Book Promotion that Makes an Impression—Don’t Advertise When You Can PADvertise

Daven Anderson:

Attack of the Agent Query panty liner…
Another brilliant, laugh-out-loud post from Kristen Lamb!

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

Screen Shot 2013-03-08 at 7.05.24 AM

Since most of us are neck-deep in work and NaNoWriMo, I thought it was time to talk about something OTHER than writing. How are you going to MARKET that NaNo novel by December 3rd, 2014?

Only amateurs need “revisions” *rolls eyes*.

We all know what we are writing is PURE GOLD begging to be unleashed  available for purchase in time to pay off all the money we’ll spend on Christmas gifts. That and being a NYTBSA by the end of January of 2015 is a great start, right?

Any of you who regularly follow my blog know that I am totally out of my mind a bit eccentric. Saturday, Hubby took pity on me and let us go out to eat (a rare treat around here). As I closed the door to the stall, I noticed all the advertising on the back of the bathroom door. This cluttered wall of…

View original 934 more words

Seven Tropes of Science Fiction

Daven Anderson:

The Walking (on the studio lot) Dead: Matters of story convenience usually trump reality. ;-)

Originally posted on Write on the River:

walking_dead_510You don’t want to be next to me watching some of these shows and movie. Cool Gus even moves away some times and my wife tells me to shut up. So I’m venting here about some of the tropes of science fiction shows:

  1. Why is everyone wandering around the streets in the post-apocalyptic world? Isn’t anyone working? Patrolling? Farming? In Walking Dead there were, I believe, 72 people in the Governor’s town. In most scenes there were like 100 people wandering about walking from point A to point B for no apparent reason.
  2. Who feeds those fires in the large barrels? Why are there fires in the barrels? Which leads me to . . .
  3. Who lights all those candles? Who replaces them? Why are there so many candles?
  4. No one carries any gear. No backpack with food, a change of clothes, toilet paper (a valuable commodity in the post-apocalyptic…

View original 214 more words

Research – The Devil of Details

1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster

Research is one of the most unheralded tasks a proper author must do. It can take several hours of research to get a single sentence to be correct.

In Chapter One of “Vampire Invasion” (book three of the Vampire Syndrome Saga), Lilith’s inner monologue says:

“I stride over to my 1930 Cadillac V-16 roadster, kneel down to unlock the battery compartment door, and then remove the charger cables.”

This sentence alone took me several hours of research. I was already well aware (from my personal experience at car shows and museums) that the battery in a 1930′s Cadillac V-16 is NOT under the car’s hood, as the giant sixteen-cylinder engine occupies virtually all of the underhood area. So any author who would write “I open the hood and remove the charger cables” would commit a major detail error, right off the *bat*. ;-)

1930 Cadillac V-16 Underhood View

1930 Cadillac V-16 Underhood View

Since I am not Clive Cussler and do not have his classic auto collection at my disposal, I downloaded and read the 1930 Cadillac Service Manual. Even an oil change would be costly for this million-dollar ride, as the giant engine holds five gallons of motor oil. 3:)

So now that Lilith is removing the battery charger cables in the proper manner, it is fair to ask why. The human Vampires have been aware for centuries that the beings from planet Sek’Met have “black lightning” guns. When the mothership lands on the Human Vampires’ compound, Lilith (and others) instantly realize that the “black lightning” gun is an EMPD (electro-magnetic pulse discharge) weapon (a concept the Vampires didn’t fully grasp several centuries ago).

Such weapons will disable cars with electronic ignitions or computers, so any car from the 1970′s to date will be vulnerable. Hence, my characters are fleeing/attempting to flee the scene in older cars. An astute reader who read “Vampire Syndrome” (book one) might ask why Lilith didn’t try to flee in her 1967 Corvette, or for Damien, his 1960 Plymouth. My answer: Those cars are retrofitted with electronic ignitions (a common upgrade for 1950′s and 60′s cars). When you are in the process of fleeing your compound due to an alien invasion, you would not have the time to convert the cars back to their original mechanical points-and-condenser ignition systems.

And if you think this car research is exhausting, try reconciling your vampire backstory with thousands of years of worldwide folklore, and have your story make sense in both folkloric and scientific terms… :twisted:

PS: Note that the TV Series “Jericho” showed characters driving older vehicles after a large electro-magnetic pulse discharge cuts off their “restored” power.

VAMPIRES IN LITERATURE AND FILM

Daven Anderson:

A thorough guide to the essentials of the Vampire!

Originally posted on The Ravings of a Sick Mind:

10644817_10152861192598223_2337645251807676507_n

I spent Halloween talking to people about vampires. I had a great time, and I hope I was informative and entertaining. Below are the notes I used, which I thought might make an interesting blog post.

THE VAMPYRE (1819)

- DR. JOHN POLIDORI

  • WRITTEN DURING “YEAR WITHOUT A SUMMER” ALONG WITH “FRANKENSTEIN.”
  • FIRST VAMPIRE STORY IN ENGLISH.
  • IMMENSELY POPULAR UPON PUBLICATION, THOUGH INITIALLY ATTRIBUTED TO LORD BYRON.
  • LORD RUTHVEN (PRONOUNCED “RIVEN”) IS THE ORIGINAL ARISTORCRATIC, SEDUCTIVE VAMPIRE.
  • RUTHVEN HAS NO PROBLEM PASSING AS HUMAN, NO ISSUES WITH SUNLIGHT, AND NONE OF THE “TRADITIONAL” WEAKNESSES OR POWERS.
  • ADAPTED FOR THEATER NUMEROUS TIMES.

I'm too sexy for a cape, too sexy for a cape...

I’m too sexy for a cape, too sexy for a cape…

VARNEY THE VAMPIRE,

OR THE FEAST OF BLOOD (1847)

- MALCOLM JAMES RYMER

  • RYMER ALSO CO-AUTHOR OF “THE STRING OF PEARLS” WHICH INTRODUCED SWEENY TODD.
  • ORIGINATOR OF SEVERAL POPULAR TROPES: VARNEY HAS FANGS, ENTERS THROUGH WINDOW TO ASSAULT…

View original 686 more words

The Three “Acts” of a Writer’s Journey—From Newbie to Master

Daven Anderson:

The “master” is the apprentice who didn’t quit. :-)

Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:

Pirate Code=Writing Rules. Clearer now? :)

Pirate Code=Writing Rules. Clearer now? :)

The mark of a great storyteller is they make our job look easy. The story flows, pulls us in, and appears seamless. Many of us decided to become writers because we grew up loving books. Because good storytellers are masters of what they do, we can easily fall into a misguided notion that “writing is easy.” Granted there are a rare few exceptions, but most of us will go through three acts (stages) in this career if we stick it through.

Act One—The Neophyte

This is when we are brand new. We’ve never read a craft book and the words flow. We never run out of words to put on a page because we are like a kid banging away on a piano having fun and making up “music.” We aren’t held back or hindered by any structure or rules and we have amazing…

View original 1,152 more words

Vampire Syndrome – now in Mass Market Paperback

Daven-2-Bigger-639x1024
Click here to order this book direct from PDMI Publishing

VS Luxe Cover

Fourth Anniversary Post – “The Rejection Window, Part III”

Today, October 16th, 2014, is this blog’s fourth birthday.  :-D

Back in October 2010, I had no idea of the twists and turns my life would take, in my effort to bring the Vampire Syndrome Saga to the world. My only goal was to get the first book written and up on Amazon. By October 2012, I had met that initial goal, but the bigger goals were starting to rear their head.

Publishing.

It was time to dive in feet first, and find out what (a few divisions of) the Big Five really thought about “Vampire Syndrome.”

Nothing like jumping straight into the frying pan, learning things the hard way. :twisted:

While all of that grease was frying and sizzling, a pair of guardian angels watched over me. Kristen Lamb, and Emily Guido. Kristen’s spot-on, sage advice from the trenches saved “Vampire Syndrome” from a fate worse than death, the “void” of an e-book-only Big Five deal, an unholy hybrid of the worst of both worlds. And my dear Emily Guido showed me the path to a better way. A small press that would stand behind my creative vision.

It was a very small press at the time. I was the second author ever to sign a traditional publishing contract with PDMI Publishing (Emily was the first, as you have likely guessed by now). Dozens of authors, illustrators and editors would soon join the fast-growing team at PDMI, embodying a commitment to value author’s personal creative visions, and transfer those visions into print intact.

I am immensely proud of everything that PDMI Publishing, LLC has managed to achieve in a few short years, and I have made many valuable “behind-the-scenes” contributions, helping PDMI to lead the way in the innovation the publishing industry so desperately needs (as I found out the hard way, back in 2012). Industry leaders (such as Kristen Lamb!) have lauded PDMI as a model for what publishing should be. :-D

By October 2013, “Vampire Syndrome” was in print, in both YA and Adult versions, and I was already writing “Vampire Conspiracy”, Book Two of the Vampire Syndrome Saga (now being edited by PDMI).

So, as I prepare to write “Vampire Invasion” (Book Three of the Saga), you might ask, “What did you mean by the suffix ‘The Rejection Window, Part III”?

It seems that the little oddities of publishing have not yet reared all of their Medusa-like heads. As I toured around Denver with my freshly-printed copies of the new Mass Market paperback of “Vampire Syndrome”, I found the last thing I expected. The ghost of rejection, moaning through the dusty stacks of century-old books at one particular bookstore. A store who places bookmarks into hardcovers bragging that the books were not bought at Amazon, yet the same store is not taking any more local author consignments. Which, of course, “forces” those same authors to sell their books on Amazon, instead of this “hip” little indie shoppe. Whoops!

Actually, I’m exaggerating just a bit there. All the other indie shops I toured were very interested in my book.  But this is a day and age where every “local author” book printed will be available on Amazon. Which means the shop that declined my book also (by default) declined the opportunity to take a sale or two from Amazon. You could say “in theory”, but people still discover books in brick & mortar stores that they have not seen on Amazon. The main convenience of Amazon is also its main problem: You only find exactly what you’re looking for. No one can beat the brick & mortar retailers at helping people to discover great books they would have never heard about otherwise.

I was rejected by a few arms of the Big Five, but believe me, a rejection from an indie bookstore is the one that “hurts the most.” It is true that just one indie bookstore not stocking my novels doesn’t amount to much more than a tiny speed bump at this stage of my career. PDMI will book me for signings, including at large chain stores. But I mourn the local store who won’t take any more local author consignments, not because they could not take my work, but because it’s a bad omen for them. Will this store still be open by the time my blog celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2015? When the Big Five rejected me, it forced me to make getting my story to market intact my number-one priority. All kinds of good came from my decision to stand my creative ground. Through my work at PDMI, I have been able to help others keep their creative vision intact as well. A pleasure all the money in the world could not buy. Which is why the indie bookstore rejection is the one that “hurts.”

Because no good will ever come of it.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 151 other followers