Tag Archives: The Enhanced League

Is it safe to come out yet?

Honestly, is there anyone out there who doesn't know I have a new book out? I've hit it hard over the last month or so on the promotional front. It takes time to write all those pieces. Then I have to organize my volunteer hosts, and participate in any comments we might get.

This is harder than it sounds, because I don't assign specific dates to the tour posts. I give the hosts some loose parameters, and live with what I get. I asked my hosts not to post on Thursdays, because Lisa Burton Radio is that day. My own guests deserve their day in the spotlight.

There were a couple of review posts that I didn't calculate into the mix, but I tried to support them too. I know there has been a lot of reblogging on my site through this phase. If I can benefit from my hosts' traffic, maybe they can benefit from some of mine too. It isn't much, but it feels polite to me.

Then there is the fact that all of the posts were unique. It wasn't like reading the same thing over and over. I also liked the Lisa Burton posters for this book. If you missed any of them, I included them as back of the book material. For 99¢ you can have all three of them.

The tour worked out well for mid summer. I moved about a dozen copies per day at first, and it's now trickled down to one per day. That may not sound like much, but that's all the promo I've done too. I was going to advertise on Facebook, but they've pissed me off lately. They push me to boost or advertise every single post I make. Let's face it, not every post is worth spending $20 on.

You authors out there would have met some wonderful supportive hosts if you went on the tour. Don't underestimate the value of knowing a few people like that. Someday you'll want to make a blog tour too, and there's no time like the present to make a few friends. I owe these hosts a lot, and you may see some of them over here from time to time.

I'm pretty happy as it stands now. Reviews are trickling in, and every book needs more. The point is that I have some. I got within three notches of one of the Amazon charts, but never did hit the top 100. It would have been great, but it could still happen. The Amazon machine is strange. Sell three or four in an hour and land a review on the same day and poof – top 100.

I'm checking for reviews a few times every day, but I'll calm down soon. I always have. The reviews have been positive, and that makes me very happy. This book was a risk in my mind, and those who took a chance seem to have enjoyed it.

Tomorrow I need to work on more Lisa Burton Radio posts. I have next week's post ready, I only need to assemble and schedule it. This isn't enough though. I also need to finalize the week after, and work up a couple more shticks.

I have some editing on my horizon too. Depending on how things go, I may even tackle some micro-fiction for October.

Hope you guys enjoyed the tour. Thanks for sticking with me through it, and thanks for reading and reviewing my newest book. There are more on the way.

Did you notice my restraint? No book title, no purchase link. If you're dying to know, scroll through my recent posts.

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Researching The Enhanced League

Hi, gang. I’m over at Sue Coletta’s place today and the topic is the research I put into The Enhanced League. It’s kind of broad and you can apply it to any type of speculative fiction. Sue is a wonderful crime author, and embarrases me with the amount of research she does for her books. She’s also a great supporter and friend, so make sure you look around while you’re visiting her site. There is a wealth of information there.

***

My guest today has taken his research and used it in a unique and compelling way, a way unlike anything I expected. Craig is a master at short storytelling; I always enjoy his super creative tales. If you’re not following Entertaining Stories, you may want to take a peek. Not only does he feature Lisa Burton Radio, where one character interviews another in radio station format but he also has The Idea Mill, where he shares real-life science as well as strange and unusual tidbits to use in fiction. Shawnee Daniels appeared on Lisa Burton Radio, and we had a blast. Welcome to Murder Blog, Craig!

Thanks for having me over again, Sue. Looks like we both have new books to promote, so don’t be shy about borrowing my space any time you like. Keep Reading here

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A post of opportunity

When I sent out all of my blog tour posts, I never gave anyone specific dates to post them. I figured I’d be happy that anyone volunteered to host me at all. I think it’s a respectful way of borrowing other folks’ blog space.

It puts me in the position of watching my WordPress Reader so I can support those posts when they do go up. I knew this would be the case, this isn’t my first blog tour. I haven’t seen a new one today, so I’m checking in. If one goes up this evening, I’ll post right over the top of this post with no remorse at all.

Sales are doing well so far. I never did get close to the top 100 list again, but each review bumps the standings higher. I’ve watched these things for years, and a cluster of sales will do it, as will a couple of reviews in rapid succession. Shy of asking everyone to do something at a specific time, I’m at the mercy of the Fates. This feels right to me. Hitting a top 100 list is nice, but in the long run it doesn’t accomplish much. It’s like collecting a badge in a video game; makes you happy for a while and that’s about it. Staying there for a length of time is another matter.

The odd thing is that both of my Experimental Notebooks have started selling again. They are doing pretty well too. I’m not promoting them at all, only The Enhanced League. Could people be following Enhanced League to my author page, then getting a glimpse of those awesome covers and changing direction? I’m not complaining at all, I just find it interesting.

We’ve had some nice comment threads on a few of the tour posts, and I invite you to join in. I enjoy talking (writing) with everyone. The tour should wrap up by next weekend or shortly thereafter.

The air conditioner broke down on Wednesday. This created a huge panic at our house, because we’ve already had one heat stroke disaster and don’t want another one. We got the bulldogs through with wet bandanas, the ceiling fan, and their wading pool. I had an odd flex day this week and was able to be home for the repair man. All is well now, and it was under warranty.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Try to stay cool, maybe dig between the seat cushions and find 99 cents and check out The Enhanced League. It’s okay if you get distracted and wind up with an Experimental Notebook instead. What? Oh, just click that cover picture in my sidebar. Thanks.

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Palindrome Week

It turns out they are declaring this to be palindrome week. Palindromes are those unusual words that are spelled the same backwards as forward. The one I remember as an example is racecar.

This week it's all about the numbers. If you write the date down today looks like this 71017. This wonderful situation lasts until the nineteenth, or 71917.

I'm celebrating with a pint bottle of Elesyian Split Shot milk stout. How are you celebrating? You are celebrating, right?

In other news, The Enhanced League crept toward one of Amazon's lists and stopped at about 103. Then it started nosediving.

This is without any blog tour posts showing up. I think the situation could improve after a few of the posts go live. Just in case you missed it, here is the purchase link.

I have some other posts to write and will probably get to it after this goes live. I have to check my list and see who I still owe something to.

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With a Little Help from my Friends

It feels like it's been a long time coming, but The Enhanced League is a genuine book now. I played the usual games with my Mac before uploading it. It generally works like this:

“You've been logged out. Please enter your iCloud password.”

I loaded my password.

“You have upgrades.”

I start downloading the newest and greatest to the operating system.

“Your upgrades have just been upgraded.”

I start over. Looks like it will take about thirty minutes. I check back in half an hour. Twenty seven minutes remaining.

Play with he dogs and talk to my daughter before checking back.

“You've successfully upgraded your operating system. Please enter your iCloud password.”

When I clicked the keys, nothing happened. Replace the batteries in everything.

“Something went wrong. You have upgrades.”

Start all over again. Repeat the waiting times, and password entry.

“Do you want to activate Siri on this machine?”

“Whatever! Just get on with it already.”

“Please enter your messenger password.”

“I don't even want messenger on this machine!!!” I click the red dot to close the window.

“Please enter you messenger password.”

“FINE!”

Anyway, after about three hours I was allowed to do the only thing I need the Mac for. Everything else can be done on my iPad.

I just got the email from Amazon that I am live right now.

I'm not the best blurb writer, but here's what I wrote:

The Enhanced league is a collection of short stories and anthems centered around a year in a fictional baseball league. It has a slight science fiction background. This league has a lot more pomp than you might be used to, and nobody seems to care if the players use performance enhancing drugs.

Stories involve existing heroes, up and comers, and falling stars. While there are the obvious stories that take place on the field of play, there are also human interest stories that take place around the baseball gyrations. These stories involve scouting, trades, ruthless business decisions, and even relationships.

I enjoyed researching and bringing you The Enhanced League, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. — CB

***

This is where I ask for a little help from my friends. There are a few things you can do to help, if you're willing.

First is to reach down inside the couch and find ninety-nine cents (99¢), then go to Amazon and pick up a copy of The Enhanced League. This is the link. The widget on my sidebar is also linked. If you need an e-reader, there is a link for one of those on the side too. Grab a hotdog and a beer and have some fun with it.

Second, I need some blog hosts. I have several different posts already written. Let me know in the comments if you'd like to participate. You can request me, or a visit from Lisa Burton, and Lisa has some awesome new posters to share with a baseball theme to them. Let me know in the comments.

I also have a couple of posts I've written by request, and need to get them out to the hosts.

Third, don't be afraid to share the news, reblog one of the posts that pops up online, and tell your friends. I'll be doing the same on your new releases.

Finally, to the awesome group of volunteers who served as beta readers. I used many of your suggestions to improve this book. There is no expectation whatsoever, but if you'd like to post a review I'd really appreciate it.

I'm off to do a whole list of things next. These involve Goodreads, pinned tweets, my book club and more. I'll surf through and keep up with the comments.

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Dragon Ass

Okay, this isn't a post about dragons. It's a post about attitude. My regulars will understand how my mojo flew out the window this week, and it's only fair to give you a small update.

Our veterinarian and our favorite breeder both gave us a measure of comfort with our loss of little Nyx. The vet said that heat stroke should not have happened in thirty minutes. Not with her in a shaded back yard and access to water. He said that Nyx may have had some other problem that was not known and contributed to her death. The other dogs were out there too and were unscathed.

Thinking back on it, she was the one who sat on the air conditioner vent regularly. Maybe he's onto something.

The breeder said she's lost dogs to heat before, and our dogs' father is susceptible to heat problems. She thinks we're lovely people, and can't think of better pet owners. I appreciate her sentiments, but beyond the regular bulldog problems with heat, maybe this bloodline is more susceptible to heat problems.

There is the possibility that our son isn't telling us the whole truth either. Maybe it was more than thirty minutes. We were only gone two hours, and nyx was happily licking my ear before we left.

It could also be a hideous cocktail of those facts. At this point we know all we're ever going to know, and the assessments are not conclusive.

We're both devastated. My wife couldn't go to work on Wednesday, and I had to leave after about an hour and come home myself. We both regularly place a hand on our remaining dogs just to see if they're breathing. We had them both wearing wet bandanas yesterday, because even with the air conditioner and overhead fan, we couldn't get the house below seventy-eight degrees last night. (I almost put one on myself.)

Frankie is having a hard time too. She wouldn't eat the first day, and kept looking for her sister. We finally had to buy a new outer bowl, run the glass insert through the dishwasher, and then she ate just fine. The other stuff smelled like Nyx, and I'm sure that's what the problem was. She's needed some extra ball playing, and spent a lot of time in my lap this morning with what we call poodle time.

Otto is still convalescing himself. He has good days and bad days. We have another appointment to see what more we can do for him. It's some kind of pinched nerve like sciatica, and that's about all we know. He feels decent and wants to play, which leads to a tough night after the exertion.

I'm still waiting for a formatted manuscript. I'll publish The Enhanced League as soon as I get one, then I'll put out a call for blog hosts. I'm the one being difficult and demanding here, in case you're wondering.

Beyond that, I assembled and scheduled next week's Lisa Burton Radio post. I also moved another one ahead in the queue. I need to keep working on these, lest my volunteers think I'm blowing them off, but with twenty five applicants, it does no good to get them all ready at once.

I finally got around to changing my wallpaper. Since July is determined to be so hot, I thought heat was an appropriate theme. Heat has caused all the disasters around my life this week too.

I'm going to see if I can work up a couple more promotional posts for Enhanced League. I may have enough, but might find a decent excerpt to share somewhere and those make fun posts.

I need to catch up on some reading too. I don't know if my mood is great for that until I try. I have several books I want to get to and may take a shot at one.

I really need to get on with The Yak Guy Project, but have been putting it off. This is for a couple of selfish reasons. I don't want to get tangled up during the Enhanced League release, and I don't want to release a novel during the summer months. Releasing Enhanced League around Major League Baseball's Allstar Break might not be so bad.

So that's me this weekend. I'll get some things done, but I'm kind of draggin' ass at the moment. (Wow, I've always free written the blog, but I'm starting a lot of sentences with I today. I don't think I'll edit it either.)

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Some success

Yesterday I tackled the Lisa Burton interviews. I have twenty-five applicants, but only nine who've delivered the questionnaire answers. (Oops, ten now.) I worked up six shticks and sent them out. This took me six hours. I'd like to have completed them all up to the minute, but I have to face some facts.

Six hours is an effort on my days off. It will take me twenty-five weeks to post them all, so I'm ahead of the game. I hope nobody gets disappointed, but I can only do so much. It adds up to a considerable word count too.

I used part of today to work my time travel story up to 2500 words. This one is taking me way too long, and I'm feeling some pressure. Truth is, I never intended to write a time travel story. I like a challenge, so we'll see how it comes out. Writing to a theme and a target is kind of new, but fun. My MO is to get it done with enough time to make requested changes. I may only have a week of padding, but it will be enough.

I got the final Lisa poster for The Yak Guy Project, then did something crazy. I thought it might be cool to have a Lisa poster to promote the anthology with. The other authors can do what they want, but I'm going to have some artwork to promote with.

My time travel story spent a couple of months in the daydreaming phase as a Western. It didn't come out that way, and I hope it intrigues a few readers. Sorry, no cowgirl Lisa, at least for now. You might like what I changed it to.

This story is taking some serious research too. I'll bend some facts, but I want to have the rest of the details right so my changes don't stand out. Things like train times, actual hotels, and more help sell the twists.

While I was at it, I decided to order enough art to get me through the end of the year. These will be mostly for holidays wishes, but one is for my Macabre Macaroni short stories. (God, I still have to write those too.) The deadlines are spread way out, so Sean can take his time.

We had a quick date night last night, since my wife won't be here. Just a quick dinner and a beer. I had scallops with squid ink pasta… in Idaho, just imagine. It was wonderful too.

My wife headed for Nevada this morning, but not so early as to allow me to get some major work done. I dabbled and had some moderate success. I got a proof back from the formatter for The Enhanced League, and there are a few minor adjustments to make.

For the rest of this vacation, I would like to finish my short story, write three more promotional pieces for The Enhanced League, and schedule next week's Lisa Burton Radio. I might chuck some of it and publish The Enhanced League instead. No, it isn't too much, I might be able to do it all with a little bit of luck.

I don't think I'll add any more than that. The interview is all done and awaiting a link. I have ideas for the promo stuff, and I'm 2500 words shy of a short story draft. Two days is a nice pace without killing myself over it. If Enhanced League gets out next weekend, that's fine too.

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