The 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Another day off, yet here it is..another post. I couldn’t help this one, as it’s more a rant that focuses on the plot from my latest thriller, The Brink, and less about being an authorpreneur. Shamless self promotion, yes. But these are the last days that I’m part of the B&N Special Collection, so please cut me a little slack for trying to keep myself TOM (Top Of Mind). 

Most folks don’t know what the Federal Reserve is, and yet it has perhaps the most influence in our daily lives more than any other piece of the federal government. Did you catch that? The Federal Reserve isn’t even part of our government (another common misconception), it’s a private entity. But chances are, the fact that you’re living in the house you have because of the low mortgage rate, or the fact that you didn’t get that loan you needed to start a new business because the interest rate was a killer, all came about because of something this private bank did. You are permitted to cojure pictures of a giant Monopoly banker growing tentacles and wrapping them around the Capital building here if you want.

And even if you followed former Alan Greenspan, and could decipher his famous “Greenspeak” speeches to corner the market in your day trading days, or you tweet or blog about current Chairman Bernanke’s press releases and senate hearings, chances are you don’t know the following names: Fisher, Plosser, Evans and  Kocherlakota. But, as voting members of the Fed’s Board of Governors, it is these 4 men who hold the power to sway those key Fed actions that will impact you and your financial future for years, or perhaps even decades, to come.

A recent NYT article sets up their decision making power like the engine behind a conspiratorial plot of a  suspense novel: “The four men are presidents of regional Fed banks, and under an arcane system that dates to the Depression, they will become voting members in 2011 on the Federal Open Market Committee, which gathers eight times a year around a 27-foot mahogany table to influence the supply of credit in the economy.”

It is this kind of behind-the-scenes activity that makes us question our government, not trust it. While it provides inspiration for fiction writers to churn out stories that hopefully education while they entertain, casting these men as shadowy characters in the self-mockumentary that is our present day political system powers the politics of dangerous and ignorant extremes that now soaks up hours and hours of TV and Internet programming. 

So, what to do? Insert op/ed for educating the little ones  here – Maybe we should teach the kiddos a little more about how organizations like The Fed really work, and just how much influence they have over mommy’s and daddy’s life. Maybe instead of learning their state capitals, they should know the names of the men and women who will wield pens as mighty swords over their financial futures. If nothing else, we should teach the children about credit scores and not how to f*** their’s up. Now that’s something that will affect EVERYTHING they do in their financial life. Plus, it’s a pretty easy start to get a handle on what people can do to control their financial life rather than trying to figure out what goes on after hours around one of those 27-foot mahogany tables. I just hope the cleaning lady uses plenty of Pledge the next morning.

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 Mark Fadden’s latest thriller, The Brink, was selected for Barnes and Noble’s Special Collection for a second time! Check it out at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210485/?cds2Pid=24451

The Birth of the Conspiracy Thriller

As a writer, one of the coolest things I get to do is talk about books with people. Inevitably, one of the questions I get asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?”

Whenever I start a story, my main goal is to create a thriller that people cannot put down. Closely behind that goal is my desire to “edutain” or educate people on subjects that they normally wouldn’t want to read about as the murders occur, chases ensue, and suspense builds.

For my latest thriller, The Brink, I studied Dan Brown’s international best seller The Da Vinci Code. Not only is it a great thriller, it educates the reader on religious symbols and history, something that usually invokes a yawn or two. What Brown did for religious history, I wanted to do with another subject, financial history and economic theory. The Brink uses the story of a fugitive cop who helps a woman running for her life to educate the reader about the history of our Federal Reserve banking system and the fragility of the international monetary system.   When the systems that govern our daily lives are ripe for manipulation and outright conspiracy, it becomes an obvious choice for a novelist to come up with a scenario where exactly that occurs.

Want some more info on the history of the world’s banking system? Here’s an excellent video about the Rothschild family, the world’s first banking family and how they came to be the wealthiest and most powerful family in the world. This is just part 1. Please visit Youtube to see the rest.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 

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Get a signed copy of The Brink 20% off the cover price + FREE SHIPPING! Visit www.markfadden.com for more information. Hurry, offer ends Nov. 15!

Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

“I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

“[Mark Fadden] is the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

“Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

Want to start reading The Brink right now? Download the eBook version from amazon.com for less that $10 at http://www.amazon.com/The-Brink-ebook/dp/B003OYIEPC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1284567122&sr=8-2 or bn.com at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Brink/Mark-Fadden/e/9781450210492/?itm=1&USRI=mark+fadden.

QE, Currency Wars and the Barnes and Noble Event Blog

Tonight two topics – one on books and the other on the state of our international financial system (which is the foundation of my latest thriller, The Brink ). Since this blog is about writing and getting your book noticed in the ever-expanding marketing universe, I’ll hit the book topic first.

I had a great weekend with back to back signings in two local Barnes & Noble stores. Since one was a group event where they had several authors appear at the same time and they did their own publicity for it, I did a news release on my second signing at the Lewisville Barnes & Noble (please see yesterday’s blog to read the news release) . One of the tags I used was “Barnes and Noble events” and it got picked up by WordPress’s “Blogs about” service. Our blogs on “Blogs about” won’t stay up there long, it does get some attention, and that’s a good thing.   

 

Now, I’ll show you the money, or what’s happening with the money around the world.

It’s been called “QE” which stands for quantitative easing. Basically, it’s a fancy term that the Federal Reserve and the rest of the world’s reserve banks are using when they print more money. Interest rates are already at rock bottom almost everywhere, so there’s nothing else the bankers can do on that end to pump more money into the international financial system.  So they said, “Hey, wait a second. Let’s just pump more money into the system by making more money and come up with some clever euphamism for it!” Viola, qualitative easing. However, as with anything in politics, some play fair and some don’t. Some countries are printing money, and some aren’t. And this is leading to these “currency wars” or fighting in the international financial system among the players. The ones that aren’t printing money say that the ones that are aren’t playing fair and it affects currency values all over the world. These inflated or deflated currency values affect export and imports, which affect deficits, and everyone is mad at China because they’ve kept the yuan so low for years, and these current wars are just reminding everyone that they should be mad as heck and not take it anymore. Problem is, China is one of the few countries that is actually in the black. And they are making investments all over the world.

I continue to be flabbergasted at the fact that what the bankers are doing across the globe is EXACTLY what the fictional bankers in my latest thriller, The Brink, did to lead up to one very important event that is about to take place when a scrappy, brilliant woman discovers what’s about to happen and decides to do something about it. Her decision leads to her run for her life through Northern Mexico, where she’s discovered by a fugitive cop who decides to help her, thus getting himself sucked into this plot for financial Armageddon.

But there’s one thing here that fiction allows me to do. It allows me to put an evil group behind what’s going on in the international financial system. The Group, as they are called in the book, work behind the scenes to manipulate the system. They are the ones controlling these decisions made by the bankers, which is not to say they are controlling the bankers directly. Rather, they control the system and the bankers have no other options but to do what The Group wants them to do.

But is that what’s going on in the real world? Is there one group that is, for the lack of a better word, gaming the system? In his excellent book, The Big Short, Michael Lewis cast a lens on a few Wall Street outsiders that seemed to read the cards of the financial world better than the rest of the world, and got rich doing so by betting against the market in the run-up to the 2008 financial meltdown. What if the same is going on here again? For a second time? On a much, much bigger, global scale? That’s what The Brink is about. Could what is essentially a small group of people actually control the future of the world economy?

To the keyboards!

Blog pic by Francesco Marino http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=809

Money ball pic by Salvatore Vuono http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=659

 

Breaking News Release – Is The Brink coming true?

Today’s Bank of Japan action eerily close to similar event that sparks global meltdown in controversial thriller

Could a suspense thriller have predicted the future? Mark Fadden’s latest chillingly current novel, The Brink, might have actually pulled off that trick with the announcement of today’s Bank of Japan emergency meeting to take “bold action” in the currency market. The book follows a fugitive cop and a brilliant and beautiful economist as they race to Washington, D.C. from the Mexican wilderness with news of a secret society’s plan for global financial Armageddon. “I wanted the conspiracy in the book to be one that could actually happen in real life, with real, if somewhat mysterious groups involved.” These ‘mysterious groups’ Fadden is referring to are the Bilderbergers, an alleged cabal of international elites such as financiers, media moguls, and members of royal families, that are bent on forming a one world government, thus destroying soverign nations and individual freedoms.  Another organization Fadden brings into his latest thriller is America’s own Federal Reserve, which, Fadden says, is awash in secrecy. “By setting the interest rate, perhaps no other organization in the world controls our lives more than the FED. Yet most people have no idea it is a network of private banks that is not under the control of any branch of US government.”  

While Fadden won’t give away anything that might spoil the plot, he does reveal that today’s emergency meeting announcement by the Bank of Japan as reported by Bloomberg.com in which Japanese Prime Minister’s Naoto Kan is quoted that, “he expects the BOJ to implement monetary policy “swiftly,” and that the government is ready to take “bold action” in the currency market,” is eerily similar to what happens in the book.

“I wrote the book a few years ago and spent several years researching the financial aspects of it,” Fadden said, searching for his words carefully so to not give away too much. “Let’s just say that today’s Bank of Japan action is pretty close to what happens in The Brink. I just hope for our sakes that the timelines of factual events and ficitionalized events split off from there.”

The Brink is Fadden’s third novel. Visit www.markfadden.com for more information.

So what does it take for a virtually unknown author to sell books? Get a front row seat as Mark Fadden blogs about his marketing hits and many misses on the way to sell 5,000 copies of his latest thriller, The Brink, in one year.

July 21, 2010

Day 37 of 365

Books sold so far (as of the end of May 2010, which is my first official month – sales reports in this industry lag big time!): 157

In this issue:

  • FB ad round-up – let’s look at the numbers  
  • More changes to the website and a preview to search engine optimization

 FB ad round-up – let’s look at the numbers

The “economics” ad just a keeps on suckin’. Here’s the FB ad that was targeted at users who like economics:

 Could a novel come true?

A fugitive lawman uncovers the link between a secret society’s plot for financial Armageddon & the FED, based on REAL economic numbers.

 And here are the numbers:

Date Imp. Clicks CTR (%) Avg. CPC ($) Avg. CPM ($) Spent ($)
07/21/2010 1,072 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
07/20/2010 7,011 2 0.03 0.57 0.16 1.14
07/19/2010 684 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Lifetime 8,767 2 0.02 0.57 0.13 1.14

 I think folks from as far away as Russia (oh yes, according to my godaddy.com site analytics, I’m huge there) could probably smell the stench of failure on this ad. But, it’s staying up until the end of the week, because I said I would keep it going that long, and by Neptune’s trident I am a man of my word!

 Fortunately, my other ad is still going strong. Here’s the ad:

 Electrifying new author

Tired of the same plots & the same characters? Read the intro to this award winning thriller and never see the world the same again.

 And here are the numbers as of 10:45pm tonight:

Date Imp. Clicks CTR (%) Avg. CPC ($) Avg. CPM ($) Spent ($)
07/21/2010 133,158 15 0.01 0.59 0.07 8.90
07/20/2010 87,886 36 0.04 0.56 0.23 20.00
Lifetime 221,044 51 0.02 0.57 0.13 28.90

 51 total in two days with 15 new today. The CTR % (click through rate) dropped off, but that’s to be expected since the same group (people who like books) are seeing it over and over (by the way, there are 560,900 people in that group). I asked the question last night how I can leverage the seeming popularity of this ad. I didn’t have a chance to give it much thought today, but it’s still pinging around inside the old melon.

 

More changes to the website and a preview to search engine optimization

I took the opportunity to look at my godaddy.com site analytics last night and saw something interesting. There was a steep drop in the number of visitors over the last few days. It started around the time I changed up the language on the site to reflect more of my personality, which sounded like fantastic advice coming from my social media Moses David Meerman Scott in his book The New Rules of Marketing and PR. So, to make the sight more fun, I sprinkled the site with what I thought were snarky, smart assed, and what I thought were funny comments here and there. But, when people are looking for at a thriller writer, they don’t want Flopso the Clown. Like I said in last night’s post, they are looking to you to solve their problem. They need a good book. They want a thriller to thrill them. They don’t want a thriller writer trying to be funny.

My website is something that I, like many other people that use primarily websites to broadcast their information, continue to struggle with. There are in the neighborhood of 124 million sites on the Internet and literally billions of web pages. We want to stand out and we stand out by providing great content. But how?

I was thumbing through the July/Aug issue of Inc. magazine today and it was like the editors were reading my mind. There in front of me was a whole pull-out section on website search engine optimization, or “SEO.” How to get your website seen! Drive more traffic to your site! Fantastic. I’ll need some time to really dig into it, so that’s hopefully a topic for tomorrow night. Until then… 

 

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…