Advertising for Indie Authors – Part 1

As an indie author, I have the dilemma shared by others as to how to get the word out about my books. Naturally, I feel I’ve produced good works of fiction, but since I’m starting a “brand” or “business” from scratch featuring my name on these books, I have no ready or apparent avenues with which to support getting the word out.

I know I’m not alone. In my circle of friends, people have dutifully downloaded my books and offered encouragement, support, and advice. A friend of a friend self published a few years ago, and his book has languished online. Our mutual friend put us in contact with one another. His questions: How do you get sales? How do you advertise your books? How do you get the word out about what you’ve written?

In thinking about these questions, I thought it might be useful to record my advertising efforts on this site, for better or worse. Perhaps this might help other new indies facing similar questions about spreading the word regarding their books.

I certainly haven’t found the magic bullet yet, but perhaps my experiences can lead authors toward productive advertising avenues, and maybe help them avoid ones that are not so useful.

So stay tuned, and I’ll share what I’ve discovered so far.

Grab both Redwood 1 and 2 for a low price!

Redwood, Servant of the State has a combined 4.2 rating on Amazon. Now, the sequel is out. You can download both books cheaper than buying them separately, for a limited time. Click here for details.

 

redwood planet

Grab Redwood: Servant of the State for Free this weekend!

Hey for a limited time, my first book Redwood: Servant of the State is available free to download in its entirety on Amazon. This weekend only (May 1-3).

Young Servant of the State Marcus Savitch lives on Redwood, a restricted outer planet in the Janus String where humans are confined to one isolated city. Extraordinarily bright, a computer hacker and spaceship pilot, Marcus holds a dark secret. Afflicted with hematophagia, a forbidden condition compelling him to feed on blood, he lives in constant fear of eradication by the State. When his secret is exposed, he escapes and heads toward the giant trees at Redwood’s center. There, despite restrictions, a team of specialists from New Texas has been conducting clandestine research for decades on the mysterious creatures living deep in the forest. When revolution erupts on the outer planets, Marcus finds himself going back to the city he escaped from, this time with a small army at his side.

Download it for your Kindle today!

 

Redwood: Twelver is Out!

The sequel to Redwood: Servant of the State is out! Redwood: Twelver is available exclusively on Amazon as an e-book download. Only 99 cents.

It’s a been a great 6 months writing this sequel, following the adventures of Marcus, Dee Dee, and the triplets. I hope readers enjoy the book as much as I did writing it.

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Read for free the first five chapters of my book Redwood: Agent of the State, a science fiction adventure thriller, on Goodreads or get the complete Kindle ebook on Amazon for only 99 cents.

 

Redwood: Servant of the State is Free

Redwood: Servant of the State is available as a free download in its entirety from Amazon until Feb. 4. Take this opportunity to load up a great YA science fiction novel on your Kindle.

Dan Poynter’s Global E-book Awards

Redwood: Servant of the State has been accepted as a nominee for Dan Poynter’s Global E-book Awards, in the categories of Science Fiction and Young Adult.

 

geba-nominee

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Read for free the first five chapters of my book Redwood: Agent of the State, a science fiction adventure thriller, on Goodreads or get the complete Kindle ebook on Amazon for only 99 cents.

Indiegogo campaign for Redwood: Twelver starts today

Today I’m starting a campaign to help raise funds to publish Redwood: Twelver, the second in the Redwood series. You can find the campaign here. Please help spread the word!

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Read for free the first five chapters of my book Redwood: Agent of the State, a science fiction adventure thriller, on Goodreads or get the complete Kindle ebook on Amazon for only 99 cents

Top 10 best dystopian books

On the heels of my discussion on the allure of dystopia in fiction, here is my list of top ten all time best dystopian novels.

1984
George Orwell, 1949
Orwell’s depictions of totalitarianism have elements that remain in society’s vocabulary decades later. From Big Brother to doublespeak and a host of other concepts, Orwell’s dystopian view of political corruption remains a significant work even today.

Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury, 1953
Another early vision of dystopia, one in which books are outlawed and “firemen” burn them up when they’re found. Winner of one of only four Retro Hugo awards.

Brave New World
Aldous Huxley, 1931
The granddaddy of dystopian novels, Huxley wrote the book in response to utopian novels by H.G. Wells amidst social upheaval from war, industry, economic crises, and the perceived excesses of the Roaring Twenties.

Logan’s Run
William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson, 1967
Logan’s Run follows the eponymous hero who tracks down those in a society with no old people. Logan 3 is a “Sandman” chasing after those who reach the age of death trying to escape to Sanctuary. He decides to run himself as his time approaches.

Make Room! Make Room (Soylent Green)
Harry Harrison, 1966
The movie was more popular than the book, but Soylent Green explored the overuse of materials and overpopulation, with some ideas on how to control both. The movie changed much more besides the title.

The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins, 2008
In the future nation of Panem, teens from the twelve districts annually battle to the death for a television audience. The trilogy has been adapted into a highly successful movie series.

Divergent
Veronica Roth, 2011
In Chicago in the future, society is divided based on aptitude scores. Those who don’t fit neatly in a faction are more difficult to control, and are considered divergent. The first movie in the series has been highly successful.

The Maze Runner
James Dashner, 2009
Waking up with his memory wiped, the protagonist finds himself with a group of other boys in the middle of a gigantic labyrinth that changes every night and offers a host of dangers. He helps them solve the riddle of the maze before the first girl shows up.

Parable of the Sower
Octavia E. Butler, 1993
In an society leaning toward anarch , a young woman with hyperempathy develops a religion called “Earthseed.” Winner of the 1994 Nebula Award. A planned trilogy, Butler died before completing the third book in the series.

The Giver
Lois Lowry, 1993
In a faux utopian society of the future, pain and turmoil are eliminated through Sameness. Somebody has to keep all the memories of the past, though, including both the good memories and the bad. All the pleasant aspects of humanities as well as all the ugliness. Winner of the 1994 Newberry Award.

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Read for free the first five chapters of my book Redwood: Agent of the State, a science fiction adventure thriller, on Goodreads or get the complete Kindle ebook on Amazon for only 99 cents

The allure of dystopia in fiction

Many young adult novels these days seem to be set in dystopian near future worlds. Hunger Games, Maze Runner and Divergent spring to mind. So, what is the allure of dystopia, and why do so many speculative fiction authors set their works in such worlds?

Dystopia is the opposite of Utopia. Wikipedia has a nice entry:

… a community or society that is in some important way undesirable or frightening. It is literally translated as “not-good place” … Dystopias are often characterized by dehumanization, totalitarian governments, environmental disaster, or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society. Dystopian societies appear in many sub-genres of fiction and are often used to draw attention to real-world issues regarding society, environment, politics, economics, religion, psychology, ethics, science, and/or technology, which if unaddressed could potentially lead to such a dystopia-like condition.

I think, for a writer, dystopian settings allow them to explore worlds that are familiar, yet different enough to engage the plot in compelling ways. Since the world is messed up, and the powers that be are making a mess of things, the protagonists can figure out ways to excel in the fractured environment while hopefully changing it for the better.

Check out my list of the top 10 best dystopian novels here.

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Read for free the first five chapters of my book Redwood: Agent of the State, a science fiction adventure thriller, on Goodreads or get the complete Kindle ebook on Amazon for only 99 cents

Lasers vs. lead in science fiction: pew pew or pow pow?

I recall watching Alien the first time. The late 70s were a grand time for science fiction movies. Star Wars took the world by storm, with light sabers and laser guns. Alien was different, though. Instead of zipping through space at warp speed, Ripley and friends stayed in animated suspension until arriving at their destination. Also in the movie and its sequels, traditional bullet-firing guns took out the aliens rather than futuristic laser guns.

Does a science fiction book or movie have to always use laser guns? Certainly Ripley’s guns, especially in Aliens, the 1986 sequel, were more traditional lead and gunpowder based, although they looked futuristic.

Sometimes traditional guns may appear in a futuristic plot as an anachronism, like in the Star Trek episode “Spectre of the Gun.” Other times, they may prove integral to the plot as in Star Trek’s “Shore Leave.”

There’s actually a lot to be said about lower level technology playing a role in a futuristic setting. Robert Heinlein’s classic science fiction novel Time Enough for Love was set in part on a “pioneer planet” where low tech was used for initial human settlement. Most famously, mules were used in place of modern engines. M.U.L.E. became an early educational videogame based on the idea.

So, sometimes a science fiction writer doesn’t have to incorporate high tech futuristic items. I think technology should fit well in the story. If that means less “pew pew” and more “pow pow” to make the plot go forward, all the better.

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Read for free the first five chapters of my book Redwood: Agent of the State, a science fiction adventure thriller, on Goodreads or get the complete Kindle ebook on Amazon for only 99 cents