Monday, August 26, 2013


August has been a rough month for my creativity and output. It seems that every day there’s another distraction that keeps me from my craft. There are family obligations, work obligations, friend obligations, and now dog obligations.

Yup, just got a dog the other day. He’s a rescue dog from a shelter, so I feel like I’ve saved a life. How does a serious writer such as myself go about picking the right dog? Well, first of all it had to be an older dog. Training and disciplining puppies can takes weeks away from my everyday schedule of morning writing and marketing in the afternoon. It had to be a quiet dog, for obvious reasons. It had to be housebroken, for obvious reasons. And it had to be gentle and sweet, for obvious reasons.

With a little luck and a lot of research, I welcomed Freddie the puggle into my home. As I sit here writing this post, Freddie is lounged-out in front of my office door bathing in the golden sunlight coming through the glass. He is a good, quiet, gentle writer’s dog. As I watch him twitch and quiver with dreams, I can only imagine, as years go by, how many novels I will write with Freddie at my side. Perhaps, he may even inspire one or two. Good boy, Freddi. Good boy.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Yes, marketing works!

I’ve been reading a lot of threads and forums lately dealing with the topic of marketing your book. It seems there are a lot of “newbies” out there in this relatively virgin explosion of indie publishing and many can’t understand why their book isn’t selling. When asked if they market and promote their books most say yes, but complain that they have limited time, maybe a few hours a week.

These authors wonder why they have little or no sales. Well, here’s a hard truth. To be a successful indie author you have to market your books as much if not more than you spend time writing them. It takes a lot of work to get noticed in a publishing sea that now includes a million new published books yearly. Competition to get readers’ attention is ten times harder than it was just three years ago. But it is not impossible.

With the internet, the exhaustive task of promoting is now accessible to even the most introverted writer. No longer must writers sit in nearly empty bookstores peddling their signed wares or go out on long book tours just to get a little recognition, that recognition can now be achieved at home. It can be done. You can get noticed. But it ain’t easy.

Internet marketing does sell books. I’m living proof. A complete unknown two years ago, since then I’ve sold thousands of books to absolute strangers. I also spend an average of two hours a day marketing. It’s tough to find the time, believe me, but I do it. I used to pay for sponsorships with mediocre results and placed samples of my books on all those hundreds of author sites that promise tons of exposure. They worked to some degree, but not worth the hours of drudgery downloading in comparison to sales. Then I discovered the secret to gaining an audience.

Blindly spamming and pushing your book over and over on social media only turns readers off. You come off seeming desperate for anyone to buy your book. The proper way to promote is to build a readership through online book discussions and joining groups. Respond when a reader emails you. Get involved in discussions other than about your own work. Get people interested in you by being interesting online. Your audience will grow in time. It will! Yes, marketing on the internet will sell your book, but you have to do it properly. And have patience, if you can tell a great story the readers will find out about you.

To read more about me and my books please check out my blog: ALWAYS WRITING 

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Another 5-star!

DROP OUT’s revised second edition is really having an affect. Here’s another 5-star review on Amazon. This review is also on Goodreads. Check it out!

5.0 out of 5 stars Finished it yesterday and still reeling... August 19, 2013

Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)

This review is from: Drop Out (Kindle Edition)

Wow! My literature professors always said that a novel is praiseworthy if it inspires in the reader strong emotions, and Neil Ostroff's Drop Out certainly does that. I was, in turn, scared, horrified, revolted, depressed and warmed by this graphically depicted novel of disaster, tragedy, death and rebirth. Drop Out opens with haunting, pictorial scenes from the World Trade Center bombing where our hero barely escapes the horrors of inexpressible gore and death, loses all his friends and family, and is left not only jaded and guilt-ridden but unrecognizably disfigured to resume his lonely life. He subsequently battles a vividly and realistically portrayed hurricane off the coast of Key West to meet a dying woman, whose innovating love and spirit reminds him that happiness isn't only for the beautiful or carefree, and ultimately cures his irremediable depression. In this alarming novel, I confronted fear, revulsion, depression, loneliness, and mortality right along with the hero.

Elly Michaels
Author: For Love of a Cause

Friday, August 16, 2013

Even more powerful read

To date, DROP OUT has sold more than 4,500 copies. The book has gotten thirteen 5-star reviews and was Indie Book of the Day last summer. Kindle Nation Daily called it “the sleeper hit of the year” and Kindle Fire Department called it, “riveting, touching, and deeply heartwarming, a book that will stay with you forever”.

I’ve received hundreds of emails from readers telling me how the book has affected them and changed their lives. I’ve also received emails telling me some of the book’s details of the 9/11 tragedy are a little off. Emails from readers that were actually in the buildings have written giving me pointers on what it was really like. I’ve collected these notes and have incorporated them into the second edition of DROP OUT, due to be released in a few days.

These changes have strengthened the story and give an even clearer and more horrific picture of the aftermath of 9/11 and I believe takes the book to a new level of powerful, emotional action. I think readers will agree.

I could not have made the second edition possible without the support of Chris O’Byrne of Jetlaunch  . I highly recommend Chris and his services to any writer wishing to have their book professionally published. Chris has worked on all nine of my available books and done a fantastic job publishing each one to all the major retailers. He has continually provided excellent service and support long after I’ve paid him. He goes above and beyond for his clients and has made changes for me at no extra cost, time and time again. I get no referral fees for recommending him, I only want other writers to know who I have found to be the best in the business at indie publishing books.

Thanks Chris, you’ve come through for me once again.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Making it happen

Ever since Ereader news today sponsored DROP OUT and it went to #22 in romantic suspense, sales have remained steady in a good way. As I’ve always said, it takes a lot of extra hard work to keep the sales momentum going, but thanks to all the great reviews and word-of-mouth the book is getting the journey to the bestseller list is going easier. I had a feature written about me in my local hometown magazine and I’ve been doing a lot of blog interviews to add to my exposure. Here’s a link to my latest.

I’ve also been getting a lot of personal emails from people telling me how the book has affected them and literally change their outlooks on life. Nearly all my reviews from all over the world are five-star and my blog posts have been re-posted by others thousands of times. Here’s my latest review from Amazon U.K.
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6 Aug 2013
Format: Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
I thought the subject matter would be too gruelling and too sad to bear...and, in many ways it was. But it was handled in such a way that I didn't feel voyeuristic, as I expected. Instead, it felt like a story that ought to be told, and, in the end, I felt uplifted. The action scenes were so well written, it seemed incredible they could have been written by someone who had not lived through these things. There was intense pain and passion in this book as well as great compassion and understanding. Masterfully written.
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Other indie writers have written me telling me that I am wasting valuable writing time with all this marketing and promoting. They say my time would be better spent writing new books than doing all the things I do so small pockets of readers can get to know me. They say volume of material will get me my readers. I disagree.

It may take a thousand blog interviews and reviews before the mainstream gets to know my material, but they will get to know it. I’d rather have a huge, loyal fan base that took time (years) to build over nine books than a hundred published books that no one has read.