You DID IT!!! Born from Fire is FREE! And #1 on Amazon!

By Holly Lisle

I’m so excited! Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to let Amazon know the book was free everywhere else.

Take a look at the screen shots I just took —

Number #1 in FREE Science Fiction

Born from Fire #1 Amazon Free Science Fiction

Born from Fire #1 Amazon Free Science Fiction

#2 In FREE 90-Minute Literature & Fiction Short Reads

#2 In FREE 90-Minute Literature & Fiction Short Reads

#2 In FREE 90-Minute Literature & Fiction Short Reads

Thank you again to everyone who helped.

Get your Free Thank You Copy HERE!

And extra thanks to the folks who have started posting reviews of all three stories. I really appreciate it.

The next two episode are:
The Selling of Suzee Delight
The Philosopher Gambit

And I’m working on The Vipers’ Nest today. šŸ˜€

ContentsĀ © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Help Make “Born from Fire” a FREE book

By Holly Lisle

I’ve given Amazon over a month to correct the price on Born from Fire.I’ve let them know, and folks on my SITE have let them know the book is FREE on:


Apparently the only thing that is going to make the book FREE permanently on Amazon is if they’re inundated by demands from readers who want to get it ON AMAZON for free.

According to other writers who’ve dealt with this problem, the first three links are the most important.

I know that having just Kobo drop one of my books down by ONE PENNY brought them out of the woodwork to match price.

So they will respond to SOMEONE. But I think it’s going to have to be a lot of folks pretty much all at once.

If you’re willing to help me out, here’s what you do:

Go to this page

Scroll down until you find the Product Details (shown in the image below if you get HTML email rather than text email).

The "Make It Free" spot on Amazon
Find the link that says, Would you like to tell us about a lower price?

Mutter, “Yes, [dammit, darn it, by golly], I would.”

And then, for as many times as you’re willing to go through the process of telling them (up to FOUR), copy and paste a different one of the links above into their little box.

‘Cause they are NOT listening to me.

And if you already did this for me once before, when it was only free on Smashwords — I’m very sorry to ask again. It turns out (again according to other authors who have had this same problem) Amazon doesn’t consider Smashwords a real market.

Live and learn (that’s me living and learning, not you…)

So this time, I’m not including the Smashwords link. I’m only including the ones Amazon considers real competition.

If you’re willing to help me make this book permanently free on Amazon, thank you. I’ll let you know when this little campaign actually pays off, so you can get your free copy then.

<beating head on wall a whole lot right now>


P.S. If you’re a writer and ever find yourself in this situation, I’ll be happy to return the favor.

ContentsĀ © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Getting the books out, getting the word out.

By Holly Lisle

The second edition of Tales from the Longview, Episode 2:Ā The Selling of Suzee Delight has entered distribution today.

This is the sequel to Tales from The Longview, Episode 1: Born from Fire (previously released as Enter the Death Circus), now available permanently for free.

I’m hoping to have the third episode, The Philosopher Gambit, ready to publish in two weeks. It’s been sitting on my hard drive, almost finished, for about two years. All I need is the first chapter from Episode 4: Vipers’ Nest to put in the back.

Everything else is done. Doing that doesn’t count as fiction time, because I’m writing the entire Longview Series as the demo for my How to Write a Series: Master the Art of Sequential Fiction class. And I need to get the episode written so I’ll have my demo for one of the later class modules.

It’s nice to finally be seeing some progress.

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The REVISED new LONGVIEW covers, and how to run a solvent self-pub business

By Holly Lisle

Book covers…GOOD book covers, anyway—are a big flying pain in the ass on a good day, and they are so very much easier to get wrong than right. And blithe comments about hiring a professional cover designer don’t help.


The Longview stories are, right now, low-margin.

I am using them to give people an inexpensive route into my Settled Space universe. With that in mind, I’m looking at experimenting with pricing again, which means they’re probably going to become LOWER margin for me.

Someday, if the series develops a large enough readership that copies of the whole series are selling regularly, I may be able to hire a professional to do cover art for them, but here’s the deal on self-pubbing. You need to be able to make your investment back on each project within a set time period.

For me, that time period is two months. I need for every single thing I do to pay me as much as I’ve invested in it, including time, two months after it debuts.

My time is my biggest expense, because creating writing courses pays much better than writing fiction. I have to look at every fiction project I do, look at every nonfiction project I could do in the same amount of time, figure out whether I’ll still be able to meet my budget every month if I do fiction rather than nonfiction, and plan accordingly.

And I have the same hard expenses most people have: housing, automotive, insurance, food, etc. Plus I have independent contractors I pay monthly to help me with various aspects of my business. All of that comes out of my budget before any money comes to me.I can offset some of the cost of these stories onto the HTWAS course, but not very much of it, because I invest time into creating the HTWAS course, too.

The HTWAS course, though, is buying me the time to write Longview stories in between HTWAS modules.

And I cannot do basket accounting. Basket accounting is when you count all the money coming as one lump, and ignore how much individual projects earn. If you basket account, you can throw your heart and soul into something that is not earning its own way, and wake up to discover one day that the projects that were paying your bills have fallen off because you have not added more like them, while you have been tossing your time and work into a money-sucking black hole that has a minimal readership.

My earn-through number is two months rather than the one month for these books because I built HTWAS with planned time for writing them, and I am using them as part of the course. They are teaching me and I am teaching them. So with the Longview series, I have a tiny but real buffer.

I can pay bills and make payroll if I can get my investment of time and cost out of each book within two months.

But that means that I cannot be frivolous with expenses. I have a budget of about fifteen bucks to spend on each cover. Which means I MUST do them myself.

I paid off the software I do part of the covers with years ago, I buy stock art for the images, and, and paid off the new software that does the fonts and a couple other neat tweaks with the first course I used it on. Everything I buy, everything I do, has to pay its own way, and has to do it quickly. Stories can sit in your backlist earning you money for as long as you choose…but they have to pay back your expenses quickly, because you have to get back the money you invest in each project so you can invest it in your next project.

Your next cover, your next writing time, your next editing.If you cannot invest your last project’s earning into your next project when you’re ready to do it, you’re running your business in the red, and you won’t last long. Running in the black—making sure every project pays its own way—is the secret to being able to afford to write full time. It’s not much of a secret—but this is how you do it.

End of Digression

So the last covers were close. I had the background right. I had the concept of the font and overall look somewhere in the ballpark.

These, though, are significant tweaks.

These are PROBABLY final, but I’m going to have to run them past Matt, who first came up with the retitling fix yesterday, and then looked today at what I came up with yesterday, shook his head, and said, “Not yet.” He came up with the layout concept for these, but he and I work opposite shifts (I’m up days, he’s up nights) and I just finished these, so I’ll run these by him when he’s up and if he has any strong objections, I’ll probably do another set of tweaks.

Episode 1: The Prisoner

Episode 2: The Courtesan

Episode 3: The Philosopher


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The New Covers for Tales from The Longview… I listened.

By Holly Lisle

I read every comment, made notes, came up with alternate concepts, and here are the three final results.

WITH new titles, too.



So…does this fix the many problems?

ContentsĀ © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Bashtyk Nokyd—Possible Cover Art. Your input?

By Holly Lisle

I like this cover better than either of the previous ones I’ve done for the Longview series, and am considering doing the other two over again to match this style and formatting. What do you think?

Previous two covers are below for comparison.

Death Circus Cover-ebook-FLAT-200x300

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Cadence Drake in Real Life: Now legal, soon possible. I win! šŸ˜€

By Holly Lisle

The main character of my current novel series, Cadence Drake, was a genetically engineered child. One mother, three fathers, and some slicing and dicing of her chromosomes to give her the exact characteristics her mother wanted for her:

From my mother I have my coffee-with-a- touch-of-cream skin and full lips and straight teeth. From one of my fathers I have high, sharp cheekbones and slanting almond-shaped eyes with a pronounced epicanthic fold, though the eyes themselves are a vivid and startling blue, the gift of another father. My hair is straight and the color of amber, my nose is long and thin. My body is long and angular. I look like what I amā€”an outdated fashion statement.

From Hunting The Corrigan’s Blood: Cadence Drake #1


And it just became legal in England to do this exact sort of genetic engineering in order to prevent lethal genetic disease being passed from mother to child.

I think this is a fantastic development, something that will improve the lives of future generations of human beings, and something that has tremendous potential for giving people a chance at longer and better lives.

However, I also think it’s cool as hell that I built the main character of my current main series on science that just went Real World.

The novel is also available here:

ContentsĀ © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

Something Fun: The Whole First Chapter of the Longview 1 Audiobook

By Holly Lisle

I’ll have the full audiobook available from my own site in a few days. The audiobook is over two hours in length (nice for a few days of short commutes), and for early purchasers, I’ll be offering it for less than what such audiobooks usually go for.
Questions are welcome, of course. šŸ˜€

ContentsĀ © Holly Lisle. All Rights Reserved

“Write A Series” Students: What you’ll need BEFORE we start the Expansion

By Holly Lisle

I’m still putting together How To Write A Series Module 1: Creating Series Setup through Completion of Story One, but I solved the “how to present it” issue, and my goal getting this module up and making it available is next week.

So let’s talk about prepping for the class.

In the first four lessons of How To Write A Series, you get the detailed instructions on how to determine the sort of series you want to write, and how to put it together, how to make the beginnings compelling, the middles tight, and the endings moving and memorable.



In the Expansion, we’re going to be writing our series.

The first group through this course will be getting what is essentially a very large, extended, live workshop. I’m going to be writing my series. You’re going to be writing your series. We are all going to be pushing deadlines.



The HTWAS Expansion is not a read now, do later course. So you need to do some prep work.

Because of time frames involved, for this class plan on writing a SHORT STORY series, with story lengths between 10,000 and 20,000 words apiece. Figure out how much story you can write, revise, and EDIT in one month, and set that as your story word count.

From HTWAS Lesson 1, know what KIND of series you want to write: Bullet-proof Cast in Inconsequential Time with Linked Sequential Stories in Small World…

Loner in Unchanging Time in Big World with Loosely Connected Stand-Alones…

Or any of the other types.

In case you were wondering, I’m doing a Fair-Game Cast, Consequential Time, Linked Sequential Series in a Universe/Multiverse. (With a neat twist on the Multiverse.)

Know what GENRE you want to write in.

Mine is Space Opera.

But I’m covering every genre you want to know. Your questions in each module will inform the genres and presentation of the next module, as we did with the first run of How To Think Sideways, and How To Revise Your Novel.

We’ll develop series ideas IN CLASS, using the Octopus Sweet Spot Map and the Series Matrix, so you don’t need an idea. You just need to know your framework.


QUICK REMINDER if you’re on the fence…

This is final week that the course will be available at its current price.

Students who buy now at the current price receive ALL six modules at no extra cost. This is a savings of $150.

If you don’t have the course yet, you can get it now for the old price and be caught up with the live Expansion about the time Module 2 goes live.

When Module 1 goes live, the price goes up $25 to reflect that addition. Each additional module will be an additional $25. Modules are NOT sold separately.

If you don’t have the course yet but you’re interested, How To Write A Series is here:Ā  (Opens in new tab)


And a P.S.:

All students who purchased the FULL version of How To Write A Series have already purchased the upgrade. Make sure the course opens for you in the link from your Classroom Hub.

Students who have the free HTWAS bonus version of the class included with How To Revise Your Novel DO NOT HAVE the upgrade.

If you’re an HTRYN student and you want the HTWAS Expansion, use the Big Courses Discount shop in your HTRYN sidebar menu to get before I take the first module live. Discount Shop prices will be going up for this course too.

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Edison and Me: How NOT to Do Something Difficult

By Holly Lisle

I have the information for the first module of How To Write A Series more or less finished. Ā The story is done and beautifully edited. NOT by me. I’m fighting myself over the damn cover art.

So far so good.

And today I spent six hours trying to figure out how to bring all of this informationā€”and there is a lot of it, including some new techniques I came up with to make this whole Writing A Series Without Having It Fall Apart On You Three Books Down The Line process simpler… WhenĀ I hit the weird and wacky wall of SOFTWARE. Of All things.

Started with Inspiration. Nope, that’s not gonna work. It’s missing presentation options I need.

Moved to ConceptDraw Mindmap. SO not going to work. It’s missing MOST of the options I need to get this done.

I spent that six hours learning two detailed course creation processes that won’t work for this course.

Edison spent a lot longer than that on the lightbulb, and a lot more tries, but unlike Edison, I’ve built courses before, and I thought going in that I knew exactly how to present this.

Now I’m looking at Keynote, and considering slides and downloads.

Or going my Ugly Workshop route with hand-drawn diagrams on quad paper.

Or… something else.

My objectives are to be concise and fast, to make sure I cover the material thoroughly but that I don’t overwhelm anyone with details, to make sure I make this as easy as possible for the writer to use, and to create a fun, entertaining, interesting course that allows writers to achieve success on their first use of the course, as well as with subsequent uses.

So. I’m struggling. I’m going spend a few hours this evening getting the rest of my background material and notes together.

And I’m promising myself one more time that this will NOT end up being as big a course as How To Think Sideways. Or even How To Revise Your Novel.


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