Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fighting the Good Fight

I'm going to do my best to make sure there's no typos, but I just got off work and my brain is a little fried. Night shift is...special is the only word that comes to mind. But I digress.

It's been almost a month since Shades of Gray hit Kindle. I can't really say I'm selling any, but that might be because I'm giving away copies for review. So my wallet isn't happy, but I'm fairly used to that. It's almost a constant state of being, the weeping of my wallet. But I digress again.

While I haven't achieved a boatload of sales--not even a little toy boat sized load--I have gotten some favorable reviews. At this posting, it's two, with at least two more coming in the next couple of weeks. I'll throw those links at the end of this blog for all the curious. The general consensus is good. Damn good, actually, which makes me really happy. It's always good to have affirmation of your work, especially from someone other than your mom (I still love you, Mom--just saying).

So positive reviews--check. Increased internet exposure--working on it.

This blog is one way to get the word out. I know, I tend to just ramble, sometimes incoherently, but at least you're reading it. (You are reading, right? You're not just skimming?) I hope I'm entertaining you at least a little. If you out there in cyber world have any particular topics you'd like to see talked about, just holler.

I've been tentatively working the forums on Amazon and at I don't want to annoy the devil out of people (although it might be less bothersome than an exorcism), but I want people to buy my book, damnit. I think what I'll end up doing is hitting the major threads once a week and keep my eye out for relevant threads.

Facebook is a small but slightly relevant presence. My group is small but word of mouth has been known to work wonders. Twitter is...difficult. I'm going to try and be a better Tweeter, but who knows how that's going to work out.

So the fight continues. Now, if only I had Gerard Butler or Viggo Mortenson to keep me company...

The links:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Trials, Tribulations, and Triumph

First, let me just say that the title of the blog, while catchy, also makes me think of some esoteric music group. You know, the kind that rap over acoustic guitar and trombones, or something like that. It's early, so I'm bound to be distracted, and so I just had to share that piece of information.

Now on to the trials and tribulations. After taking right at two weeks to edit and upload the changes to Shades of Gray, I finished. The heavens opened up, angels sang, there was a tinker tape parade...okay, the last one was definitely in my head, but it's my head, and I can have a parade there if I want to. I was merciless. I cut right at 6,000 words. Plot, pacing, characters, etc are all still the same, I just chopped quite a bit of extraneous description and some conversational bits. So chop, snip, axe, until everything is a little more pared down while still retaining the essence of Jude.

And then tragedy struck.

In an effort to entice people into continuing the series, I decided to throw the first chapter of Shades of Desire after Shades of Gray. Small problem--I can't find it. Not just the first chapter, but the entire manuscript. All 370 pages of it. Gone. Vanished. Disappeared. If ever there was a moment to cry, it was sitting in my living room with months of hard work just gone.

The only saving grace was that I had posted quite a bit of SoD to a writing website that I'm a member of, and it was still sitting there. The very rough, pre-edit, full of plot confusion version. But given a choice between having some of it and having none of it, I'd take the some of it. I was still missing roughly a hundred pages, but I was going to be a trooper. I was going to rewrite what was missing, and finish SoD, and have it ready for release on Nov. 2. The thought of all that lost work still made me want to cry, but I was going to bounce back from this.

Boy, did my rubber ball turn out to one of huge proportions.

Right at a week ago, give or take a day, I'm sitting there in my living room, writing away. If I'm doing at least a half chapter every day, I'll finish up no later that the middle of September--this is my thought. So after about six pages or so, I save--double save, actually, since my flashdrive is practically glued to me now--and decided to call it a night. And then I have the craziest idea. I'm convinced it won't work. After all, why would my beloved book suddenly appear just because I'm doing a single word search through my computer harddrive?

Maybe, because my computer is a sneaky, wily beast. Because I'll be damned, halfway down the search results, I come across a file the right size, with a date around the time my book went missing. I double clicked on that sucker, and probably scared the neighbors half to death with my scream of triumph.

That's right. My computer, in a fit of something or another, had managed to hide my book from me. I always thought my computer was smarter than me. Now I know it. But that's okay, it can be smarter than me--because I found my book, saved that thing on my computer and on my flashdrive, and once I post this I'll be getting back to work on it.

The other bit of good news is that Shades of Gray is now available on Kindle. Like right this second. Current pricing is $2.99, but around Halloween I may drop it down for a week or so. Paperback will be out later this month, but I'm pushing for everyone to go the Kindle route. You can download the Kindle software on any smartphone or on your PC or on your actual Kindle (shocking, I know). The Kindle version is cheaper and more portable. Now, if you want to go the paperback route, I'll be happy there, too, but I'm about saving you guys money so you can buy more books or whatever. So--go for the Kindle.

Here is the direct link---

(For some reason, I thought that was going to get shorter. Apparently, I was wrong.)

Now, any reviewers out there--message me or comment below and I'll send you a free copy. Yes, free--but for reviewers only. Before I send the PDF, I'll be checking out your web site to confirm you are who you say you are--cause my mama didn't raise no fool. I can be silly sometimes, but I'm not a fool.

Everybody else--tell your friends! It's only $2.99! That's less than a meal at most fast food restaurants! I'll stop with the exclamation points now! Okay, I'll stop now, really. But word of mouth is one of the best marketing tools available, and this is where you guys come in. So get out there, spread the word.

And get ready for Shades of Desire--because things are about to go more than a little crazy.