Jul 012012
 

Cover for “Explorers: Beyond the Horizon”

It’s out!  The Explorers anthology is finally officially available to the public.  Woohoo!!  :party:

On September 29, 2010, I joined the Dead Robots’ Society’s forum and began listening to their writing podcast.  I spent several weeks reading through the forum and noticed in November that they were putting together an anthology.  I didn’t honestly think too much of it at the time.  They’d had the call for submissions out for several months, and I didn’t figure I had time to come up with a story idea, write it, edit it, and get it submitted to them within the month that was left until the deadline.  Besides, I assumed that they probably had so many submissions by that point that they were already awash in slush pile hell.

Then on December 13 (yep, I’m geeky enough to look up the date in my notes) a story idea came to me in a dream.  Actually, it was two stories, intertwined to form what I thought might be a pretty good entry for the anthology.  I also remember thinking that I was insane to be setting aside my other writing projects for something that was basically a whim.  There were simply too many obstacles to getting it done in time.

First of all, it was the peak of the holiday season.  There was all the shopping, wrapping, travel plans, etc.  And submission guidelines required a hard word count limit of five thousand words.  Almost all of my writing up to then was long fiction.  At that point, I was one of those writers who was more comfortable writing a novel than a short story.  Writing a short story requires a concise writing style that is in many ways more difficult than the loose boundaries afforded by writing long fiction.  And most importantly, at that point, there were less than three weeks before the deadline!  Christmas season, three week deadline, and a writing format with which I was less than comfortable?  All in all, I figured my chances of making the cut were pretty slim.  Nevertheless, when you’re trying to make it as a writer and inspiration strikes, it’s sometimes pretty difficult to quiet the inner muse.

So I dove into the story as I could, and completed my submission on December 30 – one day ahead of the deadline.  I immediately emailed them:

from:  Jeff Brackett
 to: submissions@deadrobotssociety.com
 date:  Thu, Dec 30, 2010 at 3:39 PM
 subject: Submission for “Explorers: Beyond the Horizon” – Jeff Brackett
 

Gentlemen,

Please find attached “The Burning Land”, my 4,989 word submission for your upcoming anthology “Explorers: Beyond the Horizon”.

“The Burning Land” is actually two intertwined stories that explore the relationships between vastly different cultures as seen from the perspectives of characters within them.

In one, Kapin Aric and his crew attempt to find a new land across an alien ocean with the aid of the holy man, Seer Uson Grogar. In the other, Captain Rayland Vaz and his First Officer, Layla Golden are forced to deal with an interstellar generation ship that is slowly falling apart after its four hundred year long journey.

I appreciate your consideration for this anthology, and I hope you enjoy “The Burning Land”. If there is anything further you need from me, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Once again, thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Jeff Brackett

What can I say?  I’d only been a member of the forum for a few months, and was trying to sound as professional and polished as I could.  8-)

At that point, I moved back to my other projects (namely the novel I was working on that later became Half Past Midnight).  Several weeks later, DRS announced that they hadn’t had enough submissions of a quality that they thought worthy of publication, so they were extending their deadline until June of 2011.  My heart sank.  I figured mine was one of those submissions that hadn’t made the cut.

Then on May 20th I received an email from Justin Macumber (lead Robot of the DRS):

from:  Justin Macumber
 to:  Jeff Brackett
 date:  Fri, May 20, 2011 at 6:02 PM
 subject: Re: Submission for “Explorers: Beyond the Horizon” – Jeff Brackett
 

 Jeff, this is Justin from the Dead Robots’ Society. I wanted to let you know that after reading your short story submission we would like to include it in our anthology, and we wanted to know if it was still available. If so, please let us know. The submission period is still open, so we’re continuing to work on putting everything together, but your story was enjoyed by the editors. Please contact us back if you’d still like to have this story included in our anthology.

Yours,

Justin Macumber

Well, by then I’d interacted with Justin a bit more, as well as the other DRS members, so I was just a little more comfortable in my correspondences with them.

from:  Jeff Brackett
 to: Justin Macumber
 date: Fri, May 20, 2011 at 6:28 PM
 subject: Re: Submission for “Explorers: Beyond the Horizon” – Jeff Brackett
 

 Um, can I get a “Hell Yeah!”   :)

Er, I mean…

Yes sir.  “The Burning Land” is currently held specifically for your consideration and I most definitely desire to have it included your anthology.  I greatly appreciate your kind consideration and offer, and look forward to hearing back from you with further information and/or instructions.

Thank you again for your time.

Kindest regards,

Jeff Brackett

 

(See?  Sm1ley can do polite!)   }:^)

Since that time, DRS has had a few cast changes, and also learned what a hellish undertaking the publication of an anthology can be.  I’m sure they learned more than they ever wanted to know about layout and formatting for the various ebook venues, print, marketing, editing (especially when one particular contributing author kept finding mistakes in his manuscript that he should have caught MUCH earlier – and yes, I’m still REALLY sorry about that, Justin, Terry, and Eli) :-(

But it’s finally done!  The release date is today, and I can’t tell you all how excited I am about it.  I not only get to share more of my writing with you all, but I get to read some of my fellow writers’ works as well.  So please go out and purchase Explorers: Beyond the Horizon in your favorite formats via the links below.  And when you’ve read it, please take a moment and post a review.

Well, that’s all for now.  So check out the links below, and please consider buying a copy of Explorers: Beyond the Horizon.

CreateSpace Trade Paperback

Amazon.com Trade Paperback

Amazon.com Kindle eBook

Barnes & Noble Nook

Smashwords

 

Jun 252012
 

Cover for “Explorers: Beyond the Horizon”

TBL – I received an email from Justin Macumber, from The Dead Robots’ Society regarding the release of their anthology Explorers: Beyond the Horizon.  You may or may not remember, but I have a story in the anthology called The Burning Land.  Well, Justin says they’ve just about got all the “T”s crossed and the “I”s dotted – enough that they’re comfortable making the release date official.  Woohoo! :jump:   So July 1st is the date.  I’ll release more details as soon as possible, but for now all I can ask is that everyone get ready.  This promises to be a great collection of stories, even if it does have one of mine in it.   :laugh:

EBS – In other news, the collaboration with Edward Lorn is off to an exciting start.  We’ve begun fleshing out some of the details, adjusting the characters for some of the interactions, and I’m really beginning to get excited about the path this thing is taking.  Characters are already beginning to speak to me… and one of them is a real jerk.

SoP – Streets of Payne is still progressing.  In point of fact, I like the way Ed and I are working with EBS, since we’re alternating character POVs on that book, it gives me a little time to work on SoP while he tweaks his part.  Of course, Ed’s a pretty quick writer (much faster than I am) so I’m sure he’ll be waiting on me much more often than vice versa.  Still, this process should serve to keep me pretty busy.  If I’m not working on SoP, then I should be working on EBS.  And if for some reason both of them are stalled, I’m beginning to make notes for HPM2.  Basically, there’s no reason for me not to have something to work on.  I might not be writing all the time, but there are notes on plots, characters, themes…  Wow.  It just occurred to me that I’m planning to try to make a living as a high school Literature student!  I’m not really sure how to feel about that.

That’s it for now, but there may be some mid-week announcements related to a couple of these events.

Stay safe.  :bye:

Jun 062012
 

We are our own worst critics.  I’ve heard it said time and time again.  Now, based on some of my more critical reviews I know that little adage isn’t necessarily so.  ;-)

However, for the most part, I do tend to worry excessively over whether or not my writing is “ready” to send out.  Road to Rejas is just the latest example.  I started out working on what I imagined would be about a twenty thousand word novella, and ended up with almost thirty thousand words and counting.  The story is basically done, but it still needs a lot of “polish”.  Said polishing means adding sections to clarify the plot, removing sections that are redundant as a result of the new additions, tweaking unrealistic dialogue, checking the pacing that “just doesn’t feel right”, and a myriad other things that slow me down.

But the harsh reality is that the real impediment to rapid progress is none other than yours truly.  You see, I have a really bad habit.  I tend to procrastinate on projects like this for fear that it isn’t going to be “good enough”.  As long as the project isn’t out there for public criticism, I don’t have to face the possibility that everyone will tell me that it’s complete and utter crap.

So I find other things to slow myself down.  For instance, I tell myself I have to pay attention to my “marketing”.  For the first months after HPM was released, I was hitting Twitter, FaceBook, GoodReads, posting on my blog, and posting on some topic relevant forums as part of the “advertising campaign”.  I recently sat down and put pen to paper (or fingers to calculator) and realized that I was initially spending about twenty to thirty hours per week on various social media outlets.  That may have been a good idea immediately after HPM‘s release, but there’s really no need for that to go longer than the first month or two.

I’ve done this before.  When I tried to get serious with my writing back in the ’90s, I found myself in a new world, making friends and inroads into the local writing community.  I was convinced to enter some regional amateur authors’ writing competitions and actually did pretty well.  I had an editor at St. Martin’s Press after me to finish the manuscript I had entered (an early version of what would later become Half Past Midnight), and another editor for a new TOR imprint (new in 1996, that is) after me for completion of another novel I had started (an urban fantasy with a working title of “Soul Eater” – currently on indefinite hold due to a saturated market).  I had won or placed in three different writer’s competitions, was president of a local writers’ group, chaired or co-chaired a few of that group’s writing conferences, wrote a monthly column for the group’s newsletter, and hosted a BBS called The Writer’s Workshop (and yes, I said BBS – it was the ’90s, after all). :-))   In short, I was spending more time writing about writing, than I spent actually writing.

In those days, it was a commonly bandied about stastic that fewer than two percent of the people who tried to make a career of writing were ever able to do so.  And the truth of the matter is that statistic terrified me.  The thing that really bothered me was that there was very little a writer could do to affect those odds.  Everything was in the hands of other people.  An agent had to decide whether or not your work was good enough to shop around.  An editor had to decide whether or not the manuscript handed them from your agent was good enough to pass on to the senior editors, who then had to meet in committee to determine whether or not the work filled a niche that they needed for their business strategy for that year.  And even if you managed to pass those hurdles, it would be a year or two before the manuscript you handed them would ever see print. “Luckily” for  me, I ended up with a major career change and decided that I couldn’t afford to “waste time” on a pursuit that had such a low chance of success.  In short, I chickened out.

Then in 2010 I stumbled across a podcast “for aspiring writers, by aspiring writers” called The Dead Robots’ Society.  Listening to those folks rekindled the old flame.  In listening to them, I found that the writing business had completely changed.  If I wanted to write – if I really wanted to write, changes in technology and business practices would allow me to bypass the old traditional roadblocks.  In short, there was nothing to stop me from publishing but a relatively small monetary investment, and my own lack of courage.

I decided it was time to put up or shut up.  I tentatively broached the topic with my better half, who immediately gave me the encouragement I needed (more like kicked me in the seat of the pants and asked what I was waiting for), and I went for it.  I researched and found Lynn O’Dell, the best editor I could ever hope for, and through that association fell in with a really great group of authors with the Red Adept Select group.  These folks have been amazingly helpful in teaching me the ropes.

It is now six months post publication and I have found things changing for me.  I recently realized I was beginning to slip back into procrastination mode.  So I had a good talk with myself this morning on the way in to work, and I’ve decided I need to make some changes.  Until Road to Rejas is out, I have to cut back on the social media interactions.  I’ve decided to make the following adjustments:

  1. Twitter – I used to spend an hour or two per day culling through my Twitter feeds, but lately it seems to have become nothing more than a constant barrage of authors, agents, publicists, and cover artists trying to sell me their wares or convince me of their political views, and I don’t have time to sift through the crap for the real conversations.  I will cut back to perhaps an hour or two per week.  I may even drop it completely.
  2. Facebook – This one I still use consistently.  It allows me to post a significant amount of data, show pics and links that *I* believe show more about “who I am” without worrying about that pesky 140 character limit. However, I have found myself spending way too much time there, also.  Time to cut back.
  3. GoodReads – I really like the GR crowd.  They’re a smart and savvy bunch of folks, but GR is primarily a book review site.  Since I try to avoid reviewing the work of my peers, that makes it difficult for me to participate in many of the conversation threads.  Truthfully, they’ll probably never miss me there. :-|
  4. Blogging – To me, this one is still a must.  Whether or not anyone is actually following me is irrelevant. Regular posting is a constant reminder of why I am writing, and it lays the groundwork for those readers who may pick up my work, decide they want to know more about me, and look me up.  After all, I don’t want someone to find me, go to my site, and find that I have absolutely nothing more to offer.  I look at this as the “behind the scenes” information – like the DVD “special features” section, and some folks are interested in it.
  5. Posting on topic relevent forums – For me this is something that I truly enjoy.  Since I wrote a PA novel, and my protagonist was a survivalist (or in today’s vernacular, a “prepper”), it was a no-brainer that I should look up and join some of the prepper forums.  Now, in truth, it was a topic in which I was already interested, had already researched, and was pretty familiar with, so this was not a marketing thing for me.  But since I am an author with a novel in the genre, I have to make sure I avoid even the appearance of trolling for sales, as I truly want to be considered part of their community.

Currently, arithmetic shows that I spend 45-50 hrs/week with the day job, about 15-20 hrs/week with the various “marketing” venues listed above, and about 10-15 hrs/week on actual writing, culminating in a 70-85 hr work week. You’d think I could get more accomplished in that amount of time.  But not when my priorities are bass-ackwards like this.  So I’ll have to spend less time on the marketing side, and more on the writing.  After all, as I’ve heard repeatedly on The Dead Robots’ Society, “your best advertising is the publication of your next book.”

So it’s time to change.  If I don’t want to fall back into the old procrastination habit, I have to get my ass in gear.  I will release R2R by mid-July.  I also hope to have my next novel out before the end of the year.  It’s a completely different genre, so I don’t know how it will do, but I’m already too far into it to stop.  After that, I’ve got an idea that I’ve been toying with for a sequel to HPM.  It’s not fully fleshed out yet, but I think that will be my next major project.

So that’s it – my mission statement, if you will.  Basically, I have to cut back on some of the social interactions in order to get the writing back on course.  So if you’re on one of the sites I mentioned above, and if you notice that I appear to be less active (or completely MIA), please understand.  This is what I need to do in order to get the writing back on course.  I hope you think the end product is worth it.

That’s it for now.  Be safe. :bye:

Mar 112012
 

Well, it was time for another post, and Mike made the below comment, and once again, I was well into another long winded reply before I realized this was more appropriate as a post than as a comment.  So once again, here is Mike’s question, followed by my reply:

Mike Oakes

Hi, Jeff

Looks like things are still going well for you. There’s a couple of things I’ve been thinking about as far as ads go, and I was curious what you thought.

My first thought (and I apologize for being negative) is what percentage of the people who bought your book because of the ad would have eventually bought the book anyway–even if it was over the course of the next year. My guess is it’s not that high, but let’s say, for example, of your 268 sales, 200 of them were a result of the ad, but only 50% of them were sales to people who would have otherwise never bought your book. That’s a net of 100 sales from the ad–not enough to recoup your investment.

On the flip side, every sale that’s generated by the ad has the potential to spawn more sales. So if 100% of the sales that wouldn’t have otherwise happened generate each generate another sale that wouldn’t have happened, you’re back in the black.

It’s probably impossible to ever determine any real numbers on this, and all the ones I used are probably grossly inflated (I do figure the smaller your niche is, the larger these percentages might be), but I’m just trying to cover all possible scenarios.

What do you think?

 

Hi Mike,

You make some good points.  However, I’m approaching this from a different perspective.  While it’s possible that many of the people who bought Half Past Midnight would have eventually found it and bought it on their own, I don’t think it too likely.  You see, I’m just one new, no-name author with a new book – among tens of thousands of others.

I view it like this – I’m an entrepreneur with a new product that I want to use to make a living.  Therefore, I have three jobs with regards to this product; create the best product I can (within reason – there must be ROI), package it as attractively as I can (also within reason), and place it in front of people who might be interested in buying it so that it has the best chance of success.

I have covered the first two steps by writing a (hopefully) entertaining story, hiring and working with a first-rate editor, and hiring a cover artist and formatting company to wrap the product up in an attractive package. I’m now working on the third step, and my job is to get my product in front of as many of my target audience as I can, to see if it’s something they would be interested in buying.  I think we can all agree that if they never see it, the odds of purchasing go down considerably.  :)

But here’s the thing – if I simply place the product out there and hope people find it on their own, the odds of them ever seeing it remain very slim.  Books that are way down on the sales chart tend to stay way down on the sales chart – unless something happens to raise them up.  Look at it like this, if my book is rated #1000 in the Action/Adventure category, and #100,000 of all Paid books, what are the chances that Joe Q. Public will ever see it?  It’s up to me to do something to make it more visible.  And that’s where I have to learn to work the system.

When you’re ranked that low, you are among the tens of thousands of other new authors, many of whom are not really serious about making it as a writer.  Most of them are going to be the folks who have always wanted to write a book, but never wanted to put in the effort that it takes to make it successful.  (Remember the video that Justin put out on DRS?)  :)

I like to think of this as the free-market version of the traditional slush pile.  If these were the days of “traditional” publishing, there would be junior editors at the publishing house sifting through the slush pile, looking for the gem that is worth putting some time into.  That is part of what they deemed as their job as “the gatekeepers”.  But anyone in the industry knows that the traditional model has been turned up on its ear.  The role of traditional houses as gatekeepers has been negated by the new technologies that make it so easy for us to self-publish.  But the other side of that coin is that it is now up to the individual author to raise themselves out of that slush pile on their own.

As I said, most of the books that are that far down in the listings are stagnant.  But believe it or not, that can actually work to your advantage.  When a book is that far down, the sale of a single unit can temporarily move it up in rank.  The sale of four or five books in a short timeframe can move it up quite a lot.  I know of a fellow author whose novel went from around #196,000 to around #45,000 with only four sales in one day.

Now think about what can happen if you can sell a few hundred in a few hours!  And beyond the abrupt climb in sales ranking, there is another, less obvious advantage that can be triggered here.  You also stand a good chance of hitting Amazon’s list of “Movers and Shakers“.  These are books that have jumped dramatically on the rankings charts, and there are a lot of people who watch that list to find the next “breakout” book – which in turn leads to even more sales – which brings you further up in the rankings – which gets you more exposure – which gets you more sales…

Remember my comments on the Ouroboros effect in my earlier post?

Now, I’ve heard lots of people more knowledgeable than myself talk about Amazon’s algorithms.  I don’t pretend to understand it all, but I do know that getting your product out to as many people as possible is only part of the equation.  To maximize your sales potential, you have to get your product out to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible!  Otherwise, you will never get the visibility necessary to continue to make the sales.

Basically, there are several things you want to use on Amazon.  I already mentioned the Movers and Shakers list.  There are also the Top 100 category lists and the “Also Bought” lists.  These lists help keep you visible in the groups of people who are already interested in the kind of stories you write.  Conventional wisdom also says that choosing your genre category or sub-category is also very important.  I have read blog posts by other authors who will intentionally bypass an obvious category to publish under, so that they can hit another, lesser used sub-category with a higher ranking.  I currently have my book listed as “Action & Adventure”, but I could just as easily have listed it as a “Thriller”.  I don’t know how that would have worked out, but there is obviously some overlap, since during my POI experiment, HPM ended up moving into the Top 100 list for Thriller as well as A&A.

And I will go back again and mention that getting high enough in your sub-category gets you more exposure.  And once again, more exposure means more sales, which can bring you higher up on the coveted Top 100 of all Kindle books sold.  That’s not top 100 in your category, that’s all books.  I keep coming back to it, but it all boils down to getting that exposure.  You know the old ko-an about the tree falling in the woods, with no one around to hear?  I don’t want to be that tree.  I want to be the tree that people have to block off the road for, that stops traffic and has everyone’s attention.  That’s the tree people notice.

I keep banging this same drum.  Sorry.  There are likely hundred of other ways to make it as a writer, and I’m doing my best to learn about them.  But one thing I’ve learned that seems to work well is to get the best exposure you can that will give you a rapid climb in ranking.  That has to be the result of some sort of advertising or marketing campaign.  Whether it’s a day of free giveaways, or a paid ad, the best ROI seems to be exposure to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, to prime that old Ouroboros express.

On the other hand, you have to remember to keep working on the next project.  Keep writing.

And on that note, I think I’ve rambled on enough here.  It’s time to take my own advice and get back to writing.

Be safe.  :bye:

Feb 152012
 

Mike Oakes is a fellow Dead Robot Society forum member, and he left the below comment after my last post.  I started to reply directly to his questions, but I quickly found that my reply was becoming longer than the post on which he’d left them.  So I decided I would simply create a new post on the topic.  Read his comment below, and my reply after.

Mike Oakes says:

Congratulations

I read the first few chapters of your book when you had it in the crypt of the DRS forum. It stood out to me as a book that could get published. When I saw that you were releasing it, I was excited to see how a skilled first time writer would fare in the open market. I’d say breaking even in two months is faring pretty well. It gives me faith that good work will at least usually be rewarded.

I get the impression that your sales have ramped up and are still going strong. Is that true? A post on any specific sales figures would be very interesting.

Again, congratulations.
And good luck in the future.

 

Hi Mike. First of all, thanks for the kind words.  They mean a lot to me.  I’m still getting used to the idea that people actually like my writing, and every note I get from someone makes me smile at the thought.  So thanks for today’s smile. :-))

As for the sales of Half Past Midnight, yes – sales are still going strong (knock on wood), or at least what I consider strong.  There are plenty of folks that have paved the way before me, and I’ve tried to study what they’ve done to maximize my results.  If you want to see how the big kids do it, I strongly suggest you read the blogs or listen to podcasts of people like Nathan Lowell, Robin Sullivan, Joe Konrath, and a whole host of others.  They are the folks that can really show you how it’s done.

Me?  I’m still very new at this business, so I’m not sure what the veterans would consider strong sales.  I can tell you that I’m not about to quit the day job and pursue my writing career – at least, not yet.  I’m even less sure how to respond to the question regarding whether or not my sales have ramped up.  It’s just not a simple yes or no question in my case. Let me explain.

HPM sales started pretty slow when the book first released in mid-December.  That was pretty much as I expected.  Like I said, I’m a new author with no following, and there are tens of thousands of other new authors on Amazon.  So during my first two weeks, HPM worked its way up to about ten sales per day.  My math showed that 95% of those sales were on Amazon.  So on January 1, I removed the book from Smashwords, Nook, and other venues, joined Amazon’s KDP Select program, and sales stayed the same – still about ten per day.  Then came what I call “The Great Experiment”

Let me preface this part by giving credit where credit is due.  You see, I was lucky enough to have also had my book chosen as a Red Adept Select title.  Up at the top of my page here, you will see a carousel of books entitled “Red Adept Select Titles” (and I would encourage you to read any of them that strike your fancy – they are all extremely well done).  Suddenly, I was in the same “room” as these fine folks, most of them well established writers with a wealth of knowledge and experience that they were more than willing to share.  It was these fine folks who convinced me to try The Experiment.

On January 3, I took a gamble based on their advice.  I posted an ad, made a couple of announcements on social media sites, and made the book free for a day.  Suddenly “sales” (which I put in quotes, because giving something away for free is not the same as selling it) completely shot through the roof.  Hell, they blasted the roof completely off the house, left the atmosphere, and destroyed a nearby asteroid!  On that one day, I gave away more than 11,300 copies of the book.  That’s more than eleven thousand, three hundred!!!!!

And that’s where the magic started.  Those 11,300 “sales” shot my book to the number two spot on the Amazon “Top 100 Action and Adventure – Free” list, and into the twenties of their Top 100 of all free books.  That, combined with the two ads, gave me some incredible exposure.  More importantly, for the next week after the book was no longer free, HPM continued to sell at a rate of more than 100 copies per day.  That kept it in the charts, but now it was suddenly in the Top 100 Action and Adventure – Paid list.  In fact, for three days, it stayed in Amazon’s Top 100 of all paid books!  This triggered what I like to call the Ouroboros Effect.  The more visible a book is, the better its sales, which keeps it visible in the charts, which triggers more sales, which keeps it visible in the charts, which…. well, you get the idea.  Half Past Midnight rode the Ouroboros express for about a week, and then began to taper off until after a few weeks it finally leveled out at about twenty sales per day.

… Until this week. For some reason, sales are now climbing again.  I’m pretty sure I understand why it did so well immediately after The Experiment.  I think it was simply a combination of having published in a genre that was hungry for new material, following a good marketing strategy, and pure luck.

But I have no idea how to explain this latest bump in sales.  For some reason, sales have gone back up to around fifty per day, and I haven’t done anything to promote it.  There is nothing that I can point to and say, “here’s why sales are increasing”.  Yet for the last few days, Half Past Midnight is once again in Amazon’s Top 100 Action and Adventure-Paid on both the Kindle (now #66) and Book (now #82) lists.  It’s not back up where it was before, but it’s there nevertheless.  I was expecting a bit of a bump toward the end of February, because I have an ad scheduled to come out then.  But this latest bump is a complete mystery to me.

 UPDATE – Before I posted this, I spoke to my editor, Lynn O’Dell.  When I expressed my puzzlement over the recent uptick in sales she checked and pointed out that Half Past Midnight is now linked in Amazon’s “Also Bought” lists to other post-apocalyptic novels such as William Forstchen’s One Second After, Des Michaels’ Terawatt, Ray Gorham’s 77 Days in September, and David Crawford’s Lights Out, all of which have significant fan bases.  It’s something that sometimes happens when an intermingling of fans occurs.  I have no idea if it will continue – if it will result in a continued sales increase, or if it’s simply a short-lived phenomenon.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s just another twist on the roller coaster – and I’m going to continue to enjoy the ride for as long as I can. 8-)

So Mike, I hope that answered your questions.  If not, just ask again and I’ll be happy to respond.

Be safe everyone. :bye: