reat Dispatches from the literary trenches

September 19, 2010

Ron Paul – “This is much bigger than the Great Depression” interview

With this weekend being the 2nd anniversary of the 2008 Wall Street meltdown, here’s a video of yesterday’s Tom Sullivan show where he interviews Congressman Ron Paul, who has long been a relentless champion of fixing the devastated US economy through sound financial principles.

“Capital comes from savings, it can’t come from a printing press,” said Paul. When asked his prediction about the economy, Paul said, “it’s going to get a lot worse. This is much bigger than anything in the history of the world. Never has a world economy been run on a total fiat currency controlled by us, of course by the dollar. It has horrendous debt that has to be liquidated. And so far no one wants to do that. We have to return to sound money. We have to turn off the printing presses.”  

Paul’s latest concern about the role of fiat money in the global economic crisis is just one of the pieces of my latest novel, The Brink. Certain to be the year’s most controversial thriller, The Brink takes readers on a breathless race from the wilderness of northern Mexico to the center of power in Washington, D.C as a fugitive cop and a brilliant beauty try to uncover the link between a lost article of the Constitution and a ruthless secret society whose goal of total global financial collapse has already begun.

Order a signed copy of The Brink as a keepsake for yourself or as the ultimate unique gift at

The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to marketing a political thriller.

July 14, 2010

Day 30 of 365

Books sold so far (as of the end of May 2010 – sales reports in this industry lag big time!): 157

In this issue:

  • FB ad round-up  
  • Podcasts – How can we use them to sell books?  

FB ad round-up

The “chillingly current novel” campaign did very well yesterday, but dropped off today. Here are the numbers:

Date Imp. Clicks CTR (%) Avg. CPC ($) Avg. CPM ($) Spent ($)
07/14/2010 44,950 3 0.01 0.47 0.03 1.42
07/13/2010 132,073 46 0.03 0.43 0.15 20.00
Lifetime 177,023 49 0.03 0.44 0.12 21.42

After further analysis, the bid range yesterday was $.49-$.59, then I noticed tonight that it had changed to $.72-$.92. I’ve never noticed bids to change like that before. But as you can see, there were far less impressions today then yesterday. So, I sucked it up and changed my bid from $.50 to $.72. Let’s see if the action ramps back up again. And so you won’t have to go back to last night’s post, here’s the “CCN” ad:

 Chillingly current novel

Preview the year’s most controversial thriller and get a 40% off coupon at your local Borders bookstore good through July 17th.

 Both “Next James Patterson?” and “Read a thriller anywhere” were big goose eggs. So, what do we do with eggs around here? Maybe make them into Eggs Carver like Danny’s accomplice does in The Brink?  (Scramble them with some chorizo and serve them on Cajun-spiced hash browns? No, we fry them like they were on death row in Huntsville circa 1980. They’re out. Here they are below. I’ll give you a second to say your goodbyes:

 Read a thriller anywhere!

Get the most controversial thriller of the year delivered to your desktop, laptop or smartphone in seconds for $7.13. eBooks rock!

The next James Patterson?

“Action & heroism keep readers turning pages.” – ForeWord Review. Uncover the most staggering conspiracy of our time, & get it 28% off.

Podcasts – How can we use them to sell books?

So I’m doing my first podcast tomorrow night about the book for It’s an online book review site run by two very nice ladies that just want to inform readers about the good books that are out there. Isn’t the Internet a great place full of nice people?

To prepare, I’m brushing up on my podcast rules from  New Rules for Marketing and PR by DMS (I refer to the first initials in his name now because I read so much of his work, I feel I know the guy) and came across the story of ‘Grammar Girl.’ This is a woman who uses podcasts to “provide short, friendly tips to improve writing.” When I Googled “grammar”, her site was #7 in my results. Not bad for such a generic search word. By providing tips (i.e. valuable info) to people, her FB fans have grown to 26,365 as of today. That also translates into fans of her book Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. Here’s her quote from NRFM&PR about how the podcasts allowed her to have an existing fan base, which affected (or is it “effected?”) book sales:

 “When I went out on my book tour, the crowds were much bigger than expected, and I believe it is at least in part due to all the groundwork I laid on social networks for over a year before the book came out…A lot of people who came out were people I connected with on Twitter or Facebook, and I posted messages about where I was going to be on both those services multiple times.”

 When thinking about your book, what could you podcast about it? I’ll agree that fiction is a little harder to podcast about than, say, a non-fiction topic like how to perform your own house energy audit and then, a year later write a cool book about it. But, you could select a topic from your novel, and talk about that.  Like during tomorrow night’s podcast, I’m going to highlight the fact that The Brink uses real-world economic theories and financial numbers to propel the plot forward. What about you? What topics propel your writing forward?

 The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…  


The Nightstand Diaries – 1 year, 5,000 books, and an (almost) anything goes approach to book marketing

July 1, 2010

 It’s named “The Nightstand Diaries” because in terms of publishing a book, it doesn’t mean squat that we’re published. It doesn’t mean squat that our book is on a bookstore shelf. It’s only when someone takes our book home and reads it – as a way to relax on a lounge chair, pass time on a subway, or as the last mental exercise before putting it on the nightstand and going to bed – that we become a part of our readers’ lives. With this notion in mind, I invite you to come along as I try to do that very thing. My goal is to sell 5,000 copies of my new novel The Brink over the next year using mostly social media with a limited marketing budget. And this is an interactive blog, so if you have good marketing ideas, or want to critique mine whenever I do something stupid, let’s hear it! So, without further ado, let the book marketing madness continue…

Day 18 of 365 

In this issue:

  • MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #4 of 5
  • Creating a Facebook invite for the Lewisville Borders signing
  • The world’s China Bet and how it relates to The Brink  
  • Reminders – get the blog emailed to you and taking July 4th off

 MFFA – My First Facebook Ad – Day #4 of 5

I guess the “Conspiracy Theory” folks on Facebook weren’t digging a novel about “the most staggering conspiracy of our time.” I got shut out today on my ad that got sent out to them. Here’s the numbers for the week so far:

Daily stats for the week of:  Jun 27  

Date Imp. Clicks CTR (%) Avg. CPC ($) Avg. CPM ($) Spent ($)
07/01/2010 2,730 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
06/30/2010 94,052 25 0.03 0.80 0.21 20.00
06/29/2010 54,210 29 0.05 0.69 0.37 20.00
06/28/2010 7,555 4 0.05 1.08 0.57 4.32
Lifetime 158,547 58 0.04 0.76 0.28 44.32

 So, I’m going to try the “thrillers” crowd for the last day of my ad campaign. The ad will still give the title with my name and the cover shot. But I changed the rest of the text to read a snippet of the ForeWord Clarion Review, “Action and heroism keep readers turning pages. A nicely crafted thriller.” – ForeWord Clarion Review  There are 20,640 folks on Facebook who identify with the “thrillers” interest group. Let’s hope the waters are kind tomorrow and the fishing is good.

 Creating a Facebook invite for the Lewisville Borders signing

 I mentioned in a previous post that I’m flying blind as far as how well this Facebook campaign is working because beyond the number of folks who clicked on my ad to go to my website, there’s no way to know what they did from there. I installed the Google Analytics code into my website’s html programming, but I don’t think I did it right because all my numbers are at zero so far. I’ve got Go Daddy as my web host, so I’ll have to park my butt in my chair and do a little research with the Go Daddy peeps over this fourth of July weekend to see if I can track customers. I guess I’ll just light a sparkler next to my computer for my own private fireworks show. Sweet!

 One thing that I can track in real time is a Facebook invite ad that I created for my book signing next weekend at the Lewisville Borders store. I scheduled the ad to run all next week, same parameters (cost per click option at $.58, $20 a day is my budget) as my other ad. The interest group is everyone 18 and older in a 10-mile radius around Lewisville, Texas. That equates to 3,240 people. So, we’ll see what happens.

 The world’s China Bet and how it relates to The Brink 

 While my new novel, The Brink, is a political thriller that centers on an imagined (maybe or maybe not??) global conspiracy, a huge part of that conspiracy lies within our very fragile international financial system. Here’s tonight’s post from The Baseline Scenario, a great financial blog that serves as a lighthouse in the turbid sea that is the global economy. It highlights the real-world problem with America, and the world, betting on China, something that allows the conspirators to see their plan finally come to fruition in The Brink.  

 Reminders – get the blog emailed to you and taking July 4th off

Last night, I added an option if you want this blog emailed directly to you. If so, please look in the right hand column and submit your email.  

And speaking of the holiday (I know we didn’t but it makes for a good segue), let’s all take it off and enjoy it with the real flesh and blood people in our lives. My next post will be on Tuesday, July 6, 2010.  Happy and safe Fourth of July!