Monday, December 31, 2007


I am looking for suggestion of great covers on self-published books. I mean, we need to encourage people who go to the trouble of creating a great cover. Please nominate books any time between Jan 1-20 -- please, not your own books or those of friends. I will open the covers to voting from Jan 20-30. As a bonus I will buy a copy of the winner for review by myself or another of the POD People.

Edited to add:

Nominations closed


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Linky Gablinky--veinglory

I thought it might be nice to have a blogroll of self-POD writers. If you would like to be added to it please drop me a link and let me know which genre you write in predominantly.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

REVIEW: 'Israel in color and black & white' by Yaad Etgar

TITLE: Israel in color and black & white
AUTHOR: Yaad Etgar
PRICE: $15.63 (download)
GENRE: Non-Fiction

This book is meant to show "the good side" of Israel. To me it seemed more like a fairly haphazard selection of photographs by a photographer who happens to reside in Israel. Many of the pictures are of commonplace scenes: streets, parks and zoos. Quite a few of the pictures seem more like tourist or family shots.

The best pictures are very good, but a great many are fairly ordinary. Contrast seems low, especially in the black and white shots. Framing and focus is sometimes effectively experimental but often just seems off.

Overall this was an interesting but disorganised collection of photographs that night be worth $15 in paperback, but for a download I would consider that price more than a little steep. No preview is offered but the cover is a fairly representative work.


Monday, December 24, 2007


"All of a sudden, this last year, I started realizing I'm 31 and I'm not old, but you never know what's going to happen. I just kept thinking this stuff's going to end up a on a hard drive somewhere and no one would even know about it. So I just pushed forward and I did it," said Sweet.

And that led to Joseph's first book, “Hell 101.” It's a collection of short horror stories that has book reviewers saying he's got what it takes. The book is now available world wide on web sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

He's got a second book ready to be released in February.

From NEWS 10 Now, thanks to Cheryl for the link. See Cheryl's review of Hell 101 here.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Famous self-published authors... or not--veinglory

I am going to piggy back off a great blog post by Jim C Hines

Which of the following authors self-published?
1. John Grisham
2. Christopher Paolini
3. Mark Twain
4. James Redfield
5. William Strunk, Jr.
6. Louis L'Amour
7. L. Frank Baum

Answers here.

I do get tired of the range of centuries old, misleading or just plain wrong examples are given of self-publishing leading to mainstream success. Real examples do exist but often not involving names every person would know. It does happen, but not often. Realism is called for.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The PODdy blog reports that the notorious Airleaf Publishing a.k.a. Bookman Marketing is closing.. This is not a sad turn of events.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Self-Published Gift Ideas--veinglory

For a POD Person

[pod person]

For the book reviewer:
[mentally correcting your grammar]
Book Bag

[everyone is entitled to my opinion]

For the reader:
Long sleeved shirt

[so many books -- so little time]

For the blogger:

[no one cares about your blog]

For the writer getting a review:

[I am sitting in the smallest room of the house. I have your review before me. In a moment, it will be behind me]

For the non-self-published writer
Hooded sweat shirt

[property of a publisher]

NB: none of these stores is affiliated with this blog or with the POD People :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On my plate, an update...--veinglory

Currently I am reading:
The Martinet by Brad Barber

I am also browsing
Sell Your Book on Amazon
(Outskirts Press)

I am waiting for
The Scientific Worldview
to arrive in the mail.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I need bookshelves. Sigh. Can anyone recommend some good ones? Currently I know I have a whole bunch of books but they are semi-randomly boxed together and I can't actually find any of them.

So I was wondering: how do you shelve your books? Alphabetical, Dewey decimal, by size, genre, type... color?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Word of the Day: YADS--veinglory

YADS=Yet Another Display Site

"Put simply, YADS stands for Yet Another Display Site. In other words, it's an idea that has been put forth numerous times over the past decade or longer on the Internet as a method for avoiding the need to obtain a literary agent. The principle idea is this: the author pays a fee to the display site while furnishing either a full or partial copy of the author's manuscript. A small portion of that manuscript is then posted on the display site with the idea being that a literary agent or publisher will be surfing the Internet, stumble across the display site, see all the wonderful writing, and stop to read."

"Manuscript display websites promise to showcase your writing to agents and editors in electronic form. Instead of printing out and snail mailing your cover letter, synopsis, and first three chapters, you can display them online in a venue that agents and editors can easily visit."

"Amateur writers will put up amateur writing and receive amateur critiques—which is not a bad way to start, but they don’t need this site to do it, and there’s no reason to think that editors and agents are going to want to watch."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

REVIEW: 'Chion' by Darryl Sloan

Title: Chion
Author: Darryl Sloan
Price: Free E-book or Paperback $ 7.99
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Midnight Pictures
Point of Sale: Midnight Pictures

Don't go outside.

I read a lot of mediocre books, but this wasn't one of them. Seamless, engaging and appealing. Jamie is immediately a sympathetic character as school boy struggling with some personal matters and not looking like an idiot in front of a girl he like. Then a mysterious substance falls from the sky and things quickly go from bad to worse.

The situation spirals out of control and rescue starts to look unlikely. A couple of kids have to try and keep themselves alive when the authorities and adults around them clearly aren't going to. Jamie and Tara are plucky but believable as, sadly, is the way the disaster unfolds.

CHION is effortless to read and the story unfolds strong until an ending that is perhaps to pat in some ways but still manages something of a clever twist.


Reviewed by Emily Veinglory: Emily Veinglory is a writer of m/m erotic romance and fantasy with a dark or paranormal twist. Her fantasy novel King of Dragons, King of Men is now available on

FREEVIEW: 'The Gift' by Amanda Hamm

TITLE: The Gift
AUTHOR: Amanda Hamm

This ten-page story is a wonderful addition to the tradition of stories that remind us of the real message of Christmas, and I say that as an abject atheist. A man with two young children looks for the perfect present for his wife. The characters are warmly and believably depicted and the scene is cosily domestic. The ending, although a little (okay a lot) predictable is satisfying. I would recommend this as a well-crafted holiday story and a credit to the author.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Random Blog meme--veinglory

I don't know if you have met this meme. If not, feel free to use it. You Google "your name is" and list the most amusing 10 from the first page:

pod people are alarming not because they're happy being pod people but because they insist that everyone should become a pod person
You should become a POD Person. Yes, you. Email me now.

Pod people are kizool, or so the young people tell me
Ki-what now? Apparently I am not 'young people'.

Pod People are Beatboy and Raz, two big fags living in Melbourne, Australia
Um, I could deny it but you'd only think I protested too much.

pod people are taking over!
Very, very slowly.

Pod People are harmless, as long as you do not put your hand by their ear or attempt to unplug them which point they bite repeatedly, abduct your goldfish and burn down your house.

How many of you Pod People are there?!?!
Right now, four active, a few fading in and out and hopefully a new one.

pod people are assembled in the town square
...The digital town square. The revolution will not be on pavement.

Pod people are kind and caring to each other because they know they are connected to everyone else the inter-tubes.

pod people are externally identical
I couldn't swear otherwise, but it seems rather unlikely.

...we get to see how the pod-people are formed and let me tell you, it's pretty gross.
It involves a lightning rod, three weasels and a greased cucumber.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Another one down: "Due to unforeseen circumstances the PODler is closing its doors". The Grumpy Old Bookman blog is also closing. Thanks to Cheryl for the info.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ethics in Book Reviewing Survey: The Results

"And 60.5 percent think it's okay for a newspaper book section or magazine to ignore self-published books that authors submit to them, e.g., iUniverse type books."

Saturday, December 08, 2007

REVIEW: 'Of Angelic Blood and Other Tales' by Philip D. Collins

Title: Of Angelic Blood and Other Tales
Author: Philip D. Collins
Price: $ 10.59
Genre: Christian Speculative Fiction
ISBN: 978-0615149219
Publisher: Bards and Sages
Point of Sale: Amazon

Initially, when I read the first sentence, I was impressed and thankful that I might read something thought-provoking and written above the eighth-grade reading level...but aside from the intelligent use of language, the tales, if you could call them that, left me rather unaffected.

The first titled 'Angelic Blood' begins with our protagonist, a middle-class character full of the stereotypical male angst. A self-proclaimed nerd who seems to have trouble relating to the world and also relating to girls. Well, the flush I felt with the first sentence has now worn off. But at least this tragic angst-filled young man doesn’t go the route of so many others with a Bukowskiesque damn society self-destructive lifestyle. No, he is a college student, fairly well off, with your, again, typical family struggles and even more typical meeting the right girl issues. Then he meets Sophia, the woman of his dreams, sent down from the heavens to save him. She is so perfect that he writes an endless laundry list of the characteristics that make her so perfect – oh and did I mention that she actually is an Angel. But the author spends more time characterizing her ad infinitim than he does actually engaging her in the story.

I am a pernicious ole coot when it comes to clichés, and this one sent me spiralling into that void of literary despair. This story has them all, from desperate angsty male saved by the perfect, beautiful, angelic ideal of a woman, who is yet again a stranger in a strange land prone to her own self-loathing, to paradigms and the subsequent shifting of, to the fact that ‘keep it simple stupid’ is even written verbatim as a character trait, not to mention other equally trite phrases such as ‘nine out of ten customers can’t tell the difference.’ Oh my.

This book suffers from many technical, mechanical, grammatical, and editing flaws. In fact, it doesn’t seem as if this book had much editing done to it at all. Story construction in Angelic Blood is poor. Many parts are written as if the author were giving a dissertation on the ills of society and its impending downfall, even quoting other learned people to back up his suppositions and opinions. If this were a book of Sociological essays, I would have been impressed and enjoyed it immensely. But it’s not a book of essays. What happens here is that the actual tale is diminished and of very low impact. There is a lot of swooning melodrama but no suspense or engaging conflict to hold your attention. What little conflict there is is sadly predictable. The term-paper like sequences destroy the poetic flow of the story. There is a lot of info dumping. The dialog is flat and poorly constructed. When characters start blushing and grinning the dialog, I have to scratch my head. There is nothing wrong with using the word ‘said’ with a smile or a grin. Dialog is spoken, so if you don’t like to use ‘said’ too much, then find another proper conversational verb. Not to mention the disjointed internal conflict scenes, which are entirely written in italics and seem to be thrown in willy-nilly to add depth to a rather preachy main character: as if to say, I know he is a cheeky preachy bastard, but he contemplates suicide so please feel sorry for him. Even the degrading and self-loathing internal voice stirs no pity in me. Again, more outworn cliché. At best, everything about this tale is average: stale story, stale principles, and an equally stale worldview; we have read a litany of these stories already. There really is no new voice here.

The second story ‘Night of the Raven’ I liked much more. The theme and theorem was eloquently weaved into the story so as not to overpower it. The messages were clear and concise; although, some might disagree with the opinions of the work, and some might find them radical and disturbing. The world is disturbing. Here we have, through a sci-fi theme, the dissection of social politics – fascism and social isolationism. And the metaphorical references were spot on. ‘I had no Lenore’ – good stuff. The plotline is intense, the imagery has wonderful depth, and the message is littered with the bullet holes of truth.

A Voice we have yet another angsty ill-in-his-own-skin male whining story of the idealized perfect woman, and yet again we have the protagonist taking much deserved shots at the stereotypical pop culture definition of what a woman should be. I like that, but the tone makes the main character Alec seem a little pathetic, as if he almost deliberately chastises that which he cannot have, defining all beautiful women who refused to give him the time of day as nasty, surgically-enhanced brainless harlots. They very well may be or maybe not. Despite that and again the cliché theme, the story structure is good and leaves us with an unexpected hopeless ending. Life isn’t always beautiful, and happy endings are rare.

The only thing that saved it for me and kept me reading this book was that it was written so intelligently, and there were some truly inspiring poetic and thought provoking lines. Forgiving the endless typos and editing issues, there are profoundly relevant messages and themes here, timeless messages; too bad they are sucked into the mire and come off a bit overtly preachy.

This author has the skill for brilliant essay writing. But when it comes to the mechanics and specialized techniques of story construction, a trip back to the editing room is warranted, more so in the first story than in the later ones.

7/10 For average content...clichés just do me in.
5/10 For editing and mechanics.

Reviewed by Cheryl Anne Gardner: Cheryl Anne Gardner, author of four novellas, is an Executive Assistant by day, an avid reader, and an independent reviewer with Podpeople.blogspot and Amazon where she blogs regularly on AmazonConnect. She is an advocate for independent film, music, and books, and when at all possible, prefers to read and review out of the mainstream Indie published works, foreign translations, and a bit of philosophy. She lives with her husband and two ferrets on the East Coast, USA.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Technical Difficulties--veinglory

Apologies for the delay in posted a review of 'Of Angelic Blood and Other Tales', the review wiki has decided it doesn't like my anymore so I am having a little trouble.... hopefully I will get it posted tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

NEWS: Diggory--veinglory

Rosalind Franklin of UK self-publishing provider Diggory Press and author Stephen Manning are currently to be found all across the internet.

Stephen Manning makes detailed complaints, the substance of which I have no basis for judging--and issues the following invitation: "Those authors who feel they have a case against Ms Rosalind Franklin (aka Diggory Press) for fiscal improprieties of any sort, are respectfully invited to email Dr Stephen Manning at stmphd @ to discuss their possible inclusion in the upcoming group court action. 26 names on the list already and growing daily. No costs involved - just fill out a formal statement, and we will process your claim on your behalf."

Exchanges can be seen at Lulu. Franklin makes many detailed replies at booksandtales including statements such as: " are formally put on notice that if they continue to allow these libellous and defamatory remarks to remain in this form unchecked on the website, particularly the link posted by 'Abused and Robbed', then they could be part of a libel and defamation action." (With similar comments directed to the Lulu forums).

Book output at Diggory seems to not extend past September 1st.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

FREEVIEW: 'How the World Will End' by Will Entrekin

TITLE: How the World Will End
AUTHOR: Will Entrekin

I have heard quite a lot about Will Entrekin. If you go anywhere near self-POD blogs you probably have too. It seems he can write, but it really isn't clear what he writes about. So what the hell, I thought I would try one of his free stories.

HOW THE WORLD WILL END is a page and a half of prose that shows that the author certainly knows how to put words together and format them nicely into a final product. It starts rather conrete, become rather more... um, abstract I guess. Call me overly literal but I didn't really get it.

I am left certain that Will Entrekin knows how to write but I am not sure that I would be interested in anything he chose to write about. Hmmm. So I am not sure that reading this freeview really has any effect on my opinion at all.


Monday, December 03, 2007

I had a thought today....--veinglory

And I know I may have cause to regret this thought.

I was updating sales figures I collect for erotic romance books and I started to think... would this sort of information be useful in self-publishing?

I mean average sales figures, whether they are improving with time, whether they are different between publishers?

Would you anonymously share sales figures for a database like this?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

RE-REVIEW: 'Fu(k All' by Matthew Damon

Title: Fu(k All
Author: Matthew Damon
Price: Free E-book or Paperback $ 12.06
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Lulu
Point of Sale: Lulu

The original title 'Dairies of a Creep' makes a little more sense to me. Almost 300 pages of someone aimless, playing guitar, doing drugs, having sex with women and spending most of his time homeless.

To begin with the anecdotes pulled me along but after a while it became a parade or parks, arguments, drugs and girls that were hard to distinguish from each other. I began to really yearn for some kind of development. Most memoirs eventually come to the point where the person has learned something, moved on and achieved something even if it is only a degree of insight and some piece of mind. In this case we get this only as an epilogue and a brief one at that.

Although reviewers I respect have enjoyed this book, and I found it readable, to me it seemed less like a memoir and more like one of those reality TV shows where you watch people crash their car and run away from cops and other foolish things, only in this case it is actually the same guy over and over.

Interesting as a window into a another person's life, but ultimately just a parade of 'then I did that, took this, fucked this and felt bad about it, and then did it again.' I suspect this book and the apparent sequel with a real ending could be edited into one hell of a memoir but in my opinion this is not it.


Reviewed by Emily Veinglory: Emily Veinglory is a writer of m/m erotic romance and fantasy with a dark or paranormal twist. Her fantasy novel King of Dragons, King of Men is now available on