‘Nancy Drew: Labyrinth of Lies’ – A Video Game Review

[00:00:01] Today, I’m doing something a little bit different. I’m reviewing a video game. It’s a mystery video game and it’s made by Her Interactive, and I have to tell you right up front to be honest that I’m being paid to talk about the product. So just so we’re clear on that. But this is an honest review of this mystery game: Nancy Drew: Labyrinth of Lies, which is pretty cool. So let me show you the features of this game. (See the video below.)  Continue reading “‘Nancy Drew: Labyrinth of Lies’ – A Video Game Review”

Why Should Authors Care About SEO Marketing?


Every time I turn around, marketing advice pops up. It emphasizes the importance of SEO, aka, search engine optimization. And, apparently, if you don’t know it, you’re screwed you’ll never succeed as a marketer.

So, now, in order to succeed as a writer, apparently we must be concerned about SEO marketing. At least, enough to know the basics.

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You Don’t Have to be a Tech Wizard to Self-Publish

writing, self-publishing, indie authors
Image via Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

I’ve been self-publishing my books since 2009 and a lot has changed since then. Even so, it doesn’t take a tech genius to self-publish one’s work.

The more difficult part is developing a marketing and promotional strategy. However, being a self-published author gives you maximum flexibility, in terms of releasing your work in different media and adapting it as you wish.

There’s also the added benefit of letting you choose what to publish, in terms of content and length. Indie authors don’t have word count requirements or deadlines (other than those that are self-imposed).

For that reason, I’ve started a free tutorial series on YouTube, in which I talk about my own self-publishing journey and provide resources for those of you interested in going indie.

I kick off with one in which I talk about why you should self-publish.

The cheat sheet I mentioned is here.

My Udemy course on mystery writing is half-price until Jan. 31, 2019. Click here to learn more.

Click here to learn more!

And today is Australia Day. So take advantage of the discount prices on Kobo for these books! These bargains run from Jan. 24 to 28, 2019, so it’s part of the Australia Day weekend, I guess! 🙂

Least Wanted

The Planck Factor

Get ’em while you can! 🙂

Escape to the Oregon Coast

Traveling to Oregon is usually something we do in the summer. But, we decided to brave the elements for another family reunion. We also decided to jointly rent a place on the Oregon coast.

Despite the fact that my Botox injections for dystonia seemed to have done nada, I gathered my strength (and tried not to freak out about the whole thing), packed a bag, and made the plane trip without passing out or falling down a set of stairs or escalator. Something I’ve done before—anyway, I made it alive and (mostly) well.

Continue reading “Escape to the Oregon Coast”

Do You Make New Year’s Resolutions?

Are you making New Year’s resolutions this year? I don’t generally believe in making them, primarily because what makes it more likely you’ll change your ways magically because the digits in the year bumped up?

Okay. Fine. It’s a brand new year, all clean, shiny, and new. And you’re resolved. But, really, life goes on, and it all ends up being more of the same old, same old. And a resolve prompted only by a calendar change will likely dissolve.

Continue reading “Do You Make New Year’s Resolutions?”

Indie vs. Traditional Publishing: Why Are We Still Debating This?

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

The following is something I wrote in 2011, before my first novel had become a New York Times ebook bestseller in March of that year.

It stands as an example of how ebooks completely changed opportunities for authors who chose to go indie rather than wait for the traditional publishing world to notice them.

A lot has changed since this was written, so some of it is almost laughable in its … how should I say it? It’s sheer awe at numbers that others are managing almost routinely these days? Possibly.

In any case, here’s what I wrote:

When I first ventured into fiction writing, convention wisdom was to never self-publish one’s work. This amounted to nothing less than professional suicide. Writers who self-published were looked down upon as poor, pathetic desperate souls who didn’t have the talent or persistence to impress agents and/or publishers (especially the ones in New York, aka, “real ones”).

I followed this advice and ended up signing a contract for a three-book mystery series with a small press, which went under nine months later. My debut novel went out of print. So much for that. But I kept writing and querying agents and small presses, anyway. Over the years, I revised one novel, wrote a sequel and completed two standalone novels. Meanwhile, I still had this out-of-print novel just sitting and burning a hole in my computer. Finally, I took matters into my own hands. I decided I’d flout conventional wisdom and self-publish the book.

As a result, the novel Identity Crisis ended up being published as an ebook in June 2009 and in print in July 2009. If I had known at the time where this was going to lead, I would have been nothing less than astonished. While I anticipated most of my sales would come from print books with some of my income deriving from ebooks, in fact the opposite became true. If anyone had told me I’d sell nearly 13,000 downloads of my first novel by the end of January 2011, I’d have laughed. The simple fact is I did just that. Not only that, but the ebook version of my novel became the #1 hardboiled mystery on Amazon for about a month during 2010.

If you are interested in self-publishing books, the best bet is to publish your work in ebook form. At the time I write this, the market for ebooks represents a small segment of the whole, but has been growing exponentially. In fact, this past Christmas ebook sales reportedly outstripped print book sales. People are saying 2011 could be the big breakout year for ebooks. I’m not much for making (or believing in) predictions. However, I know what I’ve seen. And there are several examples of authors making a living (and a good living, too) by selling ebooks.


Now that’s what I wrote in 2011.

I’m going to share more of this piece, which will be updated to reflect the most current information I’ve managed to learn along the way.

Hell, I’ve only been doing this since 2009. I guess I’ve learned a little something since then. 🙂

And speaking of which, you can see me being interviewed here, back in the day!


One thing led to another, and then there was this! 🙂