Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Release Day -Beat Down #1

Clones uses the same cover artist
as many of my short stories.

Michael S. Hunter's Beat Down looks like it's going to be an action packed serial novel. The story revolves around a  super hero wrestler who uncovers a plan to take over the world involving talking sharks--yes, I said talking sharks. It's part comedy, part action. I just hope at some point the sharks sport lasers!

If you are looking for something off-beat that will make you laugh, download the sample of Beat Down #1 - Clones now!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Blog Hop Winner Announced

Sorry I am a bit late on announcing the winner of the blog hop. Christie C is the winner of a paperback copy of Super Zombie Juice. So, if that sounds like you, check your inbox for my e-mail.
Thanks to everyone who entered, there were tons of entries!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

I'm excited to be part of I Am A Reader, Not A Writer's Spooktacular Giveaway Hop again this year.

As part of this hop, I'm going to give away two signed paperback copies of Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb. Visit I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for tons more contests to enter (or scroll to the bottom of this post).

Also, on October 29th, I'm going to be giving copies of the ebook for free on Amazon.com (if you want it in epub, just e-mail me on the 29th). Consider it an early Halloween treat.

Enter More Conests Here:

Enter by Midnight October 31st PST. A winner will be picked by random on or around Nov. 1st. His/her first name and last initial will be posted online shortly thereafter (last name will not be posted). The winner will also be notified via e-mail and will have 30 days to claim their prize. Unclaimed prizes will be given to charity, re-listed, or disposed of.
Contest valid in the continental US only and void were prohibited by law.
The winner will be required to provide a valid US shipping address. E-mail addresses will not be disclosed, except as required by law. I will not use your e-mail as part of my mailing list, give it away, or anything like that.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm Going to the World Series!

No one probably remembers that back in April I predicted that the Giants would be going to the World Series. There were some shaky games in the middle of the season, but I was right, the Giants are heading to the Series.

I really wanted to go to one of the games. But how can you justify spending that kind of dough on baseball tickets?

Once I thought about it, I came up with the perfect excuse to buy tickets: I'll use last month's commission check. And I'll still have a little leftover for beer. Why sell books if you are never going to spend the money?

Now, my monthly sales don't afford front row seats, but after missing the 2010 World Series, I'm just glad to be going.

The playoffs were tough (as everyone knew they would be), but we are definitely on a roll. The Tigers are a good team with great pitching, so it's going to be a great Series.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Kindle Nation Daily Gives Zack & Zoey 5-Stars!

Earlier this week, Colton at the Kindle Nation Daily Kids Corner reviewed Zack & Zoey's Alien Apocalypse. You may recall, earlier in the year they also reviewed Super Zombie Juice.
Here's a blurb from this latest review:

"I really enjoyed this book. I laughed a lot and kept quoting things in the book to my mom. There were even pictures in Zack and Zoey, which I thought was awesome."

Read the rest of the 5-star review at Kindle Nation Daily. And a big thank you to Colton and the folks over at KND for making the effort to review kidlit. There's so few sites that do, it's great to see such a well known one taking the time to post these reviews from student reviewers!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Naked Zombies--The Zombie Apocalypse just got a whole lot scarier

By now we all know that the government is desperately trying to contain the growing number of Zombie attacks. Frankly, I think they are doing a very good job of keeping this thing under control.

However, I do have one question: What's up with all the Naked Zombies?

Just yesterday in Pennsylvania, "A naked, bloody man broke into a home, jumped from a two-story window, tackled a passerby and chewed on her head.."

But this isn't the first or even the second Naked Zombie attack. So is there a connection I'm missing, and if so do I really want to find out what it is? I don't think so.

So please, if you know any zombies, kindly ask them to keep their clothes on! This isn't the Zombie Apocalypse I signed up for.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Zack & Zoey's First Review

Paranormal Sisters is the first blog to post a review of Zack and Zoey's Alien Apocalypse, giving it 5-stars.

If you're a regular reader, you may remember that Paranormal Sisters gave Super Zombie Juice 4.5 stars.

Here's an except of the review for Zack & Zoey:

Sorry but it was just sooooo adorable. This book is mainly aimed at kids but it's really great for all ages. There's humor, a sweet little cute romance, and of course lots of action. From start to finish. From when the aliens come to the white house and take over. That scene was humorous. This is a fun story line that just allows you to be a kid for just a little while and allows you to forget the world around you.

Check out the entire review (and read the comments if you want to know more about my next project).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Release: Mommy's Black Eye

Author and Blogger William Bentrim maintains the Azure Dwarf Blog and Review Site (which posted a great review of Super Zombie Juice). He just released his 5-star book "Mommy's Black Eye: Children Dealing With Domestic Violence" as an ebook. It's a picture book designed to help kids understand this complicated issue. It's great for pre-school to middle school children. It's available in either print or color ebook with the  introductory price at just 99¢!

Here's an except from one if his Amazon Reviews:

Author William Bentrim is forging a reputation for having the courage to tackle difficult questions facing kids today and applying a gentle, yet unflinching approach to seeking solutions.
Following his book "Daddy Goes on a Trip" about parent-child separation due to military deployment, Bentrim's latest work takes on domestic violence.
Bentrim does a good job highlighting typical concerns kids have when dropped into such confusing and frightening circumstances.
In a world awash in information overload, Bentrim provides a simple but candid framework for children to understand and acknowledge domestic violence as well as ways they can get help to cope with it.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Great Name Change

Okay, maybe it's not quite so great, but it's a fair amout of work anyway.

When I first started writing, I wanted to go by my nick name MJ Ware. However, the domain was already taken by someone that wanted to sell a line of Michael Jackson clothes. I opted to add an A to my name making it MJA Ware. I realize that two middle names comes off as a little pretentious to some. Or that some search engines would have trouble with "M.J.A. Ware" versus "MJA Ware."

Fortunately for me, red-leather Michael Jackson jackets with matching sequined gloves didn't prove that popular. So I was able to pick up the domain at auction (for cheap). Now comes the hard part, changing everything over to MJ: manuscripts, books descriptions, book cover, and social media.

The covers were the hardest, but my limited Photoshop skills proved just keen enough to get the job done. I've updated Amazon and most of my titles on Barnes and Noble, but haven't tackled Smashwords yet.

It's going to take a little while for me to get everything moved over, so in the mean time, please bear with me. There's really nothing for readers to do (though if you've reviewed one of my books on your blog you could update the name); this message is mostly just to let everyone know what's going on.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fake Reviews--Are they really a problem? Yes, Here's Proof.

Not all sock puppets are funny. 
I woke up with morning with an e-mail from the good folks over at Freebooksy letting me know they are promoting my free ebook (today and tomorrow only) Zack & Zoey's Alien Invasion.

Cool, I promptly sent them a short thank you and then checked out the link. Wow, only four books listed, I guess I was lucky to make the cut.

One of the books had a nice looking cover so I checked it out. Only 17 pages, not for me, but I noticed it has five-5-star reviews. Hmmm, maybe I can find a new kidlit reviewer, so I checked out the reviews.

Wait a second, I thought, something isn't right here: Every one of those 5-star reviews is by a reviewer who has only reviewed other books by this same author. Every single one! And none of them have reviewed anything else, by anyone else.

Now, I'm interested. I moved on to the next book. The reviews looked real here--oh, wait, the author has reviewed his own book, never mentioning he wrote it, and in the third person as if it's a real review. Geez.

One more book to go, do I even dare check it out? Of course I did. This one had a terrible cover and eight glowing 5-star reviews. But were they real? Well, seven of the eight haven't reviewed anything but this one book. The other one has reviewed one other item in 2004 and lives in the same state as the author. Is it possible that he happened to get 7 random reviews from people who loved his book so much that for the first time ever, they decided to leave reviews? Yes.

Is it likely? I'll leave that one to you.

Now, you may be saying, I didn't realize this is so persuasive, but why do you care? After all your book was listed. Yes, this time, but not the last time when Zack & Zoey only had one solitary review. Was it bumped by books with fake (or really suspicious) reviews? What other struggling author was bumped this week in favor a books bloated with fake suspicious reviews?

Don't get me wrong, I don't think Freebooksy did anything wrong--they are doing a great service by listing books for struggling writers like myself. And I don't know which of these reviews are fake, but some of them are, you can judge for yourself. 

I gave 400 books out to get my two reviews for Zack and Zoey. Legit reviews take a lot of work and every author has to determine where they draw the line on reviews. For example, one of my two reviewers sent me the review ahead of time to "check out." I politely declined, but asked them to post it "as is." Yet, I did glance make sure it was positive. If they panned my book, let's be honest, I probably would have told them they didn't need to post it.

I've asked my family not to post reviews of my books. But I think there are a couple from relatives, should I track down the owners and make them remove them? I haven't. Perhaps this is why we are so reluctant to call this sort of thing out (you'll notice I didn't post an author or book names); we all own a piece of this.

As you can see, there's lots of shades of gray here. But one thing is for sure, the problem of fake reviews is greater (see The Telegraph and JA Konrath's take) than any of us would like to admit (don't get me started about big publishers sending out ARC's to blogs that only leave 5-star reviews on Amazon) and it's not going away anytime soon.

Update: A reader notes that fake and illegitimate reviews aren't the same thing. Reviews left by friends aren't fake, just illegitimate. I've marked all my additions in blue.
Additionally, some of the reviews have already been removed since I posted this. I think they've been reported to Amazon (not by me, though).

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Why Paper Books Are Better Than eBooks--It's All In Your Mind

Last year I wrote a post titled: Timeless Wisdom from Buffy, “Books Smell.”
In it I compare Giles' love of books and disdain for technology with the growing ebook revolution. It's still one of my most popular posts; if you haven't read it, you might want to check it out.

Last night, while editing a scene that just didn't feel right, just didn't draw the reader in, I remembered part of the quote from that post. In it Rupert Giles is explaining why books are better then computers and says, among other things, “Smell is the most powerful trigger to the memory there is...” That made me realize what the scene was missing: the smells.

Once I started thinking about it, I expanded the idea to printed books themselves. When we read a book, the faint smell of paper is picked up by the brain. The perception of smell triggers the limbic system, a very primitive part of the brain, and is connected not just with smell but also with our memory and emotions. If you're an avid reader who finds reading books to be a way to shred stress, it wouldn't surprise me if just the smell of books starts to make your feel more relaxed.

Additionally, the texture of paper and sound of turning pages work to solidify the experience in the brain. These subtle but critical signals just can't be reproduced with ebooks. It's possible that for some readers the only way to truly "immerse yourself in a good book" is to read a bound copy.

This is just one reason why I believe ebooks will never totally replace paper. Others include the ease of finding a favorite passage; there's no way to flip through an ebook (while you can highlight your favorite passage, doing so takes you out of the book). I even read an article a while back (that I can't find now) which said kids prefer to read paper books over ebooks.

While paper books and ebooks both have their drawbacks and advantages, in the end the thing that draws us into a book--the sights, the sounds, the smells of another world--might just be the same things that draw us to books in the first place.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Release Day - Zack & Zoey Free on Amazon & 1 More

Zack & Zoey's Alien Apocalypse was released on Amazon today (late evening yesterday actually) and it's free on Amazon today. Even if you don't have a kindle, you can read it right in your browser with Amazon's cloud reader.

I'm pleased to say, thanks to a great LibraryThing member who read the ARC, it's already had its first review, 5-stars:

""Zack and Zoey's Alien Apocalypse" by MJA Ware is the ideal book if you want to grin from ear to ear while reading something. This was a charming, delightful story of an alien invasion, with buffoonery by the adults and heroism by the children....
 I recommend this book, but ONLY for readers between 8 and 80, give or take a couple years. By any means possible, you need to get Zack and Zoey's Alien Apocalypse for the reading pleasure of yourself, your children, your grandchildren, your god-children, and any other youngsters you happen to know!"

It will be free for the next two days, so grab a copy and let your friends know!

If you aren't into middle grade books (shame on you), I have something for you too. For the first time ever, I'm putting my Novelette, The Little Wooden Chair free as well. It's a heartwarming story about a little girl who's favorite possession is a rocking chair that somehow learns to return her love.
It's the only thing I've ever written for adults and at 13,000 words is a quick read.

I hope, at least one of those titles will tickle your fancy.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New Book Release: Zack & Zoey's Alien Apocalypse

I thrilled to announce the release of my newest ebook: Zack & Zoey's Alien Apocalypse.

It's about kids fighting off a band of hungry-- human eating--aliens armed only with umbrellas and toothbrushes. The ebook will be available on Amazon right around 8/15 and on other ereaders about 90 days after that.

If you'd like to get ARC for review, just drop me an e-mail and I'll be glad to send one in any format you'd like.

Unlike Super Zombie Juice, which is more upper-MG, Zack & Zoey's Alien Apocalypse is solidly Middle Grade, and is illustrated with over 50 full-color images. It's a kid safe book with lots of alien fighting action, but no foul language and no blood or guts.

Here's the marketing blurb, as well as several images from the book, enjoy:

When hungry aliens begin their 'rain' of terror, break out the umbrellas—the aliens can't eat you with an umbrella shoved in their huge mouths.

Looking for yummy human tenders, Admiral Nact-bauk invades the local school. Zack and Zoey lead the counterattack armed with rulers, protractors, and dodge balls. 

They might have a chance, if Nact-bauk didn't gulp down the only teacher brave enough to stand up to him. Even worse, he forces Zoey onboard the alien vessel for dinner — along with a bucket of honey-mustard sauce.

Zack will do just about anything to save her. If Principal Blathers won't help, Zack sees no choice but to 'borrow' the principal's car. Chasing the alien saucers, he meets up with a wrinkly WWII hero who thinks he knows the alien's weakness: electric toothbrushes.

Wielding only umbrellas and battery-powered dental weapons, things look grim. Even if the pair manage to rescue Zoey, there's the small matter of escaping a spacecraft flying at over two hundred miles an hour.

Can you say, Jetpacks?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Radio Interview Tonight & New Book Review

Tonight, I'll be doing an interview for a small station in North Carolina at 8:50 EST (5:50 PST) you can listen via Blog Talk Radio. If you miss it, I think you can listen later using the same link.

I only slept 3 hours last night, so hopefully I won't sound like a zombie =-)

Last week, Squiggles Reviews checked out Super Zombie Juice - "This was a really fun book to read. It was amusing, entertaining and silly but still had a great story line that kept me hooked." Read the full review on their website:

Friday, July 6, 2012

Last Day To Win A Kindle Fire

Just a reminder, today is the last day to enter the Kindle INDIEpendence Giveaway for your chance to win a Kindle Fire and other great prizes, including a Kindle with special offers. That's right we're giving away 2 Kindles this year!

Here's the list of Prizes:

Grand Prize: 1 Kindle Fire
1st place: 1 Kindle with special offers
2nd place: a choice of 20 free ebooks from the 29 participating authors
3rd place:  a choice of 15 free ebooks from the participating authors

There are tons of ways to enter including tweeting about the contest, following the authors on facebook or Twitter, blogging about the contest and even purchasing the participating books. Just fill out the rafflecopter entry form below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Kindle Daily Nation Gives Super Zombie Juice 5-Stars

Kindle Nation Daily's Kids Corner posted a 5-star kids review of Super Zombie Juice The Graphic Novel. Here's a quote:
"Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb was awesome! I not like this book, I LOVED this book! I couldn’t put this book down."
That's why I love kid reviews; when they really like something, they don't hold back. 

Also, if you haven't done so already, don't forget to enter to win a Kindle Fire as part of the Kindle INDIEpendence Day Giveaway.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Win a Free Kindle Fire!

Win a Free Kindle fire and other great prizes in this years Kindle INDIEpendence Day Giveaway.

There are lots of ways to enter including tweeting about the contest, following the authors on facebook or Twitter, blogging about the contest and even purchasing the participating books. Just fill out the rafflecopter form below!

This is also a blog hop. Be sure to visit the other blogs on the list and learn more about Indie authors of YA and MG novels. You can add your blog and get extra entry points as well!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Aussie Zombie Reviews Super Zombie Juice

The Aussie Zombie
I always get a little nervous when sending SZJMB to hard-core zombie sites for review, as it isn't your traditional zombie novel. Fortunately, Kat at The Aussie Zombie, was open to the idea of a zombie book for kids and seemed to really enjoy it.

"...I really enjoyed this one. It's a zombie story, but more appropriate for kids around the 8-10 year age range, although it doesn't hold back on the realities of what would happen during a zombie apocalypse."

Read the full review and find much more Zombie related stuff at (including tons of Zombie book reviews) at The Aussie Zombie.

In other news I recently sold my 10,000th children's book. it took a couple of years, but it's a major milestone. After having flat sales for at least six months, my sales have been steadily increasing for the past three or four months. A lot of the thanks has to go to the reviewers who take the time to get the word out. But, I've also had a run of luck with Amazon as well. Here's crossing my fingers that it keeps up--that's a drawback with Amazon, sales can spike or plummet at any time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy Release Day: Michaela's Gift!

Michaela's Gift is a MG/YA novel about a 12 yo girl who gets a birthday gift with magical powers. It's by Cordelia Dinsmore, whom (it's whom, right) you may remember did a review of Super Zombie Juice a while back.

You can pick up a copy right now at the low, low introductory price  (okay, I don't really know if that's an introductory price or not) of just $2.99:
Barns and Noble
Musa Publishing

Carla is a great blogger and this is her debut novel, so take a minute and download the sample right now!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The World's Greatest Living Science Fiction Writer - No More

I remember like it was yesterday, picking up a book, not even reading the title, just looking for that marketing phase, "The World's Greatest Living Science Fiction Writer." When I saw those words, I picked it up.

As a kid, Ray's books were always checked out at my library. Even today, check your local used bookstore for anything by Ray Bradbury--they sell the same day the come in, and rightfully so. I still have my paperbacks I read as a teen. Even though my writing style is nothing like his, no other writer has influenced me more than Ray Bradbury.

This may sound like the beginning of an obituary filled with praise and glowing words for this master craftsman of the written word. And I had considered writing an essay explaining Ray's disdain of books and the internet.

But alas, it is not to be. For even if I could dig up any words from the hollow pit in my belly, they wouldn't do him justice.

My only solace is I know we will speak again soon, the next time I open any of his works.

“And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn’t crying for him at all, but for the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again...”
― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse Spreads -- Miami Police Officers Show Signs of Infection

Stores are starting sell Zombie Survival Gear
Who would have guessed "Bath Salts" are what's causing the real zombie Apocalypse? And who would have guessed it would spread so quickly? Reports of zombie-like behavior are coming in from all around the country. It's gotten to the point where the CDC has been forced to deny the outbreak stating,
"CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead."

When the government starts denying the outbreak, that's the first sign it's real! Now, Alex Marin, the editor of Policymic.com has reported that Miami Police department has started eating off faces and shooting unarmed (in this case naked) suspects. Here's the exact quote:
"In Miami, police shot a naked man after eating the face of another man on the side of a highway."

This will make me think twice before I speed on our nation's highways!

I suppose it's possible that the what the writer meant to say was that the naked man was eating the face of another man, before the Miami Police shot him. After all we know that an incident like this happened last week. But that is clearly not what the sentence says.

Really which is more likely, that the editor at PolicyMic (and a NYU alumni) doesn't know how to compose a sentence, or that the police who arrested the first face-eating zombie became infected and are now thirsting for brains themselves?

I think you know the answer.

If you are still not convinced, then consider this. A PolicyMic reader did report the possible error via their online messaging system, but PolicyMic has not recanted the statement (see the comments section on their site).

Yes, the Zombie Apocalypse is upon us. The only question now is: Who will survive?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Book Breaks Out -- Or 100 Agents CAN Be Wrong!

Before I decided to self-publish, I submitted my manuscript to 100 MG agents and got 101 rejections (yes, one agent felt the need to let me know she wasn't interested in representing me twice). Actually, I did get 10 requests for fulls or partials and some had nice things to say about my writing (a couple even asked to see my next manuscript) when they sent the dreaded Rejection.

Still, I was convinced I had a book that some kids would love. Today, I'm glad to announce that I was right--I just sold my 500th copy of SZJMB this month.

Now, 500 copies a month may not sound like a lot, but it's very good for a Middle Grade ebook. In fact it's good enough to rank as  the number #1 most popular Children's Humor ebook on Amazon and the #1 Bestseller as well.

I don't know how long this will last, Amazon rankings change all the time. But it's been #1 for a week (occasionally it goes to #2 or even #3 for a few hours before bouncing back) and I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.

I realize this isn't the same thing as selling a million books, or winning a Newbery, but it does prove that the agents missed a great book. No hard feelings though; I still plan on submitting my newest manuscript to them. But, I'm not going to spend a year querying and rewriting. If they don't like it, I have faith I can find kids who'll enjoy it.

Speaking of which, while I'm being self-indulgent, I might as well post some of my favorite kid reviews:

From Apple:
"i ♥ this book
this was the best book i have ever read"
"This was the best book ever
I could not put this book down I really hate reading but this book I could read it 1000 times if I could"

From B&N:
"You have to read this book
This book was one of the best books ive never read and im one of those kids that always reads that is saying a lot so read the damn book!!!!!!!!!!!"
I couldn't put my nook down, it was just too good! It's thrilling, exciting, and in some cases sad. But i loved it when nate ran over the zombies! Usually girls don't like that stuff. Oh, by the way i finished this book in 3 days!"
"Best book ever!
I could not put this book down i read it all in on day it was so good. Everyone should read this book,i think anyway. I could read this book mutipule times plz write some more books like this one. If i could i would give M.J.A Ware an award for writeing such a good book!"

I do realize these reviews are so good, they almost read like fakes--honestly, unless my Mom posted them, they are real (and my Mom wouldn't do something like that--she probably can't figure out how to post a single review, let along a bunch of fake ones). It's really just that these are the best of the lot. If you want to see reviews from people who didn't like it, try Goodreads--hey, it wasn't written for them anyway.

That's all the blatant self-promotion I can stand for one day. I'm just so excited about my recent success, I had to share the news.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More Reviews and a Mini Sales update

So, I'm way behind in posting reviews, again. Sorry reviewers, I really do appreciate  the fact that you graciously give your time to help struggling authors. I'm just not very good at keeping up with you.

First up (and most belated) is a review from Kitty Bullard at Great Minds Think Aloud. Kitty loved SZJMB, well her exact words were, "I absolutely, 100%, loved this book!"
She's also the first person to spot a little Easter Egg in the print version of the book. I won't spoil it here, but if you are interested, check out her great review.

Cordelia Dinsmore frequents Absolute Write, a great writer's community and contacted me on there about getting a review copy. She's not a zombie fan and was a little worried SZJMB might not suit her taste, but I think the characters won her over as left a great review, "I think MJ has nailed the middle grade voice. I have a young son, so we read a lot of middle grade books around our house. We also watch quite a bit of kid-friendly television. The characters in SZJMB think and act quite similarly to many of the kids, both real and fictional, with which I am familiar."

Cordelia has her own MG/YA book, Michaela's Gift coming out next month, so keep an eye on her blog.

Last, is my shortest review ever (not counting iPod/Pad reviews), but it's still a great one, from Trisha at Passing Through. This also happens to be my first Tumblr review, which explains why it's just three (great) sentences.

Now for the mini sales update. Well, they've been great. I'll try to post an in-depth update in the near future, but for now, let me just say that in April I finally broke 500 books sold in one month. And--I hope I'm not jinxing myself here--but it looks like I'll do the same in May as well!

Thanks to everyone who's helped make that success possible (especially the reviewers).

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews!

I've owe an apology to the reviewers who've recently taken the time to read and review Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb. I've been putting together a Middle Grade anthology while also finishing up my latest manuscript. So, I'm a little behind on posting these great reviews:

First up, My Life on Mars posted a review of the Graphic Novel version for SZJMB, saying, "MJA Ware tells a fun story that any kid would enjoy..."

Unlike the first blog, Susan Reviews does leave star ratings and gave SZJMB five of them saying, "A humorous tale of friendship complicated by growing up, zombie invasion and lemonade."

While the blog, A Room With Books doesn't give star ratings, it did rate SZJMB as a "Hit." In a pretty in depth review, where she recommends it for Middle Grade readers.

Last, but not least, Azure Dwarf also gave SZJMB 5-stars. Azure Dwarf writes and reviews mostly kidlit, especially boy stuff, so it was great when he said, "This is an excellent addition to the YA genre."

A lot of readers have been leaving Amazon and LibraryThing reviews recently and I just wanted to say how much these help; without them no one would find my books, let alone take a chance on them.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

My Novel is Free On Amazon -- And a Friend Passes On

Early this morning my best friend and canine companion passed away in her sleep. She was too young and her passing was unexpected. Still, she was getting on and had moderate arthritis, so perhaps God wanted to take her before she was too old to enjoy chasing after her favorite ball.

I think I'll take her ashes up with me to her favorite camping spot; the one where she once dove in the river because she thought I was drowning--only the current was too strong and I ended up having to save her!

With loyalty like that, I always slept easy on business trips knowing she was there to guard my family; Casey, you'll be missed!

Unfortunately, I had a free ebook promotion already scheduled for today and tomorrow. So, I still have to do some promotion for that.

Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb:The graphic Novel is Free on Amazon Today and Tomorrow only. It's the exact same story (same text even) as the regular novel, but with over 30 cute and funny stick-figure type drawings to entice younger readers.

It's great for really reluctant readers, who only read Captain Underpants, Wimpy Kid, Dork Diary-type books.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Opening Day!!! - And Some Updates

Well, it's finally here, Opening Day 2012. I for one am taking off work early to watch the Giants beat the Diamondbacks.
I'll go even further and predict that the Giants have what it takes to get to the World Series this year.

In other news, I've been writing quite a bit recently. I have some shorts that I'm going to finish and put out soon.

I'm almost finished with the first draft of a Chapter Book I've tentatively titled: Zack and Zoey's Alien Apocalypse. It needs quite a bit of polishing, but I'm going to try to have it out by the end of the month. And even though it's a Chapter Book, I think fans of Super Zombie Juice will enjoy it.

Speaking of Super Zombie Juice, I'm about 20% done with book two. Looks like it's going to be at least a bit longer than book one. I'm hoping each book gets a little longer than its predecessor. I've mapped out the kids adventures right to the end; but I'm not sure how many books it will work will out to (seems like when I start writing, things always go in a different direction than I plan). It's looking like five titles total for the series, could be 4-6.

I know a few readers have asked when the heck am I going to finish Girls Bite (my YA paranormal). Well, it's going through another major revision. I know I've been predicting this one since December, but it's just not ready. It's the first of a series, and I really want to get it right. I love Paranormal Romances, but only when they are done right--and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure mine is done right. On the plus side, it's grown from what was supposed to be an intro novella to almost novel length (45-50k); still short for a YA paranormal, but the right length to tell the opening of this story.

If you enjoy reading my work, please consider signing up for my newsletter. I promise to never send out more than six e-mails a year (haven't sent one at all this year). I only use it when I have big news, like a new release. In fact, that's why I'm suggesting you sign up; because the newsletter readers are my BEST readers and until further notice get a free (e)copy of all my books. I hope one day, the list will grow to the point where I can't do that anymore, but if that happens, it's going to be a while and I'll still treat these readers like royalty.

One last thing. I really like doing Happy Release Day posts and they do get a little bit of traffic. I know a lot of other authors read the blog, so shoot me a note when you release a book and I'll post a link to just about any genre that's kid friendly (i.e. no erotica or really hardcore, slasher-type horror--but light romance is fine).

I hope everyone gets to leave work early to watch their favorite team play today!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New Amazon KDP Special Author Promotion Program

Did you see the release this morning? This should be a great boon to Indie authors!
For immediate Release - April 1st 2012 - Due to the success of our KDP Select program, Amazon is excited to announce our new KDP "Special Author Promotion Program," hereafter referred to as the KDP SAP Program. This special program is open only to Indie writers. So, sign-up today and be one of the first to become an Amazon SAP author!
With the KDP SAP program Amazon is finally allowing Indie authors to compete on a level playing field with big 6 publishers.

What are the advantages of the KDP SAP program?
This program allows authors to build a following by permanently giving away their books for free. In addition, Amazon will help promote your title and even offer free editorial assistance.

How long can I offer my book for free?
Forever! That's right, when you sign up for the KDP SAP program, your book will remain free forever, ensuring access to millions of readers and never again having to fuss with pesky commission checks.

How to I sign my books up?
It's simple; when you sign a new book on KDP simply leave the box checked that says, Yes, sign me up for Amazon's KDP SAP Program. If you wish to opt out, print out our easy to complete 18-page contract, have it notarized and delivered via courier to Jeff Bezos residence the first Saturday immediately preceding the new moon between the hours of 9 and 9:30 am.

Am I required to sign my books up with the KDP SAP program?
No, signing up your book is completely optional. However, titles listed via KDP that opt out of this program will no longer be listed in the "also bought" section of our product pages. Additionally, to create a level playing field for authors who chose to participate in the program, opted out titles will no longer receive a ranking, cover photo, or a "buy it now" button.

What if I decide to opt out of the program?
If, after the 30 minute grace period, you decide to opt out you may do so after the initial 3 year term has expired. Additionally, you may be required to sacrifice your first born child. Verification of said sacrifice requires you to deliver your child's freshly sacrificed blood via courier to Jeff Bezos residence the first Saturday immediately proceeding the new moon between the hours of 9 and 9:30 am.

Other Terms and Conditions:
By signing up for the KDP SAP program, you agree that your work is to be considered as a "Work For Hire" and filed with the Library of Congress as, Copyright 2012 by Jeff Bezos. Amazon reserves the right to remove any titles from this program, while still maintaining ownership. Complete terms and conditions are available via our gopher site, but really you don't need to read them, just sign up.

I don't know about you, but I'm signing up to be one of the first Amazon SAP authors!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review from Kindling The Fire & My book Gets Pirated

Bri, over at Kindling The Fire just posted a great review of Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb. Here's a quote:
"It's cute and funny in it's own way and will find it's way into your heart as you read it. The characters were depicted well, I loved Kali (I refuse to spoil anything! But it's so hard!) and I liked Nate and Misty's innocence, but awesome courage as they battled zombies."

Bri's site is newer, but she posts a lot and the site is growing quickly. If you haven't checked it out yet, I recommend you do.

In other news, I found my first pirated link to Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb. This isn't the first time one of my books have shown up online and I'm sure it won't be the last.

The good news is that you have to download and install the Ares file sharing program, then search for it and even then, I had trouble finding it. So basically, it's way easier to pay for a copy, espcially since it's only 99¢ right now.

Just a note to clarify: Bri's site has nothing to do the the copyright infringement, they just happened to be posted on the same day.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Happy Release Day-- A Little Delayed

I've been hard at work writing one manuscript and revising another. So, the blog's been a little neglected as of late. I even missed the releases of books by Laura Lond and Sybil Nelson, both good online friends.

Laura, author of the Award winning The Lakeland Knight series has a new novelette out, The Prisoner, which is Free, that's right, FREE on Amazon for the next two days.

Sybil, has just released book four in her Priscilla the Great series, which I am currently reading and loving. Sybil's writing style is very similar to my own: first person with lots of attitude!

If you have a minute, check out these titles, you just might find a great read.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Google Digs Up New Reviews & Deranged Zombie Teddy Bears

If you have a book out and you don't have Google News Alerts setup, you really should. In theory, they'll tell you anytime someone posts news, a blog, or even a new webpage about you or your book.

However, as I recently figured out, the alerts sometimes miss blogs (and other pages) that the Google search engine picks up. I was recently searching for an old review of SZJMB on Google when I noticed pages that I had never received alerts for.

This lead me to search Google for undiscovered links to my book. Most turned out to be worthless, mostly Amazon affiliate links. But some were Gold. I found two reviews and a couple mentions of my book in blogs!

First, I found a great blog: Paranormal Sisters. They gave SZJMB 4.5 stars and wrote a great review. Here's a quote:

"Over all I totally loved and am happy with how it ended, with a slice of sense of humor. But I want more. Whether more of these characters or more of MJA Ware writing, which is lucky we get two bonus short stories along with this book. Yay. "

My reply is: Don't worry Dashley, book 2 is coming along! If you've never heard of this blog check it out, it has some great reviews and they provide updates on Free paranormal Kindle books.

Elsewhere, I found what seemed to be a great review from The Crew of Misfits:

"SUPER ZOMBIE JUICE MEGA BOMB is the first installment of this unique series that is something new, something fresh, and ..."

But alas, the site is now offline and all I can read of the review is that small portion which Google had cached.

I found one more blog: Jess Resides Here (header may not be work safe) recently got a copy and I'm keeping an out for the review.

Last, there was a really cool mention on the blog, Tales of a Semi-existent Being. Apparently, the blogger had a dream (maybe more of a deranged nightmare) inspired by a wonderful zombie book, Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb (his words, not mine) :

"The zombies were giant pink fluffy teddie bears and they zombified you by giving you a hug."

Wow, that's what I call a dream, and the first dream (outside of my own while writing it) to be inspired by the book!

So, if you have Google News Alerts setup for your books, you may still want to check the Google search results out from time to time!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Win A Free Zombie Survival Kit, Last Day To Enter!

Just a quick reminder: today is the last day to enter to win a (kid safe) zombie survival kit and a signed copy of Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb (SZJMB). So if you haven't already, be sure to enter at I am a reader, not a writer.

Also, just a couple days ago, Death, books, & Tea, posted a great review of SZJMB. Here's a quote:
"The take on zombies was really good. They were funny, and the fact that something as simple as lemon juice kills them deader? Amazing. This book played to my sense of humour really well, especially the opening."

I also did a guest post with them last year on How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse. If your zombie survival planning isn't up to snuff, you might want to check it out.

Remember, if you are a blogger looking for a review copy, just email me at: mikejweare@gmail.com. I have ebook and a limited number of print copies available.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stop SOPA/PIPA -or- Why My Websites are Down Today

If you haven't heard of the effort to stop the proposed SOPA/PIPA legislation, then you probably haven't been on the web lately.

Basically this is bad, very bad, proposed legislation with (at least) some good intentions. The problem is they are way too easy to abuse.

My company has been a victim of just this sort of badly written law. I own a small(ish) online business and we used to sell on eBay. It was a great source of income. However, due to a poorly written provision in the DMCA (which is, on the whole is a good law) our competitors would file fraudulent take-down notices with eBay, who then was required by the law to pull our products from eBay.

We had no recourse except to file paperwork that would allow the other company to sue us. We spoke to a lawyer who told us a law suit would cost at least $10,000 a month. Being a small company, we had no option but to stop selling on eBay (or they were required by law to revoke our account).

Our business survived and thrived (though I'm sure we would have been profit able sooner if we had been able to continue to sell via eBay) in spite of the bad provision in this law. But imagine what would happen if the same thing happened, except not just to an eBay auction, to entire websites. Under SOPA, a competitor (or even just someone who doesn't like you) can file a false claim and get your entire website taken down. No due process, no court order, nothing!

This would not only spell disaster for me and my family, but also for my 6 employees and their families as well.

And this isn't just limited to businesses, under this proposed law it could happen to anyone. Check out this great link from Google for more information on this legislation and what you can do to help stop it.

As for me, I've taken down both my business and author websites (www.mjaware.com) today in protest.

(image source: natcom.org)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

And the Winner Is: Lisa F

Sorry, I'm a day behind in announcing the winner (not the first time this has happened). There was a great turnout I'm definitely going to do another giveaway soon.

Congratulations to: Lisa F

Lisa wins both a $5 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb (SZJMB). Everyone else, keep an eye on the page; for the next contest.

In other news, I've just completed the last short for a new short story collection. It still needs lots of revising and editing, but once it's ready, I'm releasing it as a free ebook in an effort to increase sales of SZJMB. It's a tactic that's not working great (sales were down this month), but is creating most of my sales; I include a free SZJMB five-chapter preview with each short story collection, which gets some of the free readers to purchase SZJMB.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I love Giveaways: Young Adult Faeries & Fantasy Hop & Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

I love giving away copies of my book--anything to get it read. And I am a Reader, Not a Writer runs the best giveaways. So, I sorta didn't look at the YA Faeries and Fantasy Hop before I signed up.

I just figured zombies are fantasy, right? Well, when I took the time to actually read about the hop I realized it was more a fairy tale kind of hop. So, what I've decided to do is giveaway a $5 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb (did you notice the way I put 'and' in italics, to make it seem like also getting my book is such a huge bonus ;-)

This way the winner can pick out their own Fantasy book (albeit probably a used one for $5).

There's well over 100 other sites offering giveaways too, so be sure to take a moment and see the huge list!

I'll ship anywhere in the US that the postal service will deliver to (P.O. boxes are fine). A winner will be picked on or around Jan 13th 2012; only the winner's first name and last initial will be posted, but the winner must provide a complete name and shipping address.

Good luck!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Giveaways and My First 1-Star Review

When I started this blog I didn't want it to be too self-promoting. Of course, I've ended up posting many Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb (SZJMB) reviews here, especially the 5-star ones. So, I made myself a promise to also post my first 1-star review.

Well, it happened a few days ago on Barnes and Noble, but I think I'm going to chalk it up to a mistake. Why a mistake? See for yourself--here's the entire review:

Zombies asome!#12 Zombies asome! #1!!!

I dont like zombies but that was asome!!!!

Now it's possible that the reader was being sarcastic and really just hated the book. But when you consider the typos and spelling errors, I think a more likely explanation is that they rushed it out (probably on their nook keyboard) and didn't realize they put 1-star--at least that what I keep telling myself. So, there you have it my first 1-star review. Now, I can say I kept my promise.

On to important stuff. First, Congratulations to Chandra H. the winner of the Best of 2011 Blog Hop. She wins her choice of three books and a copy of SZJMB. This was my most successful contest to date with almost 300 total entries (counting extra entries). Thanks to everyone who entered.

If you didn't win, don't worry. Head over to I am a Reader, Not a Writer for a chance to win not only the book, but the last of my totally asome (purposefully misspelled) Zombie Survival kits.

I hope everyone has a great 2012!