2013 in the Rear-View

Hey folks!

Thanks for sticking it out with me through 2013. And, may I say, it was a fairly eventful one.

First of all, my novel The Orphans of the Creek (2nd Ed.) was released in both print and eBook form. It’s earned some great reviews, and if you’ve read it I’d love for you to post one on Amazon too.

I found a great new director for the “Clive” film, and he’s been working hard to pull the project together for a summer 2014 shoot. I’ve also landed an additional horror feature to work on as story editor, details of which I’ll announce in 2014.

My Self-Publishing 101 class at Skilltree Toronto was a big success. Attendees left the class armed with the wisdom and knowledge they’ll need to make sound buying decisions and avoid the scams designed to exploit their dreams. Look for more dates in 2014 and come on out!

I featured some great authors in the reboot of my “Introducing…” series, including a Texas death row inmate who published an online journal.

Lastly, my “Warm it Up” event on December 18th was a resounding success. Participants helped approximately 1,300 people in-need stay warm with donations of coffee cards, gloves, hats, scarves, and food. Next year, we’re going to do it even bigger and better!

On that note, allow me to wish you and yours a great Holiday season. See you out there…in 2014!

If you’re a writer, write. And if you’re a reader, keep reading. We need you!

Author Richard S. Todd

Richard Todd is a novelist, screenplay writer, and social media guy. Plus a few other things that get lost in the clutter. Visit him online at www.richard-todd.com.

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Publishing Is Easy

Getting published used to be arguably the most frustrating task when getting your work out there. These days – it’s the easiest!

David Gaughran

publish

There are three primary tasks a writer must undertake to get her work into the hands of readers: writing, publishing, and marketing.

Out of those three, I respectfully submit, publishing is by far the easiest.

Writing

Writing a book is hard, and writing a good book is even harder – at least from the perspective of the inexperienced writer. Most people who think about writing a book never start one. Most people who start one never finish it. And most people who finish a book never polish it to the point where it’s ready for prime-time and/or never get it out the door for one reason or another.

To write a good book, you have to put in the time in terms of reading with intent, learning about the craft, gaining mastery of the tools at your disposal, and putting all that into practice with book after book (some of…

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Introducing…Inmate Robert Pruett – UPDATE

UPDATE: On November 18th, 2013,  the prosecutors and judge in the murder case allowed for further DNA testing by an outside expert. This means that Robert Pruett won’t be receiving any “date” until the results of these tests are confirmed.

The original post is below.

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This instalment of “Introducing…” is a little different than previous entries. Due to the circumstances surrounding my featured author, Robert Pruett, I had to forgo the usual Q&A format.

That’s because Robert, age 34, is a death row inmate at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas.

Robert Pruett
Robert Pruett

Of his 34 years, he’s spent 19 in prison, 11 of which he’s sat “on the row”. At arrest he was 15 years old but tried as an adult.

Robert and his brother Steven witnessed their father kill a man, for which Robert received a 99-year prison sentence under Texas’ “Law of Parties” rule. A few years later he was convicted in the murder of a prison guard, on the flimsiest of evidence, and given the death penalty.

So why am I featuring him? Because he maintains a fascinating and introspective journal which has been published online. It offers the reader an often chilling glimpse into the Texas legal system, as well as the violent world of its prisons.

It’s not my intention to criticize Texas law, its police, or its prison system (although it appears that all three bears some investigation and overhaul, especially when the accused is dirt poor and without political influence).

My intention is to bring Robert’s writing to this forum. In his own words:

“The primary purpose of this website is not only to expound upon the above mentioned themes, but, more importantly, to reach out to “at risk” kids, youngsters living similarly to the way I once was. It is my hope that the people who are travelling down the road that ultimately brought me to where I am will review my life and try to avoid the countless mistakes that I’ve made in life.”

I can tell you that at-risk youth would benefit from Robert’s recollections. Robert also touches the lives of those he meets personally, and can offer insight as to how others can avoid the same path.

But instead of recognizing his value, the state has decided that he should die.

Robert has a hearing on November 18th, 2013, at which time he may receive his “date”.  Let’s hope he stays around for a long time to further inspire others to walk a straight line.

See you out there…

If you’re a writer, write. And if you’re a reader, keep reading. We need you!

Author Richard S. Todd

Richard Todd is a novelist, screenplay writer, and social media guy. Plus a few other things that get lost in the clutter. Visit him online at www.richard-todd.com.

Kobo Reassures its Authors

There’s no putting the self-publishing genie back in the bottle.

It’s become so easy for authors to get their work before the public that I actually wonder why some spend months and years writing query letters and creating submission packages.

As a result, it’s become increasingly important for authors to have a direct relationship with book vendors, without the publisher acting as buffer.

To that end, Kobo hosted an event for its authors on Wednesday. And I’m glad I went.

After plying the authors with delicious snacks and beer (a great way to win my heart) they demonstrated their easy-to-use Writing Life tool, geared towards making the eBook publishing and marketing experience a positive experience.

It looks like it will. Writing Life empowers authors with much needed sales information to help them target and plan their campaigns.

I haven’t had any experience with Writing Life, since my first book was placed in the catalogue by my publisher. But once The Orphans of the Creek up on the site, I’ll report right back in on how user-friendly and useful it is.

See you out there!

If you’re a writer, write. And if you’re a reader, keep reading. We need you!

Author Richard S. ToddRichard Todd is a novelist, screenplay writer, and social media guy. Plus a few other things that get lost in the clutter. Visit him online at www.richard-todd.com.

Warming Things Up for Others

Hi everyone.

Here in the North, we’re all starting to feel the sting of winter. But few feel it as much as those unfortunate souls without shelter or who are otherwise vulnerable.

So on December 18th, I’m taking it upon myself to buy ten coffees and hand them out to the first 10 homeless or in-need people I can find. It’s my small way of making a difference. But together, we can all make a huge difference in peoples’ lives.

To that end, I’d like to invite you to an event I’m organizing. You can participate from wherever you are. It’s called “Pay it Forward Coffee Day: Warm it Up!” All you need to do is buy a coffee (or coffee gift card) on December 18th for someone in need. That’s all.

Easy, right?

Please click here and join us, and then share this event on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter accounts. Let’s push this effort all over the world.

Thanks for helping to warm things up for others this December 18th.

See you out there…

If you’re a writer, write. And if you’re a reader, keep reading. We need you!

Toronto-20131105-00142

Richard Todd is a novelist, screenplay writer, and social media guy. Plus a few other things that get lost in the clutter. Visit him online at www.richard-todd.com.