Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cesar predicts tips for self-publishing

by Cesar Nostradamus

A collection of brand new Prophecies about the world, about the world's economy, about disasters and wars, about terrorist attacks and about survival itself

In this book Cesar takes prophecies to the next level.  In the year where everyone will be hearing once again all about Nostradamus, a year in which the Galactic alignment will occur on the 21st of December, comes a Fantastic book which is sure to broaden the imagination of those who believe in prophecies

Top Five tips for Self-Publishing

Tip One: I think the first step for any self-publishing writer would be to get pre-publication reviews, but make sure to send yourself a copy of your book by registered post first to give yourself some protection.  The reviews will serve two purposes, the first to give you feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of your book, secondly as a source for using blurbs on the back cover of your book.  There are various places to pick up reviews, you can pay for some ($20-50each) or you may get people in your social networks to help you out.

Tip Two: Depending on how your reviews go, you may decide to find an editor to have a look over your book to make suggestions on improvements.  Editors can be very helpful and are used on all non-self-published books.  You can find editors advertising their services on Linkedin and other sites that have author resources, but I would suggest that you always check out references before you hand over any money.

Tip Three: There is a little thing I like to do when working on book designs, going to the local book shops to see how the professionals do it.  Looking at the artwork on the front covers of books in the genre that you are wanting to publish, look for inspiration in the styles and apply it to your story.  Then look at the review blurbs placement and decided about your own, even take a moment to look at interior fonts.  The wrong interior fonts can make a book hard to read.  So this part is about making your book look great and ensuring that it is readable.  These things will pay off later.

Tip Four: Getting the right image for your cover is essential.  I would suggest that you spend sometime on sites which sell rights for the use of photos, and download some that you like (don't pay for them yet).  Then using any design program, throw together a few samples of how the cover may look with the title on it etc.  You may find that some fonts and colours won't work with certain pictures.  Then once you've narrowed it down to your final choice, go back to the website and pay for the rights to use the photo.

Tip Five: You must allow yourself some sort of budget for advertising & marketing, do not make the mistake of getting your book published without a plan!  There are cheap ways and expensive ways to market your book, so do out a simple plan for yourself.  On a low budget I would recommend that you do a book launch giveaway on Goodreads for the book, this will give the book some attention before its available.  Follow it up with a Blog Tour to get your name out there, and another suggestion would be to get some bookmarks printed and drop them off at local bookstores and libraries.  On a higher budget you could pay for advertising in magazines or on the internet through Google or Facebook.  Whatever you do, make sure you do something!  Your book will not sell if you do nothing.

Author Bio:
Cesar has a very experienced background in the spiritual world. He was brought up in a Christian family, but branched out from that base as he got older, seeking answers about the world around him, and the spiritual world around him.  In his mid-twenties dramatic events occurred in his life which challenged his very existence, but he learned from these experienced and most of learned that how that life is not just in our own hands.  Now Cesar is a firm believer that everyone has their own path to walk in life, and part of that walk is all about the choices that you make. Some people choose a good life and some a wicked life, but most of us live the life in the middle, influenced by the world around us and our own upbringing, Cesar understands that life is simply not black and white.

Genre – Prophecies, religion
Release Date – January 13, 2012

Purchase Links:
First Edition

Special Edition


Sunday, January 29, 2012

From Fire Fighting to Book Writing with Jimmy Gordon

Dartboard -
by J.D. Gordon

1776: An English payroll ship loses sight of its convoy and wrecks on the shoals of a small, remote Caribbean island during a terrible storm, marooning its crew and a small group of soldiers. After rescuing the gold and burying it on the island, they are overrun by a tribe of cannibals, leaving the treasure hidden... Today: Jimmy Quigley, a small town cop, inherits a boat and a treasure map from his Uncle Jackson, a renowned world explorer. He hooks up with Evelyn Quinn, who also received a small inheritance from his uncle. He heads to the Caribbean with Evelyn and her friend, Kristin, and his friend, Rick, for some fun in the sun and a possible treasure hunt. When the boat is ransacked by thieves not once, but twice, Jimmy wonders if his uncle's warning to watch his back has more to it than he first thought. With his friends' safety and the fate of the Lorraine gold in mind, Jimmy heads off into the biggest adventure of his life...

Anyone can write? My story, from fighting to fires to writing books…..

When folks ask how I got into writing I like to tell them I just fell into it, literally. It was winter, Christmas time really and we had just had a very heavy snow. My wife was not my wife yet, in fact, I'm not even sure if we were engaged. My wife is a Michigan girl living in Chicago yet her family still resides on the lower peninsula of that state in a suburb of Detroit. I was on shift with the fire department and unable to leave with her for the visit. I planned to take the train out.

I mentioned the heavy snow and the whole Christmas deal, a dangerous match that day. It was slippery and I was laden with an unusual amount of items, not just clothing but gifts as well. Being the young macho firefighter I thought I was I skipped on a cart or anything else to ease the burden. I basically shoved it all into a duffle and tossed the thing over my shoulder.

Big mistake!

I needed to make a transfer from the local rail to regional at Ogilvie Station in downtown Chicago. My first step off the car was the near killer. My right leg slipped, I fell and just prior to that missed step was the last time I was able to stand unsupported for the next eight months. The workers at the train station had to call an ambulance to get me to the hospital. I was set up for surgery the next day. I would be off of work convalescing for quite some time.

A week or so after the procedure to patch the knee up my then wife to be took my butt to the firehouse just to say hello. I hobbled in on my crutches. During the visit my shift mates asked me how I planned to occupy myself during my time away. As if physical therapy wasn't enough? Though I had always been a very active reader or avid reader the thought of writing something beyond a fire department run report had never entered my mind. In fact, in high school I was the kid in the back of the class avoiding the teacher’s gaze. I did my homework on the bus rides to and from school. My book reports and term papers were all completed in study hall. I cringed when I came across test answers in essay rather than in multiple choice. It took me ten years to get through junior college.

Regardless, for some unknown reason, "I might write a book" popped out. Then the laughing began along with the taunts, and for good reason. During that time my only need for writing was professional and even then it was penning run reports and much wasn't expected. I wrote in all capital letters. As for punctuation I would occasionally throw a period in just for good measure. I didn't even own a computer at the time.

But my future wife did and we were living together. I saw the comments from my fellows as a challenge. I accepted the challenge. We returned home and we fired up the computer. My soon to be wife taught me how to use the Word program and the rest is history. I typed out my first book, used lower case and upper case letters and even made a point to add proper punctuation.

But the story continues.

I returned to the firehouse with that first novel under my belt.  I knew little about the publishing world, really nothing. I used my new found computer skills to search the Internet. My search was basic, how to publish your first book. Naturally one of the paid services popped up first. I clicked and ended up working with an outfit which called themselves 1stBooks Library. They are now called Authorhouse. My experience there is another story for another time.

I continued writing but honestly, the whole deal was really just a hobby. My gig in the fire service was top dog. I was enthralled with the new relationship in my life. I wrote a bit here and there when I had a little extra time but that was about it, almost forgotten after that first book. Then came the next mishap where my health is concerned, a fresh injury.

This one was a back injury which I sustained while extracting the victim of heart attack from a very tricky location. Did I mention I was a paramedic as well as a firefighter? If not, well, now I have. Anyway, to this day I’m not exactly sure what happened or what I did wrong but suddenly my right leg collapsed. I was able to walk but barely. I was sent off to the fire department's medical doctor. After a detailed examination including an MRI the Doctor found a herniated disk in my lower back. I spent the next year in therapy, surgery and then more therapy.

During that time away I wrote two books. I started to educate myself about the in's and out's of the world of literature. I built new relationships, some friendly and some professional. I started submitting to agents and publishers hoping to not pay for publishing after that first experience. If you recall I said earlier that was another story and not really a good one.

The day finally came when the therapy was over and I had healed up from the back surgery. I'm no medical doctor so I'm not exactly sure how these ratings which appraise one's condition to return to work are set but I was informed that I was living along a border. I could give returning a shot or I could pension off and retire. And with the writing moving along I had considered that pension. But, the fire service was still number one in my mind. I was feeling good, strong and able. I chose to return to duty.

Three months later a semi truck rolled over into a gas station. I was working with a tool used for extrication and felt a series of pops in my back. Then that old sensation or lack of sensation in right leg returned. That was it, I was done. I no longer had a choice and had to leave the service behind. I had five disk herniations on three disks and had inflamed scar tissue left behind by the previous injury.

So, I continued to write and during the time I've been out of the fire service. I've managed to secure a couple contracts with independent publishers. I'm now writing paranormal stories for middle school aged children and adventure stories for adults. I’m on the board of directors for the Chicago Writer’s Association. I’m a mentor in a teen writer’s program, I’m a panelist for Clive Cussler’s Adventure Writer’s Competition and finally, I was an instrumental part of getting my home town’s annual book festival going.

And where does this leave us? If I can make my way through these turbulent times as a writer, then anyone can. An acquaintance of mine, a fellow named Joe Konrath sums it up the best, what do you call a writer who has never given up?


Author Bio

Firefighter and paramedic-turned-author Jimmy (J.D.) Gordon was born and raised in Chicago where he developed a taste for the finer things that the Windy City has to offer - pan pizza, live blues and the Cubs.

Jimmy dropped into the world of literature, literally. After falling off a train and breaking his knee Jimmy had to spend quite a bit of time recuperating. While visiting the firehouse his peers asked what he planned to with all that time away. This when Jimmy said the words that he now claims to have changed his life. "I should write a book."

Despite some skepticism from his peers ("You don't even use punctuation on your run reports!"), he completed a novel, Island Bound, and made it a point to use punctuation throughout.

Another injury, sustained on the job, ended his career in the fire service. Aside from writing Gordon spends his Spring and Summer as an umpire for high school and youth baseball. He now lives with his wife and children in Glen Ellyn IL, a suburb of Chicago.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Getting the Skinny on BodyArt with Mark Greenawalt

Mark Greenawalt is a resident of Ahwatukee with his wife and children. During the day, he serves as a lighting designer and electrical engineer for high-end commercial facilities with a lighting design firm in Phoenix, Arizona. He has held Annual Art Exhibitions - Paper Heart Gallery, Alwun House Exotic Art Show, CopperCon Convention, LepreCon Convention, Phoenix Film Festival, Horror/Sci-Fi Film Festival, Face And Body Art International Convention, U.S. Bodypainting Competition. He has worked for Maxim, Playboy, Razor, Playtime, and worked on films Villikon Chronicles-Genesis of Evil, Romey and Jules. 

I will be interviewing Mark, LIVE on KWOD Blog Talk Radio on Tuesday, January 31st, starting at 6:00-7:00pm Arizona time, or MT. Come by and enjoy an evening with Mark, as he shares his world and his experiences in creating these masterpieces on flesh.

Check out more of Mark's works on his website: http://www.futureclassx.com/

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Seeing into your future with Emlyn Chand

by Emlyn Chand

Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.

Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to “see” the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

Book Teaser: Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still "see" things others can't. When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider.

Featured Article:

Today, I’d like to answer a question I’ve been getting a lot lately:  Say, Emlyn, why did you decide to self-publish Farsighted when you have a literary agent?
Excellent question, dear friends. Allow me to explain.

I actually sat down to blog about this yesterday, but instead of coming up with a succinct answer, I wrote this giant analogy comparing self-published authors to Salem witches. How much further off-topic can you get?

So anyway, let me explain my decision. About a year ago, I thought the only way to be a “real” writer was to land an agent and get a traditional publishing contract, which is what a lot of aspiring writers think. Then in December of last year, I started my blog and, more importantly, became addicted to Twitter. Within a couple of weeks, I amassed a pretty large following. Just like that.

A few months in, I realized I had a unique gift for social media and launched my book marketing business, Novel Publicity. One month after that, my business made enough to sustain me, and I was able to quit my lackluster day job. Since then, I’ve only been getting better at managing social media and using it to promote my clients’ books and my own blog.

My star client, Terri Giuliano Long, reached over 75,000 copies sold on her self-published manuscript because of all the work we put into marketing it. Success like this is practically unheard of, indie or not. What this showed me is that the publishing industry is not only changing – it’s changed. I’m not really sure there is any benefit to being traditionally published anymore, especially if you’re an author who has the know-how and financial/time resources to A) professionally edit your books, B) get a stellar cover designed, and C) market your work.

With all of that in mind, it didn’t really make sense for me to seek traditional publication for Farsighted. I don’t want to discount traditional publishing altogether, so I still will try to publish through my agent down the road (well, you know, maybe). But, a condition of my signing with him was that I get the Farsighted series as my own.

Another reason I’m all gaga for the self-pub world is because it’s what I preach through Novel Publicity. I spend all day trying to convince writers that the indie path can work for them. By choosing that route for myself, I am showing my belief in that statement; I am practicing what I preach.

The publication and marketing plan of Farsighted will also serve as a grand experiment. Since this is *my* book, I can go kind of crazy – not that I wasn’t already crazy to begin with, mind you. My goal is to run the “perfect book marketing campaign.” I’m using all of Novel Publicity’s services to get it up and running:  from cover design to editing to the actual marketing. I’m also bringing in other elements that I think will help get Farsighted out there (such as Pay-per-Click advertising).

I plan to blog about my journey as I go with absolute transparency. Yes, I am putting all of my eggs in one basket here, but that’s how much I believe in the ability for indie authors to succeed – so much so that I’m willing to risk my career as a writer and my career as a book marketer to prove this point.

I’ll let my indie brethren (and sisteren) know what’s worked for me and what hasn’t. If something works really well, I’ll break it down and tell others how to do it. We’ve got to stick together and support each other, am I right?

I ♥ the indie world dearly! Who knows, I may never need to go traditional.

Author Bio:

From an early age, Emlyn Chand has counted books among her best friends. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her affinity for the written word extends to absolutely every area of her life: she has written two-and-a-half novels, leads a classics book group with over three hundred members, and, of course, runs the whole shebang at Novel Publicity.

The book that changed Emlyn’s life is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson. It opened her eyes to the world that could exist if only she was willing to create it—a lesson she has never forgotten. While she enjoys all types of novels, her greatest loves are literary fiction and YA. Farsighted is her first novel.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Good Things Come...by Kat Jorgensen

Your Eight O'Clock is Dead
by Kat Jorgensen

Book Synopsis:
Becca Reynolds is having a bad day. Her grandfather’s lecture (#405: Eat a Healthy Diet or Die Not Trying) makes her late for her job at Daley and Palmer, the psychiatrists' office where she works as the office manager—her title, not theirs. Then her sausage and egg breakfast biscuit creates an oil slick that takes out half her desk, along with that day’s patient files. But she knows the day has taken a really bad turn when she discovers the firm’s eight o’clock patient dead with Dr. Dick Daley’s letter opener opening the patient instead of the mail.

With the fledgling firm in danger of an early demise, Becca appoints herself the unofficial investigator since the police seem to be looking in all the wrong places and doing a half-assed job of solving the crime. She begins a journey to find the killer, keep the practice afloat and with it, her job. In the course of her interfere—er, investigation—she finds a virtual cast of characters who could have done it, including the fancy side piece of the murder victim, his wife, his business partner, and even his psychiatrist.

The case takes Becca from the sordid depths of the Russian mob, to the upscale West End of Richmond, Virginia (known locally as River City), and even to her own backyard. In the course of the story she finds herself in hot water, hot danger, and with dreams of hot men.


Some Good Things Come From Rejections

Rejections.  If you’re a writer you know all about them.  I consider them part and parcel of the business.  But I still don’t like them. So why the title of this post?

After ten years of banging my head against the doors of traditional publishers and New York agents, I took the plunge and indie published the first book in my humorous mystery series, “Your Eight O’Clock Is Dead.”
Why?  Consistently, I received feedback from the publishers and agents that they loved the book.  Great!  But then came the proviso - with these economic times we’re not going to take a chance on an unknown.  Ouch! It was like the old to get a job you need experience, but to get experience you need a job.  Major Catch 22. 
I did a lot of soul searching.  Did some research to help me make my decision.  And then conferred with my trusted inner circle and came to the conclusion to take a chance on myself.  Why not?
I believed in the story, the characters, the series.  And after reading the manuscript probably thirty times, I still laughed out loud at some of the scenes and marveled that I had written this material.  Yes, I amuse myself. 
But that’s what it’s all about.  Doing what you love and having a good time while you’re doing it.  Don’t get me wrong.  Writing is hard work, at least for me it is.  But it’s also the most fun I’ve ever had.  Where else can you sit in your pajamas with your hair in a point at the top of your bed-head and make up stories to entertain readers?  It’s the best. 
Do I regret taking a chance on myself?  Heck no!  It’s been the best decision I’ve made.  To have readers enjoy the book and email me (I love getting emails) about how the book got them through a rough patch in their lives or even through some airplane turbulence - why that’s just the best feeling.  And to have people looking forward to the next book in The River City Mystery Series is very flattering.  I hope I can please the readers just as much with the rest of the books in the series.
Without rejection by the big guns in New York, I’d still be sending out the manuscript, waiting for a reply and living in a vacuum.  Dreams do come true.  I’m living proof of that.  So when you see something come into your life that could be a negative, find a way to turn it into a positive.  You may be pleasantly surprised.

A notorious daydreamer, Kat knew it was only a matter of time before she became a writer. She learned to read by age four and had her first library card before her fifth birthday. To this day, she can lose herself for hours among the books at her local library or neighborhood bookstore. Ebooks and online ordering have made it really easy for her to keep her To Be Read pile from ever going down. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Kat is married with children and has a cranky tuxedo cat named Ben.


Friday, January 20, 2012

The Bull Years with Phil Stern

THE BULL YEARS by Phil Stern
Genre: Contemporary Lit.
Format: E-Book

*Adult Content*
What would your 20-year-old self think of the 40-year-old you’ve become?

People can also visit www.philstern.com

Generation X is all grown up, but with one hell of an inferiority complex.
By Phil Stern

We were supposed to conquer the world, our first million in the bank by age 25. At worst, we’d live in plush homes, firmly established within lucrative, interesting, stable careers. Anything less was unthinkable. 

Of course, running companies was more our thing. Hey, the corner office was already picked out. A couple of years of business school, a few boring years paying our dues...and then our inner genius would take care of the rest. No problem.

Divorce? Screaming and yelling over the dinner table? That was our parent’s scene. We knew better, had a far greater understanding of human nature. We’d all be in stable marriages with loving, supportive spouses, our children paragons of health and well-being.

Not so long ago, say back in the 1980's and 1990's, fame and fortune was our birthright. Now, we’re all just struggling to pay the mortgage.

With The Bull Years, I wanted to write a novel for us, for everyone who thought they had the world at their feet, but instead, often found themselves kicked to the ground. It’s harder now than for most other generations, because our expectations were never managed. We were supposed to be kings and queens, always in control of our own fate. Instead, so many of us are just scrambling to get by.

At times, the self-alienation is almost overwhelming. Sophia Danton, one of the main characters in The Bull Years, says it best:
“I’ve come to realize we’re all two different people. Our younger, innocent self that’s inevitably mangled along the highway of life, and our tougher adult persona that evolves from the wreckage. Happiness comes from juxtaposing the two, nurturing the maimed spirit within you, welcoming it into your adult life and giving it the time and understanding you never received as a child, no matter how sane and loving your parents tried to be.”

It’s my hope that The Bull Years can help provide both the perspective, and the voice, that our generation needs. I think everyone will find something of themselves in the struggles of Steve, Sophia, Dave, and Hayley. Nothing’s held back. It’s all there, raw and uncensored.

We can all reconnect with that maimed spirit within ourselves, welcoming it to the here and now. It’s there. You may just not have seen it for awhile.

Because to that younger, innocent version of yourself, the future remains as bright and glorious as it ever was.

Phil Stern is the author of both Contemporary and Science Fiction.
Born in 1970 in Ossining, New York, Stern grew up with a love of all types of science fiction, including the works of Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey, John Wyndham, Piers Anthony, and more.

“Speculative fiction is so different today than it was back then,” Stern says. “I wanted to write stuff a bit more recognizable to fans of my generation. Science fiction should be about ideas and alternate worlds, strong characters and good stories.

Going into talk radio after attending SUNY Albany, Stern hosted regular shows in the New York City area, Albany, Utica, NY, and Greenville, NC. He later went into the advertising and sales industries. Stern now lives in Florida, and is working on his next novel.