Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blog Tour Giveaways!

This weekend I’ll be kicking off my blog tour. At each site I visit, I’ll giveaway an ebook or printed copy of SZJMB (a printed copy at most stops). I’ve got 10-12 sites lined up and I’ll post a schedule soon.

I’m also giving out a zombie survival kit each week. The kit consists of survival essentials, especially those that appear in the story:

  • A copy of Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb
  • A high-powered water gun
  • Lemonade mix
  • Zombie snot (decontaminated)
  • Recipe for making your own zombie snot
  • LED flashlight
  • Duct tape
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Rope
  • Misty’s strawberry flavored lip-gloss
  • Emergency glow stick
  • Water balloons for making zombie juice bombs

Good luck to everyone. These have some great toys (not to mention great reading) and are the perfect way to kick start your Halloween!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SZJMB Featured on Blog Talk Radio's Journal Jabber

I just found out SZJMB was featured on tonight's episode of Journal Jabber. They were doing a special feature on boy books, though they said SZJMB would probably appeal to both sexes. You can listen right here:
Listen to internet radio with JournalJabber on Blog Talk Radio
In other news, I got a short, but killer review on iTunes, " I could not put this book down I really hate reading but this book I could read it 1000 times if I could"
Because of lack of punctuation (often, teens writing on iPhones skip the punctuation, for the sake of speed) and the hyperbole, I'm assuming it was written by someone in the MG or YA age groups. Which, to me, is sooo much more important than an adult review; it means (at least one person from the) target audience gets it!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Proof Arrived This Weekend & Contest Reminder

Just a quick update. CreateSpace has been super slow to work with, so I had to go over to to get a proof made. It came in the mail Friday & I spent the weekend reading it. Seeing it in print was not only cool, but reading it this way reminded me how much I enjoy the book (which, of course, is why I wrote it). In a way, I'm glad I'm publishing the book that I love, rather than the book an agent or editor thinks the public will buy.

I found 2 errors (both were introduced by me, not missed by the my two proofreaders) and I made 2 minor formatting changes. The cover came out slightly dark, so I've adjusted the brightness and contrast for the final version.

CreateSpace finally approved it and I'm having their proof sent next day air. Just in time, to get copies sent to the winners of my GoodReads contest.

If you haven't entered, it closes in 2 1/2 days. So, if you'd like a copy of the print version, then be sure to enter.

Speaking of GoodReads two more great reviews came in. SZJMB is holding steady at 4.5 stars!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy Release Day: Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb!!!

Well, it's finally here: The official release day for Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb. I have two reviews up already and a few more on the way.
The ebook is available at Amazon, B&N, SmashWords and Apple (or my website). I have it on sale everywhere for just 99¢, except B&N, until the end of the month.

If you are short on change, I'm giving away 6 copies over at GoodReads. The contest ends 9/22. Speaking of giveaways, I'm going to be doing a blog tour and giveaways all throughout the month of October. Each stop will have a print copy of the book (so, they'll be lots of chances to win). Plus, I'm giving out five zombie survival kits (more on those later). I'm still looking for a few more blogs to host the tour, so e-mail me ( if you are interested. 

If you like to actually hold your books, the print version should be available right around October 1st.  Don't forget, you can read a 5 chapter preview with my free ebook Monster In The Mirror (for kindle, B&N)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Exposing Yourself, Not Quite What I Expected

I remember reading something a few years ago about Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) doing a play with a nude scene. I wondered how anyone could put themselves out there like that; on a stage, completely exposed to the world.

I had no idea that this would be what it feels like to publish. Yes, I'd published my shorts, almost all of them in fact, and I even have my omnibus out too. But this in no way prepared me for putting SZJMB out.

I've found the process simply overwhelming. Not to mention emotionally draining. No one tells you this about publishing your first novel. Maybe, the effect is more pronounced when you are going it alone, but it's been quite an eye opener.

I've posted SZJMB to Amazon and B&N and am working on the print version as part of getting everything in place for the blog tour and official release date. A handful of sales have started, and every night I dream about the book. Crazy dreams like waking up to find that I've sold 1,000 copies. Or perhaps more likely, finding twenty 1-star reviews.

I guess, when you put so much of yourself into your writing (like all of us writers do), you can't help but feel like you are standing naked and alone (except maybe holding your book) on stage in a huge auditorium.

Speaking of reviews (not the 1-star kind) I just got my second review last night:

"A great zombie book for the YA audience!!!
Want to save the world? Want to eradicate the living dead? There is a way to do it if you just have the tools, or in this case ingredients. head on over to your closest grocer and pick up everything you need to survive the zombie apocalypse.


Yes. You read that right.


You know how the old saying goes, when life hands you lemons, you squirt them at zombies. Wait, no, well, it was something like that.

Misty and Nate run away for a camping trip after being told they can no longer hang out with each other. On their return, their small town is a ghost town. There was no one to be found anywhere, oh - if only it could have stayed a ghost town, that may have been easier to deal with. Misty and Nate are faced with an adventure that no kid should have to go through alone. A fight for their lives ensues and what happens to them will really surprise you.

Finally a zombie book for the YA audience that has the perfect balance of creepy but not too much for the younger reader. It has great horror elements in the plot and loads of zombie action. This book is a great way to let your budding horror fan indulge while knowing the content will not be too "adult".

This book will catch your attention from the beginning and make you want to keep reading until the very end. Adults and YA audiences alike will have something they can enjoy with this book. The cover is amazing, the characters are vividly depicted, the heroism in the book is admirable, and the zombies are scary. This is coming out perfectly timed for the Halloween season, and I will be passing this onto my two daughters for their Halloween reading." - Amy @

In my last post, I mentioned how the reviewer gives out lots of 4 and 5-star reviews. Not so with Amy. She's fair, but calls them like she sees them, even giving out 1 or 2-stars when appropriate. Plus, she's an editor and we all know how tough they are (just joking). To get such a glowing (4-star) review from her has done a lot to calm my nerves.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

SZJMB Final Cover & First Review

I just got the first review in for Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb (SZJMB). It's from Reader's Favorite Book Reviews & it's 5 stars! Okay, I admit, they give out lots of 5-star reviews, but they've been known to give out 3 and the occasional 2-star as well.

Here's the meat of the review:
What happens when your town is over run by zombies? Well you barricade yourself in the WalMart and come up with a plan to get rid of the flesh eating monsters of course!

The descriptions the author used easily had me envisioning not only the action but the smells that the characters described! I really found myself laughing out loud on several occasions, Nathan was often quite funny whether he was trying to be or not! I loved the bantering that went on between Nate and Misty and even though they figured out what would kill the zombies they didn't formulate a real plan until they hooked up with Kali the town nerd, who actually turned out to be quite heroic! Because parts of the book took place in WalMart I doubt that I will ever walk through WalMart again without thinking about this story!

A real page turner filled with zombie killing action and laugh out loud humor that kept me wondering what might happen next! I would easily say this book would be appropriate for anyone from ten to one hundred!

Also, I just finished the cover layout, myself. That's right, I had to do the layout myself--just part of being an indie author, I guess. Anyway, I think it came out good and it only took me a mere 3 days (or about 20 hours work).

If you want to check it out, you can get a 5 chapter free preview from Amazon or an even longer one at SmashWords.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

5 (Plus 1) Tips for Indie Writing Sucess

Okay, so it might be a little weird that I'm posting success tips, when I haven't actually found real indie success myself. However, once I add my SmashWords affiliate sales I'll be right around 200 sales for August, so that's not terrible either. So, here's what I've learned in the last year or so:

1. Use a professorial editor and then at least one professorial proofreader (I've started using two) - Indie books get a bad rap for being poorly edited--that's because many are. However, with one exception, every successful indie author I know goes to great lengths to produce an error free manuscript.
2. Get a great cover (see examples: & - You don't have to spend a lot of dough. Here's two low-cost cover artist I recommend: XXXXXXX and  Rebbecca Weaver. Rebbecca does great photo manipulations and she even does the cover layout too.
3. Get reviews (if most are not positive your probably DOA) - This one is a harder than you'd think because a lot of bloggers won't review or even deal with indies. This week I've e-mailed two dozen reviewers, asking for a review or even just an announcement of my upcoming release and I offered to give away a free print copy of SZJMB to their readers. However, only five have replied (I'm sure more will) and only three of those are going to review (the other two graciously offered to promote with a giveaway).
4. Write a great description - Your cover gets a reader to click on a title, but the description gets them to purchase (or at least download a sample). Make sure their are not grammar errors (this means have someone else check it for you) and keep tweeking it until it sells.
5. Marketing and promotion - Besides reviews you need to start a blog, Facebook, or Twitter account. But don't do all of them just cause you have to. For example, I don't do Twitter well, so I skip it. But I just opened a Facebook page(Got a minute? I only have three 'likes'). Believe it or not commenting on other blogs and posting on message boards helps sales too (the messages get indexed by Google and show up in search results). Just make sure you stay civil.

And number 6.... Keep writing, of course.