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So you can read my books

Monday, June 26, 2017

4 TIPS TO MAKE YOUR eBOOK STAND OUT



The immediacy and convenience of ebooks and digital content has had a marked impact on how people today read.

Authors are beginning to realize that they can publish freely and digitally distribute their work 

for nothing other than their time and a bit of their money.

Readers are beginning to realize that with an eReader, they have access to a small library of books in their purse or their backpack 

whenever they need something to do while waiting for any number of things.


BUT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF eAUTHORS ARE OUT THERE HAWKING THEIR BOOKS!  HOW DO YOU STAND OUT?


1.) BE MAGNETIC -


 

Daniel Craig, dressed in a tuxedo, walks into a crowded room of middle-aged, used car salesmen.  Who will draw your eye?

People do judge a book by its cover.  You have to catch the eye with mystery, danger and color.

A good cover can be a great marketing tool for an ebook. 

You want your cover to make someone scanning through a website, stop and click your ebook. 

You don’t want to be tacky or overbearing, but the cover should draw attention.

In the wide-open publishing world, a cover gives readers their first impression of what to expect from an author’s book. 

For now, the quality of a cover is a good indication of which authors have invested more time into their work than others. 

Did the cover for DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE's sequel, 

THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT (right sidebar) draw your eye?


2.) BE READER FRIENDLY -

The easier you make the purchasing step for your customers, the better. 

This can be done by making your ebook as visible as possible. 

Every time you mention your book or yourself online,

provide links to make it easy for people to find your content or more information about you. 

Let’s say you just put up a book trailer on youtube. 

That youtube page needs a link to your book’s webpage or blog and your blog needs a link to the video. 

This is called cross-linking


3.) THE THREE MUSKETEERS had a point -


The best marketing tactic is to write more than one good book.

Each new title will broaden your name recognition and generate more sales for all your previous ones.

That’s because many readers are “binge readers.”

They find an author they like, and they then seek out and scoop up every single title that the author has written previously.


{Only 99 cents! What a bargain, right?}
(The isolated Hollywood film crew for the first talking Western is hunted by Nightmare )

Every successful author out there agrees:

The single best “marketing tactic” that you can employ, by far, is to write and publish your next book.

In fact, many of them counsel that you shouldn’t even bother to begin doing any promotions until you’ve written and published at least three books.

Success in indie publishing is a marathon, not a sprint.

Each new book released will attract new fans, prompting them to go back and buy all the prior books in the series.

That’s how bestselling authors expand their audience over time, often geometrically.


(Again, only 99 cents!)
BURNT OFFERINGS 
{Find out what happens when the Nameless Ones catch McCord 
wounded and left for dead}


4.) WHAT'S THAT BURNING?  OH, IT'S YOUR BRAND -

Brand yourself and your book.

Carve out a narrow, distinctive “niche” in the book marketplace based on some catchy concept, theme, or image

that will appeal to your target readers, but simultaneously distinguish your work from all others in your genre.

As Alex Cavanaugh says of my linked books:

They exist in a common mythic universe is Lovecraftian in scope and design -- 

one minor character in one book becomes a major one in another.


The setting of a haunted jazz club in the French Quarter in New Orleans whose stories go back (so far to 1834) is unique. 

I flit from time period to time period sometimes even from one exotic locale to another.

McCord is a supernatural Paladin as Victor Standish is a paranormal KIM.

Bottom line: 

Find some catchy, distinctive concept that works for you.

Next, use your “brand” in everything you do to promote your work:

book covers, author photos, blog designs, promotional copy, business cards, etc.

That kind of focus and integration will guarantee that your “brand” will become uniquely identified with you,

making you and your work memorable for your target readers.

My header is done, as are many of my covers, by the incomparable Leonora Roy.

Their design is crafted by the artistic Heather McCorkle

When you see my book covers, you know at a glance it is from me.

So there you have some ideas.  I hope they were helpful.

SAMUEL McCORD's SAGA
in chronological order:
{Though each book stands on its own}

 1.) DRAGONS OF THE BARBARY COAST
 2.) RITES OF PASSAGE
 3.) ADRIFT IN THE TIME STREAM
 4.) TALES OF THE LAST WOLF
 5.) The NOT-SO-INNOCENTS ABROAD
 6.) The NOT-SO- INNOCENTS AT LARGE
 7.) DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE
 8.) THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT
 9.) HER BONES ARE IN THE BADLANDS
 10.) FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE
 11.) CREOLE KNIGHTS
 12.) HUNTER's MOON
 13.) BURNT OFFERINGS

VICTOR STANDISH 
in order:

 1.) THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH
 2.) UNDER A VOODOO MOON
 3.) THE RIVAL
       Much of the action occurs in 1834 New Orleans

*) END OF DAYS
      Victor is a "soul echo" in this, and the tale is narrated by his ghoul friend, Alice Wentworth -- and has all my major heroes in it.

 4.) THE THREE SPIRIT KNIGHT

Go to 6:34 for the meat of this video

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Why Should You Watch WYNONNA EARP?



1.) I LIKE IT

Hey, you wouldn't be reading my blog if you didn't like the way I look at life and the way I write.

The series is witty, sassy, and fun.

And fun is in short supply these days.


2.) WYNONNA HAS YOUR KIND OF LUCK





What if you possessed the only gun that could kill the demons trying to kill you and your beloved kid sister ...

and you couldn't shoot straight?


Wynonna is the great-great granddaughter of Wyatt Earp, 

the lawman whose descendants are cursed to face all 77 of the outlaws he killed, returned from Hell, 

upon their 27th birthday.

And you thought your last birthday sucked!


3.) YOU WILL LAUGH OUT LOUD


All her life, Wynonna has been scorned and treated shabbily, 

so she has developed a wicked wit and false bravado to face the world of frowns.

Turn to any episode, 

and you will notice the crisp, funny dialogue by the laughter in the room ... yours.

Struggling with a local who turns out to be a demon in disguise, Wynonna smirks, 

"You're dumb. You're ugly.  You sure we haven't dated?"


4.) THE SISTERS STEAL THE SHOW AND YOUR HEART





Though Wynonna's return to her hometown of Purgatory 

( think Firefly mixed with Supernatural )

strikes sparks from her kid sister, the two soon learn to lean on the strengths and love of the other.

And they are fun and funny together.



5.) THE SHOW PUTS THE CHOSEN ONE TROPE ON ITS EAR



Wynonna Earp, the only one who can use the gun to dispatch 77 demons out to kill two sisters 

and then go out to devour the rest of the world.

The Chosen One, right?

Ah, no.  

Wynonna is broken.  Think frisky, whiskey, risky.


Wynonna is played beautifully by Melanie Scrofano 

who is able to infuse the character with heart and pathos 

while still making her hilarious and a total badass.

It becomes quickly clear that the kid sister, Waverly, is better suited to save the day 

while being unable to use the gun.

The brains of the operation is Wynonna's little sister, Waverly, played to pixie perfection by

Dominique Provost-Chalkley

a whip-smart, firecracker of a woman who would really like it if you would stop underestimating her now.

She may be small but she be fierce, and while she may not be the Earp heir, it's her family curse too. 


6.) IT'S FROZEN MEETS BUFFY

 That's how the show's creator, Emily Andras, pitched it to the SYFY network.


 The overarching theme of the series is the relationship between the two sisters, 

one who happens to have a kind of magic power, 

as they learn to rely on the strength of the other, coming together as a family.

 It has a distinct visual style, which is helped a lot by the fact 

that it is filmed in many real locations in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 


7.) RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ADULTS DONE REALISTICALLY

No phony love triangles between Wynonna, her boss, and Doc Holliday: 

A bruised woman drawn to two broken men who find themselves wanting to be better than they are.



Forever feeling misunderstood Waverly finds love where she least expects it in Officer Nicole Haught (Katherine Barrell).


Don't cringe, guys, the two actresses do a wonderful job portraying this story-line in a way that feels authentic and nuanced.


 Wynonna Earp might be a supernatural Western with lots of action, but it also has a big heart. 

This is down to Andras and her team of writers. 

They have managed to make characters who not only seem realistic, 

but who are also people that you really care about. 

This is especially true of the show’s female characters. 

Andras just understands how to write believable, well-rounded female characters.


8.) A SOUNDTRACK THAT ROCKS


Right from the opening credits you can already tell Wynonna Earp is going to rock. 

The show begins with a splashy credit sequence set to Jill Scott’s “Tell that Devil” 

which captures its girl-powered-supernatural-element-fighting nature. 

It’s a distinctly contemporary song that still manages to fit in with the overall Western feeling. 

The whole first season features an eclectic mix of new and old folk, rock, and indie music 

from familiar bands such as Civil Twilight and lesser-known singers like Jeen. 


AND LASTLY, I HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE HUMOR:



What are you waiting for?

The first season is on Netflix.  What?  You still staring at this screen and not your TV screen?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bridges_WEP post






I look about at the world.  It seems this Age's Day has slipped into Night.

And that Night is dark with more than the drowning of the sun into the horizon, 

the fires long out, and the reason why is the only doubt. 

I try to remember the boy I once was.  

Would he approve of the man I've become, 

the choices I made, what little I learned from the past? 

The past … where the road behind is clear but the bridge is closed … 

where you learned to dance, but now the music slows.


The road ahead is unclear, 

and the toll to the nearing bridge, born of our choices, some wise, most utterly unwise, 

may be more than we will be able to pay.

We are in blistering summer, but Autumn lies ahead for all of us ... and the world.

Yet, Autumn is my favorite time of year.

Still,  this may well be the last Autumn for so many of us.



Autumn's very air fills our noses and lungs with the tang and wrinkling of leaf bonfires, 

of ripened apples making the heavy branches hang their heads as if in mourning for ice storms to come. 

Can you hear the leathery flutter of pheasant wings, the still happy liquid singing of a meandering stream, and the sad lament of a sparrow facing hunger?  

The red and gold of Autumn murmurs of happier times as I tramped lonely hills and haunted forests.   

And a peace fills me.  

The peace which is the reward of completing the long gauntlet of summer.  

 The quiet dark that precedes the winter of the soul which lurks just around the next bend towards the next bridge.   

A time for binding recent wounds and old -- and forgetting them, along with the misfortunes that brought them. 

May the bridge that lies before each of you 
have a tolerable toll and 
lead to a future that blesses 
more than damns. 

 Tropical Storm Cindy flooded my car on the way home
yesterday evening.

No car.  No job.

So I guess you could say my bridge 
has washed out.


l

Monday, June 19, 2017

DOES THE MEDIA KNOW NO SHAME?



From VARIETY to the BOSTON GLOBE to CNN

media outlets scrambled over one another yesterday, 

blaring the results of Carrie Fisher's autopsy report months after the actress' death ...

even though the family wanted some semblance of respect and courtesy paid to Carrie.

Did the world need to know this?

The poor woman is dead.  Let her rest in peace.

There is a game show host in the White House,

the senate is trying to kick 24 million people off healthcare 

and this is what makes the news? 





Then, there is Megyn Kelly giving air time to Alex Jones, a “conspiracy-spewing” radio host, 

whose claim that no children were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary

is especially troubling since she hosts the Promise Champions Gala

an annual event for the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation,

 a nonprofit gun violence prevention group founded 

by family members of some of the Sandy Hook shooting victims.

Giving air time to such a borderline personality only gives him legitimacy.

What was Megyn Kelly thinking?  

Of ratings, of course.



What recent media headlines have troubled you?