Thursday, July 25, 2013

101 Thoughts on Self-Publishing -- 010: Write Everything Down

The other night, I went to bed and, as usual, lay there thinking for a while. An idea for a story entered my head and, as I was nearly asleep, I didn't really want to get up and write it down. But I did. I forced myself.

The next morning, I saw the piece of paper I'd written on laying by my bed and knew I'd written something on it, but I simply couldn't remember what. If I hadn't written it down, it could have possibly been lost forever.

In retrospect, I don't know if the idea I wrote down will work the way I want it to. But that's not the point. The next one I force myself to get out of bed and jot down could be my next novel. It could become my most successful novel.

I know every writer has experienced this sort of thing. In fact, there are ideas I've lost because I thought I would be able to remember them. Sometimes they'll come back to me later on, but often they won't. I also know that every writer has heard this before and knows they should write things down. But that doesn't stop us from trying to rely on our memories every once in a while, does it?

So here are a few tips so you never get caught trying to remember that brilliant idea you just knew would make for an awesome story.

1. Use your phone/device/etc. If you're out and about and find yourself without a pen and paper, you can use the note-taking program on your mobile device to jot it down. You can also email it to yourself if you want to be sure a copy gets safely to your computer.

2. Keep a pen and loose paper by your bed. I recommend loose paper rather than a journal because it cuts out the step of flipping through the book to find a blank page. At three in the morning, there's a risk of losing that idea-inspiring dream if you have to do too many things before writing it down. I like to use index cards, since their rigidity makes it easier to write on them without a desk or other solid surface present. Make sure the pen and stack of paper or cards are dedicated to your bedside. Don't move them during the day as you might forget to put them back later on.

3. Keep an idea file on your computer. Scraps of paper and napkins can easily get lost. When you get home (or get up, if you've written something during the night) copy your notes into your idea file so they'll all be in one place.

4. Keep your loose notes. Sometimes flipping through pages of physical notes can inspire you in ways reading on a screen can't. You can take them out and rearrange them to see how different ideas will work together. Plus, you'll have your original notes in case your computer crashes and you lose your idea file. But this won't happen, because your regularly back up your files, right? Right?

5. Write more than just story ideas. Sometimes the behavior of a stranger will inspire a character trait you can use. You might also find yourself in an unusual location or hear an amusing snippet of conversation. Write these things down, too. You never know what will inspire you, and anything that you take notice of could also be the sort of thing to make readers take notice and get them more involved in your story.

Do you have any other ways to make sure you never lose your ideas? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!


If you're enjoying the series so far and would like a single page to bookmark, I'll be adding each of my 101 Thoughts on Self-Publishing here. Also be sure to subscribe by email (see the box in the sidebar) to be automatically notified about my new posts.

You might also be interested in my new eBook, Building a Promotional Package: How to Prepare for Your Successful Book Launch. Details about it can be found here.

Michael K. Rose

Friday, July 19, 2013

101 Thoughts on Self-Publishing -- 009: Don’t Be Political… Unless That’s Your Thing

If you're at all active on social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), you've no doubt encountered people who seemingly use it for the sole purpose of political commentary. And if that's your thing, if you write politically charged books, that's fine. But if that's not your thing, if you don't get into politics in your books or you approach it tangentially, my advice would be to avoid getting political when engaging potential readers.


I don't mean to imply you shouldn't express your views if you want to. Of course you can. But like with most other things, it's best to take a step back and spend a few minutes in quiet reflection before posting something that is political. Ask yourself a few questions:

1. Is this a point/issue I feel is essential to my online identity and therefore want to express it?
2. If I do decide to post, am I phrasing it in the most productive way?
3. Is my desire to post a political commentary worth alienating a current or potential reader?

Regarding point one: My online identity is as a speculative fiction writer. I post things relating to science fiction, books, writing, publishing, etc. I will occasionally post things not related to writing, things I find interesting, things that express my other interests, but these are in keeping with my online identity. Personally, I don't post intimate details about my life or my family. It's not part of my public persona, and not the sort of thing people who follow me as a speculative fiction writer are interested in reading about. Point one is really all about creating a line between your public persona and your private persona.

Regarding point two: If you decide to get political, I would encourage you to word your statements positively rather than negatively. Saying something like, "All people who believe this are stupid!" isn't going to win you many fans. Expressing support for something you strongly believe in is a much safer way to approach political commentary. There will still be people who disagree with you, but at least you haven't gone out of your way to antagonize them.

Regarding point three: No matter how carefully you word your statement, there will be people who will unfriend/unfollow you and swear off ever reading your books simply because you expressed an opinion they strongly disagree with. Unfortunately, most of the political discourse in America (I can't speak for other countries) had devolved into this kind of behavior. I don't like it, but I can't see any way to change it.

Now, if you decide you don't want fans like that anyway, go ahead and post. But just remember that such a potential reader could become a devoted fan or friend and be a great person who you have much in common with outside of politics. And by the same token, don't be a reactionary if someone posts something you don't like. People are so much more than their political affiliations, and it would be wise to remember that when dealing with someone who has been vocal about controversial issues.

I will make one final point. You might be familiar with established authors who are highly political and unabashedly so. They have large, built-in fan bases and in many cases have made politics part of their public personas, whether or not their writing has to do with it. As with many things, those who are "established" can get away with breaking or bending the rules a lot more easily than the rest of us. Keep this in mind if you are thinking of modeling yourself on someone who is outspoken in that way. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Do you agree with me that writers are generally better off by keeping their politics private? Are there any other issues you think it is unwise for a writer to be vocal about?


If you're enjoying the series so far and would like a single page to bookmark, I'll be adding each of my 101 Thoughts on Self-Publishing here. Also be sure to subscribe by email (see the box in the sidebar) to be automatically notified about my new posts.

You might also be interested in my new eBook, Building a Promotional Package: How to Prepare for Your Successful Book Launch. Details about it can be found here.

Michael K. Rose

Friday, July 12, 2013


I have a new eBook available, my first non-fiction title. It's called Building a Promotional Package: How to Prepare for Your Successful Book Launch

It's built off the series or articles I wrote last year but has been updated and expanded. I've also included tasks for you to complete at the end of each chapter to make it easier to get everything together.

Here's the official book description:
New authors often find book promotion to be a confusing and frustrating experience. In this concise step-by-step guide, author Michael K. Rose will walk you through building a comprehensive promotional package. He will show you how to organize all your promotional material in one place where it can then be tailored to your specific needs. 
Whether you've yet to promote an upcoming release or are a planning a promotional push for a published book, Building a Promotional Package will give you the tools necessary to help ensure your success.
The book is available at Amazon for just 99 cents. Check it out!

Purchase Building a Promotional Package from:
and all other international Kindle stores

Best Wishes!
Michael K. Rose

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

SULLIVAN'S WAR Just 99¢ Through July 20!

My science fiction adventure novel Sullivan's War is currently on sale for just 99¢. This sale will only run through July 20, so be sure to get your Kindle or Nook copy today!

Available at:
and all other international Amazon Kindle stores.

Also be sure to check out the sequel, Sullivan's Wrath!

If you'd like to help spread the word, extra Tweets would be great. Just copy and past the following to your Twitter account:

SULLIVAN'S WAR by @MichaelKRose is just 99¢ through July 20! Get it for the #Kindle or #Nook: #SciFi

Michael K. Rose

Praise for Sullivan's War:

"...a futuristic political thriller with great action, setting, and characters."

"...the narrative in the book is so flawlessly detailed, the reader can visualize the action as clearly as watching it on a screen. Mr. Rose has a big talent and I look forward to his future works."

"My renewed interest to the genre is a credit to the author. I have abandoned the sci-fi genre for awhile, but after having Sullivan's War recommended to me, I am now back in."

Monday, July 8, 2013

Douglas Lain's "Think the Impossible" Tour

Today, I have a message from author Douglas Lain, author of the novel Billy Moon. Douglas currently has a Kickstarter project running and is seeking help reaching his goal. I'll now turn you over to him and let him tell you about his project.


I am aiming to hit the road with a novel and an idea. The story in my novel Billy Moon takes place in Paris during the student/worker strikes of May, 1968. In my book I place an adult Christopher Robin Milne behind the barricades and, among other things, work out just what went wrong when the youth attempted to create a new society by creating "poetry in the streets."

The cyberpunk author Rudy Rucker blurbed Billy Moon this way: “Doug Lain's Billy Moon is postmodern SF, powering past mere science and into a cubist world of strange. It's a mash-up of Phil Dick, Francoise Sagan, and Winnie the Pooh, with a jaded Christopher Robin at the heart of the 1968 Paris student revolution. Billy Moon is moving and profound, with a radically evanescent style. Just the thing for our new century.”

So that's the book I'm taking on the road. To communicate the idea in the book, an idea that could power me to write many other books, is a bit trickier. It's especially difficult because the one word I'd use to label my idea is this: "impossible." That is, I want to reconsider the impossible, and to point out that what is considered impossible is always necessary for the possible. You can't have something that is possible without something that is impossible tagging along.

Consider this:

In a recent episode of the American police procedural Castle, Detective Beckett traveled from New York to Washington, D.C. for a job interview at the Attorney General’s office. In a previous episode, she’d attracted the attention of a special investigator for the Attorney General by solving a particularly difficult murder. In the finale, this attention bears fruit as she is offered a chance to solve crimes on the national stage.

“If all you think you are is just a homicide detective then we can cut this short now,” the man in the expensive suit tells her.

This plot premise was impossible. Why? Because it was inconceivable that Beckett was going to take the job. To do so would end the program that made her pursuit of the job possible. And so, in this episode, one had to believe in something impossible in order for something possible to occur. That is, in order for Beckett to make the decision to stay, in order for an hour's worth of formula mystery to work itself out, we had to first believe in something impossible, namely that she might leave.

That's how the impossible usually works. One believes in the impossible without realizing the impossibility of what one believes, but there is another option. This is the option the students and workers aimed at in May of 1968. They aimed to seize the impossible. Their slogan was "Demand the Impossible." That is, if Beckett had been part of May 1968 she would've taken the job with the Attorney General.

Just how to do this, what the implications of seizing the impossible, or acting on the impossible, might be in practice, is what I’m taking on the road.


With the “Think the Impossible” Tour, Douglas Lain is aiming at promoting both his new novel and the idea of “the impossible” or of contradiction. Taking his philosophy podcast Diet Soap and his novel Billy Moon on the road, he’ll be interviewing Andrew Kliman from the Marxist Humanist Initiative, Margaret Kimberley from the Black Agenda Report, McKenzie Wark author of the Hacker Manifesto, Daniel Coffeen, sophist and pop philosopher, and a few others about what, for structural reasons, can’t usually be discussed in a capitalist society. Support his tour via Kickstarter.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Help Make Sullivan's War: Book One Free!

Hello, all! I have decided to put Sullivan's War: Book One - All Good Men Serve the Devil free at Amazon. Unfortunately, Amazon does not allow one to do this. Instead, I have to make it free at another seller and hope Amazon will match the price.

If you'd like to help, you can report the lower price (free) to Amazon.

Here's how to do it:

1. Highlight and copy the following:

This is the book's entry at Smashwords, where it is free.

2. Visit the Amazon page for the book (click here). Scroll down until you see the Product Details. At the bottom of that section you will see "tell us about a lower price". Click on it. You will then be prompted to enter the details.

3. When the box pops up, select "Website (Online)" then paste the URL you copied from step 1, enter 0.00 under the price and shipping costs then press "Submit feedback."

Any help in getting this book free is greatly appreciated! Also, feel free to download the free epub version of the book from Smashwords if you've yet to read it, or share the link if you know anyone who might like it.

Wishing all of you the very best!
Michael K. Rose

P.S.: If any of my fellow authors need help getting their books price matched, leave a comment below with the links and I'll submit the info to Amazon. Also, if you need an RT on Twitter, info on how to request one can be found here.