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Weekly free stories, email, and confusion!

Which Way? by Mike Coates
Which Way? by Mike Coates

Hi everybody!

Dean Wesley Smith is an inspiring guy. Today I’m devouring his videos on motivation for writers. Good stuff! And in combination with the challenge he’s issued himself for the next year, he’s pushed me over the edge…not so hard to do, as you probably realize if you’ve been here a while.

So I’ve decided to publish one short story a week for the next year, starting a week from tomorrow. And I’m telling you about it in advance, so any flakiness on my part will be fairly obvious. And yes: I’ll also continue writing novels.

Now…I also had an idea about posting book covers, asking you guys to write blurbs or rude comments, and then offering a few things (autographed print copies, character names, stuff like that) when I use or am inspired by your notions. I love this idea, and we may very well do it. Some of the weekly stories may get their start that way. But that’s a separate notion…I’ll need to come up with something every week regardless.

Here’s how it’ll work:

  1. I’ll put up a new (or at least never-previously-published-on-its-own) story every Wacky Wednesday, starting tomorrow, which you can read for free. The wiggly bit: I do have six stories in the What Happens in September… collection that aren’t available individually. But I’ll save them for emergencies. Tomorrow, for example? You’ll get something new.
  2. Each following Tuesday, I’ll take down the previous week’s story. On Wednesday something new will go up…and I’ll provide live links to listings at Amazon’s various sites for the previous week’s freebie (plus a very dignified request for a review…no begging here…unless that actually works…er…I’ll think about it).
  3. I may or may not publish stories elsewhere than Amazon as I go along, but the timing is harder to control.


Here are a few facts that complicate things:

  • I have a mailing list for new releases (only).
  • It’s just barely possible to subscribe to this blog via email (though RSS should be simple?)…right now most people manage to subscribe via a checkbox when commenting on a post. I kinda hid this because I thought it might be confusing to have two mailing lists available at the same time.
  • However, some folks are signing up for the new-release list while thinking they’re subscribing to the blog.
  • I promised not to use the new-release list for anything but new releases, aiming for people who sometimes like my fiction but don’t have the time/interest for the blog.
  • For the new-release-only crowd, I think sending them a message every week is probably counter-productive.
  • But I don’t want to shut the new-release people out of the weekly freebies. That’d be mean.


So here’s what I think I’ll do:

  1. Keep the new-release list relatively pure, and send out one email a month, generally on the last day or thereabouts (starting in August).
  2. Make subscribing to the blog itself via email somewhat easier…sometime in the next few days. Maybe even tonight. Who knows? It kinda depends on stuff.
  3. There will also be limited-time freebies on I’ll disclose them in advance to new-release list subscribers (only).

How’s that? If you’re getting here via a web browser, you’ll get freebies each week as long as you choose to do so. No problem. If you subscribe via RSS, nothing will need to change. But if you prefer email…will this work for you? If not, and if you can take the time to tell me why not, I’ll appreciate the heads-up.

Expect something or other to happen tomorrow. Chances are good it’ll include a free story you’ve never seen.

Meanwhile…have fun out there.

Published inMy FictionPublishing


  1. wordwan

    I still think posting on Wattpad is a good idea. The interface is SOOO clean–omigod. This kids on mobile text idea makes me VEERRY curious where it could lead.

    It’d give me an excuse to find readers for you there too. (I’d have to read all your stuff. Horrors. *grin*) Readers. NOT writers who are busy writing. *grin* I am starting to stare hard at THIS particular point. Like how did J.K. Rowling get started? Was it strictly Amazon discussion groups discussing Harry Potter?

    I’m IN scouting mode anyway, and Wattpad HAS this similar kind of ‘under construction’ feel you might be employing here. Very easy to make updates, for example. Perhaps there’s a goodreads/facebook like attachment you could make to Wattpad? I will check.

    I really think ‘having groups and shite like that’ is no REAL guarantee that people are gonna READ your stuff, but we NEED to figure out WHEN AND WHY they do.

    Yanno? Hope that makes sense.

    Me? I’ve been fiddling with video uploads on youtube. Did you say you use youtube for anything?

    Again, if you’re gonna do the once a week Harlan in a hat trick, I’d volunteer as well to scout out youtubers.

    I haven’t done this yet. But because I’ve been following ‘Sherlock’ people (I like the show) I’m getting a rather knee deep sense of how vids are accessed on youtube.

    OR. I no nothing at all and am willing to, simply, pimp you.

    Let me know what you think. I’m mostly available Monday to Friday, but who knows, if there’s some kind of …hm.. street team idea we can use, I’m up for that.

    It’s like: if Harlan was doing this; how would HE get through all the noise of all the other talent out there, today? *grin*

    What city do you live in? What country? I ask only because I think I’ll take a look at what or WHO could be helping you locally. Is anyone?

    Do you have, for example, writer festivals?

    Always looking at how the big boys do it: Neil Gaiman is coming to Canada, for example to pimp his new books. He’ll be in Toronto and in Vancouver, for example.

    up for this.

    • David

      Interesting ideas…maybe we should move this to email? But I’ll be relatively out of touch for a few days (check the blog entry I’m about to write).

      Still: hmm.

  2. Heather

    Subject: Using ‘reviews’ as a tool.

    Again, thinning files, focusing thoughts. What about collecting ‘reviews’ all in one place?

    I still have my issues with how EFFECTIVE having any quantity of reviews is (people gonna read them all? I doubt it; they rarely read other people’s comments–what a waste!) but it’s obviously used on Amazon as a ‘numbers’ grabber. What if you cut and paste all these reviews in a Watpad–or other website–entry?

    We work so hard to GET reviews and then no one uses this data!

    I have issues already with Amazon because I am on an ‘old’ computer/outdated internet browser and unable to update due to weirdness in this public access (longer story; it’s what I got and it works enough for now!) and I can download freebie Kindle books to Amazon’s ‘cloud’ but can’t open the bloody things. (I’d be a writer’s dream for reviews if I could bloody well READ ebooks this way. Damn you Amazon. Net Galley uses this format too. Argh.)

    Anyway, I rant, I am, or I am therefore I rant. Where was I? Oh yeah, reviews.

    What if you could take all the reviews and ‘post’ them somewhere so people can see them? I’m saying this, obviously, because I cannot post reviews on Amazon–no credit card or whatever’s needed to ‘buy’ a book to review. (Yikes, Amazon.) and to top if off Amazon is clamping down on what ‘they’ consider a review, longer story, which I don’t agree with.

    Just a (cluttered) thought.


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