Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hot! Hot! Hot!

And the heat wave continues around here. There's only one thing good about it being this hot outside, I don't feel guilty staying inside. Anyway, the writing life continues heat or no heat. I blasted out another chapter of INSECTLAND today, actually it's a re-read. I wrote the original way back in 1997 as part of a three book series. the first book TIM MADISON GALACTIC WARRIOR is available right now at:
The third book in the series titled DREAM TRAVELER will be out probably by winter. I'm excited to see the series complete since I have been working on it on and off for so long. This series is what originally got me signed to my agent, unfortunately, due to a shrinking market it never found a traditional home. I guess none of that matters now with Kindle and self-publishing becoming the norm these days. Anyway, look for INSECTLAND sometime around October.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Getting famous is a marathon not a sprint.

Okay, I got over the woman who bashed me. Thanks to all who responded with their own stories of jerks.

So, in my continued quest to get rich and famous I've come up with a few marketing ideas. First off, though not an original idea, I've decided to get bookmarks made that have pics. of my books and my website, plus info to buy them. I'm putting some at the front desk of the hotel I work at and I am going to local stores to ask if I can put them on the counter so people can take them. It's not like me to do this kind of grassroots marketing, but times are getting desperate and my conventional job is wearing on me. Second, I've decide to start posting comments on book forums for my print books. I've been focusing so much on AFTER I've let them slip by the wayside. The greatest thing about epublishing is there's no shelf life for the book. You can promote everyday as if it's release day. The book is always available at the click of a mouse.

Also, another shining moment came this week. One of my bar customers has a wife who is an avid reader and involved in many book clubs with online members all over the country. She purchased PULP (on her own without me even promoting it) and loved it. So much so, that she's emailing all her members to buy the book and tell their friends and book clubs about it. Then he told me that his wife just bought FROSTPROOF, and loved that, and is recommending that, too. I've already seen an increase in sales through Amazon. Awesome! So, it just goes to show you never know when an opportunity knocks and how quickly it all could change.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My awesome interview!!

Below is a link to my latest interview, which was awesome. I've done a few interviews now and I am always pleased when I see one posted and watch as the page views multiply.

Here is a copy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

After! Author Neil D.Ostroff has Another New Book for His Reading Audience!

I see you have a new book released. I believe the title is After! I want to know all about it, but before we talk about your books, Neil, let us get to know some about you, your background and your writing.

I am a prolific author of gritty, noir thrillers and middle grade sci/fi. I graduated from Elmira College with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy/Critical Thinking. Briefly, I wrote psychological evaluations for the Elmira, NY courts. I was raised in a rural town outside of Philadelphia and have been a published author for more than twenty years. My science fiction and fantasy stories have appeared in numerous presses, zines, and websites. I have several published novels available at all online booksellers under the name N.D. Ostroff, or at I am an avid boater, gardener, and poker player when not working on my novels.

When did you first begin writing and submitting for publication?

I have been writing since as far back as I can remember. When I was younger, I used to win all kinds of local writing competitions. I guess I started submitting seriously for publication in my late teens, which would be way back in the 1990’s. This was before the internet so getting published was a long, arduous task of handwritten query letters, painstakingly researching agents and publishers, and the cost of stamps.

Do you think growing up in a rural area influenced your writing, and how?

I do think it had a great influence in my formative years as a writer. I lived five miles from the closest town so there wasn’t much to do but play outside and use my imagination to keep myself occupied, especially before I was able to get a driver’s license. Many of my middle grade fantasy novels stem from the strange worlds I would conjure in my mind as I wandered through the woods.

You wrote psychological evaluations for the courts in NY, what was that like? How did you get that job? (I am sure many people do not any idea what this type of writing is or like.)

I spend several months sitting in supervised visitation rooms monitoring the interaction between parents and children. These were families scarred by alcoholism, child abuse, and violence. I would watch their body language and the way they spoke and interacted with each other and then write my assessment of their psychological conditions for the Judge to decide whether the family could unite outside the courts. It was horrible and depressing work, but taught me a great deal how to sum up complex character traits and the intricacies of various personalities onto the page.

I see you also write science fiction and fantasy. Why? (I have always read both, but when I see your other areas, it makes me curious.)

Sci/fi and fantasy come totally naturally to me. Like I said earlier, my middle grade and YA books were written in my head long before I was capable of putting them to paper. When I finally had the discipline to sit and write full-length novels, those first few came very easily. I think I wrote my first three in a year. My noir thrillers are the adult-writer in me. Had I written those books early on I am sure my parents would have had me see a psychiatrist. Reading them, you will understand.

How to you go about creating the setting and characters for your science fiction and fantasy stories?

For me, fantasy and sci/fi writing is the most fun. What could be better than creating any world you want inhabited by any kind of creature you want? My sci/fi fantasy books are crammed with the unbelievable. I like to take my stories to the limit of possibilities. Unfortunately, the only middle-grade Sci/fi available everywhere right now is TIM MADISON GALACTIC WARRIOR. I hope to have four more of these outlandish books out by the end of the year. You can check my website:, to see summaries and excerpts.

What was it like getting some of your work published for the first time?

It is a great feeling, like floating on a cloud while breathing in helium. But, what is even better is when you see your first sale. But, the best feeling of all… is cashing that first royalty check. There is nothing like it.

Could you tell us about the different genre of novels you write, and the audiences to which they are directed. (I see that you have adult and young adult novels.)

I actually write in several genres. My most popular are my noir thrillers; books that shock and appall, yet like a car wreck you just can’t stop reading them. I have written five books in the YA, middle-grade level, and two books that are very literary that I don’t mention on my website. Right now, I am concentrating on my latest novel, an edgy, literary YA called, WASTED.

Would you tell us about your published novels, and where someone might purchase one?

I will give you a list.

Okay, but tell me about this new one first.

AFTER! is the newest book that was recently released as an ebook.

AFTER! - Swept up by dark adventure, seventeen-year-old Nick Murray learns the devil has caused global war in the mortal world. The devil intends to collect billions of souls and then turn them into a massive zombie army to take over creation. Spirits intent on stopping the apocalypse insert Nick’s soul into the human body of a prominent, young army commander who lives in the future. Thrust into the center of a historic battle, he takes on almost limitless enemy forces using skills learned from this other person’s life; only to die a second time and come face to face with the ultimate adversary.

PULP-Struggling thriller writer Kevin Turner just received a panicked call from his ex-girlfriend Tina, a self-proclaimed clairvoyant prostitute. One of her clients, the mayor’s married son, died in her bed and she needs Kevin’s help to dispose of the body.

Amazon link:


DEGENERATES- Each degenerate overcomes incredible obstacles working in a restaurant named City Café until a psychotic co-worker changes everything about their lives.

Amazon link:


FROSTPROOF- Niles Goodman is on a weeklong trip into madness as his best friend kills indiscriminately and then explains the philosophy behind his actions.

Amazon link:


TIM MADISON GALACTIC WARRIOR- Thirteen-year-old Tim Madison is the only person who knows about and can stop the ruthless creatures who are working deep inside our planet constructing a massive extermination army.

Amazon Link:


Back to you the author. I see that you have several interests other than writing, could you share those with us. I see you like gardening, and I want to know what kind of gardening? Do you like speed boats or sail boats?

I grow a small garden that must be suspended over the ground because of a large rabbit population that lives in my area. Keeping tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, peppers, and other vegetables three feet above ground at all times does present a challenge, but is also a great way to clear the mind.
I, also, have a small pond along the side of the house.

As for boating, I prefer small, fishing boats that can cruise in secluded areas. I do my best thinking on the lake. I’m also an avid poker player.

I see that you have a degree in psychology, a minor in Philosophy/Critical Thinking, what influence do you think this has on your approach to writing fiction?

Philosophy was great to study but you can’t make a living pondering deep thoughts. As you can imagine, the great, historical teachings open your proverbial mind’s eye to the many possibilities of our existence and why we are here; am I getting too deep? But what do you do with this knowledge? Fortunately I’m able to write books.

Can you share with us some of your “made it moments”?

I’ve had quite a few over the years. Talks with the vice president of entertainment at NBC. Serious interest by FOX TV over a sitcom treatment. Being written up in local magazines and newspapers. But probably the greatest moment that sticks out in my career was when I signed with my agent, a top NY, AAR, agent with a highly prestigious agency and many sales under his belt. That was the best.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Some people can really bring you down

All the thousands of hours of work I put into DROP OUT and it's off to the formatter and done forever. Yeah! So, I've decided to devote myself to marketing this week because I have the time and I was going to give AFTER one more blast before I started rewriting INSECTLAND and marketing and promoting DROP OUT. Okay, all is well and good. I've done my usual postings on Kindle forums and my various writers sites that I belong to. But the other day I discovered something unique and promising. My friends on the website Goodreads. Since I've been a member I've slowly friended people who first friended me. And before you know it, I've got almost 100 friends. Yeah, again! Now about three weeks ago I decided to use my Goodreads friends and promote AFTER. Nothing too harsh, just a little blurb and a link, only once, no spam. Well, that resulted in a pretty big jump in sales. Yeah, a third time! So the other day I started exploring Goodreads and discovered a way to announce that I was looking for friends to a large (several hundred) group of like-minded writers and readers. Within an hour I had more than 100 friend acceptances. I started replying personally, like I do on Twitter, to all my request. As usual, it's a small intro with a link to my site on Author's Den. All was going great. I had many replies to my thank you, and people were checking out my site and commenting to me how much they like it. Until this one note I just read. This person who I don't even know totally wrote me a page long rag-session about how authors shouldn't promote like this and how I was wasting everyone's time by placing a link to my site.
Well, first of all, this woman probably has no life if she took that much effort in replying. And she even friended me so she could do it. Second, I checked her profile, she is a reader and not a writer. Hey honey, put yourself in the writers shoes. We're all struggling here to keep literature alive. How else are we going to expose people to our work. We're not forcing anyone to do anything. And lastly, before I end this rant. Why does this one negative comment bother me so much? I guess, it's because readers like this woman are going to keep anything that is new and experimental from reaching people who may be interested in reading it. Thank you.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The ball is rolling

All set to go with DROP OUT. My format guy has it and I'm preparing to market and promote. I recently read an article about how an Indie author can make a living writing ebooks. There actually is a secret and here it is. WRITE A LOT OF BOOKS! The article said that most authors who are earning a decent living from their books have at least seven that are available. If you do the numbers it makes sense. I've sold approximately forty copies of AFTER this month. I charge $1.79 a book so my royalty is about 65 cents. So, I've made $26. Now times that by seven and now I've made $182. I agree, that isn't enough to live on, but if just one of those books begins to sell, it can add up quickly. DROP OUT is my second book that I'm putting out electronically, I have nine more that are already written and complete. Hopefully, by this time next year they will all be out and I'll be living at the beach in Key West, just like the main character in DROP OUT. Again, I highly recommend my cover artist Judy Bullard and my format guy, Chris O'Byrne. I am not a compensated endorser.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ready for new book release

Okay, so I finished the final of the final read for DROP OUT and I am excited to release it into the world. Truth be told, this is the book that my agent said he didn't want to try to sell because it was so out of my genre. But it is a story that I always wanted to tell about the impotance of living life to its fullest. My initial readers burst into tears at points while reading it, telling me how sad it was, but also how meaningful. I'm curious as to the repsonse it will get. I hope it strikes a nerve and goes viral. Don't we all hope that for our books? Anyway, the cover is on the blog and I'm getting ready to contact my format guy. Again, he does the whole package: assigns the ISBN, formats it to all ebook standards, and downloads them to the sites. All for $150.  All I have to do is promotion and marketing. Look for a huge campaign for DROP OUT coming soon.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My awesome new book cover!!!

Hope you all had a happy 4th of July. I'm officially announcing the new book cover for my latest novel, DROP OUT. It's right above. What does everyone think? Again, kuddos to my cover artist Judy Bullard. Next step is to send it off to my format guy who will give it an ISBN and send it to Kindle and Smashwords where it will become available globally. God, I love technology and the internet. AFTER has sold but not as well as I'd hoped. Of course, I'm still a novice at promotion so I'm hoping with a new tagline and summary I'll get more sales. Most of August will be spent marketing DROP OUT since I hope to have it live by August 1st. Here is a very brief preview of the summary-in-progress. Appreciate any comments.

A disfigured man living a fruitless existence after overcoming incredible personal tragedy meets a terminal, young woman who teaches him to savor life.

Neil D. Ostroff

What would you do if you lost everything in an instant? Nathan Cruz escaped the World Trade Center disaster and saved the lives of dozens of strangers, but the one life he could not save was that of his pregnant fiancĂ©. Tormented by survivor’s guilt and horribly scarred from the fire, Nathan runs away to the tropics and drops out of society, spending his days in limbo, existing without purpose.

When a powerful hurricane forces him from his solitary houseboat and into the home of Miriam Kanter, he must confront the demons of his past and find the strength to face an uncertain future. For more is at stake than he ever imagined. Miriam’s time is nearing its end. As her health rapidly declines, her zest for life inspires Nathan to forgive the past and live to the fullest. He is also falling in love. But will the storm cut short Miriam’s brave fight and plunge Nathan back into his world of meaningless isolation?
DROP OUT is a beautiful tapestry of life, love, and acceptance that is moving, romantic, and real. Available on Kindle and all other portable reading devices.