Posts Tagged ‘Steven M. Moore’

New Release! Silicon Slummin’…and Just Gettin’ By, novel by Steven M. Moore

Posted on: March 1st, 2015 by Carrick Publishing

~by Donna Carrick, Carrick Publishing

Mary Jo Melendez is back. The protagonist of Muddlin’ Through takes a permanent security job in the Silicon Valley after bouncing across the U.S. through temp jobs.

Her future isn’t all bright, though, as she discovers she has a stalker. Moreover, two teams of agents, U.S. and Russian, are in hot pursuit.

She hires a PI for surveillance and protection who becomes a new love interest. The two match wits against her pursuers.

Will this ex-USN Master-at-Arms survive this time?

Steven Moore - The Golden Years coverAfter the 2013 release of The Golden Years of Virginia Morgan, I asked Steven how he could manage to create and develop such strong, believable and likable female protagonists.

To paraphrase his answer: It all comes down to life experience. I’ve been blessed to surround myself with strong, intelligent women. Their ideas and attitudes find their way into my female characters.

It’s clear to the casual reader that Steve brings a great deal of his own intelligence and human understanding to his novels and short stories. From characters as diverse as “Chen and Castilblanco”, to DHS Agent Ashley Scott, to our mystery heroine Mary Jo Melendez, “believable” and “likable” are the labels that fit across the board.

Silicon Slummin’…and Just Gettin’ By is the second in the Mary Jo Melendez mystery series. If you haven’t already met Mary Jo, you’ll want to get your hands on a copy of Muddlin’ Through.`

Buy it, read it, and grow to love Mary Jo!

Cover art by Sara Carrick

To learn more about the works of Steven M. Moore, or any of our Carrick Publishing authors, don’t hesitate to contact us at:
carripublishing email

Being Indie – Part II: Why I became an Indie Author ~ by Steven M. Moore

Posted on: November 20th, 2011 by Carrick Publishing

At Carrick Publishing, one of our greatest joys is the interaction we’ve experienced with our fellow authors. Some are self-published, some traditional, and another fast-growing group are published via Independent publishers.

Our guest this week is one such author, SciFi Thriller writer Steven M. Moore, who recently joined Carrick Publishing with his “Clones And Mutants Series”, including Full Medical and Evil Agenda (Carrick Publishing 2011).

Without further ado, we’ll introduce Steve and let him tell you, in his own words, what it means to him “Being Indie”.

Why I became an indie author… by Steven M. Moore

I’ve been writing all my life. I finished my first novel in the summer I turned thirteen. It wasn’t very good (most first novels aren’t), although it was similar in plot to the movie City of Angels (the “gender” of the angel and the protected human were interchanged and there was a Revelationary war that took place). It landed in the circular file when I cleaned out my room to head for college. Up to a few years ago, my fiction writing was limited to many short stories and many sketches of ideas for novels—like many erstwhile writers, I had a day job that allowed me to better provide for my family. I never stopped writing on the job either, but the techniques for writing, reading, and editing scientific reports and papers are usually not topics taught in an MFA program (maybe they should be?).

When I became more serious about waltzing down that yellow brick road to writers’ nirvana about seven years ago (I was still at my day job), I thought I knew what it required, namely a good product (i.e. an interesting and original MS), an agent interested in pushing the work, and a publishing house willing to give me a contract and provide the editing, cover production, and marketing to make my book a success. What I just described is now called “legacy publishing,” mostly by its detractors. I have learned during these last seven years that the legacy publishing paradigm will go the way of the dinosaurs (thus becoming a detractor). As much as we might not want it to happen for sentimental reasons, bookstores will too, especially those big brick boxes with their coffee and pastries, establishments that are tied by an unsnippable umbilical to the legacy publishers.

It’s not a wild guess to say that most indie authors followed this tortuous route, perhaps coming to the same conclusion a long time before I did. Nevertheless, let me outline what circumstances contributed to my decision by critiquing the steps in the legacy publishing process, i.e. examining what is now wrong with that business model. First, there is the observation that the general assumption made by legacy publishers is flawed. They assume that there are other important elements in the process besides readers and writers. “Readers rule and they demand new and interesting content” are the first two commandments in publishing. The writers’ job is to provide that content. There might be other people between writers and readers, but these people are unnecessary middle people who really don’t deserve money from readers or writers.

Legacy publishers have forgotten these commandments or distorted them so much that they’re unrecognizable. They think they have the power to determine what the public should be reading. They did—but not anymore. They have platoons of agents who act as gatekeepers—they know what the publishers like. Note that I didn’t say they know what the reading public likes. No one can know that. There are just too many cases (Grisham, Clancy, and Rowling are three famous ones) where the agents and/or publishers got it wrong. They probably get it right relative to what the publishers want more times than not, so they do the job asked of them—for the publishers, not the writers or readers.

I danced the legacy publishing paso doble for a few years (this Spanish dance is often associated with bullfighting—the bull is the legacy publisher, in this case). I’ve had an agent that kept one of my books for a year and tried to sell me on another year’s contract—he wouldn’t show the list of publishers that he approached, so I Trumped him. I’ve had an agent that, after a successful query (i.e. I received a positive response), asked for the full MS to read. She liked it but couldn’t imagine any publisher that would be interested—she Trumped me. Other agents either didn’t bother to respond or else stuck a form letter in my SASE (there were even a few PostIts). I can’t remember any agent who said anything helpful like she thought my MS needed this or that. At best, there was just the polite but firm, “I’m sorry, but I can’t use this material right now.” I soon developed the following practical rule: after 50+ form rejections, I would put the MS in a drawer and forget about it. I became the pathetic image of the “Cancer Stick Man” on X-Files.

B.D. (“Before Digital”) there was no alternative to the legacy publishing paradigm. Now there is. When I discovered POD (“Publish On Demand”) I had already come to the conclusion that there was a fatal flaw in the traditional paradigm. Instead of readers determining the authors and genres they want to read, agents and publishers were determining them. If you think back to authors like Charles Dickens or Edgar Rice Burroughs, or even the dime novels lauding the exploits of the heroes of the Old West, the reading public had more of a direct participation in making an author famous. These popular stories appeared in serialized form long before they became bound and released as normal books.

Let me clarify that POD is not the same as vanity press. This was the old alternative to legacy publishing where the author paid for an expensive print run comparable to what a publisher might have given him. It was expensive and B.D. left the poor author holding many books that he couldn’t market effectively. (The beauty of POD and the digital revolution in general is that it’s a natural for internet marketing, but more about this later.) Consequently, my first books were POD trade paperbacks. Those dusty old manuscripts in my desk drawer began to come in handy—I still have a backlog of material, in fact, thanks to many rejections from agents over the years.

I still believe that an agent could be a tremendous help if she would focus on the writer and his potential readers. Many have some kind of literary training or a “sixth sense” about what an MS needs. Their focus on the publishers was determined by the almighty dollar and probably still is, but, as time passes, they will become dinosaurs too, unless they focus either on writers or readers or both. The problem right now is that there is no other mechanism to protect readers from a bombardment of schlock—there are certainly not enough reviewers out there to do the job. With the digital revolution, almost anyone can write a book if he puts his mind to it. How is the poor reader to know whether a book is worthwhile? Remember Sturgeon’s Law (I will touch on this theme in my next post.)

This problem is exacerbated by the tremendous gain in popularity of eBooks. For me, as a writer, the eBook is liberating. I can prepare one for release at a fraction of the cost of a POD book. I can control the price and have sales that aid in my marketing. POD trade paperbacks tend to be more expensive than legacy publishers’ (but they also cost less to produce, so someone is getting the money). I was always worried about that price differential. eBooks have become such bargains that they’re also liberating for the reader. They’re today’s versions of the Dickens or Rice Burroughs novel!

You say, “But the legacy publisher pays for all that marketing!” Yep, I see those ads in the NY Times and those trailers on TV, but I also see the authors. Those ads correspond to already established writers, ones with a proven track record, what one publisher called “the sure thing.” Your average legacy publisher won’t spend money on marketing for new, unproven authors—they rarely have such authors in their portfolio anyway and, when they do, they’re on their own for marketing.

I have gone completely eBook now. Writers like Konrath and Eisler have confirmed what I had already learned—I’m much more in direct control of my own destiny with eBooks. My books will be listed in online retailers many years longer than an author’s books in a bookstore that enjoy an average stay of only a few months. I can gift one of my eBooks to a reviewer and avoid all the hassle with the U.S. Post Office. I can manage prices and create sales of my books. I can spend more time writing, producing new content to titillate my readers. It’s a brave new world and I feel more in control than ever.

Steve Moore is a full-time writer who has written six sci-fi thrillers, one of which is a novel for young adults (many released as eBooks via Carrick Publishing). See his website for a full bio, a list of his books, free short stories, and a blog where he often posts reviews and comments about current events and the business of writing.