Monday, March 16, 2020

Be Well Everyone!

Welcome everyone!

Like yours, I have no doubt, my life is changing a bit. With the natural upheaval that comes with a once-in-a-century pandemic, I'll be working from home in the near future. My first priority will be to safeguard my family, and my second will remain with my day job.

However, I'll be able to get some work done on my book as well since I won't have to drive my commute every day. So, I'll be able to get more adio book editing done AND more work done on Book 3.

Please take good care of yourselves during this time. Here's a good, reputable site with some recommendations.

I'll be in touch via this blog and social media. Be well!



Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Signing A Book is a Touching Experience

Welcome everyone!

I had a young person bring me a copy of The Huntsman and the She-Wolf to sign yesterday. She was so bashful and nervous. But I was extremely happy to do it for her.

It strikes me as funny that I get regarded as a person of importance or celebrity. People will sometimes say, "You're a real author!" And yes, I am, but I'm also the same person I've always been. Just a regular guy holding a regular job in a very regular part of the world.

People look at me differently, but I don't feel any different. It's something I'm getting used to, but not all the way adapted to yet.

The encounter with the young lady was short but still very sweet. She complimented the cover and blushed when she said thank you as I handed the book back to her. I'll always cherish moments like this. I really hope she enjoyed reading it.


Peace,

-Troy

Monday, March 9, 2020

A Fairly Productive Weekend

Welcome everyone!

The weather was nice outside, and I got a lot of work done inside. Trying to get back on a regular schedule, I pulled out my audio editing gear. I was able to make more progress on the the audio book for The Huntsman and the Vampire. I need to do more, but I'm happy with the quality I'm producing.

I also made more progress on Book 3. I can tell I'm going to have to work a lot on the dialogue. Some chapters are pretty heavy with it in this one. Right now, I'm just trying to get the story out of my head and on to digital files.

Anyway, I hope you have a productive week. Spring-forward is always a tough time for me. It's kinda funny how changing just one hour can have such a difference. May your Monday go smoothly for you!


Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, March 5, 2020

February Sales Numbers - A Massive Blowout!

Welcome everyone!

Wow, I have some great news to share with you today. I'm going to release the sales figures for February, 2020 for both The Huntsman and the She-Wolf and The Huntsman and the Vampire. These figures are out of this world!

eBooks:

THATSW: 33
THATV:    06

AudioBooks:

THATSW: 01

Online Paperback Sales:

THATSW: 01
THATV:    10

Online Hardback Sales:

THATV: 08

In-Person Paperback Sales:

THATSW: 16
THATV:    18

In-Person Hardback Sales:

THATSW: 10
THATV:    17

Kindle Unlimited Pages Read:

THATSW: 447
THATV:    127


Totals:

Print Books: 80
Electronic Copies: 40
KNEP Pages Read: 574

When it comes to copies sold, this is the best month I've ever had. It's not even close. The launch of my second book (THATV) really helped the sales of the first book. I saw a massive uptick in sales in the weeks leading to launch. Also, I ran a brief sale in that time which undoubtedly helped as well.

447 Kindle Unlimited pages read in a month is my fifth best monthly total so far. Putting both books together gets me 574, which would be my third best total in a month. 

When I published my first book, I set a goal to sell 300 copies of it in the first year and 500 copies by the second year (including my second book). I still have most of the month of March to accomplish that goal, and I am short by only a small handful of copies. 

I feel confident I'll be able to hit both my goals by the deadlines I've set.

I've had some difficult times on a personal level here lately. I won't bother you with the details, but to be able to report to all my fans and followers just how successful my books have been and how amazing their support has been, fills my heart with gladness. THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE! You've really helped me through some hard times.

I'm still trying to get organized enough to get back to regular posting. I can't promise that I shall, but I want you to know I'm doing my best. Love you all very much.

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

About My Recent Absence - Getting Back Into the Habbit

Welcome everyone!

It've not been updating my site much lately. My house has been stricken by illness, unfortunately. Both my daughter and I have fallen ill, and I've missed quite a bit of work as a result.

We're on the mend, though. The fevers have gone away and now we're just dealing with the leftover chest congestion. As a result, I hope to get back to regular updates soon.

I have some very exciting news about the month of February to share with you this week. Expect that on Thursday or Friday. We'll have really cool something to celebrate together.


I hate falling out of the habit of making daily posts. Writing is the same way. If you establish a routine, it makes doing the work easier. Due to sickness and other unforeseen circumstances, I've fallen out of the habit of writing anything. That's not good.

It remains doubtful I'll be able to make a post tomorrow. Work is tremendously busy at the moment, and I have a good deal of catching up to do since I've been out. Wish me luck on that! We'll talk soon.

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Motifs I'd Like To Use #10 - The Labyrinth

Welcome everyone!

I think mazes are fun. When I was a kid, I used to get books of mazes and have a blast trying to figure them out. One of my most favorite Atari games (yep, I'm that old) was Maze Craze. I used to play that against my friends and cousins all the time.

So, it would be really gratifying for me if I could include some kind of maze in one of my future books. Mazes offer a lot of really cool possibilities for traps, information gathering, and characterization. There should also be something at the end worth obtaining.

The biggest challenge to introducing a labyrinth to a story is to make it seem like a natural part of the world. These things don't just grow on their own; they have to be built for a purpose. If you can't find a good justification for it, the maze will just seem forced.


But that's a challenge for me. Hopefully I can overcome it. Wish me luck!

Peace,

-Troy

Monday, February 24, 2020

My Favorite Pictures

Welcome everyone!

One of the most gratifying things that I get to experience as an author is getting pictures like the following:


I absolutely LOVE seeing books in people's hands. Any book. Now, when I see one of MY books in their hands, it's doubly exciting. When people send me pictures like that, it makes all the free time I sacrificed and all the emotional stress I endured worth it.

Writing The Huntsman and the Vampire took a lot of out me. 2019 was a tough year at times, and 2020 hasn't been any easier.

Thank you so much to everyone who's sent me pics like that one and like this one:


And this one:


You guys keep me going. You really do!

Peace,

-Troy

Friday, February 21, 2020

Goals for the Weekend 2020-02-21

Welcome everyone!

This weekend, I'm back at the grindstone with the audio book. Also, starting up work on Book 3!

Here's my goals:

  • Edit more chapters in the audiobook for book 2.
  • Continue early work on Book 3.
If I can do all that, I'll have a successful weekend. I hope you do too.

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Vids I Like #6 - Worldbuilding

Welcome everyone!

One thing I'd really like to accomplish with Book 3 is world-building. If you've read The Huntsman and the She-Wolf and The Huntsman and the Vampire, you've learned a lot about characters such as Tristan, Thaul, Mersha, Mikhelena, and Leo. But what about Vitalba village itself? Or Everpass Hold? Probably not much.

So, what I want to do is take more time to build the history and culture of my setting in the third installment. As a result, I'm doing some researching in that area. Below, I'll share an interesting video I found on the topic. If you are working on your own world, maybe you'll find it useful too:


Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Site Updates are Rolling Out

Welcome everyone!

I've been busy updating my website. I've gotten links to The Huntsman and the Vampire and the Hunter's Rose series all fixed up on the right hand column now. I'm really happy with how it looks. I can't wait to have the whole series over there. It'll be amazing when it's done.

Also, I'm still going back through all the old posts on this site and adding tags to them. This way it'll be easier to search for various topics. For instance, if you wanted to find all the posts that have the character roses on them, you could just click that label at the bottom of one and the site will generate a list for you.



It's a slow process since I'm also working on the audio book and my health has been less than perfect lately. However, I'm getting things the way I want them and I think that will improve everyone's experience when it's all done.

Be on the lookout for more updates down the road! Exciting things are coming :)

Peace,

-Troy

Monday, February 17, 2020

SOLD OUT!! - But Not Really

Welcome everyone!

I hope you had a good weekend. I got some work done on the audio book for The Huntsman and the Vampire on Saturday despite coming down with a pretty severe chest cold. I haven't recovered fully yet, but at least my fever broke Sunday night.

Anyway, if you go check out the Paperback or Hardcover for THATV on Amazon, you'll notice it says "Temporarily Out of Stock." If my memory serves correctly, the same thing happened with my previous book.

That out of stock issue should be resolved in a matter of days as Amazon orders some copies for its warehouse distribution centers. My understanding is that they prefer to distribute books themselves rather than rely on my printer (IngramSpark) to do it for them. Of course, it's still listed as "In-Stock" on other sites like B&N and BAM.

It is kinda fun to see "Sold Out" by your name. It gives the impression that your product is in high demand, and relatively speaking, THATV is! But it's not really out of stock and people can still order it and get it in a timely fashion. The shortage is due to Amazon's own idiosyncrasies. Haha!


Happy Presidents' Day. If you have the day off, I hope you feel rested and rejuvenated by the end of it. :)

Peace,

-Troy


Friday, February 14, 2020

Goals for the Weekend 2020-02-14

Welcome everyone!

Happy St. Valentines day to you. Perfect day to BUY A ROSE, don't you think? Haha! Anyway, this weekend is marked by a time of transition.

Print and eBook editions of The Huntsman and the Vampire is officially released, and now it's on to the audio book and also Book 3.

So here's what I plan to do:
  • Edit and Master at least 3 chapters in the audio book
  • Outline and begin drafting the inciting incident for Book 3
If I can do all that, I'll have a successful weekend. I hope you do too! :)

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Book Launch Was a Huge Success!

Welcome everyone!

The launch party I mentioned last week for The Huntsman and the Vampire was a HUGE success! The turnout was fantastic- we packed out the library. I got to sign so many books, in fact, I'm pretty sure I did nothing by write messages and sign my name for an hour strait! It was awesome.

For those that came out for it, I really appreciate it. The weather was terrible. We had torrential downpours at times and even some lightning, I think. It was pretty nasty day outside, but inside it was a tremendous party.

By the time I made it home, I was physically drained but my mind was racing. I got to shake the hands of 40-50 attendees, interact with young people interested in writing, and spend time with friends, colleagues, and fans who all wanted to wish me well. Everyone was absolutely wonderful.

Nothing makes an author happier than getting to put the written word into somebody's hand to read:


Well, now that the party is over, where do we go from here? First, I'm still promoting the launch. The first month is the most critical in drawing readers, and I can't wait to report how February goes. I think it will be my best month ever.

Next, it's time to get the audio book finished. I'm already into the editing and mastering. So expect that in the coming weeks, depending on how long Audible takes to get it done.

Finally, it's time to get to work on Book 3. A writer's job is never finished. I'll telly you more about that down the road. A whole lot of outlining, writing, and revising are ahead of me. Wish me luck!

Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Hunter's Rose Book 2 is OUT!

Welcome everyone!

The Huntsman and the Vampire is now launched on all major online retailers! This moment is the result of two years of hard work and support from all of you. Thank you so much for helping me make this day happen. You guys are the best.

Here is a list of the places you can now find THATV:

Once again, thank you so much for all your well-wishes and encouragement. I couldn't have gotten this done without you. Love you guys!

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Book Trailer for The Huntsman and the Vampire!

Welcome everyone!

Here it is, the beautiful new trailer for my latest fantasy novella - The Huntsman and the Vampire:




Don't forget, The Huntsman and the Vampire launches tomorrow!

Peace,

-Troy




Monday, February 10, 2020

New Book Trailer Coming Tomorrow!

Welcome everyone!

Tomorrow I have a bonus reveal for The Huntsman and the Vampire. It's a brand new book trailer!

I love book trailers. There's just something invigorating about a visual presentation that a cover and summary (while beautiful and informative) can't add. They bring me into the world a bit more and spark my imagination in a whole different way.

Anyway, I am extremely happy with the book trailer for THATV. The same people who created the first one last year made this one as well. I can't wait to share it with you tomorrow. Until then, here's a reminder of what the trailer for The Huntsman and the She-Wolf looked like:



And don't forget, the launch is this WEDNESDAY, and I'll have having a launch party at the MCHS Library from 3:30 to 5:30pm. If you can make it, I would love to see you there!

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, February 6, 2020

*Thursday Reveal* An Audio Sample of Book 2!

Welcome everyone!

For the last Thursday Reveal for The Huntsman and the Vampire, I present to you the first chapter of the audio book via Sound Cloud:

Click Here to Listen


How's that for an opening? An uncle's mystery, a new location, the leader of the Lodge in a strange mood... Intriguing! Hope you enjoy it! Don't forget to pre-order tour books HERE!

Peace,

-Troy


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

One Week From Today - THATV Comes Out!!!

Welcome everyone!

The days are counting down. Seven more to go until The Huntsman and the Vampire will be released into the wild for the world to enjoy!

When I launched my first book, The Huntsman and the She-Wolf, I felt more frustration than anything. Learning how to coordinate my printer, distributor, and vendors was difficult at times. Setting up my eBook was intimidating, even though Amazon does try to make it easy.

This time, though, I feel nothing but excitement. I am very confident going into this that everything will go smoothly.

And to top it off, interest in my first book has spiked just before the second one launches. Check out the graph below:



To be in the top 25,000 books on ALL OF AMAZON is a tremendous accomplishment. It's the highest ranking I've ever achieved, and I am humbled by it. I want to give a shout out to all those who've purchased my book in one form or another. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

So what's going to happen between now and launch? Well, we have one more Thursday reveal to go. I have to work really hard to get it ready tonight. I'll be doing updates as we get closer and closer to launch day, and don't forget about the Launch Party that I posted about earlier this week.

Once again, thank you to everyone for your fantastic support. This has been a tremendously exciting time for all of us. You guys are awesome.



And if you haven't ordered your book yet, you can still get it by launch day if you order on Amazon. I'll be back with more tomorrow! :)

Peace,

-Troy




Tuesday, February 4, 2020

I'm Having a Launch Party!

Welcome everyone!

To kick off the release of my second novella, we're going to have a party! Bellow is the official press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marion County High School Library of Lebanon, Kentucky has invited Troy M. Costisick to celebrate the launch of his second fantasy novella, The Huntsman and the Vampire on February 12, 2020. A student session will be held in the library from 2:30pm until 3:30pm. A second party for the public will follow from 3:30pm until 5:30pm.

Costisick is a teacher at MCHS as a member of the English department. He has worked in the field of teaching since 2002 and has served at MCHS for the last 15 years both as an English teacher and an ECE collaborator. 

His first novella, The Huntsmen and the She-Wolf, was launched just last year to resounding success on March 26th. The launch of his follow-up work extends the story of Tristan DeSavoie as he endeavors to reclaim his family home from the mysterious powers that forced his father to sell it.

Copies of both books will be available for purchase and Mr. Costisick will also be available to answer questions and sign copies (at no charge). Copies will be available in both hardback and paperback. 

The Huntsman and the Vampire officially launches on February 12th, 2020 and is available with numerous online retailers including Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million, www.troycostisick.com, and more. 
If you're able to make it, I'd love to see you there! Don't forget, if you can't make it to the party, you can currently pre-order my books in eBook, paperback, and hardback from Amazon HERE.



Peace,

-Troy

Monday, February 3, 2020

I Did it!!!

Welcome everyone!

I did it! After weeks of trying, I was finally able to finish recording my audio book for The Huntsman and the Vampire. Whew, that took longer than expected.

There are 24 chapters in the book, and each one takes me about an hour to record. Editing and mastering is about another hour each. Then there's the uploading and formatting for Audible. The whole thing is a massive endeavor.

So, the first step is done. Now it's on two the second: making it sound nice for everyone.

The audio book will not be available on launch day with the print and ebook versions, but it will be there eventually.



I'd also like to take a moment to thank everyone who has been supporting me lately. Getting Book 2 ready for sale has been hard at times, and the words of encouragement have really helped. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it. Love you guys!

Peace,

-Troy

Friday, January 31, 2020

Goals for the Weekend 01-31-2020

Welcome everyone!

This weekend I will have a good bit of time to myself, so barring any unforeseen circumstance, I should be able to finish recording the audiobook for The Huntsman and the Vampire!

Getting that part of the process over will be a huge load off my mind. Then, I can start the editing and mastering process. I'll be glad when it's all done.

Anyway, here's my goals:

  • Finish recording the last two chapters of the THATV audiobook
  • Begin mastering the THATV audiobook
  • Plan launch day activities
If I can do all that, I'll have a successful weekend. I hope you do too.

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, January 30, 2020

*Thursday Reveal* - Sample CHAPTER from The Huntsman and the Vampire

Welcome everyone!

We are only THIRTEEN days away from the launch of The Huntsman and the Vampire! This week, I'm going to share an entire chapter with you.

When I originally planned this reveal, I thought I would share the first chapter. It makes sense since that chapter provides the hook for the story, but the more I considered it, the more I decided I didn't want to reveal that just yet.

You see, there are several surprises in chapters 1 and 2 that I appear on the first page I revealed a few weeks back. I still want to keep those a secret for now.

So instead, I have prepared for you Chapter 3: Attack on the Lodge.

You don't need to have read the first two chapters to understand what is happening in the third. The chapter is strong enough to stand on its own.

However, there are a lot of subtleties in this passage. Look for the smallest details. Note who appears and who does not appear. Make a mental note of where the characters stand and where they go, and also, note what objects are desecrated or destroyed. These will all be important later in the book.

This is one of my favorite chapters in Book 2. There's a lot of action, intrigue, and even a little romance. It's also the first time the vampires (also called bloodborn) appear on-page. I hope you like them. Let me know what you think!

Here is the link to the passage: The Huntsman and the Vampire: Chapter 3



As a reminder, Amazon has the eBook, Paperback, and Hardback available for preorder right now! If you want to receive your book on the day of the launch, order soon!

Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Vids I Like #5 - Women in Armed Medieval Combat

Welcome everyone!

Today, I'm going to share a really great video with you. In my series, men and women fight side-by-side against monsters of the dark. I've gotten some questions over the last year asking if it's realistic to have women fight with the same proficiency as men.

The answer is yea. One reason is that in the setting of my story, monsters can only be hurt by weapons made of as certain substance: Eldanar. The mystical properties of Eldanar strengthen whoever wields it enabling them to do battle against creatures many times stronger.

However, that's not the only reason men and women fight along side each other. Another reason is because they can.

Recently, when the Witcher series came out on Netflix there was a bit of a controversy on whether or not the show depicts combat realistically. One of the criticisms was how women could out duel men. It turns out that in armed combat, the differences between men and women are largely negated by the equipment.

I could try to explain it myself, but I'll let the host of this video do it for me:



Peace,

-Troy

Monday, January 27, 2020

Motifs I'd Like to Use #10: Signposting - A Literary Technique

Welcome everyone!

Today I'm going to talk about "signposting." If you've read many book series, then you probably know that that is even though you've likely never heard it called that.

Signposting is when an author leaves the reader a clue about what time of year it is by observing some kind of recurring momentous occasion. This can be anything from holidays, birthdays, seasons, to celebrations.

For instance, many of you have probably read or or watched the Harry Potter series. In most of the books, Harry has to get to school. The start of the school year is a signpost that tells the audience how much time has passed since the last installment. She also usually includes something about Christmas. That's another signpost that lets the reader know how much time has passed within the story.

In The Lord of the Rings, Frodo and Bilbo share the same birthday. Those days are observed in the story to let the reader have an idea of how much time has passed.

Signposting is an important technique because the reader will often have a hard time keep track of days, weeks, and years during a story. Just think about how hard it is to keep track of stuff in real life! And also, it's kinda lame for an author to just come out and say "It was two years since the events of the last book..."

My books will also use signposting. Tristan's birthday is a big one. Also the change from summer to fall and from fall to winter will be used. However, there may be times I just have to come out and say, "Two weeks later..."

Each author has to make that decision. Signposting is preferred to plainly stating it, but it's not always a feasible technique. Plus, it's a fun way to celebrate tradition. People love traditions, and revisiting a holiday or celebration will bring back fond memories for the reader, which is always nice. You can even subvert those fond memories by having tragedy strike at a time that is normally associated with happiness.



Anyway, there's a little peak behind the curtain of writing for you. Don't forget to come back on Thursday for a HUGE reveal. It's going to be wonderfully exciting for you. I can't wait!

Peace,

-Troy

Friday, January 24, 2020

Goals for the Weekend 2020-01-24

Welcome everyone!

I have a busy weekend with personal stuff this week, but I still hope to make progress on the audio book for The Huntsman and the Vampire.

This weekend's goals:

  • Get one or two chapters recorded
If I can do that, I'll have a successful weekend. I hope you do too.

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, January 23, 2020

*Thursday Reveal* Audiobook Cover!

Welcome everyone!

For the last few weeks I've been going on about the audio version of The Huntsman and the Vampire. I'm down to the last few chapters and hope to get the recording phase finished very soon. After that, comes the editing and mastering.

Editing and mastering fit my schedule much better. I can do a few minutes at a time and just need a pair of headphones. When recording, I have to get my whole apparatus together, and it also needs to be pretty quiet. I often have to turn off the heat or air condition, in fact.

So, once I get the recording done, it should come along more quickly. You can check out the audio version of my first book on Audible HERE.

Anyway, you don't care about that. You're here for a reveal, so let's get to it:
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Naturally, it resembles the full cover. Audible requires a square format that resembles the old CD cases audiobooks used to come in. Regardless, I think it's beautiful, and I'm proud to have it represent my work.

Until next time, take care of each other!

Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Vids I Like #4 - Making Good Villains

Welcome everyone!

One of the things I struggle with as a writer is making good villains. Mine are often too remote, flat, or abstract for the audience to relate to. Sometimes, that's okay. You don't need a nuanced villain if you're setting up a fun adventure story where good and evil are black and white.

However, for a deeper, more hard-hitting story, a villain the audience can sympathize with is far more preferable. Below is a video explaining how a popular comic book movie is both sympathetic and objectionable at the same time. It's a brilliant vid, IMHO, and one I'll refer to often in the future:


Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Upcoming Changes to My Site

Welcome everyone!

I'm working on several changes to my website. I hope these will improve the experience for everyone who comes here.

First, I'm going back through all my posts and adding tags to them. This will make it much easier to sort and find entries on a specific topic. I should have done this when I first started, but alas, I didn't think about it. So in the future, you'll be able to type "Phen" in the search bar and pull up any post about him. This will be useful for myself as well.

Second, I'll be updating the sidebars with links to my new book. That'll change the appearance a bit, but in a good way. I love my new cover and can't wait to feature it more.

Third, I'll be looking for more widgets to add that will make my site more entertaining for you. I want this place to be informative and fun at the same time.


Finally, don't forget that The Huntsman and the Vampire is available for pre-order. If you order now, it will be on your doorstep on launch day, February 12th. And, since I've been talking so much about my audio book lately, I think I'll make something from that my Thursday reveal this week. Make sure you check back then!

Peace,

-Troy

Monday, January 20, 2020

Just 3 More Chapters to Go!

Welcome everyone!

I've had a great weekend. I want to celebrate with you how close I've come to finishing the audiobook for The Huntsman and the Vampire. I'm down to recording the last three chapters!

I had 8 chapters to go when the weekend started. I really knuckled down and made a strong push to get the book done. Alas, that is too many chapters to fit into one weekend, but I did try.

I hope to get it all finished by the end of next weekend. If I do, one of my upcoming Thursday reveals will be an audio copy of the first chapter.

Anyway, aside, from that, it looks like I'll be able to share some other exciting news this week. I just have to firm up a couple more things to be certain.

Until then, take care of each other!


Peace,

-Troy

Friday, January 17, 2020

Goals for the Weekend 2020-01-17

Welcome everyone!

This weekend I have a pretty simple task: make more progress on the audio book. Last weekend went well, but it's still an agonizingly slow process. I'm close to 70% done recording, which is great. But that still leaves hours and hours of editing and mastering to do. Blah.

So here's my goal:

  • Try to get at least four chapters recorded
If I can do that, I'll have a successful weekend. I hope you do to.

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, January 16, 2020

*Thursday Reveal* The First Page!

Welcome everyone!

Today I reveal the first bit of text for The Huntsman and the Vampire. I thought about just posting a screenshot of my own final draft that's in a Word document, but the interior of my book is so beautiful that I wanted to post the actual thing for anyone to see.

If you get the paperback version of THATV, this is exactly what it will look like. I love the work my layout artist does. It's amazing.

This is also the first for-really-real spoiler of the season. I'm not overly concerned about posting the first page. Once my book is launched, Amazon will put the first two to three chapters up for everyone to read in its "Look Inside!" feature. So I'm not **really** spoiling anything that would get spoiled by someone else regardless.

The first page begins, however, with a surprise, so if you don't want to be spoiled, don't look any further down below.

Last warning!
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So, there we have it! The book begins with an ending. I felt it would be poetic. We're saying goodbye to the adventure of the first book and hello to the adventure of the second. Every beginning requires the ending of something else, even if that ending means going from non-existence to existence.

I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peak. I'll be back next week with even more! Until then, take care of each other :)

Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Toss a Review To Your Author

Welcome everyone!

Today I'm going to talk about reviews. Many who read this blog love books. I love them too! And one thing I've discovered since first starting my writing journey is that small-time authors thrive on reviews.

Websites like GoodReads, Amazon, Book Gorilla, BookBub, Barnes and Noble, etc. make decisions about a book's visibility (how prominently to display a book) based on the number of reviews that book has gotten. It was something I never thought about when I was just a consumer, but those reviews are lifeblood for a fledgling author.



The more reviews a book gets, the more likely it is that the book will be featured higher in searches, showcases, and newsletters. Crossing thresholds like 100 or 200 reviews can catapult a title from obscurity to fame. No joke.

One of my colleagues in the indie-author biz has a book with over 250 reviews on Amazon. He is constantly getting sales for his eBook even though he does littler advertising. Another colleague has 33 reviews and she sees very little engagement with her title despite using her full advertising budget each month. Those reviews matter.



Unfortunately, leaving a review is more complicated than just smashing a like button on YouTube. Readers often have to go the trouble of logging in or creating an account to leave a review. Other sites, like Amazon, require you to have spent a certain amount of money in the last 12 months in order to be eligible to review a product. It's a pain, I know.

The reasons for those requirements, though, are simple. Authors can be a desperate lot and in the past have created burner accounts to leave reviews or have employed bots to mass review their works in order to jump up the visibility ladder. Thus, these websites have taken great pains to make sure that doesn't happen. Their integrity and the customer experience depend on it.



So if you can, please leave your favorite authors a review on whatever platform you prefer. It will mean a lot to them and you'll help improve the overall customer experience for everyone.

Now, I wouldn't blame people for pointing out that this post might be self-serving, but I'm not directly asking folks to leave me a review per se. Although I will greatly appreciate every review that I get, I'm a long ways from any of the key thresholds. Instead, I just want to put out there how important reviews are to book lovers and book writers alike. If you love the books you've read, the best way to ensure you get more titles like that is to leave a review. This will encourage that author to continue writing AND show other authors what kinds of stories people want to see.



It's a virtuous circle that keeps feeding itself.

Anyway, come back tomorrow for a really cool reveal. I'll see you then!

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Setbacks Are a Part of the Game

Welcome everyone!

Any project that takes years to complete will suffer setbacks. Publishing a book series is no different, and I am now confronting several setbacks that I'll have to solve.

With the release of The Huntsman and the Vampire less than a month away, I've turned my attention to Book 3 in the Hunter's Rose series. I've contacted all the artists, editors, and creators I've worked with for the first two books in the series to inquire about their availability. Sadly, some will likely not be available.

The artist I used for the landscapes and architectural designs in my first book is no longer able to produce. I covered that in the past, but there's been no change, unfortunately. I really liked his style and his promptness, but in the end, he won't be returning. I'll be very interested to hear what people think of the art produced by his replacement in Book 2.

Also, the editor I used for The Huntsman and the Vampire has left the industry. This was a particularly hard blow for me since I admire her work both in the editing field and the writing field. She's the author of Unanchored, a pirate-historical fiction novel that I personally think is quite enjoyable.


In addition to that, the folks who have done the cover and interior for my first two books have gone radio silent. They haven't posted to their social media since August and are no longer returning my emails and PM's. I do know that they have suffered some serious health issues lately, and I sincerely hope that there has not been a relapse or sudden change for the worse.

I want to be clear that I'm not disappointed in any of these people. Real Life comes up all the time. Family, illness, burnout, whatever can all change a person's course in life very quickly. I'm nobody special. They don't owe me anything, and if they aren't able to do the work, I wouldn't want to pressure them into it.

But this illustrates one of the challenges, maybe the biggest challenge, of being an independently published author: you must rely on other independent people to make your project happen.

The great thing about being independent is you get to decide everything for yourself. There are no schedules, no commitments beyond what you're willing to make. But that's a two-edged sword when outsourcing elements of your book. All the other independent artists get to make decisions for themselves too, and if they can't or don't want to work with you anymore, then there's no real recourse. Author's writing for a publishing company don't have to worry about such things.

Perhaps it was naive of me to think I'd get to work with the same people for the entire series.

Thankfully, I have plenty of time to sort this out. I'm a person who prefers to plan ahead and make sure doubly sure before I set out to do something. Now that I know that certain contractors won't be available, I don't have select someone in a hurry. I can take my time to evaluate and choose new ones based on their track record.

Anyway, I'm just keeping you in the loop and warning you about one of the potential pitfalls of indie publishing. Take care of each other out there.

Peace,

-Troy

Monday, January 13, 2020

Got The Trailer For Book 2 Ordered!

Welcome everyone!

Today, I ordered the trailer for The Huntsman and the Vampire. For those who don't recall, here is the trailer for The Huntsman and the She-Wolf:


I'm excited for the second one. The same group based out Greece will be making it. I was thrilled with how the first one turned out, and I'm sure they'll do a fantastic job on the second.

Expect the trailer for Book 2 to drop on February 6th. That's less than a week away from when The Huntsman and the Vampire will launch.

Also, stay tuned for a very special announcement. If things go the way I think they will tonight, I'll have some great news later on this week for those who might like to get their book signed.

Peace,

-Troy

Friday, January 10, 2020

Goals for the Weekend 2020-01-10

Welcome everyone!

This was my first week back at work after vacation. It was hard getting back into the routine. Waking up at 5am is no fun at all.

Anyway, this weekend I hope to make a lot of progress. Here is my list of things I plan to do:

  • Finalize the book trailer for The Huntsman and the Vampire (yep, you read that right!)
  • Record at least two chapters for the audio book for Book 2
  • Continue early work on Book 3
If I can do all that, I'll have a successful weekend. I hope you do too. Take care of each other.

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, January 9, 2020

*Thursday Reveal* Table of Contents

Welcome everyone!

Today, we begin checking out the interior of my book. The "Look Inside" feature is not up on Amazon for The Huntsman and the Vampire yet. For whatever reason, they don't enable previews until you actually publish.

That's fine. It just gives me the chance to delight you here on my site! So today, we're going to look at the table of contents.

This ToC comes from the hardback version, so if you get the paperback or eBook, then the page numbers will be different. Other than that, this is the real deal.

I'm once again adding SPOILER space for this post. If you're trying to avoid learning anything about the book before you read it, turn back now. I don't think there's all that much given away in the chapter titles, but just in case, here we go:

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So there you go! That ought to keep your imagination busy for a while. As a reminder, The Huntsman and the Vampire launches on February 12th. That just over one month away. If you go ahead and pre-order your copy now, it will arrive on your doorstep on the 12th. You'll be able to read it the day it comes out!

I'll be back next week with even more. Until then, take care of each other :)

Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

2019 THATSW Sales Totals!

Welcome everyone!

Today, I want to go over my 2019 sales totals for The Huntsman and the She-Wolf. Technically, the sequel (The Huntsman and the Vampire) has been available for pre-order since December, but I don't actually get those sales until launch time which is February 12th. Therefore, all of my numbers for 2019 are for THATSW only.

So, how did things go? The short answer, is wonderful! From the research I've been able to conduct, I've learned that the average independently published author will sell about 200 copies in the first 12 months and 500 for the first 36th months.

THATSW launched on March 26, 2019. So that gives me about nine months of data. I've extremely happy to announce that I've been able to surpass the first year average in only three-quarters of the time!

Let's break those numbers down a bit:

  • Online Paperback Sales: 100
  • Online Hardback Sales: 62
  • Online eBook Sales: 38
  • Online Audiobook Sales: 19
  • In-Person Paperback Sales: 8
  • In-Person Hardback Sales: 7
  • Kindle Unlimited (KNEP) Pages Read: 7040
  • Amazon Reviews: 9
  • Goodreads Reviews: 7
  • Audible Reviews: 5

These are fantastic numbers for a debut story! In total, not counting Kindle Unlimited, I've sold 234 copies of The Huntsman and the She-Wolf. If you were to divide the Kindle Unlimited pages by 209 (the number of pages in my eBook) you would get another 33 copies. 

I could not be more excited and please about the book's performance. I want to offer a sincere thanks to every single person who has supported me in this endeavor. It's been a great year.

Now, I don't want anyone to think I'm making this post to brag. I'm certainly not. Since I've been published, I've had numerous people ask my how hard it is to write a book, what is it like to publish, and how many copies have I sold? I want to be transparent with people, so that anyone who takes the steps to write and publish their own novel, will understand what the business is like and what their expectations should be. The Huntsman and the She-Wolf would be considered "successful" under most models, but absolutely not a runaway success.


So, that's where things stand after the first nine months. In just a few weeks, the sequel will launch. I think Book 2 is going to delight you even more than the first! And, I'll be glad to share sales data from that as well. Expect it to be less than the first. That's just the nature of the system.

Anyway, I hope the new year is off to a good start for everyone. Tune in tomorrow for the next Thursday Reveal!

Peace,

-Troy

Monday, January 6, 2020

Back...But Under the Weather

Welcome everyone!

It's time to get back to talking about literature, The Hunter's Rose series, and most importantly, The Huntsman and the Vampire that's coming out in just over a month. I am now back from all the holiday festivities, and along with them comes the inevitable germ-exchange with people who live in different parts of the country. Nothing serious, of course. Just a part of life.

So anyway, Thursday reveals are back on! Expect to see something cool this Thursday. I'll also hopefully have an update with my book sales for 2019 and my issues with getting Amazon to properly market my book in the near future.



So anyway, Happy New Year To All! Let's make 2020 a good year together :)

Peace,

-Troy