Tag Archives: the usurper

Novel sales stats for 2012

First off, Happy New Year 2013 to everyone and a big thank you to all those out there who bought/downloaded a copy of one of my novels. I thought I’d blog again this year about how many sales/free downloads my novels had this year. My marketing/promoting consisted mostly of using Twitter, Facebook groups/pages, joining up with a couple Christian author groups to Tweet, and going to message boards. I did some giveaways for ebooks, like on Librarything, and sent some personal acquaintances/relatives paperback copies of Times of Trouble (which actually did help some with visibility), along with a little more than a handful of review copies to a couple of book bloggers, two of which actually gave me a review. I also tried blog interviews early in the year, along with the occasional paid post about my books, but overall, I’d say 99% of my sales would probably be from word-of-mouth. My sales on Barnes and Noble increased by a lot this year, up to 40-50 ebooks sold a month compared to 2 or 3 a month in 2011.  My number one seller is the United States, followed by the UK, Canada, Australia, and then everyone else, mostly Western/Northern Europe, but I did manage to get an Amazon Kindle sale from Japan, which was a borrow for Beyond the New Frontier, and 2 sales on Diesel from South Africa. This is without the updated numbers from Smashwords concerning Apple, Sony, or Diesel from December.

Here’s the numbers for each book in order of publication:

Out of Time
Kindle(ASIN B006GDO3BC): 1107
Barnes & Noble Nook: 37
Kobo, which includes WH Smith, Angus & Robertson, and Chapters Indigo: 42
Apple: 51
Sony: 4
Smashwords: 2 paid, 64 free
Paperback (ISBN:1453896961) : 8

Don’t Mess With Earth
Kindle(ASIN B005OOKZJI): 52
Nook: 39
Kobo: 2
Apple: 5
Diesel: 1
Smashwords: 2 paid, 47 free
Paperback(ISBN 978-1602643413): 2

The Usurper
Kindle(ASIN B007K9WDA4): 92 paid, 518 Select downloads (January – March)
Nook: 47
Kobo: 4
Apple: 14
Smashwords: 1 paid, 18 free
Paperback (ISBN 1453702725): 12

Shattered Earth
Kindle(ASIN B006M2U3O8) – 8 sales, unpublished it, but will bring it back this year
Nook: 48
Kobo: 20
Apple: 52
Smashwords: 1 sale, 61 free
Paperback (probably only available on Amazon, since I retired it on Createspace): 3

Dust Storm (western short story) – plagued by Smashwords’ meatgrinder, so it wasn’t published to Apple or Sony until later in the year. Sold on Kobo once I uploaded there myself.
Kindle(ASIN B006KH7H4E): 9
Nook: 7
Kobo: 1
Apple: 1
Sony: 1
Smashwords: 2 paid, 12 free

Voyager and the Aliens (sci-fi short story)
Kindle(ASIN B005NK19MU): 14
Nook: 2
Kobo: 5
Apple: 9
Diesel: 1
Smashwords: 1 paid, 27 free

New Frontier
Kindle(ASIN B006ONBPVU): 99
Nook: 58
Kobo: 2
Apple: 7
Sony: 1
Smashwords: 5 paid, 62 free
Baker & Taylor Blio: 1
Paperback (ISBN 1468119540): 18

Times of Trouble
Kindle(ASIN B0075CNFFI): 309
Nook: 343
Kobo: 1
Apple: 0
Sony: 0
Smashwords: 128 free
Paperback (ISBN-10: 1469964791) 43

Times of Trial
Kindle(ASIN B00824G5UA): 99
Nook: 120
Kobo: 3
Apple: 0
Sony (for some reason, not available on Sony): 0
Smashwords: 31 free
Paperback(ISBN-10 147745327X): 5

Final Frontier – published in October
Kindle(ASIN B009ORP5U0): 26
Nook: 22
Kobo: 0
Apple: 0
Sony: 0
Smashwords: 0
Paperback (ISBN-10: 1481192191): 0

Beyond the New Frontier – combo of New & Final Frontier, available on Amazon to borrow for free or buy for $3.99
Kindle paid(ASIN B009NVH76M): 28, KDP Select: 724, Borrows: 2
Paperback (ISBN-10: 1480185590): 1

The total equals 1694 free and 2858 paid sales. My goal for 2013 is to double the paid sales without having to rely on free giveaways as much. I’m also working on a prequel to Times of Trouble, most likely called “Times of Turmoil.” I also re-designed a whole new author website on weebly. I was using webs.com, but it was way too clunky, but Weebly seems to be pretty user-friendly. Please check it out http://cliffball-indieauthor.weebly.com when you have time (waiting for domain name transfer, so it night re-direct back to webs.com). Now, I just have to figure out how to transfer my domain name over to it.

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Potential novels, sequels, & other scribblings

When I started writing and publishing my works, I never thought I would publish more than maybe two novels. Well, now I’m up to eight novels, and setting to write my ninth. My goal this year was to write and publish at least two novels, and I did that, with three. I also thought I’d never write sequels or a series of novels in the same universe, but I have. I’m sure some wonder if I’m going to have any sequels to some of my older novels, and I’ve been asked, but right now, I don’t know. Here’s an update on my current novels and future works.

Out of Time It took me a long time to get this novel right, but I finally did. Anyway, I thought about writing a sequel, but at the moment, I have no idea where I’d want my time travelers to go. I did start to write something about Janet Erickson, the captain of the Einstein, but I got stuck after a page or two of writing. I have an idea of what I might want, but I’m not sure if it’s a novel length story, a novella, or a short story. If I get around to writing it out, I’ll see.

Don’t Mess With Earth – I actually sent a short story version of this in the mid-1990′s to the Writer’s of the Future contest, but got nowhere with it. I wrote a full length novel, but this is one of my stories that people either like or dislike, and I re-wrote it into a version of Shattered Earth, changing the beginning, and making the novel longer by over 25k words. I have been asked by 1 or 2 readers if I’m going to tell the story of the Ragnor after Earth destroys them for the most part, but I really don’t know. I wrote a page a year or so ago, but haven’t returned to it. We’ll see.

The Usurper – No sequel. I wrote this mostly to push buttons, and if you’ve seen some of the reviews I’ve received on Amazon, you’ll know that I did just that.

New Frontier & Final Frontier – Final Frontier is the sequel to New Frontier, so I’m not sure about another sequel. I might one day go back to Final Frontier to include a chapter or two near the end, because I glossed over what happened to the Soviet Starship Gagarin in one of the alternate timelines, but if I say more than that, it would be spoiling the story for those that haven’t read it.

My End Times Series of novels – The next novel I’m going to write is about the story of Michael Evans, starting with his grandfather, who I’ll have palling around with Hitler in WW2. The Evans’ will try to manipulate events from behind the scenes, get England to balk at giving Israel as much land as they were going to give them after the war, finance the enemies of Israel, start to interfere in American society, and have appearances by the grandparents of the main characters from Times of Trouble. How Evans finds David Collins and the Iranian, and how they manipulate events before the Tribulation. I think I’ll begin writing it in November, taking time to do a lot of research while I’m doing it, and possibly getting it finished in early 2013. I was also thinking of at least one young adult novel in the series, even though Times of Trial is kind of leaning towards that, since Greg and Laura are two of the main characters, and they’re teens, but I’ll just have to see how that works out.

As for short stories, I’ve come up with a few of those, but a lot of them are so different in genre, I don’t know if I should put those in a short story collection, but I will think about it. Next year, I want to publish at least three more novels, if possible.

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Sales for the year so far

Now that it’s June, here are my sales numbers for the year so far, from regular sales to when one of my novels was in KDP Select to free giveaways. These are all from mostly just promoting online on Twitter, Facebook, and a bunch of message boards. The novels are listed in order of publication, from 2008 to 2012.

Amazon US Kindle
Out of Time – 34
Don’t Mess With Earth – 13
The Usurper  – (regular sales) – 67
KDP Select numbers for The Usurper – 329
Shattered Earth (which I unpublished on Amazon) – 8
Voyager & The Aliens – 3
Dust Storm – 4
New Frontier – 50
Times of Trouble – 89
Times of Trial – 9

Amazon UK Kindle
Out of Time - 8
Don’t Mess With Earth – 4
The Usurper – 8
KDP Select for The Usurper – 176
Voyager & The Aliens – 1
Dust Storm – 0
Times of Trouble – 4
Times of Trial – 1

Amazon Germany
Out of Time – 1
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 4
New Frontier – 1

Amazon France
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 2

Amazon Italy
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 2

Amazon Spain
The Usurper (KDP Select) – 6

Barnes & Noble Nook, which is partially through PubIt, B&N’s publishing platform and through Smashwords
Out of Time – 17
Don’t Mess With Earth – 17
The Usurper – 15
Shattered Earth – 19
Voyager & The Aliens – 1
Dust Storm – 3
New Frontier – 12
Times of Trouble – 109
Times of Trial – 7

Apple iTunes
Out of Time – 29
Don’t Mess With Earth – 4
The Usurper – 5
Shattered Earth -25
Voyager & The Aliens – 4
New Frontier – 3
Times of Trouble (only available since May)
Times of Trial (not yet available)

Kobo
Out of Time – 10
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1
The Usurper (Kobo has yet to list it)
Shattered Earth - 8
Voyager & The Aliens – 0
New Frontier – 0
Times of Trouble (only available since May)
Times of Trial (not yet available)

Sony Reader
Out of Time – 1
Everything else – 0

Smashwords paid/giveaways
Out of Time – 1/39
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1/26
The Usurper – 0/9
Shattered Earth – 0/37
Voyager & The Aliens -0/14
Dust Storm (I unpublished it because I couldn’t get the formatting right) – 2/12
New Frontier – 5/41
Times of Trouble – 0/87
Times of Trial – 0/1

Createspace Paperbacks, all of which were sales from mostly Amazon
Out of Time – 2
The Usurper – 7
Shattered Earth – 3
New Frontier – 12
Times of Trouble – 30
Times of Trial – 0

Total between January & end of May: 1423

Overall total since 2008: 26381

I’m posting this because some writers get discouraged, but you just have to keep at it. While I don’t have the money or much in the way of resources to push my novels to greater visibility, I think I’m doing pretty well. I took The Usurper out of KDP Select because my sales were actually worse overall, and I had a grand total of 3 borrows, so I didn’t think that program was worth it. Stay tuned for the sequel to New Frontier, plus a short story anthology based on minor characters in the two End Times novels, and a novel about Michael Evans, the man-behind-the-scenes in both End Times novels.

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Sales for 2011

Now that I’m pretty sure I have all the sales numbers in for all platforms, I’d like to share how many novels I sold or had downloaded last year as an independent author, to give encouragement to those that aren’t sure they can do it. I’ve been doing this for about 4 years, 1 1/2 of which I’ve actually put any effort at trying to promote my novels, since I’ve written three in that time span. Last year, I sold or had D/L’s of 24,151, in 2010 – 520, 2009 – 68, and in 2008 – 37.  Here are the numbers for 2011 for each book and where, from first book or short story published in order to latest:

Amazon (which combines US & UK sales, link to US though)
Out of Time – 2238 (free and paid)
Don’t Mess With Earth – 692
The Usurper - 13,310 (free and paid) (currently free to borrow in Lending Library)
Shattered Earth – 6637 (free and paid)
Voyager & The Aliens – 9
Dust Storm – 0
New Frontier (published December 20, 2011) – 4

Apple
Out of Time – 77
Don’t Mess With Earth – 10
The Usurper – 3
Shattered Earth – 55
Voyager & The Aliens – 2

Barnes & Noble
Out of Time – 51
Don’t Mess With Earth – 175
The Usurper – 180 (currently exclusive to amazon ’til March 7)
Shattered Earth – 81
Voyager & The Aliens -
Dust Storm -
New Frontier – 1

Createspace paperback (which were sold on Amazon or other bookstore sites)
Out of Time – 9
The Usurper – 48
Shattered Earth – 21
New Frontier -

iUniverse (original publisher of Out of Time paperback)
Out of Time – 5

Kobo
Out of Time – 30
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1
The Usurper – 4
Shattered Earth – 7
Voyager & The Aliens
New Frontier

Smashwords (free and paid)
Out of Time – 25
Don’t Mess With Earth – 27
The Usurper – 176
Shattered Earth – 239
Voyager & The Aliens – 151
Dust Storm – 2
New Frontier – 1

Sony
Out of Time – 8
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1
The Usurper – 5
Shattered Earth – 16
Voyager & The Aliens – 18

Virtualbookworm.com (original publisher of Don’t Mess With Earth paperback)
Don’t Mess With Earth – 7

So, with a lot of hard work and determination, this is what I sold. I know, not the #’s of some of the bigger names in indie publishing, but I feel like I’m accomplishing something.

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Stats for The Usurper in November

I decided to let The Usurper go free in November (and it’s still free, no thanks to Kobo not changing the price) with the understanding that I was going to get blasted by the perpetual Negative Nellies on Amazon (or elsewhere), but I thought it would be a good way to get my novel in the hands of readers who would have never seen it otherwise, and who may enjoy it. I had at least one person who did enjoy it, and she even sought me out on Facebook to tell me how much she enjoyed it. Another one e-mailed me, said they enjoyed it, but nitpicked a couple of things about how this or that was wrong (like the fact that Beatniks were in 1962, not hippies. I deleted that one line that was in the novel).

On a couple of those negative reviews on Amazon, I engaged the reader, asked them earnestly how I should fix a couple of issues they had, and they were surprised that I wasn’t flying off the handle, but that I asked and responded back in a positive way. Biggest issue was commas. Apparently, I had way too many. I was taught in college that more punctuation is better than not enough, (I’m constantly editing traditionally published novels in my head when they don’t have commas or periods where they should that should break up ideas, etc.) but people say it’s distracting. Ok, fine. Another issue was the character names, which I did to push buttons, and I’d say I did a good job of that, because it has pushed a lot of peoples’ buttons. So, taking all of this in stride, I spent a couple of days looking for too many commas in the novel and fixing them, fixing stupid grammatical mistakes that are made when you do make changes, and I also changed the characters’ names that were too similar to real life names because I felt that I had pushed enough buttons to satisfy my enjoyment of pushing those buttons.

For nearly a week, The Usurper was top 100 overall for bestselling free ebooks on Kindle, topping out at #21 ( I wish I had taken a snapshot of that), along with the #1 spot on political fiction free ebooks, while currently sitting 3rd in the same rankings (snapshot November 15):

I was stunned by the amount of downloads I had in a week. It amounted to double the amount that either of the other 2 books got when they were free for two weeks. The week of Thanksgiving, I managed to set the price to $.99 (after B&N had raised the price back up), and it stayed that way until the Monday after, when I tried to go to $2.99, then Amazon discovered it free on Kobo, and its been free ever since. I had a total of just about 12,101 free downloads(I can snapshot the KDP totals if anyone doesn’t believe me), but I had more sales of The Usurper at $.99 than I had for the whole year previous on Kindle, at right around 500 (totaling 12601 downloads). Unfortunately, I also had 16 refunds for this FREE e-book. I don’t know if that’s a statistically good thing or not.  Yesterday, I got the stats from B&N through Smashwords, and I sold 140 free copies there (not sure how anyone on B&N sees free e-books that aren’t trad published, I must be blind). As a side effect of the e-book sales, I even had 22 copies of The Usurper in paperback sold, more than the whole year it’s been published. Very cool.

Thank you to everyone who bought/downloaded a copy of The Usurper, whether you enjoyed it or not.

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My sales for year so far

When I started self-publishing in 2008, I didn’t really have any kind of goals on how big of a number I wanted to reach. When I hit 100 sold by the end of 2009 without any promoting except for Facebook, I thought that was cool. When I managed to get a little over 500 sold last year, I thought that was awesome. Well, as of September 2011, I have now reached 2000 sold for the year so far, and I’m only 200 away from reaching 3000 sales.  Earlier in the year, around March, for some inexplicable reason to me, my sales took off on both Amazon and B&N at 400 combined a month mostly for one title, but, just as inexplicably, two months later, I went back to selling maybe 30 a month. I can’t explain that, but, boy, do I wish I knew how I manage to attract that many readers.  Well, anyway, here’s the totals as of right now, from 2008 until now, on each platform for each book. My paperback sales are listed under the publisher I used. Links to each novel are located at each novel’s page at the top of this blog or at http://cliffball.webs.com.

Amazon Kindle, combo of US & UK
Out of Time – 317
Don’t Mess With Earth – 703
The Usurper – 294
Shattered Earth – 260
Voyager and the Aliens short story – 1 (uploaded this week)

Barnes & Noble Nook
Out of Time – 53
Don’t Mess With Earth – 163
The Usurper – 49
Shattered Earth – 33

Kobo
Out of Time – 32
Don’t Mess With Earth – 5
The Usurper – 3
Shattered Earth – 5

Apple
Out of Time – 53
Don’t Mess With Earth – 19
The Usurper – 2
Shattered Earth – 62

Sony Reader
Out of Time – 4
Don’t Mess With Earth – 3
The Usurper – 0
Shattered Earth – 2

Smashwords
Out of Time – 32
Don’t Mess With Earth – 97
The Usurper – 160
Shattered Earth – 173
Voyager and the Aliens – 98

iUniverse, the original publisher of Out of Time
Out of Time paperback or e-book – 55

Virtualbookworm.com, publisher of Don’t Mess With Earth
Don’t Mess With Earth paperback – 62

Createspace
Out of Time – 7
The Usurper – 24
Shattered Earth – 20

and when I used Lulu.com for a couple of months:
Out of Time – 3
The Usurper – 1

To re-cap the grand totals:
Out of Time: 551
Don’t Mess With Earth – 1056
The Usurper – 532
Shattered Earth – 558
Voyager and the Aliens – 99

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More reader reviews

Two new reviews for The Usurper, one from Goodreads and the other on B&N:

From Goodreads, from Heather, who won a copy of the paperback:
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/126805727

This is the first Cliff Ball book I’ve read…and I’d have to say that if he writes another political thriller … I’m in! “The Usurper” is a fast-paced fictional story that has non-fictional elements in it of events that really happened. Cliff makes you think ‘could this really happen?’ He makes it all seem possible…which is a scary thought! This book had lots of twists and turns that kept the reader on the edge of her seat throughout the book. I gave this book to my dad to read since he likes the same kind of books that I do. I’m sure he’ll have a good review as well. Thank you Cliff for writing this book!

On B&N, from a reader named Linda:
http://my.barnesandnoble.com/communityportal/Review.aspx?page=Review&reviewid=1575412

I agree with the other reviewer’s statement that it is Clancy like. The characters don’t have as much depth as Clancy’s, but Clancy has developed his over many books. This book was very similar to current events, with a frightening back story created. This back story was, unfortunately, plausible – at least in the goal if not the execution. It builds off of the fears of the cold war and moves into the role and power of government in our lives, as well as the battle of capitalism vs. socialism. This was filled with lots of symbolism and relations to actual current events. In summary, a very good read and I look forward to reading more by this author.

Plus, a review for Shattered Earth from a reader on Goodreads who won a copy of the paperback:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/149311972

Just finished this book. It was not at all what I thought it would be. The story line was was so imaginatively written, very interesting. I haven’t read a sci-fi, fantasy book written in such a way to be so interesting. I really liked it. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but it is obvious that a lot of thought went into the writing of this book. The story line and the history aspect of the story kept me involved in the story from the beginning and had some really fun and interesting twists. I really enjoyed this book and hope to read more from Mr. Ball.

 

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Where all my novels are located

Dear reader, if you’d like to know where you can buy my novels, here is a comprehensive list:

Out of Time, originally published through iUniverse in 2008 in paperback, now through Createspace, and a 2nd edition uploaded as e-book this year.  With coupon code ZC6JYHVF get this title for 50% off from Createspace.

Paperback:
Createspace
Amazon- 2nd Edition
Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble
Books a Million
Borders
Independent Bookstores

e-Book locations for $.99
Amazon Kindle
UK Kindle
Apple iBooks
Borders
NOOK
Sony Reader
Smashwords

The Usurper, published 2010, through CreateSpace – $5 off with coupon code JKJLG2YW.
Review of The Usurper

Paperback:
Amazon
Amazon UK
Amazon Canada
Barnes and Noble
Books a Million
Borders
Hastings
Indie bookstores

E-book $2.99
Amazon Kindle
Kindle UK
Apple iBooks
Barnes and Noble Nook
Borders
Diesel E-books
Kobo
Smashwords
Sony Reader

Shattered Earth is $3.99 for e-book (currently $2.99 on Amazon, & Sony, Apple through Smashwords) and $12.99 for paperback

Where to buy, $12.99, $2.99:
Createspace
Amazon
Kindle US
Kindle UK
Barnes & Noble Nook
Smashwords, able to download all e-book formats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Mess With Earth – Published by Virtualbookworm.com for $12.95. E-book going for $.99
Paperback: 216 pages
Publisher: Virtualbookworm.com Publishing (March 11, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602643415
ISBN-13: 978-1602643413

Indiebound.org
Amazon
Kindle
Amazon UK
UK Kindle
B&N paperback
BN Nook
Books a Million
Smashwords

There you go, good luck and thanks for buying!

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Character interview from The Usurper

Syria Evans asked authors to submit interview questions for their characters. I chose Gary Jackson, and he gave the following interview (re-posted from Syriasays.com)

Syria Says: How did you first meet your writer?

Gary: He was very persistent, I’ll give him that. He popped up in all sorts of places, and I kept refusing to be interviewed, but I don’t remember the very first time I met him. I do clearly remember that he finally cornered me on Air Force One, and since we were 30,000 feet in the air, he wouldn’t take no for an answer. I briefly considered having the Secret Service throw him off the plane.

Syria Says: Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?

Gary: Of course not. Everything about me is supposed to be classified.

Syria Says: What are your favorite scenes in your book: action, dialog, romance?

Gary: My favorite scenes are when people cower in fear of me, and I get to throw my weight around. I love my power.

Syria Says: Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?

Gary: I had a hard time convincing him to show me in a good light. For some reason, he wrote me as this totally evil and cold bad guy. I’m just misunderstood is all..

Syria Says: Do you infiltrate your writer’s dreams?

Gary: Only to haunt him for turning me into such a bad guy. Wherever he sleeps, I will always be there.

Syria Says: What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?

Gary: I like plotting to take over the rest of the world.

Syria Says: Are you currently engaged in a relationship?

Gary: Yes, I’m married.

Syria Says: Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in? A political thriller?

Gary
: Sure. At least it isn’t a non-fiction novel, because I don’t think anyone would seriously believe that all the stuff I did would happen in real life.

Syria Says: If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?

Gary: I would re-write everything. I mean, the author portrayed me as an evil, cold, and power hungry bad guy, when I’m just misunderstood. I’m not that bad.

Syria Says
: Do you like the way the book ended?

Gary: No, not really, but if you ask the protagonist, I’m sure he wouldn’t like it either.

Syria Says
: Would you be interested in a sequel if your writer was so inclined?

Gary: I don’t think he would be so inclined. I’m sure I could convince a different writer to write a sequel that will tell my side of the story that doesn’t make me look so bad.

Syria Says: Do you believe that you are suitable portrayed in electronic books or would you rather be in paperback only?

Gary: I’d rather not be portrayed in any kind of format, but, if you insist on an answer, I’ll say electronic books. Who reads paperbacks these days?

Syria Says: Did you have any input into the book cover design?

Gary: No, of course not. Why would I get that kind of input?

Syria Says: What is the lamest characteristic your writer has attributed to you?

Gary: Lamest? Hmmm…. I was never such a cute little boy. I was properly trained from childhood to be who I am today, not the little wimp that I was portrayed as.

Syria Says: If you could give yourself a superpower, what would you choose?

Gary: Young lady, what a silly question. Does Lex Luthor have a superpower? I didn’t think so.

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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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