Stained Glass for The Barrow Lover

Finished this today, a stained glass panel I plan to give away as part of the initial promotion for my upcoming novella, The Barrow Lover.

Foil-wrap construction, the panel measures 20.25" x 20.25"
Foil-wrap construction, the panel measures 20.25″ x 20.25″ and features hand-beveled glass and various antique and textured art glass

Slated for an October release, (cross them fingers) I’ll be sending off Galley Copies to potential reviewers, contacting independent review sites, running targeted FB ads and all that jazz. But in appreciation to those gracious enough to buy and read my book, I decided to create this piece as the grand prize in a drawing. I’ve planned two other, smaller Celtic panels for second and third place prizes.

TheBarrowLover 2 preview-1

Wait, you’re giving this away? Like, for Free? What’s the catch, you ask?

All you need to do to enter is write an Amazon review for The Barrow Lover. Once The Barrow Lover gets 50 reviews, I’ll draw three names at random. The first two will each receive a smaller panel, the final pick receives this. Winners will be announced here at the blog, and where ever else I can get it posted.

CelticA 009

One entry per review per person. (No sock puppets, please) Due to shipping expenses and customs, this contest is only open to people in the ConUS and Canada.

Feel free to ask questions here. Drop me a line if you’d like to receive an advance copy.

A thousand thanks.

Patrick T.

Stuck at 39

running-black
Running Black reviews, that is.

Here’s the ask: if you’ve read and enjoyed RB, would you do me solid and fire off a short, honest review on Amazon? Cresting 40 is an itch I’d like scratched – and sock puppets aren’t my thing.

Thanks much. Back to writing.

In Dreams – a short review.


IN DREAMS by Darryl Knickrehm

A fan of indie sci fi and a writer myself, I picked up this novella on an Amazon recommendation and wasn’t disappointed. Told through diary and dream fragments with little ramp up, Knickrehm trusts his readers can jump in and follow along, something I admire. While this story-telling technique might not appeal to some, and would get tedious in the long haul, “In Dreams” is a solid start to the series. For the price of coffee at a convenience store, this little gem will last longer and scratch that sci fi itch. Looking forward to more. Three stars for the solid writing, + one for being Indie.

Available at Amazon for Kindle.

Asking a favor

SHIFT_TENSE_final_rgb_flatten_BIGI hope this isn’t an “ask too far,” but if anyone has read and enjoyed any of my books, could you fire off a quick, honest review for Amazon and/or GoodReads?

Even if you weren’t thrilled, that’s fine too. So long as it’s legit. I’m not looking for shill and gush. Genuine reviews (and review numbers) are critical for new or potential readers, and this Indie Sci Fi author needs all the help he can get.

To sweeten the deal, I’ll give away two 11″ x 17″ posters of the cover art for the full-length Shift Tense novel. (image on left) Drawn by Michal Oracz* of Neuroshima Hex fame, it’s the kind of esoteric, indie accessory every great game room needs. Post a review for any book, then leave a comment here, and once I have ten entrants, I’ll pick two names at random. (roll dice or something). Your shiny poster will arrive at your door via mailer tube.

Thanks much.

Links, or you can scroll down and click the images in the right side bar:

My Amazon Page

Running Black

Shift Tense 1 – Red Flags

Shift Tense 2 – Soldier Dreams

Shift Tense 3 – Angels

Clar1ty Wars 1 – One Bad Apple

*Michal also worked up the cover for the upcoming novella “The Barrow Lover”.

“Angels” Official Release

SHIFT_TENSE_3_ANGELS
ANGELS– the third and final installment of the action-packed Eshu International novel, Shift Tense, is now available at Amazon.com

***

In war, expect treachery above all else.

Framed for murder, Eshu International is caught in the crossfire of the war’s final offensive. Hunted at every turn by former allies and new enemies, the pressure mounts as their corporate employers demand they complete their original mission: assassinate the charismatic rebel commander, Professor Harun Hamid. No matter the cost.

Killer drones, child soldiers, rival mercenaries, a nation ravaged by genocide and civil war, ANGELS is the third and final part of the Eshu International novel, SHIFT TENSE.

***

Part One “Red Flags” HERE
Part Two “Soldier Dreams” HERE

The first Eshu International novel, “Running Black” is available HERE

Thank you all very much. Enjoy.

And the map comes down.


The map of Somaliland, that is. Along with the list of Shift Tense characters, chapters, and blast pattern of plot point post-it notes. The lads of Eshu International are back in Die Nerdshanze in Belfast for a well-deserved rest.

The edited, formatted manuscript for the third and final portion, ANGELS, arrived yesterday. Another thorough, professional job from Mark at Angel Editing. Can’t recommend him highly enough. Michal Oracz finished the cover a while back. He makes it look better than it is, IMO. Errors and delays were all on me.

ERRORS AND DELAYS
Pretty much sums up the last two years. All chuffed after Running Black, I figured I’d bust out the sequel in like nine months. Right?

Live and learn.

Now I’ve heard the second book is harder than the first, that part-time indie authors have a tough time juggling the demands of marketing, writing, editing, with family, job, and the usual obligations. I could talk about chasing Clar1ty Wars inspiration, about my stained glass business picking up, but they’re really beside the point.

The main reason I opted to serialize Shift Tense was a mounting discomfort at not keeping my personal deadline. I didn’t want to disappoint those folks who’d been gracious enough to purchase and read my work. Add to that several articles on the rising ebook tide, the small portions preferred by Kindle readers, and a reader preference for spec-fiction series, and it looked like an attractive, sensible option.

Now I’ve received two complaints about this release schedule/experiment, (In fact, it earned me my first One-Star review) but kicking it out the door not only widened the net, so to speak, it forced me to finish.

ANGELS_final_rgb_flatten_6x9inches So far, I have no serious concerns with the Shift Tense ebook serialization. In the past six months, I’ve sold copies in Germany, Italy, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, and France, plus the usual US and UK. I suspect this fifth title will put me consistently over the 100 sales/month mark, which ain’t NYTimes Bestseller list, but is pretty damn remarkable considering how technology allows a no-name like me to publish and distribute material. Hey, John Scalzi even stopped by to comment. (Maybe he’ll blurb my next book?)

WHAT’S NEXT
I do have a plot seed for another Eshu International novel set in space/on the moon. It’ll get written, but it’s definitely on the back burner for now. Last October, a Celtic-flavored ghost tale popped into my head, and what began as a wee short story transmogrified into a novella. 4/5ths of the way through, I should have it to my beta-readers before the end of Feb.

Next in the queue is ‘Under Strange Stars’, the second installment of The Clar1ty Wars. A sci-fi re-imagining of the 19th Century Opium Wars, it’s about to get vicious. Ten scenes/chapters are outlined, three are written. Then there’s a large, three part fantasy piece simmering, as well as a modern exorcism/terrorism piece. Spec-fiction junkie that I am, I’m excited to start digging away at both, as well as any other settings/characters that pop in unexpectedly.

To end, I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has waited so patiently, followed this blog, reviewed and read my work. A thousand thanks. I sincerely hope your time spent in my stories is enjoyable. That’s the idea.

Best to all of you,
P. Todoroff
Cape Cod, MA.
SDG

Soldier Dreams review request

soldier_dreams_typo Between sales and promos, hundreds of copies (yes, 300+. Really) of Soldier Dreams have gone out in the the world. If you’ve read it, would you be so kind as to fire off a quick review at Amazon? No guilt, no obligation, but Indie authors rely on those numbers, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks much.

(of course, I could just create a couple dozen false accounts and shill my work, then pimp my services to other writers. Make $$ that way instead…)

Writer or Salesperson?

Couple recent experiences drove home the notion that successful writing these days isn’t so much due to good prose as slick promotion. A recent Writing Conference standard “Ten-Minute Pitch” where you get a hasty sit-down with a real ‘literary agent’ had a friend discussing not her books/stories but her online presence. Then, a local seminar by an indie author was all about full-time marketing and not an ounce about craft.

No more ‘Can you write?” but “Do you FacebookPintrestTumblrTweetBlogGoodreadsAmazonPromoBlogTour?”

I know as much effort and creativity go into marketing a product as the making the product, (maybe more) and I get that advertising/promotion is important, but it feels like shill and gush have priority over plot and character. Save recommendations from friends, family, known-authors, my trust factor for ads and 5-Star reviews is waaaay down lately. Is it just me getting grumpy in my dotage, or is there some validity in this assessment?

I’ll end with today’s serendipitous post from Seth Godin “Marketing Good”

Marketing good is the McMansion that looks good at an open house but isn’t particularly well built or designed for actual living.

Marketing good is the catalog of gimcracks and doodads that entices the casual shopper but sells stuff that ends up in a closet.

Marketing good is the cover of a magazine decreed by the number crunchers in the newsstand sales group, not the editors and the readers they care about.

Marketing good is sensational or edgy or somehow catchy, but is a service that never gets renewed.

As you’ve guessed, marketing good isn’t actually marketing good, not any more. It’s just junk.

Second and third order recommendations and word of mouth and the way we talk about the things that are “good good” is the new marketing.

Your initial response rate, newsstand sales or first episode ratings are a measure of old-fashioned marketing prowess. Now, we care an awful lot more about just plain good. Or perhaps, if you really want to make an impact, great.