Tag Archives: book

Volume Two in the Kindle Store, and a Publication

A couple of writing-related updates today. First, if you haven’t seen it already, Fifty-Word Stories: Volume Two is now available in the Kindle Store! Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005MJG3BO. It’s only $2.99, and even if you don’t own a Kindle you can still read it on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android phone, etc., by downloading the great free Kindle app.

In other news, a Twitter-length story of mine called “Brushstrokes” was posted to OneFortyFiction today. You can read it here. Hope you enjoy it! It was a fun one to write, and evolved a lot from the first version into the published one. With such a short length limit, you have to be really sure that every single word is working as hard as it can to get the story across.

I’ll have another update tomorrow with some details about the things I’ve written this week and what I’ve been doing with them.

My 10 Favourite 50s

I decided to compile a list of 10 of the 50-word stories that I think represent my best work.

When going through all of the stories from Year Two, picking out the best ones for inclusion in Fifty-Word Stories: Volume Two, I kept coming across stories I had forgotten about. I wrote somewhere around 200 stories over the course of the year, so that’s to be expected!

Every now and then, one of these stories would surprise me and make me laugh or smile. It’s a rare thing to get to read something you wrote as if you were seeing it for the first time, so those experiences made my sojourn through the archives a lot of fun.

Among all of the stories I’ve written, there is the expected range of quality. Some are good, some aren’t so great, and a few, I think, are real gems. I installed the star-rating plugin to help those gems rise to the top of the Popular Stories widget in the sidebar, and the Top Stories page, but with over 700 stories on FiftyWordStories.com today (somewhere around 525 of them written by me), there are definitely some gems that will slip through the cracks. I can’t expect every new reader to go digging through the entire archive to find those gems, so I made a list that might help.

Here are the 10 best stories I think I’ve written for FiftyWordStories.com, in reverse order:

10. Showers and Tellers – February 25, 2011

9. The Apple and the Pear – January 6, 2011

8. Don’t Call Me Savior – January 29, 2010

7. Lemon Zest Cookies – February 10, 2011

6. Claim to Fame – October 12, 2009

5. They Taste Like Bitter Grapes – December 4, 2009

4. The Man Who Couldn’t Stop Breathing – August 26, 2010

3. Horse-Whale Hoedown – November 12, 2010

2. Lie-Baby – February 8, 2011

1. The Magical Cup and a Terrifying Beast – December 2, 2010


Six of the stories on this list are included in Volume Two, along with 124 others that would probably all make my top 150. Why not order yourself a copy? It’s only $12 + shipping, or $3 for the ebook.

Which of these 10 stories is your favourite? Would you build your own list differently? I’d love to hear your Top 3, Top 5, or Top 10. Leave a comment!

“Feel-Good”: Ready for Pre-Release!

I’ve put together the cover art for Feel-Good, and it’s now officially ready for pre-release this Monday!

The photo for the cover was taken by Rudoni Productions. You can see more of his work on his Flickr page.

Image by Rudoni Productions, used under Creative Commons.

In my previous post, I mentioned that the centrepiece story of the collection, which I have now titled Hands-On, had gotten just a little bigger than I’d originally intended. Well, not it’s even bigger. The final word count is just under 7,000. It took Larissa about 25 minutes to read the whole thing (and she liked it!). As I explain in the Introduction to the collection, Hands-On feels, to me, more like the opening couple of chapters to a novel than a short story. I’ve tried to make it as self-contained as possible, but it doesn’t seem to want to be self-contained, and who am I to tell it what it can and can’t be? Maybe it will eventually turn into something longer; for now, I think it’s still worth reading as a standalone.

So: Hands-On is definitely the central feature of the collection, but there’s plenty of other good content in there, too, and I think you’ll enjoy it all. I’ll be emailing early access copies of the collection to the people on the early access list this coming Monday, and creating a page where you can buy the collection as a pay-what-you-want download, as well.

I’ll have some more news about any special offers soon, and possibly some details on my future plans for these collections.

50-Word Stories Contest at GeekingOutAbout

I love working with other people and other websites, so I was really excited to take the opportunity to help www.GeekingOutAbout.com, an entertainment blog, celebrate their one-year anniversary by contributing a guest article about microfiction and cosponsoring a 50-word story contest.

I’m really looking forward to reading through the contest entries, and I hope there will be a lot of them. A $25 prize (for first place) is worth competing for! If you want to enter, email your entries to geekingoutabout@gmail.com before May 31, by the way. The authors of the top three stories are also going to get a free Fifty-Word Stories: Volume One ebook bundle.

One of the things I’ve really hoped to achieve through FiftyWordStories.com has been getting the word out about microfiction and doing my part to popularize it. Flash fiction (stories under 1,000 words) is fairly popular, but microfiction (stories under 100 words) doesn’t get a lot of attention, and I like to think that my site has gotten at least a few more people interested in the format. So that’s why I wanted to share a guest article on GeekingOutAbout, and Trisha Lynn and the other editorial staff were very helpful and open to the idea.

So check out their website, leave some feedback on my guest article, and enter the contest!

Book Order Arrival

A couple of weeks ago I put in an order for 20 copies of my book, so that I could sell them to friends, family, and locals. Guess what showed up at my door yesterday!

Twenty copies of Fifty-Word Stories: Volume One, all laid out and lookin' pretty!

Don’t they look nice? I was so happy when I found that art to use on the cover. I was able to buy the rights to it fairly cheaply, along with a couple of similar pieces of different times of day, for volumes two and three, once they’re ready. (Volume Two will probably come out before Christmas 2011, but I’m not sure exactly when.)

I was a little concerned that 20 would be too many, and that I wouldn’t be able to sell them all, but 15 of them are already accounted for. I’m trying to get them into people’s hands ASAP. If you know me personally or live near Victoria, BC, and want to put in a claim on one of the remaining 5, send me an email or a Facebook message and I’ll put one aside for you.

The cost of the book in-person is $15, which includes a $3 shipping charge. That saves you up to $5 on shipping if you order it online, depending on where you live.

50WS Week in Review

This has been a very exciting week for me creatively. On Monday I released Fifty-Word Stories: Volume One, a collection of 100 stories from my first year of writing at FiftyWordStories.com.

In conjunction with the book release, I made this a special guest week and posted guest stories from MCM of 1889.ca, Woody Tondorf of Elevator Show and The Morning After, Justin Boyd of LeftHandedToons, John Funk from The Escapist, and Graham, Tally, and Jer from LoadingReadyRun. Getting all of these great guests to write stories for me was really fun, and resulted in not only some great stories, but also the highest-traffic week in site history. Everybody wins!

So how have sales gone? Pretty great, actually. Not including “in-person request” orders, I’ve already surpassed my initial (admittedly a bit modest) sales target. I’m on my way to doubling it, if you include friends and family.

I had no idea what to expect in terms of sales, but here are a couple of trends that I’ve noticed so far:

–I’ve had more people ask to buy the book from me in person than I expected. This has led me to put in a “bulk” order of 20 books so that I can save people a bit on shipping, and so that I’ll have a small stock around for other locals (people from Vancouver or Vancouver Island), or for special events.

–Ebook sales from my site are roughly even with sales through the Kindle Store. I’m glad of this, but I’d also be thrilled to see the Kindle Store sales increase a bit, because it’s also an avenue for reaching more people who may not have heard of the site. If people who have bought the ebook want to leave reviews on the Kindle Store, I’d really appreciate it.

–Specifically mentioning the book on Twitter and Facebook seems to elicit some real response and sales. But don’t worry; I’m not going to keep spamming it all over the place. Moderation in all things!

I’m looking forward to getting back to the regular routine of story posting, but of course, first there’s the Valentine’s Day contest!

Thank you to everyone who has been following the site, and my blog.