Monday, August 27, 2012

Book Blog Check: Mega Book Blog Database For Indies

Here's another great source for authors looking for indie-friendly bloggers. The Indie Book Blog Database (IBBD) is HUGE! I mean HUGE! I started using this site to find book bloggers for reviews and interviews around the end of July. On average, I email about two bloggers per week requesting a review, and I'm now just getting to page 3 for the sci-fi database. "Ahem," that's page 3 out of 8, by the way, and each page consists of ten blogs. Yeah, it's like that.

IBBD is obviously well-established, having people that have been in their database for around 2 years. The genres that cater to your writing/reading are easily accessible at the top of the site. Sci-fi, Fantasy, Romance, Thrillers, Horror, it's all there, just waiting on you! You'll probably be using this database for weeks if not months to come. Oh, and if that's not enough, the site is a review blog in its own right, and also offers formatting and other services for various book types. Kindle, Smashwords, book covers fro Lulu can all be handled here if you're in need of such services. Hey, if you even need a blog designed, these people got you covered!

The only setback that some of us might come across is in regards to review requests, believe it or not. Since IBBD is so popular, a lot of the bloggers on the site have already been found out by plenty of other authors. Because of this, a lot of them may not be able to accept any more work at the time since they already have plenty of books to analyze. Still, what's the harm in asking? After all, a lot of these blogs have members in the 4-digit range, so there's a lot of potential exposure if you get lucky.

So, happy shopping, and remember to follow the 5 Basic Rules To Proper Blogger Shopping I posted a while back. Good luck, everyone! ^_^

The Indie Book Blog Database

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A True Champion Among Men

The world is mourning the loss of the man that took mankind to boundaries never known. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died today at the age of 82 due to cardiovascular complications, according to his family. In 1969, Armstrong was a 38 year-old astronaut for NASA when he made the famous "Leap for mankind" declaration during the Apollo 11 mission. However, in spite of making one of the largest contributions to our species, the he tried to live most of his life out of the spot light.

While Armstrong could have lived like Scrooge Mcduck, swimming in his glory for all his days (and who would blame him?), he decided to teach engineering at the University of Cincinnati for nearly a decade after retiring from NASA. Armstrong lived a life of humility, through and through, even noting that landing on the moon was just a part of the job. While there are many lessons to be learned by such a man, the family asked that we could honor Armstrong by trying to practice his modesty and giving a wink at the moon the next time we see it. Here's to you, Neil Armstrong, for thinking big on a galactic level, but always keeping that mellow spirit that kept you down to Earth with the rest of us simple humans. And now, whenever we look up at Luna, our moon, we can actually say, "Yeah. We've been there before." For that, you'll always be a champion among men, and will be dearly missed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Some Fellow Nerds Ask About My Love For Writing Sci-fi

A big thx to Annabell and her crew at Team Nerd Reviews for hosting my guest blog post ^_^ 

"On August 6, NASA sent a mobile lab that had to travel over 154 million miles away, landing on another world in order to learn if there was ever a remote possibility of life on it." Hmm, funny. Had I written that sentence a century ago, this probably would've been found in a science fiction novel. However, we're living in a time where such a statement is  being read in magazines, on websites, and other forms of information across the world. Looks like what visions we write for fun today may very well be what our descendants will be considering headline news in the not-so-far off future.

"Fist man lands on Mars."

"First Martian colony."

"First human-friendly exoplanet discovered."

"Mankind discovers FTL possibilities."

Sure, the further the imagination goes, the less possible it seems. Still, someone had to think of it first, right? Some kid had to read the idea in some article he/she read, or maybe in some summer reading he/she had to for school.

Nowadays, writing such books as a sci-fi writer is a heck of a challenge, for me at least! What fictional items I might have thought were groundbreaking in my books could actually be a common thing to hear in three years because our knowledge and technology are advancing so quickly. So, what can I possibly do to keep ahead? Well, for me, I try to think big, on a galactic level.

When I used to write stories as a kid, they were usually fan fics, inspired from characters already well-established. As I got a little older, around the age of middle school, I wanted to make stories that branched away from other people's creations since I figured following someone else's establishment was limiting my own creativity.

Even with that simple logic, I had no idea that I laying out the foundation that would expand my imagination in the years to come. At the age of 9, when I was making a picture book about ant colonies going off to war, I never imagined I was going to tell the journey of a young alien girl shaking the foundations of her world due to war like I did when I started writing my first published novel, Prossia, at the age of 19."
Read the other half of my post at Team Nerd Reviews

Monday, August 20, 2012

Prossia Giveaway To Celebrate Birthday Month

I figured I might as well give people a heads up on the upcoming giveaway happening. Starting September 1st, marking its 2nd Anniversary, Prossia will be giving away fifteen copies throughout the entire month. Goodreads will be hosting the giveaway, so if you're an avid reader or author, you should be able to find your way around it with ease.

Be on the lookout for more announcements next month as Prossia's Birthday Month will take off.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Prossia's About to Turn 2 Years Old

Celebrating 1 year of Prossia

September's right around the corner, and that means it'll be 2 years since Prossia 's debut!
. . . >.>

Well, technically it was published in May, but I didn't go public with it until September 1st :P. ANYWAY, next month will be a month of giveaways, prizes, updates, and announcements for the Prossia Universe. Be sure to keep a look out on the web to see what's going on. Trust me. You don't wanna miss it! ^_^

Monday, August 13, 2012

Don't Make My Mistake, Writers: Story Will Always Sell First

I've mainly been discussing items in regards to social marketing and the like in this series. Now, we're going to venture off a little, but we're still sticking to marketing ideas. However, this one is a little more direct in regards to one's actual story.

As you all know by now, I love visual art. I love creating something out of nothing, and the challenge a bringing something out of one's mind into a visual form. I get complimented on it pretty fairly, being told by many writers they wish they could bring their creations to life the way I seem to. So, I realized my passion for art could be a unique niche for me. "Prossia" could stand out beyond the rest by illustrations, book adds, and poster featuring my unique characters. When people saw my art, they'd have to follow through and buy the book to see what it's about, right? I'll just sit back and watch the crowds line on up.

. . . 

Eh, not so much.

While it's vital for all of us to  use our unique gift or talent to help our stories stand out, one thing shall always be the same regardless: it's the story and writing that sells. Did my artwork bring in some followers? Sure, but not the way I hoped. In the end, people want to know about the story, story, and story.

And that's where I made my second mistake. While I was busy waiting to see how "Prossia" would fair out, I should've been hard at work on a next book! Instead, I waited, and waited, and waited. And as I waited, my morale diminished along with the declining sales. Want more people to buy your book? Write another one to add to your library.

I'm not trying to say that our niche is going to fail us. I'm saying it's that special wonderful bonus that your readers will get while they follow our writing careers. It should not should not SHOULD NOT be the only tool we use. We're writers, people. That is our preferred tool of choice, but who's to say that's a bad thing? :) 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Goodread Indies, This Is Your Club

While I was doing my daily routine of blogger "shopping" one day, I came across this blog that really tickled my fancy. It displayed solid reviews, had events for people, and seemed very author friendly. . . like friendlier beyond the norm (which says a lot since I've come across some really great blogs). I talked to the administrator, Scott, and we chatted it up pretty well. When we discussed what I was trying to do as an author, he invited me to check out the blog's club on Goodreads. . . and my mind was blown away when I got there and met fellow moderator Jeff along with the other active members in the group!

To me, the Indie Book Club almost seems like a vital asset to have for any author trying to go out all solo. After talking to so many peers in similar circumstances to me, I couldn't believe they looked over this club! It's definitely not getting the attention it deserves considering it only has a little under 400 members! . . . wait, that is a little, right? >_> Considering there are other Goodread groups out there with 1000 plus people, I'd say so! 

The club is a gold mine. It has a monthly novel, even a never-ending story, a self promotion area, and so many articles that discuss marketing!

  • Need an editor? Check. 
  • How about an illustrator? Check
  • Need someone to review your book? Check
  • Want a place to announce a writing milestone or event? Check
  • Wanna know what people were watching in the 80's? . . . well, they got that in their off-subject area, but you get the idea!
I've learned and gained so much from being a member of this club. Clientele work, very cheap and smart, marketing ideas. Hey, I even got a pre-editor there!

Goodreads is considered one of the best social networks for authors, and if you're gonna be there, why not join a group of like-minded people sharing similar goals. The Indie Book Club is very organized and filled with friendly people just trying to help one another. Remember that article I wrote about fellow writers being comrades in arms? Well, here's a great spot to find some. ^_^

Monday, August 6, 2012

Curiosity Rover Moves Us Forward. . . And No One Was Watching

PHOTO: Curiosity rover 
NASA made history with another successful Mars landing this morning when its Curiosity Rover landed on the red planet. This is an unprecedented achievement since this is by far the largest rover to ever land. After investing $2.1 billion dollars into the project, and seven agonizing minutes of terror in which the rover entered the Martian atmosphere, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory erupted with cheers and tears of joy when the rover sent a text message that basically said "I made it," sending its first photos on Mars soon afterwards. 

Image: Mars pictures
There is a bit of a time lag in regards to transmitting info between us and Mars due to the separation in distance, so while we were giving each other high fives and hugs, the Rover had actually been on ground for seven minutes.
Curiosity will be the first 21st Century astrobiology mission since the last ones took place in the 1970's with the Viking probes.
   "Today, the wheels of Curiosity have begun to blaze the trail for human footprints on Mars," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

"It will seek to answer age-old questions about whether life ever existed on Mars," he said, "or if the planet can sustain life in the future.—"

Sounds like a crowning achievement, eh? Sadly, there were only a little over 11 million people watching it. Sure, when you hear 11 million, that sounds like a lot of people, but when you consider that the U.S. has over 400 million people on its own, the number doesn't seem that grand.

My roomie wondered why the landing wasn't on local channels or got as much buzz as he hoped, and there's a simple reason: People aren't interested in space the way we used to be. That drive that we had back in the 60's Space Race is gone, mainly in part due to the notion that there's a "been there, done that" mentality to space exploration. And I say this with the embarrassment of knowing that I would've missed the live landing had my roomie not told me the rover was about to land!

Sure, as I said before, this is what, the 3rd successful Mars landing we've made? This is extraordinary! With government funds being cut, a global economy still shaking. . .  and still being able to land what is basically a lab on a planet 154 million miles away with a 60% chance of failure is something worth celebrating.
Now, I know, the Olympics are going on as well, but aren't the Olympics about a celebration of humanity? Is this achievement, not only an American success, but a global one?

Mankind has always looked to the stars, has always strived in taking crazy risks and leaps. Let's be ambitious again, the way we were back in the 60's. . . or the way we were when we were in kindergarten! Come on, you know what I'm talking about. We wanted to be anything and everything, and I'm sure being an astronaut was on the list for a whole bunch of us. :P While this world seems to spiral downhill, there are still some instances where we can look up to the heavens. . . and smile. I mean hey, we might as well since that's our money (yes, yours too) being put into good use. ^_^
Check out more specs on the landing here at msn

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Book Blog Check: Boom Goes the Dynamite

A lot of you have probably heard me bring up Mia Darien due to the two interviews she was kind enough to offer me at her site, From Mia's Desk aka Turns out she also has a new spot on the web in which she provides reviews for books. Careful though. She's a mage in WOW, and she's all about explosions at Boom Baby Reviews! :P

Darien is a fellow self-published author who started writing when she was fourteen. The motivation behind Boom Baby Reviews came from wanting to help out her fellow indies since there are a lot of book blogs out there that seem to be anti-indie/self published. While Boom Baby Reviews still looks quite young in its early stages, don't let the lack of content fool you! "If you build it, they will come," right? Besides, since she's an author with several novels out there already, it seems like she knows what makes a good solid story. Better yet, she isn't afraid to show it in her analysis.

Now, as I've stressed before, to me, one of the key elements that makes a good book blogger is an honest one. That's why a Boom Baby Review is worth having. Granted, one might need to have some tough skin if asking for a review. I knew I was sending Prossia into tough terrain on this one (as I usually do), and it didn't come out unscathed either. :P Still, if you're confident in your deeply engaging story, why not give it a try? 

Darien seems to be in look for that spark, that substance that makes a story stand out. She'll explain why some elements work for her, and what things didn't all the while making them her honest opinion. What's even better, however, is that she'll try very hard not to make an author cry since she's in the same trenches and can relate to all of the effort one goes into making a story. And in the end, isn't that what all of us should be looking for when seeking reviews?

Hopefully, this new spot on the web will get some more attention in the future. If Darien plays her cards right, Boom Baby Reviews can definitely be a strong affiliate of her base site at From Mia's Desk. Be sure to check out the review policies to see if its a good fit for you!