An end-of-the-month look back at the last 30/31 days.
Let’s Do the Time Warp Again
First up…cheating a little bit to December 31, 2021. Because that’s when we looked back at the five best books I read in 2021. One author makes two appearances on this list.
You have to click the link to find out who.
I Love the Smell of Book Reviews in the Morning
And let’s not forget the first book reviews of the new year, in which I extoll the virtues of works by the likes of Lee Hall, Tom Lin, and Chuck Wendig.
Why Did You Say That Name?!
So, who the hell am I, and why should you care about all this yammering? I make my case here.
If the Apocalypse Comes, Text Me
I tried two different ad campaigns for Notna in January — one on BookBub and one on Facebook. The text for both ads compared Notna to both Indiana Jones and Buffy the Vampire Slayer — much like reviews of the book have done. For the sake of transparency, here’s how each one did.
With a budget of $200, I ran the BookBub ad from Jan. 8-24. Final numbers: 28,675 total impressions and 34 clicks.
For Facebook, the ad ran from Jan. 9-16 and had a budget of $14. I reached a total of 4,155 people and got 18 clicks. I reached nearly 2,800 people in England, and most of the time, the ad showed up on Facebook’s mobile app.
Sales? Also negligible.
Two things to note here: I did not lower the price of Notna prior to the start of each campaign. I’d be interested to see if that would change anything.
Also, I wonder if linking Notna to Buffy wound up doing more harm than good, considering all the (justifiable) anger toward series creator Joss Whedon of late. Maybe Buffy doesn’t have the cache in genre circles it once did. Maybe next time, I’ll swap out Buffy for Supernatural (another comparison readers have made).
Bitter End (Jill Andersen #6) is in revisions, and I’m almost ready to send it to another editor. I’ve also solicited the cover, which will once again come courtesy of the fantastical Sarah Anderson.
Look for a cover reveal and release date in the coming months.
Also, I’m inching closer to completing the first draft of both Prelude to Hellion and Summertime, Assassins, and Other Skullduggeries. Words are being birthed!
Damn, that feels good to write.
My favorite snippet from the past month:
It wasn’t long before the hotel in question came into view. The Hilton Midtown, a hotel that stretched for the sky and had undoubtedly hosted many a high-class affair over the years. There was no telling how many companies and organizations around the world had booked this hotel for their meetings and conferences and black-tie dinners—whatever excuse to visit New York City, get dressed up for a night, and pretend they were more important than they really were.
That was another thing this city was good at: making people think they were better, smarter, more consequential than they actually were. How else could a failed real estate tycoon with multiple bankruptcies on his resume end up in the White House?
Check out more of my writing snippets.
Marching Forward, Hypocritic and Hypnotic Computers
Metal isn’t just a headbanging good time. For me, it helps the creative process.
Toss a Coin to Your Witcher…After Rolling for Initiative
I may have put away the dice for good, but tabletop roleplaying still plays an important role in my life as a creator and author. Specifically, White Wolf’s World of Darkness imprint has long held a prominent spot on my bookshelf — even today.
Good thing, too. Those books weren’t cheap. Read the full piece on Medium’s ILLUMINATION page.
Come On, Don’t You Guys Read?
I pledged to read 35 books in 2022, and so far, I’m right on track. So far, I’ve finished:
Edge of the Breach by Halo Scot
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Right now, I’m reading: On Writing by Stephen King (re-read), Echoes of Blood by Halo Scot, and A Dangerous Game by Madeline Dyer.
To Readers, With Love
February’s gonna be a good month for two of my favorite authors.
On Feb. 2, Halo Scot will release the sci-fi/superhero novella The Heartbeat of a Million Dreams.
Then, on Feb. 22, S.E. Anderson’s Dreadknot, the eighth book in her hilarious Starstruck series, drops.
Get on these!
You Like [My Book]! You Really, Really Like [My Book]!
And finally…thanks to the aforementioned Hall, who wrote this generous review of The Art of Reading.
I Am Such a Tease
Have you subscribed to my newsletter? If you have, you’d have been reading Higher Education, one of the short stories that will be in the forthcoming Prelude to Hellion. If not, what better time than now?
By the way, all newsletter subscribers get the novella Boundless for free.