Tag Archives: short story collection

Sales report

All I can really say is, it’s a good thing I’m a dentist!  Haven’t sold a book or had a short story bought since October 23rd.

I counted, and I have eleven titles out there.  They range in length from the very short (14 pages) SOLE OCCUPANT, which is in Kindle Select and KU, and costs $0.99, to my six-story collection DIE 6, which has 123 pages and is priced at $2.99.  Also there is THE STRIKER FILES 3-in-1 COLLECTION, 93 pages also priced at $2.99, and my non-fiction title (under my real name) DOING DISNEY, which is again priced at $2.99 and contains 101 pages of information about visiting the Florida resorts.  14 DARK WINDOWS is a fourteen-story collection of short “flash” fiction, 63 pages, and is once again priced at $2.99.

What could I do?  Perhaps a full collection of ALL of my short stories, would come in at something around 250 pages (maybe a bit more), and price it at $4.99?  I have five stories in the very early stages of readiness for publication, all need rewriting and editing, but none are ready to go tomorrow.

Anyway, I know I don’t do much to promote the stories.  The only people who have bought them are people who know me through Facebook, for the most part, or knew me from my days at Delphi Internet Service when I helped run the Book and Candle Pub.  I submitted a story to the anthology QUANTUM ZOO with low expectations, but it was one of the twelve that was selected for inclusion, and I’d hoped that perhaps someone would read my story there and decide to check out at least one or two of my other stories, but the problem is that very few of the stories I’ve written and published would excite the QUANTUM ZOO target audience.  So perhaps my efforts for that collection are wasted.

Who knows?  For me, a good story is a good story.  I’ve bought several of my co-authors’ stories but I don’t know if it is working in reverse.  Oh well.  I don’t really NEED the income.  I can just keep writing, and when they’re ready, publishing, and if they catch on, great.  If not, so be it.

As the saying goes, it was worth a try.


Quantum Zoo is free!

The 12 story anthology QUANTUM ZOO, which contains my story “Playing Man”, is free starting today and going through Saturday!

Free is good, right?

If you haven’t downloaded a copy, grab it now…


Please consider taking a look at my own new release THE STRIKER FILES (which isn’t so new – it’s actually a compilation of three previously released single short stories, all set in the same universe and telling different parts of the same story, with a bonus short story included as well). Here’s that link: THE STRIKER FILES



DIE 6 now available!

Die 6 Cover Image

It’s live! DEADLOCK PRESS and I are pleased to announce that DIE 6, a collection of 6 short stories, is now available in the Amazon Kindle Store for $2.99.

Here’s the description:

A short story collection that contains:

AN ARTIFICIAL YEARNING – a young man meets the girl of his dreams online, and yearns to take the next step – meeting in person. But the love of his life is not what he expected…

BLOOD TIES – a psychic who is in debt to the wrong people sees a way out if he can talk to the ghost of a bank robber and find the money that was stolen. Of course, it’s never as easy as it sounds…

THE TOOTH FAIRY – Perion, queen of the Dentata, is captured by a boy whose tooth she has come to collect, and tries to make a deal for her freedom, the cost of which is extremely high…

THE FUN HOUSE – Natalie is stuck taking her little brother to the carnival, but when they enter the Fun House, they experience the thrills and chills of their young lives…this Fun House is a little too real…

TIME HEALS ALL WOUNDS – When a woman shows up at Joseph’s door with an unbelievable story, he is left with no other choice but to accept it when agents from the future attack both of them in his time. His only escape – to travel to the future himself and attempt to set things right…

THE GHOST TRAIN – Three high school students in Addison Falls try to solve the mystery of both the strange dreams they are having and the reappearance of a “Ghost Train” passing directly through their mall. The answers are found in the past…

Plus a brief author’s note and a sample of “Rick’s Rules”.

Two SF stories, two horror/ghost stories, and a couple that cross genres…Enjoy!

It’s about 36,400 words of new fiction, along with a brief author’s note (no need to read it if you’re not interested in any backstory on the works), a sample of Rick’s Rules, and links to my other stories.

Please take a look at it, download the sample, and give it a read!  Thank you!


Why should any of this matter to me?

Lots of words being posted on the Amazon/Hachette dispute, and I have to admit, it makes for fascinating reading.  I spend a lot of time, time I probably shouldn’t spend, on Konrath’s blog, and The Passive Voice, and Hugh Howey’s blog, and a few others, reading articles about the feud between behemoths.  When one falls, will the ground shake so violently that writers will be injured or killed from the aftershock?

I don’t know.  But the more pertinent question might be, why should I care?  Does it matter to me?

The fact is that without the Kindle platform for self-publishing, it would be unlikely that I’d have published any works.  I wouldn’t have finished the story that was published in QUANTUM ZOO, I would have a collection called 14 DARK WINDOWS, I wouldn’t have the trio of “vampire” stories that I call DEAD OR ALIVE, NIGHT FAMILY, and RICK’S RULES.   I wouldn’t have written three brand new stories to go with three older, slightly longer stories that are currently being collected in an as-yet-untitled volume of about 37000 words.

I wouldn’t have bothered doing the rewriting I’m currently doing to what I affectionately call my “Dental Mystery”.  I wouldn’t have finished my “Chris” serial killer story, I wouldn’t be putting any work into my “Never Ending Night” story, and I wouldn’t have bothered even writing my “The Inn” story.  These are all longer works, north of 20K words, but not approaching 60K.  They’re all relatively short horror novels or novellas  (except my dental mystery) and I suspect that, without Kindle, none of the above are publishable.

So for me, does it matter what Amazon does with Hachette?  Does any of it matter?  Without Amazon, I’d be sitting on a zip drive full of old short stories.  And that would be about it.  I wasn’t going to go through the process of querying agents or publishers directly.  I thought about it more than once.  I spoke to the publisher of Echelon Press (a small press) and she pretty much told me to just submit it to their editorial process.  I don’t know if it would have made it through the process.  But doing the work of rewriting, without a guarantee of it coming to anything, didn’t seem appealing to me.

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I feel like I have a very full plate.  Maybe its no fuller than anyone else, but it seems to be so to me.  I have a fairly busy dental practice, a high school son in marching band, another junior high school son in typical middle school activities, including band, and a busy family life.  We travel as much as we can afford to travel, and we never seem to have time to do all the things that we want to do, let alone affording me the time to sit down and spend time writing.  I’m not one who can sit in front of a blank computer screen and start writing…I need to ruminate.  Takes me a while to get started.

No, going through the processes of traditional publishing was something I was unlikely to even attempt.

So what does it matter to me if Amazon, at some undetermined future time, decides to cut reimbursement rates from their current levels of 35% and 70%?  Would it bother me?  Yes, probably in an academic sense, but in a sense of it actually affecting me financially, probably not.  I have a profession that provides me with a decent living.  If my writing career takes off, great.  If it doesn’t, I’ll be sad, but not affected financially.  I don’t count on it.

Maybe that makes me different from a lot of self-published authors.  For many, writing IS their career.  For me, it’s still a sideline, and is likely to remain that.

So the answer is, no, none of it really truly matters to me as a writer.  As a reader, I want Amazon to succeed, because it increases the availability of books to me at affordable prices.

I’d like to make some sort of comments about the documentary I saw on CNBC last night, titled “AMAZON RISING”.  But I don’t know what to say.  They’re a retailer.  It’s not like they’re truly changing the world in any fundamental sense.  They’re just making buying things easier and more convenient.  They’re probably saving consumers some money today.  I’m more interested in Bezos’ space program than I am in his retail innovations.

Except Kindle.  That particular innovation has allowed me to put my stuff out there in front of readers.  All I can do at this point is try to increase my visibility, and hope people find my stories.

And then hope that they like the way I’ve written them and the way I’ve told them, and that they like the stories themselves.


QUANTUM ZOO is live on Amazon!

QUANTUM ZOO!QUANTUM ZOO was released while I was out of the country, on June 17th, and has already hit number 1 on the Amazon SF Anthology list!

If you haven’t picked it up yet, get it now…it’s on sale for a limited time for $0.99!  It won’t be such an incredible deal for too long!

Here’s the link:  QUANTUM ZOO in the Amazon Kindle Store

There are 12 (count ’em!) high quality stories in the collection, ranging from Egyptian gods to alien zoos.  Even a little supernatural stuff!  And of course my story, PLAYING MAN, can be found right smack in the middle of all this SF/Fantasy goodness!

Grab a copy and read it!  You won’t be disappointed!

Go ahead.  I’ll still be here when you get back….


QUANTUM ZOO has a website!


If you’re following along at home, you will already know that I have a story which will be published in the indie anthology QUANTUM ZOO, along with eleven other authors.  I was honored and thrilled to be included in their numbers.  Most of them have significant writing credits and credentials; all of them have more of those things than I do.

Anyway, there’s a website!  It contains info about all the authors as well as story excerpts and some other goodies.

There is going to be a Facebook release party as well, though I won’t be able to “attend” due to other commitments.  I’ll post more when I know more.

Here’s the website address:  http://quantumzoo.blogspot.com/

Please check it out!



My short story, “Playing Man”, was accepted for publication in the anthology QUANTUM ZOO, which will also feature stories by J.M. Ney-Grimm, D.J. Gelner, A.C. Smyth, R.S. McCoy, Bridget McKenna, and John Hindmarsh among others.

“Playing Man” is about company troubleshooter/scientist Jordem Lun, who is sent to the wildlife reserve planet Earth to find out who is sabotaging the company’s monorails.  He has a hidden agenda, however, and when he meets up with Dr. Alnay Snow, he is given the opportunity to address his concerns, while hearing the concerns of Dr. Snow’s organization.  It’s a lush, beautiful Earth, teeming with native life, carefully managed by Dr. Snow’s Department of Preservation.  So what happens when life is left to its own devices?

The anthology is slated for an early June release date in e-book form, and will be released shortly thereafter in trade paperback.

I will post the cover and a more firm release date as soon as I have them.

Watch for it!


So which am I?

Lots of activity in the blogosphere about self publishers recently.  It seems Hugh Howey had someone do a study about numbers of self published titles in the Amazon best seller lists, and then did some data extrapolation to determine estimated sales numbers and estimated dollar figures for sales, and he found that self published titles were beginning to become the majority of ebooks sold.  Others jumped on his data, and reblogged it, making their own comments about it.

On top of it all is the old “tsunami of crap” argument resurfacing, that as more and more people self publish, more and more “bad” books surface.  Apparently by “bad books” they mean poorly edited, typo-laden works, mostly by self publishers.  Maybe they mean bad stories as well, but mostly they talk about the quality of the craft used to write these books.  In other words, the stuff that a good copy editor will find and presumably correct.

Well, I wonder where I fall.  Am I part of the tsunami or are my works professional?

Here was my hope.  Most of the short stories I’ve published have been through the wringer with readers.  Then I put them through my wringer again as well.  I read them and reread them, correcting turns of a phrase and adding in missing words and fixing typos that generally were something like using “fee” instead of “feel” (in other words, typos that the spell check didn’t find).

So I thought (and still think) I’m putting out a pretty good product, even though I haven’t had anyone “professionally” edit these works.  Am I the best judge of that?  Probably not.  The reader is the best judge.

But maybe the stories aren’t good enough.  Maybe I’m not a good enough storyteller.  Again, I can’t judge.  I think the stories are pretty good; they’re the stories I wanted to tell.  So who does judge?  Readers, I’d guess.

Yes, I made three of my covers.  But I had four of them done for me by a professional who happens to be a good friend, someone who has designed covers for small presses.  Two of them are a little rough, I know.  My latest, for DEAD OR ALIVE, looks pretty decent to me.

I started with these short stories because they’ve been through the wringer, and because my hope was that they’d generate some sales and some income which I could then use to pay professionals for editing and covers on my longer works.  It hasn’t happened yet, but I’ve only got the short stories, a 14 story collection, and a Disney guidebook (under my real name) out there so far.  I don’t do much promotion; I’m not on Facebook every day suggesting that people buy my stories.  I don’t tweet; I have been less than regular with updates to my blog.  I’ve hoped that somehow word will spread and a few will get sold here and there.  We’ll see.

So the question remains:  am I part of the “tsunami of crap”?  Who gets to say whether I am or not?

In my estimation, the only ones who get to make that judgement are readers.  So far they haven’t voted enough to let me know one way or another (all of my reviews are 5 star so far, but there aren’t many of them), but I intend on continuing to plug away until either something happens, or nothing at all happens.

Thanks if you’ve bought one of my stories.  Heck, thanks if you’re even here reading this.  I appreciate any recognition I get.


14 Dark Windows to be released soon!

My short story collection, 14 DARK WINDOWS, is almost ready for release.  I thought that now would be as good a time as any to reveal the cover:


If it looks familiar, it might be because I’m using a different version of my SOLE OCCUPANT cover, also done by the talented Mr. Rich Siegle.

The collection should be out by this time next week!