Another Challenge: I Dare You

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* From Distributor StreetLib
* Using Smashwords Coupons Through Draft2Digital
* Another Challenge: I Dare You
* Of Interest

Quote of the Day

“Today I want to talk about ebooks. I want to show how their real popularity is often not fully reflected in the publishing industry reports we draw upon to assess our target book markets.” Giacomo D’Angelo, StreetLib CEO

From Distributor StreetLib

Although I do not distribute or aggregate through StreetLib, I do receive their newsletter, and I recommend it. Below is an excerpt from a recent newsletter from their US office. I reparagraphed it to make it easier to read:

“At StreetLib, we love digging into book publishing market statistics, and one thing that we’re noticing is that the appetite for Global digital books, including ebooks, digital audiobooks, and print-on-demand (POD) is larger than most people think.

“In his terrific article, The Quiet Ebooks Revolution on, our CEO Giacomo D’Angelo writes that although conventional wisdom is that ebooks make up just 20% of the U.S. market, recent reports show that while print books sold 403 million units last year (down 1.3%), the unit sales of audiobooks accounted for 188 million units (up 23%!).

“Ebooks sold 526 million units (up 8%), making ebooks by far the most popular reading format. Combine ebooks and digital audiobooks, and you have a market that outsells print by 311 million units and is growing rapidly.”

Most of the time, when you see a report saying ebook and/or digital audiobook sales are flagging, that report is false and was published by someone in the traditional publishing industry.

Like the dinosaurs they are, instead of embracing the new technology and beginning to treat authors with the deserved respect, traditional publishing continues to attempt to shove others away from the feed trough. Problem is, there are fewer and fewer others to shove away. Most have left to take part in the ebook revolution.

Using Smashwords Coupons Through Draft2Digital

I’m about a week late reporting this, and thanks to KC for the tip.

As most of you probably know, Draft2Digital acquired Smashwords some time ago. That enabled writers like me to continue publishing books to the Smashwords store and to Smashwords markets without using the extremely clunky Smashwords interface. We could do it all with the streamlined D2D interface.

Now we can also use Smashwords coupons to set up special limited or unlimited sales through D2D. Read all about it in the first item in today’s “Of Interest.” And if you’d like to check the D2D blog regularly, you may do so at

Another Challenge: I Dare You

As I commented to a like-minded writer this morning, trying to teach others the incredible freedom of writing into the dark is a conundrum. A writer has to defy his or her own unreasoning fear—by that I mean fear that has absolutely NO basis in reality and NO real consequences—and step away from his or her comfort zone in order to greatly expand that comfort zone.

Unfortunately, most will never even try, despite the fact that there is no penalty at all for trying. There are zero harmful consequences and only two possible outcomes:

  1. you will enjoy the freedom, wonder, and exhilaration of writing into the dark, not to mention the newfound authenticity of it, and continue “testing” it, or
  2. you will be overcome by the unreasoning fear and return to your old way of doing things: outline, revise, seek critical input, rewrite, etc. So no harm, no foul.

In other words, the result of trying WITD is not a foregone conclusion. If you really try it you WILL experience everything I mentioned in #1 above, but the fear will still be there, lurking in the shadows on the edge of your creative subconscious.

If you want to continue enjoying the astounding benefits of WITD you will have to be vigilant, shut down the critical voice each time it tries to horn-in, and continue, no matter what, to Just Write The Next Sentence. It really is that simple. This is you training yourself to trust your creative subconscious and your characters.

The sole purpose of the critical voice, a function of your conscious mind, is to protect you. In fiction writing its purpose is to delay or stop you from embarrassing yourself by slowing or stopping your writing. And it has tricks on tricks for doing so.

But if you really try WITD, over time—a few to several days—the critical voice will come around less and less often and attack you less stringently. And you will begin to feel a joy in writing that you’ve never known.

Still, the biggest, most major obstacle, as I mentioned at the outset, is the fear that traps you inside your comfort zone. If you can’t overcome that, then you’ll just have to be satisfied living with unreasoning fear. I personally don’t understand that mindset. But I suppose we’re all addicted to something.

If you CAN overcome that fear, or if you’re willing to just ATTEMPT to overcome it, then you have at least a chance to test WITD for yourself and enjoy its freedom and benefits.

Frankly, I’m not sure why I care how others write, except that I was a member of the frozen-solid other camp for years and now I’m not. Being free of that paralyzing fear is an incredible feeling, and I’d like very much for everyone to experience it just once.

I tell people all the time, please DON’T believe me about WITD, just try it for yourself. But they won’t. The fear’s just too great. So I’m doing something unprecedented. For anyone who wants to really try WITD, I’m conducting

A Free Limited-Time Intensive,

all via email. But it IS an intensive. You will learn WITD and you will learn cycling. You will write a lot, and there won’t be time for planning or plotting. (Then again, if you’d rather plan and plot and see whether you can sneak it past me, please don’t bother. I’m trying to help you here.) Of course we’ll discuss your personal circumstances and adjust the challenge accordingly, but it will require a commitment of time on your part.

If you want to take a shot at breaking the cycle of garbage-in, garbage-out, email me at

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “Smashwords Coupons Available Through Draft2Digital” at

See “First Page Critique: Point Of View Is A Powerful Tool” at

See “How To Become An Audiobook Narrator: 5 Vital Skills” at

See “Process for Fantasy World Building” at Or you (and your readers) could just, I dunno, learn about the world like you do in real life as you experience it alongside your characters?

The Numbers

The Journal…………………………………… 1120

Writing of Wes Crowley: Deputy US Marshal 2 (WCG9SF4)

Day 11… 0323 words. Total words to date…… 19819
Day 12… 2445 words. Total words to date…… 22264
Day 13… 3184 words. Total words to date…… 25448

Total fiction words for May……… xxxx
Total fiction words for 2023………… 83464
Total nonfiction words for May… 1400
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 83090
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 166554

Calendar Year 2023 Novels to Date…………………… 1
Calendar Year 2023 Novellas to Date……………… 0
Calendar Year 2023 Short Stories to Date… 4
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 72
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 221
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31

Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark, adherence to Heinlein’s Rules, and that following the myths of fiction writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.