Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year - 2015

If I believed in New Year's Resolutions, I'd have some dillies for this year.

Instead, I've already taken some actions that I think will pay off in the long run, not waiting around for 'the starting gun' of January 1st.

This year I published a few more stories and 'Tales from the Leeward Lounge' a collection of the first eight I. C. Talbot e-books.

'Tales From the Leeward Lounge' at Amazon.

Amazon's I. C. Talbot page - with all her e-books.

For Nook owners, these are the links on Barnes and Noble's website:

'Tales From the Leeward Lounge' at Barnes and Noble.

Barnes and Noble's page for I. C. Talbot.

I'm debating on how many short stories I should publish as standalones when I can publish a collection just as easily.

With Kindle Unlimited sucking a huge number of sales from all indie authors and publishers, it's kinda hard to justify using Kindle Select in any form. But I think I'm going to have to make at least one or two short stories "Perma-Kindle" just to keep them visible.

Take care, I hope that 2015 brings us all Health Wealth and Happiness!

K. A. Jordan

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Digging Through Memories

I found one of my Mom's favorite 'treasures' today: a porthole off the SS Edmund Fitzgerald from a few years before it sank.

I know, there isn't any way to PROVE it was off the Fiztgerald, but that's the story and I'm sticking to it. You see, Mom and I had a tour of the Fiztgerald, many, many years ago. They even fed us breakfast at the galley (steak and eggs) because Mom gave the first mate a ride to the boat.

He'd bought something for his wife that he was having trouble carrying. Not sure what it was, but Mom offered to give him a ride. He was delighted to show us around this huge ore-freighter.

I wasn't very old, maybe 10 or 11, when we crossed the long gangplank onto this huge metal ship. I remember being so excited to actually step foot on an ore-freighter. I could see the water from the gangplank and it was a very long way down. 

I remember the long stainless steel counter we sat at and the taste of the grilled steak. Then we were given the tour. We went into the engine room, where the generators throbbed even when the ship was still. 

Then we got a peek into the hold, I remember seeing a little skid-steer being lowered in a huge steam shovel. The driver pushed the ore into the jaws of the shovels. It looked like a mouse, the hold was so big. 

The port-hole came later - I think my parents got it from another sailor - maybe even Dick Simes - one of Dad's golfing buddies. But because of the tour, Mom bought the port-hole, which is sold brass with 1/2 inch thick glass, it even has the aluminium outer cover.

I did't ask a lot for it. The point was not to cash in, but to pass on something interesting to a person who would display it. 

I've barely scratched the surface of the items that Mom left behind. Just as I've barely started publishing her stories. 

But this story is mine to tell. My own Tale of the Leeward Lounge.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Tales From The Leeward Lounge"

Irene at 77 years old

'Tales From The Leeward Lounge' (US) is the first collection of my mother's short stories. I've had a dozen titles over the last few years, but this one is the one that seems to define my mother's life the best.

There's many, many more short stories where these came from, hundreds in fact. I'm working on another collection, and I'm just debating how many of these I should publish as singles then collect into a single volume.

In 'Tales of the Leeward Lounge' (UK) Volume I:

Volume Two is in the works and these three are on deck.

A word of explanation is required as to why I've published the collection via Amazon. Especially as the Traditionally Published Villagers of Hachett are out with pitchforks and torches.

Since Sony closed down the doors to it's e-book store, my primary market is Amazon, as is true for hundreds of other Indie writers. The best way to get a book noticed, as I found out with 'The Emissary - Journey' and proved true again with 'The Emissary - Arrival' is to launch it with KDP Select, upfront.

That's right - I proved it again with 'Tales From The Leeward Lounge' the best way to launch a book is to let it 'simmer' a week in Select to make sure it gets to all the Amazon sites, then to burn those 5 free days.

The pre-order process didn't do a thing for 'The Emissary - Arrival' on Smashwords. The only pre-order was my own on Barnes and Nobel. On Amazon, there were three, none of them mine.

The pattern is clear:

  1. Publish to Amazon first
  2. Use KDP Select for the first 90 days.
  3. Wait 5 days.
  4. Blow all 5 free days, starting on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
  5. Email newsletter to Mailing List for the first free day.
  6. Spend up to $10 on Face book ad.
  7. Breaking up days will yield less than 30 sales.
I'm going to check to see if I can use the Smashwords pre-order for something already on KDP. That way KDP can act like the advertising for the Smashwords edition.

I don't know what I did wrong, but I can't use KDP pre-orders for a year. I think I got confused about how to mark the 'hot' copy and missed the deadline. Frankly, I don't think it helped a bit.

So this is my new business plan for 'Tales From The Leeward Lounge, Volume 2."

Wish me luck. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

He Done Her Wrong and Other Themes

I. C. Talbot at age 77 in her office on Talbot Hill.

I. C. Talbot was a very interesting woman.

She owned and operated The Leeward Lounge on Bridge Street in Ashtabula Ohio from 1971 to 1988.

The Leeward was an infamous, legendary, drinking establishment from 1988 until the license was purchased for the sole purpose of 'shutting that hellhole down" some time in the 1990s. While I. C. ran it, The Leeward was where the Harbor Restoration began and it was also where the first Harbor Happening was planned.

As you can imagine, a barkeep will hear a lot of stories from the people who come in for a beer or two, or more. "Loose lips sink ships" I. C. used to say. "And there's a hell of a wreck at the mouth of the Ashtabula River."

The 70's were a turbulent time in our nations history. It was the beginning of the Feminist Revolution and the push for Equal Rights. Women began to speak up and speak out about the treatment they received from the men in their lives as well as from the government. There was no such thing as Equal Rights, in a clash between a man and a woman, the man's word was often taken.

That's where she got the ideas from a lot of her short stories. I call them the #HeDoneHerWrong tales. There are dozens in her collection.

I can not confirm, but I also can't deny, the grain of truth in many of these tales of treachery and betrayal.

Friday, August 8, 2014

New Release! "Dumped"

Daphne's story "Dumped" has just been released on Amazon. You can find the link to it and to all I. C. Talbot's short stories via the link above.

If you have signed up for the newsletter, it will be released this evening.

I've still got a ton of chores to finish before I can sit down with the newsletter.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Getting Organized?



Don't laugh -- I'm serious!

I know I haven't been The Greatest Publisher, to date. However, I've gotten a step closer thank to Scrivener.

I am testing the New Improved Icy Road Publishing by releasing a little story called "Dumped." It has all the blurbs ready to go in the Back Matter section. All I have to do is choose the place the story is going, compile all the parts and upload it to the website.

Dumped is another "He Done Her Wrong" story that mom may have picked up from real life. She used to tell me all kinds of "He Done Her Wrong" tales, because her tavern was a haven for abused women.

 Mom may have been a tough old bird, but there was a steady stream of women working behind the bar who lived upstairs because they lost everything to a boyfriend or husband who "Done Her Wrong"

My new marketing plan invovles publishing one story to Amazon Kindle Select, with the list of the all the previous stories in the back. There is also an email sign up link for those who wish to know when the next e-book comes out.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


I've still got some thinking to do, as I launch this publishing label.

Ice Road Short Stories

Should they just go to e-books and Kindle, or should I send them out to whatever sites will publish them first?

Dean Wesley Smith says fiction are pies in the Magic Bakery. I can sell unlimited 'slices' as I see fit. Hmmm...this is so interesting.

Meanwhile "Turnabout" is on sale at Smashwords for $.99 or free with the code SW100.

Horsewomen of the Zombie Apocalypse

The Emissary - Arrival came back from the proofreader so clean it only took me a couple of hours to make the corrections.

Its staring at me from the other monitor. It WANTS to be published. But there aren't any pre-orders for it. So it has to stay where it is until September 15.

Stay tuned, I'm going to publish a new story: "Dumped" next.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Turnabout - Short Fiction

Coming Soon!

I just finished the edits for 'Turnabout' a short story by I. C. Talbot.

Is turnabout fair play? Growing up, Steve was Stella's best friend, until Trish came along. Now Steve is engaged to Trish and both are off to college. Stella spends a weekend with Trish on campus, discovering that Trish lives a double life.

The hold up at the moment is the cover. So I think the short story should be published to Smashwords tonight.

This will be released with some new back matter - a blurb about Icy Road Publishing will be on the back.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Slow Going

It's been slow - hardly making any progress at all - there have been multiple family illnesses since I. C. passed away.

However, I've found that I do need to create a publishing indentity to publish the rest of Mom's stories.

I started the process a few weeks ago in my head, and have begun the footwork.

There is a Smashwords page now: Icy Road Publishing.