Monday, September 24, 2012

M. R. Mathias - Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author M.R. Mathias. He is an award-winning self-published Fantasy Writer. He is noted for his epic fantasy novels and his prolific social network marketing activity.

Author Genre: Fantasy - Magic & Wizards

Website: M.R. Mathias Fantasy Author
Author's Blog: M. R. Mathias Connection Hub
Twitter: @DahgMahn
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Author Description:
M.R. Mathias rose from unknown to award-winning, best-selling author at a pace most authors can only dream about. He is a prolific writer of epic fantasy novels, novellas, and short stories. Despite his busy writing, publishing, and promotional schedule Mathias continues to aid his fellow indie authors by posting about their books at Twitter and Facebook etc.

He shared his considerable knowledge of self-promotion in publishing The First Ten Steps. The book has become an important indie guide for navigating the often murky waters of using social media sites to get your eBook in front of avid readers.

Mathias has taken cross promotion to a new level in his "Indie Kindy" giveaways where he gives away a FREE Kindle Touch and or Kindle Fire loaded with independently published books. These events create a great deal of interest for the authors involved and to independently published books as a whole.

It is a pleasure working with M.R. Mathias and watching his amazing run at the top of the Amazon best seller lists.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

Social Media plays such a big part in your marketing effort. How do you find the time to manage the network and still have time to write full length novels?

I have a writing schedule and it isn't that hard to keep. In a few hours a day I can get several pages down. It all adds up because I am consistant. As far as posting goes… I use regular hash tag events such as #FlashFriday and #FridayFlash to get my super short stories out there.

I also watch sports in the evenings, and while I watch, I bounce around between Facebook and twitter on my laptop. I used to use Goodreads, but most of those reviewers are only reviewing the free books the publishers send them. Shelfari and Wattpad are fun, but twitter @DahgMahn and @MrStubbsSays are where I play and post the most. As a self-publisher, this is part of my job. Since I am diabetic and my eyes are starting to get bad I also have an assistant that sometimes tweets and posts in my stead, but EVERYTHING she posts is with my full approval.

Have you used paid advertising to promote your books? What was your experience? Did it increase your sales or visibility? Have you they to use a paid service and been turned down?

I advertise in two big bulk sessions during the Christmas months and the during the summer months. I do this because three months of an ad is cheaper AND it is more effective for the reader to see you several months in a row as a sponsor of their fav magazines etc... I choose where I advertise wisely because I want to hit my target market. If you are selling a cook book you don't need ad space in Outdoor magazine, but if you are selling an eBook that is an adventure involving hunters or woodsy environments that mag might be perfect. As far as sales, it is hard to say. Just by nature your visibility is increased. I also go out of my way to only advertise in magazines that have an eReader version available. Also classified ads are cheap and if you have a free title they are VERY effective.

In my experience, the magazine's advertising people did a little research and checked to see what the reviews were for my titles and then happily approved them.

Have you they to use a paid service and been turned down? Never been turned down, but I only advertise in publications that cater to my genre. And any print magazine that is doing well enough to turn down paid advertising is probably too expensive for my budget anyway.

HBS Author’s Spotlight STUDY - How to get Book Reviews?
How to get Book Reviews. I want to help authors start in the right direction in promoting their books.

Readers are relying more and more on Internet reviews and book rankings to make their buying decisions. Authors have to make the right moves up front to get reviews that help them sell their book. In many cases, the methods they use will determine whether they get good reviews, bad reviews or no reviews at all.
What are your methods for getting reviews for you novels? What were the results from your methods? (Lots of reviews, good, bad, ugly, etc.)

When I first got into self publishing, I went through Goodreads reviewers looking by similar genre books, for reviewers that had over a thousand followers. I asked several of them if they would review The Sword and the Dragon, and The Royal Dragoneers. Many said yes, as many said no, and even more didn't respond. But by having reviewers with over 1,000 followers being my goal, those reviews I did get, had reach.

I am also a member of the Independent Author Network, Author's Den, and I have grown sizable twitter followings of writers and readers and movie fans. For a long time there was an author's review exchange at a few nook and kindle boards, and they shut it down because we all were a bit overly critical of each other, but it helped.

More recently I have garnered over a dozen reviews (that turned into series full reviews) just by handing out free books and book marks, on the tables, and in the fantasy section of my local library, and more importantly, at the University Library, where word of a good book can spread like wildfire.

Just like I say in my publishing help book, The First Ten Steps, If you are your own publisher then it is ALL up to you. It is a full time job I do besides maintaining four fantasy series, and the projects I am working on now.

Author's Book List
Saint Elm’s Deep - The Legend of Vanx Malic
Here is what people are saying about Vanx Malic:

I felt like I was in a whole new world reading this book… The storyline was also amazing. I would recommend anyone who loves fantasy books to read this as you will def be swept into this world! - Avid Reader Reviews

(*Review of Through the Wildwood, Book One)

"You've (Mathias) already achieved much, much more than so many people who like to think of themselves as writers."

-- @Gollancz The Deputy Publishing Director of SF, Fantasy & Horror list of the Orion Publishing Group.

"When reading this book, I was reminded of several other fantasy novels that I have read previously. The author's style is individual, but it has the flavor of a Tolkien novel, or possibly Robert Jordan. I detected a great amount of affection in his deliverance of the characters, and their progress throughout the story was handled well. I must say that Vanx is quite a likeable rogue, and the way that the story begins certainly grabs the reader, pulling them into the story whether they like it, or not." -- Kindle Review (*Review of Through the Wildwood, Book One)

Entertaining, action packed, and witty. Overall a good second book that starts where the first left off and I look forward to the next. - Jacob (Review of Dragon Isle, Book Two)

Snippet from Saint Elm's Deep, The Legend of Vanx Malic Book III: “I’ve been listening to all your spook talk for days,” Kegger said quite clearly, but with a caravaneers crudeness to his words. All of the gargan accent that had been in his voice when speaking of knives and bows, during his battling with Chelda, was gone, as if it had never been there. “My orders were to get you to the Lurr and wait for you to come out.” He hefted his axe and thumbed the edge he’d been sharpening nightly at the fire. “I’ve got a good bit of unfinished business in them woods myself. Twern’t no frost bite that took his limbs. The tree that had my brother was real. I swear it. I had to cut him from it. It was foul smelling, and as evil as the Letch itself. It bled thick red blood, just like you or I would, where my ax struck. I hurt it, and it screamed right at me before it turned Sean loose. It weren’t no magic fairy tree. This was as black and cold as the Letcher’s own wrath.”

“But you saw no sign of the fae in the Lurr Forest?” Gallarael asked.

“If I did, I didn’t know what it was,” Kegger chuckled. “Deer, elk, bear, and wolf. I know their sign well, but I’ve never seen a fairy turd, much less been inclined to look for one.”

The Legend of Vanx Malic continues with Book Three, "Saint Elm's Deep" After finding a map on a grueling hunt, Vanx and his new companions decide to travel deep into the Bitterpeaks, where a fabled hoar witch's crystal palace supposedly sits hidden in a valley called Saint Elm's Deep.

Order the Book From: Amazon
Billy Badass
The author pulls no punches in excellent scenes so descriptive you can almost feel the victims' terror and pain. Not that it's a blood bath, there is terrible violence but also horror built as much on suspense as on the portrayal of brutality. - The Book Keeper

This book is not your typical horror story. The author's work can be compared to Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Like their books, this plot takes you to unexpected places. There are twists and turns that keep the reader guessing: ghosts slipping in and out of bodies both living and dead, shadows and bumps in the night are the least of the main characters' worries in this book. Fans of horror will not want to miss this creepy story. -- Readers Favorite International Book Award

Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Possession, murder, kidnapping, and redemption…well thought out plot that builds to a crescendo. I highly recommend this. Full Review: --Books-Treasure or Trash

The novel is a suspenseful page-turner with well-developed characters. Even Lucy the Rottweiler is a round character. The specters, too, have solid personalities… renders them even scarier. 4 of 5 stars. --ForeWord Magazine

Billy Badass
Thirty-one years ago, Bill Buxly, aka Buxly the Butcher, went to trial for killing his family. He was found guilty, and sentenced to die for those crimes. Now, Janet Hale, a recently divorced nurse, has purchased the house unaware of the brutal murders that took place there so long ago.

Can Lucy-Fur protect her boy from an angry ghost who wants to possess him? Can Michael fight through the madness and terror to find out what really happened? With the help of his babysitter and her Ouija board, he is going to try.

This isn't your average haunted house novel, this is a trip into the mind of a man who spent a few years in a solitary cell. Don't think you know what is going to happen, for in this creepy, edge of your seat horror/thriller not everyone is who they seem… even the dead.

Order the Book From: Amazon
The Emerald Rider - Book Four of the Dragoneer Saga
In the wake of the Confliction, the Mainland Frontier is trying to reestablish itself. Over a year has passed since their victory over the alien shape shifter and its vicious Sarax. Jenka was infused with powerful Dour magic and has assumed some of the alien’s intelligence, but immediately after the battle he disappeared with Crimzon, and no one knows when, or if, they will ever return. With little help from King Richard, who is intent to rule the islands and leave his side of the wall to its fate, Queen Zahrellion, and the other Dragoneers are struggling to make sense of their place in the world, while unbeknownst to them an evil witch is plotting terrible mayhem.

Jenka, saturated with magic to the point of near insanity, will have to focus just to stay in the world of the living. A deranged wizard, who pits magicked priests against the demons he summons, has Clover’s petrified form and no intention of giving it up. Jenka gave his word to get her back and must go alone, deep into the wizard’s temple to find her.

Valiant escapades, wicked battles, and heart wrenching loss await readers in this fourth installment of the bestselling Dragoneer Saga. Hold onto your dragon!

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Dragon Isle - The Legend of Vanx Malic
Vanx, Trevin, and Darbon, along with Prince Russet and the crew of the Sea Hawk, sail to Vanx's homeland to find an old friend who just might know the wyrm lore needed to make their quest to Dragon Isle seem survivable.

Meanwhile Coll and Duke Martin have set their shadowy schemes in motion in Dyntalla where Quazar is keeping the princess from death with all he has.

What will King Oakarm do about Duke Martin's treachery when he arrives? Will Matty the one-handed whore get her wish? Can two High Wizards of the Royal Order hold off the ogres, and the even darker thing that is seeking the Bloodstone? And what will happen on Dragon Isle, where our hero and his friends have become little more than prey under the revealing light of Aur's Moon.

You can only find out by reading: The Legend of Vanx Malic Book Two - Dragon Isle

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
Through the Wildwood - The Legend of Vanx Malic
A half-zythian bard named Vanx is in slave chains for bedding the Duchess of Highlake. The Duke wants him dead. This is bad news, for bad things can happen to an ill guarded slave caravan in the mountains. When the duke's men attack to kill the adulterous prisoner all hell breaks loose leaving Vanx only one way to go... Through the Wildwood

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
The Wizard and the Warlord - Wardstone Trilogy Book Three
The Wizard and the Warlord, brings the elves, dwarves, giants, and the dragons into the story again as our heroes, led by High King Mikahl and the great wizard Hyden Hawk, are forced to fight for the fate of the Kingdoms. This time, they do so against the horrid creature that Gerard Skyler has become, and the powerful legions of demon-beasts that he commands

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
The Sword and the Dragon - The Wardstone Trilogy (Volume 1)
Deemed One of the Top 10 indie Fantasy releases of 2010 by Fantasy Book Critic, and listed in the first ever Publishers Weekly Indie Select issue, the original 235k word epic title was written in longhand in a Texas prison cell by M. R. Mathias. "The Sword and the Dragon 2012" is a Fully Revised - Kindle Only - version that includes two Wardstone Short Stories, One is a piece of flash fiction called "The Blood of Coldfrost." The other is a Short Story called "Roar." Even cooler, this version can be read FREE if you are a member of Amazon Prime. The original version, with its many reviews and 4 Star Average rating, is still available.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Kings, Queens, Heroes, & Fools - The Wardstone Trilogy Book Two
Kings, Queens, Heroes, & Fools (The Wardstone Trilogy Book Two) Join Hyden Hawk Skyler, and some great new friends, on an adventurous quest, over land and sea, to find the Silver Skull of Zorellin. Fight with Mikahl, Ironspike, and fierce King Jarrek as they try to free the enslaved people of Wildermont from King Ra'Gren and his Dakaneese Overlords. Patrol the skies with Shaella, and her new black dragon, Vrot. With her father's spell books, and the Priests of Kraw, she decides to aid King Ra'Gren, while scheming to free her lover, Gerard, from the hellish Nethers. Demonic love, valiant battles, and foolhardy heroics await readers in this epic continuation of the 'Wardstone Trilogy' that was written in a Texas prison cell, by author, M. R. Mathias.

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble
The First Ten Steps - To Take AFTER You Publish Your New eBook
The First Ten Steps - Ten proven steps to build a solid foundation for your ebook using free social networking by International Bestselling Independent Fantasy Author M. R. Mathias OK.... Your ebook is published. You did some tweets about it and you posted on Facebook. Now what? The First Ten Steps lays out several PROVEN methods for using free social media sites to get your ebook in front of eager readers. But more than that, after a few months of following the easy 10-15 minute a day steps, you will have built a solid foundation for your pen name and created the one thing new authors have to have

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
The Royal Dragoneers
Hold on to your dragon! An Ivory antlered demon called Gravelbone, has a plan for the humans who are invading his territory. Join some brave young men and a particularly clever magic wielding woman, as they traverse the wild frontier, and sail the sea to warn their king. Then hold on for your life as you tear through the pages, because the pure blood dragons they have befriended have a plan too!

Order the Book From: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner and Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Henry Baum - Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Author Henry Baum. He is a self-published author, musician, a blogger and a webmaster.

Author Genre: Thrillers & Suspense Author

Author's Blog: Self-Publishing Review
Website: Henry Baum
LinkedIn: Check Out LinkedIn

Author Description: writer/songwriter. Los Angeles

Author's Book List
God's Wife
The story of Shirley Shave: porn star, stripper, prostitute, and leader in the New Society revolutionary cult. This is her manifesto.
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page --
The American Book of the Dead
Eugene Myers is working on a novel about the end of the world. Meanwhile, he discovers his daughter doing porn online and his marriage is coming to an end. When he begins dreaming about people who turn out to be real, he wonders if his novel is real as well. Eugene Myers may just be the one to stop the apocalypse. This history of the future covers every conspiracy imaginab...more
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page -- Smashwords Buy Page
The Golden Calf
Ray Tompkins is the kind of person you never get to know. He's the security guard, the factory worker, the man working the midnight shift. Nobody really understands Ray - not his coworkers, not his family, and certainly not the women in his life. There is a rage building inside Ray Tompkins and Los Angeles is the fuel - the sick obsession with celebrity mixed with the vacuousness of everyday life. Against this backdrop, Ray Tompkins finds a way to vent his anger. He, too, will be known.
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page --
Gentleman Reptile
What do you do when your worst nightmare comes true? You talk it out. Disaster. Despair. Disgust. Conversation.
Amazon Buy Page --
North of Sunset
If there's an everyman, then Michael Sennet is every celebrity. Michael Sennet is a movie star. He should be happy, but he's bored. What does he do after he's achieved the best of everything: the best women, the best cars, the best homes, the best drugs? He doesn't have an answer. Meanwhile, the Vanity Plate Killer is roaming the streets of Los Angeles looking for new vict...more
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page -- Smashwords Buy Page
Oscar Caliber Gun
Oscar Caliber Gun is the story of Ray Tompkins, warehouse worker, security guard, social critic. He waits. He watches. It seems that everyone he knows, even his middle-aged parents, is taken in by the cheap bright glamour of Hollywood and the titillation of the LA porn industry. Here is a man who would not take it anymore.
Amazon Buy Page --
Author Recommended by: Self-Publishing Review
Self-Publishing Review is a central site devoted to self-publishing news and reviews. It is also a social network where writers, readers, and everyone can join and connect, so please register. The aim of the site is to improve the attitude toward self-publishing and help authors find readers.