Sunday, October 28, 2012

Don't Wait For Me: the wait is finally over


Don't Wait For Me, my second novel, is now available for download for all major e-readers and CreateSpace (print). I'd be honored if you'd read and review the book. Don't Wait For Me is a love story, but not the typical boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-does-something-crazy-to-get-girl-back. Those stories have been told. I wanted to do something a little different.

Book Description
Edwin Klein's iconic downtown toy store is hanging by a thread. The end is near, but he won't accept it. The store is all he has left of his wife and he can't let it go. Failure and loss have led him to a dark place.

After a chance encounter with a shoplifter, he stumbles upon the help of Amelia Cook, who is struggling with her own loss. Through one holiday season the two of them hatch a plan to save the store and in turn touch the lives of everyone they know.

What follows is a wonderful, but tragic tale of love, loss and new beginnings.

This book means a lot to me
I very much enjoyed writing this book and spending a several months with these characters. The reactions I've received from readers have been surprising and overwhelming. Never did I expect this little story to have such a profound emotional impact for readers. It feels wonderful that my readers have felt the same emotions I felt while writing the story. 

I hope you enjoy it too.

Download a copy today




 CreateSpace (print)

Local Spokane stores in mid-November.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Don't Wait For Me: the wait is almost over


Don't Wait For Me: the wait is almost over

I guess the title of this blog post really refers to the end of my personal wait to get the book in your hands. Don't Wait For Me is days away from being available to you on Amazon, Barnes and Noble (ebook), Apple's iBooks and many other retailers.

There's a bit of a switch-a-roo that happens at the end of finishing a novel. When you're an independent author, after the writing and editing is done, you have to become an expert in formatting and graphic design to get the story distributed. Luckily I learned from trial and error on Off The Grid, so the second time around, it wasn't all that difficult. Stressful, but not difficult.

As of tonight, a proof of the printed book from CreateSpace is in the mail. If the proof is OK, I will approve it for sale and order copies for local distribution. I have every faith that this will be complete by the end of next week.

The ebook version is approved (and technically already on sale) at Amazon for Kindles. The Barnes and Noble version for Nook is pending, but I think that will get approved by the end of the weekend.

I took this book a step further  and joined Smashwords. Smashwords takes your book as a Word doc and converts it into all the basic ebook formats for you. They also take a 15% cut in sales. 

Unfortunately, they are one of the only third-parties that independent authors can use to get their books into the Apple iBooks store - which is pretty important nowadays. Since I already know how to create the formats for Kindle and Nook, I did that on my own (eliminating the 15% cut to Smashwords for those to large sites). When Smashwords approves my files for their catalog, they will distribute it to Apple and Sony, among others.  

I'm a few days ahead of schedule - somehow. I expected the book to be ready in November, not late October, but hey, that's a good thing.

When all the major retailers are available I'll let everyone know with a big announcement. This should be days from now.

Can't wait?

Use Smashwords?


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Don't Wait For Me (Official Book Trailer)





Don't Wait For Me" by Dan Kolbet
Available November 2012

Edwin Klein's iconic downtown toy store is hanging by a thread. The end is near, but he won't accept it. The store is all he has left of his wife and he can't let it go. Failure and loss have led him to a dark place.

After a chance encounter with a shoplifter, he stumbles upon the help of Amelia Cook, who is struggling with her own loss. Through one holiday season the two of them hatch a plan to save the store and in turn touch the lives of everyone they know.

What follows is a wonderful, but tragic tale of love, loss and new beginnings. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

I need your help to select the book description for Don't Wait For Me


Crowdsourcing hasn't failed me yet - please give me your thoughts on the book description

Don't Wait For Me
The description of a novel is rather important. People certainly judge a book by its cover, but in doing so they typically read the description on the back cover or on sites like Amazon or Goodreads too.

I want to ensure that Don't Wait For Me has a description that rocks. I've listed three options for the descriptions below. I want your opinion about them. What's good? What's not? What makes you curious? And ultimately, what makes you want to make a purchase.

Don't Wait For Me is a mainstream fiction book, with a modern love story, but the rest of the description is what should hook you. Read through the options and give your opinion in the comments section or paste it on my Facebook page.

Option A
Edwin Klein never wanted to own a toy store, but after the tragic passing of his wife, the store and all its problems become his alone. Amelia Cook just wants a real family so she can keep her children safe. Over the course of one holiday season, Edwin and Amelia's stories and past intertwine in a gripping tale of loss, giving and new beginnings.

Option B
Edwin Klein's iconic downtown toy store is hanging by a thread. The end is near, but he won't accept it. The store is all he has left of his wife and he can't let it go. Failure and loss have led him to a dark place.

A chance encounter with a young shoplifter on Black Friday leads Edwin to Amelia Cook, who helps him fight on. Over the course of one holiday season, Edwin and Amelia's stories and past intertwine in a gripping tale of loss, giving and new beginnings.

Option C
Edwin and Mary were meant to be together, but after Mary's tragic death, Edwin is forced to live the life she wanted - running a toy store that is hanging by a thread. He dreams of owning his own horse stable. As the holiday season begins Edwin fights to save the store, the only thing he has left of Mary.

After a chance encounter with a shoplifter, he stumbles upon the help of Amelia Cook, who is struggling with her own loss. Together the two of them hatch a plan to save the store and in turn touch the lives of everyone they know.

What follows is a wonderful, but tragic tale of love, loss and new beginnings.

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Thanks for reading the book descriptions for Don't Wait For Me. Comment in the section below. Please share this post with your Facebook friends too.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Beta Readers are your best friends


My betas are knee-deep in Don't Wait For Me

Don't Wait For Me is currently out of my hands. Literally. This weekend I provided copies to my crack-team of critical-but-in-a-good-way beta readers. It's their un-paid, volunteer job to tell me I'm wrong.

That's why I like them.

Beta readers provide helpful comments like this one. 
The job of a beta reader is to review a work being readied for publication. I've asked them to note mistakes, inconsistency and confusion. While I don't expect them to find large story holes, I want them to offer anything they feel will help improve the story. If they care to note my terrible grammar, that's just a bonus for me. I've lined up an awesome copy editor to help catch all that was missed too.

When I published Off The Grid last year my betas got printed copies with a spiral binding. Oh, how far we've come. Instead of fumbling with the over-sized bound copies, my betas are reviewing on iPads. Here's how. I created an .ePub file using Pages for Mac. The. ePub gets downloaded and viewed in iBooks. From iBooks the betas can highlight passages and leave me sticky notes like the "helpful" one above in the graphic.

When they have finished their review, they can email me the notes from iBooks with a push of a button. No more flipping through each page and hunting for a little pen mark to note a missing comma. Way easier on me and I hope on them too.

I'm lucky to have three professional communicators and writers reviewing Don't Wait For Me. Several people have asked me if they could beta read my works and in most cases, I decline. You have to have the right mix of criticism and encouragement to get this highly unpaid job. Too nice and it's not effective. Too mean and I'll slightly dislike you forever. After all, I'm an author. I have a thin skin and could easily be crushed by all the meanies out there. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

"Don't Wait For Me" available November 2012


"Don't Wait For Me" cover design. The novel, set in Spokane, Wash., during the holiday season will be available November 2012. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The story is in charge, not you, dummy!


“The story is in charge, not you, dummy.” I was telling myself just that for the last month, just not very convincingly. I have this idea in my head of how long a novel should be. That’s all about word count, but I’ve discovered something amazing – readers don’t count as they read. It’s the weirdest thing. They actually get involved in the story and follow the characters, regardless of how many words it takes to get to a resolute conclusion.

Duh!

My second novel, which will be called “Don’t Wait For Me,” was originally intended to be a short novella of about 20,000 words. For the life of me I couldn’t tell the story I wanted with that as a restriction.

Authors also see word count when considering pricing. It’s why Ken Follett can charge a bazillion dollars for his tomes, because the guy put a bazillion hours and words in writing the damn thing and it’s worth it.

Independent authors don’t have Follett’s backing or readership, so we have to write and price for the market.  A 20,000 word book is a $0.99 value to me. 45k and up you can price $2.99 and up. Of course, independent authors are nobodies so you can price it wherever you like and never sell a copy. Yet at the same time, I’d prefer not to price myself out of a sale or deceive a reader into thinking they are getting War and Peace, when they are really getting a blurb from Guns & Ammo. So, I think about word count, even if a reader doesn’t.

When I saw my story turning toward the end before I’d planned to end it, I decided to follow my characters and wrap it up even though I was about 10,000 words short of my goal.  It still fit my framework and lifted that burden off my back, too.

“Don’t Wait For Me” is its second draft and should end up around 60,000 words. I’ve lined up beta readers and hopefully a copy editor with a goal of getting it out in the next month. Fingers crossed. That’s just two fingers, if you’re counting at home.

The above blog post was 360 words, since I know no one cares about its length.