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Last week, thriller author Joe Konrath issued a challenge on his blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. He confessed that he had put out a handful of very short humorous how-to ebooks under a pen name: he wrote jokes, edited, formatted, created a cover on Paint, and published on Amazon in a hour or so per book. (He's made a few dollars a month on them without any promotion.) His challenge to the writers reading his blog: do the same in eight hours.
Many of those accepting the challenge wrote stories over the weekend about their series characters, or otherwise took up ideas in their normal genre. They put together some impressive covers in a hurry, out of stock photos. Others went a little farther afield, into the dangerous morass of humor. I too took my influence from the books Konrath put out as Dr. Hans Uberass, most notably How to Stop Farting. My cover should prove it; I tried to create one as generic-looking as possible (embrace the Comic Sans!), one that says "I dare you to spend good money on this book."
The influence to publish something in less than a day came from Konrath, but my plot came out of a thread on the Kindle Boards' Writers Café. A self-styled industry insider in New York publishing had blogged a typo-laden rant about those crappy independent ebooks flooding the Internet, and within a day the entire blog was mysteriously deleted. That set me on the trail of the amazing facts: all those ebooks are part of a global conspiracy. My tagline: Tsunami of Swill is based on a 7% true story.
This is strictly an ebook, in part for the sake of the joke. In order to do free promotions, I had to sign it up exclusively with Kindle. As I've mentioned before, the Kindle Reading Apps for PC, Mac, Smartphone, Tablet, and even your browser are free downloads from Amazon at any time. My books come without Digital Rights Management, so you can use the Calibre ebook library management program (also a free download) to convert from Kindle's Mobi format into Epub or whatever your e-reader requires.
Writers: the Konrath challenge per se is over—he blogs the results today—but nothing's stopping you from trying it for yourself. 2500 words in a couple of days, and you can "cheat" and get editing or formatting help, of course; but one way or the other you can publish a short ebook for a lark before the week is out. How liberating is that?
Remember: Tsunami of Swill: Secret of the Ebook Crapnado by Charles Deckins is absolutely F*R*E*E through this Tuesday. And if time is money, it won't take up too much of that, either; it's short!
We now return to our regularly scheduled comic book blogging.