Announcing My Big Ghost Thief Black Friday Sale

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.

The Great Ghost Thief Giveaway

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

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

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?

I’m A Published Author – Introducing Ghost Thief

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.

The Journal – A Short Story

write.pngI’ve been hanging out on Reddit for awhile and stumbled upon a subreddit (a forum dedicated to a single topic for those of you who have ever been on Reddit) called Writing Prompts. Here, people will post simple ideas and other posters will run with it creating amazing short stories. Earlier this week, I posted the following premise:

You receive a mystery book in the mail. Every page begins “Today I will…”. You soon find that if you write something on the next blank page in the morning, it will happen by evening. One morning, you wake up to find someone has already written “die” on what was the next blank page.

I’ll admit, I didn’t get many responses.  Only two people replied and each kept their story around two or three sentences long.  I began to think of a short story to fit my premise and came up with the following short story. I’ll admit that I deviated from the description a bit, but I’m really happy with the result. I might have to write more of these short stories and post them.


The Journal

Andrew put down his pen next to the bottle of white-out. What had he just been doing again?

“Why did you do that?” Gerald asked.

Andrew stifled a laugh. Gerald’s voice always became high-pitched and squeaky when he was upset.

“What do you mean?”

“You wrote in my journal.”

Andrew looked at the book lying on the table. Each page began “Today I Will…” and Gerald had a habit of writing in the book first thing every morning. He wasn’t sure why Gerald kept this thing anyway. Maybe as a motivational tool? Andrew was always more of a take-life-as-it-happened sort of guy.

“Yeah, sorry about that. It seemed funnier in my head, but looks kind of lame actually written out.”

“Now this is going to come true.”

“Dude. It’s just a journal.”

“That’s just it. It’s not a normal journal. I got that months ago. It just arrived out of nowhere. Whatever I wrote in the journal in the morning happened by sunset that day.”

“You’re pulling my leg.”

“No, I’m serious. Remember three days ago when I won $100 in that Lotto drawing?”

“Yeah.”

“Look at the entry for that day.”

Andrew turned the page back. Sure enough, that entry read “Today I Will win the lottery.”

“Total coincidence,” Andrew scoffed.

“What about a week ago when Mary agreed to go on a date with me after months of rejections?”

Andrew turned a week back. Gerald had written “Today I Will get Mary to go out on a date with me.”

“You could have written this afterwards,” Andrew said.

“You’ve seen me writing in it every morning,” Gerald replied.

“Okay, let’s say I believe you. That’s just normal day-to-day stuff. Well, maybe the Mary thing was extraordinary but what I wrote just isn’t possible.”

“That’s what worries me. Who knows what will happen now.”

“Fine,” Andrew sighed. “I’ll just white it out and write something else.”

Andrew picked up the bottle of white-out and used it to erase the words “Get stuck in an infinite loop.” As he picked up his pen, Andrew felt a strange tug on him, as if his entire world were rewinding.

Andrew put down his pen next to the bottle of white-out. What had he just been doing again?

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