Sunday, July 07, 2013

Guest Post by Jeff Schajer

Joe sez: If you've missed the previous guest blogs, they've been fascinating and informative.

You can read Douglas Dorow talking about the publishing game here: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/06/guest-post-by-douglas-dorow.html

You can read Iain Rob Wright's 10 self-publishing tips here: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/07/guest-post-by-iain-rob-wright.html

You can read about Tracy Sharp talking about just doing it here: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/07/guest-post-by-tracy-sharp.html

You can read about AJ Abbiati's Transliterator here: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/07/guest-post-by-aj-abbiati.html

You can read G.E. Nolly's fifty year journey as a writer here: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/07/guest-post-by-ge-nolly.html

You can read Kevin Hardman talking about Amazon ranking here: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/07/guest-post-by-kevin-hardman.html

You can read Mark Terry talking about his publishing journey here: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2013/07/guest-post-by-mark-terry.html

Now here's Jeff Schajer...

Most of our families have been touched by disease.  My father-in-law passed away in February after living with a form of leukemia for many years.  I see my wife and in-laws struggle with this loss every day.  Helping to fund the research of those who fight disease is as worthy a use for your hard-earned money as anything I can think of.

Writing a novel is something that I had always wanted to do but never knew how to go about.  Reading Joe’s blog, and in particular the posted conversations between him and Barry Eisler, was incredibly helpful to me as I began to write.  The fact that established authors are willing to pass along their hard-earned lessons in the publishing industry to anyone who is willing to learn is incredible.  I have since gone on to purchase the work of many authors who I found through this blog or because they collaborated with Joe.

I came out far ahead in this.  My learning curve regarding how to go about self-publishing my work was made much shorter and I found many new authors to read whose work I have come to greatly enjoy.  So as a new author I am quite thankful to Joe for the resource to writers he has provided.  Thank you very much for that.

I have been a voracious reader of thrillers, especially espionage and counter-terror novels, since my teens.  After a mostly unhappy career in finance I decided to take the leap into writing.  You know what?  I’m happier, much happier now.

I decided to write books that I would like to read.  Sometimes the bad guys win and sometimes they meet a very violent end.  The main character of my first two works; one a 9,000 word short work and the other a full-length novel, is a French counter-terror operative who also happens to be Jewish.  He never loses sight of the fact that he fights terrorism on behalf of a nation that doesn’t have much use for Jews.  He is surly and complex and doesn’t play all that well with others. 

Terror Hunter’s Holiday                                                      

Terror Hunter’s Holiday is a cross between Lee Child and Brad Thor with a bit of Daniel Silva thrown in.  Oh, and with more sex.  What happens when a long-time friend and past paramour of a counter-terror operative is grievously wronged by her lecherous blowhard of a boss?  Have you ever wanted to take the law into your own hands?  What if you had the skill and experience to plan it, execute it, and get out quick with no real concern of getting caught?  Welcome to Francois Levy’s trip to New York.  This 9,000 word eBook runs about 30 pages in print.

Still The Enemy                                                                     

Forgotten in America’s War on Terror is that there are other enemies who wish to destroy our way of life.  Islamic terrorists remain the number one priority, but they are not the only ones who are intent on bringing death and chaos to our streets.  Past adversaries are … Still The Enemy.

Still The Enemy races from Moscow and Egypt, Geneva and Paris, on to New York City and the suburbs of Washington, DC.  Not everything is what it seems in this global thriller.

This is a complex tale of terrorism, espionage, and assassination.  The perpetrators have committed horrible acts and there are trained professionals who seek to find and eliminate them.  French counter-terror operative Francois Levy is one man who will do anything to save Western Civilization and you definitely want him on your side.

Fans of Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, and Daniel Silva will enjoy the work of Jeff Schajer.

This book is the debut novel of Jeff Schajer and marks the return of Francois Levy, introduced in the short work Terror Hunter’s Holiday.

Soon to be released All Hammer, No Sickle                          

The Russian government is not subtly sliding towards authoritarianism.  It is already there.  One of its most effective techniques has been the intimidation and subsequent murder of journalists. 

When a past offender living in exile in England is suspected of being up to his old ways an evil machine sweeps into action to silence him.

Ilya Kovalev, antagonist of Still The Enemy, is tasked with handling the situation for his superiors in Moscow.  And Ilya doesn’t do subtle.

This is a story of what follows when a cold blooded, highly trained operative is set loose on a government sponsored assassination mission in England.  From behind the walls of the Kremlin, the well recognized streets of Central London, and the back alleys of a small university city; All Hammer, No Sickle delivers suspense, taut storytelling, and violence.

It is reminiscent of the novels of Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, and Daniel Silva.  This short novel is 15,000 words long and runs about 60 pages in print.

Joe sez: This is the fifteenth guest post for Tess. There are still many more to go. I'm overwhelmed by the generosity of my blog readers, and you folks have raised over $18k.

Originally, I ended the offer on June 23. But writers have kept donating, and I'm not going to say no to them. Tess's goal was raising $25,000, and right now she's at $23,423.

I'd like to see her hit her goal. So my offer is still good. Donate $100 or more, and you can write a guest blog. Here's what you do:

1. Email me with the heading TESS GUEST BLOG 7/15 (or any date you want), forwarding the confirmation email that you donated.
2. Attach the blog post in MS Word with all hyperlinks already embedded.
3. Attach the cover art to your book as a jpg.
4. Remind me the day before you want the post to go live by sending all of the above to me a second time. If your date is already taken, I'll email you and you can pick a new date.

I'm known for many things, but organization isn't one of them, and sorting out these guest blogs has been a bit daunting. But I'm doing my best, and I promise to get to everyone.

If you've sent me you guest post without a date on it, I'll get to it eventually, but I recommend you resend with a proposed date or else it may take me a while to post yours. If I have a known date, I can schedule it immediately.

I like Jeff's story because it show's how quickly an author can go from thinking "I want to be a writer" to selling books. It took me twelve years to do that. Jeff's journey was much quicker.

One of the points of this blog was to do for new writers something no writer ever did for me--reveal a blueprint of how to get published. If you've followed my blog since 2005, I began in the legacy publishing world, sharing how I self-promoted and found an agent and a publisher. Since 2009, I've been sharing my self-publishing learning curve, and I'm pleased to have done my small part in informing my peers about the potential of ebooks.

Though I get thanked a lot, these guest blogs have really driven the point home about how powerful communication and sharing is.

We are not alone. Our knowledge and experience, when shared, helps everyone improve. It encourages dreams and offers hope. It informs us, motivates us, inspires us. We learn about things that work and those that don't, and get ideas about new things to try.

David Gaughran postulates that 25% of US ebook sales are indies. I don't believe that would be possible without a collective knowledge pool that helps all of us raise our games.

If you'd like to share your experience with my blog readers, you can still donate $100 to Tess's campaign. Help Tess reach her $25k goal, and help your peers by sharing your knowledge with the world.

Both are worthy causes. 

12 comments:

Alistair McIntyre said...

Congrats on entering the publishing world, Jeff.

If you don't mind me asking, does the $2.99 price-point for a short story work for you?

Joe Konrath said...

I use $2.99 for short novels (10k-40k words).

Shorter that $10k I usually use 99 cents.

Veronica - Eloheim said...

Yesterday, I posted a link to one of my books on Facebook.

In a reply to the post, I was asked if I had read the writings of a specific spiritual teacher, "His widow recently passed away, and the printing has been put on hold, but there are some available on eBay and Amazon."

That stopped me in my tracks and made me even more thankful for Amazon and KDP.

I've published 23 titles documenting the spiritual teachings I work with. In the old days, this material would just be audio recordings on my hard drive with a slim possibility of seeing the world in print form.

Thanks to KDP and Joe showing the way, they are out in the world helping people.

This FB friend went on to ask me to mentor her through the self-publishing process and I didn't hesitate to offer her some tips and tricks.

Why? Because that's how the indies roll.

John Kaden said...

Shorter that $10k I usually use 99 cents.

Dollar sign in front of your word count.

Priceless.

Alice M. Roelke said...

Enjoyed your entry, and hope your stories sell well! :)

Jacqueline Colt said...

Interesting how one line can change my thinking. I read "sometimes the bad guys win and sometimes the bad guys come to a very violent end."
I said "Wow."
I guess I was feeling conflicted because the good girl in my book could not manage to catch all the bad guys, and the ones she did catch she showed no mercy.
I feel better now.
I agree with Jeff about finding new writers here. Thank you guys.

Jill James said...

Jeff, love the covers. Great post about just keep writing.

Adele Cosgrove-Bray said...

@Jill James - Good covers, I agree.

I probably need to re-do the covers on some of mine, as they're ok but a bit messy. The freedom to tweak stuff like this is one of the aspects of indie publishing that is so useful.

@Joe - Great series; interesting to read and for a very good cause.

Adrian said...

Hey Joe,

Why are so few of your books available through B&N on Nook? Is this because of exclusivity with Amazon? Is it really worth that?

While most of my ebook sales are indeed from Amazon, about 30% are from B&N. Is giving up that much of the market offset by your Amazon boost?

Joe Konrath said...

Is it really worth that?

Yes. I'm making 6x on KOLL than I made on all other platforms combined.

One of my ebooks, Bloody Mary, has had 850 KOLLs this month, and it's only the 8th.

It's making over $200 a day in just borrows. Just one book.

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