Archive for the ‘The Art of Publishing’ Category

It’s been forever since I posted but…no excuses, just haven’t had much to say (but I managed to stay busy). Anyways, within the next two weeks my newest work of fiction, CONSIDER THE NIGHT, will be made available to the public in both hard copy and via e-book. Wanna have a sneak peek? No? Well so what, you’re stuck with one. Here’s a copy of the cover art, a synopsis and the opening paragraphs. The full first chapter is also available on this left side of this blog. So…thanks for taking a look!

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Synopsis:

He fought in a war. He loved a woman. He fathered a son. Then he sought the happiness he believed was a birthright. But the horrors of Vietnam and a life of discontent leave a scar that transforms him into a loner in an unforgiving land. When a natural evil, a return from the past, and an unexpected arrival clash in the Wisconsin northwoods, a new path is set before him. It is then he is given one last chance for absolution. CONSIDER THE NIGHT is an unforgettable story of family, friendship and the redemptive power of forgiveness.

Chapter One

Once a month he meticulously cleaned the barrel of the rifle until his image reflected on the metal. His face was distorted and almost unworldly, but it was then he knew the job was done correctly. Cradling the implement, he ran his left hand down the barrel until his tarnished wedding band hit the wooden stock. Then with his right hand he picked up a single bullet, opened the bolt, and locked it in the chamber. After a long pause, he pivoted the gun and looked down the gullet of the barrel. The smell of gunpowder formed an irresistible attraction and he closed his eyes to take in the scent. His cheeks tightened as unforgiving memories arose. Then he put the end of the barrel in his mouth and tasted the cold metal with his tongue and the roof of his mouth. The acrid, smoky taste overwhelmed him and he dizzied as it soaked into his taste buds. His index finger trembled on the trigger and he remembered a story about some sorry asshole that blew the back of his brains out but ended up a vegetable instead of dead. He wouldn’t make the same mistake. His breathing echoed in the hollow of the gun and he was forced to make a choice. Squeezing his eyes tighter, the final decision rose from a dark place he had visited before. He agonized until his twitching finger drifted from the trigger. When he set the gun in his lap, it was all he could do to breathe.

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What’s the answer in the title? Obviously, if you are old enough you’ll recognize it as an old song from Billy Preston (the man with the best afro ever) is “nuthin”. I was reminded of this when my publisher recommended that all of their authors should allocate 30% of their writing time toward marketing their book. Let’s see, after deducting the daily hours spent on work, chores, household clean-up, commuting, exercising, TV (yes, but only intellectual shows like “Sons of Anarchy”), coaching basketball, family time, walking the dog, sleeping etc. etc., I still have a boatload of time left. So now when I finally get on my laptop to do the fun stuff for an hour or two (writing, duh!), I have to waste it on getting the word out? 

In short, yes. 

It appears that any author not named Stephen King or J.K. Rowling is in the same boat. There is a perception that once you get a book published the gravy train will soon arrive at your door with a wad of greenbacks is unfortunately not a reality (I know, I checked twice today). The vast majority of writers struggle to make a living and the ones that are fortunate to be published have to do an extraordinary amount of dirty work, i.e. self-promotion – an icky thing that makes writers feel fairly similar to a horse’s posterior. 

So there it is. And just to let my publisher know, I spent thirty minutes on this blatant attempt at self-promotion. Since that’s the only time I have left, I’m fully at 100% of my available writing time for the day. 

Thanks for nuthin’, Billy.

Or so says Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry back in the day. What’s an old movie quote got to do with anything? Well, I’m finding the marketing of TOUCHED has demonstrated front and center that I have limitations within the world of marketing a new book. With the digital age swallowing all of us, it has also made for increasing complexity in the world of publishing. Due to New Libri Press being a small publisher, stress is placed upon the author him or herself to “get the word out”. My first inclination was to do a mass mailing to every household north of the Mason-Dixon line, but decided against it when my boys got hungry again and I drained the checking account for a gallon of milk and a box of Ritz crackers (on sale!).

Instead I went to Plan B which consisted of cheaper alternatives including business cards, internet posts and notifications to local newspapers to create some visibility. In the future, book fairs and signings are on the agenda when the “paper” version is available. Purchased advertising is also on the horizon. But just as important as any of those is good ‘ol word of mouth. This may range from, “Hey, did you know that dillweed Maurer put out a book? Hell, the guy can barely figure out the velcro on his tennis shoes!” to “Paul has a body like Adonis, a mind like Einstein, and a way with words that makes J.K. Rowling shudder. I am so in on his new book!” (I’m betting the truth may lie somewhere in between). What’s the point? The bottom line is I have no problem if you talk up TOUCHED be it good, bad or ugly.

After all, like the man says I got myself some major major limitations. If you don’t believe me, just ask my wife and kids.

http://www.PaulMaurerBooks.com

Okay, I get it. I accept that my lack of knowledge will catch up with me someday. In fact, it was only recently I thought a “gigabyte” was another name for a horny French guy with bad teeth. So what does it matter I have deficiencies in understanding the difference between technology and French men? (Bear with me, my one reader. I have a point) As you know, New Libri Press just released my novel, TOUCHED, as an e-book. Since then I have gotten e-mails from interested parties who do not have a Nook or Kindle and cannot order the e-book for immediate reading. Two weeks ago I was in the same boat and had only a standard laptop for my daily two-fingered plunking. But you know what? My editor instructed me to download a FREE Nook for PC’s in order to view the finished book. It turns out it’s as easy as punkin’ pie if you go to http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/nook-for-pc/379003591/ and hit the download icon. So I did and minutes later I ordered my first e-book ever (guess what – it wasn’t TWILIGHT – THE FINAL BLOODY MOONBEAM). Anyways, if you can’t wait for a paper version of TOUCHED, take a moment and do the next best thing – click a few buttons, spend $7.99, and help a starving artist.

Oh, and about those Frenchmen. Wikipedia says a “gigolo” is usually a dude who hooks up with other dudes for money.

Yuch. Turns out I’d rather be a gigabyte any day.

http://www.PaulMaurerBooks.com

I’ve Been a Bad Boy

Posted: December 7, 2012 in The Art of Publishing

Okay, I admit it’s been forever. I haven’t posted and I have no excuse aside from being busy with life. So where am I at with the publication of TOUCHED? Glad you asked (okay, you didn’t, but I’m still gonna tell you). Well, the editing is nearly complete and it turns out the manuscript was not perfect after all (hard to believe!). Stasa from New Libri gave me tremendous insight and certain flaws in the storyline were pointed out that improved after a series of subtle re-writes. I also helped proof the E-book version as that particular format was prone to its own set of errors. But…we are getting closer! Last but not least we are in the stages of finalizing the cover art. I expect the E-book version to be released in the first quarter of 2013 and the hard copy sometime shortly thereafter. So hold your breath (or at least suppress a yawn), TOUCHED is still a comin’!