Sunday, January 29, 2012

Selling eBooks and Free Content

So far I've given away (sold?) over 2500 copies of Murder at Zero Hour.  This is part of my marketing plan to get my works out there.  It has been interesting experiment.

What I've learned so far -

1) People love free content.  Even after nearly two months, I'm still giving away anywhere between 30-50 copies a day.

2) Just because someone downloads, reads, and even likes the free eBook, does not necessarily mean they will buy some other piece of your work, even if the product is still priced at 99c.

3) Nonetheless, I have noticed a fair uptick in monthly sales.  At least 2-3x my standard volume.  Part of this could be due to Murder at Zero Hour, but I'm more inclined to think the post-Christmas surge has a part to play.  There are more eReaders and iPads out there, with users hungry for goodies.

So what comes next?  Well, I'm still working on a new book, which will expand my online footprint a few more kilobytes.  I'm also planning another push for Murder at Zero Hour, continuing the free eBook giveway, which will hopefully lead to even more sales.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Price Reduction for Of Ghosts and Gunpowder

Along with a new cover, I've also reduced the price of this novel to 99c.  Of all the books I have written, this is probably my favorite one.  It has everything - horror, history, romance, humor, and good triumphing over the forces of evil.  Check it out!

New version available at:

Note: I just changed the cover and pricing.  It may take some time to filter down to your eReader site of choice.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: The Big Pink - Future This

I was a big fan of this English electronic-music duo's debut album A Brief History of Love, so I was looking forward to buying their sophomore album.  Though lacking the grit and dark mood of their first, Future This has a pleasant pop-infused sound that will sure to please many listeners.  What seems to be lacking is a little extra nudge of creativity that would throw this album into a higher tier.  But still, pleasant enough for me.

I will also make a comment about the vinyl quality.  I prefer to buy music via the ancient record format - I've been collecting them since I was a teenager.  The pressing for Future this was done on pink vinyl, but was mastered at a very low volume.  It also sounds odd, with a rolled-off bass and lacks attack.  It sounds much like an AM radio.  My guess would be they tried to squeeze too much music on the record, and allowed a computer to do the mastering.  A double-LP would have worked better.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Over two thousand copies of Murder at Zero Hour have been given away

So far, for the month of January, I've given away over two thousand copies of this book.  A surprising amount of this number came from Smashwords, with the ever-present Amazon now taking first place - it is currently rated the #5 free historical mystery book on the site.

Murder At Zero Hour is available at:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: Veil Veil Vanish - Change In the Neon Light

I've often been disappointed with the state of modern music, but some recent releases have been working hard on trying to change my mind.  Veil Veil Vanish is one such example.  They have a deep, swirling sound that trumps the cold, almost clinical, sound of most current Indie groups.  Comparisons to The Cure are certainly apt, but I have no complaints since I love Robert Smith's guitar work and catchy pop hooks.  With their 2010 release Change In the Neon Light, Veil Veil Vanish are yet another group to look out for.  Go ahead - you won't be disappointed.

Sadly not available on vinyl, you'll have to make do with a CD or MP3s.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Next Book Update: the work continues

With many of my older works now published, I've been able to turn my attention to a new project. This murder-mystery crime-thriller has been quite fun to write, especially since it is set during the swinging disco year of 1977. Of course I'm not concentrating on the awful fashion senses, or the feathered hair, but more on the grit and grime. The 70s were an interesting time in American history - it seemed that personal freedom was at all-time high, but so was distrust in government and the social conventions of the past.

For the purposes of my fictional account of a serial killer, it is also a perfect backdrop. There were no DNA tests, minimal computers, and minimal security cameras. It took guts, determination, and a whole bunch of luck to capture someone who murdered without motive. As usual, there is a surprise twist, and if the reader is keen, enough clues to solve the mystery before the final page is turned.

I'm currently only a few chapters away from the 'first pass'. After that, I will have to start fleshing out some of the scenes, add some additional characters, red herrings, and the usual finishing touches.  Stay tuned!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Synth Music - the pleasures of artificial music

 Sure, I like listening to rock 'n' roll, the blues, folk, soul, and even a smattering of classical music.  But deep down, I've always had a fascination for synth music.  Perhaps it's my 80s upbringing.  Much of it suffers from a thin veneer of fabricated emotion, but when it is right, the notes tug on my heartstrings, making me feel like a young man again.

Even though I have enough pursuits on my plate, I've decided to take up a new hobby - the playing and recording of synth music.  Since I'm an old school kind of guy, I'll be mostly sticking with the vintage analog and early digital gear, some of the recent Moog (and other) products look particularly enticing.  I have some experience with being a musician, having once been a mediocre bass player, but I now feel like I have the concentration (and cash!) to pursue this a little further than before.

So stay tuned for some equipment reviews, agonizing music samples, and a whole bunch of other trash.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Top 5 albums for 2011

 In no certain order:

The Horrors - Skying
Peter Murphy - Ninth
Mirrors - Lights & Offerings
Handsome Furs - Sound Kapital
S.C.U.M - Again Into Eyes

but I certainly don't have my ear to the latest n' greatest.  Is there anything else out there worth checking out?