Tim Reaper is here, finally.

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He’s here! Finally!

After five years of hard work and submissions to basically every publisher that publishes urban fantasy and learning that traditional publishing is done with urban fantasy for the foreseeable future, my favorite protagonist is finally published!

IMMORTAL REMAINS is the first in my TIM REAPER series; the defrocked grim reaper in human form. He’s amoral, tough as nails, prone to getting shot, stabbed, burned and/or baked alive. He does odd jobs for money but he’s got a solid moral compass and is a deeply flawed hero because he isn’t exactly human. And that’s the focal point of Reaper’s entire raison d’être – he knows he is not human and he wants very much to be human. He’s urban fantasy Pinocchio only he’s armed with hand guns, hand grenades and a flamethrower.

I really REALLY like writing this character. I hope to hell this book takes off because I have an entire series planned featuring more of the war between Heaven and Hell which is a central theme to this book. There will be my own take on vampires and werethings and the war between both camps with humans caught in the middle. And there will be casualties, naturally.

Reaper’s got allies and in this book, you’ll be introduced to Detective Sergeant Carol Sparks. She distrusts Reaper and initially hates his guts and Reaper needs her help if he’s going to stop a serial killer with a hate-on for angels and end-of-the-world consequences. Their chemistry is central to this book and hopefully any future ones.

Oh … and there is BONUS material, too. The first chapter of the second TIM REAPER books entitled THE GIRL ON VICTORIA ROAD and I’m paying it forward by including a sample chapter from another author’s project; in this case, it’s called FREAKS ANON by MATT DARST.

Okay urban and dark fantasy lovers, I’m excited. I hope you get a kick of IMMORTAL REMAINS and look favorably on Tim Reaper because in spite of his methods, he gets the job done.

Onward!

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So I Self-Published THE NORTH – Release Day Thoughts

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menorthI have no idea whether this book is going to sell. I hope it does because its sales will determine whether I start writing the second in a planned trilogy.

I had offers on the table from a couple of small publishers but as mentioned in an earlier blog post, I didn’t see there was anything they could offer that I couldn’t already do myself.  I came very VERY close with a publisher I could only dream of being published by, but they felt the market was flooded with zombie books and would have difficulty getting sales in an over-crowded market.  And maybe they were right, who knows?

So, this is a brand new work and it’s 100% self-published. I did hire an editor to clean up the manuscript and it went through a series of reads via beta readers, so thank you beta readers. Will I self-publish again? Beats me … it’s a hell of a lot of work and I’d really rather be writing than formatting and dinking around with Adobe Illustrator for the cover art. I honestly don’t know where authors who have been successful at self-publishing find the damned time to write new stuff, there’s just so much to do. At any rate, here are some things I’ve learned since deciding to self-pub this project:

1) It’s a lot harder to get retweets promoting the book. Could be due to the fact that people don’t want to get spammed. I try to limit my promotional tweeting.

2) It’s been hard to get likes on Facebook – possibly the same reasons.

3) This one surprised me: it was really hard to give away e-arcs! I only managed to giveaway twenty-three of them in total!

4) There were a total of 8 pre-orders on Amazon.

5) It was up for pre-order over at Smashwords and I didn’t sell any. Actually, all of my books save for POLTERGEEKS and STUDENT BODIES are available at Smashwords and I have sold precisely none. All of my sales have come from Amazon – draw your own conclusions from that.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at right now. I shall give it the old college try and see if I can make something resembling a success out of this book. I’ve learned that outside of hiring a publicist or spending a boatload of money I don’t have, my marketing efforts will be limited to social media. This is nothing new for me – I didn’t have any real marketing support for my two Strange Chemistry Books titles so I got the word out the best I could. The sales were abysmal. I suspect the sales for all the Strange Chemistry Books authors were/are abysmal, hence the reason they shut their doors less than two years after opening.

I think that experience also had a lot to do with my decision to self-publish THE NORTH. I’ve had bad luck with two publishers in a row now – it tends to wear a person down.

Anyway, I do hope you buy my book. I think it’s a great read. It’s pretty bleak. It’s pretty dark. It’s pretty hard to find hope when the world burns … but hope can happen.

Enjoy THE NORTH! If I sell enough, I will write the second one. You can get it at Amazon in print and Kindle format and over at Smashwords for epub! (The ebook is on sale this week only for $1,99 at Smash and Amazonistan!)

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