In which I tinker

awful-fail-resumes-funny-10Spent the evening polishing and updating my résumé; I’ve been fiddling with bits here and there but it was time for a more serious overhaul.  In particular, there’s a section now highlighting my skills with social media and mentioning oh, I wrote some books.  Now, this could backfire on me rather considerably, I imagine.  I don’t actually give my pen name or mention my website, but the fact is I’m applying for some jobs where familiarity with social media is a plus and it would probably be useful to point out that I’ve got 10,000 Twitter followers in cases like that.  Hopefully it won’t blow up in my face.  We’ll cross fingers.

In other news, I’ve been back at work for two days, and so far it hasn’t been that bad.  I’ve mostly kept a lid on my temper, a fact helped considerably by the fact that many of my more problematic kids are suspended right now. It’s amazing what pulling just three kids out of my afternoon group, in particular, does for the group dynamic.  They’re still not angels by any stretch but it moves them from one of the most demanding groups I’ve ever had to just average, and average I can easily handle.  The only problem I’ve been having is with getting up in the morning and (possibly medicine-related?) an incredible amount of morning nausea.  If I were a woman I’d be seriously wondering about pregnancy right now.  I was completely convinced yesterday in particular that I was going to have to charge out of the room and puke at any moment, but so far both days I’ve been able to keep it together.  I don’t know if it’s stress or the meds or just having to get up way before I’m ready for it (the exhaustion hasn’t gone away) or what but I’m kinda done with it and I’d like it to go away now.

Four days until my self-imposed Searching for Malumba MUST BE DONE deadline.  I probably oughtta get on that, huh?

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September blogwanking: #SilerSaturday edition


Clicky for readable!

Clicky for readable!

Assuming you bothered to click, you’ll notice quickly that my nobody-wants-my-books trend of August has come to a sudden and abrupt halt.  In case you don’t remember, I made all three of my books exclusive to Amazon this month, and have been fiddling around with free days.  The result:  a whopping 553 downloads in September, along with four pre-orders for Searching for Malumba.

The interesting thing: You can see, easily, where the Saturday downloads were.  You can also see that this month had a lot of zero-sale days.  What also happened, though, was a lot of sales triggered by the free downloads, which was exactly what I was hoping would happen.  In particular, it appears (based on a single data point, mind you) that making The Sanctum of the Sphere free pushes people to buy The Benevolence Archives.  September is going to actually be a pretty good money month for Amazon, especially for a month with no book launch in it.  It’s just that all of the days I had sales have been concentrated into weekends.

I’m also starting to think that promotional efforts on my end don’t matter a whole lot.  It seems like how busy is Amazon today? is the single most important variable on whether a book does well, and that’s not something I can control very well.  It is, however, something I can learn to predict.  I’ll be doing a free promo for one of my books this week, and I’m not going to mention it at all other than to state that it won’t be on Saturday, just to see what my numbers do.

I’m also modifying my spreadsheet a bit next month so I can account for paid sales vs. free downloads from Amazon.  I’m hoping the sales are up in general, and having Malumba launch this month will help a bit; I’d like to see a lot less red in the ledger next time around.  But as for right now I’m feeling pretty good about how the month went.

(Also: respectable KENP reads.  Somebody’s reading my books out there– I had a 600-page day last week.  Cool!)

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Review, sorta: THE MARTIAN (the movie)

matt-damon-the-martian-600x337Go here and read this, and then pretend that I was talking about a movie instead of a book.    Because basically I already wrote this review, and other than maybe thinking that the movie a little bit expects the viewer to fill in some details from remembering the book, I have no gripes at all.  Good stuff.  Go see it.  I’m gonna go reread the book now, I think.

That’s all I’ve got today; I’m trying my damnedest not to freak out about having to go back to work tomorrow and it’s taking most of my mental energy right now.

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#WeekendCoffeeShare: Mood-altering drugs edition

coffee2If we were having coffee, I’d spend most of my time yawning, possibly mixed with a few by-now patented glassy stares.  Week One of being on Lexapro hasn’t been unpleasant, necessarily, but being tired all the goddamn time has officially gotten old, and my motivation to do much of anything has been chopped to the bone.  This is a bit of a problem; I have a final manuscript for Searching for Malumba due in a few days, and haven’t really found the will to do much of anything about it, and I literally forgot that I was supposed to write a recap of last week’s Fear the Walking Dead for Sourcerer today.

Forgot.  Clean, completely forgot, until waking up this morning, well after it would normally have been published.  And the way my mornings typically work on Saturday there’s not an hour and a half to go sneak away and watch the episode and recap it, so right now who the hell knows when I’m going to get that written.

(For those of you thinking “Why not do it right now, instead of the post you’re writing?”: Reasonable thought, but this post will take ten minutes.  I have ten minutes.  I don’t have ninety.)

This is also a big birthday weekend.  Fun fact: my father-in-law’s birthday is the day before my mom’s, and my mother-in-law’s birthday is the day before my dad’s.  Well, mom’s birthday is today, so FIL’s birthday was yesterday.  Inverting the proper order of things, we saw my parents yesterday and we’re seeing my wife’s today.  We’re going to go see The Martian tomorrow, too, which I’m really excited about, in a sort of Lexapro’d “yeah, whatever” sort of way– I’ve been looking forward to this movie since the day it was announced.  There aren’t any superheroes in it!  And I’m seeing it anyway!  It’s like a miracle!

(Skylights is free today and tomorrow.  I’m hoping to steal some Martian thunder.  We’ll see if that happens.)

This is the part where I’d usually go “Hmmm, what else?” but the simple fact is all I’ve done all week is sleep and stare at the internet.  There really is no more “else” here.  So I’m kicking it over to y’all again:  what have you guys been doing while I’ve been trying to alter my brain chemistry?

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#SilerSaturday: SKYLIGHTS again!

Hoping to capitalize a bit on the (hopefully) runaway success of a certain Mars-themed movie, we’re making SKYLIGHTS free again, today and tomorrow!  I promise to be a bit less noisy around here about it, because I figure a lot of the people who see the blog have had plenty of chances to download it, but feel free to spread the word however you like.


August 15, 2022: the Tycho, the most advanced interplanetary craft ever designed by the human race, launches from Earth on an expedition to Mars. The Tycho carries four passengers, soon to be the most famous people in human history. 

February 19, 2023: The Tycho loses all communication with Earth while orbiting Mars. After weeks of determined attempts to reestablish contact, the Tycho is declared lost. 

2027: Journalist Gabriel Southern receives a message from a mysterious caller: “Mars.” Ezekiel ben Zahav isn’t talking, but he wants Southern to accompany him for something– and he’s dangling enough money under his nose to make any amount of hardship worth it.  

SKYLIGHTS is the story of the second human expedition to Mars. Their mission: to find out what happened to the first.

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