The Journal, Saturday, November 2

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* After slacking off
* Topic: A Few Thoughts on Publishing
* Today
* Of Interest
* The Numbers

Quote of the Day

“When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.” Raymond Chandler

After slacking off for a couple of hours yesterday, I decided to go ahead and publish “Seven Minutes in Belfast.”

This is a fast-paced thriller in a tight package. If you want to study tight pacing and how to delve deep into your protagonist’s psyche all in a small package, I’m at the top of my game in this one.

The first reviewer of this story (a patron) wrote, “I just finished [‘Seven Minutes in Belfast’]. Wow. Details. Now, I have to go back and look at my WIP. Good lesson.” (Thanks, SET!)

Here’s the description/teaser:

Blackwell Ops operative Henry Gordon has one day left on R&R in Belfast. Then his VaporStream device goes off. Who will the target be this time? Death is certain, but how? And for whom?

The search tags I used for this one are crime, murder, psychological suspense, thriller, assassin, short story, and Blackwell Ops.

“Seven Minutes in Belfast” is available now at Amazon and via the Draft2Digital (Books2Read) universal link. Of course, I also sent the story free to my patrons.

If you’ve considered becoming a patron, now is a good time to start. Becoming a patron ensures that you will always get all the topics I write on writing and publishing.

I reconstructed the patronage tiers. I deleted the top tier and moved the rewards to the first three tiers, to include patron-only topics on writing, which are included in all three tiers. Take a look.

This is an extremely low-cost way to get a personal mentorship at a fraction of the cost. When I post a topic and it stimulates questions, you have only to email me and ask.

Topic: A Few Thoughts on Publishing

As I was adding “Seven Minutes in Belfast” to my inventory, I realized I didn’t publish anything at all during August, September and October. That’s the longest I’ve gone without publishing something for the past 5+ years. (grin)

Yet I finished two other short stories (derived from my novel) and I should have also finished a novel during that time. The point is, that’s at least three more publications that should be available to readers (and earning me money). But they aren’t because I fell off Heinlein’s Rule 4.

Not publishing in a while also means I’m also out of practice. It took me almost two hours to find the art and design the cover, and another hour to upload it to D2D, Amazon and Bundle Rabbit.

If that seems fast to you, it isn’t. The entire process usually takes me less than an hour. If it takes you longer than that now, your speed will improve with practice.

And those two unpublished short stories that I derived from my current Blackwell Ops novel? I hope to get covers designed for those and get them published in the next week or so. Of course, my patrons will get those as well.

Note that I didn’t mention publishing my short story to Smashwords for distribution. I still publish my longer works (novels, novellas and collections) there, but I generally don’t publish individual short stories to Smashwords. Too much work for too little return.

In addition to the clunky user interface and the time that costs just to publish there, you also have to take additional time to add a Smashwords ISBN. Then you have to go to the Channel Manager and check Do Not Distribute to all the places the story will be distributed by D2D. (You can’t have more than one distributor distributing to the same stores.)

So the upshot for you is this:

1. Write and finish.
2. Learn cover design (or have it done) and publish.
3. Repeat.

I recommend you set a goal to publish at least one new publication every month. But of course, to publish them, you have to write them. (grin)

To get myself fully back up on Heinlein’s Rules, from now on I won’t call a story “finished” until it’s published and distributed.

I’m heartened that Robert Heinlein himself admitted to falling off his own rules. The trick isn’t to stay on. The trick is to get back on when you fall off.

Today (I’m writing this early) I’ll write another short story and/or write more on one of two novels I have going. Or I’ll start a new one.

I spent the first few hours of the day doing some admin stuff and writing much of what appears above. Around 5 a.m. I started what feels like it will be a new science fiction novel. There seems to be a lot of world-building involved. (grin) Anyway, I wrote 1100 words in the first session.

Another 700 words in the second session (interrupted by various emails that I had to pay attention to). I hope to come back at least one more time today.

Oh, and I remembered to write about One Event so I can get a short story out of this first, then maybe a novel. (grin)

Well, I worked a little more on the story (“The Rain Cart”), but didn’t quite reach my daily word count goal. That’s all right. Tomorrow is another day.

Talk with you again soon.

Of Interest

See “Some Questions About Master Class” at I know for a fact that one slot is gone. (grin)

See “Clearing Out the Spirits” at A macabre but neat post.

See “What’s Your Emotional Intelligence Quotient (E-IQ) Score?” at Very interesting.

The Numbers

Fiction words today…………………… 2125
Nonfiction words today…………… 950

Total fiction words for the month……… 5343
Total fiction words for the year………… 390436
Total nonfiction words for the month… 1240
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 282320
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 672756

Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 7
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… 3
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 43
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 196
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31