Tag Archives: The Hat

A quick update

The launch for The Hat is going well. Books are selling, and reviews are starting to come in too. It’s a short read, so that helps speed the reviews along. Everyone seems to be enjoying it so far. I got up in the neighborhood of 140 on Amazon’s superhero list, but it’s dropped back now. I decided not to take a screen shot until I hit double digits. The algorithms are strange in that if I sell 10 copies in one hour, the numbers will soar. If I sell those same ten books in one day, they don’t budge at all. Algorithms are fickle.

This is a good reason to hold a pre-sale. All of the advance sales will download at once and stack the deck for an hour or two. It wasn’t that big of a deal to me so I didn’t this time. If it matters to you, it’s a decent trick.

It seems like a lot of people are releasing books right now. I’ve hosted several of them here, and will host several more. This is one of the great things about the author community. We all try to help each other.

There are some traffic jams going on, and I decided to be the one to deal with it. It isn’t fair to ask someone to host me, then dictate when they can post something. I basically have traffic jams every day this week, but I have a plan. I will let my guest have the spotlight here during the day, then reblog content from my tour after 5:00.

You may ask why I’m reblogging at all, and that’s a fair question. My followers already know I released a book, they have a reasonable idea of what it’s about, and whether they might want to read it. Here’s the deal, and it matters to me: I have a lot of followers, and I want to send you guys to visit the folks that are helping me.

As an author, or even an editor, cover designer, or formatter, you need to know a few people to help spread the word. These folks supporting me this week, might be willing to support other author friends in the future. This is your chance to meet some cool people who support authors. I encourage you to visit them and follow their blogs. Leave a comment, introduce yourself, and make a friend in the business.

Harmony Kent is one of my partners over at Story Empire. She shared her review of The Hat on her own blog today. I’d appreciate it if you guys would send her a little traffic and help her blog grow. She’s a nice lady, a great author, and does a little editing herself. In other words, a good friend to make. Here is the link: Harmony Kent.

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Running on empty

Look at this one as a real world example of being an author today.

With the release of The Hat yesterday, I have a lot of things to do to bring it to the attention of the masses. I’m quitting now, but it’s not quite as lazy as 11:00 AM sounds.

I woke up in a pile of bulldogs at 4:00 AM this morning, and have been largely covered with them all day in various positions. They like their early morning poodle time, but I can place my iPad on the arm of my chair and type away.

Old What’s Her Face decided to wash our bedspread yesterday, so we had an alternate last night. This freaked the dogs out for some reason. They were kinds of twitchy all night. I swear they are like Sheldon Cooper in that regard. Between the dogs, the nightly kink in by back, and my bladder it was just easier to get started.

I tweaked six different posts about the new book and sent them to their respective hosts. This included all the necessary attachments and such. Then I filled out an interview form for another one, and assembled a post for Story Empire later this month. All of them required at least one extra email, and my iPad battery is about dead too.

Then I assembled no less than four guest posts for Entertaining Stories. Seems like a lot of other folks are releasing books right now too. Everything is scheduled to post right now.

There will be traffic jams, but I’ll simply have to deal with it. My guests can have the spotlight until after I get home from work. If one of my hosts posted that day, I’ll try to reblog it then. I want to reblog in the hopes of sending my hosts as much traffic as I can. They don’t get much out of this, but maybe I can get them a follower or two.

As for me, I’m calling it a day on the author front. Old What’s Her Face found some strange ice cream I’ve grown fond of, and I feel like I deserve a treat. It’s made with marscapone, figs, and balsamic vinegar. Don’t wrinkle your nose up until you’ve tried it.

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Congratulations Mr. Boyack, it’s a book

The Hat actually published a few moments ago. Before I could update my blog, somebody already bought one, so that’s a good sign. I’m going to give you a little free written idea of what it’s all about.

Lizzie St. Laurent is a hard working girl at the beginning of the story. When her grandmother passed she lost her living arrangement, and dropped out of college to make her own way.

She winds up with something from the estate, under some odd circumstances that I won’t spoil here. It turns out to be a hat that once belonged to her grandfather. Except, this hat is actually a being from another dimension. It appears Grandpa had a bit of a history.

Add in a cluster of innocent babies, some human traffickers, and witless authorities and you get a recipe for a paranormal adventure story like no other. The only problem is that Lizzie and The Hat need to learn to work together. In fact they need to go through a kind of symbiosis to make things happen.

They choose music as a way to learn more about each other, and find a way to work together. This kind of music:

I’d be honored if you would pick up a copy and check it out. I’m only asking 99¢, because it’s a novella. This is a bonus too, because you can read it in one afternoon. Here is the purchase link. If I did it right, you can also click on the cover in my sidebar.

I need to bundle up some pre-written posts, some cool Lisa Burton artwork I’ve been holding, and send some kit out to a few hosts who’ve offered to help spread the word.

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Assuming the fetal position

Well, I’ve gone and done it. I uploaded and hit the publish button. My personal process hasn’t changed over the years. I’m freaking the hell out like I always do.

This may stem from the first experience I had where Amazon took the entire manuscript and squeezed all the letters into one line down the middle of the page. It’s never happened since, but that kind of thing sticks with you. Can you imagine if someone had purchased that book and gotten one line of over-strike text for an entire book?

Anyway, I’m on the dawn of a new book release. This is my novella project, and it’s the origin story of a paranormal superhero kind of character. It’s full of some witty interactions, and I intended much of it to be humorous. There are some dark moments, because it’s got a paranormal undertone. Music also plays a roll in this one.

I’ve shared the cover before, but here it is again.

There are a million things to do behind the scenes once I have a purchase link. I have to update my site, contact the Goodreads Librarians, link this and that all together. I have friends to deliver materials to; like I said, a million little things.

For now, watch this space for updates. I’ll be over in the corner building a blanket fort.

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My 2018 Business Plan

Like most years, I’m going to assume this will get lost in a sea of New Year’s Resolution posts. I’ve been pleasantly surprised in the past, so I’ll put it up today and see how it fares.

This year, my business plan is going to look a bit different. In the past it was all about taking on one more thing. Maybe that would be the thing that helped me really accomplish something. I always felt like if I worked just a bit harder, maybe it would be enough.

What I wound up doing was dedicating so much to those things that I had much less time for writing. I enjoy writing, and hate social media, so why did I go down that path? Previous business plans always included time for something new to test out. To be honest, Goodreads, Facebook, and Google Plus have all been a disappointment. Twitter still seems to provide some benefit, but not when compared to the time it requires. Facebook requires payment for anything to actually get seen now.

This year, I’m going to fall for yet another author philosophy. Most of these have a grain of truth to them, even though nothing seems to be the magic bullet. This one is: the best promotion an author can do is to release his next book.

I’m excited about 2018, because I have a head start. I have two complete books to release in the vault right now.

The Yak Guy ProjectThe oldest one is The Yak Guy Project. This is the novel I submitted to a publisher. If it isn’t picked up, I could release it around the end of winter. If it is picked up, there is still a chance it would be a 2018 release.

If a publisher wants it, the cover will probably change, but I can live with that. I can still use my Lisa Burton posters for promotion. The only thing remaining is to send it to my formatter, and that takes about a week.

Yak Guy is the one about a lazy young man who wakes up in an alternative world. He must learn many of the things he failed to learn in his previous life. He is helped along the way by a string of mentors and situation that are based upon the Major Arcana of the tarot.

The HatI’m also parked on The Hat. I’m excited about this one. I really enjoyed crafting these characters and having them interact with each other. This one will come out some time in January, and it’s already back from the formatter. I really like the Lisa Burton posters for this one too. Something new for me is the idea that Lizzie and the hat have more stories to tell, and could show up again one day.

The Hat is about a hard working young woman who’s dealing with some bad breaks. She comes across an old hat that is actually a being from another dimension. Together they form a symbiosis that allows them to accomplish more than either of them could do alone. Like I said, I’m really excited about the characters in this one. It gets pretty crazy and I think you guys will like it.

During my vacation, I only got two short windows to work on Estivation. I’m about ten percent of the way into it. My intention is to have this also be a novella, but I can’t be certain until I finish it. I’ve adopted the idea that stories will be as long as they need to be.

This means, if I manage to write about 30,000 new words of fiction this year, I will have three books release in 2018. I’m pretty sure I can manage that and more.

Releasing a book is also work, I might add. I’ll need to pre-write at least thirty blog tour posts to release three books. I have a living document with topics, and can reuse the topics for each book. There is also monitoring of those posts and all that goes with it.

If luck holds out, I will have ample time to write Macabre Macaroni stories for October, and may even manage a few short stories. Enough short stories could lead to a third Experimental Notebook, maybe for 2019. I’d also like to start on another novel length work.

In order to do this, some things have to go. The Entertaining Stories blog has always been ground zero for my writing career, and I’m going to keep it that way. I also want to dedicate myself to making Story Empire even bigger and more valuable to our followers over there.

Entertaining Stories feeds into all the popular social media sites, so I’ll have a presence on them. I get Facebook alerts, so that helps to a degree. (Even though most of them are from Facebook reaching for my wallet.) My blog even feeds into Goodreads and my Amazon author page.

I’ve never been hard to find, and the blog is a pretty easy way to reach me. However, I can still be found on the other places too. I just won’t monitor those as closely as the past.

Giving up some of the social media time means taking time for more of what I enjoy. I have some favorite authors I haven’t read in years. I want to remedy that in 2018.

I’ve always been a sporadic blogger, and that isn’t likely to change. I tend to land about five posts per week, occasionally more or less. I also have to keep to my Story Empire schedule.

I should also have more time to dedicate to invitations. I try to provide whatever a host asks for, but it got difficult last year. I want to enjoy any guest appearances or mutual promos we manage to come up with.

Lisa Burton Radio is still a blast for me, and it seems to be well received every week. I’ll stick with Thursdays for Lisa’s show. She is about due for another wave of guests as I type this. Keep this promo opportunity in mind if you’re doing a blog tour or just want to reach a new audience. I enjoy working with all the talented people on these, so there is something in it for me too.

And that’s it for my 2018 goals. They should be easy to reach. They should allow me more freedom to accept what comes my way. They should also be a lot more fun.

So welcome, 2018. We’re excited to have you. Lisa even says you can borrow her shoes.

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It’s a flex day, not a vacation day

Yeah, really, what’s the diff. I am out of the office until the Second of January now. Technically, today is part of my ending work week, and is my assigned flex day. Beyond that, there is no difference except I don’t have to use vacation hours today.

I want to keep a few projects moving forward, and I want to do some writing of my own too. I refused to hit it too hard, because I wanted some me time in the mix.

I started my day with a beta reading project I took on for some friends. I don’t know how many chapters I worked through, but I’m about 1/3 of the way finished. It’s a fun story so far, and I want to get it finished before I have to report back to the office. I know what it’s like at the other end waiting for the report, so I also don’t want to keep the authors hanging.

I scheduled one blog post for Monday. It’s nothing too fancy, but it’s also out of my hair now too. Then I went over what I have so far for my 2017 wrap up post. I’ll share it sometime prior to the new year. It may need a bit of polish, but it’s pretty close.

Finally, I received what I think is the final version of The Hat from my formatter. I’m waiting for one more email from her, but I have a few weeks before I want to publish it. One of the important things to dedicate my time to will be some blog tour posts. They don’t have to be long, but it would be nice to be ready for a whirlwind tour of the blogging world when I publish it. Gotta say, I’m pretty excited about this one.

On the goofing off front, I binge watched a television show I’ve wanted to see. I deserve some goofing off time on occasion, but I also studied the story line as an author. Our daughter loaded her Netflix account on our television and invited us to try it out. We’re probably old timers, and this is really new to us. Hey, I got my first X-Box for Christmas last year and it’s taken me months to get comfortable with it.

Anyway, about the show. See once upon a time, I had to choose what to watch and there was a conflict. I really wanted to check this one out, but it was either The Flash or Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD that conflicted with it. I watched a couple of seasons of The Flash and gave up on it. I never really connected with the characters even though Flash was one of my favorite comics. SHIELD is still fun and I want to get this posted before it comes on tonight.

The one that got left out is called iZombie. It’s on Netflix and it’s wonderful. I watched about six episodes today, and can’t wait to get back to it. This has more of a superpowers vibe about it than other zombie tales. The premise is a nearly finished medical student with a bright future get’s turned into a zombie. We jump forward and she’s taken a job at the morgue so she has access to a supply of human brains to eat.

Eating the brains gives her a limited view into the person’s life and some of that person’s skills and quirks. One example is that she developed kleptomania for a period of time. She uses her newfound insight to fight crime by passing herself off as a psychic. She helps solve the murders of whoever provided her last meal.

There is also a visible transformation that happened and the producers made sure it was dramatic. The fun part is that Liv, the zombie coroner, is really hot as a zombie. Her style and hair reminds me a bit of one of the Research Sirens I named Wiki. Wiki isn’t nearly albino and has a bit of color in her cheeks and her hair is red, oh and she’s a siren and not a zombie. I’m talking style here, not status.

Episode one includes a great character arc and some nice revelation and acceptance at the end. You can bet I’ll be watching more of this one. Even my wife started paying attention. I laughed out loud at a couple of points, so it’s one of those with drama and comedy mixed in. I love stories that do that.

We’ve also been watching Stranger Things and it’s been a lot of fun too. It was recommended by someone who read Will O’ the Wisp and said my style reminded them of this. Heck, gotta check it out after something like that, right? It’s fun, but I feel Stranger Things is getting kind of tired in season two. It seems kind of repetitive on many fronts now.

Gotta run, SHIELD will be on soon. Probably beta reading and my own writing tomorrow.

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All things updateish

I worked this week, kind of. I managed Monday and Tuesday, but couldn’t do it on Wednesday. My back is getting better, but there have been setbacks. I worked all day Friday, so there is that. These ten hour shifts get rough in my office chair.

On the blogging front, I managed to send off two shticks for Lisa Burton Radio, so I assume there will be one for next week. I don’t plan on having one the week of Christmas. People are doing better things, and I wouldn’t be helping my guest author out by posting their promo that week. I’ll come up with something else for that slot so it isn’t dead airspace.

I hired my formatter and sent off the manuscript for The Hat. Last night I paid the invoice, and today I looked over the formatted book. I’m sorry to say the only mistakes were my own. I found a missing space, and a typo even after all the beta readers and my own efforts. That’s what always happens though. Even books put out by major publishers have errors. I’ll fix these, but none of it is the formatters fault.

I also decided to include the Lisa Burton promotional posters as back-of-the book material. I did this with Enhanced League and they were well received. There is a link to my Amazon page if folks want to check out my other work.

The good news is I could publish The Hat tonight. I won’t though. 2017 has been a sucky year for me, and I’m not donating this cool story to the 2017 gloom and doom. I’ll release it sometime in early 2018. This means I need to get on the stick and write some blog tour posts. Then when I ask for volunteers I’ll actually have something ready for them.

The Hat is a novella. It can be read in one afternoon. I think it’s a ten on the fun meter, so I’m struggling with the price point. I priced my short story collections at 99¢. I intended to do the same with this book, but now I’m not so sure. My novels are only $2.99, and I’m seriously considering pricing the novellas at $1.99. You get more involved with them than a short story, but not as involved as a novel. It’s like a novel, only fun size. It’s either that, or publish it at $2.99 and jack the price of my novels to $3.99. Honestly, this shouldn’t be that big of a decision. I can’t believe we don’t sell our novels for eight or nine bucks each. I’m open to suggestions here folks.

Tomorrow, I’ll probably assemble and schedule one of the Lisa interviews. Then I need to add some new words to my other novella. This has been slow going, but I have the week between Christmas and New Year off, so I hope to make the electronic ink fly then.

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