Tag Archives: Con-Tamination

Jason’s Authors You Should Know – Eric Asher

Eric_R_Asher_ProfileToday’s author you should know is Eric Asher.

So…Eric Asher. The dude is amazing! His writing is so engaging and entertaining. If you don’t know him, he writes urban fantasy and steampunk (among other genres) and he writes it well! Eric hails from St. Louis but you’ll most often find him out in the wild at some type of reader/author convention around the US.

I first met Eric at a small con called ConTamination in St. Louis back in 2016. He had this massive display that made my one little book look terrible. It wasn’t the best con but I made tons of connections there, Eric one of them. We then both attended PennedCon last Steambornyear in St. Louis where he introduced me to a way to create audiobooks (which is why I know have my ya scifi series on audio. Thanks Eric!) Whenever I’ve asked him about the business side of things or writing in general, he’s been so accommodating and helpful.

Eric is super-talented and easily approachable. He’s a prolific writer and takes his craft seriously, often giving back to the writing community through panels and advice. If you’ve not tried his steampunk series Steamborn or his urban fantasy Vesik series, you need to give them a shot.

From his Amazon page:

Eric is a former bookseller, cellist, and comic seller currently living in Saint Louis, Missouri. A lifelong enthusiast of books, music, toys, and games, he discovered a love for the written word after being dragged to the library by his parents at a young age. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading, gaming, or buried beneath a small avalanche of Transformers.

To find out more about Eric, check out his website or his Amazon page.


Come back tomorrow for another author you should know!

 

Advertisements

Jason’s Authors You Need to Know – Ray Wenck

Ray2Today’s author you need to know is Ray Wenck.

Ray is a talented writer of thrillers. He’s got a whole slew of thrillers to choose from: RandomSurvivalpost-apocalyptic, zombie apocalyptic, and more. One of his latest creations is his “Pick-a-Path Apocalypse” books similar to those old “Choose your own adventure” books you remember as a kid. Ray is a prolific writer and has a thriller for just about everyone. I’ve read his book Random Survival and thoroughly enjoyed the fast paced tale.

PickAPathI first met Ray at an event in St. Louis called Contamination back in 2016. We had a fun time on our row with Ray, Vince Churchill, Eric Asher, and Amy Hale. I’ve learned a lot from Ray since then and he introduced me to my editor Jodi who does an amazing job of making my words make sense. He’s been kind enough to share a table with me at the St. Louis Wizard World Comic Con for two years and has offered to share at other cities as well though I’ve yet to be able to take advantage of the offers.

From his Amazon page:

Ray Wenck is a retired teacher and prior owner of DeSimone’s Italian restaurant. He is the author of the Danny Roth thriller series and the highly acclaimed, post-apocalyptic series, Random Survival.

The Danny Roth series includes Teammates, Teamwork, Home Team and Stealing Home and Group Therapy.

The Random Survival series includes The Long Search For Home, The Endless Hunt and Hanging On.

Also published are the humorous YA adventure, Warriors of the Court, the paranormal thriller, Ghost of a Chance. the suspense thriller, Live To Die Again and the Zombie thrillers, Tower of the Dead and Island of the Dead. His latest release is Pick-A-Path: Apocalypse, a choose your own adventure for adults.

When not writing Ray hikes, cooks and plays harmonica with whatever band will let him sit in.

To find out more about Ray, visit his website raywenck.com or his Amazon author page for a list of his books.


Come back tomorrow for another author you need to know!

Jason’s Authors You Should Know – Vince Churchill

Today’s author you should know is Vince Churchill.

Vince-Churchill-photoI met Vince at Contamination back in 2016 in St. Louis, MO. We were on the same aisle together and spent a lot of time over the weekend talking and trying to make the best out of a tough selling situation. Vince even came up with a contest for the authors in our aisle by having us compete for the “Golden Screw” award which was nothing more than a rusty screw found on the show floor. Technically he won by selling the most books but I did take the screw home with me (and subsequently lost it!)

Vince writes horror, and lots of it! He hails from Springfield, IL andButcher attends a ton of conventions throughout the Midwest. I’ve read his book The Butcher Bride and loved it! He’s got an amazing grasp of the genre and held my attention throughout. If you’re a fan of horror, you have to check him out!

From his Amazon page:

Vince Churchill has six published novels: The Dead Shall Inherit The Earth, The Blackest Heart, The Butcher Bride, Pandora, Hyde, and Goodnight, My Sweet. The Dead Shall Inherit The Earth was featured in 2009’s XBOX Magazine’s ZOMBIES! Collector’s Edition as one of The 37 Greatest Zombie Triumphs.

His short fiction has appeared in anthologies such as The Undead, The Undead Volume 2: Skin and Bones, The Horror Library – Volume One, The Beast Within, and the recent Midnight Walk. He is also a list contributor in the Book of Lists: Horror. Vince’s latest novella, Condemned, anchors the Butcher Shop Quartet II horror anthology.

If you get a chance to meet him in person, do so. He’s a great guy and a lot of fun. Buy a book from him when ya do! If you can’t find him out in the wild, grab one of his books from Amazon. You can find more about Vince on his website.


Come back tomorrow for another author you should know!

Jason’s Authors You Should Know – Amy Hale

The other day I had the thought of featuring an author a day throughout the month of June. I wrote down a list of authors I’ve met since I started writing and sharing my work and I came up with a pretty good list. I didn’t tell any of these authors I was gonna do this so I hope they’re ok with it. They all write in various genres but I figured why not share people I know and appreciate.


First up is author Amy Hale.

AmyHaleI first met Amy at a small horror convention called Con-Tamination back in 2016. It was a small horror/pop culture convention held in St. Louis at a scary hotel. All I had at the time to sell was my first book (Almost) Average Anthology. All the other authors had way more books, but I had to start somewhere, right? Anyway, Amy was one of the other authors there and we talked a little but that was about it.

 

ShadowsofJaneThen I met her again last year at the Eclipse Comic-Con in Carbondale, IL. Our tables were right next to each other so we talked a lot. Turns out, she lives pretty close to me! I met her whole family (her husband John is a great dude!) and we got along great. We also were both going to PennedCon in St. Louis a few weeks after the Eclipse Con and we hung out a lot there. She’s been a great supporter and advocate for me since, even offering to share her table with me so I could check out Cape Con in Cape Girardeau, MO.

Amy writes a lot of adventure with romance sprinkled in. She’s a prolific writer with at Havenwoodleast 10 books out. She’s also part of a shared world project called Havenwood Falls where each author writes within the same world.

Welcome to Havenwood Falls, a small town in the majestic mountains of Colorado. A town where legacies began centuries ago, bloodlines run deep, and dark secrets abound. A town where nobody is what you think, where truths pose as lies, and where myths blend with reality. A place where everyone has a story. Including the high schoolers.

Amy is super talented and an all around great person. Please go check her out, buy a book or two, and share her work with others that might be interested. You can find her at authoramyhale.com and follow her on Amazon.


Come back tomorrow for another author you should know!

Indie Author Pricing: POD Books

The last time I wrote about book pricing, I focused on my ebook strategy. Now I’d like to supplement that with the addition of paperbacks.

A little background for you.

When I first decided to self-publish (Almost) Average Anthology, it was an experiment of sorts. So many people were publishing their own work and it seemed easy. Never having tried it before, I figured I’d give it a shot. I had four novels written but didn’t think I could edit them well enough to release them. However, I did have a nice back catalog of flash fiction stories I felt I could edit myself and release them as a book. I used this opportunity to find out what I could do on my own with little to no cost.

The process went smooth enough. But then days after the release of my ebook, a friend of mine said he’d buy a copy but not an ebook since he doesn’t read books digitally. I’d had previous experience with CreateSpace from a NaNoWriMo “win” where I won up to five free paperback copies that I figured, what the heck, why not. There’s no set-up charge. The only fee is the cost of the book and shipping. I spent an entire Saturday reformatting my ebook for a paperback and by the following Thursday I held the very first proof copy of my book.

I found some errors and fixed them, ordered another proof copy, and then approved my paperback print on demand (or POD) book. I had a physical copy of my book!

File_000Now, there’s nothing greater than seeing your work in a physical form. To hold a book written by yourself with a custom cover is an awesome feeling. It also opened a ton of doors for me.

Because I had an actual book, people wanted to buy it from me so I could sign it. Family and friends showed a ton of support for me. I was also able to go to book signings and events. The first book event I attended was the St. Louis Indie Book Fair and later Con-Tamination, a sci-fi/horror/pop culture convention. I met other authors who’ve been super helpful to me and opened doors allowing me to attend other events with larger audiences.

All because I made a physical copy of my book.

Now to turn back to the pricing aspect of this, let me explain my process and conclusion.

FullSizeRenderBy creating a higher priced POD book, it makes my ebook look much more attractive. Of course I’d love to sell a ton of paperback copies, but realistically, ebooks are by far the best selling versions. When a potential reader sees my book on Amazon, they see a box telling them how much they save by ordering the ebook. I’m good with that. Having a paperback copy allows the reader to feel like they’re saving money, which they are.

I also price my POD books slightly higher online than when I’m at a con or event. The reason is simple. I want potential readers to get a bargain from me in person and I’ll sign it for them. I want to give them some enticement for ordering from me right then and there.

As of this post, the paperback price online for my two collections of short stories are $10 each and my novel is $12. At events, I drop those to $8 and $10 respectively (with the added bonus of a free t-shirt if they buy all three!)

File_000 (1)Compared to similar books, my prices are fair. I’d pay that for something like my books and as I mentioned in my last post, if I’m not willing to pay a certain price for something, I would never expect buyers to pay it. My costs have risen as I’ve added professional editing and custom art for my covers, but I’m already paying that for the ebooks, so why not add the paperback to the mix?

Paperback copies of your books are an excellent add-on to your overall strategy. They give readers buying choices and allows you to attend events, book signings, cons, and other opportunities where you can sell physical copies of your books to the reading public. With CreateSpace, you can also offer readers who buy your physical book online the opportunity to get the matching ebook for free, and who doesn’t like free?

I suggest you price them fairly with the end result of enticing readers to pick up the ebook. Of course, you may not want that in which case, disregard everything I’ve said!

What’s your strategy? Do you even offer POD books? Good luck and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

The Year of Me

2016 was an interesting year. It began with the release of my first collection of dark fiction short stories (Almost) Average Anthology.

signing
At the Book House in St.Louis – my first book signing!

For those that have actually read my book, its been well received. The positive response has been humbling. I’ve met many new readers/fans and some that I’ve stayed pretty close with. My decision to create a paperback copy of what was at the time just “an experiment” in self-publishing made all the difference (thanks Dan!) I was able to do book signings and attend book fairs and conferences.

My first book signing at The Book House in St. Louis will always stick with me (thanks so much Ken!) Then my first book fair with the St.Louis Indie Book Fair was a great experience. I met the organizer Mark Pannebecker and fellow author John W. Smith. Mark also organized the book fair side to Con-Tamination which I attended and met authors Ray Wenck and Vince Churchill.

Meeting these authors has opened even more doors for me. In April I’ll be at Wizard World in St.Louis because of Ray and in September I’ll be at PennedCon in St.Louis because of John. These authors have been invaluable to me and I look forward to growing as a writer with them.

readingvacation
Reading my story “Vacation” at the St.Louis Indie Book Fair.

In 2016 I also started the year as a writer for Sum’n Unique Magazine. The founder and head guy in charge F. Kenneth Taylor has a vision for his magazine that I completely understand and support. Through him I was able to have my first book signing, first interviews, and more. From my time with S.U.M. I also met fellow writers Lakesha Mathis and Kevin Daniel. All this amazing talent! I wish I could’ve stayed with them but I needed to focus more on my fiction writing and had to step down about mid-year. If you’ve not heard of S.U.M. or their writers, I encourage you to check them out.

In the Spring of 2016 I was also surprised to have one of my stories from (Almost) Average Anthology published on the No Extra Words Podcast. Hearing my words spoken by someone else was an amazing experience.

Of course every year has it’s downside too. For me it came around June when I thought all was going well. In a sense it was going well (and still is) but I hit a bump in my writing. Everyone has critics. Everyone has more to learn in their craft. I was so caught up in thinking I knew what I was doing that when I encountered my first real criticism, it snuffed out my flame of creativity. The critiques I heard were valid and right. They were meant to help me create true works of fiction. I’ll forever be grateful for the lesson, but at the time it made me rethink a lot of what I was doing. In the end it was by far the best thing that could’ve happened to me.

Then in October I released my second collection of dark fiction short stories Moments of Darkness. This collection can be seen as (Almost) Average Anthology vol. 2. So far it’s not taken off as well as the first one but I’m hopeful it will soon. If not, that’s ok too. As I continue to write and new readers discover my work, they’ll have a back catalogue to peruse.

I started 2016 as an unpublished writer and I leave the year as the author of two collections of short stories. I’ll take that! I took my dream and made it happen. I’ve created new connections over the year that have helped me along the way. Not a bad year if I do say so myself! Thanks for sticking with me through all of this. Here’s to an even greater 2017!

Con-Tamination

Last weekend I had the opportunity to sell my books at Con-Tamination in St. Louis. Con-Tamination is a horror/scifi/pop culture convention that had been on hiatus for a few years and returned in 2016.

IMG_2837
Greeters at Con-Tamination 2016

I’ve never been to this con before and came across it a few months ago and figured my book of short stories fit right in so I signed up to be part of the writers organized by the St. Louis Indie Book Fair.

I enjoyed my time at the con. I got to meet several new readers as they purchased my book. I met some friendly and supportive writers in Vince Churchill, Ray Wenck, Eric Asher, Dane Kroll, and Mark Pannebecker to name a few.

Vince, Ray, Eric and I were on the same row and created a fun rivalry to see who could sell the most books. Dane joined us on the last day and fought hard for the “Golden Screw” which was nothing more than a rusty screw we found on the floor but symbolized the achievement (We can thank Vince for this!)

The con was a mix of writers, artists, vendors, and celebrities. I met an artist named Travis Molitor from the St. Louis area that did some amazing work. The celebrities ranged from former pro-wrestlers such as “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Bishop Stevens to Dirk Benedict from “Battlestar Galactica” and “The A-Team” to a former porn star named Seka. There were many other celebrities in attendance as well. It was an eclectic mix for sure.

IMG_2841
My first ever writing panel

I participated in my first panel as Mark Pannebecker and I discussed literary fiction to a crowd of about a dozen people. We answered questions from the attendees and had a great discussion about writing in general.

I didn’t have too many expectations going into this con other than trying to get new readers interested in my work and I succeeded on that part. Speaking with other vendors they felt attendance was a little light but considering there were at least two other cons going on that same weekend I can see why.

IMG_2844
Even Negan likes my book

I felt the con was a success. I didn’t make a ton of money but the connections I made were much more valuable. I plan on attending next year if they host it again. Maybe I’ll get to reclaim the “Golden Screw” from my fellow writers! If you didn’t make it out to Con-Tamination this year, consider attending next year. Should be a lot of fun.