Free Stories

Good news readers!

Right now, Martin & James vs The Evil Mosquito Scientist is FREE on Amazon!

Even better, The Crazed Weatherman and The Witch are also free, and those will stay free! If you would really like to help a new author, go check those out, click to buy them for free. Just doing that would be immensely helpful.

The other book, Masked Moss-Trooper, should be free soon. How soon? Not sure, Amazon doesn’t move fast on these things.

Also, if you like to read on other platforms, you are in luck, because you can get these all elsewhere. Check out the book pages for the link that works for you. Note – Evil Mosquito Scientist is not currently free on Amazon nor available elsewhere. As soon as it is out of Kindle Unlimited, I will be able to make it available all over.

Martin & James vs the Masked Moss-Trooper

Martin & James vs The Evil Mosquito Scientist

Martin & James vs The Crazed Weatherman

Martin & James Visit the Witch

 

Let’s talk self-publishing and covers

A couple days ago, I posted the links to the short story Martin & James vs The Masked Moss-Trooper. Go ahead, if you haven’t read it, click the link, read it, I’ll wait.

One issue with that was the cover. Here’s the problem with covers. Most people will make a large part of their buying or reading decision based on the cover. If you have a crappy cover, no one will pick it up to read it. The opposite is also true – great covers will get readers, even if it’s a not so good story.

When you are traditionally published, the publisher will get the covers made based on what they think will draw the attention of the target market. That could be good and bad – it makes the author totally rely on the publisher to decide what the cover should look like. For some, that’s fine and they do great. You may also have seen books that get different covers. This, I’m sure, is due to many market factors.

The problem if you are an independent author and publisher, it’s totally up to you to get your covers. What usually happens is that the author thinks, “Hm, I have a great story that people will love and I don’t want to spend time/money on a cover so I’ll just get something cheap. It’ll be fine.” Then they end up thinking, “Hm, I wonder why no one is buying and reading my great story?”

Don’t get me wrong. Good cover designers are worth what they charge. When you are just starting out and no one has actually BOUGHT a story from you yet, it’s difficult to spend money on a cover.

That leads me to my problem with this story. I’m not charging any money for it, but I want people to read it. If I don’t have a good cover, no one will read it, so I should get a good cover. But a good cover costs money, and I don’t want to spend a lot of money on this cover because …. I’m not charging any money for the story. And we loop around until we decide to go eat ice cream and binge watch something.

The first cover was just me messing around and I threw something together. Good enough. When I release a book of all the stories, I’ll get a good cover. But it bugged me. And bothered me. So I decided to try and create a better cover. I wouldn’t get the benefits of a professional cover, but I might make it look a bit better than that first one – which looked like a second grader had fun in art class.

It took a bit of time, but I came up with a cover that isn’t completely horrible:

cover martin & james vs the masked moss-trooper
Cover for the short story – Martin & James vs The Masked Moss-Trooper by S.A. Schneider

The other benefit, I learned a bit of how to use a good graphics program. Exotic things, like layers and cloning and blends. Is it the best cover ever or even the best cover that could be made for this story? Phew, heck no. Is it better than the last one? I hope so.

Let me know what you think of my newbie, mad graphics skills. And if you haven’t read the story – what are you waiting for?

<hint – click the cover to read it>

Martin & James vs. The Masked Moss-Trooper

This is a Dick Tracy, pulp fiction style story. If you aren’t sure who Dick Tracy is or what pulp fiction is, take a minute and look it up.

I like the era of action stories that Dick Tracy is from. The pre-James Bond detective with gadgets, but that post-victorian era time. If you’ve seen Batman: The Animated Series cartoon, you have an idea of the type of world I’m talking about.

I wanted to create a series of adventures that involved a character like Dick Tracy and get that pulp feel. Even though most of the pulp magazines no longer exist, I was trying to get stories that would fit into those magazines. As if readers were getting the magazines to follow the adventures of this hero. That’s how we Conan by Robert E. Howard. The stories were printed in various magazines, not in order and each was separate. Now, we can get collections of all of the Conan stories and they’ve been put in chronological order, but that wasn’t how they were originally. Hopefully, the Martin and James stories capture this adventurous feel.

Originally, Martin was going to be solo, but somewhere along the lines, a Robin-esque sidekick came into being. While you can see the similarities to Robin, you might also pick out a bit of R2-D2 in James.

I would like to thank Jason (you know who you are) for the inspiration for this story. This kid not only has some great dreams that he remembers, but he will talk to you while he’s dreaming. Yeah, if these make money, I think he’ll need some writing credit and royalties.

Check out the first story – Martin & James vs. The Masked Moss-Trooper

wattpad logo saschneider

You can now access this story via your library and biblioboard!

If you have bibliboard app on your phone or tablet, you can search for Martin & James vs The Masked Moss-Trooper. If you have an account, you can also login via the web. Click the logo above to go directly to the story.

If you prefer, you can also just grab the stories to read. If you know how to load an epub or mobi onto your device, go for it:

Epub

Mobi

If you aren’t sure what an epub is, then we can also offer it to you as a pdf.

Pdf

Hopefully you like the story and want more. Well, I have more. I can send you the second story – Martin & James vs The Evil Mosquito Scientist – just give me your name and email below.

Let me send you free stories

M j masked moss trooper mock20 2

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