You read comics, right?

I still read them from time to time, which is why I’m thrilled to be a part of two New Jersey events this month.

One is on 3/12/17 at the Clifton Community Recreation Center, 1232 Main Ave, Clifton 07011 http://www.njcomicbookshows.com/clifton.htm

The other is on 3/19/17 at the Toms River Elks Lodge 600 Washington Street Toms River, N.J. 08753 http://www.jerseyshorecomicbookshow.com

As a way of revving myself up for these events, I wrote a superhero vs vampire story exclusively for Wattpad.  (Description Below)

Force – Jeff Beal is unique. Balancing high school and a broken home, Jeff blows off steam jumping rooftops and taking down bad guys under the name Shadow, protege to Macro City’s superhero, Force. And when a string of gruesome murders grip the city in mortal terror, Force and Shadow swear to put an end to the bloodshed. But the Vampire Lavinia is no ordinary killer. Now Jeff must use every resource at his disposal to hunt down the deadly vampire before the sun sets … because he won’t survive the night.

Read the first few chapters here.  I’ll add to it every Friday night at 8pm.  Shoot me an email, post a response, or tweet me @J_Kleckner to let me know what you think.

Thank you again for your support. Happy Reading.

The Author’s Shakabuku on Audience and Genre

For those of you who don’t know Shakabuku, it’s a “swift, spiritual kick to the head that alters your reality forever.”

It was introduced to me by Debi, Minnie Driver’s character in one of my favorite movies, Grosse Pointe Blank (IMDB).

I have been fortunate enough to have had two experiences with Shakabuku this year, only months apart.

The first one came in August, when my family and I binge-watched Stranger Things (IMDB) on Netflix.

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Stranger Things on Netflix – Photo Source

The second came just this past weekend while I was listening to the audiobook of Ready Player One, written by Ernest Cline and read by Wil Wheaton.

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Photo Sources

During each of these experiences, I found myself saying, “At my best, I want to create work like this.”

It wasn’t hard to see the connection between the two.  They were both adventures with heavy pop culture references from the 1980s.  Even Grosse Pointe Blank fits neatly into the center of that Venn Diagram, just without the fantasy or science-fiction elements.

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Venn Diagram of Awesome – JeremiahKleckner.com

The weird part for me was that I never saw my nexus of interest so clearly before now.

Like many writers starting out, I dove into my writing.  I found an idea and attacked it without much consideration for my audience or what genre it would be until after it was done.

It’s worked out okay for me so far.  I have two series (soon to be three) for sale and a ton of ideas.  But I’ve struggled with identifying my audience and I’ve never had the same kind of thrill reading in my books’ supposed genres as I have during these past two months.

Am I nuts or have some of you had the same experience?  Comment below or come out and tell me about it.  I’ll be criss-crossing NJ these next two weeks for books signings and readings.

Here’s my itinerary.  Hope to see you there!

Dual Book Release for Adversary and Beast

 

The Release

Adversary evolved over the last two years from a short story into the pilot episode of a long, long series.  Over that time, it has undergone seven rewrites, four covers, and six series title reimaginings.  Along with Beast, the second episode in The Tome of Testaments, Adversary has come a long way and is now available at online book stores and retailers.

Danny Brook

I first saw Danny Brook’s art back in December 2015. By that time, I had already written rough drafts of Adversary and Beast and knew the tone I wanted when it came time to release the series out into the world. I contacted the artist and worked out an arrangement. Now his art is in the print versions of each book.  Check out Danny Brook’s FB Page for more original art.

Book-Sellers and Review Sites

The goal of every author is to sell their books, but I’m all about reviews.  There will be many more titles in this series and a solid review rating for the first two books would be a great start in assuring that this series goes the distance.  Happy reading.

Adversary links… (Ebook = Free or Amazon Price Matched to Free)
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01JAJQCOO
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31293859-adversary
Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/adversary-4
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/654666

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Use What You Learn to Publish What You Want

Being a teacher, it is hard for me to give up the pursuit of knowledge.  I just have that itch to continually push myself, especially when it is in an area that I know nothing about.  The following are the two biggest lessons I’ve learned about book selling this year so far.

Lesson One – An Email List is Necessary

Most email marketers are insincere goons.  You know the type.  There’s an email with a seemingly free offer.  You click on it and are taken to some random site asking for your credit card.

The problem was that I needed to invest in creating a less sleazy way of communicating with readers in an email list.  Instead of baiting with a free sample and switching to a paid product, I use a double confirmation email that sends people to a folder with free downloadable review and beta reader copies of books that were either already released or will be released soon.

The goal of my list is to invite people to engage in a back and forth and inform them about book-signing events and new releases.  (There will be several of both in the coming months.)  If you want to be kept up to date through my email list, click here.   

 

Lesson Two – It Takes Money to Make Money

My first Kickstarter campaign funded a new book cover for Captain James Hook and the Curse of Peter Pan.  It was a small ask at only $350, but now that I’ve launched a second campaign for The Tome of Testaments series, I’m using what I learned to avoid my initial mistakes.

First, I used an edited image for the banner and shot a better quality video.

Second, my pitch got a lot better.  Devour Lovecraft? Miss shows like Buffy and Angel? Help launch this action-packed dark urban fantasy set in Hoboken and Jersey City, NJ

Finally, I made the rewards far more appealing.  People need to feel like they are getting something of value for their investment.  Below are the bottom three cheapest pledge points.

If you want to be a part of the The Tome of Testaments campaign, or if you just want to learn how Kickstarter works, check it out here.

More to Come

No doubt, there will be more lessons for me to learn this year.  It is only May, after all.  What have you learned about book-selling that you didn’t know in 2015?

 

 

Why learn how to run a Kickstarter Campaign?

I asked myself this question quite a bit over the last year.

Why bother learning something new while working a full time job and writing a new series?

The practical answer was easy.  Being an educator, I had an itch to learn something that I didn’t already know.

The Project:  My first book with Jeremy Marshall needed a new cover to enhance sales. 

The Ask:  $350 in 30 days.

The project succeeded and, through this process, I learned what works and what doesn’t.  Soon, I’ll be launching a new project for a new series.

In the meantime, here’s my list of backers for this project.  They have my thanks and will all receive their rewards in May.  Giovanna Kleckner (my mom, who gave cash that had to be channeled through my wife’s account), Alicia Marott, Josh Tims, Sean Quinn, Larry Stanfield, Joe Munkyung, Sunday Smith, Miriam Clifford, and Amanda ivie

 

 

New Book Cover Campaign

 

 

Check out our Kickstarter campaign!

After months and months of mediocre sales, we decided that we need a new book cover.  I have loved working with our previous people, but we want to try going with what the 99designs team can produce.  We’ve heard a great deal of fantastic things about them and we’r eager to take a chance.

Would you take a chance on us?

Develop Quality Publishing Partnerships (Part Two)

Last week’s post wasn’t intended to be a multiple-part installment, but I keep running into helpful and honest people.

More books are coming to my self-published list this season and one way that I plan to market them is by getting the first book in a series bundled with other authors’ books in a promotional boxed set.

One problem:  I have no interest in bundling books and marketing them on my own.

After some investigation (including a few recommendations), I messaged a “bundler” on Facebook called Paper Gold Publishing.  In spite of the fact that the company doesn’t plan on bundling any dark or historical fantasy titles this year, she directed me to somewhere I would have better luck.

But that wasn’t the end of it.  The person responding also offered a bit of advice as well.

Paper Gold Publishing: “I know there is a group on FB titled ‘Box Set Opportunities‘ or something similar to that, but I would advise caution in all circumstances. Especially if they request some kind of payment to allow you to take part in a set and offer no (or little) returns. It is customary for the organizer to have some sort of payment. In my case, I take a share of royalties, and for that I provide free proofing for all the titles, all admin (and believe me, reporting to and paying 46 people takes time), and some promo.

Since Paper Gold Publishing didn’t have a need for books in my genre, they could have easily blown me off without the cautionary words or even a response.  Instead, they demonstrated how professionals should behave when they know how predatory others in their position could be.

After some further conversation, Paper Gold Publishing also told me that the company is currently looking to expand its employee base to include an assistant bundler.  It sounds like hard work, but if you are interested, or if you know of anyone who is, please contact them through their Facebook Page.

Meanwhile, I’m going to check out the page that Paper Gold Publishing recommended and report back later.

In other news…

I AM GIVING AWAY FREE STUFF

For those of you who are subscribed to the blog this will sound weird because you already have me in your email, but I am setting up an email list for updates, news, discounts, new releases, and other things like that.  It’ll be short, deliberate, and come with a bunch of free stuff.  For example, right now there are review copies of some of my older books.  There will be more soon and I’ll keep those of you on my list informed. Here is the link to sign up. http://goo.gl/X10pIW