Friday, April 27, 2012

Kindle Fire giveaways and author sponsorships at eBookSwag.com

Hey, I've helped give away 28 Kindle Fires this year, in addition to well over a million ebooks and hundreds of dollars in gift cards. And now I want authors to team up with me to meet more readers and give away even more stuff. It all happens at http://eBookSwag.com, which is the brainchild of Michelle Dear and crafted from the lessons learned in Epic Kindle Giveaway, the Kindle Giveaway Blog Tour, Big Kindle Boogie, and more than two years of experience in marketing ebooks.

Our author sponsorships have an introductory price of $10, and our raffles are designed to generate additional traffic for the site. I view it as a collaborative marketing center that we are building into a community and a multi-faceted marketing arena, bringing in forums, Facebook, Twitter, and book bloggers, as well as our weekly newsletter. We also have incentives for multiple days and for bringing your author friends tot he party.

For readers, we introduce cool new books, both free and value-priced, as well as give away prizes and offer tools to interact with our authors. So sign up for the newsletter and join the party!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Speed Dating with the Dead casting contest

I'm having a casting contest for the theoretical movie version of my paranormal thriller SPEED DATING WITH THE DEAD, currently on sale at 99 cents for Kindle: US:  UK: http://amzn.to/H43INO.


Pin the actors you would cast in Speed Dating with the Dead for: Wayne "Digger" Wilson (disillusioned ghosthunter), Kendra Wilson (teen artist), Cody McKenzie (teen hotshot ghosthunter), Janey Mays (creepy old innkeeper), Ann Vanderoon (cynic turned demon), Cristos Rubio (psychic), Rodney "The Roach" Froehmer (charismatic ghost hunter) , Bruce (ghost kid). 


I am giving away three signed paperback copies as part of the SPEED DATING casting contest. Just pin your casting suggestions on Pinterest and place the link below. If you don't use Pinterest, you can post them on the Scott Nicholson Fan Club page on Facebook. And if you don't use either Facebook or Pinterest, you can list your cast in the comments section. Winners selected April 30, open internationally! (Also doing this on my pinterest board http://pinterest.com/pin/268386459013795110/ if you send me your name so I can add you as a contributor).


Here are some entries so far:
Sarah Welsh http://pinterest.com/rileysma08/speed-dating-with-the-dead-cast/
Rebecca Lord http://pinterest.com/blord7777/speed-dating-with-the-dead-by-scott-nicholson/
Chris Demby Cook http://pinterest.com/jtowncrazy/speed-dating-with-the-dead-by-scott-nicholson-movi/


Have fun and stay safe out there!
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Book market diversity

You may know I was formerly a journalist. And there is a lot of truth to the old adage that "News is like sausage, once you see it being made, you don't want to eat it." So I am breaking my disinterested publishing silence in the wake of so many obviously planted and slanted stories attacking Amazon as a bookseller.

Yes, it's hilarious if you follow the mainstream media (what I like to call the Square Press), which so clearly is in the same bed as Big Six publishers. Much like that of the club newsletter called Publisher's Weekly and the cranky paranoia issued by the Author's Guild, the message has been "Amazon means the death of literary quality and a competitive book marketplace."

Perhaps it means their death, but me and thousands of other authors are feeling very much alive in the new era. I'm not a big "numbers guy" but here are some numbers that tell me Amazon has been great for books. My books, at least. My books may have nothing to do with literature, though...

Amazon: bought me one house.
Traditional publishers: tied up rights to my out-of-print books for a total of 25 years.
Amazon: has allowed me to give away nearly 700,000 books so far this year, during which time my income doubled.
Number of non-Kindle device owners who asked why my books aren't available outside Amazon: zero.
Amazon: is publishing the third Fear book early next year.
Traditional publishers: have sold zero books to me in two years.

Amazon equals one happy author.  More than that, a happy person.
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Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Feast of Frights

Here is the new version of the video for A FEAST OF FRIGHTS FROM THE HORROR ZINE, edited by Jeani Rector.
 
 
You can read more about the book here at Horrorzine, one of the top Internet stops for horror fiction and interviews. Happy Easter! 
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

J.E. Taylor on writing with her son

Today's guest post is by J.E. Taylor, sharing the work she is doing with her son! Also a reminder that we have seven free Kindle books, Kindle Fire giveaways, and more at http://ebookswag.com April 4-5, so pop over and enter daily!

J.E. Taylor:


The other night I watched The Walking Dead with my twelve-year-old son, at his request.  Now we’ve watched Supernatural together for years and he’s into the crime shows as well.   I think I was a bit na├»ve on the graphic nature of the show because after about ten minutes, I made the decision that this was not the show for him to be watching.  

My son was very disappointed when I opted to change the channel and I was reminded of my innate curiosity as a young teen.  The Night Stalker on television was always a good fix and then the string of thrillers and slasher flicks.  I continued to enjoy twisted horror movies for most of my young adult life as well as books – both Stephen King and Dean Koontz really fed my morbid curiosity.  

As I sat watching The Walking Dead, I realized I was right around the same age as my son when Halloween came out.   And he’s got the same imagination, curiosity, and love for the twinge of fear that I do – that adrenaline rush you get when peeking at the screen over the blankets.   I’m secretly thrilled that he has the same love for action and scary themes I do, thus I was beyond thrilled when he came to me last summer with a fantastic idea for a young adult series.

We started writing Don’t Fear The Reaper, the first book in The Death Chronicles series – which is due to be released this summer.  He’s been very patient while I’ve finished Crystal Illusions and prepped for this blog tour, so today, I figured I’d not only let your readers catch a quick glimpse at the teaser for Crystal Illusions, which is out now, but I’d also give them a special preview of our YA Thriller - Don’t Fear The Reaper – Book One of The Death Chronicles. 

Crystal Illusions – Available Now
Assistant D.A. Carolyn Hastings has an uncanny knack for putting away criminals. With one of the best prosecution records in recent history, her future as Manhattan’s next District Attorney looks certain. But her sixth sense for winning cases threatens to work against her when she starts seeing a string of murders through the eyes of the killer.

With suspects piling up as fast as bodies, and the motives of those closest to her questionable, Carolyn doesn’t know who to trust. When the FBI assigns Special Agent Steve Williams to the case, Carolyn discloses her deepest fear - that the man she loves may be the one responsible for the city’s latest crime spree.

The only thing Steve knows for sure is Carolyn has an inexplicable psychic connection with the killer, and all the victims have one thing in common…a striking resemblance to Carolyn Hastings.

And he knows it’s only a matter of time before this psychopath knocks on her door.


Excerpt from Don’t Fear The Reaper – Book One of The Death Chronicles – Coming this summer:
The first time I saw a reaper, I thought I had fallen asleep in class again.
Mr. Sanchez was in the middle of reaming out Clyde for not having his homework for the hundredth time this year and mid-yell, his red face turned purple and he clutched his chest. When Mr. Sanchez fell to his knees, the sight of the black cloaked figure behind him, nearly gave me a heart attack. My chest burned with the sudden rush of adrenaline and my throat tingled around the scream that begged to erupt, but I clamped my lips closed.
The silver gaze peered out of the hooded darkness, staring directly at me, like he knew I could see him. His bony hand reached out and came to rest on Mr. Sanchez’s head. The rotund teacher’s grey eyes rolled back and his breath wheezed from his half-open mouth.
“Call nine-one-one!” The cry broke my paralysis and I bolted to the front of the room, trying to recall the CPR instructions I had in health class at the beginning of the year. Three chest compressions then pause, three more before blowing in the victim’s mouth. The silent instructions replayed in my head and I went into action.
It wasn’t until the E.M.T.s wheeled the cold dead body of Mr. Sanchez out of the room that Julia took my hand for support.
“Nick, you tried,” Julia said.
I looked into her golden brown eyes and that’s when I knew it wasn’t a dream. Her warm hand, her soft, teary voice, cracked through my defenses and I started to shake. “I couldn’t stop him from taking Mr. Sanchez.”
“Stop who?”
I opened my mouth to speak but before the words could tumble out, I snapped my lips closed. She was already looking at me like I had a few screws loose and this would only topple that look into the realm of disbelief. I didn’t want her to think I was any crazier than she already did. I turned away, wiping my misting eyes on my sleeve.
“Stop who?” she repeated taking my arm and swinging me toward her.
“Death, who do you think?” I snapped, my tone harsher than I wanted, harsher than I meant to be and she recoiled. “I couldn’t stop death,” I said, softening my tone and taking a deep breath to cool my nerves. “I couldn’t stop Mr. Sanchez from dying.”
Before she could speak, the PA system whined into action. “Dylan Nicholas Ramsay, please come to the office.”
Aw, crap. What does Principal Murdock want now? I hung my head, grinding my teeth together for a moment as anger wiped away any trace of despair. “I gotta go,” I said to Julia and stepped out of her grip, trudging toward the office wondering just what Principal Murdock was going to lay on me this time. Was he going to throw that sappy sad expression at me again, the one that always made me feel like a lost reject? The look that made me feel like shit.
Mr. Murdock offered a tight smile when I entered the office. “Nick, how are you holding up?”
Jeesh, how the hell do you think I’m holding up? I just saw my teacher die. “I’m fine sir.”
“I think you should talk with Mrs. Lambert for a spell,” Mr. Murdock said and delivered the look I expected.
“I said I’m okay.”
Mr. Murdock raised one of his wooly-mammoth eyebrows. “I understand you were yelling the entire time you were trying to revive Mr. Sanchez.”
Shock slammed into my chest, drying my mouth and shooting tingling waves over my skin. “Wh-what?”
“A few of the other students said you were yelling at someone or something while you were doing CPR.”
“I, uh, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I knew I was cussing the hell out of the reaper, but I didn’t realize I was swearing out loud.
“I think you should talk with Mrs. Lambert for a while.”



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Monday, April 2, 2012

Free is the new 99 cents

Remember last year when all the indie chatter was about whether 99 cents was a race to the bottom? Little did we know that 2012 would be the year of the free ebook. Not only do writers make their books available for free, they have to spend money and promote to make it happen! But we want readers. And we do anything to make it happen, including humiliating cats. (Hey, I'd do that for free, but free is the new 99 cents...)

So swagger on over to eBookSwag.com and get free ebooks from Alexandra Solkoloff, Mel Comley, Brett Battles, Zoe Sharp, and little ol' me, and enter daily for three Kindles and $100 in gift cards. The site where everything is free and everything is fun. Unless you're a cat.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

The First Four Laps

I am a lap swimmer, and although I don't engage in the activity as much as I should (does anyone?), I find plenty of parallels with all sorts of things that I should be doing but tend to delay.

We live in an age of instant gratification. I turn the tap and there is water, I flip the switch and there is light, I open the fridge and there is food. And it seems to be there whether I am putting forth real effort or not. And sometimes I want swimming to be the same way. I want my laps done and I want to enjoy that fluid, limber feeling all day. But I don't want to get my feet wet.

I know how the first four laps will be, the way they always are. I will be cold, I will fixate on all the other things I should be doing, my muscles will complain a bit, and I get the impulse to just get out and take that warm shower. But I know Lap Five is coming, and I will be warmed up and relaxed and in the groove. So I force myself to push through. At my peak, I swim a mile. Right now, because I didn't swim much over the winter, my goal is half a mile.

As challenging as the first four laps are, the final four can be even harder. No one is counting but me. I can cheat a little and climb out early, or let that foot cramp become an excuse. But those are the laps that make the victory. The first four are echoed in the final four. They are the laps that I don't want to do that were the whole point of the exercise in the first place.

I've learned to apply this to all the things I resist, things I know are good for me. Put down the bacon and slowly walk away. That garden needs to be tilled because it's time to plant onions. That scene is not going to write itself. That apology is not going to work if you just think it instead of share it with the party you have wronged.

The first four laps. They are cold, difficult, and not much fun. But you are the only one who can swim them. No one can do it for you.

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