Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's Time for a Bicentennial Celebration!

Okay, so that's not precisely true. I have not been blogging for 200 years, although it would be very impressive if I had. I just wanted to say it, because in hitting my 200th post, I started thinking about the bicentennial when I was a kid. The Bicentennial. I was six. I was a very patriotic lad. I still have souvenir type things from 1976. Which includes my brother, since he was born only a few days later. It makes me wonder how we'll celebrate the 250th birthday of the nation; I'll be surprised if I'm still around for the 300th.

Anyway... This is, indeed, my 200th post. When I started blogging, I don't think I ever thought about getting this far. 200 posts is a lot, especially when you tend to the longer side of posting. I mean, my posts tend to be in the 1000 word range, so that means that I'm hovering in the 200,000 word range in my posts. That's a lot. Hopefully, they've mostly been "good" words.

Since this is post #200, I'm gonna make it about me. I figure I can do that every once in a while. BUT! There will also be a contest, so keep reading!

First, here are some recent things that have been said about my book, The House on the Corner:

"When you read a book and get so into it that when you reach the end you feel lost and alone because you miss the characters and want to know what comes next. Thank you Andrew, for introducing me to the Howard's. I cannot wait to read more!"

"That was a great book I cant wait for the next one :)"

"Omg how could you end it like that?!?!?!?!?! You need to hurry up with the next book!!! "

"Clearly I loved it, since it's 5am and I stayed up to finish it."

"Loved it, loved it, loved it Andrew! Loved the viewpoint of children. You could always tell who the voice was because you wrote the characters so clearly. The story was "real" and down to earth, even though the subject veers off into the realm of fantasy - but the family itself is rooted in the familiarity of the real world and I loved that. Great book! Really enjoyed it! Well done!!!!!!!"

I think those are some great quotes. Of course, I also think you should read my book. Just to note, I am debating about the idea of raising the price on it. A lot of the newer research/reports suggest that people view books at the $2.99 price point as indie authors just trying to grab the 70% royalty rate and that's where the "crap" sits. The view is that if the book is not priced at at least $3.99, it's not worth buying. So, yeah, buy it now while it's still $2.99!
Oh, and for those wondering, I am working on the sequel. I promise! 
One other thing, if you've read House (and liked it), it would be a great help to me if you could pop by Amazon and click the "like" button on the page (both Kindle and physical would be great). The links are off to the right over there. Thanks!

An update on "The Evil That Men Do":
Well, this is not precisely an update about that story, but it is an update about Tib. I have some preliminary cover art for Shadow Spinner, and I'm working hard on finishing it. Theoretically, I should have the first few parts coming soon for the Kindle. Remember, "The Evil That Men Do" sets up the events in Tib's life. I only don't include it with the rest of the Tiberius stuff because it's more of an adult story while Shadow Spinner is appropriate for kids, too. Be on the lookout for more great artwork from the inestimable Rusty Webb! I mean, I've seen it, and it's great! Especially the one he's done of the Man with No Eyes! Oh, man! It's almost enough to make me want to show you, now, anyway, even though it's not finished!
At any rate, I think "The Evil That Men Do" has been under appreciated, meaning that almost no one has bothered to pick it up, but it's only $0.99, and it has a perfect 5-star rating! At the moment.

The Contest!

Oh, yeah, I mentioned a contest, didn't I? Yeah, I think I did. But it's not going to be an easy one. It will require some work on your part, too. 

As a writer, one of the things I hope is that I am not writing in a bubble. That includes blogging. I mean, I don't want to be like that Dragon Tattoo guy who never got read until after he was dead. That would suck. Which means, I don't blog strictly for my own entertainment. I could do that without putting it online. That means this stuff I throw out here into the void of the Internet is, hopefully, stuff that is of worth to you people that read what I'm throwing out. As such, it's time for some feedback from you guys!

Here's what you need to do:
1. Go back and read all the other 199 posts. I'll give you a few minutes to do this.
2. Okay, no, you don't really have to read all of them.
3. Okay, seriously, now, of the posts that I've written and you've read, decide which one was your favorite and/or the most helpful to you.
4. Have one picked out? Now, tell me about it. Why is that particular post your favorite? Why was it helpful to you.
5. And, you know, if you want to skim back through my early posts, the ones I wrote before I had any followers, feel free to do that. Some of those are quite good, too. Well, I think they are anyway.
6. Just to be clear, in the comments section, leave me a comment telling me which post is particularly meaningful to you in whatever way it is, and you will have entered the contest.
7. You have until midnight (PST), Friday, July 27 to get your comment in.

The Prize!

The prize is going to be a little self serving, too. Deal with it.
Back at the end of May, I released a collection of short stories from the kids in the creative writing class I taught last school year. That release was met with a lot of support and a lot of people posting about it and, yet, there were almost no sales. It was a bit disappointing, because the kids did a great job, and some of the stories are really good. They're all good, but a few of them are great. You can see the link to Chart Shorts over there on the right side of the blog. Since I should be teaching this class again this coming year and since I'll be putting together another collection of short fiction from the kids, I really want people to see what was done this past year when I went into the class without any intention of putting together a book.

So that will be the prize. A signed copy of Charter Shorts to the person that has the "best" comment about which post they liked best. Of course, the book won't be signed by all the authors, but I'm pretty sure I can get three different signatures in there. As an added bonus, I won't necessarily stop at just one copy! I'll give away up to three copies of the book depending on the worthiness of the responses. Basically, if you guys make me unable to choose a "best," I will give out more than one prize. I'm  not like those Pulitzer people that just decide that no award shall be given at all.

The fine print of that does mean that you will have to be willing to give me your snail mail address if you want the book. However, if you don't want to do that, you can choose an e-copy instead. As long as you are Kindle friendly, that is.

Well... There you go. My very first contest. 200 posts. A great prize. And speaking of the prize, because we were, I'll announce the winner(s) on Monday, July 30. Probably. I mean, I don't see why I wouldn't. But, you know, don't tie me down.

And if I have time, I'll try to put together a top 5 or so of my favorite posts just because I think that might be interesting. Next week will be pretty busy, though, so it might be a few weeks before I have a chance to sit down and figure out my top 5.


  1. Go back and read the other 199 posts, huh? Good thing I don't sleep...

    I always enjoy your posts. The one that's currently sticking with me is the more recent "Is it better to be nice or honest" post because of this book I'm currently reading.

    Happy 200th...

  2. Would it be wrong if I said the one last week about my book? No really! After several months of wondering and the past few weeks with a couple email exchanges that had me really worried, the review was awesome. I had no problems with the complaints/issues and was pleased you caught the essence of my book. (And was pleased with all the comments your followers left.)
    That is my story and I'm sticking to it!
    Especially this early in the morning.

  3. Okay, I just finished reading your posts. 200, including today's...yeah, right. Anyway, my favorite one was the Morality Police entry on 7.01.2012. http://strangepegs.blogspot.com/2012/07/morality-police.html
    I just didn't feel like it was a stretch to launch out on morality police in the greater world and the literary police of the publishing world...it totally made sense AND you got to put some thoughtful and thought provoking ideas out there for people. I'm still worried about the general public though, as they say they want to keep their freedoms, and yet they are slowly, little by little, bit by bit strangling themselves...and me along with them. Reminds me of the frog in the pot of water that starts out cold, and heats up gradually so that he doesn't notice it. And finally he's cooked!
    Our water is pretty warm right now.

  4. I just started following not too long ago and still catching up on postings. It would be hard to pick just one favorite posting because there are so many that I like.

  5. I'm a big fan of name dropping.

    My favorite post might be the time you mentioned the Charter Shorts contest.

    Either that, or I'm running late for work and I don't have time to browse the archives.

    Still, this was a good one.

  6. M.J.: Well, you know, people should be thorough. :P
    I can't wait to find out what this book is that you're so not enjoying.

    Alex: That wouldn't be wrong at all.

    Donna: I just used that frog analogy somewhere... I think it's in a post I have coming up next week, but I can't remember for sure. It certainly made me blink to have you use it just after I did, though.

    GG: Well, I can't argue with that!

    Rusty: LOL Well, I think there are better ones where I've dropped your name. Like the one coming up for Monday.

    General statement: I think I picked the wrong time to have a contest. Blog traffic is down this week and comments are only about 1/3 of normal. Still, it's good for you guys that stopped by, though.