It is good to be back from my vacation and I am ready to dive back into the world of Stephen Burckhardt Books. While I may not have been keeping up with my social media this week, I was doing a lot of other things. Taking time off from the social media upkeep really freed up a lot of my time to focus on some projects that have been neglected since I started posting regularly. This blog will be a bit long, I have a lot of news for you.
Going forward we are going to be publishing everything under Burckhardt Books so this will cover all the Stephen Burckhardt books and the books that will be coming soon by Dianne Burckhardt. You will see an update in all of the books publisher lines.
This week, I am taking vacation from everything else to focus on my books. I have a few things planned that I think will help to expand our audience. The first thing, I have already done. Until now, I have had ebooks on Amazon and on Barnes & Noble Booksellers (B&N). I have been wondering if it would be more profitable for me to just go exclusively with Amazon so my books can be part of the Kindle Unlimited program.
I was really hesitant to do this, in part because I worked for B&N for 13.5 years and I liked having my books available with them. Even though I have no worked for them in over a decade, I still have fond memories of that job and am still friends with many of the people I was blessed to have worked with there.
However, this last week I went to check on my books on BN.com and found that somehow the system had "lost" the uploads for all but two of my ebooks. I would have to start all over and upload everything with them again if i wanted to continue offering my ebooks there. I have had other trouble with their self-publishing program and just took this as a sign that I should go with Amazon. While I am keeping all of my paperback books available with B&N, my ebooks are now exclusively on Amazon and free to read if you have Kindle Unlimited. My books can all be found on my author page on Amazon.com (<--- click here) or if you are outside of the US, they are available on all the Amazon platforms. If you haven't read my books and you have Kindle Unlimited, you can start reading them free today!
New Logos are coming! I finally had time to sit down and watch a tutorial on how to do certain things on my design program. While I was a designer when I was in my 20s, the programs today are much different than the ones I used back then. In fact the one I have now is actually more complicated than the one I used to use. It was so simple, I miss it! But I was able to finally clean up the logo for Stephen Burckhardt, Western Author. You might have already noticed this on the StephenBurckhardt.com. I still need to clean up the logo for Dianne Burckhardt and create one for Burckhardt Books, but those will get done this week.
Hardcovers are coming! Amazon has finally made hardcover books an option for self-published books. I have already uploaded the first one for part 6, Into the West: Last Showdown. I got a proof of this and I have to say I am pretty happy with how they look. The spine on this is wide enough I can put a title on the spine. I am going to redo the cover today and see if I can get it to work. Right now it just looks like the paperbacks with no title on the spine. I plan to send out an email alert when I have all the hardcovers uploaded and ready. I was going to un-publish this hardcover until I have a chance to see if I can get the spine title to work but the program showed that it would still be live to third parties even if I did so I'm just sharing will all of you, if you have any interest in hardcover books, hold off until the email announcement. When that goes out, the covers will all be sent in the final edition. The hardcovers really look nice. they are the same size as the paperbacks and the cover is printed on the book, no dust jackets. Even if no one else ever wants the hardcover editions, I'm getting a full set for myself.
This week is going to be all about creating support items for my books that I never have time to get done normally. Creating new, fun things for my Members Only page, updating some of my promotional material, redesigning my books bags I give away in contests sometimes, and so much more. I am also writing some query letters to a few places about getting my books on shelves in some places. Keep watching my social media for updates at they happen.
The final book is coming! I am not writing on the book this week, but next week I am diving hard into the last book of the Into the West Saga Serial. I have a plan to write several books in the US territories of this time period. The first saga got us into the west. Now, I plan to take those characters and expand on their world. In the next saga, some of the characters you already know and love will move on to the Colorado territory and start a new life for themselves. I plan to start bringing in more true American history starting with a character based on Bass Reeves. (<--- click to read about him)
I have been completely fascinated about Bass Reeves since the day I learned about him. I was always such a fan of the Lone Ranger growing up and Bass Reeves is probably the closest real life Lone Ranger that the West ever had. He lived with Natives in Oklahoma and could even speak a few of their languages. I have been dying to work him into a series, but he wasn't a lawman until after the Civil War so I have been waiting to get him in there when it lines up more with actual history.
I also want to bring in more Natives and black cowboys/girls. These groups do not always get representation in historical fiction and I want to change that. Being Cherokee, it is extremely important to me to give accurate representations.
Well, this blog is getting a bit long so I think I should save some things for Wednesday. But we still have to get to our movie!
I had been posting that I would share The Searchers today but when I started to write that, I was sure I have covered that movie before so I decided to go to a modern cowboy movie made for Netflix staring Idris Elba Concrete Cowboy.
Concrete Cowboy was released in 2020 and is a fascinating story which plays right into my desire to bring in more factual information about black cowboys in history. This movie is based on a real group of cowboys/girls who were fighting to keep their way fo life in an urban setting in Philadelphia. Like with many good western movies, Concrete Cowboy is based a novel. Ghetto Cowboy by Greg Neri inspired this movie. While the story is fiction, it is based on real riding groups from the area, specifically the Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club.
The film stars Elba with a great supporting cast that includes some of the real life members of the riding club. Other actors include: Caleb McLaughlin, Lorraine Toussaint, Byron Bowers, Jharrel Jerome, and Clifford "Method Man" Smith.
Fifteen-year-old Cole (McLaughlin) is becoming a rebellious teen and starting to go down the wrong path in life. In a last attempt to help her son, his mother takes him to live with his estranged father in Philadelphia. His father happens to be a serious urban cowboy and centers his life around the animals he loves and the people who share that passion. Cole tries to fight to continue his rebellious ways but when he gets involved with some dangerous people and sees his friend get gunned down, he starts to reach out and begin to connect with some members of the riding club and one horse in particular. The movie is well worth the time and the end has a few interviews with some of the actual members of the riding club. It is fascinating to say the least!
Movie Snack Recipe
Seeing as how today is National Taco Day, I thought, what could be better than a taco recipe for today's movie snack recipe? Who would be better to get that recipe from, than a cowboy to tie into today's movie? Check out this Authentic Tacos with Homemade Corn Tortillas by Cowboy Kent Rollins. (<--- click for recipe) If you like this recipe, be sure to check out the other recipes on his site at KentRollins.com. Be sure to check out his cooking videos on his YouTube Channel (<--- click to go and subscribe) too.
I have got a lot of projects to complete this week and want to spend some time in the kitchen myself making a few things I have had to pass on this summer because I just didn't have the time. I plan to make some homemade (Eastern) Indian food tonight including Samosas with a homemade Chutney dipping sauce. Tomorrow will be Chinese with my favorite recipe, Di San Xian or The Three Treasures. Plus, I need to made some more vegan rice paper bacon. It is crazy good (so good in fact, my seriously carnivorous spouse will eat it all if I don't hide it in the fridge), P.R. is going to be happy about this. Not to mention one of P.R.'s favorites things, banana bread with cranberries. It's going to be a fun week!
So now you know what time it is, posse! Time to grab your snacks and settle in for another great western movie! Don't forget to sign up for my Members Only page for some great new free downloads that are coming soon!
Have a great week, Posse!