Writing Wednesday: Can Smashwords Teach an Old Dog (or Cat)?

Last week’s progress:

I posted my own blog on schedule, and made some comments on other people’s blogs (I still have a dearth of comments on my own – as far as I can tell, it is possible for readers to comment, but it never happens. Hey, I wonder if I can solicit comments on why there are no comments…)

I thought all my circulating stories were still under consideration, but I noticed that “Humours Rendered” should have been replied to a month ago (I need to watch my spreadsheet where I project response times more closely). This market normally sends a rejection letter when their done, but the last couple of times this hasn’t happened – fortunately, they also have a way to check online, and I discovered that the story was no longer in PENDING status (yes, it was REJECTED.) The story is back out to market.

I wrote on seven days last week, but missed my quota by a bit (2,639 words of my 3,000 word quota.)  This was mostly completion of the first revision of Herc Tom #9 (now just under 16,000 words), plus the start of Herc Tom #10 (currently over 900 words.) Since I decided that the story arch (that’s what I’m calling it) is three stories, I won’t do the final revision on #9 until the draft is done for #10. I should be able to finish #9 before its scheduled June 19th release date.


Last weekend I did something that I rarely do. It’s hard for me to give up writing time for non-writing-related activities, but Smashwords was having a Smashwords Author Day to educate us on the trends in eBooks, and other topics and best practices in indie publishing. It’s been a while since I learned what I know, and it was time for a refresher, so I attended the six-hour webcast.

If you’re like me, you can take classes and understand them, but unless you apply them pretty soon after, the knowledge gets buried in the dark recesses of your mind, where they do no good. Even if you already learned something, it’s worth it to dust that knowledge off.

One of the practices that was discussed was making some of your books FREE (at least some of the time) to help create interest in the rest of your works. Now, I’ve experimented with FREE in my own little way, and my experience has not been too promising. From the books I’ve given away, I have received no reviews, and, as far as I can tell, no additional sales. This may bear out other advice that I’ve heard – that the people who grab your FREE books are mostly interested in getting FREE things. Or it may just be something about me, or the difficulties of marketing short fiction – who knows.

Still there may be some value in FREE on a limited basis. I won’t be making random PurrMissionCoverSerieseBooks FREE, but it was also suggested that a series where the first book (or in my case story) is free does better than without that FREE intro. So, I will be making the inaugural stories for my two series FREE on Smashwords:

“Purr Mission”, the first of my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire stories (the one that earned an honorable mention in the WotF contest), is HERE: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/211302

InAFlashJimmyCover“In a Flash”, my first Detective Jimmy Delaney story is HERE: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/120247

There doesn’t appear to be a way to make my stories free on Amazon, so you’ll have to pick up the free inaugural stories in kindle format at Smashwords, then resume your purchases at Amazon if you prefer.

I may decide to incorporate more of what I learned (or was reminded of) last weekend, but let’s see how this goes first. Just saying…


I’m participating in Smashwords’ site-wide Authors Give Back promotion, which is being collection2coverheld to show support for people around the world suffering through isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. All of my collections (including my Detective Jimmy Delaney and Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series) AND Swordsmaster are on sale for 30%-off. The link to my eBooks on Smashwords is here:


The continues through May 31st. There’s a coupon on the page for each eligible eBook – ENJOY!


Swordsmaster – my first novel – is ready for your reading pleasure, so give it a read, won’t you?Swordsmaster4

Fate is neither something to run away from, nor something to run towards.

The first bright-eye to be seen on the mountain in living memory, Sandrik didn’t want anyone to think of him as they did the ominous Aurae of legend, so he had worked hard to keep his special abilities hidden. But there was more to Sandrik than even he knew. Now that it was time for him to enter the ancient ruins of Taernfeld and be declared a man, what other changes might he be forced into?

Swordsmaster is available at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Smashwords (with a Smashwords Authors Give Back coupon): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/954501

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WNK79FM


William Mangieri’s writing (including Cats of War II, his latest collection of Herc Tom, ImperialImperilmentCoverChampion of the Empire tales) can be found in many places, including, but not limited to:
• Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri

• His site on WordPress:  https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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