Fiction Blog, The Desertera Series

The Cogsmith’s Daughter (Desertera #1) is Available for Pre-order!

Daughter -C2You read it right — The Cogsmith’s Daughter (Desertera #1) is now available for the special pre-order price of $0.99. After the official release on October 15th, the price will triple (to a whopping $2.99), so snag your cheap copy while you can!

Currently, The Cogsmith’s Daughter is only available in ebook format. Long story short, I’m waiting for my printing company to approve the final paperback files. When it does, the paperback will be available as well. Don’t worry paperback lovers, I’ll let you know when you can grab your print copy!

Here are all the places you can pre-order the ebook. More retailers will be available after the official release.

Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon AU, etc.

Barnes & Noble




After you pre-order your copy, make sure you shelve it on Goodreads! Once you’ve blazed through it, don’t forget to leave a review on Goodreads and the retailer from which you purchased it.

To be the first to hear exciting news like this (and receive free advance review copies of my future publications), sign up for my author newsletter.

Thank you all for your encouragement and the wonderful community you provide! This journey would not be nearly as fun or rewarding without you. And, of course, happy reading!

Book Reviews, Writing & Publishing Articles

Indie Book Review: Bootstrapping for Indies: Self-Publishing on a Budget by Simon Whistler

bootstrappingBootstrapping for Indies by Simon Whistler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I received an advance reader copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Bootstrapping for Indies by Simon Whistler is a quick, informative guide to help beginning and/or would-be indie authors find cost-effective and/or free ways to publish their books. To give a frame of reference, the book took me roughly an hour to read. The book is divided up into concise sections, making it just as easy to read out-of-order as it is to read it chronologically.

Despite the brevity of the sections and entire book, Bootstrapping for Indies does provide a comprehensive overview of all aspects of indie publishing. Whistler provides tips for cover design, editing, formatting, marketing, etc. In each section, Whistler gives multiple options for how to accomplish the stage of publishing cheaply or for free. He also warns authors about ways in which they may end up spending more than their budget in each area. This transparency helps authors choose the right methods for them as well as avoid costly strategies.

Likewise, Whistler gives several outside references for authors. These either direct authors to services that may interest them or explain in greater detail the concepts discussed in the book.

Most importantly, Whistler helps authors prioritize where to spend their budgets. His general ethos is to spend what you can in vital areas and then, once your book starts earning money, reinvest in the areas you did not spend (as much) money on originally. This mentality may be difficult to embrace, given that authors want to put out a fantastic book right away, but Whistler makes a compelling argument, especially in the spirit of saving money.

I only had two criticisms about Bootstrapping for Indies. First, most of the information in the book will be old hat for authors (even unpublished authors) who have done research on indie publishing already. However, for those who have not done much research, it is a great starter guide. Second, the last section of Bootstrapping for Indies cautions authors to the risks to “bootstrapping.” Specifically, it warns authors that bootstrapping may not always create the best impression for readers, which of course, could result in poor sales and/or reviews. On one hand, this honesty is necessary and well-placed. On the other, it is a bit intimidating and could, in many readers’ eyes, undermine the “perfect it later” mentality that Whistler tries to instill in his audience.

Overall, Bootstrapping for Indies contains several clever cost-cutting strategies and resources for new indie authors. It is a clear, concise read that indie authors can digest all in one sitting or refer back to section by section as needed. I recommend it to any new indie authors who are on a tight budget and looking for creative ways to make their dreams come true despite financial restrictions.

View all my reviews

bootstrappingMy normal associates store message will not appear today, because Bootstrapping for Indies is entirely free! If you are at all interested in reading it, there is no reason not to grab your copy today!


Fiction Blog, Guest Posts

Guest Post: Blog Tour, The Curious Tale of Gabrielle by Zachary Paul Chopchinski

Today, I am honored to host a spot on Zachary Paul Chopchinski’s blog tour for his debut novel, The Curious Tale of Gabrielle. Contained in this post are Zach’s advice for would-be indie authors, information about his novel and him, a blog tour calendar, AND two book giveaways!

~ Guest Post ~

I guess I would have to say that my biggest inspiration and driving force behind writing The Curious Tale of Gabrielle is the possibility of feeling like I contributed something to the world; I created something that future persons could look back on and enjoy. I look back at the great authors that have written and created beautiful pieces and I see how those authors impacted thousands of lives. As some of you may know, I didn’t grow up in the best of conditions. My only escape, my only hope, was to engulf myself in the books that I cherished, and for a small time, leave my life and enter a word of unforeseen possibility. As a kid that needed that escape; I know firsthand the power of a good book. I want to give that back to others that are in need of a small escape.

My journey to independent publication (indie publication) was a road full of back-pedaling and learning on the go. Even from the beginning, I had a hard time getting the book written. For those of you who don’t know me, I have a little bit of an attention deficit problem. I sit down at the computer, with the best of intentions, and I’m shortly stunted by phrases like: “Oh look at this picture of this kitty stuck in a vase” and “HONEY! LOOK AT THIS VINE OF THIS KID DOING A THING!”.

But even after I had the book written, I didn’t even know how to begin marketing and selling it. My wife helped me get set up on social media sites and set up a website, but I still didn’t know anything about how to market and sell a book. Plus, I still needed a cover, an editor, and beta readers (which I didn’t even know I needed at the time). I sort of learned what I needed and how to get it along the way, while struggling to put enough money together for a professional cover. Honestly, the thing that helped me the most to make sense of what I needed to do and how to go about doing it was the online indie writing community. With the advice from several bloggers, indie authors, editors, and all of their connections, I was able to get a game plan on what I needed to do and in what order.

I would have to say, if I were to give advice to other indie authors out there or people who are interested in taking the indie path, I would have to say: get that online community before you try and do things yourself. The indie author community is extremely welcoming and willing to give advice and offer connections whenever possible. Once you have that down, then worry about marketing and covers and blog tours. Also, I’d say, never stop doing what you’re doing. Even if you never publish, or if no one buys it. You still created something, that’s beautiful and something you should be proud of. If you love to write, keep doing it no matter what. I’d like to leave you with some advice that was given to me when I first started: “The average start-up business doesn’t break even/make profit for five years”. So, don’t get frustrated or think you haven’t created something special if it takes a while to get recognized.

~ About the Book ~

zach bookThe Curious Tale of Gabrielle (Book 1 in The Curious Tale of Gabrielle Book Series)

Author: Zachary Paul Chopchinski

Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Adventure, Historical Fiction

 ~ Synopsis ~

A young Gabrielle is driven by her will to explore and see new things. She cannot stop or rest until all within her reach has been experienced and explored. Driven by an astounding will and lack of common fear, she finds herself able to face things most adults might fall before. Yet has there been a journey that has been meant specifically for her all along? Is there a path that has been created just for her to travel?

Follow Gabrielle as she ventures through the lives of many with the experience of only her own. What will happen as she discovers the lives—and tragedies—of the souls who choose her to see their story? It’s a journey through history, life, and love unlike anything that could be imagined—except perhaps by a young girl.

~ Excerpt ~

“Hello…?” Gabrielle pleaded with the silence, hoping for a response from anybody at this point. She could feel that something was wrong, as she found herself looking at the vase of flowers that she had admired the day before. She could feel her heart stop as she looked at the once beautiful vase of flowers. Something was terribly wrong, the flowers were all dead. Not only were they dead, but they had been dead for some time, by the look of them, as they were dried with most of their petals on the table. Gabrielle’s mouth hung ajar in shock. These flowers had been alive and vibrant not several hours ago. How is this possible?

The urge to run came over her, as all of her senses were telling her to leave now and not look back. Something was wrong and she could feel it. She wasn’t sure how, but she could feel that whatever it was, was in the next room, lying just out of site. Gabrielle wasn’t sure how she knew this, but something was telling her as though it was being whispered into her ear. She stood frozen in fear for what felt like a lifetime when she heard the ‘click’ again.

~ Purchase links ~

Zach’s Website (Buying Direct)



Google Play

~ About the Author ~

zach 2Zachary is 27 and lives in Maine with his lovely wife, Layla. The two of them share a home with their 4 fur-children Thai, Bambina, Loki and Le vie (Thai and Bambina are cats and Loki and Le vie are dogs).

Zachary received an Associates degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology from the University of Southern Maine. Zachary had two short stories published by Ohio State University when he was in elementary school, and a poem published when he was in high school. Zachary has always had two passions in his life, criminal justice and writing. After spending nearly 5 years working in security, Zachary decided it was time to give his other passion a chance.

Zachary is very much a family man and when he is not deep in writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing video games or contemplating his next story idea.

~ Social Media Sites ~

Zach’s Website





~ Giveaways ~

Click here to win an e-book copy of The Curious Tale of Gabrielle

Click here to win a signed paperback copy of The Curious Tale of Gabrielle

~ Follow the Blog Tour ~

March 7 – Guest Post on I’m a Book Shark

March 14 – Guest Post on Tales of a Formerly Inadequate Fat Girl

March 20 – Author Interview on I’m A Book Shark

March 28 – Book Review by author K.D. Wilson

March 30 – Guest Post on author Christie Cote’s website

You can also read my review of The Curious Tale of Gabrielle HERE.

I want to say a quick “thank you” to Zach for allowing me to be part of his blog tour! I have enjoyed watching your dreams come true, and I can’t wait to see where your career takes you!