Posts Tagged ‘Self-Publishing’

 

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

Non-Kindle owners rejoice!

The first book in the Savannah Zombie Novel series is now available for both Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Kobo’s line of eReaders!

A New Death is no longer Kindle-exclusive, so now more people can get in on the Savannah Zombie action!

Click on the Books link above or on the links below to go to your preferred eReaders site!

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The rest of the series will be making its way soon! And if you can’t wait until then, don’t forget you can always buy the paperback versions!

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The next installment in the Savannah Zombie Novel is here!

Click on the cover to buy!

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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Well, it’s official.

I’ll be at this year’s annual Savannah Zombie Walk!

Come hang out November 1st, get done up as a zombie, and shamble on through Savannah!

I’ll be there as a vendor, so come say hey, buy a paperback version of my books, get some autographs, or just stare at me like a piece of delicious meat.

It’s for a great cause too. To get your FREE zombie make up, all you have to do is make a canned food donation to the America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia. Check out the website below:

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Hey everyone!

So, it’s only a handful of days until I turn in the final manuscript for A New Darkness and I’m working on the finishing touches.

One of which is the cover. For the cover of A New Death, Xavier Martinez came up with the design, and I thought he did an awesome job, so I asked him to do it again.

And he came through.

Problem is, he made too many awesome covers and now I can’t decide which one I like more!

So, let’s put it to a vote!

Tell me which is your favorite and whichever cover gets more votes, that will be the cover for A New Darkness!

Here they are:

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Don’t forget to pre-order A New Darkness! You’ll save 33% from weekend launch price and a whoppin’ 66% from regular list price! Click on the banner below!

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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