Friday, December 21, 2012

Brittle Bonds is Live!


I'm incredibly happy to be able to announce that the next installment of Va'del and Jain's story, Brittle Bonds, is now live.

The Setup:
Va'del has saved his people for the second time in as many months.  This time he's determined to take what is rightfully his and marry Jain, but not everyone is happy with his accomplishments. Old enemies are preparing to see to it that Va'del and Jain never return home.

The coming treachery will do more than threaten Va'del and Jain's lives. It will test their devotion to each other and start them down a path that could lead to the overthrow of an entire civilization.

Brittle Bonds is available from:
Amazon US ($4.99)
Amazon UK (GBP 2.99)
iTunes ($4.99)
Barnes & Noble ($4.99)
Smashwords ($4.99)
Kobo ($4.99)

In Other News:
We managed to get four novels up between August, when I started writing full-time, and Christmas.  That means we've worked through my entire backlist and there aren't any more novels waiting in the wings to be published.

You'll be glad to know however that I'm 42,000 words into the sequel to Forsaken, which I'm calling TWB, and that once I finish TWB I'll be diving right into the fourth Guadel Chronicles novel.

As always, thank you all for waiting so patiently for Brittle Bonds.  It's been the better part of a decade since I first sat down to write Frozen Prospects and I'm incredibly excited to finally have the third installment out so that you all can read it.

Finally, thanks for all you do to help spread the word; may you all have an enjoyable holiday season.

--Dean

Friday, December 14, 2012

New Alec and Adri Book, Forsaken, is Live!


I'm incredibly happy to be able to announce that the next installment of Alec and Adri's story, Forsaken, is now live just one week after Trapped became available for purchase.

The Setup:
The power he needs to protect his friends and family is just outside of Alec Graves' reach. The dominant shape shifter pack in North America is circling like vultures and there are other, more savage opponents approaching in the distance.

Given the danger he's in, Alec doesn't have time for a broken heart, but Adri's departure has left him barely able to function. The pressures inside his pack are building to lethal levels and for the first time in his life, he's not sure he can walk the path that honor demands of him.

Walking out on Alec was the hardest thing Adri had ever done, but she didn't bargain for the long-term impacts that would be involved. She hasn't been able to get past her feelings for him yet and it's starting to impact nearly every aspect of her life.

Even more concerning, she now knows what the darkness really hides. Dangers that she thought she'd left behind in Sanctuary are stalking her again, but this time Alec's pack isn't in a position to protect her.

Forsaken is available from:
Amazon US ($4.99)
Amazon UK (GBP 2.99)
iTunes ($4.99)
Barnes & Noble ($4.99)
Smashwords ($4.99)
Kobo ($4.99)

In Other News:
I haven't forgotten about all of you Guadel Chronicles fans.  Brittle Bonds is in the final stages of editing and I should have it in shape to upload within the next few days.  Given current lead times on iTunes it's starting to look doubtful that Brittle Bond will be available for sale there or on Kobo before Christmas, but with any luck it should still go live at Amazon, B&N and Smashwords before the holidays arrive.  The vast bulk of the Guadel Chronicles fans are Amazon shoppers, which ultimately is part of the reason that I prioritized these last few books the way I have, but I'm still very sorry that the iTunes based fans won't see it go live for a little while until after Christmas.  If you're desperate for your fix you can always download the kindle app to your reader of choice or purchase from Smashwords and side load the .epub file onto your normal reading device.

For any of you planning on skipping Trapped and going straight to Forsaken, I'd like to put one last plug in for you to reconsider.  I'm very proud of how Trapped turned out, but more importantly it introduces two characters whose lives are going to be pivotal in helping Alec and Adri get where they need to go. I'd hate for you to pick up Forsaken and spend parts of the book scratching your head because you'd missed out on the back story in Forsaken.

As always, thank you all for waiting so patiently while I got Forsaken finally ready to go and for all you do to help spread the word, may you all have an enjoyable holiday season.

--Dean

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Brittle Bonds Cover Reveal and Blurb Voting

I'm excited to be able to show you all the cover for the third Guadel Chronicles book, Brittle Bonds!

I've also pasted in three different blurbs below and would love to have you vote in the comments as to which is your favorite blurb.  If you think that none of them are any good you can tell me that as well and I'll go back to the drawing board. :)

Blurb 1

Va'del has saved his people for the second time in as many months.  This time he's determined to take what is rightfully his and marry Jain, but not everyone is happy with his accomplishments. Old enemies are preparing to see to it that Va'del and Jain never return home.

The coming treachery will do more than threaten Va'del and Jain's lives. It will test their devotion to each other and start them down a path that could lead to the overthrow of an entire civilization.

Blurb 2
Before Va'del and Jain left with the food caravan to the lowlands there were signs that something wasn't right at the Capital.  Being imprisoned and almost killed distracted everyone in the caravan from the problems back home for a while. Now that they are headed back up the mountain things are getting serious, and the closer they get to their destination, the bleaker things look. 
Va'del  wants nothing more than to make it home and marry Jain, but instead the two of them are thrust into a dangerous new environment that will test not just their skills and determination, but also their commitment to each other.

Blurb 3
Va'del has clawed his way up through the ranks of his people's military despite everything the establishment did to try and stop him. He and Jain have saved their civilization twice now, but there are still those that would stand in the way of the two of them marrying and becoming a nearly unbeatable force on the battlefield.
The return trip back up to the top of the mountain range that their people called home was something everyone knew would be dangerous, but hidden perils quickly force the two of them in unexpected directions. Cut off from the rest of their party and in the greatest danger of their lives, the two of them will be forced to endure a test of their commitment to each other that could tear them apart.
More than just their relationship rides on their ability to navigate the trials ahead of them. Part of the cabal that has been striking at them from the shadows is just about to make its presence known and this time there is a whole new set of innocents in danger.

Thanks again everyone for your help wading through these blurbs.  Blurb writing is my least-favorite part of all of this.

--Dean

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Trapped is Live!


Thanks for hanging in there with me.  It's taken a bit longer than I expected, but Trapped is now live and available for purchase in all of the usual places.


The Setup:
Kristin has always been firmly grounded in reality. Trading in small-town Idaho for an Ivy-League school wasn't going to be an easy proposition and making it happen wasn't going to leave her time for unnecessary things like crushes on boys.

Kristin is about to find out that all of the creatures she thought were nothing more than myth are actually quite real. One of the worst of them is after her, an unstoppable killing machine that will chase her across a continent.

Kristin is completely out of her depth. Her one hope is a mysterious guy with dangerous skills and a dark past. He's the kind of guy that Kristin knows she shouldn't get involved with, but as their attraction grows it becomes apparent that being with him is going to require an even bigger sacrifice than she realized.

What fans are saying about Trapped:
...a kind of paranormal version of The Terminator, with an ordinary human being pursued across half a continent by a relentless killing machine. I’m [really liked] the high-octane action sequences.. —RJ Locksley

Dean Murray excels in showing a story rather than just telling one.  Trapped is a well-written and fast-paced story with intriguing and likable characters....one of Murray's best tales yet. —Kim Allred

Trapped is available:
From Amazon US ($3.99)
From Amazon UK (GBP 2.49)
From Barnes & Noble (currently $3.99)
From Smashwords ($3.99)
From iTunes ($3.99)
From Kobo ($3.99)


If for some reason you're on the fence about this one, please go out and at least download the sample.  In addition to the gripping story, I've also sprinkled in a bit more of the shape shifter history that some of you have been clamoring for more of.

In other news, I still need a review or two for the product page on the blog, so if you end up loving Trapped and want to e-mail me a review, there is a good chance that I'll end up quoting you here on my blog!

As always, thanks for all you do to help spread the word.  I've got a lot more action and romance on the way still for you all!  Forsaken is done with editing and I've started uploading it to the major retailing sites, so it should be available for purchase sometime in the next ten days or so.

--Dean

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Forsaken Blurb Help + Cover Reveal

Hi, everyone.

It seemed like those of you who voted on the blurb for Trapped quite enjoyed being able to provide feedback, so I'm continuing the tradition and adding in a vote for possible covers as well.

I've got another three blurbs pasted into the post below. As always, I'd love to hear from you. Just use the comments section to let me know which blurb and cover combination is your favorite. I feel better about these blurbs generally than the ones for Brittle Bonds (which I'll be posting soon), but you can still tell me that they all stink and that I need to go back to the drawing board. :)

Here are the covers:

They are very, very similar.  The second one has a slightly darker background to it and the third has a watermark across the background.

Here are the blurbs:

Blurb 1
The power he needs to protect his friends and family is just outside of Alec Graves' reach. The dominant shape shifter pack in North America is circling like vultures and there are other, more savage opponents approaching in the distance.

Given the danger he's in, Alec doesn't have time for a broken heart, but Adri's departure has left him barely able to function. The pressures inside his pack are building to lethal levels and for the first time in his life, he's not sure he can walk the path that honor demands of him.

Walking out on Alec was the hardest thing Adri had ever done, but she didn't bargain for the long-term impacts that would be involved. She hasn't been able to get past her feelings for him yet and it's starting to impact nearly every aspect of her life.

Even more concerning, she now knows what the darkness really hides. Dangers that she thought she'd left behind in Sanctuary are stalking her again, but this time Alec's pack isn't in a position to protect her.


Blurb 2
Shape shifter Alec Graves has kept his pack together against overwhelming odds but he can feel things starting to spin out of control. A steady stream of challengers are already lining up to try and take control of his pack and the contests will be to the death.

His most trusted lieutenants are at each other's throats and a strange sickness has started infecting some of his pack members, but he can't seem to find a path that will allow him to skirt ruin and fulfill his obligations. Even worse, he's not sure he cares to continue the fight anymore.

Adriana Paige is friendless and alone in New York City. It would be an intimidating prospect for anyone, but she knows that the shadows of the big city conceal supernatural dangers that she's ill-equipped to handle.

As both Alec and Adri's worlds teeter on the edge of ruin it's quickly becoming apparent that their actions will impact each other in ways they can't foresee.

Blurb 3
Not every girl would have the courage to walk away from a boyfriend worth billions of dollars, but that's exactly what Adri did. It wasn't because she didn't love Alec, but because she couldn't be part of his violent, unforgiving world.

Now Adri is alone in New York and quickly realizing that while she left Alec, his world isn't going to let her just walk out on it.

Alec should be on the top of the world. He defeated the alpha of a rival shape shifter pack and then proceeded to stand off the thugs sent by the dominant pack. The victory wasn't bloodless though and Adri's departure has sent Alec into a tailspin that even he can see won't end well.

Enemies, both old and new, are preparing to destroy the Sanctuary pack and it's starting to appear as though the only hope for Adri and Alec's friends and families rests in a reconciliation between the two of them.

Thanks again, everyone. I'm really excited for Forsaken to go live!

--Dean

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Big Book Promo!



A couple of developments have occurred that you all ought to know about. Firstly, I've joined another group of authors and we’re doing a joint promotion (The Winter Escapes Promotion), so starting tomorrow (the 7th through the 14th) we all have books that are either free or priced at $.99.

Additionally, we'll be giving away giftcards to Amazon, B&N, and iTunes. I haven't read any of their work yet myself (editing, etc. for Trapped, Brittle Bonds, and Forsaken has practically leveled me), but you all ought to stop by and see if anything catches your eye. The hope is that we'll each get some of our fans to swing by the site and that it will result in some cross pollination. So hopefully more Reflections fans will be coming onboard over the next few days as we head into the last little while before the next Alec and Adri book goes live.

Part of the idea behind the promotion is that we'll each post a little write up of one of our character's favorite winter memories as a way to help lure fans to the site. Hopefully you'll all be happy to hear that I'll be putting up two short pieces, one for each of our favorite Reflections characters. The second one should be a tug at your heartstrings moment as you realized just what a certain someone had in store for a certain someone else. The other is more of a teaser. If you read my first blog post on the promo site, The Greater Darkness, and Forsaken, you’ll find a common thread between the three of them.

The common thread is a big deal, but the full story there isn't going to become apparent for a while still. The plan is for me to peel back some of the secrecy around this particular part of the 'myth arc' little by little, but I'd like to start that process now. For the first fan to read The Greater Darkness, the first post on the Winter Escapes Promo Site, and the next Alec and Adri book (still due out around Christmas), and then come back here and correctly identify the important common thread between all three, will get a signed copy of Broken and Torn when I get them into print (still a couple of months away at least). To make sure that I know where to send the prize when it’s done, send me an e-mail with your comment pasted into the body of the e-mail right after you post your comment. Then I’ll have the contact information for the winner so that I can get a mailing address.

Thanks,

--Dean

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How Much Is Too Much?


You'll want to swing by more often than normal for the next week or two. I'll be announcing a contest in the next day or two and after that there will be cover reveals for the next Alec and Adri book (Forsaken) and the third Guadel Chronicles book (Brittle Bonds).

In the meantime, I have another topic that has been rattling around in my head for a few weeks now. One of the challenges that comes along with social media is exactly how much familiarity a given individual should incorporate into their ‘professional’ persona. I've debated this a little and it seems like it’s probably past time for me to formalize what I've been doing so that you all have an idea of what I’m trying to accomplish.

One possible route would be to do like David A. Wells has done and have no interaction with his fan base (at least not that I can see). He has a webpage and occasionally adds an update post, but I couldn't find anywhere that he had an e-mail address and I haven’t seen him respond to fans on the Amazon forums yet.

Another route would be to just throw everything about me up where you could all see it. Some celebrities seem to get a lot of mileage out of that approach, but I think it requires a personality type that I don’t have. Plus I’d rather you just buy my books because that’s what you like to read, not because I've created some kind of personality cult (even assuming I could pull that off, which is very doubtful).

In between those two extremes is an almost infinite continuum. Obviously I’m not interested in the flamboyant cram-me-and-my-opinions-down-your-throat approach, but I’m also finding that I legitimately enjoy interacting with my readers to the extent that time permits. I like responding to the occasional e-mail and getting your take on a given book. As more and more of you arrive, there may come a time when I have to take a more David A. Wells approach, but for now this is my general plan:

My mailing list e-mails will just be straightforward communications to let you all know that something I've written is now available for purchase, either because it’s a new release or because I've managed to get it out in a new format. I won’t tell you when I found a new series I like, I won’t go on and on about my writing process or anything else that you might not want to hear about, but you’ll always be the first to know when I've got a new book up for you to go take a look at.

My blog will be a bit more familiar and you’ll get a bit more of ‘Dean’ in it. I’ll stay away from religion and politics, but you’ll probably get semi-regular updates about how things are going with my latest work in progress; and when I find a new epic fantasy, urban fantasy, or YA paranormal romance series that really blows me away, I’ll probably let you all know. You’ll always find out when something new goes lives, but generally a few days behind the mailing list, mostly because I tend to batch blog information so there isn’t a new post every couple of days.

Twitter will tend to be a bit more random. You’ll get the occasional ‘Holy cow I just added x,xxx words to xyz manuscript type posts and a bit more interaction with some of you readers that choose to drop me a tweet from time to time.

I hope that helps a little and gives you all a chance to ‘self-select’ what kind of information you get from me.

If there is something you would like to see added to the blog please let me know in the comments to this post. Some of you have e-mailed asking more about my writing process and I've answered those as one-offs, but if a lot of you are curious about something, I’m happy to try and work in a blog post about it, it just make take a while for me to get to it (Sorry Louise).

I've considered trying to add some forums in here (possibly on a new site entirely), but I’m not sure if anyone would be interested in them, and right now I don’t have time to take on another side project. Let me know what you think :)

--Dean

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Blurb for Trapped

Hello, everyone.  I'm currently tearing my hair out as I try to craft the blurb for Trapped, so I thought it might be fun to see what all of you think.

My four best attempts so far are below-please use the comments section to let me know which is your favorite!

Attempt 1:
Kristin had her future all mapped out.  She just needed to finish off her last two years of high school and then she was almost certain to swap her existence in small-town Idaho for four years at Harvard or Princeton.

Rather than continuing along her carefully planned route, she’s now running for her life from a threat that she couldn’t have even imagined just a few days before. Her pursuer is relentless, and her only hope is the handsome stranger who has managed to keep her alive so far.  Before their flight is over Kristin will find out just how big of a sacrifice is going to be required for them to survive.

Attempt 2:
Ash appeared out of nowhere and saved Kristin from a threat that didn’t belong in her small-town world of classes and test prep.  Their pursuer is a relentless killing machine that Kristin is starting to suspect is unstoppable. Her situation is too bleak to be thinking beyond the next hour, but more and more Kristin finds herself attracted to her mysterious savior.  The more drawn she is to Ash, the more she realizes what each of them is going to have to sacrifice if they are going to have a chance to be together. 

Attempt 3:
Anton is a nearly unstoppable killing machine.  He’s spent the last two hundred years killing whomever he wants, but when he targets Kristin, a small-town teenager, he’s foiled for the first time in decades.

Ash is an exile.  Stronger and faster than any normal human, he’s still forced to keep a low profile to avoid tangling with all of the things out there that are even more dangerous than he is.  He knew Anton was trouble, but he still couldn’t bring himself to let that kind of monster kill her.

Kristin only ever wanted a normal life, college and then a good job in a big city somewhere.  She didn’t count on Ash or the way that she would start to feel about him as they ran for their lives.  They are in too much danger to let emotions get in the way, but neither Ash or Kristin can help the attraction growing between them.

Attempt 4:
Kristin has always been firmly grounded in reality.  Trading in small-town Idaho for an Ivy-League school wasn't going to be an easy proposition and making it happen wasn't going to leave her time for unnecessary things like crushes on boys.

Kristin is about to find out that all of the creatures she thought were nothing more than myth are actually quite real.  One of the worst of them is after her, an unstoppable killing machine that will chase her across a continent.

Kristin is completely out of her depth.  Her one hope is a mysterious guy with dangerous skills and a dark past.  He's the kind of guy that Kristin knows she shouldn't get involved with, but as their attraction grows it becomes apparent that being with him is going to require an even bigger sacrifice than she realized.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Greater Darkness is Live!


I'm happy to announce that Greater Darkness is now available for purchase!

As I've indicated in past blog posts, I’m releasing this one under a pen name because it’s a bit darker than Broken, Torn or The Guadel Chronicles.  Torn is a bit heavier on the action and lighter on the romance than Broken.  The Greater Darkness is even a bit lighter still on the romance and heavier on the action than Torn.  Because of that I didn't want people to buy it based on my name without first giving them a heads up that it is a bit of a departure from the other stuff I've written.  That being said, while the romance isn't as strong in this book, it sets the stage for not one, but three separate love stories, so for those of you that like romance that is a bit more subtle and which develops slowly, over the course of several books, this could still be right up your alley.

I've actually written three different blurbs for The Greater Darkness, one focusing on the action, and one more focuses on one of the romances that it lays out in this installment.  I wasn't quite happy with either of those options so I've got a third blurb that tries to combine both elements.  Without further delay, here are the setups.

Balanced (Combined) Setup:
Something powerful is stirring in the darkness.  Something so ancient that even creatures who've been alive for hundreds of years have long since discounted this new threat as nothing more than myth.

Geoffrey knows even less than most about this rising menace.  His memories were all violently ripped away from him, leaving nothing of his past but dreams containing haunting glimpses of a beautiful girl.

A chance encounter offers up a possible link to his past, but forces beyond his control are threatening to push him into the middle of a conflict that could sweep away everything, and everyone he’s been fighting so hard to protect.

This time, saving the girl may very well cost Geoffrey his soul.

Action Setup:
Something powerful is stirring in the darkness.  Something so ancient that even creatures who've been alive for hundreds of years have long since discounted this new threat as nothing more than myth.

Normal humans will be caught in the crossfire, but then that's always the way of things.  Geoffrey has no memory of his past life or any idea how to survive in the violent, dangerous world in which he's trapped. Despite his best efforts, he's about to find himself in the middle of a conflict that threatens to sweep away everything, and everyone he's been fighting so hard to protect.

Romance Setup:
Geoffrey’s memories were all violently ripped away from him, but his dreams still contain haunting glimpses of a beautiful girl that he somehow knows was important to him.

Forces beyond his control are quickly arraying against him but he can’t abandon his one possible tie to his past life.  He knew going in that it might cost him his life, but now he’s realizing that his determination to save the tiny flame of goodness she represents, might cost him his soul.

The Greater Darkness is available at the following retailers:
Amazon US ($4.99)
Amazon UK (GBP 3.00)
iTunes ($4.99)
Barnes & Noble ($4.99)
Kobo ($4.99)
Smashwords ($4.99)

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Favorite New Epic Fantasy


Some of you will have read some of my early interviews and blog posts where I talk about how excited I got after reading the first two Twilight books.

I recently found a new epic fantasy series that I really love and I wanted to share it with those of you who have read and loved The Guadel Chronicles.  Partly that is because I think it’s a good match taste wise with the Guadel Chronicles, partly it’s because I've enjoyed the series (so far) a ton, and partly it’s because this is exactly the kind of thing that I appreciate all of you fans and super fans doing for my writing.  I guess this is me trying to pay it forward a little even though by all appearances Mr. Wells is doing quite well and doesn't really need me cheerleading for him. :)

Without further ado, the series is The Sovereign of the Seven Isles and the first book is titled Thinblade.



Here’s the setup from Amazon:
When second son Alexander Valentine loses his brother to an assassin’s arrow, he discovers that his family protects an ancient secret and reluctantly finds himself at the center of the final battle of a war that was supposed to have ended two thousand years ago.

Pursued by the dark minions of an ancient enemy, Alexander flees to the mountain city of Glen Morillian where he discovers that he is the heir to the throne of Ruatha, one of the Seven Isles, but before he can claim the throne he must recover the ancient Thinblade. Seven were forged by the first Sovereign of the Seven Isles and bound to the bloodline of each of the seven Island Kings in exchange for their loyalty to the Old Law. Each sword is as long as a man’s arm, as wide as a man’s thumb and so thin it can’t be seen when viewed from the edge. Thinblade is the story of Alexander’s quest to find the ancient sword, claim the throne of Ruatha and raise an army to stand against the enemy that has awoken to claim dominion over all of the Seven Isles.

My Thoughts:
I’m not sure why I picked Thinblade up.  Frankly I didn’t love the cover and I thought it was probably going to be one of those stories where the ‘magical sword’ was overpowered and ruined the balance of the book.  I couldn't have been more wrong!

David A. Wells knows how to tell a story.  He’s got a tremendous amount of back story behind the novel, but he doesn't just dump it on you all at once.  Nope, instead you get bits and pieces as the story goes on.  It leaves you wanting more, which I think is exactly the way to treat back story.

Wells also knows how to balance a world.  He’s got magic and magical items scattered all over the series, but none of them felt overpowered to me.  Instead I almost felt like a kid at Christmas as I went through the series.  I just couldn't wait to see what neat new toy the main characters unwrapped next.

The characters were very believable and three dimensional too.  It was just a dang good book.

Here are links to the first book at Amazon.  Unfortunately it looks like Mr. Wells has chosen to go exclusive with Amazon.  Hopefully he’ll change his mind sometime in the near future and get his books out to all of the other retailers.  If you click on the below link and buy I’ll make something like $.06, but I’m putting the affiliate code in there more because I’m curious to see how many people go buy off of my recommendation.  Maybe someday I’ll meet Mr. Wells and be able to tell him that I helped grow his reader base by a couple of hundred of the best fans in the world!

--Dean

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Reviews & Ratings


I really appreciate all of you that have taken the time to leave ratings or reviews.  The iTunes users seem to be way in the lead with more than 350 reviews of Broken so far, but Kobo seems to have 200+ with a bunch imported from Goodreads :)

If any of you that are reading this haven’t done a rating or a review of one or two of my books, it would really mean a lot to me if you could take five minutes and do a review/rating or two.  Going into the Christmas season it could make a difference as far as how many readers decide to take a chance on a very unknown author like me as they start filling up their new e-readers, tablets and smartphones.

Here’s links to my author page on some of the retailers where significant numbers of books have sold:


Thanks again everyone.  I know that life can get pretty busy so I really appreciate all of you that have taken, or are taking, time to do this now.

--Dean

Saturday, October 20, 2012

October Status Update & Cover Reveals:


Wow, by the time that this goes live another three weeks will have gone by since the last blog post.  I’m putting off my Dropbox/Sugarsynch post because frankly most of you probably couldn’t care less and I haven’t had time to write it. I will eventually put a brief bit up there though because I a few of you might read it and decide it was useful information after all.  If I can save a couple people from a meltdown when their hard drives fail, that’s a worthwhile thing to do.

New Cover:
Since the last time we talked, Katie came up with a new cover for Frozen Prospects.



The original e-book cover we had done isn’t high enough resolution to do a print edition and I wasn’t able to get a response back from the original cover artist, so Katie whipped (because it’s that easy right ;) up another version, which I actually like better.  I think it’s a bit harder and more realistic than the original one and I like the sword better :)  You’re getting the full print, wraparound cover here which reminds me that I need to find a few hours to finish up the work still outstanding for the Frozen Prospects and Thawed Fortunes print editions.  I had to start back over for a few different reasons and they just haven’t been as high of a priority as getting new material written and edited.  I’m still hoping that I can squeeze them in before Christmas, but I expect that you’ll all have your shopping done by the time they finally go live.

Next Book:
The Reflections book that I’ll be releasing under a pen name is back from the editor and I’ve been trying to squeeze it in little by little at the end of the day once I’ve hit my word count goals.  It’s still a little ways off, but it's getting very close!

Lone Wolf:
Lone Wolf has a final name (Trapped) and it’s now off to an editor.  You’ll all be glad to know that despite Katie not being overly enthused about the original concept she’s now read the rough draft and she thinks that it’s a great addition to the universe.  Not only are the characters pretty cool, and the plot sprinkled with plenty of action and romance, I went back and filled in a few more tidbits about the shape shifter lore and legend.  I suspect that there are some of you out there not planning on picking this one up because it’s not directly about Alec and Adri.  All I can say is please at least go download a sample when it goes live.  I think it’s some of my best writing yet and it sets the stage for the next Alec and Adri book in some pretty fundamental ways.  When all was said and done, I went back and added another 10% or so to Trapped.  The scene that I was on the fence about went in and I juiced up a pretty important fight scene.


Broken Audio:
The audio book version of Broken is now live:

Every time I write a bit of dialogue for Dominic I now hear the narrator, Sandy Rustin’s, rendition of Dom's accent!

That’s the last of the audio books that are currently on the to-do list.  I’m sorry for those of you that really love audio books.  They are a huge investment compared to the return so far.  As they continue to sell I’ll happily revisit the decision :).

Pick it up from:
Amazon (US)
Audible
iTunes

Frozen Prospects Push:
 A few weeks ago I contacted a bunch of sites that feature free books.  The hope was that it would bring in some more readers and help make the release of Guadel Chronicles #3 even more of an event.  It’s worked, not as well as I’d hoped, but every little bit helps.  Those of you who haven’t tried The Guadel Chronicles out ought to go download it and see what you think.

The Next Alec and Adri Book:
As of Oct 18th when I’m revising this, I’ve completed just under 94,000 words over the course of 17 working days (20 calender days) and the rough draft is officially done! I have to say that I’m very pleased with how this one came together.  There are a lot of ‘breadcrumbs’ scattered throughout this one as far as important things, people, and events that will be happening later on in the Reflections universe.  I’d like to go on and on right here but I’d better stop.  Let’s just say that I really, really hope that this one blows everyone away.  We’ll see what Katie says, but I think that my writing has noticeably improved with this one and Guadel #3.

As always, thanks for all you each do to help spread the word!

--Dean

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Dark Reflections Short Story "True Believer" is Live!


It's been a hectic three and a half weeks since my last post, so I've got a few things to update everyone on.  First, I've finished the rough draft of the third book in the Guadel Chronicles.  So far it weighs in at a little over 73,000 words.  By comparison Broken was nearly 128,000 words, Torn was about 89,000 words, Frozen Prospects was just under 65,000 and Thawed Fortunes is a tad over 75,000 words.  If you disregard about 5,000 words which I wrote months ago before I got busy with all of the audio book work, I wrote this most recent book over 17 working days across 21 calendar days.

I do outline before I pick up a book, but I never know exactly how all of the pieces are going to play out when I start so it's always a little bit of a leap of faith every time I start a new book.  We'll see what I think when I go back and start through my editing passes on Guadel #3, but so far I'm reasonably happy, with how everything turned out, and I've worked through a couple of points in my head that were outstanding question marks as far as how I was going to go about doing book #4.  For now I've set Guadel #3 aside; I'll need a month or so of space before I can go back and have a hope of being objective when I start editing.

Last week I finished reading through 'Lone Wolf' for the first time since I finished up the rough draft.  It weighs in at a tad over 50,000 words (I think Splintered was about 40,000 words if I remember correctly), so it's a relatively quick read, but I'm likewise happy with how it turned out overall up to this point.  I think I probably will end up adding in at least one more scene before all is said and done.  It would give me a way to demonstrate a little more of my female lead's strength and would mix the settings up a little, but I'll need to think it over a little bit before I open the manuscript back up and start making changes to it.  It always seems like those types of changes are some of the most challenging to write because you have to make sure that as you transition to the new scene that you don't lose anything else that you needed and that you don't duplicate something that you've already got in there.  As you can tell, I'm on the fence a little bit, so in the end I'll probably just wait to see what Katie thinks before I go and make changes.

My 'other' Reflections novel is still out to editing, to be followed by beta readers and then by another round of proofing, but I've pretty much decided to release this one under a pen name.  I'm not going to keep it a secret from you guys here on this blog, but this one is a bit darker than the other stuff that I've done in the Reflections world so far and I don't want it to catch anyone by surprise.  I guess I'd say Reflections so far has been PG-13 lite, while this other book is PG-13 still but on the heavier end of the scale.  I'll keep you all posted as it gets closer to a release date so that you can each decide whether or not you're interested in reading it.  It won't feature Alec or Adri, instead introducing a number of new characters, one of which will make a brief appearance in the next Alec and Adri book (big hint, the character in question is a pretty central individual as far as some of the later novels go, but I'd better not say anything else because I'm not quite sure still how quickly I'll develop this character).

I lost a hard drive in my desktop a few days before I finished up Guadel #3, which was incredibly frustrating in that it means that I'm working on my laptop instead (much, much, slower), but I was able to avoid being forced to entirely stop working because I use  Dropbox  and  SugarSync  to keep my files synched across multiple devices and backed up in 'the cloud'.  Katie always tells me that I have more computer problems than anyone else she knows, which I don't think is entirely fair, but I have to say that this round of problems has, so far, been much less painful than the preceding rounds.  At the risk of veering too far off of topic, some of you may want to check one or both of the two programs above out.  They both provide several gigs of free storage and then as you need more than that you can upgrade to a paid account.  Full disclosure, if you sign up through the links above I'll get some free storage (I don't really need it as things stand right now, but now that I'm writing full time and getting into alternate channels and formats, you never know how fast I'll start filling up my hard drive.)  I'll do another post in a day or two around how I've got my backups setup so those of you that aren't interested can just skip over it.

Did my announcement that True Believer was live in the headline keep you reading until now?  I didn't actually set out to write the post that way, but all of the other things that have been happening just kind of bubbled up to the top of the post.  Without further ado, True Believer is now live.


Here's the Setup:
Thrust into a supernatural world populated by shape shifters, werewolves, and even darker things, Adam no longer knows who he can trust.

Alec Graves saved his life and thereby earned his service, but Adam continues to worry that Alec is no better than the things he claims to be fighting.

Adam’s been assigned his next job.  Alec claims that the target is a ruthless group of vampires, but Adam isn’t so sure such a thing really exists.  He’s either about to gun down a bunch of innocents or walk alone into the home turf of a group of creatures that could easily rip him in half.

Neither option seems particularly smart, but Adam’s not entirely sure Alec’s minions are going to let him pass on this assignment.
True Believer is another Dark Reflections short story and you can currently get it on:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
B&N
Smashwords


Still to come will be Apple, Kobo, Sony and Diesel.  I'm still planning on going direct to Kobo and Apple at some point in the near future, but my understanding is that going direct to Kobo isn't going to work very well for short stories, and I'll need to have an Apple computer to go direct to Apple.  I'm working on that last bit, but it's probably going to take a while before that happens.  I'll definitely be pushing to check that off though before I put up Guadel #3 and the next Alec and Adri story.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Guadel Chronicles #3 has been started!


Honestly I can’t believe another two plus weeks have already passed!  I’ve got a few updates; the first of which is that Torn is now available as an audio book!  You can get it from Amazon, Audible or iTunes.

Torn is narrated by Clifton Satterfield and I have to say that not only is he extremely talented, he was also a real pleasure to work with.  I’m very happy with the way that Torn turned out and am looking forward to seeing the Broken audio book go live in the near future.

I’ll probably be pausing the commission of additional audio books for a little while.  I’m anxious to eventually see all of my work available as an audio book; but despite the fact that the narrators are doing all of the heavy lifting, it still ends up being a pretty hefty time commitment for me to review and approve the audio files.  If Broken, Torn, and Frozen Prospects all sell well as audio books, I’ll push getting additional audio books out higher up the priority list.

Anyone that has happened to click on the Frozen Prospects product link here on the blog will have noticed that it’s now available at some new retailers (XinXii, Vook & DriveThruFiction).  Somehow I thought I’d pretty much exhausted the places that I could easily get to as an Indie author, but it turns out I was incredibly wrong and I couldn’t be happier.  I’ve got a list of eight more retailers to go out and investigate, which is incredibly exciting to me because each book at each retailer represents another hook out there by which I can hopefully bring in more readers.  Unfortunately I’m seeing that getting all 15 of my titles up at each retailer is going to require a sizable chunk of time.

In other news, it looks like Broken has now dropped out of the top 200 free books at iTunes.  It’s been a great ride, literally for weeks and weeks; and while I would have loved to see it continue to stay up there for months to come, I’m really gratefully to all of you who helped keep it there for so long.  As I’m writing this Broken is still number 36 in the top free Children’s Fiction, and Torn and Splintered have bounced in and out of the top 200 paid Children’s Fiction.  Splintered is currently #128.  Again, thank you to everyone that has helped spread the word about Va’del & Jain or Alec & Adri.  My being able to ‘write’ full time is mostly due to you all telling friends and family and I’m overwhelmed at having this chance.

It’s now become clear that if I’m not careful, I could spend all or nearly all of my time doing stuff that needs done but which isn’t the creative writing that my current fans are after and which they rightly deserve.  Because of that realization, I’ve pressed forward with book 3 of the Guadel Chronicles and have decided that all the rest of the stuff on my to-do list each day will simply have to wait until I’ve managed to get my daily quota of writing in.  I’ll leave an hour or so each evening to progress the non-writing side of things (like capitalizing on new retail channels, progressing the print copies of Frozen Prospects and Thawed Fortunes, and edits of the next two Reflections books (neither of which are Alec and Adri stories specifically-sorry, I really am hurrying every chance I get)), but please be patient it if takes me a bit longer than normal to get back to your e-mails.

Katie might kick me for saying this, and there is more than a little risk that we aren’t going to be able to hit this, but she and I have a goal of getting out True Believer, both of the Reflections novels, Guadel Chronicles #3 and the next Alec and Adri book in time for Christmas.  It’s going to be tight, especially if I let myself get very distracted with some of these other projects, but we’re going to try very hard to meet that goal as we know there are thousands of you out there already waiting with hundreds more coming onboard each month, and we’d like to be able to progress both of our major series such that you can relax with some of your favorite characters over the holidays.

As always thank you for all you do to help spread the word and for joining us on this adventure!

-Dean

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Torn Audio Book at a Discounted Price

It looks like Audible has chosen to include Torn in the 1,000+ titles available this week at a discount (down to $5.95 from ~$18.00)

A great present for that person in your life who commutes :)

http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?asin=B00902GRL0

Thanks,

-Dean

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Audio Book Sale!


A longer post will be coming sometime next week (I meant to get it out this week, but have been buried in audio files for Broken).

In the meantime, I just wanted to let you all know that there is a big sale going on at Audible.com.  They’ve got roughly a thousand titles discounted to $5.95, and audible members get an extra 30% off of that price.  It doesn’t look like Torn is going to be one of the ones that is discounted, but Frozen Prospects is http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_2?asin=B008ND3JD6.

The sale only lasts a week (through Sept 2nd).

More news soon!

-Dean

Friday, August 17, 2012

Writing Full Time!


This is a post that has been a long time coming.  I’m happy to announce that I’ll be pursuing writing full time.  Quitting the day job is a bit of a scary step, when you come right down to it; but ultimately no matter what you do, there is an element of risk.  The best part about writing is that while I’m not necessarily in more control of things, I’m betting on myself, and I’m betting on all of you.  That is a bet I’m willing to take.  Hopefully time will prove it out as being a smart bet, but barring some kind of major emergency Katie and I have agreed that I’ll be focused on writing for at least the next year and a half.  If things continue to improve at the same rate they have been, the odds are decent that I’ll be able to continue to do this full time long past that deadline.

For all of you, that is important because it means that I should be cranking out books at around four times the rate I would have done otherwise.  I’ve largely been getting up ‘backlist’ titles for the last year and a half, and as we’ve gotten closer and closer to getting all of the backlist up, it’s been weighing on my mind that you’d all have to wait longer and longer in order to get each new installment.  This change should help address that issue and hopefully means that I’ll be able to get new books out every few months.  It may take a while to get the pipeline filled back up (I’m still working on print and audio right now), but that is the pace that I’m hoping to hit.

I continue to be really grateful to all of you that help spread the word about my stories.  Contrary to what some would have you believe, it’s always been word of mouth that has moved books.  I’ll continue to write the best stories I can.  Hopefully with more practice I’ll get even better, but it’s all of you that help bring new fans onboard.  Please know that it is greatly appreciated!

Other miscellaneous updates:
The audio book for Torn is done and is undergoing final quality checks by the nice people at ACX.  It should start showing up on Audible, Amazon and iTunes sometime in the next week or two.

Katie and I have submitted the various files to get Frozen Prospects out as a print edition.  I expect we’re still weeks out from having the final product just the way we want it (it’s our first go at this).  Still, I think most of the work is done at this point and the rest of the novels should go much more quickly.

I’ll continue to check in here every week or two as various projects wrap up and go live.  The next Dark Reflections short story is really, really close to going live.  We’ve got a cover done, and now it’s just a matter of getting feedback from various beta readers.  So there’s still a little while before it will go live, but most of the effort has been invested now.  It’s feeling like definite progress.

As always-thanks.

-Dean

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Status Update and Other Tidbits


Three posts in one day is a new record for me (it’s only been possible because I’ve been off on vacation from the day job this week).

As you’ll have seen from the last two posts, Intrusion is live and Frozen Prospects is now available as an audio book.  Those two tidbits were worthy of their own posts, but I also wanted to highlight a couple of other items.

First, Broken is now free on Amazon.  That means you can get it at zero cost on Amazon, iTunes, Smashwords, Kobo, Diesel, and Sony. B&N is still $.99 because I don’t have a great way to make it free there.

Amazon’s algorithms have recommended it tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of times to people, and tens of thousands of them are downloading it (It’s been in and out of the top 100 free books list on Amazon all week).  That’s particularly exciting to me because each of those downloads is a potential new fan and by now you know just how much I love the thought of being able to share Alec and Adri’s world with new people.  Now’s a great time for you to mention Broken to friends, family and complete strangers who happen to mention that they like YA Paranormal novels.  They can try it out with zero risk and every download helps push it up in the rankings such that Amazon is more likely to continue to recommend it to new readers.

Of course all of that goes for iTunes and the rest.  All indications are that Broken continues to do well at iTunes especially and as I write this it’s currently sitting at #107 out of all the free books there.  These are particularly exciting times for me for reasons which I’ll elaborate on more in the next few weeks.

Second, everything I just said about Broken is pretty much true about Frozen Prospects as well.  It’s been free for several months now everywhere but Barnes and Noble, and has likewise been downloaded thousands, if not tens of thousands of times.  I’ve been a bit hesitant to recommend Reflections to fans of The Guadel Chronicles and vice versa, but have recently had some readers reach out and tell me that they loved both series (thanks Claire), so I’m officially nudging all of you to try out whichever of the series you haven’t tried yet.  They are a bit different, so no guaranties, but they are both the kind of stuff that I like to read, so hopefully you’ll have an enjoyable experience.

Third, Splintered is now live on iTunes-apologies to everyone there for the delay.  It’s on my to-do list to look at the possibility of going direct there so as to eliminate the lag, but my to-do list is currently got a lot of other things on it as well.  As always you can purchase from Smashwords and sideload it onto your devices if the wait ever becomes too much.

Fourth, I’m getting quite a bit of questions (understandably so) about what comes next in either Reflections or The Guadel Chronicles, so I wanted to give you all a bit of a view into what I’m working on right now and what order I think I’ll get to the other projects presently on my docket.  I’m currently trying to finish off the audio books for Torn and Broken.  Once that is done, I’ll roll into trying to get Frozen Prospects into paperback and then I’ll proceed with getting my other novels into print.  To be honest, I’d much rather spend my time working on something new, but I’ve decided to prioritize print and audio for two reasons.  Many of you are reaching out and asking if you can get one of my novels in something other than e-book form, and exploiting these rights will provide another set of income streams which will put me that much closer to being able to do this full time while still being able to provide for my family.

While all of that is going on, Katie will be working on covers for two more books which are currently in the rough draft stage, and they’ll be going out to my editors and advanced readers.  One of those is another Reflections book that takes place just after Intrusion, but which focuses more on two new characters who will become more important later on in the series.  The other is set in the Reflections universe, but features a completely new cast of characters.  More to come on that one later as we get closer to having it done.

Once the audio and print versions of everything are done then the next project will be the third Guadel Chronicles book followed by another Reflections book which will pick the core Alec and Adri story back up.

That’s a large enough bundle of projects that for now I can’t give anyone any kind of firm release date for much of any of it.  Especially because I think I’ll probably sneak a couple of short stories in the mix somewhere and I’m currently in talks with someone to co-author a novel in a new universe.  I can tell you however that this will all go much more quickly than it has of late for a number of reasons, so don’t despair.

Lastly, (fifth) I’ve now put up suggested reading order diagrams for The Guadel Chronicles, and Reflections/Dark Reflections.  Hopefully that clarifies things for everyone.  I’ve come to realize that I’ve been a bit deficient, especially for Reflections, when it comes to delivering a clear message of what goes together and what order to read the various stories in.

As always, thanks for all you do to help get the word out-either actively through blogging, tweeting, recommending the series, or passively by buying the stories so that the retailers continue to recommend them to new readers.  There is quite a bit of fun still to come!

-Dean

Dean’s First Audio Book (Frozen Prospects)


The title of this post pretty much gives it all away, but I’m happy to announce that Frozen Prospects is now available as an audio book on Audible, Amazon and iTunes.  I had the pleasure of working with the talented Jack Chekijian on this particular audio book and he very kindly showed me the ropes on a project that ended up taking a lot more work than I’d realized it would at the outset.

Work has proceeded more or less in parallel on audio books for Broken and Torn, both of which should be finished up in the next couple of months so that you’ll have a full range of Dean Murray gateway drugs to give as Christmas presents to friends and family who prefer to listen to their stories :)

Here’s the Setup for any of you that haven’t read Frozen Prospects yet:
The invitation to join the secretive Guadel should have been the fulfillment of dreams Va'del didn't even realize he had. When his sponsors are killed in an ambush a short time later, he instead finds his probationary status revoked, and becomes a pawn between various factions inside the Guadel ruling body.


Jain's never known any life but that of a Guadel in training. She'd thought herself reconciled to the idea of a loveless marriage for the good of her people, but meeting Va'del changes everything. Their growing attraction flies against hundreds of years of precedent, but as wide-spread attacks threaten their world, the Guadel have no choice but to use even Jain and Va'del in their fight for survival.

Here are the links:
Audible
Amazon
iTunes

Thanks for stopping by to see what’s happening in this particular corner of the web.

-Dean

Intrusion is Live!


This post is more than a little late, but I just wanted to let you all know that Intrusion is officially live.

Here’s the setup:
Jess awoke to a world she doesn’t really understand, hounded by impulses that are quite literally more than any human could be expected to control.


It’s painfully evident that her friends and family are doing everything they can to help her regain her footing, but she can’t help resenting the fact that none of them lost as deeply as she lost in their last confrontation with the Coun’hij.


More than anything she wants to turn to Alec for help. The alpha of the pack should be a constant source of strength and reassurance, but in his own way he’s nearly as damaged as she is. What’s worse, a new threat has just arrived in Sanctuary and Jess is starting to wonder if Alec will sacrifice her as the weakest link in a crippled pack.

Those of you who’d signed up for my mailing list before Intrusion went live all got coupon codes to go get free copies of it, I’rone and Handoff as a thank you.  A few people that I saw actively promoting Reflections on Twitter got sneak previews of Intrusion a couple of days before it went live-also as a thank you for their efforts to help spread the word.

I can’t guarantee that I’ll always manage to get the thanks out to everyone who deserves it, and in fact I can guarantee that there are many, many of you out there helping spread the word in ways that I’ll never see, but I’ll continue to try and provide little perks here and there where I can.

Here are the links for the various places you can purchase Intrusion, apologies to all of the Apple, Kobo, Sony and Diesel users out there.  Unfortunately the aggregator I’m using to get books onto those sites takes a little while to get them pushed up to those particular retail stores.

As always, thank you everyone that tells a friend about Reflections or the Guadel Chronicles.  Your efforts are appreciated.

-Dean

Friday, June 15, 2012

Intrusion Cover Reveal!

Katie has finished up the cover for the next installment in the Reflections Series and I have to say I think it's absolutely the best one she's done yet.  It always amazes me how she can take a bunch of different stock photos and combine them into something so incredible.

Without further ado...

I don't want to spoil anything, but I will tell you all that this is a short story told from Jessica's perspective.

There are a couple of finishing touches that need squared away before Intrusion will go live on the usual retail sites, but I hope very much to have it up fairly soon.

Apologies for the wait, but some of you may be excited to hear that it's at least partially occasioned by the fact that we've been hard at work on getting audio books produced for Broken, Torn, and Frozen Prospects.  I'll post a bit more about that as we get close to those projects wrapping up.

One last thing, if you haven't signed up for my mailing list please consider doing so the next mailing is going to be really exciting!

Thanks,

Dean

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Splintered is Live!

Just a quick update to let all of you know that the next book in the Reflections series is now live!

The setup:
Most girls would have killed to be in Adri’s shoes, in fact several people think that’s exactly what she did. Of course life with a pack of shape shifters isn’t quite what she expected. The time with Alec is great, but now that the rival pack is out of the picture, Alec’s wolves are all starting to turn on each other, and Adri is finding there is less and less she can do to help hold the pack together.

Alec’s determination to keep her at arm’s length physically is just as frustrating as always, but his ongoing refusal to explain the larger world the pack is operating in is starting to become more than just something that keeps Adri up at night. It’s starting to look like something that could get them all killed.

As of right now you can get Splintered on:


Smashwords will eventually push it out to Sony, Apple, etc. but that will take a few weeks.

I’ve dropped the price of Broken to $.99 on Amazon/B&N and free on Smashwords in association with Splintered going live, so now is a great time for people that haven’t tried the series to give it a shot.  I have a bit of hope that Amazon will price match to free at some point in the next few weeks.  If that happens I’ll post a brief update so that you can share the good news with friends and family who you think might like the series, but who haven’t been willing to take a chance on it yet.

Thanks for all you do to help spread the word about Alec and Adri as well as Va’del and Jain.  I hope you all enjoy Splintered as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list if you haven't already.  I've got a treat on the way for everyone on the list.

Thanks,

Dean

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A New Review of Broken

Another review of Broken just went up at Rather Barefoot.  Big thanks to Sandra for taking the time to read and review Broken.

http://ratherbarefoot.blogspot.com/2012/03/book-review-broken-by-dean-murray.html

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why Mailing Lists?

It’s time for a bit of an update.  My blog will probably continue to be something that generally only gets updated once a month or so.  I’ve got an extremely demanding day job in addition to trying very hard to sneak in time to get new stories written, but occasionally something will come up that needs to find its way onto here.

Broken went free on Amazon Dec 28th and when the dust all settled, we’d seen a bit over 6,100 free downloads and I had a renewed appreciation of the power of Amazon’s algorithms.  The ability to let Broken go free for that 5-day period meant I had to accept delayed release dates for the rest of the retailers like Barnes and Noble, but it was a calculated risk I felt was worth taking.  That being said I wanted to explain the logic to my fans that tend to buy from somewhere other than Amazon.

When Broken went free, Katie and I reached out to all of our friends and family and asked them to help spread the word.  They responded like real champs, but I’m pretty confident that they didn’t manage to contact 6,100 people.  Even if they had, not all of those 6,100 would have gone out and downloaded Broken.  What they did do though was make enough of an impact for Amazon’s recommendation algorithms to take notice and start pushing Broken to other customers.  Broken also spent a bit of time ranked in the top 10 on one of the romance lists which I’m sure helped some as well.

I’m sure that most of those 6,100 people won’t ever get around to reading Broken, but since it’s gone back to paid we’ve sold another 60 or so copies of Broken and 88 copies of Torn.  We’re seeing some positive reviews go up on Amazon and Goodreads and we’re getting a trickle of purchases of some of my other 9 titles.  Nobody in the Murray household is getting ready to quit their day job or anything yet, but that’s a marked increase over our run-rate of sales from before Christmas.

There’s still always the chance that some of those who read Broken and Torn will turn into the kind of ‘rabid’ fans (pun intended J) that every author hopes for and Broken will pick up additional steam over the next few months.  But even if Broken and Torn just trickle along at their current rate it represents a big win to the extent that people continue to enjoy them enough to wander over here out of curiosity.  Some percentage of those fans will decide to subscribe to my mailing list and that’s where the magic will really start happening.

Some of you who are writers might have spent some time over at Dean Wesley Smith’s blog(DWS from here on out-there’s too many Dean’s here otherwise J).  He’s got some very interesting things to say; and while I don’t agree with all of his positions, in most things he talks a lot of sense.  One of the really interesting things he highlights is the fact that ten years ago a writer had a very short window in which to sale each new book.  The book stores would stock a bunch of copies of their new title, and after six weeks or so most of the copies that were left were sent back to the publisher or destroyed.

It’s just one of those economic kinds of things.  Book stores don’t have room to stock dozens of copies of every title out there, they have to try and match up with people’s buying patterns.  A new book generates a little or a lot of buzz.  A bunch of people come to buy it and then things slow down.  An author who sold a few copies and then needed a bit of time to build word of mouth might have found that by the time their early readers had told a few friends and the friends started looking that there weren’t any copies of the novel in question in the bookstore.

DWS calls it the produce model of book distribution.  You’ve got to move a lot of books in a short time because they go bad if left unsold.  In the new world of publishing your books don’t ever go bad.  They don’t ever have to be out of stock, they can always be just a click or two away from finding a new home.

As a long-term pro who probably saw dozens of books he’d put his heart and soul into go out of print, I can understand DWS being frustrated with the produce model.  Frankly, I’m very excited that books aren’t forced into the produce model, but I’m equally happy that we can still get the benefit of the produce model at the same time.

Let’s say two books were released, each from authors with 1,000 fans who were absolutely going to buy the authors’ work…eventually.  Book one moves 1,000 copies in the first two days.  Book two moves 1,000 copies over the first two years.  I would argue that book one is the winner all other things being equal and the reason is the algorithms.

Amazon and the other retailers will flag the book that sells well and quickly as being something people are excited about and will tend to recommend it to other potential customers.  People will see it at the top of genre lists that they are interested in and decide to take a chance on it.

That’s where my mailing list comes in.  I’m hoping, to reproduce a bit of the distribution spike we saw with Broken for all of my future stories.  It lets me reach out to some of my most excited fans and let them all know within a short time that there’s a new story available that they will probably like.  As each new story jumps, even briefly onto the lists, top selling, also bought and otherwise, it will help put Alec and Adri, Va’del and Jain, and a host of other stories in front of thousands of new potential fans.

Ultimately that’s a win for everyone.  Amazon makes money, the readers get enjoyable stories that hopefully stay with them after they finish the last page, and I get one step closer to being able to write full time which means more stories for everyone.

If you’ve been on the fence about signing up to my mailing list please give it another thought.  I really won’t spam you with a bunch of stuff you don’t care about.  You’ll get announcements when I put a new book up for sale and maybe the occasional other Dean Murray writing development that other fans are telling me should go out in the next update.

I wouldn’t feel right closing without saying thanks to all of the people who are helping to spread the word about Adri, Alec and all of my other stories.  I’m really excited about what comes next and hope you all enjoy the ride as much as I think you will.

Thanks-

Dean

Monday, January 23, 2012

Advance Reader Copies!

Two posts in less than a week-I’d better be careful or I’ll start a trend that I can’t live up to J.  Great news, Splintered is now ready to go out to advance readers.  I’ve contacted a few of the bloggers that I’ve had the most back and forth with, but I’m sure I’ve missed some of you, and there are others I purposefully didn’t bother because I know you’re still reading either Broken or Torn and I didn’t want to be too much of a pest.

That being said, even if we’ve never talked, if you have a site, and do the occasional, or frequent, book review I’d be happy to get you an ARC of whichever of my books you’re interested in.  Just send me an e-mail with the address of your blog/site and let me know which book you're after.  I'll get something back to you within a couple of days.

Thanks,

Dean.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Splintered Cover Reveal

Things have been quiet here at DeanWrites, but I wanted to break the silence and share the cover for Splintered.


It pretty much goes without saying that I'm excited about this one.  I think Katie did an excellent job!  We now have a bit more clarity around the release date-sometime early April.  Don't forget to join my mailing list for additional details as they become available and a cool freebie shortly after Splintered goes live :)

Dean