Read the War to Persevere Before Anyone Else

Hello there, I have great news. Over the weekend, I finished the second proof of The War to Persevere, Book II of The Fundamentalists. The book is now in its final production phase, which includes proofing and a final edit.

If you’d like to read the book before it is released at the end of the year, I am looking for readers who are willing to provide feedback. Email me at geoffliving [@] gmail.com for a copy.

The Next Book After War

Before I get into more details about the War to Persevere, I’d like to invite you to write a book with me.  I have begun the pre-production work on a third novel (my seventh book over all, god help me).  This next book is a present-day lampoon of the blogosphere. The book is under contract, and is tentatively slated for publication in the spring of 2016.

 Many of the folks I know are aspiring writers, too.  You are welcome to join me, and write along. It helps to go through the process with others.

The great bulk of this writing will begin during National Novel Writing Month or nanowrimo.  Don’t worry, NaNoWriMo is a good time to get into the discipline of writing everyday. I won’t be writing the whole book in a month, nor would I expect anyone else to.

If you are interested in writing with a group this winter, or just want updates on the novels before they are public, please consider joining my Goodreads group, “Living in Words.”

What’s The War to Persevere About?

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Some of themes in War include women’s right to fight in the military, delineating dogma from faith, and power as a corrupter.  It’s definitely a new book, and moves away from some of the themes of religion in Exodus (or more likely resolves them, separating religion from despotism).

This new book incorporates a lot of feedback that I received from readers of Exodus, including:

  • Characters you can like a bit more (as well as others you can hate!)
  • More modern language
  • Faster paced action scenes
  • More show, and less tell

In all, War is clocking in at 41,000 words. This makes it a very short novel or a long novella depending on your definition of a novel.

And that’s all the writing news I have for you. Thanks for reading along.  The floor is yours.

Remain Teachable

This weekend I attended the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City. What would a four-time author have to learn at an event like this? Quite a lot apparently. It was a worthwhile experience, one that I am glad I approached with an open mind.

I learned more about book publishing in one day than I had in the past eight months. From the rise of new hybrid publishers to independendent book marketing jujitsu, I gleaned many insights.

More than anything, in this day and age of super pundits it is so important to remain teachable. There are so many experts who sit atop their pedastals, and point out the Way it Should Be. We see fewer and fewer posts about how people learned and grew.

Point being is that everything changes. To stay ahead — or really to just keep pace — you have to remain open to evolutionary shifts. Things change so quickly that if you don’t, you will be made a novice again, like it or not. So it’s remain teachable or get lapped.

If I attended the conference as a know it all writer who had published four books, then I would have denied myself a great experience. For example, I did not know how powerful GoodReads Groups could be (I started on called Living in Words, please join us!), or that most Kickstarter campaigns succeed (80% to be exact) if they reach 20% of their funding. I learned a whole bunch about how authors are building value for their readers, keeping them interested beyond launch periods.

One thing that became clear at the conference (at least in my mind) is the day of a blogger launching a book to their social media community is not a sustainable model. Hustling book sales by posting ceaselessly online is coming to an end. People want valuable content and insights from authors, not personal branding or self-aggrandizing chest beating.

These are just a few of the insights I picked up this weekend.

Methods to Keep Growing

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Overall, the weekend got me thinking about remaining teachable. The ceiling for growth really lies within. Deciding how much one is willing to continue learning depends on how open-minded one is. Can we keep challenging our existing ideas and appraoches?

Here is a list of ways to exercise one’s mind:

  • Attend an industry conference
  • Take a class
  • Learn a new, but related sister skill
  • Read a book by a leading competitor
  • Travel to a different country and study a different culture
  • Use new tools to perform your work

These are just some of the ways I challenge myself. How do you push your own limits? Or do you settle for status quo?

Join the Exodus!

Today is the day! Exodus is formally released.

I am giving away a complimentary PDF copy of the book to my blog readers. Simply click this password protected link to download. The password is “freechoice”. The download will be available until September 13.

The first chapter is published below if you want a sneak peak. Early feedback has been great, so I hope you decide to check it out.

In addition to the PDF, I will publish the novel one chapter at a time on this site using a second RSS feed. Subscribe if you get a chance.

Exodus is now listed on Amazon’s Kindle Store at $0.99, and it will stay at that price until after Labor Day when it will be raised to $2.99. The book is also up on GoodReads in case you wanted to leave a review. A $2.99 electronic edition is published on B&N and the iBook store, too.

Finally, print editions are currently available on Lulu and directly on my web site. Amazon and B&N will start distributing hard copies by the end of September. If you prefer print, and want to enter the GoodReads contest to win one of 10 free copies, enter here.

Want more? The hero of the story Jason is on Twitter. Check it out! The @JasonExodus Twitter experiment has been fun so far, though a little crazy at times. I hope to launch additional media elements over the ensuing months to build a stronger transmedia experience for those who want deeper engagement.

This is a great opportunity to thank everyone who has encouraged me since I first announce my intent to publish the book, particularly those who signed up for advance copies and chatted with me on back channels. Having a core group of folks interested in the novel made a big difference. As you know this is not just any book, rather a 19 year journey that has come to fruition.

In addition, I’d like to give another shout out to Patrick Ashamalla for this website, which enables the distribution of the book via RSS feed. Thank you, sir, and congrats on your recent acquisition by White & Partners!

Below find Chapter 1!

Cheers,

Geoff

Chapter 1: A Dark Messenger

Jason looked down the path, through the farthest rays of torchlight into the eerie blue of evening and saw something crawling toward them in the distance.

“George, get Hector.” Hector was the Harpers Ferry watch commander. He was responsible for this evening’s patrol, as well as all of the watch’s activities. Usually, there were not many causes for concern. Indeed, some said the watch wasn’t needed at all. So the disturbance scratching its way toward them was reason enough to alert Hector.

“Why in the world would we do that?” asked George. He was lazy and slow, disturbed at the prospect of having to move. Neither did he want to wake Hector, who was a gruff man.

A wild dog paid homage to the full moon, splitting the silence; Jason worried it was an omen. Didn’t full moons affect all of nature’s creatures strangely?

“Look at that shape moving slowly toward us,” Jason said. “It looks like a man. Have you ever seen anything like this? Ever? Hector would want to know about this stranger now, rather than find out about it tomorrow at the tavern.”

Begrudgingly, George rose from his chair to look down the path. The black shape was close enough now for the watchmen to see its arms clawing at the dirt, dragging itself forward.

“Oh, no,” George said under his breath, and he turned to get Hector. Jason watched the shape’s tortured struggle through the flickering torchlight along the dirt path. His painful progress was mesmerizing, and soon Jason could hear the man’s labored grunts and groans.

In a few minutes, George returned with Hector. “What do we have here, Jason?” the leader asked. Why couldn’t his watchmen make these decisions on their own?

Irked by Hector’s judgmental tone, Jason bit his tongue, and he pointed silently down the path.
The watch commander saw the man, shrouded in a tattered black robe and wracked with pain by every move. “Please get him, boys,” he directed, without a second thought.

The watchmen left the fireside comfort of their post and made their way toward the man, who didn’t seem to hear or see them coming. Sweating and likely consumed with fever, he muttered and moaned. Jason and George, standing on either side, could make out only a word here and there. The words they did understand were chilling: Run. They’re coming.

The man never looked at them and instead continued to clutch at new patches of dirt, obliviously crawling toward their post, perhaps seeking the fire and the town’s comforts. He wore coarse pants under his robe, whose many tears, pieces of foreign bramble, and strange stains bespoke an arduous journey through the backcountry. The robe’s hood covered the visitor’s head, robbing the watchmen of the chance to see his face.

“Old man, can you hear us?” Jason asked.

“Please stand up, if you can,” George added.

The traveler’s muttering continued unchecked: “They’re coming.” And “Help.”

The watchmen looked at each other and stooped to raise the delusional traveler to his feet to get a better look at him. He was surprisingly light, perhaps 140 pounds, and he didn’t struggle. They gasped at what they saw.

A fever, now apparent in the man’s pale, sweat-streaked face, had wasted his long frame. On his right temple was an angry purple-and-yellow lump—the result of a fall? Or remnants of a mighty blow at the hands of an enemy? A broken arrow shaft protruded from his shoulder, and the dried bloodstains and gangrenous stench of his tunic spoke of an old wound that had festered without treatment. His brown eyes seemed to look at them without focusing. “Is someone there? Help me. Please, help me. The Christians, they’ll kill us all, just like they did my family. Don’t wait! Why are you waiting?”

Jason looked at George, and they both looked back at Hector. He trotted toward the two watchmen, concerned more by the shocked look on their faces than by the visitor’s condition. He took charge.

“George, get the elders and a surgeon,” Hector barked. “Hurry, this man may die soon.”

The wounded man laughed deliriously. “Don’t you understand? You fools, worry about your friends in the village! You’re next. The black shirts will swarm this place, swords and crosses in hand.” Tears began streaming from his eyes. “Run! Run before it is too late!”

Buy the book today!

Why Marketing in the Round, Anyway?

Gini and Geoff Social Life Pic

It is the final day to enter and win one of 10 free autographed copies of Marketing in the Round on Goodreads! As a special treat, co-author Gini Dietrich will autograph the books, too! So what are you waiting for? In addition, Gini will be our guest hostess for this post, and moderate all comments. Enjoy your time with one of the social web’s best!

One of the most common questions Gini and I got during our book tour last Spring was why did you call the book “in the Round?”

We needed to figure out a way to convey the of a convening of the marketing function. The collective meeting unites disparate departments and silos in and out of the marketing function to integrate multichannel strategies.

So we took a card out of the theatre world, and dubbed the meeting, “Marketing in the Round.”
Continue reading “Why Marketing in the Round, Anyway?”