Saturday, May 30, 2015

Crime Writers of Canada Announce 2015 Arthur Ellis Award Winners

The Winners are ...
Panzer stopped in at the Rap Sheet site today.

According to a post there, the Crime Writers of Canada's 2015 Arthur Ellis Awards were announced on Friday.

Best Novel
Plague by C.C. Humphreys

Best First Novel
Siege of Bitterns by Steve Burrows

Best Novella
A Knock on the Door by Jas. R. Petrin

To read the full post with all the winners (and nominees), tootle over to prizes in Canada

Friday, May 29, 2015

SF, F, H Author Tanith Lee Has Died

Panzer learned some sad news today in the Catosphere.

Our kitty boy stopped in at the site and learned science fiction, fantasy and horror writer Tanith Lee died on Sunday, May 24. Although she wrote in all three genres, Panzer loved her fantasy works the best. The post includes a link to the original Sci-Fi Bulletin site announcement.

Panzer says, "I'll miss you."

To read the full post, tootle over to Tanith Lee

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Could Subscription Services Be The Future Of Ebooks?

Maybe ... Maybe Not.
Panzer was tootling in the Catosphere today when he saw a ray of light beckoning him. Following the beam he found himself at the Publishers' Weekly site.

Our big bad kitty pilot discovered an interesting post about ebook subscription services. According to a post by Andrew Albanese, subscription services may be the next big thing for ebooks. Mark Coker of Smashwords moderated a panel at BEA whose participants included several of the ebook subscription services representatives. Most of the post features Andrew Weinstein of Scribd describing their service and how it works. Mr. Weinstein believes their policies are good for readers and publishers.

Panzer says, "I didn't see any mention of whether this is good for authors or not. And I didn't see anything about Amazon."

To read the full post, tootle over to ebooks subscription

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Amazon Has 6,000 U.S. Jobs Available

Here's your chance to work at Amazon.
Out in the Catosphere today Panzer found some news of interest at the Business Wire site. Our kitty boy found some employment news about Amazon's fulfillment centers in the USA.

According to the post, Amazon will be hiring 6,000 new employees. Amazon says their growth necessitates more employees to fill the demand. The post also states these are full-time jobs with full benefits, including educational benefits. There's a list in the post of the fulfillment centers that Amazon is hiring for and a link for job information. There's no mention in the post of jobs outside the U.S.

Panzer says, "Hmmm. I didn't know they helped pay for your education."

To read the post, tootle over to Amazon

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What Your Home Page Needs

I love barbecue. But, oh the day after.
Panzer is recuperating from the Memorial Day holiday. His kitty tummy is still full from the Monday neighborhood barbecues. Yes, you read that right barbecues. Our black kitty traveled the neighborhood looking bedraggled and begging for scraps. It seems nobody could turn that poor dejected boy down.

Our BIG bad kitty made a very quick trip into the Catosphere to visit the Search Engine Journal site.

According to a post by Shane Jones, if you want high visibility through Google, you need to pay more attention to your home page. Mr. Jones says Google puts a higher priority on longer posts and gives a higher ranking accordingly. Google satisfies readers' desires for long copy by their ranking system. There's plenty more covered in this post about supercharging your Home Page.

To read the post, tootle over to Home Page

Monday, May 25, 2015

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Agatha Christie Syrian Memoir To Be Republished

Her books are still in print.
Panzer was over at The Guardian site today. Our big bad kitty explorer found a post about one of his favorite female mystery writers Agatha Christie.

According to Alison Flood's post, Agatha Christie's memoir of her travels in Syria with her husband is being republished by HarperCollins. Agatha Christie accompanied her husband Max Mallowan to Syria and Iraq in the 1930s. There she helped her husband at the archeological digs. The post includes several photos from the trip. The book is scheduled for an August this year.

Panzer says, "I got my first look at Agatha Christie in this post. She's in the first photo of the post."

To read the post, tootle over to Agatha Christie

Friday, May 22, 2015

Harlequin Books Available on CD

I can't have a CD. I don't have pockets.
Panzer made a quick stop at the Publishers' Weekly site today.

According to a post by Clare Swanson, Harlequin in conjunction with HarperCollins will begin a new imprint called Harlequin Audio. These will actually be CDs not audio books. They will be made available to the library and retail market. Plans are to begin distribution on June 30.

Panzer says, "When will they get into the actual audio books instead of CDs?"

To read the post, tootle over to Harlequin audio

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Former FMAM Editor Need Our Help

What are you waiting for?
As regular followers of Panzer's adventures in the Catosphere you know our big bad kitty reports on all things indie related. Today, he's letting you know about a former indie e-zine editor/publisher who needs help.

Former FMAM publisher Babs Lakey is in danger of losing her home and has started a GoFundMe campaign. Even if you can't help financially, you can help by spreading the word through your Twitter and/or Facebook accounts with links to her GoFundMe page.

When Panzer was still a kitten and first dipping his toes into the publishing world, he was a finalist in one of Babs' writing contests. Without that validation of his work, there might not be a Cats and Crime today, so there's a special place in his kitty heart for the lady. There are probably many other stories like our kitty boy's because she's done much for the writing community over the years.

To read Babs GoFundMe page, tootle over to Babs Lakey GoFundME

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pre-designed Or Custom Book Covers And More For Indie Authors

Pre-designed? Who else used it too?
Panzer, our big bad Catosphere explorer, decided to stop in at Guido Henkel's site today. It's been a long time since our kitty boy has been to visit Mr. Henkel and he's happy he chose today to do it.

According to Mr. Henkel's post, he's part of a new endeavor for indie author services. The new endeavor is called Covertopia. Indie authors can buy a pre-designed cover or order a custom cover at the site. Authors can also order layout services, formatting services, audio covers, postcards and more.

Panzer says, "The samples at Mr. Henkel's site make it look worth checking out."

NOTE: Panzer ignored the ad at the beginning asking for his name, clicked cancel and had no trouble reading the post.

To read the post, tootle over to pre-designed or custom covers

Monday, May 18, 2015

A New Panzerism

Panzer on being a Bad Boy:

For a while I was working on my Bad Boy image.

Girls really like that whole rebel cat routine.

But the more I studied it, the more I could see that Bad Boys and Incredibly Stupid are the same thing. I mean running in front of cars. Baiting the neighborhood dog.

I'm just not that stupid.

You know ... my Momma Kitty didn't raise no stupid kittens.
Let's drop all that Bad Boy stuff.

At least none that were male ...

Well ...

none with black fur ...

and named Panzer.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Is The Self Pub Stigma Gone?

Only the best will do.
Panzer made a hurried trip into the Catosphere today. He was late for his after lunch nap and wanted to get to it before he fell asleep at the controls of the Panzermobile. Our kitty reporter of all things indie stopped in at the Indie Reader site.

According to the IR Staff, because indie publishing has been so easy in the past, a lot of material that was unedited, had bad covers and should have been left in a desk drawer to die a slow death was instead self pubbed. This lead to reader overload of ebook garbage and a bad reputation for everyone who self pubbed.

But, the IR Staff says the self pub stigma may finally be disappearing. The quality of indie books in general is improving. Indie books are being nominated for prizes and even winning some. Indie books are even making it onto some best seller lists.

Panzer says, "Humans should put as much time into self pubbing the best book they can as they put into talking about the book they self pubbed."

Note: This is a long post. Bring a b-i-g c-u-p of tea.

To read the post, tootle over to Indie Reader

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Help For Book Promotion And Research

Let's go.
On today's trip into the Catosphere Panzer found a post at Elizabeth Spann Craig's blog about a subject every indie author should be thinking about. Our big bad kitty indie author knows we all need to be book promotion experts.

Elizabeth Spann Craig has gathered together a treasure trove of information on book promotion and marketing for indies. Her post includes links for a free video series for Facebook advertising, links for choosing Amazon keywords, marketing practices for authors, Amazon ebook sales, and more.

Panzer says, "I've got to go. I have to watch these videos. See you tomorrow."

To read the post, tootle over to promotion

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Kobo To Deliver Ebooks to Southwest Airlines Flights

I have wi-fi. Will Kobo work here?
Panzer was out in the Catosphere in the Panzermobile today. Our flying kitty pilot discovered a post over at the Publisher Weekly site.

According to Calvin Reid's post, complimentary inflight copies of Kobo ebooks will be available on Southwest Airlines. Passengers will be able to use their wi-fi enabled mobile devices to download and read an ebook on their flight. If the passenger doesn't finish the ebook on the plane, they can buy the ebook and finish it later.

Panzer says, "Read fast, faster, fastest!"

To read the post, tootle over to Kobo ebooks

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Smashwords Introduces New Metadata Option for Box Sets

Can I find enough for a box set?
Panzer was over checking out what's new in the Catosphere. Our big bad investigative kitty reporter likes to stay on top of indie publishing news. so he stopped in at Smashwords today.

According to founder Mark Coker, Smashwords has developed a new option to help authors/publishers bring their box sets to the public's attention and increase their marketability. Smashwords now allows the classification of a box set as part of the publishing process. Until now, there has been no way for e-retailers to know if a publication was a single ebook or a box set. Smashwords' new classification will help e-retailers promote box sets to readers.

Panzer says, "Hmmm. How come nobody else thought of this before?"

Note: Mr. Coker includes instructions for upgrading the classification of a previously published box set as well as new box sets.

To read the full post, tootle over to Smashwords: Smashwords Introduces New Metadata Option for Box ...:

Monday, May 11, 2015

A New Panzerism

Panzer on the need for cat cleanliness:

Do you know why I'm licking my fur?

It's to make me shine like a lighthouse on the moon.


Look closer. See there. That's your reflection glittering on my shiny fur.

No? Don't see it?

A little closer maybe?
Really. This proves it.
Still no?
A little closer ... closer ...


That's how cats hunt.
We use our brains, not our paws.
See, on a good night I can catch my prey while laying in a single warm spot.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mothers' Day

Happy Mothers' Day


Mom's Everywhere!

From Panzer, Me  and What's His Name

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Importance of Book Spine Design

Maybe it has a spine.
Panzer spent some time exploring the Catosphere today.   My big kitty explorer is still catching up on the news he missed last week. Over at Publisehers' Weekly he found a post by retired bookstore owner, Carol D. Chittenden.

According to Ms. Chittenden, designers and art directors should put as much time into designing a book's spine as they do the cover. In bookstores most books are on shelves. They're displayed with the spine out ... not the beautifully designed cover. When the book browser, and hopefully book buyer, is walking along the shelves, the spine needs to grab their attention. The book's spine design will get the book browser to pull the book from the shelf and see that well-designed book cover.

Panzer says, "Makes sense for dead tree books ... but do my ebooks have spines?"

To read the post, tootle over to book spine

Friday, May 8, 2015

100% Author Royalties At Gatekeeper Press?

Always check your sales numbers.
Panzer was out taking a leisurely trip in the Catosphere today. Our big bad kitty pilot found that while he was managing the cleanup from the water disaster at home, he missed some important news.

According to a press release over at the PRNewswire site, a new self-publishing platform called Gatekeeper Press has entered the market with Amazon and Smashwords for indie authors' business.

Gatekeeper Press offers 100% royalties to authors on the sales of their ebooks and dead tree books.

How can they do that?

Simple. They charge for their services. They offer four packages for which the author pays upfront: 1) ebook coversion and distribution, 2) paperback design and distribution, 3) cover design, and 4) editing. Since they make their money from the packages of services they offer authors, they can then give the author 100% royalties.

Panzer says, "Interesting concept. But how many copies of my ebooks would I have to sell to break even on  the cost of the ebook package?"

Note: The press release includes costs and, if you read all the way to the end, a link to the Gatekeeper Press site.

To read the post, tootle over to Gatekeeper Press

Thursday, May 7, 2015

FastPencil Sold Back To Steve Wilson

Mom here. The house is mostly back to normal today with only a couple of things to replace from the water damage.

So, Panzer was free to hit the Catosphere today. He went to see what's been going on over at Publishers' Weekly.

My big brave kitty boy found a post by Jim Milliot and Calvin Reid about FastPencil. According to the post Steve Wilson is buying FastPencil back. Turns out FastPencil is a partner in the Books-A-Million self-publishing platform. Panzer already told you about the BAM! publishing platform's pickup locations for print books. 
Let's look again.

Panzer says, "I wasn't too sure about this new platform, but maybe the BAM! publishing needs another look if FastPencil is part of it."

To read the post, tootle over to FastPencil

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Tail End Of The Tale

Keeping my paws dry.
Panzer here again. Mom is still mopping up water and running fans to dry things out. So just a quick post today.

I found a post over at the Killer Characters site. It's a cute little story about ghost cats and the people they haunt.

I say, "I think you'll like it."

To read the story before it's gone, tootle over to the tail end of the tale

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Water, Water Everywhere Plus A Freeware Program

Help! Water is everywhere.
Panzer here. I'm posting for Mom today. I'm very slow at keying because, as you know, cats don't have thumbs.

We have a little house problem today. A hose broke on the washing machine. A river runs from the laundry room across the kitchen and into Mom's office. It's not a pretty site for a cat whose paws are wet up to his belly. Unfortunately, I was napping on Mom's lap when she jumped up to see where the water was coming from. Nuff said about that!

I did make a short trip into the Catosphere this morning. I took a trip over to author Lynn Viehl's Paperback Writer site.

Lynn's post is about the Hott Notes freeware program. She says the program has a notebook feature that a writer can use to organize your manuscript.

I say, "You should bookmark Lynn's site. She's the author of 54 books in genres including steampunk, fantasy, science fiction, romance, young adult, christian adult, and nonfiction. Whew! I have a hard time just keying the genres; I don't know how she can write all those books!"

To read the post, tootle over to Freely Sticky

(I'm not sure if there will be a post tomorrow. Depends on the water level!) 

Monday, May 4, 2015

A New Panzerism

Panzer on the proper use of words:

You know semantics matter.

How come when there's a heavy rain humans say, "It's raining cats and dogs"?

That's all wrong you know.

Cats don't like water. You know that, right?
Just do it, Mom.

Raining cats and dogs, huh? That doesn't even rhyme.

The correct saying is It's raining hogs and dogs.

Next time it rains really hard, I want you to turn to the person next to you and tell them, "It's raining hogs and dogs."

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Agatha Awards Announced

Really. I don't care.
Panzer got woken up from a sound sleep by the sound of cats and kittens out in the Catosphere.  He went out to see what all the noise was about.

He followed the noise to the Mystery Scene site. Our very tired kitty boy discovered the Agatha Awards were announced tonight. The Odds Are Against Us, by Art Taylor, (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine) won the Best Short Story Award.

Panzer says, " Skipped me again. Twice in one year."

To read the post with all the winners, tootle over to Mystery Scene

Authors Up in Arms about Kindle Unlimited (Again)

To KU or not to KU. Which?
Panzer made a trip over to the Indie Reader site. Our big, bad, kitty boy found a very disheartening post by Danny O. Snow there.

It turns out Kindle Unlimited may be readers' heaven, but it's authors and publishers' hell. Royalties for KU participants are now even lower than they were last year. So ... some authors and publishers are turning their work into paperbacks to be sold on Amazon and opting out of KU. They can get higher royalties and aren't in competition with their KU ebooks.

Panzer says, "Hmmm. Makes sense to me."

Note: This is a l-o-n-g post, so bring a b-i-g cup of tea.

To read the full post, tootle over to Authors Up in Arms about Kindle Unlimited (Again)

Friday, May 1, 2015

New Author Publishing Platform Booktrope

Let's look into this.
Panzer was out at the GeekWire site today.

Our big. bad, inquiring kitty found a post by Frank Catalano there. Mr. Catalano is writing about a new platform for ebook and dead tree authors called Booktrope. The platform has an interesting premise. The author submits a book to Booktrope for evaluation. If accepted, a "team" is formed to create and publish the book. The team then splits the money from sales.

Panzer says, "I have my own team already. It's Mom and What's His Name. I don't need anybody else on my team."

Note: The post includes a link to the Booktrope site so you can read about the company.

To read the post, tootle over to Booktrope