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Friday, October 31, 2014

A Halloween Treat From Me To You... A Peak Into My Upcoming Novel "The Vampyre Blogs"





*HAPPY HALLOWEEN everyone!  I decided to give you all a treat by sharing a snippet from my upcoming novel "The Vampyre Blogs", which will be coming out this Christmas. 

 I was careful to choose this particular entry since it involves all three of my main characters dealing with a the scene is one most of us can relate to.  Here we have Marisa a seventeen year old young lady being comforted my vampyre Nathaniel and his goddaughter Lisa.  Marisa (who has no idea what Nathaniel really is) has an intense dislike for vampires even though they don't really exist according to her.  She hates movies, books and television shows about them because in her mind they have come to embody cancer (which her father is struggling against) in a human form.  

The scene takes place inside an old four story building Nathaniel owns.  He keeps a dance club downstairs, while on the top floor he has an art studio where he likes to paint at night.  Marisa has just had a run in with another girl and is been being comforted by Nathaniel and her best friend Lisa (who is also Nathaniel's goddaughter).  As you might expect, Lisa knows all about him, including how to keep his secret.  

The three are up in the studio where Nathaniel has been showing the two of them some of his paintings, which include several images of a young woman of Romani descent.  He's just finished explaining she was his wife and that she died in his arms after being abducted, a few years ago.  

This book IS part of my Para-Earth Series, but does not involve any of my earlier characters.  However, this doesn't mean they won't meet down the road...mwahahah.  Also, this is my first attempt to introduce a character from this world who went into one of the Para-Earths and came back... alive, but changed.

So without further ado, here are Marisa, Lisa and Nathaniel.  Happy Halloween my friends.*


MARISA’S MUSINGS - October 7th, 2012

It’s been such a strange day, especially this evening.  I still don’t know what think at the moment. 
Waking up and finding Dad was still at home sitting in front of the TV just like in my dreams, gave me a start.  Especially when I saw he looked a little greyish, but then Mom opened the curtains and I saw he was just tired.  I literally blew a sigh of relief, but it still set me on edge for the rest of the day.
Unfortunately, most of my classes were on the quiet and boring side today, which meant I kept worrying about my dad.
Thank God Lisa was in all of them with me.  I don’t know what I would’ve done without her around trying to distract me.  But I still couldn’t get that damn dream out of my head.  It had felt so real.  Then, just as we arrived at The Crypt, I started wondering if it had actually been some kind of warning. The idea it might be really put me on edge. 
Unfortunately, that’s when Dianne showed up and started in with me, as usual.  Normally I can ignore her comments, but tonight, I just couldn’t.  God I feel so bad about what happened.  Poor Lisa got caught up in things and could’ve wound up getting hurt if Nathaniel hadn’t stepped in when he did.
I still feel bad about blowing up at him the way I did at the time.  But that’s not the only thing that’s bothering me about him.  After tonight, I can’t look at him the same way I used to.
Finding out he was once married and that his wife pass away in his arms, really hit me hard.  I guess that’s why I kissed him the way I did.  I just wanted to wipe away the pain I knew he was experiencing at that moment, along with my own.  I didn’t tongue him or anything, but for a second I nearly did.  Something about him that made me feel so alive that I didn’t want it to stop.  But I remembered Lisa was with us and I know she has a crush on him.  So I backed off.  But a part of me wanted to go right back to kissing him.   I don’t think I’ve ever wanted someone so bad in all my life. 
And truth be told, I still want him.  But I’m also a little leery of him, because of because of what happened next. 
I excused myself and started to fix my make-up.  After all that crying I’d done earlier, I knew I must look like hell. 
Nathaniel was kind enough to walk away and give me my space, while Lisa checked on me quick before she went over to join him at the window.  As I heard the two of them talking quietly, I stole a glance over my shoulder.  Lisa was hanging onto him in a playful way, and I started to get jealous for a moment. 
Quickly, I shook my head and pulled out my compact so I could use the mirror as I fixed my make-up.  Surprisingly, I didn’t look too bad and was able to make myself presentable rather quickly. 
Then I decided to use the mirror to take another at Lisa and Nathaniel to see what they were up to.  And that’s when it happened.  I could see Lisa still acting if she were draped all over Nathaniel, only he wasn’t there. 
I blinked and stared at the mirror again, but the image had not changed.  From the way Lisa was positioned, I knew she had to be hanging onto someone, because there was no way she could keep her balance in that pose.  But there was no one there. 
Carefully I took another look over my shoulder and saw the two of them just as I had before.  Then I looked back at my mirror and saw only Lisa holding on to empty air.  I let out a little gasp and dropped everything, including the compact which shattered on impact. 
Immediately, Lisa came rushing over to see what was wrong and quickly helped me gather everything.  Nathaniel on the other had stayed by the window.  He seemed to be in deep thought. 
Naturally, I didn’t tell either of them what I saw, or rather what I didn’t see.  Instead, after Lisa helped me get all my make-up back in the purse, I told them I felt like going back down to the dance floor.   I’d remembered there were huge mirrors on the walls down there and wanted to see what would happen when we got down there. 
To my amazement and relief, I saw all three of our reflections in every one of them.  At that point I was fully ready to believe my eyes had simply played a trick on me. 
But now my mind has gone back to the day in my Aunt Betsy’s office when I first met Nathaniel.  She had brought in those beautiful fresh cut flowers.  But after he went near them to get his coat and hat,  we’d found them black and withered.
Is he what I think he is?  I’ve seen enough movies to know all the signs.   Yet, I saw his reflection in the mirrors of the club.  Plus he has a bunch of mirrors in his home which I’ve seen him use.
No, I think I’ve just been stressing out too much lately.  There’s no such thing as vampires.  Right? 


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Reviews... Are You Afraid To Leave One?

Recently, I tried to get some new reviews for my two novels on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.  I even offered free Read-2-Review copies of the books to anyone who wanted to do a review.  The results... not a single bite.

I couldn't believe it.  Giving away "FREE" copies of a book in exchange for an honest review is usually one of the very best methods known to get some reviews for a book.  But I wasn't getting any takers.  In fact I actually heard back from a few people who had read the books and loved them.  Yet when I asked if they would be kind enough to leave a review this is what I kept hearing from a number of them..

"I love to read, but I don't know what to say in if someone asks me to review their book..."


Does this sound familiar to anyone else out there?  If it does, don't be embarrassed.  A lot of people feel that way.  Some don't know what to put down because they see all these other reviews that are like several paragraphs long and go into great detail about the structure of the story, the plot, etc.  Or perhaps you just don't have a lot of time to sit down and think, much less write up a big ole review.

These are all valid excuses.  But not every review has to be several paragraphs long.  Even the simplest review can be just two or three sentences.  And of course you'll be asked to give a star rating usually on a 1-5 scale, with 1 being (why did I bother) and 5 being (dear God I want to read more like this).  


While you may feel like you cannot convey all you want to say in just a couple of sentences, but that rating and a few words can make a world of difference as to whether that book becomes a hit or not.  Every review added to a book can make it a sensation that spreads across the nation and even the oceans.  Most book buyers want to know what the book is about, which is the writer's responsibility to convey in their synopsis.  But buyers also want to know what other people thought of the book, especially since we're all so spoiled for choice these days thanks to Indie Authors, Kindle, Nook and other e-reader devices.  

20-30 reviews, even if half or more of them are just a couple of sentences long can help push that book you just finished and fell in love with, to great heights.  The more reviews the better for the author and the book.  Amazon and other places base a book's popularity through a logarithmic system that is based on the number of reviews a book is given.  If the book has a lot of reviews and ratings they'll suggest the book to other buyers with similar interests creating more sales. 

But if a book only has a handful of reviews, they won't do much with it.  It's not the length of the review but how many and how favorable they are.  So if you really want to see an author or a book get the recognition you think it deserves, please go ahead and leave a rating and just a couple of sentences.  The power to make or break an author and their works is in your hands.



So please, support your favorite authors and books by leaving reviews as well as spreading the word about them throughout your networks.  You could be helping someone become the next Stephen King or JK Rowling.  Remember, without readers we authors are nothing.

Thanks so much for tuning in and please keep writing.
  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Free Read-2-Review Copies Of My 2nd Novel "The Ship"...

****REVIEWS NEEDED ON SMASHWORDS****


I'm looking for honest reviews of my 2nd paranormal/mystery novel "The Ship" for my Smashwords site. Recently there's been a lot of traffic over there but no sales. Part of the problem may be the fact that there's been only one review done on the book at Smashwords.

Multiple reviews spurs more sales, so if anyone is interested in doing a review there, I'm willing to supply you with a free e-copy of the book from the Smashwords site.

For those not familiar with the story here's the blurb from the back cover of the book:

Cassandra Elliott is a billionaire heiress, who has just come out of the closet. She's also a powerful psychic who has seen incredible and terrifying things. In fact, just two weeks ago, she and her girlfriend Julie Cloudfoot, survived a horrific battle alongside their two friends Alex Hill and Veronica Ross. They faced a being from a parallel reality where evolution took a much different course than in this version of Earth.
As a result of that encounter the two of them have come to Santa Cruz to bury one of their own as well as to see if their knew relationship will work out.
While taking a surfing class Cassie finds herself under attack and barely escapes with her life. But this is only the beginning. Whatever attacked her left a mark on her leg and now she is experiencing terrifying visions and senses the approach of something hiding in the fog. A legendary ghost ship is coming for her. However this is no ordinary nightmare of the sea. This vessel is alive and wants to make her a part of it, literally...

*So let me know if you are interested and in what e-book format you need (Nook, Mobi, Sony, Apple, or even PDF)*

If you want to sample the book before committing yourself just click on the link below and click on the version you need where it says "First 20% Sample"...



Friday, October 17, 2014

Getting Your Novel On Some Bookstore Shelves... Part 1

A couple of weeks ago, I received these packages in the mail...


I shared this photo on FB and teased people for a couple of days about what might be inside, before finally revealing their contents.


At least one of my FB friends asked, "Wow, that's a lot of books  Are you having a special event?"

My answer was no.

So then someone else asked, "Well then why did you get so many?  What are you planning on doing with them?"

I responded with, "Well, I'm making them available for anyone who wants a signed edition for just $15.00, plus $3.00 for shipping.  If they want a copy of each book it will be two for $25.00, plus $5.00 for shipping."

Then came the inevitable question of, "What happens if you don't sell them all?"

My response was this...


I went to one of the local public libraries and asked if they would like some free copies of a local author's books for their shelves.  They're response was a huge smile and "Yes, we would thank you so much..."  From there the conversation drifted to the subject of the books and discussions about whether they ever had authors come and give talks.  I'm currently getting lined up to go back in a month or two to give my first talk about writing and becoming an Indie Author.



My next destination was to return to Cabrillo College, where I received my Associates Degree in Human Services.  I went straight into the college bookstore and began looking over their shelves.  I saw immediately that they carried books by alumnus and local authors (I of course happened to be both).  Then I made my way over to the nearest salesperson and asked to speak to the manager of the bookstore.  After a quick introduction and a brief explanation, she told me they'd be only too happy to carry my books.  But instead of asking me to supply the copies she wanted to know who my publisher was.  When I told her it was Createspace, she smiled and said, "Great, I can order directly from them, we have a good working relationship with Createspace."  

I then asked about authors coming and doing book signings and she was quite interested.  She told me they don't have many but enjoy doing it whenever they had an opportunity.  In fact they were getting one set up for one of the instructors at the college.  I'm to get back in touch with her in a month, once the books are on the shelves and we will try to arrange a date and time for me to do a signing there as well.

Before I left, I went to say hello to a few of my old instructors and also slipped over to the college's newspaper office.  There I found out who I needed to contact to try and get some publicity in the campus newspaper.  I'm waiting for when the books are on the shelves before we get anything in print to help drive people to the bookstore.


So all this happened last week.  What did I get up to this week?  You'll have to wait for the next installment to find out.  

Until then, take care and keep writing.





Wednesday, October 8, 2014

An Important Message For All Writers...


Go GOOGLE yourself!

And I mean it folks.  Now I'm not trying to be rude or obnoxious, I'm actually being quite serious about this.  Sometimes putting your name in Google and checking out what pops up can be a real eye-opener.

The other day when I was sitting in the library with my wife who was tutoring a student of hers, I pulled out her spare laptop and set it up so I could do some writing.  Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my flash-drive with me.  Which of course meant, no writing.


So I just started net surfing.  I don't know what prompted me to do it, but I decided to put my own name into the Google Search to see what would happen.  The results took me ever so by surprise.


Not only did I find all the usual links to my blogs and Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, FB, Twitter, etc. but I also found a host of other book sites that were carrying my two novels "The Bridge" and "The Ship".  Naturally I was flattered, but then I started checking some of the places listed that I was not familiar with.  It turns out that most of them were outlets that Createspace and Smashwords (who I used for my printed editions and my non-Kindle e-book editions) had forwarded my information to.  It was quite interesting to see how thorough they both were about getting my work out there.  

But then I started seeing sites that really surprised me carrying my books.  Places like Chegg and Half.com which are usually associated with school textbooks.  I checked into them and found they were simply selling used copies by people who had grabbed up a copy on the cheap and were now reselling it.  Which came as a relief because, I have known other author who have had their work 'pirated' by others.  

These 'pirated' copies are put out by various people who sell copies of the book without the author or the companies like Amazon, Smashwords, and Createspace knowing about it.  And just like in pirated movies or music, the author gets nothing for every sale made by these people.

So it is important to research who's carrying your works every so often in case someone has stolen your work and is making money off of it.

But, it's not all doom and gloom folks.  Sometimes you'll find something that will really take you by surprise...


One of the things I found in my Google Search was a newspaper review of my first book "The Bridge" which I had never known about.  Why?  Because it was a newspaper over in Michigan and I'm in California.  Apparently, one of the people who had gotten a free e-copy during one of my Kindle 'Free-Days' lives there and did a nice review of my book.  I'll be sharing that review in an upcoming post. 

I was completely blown away by this fact.  The only newspaper review I was aware of was one that had come out recently for my 2nd book "The Ship", where I had personally contacted the newspaper to see if they'd be interested in reviewing the book (hint-hint... remember to do this with your finished works folks.  Contact those local newspapers, radio stations, and even local TV stations).  

So it really does pay research your name on the internet sometimes.  It's not about vanity, but seeing who might be saying what about your work.  And also guarding your creative property from piracy.  Plus you might find some sweet and wonderful reviews you never knew about before.

Until next time, take care and keep writing.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Forgotten 1st Draft...

For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while, you'll remember I've mentioned a number of times about saving your work on Google Drive, or on a Memory Stick, or even a CD.  I've also suggested that when you edit your work, if you're going to cut a scene to save it in a special folder.  I say this because even though the scene, or even a character, doesn't fit in the story you're working on you might be able to recycle it for another story down the road.  

The thing I forgot to mention is that occasionally you should go and look through that folder every so often.  Especially if you're looking to start a new project, or have hit a bad case of writer's block.  Something in that folder may be just the thing to help you get your scene going again.

I also have another special folder that holds works in progress that are unfinished.  Or in some cases, are pretty much a complete first draft... (said under my breath while looking away in embarrassment)


You forgot you had a completed 1st draft?

"Yes, I' did.  I got caught up in other things,now be quiet Roscoe!"

As I was saying, yes I found I had a complete first draft in that file folder.  It needs reworking of course, but the entire story is there.  Unfortunately, it will be a while before it sees the light of day. 

Why?  Because it is a historical period piece that involves Brandon Elliott, one of the major recurring characters in my Para-Earth Series.  His spirit appears frequently in order to watch over Cassandra Elliott, his many times great-grandchild.   However, her story is not finished yet and I cannot tell his tale until hers is finished (sort of).  The two are intricately connected in such a way I have to finish telling her secrets, before I can reveal his.  

However, this will be resolved soon.  Cassandra's secret will be revealed in "The Door" which I hope to have ready in May 2015.  Then after releasing the second installment of "The Vampyre Blogs" in December 2015, I will aim to release Brandon's story in early 2016.  His story is so big it will take at least two or more books to do it justice, but I'm looking forward to doing it.

Anyway, getting back to my original point...


You actually forgot you had a completed 1st draft?

"Yes Roscoe, now let it go please... sheesh!"

As I was saying, the practice of keeping special folders and backup copies of my work has helped me on a number of occasions.  I've even got a 50% finished first draft of "The Door" waiting for me to get back to.  Like the other works I have on the back burner, having some of it already waiting for me to get back to it, actually gets me eager to return to it.

So remember, save those parts you edit out and keep checking the folder you put them in. You never know when you might find a treasure in those folders that can totally turn your work in progress into something fantastic.  

Until next time...

He actually forgot?  Oh that is rich!

(sigh)  He is just not going to let this go is he?

Until next time take care and keep writing.  

Friday, September 26, 2014

Guest Post: Meet Author Raani York and Check Out Her Debut Novel "Dragonbride"

Today is my great pleasure in introducing you all to a brand new author and friend of mine.  Raani York has been one of my beta-readers and has just come out with her first novel.

So please give her a warm welcome by reading all of this entry and then checking out her breakout novel "Dragonbride".  You'll be glad you did.
Banner

Dragonbride
(The Dragon Chronicles, Book #1)

Shalima, “Daughter of the Light”, was born under special circumstances. She was raised by her aunts instead of her mother because she needed to be prepared to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Scriptures, which told that she was the only Magician on Earth.

Her aunts carefully prepared her for her obligations and her sacred duty. She will have to get married to the Holy Golden Dragon, the King of the Dragons, a huge Earth Dragon with magical talents. She cannot believe that she is the “Chosen One”, who has to protect the Dragon Species, all of Nature and finally the Earth. But when she turned into a teenager it seemed that the Old Scriptures were right.


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DRAGONBRIDE [e-book format]
Buy the Book:

As an Ebook for following formats: epub, mobi, pd,f rtf, lrf ,pdb, txt, html
The Paperback version on Amazon will be released very soon! More buyer’s links will be available within the next week.

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F_3784Author Bio

Raani York has been a high volume writer for years. She has published articles, letters, short stories, poems, continuation stories and descriptions of all kind. She also writes novels, some of which can found on her website.

Raani has been educated in Switzerland and in the U.S. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She also obtained diplomas in Graphic Design, Color Studies and won a prize as a Logo Designer. She speaks four languages and several dialects.

Raani York works and lives in Switzerland and the U.S. and travels often.

Next to her writing and her cats, Raani likes reading, blogging, Martial Arts, skiing, horseback riding, sky diving and enjoys playing the classical piano.


Contact:


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Teaser:

The mountains possessed a dark but seductive beauty, and they lay in wait for the ones who came through the Fire Hell. The powdered white peaks of the sparkling black mountain-world watched for them with longing.

The Diamond Mountains gave the illusion of being much closer than they really were, and many a pilgrim had been lured to his death by the promise of riches hidden on their slopes. These mountains were so named because of the rough gems strewn about the black volcanic soil. When the sun shone overhead the gems made the mountains sparkle and shimmer brightly, and at night they made the moonlit mountains glow with a soft silver light.

People, blinded by both their greed and the tantalizing glittering of the sunlit earth, imagined that there was immeasurable wealth lying there on the ground, just waiting to be picked. However, the mountains never betrayed the secrets they held. None who had ever walked those slopes could find the diamonds hidden within the black soil, for the mountains protected themselves.

Although healthy forest still grew in the foothills, the undergrowth became sparser just a few hundred feet up, and then the treeline ended. Where stunted trees would normally grow the forest just stopped, as if some unseen hand had cut it short. All that remained were dangerously sharp, dry rocks. Just below the snowline, the rocks disappeared, and the glittering black soil took their place.

Moreover, at the summit it seemed as if the Creator of All Things had dusted the peaks of the fissured mountain range with powdered sugar, for they were covered with a deceptively soft-looking, yet extremely sharp-edged eternal snow.

The mountains never betrayed their secrets...
And if a wanderer were to climb those peaks, going up to the Fire Hell and searching to quench his thirst at a splashing mountain spring, he would find no cool, refreshing water. Instead, these living mountains would seek to frighten him by shrouding the ground with a mysterious fog that made it impossible to see where he was putting his feet. Pilgrims sometimes drowned in the sulfurous pools of water hidden within the hellish rocks when the fog appeared, and if they left the main trails, they would know true fear, for they would be led down treacherous sidepaths that seemed to take them somewhere, yet actually led them nowhere but to their doom.

The mountains never betrayed their secrets...
Though many thought they would find the cool relief of the shadows by early evening, the ascent would continue for another three torturous days. During those three days, their throats would scream for water, and their eyes would tear up in the swirling sand. Blown up by the hot desert winds, the sand burned as it fell upon a traveler's face and skin. Eventually their limbs would become heavy, and they would barely be able to move; thus, the wanderers would be forced to crawl on, farther and farther, until sheer luck eventually brought them to civilization... to people.

In a canyon between two hills below the mountain range there was a village. It had no official name, but the people living there called it Alpcate├žu, which meant Oasis of the Mountains. Anyone who wanted to climb the mountains had to pass through the village. A few taverns and inns surrounded the village fountain, where a market was sometimes held.
Some houses and huts had been built in the wide hills and even at the edge of the forest... and in one such place, hidden within the woods, almost four hundred feet past the deepest thicket and connected to the village only by a sidepath lay the place in which I had been born.
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Raani York | September 26, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Tags: amazonAuthorBlog TourBuy t

Sunday, September 7, 2014

My First Newspaper Review!

Here is the first newspaper review of one of my novels.  I tried getting my first novel "The Bridge" reviewed, but never seemed to have much luck.  I think the fact that "The Ship" was set in Santa Cruz and featured a local landmark The S. S. Palo Alto, aka "The Concrete Boat", really helped.






Here's a shot of the S. S. Palo Alto...



Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Quick Update...

NOTE: I already shared this post on "The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition", but it seemed appropriate to share here as well, since I talk about what's been going on with me for the past 2 weeks.  There will be new posts about writing shortly.  Consider this one, a quick update about me... 


Hello everyone, sorry for the slow updates recently.  I had planned on another post today, but life has a way of kind of being really getting in the way sometimes.  Especially when you're going back to college.  I started attending my first university this week.  Prior to that the past few weeks have been chaotic with my wife getting a new job. 

She got her Bachelors Degree last spring at the same university where I'm going now.  She studied to become a high school math teacher.  This summer had been a rough one for us for several other reasons as well, including her taking special summer courses for her credential to be come a teacher.  I had to drive her around a number of places including a couple of schools where she was interning.  A lot of that driving meant time away from the keyboard both for this blog and the novel itself.    There were a lot of things to be done around the house that only I was available to do (cleaning, laundry, errands, etc.)

I also had to go through some skin cancer surgery, which didn't always leave me in the best of shape to be working on things.

However...

These last two weeks, I was spending a lot of time on the novel itself thanks to my wife's new job.  She had to go through the interview process, be offered the job, accept it, and went through a couple of weeks of training at the new school so she could settle in.  Now the location of her job was in another town about 1/2 an hour away from where we currently live, which is actually quite a nice drive. 

But even better, the town where she's working has the most beautiful library, where I parked myself for hours working on the book.  I'm happy to announce that the 1st draft is almost finished.  I'm within pages of finishing it off.  Once that's done, I'll be doing a second draft to iron out certain issues such as clarity of thought, spelling, making sure the story flows, and finally getting to work on the actual cover.

After the 2nd draft is completed it will be going to my proofreader/editor.  Then I will do the 3rd draft at which point it will be unleashed on some willing Beta-Readers.  Once I hear back from them, a final draft will be completed and the book will be released. 

How long will all that take?  I don't have a clear idea yet, but the release will happen between late October and early December.  That much I can tell you.  It will all depend on how long it takes for others to get back to me (editing, beta-reading, etc.)  Once the 1st draft is completed the second one will come fairly quickly.

So hang in there, the actual novel is coming.  I will be posting more blog entries by the various characters you'll be meeting in the book very soon.  Some will be funny, others interesting, a few tearful, but I'll try not to leave you bored.  

A new post will be here in a week.  From what the characters are telling me, we'll be hearing either from Nathaniel, Lisa, or Marisa.  Or someone completely new.  Some characters can get kind of pushy.  

For now I bid you a pleasant week.  Come freely, visit frequently, but always leave a bit of the happiness you bring to this blog.  (paraphrased from Bram Stoker's Dracula).  This is my copy.  As you can see, I've read it a 'few' times, give or take...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Determining Your Book's "Genre"...

Okay, you've written your latest masterpiece.  It's finished.  You've got your cover ready, the editor has done their work, the proofreading is finally over, you got a back cover blurb, dedication page, table of contents, etc.  In short, your baby is ready too be published.  

You've only got one thing left to do, make it available.  So you go to Smashwords, Kindle, Lulu, whoever you use to publish your precious labor of love, and you start getting asked a bunch of questions.  What's the title?  How many pages?  The name of the author?  Do you have a synopsis ready?  A blurb?  Then you reach "What genre is your work?"  "What label do you want to put it under?"

Now, if you have an agent...


No not that kind, the other kind, the ones who represent books.  Curse you Marvel!   

Anyway, if  have an "literary agent" you already know what genre you were working in, because one of the key elements in finding an agent is knowing what genres they represent.  In turn, your agent would've shopped your work around to a publisher who specializes in that genre.  So you should be okay.  But what if your an Indie Author?  Then this question can become more problematic for you.  Not always mind you, but sometimes.

I for one am finding myself slowly falling into that latter category.  Why, you ask?  Simple, I'm one of those authors who crosses genres sometimes without even meaning to.  My Para-Earth series covers mystery, horror, paranormal, and even science fiction, all in one book.  But it doesn't stop there!  Oh no!  I brought in a gay couple into my work and now I have another section of audience I might miss if I don't label the book correctly.  In fact, I've had to use a few different labels for "THE SHIP", as compared to the ones I originally put "THE BRIDGE" under.  

You see, I emphasized the gay aspect of the second book because of my main characters were a lesbian couple.  Now they appeared in the first book and played a large role in it, however they were the second lead couple and the focus was not as fixed on them.  

So even though both books are part of my Para-Earth Series, and the characters were recurring ones, the focus had shifted thanks to who was the lead couple this time.  

But this is only the beginning, my friends.  The more I've researched genres, the more I've found things have changed.  What was once horror, may now be considered Fantasy, or Paranormal.  Thrillers can be set in modern day or in the future (wouldn't that be sci-fi?). 



This is not a new issue folks.  I've seen this going on for decades.  HP Lovecraft, creator of the Cthulhu Mythos, is a prime example for "What genre did he really fall under?"  Many consider him the master of the macabre and automatically put him under Horror.  Yet, a number of his creations like the Old Ones, or the Elder Things from "The Mountains of Madness" were beings from outer space.  Outer space?  Doesn't that fall under Sci-Fi?  I've found him in books stores under both Horror and Sci-Fi (a fair solution). 

But what if you find yourself telling a love story, which is impacted by a huge mystery, that involves ghosts, psychics, and beings from an alternate reality?  What do you call that?  Horror?  Mystery, Paranormal Mystery?  Some people suggested a genre called "Dark Fantasy" which seems to combine these elements under one label.  Great solution right?  Wrong!

When you go to Smashwords, Kindle, Createspace, etc.  you don't see Dark Fantasy as one of your choices to answer the question "What genre is this book?"  Instead you get: Horror, Gay/Lesbian, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, etc.  You don't get 'blended' options.'  Oh you get offered sub-genres which will let you add some of those, but the main genre you place your book under is the first label people will see when they do a search.  And if that label doesn't fall into their usual reading choices, you probably won't even get them giving your book a 'sampling'.


Determining the genre of your book is a huge thing.  But there are other problems.  Even within those "main" genres, there's a lot of disagreement about what falls under them.  Which is going to be the subject of my next blog entry, because I'm running out of room on this one.  And the topic is a big one that a lot of writers struggle with and I want to give it equal and fair room for discussion.

In the meantime, if anyone would like to share their thoughts or experiences in dealing with how to define your book by genre, please leave some comments down below.  As I've stated many times in the past, the purpose of this blog is so we can all learn from one another.  As readers and writers, we're all in the same boat, so pooled knowledge can be a powerful tool for us all.

Until next time, take care all and keep writing.






Saturday, August 16, 2014

Is There A Stigma Attached To "Bargain Book" Prices?

When I recently did my sale, I looked around at various websites to find places where I could promote.  Imagine my surprise when I found a number of places insisted that the "bargain price" for a book had to be no more than $2.99.


At that moment I paused and thought to myself, "Wait a minute, that's the regular asking price for one of my e-books.  Are you telling me I've been offering my book at a 'bargain price' this whole time?"  Now, taking a step back for a moment, let me explain how I've priced my books.

Number 1 - I'm still a newbie in the book world.  I don't have a huge following.

Number 2 - I had gotten the impression that lower prices would help promote sales.

Number 3 - I've been down a path where finances are tight for the last seven years, so I'm rather sympathetic to people having a hard time.  So I try not to price my books out of people's reach.

Now both my books weigh in at over 100,000 words a piece.  Yet I am seeing more and more novels that are much shorter (down to under 10,000 words) being priced at $3.99, $4.99 and even $5.99.  Now many of these are being done by Indie Authors like myself and are hitting Amazon, Smashwords and other bestseller lists.

So then I checked to see if this phenomenon was due to what kind of genres the authors were working in, to see if that was a determining factor.  The results were that this was happening across the board, and not just an isolated genre.

At this point I started noticing articles talking about how lower priced books weren't really worth reading except as an 'impulse' buy.  "If they're so cheap, they can't be all that good..." being the usual argument.  The "You get what you paid for..." mentality seems to be in effect here as well, leading people to think they have to spend a lot of money to get a decent story to read.

So that brings me to my main question.  Is there a stigma attached to bargain-priced e-books?  Do they not sell as well or seem as attractive to prospective buyers because of a low price?

I have no clue on this one so I'm hoping to hear back from all of you for your comments and opinions.  Please leave them in the comment section below.  Remember, the purpose of this blog is to pool and share knowledge so everyone can learn from mistakes or successful ideas.  I know I for one will be reading the replies with great interest.

So until next time when I talk about "Genres and what defines them these days", take care and keep writing.




Monday, August 11, 2014

Results and Thoughts On My $0.99 Week-Long Sale...

Good News...  My $0.99 Cent sale is over.

Now the Bad News: I'm still going to talk about it today....  

Now don't panic, the sale is over and done with and I won't be promoting it today.  Instead I'd like to share some insights and the results with you all and get some feedback.  

First off, how well did a week-long sale like this do?  Well all together I sold 15 copies, 10 of "THE SHIP", and 5 of "THE BRIDGE".  How do I feel about that?   It wasn't bad to be honest, but I'm not sure an entire week was necessary.  Almost 2/3rd's of the sales happened on the weekend when I first announced the sale.  For most of the week itself, there were only one or two days where anything happened.  Then when I announced this last weekend that the sale was coming to an end, there another 4-5 copies sold.  So quite frankly, doing an entire week-long sale didn't yield all that much for my efforts.

Where did I publicize the sale?  Facebook, Twitter, Google +, both my blogs (which average over 1600 views a month from around the world), Goodreads.com, LinkedIn and a few other places as well as friends sharing and spreading the word.  So I really tried to get the word out.


Right now, I'm not certain how I feel about the results.  I'd like to hear from some of you authors reading this blog and hear your thoughts.  Was 15 a good result, mediocre or what?  Were there other places I could have posted to spread the word?  Myself and other readers of this blog would love to hear what the voices of experience have to say.  Part of the purpose of this blog is to share my experiences and learn from those who read this blog, so please leave some comments in the section below.  We're all in this together and the more we pool our knowledge, the more we all benefit gang.

That's all for this entry.  I'll be discussing Pricing your work in the next discussion, and then we'll be discussing what genre your work might fit in.  That can be tough to figure out at times especially if you're like me and wind up crossing several genres at once.

Until next time, take care and keep writing...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

****THE $0.99 CENT SALE ENDS AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT****

All good things must come to an end and my week-long $0.99 cent deal is no exception...

How time flies!  But never fear, everyone still has a chance to take advantage of this sale.  Both "THE BRIDGE" and "THE SHIP", the first and second books in my paranormal/mystery series, are available in all e-book formats and countries for just $0.99 cents a piece until midnight.  

*So please spread the word to others and claim your own copies before the clock strikes midnight here in California*.

Here are the links:

Amazon: amazon.com/author/allankrummenacker

AmazonUK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Allan-Krummenacker/e/B00B1W8TEU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Smashwords (for Nook, Sony, Apple, or PDF file for you computer):https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/1383

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/allan-krummenacker



"THE BRIDGE" Book 1 in the Para-Earth Series:

Alex Hill buried his psychic talents for eighteen years. But with the scream of tires and twisting metal all this changes.

His girlfriend, Police Sergeant Veronica Ross, is nearly run down by two teenagers leaving her depressed and troubled. After calming her down they get a call from the Coroner's office and learn that both the driver and passenger of the wrecked car had already been dead for almost twelve hours before the accident. Furthermore, they hadn't been killed in any vehicle accident, the pair had been drowned.

Upon hearing this Alex feels his powers stirring again and goes with Veronica to see the coroner to learn more. But, as soon as they reach the doors of the Morgue he is psychically assaulted by an unknown force.

Taking the attack as a warning, he tries to resist getting involved further. But, his talents soon lead him directly to the place where the teenagers died. It is the stream underneath an old stone bridge that is supposedly haunted by the White Lady.

But the real problem for Alex is the fact that both the bridge and stream are on the Graham Estate. The very property he is now representing as a real estate agent.

Soon the body count begins to rise, and each new death is somehow attached to the stream. And as the only person with full access to the estate, suspicion starts to fall on Alex. Especially when it's discovered he does not have a solid alibi for any of the incidents.

Now, in order to clear his name and learn what force is behind all the killings, Alex must decide whether or not to embrace the very abilities he shunned.



"THE SHIP" Book 2 in the Para-Earth Series:

What starts as a simple surfing lesson, turns into a struggle for survival for billionaire heiress Cassandra Elliott and her new love interest the Seneca shamaness Julie Cloudfoot.

Cassandra is knocked off her board by an unseen assailant that leaves a terrifying gash in her wetsuit, along with a small red mark on her leg. Soon, terrifying visions of a ghost ship begin haunting the heiress' dreams. She begins to feel strangely drawn to the sea whenever a strange fog bank appears in the distance.

Is something hiding within the miasma, and what connection does it have to the legendary "Lost Colony of Roanoke", and the tribe of Tuscarora Indians, that Julie is distantly related to...