The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Archive for the tag “Amazon”

Amazon UK Kindle Storyteller Award

The Amazon UK Kindle Storyteller Award is open for entries. The Kindle Storyteller Award is a new literary prize recognising newly published work in the English language across any genre and includes a £20,000 prize.

via Amazon UK Kindle Storyteller Award – Indies Unlimited

This looks like a great opportunity if you have a potential Kindle Direct Publishing manuscript ready or almost ready. The big plus, in addition to the award, is the publicity. That can be a nice boost for your writing career.

Thanks to Indies Unlimited for posting this.


‘Cora’s Crossing’ (‘A Travessia de Cora’) Now On Kindle

coraportcoverIt took it awhile, but the Portuguese edition of “Cora’s Crossing” is finally available on Amazon.

Description: No meio de uma violenta tempestade, dois homens jovens são misteriosamente puxados para uma velha ponte no meio de um pântano na Flórida. Eles descobrem que os mortos estão esperando para falar, suas vidas estão em perigo, e eles devem ajudar uma jovem mulher ferida que eles encontram na lateral da estrada.

Two young men are mysteriously drawn to an old bridge during a rogue thunderstorm, where they discover the dead are waiting to speak and their lives are in jeopardy when they help an injured young woman they find beside the road.

Cora’s Crossing was inspired by the now-abandoned Bellamy Bridge (which the author last saw 50 years ago) over the Chipola River near the town of Marianna in the Florida Panhandle, and the local folk legend that claims the bridge is haunted by a 175-year-old ghost who died tragically on her wedding night when her dress caught fire.


coracoverThe English edition is available here.



Amazon’s New Pre-Order Policies Give Authors More Flexibility

“Amazon recently made some changes to their pre-order process that give authors more flexibility. Back in 2014, in what was considered a great leap forward foward self-published authors, Amazon provided the ability to offer books for pre-order.”

Source: Amazon’s New Pre-Order Policies Give Authors More Flexibility – Indies Unlimited

Now, author R. J. Crayton tells us that changes in the system will make the service even easier to use. I like having the ability to due pre-orders as my publication dates draw near.



Amazon Give-Away – ‘Conjure Woman’s Cat’

KIndle cover 200x300I’m giving away 5 free Kindle copies of Conjure Woman’s Cat on Amazon.

Hurry if you want a chance to win one of them because these things go by really fast.

Here’s the link.

Free – three books for three days

It’s time for a late August giveaway set for August 28 through August 30 on Amazon for the Kindle editions of The Sun Singer, The Lady of the Blue Hour, and Carrying Snakes into Eden.

Here are the links:

The Sun Singer

"The Sun Singer" is gloriously convoluted, with threads that turn on themselves and lyrical prose on which you can float down the mysterious, sun-shaded channels of this charmingly liquid story. - Diana Gabaldon, Outlander Series

Robert Adams is a normal teenager who raises tropical fish, makes money shoveling snow off his neighbors’ sidewalks, gets stuck washing the breakfast dishes, dreads trying to ask girls out on dates and enjoys listening to his grandfather’s tall tales about magic and the western mountains. Yet, Robert is cursed by a raw talent his parents refuse to talk to him about: his dreams show him what others cannot see.

When the family plans a vacation to the Montana high country, Grandfather Elliott tells Robert there’s more to the trip than his parents’ suspect. The mountains hide a hidden world where people the ailing old man no longer remembers need help and dangerous tasks remain unfinished. Thinking that he and his grandfather will visit that world together, Robert promises to help.

On the shore of a mountain lake, Robert steps alone through a doorway into a world at war where magic runs deeper than the glacier-fed rivers. Grandfather Elliott meant to return to this world before his health failed him and now Robert must resurrect a long-suppressed gift to fulfill his promises, uncover old secrets, undo the deeds of his grandfather’s foul betrayer, subdue brutal enemy soldiers in battle, and survive the trip home.

LadyoftheBlueHourcoverThe Lady of the Blue Hour

Short Story. When Kenneth arrives home from a high school band trip with exciting news, he finds the house empty. His parents appear to gone to a hospital in a hurry. At twilight, a strange woman appears on the street, and she might be looking for him. No doubt, there’s magic afoot.

Grandfather Elliott, from “The Sun Singer” is one of the characters in this story which takes place in a quiet neighborhood of old homes in a Midwestern city. That made the story especially fun to write.

Carrying Snakes Into Eden

Always free on Kindle Unlimited

Always free on Kindle Unlimited

In this tongue-in-cheek 1960s-era short story with a dash of magic, two students skip church, pick up a hobo with a sack of snakes, and realize there may be long-term consequences.

This tale is one of a series of short stories set in Florida’s notorious Tate’s Hell Swamp on the Gulf Coast. I loved this swamp when I was growing up in the Florida Panhandle. The Garden of Eden mentioned in the story refers to a one-time tourist attraction that the owners claimed was the site of the original Garden of Eden. All that remains of the attraction, near the town of Bristol, is a “Garden of Eden Trail” maintained by the Nature Conservancy. The rare and endangered Torreya tree can be seen along this trail.

I hope you enjoy the books.



YouTube and Amazon: Gain Exposure by Using Both

“It’s becoming evident that newsletters are a valuable tool for authors to have. Shawn Inmon recently discussed the importance of newsletters, and one of the things he said was, ‘The reason why is simple: You control how and when you access a mailing list, as opposed to investing everything into working the Amazon or social media algorithms.’ That really resonated with me, so I decided it was time for me to take his advice seriously.”

Source: YouTube and Amazon: Gain Exposure by Using Both – Indies Unlimited

As with everything else in the business–that of writing and marketing books–there seem to be so many variables about what works and what doesn’t. In this Indies Unlimited article, Melinda Clayton has found a couple of variables that work for those of us trying to get a newsletter started with more than our spouse and uncle Zeke on the mailing list.


Tips for Turning Your Book into an Audiobook with

ACXlogo“A couple of years ago Melissa Bowersock wrote a helpful post on her experience with using ACX to create an audiobook. A couple of things have changed since then”

Source: Tips for Turning Your Book into an Audiobook with – Indies Unlimited

My publisher Melinda Clayton, who’s in the process of bringing out my second audiobook via Thomas-Jacob Publishing, looks at why ACX is even easier to use than ever.


How do you find most of the books your read?

I’ve always had the impression that most readers find most of their fiction with very little effort. That is, their friends (on and off line), their newspaper, an on-line news site, or social media might well provide more tips and links for new books than they can afford to buy, much less have time to read.

During the time when I was doing my book-links posts for this blog called Book Bits, I had a regular list of places if checked for the latest author, book, publishing, how-to, and review information along with news. Since I was publishing a links-of-the-week kind of listing, I’m sure I looked at a great many more sites than most readers.

In no particular order, here are some places people tend to rely on for information about new books:

  1. Browsing Amazon, Powell’s, Barnes & Noble or the website of their favorite independent bookstore.
  2. Facebook, Twitter and other social-media links and chatter, with an emphasis on that people on one’s friends list are reading.
  3. Checking one or two favorite online book sites such as major newspapers that still review books, Book Page, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, and book blogs written by people with similar book tastes.
  4. Occasional news stories that surface on sites like Yahoo News, USA Today, CNN and other places that will feature authors and books that are usually at the top of the bestseller lists and/or famous.
  5. Browsing book displays in local bricks and mortar stores, grocery stories, Walmart and other places that sell paperback and hardback books.
  6. Local book clubs and other reading groups and/or discussions with friends and co-workers.

I probably discover most of my reading material via 1 & 2 above. How about you?


Book Bits: ‘Go Set a Watchman,’ DOJ asked to investigate Amazon, Alice Munro stamp, Mardi Jo Link

BookBitsReaders who loved To Kill a Mockingbird have been in a state of shock for the last week or so as early reviews of Go Set a Watchman painted beloved character Atticus Finch as a racist. Some hoped that since Go Set a Watchman was written first, that Atticus saw the light before Mockingbird and Gregory Peck’s starring role in the movie created a memorable character in American literature. Yet, Go Set a Watchman is not a prequel but a sequel. “What the hell happened?” people asked. I plan to read te book before I decide. Apparently, I’m not alone since sales are brisk in spite of the controversy. For a sampling of early reviews, see Item 2.

  1. ABAlogoNews: Authors, ABA to DOJ: Investigate Amazon’s Abuse of Its Dominance in the Book Market, by David Grogan – “Today, in an unprecedented joint action, U.S. booksellers, authors, and literary agents called on the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the business practices of The action comes as similar efforts are underway in the European Union.” American Booksellers Association
  2. Audio Edition

    Audio Edition

    Commentary: Will ‘Go Set a Watchman’ Spoil ‘Mockingbird’? by Jane Ciabattari – “The July 14 publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman is, indisputably, news. The reclusive author, now 89, was never expected to follow up on her Pulitzer Prize-winning classic To Kill a Mockingbird, first published in July 1960. But is Go Set a Watchman a good book? How will its publication affect Harper Lee’s literary legacy? And how are book critics shaping the early discussion?” Literary Hub

  3. Quotation:  “A significant aspect of this novel is that it asks us to see Atticus now not merely as a hero, a god, but as a flesh-and-blood man with shortcomings and moral failing, enabling us to see ourselves for all our complexities and contradictions.” – Former U. S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey’s in Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman,’ a less noble Atticus Finch.   Washington Post
  4. News: Oyster Subscribers Can Now Access 2,000 Macmillan Digital Books, by Maryann Yin – “Macmillan will make an additional 1,000 titles available to Oyster users. The newly added books come from a variety of genres such as nonfiction, young adult, and mystery.”  Galley Cat
  5. Obituary: Chenjerai Hove – “Novelist, poet and playwright Chenjerai Hove, one of Zimbabwe’s best-known writers and a leading critic of President Robert Mugabe, died July 12, BBC News reported. He was 59. Hove won several awards for his work. He is perhaps best known for Bones, ‘set after independence on a white-owned farm, the book asks what difference the end of colonial rule in 1980 really made,’ BBC News wrote.” Shelf Awareness
  6. Cover font fot "Watchman"

    Cover font for “Watchman”

    Feature: For Font Designer, ‘Watchman’ Proves an Unexpected Thrill, by Anisse Gross – “This week, while Harper Lee is thrust back into the spotlight because of her much-anticipated sophomore novel Go Set a Watchman, someone else, heretofore unrelated to the book, is experiencing a unique satisfaction.”  Publishers Weekly

  7. Feature: Dickens’s marginalia reveal famous contributors to his journal, by Alison Flood – “In a lucky coincidence that would not look out of place in a Charles Dickens novel, an antiquarian book dealer has stumbled across what is believed to be Dickens’s own personally annotated copy of a literary periodical he edited. The find reveals, for the first time in around 150 years, the names behind 1,500 anonymously authored pieces in All the Year Round, from Elizabeth Gaskell to Wilkie Collins.”  The Guardian
  8. Quotation: “‘A short story is like a T-shirt. A novel is a suit and tie, sometimes overcoat and hat—it simply has more amplitude and ambition, larger, with more implication.’ Bomb has published the final interview with author James Salter. The acclaimed writer passed away last month at age ninety.” Poets & Writers
  9. bloodonrosesNew Title: “Blood on the Roses,” by Robert Hays, (Thomas-Jacob Publishing, LLC July 10, 2015), 228 pages – “In 1955, at the height of alarm over the Emmett Till murder in Mississippi and after the Supreme Court ruling against school segregation, Associated Press reporter Rachel Feigen travels from Baltimore to Tennessee to report on a missing person case. Guy Saillot’s last contact with his family was a postcard from the Tennessee Bend Motel, a seedy establishment situated on beautiful Cherokee Lake. But they have no record he was ever a guest.” Thomas-Jacob
  10. Viewpoint: HarperCollins UK CEO says “Publishing Entering a Golden Age” by Roger Tagholm – “On a glorious summer’s evening in the elegant courtyard of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum earlier this month HarperCollins UK CEO Charlie Redmayne could not have sounded more positive as he welcomed guests to the publisher’s annual Summer party in honor of its authors.”  Publishing Perspectives
  11. News: Alice Munro featured on new Canada Post stamp – “Nobel Prize–winning author Alice Munro has been honoured with a new stamp by Canada Post, released today in celebration of her 84th birthday. The stamp features a photograph of Munro taken by her daughter, Sheila, some of the author’s handwriting, and images of her hometown of Wingham, Ontario.” Quill & Quire
  12. Raleigh


    Interview: Reviewer IndieView with RaeleighReads – “I look for a book that grabs my attention from the get-go. I’m more a fan of action than of romance, and I adore scenes that are described in painstaking detail – scenes that transport me out of my reading room and into another world. For that to happen, there can’t be errors in grammar and usage. So, for me, a really well edited book is a must. Beyond that, I look for authentic, meaningful dialogue that is character-appropriate. There is nothing worse than reading a gorgeous line your favorite character would never utter. Again, this type of mistake rips the reader out of the scene. Reading is my means of being transported out of my real life, and a really great book will keep me in its world until the end.”  The Indie View

  13. Lists: A Visual Diary of Gorgeous Technicolor Films, by Alison Nastasi – “Through August 5, MoMA’s retrospective Glorious Technicolor examines this brilliant chapter in Hollywood history. We’re celebrating along with them by offering this visual diary of gorgeous Technicolor films that remind us of the magic of movies.”  Flavorwire
  14. drummondReview: “The Drummond Girls,” by Mardi Jo Link, reviewed by Henry L. Carrigan Jr. – “In 1993, Mardi Jo Link was a 31-year-old wife and mother of two and a bar waitress with a college degree. Just before sunrise on an October Michigan morning, Link and three friends set off on what would become an annual get-the-hell-out-of-Dodge adventure to the isolated refuge of Drummond Island on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In 1993, Link was the newest member of the sorority, but she eventually became the chronicler of the highs and lows of the annual island weekend.”  Book Page
  15. Commentary: Why newsrooms should care about virtual reality, by Abigail Edge – “From Vice to The Wall Street Journal, many newsrooms are already experimenting with virtual reality as a new way to engage audiences and offer different perspectives on stories.  The 2015 Trends in Newsrooms report from the World Editors Forum flagged VR as one of the top nine trends in news outlets around the world.”




KIndle cover 200x300Book Bits is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of the Jim Crow era novella set in the Florida Panhandle, “Conjure Woman’s Cat”




Book Bits: Streisand memoir, ‘The Wright Brothers,’ Sarai Walker, Sally Mann

BookBitsThe late William Zinsser (Item 12) said, “Every time you look at a blank piece of paper, you’re doing something new. You have to step onto that blank territory and remind yourself the sky didn’t fall in the last time you wrote. Writing is a question of overcoming your fears—and everybody has them.” Nonetheless, the “blank page” can be frightening in spite of its potential. Book bits, which appears on this blog once or twice a week, features news, features and reviews focused on writers who made something out of “that blank territory.”

  1. News: Barbra Streisand memoir scheduled for 2017 – “The legendary singer-actress-filmmaker has a deal with Viking for her life story, the publisher announced Wednesday. The book is currently untitled and scheduled for 2017. According to Viking, Streisand will reflect on her childhood, her career and on the private life she has carefully guarded.” CBS News
  2. News: TWIN PEAKS Season 3 Gets Expanded, 18-Episode Order, by Haleigh Foutch – “Let the celebrations continue! David Lynch is officially back in the director’s chair for Twin Peaks season 3, and according to stars Sheryl Lee and Sherilyn Fenn the new season just got a doubled 18-episode order.”  SSN Insider
  3. wrightbrothersReview: “The Wright Brothers,” by David McCullough – “In The Wright Brothers (*** out of four), McCullough has turned his focus to Wilbur and Orville, as well as their lesser-known sister, Katharine, and their invention of powered flight. With McCullough, their story gets iconic treatment, which they mostly deserve. Their discovery was legitimate, despite the efforts of scoundrels and con men of the time who claimed they had beaten the brothers into the air.” USA Today
  4. News: Homer’s Odyssey to Get Hunger Games Treatment – “It’s no secret that epic book-based franchises like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Hunger Games did really, really well on the large screen. It’s no wonder that filmmakers continue looking for book-based series of movies that will slot in as simply and do as well as these earlier films. Enter Lionsgate’s adaptation of Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey.”  January Magazine
  5. News: Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie join protest at ‘impunity’ of Bangladesh bloggers’ killers, by Richard Lea – “More than 150 writers have written an open letter to the Bangladeshi government calling for action to protect free expression and to bring perpetrators to justice.”  The Guardian
  6. Walker


    Interview: Sarai Walker (“Dietland”), with Trisha Ping – “In Dietland, timid Plum Kettle is sure that losing weight is the key that will unlock the life she wants to live. But when she crosses paths with a mysterious young woman, she ends up involved in a full-on riot grrl ride to a feminist awakening. Author Sarai Walker answered a few questions about her edgy, girl-power debut.”  Book Page

  7. News: Amazon and Penguin Random House said to be in dispute, by Jennifer Rankin – “The world’s biggest publisher, Penguin Random House, has entered talks with Amazon that risk repeating the feud between the US online bookseller and French book publisher Hachette, which ended last year after a bitter six-month battle.”  The Guardian
  8. News: Publishing World Gathers This Week for Book Conventions, by Hillel Italie – “Diversity will get an extra push at this week’s BookCon and BookExpo America…Panels include ‘In Search of Diverse Book Buyers,’ about the African-American market, and ‘The Diversity of Success: How Publishers Create Captivating Stories.’ Ellen Oh will be moderating ‘WNDB Presents: Diversity, Be the Change You Want to See.'”  ABC News
  9. On the List

    On the List

    Feature: 17 Unrepentantly Trashy Beach Reads for 2015, by Jonathon Sturgeon – “According to the National Ocean Service, almost 40 percent of the American population lives in a county located directly on a shoreline. If you then imagine America as a giant sanitation vehicle, and if you also figure that most Americans can read, then you arrive at a simple conclusion: we are all, in one way or another, human literary trashcans destined for the beach. With this in mind, here is a selection of the most interesting literary trash of 2015 so far.”  Flavorwire

  10. News: Jason Rezaian of Washington Post Goes on Trial in Iran, by Thomas Erdbrink – “Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post correspondent accused by Iran of espionage who has been imprisoned for more than 10 months, went on trial in a Tehran courtroom on Tuesday morning, state news media reported.” Editor & Publisher
  11. holdstillReview: “Hold Still: a Memoir with Photographs,” by Sally Mann – “An invitation to deliver the prestigious Massey lectures at Harvard inspired photographer Mann (Sally Mann: Immediate Family, 2014, etc.) to embark on a search for her past, beginning with boxes stored in her family’s attic. She hoped to find ‘a payload of southern gothic’: juicy details of ‘deceit and scandal,’ including suicides, fortunes made and lost, and even a murder. Her sources did not disappoint her, and she effectively weaves a “tapestry of fact, memory, and family legend” in this candid and engrossing memoir. ”  Kirkus Reviews
  12. Zinsser


    Commentary: Remembering Bill Zinsser, by Corby Hummer – “On Friday, family, friends, and legions of former students will gather in a church in New York to celebrate the life of William Zinsser, whose On Writing Well has sold more than 1.5 million copies and taught several generations of writers how to bring clarity, simplicity, specificity, and, most of all, their own voices to their writing.”  The Atlantic

  13. Quotation: “Great minds have purposes, others have wishes.” – Washington Irving
  14. Obituary: Tanith Lee, 1947-2015 – “We are saddened to report the passing of science fiction, fantasy, and horror writer Tanith Lee. Lee had a long and prolific writing career, publishing over 90 books and 300 short stories, as well as several poems, four BBC Radio plays, and two episodes of the BBC’s sci-fi television series Blake’s 7.” Tor

Book Bits is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of Conjure Woman’s Cat and The Sun Singer.


Post Navigation