On the back of my publishing contract with Random House and film deal with Columbia Pictures, I’m happy to announce that I’ll be taking a brief break from the Rittenhouse books to collaborate with the world’s most significant living author. Mutt and Stray have caught the eye of none other than J.K. Rowling.
Rowling, who needs no introduction, sought an outlet for new young adult fiction ideas after the publication of her first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, in 2012. Upon discovering Mutt, Rowling contacted me about potentially collaborating on a one-off novel.
The yet-unnamed project deals with young magic-users, but it should be quite different than either Rittenhouse or Harry Potter: set in the 1950′s in Alabama, it addresses themes religion and prejudice in the 20th century American South.
“I’m quite excited to work with Evan,” Rowling said. “The Rittenhouse Saga has renewed my love for young adult literature. I’m presently reading Stray with David [Rowling Murray, her son].”
I’ll be traveling to Edinburgh this summer for a three-month stay to begin writing the book.
1 April, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, barnes & noble, best new books, book review, books, dystopian, e-book, ebook, harry potter, how to publish, indie author, j.k. rowling, marketing tips, promotion, promotion tips, stray, the casual vacancy, YA, you promised you'd take me to see the king, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | Leave A Comment »
Today, I am overjoyed to announce that my books Mutt and Stray, along with their forthcoming sequels, have been accepted for publication by Random House Publishing Group.
The series, which has already found thousands of readers and won glowing reviews from the book blogging community, will be published in yearly intervals between now and 2017, starting with Mutt’s Random House re-release on November 27, 2013.
Random House is delivering $200,000 advances on the first two books, and for each subsequent book at the time of delivery. In addition, the publisher will be investing $200,000 per book on the series’ publicity campaign, for a total of $1,000,000.
Publishing Group President Gina Centrello called the deal “an enormous opportunity for our company,” also describing Stray as “quite possibly the best damn book we’ve ever read here at Random House.”
If you haven’t read the books, hurry up and grab Mutt on Amazon while the ebook is still free! Once I turn over my materials to the publisher, that’s that.
My immense thanks to everyone who continues to support the Rittenhouse Saga.
1 April, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: best new books, book review, dystopian, e-book, ebook, fantasy, marketing tips, mutt, philadelphia, post-apocalyptic, promotion tips, publishing deal, Random House, rittenhouse, rittenhouse saga, science fiction, self publication, self publishing, stray, The Hunger Games, YA, you promised you'd take me to see the king, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | 1 Comment »
Good evening! The wonderful Dayla has posted her review of Stray on Bookaddict24-7. From the review:
One of my favorite aspects of Stray is how the uncertainty, fear, and urgency is felt throughout the novel. We, as readers, are made to empathize with Emery as he races against not just the odds, but the clock. We cringe with him as he uncovers truths, and feel deep sadness for the past secrets he shares.
Just like Mutt, Stray has a fantastic series of heart-pounding scenes where Emery is tested beyond his limits, and where the story reaches suspenseful climaxes. Fuller has a skill for creating anticipation and delivering what the reader seeks with style.
18 March, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, best new books, book review, books, dystopia, dystopian, ebook, fantasy, free book, google, guerilla marketing, how to publish, indie, indie author, marketing tips, mutt, philadelphia, post-apocalyptic, promotion, rittenhouse, rittenhouse saga, science fiction, self publication, self publishing, The Hunger Games, YA, you promised you'd take me to see the king, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | Leave A Comment »
Stray, the sequel to Mutt, is now available everywhere!
In the depths of winter, Emery is digging. Two months after the conclusion of Mutt, he is building an underground highway into the walled city of Rittenhouse to smuggle food and medicine to those living in the wasteland outside. When the gateman Green comes to him with news of a secret shipment and plans to intercept it, Emery sees a chance at redemption for his past failings. But as the search pulls him into a broadening web of conspiracy, his closest friends worry he is in too deep, determined find the shipment–or lose everything.
And remember, Mutt is still free on Amazon, so if you haven’t read it yet, check it out!
22 February, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, barnes & noble, best new books, book cover, book review, divergent, dystopia, dystopian, e-book, ebook, fantasy, free book, harry potter, indie, indie author, mutt, post-apocalyptic, self publishing, stray, stray cover, The Hunger Games, YA, you promised you'd take me to see the king, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | Leave A Comment »
I’m sure a few of you remember that I did a Name Your Price week for Mutt on Smashwords a couple of months ago. Well, being negligent, I forgot to change it back to regular pricing. It was no big deal; the book’s Smashwords page doesn’t get many hits, so without the promotion nobody was paying attention.
Nobody, that is, except Amazon. Somebody on their site found the Smashwords promotion, and as per their policy, Amazon matched the price. I should mention here that I’ve been very sick* for the past couple months and have failed to manage my online presence, which includes checking my sales reports. Tonight, I checked Amazon on a whim and discovered that I’ve “sold” about 900 free copies of Mutt in the past few weeks.
Right now I’m baffled and laughing out loud (I should note here that, with daily, round-the-clock promotion, I gave away about 50 free copies of the book for Name Your Price week). Mutt, the dystopian fantasy novel that’s won love and adoring reviews from all over Tumblr, will be free until I can be bothered to fix the price, so go get your copy on Amazon now!
Pass the word along!
*I’ll update about this at some point, but know for now it’s nothing life-threatening.
23 October, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, best new books, book review, books, divergent, dystopian, e-book, ebook, free book, how to publish, indie author, marketing tips, mutt, muttbombing, philadelphia, post-apocalyptic, promotion, promotion tips, rittenhouse, science fiction, self publication, self publishing, The Hunger Games, YA, you promised you'd take me to see the king, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | Leave A Comment »
This summer has been a great one for Mutt. The book’s first round of reviews has seen not one, not two, but seven glowing opinions. The unanimous praise from reviewers and overwhelming support from the book’s small but enthusiastic fanbase are more than I could have asked for. It’s time to take the next step–getting the book into as many hands as possible to spread the word. So I’m doing something unprecedented for the end of summer:
Beginning at Midnight (Eastern Standard Time), Mutt will be available as a Name Your Price book on Smashwords for one week.
Here’s what that means.
Q. What’s this Name Your Price thing?
It’s exactly what it sounds like. You choose how much you want to pay for the book. You can download it for free, pay something crazy like $100, or anything in between.
Q. So wait, I can get the book for free?
Q. Is that, like, cool?
Yeah. If you download the book for free and decide you really like it, feel free to go back and pay for a copy! Anything you can spare helps. But my immediate goal is to get the book out there. So if you don’t have spare cash (or credit card access), this is your one-time chance to grab the book with no strings attached.
Q. If I really like the book and want to support it but don’t have any money, what can I do to help?
Just spread the word. Force your friends to read it through threat of violence, post about it on your blog, tell your parents to buy a copy for your little siblings. Whenever a new person is being exposed to Mutt, I’m doing better than I was before.
Q. Why isn’t the book free all the time?
Artists love to say they’re “not in it for the money.” While that’s a good sentiment, and while I write because I love to write, money is vital in two ways: it allows me to spend less time at my day job at more time writing, and it covers the direct costs of publishing the books. I’m still working toward regaining what I spent on Mutt, and once that’s covered, I’ll be raising money for the publication of Stray. The amount I raise from sales of Mutt will determine everything from Stray’s release date to whether and when a print version is available.
19 August, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, best new books, book review, books, e-book, ebook, free book, free e-book, free ebook, how to publish, indie, indie author, marketing tips, mutt, philadelphia, post-apocalyptic, promotion, promotion tips, rittenhouse, science fiction, self publication, self publishing, YA, you promised you'd take me to see the king, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | 2 Comments »
This past week I had the utterly awesome opportunity to do an author interview with Dayla at Bookaddict24-7. Dayla was the first blogger ever to review Mutt, and the interview was a total blast. The interview has the first details about Stray, the forthcoming sequel to Mutt, and a photograph of me if you’ve been wondering what I look like. Here’s a little sample:
What’s the best thing anyone has ever said about your writing and what is the worst?
“That first one is hard to answer, just because my friends and the bloggers reviewing Mutt have been so kind. So I’ll go with a curveball: one blogger who wrote a very positive review of the book half-jokingly called me a dick for one late-book plot development (this was in an e-mail, not the review itself). I was really honored and excited to see that the story was captivating people to that degree and producing those gut reactions
And I’ve had some pretty critical things said about my work, mostly in workshop classes at school, but the most offensive thing to me was when a perfectly well-meaning person called me an “aspiring writer.” I would’ve been less offended at “unsuccessful writer” or even “bad writer,” because “aspiring writer” suggests that I want to write in the future or think about writing a lot. I don’t aspire to write; I sit down and write.”
Go check out the whole interview on the site, and be sure to follow Dayla for all-around good content. She’s a writer too and posts updates with her progress, which can be great encouragement for those banging away at our own manuscripts. And as always, grab your copy of Mutt on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords if you haven’t already. Peace and love!
5 August, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, anne lamott, best new books, bird by bird, book review, bookaddict24-7, books, confessions of a book addict, dystopian, e-book, ebook, how to publish, indie author, interview, marketing tips, mutt, philadelphia, post-apocalyptic, promotion, promotion tips, rittenhouse, science fiction, self publication, self publishing, YA, you promised you'd take me to see the king, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | Leave A Comment »
Hi, gang! The seventh review of Mutt just went up over on The Book Lover’s List. Debbie awarded the book four out of five stars and had some really awesome things to say about it. From the review:
Evan Fuller really got his message across with this tale about how kindness will always help you when you truly need someone or something. [He] gave a lot of examples of kindness shared between the characters and how it benefitted them somehow in the end. Mutt by Evan Fuller is a great read for anyone who enjoys dystopian stories with adventure, danger, and being forced to trust people who you despise. I can only wonder when his next book will be coming out.
Read the full review on the site, and be sure to follow the blog if you have a Tumblr account. You can grab your copy of Mutt on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords if the review piques your interest!
I’d like to thank not only Debbie but all the bloggers who have reviewed the book so far. I’m hard at work on the next book, and I hope I’ll be able to repay your kindness by blowing your expectations out of the water.
31 July, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, best new books, book review, books, dystopian, e-book, ebook, indie author, mutt, philadelphia, post-apocalyptic, promotion, promotion tips, rittenhouse, science fiction, self publishing, YA, you promised you'd take me to see the king, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | 1 Comment »
My curiosity to experience Pottermore reached a boiling point yesterday after I learned that the site was not only an interactive way to interface with the Harry Potter story but also Ms. Rowling’s coming-out party as an indie publisher of the Potter ebooks. As an indie myself, I find Rowling’s “Radiohead move” from traditional to independent distribution to be of especial interest, so I’ll be documenting my experiences with the site.
There was a moment of fear for me when the text surrounding the Sign Up button said, Before you can begin your Pottermore journey, you need to find out whether or not you are magical…” What? Would I get my hopes up, only to find out I was some mere muggle after all? Thankfully, no. When the first page after the account creation screen announced, “Congratulations! You Are Magical,” I did feel a momentary excitement seeing my name above Mr. Potter’s own. Maybe this was some grand new beginning for the Harry Potter story, and this time I’d get to slay Voldemort myself, with Harry as my loveable sidekick with the cool scar and bad temper.
Then I reached the next screen. Wait, what the hell? I had to choose from five preselected usernames? I’d just hoped to use “kingofautumn” like I do on most sites. I hadn’t intended to name my account “ButtS3KS” or something involving my social security number. And even given the preselected usernames, why isn’t there a way to see more options than the first five presented? (Even refreshing the page did nothing here.) I ended up choosing “LightSeer 16166,” trying not to think that there were probably other LightSeers before me, as many as 16165.
So I got into the main portal for the site, which I found could barely run on my netbook. (I made a long-needed memory upgrade today, and the site is running for more smoothly now.) It was on this page that I began overwhelmingly to feel what I’m sure countless other users of the site have felt: a profound disconnect between Pottermore and the Harry Potter aesthetic familiar to fans. It takes a bit of external knowledge to discern the cause of this.
As I said, Rowling is self-releasing the Potter ebooks exclusively through the site. A bit of background, as best I understand the situation: Rowling’s contracts with Scholastic and Bloomsbury were written before the Kindle and similar devices made ebooks a significant force in the market, so the publishers included no provision granting them rights to the ebook versions of the Harry Potter books. Rather than sign the rights to these books away, Rowling decided to maintain complete control over the ebooks and publish them independently. She has also made Pottermore the exclusive vendor of the books, bypassing major retailers such as Amazon.
While she has the rights of the books themselves, it appears that a lot of the art assets have been retained by the publishers—or, in the case of the assets created for the films, by Warner*. Even the ubiquitous Harry Potter font is absent from the site design, and trademark visual elements like the house insignias had been redesigned from the ground up. (Once I realized this, I was surprised to see that Rowling had even been allowed use of the original book covers for the books.) Pottermore is about creating Harry Potter experience controlled by Rowling and Rowling alone, one she can do with as she pleases in every regard. I’m not quite sure what I think of it just yet, but it’s a noble endeavor, at the very least.
*EDIT: I’d originally cited Disney as the distributor of the Harry Potter films. Oops.
14 July, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, bloomsbury, book review, books, deathly hallows, disney, dystopian, e-book, ebook, harry potter, how to publish, indie, indie author, j.k. rowling, marketing tips, mutt, philadelphia, post-apocalyptic, pottermore, promotion, rittenhouse, rowling, scholastic, science fiction, self publication, self publishing, sorcerer's stone, sorting hat, YA, You're Just A Mutt | 4 Comments »
As an independent author, it’s probably a foregone conclusion that I love ebooks. They’ve created a market that didn’t exist before, giving self-publishing writers a feasible way to release their books affordably and reach their audiences. Every review of Mutt published so far has been written by someone reading the ebook. The digital medium has also given me cause to rethink story structure entirely; my next series after the Rittenhouse Saga will likely be a sequence of very short (30-40,000-word) novels released biannually at a $2.99 price point.
It may surprise you to learn I don’t actually read ebooks.
Well, that isn’t entirely true. I’m presently making my way through a Poetry Magazine anthology on my phone’s Kindle reader. I also use it for a lot of nonfiction reading, as it’s easier to annotate and reference texts than in print. But I don’t own a dedicated e-reader, and I’m still reading fiction almost exclusively via dead-tree books.
After getting all those books yesterday, I had immediate buyer’s remorse—not at my selections but at the medium in which I’d purchased them. In addition to all the benefits I see from the perspective of a content creator, idea of an e-reader appeals to me from the customer end because it’s a way to consolidate my physical possessions. So should I just put down the $99 for a Kindle, return the paperbacks, and get the same books digitally?
For one thing, I did some comparative shopping and found that the subtotal for the four books would only have been $1 less than the cost of the print versions. Graceling was a bit cheaper; American Gods was inexplicably more for the ebook than the 500-page print version. And in addition, while American Gods and Neuromancer were mass-market paperbacks, both Graceling and Paper Towns were inexpensive trades. The money a publisher saves on ebooks versus print (and trust me, the claim that that cost difference is negligible is a myth) should reflect in retail. If we indies can manage to offer deep discounts on our ebooks, the major houses should be able to afford a discount of at least a dollar versus the cheapest print version of the same book, especially for a book like Neuromancer that’s been on the market for decades.
I’m also concerned by how digital media is redefining the idea of ownership. When I buy a print book, I obtain a physical item that is irrevocably my possession. When I buy an ebook, I’m actually only licensing that data on a limited and reversible basis. I read a story a month or two ago (link when I find it again) that a man whose Amazon account was deleted, Kindle library and all, on a rather ludicrous suspicion that someone had been trying to illegally access the account. When the man’s ebooks were ultimately replaced, he had lost years’ worth of annotations. This sort of thing is obviously very rare, and I don’t really have a legitimate fear of it happening to me if I buy a Kindle, but it does underscore the fact that in the digital world, “ownership” can always be reversed.
(A sidenote: if you ever lose access to a purchased copy of one of my books for any reason, please just let me know. As long as I control the rights to my work, I’ll happily replace anything lost due to a hard drive crash, a car running over your e-reader, etc. )
One thing is for certain: if I do by a Kindle (and it will likely be a Kindle, if only because Amazon’s royalties to writers are slightly better than B&N’s), I’m going to avoid the 3G model. Connecting the device to my computer for ebook purchases may be inconvenient, but it also ensure that I more frequently consider buying from vendors like Smashwords. I do love Amazon, given that they’re the ones who opened the ebook market up in the first place, but I never want to become so attached to one outlet that I don’t shop around.
I’d love to hear some thoughts on this one, both from writers and readers. Does the idea of ownership vs. licensing matter to you? How have people’s transitions to the ebook medium gone so far?
12 July, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, amazon, American Gods, barnes & noble, best new books, book review, books, digital licensing, drm, e-book, ebook, ebook prices, ebook vs print, Graceling, how to publish, indie, indie author, John Green, kindle, kindle vs nook, marketing tips, mutt, Neil Gaiman, Neuromancer, nook, Paper Towns, philadelphia, poetry magazine, post-apocalyptic, promotion tips, rittenhouse, science fiction, self publication, self publishing, William Gibson, YA, you promised you'd take me to see the king, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | Leave A Comment »
I got a particularly nice tip at the day job this morning. I had a few free hours between deliveries, so I did a few of my favorite things: ate at Chipotle, got coffee at Elixr, and went book shopping with a bit of that hard-earned cash. Here’s what I got.
John Green - Paper Towns
This is to be my first John Green novel, and two chapters in I’m already intrigued. I was actually trying to find Looking for Alaska, but the problem with an author’s books being all over store displays is that it can actually be harder to find them when you’re looking for something particular. I’ve intentionally not read the back of the book in hopes of having as few expectations as possible going into it, and I’m eager to see how the story takes shape. I can say already, though, that Green’s prose is far better than anything I’ve read recently in YA and is full of why-didn’t-I-think-of-that turns of phrase.
Kristin Cashore - Graceling
I’ve read a good bit of popular YA speculative fiction recently that I haven’t liked nearly as much as I’d hoped I would. I try not to be tactless in talking about such books, especially given that there’s a big overlap between their fans and my own target audience. But suffice to say I’m looking for a woman writer in contemporary YA who I can really get behind. A friend recommended this novel to me, and I’m hoping it’ll become a new love.
Neil Gaiman - American Gods
Many of my friends are hardcore Gaiman fans. I recently read Neverwhere and liked it but wasn’t blown away; I’ve heard American Gods is a better display of his prowess. It breaks my short book rule for the summer, but that’s what rules are for, right? If it’s as good as people keep telling me, I’ll whip through it.
William Gibson - Neuromancer
As a slow reader, I can’t help but have some pretty big holes in my survey of a given genre. After reading Dune a couple years ago and Hitchhiker’s Guide last month (both at the urging of good friends), the next authors on my path to sci-fi competence are Asimov, Philip K. Dick, and most immanently Gibson. I’ve been meaning to get to his most celebrated novel since reading “Burning Chrome” years ago, and this summer I’ll finally have at it.
Before the summer ends I’m also hoping to read Slaughter-House Five, more Douglas Adams, more David Mitchell, and maybe more by the above authors if any of these novels really floor me. Beyond that (if my slow slow reading pace takes me beyond that), I’d love suggestions!
11 July, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: American Gods, best new books, book review, books, Burning Chrome, Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell, Douglas Adams, Dune, dystopian, e-book, ebook, fantasy, Frank Herbert, Graceling, Hitchhiker's Guide, how to publish, indie author, Isaac Asimov, John Green, Kristin Cashore, Looking for Alaska, mutt, Neil Gaiman, Neuromancer, Neverwhere, Paper Towns, Philip K. Dick, reading list, sci-fi, science fiction, self publishing, sf/f, Slaughter-House Five, summer reading, Vonnegut, William Gibson, YA, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | 1 Comment »
Hey, guys and gals! I’m happy to present the latest review of Mutt, this one by Madeline at Read Like Breathing. She’s super cool, and I was happy to find that she had some great things to say about the novel. From the review:
I also loved the characters. They’re so human in these inhuman circumstances, they question and fear and strive to be better against all the odds. You’re also introduced to some people who are obviously striving for power regardless of the consequences, which ends up adding glorious and painful twists to the story. There are a lot of different elements that work together, and for once, guess what? NO TEENAGE ANGSTY ROMANCE. I thought I was going to die and go to heaven when I realized that. Just average human encounters, without all the disgusting appeal to the 14 year old masses.
Go check out the full review, and be sure to follow Read Like Breathing for other reviews and quality content in general. And as always, don’t forget to grab your copy of Mutt on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords if you haven’t yet!
10 July, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, best new books, book review, books, dystopian, e-book, how to publish, indie author, Madeline Knight, marketing tips, mutt, philadelphia, post-apocalyptic, promotion, promotion tips, Read like breathing, science fiction, self publication, self publishing, YA, you promised you'd take me to see the king, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | 3 Comments »
Yesterday, Valerie Jones posted her awesome review of Mutt on If You Like Books. From the review:
Fuller’s style is engrossing; you will not want to stop reading once you start, and at only 200 pages you won’t have to. Fuller does not waste time with any superfluous content. Every word, every idea, has purpose. The dystopian future of Mutt is fully fleshed out, with enough ambiguity about its creation to leave the reader eager to read the rest of the series. At first you might expect Mutt to be one of “those” stories – dystopian future, magic, disparate social classes, we’ve all seen it before – but Mutt does not come across this way. There is no cheesy magic or superficial wonder. None of the characters is a shell or hackneyed, though many of the typical archetypes are present. The small details in Mutt give the reader a lot to think about – for both the characters and our own future.
If you run a book blog or website and are interested to review Mutt, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll talk.
Thanks to Valerie for taking the time to read the book and for writing such a thoughtful review!
6 July, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: best new books, book review, books, dystopian, e-book, ebook, if you like books, mutt, philadelphia, post-apocalyptic, promoting ideas, rittenhouse, science fiction, self publishing, you promised you'd take me to see the king, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | 2 Comments »
(To make up for my most recent failure to update, I’ll be doing two posts a day for a bit. Later today, I’ll be featuring the most recent review of Mutt, so be sure to check back!)
The Internet is abuzz with columnists have nothing better to do writing articles about whether Merida, the heroine of Pixar’s new film Brave, is a lesbian. I was going to write about that, but given that it’s a painfully boring nonissue (her dislike of arranged marriage is the only information the film gives us on her sexuality either way), I’m going to write about the actual content of the film instead.
A friend and I went to see it a few days ago; beforehand, the sounds I’d heard surrounding the film online indicated that it was a good film but not quite on par with Pixar’s past few releases. I’d largely agree with that statement, but with a slight revision: it’s an excellent film, and if it pales in comparison to Pixar’s other recent work, that’s only because we’re comparing it to some of the best movies made in years.
One can think of Brave either as a simple but worthy addition to Pixar’s legendary filmography or as a progressive new entry in Disney’s princess collection. To me, it feels as though the film is a response to and commentary on the latter classification of films, in which “happily ever after” inevitably finds a young girl promptly wedded to a groom usually of noble birth and less frequently noble (as much as I love classics like Beauty and the Beast, I shudder to think of the types of relationships they’re modeling for young girls). In a terrifying future reality where I have children, Brave is a film I could happily show both my sons and daughters—without necessitating a long conversation afterward about how you probably shouldn’t date someone who treats you terribly/scares the living hell out of you.
It’s also a film that has something to say about family ties, conflict resolution, and valuing the people in your life the way they are. These themes are admittedly more common to children’s films than WALL-E’s dissection of American consumerism and environmental destruction or Toy Story 3’s existential crisis, and it would be hard to argue that Brave matches the depth of either. But the film is gorgeous, impressively patient in its pacing for a children’s affair, and still far more memorable than most non-Pixar Disney releases in recent years.
The wild lesbian sex scenes were great too, of course.
6 July, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: book review, books, Brave, children's films, film review, films, great film, hot lesbian sex, idiot reporters, indie author, lesbian, Merida, movie review, mutt, new movies, no really, philadelphia, Pixar, post-apocalyptic, promotion, self publication, sex, stupid, threesome, Toy Story, Wall-E, you promised you'd take me to see the king, You're Just A Mutt | Leave A Comment »
I haven’t managed to post since my last entry about a week ago reporting that I was in a bike accident. While my injury wasn’t severe, I’ve since found that the general strain of working on a bad leg can really sap one’s energy. I’ve spent a lot of time hobbling, sleeping, and running errands to get both my bike and my leg back in working order.
I’d like to apologize to everyone has been reading along; beginning now, I feel I should be able to return to my daily update schedule. Since on some days I have little to report, I’m going to be diversifying my content somewhat. About half of my posts will still be updates on my promotion of Mutt, with links to reviews and other hopefully-exciting news. On other days, I’ll be both promoting other artists of all varieties and writing about the books I’m reading, with a specific focus on works in my genre.
Tomorrow, or perhaps later tonight if I’m feeling really ambitious (given the dearth of new content on here recently), I’ll be starting with an essay on recent female protagonists in dystopia as a reaction to those in the paranormal romance genre. Have a great evening!
22 June, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, book review, books, dystopian, e-book, ebook, google, indie author, mutt, philadelphia, post-apocalyptic, promoting ideas, promotion, promotion tips, rittenhouse, science fiction, self publication, self publishing, you promised you'd take me to see the king, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | Leave A Comment »
It seems like I have a new review to report every few days now. The most recent is by Rebecca at Good, Bad, And Ugly Books. The review awards the book with an awesome score of 9.7/10, as great a rating as I could possibly have anticipated. From the review:
Even if this “isn’t your type” of book, you have to try it. I loved it so much! You will love the setting, plot, characters, and writing. And those are, for me, the four great-book keys. And this book has it all. So go read it!
Read the full review here, and be sure to follow the blog for coverage of more great books. Thanks to Rebecca for taking the time to read Mutt (on a computer screen, no less) and for offering such a stellar appraisal. More to come in the very near future.
14 June, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, best new books, book review, books, dystopian, e-book, ebook, indie author, marketing tips, mutt, philadelphia, post-apocalyptic, promotion, promotion tips, rittenhouse, science fiction, self publication, self publishing, you promised you'd take me to see the king, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | 2 Comments »
Good evening, boys and girls! Today I am happy to report another glowing review of Mutt. Written by Minerva and Marie at Reading Our Way Through Life, the review awards the book a superb four and half stars, and both critics recommend it “for anyone intrigued by dystopian novels or just craving a good adventure.”
You can read the full review on their site, and be sure to follow their Tumblr.
The unanimous praise the book has received so far is really overwhelming, and several more reviews should be appearing in the coming weeks. I’d like to thank Minerva and Marie for taking the time to read the book and share their thoughts.
11 June, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, best new books, book review, books, dystopian, e-book, ebook, indie author, marketing tips, mutt, philadelphia, post-apocalyptic, promotion, promotion tips, self publishing, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | 2 Comments »
This is my first entry written using speech recognition, and as such, it’s probably going to be a lot more free association than actual content. It occurred to me that using speech recognition is less a terrible interface and more one akin to learning to drive a manual transmission: painful even after one masters the basics, but ultimately a useful tool once one is comfortable with it. What I’m learning is that it’s less straight speech and more a combination of the two interfaces, using the keyboard for punctuation and the like. (Having to explain an opening parenthesis to the computer takes more trouble than simply typing it, but on the other hand, long swaths of text are easier to dictate than to type, on such occasions, at least, as the program understands them correctly.) I’m told that adapts to the user’s voice over time, so hopefully with discipline it will become less painful. I’m also stuck using Microsoft software until I can afford the RAM upgrade to run Dragon. As frustrating as it is, however, my various doctors were correct in that it does take much of the strain of my hands. I’ve only had to type about ten words in this paragraph so far and about half of the punctuation.
I should add that I’m doing this in the coffee shop and I’m sure I look and sound absolutely insane to the other patrons.
Today I hope to finish proofreading and revising my manuscript, which you know I’ve been saying every day since I started it and probably for several months prior. After that a single take advantage of the great weather and continue my stickering campaign. A friend of mine spot and one of the stickers about town today in texted of me a picture of it. I’m glad to see the magic is spreading already; hopefully once the stickers everywhere, they’ll generate traffic to the site and find a host of delightful new readers for Mutt.
More reviews should be coming very soon to some wonderful book blocks near you.
8 June, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, book review, books, dictation, dictation software, dragon, dragon dictate, dystopian, e-book, ebook, indie author, marketing tips, mic check, mutt, philadelphia, post-apocalyptic, promotion, promotion tips, rittenhouse, science fiction, self publication, self publishing, speech recognition, You're Just A Mutt | 2 Comments »
I swore I was going to get back on track yesterday. Here I am, a day late again, so I’ll be doing one now and one in about two hours.
Failing to be as diligent these last few days has proven at least one thing, though. More people visit my site when I’m promoting daily than when I’m not. This shouldn’t be something I even had to learn; it’s kind of self-explanatory. But it’s good to see that my work shows some kind of results (and enlightening to see that, when I slack off, that shows too).
I’ve spent two and a half weeks doing daily promotion, though some days I’ve worked at it more than others. In that time, I’ve seen no change in sales from what I’d been doing before this push began. That’s rather distressing, but on the other hand, I’ve about quadrupled traffic to my site. I’ve secured a glowing review of Mutt and have about half a dozen reviews in progress, as well as more interested parties planning to book later in the summer. I’ve also started an awesome tagging campaign and gotten some friends involved with that.
When all this turns to increased sales and readers, I’m not sure. But the fact is that it won’t happen if I don’t keep working to make it happen. I look forward to the day when I can spend all my time cloistered away in a little cave, writing till my fingers fall off, and have someone else do this “expanding my readership” stuff for me. But in the meantime, expect more of my ceaseless rambling. Hooray!
6 June, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, book review, books, dystopian, e-book, ebook, indie author, marketing tips, mutt, post-apocalyptic, promotion tips, rittenhouse, self publishing, you promised you'd take me to see the king, You're Just A Mutt | 1 Comment »
Greetings, friends! Today I woke up to something wonderful. Alright, I really woke up to my good friend’s demonic cat, but shortly thereafter I discovered that Brianda at The Book Blabber has released a glowing review of Mutt. I’m linking to the version on my Tumblr because there were some spoilers and I wanted to mark them, but you should also go follow her on her blog.
For those who missed it, check out the first review of Mutt by Dayla at Confessions of a Book Addict. Some more reviews should be out soon. Remember, if you run a website or blog that reviews books and would like to give Mutt a read, e-mail me and we’ll work something out.
Thanks to you lovely readers, I’m also proud to announce that I’ve reached 1,000 views on this site. (Technically the count stands at 988, but it’ll be 1,000 by the end of today.) I’d like to offer my sincerest thanks to everyone who’s been reading, and tell all your friends! I feel good things aren’t too far off.
1 June, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: advertising, blog, book review, books, e-book, ebook, free book, indie author, marketing tips, mutt, mutt review, promotion tips, review, self publication, self publishing, You're Just A Mutt, young adult | 3 Comments »
Today, my stickers shipped, which is tremendously exciting. Soon thousands of people will be seeing the cover illustration for Mutt on a daily basis. I’m also continuing query work, which tires my hands but is totally worth it. I’m meeting some great people in the bookblogging world.
I believe a big part of promotion is promoting work by other indie artists who deserve recognition, and that isn’t limited to writers. Today, I’d like to share a new music release by a band I adore.
I first saw these lovely boys and girls a little over a year ago, and they’ve quickly become one of my favorite bands. They give a heart-stopping live performance, and from my interactions with them online and at shows, they all strike me as wonderful people. Their past releases, the Nautical Sabbatical EP and debut full-length The Unmistakable Man, are both among my favorites, and the new record is set to demolish the high bar they’ve set with those works.
I’m only one listen in so far, but I’ve heard most of the songs live or listened to them on repeat as pre-release singles. I’ll write further thoughts after I get a dozen listens or so into it, but I can promise already that it was my most anticipated album of the year and it’s living up to that high expectation. (Really, if the whole record was comprised only of the modern classic “Ballad of Oregon” fourteen times back-to-back, it’d still be worth your attention.) The album is produced by Brian Deck, who handled some of Modest Mouse and Iron & Wine’s best work.
The album releases on June 5th, and the band is touring for it now. If you come out to the D.C. date tomorrow night, you might see me dancing my little white-boy hips off.
30 May, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: album review, album str, album stream, ballad of oregon, best album, best music, best new music, book review, don't let the sun go down on your anger, ebook, folk, great records, indie, indie author, marketing tips, mutt, new music, promotion tips, river city extension, rock, something salty, something sweet, You're Just A Mutt | Leave A Comment »
Today (meaning yesterday, really, because it’s 2 AM), I went to Atlantic City with some close friends. It was awesome, and apparently you can make the round trip for $16 from Philadelphia. It was a wonderful day, though AC is definitely less serene oceanside escape and more trashy boardwalk adventure. The Garden State’s integrated mass transit has impressed me enough that, despite living in Philadelphia and thus being obligated to do so, I’m going to not insult New Jersey any time this week.
Since I’m trying to do promotion every day, I’m sending queries and ebook download links to bloggers right now. My work time tonight coincides with Dora’s playtime. Dora is the chinchilla I adopted a few weeks ago. She was very timid at the outset, but now she uses my body–and apparently my laptop–as a jungle gym. She’s succeeded in sending multiple messages for me by sprinting across the keyboard. Not all of them were complete.
I was going to share some thoughts on Memorial Day, but I’ve decided to save that for tomorrow’s post. I hope that everyone enjoyed the day and that your loved ones are safe.
29 May, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: atlantic city, attack, book review, books, casinos, chinchilla, gambling, marketing tips, memorial day, mouse, mutt, nj transit, patco, promotion tips, rodent, self publishing | Leave A Comment »
Okay, I was actually very productive yesterday. I just fell asleep before I could write about it here.
I sent some queries and finalized my business card design (which is actually going to be indistinguishable from the sticker design). I also began taking first pages from Mutt and posting them everywhere in the world. (“Everywhere in the world” mostly means cafe bulletin boards and the fronts of free newspaper dispensers.)
(As you can see in the corner of the frame, I’m still slogging through A Dance with Dragons, which I hope to be done with in about a week. I took a reading speed test today that put my comfortable speed on par with a 7th-grader’s. Hence my love for smaller books.)
I’m still waiting to see sales pick up even a little bit as the result of my daily promotion push, but it’s early in the game. It may be that the book continues to sell at the same (very slow) rate for months, but I’m hoping I’ll see a tipping point as these different tactics come to fruition. I’ve gotten positive replies from some wonderful bloggers and should have some new reviews of Mutt to share very soon.
Also, I get sleepy in the early day recently. I think I’m becoming an old person.
27 May, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: a dan, a dance with dragons, book review, exhaustion, first page, funny, game of thrones, indie author, marketing tips, martin, mutt, photo, promotion tips, self publishing, tired, You're Just A Mutt | Leave A Comment »
It seems everywhere I turn these days, somebody is saying they’ve just read Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games and they absolutely love it. I’ve read the first book, and I unfortunately can’t find the same enthusiasm that everyone around me has. I did enjoy the book, and I applaud Collins for her work, but there were several things that detracted from the experience for me. Here are two minor problems and one major one that I feel made The Hunger Games good instead of great.
1) Really bad copy editing. This isn’t Collins’ fault so much as Scholastic’s, and it’s something that can be corrected in future editions. But it’s a reminder that no matter how big the publisher, a book just might not receive quality editing, so it falls upon the author herself to ensure the version going to press is good.
2) Obvious similarities to Battle Royale. This 2000 Japanese film was based on a 1999 novel by Koushun Takami, which centers around a class of high school freshmen kidnapped and pitted in a last-man-standing deathmatch, which is broadcast on live TV. The ongoing similarities between THG and Battle Royale wouldn’t be so problematic alone, but they offer an interesting contrast for my main issue with the former…
3) (SPOILER WARNING) A lack of genuine hard decisions for Katniss. As Battle Royale so well illustrates, this plot setup is a goldmine of impossible situations. Groups of friends form alliances that implode in paranoia and violence. Some contestants kill themselves rather than participating in the game, while others plot doomed escape attempts. The characters in BR also know each other, which makes for even more tension as old school friendships and rivalries turn lethal.
Collins sidesteps the real difficulty of her scenario by creating a group of “bad” players from the outset and having them eliminate every character the reader is supposed to like. Katniss wonders whether she may have to fight Rue or Foxface, but they’re cleanly killed off by the Careers, dodging scenarios where Katniss would have to make an ambiguous decision. Her only hard choices involve Peeta, and we pretty much know from the start how that plotline is going to turn out because, well, duh. He’s the male lead.
Two things are worth noting lest I come off as one-sided. Battle Royale is clearly targeted at a much more mature audience than The Hunger Games, so it gets away with a lot more. It also has a similar ending to The Hunger Games, and that ending feels much harder to believe after everything else to which the story has exposed us.
The Hunger Games actually really sold me in its own ending. The closing chapters, after the Games ended, were my favorites, and I do intend to continue the series. Right after I finish A Dance With Dragons/some school reading/everything David Mitchell ever wrote.
5 March, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: Battle Royale, book review, books, dystopian, Koushun Takami, post-apocalyptic, science fiction, Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games, young adult | 2 Comments »