Own a Kindle? Shop at Smashwords!


I find it very frustrating sometimes to talk to Kindle owners who say they’d love to read one of my ebooks but they have to shop at Amazon for ebooks because they own a Kindle.


Amazon isn’t the ONLY place a Kindle owner can shop for ebooks!  So, okay, obviously I don’t publish at Amazon.  And sure, they currently own a big corner lot on that ebook market avenue… for now that is… and maybe I’m missing out on a few downloads and sales at the moment, but Smashwords is rapidly closing that gap!   To be honest, most Smashwords authors prefer the business ethics of Mark Coker and his team who tirelessly work on behalf of Indy Writers from all across the globe!

Mark is dedicated to his Indy writers and ensures we have the best information available, via emailed announcements and his regular blog posts, YouTube videos with tutorials and other fascinating broadcasts, in addition to his various free downloads specifically designed to help Indy writers get the most out of ebook publishing.  All this to make sure we are kept abreast of cutting edge e-publication facts, figures, industry trends, future changes, and he is reachable!


Yes!  When I send an email to Mark’s Smashwords email account (yup, he has one just for that purpose), he responds… every time!  As a published writer, that is HUGE!  To have that kind of access to someone ‘in-the-know’ about the Indy writing industry is virtually unheard of in today’s writing world, let alone businesses as a whole.  His responses are personal, straight forward, and directly related to your questions.  No electronically-generated canned answers!

Smashwords makes it easy for anyone, with just about any type of ebook reader or simply your personal computer, to download hundreds of thousands of ebooks and many of them written by award-winning and best-selling authors!  Plus… at last count over 50,000 ebooks at Smashwords are FREE – and not for a limited time only – nope!  They are FREE for as long as that author wants them to be free.  No strings attached!

So… Got a Kindle?


You need to check out Smashwords!

Otherwise, you’re missing out on some incredibly awesome literary works!

Smashwords download options

Read an eBook Week!

Holy cow! I nearly forgot to post this!

In all the excitement of this week’s focus on eBooks, I nearly forgot to share this information with everyone.

It’s never too late to jump in and read a book, but this week is set aside specifically to focus on the exciting world of eBooks!

March 1 – 7, 2015 is the official Smashwords ‘Read an eBook’ Week.  So go to your favorite eBook outlet store, download an ebook … or two or three or more… and read!

To find GREAT ebooks from Smashwords, Apple, and Barnes and Noble, for example, go to smashwords.com/ebookweek or simply click on the image below!  There you can find out where and how to access books priced from free to … whatever!  At Smashwords alone, there are over 50,000 free ebook titles to choose from!

The best part about all of this is you don’t have to stop reading ebooks on March 7th!  Not at all!  Go find more great books… and just keep reading!

Read an eBook week 2015 (1)

A Winner! – NaNoWriMo Challenge 2014

My very first time participating in the National November Writing Month challenge, was so much fun!  I was able to complete the 50,000+ word requirement in 22 days… very satisfying… and, as with all the other participating writers who met the challenge, I was awarded the NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge Winner Certificate.

NaNoWriMo - Winner Certificate 2014

Not only do I intend to participate in future challenges, I realize I can produce a flash draft of a novel in a relatively short amount of time… a month even.  My NaNo effort this time was to create a draft as a sequel to Unwitting Alliances, published September 2014.  The working title is Justified Betrayal but it’s not finished.  I will likely double the word count before my editor gets her hands on it!

To create a flash-draft on a tight timeline is exhilarating!  It proves you can do something when you put your mind to it.  It provides an opportunity to produce a skeleton of a story.  Within that skeleton you can begin to create interesting elements and characters quickly without worrying about a lot of details for now.  It provokes a type of mental stimulation that stirs up those creative juices.  Sometimes, during this challenge, I couldn’t write fast enough as ideas flowed easily and abundantly.  At other times I’d just write stuff down to keep the story going and maintain an adequate pace to ensure I’d reach my goal.

With excitement I submitted my 51,395 word draft for validation and received the WINNER! certificate for 2014.  The beauty of this challenge is simple… you don’t need to wait for November to do it again and I won’t.  I now have two drafts.  The first one is a draft I wrote last May 2014, Relentless Obsession, as a sequel to Desperate Rescue.  I challenged myself to test the feasibility of cranking out 50,000 in 30 days.  In just about three weeks time I’d done it… just like this time.  It is so doable!

Do you love to write?  Want to get a book out there?  If you didn’t know about the NaNoWriMo challenge before, you do now.  But don’t wait until next November!  Make a personal challenge today… right this very minute.  Pick a month… any month and write a 50,000 word book draft.  Stick to it!  Test the adventure!   Besides, you’ll be better prepared for the National November Writing Month 2015 challenge… I know you can do this!  So write on!


e-Publishing is Here to Stay!

Just got home from an amazing and very exciting day with the folks at BAIPA (Bay Area Independent Publishers Association) and had to send this out to everyone right now!  An eager crowd of folks, all with ties to indie publishing in one form or another, had the opportunity to listen to keynote speaker, Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords.com as he spoke on the ‘Ten Trends and Contemporary Events Shaping the Future of Publishing.’   After a lunch break, Mark was back for the afternoon workshop consisting of three segments: ‘Introduction to eBook Publishing’, ‘eBook Publishing Best Practices’ andHow to Hit the eBook Bestseller Lists with eBook Preorders.’

Once told by a prominent traditional publishing agent that he was ‘delusional’ about the future of epublishing, Mark now points to recent statistics showing over $30 million in retail sales for ebooks.  Delusional?  Heck no!  ePublishing is most certainly here to stay!  Will print books become a thing of the past?  Absolutely not.  There’s room for both, but epublishing has opened up opportunities for excellent writers to get their stories and information out there, without having to deal with the subjective ideas and opinions of a few, but key, individual decision-makers associated with traditional publishing.

Over all, I had an amazing day and met some wonderful folks, and want to give a few plugs to some I had the opportunity to visit with this time around:

  • Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords.com
    Electronic publishing is rapidly growing as a truly viable avenue for eager and worthy writers and publishers.  In 2008, Mark Coker founded Smashwords with the philosophy that anyone should have the right to publish.  He’s spent the past six plus years building a legacy of helping aspiring writers do just that.

    “In June 2010, The Wall Street Journal named Mark one of the “Eight Stars of Self-Publishing.”  In March 2012, MediaBistro named Mark one of the “Five Ebook Experts to Watch.”  In June 2012, Forbes profiled Mark in feature story titled, Apple’s Biggest (Unknown) Supplier of E-Books.  In both 2013 and 2014, Forbes Magazine named Smashwords one of America’s Top 100 Most Promising Companies.”
    – excerpt from Smashwords.com/about/team
  • Becky Parker Geist owner of Pro Audio Voices 
    Have you thought about formatting your book to audio?  There is a relatively untapped audience out there craving books and other written material but in audio format.  So Pro Audio Voices provides that option.

    “As a writer actively engaged in the publishing world, [Becky] understands the challenges of creative people taking on the business of marking their books. [She has] developed (and continues to develop) a wide network of resources to whom [she] can refer. Unlike most other audiobook production services… Pro Audio Voices helps authors and publishers navigate the maze of acx (Audible, Amazon, iTunes), saving them time and avoiding frustration, and then take it the next level by helping market all the audiobooks [they can] produce.”
    – exceprt from proaudiovoices.com/about-us
  • Rosina Wilson of RosinaWilson.com
    “Rosina Wilson, a wine and food professional for over 25 years, lives within the thriving wine country… of Napa and Sonoma counties.  She is the author of ‘Seafood Pasta and Noodles – The New Classics‘ and ‘Drink Wine With Dinner.’  She has also written countless articles on food, wine, and travel, in addition to teaching the “Wine and Food Pairing” class for ten years at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.”
    -excerpts from rosinawilson.com/about-rosina
  • Cynthia Klein, Certified Parent Educator of bridges2understanding.com
    “Cynthia’s mission is to help you create a family that strives for harmony and to solve family challenges together. Since 1994 Cynthia has educated hundreds of parents on how to create a strong foundation of mutually respectful family interactions.”
    -excerpts from bridges2understanding.com/parenting-about-cynthia/
  • Gloria Dunn-Violin, Retirement Life Coach of nowwhatRcoach.com
    Retired?  Celebrate by “Creating a fulfilling life now & after retirement!”  Gloria spent twenty-five years working as a trainer, coach, and consultant in the field of Organizational Development and Behavior.  She is the author of ‘From Making a Living to Having a life‘, was a Cable TV talk show host, and has written many articles for publication.  She now utilizes her skills to support clients in creating fulfilling lives… after retirement!
    -excerpts from nowwhatrcoach.com/
  • Val Sherer – baipa.org/member-profiles/val-sherer-personalized-publishing-services/
    Val is a long-time BAIPA board member and has served in various capacities.  She is the owner of Personalized Publishing Services.  She is an InDesign expert specializing in book design and layout for small publishers for fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books.  Her company motto is ‘your book… your way.’  Val is also a member of the ‘Marin Professional Women’s Network‘ (Marin County, California, USA) and involved with ‘Every Dollar Feeds Kids.  She is the recipient of the Jack Mason award for excellence in publishing.”
    -excerpts from baipa.org/member-profiles/val-sherer-personalized-publishing-services/

  • Christina V. Kueppers of modernfairytaleteller.com
    “Christina is the author of Prince Alexander and his Moustachioed Adventures, available at Amazon.com.
    Born in Russia, she grew up in the Ukraine and immigrated to the United States in 2003.  She currently resides in California.  Writing fairy tales was always Christina’s passion and she uses this type of storytelling to reinforce kind-hearted modern-day messages that children and adults both love.”
    -excerpts from modernfairytaleteller.com/about

Peggy Lea Baker – author, artist, entrepreneur, published writer at smashwords.com

Unwitting Alliances [Book Cover]

PUBLISHED: Unwitting Alliances – Book #1 in the Hunter Blake Series

The first book in the Hunter Blake Series, Unwitting Alliances hit electronic bookstores September 27, 2014 via Smashwords!

If you are intrigued with private planes, helicopters, suspense, action, and a touch of romance, get acquainted with Hunter Blake, a successful actor and private pilot, who has suddenly become the target of an unknown organization seemingly intent on capturing or killing him.  Now forced to take desperate steps to elude his pursuers and find answers to disturbing questions, he initially teams up with Janet Feldman (of Desperate Rescue) in an attempt to thwart his assailants’ sudden relentless and destructive measures.

Unwitting Alliances reveals how seemingly trusted friendships and relationships can at times be manipulated to support another’s ulterior motive.  It isn’t until the intent of some of those affiliations begins to unravel that the shocking truth becomes apparent.  Deceit and corruption form the foundation of an organization with far-reaching implications, including the murder of some key players.

Hunter, his dog Buster, and a handful of old and new-found friends must pull together, develop trust, and forge a new alliance to overcome the devious and corrupted plans of once trusted associates.  Mix that with an unexpected reunion with someone from his past, Hunter comes to the realization that you may not always know a person’s true character – good or bad.  Whatever the outcome he knows his life will never be the same.

Other publications at Smashwords:

Writing Update: Publishing Countdown…

Unwitting Alliances

The book draft is back from Margaret, my editor, and I am so excited… in part because she is so excited with this draft!  So the next two to three weeks are dedicated to working on edits before one last read then we publish at Smashwords!  Aiming for the middle to the end of July to make that happen!

In the meantime…

Relentless Pursuit has been re-titled to Relentless Obsession and has an entirely new focus.  Eager to get started on it, I discovered the NaNoWriMo website and became aware of their November challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  Okay… I decided to challenge myself ahead of time to see how doable that would be and I did it!  I wrote 50,000 words in just two weeks.

Here’s how it breaks down… if you average writing about 2,000 a day, you can make it happen!  Even if you only type at 40 w.p.m, that would take  just under one hour a day for only 25 days!

When I hit that 50,000 word mark, I was stoked!  Wow!  To create a rough draft that quickly.  It does help to have an idea to work with, of course, but after that, it’s just a matter of taking the necessary time to go back in and flesh it out.  Granted that will definitely take more than two weeks but at least I have something constructive to work with.

Building those writing skills…

As I continue to hone my craft, I spend a great deal of time collecting and studying various aspects of writing, in particular all the nuances of grammar.  Margaret pointed me to yet another great website, Grammar-worksheets, which I have devoured and will add to my arsenal of writing tools and resources.  I would encourage you to check it out.

How my current eBooks are doing…

Alright so I’ve been tracking the daily downloads of my eBooks at Smashwords and was tickled to see a really nice running total for the two books I haven’t seriously marketed.  Out of the over 300,000 published works at Smashwords, people just find them, which I think is pretty cool.  Granted, I don’t have any best sellers… yet… but I am grateful for each and every one of those downloads.

But when I recently took some time to check on a recent quarterly report, I was surprised at how well they are doing via the numerous retailers Smashwords has partnered with.  Names such as Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Diesel, Scribd, and Oyster to name a few, posted an additional 90% more downloads (over and above Smashwords) that same quarter and from 28 different countries (to date)… AND… I’m still not heavily marketing them!  That added up to many, many thousands of downloads all totaled.

Yikes!  Seriously?  Yes!

Like I said, they may not be best sellers, but these numbers are exciting and very encouraging.  So, June marks the end of another quarter and I am very anxious to see what the numbers will look like when that report comes out.

Are you an Indy writer?  

If so, share your writing and publishing experiences with us!


At Smashwords, find:

Writing Update: “Unwitting Alliances”

It’s for certain…

…my blogs are not overwhelming my readers!  I laugh at myself sometimes, especially when I keep thinking I need to produce more blog commentary.  If I didn’t need sleep…well then maybe.  Unfortunately there are only so many minutes in a day.  I still have a ‘day job’ (helps with the bills and such for now), in addition to being a novelist.  Blogging is important, but finding time to squeeze regular posts into my already hectic schedule is challenging.  Even so, I am currently on a six-week hiatus from work and making use of every moment to write! I finished my final draft of Unwitting Alliances and it’s in the hands of one last test reader.  Then it’s off to my editor!  Once I get it back from her, I’ll polish it up and submit to Smashwords for publication…hopefully in June 2014!  I still need to finish the cover art and write a ‘dust cover’ synopsis, but beyond that…I’m very excited!

This novel finds our hero, Hunter Blake, a successful and award-winning actor, facing a series of mysterious, unexplained, and in some cases, life-threatening events.  Couple that with an unexpected moment of truth from a close friend and the return of someone from his past,  add to the suspenseful flavor of this novel and forces Hunter to come to grips with unscripted life outside of Hollywood.

So with this extended time off…

…I’ve made it a priority to develop the framework for two more novels.  Each will be a sequel.

1.  Relentless Pursuit finds Janet Feldman, of Desperate Rescue, getting adjusted to a new life in San Francisco.  Unfortunately, she is going to have her hands full attempting to discourage a very determined, albeit unwelcome and mysterious, suitor.  So how do you fend off a mysterious suitor?  One who calls at work and sends cards, flowers, and even arranges deliveries of your favorite Chinese take-out to your desk?  I guess we’ll find out.

2.  Justified Betrayal picks up where  soon-to-be-published Unwitting Alliances  leaves off.  Hunter Blake is thrown into further mysterious events and situations.  But this time he also has two women in his life that he promised to look after.  Heart strings are tugged in different directions as he struggles to maintain a balance, not only in his personal relationships, but also in an effort to keep everyone safe.  Although things wrap up pretty well as Unwitting Alliances concludes, as with any story, there’s usually some loose ends that never quite get cinched up completely.  We’ll find out more in the sequel.

Here’s another little tidbit…

Janet Feldman is in the Hunter Blake series as well.  She’s more grown up but with the same spunk and determination she pulled together to rescue her best friend in Desperate Rescue.  Because I’ve received a lot of requests to build a series around Janet I decided to go ahead and do that, continuing with Relentless Pursuit.  In the meantime, since I already had her written into Unwitting Alliances, she has now grown into a more mature woman in her later twenties and now has the opportunity to explore new horizons and continued adventures with Hunter Blake.  Eventually the Janet Feldman series will tie in nicely with Hunter Blake’s.  And who knows… I may even find some other interesting spin-offs to play with later on.


I do have some other items of interest to share, regarding writing in general, how my currently published eBooks are doing, and the continuing excitement developing with ePublishing!  With my extended time off, I should be able to push out one more blog post before heading back to work in a few weeks.

In the meantime…thanks for dropping by!

At Smashwords, find: