New Cover Reveal for BOOK 2!

New Cover Reveal for BOOK 2!

As promised…

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I’m really excited about this one.

I’ve been working with Jeff Brown with creating new covers for the series. And while it is bittersweet changing the old covers, I’m pretty excited with how the new ones look.

This second one, in particular, is quite gorgeous and does a sick job capturing the scene from the beginning of Book 2. And in general it’s just a gorgeous-looking work of art.

So yeah, I’m pretty psyched. The level of detail and how beautiful the scenery is really just blows me away. I think it also conveys the mood and tone of the book and the series really well.

Now it’s on to book three. All I have to do now is finish it!

Regarding Book 3…

I had hoped to have it released by the end of Summer. Clearly that hasn’t happened. Various circumstances in my life has slowed the writing process considerably for me. I still am determined to get it out as soon as possible, but more importantly…

I want to make sure the book is as good as it possibly can be. This book is tremendously important to the overall story arc of the series, and I don’t want to rush it. I thought I was going to have all Summer free like last year when I produced Book 2, but it didn’t work out that way.

So, I am still writing, I’m happy with how it’s coming out, so that’s really the most important part. But it still is going to take some time until it’s completed.

Feel free to leave thoughts and comments below!

-Evan Pickering

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The 3 Most Important Writer’s Weapons.

The 3 Most Important Writer’s Weapons.

To be a good writer you have to first, well, be good at writing.

Obviously. Because if it’s shit, it doesn’t matter how you dress it up.

So of course, the writing itself is the most important thing to any author.

But just because that is true, doesn’t mean there are other things that are very nearly as important if you hope to have any kind of success. They are three main things that fall into that category:

Title, Cover, and Blurb.

So you wrote a book. Maybe a good book. There’s only one question now:

Who gives a shit?

The biggest failing of writers, especially new writers, is feeling that your accomplishment of your book stands for itself and requires no special attention. You did something incredible–you did, in fact–you wrote a book. But readers, they don’t give a shit. Thousands of new books are being made all the time.

So the question then isn’t who gives a shit? But rather, how do I make them give a shit?

The answer is stated above. You choose an outstanding Title,  Cover and Blurb.

  • Your title should do one thing: tell them exactly what kind of story it is. And make them curious about it. Okay, two things. It does not help to have a literary-ass title that tells the reader nothing about the book. I don’t care if the title is somehow relevant to your story, Moonlight Parade is a god awful title for a thriller novel. Sudden Departure might be a great one for a thriller, though.
  • Your cover should convey genre, should evoke some feelings or again, curiosity, and it should be clean and professional looking. Do NOT underestimate the power of images. We are an image driven race. A good cover is priceless. A bad cover can absolutely sink you.
  • Your blurb should show some idea of who the hero is, what the conflict is, and what’s at stake. This is not a plot summary. This is not a foray into theme and mood. This should pique the readers interest, and you do that by showing them WHO your characters are and what they’re up against.

 

If you have those three things done well, and if you have yourself a good book when they crack the [virtual] spine and look inside, you’ve got a chance to do really well.

If you don’t have those things, well, then you’re fighting a mighty uphill battle my friend.

-Evan

 

 

BookBub — Day 1 Results!

BookBub — Day 1 Results!

So the glorious day has come.

Yesterday was my Bookbub, May 11th. A week before my birthday (woo). HOOD is on sale for $0.99.

Granted, I’m not exactly sure how it measures up vs. other people’s Bookbub promos, but…

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!

FEELS GOOD MAN.

Behold:BOOKBUB 1

Ranked #56 overall in Kindle at the highest, # 1 in Post-Apoc and #1 in Metaphys/Visionary.

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Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.

So, for sales numbers: 2,438 books.

So what now? Basically, I try to keep promoting and spreading the word about the book for the rest of the week. Then I switch it back to 2.99 and try to make more moneys. Ideally this sort of visibility will catapult the book up to the top of the charts for an extended period of time and sales keep rolling in. At risk of sounding prideful, I think it’s a pretty damn good book (so humble) so hopefully word spreads like it did when I launched last year.

Once the week is over I’m going to post another thread to measure how the tail fares, and see if maybe I hit a USAToday Bestseller list (which would just be pure gravy IMO.)

Hope you enjoyed this clinic on over-sharing. I’m damn proud of this series. Book 2 had a bunch of sales too from this. ❤

-Evan Pickering

Fellow Author Shoutout-Craig Martelle

Fellow Author Shoutout-Craig Martelle

Just chatted with my fellow author buddy Craig Martelle today. He started publishing books around the same time I did last year. We started chatting as fellow burgeoning authors and I could tell he was a pretty cool guy.

What I didn’t know, is that he was a writing machine.

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I published two books last year. Pretty good for my standards and writing speeds.

Craig published 20 since then. TWENTY!? I am in awe. Seriously, that is incredible. Want to make a name for yourself self publishing? This is how you do it kids. You write. and write. and write. and write. and write more.

I won’t lie. I’m jealous of that production! Congrats Craig that’s awesome. I’m my dreams I’m that prolific 😀

-Evan Pickering

 

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes…

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes…

So, I’ve pulled the trigger.

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After a goodly bit of deliberating, talking to my readers, some hand-wringing and objective analysis, I’ve decided to change BOOK 2 of the American Rebirth Series.

The changes are as follows:

  • New Title: LEGENDS
  • New Cover
  • Added Content: Prologue – Survivors

It wasn’t easy deciding to make these changes, but they are decidedly the right ones, in my mind.

Truth is, I’m still learning as an author/publisher. As much as I loved WHISKEY as a title and the cover, I don’t think it was doing my story due service.

Truth #2, it’s not sexy to think about, but things like Cover, Title and Blurb are just marketing tools. They are the 9mm, salted meat and purified water to the wasteland survivor that is my series. The story itself, that’s the heart of the survivor. That’s where the good stuff is.

So, my job is to make those things as effective as I can. Here’s why I made the changes I made:

  1. WHISKEY is a title I love, and a character close to my heart. But the story is about much, much more than just Whiskey. If someone who reads HOOD loves Whiskey, they’ll read book 2. If they are lukewarm or worse about him as a character, they certainly won’t buy a book that seems like it’s all about him.
  2. When thinking about the big picture in terms of the title of Book 3 and beyond, I want to have more inter-connectivity between my titles. Choosing only character names hems me in a goodly bit. It can also confuse the shit out of prospective readers who haven’t read any of them.
  3. BOOK 2 is a story that truly continues the Legends of HOOD. The cover and title then need to convey that this book truly is a spiritual successor to Book 1, and not a giant left turn that follows a different character from now on.
  4. Making thematic-color commonalities between books seems to be a pretty good way of making sure readers recognize your sequels when they see them. Hence the color change on the Cover.

So that’s it.

I really appreciate the feedback from everyone who I talked to. To those who loved WHISKEY as a title and cover, I hope what I’ve said above makes sense as to why I changed it. I really appreciate everyone’s support.

So if you have an old copy of WHISKEY, well, now you have a vintage/collector’s item. 😀 LUCKY YOU!

Happy holidays everyone,

-Evan Pickering

 

 

Anticipation.

Anticipation.

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So in case you haven’t heard my barrage of tweets and posts, here’s a giant banner to tell you Tomorrow is the release of WHISKEY.

I don’t even know how to put it into words. Like an emotion sandwich. Anticipation is a magical and terrible thing.

From a totally primal sense, it’s strange to think about the idea of knowing what’s about to happen. Not that we know exactly, but we know generally. It’s a survival tool. Millions of years of evolution.

Now we tend to use it for other things. Excitement as you count down the days until you get to see someone you love again. Dread for fear of some oncoming work. The tantalizing ghost-taste of the food your about to eat as you wait for the server to bring it to you.

In my case, I’m using it to dream up a perfect scenario where BOOK 2 is beloved by all and the series becomes huge, simultaneously while imagining a scenario where no one gives a damn and people think it’s meh and I’m back to the drawing board. Like Schroedinger’s cat, both are true at once right now.

But there aren’t two absolute outcomes.

I think I know what the most likely outcome is.

A good portion of those who read HOOD will read WHISKEY. People will largely love it and be excited for BOOK 3, and some will hate it or find it meh, but overall I will now have two books under my belt and more people will be more interested in the series since it isn’t as much as a ‘promise of future books.’ In short, I’m bettering my career.

I believe in my own writing. I believe in my ability to learn and grow. I believe that the risks I took in my stories are going to be something readers really love–Especially when they see where the story is going.

This is the story I’ve been wanting to tell for years. I take an incredible amount of pride and joy in telling it, and how much people have enjoyed it or hated it so far.

So anticipation is going to do its thing. My mind is going to wonder and wander and try to conjure up the future. But I don’t know what’s gonna happen, nobody knows what’s going to happen. That’s what is awesome about the future.

So as the hours count down, I’m going to enjoy this feeling, and just embrace whatever comes.

Have a good tomorrow peeps, now and always.

Evan Pickering

Book 2 is Live on Amazon for pre-order!!!

Book 2 is Live on Amazon for pre-order!!!

BOOM.

It’s finally here.

WHISKEY, Book 2 of the American Rebirth Series is now live for Pre-order on Amazon. I can scarcely believe it.

I’m still working on some final editing, so I have the release date set to OCT 27th as of right now. If I get it sooner, I’ll move it up, if i need more time I’ll move it back a little bit.

But this is the home stretch. It’s been about 9 months (insert pregnancy joke here) since HOOD was released, and this baby is finally just about done.

I’m extremely excited. I can’t wait for people to read it. I might just leap out of my bedroom window with pure joy once it’s released. I’ll try to remember not to.

and remember…

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Love and bleary eyes,

Evan Pickering