Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Permanent Man #8: Secret Agent Red is Live!


I'm going to dispense with the typical template post to announce a new episode of The Permanent Man. If you really like those, then check out the previous posts announcing each episode.

For this one, here's the blurb and the links for your copy. Enjoy!

The Permanent Man #8: Secret Agent Red: After his recent interaction with Dr. Blue, Agent Red suspects he’s hiding something. He decides to investigate the matter to uncover the truth. But what he discovers goes beyond his expectations and could lead him directly to the object of his obsession: The Permanent Man.

There will be a new episode of The Permanent Man released every Tuesday until the finale on January 28, 2014.

You can pick up your copy now at the following locations: Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo Books | Smashwords

And remember, it's never too late to get into the series by starting with the first episode, Pilot.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Permanent Man #7: Reservations for Blue is Live!


You have two choices. And you want to choose carefully.

You can:

1. Buy ??? today on Blu-Ray/DVD/digital (there's absolutely nothing worth inserting into this template post that comes out today) or
2. You can buy the seventh episode of The Permanent Man

The choice is obvious.

If you're still having trouble deciding, maybe this will help:

The Permanent Man #7: Reservations for Blue: Because Kim Avant helped him “borrow” the prototype Molecular Regeneration Gun from the Agency, Dr. Blue promised he would take her on a date. But when the day comes for their rendezvous, events cause him to run behind schedule. As a result, he worries Kim will expose he took the gun and assisted the Permanent Man—threatening not only his career as a scientist at the Agency but the existence of space and time itself. He must do everything within his power to keep Kim on his side.

There will be a new episode of The Permanent Man released every Tuesday until the finale on January 28, 2014.

If you like lonely women waiting for their date, men doing anything they can to avoid a scorned woman, and malfunctioning vehicles that drive themselves, then this episode is for you!

You can pick up your copy now at the following locations: Amazon | iTunes (available 12/28/13 | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo Books | Smashwords

And remember, it's never too late to get into the series by starting with the first episode, Pilot.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Permanent Man #6: Whiskeyade is Live!


You have two choices. And you want to choose carefully.

You can:

1. Buy One Direction: This Is Us today on Blu-Ray/DVD/digital or
2. You can buy the sixth episode of The Permanent Man

The choice is obvious. Actually, it's too obvious.

If you're still having trouble deciding, maybe this will help:

The Permanent Man #6: Whiskeyade: Patrick Hold has learned that Clyde Calvin and his gang are holding a Cahilla Indian woman hostage. That woman might be the wife of Takoda that he wants to find. Patrick must infiltrate the gang to see if it is her, and that carries the danger of suffering under Calvin’s wrath.

As an added bonus, if you pick up this episode on iTunes you can get it with a wonderful typo in the recap's very first sentence. How's that for quality? But you have to act fast because this will be corrected within a few days.

There will be a new episode of The Permanent Man released every Tuesday until the finale on January 28, 2014.

If you like rough and tumble cowboy gangs, rescuing damsels in distress, and old codger fathers who are bumbling fools, then this episode is for you!

You can pick up your copy now at the following locations: Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo Books | Smashwords

And remember, it's never too late to get into the series by starting with the first episode, Pilot.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Character Inspiration in Stories

You might wonder where I get inspiration for characters in my stories. It comes from all sorts of places which shall remain confidential. Because a magician never reveals his secrets. Now, I'm not a magician and that's not secret, but I like to keep that secret like a magician.

But I will reveal the inspiration for one character. Wes Cooper from The Permanent Man series. He's a cowboy who lives in southern California during 1864. He's tough. He's emotional. He's dirty and grimey. He rides a horse. He loves his family.

And here's his inspiration. Someone not born until 2013. My youngest son!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Spotify 2013 Year In Review ... A Little Early

Spotify decided to send me an email with a year in review of 2013. This showed stats for Spotify and also for my music listening habits on the service.

I know what you're thinking. "The year isn't over." OK. I know that. But who cares. I highly doubt the numbers with change too much over the next couple weeks.

Below is a graphic that shows my stats. But I really feel these stats are inaccurate to my listening habits because my wife also uses Spotify under my account. So looking at the stats, everything listed except the top album and top artist are a direct result of her listening habits.




The Permanent Man #5: Barter Me Love is Live!


You have two choices. And you want to choose carefully.

You can:

1. Buy Fast & Furious 6 today on Blu-Ray/DVD/digital or
2. You can buy the fifth episode of The Permanent Man

The choice is obvious.

If you're still having trouble deciding, maybe this will help:

The Permanent Man #5: Barter Me Love: Convinced he’s responsible for sending Patrick Hold to the past, Dr. Blue is determined to bring him back to the future. He concludes the Molecular Regeneration Gun is the key to making this happen. The gun is under heavy security at the Agency and impossible for him to “borrow”. Unfortunate for Dr. Blue, it’s nothing a little love can’t fix.

There will be a new episode of The Permanent Man released every Tuesday until the finale on January 28, 2014.

If you like experimental scientific devices, awkward crushes, and non-traditional ways to ask a woman on a date, then this episode is for you!

You can pick up your copy now at the following locations: Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo Books | Smashwords

And remember, it's never too late to get into the series by starting with the first episode, Pilot.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What I Won't Write

If you've read any of my books, you might have noticed a few things missing that most books have today. In fact, what you see missing was absent from a lot of science fiction books from the 1950's and earlier.

What am I referring to?

Mainly gratuitous sex, violence, and profanity.

There's a reason for these things are missing from my books. The main one has to deal with my beliefs and how I live my daily life. As a result, the books I write become quite a challenge in a world where vulgarities and gore abound. The challenge to write the story is small compared to the challenge of selling a story devoid of this content.

Most readers today are looking for the "realism" of these added items within the plots. Why? I'm not sure.

Let me explain. Most of the science fiction I read is what I would call "classic" science fiction from authors such as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Philip K. Dick. Now, these authors, as their careers moved forward into the 60's, 70's, 80's and beyond, became influenced by what was acceptable.

For instance, Issac Asimov's Robot series is some of the best reading I've experienced. They were published as follows:

  • I, Robot (1950)
  • The Caves of Steel (1953)
  • The Naked Sun (1955)

The above books follow what I would call my guidelines for writing a book. Even given the title of The Naked Sun there isn't anything sexual in content within the pages of the story.

But fast forward to 1983 when the next book in the Robot series, The Robots of Dawn, came out. In this book, Asimov was comfortable enough to feature sex. Not only that, but the possibility of sexual relations between a human and a robot.

Similar things happened with books written by Arthur C. Clarke and Philip K. Dick. For example, A Scanner Darkly was laced with enough profanities to make Quentin Tarantino blush ... maybe.

Many might think of my point of view as prudish, and you're right. They might even think it makes my books unrealistic. You know, because people time traveling, orphan's having superhuman abilities, and imaginary friends telling a story from their perspective is realistic. ;)

But to me, it is a realistic way to write my stories. Because in my world, that's what I like to read. It's what I like to watch. It's what I like to listen to. It's how I live my daily life.

Maybe you feel the same way. In which case, my books are written for you. And maybe you don't feel the same way. Guess what? The books are written for you, too. Like the bygone days of classic science fiction writers, I follow their formula of old. And that formula can appeal to anyone.

So, in a way, I guess I'm stuck living in the past when it comes to writing stories.

The Permanent Man #4: Let Sleeping Dogs Bark is Live!


You have two choices. And you want to choose carefully.

You can:

1. Buy The Wolverine today on Blu-Ray/DVD/digital or
2. You can buy the fourth episode of The Permanent Man

The choice is obvious.

If you're still having trouble deciding, maybe this will help:

The Permanent Man #4: Let Sleeping Dogs Bark: Between the death of his family and the apparent poisoning of Patrick Hold, Wes Cooper trusts Cahilla Indians as far as a tumbleweed travels on a calm day. But when a gang of cowboys takes Wes hostage, his only chance of escape rests in the hands of the Cahilla Indian, Takoda. Will Takoda’s help rid Wes of his prejudice?

There will be a new episode of The Permanent Man released every Tuesday until the finale on January 28, 2014.

If you like gangs of cowboys, shooting arrows, and unlikely escapes from being held hostage, then this episode is for you!

You can pick up your copy now at the following locations: Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo Books | Smashwords

And remember, it's never too late to get into the series by starting with the first episode, Pilot.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Book Discounts from Black Friday until January 4, 2014

From now until January 4, 2014 all of my books are discounted. All my novels and short story collections are $2.99 (regularly $4.99). All my shorts (as in short stories) are $0.99 (regularly $2.99). The entire Miscorrection trilogy is $7.99 (regularly $13.99).

Below are links to all my books at the various retail stores:

Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo Books | Smashwords



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Permanent Man #3: Where Loyalties Lie is Live!


You have two choices. And you want to choose carefully.

You can:

1. Buy Despicable Me 2 today for digital download (I'm sure the kiddies will love it) or
2. You can buy the third episode of The Permanent Man

The choice is obvious.

If you're still having trouble deciding, maybe this will help:

The Permanent Man #3: Where Loyalties Lie: Cassy Hold is worried about her husband, Patrick. Government agents had arrested him for an unknown reason. Fortunately, Patrick arrives home. Unfortunately, he’s shot and bleeding. She wants him to go to the hospital, but he insists she seek help from an unlikely source: One of the men who arrested him.

There will be a new episode of The Permanent Man released every Tuesday until the finale on January 28, 2014.

If you like shifty secret agents, doctors pretending to be secret agents, and wives doing whatever they can to protect their husbands, then this episode is for you!

You can pick up your copy now at the following locations: Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo Books | Smashwords

And remember, it's never too late to get into the series by starting with the first episode, Pilot. And easy way to do that is to tune in this Saturday at 1 P.M. Eastern time when I do a live reading of The Permanent Man #1: Pilot.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Live Reading of The Permanent Man #1: Pilot on 11/30/13

UPDATE: I never did this reading due to my busy schedule. However, tonight (March 21, 2014) I may have an opportunity to do it at 8 PM. Stay tuned.

This Saturday, November 30, 2013, I'll be doing a live reading of the first episode of The Permanent Man. It will be at 1:00 PM Eastern Time. There are a couple places where you can view this reading:

You can follow along with your copy of the book, or simply listen in to the reading.

If you plan to tune in to the reading, you can let your friends know by joining the Google+ Event or Facebook Event. Feel free to invite your friends, too! Your support in this way is appreciated.

After the broadcast, the video will be posted to YouTube for you to watch at your convenience. Also, I will post an audio file of the reading for you to download on The Permanent Man Episode Guide page.

This will be a real reading and not what you might be accustomed to hearing in audiobooks. In other words, the reading will be extemporaneous with the possibility of improvisation. It may also include author commentary regarding specific scenes.

I hope you can make it!

Live Reading - 11/30/13
Private Investigator Patrick Hold expects to find the unwanted for his clients. But when the unwanted arrives at his door in the form of a government agent, it is anything but expected. The agent claims Patrick is a wanted man called the Permanent Man—a man unable to experience death—and arrests him. Sorties he'll be imprisoned for life, Patrick attempts to escape ... but he might escape to the unwanted.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Xbox One Day One Edition - I Remember When....

Eight years ago, I went out very early in the morning in hopes of snagging the then hot new console, Xbox 360. I stood in line at Circuit City (yes, that long ago) and was somewhere around 15th or 16th in line.

Unfortunately, they had about 11 Xbox 360s in stock, and I didn't get one. I then proceeded to go to Target, Best Buy, and online to find an Xbox 360.

Still, I was unsuccessful.

Black Friday approached and I thought for sure I could get one then. But alas, after standing in line at several stores, I had the same result from the previous week.

It wasn't until a month later that I finally picked up the console. I bought it on Circuit City's web site when they got a few in inventory. The stock sold out quickly, but my console finally arrived a few days later.

Fast forward to now, and the successor to the Xbox 360—titled Xbox One—is out today. Instead of waiting in line and searching all over the place, I pre-ordered the console (a smart thing to do by the way, especially with upcoming episodes of The Permanent Man coming out over the next several weeks (Hint: See book listings to the right and above)) and it arrived today. It's also a Day One edition console, which makes it even harder to acquire.

But times are different for me now. I barely have time to play video games. Don't get me wrong, I wish I still could. But three kids has an affect on the time for recreation. In addition to that, my firstborn son who was not even two at the time I bought the Xbox 360, plays video games way more then me. He's perfectly content with the games on the 360 as it is. His current obsession being Disney Infinity.

So why did I buy the console? Back in June, I thought I might play it. But I don't want to sacrifice my time writing fiction in order to play video games. I've considered selling it on eBay to make my money back. But my wife, in her loving and sympathetic way, suggested I keep it. She actually thinks the features of the box look cool.

It's up in the air right now as to what I will do. That being said, I still have my Xbox 360, and if you'd like to send me a friends request on it, feel free. My gamertag is dreamcast (and that's a whole 'nother part of my gaming history past).

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Comcast ... I Mean Xfinity Internet Speed

I recently received an email from my Internet provider, Com ... I mean Xfinity, informing me that they had increased my internet speed.

So I'm like, "Great. Things just got faster."

That's good for my household where we've cut the cord on cable/satellite and get all our programming through Netflix, Hulu, PlayOn, and an over the air antenna. Not to mention the music we stream, along with our web browsing.

The speed increase from Xfinity takes it to speeds up to 25 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up. Which is funny because I thought those already were my speeds. Oh well, what do I know? Unless this is a clever marketing scheme to make me thinking they are offering something more when they offered it all along, I'll accept what they say.

In the notification, they also mentioned I should check if my cable modem is a DOCSIS 3.0 standard modem so I could take advantage of the speed increase. A quick check on the Comcast (or is it Xfinity, I'm so confused) web site showed that my Terayon TJ715 cable modem is on their End of Life list and not DOCSIS 3.0 compliant.

So I contacted Comfinity about this. Because I rent the modem I have, they will send me a shiny new DOCSIS 3.0 modem to replace my old tech that they soon won't support. The downside is that, instead of having a modem instantly because I went out and bought one, I have to wait 4-6 weeks to receive it.

Until then, I thought I'd do a speed test with my current modem and compare it with the new one when I get it. Below are the numbers for my current modem test:


So my download speed is well below the maximum, coming in at 17.97 Mbps. My upload speed is right on target, reaching 4.95 Mbps. Which has me confused because I thought I needed a DOCSIS 3.0 modem to achieve this level of velocity. (I'm shrugging my shoulders as you read this.)

When I receive the new modem, I'll hook it up and run a test and post it here to show the differences between the two.

For anyone in a similar situation as mind, I suggest you upgrade, too. I guess it's a good thing. I really don't know. Who am I to argue with Xcast? But at least won't cost you anything to upgrade.

UPDATE: You can see the results of my upgrade by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Permanent Man #2: How The West Was Done is Live!


You have two choices. And you want to choose carefully.

You can:

1. Buy Planes today on Blu-Ray/DVD (I'm sure the kiddies will love it) or
2. You can buy the second episode of The Permanent Man

The choice is obvious.

If you're still having trouble deciding, maybe this will help:

The Permanent Man #2: How The West Was Done: Having successfully escaped imprisonment by the Agency and Agent Red, Patrick Hold finds himself in the care of a cowboy named Wes Cooper. The cowboy insists on taking Patrick to town to see a doctor for his injuries. But something stands in their way, and most likely, it’s death.

There will be a new episode of The Permanent Man released every Tuesday until the finale on January 28, 2014.

If you like coyotes, tumbleweeds, and people hanging on the side of a cliff for their dear lives, then this episode is for you!

You can pick up your copy now at the following locations: Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo Books | Smashwords

And remember, it's never too late to get into the series by starting with the first episode, Pilot.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Falling Babies Are Funny

Having a child is a roller coaster emotionally, physically, mentally, and whatever else you can think of.

When they're first born, they cause lots of sleep deprivation and tiredness. But that doesn't mean having a baby isn't fun.

Our third child, Parker, is five months old now. The other day, I tried getting him to sit up without me supporting him. He was able to do it somewhat, but ultimately, he's not ready for it. Check out the YouTube video below and you'll see what I mean.

And don't be afraid to laugh at the cuteness!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Permanent Man #1: Pilot is Live!


You have two choices. And you want to choose carefully.

You can:

1. Buy Man of Steel today on Blu-Ray/DVD or
2. You can buy the premiere episode of The Permanent Man

The choice is obvious.

If you are still having trouble deciding, maybe this will help:

The Permanent Man #1: Pilot: Private Investigator Patrick Hold expects to find the unwanted for his clients. But when the unwanted arrives at his door in the form of a government agent, it is anything but expected. The agent claims Patrick is a wanted person called the Permanent Man—someone unable to experience death—and arrests him. Worried he'll be imprisoned for life, Patrick attempts to escape ... but he might escape to the unwanted.

Beginning today, there will be a new episode of The Permanent Man released every Tuesday until the finale on January 28, 2014.

If you like scientists, Indians, unexpected love, and other stuff you like, this series is for you!

You can pick up your copy now at the following locations: Amazon | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo Books | Smashwords

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Permanent Man Blog #20: Mission Completion

Days before the release of the pilot episode of The Permanent Man, I can say that I have officially completed the first season.

That's right! 120,000 words, 12 episodes, 12 book covers, 12 book blurbs, and lots of edits have resulted in a series I'm extremely proud of and that's ready for worldwide release this Tuesday, November 12, 2013!

When I set out to write this serialized fiction, I had ups and downs. There were times when I considered stopping because it was, in my opinion, stupid to write in this fashion. There were times when I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced salami and everyone should write serialized fiction. There were times when I simply sipped some Scotch and didn't write at all. My wife and I had our third child during that time, too! I even fixed a broken TV. It's surely been an eventful writing experience.

But here we are after this long haul of 20 blog posts that chronicles the journey. I've learned a lot about the writing process with this series. Things that will help me as I write other stories in the future (even now as I'm deep into the third Fram Gage book).

To top it off, I received an email this week from someone I don't know. And they said they can't wait to read the series. That put all the hard work in perspective to have them reach out to me in that way.

A couple things of note:

  • If you were to buy every episode of the season, that would cost you $11.88. Or as I like to put it, $0.000099 since per word. You can't beat the cheap on that.
  • This will be the last The Permanent Man blog post. Starting Tuesday, I will post about the release of each episode and where you can buy it.

Thanks again to everyone who has read these posts and shown their support over the nearly eight months I've been blogging and writing the series!



Friday, October 25, 2013

Smashwords Interview with Desmond Shepherd

Smashwords has a nifty little thing for indie authors. It's called an interview and it's completely impersonal in that a series of questions generated by their web site can be filled in for the world to view. The indie author can even choose which questions they want to answer, how many, and create their own questions.

That's correct. The indie author can even interview themselves.

The interview is then posted on the author's Smashwords page.

All sarcasm aside, I do think this is a nice addition to the Smashwords site. So I decided to fill in my interview for Desmond Shepherd. I also decided to not take the interview seriously. I did 10 straight questions, using the ones generated by the Smashwords site.

Below is the interview. Feel free to view it on the Smashwords page, too. If you do, it will also show books I've written—all of which you should buy because this is a top notch interview that will surely convince you to read my stories.

Interview with Desmond Shepherd

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
The ones that help me sell books.
Describe your desk
It's got a computer, some papers, drawers. And it has paper clips. I know what you're thinking. "That's my desk!" It's true. I write my stories at your desk.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I can't say where I grew up. It wouldn't really fit my bio that is all over the Internet.
When did you first start writing?
Probably when I was a kid. First words? Probably Kindergarten or first grade. I wasn't really keeping track at the time because it didn't matter.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind my book? The story is the book. I'm not keeping any secrets about that.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Some stuff. And stuff that interests me. So, mostly stuff.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
They've contributed beyond my wildest and imagined dreams, resting finally in the more sane and plausible ones. Without them, I wouldn't exist. LITERALLY.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is not writing. It's being done. One of the most laborious things to do is write. It sucks the life out of you and your brain, maybe even those closely related to you. This I have yet to confirm.
What do your fans mean to you?
They mean a lot. Especially on a hot day. If I could only tell you how many times during the summer I say, "Man, I wish I had one fan right now. One fan would be real cool."
What are you working on next?
My next project. So it's not the one coming out shortly, it's the one after that.
Who are your favorite authors?
The ones who write good books. They're awesome. The ones who don't? Well, they aren't my favorites.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Permanent Man Blog #19: A Facebook Event

Less than a month from now, the premiere episode of The Permanent Man will be available worldwide. That's quite humbling. It's also quite awesome.

To celebrate this milestone, I've created a Facebook Event. All are welcome to join the event and invite their friends and family to join, too. For everyone that joins, I will be rewarding you for your support.

What's the reward?

On release day, I will let you know. Until then, I'm asking for as many people as possible to join the event. The more people that join, the more people benefit. Leading up to release day, I'll also do some other fun stuff.

So what are you waiting for? Show your support! Here's a direct link to the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/450193941767024/?ref_dashboard_filter=calendar

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Permanent Blog #18: Deleted Scenes

This past week saw a happy turn of events for The Permanent Man series.

Smashwords officially announced that they now allow serialized fiction. That means I can list all the episodes in the series and sell them through many distribution channels exactly as I intended. Did my blog post about them not accepting serialized fiction have something to do with this decision? I'll let you decide that for yourself.

So that's good.

On another note, I have completed writing The Permanent Man season. There is one adjustment to what I did. I intended to write 13 episodes but have settled on 12.

Why?

Because the season wrapped up nicely with episode 12. I did have an idea for episode 12 being something different and 13 being the finale. But that idea, though interesting and neat, didn't lend itself to a good story. Rather, it seemed like filler to me and I doubted the "coolness" of the idea would translate into something interesting to read.

Originally, this episode was to be released and called Dog's Eye View. As of now, it's a deleted scene that I might resurrect at some point in the future. Once you read the season, you should get an idea of what the episode would have been like.

So that's where things stand. The Permanent Man is in the editing stages now and more than half of the episodes are complete for publication.

Don't forget, you can pre-order the first episode now. For more details, see the episode guide page on this site.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Permanent Man Blog #17: The Free PreOrder

It's time to have a little fun with the pilot episode of The Permanent Man. It already is available for pre-order. What if it was a no-questions-asked-why-don't-I-just-go-ahead-and-buy-it-since-there-is-no-risk purchase?

So how can this be done?

Simple. Offer the pre-order for free.

For one week, that's exactly the case. From now until next week, October 8, 2013, you can pre-order The Permanent Man #1: Pilot at no risk to your wallet or loved ones. Purchasing the episode will guarantee you first day ownership on November 12, 2013. And far in the future you'll be able to say, "Way back when, I pre-ordered the first episode of The Permanent Man." And your great-grandchildren will say in return, "What's The Permanent Man?" And you'll say, "Well ... gee. You know what? I don't remember." Such fond memories.

The free pre-order is available at two retailers, and they are listed below. So what are you waiting for?

The Permanent Man #1: Pilot available for free pre-order at:

  • Google Play
  • Kobo  Get it while you can! A glitch in the system gives you the entire first episode for free. Once the publisher realized this, they ask to take it off of free pre-order.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Permanent Man Blog #16 - Stinkin' Smashwords

UPDATE #2: While my complaints below are still valid, I found a workaround that allows me to offer The Permanent Man on iTunes, and Barnes & Noble again ... and for pre-order.

UPADTE: The day after I posted this, Smashwords enabled a Series Manager function on their site. This allows authors to label their books as part of a series. Which makes the below complaint more valid and Smashwords' stance on serialized fiction quite confusing.

Everything has been going swimmingly with The Permanent Man series. I'm on pace to meet all my deadlines ahead of schedule, meaning each episode will release when intended.

But I hit a snag today. After successfully submitting four episodes to Smashwords and Smashwords accepting them for wider distribution to Apple and Barnes & Noble (which allow me to offer the episodes for pre-order), Smashwords has now asked me to unpublish everything I submitted. This includes episodes five through seven that I sent to them.

Why, you ask?

Because apparently, Smashwords doesn't accept serialized fiction. Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, wrote a blog about this and why it is the case. Among his reasons, it was that readers don't want unfinished works. All stories should have a beginning, middle, and end. The non-acceptance of serialized fiction leads me to think Smashwords assumes the writer is releasing the story in chapters that make up a novel.

The Permanent Man is not like this at all. I was very careful to make sure each episode can stand on its own. Granted, they do have a grander story arc that covers 13 episodes. And maybe this is Smashwords issue.

But don't trilogies do the same thing? Aren't they standalone stories with elements woven throughout each of the three novels that tie everything together, oftentimes reaching a single goal in the last novel that the first one initiated?

I think they are. In fact, that is serialized fiction in my opinion. And since it is such, that would require Smashwords to ask those authors to remove their books, including my Miscorrection Trilogy.

But that won't happen. It seems this pet peeve of Mark Coker's relates to the fiction being in the form of short stories of 8,000 to 10,000 words or less. That's a problem. But novels of 100,000 words? They'll take that.

I'd like to know Mark's thoughts on John Scalzi's The Human Division. That is serialized fiction released on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble and other popular e-book retailers. Would he have accepted The Human Division on Smashwords if Scalzi self-published it?

It's a double standard.

Don't get me wrong, I believe they should prevent "serialized" fiction that is simply a chapter from a novel from being accepted. That would lack a complete story. But I do believe they should accept serialized fiction that has a story with a beginning, middle, and end. This policy of theirs is quite annoying, especially since they were accepting my books for distribution for the past month but suddenly stopped.

What does this mean for The Permanent Man?

I'll no longer be able to offer the episodes for pre-order on iTunes or Barnes & Noble. Also, the series will not be available at all on iTunes.

Mark Coker claims he doesn't want to be a gatekeeper. But that's exactly what he's doing with this policy.

I say, let the readers decide they don't want the serialized fiction, Mark. Not you.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Permanent Man Blog #15 - Excerpt & PreOrder

A couple things are happening on The Permanent Man front lines.

First, I finished the draft for the last episode. However, I'm not done writing because I still have to write the penultimate episode. I did these two out of order for a specific reason that I don't want to say now. But when the time comes for that episode to release and you read it, you'll understand why I did it.

Second, the first episode of The Permanent Man, appropriately titled Pilot, is now available for pre-order. You can pick it up at these retailers:

And in case you're on the fence about purchasing the book before release, I have an excerpt for you to enjoy. This comes directly from Pilot and is The Tease portion of the story.



The Permanent Man #1: Pilot (Excerpt)
© 2013 Desmond Shepherd

If Patrick Hold failed in his mission over the next few minutes, his future would be bleak and his present would cease to exist.

The confines of a cabinet make it difficult to get comfortable. But Patrick Hold sat there, squirming every minute or so to readjust his legs, neck, or other limbs not made to squeeze into a ball.

It couldn’t be much longer. He timed this out several times. He had years of preparation that led to this exact moment. It would play out the way it did so long ago in his life.

But this time, his eyes viewed things from the other side.

Part of him wanted to change the course of events. He had the power to do it. But then where would he be?

No. Things had to transpire the way he remembered. It ensured his survival. It assured him that he would find his way home.

A slight creak happened outside the cabinet. Though quiet, footsteps approached where he was compressed. It was about to happen.

A loud bang sounded as the door to the room slammed open. This was followed by brief silence until a man’s voice spoke words that Patrick last heard over a century ago.

"Mr. Hold? There's nowhere for you to go. I don't want this to end badly for you. I just want to understand, that's all. Who you are. What you're capable of. But if you resist, I'll have no choice but to use force."

He recalled the moment from his past as it occurred now in his present. How scared he had been. How nervous and full of worry. But now he had confidence. These events were his to control.

"OK,” another voice said from outside the cabinet. A familiar voice, but different. Like hearing yourself for the first time on a recording. “I'm standing up now. I won't do anything."

This was the moment. The moment Patrick Hold set his life on a course he never expected to happen.

He pushed the cabinet door open with his hands. Sitting in front of him was a familiar face. One he saw every time he looked in a mirror.

Patrick Hold stared directly into the eyes of his past self.

The Permanent Man #1: Pilot will be available November 12, 2013. Pre-order now on iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, or Kobo Books.