On Nightmares and Dreamscapes

I swear that’s the name of a Stephen King novel, but it isn’t what I’m talking about today. Most people on here know about the one book I’ve written. And I think most people also know I have completely stopped writing altogether. But I do want to start again at some point in the future.

Which is where this post is coming from. I had a dream last night, and it got me wondering if any of you all have had a dream or nightmare one night and then proceeded to somehow start writing a story from it. It isn’t something I’ve really thought of happening at this point because is seems like some freak thing that just happens without any prior notice. But writing isn’t an exact science, I imagine people have all kinds of odd stories and quirky tales of how a story eventually came together. But now I’m imagining a nightmare involving an old lady with an ax turning into a novel. Welp.

Have you ever used a dream and/or nightmare to start or continue a story? I haven’t. But I’m not really writing anything.

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John Green Does it Again

I’ve now read three of the popular author’s books. I’ve noticed a pattern with the stories and characters I can’t ignore. John Green is an immensely popular author, but are his characters and stories actually any good? My thoughts:

Have you read any of his books? Did you notice anything similar about them?

2016 Reading Update

I’ve started and finished reading two books within the last week. Which means I’ve now finished 10 percent of my overall reading goal of 50 books this year. I know I’m WAY behind, but I’m currently out of work. Perhaps I have time to catch up now?

I read one book for my 2016 Reading Challenge and one from Amazon’s 100 Books Everyone Should Read List. Which means videos for both on the way this week!

After nearly seven months of 2016 are you on track to complete your goal for the year?

BN set to Sell Self Published Books….What!?

Barnes and Noble has made a pretty significant decision. They’ve decided to sell self published books in their stores. It’s quite the turnaround for the company. I know from personal experience. When I self published my book three years ago I went into my local BN store inquiring about the potential to sell my book there. They obviously said no. But now, hmm.

The shift in policy comes with some fairly hefty requirements. First, the book must be self published through Nook Press. Which is BN’s self publishing arm, but definitely not a favorite of any author I’ve interacted with because the Kindle and iBooks have all but killed the Nook. I’m not sure if they require exclusivity, but I can’t imagine it being beneficial to only sell your book on Nook. The Nook is dead. Plain and simple.

Second, the company requires the titles to sell a certain number of copies in either print or digital formats. It’s 500 for one format and 1000 for the other. If your book meets the sales requirements and has been published through Nook Press, then hooray! You could have your book on a shelf at a BN store. But remember that their shelf space is extremely limited and sought after. There’s no guarantee here.

What do you think of BN deciding to give some self published authors the opportunity to sell their books in their stores. I’m not particularly optimistic. I think the sales numbers are the absolute bottom, but I imagine an author having sell many more copies of their books to actually reach the shelf.

Top Five Wednesday: Books That Need a Sequel

Today’s topic is standalone books that NEED a sequel. But it’s time we take a trip down memory lane.

I first began buying my own books in high school and college. I know at that point in time I’d started reading a handful of series, but I always tried finding standalones. At the library. At the bookstore. Or online. I’d search for hours to find a standalone I wanted to read. I often successfully found one. I discovered several of my favorite authors this way.

But as time has passed on I’ve had to change up my strategy. Now whenever I happen to be looking for something new I’m searching for the first book in a new series. This isn’t inherently worse, just different.

All this to say that once upon a time I wanted to read as many standalone novels as I could, but now I’m reading a million series at once. I’ve never read a solid standalone I felt needed a sequel. Not once. And some of the best books I’ve ever read have been standalones.

So my answer to today’s topic is simple: A good standalone shouldn’t need a sequel. What do you think!?

It’s That Time Again!

It only happens three times each year. What am I talking about? COUPON WEEK at your local Half Price Books!

Different districts and regions have different weeks for their coupon sales, but I imagine most will be in July at some point because annual sales are annual sales, and there are more to plan and execute.

Anyway, down here in Houston coupon week is THIS week. Which means if you’re on the HPB mailing list, then you’ve already gotten your coupons for the week. If you’re not, then visit your local store and sign up!

For those of you eyeing that latest bestseller, the coupons work on those too! Think about this. Let’s say you want the newest John Sanford book. The retail price is probably $28. Which means the regular 20% off price drops you down nearly $6. Which means Amazon is still cheaper. But you’ve lucked out and someone has sold back their copy to HPB. Now the price is only $14. But you walk in with your 50% off coupon on Sunday and that NYT bestseller suddenly dropped down to $7! You see!? Magic! Go, go!