Archive for June, 2014

Well, it’s that time of the month again.

Obviously, I’m talking about the last gasp of a 28-, 30-, or 31- (okay, sometimes 29-) day chunk of time conveniently standardized by the good folks at Gregorian, Inc. lo these many years ago. June is preparing to become July, and I’m preparing to take a financial hit in exchange for a couple eleventh-hour sales before this sixth month of the year comes to a close. In that spirit, I’m offering a dollar off each of my offerings at Smashwords.

“Only a dollar?” you ask.

“Yes,” I say. “But a dollar equals 25%-33% off when you translate it into math and stuff.”

“My hero!”

Coupon codes and links below:

 

A WORLD GONE GRAY COMPLETED DESIGN200x300px Regular price $3.99. Use coupon code ZL78Q.

 

TransienceOriginal Regular price $2.99. Use coupon code YM84F.

 

LIKE LIFE ITSELF COMPLETED DESIGN200x300px Regular price $2.99. Use coupon code VC86J.

 

SIGNAL FIRE COMPLETED DESIGN_thumbnail Regular price $2.99. Use coupon code AB26F.

 

Since I’m a patriotic sort, all coupons are valid through July 4, 2014. That’s almost an entire week of savings! Enjoy.

 

TransienceOriginal

I decided late last week to make The Transience of Youth available through Smashwords (and Apple, Barnes & Noble, and the rest of the usual distribution-channel suspects). The vast majority of my sales have come via Amazon, so I entertained the thought of making Transience exclusive there and playing around with their promotional tools. And no, that isn’t some kind of sexual reference. Get your mind out of the gutter. Jeez.

Anyhoo, sanity eventually prevailed and I concluded that stocking the book on a bunch of virtual bookshelves and giving millions of theoretical readers the chance to peruse it at their leisure made more sense than leaving its fate in the hands of a KDP promotional system I have neither the time nor inclination to master. I know it’s only a 90-day commitment, but it’s also past midnight and I haven’t committed to what to eat for dinner. Procrastination, and such. But I digress (if not digest).

I guess what I’m trying to say is Transience is out there, but you may have to look for it. I’ve confirmed its existence at Smashwords, B&N, and iTunes/iBooks (I’m a lowly PC user, so your guess at linking to iTunes is as good as mine. But if you’re an Apple guy or gal, you shouldn’t have any problems finding it), which seem to be the most popular channels. Not sure what’s going on with Kobo — the novel I released in March isn’t there, let alone Transience. Sony and Diesel seem to be dead in the water. Ah, the brave “new” world of ebooks…

On a brighter note, I plan on producing some coupons this weekend at Smashwords and offering a buck off my stuff. So stay tuned. Then go forth and save!

 

A WORLD GONE GRAY COMPLETED DESIGN200x300pxLIKE LIFE ITSELF COMPLETED DESIGN200x300pxSIGNAL FIRE COMPLETED DESIGN_thumbnailTransienceOriginal

I really don’t put much thought into the timing of my…well…anything. When it comes to book releases, however, I try to make them coincide with something resembling sense. I released my debut novel, A World Gone Gray,  in mid-November 2013, just ahead of the Christmas feeding frenzy. Since it initially fared well, I released Like Life Itself a week or so later.  I published Signal Fire in March, hoping it might end up on some discerning reader’s post-Winter TBR list. Most recently, I released The Transience of Youth last week. It’s a Summer-y Rom-Com type of thing, and I thought a mid-June release might suit it.

Turns out I’m one-for-four. A World Gone Gray continues to be my most consistent seller. It’s outsold the rest of the bunch about five-to-one. Combined. Which raises the question: Why? Is it the cover? The description? The content? What makes five times as many readers choose AWGG over the rest of my humble offerings?

Here’s the honest answer: I have no friggin’ idea. AWGG is the first book I ever completed. It has its moments, I think, but it ain’t no Faulkner. It’s my baby and I’m oh-so-close to it, but I fail to see why it beasts the rest of my books. The Transience of Youth (working title: Summer. Ha!) is my Number Two novel. Signal Fire came third, and my yet-to-be-released political comedy is number the fourth. Ideally, a writer improves as time marches on; more experience yields better work, and all that. But it seems I blew my load (so to speak) way back in November of 2013. Again, why?

Again, I have no bloody idea. I write stuff, I upload it to the Interwebs, and stuff happens. After that, your guess is as good as mine. If anyone can elaborate, I’ll gladly give you $1 (American), and a high-five.

And since I’m a glutton for punishment, I’m releasing my political comedy, I Like Mike, in September or so, just ahead of the US mid-term elections. I’m sure that’ll work out just fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TransienceOriginal

Just in case you’re among the handful of Earth’s denizens who missed my “official” announcement on Twitter at 4:11 EDT Friday morning, here’s a a little more info:

The Transience of Youth is now available in ebook format for the Amazon Kindle. It consists of approximately 79,000 words, retails for $2.99 (US Dollars), and concerns the plight of one Steve Hansen. Here’s the description from the Amazon page (which I’ll probably obsessively edit over the course of the next month or so):

“Unlucky in both love and living arrangements, grad student and aspiring writer Steve Hansen retains a lawyer with questionable ethics and finagles his way into an idyllic senior community. His dreams of peace and quiet quickly evaporate, however, when he finds himself the target of a vengeful leasing agent, her maintenance crew minions, and the vast majority of his new neighbors.

Former Hollywood screenwriter and resident curmudgeon George Campbell takes pity on Steve, and the two become reluctant friends. The politically-incorrect octogenarian dispenses advice on women, dating, and life in general, and Steve repays George with cheap labor and companionship. Before long, Steve is wooing the woman of his dreams and learning valuable lessons about earning one’s keep in the world.

The Transience of Youth is a 79,000-word work of humorous romantic fiction. It contains a fair amount of profanity and crude language.”

So there it be.

And I’m serious about the profanity and crude language. It ain’t exactly Glengarry Glen Ross, but my characters are fiendishly familiar with the F-word. A completely unscientific study on my part yielded approximately 50 of the little buggers. So be warned: there’s crudeness ahoy. But at its core, Transience is a romantic novel. Boy eventually meets girl, they hit it off, they make love, they fight, they make love again. And maybe, just maybe, they end up together in the end.

So give it a chance. It’s good.

 

 

TransienceOriginal

Yeah, I never expected to see a couple making out on one of my book covers, either.

Anyone who’s familiar with my previous work knows I tend to gravitate toward the dark side in my writing. Not full-on Voltaire or Nietzsche dark, but I do have my reservations regarding the human race. As a full-blooded human being myself, I feel I’m qualified to comment on such things. But I digress. As per usual.

My timeline for the release of The Transience of Youth accelerated a couple days ago when I discovered the perfect cover for it at The Cover Collection. It just so happens that the male lead in my humble tome is a young man working at a Pick-a-Part-type automobile graveyard in a desolate region of California. He’s also pursuing a young woman (Sarah) who looks a whole lot like the one featured above. Also, cars and aging are major themes throughout the story. So I guess I’m trying to say the cover fits.

Hey, B.P. What’s your new book really about?

Glad you asked, kid. Glad you asked. The Transience of Youth concerns the trials and tribulations of aspiring writer Steven Hansen. It seems he’s been unlucky in both love and living arrangements for the vast majority of his life. In an attempt to change this, he exploits a loophole in California’s legal code and finagles his way into a 55+ senior community. Shunned at first (and targeted by the community’s vengeful leasing agent [and its landscaping crew]), Steve reluctantly befriends bitter octogenarian George, former big-time Hollywood screenwriter and current curmudgeon. With George and Sarah’s help, Steve eventually realizes he may not have quite earned the right to live in the idyllic home of his dreams.

Hey, B.P., when is The Transience of Youth going to be available?

If the Writing Gods deem it so, June 13th, 2014. Yes, I realize it’s a Friday and am aware of all the bad stuff associated with that date. That said, I hope Jason Voorhes buys a million copies.

 

 

 

A WORLD GONE GRAY COMPLETED DESIGN200x300pxSIGNAL FIRE COMPLETED DESIGN_thumbnailLIKE LIFE ITSELF COMPLETED DESIGN200x300px

My monthly AARs are starting to sound like broken records. Coincidentally, I broke a personal record in May by recording the fewest number of sales in a calender month since my foray into self-publishing began. On the plus side, I discovered a couple of sales from April via Apple (paid for in Australian Dollars!) that padded last month’s stats a little. So there’s hope yet.

Actually, I have a lot to look forward to as June continues. A full 40% of my May sales came during the last three days of the month. I’m not sure if that eleventh-hour surge had anything to do with the Smashwords coupon promotion I mentioned in a previous post, since all my known sales for May came from Amazon. However, the idea that folks could see a  tweet of mine, be intrigued enough to unleash their Google-fu, then decide to buy the Kindle copy of one of my books is pretty encouraging and humbling. As for the Smashwords promotion itself, I’m seeing about the same results I got last time — roughly 30 pageviews per tweet, regardless of the hashtag/trending topic I ride the coattails of. Again, I’ve seen a definite spike in free sample downloads, but no sales as of yet. But I’m crossing my fingers for some delayed sales through the ol’ Smashwords affiliates. There’s usually a healthy break between the time a sale’s made and when it’s reported.

Twitter. I still don’t have the complete hang of it, but it’s quickly becoming my go-to social media thing of choice. I try to avoid Spambot3000-ism by commenting on topics unrelated to writing; in my case, these topics include sports, music, movies, and comedy. Mostly sports. Hardly groundbreaking stuff, but I find I’m picking up followers whose main interests are (not surprisingly) sports, music, movies, and comedy. If they happen to be readers of post-apocalyptic, horror, and mainstream fiction, all the better. Diversity in your Twitter stream is always a good thing. Also, some of them folks happen to be really interesting people. I’ve attracted close to 800 followers so far (around 95% actual human people), which is awesome.

Going forward (to steal a corporate buzz-phrase I despise), my mid-year releases are looking like they may or may not happen. Sorry to be so ambiguous, but the odds of me finding the appropriate covers for the books for the appropriate price are looking more bleak every day. Still, the plan is for The Transience of Youth and I Like Mike to each be released by September.

As always, thanks to all who bought and/or read my books. See ya next month!