April 08, 2020
For those who already know, this is just a reminder...

Puzzles!

I have a module on my hiking website with eleven online jigsaw puzzles using pictures from my hikes. Just go to the hiking website and click on the puzzle piece image on the main page. Look through the pictures and select your choice of puzzle pieces (66, 126, 240). The puzzle will load in a new window.

Have fun!


April 01, 2020
So... while I don’t have an actual Amazon storefront, my publishing company is listed as a seller for the paperback editions of most of my books. Few are sold that way however, as Amazon itself undercuts the greybeard publishing price by offering free shipping with prime. As an example, go to The Shylmahn Migration on Amazon and click on the "new from 5 sellers" link.

I went out to my Seller Central "manage inventory" page, first time in a long while, and I see that Amazon now charges such exorbitant fees for each paperback that I do sell through that avenue that I earn more in royalties by letting Amazon sell it.

They charge a referral fee, a closing fee (what the hell is that?) and a per item fee. For one of my books that I sell for $12.90, those fees come to $5.32. When you calculate my costs for book production and shipping to bring that book into my inventory, then throw in the cost to package and ship the book to the buyer, my final earnings comes to about $3.50. Alternatively, if I let Amazon sell it I earn $3.65 in royalties.

Well, that sucks.

I think I’ll drop the Seller Central component of my Amazon presence. They win again. They’ll do all the selling on their site.

Anyone looking to buy a paperback, go to my greybeard publishing website and click on "Signed Print Editions" or "Bundled Sets". Amazon still gets their cut via my production costs, but at least I’m not limited to just the royalties.

BTW... with Amazon’s expanded distribution fees and lower royalty percentage, my most recent paperback sale to the UK brought me $1.25 in royalties. I’ve seen that go as low as 0.90 in some European countries.

I hesitate to complain, but... well... that sucks.

Writers certainly aren’t in it to get rich. As for myself, I can't imagine doing anything else; been doing it since I was 12.


March 24, 2020
It looks like I’ll have to increase the ebook price of my titles on Amazon, at least for the novellas. It won’t be much, just .20 each, but with my Amazon Ad marketing costs it is necessary.

Nine of my novellas are currently going for $2.25. The price increase will take them to $2.45 each; that’s still a good deal, but nonetheless I wish I didn’t have to do it.

My full length titles will maintain their current ebook prices for the moment, but I anticipate those that are going for $3.25 will also likely see a .20 bump in the next couple of months. The Black Tower – the Complete Series, currently at $3.95, will probably also see an increase, going to $4.25.

All my titles will remain on Kindle Unlimited for those using KU, and all ebooks will continue to be free with paperback purchase.


March 14, 2020
Western Washington is oh-so-slowly moving from a soaking wet winter toward much-needed slightly less wet spring, and as the calendar crawls forward, my northwest mountain trails call to me. Even now, as I write this, sunshine is streaming into the room. The thermostat reads 35 degrees, but the sky is clear and bright blue.

I had hoped to get a few hikes in over the winter, but time and again the dreary wet days changed my mind. Yes, I’ve hiked on rainy days in the past, but this winter the ugly gray won out. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Now though, with spring approaching, it’s time for me to weatherproof my hiking boots, pack my backpack and replenish my emergency kit. I’m heading out...

Take a look at some of my favorite hikes at Northwest Mountain Trails; slideshows and details of each hike, as well as puzzles and a video.

I am so looking forward to hiking a mountain...


March 09, 2020
The Shylmahn Trilogy edition of the Shylmahn books picked up a thoughtful, considered four star review a couple of months ago.

It begins:
"I like to read lesser-known sci-fi authors to find something new, and here I found a good one. The Shylmahn Trilogy starts as a standard alien invasion story but gradually evolves into something deeper. Don't expect the hero to ride in on a shining white rocketship and save Earth and the Galaxy."

The review by M Raymer doesn’t end there. It continues by offering a number of observations that takes the evaluation of the trilogy to another level.

Please, give the full review a read: Shylmahn Trilogy on Amazon

Thanks!


February 22, 2020
I recently wrote a five episode webseries called Family Alone. These short scripts are 7-10 pages each. When produced, each episode is designed to run about five to eight minutes.

I have adapted these scripts to "flash fiction" short stories, ranging in length from 1100 to 1200 words. The complete five episode collection is about 7600 words, which is generally considered to be at the high range length of a short story.

I’ll be offering the individual title in ebook format, to be listed as a short story. It will also be included in the At Variance 4 collection, which will be published in print format in late 2020 or early 2021.

For greybeard subscribers, the title is being added to the subscriber page.


February 12, 2020
I've just recently set up a page on SoundCloud, a streaming platform where creators can upload their music and audio tracks.

I'll be posting audio samples of the audiobook releases of my books. While these samples are on the greybeard publishing book pages and on each book's amazon page, my SoundCloud page gathers them together on one screen.

Check out my SoundCloud page, "follow" the page and "like" the samples. Thanks!


February 03, 2020
Wow. One of my books just got slammed by an ugly review.

The screenplay adaptation of Planet of Stones was very well received by the entertainment industry (see below), so the review of the book came as a complete surprise.

Then I checked the background of the reviewer. It turns out that she has posted reviews of exactly seven books over the last few years, and has trashed every one, giving every book just one star. Every single review. One star. I find that... suspicious.

I won’t be responding of course, but this will likely impact the book. It hasn’t been out that long and other than the screenplay feedback this is the only review.

If you’ve read Planet of Stones and didn’t hate it, I would appreciate an honest review.

If you haven’t read it yet, I’m setting up a free promo to run today and tomorrow (Feb 3-4). You can download it for free, give it a read, and if you think it’s worth it write a few lines and give it a handful of stars.

I would really appreciate it.
Link to book on amazon
Link to bookpage on greybeard

Industry feed re Planet of Stones screenplay:
"An immersive, entertaining sci-fi experience."
"You create a real sense of not only discovery, but also adventure."
"You capture the sense of a stranger in a strange land wonderfully."
"Successfully transplants a nearly human-like arc onto a non-human character, which is a difficult task to pull off."


January 19, 2020
Some months ago I set up an Instagram Page, and then almost immediately began to totally ignore it. My bad.

A few days ago I went "oh yeah, I have an Instagram page". I found the link and brought it up. So, it was set to private, had a couple of followers and a few pics. Hmmm. Looked ignored all right.

I’ve decided to give it another go. I’ll make every effort to keep it current, post pics every few days, and I’ll try to keep it interesting.

If you use Instagram, please check out my new Instagram page and please follow. Thank you. Much appreciated.


January 16, 2020
I finished the second episode of the Sutherland House series. "Gryphen" is a 10K story adapted from the second episode screenplay of the five episode miniseries that I’m developing.

At 10,000 words, if published in paperback the title would run only 35-40 pages. That being the case, I'm publishing it in ebook format only. Info and links on the Gryphen book page at Greybeard Publishing.

The remaining episodes, tentatively titled "The Summit", "Threads" and "Phoenix", will be developed and published throughout this coming year. Each will be made available individually as it is completed, and once all five are ready, I’ll be putting them together into an omnibus edition, "Sutherland House", to be available in print, large print and ebook formats.


January 11, 2020
I wrote a short story a few months ago called "The Britton Journals". The story is set in the Shylmahn Trilogy universe, takes place some twenty years following the end of "Genesis", the final novel in the trilogy.

I’m making the story available in the Subscriber Page on Greybeard Publishing. You can read it for free through the document reader in that module. Whether you’ve read the Shylmahn Trilogy or are new to the books, enjoy!


December 29, 2019
The screenplay adaptation of Yesterday’s Shadows, the title story in my Yesterday’s Shadows short story collection, was recently purchased by producer/director Nawaf Al-Janahi and is to be produced as a short film.

Many of my earliest short stories have been lost, particularly those written using my old typewriter, more than a few written with only pencil and paper. The short story collection contains six that survived, including Yesterday’s Shadows.

You can find the Yesterday's Shadows collection on Greybeard. Follow the film’s progress through my newsletter and here on my author blog.


December 23, 2019
It looks like Amazon now allows readers to star rate a book without leaving a written review. I only recently came across this, but apparently the option has been in place for months. From what I’ve been able to find, it began first as a limited experiment, but is now available to everyone. At least, so say the comments I’ve read on google. I haven’t been able verify this myself, as authors can’t leave reviews of their own books.

So if you’ve read my books, liked what you’ve read but aren’t comfortable writing a review, here’s your chance to anonymously leave a star rating with a couple of clicks.

Find my books at Amazon Author Page, then select the title. Once on the book page, click the “write a customer review” button. In the past, the headline and review text boxes were required, but I believe now you can just click the stars and when the green “submitted” check displays, exit the page.

From what I read, star rating without a review requires verified purchase status, so you'll need to have purchased the title from Amazon. I also understand it can take a while for the star rating to post.

While star ratings with reviews offer more value to Amazon scoring and in helping potential customers determine whether to select the title, solo 4-5 star ratings will be appreciated. Please send me your experiences, I’ll pass these along to everyone, and include any resolutions to issues.


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