My new collection, Fragments & Fancies: Ficlets, Flash Fiction & Shorts is now available for FREE on Smashwords.
Here’s the official description:
Three vampires walk into a bar…
A suicidal widower is talked down by a mysterious, chain-smoking stranger with an ulterior motive…
A picturesque sea-side chalet harbors a disturbing secret under its serene waters…
A kindly grandmother runs a pie shop that is a gateway to time and space…
A mysterious house with a dark reputation tempts one bored little girl…
Angels, vampires, ghosts and faeries mingle with the lovelorn, the desperate, the weary and the brave in this collection of quick-fire stories from Restless Spirits author Jean Marie Bauhaus.
Most of these have been posted here and/or at the defunct Ficlets or the new Ficly, so long-time friends-of-the-blog have probably seen them already. But if you enjoyed them, here they are gathered up in a handy-dandy collection, along with a never-before-released excerpt from Restless Spirits.
Here’s the link again.
If you’ve been holding out for the Nook edition of Restless Spirits, here it is.
Well, that didn’t take as long as long as I expected it to (although expect the corrected acknowledgements to take a couple more days to update): Restless Spirits is now available for purchase on Amazon.
It’s not quite the rush of walking into a bookstore and seeing your book on the shelves, but it still feels pretty good.
And if anybody who’s read it feels inclined to leave a review over there, that would make it even better. 🙂
Restless Spirits is my first guinea pig in this whole self-publishing experiment, so I thought I’d share some of the things I learned about the process.
- Formatting is easy and relatively painless. Smashwords has an excellent style guide, and after I prepared my manuscript according to their instructions, I only had to make a few very minor tweaks to get it ready for the Kindle.
- Publishing is also easy and painless. With Smashwords, you just upload your Word doc and they generate the various formats in under five minutes. They also distribute it to the Apple iStore, Barnes & Noble and other e-book retailers who aren’t Amazon, so that’s handy. For Amazon, which you have to publish to separately, you have to download and install Mobipocket Creator and use it to turn your HTML Word file into an EPUB file, but the software is free and the extra step only takes a few minutes.
- Don’t use Google Chrome when uploading your book to Amazon. I don’t know for certain whether this is just a coincidence, but I was using Chrome last night when I kept running into "Unknown error" messages every time I tried to upload my book. Today it occurred to me to try a different browser, so I uploaded it through Firefox and it worked fine. Which brings me to…
- Amazon is a little slow to process your book. I uploaded it about twenty minutes ago and was told that it takes a day or three to finish processing and become available for purchase.
- None of this cost me a dime. Of course, it helps to have a background in both graphic design and copy editing (as well as sharp-eyed beta readers), so I didn’t need to hire anybody to help me in those areas. I enjoy designing covers, and I enjoy editing when I haven’t looked at a story so many times it makes me go blind. They are time consuming, though, so maybe in the future, if this venture is successful, I’ll outsource those tasks, although it’s more likely that as I get better at it I’ll be trying to get people to outsource those tasks to ME. For now, though, this is a total DIY effort, and it’s comforting to know that if the book doesn’t sell, I won’t have lost any money on it.
- Nothing is set in stone. Unlike print books, with e-books, if you see something you’d like to change you can go ahead and change it. Which is good, because I just discovered that I misspelled my niece-in-law’s last name in the acknowledgments. Speaking of which, I’m posting them here so that those who have already read the book and given feedback won’t have to buy a copy to see what I wrote about them. And if you offered feedback to one of the older incarnations of this book and I left you out, first, I’m so sorry, and second, let me know and I’ll be sure to add you. Ditto if I botched your name.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS for Restless Spirits
A book never gets to the finish line on its own. Thank you to Erin Palette, Stevie Puckett, Angela Garniss, Julie Pavey, Jamie J. aka themournfulduck, Helen Gialidakis and anyone else I might have lost track of who has provided invaluable feedback since I first drafted this novella three years ago. Big thanks are also owed my BFF, Tessy Smith, for being my biggest cheerleader and favorite reader. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to David Michael for inspiring me to try my hand at e-publishing in the first place. And of course to Matt, for putting up with my writerly quirks, for endless encouragement, and for showing me the kind of love that transcends this mortal coil: there is not enough gratitude in the world.
Veronica Wilson wakes up dead and discovers she’s in for the fight of her life. A paranormal investigator in life, Ron is setting up for a ghost hunt in the spookiest house in town when she finds herself the one being hunted. Now she’s trapped in the house along with a bevy of other ghosts — including an axe-murderess and the family she killed, an old man who just wants to go be with his wife, and a handsome handyman whose past seems more haunted and mysterious than the house they’re imprisoned in — all of them victims of a malevolent, murderous spirit. Refusing to accept this as her afterlife, Ron rallies the other ghosts to gang up on their captor and fight for their freedom. But how does a ghost fight a monster who can devour souls–especially when that monster has red pigtails and freckles and is cute as a button?
Restless Spirits is now available for preview and purchase on Smashwords. If you’re not familiar with Smashwords, it allows you to download the book for just about any device, or you can just read it online. You can also read an excerpt free of charge.
I’ve run into technical difficulties trying to upload it to the Kindle store, but it will be available there as well once I get the bugs worked out.