Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Free Updated Reissue

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To celebrate my ninth year of giving away free, original fiction to readers online, I've put together and posted on Scribd a reissue edition of my very first free e-book, Sink or Swim, a collection of a year's worth of short stories I published on my old web site way back in 2000. As with all my Scribd e-books, this is free for anyone to read online, download, print out and/or distribute for non-profit/educational purposes. *Note 9/3/10: Since Scribd.com instituted an access fee scam to charge people for downloading e-books, including those I have provided for free for the last ten years, I have removed my free library from their site, and no longer use or recommend using their service. This reissue and all of my free reads may be read online or downloaded for free from Google Docs; go to my freebies and free reads page for the links. See my post about this scam here.

I've added a new introduction as well as some retrospective bits on each of the stories in the e-book, as many of the stories went on to inspire new novels and series ideas. Thanks to the very talented and possibly psychic Deena Fisher, I also have lovely new cover art.

It was fun to look back at what I was writing at the turn of the century, and to realize just how much I've accomplished since those first terrifying months of being a pro writer. Now to plan more radical ideas to try out for the next nine years . . .

10 comments:

  1. I'm curious. How did you get so good at designing covers? What programs do you use to create them? And how does the process work?

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  2. Robin wrote: How did you get so good at designing covers? What programs do you use to create them? And how does the process work?I can't take credit for the design of this one, as it's all Deena Fisher's work -- I just sized it and imported it to the e-book document before I turned it into a .pdf.

    I've tried a number of photoshop programs (Photo Explosion and some freebies) but the one I still use is Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006, which sadly is no longer commercially available since Vista came out.

    For the covers that I make, I use photographs or artwork that I take/create, or I purchase images from royalty-free sites like Dreamstime.com or BigStockPhoto.com. Then I just play with them until I have something I like.

    When I did this one for Falling I simply centered the purchased image, added a top and bottom border in black, and insert the title and byline in an interesting font.

    Sometimes I get a bit more ambitious, as with the cover art for Incarnatio. For that one, I photoshopped a purchased image of the character to be a little softer, then superimposed him on a vertical split red/black background, and changed the colors for the font of the title and byline to a half-and-half red/black to contrast with the background.

    I'm not in Deena's league, but I try to have fun with the covers I make myself. I also practice by making cover art for my novel notebooks, poetry collections, and even my virtual photograph albums.

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  3. 9 years is how many in dog years? (I figure publishing is more like dog years.) Big congrats and very nice look for your re-issue.

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  4. That look like an awesome book! What radical plans are you thinking of?

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  5. Charlene wrote: 9 years is how many in dog years?Like, eek, 63. Lol.

    Big congrats and very nice look for your re-issue.Thanks Charlene, for the congrats and the laugh.

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  6. Jennifer wrote: That look like an awesome book! What radical plans are you thinking of?I have a couple. ;) On the top of my list is coming up with some new spins for online promotion, like a cooperative virtual library of permanent links to free online reads (not the one-month-only read-only freebies the publishers dangle, but the permanent stuff.) Another one I'll probably do a trial run of this year is using a newsletter format to deliver bonus serial stories to interested readers (ala Dear Reader, only the full story, not just the first chapter, and the fiction will be original & exclusive.)

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  7. For some reason Blogger is deleting the blank lines in my comments this morning -- sorry for the run-together paragraphs, folks.

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  8. Deena Fisher's covers are just gorgeous. I drool over her stuff over at Drollerie Press. Well, more like over my keyboard.

    So Lynn, if you don't mind. I gotta ask, (cause I'm a total geek about this sort of thing, so sorry if its odd) does the model on the cover come close to what you envision when you think of Holly Noriko?

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  9. Thanks for posting this. More great stories to read. I love your StarDoc books by the way. Can't wait until August. :)

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  10. I'm curious about "those first terrifying months of being a pro writer." I'm trying to find some non-English teacher way of phrasing the what did "going pro" mean to you in 700 words or less, but it just so happens that I'm an English teacher.

    I've been hunting around your blog and I see instructions on how to go pro, but I'd love to hear your own story. Were you blogging at that time? If so I can't find the links to back posts.

    Anyway, I'm intensely curious in personal stories and I'd love to hear more of yours since the rest of your blog is lovely. :)

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