Tag Archives: ebooks

APPLE and EBOOKS by Wayne T. Dowdy

EBook sales of my published works surpassed paperback sales in 2016.  2017 looks to be the same for eBooks.  I have already sold more eBooks, so I delayed doing another paperback until I complete other short stories to combine into a collection.

April 11, 2019, Update: Guns, Drugs and Thugs: Drug Store Spree now exclusively available from Amazon.com as a paperback and as an eBook.

FORMATS FOR ALL:  Smashwords is an eBook distributor that makes eBooks available in the following formats and applications:  epub (Apple iPad/Books, Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader, most ereading apps, including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital editions, and tablets); mobi (Kindle), pdf (Desktop; best for technical, illustrated, or photographic works); irf (Older Sony readers), pdb (Older Palm devices), txt (Archival; contains no formatting), and html for reading online.

PERSONAL PERMISSION TO PRINT:  For those who prefer to hold the words in your hand, download “my” eBooks in the pdf. format to your PC and print.  (Smashwords Support Center FAQ contains instructions on how to download to various eReading devices.)

Two of the twenty-one eBook retailers that receive my eBooks from Smashwords, are the Apple iBookstore and Barnes & Noble.  Most downloads came from the Apple iBookstore.  I have no way of knowing if those downloads were for reading on iPhones, iPads, or other eReading devices.  Barnes & Noble placed second.  (Smashwords’ sales exceeded Amazon Kindle.)

UNKNOWN INNOCENCE by Wayne T. Dowdy and my free essays picked up the majority of downloads from Apple.

FICTION CRIME SERIES IN PROCESS:  “Drug Store Spree” is the first of my GUNS, DRUGS & THUGS fiction crime series.  I’m working on the second short story now.  GUNS, DRUGS & THUGS:  PILLS & THRILLS begins with more violence than I normally write.  Some readers commented on the violence in UNKNOWN INNOCENCE.  This series will make it read like a love story in comparison.

[Postponed] The tentative completion date for “Pills & Thrills” is postponed until a later date.  Read on for a peek into both short stories.

I wrote Drug Store Spree based upon real life experiences.  Because of Son of Sam laws that prevents people from making a profit by selling a book or movie written about a crime they committed, I made a few minor changes to convert it into fiction.  The setting is in Georgia, 1978.

Most of what I write in the rest of the series will be fiction with truth woven through its fabric, whereas Drug Store Spree is truth containing fiction.

The following is an excerpt from my latest:


“I wasn’t what some Americans called poor, white trash, but I never lived a lavish lifestyle.  I did stay in some nice Hotels fucking and getting high.  Anyway, my lack of funds prevented me from legally paying for what I wanted to shoot.  I tried selling drugs but became my best customer.  That’s how I justified taking them from drug stores, even at the risk of losing my life.  I thought of robbing banks but from the way I saw it, if I robbed a bank, I would buy drugs with the money, so I robbed drug stores to shorten the process.  I know that wasn’t good thinking.

“Truthfully, I know it was downright stupid for me to do what I did, and that doing so made me a predator, but I didn’t care about anything except getting high and playing god with guns.  Every time I picked one up, which I did everyday while living the thug life, I knew I risked being killed by cops or by someone being a hero.  On the other side of the equation, due to the life I lived, I risked being killed if I didn’t have a gun.  I was sick and dangerous because my mind was burnt out from weeks without sleep and food, along with being sizzled from doing so many drugs.  Most of my nutrition came from drinking chocolate milk because of only being able to eat a bite or two of a hamburger or other solid foods.  When I began playing chemist by mixing preludins with cocaine, I became more insane; not exactly a high point in my life, per se, though high was how I stayed.  Paranoia ran rampant inside my mind.  With me carrying loaded weapons, Preludins and Paranoia were not a good mix. I did not hesitate to pull a gun on anyone acting suspicious.  I stuck a gun in one man’s face for reaching in his pocket.  I thought he may be going for a knife to try robbing me.  He needed his cigarette lighter to cook pills.  I felt so embarrassed that I gave him a free shot of dope.  Paranoia saved me from harm, too.  I’ll show how later.”


The following excerpt is a revised online version of the original manuscript. Please leave comment if you want to see this completed.


Salazar gripped the steering wheel to stop his hands from trembling.  The cargo meant life in prison if found.  They couldn’t stand a shakedown.  He whispered, “Don’t move.  Here he comes.”

Officer Barge shined his flashlight in the rear window of the minivan, rented on a stolen credit card, before he edged toward the front of the vehicle.  His right hand rested on the handle of a .40 caliber Glock.

Kager laid motionless in the fetal position to avoid detection; his finger rested on the trigger guard of his Desert Eagle .44 Auto mag.  The projectile of the chambered round would disfigure steel or destroy any living organism it contacted.  An old military tarpaulin covered his long-limbed, sinewy body and chiseled face.  His face tightened as he held his breath when the light illuminated the van.

Officer Barge stood five feet from the door on the driver’s side.  “Turn off the engine and roll down your window.”

Salazar obeyed.  “What did I do wrong, Officer?”

“You failed to use your turn signal at that last intersection.  I need to see your driver’s license and insurance card.”

“My wallet’s in the glove compartment.”

He moved closer to the window.  “Do you have any weapons, drugs, or anything in the vehicle that I should know about?”

“No, Sir.”  His heart pounded inside its cavity.

“Open it and get your wallet.”

Droplets of sweat gathered on Salazar’s forehead.  “Yes, Sir.”  His hands jittered when he reached to open the glove compartment.  He remembered leaving his wallet at home.  For a couple of seconds, he fumbled with the warranty and other papers.  “It’s not in here.  I must have left it at home.”

Kager wrapped his finger around the trigger.

“Step out of the vehicle, please.”

Before he could open the door, Kager slid from under the tarpaulin and fired through the window.  BOOM!  BOOM!

The first shot whizzed by Barge’s head.  The second one ripped through his left shoulder, obliterating bone, cartilage and muscle tissue.  The impact of the projective spun his body as he crashed to the ground.  Blood gushed from the gaping wound.  He grunted as he rolled over to un-holster his gun.

Salazar covered both ears with his hands.  The blasts had made them ring.  He whirled around to face Kager.  “What the f***, man, you–“

Kager sprang to the front seat and shoved him to the side.  “Move,” he said.

Salazar fell against the dash as more rounds from the Desert Eagle exploded in rapid succession.

BOOM!  BOOM!  BOOM!  All three projectiles ripped through Barge’s body before his gun cleared its holster; two struck him in the chest, the other in the stomach.

“Shot, a, a cop.  You shot a f****** cop.  We’re f***** for sure.”  Sweat poured from every sweat gland in his body.

Kager jumped out of the van to make sure the cop was dead.  Assured that he was, he turned to face his crime partner.  Damn, I gotta shoot him too.  He’ll tell on me if we get caught.  I’ve got to do it.  Not now, though.  I’ll do it later.  “Let’s go,” he said, as he climbed back into the van.  “We’ve got to get the hell out of here and ditch this van before someone identifies us or his backup arrives.  We can’t afford to loose all these pills.”


I hope you enjoyed the clips and will purchase the eBooks.  More will be revealed.  Thanks for reading my writings!  Wayne


Become a regular follower of his blogs at https://straightfromthepen.com.

For best deals on eBooks, visit his author’s page at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/WayneMrDowdy. 

Purchase autographed copies of his paperback, send email to waynedowdy@straightfromthepen.com. Paperbacks also available online or offline at your favorite bookseller.

Get UNKNOWN INNOCENCE ($12.95) and ESSAYS & MORE STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN ($8.95 (USD)).  Discounts available from the author for multiple purchases. Email: waynedowdy@straightfromthepen.com or wtdowdy57@gmail.com

Publishing & Unknown Innocence

Wayne T. Dowdy

The best thing about self-publishing to me is the ability to control prices and any other factor concerning the product. In this case, combining my first novel with what I had written as the sequel, without having to get permission from anyone else to do it. I like that. I will work with Midnight Express Books (MEB) to accomplish that goal, but that’s okay.[1] I pay MEB to assist me in getting my writings from inside a prison out into the world by creating the finished product from my typed manuscript.

After receiving my manuscript, they process and format it to post on the World Wide Web as an eBook or paperback or both. The paperback becomes available through various channels for online and offline sales in eStores and brick and mortar bookstores. In other words, MEB helps me do what I cannot do without their help or someone else qualified with time to do what I need done. Several other companies also provide book publishing services to prisoners, but I prefer MEB because I have dealt with them for years and know they are trustworthy and reliable.

Traditional publishing would pay instead of cost me, which would be great; however, my patience expired when I read in Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Market Guide, how long finding a traditional publisher to accept a manuscript might take. To be paid for a book deal instead of paying to publish one would make life much better, of course.

The drawback to self-publishing is the difficulty in marketing and promoting my books from inside a prison. I cannot directly access the Internet or do things I am technically capable of doing. You might say my fingers are tied to keep me away from the thousands of people waiting to see my creativity and to read my profound words typed on a manuscript I wrote after hours of research on the waves of the Deep Blue Web.

One day in the near future I will break the chains and take the world by storm. Well, at least, I like to think my success as a writer will improve once I have control over access to the Internet and can do simple things like tweet on Twitter, post photos on InstaGram, and create my authors page on Facebook and other social media outlets. Right this moment, I would go do book signings but I am afraid the authorities would miss me if I were gone and then make a big scene to bring me back to the confines of a prison cell.

SELF-PUBLISHING: My publisher likes Createspace.com to create my print-on-demand books. Some people may prefer Lulu.com, or to use subsidy publishers like Dorrance Publishing, Outskirt Press, Inc., or iUniverse. Subsidy publishers charge a fee to produce certain quantities of books, and will then help promote, sell, and may store them in a warehouse for the writer.

Self-publishing can be expensive. Many services are free, providing you have the technical knowledge to format the book for uploading into a system like Createspace or Smashwords.com. Some of the greats who paid to have their first works published were as follows: Ernest Hemmingway, T.S. Eliot, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound, Henry David Thoreau, Rudyard Kipling, Lord Byron, Stephen Crane, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Alexander Pope, and many others.

EBOOKS: For the eBooks, MEB uses Smashwords.com and Amazon.kindle. Personally, I favor Smashwords because they are an eBook distributor whose system formats my eBooks and allows distribution through various eBook retailers (Apple iBookstore, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, etc.). Additionally, I am paid a higher percentage for sales if readers buy directly from Smashwords by going to my author’s page or directly to the particular eBook or essay link. Visit my author’s page at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/WayneMrDowdy.

PRINT-ON-DEMAND: I like print-on-demand because it eliminates warehouses and cuts cost by not making the author pay for runs on specified quantities. It also saves trees by letting them live until the demand requires another to fall at the blade of an axe or chainsaw.

For the print-on-demand versions, I earn more if readers buy from my website at StraightFromthePen.com (http://www.straightfromthepen.com), which allows my representative to process sales through my author’s discount at Createspace, which is the self-publishing wing of Amazon.com. If a reader buys from Amazon, I pay forty percent commission, compared to twenty percent I pay Createspace. Through my author’s discount, my representative purchases the book for me at the minimum cost and then has Createspace to ship it straight to the customer. Createspace also offers a lower price for shipping and handling than some book distributors and offers a price break on shipping multiple copies.

The hard part of the self-publishing process is finding those willing to purchase the books from available options. My dilemma is no different than many other self-published authors. Some never sell a book. I have not sold thousands, but thousands have read my writings, since I’ve had clips and a few essays published in International magazines. But, thus far, that has not translated into book sales, even though I receive favorable comments from readers, magazine editors, and manuscript readers. [2]

BOOK PROMOTION: My readers want more. I will give it to them within the next few months if things go as planned. I am executing my editorial right to modify the story. Several people who read UNDER PRESSURE by Mr. D* commented to me that they hated for it to end and that it made them want to keep reading more; especially, those who read the motivational version (see next paragraph). Great, I thought, now they will buy the sequel when I complete it. I have completed the sequel but have changed plans.

Under Pressure Book 2 cover.inddI created UNDER PRESSURE-MOTIVATIONAL VERSION by Mr. D** to add two chapters from the sequel, UNKNOWN INNOCENCE. Those two chapter had the effect I wanted: to make readers want to read the sequel. Now that I completed the sequel, I came up with a better idea to improve the product and to give my readers more for their money: put two books into one.

FROM NOVEL TO MAGAZINE: To make it motivational, I added “The Story Behind the Novel” to inspire the aspiring writer by showing how I managed to get the book into their hands from inside a prison, with the hope of encouraging them to pursue their writing dreams. However, adding that aspect to the novel created a genre nightmare because, technically, that made it cross over into the nonfiction category. Even worse is that the changes turned it into a magazine by combining fiction and nonfiction under one cover. (Read “PERSONAL MAGAZINES” about another magazine I own that looks like a book, for a free eBook offer of “An Airport Ate the Neighborhood.”)

When I added the first two chapters from UNKNOWN INNOCENCE to UNDER PRESSURE, I had three things in mind: 1) to help the reader understand how one of my two protagonist, Big Bobby, ended up in prison for a crime he did not commit; 2) to influence the readers’ decision to buy the sequel upon release by creating an interest in the characters; and 3), to change the format to make it easier to read and more attractive to the eye. I believe the title helps create an interest in the story: UNKNOWN INNOCENCE. How can the innocence of someone be unknown to them? DNA put Bobby in prison but that doesn’t make him guilty.

FAVORITE CHARACTERS: When I ask readers who their favorite characters were in UNDER PRESSURE, most say Stan or Big Bobby. A few say Nicole. Each will be in UNKNOWN INNOCENCE. Nicole met Bobby where she worked as an exotic dancer when Bobby was arrested for the crime that sent him to prison. Later on a mutual friend formally introduced her and Bobby. She is a voluptuous heroine who knows martial arts and proves she can defend herself if attacked. She has a lively spirit and her desire for love, sex, and attention makes most men want her.

Big Bobby is a gentle giant who towers near seven feet tall and weighs close to three hundred pounds. No one compares to him. I got the idea for him from a friend of mine at the former United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. Big Hawk belonged to a Motorcycle Club. He used to duck to come into my cell to visit, the same as Big Bobby does when visiting his friends.

SELF-PUBLISHING PRIVILEGE: I wrote UNKNOWN INNOCENCE as a prequel and sequel. UNDER PRESSURE is about Stan Mason’s life before, during and after prison, whereas UNKNOWN INNOCENCE is about Big Bobby before prison, very little about his life inside, and all about the task of getting him out of prison to live the life he deserves to live. Nicole helps all she can and adds a lot of steam to the story. Now I will let UNKNOWN INNOCENCE consume UNDER PRESSURE and will write UNKNOWN INNOCENCE under my real name. To do that, I will put the prequel parts of UNKNOWN INNOCENCE before the events in UNDER PRESSURE, and then add the remaining parts of the sequel behind UNDER PRESSURE to conclude the story.

That will allow me to correct what I feel kept UNDER PRESSURE from experiencing robust sales. Reading the Prelude (yes, I intentionally used Prelude instead of Prologue) and the synopsis leads one to believe that the novel is all about prison. Not so! Many scenes concern Stan’s life before he went to prison and his life afterwards as a free citizen. The plot also shows the drug conspiracy that lead him to prison for ten years of his life for doing what most readers would not believe could land them in an American federal prison. I promise it is true. I know numerous people serving life without parole in letters (LIFE), and life without parole in numbers (50-100 plus years). Many who will spend the rest of their lives in prison because of Ghost Dope (drugs spoken about in a conspiracy–no actual drugs existed). Anyway, I will write a more accurate synopsis of UNKNOWN INNOCENCE, and now that I have a website, I am doing now what I wish I could have done before releasing UNDER PRESSURE. Promoting my novel before its release.

I’ll do the eBook first, and offer a free coupon code for UNKNOWN INNOCENCE to those who purchased UNDER PRESSURE as a way to show my gratitude for their readership. Many readers commented having read UNDER PRESSURE multiple times, so this will give them another opportunity.

TRADITIONAL PUBLISHING: To have a book published the traditional route is great. My problem with traditional publishing is how time consuming it can be. Some publishers do not want simultaneous submissions and may take up to ninety days to respond to a query letter or book proposal. If they want to see your book, then take several months or longer to let you know; if accepted, then take a year or two to put it on the market. That’s just too much waiting for me.

I would love to have a publisher to help market and promote my writings but by going that route in search of one to publish my books, I might be out of prison before the book even hits the market. I am trying to let my writings provide me with enough income to allow me to get started in a reputable occupation upon release. At least to help me afford to buy a laptop or PC to continue my writing on. As it stands now, I would have more money if I had put my money into a bank account, instead of choosing to self-publish, but I have faith that success is on the way, somewhere over the rainbow, hidden behind the prison walls.

*$6.95, Midnight Express Books
**$9.99, Midnight Express Books (for eBooks: the reader sets price at Smashwords; $4.95 elsewhere)
[1] Midnight Express Books, P.O. Box 69, Berryville, AR 72616 (Email: MEBooks1@yahoo.com). Discount rates available from the publisher for ten or more books.
[2] These are some magazines my writings appeared in print over the years: THE SUN, Chapel Hill, NC; THE ICONOCLAST, Mohegan Lake, NY; CONFRONTATION Magazine, Long Island University, New York.

I’ve had a short story accepted by THE SAVAGE KICK magazine by Murder Slim Press, 29 Alpha Road, Gorleston, Norfolk, NR31 OLQ, U.K. It will appear in SAVAGE KICK #8 in December 2015.

I’ve also been published several times online by PRISONLAWBLOG.COM, and PRISONEDUCATION.COM, as well as other magazines and publications under various pen names.