Tag Archives: murder

Marketing My Novel, Step 4


As part of marketing my first book, I need to start the next novel.

Statistics show that, on average, authors don’t start selling books until they have a minimum of four books on the market. I wonder what it is about human nature that makes readers decide to buy a new author’s work when there are four books out. Not two. Not three. Four is the magic number.

Seriously, I have to start my next novel now, as I am wrapping up my first one, even before it hits the presses.

I have considered cheating–writing a couple of short stories that fall in length between an in-depth magazine article and a novella–to try getting works in print on the market. I don’t know if it will piss off readers or tease them into waiting for the next full-length feature.

Already I have readied a short story called “Strange” (8,000 words) that will release at the same time as the novel. It is set in a fictional town in Pennsylvania. The short story can be packaged with the novel as a promotion, a special value, to tempt someone to buy my book because the reader will get two reads for the price of one. It’s a tactic I want to try. Will it work?

I don’t know. We’ll find out together, won’t we.

 

Justice: Part 3, The Finale


Justice: Part 3

by Fay Moore (c) 2012

Good god, man,” says the Chief. A pause, then, “Call me later with the rest of the findings.”

The Chief of Police is silent. Six pairs of eyes focus on him, trained to read the faces of men to reveal what is in the heart.  At the moment, the face of the Chief is tabula rasa. Under the circumstances, the eyes stay riveted to the chief’s face, mining data from each subtle nostril flare, each bat of an eyelid, each pupil dilation.

Standing, the Chief hands off the cell phone to an assistant, straightens his uniform coat, then locks eyes with his audience.

There’s been a fire at the GS Global Investments building. All the senior executive offices burned. Once the blaze was controlled, firemen made a cursory search through the suite, to be sure all flames were extinguished. In the executive bathroom, they found a pair of severed hands on a plate, covered in blood, under a glass dome. The coroner said the hands appear to have been removed from a cadaver. You know, one of the pickled bodies used for training in medical schools. Thank God for that. I was afraid the hands belonged to another investment banker.”

One of the detectives in the room chuckled. “Blood on your hands.”

What?” asked the Chief.

Blood on your hands. The perpetrator is sending a message. The investment banking community has blood on their hands.”

If you count the kills in Asia, Europe and here, we have eleven dead bankers in forty-eight hours. I’d say you’re right that whoever is behind these hits is sending a message, a very lethal message.”

Did they find anything else?”

Yes. Under the glass plate holding the hands, there was a copy of an article from a San Francisco newspaper, written by a Bill, Phil, or Will somebody and called “Unrepentant and Unreformed Bankers.”

Another voice responds, “I saw that article on the Internet. It has gone viral on the free video channels. That crowd sees our perpetrator–or perpetrators–as a kind of Robin Hood. You know, delivering justice where the regulators and courts won’t.”

The Chief growls in reply, “Let me remind you that we deliver justice, not some vigilante. You can’t have people taking the law into their own hands. Remember that! Now show me the article. You said it’s on-line?”

The detective uses the Chief’s computer to find it. The search returns several references to the article, as it has been printed not only in the San Francisco newspaper, but also in the Huffington Post and on various Internet web sites.

The Chief scans the article as the detectives peer over his shoulder.

Money laundering. Price Fixing. Bid rigging. Securities fraud. Talking about the mob? No, unfortunately. Wall Street,” a detective reads aloud. There’s a laugh around the room. “Old Phil Angelides knows how to start an article off with a bang. You know, Chief, he’s got a point.”

A glare from the Chief silences the speaker. “We have crimes to solve. Now get to work.”

It takes weeks of coordinating investigative efforts with global law enforcement and intelligence organizations to turn up bumpkus. The police entities can’t identify who is behind the mayhem. The killings have stopped: the spree is short-lived and focused. Nowhere is there sympathy for the victims.

Over and over, excerpts from the Angelides article appear on television. In coffee shops, barbershops, taxicabs and airports, the buzz is the same: the banks and their leaders have faced no real political, economic or legal consequences for their wrongdoing. The banks are cozy with the regulators and with legislators. Wall Street is solipsism, a world of utter madness that, till now, others could not affect.

——-

Somewhere in Hong Kong, an octogenarian is on his deathbed. He is thinking about the Year of the Dragon; it is a year of bravery, of passion, a time to eliminate negative chi from the past. He considers his life. He has been favored in business and industry. His personal fortune exceeds the total economy of many individual countries. Before he dies, he wishes to leave a gift to his children and grandchildren. He believes he has done it. He believes he has made their world better.

How does he know?

He is watching the news. The broadcaster describes a global reordering of the financial world. In the aftermath of the multiple murders, fear seizes those who ran the old order, and they flee to hide in their hidden bunkers. Systems that have been in place for decades are being disassembled. The central banking system breaks up into small localized units. Fiat currencies are replaced with asset-backed money. Sovereign debts are forgiven. Taxpayers are off the hook. Governments cut size and balance budgets. International banking criminals are arrested and prosecuted vigorously.

Optimism and hope are in the air. Economies will be rebuilt. He can die in peace.

And the plot thickens. . .


A news story appeared on May 23 on Yahoo’s The Lookout. Reporter Pueng Vongs wrote:

Jason Blackburn, 35, of Memphis was cleaning a stone walkway when he discovered 13 tombstones from a historic military cemetery buried about three inches deep, reports The Commercial Appeal. He first thought he had found a garden stone but then saw the inscriptions.

“My first reaction was, ‘Oh my goodness, I hope there’s not dead bodies in my backyard,'” said Blackburn, who bought the house about a year ago, in the report.

Whodunnit? Who thinks it was the butler in the pantry with a candlestick?

The truth is the house was owned by a former cemetery worker. Whenever a headstone contained an error and was replaced by the maker, the worker took the flawed stone home. There were no bodies found in the backyard.

Kinky–but free–way to build a walkway. File that item away under the file name “Weird But Explainable.” Novel fodder.

Marketing Tip: When You Release a New E-Book


     This week in my writing class taught by mystery writer Lauren Carr, I learned a marketing trick that I intend to use when my book is ready for release. Here’s a story to illustrate the power of using this tip.

     A new author released her first novel as an e-book. Readers were reluctant to spend their hard-come-by dollars on an unknown author, fearing they would be disappointed. The author’s sales were nearly non-existent.

     On a whim, the new author decided to write a short story and offer it as an e-booklet for free in the same venue as her e-book. Readers downloaded the freebie. They liked what they read. Then they searched for more works by the new author. The readers, who now had a taste of the new writer’s work, found the new novel and ordered it. Before long, the new author had sales equal to other well-known authors.

     Lauren Carr, who currently has four novels available through Amazon.com, will be releasing her fifth novel in early summer. She heard about the success of the novice author in marketing her book via the use of the giveaway e-story. Carr decided that if she used a similar tactic, she may lure new readers for her novels. Carr e-published a short story called “Lucky Dog” and reports that the story is selling at $.99. She hopes the interest in “Lucky Dog” translates to sales for the new release.

     Carr says, “The short story cost me nothing but my time. I have about 3 hours of time invested in the writing.” A bit more time was needed to format and upload the document to an e-marketer.

     The award-winning author recommends this tactic as a way for a new author to develop a following.