Posts Tagged ‘self-published’

 

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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Here’s some food for thought for my fellow writers, artists, and creators:

Everyone wants to be an Avenger. To be Iron Man or Captain America, or heck, even just Hawkeye for one day would be the dream for many of us. To us, our Avengers are authors like Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, or filmmakers like Spielberg, Lucas, or Christopher Nolan. Or maybe artists like Warhol, Rembrandt, or even Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. The ones who people think of when the words “author, director, artist” come to mind. We all want to be big shots in our creative fields, not because we crave fame, (although some of us do, I’m looking at you Tony Stark) but because we want to make a difference with our art.

Here’s the thing: you can make a difference.

But be a Defender, not an Avenger.

Yeah, the Avengers get all the limelight, the tent-pole movie blockbusters, and all the sweet Hasbro action figures to go with it. But the Defenders, the Defenders are fighting crime on the street-level. They’re in the trenches, getting the work done that the Avengers don’t have time to deal with, which isn’t a knock on the Avengers. They obviously have bigger issues on hand, such as fighting off alien invasions led by an Asgardian god of mischief or stopping the destruction of the world at the hands of an unruly artificial intelligence program.

Some of us may never see the big time. But what we can do is make a difference in our cities. In our own creative circles. We may never have a big blockbuster or New York Times best seller on our hands, but we’re there in the trenches, getting the work done. We’re hitting those word counts and working a full-time job. We’re uploading quality content to YouTube and interacting with our audience, all while we’re raising two year olds and wiping noses. We’re on the Twitters, doing the tweets, and tweeting the things.

It may not seem like much, but it’s what we got.

And what we got, is sometimes all the world needs.

So get out there and make a difference in your circles, in your city, or even in your neighborhood. Because you never know, sometimes even a friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man can become an Avenger.

Josh Vasquez

 

Hey.

Yep, that’s me.

Watch the above video if you want to know things like:

  1. When is book 3 in the Savannah Zombie Novel series coming out?
  2. What has Josh Vasquez been up to?
  3. And what does he have planned for the Savannah Zombie Novel universe?

All these things and more, in video format, so you don’t have to read!

Which is kind of weird when you think about, because you’re most likely here because you like to read…

Hmm… I guess I didn’t think this all the way through…

 

Anyways, enjoy the video and don’t forget to leave a comment letting me know what you think, either here or on YouTube!

 

Josh Vasquez

DoSavannah article

 

That’s me in our local paper’s DoSavannah section, which features local music and happenings each week.

No big deal.

Haha, jk. It’s weird though, because this is the first time I’ve really put my work out there locally. My books have been in several local bookstores, but unless someone just walked in there, they would have no idea my books exist.

Sad, I know.

But now, “real” people know about my books, not just “internet” people. (No offense.)

Anyways, this was a really cool start to the new year and as I get back on track with A New Daybreak, this really gives me motivation to press forward. I just shared the Prologue with my email list (which you should join by the way and get a free ebook) and will continue to share sneak peeks with them until release day.

You can read the article here and you should probably share it on social media, because it’s 2016 people and that means it’s the future.

The future people.

Alright, now back to writing.

 

Josh

tybeeislandbookfestsub

 

Ok, so I didn’t just submit my book to the Tybee Island Book Festival.

But I did do so in the last week.

Pretty excited about a local book festival that includes both traditionally published and self-published authors. We have the Savannah Book Festival here every year, but as of right now, they only except traditionally published authors.

Which is kinda funny to me, because two years ago, they had Hugh Howey, who is one of the more well-known self-publishers. In fact, his self-publishing career is what led to him getting a traditional type publisher, but I digress.

I don’t have too many details on how I’ll be envolved with the festival, but I will keep everyone posted.

Josh

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The next installment in the Savannah Zombie Novel is here!

Click on the cover to buy!

This next month I will be rushing to finish book two of the A New Death series. I have a lot of work ahead of me this next month, seeing that I’m two-thirds of the way through my first draft.

Don’t worry, I know you’re concerned. You’re probably like, “Joshua, what the heck have you been doing? I’ve been waiting forever for this book!”

I know, I know. I’m a slacker.

But here’s the good news:

I work my best under pressure.

Always have. (Well, except for one area, but don’t worry, that has nothing to do with my writing.)

In school, I always waited to the last minute to start reports or any other kind of projects. And for the most part, I always came through. This might turn some of you off, but I was that kid that just naturally retained information. (Except for math, that junk is hard.) I rarely studied for tests, I just remembered what I was taught.

Prodigy?

Probably not. You see, we all know that, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” uncleben

 

Well, because I retained facts so easily, I didn’t apply myself that much. In fact, I spent a lot of my spare time writing stories that no one will ever read. (We see where that got me.)

So, okay, what does this have to do with Book 2?

I’m going to bust this story out this next month. I know exactly where I’m going with it. I know where it ends. ***SPOILERS*** I’ve already hit the climax and it’s all downhill from here. (Okay, that wasn’t really spoilers, but people are weird about that kind of stuff.)

One last story before we go and I get back to my dayjob. (I’m on lunch break as I’m writing this.)

My senior year in high school: The year was 2006. A year of dreams. A year of aspirations. In my 12th grade Lit class, part of our final grade was a book report. I had a buddy, who shall remain anonymous, who, let’s say, didn’t care for reading. (I know, who doesn’t like reading?) Anyways, he decided to hire me as a ghostwriter. (That’s what I’m calling it.) The deal was, he would pay me $90 and I would do his report. Simple. Plus, the book was 1984. (No! Don’t throw me into that briar patch!) I spent the majority of the time working on and writing his report. This was the first time I was being paid for writing, so I wanted to do the best I could. (Although I did knock off $10 for a sandwich, but I digress.)sandvich

This left me with little time to work on my own crucial report.

I decided to do it on a book I had already read, so I choose Animal Farm. I knocked out my report quickly and didn’t really put that much into it. Well, when we received our papers back, I ended up scoring several points higher than his. Long story short, I work well under pressure..

Speaking of working under pressure, I have set Book 2 up for pre-order on Amazon. I have to have it finished by October 1st and it will go live on October 10th! The cover is temporary, but the name has been revealed! Pre-order A New Darkness now on Amazon!book2promo2.jpg

Okay, enough blabbering, I have a book to finish!

Josh

In my final semester of high school, when I should have been more focused on graduating, I was planning on making a low-budget zombie movie with my friend. We considered ourselves zombie film buffs and very knowledgeable to all things undead. We had studied the greats: Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and 28 Days Later. We’d even gorged ourselves on lesser quality flicks, my personal favorite being the redneck-infused Hide and Creep. It was this last movie which made us go, “Hey, we can make a movie this good.”

hide-and-creep-dvd

(Here’s the DVD cover. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.)

And so, we set out to make movie history.

But, we didn’t.

We didn’t even get close.

I have several loose pieces of notebook paper scribbled with our conversations, a progress report with a failing grade on one side and marketing notes written on the other, two different story outlines, several pages of script, and one short story. All of these documents prove that we had dreams.

Dreams that were crushed by the little thing we like to call:

Life.

I’m being dramatic. (I am a writer after all.) We could never really work up the funds to buy any kind of equipment, we graduated, I went to seminary (another story in itself), and well, time got the best of us.

So, our little zombie movie went into a three ring binder and dissolved into the past.

Flash forward five years: It’s Christmas and all I want is an iPad. (I already had my two front teeth.) I knew it was a long shot. I’m not sure if you know this or not, but those things are freaking expensive!

I open my gift from my wife: A Kindle.

I wasn’t let down, because like I said, the iPad was a long shot. I love reading, so while I couldn’t do all the fun stuff an iPad could do, I could at least read a lot of books. That’s a win. This was nowhere near the disappointment I felt the year we received a Nintendo Wii. (To a hardcore gamer like me, this was the human equivalent of the cone of shame.)

I take to my Kindle like a librarian takes to the Dewey Decimal System. (That means I liked it.) One of the things I fall in love with is that there are tons of free books.

Did you hear what I just said?

Free books.

Free books are like crack for bibliophiles. So I began downloading tons of free stuff. In the beginning, most of it was classic theological studies, but after some time, my love of the living dead brought me to free zombie books. But I didn’t read much of them because I came across something much more profound than free zombie books. (Yes, you heard me right.)

You could publish your own books to Kindle.

I had written stories all my life. (I wasn’t so good at finishing them, but whatever.) Of course I had dreamed of writing a book one day and having it published, but I just never thought it would be possible. What did I know about getting a book published? Yeah, I could string together a decent story, but was my prose up to par to be printed on paper? (See all those p’s? That’s alliteration. Boo yah.)

I made the mistake of downloading the publishing guide for Kindle Direct Publishing. Big mistake. It was a mistake because I realized how easy it was to publish an ebook to Amazon. (I say “easy,” but anyone who has done it knows it can be a lot of work. “Do-able” is a better word.)

So, now that I knew it could be done, what would I write? The Doom fan-fiction I wrote in high school was never finished and I knew I’d run into copyright issues. Other than that, what stories did I have to tell?

Well, in the same notebook of my Doom rough draft, I had the outline for a low-budget zombie movie that never got made…

Tune in next week for the rest of the story!

So, for those of you that follow me, you may have noticed that I kind of suck at this whole blogging thing.

Yeah, I’m not gonna lie; it’s not my bag of tea.

It’s not that I don’t like writing. (I love writing. That’s why I write books.) I just have a super busy schedule. You see, I have what we, “in the biz,” like to call “a day job.” You know, the job that actually pays the bills? (Well, sorta, but I’ll save that for another blog post.)

Anyways, what I do for a living is this: I make deliveries for a Plumbing and Mechanical Company here in Savannah, Ga. A lot of times what I ship is air duct, different types of pipe and fittings, and massive commercial air units. Very glamorous stuff here. (Not complaining. It’s a great job.)

But my company has jobs all over the Southeast. From Columbus, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina, I drive all over the place. That being said, I work some crazy hours. For example, this past week had me going to Gray, Georgia twice (3 hours from Savannah). I think I went to Charleston once. (or was that last week? It all begins to run together.) Either way, that’s a four and a half hour drive, there and back again. A lot of times I leave early in the morning (5 AM) and get back in the afternoon. And those longs drives can wear you out. (Remember going on family vacations and your dad was all grumpy after the ride there? Yeah, like that.)

I’m not trying to whine about it. I’m just letting you (hopefully my readers) into my world for a minute. When it comes down to it, my time for blogging isn’t just there. And here’s why:

I’d rather be writing more books for you to read.

There I said it. It’s out in the open. Now we all know. (That takes a load off.)

So, to wrap all this up (if that’s even possible), if you don’t see updates on anewdeath.com, it’s most likely cause I’m working on something else great for you. For example, here’s the link to my new short story set in the world of A New Death.

CJsStoryCover_Smash.jpg

That will take you to the Amazon page. (As of this writing, the price is set to $0.99, but once Amazon sees I have it free on Barnes and Noble, they’ll drop the price. Cause that’s how they roll.) I also have it up on Smashwords. (If you’re into that kind of thing.) You can get it free here.

Also, I started working on Book II in the New Death Saga this past week.

I’m really excited about some of the stuff I’m working on (so excited that even on the days I get up early, I’m up late working on “book stuff”). Can’t wait to share it all with you. I wish there was some kind of avenue for posting all the things I want to share with you… Oh, wait…

Josh

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Hey everybody! I just wanted to take some time and inform all the fans out there what’s coming up for the A New Death series.

First off, a few updates to the cover have been made, mostly just to make it slightly easier to read.

Next, I just finished the first draft of the mini-story that takes place during the events of A New Death. It’ll introduce new characters and set up background for an existing one. I’m really excited about this one. It won’t be a full-length novel, more of a short story. I don’t have a date for its release quite yet, but expect it this Spring!

Next on our list is a reminder that Friday January 31st will be the last day you can buy A New Death on the Barnes & Noble Nook. As long as you purchase it before then, you should be able to keep it on your device and read it. From now on, all digital copies of A New Death and its sequels will be exclusive to Amazon Kindle.

Now, I know not everyone owns a Kindle or a device with the Kindle app, but if you noticed in the last paragraph, I said, “all digital copies” will be exclusive to Amazon Kindle. What this means is that I am currently working on making a paperback version of A New Death! Yes, there will be a physical copy of A New Death. Right now, I am in the middle of formatting it for the paper version. I hope to have it out within the next couple of months, so Nook owners and non-eBook people, bear with me as I get things rolling!

And lastly, there is a full-fledged sequel to A New Death in the works as well. As of right now, I have an outline and a good idea of where I want to go with the story and character development. My goal is to finish up these other projects before I pour all my focus into A New Death II. But I can tell you one thing: I am so excited about what comes next! No spoilers though!

Anyways, that’s it for now and I cannot tell you how much your support as fans means to me! Being self-published means that I pretty much do everything by myself. I have a great team of people who help me with feedback, editing and cover design, but sometimes it feels like me against the world. Reviews are a great way of encouraging me so make sure to leave a review once you finish reading! It also helps everyone else know that the book is good!

Josh