Announcing My Big Ghost Thief Black Friday Sale

Posted by TechyDad on November 23, 2016 under Books, Stories, Writing

I’ll admit it. I’m not a big Black Friday fan. I don’t like getting up early and fighting crowds even if the deals seem good. Years ago, when stores first started “Cyber Monday”, that was more my speed. Recently, it seems that Cyber Monday has simply been rolled into an online version of Black Friday. Honestly, this makes more sense and I’ll happily visit my favorite sites to get a good deal.

This got me to thinking. I have something that I’m selling now. Why don’t I have my own Black Friday sale? Of course, I want to give people as much chance as possible to buy my book at the sale price so my “Black Friday” sale will go for eight days instead of lasting for just one.

From Friday, November 25th to Friday, December 2nd, the Kindle version of Defenders of Shadow and Light: Ghost Thief will cost only $1.99. This is a 60% savings off the normal price of $4.99. If you’ve been unsure whether you want to read this book, now’s your chance to get it for under two dollars.

Of course, I can’t sign Kindle copies, but if you want a signed paperback copy of Ghost Thief, you can enter either my Great Ghost Thief Giveaway or GayNYCDad’s giveaway to try to win a copy.

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The Great Ghost Thief Giveaway

Posted by TechyDad on November 14, 2016 under Books, Giveaway, Stories, Writing

defenders-of-shadow-light_fc_thumbnailYou might have heard that I’ve published a book – Defenders of Shadow and Light: Ghost Thief. It’s a tale about a thief named Murray Gastev. Murray’s just going about his day to day life “liberating” items in exchange for cash – as thieves often do – when he winds up getting fantastic abilities.

Murray finds that he can pass through walls and float about. There’s only one problem, though. He can’t really control his abilities. Alright two problems. He also can’t breathe while “ghosting.” Oh, and there’s the little issue of a “Dark One” who hunts and kills people with powers.
The story is the tale of how Murray meets up with other people who can help him use his powers and the great threat he encounters along the way.
Of course, this book is just the beginning. This is the start of a likely trilogy and I’ve already written one of many short stories based in the same universe. (The character in my short story is likely to appear in Book 2, so the short story can be her introduction.)

With as much enjoyment that I got from writing this book, it would be a shame if it sat on the virtual shelves of Amazon.com and nobody read it. So I’m trying to get the word out with a giveaway. I want to make this fun, so imagine that you inhabited the world of Ghost Thief and were granted special abilities. Given that people in this world don’t tend to put on colorful costumes and act like superheroes, what ability would you like to acquire and how would you use it? Perhaps you’d get super-speed so you could run into work – avoiding traffic and cutting your commute time down. Or maybe you’d like super-strength so you could vacuum behind the sofa with ease. Perhaps you’re a parent who would choose the ability to heal a person’s injuries and illnesses with a touch so that you could make your child feel better when they are ill.

Giveaway

One of my readers will win a signed copy of Defenders of Shadow and Light: Ghost Thief. To enter, follow the steps in the Rafflecopter widget below.

The contest starts today, November 14th and ends at midnight on December 19th. You must leave a valid e-mail address to enter so that I can contact you for your mailing address once the giveaway is over. Your e-mail address won’t be used for anything else – unless you sign up for my newsletter in which case it will be used to send you periodic updates. It will not be shared with anyone else. I will select the winner using Rafflecopter and contact you via e-mail. You will have 48 hours to claim the prize. If there is no response, another winner will be selected. Open to Continental U.S. residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Tough Task of Book Publicity – How Do You Sell Your Work?

Posted by TechyDad on November 7, 2016 under Books, Writing

Now that we’re back from our trip to Disney World (more on that in another blog post) and life is getting back to normal, it’s time to get serious about a little thing called book publicity.

Writing a book isn’t easy. It’s a lot of time and effort to plan it, write it, and edit it so that it’s ready for print. Many people might think that the hard work ends once the book is published. This could be true. I could easily just say “It’s published and done” and then move on to the next project. Unfortunately, if I do that, then few will know about my book and fewer will buy it. It’s not like I’m expecting my book to appear on the New York Times bestseller list. As nice as that would be, it’s not realistic at this point.

For people taking the standard book publishing route, there are various ways of promoting your work. You can go on a book signing tour across book stores throughout the country. You can appear on television programs to peddle your novel. You can even have your publishing house’s publicist pushing your book using all of their marketing experience.

On the other hand, when you’re self published, like I am, you don’t have a big publishing company’s resources to back you up. Instead, you need to put effort into getting the word out yourself. One big method of publicity I’m going to rely on is social media. That essentially means that I’ll be relying on people on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks to help get the word out. There are also other methods such as giving away signed copies (hint, hint… check back here soon). I’ve also sent review copies to some bloggers so they can post their own reviews and giveaways. (If you’d like a review copy, just let me know.) Finally, I’m in the process of contacting local newspapers.

Hopefully, all of this will help spread the word. Of course, I’m open to suggestions. If you’ve published a book before, how have you publicized it? If you’ve never published a book before, what would you recommend to let everyone know about it?

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I’m A Published Author – Introducing Ghost Thief

Posted by TechyDad on October 6, 2016 under Books, Writing

As you might have gathered from my many posts on the subject, I’ve been working on a novel for quite awhile. On Saturday, I decided to take the plunge and made the book available worldwide. This has been seven and a half months in the making and I couldn’t be happier to present Defenders of Shadow and Light: Ghost Thief (or Ghost Thief for short). This is the first book in a series I’m working on.

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Right now, I’m thinking that this is going to be a trilogy, but then again I thought that this book was going to be a short story at first and it certainly didn’t stay that way.

After making the book live, I ordered a bunch of copies. When they arrived, I decided I needed to make an unboxing video. In my excitement to see my published books, I shot the video portrait instead of landscape. I know, I know. Cardinal video filming sin. In my defense, though, I was really, REALLY excited!

After the opening, I fulfilled a promise I made to JSL. I took the first copy (the one you see me flipping through in the video), signed it, and gave it to JSL. He was so happy, he practically jumped through the house. It was bedtime and he wanted to sleep with it, but I convinced him that his bookshelf was a better place for it. (Still, he insisted on finding a special place on the bookshelf.)

At this point, my focus shifts from author to salesman. Publishing the book is the easy part. Selling the book is much harder. After all, my book joins the approximately 800,000 books that are published each year in the US. That’s essentially one book every 39 seconds. So I have to fight hard not to get lost in the mix. To make matters harder, I’m not great at self-promotion. I can build a wonderful web application or write a 65,000+ word book, but ask me to tell everyone how great my works are and I suddenly don’t know what to say.

I’m also going to host a giveaway for a signed copy of my book (starting next month – stay tuned). I’ve put out a few feelers about doing reviews. If you’ve got a blog and would like to review a copy, let me know. Just click the “Contact Me” e-mail icon at the top of the page. Be sure to include your blog name and URL.

You can read more information on my book over at my book’s website: GhostThiefNovel.com. You can also purchase my novel on Amazon in Kindle ($4.99) or Paperback ($8.99) formats.

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Speed Reading

Posted by TechyDad on September 21, 2015 under Books, Reading

speed-readingI have a bit of a book problem.

When we were preparing to go on our cruise, one of the things we packed were some books to read.  I pictured leisurely days spent sitting by the pool with nothing to do but read and that worried me.  However, it didn’t worry me because I hate reading.  In fact, I love it.  To me, there is almost nothing better than losing yourself in a good book.  I have this knack for sort of melting into the book.  The entire world around me dissolves, I can’t hear anything else, and all that exists is the book.  No, what worried me was running out of reading material.

You see, I’m a quick reader.  When I’m reading something that I like, I tear through it.  When I was in school, we’d be assigned to read chapters 1 – 5 and I’d read the entire 20 chapter book.  Then, I’d have to try to remember what happened in the first five chapters so I didn’t answer questions using knowledge from chapter 9.  Often, I’d just re-read it a second time and a third time until the class caught up with me.  I’ve been known to devour whole books in a day’s time so the idea of seven days of reading time meant possibly needing a dozen books, not one or two.

The first book I chose was Nobody Gets The Girl by James Maxey.  The second one was the first book in the Percy Jackson series.  My oldest son had been reading this series and loved it.  I’ve long been a fan of Greek mythology so a series that seemed like “Harry Potter Meets Greek Myths” seemed perfect.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get much reading time during the cruise.  There was just too much to do during the cruise to sit around reading a book.  On the bus ride back, though, I poured through Nobody Gets The Girl and finished before the bus arrived at our stop.  Nearly an entire book read in about 3 hours’ time.

During Rosh Hashanah, I had some down time and was feeling bored.  I decided to read something and settled on the first Percy Jackson book.  I poured through half of it quickly and finished it up a couple of days later.  On Friday, I began book 2 and finished that up before Saturday was over.  Book 3 was a problem, though.  That’s the book my son is currently reading.  He takes that book to school to read during free times.  I didn’t want to take his copy from him or have him possibly lose my spot in the book.  B suggested taking the Kindle version out.

If you didn’t know, many libraries have deals with Amazon.  You can take Kindle versions of books out from the library and read them on your Kindle devices (or any device with the Kindle app – which is pretty much any device) as if you bought it.  The only difference is that the rented Kindle books automatically remove themselves when the book is due.  It can be quite convenient over repeated trips to the library.

B took out Book 3 and I began it on Sunday morning.  Soon, I had overtaken where NHL had read up to.  Not long after that, I finished the book.  I grabbed NHL’s physical copy of Book 4 but reading it was slow going.  There are times when I prefer physical books and times when I prefer eBooks.  This time, the eBooks just felt better to me.  B took Book 4 out of the library and asked me if she should take Book 5 out as well while she was at it.  I told her not to because Book 4 would probably take me awhile with work coming up soon.

How wrong I was.

As I write this (on Sunday night), I just read the last words on the last page of Book 4 in the Percy Jackson series.  That’s right, I’ve read 2 books in one day.  The next book is the last one in this series, but then there are five more books in a related series written by the same author.  I have a feeling that, by the time this week is done, I’ll be midway through that series.

As far as my boys go, JSL is just like me.  After a shaky start where he didn’t like reading, he has taken to reading like a son of Poseidon to water.  (Sorry, I couldn’t help putting in a Percy Jackson reference there.)  JSL rips through book series after book series.  He will complain if we go on even the shortest of car rides without a book for him to read.

NHL, on the other hand, varies when it comes to reading.  He’ll complain a lot if we tell him to read over playing video games or watching TV.  However, if there’s a book he’s interested in, he’ll rip through the entire thing at a speed that makes me proud while understanding the entire thing.  (Reading speed means nothing if there’s no comprehension to go along with it.)  I just hope that his love of reading flourishes more as he grows.

As a geek, I’ll admit to loving video entertainment.  I’ll dutifully await the next episode of a beloved television series, will stand in line for a move that I’ve been looking forward to, and will play way too many hours of video games when I have the chance.  However, my enjoyment of all of those pales in comparison to the joy I get when I open a new book, get hooked by the writing, and feel myself being pulled into the story until I look up and realize I’ve read half the book and hours have passed.  There’s just something magical about books.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to tear through the final book in the Percy Jackson series.

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