Peter Falk Can Help Sell More Books

Getting your book in front of people is only half the battle. That’s the easy part. Grabbing their interest among the thousands of other things vying for their attention — that’s the hard part. Author Jaimie Engle discusses here how Peter Falk — in The Princess Bride no less — helped her crack the case.

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Black Friday AtS Sale!

Black Friday Special! Among the Shadows $2.99 on Kindle. Join the War Among the Shadows.

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Character Profile: Ethan

Ethan Since I was born, I could feel it. There, just out of reach, the pull reached through the veil. Our souls straddle the planes of existence and to be bound by this one was maddening. Most have learned to bury these cries emerging from our very essence.

Then, one day, I broke free.

While the world slept blissfully unaware, I walked among the shadows. Merging into the darkness, but not taken by it, I brought the Light that forced Malice to flee. In distant, forgotten lands, I brought justice to the wielders of hate.

Then I left, we both did, and we knew there was more. Our Story had not ended.

A different Darkness has now crept out of the abyss. Watchers of old had once driven it back. Now we must fight again or allow the world to crumble into ruin.

I am Ethan, the terrors from myth and legend wish to destroy me, but they fear destruction by the power that surges inside me.

They will wage their war and it will be their last.

Among the Shadows: Watchers of the Light Book 1 now available!

[Photo used under license from Shutterstock.com.]

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From Callisto to Deep Beneath the Earth

I have finally finished my review of the old-fashioned adventures of Lin Carter. First was the Conan-inspired Thongor. Then we flew to the Green Star, where a man trapped by his circumstances on Earth, founds himself in endless adventure in a distant star system. Now, in the Jandar of Callisto series, we follow Johnathan Dark to the moon of Jupiter, where rapid-fire, breathless adventures await.

This is one of Carter’s best, on par with Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars and Carson Napier of Venus epics. Escapist like the rest, but why do so many seek to escape into such books? Are the unhappy with reality? Perhaps, but some do so for fun or to relax. It’s no different then sports or television, though certainly more engaging then the latter. For others, it is more deeper (and maybe they don’t even realize this).

Maybe society, or jobs, or other people, have defined their lives or killed their souls. Carter’s books, and others like it, often start with some disaffected earthman being swept away to another world. There he finds his true self, his purpose, his Story.

Carter continues this thread in his Zanthodon books — his answer to Burroughs’ Pellucidar. In some ways, Carter’s is better — not as drawn out and more focused. The hero, Eric Carstairs finds himself in a lost world underneath the Sahara. There he also finds the beautiful Darya, woman of the bronze age. Darya is realized as a strong female character that stands above the stereotype of pulp fiction. Even she, though, is painted as a contrast to the controlling society miles above — free from what shifting winds there try to define women as.

So take the leap, fly to another world, or go deep below, and perhaps you’ll find that ember inside waiting to burst into fire and flame.

thon

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Goodreads Ad Campaigns: Marketing Part 3

I have been experimenting with advertising on Goodreads for a few weeks. It is a simple system that allows targeting advertising for a reasonable cost. In an attempt to figure out in maximizing exposure, I periodically adjust different settings. Every time I think I cracked the system, I see huge fluctuations in the number of ad placements on any given day. Part of that, I think, is having to go in and make adjustments whenever funds are spent. However, there are three fundamentals that a Goodreads campaign must have:

1. Eye-catching cover with interesting text.
2. Targeting main audiences interested in your genre.
3. Keeping your “Daily Cap” and “Click Through Rates” as high as you can to help maximize views.

I have an ad campaign on Amazon as well (more on that later) and soon to launch one on Facebook. How effective is Goodreads advertising? In spite of a large audience, and one that is made up of dedicated readers and authors, I don’t think it is the primary social media platform for most people. In other words, people go to their Facebook first, or the posts sent to their e-mails. Yet Goodreads is still an important platform for authors and readers networking with each other. It’s also serves as a portal to an author’s primary website. It shouldn’t be an author’s main tool, but one of many in his or her toolbox.

For more on Goodreads advertising, see Lindsay Buroker’s article here.

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Lovecraft’s Dark Vision

H.P. Lovecraft is one of the legendary masters of the horror genre – before horror spiraled into shock and gore. His stories were atmospheric and creepy, in way, expanding on Edgar Allen Poe. On the surface, they seemed to be tales of good vs. evil, but on closer inspection, we find a dismal, fatalistic view of existence.

Lovecraft subscribed to cosmicism, which author Mike Duran quotes as being, “The philosophy of cosmicism states that there is no recognizable divine presence, such as a god, in the universe, and that humans are particularly insignificant in the larger scheme of intergalactic existence…” Continue reading

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Barnes & Noble Fans: AtS has Arrived

Among the Shadows is finally on Barnes and Noble. I had mistakenly assumed it was there weeks ago, but due to some glitch or oversight, it was not. Book description still isn’t there (and the wrong publication date is), but this listing joins AtS on Amazon, Kindle and Createspace.

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Hacksaw Ridge

Veteran’s Day is on November 11th and it once marked the end of World War I. Now it honors all veterans of all wars. Perhaps a good way to remember the sacrifice of many is to see this new film of true events during the Battle of Okinawa during World War II:

HR

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War Among the Shadows Spills onto Facebook

Finally, on Facebook right here. This site will still be the main source on books and writing, but now it will be easy for everyone to connect. So head over to FB and let’s get linked up.

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Long Road to Mars

Mars has beckoned us since ancient times. The red orb traveling across the sky, stoking imaginations around the world. Then came the telescope and sightings of shifting dark areas and “canals.” Armadas of robots would reveal a desolate world, once wet and dynamic, laid waste by some cosmic catastrophe. Yet it was writers that kept us looking to the Red Planet.

From the epic John Carter adventures, to The Martian Chronicles, to the more recent The Martian, there has been a steady stream of visions of Mars. Now comes J.C.L. Faltot‘s The Road to Mars.

Decades from now, Mars has been colonized, but war came between the planets. Earth was left in a ruined state and its people blame Mars. Darion and his daughter Olivia travel through the ruined cities, looking for a way to leave. He believes life on Mars is better, like Earth once was. But there is more.

The Darklight is destroying Earth. Shadows lurk in the darkness. What is the Solfire? And do those who lived before the Pulse, know the truths of both worlds?

The Road to Mars, part one of a trilogy, begins differently than most Mars novels. Here we are in a dystopian landscape, and a father and daughter fight to survive, somewhat reminiscent of The Road. Elements of Light versus Darkness lurking in the background and simmering under the surface, remind me of Chris Walley‘s The Lamb Among the Stars series. Combined, these create a fresh new story of survival, choice and destiny.

Road is a compelling journey with well-realized characters, who don’t all end up quite as one would expect. All this before anyone reaches Mars, so you will be anticipating book two and what lies among the red sands.

RTM

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