Friday, June 30, 2017


I'm back with a little different approach today. Let's discuss selling a short story for pro rate. What is that, you ask? Pro rate is .05 or more per word for a short story. Yes, there are publishers paying that. Smart authors will try to find this kind of writing gig.

When you submit to these markets, you better have a sharp tale, well-written, and with no editing flaws. So, you will still need an editor, but you don't have to worry about cover art or formatting. Going with my past two articles on this subject, your editor will run between $1 and $2 a page.

Math time. A 3,000 word short story at .05 per word will get you $150.00. That comes to roughly 12 pages. $150.00 minus $12.00 for editing at $1 per page leaves you with $138.00. $126.00 at $2 per page.

Going with my minimum wage thread, if an author spent the same 3 hours writing her/his story that I gave in my previous models, the author would be making at least $42.00 per hour. At last we have found decent pay for an author. And the author does not need to sell 483 copies to break even as in my past formulas.

Let's be realistic, though. How many of these opportunities are you going to find? Not many. And the competition will be keen. Also, I'm sure the 3 hours will turn out to be more, but the time spent will be worth it. Also, once the contract time expires, usually after 12 to 18 months, the story can be republished by you. Yes, usually, opportunities like this are in anthologies or collections where the publisher still gets to sell the book as is after the contract expires, but the Publisher did put out a fair share of money and needs to get his return on it.

So, hone your skills and get good enough to hit pro status. You'll be glad you did!

Three short stories at this rate, totaling 7, 500 words or more, will allow you to become an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association, if you are so inclined to do so. This is one of a number of ways for you to do this.

Hone your skills. Become a Pro!

Blaze McRob

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Ghost In The Machine, by Bruce Lockhart 2nd,  is a fantastic short story you won't want to miss! Bruce is one of my favorite horror authors! I have suggested a number of his books for you to read in the past, once even saying one of his stories was a literary masterpiece. If you think I'm blowing smoke up your ass, just read the free sample for this great story on Amazon. I know you'll hit the buy button.

Blaze McRob

Book description:

I hope you enjoy my short story 'Ghost in the Machine', as it deals with a broken man trying to cope with the death of his wife by creating a machine that will let one relive any memory in perfect detail.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


I posted about authors making minimum wage last week. Mainly, I discussed short stories sold as stand alones at .99 and the stigma some authors get when confronted by readers claiming that that is outrageous. My main points are that authors spend a lot of money and time getting their stories out and deserve to be paid at least minimum wage.

So, carrying on where I left off, what happens if an author works hard writing a great story, is active in its promotion, and she/he still doesn't make much money at it? Don't throw in the towel. There is more to be done.

A lot of authors have numerous stories in multi-author collections and anthologies. This is good in that the author will get recognition. But, it is bad in that the author won't make money at it. Here we go with Math 101 again. Let's say it is a 20 author anthology and that the Press is generous and you get 50% royalties split between all the authors. If the book sells for $3.99, at the standard 70% royalty rate from Kindle, and if the book sells 500 copies, which would be higher than the average book, then the royalties for all the authors would be $697.25 and would be $34.06 per author. Chunk change. Many anthologies sell less than that, by far. An author self-publishing a short story at .99 would do a bit better. However, anthologies do gain you exposure.

I have enough exposure. Except for special anthologies close to my heart, I will not be doing any more. Under my new brand of Blaze McRob, I have 40 titles on my Amazon Author page, but only seven are completely mine. Like I say, that will change. Immediately.

Anyway, what if you haven't sold enough books to get you to the minimum wage point that I discussed last week? Simple. You write more books. The more you have, the greater name recognition you have. What, you say? Isn't this throwing good money after bad? No it's not.Your new story, even a short story, will gain recognition not only for that one, but for the other stories you write.

Okay, you've written more and the money is still not rolling in. Another thing you can do is to put your short stories into collections. Leave your individual shorts up for sale. They are always a good sample place for new readers to find out if they like your work. I would suggest a starting point of around 10,000 words for a short collection, and I think you should sell them at $1.99. Keep an eye on what others are doing with theirs, however. At some point your collections might want to increase in price. Personally, I think it is better to price a book higher when you first announce it to the world. This way if you decide to run a special later you have more wiggle room. Folks don't like to see a book going up in price for no apparent reason.

Unless you also write novellas or even novels, keep writing your short stories. People like them. Add more shorts and collections. You can make your collections larger. When you reach 15,000 to 20,000 words, I would charge $2.99. Once you reach 25,000 to 40,000, charge $3.99. At least. Once you reach this level, you will get the 70% royalty and not the 35%. Big difference. But step things up slowly. You're a little fish in a big sea.

Sometimes the little fish can charge more. I was doing a post the other day for a friend of mine who is doing rather well. Some of her new books are selling higher than I would have priced them, but she has a great following and her tales are super. I want to do a little more research into the subject and find all the pros and cons.

There is a new attitude towards books by a great many readers. If the book is priced low, some readers think the quality must be low. Readers are willing to pay a fair price for a book. Don't undercut yourself in the eyes of your readers. Write a great story and charge what it is worth. I should have a novel of around 300 pages coming out next month. That means I should charge $6.99 or more for the Kindle version. I'm going to charge $9.99 for it. Why? Because it's a damned good book and it's worth the price. This should be your attitude as well. If your stories are great, don't fleece the readers, but don't screw yourself either.

Another thing you must do if you want to sell books is to have a website. And on your website, you must talk about other authors, editors, and others. Mention yourself, of course, but if your website shows folks that you are genuinely concerned about others, people will find you without the chest pumping and you will make a lot of friends. Make certain you post your discussion on Twitter and send it to your Facebook page as well. Spread the word. And, don't worry if everyone else doesn't seem to be spreading your name around as much. It doesn't matter. You are doing what is right. Some people have real life issues eating into their time. Just be their friend. That should be enough.

I know a lot of authors and publishers don't agree with me on my pricing thoughts. That's okay with me. I'm not a god. This post states what I believe. I just can't see giving my stories away. And I won't. There are plenty of books I'm in with other publishers that sell for .99. People have every opportunity to see if they like my writing. Also, my free samples on Amazon are generous. That's another great way to promote you and your books.

That's enough for this post. I aim to make these helpful hints a regular part of my posting schedule. I hope you find some things to answer a few questions.

Blaze McRob

Friday, June 23, 2017


Be sure to mark your calendar. This Saturday, PopViews will be interviewing horror author Terri DelCampo-Nelson. Terri is an accomplished writer and co-founder of Blazing Owl Press. Check out her author's page at Amazon!
Tune in to the PopViews Podcast with Ralph and Damian - every Saturday at 11:00 AM (eastern).

Visit's Terri DelCampo Page and shop for all Terri DelCampo books and other Terri DelCampo related products (DVD, CDs, Apparel). Check out pictures, bibliography, biography and community discussions about Terri DelCampo

This show will be up on the link above. Don't miss it! I have a front row seat.

Blaze McRob

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Read Dale Elster's great movie review for the movie Logan. Terri DelCampo and I watched this movie the other week and loved it! So does Dale. Read why at
While you're there, read some of his other great posts. All of them are superb!

Blaze McRob

Monday, June 19, 2017


I'm dusting off my previous Minimum Wage For Authors posts and bringing them up to date. Also, I will be doing the same for my Marketing 101 posts. The first one is below. I hope you enjoy these posts and get something out of them.

                                                               *    *    *    *

I hear from people who ask me why they should pay .99 for a short story because that's highway robbery. Well, besides the fact that a short story can tell you if you would like to buy more of this author's work in longer form or even more short stories, let's go to Math 101.First we'll take the case of a self-published author.

You walk into a fast food place and think about the employees who would like to enjoy a livable wage. Some say $15 an hour is fair. Okay, let's take the case of an author who sells a short story of 3,000 words for .99. Whoah, you say. That is really short. Yes, it is. But is it worth at least what a small order of French fries would cost you?

I say without a doubt.

3,000 words equates to around twelve pages. The author has to pay for cover art for the ebook. Let's say $50 for that, if you're lucky. It could go as high as $500.00. Formatting is $1 a page. Again, that's the low end. Editing at least that. Maybe double. So without the author's time, we're at $74 already: minimum. If the author is a super whizz-bang and can write the tale in three hours, should she/he not be paid at least as much as the burger employee? Of course. Add another $45. We're up to $119 now. And this does not include marketing so someone knows the author's book is out there to buy. Add another $50 at least between the author's time and a paid professional's time.$169 now.

These are rock-bottom prices that you'll be lucky to get.

So how many books on Amazon does the author need to sell? You will get around .35 royalty per book. Thus, the author needs to sell roughly 483 books to cover the $169. How many authors do this with the typical ebook? Not many. 11 hours at $15/hour comes to $165, so we're close here.

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Now lets take the case of an author going with a small Press. There will be only two expense factors here: the author's time, which will be the same $45, and doing their share of the marketing. Add in $25. Total time at $15/hour comes to $70.

At 4.7 hours, the author needs to sell 400 books to reach minimum wage if the Press and the author each share the royalties evenly. Not every Press is as generous as this. The Press needs to sell roughly 550 books to cover expenses. The Press needs to sell 150 more because of the added expense. Of course, once the 550 books are sold, the Press is making money because it is now in the black for this book. Again, the chance is this might not occur. So in this model, the author comes out ahead going with a Press, at least until the book sells a lot of copies. Even disregarding the minimum wage factor for a second, we see that at 400 books sold, the author has $70 and the Press has $70, but the Press is in the red by $29.

At any rate, no matter how you look at it, the author deserves minimum wage.

                                                        *    *    *    *

So, the next time someone asks you why they should pay .99 for a great story, spout the facts.

It is about time authors started getting fair compensation for their work.

Blaze McRob

Friday, June 16, 2017


Notice the two handsome guys above with the manly beards. They look like normal, cheerful lads. It's all a fa├žade. Zack Kullis, the young guy, and Blaze McRob, the old fart, write some nasty tales of horror. Club Blaze, coming out soon, will show you just how nasty.

Club Blaze, published by Arcane Whispers Press, is in the final stages now. Zack Kullis, owner and publisher of Arcane Whispers Press, and yours truly, will be co-authoring this bad boy of extreme horror.

Nothing is sacred in this tome. The world is filled with horrific bastards. You will find out about them when you read Club Blaze. This collection of short stories will be novel length. Read a tale or more before you go to sleep for the night. Sleep is over-rated anyway. Make certain you have plenty of fresh linens for your bed because cold sweat will permeate every fiber of your sheets. Your mind will shudder in fear, while at the same time begging that you read more.

Get ready, those who lurk in the dark!

Blaze McRob

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Monster Brawl, from Sirens Call Publications. Read about monsters killing other monsters! Great stories from super authors. Twelve in all. Read. Enjoy. What's not to love? Find some new monsters to love or hate!

Blaze McRob 

Book description:

It's time to let the monsters loose!

For this book, we collected stories of monsters doing epic battle with other monsters! The beasts could be classical by design with a unique twist, or they could be spawned straight from the author's imagination. The only rule: there must be a clear-cut winner at the end of each story; one of the creatures had to die!

Some of the stories in this collection pit a single monster against another, while others are all-out gang warfare. Some are campy, some serious, but all a fight for the ages!

It's time to get your game face on for twelve tales worthy of the title Monster Brawl!

**No monsters were hurt in the writing of these stories**

Saturday, June 10, 2017


Caged 3, by Chuck Buda, is the latest book in his A Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian Thriller ( Zombie Lockup ) series. Dangle your digits on the Amazon free sample page and you'll know this book is for you.

Hey! Would I lie to you?

Blaze McRob

Caged 3: A Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian Thriller (Zombie Lockup Series

Book description:

Divided who falls?

Old alliances are broken. New alliances are formed.

Lines have been drawn. And it becomes nearly impossible not to cross them.

The Warden’s new plan has devastating effects. But it might not be foolproof. Will he have the chance to see it through? Can Jack Turk survive long enough to escape the walls of Warsaw Prison? Or will Muncie succeed in tearing everything apart, one bloody strip of flesh at a time?

Zombies are nearing the perimeter. And the legions of undead are growing inside the prison walls.

The surprises in this post-apocalyptic horror tale have readers on the edges of their seats.

Buy this book to continue the terrifying series today!

Caged 3 is the third novella in the Zombie Lockup series by Chuck Buda. It is approximately 25,000 words and contains adult language, scenes of horror and a cliffhanger ending. Reader discretion is heavily advised.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Elle Klass has a beautiful showcase page on her website for two of her books, Premonition and Infection, two books in her Zombie Girl series. I love the way the colors pop out at you, and all seven buying links are added to make it easy for you to purchase the books, no matter what device you use to read them on. She also includes a blurb and a great excerpt for both books. For authors looking for a way to jazz up their promotional opportunities, Elle has given you a great example. Also, her books are fantastic. I thought I'd toss that in.

Blaze McRob

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Horror 101: The Way Forward is the best book on how to write that I have ever read. Granted, it is written for Horror authors, but everyone who puts pen to paper in every genre will get some great information from some of the best Horror authors on the planet. You won't find so many answers to so many questions anywhere else.

Joe Mynhardt, owner of Crystal Lake Publishing, - Publisher of this fantastic tome - did a fantastic job of lining up super talent. This reads like a who's who in the Horror world. The Kindle ebook is only .99. That's for over 400 pages! The paper version is on sale now for only $16.99. These great prices are easy on your bank account and make it a gift giving joy for friends on their Kindles or in their stockings come holiday time. Get one for yourself too!

I chose a couple of the reviews from Amazon that I like. They will explain what this book is all about. Yes, Cory Cline was nice enough to give me a super shout out in the second review I listed, but I'm not the only one he did this for.

Buy the book that was #1 on the Amazon charts for a long time in the how to write category. This great collection is still riding high. Do you write? You need it. You have my personal guarantee that you will love it.

Blaze McRob

Book Description

April 27, 2014
Horror 101: The Way Forward – a comprehensive overview of the Horror fiction genre and career opportunities available to established and aspiring authors.

Have you ever wanted to be a horror writer? Perhaps you have already realized that dream and you’re looking to expand your repertoire. Writing comic books sounds nice, right? Or how about screenplays?
That’s what Horror 101: The Way Forward is all about. It’s not your average On Writing guide that covers active vs. passive and other writing tips, Horror 101 focuses on the career of a horror writer. It covers not only insights into the horror genre, but the people who successfully make a living from it.

Covering aspects such as movies, comics, short stories, ghost-writing, audiobooks, editing, publishing, self-publishing, blogging, writer’s block, YA horror, reviewing, dark poetry, networking, collaborations, eBooks, podcasts, conventions, series, formatting, web serials, artwork, social media, agents, and career advice from seasoned professionals and up-and-coming talents, Horror 101 is just what you need to kick your career into high gear.

Horror 101: The Way Forward is not your average On Writing guide, as it is more focused on the career options available to authors. But don’t fret, this book is loaded with career tips and behind-the-scene stories on how your favourite authors broke into their respective fields.

Horror 101: The Way Forward is perfect for people who:
• are suffering from writer’s block
• are starting their writing careers
• are looking to expand their writing repertoire
• are planning on infiltrating a different field in horror writing
• are looking to pay more bills with their art
• are trying to further their careers
• are trying to establish a name brand
• are looking to get published
• are planning on self-publishing
• want to learn more about the pros in the horror genre
• are looking for motivation and/or inspiration
• love the horror genre
• are not sure where to take their writing careers

Includes articles by Jack Ketchum, Graham Masterton, Edward Lee, Lucy A. Snyder, Emma Audsley, RJ Cavender, Scott Nicholson, Weston Ochse, Taylor Grant, Paul Kane, Lisa Morton, Shane McKenzie, Dean M. Drinkel, Simon Marshall-Jones, Robert W. Walker, Don D’Auria and Glenn Rolfe, Harry Shannon, Chet Williamson, Lawrence Santoro, Thomas Smith, Blaze McRob, Rocky Wood, Ellen Datlow, Iain Rob Wright, Kenneth W. Cain, Daniel I. Russell, Michael McCarty, Richard Thomas, Joan De La Haye, Michael Wilson, Francois Bloemhof, C.E.L. Welsh, Jasper Bark, Niall Parkinson, Armand Rosamilia, Tonia Brown, Ramsey Campbell, Tim Waggoner, Gary McMahon, V.H. Leslie, Eric S Brown, William Meikle, John Kenny, Gary Fry, Diane Parkin, Jim Mcleod, Siobhan McKinney, Rick Carufel, Ben Eads, Theresa Derwin, Rena Mason, Steve Rasnic Tem, Michael A. Arnzen, Joe Mynhardt, John Palisano, Mark West, Steven Savile, and a writer so famous he’s required to stay anonymous.

Editorial Reviews


"Horror 101: The Way Forward - is sharp, savvy and packed with crucial information for anyone who wants to take a real bite out of the horror genre. Two taloned thumbs up!" - Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of CODE ZERO and V-WARS.

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource for Genre Writers May 1, 2014
By Bacchus
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The world of publishing is more than a little bewildering these days, with new options for publishing and a greater need than ever for writers to know how to market their work and promote themselves. Although this book is a mixed bag, the info that is helpful in this volume far outweighs the fluff, and is worth much more than the price of the book. If you're just starting out as a writer you NEED to read this book. If you're a pro with sales under your belt or are self-publishing your work, you'll find resources in here to increase your sales and fan base. There's great practical advice on the act of writing, being a writer (acting professionally), how and where to promote yourself, etc. from writers of books and movies, from veterans and fairly new success stories, from reviewers and editors. No matter what level you're on as a writer, you'll learn something worth learning. 

5.0 out of 5 stars Horror 101- Class is in session... June 25, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As another wannabe horror writer who always appreciates advice from the pros, Crystal Lake Publishing's Horror 101:The Way Forward was hard to resist. Joe Mynhardt has collected a slew of invaluable advice from some of the biggest names in horror as well as some of the new blood that is surely on their way to becoming well respected horror authors.

I am old enough to be of the classic On Writing Horror school, so much of the advice in here is simply hammered home again, but with updated views and fresh voices. Jack Ketchum, Graham Masterson, and Edward Lee begin the parade of great advice with their own beliefs on the horror genre. Ramsey Campbell gives some great advice on avoiding whats been done before, Steve Rasnic Tem gives a dozen solid tips on making a career, and Rocky Wood invites us to the Horror Writers Association. These well respected, and well known authors give solid advice that is fresh to hear again in their respective voices.

Writing has changed so much since the above mentioned classic that there needed to be something new to answer questions by writers, like me, who are realizing how vital the digital age is to a successful writing career. I am one of those writers who has no problem getting through a draft or two, but I get to the editing part and... oh look a butterfly is dancing around the garden outside my window... I can address my problems as a writer, but I am still fairly new to Facebook and the digital age. After years of telling myself how ridiculous Facebook and Twitter is, I have come to realize how vital it can be if used correctly. Many of the newer authors in this book have been active in the digital age for some time and I have picked up vital advice from authors I was somewhat familiar with, like Shane McKenzie, Michael Arnzen, Lucy Snyder,Tim Waggoner, and Scott Nicholson.

I was also more than pleasantly surprised by the advice from authors like Jasper Bark, Weston Ochse, Blaze McRob, and a few others whose writing was so good for this anthology of advice, that I will surely be looking forward to reading more from them and have already added many of them to my mental list of authors to check out.

As a struggling wannabe writer, I have to applaud and thank Joe Mynhardt, not only for his great advice within the pages of his anthology, but for taking the time to put this book together. The time he must have spent talking to these authors, putting it all together, and editing it must have been exhausting and I'm sure he cussed himself out for beginning such a detailed and extensive project. At the end, he has created a classic that any writer, not just us horror junkies, can call upon for advice and inspiration.

Thanks Joe!

Monday, June 5, 2017


Flux is the latest novel by Marissa Farrar. If you're not acquainted with her work, you should be. I have read many of Marissa's books. Her Amazon Author Page will give you a clue as to the variety of super reads she has available. Check them out. Flux is just one of many.

Blaze McRob

Book description:

I was just like any other twenty-two-year-old until a horrific tragedy changes everything.

When I wake up in hospital with barely a scratch, strange things start happening. At first I believe I’m being haunted by my lost loved one, until a leather-jacketed man called Hunter confronts me. Turns out the paranormal events are coming from within me, and the terrible incident has released an ability I have no control over.

And I’m not the only one.

Hunter takes me deep beneath my home city of San Francisco to become part of a secret group of people known as The Kin. Each member of The Kin has a special talent—the ability to control things with our minds. But others are onto us—men who desire to use us for their own gains.

Can I protect the people I have left, or will my powers be my downfall?

Book one in a brand new Urban Fantasy Series!

5out of 5 starsA new series from Marissa Farrar that starts with a bang!
on May 31, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Thursday, June 1, 2017


The second edition of Morbid Metamorphosis is now up for your reading pleasure! Greg Chapman has come up with a brand new cover which pretty much gives you some visual insight into what the anthology is about. I edited the anthology and can vouch that all these stories are great! Don't miss out. As an added incentive to read this fantastic book, the Kindle version is free from June 1st through June 5th.

Happy reading!

Blaze McRob

Book description:

Metamorphosis occurs every day as caterpillars become sweet fluttering butterflies, tadpoles become gorgeous frog princes and chameleons become one with the beauty of nature – but you won’t find any of that here.

The transformations you’re about to witness are unnatural, sometimes gruesome and deeply psychological. They will make you question reality and take your mind places it was never meant to go.

Terrifying Tales of Transformation from Greg Chapman * Roy C. Booth & R. Thomas Riley * Terri DelCampo * Dave Gammon * Nancy Kilpatrick * Rod Marsden * Jo-Anne Russell * M.J. Preston * Stacey Turner * Tina Piney * Suzanne Robb * Franklin E. Wales * Donna Marie West * Suzie Lockhart * Cameron Trost * Daniel I. Russell * Simon Dewar * Amanda J. Spedding * Ken MacGregor * Erin Shaw * Gregory L. Norris * Nickolas Furr