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Archive for March, 2015

Wow. March flew by! Can’t say I’m not glad for the warmer weather, though. Yep, I’m a wimp. LOL. Ideal temp for me is high 60’s, maybe low 70’s.

Everyone say hello to new author Anthony Rudzki!

1. What’s the title of your latest release? Link?

My first novel, released February 3rd, by Solstice Publishing, is Medallion of the Undead. It’s available on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T3KNH7Q for the E-book version. If you like to go old school, you can get a hipster paper and ink version at: https://www.createspace.com/5295889

2. Why do you like writing in this genre?

Fantasy? I kind of stumbled on this genre, literally. One night I was in a dark alley hoping to score some smack and stumbled over a hobo clutching a semi-finished manuscript. The next morning I woke up with the manuscript and a tattoo of a heart with a scroll emblazoned with Bobbie’s name. The manuscript turned out to be crap and the relationship soured, but to this day, as I’m getting my shots to stave off the Hepatitis C, I reflect on whatever happens in my life, we’ll always have Paris. <Sigh> Sorry, what was the question again?

3. What do you like to read?

For pleasure? I usually pick a novel based on the blurb. If the story sounds interesting, I’ll give the thing a chance. So I don’t really have a favorite writer other than perhaps Agatha Christie. Not because she’s a fantastic writer, but because I’ve always been a fan of mysteries, locked doors are the best kind of doors. It’s always about the story and how well the author can tell it.

4. Favorite movie?

Hmmm. I’d have to go with Lucky Number Sleven. I’m a sucker for well written dialog like early “Gilmore Girls” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” and Sleven contains some very good back and forth dialog.

5. What are your writing habits? Music or silence? Daily regimen or spurts of creativity?

I’m a creature of very bad habits. I will usually sit down when I guilt myself that I should be writing. So I would say I’m more of a spurts of creativity kind of writer. Now, that being said, my writing style of writing hodge-podge scenes as the scene comes to me, works well for the spurt style of writing.

6. What was the most surreal moment you’ve had as an author?

My most surreal moment thus far is from my cousin who posted on Facebook that she was looking for suggestions for something to read. I just posted the Amazon link and said she should give this book a try. Of course, she saw it was me and bought it, but 2 days later she texted me “I need a book 2…I am dying here!”

7. How can readers find you?

Did I mention the hobo alley? If not there… Let’s see: They can follow me on twitter @GroupOfFour, Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/MedallionOfTheUndead and my Blog at http://www.TheUndeadTrilogy.com

8. What do you know now about being published that you wish you’d known before submitting?

Time is a fleeting thing. Write like your ass is on fire and your hair is catching, as they say. Once your book is out there, you will find that you don’t have nearly as much time as you thought you would have for writing, promoting, tweeting, blogging, promoting, robbing kids for milk money, writing and promoting. If you think a trilogy would be a great idea, get at least ¾ of the way through book 2 before submitting.

9. Favorite snack/drink while writing?

Anything that’ll stay on the plate, but I need to be careful. You don’t get this author figure eating bon-bons and Cheetos. Wait…yeah, that’s exactly what you do get.

10. Look at your writing area…what’s the item you keep to inspire you (piece of artwork, figurine)?

I don’t have a talisman for inspiration. I’m more inspired by taking a detailed outline for what I’m working on, breaking it up into scenes and then filling in the scenes with the text that makes the scene work. And then moving onto the next one (after a healthy dose of tequila).

Thanks for stopping by, Anthony! Best of luck with the book!

BB

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As many of you know, I steer clear of politics and religion when it comes to my writing career and image as an author. I believe my readers, indeed everyone in the world, is entitled to have a faith they hold to (or be free to not), love who they wish regardless of gender, and vote as they feel inclined.

However, I cannot, in good conscience, attend any event in Indiana as long as the bill signed into law today remains.

To permit discrimination of any kind under the guise of religious freedom is, in my opinion, morally reprehensible. And goes against the fabric of what most religions actually teach.

Instead of condemning people who are different than us, we should celebrate with them. For we are all individuals and deserving of respect.

BB

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Good morning!

I have coffee! I have kids moving towards school (thus giving me a quiet house)! And I’ve got a desk full of ‘stuff’ needing my attention! Unfortunately, most of it has nothing to do with writing.

As a published author, you’ve got responsibilities. To your editor, getting your changes done in a timely manner. To your publisher, wrapping up all the small stuff your book needs (bio, dedication, etc) and sent in so they can format a complete book. To yourself, to find the balance between promoting the released titles and writing new ones.

Then there’s the responsibility you have to your readers. Be kind. Be encouraging if they’re writers as well. Be pleasant. Be approachable. Be the type of person that you’d want to meet after waiting 3 hours to get an autograph.

Be gracious if you’re handed the 5th piece of original art that depicts your main character, no matter if you agree with it/how poorly drawn it is. Share a smile with someone who quotes that one line for the 17th time in 30 minutes. Ignore the hand cramps, remain calm, and know that your fingers can’t possibly hurt as much as their feet.

The way I see it, we have a great responsibility to our readers. After all, without them we wouldn’t have a career. We wouldn’t have been invited to these events. We wouldn’t be getting interviews, addressing a room full of people for a q & a session, spending weekends learning the private back hallways of hotels and convention centers.

We owe them so much. And they deserve to be repaid with kindness, generosity, and appreciation. Not snarkiness, catty comments, or derision.

BB

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Good morning everyone!

I hope all is well with each of you. The weekend was a bust for me, in that I didn’t write one bit. Unless you consider scattered posts on FB. And even those were few and far between.

Every now and then, each author will hit walls. You’ll either lose your motivation to write, or will to promote. You’ll get discouraged, and see lack of sales as an indication that you should just give up. After all, why write if you can’t even give your books away for free and get readers?

When you hit that wall, ask yourself a simple question: do I write because I want to be rich and famous? Or do I write because I love it?

If you’re only writing because you think you’ll get fame and fortune, then stop. The odds of that happening in less than ten years, or at all, are high. And no one’s going to read your book just because you think the should.

We can’t force people to buy our books. Even if we think they’re worth reading. We can’t throw fits like children and demand they either buy it and review it or else. It’s as useless as holding our breath would be. Eventually, you pass out and don’t get your way.

So, what do you do when you hit that wall? That’s up to you. You can give up, sure.

Or you can shake off the feeling, take a walk, soak in a bubble bath, and think on the next scene or a new promotional opportunity.

Because authors do that to break down the wall.

On another note…..

If you live near Seattle, or are coming into town for Emerald City Comicon, be sure to find me on Saturday the 28th! I’m going to be out in the crowd and will have a few books, some postcards, and business cards (both author and COO) with me. Oldest is supposed to do the lettering on the shirt soon, but I’ll be wearing a bright green crewneck shirt with ‘Published Author Cosplay’ across the front! Be sure to say hi if you spot me!

BB

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Good morning!

We had great weather over the weekend. So much sun! Which led to all sorts of other things being done, and not much writing. Rest assured, I’ll be doing more of the latter soon enough. We may have experienced a milder than normal winter, but spring isn’t here. Yet.

When you’re a relatively new author (in my book, anyone without instant name recognition whose works have been out for under 5 years is a new author), sales get slow. More often than you want them to. And it can get depressing.

For all the bravado, authors are mostly really insecure about our work. Strange questions dot our minds when you don’t see your ranking going in the right direction, or you offer your title up for free and it gets almost no takers. Aren’t people interested? Is my writing that horrid? Should I rewrite the blurb? What am I not doing right?

The thing is, you’re probably not doing anything wrong.

Getting to the level of sales where you can contribute to the monthly bills in a significant way takes time. Lots and lots of time. It’s not going to happen in a single day, month, or year. For some authors, it never happens. Most of us, despite how good our books are, how enticing our blurbs are, how well done our covers are, will never be able to make a living off of our words. It’s a simple fact.

So, raise the expectations for your work but lower the ones for your sales. Concentrate not on how to spend your royalties or who to blame when the sales aren’t rolling in, but on improving your writing and promotion. Think long term in relation to 5 to 10 years down the road, not 5 to 10 weeks. Look for new, inventive ways to let people know you’re an author.

Here’s an example:

Later this month, on March 28th, I’m going to Emerald City Comicon with family. I don’t have the cash to set up as an artist and sell all weekend long, and I like to wander the con, so I had to rethink things. I’m going to be surrounded by 50-60k other lovers of pop culture/comics/fantasy/scifi. How can I get these people interested in my books?

I got a t-shirt and put “Published Author Cosplay” on it. We were going to take a backpack anyway (so much easier to stash stuff we want to come home with us!), so I’ll put in the few limited print copies I have in there before we leave. Along with postcards, presigned. I’ve been putting out information on the ECCC FB page that I’m wearing the shirt, will have books on me, etc.

Do I think I’ll come home without postcards or books? Nope. I don’t even think I’ll be approached once. But it’s better to be prepared than not have a thing to hand out.

I know I’m not nearly a household name among readers yet. I’m still fighting tooth and nail for each and every sale. But I’m never going to get sales to go up by sitting back and waiting passively. You have to keep writing, keep improving, and keep promoting.

BB

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Yeah, I’m late on posting today. It was a long one. Work was wonderful, as always, and kept me busy all morning. The afternoon? That’s a different story.

See, I spent the afternoon chasing down yet another book pirate site and slamming them with cease and desist emails. If their site was accurate, they illegally sold over 7,000 copies of my books.

That’s more than I’ve sold to date.

That’s close to $7,000 they STOLE from me.

It’s theft, no matter HOW you want to spin it. They’re taking something, my intellectual property, and screwing me out of any sort of profit.

And the people who downloaded the books? Yeah, I call them thief too.

Authors don’t get rich overnight. We don’t write a book, put it up for sale (or a publisher does), and then buy a beach house just for the fun of it. Writing books take months, years, to get from idea to up for sale. We work other jobs and sneak in time between dinner and bed to promote. We don’t just sit back and rake in the royalties.

So why the bloody hades should anyone think it’s a good idea to post a file online and cut me out of any royalties? Who are the readers who think it’s fine to get free books that are legitimately up for sale on Amazon?

Authors want to write…to promote…to relax with their families. We do NOT want to spend hours screaming at people to remove our books. But we do.

We worked hard for those. Some yahoo who can’t be bothered to get a legitimate job has no right to profit from our work.

I’m happy to report that, according to my publisher, the site did pull my books. But that doesn’t truly repair the damage done.

Because, if the numbers are true, that’s a lot of money I could’ve used for something else. Bills, new ink cartridge, food my family can make themselves when I’m on a writing tear. And coffee. Lots of coffee.

BB

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