Stephen R. Campbell

Author of Mysteries and Crime Fiction

The Author Biz Podcast – Coming June 30th

Learning

I’m launching a new podcast at the end of June that will focus on the nitty-gritty business details of being an author. Guests on the show will include authors who are well established as well as those who may be unrecognized by the big publishing houses, but totally kicking it through self publishing.

However, this is not just another author interview podcast.

We’ll spend time covering the craft of writing, but we’ll also have guests who will speak on topics like business plans for authors, editing, cover design, audio book creation, business structures, taxes, publisher contracts, formatting, marketing, self publishing, and dealing with social media.

Think of The Author Biz as a writer’s conference with multiple tracks. One that you can attend each week without the need for packing, travel, and putting on makeup. The show will be delivered each Monday beginning June 30th and be available through iTunes and other podcast outlets. It can also be streamed from the website, which is www.theauthorbiz.com.

Why this podcast and why me? Two reasons.

First, this is information I’m extremely interesting in learning. Each step Continue reading

What can the California Chrome Story Teach Us About Writing & Self Publishing

California_Chrome_Preakness_finish

California Chrome Winning the Preakness – Creative Commons Image Via Wikipedia

It was a riveting story. Two older guys buy a broken-down horse, breed her with the cheapest horse they can find, and the offspring becomes a national hero. The horse that could finally put an end to horse racing’s 36 year wait for the next triple crown winner.

There’s much more to the story, but you probably know it already. The 77 year old trainer. The owners turning down millions for a partial interest in the horse, but that’s not the point of this post.

If this were a novel there are plenty of ways the story could go that would be satisfying, win, lose or draw. Endings that would cause readers to reach for the next book in the series, or another book the author has written.

Of course, the California Chrome story didn’t end the way most people wanted, and that’s where it gets instructive. If you write books for publication, you want a great plot, richly developed characters, exotic settings, and to take the reader into an exciting world. But then you’ve got to write Continue reading

The Writing Process Blog Hop

Shamus Award winner Paul D. Marks tagged me to join the Writing Process Blog Hop. You can check out Paul’s writing process post at http://www.pauldmarks.blogspot.com. At the end of my post, I’ll tag three other authors who will blog about their writing process, by answering the same four questions on June 9th: Rebecca Forster, Will Graham, and Michael Haskins

1. What am I working on?

Hunter's GambleI’m currently working on the second book in my series featuring Jason Hunter. The first book in the series, HUNTER’S GAMBLE, will be released this summer.

In HUNTER’S GAMBLE, Jason is tasked with finding the most successful sports gambler in Las Vegas, who disappeared after a multi-million dollar win.

To complicate matters, Jason, who lived and worked in a children’s center while recovering from some personal “difficulties,” also finds himself embroiled in a grisly series of murders.

My current work in process (WIP) is the second book in the Hunter series, and it takes place in Las Vegas as well.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This is a trick question, right? How is anyone’s work really different? No –– it’s a real question? Okay – First let’s set the genre. HUNTERS GAMBLE is a crime fiction novel, and Jason Hunter, my protagonist, is a ‘sort of’ private investigator. What makes my work different is that Jason Hunter is different. He’s a former insurance investigator who lost his way after dealing with some significant personal tragedy.

He’s a man who is still in love with his wife, despite the fact she died four years ago. His best friend is a Catholic Sister who runs a boys shelter, and his oldest friend is a former sniper for whom the ends always justify the means.

To do the work required of him, Jason must access his old skills Continue reading

Filtering Google Image Search by Copyright License

What I’m currently reading:  Deceived by Randy Wayne White

If you’re a blogger, you may use images you find on the web for your posts. The correct way to do this is either using pictures you’ve licensed, or those that don’t require a specific license for re-use. I use a lot of Flickr Creative Commons images, and they have always worked well for me.

But the Flickr search mechanism, IMHO, isn’t as good as the one provided by Google. So I was pleasantly surprised to learn over the weekend that Google Images has made it easier to search for images with specific copyright licenses. (Thank you Rocking Self Publishing Podcast episode #47)

So I decided to perform a test, but before I do a quick story.

When I grew up we had a beautiful Maple tree in the backyard of our house. That tree not only served as my instructor for tree climbing but also helped to teach me how much fun hard work could be. It did that by dropping it’s leaves each fall. Seriously, what kid doesn’t love jumping into a freshly raked pile of leaves.

I shared that quick story only to explain the rationale for selecting “Maple Tree” as my search term.

To run this search I took the following steps:

1. Go to Google Images

2. Select Search Tools, which brings up a secondary menu

3. Select Usage Rights

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 3.58.46 PM

 

In my case, I selected “Labeled for non-commercial reuse” and clicked Continue reading

Listening and Learning – My Three Favorite Podcasts

What I’m currently reading:  THE CHASE by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg.

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Creative Commons Image by francois

When I run on the beach, my preference is to listen to the sound of the shoreline. I enjoy hearing the sound of the waves lapping at the sand, the chirping of the shorebirds, and the roaring of boat engines in the distance. But for those times when I’m running somewhere other than the beach, which is more often than I’d like to admit, I listen to podcasts.

I started listening to podcasts years ago as a way of keeping myself entertained while I ran. That worked, but as my time became more limited I developed a list of shows that would both entertain and educate me while running. There are currently three that I listen to without fail each week. Two of them are long time favorites, and the third is less than a year old.

The Kindle Chronicles

The first on my list is The Kindle Chronicles, hosted by Len Edgerly. I was an early adopter of the Kindle and found Len’s show several years ago. Len is not a kid. He’s either my age or older and I love the enthusiasm and the perspective he brings to the podcast each week. He’s an unabashed fan of the Kindle platform. He’s built a great show format, which includes a news segment, a tech tip and an interesting interview guest. As a long time listener, I also enjoy following where he and his wife are located when he records his program.

While the show is called The Kindle Chronicles, the focus expands to e-books Continue reading

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