Friday, December 6, 2019

Amazon Best Seller


My sorta-kinna pseudo PA but really my friend, Jenn Nixon, has been working with me for the past six months. I love, love, love working with her. She pointed me at Ellysian Press when I was looking for a home for THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE, and she’s been in charge or a lot of my day-to-day marketing stuff like newsletters and finding freebie or low-cost advertising blogs and whatnot.

She’s been pushing both my steampunk and my urban fantasy book, and while marketing is never easy, she certainly makes it look like it’s a breeze. Steady sales for a small press author are always a good thing.

About two months ago, we decided to do a thing.

We decided to make the ebook version of TEARS OF HEAVEN free for this week. 

There were a lot of good reasons for this, and top of the list was you folk reading this now.
This was as a thank you to all the people who had supported me, bought the book in its previous incarnations, and maybe didn’t have this most current one. This was for all the people who supported me, but couldn’t swing the purchase just yet. This was for all the people who’d thought about buying the book, but weren’t quite ready to take a chance on an unknown, small press author.

That thing seems to have worked.

This morning, when I logged in, Jenn was already “squee-ing” (literally) about the ranks. I also squee-ed all over as well, much to the annoyance of some of my early morning co-workers. You’re welcome to squee or not to squee:

#31 in US
#13 in UK
#7 in Australia
#1 in CANADA!

My mother has always loved Australia!
Now, granted, this is in the "Top 100 Free" category. No one is backing up a dump truck full of cash to my house. But, this does mean a few hundred downloads have been made. If even a percentage of those folk like what I do, I may have made some new fans who will pick up the other books in the series, and even follow me over from urban fantasy to my steampunk world.

I also can never, ever, never say enough good things about Jenn. She's a helluva writer, she's been a wonderful pseudo-PA, helping, guiding, and helping. If you're looking for some marketing assistance, she has extremely reasonable rates, and she's an incredible advocate.  And seriously, her rates are EXTREMELY reasonable. I wouldn't be here without her. Seriously, look her up!

The freebie ends tomorrow at midnight.  Well, 11:59 PM to be exact. So it’s possible that I’ll see some better numbers over the weekend.  But these are the best numbers I’ve EVER seen, and that’s thanks to everyone who has ever even looked my way.


What unexpected “good thing” has happened to you recently? Tell me in the comments below!

Monday, December 2, 2019

We Won! We Won!

In the money, BABY!

Two really big things to report this blog, so we’ll go with those:

1. Update on the cover art contest!

2. TEARS OF HEAVEN free download!

First—YOU DID IT! I asked, and you answered. COMPANY OF THE DAMNED won third place, and that was in the money! You guys gave me 513 votes—FIVE-HUNDRED—and that’s amazing. Second place was at 754 votes and first was at 763 votes. Given the level of effort to stay in the running, I’m more than pleased with the finish, and I really appreciate your help. More than that, I appreciate your patience putting up with my constant requests for another and another and yet another vote!

I wish I could thank all of your personally.

In a way, I can!

So, second—TEARS OF HEAVEN will be offered for FREE digital download from Amazon starting Tuesday, December 3rd running through Saturday, December 7th. It’s not exactly a Black Friday sale, but it is certainly free, with no obligations whatsoever. Just a thank you to everyone who has ever helped, wanted to help, or even thought about helping me out.

That’s right. For a brief time, we’re making the first book in the series available for FREE download. Obviously, the idea is to make it a gateway to the rest of the books, and my other books, etc. But also, this is a lovely present for everyone who has supported me over the years. If you don’t have a digital copy, now you can!

Thank you for helping me succeed in 2019!

What was your favorite book or movie this year?
Tell me in the comments below!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Final Round—FIGHT!

Oh Captain, my Captain.

So . . . this really is the last, last time.

Apparently, I can’t count.

There were four rounds of voting, not three.

Picard would not be amused.

So let’s try this again . . .

Hello friends and family! LAST TIME!  I promise. I need your help!

This is the FINAL ROUND of voting for the cover of COMPANY OF THE DAMNED. Voting has reset, so you can VOTE AGAIN! Only the top 3 covers can win anything. Just go to:

If you want to go a little further, forward this message on to anyone you think would be willing to help.

Thank you, and thank you so much for your support!

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Rules Are The Rules

A quick note to all my beautiful, talented, intelligent, and gifted friends—That DM from me
The "P" is missing.
And we'd like to keep it that way, too!
asking you to vote for COMPANY OF THE DAMNED was a request. It was only a request.

There was no quid pro quo. The DM was perfect.

I do not, however, buy or trade votes. If you want to support me and my work as an author THANK YOU SO MUCH! If you feel my cover doesn’t deserve your vote THANK YOU SO MUCH! If you don’t want to be bothered with an otherwise meaningless contest THANK YOU SO MUCH! If you ignored the DM because DMs are dumb THANK YOU SO MUCH!

I appreciate all your efforts, large and small.

You’re reading this, and I appreciate that you took the time.

I’m not keeping a list. Marketing is hard, hard work. No one is going to do it for me.

I try really hard to not annoy people with this stuff (I save that for the author page, this blog, the newsletter, etc.). I try very hard to keep the spam to the barest minimum.  Pimpin’ ain’t easy. I appreciate everyone putting up with me.

But for the record: I DO NOT buy or sell votes. I also DO NOT review books “only for a positive review.” I won’t trade your book for my vote, my vote for your book, or any other combination. I think that’s all the combinations there are, but if someone has another one, I probably don’t do that either.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

What a Convention!

Not sure who let in that guy on the left!
Daniel Arthur Smith's table was awesome!
Does anyone remember Yakov Smirnoff? His catch-phrase, in mock Russian accent, was, “What a country!”

I feel the same way about the Book Fiend Reader’s Fest conventions: What a weekend!

First, it was SO FUN! This was the first convention I attended as an active author with published works. I did a reading, participated on a panel, and had SO MUCH FUN!

What a weekend!

I also learned a lot, which is a good thing if I’m every going to get accepted by another convention committee. I flew out of Southern California on Friday afternoon. My schedule was somewhat brutal to make the convention. I flew into Dallas-Ft. Worth airport, and we arrived late. In fact, my connecting flight was boarding when I finally got off the plane. No big deal, though. This is what we train for! The concourses were next to each other, although it was a good mile or two of actual leg work to get there, but I made it just as they called for final boarding!

Jessica Lucci, Elizabeth Chatworth, and Corrina Lawson
Steampunking it up!
Touching down in Hartford, Connecticut was exactly what I thought it would be like. There, it was nearly midnight, but that’s only 9 o’clock for a West Coaster, so I was more than up for the hour-long ride from the airport to Norwich and my awaiting AirBnB. The apartment I stayed in was SO CUTE that I wished I’d had more time to spend there. I’d thought it was just a bedroom, but it was actually and entire place, and WAY more affordable any a hotel.

What a weekend!

The Book Fiend Readers Fest was mostly supposed to be steampunk-based, so I made the mistake of ONLY carrying THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE with me. This is no fault of the convention, just an inexperienced author. There was a lot of fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, etc. present, so TEARS OF HEAVEN, HELL BECOMES HER, and COMPANY OF THE DAMNED would have fit right in. I could have swapped out two volumes of each, and they would have been right at home.

Rookie mistakes were going to happen. I forget to bring any swag or business cards. It was a pretty basic oversight, and I won’t miss those opportunities again. I have all that stuff, but, as Tolkien wrote, “One thing drives out another.” That was certainly the case.

I did have a lovely steampunk-themed table cloth that I purchased specifically for these kinds of events. That goes into the gear for future efforts. Bookmarks have been made, and business cards have all gone into the box along with the unsold copies of the books. Stands and pricing sheets were ready to go, so those were never an issue. There are some sweet, sweet lighted pens/stylus combinations that I’ve been considering, and I just need to pull the trigger for the next convention.

Over-all, though: WHAT A WEEKEND!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Help Del WIN With Your Votes!

She's no angel—but she needs your vote!

COMPANY OF THE DAMNED has been accepted into AllAuthor’s cover of the month contest.  

Finalists win some nice promotional packages that can help authors propel their works and keep on writing.

There are several levels of voting, so I’ll be asking for additional support going forward.

If you’ve read, wanted to read, will be reading, or have even just heard of COMPANY OF THE DAMNED (as in right now) please go vote for the COVER!

Also, please forward, share, tweet, and spam anyone you think might be willing to throw a vote my way.

It will all be much appreciated!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

In Memoriam—Jeremy McIntosh

My friend—Jeremy McIntosh

The last time tragedy took someone I was fond of, and after the initial shock of their loss wore off, I wrote. That’s how I process my thoughts, open to the grieving, and share with others. Yesterday, I learned that an old friend from Battle Mountain—Jeremy McIntosh—passed away suddenly. Jeremy was that rare individual who seems to know everyone and be loved by everyone. His loss struck deep, not just at me, but all those around him.

This morning, as I was preparing to write up this memorial, I opened Facebook to gather a couple of pictures from his page to share. My feed was flooded with an outpouring of sorrow, grief, condolences, and warm memories. They weren’t directed at me of course, which is the point. The fact that Jeremy had touched and impacted so many lives was testified to by the overpowering will of those in his vast, vast circle.

Jeremy was easily one of the most unique individuals I’ve ever met. He befriended me—a scared, shy, “new kid”—when he recognized (according to him) a kindred creative soul. What I remember most about Jeremy was his ability to draw. He always, always, always had a sketchpad or a spiral notebook, filled with his doodles, drawing, portraits, and experiments.

Once, Jeremy shared with me the start of a comic book he was working on at the time, a kind of X-Men/Justice League group of super heroes. This being Jeremy, though, the group wasn’t going to have it easy. Their budget (for fighting crime and evil) was astoundingly small, and limited. They would have to become self-sufficient or the group would be disbanded.

That was Jeremy. A guy who could see the beauty of the world, but knew that it was finite, knew that it required work to maintain and grow.

Jeremy was a reader. A voracious consumer of books. When I knew him, through high school, he was reading mostly fantasy novels. His library of stacked paperbacks mixed with a few hardcovers, was enviable. We shared that love of reading, and talked about authors and stories, and exchanged books. We branched out into movies, and he recommended The Highlander to me—it was a good recommendation. My mother reminded me that she’d lent him one of Terry Brooks’ Shannara books. He devoured it in days and returned the borrowed copy in perfect, pristine condition.

There's that smile!
Always conscious of others, and how his actions might impact them.

Jeremy was one of the people I made an active and concerted effort to track down and friend on social media. Back in the day, Jeremy had believed in my writing. He was interested and encouraging and present. I wasn't sure if he'd read anything of mine, but I recently discovered that not only had he bought my books, he'd been encouraging others to buy them too. Reading through the memories and thoughts of others this morning, that was the epitome of who Jeremy was—he believed in and liked people for who they were. He saw what they were capable of and urged them to pursue it. If he could, he would help you accomplish great things.

I think he saw that in himself too. A relentless pursuit of who he was and what he could become, just like when he taught himself to backflip. He did this first by standing on a four-foot tall cinder block wall surrounded by concrete benches, concrete tables and more concrete. He leaped out, backwards into the air in an impossibly tight spin. The first time I watch him do it, it freaked me out. I had visions of him slamming his head into any one of the many concrete shapes that surrounded us. 

He didn’t.  He was always successful. He was very much like the speaker in the Shel Silverstein poem Hug O’ War:

I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins

That’s how I will remember him. Friendly and a friend. Accomplishing things that scared me. Smiling his ever-present smile, one that said the world was very clever for remembering to include Jeremy McIntosh in it, because the world was a better place with him in it, and people were better for having known him.

I'm certainly glad that I knew him.

Jeremy, you are missed.