I made my debut novel, The Eighth Day, available free to download a couple weeks ago. Why? Have I lost my mind? Actually, no. Although I’ve sold upwards of 4,000 copies and received a bunch of very good reviews (99 reviews and 4.6/5 stars as of this post, to be exact), my goal is to ultimately drum up interest in my next novel. So, I made The Eighth Day free in the hope people would read it and say to themselves, “This is really good! I want more. What’s next?” And voila! I will hand them my next book.
So I went in search of ways to get my book in front of readers, and in doing so, I found a bunch of other authors who were also giving away their books. And some of their stuff was pretty good! I’ve compiled links to all the offers I found.
I released The Eighth Day back in April of last year. Since then, it’s won a couple awards, sold thousands of copies, and got 4.5/5 stars on Amazon with 94 reviews as of this post.
Subscribers to my newsletter get it for free. Why? It’s my way of saying thank you for being a part of this. I’ve also recently shortened it by about 16 pages, removed some (admittedly pretty cheesy) analogies, and tightened up the writing.
No strings. I promise. All I ask is that if you like it and you have a minute or two to spare, post a review on the retailer of your choice. And if you’re feeling especially generous, don’t forget to tell your friends, family, and strangers from the subway about it!
I know, I know. I ain’t exactly famous, and it’s been awhile since last I got in touch. To avoid any awkward moments, I made a pretty simple author page to tell you a little about myself and my books.
I wrote 50 pages of Democracy Inc. – An American Tragedy in the month of June. Total written so far is 330 pages, with a projected total of 354 pages when I’m all done. I should finish the first draft before the end of the month. I’ll tighten it up between now and September, which is when I send it off to my editor. More about her later! Barring a disaster, the book will be published in paperback and available for Kindle well before Christmas!
Books I Read in June
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling (4 stars) – Second read through of the series. I wanted to refresh my memory about how Harry, Ron, and Hermione met and their interaction and dialogue as they became friends. I noticed that in the first book there’s noticeably more telling versus showing; Rowling sometimes describes what the characters talk about versus letting them actually talk, much more so in the first book compared to later books. Read more…
To kick off the New Year, I’m going to share with you some original concept art and the synopsis for my next novel, Democracy Inc. – An American Tragedy. The outline is complete, and I’m about 80 pages into the first draft. Based on the number of chapters and average length of each chapter so far, I’m estimating the final draft will be about 420 pages long.
Original concept art is copyright Stephanie Shimerdla at www.stephanieshimerdla.com.
I’m very excited to announce that the outline of my next novel, Democracy Incorporated: An American Tragedy, is complete.
Next comes the actual writing! Stayed tuned to learn more about the adventures of your flawed protagonist, Titus Remington, and his not-quite-stalwart friends.
Being an author isn’t easy. I don’t mean sitting down at a keyboard and pounding out your daily word count. That stuff is easy. Unless it isn’t. But time management?
Not so much.
Sometimes, most times, it seems like the deck is stacked against you. Especially for writers that have a day job. And let’s be honest. That’s most of us. A day job alone is a major distraction. Not only do you have to work all day, which kills eight-plus hours of potential words-to-paper time, but by the time you clock out and get home, your energy is zapped and all you want to do is chill. Crafting intricate plot twists and character arcs that leap off the page? Forget about it. Now add in family, maybe kids, bills, laundry, mowing the lawn. The list goes on and on. Like karma, time management can be a real bitch.
To celebrate the launch of the audiobook of The Eighth Day, I hosted a giveaway and handed out three free copies to my newsletter subscribers. The only catch? They had to send me a DNA sample, something simple like a lock of hair or vial of blood or–
What? No, I’m kidding. The winners were the first three people to send me an e-mail with a subject line that matched the opening line of The Eighth Day. Three words:
“They’re watching you.”
I was soon deluged with an inbox of replies. Some read the instructions on how to win, some did not. The first three people to send me an email with the correct subject-line were:
I started reading The Miracle Morning for Writers by Hal Elrod and Steve Scott. Great book, by the way, and Hal also has a version of The Miracle Morning that’s applicable to anyone if you’re interested. One of the things Hal talks about is developing good habits, so of course the first thing I did was hop on the interwebs to research for the best iPhone apps to help me do just that. And lo and behold, I found the ultimate: Habitica.
Habitica gamifies your life and turns it into a roleplaying game: good habits and bad habits either reward gold and experience or do damage to you, respectively; dailies give you gold and experience for completing them or do damage if you fail to complete them; and items on your to-do list reward gold and experience, but cause no damage no matter how long it takes for you to complete them.
In May, I held a giveaway for a 6″ Amazon Kindle with wifi and a touchscreen display, plus a free Kindle version of my novel, The Eighth Day. 1,906 contestants signed up for a chance to win, with a combined total of 3,775 entries between them (you could receive additional entries for sharing the giveaway on social media sites).
Yesterday, we held the drawing for the winner. It was a tense and exciting moment. And the winner was …
… Tiffany Israel!
Congratulations on winning, Tiffany! And thanks to everyone who entered. I’ll be running more contests in the near future, so stay tuned for your chance to win next time.
The book reviews for The Eighth Day keep rolling in, and I want to thank everyone who took the time to read my book and not only post a review on Amazon or Goodreads, but also on their own book review blogs as well.
Here’s a few notable mentions that made me smile:
“Good book, well written and presented. I would definitely read a sequel to this one.” – Long and Short Reviews
“Very well written with great editing. A good quick read (and by that I mean you don’t put it down until the end) that keeps the momentum up all the way through.” – Finishing Touches Editing
“Joseph John’s craft is excellent. The characters have depth. They have motives. I read the book in three sittings, not because I got bored. I wanted to keep going, and the spirit was willing, but my flesh was weak (It was very late and I was very sleepy). Buy the book. Read it. Be aware of the several layers of meaning.” – Summa Nulla, Amazon Reviewer
“Take one part Bourne Identity (Ludlum), mix in a healthy dash of Total Recall (Phillip K. Dick) and throw in a dash of The Sixth Day (an underrated but fun scifi flick). The Eighth Day is an explosive scifi thriller that captivates readers from beginning to end.” – J. Sasse, Amazon Reviewer
“Five COMPELLING Stars! A mixture of action, adventure, mystery, police procedural and SciFi. And it is impressive as John takes an original approach to sequentially unveiling his plot across his timeline, alternating character viewpoints in unexpected ways.” – RBSProds, Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer & Vine Voice
The 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Award winners were announced this weekend. Out of hundreds of entries, The Eighth Day was recognized as one of three finalists in the thriller category!
The winner was Jack and Joe, the sixth book in the New York Times bestselling series The Hunt for Jack Reacher by Diane Capri, so it was truly an honor to be considered a finalist in such fine company.
The NIEAs are one of the most respected awards for indie authors in the publishing industry. Unfortunately, my acceptance speech wasn’t without its hiccups. I’ve pasted the transcript below for reference.
Joseph John: Thank you so much. I’ve always dreamed about what it would be like to maybe win one of these someday, but I never actually thought that it would happen. I write techno-thrillers, so thank you so much for giving me a chance to win a Nation Indie Excellence Award. I–
Kanye West: Yo, Joseph. I’m really happy for you. Imma let you finish. But Beyoncé had one of the best thrillers of all time. One of the best thrillers of all time.
Joseph John: …
I thought to myself, Damn, what is Kanye West doing at the NIEA award ceremonies? Which were only taking place in my imagination. That SOB really gets around.
And at that point, we cut to commercial.
Enter to win a 6” Kindle, with wi-fi and a glare-free touchscreen display!
- Easy on your eyes–touchscreen display that reads like real paper
- No screen glare, even in bright sunlight
- Single battery charge lasts weeks
- Lighter than a paperback, holds thousands of books
- Try Kindle Unlimited free for 30 days–choose from over 1 million titles
- Kindle doesn’t distract you with social media, emails, and text messages
- Massive book selection – over a million titles less than $2.99
As a bonus, you’ll also receive a copy of my sci-fi techno-thriller novel, The Eighth Day, for your new Kindle, absolutely FREE!
By entering this giveaway, you’re also signing up for my author newsletter, where you’ll hear about my new book releases, contests, giveaways, and sales events. I promise not to share your email with anyone else, and I won’t spam–ever. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Enter to win, and get 3 additional entries for every 1 friend you refer!
Giveaway Ends May 23, 2016.
I sent Heena Rathore P. an advance review copy of The Eighth Day. On April 1, she posted a review on her uook review blog, The Reading Bud. Here’s an excerpt of what she had to say:
“From the imaginative plot to the characterization, the author came out a winner on all fronts. I felt a strong connection with the lead as well as the supporting characters and even the bad guys. The fast pace of the book keeps things interesting right until the end where the book ends with an explosive climax. The ending is perfect.”
She also highlighted some memorable quotes and a paragraph; it was pretty cool for me to see what she chose.
Read the entire review on The Reading Bud by clicking here.
The other reviews on The Reading Bud are organized by author, rating, series, and title. After you’re done reading what Heena has to say about The Eighth Day, be sure to browse through the other reviews on the site for thoughts on other some other great stories by some very talented authors.
Heena Rathore P. is a crime-thriller author with a few books coming soon, and she’s got a agents lining up to represent her. Check out her author website, heenarathorep.com for more information about her novels.
Thanks for reading my novel and posting the glowing review, Heena, and best of luck with your own writing!
Here’s a few excerpts from her review:
“… fantastic, fast-paced tale of science fiction and intrigue that is almost impossible to look away from … found myself actually holding my breath during the action scenes … sci-fi thriller movie in book form … truly a must read.”
Additionally, Lilyn has conveniently organized all of her reviews by independently published and traditionally published books, as well as by genre: science fiction, horror, thriller, and fantasy. She further groups them into star ratings so you can easily find the best reviews in the genres you love. After you purchase a copy of The Eighth Day on Amazon, Make sure you browse the other reviews on SciFi and Scary for all the other great reads by the amazing authors who are slaving away to spin you their tales of fiction!
Thank you so much for the kind words and incredible review, Lilyn. I truly appreciate you taking the time to read The Eighth Day and give it such glowing praise. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Black Out and All Clear are two books by Connie Willis. But for all intents and purposes, they are one book. They are one book divided at a random point in the story into two books. I’m going to give Connie Willis the benefit of the doubt and assume it wasn’t her hair-brained idea to commit such an egregious authorial faux pax. I can only assume it was her publisher who, upon receiving the author’s lengthy manuscript, imagined dividing said manuscript into two books to double the profits. Queue visions of greenbacks raining from the sky.