Sunday, May 29, 2011

Free eBooks for Young Adults

I contribute to a new site, listing FREE Young Adult eBooks. The site is run by Smashwords authors, and is intended to primarily assist Smashwords authors.  Mark Coker recently mentioned the site in his Smashwords update.  The site is now getting more traffic than ever, and I really hope it helps all of us authors find more readers.

I have added coupons to make all my books free on the site, for a limited time:

The site is Free eBooks for Young Adults. Check it out, and

Happy Reading, 


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ryan Redman - Rescue at the Cliff: a brave, courageous very young teen

Rescue at the cliffs: A very young teen saves a life 

I have often written in this blog about how so many young people prove capable of acts beyond their years.  As readers of my books will know, I also put many of my young fiction characters into similar situations. 

This blog post is dedicated to another young person, a not-at-all-big 13-year-old named Ryan Redman, who clambered down a 30-foot cliff, jumped into the ocean, and swam out to rescue an older lady in trouble.  He got her to safety, then climbed back up the cliff to arrange for help to be called, and then climbed back down the cliff to help comfort the woman until help arrived.  Oh, and by the way, the cliff face was wet because it had been raining.

The rescue took place a few days ago in southwest England, and the complete story is detailed in London’s Daily Mail.  As one of the persons commenting on the story notes, this boy showed braveness, selflessness, maturity, compassion, kindness and guts beyond compare.

Ryan Redman is a great example of what young people can do.  I base all of the young fictional characters in my books on real young people such as Ryan; those I knew as a young person myself, or those young people whom I have had the good fortune to meet in my life, or those whose stories are told in the media.  Even so, I still get an occasional book review stating that I have put my fictional characters into a situation that might be a little beyond belief as far as their age is concerned.  Every now and then, I will respond to those reviews with another example of what real young people can accomplish.  Ryan’s rescue is just another example of a young person who has done something truly amazing, and I am truly humbled.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Smashwords eBooks hits TWO Billions words on Friday 6th May 2011

SMASHWORDS hits 2,000,000,000 (that’s TWO BILLION) words on Friday, 6th May 2011.  Over 300,000 words are mine, and there’s more to come.  Crunching the numbers, I expect to see 50,000 titles available at before the end of May.

When I first decided to publish multiple-format eBooks with Smashwords back in December of 2009, the total number of words had not yet reached 400 million, and from under 8,000 titles.

In early April of 2010, I was able to tweet that Smashwords had hit 10,000 titles and the number of downloads of my books was into the thousands.  That was just barely four months since I started making some of my books available on Smashwords.

Smashwords hit ½ billion words on April 14th 2010, and one billion words on October 22nd 2010, so the torrent of words flowing to Smashwords is definitely picking up, rather dramatically.

So, why hook my eBook wagon to the Smashwords cart?  Simply put, my books are now in the hands of many, many thousands of readers, through direct availability on as well as through Barnes and Noble (I have 2 books in the top 1% with Playing the Baseball Card leading the way), Sony, Apple, and Kobo.  Making my Young Adult fiction titles available as eBooks on Smashwords (and retail partners) has made them much more accessible and more discoverable by my readers.  Given that eBook sales now exceed mass-market paperbook sales, I am more certain than ever that I made the right choice more than two years ago.

Two years from now?  Smashwords at ten billion words, in 250,000 titles?  Two or three more of my books available at Smashwords?  Hmmm… let’s see.

For now, have a look at an eBook today, and

Happy Reading.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

What Can Kids Do? You'd be surprised! Just look around...

A Family Legacy: The Watson Works ........ made it into the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award... with some very youthful characters.  What can kids do, anyway?  You would be surprised.  The old adage about "truth being stranger than fiction" is very true when it comes to the young characters in A Family Legacy: The Watson Works.  The characters, as young as they are, are taken from real-life young people, and they are far more capable then most people will realize.  

The adults might be surprised, but the kids won't be. If you give them half a chance, kids will astound the adults around them with what they're capable of.

One of the reactions I get from my books is something like: 'Yes, but your character is awfully young to do what you've got them doing.' That reaction is usually muted and subtle, as in: 'Well, I like the story, but...'

So, I tell those adults who have read my stories that I've based my youthful characters on real kids. Maybe kids I know today, or kids I grew up with, or, just perhaps, a tiny bit out of my own past. I also find, much more frequently than I expect, news stories about youthful characters, real ones, who are doing amazing things at young ages.

I have started to Tweet about those young people, when I spot a story that supports my point of view.

A 10-year-old who wrote a book to help other kids deal with their feelings when dealing with a personal tragedy. A 12-year-old running his own company (okay... I posted about him). A 13-year-old baseball player in the Baseball Hall of Fame (yes, I posted about her, too). The 13-year-old who climbed Mount Everest. 14, 15, and 16-year-olds sailing around the world. 14 and 15-year-olds who survive 50 days lost at sea drifting in an open 12-foot boat. A 16-year-old hero who risks his life to save a 10-year-old boy from a partially frozen, rapidly flowing river. The list goes on.

Ask any young person, and many of them will tell you what they could do, if only given a chance, if only the adults in their lives would let them and support them. The next question is: Do the adults support them? Or, perhaps, do the adults say something like, 'Oh, you'll have to wait to do that' or 'You really think you're ready for that?'

So, what's your point of view on this? Do you think I'm exaggerating? Do you think my youthful characters are doing too much, or am I feeding back what is really happening?

I absolutely and firmly believe my youthful characters are fully capable of the feats, successes and actions that I've put into my stories. I believe it because I know it. I hope you agree. If you don't, then I welcome the challenge. Do you agree?


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