My Latest Accomplishment

It was a pleasure to put the finish on “Night of the Hell Hounds” short story in my Green Crystal series of Fantasy e-books over the weekend. It was more pleasurable to publish it with its new content and cover art at Amazon and not have any problems.

Night of the Hell Hounds e-book cover

I still get excited when I see my books for sale at bookstores. It isn’t pride I feel, but accomplishment after countless hours of arduous work. It isn’t easy work being an author. It’s even harder being a self-published one. If writing and creating cover art weren’t fun (and they are a joy to this old guy), I wouldn’t bother with the trials of publishing.

Slowly, though, my newly edited 8-book Green Crystal series is making a comeback to Amazon’s sales pages. These books replace the old ones published from 2013 to 2015 and feature new cover art. Unfortunately, they have their old Amazon ASINs, so anyone who bought the old e-books will have difficulty replacing them with the new ones. I know Amazon says you can contact them and request the new ones, and they claim it’s fairly easy to do. It isn’t. And for that, I apologize that I have no control over it. I suppose if you hound them enough they’ll give in and let you read the new copy.

A possible solution to the above problem may be for me to release them as paperback books. That way, you’re sent the new copy. It’s an enticing idea. I’m right now envisioning the entire series published as a paperback. If so, it will take a few years or more to do. I have plenty of projects on my To Do list already.

“Night of the Hell Hounds” is listed as Young Adult, 4,500 words, and 99-cents at Amazon U.S. It’s also available at other Amazon markets. The following link will take you to the U.S. market. Click Here.

If you buy and read my books, please leave some reviews. There was a time when I sold my books at my website in the 1990s that I garnered a lot of reviews and feedback from my readers and fans. Nowadays, not so much, which is a shame. I learned a lot from them, and we had lots of fun sharing ideas and lists of our favorite authors and books.

Anyway, thanks for joining me today. Peace and love to you and may good reads and wonderful art fill your days.

Join Me

I posted last about my new website Vree Erickson at https://vreeerickson.wordpress.com. It features the writing aspects of my life, which I’ve discontinued here. I want to focus on the art side of my life here, if and when I get around to it. If not, I may close this site and put my money and efforts in my writing website. I’m giving both projects a year before I make any decisions.

Meanwhile, you may wonder why I’m doing this. Why not leave things alone? The answer is brand. One of my followers, whom I’ve followed for ten or more years, writes often about brands and what they mean. For this website, the brand has been twofold: art and writing.

This site began in 2011 as a place to feature my art, then became a place to feature my books two years later. I’ve since stopped making art in favor of writing, mainly because I lost my art studio, but also because I enjoy writing more.

If you like my books and enjoy reading the “behind the scenes” of writing them, who the characters are, excerpts from my books, challenges, and more, please join me at Vree Erickson. I think it’s a better deal than offering a newsletter.

I hope to see you there.

Thanks for reading.

Is Goodreads’ Author Page A Minestrone?

This post’s title comes from a song released in 1975 by 10cc that claims, “Life is a minestrone served up with parmesan cheese.” I was 18 at the time and the song summed up my life very well. I had a profound sense of humor (if I do say so myself). Then I went off like a happy Don Quixote to fight windmills. I’ve not been the same since.

Fast-forward to my 65th year to be alive and my continuing adventures of self-publishing my books. Like Rocky and Bullwinkle looking for treasure, whether hidden in a jet fuel formula, buried somewhere in Frostbite Falls, or of the Monte Zoom kind, I’ve had my own Boris and Natasha impeding my way, disguised as helpful hosts along the Internet highway.

One of those impediments has been Goodreads’ author program. I was using their program since 2008 to keep track of my books, so after Amazon bought them out in 2013, they invited me to be a listed author there. It sounded like a “fun” thing to do. It wasn’t. You can read about a kerfuffle I had with them in 2014 at One Little Period Screwed the Pooch. That was when I published my books as Steven L Campbell and wanted my author’s name listed as such. They said no, it was their way or the highway. I chose the latter, but not because of the name situation. It was the rude comments from one of their librarians that led me to remove my books at their site and to stop publishing my books at Amazon.

However, time heals all wounds, so I returned to publishing at Amazon 2 years ago and made a new author page at Goodreads, this time as Steve Campbell. Right away, the folks (librarians?) at Goodreads confused me with another author named Steve Campbell and dumped his books on my author page. It took several weeks to clean up that snafu.

Now, 2 years later, they’ve dumped 7 books narrated by another Steve Campbell on my page.

Seriously, I don’t know what to make of how prone to errors their author program is. I contacted them yesterday (23 hours ago as of this writing) in their “Book Issues > This book is not mine, please move it (part 11)” section, which is part of their Librarians Group discussion section. I’m awaiting a reply. I’m #340 on the list, so it may take a while, though others who have posted after me have received corrections.

Some of the feedback I received last year at another site says, “Goodreads has been frozen in time since 2013 when Amazon acquired them” and “The design is like a teenager’s 2005 Myspace page.” Many authors that I’ve talked to have had to wait weeks before Goodreads listed their books correctly.

One alternative is to leave Goodreads, as other indie authors have done. “It hurts sales a bit,” a friend told me, “but there are other ways to promote yourself as an author. And I have fewer headaches than when I was at Goodreads.”

I may follow his advice. I can still publish at Amazon, leave their KDP Select program after a year, and publish elsewhere—Smashwords perhaps. Why not? After all, “Life is a minestrone served up with parmesan cheese,” and dealing with websites like Goodreads that don’t function well is “a cold lasagna suspended in deep freeze.”

That’s all for now. I’ll keep you abreast of any news or changes.

Thanks for reading. I need to put on some music now to help get rid of this ever-playing earwig: “Mini-mini-mini-minestrone…”

New Ridgewood Map

Keeping abreast of my latest changes to my Ridgewood stories, I remade the territorial map to show the addition of Russell Ridge and Myers Ridge’s move.

Russell Ridge replaces Myers Ridge as the primary location of events. If you’ve read my “A Night of Hellhounds” short story, then you’ll know that Russell Ridge butts against Alice Lake, where Vree Erickson ends up when she falls from the cliffs.

“A Night of Hellhounds” is part of the Luminary Magic series of books. Have you read the book? If so, I’d love to hear what you thought of it. Was it interesting? Exciting? Not that good? Please let me know in the comments section below. Or leave a review where you purchased the book.

Anyway, I moved Myers Ridge to the west of Russell Ridge so that it’s farther from town and more “countrified” than Russell Ridge. My character Nick Corwin (name subject to change) lives there. He’s a featured character in my soon-to-be-released Green Crystal series. This series is a rewriting of my old Ridgewood Chronicles series from long ago and published for a while at Amazon and other major book markets. How many of you own a book or more from that series featuring a possessive green crystal? If so, be ready to be blown away by the new-and-improved green crystal and the problems it causes.

If interested, you can read the old green crystal series in the Books section of this site, specifically The Green Crystal Stories, featuring Vree Erickson, published 2012–2014 section. Here’s a quick link to the Books page: < https://stevenlcampbell.wordpress.com/my-books/ >

Happy reading. I hope to have release dates for the first two or three Green Crystal series books by the end of February, maybe the first of March.

Peace and love!