Monday, September 30, 2013

My nineteenth five-star review

I just checked Amazon and my novel, DROP OUT  just received its nineteenth five-star review. Since publishing the book last year I’ve received hundreds of emails from readers all over the world telling me how the book has affected their lives. DROP OUT has won numerous indie book awards and hit number twenty-one on Amazon’s romantic suspense best seller list back in July.

The book harbors a powerful message about the meaning of life and what lies beyond, and what’s really important in the grand scheme of the universe. Written after a dear friend was diagnosed and died quickly from cancer, I never expected the book would give so many people comfort and a new, refreshing outlook.

This latest review solidifies my belief that writing this book was a final gift from my friend and that his passing had meaning. Please check out the other five-star reviews and decide for yourself if DROP OUT could help you understand what’s important in life.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, September 29, 2013


Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Drop Out (Kindle Edition)

This author delivers a story that keeps the reader engaged from page one to the last page. His description of those first few hours after the first plane struck the Twin Towers brings the reader to the edge of oblivion and despair. None of us knows how or if we can survive unspeakable damage to our bodies and/or the very essence of our souls. This book will take you to the edge of despair with the main character Nathan. It is impossible for you to read this without facing and acknowledging your own fears and beliefs. One thing is certain, you will be forever changed.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

The new future

It used to be that an aspiring author would write a novel and then painstakingly send out SASE’s (remember them) hoping to land an agent. If the author did land an agent, then the author would hope for a publishing contract. If by miracle of miracles the agent actually sold the book, then eighteen months later it came out in the bookstore (remember those) and the author started doing a grueling schedule of signings hoping to recoup more money in sales than the advance received, thus making everyone involved a little dough.

The indie ebook revolution has changed all that. Sure, there are plenty of people publishing crappy books that are typed out in a few afternoons and then called a completed story. Some of these literary messes may even sell a few copies. But readers are wary of junk writers and thankfully Amazon allows samples to see how the book flows and if it hooks you.

My samples hook the reader and have them wanting to read more (I hope). Especially my novel, DROP OUT which just received its eighteenth five star review.   But just providing samples may not be enough to grab an audience. You still need a great cover and an even greater blurb to get noticed. And that’s just the beginning.

There are book trailers that need to be made and then uploaded to every video site on the internet (I have yet to make a trailer, but know I should). There is Pinterest, and Facebook, and Yahoo groups, and blogs to be written, and sites to upload samples and links. It takes a lot of time to get noticed as a writer these days. And therein lay the secret of success.

Writers quick to publish their amateurish works are usually people who want the instant gratification of saying they wrote a book without the months or years it takes to write a really good novel (with the exception a few genius writers). These same writers don’t have the tenacity and patience it takes to slowly build up a readership. These quick-to-publish writers will grow bored of the daunting process of getting their book noticed and eventually their books will fade from view. It’s almost like a natural selection (only the strong survive) for stories.

Bad books will be weeded out leaving the good. Readers may have to take a little more time finding the gems amidst the dirt instead of relying on large, faceless, publishing conglomerates to tell them what to read, but they will. The birth of indie publishing will change the very core of what a reader can expect in a book. Stories won’t be sweetened up, or toned down, or made politically correct to sell more copies. Good novels will become true works of art and writing will blossom to a new degree of freedom and creativity. Good books will rise to the top and get the attention they deserve. And we will all benefit from that.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Every day can be exciting

A writer’s life is like riding a rollercoaster. There are dizzying highs and terrifying lows. Some days are more productive on the creative end and some days on the marketing and promoting end. Today is a mixture of both.

On the creative end, I recently finished the third edit of my latest dystopian sci-fi. The book is about life on Earth fifty years after humans have driven off an invading alien force. The story includes hybrid human monsters, intelligent plants, and a machine that allows you to witness your own future death.  The book is due out in December

On the marketing and promoting end, I was a featured interview on Clancy Tucker’s worldwide blog. This blog reaches thousands in Europe and Australia. It’s a quick interview, with mostly snappy one sentence answers.

And to add to this already exciting day, I got another new five star review for DROP OUT  on Amazon. This one was from the United Kingdom, where I have sold a few thousand copies over the last two years.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
September 18, 2013
This review is from: Drop Out (Kindle Edition)
This is a really moving book, and you can really feel the emotional difficulties that Nathan is experiencing. I definitely recommend this book. Its a page turner, and the problems that Nathan encounters are real and kept me hooked.
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It seems today that I am at one of the high points along this rollercoaster ride of a life. Though I know there are dips ahead for me, for now, the view up here is pretty sweet.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Deep Thoughts

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 A 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.

Ebooks are forever. Think about this sentence for a moment. You write a novel, get it formatted, have a nice cover made up, get an ISBN, and then download it onto Kindle, or Smashwords, or any of the hundreds of ebook distributors, and it’s available globally to anyone with an ereader. Not only that, it will be available until the end of time.

Fifty years from now I’ll be able to show my great grandchild one of my books, all they’ll have to do is type in the title and poof, there it will be. Talk about immortalizing yourself for all eternity. Isn’t that what art is all about?

 I’m very lucky to be living in an age where I can imprint myself onto the world and be remembered forever through my books. I do feel a little sad for all the paperback writers throughout the last decades whose hard work and effort only got them a six-week shelf life for their masterpiece and then their book would disappear forever, going out of print and into the paper shredder.

With ebooks I may still be getting royalties when I’m a hundred years old, I can write and publish what I want and let the worldwide public decide if the book is good, without being evaluated for the amount of profit the story might generate. One of my novels, DROP OUT has sold more than 4,500 copies and has seventeen 5-star reviews. The public has decided.

My novels won’t sit stacked on some shelf in the back of a dusty old bookstore (if bookstores still exist in five years). They will always be fresh and ready for download, ready to draw a new reader into my imaginary, noir, eccentric, thought-provoking worlds. It’s an incredibly comforting thought knowing my stories will be around forever, like the myths of ancient Greece or fables and folklore of olden times. In a way, ebooks will immortalize me and define me as a novelist until the end of humanity.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Please read!

Now that another September 11th has passed, we can all heave a collective sigh of relief that there has not been another major terrorist attack on American soil in the last twelve years. That doesn’t mean that those who were affected by September 11th aren’t still suffering.

Please read the reviews for my novel DROP OUT ( ) and then decide if the book is worth reading. I’ve received hundreds of emails from people telling me how the book has affected them and bettered their lives. I truly believe the book will give the reader a new, more optimistic and refreshing outlook on life.

Here is another five star review placed just yesterday on the anniversary of one of the worse days in modern history. Again, please read the other numerous five-star reviews and then decide for yourself if the book will affect you. Thank you.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Drop Out, September 11, 2013

Amazon Verified Purchase (What's this?)

This review is from: Drop Out (Kindle Edition)

A fitting book to read today of all days, September 11th. If I could give it 10 stars I would. It is an amazing story of strength, bravery, determination to depression and self-loathing to acceptance and love. This book will lift your spirit to soaring heights.

Thank you Neil.

Take care and May God Bless,