Category Archives: Articles

Ninety-Nine Cent Novelist

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We need to do something about this. I don’t know about you, but most of the time my book is selling; I’m doing a 99 cent promotion.

Not very encouraging when you have two more books being prepared for publication.

Granted, I’ve stepped out of the promotional arena, because the brain energy it takes to produce a novel consumes me. Trust me, that stuff doesn’t come in a bottle.


Well, maybe it does for some.

Recently, I was with a group of people talking about minimum wage jobs.  There was much feedback from young people that were upset because they could not make an adequate wage to meet the cost of living, rent, power, water…never mind, cell phones, internet access, laptops, cars. So, most had two jobs, and that seems to be the status quo.

The old-timers just laughed and talked about paper routes and mowing lawns, working at odd jobs for pennies while they gained experience in the world. But times are different, yes they are.


I mentioned it was tougher to be a self-published writer and promote your own books. I heard this response, “Yeah, the ninety-nine cent novelist is never going to make ends meet.”


Yep, in the minds of the educated public, the self-published author is a ninety-nine cent novelist. That’s what we’ve earned.

Now, you can spend years of your life devoted to writing a few books that will sell best at 99 cents, UNTIL you break out of the fortress of the unknowns and BECOME somebody.

There are a zillion posts on the internet telling us how to do this, write dozens of books, brand yourself, build an author platform, make trailers, do interviews, maintain a blog, and use all manner of social media in thirty thousand different ways to reach your audience and the media experts that can get your work noticed.  Or hire a publicist. That will likely run you thousands not hundreds of dollars. Unless you have a team of minions.



If you can do all of those things well, you’d be better off to become a publicist. Publicists get paid a mean $60,400 per year as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But I digress.

We’ve created this impression of ourselves. We wanted to sell something, anything, at any price, to get our preciously crafted words into other hands and minds so they might be appreciated by others as much as we appreciate them. We’re willing to give it away for free, because we know once someone hears our stories, they’ll pay whatever we ask to hear more, right…wrong. It’s crazy. It’s giving away your hard earned money in hopes that someone will pay more later. They won’t. They’ll just wait till your next sale. Because we have taught them that we will have one.

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Now, there is this whole culture of readers out there who won’t pay more than 99 cents for a novel, and free is better still. We created this culture. At any given point in time readers can find something for 99 cents or free that suits them, or not, and they are quick to let you know if not. Their biggest complaint being quality, which they most often define as “poor editing”. Readers want to beat writers to death with their books.


Don’t believe me, just google free or bargain priced books and see how many hits you get. Then go to any forum discussing the self-published.

Yet, that’s part of the promotional process…and it’s killing us.

There’s got to be a better way.

A couple of years ago, there were many calls for a collective of sorts and several efforts were made by people trying to organize self-published authors.

But I think that’s the wrong approach. It serves to further the divide.

Another approach:

A quality writer’s collective that promotes itself with both traditionally published and self-published authors whose books range in price from $2.99-$10.00. A web site store where readers could select quality self and traditionally published books that are reasonably priced. And quality authors would be promoted for starters. No reason why we can’t work with publishers to accomplish this. After all, we ARE publishers.

Oyster and Scribd have tried to do this and they are failing because they are not meeting their own standards for quality and they are attempting to get rich off of monthly subscriber fees.

The last eight books my husband ordered from Oyster and Scribd were hideous! He won’t even go there anymore, for traditionally published or self-published. And he’s getting frustrated, so frustrated that he told me my work is the best he’s read in a month and he reads a lot. So, I took that as a compliment. (As off-handed as it might have been, I know he meant well.)

The focus and promotion should be on Quality. Reasonable prices. No subscriber fees.

Gatekeepers (other author members) would not judge the content in the way that a developmental editor would, but no book would be accepted if it didn’t meet strict guidelines for copy-editing and proofing. Authors/publishers could pay a small fee to have their books reviewed for a set criteria. If the book is rejected, they wouldn’t be given but one opportunity to correct it, so there would be a great incentive to do it right the first time.

Word of mouth is supposed to be the very best marketing plan. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could promote ourselves and others in a way that makes everybody happy?


So, what do you think?

Settle for this:


When our sales look like this:


Ideas, thoughts, suggestions?

Kickstarter Campaign for Sci-Fi Magazine



What is Nonlocal Science Fiction?

Nonlocal Science Fiction is a quarterly digital magazine featuring short stories and serials from emerging science fiction authors from around the world. The first issue launches on March 14th!


Who is Nonlocal Science Fiction?

Nonlocal Science Fiction is published by 33rd Street Digital Press, a new independent digital publishing company owned and operated by Daniel J. Dombrowski.


What makes Nonlocal Science Fiction different?

Built from the ground up to function as a dynamic digital publication, Nonlocal partners with its authors directly and offers them a share of the profits from the sale of the magazine rather than a per-word rate that minimizes the value of a story submission.

Nonlocal involves its authors in a comprehensive digital marketing campaign which benefits the authors directly both by increasing sales and by giving independent authors valuable marketing knowledge and experience.


Why is Nonlocal Science Fiction doing a Kickstarter?

The Kickstarter will cover all costs to publish the first issue and help diffuse the expenses already incurred while organizing 33rd Street Digital Press.

More than that, the Kickstarter will help build a foundation of support for the magazine as supporters will become primary advocates. Every backer receives a copy of the magazine and has the chance to get limited edition merchandise and additional eBooks from authors appearing in Issue #1.

The top stretch goal for the magazine earns every backer a LIFETIME subscription to the magazine.


Is Dan available for interviews and guest posts?

YES! At any time, please feel free to email Dan ( to request an interview or a guest post about any topic you wish relating to the magazine or 33rd Street.


Anything else I should know?

After the launch of the first issue, all 10 authors appearing in the issue will be available for interviews! You will be receiving contact info for all authors and a complimentary copy of the first issue once it launches.


What are the relevant links?

33rd Street Digital Press website:

Nonlocal Science Fiction website:




Story Summaries

All of these stories will appear in the first issue of Nonlocal Science Fiction.

Us and Everybody Else by Valery Amborski In the future, we’ll be able to escape, very literally, into our memories. But is it a good idea to live for the past?


Delivery to Venus by Robert Paul Blumenstein The Earth has become a ball of ice as the sun slowly burns out. A team of scientists must face the ultimate questions of existence while they sow seeds on Venus.


A Thin Atmosphere, Chapter 1 by Dan Colton Mars City comes under attack by tunnel-dwelling Rebels in the first chapter of this old-school space adventure serial.


Mazep-fal by Daniel J. Dombrowski A man who is both the youngest and oldest member of his tribe makes a terrible discovery on a pilgrimage to meet his gods.


Marigold’s Memory by Reva Russell English In a future where human memory is stored on microchip implants and bad memories can be erased, a young woman faces a terrible fate.


Catalyst by Aaron Hamilton A daring escape in a stolen spacecraft and a mysterious and alluring rescuer leave a smuggler wondering what will happen next.


Deal Gone Bad, Chapter 1 by Thad Kanupp Jack survives in a post-apocalyptic wasteland by scavenging guns and ammunition. His life is about to get a lot more interesting.


Shoot the Devil by Nicholas Rossis What would you do if you could travel back in time? If you had the devil in your sites, would you pull the trigger?


The Assistant Assistant Port Keeper by Jim Rudnick Life as an Assistant Assistant Port Keeper in a space port on the Rim has its highs and its lows. A visit from a particularly difficult species of traders presents an opportunity for both.


In The Days Of Still Pictures by H.C. Turk In an alternate wild west where cowboys ride zebras and elephants pull wagons, a pair of traveling salesmen appear and stir up trouble with their magical wares.

A few samples of what’s to come…

“In The Days Of Still Pictures” by H. C. Turk

At the desert’s edge, where dry heat created transient visions, sat the town of Vargo, Dakoda Territory, population low and unknown in the year 1873. Remarkable the newcomers passing through. Miners heading for the promised platinum out west just stopping for some drugs at the saloon. Damn herd of elephants ran right through the streets once. Really tore up the place. Your big city journalist seeking the “truth of the Amerigan frontier,” like a profundity misplaced.

Some people stayed for one reason or none, for one duration or another. The photographer, Mizzer Benjumin Roze, had been present a month, but not many people could afford his family portraits. A traveling salesman changed that, providing Mzr. Benjumin with a plenitude of business, an enterprise to unhinge this Erth frontier…


“Marigold’s Memory” by Reva Russell English

The second time she tried to have the chip unlocated, she went into cardiac arrest, her heart’s rhythm a high-pitched “eeeeeeeee” that showed itself on the monitor as a thin and serious line that stretched between the farthest cosmic reaches of an infinite point A and the farthest cosmic reaches of an infinite point B…


“Deal Gone Bad” by Thad Kanupp

I woke up with a scorpion on my face. It was crunchier than I prefer, but I’ve had worse breakfasts.

I crawled out of the scrub patch where I’d slept, tongue poking at the chitin stuck in my teeth. Dew had beaded across my skin overnight, and I was shivering. By noon I would trade it for sweat under the ruthless wasteland sun and be longing for the dripping bushes I’d hidden in for the night. That’s man for you. Want what you want ‘til you get it, and not a minute longer—one thing that held true for everyone. I needed it to…


“Catalyst” by Aaron Hamilton

Cribbs tried not to think of how lucky they had been, afraid he would somehow cause the scales to tip back against them. He hadn’t stopped to question it when his cell door slid open, or when his impounded ship was released from grav-lock, or even when they escaped without pursuit. But his cynicism resurfaced as his pulse slowed…

Krazy Couponing and Troopons


My daughter has 2.5 kids and stays home to be with the kids while her husband works a couple of jobs. It is a crazy world for young families trying to make ends meet. To help out, she has become one of those crazy couponers. Yes, those people that takes 30 minutes in the check-out line to go through their coupons. But she tries to stay organized so it is a relatively quick process.

She has neat little photo albums she sorts her food and non-food item coupons in and has them organized by dates as well, so she knows which expire first.

Today, she came by and after spending about an hour on my computer, she had seventy-five dollars off of items she usually shops for and twenty-five off on items I use. Giving up the printer ink is not such a bad deal as she prints in black and white. Some, she scans the QR code with her phone.

A hundred dollars an hour is a pretty smart wage, even if it’s just once a week.

Then she checked the buy-one-get-one items at her favorite grocery store and that was another thirty dollars saved. A hundred and five dollars saved on her bill. That’s awesome.

While she was on her computer, the grandson dumped a stack of expired coupons in the garbage and she freaked out. I wondered why she got so terribly upset as I watched her pulling them back out of the top of the trash.

Here’s the deal. If they are not more than thirty days expired, you can send them to military families to use at the PX…so even if she doesn’t chance to use the coupons before they expire they are not gone to waste. Every month, she takes her expired coupons and sends them off. They call them Troopons.

Churches and other organizations can make a project of this, as well.

Here’s a web article that will tell you how:

Not so crazy after all!

Do you coupon?

What do you do with the ones you don’t use?

Crime Novel/Murder Mystery Setting

My work in progress is a crime novel/murder mystery. It is set in both Orlando and at a fictional resort I created that was inspired by my family’s resort near Kissimmee, Florida. I posted this link on my Facebook page (there’s a little thingy you can click on to the right over here if you have not joined that club yet, JSYK), I am posting it here also. My apologies if you feel you are being spammed, but we’re a proud bunch.

If you have not seen this already, you may enjoy. Most of my followers know my family has a nudist resort here in Florida. This article Ted Hadley, my cousin, posted on the website, is a good history of the Cove, although my Aunt Pete gave me a slightly different history. I could add more to the story…like how my hometown reacted when I let the cat out of the bag that Uncle Jim had a nudist resort instead of a Standard Oil Company in Florida. It’s a cool article if you’re into history, comes with photographs. Thanks to my artist friend Dave Winarchik for bringing this to my attention.

Jim Hadley was my mother’s mother’s brother.

Check it out!


So, You Want to be an Author? Traditionally published? Self-Published? Read here!

This post made me laugh till I peed, cry buckets of tears, walk away and digest for a while, kick the dog, reach down and rub his tummy, bang my head against the wall, and then laugh some more. While it is written by a traditional publishing proponent, it has much insight to offer ANY aspiring author. It also offers the realistic support and encouragement I need, especially since I am my own agent and publicist. It was a long guest post on Chuck Wendig’s blog “terribleminds”, by Delilah S. Dawson, and you’ll want to read every word.

For more about Delilah check here

I know you can surf the internet just like I can, and you may already subscribe to Terribleminds, but I didn’t want you to inadvertently overlook this one. Read, come back, and let me know what you think!

Cape Romano: Our Secret Sanctuary

We have our very own “secret sanctuary” in sunny Florida.  A curious and interesting place, Cape Romano is at the southernmost tip of Ten Thousand Island (the uppermost of the mangrove islands). It is located just a few miles south of the luxury resort community of Marco Island, on the Gulf side. The sky is a lovely, brilliant blue, the sun is shining, the air is dry, and a cool breeze is blowing with temperatures in the mid to low seventies during the winter months.


Florida has both a cosmopolitan appeal in places like Jacksonville, Miami, and Orlando, as well as old world charm in places like St. Augustine, Marco Island, and Amelia Island.  All of these places are wonderful in their own way, but the most wondrous places in Florida are the most obscure.  Many people have come to love the beaches at Panama City, Sanibel Island, and Captiva, but there are a tiny few remaining beautiful beaches that are a bit more remote. The beach at Cape Romano is one of these places.

Accessible only by boat or Jet Ski, Cape Romano is a quiet place for reflection in the early morning or late evening, but it does get swamped by visitors from Marco on Jet Skis by mid-day on the weekends. During the week; however, in the twilight of dawn or dusk, it is as if you have transported into a surrealistic dystopian, sci-fi, or fantasy world.


To travel to this location you will find yourself on the Tamiami trail, mentioned in many books set in Florida, otherwise known as “Alligator Alley”. The best way to approach the island is in a little flat bottom jon boat you can launch from the Goodland marina.  Goodland is a sleepy little fishing village located in the midst of the mangroves at the very beginning of the Ten Thousand Islands.  Their biggest boast is a visit from Donald Trump, back when he was considering installing a casino at Cape Romano.  I am glad he did not choose to destroy the splendor of the sanctuary, for it surely would have.

As you motor carefully through the shallows of the brackish waters of Gullivan Bay, the dolphins swim alongside your boat in playful pods teasing and tempting you to join in a swim as they guide you out to deeper waters. You won’t miss the Cape when you see the unique dome home that was established here by Bob Lee in 1980.  This is Bob with his fresh caught snook. You can read more about Bob, his adventurous project, and his family here: in this article by Natalie Strom.

Once self-sustaining, powered by solar panels, with a 23,000 gallon fresh water cistern, the home is no longer habitable.

Hurricane Andrew came through in 1992 and stripped about 600 feet off the beach sending most of the dome dwelling, and a couple of other homes in the boating community, into the sea. The Environmental Protection Agency ordered the removal of the structure in 2007, (which has not been done and it is assessing the owners fines daily). Building on the sanctuary island is no longer allowed.  There is a cut through the middle of the island called Morgan’s Pass, also created by hurricane activity, where an estuary runs into a deeper pool of salt water. Fascinating sea life thrives here. Anemones, starfish, urchins and other small sea creatures abound.

On one side of the Cape, the seashore is two feet deep in shells. On the other side, there are miles of white sand and driftwood.  There are many little sandbar islands dotting the turquoise waters around the Cape that are covered with birds and are protected bird sanctuaries.  They feast on the abundant shell life. The birds nest here year round. Their calls can be deafening when they are disturbed.  Most all of the larger sandbars for bird sanctuaries are marked off-limits to humans.

Not my best pose in a bikini, but about the only one I would consider making public.
Not my best pose in a bikini, but about the only one I would consider making public.

Shelling is my favorite pastime here, collecting hundreds of samples over the years.


There are certain currents at specific times of the year that bring King’s Crown and whole sand dollars washing ashore in great heaps.  I hope that civilization can preserve the sanctuary, and it remains as unspoiled as possible for future generation to enjoy.

“Why Your Grandma Wants an Ereader for Christmas.”

older-people-e-readers-tabletsI subscribe to Anne R. Allen’s blogspot blog.  She is always entertaining and I like her perspective.

Today she made an interesting post about ereaders and the boomer generation.  The comments by others also interested me.

Having a paperback book coming out soon, to compliment an eversion, I found the comments reinforced my thoughts on the technology angle and some individuals, young and old alike.

I read another news article today that says one in three readers over age 55 use ereaders.

I have an ereader and read most all of my books on it.  There will; however, always be a place in my hands heart for the paper bound book.

An Unlikely Soldier


Today is Veteran’s Day in the U.S.A. , when we honor all of those who served.  This is Roseendhar Dasilma, an unlikely war hero, but a woman who put her life on the line many times to insure the freedoms we have, and to assure those civil liberties, those legal and natural inalienable rights, to others.

Rose comes from the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, Haiti.  She lives near Orlando, Florida now and appreciates more than most the freedoms, liberty, and prosperity of this great country.  She cherishes her American citizenship like a jewel, when so many born here take it all for granted, not having a clue how much it means to so many who don’t know the freedom or the prosperity. Roseendhar Dasilma served in the U.S. Army in Iraq.

I could have written about my great forefathers who served in wars over the years of our family’s history in this country. How they served in The Revolutionary War, the two Great World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam.  I could have, and I appreciate them, but I often feel that those who have recently served or who continue to serve today don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Rose worked with me as Nurse.  Sometimes she told us stories of having to stir shit in a bucket that burned over a fire for hours at night, because you couldn’t leave anything behind when you left camp, not even your turds.  She told us of having to move in convoys of tanks that she could see in front of her being picked off by carefully placed roadside bombs, and knowing her tank was the next one in the row to go if her C.O. pressed forward as ordered.

  Knowing that you just might not make it home.

 Knowing that comrades had fallen before you.VeteransDayPoembyjudybonzer

Her family and friends in Haiti will never be forgotten by her, and her family and friends here in America treasure her, and know her to truly be one of a kind.  This is her sister proudly wearing her Operation Iraqi Freedom jacket.1379243_10101024705948137_405266744_n

A B.S.N. prepared Nurse, Rose is working on her Master’s Degree in nursing now.  She is divorced with a lovely young daughter who is the apple of her eye.  She has worked hard to earn her place in our society and I, for one, am happy to have her. Honored to have known her.  Her name is on the back of my paperback so I will never forget it.

  Roseendhar Dasilma loves her country. We love, admire, and respect her!

I am honored to call you, friend.


Nudist Weekend Plans


Many of you know my Aunt and Uncle started a Nudist Resort back in 1964,

when folk called them colonies. (Naturist, for my European friends.)

  Now it is a Sunbather’s Association, AANR recognized, 5 star, TNS “Resort”.

This is where I will be spending my weekend.

  Post to follow.

Fun, Fun

It is Biker Weekend and we are hoping to see some cool bikes.



Limited online or email interaction for the next couple of days 🙂

My DRUGS: Do They Even Know?


Insurance companies are the mafia with a license, truly they are.  My dad, in the business for 47 years at the age of 75, told me this a long time ago, and it’s gotten worse.

We just received our Revised Aetna Policy Exclusions (R.A.P.E.) today.  They have increased our deductible to $1000.00.  My non-formulary brand name med is now going to cost me 50% of $400.00 per month. ($200.00).  But my formulary generic brand meds, three of those, will only cost me a total of $37.00 per month, EXCEPT, I must have my meds, all of them, filled through the mail order 90 days script service to get that price on long term meds.   Which means; I will no longer be able to readily pick up my Ativan at Walgreen’s if I happen to run out.  Trust me; you don’t want to see me without my Ativan, please!

My doctor habitually fills my script for two doses a day for sixty days.  It is a narcotic, so he feels more would be detrimental.  Yet, my appointments are routinely scheduled for three months apart.  I almost always run out before my next appointment, but he won’t fill it for 90 days so I can send it through the mail order script service, which only fills scripts for 90 days.  He gets ill with me when I have to call his office, (nearly every 75 days), to tell him I need more.  I have to fill these at Walgreen’s because the “Express Scripts” mail order service (yes that’s their REAL name) takes more than two weeks to process and deliver.  TRUST ME; I have severe anxiety disorder, you don’t want me to go more than a few days without my Ativan.  After three days, I can’t sleep.  Six days with no sleep and I start hallucinating.  Two weeks and I am liable to be crouched in a corner, sweating profusely, breathing heavily, with heart palpitations and a knife in my hand!  “Get away from me! I don’t know who you are!”  Seriously?!

I am an old lady, St. Peter is not going to say, “Oops! No, you can’t come in because you’re addicted to anti anxiety medications,” when I get to those pearly gates!  He may not let me in for other reasons, but I highly doubt Ativan will be the primary one.

Insurance companies prey on our worst fears.  We pay astronomical premiums, ($360.00/mo) every single month that we work, for what?  Lord knows I don’t need a catastrophic illness to befall me wherein I would have to pay some royal sum of $350,000.00 for a heart attack or a stroke (that is, if I survived)…but preventative treatments are supposed to be covered at 100%.  Wouldn’t you say my Ativan is preventative?  Honestly now.  Do they even want to know?

Please don’t give me any of that crap about Chamomile Tea either…been there, done that.  Doesn’t work.  Just give me my damned Ativan.