if you want to attack someone remember that they may just need a hug instead.



Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Art of Branding and Rebranding: Guest post by Cory Clubb

The Art of Branding and Rebranding.

Finding Your Brand.

Books last a very long time, now maybe forever with the introduction of ebooks. Although their covers do not.

Let me just say one word:

I know, that’s not a word, but in a sense it is. Nike has one of the most recognizable brands in the world today. They don’t need words, just their logo. That’s great, you say, but what does this have to do with books?

Nike has formulated a brand out of their logo. You think shoes, sports attire, heck even NBA great Michael Jordan! It’s all basically implanted in your mind to think those things. Now imagine if that were to work for your books? Danger, romance, your lead character’s name and what they look like. See where I’m going with this?

Big named authors are already doing this, James Patterson with his Alex Cross thrillers or Lee Child with his Jack Reacher character. Just by seeing their name in that certain font on the cover you know exactly what you’re going to get. Honestly if all they wanted to put on the cover was their name that would work, we wouldn’t even need a title. It’s a package deal.

So how do you find your own brand? Sit back and think a bit about who you are as a writer. What genre do you write in? What does your story have to say to your audience?
These should all be simple answers because you’ve got a finished manuscript in front of you. What you don’t? Then why are you reading this? Go write, finish it and then come back.

Ok, so you’re in the “ready to publish” end of the pool. With the above answers in mind browse online or your library in that genre and when I say browse I mean to use just your eyes as if looking at the books for the very first time. Pretend you’re visiting an art museum. What jumps out at you? What cover design makes you smile or makes you want pick that book up? Is it unique? Is it the colors, the imagery? Is it something you could defiantly see as the cover of your book? All good things. Now you know what works in your genre, forget who the author is, it appeals to you and who knows your story best? You. The next step is to widen your search. Start over and browse the entire library or all of Amazon again. “Wait, but I found my genre,” you say and it works for your title. Maybe, but your name isn’t on that cover, it’s not yours. You need to find you.

There are mountains of cover designs out there. Probing through your genre shows you the style you are going for in a sense, it’s only half of the equation. The other half is finding your unique look. Now, I say this, but you might want a similar look to another author and that’s fine too. Think of it is as putting toppings on a pizza. A shade of blue here, a pinch of font here, a slice of texture there, and maybe a little bit of dog. Not sure why you’d want dog on your pizza...whoa, sorry got myself confused.

Seriously, what this all comes down to is visual marketing. It’s the clothes your books are going to be wearing, you want it to look good right? It also takes some research and work. Don’t ho-hum over this step in publishing, because your book may suffer for it.

A little bit on writing a series book design...

So now you’ve got your design in mind, ready to go, here is another technique to think of. Visualize a box of Crayola markers. Now imagine each individual marker as on of your book covers. You’ve got the Crayola logo (Author’s name) and then each color name (the book’s title). Yes they all look the same, but they are all different colors, each with their own story to tell. Apply this to your design or keep this thought in mind for future books you plan to write.

Not only does this work for a series based storyline (just add a number after each color) or these could be all individual novels. The idea is to see them as a set. Packaged together to look neat and sharp.

A little bit on rebranding yourself...

Let’s say your sci-fi epic has sold very modestly and now the publishing rights have returned to you over the course of ten years. Sweet! Now is your chance to introduce it to a brand new age of eReaders. Wait, you’re going to use that cover from 2002? The publisher never redesigned the cover because it worked then and they instead funneled moneys into that upcoming school for magical vampires saga. Bummer.

You’re in luck. Your story is set to go, all you need to do is modernize your cover design.
Freshen the look up. The fonts used look old and a company is new using it for the return of retro gaming app. You probably don’t want your book to be thought of as retro.

Rebranding is sort of a trick on the eyes. While your title has been around for a while and readers might recognize it. What you can do is revitalize it coming up with a new brand using the above methods. See what works in the market, browse for a new design that captures your story and apply it across the board. You might even catch the eye of a past reader looking for a new read, but come across yours and like the visual appeal sending them back in time and reliving what they loved about the first go around.

Another plus is that you can apply your new brand to you new dystopian manuscript about a group of kids on a Survivor like show stranded in the jungle. What? Oh, well maybe the could all be zombies.

Feel free to visit my webpage or email me with comments, questions or if you disagree with me.

Be Bold,

-Cory Clubb

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cuz I'm busy man! (My lame excuse for not blogging)

Writing, sleeping and movies.

The other day I was like, "I have a blog!" I forgot for some time and as life tends to get... Busy. So here is the update.

I got asked by Amazon to go to L.A. and be a part of their new product release deal... it was very fun, they flew me first class and I got to stay at Shutters which is right on the beach. I spent money, dined and got the star treatment. Not to mention I got to hang with some cool people.

From the mountains to New York I have been traveling and I love it! I like to see new places and be a part of this way to fun world of publishing. But I am back now, for a month or so and I have a few things in the hopper.

1st. A new serial called "The 'Naturals" that I am doing with Melody Carlson, Robin Parrish and K.C. Neal. It comes out October 15th so be on the lookout for more info on that amazing project. Long and short is season 1 has 20 episodes and will be released in four parts every three weeks. Meaning you get 1-4 5-8 and so on... got it?

2nd. I struck a deal on a co-authoring project with a wonderful editor and writer named Ellie Ann. You don't know her but by this time next year you will. She is amazing and talented. We are working on a new thriller series that will be a new line of fast reads with hard hitting action...and maybe even a little romance. =) The first book "Breaking Steele" will be out next month.

I have watched many of the Big Boyz in the biz and one thing most do is work with co-authors. It allows you to put out more content faster. This my friends is the name of the game. I figured it was not smart to wait till I was as big as Dean Koontz or James Patterson, why not do it now? So here it is. Breaking Steele is book 1 and will be written like a cable show. All connected but you can jump in at any time. Book 2 is Twisting Steele to come out in Feb-March. If all goes according to my evil little plan I will have just over 20 titles under my belt by this time next year.

3rd. I've created a few, now, not like that! You guys have dirty Baby boy is StoneHouse Lock. It is a pirate program that is about to go into beta. You can report them and track where your book is being hacked and much more. Not only that but we offer a ton of booty for all members of the club. If you want to be part of the beta go HERE to sign up. The main man on this project is a crazy smart geek cool dude named will meet him at a later date.

Baby girl is SandBox Ink. This is co-founded with AK Turner and is a children's picture book publishing house. We have Apps and other products for the little readers such as NUMBERS, SHAPES and so on. We should have 25-50 titles out by the end of the year and 200-500 next year. These are called SandBox Studies. I am super excited about this and I hope you are too.

4th and 5th. We are now working with CJ Lyons and Diane Capri on some projects. These ladies rock and flat out write! I will say more on this in a different post but wanted to show them off a little.

As you can see I have been really bored... haha

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tagging on Amazon and other ways to piss people off! (RANT)

Gaming the system and other evils of John Locke! (RANT...FYI)

With this story about John Locke and other authors, who paid for reviews we are seeing all the baby sharks take their hero down in a blaze of glory. My my my, do we love to take someone down, especially someone who we want to be, someone who is where we want to be. This is the classic story of hero one day and monster the next. After all this is America, land of the free and home of the... something.

People are saying that John Locke is gaming the system. This led me to think about tagging, which SOME people say is unethical or gaming the system unlike paying for reviews which IS unethical... but tagging is neither.

What does tagging do? Well, glad you asked as so many authors have NO CLUE and get all worked up over nothing. Why, you might ask? Maybe they listened to some other author who was ignorant and said you should only do it HER way, maybe they have nothing better to do, or maybe they just don't know. So here it is.

Tagging on Amazon helps you the tagger, it helps the person getting tagged. It adds a link from one book to another book, it makes your title and the other tagged title climb into new Amazon algorithms. It makes a connection for the readers, it in fact is the perfect cross promotion tool we have today. Imagine if Stephen King tagged to your horror book? Would you be angry? No, you would send him a thank-you card. So why do so many authors get all hot over this subject?

Because they don't know...I hope.

Here is the list of bad things that happen if you are tagged:


Thats right, not one bad thing can come from being tagged.

This all started with a woman named ------- ------ (If you want her name email me) Who started this notion that it was unethical to tag your book title or name. SHE said it was only OK to tag genre. Well, she said it so we all should just go with that she said!!! Wait...but she also is using indie authors to sell her own books under the pretense of helping women and other authors cuz she is a beautiful christian. She will Tweet your book once (maybe) and Tweet her listing back to you 10 times a day and build a brand on the backs of other authors. But she MUST know what she is talking about cuz she is a bestseller!

I guess this is a rant, lol

The point is this is not how SHE does it, not cuz one way is wrong but just a difference in marketing and knowledge. Anyway, a lot of indies bought into this idea and now we have one side that says you are evil if you tag a name or title and the other side that is confused that so many would just go with the flow when tagging HELPS EVERYONE!!!!

Don't you want to sell? Don't you want to be seen on Amazon? Don't you want to get into more lists? Don't you understand that this helps you and them? Now there are rules on how to do all this and they change but I talk to Amazon all the time, I have had many conversations with them on this subject and they WANT people to tag, they want those connections so readers can find like-genre books. In fact Vincent Zandri got a packet from them when he signed with T&M all but DEMANDING that he TAG!

But maybe I am crazy...

I spoke with Amazon this last spring as a publisher and I got a call last week and they asked if I could come out to LA for a press release deal. I am stoked and excited to work with them and they know that I am trying to use their site as best as I can, they want me and you to sell books. This is just one tool they use that helps to do just that.

As a publisher I have some other rules I have to follow in the tagging game but I adjust and learn along with everyone. You say you want to work with other authors, so how is it helping to shoot them down because you don't understand... that they're doing something that helps YOU, too!

Few new things to note: The rules on tagging are posted in Amazon's guidelines. If your tag annoys someone and they complain to Amazon, then Amazon looks as the person who complained as a customer, and they will always side with the customer because they want to keep customers happy, EVEN IF there was no violation of Amazon's guidelines.

Again, rules change but learn and just don't run around yelling "The sky is falling, the sky is falling!"

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The secret to making millions as an Indie author!

From construction to making up crap for a living. 

I had the chance to go and also speak on a panel at Thriller Fest in New York a week or so ago. It was a great time and sad to say most of the panels were...well... worthless. From big publishers trying to tell a room full of writers how to make it big yet most have no clue about the market, to classes about everything but what is relevant. Needless to say there were a lot of agents and publishers that looked like zombies walking in the land of eBooks and social media.

But before I doom you with my poor outlook, let us forget the bad and focus on the good. My panel rocked! I got to sit with talented authors and one Indie publisher started by (Bob Mayer). We talked about eBooks, publishing and junk like that. In the middle of all this I was honored to have lunch with CJ Lyons. Now this lady can flat-out sell books! We were talking about the silver bullet... the thing we get asked all the time, "How can I sell like you, what is the secret...tell us!!!"

So I am going to open the gates, lay it all out there and tell you how to make a ton of money and how to reach a ton of fans. You ready? No really, this secret WILL work, it has like a 99.9% rate of success... get your notepads out... here I go... the super secret to making a living and going big!!!

Write more books.

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Why people hate Indie authors!

Indie authors are like the redheaded step-child of publishing. 

But it’s their own fault! 

Mean? Yes, Cruel? Yes, True? Yes!

"Aaron, come on, we all know you like to hit the touchy issues, but why so hatful?" I'll tell you my friends and stalkers. I have been involved in writing and publishing for only three years now but in that time I have seen and done many things. I have watched the Indie publishers and authors grow and I consider myself an Indie as well. But we are at that point where we need to put on our suit, brush our teeth and come to the party looking good. Right now we look like we spent the last year under a bridge. 

Now before you write me off—lol small writing joke there—take a moment t consider what I am about to tell you. I also understand that some Indie authors do not fit this bill, guys like Joshua Graham and CJ Lyons are what to shoot for, doing it right and all that. But the bulk of Indies will fit my title rant perfectly. 

I like to sum up here is a list that about nails the Indie:


If you are still with me, Gratz! You have thick skin or you just want to see what is wrong with me. =)

What, you mean I have to market? I don't want to do a blog tour! Aaron, can't you just do it for me? I can't count the times I see an author work like mad to get their book published and once it is out they fall off the face of the earth. They see that this is a business and takes work. Don't be lazy, don't cut corners and hire your neighbor to do your cover. You are in the race with New York and big money, if you cannot put out a book that at least looks the part, than keep your day job. Yes, it is a ton of work; yes you will put in hours and not see a return right away. But the difference between a successful author and one who is not, is one put in the work and the other one gave up. Don't be lazy. 

Don't get me started! Educate yourself! Take classes, webinars, learn all you can about the business you are in. Would you take a job and expect to do well if you have no clue what you are doing? Don't know how to use Facebook, learn. Twitter? Learn. You should know that you don't auto tweet someone your book link, or email your FB friends your book info. No one cares about your book; if they want to buy it they will find you. Social media is SOCIAL! The hard part about this point is most ignorant people don't even know that they are ignorant. Everyone is looking around wondering who I am talking about...good chance it is you. 

Big sign that you are ignorant. 
You hound people on social media. 
You have to beg for people to interact on your blog or FB wall.
You never have someone say how amazing your cover is... without you asking.
You can't understand why your sales are not higher, cuz you market all the time!
You don't know what a blog tour, auto tweet, metadata, author central, keyword, tag, SEO, or the difference between Mobi and ePub.
You are not selling on Apple because it is hard and requires an ISBN number.
You think this list is me just being a jerk.

I really want to help you, because helping you means helping me. I am in the same campground as other Indies and I want us all to rock, not suck!

What can you do? Imagine you were going to school to be a doctor. Spend 4-6 years teaching yourself everything there is to know about publishing and what is going on with eBooks. This is your job, if you ever want it to being in enough money to be your job that is...

Fill in the blank. You get mad when another author does well, you may even leave them a bad review. You worry about what everyone else is doing and forget about your own house. Stress out over someone pirating your book and spend hours hunting them down only to make yourself look bad and miss the point. Come on guys, we are adults. We are in business. Do you think Trump stresses over what people think about his hair? He is working, making deals and pushing forward. He does not have time to worry about petty things. Look at the big picture, does it really matter? Where are you going, will this (Whatever is getting to you) get you there? Again, I see this all the time. We worry about things that just don't matter, but I covered this in another post, the one about chilling out. 

Be happy for others who make it. And if someone does not do it like you do it, don't worry. Learn all you can and see what bestsellers do, some of it may work for you and some of it won't. But this "We 4 and no more" attitude is just lame. There is enough room at the top for all of us. People buy books, it is not like a car where they only but Ford or Chevy. Help each other out, share links to other books, don't fall into the trap that if you help out another author that that will hurt your own sales, if anything, it will help. 

Pretend that you are 3 years old, and your mom tells you to share! Share!

We all want the lazy way out. The silver bullet. Face it, we just want it to be easy, buy that lottery ticket and cash it in. But life does not work that way. So what do we do? We jump on that site that offers a tweet for our book link, oh, they are going to market me for free and they care about women or pets or whatever! Think about it, what’s in it for them? 

I know of one site that is a Mecca for this crap. They claim to be there just to help and all they do is get ignorant Indie authors into their tagging chain or tweet list. They will tweet their own books back to you like 10X a day and just use you the ignorant author to ride their way to bigger sales. We all think that if we hang out with authors that do well that we will start selling. Think people! They just want to build a list, and if you watch they will start offering stuff for sale. 

Want an award? Here is the cost...oh but it is special. 
Want more tweets from is the fee. 

Now some sites like Pixel of Ink are good, they are up front, they market books and some plans they charge and some are free. But the point is, they just tell you. There is no bait and switch, no "I am here to help Indie authors cuz my heart is just so big and juicy!" Cross these guys and they will rip your head off...believe me I know. 

You might wonder how this falls in with what we are doing over at StoneHouse University. Yes, there is a fee for classes but that is only there to pay the speakers and the administrator, so she can make her house payment. Look out for scams; don't think you are going to get something for nothing. There is always a catch even if it is to get you to buy a book so they can ride off your back up the bestseller list. 

Because I believe in being real and up front I am gonna tell you my evil little plan. You ready?

I wand to build a list of 50-100 books by the time I am 65 and take over after James Patterson dies. I know, mean. I would love to see StoneHouse Ink grow to have 100 authors and over 60% of them hit bestseller status. I want to teach and help other indie authors because it helps the little guy and I really want to see the big 6 go down. If I can take away a few of the big guys and make some waves I will giggle. I want authors to GET PAID! So many for so many years have been getting raped. Everyone should be making 50%, not just Indies. So, you see... I just want to take over the world. Is that bad? lol 

Oh, and have fun. If you know me you know that I love my job, love writing and publishing and love marketing! It is fun! Join me and some will see us coming and cringe and others will smile. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Creating Great Novel Beginnings – 3 Webinars With Les Edgerton

LES EDGERTON, well-known writer, writing teacher, and author of HOOKED: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Them Go, is teaching a StoneHouse University 3-class series on creating great novel beginnings. Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn from one of the best writing teachers around! These are online classes (webinars), so anyone with an internet connection can participate.

Note: Registration for all 3 classes isn't required, but is highly recommended. You must register for each class separately.

Class 1 – Creating a Great Beginning for Your Novel—Basic Elements

Tues June 26 10-noon MDT | $32 before 6/9, $50 after

CLICK for Full Description and Registration Page

* How openings have changed profoundly over the past decade.
* The basic elements of great openings and what’s important about each and how to achieve them.
* The inciting incident—what it is and why it’s crucial to understand this most important of all elements.
* Why backstory and setup “kill” novel openings.
* Creating surface and story-worthy problems and how they’re related.
* The differences between scenes and sequels and why everything truly important in a novel needs to be delivered via scene.

Class 2 – Creating a Great Beginning for Your Novel—Red Flag Openings

Wed June 27 10-noon MDT | $32 before 6/9, $50 after

CLICK for Full Description and Registration Page

* Five openings that almost always doom the story.
* Misconceptions about the two most important characters in a novel—the protagonist and the antagonist.
* The causality of plot.
* Why theme is unimportant when writing a novel’s first draft.
* How a publishable plot is constructed.
* Creating a road map for your novel—an outline that works and consists of 15-20 words.

Class 3 – Putting It All Together—Creating a Great Beginning and Using These Techniques Throughout the Novel

CLICK for Full Description and Registration Page

* When exposition/summary are used and when they shouldn’t be.
* Exploring that “all of a piece” that Flannery O’Connor defines a great story by and how to achieve it.
* Discussion of literary and writer’s terms and why they aren’t understood properly.
* Creating a novel from the template of the first 10-15 pages.

About Les Edgerton

Well-known writer and writing teacher Les Edgerton has had dozens and dozens of his personal students secure top agents and sell their books to a great many publishers, and thousands more have used the techniques from his hugely-popular classic writer’s text, HOOKED: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Them Go to gain an agent and get their books taken as well.

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chill Out! The Author's Guide to Chilling Out!

Chill out!

This is your deep breath in... hold it, and now... let it out. There, now keep doing that.

I had some friends when I was little that used to say Chill Out all the time! Chill... it was all cool to say it so we did. But it is a good reminder to keep our heads.

What does this have to do with writing and publishing? Everything!

So many of us have our heads in an imaginary cloud, heck, we write made up stories and live in a dream world so it can be hard to get centered and grounded in reality again.

Here are some signs that you need to Chill Out!

1. Your way is the only way!
I read a post from an author who gets over a million hits on his blog every month. He was telling people that only stupid authors sell on Amazon because they are losing money and helping sell Kindles. I did a double take and read how HE says you should sell all your books and eBooks direct! Well, that works for like 4 authors in the world, but the rest of us need a store to sell our books, i.e. Amazon.

This is what I like to call OUT OF TOUCH! They think that the way they do it, is the only way and they lose touch with what is real. Many authors that sell really well can fall into this trap and forget how hard it was to build up to a good sales base. They lose touch. Other writers get angry at anyone selling as they think it should be them and in their Dream World they should be millionaires.

2. Impatience!
We all want the magic bullet, the lottery ticket. But that is not how it works. There are a lot of writers that give up because their dreams of fame and fortune are dashed as they struggle to sell their books. This leads to bitterness and they quit, not realizing that half of success is just showing up.

My Dad used to tell me that if I worked hard and was on time I would end up owning the company. I did not know how true this was until I saw that so many people can't show up on time and do not work hard. If you just work hard and show up, you will sell just because you are there! Don't believe me?

3. Overreaction! 
KDP Select! Price fixing! Big Bad Companies! Reviews! File Sharing!
Something new comes out and all the blogger's ring Chicken Little's neck so they can run around screaming THE SKY IS FALLING! Chill! A blogger says that Amazon is trying to murder little puppies and the world is out to get them or you hear that someone is saying mean things about you on Twitter. Really? Calm people, think, lets get out of our made up-world and remember: No one is out to get you. You are not that important. You really think all the big boys want to kill us all off so they can have their 10 books and burn the rest? This is where we need to stop and breathe... oh and CHILL!

4. Rule Nazi's!
Now this one is just personal, but what is with all the people running around making sure you follow every law and rule? It is like having my mom look over my shoulder to make sure that I color in the lines. Rules are meant to be broken, live a little! Oh, and this goes back to being important, I am not important enough for the CIA to go after me because I sold a book for under the price allowed by the online retailers. Try breaking a little online web rule, you might like it!

I think you get the idea.

Life is short, enjoy the ride.
Hang with people you want to be like.
Work hard, play harder.
Surprise someone with unnecessary kindness.
Admit you are wrong.

Now quit reading this crap and get out there and WORRY about something! =)


Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

eBook cover design! Guest post by Cory Clubb

Cory has done a few covers for me and is a great guy to work with. He is not scared to try new things and create new and exciting covers. I wanted to have him on to talk about covers as they are very important to selling eBooks. A cover is not just about cool art but getting the right cover for the right book...

Guest post by Cover Designer, Cory Clubb!

eBook Cover Design.

                  The old saying goes “Never judge a book by its cover”. Like most folks, you, for example, are just trying to break in. You’ve got your manuscript finished and are ready to throw it out into the world. Even better, with the explosion of eBooks, you’ve got an all access way to reach a real audience. Although that old saying has now become truer than you think. That’s what I’d like to focus on here: eBook cover design.
                  You, the self-pubbed author, someone who has never signed with a publishing house and you can barely stand to wait and unleash your story on the masses. This is your first strike against you when it comes to cover design. Slow down. It took you months, maybe even years to write that book. Why not take some time to package it nicely and have it done right. A white cover with the title and your name in black Papyrus font on the cover is not going to gain you readers. Seriously, I’ve seen this.
                  Secondly, you’re not a designer, you’re a writer. This is one of the hardest things about cover design in an eBook market. I’m not saying you couldn’t design a perfectly fine cover, I’m saying if you’re putting your name on the front, you’ve got a story to tell, not a book cover to create.  Relax and don’t worry here’s the upside. Without being signed to a publisher, you’ve got free reign for what goes on the cover design. Let the professional designer worry about making it look pretty. You’ve got a sequel to crank out!
                  With eBooks and eReaders almost becoming the norm in publishing these days, you have mere seconds to catch a browser’s eye. Your book is not sitting on a bookshelf in a store, no, your little baby is at the justice of a flick of a finger. Maybe we should change the wording to that old saying to “Never judge a book, BUY its cover”? And isn’t that almost the case? Because in our technology advanced society, we don’t have time to turn to the back cover blurb and read about the book. We want it in one snap-shot of a moment to know what that book is about. This too is working against you.
                  For eBooks it’s go big or go home. The reader has to remember three things when telling some else about a book. The title, the author’s name, and what the cover looked like. Be memorable and standout. There are numerous legal thrillers out there, try something new and exciting! Have said all that, do remember that size does matter. With smart phones and tablets, we see things at thumbnail size. Be generous with your font sizes and have your name be in a legible font that works to your advantage.
                  Cover design is not an easy thing to do, believe me. What most self-published authors have wrong is that it doesn’t matter, just get it out there, and start selling! It does matter! You want to be remembered after your reader finishes that final scene. Don’t just slap on an image and be done with it, have some fun, take some time, and be creative with your design. If you don’t know how, hire a well respected cover artist because they put as much passion into your cover as you have in those words.

A book cover needs to be unique to the story itself, inform the reader of what is going on with the plot, and the characters. It’s sort of like your elevator pitch, but instead it’s more of a tiny advertisement in that elevator and you’ve got seconds to get folks to notice it before they get off. 


Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.