Price Drop – Dark Poetry on Kindle

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The Kindle edition of Absolute Heaven has dropped, permanently, from $2.99 to $1.50 (USD)! The price drop is worldwide, so if you picked up the rest of my poetry collection, which is still largely free, by the way, if this is your first time hearing of it, here’s your chance to get this massive volume of cut, altered and early material from it for quite a bit cheaper. I’ve had some minor publication troubles with the paperback and ePub versions of the next book, so maybe this will make up for it in the meantime!
Absolute Heaven is a considerable volume with lots of illustrations, horror and offbeat philosophy, so if experimental works are your kind of thing, can’t hurt to give it a try. 🙂

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MHz Comes Out August 7th

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At long last. This chapbook was supposed to be out at the end of June, but suffered several delays due to a variety of pop-up annoyances and not having time to get the layout finished. Strangely, this happened last year as well with its previous incarnation. I should treat MHz better than that, as I actually adore these poems. This fourth entry is probably my favourite besides Infinite Summer.

The surreal themes of paranoia and delusion will probably make it less accessible than the others, I suppose, but do make it one of a kind. I get frustrated with the trend of modern poetry to be “relatable” at the cost of all else. Do you really want endless reflections on the misery of modern life? Because that’s what “relatable” ultimately boils down to, at least in my experience, and I’ve already done several books like that. This one is more for the imagery. Anyway, I hope you look forward to it. I’ll post the moment it’s up for download.

Infinite Summer – Free for Kindle and ePub

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For the time being, Infinite Summer is free in most regions for Kindle and all regions in ePub, as are the two previous entries in the S.M. Shuford Poetry Collection. However, if you want a print copy, a brand-new ones is around $6USD.
I feel I haven’t done Infinite Summer enough justice as its author, even though from an technical, can’t-really-judge-my-own-work standpoint, it’s arguably the best one that’s been published so far, save for maybe Loverboy. The promotion that went into it in both of its incarnations has been lackluster, which I’m trying to make up for now.
Anyway, feel free to check it and the other books in the series out if poetry interests you. There’s a little something for everyone’s tastes in my ever-growing library.

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Finally Back on Track!

Hello, I’m finally back on a somewhat regular basis, and with a lot of fresh content! July and June have been really weak months for me, and I’ve been focused on trying to get Haunt Me to Sleep‘s semi-final draft finished so it’ll be ready to format by October. Of the 54 pieces in the collection, around 46 are on their final draft, so I feel that’s good progress. Apparently, it’s only taken around five months, combined, to put this collection together, which surprised me.
For the rest of July, I’ve got several new Lovecraft reviews, stand-alone book reviews and some poetry. I’m also working on content for my Halloween special, because I have something fun planned and want to perfect it ahead of time.

Anyway, about the final poetry book I’ll publish this year, MHz, it’s gotten pushed back several times but God and the fates willing, should be out at last on July 31st. If not then, then August 7th. It should come out around that time, in any case, inititally for a dollar, and become free slightly later. Unless you want a print copy, which there will be. The three previous collections are still all free or cost under $3USD to download an eBook copy of your choice on Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords.

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Thanks to Recent Poetry Readers!

Thank you so much, those who have supported my site and been reading my books! It’s much appreciated, especially in these trying times! 🙂
Somebody definitely has been reading them, as three have consistently been in the Top 10 for Contemporary Poetry on Amazon for over a month! The last upcoming poetry collection I’ve got for awhile has been delayed until July, but in the meantime, these are still free.

I wish I had realized this earlier, but please note that some versions of Amazon only offer some of the Kindle chapbooks that are supposed to be free for free, for whatever reason, but Smashwords offers an alternate Kindle version worldwide. It’s just not as pretty as the Amazon version. They can be bought for inexpensive, though, and they’re available in print, so please take a look if you haven’t already! Be sure to add them to Goodreads, too!

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✨Infinite Summer is Free on Kindle!✨

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I believe nearly the entire Poetry Collection is effectively free in all of its digital forms, except for the omnibus of art and cut materials that is Book Zero. This particular entry is loosely themed around fairytale horrors and romances.
This giveaway, like the others, is indefinitely permanent, because it’s my personal motto that poetry is the one genre that should not be barred behind hefty prices. If it’s in my control, at least, which most of it is. By its nature, poetry is intended to be shared among others. It and the rest of the series is available on Kindle, but the first three are also in ePub and PDF formats on Smashwords, Kobo, and other major sellers worldwide. Enjoy!

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✨Blood Ballet is Free on Kindle!✨

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Forever and ever and ever, so feel free to pick one up if it interests you! Blood Ballet is a compilation of horror poems with themes of feminism and body horror. It’s also available in ePub and PDF through Smashwords, Kobo, and the other major retailers. In a bit of other news, I’ve had to delay the next few entries in the series, Book 4 to June 16 and Books 5 and 6 to next year, to focus on more important work, so this should make up for it! Enjoy! If you read it, you’re welcome to let me know what you thought. 🙂

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Featured Releases

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These are the first four entries in my ongoing poetry saga. As always, eBook versions are $3USD or less – several are free, including a PDF version for those without eBook readers. These are available from Smashwords, Amazon, Kobo, Apple Books, and others, and all have a print edition for sale. Feel free to add them to Goodreads if you have an interest in reviewing one later. These make up books zero-through-three and the fourth and fifth should be out this June.

Absolute Heaven Blurb: Absolute Heaven is an omnibus of poems that capture the darkness which hides deep in the mind. Devilishly blurring the lines between romantic hatred and grotesque love, Absolute Heaven is a work of raw emotion, blood and nightmare that spans all genres of horror. Not for the faint of soul or the weak at heart.”

Cosmic Love Blurb: Solemn and dreamlike, Cosmic Love paints a vivid image of love and hurt in the wake of an unknowable future. An infusion of science and magic, heart and mind, this poetry collection rains down its verses like stars. Cosmic Love is nothing short of inspiring with its dark, imaginative romances.

Blood Ballet Blurb: Straight from the dark side of the female experience, this collection is a theatre of blood sprouted from an embryo of prejudice, injustice and mental illness. The poems in Blood Ballet may wear a violent mask, but their core holds a thousand years of women’s heartbreak and pain. Blood Ballet is a social and psychological horror story of murders, witch hunts, self-harm and nightmares – a hidden history brought to the open in honor of those who have had to suffer it in silence.

Infinite Summer Blurb: Infinite Summer is spun with a love that peaks and dies like the sun. Inspired by the dual nature of fairytales, this collection of poems is heavy with magic, ghosts, and memories lost to the golden enchantments of a summer’s day. Infinite Summer is in equal parts haunting and charming, a macabre kind of romance that only an imp’s curse could bring about.

My Books Hit #1 and #2!

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This was really awesome, and thanks so much to anyone who downloaded a copy! I promise to bear a larger variety of posts next week. My fiction and the poetry book coming out on the 25th have eaten up much of my reviewing and book-related posts, you’ll understand. Today is one of the last to get Absolute Heaven for free if you want it.
As a side note, you can’t really see it in the screenshot but it kind of unsettled me that Absolute Heaven‘s occultish cover was next to this incredibly wholesome-looking religious poetry collection. I’m like, oh no, this looks awkward, but hey, the symbolism on AH’s cover is Christian.

To tell the truth, I never expected even this much out of my poetry. You would think with the constant of poetry on book sites that it’s not as much of a niche as it is. Feel free to support their ongoing progress with a review if you’re up to it. Cosmic Love, as it has been since its publication a month ago, is always free on most eBook sellers.

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Poetry Giveaway – Absolute Heaven

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Absolute Heaven is absolutely free on Amazon Kindle from today until this weekend (May 22-26), if you’re feeling brave for some unadulterated weirdness from the bowels of Hell and beneath. Objectively, this is a very strange book. I birthed this monstrosity, so I don’t really see it as abnormal, but it is really out there and different. So, if that’s your flavor, or if you just want to own the whole collection, pick one up. It’s free in all regions.

Oh, and if you do read it, add it to Goodreads or write a review. It doesn’t have to be anything poignant, lengthy or gushing, just your honest thoughts are appreciated. 🙂

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✨Blood Ballet – A Free eBook✨

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Blood Ballet is a book of horror poetry laced, in both subtle and violent ways, with feminist themes. There’s no more of a dystopian time to publish something of this nature, hm? Though I expected it to give me a lot more hassle during publication. The paperback may or may not be available yet, depending on what time you look at this, and the “official” Kindle version isn’t free yet, but the ePub and alternate Kindle version is. I know, confusing. Here are the main sellers, but check your favourite eBook place to see if Blood Ballet has arrived there, because it might have.
Fair warning, this entry is arguably one of the darkest, and has some potentially troubling content.

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Brief Update on Poetry Release Dates

There’s been somewhat of a delay in the publication of my first five poetry chapbooks. Not the first two, which are already out, but the latter three. Fortunately, all versions of the books are complete, there is simply a delay due to the copyright of some individual poems and cover art. The usual problems that crop up, you know. A few poems that were set to be published elsewhere, sadly weren’t able to come out, but that’s alright. Anyway, the next entry should be out in all formats by tomorrow, so be sure to check back and you’ll be able to get a digital copy for free! 😉

New release dates for the chapbook series:
#0 – Absolute Heaven – Published April 2019
#1 – Cosmic Love – Published April 2019
#2 – Blood Ballet – Out by May 17th
#3 – Infinite Summer – Out by May 25th
#4 – MHz – Out by June 3rd

Cosmic Love Hits #1 in Contemporary Poetry!

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Cosmic Love has since dropped to around #10 or so, but for quite a few days it was the top hit in contemporary poetry! It’s also charted fairly well in dark fantasy, considering there’s a much larger volume of that genre out there. If any readers of this blog picked a copy up, I thank you! It’s much appreciated.
The Kindle edition and ePub are still free for the taking, as I’ve noted before. The next entry in the series should be out around May 16th-May 18th, with books three and four following suit close behind. I’m still not sure of the status of five, six and beyond, because after these I am taking a break from poetry to work on my fiction. Poetry is my hobby, fiction is my passion.
Stay tuned for a trivia and commentary later this week. It’s not an analysis, don’t worry. How pompous would you have to be to analyze your own book? No, it’s just some fun facts and making-of tidbits. Nothing grand, but might be of interest.

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Cosmic Love – An Eternal eBook Giveaway

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Cosmic Love, the latest in my foray into genre poetry, is now officially free ad infinitum. Forever and eternal, worldwide. At least the eBook versions, but there’s also a fairly snazzy paperback available for not too much if you prefer print. I know some stand by print religiously, so I make a point to offer it if I can.
This entry in the series is one of romantic melancholy, with some tinges of science fiction aesthetic and dark fantasy.

All versions should be in beautiful order. If you get a copy, reviews would be appreciated. Feel free to interact with me on Goodreads, I love to hear what people think. I’ll be doing a series of commentary on this and Absolute Heaven soon as well. Tell your poetic friends, help it hit the top of the chart! At least for its fifteen minutes of fame, that is. It’s also available on several other eBook sellers, like Apple Books, but I certainly don’t feel like listing them all, so you’re free to search your favourites. Enjoy! 🙂

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✨Cosmic Love – A Free eBook✨

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My treat to you. Cosmic Love is the first entry in an ongoing saga of personal poetry, which will span a wild spectrum of genres. As a whole, the S.M. Shuford Poetry Collection is contemporary poetry blended in with some experimental, haiku and fantasy-horror touches. If you’ve followed this blog long enough to have a copy of the old version, throw it out and get this one. It’s far superior. I promise.

This is the link to the ePub, PDF, and international Kindle edition. The paperback is available to buy on Amazon as well, in most regions, with a slightly prettier Kindle version to be out on there soon. It would be out today, but there were some difficulties publishing it.

Paperback – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1096296942
eBook – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/793028

Since this will be free forever, do me a favour and rate or review it if you download a copy. We can make Cosmic Love hit the top 10 in free books! You can do this on Goodreads, Amazon, or wherever you get your books. This is a lot more helpful to an author than most promotions end up being. These are not the only regions or sellers Cosmic Love will be available from, it’s also soon to be on Apple Books, Kobo, and a few others, so if you have one you’d rather get it from, it might be on there. You’ll have to check back in a few days.

Book Formats by Difficulty

This week I’ve had to reacquaint myself with digital book formatting for the upcoming Absolute Heaven and Cosmic Love, which ought to be out in at least their eBook formats by next week. If this helps anybody at all in deciding to publish their own book, these are in my own experience, the difficulty levels of designing each format yourself. Guides to these are available on Amazon, Smashwords, and a handful of other booksellers’ websites.

Easiest – Paperback, Hardback and Print

Print versions are the simplest because all it takes is typing out a good-looking PDF. There are a plethora of templates available to find the exact size you need for your book as well. You know exactly what it will look like without having to guess about much.

Moderate – Kindle

Kindle formatting has a steep learning curve, but once you’ve got it, it becomes very simple. It takes slightly longer than designing a print copy, but half the time of formatting an ePub. Kindle Create is a very useful program that takes most of the stress out of wondering what your book will look and behave like, so I’d recommend downloading that as well. The only tricky parts of Kindle formatting involve images and centering text, which a Kindle reader is somewhat touchy about. Kindle is very flexible and lenient on the author in general, hence why it’s so popular.

Hardest – ePub

Oh my God. Where to begin? Formatting an ePub book is nothing but raw hell. There’s just so many things that can completely ruin your work. If you have this format down pat, you should reward yourself somehow. I don’t even like the ePub format in general, nor do I own an ePub reader, but trying to work arounds its limitations is rigid, user-unfriendly and often a misery. And that’s for a basic book! Nevermind if it’s image-heavy or requires tricky text.
It’s Smashwords that burnt me out on wanting to push my ePub copies. It seems like nothing I tried could make the ePub versions I published with them look decent. Sometimes they came out damaged and smushed to bits, despite following the guidelines. Anyway, screw ePub. Kindle master race forever.

 

Some Unexpected Progress

Some fortunate news at last! The four chapbooks I’ve been talking about and revamping are currently being primed for publication! To my own surprise after the fact, I was hit with a sudden surge of productivity last week and wrote all four of them from Tuesday to Friday morning. This work needs to be edited, obviously, but barring the completion of illustrations and covers, they’re pretty much done. I expected that to eat up at least another three weeks. The only solution to feeling incredibly tired with having nothing done by the end of the day, apparently, is to do EVERYTHING in a few days.

That being said, I am rather proud of this incarnation. They are cleaner, richer and more resembling legitimate poetry compilations rather than some blog freebies. I ought to get news back soon of a much darker series of poems in the works and when it might be published as well. I don’t want to talk about that one yet, but I genuinely think it was the darkest thing I have or ever will write, and honestly never expected something like that to get picked up for publication.

Cosmic Love, MHz, Blood Ballet and Infinite Summer will return sometime between April 5th and April 25th. They’re going to be free in all eBook formats, but might also be in paperback if they add up to at least 50 pages apiece. I’d rather offer much of my poetry for free, as that’s kind of the nature poetry has always had. It opens it to more readers. I guess the larger ones or ones I’m not in charge of pricing will still cost something, but it’s something I post pretty much every week publicly, so I don’t see the point for the smaller ones. Anyway, I hope you love them and it’s something you anticipate, I promise they far outdo the first (which are still posted back in the archives starting here if you’re curious).

Holiday eBook Giveaway – Day 5

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Again, thanks to all who have downloaded a copy. This may be the last day it’s free on Kindle, so if you’re on the fence… I believe I’ve solved the paperback issue so… finally the paperback ought to be available for purchase by this weekend. Troublesome, but isn’t that life. Anyway, feel free to grab a copy below.

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Holiday eBook Giveaway – Day 4

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Thanks to all those who have downloaded a copy of Loverboy thus far! This is only the beginning of the road. For those who want one, they’re free on Kindle for the rest of the holiday season for anybody.
An interesting little fact I don’t think I’ve noted is that this collection began conception as romance short stories.
I had had like, two or three poetry compilations that were finished and supposed to come out before Loverboy was even decided as poetry, but it ended up usurping them. Kind of like a parasite that becomes its host. Oddly, it was totally thematically different from those two collections. It’s not even very similar to its companion book, Absolute Heaven. In genre only, maybe.

The hardest part of talking about Loverboy at all is that I’m perplexed about where it even spawned from. It just… was all on paper one day, or so it seemed like.
But anyway, feel free to grab a copy and tell your friends if it’s something they might like. Perhaps you will see something perplexing and valuable in it.

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Holiday eBook Giveaway – Day 3

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Thanks to all who downloaded a copy of Loverboy yesterday, for awhile it made it to the Kindle Free Top 10 in the Poetry category, right next to an Edgar Allan Poe compilation! I never dreamed that would happen. It also made it pretty high in the Fantasy and LGBT categories, surprisingly.
Oh, and you shouldn’t, but if you do experience any problems with the eBook, please tell me and I’ll fix it so you can get a new copy. It should look fine on most devices, at least the ones I’ve tested. The paperback should be out by Christmas if interested. It was supposed to be out several days ago but there was a strange delay because of publishing and rights and all that boring stuff you definitely aren’t interested in. I know I’m not. Ugh.

Anyway, I’m posting some frosty new winter and holiday themed poetry here for the week up to Christmas as well, so enjoy! Get your copy of Loverboy below, and feel free to offer your thoughts in a review. Happy Holidays!

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