Anthologies

 

Today my publisher (God that sounds good) is having a Kindle Free Day book promotion. There are two anthologies on offer, and I have a story in one of them. So beat a hasty path to Amazon an nab these puppies up for free while you can.

KINDLE LINKS

The Red Book

The Yin and Yang Book

WHAT MAKES CHINESE WHISPERINGS ANTHOLOGIES UNIQUE

Each anthology is a collection of interwoven short stories by emerging writers handpicked from across the English-speaking world. Unlike other anthologies, Chinese Whisperings is created in a sequential fashion and each story stands on its own merits while contributing to a larger, connected narrative.

The Red Book, the first of the anthologies has each successive writer taking a minor character from the preceding story and telling their story as the major character in the next story. Each writer also references events from the preceding story to tie the ten stories together. The anthology can be re forward, or backward, or begun in any place because of its circular nature.

The Yin and Yang Book (the one I’m in) takes the concept a step further, with the anthology played across parallel airport universes stemming from a decision to retrieve a stolen painting or to leave without it. It’s a sliding doors/spider web hybrid. Readers will see common characters slipping across the two universes, some of them behaving in slightly different ways. The parallel universes are anchored between a common prologue and epilogue.

The Red Book

In a small North American university town ten lives are intersecting…

Miranda reaps what she has sown.
Mitchell understands there is no resisting fate.
Clint dreams of forging a violent destiny.
Elizabeth is about to make a discovery.
Robin hides a terrible secret.
Simon hasn’t slept in ten days.
Sam is pursued by nightmares.
Susie has lost everything.
David has just been found.
Jake atones for past evils.

Ten ordinary people struggling to keep their sanity in an insane world.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Mercurial Jodi Cleghorn (Ed)
Something Mean in the Dream Scene Jason Coggins
Kraepelin’s Child Annie Evett
Discovery Paul Servini
Innocence Tina Hunter
Not Myself Dale Challener Roe
Not My Name Jasmine Gallant
Out Of The Darkness Rob Diaz II
Heartache Emma Newman
One in the Chamber Paul Anderson (Ed)

The Yin and Yang Book

7.30AM. THE INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL OF A MAJOR EUROPEAN AIRPORT IS POISED ON THE BRINK OF CHAOS.

7.35AM. PANGAEAN AIRLINES, EUROPE’S PREMIER CARRIER, IS PLACED INTO RECEIVERSHIP, CANCELLING ALL FLIGHTS AND IMPOUNDING THOUSANDS OF ITEMS OF LUGGAGE.

The Yin and Yang Book follows the complicated web of events stemming from a suitcase, a stolen van Gogh painting, one woman on the run from her employers and the consequences of her decision to stay or go.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prologue Jodi Cleghorn (ed)
Three Monkeys Paul Servini
Three Rings Chris Chartrand
Dogs of War Tony Noland
This Be the Verse Dan Powell
Providence Dale Challener Roe
No Passengers Allowed J.M. Strother
Thirteen Feathers Rob Diaz II
One Behind the Eye Richard Jay Parker
Chase the Day Jason Coggins
Somewhere to Pray (Kurush) Benjamin Solah
The Guilty One Emma Newman
Excess Baggage Carrie Clevenger
Where the Heart Is Tina Hunter
The Other Side of Limbo Claudia Osmond
Freedom Laura Eno
Cobalt Blue Jasmine Gallant
The Strangest Comfort Icy Sedgwick
Lost and Found Jen Brubacher
Kanyasulkam Annie Evett
Double Talk Lily Mulholland
Epilogue Paul Anderson (Ed)

You can use the Twitter hashtag #chinesewhisperings to help spread the word.

Happy reading.

~jon

 

Cover art for the Yin & Yang BookThe big day has arrived – today marks the official launch of Chinese Whisperings: the Yin and Yang Book. I am pretty excited about it since I have a story included. My story is titled “No Passengers Allowed.”

Yin and Yang is the brain child of Jodi Cleghorn and Paul Anderson of eMergent Publishing. It is an interesting experiment in collaborative writing, crossing the bounds between an anthology and a novel. Each story is complete in and unto itself, but they are all interwoven with other stories throughout the book, with authors integrating characters, situations, and time lines into something much more than a collection of short stories. As I said, it is almost a novel, with the Prolog and Epilog wrapping all into a unified whole.

I know many of my readers here are familiar with #FridayFlash and as such you will find many authors in this collection you will recognize. I am proud to be sharing the space between the covers with the likes of Jen Brubacher, Christopher Chartrand, Carrie Clevenger, and many more I am sure you know. Counting the editors who contribute via way of the prolog and epilog, there are 22 authors in all, evenly divided between men and women – thus the Yin and Yang of the title.

You can join us all over at the official Amazon chart rush page on Facebook, or follow the live tweets of the frustrated passengers (characters in the book) as they watch their air carrier, the fictional Pangaean Airlines, collapse around them. The hashtag for that event on Twitter is #pangaean if you’d like to follow the madness. My character, Sam Harris (if that really is his name), would not be the type to call attention to himself by live tweeting, so I won’t be participating in that (not to mention that my boss would probably be none too pleased). But it should be fun if you can sneak a peek now and then.

You can buy Yin and Yang from many fine outlets, but we actually make the most when books are purchased directly from eMergent’s bookstore. Plus, if you by directly from eMergent you get a free ebook download when you purchase the paperback. Other outlets include Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and Book Depository. The links can be found below.

One word of caution — the next time you fly, don’t annoy the guy in the next seat. He just might be Sam Harris.

The All Important Links:

eMergent’s Bookstore http://chinesewhisperings.com/book-shop/paperbacks/
Book Depository http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Chinese-Whisperings-Paul-Anderson/9780980744699
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chinese-Whisperings-Yin-Yang-Book/dp/0980744695/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322511930&sr=1-1
Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/Chinese-Whisperings-Yin-Yang-Book/dp/0980744695/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322511824&sr=1-2
Amazon Canada http://www.amazon.ca/Chinese-Whisperings-Yin-Yang-Book/dp/0980744695/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322512063&sr=1-1

~jon

 

Chart Rush LogoToday, Tuesday May 17th, marks the launch of 100 Stories for Queensland, a wonderful anthology of flash fiction in support of a good cause. In the face of the devastating floods early this year in Australia, the international writing community came together under the impress of eMergent Publishing to produce a collection of 100 uplifting tales that cross all genres.

There is something for everyone in this collection. Many of my writing associates from the Friday Flash community (#fridayflash) have stories included. Originally conceived by Trevor Bledshaw, the collection was carefully collected, judged, and edited by Trevor, Jodi Cleghorn, and a staff of volunteer judges and editors to ensure story telling at its best.

Pick up a copy today to help this good cause make it to the top of the Amazon daily ratings, which in turn helps garner yet more attention.

100 Stories for Queensland sells for $19.99(US) and ₤9.99. All proceeds from the sale of 100 Stories for Queensland go to the Premier’s Flood Appeal. It is available from Amazon US, and Amazon UK. Please support this terrific cause. And pop in on their Facebook event to wish them well.
~jon

 

We had 61 stories this week with two debuts. Please welcome Gwen Newpenny and Lisamarie Lamb to the wonderful world of Friday Flash.Take a few minutes to drop in on them to read their stories and leave a comment or two. Last week we were late, now this week a bit early (actually, on time, but that happens so rarely that it seems early). At any rate, because I’m posting a bit earlier than a lot of people have become accustomed to I expect we’ll have several additions, so check back later.

If your story is not in the listing please visit the Collector and add the details. Then let me know so I know to add them. Thank you to everyone, authors and readers alike, for participating in Friday Flash. ~jon

The Stories

13 Words Around the Campfire by Aaron Conaway @M_Gideon ~ Adventure ~

A Day At The Beach by Harry B. Sanderford @HBSanderford ~ Slice of Life ~

A house in Pride: PT 9 by Gwen Newpenny @GwenNewPenny ~ Fantasy ~ Debut

A Rude Awakening by Sam Adamson @FutureNostalgic ~ Horror ~

An Evening Walk by Sam Pennington @Samtales ~ Slice of Life ~

An Unintended Consequence by Alex F. Fayle @alexfayle ~ Fantasy ~

Ballad of the bad luck robot by adamkeeper @adamkeeper ~ Science Fiction ~

Bay City Runaway by David Wilson-Burns @fictdoodles ~ Literary ~

Bombs Away: Part 2 by Nick Bryan @NickMB ~ Action ~

Boy-Cousin: The Marvel by Deanna Schrayer @deannaschrayer ~ Slice of Life ~

Brazen & Down Weird Way by Susan May James @yamnasus ~ Unspecified ~

Bullet Time and the Beer Taxi by Adam Maxwell @ISayItsAdam ~ Humor ~

Clock Strikes by James Tallett @thefourpartland ~ Unspecified ~

Confessions From An Apocalypse by Melissa L. Webb @melissalwebb ~ Horror ~

Copycat Commute Concerto by Alex Carrick @Alex_Carrick ~ Humor ~

Crash by Catherine Russell @ganymeder ~ Slice of Life ~

Date Night by Dawn Kirby @SecretsWriter ~ Paranormal ~

Daughter of the Wind by Katee Robert @katee_robert ~ Fantasy ~

Dead Man’s Hand 1 by Icy Sedgwick @icypop ~ Western ~

Departing Gift by J. M. Strother @jmstro ~ Fantasy ~

Doctor Crow by John Xero @xeroverse ~ Fantasy ~

Down With Einstein! by John McDonnell @McDonnellWrite ~ Humor ~

Epic by John Xero @xeroverse ~ Fantasy ~

Evolution by Rachel Blackbirdsong @RBlackbirdsong ~ Literary ~

Fever Dreams by Splintered Lands @SplinteredLands ~ Fantasy ~

Game On? by Susan Helene Gottfried @WestofMars ~ Slice of Life ~

GONE by Linda Simoni-Wastila @drwasy ~ Literary ~

Goodbye by Gaz Hunter @GazHunter ~ Slice of Life ~

Gross Memory by Aidan Fritz @AidanFritz ~ Science Fiction ~

Her Dog Day’s Just Begun by Cathy Webster @Matthiasville ~ Unspecified ~

I Watched for 50 Years by Lisamarie Lamb @lisamarie20010 ~ Slice of Life ~ Debut

Illusion by Susan May James @yamnasus ~ Unspecified ~

Interplanetary Domination by Rebecca Emin @RebeccaEmin ~ Unspecified ~

Is There A Balm? by Maria Kelly @mkelly317 ~ Slice of Life ~

Lost and Found by Lara Dunning @LaraDunning ~ Fantasy ~

Managing Up by CheckedOut @iamcheckedout ~ Horror ~

Meet me at Union Station by Denise Covey @pichetsinparis ~ Thriller ~

Memory by Marc Nash @ExisleMoll ~ Experimental ~

Nineteen Again by Emma Kerry @emma_kerry ~ Unspecified ~

Nothing by Timothy P. Remp @Tim_Remp_writer ~ Horror ~

Of Death and Smiles by J. Timothy King @JTimothyKing ~ Unspecified ~

Party Scene by Neil Shurley @thatneilguy ~ Unspecified ~

Plagiarism ? by Steve Green @n/a ~ Unspecified ~

Regular Ordinary Guy by Dan Powell @danpowfiction ~ Cross Genre ~

Standard Policy by Stephen Book @StephenBook ~ Unspecified ~

The Caretaker by Jeremy Warach @jwarach ~ Unspecified ~

The God Box by D. Paul Angel @D_PaulAngel ~ Paranormal ~

THE LOCAL HEROES: Con! by Al Bruno III @albruno3 ~ Adventure ~

The Lucky Slot Machine by Eric J. Krause @ericjkrause ~ Unspecified ~

The Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange. Chapter Twelve by Justin Davies @flyingscribbler ~ Humor ~

THE POTION PEDDLER by COLIN JAMES @CRJAMES55 ~ Historical ~

The Woman Who Loved Men by J. Timothy King @JTimothyKing ~ Romance ~

Torment of Mr. Yellowbelly, The by John Wiswell @Wiswell ~ Humor ~

Train Day by Mari Juniper @marirandomities ~ Slice of Life ~

True Power by Kari Fay @morganafiolett ~ Unspecified ~

Vinny’s Verdict by David Robinson (Flatcap) @Flatcap_sez ~ Humor ~

We Will Be Happy by Tony Noland @TonyNoland ~ Science Fiction ~

We’re Tight by Thom Gabrukiewicz @tgabrukiewicz ~ Unspecified ~

Wonky, a story from the world of Claire Morgane by Johanna Harness @johannaharness ~ Fantasy ~

Yolanda (Part 2) by Rol Hirst @rolhirst ~ Horror ~

Zombies Calling by Thomas Pluck @tommysalami ~ Horror ~

In The News

Michael J. Solender debuted his first national feature story. The March edition of Southern Living features his story, “Date Night
in Charlotte.” You can read his announcement over at the Not, and you can read the full length story here (a PDF download). Congratulations, Michael.

I was sorry to miss the launch of Jodi Cleghorn’s newest collection in her Literary Mix Tapes, “Nothing But Flowers.” Still, I can’t let the event go by without a mention. Congratulations, Jodi, and congrats to many Friday Flash writers who I know are included. “Nothing But Flowers” gives a unique take on the old Valentine’s Day theme.  “Nothing But Flowers” will retail at A$4.99    Paperbacks will be for sale in three different currencies: You can buy your copy of “Nothing But Flowers” and support a good cause here. The ebook retails at A$14.99, and the paperback, due out shortly, will retail at US$14.99 and ₤4.99. 100% of the proceeds for both the ebook and treebook versions go to the Grantham Flood Support Fund. Best of luck, Jodi, and congrats to all involved.

The wrap

Thanks to all our readers. We love you. And please, if you enjoy a story leave comments when you visit. Writers love feedback almost as much as chocolate. Maybe more! Then go tell your friends to read it too. Help these writers grow.

You can subscribe to the #fridayflash hashtag (external link) on Twitter every week for more great flash fiction.

We’re on Facebook (external link) too.
~jon

 

We had 71 stories this past week with 2 debuts. Please give Sam Pennington, and G.K. Terence a warm Friday Flash welcome. Be sure to drop by to say hi and leave ‘em a comment.

I’m really late with this report, so I won’t be adding any late comers. If your story is not on the list you can add it to the Collector and I’ll add it to next week’s list which will probably work out better for you anyway. I won’t even make any silly promises about not being late in the future as my nose is quite long enough already. I always have good intentions, but you know where that road leads…

We do have a lot of great news in the news section, so be sure to scroll down past the listings to read up on it. Yes, there will be a quiz. :o
~jon

The Stories

A Boy’s Best Friend by Emma Kerry @emma_kerry ~ Unspecified ~

A Man Called Truth: The 70′s Job by Ramsey Lyons @ramslyons ~ Horror ~

Anticipation of Happiness, a short story from the world of Claire Morgane by Johanna Harness @johannaharness ~ Fantasy ~

Archer by Chance @Chance4321 ~ Humor ~

Being Well Disposed by Nick Bryan @NickMB ~ Humor ~

Black Hole by Laura Eno @LauraEno ~ Humor ~

Boo by David Robinson @DW96 ~ Humor ~

BUNS OF STEEL by Absolutely*Kate @AbsolutelyKate ~ Adventure ~

Butterfly Woman by Mike Robertson @miker_lazlo ~ Magical Realism ~

Campfire Tales by Melissa L. Webb @melissalwebb ~ Horror ~

Cathedral by Rachel Carter @rachcarter ~ Slice of Life ~

Coffee and Cotton Candy by P.J. Kaiser @pj_kaiser ~ Literary ~

Cup of Via by Stephen Book @StephenBook ~ Crime ~

Family Matters by A.M. Harte @am_harte ~ Horror ~

Goliath Must Be Slain by Maria Kelly @mkelly317 ~ Slice of Life ~

High rollers by Steve Green @n/a ~ Unspecified ~

I’ll Fly Away by Tim VanSant @TimVanSant ~ Fantasy ~

In Dreams – Part 2 by Dawn Kirby @SecretsWriter ~ Paranormal ~

In The Eye Of The Beholder by Harry B. Sanderford & Zelda Martin @HBSanderford ~ Humor ~

Jack by Diandra Linnemann @LaCaffeinata ~ Unspecified ~

Just Beyond the Bend by Donald Conrad @NoddlaNocdar ~ Humor ~

Larry Goes To The Future by John McDonnell @McDonnellWrite ~ Humor ~

Letting Go by Lindsey Chapman @Elsieraven ~ Unspecified ~

Lucky Noodle by G. P. Ching @gpching ~ Romance ~

Maneater by Icy Sedgwick @icypop ~ Horror ~

Missed Message by Aaron Conaway @M_Gideon ~ Suspense ~

Mr. Goliath by John Wiswell @Wiswell ~ Humor ~

ORDINARY WONDERS AND BLEAK MIRACLES: Waiting For Zachary by Al Bruno III @albruno3 ~ Romance ~

Other People by Kari Fay @morganafiolett ~ Unspecified ~

Our Modern Crusoe by Thom Gabrukiewicz @tgabrukiewicz ~ Unspecified ~

QUIZ NIGHT by COLIN JAMES @CRJAMES55 ~ Slice of Life ~

Seeing The Shadow by Sam Pennington @SamTales ~ Slice of Life ~ Debut

Shadows by Susan May James @yamnasus ~ Unspecified ~

Silent Lies by Annie Evett @annieEvett ~ Slice of Life ~

Simple Geometry by Tony Noland @TonyNoland ~ Paranormal ~

Smokers by Orjan Westin @Cunobaros ~ Slice of Life ~

Snowbathing by Stephen Hewitt @ThoughtMonkeyZ ~ Magical Realism ~

So I Hear… by Monica Marier @lil_monmon ~ Slice of Life ~

Song of the Sea by Seleste deLaney @selestedelaney ~ Fantasy ~

Starlight by John Xero @xeroverse ~ Science Fiction ~

Stone Cold by Mark Kerstetter @markerstetter ~ Slice of Life ~

The “Bedtime” Story by Beverly @ TheBevelededge @Bevimus ~ Slice of Life ~

The ‘Oh I Wish I’d Been There’ Club by Alex Carrick @Alex_Carrick ~ Humor ~

The Artist’s Defence by Emma Newman @emapocalyptic ~ Suspense ~

The Beef Quilt by David Wilson-Burns @fictdoodles ~ Humor ~

The Blindside by Michael A Tate @Michael_A_Tate ~ Slice of Life ~

The Conversation by Rachel Blackbirdsong @RBlackbirdsong ~ Literary ~

The Devil’s Detail by Virginia Moffatt @VirginiaMoffatt ~ Unspecified ~

The Flower Eaters by Aidan Fritz @AidanFritz ~ Fantasy ~

The Friend I’ve Met by Michael J. Solender @mjsolender ~ Literary ~

The Letter by Danielle La Paglia @Dannigrrl5 ~ Horror ~

The Manager by John Xero @xeroverse ~ Cross Genre ~

The Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange. Chapter 10. by Justin Davies @flyingscribbler ~ Humor ~

The Ouija Board of Love by Eric J. Krause @ericjkrause ~ Unspecified ~

The Perch by J. M. Strother @jmstro ~ Slice of Life ~

The Return of the Fire by Magaly Guerrero @PaganCulture ~ Fantasy ~

The Sacrament by Lara Dunning @LaraDunning ~ Literary ~

The Sweetest Trolls #12 – The Knight Revealed by Mari Juniper @marirandomities ~ Fantasy ~

The Three PM Bus by Brinda Banerjee @brindabanjee73 ~ Slice of Life ~

The UCF Stories #35: The Key To It All by Sam Adamson @FutureNostalgic ~ Fantasy ~

Threshold by James Tallett @thefourpartland ~ Fantasy ~

To Victory by Laura Cummins @jacsmom ~ Slice of Life ~

Touched by G.K. Terence @GKTerence ~ Paranormal ~

Transformations by J.E. Ignatius McNeill @dreamrock ~ Fantasy ~

Trapped by Splintered Lands @SplinteredLands ~ Fantasy ~

Undead Dentistry by Jason Warden @shadowCastAudio ~ Horror ~

when i needed you by John Delgadillo @jcunknown ~ Slice of Life ~

WHITE by Linda Simoni-Wastila @drwasy ~ Literary ~

Why’d You Do It, Tommy? by Rol Hirst @rolhirst ~ Horror ~

Winds of Change by Angie C. @techtigger ~ Fantasy ~

Writing into the Darkness by G.K. Terence @GKTerence ~ Horror ~ Debut

In The News

A. M. Harte is proud to announce her debut ebook release, “Hungry For You”? It is billed as a haunting speculative fiction collection about love and zombies. A number of the stories included are revised or expanded versions some past FridayFlash pieces, but new surprises also await you. You can find more details and a links to the book at the Hungry For You page. Be sure to click through. Congrats, Anna.

Genevieve Ching is happy to announce she now has a deal with DarkSide Publishing. Yes it’s true, Genevieve has gone over to the dark side, and that’s a good thing. She will be joining their cooperative of authors and artists. Her book, “The Soulkeepers” will debut in 2011 under the DarkSide label. For more details about DarkSide Publishing, please visit their website.  Congratulations, Genevieve.

Karen Schindler informs me that both she and Laura Eno have stories in the 2010 edition of 52 Stitches. Karen’s story, Aftertaste, is on page 73 and Laura’s story, Dangerous Premonitions, is on page 44. You can read Karen’s full announcement here. Karen also informs us that the proceeds from the sale of the book are going to go to the trust fund that was set up for Jamie Eyberg’s children. Jamie and his wife died suddenly last year, so it is a most worthy cause.

Speaking of worthy causes, Trevor Belshaw and Jodi Cleghorn are producing a wonderful flash fiction collection, 100 Stories for Queensland, the proceeds of which will go to the Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal. But you already knew that. What you may not have know is that many Friday Flash participants have stories accepted for inclusion in the collection, which just goes to show what a great group of folks you are. At the risk of offending someone via omission, congratulations to Sam Adamson, Tomara Armstrong, Alan Baxter, Stephen Book, Christopher Chartrand, G.P. Ching, Kari Fay, Emma Kerry, Monica Marier, Gracie Motley, Emma Newman, and Julio Ricardo Varela. You have proven yourselves to be both talented and generous with your talents. You are all to be commended.
~jon

The wrap

Thanks to all our readers. We love you. And please, if you enjoy a story leave comments when you visit. Writers love feedback almost as much as chocolate. Maybe more! Then go tell your friends to read it too. Help these writers grow.

You can subscribe to the #fridayflash hashtag (external link) on Twitter every week for more great flash fiction.

We’re on Facebook (external link) too.
~jon

 

I have been debating with myself about the possibility of doing a Best of Friday Flash – Volume Two. But before I even consider doing a call for submissions I thought it best to share some information about how we are doing on Best of Friday Flash – Volume One and then get the take of the community at large. This way we can all consider it with our eyes wide open with no delusions concerning the fame and fortune we might expect.

As you may recall we decided that the proceeds of Volume One sales would go into a kitty for the promotion of Friday Flash, most likely to pay for prizes for readers and/or writers contests. Of course the nature of the prizes would depend on the amount of revenue we generated.

So, how’d we do?

Here are the numbers as of today:

Ebook sales via Smashwords
23 units sold for a royalty of $50.98

Physical book sales via Amazon/CreateSpace
50 units sold for a royalty of $16.90

Grand Totals: 73 units sold for $67.88 in gross sales.

If we were paying the authors on a shares basis that means each person would have made just about a buck. In other words, don’t quit your day jobs.

So my question to all of you in the Friday Flash community is simply this: In light of these sales figures do you want to do another Best of Friday Flash anthology? And if so, what do you want to do with those proceeds?

Whether or not we do another round of the Best of Friday Flash is in your hands. I expect sales of Volume One will continue to trickle in whether or not we produced a Volume Two, and we can use those proceeds as originally planed to fund prizes for Friday Flash writer’s contests. If we do decide to do a Volume Two then we need to decide what we will do with those proceeds – plow them back into Friday Flash promotional activities, or pay them out on a shares basis to each contributor?

Please use the comments to give your take on both questions:
1) Do we delve into BOFF – 2?
2) If so, do we use the proceeds from BOFF – 2 for promotional events, or do we pay them out to the contributors?
It’s all up to you.
~jon

 

Sorry for the lateness of this week’s report. But you know what they say, better late than never. I just got swamped at work and home with projects last week so had no energy to attack the report. Sorry to keep you all waiting.

It was a great week. We had 69 stories including 5 debut participants. Please take the time to give a proper welcome to Dawn Kirby, John Xero (who makes his debut with two), Randal Houle, D.L. Owens, and CheckedOut. Drop in on them and leave some good comments and encouragement.  It’s always wonderful to have new folks join in on the fun.

If your story is not in the listing visit the Collector and add the details. At this late point I’ll hold off and add it to next week’s list, which I hope to get out in a more timely manner. Thanks everyone, writers and readers alike, for participating in #FridayFlash. You’re a terrific crew. ~jon

The Stories

YOU DIRTY RATS by Absolutely*Kate and Harry B Sanderford @AbsolutelyKate ~ Crime ~

Where the hell is Tony’s #FridayFlash? by Tony Noland @TonyNoland ~ Humor ~

Wednesday Night At Home In Front Of The TV by Cathy Webster (Olliffe) @Matthiasville ~ ~

Used Brooms by Eric J. Krause @ericjkrause ~ Humor ~

Used by Dawn Kirby @SecretsWriter ~ Paranormal ~ Debut

Unexpected by Neil Shurley @thatneilguy ~ Unspecified ~

Two Very Short Stories by Deborah Bundy @DeborahKBundy ~ Literary ~

The Way It Is by Linda Simoni-Wastila @drwasy ~ Literary ~

The Umbrella Flowers by Adam Byatt @revhappiness ~ Slice of Life ~

The UCF Stories #34: Twinkle in the Pixies’ Den by Sam Adamson @FutureNostalgic ~ Fantasy ~

The Rehearsal Dinner by Catherine Russell @ganymeder ~ Humor ~

The Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange. Chapter 8 by Justin Davies @flyingscribbler ~ Humor ~

The Heave by Denis Vaughan @inshin ~ Slice of Life ~

The Day The Earth Stood Selfish by Rol Hirst @rolhirst ~ Horror ~

The Danni by John Wiswell @Wiswell ~ Humor ~

The Castle by Icy Sedgwick @icypop ~ Paranormal ~

The Best Defense by Angie C. @techtigger ~ Fantasy ~

The Audition by Susan Cross @SusanJCross ~ Slice of Life ~

That Faithful Friend by Alison Wells @alisonwells ~ Slice of Life ~

TERRACE-ORISM by COLIN JAMES @CRJAMES55 ~ Slice of Life ~

Table Saw Slam by Donald Conrad @NoddlaNocdar ~ Slice of Life ~

Run With It #4 by Laura Cummins @jacsmom ~ Unspecified ~

Riding pillion by Amanda Scotney @rasplemjelly ~ Unspecified ~

Power’s Sunday Slam by Julio Ricardo Varela @julito77 ~ Literary ~

Platter and Glance by Alex Carrick @Alex_Carrick ~ Literary ~

Phases by Thom Gabrukiewicz @tgabrukiewicz ~ Unspecified ~

Peace in Paradise by Mike Robertson @miker_lazlo ~ Literary ~

Pan by John Xero @xeroverse ~ Science Fiction ~ Debut

P Is For Peter Who Peeked At The Pixies by Kari Fay @morganafiolett ~ Fantasy ~

No one, Really by Randal Houle @randalhoule ~ Literary ~ Debut

Nebi’s Secret by Gracie Motley @gracecrone ~ Horror ~

My Friend by James Tallett @thefourpartland ~ Unspecified ~

Mount Tamalpais by Aidan Fritz @AidanFritz ~ Magical Realism ~

Medushair by Dan Powell @danpowfiction ~ Magical Realism ~

Master by D.L. Owens @keikomushi ~ Fantasy ~ Debut

Love like a Shark by John Xero @xeroverse ~ Science Fiction ~ Debut

Live Dangerously by Harry B. Sanderford @HBSanderford ~ Humor ~

Lily Lillian by Jodi Cleghorn @jodicleghorn ~ Slice of Life ~

Like a Bullet in the Back by Alex F. Fayle @alexfayle ~ Paranormal ~

Left To Their Own Devices by J. M. Strother @jmstro ~ Science Fiction ~

Killer Idea by Melissa L. Webb @melissalwebb ~ Horror ~

Just a Man by Seleste deLaney @selestedelaney ~ Unspecified ~

In the Wings by David Wilson-Burns @fictdoodles ~ Slice of Life ~

In Absentia Luci by Valerie Valdes @valerievaldes ~ Fantasy ~

I Talk to Dead People by Denise Covey @pichetsinparis ~ Paranormal ~

Hunger by Jason Warden @shadowCastAudio ~ Horror ~

Humble Abode by Rachel Carter @rachcarter ~ Slice of Life ~

Heroes Wanted (Conclusion) by Stephen Book @StephenBook ~ Western ~

Hell Hath No Fury by Maria Kelly @mkelly317 ~ Horror ~

Greener Fields by Gary Harmon @Gary_Harmon ~ Humor ~

Glacial Meltdown by Tim VanSant @TimVanSant ~ Suspense ~

Gemma by Janet Aldrich (TEC4) @TEC4_Cleveland ~ Magical Realism ~

Gelatinized by Johanna Harness @johannaharness ~ Fantasy ~

Gambler’s Fallacy by Tiffany Herr @herrvoice ~ Slice of Life ~

Flight of the Raven Part 2 by Lara Dunning @LaraDunning ~ Fantasy ~

Diary by Anke Wehner @Anke ~ Fantasy ~

Delirium by Beverly @ TheBevelededge @Bevimus ~ Unspecified ~

Cold Summer by Deanna Schrayer @deannaschrayer ~ Literary ~

Coffee and Cigarettes by Anneke Klein @Labarca ~ Unspecified ~

Cautionary Tale by Monica Marier @lil_monmon ~ Humor ~

Better To Have Loved and Lost by G.P. Ching @gpching ~ Romance ~

Art & Crafts Home by Brinda Banerjee @brindabanjee73 ~ Magical Realism ~

An Introduction to Jill by CheckedOut @iamcheckedout ~ Paranormal ~ Debut

Alchemy by Laura Eno @LauraEno ~ Humor ~

A Viking In The Kitchen by John McDonnell @McDonnellWrite ~ Humor ~

A Typical Night’s Sleep by Aaron Conaway @M_Gideon ~ Humor ~

A man’s need by Steve Green @n/a ~ Science Fiction ~

A Good Day by Rachel Blackbirdsong @RBlackbirdsong ~ Literary ~

A bit of a blur by Vincent Eaton @VincentEaton ~ Cross Genre ~

In the News

The prolific and talented Larua Eno is interviewed over at A Moment With Mystee. That gal gets around. Seems she’s always popping up somewhere. So, for more insights into Laura’s inner workings and her approach to writing drop in and read what she has to say. She can be quite inspiring. Nice interview, Laura.

One last reminder as the deadline draws near — 100 Stories for Queensland is accepting submissions thru Friday, the 28th of January. If you have a well edited story between 500 and 1000 words in length get you to their submission form before it is too late.  Be sure to read the submission guidelines before submitting but note that stories you have posted previously as a Friday Flash are eligible. What a deal.

The wrap

Thanks to all our readers. We love you. And please, if you enjoy a story leave comments when you visit. Writers love feedback almost as much as chocolate. Maybe more! Then go tell your friends to read it too. Help these writers grow.

You can subscribe to the #fridayflash hashtag (external link) on Twitter every week for more great flash fiction.

We’re on Facebook (external link) too.
~jon

 

We had 64 stories this week including 2 debuts. Please drop in on Beverly Fox and Jamie Hahn to read and comment on their stories. If your story is not in the listing please visit the Collector and add the details. Then drop me a line to let me know and I’ll add it to the listing.

We have only one news item this week and it is a very special one. Please take the time to read it. Thanks. ~jon

The Stories

A Kingdom of Decisions by Brainhaze @Brainhazewp ~ Slice of Life ~

A Large Slice of Fire by Tony Noland @TonyNoland ~ Slice of Life ~

Abby by Laura Rachel Fox @LostLibraryGirl ~ Suspense ~

Alien Invasion by Emma Kerry @emma_kerry ~ Unspecified ~

Arrival by Melissa L. Webb @melissalwebb ~ Paranormal ~

Barbara’s Final Smoke by Brinda Banerjee @brindabanjee73 ~ Slice of Life ~

Boys by Alex F. Fayle @alexfayle ~ Fantasy ~

CHOPPER JOHN by COLIN JAMES @CRJAMES55 ~ Unspecified ~

Clara Belle by Harry B. Sanderford @HBSanderford ~ Experimental ~

Designated hitter by Karen Schindler @karenfrommentor ~ Horror ~

Dogcatcher by Thom Gabrukiewicz @tgabrukiewicz ~ Unspecified ~

Dollars and Sense by Valerie Valdes @valerievaldes ~ Humor ~

Driving by Michael A TAte @Michael_A_Tate ~ Literary ~

Flight of the Raven by Lara Dunning @LaraDunning ~ Fantasy ~

Freshly Baked by J. M. Strother @jmstro ~ Suspense ~

Going down by Steve Green @n/a ~ Humor ~

Guardian Angels by Monica Marier @lil_monmon ~ Paranormal ~

Heartbroken is better than alone by Galen Sanford @galensanford ~ Literary ~

Heroes Wanted (Part 9) by Stephe Book @StephenBook ~ Western ~

Hoodies from the Shadow Glass by Donald Conrad @NoddlaNocdar ~ Fantasy ~

Humane by J.E. Ignatius McNeill @dreamrock ~ Science Fiction ~

I Is For Ida Who Ignored The Iguanas by Kari Fay @morganafiolett ~ Unspecified ~

In a different time… by KjM @kevinjmackey ~ Slice of Life ~

In Memoriam, Life Magnifico by Alex Carrick @Alex_Carrick ~ Slice of Life ~

Jenny’s News by Catherine Russell @ganymeder ~ Humor ~

JL by Julio Ricardo Varela @julito77 ~ Literary ~

Larry Wins A Million by John McDonnell @McDonnellWrite ~ Humor ~

Last Comic Standing by Beverly Fox @Bevimus ~ Horror ~ Debut(Yes)

Lost and Found Street Hustle by David Wilson-Burns @fictdoodles ~ Slice of Life ~

Magic Running in the Family by Anke Wehner @Anke ~ Unspecified ~

Magic Words by Susan May James @yamnasus ~ Unspecified ~

Man, boy, truck, eighteen months by Vincent Eaton @VincentEaton ~ Cross Genre ~

Mister Fix-It by Linda Simoni-Wastila @drwasy ~ Literary ~

MOONGLOW by Absolutely*Kate @AbsolutelyKate ~ Romance ~

Muses by Aidan Fritz @AidanFritz ~ Horror ~

No more than usual by Rachel Carter @rachcarter ~ Slice of Life ~

Nobody’s Fault by Virginia Moffatt @Virginia.Moffatt ~ Unspecified ~

Old Granny by Gracie Motley @gracecrone ~ Horror ~

Phoebe’s Folly by Michael J. Solender @mjsolender ~ Horror ~

Pile Up by Rol Hirst @rolhirst ~ Slice of Life ~

Pink Sari by Cathy Webster (Olliffe) @Matthiasville ~ Unspecified ~

Possible Origins for Him. 11. by John Wiswell @Wiswell ~ Crime ~

Release by Jessica Rosen @jessrosenbooks ~ Paranormal ~

Rhino Rampage by Tom Allman @yoohootom ~ Slice of Life ~

Stained Glass by Jamie Hahn @thisjamie ~ Unspecified ~ Debut(Yes)

Sudoku in the Sky with Diamonds by Eric J. Krause @ericjkrause ~ Humor ~

Technomancy by Angie C. @techtigger ~ Fantasy ~

The Blessed Gift by Mike Robertson @miker_lazlo ~ Experimental ~

The Body of Your Dreams by Icy Sedgwick @icypop ~ Humor ~

The Decision by Lynda Sinclair @sudnleavalable ~ Unspecified ~

The Desert Moon by Gary Harmon @Gary_Harmon ~ Literary ~

The Gathering (Part One) by Aaron Conaway @M_Gideon ~ Magical Realism ~

The Ground by Clive Martyn @clivem ~ Slice of Life ~

The Lazarus Experiment: Part II by Christopher Michael Bell @ChrisBell85 ~ Science Fiction ~

The Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange. Chapter 7 by Justin Davies @flyingscribbler ~ Humor ~

The Nick Of Time (and other abrasions): Come Together by Al Bruno III @albruno3 ~ Paranormal ~

The Other Church by Denis Vaughan @inshin ~ Humor ~

The Picture by Danielle La Paglia @Dannigrrl5 ~ Horror ~

The Secret Place by Michelle Dennis Evans @michelledevans ~ Slice of Life ~

The Spectator by Rachel Blackbirdsong @RBlackbirdsong ~ Literary ~

The UCF Stories #33: Of Draigs And Gnomish Builders by Sam Adamson @FutureNostalgic ~ Fantasy ~

Three Little Words by Jason Warden @shadowCastAudio ~ Cross Genre ~

Welcome to Hell by Laura Cummins @jacsmom ~ Slice of Life ~

Who are you? by Kayanna Kirby @kayannak ~ Slice of Life ~

In the News

Veteran Friday Flashers Trevor Belshaw and Jodi Cleghorn have joined forces for a good cause. They are spearheading a new charity anthology, 100 Stories for Queensland. One cannot help but to have heard the news of all the terrible flooding going in in Australia. So in the same fine tradition of 100 Stories for Haiti, and 50 Stories for Pakistan they have called for writers world wide to step up to help their fellow man by contributing a story to the cause. Visit the website for the official guidelines.  Something of particular interest to the Friday Flash community (besides Trevor and Jodi’s involvement) is that stories previously posted to personal blogs are eligible. That’s right, you favorite old Friday Flash could be seen in a print anthology.

According to the press release, “Stories of 500 – 1000 words in all genres and for all age groups are welcome, and can be electronically lodged at Submishmash. The deadline for submissions is Friday, 28th January. The book is due for release late February/early March. 100% of profits will be donated to the Qld Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal.” Read the full press release here.

I’d like to take my hat off to Trevor for cooking up this fine idea and to Jodi and Trevor for running with it. I’m so proud to be associated with the two of you. Good luck on this project and much success.
~jon

The wrap

Thanks to all our readers. We love you. And please, if you enjoy a story leave comments when you visit. Writers love feedback almost as much as chocolate. Maybe more! Then go tell your friends to read it too. Help these writers grow.

You can subscribe to the #fridayflash hashtag (external link) on Twitter every week for more great flash fiction.

We’re on Facebook (external link) too.
~jon

 

Seems many folks were either busy with Christmas preparations or were just plain snowed in this week. Still, we had 50 stories this week, with one debut. As always there is lots of variety and some outstanding talent on exhibit. And for some reason there seem to be a lot of Christmas stories this week. Go figure.

Please be sure to visit our debut participant, Jennifer Joseph, and leave her a comment and a Christmas cookie or two.

If your story is not in the listing please visit the Collector and add the details. Then shoot me. er, I mean, then shoot me an email and let me know it’s there and I’ll add it to the listing. Thanks for participating in #FridayFlash.

The Stories

Winter’s Bride by Icy Sedgwick @icypop ~ Fantasy ~

White Christmas by Virginia Moffatt @VirginiaMoffatt ~ Unspecified ~

Where the Trains Used to Run Part 2 by Lionel Braud @ltrain75 ~ Literary ~

What’s The Best Christmas Movie? by John Wiswell @Wiswell ~ Experimental ~

Try the Salsa, Y’all! by David Wilson-Burns @fictdoodles ~ Humor ~

Traveling to a Merry Christmas by E. D. Johnson @geektreasure ~ Slice of Life ~

The Waldgeist by Vandamir Windrider @Vandamir ~ Paranormal ~

The UCF Stories Christmas Special: The Cleaner by Sam Adamson @FutureNostalgic ~ Fantasy ~

The Path to Pastels by Jason Coggins @JaseCoggins ~ Fantasy ~

The Night Before Christmas by Rebecca Emin @RebeccaEmin ~ Humor ~

The Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange. #Five by Justin Davies @flyingscribbler ~ Cross Genre ~

The Golden Moment by Linda Simoni-Wastila @drwasy ~ Literary ~

The City That Never Spoke by David D Sharp @aweeadventure ~ Fantasy ~

The Bride of Oglingston Spitworthy by Catherine Russell @ganymeder ~ Humor ~

Swan’s Act by A. M. Harte @am_harte ~ Experimental ~

Southbound by Harry B. Sanderford @HBSanderford ~ Unspecified ~

Some Things Are Mine by Johanna Harness @johannaharness ~ Fantasy ~

Snow in Paris by Lara Dunning @LaraDunning ~ Fantasy ~

Snakeskin by Rachel Blackbirdsong @RBlackbirdsong ~ Literary ~

Singing Galway Bay by Kari Fay @morganafiolett ~ Slice of Life ~

Santa’s Secret War by Eric J. Krause @ericjkrause ~ Fantasy ~

Running in Circles by T.J. McIntyre @southernweirdo ~ Unspecified ~

Rabid Bunny by Jennifer Joseph @creativeconduit ~ Horror ~ Debut

Quiet Morning on the Square by Michael J. Solender @mjsolender ~ Humor ~

Pure Evil by David Wilson-Burns @fictdoodles ~ Horror ~

Phil Something by Tom Allman @yoohootom ~ Paranormal ~

NASTY by COLINJAMES @CRJAMES55 ~ Humor ~

Nail That Gift by Donald Conrad @NoddlaNocdar ~ Slice of Life ~

Merry Zmas by Steve Green @n/a ~ Horror ~

JiNGLE NELLE, JiNGLE NELLE by Absolutely*Kate @AbsolutelyKate ~ Crime ~

Jennie’s Christmas Miracle by Karen Schindler @karenfrommentor ~ Romance ~

Jarboe, Lord of Tater Town by Aaron Conaway @M_Gideon ~ Magical Realism ~

I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Maria Kelly @mkelly317 ~ Slice of Life ~

I Heard the Bells by Ramsey Lyons @ramslyons ~ Horror ~

Heroes Wanted (Part 6) by Stephen Book @StephenBook ~ Western ~

Here We Come A-Wassailing by J. M. Strother @jmstro ~ Slice of Life ~

Frostbite: A Mafia Family Christmas (pt.1) by Anne Tyler Lord @AnneTylerLord ~ Cross Genre ~

Clara’s Question by Stephen Hewitt @ThoughtMonkeyZ ~ Slice of Life ~

Christmas, 1976: The Bronx from Franky Benítez by Julio Ricardo Varela @julito77 ~ Literary ~

Christmas Past by Olivia Tejeda @SimplyOlivia ~ Slice of Life ~

Christmas is Over! by Deanna Schrayer @deannaschrayer ~ Cross Genre ~

Christmas Cabin by Aidan Fritz @AidanFritz ~ Horror ~

Big Toe Walkabout by Vincent Eaton @VincentEaton ~ Cross Genre ~

Be Careful What You Wish For by David Robinson @DW96 ~ Cross Genre ~

Anti Claus is Coming to Town by Tim VanSant @TimVanSant ~ Humor ~

All I Want For Christmas Is A Clean Rap Sheet by Al Bruno III @albruno3 ~ Humor ~

A Time To Reflect by Thom Gabrukiewicz @tgabrukiewicz ~ Unspecified ~

A Solstice Gift by Angie C. @techtigger ~ Fantasy ~

A Christmas Peril by Melissa L. Webb @melissalwebb ~ Paranormal ~

A Christmas Crime by David Barber @thetwoblokes ~ Crime ~

In the News

Emma Newman announced some exciting news. She has another book deal, with eMergent Publishing this time, for her short story anthology ‘From Dark Places.’ The original collection is going to be re-released as Volume One with a follow on Volume Two, both as ebooks. Then both will be combined for a nice print edition sometime next year. Congratulations, Emma, and congratulations to eMergent co-founders Jodi Cleghorn and Paul Anderson for signing a terrific talent. Champagne all around.

Dan Powell has a story, ‘The Last Year of Father Christmas‘ in the Metazen Christmas Charity E-Book 2010. Congratulations, Dan. It’s all for a good cause, so check it out.

Please take a moment to read this appeal from the occasional Friday Flasher and all around great person, April Hamilton, concerning the future of Publetariat. I’ve found the Publetariat very useful over the past couple of years and would hate to see it go under. Help if you can, or simply offer her some words of encouragement. I’m pulling for you, April.

If you have news for or about the Friday Flash community please let me know. I’m always happy to help spread the word. Tips work a lot better than me just stumbling upon them. Thanks. ~jon

The wrap

Thanks to all our readers. We love you. And please, if you enjoy a story leave comments when you visit. Writers love feedback almost as much as chocolate. Maybe more! Then go tell your friends to read it too. Help these writers grow.

You can subscribe to the #fridayflash hashtag (external link) on Twitter every week for more great flash fiction.

We’re on Facebook (external link) too.
~jon

 

5 Thing ThursdayThe five top lessons I learned in doing the Best Of Friday Flash – Volume One:

1: Word Processing Beyond The Basics

If you are like me there are style controls built into your word processor that you’ve never used and may not even realize were there. It turns out these style controls, for headings and paragraphs, are essential when laying out a manuscript if you want to avoid stress induced insanity. Some of the key styles I discovered are well worth setting up include:

  • Heading 1 – for story titles, or chapter titles if doing a novel instead of a collection of stories
  • Heading 2 – for authors
  • TOC Heading – for maintaining sanity and generating the TOC (see 2, below)
  • Body Text First Line – Used to make the lead paragraphs non-indented and with a little added space between it and the author’s name.
  • Body Text Indented – Used to indent interior paragraphs, rather than using vertical white space to set them off. It is important to minimize vertical white space where practical as over the course of a manuscript extra white space can significantly add to page count, and thus to list price.
  • Body Text Scene Break – At scene breaks you need a little extra vertical white space to cue the reader on the shift.
  • Body Text Minutia – In addition to indentation and vertical spacing, Styles also defind such properties as Font, Typeface, and Size. I set up Minutia to handle all the text on the copyright page so it did not take up too much space.
  • Body Text Bio – I used a slightly different style for the author’s bios to help set them off from the main text of the stories.

Both Microsoft Word and OpenOffice have Style settings. Until this project I never used them. Now I would not layout a manuscript without them. The advantage is once you have them set up, and you decide you’d really like all those authors to be in Comic Sans instead of Arial Narrow, you change it once in the Style and it applies to the entire manuscript. This saves you a ton of work. Get to know your Styles, they will become your best friends.

2: Table of Contents Tricks

There are two methods for laying out tables of content, one for ebooks and one for print books (see 3, below, for other ebook vs print variations). For ebooks your table of contents should not have page numbers. Readers of ebooks can adjust font size, which of course effects page layout. For most ebook formats page numbers are meaningless (PDF being the exception). Instead, the table of contents should be hot-linked to jump to the title within the text. That is one omission I made on the BOFF, I did not hot-link the TOC. I was simply too frustrated at that point to deal with it. I hope to update the BOFF ebook with a hot-linked TOC sometime in the future, and if you have already bought a copy I will replace it for free at that time.

Print books, on the other hand, need tables of contents with accurate page numbers. Fortunately most modern word processing packages will automatically generate tables of contents for you, based on the styles (see 1, above) you’ve set up. This works pretty well out of the box for most situations, but there is one major oversight. If you try to set up a multi-line TOC (i.e. a TOC based on Header One for Title and Header Two for author) you end up with an horrid academic paper type of TOC. To wit:

Her Migration ……………. 11
Shannon Esposito ……… 11
In Memory Alone ……….. 13
Al Bruno III ……………… 13

and so on.
I’m sorry, that looks like crap in a collection of short fiction.

What I wanted was:

Her Migration | Shannon Esposito …………… 11
In Memory Alone | Al Bruno III ……………… 13

Trying to do this out of the box with the TOC layout tools available in your word processor will drive you nuts. I spent days on this little problem. Finally someone on the OpenOffice forums offered a work around that does the job for print versions, though I would not like it much for PDF. His solution: create a tiny line of text at the top of each story with the title, a separator (I used a pipe | ) and author. Set it up as a special header type in your Styles (see 1, above), and make the text white. The faked out header will not be visible in the printed version and can be used to set up the TOC with the out of the box tools. This will work with PDF output too, but a reader could “discover” these fake headers when selecting text. It’s a rather kludgey solution, but it works.

By the way, the reason for the pipe instead of , by as a separator is it saved horizontal space, meaning some of the longer Title/Author combos did not wrap onto two lines for a more favorable aesthetic.

3: eBook Formating vs Print Book Formatting

I covered a good portion of this when discussing the table of contents, but there are two other main differences between digital and print worth noting – page breaks, and footers. Generally you don’t need page breaks in an ebook. As mentioned before, readers are likely to monkey with their font sizes, which may blow your nicely laid out page breaks out of the water. Avoid the frustration, both on your part in setting them up, and on the readers part when the turn the “page” only to find the last word of the last paragraph in that chapter. Instead, rely on your Styles (See 1, above) to give the reader a satisfying white space separation between between scenes and chapters. (Don’t quote me on that, I am not 100% sure ebook readers respect Style spacing, but I think they do. I’ll know more once I actually have an ebook reader.)

Footers are used to place and format page numbers. Thus you need them in print books and you need to eliminate them for ebooks. Yes, you will end up with two separate and distinct copies of your manuscript when done, one for print (and PDF), and one for digital.

4: Project Set Up At CreateSpace

I could do a 5 Things on CreateSpace alone, but in all fairness, they are very responsive to feedback. The main thing you need to do with CreateSpace is get familiar with their set up menus. I suggest you do this with a fake book you work end-to-end, with no intention to actually print it, and then delete the project once you’ve got it all figured out. The main problem is that CreateSpace uses multiple steps and it is all menu driven. Some of the menu choices are not obvious, some of them are downright frustrating. For example, when setting up CreateSpace insists on an “Author”. I am not the author of the BOFF, I am the editor. There is a sub-category for “Editor”, but it seems to be for listing the editor in addition to the author, like you might see on a textbook. In the post process survey I mentioned this little problem and was please to get a response from CreateSpace informing me that if this should crop up in the future all one need do is request they manually change you to Editor before you commit to print. As I said, they do seem to be quite responsive.

The other problem with CreateSpace is if you make a change to your cover or your content, or if they find a error in your uploaded manuscript which violates one of their set up rules you have to fix it and then wait up to 48 hours to have it reviewed again. It was not until layout was completed that I discovered the bar code box overprinted the bottom text of the back cover. I had to contact the cover artist and ask her if she would move the bottom text up some to eliminate the overlap. Then I had to upload the new cover. Then if they find another error you repeat the cycle. I did three or four cycles, which chews up considerable calendar time. So what kind of errors are we talking about here?

Your cover indicates your are J. M. Strother, and your copyright page indicates you are Jon M. Strother. The author must match between cover and copyright. My bad. 48 hours.

Your cover indicates you are J. M. Strother and your copyright page indicates you are Jon M. Strother. The author must match between cover and copyright. What? Oh no, my name is in the minutia twice. I only fixed one! My double bad. Another 48 hours.

We have found a reference to Amazon.com in your text body. If you list Amazon.com you must indicate at least two other markets your manuscript is available from. Say what? That one just seems insane to me, but who am I to argue. I deleted the reference to Amazon.com (sorry Christopher) and resubmitted. Another 48 hours.

You get the idea. In the post process survey I suggested they point out multiple errors the first time around so they could be fixed all in one cycle. They got back to me right away and said they would look into doing just that. I kind of like these CreateSpace folks.

5: Book Pricing

CreateSpace has a list-price estimator. It’s kind of hard to find, and not all that accurate. It guesstimated the BOFF would cost $8.99, about two bucks more than I would like, but a price I could live with. But when I got done and asked to finalize it the actual list price came out to $10.99. I was dismayed. As much as I love the BOFF I thought most folks would pass at that price.

I expressed my dismay online and Laura Eno suggested I try a different format size (6” x 9” instead of 5” x 8”), and to use Arial 10pt instead of Times New Roman 11pt. I made those changes, which significantly reduced the page count. This was accomplished in no time via (drum roll please) the Styles (see 1, above). Then the cover had to be resized and both cover and content uploaded again. Doing all this brought the BOFF in at $7.99, much better than eleven bucks. At this price we make 5 cents on each copy sold via Amazon, and $1.65 on each sold through our CreateSpace eStore. (By the way, adding just two more pages to the BOFF would knock that Amazon royalty down to 1 cent. Tightening up stories by controlling vertical white space is critical.)

Conclusions

So, the lessons learned here are: get to know your word processor’s Styles and Table Of Contents tools, preplan your manuscripts both for print and digital formats, and try to minimize your page count. I suggest you make a fake book and take it up to, but not including, the approval stage at CreateSpace so you can familiarize yourself with the menu structure. Then just delete the sample project and go for it. Also, ask for help when you need it. It will save you untold amounts of hair.

Let me know if any of these points need further clarification, or share your own tips in the comments below.
~jon

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