A Fog of Fury: A Lawson Vampire Mission – FREE!

So, as part of my drive to find a huge bunch of new fans for all things Lawson, I’ve decided to make A FOG OF FURY, the Lawson novellas that was released in the first annual Supernatrual Ink. anthology, part of the Amazon KDP Select program for 90 days. Today & tomorrow, it’s absolutely 100% FREE.

That’s right, you can get a nearly 20,000 words of Lawson awesome for without spending a penny.

Nada.

Zilch.

If you’ve never tried Lawson before, this is your chance to get wrapped up in one of the coolest urban fantasy series around. Let his effortless lethality thrill you while his sarcastic sense of humor brings you chuckles. Lawson rocks and here’s your chance to see why.

Of course, if you’re already a Lawson fan, then this is a nice gift to start the work week back up with. And it’s also your duty to get at least two of your close pals to pick this up as well and get them hooked on the series. What have they got to lose? Only about an hour after which time they will promptly fall on their knees and thank you for delivering unto them the same Lawson awesome you enjoy on a regular basis. They might even buy you lunch. Or at least a pack of Twizzlers from the office vending machine.

So go forth and rejoice – A FOG OF FURY is yours free. Spread the word and help others find the radiance of Lawson as he dispatches bad guys with bullets and snark.

Have fun!

Get A FOG OF FURY here right now for your Kindle for FREE!

:)

More New Lawson!

Yesterday saw the release of the next Lawson novel, THE RIPPER, which puts Lawson back in Boston trying to uncover the identity of a serial killer while dodging a Chinese assassin, dealing with Marty’s advances, counseling Niles, and dealing with Arthur’s past. It’s a chaotic mix of non-stop action and mayhem. And sales have been very good indeed!

You can grab your copy of THE RIPPER for the Kindle here and for the Nook here.

But THE RIPPER isn’t the only new adventure out…

Earlier today, I released SIX TIMES DEADLY, the first Lawson story collection featuring six short stories: The Price of a Good Drink, Interlude, Red Tide, Enemy Mine, Rudolf The Red Nosed Rogue, and Oathbreaker. Along with those six stories, I also included some cool bonuses: the script for the first part of the Lawson graphic novel and the first two chapters from the Talya spin-off novel series CODENAME: BELLADONNA. Yep, you heard right: there’s going to be a Talya spin-off novel series. It’s been in the works for a while now and with the advent of ebooks, I can actually write what I want without having to appeal to the whims of New York City publishing. I have three Talya novels sketched out and expect to complete the first one this year. I’m excited about it; Talya’s a great character and well-deserving of her own series. Hopefully, the fans will enjoy it.

You can grab SIX TIMES DEADLY for the Kindle here and >for the Nook here.

And finally, FROSTY THE HITMAN is now available for sale. This is the freebie short story I gave away on Christmas Day, but that window has now closed so if you want it, it’ll cost you 99 cents. You can grab that for the Kindle here and for the Nook here.

Next week, I’ll be releasing OATHBREAKER on its own, but if you want this new story now, you’ll have the get SIX TIMES DEADLY.

I’d like to thank all of you who have bought THE RIPPER. I’m very pleased with it’s rapid sales and success. And I’m especially thrilled to be finding so many new Lawson fans out there! Enjoy the new adventures – more are coming!

Frosty The Hitman A Blazing Success!

So, at midnight on Christmas Day, as the 24th ticked over into the 25th, I launched the annual Christmas freebie that I write for friends and fans. This year’s entry was FROSTY THE HITMAN, a 5600-word story. Along with the story itself, the ebook contained 3-chapter excerpts from both THE FIXER and THE INVOKER, an author’s note from me, an invitation to subscribe to my free newsletter, and a list of all the current Lawson adventures as of December 2011.

I put the blog post out and wondered what sort of reception it would get, how many people would download it, etc. etc. My hope was that I’d get about 200 downloads of the story, especially considering it was Christmas Day and a lot of people would be otherwise preoccupied. In addition to my blog post, I set up automatic tweets announcing it on Twitter. I also asked for a small group of my fans to Tweet, Retweet, and post things on their blogs and Facebook to help spread the word. Then I sat back and waited to see what would happen.

Today’s the 29th and as of this writing, here are the results:

Total number of downloads: 1836
Kindle file downloads: 966
Epub file downloads: 444
.pdf file downloads: 426

Christmas Day and yesterday saw the most traffic. Yesterday is not surprising since I sent out a bulletin to my newsletter subscribers about Frosty and they certainly responded. Plus, I got a mention over on Books On The Knob about Frosty being free. That exposure definitely helped!

In addition, I picked up roughly 50 new subscribers to my newsletter. My Christmas Day post also received a large number of Facebook “likes,” which then show up in the person’s timeline (thereby potentially leading more people to the post). It was also +1’d out on Google+ by twelve more people, earning me some penetration on that social media website as well. As far as tweets and retweets go, the bit.ly tracking showed that 1,159 people clicked the link, 25 people shared it on Facebook, and it was retweeted well over 100 times.

Then there were the comments and tweets from people who hadn’t read Lawson yet. Of the nearly 2,000 downloads, I’m hoping that at least 25% are new to the series. 500 potential new readers is a pretty great gift to get for giving something back to my already-awesome fans.

So, to everyone who helped spread the word about Frosty, my sincere thanks. This year’s freebie gift was an fantastic success and I couldn’t have done it without you all helping and downloading away. As 2012 comes roaring in, Lawson is going to have an even bigger year than 2011. Tons of new adventures, big movement ahead on the TV production, and more news besides. Keep talking Lawson up to your friends and family – we’re going to be doing some amazing things together and I want everyone of you along for the fun-filled ride!

Happy New Year & thanks!
-Jon

My Christmas List

Interestingly enough this year, a number of fans have written to ask what I’ve got on my Christmas list – that is, the things I’m hoping to receive. It’s a pretty short list, so I thought I’d share it with you. Pay attention to number 7. The fat guy with the reindeer fetish and red suit always seems to forget that one.

Without further ado, I hereby present things I’d like to get for Christmas 2011…

  1. More reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com from fans of my writing. The more, the better!
  2. More interaction on my Facebook Fan Page. Got a question? Ask away!
  3. More fans telling their friends and family about my work. Expand my audience, people. Become a prophet!
  4. More interviews on blogs, podcasts, radio, and TV. Keeping my name and work in front of people is critical!
  5. More subscribers to my free newsletter. I love my subscribers!
  6. More ebook sales, more print book sales, more deals!
  7. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tia Carrere, and Kelly Hu. Not necessarily in that order. And yes, all three.

Thanks Santa! :)

Day of the Ninja

I have to admit, this one caught me by surprise…

(Go ahead, laugh at the irony. I’ll wait, lol…)

Today, December 5th, is International Day of the Ninja. Seriously. I’m not quite sure what exactly is supposed to happen today, but perhaps it’s as simple as creeping up behind your co-workers and scaring the snickers out of them. Or maybe you’re supposed to create your own global intelligence network. Not really sure.

In any event, I’ll take today and give a huge load of thanks to my teacher Mark Davis at the Boston Martial Arts Center for passing down his knowledge, experience, and wisdom to me and the other students at his school. I’ve learned so much from Mark, it’s impossible to say thank you enough times. The techniques, strategy, and lessons he’s taught me have literally saved my life numerous times. And I don’t say such things lightly. It’s because of his earnest dedication to the art of Ninjutsu and his humble attitude that enables him to continually have such a successful school.

Back in Japan in 2003, I took my 5th degree black belt test. If not for Mark and his teaching, I’d never have passed it successfully. And the success I’ve enjoyed in learning Ninjutsu has enabled me to enjoy success in all other areas of my life.

So, being that today is International Day of the Ninja, I’d like to humbly suggest that people in the New England area give Mark a call at (617) 789-5524 and schedule a time to come check out a great, fun class at his school. The dojo is filled with some of the friendliest, most successful people I’ve ever known, and you can’t help but have an absolute blast training.

Also, you should buy some of my ebooks because I mix in some pretty cool advanced Ninjutsu concepts in my worlds of fiction. How many authors do you know who have actually studied authentic ninjutsu for over twenty years? Support the Ninja Author! :)

And you should also go over and back my new project ZOMBIE RYU which mixes NINJA and ZOMBIES! Check it out!

Zombie Ryu: The Gathering


I’ve launched a brand new project using Kickstarter called ZOMBIE RYU: The Gathering. This is the first in a planned trilogy of books about an elite group of warriors and a 16 year old girl who must battle zombies in feudal Japan while searching for the evil monk who unleashed them. It’s got samurai, ninja, and zombies.

Can’t you just feel how awesome this is going to be? :)

Nonstop martial arts mayhem, outlandish battles between the living and the dead, and the struggle between good and evil played out against the backdrop of feudal Japan, an exotic landscape, and the hidden destiny of a very special girl.

If I’d pitched this to traditional publishing, it would take months to get an answer. And I don’t like waiting, so I’ve launched it on Kickstarter to see if I can drum up the necessary funds to produce the book. The incredible Greg Ruth is coming on board to design the cover if we get the funding we need and if we do better than our goal of $18,000 I’m hoping I can convince Greg to do some interior illustrations as well. The thing about Kickstarter is that it’s “all or nothing,” in other words, if I don’t reach the goal of $18,000 in the next 13 days, no one gets charged for backing the project.

So your support is crucial to the success of this entire project.

Please take a moment to visit the official page for it, check out the rewards I’ve set up for backers, and consider supporting it. I’d also appreciate you spreading the word to friends and family via social media like Facebook, Twitter, and even blog posts.

Elite Fans Wanted…

The first draft of THE RIPPER will be finished by Wednesday of this week, and I’m very pleased with it. Since this book is not going to be published through a major New York house (as you’ll recall, I walked away from a deal with St. Martin’s because the numbers weren’t good enough to justify publishing with them) I want to make sure that it still goes through a bit of a vetting process prior to it being released as an ebook in January.

To that end, I’m looking for a handful of elite fans to be the first to read THE RIPPER and let me know what you think. I’m looking specifically for people who have read all of the previous novels in the series, and hopefully all of the novellas and short stories as well. I’m also looking for people who aren’t afraid to let me know their honest opinion, provided they do more than say, “it sucks,” or “it rocks.” What I’m looking for is something along the lines of, “Why in chapter two does Herbie insist on a bizarre food fetish scene when El Capitan is outfitting the Sandinistas with the latest phaser technology? Wouldn’t it be more important to show Herbie using the yogurt cannon to neutralize the phaser before the food fetish scene?”

You get the idea.

I’m hoping to get about a half dozen eager folks who can read this first draft quickly and get it back to me within a matter of weeks with your notes. I need to edit this in December and get it ready for a January release. Why January? Because the ever-awesome Misty Rayburn is dedicating the entire month of January to Lawson. Throughout the month, she’ll be highlighting the entire series from start to where it’s at right now. And I want THE RIPPER ready to debut when all that publicity is churning. It’s a bit of a squeeze, but I’m sure it can be done.

Haven’t read the series yet, but want to participate? Go and get the books and start reading! :)

Okay, so if you’d like to be one of the elite fans who gets to read THE RIPPER first, simply drop me a line at jonfmerz AT verizon DOT net and let me know. I might ask a question or two to verify that you’ve read all the books, so watch out for a pop quiz! ;)

Thanks everyone!

Guest Blog Post from Jeremy Robinson

Welcome to Jeremy Robinson’s Great Kindle Giveaway and Blog Tour.

“Hurray for free Kindles!” you say, but who the hell is Jeremy Robinson? Allow me to introduce myself. I’m the author of eleven mixed genre novels, published in ten languages, including the popular fantasy YA series, THE LAST HUNTER, and the fast-paced Jack Sigler series (also known as Chess Team—not nearly as nerdy as it sounds), PULSE, INSTINCT and THRESHOLD from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press. I’m the co-author of an expanding series novellas deemed the Chesspocalypse, which take place in the Chess Team universe. If that doesn’t wet your whistle, I’m also known as Jeremy Bishop, the #1 Amazon.com horror author of THE SENTINEL and the controversial novel, TORMENT. For more about me, or my books, visit www.jeremyrobinsononline.com.

I have watched for years as my fellow authors held online events called blog tours. Some would visit ten blogs. Others, as many as ninety. And every day they would bring something different, waxing eloquent about a multitude of topics. When I finally decided to have a blog tour of my own, and settled on doing each and every weekday in October, my first thought was, “This will be cool,” which was immediately followed up by, “Holy crap, I can’t think of something interesting to say twenty times in one month!” I can barely think of something worthwhile for my own blog just once a month. The solution is what follows; each blog participating in the tour could ask me ANY three questions. That means, if the subject matter bores you, I’m not to blame! Huzzah!

But fear not. There are other rewards for sloughing through the questions and answers. I’ll be giving away two Kindles to two randomly selected readers who sign up for my newsletter. Details on the giveaway can be found below. On to the Q&A!

While writers really just want to write, I know that you do a lot of varied promotion including trailers and promo videos. Do you find this a fun and exciting way to bring on new readers?

Marketing, for the most part, is a drag for me. It’s typically very monotonous and non-creative. I was an artist and screenwriter before becoming a novelist and I’ve made a bunch of short films. So when it’s time to market a book, I often turn to video. For some books, I create video trailers. I acquire the rights to video clips, hire a voice over actor, and edit the whole thing together myself. It’s a fun process. But the real fun is the creation of viral videos—funny or shocking videos you hope will be entertaining enough for viewers to share. My first viral video campaign was for Antarktos Rising. We made ten videos. Some caught on, some didn’t, but the videos have had over 400,000 views, which is pretty good.

With the advent of ebooks and less face-out shelf space in stores, what do you think is the #1 priority for getting your titles into a reader’s hands?

It’s hard to peg any one marketing technique for e-books. There’s a lot of good ways to get the books in front of readers eyes. And what works for one author may not work for another. But before that begins, there is the question of quality. The book has to be great. The cover needs to be spectacular. The simplest way to put it is this: if my book isn’t indistinguishable from the best books put out by the big publishers, then I’m not happy. If the book is substandard, it will never benefit from word of mouth and sales will be doomed when bad reviews appear. If the cover is poor, sales will likely never take off. Quality has to be the first priority, and its often the first thing skipped as authors rush to publish their books.

As with anything, competition drives the market. Who or what do you feel is your biggest competition?

The knee-jerk reaction when considering competition is to look at other authors in the genre and think about how you can outdo them. But that’s not really the reality for most authors. In general, we authors tend to help each other more than seek out the destruction of competition. We’re not corporations. We’re creative individuals, and there actually aren’t that many of us, so we tend to stick together. More often than not, authors are happy to promote each other’s books. It’s why you see so many quotes from “competing authors” on each other’s books.

The true competition for books is other forms of media, specifically TV, movies and video games. While I have nothing against these forms of media, and honestly hope to be involved in the creation of all of them at some point, most people have turned towards these things and away from books. It’s not that books are boring, or slow. It’s that we live in a society where BAD books are forced on kids. Okay, maybe they’re not bad books, but they’re generally not fun books—the kind of books that kids want to read. This may have changed since I was a kid, but school killed reading for me. I hated it and essentially gave up on reading novels after suffering through Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Confession: I didn’t read novels until I rediscovered them as an adult. And now I write them for a living. Unfortunately, the fix for this is in the hands of schools. Kids need to be raised on good, fun books, and then we’ll have more than enough readers to go around.

Hope that was as good for you as it was for me. Now how about that kindle giveaway?
Here’s the deal: to be entered to win one of two free kindles all you have to do is visit my website—www.jeremyrobinsononline.com—and sign up for the newsletter. That’s it. The first kindle will go to a randomly chosen newsletter signup on October 31. For the second kindle, there’s a catch. The second giveaway will only be triggered if one of my kindle books hits the Amazon.com bestseller list (top 100). So pick up some books (most are just $2.99 a pop) and spread the word! If one of the books squeaks up to #100 for just a single hour, the second kindle will be given away to another randomly chosen newsletter sign up on October 31.

*When you sign up for the newsletter, be sure to include the name of the blog that referred you in the field provided. I’ll be giving away two $50 Amazon.com gift certificates to the blog that refers the most sign-ups and another to the blog who referred the first kindle winner.

** I will announce winners via Twitter, Facebook, my blog, and newsletter (which you will be signed up for!) but I’ll also e-mail the winners directly—I’ll need to know where to ship those kindles!

Thanks for spending some time with me today. Hope you enjoyed the Q&A, and good luck with the kindle giveaway!

– Jeremy Robinson

October is Fan Month!

So as we draw to a close on September (huh? what? where did that month go, eh?) I thought I’d let you in on just ONE of the cool things that will be happening in October. I happen to love October. It’s my birthday month, it was my late father’s birthday month (we usually celebrated together, which was always nice) and Halloween happens to be at the end. So I thought it would be fun to turn this October into “Fan Month.” Everyday throughout the month, I will be calling one fan each day, thanking them for their support, and having a quick chat with them. It’s completely unscripted stuff and it’s your chance to ask me pretty much anything you want (within reason). I’ll be doing these video calls over Skype and recording them for everyone to watch. They’ll last about 10 minutes and it’s my way of saying thank you to a select group of folks who have been kind enough to buy my work and stand behind me as I travel this crazy path of being a writer.

All you need to do to throw your name into the hat and possibly get picked is be a fan of my work: and by that I mean you should be up-to-date on all of my writing, whether it’s Lawson or some of the standalone work I’ve done. Ideally, you’ve read most of my stuff and have questions about my writing process, my venture into indie ebooks, traditional publishing, TV production, etc. etc. etc.

Now, you’ve got to be okay with the fact that I’m recording these calls and using them as I see fit (which means I’ll make them public, cross-post them on Youtube and Facebook, and generally make them available for anyone to see and comment on) as well as be available on the day of the call (winners will be notified beforehand in order to schedule things properly.) But I think this will be a ton of fun. Each day Monday-Friday, we’ll do a fan call and then post them. I’m sure they’ll be amusing, entertaining, and will lead many people to the spiritual enlightenment they seek.

Well, maybe not that last one.

But they will be fun!

HOW TO ENTER: Okay, so let’s get to it. Want to chat with me? All you have to do is send your name, email, and your favorite line from one of my works (something a character said or something written in the narrative) to jonfmerz AT verizon DOT net. That’s it. I’ll start picking the winners immediately and scheduling the calls. Not up to speed on my work and want to get caught up? For Kindle users, you can find my work here. And for Nook users, the list of available work is here.

Get going! :)

30,000 EBooks

Today marks a nice milestone: since February of this year, I’ve sold 30,000 ebooks. When I started putting up my backlist in late-January, I had no idea what I was in for. Would everything flop? Would it take off?

The results are pretty damned awesome, actually. 30,000 is a great number (although I’m obviously shooting for 100,000 by the end of the year) and knowing that I’m finding an audience for my work is truly a blessing. The majority of my sales are for my Lawson Vampire series and that’s good news as well. Given everything (hint, hint) that will be happening soon around THAT, it’s good to know that more people are discovering Lawson every month. In fact, out of the 30,000 ebooks I’ve sold, I’d say roughly 25,000 are sales of my various Lawson adventures, more on the Kindle than on the Nook, but strong everywhere. Lawson has proven his worth as an enduring and endearing character. He’s not for everyone (only the sexy people, lol) but those who know him seem to enjoy him.

Even with the summer slowdown, my ebooks have continued to sell consistently across the board. I’ve got new releases coming soon, plus plans to offer pretty much everything in print. And audio as well. Big things are afoot for the Autumn months. But you’ll hear more on that in the coming weeks. Plus, I hope to finally be able to reveal who my publisher is for my new Fantasy series. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I’d like to add one final thought: thank you. Thank you for being a supporter of my work. Thank you for talking it up to friends and family. Thank you for hopping on-board the adventures I create and allowing me to whisk you away into the crazy chaos that is my fiction. With your permission, I’ll gladly be doing it for many, many years to come.

Have a great day and thanks again!