Archives for posts with tag: inkitt


The Rocker and the Bird Girl (RBG) is a novella I wrote on Inkitt, more as an experiment than a serious piece of writing. I wanted to see if I wrote something YA oriented if it would generate for me any of the response this site boasts about. I’d have been happy with comments and criticism, but wouldn’t have turned down a publishing deal.

Here’s the blurb for the story.

If someone called Mattie a bird brain she’d take it as a compliment. She loves birds, has spent her entire twenty years surrounded by them and believes they are more intelligent, loving and loyal than, well, most anything else in this world.

Mattie’s grandfather spent all his retirement, time and funds, establishing a sanctuary for homeless, imported, exotic birds.

Now granddad was gone and so was the money to support the sanctuary. In her desperate search for funding to keep the refuge open Mattie had read that lead guitarist and lyricist Bodine, of the notorious rock band, Seditious, owned a Macaw as a pet.

The guy was obviously fabulously wealthy. Maybe he’d like to spend some of that money saving these beautiful, precious creatures instead of on drugs and expensive toys?

He wasn’t answering her emails so she guessed she’d have to try to get his attention at the Seditious concert that was coming to town. She’d never been to a rock concert and wasn’t looking forward to it, but desperate times called for desperate measures.


Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll have taken their toll on Bodine, lead guitarist and songwriter for Seditious, the chart topping, outrageous rock band. He’s just playing the part until something better comes along. The problem is what’s better than being a rich and famous rock idol? Certainly not helping some over zealous young woman save exotic birds, even if his best friend is a Blue and Gold Macaw.

I’d knock off a chapter about once every three days and upload it to the site then promote it on Twitter and Facebook. I kind of got caught up with the characters and the plot and before I knew it they were having their way with me.

Once completed, it’s a novella, only 20,000 words, I left it up for awhile but had become too attached to it to let it languish among all the dreck. Besides after four months it had received no comments or criticisms and accumulated only about two hundred and fifty reads and eleven downloads. I’m not sure what that means in terms of success on Inkitt, but it was obvious to me nothing was happening.

And so, more or less to keep my hand in, and as an offering to my ART members (Advance Reading Team) I’ve self-published it and even have some ideas about developing it into a series. It was fun, easy to write and I got to addressed some issues.

You can become an ART member and receive a free copy of The Rocker and the Bird Girl by clicking this link

I’m seriously considering turning RBG into a series. Apparently, novellas are very popular (easily read on your cell phone during a commute), and the characters and story ideas are still resonating with me.

All the while I’m still waiting for a traditional publisher to pickup East Van Saturday Night – four short stories and a novella. So far not a peep, one way or another.

When it came to self-publishing the e-book edition of RBG I went with Smashwords and Kindle Direct (Amazon) and this time added Draft2Digital (D2D), more so I could pass along the experience to you and the participants of my workshops and creative writing circles since D2D has limited distribution which is more than duplicated by the coverage Smashwords offers.

If you think making it even easier to self-publish is a good thing (I’m not sure it is) than you’ll love Draft2Digital (D2D). I found uploading my manuscript along with the pertinent details extremely user friendly. They’ll even provide front and back matter for your e-book from the information you provide.

However, after uploading RBG I received an error message via email from D2D. My book was blocked from being distributed because I inadvertently hit the public domain button when uploading my file. I followed the instructions, went back and made the correction – nothing changed. My book was still blocked.

I sent an email message explaining my dilemma on June 1. Two days later after receiving no response I tried to de-list my book. It wouldn’t go away. I then decided to reload my book making sure to not hit the public domain button and bingo it went through and got distributed.

Now two listings for The Rocker and the Bird Girl appear on my D2D dashboard – one blocked and one published.

Compare this to Amazon’s Create Space and Kindle Direct who always resolve my issues within twenty-four hours.

Three things I didn’t bother with in this launch were Kindle Select, Kindle Scout, and Smashwords Pre-order. These highly touted services have generated nothing whatsoever  in response for me.

My email list continues generate response and I’m getting quite creative with MailChimp about using  free copies to increase the membership, like using Instafreebie’s one month free introductory offer. Make sure you click the option to have Instafreebie members “opt in” by giving up their email address for a free book.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.


Websites links to sites referenced in this blog.

Link to become an ART member




Mail Chimp


Kindle Direct

Create Space

Find reviews, blurbs and buy links to my seven novels and two plays at

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Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

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So how was your year in writing? Mine was, as always, interesting though not commercially successful.

I’ll list my publishing credits for 2016 at the end of this blog that way you can skip them if you like.

I’d rather talk about what worked and more often what didn’t. I want to tell you what I learned and how I feel about it. Perhaps by the end of this accounting a way to move forward will become evident – a more positive, less frustrating one.

To complete and self publish two novels, as well as resurrecting and self-publishing two plays means, if nothing else, that I’ve been busy. I’ve also tried to keep up to date with the latest trends in the industry including the new publishing platforms and book marketing techniques.

After the launch of The Local Rag in October, I once again revisited that dark place, the one where I feel the only way I’ll achieve publishing success is by divine intervention and how likely is that for someone as undeserving as me?

I had used every iota of publishing savvy I had gleaned from a myriad of sources and, though more successful than previous launches, it came up short – way short.

To continue what I was doing and expecting a different result, well, that’s a definition of insanity, or at least severe delusion.

The only thing I had yet to attempt that is highly touted by the book marketing gurus is the internet connection – becoming chummy with groups of writers and readers online. The theory is if you’re sincere and share something of yourself a relationship will bloom and from relationships evolve all good things, right? Anyhow,  you get the picture.

What did I have to lose? Say again, what did I have to lose?

Nothing. All, right maybe dignity, but how bad could it be?

Goodreads is a big proponent of the benefit of participating in groups. I joined three; two were dead and the few active members of the one that was functioning were so ostentatious I couldn’t stand it.

Internet group snobs – who’d have known.

I registered with Amazon’s Write on, “a place for all the people who make great writing happen. Here, you can get support and provide feedback at every stage of the creative process.

Very quickly it becomes apparent this site is populated primarily by new writers – very new writers, many whom have no desire to go further. They write their stories, post them on the site and receive positive, if specious, comments that feed their delusion.

Go deeper into the site and there are some very toxic groups – interesting but not illuminating.

Then there’s Wattpad and Inkitt.

Both these sites are primarily populated by teenagers – seriously. However, moving forward with the “what have I got to lose” attitude I decided to participate.

I began writing a story for the target audience just to see what kind of response I’d get. It’s actually been fun, submitting chapters and seeing how many hits you get – not many. Here’s the link to The Rocker and the Bird Girl.

I also contributed mini reviews for a number of works posted on Inkitt. It’s safe to say very few writers on this site understand the basic structure of a story – though some have been less hostile than others in regards to learning about it.

This sojourn into internet socialization has been exhausting and fruitless. My time is better spent trying to sustain my Advance Reading Team e-mail list which seems to diminish with every campaign I send out – a disturbing trend.

You can help bolster it by signing up if you like and get free e-books, discounts and interesting links to other writing stuff from time to time. Click here to sign up.

In 2017 I’ll focus on East Van Saturday Night – four short stories and a novella, currently being considered by a traditional publisher, and re-releasing under my own name Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients, the third book in the Eco-Warrior Series, when my publisher finally relinquishes the rights.

I currently have two works in progress that are introducing me to fascinating characters including an asexual politician, a passionate ornithology student and a ass-kicking rock guitarist who studied at Juilliard. I’m learning new things and visiting exotic places.

And they say a writer’s life is lonely.

Achievements (?) in 2016

Self-published Abandoned Dreams (March 22)

Resurrected and self-published two plays, Harry’s Truth (July 15) and End of The Rope (August 16)

Self-published The Local Rag (October 8)

Read and reviewed 12 books

Wrote and posted 34 blogs


Stay Calm, Be Brave, Watch for the Signs



Find reviews, blurbs and buy links to my seven novels and two plays at


Facebook for writing news, my experience as a writer as well as promotions, contests, giveaways and discounts regarding his books


Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews:


Cover Art of books by self-published authors at


More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to:


View my flickr photostream at


Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music


Here’s an email I received a couple of weeks ago.


I’m Marvin, Head of Growth at Inkitt and I wanted to reach out to you personally. It seems that you have not entered our new novel contest yet, is there a specific reason for that?

It’s now or never – the contest will end in two weeks and all you have to do is gather 100 readers for “Loving the Terrorist” to be considered for publication!

I’d love to shift your story into the contest. What do you think?

Marvin Wey
Head of Growth |

I thought you might find my response and the subsequent reply from Inkitt’s founder and CEO, Ali Albazaz interesting. First a bit of background.

In the past few months I’ve written two  articles about Inkitt and the concept which you can find in my blog archives.

Briefly, Inkitt is a site where you can upload your stories for free. Besides the opportunity for crowd critiquing, Inkitt claims to have created an algorithm that identifies best sellers (sic). If your story is chosen by this “objective”, computer generated program Inkitt will either set you up with an established, traditional publisher or publish it themselves.

So here’s my response.
Dear Martin,
Just how do you guys make your money? Certainly not as a publishing company with eighty-five percent  going to the author though there’s a little bit of word play involved – is it net earnings or a royalty on the price of the book? There could be quite a difference.

I see you’ve changed the criteria of your contests – it’s not longer the top few who get the nod, but everyone who exceeds one hundred reads – that would be downloads.

I imagine somewhere in the process the hopeful author will run into additional fees – maybe paying for those cool covers you design. No? Good for you.

So maybe you make it with print on demand. Just how many books have to be ordered to start showing a profit? Can it be made up with sales from the family and friends of all those really bad authors you’re publishing?

But that’s not what I find disturbing about sites like Inkitt , Kindle Scout  and HarperCollins’  now defunct  authonomy. It’s that they encourage bad writing – or put another way,  they don’t encourage new writers to improve their craft.

The peer critiquing system is like , “you vote for mine and I’ll vote for yours” regardless of whether the writing is good or not.  It’s a mutual admiration society and a phony one at that.

But who I am to be critical – a nobody with the sales to prove it.

So, for me is there a downside to having you “shift” my novel  Loving the Terrorist into to the Story Peak Novel Contest?

I’m still trying to figure that out, but until I do why don’t you go ahead and put it in.

Rod Raglin

Hi Rod,

Marvin forwarded your email to me and it makes me very sad to hear this from you.

Me and my co-founder, Linda, started Inkitt because we want to make publishing more fair, transparent and objective. We had seen from the outside how unfair and subjective publishers can be. Linda and I are both coming from a technical / IT startup background. Three years ago I had the idea that we could track people’s reading behaviour, and analyze it to find consistent patterns. This way it would be possible to predict bestsellers. Long story short: we built it. We then found investors who believe in our idea to democratize publishing, and raised over a million dollars to make this dream come true. Now we are a team of 17 people working day and night to make the publishing process fair and objective.

Since we launched Inkitt to the public around 1.5 years ago we had a rocket speed growth. Over 20.000 writers have uploaded their works (from short stories, poems to novels) on Inkitt and we’ve just started publishing them. The first book our algorithm picked is getting published by Tor / MacMillan (see links below). The second book: we’re publishing with the Inkitt imprint and it’s doing great (links below). Since this month, we started publishing 1-2 new books every month, and have plans to grow that number by 4 times each year. Every book gets a professional cover, editing, a dedicated online marketing team with a minimum of 6,000 dollars in marketing budget. With clear guidelines in place for budget increases based on performance.

In cases where Inkitt publishes a book we receive 50% of the net revenues (50% royalties for the author) and in cases where we re-sell the rights to another publisher on behalf of the author, we receive 15% agents-fee. Authors do not pay anything for our services – we are their publisher and it’s our duty to take care of all costs.

We want to give the spotlight to the authors because they deserve it. I don’t want to see the next J. K. Rowling receiving a rejection from an old-school publisher and give up her writing dreams. Me and the entire team, we’re all in this game because we want to build the fairest publishing house in the world.

Best wishes,

Ali Albazaz
Founder & CEO |
Mobile: +49 170 8647236
P.S. It appears Inkitt has indeed shifted my novel Loving the Terrorist into the competition. It needs one hundred readers to be considered for publication. So far it has zero.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs


FrostyFingers3_IMG_0034 copy

I recently discovered Inkitt. Actually, they discovered me through a website link on Goodreads(?).

Here’s the email I received from Mihaly Borbely:

“I was looking for romance authors on Goodreads, and found your contact through a website link. Here is something you might be interested in:

Inkitt is using data analysis to determine and predict the success of a novel. We are also working together with some of the world’s biggest publishing houses to publish any potential best-sellers we find. We are just about to sign a massive deal for a fantasy book series.

We are now looking for our next novel to publish – this time from the romance genre.

In partnership with the Rebecca Friedman Literary Agency, tomorrow Inkitt is launching a brand new romance writing contest. With a publishing deal and a $500USD prize on the line for the contest winner, this is a huge opportunity for romance authors. The judging panel is made up of bestselling authors Laurelin Page and Melody Grace, as well as literary agent Rebecca Friedman herself.

Here is the contest link:

So what is Inkitt?

Inkitt is a company based in Germany that is reaching out to new authors or writers with works in progress to upload stories to their website and have it read and peer-edited (reviewed) by other writers.

They also claim to have developed an algorithm that examines reading patterns of stories at the site to determine very early if a story will become a best-seller.

Unlike editors who according to Inkitt, are biased and make decisions on gut feelings, their data is unbiased and objective.

To support their theory they point to the twelve publishers who turned down Harry Potter and the fourteen who rejected Twilight.

I really find these “exceptions that prove the rule” arguments specious, as if there are thousands of masterpieces (likely one of yours, right?) that editors are indiscriminately tossing in the recycling bin.

Putting aside the claim Inkitt actually has technology that can pick a best-seller from among the many submissions they’re receiving, what they’re really offering is the same as Watt Pad, Kindle Scout, and the  defunct Authonomy. Writers post their work and it’s “crowd critiqued”. The owners of the site then have the option to take the most popular stories  (those with the most votes, most comments, most promising algorithm, etc.) further – or not.

Inkitt says there’s an additional the benefit of being peer edited (you read and comment on mine and I’ll return the favour) however this feature can be accessed on most online critique sites like Scribophile

I thought I’d  test out Inkitt and so submitted my novel Loving the Terrorist – Beyond Eagleridge Bluffs to their Swoon Romance Novel Contest. Check it out at

Then I checked out some of the stories posted to assess the quality of submissions. Most are in the fantasy genre and the work amateurs. Hey, just saying. Most are incomplete and the “peer editing” comments, though warm and fuzzy, are not very constructive.

Suffice to say I don’t see many masterpieces coming from this digital slush pile, but you can decide for yourself. Check Inkitt out at

I plan to keep my work on Inkitt at least until the contest ends on February 23 or they contact me and say Loving the Terrorist has tested positive for a best-seller and provide me with a list of publishers bidding on it.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs




100 copies of The BIG PICTURE given away at 

til Jan. 23, 2016 at

Abandoned Dreams

Special Preorder Price 99¢ ’til March 6, 2016

After March 6, $3.99*Version*=1&*entries*=0


Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews:

Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

My new novels, FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend and The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic are available on Amazon and as e-books at

Visit my publisher’s website for excerpts from, and a buy link to my Eco-Fi series ECO-WARRIORS Book 3, Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients

ECO-WARRIOR Book 1, Saving Spirit Bear – What Price Success? is available at

ECO-WARRIOR Book 2, Loving the Terrorist – Beyond Eagleridge Bluffs is now available as in paperback at

More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to:

View my flickr photostream at

Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music



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