Tuesday, May 9, 2017

It's Almost Here!

Writing Volume 2 was no joke. From a short story that was 13,000 words long, to a follow-up that's more than double that, writing and editing took a lot longer than I expected. But with that being said, the official date for Volume 2 is set! The Jackal will be released June 9th, 2017. I'd like to take this time and apologize to those who have been waiting for this volume for over a year. I really do hope it's worth the wait. 
At the outset, the entire story was going to be about the origin of the creature. But that was BORING! It didn't have the same fast-paced thrill that The Water Boils had. So after about 25,000 words, I deleted it all and started from the beginning. 
Best decision ever.
Once I got rid of that concept and went back to the thrills and chills we got from Volume 1, everything fell into place. While the story doesn't focus on the origins of the creature, several questions will be answered in The Jackal.
And to celebrate the release date, Volume 1 The Water Boils is available for FREE on the Kindle. I wish I could make it free across all platforms, but legalities make this impossible. But looking at the bright side, if you have a kindle or the kindle app on your phone, you can download The Water Boils for free up until May 13th. Happy reading!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

For a Good Cause...

I hate selling books to friends. I wish I could give all of my friends a free copy of my book. But, sadly, it doesn’t work that way. It just doesn’t. Writing for me is therapeutic. When I was a child, creating imaginary worlds in my mind separated me from all the nonsense around me. Living in a poor neighborhood, criminal neighbors, asshole neighbors, school drama, gangs constantly trying to recruit, and a terrible home life, the only way to survive was to escape. And so, I started picking up books once my imagination couldn’t go any further. And there it was, all imagination written on paper. (And don’t even get me started on the Harry Potter series, my goodness, what imagination!) So, I started writing. Eventually, it became something so precious to me, that I wanted to share it with anyone interested in my stories. Thus, publishing It Runs at Night wasn’t for the money. Never was. It was so people could get lost in an imaginary world. And whether or not you’re someone who needs an escape, reading can do so much more than that. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to make a living off writing, but for now, I’m just getting my feet wet.

How does this stop me from feeling bad about taking money from my friends? (Because let’s face it, my amazing friends are most of the purchases of my books.) Well, it doesn’t, but it got me thinking, “My next book is about to launch, and I’m going to act awkward when my friends tell me they’ve bought my book (I don’t know why I’m like this, don’t judge me). What to do? Oh, what to do?” And the solution was so easy, I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of it before: Donate!

All proceeds for It Runs at Night Volume 2 The Jackal will be donated to two charities: First Book and BuildOn. I did some extensive research in trying to figure out which charity I wanted to donate to. But there were so many that have such a positive impact on literacy that I couldn’t choose just one.
First Book provides new books, educational resources and other essentials to kids in need. In fact, 97% of their revenue goes to these efforts! And they target those in need by providing a list of where the need is and a link to help understand the need. See more at: https://www.firstbook.org/about-first-book/our-approach#sthash.R9Qo8RQF.dpuf
BuildOn has a section titled “The Education Crisis.” Yes, a crisis indeed. As an educator, I’m constantly devastated as I witness a child struggling to get the education they deserve; it’s a basic human right. And going through BuildOn’s website, told me that this was the charity to help. The Education Crisis section reads, “Education is a basic human right. Yet those who need education the most – children living in poverty - are the least likely to attend school.” I couldn’t have said it better. See more at: http://www.buildon.org/about/the-education-crisis/

So, everyone wins, right? I hope so. If you see any holes in my plan, please let me know. I want to have a guilt-free time at my next book signing, which may be different than my first. Still trying to work everything out. As for Vol. 2, working with a 28K word manuscript has been a lot more difficult than I imagined. But I promise it’s almost done.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

While We Wait For Volume 2: The Jackal

If you read my last blog, you'll know that I've decided to start a Wattpad account (the website where teens rule and I feel like the old guy crashing the party...but still, I'm not a creeper I swear). There's something called the Wattys where I write stories and if people like it, it gets votes and it could possibly get some awards. Since that website is entirely free, I've decided to post the work I write there onto my blog as well.

Since I've written a Young Adult story with It Runs at Night, I decided to post up a story that I've written for an adult audience (it hasn't been edited, so please forgive all the mistakes). I'm really bad with titles (It Runs at Night was a title that was years in the making, and I still feel it could use some improvement, but that's what I ended up with) so I simply titled this one with the main character of the story, Dr. Collin Murphy. So what's it about? Well, here's my blurb for it:

It was the moment Dr. Collin Murphy saw Beatrice kissing another man that caused the memories of their entire relationship fly through his mind like bullets full of mementos, destroying every layer of skin they hit. Rushing to confront her, he gets hit by a car and misses his opportunity. Recovering from the accident with minor injuries and his old college friend by his side, Collin's search for answers leads to a side of him that he's never felt before. Will this new Collin get answers to his questions or will it lead him to a world of regrets?

Since we can create covers and put them on Wattpad for our followers, I created my own cover for this book and it is absolutely horrendous. But it'll have to do since I can't afford to pay someone for a cover of a story I may or may not decide to formally publish. Please accept my sincere apologies. I'll be posting up a chapter at a time, so stay tuned for it. I hope you enjoy it while we wait for Volume 2. 

As always, click the link below if you're interested in picking up a copy of It Runs at Night Volume 1 The Water Boils.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

I'm not a creeper, I swear...

In the world of writing, I encounter something new almost every single day. A new suggestion, post, blog, website, app, reader, writer, the list goes on and on. 
        Recently, I've discovered wattpad.
        I couldn't believe it! The lists of books, the amount of writers, the ease of access to just pick up your phone, tablet, or laptop and start writing. I wondered why I never heard of it before.
So, to grow my readership, I decided to start following other writers and take advice directly from wattpad:
  • Follow other writers and read their work. Get an idea of what they like, and tell them what you like about their work. The more of a presence you have on Wattpad the more likely they are to check your work out. 
  • Acknowledge follows. When someone follows you, send them a quick message and let them know how much you appreciate it.

        I gained some momentum and I started to follow all kinds of readers and writers, and some have followed back.
        But then, I started going to the pages of people I follow. About 90% of the writers I follow are between the ages of 12-18 (I then realized why I hadn't heard of this site before). I've entered a website where tweens (fan fiction), teens (middle/high school drama), and young adults (vampires, zombies, werewolves) rule. Don't get me wrong, some are great writers and they have a lot to offer. But I feel like an old man crashing a fun party. Not only that, going off of Wattpad's advice, I'm creating a presence. I'm engaging in conversations, telling other writers what I like about their work, etc.
        But, alas, most of them are children. The dilemma now is to stay on Wattpad and continue to grow a readership, or leave and avoid being considered a creeper.

  • Pros: A lot of my work, published and in progress, is geared towards a young audience. The short stories I've posted on Wattpad are getting some interest from that age group. And since I've joined Wattpad, I've had an increase in website clicks, amazon views, and Facebook views.
  • Cons: Old man creeper status.

In the meantime, I'll keep Wattpad going until I decided where to go. If the momentum is there, I'll keep it, otherwise I should leave the party.
        Because Wattpad is entirely free I've decided (for those of you who aren't 12 years old and don't have a wattpad account) to post the stories I'm posting there to my blog as well. This is so my adult readers can read some of my work and don't have to fall into the same creeper category as me.
        Thanks for reading, and as always, click the link below the cover if you're interested in picking up a copy of my book. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

5 Star Streak Broken

Reviews are tough. It takes a person with a desire to give feedback to take the time and review a product online. For many, this desire comes from one of two things: the product was amazing or the product was terrible. Then there are those reviewers whose desire is to reach people around the world and tell them the truth about the product, great, terrible, or mediocre. 

But reviews are tough. For me, they're tough because my book hasn't reached that many readers. I'm proud to say that I've reached 300 books sold, but in the grand scheme of things that isn't a lot. I'm not interested in making a profit. I'm interested in knowing what people think of my product (I wish I could give my book for free but distribution doesn't make that possible). Is it great, bad, terrible, ok, meh? And 22 reviews gives me some good insight but there's a bit missing. 

For example, 2 reviews gave it 3 stars. Their biggest complaints were that the book is too short. Does this warrant a 3 instead of a 4 or 5? Or does it say, the book was good and ended too soon? I can't really tell from those 2 reviews. Some people like short and sweet. But do most? 

This isn't a way to get more reviews, rather a way of seeking help. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can expand my readership? I feel as though I've tried a few things, but not much is working. Sadly, I don't have a lot of time on my hands to dedicate on promotion, but there has to be some efficient ways of doing this that bring in results, right? Nonetheless, I think reviews are tough. What if I'm asking for reviews and, if I do get the bulk I want, I don't like what I hear? Oh the struggles of the self publishing world. On a positive note, I'll be putting up some works in progress on my blog soon. Maybe It Runs at Night won't be the only work I self publish...

As always, click the link below the image if you're interested in picking up a copy of the book. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

We Don't Care What Happens to These Books

I hit my first wall. I walked into this bookstore (to avoid a blog post in bad taste let’s avoid the name of the bookstore) knowing that they don’t do consignments, but they do take donations. A consignment is a deal between an author and a bookstore to sell the books and each party get a cut of the profit. I try to sell my books as cheap as possible. I’m not trying to make money, I just want my work to be out there. I walk into the donation area and this is how it went:

“I’d like to drop off these books,” I say as I remove the books from my bag.
“Oh we don’t do consignments,” says the man with a scruffy beard and wild hair.
“It’s ok,” I reply. “I just wanted to make a donation.”
“Ok,” he says and he takes my books and begins to walk away with them.
“So what happens next?”
He turns around and accidentally drops my books, “We send them to the warehouse.”
“And what happens in the warehouse?”
“They figure out which books go into the store.”
“So there’s a possibility that these books will never make it to the shelf?”
“Yup,” as he begins to walk away assuming I’m done with my questions.
“How do I know if they got on the shelf?” I ask, again interrupting his pivot away from me.
“Look,” he replies exasperated. “We don’t care what happens to these books. Some make it others don’t.”

At this point I was at a loss for words. I’d like to think I’m professional, even with this hobby that has yet to become anything else but that, I try to keep things professional. So I swallowed my pride, only left 3 books, and walked out.

A big part of my writing is inspired by my students. I want to promote literacy to my kids. I want them to have access to as many books as possible. And the way my students and I get along, they’re even more motivated to pick up my book and read it on their spare time. It’s a win/win. The kids have free access to my book through my website. But this wild haired man actually said we don’t care what happens to these books. Who says that? Who in their right minds, especially working at a bookstore, says something like that? I know I was asking a lot of questions, but to not care about a book is to say you don’t care about the thousands of people in the surrounding communities who don’t have access to books when they truly need it. I was extremely bothered by the encounter. I tried not to let it get me down, but it did. Hopefully this is the last time I encounter something like this. And to the crazy haired man, I hope you never know a day without books.

As always, below the photo is a link to my book. If you're a student visit www.LDannyPerez.com to get a free ecopy of it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

It Runs at Night

This is one of the prettiest terrors. I've finally self-published my first book. This particular story has a deeper meaning than to simply terrify. This story has been a work in progress for about three years. My mom had given me glimpses of her tumultuous journey to the U.S. It wasn't until she met my girlfriend that I heard the entire story. After a few cold ones, my mom let it all out. I thought, two things were going on through her journey, she was scared out of her mind, or she was a bad ass. I couldn't decide, so I wrote a story about it to decide for me. So far, she's a bad ass. I introduce you It Runs at Night Volume 1 The Water Boils a story about a girl lost in the Mexican valley while a mysterious creature is following her. Click the link under the photo to check out my book on Amazon. I'm trying to see how I can make it free, but it looks like the lowest I can go is $1. I'll keep everyone posted about reducing prices, I know I've seen some books for free on there. One last thing, visit the It Runs at Night website to see all updates of the series and future release dates.