Project E.D.E.N at Marietta Book Exchange Event

Project E.D.E.N. by B. Mauritz at Book Exchange

Public speaking is my least favorite activity but when it comes to letting people know you have a book worth captivating their attention, well you put all your petty fears aside. It’s not like stage fright has killed anyone, right?

This past Thursday I spent the evening at a local bookstore where I got to raise awareness on my first book and th
e pending series I am working on in the background. Book events are exactly what you would think. A great experience to get to know your local authors, buy books and get them signed, and participate in giveaways.

This was my first event where I got to speak and though it was scary I was very happy to have the privilege of going first. I tried to think of all the right things to say about a book series and make my audience aware of where the first book took place. I can only hope I sent out the right message. Of course as I do more of these events I will get more comfortable with talking about my work.

Public speaking is something I’ve been doing quite often over the past several years in my day job, but it’s different. I am telling an audience about services my company offers and I can detach myself. This is completely different with my book. My book is very personal and self-criticism is something I am learning to distract myself to provide a better delivery. Practice in the end will make it sort-of perfect, because nothing is.

Things I recommend taking to an event if allowed:

  • Your books (duh)
  • Business Card (I made business bookmark cards)
  • Brochure or Author one pager (I made a brochure telling them about myself, my book, why I wrote it, and the series)
  • Author sign-up sheet
  • Giveaway with raffle
  • Decorations that make sense; especially table-cloth

If you are a reader I definitely suggest staying touch with your local books stores events on their websites. For authors I would recommend speaking at one of these events as often as possible. It is a great place to meet fellow authors and interested readers you would have never had the opportunity to meet on your own.

I have to thank my friend, @kjbetareading for keeping me posted on upcoming events in our area and to Marietta Book Exchange for hosting a wonderful evening. I was able to make contacts with other authors like Sherri JohnsonLinda Sands, Marsha Cornelius, Brenda Sutton Rose,  Mary Anne Edwards, and many others.

I Knew…I Thought…But I Didn’t

Busy

I just knew that once I published my book I would have even less time then I did when the book was just Microsoft word. I knew that there would be a lot to do when it came into the world. I thought I would be more prepared, but I didn’t expect all the things that I now find as common sense.

Hindsight bias. I learned that theory in most of my psych classes. Right along fulfilling prophecy it is one of those obvious oh yea moments. If I could turn back time I know I would be much more prepared but I can’t so you live and learn.

Things I would recommend doing before you publish the book so you can be ahead of the game (and things I will do before the second book):

  • File for a business license. I went to a tax seminar at BookLogix and learned that it was a way to better manager your assets so I filed for one today from LegalZoom. They manage it at a yearly fee and of course their is the whopping almost $300. I got the Tax ID with it. Oh and it will only take 35 days since I didn’t want to pay anymore for it. Once I get the paperwork I will then go open a checking account and then get a credit card and then create a new Paypal for my Paypal reader so my money from my book is completely separated including any future purchases involved with publishing.
  • Find your peace with twitter and drive it. It took me a while but I found the best way to get to my audience and I’ve been building up my followers a lot faster, like 1000 followers a month trending. Wish I had realized this 6 months ago because I could be much farther.
  • Despite what others may say around you the cover is the MOST important advertising material. Next time I want to get it done ASAP because it is much easier to market something when you have a visual.
  • Every night I’ve been going through 10 pages of Amazon Top Reviewers looking for book reviewers to give an ebook in exchange for an honest review. It is very tedious and time-consuming but I am hoping it is worth it. Time will tell. Email them and when you get one inform them that it’ll be sent on that release date. I will be doing this at a minimum of 2 weeks before my next launch.
  • Generate a list of book bloggers. Then do the same as the top reviewers. These guys, if interested, will do Author Interviews and Giveaways.
  • Email Youtube Bloggers. They are the best. They are exciting and enjoyable to watch. Just watching them talk about books gives you a major inside as to what these fan girls and boys are interested in and what grabs their attention. They can make you a better writer by giving you an insight into what they want from you. People actually get to see the excitement and interest in their face and voice and of course a visual. It’s wonderful not just getting a public visual review to a wider audience but you get to connect in a way that gives you the insight of what a fan is thinking.
  • Most importantly get through the stress and write. I wish I could have focused more on book two but I let my pondering of the future get in the way of the future.

All in all things are going better than I expected for a no name artist. I’m very busy lately staring at my computer for almost every reason but writing. Constantly web searching, reading up on people and things, emailing, and emailing and emailing. I have  to stop procrastinating and get back to the second installment of Project E.D.E.N.

 

Project E.D.E.N. in the Market

It has been an amazing month. Outside of the holidays I have been very busy getting used to the idea of having a published book. That means instead of writing I spend hours a day on Twitter, Amazon, Goodreads, Youtube, and Google of course. Why? Because marketing never stops, not when you are passionate about something and you know that your work is just waiting for the right person at the right moment….

Officially I have had a lot of wonderful people purchasing my book. Many of them have already been able to give me feedback and it has been some of the most wonderful and inspiring words. I have had several people respond back to me from YouTube book reviewers to book clubs. Currently I’m in the stagnant process of marketing as far as books go. Books are not like most products. They have to sit for a while because not everyone has a few days in their life to do nothing but disappear into your alternate reality. I’ve had the opportunity for several reviewers accepting my request for an honorable review.

Since my book is now available on Kindle, Nook, and iBooks I’ve been targeting a larger market. When I purchased my website, www.bmauritz.com from wix.com I received $50 in vouchers for Facebook ads. Once the ebooks all became available I found that now was the time to push some advertisement, especially since the expiration date wouldn’t make it past the new year. My first attempt was for a 7 day run where I didn’t exceed a limit of $5. As far as Facebook money goes, this is a fraction of a penny to do some real ad control. I went for the one that clicks your website. Then I spent the last few days on targeting page like ads. I got more physical proof on the second round. Plus the page views meant that people would stay informed with me longer through a like than for one click. Anybody can  click a link and view a website once but it takes someone with a bit more commitment  to like a Facebook page. Next time I decide to run an ad on Facebook I will do the page likes again.

With my triumphs I have found a pattern for my social media life to make it easier to commit day over day. Everyday I know spend half an hour on twitter looking for the right audience, another half hour emailing reviewers and another half hour going through emails, looking at trends, and googling the latest. What I have to remember to do is write. Book two has a few more months before I plan to deliver it to the editor which means I just have to find the time.

On the local front I’ve been handing out my bookmarks like crazy, engaging people in conversation, and walking into the local bookstores. I have one bookstore currently displaying my title and I will be visiting a few more! A friend also got my book at a cafe in SF and in the first day we already found a new Project E.D.E.N. fan!

Sitting on the shelf at Once and Again Books

2013-12-23 12.21.43

Visiting Once and Again Books to get a picture of Project E.D.E.N. on the local authors shelf in Marietta, Georgia.

IMG_3225Project E.D.E.N.

Selling Project E.D.E.N. Out of My Car

Untitled-9Yesterday was an exciting day. There have been a lot of them lately. I believe that these few months of we are almost published made up for the last several years of self-doubt and self-realization. For a while there I was not competing with the worthiness of my book but rather the worthiness of whether I deserve to be known for it. Ridiculous sounding it may be but as an author you are filled with conflictions of whether you have the right to ask for people to notice and then purchase your work of art.

Today I continued to take charge of my life. In my experience of knowing people it is the one trait that majority of people lack. Everyone claims they want a life to be proud of but at the end of the day no one really puts their foot down and says lets get started. Then there are the others that get started but never finish. For me everything has always been, if your not going to finish then why do it at all.

Finally I am selling my paperback out of my car and I am still agonizingly waiting for the ebook to become available later this month. Finally it feels real. Everything I worked for has come to these moments. My family and friends have all been asking the same questions: “You must be so excited to have your book out!” For most I smile and nod but for those who get me, and usually roll there eyes at me, I give the truth with the following response, “It’s about time. I’m just ready for the next step.”

Perhaps I am skipping over the party stage but that is just who I am. When I moved out of my parents years ago the only celebration I did was setting things up then going back to work. When I bought a house I didn’t throw a house party. Instead I started the project of renovation getting to the point that I didn’t want people to see my house under construction or now too much time has passed. I’m not one to stay in the lime light and ask for a celebration. Once a task is finished I see a dozen more task that need my attention and that becomes more important immediately.

Am I excited about the release of my book? Very much, quietly so. I’ve been getting great reactions from people around me and people I have never met before. People online are reaching out to me and it is very humbling. Now I’m really concerned with getting Book 2 of the Project E.D.E.N. series done. There are two things holding me back from that milestone which is getting myself to focus on editing and selling enough of the first book to pay for the second book to get edited by a real editor and all those lovely fees associated with getting your words on paper.

If you like a scifi/fantasy/romance/dystopian movie please check out Project E.D.E.N. I’ve been told that it is the perfect read for fans of twilight, hunger games, lord of the rings, harry potter…… What it has to offer is a diverse family living in our culture but preparing to change the culture of a government facility housing people like them with abilities. I dare you to fall in love with my main character, Cedric, a 17 year old boy whose been cursed with the ability to walk through people’s dreams. Visit http://www.BMauritz.com to find out more or comment.

Project E.D.E.N. Available At Your Nearest Amazon

Guess what blogging community, that day for me is finally here! Partially.

My book Project E.D.E.N. is now available online at www.Bmauritz.com  or my publishers website, Booklogix, or Amazon as a paperback. This is the first book of the series and there is so much promise to be found. If you enjoy sci-fi and fantasy and romance than journey on over. This book was meant to be read like your watching a movie.

What is it about?

A boy who is faced with an ability to walk through peoples dreams and suffer through his predicament alone. Until he meets Saphira whose abilities unravel the very thoughts of what life was and now has him thinking about that unforeseeable future. The one his “Aunt” Emma, a Palm reader who can tell the future, has been steering them from since he was born. He finally meets his father and learns of Initium, his birthplace. A city captivated by technology disguised as nature. A place where everyone has an ability unless they part of the military forces that run their humble home where they work to help each other exist in a harmonious style that elicits no fear of anything or anyone. Except those who know the truth. The one’s who have managed to sneak through the system or rest beneath the foundation of the city. Will Cedric find his answers fast enough to help his citizens from taking over the world as they are led by General Daniel Stein?

What type of audience would be interested?

Written for the young adult but enjoyed by all ages. For those who like to read about dystopian societies, heroes journeys, romantic embraces, and cryptic undertones.

How can I get it?

The paperback is available today on my site or Amazon. It will be available as an ebook in 3-4 weeks. Stay posted at www.Bmauritz.com. You can also stay current with my Twitter and Facebook page.

Join me on the thrilling adventure of Cedric and his adventure to understanding his role in the demise or rebirth of Initium.

Opening Project E.D.E.N.

2013-11-11 17.35.44-1I’ve disappeared for a while because I have a lot of weight on my shoulders but they are well…being shifted due to my overwhelming delight at the creation of my imagination. Today I received a paperback version of my book. After years of writing and toying with the details as I designed the future of more books, creating an amazing series….after months of waiting for the editing to publishing game….it is finally here.

Today I received a proof of my book. I have a few days to review it, and if I approve, it goes into printing. If there are any issues with the interior layout then there goes a week or two of changing before the printing press. That means that in a month or so I will have the real deal in my hand; the 100% edited copy. Then it will be converted to ebook. If I get real lucky it will be out before or just after the holidays. If not then I’ll start out the New Year with an amazing resolution to see my dream to its fullest. Hopefully one day it wont be a dream but a reality.

Let me tell you more about this awesome day:

All day I was working knowing that the tracking said my book would be at my door at 12:01 P.M. today. Already I had the agonizing wait of a dead parcel day known as Sunday where my book sat 5 miles away in a closed UPS location. When I got home at 5:30 P.M. I crawled out of my mustang and walked around the back of my car in case it was in the mailbox. Stopping to get a view of my front porch I paused seeing the UPS parcel and I walked very slowly, as if it was a deer that would run at my presence. Picking up the package I walked back to my car and grabbed my things then walked into the home swiftly not wanting to drop anything and take longer to get to this surprise.

Project E.D.E.N.

Lying the package on the counter I put down my things and took a picture. Then I opened it carefully like I was unwrapping a child from their blanket. Tossing the packaging to the side I put it down. There was a crease on the cover from its shipping but that couldn’t sadden me in the least bit; just an observation. It was my book. MY BOOK IN PRINT!

Please stay posted through twitter and facebook about instant status changes of its publication to printing process!

My 9 Steps to Writing a Novel

whitefacestepsWriting a book sounds like a good idea. However finishing it takes more time then one really puts thought into initially, I know I did. And sometimes you have to deal with inspiration to editing before you can find an audience that would be worth publishing for; other than yourself. My steps work for me, maybe for you, maybe not. At the end of the day we all have our own style and at times we find others that we can relate to. Good luck with your endeavors and finding a style and routine that fits you.

Step 1: Brainstorming

Out with the bad, in with the good. 

Forget the thought of good. Spending money on publishing should only go to something great and those ideas may take time. If you haven’t had the great idea yet then you find yourself stumbling over one thought to the next looking for the one that will blossom and change everything; How you think, how you feel, what you want…. When you get an idea just write it down, go with it. Keep going until what you have written matches with your gut.  Just keep writing that story out until you realize it is as bad as you thought it was. Then the next and the next and the next. Then one day that great idea will come and it will be obvious.

Step Two: Rough Draft 

Just write it!

Time for the rough draft. Stop thinking about it and just get it down on paper. Keep writing and when you get stuck back away. You aren’t always going to be able to write in spurts. Sometimes your writing will cause you to stall. Personally I write from the beginning to the end because I like traveling with the character.  I imagine it as a movie in my head. Sometimes, when I have a random amazing idea, like the way my first book started, I get a thought of a moment in the book and I write that out and save it for later till my characters finally get to it, then I insert it. Sometimes it is a small moment and sometimes it is the end of the story. The moment you recognize the great idea…you will know where to go from there.

Step Three: Dealing with Idle Hands

Don’t just walk away!

Oh how easy it is to give up when you feel the pressure, or the lack there of. No one said writing would be easy. It is real work to take a few pages and turn it into a book. It takes determination, focus, and passion on most days. Writers block isn’t easy and everyone is different. When I find myself not focused I set daily writing goals. For instance, I plan on my rough draft being at the minimum of 130,000 words (I will probably hack off a lot and then add some back on through the next rounds). I give myself a minimum goal of 1000 words a day. Divide that by 130,000 words and then go to the calendar and mark the day I will be finished. There may be many days with 1000 words and then other days when there are 5000 and more. With this minimum goal I can finish my book at a maximum of 4 in half months. If you are at a loss where you’re at to add the 1000 words then write a summary of your expectation for the next so many words or the rest of the chapter and move on to the next part of your book that is leading your interest.

Step Four: First Draft

Hack-Away

TIme for the first draft. This part is less gratifying than writing the rough draft, where it felt like a journey. This is the part where you question your original moments. You began to chop away the bad and pay attention to the grammar a little bit as you add in new ideas.

Step Five: Second Draft

So not done yet!

The second draft. You feel good about your story. Now you are paying attention to the grammar and hopefully you won’t doubt yourself and try to change things around again. You may be rereading your book several times because you will find yourself always catching something you missed.

Step Six: Show & Tell

Pass it to a friend.

Sometimes you are too close to the project and you need time to breathe and get a view from an outside perspective. Not only should you take the time to think about the story, and how it affects future stories if a series, you give it to a friend that won’t criticize too harshly, cause you need to keep your ego, but someone who will break it to you if it is a money waster. There are a lot of critical people out there who are more critical than your audience, beware. Those people usually aren’t the experts, perhaps they like to think of themselves as such since they don’t know another; unless your skin is thick they may say something harmful to your thoughts that others would disagree with.  Be careful about who says what is what, and therefore what you believe.

Step Seven: Final Draft

One last time.

Getting back your book from a friend or two you may find yourself with a new perspective or feel accomplished. Or perhaps you have thought of some more ideas. If so time for the final draft. Perhaps you will put in some new ideas, but overall you really look for stupid grammar mistakes once again and make any changes your friends and acquaintances have offered. If you are getting a professional editor then I suggest reading the book over and over until you feel you have found every grammar mistake you understand, so you can save on your money.

Step Eight: Professional Editing

Sigh

Turning your book to the editor, because you edited until you bled and your eyes teared up, you decide its time. You were critical and harsh and you gave it time to breathe. Time to give it to the editor and hopefully your eye caught enough errors to save on the editorial changes. For months it will be in someone else’s hands and you will read it two or more times after that to accept their critiques and give your final words to change anything you think is needed because after you approve that final text it becomes WAY more expensive to make changes between going back to the editor and reprinting.

Step Nine: Publishing

Breathe

The book has been approved by you and the editor. It is time to let it go. Concentrate on marketing, approving the layout, the final cover design, and meeting with all the right people to complete the steps for its time to meet the public. Good luck!