Book Promotion and Marketing, Part the Second, and the next Terry Rankin novel is in the works

The time I have spent recently (the last six months of my life, actually) in marketing and promoting the Kindle versions of my novels has resulted in greater reader awareness, and that always results in an increase in sales (provided your product proves to have the value for the reader they have come to expect).  Sales are around fifty – sixty a day. So I’m going to invest a bit of time in expanding the market for my books.

About two years ago I did a bit of research into the audio book market. This led to an offer from a producer, but I turned it down; there was not enough of a return in it for me at the time. But very recently a blogger I follow, Sarah A. Hoyt, ( posted a guest blog about Amazon’s subsidiary, ACX ( that got me downright excited about audio book production.

ACX distributes audio books through, Amazon and iTunes, and that is a huge market. The company also offers three different financing paths, at least one of which will appeal to every author.

All four of my Terry Rankin novels (“The Big Bend” series) are now open for Voice talent to submit samples readings of text from the novels. Since I have four novels ready in that series and I am working on a fifth, I am looking for one Voice for all five projects. I’ll let you know how that works out for me.

Here’s an update on the fifth novel in the Terry Rankin series. I am now officially working full (almost) time on this project, and hope to have the manuscript finished by the end of this year. Some time back in January I had a sit-down with my characters; a crackers and beer get-together  – how you doing, what’s up, ready to get back to work? sort of thing. It was great to catch up on what everyone had been up to in the year we’d spent apart, and everyone said they were looking forward to working again. So they went back to settle their affairs and wait for my call.

This time I actually tried to figure it all out in advance; you know, like an outline, just like real authors do? And whenever I had something I thought was good enough to be getting on with, I’d IM the whole crew, just like we’d agreed. Nobody, not even Terry Rankin himself, even bothered to text me back, much less pick up a phone and let me know he didn’t want anything to do with my ideas.

It’s a sad day when your own characters refuse to have anything to do with you.

Talk about depressed. But I kept working on ideas and kept right on IM-ing, and kept on hoping at least one of them would bother to let me know what was going on. They didn’t.

So I pretty much gave up on ever producing a fifth Terry Rankin novel.

Then I realized what I was doing wrong; I was trying to force myself and my characters into an easily-moulded format that would require little creative writing on my part. What a damn pain writing is, much less “creative” writing. “Creative”, my aunties drawers.  I well and truly hate that term. There’s nothing creative about ‘creative’ writing. All I get to do is write down what my characters say and do. That’s not creative anything– that’s secretarial work, for crying out loud.

I’m nothing more than the Dr.Watson for a bunch of imaginary people.

No wonder they refused to reply to my IM’s. They didn’t have to play my games. They knew damn good and well I couldn’t write without them, so they held out for the whole megilla.

So I gave in, with one proviso; I got to choose the title (heh, heh, heh): “Chaos and Hilarity”.

Let’s see them weave an interesting tale around that!



About Gary Showalter

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making. In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel. During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites. Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008. His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print. Mr. Showalter's third novel, “Twisted Key”, was published in the fall of 2011, and his fourth novel, "Lonesome Cove" is now available in Kindle format and should be published in paper near the end of 2012. He currently lives in Deland, Fl, where he is co-authoring "A Silent Star" with Tony Attanasio. "A Silent Star" is the true tale (though novelized, with names changed for security reasons) about the 4-person covert action team sent into Yemen to capture Osama Bin laden immediately after the bombing of the USS Cole in the Aden harbor in Yemen in October of 2000.
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