Thursday, February 27, 2014

New Covers

Hey folks!  I'm still limiting my online time, but I wanted to pop in and tell everyone that I've got new covers for the Gavin English Series.  I'd love to know what you think, so I'll post the new and old so you can decide for yourselves which you like best.  I still like the old covers, but I think the new covers add something.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

 Old cover: To The Bone.
 New cover: To The Bone
 Old cover: On The Edge
 New cover: On The Edge

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I'm Offline, Baby

I'm going to take the next five, six, or seven days off from the internet, so if I owe you correspondence, or if I don't reply to you on Facebook, Twitter, email, Tumblr, here, or anywhere else... that's why.

If you need me, I'll be writing.  Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Warnings For Newbie Authors

There are a lot of slimy bastards out there.  A lot.  Seriously.  And every one of them is just dying to screw you out of a dollar, or ten, or a thousand.  Point is: people want your money.

Duh, right?

The problem is that slimy bastards don't come out and introduce themselves as slimy bastards.  Usually, they come off as kind, interested, caring, and on your team.  They make offers and promises, all under the guise of helping you out, but as soon as they get their grubby fingers into your wallet, everything changes.

It's tough to be a indie author, (it's also tough to be traditionally published, but that's a different set of problems) you have to carry your intellectual properties on your own.  Writing. (duh)  Editing.  Formatting.  Cover art.  Finding reviewers.  Finding readers.  Social networking.  Selling yourself and your work at every opportunity.

It doesn't take long to learn that you probably need some help.  Unfortunately, when many of us get to the point where we realize we need a hand, it's at a point of desperation.  Ink, sweat, and tears have gotten you this far... how can you give any more?

So you do a quick Google search:
"publishers"
"ebook publishing"
"buy cover art"
"cheap book editing"
"how to self publish"

 And that's when the bastards show up.
"Free ebook help!"
"Let us do the work for you!"
"Ocean Front Property, Cheap"
"Author Loyalty"

There are a lot of folks out there who claim they have just what you need.  Sometimes, it seems too good to be true.  Most times, it really is.  I don't know all the tricks, and I don't have all the answers.  But I do have some guidelines that might steer you away from the slimy bastards.  Use these, and look for other tips out there that might keep you from getting ripped off.  It's easy to get excited about publishing something you've written, but jumping the gun could cost you more than you know.

1: Publishers don't ask you for money.  Ever.  No processing fees, no shelving costs, nothing.  If a publisher is interested in your work, you will go through some negotiations (hopefully with your agent as a buffer between you and the publisher) about an advance, (money that they will give you as an investment, based on what they believe they will earn from your book) about royalties, (the money you will make per book sold, after book sales have paid the publisher back for your advance) and about the rights to your work (who can sell, distribute, publish, and convert the foreign/audio/movie rights to your book).

Publishers who ask authors for money up front are known as "vanity" publishers, and a huge majority of these companies are garbage.  They are not there to help you get the word out about your book, they are there to take your money, and run.

(This rule stands for literary agents as well.  They should never ask you for money.)

2: The act of self publishing a book has no up-front costs.  Amazon.com does not charge you to publish a book with them.  Neither do Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, or Apple.  They are happy to let you publish your book with them, because they are going to take a small percentage from each book you sell.  For example, when you publish with Kindle Direct Publishing, you will receive either 35% or 70% of the list price, depending on how you price your work.  Amazon gets to keep the rest.

3: Cover art, formatting, and editing can cost a lot, or a little, or even be free; but it's very important you know who you're dealing with.  When you find a cover artist, (or anyone else you are going to pay to benefit your work, including editors, book formatting services, etc...)  search for work they've already done, try and contact authors or publishers they've worked with.  It's important to know who you're giving your money to.  If you do a little bit of homework (aka Googling) you should be able to find testimonials or reviews from real people.  If there's a lot of accusations, or poor word of mouth out there, you might want to stay away.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Babysitting Money is Live!


Gavin English isn't in Chicago searching for an unfaithful woman's wedding ring out of the goodness of his heart. He's doing it for the fifty thousand dollar check the unfaithful woman gave him. All he has to do is track down the pretty boy who stole it—in one of the biggest cities in the country.

Lucky for Gavin, ex-police Lieutenant Jack Daniels knows her way around the city—her city—and she's agreed to set aside her mommy duties for a few days, so that she can babysit him and his assistant while they're in town.

But somewhere between Gavin's visit to the busted-down crackhouse and their stop at a low-rent donut shop, Jack's peaceful babysitting gig turns deadly and the bullets start flying.

BABYSITTING MONEY brings together Ken Lindsey's heavy drinking, hard-boiled PI (TO THE BONE, ON THE EDGE) and J.A. Konrath's retired hero cop/brand-new mommy (WHISKEY SOUR, SHAKEN) for an intense, laugh-out-loud thriller. 



Babysitting Money is now available for the Kindle, you can get your copy for only $1.99 RIGHT HEREWriting this with Joe was incredibly fun, and I can't wait to get to the novel we'll be collaborating on soon.

As most of you already know, I have recently pulled my titles from KDP Select and re-listed them at other great vendors like Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, etc.  Babysitting Money is no different, and will be available through those other retailers as well, it just so happens that publishing on Amazon is quicker than most other places.  I'll keep you updated (if not here, then on my Facebook or Twitter or at KenLindsey.com).

And here's the part where I ask for your help.  I know that not everyone out there has the two bucks to spend on an ebook.  Whether or not you can buy this thrilling, funny, awesome short story, I would be so grateful if you would help me get the word out.  Share the link on your facebooks and twitters and tumblrs, share the blog, retweet the tweets...  Whatever you can do to help get the word out will be huge.

Help me show Joe Konrath (who has sold over two million books in his career) that working with n00bs like myself is well worth the time and effort!

As always, thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Let's Talk About Outlining (or Plotting)

I use Grammarly for english proofreading because nothing is wurser than having yer mistooks found by a reeder.

It's a bit of a hot topic in the writing world, whether or not you must outline your story.  There are hundreds of articles and blogs out there about how and when to outline your story, what the best ways to go about making an outline are, how outlines might be the difference between a good story and a bad one, etc...

The outline is 95 percent of the book. Then I sit down and write, and that’s the easy part. - Jeffrey Deaver

So that's one side of the argument.

Another set of voices is out there saying that they don't, or can't, outline.  That the story and characters come together as they will, and trying to force them into one certain direction, just because you said you would, is a mistake.

Plot is, I think, the good writer’s last resort, and the dullard’s first choice. - Stephen King

Yeesh.

I never understand people trying to force their ways on others, or saying any way that's not your way is wrong.  Art, religion, politics, sexuality, education, diet, raising children, drinking scotch, buying a home, reading a book...  Unfortunately, no matter what you're doing these days, it's very likely that someone out there does is willing to tell the world that you are doing it wrong.

I hate to pull the "Can't we all just get along?" card, but seriously, Can't we all just get along?

I don't plot my stories.  I've tried.  For years I forced outlines and structure and plot onto paper, because my English teachers told me that I had to if I wanted to write something.  I can honestly say that I never finished writing a story that I plotted out first.  I lost interest, grew frustrated, stopped caring about the story.

I wrote To The Bone because I pictured an old, grizzled PI that was trying to find a lost girl, got captured by a cannibal, and wound up having to eat his own feet.

That's not what the story turned out to be.  A lot of my original ideas made it through, but the story itself became another animal entirely.  It's better, I think, and it became that way organically.

But that's only what works for me.  If outlining works for you, for the love of God, outline.  Whatever it takes to make your story better, do it. That's what I'm going to do.  I'm just happy to know there are so many people out there that love writing, I don't care how they do it.

That's all for now,
thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Monday, November 11, 2013

WARNING *Lots of Sh!t* and Some J. A. Konrath Collaboration News

I've been writing most of the day today.  That shouldn't be a big deal, it's what I do.  Right?

Well, yeah.  But I have these days, these awful days, when I just know that every word I put down on paper is shit.  Hell, every word I have ever put down on paper looks like shit on these days.  It's a simple choice to walk away from the keyboard on days like today.

Walk away.  Watch a movie.  Read a book written by someone who isn't shit.  Stare at your half-empty cup of coffee and listen to the Decemberists until you pass out.

Those are all viable options on days like today.  Everything makes sense except for the writing...

Maybe that's why it's so important to write on days like this.  Trudge, stomp, fight, kick, cuss, murder your way through every single word you can squeeze out of your brain meat.  When I accomplish something on a day like today, I know it was worth it.

Speaking of worth it...




About BABYSITTING MONEY

Gavin English isn't in Chicago searching for an unfaithful woman's wedding ring out of the goodness of his heart.  He's doing it for the fifty thousand dollar check the unfaithful woman gave him.  All he has to do is track down the pretty boy who stole it—in one of the biggest cities in the country.

Lucky for Gavin, ex-police Lieutenant Jack Daniels knows her way around the city—her city—and she's agreed to set aside her mommy duties for a few days, so that she can babysit him and his assistant while they're in town.

But somewhere between Gavin's visit to the busted-down crackhouse and their stop at a low-rent donut shop, Jack's peaceful babysitting gig turns deadly and the bullets start flying.

BABYSITTING MONEY brings together Ken Lindsey's heavy drinking, hard-boiled PI (TO THE BONE, ON THE EDGE) and J.A. Konrath's retired hero cop/brand-new mommy (WHISKEY SOUR, SHAKEN) for an intense, laugh-out-loud thriller.


On a brighter note, this is happening any minute!  I've collaborated with J. A. Konrath to write this fun, short thriller, BABYSITTING MONEY.  It's been kind of a dream, because Konrath is one of my favorite writers (who has sold somewhere around two-million ebooks and has an incredibly popular blog about the publishing world) and he just happens to be a lot of fun to work with.

BABYSITTING MONEY should be released on most popular platforms any day now, and it's only going to be $0.99.  Another piece of awesome news on this front is that Joe Konrath and I will be putting out a follow up full-length novel, which will also feature Gavin English, Jack Daniels, and a bunch more characters from each of our worlds.  I have two other manuscripts I'm working on right now that I need to finish up before that happens, but I'm thrilled and can't wait to get started.

I think that's it for now,
thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's Not My Birthday! (yet)

Surprise!  I'm drinking coffee, and I've decided to pretend that the last few weeks of not blogging never happened.  You cool with that?

Awesome.

I'm writing a prequel to my Gavin English stories right now, because lots of folks have said they want to know more about Gavin and his whiskey chugging, chain smoking, privately investigating ways.  The good news is: the story has always been there.  Gavin English's backstory has been building and filling in for me since the day I started writing To The Bone.  And since people have asked, I'm more than happy to put it out there.

I've also been working on a short story collaboration with one of my absolute favorite indie authors, J.A. Konrath.  I'm not going to say much about it, but I'm hoping it will be released sometime this month, and there might even be a collaborative novel to follow!  I'll let you know more about all that as things develop.

Although my birthday isn't until the middle of Sept, I already know what my amazing girlfriend got for me, and I'm very excited.  For some time now, Joe Hill (author of such awesomeness as NOS4A2, Twentieth Century Ghosts, Heart Shaped Box, and more) has been writing a graphic novel series called Locke and Key.  I haven't read one single page, because I wanted to get the entire collection and just devour it.  And that's what she got me!

There will be days where I'm completely useless as I read these graphic novels.  I'm cool with that.

Also!

Hey, are you listening?

The River Runes is free right now on Amazon for your Kindle.  You should go get it.  Go ahead, I'll wait.

Did you get it?  Good, I hope you enjoy it.

I think that's it for now.

Thanks for reading,
buh bye then