THE WAKE-UP CALL

You either love him or hate him. No matter if you think he’s an asshole or just a nice guy in a heap of trouble, Jack Reynolds will stir your feelings. Do like 40 000 readers and enjoy his story…

You can buy The Wake-Up Call (print) at The Book Depository or Amazon US and UK Or why not as an e-book? Amazon US, UK, FR, IT, DE, ES.

Book description:

On the surface he has it all: the women, the career, and the Central Park view penthouse, but behind his well-groomed and chiseled facade he has nothing.

At least this is what he’s about to realize.

At age 35, alpha-male Jack Reynolds’ workaholic, womanizing and self-centered behavior is catching up with him both physically and mentally. After a series of grave romantic mistakes, he tries to get away from it all by boarding a plane to Cancun, Mexico.

But Jack soon realizes he can’t really run away from anything…

…especially not himself.

Find out how Jack gets his life-changing wake-up call in this fast-paced, heartfelt and funny novel about soul-searching, friendship, and love.

Readers response to The Wake-Up Call…
“A contemporary Don Draper!”
“A riveting page-turner.”
“Brilliant fun for small money.”
“If you don’t smile to this book, you probably never smile anyway.”
“Like a male Bridget Jones in the voice of Marian Keyes.”
“Good style, great flow! Can’t remember that a book entertained me this much.”
Gritty, realistic and a damn good read!”
“The Wake-Up Call really has it all – you laugh, you’re moved and most of all you’re entertained.”

The Wake-Up Call reached the semi-finals in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2012.

Kindles – they’re good for you

Ever since I got my first Kindle I fell in love with it. What was most powerful about the whole experience was the e-ink screen which reminded me of my beloved Psion 3 series which I wrote my first short stories on. It’s just feels less intimidating for the eyes than for example an iPad or Samsung Galaxy tablet and I like that it only has one proper use for it – to read books on. This makes you less distracted than with tablets and lets you focus on the reading.

But not everybody believes in e-readers and e-books. Lenah was kind of hard to convince for example, but I think I have convinced her now that we have decided not to have so much clutter in our lives. We both love books, but they to take an awful lot of space and although they look nice in a bookshelf, you rarely read them twice.

And that’s where a Kindle comes in handy. You can store all your books in one space and when you travel, which you should if you’re a sensible person, you don’t need to run around bookstores when you’ve finished a book! Just go to the Kindle store and buy one or read the next one in your collection.

So although you miss the feeling of holding real paper, there are loads of advantages to owning a Kindle.

Since I’m a cheapskate when it comes to buying gadgets (I prefer spending my money on travel and food), I have the cheapest Kindle, which costs only 89 dollars. Although there are more fancy Kindles out there like the Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Fire, this is more than good enough for me (but I would rather buy a Kindle Fire than an iPad for example). Below you see why it’s so good:

Benefits of owning a Kindle (I ripped this off of Amazon.com)

  • Less than 6 ounces – lighter than a paperback, fits in your pocket
  • 15% faster page turns
  • New darker, hand-tuned fonts for easier reading
  • Reads like paper with no glare, even in bright sunlight
  • Download books in 60 seconds with built-in Wi-Fi
  • Holds over 1,000 books – take your library wherever you go
  • Massive book selection. Lowest prices. Over a million titles less than $9.99
  • 180,000 Kindle-exclusive titles that you won’t find anywhere else, including books by best-selling authors such as Kurt Vonnegut
  • Supports children’s books and includes new parental controls

Does owning a Kindle mean you have to stop reading printed books? No, you should obviously do both. But it’s a great complement to printed books and the ideal travel partner. And if I can get Lenah to want one, I’m sure you can find it useful too.

And remember, you don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle books. You can use whatever gadget you have, your computer, your iPad or your mobile phone. Just download your free Kindle app.

The power of free – tips on Amazon Kindle Select

Trying to “make it” as an indie author as taught me a lot about the power of the word FREE. The reason is that with Amazon Kindle Select you can run promotions where any of your self-published books are free for a set number of days. The idea is for the book to climb the many top lists on Amazon so that it gets maximum exposure. The “only” thing Amazon asks of you is that your book is exclusively published with Amazon for a three-month period.

I’ve tried free days on Amazon Kindle Select quite a few times now with some success and found it to be one of the most powerful marketing tools an indie author can find. When I’ve run it for The Wake-Up Call I’ve had up to 26 000 downloads in two days. This helped the book to climb the top lists and to my amazement it managed to reach #4 in Contemporary Fiction and #1 in Humor. Since the book stays for some hours on the top list even after the promotion is over, this will obviously net quite some sales as well.

That was the most successful Kindle Select Promotion I ever ran. Other times, it’s been decent to completely pointless. The success of your promotion depends on a number of things:

1. The days you choose. Weekends are rarely good, because people tend to do other things than browse for free e-books.

2. That the book has a decent rating. Less than 4 star reviews in average will be less effective.

3. That you do your homework and make sure to advertise the book everywhere you possibly can. There are loads of free book promotion websites out there. I will list some below.

4. That you use all your communication channel in getting out the message. Social media can be very effective and Twitter has done wonders for me in the past.

5. That your book has a good looking cover (people are very visual) and an interesting description.

6. That the first pages of your book (what readers usually sample) really hook the reader.

7. That your book is placed in the right category for it. Categories like Mystery and Thrillers is extremely competitive, but maybe you have a smaller niche that is easier to reach out through? This means it will be easier for you to climb to #1 on the Amazon top lists.

The reason I started writing this post is that I’m now trying two free days (3rd and 4th of April) on Amazon Kindle Select again to see if it can do any wonders for my recently published novel “Hollywood Ass.”

I have done some promotion, but sadly the book is yet to have a review so I’m not sure it will get enough downloads to make a difference. But as an indie author you have to try your best and see what works.

Sites where you can promote your books (to be updated):

Digital Book Today
The Kindle Book Review
World Literary Café
Freebooksy
Author Marketing Club
Bookbub
BookDaily.com
Ereadernewstoday
Booktweetingservice
Free Ebooks Daily
Kindle Nation Daily
Centsiblereads
Kindle Mojo
Kindle Book Promos
Book Goodies
Bookdealhunter
Zwoodlebooks

Some useful twitter hashtags courtesy of Jeff Bennington:

  • #kindle #kindlefire #ebooks #FREE #mustread #goodreads #greatreads #freeebooks #Kindlefreebooks
  • #AmazonPrime #Kindledeals #kindledeals
  • @FreeKindleStuff @FreeReadFeed @free_kindle @Freebookdeal @freebookpromos @freebooksy
  • @KindleBlaze @KindleBookBlast @KindleBookKing @KindleDaily @Kindlbookreview @digitalBKtoday
  • @KindleFireDept @KindleEbooksUK @KindleFreBook @KindleFreeBooks @KindleFreeStuff @KindleKing
  • @KindleSurprise @KindleUS @KindleUK @KindleDE @KindleES @Kindle_Max @kindle_mojo @Kindlefreebies
  • @Kindlestuff

The Wake-Up Call – a self-publishing experiment

My first novel is called The Wake-Up Call, it is currently available on Amazon Kindle and in print at The Book Depository (Europe) and Amazon US. It has currently had more than 35 000 downloads as an e-book, which I’m very happy with. I wrote the book as an experiment to see whether or not a reader would sympathise with what many would call an “asshole” if he told his story from the first-person perspective. I’m not surprised that the feedback has been mixed, some people love the book and to get inside the head of the main character Jack Reynolds, while some people think he’s too morally corrupt to bother with. My next novel,Hollywood PA, will not be as controversial and will hopefully get more even (positive) feedback.

Self-publishing a book was an exciting experiment and I’m happy that so many have read the book without me having a massive advertising vehicle slash publishing house behind me. I like to call it an experiment because you obviously get a lot of things wrong the first time you do it and when you click “Publish” you open yourself up to all kinds of criticism. But, on the other hand, if you never click that button you will never know where you stand and never learn how to improve. Writing is all about staying at it, getting better and not giving in to doubt. And if we just stay at it we will all come out wiser.

I hope you take the time to check out my book. Below you will find out a little more about it. /J.

About The Wake-Up Call

Jack is 35 years old but has never been in a serious relationship…
He’s been busy building his career. He’s met plenty of girls, but just not the right one.

On a well-needed trip away from his beloved New York he falls in love. With not one but TWO girls. Soon they all come together for the most awkward dinner of their lives. And it’s only the start of complications…

Find out how Jack gets his life-changing wake-up call in this fast-paced, heartfelt and entertaining novel about soul-searching, friendship, and love.

Readers response to The Wake-Up Call…
“A contemporary Don Draper.”
“A riveting page-turner.”
“Brilliant fun for small money.”
“If you don’t smile to this book, you probably never smile anyway.”
“Like a male Bridget Jones in the voice of Marian Keyes.”
“Good style, great flow! Can’t remember that a book entertained me that much.”
Gritty, realistic and a damn good read!”
“The Wake-Up Call really has it all – you laugh, you’re moved and most of all you’re entertained.”

Go to the official site for The Wake-Up Call

The Wake-Up Call is FREE today and Sunday

It’s normally $4.99 but today it’s FREE. Just download and read it on your Kindle, iPhone, computer, or other electronic device. Check out how here!..

Find your Amazon and print link here: http://thewakeupcallbook.com  The most common ones are US (+rest of the world) and UK

About The Wake-Up Call:

On the surface he has it all…

…the women, the career, and the Central Park view penthouse, but behind his well-groomed and chiseled facade he has nothing.

At least this is what he’s about to realize.

Find out how Jack gets his life-changing wake-up call in this fast-paced, heartfelt and funny novel about soul-searching, friendship, and love.

What people say about The Wake-Up Call:
“A riveting page-turner.”
“Brilliant fun for small money.”
“If you don’t smile to this book, you probably never smile anyway.”
“Like a male Bridget Jones in the voice of Marian Keyes.”
“Good style, great flow! Can’t remember that a book entertained me this much.”
“Gritty, realistic and a damn good read!”
“Brilliant and funny!”
“The Wake-Up Call really has it all – you laugh, you’re moved and most of all you’re entertained.”
“A contemporary Don Draper!”

Writing can be lonely, but can’t be done alone

csg_writing-the-revision-process-tone

Whilst working on my second book, Hollywood Ass., I’ve realized how lonely writing can be and how important it is to have someone to brainstorm ideas and discuss characters with, get feedback from and to help you with the thankless task of reading every word you write, two-three-four times or more. I think all writers need this, it’s essential to the process of creativity, where anything really good rarely comes out of one single mind. It has to be a give and take-process and it’s seldom (I would like to say never) linear, but up and down, ebb and flow, like a roller coaster where you’re sometimes on an amazing high and occasionally also in a deep, deep valley of doubt.

My first novel The Wake-Up Call was much like the book’s story itself, a very bumpy ride. Rewrite after rewrite and several breaks from the manuscript finally made it what it is, not Pulitzer prize winning stuff, but something which most readers seem to read and enjoy.

I thought I had learned a lot from writing The Wake-Up Call and that the second book would be a breeze to write. At first it felt exactly like that, words were jumping out of my head and on to the paper like lemmings. The story flowed and I thought for a while I could publish the thing in six-seven months.

Problem was, it wasn’t good. I didn’t feel good about it but I didn’t really know why. It was a nightmarish feeling to have worked on something for half a year and it turns out you’ve wasted your time.

But luckily the whole project was saved by my “first reader” and longtime girlfriend Lenah (Stephen King labels the term first reader in his excellent book On Writing), who provided me with the necessary tough, but constructive feedback. Suddenly I knew what I needed to do and things didn’t seem so bleak anymore.

I’m currently on my way to finishing it and I’m happy about it again, excited to soon have written my second novel and really looking forward to readers feedback. I have learned a lot from The Wake-Up Call, but I think I’m learning even more with this one; more about the writing process, what I need to do to jumpstart creativity and how I need to tackle obstacles in the road.

Most of all I’ve learned that I can’t write good books alone, I need my first reader, support function, muse and love, Lenah.

My Humble Writing Advice

1007typewriter

1. Write. You need to do something a LOT to get good at it. That goes for everything, including writing.

2. Read. The best and only way to really study the craft. Don’t only read one type of books or one genre. Read a bit of everything. Study, reflect, analyze. To stay reading a lot always bring books with you. Keep books on your phone (if you have a smartphone), get a e-book reader like a Kindle.

3. Listen. How do people talk? What are they talking about? What dialect or slang are they using? This is necessary to write good dialogue, but also to be a decent human being in general.

4. Write something you like. To write a book or a short story really well you need it to be about something you LIKE to write about. Some say that you should write what you KNOW but chances are you’re a plumber who wants to write about Martians. Do that then. Don’t worry that you haven’t met any REAL martians.

5. Research. This especially important if you write about something that you don’t know a lot about. Getting the facts wrong can be very annoying to the attentive reader. It’s also fun to learn stuff. At least it should be!

6. Get a space where you can concentrate properly. Writing should be distraction-free. It might even make sense to turn off your Internet connection. I write best in crowded places where I don’t know anyone, like a random café or restaurant. For you it might be a cabin in the wood or in your writer’s room. Make sure not be disturbed though, otherwise you won’t get many focused words on the paper.

7. Save often to avoid computer crashes and data loss. Use version numbers like 1.2 or 2.0 or the date so you can revert back to previous versions if you’ve change your mind about certain scenes or chapters.

8. Don’t be afraid to delete sentences or paragraphs you like. Be hard on yourself. Can you live without that pun? Can the reader? Most often they can.

9. Rewrite and rewrite again. You need to polish a pretty rough stone into a sparkling diamond. It takes time, so have patience and be self-critical (if you’re in two minds about something, it might make sense to wait for feedback from your test reader group).

10. Get a core group of alpha and beta readers. They should be able to criticize your writing in a constructive way and help you get the most out of it.

That’s pretty much it. If I think of something more I’ll update this. Good luck!

I’d like to end with a quote from one of my writing style icons, Elmore Leonard:

If it sounds like writing, I’ll rewrite it.

The Wake-up Call: The cover

Here’s the preliminary cover art for my upcoming novel The Wake-Up Call, designed by talented designer Joakim Wiborn. The book is about New York advertising mogul Jack Reynolds’ quest for love; from family, friends, and of course from girls (well meeting girls is not a problem, the problem is meeting the girl). Jack has worked hard all his life to reach the top in the advertising world, only to realize it’s pretty lonely up there.

After a breakdown during a second date with a girl he doesn’t particularly care for, Jack decides to try and reconnect with his father. But instead he connects with his father’s young girlfriend and soon finds himself in a web of complications that leads him to reconsider his life completely.

The Wake-Up Call is set in New York, Miami and Mexico and takes the reader on an emotional journey into the heart and mind of a lost middle-age man.

To be released in a not too distant future on Kindle  (Amazon), Nook ( Barnes and Noble), and other e-book formats.

My Friend, The Kindle

Yes, I can really be more proud of having a Kindle as my friend. I think a Kindle, besides being able to carry thousands of books in one light-weight, easy-to-use product, really sends a strong message that you’re a person who likes to read and that’s a nice bonus. The days of adding kilos to your luggage because you’re a keen reader are over, now you can carry as many as you want everywhere you go.

The Kindle is also good if you like books with big type, becuase you can format your books in many different ways. Besides that you can surf the web (a rudimentary browser is included) and download books directly on your Kindle.

I haven’t tried any other e-book readers, but no matter if they’re as good as the Kindle or not, I think e-books are here to stay.

That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop buying beautiful printed books like the coffee table books from Taschen. It just means that for business and fiction, I’ll look in the Kindle store first.

You can check out the Kindle here