Archive for April, 2011

Well, this was a truly busy week. With the release of Curse of Kali I truly had my hands full, trying to promote the new Jason Dark mystery.

As part of the promotion and my attempt to get the title at least into the Top 1,000 of Amazon’s Kindle bestsellers, I have also prepared a number of guest-post on various blogs around the Web.

For example, why don’t you make a quick pit stop over at Scott Nicholson’s Haunted Computer, where I created a Book Bucket List for readers. It is a short list of books that I have greatly enjoyed over the years and that have stayed with me and influenced me in one way or another. If you’ve ever wondered, what kind of stuff I’ve been reading all my life, and which of these books really became a part of me, you simply have to check out that list.

Today, Bob Freeman hosts me as a guest on his Occult Detective website. I love his website because it seems tailor-made for my interests. It is all about classic horror, old-school mysteries and everything that has to do with the thing s I love and write about in the Jason Dark stories. So, it was a natural fit for me to write about my influences on Bob’s blog. It is a post called The Sherlock Holmes Connection and Other Influences, in which I explore many of the things that made me want to write Victorian Era supernatural mysteries. You should definitely stop by and take a look.

There will be more guest posts appearing on other sites in the days to come and I’ll try to keep you posted. The best way to keep up with what I’m doing, though, is to follow me on Twitter (@GuidoHenkel) or friend me on Facebook. That way you will never miss a beat.

The launch of Curse of Kali went well, though despite its 99 cent price point, people still don’t seem to be buying it aggressively enough to really push it up the charts. It is unfortunate because I am convinced that once you hit a certain threshold, the raking becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and sales will beget more sales. Curse of Kali Is a long way from that, though, and could still use a bit more exposure.

Maybe you could help, even if you’re not interested in the book itself, even if a Victorian Era supernatural mystery is not your bag, even if you are not interested in reading how Jason Dark and Sherlock Holmes solve a case together… How? I am glad you asked. You will find a “Like” button right next to the book on Amazon’s website. By pressing this “Like” button you would indicate that you consider this to be an interesting title and hopefully help other readers to make up their minds easier. It is so easy, takes only two mouse clicks and would help me tremendously.

Of course, if you actually bought and read the book, feel free to leave a short review, even if it’s just a single line. Reviews are a tremendously powerful tool to help authors get their books discovered, as most readers will take a look at the general consensus before making a purchase.

So, thank you all, for helping me promote the launch and telling people about it, for liking, buying or reviewing it, or for simply listening to me ramble.

On my own reading end, I have just finished Robert McCammon’s The Queen of Bedlam and have to admit that I loved the book. The prose was occasionally a little to verbose for my taste but I could easily get past that because the story itself was so interesting. I found it particularly remarkable how everything in this book ties together. Even the most insignificant scene will play some kind of role later on in the story, making it a real trip as the story unravels. I will have to check out Mister Slaughter some time, the latest of McCammon’s books.

For now, however, I have started to read Scott Nicholson’s Liquid Fear and I have no doubts that this thriller will… err, thrill me.

Curse of KaliThe big day has arrived. Today is the official release of Curse of Kali. To me it is a remarkable milestone because it is the tenth Jason Dark supernatural mystery and the tenth book I have ever published. I have high hopes for this book — it is the best I’ve written so far, I believe – and I am sure many readers would enjoy the furious mix of action, classic horror, suspense and mystery. Maybe you could help me, make this release a full-out success, by tweeting it up today and/or in the days to come. Here is a short tweet you could use…

CURSE OF KALI new #supernatural #mystery by @GuidoHenkel now on #Kindle for only 99 cents! #ebooks http://amzn.to/fi8vfg

or if you’d rather push for the Nook version, you could tweet something like this

CURSE OF KALI new #supernatural #mystery by @GuidoHenkel now on #Nook for only 99 cents! #ebooks http://bit.ly/eYkAwa

If we manage to get this book into the Top 1,000 of either the Amazon Kindle Store or Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, I will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card among those who tweeted up the book.

Anyway, enough with the pushing, already. I’m sure you’re more interested in the book and the story itself than my blabbering.
Here is what’s in store for the occult detective this time.

Beheaded by a statue that came alive?

In Victorian London, the head of a rich writer in the hands of Hindu goddess Kali would certainly indicate so and raises some peculiar questions.

Trying to find out whether the killer was even human, Inspector Lestrade decides to consult two detectives — one, the premier authority in the crime field, the other, famed ghost hunter Jason Dark.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, Dark and Siu Lin reckon there might be an even more sinister force at work than they originally suspected — and a nemesis returns!

I don’t want to spoil the fun, but this story is filled to the brim with great appearances by characters you should know and remember. Since this is the tenth volume, I simply felt, I owed it to the series and you, my faithful readers, to dish out something extraordinary, and I hope I have succeeded.

Stop by the official website to check it out — there’s a free reading sample as always — or take advantage of the cool promotion that is going right now, giving you access to the eBook for only 99 cents over on Amazon and Barnes&Noble.

Don’t forget to leave a review, when you’re done, to tell others about your reading experience, or send your thoughts and comments directly to me. I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for your support. It would mean a lot to me if you would share this exciting news with your friends also.

Kali CoverI am currently in the process of preparing the tenth Jason Dark supernatural mystery for release. Curse of Kali will arrive very shortly and I am trying to find ways to spread the word… maybe you can help?

The book will be officially available next Tuesday, April 19, and since this is the tenth Jason Dark story, it feels like a bit of a celebration is in place. The thought to write ten such adventures seemed a bit outlandish when I first sat down to write “Demon’s Night” two odd years ago, but here we are. Jason Dark and Siu Lin fought their way through ten action-packed mysteries so far.

To give Curse of Kali a good start in its literary life I am launching it with a low 99 cent price point for a limited time. Hopefully this will help get the book up the sales charts so that it will be easier for new readers to discover.

If you would like to help me with my effort to bring the book into the Top 1,000 by the end of the month, you could help me tweet it up.

Simply tweet something like this on Tuesday for the launch.

CURSE OF KALI new #supernatural #mystery by @GuidoHenkel now on #Kindle for only 99 cents! #ebooks http://amzn.to/fi8vfg

or if you’d rather push for the Nook version, you could tweet something like this

CURSE OF KALI new #supernatural #mystery by @GuidoHenkel now on #Nook for only 99 cents! #ebooks http://bit.ly/eYkAwa

Of course, you can retweet the announcement any time you wish,the more the merrier, as they say. Feel free to post it on Facebook also.

If we manage to get this book into the Top 1,000 of either the Amazon Kindle Store or Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, I will be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card among those who tweeted up the book.

I am very excited about Curse of Kali, not only because it is yet another great supernatural mystery, but because it is filled with some absolutely cool stuff — story wise, that is. We have a nemesis of Jason Dark’s returning for this story, trying once again to get the better of the occult detective. But what’s even cooler is that this mystery is so confounding that it requires two detectives. The team of Jason Dark and Siu Lin is one of them and the other consists of… well, I’ll let you read the story to find out. Let’s just say, the encounter has been hinted at for the past nine volumes.

Here is something I simply have to post today. This morning I stumbled upon a Facebook posting made by Peter Jackson. Filming of The Hobbit is officially underway — it started three weeks ago — and Jackson has posted a first production video clip on Facebook!

It is a 10-minute video that takes a look at some of the pre-production for the movie and also shows a glimpse of the first few days of shooting. For any fan of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit,” this video clip is a must-see, so check it out. It makes me salivate and drool like nothing has in a long time. I can’t wait to revisit Middle-Earth with Peter Jackson and his crew at the helm and the wait until next Christmas will once again be a torturous ordeal, brimming with teasers and more teasers, I’m sure.

So, sit back and enjoy the next ten minutes with you host, the incomparable Peter Jackson himself.

It has been some time since I last posted an update here, and I apologize, but the last weeks were just crazy full of things that required my attention. During this time a lot of things were going and I’d like to recap some of it for you here, in case you missed it.

Fango 302 coverFirst and foremost, Fangoria issue #302 is out! On page 74 in the magazine you will find the first installment of the Jason Dark serial Food for the Dead that I write exclusively for the magazine. Over the next five months you will find a new installment in the serial in every Fangoria issue. so, if you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, run to your nearest newsstand NOW and get it. As you will see, “Food for the Dead” is truly in the vein of the other supernatural mysteries featuring this occult detective. It has the Victorian London setting, graveyards with the dead rising from their graves and it features a major cameo by one of the genre’s most notorious villains. Hey, how could you say “No” to that, huh? So, again, let me hammer thins into your heads… go, buy your issue of Fangoria before it disappears and you missed the first installment of the series!

Another interesting development over the past weeks was that I made another guest-appearance on thriller writer J.A. Konrath’s blog. As many of you may recall, in February I wrote a guest-blog for Joe, discussing how I promoted the Jason Dark series since its inception and how many of the promotional tools I had employed just didn’t work out the way I had hoped. The blog post generated a lot of feedback and as you know, I revamped Demon’s Night, the first Jason Dark mystery from scratch, taking many of the comments and suggestions that were offered in response to my blog post in an attempt to turn it into a better product. I also wrote about it in more detail here on my own blog.

Demon's night coverWith all that in mind I went back to Joe Konrath’s blog and outlined the changes I made and — since some time had passed since the release — I also detailed the impact these changes had had on the actual sales of the book. I am sure, many of the readers were surprised that the result was essentially zilch. Five weeks after the reboot of the book and the price drop to 99 cents, the book has generally not been selling noticeably better than before. Naturally, there was a large spike on the day of the blog post on Joe’s website that elevated the book up into the Top 5,000 for an hour or so, but just as quickly as it had spiked, it also reverted back. So, ultimately, I see the “Demon’s Night” experiment as a failure. While I am glad a did another revision of the book itself, resulting in tighter and better writing, all the effort I put into the creation of a new cover etc. was in essence wasted time. Time, that I could have put to better use, writing a new book. Well, hindsight is always 20/20, and it was definitely wroth the experiment, I guess, if only to support my theory once again that 99 cents is not a desirable price point.

Interestingly, during the time period that I revisited “Demon’s Night,” it was actually reviewed by Red Adept. Since the early days of the kindle, Red Adept has been one of the most visible reviewers of eBooks and over time she has reached a stature that is unique among eBook reviewers. I am no exaggerating when I say that I sighed in relief upon seeing the 4.5 star rating. See, I had sent the book to Red Adept for review about a year ago — yes, that’s how long the review queue seems to be — and as a result, it was the version before my rewrite. To see that even that version impressed a 4.5 star rating upon the reviewer, is more than I had hoped for. Of course, I wish she had read the new version, but such is life. The only criticism leveled against the book was in the writing of the book — all things I have thoroughly addressed in the recent revision. It makes me wonder if it would actually have been possible for “Demon’s Night” to get a full 5-star rating at Red Adept if the timing had been a little different. Ah well… 4.5 stars is pretty awesome, too, and I am a very happy camper.

If there are any reviewers out there, reading this, feel free to drop me a line if you are interested in checking out the new version “Demon’s Night” or any one of my other books.

It appears that my series on eBook formatting has become a major draw here on this blog and not a day goes by where I don’t receive an email or comment post with formatting related questions. Since this seems such a hot topic, and since a lot of people seem to come to this blog for that tutorial in particular, I have set up a box in the upper right hand corner that links directly to the tutorial, because with new posts pushing the eBook formatting series further and further back, it actually became a little tedious to locate. So, now you all have a nice quick link on every page. How do you like that?

The series has also led to a few contract projects. I have just completed an eBook formatting project for a major New York Times best selling author that I think looks like a million bucks. If you want me to handle your eBook formatting, feel free to get in touch and ask for a quote.

Now back to my current work in progress. Did I mention that I started writing a modern-day thriller? Well, now you know…