Thursday, December 18, 2014

Celdom Drives a Pick-up

I was faced with an interesting dilemma the past few days, and it has to do with the upcoming holiday season.

For the second year in a row, I was declined an offer to visit family out-of-town for Christmas. I found it disheartening because this might possibly be the last time I will be spending the holiday season in Canada for a while. (Those of you who know me personally, know the reasoning behind that.) So, I was asking myself, what am I going to do for Christmas and New Year's. There are no plans for my special visitor from last New Year's and I to meet up this year (But, that will be made up for in bounds in 2015.), and save for a Christmas dinner my work will be having for some of it's employees on the night of the 25th, I have a span where I will only be called into the office for 2 out of 9 days. That calls into question: what am I going to do with myself? Well, as someone who is an independent author in his spare time, he turns to his craft.

However, there was only one slight problem with this: which of my three personas should I concentrate on? At first, I wanted to write a holiday-themed story based on the characters in my Fiery Freedom series, but certain people aren't too keen on a return of Steven, Freedom, and Angela to the masses. (I suppose they have their reasons, but I don't need to explore that at this juncture.) I also have a half-finished first draft of the second book in Prairie Fire Trilogy, that I haven't really touched since May. I'd like to continue the story of when Ashley meets Chuck, but with it gathering electrical dust on my Flash drive, I might need time to re-read what I have written, so I know where to go from there.

That leaves the original cast of characters that brought me into the world of independent authors, my Gary Celdom Case Journals series. Some people were thinking I could write a holiday-themed story involving Gary, Jessica, Karen, and Phil. I was a little hesitant at going this route since my latest attempt to write a novel based on the back story of when Gary first met Phil flopped again (an occasion where the third time was not a charm). But, these people were still insistent I give the holiday-themed Celdom book a shot. The only problem was, what should this holiday Celdom book be about?

After some surveying on social media (and some wonderful brainstorming with the special lady in my life, as well as, a second supporter), the seed was planted for what I'm hoping will become the fourth Gary Celdom book. The premise, our motley crew head to Gary's cottage in the Kawarthas for Christmas. While there, in the nearby community of Bailieboro, a crime (I haven't determined what yet) has been committed. It's up to the vacationing Gary, Jessica, Karen, and Phil to help solve the case. I'm hoping to start writing this during my time off, with the intent of releasing it during the holiday season of 2015.

With that being said, from myself, C. D., and Crimson, we would like to wish all of our followers a very Happy Holidays, and a Happy and safe New Year.


P.S. Before I forget, starting midnight EST on Boxing Day (December 26th) until 8 am EST on December 29th, I'm holding a special Boxing Day Weekend sale on the Kindle store. (I'm not sure if this will translate to, or other Amazon Kindle sites worldwide, but we'll soon see.) For those 80 hours, Kindle copies of my Gary Celdom Case Journals: Volume One, and Crimson's Fiery Freedom: The Complete Saga will be on sale for US$0.99 (reg. US$2.99).

With GCCJ:V1, you'll be getting the first two books in the Celdom series: Scarlet Siege, and Barbadian Backlash in one download. As for FF:TCS, it's the meshing of all three Freedom shorts: Desire in the Desert, Branded Canuck, and Bound by Commitment into a handy all-in-one.

So, if you prefer detective series, or steamy romances... or, both... make sure you take advantage of this special promotion while you can.

Ho Ho Ho from "Santa Dief".

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Here's something new, I'm now a Marty Tsu.

There are many ways for an author to connect with their fans on social media. Most platforms are the traditional outlets: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Others go for blogs, like WordPress, or the one you're reading right now. However, there has been a bit of an outcry from writers who reach out via social media, and there is a movement to change that.

Allow me to try to explain this to the best of my understanding. Most of the outcry has centered around Facebook and it's apparent knack for limiting the audience of posts by independent authors. The posts are meant to advertise and promote the author's work. Unfortunately, Facebook has decided to pray to the typical American God of "The Almighty Dollar", and is suggesting these independent authors, who are "strug-a-ling" to find and keep a fan base, pony up so their posts are seen by a wider audience. As someone who is is in this same position as most indie authors, I find it to be an unscrupulous tactic on Facebook's part to suck people out of their profits. So, what's there to do for the indie author? They go to another platform.

Fortunately, such a platform exists and is growing by leaps and bounds in the past few weeks, and that platform is known as "Tsu" (pronounced "Sue"). Tsu is like Facebook and Twitter, but it allows posters to own their own content (with certain posting limitations, of course), and keep their financial interests within themselves. Also, and this part I'm still trying to figure out, if there is advertising revenue to be had from the posts, then it is "profit shared" between Tsu, the original poster, and anyone else who shares the post. So, there is a little extra income stream to be had from the service.

So, after seeing a few indie authors signing on, I decided to wade into the fray myself. However, I wasn't ready to set up 3 separate accounts for all three of my writing personas. Therefore, I decided to create an account that encompasses all three personas under one umbrella: a makeshift publishing company of my own creation -- Toronto Nanook Publishing. My Twitter handle now reflects the new direction, and any posts from my "3 Faces of Dief" authors will originate from my new Tsu account with it being filtered towards Facebook and Twitter (although, it'll be tough to pare down the Twitter posts to 140 characters or less).

Currently, Tsu is invite only for starters; however, if you're interested in seeing what's coming up (including my first ever online Boxing Day Weekend sale for a Kindle version of a book or two), feel free to check it out, and sign-up. Just tell them sent you.