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#SamWIP: Book Buying Binge and OMG SO PRODUCTIVE

Sam av

I have been -SO- busy. Doing what I am supposed to be doing and devoting my soul to the words.

Check it.

Check out the #SamWIP category every Monday to hear about Sam’s current projects!

S.K. Balk lives in the frozen wasteland of Northern Michigan. She is the author of the dystopian medical sci-fi THE BLOOD OF NERYS (also available in print).


#SamWIP: So My Book Was Stolen

Sam av

So this is a new one for me…

S.K. Balk lives in the frozen wasteland of Northern Michigan. She is the author of the dystopian medical sci-fi THE BLOOD OF NERYS (also available in print).



Today I pulled the trigger on my first book, THE BLOOD OF NERYS (synopsis at end of post). At the time of this posting, it is currently processing and not available for sale. It should hit most major online retailers within the next 3 days, and takes a little longer for Barnes & Noble.

Furthermore, I am investigating a promising print-on-demand option that’s cheaper than createspace. I will keep you updated as I know more.


6x9 cover


After a crusade against technology wipes out every last remnant of science, a horrific blood plague devastates mankind. In the wake of such despair, the desperate survive by capitalizing upon the misfortune of others.
Nerys Raphaen, an optimistic flower artist in a broken city, is an anomaly. But she is cruelly abducted, her blood harvested and inexplicably sold for prices that ruin lives, threatening to break her spirit. Then her enigmatic captor reveals that in her veins flows the key to their survival. He tells her she can save anyone. Given the chance at last to bring hope to an otherwise dark era, she never even considers questioning his method.

But because of Nerys…he does.


Print on Demand


I’m almost ready to publish something!

Pronoun Walkthrough


Sam again! Sorry about yesterday and not having that video ready to go. The screen capture software is extremely heavy. I even had to throw out the work I did on it yesterday and started completely over.

BUT! It’s here! I finally managed to make a video so that I can show you how awesome Pronoun is. Watch!

(I apologize… this was my fourth voiceover take and I stumbled a couple of times, particularly on the maths. Please forgive me.)




Hey guys! Sam here!

I have a video for this in the works. The problem is that it’s 30 minutes, and it’s both screen capture and me narrating, and the way screen capture works is that it doesn’t record my voice, so I have to splice the two videos together. Converting the screen capture video and trying to upload it to my software is taking 3 hours (QuickTime video formats are disgustingly huge). In the absence of video footage, I am going to talk about Pronoun anyway. It’s just that you’ll lack the visuals… for today. I’ll work on the video ASAP.


For starters.

What attracted me to Pronoun in the first place was their pitch. They boasted 100% earnings. Pronoun does not take a cut of your profits. It’s a little unclear to me how they do this, but I think it has to do with the connections they gain from other businesses and… this next point.

Pronoun has a marketplace format for the services you need. Cover artists, editors, copy editors, and marketing experts. They are arranged with little book blurb-esque posts. There are links to the seller’s website and portfolios, an estimate of their prices, their names and a tagline, with a thumbnail of their previous works. So you shop for copy editors the same way you’d shop for a Kindle book, and it’s just as easy.

For now, Pronoun is only accessible to early access members. This was mostly offered to NaNoWriMo participants. I think, but am not certain, that the winners were the only ones that were allowed in for now. Whether or not you won NaNo, you can reserve your Author Page now. This will serve much like a blog might. It’s your profile and a place you can post your books, as well as any news or blog posts you might want to share.

So now that I’m in…

It all gets very exciting. Upon first blush, Pronoun greeted me, “Welcome Wrimos!” which I thought was cute.

It’s stupid easy to set up your book. It divides your process into 4 sections: The Basics, Design, Marketing, and Retail.

The Basics sets you up with title, subtitle, series, contributors, and your social media sites.

Design is where you upload or design a cover, then upload your manuscript. The cover designer so far seems very clunky, but it’s mostly free. It will charge you $1 here and there to use premium options like fancy photos. I also don’t see a lot of… inspiration… in their available choices there. Your manuscript has to be in Docx format, but Pronoun has easy to use instructions to walk you through that. Of course, if you have Scrivener, you can just compile it into a publish-ready docx file and you’re done.

Marketing is where you upload your book blurb, choose up to 2 genre categories, and up to 7 keywords for readers to search for your book. It will let you see the top searches in those genres to assist you in choosing and comparing your options.

And finally, for retail, you’ll get to set the price. As soon as you tentatively decide on one, Pronoun will tell you what your earnings will be for Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Apple iBook, the 5 retailers Pronoun will use. It will also show you how well books in your genre are selling at that price so you can make an informed decision. The only part about this that saddens me is that it seems you can’t set the price lower than $0.99, so my dream of having a free book seems less obtainable. Of course, retailers like Amazon will sometimes do that for you anyway without your say so. It comes at no cost to you… it boosts their sales across the board.

Then, you’ll tell Pronoun whether or not you need an ISBN (they provide these free), review the Author Agreement, and you’re home free. You get paid 4 times a year in one lump sum. As of today, the next payday is March 2, 2016.

The Author Agreement is what you’d expect. You promise your book is your own work, you won’t double publish it to the same retailers they are already using (so don’t use Createspace, but you may use Smashwords), either of you can end the agreement at any time with no flack, except that you’ll need a new ISBN to publish it elsewhere.

And that’s basically it.

My opinion of it? I like how comprehensive it is. I don’t have to go a dozen different places to find what I need. And Pronoun lets me track lifetime stats and how well my novels are selling right now. I think I’m going to use it.

All I need now, really, are covers and courage.

Let me know if you have any questions. I’ll try to get that video to you tomorrow. Sorry for the inconvenience today.



Writing versus the Wrists #writerproblems


I haven’t updated in a while because my wrists will not let me.

Review for Elegy for a Dead World: