Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy Talks Publishing & Marketing

Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy worked as an actress and writer in film and television in the United States and Israel. Night in Jerusalem is her debut novel, which she has adapted to film. She lives in Ojai California with her husband and daughter.

She writes, “I lived in Israel in the 1960s, a naive twenty-year-old, hoping to find myself and my place in the world. The possibility of war was remote to me. I imagined the tensions in the region would somehow be resolved peacefully. Then, the Six Day War erupted and I experienced it firsthand in Jerusalem.

I have drawn Night in Jerusalem from my experiences during that time. The historical events portrayed in the novel are accurate. The characters are based on people I knew in the city. Like me, they were struggling to make sense of their lives, responding to inherited challenges they could not escape that shaped their destiny in ways they and the entire Middle East could not have imagined.

I have always been intrigued by the miraculous. How and where the soul’s journey leads and how it reveals its destiny. How two people who are destined, even under the threat of war and extinction, can find one another.

Israel’s Six Day War is not a fiction; neither was the miracle of its victory. What better time to discover love through intrigue, passion, and the miraculous.

Writing this story was in part reliving my history in Israel, in part a mystical adventure. I am grateful that so many who have read Night In Jerusalem have experienced this as well.”

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Thank you for this interview. Take us through the process. You had an idea for your book, you wrote it, then you decided to find a publisher. What were your experiences with that? Or did you decide to self-publish without looking any further?

I decided to self-publish. My previous work has been in film and television, and I was not involved in the promotional side of things.  I don’t know much about book promotion and there is a whole lot of work to do there. Fortunately, I have a partner who is well-versed in it, otherwise I would be lost.

What different online stores carry your book?

Amazon.

Do you think that having your book self-published makes any difference to the media? Are they open to interviewing self-published authors or reviewing their books?

Yes, I believe they are open to interviews given how many writers choose to self-publish. The difference is self-publishing requires the author to reach out on their own, an get a good promoter to help!

Authors who go the traditional route have an edge over self-published authors in regards to distribution to bookstores. How did you handle that as a self-published author?

I sent a copy of my book to bookstores, offering to do a reading, and signing of my book. They seemed to really like that. It certainly helped to sell books.

On the other hand, self-published authors have the edge over traditional books in the regards that the author has all the control. I’d like to begin with your cover. Did you make it or did you have someone else design it? If you had someone else, can you tell us who it is?

I found the photo of Jerusalem which reminded me of the time and place in which Night In Jerusalem takes place.  I then had photographer, Chris Jensen photo shop the cover to create the hues and lights in the windows.

Did you get someone to format it for you or did you do that?

Russell Martin formatted the interior and helped with the cover as well.

What was the hardest challenge for you to self-publish your book?

I had no idea how pivotal an editor is. After working for months, on and off, with the editor of Night In Jerusalem, I would never consider publishing a book without a strong and talented editor. So, for me, self-publishing does not mean going without professional support; it means you must take the initiative yourself to find the right professionals to partner with.

How to get people who read it write a review.

I discovered most readers don’t like writing reviews even when they love the book!  It was easier getting other authors to write a review because they were sensitive to the process.

What steps are you taking to promote it?

Everything I possibly can. This year I am listed in the Jewish Book Council, and The Historical Novels Review. I am also working with a book promoter, which has proven to be a wise decision.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share with other self-published authors?

My previous work has been in film and television, and I was not involved in the promotional side of things.  I don’t know much about book promotion and there is a whole lot of work to do there. Fortunately, I have a partner who is well versed in it, otherwise I would be lost. For me, self-publishing does not mean going without professional support; it means you must take the initiative yourself to find the right professionals to partner with.

In my experience, it takes talented professionals to produce a good book – starting with an editor and then a designer. Fortunately, these people have not all been captured by publishing companies. You can get to them directly and, with their help, turn out a first-class work. After that, promotion is another professional skill – you can either learn it or hire it! Self-publishing does not mean you do everything yourself!

If you had the chance to change something regarding how you got published, what would you change?

I would take more time in the editing and proof reading before publishing as there were mistakes even after several reviews by editors and proof readers. If you look at most published writers you can see how many people they thank for these crucial services.

Self-Publishing Advice with Cristina G.

Cristina G. was born in Romania during one of the harshest communist regimes that ever existed.

The tenth child of a farmer’s family, she has six sisters and used to have four brothers, now only two.

Aged eight, she read Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and fell irremediably in love with books. Since then she kept dreaming of writing for many years, and she wrote a lot, but never thought of publishing.

In 2012, after living in Italy for ten years, Cristina became a blogger.

In June of 2014, with the help of a British friend, she moved to the UK. Here, although her expectations were not great, Cristina fulfilled the dream she never dared to dream before.

Cristina G. is now a registered author and dedicates her life to writing focusing on human behaviour, emotions and feelings.

Her latest book is the self-help/nonfiction, It’s Never Game Over.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

Thank you for this interview. You self-published your latest book, It’s Never Game Over. Would you please tell us why you chose the self-publishing route?

Like most authors, my dream was to be published by a traditional company. After self-publishing other five books, I decided that I actually prefer this method to the “dreamy” one.

It’s easier, accessible to all, and it could be free if you do everything yourself.

You could publish it on your time at any hour of the day or night. You are your own publisher, your own boss.

But most of all, the content of your book remains exactly as you want it to be.

Take us through the process. You had an idea for your book, you wrote it, and then you decided to find a publisher. What were your experiences with that?

I have countless ideas, but a limited time as I have a day job too. Therefore, I decided to focus on non-fiction for the time being to help my fellow humans.

I am my own publisher.

The first draft of this book was addressed to writers only. After the proofreading, I realized that many others will benefit from reading my book. So, I made several changes and proofread it again, and again and again.

I had some great feedback from my beta readers, as well as quite a few very harsh comments. My statements are very assertive, and they might hurt people’s feelings. I had seconds thoughts, and it took me a lot of time to decide to publish it.

I did my best to sweeten some of my opinions, but in the end, this book is addressed to people who struggle with many things. From my experience, most of us need a kick in order to take action.

I paid a professional to edit it. I disagreed with many suggestions made by my editor. Upon consideration, I changed other things. I proofread it again, and when I was content with the final work, I took a huge risk and hit “Publish.”

Discipline is fundamental to everybody’s success. I am happy with my decision as I know for sure that it will help many people. I don’t care if my readers hate me, all I care about is to make them reflect and take a step in the right direction.

“Believe you are happy and you are halfway there.”

What different online stores carry your book?

I decided to publish my books exclusively on Amazon and CreateSpace.

Do you think that having your book self-published makes any difference to the media?

Absolutely.

Are they open to interviewing self-published authors or reviewing their books?

I am not sure as haven’t been asked or offered an interview as yet. My name is just a name for now.

Authors who go the traditional route have an edge over self-published authors in regards to distribution to bookstores. How did you handle that as a self-published author?

I must be honest, I haven’t thought of that yet. I am very busy with writing. I am happy with my books being available online.

On the other hand, self-published authors have the edge over traditional books in the regards that the author has all the control.

Yes. That is what made me decide to stick and be more than happy with self-publishing. However, I am referring exclusively to that process in which you are the one who publishes the book, not a company.

I’d like to begin with your cover. Did you make it or did you have someone else design it?

I designed all my covers at the beginning. But I am a writer with limited knowledge of design and absolutely no free time to create something outstanding for my readers.

As I am eager to please my fans, I spent months searching for a professional to take care of my covers. Now all my covers are made by various talented book designers.

Did you get someone to format it for you or did you do that?

I format all my books.

What was the hardest challenge for you to self-publish your book?

I was led to believe that if you hire a company to take care of publishing your book, the whole process would be hassle free and the results outstanding.

I have spent many months looking for the best company to do that for me. I read countless forums, reviews, and many divergent opinions. I invested all my savings, and it goes without saying that I had huge hopes.

The book was an absolute flop.

That was the hardest challenge and the worst decision in my entire writing career. Nevertheless, it was also a great lesson to learn.

What steps are you taking to promote it?

Again, like most writers, I am not a business person. I find marketing to be a creativity destroyer. However, I don’t write for myself, so I do everything I can to make my books known worldwide.

I have been a blogger for six years now. I own six and write on all of them when I can. I update the English ones weekly, or more often.

  • · When I publish a book, my first step is to write a few posts about it and share them on Facebook and Twitter.
  • · I take advantage of KDP Select and offer it for free as often as possible.
  • · I submit my free promotions to various specialized websites.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share with other self-published authors?

Yes. There is a market for every story and every author. Don’t build your fame destroying others. The authors who write their books are not your rivals. They are your buddies in a very daunting process. Recognize, Appreciate and Respect.

Follow the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

This was largely explained in Author for Life or for a Living?

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,

Christina G.

Self-Publishing Advice: Jennifer Chase, Author of ‘Dead Cold’

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

Her latest book is the crime thriller, Dead Cold.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Thank you for this interview. You self-published your latest book, Dead Cold. Would you please tell us why you chose the self-publishing route?

Dead Cold is my ninth published book. When I published my first book, Compulsion, I took the time to decide if I wanted to publish with a big company and wait, publish with a smaller company, or self-publish. In the end, I decided to self-publish to test the waters and not wait months or even years to publish. I really didn’t know if anyone would be interested in my books or my writing style.

Take us through the process. You had an idea for your book, you wrote it, and then you decided to find a publisher. What were your experiences with that?

I did look at my options and the publishing houses. Most writers want the same thing I did— to be published. Most of the requirements (at that time) were that you needed an agent or manager to submit your first chapter. I was discouraged. I decided to jump in and self-publish. The first book was a huge learning curve for me—and I had many things to learn.

What different online stores carry your book?

Most of my books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, and Apple iBookstore. My latest books, Dead Cold, Dark Pursuit, and Body of the Crime, are currently exclusive at Amazon.

Do you think that having your book self-published makes any difference to the media?

Yes. I believe that there is still a “stigma” of self-publishing, for lack of a better description, which mainstream media doesn’t promote or interview these authors as often, if at all. However, I believe there are many popular and successful self-published authors that this “stigma” has broken the ceiling and more media outlets are taking notice. I believe it will continue to go in this direction in the future.

Are they open to interviewing self-published authors or reviewing their books?

From my experience, few self-published authors have access of a mainstream media outlet to review their books or conduct interviews. Of course, there is always exception, such as a self-published author who has sold an amazing amount of books. I feel that this obstacle will soon open up for more self-published authors to have the opportunity for mainstream media to interview or review their books as more successful self-published authors continue to succeed, and make media outlets take notice.

Authors who go the traditional route have an edge over self-published authors in regards to distribution to bookstores. How did you handle that as a self-published author?

There are lists for bookstores to contact. You can start with local bookstores and visit them. I’ve found that being a self-published author, and being relatively unknown, bookstores weren’t the best or biggest way for me to sell books and get exposure for my series. It’s great for book signings, but I’ve found little sales from them. eBooks have far out sold any paperback or hardback books. I’ve stuck with what works for me.

On the other hand, self-published authors have the edge over traditional books in the regards that the author has all the control.

Very true. It’s a wonderful but scary feeling having all the control. You must rely on your own research and the professionals providing services (editing, formatting, cover art, etc.). This can be a daunting task.

I’d like to begin with your cover. Did you make it or did you have someone else design it?

I’ve designed all my Emily Stone Thriller covers. I wanted to have two photographs overlapping that depicts the story theme with a haunting image.

Did you get someone to format it for you or did you do that?

I format both my ebooks and paperbacks. You can find formatters that are very reasonable—I may hire someone now to take care of the formatting in order to free up some of my time.

What was the hardest challenge for you to self-publish your book?

Promotion and marketing. Pure and simple. Promotion is definitely the most difficult aspect of self-publishing. You could write the best book ever written, but if no one knows about it—it doesn’t matter. Promotion still scares me. I’ve learned quite a bit, and I’m still learning because there are great sites to advertise with and very talented book promoters. The big question is finding out which ones. How much should you spend? What should you expect in exposure and royalties? Should you promote everything all at once? Or, should you spread promotion out over a period of time? You must answer these scary questions as a self-published author with every single book project.

What steps are you taking to promote it?

I’ve learned what areas that promote and engage readers in the crime thriller genre—at least for me. First, set a budget and do your research on book promotions. I’m a firm believer in asking questions and interacting on forums. You can learn a lot just by interacting with authors, publishers, editors, and even readers. Readers and Beta readers have been a wonderful asset to me reading, critiquing, and writing reviews of my books.

I begin with the usual: author blog site, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Shelfari, and any other social media that you use on a regular basis. Now this is just the bare beginning. You want to advertise with book sites where they have readers looking for new reads. There are hundreds of them and you can find them with simple internet searches. Find out what numbers of visitors go to their website and how many email recipients they send out. And finally, book a blog tour, I cannot emphasize this enough. There are many blog tour hosts out there and it’s an invaluable opportunity to write posts, interviews, spotlights, and giveaways just by promoting your book. You meet new bloggers and have a chance to interact with readers. It’s a lot of fun too.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share with other self-published authors?

Most importantly… write… write… and write. Put your writing first and continue to improve your craft with every project. Make a budget, not just for your time, but how much money you want to spend in this process. Do your homework on publishing and promoting. There’s no easy recipe or correct answer on how to proceed. You have to find out what works best for you and the specific genre. Good luck and happy writing!

Book Publishing & Promotion Tips with ‘Chasing Hindy’ Darin Gibby @daringibby #thriller

In addition to a thriving career as a novelist, author Darin Gibby is also one of the country’s premiere patent attorneys and a partner at the prestigious firm of Kilpatrick Townsend (www.kilpatricktownsend.com). With over twenty years of experience in obtaining patents on hundreds of inventions from the latest drug delivery systems to life-saving cardiac equipment, he has built IP portfolios for numerous Fortune 500 companies. In addition to securing patents, Gibby helps clients enforce and license their patents around the world, and he has monetized patents on a range of products.

Darin’s first book, Why Has America Stopped Inventing?, explored the critical issue of America’s broken patent system.  His second book, The Vintage Club, tells the story of a group of the world’s wealthiest men who are chasing a legend about a wine that can make you live forever. His third book, Gil, is about a high school coach who discovers that he can pitch with deadly speed and is given an offer to play with the Rockies during a player’s strike. Gil soon discovers, however, that his unexpected gift is the result of a rare disease, and continuing to pitch may hasten his own death.

With a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree, he is highly regarded in Denver’s legal and business community as a patent strategist, business manager, and community leader. He is also a sought-after speaker on IP issues at businesses, colleges and technology forums, where he demonstrates the value of patents using simple lessons from working on products such as Crocs shoes, Izzo golf straps and Trek bicycles.

An avid traveler and accomplished triathlete, Darin also enjoys back country fly-fishing trips and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He lives in Denver with his wife, Robin, and their four children.

His latest book is the thriller, Chasing Hindy.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

About the Book:

ADDY’S DREAM AS a patent attorney is to help bring a ground breaking energy technology to the world. Addy’s hopes soar when she is wooed by Quinn, an entrepreneur, to join his company that has purportedly invented a car that can run on water using an innovative catalyst. After resigning her partnership to join Quinn, Addy discovers things aren’t as they seem. The patent office suppresses the company’s patent applications and her life is threatened by unknown assailants if she doesn’t resign.

When she is arrested for stealing US technology from the patent office she realizes Quinn has used her. Now, Addy must find a way to clear her name while salvaging her dream of propelling this technology to the world, all while powerful forces attempt to stop her.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Welcome to Book Marketing Buzz.  Can we begin by having you tell us a little about your book?

Chasing Hindy tells the story of Addy who, as a patent attorney, has a dream to help bring a ground breaking energy technology to the world. Addy’s hopes soar when she is wooed by Quinn, an entrepreneur, to join his company that has purportedly invented a car that can run on water using an innovative catalyst. After resigning her partnership to join Quinn, Addy discovers things aren’t as they seem. The patent office suppresses the company’s patent applications and her life is threatened by unknown assailants if she doesn’t resign.

When she is arrested for stealing US technology from the patent office she realizes Quinn has used her. Addy must find a way to clear her name while salvaging her dream of propelling this technology to the world, all while powerful forces attempt to stop her.

What is the first thing you did to promote your book once your publisher accepted your manuscript?

Actually two things: I shot off a bunch of announcements on social media and posted a blog on my website.

After that, what happened?

After everyone patted me on the back for publishing another book, I started my usual panic—trying to sort through everything an author needs to do before the pub date.

What did your publisher do to promote your book?

Koehler Books has a variety of programs to help promote an author. The first thing that happens is a program where they generate about 5 covers based on your input.  Then you narrow it down to your top two.  From there, they post it on their website and let the public vote. That generates a lot of buzz.

They also have several marketing meetings where they train you on what they’d like to see in terms of social media, reviews, appearances, etc.  They basically help you out with a marketing plan. And, they point you to people who may be willing to do a blurb for you.

Finally, they have a team who tries to sell the book into various stores as well as to plug your book through various marketing channels.  For one of my books, they even managed to get it into the hands of a couple of film makers.

What’s your opinion on blogging?  Do you see that it is helping sell your book or is it not making much difference in terms of sales?  If you blog, do you blog often?

I love to blog, but I’ve found almost no correlation between views of my blogs and sales.  One of the things I blog about is the inventors who appear on Shark Tank.  They often make statements about their patents that usually aren’t true.  Because I am a patent attorney, I can check with the patent office to see if their claims are false, then post it on my blog.  Those usually get a lot of hits.

I understand using the social networks to promote your books is also an effective marketing tool.  What social networks do you use and do you find any of them effective?

I love using social media to sell books—but not too much.  I usually make my initial splash, then only follow up every few months.  Your friends will get sick of you if you abuse them on social media.  I find that I get a lot of sales with my initial announcement, then the return falls off.

Besides blogging and using the social networks to promote your books, what other ways are you promoting your book?

I love promotions.  They work really good, but you’ve got to get your publisher on board.  Mine will do it every now and then if I don’t abuse it.  But it’s a way to get a lot of sales.

Frankly, word of mouth is the best way to sell books.  So I’m always talking about mine, in the gym, on a plane, anywhere.

If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you’ve used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?

I’d say the promotions.  You can move a lot of books—but you also don’t make any money because you need to discount the price.  But for me, I’m a writer because I want someone to read my book and say they loved it—not for the money.

Book Excerpt: Alan 2 by Bruce Forciea

Alan 2

Title: ALAN 2
Author: Bruce Forciea
Publisher: Open Books
Pages: 278
Genre: Cyber-Thriller

A brilliant artificial intelligence (AI) scientist, Dr. Alan Boyd, develops a new program that integrates part of his brain with a computer’s operating system. The program, Alan 2, can anticipate a user’s needs and automatically perform many tasks. A large software company, International Microsystems (IM) desperately wants the program and tempts Dr. Boyd with huge sums of money, but when Dr. Boyd refuses their offer, IM sabotages his job, leaving him in a difficult financial situation.

Dr. Boyd turns to Alan 2 for an answer to his financial problems, and Alan 2 develops plan Alpha, which is a cyber robin hood scheme to rob from rich corporations via a credit card scam.

Alan and his girlfriend Kaitlin travel to Mexico where they live the good life funded by plan Alpha, but the FBI cybercrime division has discovered part of Alan 2’s cyber escapades, and two agents, Rachel and Stu, trace the crime through the TOR network and Bitcoin.

Alan 2 discovers the FBI is on to them and advises Alan and Kaitlin to change locations. A dramatic chase ensues taking them to St. Thomas, a cruise ship bound for Spain, and finally to Morocco.

Will they escape detection? They will if Alan 2’s Plan Beta can be implemented in time. Or is ‘Plan B’ something altogether different than it appears to be, something wholly sinister that will affect the entire population of the world?

Watch the trailer at YouTube!

Purchase Information:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher

First Chapter:

Bang! Bang! Bang! The flimsy apartment door rattled on its frame with every blow.

“Kaitlin, don’t even think of answering that!” Alan growled through his teeth.

Kaitlin shrugged her shoulders and moved away from the door toward the living room where Alan sat at a table full of electronics gear.

“Dr. Boyd, are you home?” shouted the voice on the other side of the door in an Indian accent. “I want to talk to you. I have a very good offer. Please, Dr. Boyd, it will only take a minute, and I think you will be quite pleased with what we have for you.”

“Go away; leave us alone,” Alan shouted. “I don’t want your offer.”

“But Dr. Boyd, we do pay very well. We are great admirers of your work.”

“I don’t care and I don’t want your money,” said Alan. “Now go away before I call the police.”

“Think about it, Dr. Boyd; I will be in touch.”

“Incessant bastards,” said Alan as his attention turned back to his work. “I’ll cherish the day they leave us alone. Kaitlin, come over here and help me with this injection.”

Alan rolled up the sleeve of his t-shirt while Kaitlin picked up the syringe containing the gadolinium contrast. She pinched an ample section of skin and plunged the syringe into his arm. The needle stung like an angry wasp, causing Alan to grimace.

“Can’t you be gentle? You’ve done enough of these by now to get the hang of it. You shouldn’t jam it in like that!”

Kaitlin rolled her eyes and shook her head. “I think I do pretty well considering I don’t have any medical training,” she said while jerking the syringe out of his arm.

“Okay, okay. Just take your position at the console.”

She sighed, plopped onto a small task chair and rolled over to a makeshift wooden table holding a desktop PC and a large high-definition monitor. She had been through this process countless times before.

Alan entered a large metallic structure in the center of the living room. The box-like structure, made of aluminum, dominated the rectangular room which was devoid of furniture. Its dull silver hue contrasted the blank walls. He closed the door and climbed into a chair that looked like it came from an early Gemini spacecraft. The stiff plastic chair, sandwiched between two large metal discs, afforded a good deal of postural support but little comfort. He sat down and slowly slid his head between the thick metal and plastic arms of a large U-shaped device. There was just enough clearance as he wriggled his head to achieve the perfect position. He pulled down on a large metallic tube suspended above him so that it surrounded his entire head. He positioned the tube so that the rectangular slit lined up with his visual axis, allowing for a line of sight to the monitor located outside of the tube. The small fMRI scanner had taken a good deal of time and money to cobble together, but it was the only way to capture the needed information from his brain.

Alan viewed Kaitlin through a small round Plexiglas window in the door and signaled with a thumbs-up to begin the scan. She waved and entered the start sequence into the keyboard, sat back, slid an unlit cigarette between her lips and picked up a copy of People Magazine. He pushed his head back against the headrest and adjusted the monitor suspended on a boom so he could see the screen. The machine first hummed as it powered up and then made periodic knocking sounds.

Alan focused his attention on the monitor while the scanner began its first sequence. The monitor displayed a series of images designed to evoke emotions. Each image popped onto the screen and persisted for ten seconds before another replaced it. There was a small child holding hands with his father, a mother holding a baby, a couple admiring their child in a crib, and many more. All the images had been chosen to trigger emotional responses, causing changes in blood flow to certain areas of Alan’s brain. An image would appear for a few seconds and then the machine would complete a scan. The process repeated until all one hundred twenty-seven images had been displayed. The entire cycle then repeated two more times with random sequences of the same set of images.

This would be the final scan involving diffusion tensor imaging of Alan’s frontal lobes. Previous scans had involved the study of responses to a variety of topics. In addition to emotions such as sadness, joy, anxiety, and fear, there were cognitive studies that examined Alan’s problem solving techniques as well as his reaction to global events. In all, there were over one hundred fifty scans taken over the past two years.

About the Author

Bruce Forciea

Bruce Forciea is known for taking complex scientific concepts and making them easy to understand through engaging stories and simple explanations. He is an Amazon Best Selling Author and author of several books on healing and biology, along with science fiction thriller novels. His fiction writing draws on a diverse and eclectic background that includes touring and performing with a professional show, designing digital circuits, treating thousands of patients, and teaching. His stories include complex plots with unexpected twists and turns, quirky characters, and a reality very similar to our own. Dr. Forciea lives in Wisconsin and loves writing during the solitude of the long Northern winters.

Website & Social Links:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Book Excerpt: Alan 2 by Bruce Forciea

Title: ALAN 2
Author: Bruce Forciea
Publisher: Open Books
Pages: 278
Genre: Cyber-Thriller

A brilliant artificial intelligence (AI) scientist, Dr. Alan Boyd, develops a new program that integrates part of his brain with a computer’s operating system. The program, Alan 2, can anticipate a user’s needs and automatically perform many tasks. A large software company, International Microsystems (IM) desperately wants the program and tempts Dr. Boyd with huge sums of money, but when Dr. Boyd refuses their offer, IM sabotages his job, leaving him in a difficult financial situation.

Dr. Boyd turns to Alan 2 for an answer to his financial problems, and Alan 2 develops plan Alpha, which is a cyber robin hood scheme to rob from rich corporations via a credit card scam.

Alan and his girlfriend Kaitlin travel to Mexico where they live the good life funded by plan Alpha, but the FBI cybercrime division has discovered part of Alan 2’s cyber escapades, and two agents, Rachel and Stu, trace the crime through the TOR network and Bitcoin.

Alan 2 discovers the FBI is on to them and advises Alan and Kaitlin to change locations. A dramatic chase ensues taking them to St. Thomas, a cruise ship bound for Spain, and finally to Morocco.

Will they escape detection? They will if Alan 2’s Plan Beta can be implemented in time. Or is ‘Plan B’ something altogether different than it appears to be, something wholly sinister that will affect the entire population of the world?

Watch the trailer at YouTube!

Purchase Information:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher

Book Excerpt:

Bang! Bang! Bang! The flimsy apartment door rattled on its frame with every blow.

“Kaitlin, don’t even think of answering that!” Alan growled through his teeth.

Kaitlin shrugged her shoulders and moved away from the door toward the living room where Alan sat at a table full of electronics gear.

“Dr. Boyd, are you home?” shouted the voice on the other side of the door in an Indian accent. “I want to talk to you. I have a very good offer. Please, Dr. Boyd, it will only take a minute, and I think you will be quite pleased with what we have for you.”

“Go away; leave us alone,” Alan shouted. “I don’t want your offer.”

“But Dr. Boyd, we do pay very well. We are great admirers of your work.”

“I don’t care and I don’t want your money,” said Alan. “Now go away before I call the police.”

“Think about it, Dr. Boyd; I will be in touch.”

“Incessant bastards,” said Alan as his attention turned back to his work. “I’ll cherish the day they leave us alone. Kaitlin, come over here and help me with this injection.”

Alan rolled up the sleeve of his t-shirt while Kaitlin picked up the syringe containing the gadolinium contrast. She pinched an ample section of skin and plunged the syringe into his arm. The needle stung like an angry wasp, causing Alan to grimace.

“Can’t you be gentle? You’ve done enough of these by now to get the hang of it. You shouldn’t jam it in like that!”

Kaitlin rolled her eyes and shook her head. “I think I do pretty well considering I don’t have any medical training,” she said while jerking the syringe out of his arm.

“Okay, okay. Just take your position at the console.”

She sighed, plopped onto a small task chair and rolled over to a makeshift wooden table holding a desktop PC and a large high-definition monitor. She had been through this process countless times before.

Alan entered a large metallic structure in the center of the living room. The box-like structure, made of aluminum, dominated the rectangular room which was devoid of furniture. Its dull silver hue contrasted the blank walls. He closed the door and climbed into a chair that looked like it came from an early Gemini spacecraft. The stiff plastic chair, sandwiched between two large metal discs, afforded a good deal of postural support but little comfort. He sat down and slowly slid his head between the thick metal and plastic arms of a large U-shaped device. There was just enough clearance as he wriggled his head to achieve the perfect position. He pulled down on a large metallic tube suspended above him so that it surrounded his entire head. He positioned the tube so that the rectangular slit lined up with his visual axis, allowing for a line of sight to the monitor located outside of the tube. The small fMRI scanner had taken a good deal of time and money to cobble together, but it was the only way to capture the needed information from his brain.

Alan viewed Kaitlin through a small round Plexiglas window in the door and signaled with a thumbs-up to begin the scan. She waved and entered the start sequence into the keyboard, sat back, slid an unlit cigarette between her lips and picked up a copy of People Magazine. He pushed his head back against the headrest and adjusted the monitor suspended on a boom so he could see the screen. The machine first hummed as it powered up and then made periodic knocking sounds.

Alan focused his attention on the monitor while the scanner began its first sequence. The monitor displayed a series of images designed to evoke emotions. Each image popped onto the screen and persisted for ten seconds before another replaced it. There was a small child holding hands with his father, a mother holding a baby, a couple admiring their child in a crib, and many more. All the images had been chosen to trigger emotional responses, causing changes in blood flow to certain areas of Alan’s brain. An image would appear for a few seconds and then the machine would complete a scan.  The process repeated until all one hundred twenty-seven images had been displayed. The entire cycle then repeated two more times with random sequences of the same set of images.

This would be the final scan involving diffusion tensor imaging of Alan’s frontal lobes. Previous scans had involved the study of responses to a variety of topics. In addition to emotions such as sadness, joy, anxiety, and fear, there were cognitive studies that examined Alan’s problem solving techniques as well as his reaction to global events. In all, there were over one hundred fifty scans taken over the past two years.

About the Author

Bruce Forciea is known for taking complex scientific concepts and making them easy to understand through engaging stories and simple explanations. He is an Amazon Best Selling Author and author of several books on healing and biology, along with science fiction thriller novels. His fiction writing draws on a diverse and eclectic background that includes touring and performing with a professional show, designing digital circuits, treating thousands of patients, and teaching. His stories include complex plots with unexpected twists and turns, quirky characters, and a reality very similar to our own. Dr. Forciea lives in Wisconsin and loves writing during the solitude of the long Northern winters.

Website & Social Links:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Interview with ‘The Ashes’ Vincent Zandri #thriller #suspense #books

One of my most favorite thriller authors has to be Vincent Zandri. Zandri’s latest book is the thriller/horror/romantic suspense, The Ashes. Not only is he a bestselling author, he is also the winner of the 2015 PWA Shamus Award and the 2015 ITW Thriller Award for Best Original Paperback Novel. He is also is the NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, and AMAZON KINDLE No.1 bestselling author of more than 25 novels including THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT WEEPS, EVERYTHING BURNS, and ORCHARD GROVE.

Not only that, he is the author of numerous Amazon bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL, TRUE STORIES and MOONLIGHT MAFIA among them. Harlan Coben has described THE INNOCENT (formerly As Catch Can) as “…gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting,” while the New York Post called it “Sensational…Masterful…Brilliant!”

Zandri’s list of domestic publishers include Delacorte, Dell, Down & Out Books, Thomas & Mercer and Polis Books, while his foreign publisher is Meme Publishers of Milan and Paris. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri’s work is translated in the Dutch, Russian, French, Italian, and Japanese. Recently, Zandri was the subject of a major feature by the New York Times. He has also made appearances on Bloomberg TV and FOX news. In December 2014, Suspense Magazine named Zandri’s, THE SHROUD KEY, as one of the “Best Books of 2014.” Recently, Suspense Magazine selected WHEN SHADOWS COME as one of the “Best Books of 2016″. A freelance photo-journalist and the author of the popular “lit blog,” The Vincent Zandri Vox, Zandri has written for Living Ready Magazine, RT, New York Newsday, Hudson Valley Magazine, The Times Union (Albany), Game & Fish Magazine, and many more. He lives in New York and Florence, Italy.

I was thrilled when he agreed to a candid interview about his new book and how he became such a powerhouse in the world of books.

Thank you for this interview, Vince.  Can we begin by having you tell us about your humble beginnings?  What was the first thing you ever published?

My first published piece, if you want to call it that, was for the Times Union Newspaper back in 1990 or ‘91, I believe. I was in my mid-twenties and I’d been hired as a sports stringer to cover high school football games and other sporting events. Having no real idea what a stringer was, I automatically assumed it was the same as being a cub reporter, so I went to my first Friday Night Lights football game, collected the data, interviewed some players and coaches, then went back to the paper and wrote the story. When the piece landed on the night editor’s desk, he looked up at me and said, “Stringers don’t write their own stories. They call them in to a real writer.” I believe my reaction was, “That so?” From that point on, I wrote all my stories for the TU, including a whole bunch of freelance pieces on everything from fly-fishing to book reviews to travel pieces. A great education for a would-be writer.

Before we get to your book, The Ashes, I’d like to ask you what was the turning point for you when you knew that writing books could be quite profitable?

After graduating from Vermont College’s MFA in Writing program in 1997, I automatically assumed I’d write one novel per year, plus a few short stories, and teach writing on the collegiate level. In other words, I never really expected to make any money from my books since none of the professors who were teaching in the program were really making any money either. But not ten months out of the program and I was offered $250K contract for my first novel in what would be the Jack Marconi, PI series, The Innocent (at the time it was called As Catch Can). It was like a wallop to the head. I’d gone from dead broke and in debt, to making more money than my dad that year. And my dad owned his own construction business. Of course, there were a lot of bumps and roadblocks along the way after that when I didn’t earn out, but looking back on the past twenty years of professional publishing, there’s only been a handful of years where I haven’t made a significant income, be it in actual earnings or advances, from my novels. Of course, I’m so obsessed with writing, I would do it for free.

What do you attribute to your success?

A sense of humor and beer. Or, to put it more seriously, just plain hard work and discipline. Putting in the time at the typewriter day in and day out. Always believing I could find an audience for the stuff I write. I’m still expanding my audience. And success is relative. For some, just publishing a few books is all the success they yearn for. For others, it’s making a part-time living. Some people want to be the next Hemingway or Mailer or John D. MacDonald. I know I did. Everybody’s vision is different. I’ve only worked one traditional job in my life and that was working for my father’s construction business. I went to work for him right out of college and it was a grind. No one should feel their life is a grind at 21 or 22 years old, so I decided to break away from the family business, as painful as it was for a lot people, and move onto something else that not only afforded me all the freedom in the world, it also satisfied a deep desire to be my own boss. To be creative. I’ve won the ITW Thriller Award and the PWA Shamus Award, and hit all the bestseller lists, so I feel I’ve earned the respect of my peers, which is success in itself. But it’s all been a very strange experience, because many of the people I used to consider my friends are gone from my life now. I have new friends, most of whom I’ve met in my travels (I’m on the road a few months every year). I guess when I broke out of the more traditional mold everyone had prescribed for me, I became a different person.

The Ashes’ premise is so captivating!  Can you give us the storyline?

The Ashes is the sequel to The Remains, one of my most successful novels ever. In fact it still sells tens of thousands of editions each year even going on five years after initial publication. In the first book, my protagonist Rebecca Underhill becomes the target of the same man, Joseph William Whalen, who abducted she and her twin sister inside an abandoned farmhouse in the woods behind their country house thirty years earlier. He’s just been released from prison and now he wants to finish the job he started but failed at. In the second book, Whalen’s cell-mate and “wife,” …a psychopath who calls himself the Skinner because of his talent for skinning his victims alive…goes after Rebecca and her small boy. He plants himself in the cornfield behind their house and speaks to the children, luring them into the woods. There’s a bit more of a horror element in The Ashes, but it’s got all the romantic suspense that was contained in The Remains. As for the third book in the trilogy, I haven’t quite decided on a plot.

Can you tell us a little about your main characters?

Rebecca is in her late forties, and she’s the single mother of a little boy, Mike Jr. She and her live-in best friend, Robyn Painter, run the School of Art together inside a converted barn on the property she grew up on along with her late twin sister, Molly. Sam Goodman, is Rebecca’s new love interest. A former Wall Street success story, Sam is a dark-skinned gem of a man who loves Rebecca with all his heart. He’s moved up to the country to escape the rat race and assume a new life as a carpenter. He tries his hardest to protect Rebecca from the Skinner. Some of the characters in the book are more like ghosts from the past, like Michael, Rebecca’s former husband and her sister Molly. They make appearances from the grave since Rebecca is always talking with them, believing in their spiritual reality and existence.

Out of all the books you have written, which one stands near and dear to you over the others?

The Remains was one of those books that I read once it was finished and said to myself, “Did I actually write this book? Or did someone else write it and I just copied it, word for word?” I don’t even remember writing it, it was such a strange if not frightening, internal experience. It’s as if I were in a trance when I put the words down on paper. It came out of the problems I was going through in my life with my second wife and all the pain that comes with it. Art is most definitely therapeutic if nothing else, and The Remains and to an extent, The Ashes, are proof of that.

What’s next for you?

As a hybrid author, I have more novels and stories being published than I can shake a pen at, if you’ll forgive the pun. As I speak with you, the fourth novel in the Jack Marconi PI series, The Corruptions, is being released by Polis Books. As of this moment, it’s available in hard-cover at a book-store near you. In March, the newest novel in my Chase Baker Action/Adventure series will be released, Chase Baker and the Dutch Diamonds. My novel, When Shadows Come, which was published in April by Thomas & Mercer was selected by Suspense Magazine as one of the Best Thrillers of 2016, so I’m very proud of that. In January ’18 Polis will be publishing my new stand-alone, The Detonator, and in ’19, a fifth Marconi PI novel. In the meantime, my agent, Chip MacGregor has been fielding more than his share of calls for movie rights. For anyone who wants to keep up, go to WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM or contact Chip MacGregor at chip@macgregorliterary.com

Mark Oristano on virtual book tour with Surgeon’s Story

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Surgeon's Story

Pump Up Your Book! is proud to announce Mark Oristano’s SURGEON’S STORY (Authority Publishing) virtual book tour May 1 – July 28. Mark will be guest appearing at blogs throughout the U.S. and international regions talking about his phenomenal new literary fiction that critics are saying is a page turner!

Mark has been a professional writer/journalist since the age of 16. After growing up in suburban New York, Oristano moved to Texas in 1970 to attend Texas Christian University. A major in Mass Communications, Mark was hired by WFAA-TV in 1973 as a sports reporter, the start of a 30-year career covering the NFL and professional sports. He has worked with notable broadcasters including Verne Lundquist, Oprah Winfrey and as a sportscaster for the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network and Houston Oilers Radio Network. He has covered Super Bowls and other major sports events throughout his career. He was part of Ron Chapman’s legendary morning show on KVIL-FM in Dallas for nearly 20 years.

In 2002 Oristano left broadcasting to pursue his creative interests, starting a portrait photography business and becoming involved in theater including summer productions with Shakespeare Dallas. He follows his daughter Stacey’s film career who has appeared in such shows as Friday Night Lights and Bunheads. A veteran stage actor in Dallas, Mark Oristano was writer and performer for the acclaimed one-man show “And Crown Thy Good: A True Story of 9/11.”

Oristano authored his first book, A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game. A Sportcaster’s Guide offers inside tips about how to watch football, including stories from Oristano’s 30-year NFL career, a look at offense, defense and special teams, and cool things to say during the game to sound like a real fan.

In 2016 Oristano finished his second book, Surgeon’s Story, a true story about a surgeon that takes readers inside the operating room during open heart surgery. His second book is described as a story of dedication, talent, training, caring, resilience, guts and love.

In 1997, Mark began volunteering at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, working in the day surgery recovery room. It was at Children’s that Mark got to know Kristine Guleserian, MD, first to discuss baseball, and later, to learn about the physiology, biology, and mystery of the human heart. That friendship led to a joint book project, Surgeon’s Story, about Kristine’s life and career.

Mark is married and has two adult children and two grandchildren.

Surgeon’s Story is a phenomenal book. Noted pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Kristine Guleserian has opened up her OR, and her career, to author Mark Oristano to create Surgeon’s Story – Inside OR-6 With a top Pediatric Heart Surgeon.

Dr. Guleserian’s life, training and work are discussed in detail, framed around the incredibly dramatic story of a heart transplant operation for a two-year old girl whose own heart was rapidly dying. Author Mark Oristano takes readers inside the operating room to get a first-hand look at pediatric heart surgeries most doctors in America would never attempt.

That’s because Dr. Guleserian is recognized as one of the top pediatric heart surgeons in America, one of a very few who have performed a transplant on a one-week old baby. Dr. Guleserian (Goo-liss-AIR-ee-yan) provided her expertise, and Oristano furnished his writing skills, to produce A Surgeon’s Story.

As preparation to write this stirring book, Oristano spent hours inside the operating room at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas watching Guleserian perform actual surgeries that each day were life or death experiences. Readers will be with Dr. Guleserian on her rounds, meeting with parents, or in the Operating Room for a heart transplant.

Oristano is successful sportscaster and photographer and has made several appearances on stage as an actor. He wrote his first book A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game, and continues to volunteer at Children’s Medical Center.

“We hear a lot about malpractice and failures in medical care,” says Oristanto, “but I want my readers to know that parts of the American health care system work brilliantly. And our health care system will work even better if more young women would enter science and medicine and experience the type of success Dr. Guleserian has attained.”

Readers will find all the drama, intensity, humor and compassion that they enjoy in their favorite fictionalized medical TV drama, but the actual accounts in Surgeon’s Story are even more compelling. One of the key characters in the book is 2-year-old Rylynn who was born with an often fatal disorder called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and was successfully treated by Dr. Guleserian.

If you’d like to follow his tour, visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2017/04/04/%f0%9f%93%9a-pump-up-your-book-presents-surgeons-story-virtual-book-publicity-tour-giveaway/. Mark is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card at the end of his tour. Please leave a comment or question at each of his tour stops to let him know you stopped by!!

Pump Up Your Book! is an award-winning virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service at an affordable price. More information can be found on our website at www.pumpupyourbook.com.

Contact Information:

Dorothy Thompson

Founder of Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours

P.O. Box 643

Chincoteague, Virginia 23336

Email: Dorothy@PumpUpYourBook.com

Book Excerpt: Miracle Man by William Leibowitz & Giveaway!

Title: MIRACLE MAN
Author: William Leibowitz
Publisher: Manifesto Media Group
Pages: 385
Genre: Thriller

REVERED     REVILED      REMARKABLE

The victim of an unspeakable crime, an infant rises to become a new type of superhero.  Unlike any that have come before him, he is not a fanciful creation of animators, he is real.

So begins the saga of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history.  But where did his extraordinary intelligence come from?

As agents of corporate greed vie with rabid anti-Western radicals to destroy him, an obsessive government leader launches a bizarre covert mission to exploit his intellect.  Yet Austin’s greatest fear is not of this world.

Aided by two exceptional women, one of whom will become his unlikely lover, Austin struggles against abandonment and betrayal.  But the forces that oppose him are more powerful than even he can understand.

Miracle Man was named by Amazon as one of the Top 100 Novels of 2015, an Amazon Top 10 thriller, an Amazon bestseller and an Amazon NY Times bestseller.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Excerpt:

A tall figure wearing a black-hooded slicker walked quickly through the night carrying a large garbage bag. His pale face was wet with rain. He had picked a deserted part of town. Old warehouse buildings were being gutted so they could be converted into apartments for non-existent buyers. There were no stores, no restaurants and no people.

“Who’d wanna live in this shit place?” he muttered to himself. Even the nice neighborhoods of this dismal city had more “For Sale” signs than you could count.

He was disgusted with himself and disgusted with her, but they were too young to be burdened. Life was already hard enough. He shook his head incredulously. She had been so damn sexy, funny, full of life. Why the hell couldn’t she leave well enough alone? She should have had some control.

He wanted to scream-out down the ugly street, “It’s her fucking fault that I’m in the rain in this crap neighborhood trying to evade the police.”

But he knew he hadn’t tried to slow her down either. He kept giving her the drugs and she kept getting kinkier and kinkier and more dependent on him and that’s how he liked it. She was adventurous and creative beyond her years. Freaky and bizarre. He had been enthralled, amazed. The higher she got, the wilder she was. Nothing was out of bounds. Everything was in the game.

And so, they went farther and farther out there. Together. With the help of the chemicals. They were co-conspirators, co-sponsors of their mutual dissipation. How far they had traveled without ever leaving their cruddy little city. They were so far ahead of all the other kids.

He squinted, and his mind reeled. He tried to remember in what month of their senior year in high school the drugs became more important to her than he was. And in what month did her face start looking so tired, her complexion prefacing the ravages to follow, her breath becoming foul as her teeth and gums deteriorated. And in what month did her need for the drugs outstrip his and her cash resources.

He stopped walking and raised his hooded head to the sky so that the rain would pelt him full-on in the face. He was hoping that somehow this would make him feel absolved. It didn’t. He shuddered as he clutched the shiny black bag, the increasingly cold wet wind blowing hard against him. He didn’t even want to try to figure out how many guys she had sex with for the drugs.

The puddle-ridden deserted street had three large dumpsters on it. One was almost empty. It seemed huge and metallic and didn’t appeal to him. The second was two-thirds full. He peered into it, but was repulsed by the odor, and he was pretty sure he saw the quick moving figures of rodents foraging in the mess. The third was piled above the brim with construction debris.

Holding the plastic bag, he climbed up on the rusty lip of the third dumpster. Stretching forward, he placed the bag on top of some large garbage bags which were just a few feet inside of the dumpster’s rim. As he climbed down, his body looked bent and crooked and his face was ashen. Tears streamed down his cheeks and bounced off his hands. He barely could annunciate, “Please forgive me,” as he shuffled away, head bowed and snot dripping from his nose.

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  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
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  • This giveaway ends midnight May 31.

Good luck everyone!

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How Do Kindle Unlimited Subscribers Behave (And How Does it Impact Authors)?

Kindle Unlimited has revolutionized the eBook experience for both readers and authors. Last year we took a look at how Kindle Unlimited affects authors and publishers. This year we want to take a closer look at the habits of KU readers compared to non-KU readers, and what that means for authors whose titles are enrolled in KU. We surveyed almost 1,000 readers and analyzed the results to find out what the takeaways are for the author community.

Read the rest of article at Written Word Media.

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