BONUS PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
This is a public service announcement: I’m so angry I’m shaking right now. No, not at anyone on this blog, or anyone who sent me links, and not my background anger at politicians.
Let me explain: A lot of you are enthusiastic and confused. A lot more have trouble reading directions. That’s fine. I have been there sometimes, and done the most bizarre things by way of asking for promotion or some other favor. No big.
HOWEVER this week, in the batch of requests for promo, I got a — not unusual — offer of free chapters, and a line to not-Amazon.
While I usually prefer to link for Amazon, because, yes, I earn a commission, I’ve been known to link to books not on Amazon, if I can figure out how. Though I first look to see if the book is on Amazon and link that if I can. (Hey, it’s money, and while I do this because I love you, I also do it for money if I can.)
This one seemed to be a small publisher, and the book was not on Amazon. So I set up to link to the publisher, but sent the writer back a message about “if you’re not on Amazon your publisher isn’t serving you right.”
However, as I continued putting up books, the name of the publisher kept bugging me. I was sure it was on a list of scams.
They are probably not scammy enough for the law, however they are DEFINITELY a vanity publisher. Which means the writer published through them is unlikely to see any money (the publisher makes the money from the writer.) AND they’re unlikely to see any royalties, since the house makes no effort at selling the book.
In this day and age of indie publishing, it is painful to me to see ANYONE giving money to be published, and getting nothing in return.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE: Always remember: MONEY FLOWS TO THE AUTHOR. If it isn’t flowing to the author and you’re paying a so-called “publishing company” to publish you, they have no reason to SELL your book. Their business model is to get paid by you, not by readers.
IF you don’t know how to publish your book indie and don’t want to spend time submitting to traditional publishers, ask in the comments. Yes, you can HIRE copyeditors, cover artists, etc, and bring the book out yourself, under your full control. No, it’s not the same as having a “publisher” ask you for money.
Please, I beg you with tears in my eyes: before giving money to a vanity publisher, contact me, or Cedar Sanderson, or TXRed, or a dozen other people. We can at least point you in some direction (even if my time availability is crazy right now.) And I can send you the names of copy editors and cover artists. (I can do a post with those, if people want.)
JUST don’t give away your hard work, and pay for it being buried out of sight of the buying public. You’re better than that.
If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com. If you feel a need to re-promo the same book do so no more than once every six months (unless you’re me or my relative. Deal.) One book per author per week. Amazon links only. Oh, yeah, by clicking through and buying (anything, actually) through one of the links below, you will at no cost to you be giving a portion of your purchase to support ATH through our associates number. A COMMISSION IS EARNED FROM EACH PURCHASE. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*
NOW UPDATED AND IN PAPERBACK AND HARDCOVER: Odd Magics: Tales for the Lost
This is a very strange collection of fairytales, recast for modern life. In it the prize isn’t always to the fairest, the
magic is rarely to the strongest.
But lonely introverts do find love, women who never gave it a thought find themselves at the center of romance.
Doing what’s right will see you to the happily ever after.
And sometimes you have to kiss an accountant to find your prince.
(And yes, I feel bad about the price for the hardback, but the production costs are high. Apparently.)
FROM STEPHEN PALMER: The Unlikely Candidate: A Novel of Politics, Religion, and the Media
After completing his second and final term as governor of Mississippi at age fifty, Jeff Ackerman is seeking direction for the next stage in his life. On a whim, Ackerman decides to run for president in the 2016 election against incumbent Democrat Upton Landers. Landers is a reasonably popular sitting president during a time of peace and a stable economy. The well-known Republican politicians elect to sit on the sidelines for the 2016 election, implicitly conceding re-election to Landers. This leaves the Republican field open to squishy moderates, has-beens, and never-have-beens such as Jeff Ackerman.
The Unlikely Candidate takes the reader on a thought-provoking and sometimes infuriating journey into the Oval Office, Air Force One, a New York City newsroom, the pulpit of an African-American church in Detroit, and the headquarters of an agribusiness conglomerate in Iowa. One part political commentary, one part media criticism, and one part Christian apologetic, this novel prioritizes ideas and ideals. Author Stephen Palmer weaves various threads into a compelling, fast-moving narrative that keeps the reader thinking while anxiously turning pages.
After a successful twenty-year legal career, Stephen Palmer retired from a major international law firm at age 46 in order to focus on writing and public speaking. He’s originally from Jackson, Mississippi and now lives in Marietta, Georgia with his wife Jennifer and their two daughters.
FROM MARK DOUGLAS ROBBINS: Killing Deep States: How to Spread Freedom
Thomas Paine said almost 250 years ago, “government even in its best state is but a necessary evil “. In ten pages KDS shows how a $10.99 political donation initiates feedback on government spending. This short pamphlet (1 hour), modeled on “Common Sense”, leans into unique processes implemented using technology, and existing proven systems, to give free people control of their governments.
FROM CLAYTON BARNETT: The Fourth Law
23-year-old apprentice nurse Lily Barrett lives in a shattered time. Following its economic collapse, the US has devolved into a group of a few barely-functional smaller states, and vast swathes of barbarian badlands. Her sister has been missing for years, and her father, after earning the opprobrium of most of the world for running a state terror organization, presumed dead.
Two things keep her going: her live-in job at a small, Catholic orphanage in the city of Waxahachie, Republic of Texas, and Ai, her odd, but dear friend, whom she met online: a young woman who only shows herself to Lily as a rendered CG image.
Troubled by her past, haunted by her name, and facing an uncertain future, Lily seeks only a quiet, normal life. But, that past and her present conspire against her. A new Morning has come, and with it, delights and terrors, happiness and adversity.
FROM DALE COZORT: Snapshot42-Book2:Through The Texas Gate (Snapshot-42 Book 2)
Snapshot42: Through the Texas Gate is an alternate history novel. In early November 1942, with World War II hanging in the balance, an invisible wall cuts Europe, along with parts of the Middle East and North Africa, off from the rest of the world. With the Allies running out of vital raw materials from the rest of the world, they look for ways through the wall. They find two gates to other realities. One leads to a still-independent Republic of Texas that still uses black powder weapons and is barely holding off fierce nomad raiders, while another leads to a strange land without people but overrun by still-living dinosaurs.
Jim Bridger and Colonel Tillman need to buy oil and food to keep the allies in the war, but first they have to survive fierce new enemies in these new-found realities.
FROM JERRY BOYD: Hand Jive
Andre runs into trouble, riding with Rachel, while he’s on leave. By the time he’s back on duty, Rachel has decided to join up with BSR. Her first job is a doozy, though. She has to keep the twins out of trouble. Slavers show up again, with hopes of getting the company out of the way. After the fleet explains the error in their ways, they head out to check on a new planet. A stowaway causes trouble for Topper, but it turns out for the best.
FROM KARL GALLAGHER: Captain Trader Helmsman Spy (Fall of the Censor Book 4)
Niko Landry needs to infiltrate the Censorate to find a weakness before it launches its next assault. The Censor bans maps of hyperspace, forcing freighters to find their way by word of mouth.
He and his crew will pretend to be ordinary traders while finding out all the secrets they can. Any mistake could leave them broke . . . or executed.
A new constitution prepares Carlissa for an era of enlightenment. The harsh traditions of the past fade, and a promise of freedom stirs the air.
In the space of one terrifying day, that promise is shattered in a bloodbath of fire and magic.
Thousands of years ago, an epic battle was fought between good and evil. The demon lords had opened a door to the realms of hell itself, and their horde threatened to overrun the earth. But the Kalarans, led by the hero Calindra, destroyed their hellgate and drove them from the world.
The Great War has long since been lost to myth and legend. The Church struggles for relevance as the people forget their covenant with the gods. A renaissance of freedom and learning stirs the air in the modern age of Carlissa, led by the royal family, and the wisdom of the Archmage.
All of that comes to an end when a dome of shimmering magic appears in the capital city.
The people fight desperately to survive the chaos that follows, and wonder bitterly why the gods seem to have abandoned them. Their only hope lies with the magic of the Archmage — and his, with a young princess who never wanted to rule. She must find the strength to set aside her bard’s calling and take up a battle against impossible odds, or surrender her land and people to the Black Magus and his demons.
In The Massacre of Lannamon, the city’s refugees fight desperately for survival, but their prospects become ever more bleak in the face of the advancing demon horde.Sanctum of the Archmage, Volume One – Dawn of Chaos
Dawn of Chaos, Book 2: Hell Gate
Hell Gate, Part III – The Massacre of Lannamon
Note: An earlier version of this book appeared as part of the novel Dawn of Chaos, published briefly on Amazon in 2017. That book has now been re-written and expanded into a series of six novella-length installments.
FROM B. RENE SHEKMER: Restoring Order: A Detachment 3 Novel.
A young college student is kidnapped while on summer vacation. Her father, a U.S. diplomat, has the connections to involve the CIA and he does not hesitate to use them. Detachment 3 is given the assignment to find and retrieve the young woman. From Northern Virginia to the Mediterranean, the team follows the available clues in the search for Sofia and her kidnappers, who turn out to be more than mere criminals.
FROM DENTON SALLE: Not Snakes, Exactly: A Hall of Heroes Short Story
When Megan reached out to the Brotherhood over the odd old woman who came to her church, she wasn’t sure what to expect. Especially after the Greek Orthodox priest who gave her their contact info insisted she be blessed first. But the old woman was so adamant about needing them.
She never expected to find the monsters and creatures of Ukrainian and East European myth. Nor that the strangeness would invade her professional life. But that old woman warned of doom overhanging her West Texas city.
A story from the Hall of Heroes, where the legends of East Europe walk in Texas, and sometimes even cowgirls need to deal with them.
Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.
So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.
If you have questions, feel free to ask.
Your writing prompt this week is: laborer