Friday, May 12, 2023

The Roses of Book 3

 Welcome everyone!

I wanted to share with you some of the artwork that appears in The Huntsman and the Heretic. Specifically, I want to show off the roses. Again, the artist did a wonderful job on them. She is truly talented.

After each image, I'll talk about the character just a bit.

The first rose is for Devereaux. He's a newcomer to Celandine Valley. For the last two decades or so he's been traveling the wilderlands of the world seeking those who are lost and need a place to live. He comes alone to Celandine and eventually to Vitalba village where he begins teaching a different perspective on The Cause.
Halbert is a long-time member of the Huntsmen's Lodge, though he's terribly insecure about his position. With Thaul locked up in Tatterdemalion's Tower, the hunter's organize themselves in an ad hoc committee to provide leadership for the regulars. Halbert is charged with being treasurer: a fateful decision, indeed.

Eldo is the Gate Captain of Vitalba. He's been mentioned in the first two books, more prominently in The Huntsman and the Vampire, but he gets a larger role in Book 3. He also joins the aforementioned leadership committee. He has a son, who also works the gate.

Garrov is a colorful character. He's the town's tinker and engineer. He runs the steamworks that keeps the town warm in winder and is always coming up with new contraptions to help the Huntsmen. He's mainly just been mentioned before as the creator of the steam cannon and fluttermites. In this book, he plays a critical part in the last third of the book.

I only had four roses in The Huntsman and the Heretic. That's all there was really room for this time around. However, I did have five pieces of art commissioned, so next time I'll talk about whose rose didn't make it in.

Until then, take care of each other.

Peace,

-Troy



Monday, April 3, 2023

Massive Blow-out Launch Month!

 Welcome everyone!

It's been about a month since The Huntsman and the Heretic launched. It's been a whirlwind for me. I've attended one launch party, two book fairs, and thee speaking engagements! My books are for sale in digital, audio, paperback, and hardback. All that together means I've had my most successful book launch yet, and by most common measures, a fantastically successful launch for 90% of self-published authors! Let me explain.


So let me first give you some context. If you search for "what is the number of sales a successful self-published author" you'll find people from Jenna Moreci to John Adamus tell you: 200 books in the first year or two. That might vary a bit by genre and whether a book is fiction or non-fiction, but for the most part if you can get 200 sales in two years, you're doing good.

For me, I set a goal of selling 100 copies across all formats of all books for the month of March. I looked back at my old data, figured I picked up a few more fans along the way, and 100 copies was my best guess. So that's 100 ebooks, paperbacks, audiobooks, and hardbacks total for the entire Hunter's Rose series.

I also set a way-out-there-crazy goal of 200. If I could get two year's worth of sales in one month, I thought that would be insane. It wasn't a realistic goal, more of a marker, really.

Back in February, I announced that I sold my 500th Copy. So 500 copies since March 2019 puts me at about 125 copies per year or so. That's great! I'm not wildly successful, but I'm doing better than most. 

But what about that "better than 90%" I mentioned earlier? Well, from March 2nd to March 31st, I sold a total of 215 copies! That's 20 months worth of sales in less than 30 days. WOW! 

I can't thank all of you enough. I didn't get to that goal because I'm a great writer or because I have a bulletproof marketing plan. I got there because I have loyal fans, friends, and family who have stuck with me. THANK YOU! No really, thank you. All of your support has helped me through some tough times this year. My success as an author has counterbalanced some very difficult challenges I've faced in the young year of 2023. You've made those hardships easier to bear. I love all of you.

I'll break down the numbers book-by-book in the near future.

For the next month or so, I'm taking a break. I'm exhausted. Launching a book is an enormous amount of work. Time for a rest. But that doesn't mean I've paused my writing. Nope. I'm already well along in my next book. It will be a surprise, I'm sure. I can't wait to share more when it's ready.

Thank you once again for your help and support. I needed it. Take good care of each other out there. Be back soon.

Peace,

-Troy

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

A True Pleasure

Welcome everyone!

One of the great things I've been able to do with my last two book launches was to participate in a local reading celebration. In years where there's no pandemic threat (crazy times, eh?), a generous donor finances the purchase of my books to give out as prizes at a high school/middle school during an annual event that promotes literacy. It's a small thing, but I'm honored to be part of it. 

This year, with the help of my wonderful wife, we went all out preparing full sets for the winners:



I sincerely hope they enjoy them. I don't know if there is anything that brings an author more pleasure than knowing young people are reading their books. I'm so glad I have the chance to participate!

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Thank You and a Couple Requests

 Welcome everyone,

First, I want to say thank you SO MUCH for making the launch of this book completely amazing! It's been since 2019 since I released a book, and I had forgotten just how much work goes into it. The process has been stressful, but all of your love and support have made it easy to bear. 

I've heard it said by authors that, as one gets further and further into a book series, interest tends to die off. Well, you guys have completely disproven that. I have already surpassed my 2019 book launch and hope to succeed even more before the end of the month. Back in January, I set a minimum goal of 50 books sold in the first month and a "way-out-there-crazy" goal. I'm not going to share what they way-out goal was just yet because I'm actually very close to reaching it, less than two dozen books away in fact! I hope I'll be able to share a good report with you at the end of the month.

There is one request I would like to make, though. Well, two actually. The first is that if you purchased any of my books on Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com, please please please leave a review. There is nothing that helps an author more than accumulating reviews. If I can get myself up to 20 reviews on each book, my visibility increases tremendously. So if you have the time and ability, please let provide feedback on those sites.


My second request is that you share pictures of yourself holding my books on your social media. I'd like to build a collage, eventually. So make sure you tag me if you can! I want to see you holding them because honestly, there is nothing that brings me more joy than receiving pictures like this from someone:


Seeing that just builds such a huge sense of satisfaction and comradery. I write these books for people to read because I believe reading makes us better people. Seeing in someone's hand gives me hope that my small contribution to the literary world matters and maybe does some good in the world.

Love you all. Take care of each other.

Peace,

-Troy


Monday, March 6, 2023

Launch Party was a HUGE Success!

 Welcome everyone!

I just want to thank everyone who came to my launch party on March 2nd. It was a success beyond my imagination! In total, I counter 63 guests who visited, and I sold 52 copies of my books. For contrast, in 2019 when I hosted a launch party for The Huntsman and the Vampire, I had 42 guests and sold 38 copies of my books. That's some incredible growth!


If you missed my launch party, never fear! I'll be back in a few weeks for the Reading Celebration at MC Knight Academy. You'll have a chance to take pictures, get signatures, and purchase copies then as well, I believe.

Anyhow, once again, THANK YOU to all who came and to all those who helped me put it toether. I couldn't have done it on my own. Love to all.

Peace,

-Troy

Thursday, March 2, 2023

IT'S LAUNCH DAY!!!!!!

 Welcome everyone!

Finally. It's launch day. YES!!!!

Since the pandemic messed with all of our perceptions of time, many of you might not realize that my last book (The Huntsman and the Vampire) came out in 2019. Four. Years. Ago! It doesn't seem like it was that long ago to me, but yeah, it was. 

Producing The Huntsman and the Heretic was hard. There were times I lose motivation, times I couldn't figure out how to solve plot holes, and times I worked on it at a fevered pace. It's been very up and down for me, but I am SO GLAD TO SHARE IT WITH YOU TODAY!!!


As I've said before, this books is the most personal for me. I've been saving the stories that are within these covers since Book 1. These are the ones I really, really wanted to tell. I couldn't put them in the first book, since that one is all about establishing the characters and setting. I couldn't put them into Book 2 because I really wanted to focus on nailing story structure (which I feel I did). 

So finally, I get to tell the story the way I wanted. A few weeks after the book is out, I'll do more blog posts about where these stories came from and why they are so personal for me. Until then, I hope you enjoy reading my latest addition to the Hunter's Rose series.

And don't forget, if you're new to my series, Book 1 (The Huntsman and the She-Wolf) and Boo 2 (The Huntsman and the Vampire) are on sale for 99 cents right now. There's never been a better time to pick them up!

Also, if you can attend, don't forget to come by my launch party today. I'd love to see you there!


Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

My Books are on Discount!

 Welcome everyone!

To celebrate the release of The Huntsman and the Heretic, I've decided to put my first two books on sale at Amazon. You can now get The Huntsman and the She-Wolf and the Huntsman and the Vampire ebooks for only $0.99! Find them HERE.


Also, at my March 2nd Launch Party, all paper copies will be discounted 33%! Paperbacks will be only $10 and hardbacks will be $20. If you can make it, I'd love to see you there. Address is 200 Corporate Dr, Lebanon, KY 40033

Peace,

-Troy

Friday, February 24, 2023

Hardback Cover Reveal and Launch Party!

 Welcome everyone!

I hope you enjoyed seeing the front cover of The Huntsman and the Heretic on Tuesday. I thought today, I share the full hardback dust jacket with you:



I think it turned out really well. I’ve always loved book covers that carry an image from the front page to the back page, so I resolved to ensure all of mine have that feature. Quite honestly, I’m very pleased with how they’ve all turned out.


 

 In addition, I wanted to invite all those who might be in the area to my launch party on March 2nd. It will be held in the library at 200 Corporate Dr, Lebanon, KY. I’ll be there, in-person, to sign books and have a great time with everyone. If you can make it, I’d love to see you. Details are in the flyer below.

 

 

Peace,


-Troy


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Book 3 Cover Reveal - Part 7

 Welcome everyone!

Seven is the number of completion, so I feel it’s finally an appropriate time to fully reveal the cover for The Huntsman and the Heretic. I’ve been teasing it for weeks now, and I feel the time is right to show it to all of you!

Now, I just want to reiterate that this cover was done by a completely different company than my first two covers. The first company I work with went bankrupt, sadly. I greatly appreciated their competence and creativity in producing the two covers you see below:


For this cover, I went with an outfit called GetCovers.com. They did a tremendous job recreating the motifs of the original artist. There are some obvious differences, though. The rosey wreaths around the title are different. The font on the spine is slightly different (I’ll reveal more of that later). Still, for the most part, they met my expectations splendidly. Had I known about them a year ago, my book probably would have come out sooner!

So here it is, in all its glory, The Huntsman and the Heretic!


Let me explain the elements a little bit. You can probably guess what sort of monster Tristan will face just from  the cover. Let me caution you, however, to read the tagline carefully. It speaks of secrecy and hidden enemies. The “beast” such as it is, may not make an overt appearance right away. Sometimes evil is surreptitious. In addition to that, note the white flakes on the cover. They are symbolic of snow. This book will be the first to feature the famous and brutal winters of Celandine Valley! The falling snow also contrasts with the flames you see. Fire is an important motif in this story, symbolizing change and revelation of truth behind a fa├žade. My hope is that, by the time you finish reading the story, all the cover elements will make sense to you and help establish an emotional attachment to the book.

I also have additional good news! My books are now available for pre-order on Amazon.com in eBook and Physical Formats and BarnesandNoble.com. You can go ahead and reserve your copies today, and if I’m not mistaken, if you pre-order the physical copies, they should arrive on your doorstep on launch day: March 2nd. You can be the first read it!

Not only that, I’ll be hosting a launch party on March 2nd from 3:30 to 5:30. I’ll share the location details soon. Reserve that date! I’ll be signing books and refreshments will be provided for those who attend.

See you soon!

-Troy


Friday, February 17, 2023

Book 3 Cover Reveal - Part 6

 Welcome everyone!


Now we’re getting to the real meaty reveals. I don’t have too much to say about this one since it really just speaks for itself. I present to you the back cover for my paperback. On it, you can read the blurb for The Huntsman and the Heretic. Here check it out:

 

 I’m really excited about this book, guys. I can’t wait for you to read it. Expect the front cover next week and then the interior images. Also, I have a big surprise for everyone starting on February 28th!

See you soon!


Peace,


-Troy


Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Book 3 Cover Reveal - Part 5

 Welcome everyone!

We are getting closer and closer to launch day,  March 2nd. As a result, the latest cover is almost fully revealed! Today, we take one step closer to showing it off completely.


One of the joys I’ve had in creating my covers is choosing the animals for the cover. The wolf on the first cover (see below) was suggested by my cover artist, but I asked for a number of changes to make her look more menacing.



The raven on the second cover turned out better than I imagined. I intended for it to basically be a simple silhouette. The cover artist, however, went way above and beyond and gave me an incredible image! I still can’t get over how good the second book in my series looks:



For the third book, I knew right away what I wanted on the cover. Finding the right image, though, was tough. I send my new cover artist several I thought would work but she didn’t like any of them. I don’t blame her. The ones I picked out were kind of cliche. Instead, she came up with a great image, and I proudly present that to you here:



 
Yes, a bull will grace the cover of The Huntsman and the Heretic. The cover creatures on the first two books were introduced very quickly in my previous entries. The werewolf appears in Chapter 1 of The Huntsman and the She-Wolf and the raven appears in Chapter 3 of The Huntsman and the Vampire. Readers of my third book will have to be more patient. The figure that the bull represents, however, will not appear until midway through my latest entry. 

My plan is to reveal the back cover this Friday and the front cover next Tuesday. After that, I will be showing off the interior as we approach launch day. I hope to see you back here for that!


In the mean time, take care of each other.


Peace,


-Troy 



Sunday, February 12, 2023

Book 3 Cover Reveal - Part 4 (Tagline)

 Welcome everyone!

When I wrote my first book and I was getting ready to publish it, one of the things that my cover artist wanted  was a tagline. I had honestly never given it much thought prior to that. In retrospect, I wish I could have developed a theme for the taglines in my series. Perhaps, for instance, they could make a poem or string together to reveal a prophecy, or even the the whole story of my series in miniature. Alas, that won’t happen, but it’s a good lesson to remember for the future.

Today, I reveal the tagline for my third book, The Huntsman and the Heretic. I have no doubt that many will assume that it was inspired by the recent pandemic we all endured. But, no. When I conceived of the storyline for the entire series back in 2017, I knew that the third book would be about a disease of mysterious origin. It’s just a strange coincidence we had to live through such a thing at the same time! Imagine if my book came out a year ago.

Anyway, here is the tagline for you to enjoy:


I hope to create a lot of intrigue concerning the true motives behind peoples’ actions in this book. There are many characters who are not what they seem. Of all my novellas so far, I think this one will challenge readers the most. I hope you’re up for it!

Peace,

-Troy


Thursday, February 9, 2023

500th Copy!!!

 Welcome everyone!

Just a short post today. I received word from my printer that I have officially surpassed 500 copies sold in my Hunter's Rose Series! This is a HUGE milestone since most independent authors average 200 sales total in a 10 year span. I couldn't be more excited. That number does NOT include pages read in the Kindle Unlimited program. If it did, it would add another 10-15% to my total. 


This feels good.

Peace,

-Troy

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Book 3 Cover Reveal - Part 3 (The Title)

Welcome everyone!

I’ve been dancing around revealing my book to you for a week now, so I think it’s time we start to get to the real meat of the novel. Everyone has been asking me, “So what’s the book called?” Today, I reveal it.

On this blog I’ve always called it “Book 03.” Partially, that’s because I wanted to keep the title a secret and also because I didn’t settle on a title until last November! Honestly, It’s been that recently. I just couldn’t decide, and even though I asked my beta readers, editors, proofreader, and family members what I should call it, they all had differing opinions. As a result, I’ve just thought of this entry in my Hunter’s Rose series as “Book 03.” It’s going to be hard to leave that label behind.

But leave it behind, I must. 

Before I show you the latest title, I want to refresh your memory about the titles of my previous two books. Notice how they appear in these circles and have wonder floral filigree around them.


With the loss of my previous cover artist, I was worried that there would just be no way to recreate that look. And indeed, it turned out to be impossible to match it exactly. The source for those original images could not be found by myself or my new cover artist. I regret that; however, using a new image will allow me to do something with the series I hadn’t thought of before.

The third book represents the mid-point of the larger story. It’s the part where the main character goes from being weak and reactive to someone who is strong and pro-active. It’s a natural place for there to be a chance. Therefore, Book 03 will have it’s unique filigree around the title circle and that same filigree will not be seen again. Books 04 and 05 will share a third floral adornment. This way the covers themselves will reflect the change in narrative arc.

I’m excited about that, but I’m sure you’re ready for me to move on to the reveal. So here you go:


Some of you may have already seen this if you were at a writing celebration I attended earlier this yet, but this is my first real public reveal. The new title circle does deviate from the previous two enteries. I change from monsters to a person. It’s an intentional change that I believe reflects that “dark” in the Dark Fantasy genre I’m writing. You see, for me, the greatest fear in Celandine Valley isn’t that the monsters might get you. The greatest fear is that you might turn in to a monster yourself. 

It’s easy to hate the things you see that are clearly evil, but what if you are something evil yourself and didn’t realize? Or worse, you realized it and kept it hidden until it could do maximum damage to a community? Those are some of the themes I explore in this book. I think you’re going to like it very much.

Don’t forget, launch day is March 2nd. I’ll have details about preorders and a launch party soon.

Peace,

-Troy


Friday, February 3, 2023

Book 3 Cover Reveal - Part 2

Welcome everyone!

As we run up to the March 2nd launch date for my latest novella, I’m going to show you more and more about my book. I hope to do these image reveals at least twice a week. I hope you’ll join me for each one, cause they’re going to keep getting better as we go.


Today, I’m revealing one of the most iconic parts of my book series. If you check out the image below of my first two books, what stands out most to you?


If I had to guess, I’d say it’s the title and then the Red Eye of the beasts. I love that little touch, especially since it was first suggested by my daughter. It was all her idea to have the wolf’s eye glow red when I got the first cover draft for the Huntsman and the She-Wolf. Here's the very first draft of my first cover:



I don't think I've ever shared that before, but the final product came out a lot better, didn't it? So yes, I am very proud of my offspring's contribution. 

Anyway, let's get on to the present. Here I present to you– the glowing eye for Book #3:



As you can see, the new artists captured it perfectly. It’s a slightly different shape than the first two, which is what I wanted. I think it fits the theme perfectly and will instantly capture the audience’s attention. I can’t wait for you to see it in real life. It’s even more striking!


That’s it for now. I’ll be back next week with more. In the mean time, take care of each other.


Peace,


-Troy


P.S. I hope you made it this far. Project X is still coming along better than I expected. If things keep going the way they are now, it may be ready in to for my launch party. Stay tuned for more details!!!



Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Book 3 Cover Reveal - Part 1

 Welcome everyone!


Today, we get to begin the march toward the launch of the third book in my Hunter’s Rose series! This book has been the most difficult for me to finish. I can’t wait to share it with you because I think you’re really going to enjoy it.


Out of all the books I’ve written so far, this one is the most personal. I think I’ve mentioned before that I keep a dream journal. When I started putting together ideas for The Huntsman and the She-Wolf, I opened my journal and started pulling anything that would fit.


The further I got into the writing process, though, the fewer and fewer of my dreams could make it into the first book. In fact, the only two entries that made the cut for Book 1 were the She-Wolf hoisting the huntsman into the air in Chapter 1 and Tristan falling through the porcelain wall in Chapter 15. I had to keep putting them off.


The Huntsman and the Vampire, likewise, had very few of my dream entries. When I sat down to begin Book 3, I decided it was finally time to share my visions with you. These are the stories I really wanted to tell, but I’ll expound on them in the future.


You’re more interested in seeing my cover, I bet. So, what I’m going to do is reveal a little bit of the cover at a time over the next few weeks. It will all lead up to March 2. I’m happy to announce that, that’s the release date for the book!


So, without further ado, here is the proof of life for Book 3:



It exists! Take close note of how it matches the covers of my previous two books below:



For me, this small strip at the bottom of the book is a HUGE deal. I’ve well chronicled how I’ve had to struggle to find new cover artists for this entry in the series. Finding a capable replacement has been extraordinarily difficult and contributed to the delay of launching this book. I’m very pleased with how well this new artist was able to capture the elements of the first one.


More reveals will be coming quickly, so stay locked in. I’ve got mountains of wonderful things to share with you!


Peace,


-Troy




Wednesday, January 18, 2023

They Had Me Scared, For a Minute

 Welcome everyone!

For the last few days, I've had swirling around me the dark and panicked question that I think all authors face as they near publication: "Did I do something wrong?" Last Friday, I uploaded my covers and layouts to the printer. In the past, when I uploaded my files, they would be processed and ready to go a few hours later . This time, however, that was not the case.

Saturday and Sunday went by, and my books were still pending processing. That was a little odd, because for the most part, stuff like this handled by machines. Algorithms, software, AI, all that stuff usually takes care of this sort of thing automatically anymore. There's hardly any use for humans, so despite the fact it was the weekend, I figured my files would still upload just fine.

They didn't. By Monday, the files were still not processed. Worse yet, when I checked them, the covers looked all askew, and the pages weren't visible. I started to worry. It was, though, a holiday on Monday - at least in America. The parent company of my printer is based in Canada, but perhaps it was the long weekend that was somehow delaying the finishing touches on my books. I took a deep breath and decided to wait until Tuesday.

Tuesday came. There files were still messed up! Worse yet, my hardback version still had a red X by it indicating it was not processing. I pored over my cover and layout files. Everything looked fine to me. The margins and alignments were correct. The sizes looked correct. I couldn't figure it out.  

I was in very dismal spirits. I wondered if I would have to delay my launch and have the books and covers redone because I missed a small detail somewhere. It was hard enough going through all this the first time. I didn't want to have to do it again. I resolved to call customer service the next afternoon.

I sat down to lunch on Wednesday and pulled out my cellphone to browse the news. Instantly it buzzed alerting me to an email in my author account. Praise be! It was a notification that my paperback was fully processed, and the digital proofs were ready for viewing. Not only that, processing had begun on the hardback.

WHEW! The digital proof of the paperback looked great, and I hope to view the hardback in the next day or so. Even then, I'm not out of the woods. I won't feel 100% confident the quality of the work until I'm holding the physical proofs in my hands. However, things are looking much better today than they did 48 hours ago.

Once both of the digital proofs are available, I can proceed with the cover reveal, title reveal, interiors, and so on. Stay tuned! There are a lot more updates coming over the next couple months.

Peace,

-Troy

P.S. I haven't forgotten about project X. I'm making good progress on it and hope to share more about it in the near future as well. Heh heh heh.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Layout is Done and I'm Ready to Upload

 Welcome everyone!

Finally, after all this time, the last and final step toward producing my book is here. The writing, editing, revising, layout, and cover are all completed and now all I have to do is upload the files for final assessment by printer and ebook companies. WHEW! It's been a long time coming.

I hope to do the initial uploads this weekend. Then the folks at Amazon have to check my files as do the folks at IngramSpark, where my books are printed. With there being a bit of a paper shortage now-a-days (what isn't there a shortage of anymore, right?), it will take a little extra time to get my proofs back, but by the beginning of February, I think everything will finally set.

So all that's left to do is choose a publishing date. I'm thinking early March before spring starts. That way, as winter lingers on longer than any of us would want, everyone will have a nice new book to read. I like the sound of that.

We're almost there, everyone. Hang tight, you're going to enjoy the ride!

Peace,

-Troy