NOW AVAILABLE: REVENGE-ARONI

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Revenge-aroni, April 1

Six months ago, Thor, the former Norse God of Thunder – along with the motley crew of political clones and cyborgs and psychic squirrels he calls his friends – saved the world. And, in a wholly unprecedented move, this time the world stayed saved.

The frozen head of Walt Sidney is not happy about that. Like, at all.

The bodiless businessman has pit his two top men against each other and sent them after the group, in a contest to see who can out-murder who. Because vengeance is a dish best served lukewarm and out of a can, heated over the smoldering remains of your enemies. Also, vengeance should be eaten with an officially licensed Lindsey Louse Spearin’ Spork for maximum vengeance-ing.

The fourth book in the EXPONENTIAL APOCALYPSE series, REVENGE-ARONI is smart, vulgar, and quite simply and with absolutely zero hyperbole, the single best post-apocalyptic book about borderline inept, mercenary heroes you will ever read. Filled with gallows humor and inventive swearing and run-on sentences, as well as sex, drugs, violence, and blatant attacks on artisanal coffee, REVENGE-ARONI will surely be looked back on as the piece of literature that saved humanity from both itself and the inevitable uprising of homicidal crab-people.

REVENGE-ARONI is available as a paperback or in a variety of e-copies from the fine retailers below. Or a local store of yours! Just ask and they should be able to look the book up.

Amazon
Google
Smashwords

Things Are Happening

So, first off, thanks to Eunoia Review for accepting “Scheherazade” for publication. The story was previously only available in the Storybook Romance chapbook, but now you can read it by clicking here! It’s about a special kind of Jersey-specific traffic (maybe New York too) and how sometimes good things happen when you least expect it.

Speaking of good things, my play “Bagel” has been accepted into the The 2nd Seven by the Fusion theatre company. Fusion is a local group that runs an annual, national contest called The Seven, with the seven winners’ plays being fully produced here in Albuquerque. I came in 8th. But that’s OK! Because the second group of seven plays get a public reading of their plays. That’s scheduled for June 13, time and location still to come.

And speaking of time and location, the one and only Revenge-aroni book launch is happening on Sat. June 18th, noon to 2 p.m., at the Kosmos at Factory on 5th!

Revenge-aroni Book Launch

I’ll be reading from all four Exponential Apocalypse books and straight-up giving away limited, out-of-print, signed, first and second editions of Exponential Apocalypse. There will also be coffee and donuts if that’s more your thing.

Also, if you’re on LibraryThing, I’m giving away 100 e-copies of each book and all I’m asking for is a review. I’d link to the giveaways themselves, but their user interface is kind of terrible and I can’t figure out how to do that.
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Goings On

In case you missed it, I talked with the inimitable Frank Edler on the Bizzong podcast last week. Click here to listen to it right now. We talk about all kinds of stuff, including how I should be more famous but I’m not because I don’t understand social media!

Also, after selling out the first batch of Revenge-aroni books, I got a brand new shipment. Look!

Box of Revenge-aroni

If you’re interested in a signed paperback, let me know. 10 bucks each plus 3 for shipping. I think I’ve got enough this time. In theory I might need some of these for a book launch, but I’m less than certain that’s happening at this point. Anyway, I’ve got copies of the other three books too.

Speaking of Revenge-aroni, if you’ve read it and enjoyed it, please leave a review! And, look, here are the links!

Amazon
Goodreads

Thank you!

Independent Bookstore Day

Not to be a contrarian asshole or anything, but why does everyone love independent bookstores? I am sincerely asking. Because I have not had great experiences.

As a reader, I kind of get it. There’s a certain thrill to buying a ratty copy of the The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin for a dollar, but those finds are few and far between for me. And if they don’t have what you want, I honestly don’t understand why you would pay more and wait longer for a bookstore to order a copy when you could get it from Amazon. Is it solely the anti-corporate, buy-local thing? ‘Cause I get that, but I’m also broke almost all the time and prescriptions still aren’t cheap.

As an author, though, I really don’t fucking get it. I know a lot of authors have great success with getting their books into independent stores and doing readings there and stuff, but almost all of my experiences have been straight-up embarrassing, if not insulting.

In New Jersey, when Exponential Apocalypse first came out, I went to several bookstores in Montclair and was all but laughed out. They said they couldn’t spare the shelf space for someone just starting out. Which I get, but it did seem to run counter to their “we support local authors” ethos. It’s not like I was running off shitty copies at Kinkos. Plus they seemed super annoyed that I even asked.

Albuquerque was a little better in that I actually got my books onto a few stores’ shelves, but even then, one of the stores charged me a stocking fee and returned my books after three months because they didn’t sell. Which didn’t really seem fair since they had my books hidden in a corner. I had to literally climb over stuff to find them. Suffice it to say, I lost money on that endeavor and haven’t tried to get any of the newer books in there. One of the other stores is currently considering letting me do a book signing there (on consignment, of course) for Revenge-aroni, but they want to make sure they can’t get someone bigger instead.

The local Barnes & Noble, meanwhile, purchased five copies of all of my books for their store before I’d even finished talking with them.

So, again, legitimately asking: What am I missing? What am I doing wrong? Am I expecting too much from these stores? Or is this just the way it is?

How the Sausage Is Made

Here is what I have learned writing and marketing and sinking into depression over Revenge-aroni.

Finished Copy

The Writing Is the Easy Part – It takes forever, and you have to edit it a thousand times before you still don’t think it’s done, but at least you understand what the hell is going on.

Start Early or Finish Later – I think I’ve been in mañana-land too long. I waited until I had a final draft, then locked down a release date that left me, maybe, six weeks to promote and try to get early reviews. Don’t do that. Either give yourself a lot more time between finished product and release (assuming that’s your call, obviously), or start promoting while you’re writing it, I guess.

Probably Don’t Release Your Book On a Friday – And definitely not on April Fools’ Day. It will seem like a good idea, but it most certainly is not. For one thing, no one’s online on a Friday. For another, you’re never going to out-important whatever Google’s prank did or did not do.

Your Thunderclap Probably Won’t Work – No one knows what the fuck Thunderclap is, and everyone’s scared of giving it access to their social media. Your failure to get anywhere close to the minimum 100 users will leave you humiliated and frustrated. Maybe if you have a rabid and tech-savvy cult following it might work. Or I guess try HeadTalker – it’s basically the same thing, but the minimum user count is 25, which is a lot more doable.

Giveaways Are Your Friend – Advertise them early and often. There’s a whole community that does nothing but enter contests. Some of them even joined the Thunderclap. If I had started the giveaway earlier or ran it longer, maybe we would’ve gotten somewhere with the other stuff.

Ignore the Self-Doubt – If you’re anything like me, in the days following your publication, when no one seems as excited about your book as you are, you’re probably going to fall into the traditional Writer’s Pit of Self-Doubt. (Also known as the monthly My Book is Terrible and Stupid and I Should Give Up Writing Forever Spiral of Depression.) Just ignore that. People will buy it, people will review it, and people will enjoy it.

Be Honest – As much as I enjoy all the goofy ads I made with quotes from the book, they don’t actually translate into sales. Going over the analytics, the times I straight up asked for help were the ones that worked best. Not when I was clever, not when I was selling something, but when I was like, “Yo, please buy this because otherwise I will be sad.” or “Yo, please pledge your social media to this site you’ve never of heard of.”

I Still Don’t Know How to Get Book Reviews or Sales – All that said, I still have no idea if I’m doing any of this right. My sales for Revenge-aroni are better than High Voltage, but nowhere near Exponential Apocalypse. My success percentage for asking for reviews is in the single digits. (Super double thanks to everyone who said yes!) I’ve got no downloads at Story Cartel (where you can still grab a digital review copy for free). I’m assuming this is all par for the course for independent/small press authors, but I honestly do not know.

Ultimately, you’re going to want to take all of the above with a grain of salt. I don’t think there are actually any rules for this.

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Revenge-aroni Cover
Revenge-aroni, the fourth book in the Exponential Apocalypse series, is now available! Check it out at any of the fine links below.

Amazon
Goodreads
Story Cartel
Google Play
Smashwords

I Do Believe in Reviews, I Do, I Do

Revenge-aroni CoverI’ll have a full post-mortem about what I learned from the Revenge-aroni launch next week, but, for now, here’s some other stuff.

On the above-mentioned Revenge-aroni front, if you would like a copy for review, you can get one from Story Cartel. If you don’t like signing up for websites, send me an email. Or enter the Goodreads giveaway and hope for the best.

Speaking of, if you already have a copy, please leave a review on either Amazon or Goodreads. Book sales are like Tinkerbells and reviews are the clapping that keeps them alive. I’m sure there’s a better analogy, but there you are.

Also! I have a story in Quick Shivers about Bugs from DailyNightmare.com. It’s a short book, but absolutely gorgeous and pretty entertaining. There’s an essay on ’50s’ giant bug movies that immediately precedes my story and that makes me super happy.

Anyway, that’s about it. I’ve been working on this book so damn long that I don’t know what to do with my time anymore. Maybe I’ll go watch The Force Awakens again.