Saturday, May 31, 2014

2014 Baen Fantasy Adventure Contest

Fire up your computer!
Panzer was over at the Paperback Writer blog today. My bad boy stops there at least once a week to read author Lynn Viehl's posts. They're always interesting.

Today Lynn has an announcement about the Baen Fantasy Adventure Contest. Baen is looking for fantasy stories in all it's many venues: swords and sorcery, heroic fantasy, contemporary fantasy, etc. The stories can be up to 8,000 words long. Your entries must be submitted as an email attachment. When you get to Lynn's post, click the link at the beginning of the post to go to Baen and read the full rules.

Panzer says, "Get your swords ready! The dragons are coming!"

If you want to read the rules, tootle over to Baen fantasy contest

Friday, May 30, 2014

Free Thriller Ebook Boxed Set

Hurry! Follow me!
Panzer was scouring the Catosphere today looking for something for you to do this weekend. He stopped in at Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine blog.

While my bad boy was there, he found FREE ebooks by Billie Sue Mosiman for you. They're in a boxed set called Dark Thrillers that includes two novels and one short story. That's over 500 pages. You can spend all weekend reading.

Panzer says, "Hurry! This FREE offer is for a short time only!"

If you're interested in FREE ebooks, hurry over to free for kindle

Thursday, May 29, 2014

From Wattpad to Simon and Schuster: A Novel's Success Story

That will buy a lot of kitty treats.
Panzer was out in the Catosphere today and stopped in at Publishers Weekly.

Our bad cat boy reporter (try saying that fast!) found a success story that novelists who use Wattpad, or are thinking about using it, need to read.

Anna Todd uploaded her three volume novel to Wattpad last year and has now gathered 800 million reads. Yes, you read that right. 800 million! The novel(s) were put out for auction and Simon and Schuster won with a six figure bid.

Panzer says, "You should consider uploading your work to Wattpad.  Your FREE work could make you a lot of money."

If you want to read the post, tootle over to Anna Todd Wattpad novels

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A New Panzerism

Panzer on ownership

There's only two things to remember:

1) Not yours

... and ...

Don't touch that!
 2)  Mine.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Promoting Your Book With Promo Websites

It's more than I had yesterday.
Panzer was out in the Catosphere today looking for adventure.

My bad cat boy found thriller author Silas Payton's blog.

And what did he find there?

Panzer found Payton's list of five promo websites for books. Payton has the list broken into two parts: sites that require your book has reader reviews and sites that don't require your book have any reviews or just a few.

Panzer says, "I know five doesn't sound like many, but that's five more promo sites you can add to your list."

If you need more promotion sites for your book, tootle over to promotion websites.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day


Today is the day we in the United States recognize those who have given their lives to preserve our freedom and democracy.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Audio Books and the Indie Reader

Just jump right on.
Panzer has told you before about the audiobook market. He's told you how to do it at ACX and where to do the selling at Amazon and Audible. Now, it looks like the rest of the indie world is catching up with him and you.

Today, my bad boy stopped in at the Indie Reader.  He found JH Mae's post Audio Books and the Indie Reader has some interesting information. Even Panzer didn't know Goodreads lists if you have an audio book version available.

Panzer says, "Have you jumped on the audiobooks wagon yet? If not, why not?"

For more information on the audio market, tootle over to Audio Books and the Indie Reader

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Keyword Press and YouTube Stars

Doesn't make sense to me.
Bad boy Panzer took a trip over to the New York Times site today.

He found a post he couldn't believe.

Simon and Schuster's Atria Publishing division has formed an alliance with United Talent Artists. The two have started a new publishing firm called Keyword Press. Keyword will publish books from YouTube stars.

You read that right.

YouTube stars will now be offered publishing contracts. And who are these YouTube stars? So far, they've signed Shane Dawson, Justine Ezarik, Connor Franta, Joey Graceffa, and Shay Butler. These five have 20 million subscribes among them on YouTube.

Panzer says, "What do YouTube subscribers have to do with publishing? I guess Keyword Press will find out."

This is a v-e-r-y l-o-n-g post, so grab a huge cup of tea before you go read it.

If you're interested in YouTube stars and publishing, tootle over to YouTube Stars

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

An Author Bio That Sells Books

Did you know?
Panzer was speeding around the Catosphere today. He was looking for someplace new to visit. He happened to find Ben Zackheim's blog.

My bad boy found a post there about writing your author bio at Amazon and the other e-retailers. The tips in the post include how to fine tune each bio to the specific e-retailer. Turns out we shouldn't use the same bio at Amazon and Barnes and Noble or any of the others. Each gets their own special bio. By tailoring the bio to each e-retailer, you are enhancing your reader appeal and by extension increasing your sales potential.

Panzer says, "I didn't know they were each supposed to be different. I need to make some changes right now!"

If you want help with your author bio, tootle over to author bio.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A New Panzerism

They're getting heavy again.
Panzer says:

Mom-Mom is really mean.

She woke me up a little while ago to call me lazy.

She doesn't realize this, but a cat's eyelids are really very heavy.

I've got to close them a lot for long times

... or risk serious injury.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Youtube Channel For Writers

Just it back and watch them.
Panzer was tootling around the Catosphere today. He happened to stop in at the Michael Levin Writes blog.

My bad boy found an announcement there about New York Times best selling author Michael Levin's YouTube channel for writers. Of course, he had to check it out. Each of the videos is short, between 3 and 10 minutes is average. There are 150 videos available. The subjects cover writing, selling, editing, ghost writing, and more of Levin's wisdom.

To watch the videos, scroll down the page to the Subscribe For Free Now link and click it. This will take you to the available videos. The first video plays automatically. When it finishes, click the video you want to watch.

Panzer says, "You'll need just a small cup of tea for these videos. They're short, but full of information."

If you're interested in learning about writing from best selling author Michael Levin, tootle over to YouTube

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Education of a Pulp Writer: Three for Free!

Panzer made a return visit to The Education of a Pulp Writer blog today.

My bad boy is doing the happy cat dance!

He discovered there are three new FREE ebooks over there! These ebooks are different than the ones that were FREE last month. You'll want to hurry over and download them today as the post says they'll be "free for a few days" only.

So, if you're looking for some FREE reads for the weekend, tootle over to The Education of a Pulp Writer: Three for Free!:

 Panzer wants to thank Kevin's Corner for the tip.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

8 Tips for Writing that Killer Book Blurb

Back cover book blurb. Say it fast.
Panzer stopped in at Anne R. Allen's Blog and did some exploring in the archives there. He found a post by co-blogger Ruth Harris. He's been searching around looking for information on back cover book blurbs and that's just what Ruth posted about. How lucky is that?

Ruth suggests eight things you need to be aware of when writing your blurb. They include using short sentences, not over using italics or bold, and be willing to change your blurb. There are five other suggestions included in the post.

 If you're ready to write you back cover book blurb, tootle over to Anne R. Allen's Blog: 8 Tips for Writing that Killer Blurb:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Five Web Mistakes I See All the Time

Never-ever-ever-do-these things!
Panzer was traveling around in the Catosphere researching homepages today. He's been thinking he wants to make a few changes to the Panzermobile's landing site. He found an interesting post by Lisa Hazen over at the Book blog.

Lisa writes about the five most common mistakes she sees on homepages. She mentions things like putting too much "stuff" on the page, having outdated "stuff" there, the never-ever-ever-do-this coming soon "stuff" that you don't change forever, and  a couple more things to finish out the list.

If you want to read the top five no-nos for your homepage, tootle over to Five Web Mistakes I See All the Time

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

QueryTracker Blog: Authors' New Amazon Headache

Quiet down!
My bad boy Panzer was following all the yowling going on in the Catosphere today trying to find the source. He finally tracked it down at the Query Tracker Blog.

What a pile of NOT yard art he stepped in.

It turns out Amazon has a policy about author's giving gift cards to people to review their books. The policy is simple. Don't do it! It's the same as paying for a review which isn't allowed. If you give someone a gift card and they buy a new purse? Well, you paid them and they spent the money (gift card). They use it to buy your book or any book? Same thing. You paid them and they spent the money. Don't yowl about it. Just don't do it.

Panzer says, "Didn't you every hear of Smashwords? You give the reviewer a coupon code. They get the book free at Smashwords. And review it at Amazon. Problem solved."

If you want to read the whole argument, tootle over to QueryTracker Blog: Authors' New Amazon Headache:

Monday, May 12, 2014

How To Make An Audiobook With ACX

Maybe I'll just let Mom do it.
Panzer spent the weekend looking for help with producing audiobooks. If you've been following his adventures recently, you know he's been researching audiobooks a lot this month.

He learned about recording your own story and letting your readers hear your voice using your computer and Audacity software.

And he learned about making a soundtrack to your book using Booktrack.

And then he learned about marketing ACX audiobooks.

But ... he hadn't learned about what "professional" narrators say about how they record an audiobook.

This weekend he went over to author/ghostwriter Roz Morris' Nail Your Novel blog and found a post with an interview with audiobook narrator Sandy Spangler. Sandy discusses her recording studio, correcting mistakes, pronunciation problems, and more.

Panzer says, "The interview was a learning experience for me!"

If you're interested in reading about how a professional audiobook narrator does her job, tootle over to make an audiobook

Thursday, May 8, 2014

New Panzerism

 Panzer says:

 I do whatever I want,
 wherever I want.

 As long as Mom doesn't know it was me.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Will Self-Publishing Exist in 10 Years?

Will it? Or won't it?
Panzer was looking for information about what's going on in the ebook publishing world. He found an interesting post at Erica Verrillo's blog Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity.

Erica asks the question, "Will self-publishing exist in 10 years?" She explores her ideas about the future through quotes from a presentation by Jon Fine, Amazon's director of author and publishing relations, and Hugh Howey, hybrid author,  speaking at the Publishing for Digital Minds conference.

I find the whole question of self-publishing's future interesting. For some time writers have been trying to get away from the idea of being self-published by calling ourselves indie publishers. Now, there is a movement to start our own small publishing companies only publishing ourselves and a small group of "friends" in short story collections.  It'll be interesting to see what the future does hold for us.

If you want to read Erica Verrillo's, Amazon's Jon Fine's, and Hugh Howey's view of the future, tootle over to, Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity: Will Self-Publishing Exist in 10 Years?:

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Writer's Journey: What Is The Right Length For a Chapter?

All that in one chapter?
Ever wondered if the chapters you're writing are long enough? And how long is long enough? Well, Panzer has spent a lot of time staring out the window while he tried to figure it out. So today when he was out in the Catosphere he happened to find the answer at Nat Russo's blog A Writer's Journey.

Nat has four purposes he says a chapter needs to fulfill: Pacing, Characterization, Suspense and Transitions. He explains each of these and its use in the chapter. This post is a whole college course in writing not only a chapter, but your whole novel.

Panzer says, "By the time you finish this post, you'll be an expert at chapter construction!"

 If you're interested in chapter writing, tootle over to A Writer's Journey: What Is The Right Length For a Chapter?:

Monday, May 5, 2014

Marketing ACX Audiobooks

ACX here I come!
Panzer parked the Panzermobile over at Joanna Penn's The Creative Penn blog today. He was looking for ideas for marketing audiobooks. Turns out Joanna had done a post on just that subject.

Not only does Joanna explain how audiobooks are beginning to gain a market share, she also has five tips for marketing your ACX audiobook. In addition there's a section giving tips for choosing a narrator, producing your audiobook and distributing your audiobook to Amazon.

To learn about producing your own audiobook, tootle over to Audiobooks Marketing

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Record Your Story And Let Your Readers Hear Your Voice

You record it! No you record it!
Panzer was tootling around in the Catosphere today and stopped in at Nathaniel Tower's Write, Juggle, Run blog. My bad boy found a post there about recording your short story yourself.

 Tower makes it sound easy. He gives you a microphone suggestion; tells you how to set up your studio; then launches you into making the recording using Audacity. He even gives you a little trick to use when you make a mistake when recording.

Panzer says, "You'll have to Google Audacity and download it. (Mr. Tower doesn't give you a link.)"

If you want to learn how to do your own recording of your short story, tootle over to Let Your Readers Hear Your Voice

Friday, May 2, 2014

Four Markets for Serial Fiction

Looking for markets? Or just a good read?
Panzer was out looking for markets for short stories today. He found a post at Indie Reader  by JH Mae that has markets for not only short stories, but serial fiction too.

What is serial fiction you ask?

Well, so did Panzer.

According to the Indie Reader post, it's not exactly like the old serial movies your great-grandmother used to watch, but it is similar in some ways. Today's serial fiction can be a novel released chapter by chapter or a collection of short stories released story by story or even a novella.

Ms. Mae describes four markets for serial fiction, including DailyLit, Eat Your Serial, Jukepop, and Tuesday Serial.

If you're a writer, it doesn't look like these are paying markets; but it could be a way to get your work out to readers and get a following.

Or ... if you're a reader, these could be places to enjoy serial fiction.

If you're interested in checking out serial fiction, tootle over to Serial Fiction

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Make a Soundtrack to Your Book Using Booktrack - GalleyCat

Panzer was over at GalleyCAT today.  He's been researching what's involved in adding music to an ebook.

My bad boy found a post at GalleyCAT that has a link to a YouTube video about Booktrack. It turns out Booktrack gives you the ability to add not only music, but sound effects to wherever you want in your ebook.

Our traveling cat captain took the Panzermobile over to  the Booktrack site to check it out on his own. He learned Booktrack works with Google Chrome, Opera, and Firefox. (Sorry Internet Explorer users.) There are several links to tutorials for YouTube videos at the site to help you use the service.

If you want to read the GalleyCAT post about Booktrack, tootle over to
Make a Soundtrack to Your Book Using Booktrack - GalleyCat

If you want to jump right into the Booktrack site, tootle over to Booktrack.