Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Indie Author

Was asked the other day what it meant to be an indie author.  Mostly what it means is that you have little structured support for the process of writing books and also the marketing of those books.  You are on your own.  Okay not completely.  I have help with editing, cover design, formatting and some distribution aspects from two great people Saul Bottcher and Nas Hedron.  Maybe it just seems like you are alone on most days.

It was great writing the Muckraker series with Stanley Nelson in that there was someone else involved who could provide a different perspective.  His input was an important element in the authenticity of the story line regarding journalism. Although when in doubt, I just make things up--it is fiction.

The real challenge for an indie author is promotion/marketing.  I would guess that this is not the strength of most indie authors.  You write your book, deal with all of the details of having a finished book, get it on-line and nothing-- now what?  Especially if it is your first book, unless you have done a great deal of prepublication marketing (costing lots of money, which most indie authors do not have), nothing happens. No sales, no reviews --nothing.  I have no idea how many one-book authors there are on Amazon but I would guess a lot.  It is very discouraging to have written a good book and no one reads it, because it is lost in the forest of on-line books for sale.  So many of those authors I'm sure just give up.

I've been fortunate to have found a loyal following for my books.  Winning some awards and having good reviews have helped me generate a base of readers.  Reviews are a big part of finding new readers.  I really appreciate everyone who has reviewed my books--of course, there are exceptions.  Occasionally I will get a less than stellar review.  Ouch!  But mostly they are good.  Reviews are a real key to selling books.  And it is selling books that allows writers to write.

Keep reading!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Tommy Jacks My View Columns

One of the unique features in the Muckraker series is the newspaper columns written by Tommy Jacks; usually appearing after each chapter.  Tommy Jacks is the main character in the Muckraker series.  He is a recent graduate with a journalism degree.  He lands his first job with a struggling, relatively new daily newspaper; the OK Journal and through an unusual set of circumstances is asked to write an opinion column focused on politics.  He soon takes over the name My View for his columns at the request of the publisher, that name has a lot of history attached to it and presents new challenges for Tommy.

The columns often continue the story line from the primary text but sometimes they veer off and cover national news occurring in this time period; the 1960s, or delve deeper into the weeds of local political happenings.

The columns also give Tommy a platform to hammer at the lack of movement by the authorities regarding unsolved murders that have occurred within his world.  And of course an opportunity to land a few well deserved punches to some of the more unworthy political operatives walking the halls of the capitol.  After all he is a muckraker.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Muckraker Series Update

A little behind the scenes news.  The second book Murder So Strange is in stage two of editing with an anticipated publication date of March or April of 2018.  And the third book in this series Murder On Account has just been completed.  This is a first draft and there is still a long path to a completed book.

I hope you have enjoyed Murder So Wrong and will continue reading this series.  We appreciate your input via email or reviews on Amazon or Goodreads.

Some readers have asked me why the e-books only appear on Amazon.  This is due to marketing programs that are offered by Amazon in exchange for exclusive rights.  I know that has annoyed some, but it has made sense regarding our limited marketing budgets.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Murder So Wrong

The e-book of Murder So Wrong is now available on Amazon.  Paperback should be available next week.  The wheels keep turning toward something, maybe a surprise ending.  Book 2: Murder So Strange is in the works and should be fully baked in a few months.  Thanks for being a reader.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

New Book--Available Real Soon

Murder So Wrong will be available on Amazon very soon. 

Exactly when, still don't know, but days not weeks.  If you would like to receive an email when the date is fixed go to my web page and sign-up.  Also as a bonus for signing up you will be directed to a listing and description of places in New Mexico featured in Sky High Stakes--A Pacheco and Chino Mystery.

Most fiction is of course just that--made up.  But much about what an author writes is based on some connection with reality; in my case the stories I write all take place in locations where I have lived or spent time.  Sky High Stakes takes place in Ruidoso, New Mexico.  A place I spent a lot of time.  It is an odd mixture of different cultures and people, which I think gives it a unique dynamic and always enjoyed my time spent there.  As such it was easy to write about and I thought provided an interesting background to the story.

If you are one of the first readers of the new book Murder So Wrong remember it is a great benefit for myself and Stanley Nelson if you could take a little time and write a review on Amazon.  Reviews help other readers and unless it's a real stinker it helps the authors.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Pacheco and Chino #3

I've recently had some questions about what had happened to Four Corners War.  The easy answer is I got side tracked.  Some of that was personal.  I think I've written before about writing and life sometimes being in conflict.  For a period of time I seemed to lose the ability to write while dealing with other life issues.

After that spell of inactivity I began a new project; Muckraker Mystery's.  This is a series of co-authored books with Stanley Nelson.  The first book Murder So Wrong will be released around November 1st.  There are two other books scheduled in this series at this time.

Once the third Muckraker book is finished I will go back to finish Four Corners War.  That probably puts that books release in late 2018.  That's a big difference to the originally announced completion of late 2016.  It embarrasses me, but it is what it is.  Maybe the lesson here is not to announce a publication date until the book is completed.

I appreciate the inquires people have made about the book and the fact that they want to read it.  Ray Pacheco and Tyee Chino are great characters and I do enjoy telling their stories and I'm pleased people enjoy reading them.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Murder So Wrong - Update

New book getting very close.  Looks like publishing date will be around October 16, 2017.  You can go to my web site and sign up for notification of exact date.

A political reporter for the state’s largest newspaper is found dead on State Capitol grounds. It is a very disturbing beginning for Tommy Jacks on his first day as a 1960s newspaper reporter, hired to cover politics.  He soon encounters an eclectic group of characters who bring to life a different world at a different time:  Taylor Albright, legendary gossip-monger and discredited columnist; Ray Jacks, Tommy’s father, an infamous political leader now in state prison; Joe Louongo, slimy lawyer of questionable ethics; Steve Marsh, sportswriter and former famous football star; J.H. Gilmore and his son, Robbie, wealthy and conniving owners of a competing newspaper; Tracy Clark, beautiful TV reporter; and Judy Jackson, gorgeous past playmate of Tommy’s.  A story of the ’60s, full of intrigue, love, and tragedy—Tommy Jacks: Muckraker.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Murder So Wrong

The Tommy Jacks: Muckraker series first book Murder So Wrong has moved into the editing/re-write stage.  The completion of the first draft is an exciting step toward a completed book.  Best target date for the book to be published is about two months--so the end of September or beginning of October.

This book occurs in the 1960s and the central theme is a newspaper war between the dominate paper in an urban market against a new start-up rival.  Tommy Jacks is a young, just out of college, journalist who through an unusual set of circumstances is given his own opinion column at the new paper to focus on politics.  He almost immediately stumbles into the murder of the other papers top political reporter.

There is humor, romance, a little nastiness and a few murders.  All taking place within the context of the newspaper feud.  Lots of interesting, colorful characters--some to like; some to hate.

Will keep you advised as we get closer to a definite publishing date.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Dry Spell

It has been a while since I have posted.  Combination of things contributed to this lack of news; some of that could be my mental block regarding the latest Pacheco and Chino book.  "Four Corners War" was being written many, many months ago.  Matter of fact several chapters were included as a preview in "Sky High Stakes" which was published about a year ago.

So what happened.  Don't really know.  Some personal problems, life getting in the way of writing is a common progress killer.  But it was more than that, I lost focus on the book.  My tendency has been to write quickly with little review until I am done.  This can lead to some "how in the world did I miss that" moments during editing.  For some reason with FCW I took a different approach and was going back and reviewing more as I wrote.  Maybe that contributed; all I really know is I got to a point and stopped writing.  I labored over paragraphs in the time frame I was normally writing chapters.  I enjoy writing but suddenly it was not fun.

During this dry spell I had a new idea for a book.  So rather than beat the poor horse any further, I decided to put FCW on the shelf for a while and write something new.  This book is about the newspaper business and I am co-writing the book with a good friend of mine Stan Nelson.  Stan has been in the newspaper business for many years and will give this book an insight that can only come from that personal experience, plus he is a great writer.

Well for whatever reason the barriers are gone.  We are making terrific progress on this new book.  It will have a journalist perspective with lots of conflict and intrigue from the political world--fun stuff to write and hopefully fun stuff to read.

I will keep you informed, better than I have, about progress on this new book.  The book will be a mystery and will have lots of interesting characters.  Haven't finalized the title but the working title is "Tommy Jacks: Muckraker".