Tag Archives: publishing

#Newrelease: Times of Trial the 2nd novel in End Times series

Times of Trial is now available, and it’s the 2nd novel in my End Times series.

A preacher and his family, the Tyler’s, have a church that is dying in Arizona. Even though the church is dying, they take care of the remaining senior saints, including the ones in nursing homes and in hospice. The remaining family, the White’s, leave the same church and head to Wyoming to live in a community that was originally started by Doomsday Preppers back in the early 2000′s so they can attempt to escape the increasing persecution of Christians.

Meanwhile, President Collins orders the activation of Camps across the country that will house believers who he thinks are a threat to his rule. His patron, Michael Collins, manipulates events in the Middle East. The Tyler’s end up with others in a camp in Arizona, while the White’s and the community they live in gets attacked by government troops. Evans continues to manipulate events as the Rapture takes the Christians, and he gains ultimate power.

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

 

The next novel I’m writing is a sequel to New Frontier, and I will also write a short story anthology of some minor characters mentioned in both End Times novels. Eventually, I’ll write a novel about the character of Michael Evans, the patron of President Collins and the man who manipulates events around the world.

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Filed under christian fiction, Promotion

My interview on Two Ends of the Pen

Here is the interview Deb Martin of Two Ends of the Pen did with me:

Briefly describe your journey in writing your first book.
My very first novel that I actually finished writing was the novella Out of Time, a time travel adventure story. I wrote it off and on for about 10 years, started from a couple pages long to where it’s at now, about 30k words.

Did you query agents or traditional publishers before publishing on Amazon? No. Back in the late 90’s when I was seriously thinking about publishing any of my writing, I decided I’d rather publish my own stuff. I looked into vanity press, but, that was way too expensive at the time, and I didn’t know enough about self-publishing like I do now with Createspace. In 2008, when I had money, I published Out of Time first through iUniverse with the basic package they had. I uploaded it to Kindle myself, mostly just to see what would happen, since at the time, I thought e-books might be a fad. Little did I know!

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish?
I prefer having control over my destiny, as it were. I figured self-publishing was faster, and preferable to receiving rejection letters six months later, with the generic reasons why they wouldn’t publish. I just happen to like doing everything myself, at least I can see tangible results.

Will you try to garner a traditional publishing contract for any future books? Probably not. Besides, I think traditional media is going the way of the dinosaurs.

Did you design your cover art? If not, would you care to share your graphic designer’s information?

My first two novels I published through iUniverse and Virtualbookworm, so I used what they gave me. Once I went to Createspace, I created my own covers. I did have help from another author who tweaked them for me though.

How did you feel when you got your first sale? Are you pleased with sales so far?
My very first sale was from a short story I wrote in high school back in the early 90’s that won in a contest that I wrote through Creative Writing class. I was thrilled with that, until my mom decided to use the money to create a frame for the check stub, and a little blurb about it that she mentioned to our newspaper. Anyway, in the here and now, I’m pleased with my sales so far, they could be more, but I just have to keep working at being seen.

What kinds of social media [twitter, facebook, webpage, blog, writing forums] are you involved with trying to garner attention for your book(s)?
I’m on places like Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Goodreads, Shelfari, Linkedin, I have a blog and a website, forums such as Kindleboards, Nookboards, Mobilereads, eBookgab, and trying to promote on the Amazon message boards.
Author website: http://cliffball.webs.com
Author blog: http://cliffballauthor.wordpress.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/cliff_ball
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cliff.ball.author

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale? Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Sony, Createspace, Diesel eBooks, Kobo, Borders for my e-books.

What’s next for you?

I’m actually trying to bring up my GPA by getting a 2nd BA so I can get an MA in Creative Writing from the University of North Texas, at least that’s the plan. I’m also trying to write an alternate history novel where the US establishes a moon base in 1979 when a different President is elected in 1976, and then he has the US set a goal of a Mars Base by 1989. The Russians see this, so they decide to create an interstellar starship so they can one-up the Americans. All sorts of real life events get in the way, like the Revolution in Iran, but that gets squashed by US Special Forces rescuing the hostages. The President in 1981 gets assassinated by those who take revenge for the failed Revolution. Al Qaeda comes along later, and blows up a cargo ship to the moon, tries to blow up the sealed habitat on Mars, and then blows up the space station in Earth orbit in the 2000’s, and so the US President orders Osama bin Laden to be taken out, and that’s the last of Al Qaeda. Eventually, US and Russia join forces to explore the galaxy, where they find the long lost Russian interstellar starship.

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The Indie Spotlight

My novel is featured today on the Indie Spotlight, and here’s the information:

Title: The Usurper
Author: Cliff Ball
ISBN: 1453702725 or 978-1453702727
Page count: 184
Genre: Thriller
Price: $8.99 for Paperback, $2.99 for Kindle

Author Bio:

Cliff Ball currently lives in Texas, has a BA in English, currently pursuing a 2nd BA to eventually get an MA in Creative Writing. Cliff has published three novels, Out of Time, Don’t Mess With Earth, and now The Usurper. Cliff also works as a copy-editor.

Tell us about your book:

Ever wonder what would happen if our worst fears were realized and we elected someone who was willing to destroy the USA, even if he was destroyed himself? The Usurper is that novel. It is a fictional account of what would happen if the Soviet Union and KGB were given the chance to take down the United States from within. They use the American political system, education system, terrorism, and commit environmental disasters to achieve these goals.

The Soviet Union and the KGB refuse to let the purging of communists in the United States as awhole by Senator Joe McCarthy, and the House Un-American Activities Committee, deter them. Soviet Premier Khrushchev authorizes the KGB to embark on an ambitious, decades long plan to destroy the United States from within through the corruption of American politicians, the American education system, terrorism, and environmental disasters. Gary Jackson, the main character, is the fulfillment of the KGB plan to destroy the United States from within. They raise him from birth to hate everything about the United States, indoctrinate him, and introduce him to terrorists across the world, where the KGB dictates all terrorist attacks. When Gary is a teenager, he is sent to the United States to assimilate and begin his mission. Nothing will deter his goals of completely and utterly destroying the United States.

When the Soviet Union dissolves, he is given a choice, and he decides to continue with the mission. A terrorist organization ends up filling in the gap left by the absent KGB, and they, together with Gary, conspire to destroy everyone in the United States who doesn’t agree with them.

How long did it take to write the book?
It took it about six months to write.

What inspired you to write the book?

I’m into history and conspiracy theories, so I started with the quotation attributed to Soviet Premier Khrushchev where he said, “We will bury you!” in which he wanted to the people to overthrow the USA and other western powers, without the need of a military strike. I wove real terrorist attacks into the novel, and had the KGB actually responsible for it, no matter if the terrorists were right-wing or left-wing, as long as they were against the US, the KGB backed them. Originally, this novel was half written in the mid-1990’s, and included various conspiracy theories around at the time, so it was updated to include a few conspiracy theories, in a very fictional way and with names changed, for the past twenty years about President’s 41 through 44.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

I don’t have a writing routine. When I’m inspired, I’ll write. I did do some research, looked up the power structure of the Soviet Union and the KGB, where certain real-life Soviet leaders were at various points in the ‘60’s to the ‘90’s. I also have references to terrorist attacks and airplane hijackings, so I attempted to follow the original attacks but linked them to the fictional storyline of the novel. It involved doing a lot of searching online to find out about the TWA hijacking, the killing of Israeli athletes at the ’72 Olympics, both WTC attacks, and the Oklahoma City bombing, for example.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

I would hope they’re entertained, and can see the alternate universe I created.

Where can we go to buy your book?

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Usurper-Cliff-Ball/dp/1453702725

Kindle – http://www.amazon.com/The-Usurper-ebook/dp/B003VP9VVK

Barnes and Noble – http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/product.aspx?r=1&ISBN=1453702725&r=1

Nook – http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/product.aspx?ean=9781452429205

Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/18734

CreateSpace – https://www.createspace.com/3469577

Borders – http://www.borders.com.au/ebook/the-usurper/12699340/

Any other links or info you’d like to share?
Author website: http://cliffball.webs.com

Blog: http://cliffball.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cliff_ball

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cliff.ball.author

Excerpt from book:

From Chapter 4

For the next five years, by the time Gary was 10 years old, Agent Putin and John al Hussein had taught young Gary about their ideas of the evils of the world. They poured into his head all sorts of ideas about how the United States, in particular, had caused droughts in Africa, all the economic collapses in the world in the last two centuries, both world wars, and was a threat because of their use of nuclear weapons against Japan. They told him capitalism was evil and must be brought down.

“Can I ask why we use Comrade Bornos’ money for all of this if capitalism is so evil?” asked the 10 year old.

“Herr Bornos isn’t using his money for his gain. He is using it to fight the United States, that’s why he supplies us with everything we need monetarily. The KGB has the means, but, not the money. Does that make sense?” asked John.

“I guess. The United States is bad because the government doesn’t have total control and nobody is equal, while the Soviet Union is good because the government controls life and everyone is equal. Did I get it right?”

“Yes you did, very good Gary. We call that social and economic justice. Do you know who else is enemy of the people?” asked Putin.

“The enemy is anyone who questions the word of the government and the KGB. They must be destroyed; nobody can be spared if they disagree,”

“You know who is one of your enemies, Gary?” asked al Hussein.

“No, who?”

“One of your enemies is your mother. She doesn’t agree with the government controlling peoples’ lives, and she thinks terrorism to control the people is bad. What do you think we should do with her, Gary?” asked Putin.

“My mother is an enemy? But, she could be on our side,” Gary innocently said.

“We’ve talked about this before, Gary, and you know what you must do,”

“But… but…. I don’t want to do this,”

“Yes, I know, but she will destroy all that we are working for, and all of your future hopes and dreams. Again, I ask you, what should we do to people like her?”

Gary sighed, gulped a couple of times, and said, “The enemy has to die as an example to others not to think for themselves and do what they want. If my mother is an enemy, she must die,”

“Correct response. We need to go visit your mother and see that she is no longer a threat. Let’s go, Gary.” ordered Putin.

A few minutes later, the trio arrived at the house where Gary and his mother lived. They went inside, where Ann was in the kitchen cooking dinner, when she heard them come in. She went to meet them, saw her son, and went to hug him, but Gary didn’t hug her back, so she asked, “What’s wrong?”

“You are the enemy, you must be destroyed.”

Putin handed Gary a Russian-made Tokarev TT-33 service pistol, and Gary aimed it at Ann, who was shocked, and wasn’t sure what was happening. Gary, who had no expression on his face, aimed the gun, and fired point blank at her forehead, his mother had no time to react. Blood and brain matter spattered everywhere, Ann died instantly, and her body fell to the floor with a thud. Gary handed the gun back to Putin, left the room, and he was determined to leave this in his past, hopefully to never be dwelled on again. Putin checked to see if Ann was completely dead, which she was, and the three quietly left the house. Putin called for a clean-up and for the house to be destroyed.

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Marketing and all that Jazz

Since having my novella published, I’ve discovered just how hard it is to get noticed by readers. There are so many science fiction authors out there and just authors in general that the market is probably saturated with un-read books. I’ve done the whole online marketing thing, since that is where everybody seems to be these days. I have a profile on myspace, created an ad on facebook to get people here, and I’ve created a profile on every site that I can find that has readers on it, like goodreads.com or librarything.com, places like that. I’m trying to up my presence on Amazon.com where my novella is being sold, since Barnes and Noble doesn’t really have any kind of features that Amazon has. 

I’ve tried google adwords for marketing myself and my novel, but I actually found that all you’re doing is wasting money and not making any, so I stopped that particular campaign and tried doing a facebook campaign. I’ve had more people visit my site in the last two weeks than I had in the previous month. I decided to target everyone on facebook, not just a particular reader of a particular genre, I’ve had quite a few people click on one of the links for my novella.  I really don’t like the idea of having to spend money to make money, but that’s the culture we live in, what are you going to do.

I created a forums page, like other author websites, so people can discuss what they think I’m doing wrong with my novella or what they liked about it. I even have a thread for a Q&A with me, along with favorite movie and book threads.  So, if you’ve read my novella, please don’t hesitate to post there, or just post for the heck of it.

You can find some of my other short stories, poetry, and articles here: http://www.helium.com/users/360400

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