Well if you were looking for an excuse to pick it up (I already did), here’s one.
Joshua Robertson, the book’s author and a guy I’ve had the chance to sit on panels with and grow to truly respect, is selling the electronic version of Anaerfell: The Blood of the Dragons (see…headline makes sense now doesn’t it?) for just 99 centsin preparation for his new release June 7.
Blood and Bile is coming your way, and Joshua wanted to celebrate by making it next to impossible to avoid buying a copy of his work.
While Anaerfell is a bit farther down my TBR list than I’d like, I’m glad to have met him and excited to get to his book. If any of you are hankering for something to read, I wouldn’t pass up this deal. I’ve spent 99 cents on plenty of stuff, and this seems like a much bigger value than 32 ounces of soda.
So check it out. Even if you’re like me, and you just plop it in the TBR rotation, you’ll be even more glad you saved money.
The B2B Cyber Convention just wrapped up. I’ve been super busy these past few days, but I wanted to take a moment to share some things (one of which was truly amazing).
The first is a story I’d like to share with you all.
I’m a creature of habit. I do my laundry on the same day. I eat at the same place every Friday. I work the same schedule every day. I like routine. The thing about routines though is you tend to have this expectation that every day, week, and moth will work out exactly the same. Most times, when there’s an interruption to my routine, I’m actually quite difficult to deal with. But sometimes, it’s just wonderful.
Every other Friday, I go to the same place to cut my hair. I eat at the same place as I do every Friday. I check to see what movies are out that I might want to see. I stop by the book store in the mall just to see what may have gotten released without my knowledge. That’s when I head over the my hair place.
This particular Friday, I arrive to find the woman who does my hair isn’t available for awhile. I don’t think much of it. I arrange a time later that evening with her. I’m about to head out to knock a few items off my to-do list when someone taps me on the shoulder.
One of the other employees caught my attention and pointed to the woman he was working with. The woman smiles and points at me.
“Aren’t you that author?”
You see, my whole life, I’ve always wanted to be, “That Author.” That identification may be on the top three list of things I want to put on my tombstone. When The Journals of Bob Drifterwas first published, my sister bought me a personalized pen. When she gave it to me, I told her it was a life dream of mine to have someone approach me and ask for my autograph.
So when Karen asked me that question, she quite literally made one of my life’s dreams come true.
I don’t really remember much after that. My euphoria made it pretty hard to think straight. I said yes. She said that she’d recognized me from my book (Journals). Since I’m a regular at Rafet’s (the place I get my hair cut), I thought to plop a copy of the book there so people could read it while they wait for their haircuts. Now, that book has been there since Bob got published (two years now). Turns out, at least one person had been chipping away at it!
So we chatted for a while. She told me the book really grabbed her attention. We exchanged contact information, and, yes, I gave her an autograph. I originally gave her an autograph on a sheet of paper (which I tell my students to always have on their person). The establishment actually gave her that copy of the book, so I later signed that one and grabbed a selfie with Karen.
The world is a wonderful place sometimes. A guy can just be going about his day, and suddenly God smiles on someone. The little things are usually more special than the big. That moment will fuel my dream to be a “successful” author for quite a while.
So to those of you a little earlier in their journey than I am, I say you have to remember it’s a marathon. You have to work. It’s not an overnight thing. This isn’t the realm for instant success. But if you keep at it, and you’re consistent, you’ll get these little moments that mean so much. My sales are still right about where they normally are, but I found a fan and a new friend. If you’re reading this, Karen, I say again, Thank you!
The first cool thing was how many more authors I met. I got to hang out more with Joshua Robertson, who I met a few months ago and got to know a bit better when his book Anaerfell was up for Book Cover of the Month. I also met so many other cool authors: My internet is really acting up, so I can’t really link them all like I want. But just a few are: Heidi Angell (she’s not THAT kind of angel), Richard White, A.L. Mabry, Suzanna J. Linton (a fellow Dragonriders of Pern fan), Tim (again, my internet isn’t letting me find his last name), and Joe Compton. I PROMISE I could go on for days. I don’t know how many panels or group chats I did. What I DO know, is I’ll be adding a page to this website soon. I’ll add those videos, because they’re fun for readers, writers, and authors trying to figure out marketing.
Angela B. Chrysler and I had an idea at about the same time. I’d been trying to figure out a use for Youtube, and so she created Nerd Rage, which will be a monthly Youtube event we do. We’ll film them the last Saturday of every month. There may be a time or two we can’t all make it, but for the most part, there’ll be a handful of us just needing out about whatever topic Angela pulls out of a hat. (No, I mean that literally.) If you can’t wait for me to get around to loading what videos I’ve already been a part of, you can look at those and everything else here.
Which leads me to my last thought of the day. I’d mentioned that one of the events I was taking part in was a covers war. I’m very proud to announce that Caught won the cover war for horror and thrillers! I have to admit, I campaigned pretty hard to win. I was a big fan of my cover, and I wanted it to get recognized. It turns out, a bunch of my Facebook friends and a few of my Author/Wordpress friends (Hi JR! Hi Corey!) came to offer me support! Look, it’s basically just bragging rights, but it’s like I said, the little things make all the difference sometimes. So I wanted to end this post with a huge thank you for that support in giving that cover some love. Thank you all. Now, I have a short story to revise, another short story to write, two books to write and a series to get started on. All by 2018. So…I’m off.
Another bracket has concluded, and I’m still amazed at how popular this is getting. I’d like to set a goal to do better each month, which we didn’t do this month, but we still had an amazing turnout. As I type this, we had a total of 3,911 votes. It’s just humbling to see the support people are showing these authors and their covers. Last month, I mentioned that I wasn’t sure March was going to hold up against January. I feel confident that March is going to be even tougher. But that’s the past, and the future. It’s time to talk about the present.
The February Book Cover of the Month is…
The Unleashed by Bentz Deyo! If you’re curious about how I felt about the book, check out the Facebook post that I posted when this book first landed on the bracket, here.
Deyo is the first author to win a BCOTM competition as a previous month’s alternate. He lost to Lovelesslast month, and was hell-bent on not losing this time. Let’s look at the stats!
The Unleashed started out strong and finished superhuman. He went Hulk in the semifinals and didn’t slow down very much in the Finals. I was talking to both he and Joshua Robertson during the semifinals, and they were both going out of their minds looking for ways to get word out about the bracket. The Unleashed received 802 out of 3,911 total votes (21%, give or take what votes may come in the next 40 minutes). Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan couldn’t muster up enough votes to take down Deyo. Sullivan’s 320 total votes still don’t compete with Anaerfell’s 574 votes. Or even the 350 votes Robertson garnered in the last round alone. Without intending disrespect to Mr. Sullivan, it looked like the winner of his previous match was just going to be too tough to take down. Deyo took the finals 184-32.
A note on how I run the bracket. I’m a huge fan of Robertson and the showing he had, but I have a football mentality. Even though I recognize the right half of the bracket was probably stronger than the left half, Myth made it to the finals. For this reason, Myth will receive an automatic bid into next-month’s bracket. This is just the MOST FAIR way I have found to fill out a bracket. If I had another slot, it would have gone to Robertson, but if I deviate from what I have been doing, I invalidate the integrity of the competition. That’s important to me. It doesn’t mean we won’t see Robertson or Boyd (or both) again, but not in next month’s bracket.
The Unleashed is the second book in the Undelightened Series. Here’s the summary on Amazon:
Leam Holt has done the unthinkable. He’s saved Harbing from utter destruction by consuming the toxin that was intended for the entire town and he’s rescued Eloa’s father from Darkness Headquarters.
But at what cost? Stricken by the poison and unable to remember who he is or access his Light side, Leam is captured by Gideon. Surrounded by evil, Leam revels in his undiluted Dark power and connects with other violent and corrupt kids, especially the bold and gorgeous Rylan. Still, Leam struggles to piece together his memories, including those of the beautiful Eloa, whom he discovers is in grave danger.
While forces of Light work to free Leam, the world is thrown into turmoil. The battle over the prophet, the person who will lead the world into complete Darkness or Light, is heating up, and Leam’s role in the war grows murkier.
As always, I’ve purchased the book and added it to my TBR. (For those who are new to the deal, I buy the Book Cover of the Month to read and review in the future. I bought Manning’s cover, and Howard’s cover and they are also on my TBR. Manning’s is on deck while I finish reading the book I just started this week.)
Here’s Mr. Deyo’s Facebook page. Give him a like if you’re curious about his work.
The artist for this cover is Lisa Pompillo. I’ll reach out to her and see if she’d like to have an interview later on in the week. Until then, have a peek at her website and see her work! Mr. Deyo was kind enough to offer the following comment:
“It’s a great cover,” he said. “The book ain’t half bad either. Thanks for the votes!” Then he used a smiley face emoji with shades, but I don’t speak emoji, so I can’t replicate it. I am, however, obsessed with accurate reporting, so there ya go!
The March bracket is ready to go and will launch on April 1. It looks great, and I’m pretty pleased with how April is setting up.
I will continue to identify and select covers for each day from Amazon’s New Release section for fantasy and science fiction. If you follow and like my Facebookpage, you can see what covers will make the bracket.
So this round didn’t break a record, but it was still amazing. I’m honestly refreshing as I type this. So I don’t know exactly what the final tally will be because it jumps 20 or so votes every time I refresh. So it’s all over, and I’m done refreshing. I couldn’t even prep this post because of how close the matches were. We ended with 981 votes. This pushed us to 3,693 votes (which is more than we had at this time last month, but that’s because there’s been more participation in the other rounds.) I’ve spoken to both the participants who stole the show these past two days. They’ve been working their tales off, messaging and texting everyone they could. It’s been an honor to watch.
Let’s talk about it:
The Closest Contest:
Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan edged out Heart Stone by Elle Katharine White by 9 votes, but both matches were only decided by 2% of the total votes.
Anaerfell by Joshua Robertson and J.C. Boyd vs The Unleashed by Bentz Deyo is the match of the round. They went back and forth every step of the way. Deyo had a late surged and powered through the match with a 22 vote lead. Considering that’s only 2% more, it’s not as “big” a victory as it would have been in earlier rounds.
That should help you all see The Largest Victor area, but it’s wasn’t nearly that large this round.
Most Voted On Contest:
Deyo’s match against Robertson and Boyd had 732 votes. It was amazing. Like I said, I was speaking to both authors pretty much throughout the day. It was a nail biter for me, and I had not stake in the match. THEY were working their buts off.
Unleashed obviously had the most votes and is the current top dog. He has 619 votes so far. Sullivan’s Age of Myth following is going to have to really bring it if they intend to help him take this month’s title.
The Finals last until midnight of March 22. (That’s about 48 hours).
We’ve narrowed a great batch of covers down to four, any of which I’d be happy to stand behind!
We broke ANOTHER round record. (Could we break a record EVERY round? That’d be awesome!) The Elite 8 had a total of 457 (give or take whatever hashes out as Richardson and Sullivan continue to duke it out as I type this). This pushes us to 2,712 votes, every single one of which I thank you all for so very much! Even in the month of March (you all know there’s this basket ball thing right?), this bracket is still on the most popular brackets page on Brackify.com.
Let’s look at how this round broke down:
The Closest Contest:
I’m still refreshing the bracket while I watch Dragon Legends by Ava Richardson take on Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan. That thing was CLOSE! It came down to 1 vote, but Sullivan took it and 31% of the total votes.
The Largest Victor: Joshua Robertson and J.C. Boyd are on a tear! Their book, Anaerfell, defeated The Elven Tales by Fabi Ghittoni by 28 votes and 61% the votes for their match.
Most Voted On Contest:
Not to be outdone is the match I mentioned might have a ton of votes. It didn’t disappoint. With Blood Upon the Sand by Bradley P. Beaulieu vs The Unleashed by Bentz Deyo racked up 155 votes (25 more than the above contest). Deyo is BACK in the Final Four, where he fell to last month’s winner. He hasn’t gotten over that, and he’s clocking a ton of votes this time around. Anaerfell vs Unleashed is set to be another nail-biting, vote tallying monster! I’m just glad I get to watch.
Again, all contests had more than 80 votes, but Deyo’s match almost doubled the lowest voted match. By all means, support the cover you like best, but you CAN vote for every match. I had one author ask if he had to win the match AND the round, that’s not true. All you have to do is win your match, so vote in every round to make sure all the best covers move on.
Least Voted On Contest:
Hearthstone by Elle Katharine White vs Flight of the Krilo by Sam Ferguson had the fewest votes with 80.
Bentz Deyo is out for revenge! He took the top number of votes again (88) for the round and has the most votes overall (241). Basically, the bottom two of this round would have had to team up to take him out. Anaerfell is no slouch though. This match pits the top vote earner (Deyo) against the number 2 vote earner. WOW is this going to be fun. Don’t worry though, Brackify is running smoothly, it can handle the votes!
The Final 4 ends at the strike of Midnight, March 20. That’s only 2 days, so call your friends, share my posts, get your readers engaged!
Last month was a bit odd because February is a short month. That’s not the case this time. Only the runner up to this month will get a second chance in the March bracket. So if you want to be sure you land in the Book Cover of the Year bracket, wining the month is your best bet!
Hello everyone! The Elite 8 is here, and the voting is getting more and more difficult! I don’t get tired of saying it; this was another record-breaking round! The Sweet 16 had 788 votes, which puts us at a total of 2,255 votes so far!
Let’s go over some numbers:
The Closest Contest:
We had two contests come within 5 votes. Heartstone by Elle Katharine White vs The Last Sacrifice by James A. Moore and Dragon Legends by Ava Richardson vs Surviving the Evacuation: Ireland by Frank Tayell were equally close calls with Richardson and White each wining by 5 votes and only 53% of the total votes.
The Largest Victor:
This wasn’t close by any stretch of the imagination. With Blood Upon the Sand by Bradley P. Beaulieu showed up big time against An Impossible War by Andy Remic. Beaulieu won by 45 votes, earning 71% of the total votes.
Most Voted On Contest:
I’m not sure what else Joshua Robertson, J.C. Boyd and Karpov Kinrade were doing, but they were certainly calling on their followings! Anaerfell by Robertson and Boyd narrowed out Silver Flame by Kinrade by 15 votes, which is tiny compared to the 139 votes that match received.
Least Voted On Contest:
Once again, every contest received more than 80 votes, which is great, but let’s make sure that if we call on our readers, we ask them to vote on every contest. Stone vs Sacrifice and The Destiny Thief by Luanne Bennett vs Flight of the Krilo by Sam Ferguson both only received 83 votes.
Anaerfell is the top dog for this round. To show you how close that match was, in terms of total votes so far, Silver Flame received 135 total votes (which is more than With Blood Upon the Sand, which is moving on). In order to move on, Robertson had to surge to receive 138 total votes. In short, Robertson had to essentially win twice to stay in the tournament.
The Unleashed by Bentz Deyo is still the top dog in terms of overall votes with 154 votes, but Deyo is facing Beaulieu in the next round. Why does that matter? Deyo and Beaulieu are 1 and 4 respectively in terms of overall votes. It’ll take at least 80 votes to for either author to win this next round.
So now it’s on to the Elite 8! This round will last until March 18, which is only about 4 days! I think this round might be one of the closest ever. I’m VERY curious to see which 4 you all choose to send on in the tournament.
After yet ANOTHER record breaking round, we’re down to 16 covers. I’m so glad to see such a positive response to the contest. But enough about me and my elation, let’s look at what happened after 1,467 votes!
Let’s go over some numbers:
The Closest Contest:
We have a few ties here. The Winter Over vs War Factory and Ringing in a New Year vs An Impossible War were both decided by just four votes! War and Winter were the victors in those close contests. Over earns the tiebreaker in because it’s narrow 52% margin of victory.
The Largest Victor: Bentz Deyo is back people! He brought his following for his cover to The Unleashed to defeat A Gathering of Shadows by 41 votes! The Elven Tales had the largest margin of victory over Death’s Mistress with 71% of the votes. Those are some pretty impressive numbers.
Most Voted On Contest: Unleashed vs Shadows had the most votes with 119.
Least Voted On Contest:
I’m thrilled to say that every contest had 80 or more votes. Four matches were tied for the least votes at 80: The Destiny Thief vs Three Years With the Rat, Surviving the Evacuation: Ireland vs Smoke Happens, Age of Myth vs Explorations: First Contact, and Winter vs War Factory.
Most Votes: Unleashed is back on top with the most votes. Mr. Deyo spoke with me. He’s very determined to make the most of this second chance, and he’s already making good on his word with 80 votes in this round.
So now it’s on to the Sweet 16! This round will last until March 15. That’s 7 days to pick which 8 will move on.
Happy 1st everyone! For me, that means it’s time for a new Book Cover of the Month Bracket, and I’m more excited every time I do this. If you’re curios or new, check out the Book Covers for December and January.
Last month was simply enormous, and I hope to keep this momentum going in the right direction. We have 28 new covers to look at, and the top four runners up from last month have a second shot to win the month!
If you know the authors or the artists, please share this and tag them. I try to tag or friend every author I can, but sometimes it’s hard to track someone down. Max participation is a huge deal to me. The more people who vote, the more recognition these authors and artists receive, and I want this to be as legitimate as possible.
Round 1 will go from today to March 8.
The Sweet 16 will run from then to the 15th.
The Elite 8 will take it from there until the 18th.
The Final 4 runs from the 18th to the 20th.
The Finals will go from the 20th to the 22nd.
I hope you keep having fun. Please, vote, share, and discuss as much as possible.