Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Wives Tales Compilation in Paperback

 I know there were some folks who wanted this for this collection, so I finally took care of it. All four of the Wives Tales editions, which each contained a pair of shorts about each of Sean's wives, are now out in one book. 

It's only out as a paperback, because I figure most folks already have the ebooks as they were all sold pretty cheap. The paperback is $4.99 US - price varies in other countries though I kept the royalty to about 25 cents in every case. Sadly in some places (I'm looking at you Australia!) it costs a lot to publish a paperback, so the price is higher than I would have liked.

Here's the Amazon URL for the book:

So that's 9 stories, one for all seven wives, then two more about situations that people had been asking me about.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Why I'm not releasing to Audible anymore

 It's plain and simple: I make more money elsewhere.

Yes, even with losing the sales to hundreds of you, if not thousands, I still make MORE money selling on Bookfunnel than I do on audible, even though I sell less than a tenth as many.

Now THINK about that a moment....

I'm selling WAY less than I do on Bookfunnel. But I'm making more money. Why is that?

Maybe because Audible has been ripping me off for the last several years? After all they got CAUGHT doing it at least once, why would they change? 

So yeah, don't care. Done with Audible. The whole reason I didn't DO audiobooks for years was because of the people at Audible (and their customer service will tell you to fuck yourself - they're not nice people).

Saturday, December 04, 2021

Recent Releases

 First off, the latest book in the Valens Heritage series is now live:







There has been a lot of 'issues' with Amazon during the launch of this book, and as the post below mentions, if you want reliable notifications, join my mailing list.

Next up are two NEW audiobooks - and remember I do NOT put any new books up on Audible unless they're under an existing contract (so the Valens Heritage books will be there as they come out - but the rest will not).

The audiobook for Dan's Inferno, Book IV: Vengeance is now live and forsale! (Performed by Jessica Threet and Dan Wisniewski)

Also the audiobook for book #7 of my Portals of Infinity Series is also now live (performed by Jessica Threet).

If you're interested in seeing which other books of mine are now in Audio format, go to my home page and click the link for 'Audiobooks' on the left hand side.
Van Stry:


and remember! Sign up for my mailing list!

A reminder to sign up for my eMail List

 It is becoming clearer and clearer that Amazon is not sending out notifications of new works reliably or at ALL for certain authors (your humble narrator being one of them). The ONLY people who got notifications so far on my new Jan Stryvant Novel, were the ones on my list, or the ones who follow me online.

And I forgot to post about it here (because it was a Jan Stryvant book) because I was trying to get the word out everywhere else.

Folks - the facts of the matter are simple: If you want to read my books when they come out you MUST sign up for my mailing list or you won't know that they ARE out. Amazon wasn't showing this new book to ANYONE who didn't have the URL for over 24 hours (they claim their store is 'busted' but oddly enough only a couple of authors in the same genre were having this problem - funny that).

As for my mailing list: I will never share the details of it with anyone. It'd take a court order to get me to turn it over and even then, they're gonna have to talk to my lawyers first. I don't like spam either, so it only gets used for new releases, audiobook releases, and kickstarter announcements.

Here's the link:

That works for me and my pen name.

Also, if there are other authors you like out there, you should get on their notification email list as well, or someone somewhere, who works at a big nameless corporation just might start deciding what you can or can not read.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Dan's Inferno Audiobook Kickstart!


Only 4 days left to go on the Audiobook kickstarter for Dan's Inferno, Book IV: Vengeance.
Only $600 to hit our goal!
So if you haven't pledged yet, now's the time to do it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

For all the Writers Out There

For all the Writers Out There

Now, I don't format or line edit other writer's works very often. I've been writing for over three decades now, and doing so professionally for a bit more than ten years. I am very familiar with all things that encompass writing, formatting, layouts, editing, etcetera, and at this point there are no excuses for doing some of the things I see y'all doing.

So listen up and pay attention. If you know someone out there who writes, send them this. Force them to read it. Cause I'm sure I'm not the only one tired of dealing with this particular group of highly annoying behaviors. Again, there's no excuse for this, and if you try to make one, you're wrong. Just accept it. Cause you are.

First off: If you're writing in an electronic media and not on paper, or typing on an old fashioned typewriter save your files into the DOC format. Got that? .doc! Docx is also perfectly acceptable, but NOTHING ELSE IS. Nothing! And F**KItAll No PDF!! Never Ever  PDF!! No No No! Bad dog!

If you can't put it into doc or docx format, then maybe you need to wait until you've learned how to use a real word processor. The world uses doc and docx. If there is anybody out there in the publishing world using anything else, I'm sure they're also using the finest buggy whips you ever did see as well.

Important Note: Google Docs. Just say NO. Seriously. Putting your writing up on google docs (hell putting ANYTHING up on google docs) is like sending your kids to Jeffery Dahmer's house because it's convenient and you 'know' that he'll 'treat them right'.

Listen up, chowder heads - Google is the Biggest Copyright violator in the history of the world. They have violated the copyright on Every Single Book in Print in the entire world today. Not eighty percent, not ninety, One Hundred. It's only because of a series of massive lawsuits in multiple countries around the world that they were stopped. Putting any of your intellectual property on a site famous for stealing intellectual properties proves to the world only one thing: You're an idiot.

Next! FORMATTING!! Look folks, we are NOT writing on paper. Got that? No editor is going to come along and write comments between the lines of your document.

What does this mean?

SINGLE SPACE! That's what this means. Under NO conditions should you be doing ANYTHING but SINGLE SPACE anywhere in the whole damn document! New paragraph? Single space. Line wrap? Single Space. One point five or double space is both annoying and HARD TO READ. It just looks stupid. Don't do it. There is no excuse and I don't want to hear from any of you why it's okay. Unless you're writing for it to be printed out and sent to an editor in printed fashion (in which case you would NEVER EVER email it to anyone) - Single Space. Repeat after me: Single Space.

Note: The passage of time in a story is often denoted by...? You guessed it, a BLANK LINE! Now, if you're double spacing your lines, am I to suppose that time passes every time I get to a line wrap? Worse yet, do your characters just stand around staring off into space at the end of every paragraph? And when you DO come to a time lapse are you going to leave a quarter of the page blank? Or for those double-blank-line time lags/scene changes are you going to leave a half page blank? A whole page?

Seriously. It's 2021 - get with the program. You're not on mom's underwood or dad's selectric. You're using a word processor on a computer.

Now Every Onward! SMART QUOTES!!! Yeah, there is nothing so stupid as smart quotes. Don't use these. Ever. It's bad enough that in the process of editing you are going to end up with them facing in the wrong directions, forcing some poor soul (including me) to have to go through and do a mass edit/replace on your ENTIRE document to remove them. It's unprofessional. Sure, it was fine when you were twelve years old in school. But you're an adult now. Leave all the fancy stuff out of your word processor and go put some stickers or sparkles on your writing laptop instead (personally I prefer stickers).

Again - just no.

Very Important Note: Smart ANYTHING. Again, no, just don't. Go into your word processor and turn off ALL of the 'smart' characters. Because they're not smart. They also can seriously hose your manuscript. It took Amazon TEN YEARS to get their manuscript processor to figure out the 'Smart ellipses'. Until they did every manuscript with one came out with weird characters in the middle of the ebook. I'm sure there are a host of other 'smart characters' they have yet to fix.

And on a related note: SMART LINKS! You did turn those off years ago, right? You did? Because those (and macros - turn those puppies off too!) will get your document flagged as a virus and tossed into the trash. Because that's all they're good for, viruses.

Other, lesser Sins:

  • Indentation: Please use it. It should go only at the start of every paragraph. What you set is up to you, a lot of programs default to .5 of an inch, I use .3 personally, but it's a matter of taste and style.
  • Your Name: Please put it on your manuscript and please put it the way you would like it to appear. If there's a difference - for whatever reason - between your name and the name you want it to appear under, please make it clear.
  • Markups and Editing Notes: No. Don't want to see it. If you're sending in a story, nobody wants to see that stuff. Clear all of it and turn tracking off. Discussions on altering a manuscript shouldn't take place ON/IN the manuscript. Those need to happen in email text, or on a phone call. Otherwise they just might end up in print. (okay they won't, but do you really think I want to have to figure out how to remove them?).
  • Font: I personally don't care what font you use, because I'm going to change it over to whatever font I'm publishing in the moment I cut and paste your short story into my workspace. Others however may have a requirement for what you need to use. If so, please do as they ask. Not everyone understands how to change fonts easily on the documents they receive. And again, this is why you ONLY USE doc and docx formats. Otherwise we're going to be forced to cut and paste text with NO formating. All your paragraph breaks, spacing for time, all of that will disappear and then we have to painstakingly recreate it, until we get too tired to mess with it anymore and leave your manuscript a mess and just let everyone make fun of you. (and trust me, we WILL complain about you - it's what editors do).

So all in all, I hope these few words of advice have helped you. Please remember that this isn't advice, but dictates from on high, offered by the gods (okay, your editors, but seriously, is there that big of a difference when you're sending your story into an anthology?) And it will please them all greatly if you were to follow them.

- Our livers will also thank you.



Sunday, October 10, 2021

To All of my Fans & Readers:

I thought I had mentioned this before, but apparently it didn't get spread around, so I felt I needed to mention this now, publicly, so that everyone was aware of it:

Starting over a Month ago, I began removing some books from the Kindle Unlimited program, and they will NOT be going back in.

Right now, it's only the books that have had very poor sales. KU is a numbers game, if a book sells a lot, and people keep buying it, keeping it in KU is fiscally sound. But if sales quickly taper off and they're poor? Then leaving it in KU kills me financially. Going forwards, everything that I write & publish  will start off in KU for at least one 3-month term. If it continues to do well, or the series it is in is doing well, that book will stay in KU.

Besides, it's not like the prices on my books are high, when you consider that people who are a lot less popular than me, charge $5.99 to $7.99 for what they're putting out. MOST of my books are priced at $2.99 and $3.99, which in today's market is a steal. Even $4.99 for one of my works is a good deal. Even with the runaway inflation we are having, I have resisted raising any prices (and hope I can continue to do so). But KU has ALSO not raised its payouts. Again - KU is a numbers game - if I'm selling a lot, it's worth being in it. If I'm not, it ain't.

Pulling those poorly performing series out of KU also allows me to try and find a market on another bookseller where they may perform better. One of the terms of KU is that I can ONLY sell those books on Amazon. I've honestly considered (and may eventually) pulling my $2.99 books from KU (because who can't afford $3?) so I can put those out on other booksellers to try and encourage more people to buy my books on Amazon.

There's also another, sadder, reason for pulling some of my series. Every cover on Dan's Inferno was marked as 'Pornographic'. All of the covers. Yes, covers 2 and 3 were a little risqué. Cover 1 wasn't, and cover 2 was as vanilla as it comes. Someone at Amazon obviously took issue with the series and got it banned from advertising. I figured their next step was going to be to claim my having that series in KU was a violation, so they could ban ME.

So yes, sorry, but this is my sole source of income and someone at Amazon has happily been going around attacking my covers on other series as well, which has forced me off of Amazon's Advertising program for a while (and perhaps permanently).

Lastly I want to be clear that I will keep my major series in KU, unless it becomes clear to me that it's no longer safe. There are people at Amazon who use alleged KU violations as a way to remove people they don't like. I put my books in KU as a service to You, the readers, and my Fans, in an attempt to save you money. But there comes a time when I have to put my own well-being and ability to continue to write stories for you, first.


-John Van Stry / Jan Stryvant

Friday, September 10, 2021

Just an update and all that, but tomorrow is 9/11


Next week, in Wednesday I start my vacation, we'll be leaving for the Reno Air Races, in you guessed it, Reno. We come back Monday. I don't know how much, if any, work I'll get done then. Part of it depends on how much the Races suck this year (after last year's cancellation a LOT of the big names aren't coming this year - guess they figured it'd be cancelled again). Also, we're losing our box seat as there is now only FOUR of us in it this year and the minimum is TEN. The box has been 'shrinking' ever since the crash (over a decade ago now), but last year's cancellation put the nails in the coffin. I'm pretty much expecting to see the lowest turn out in the history of the races, as a lot of people probably have figured that if they canceled an OUTDOOR event over crap like that, they ain't spending their time and money on it anymore.

Also air travel has gotten to be incredibly difficult, and for some of us, wearing a mask is physically disabling. Because we can't breath. And when you already have permanent lung damage, shit like that isn't much fun. So a part of me is expecting this to be the last year of the races. Regardless this will be the last year of the box. I'm just the latest 'caretaker' of it (the guy that coordinates the tickets). The last guy retired from that about 4 years ago. But the 'heritage' of this box goes back over 40 years. It was founded by the rec.aviation newsgroup (remember newsgroups?) of which a few friends of mine were members. Which is how we got an invite, when space opened up, almost 20 years ago.

I'm still editing Summer's End for Baen. I work on that evenings and weekends, but the last few days I've been doing electrical work outside until it's too dark to see (we've added an outbuilding). I also need to do a short story for 'Tales Around the Supper Table part 2'. The first book was a big hit, so we all decided to do a second one and I volunteered to do the 'scut work', namely the physical assembly, formatting, layout, that kind of thing. Jim, who is in charge of the anthology hates dealing with that stuff. Me? I'm used to it, so it's no big deal - even if everyone's submission comes in a different format, with different fonts, layouts, etc.

I'm at the halfway point on Sean now. If it wasn't for my 'once a year and I missed it last year vacation', Sean would be going out by the end of the month. Now, I'm not so sure. We'll just have to see. As half the people I used to see won't be at the races this year, I may end up with a lot more spare time on my hands than I usually do.

One Last Thing: Tomorrow is 9/11. Now I was lucky in that I didn't lose anybody who was a friend or family member. I have pictures from friends who were there that day and who watched everything that happened. My brother is (or should I say, 'was' as he's now retired) NYFD. He new every single firefighter that died that day. Some of them very closely. The Fire Chief he'd worked for in the past, and the Chaplin was also a friend. His station was at that time, the fireboat station, which is a short walk from the towers. The Station that got completely wiped out was one he was often 'loaned' to, as my brother was by then a pump operator, and whenever theirs were out, he'd be sent over there, as the fireboat he worked on normally ran with two.

Another friend of mine worked in the towers, but he refused to be there anytime around the date of the previous attack (also on 9/11) so he was home. Another friend of mine was responsible for the fire systems in the building (his company was, but that building was his responsibility) and on the tenth of every September, he had to survey the entire site. So he'd been all over those towers the day before (he's the one that sent me the pictures, some of which I 'wasn't supposed to have'.)

I also did a little work in those towers myself. A company I worked for back in the late 80's put some specialized storage systems in one of the offices there (used for securing and filing legal documents). I don't know if that law firm was still there come 2001 however. I did watch those towers get built, and I'd been in them many times, I'd even been up on the roofs of them. My friend who sent me the pictures watched the first tower go down, and as he was in another skyscraper, he could see right through them (this was typical, because of the central core / open floor plan design - if the light was right, you could see into and even through the building) and he told me he watched the floors buckle from the fire load. The whole thing gave him PTSD because he saw a lot of people die that day.

So, tomorrow, take a few minutes to remember what happened, all those folks who died, some of whom were just average slobs like the rest of us, working for a living, and some of whom were the brave people who gave their lives trying to save others. And don't forget who did it, either. Never forget that.

Have a good weekend, everyone, and if I don't post much after Wednesday, now you know why.