Friday, November 30, 2012

The Fire Department: Drop Out: Kindle Book of the Day 11/30

The Fire Department: Drop Out: Kindle Book of the Day 11/30: Drop Out is a beautiful tapestry of life, love, and acceptance that is moving, romantic, and real. In Neil Ostroff 's stirring short novel,...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Absolute fun!

I’m at the absolute most fun time in the novel writing process for me. The plot of IMAGINATION is complete and tight and coherent. The characters have all been fleshed out and the settings are all detailed. Now, I spend the next few days reading fast and tweaking the tiniest details. Once that is complete I give one final, very quick read and send it off to my editor/formatter. I just contacted my cover artist and we are about to begin the process of designing a cover. I have a tagline for the book and now just need a pitch. I’ll be working on that next week. If everything works out the book should be available nationwide by Christmas. Then I’m going to take a few months break, maybe rewrite my previous novel WASTED, but mostly concentrate on marketing and promoting. Up until the last two months my sales were steadily increasing every week and I was getting a lot of attention on blogs and writer’s sites, but ever since I became “obsessed” with finishing my latest book, my sales have dropped for the others. I must admit it is hard to see the numbers go down, but alas, I know that it is my own fault for not keeping up with the level of self-promotion that I had maintained the last eighteen months. It’s always tough as a writer to juggle the joy of creating with the drudgery of promoting. Don’t get me wrong, some people love the limelight and all the attention thrown upon them when promoting. I personally like nothing better than curling up in front of my computer on a day when Mother Nature intended for us to stay indoors and live in the worlds I create in my mind. But that’s just me.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I’ve been reading a lot of threads lately about Amazon and Kindle and how Amazon is changing the algorithms to promote books that are more expensive. It makes good business sense if you think about it. You need to sell five ninety-nine cent books or just one five dollar book. If you put equal amount of promotion into each book, naturally the five dollar book will make more money if both books benefit equally from the same amount of promotion. Make sense? There is also the ‘perceived value’ aspect of book buying. People will eagerly download free books because, well, they’re free. It doesn’t matter if they’re terrible. But I think people who download a ninety-nine cent book opposed to a five dollar book will have the preconceived notion that the five dollar book will be better and the ninety-nine cent book may have some flaws. So, on January 1st 2013 I will be raising the price of my books to $2.99 each. I believe my novels are worth the price since they’ve all been through the ringer professionally, gotten great reviews, and have been edited by some of the best in the business. Check out the free sample chapters on Amazon. Also, a great free promo service called Indie Spotlight if featuring DROP OUT today as its book of the day. If you’re an author and would like your book spotlighted you should send Ricki (the webmaster) an email. Here’s the link to mine:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

It’s here, the day when the crazy people of the world jam into stores and fight for the best bargains. Personally, I avoid that mess at all costs. That doesn’t mean black Friday doesn’t have an impact on me, it does. But from a writer’s point of view. As I mentioned in my last post, the ads for Kindles and Nooks are out of control. The ebook marketplace is definitely gaining steam and soon ereaders will be as common as cell phones. Because I believe black Friday does influence people to shop I will be spending the day marketing and promoting my books. I tried to get a sponsorship for today, but naturally there was none to be had. All writer’s web site ad space has long been snatched up. I have a book sponsorship for DROP OUT coming up on Nov. 30th  with Kindle Fire but that’s about as close as I could get. My assumption is that most new ebook owners will want to check out the websites associated with them and want to see what kinds of books are available. Since most people are off of work today it is a perfect time to make a greater presence in cyberspace. So, with a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers in front of me I embark on my promotional madness.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Holidays are coming!

I’m just amazed at the number of Kindle and Nook ads that I’m seeing on television. It seems just the other day that people were scorning ebooks as a fad that would never take off. Well, guess what? People were wrong. Kindles and Nooks are selling by the millions now. I foresee a near future where paperback books, like music CD’s and large boomboxes, will be an oddity, a relic from the past. Now, I’m not talking about coffee table books and photography books, and the book as a work of art. I’m talking about commercial fiction novels; the stuff I write. Every time a new ereader ad comes on television I smile, not because the world is turning to ebooks and I’ve got my ninth coming out in a few weeks, but because this new revolution in publishing is allowing talented introverts (like me) to write what we want in peace and without worry about the marketplace. If the story is good it will find its niche. Making a living as an indie author is a slow go and there are literally thousands more books available than ever before. The big-time publishing process is slowly eroding, but the new ebook revolution gives renewed hope to those writers who would never have endured the long, arduous road it used to take to publish a commercial novel in a major publishing house, only to have the book available for six to eight weeks and then disappear forever. So bring on the holidays, and new book buyers, and indie writers with stories to tell. Bring on the holiday travel (ugh!) and all that mess. And be sure to bring along an ereader to pass the time. And perhaps, check out what I write.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

In a year

I’ve been working feverishly lately trying to finish IMAGINATION by November 30th, but alas, it doesn’t appear that is going to happen (I’m about a month from completion). Between the damage from Superstorm Sandy and my wife’s cancer, my priorities have changed a bit. Had I finished the book on time it would have been a year to the day that I wrote the first sentence. When I first conceive of the plot of IMAGINATION (What if everything we perceive, all that we experience, is just a figment of someone else’s imagination? And what if that someone is dying?) I had wanted to start it the first week of January 2012, but the call of the story was too great and I started it a month early. Now, nearly twelve months later, I’m doing the final edit and the story is complete. I’ve discovered that a lot can happen in real life in the time it takes to write a novel. A lot has changed in my life since I started the book and a lot has changed in my writing career since then. Last year I was selling a few dozen books a month and now that number has grown substantially, though my sales have dropped off lately because I’ve been spending more time finishing the new novel than I have marketing and promoting my others. I know I’ve missed a few great opportunities because I’ve wanted to write original material rather than sell my existing stuff. But sometimes, that’s just how it goes when you’re an artist. As I’ve mentioned, I do have three holiday promotions coming up on Kindle Nation Daily and Kindle Fire Department. Hopefully, that will get some buzz going again. I plan on a six-month promotion blitz when IMAGINATION is complete and have begun to budget for a slew of ads. Watch for them in the future.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Changing the description

When you buy a book especially on the internet, what do you look for? Is it the cover that attracts you? The reviews? The description? The key to selling books is to have all three of these as plus’s. A good cover, good unbiased reviews, and a blurb that makes people want to look at the book. With ebooks, a consumer can’t take it off the shelf and feel its texture, skim through the pages, get a sense of the thickness and how long it will take to read. They must rely on the free sample pages and all the other fluff on the webpage to make their decision. Now, for me, there’s one book in my collection that just isn’t measuring up in sales as my others. That book is DEGENERATES. I know DEGENERATES is a book that will appeal mostly to guys and that seventy percent of readers are woman, so I knew I had that going against me, and the cover is a little grisly. But the reviews I’ve gotten both on Amazon and on various other sites have all been favorable. So, why isn’t it selling like I want? I’ve come to the conclusion that my blurb isn’t as good as it should be. It doesn’t compel you to want to read the book; it doesn’t spark curiosity. So, I’ve decided to change it. Simplify it. Cut the essence of the book down to its bare bones. Now, it may take several weeks for the new blurb to appear on book sites, so it may be a while before I can report if there has been a change in sales. But, I will. Here’s the new blurb, we’ll see how it does.

DEGENERATES - Beware dark alleyways and deserted streets at night. Don't talk to the handsome stranger sitting alone at the bar. Keep your children close if they play in the park. But especially watch out for City Café, that's where the degenerates are.