Friday, June 15, 2012


It been a productive week.  Even with today taken up by real-work issues and a trip to the dentist, I've penned over 5,000 words on the novel since Monday (up to 77,000, and climbing.  I feel like it's little more than halfway; best guess is it will weigh in at about 120,000 words when it's all edited.), some serious edits of the new story (incorporating some great ideas from my cover artist, Jerry Branch), and finalizing the story's cover.

O'Reilly's Sacrifice is a novella about a rabid Red Sox fan, who, in 2004, with the Sox down 0-3 to the hated rival Yankees in the American League Championship Series, tries to lift the 86-year-old "Curse of the Bambino" from the team.

Here's the cover proof:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Now, Back to the Grind

The dust has settled, and the excitement from the publication and the small flurry of sales has died down.  I got away from it all this weekend by putting my scuba instructor hat on and running Open water checkouts for a great group of kids.  Also in my class was a nice man with early onset Alzheimer's, who is trying to check off his bucket list items before the disease progresses.  Gratifying and bittersweet, there.

Happy Monday.  It's back to the mortgage-paying job.  On the list today: polishing up my next short story for publication, "O'Reilly's Sacrifice," a baseball fantasy about a rabid Red Sox fan who decides to make the ultimate sacrifice in an attempt to lift the "Curse of the Bambino" from the team in 2004.  (It worked, by the way; the Sox won the Series that year.) I sent my thoughts on the cover to my wonderful cover artist, Jerry Branch, last week, and I'm anxious and excited to see what he comes up with.

And of course, back to the grind on the novel, now up to 72,000 words, with the sinking suspicion that we're just past the halfway mark.  The planned trilogy, at this rate, may push a half-million words.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Vanity is OK, I think, If You Crack the Top 100

Granted, my novella, "A Fairy for Bin Laden,", is ranked only at about 33,000 of the one-million literary offerings on Amazon, but still, I'll allow myself a hit of vanity for hitting #82 in Books > Science Fiction and Fantasy > Science Fiction > Anthologies and #94 in > Science Fiction and Fantasy > Fantasy > Anthologies.

No, I have no idea why a single story is categorized as an "anthology," but I'll take the 15 minutes of fame, WTF.

Pretty cool.  I'll enjoy it now; tomorrow, no doubt, it will sink to 788,000 on the lists.

Selling Yourself, II

I wrote yesterday about my forays into marketing myself via social media; today I created a Facebook Page for my public persona, and also began to push out some advertising to select Friends that indicated that they have Kindles--since my posted novella is exclusive to Amazon Kindle for 90 days.

My Facebook Page (Stephen M Holak (author)) can be found at

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Selling Yourself

I mentioned in a past post that Joe Konrath's blog, "A Newbie's Guide to Self-Publishing", has been an inspiration and motivation.  Joe also stresses writing as a business, as well as a craft; a writer must market and promote his own work, particularly the self-published or "Indie" writer.

In the spirit of that, I've expanded my social media in to Twitter (@stephenmholak), and am preparing to launch a public Facebook page as well.  I've also responded to several Kindle board requests for author interviews and guest blogs, so those will be coming out in the next few weeks or months and will hopefully boost sales.

A short story has little earning potential,and it may seem a waste of time and energy now to promote both myself and the story before I have longer works ready for publication; but I'm of a mindset that the habits should be ingrained now, at the beginning of this career, and it's never too early to gain exposure or experiment with building a fanbase.

Monday, June 4, 2012

"A Fairy for Bin Laden" Published to Amazon

My 6700-word novella (short story, whatever) is now available for the Kindle on  You can find the book here.

Every writer is interested in both improving his or her craft, and pleasing readers.  Please leave honest reviews on Amazon, or feel free to contact me via email.

It's an amazing feeling when your work leaves the nest and heads out into the big wide world.