Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Business time

Ok, time for me to get serious about marketing. Honestly, I hate this part. I'm a writer, not a salesman. That's why I've decided to make this fun for me which hopefully produces some cool results. Remember my plea for online reviews for Skinners books? Well I'm putting together a cool giveaway as an incentive. It's a badge / VIP Pass for Shimmy's Gentleman's Club (home to everyone's favorite dancer / muse Tristan) that I will sign and personalize with your name and a short inscription which I will send out for free if you help me out by putting some good reviews on sites like Amazon.com, Borders, Barnes & Noble, or other major places like that. Just send me a link to your review along with your address and I'll get you your pass to nymph paradise. (Replica, of course, so don't sue me. If I had real passes to nymph paradise, I'd be there instead of sweating in another Midwestern summer.)

I should have the badges ready to ship out in a few weeks and will only have a limited amount. Who knows? Maybe they'll be collectible. Couldn't really guarantee that, but they should be pretty cool anyway. If this doesn't sound to your liking, maybe you'd prefer a bookmark or autographed sticker / book plate you can put in your copy of Skinners? Let me know. I just know I want to get more proactive with spreading the word! Let's do this!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hate to beg, but....

It's been a while since I've checked my own books on Amazon, B&N or any of those other sites. Mainly, that's because I used to get extremely obsessive about watching the sales ranks rise or fall. Since I'm already doing whatever I think I can, there's no reason to keep fussing with it. Just keep writing and trying to promote and the rest will be there whether I look at it or not. Sounds like a level-headed approach, doesn't it?

Well, I checked the Amazon site yesterday. I was only there to see if they had the cover of Book 4 up already. Good news -- They did! Bad news -- Book 3 only had 1 review! Granted, it was a great review, but I see other books in genre series that are at the same point as I am as far as number of releases, etc and they've got like 50-60 reviews. Does this make any real difference? Do books with more reviews show up on more pages? Does 1 or no reviews place a book lower on the food chain as opposed to straight-up sales? I honestly don't know. I just figure that more reviews couldn't be a bad thing. More GOOD reviews would be awesome!

So here's the deal. I hear from a lot of readers how they like Skinners and I do my best to respond to you all any way I can. If you've got the time, do you think you could write up a review and place it on a site like Amazon, B&N.com, or any other place that might review the book? Word of mouth truly helps sales of any kind and this would be great. I never wanted to come out and ask like this before because it seemed cheesy. Still does, actually. Sorry about that, but I can only create so many fake accounts on Amazon before they realize it's me who LOVES Skinners. Heh.

Now, since I'm a firm believer in being grateful and showing it. I was thinking about offering free signed promo covers for any / all of the Skinners books, but I've been sending those out for free anyway and don't want to suddenly slap a price tag on it. Do you guys want something like that as a thank you for helping me out by writing a review? Maybe I could come up with something cool to give away. I've been working on a promo project recently, but it really won't make sense until Book 5 is published. Let me think it over. Maybe bookmarks? How about a signed VIP pass to Shimmy's? I can think of something. In the meantime, just let me know what you think of this whole campaign. I'm new to the whole "aggressive marketing" thing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We're Skinners. We're werewolves. We're all a little loony!

The end is nigh. Well, at least the end of this draft of Skinners #5. I should finish up with it in a few days and then I can take a much-needed (albeit short) rest before starting in on the NEXT draft. Whew. What really bit me in the ass with this one was the whole "Keep writing until it's finished" mentality for the first draft. That's a good thing because I want it to be a great story and not just one that fits within a certain page count. I originally typed that last bit as "paige count". Heh. See what all of this editing has done to me? Anyway, the first draft wound up being 691 pages. YOWZA! I've cut a significant amount already, saved some for Book 6 and just sent some into story heaven.

I've been on a cartoon binge lately. I think that's got a lot to do with my brain being fried after so many long days of work and me not having any gray matter left when I do get to step away from the computer. Also, I just like cartoons. It's been a lot of 90's stuff like Tiny Toons, Animaniacs, and X-Men. Plus some 80's goodness like Thundercats, He-Man, etc. Throw in some Spongebob and I also found some Tom & Jerry collections for super cheap at WalMart! Funny thing about that. It's hard to find a lot of classic cartoon shorts like Loony Tunes and Tom & Jerry on TV anymore. Plus, they seem to be cut up and edited to shit, so why bother when I do find them? The thing with Tom & Jerry was that Tom's owner in a lot of those classic toons was this big lady who was voiced as some horrible, outdated, and just all-around crude racial stereotype that seems like something from the pre-Civil War days. I know these cartoons are old, but yeeesh! So I pop in my new Tom & Jerry dvd and the first thing on the screen is a disclaimer that basically says, "We know about the racial stuff. Sorry about that. These shorts are from another era. They were wrong then, wrong now, but nothing worth rioting about. Just relax, and enjoy seeing a mouse smack a cat in the face with a frying pan." If you can't laugh at that, you're just beyond hope.

So it's back to work for me. There was something else I wanted to discuss with you guys, but we'll get to that next time. Gotta leave 'em wanting more! Eh, don't get too excited. It's nothing that great.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Editing....that's about it

Wow, it's been a while since my last post. Sorry about that. I wish I could say I've been kicking back and relaxing after OSFest and finishing a preliminary draft of Skinners 5, but that's about as far from the truth as....well...something that's really far away. I wrapped up this draft of Skinners on August 1, took a whole day off and have been editing like a madman ever since. My days are simple. I wake up, watch Price is Right, have breakfast, shower, maybe step outside for a little while, and launch into editing. I'll edit through some pages, take a break for a minute or two of watching something on my DVR that I can start and stop at will, edit, watch, edit, you get the idea. That goes for about 12 hours a day.

I'm not complaining, mind you. The book is coming along GREAT and I'm gearing up for #6. Yes, there will be a Skinners 6. Sweet! Somewhere during my rare downtime, I've been playing a few games. Went through Limbo, which is downloadable on XBox Live Arcade. What an amazing, brilliant, creepy, artistic, sometimes very WRONG game! Love it! You play as a little kid who can't swim (that's important with all the water in this game) who dodges giant spiders and spikes. You die in so many gruesome ways, it makes me giggle. There's even a part where you jump across a lake using the bodies of other little kids who died before you as platforms. Like I said, wrong but fun. It does me good to see horror representing! Plus, I unlocked a creepy little pet for my Avatar. Nice. Still chopping away at Red Dead Redemption and Fallout 3. Yes, I'm still playing Fallout 3.

In movie news, I finally got to see the new Clash of the Titans and Kick Ass. Clash was pretty cool, although not as cool as the original. The first one KNEW it was shooting for cheesy. This one is cheesy in parts, serious in others, whatever. The scorpions, Medusa and Kraken were awesome and that's what I was after. Kick Ass was just f'ing great! Since I wait for the DVD release of just about every movie anymore, it seems dumb to go into detail. It's been out for a while, most everyone else has seen it so who needs my ultra-late reviews, right?

Speaking of behind the times, I just found out that the new Black Label Society CD is coming out on Tuesday. AWESOME! For those of you piecing together a Skinners soundtrack (are there any of you out there??) play BLS's Fire it Up when reading Book 4 in October and Electric Hellfire when reading the big finale battle in Howling Legion.

That's about it for now. Gotta get to work. And I haven't forgotten about my promise to update the main website. I hope to get to it when I have more than a moment to let my brain cool off.

This is what happens without editors

I'm Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the SKINNERS series. Here you'll find various ramblings about movies, video games, TV, and...oh yeah...those books I write. If there's anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know. I try to update whenever the mood strikes me, so feel free to leave comments. There may be some occasional foul language, but anyone who's too easily offended probably doesn't read my stuff anyway.

Free Stuff

Here's how it goes. As usual, I've got my truckload of promo covers from EOS Books. I'll be going to some conventions, so I hope to see you there and I'll gladly sign your books. If you can't make it to a con, just email me your name, address and any inscription so I can send you a signed cover.

BONUS ---> If you would be so kind as to write up a review for any or all Skinners books and publish it on a site like Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other major review site, I can send you something extra. I made up some bookmarks (which I'll sign) and I've even put together some Shimmy's VIP passes (which I'll also sign). Can't guarantee the passes will get you into a real strip club, but I think they look pretty cool. Send me a link to your review along with your name, address and inscription, and I'll get these out to you as well.