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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kindle Kash: A New Bonus for Buyers from My Homepage

Regular readers of this blog will know that Kindle Kash is my new, WCCL-published, guide to researching, writing, editing, formatting and publishing an e-book on the popular Amazon Kindle platform.

And regulars will also know that I am offering three extra bonuses to anyone buying Kindle Kash via my homepage. I'm pleased to say that many of you have taken up this opportunity already.

Well, I'm delighted to reveal that I've now added a fourth free bonus: E-Book Formatting and Publishing on Smashwords by David Robinson.

David is, of course, the author of several popular guest posts on this blog, including Can You Turn Your Book into a Bestseller? and Branding for Self-Published Writers.

As recommended in Kindle Kash, Smashwords is a great additional place to publish your e-books, because all their titles are automatically made available to buyers in a wide range of formats. It therefore opens up a huge new market of people with e-readers, smartphones, and other devices that can't read books in Kindle format, but who still want to access new reading materials in electronic form.

E-Book Formatting and Publishing on Smashwords is a beautifully written and illustrated guide from someone who has successfully published a string of titles on this platform (as you can see from David's Smashwords homepage).

As anyone who has tried will tell you, publishing your work on Smashwords can be tricky (more so, actually, than publishing to the Kindle), and there are plenty of pitfalls for the unwary. David's guide will help you avoid all the obvious mistakes, and with only a little luck get your e-book accepted on Smashwords first time.

You will receive the latest version of E-Book Formatting and Publishing on Smashwords as a bonus when you buy Kindle Kash via my homepage, in addition to the three other bonuses set out above. You will be able to download it from Smashwords in your choice of formats, free of charge with the coupon code I will provide. Please visit my Kindle Kash info page for full details of this unique offer and how to claim your bonuses.

Just to emphasize, you will get all four bonuses when you order Kindle Kash via my homepage (and NOT if you order anywhere else - sorry!).

Finally, I don't want any of my previous, valued customers to miss out - so if you've ordered via my homepage before today and received my three extra bonuses, I'd like to send you the new one as well. Please click here to find out how to do this.

And if you don't want to buy Kindle Kash (or have bought it somewhere else) but would still like a copy of E-Book Formatting and Publishing on Smashwords by David Robinson, you can of course still buy it directly from Smashwords at its great-value price!

Good luck, and happy e-book writing.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Can You Turn Your Book into a Best-Seller?

Today I'm pleased to present another guest post from freelance author David Robinson.

David reveals how an article he read online changed his views on book marketing, and led him to try a new approach with his latest self-published book and e-book, Flatcap - Grumpy Old Blogger (pictured).

* * *

We're all familiar with the standard online sales page, which outlines in glowing terms whatever it is we're being urged to buy.

The correctly constructed page tells us what we'll get, yet reveals no secrets. It tells us why we need it, what it will do for us, then goes on to include a range of testimonials, and in some cases an image of a bank statement purporting to show the seller's recent earnings. Finally, the seller will include various bonuses to induce a quick decision. Buy now and I will throw in FREE OF CHARGE... I've bought many such publications for the bonuses alone.

This method has been around a lot longer than the internet. Back in the 1980s, I was trading my publications by mail order using similar techniques.

Effective? It works, certainly, but nowadays many buyers have become inured to the hyperbole and they're saying to themselves, "Yeah, yeah, I've heard I all before. Just get to the price." Lately, I've come across a number of such sites trying to get around that by hiding the price until the "buy" button is clicked. IMHO, that is bad practice. If I can't see a price, I ask myself, "What do they have to hide?"

However, I digress.

A week or two back I came across the tale of a book: The Confessions of a GP. Published traditionally, it was a steady little seller. Nothing mega, not setting the world on fire, just earning the publishers and author a few hundred pounds here and there.

Then they put it out as an e-book and it sold 100,000 copies in a year.

What makes this more surprising is that the publisher and author broke many of the hallowed rules. The writer was unknown, he had no backlist, they did very little marketing and the price was above the accepted norms of $2.99 or $0.99. The book went viral through the best form of publicity: word of mouth, or in this case, virtual word of mouth. People bought it, read it, reviewed it, and recommended it.

To keep this in perspective, this was a general title. We all have a doctor, so the target audience was everyone. I produce detective fiction, sci-fi and some sledgehammer humour. Nick produces works aimed at those who fancy running their own small business or would like to earn their living as a writer. By comparison, our target areas are quite narrow. Are there more than 100,000 people in this world who want their own business? Are there more than 100,000 fans of detective fiction in the world? More than 100,000 fans of grumpy old man humour? The answer to all three questions is "yes" - so what happened to The Confessions of a GP could happen to any title.

Naturally, there was some marketing. The publisher was quite active on social sites like Twitter and Facebook in the launch phase. But there were no major write-ups in the press, no huge publicity campaigns, and no lengthy sales pages, with or without the price.

This is a remarkable story, but is it really so surprising? Perhaps not. Many authors, among them John Locke, the first independent to sell over a million titles, report that their books were slow to take off, but suddenly hit a tipping point, from where they began to sell in their thousands and they didn't stop. Sales seem to take on a life of their own. The difference is how the book reaches the tipping point. For most it is a matter of targeting and grinding out the marketing, but The Confessions of a GP side-stepped that process.

Is it possible to emulate the book's success? I don't know, but in an effort to find out, I'm following a similar process with one of my titles. I'm not looking to place copies on review sites, I'm not plugging it on every imaginable site, and the blog post I used to launch the title was a deliberate lampoon of the tried and tested sales flyer, right down to the free offer: Buy now and you will receive, free of charge... nothing at all.

Beyond that, I'm putting out the occasional plug on Twitter and Facebook, and as reviews come in, I will use them as pointers to the title on the Amazon Kindle.

A year from now, maybe I'll be back telling you how Flatcap - Grumpy Old Blogger sold over 100,000 copies.

Byline: David Robinson is a freelance writer and novelist and self-publishes a range of fiction, non-fiction and humour on Smashwords and the Amazon Kindle. You can find him at

* * *

Many thanks to David for another thought-provoking post. Do take a look at the interesting article he refers to about The Confessions of a GP as well.

It does seem to me that the "tipping point" concept David refers to is especially important when selling online. On Amazon, for example, once your book's sales reach a certain level, it is more likely to appear in their "You might also like..." recommendations, biggest mover and category best-seller lists, and so on. A sort of "virtuous circle" then kicks in, where this additional publicity drives more sales, the book then gets even more publicity from the retailer, sales increase again, and so on.

Admittedly, this means that it can be quite hard for unknown authors to break in to the big time - but once the sales do start to come, potentially a snowball effect can develop, propelling you (with luck) all the way into the best-seller lists. Of course, it helps a lot if you've written a good book as well!

Good luck to David with Flatcap - Grumpy Old Blogger - I'll be following its progress up the best-sellers list with interest. If you have any comments or questions for David (or me), please do post them below.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Review: How to Get Your Book Reviewed

How to Get Your Book Reviewed by Dana Lynn SmithI was pleased to receive a review copy of the brand new How To Get Your Book Reviewed by Dana Lynn Smith, aka The Savvy Book Marketer.

Here is my review, which I am posting today as part of Dana's Virtual Book Tour to launch the guide.

How To Get Your Book Reviewed is provided in the form of a downloadable, 116-page PDF, with two extra bonus items. You can also order it without the bonuses in versions for the Kindle and Nook e-book readers, and in paperback form from Amazon.
I read the manual in both PDF and Kindle formats. In both cases, my first impression was that it was exceptionally well written and formatted (no mean feat with Kindle non-fiction books, incidentally). The text uses a clean, sharp, readable font, accompanied by screengrab illustrations where appropriate.

As with Dana's other manuals, Twitter Guide for Authors and Facebook Guide for Authors (links are to my reviews), I was also impressed that the table of contents is fully hyperlinked, not just to the main chapter headings, but to the section headings as well. It's a shame that not all e-books adhere to this format.

How To Get Your Book Reviewed begins by looking at what book reviews are and how the book review process works. This was familiar stuff to me, and I thought that some of it was basically common sense. Still, it's a useful starting point, especially if you're new to soliciting reviews for your books.

Chapter 3 is titled How to Submit Your Book for Review, and this is where the guide really gets down to the nitty-gritty. Dana sets out her suggested strategy for getting your book reviewed, including setting a budget, identifying potential reviewers, getting yourself organized, and so on. She also talks about the items you should include with review copies of your book: press release, sell sheet, and so on. The emphasis here is largely on print books, so not all of this will be relevant if your book is only available in electronic form.

The guide goes on to look at some potential pitfalls in the reviewing process, including the bias that still exists in some quarters against self-publishers and e-book publishers. Dana's message here is an upbeat one, however: the times are changing, and the prospects for such authors are improving all the time - as long as the books themselves are good, of course!

Chapter 5 of How To Get Your Book Reviewed looks at the value of endorsements, testimonials and customer reviews. It focuses especially on Amazon (rightly, in my view) and looks at the various things you can do to solicit more, good-quality reviews at the world's favorite online bookstore. I picked up a number of useful tips here, some of which I am applying already with my own titles.
Later chapters cover other avenues for getting your books reviewed, and for generating publicity more generally. There are chapters looking at virtual reader communities (e.g. Goodreads), book review blogs, book trade journals, newspapers and other print media, and so on. Even creating audio and video reviews gets a mention, and some useful resources for doing this are revealed.

Dana also examines the controversial area of paid review services. She sets out the arguments on both sides, so that readers can decide for themselves if this is something they wish to pursue.

The guide concludes with chapters on the value of reviewing other people's books (in which I'm quoted) and how to use reviews to drive more book sales. As you might expect, there is also a comprehensive list of useful resources.

Overall, I was highly impressed with How To Get Your Book Reviewed, which more than maintains the high standard of previous authors' guides by Dana Lynn Smith (pictured). It is crammed with useful, practical advice that any writer could apply to generate more reviews of their books and potentially boost their sales many times over. I was also impressed by the wealth of examples and case studies included, and the quotes from other successful authors and publicists.

My only criticism of How To Get Your Book Reviewed is that the low-key title probably under-sells the mass of useful information it contains. This isn't just a guide to getting more book reviews, but also about obtaining endorsements, testimonials and customer feedback, and using all of them to promote your book as powerfully and effectively as possible. As such, it is undoubtedly the most comprehensive guide to this subject I have seen, and I plan to refer to it frequently when promoting my own titles in future.

Photo of Dana Lynn Smith provided by the author.

Disclosure: I received an advance reading copy of How to Get Your Book Reviewed from the author/publisher. In addition, the links in this review are affiliate links, so if you go on to make a purchase after clicking on them, I will receive a small commission. This has not affected my review of the guide in any way.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

We Sell Your Ebooks - A New Service for Self-Publishing Authors

I recently heard about a new service that I thought might be of interest to some readers of this blog - especially those who have bought my guide The 10-Day Ebook.

We Sell Your Ebooks has been set up by Harvey Segal. It's designed for people who would like to publish an ebook on the popular electronic publishing platform ClickBank (as discussed in The 10-Day Ebook), but are put off by the technical aspects of setting up a pitch page and thank-you page.

We Sell Your Ebooks acts as a kind of marriage bureau between ebook authors and publishers who are willing to take on the task of registering ebooks with ClickBank and setting up sales pages for them. If a publisher likes the look of your ebook, they will either offer you a fixed fee for the right to publish it, or alternatively agree to split the proceeds from sales.

For an author who wants to concentrate on writing and not get too involved with technical matters, this arrangement appears to have a lot to recommend it. It's completely free to list your ebook, and you are not under any obligation to accept any of the offers you receive.

On the other side of the coin, if you've already had one or more titles published on ClickBank, you could apply to become one of their listed publishers. You can then browse the titles submitted by authors and make offers on any that you think could sell well and make money for you.

We Sell Your Ebooks has only just been launched, and the site lacks a few bells and whistles yet (even the ebook submission system isn't fully operational yet - you have to use the Helpdesk instead). But, as mentioned, it's run by Harvey Segal, a guy whose track record as a ClickBank expert is second to none - so it should definitely be taken seriously. Just check out Harvey's Supertips website, which has lots of guides to publishing and selling on ClickBank, many available for free.

For more information about We Sell Your Ebooks, just click on any of the links in this post, and follow the instructions to submit an e-book for consideration by their panel of publishers.

Finally, I should mention that the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click through to We Sell Your Ebooks and end up getting your e-book published this way, I will receive a commission. This will come from the fee paid by the publisher to launch your ebook on ClickBank and (in some cases) from ClickBank's markup on sales of your ebook. In no case will any money come out of your pocket. This does, however, mean that I will have an incentive to help promote your title, so please do let me know if you go ahead with this.

Happy ebook writing!

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Monday, September 12, 2011

The MWC Olymp-inks - Coming Soon!

Yes, it's true. My forum at is running its very own Olymp-ink Games for writers!

The official launch date is Sunday 25 September (although the Prose Marathon for short stories of 1000 to 2500 words is already open for submissions).

We have lots of exciting events in the pipeline, and lots of prizes up for grabs. All the contests will be free to enter, although you will of course need to be a registered member of the forum (which again is free) to take part.

Among the events planned, we have prose and poetry marathons, the 100-word dash, the limerick relay, poetry triathlon, slalom, 250-word sprint, torch campaign, and many more. Keep watching the forum to find out what's involved, and start limbering up now!

Our main sponsors for the MWC Olymp-inks, as you might expect, are The WCCL Network, who also sponsor this blog and the forum itself. They have kindly donated the following prizes from their product range:

Kindle Kash

The 10-Day E-Book

How to Write a Children's Book

Essential English for Authors

Write Any Book in Under 28 Days

The Writer's Block CD

We are also delighted to have one copy of The Brain Evolution System from Inspire3 (value $297) as our top prize. This high-tech audio tool uses binaural beats and other cutting-edge technology to help 'tune up' your brain for optimum performance! Check out my blog review of the Brain Evolution System here.

In addition, various members of MWC are giving away their own books and e-books as runner-up prizes (I'm donating a copy of my humorous SF novella The Festival on Lyris Five, for example).

For more information, keep visiting myWritersCircle regularly and watch for announcements there. I'll also be sharing info on Twitter using the hashtag #olympinks.

Finally, I'd like to express my gratitude to MWC moderator Ma100 (Mairi), who has been brave (or foolhardy) enough to take on the mammoth task of co-ordinating the Olymp-inks.

Many thanks must go also to the other moderators and members who are helping out in various ways. Incidentally, even if you don't want to enter the contests yourself, we still need volunteer judges, marshals, forwarders, and more - please visit this forum topic for more information.

See you at the MWC Olymp-inks!

Photo Credit: M and M Olympic Flag by Sally M on Flickr.

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Friday, September 09, 2011

Going Plot Fishing - How To Come Up With Original Story Ideas

Today I'm pleased to bring you a guest post from Italian writer Luana Spinetti.

Luana was a recent winner in the Kindle Kash Short Story Contest on my forum at - an excellent achievement, especially considering that English is not her first language.

In her guest post today, Luana suggests an interesting method for generating new story ideas...

* * *

Human creativity is a fussy little creature. At times, it needs to be fed with exotic, original dishes before it's keen to help a writer once more.

I have found myself stuck on beginnings countless times, with no idea on where to go next, but on some occasions there was not even a beginning to start with: I felt lost, numb-minded. Dreams and fiction books can provide a good source for plot ideas, but they don't always work if if you feel you can't add anything new.

A solution that came up to mind was to imitate lottery games, drawing a number of assertions (potential ideas) from a box and using them to shape a plot. Ideas may come from many different sources, including newspapers and magazines, manuals and novels, short-stories or poetry, and they are to be picked randomly. I found this a good way to break out of my writer's block.

Usually, I prefer noting down lines from my sources in a Word file. I then randomly pick by pointing my finger at the screen, eyes shut. However, you could also write down the lines on paper, put them in a box and draw them at random. Edward De Bono also recommends this idea-generation method (he calls it the Stratal Technique) in his book Serious Creativity.

The good thing about this method is that you literally go plot fishing, instead of plot generating. Ideas come to you, and not vice versa. The technique can spare you countless headaches, both in the literal and figurative sense - and that's coming from someone who suffers from migraines.

A practical example. Suppose you collected the following lines from different sources...

  • buses replaced trains on the X line
  • find help on rose growing
  • improve the hand hygiene of your staff
  • do you know how to make lemonade?

Now, you may want to write down a plot for a romantic short-story. Here is a possible start...

A flower-seller girl puts an announcement in the local newspaper to find help for her hothouse roses. Meanwhile, a man loses his job as a medical assistant because there have been complaints over his hands being dirty; in fact, he's a passionate gardener and likes to take care of his plants before work. He needs to find another job; he does, but it's out-of-town. He goes to the station to take a train to his new workplace, but he finds the drivers are on strike and is forced to take a bus instead. He picks the wrong one and gets off a few stops later to ask for information at a newsstand. He buys a local paper to kill time while he waits for another bus, and he spots the flower girl's announcement. 'That's a place I'd really like working at', he thinks, so he goes to the flower shop to ask for the job. He sees the girl on the balcony above the shop, trying to make home-made lemonade. She spots him and asks, 'Hey, you! Do you know how to make lemonade?' He smiles and says 'Yes'...

The above example is nothing special, but that's how 'plot fishing' works. What really counts is your imagination, your ability to extract a plot from a few unconnected lines.

Let your imagination run free, and success will be yours...

Byline: Luana Spinetti is an Italian freelance artist, aspiring writer and blogger. She has a passion for sci-fi stories, SEO and computer science. You can view her portfolio at

* * *

Thanks to Luana for an interesting and inspiring article.

I've used similar techniques myself for generating ideas when nothing is flowing, e.g. opening a dictionary three times at random and trying to incorporate some or all of the words I found.

It seems to me that methods such as these work because they can help us overcome the terror of a blank page. Once we have a few 'seeds' in front of us, our brains can set to work identifying possible connections between them, and turning this into the basis of a story. It's worth a try, anyway!

If you have any other suggestions for sparking off original story ideas, please do share them below.

Photo Credit: Fishing by Boris SV on Flickr

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Monday, September 05, 2011

Kindle Kash Science Fiction Short Story Contest - The Winners!

I am pleased to reveal the winner and runners-up in the Kindle Kash Science Fiction Short Story Contest.

As you may recall from my original blog post, this contest was for a science-fiction story of 1000 words or under that incorporated the word ‘kindle’. The contest was organized through my forum at, and all contestants had to join the forum to enter.

The first prize winner, who gets a copy of my Kindle Kash course, is Dave Wisker (forum ID DWisker), with his excellent story 'A Patter of Ghosts'. You can read this below, along with the judge's comments about it.

The second prize winner, who receives a copy of the five-star-rated sci-fi/horror novel Voices by David Robinson, is Rosemary Wycherley (forum ID 772Rosemary), with her entry 'Planet of the Lost'. Rosemary is a business writer and has a website at

The third prize winner, who gets a copy of my own e-book novella The Festival on Lyris Five, is Luana Spinetti, with her story 'Soul Healers'. Luana has an online portfolio at

Finally, fourth prize, Coronallium Conundrum by David Robinson, goes to Michael Stuart Trimmer (forum ID Vertigo1), with his story 'Machina Sine Deo'. Michael has a website at

Congratulations to all four of the above, and commiserations to those who didn’t quite make it to the winners rostrum this time. I have sent forum PMs (personal messages) to all our winners regarding their prizes, but if you are among the winners and haven’t heard from me, feel free to contact me directly.

All four winning stories, along with the judge’s comments about them, can be found in this forum topic. The winning story, A Patter of Ghosts, is reproduced below.


by Dave Wisker

He called her over when it was time. The soft chimes on the seismology board had been registering intermittent hits for some time now, but his eyes were on the large nighttime image of Earth that Central was transmitting to all the lunar stations from the main weather telescope at Copernicus.

“I don’t see any trails yet,” Frank said, as Elena leaned over his shoulder and handed him some coffee. She stood behind him, still in her workout clothes, staring at the screen. Here on the Moon, nothing was allowed to interfere with the mandatory exercise periods—no one was allowed to rotate home without the minimum time clocked—not even for something like this. So Elena had pushed right up to the last minute, and stood, toweling herself off, when the first faint streak appeared over the Atlantic. It stretched lazily in a long, red line, before winking out as fast as it had appeared. It looked just like the many meteor showers they watched together on Earth, or observed during their times on the Weather station rotation. But this one was different. He put his arm around her waist and pulled her close.

A sudden flurry of chimes from the board made them flinch, but the actual seismic readings barely registered: the impacts were no more threatening than the patter of raindrops. Far Side stations were expected to bear the brunt of the lunar impacts from the debris field, but there was little to actually worry about. The Seismology station was buried deep within the central peak of Tsiolkovskiy crater, and all the stations were built to withstand 7.0 moonquakes, so the couple was probably safe. But still. All shuttle traffic was grounded for the duration; every station was on its own.

He felt her begin to shiver. “Put some clothes on, woman,” he joked gently, pointing to the pile he had placed on her chair. Elena smiled and kissed the top of his head. He watched her strip off the workout clothes, finish toweling off, and get dressed. She helped herself to some of his coffee, then sat down and gripped his right hand tightly. Three or four trails were now streaking the screen before them, but at least the chimes had slowed down again

Real meteor showers were caused by clouds of rocks and dust, leftover celebratory balloons from the Solar System’s birth. But this was something completely different. It was a pall, an enormous jumble of wreckage from some unimaginable disaster. Two weeks earlier, a just-launched planetary probe on the way to Saturn flew though it and took stunning pictures of twisted chunks of metal, broken sections of what looked like spacecraft, melted, blackened and scarred, tumbling and glinting in the sunlight, headed right for Earth. Speculation ran rampant. Some thought it was the remnants of some impossibly huge battle, while others argued for a titanic space accident. Nobody really knew. There was almost no time to reflect, no time to digest any of its significance before becoming engulfed. All any government could do was warn its populace to find shelter during the debris shower, hoping for the best. The first tangible evidence of life beyond Earth had turned out to be the artifact of a massive tragedy, and the first thing anyone could do about it was to try and avoid becoming collateral damage.

Elena and Frank spent the time since the discovery preparing the station as best they could, double-checking the airlock seals, testing the emergency chamber over and over, and loading supplies from the last shuttle run. All that was left was the waiting and the wondering. For them, the isolation wasn’t a problem—they often volunteered to swap cushy Near Side rotations for the unpopular Far Side ones. Both were radioastronomers, and Far Side gigs earned extra telescope time on the huge lunar Jodrell Bank II radio telescope. The team with the most Far Side rotations also received preference for choice of rotation time on Earth. Frank and Elena always won handily, reserving August, the time of the Perseids.

They sat together in silence, listening to the chimes and watching the trails, for the first time being able to think about the enormity of it all. Finally, Elena spoke.

“Are we going to be able to watch the Perseids after this?” she wondered. She and Frank had watched every Perseid meteor shower together since they were sixteen, a ritual older than their wedding anniversary. Sitting with him now, her thoughts were drawn back to that first time, to the sweet awkwardness when he said he loved her, and how she felt those bright sparks in that dark sky kindle the most significant relationship of her life. The Perseids were always about hope, and the promise of their dreams. She didn’t want memories of the wreckage of an alien civilization to take that way from her, from them. She felt Frank’s hand slip from her grip and then come back to hold hers. She felt his gaze.

“Yes, of course,” Frank replied. “The Perseids aren’t about …this, anyway. They’re about us and how you and I work, not about humanity’s fretfulness over being alone.” He paused, concerned. “You didn’t really think that we’d abandon the Perseids over this, did you?”

Elena gave him a wan smile. “No, not really,” she said, looking down. “But haven’t you and I always wondered about extraterrestrial life? Isn’t it implicit in our job description? Nobody could blame us getting depressed about finding out this way…”

The night sky over Earth now looked like the Fourth of July to him. Like that perfect Fourth in New York during their last year in grad school, when he proposed to her in stopped traffic on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, and they deliriously watched the fireworks over Manhattan announce their engagement to the world.

“I haven’t been alone since I was sixteen,” he said suddenly. Her head came to rest on his shoulder in agreement. It felt good.

* * *

The judge's comments about this story were as follows...

I enjoyed reading this story: a novel idea for proving aliens exist, and for watching a meteor shower from the other side. It was well written, and I could find no fault with the punctuation, spelling, etc. The word "Kindle" was seamlessly incorporated in the story. The sci-fi aspect was good with solid science.

As mentioned above, you can read the three runner-up stories as well, along with the judge's comments about them, in this forum topic.

It only remains to thank everyone who took part in this contest, whether or not they were among the winners, and MWC moderator Andrew Fairhurst ("Andrewf") for acting as our judge.

Watch out for more prize writing competitions on MWC soon in the MWC Olymp-Inks!

Photo Credit: El Matador by gtall1 on Flickr.

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