Friday, May 25, 2012

Great websites for writers

Here's some websites that you might find interesting. For me the GrammarBook is helpful. It's a source for all those little nagging question that come up; when do I use a semicolon vs. a colon? Did I do that right?

You may have heard of this website — a good place, I understand, to find books (or anything else manufactured). But what I appreciate even more is the “Search inside this book” link under the image of the book cover on most pages in the Books section.

No longer does one need to own a book or go to a bookstore or a library to thumb through it in search of that name or bon mot or expression you can’t quite remember. And even if you do have access to the book in question, it’s easier to search online (assuming you have a keyword in mind that’s proximal in location or locution to your evasive prey) than to try to remember on what part of what page in what part of the book you remember seeing something last week or last month or years ago.
And then, of course, there are the site’s “Frequently Bought Together” and “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” features — but the book search can be a writer’s salvation.

2. Banned for Life 
Newspaper editor Tom Mangan’s site lists reader contributions of clich├ęs and redundancies.

3. The Chicago Manual of Style Online
My review on this site of The Chicago Manual of Style notes that buying the bulky book, despite its abundance of useful information, is overkill for writers (but not editors), but editorial professionals of all kinds will benefit from the CMOS website’s Style Q&A feature, which responds authoritatively, sensibly, and often humorously to visitors’ queries.

The late Jane Straus, author of The Blue Book on Grammar and Punctuation, created this site to promote her book, but it also features many simple grammar lessons (with quizzes), as well as video lessons, an e-newsletter, and blog entries that discuss various grammar topics.

5. The Phrase Finder 
A useful key to proverbs, phrases from the Bible and Shakespeare, nautical expressions, and American idiom (the site originates in the United Kingdom), plus a feature called “Famous Last Words” and, for about $50 a year, subscription to a phrase thesaurus. (Subscribers include many well-known media companies and other businesses as well as universities.)

6. The Vocabula Review 
The Principal Web Destination for Anyone Interested in Words and Language
Essays about language and usage; $25 per year by email, $35 for the print version.

7. The Word Detective 
Words and Language in a Humorous Vein on the Web Since 1995
This online version of Evan Morris’s newspaper column of the same name (some were also published in the book The Word Detective) features humorous Q&A entries about word origins.

Norm Applegate author of:


Into the Basement

Article source: Daily writing tips

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Does changing your book cover increase sales?

So I decided to change the cover of my horror novel: First to Die.

We’ve all heard people judge a book by its cover. Does any body really know what a good cover is and does it make a difference?
I tried Googling but didn’t hit on anything that gave me the stats. I wanted to know is there a color, font size, artwork, something that triggers buying based on the design of the book cover, didn’t find it. Must be an industry secret. Here’s what I believe: The book cover needs to look good as a thumbnail (learning that mistake from experience). Red is exciting, blue is pretty good too.
My older cover was too dark on Amazon's thumbnail so I went for something simpler and lighter, we'll see what happens.

If you're looking for a great artist to work with contact Trisha Reeves at:

First to Die on Amazon

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Amazon's Free Novel Program - Into the Basement

Into the Basement, my horror thriller novel is free until May 18 for Amazon Kindle both in the USA and UK. Below is the product description. This should give you an idea of how dark it is... 

Product Description:
Asian, enjoys torture...

Russian, enjoys abduction...

Obsession, sexual slavery...

Bent woman, Kim Bennett...


Into the Basement is Norm Applegate's Amazon USA & UK best seller.
It's a graphic thriller about two serial killers who steal women and torture
them in the basement. 

You'll never walk alone at night in the dark!

Into the Basement is approximately 70,000 words

This book has been formatted for the Kindle

In San Francisco, women are disappearing. Three
detectives pull Kim Bennett into the game. The hunt for a killer. She goes

This is a raw dark story of sadistic people that
pits Kim's physical and mental agility against one of the fastest rising crimes
in America, sexual slavery.

This is an adult story that has been described as:

Recently someone posted; "it made them feel ill."
Update, Into the Basement was written in 2006. The publisher did a horrendous job. I was
disappointed with the release. The publisher assigned the novel to a religious
editor? She refused to continue with the novel because of the nature of the
story, sexual abduction and abuse. 

January of 2010, I got Basement back.
January 2012; I broke down, spent the money and hired an editor. Hopefully all the little things that annoyed some people are fixed. Enjoy!

Chapter 1: 

Someone was hunting a female. Mean,
hardened eyes. She left work on time, routine. Susie Smallwood was the target.

Then something hit her teeth. Then

She was helpless. Bound with gray
duct tape across her mouth.

The ebook also contains bonus material: Chapter 1 
of Shockwave: which is approximately 79,000 words long, and is specifically
formatted for Kindle. 

Thriller writer Norm Applegate, author of Into
the Basement, introduces us to a new character, Jack Dwyer. 

Loner Jack Dwyer.

Pretty woman Kelly Paul.

Homegrown terrorists use pipe bombs to kill.

The cause? They want America back.

Violence breeds violence. 

Never underestimate a loner!


Shockwave by Norm Applegate - $2.99! FREE for Amazon Prime Members 
Pipe Bomb. Hostage. Terror.