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Topics - rjspears

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Writers' Cafe / 3 Book Thriller Release Strategy
« on: November 19, 2017, 01:06:48 pm »
I've co-written a thriller that originally started out as one book, but grew rather large. I decided to break it up into 3 books but the first book now has a huge cliffhanger. I've read that could be an issue with readers, but I was hoping to mitigate that with a quick release strategy for books 2 & 3.

Should I release them 28 days apart or release them a week apart or release them all at once?

I'm concerned if I release them all at once, I'll look like I'm just breaking them up to make more money (which I am, but I don't want it to be obvious).

The first book will be released at $.99 cents and I'll probably keep it there.


Writers' Cafe / Serialize or Not?
« on: May 11, 2015, 10:49:54 am »
I'm working on thriller that is probably going to break over 120,000 words and might go 130,000.

The original plan was to release it all at once, but I thought the book would only make around 60,000 words.  Go figure.  I let myself go a little crazy.

Anyway, what do you people think about breaking into three parts and releasing it in 1 month or two week installments? 

I did find some natural breaking points that I might have to message a little to make it smoother.

Writers' Cafe / Another Book Piracy Site
« on: February 25, 2015, 07:18:02 pm »
I was browsing the web and came across this site:

I discovered my book listed there and when I clicked on the link, it took me to another site:

I did not sign-up for this site, but I'm assuming my book is listed there.  I contacted their support line and they said they'd look into my complaint.

Anyone else have any experience with either of these sites?

They listed 612 downloads of my book -- with me not making a dime.


Writers' Cafe / Categories Not Showing For My Books
« on: December 21, 2014, 01:38:08 pm »
I've taken a look at my books - half are self-pubbed, half are up via my publisher and none of them display the categories they are in on Amazon.  (Yes, I have set-up categories for all my books.)

I know I'm missing something fundamental here and thought I would tap into the collective intelligence of this group.  Any thoughts or ideas?

Writers' Cafe / Rogue Websites Selling My Book
« on: December 14, 2014, 02:48:01 am »
It was probably vanity, but I did a Google search of my name and came across three different website selling the paperback version of my books (at a significant mark-up).  The last one I came across was:

Here's a specific link to the page where the listed my books as an example:,%20R%20J&or_opt=au

Is this even legal?

Writers' Cafe / To have an Author Website or Not?
« on: December 03, 2014, 06:50:11 am »
I've been keeping an author website going for about three years now, but it's not been my main conduit for connecting with my readers.  My Facebook page has been that.  I have Twitter and also my Amazon Author's page along with a blog.

My renewal for hosting comes due in just a few short days.  I'm wondering if it is worth it?  (The cost is only $44)

I have 6 books out, a short story collection, a flash fiction collection, and nearly 20 short stories.  To be honest, I'm not a prolific seller.  I've sold around 500 books in two years.  (I've given away nearly 2,000.) 

Any thoughts?  Should I exploit that page more?  (I readily admit that it needs a renovation.)

Writers' Cafe / General-Ebooks and Piracy
« on: November 13, 2014, 05:57:44 pm »
This may have been covered, but I was told I should check out and when I did I found two my books pirated there.  I have contacted them twice and my books are still on their site.

Anyone have any ideas about how to remedy this situation?  My sales have been low lately and I certainly don't need someone out there stealing my work.

Writers' Cafe / Pre-Made Covers For Sale (or barter)
« on: September 02, 2014, 09:51:01 am »
Like many of you, I'm an indie author.  Also, like many of you, I'm living my dream of writing, but doing it on a budget.  Because I have some design skills and experience with Photoshop, one of ways I've been able to save some dollars is to create my own covers.  Over time, some of my friends who are authors have asked me to do covers and I've been happy to oblige. 

Anyway, as a way to give back to the indie writer community (and yes, to off-set costs), I decided to make some pre-made covers and offer them up at an inexpensive price (most are $15).  I'd even barter a pre-made cover for proof reading if you'd prefer to do that.  If you're interested in purchasing a cover, you can see them at:

Most of the covers are for thrillers, mysteries, and horror.  (I tend to write in these genres, but there are a couple sci-fi and romance covers in there.)

Please know that while I'd like to do custom covers, you need to know that I'm not an illustrator, but more of an image interpreter.  The truth is that I can barely draw stick figures.  I would consider doing a custom cover or two, but the situation would have to be right and the expectations set early in the process.  Plus, I'd have to charge more than for the pre-mades already available.

Details about the process can be found at the site listed above.

A collection of horror authors, writing primarily in the zombie genre, have a special event going on today, Feb. 14.  30 authors will be featured with 30 different books, all priced at $.99. 

Here's the link:

If you like being scared and like zombies, this is a great place to pick up some great stories at a great price.  The event ends at Midnight.

The Book Bazaar / Dark Matters - A Collection of Horror Stories
« on: February 02, 2014, 06:50:40 am »

15 Dark Tales from the imagination of R.J. Spears, author of Sanctuary from the Dead and the Forget the Zombies series. In Dark Matters you’ll learn about the rules every young child knows about monsters and must follow -- if they want to live. The Undead abound as zombies are featured in several stories and vampires appear in two. You’ll get the discover the best haunted house in the world and also find out that silence isn’t always golden. Dark Matters also premieres the short story, A Monster in the Woods, which tells a tale about two boys learning the thrill and horror of discovering what they have most wanted to find.

Writers' Cafe / Weapons Expert Advice Needed on RPGs
« on: November 28, 2013, 01:20:31 pm »
I'm currently working on a novel which has the use of rocket propelled grenade launchers.  I've done some online research, but haven't found anything on how many times they can be fired.  I'm assuming they can be used multiple times, but can someone let me know if I'm getting that wrong.  If they are a limited use weapon, what is the reasonable amount of times they can be fired?

Thanks in advanced for any help with this.

The Book Bazaar / Forget Texas - A Zombie Novella, Only $.99
« on: October 03, 2013, 07:04:42 am »

Forget Texas - Now Available on Amazon
Get 2 books for the price of one
(Forget the Alamo, the first book in the series, is FREE for a limited time)
Forget Texas is 2nd book in the Forget the Zombies series

In Forget Texas, Grant and the gang find themselves in a refugee camp that is about to be overrun by zombies. They are forced to fend for themselves as they must find a way out of the camp and then out of Texas as the zombie hordes chase them north. The undead aren’t their only obstacle as the President has closed all state borders. In other words, Grant and his people are about to run out of luck or they're going to have to make their own if they want to survive.

What readers have said about about Forget the Alamo:
“Action, characters, tension, all there in a good balance and a well rounded read to boot.”

“The characters were relatable and the action, and their actions, mostly realistic.
Well worth the Kindle price - if you like zombie fiction, check this out.”

“Good plans, stupid mistakes and fear of the military. All the good things that make a zombie book interesting. I truly enjoyed the book and am glad I read it. Will add it to my list of great books!!!”

“It is as good as anything in print..nice mix of everything that makes a book work for me!!!”

R.J. Spears is an award winning author of horror, crime, and mystery fiction. His horror stories have appeared on websites such as The Horror Zine, Tales of the Zombie Wars, and Flashes in the Dark. His novel, Sanctuary from the Dead, was just released by J. Ellington Ashton Press.

The Book Bazaar / Sanctuary from the Dead - 1st Book in the Dead Series
« on: August 12, 2013, 11:35:10 am »
Sanctuary from the Dead - A zombie apocalypse novel

Eight months ago the world turned upside-down in the most horrifying way. The dead came back to life and started killing the living. Within weeks, zombies ruled the world. In a small southern Ohio town, Joel, a twenty-something underachiever finds himself holed up with a group of survivors as they take refuge in a church. Fighting the undead in a desperate attempt to survive, they try to maintain some semblance of what makes us human. In this grueling post-apocalyptic world, they discovered that while the undead are terrible, the living can be just as merciless and even more deadly.

Sanctuary from the Dead tells the story of a group of survivors who desperately try to maintain their humanity as they try to survive in an undead world.

Published by J. Ellington Ashton Press

Available on Amazon

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