Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A New Year's Eve Panzerism

Panzer on New Year's Eve and Catnip:
No Catnippin' and drivin'.

There's nothing wrong with a little
recreational catnip, now and then.
I just make sure I don't take the
Panzermobile out for a spin
after a little 'nip.

Got it?


Happy New Year!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Understanding Writing Mystery Fiction

Catch me if you can!
Panzer was out looking for more help writing mystery fiction. He stopped in at Elizabeth Spann Craig's blog. He found a post by mystery writer Joe Benevento.

Benevento explains how the hero should solve the crimes in your mystery; not by being smarter than everyone else, but by being more suspicious of people than everyone else.

If you're interested in reading about how to set-up the capture of the crooks in your mystery, tootle over to Understanding Writing Mystery Fiction

Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Free Audio Story

It's FREE!
You know how much my bad boy loves FREE stuff, right? Well, he was over at Dean Wesley Smith's blog and found a FREE audio book there for you. Smith is reading his own story called Last Car For This Time.

You need to hurry over to hear this FREE audio story! It's only FREE for five more days!

To listen to Dean Wesley Smith read his short story, tootle over to New Free Audio Story

Friday, December 27, 2013

How to Pace a Crime Novel

How important is pacing?
Panzer was out in the Catosphere today and stumbled onto a site called Now Novel.

He found a post there about how to pace a crime novel. The post starts off with the easy don'ts in pacing. We've posted here before about the "info dump" which leads to the "too much information upfront" and the "too little payoff." So ... Panzer knows none of you need to worry about that part of the post.

The obvious don'ts are followed by three less common ones and that's the important part for Panzer's friends because he hasn't covered them here before. There's the "begin with a bang," "solving too easily" and "revealing too soon."

If you're interested in learning the don'ts of crime novel pacing, tootle over to Pace Your Crime Novel

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Audible Releases a Free Audiobook of ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ - GalleyCat

It's FREE. Happy cat dance!
Panzer found this FREE Audible audiobook offer over at GalleyCAT. The audiobook is the short story The Secret Life of Walter Mitty that the movie is based on.

Panzer went over to Audible to check it out. He discovered you don't have to be an Audible member, but you do have to give your personal information to get the FREE audiobook.

If you're interesting in the audiobook, tootle over to Audible Releases a Free Audiobook of ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ - GalleyCat

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas


Panzer, the Pirate and Me!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Anne R. Allen's Blog: The Rules of Writing...and Why Not To Follow Them

Christmas is coming!
It's been a long time since Panzer visited Anne R. Allen's Blog, so he decided to stop in today.

 He's really glad he did, because she explains the New Writer's Rule Book. You know, it's the book we're all handed when we join the writer's world. Now you all know my bad boy. He's never met a rule he couldn't break, so he is in total agreement with Anne's post.

If you want to read all about the rule book, tootle over to Anne R. Allen's Blog: The Rules of Writing...and Why Not To Follow Them: Somerset Maugham famously said, "There are three rules for writing. Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are." But pretty much...

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dave Eggers Tells Writers To Take A Stand

Panzer parked the Panzermobile over at The Guardian today.

He wanted to read Dave Eggers' views on the NSA and writers. You see, my bad boy and I are always researching interesting ways to kill people. Panzer will tell you, we've used soap, tomato juice and Fox Glove besides your usual guns and poisons. Imagine what the NSA could do with that!

Wait. We have to go. There's somebody at the front door ... and the back door ... and the window ... .

If you want to read Dave's views, tootle over to Dave Eggers and the NSA.

Friday, December 20, 2013


Panzer says:

Cats are never wrong.

They may be temporarily intellectually challenged, but they are never wrong.


Got it?


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Smashwords: Smashwords Signs Distribution Agreement with Scrib...

Christmas is here from Smashwords!
Panzer is doing the Happy Cat Dance! Mark Coker has just announced over at the Smashwords blog that Smashwords and Scribd have signed a distribution agreement. Smashwords authors' ebooks will be enrolled in two of Scribd's programs. Scribd has a subscription based program that allows readers to pay a membership fee and then have access to unlimited reading. They also will be selling Smashwords ebooks.

Smashwords authors will need to opt-in, so be sure to go to the Channel Manager page on your Dashboard to take advantage of the program.

If you already are a Smashwords author or you're thinking of becoming one, you should tootle over to Smashwords: Smashwords Signs Distribution Agreement with Scrib...: Smashwords today announced a distribution agreement with Scribd , which operates one of the world’s largest publishing platforms and onlin...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Smashwords: Smashwords Unveils Major Website Redesign

Looks good!
Panzer and I went over to check out the new Smashwords redesigned site. My bad boy is really impressed with the new look.

The changes to the author dashboard and sales reports area make it a lot easier to use. The layout and colors make it easier to read too.

From the reader/buyer's standpoint it's cleaner and nicer looking. The search bar is right at the top to facilitate finding the author or the ebook the browser wants.

If you want to see the new site, tootle over to Smashwords: Smashwords Unveils Major Website Redesign: Smashwords today unveiled our first major website redesign since our launch in 2008. We made hundreds of changes large and small.  We also...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Kristen Eckstein's Success With Kindle Ebooks

Christmas is coming!
Panzer has been hearing a lot about Kristen Eckstein lately. It seems like everywhere he goes in the Catosphere his friends are meowing about her.


Earlier this year she challenged herself to write one Kindle ebook per week ... and ... then she did it ... and ... then her ebooks started hitting the top 100 at Amazon.

The Future of Ink blog has an interview with Kristen about how she managed those sales and tips for how other writers can achieve their own Amazon success.

If you want to learn how to skip writer's blog and hit the top 100 at Amazon, tootle over to Kristen Eckstein Success Kindle Ebooks

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Top 100 At Amazon

My bad boy did it again. He's back in the top 100 at Amazon!

It's hard to read below, but he's #80 in Mystery - Anthologies and #89 in Mystery - Collections & Anthologies.

Happy Cat Dance!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Best Practices for Book Trailers

It's a Book Trailer. Not a truck.
I've been thinking about doing a book trailer for a long time. Now that I'm taking a break after writing my NaNoWriMo novel, I put my best CAT private detective on the hunt for information for me.

My bad boy found a post by Lisa Hazen at Book Promotion.com with all the answers to my book trailer questions. Lisa's post breaks book trailers into six different types. There's Teasing Fiction, Creating A Viral Sensation, Capturing The Author's Voice and three more. Each of the types has an example to demonstrate Lisa's description.

If you need inspiration for your book trailer, tootle over and watch the different examples of book trailers at Best Practices for Book Trailers

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Getting More Reviews On Amazon

By the truckload?
Over at the Future of Ink blog Panzer found a post that was worth the trip in the Catosphere to get there.

With a title like How To Get Reviews By The Truckload On Amazon we all need to read it. The post includes the different kinds of reviewers, how to find them and how to ask for a review.

Panzer says, "Reviews are what sell books!"

If you're looking for reviews for Amazon, tootle over to Getting Reviews On Amazon

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dragons, Heroes and Wizards

Reviews SFF series novels.
My bad boy and I were out in the Catosphere today looking for book review blogs.

We didn't find any interesting mystery review sites, but we did find an SFF (Science Fiction and Fantasy) site for series at Dragons Heros and Wizards. As the name says, the site will be of interest to SFF authors.

If you're looking for a review for your SFF novel that's part of a series, tootle over to Dragons Heroes and Wizards

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

'The Hobbit' & Secrets of Smaug the Dragon | Finances Online™

Mom? Why Dragons?
Panzer and I were out in the Catosphere today and we stopped in at the Finances Online blog. We found an infographic for Smaug the dragon in the new Hobbit movie.

You'll love it. The graphics are so great.

If you want to know how much smaug is worth financially, tootle over to Secrets of Smaug the Dragon

Monday, December 9, 2013

Before Revising Your NaNoWriMo Novel

As Panzer and I told you a few days ago, we took part in this year's National Novel Writing Month.

We're still recuperating, so we haven't started the rewriting and editing on our novel yet. We're glad we haven't because Panzer found a post by Angela Ackerman at the Writers Helping Writers blog. Angela discusses the things to do before you start your rewrite and edit of your NaNoWriMo novel.

The first thing is to let the novel rest. Set it aside and don't read it. While it's resting you need to think about your character development and plot development. Were there some things that didn't seem to work while you were writing? These steps will get you ready to start the rewriting and editing.

Panzer says, "These should be what you do with everything you write."

If you want to know how to go about rewriting and editing your work, tootle over to Your Nanowrimo Novel

Friday, December 6, 2013

Paperback Writer: Not a Penny Ten

An early present for you!
Panzer likes writer Lynn Viehl's Paperback Writer blog.

Today he found an especially valuable post from December 2 there. Why is it valuable? Because all the software Lynn has listed are FREE. There's a clipboard program, an art program, a graphics conversion program, a pdf reader and more. A total of ten free software programs.

Panzer says, "FREE! FREE!"

To see if there's anything here for you, tootle over to Paperback Writer: Not a Penny Ten

Thursday, December 5, 2013

How Long Is Your Copyright Valid?

Panzer was wondering how long a copyright is in force.  He wanted to know exactly how long he'll own the copyright on Cats and Crime.

Well, my bad boy did some searching around in the Catosphere. He found a paper prepared by Cornell University with just the information he was curious about. Not only does it have the length of copyright for published work, unpublished work, music, etc. (sorry this is for the U.S.A.); but it's a downloadable pdf document.

If you want to find out about copyright length, tootle over to Copyright Length

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Amazon Racks Up Sales for Kindles During Black Friday Weekend - GalleyCat

Are you ready for Christmas sales?
Panzer was over at GalleyCAT today. My bad boy found a post about Amazon's Black Friday Kindle sales and they were huge sales numbers!

Panzer says, "Have you got your ebook up at Amazon for Christmas sales? All those empty Kindles need to be filled with ebooks!"

To read about the Kindle sales tootle over to Amazon Racks Up Sales for Kindles During Black Friday Weekend - GalleyCat

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Getting Book Reviews: The Methods Award-Winning Authors Use – A Study

50 Bestselling authors? 50?
Just like you Panzer and I are always looking for reviews for our ebooks, so my bad boy spends a lot of time scouring the Catosphere looking for information.

Today he found a post at The eBook Author's Corner about how 50 bestselling authors get their reviews. That's fifty bestselling authors! This post is a treasure trove of ideas. There are tips here on using social media, email lists, review blogs and review sites (some sites we'd never heard of!).

If you need help getting reviews, tootle over to Getting Book Reviews: The Methods Award-Winning Authors Use – A Study

Monday, December 2, 2013

Resolving The Amazon Keyword Issue

Keyword Problems?
Are you one of the book authors who got caught up in the Amazon keyword issue? Did you compare your writing style to another author's or compare your book to another in your book description? Did Amazon pull your book from their store?

If so, Panzer found some help for you out in the Catosphere at Author Marketing Experts' blog. There are step by step instructions here to help you not only contact Amazon, but also how to get your book accepted back into the store.

If you have this problem with your book or you just want to know the process for dealing with Amazon, tootle over to Resolving Amazon Keyword Issue

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Why is Genre Important to Success?

Panzer and I parked the Panzermobile over at the Passive Voice blog today. Panzer found a post there by David Baboulene about the importance of genre.

Now my bad boy knows all about genre. I mean, Panzer always says, "What is mystery without a cat?" Notice, he didn't say, what is a murder without a cat. Panzer helps solve bank robberies, burglaries, drug deals; but not murders. That's what David Baboulene is talking about in his post. You need to pick a genre and then make it your own. Write your story within the genre, but add your own personality to the genre.

If you want to know about genre in your novel's world, tootle over to Why is Genre Important to Success?

Friday, November 29, 2013

National Novel Writing Month

Panzer's claws are down to little bloody nubs, but we are winners in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

Happy Cat Dance!

We wrote a 50,000 word novel in November! That's 50,000 words in one month!

Now starts the hard part. The rewrite/revision. Grrr!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Panzer, the Pirate and I are thankful for all of you who put Panzer's ebook Cats and Crime back in the Top 100 at Amazon for Mystery - Anthologies and Mystery - Collections & Anthologies today!

Happy Cat Dance! Happy Cat Dance!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Another Panzerism

You want love? Get a dog.
Panzer says:

The opposite of love isn't hate. It's indifference.

Feed me and I'll stop being indifferent towards you ...

for a while ...


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Karen Woodward: How To Write A Murder Mystery

Catch me if you can!
Panzer and I stopped in at Karen Woodward's blog today. We heard there was a fantastic post from back on October 18 for mystery writers.

You'll definitely be glad we did!

Have you ever wondered how to write a mystery? Well Karen Woodward did, so she did some reading and studying. Here's your chance to benefit from her studying and learn the ins and outs of clues, the sleuth, motivation, the crime, how to solve it and more.

If you want help with your mystery writing, tootle over to Karen Woodward: How To Write A Murder Mystery: I've never written a murder mystery, but I've always wanted to. I fell in love with detection and murder in grade nine when my...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Julie Musil: Marketing Your Independently-Published Novel

Where are we going?
To market. To market. To market we go! We parked the Panzermobile at Julie Musil's  IndieLife blog today.

You know my bad boy and I are always looking for marketing ideas. Rachel McCoy did a guest post here about where to market your indie pubbed book. Rachel discusses, blogs, websites, writers' forums and other online arenas.

If you're looking for some marketing ideas, tootle over to Julie Musil: Marketing Your Independently-Published Novel: Friends, for today's IndieLife installment, I'm happy to share a guest post by fellow author and blogger, Rachel McCoy! You can...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Smashwords: How to Add Navigation to a Smashwords Ebook

We were out in the Catosphere today and stopped in at the Smashwords blog.

Mark Coker has created a new video for Smashwords authors to help with end of ebook navigation. End of the book navigation includes a clickable link to your website/blog, your Twitter account, your Facebook page, etc. (You do include these in each of your ebooks, right?)

So, if you're having trouble figuring out how to put those links in your ebook, tootle over to Smashwords: How to Add Navigation to a Smashwords Ebook: Does your Smashwords ebook contain navigation?  Are you taking full advantage of navigation? This afternoon I produced and uploaded a ne...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Goodbye Pubit! Hello NOOK Press.
When Panzer and I came across this post at BiblioCrunch by Miral Sattar about NOOK Press, we were excited.

We don't know how many of you knew that Nook's Pubit! went away earlier this year. It was replaced with NOOK Press.

This post gives you exact step-by-step instructions about how to submit your ebook.

If you're ready to try out the new system and need some help, tootle over to Submitting your book to NOOK Press

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Middle Earth Travel Guide: INFOGRAPHIC - GalleyCat

Happy Cat Dance!
Panzer loves The Lord of the Rings and Middle Earth.

So ,,, it's no surprise that when he was out in the Catosphere he had to stop and read The Middle Earth Travel Guide over at GalleyCAT.

This is so great. There are maps, graphics, descriptions and destinations.

Panzer is doing the happy cat dance!

To see Middle Earth, tootle over to The Middle Earth Travel Guide: INFOGRAPHIC - GalleyCat

Monday, November 18, 2013

How to Make a Gift Card for an eBook

500 people?
Panzer and I found a way to give your family, friends and readers a special gift card.

 Do you want to put a gift card for your Kindle, Nook or Kobo ebook in your Christmas cards? A company called Livrada can do it for you. They assign codes to your books, print the cards and then the books can be redeemed with the cards.

Panzer says, "Be warned. This is expensive and there are minimum orders of 500 cards."

Don't know 500 people for Christmas cards? Give them away at conferences, events and as giveaways for book promotion.

If this sounds interesting to you, tootle over to Gift Card for your ebook.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Another Panzerism

Are you kidding? I am CAT.
Panzer on self-confidence:

The universe belongs to whoever is willing to reach out and grab it with his claws.

Panzer on self-confidence (2):

I don't need that.
I am CAT.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

NSA Surveillance is Making Writers Self-Censor - GalleyCat

They're know everything!
Panzer and I were out in the Catosphere today and we stumbled across some interesting news at our good friend GalleyCAT.

Writers are starting to see we have to be very careful about what we post online. We already have to be careful what we check out at the library and what we research on Google. Now we have to be careful what we post on social media online.

These are very scary times my bad boy lives in!

If you dare to read about the NSA, tootle over to NSA Surveillance is Making Writers Self-Censor - GalleyCat

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Smashwords: Bowker Ranks Smashwords the #1 Producer of Indie E...

How many?
Panzer couldn't believe it when he read Mark Coker's newest post at the Smashwords Blog.

Mark is posting about Bowker's newest Self Publishing Report. According to the report Smashwords was the largest U.S.A. "producer" of indie ebooks last year. This is based on the number of ebooks with ISBNs "produced" by Smashwords.

As you know Smashwords is not a publisher. You upload your document to Smashwords. Their "meatgrinder"  "produces" your ebook for distribution to the ebook outlets. Smashwords "produced" a lot of ebooks last year!

If you want to read the whole post, tootle over to Smashwords: Bowker Ranks Smashwords the #1 Producer of Indie E...: Bowker has ranked Smashwords the largest US producer of indie ebooks in 2012 according to their new annual Self Publishing Report for 2012...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Have you ever wondered where books come from?

Aren't they cute?
Panzer and I meant to post this last week when we saw it in the Catosphere at The Passive Voice blog.

Tootle over and find the answer to  Have you ever wondered where books come from?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Saturday, November 9, 2013

How Writers Can Use Twitter - GalleyCat

Dogs? Dragons? Putey!
Panzer and I have been learning how to use Twitter for the past three months, so when we saw this post at GalleyCAT we stopped the Panzermobile over there.

We have almost 500 followers at Twitter. Panzer told all his relatives and some of his cousins signed up as followers.

Panzer says, "Hi Tiny Pearl!"

We even have ... Grrr ... dogs as followers! And dragons!

Oh, yeah, and some humans, too. ( Hint: You can follow us too as @FionaLeeWoods )

We're still learning all the hashtags. Whew! There are hundreds!

But, we have been having fun over there.

If you want to learn more about Twitter and writers who use it, tootle over to How Writers Can Use Twitter - GalleyCat

Friday, November 8, 2013

Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries and More: Christmas Truffles' Creative Writing Challenge

Panzer and I were out in the Catosphere today and we stopped in at Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries and More. We love to visit his cousins there.

Christmas Truffles and his Mom are having a Writing Challenge. Are you ready to write a Kitty Christmas Tail? Good Kitty? Bad Kitty? What will Kitty get for Christmas?

To read the rules and the prizes, tootle over to Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries and More: Christmas Truffles' Creative Writing Challenge: Ho! Ho! Ho! Christmas Truffles here!!! Am I rockin' my pink Santa hat or what??? Mommy and I are so excited to be participating in the...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

NaNoWriMo Prizes, Motivation, and Fun

50,000 words? No, Mom, No!
Yet another chance at prizes if you're participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which Panzer and I are!

Fantasy author Lindsay Buroker (whose also taking part in NaNoWriMo) is sponsoring contests for participants.

If you're interested, tootle over to NaNoWriMo Prizes, Motivation, and Fun -- Enter Here!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Book Trailer

Panzer found the movie trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. My bad boy got it for me ... because the movie will have a dragon! He won't watch it with me or go to the movie with me ... because it has a dragon.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

At the back?
Panzer and I were enjoying a little trip out in the Catosphere today. We stopped in at The Future of Ink to read a guest post by Shelley Hitz.

Shelley talks about the three things we should include at the back of our ebooks. Her list includes 1) information about your opt-in list, 2) information about your other ebooks, and 3) requesting reviews at Amazon. She includes samples from her own books to illustrate each item on her list.

If you want to read the whole list, tootle over to The Future of Ink.

Monday, November 4, 2013

PD James solves a 1931 murder?

Hmmm? How did she do it?
Panzer found a post at The Guardian website that mystery author P.D. James may have solved a murder mystery from 1931.

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. That's what we mystery writers do. We solve mysteries!

If you want to read about the murder and how she solved it, tootle over to PD James solves a murder?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Smashwords: How Ebook Subscription Services May Redefine the V...

Part Two for you.
Panzer wanted you to have Part Two of yesterday's Mark Coker blog post about ebook subscription services.

To read the second part of the post, tootle over to Smashwords: How Ebook Subscription Services May Redefine the V...: In part one of this two-part series, I examined business models of the all-you-read ebook subscription services.  Here in part two, I’ll ...

Friday, November 1, 2013

Smashwords: Examining the Business Model of Ebook Subscription...

Hmmm. Oyster? Where's the pearl?
Panzer and I were out in the Catosphere today and we stopped in at the Smashwords Blog.

Mark Coker has a post about the business models of Oyster and Scribd. If you haven't heard, these two are ebook subscription services. Readers pay a subscription fee and then can download ebooks they want to read.

Oyster has an agreement to carry Smashwords' authors' ebooks as part of their service. Authors were asked to opt-in before their ebooks could be carried by Oyster. This post (and a second to follow) is an explanation about the service.

If you want to learn how the service works, tootle over to Smashwords: Examining the Business Model of Ebook Subscription...: This is the first installment of a two-part series in which I explore the business models and potential impact of ebook subscription s...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Support Your Indie Bookstore - Buy An Ebook!

Let's help our local bookstores.
Panzer and I didn't know you could do this until we saw it at GalleyCAT. We discovered you can buy ebooks through local bookstores using your Kobo ereader.

Panzer and I are equal ereader ebook buyers. We buy from Amazon, Barnes and Noble's Nook store and the Kobo store. It is true, we have felt bad when we read about the closing of brick and mortar bookstores, but we couldn't get our ebooks there. But change is here.  Now, it turns out Kobo is ahead of the pack for helping keep local bookstores in business.

We've already been looking into the Kobo Writing Life site because we're considering publishing our ebooks directly through KWL in addition to Amazon's KDP and Smashwords. (We'll be doing a post on this later.) Finding out about their partnership with brick and mortar stores, makes our decision easier.

If you want to learn how to use your Kobo ereader to buy ebooks from your local bookstore and which bookstores are participating, tootle over to Buying Ebooks Through Your Local Indie Bookstore

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

National Cat Day

Today is National Cat Day in the United States!

Hug A Cat!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Free Scary Books for Halloween - GalleyCat

Scary Books!
Just in time for Halloween!

FREE Scary Books! Dracula! Vampyres! Ghosts! Monsters!


To get yours, tootle over to Free Scary Books for Halloween - GalleyCat

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy Cat Dance!

Woo hoo!

My bad boy is back in the Top 100!
#38 in Mystery-Anthologies
#42 in Mystery-Collections & Anthologies!

Happy Cat Dance! Happy Cat Dance!

Thank you all!