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Topics - Randolphlalonde

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The Book Bazaar / Dark Arts - 70's Rock Supernatural Novel
« on: October 27, 2015, 09:47:10 PM »
In time for Halloween, I humbly submit Dark Arts for your reading pleasure.

This is my fourteenth title on Amazon (and other EBook purveyor sites), and I've been publishing my work since 2004. All that time I've been looking forward to writing a fresh Supernatural novel and presenting it to readers to devour. I proudly present this work.

Here's the synopsis:

Maxwell, a guitarist whose band is coming off the road under discouraging circumstances, has come to a crossroad. The minimal success his band, Road Craft, has had is being smothered by an era where bars are becoming discos, and live entertainment is being replaced by larger dance floors. They scored a small record deal years before, but the excitement has cooled, and they never got much radio play.

The only hope he has of financing his future rests in a book he hunted down using contacts and skills he learned from his father, who was an expert at acquiring rare occult objects. Max is not a believer in mysticism, but he knows what he has was hard to get, and should be worth thousands. When he's told it's too hot to sell, his dreams are crushed, and his wallet is left empty. He'll have to tell his band mates that his plan has fallen through, and they have come to the end of the road.

The members of Road Craft are set to return home during a Pagan summer festival called The Gathering, where hundreds of people gather to celebrate music, nature, and each other. The Gathering also puts him nose to nose with Miranda, a woman Maxwell knew when they were children, a veteran of the New York Rock scene and his equal.

He doesn't know it yet, but this is the event that will make him a believer in the occult, and he will have some choices to make. All the while, there are people who know he has the book, and they are determined to twist the knowledge it contains to a terrible purpose, to break the circle of life, making resurrections possible, to open the door between the living and the dead just enough to embrace forbidden power. Their selfish intent would disrupt the natural order enough to change the world, and not for the better.

Maxwell's music career is about to be the least of his worries.

Thank you for reading!

After over two and a half years' work, Spinward Fringe Broadcast 7: Framework has been released.

If you've never seen the Spinward Fringe series before, and enjoy a Space Opera romp, then you can pick up the first full length novel up for free by clicking the image link in my signature at the bottom of this post.

Here's the vital info about Spinward Fringe Broadcast 7: Framework

The crew of the Triton find themselves marooned in the Rega Gain solar system. Refusing to abandon the refugees and liberated slaves who joined them along the way, Ayan Rice and her friends negotiate a deal with the Carthan Government to found a home on a terraformed moon.

Meanwhile, the fugitive, Jacob Valance and the former Samson crew work to restore their ship and continue their fight against the Order Of Eden in earnest. Little do they know, the fight will resume well before they're ready, and the entire Triton crew will find themselves caught in a war that threatens to change the galaxy forever.

Burning questions are answered in Spinward Fringe Broadcast 7: Framework, the cumulative book in the Spinward Fringe series. Stories come to an end, characters face their destinies, and the series changes forever.

File Size: 800 KB
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Randolph Lalonde (November 17, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Word Count: 183,000 (Approximate)

Amazon US Link:

Amazon UK Link:

Thank you for your time and attention!

The Book Bazaar / Spinward Fringe Expendable Few
« on: May 12, 2011, 10:50:40 AM »
I have a free novella coming out soon, with the first two chapters available now at the following link:

Also, a reminder that the first three books in the series are available for free as an omnibus, at Amazon:

Writers' Cafe / A Plea To A Book Pirate
« on: January 08, 2011, 03:43:55 PM »
Hello everyone!

This morning I found a notification from Google that someone was talking about my books on a piracy forum. When I followed the link, I found that they were promising to post all my work in a torrent later that day / week.

I wouldn't have worried, except for the fact that this is one of the largest piracy bulletin boards in the world, in the top 3. Everything that gets posted there is downloaded hundreds of times as a rule, often thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of times - yes, even Ebooks!

Seeing that I'm still just finding my feet as an author, and being able to write full time is rather precarious financially, I wrote a plea to him on my blog tonight. I'll post the link, but, for those of you who don't want to click on it, I can summarize. I simply ask that he does not follow through with his promise, and state that, while he paid for his copies and I appreciate his support, the majority of the people who download them will not. Even if they enjoy the books, the vast majority of readers will not pay the price of admission - it's just not common.

Here's the link:

Thank you very much for lending me your ears, or eyes in this case.

Recently, someone left a review for my book: The First Light Chronicles Omnibus, that very clearly demonstrated that he'd only read the first 25% of the text. While unkind reviews don't phase me as they would have a couple years ago, I also find this to be a misleading review.

There are a couple other negative reviews of this book, and I didn't have a problem with them since it's obvious that they read most of the book before they typed them up. I'm fully aware that futurism heavy Space Opera isn't everyone's cup of tea. So you know, the book is divided into three unequal parts, like episodes - the first being the shortest.

Here's a link to the review:

I'm just wondering what everyone else thinks of someone reviewing only the first quarter of a book and moving on. Personally, I would have rather he just returned it or read the sample instead of purchasing right away.

Writers' Cafe / Book Theft & Vendor Piracy Right On
« on: July 25, 2010, 08:36:59 AM »
A few days I released Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments, the latest in my science fiction series, on using the DTP.

Things were going pretty well until this morning when I discovered a near identical re-release of this book here:

This isn't my release, it wasn't uploaded with my permission.

I emailed DTP support, but haven't received a response yet. Has this happened to anyone else and does anyone have any advice?

The Book Bazaar / Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6 Released!
« on: July 20, 2010, 08:08:51 AM »

The long awaited book, Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments, has arrived at Smashwords and is available for all eBook readers.

You may also be able to find it at for the Kindle here: though it may not be available in all countries until tomorrow.

Here's the basic info and a synopsis:

Format: Kindle, ePub, Lrf, PDF, HTML, Java
Size: 133,924 Words
DRM: None
Publisher: Randolph Lalonde (July 18, 2010)
Sold by: Smashwords, Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
ISBN: 978-0-9865942-4-3

The crew of the Triton continue their misadventure near Ossimi Ring Station. They are forced down different paths and a fight for freedom that will cost them dearly begins. New opportunities, dangers and experiences await them all, as the Order of Eden stirs, advancing their own agenda.

If you'd like to start reading the series from the beginning, you can find the first trilogy for free at Smashwords: or purchase it for your Kindle for $0.99 (in the US, cost varies in other countries) here:


Writers' Cafe / Creators Who Break Free From Market Direction
« on: April 23, 2010, 05:38:52 PM »
As a salute to out of the box thinkers and the music, film and literature indie scenes, I wrote an article called Creators Who Break Free From Market Direction.

The reason why I mention Market Direction instead of using an expression like "Out Of The Box Thinkers" is because, as a writer, I have heard "That doesn't fit in with the direction the market has taken" more than once. Now, I don't make many pitches and took a break from Querying over the last year, but fellow authors are hearing this more and more, then they tend to tell me about it.

I thought it was time to mention a few exceptions to the rule, since so many people seem to be talking about where the market is headed. Being a part of the Ebook scene, I see publishers on one side, vendors on another and indies stuck in between. The readers are often left to wander around and graze while all this is going on since the market is getting more and more confusing to early adopters of eBooks. That is, until someone decides to ignore the debate and just read, the wiser choice as far as I'm concerned for most readers.

So, I invite you to read the article and comment here or on the blog. Who do you think the modern trend breakers are? Do you have a favorite Indie artist (writer, director, musician, etc...), who has guided you outside of the box?

Here's the link to the article:

All Spinward Fringe titles are 50% off for E-Book Week at Smashwords.

There's a more detailed blog post about that here where I take a paragraph or three to tell everyone why I'm celebrating E-Books:

Here's the link to all my books if you don't feel like visiting the blog:

If you'd like to know more about the best selling Spinward Fringe Space Opera E-Book series, please visit

Writers' Cafe / What does your reader mail look like?
« on: February 23, 2010, 12:03:12 AM »
Lately I've been getting a lot more reader mail. I actually got behind in answering it to the point that I'll be replying to a couple a day for two or three weeks just to catch up. I'm not saying this to brag, I'm just saying there's a lot of it.

Thanks to the comments on my blog, the reader mail I've received over the last two years and other indications (Twitter, Facebook, etc...), I can honestly say that my readers are kind, intelligent, and every single one of them deserves an individual response. The only thing I copy/paste when I reply to one of their emails is my signature, and I'd have it no other way.

So, I thought I would start this thread so Kindleboard authors could share some of their favourite reader mail, just as I intend to do.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank any reader who happens by. You guys keep the lights on, the cupboards stocked with essential foodstuffs, and a roof over my head. When they say I'm "living the dream" my reflex is to tell everyone how much work it is, but in all honesty, it's work I enjoy.

On days when I don't feel like writing, I remind myself that a few hundred people find my work entertaining and they are looking forward to my best. When I check my royalties and find I'm closer to paying rent for another quarter, I thank my readers aloud, and hope they enjoy the experience of reading what I've provided. On most days I wake up before my alarm clock goes off, and sometimes my little apartment feels like a castle sponsored by five hundred individual patrons. There's no car in the driveway (I'm a terrible driver anyway), and I don't travel the world (documentaries, the Internet and books get me there), and I don't dine out more than once a month (fast food as well as fancy food will kill you, or so I hear), but to me, what I have far outweighs what I don't.

Too much? Too bad. They're my readers, and I'll thank 'em.

Enough with the gushing, my cavities are getting cavities. Here's one of my favourite emails. Choosing just one was hard. Very hard.

"Dear Sir,

It's been only a few minutes since I finished reading the First Light Omnibus, and I just had to thank you for such an exciting journey. Now I can't wait to grab the sequels!

I've been stuck in this tiny village in Germany for a week now, on a business trip to kick start a project. Everything closes down early and there's nothing to do. By the 3rd day I was rushing out of the office just to catch a bit of excitement... browsing through the 3 convenience stores in their last open hour. By Thursday I found myself switching off the TV as I was fed up with CNN, the only channel I could understand. The prospect of spending half the weekend here was turning really grim. Sure, I'd be paying Frankfurt a visit during the fierce cold wave on Saturday, but on Sunday even my own hotel's restaurant has been closed.

The Omnibus saved me from going bananas - thank you for that. It was an inspired purchase on MobiPocket last Thursday night, after remembering how I devoured Peter Hamilton's "Pandora's Star" trilogy while on a similar trip in Poland. Your book had me equally immersed into the story, laughing out loud or simply being unable to switch it off in the middle of the action. That can only mean one of two things: either I'm an illiterate fool who gets overly excited over good science fiction and yogurt serving suggestions alike, or your book really is up to par with Hamilton's work. I'm just grateful for how you managed to spark my imagination and make this weekend fly by.

By the way, the eBook is so incredibly convenient - as compact as my PDA, easy to pop out anywhere and read while on the commuting train or while waiting for the order at the restaurant. I am really glad you chose this.

Once more, thank you for an excellent story, and best of luck in your future plans!"

- Name withheld.

I love that I was able to entertain him in his hour of need, and hope every author on the boards enjoys the same opportunity!

Let's see some reader mail!

Writers' Cafe / EBook Piracy & The Indies
« on: February 18, 2010, 08:28:21 AM »
I'd like to open this topic with a simple principle demonstrated on a balance.

Positive: Piracy implies popularity and can lead to greater popularization.
Negative: For Indies, piracy really does equate a lost opportunity in revenue.

In this blog post I explain which side of the balance I land on, and why:

For those of you without patience or time to read the post, I'll just say that I land on the side against piracy. There's more to it, including what I had to do about my books being pirated, where the pirated copies came from and where they were being hosted, but I'll leave that to the blog post to explain.

So, what I'm looking for in this topic are your thoughts on the balance posted above, other points about EBook piracy and I'd LOVE to see posts from readers and authors. There's no judgement here, only commentary.

For the longest time the First Light Chronicles Omnibus has been priced at over $6.00. Now that it's been updated to its final revision, I thought it was about time I start offering it through the Amazon Digital Text Platform instead of Mobipocket.

So, here it is, the First Light Chronicles Omnibus Revision 2.0 with a linked Index for the Kindle for $1.99. ($3.99 Internationally*)

Here's the trailer:
<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

If you don't care about the Index Links for navigating through the book, you can still get the First Light Chronicles Omnibus: Revision 2.0 at Smashwords for free here:

Mobipocket and Kindle readers who have already purchased the First Light Chronicles Omnibus can update their versions using the Mobipocket Library, or automatically on their PC or device.

Thank you to everyone who has purchased this and other books from me in the past. The next Spinward Fringe book is on the way (More info here:, and the fantasy novel: The Sons of Brightwill is due out before the end of March.

*The international pricing is set by Amazon, it seems I have no say in the matter.

Writers' Cafe / What Kind Of Contests, Draws and Prizes Do You Enjoy?
« on: February 06, 2010, 09:56:24 AM »
Many authors have had contests and draws on their sites, often coinciding with a book launch, or just to keep their site lively. The standard prizes range from book marks to entire collections. I think it was David Gemmel (Rest in Peace), who included hand written letters with several signed books he gave away as prizes.

Now things have gone even further, with a few authors promising a drawing for an iPad and a couple giving away Kindles!

Now, I'm not so well funded that I could afford a prize like that, but I'm wondering: What kind of contests, prizes and other free stuff do you enjoy?

Are there a few things us authors haven't thought of? Or are the standards (Free eBook, Book, Book mark, etc...), still fantastic?

So, after retaining the rights to the video, music and taking the time to edit, etc... I'm finished the first version of a new book trailer.

Now I'm looking for opinions, and I'd like to borrow your eyes for about 1.30 minutes.

Take a look and tell me what you think, please.
<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Writers' Cafe / Understanding the Cost of eBooks
« on: February 01, 2010, 10:29:27 AM »
It's rare that I take the time to write an article about "the industry", I normally reserve my writing time for creative pursuits. After meeting a lot of people who don't understand the costs behind creating an eBook and a few who don't believe an eBook should ever cost anything, I decided to write this article that includes nothing but fact about what it costs to create the content they're enjoying.

I tried to write it in a non-confrontational manner, and invite everyone at Kindleboards to read it and discuss the issue. I personally would love to know what your thoughts are on the issue, especially since I rarely run into the same misunderstandings on this board.

Here's the link:

So, after finishing work on seven science fiction novels and novellas, I decided to write a hyper condensed supernatural horror short called Dark Arts: Rising.

It's fairly short, and was presented as a weekly serial on the Dark Arts Blog:

Now it's available in its entirety for free at Smashwords where it's received reviews that could only be described as bipolar.

What I'm wondering is if this condensed piece is interesting and entertaining enough to be expanded into a full sized novel. I'd love to hear your opinions here and right on the Smashwords page if you have time.

Again, it's free since it was an experiment and a very tightly written, condensed novel. Normally my fiction takes more time to develop characters, plot, etc...

Have at it guys!

This post was originally intended as a response to this:,16780.0.html but it quickly grew into a full on article and more. Here it is, a tour through my own adventures in shameless self promotion:

I can give you a list of some of the promotions I've tried over the last six years or so in no particular order. I have 12 books and other intellectual properties out right now ranging from science fiction to fantasy to horror.

Reader bulletin boards like this one are good for a start and a good home if you want to start your own discussion thread for announcements or conversations with readers. (Mine is here:,13623.0.html)

Other bulletin boards I visit are those that reflect my own interests. For example, I'm a Star Wars fan and arm chair movie / TV critic so genre and entertainment BB's are places I drop in on. In my signature I put a link to my website with a humorous little quote so there's something other than to look at. If people want to click on it, they do, and since the board members and I have similar interests, I get a high click through rate and a lot of downloads for my free material.

Speaking engagements. This is a lot easier now that a lot of people are doing mini-shows or podcasts online. You don't need to hound news agencies for TV time anymore, though it does help, just find a creative or self pub podcast and inquire. There's a very good one here, actually:

Go audio! If you don't like the idea of grabbing images or editing a video, borrow / buy / steal a decent microphone (I have this one, great mic: and under a $100.00 w/shipping), and record a good reading of your story or book. Sometimes it's best just to do the first few chapters and podcast them at a regular pace. If you do podcast, tell your listeners what to expect (how many chapters, what intervals they'll be posted in, if, when and where they can get the printed edition or when it will come out, etc), and be sure to do several chapters in advance of the delivery date of the first so you're ahead from the start. If you need audio editing software, there's a really good free package called Audacity:  Having an audio version of your story out there will get you more readers / listeners, and most publishers don't apply the negative connotation to audio presentations that they do to self published imprints. (There are a lot of free audio book places that you can spread your story or book around on too). Some indie authors are starting to post the first few chapters of their book in audio for free, and offer the rest for a price. My only real advice is to make sure your voice, the sound and overall presentation is on par with publishing house offerings otherwise you'll find a lot of irritated listeners who tell you that you've dropped the ball on quality or silently walk away. Forever.

Review Trades / Blurb Trades: Find other authors (this is a good place to start), who have shorts / books out and ask them if they'd be interested in Blurb / Review trading. Blurb trading is simple. You read a piece of their work and say something positive about it on your blog / website and they do the same for you. These blurbs are often used as quotes on the front and/or backs of book covers. It's been a common practice for a very long time in the publishing world. Review trading is the same thing only they post their remarks in the review section of say, Amazon, Smashwords or whatever other site you have your work hosted on. Those five star reviews are fuel for attention, trust me. (I have three Review trade remarks on this book:

Publish your short or novel as an eBook on Smashwords: Smashwords is a great home for free and indie offerings, since they only distribute indie authors and small publishers. Readers go there and know that they are not looking at titles from major publishing houses, so the stigma of self publishing (which is still very strong), is already bypassed. The readers tend to be generous and voracious. ( There are a ton of short stories there already, so you don't have to worry about your short being a small offering in comparison. If your short or book is on Smashwords, you will probably be able to contact free eBook listing sites / blogs to get an entry there. They often have several hundred readers each if not more so you'll see a boost in hits / downloads. If your book is not free, then that's one avenue you don't have open to you, but with Smashwords new distribution channels to the Sony, Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other eBook retailers, you'll earn 42% royalties (this may change, make sure to check their documentation), on sales outside of

Your website / blog
: One of my best strategies is checking Google Trends periodically and seeing if any of my interests (movies, books, tv shows), are trending, or being searched for a lot on the web. If so, I'll take half an hour to do a fair review of the subject with a title on my blog that matches. Long time readers of my blog enjoy my reviews and new readers discover me that way as well. (example: Another point to make about your blog or website is to be specific. Think of what you want your visitors to pay attention to, what public attitude you want to have towards whatever you're discussing, and don't junk up your blog with things that have nothing to do with its purpose.
Also, don't talk about being a writer or the process. Your readers are there because they want to be entertained. They want to know when, where and how to get your current work and when your next is coming out. When George R.R. Martin was speaking at the World's Biggest Book Store in Toronto this year, that's one thing he actually brought up, and he's right. If someone wants to know about your progress, or how to be a writer, they'll ask. If your readers are other writers, then by all means, turn it into a writer's advice column, but keep in mind that most readers of fiction are not writers, regardless of what many writers seem to believe.

Cross Blog Promo: This is the act of promoting another blog on your own web page or blog. It helps if this blog is more popular than yours. You can do this by reviewing them in a post, adding them to a list on the side of your own blog, or by using any number of tools offered by Wordpress or Blogger to list blogs you visit regularly on your own site. Once the review is up, tell the site administrators that you reviewed them and where to find said ditty. This is also effective with podcasts and other web media. (Example:

Book Trailer / Video Presentation: I won't go into the book trailer much here since there are many ways to do one, but going multimedia really works for some people. My first book trailer (here:, was an experimental testimonial trailer for my science fiction series. My next one will be a cinematic trailer using footage I need to buy rights to and a voice actor. You can easily buy the rights to some photography (here's a great site, one of the cheaper ones too:, that go with your work. In a pinch Windows Movie Maker can do the job, but if you can get your hands on anything better I suggest you do. You will look much more professional if you actually do the leg work and find images / video clips that you can buy limited rights to or obtain usage permission for. If you're writing science fiction, start with NASA and the JPL (EDIT: Jet Propulsion Laboratory).

In store appearances: This doesn't really apply to publicizing a short story or most indie books these days, but it had to be mentioned. At one time, print and in-store was the way to go for indies, and I made appearances at major book stores, cafe's and other establishments that would open their doors for a reading and signing. That sort of thing got expensive, and it was good for publicity, but with the arrival of the eBook (I had one out five years ago, but they only started selling about two years ago), and so much access to digital media, book signings and public readings are more of a financial millstone around the neck than anything. At least that how they are for me.
As an added note: If there are engagements that are willing to pay your way, or you can attend without spending any or much money as a guest, then go for it. Just make sure the topic you're speaking on is one that you know exceptionally well. If you've never done a panel or spoken, go find YouTube videos of people doing exactly what you'll be doing. There are whole books on presenting and panelling and dozens of blogs, so I won't go into more detail here. One more thing: Make sure that the convention / event you're speaking at suits your values and material. You don't want to speak about your Historical Drama at a Dental convention, do you? It's happened to someone before, it could happen to you!

Social Networking: This is more labour intensive and time consuming than most people care to mention, but I should bring it up. The key to using this as promotion is to not become a Marketer or billboard ad. Talk about other things, draw interest by having a question of the day (this is especially effective on Twitter), and have fun. If they take a moment to click on your profile page, THEN they get to see the link to your short story or book. If you're already good at or enjoy social networking, then you've already won the battle. If not, then give it a try, but don't expect it to drive a lot of hits, just slowly build a crowd so you'll eventually have interesting people to talk to and a group of people who will look at your work as it becomes available.

The Non-Alternate Route - Submissions: Online and offline publications have their own publicity machines running. If you go the old route, the non-indie route, you'll want to submit your story to every online and offline magazine / zine you can find. There are hundreds of online zines, so with a little patience and time you will most likely be able to get into one with your current or one of your later shorts. The problem with this is that it's not fair play to self publish your story at the same time in any way. Just make sure that your web site is ready for visitors when your story gets picked up by whichever periodical is lucky enough to have you. As for you novelists, well, there are a few hundred books and thousands of sites with opinions on the best way to get an agent and / or publisher. Check this out for a start:

The Long Shot: This is one of the most fascinating and difficult to manage strategies I've ever heard. Here's the skinny: Send a very kind email to local / national / international celebs (or their representatives), telling them that you're a new writer and would like them to read a paragraph of your book / short into any kind of recording device and send you the audio. An online acquaintance of mine succeeded at this ages ago with Eugine Levy and a couple years later that audio block got his future agent's attention. Long shots come in many shapes and forms, but they're always worth trying if you're not going to cost yourself a lot of cash, embarrass yourself, someone else, damage your or another person's reputation, burn bridges, get yourself sued (Example: My acquaintance couldn't use Eugine's clip to make money or send it to a media outlet so he had to play it for people in person), or in any other way cause negative consequences. Keep whatever you do fun and don't take it too seriously, it is a long shot, after all.

Blog Comments: Every time you visit a blog, post a comment. Make it positive and light if you can, and make sure that a link to your short / book / site is available and up to date. With the number of blogs we visit on average, which is surprising, the visitors that find you will eventually add up. Several readers of mine found me from comments on blogs like SciFi Wire and I09.

Be Active In Your Genre Community: You've written a short story or book, thus adding to the available media in a community or genre. You should make sure that you're a part of that community! Find out what people with similar interests are doing online, and become involved by helping or commenting wherever you can. Posting a link to your short story, book or website as an afterthought will attract a lot of these people since you're one of them. A quick note on promotion here: Be careful! If you go in slinging promo's, you'll be rejected from the group as a whole. Most readers still find authors who promote their own work very distasteful, especially if they do it in their own Bulletin Boards or Chat Rooms. Make sure the link to your site / story / book is either in your profile or signature and you interact with the community as one of its members. If you don't feel like a member of the community, or like it's a place you will enjoy spending time, then get out.

The Blog Tour: This is an increasingly popular style of publicity among authors. In a nutshell this is when you write for several other blogs as a guest. It's most likely too early for you to try this, but you can always try to contribute a high quality on topic article to an existing blog, you never know, they might just post it, credit you and link to your short story. Here's a great article with details on the hows, whens, and whys of the Blog Tour:

Be About Your Next Work: This is a sometimes controversial approach with indies, but it works very well for some people. Complete another short or novel, work with people you trust to privately polish it and then don't release it. Instead, begin publicizing it as the next thing you've got coming down the pipe. Build as much excitement as you can for at least two months, some people go for as long as a year. When you notice eyes turning in your direction, announce a release date. The release date shouldn't be more than 2-4 weeks after the announcement. Keep building your audience, if anything you should work harder at that point. When the release date hits, be on time. Release it on that day at 12:01AM and you'll get hits. You'll sell copies. Your past work will get hits throughout the time you spend building a buzz for your next work as well.

Featuring Fan Art and Reader Contributions Again, this doesn't really apply to helping you with getting a short story read, but it helps if you have an intellectual property that has gotten some attention. I've been fortunate enough to entertain some very talented readers, and I feature them on my blog whenever they contribute something I think others will enjoy. It's good for your public image, makes your work seem more accessible and look more popular to potential readers. (Example:

Audio Video Testimonials By Readers This works. If your site already generates hits from potential readers having several audio clips strung together with a musical back track (Here's a great place to get royalty free, freely available music:, with several readers talking about your work is a great hook to turn a browser into a reader. I went the extra step and bought rights to music, images and created a video, which cost about $11.00 US. (Here it is:

The Loss Leader - Playing A Bigger Publicity Game A loss leader is a book or short that you offer for free or below cost to attract readers to your entire body of work. There are masters at this tactic, people and businesses who do it much better than I do, but I have had some success. I offer an entire trilogy at Smashwords collected in a book called The First Light Chronicles Omnibus, and it has been downloaded over 4,800 times in three months. (Here it is: It's been a great way for me to introduce my work to the US and multiply the number of people with that book on their devices by a factor of ten in very little time. Three months isn't long enough to see the actual results, it takes up to a year to judge what kind of impact this kind of promotion has had, sometimes longer, but it's looking good so far. (Note: The Omnibus is not the final edit of that book, it's more like a preview edition. The final edit release has a promotional budget and roll out date like any other "earner" book, even though it will remain free).

There are a few other tricks I've used to get attention, here's a short list of successes and relative flops:

The Spinward Fringe "Your Next Great Space Opera Is Right Here!" Television Campaign: This approach was in response to a rumour I heard about a television series being developed based on my work. I have no idea where it started, but it didn't stop me from giving the SyFy network a fun loving nudge. It didn't make the splash I was hoping for, but I did find a few dozen readers because of it.

Author Wikipedia Page: Terribly out of date and filled with inaccuracies. I'm still thankful a reader took the time to put it up, however:

Google AdWords: I received $100.00 worth of advertising with this service from a provider when I purchased my web hosting over a year ago and after reading up on the best ways to take advantage of this advertising strategy, I gave it a shot. After using that entire credit in ways suggested by Google and other advertising experts I may have sold about a dozen copies and generated 400 bouncing hits. My conclusion is, spend big with Adwords and be present for as long as possible or don't bother. Others have had different results, but I haven't actually met these "others".

Operation eBook Drop: I didn't list this with the main post because I don't consider it promotion as much as doing the right thing. It also doesn't apply to short stories. This effort allows us indie authors to provide our books to deployed Coalition Troops around the world thanks to Ed Patterson. More on that here:

I'm sure I missed a few things. Six years on the indie scene is a very long time. I suppose the most important statement to add is that I've been writing full time, earning a living only from writing for over a year now. My free trilogy: The First Light Chronicles Omnibus, is currently number seven on (here it is:, and as of today I have several of the top spots in the Science Fiction top 10 on Mobipocket

Late Addendum: A word on print and Advertising Costs
Spend nothing.
I'll elaborate a little. Setting your book up with a distributor or retailer who will make money on your book when copies sell and paying for it is a very old way of being an indie, and it's not fair to authors. Sure, it costs money to distribute eBooks, but most distributors or vanity presses (the dreaded V Word!), who charge you up front for publicity and distribution services are there to do just that: charge writers so they don't have to push the books they have on file. They make most of their cash from the authors and don't actually care about selling your book. Smashwords, Amazon, Mobipocket (not accepting new authors / publishers), Lulu, Createspace, and many others will take your book for free and are concerned with making money from your book selling, not from raiding your wallet.
Paying for publicity and advertising space is also a mistake. Most readers disregard advertising before realizing what exactly they're being pitched. You want to communicate with your reader, invite them to your space and make them comfortable. Get them ready to be entertained or informed instead of pelting them with advertising and they'll be ready to have a good experience with your work.
The only thing I pay for are rights to media for trailers, covers and other presentations. In 2009 I spent a total of $17.00 US and outfitted four books as well as one 35 second testimonial trailer. You should spend as little as possible, there really is no need to go overboard with so many artists trying to get their work seen, most of them are just happy with credit. Just make sure they get the credit whenever it's due.

Promotion as a writer can be difficult, since it can become a full time job on its own. The most important thing is to ensure that you never stop writing. That creative buzz and your craft will only get better as you develop more stories, lay down more prose and become more seasoned as a story teller. Don't stop developing your next work or putting it into words, ever.


The Book Bazaar / The Testimonial Book Trailer
« on: September 14, 2009, 07:24:07 AM »
One of the most tried and true methods of building a reader base is by using testimonials. I know when I look into picking up a book series I like to know what other people thought of it first.

Recently I created a trailer using music and images sourced legally - which took time - combined with reader testimonials and reviews.

There's a proper plot trailer coming, but for the time being I wanted to see if I could create a little excitement and seed some curiosity in readers with this little ditty. It's short, more of a teaser, which was my intention. There must be at least twenty minutes of material on the cutting room floor.

A quick note: the scrolling text is there more to create an environment for the viewer than it is to be read, I'm aware most people (myself included), can't read it all in one pass. It was intentional, in fact, I cut the amount of text at the end back quite a bit in the final edit.

What I'm asking is:
What kind of impact did this trailer have on you?
Are you curious about the series by the end?
Is it at all exciting?

Here's the teaser:
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Any comments are welcome, thank you very much for viewing!

The Book Bazaar / Books by Randolph Lalonde
« on: September 13, 2009, 02:09:54 PM »
Hello! I'm Randolph Lalonde, a full time indie writer who writes Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.

Most of my books are read electronically, and I've had the pleasure and fortune of being the best selling science fiction author on for one year. To be honest I get a real buzz at the thought of saving trees and having people all around the world reading my work on their cell phones, PDA's and eBook readers.

It tickles my SciFi bone. So does the Kindle.

I'll be making announcements here with regards to new releases, updates, new media and other endeavors that relate to eBooks.

Here's a visual list of the books I have available right now:

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