****RELEASE DAY – “Forever In Deep**** – Written By Helen Krummenacker

Helen Krummenacker’s 3rd book of the Forever Detective Series is now available!


Rafael Jones is always a little out of his depth in rural settings, but he’s not just a detective, he’s also undead. He can’t ignore the call from the Saratoga County coroner when she mentions the bite marks found on several drowning victims during the spring and summer of 1947.

However, he knows his weaknesses (sunlight, running water, and a woeful lack of country manners), so he isn’t working alone. His slowly developing powers and quick wits may not be a match for something old, strong in magic, and completely cursed.

Available now in all e-book formats

CONTINUE READING HERE

 

Unplugged Book Sales: Is It Possible to Sell Books Off-Line? – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb provides us with a great blog post about selling books offline. Thank you very much for this very helpful post, Kristen!


Unplugged and Internet-free. Sounds like heaven to me. Why am I posting on this? Well, someone in the last post commented and asked me to blog on how to sell books without the Internet or social media. If it was even possible.

#ChallengeAccepted

Is it even possible to sell books unplugged? Good food for thought. Of course, my first thought was, ‘Is it even possible to get unplugged in the first place?’

Funny to think that it wasn’t too long ago that a half-baked plot with a terrible love story captured our hearts. A horrible movie (by all accounts) made us all misty-eyed, because of these three words…

Continue Reading Here

 


 

Publishing Your Ebook Is Changing on Smashwords – Written By Lee Foster

Lee Foster on ‘The Book Designer’ provides us with information about publishing our ebooks on Smashwords and how it’s changing. Thank you very much Lee!


This is a third and final perspective in my publishing strategy trilogy, a drama festival with three events, Amazon and Ingram being the earlier performances. There have been five-week breaks between these theatrics as I proceed in the Joel Friedlander modern publishing ecosystem.

If you want to distribute your ebook through Amazon directly and then also to “every ebook vendor beyond Amazon,” how should you do it? Smashwords is my recommended choice.

Continue reading HERE

Author Spotlight – Allan Krummenacker

Welcome!

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Allan Krummenacker, and for the record “I am not a number, I am a FREE MAN!” Anyone who gets that reference please give yourself a Gold Star. Also the first 5 people who post where that quote comes from down in the comments section can get a free copy of “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” which is being released October 1st.

Okay now that I got that out of my system, let’s get down to business. As you already suspect I’m rather silly and full of nonsense, which are great qualities in writing. I was born and raised on Long Island, NY and moved to California in 1985. Here I met my wife, a great set of friends, got into sci-fi and fantasy fandom (including costuming and fanfic writing). I currently reside along the west coast and am working for the county which gives me and my wife the security to pursue writing.

When did you start writing?

I’d done a lot of silly Marx-Brothers style of short fanfics, back when I belonged to a Doctor Who Fan club, and a Star Trek club. But I only really got serious around 2008 when my real estate career started a serious decline thanks to the bubble that led to the Recession. At the time my wife and I were binge-watching the original 1960s Dark Shadows series, which I learned had been partly written “On the fly”. Originally series was slated to end after 6 months but after the vampire Barnabas Collins got introduced the ratings shot through the roof and they were ordered to keep it going. So some of the continuity got messed up along the way. So I started amusing myself with re-writing and correcting some of the issues, but also came up with some original concepts as well. Soon the original ideas got so fleshed out, I realized I’d strayed so from Dark Shadows that I could easily re-populate these original ideas into something new. And thus, the Para-Earths concept was born.

What motivates you to write?

That is a very good question, and I guess the best answer is that I’ve always been writing stories in my head. I wasn’t the most popular kid at school, usually the target for bullies and others who just didn’t understand me. I wasn’t great at sports, which I found out was linked to the fact that I already had Fibromyalgia which meant I got hurt very easily physically and tears were often involved. So I spent a lot of time on my own with my GI Joes and other action figures and created storylines for their adventures. Plus I spent a lot of time inside my own head keeping myself amused as music and tv shows inspired more ideas in my head. I became a very thoughtful child as a result and found I had a better rapport with adults than I did kids my own age because I asked a lot of “grown-up” questions.

What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

Tough question here, I basically write a strange blend of paranormal/science fiction with touches of horror and mystery thrown into the mix. I suspect this comes from my younger years of being fascinated with the classic Universal Studios Horror Monsters and the original Dark Shadows which were my earliest paranormal influences. As for my science fiction fascination I have to credit Dr. Who, the original Twilight Zone, and the original Outer Limits. I found the stories and the worlds they introduced the audience to so fascinating and wondrous. I kept finding myself asking “What if?” questions after each episode, which in turn would get me thinking about story ideas to play with the few friends I had as well as with my toys.

What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

This is going to sound weird but I don’t know if I ever really think seriously about where I’d like all this to go. I mean I just love writing stories and hearing people tell me how much they enjoyed them. Of course I’d love to see some (if not all of them) make to the big screen and be brought to life for millions to see. But then I also tell myself if Hollywood ever comes knocking because they’ve run out of re-makes and re-boots (which I despise immensely) and want original new material, I think I would say “Yes”. Then I’d take the money and go write more stories and try not to pay attention to however they mangle my creation, because I’m not J K Rowling so I’m not going to get creative authority in what they do.

Of course people ask me if I want to be the next J K Rowling or Stephen King, to which I answer “No, because they already exist. I want to be Allan Krummenacker, the guy who gets as popular as they are and make the kind of money they do. Mostly so I can keep telling more stories to fascinate and hopefully inspire others.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Oh yeah! Me and writer’s block are old acquaintances. And more than once I’ve gone search of a jackhammer when he shows up. I even have an idea for a short silent film I may make for YouTube one of these days about dealing with writer’s block. Think along the lines of an old black and white Charlie Chaplin movie.

Anyway, how I deal with it… I’ll take long walks along the beach, into the woods, or just go out and have fun. I know part of my brain will still be mulling over the issue and I might spot something that suddenly gives me a breakthrough. If not, then I’ll start working on another writing project entirely. You have to keep writing, that’s my motto. And sooner or later I’ll either watch or movie or be talking with my wife Helen (another author) who might suggest something I never thought of and then… BAM! Writer’s block is gone and the story is moving on again.

What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Two words “KEEP WRITING”!

Never stop. Take a rest if you need to, but keep the ideas flowing. Brush up on your grammar skills, take a class in creative writing at a local community college and keep doing it. They say practice makes perfect and its true. Also be ready for criticisms from friends, family and of course others. The words may hurt at first, but don’t let that stop you. Once you put the hurt aside, think about what was said and look over your work. Is there any validity to some of the critiques? Perhaps you need to rework some of the phrasing or how you present the characters or situations. Or, they may all be way off and just weren’t the right audience for your work.

There is so much to writing. Not just creating the story but also finding the right audience for your work is just as important as creating the tale. Learning what criticisms to take on board to improve your work versus those who just didn’t get the idea you were aiming for.

I’d also recommend doing lots of reading of other works in the same genre you’re working in. Study how other authors construct their stories. How did they build tension? How did their characters come across to you? Did they grow or evolve in the course of the story? Do the same thing with shows and movies you watch. Really see what worked or didn’t for you as an audience member and take those lessons on board as you work on your writing. For me, my stories play out as a movie inside my head and I try to basically transfer all the details onto my computer in words to paint the images I’m seeing.

Please, tell us about your work.

With my wife Helen’s help, I’ve created the Para-Earth Series (which is up to 4 books). These tales are reminiscent of the old Twilight Zone and Outer Limits shows. In each book the readers and the characters encounter beings or actually get to visit alternate versions of Earth where evolution took a very different turn because of changes in how those other Earths formed. You might encounter an Earth with 2 moons, or none at all. There’s even been one Earth where the planet has rings like Saturn. But with these changes in the planet’s early development, different life forms evolve. Some can be hostile, some friendly. Others may simply be lost in this reality and want to go home. You never know.

In fact, we’ve had life-forms that readers compared to the creations of HP Lovecraft, Dean Koontz and Stephen King. And there are many more on the way, as well as recurring characters readers have come to adore and are eager to see more of. Which is all to the good in my opinion because this is an open-ended series, not a trilogy or something with a definite end. I much prefer things that can be built upon for years to come.

But the doors between realities don’t just open one way. Occasionally a person from this reality might land up in one of those alternate worlds and come back altered in some way. One of your favorite characters from our series, a certain Union soldier name Nathaniel Eoghan Steward, got blown into one of those alternate Earths. And as you know, he came back to his world just a few days looking the same but is now to all intent and purposes a vampyre, only he’s not undead.

He’s one of my favorite characters to write about because he’s like Doctor Who, living for over 150 years and just experiencing history, making friends, and helping people along the way. With such a long lived character, I get to have him interacting with all kinds of people, both famous and just regular, so there’s an endless supply of stories to write around him. Your readers here can meet him in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” which will be released October 1st of this year. Technically it’s being re-released as it’s been re-classified as the first Young Adult installment of our Para-Earth Series. (Links can be found beneath this interview).

The reason for the re-branding is because many readers felt that it belonged in that genre as most of the story is told by two teenage girls whose lives are deeply affected by Nathan’s presence, and both them and their families become very dear to him.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thanks so much for having me. I really enjoyed it. And to everyone reading this interview I’d going to close it with the words I use at the end of every entry at my blog about writing, keep writing!


Connect with the author:

Blog: https://musingsof2creativeminds.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/akrummenacker

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/allan-krummenacker-76994a23/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/akrummenacker/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Allan-Krummenacker-Writer-171432612892924/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Allan-Krummenacker/e/B00B1W8TEU?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000


Allan Krummenacker’s newest book:

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MDO8SLO/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

Nook:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-vampyre-blogs-allan-krummenacker/1124855249?ean=2940153799605

AmazonUK:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MDO8SLO

AmazonCA:
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01MDO8SLO

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/647499

Kobo:
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-vampyre-blogs-coming-home


 

The Death of Ye Olden Bookstores & the Author Identity Crisis – Written By Kristen Lamb

As a follow up of the famous ‘Barnes & Noble’ fall, Kristen Lamb provides us with a great blog post about the consequences it might have on us authors.

Thank you so much, Kristen!


My last post, Barnes & Noble SOLD: Goliath Has Fallen & What This Means for Writers, was a long and detailed journey explicating precisely how we’ve all ended up at this spot in history—writers, readers, bookstores, booksellers, publishers, investors, etc.

The big-box bookstores are dead for good until some @$$hat forgets what a bad idea they were and resurrects them again.

In the meantime…

Now that Borders is a distant memory and Barnes & Noble a recent casualty, many of us find ourselves balancing, terrified, on the precipice of the unknown.

This time of transition possesses a particularly acute terror reserved for pre-published and published authors.

Yet, in light of all this upheaval, I challenge authors to learn from New York Publishing’s—‘The Big Six’s’ mistakes.

One mistake in particular.

Continue reading here

Barnes & Noble SOLD: Goliath has Fallen & What This Means for Writers – Written By Kristen Lamb

O-M-G. Kristen Lamb informs us about the latest news: Barnes & Noble SOLD!

Thank you so much for the information, Kristen!


Goliath has fallen. The leviathan Barnes & Noble, the big-box chain that reinvented retail and defined a generation…is no more.

SOLD!

Reuters announced early last Friday that the hedge fund Elliot Management Corp. would be purchasing the former book giant for roughly the equivalent of Kim Kardashian’s jewelry allowance ($683 million including debt).

This bold move marks an end to the once-dominant book retailer’s status as a publicly traded company.

After almost a decade of abysmally stupid business decisions and plummeting sales—and me blogging and b#@!$ing about it the entire time—this buyout feels like a mercy killing to me.

Someone might finally save Barnes & Noble from itself.

***I secretly suspect this buyout was the only option left after Mary Kay declined to sell cosmetics alongside records, movies, toys, stationary, gifts, knick knacks, coffee, candles, essential oils and everything else NOT BOOKS.

#sarcasm

Now that the former mega-retailer’s fate is in the hands of the Elliot Group, perhaps Barnes & Noble can go back to being a…wait for it…wait for it… *whispers*…a bookstore.

Continue reading here

Author Spotlight – Helen Krummenacker

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

I can’t remember a time I wasn’t writing. Even as a very small child, I wrote short stories and poems. They were just the sort of thing a child would write, of course, but I kept at it and kept getting more sophisticated. Then, in the 90s, after a couple of years of trying to go professional with it, I ran the numbers on how much it cost to buy paper, use the printer, and post my best works to magazines that paid half a cent per word and decided in disgust that if I couldn’t even break even, I should just write fanfic for my own amusement.

After years of neglecting my writing, my husband, Allan, decided he had some ideas he wanted to turn into a novel. He did the writing, but I helped out with planning, character development, scientific premises, even refining jokes. Still, I was skeptical of what could be done with the book, however good it was, and he researched the markets and changes in publishing deeply. It turned out that traditional publishing houses were starting to charge many authors fees, whereas vanity press had been replaced by the print-on-demand model, making it possible for an author to release a book widely and control their product. As the Para-Earth series, which I’d helped him on, continued, I got more involved in the writing itself.

I was inspired to write my first solo novel very recently. I struggled not to dive into it until I finished my last semester in college and then I went full steam ahead– the book, Forever’s Too Long, is being released less than six months after I started it, and I’m already 17,000 words into the sequel.

2. What motivates you to write?

Most people say write what you know, but I find I thrive when I write what I love. I like wise-cracking detectives, fantasy interacting with the real world, science fiction possibilities, the little frisson of terror when supernatural suspense takes a surprising turn. When I write the kinds of stories I love to read, with characters who I love– or love to hate– then writing is fun and I can hardly wait to fix a scene by getting the turns of phrases just right.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

The Para-Earth stories are paranormal science fiction thrillers. The Forever Detective stories are tough-guy detective/occult mysteries. I love mysteries, science fiction, and fantasy, and combining them intelligently can allow twists to take the reader to unexpected places while keeping the flavor and frame of the foundation genre.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

I don’t really want to be famous, but I would love for my characters to be. I dream of seeing Forever’s Too Long made into a movie starring Oscar Isaac and Hayley Atwell. I don’t see myself getting really rich, but a contract for a movie might very well take care of a down payment on a condo around here. But I want a movie mostly so I can share this with the world, and make people smile and think and connect emotionally.
I also have a bit of a more serious goal. The characters I’m writing are often underrepresented, especially in the time frame they are written in. In 1947, my wise-cracking detective is partly Latino. His girlfriend is a divorcee who escaped an abusive marriage. His best friend is a clever autistic man. I want to expand who belongs in an old-fashioned detective story and how people visualize the past.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

Yes! But not on what you’d expect. I do fine with fiction, jumping to a different scene if I need a little bit of freshness while I let something lie fallow a while. But I struggle with things like the About the Author or the back of the book blurb. I decided to let some of the cheekiness I’d given my protagonist/narrator carry over into my biography. I even brought it into my author photo

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Love what you’re doing, or it isn’t worth it. You are going to be researching, writing, editing, marketing; some days you’ll spend hours and not get much done, other times you’ll be productive but have no one around to celebrate it with. You’re going to be writing instead of reading, instead of hanging out at game night… all the other things you like to do, you’ll have to reorganize to have time to write. So believe what you are writing is worth it.

7. Please, tell us about your work.

Forever’s Too Long, my first solo novel is set in New York City in 1947. Rafael Jones is a former police detective, recently released from the U.S. Army and starting his own business as a private investigator. He thinks of himself as a pretty ordinary guy, but Interpol thinks he’s just the man they need to get solid evidence on Russian art smugglers and murderers so they can get cooperation from the local authorities. Between that case and helping his businessman friend try to recover some promising personnel who resigned their jobs to join a cult, he’s off to a good start. What he doesn’t know is that neither case is as simple as it seems, and his investigations take him into conflict with supernatural danger, including an almost legendary historical figure with a dreadful secret.

It’s been compared to Phillip Marlowe, Kolchak: the Night Stalker, Agent Carter, and Harry Dresden. In spite of the scary parts, I think of it as an adventure tale rather than horror, because the story has just as much light– quips, friendship, romance, and kindness– as it has of danger, angst, and darkness.

I’m 17,000 words into the sequel and literally have a dozen Forever Detective novels at least sketched out in notes. I mention it because I know the heartbreak of getting emotionally invested in a series only to have the author turn their attention to something else. But I promise– I’m a fan of Rafael Jones and I won’t stop writing him as long as other people want to read him, too.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thank you! These are great questions and made it easy to open up.


About Helen:

Helen Krummenacker is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person, so I won’t. I helped create the Para-Earth Series by Allan Krummenacker and Helen Krummenacker. I have a B.S. in Mathematics and hope that writing proofs has helped keep my fiction streamlined and avoid plot holes. Hobbies include gaming (tabletop/roleplaying), dancing, and painting. Health issues limit my activity level, but I manage to work as an accounting technician by day and escape into mystery and adventure genres at night. I’m allergic to garlic and sunlight, but I promise I don’t thirst for blood, just coffee and maybe a bit of bourbon.
Other books I have worked on are The Bridge, The Ship, The Vampyre Blogs: Coming Home, and The Vampyre Blogs: One Day at a Time.

helenkrummenacker@gmail.com


Helen’s Novel: “Forever’s Too Long”

Excerpt:

“Very well.” She shrugged. “You are not making this easy on yourself. Seize him!” I expected to be rushed by the acolytes I’d seen, but four newcomers had joined them. I mentioned the gardeners looked pretty dirty. These four looked worse. I thought one looked like his face had a gangrenous patch. Smelled like it, too. Another was a woman, but although she was young, her eyes were filmed over with cataracts, and her skin was waxen as well as pale. She held a bag in her hands. Newcomer three was also female, and her fingers had lost the flesh covering the tips, revealing bone. The final one didn’t fit the pattern of most of the acolytes. He had a beard, was an older man, and wore regular but ragged clothes. He was bloated and had a pattern of dark veins on his nose.
Of course, this takes longer to describe than I took to notice them and quickly decide the way out wasn’t through the crowd. There was a side door on the left, and I took a side leap, pivoted, ran a couple of steps, and then dropped to the wooden floor in a slide to dodge Gangrene’s attempted tackle. I rose to my feet at the door and spun at the sound of footsteps to kick Vagrant in the gut hard enough to knock him on his tailbone. Fingertips had gotten tripped by one of the dopey acolytes. I couldn’t see Cataracts, though. I turned the door handle, hoping I wasn’t going into a dead end or worse, a closet.
The back of my neck prickled like someone was watching me who I couldn’t see, which was weird because I was still facing the center of the room. I yanked the door open as hard and fast as I could, and heard a thud above me. Cataracts fell to the floor. She’d been lurking over the doorway, somehow. No time to ponder, I spun and ran. There was a hallway with a little stairwell to the left. Upstairs might be good for fighting, but not for flight. Forward would take me back toward the courtyard, closer to the main entrance but also a place to encounter more weirdos. The right door would possibly be an alternate path to the kitchen area, which should be connected to a back way for tradesmen to bring deliveries. You repurpose a flop hotel for a cult; you still have a hotel layout.

Available June 1st, 2019, for all e-books (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, PDF, etc.) and trade paperback!

Reserve your e-book now at:

Nook:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forevers-too-long-helen-krummenacker/1131555250?ean=2940163217083

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonUK:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonCA:
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonAU:
https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07RSGKTDF

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/938589

Also, read more about the books and the author at https://www.theforeverdetective.com/. Site includes a book trailer.

 

Your Book Description Doesn’t Just Show up at Amazon – Written By Chris McMullen

THE BOOK DESCRIPTION AND ITS JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD

I was creating a Goodreads giveaway yesterday when I noticed that one of my book descriptions didn’t look quite right. Then I realized that a few of my book descriptions had similar issues. (I haven’t yet looked at all of my books there, but did check my recent releases.)

The problem was that I had formatted my descriptions at Amazon KDP using the limited HTML that is available (boldface, italics, line breaks, bullet points, and ordered lists). While that resulted in improved formatting at Amazon, the HTML had a few undesirable effects at Goodreads. In particular, if you use short bullet points with words or phrases in each point, the words and phrases might not appear on separate lines and there won’t be any bullet point symbols.

So if you meant to make a list like this:

  • red riding hood
  • big bad wolf
  • grandma’s house

It could instead look like this at Goodreads:

red riding hood big bad wolf grandma’s house

It actually can look even worse when it blends together with the previous and following sentences.

Continue reading the entire blog post here

 

Changes to Amazon Advertising: What Authors Need to Know – by Dave Chesson

Dave Chesson informs us on ‘Jane Friedman’ what we authors need to know about the changes to Amazon Advertising. Thank you Dave!


Amazon is always looking for better ways to crank out a higher profit margin.

While some of their updates have been much to the chagrin of authors, recent changes to their book advertising system should help authors make better decisions about their ads and target their markets more precisely.

But it’s not all good. I’m leery of some aspects I think might be problematic.

To read the entire blog post, click here:

https://www.janefriedman.com/amazon-ads-changing/

The Four Essential Elements You Need To Sell Books On Amazon – Written By Derek Haines

Derek Haines informs us about the four essential elements we need to sell books on Amazon. Thank you for sharing your experience, Derek. We really appreciate it!


 

Have you written a book you want to sell?

You have? Well, you are probably very excited about the prospect of becoming a published author, and rightly so.

But before you jump into self-publishing your book, sit back and take a deep breath. You have some work to do before you publish that will help sell books on Amazon after your book is released.

Selling books online today is very competitive. Every year more and more authors are publishing books and ebooks on Amazon, Apple, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.

By some estimates, a new title is published every one minute and forty-five seconds on Amazon KDP alone.

Many of these thousands of titles are never going to succeed at selling on Amazon. Either because the writing standard is poor, the cover is homemade, or in a lot of cases nowadays, many are merely copies of public domain books.

To read the entire blog post go to:

The Four Essential Elements You Need To Sell Books On Amazon