Fun, Amazing, Etc.

This is the official blog of indie author / adventure writer Andy R. Bunch, author of the fantasy book, "Suffering Rancor." As always, I'll post funny or amazing things I find in my travels or from poking around online. This is a great place to kick back and relax a bit. You may note that I’m not too clean or too dirty. For more information on my book, go to Here are links to first two books and

Friday, February 28, 2014

Learning to Market (Part 1)

I was pretty sure I was going to run out of these but here's another thing I want you to gander at.

This is an opportunity to get a free chunk of a book by a well known author. I'm wanting to point out this effort because I believe this is a pivotal model going forward. Pay attention to his sales email which I'll past in first and then to the design of the website when you land at the link. Notice how smoothly it operates, and the consistent branding throughout.

Granted you don't have to hard sell a free book from a successful author, but it's still a great template for Indie authors to follow. If you're going to perma-free your first book in a series, why not make it formal and do it with the first third of each novel. This is an idea who's time has come.

First the email I got:

Water Walker Pilot, free for everyone. Want it? Click here.

Over 600,000 people have plunged into The Outlaw Chronicles,
making them the most reviewed, most talked about Dekker
stories since The Circle Series. Why?

Ted tackles that question and the next mind-bending story, Water Walker, in an exclusive conversation that you’ll only find HERE.

Copyright © 2014 KiWone, Inc., All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website.
Our mailing address is:
KiWone, Inc.
5141 Virginia Way, Suite 320
BrentwoodTennessee 37027

Add us to your address book

Here's the first book he did this with and it was hugely successful.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Another Quick Update and Indie Recon Info

I know I'm behind a little in updating my progress toward my 2014 goals, etc. Tomorrow is the end of a very short, and very quick month. I will be at Worship NW with Greg Zschomler as mentioned before, this weekend so I need to do my end of month contemplation a day early and I haven't been keeping up.

First let me remind everyone of IndieReCon. Today is the last day but they archive the discussion and there's so much information you will be unpacking it for a month. Most of my friends who're keeping up with it have suddenly bolted over to ACX to begin the audiobook process. Some of my author friends even last weekend before Indierecon were finally at that stage. I'm glad to have had some experience with that already, it feels good to be ahead of the curve for once, LOL. Anyway, Indierecon is free and well worth checking out.

It's not too late to enter to win a free Kobo either. Follow this link.

So to update: I finished my course in copy writing. I'm literally brimming with know-how on the topic and have already jotted down 55 pages of notes which I intend to clean up as part of the next phase. The next phase in short, is setting up business. On the practical front I need to set up a webpage, register TaleScribe in Oregon, print business cards and start pursuing clients. Before I can launch into that, I've got some pondering to do this weekend on the topics of strategy, branding, and what sort of niche to pursue. I'm looking forward to March with much anticipation.

I also roughed out a 20 page ebook on the topic of hand selling, which I wanted to have finished before the Home and Garden Show last weekend, but that didn't quite happen. I still think I can get it polished up among the other things that must happen in March.

RE Reading: I did catch up a ton on my too read pile (read/reviewed 4 books), and was able to swap books with two writers last weekend. I still have about a dozen must reads in my electronic pile but only two in my physical book pile and that feels great.

RE Organizing: I've whipped through my project hopper, which I'm proud to announce is still working well to track my goals/projects and progress. I will be redefining categories a little as a result of my upcoming rebranding project, but that's not too destructive to the overall layout.

On the Writing Front: I've had to face realities about what I can accomplish and make strategic decisions about what wasn't going to happen in the tight time frame I laid out for myself. So I've officially scrapped the idea of getting 3 books out this year. It's too important that I have the sequel to Suffering Rancor out by the end of the year and by moving my mystery novel to winter 2015 I was able to greatly decompress my anthology timeline and move up the planning stages of Suffering Rancor 2. Now all planning on that sequel should take place prior to the baby coming and I'll only have to worry about drafting in the months of my wife's maternity leave. That's a lot more doable.

By giving more time to work on my anthology I can throw resources at developing my Freelance Copy Writing Business, Tale Scribe, which is a priority. If Denny's Tales isn't done by the end of March when I need to start on Rancor 2 I'll have a huge dilemma on my hands. Here's a quick look at the new arrangement of my hopper. Excitement and Opportunity abound!

Update Weebly
Marketing Shortlist
Sales Tracking
BUILD capture page
Write/Pub/Market checklist_google doc Mar
Denny's Tales Anthology wk1
Denny's Tales Anthology wk2
Denny's Tales Anthology wk3
Figure out Kobo affiliate stuff wk4
Do more with goodreads Apr
Draft Anthology Connctive Tissue wk1
Draft Anthology Connctive Tissue wk2
Pub Denny's Tales CS & KDP wk3
Launch Party Denny's Tales wk4
Trick out Vendor space May
Re-Read Rancor 1 wk1
Re-Read Rancor 1 wk2
Scene by scene outline Rancor 2 wk3
Scene by scene outline Rancor 2 wk4
Add Marketing steps to this column June
Baby Blackout! wk1

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Want cheap health, but not ready to farm your yard?,32068,19853953001_0,00.html

Original Story:

Sprouts are an easy option.
  • Urban farming and community gardens are rising in popularity across the US, which is an important step toward building a more sustainable food system
  • Generation X’ers have become a driving force of organic gardening. One Texas nursery has seen a near 500 percent increase in vegetable, herb, and seed sales, compared to previous years
  • Growing sprouts is a great way to get started. They can be grown indoors, year-round, are ready to harvest in one week, and can contain up to 30 times the nutrients of organic vegetables
  • Before investing loads of time and money into a garden, remember to find out what your zoning laws allow
  • If you find the zoning laws prohibit or restrict gardens in your area, I would encourage you to get involved at the local level to change those ordinances

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Awesome Cello!

Seriously it's cellos, LOL.

You'll need to jump about 2 minutes in to get to the start of the song.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Opportunities for Writers (part 4)

Okay I found another list, you're in luck. This one comes from

It's a list of places to look for places to pitch your work. That's a little confusing, sorry. As the article it comes from mentions, pick a number of lines to throw out there and keep that many going. Find those opportunities on the sources below, or look back through this blogs archives for Friday lists of opportunities for writers.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Amazon Breakthrough Awards

There's been a lot of controversy among my Indie friends about the Amazon Breakthrough awards. In addition to the points I make below, publishing with an amazon ISBN would tell the Indie bookstores not to stock you. They hate amazon.

I don't think there's any "one way" that's "likely to work." As more information about publishing comes to light I become more and more grateful I chose the path I did, and more aware of the places I could have made better strategic decisions. 

What I mean is this. Anyone who makes it to a place where writing is their sole income (and that income is a living wage) is a statistical outlier. Interview 1,000 of them (or should I say all 1,000 of them), and you'll doubtless get 1,000 unique paths to success. Probably most took some variation of plan A or plan B. But my point remains. I can't tell you that the breakthrough award won't work for someone. 

Every writer must be free to choose the strategy they feel best about, and every writer will undoubtedly have to adapt as they go. Both Luck and Skill will always play a factor, but so will training and hard work. 

I don't think anyone in NIWA would say, it's wrong to try for the Breakthrough award. At least not in the way we'd say don't pay someone $1,000 to format your book, or don't sign a contract without reading it. We might lobby for or against it, but it's a strategy you might choose. I think the key is to do it with eyes wide open. Have a reason and know what you're giving up to get what you're after. 

The same goes for pursuing success through traditional publishing. As long as you're prepared for them to maybe not publish your book for 2 to 4 years, probably not actively promote it, give you a tiny royalty share, throttle your release of titles to one a year, hold onto the rights to your characters etc. for years even when they let the book go out of print, and black ball you if you don't sell like gangbusters in the first 8 weeks--gasp for air--it's not WRONG to want to have a hybrid career in the hopes that it will lend you the perception of credibility in the eyes of the consumer. 

I truly believe that Indie success will take more effort, but have less risk and earn more money. But that doesn't make it the right choice for everyone. I think the big controversy with the breakout award is this...

Contracts are always written to favor the entity who's proposing the contract. Writer's need to read them carefully or hire an attorney or find an agent. By targeting "breakthrough" novels amazon could be seen as courting inexperienced authors who are less likely to spot some issues in that contract. That's assuming they let you read it before deciding to enter the contest, which I'm hearing that they don't. Also they are making noise to the effect that they won't allow negotiations. That essentially says, hey this favors us--take it or leave it. 

So first off, if all those things might be true than weigh that before signing. 2nd the passion a lot of NIWA folks show in their reply on this forum is likely that some writers seek the validation of winning $50K or getting a traditional contract, etc. If that were someone's motive, how likely are they to think twice before signing a contract like this. You're not making a decision to maximize profits you're making a decision to gain legitimacy. 

At it's core, the breakthrough novel award could simply be a strategic decision, but certain aspects of it do also smell predatory. 

Andy's Axiom #1 If you write a quality novel, one that could become commercially successful with only your marketing knowledge and effort, at some point you'll meet someone willing to help you make them a fortune on it.  

That's why I'm an Indie!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Quick Update on all things Andy

Hello all!

I'm busily prepping for the Fall Home and Garden Show. I can't believe it's here already. We set up tonight. I wanted to complete the first of the two marketing classes I'm taking this winter before this show so that I could clear some mental RAM. I'm doing a show next weekend as well, Worship NW, with Greg Zschomler. More information on that on his Blog 

Greg's book LCW will not be available until the 28th so it's not at the Home and Garden Show this weekend but his new cook book will be:

In the week in between I've got a couple exciting things. On Tuesday, February 25th, I'll be helping Zahara sign her books at the Clark College bookstore from 1pm to 2pm. (I think it may start earlier than that but I'm not sure.) I was very honored to have assisted in writing this book and we've got the amazing Pam Bainbridge-Cowan to thank for the awesome cover and editing assistance.

Also that week, Tuesday through Thursday, check out the online conference, IndieRecon. This is the second year for the conference, and the first year had 10,000 participants. So check it out. It's free.

The end of next month is the deadline for the NIWA Anthology submissions. If you'd like to be involved start writing soon.

From the Organizer:
The deadline for submitting your story or poem for consideration for the 2014 Anthology is coming up on March 31st!

The theme this year is "underground," whatever that term conjures for you. Details are available here:

I suspect that most submissions will be speculative fiction, but we're open to poetry and more. If you have a question about an idea or a piece you'd like to submit, you can contact me directly.

I'll start updating this space with regular reminders. Hopefully this will spur your creative fingers to writing (rather than my making a nag of myself).

I look forward to your entries!

-- Jen
Other than that I'm finally catching up on reviews. I just reviewed these Indie books, most of which will be available this weekend at the Home and Garden Show.

Great Video on Novel Structure

Adam Copeland found this for me. Thanks Adam! The video was done by Sara Cypher. Here's a link to her Goodreads page.

Here's a link to Adam's site while we're at it. he's got a sequel coming out soon, I'm very excited.

Don't forget that I'll be appearing at the Spring Home and Garden Show this weekend. I'd love to see you. I'd also like to announce that I'll be at Worship NW with Greg Zschomler to promote my book "On Becoming a Man." I'm stoked for this event as well. Here's a link to Greg's blog

Yes there is something going on nearly every day for the rest of this month.

Today also marks the 3rd anniversary of the first time I saw a picture of Kristin. I don't know that you'd say I knew we'd one day marry, but I do recall thinking, "Dear God I hope I marry a woman who looks like that!"

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Announcements, Announcements, Annooooouuuuncemeeeents!

I say it to you like in at a youth camp or outdoor school.

Here's a quick update that I hope I get a chance to fill in a bit more before this goes live. Argh! Super fun but super busy!

Tonight (Feb. 18 at 7pm) I'll be answering questions on the Northwest Independent Writers Association forum as the spotlight author, if you'd like to drop by and ask me questions (from the silly to the sublime) that'd be great. Rumor has it I'll be raffling off some books too.
(Link to forum.)

Thursday through Sunday (Feb. 20-23) I'll be at the Spring Home and Garden Show with dozens of other authors, see the poster below.
(Link to Home and Garden show)

Wow we're on their website too!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Tuesday Health Post: Affordable Way to Heal you Brain

I've become a big fan of healthy fat. It just makes sense to train your body to burn fat instead of sugar and carbs. Obviously the fat free craze is 100% wrong.

Link to full article: 
  • Animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil, is essential for optimal health, and particularly critical for brain health. It even offers hope for healing and restoring brain function after a traumatic brain injury
  • Low concentrations of EPA and DHA have been shown to result in an increased risk of death from all causes and accelerate cognitive decline
  • Recent research suggests that fish oil can help slow down age-related brain atrophy
  • Older women with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids had better preservation of their brain as they aged than those with the lowest levels, which might mean they would maintain better brain function for an extra year or two
  • Previous research has also confirmed the beneficial effect of omega-3 fat on brain function in youngsters, concluding that DHA intake is a robust modulator of functional cortical activity

Friday, February 14, 2014

List of Writing Opportunities (part 3)

This is the third and likely final list for the near future. More resources coming as I find them. List courtesy of

Title:UCLA Extension Writers' Program
Registration Due:2/6/14 (or until courses fill)
Conf. Dates:2/6/2014 - 2/9/2014
Info:Presented once a year by the UCLA Extension Writers' Program, the Writers Studio brings together a community of writing students to workshop with some of Southern California's most accomplished writers and teachers. From among the 10 offered, participants choose one workshop in which they work closely with a professional writer in classes limited to no more than 15 people.
URL:UCLA Extension Writers' Program

Title:2014 San Francisco Writers Conference
Registration Due:Until sold out!
Conf. Dates:2/13/2014 - 2/16/2014
Info:A Celebration of Craft, Commerce and Community for writers! Unsurpassed for quality interaction with 100+ literary agents, editors, publishers and bestselling authors including Julie Kagawa, Chitra Divakaruni, Barry Eisler and NoViolet Bulawayo. SFWC Writing Contest and single-day workshops open to non-attendees.
URL:2014 San Francisco Writers Conference

Title:21st Annual Christian Writers Seminar
Registration Due:N/A
Conf. Dates:2/21/2014 - 2/22/2014
Info:Our keynoter is Susy Flory, speaking on Writing to Change the World. She is a New York Times bestselling author of Thunder Dog, and author or co-author of six other books. The Seminar will feature 40 workshops on all aspects and genres of writing. The complete Seminar is $109, a fantastic value in writing instruction. Scholarships are available by contacting the Seminar director, Jon Drury.
URL:21st Annual Christian Writers Seminar

Title:Writing for the Soul
Registration Due:2/13/14
Conf. Dates:2/13/2014 - 2/16/2014
Info:Join us in Colorado for the year's #1 conference for learning how to promote and sell your book.
URL:Writing for the Soul

Title:Unicorn Writers' Conference
Registration Due:N/A
Conf. Dates:3/22/2014 - 3/22/2014
Info:As valuable for published authors as it is for beginners! This conference covers the total story from craft to career. Meet industry shot-callers, get one-on-one feedback and learn little-known insider secrets to acing every department of a publishing company!
URL:Unicorn Writer's Conference

Title:The Peripatetic Writing Workshop
Registration Due:N/A
Conf. Dates:1/1/2014 - 12/31/2014
Info:The Peripatetic Writing Workshop, Inc, is known for warm yet rigorous critiques of novels, short stories and creative nonfiction in small, intimate groups. The workshops are conducted based on Martha's and Maureen's experiences leading the Peripatetic over 20 years, as well as from years of teaching creative writing at New York University, The Writer's Voice, The New York Writers Workshop and other schools and colleges. Published authors and free-lance editors with substantial contacts in the publishing world, they've worked with many writers who have gone on to publish successfully. Ongoing dates.
URL:The Peripatetic Writing Workshop

Registration Due:N/A
Conf. Dates:2/27/2014 - 3/2/2014
Info:Thinking Outside The Book, with Guests of Honor Laura Lippman, Ace Atkins, and Hank Phillippi Ryan.

Title:Creative Writing Institute
Registration Due:3/16/14
Conf. Dates:3/16/2014 - 3/20/2014
Info:We are pleased to announce the following authors for this year's event: John Dufresne, Ira Sukrungruang, Terri Witek, and Audrey Colombe. The cost of a 4-day lecture series is $250, with a 25% discount for seniors and students. We also have free lunch/evening coffee talk lectures, with plenty of other activities for the evenings.
URL:Creative Writing Institute

Title:Writers' Day
State:New Hampshire
Registration Due:3/22/14
Conf. Dates:3/22/2014 - 3/22/2014
Info:Writers' Day will welcome B.A. Shapiro, best-selling author of The Art Forger, as its keynote speaker and has expanded its offerings to four sessions of all-new workshops and seminars led by professional writers, editors, agents, and publishers. The conference now includes the option of face-to-face manuscript critiques and agent/publisher one-on-one pitch sessions.
URL:Writer's Day

Title:Create Something Magical Writers & Readers Conference
State:New Jersey
Registration Due:3/1/14
Conf. Dates:3/15/2014 - 3/15/2014
Info:This year our keynote speaker will be New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Sherrilyn Kenyon.
URL:Create Something Magical Writers & Readers Conference

Title:Writing Workshops at The Center for Fiction
State:New York
Registration Due:Varies - depending on class
Conf. Dates:1/22/2014 - 5/22/2014
Info:Every great city needs a great home for writers. Take a writing workshop this spring with award-winning writers Fiona Maazel, Terese Svoboda, Victor LaValle, and more. Workshop dates vary through this spring; contact for more information.
URL:Writing Workshops at The Center for Fiction

Title:Raleigh Review Writers' Studio Workshops
State:North Carolina
Registration Due:N/A
Conf. Dates:1/18/2014 - 1/19/2014
Info:Workshops in Poetry Writing, Fiction Writing & Memoir. Future dates are: 3/29/14 - 3/30/14, and 4/26/14 - 4/27/14
URL:Raleigh Review Writers' Studio Workshops

Title:Northwest Independent Writers Association Symposium on Independent Publishing
Registration Due:1/31/14
Conf. Dates:2/1/2014 - 2/2/2014
Info:Get the skill sets you need for success as an independent author! Join us at the beautiful McMenamin's Grand Lodge in Forest Grove, Oregon for a weekend of networking, learning, and steering the future of this new phase of the publishing world! Sponsor onsite and keynote speaker is Kobo, the premier e-reader company.
URL:Northwest Independent Writers Association Symposium on Independent Publishing

Title:Carolina Christian Writers Conference
State:South Carolina
Registration Due:2/15/14 (early bird)
Conf. Dates:3/14/2014 - 3/15/2014
Info:Carolina Christian Writers Conference combines instruction in the craft of writing with opportunities to pitch your work to editors and agents. Lots of workshops, exciting keynotes, manuscript critiques, brainstorming sessions, and more for writers of all genres. Take your writing to the next level at the Carolina Christian Writers Conference.
URL:Carolina Christian Writers Conference

Title:Write2Ignite! Conference for Christian Writers of Literature for Children and Young Adults
State:South Carolina
Registration Due:N/A
Conf. Dates:3/28/2014 - 3/29/2014
Info:We provide stimulting workshops, professional critiques, one-on-one meetings with editors and agents, inspiring keynote addresses and a wealth of information for those who desire to write for children and young adults.
URL:Write2Ignite Conference for Christian Writers

Title:Hedgebrook Writers in Residence
Registration Due:9/01/13
Conf. Dates:2/1/2014 - 10/1/2014
Info:Hedgebrook hosts women writers from all over the world for residencies of two to six weeks, at no cost to the writer. Residents are housed in six handcrafted cottages, where they spend their days in solitude. In the evenings, they gather in the farmhouse kitchen to share a home-cooked gourmet meal, their work, their process and their stories.
URL:Hedgebrook Writers in Residence

Title:Robert McKee's STORY Master Seminar
Registration Due:Until date of seminar
Conf. Dates:3/6/2014 - 3/9/2014
Info:Are you inspired by a story idea, but don't know how to realize it? True story is a question of continuous creativity – not a set of formulaic page numbers. Take advantage of one of the best story brains in the business, and let Robert McKee prompt and guide you to your best insights yet. Here is an opportunity to apply classic story design – the kind that has resulted in masterpieces of all kinds – to your own cinematic, theatrical or literary premise.
URL:Robert McKee's STORY Master Seminar

Title:Creativity Workshop
State:New York
Registration Due:Open until filled
Conf. Dates:2/21/2014 - 2/24/2014
Info:The Creativity Workshop has helped writers of all genres jumpstart and renew their imagination. We will teach you ways to keep your writing fresh and exciting to you.
URL:Creativity Workshop

State:San Miguel, Mexico
Registration Due:N/A
Conf. Dates:2/8/2014 - 2/15/2014
Info:Whether you're polishing an existing book or beginning a new project, EWT retreats will further your goals. With an acclaimed staff in breathtaking locations, we offer intimate writing workshops, paired with travel, fine food, and fun.