By Steve Vernon

My belt is shrinking.

I don’t know how it is happening but every month that sucker seems to grow just a little snugger about my waistline. My wife tells me that I ought to eat more vegetables and fewer cheeseburgers. I don’t understand. I mean ketchup is a vegetable isn’t it? So is relish. Even mustard comes from a plant.

So a cheeseburger qualifies as vegetable.

If you squint.

My grandmother had that same idea about vegetables.

“Eat your broccoli,” she’d tell me.

“I don’t like broccoli.”

“Just try a bite of it. See if you don’t like it.”

That’s why I like to write series for Kobo. I like the idea of legions of hungry Kobo readers out there lining up behind my rows of e-books like so many hungry Pac-Men and Pac-Women—munching and crunching on each new release.

Like potato chips.

Which ought to qualify as vegetables, as well.

Funny thing is my grandmother was right.

Sometimes, if you try a bite of something, you really like it.

Like broccoli—which is highly addictive—especially when it is steamed lightly and smeared in butter and salt. You eat one bite of those tangy little green-blossom-broccoli-trees and you will discover that those weird little vegetable trees are nothing more than bite-sized organic potato chips in disguise and you will start buzzing through them like you are some kind of a wild veggie-crazed green-giant-possessed holistic tree-minator.

Which is why—whenever I release a new series on Kobo—I make certain that the first volume/episode/book of the series is absolutely free!

That’s right. That first bite of broccoli is on me.

(Well, heck—most of what I eat generally winds up on me—whether it is tucked beneath my rapidly-shrinking beltline or smeared upon my rapidly-increasing t-shirt)

I call this my Crack Dealer Theory of E-Book Marketing (patent pending).

You think about a crack dealer holding out that first vial of crack.

“You try this,” he’ll tell you. “See if you don’t like it.”

You try it and you’ll soon find out that crack is highly addictive.

Just like broccoli.

Which is why I want to let all of you Kobo readers and writers know—if you are writing and/or reading a series of any length—that first release really ought to be free.

Free and dangling beneath the lips and nostrils and eyeballs of a legion of budding potential fans, drenched and drizzling in salt and butter.

(Future Kobo eReading devices will all need to be guaranteed against salt and butter exposure.)

So why aren’t more Kobo series releases with the first volume free?

Au contraire.

Which shows you just how bilingually cultured I am.

Take a look here!

That’s thirty-six Kobo Series novels—each of them beginning with a free first volume—most likely drenched in low-sodium salt and e-butter.

Two of those book series are mine and I’d be proud and pleased if you would go and pick up a copy of Revenent – (the first volume in the Tatterdemon stand-alone trilogy) or Flash Virus: Episode One – (the first episode in a continuing series of e-books). I won’t be held responsible if you suddenly feel the urge to max your credit card, re-mortgage your house, or sell your first-born pussycat to raise the funds needed to follow up on the rest of the series.

I’m funny like that.

But the heck of it is—you won’t have to max your credit card. You can pick up Revenent for absolutely free—and then, if you want to—you can pick up the complete Tatterdemon Omnibus Collection for a mere $6.99.

Or—if you are more interested in sci-fi than you might pick up Flash Virus: Episode One for FREE and then, if you want to—you can pick up the Flash Virus Omnibus Collection, the first five episodes, for a mere $6.99—or $4.99 if you pre-order before June 7, 2013.

(And if you liked the first five episodes, you can even pick up the sixth: Flash Virus: Episode Six — Bigfoot’s Story, which just went live on the 31st.)

What you’ve just read was the first episode of my new Kobo blog series which is tentatively called EATING YOUR BROCCOLI, until I come up with a better name for it.

Episode 2—which will be released here on the Kobo Writing Life Blog—will tell you how to keep writing when you feel like the words have all dried up.

I know.

That’s way too safe of a topic but I’m new at this whole blog column phenomenon.

There’s another tip for you, by the way. You throw in a multi-syllable word like phenomenon—which has at least four or five syllables in it, depending on how you hold your mouth—and folks are going to think you’re a whole lot more intelligent than you really are.

It’s true.

Ask any lawyer.

Until next month—eat your broccoli.

steve vernonSteve Vernon is Canadian author who writes horror, science-fiction, YA, and even a children’s picture book.  He lives with his wife and cat in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Check out his blog: Yours In Storytelling.

Check out his books on Kobo.

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