Tag Archives: Smashwords

Mermaid in a Bubble Trouble

Following a string of floating water globes called The Water Pearls

Following a string of floating water globes called The Water Pearls

Lita takes Gentle Reader to the land of Clockpunk Wizard today, with an excerpt from Old Bony Blue Eyes.

Wizard Kadmeion, Sir Bright, and the three fairies are on their airship and following a string of floating water globes called The Water Pearls to Sir Death’s island at the edge of their plate-shaped ocean world. A mermaid has taken a ride inside a large Water Pearl. Her globe has tangled in the airship’s rigging. Bright has just rescued their three fairies from the mermaid’s glamour spell. She is ravenous for magic, and tried to eat the fey-folk. Kadmeion has just climbed up to join them on the cabin roof. The mermaid tries her spell again, but this time focuses it on the young, magic-rich wizard.

Izlyesende kissed the squeezed spot in apology. Bright’s ear tingled from the fairy’s magic.

Izlyesende kissed the squeezed spot in apology. Bright’s ear tingled from the fairy’s magic.

Bright felt the itch of the mermaid’s renewed attraction spell. Izlyesende gasped, pinched the narfleet’s ear, and then relaxed when Bright’s natural glamour resistance protected the three fairies. Izlyesende kissed the squeezed spot in apology. Bright’s ear tingled from the fairy’s magic.

“Stop it, Madam Mermaid,” Kadmeion said. “Your trick will not work on me.”

Her glamour spell trickled away. This mermaid was a colorless, almost translucent being. She turned around once in her bubble, tried unsuccessfully to push her Water Pearl away from its mooring to the cabin roof, then curled into a waiting stance.

“Will you hold my hand, Sir Wizard?”

“You would surely bite me if I allowed that.”

“Will you hold my hand, Sir Wizard?”

“Will you hold my hand, Sir Wizard?”

“Mer has poor magical fare,” she said.

“Is that why mermaids savage wizards who fall into the sea?”

“Magic too long denied has made us greedy.” She brushed away her floating cloud of white hair and gave it an impatient glance.

If you want to woo her cooperation, Kadmeion, try a spell to play with her hair, Bright mind spoke.

Bright’s suggestion earned him a glance and a nod from the wizard. Kadmeion turned back to the fussing mermaid and sang this spell.

“Lovely mermaid encased in Water Pearl,
You grace my airship with hair unfurled.
Beautiful silver tresses
Replace land-lady’s dresses.
Your hair now obeys me. Undulate. Curl.”

The wizard made her locks sway and swim to his whim.

The wizard made her locks sway and swim to his whim.

Kadmeion lifted his hand and made a delicate swirling motion. The mermaid’s long hair lifted away from her face and mimicked the motion of the wizard’s hand.

He made her locks sway and swim to his whim. Kadmeion first twirled the long strands around her slim waist, and then spun them atop her head in a confectionary arrangement of braids and sparkling magical bits. By the time he finished the spell, the mermaid’s eyes glowed with pleasure.

(Old Bony Blue Eyes excerpt Copyright 2013 by Lita Burke. All rights reserved.)

Read Chapter 1 of Old Bony Blue Eyes for FREE

Old Bony Blue Eyes on Amazon US

Old Bony Blue Eyes on Amazon UK

Old Bony Blue Eyes on Smashwords

Old Bony Blue Eyes on Barnes & Noble

Lita is Overcome by All of the Attention

Old Bony Blue Eyes: Featured in End of Summer Releases

Lita's Heart Flutters from the Attention

Lita’s Heart Flutters from the Attention

Oh my. Lita is overcome by all the attention over Old Bony Blue Eyes.

Prattle about Old Bony Blue Eyes

Indies Unlimited announced its roundup of New Late Summer Releases today, and they included Lita’s Old Bony Blue Eyes.

In Old Bony, Wizard Kadmeion and his friends face a dangerous journey to Sir Death’s castle to win a powerful spell book for a love-starved dragon.

If Gentle Reader has not yet embarked on this latest trip to the Clockpunk Wizard world, take a seat in the airship’s forward observation lounge–it has the best views–and start things off with Chapter 1. We drop in on Kadmeion’s assistant, the half-elf Sir Bright, amid a dreadful row with an ill-mannered Goon.

Other Juicy Tidbits

Curious about other hubbub over Lita’s books? Then be sure to check out the News Releases alcove next to the dining room. Still nosey? Then let’s talk. Lita is in the airship’s quercetum with the resident fairies and talking with the Smashwords folks. Also stop by the Interviews library next to Kadmeion’s magical workshop to read more Lita talk.

Which Wizard Would Create a Monkey Homunculus?

News Release: Gentler than Steampunk

Find out why it is nonsense for wizards to have lightning fingers

Find out why it is nonsense for wizards to have lightning fingers

Hooray for the news! 1888 Press Release has posted a news release about Lita Burke’s newest Clockpunk Wizard book, Old Bony Blue Eyes.

Gentler than Steampunk: Clockpunk Author Releases New Book

In a land filled with twisty wizard’s magic and the 16th century technology of Leonardo da Vinci, comes the latest book by fantasy author Lita Burke.

Fantasy author Lita Burke has released Old Bony Blue Eyes, a new story in Ms. Burke’s Clockpunk Wizard series. It is available… (read the rest at 1888 Press Release)

Read about other Lita Burke news releases.

Read more about Old Bony Blue Eyes.

Get Old Bony Blue Eyes for Kindle, iPad/iPhone, and Nook.

Lita Burke Featured
Gentler than Steampunk: Clockpunk Author Releases …
September, 2013 @ 1888PressRelease.com
A wizard faces a peril-filled journey to Sir Death’s castle to win a powerful spell book for a love-starved dragon.

Announcing the Release of Old Bony Blue Eyes

Clockpunk Wizard World is a Land of Airships, Automata Powered by Minor Demons, and the Technology of Da Vinci

Clockpunk Wizard World is a Land of Airships, Automata Powered by Minor Demons, and the Technology of Da Vinci

It is time to buy your ticket and take your seat. The airship leaves now for another trip to the Clockpunk Wizard fantasy world of Lita Burke. All aboard!

Old Bony Blue Eyes, the next story in the Clockpunk Wizard series, was released in all eBook formats today. Instant gratification is available now for Gentle Reader’s Kindle, iPad/iPhone, or Nook.

In Old Bony, Wizard Kadmeion faces a peril-filled journey to Sir Death’s castle to win a powerful spell book for a love-starved dragon. Along the way, he gets questionable help from Lady Luck and the bickering duo of Lord and Madam War.

A wizard faces a peril-filled journey to Sir Death’s castle to win a powerful spell book for a love-starved dragon.

A wizard faces a peril-filled journey to Sir Death’s castle to win a powerful spell book for a love-starved dragon.

Kadmeion’s half-elf assistant Sir Bright, and the wizard’s weredog familiar Furgo, go with him on his trip. They learn that Sir Death is a wizard with a curious shortcoming, plus he owns a wonderful library stuffed with all of their world’s magical knowledge.

This trip, we visit the airship pilot Copernicus and learn the differences among minor demons that inhabit homunculi. Fairy Izlyesende coaches Kadmeion about girlfriends. And Sir Death shows Kadmeion the dangers that powerful wizards weave when they laugh themselves silly.

Enjoy your trip to Lita’s Clockpunk Wizard world. Old Bony Blue Eyes available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

A Lost Building in Temptation Town, About Halfway to Sir Death's Castle

Old Bony Blue Eyes: Sneak Peek at Chapter 1

A Building in Temptation Town, Halfway Through the Desert on the Road to Death's Castle

A Building in Temptation Town, Halfway Through the Desert on the Road to Death’s Castle

Only a few more days before Wizard Kadmeion’s airship leaves on a brand-new adventure with Lady Luck, Lord and Madam War, and Sir Death.

It has been a delightful several months here at Lita’s house, getting the next Clockpunk Wizard adventure ready, Old Bony Blue Eyes.

So much to do, and Mistress Time will not smile on Lita like she does for her clockworks magicians. But the editing is finally done, the story is back from the beta reader (he loved it), and Lita filed the copyright paperwork yesterday. No time to take a breath. Much more work to come this week with formatting the eBook files, putting the last touches on the dozens of details for the web pages, then that loveliest of tasks, publishing.

Can’t wait until Old Bony Blue Eyes comes out this Saturday, August 31st? The back cover blurb hints about the upcoming adventure for Kadmeion, Bright, and Furgo. Curious about how the story begins? Here is chapter one of Kadmeion’s next Clockpunk Wizard story. Welcome aboard his airship.

Old Bony Blue Eyes by Lita Burke

Copyright 2013 by Lita Burke. All rights reserved.

Chapter One
Befuddlement, Norman Bar Island

Bright ducked, but much too late.

The Goon’s backhanded swipe landed on Bright’s temple, snapped his head back, and sent the smaller half-elf tumbling. He smacked against their airship’s reception room wall. Bright bounced off and landed face down. Get up and fight back? For the moment, impossible. He would instead sing a spell to freeze the Goon and get out of this mess.

The magic died on his lips before he uttered two words. More…

Review: Becoming a Superhero

This young man couldn't put himself together

This young man couldn’t put himself together

Becoming a Superhero, Based on a True Story by Oliver Galang

Warning: This story has some occasional adult language.

Becoming a Superhero was a coming-of-age tale about a drifting young man from a military family lost in a mire of gambling, prostitutes, and depression. It was also a humorous telling about the whims of peer pressure and finding a memorable psychologist. The duality made for an entertaining read.

The story centered on young Oliver, who convinced himself early on that he was a budding superhero like what he saw in movies and comic books. But reality showed he was instead an awkward nerd, and his family’s frequent moves made it difficult to keep friends. Cultural differences, and his parent’s meager finances, created misunderstandings with everyone. Oliver tried a military career like his father, but did not stay. Then came life’s real temptations.

Oliver wouldn't face his inner landscape

Oliver wouldn’t face his inner landscape

What Do Young Guys Want?

With Lita’s lifelong puzzlement about how men think and why they act in such interesting ways, this story gave insightful clues. For example, during a speech at his sister’s wedding, Oliver quipped “I hope it works out,” then didn’t understand, despite his well-combed hair, why high school girls weren’t interested in dating him.

Becoming a Superhero described many places where Oliver tasted the fun of life (having a lovely girlfriend with a french accent, a winning night at Blackjack, landing a high-paying job), then immersed himself to excess. He abandoned girlfriends and instead frequented prostitutes. Recreational card playing turned to gambling addiction. The job no longer supported his indulgences, and Oliver racked up credit card debt and bankruptcies.

Not what this young man wanted, but Oliver made more choices to return to the adrenaline soaked, but disastrous pursuits. Here was a guy that avoided introspection, to his folly.

How does a person rescue themselves from life's well?

How does a person rescue themselves from life’s well?

Let’s Shrink-Wrap That

A refreshing voice entered Oliver’s life–a new psychologist. The first question this therapist asked Oliver was “You fell in love with a prostitute…are you crazy?”

My, oh my. Lita had to put down her Kindle for a minute to recover from this lovely line.

Then they discussed Oliver’s superhero yearnings. They talked over his wish to get married. Was it to have kids? No, it was something else. This clever section of Becoming a Superhero finally showed us the real reason for Oliver’s destructive lifestyle. There was a way out of the well that Oliver kept falling into. After the journey through this superhero wannabe’s life, we learned what this young guy really wanted–and he was a superhero all along.

Becoming a Superhero is on AmazonSmashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

More about Oliver Galang at Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

Forever Boy by Lita Burke

New Cover for Forever Boy

Forever Boy by Lita Burke

In Forever Boy, a dog flees his cruel master, befriends a wizard, and discovers his shapeshifting magic.

The last new cover for the spring clean takes you to the Clockpunk Wizard fantasy world in Forever Boy. There you will find Wizard Kadmeion’s ~twisty~ magic.

Life is dirty, difficult, and all too short for the dogs digging up the deadly mandrake roots that wizards animate with minor demons. A pup named Go Fer has an odd magical talent. He does not die from the fatal screams of newly unearthed mandrakes. Go Fer’s master, a prideful minor magician, sees Go Fer’s talent as a fluke saving him the cost of replacing dogs killed by the mandrakes’ cries.

One morning, a young Wizard Kadmeion and his half-elf assistant Bright watch Go Fer at work. This mandrake extraction goes horribly wrong, and Go Fer runs away during the hubbub. After seeking out the wizard, the dog’s life is not the same. In fact, Kadmeion discovers Go Fer is not a dog after all.

An exciting life as the wizard’s familiar awaits Go Fer. Instead of using mandrakes, Bright has built clever clockwork men who pilot Kadmeion’s wonderful airship. Go Fer would have a new name, a new boy appearance, and he would fly with his new master between islands that float above the sea.

But Magic Guild law makes the mandrake harvester Go Fer’s master, and Kadmeion will not go against the guild. Go Fer must return to the dog-murderer, lose his wondrous boy form, and dig mandrake roots until he dies. Which will be the very next time, unless the clever clockwork man and the kindly wizard can get him out of this fatal mess.

Forever Boy now available on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

Ghostly Warning ~ Secret Magic ~ Enchanter Shame

New Cover for Tredan’s Bane

Tredan's Bane by Lita Burke

In Tredan’s Bane, a magical oddities dealer hides her kidnapped husband’s dangerous spell book.

The spring clean for the old book covers continues.

Here is the new cover for Tredan’s Bane. In Tredan’s Bane, a dead Sciomancer told Lanith to beware of fire and kisses.

He should have told her to RUN.

Enchanters are so attractive, most believe they are amoral seducers. The Church considers them a dangerous lure for a soul’s journey to the afterlife. Problem is, Enchanter essence powers all of the magic in Lanith’s world of Sye. Because of the escalating attacks from Church Enforcers, the Enchanters have fled to their impenetrable enclaves.

Lanith’s husband Tredan has vanished. Her home and curio shop have burned. Long ago, she promised Tredan to seek the Enchanters’ help if he ever disappeared, so Lanith teams up with Enchanter Nyle. They discover Tredan wrote a journal filled with spells that will ruin the Enchanters’ magic.

There is more bad news. An Enforcer has come to town, and he will stop at nothing to acquire Tredan’s journal for the Church. Lanith must stop the Church magician from getting the journal and destroying the Enchanters. Lanith must also overcome her desire for Nyle’s delectable essence.

The Church’s warnings are true. Saving Sye’s magic could damn her soul.

Tredan’s Bane by Lita Burke is available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Immerse yourself with irresistible magic, regrettable choices, and a unconquorable foe--then be ready to run.

New Cover for Wrath, Prequel to Tredan’s Bane

Wrath, Prequel to Tredan's Bane

In Wrath, a retired Enchanter battles a powerful magician to keep a dangerous spell book from falling into the wrong hands.

It’s April, and time for a spring clean. Pardon the dust. Let’s open some windows and chase away the musty look of tired book covers.

Some of Lita’s covers were long overdue for a rework. Wrath, Prequel to Tredan’s Bane was Lita’s first indie short story. To say Wrath had a shoestring budget is generous. The reality for Lita back then was to learn, and do, all the publishing work herself. That included the cover design.

The results? Passable, to put it gently. But Lita’s talents lie not in book cover design. To know yourself is the greatest wisdom, hands down.

The budget for book covers is now much more generous, and being smarter about a book’s “face” helps, too. Mom’s advice about working hard, embracing learning, and keeping at it, paid off. Wonderful, isn’t it, that mothers are so smart?

Here is the new face for Wrath. Fire is a theme in the story and is prominent in the new cover. Wrath is the start of an epic fantasy about magic, abiding love, and protecting what you hold dear.  Also, an affectionate dragonette might perch on your shoulder, coo like a dove, and leave you a kiss of blueberry-flavored magical essence.

If Gentle Reader has not yet plunged into the fantasy world of Sye, Wrath is FREE now on Smashwords. Come meet former Enchanter Tredan, learn his shameful magical secret, then be ready to run.

Startled Man

eBook Pricing for Indie Fiction (Part 2)

Stop wandering in the indie eBook pricing forest

Setting indie eBook fiction prices is like wandering without a path in a misty forest. Take my hand, and let us find our way together.

This is the second of two posts discussing eBook pricing for new indie fiction authors. In Part 1, we looked at other indies’ pricing suggestions. In today’s post, I will present a pricing model based on samples and story length.

FREE Loss Leader

These freebies are your samples. Their purpose is to hook a reader on your writing style, tease them with taste of a longer novel, or they are the first installment of a series. These items are short stories–novelette length at the most (I describe fiction lengths below). Post flash fiction or ultra-shorts of 100-500 words on your website. These tidbits catch the interest of readers window shopping at your website. They are like delicious sample trays at chocolatiers’ shops.

Long stories have smaller price per word

Long stories have smaller price per word

Put longer short stories and novelettes on your usual sales channels (i.e., Smashwords and Amazon) so you can track how many people have downloaded them. Be sure to enable sampling the first 20% or so of all fiction on your sales channels. The key is to let your readers try your writing before they buy. Have at least one teaser, prequel or loss leader in your collection. Put some freebies on your website, and offer one in your usual sales channels. The eBook price? Free.

Length Matters

The number of words is one of the few pragmatic measurements for a story. No need for fancy (and confusing) formulas based on manuscript pages–use the word count feature of your word processor. You will be rounding it to whole numbers anyway.

Lita’s recommended eBook pricing model uses word count, but it isn’t linear. Your shorter stories will have a high price-per-word value than the longer works. For example, a short story at 1000 words would be priced at a dollar (valued at 10 cents per word), but a 120,000 epic fantasy would not be priced at ten cents a word–it would cost a whopping $120. It would not sell, no matter how wonderful the tale.

The Shocking Pricing Model

Take a deep breath. Ready? Here is Lita’s humbly suggested eBook pricing model for just-starting-out indie authors. When you’ve grown a following, you could adjust the prices to what your market can absorb.

These indie eBook prices are shocking!

These indie eBook prices are shocking!

  • Short Story
    • 1000 to 7500 words
    • Free if loss leader, otherwise 99 cents
  • Novelette
    • 7,500 – 20,000 words
    • 99 cents
  • Novella
    • 20,000 – 80,000 words
    • $1.99
  • Novel
    • 80,000 – 110,000 words
    • $2.99
  • Epic or Sequel
    • Over 110,000 words
    • $3.99

Lita made the mistake of pricing her début novel much too high. I set the eBook value on what I thought it was worth, and the readership disagreed. Other marketing blunders also slowed sales down, but that’s a topic for another post.

These pricing numbers are based on Lita’s experience. If Gentle Reader uses a different pricing approach and wishes to share the pros and cons, please comment. After all, we are wandering together in the misty forest of indie eBook pricing.