Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bryan Koepke's Debut Thriller VENGEANCE gets its 16th Review.

Tomorrow marks the 3 month anniversary since Bryan Koepke's debut thriller VENGEANCE was published by Writers Cabin Press, Ltd.  In this short time the book had gotten 16 reviews on Amazon averaging 4.6 STARs with 11 readers giving it a full 5 STARs.  

On June 15th Carolyn Otto gave Vengeance 4 STARs and this to say:  

The author developed an interesting plot. The characters were well created and your interest was held through out the book.

On June 11th an Amazon Customer gave the book 4 STARs and said this: 

I enjoyed this book.... It had a few twists and turns that kept me guessing... The characters were well developed and it held my attention….

On May 23rd TwinMomKK gave Vengeance 5 STARs and said:

I loved this book! As the characters were being introduced, the action was already underway and escalated to the last page. I look forward to more books from this author, especially the next in this series.

Another 5 STAR reviewer said:

Never a dull moment from begining to end. I highly recommend this book. Great characters and an intriguing plot. Great effort for a first novel, I look forward to many more.

In a recent interview with the author The Writers Cabin learned that Koepke is 278 pages into the writing of the next book in the Reece Culver Thriller series, and aiming to complete and release the book sometime in 2015.  He was tight lipped about book 2 in the series, but did divulge that this novel would take the reader to at least one international location. 

Reece Culver's sometimes partner Haisley Averton makes an appearance too.

If you've been holding out on your purchase of this great new Thriller now's the time to get your copy of VENGEANCE.  

It's available on Amazon or on Koepke's website.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Value of Using Amazon's KDP Select Free Days

The Value of Using Amazon's KDP Select Free Days

All newly self-published authors seek to sell as many books as they can, and gain as much publicity as is possible during their first year.

I published my debut novel Vengeance by founding my own Micro-Publishing company Writers Cabin Press, Ltd.  Utilizing this company I researched the best way to publish my first book and ultimately ended up utilizing both of Amazon's Book Publishing Platforms - Kindle Direct Publishing & CreateSpace.

I am by no means an expert on how or why to publish your work.  At the time these two platforms seemed to provide the best method and quality of books.  After investing in a professionally designed book cover and a well formatted manuscript the trigger was pulled and out came two versions of my debut novel. These are a 6" X 9" Trade Sized Paperback & an eBook

Over the course of the past several months I began looking at KDP Select free days.  On April 30th 2014 my book Vengeance was free for 1 day.  During that day I gave away 2,400 copies of the book.  I had invested a total of $29.00 to do a twitter day with a vendor, and put the word out to 10 or more websites, my Facebook page, and here on my Blog that my book was free for one day.

Here's a shot of where my book was at 5:12 pm the day after the KDP Select Free Day. Sales for that one day were way up too, and the effect continued for the next several weeks.  I made a few rookie mistakes in May.  One was changing my price.  I should have left it alone until the end of the month. 
The second was doing the Free Day on the last day of the month.  

Ultimately my book got to #4 in the Free Books listed in Kindle Store>Mystery, Thriller & Suspense>Mystery>Private Investigators.  The remainder of the month it was in various spots from #49 to #89 in the top 100 paid books for this same category.

What do free days do for sales?  My single free day boosted my May sales to a height I had not previously seen although the book had only been released for six weeks at this point.

It is my belief that KDP Select has a risk / reward benefit synonymous with the quality of the writing, formatting, and cover of the book being sold for free.    

Today June 4, 2014 is the eve of my second experiment with KDP Select.  My goal is to gain publicity for my book Vengeance, and to build my brand.  My secondary goal is to sell books.  This time around Vengeance will be free for a total of 2 days. (June 5th - 6th).  If you've been holding out for a copy now's your chance.

All I ask is if you do get one for free do me the favor of reading my book and writing a review on either Goodreads or Amazon.  

If you've self published and have a story to tell about doing KDP Select Free Days please comment.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Writing books is like making Chili

In my book Vengeance the reader learns that Reece Culver was an Aerospace Engineer for a fictitious company named Caulder Space Systems before taking a leave of absence to solve the mystery of his father’s cold case murder. 

The next book in the Reece Culver Thriller series, book 2 - Sabotage, which I’m writing now opens in the country of Scotland.   Reece and his sometimes partner Haisley Averton have gone there with the intent of catching trophy trout on Loch Awe. 

They are successful with their fishing, but while in the country Reece finds significantly more than he was looking for.  Some of the things he finds are good, and much of what he discovers is bad.  But, if you read the first book you know it wouldn’t be a Reece Culver Thriller unless he had to deal with some unsavory characters.  It's what he seems to be attracted to, among other things.

As I've been researching book 2 in the series I’ve been reading up on the country of Scotland.  A place I intend to visit in the near future.  I’ve learned from my mother that I myself have a small smattering of Scottish blood within my veins.

The book opens near the town of Tarbert in the southwestern region of the country.  Reece and Haisley are guests at the home of two of the main characters in the story.  Reece and his friend go fishing on Loch Awe and on the way back run into trouble.

The third book in the series is underway as well.  I completed about 2/3’s of the first draft last fall before picking book 2 back up and pressing on with it.  In the third book Reece goes back to work at his old job as an Aerospace Engineer and there at work he discovers that things are not what they appear to be.

I’m being vague about the plots of both books 2 and 3 at this point because they are both early in my development process.  Writing, like many things, takes time and thought.  In some ways it’s like making a good batch of chili.  The ingredients, words in this case, are put into a large pan, or in my case written on a computer.  Time is given for them to simmer and age.  Additional ingredients are added as the batch, or book ages.  Each time the lid is taken off the cook tastes the chill.  With a book each time the author finishes a draft he, or his beta readers give the book a read. The author then decides whether it's done or needs more ingredients, or time to simmer.

The other parts of my life including my day job give the recipe for my novels time to simmer.  This is something I battle with constantly wishing I had more time to write, but for now having a job is a necessity.  All writers dream of the day when the sale of their books will provide enough income to replace their day job, and when that day comes they will have a new full-time job as a novelist.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

One technique I use to write faster

Read any good Thriller novel and you'll find that the plot consists of two or more subplots.  Many novels get to a point where the protagonist and antagonist are trading scenes back and forth as the action mounts.  One technique I use is to plot out scenes within the manuscript with a short paragraph stating the gist of what happens within that scene or chapter.

On days like today when I've been away from my manuscript for longer than I'd like, in this case since last Monday morning, I start by reading what I had written in the proceeding chapters first.  This reacquaints me with the story and usually does a very good job of pulling me in, and getting me writing.

When I'm in the mode to write I can easily switch back and forth between characters and sub plots without loosing track of the details.  On days when I've been away from the story, like today, I find that if I jump scenes and stay in the head of one character I can cover a lot of ground and crank out some good work.

Today's choice was a character in Book 2 of the Reece Culver Series name Julian.  I won't say more than his name because I don't want to spoil the story.  I will say this guy plays a major roll in the book and he learns to hate Reece Culver.

During today's writing session I was able to crank out a total of 3,235 words in just about 2.5 hours.
When do I usually use this technique you ask?  Most often it comes in handy when I'm in the second half of the book.

I generally don't outline the book until I'm 100 or more pages into the first draft.  Since I work a full-time job I find as I write the use of a rough outline comes in handy to jot down plot ideas, and also to help me layer in what I want to write in each scene or chapter of the manuscript.