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Alright, so I may be posting this a little late in order to promote the book signing, but the whole thing kind of just materialized out of nowhere anyways.

So, October totally snuck up on me this year.

I knew it was October. I knew Halloween was coming, because me and my daughter have been planning on being Darth Vader and Princess Leia for the longest time now. But the fact that it was October and that it’s been 4 years since I first released A New Death into the wilds of the internet, that completely slipped my mind.

4 years.

Isn’t it crazy how time just flies by?

4 years ago and I just had this silly idea of self-publishing a zombie e-book amongst a sea of zombie e-books.

Silly, silly Joshua.

Anyways, as I often do, I got somewhat reflective and nostalgic about the past 4 years. My cousin played a small part in it as well, as he is in the process of writing his first novel and asked me a few questions the other day.

Which led to the above video.

I recorded this the day before the book signing, so my apologies for not telling you sooner.

But you can still listen in on the five (now six) things I wish I knew before I published my first novel. These are completely subjective and were really the first things that came to mind when I asked myself the question of what would I have done differently.

1. I wish I would have taken it a little slower at the beginning.

I remember finishing the first draft and the sense of relief and accomplishment I felt. I also remember feeling the impending doom of “Okay, now what?” I knew there was editing, formatting for Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook, and promoting to be done, but how? When? But mostly, how? I had no idea what I was doing and just kind of kept putting one foot out in front of the other, hoping that there would be ground underneath, sighing a breath of relief whenever there was.

So, the whole publishing process went fast, maybe too fast. Looking back on it now, I wish I had slowed down and stopped to think about where I was heading with this whole author/publisher thing, but looking back on it now, I’m just reminded of a clip from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Night:

 

2. I would have launched the books differently. (read: better)

When I first released A New Death, I launched it just as an e-book. That was the extent of what I planned on doing, as I had no idea that printing options were available. Again, see above gif. So I launched A New Death in the Amazon Kindle ecosystem and into the cold, shallow waters of the Nook. I spent more time with the Kindle, as it was A.) more user friendly and B.) the more popular of the two.

Knowing what I know now, I would have liked to publish both the e-book and the paperback at the same time, so if you’re still waiting for A New Daybreak, know that you’re going to have to wait for me to finish both now. (Sorry.)

 

3. I would have liked to finish the trilogy before I published them.

Okay, so this one is debatable. And it comes solely from the perspective of me trying to sell and market my books. (Spoilers: I like getting paid for my work.) But my thinking behind this point is this:

People are more apt to dive into a series that they know they can finish and not wait on the author to finish writing them. (Looking at you George R. R. Martin…)

Again, I’m still personally up in the air about this one, but hey, there it is.

 

4. I wouldn’t have wasted time on e-readers other than the Amazon Kindle.

Remember when I mentioned the Barnes & Noble Nook earlier?

I think I can count on both my hands how many copies I sold on that thing. (That’s less than ten for all my fellow public school kids.)

And the Kobo? Aww jeez, Rick.

Amazon is the Pickle Rick of the e-reader world.

 

5. I would have spent more time on the print books.

When I first started, print wasn’t even on the radar. I thought that was only something you could get from an actual publisher or one of those vanity publishers, which I knew to stay well clear of.

But there was Amazon, goading me onwards, deeper into the jungles of the self-publishing world.

“Hey, you’ve done e-books with us. Have you met our friend CreateSpace?”

“Why, no Amazon, I haven’t. Nice to meet you, CreateSpace.”

It was something like that, I think. It gets kinda fuzzy after a few years.

Anyways, the paperback versions of my books have been great for making small waves here in Savannah. I’ve been able to do book signings and get my books into some cool local shops, something I would never be able to do with an e-book. This all goes back to me slowing down in the beginning and actually doing some research into self-publishing outside of e-books.

 

6. I would have treated this more like a job.

There was a shift somewhere, where this stopped being “just some cool thing I could do” and turned into “Man, I would really like to do this for the rest of my life.” I’m not 100% sure when that happened; I think maybe in between CJ’s Story and A New Darkness, or maybe it was there somewhere all along.

I knew eventually though, that I should have been treating it more professionally and more like a job, but still, for some reason I just wasn’t all in. I don’t know.

But I do know now, that I’m stuck in between the rock and hard place of: having a good, well-paying, providing job that sucks the life out of me everyday, but I do it because I love my family and want to take care of them OR this author job, which grants me fulfillment and I enjoying doing, but the financial side of it is, um, questionable.

Knowing now, what I wish I had known then was, if I had slowed down, and thought about this a little bit more than just publishing some e-book, if I had thought about it as a potential career, and then treated it like one, where could I have been now?

But like they say, hindsight is always 20/20.

Can’t say that I would change anything though. It’s been a long ride, and I could have made it a little easier on myself, but to think about all I’ve learned, I think the journey was worth it.

So if you’re just starting out, take my advice, or don’t. You’ll get there eventually and I’ll be there waiting to tell you what I’ve learned in the meantime.

 

Josh Vasquez

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Hey, I finally got around to finishing all three parts of A New Death: CJ’s Story audiobook! Here’s all three parts! Enjoy!

Josh

Well, I should be.

But I’m actually blogging about editing.

So, like… whatever.

Anyways, I’m making the first pass of edits through Lexx’s Story. Right now it’s all copy-editing and some sentence rearranging. When I edit, I like to knock out the simple stuff first (spelling, grammar, punctuation) and then move on to things like context and content. The first draft is normally for my eyes only, the second only gets seen by beta readers, and the third, well the third is the final, so everybody sees that.

And I mean everybody. (If you haven’t, then you ain’t everybody, and trust me. You want to be everybody.)

That being said, I’d like to open the door for some new beta readers. If you would be interested in receiving an ARC (advanced reader copy), there’s a couple things you gotta do:

1. You have to at least read the rest of the Savannah Zombie Novel series. Lexx’s Story will not make as much sense if you have not read the others.

2. It would be really helpful if you have REVIEWED at least ONE of my other works.

3. Lastly, I would appreciate you posting a review of Lexx’s Story when it releases. Those first reviews are critical for my books to gain any kind of traction and they help other readers know what to expect.

If you are interested in becoming a beta reader, email me at beencalled(at)gmail(dot)com

I will send you an advanced copy of Lexx’s Story and will also open the door for future works. (Book 3 anyone?)

Ok.

Back to work.

Josh

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And here we are.

Twenty days into January.

I should mention that I’ve never been good at resolutions.

My bad.

But that being said, I hope I can make it up to you! With these three things!

Behind door number 1: Are you on Goodreads? Cause I am. Do you like free books? Cause right now, on Goodreads, I’m giving away A New Death. (Yes, you heard right!) You can enter into a giveaway and win one of TEN signed copies of the first installment in the Savannah Zombie Novel series! So, you should click here and go enter to so can win! (Heck yes, you should!)

Behind door number 2: I’m a little late on saying this (unless you follow @savzombienovel on twitter) but I’m running a Kindle Countdown Deal in the UK on both books. Well, tomorrow is the last day, so if you live across the pond (Do you guys even like that phrase?) go snatch up some cheap zombie ebook goodness while you can here!

And finally…

Door number 3: Remember CJ’s Story, the short story that takes place between A New Death and A New Darkness? Ever wonder what my voice sounds like? You are in luck! I’m in the process of teaching myself how to make audiobooks and I’m starting with CJ’s Story! And just like the ebook version, I’m making it free to listen to! It’ll be available on Youtube. (You’ve heard of that, right?)

Here’s the thing though: I’m still kinda working out the bugs in the whole audio department. The first episode is up, but I would love some feedback on how it sounds. You can check it out here and leave a comment on what you thought. Thanks so much.

Okay, that’s everything, I think…

Hmm…

Yeah, that’s it. I hope this makes up for not blogging and know that if I’m not posting stuff here, I am working! If you want more up to date info, then it might behoove you (heh, heh, behoove…) to follow the above twitter account. I tend to be there more than here.

Josh

Hey everybody, just wanted to give a quick update and let you know what I’m up to.

First, A New Darkness releases on Kindle this Saturday! You can still pre-order it and save 33% on this weekend’s price and 66% on list price. If you haven’t yet, go and get it here.

Maybe you’re like, “I still haven’t read A New Death yet.” Well, good for you, A New Death is on sale until Saturday! Get it for $1.99 here!

Or maybe you like paper. (Who doesn’t? Books smell amazing.) Well, good news for you, I’ve made some updates to the paperback version of A New Death and started work on the A New Darkness paperback this week. So both of those will be live in the next couple of weeks.

And lastly, I don’t normally do too much promotion leading up to book launch (one of my weak points) but this time around, I’m trying something new.

It’s called Thunderclap. Thunderclap works like this: You go and hook up your social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr) to my Thunderclap promotion. Then on Saturday at noon, Thunderclap will blast out a message featuring my book and link through all of our social media accounts. Pretty cool, right? The only catch is I have to get full support or else the message won’t go out.

As of right now, I’m at 14 out of 100 supporters. With only 14 people signed on, it already has a reach of 4313 people. Can you imagine if we get all 100?

I’ve done this before and have never received any junk mail from it, or any emails afterwards. It’s an extremely easy way to help support me. All you have to do is give up one tweet or status update on Saturday.

100 people is an easily reached number. We can do this. Sign up here.

Thank you so much for the support and I look forward to hearing what you have to say about A New Darkness!

Josh

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Zombie What Ifs III

Posted: January 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

Check out these zombie what ifs from zombie author Jack Flacco!

Jack Flacco

Lock your doors. Board your windows. Run and hide. This week’s Monday Mayhem series post brings you another Zombie What Ifs segment designed to challenge all you would-be undead slayers. If you haven’t worked through the first or second parts, no worries, you can have fun any ol’ way you want. Remember one thing—there isn’t any right answer to these. The point is to have fun, enjoy the moment and allow your creativity to run free.

How it works: I present a scenario filled with zombies, and your job is to figure out a way to escape. Of course I’ll give you my answer telling you what I’d do, but it doesn’t mean that’s what you would do. That’s up for you to decide.

Are you ready? All right then. Let’s go!

Scenario #1: Trapped in a locked car, windows rolled to the top and the keys having…

View original post 700 more words

So Long Nook…

Posted: January 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

January will be the last month that A New Death will be available on Barnes & Noble’s Nook platform.

As a self-published author, I have limited time and resources. As of right now, I have decided to focus on just the Amazon market. Sales on the Nook are near non-existent, while A New Death continues to flourish on the Kindle.

If you have already bought A New Death for your Nook, don’t worry, it will stay on your device. It will just no longer be for sale in the Barnes & Noble Nook Marketplace. If you still wish to read A New Death on the Nook, I’ll keep it up until the end of the month.

I know that not everyone owns a Kindle. Don’t forget you can download the Kindle app for your iPad, iPhone and Android devices! I am also in the process of working on an alternative reading method of A New Death. I’ll keep you posted.

Thank you everyone for your continued support.

Josh

#88 in where?!

Posted: December 29, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

#88 in where?!

Not sure exactly how I got into the “Science Fiction TV, Movie & Game Tie-In” category on Amazon, but hey, I’ll sit in between Star Wars and Halo anyday!

Make sure you buy A New Death now only $0.99 and help it climb to the top!

End of the Year Sale!!!

Posted: December 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

You can now buy A New Death for both Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook for only $0.99!!!

Now’s a great time to check out the world of A New Death. Get it while it lasts!