Friday, November 4, 2011

I've been interviewed!

I had the honor of being interviewed at Omnicomic.com about my upcoming graphic novel, Enter The Hero.  If you have a moment, go and check it out.  And feel free to leave a comment on their site. http://www.omnicomic.com/2011/11/interview-michael-heitkemper-enter-hero.html

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reading To An Audience

Over the past weekend, I had the exciting opportunity to read my book, Becoming Mortal gods, in front of an audience.  It was at Bookends And More, a small bookstore in Radcliff, KY, where I shared the honor of a book signing with fellow author, Reverend Gary Hamer.   

I’ll admit I was very nervous; I hadn’t read aloud in public since probably the eighth grade.  But I swallowed the lump in my throat and read through two whole chapters of my book.  I only looked up once or twice at my audience, but I could tell that I had them at least a little bit interested.  When I was through, I felt a great sense of pride in what I had done.  In fact, I would even say that it’s something I would look forward to doing again some day. 

Reading your books in public may sound nerving, but it will also give you more confidence, not only in your writing but in your ability to promote your work.  If you can some how pull the courage together to get started, it’s all down hill from there, and it will improve your chances of selling you book.  I’ll put it this way, I can’t speak for everyone that was there that day, but at least one person came forward after the reading and said they were buying the book only to see what was going to happen next.  Reading sells books.

I do want to personally thank everyone who came out to see me that day.  It was great to see you, and I hope you enjoyed.  I also want to thank Gary Hamer for all of his words of encouragement, and helpful advice.  This was my first book signing, and I don’t know if I’d have made it through the same way if he wasn't there.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My First Book Signing!

I will be at Bookends & More in Radcliff, KY on October 29th from 3PM till 5PM signing copies of my book, "Becoming Mortal gods."  This will be my very first book signing event, and I'm super thrilled about it!  I'm also a bit nervous.  I'm afraid I'm going to be lonely out there, so if anyone lives nearby, please come by and say hi!  Any thoughts or tips about preparing for these types of things is very much appreciated.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kickstarter For Enter The Hero!

So my graphic novel project, Enter The Hero, has kicked into high gear in the past week or so.  The Co-Creator of the book, Simon Butler is now dedicating all of his work time to completing the interior of the book.  In order to accomplish this appropriately, we need to raise some money.  We’ve started a Kickstarter page.  For those who are not familiar with Kickstarter, basically creators pitch their projects and ask for any donations available from the public.  In return for “backing” the project, the “backers” are rewarded with things like books, t-shirts, and downloads.  All very cool! 
If you have the chance, check it out.  I know, we are looking to raise a LOT of money, but with your help it can be done!  And don’t worry, if you can’t afford to back the project, that’s fine.  But I kindly ask that you at least consider spreading the word about our project.  Thank so much!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Bad Review; What do I do now?

It's amazing how much a bad review can really kill your momentum.  My book, Becoming Mortal gods, was making descent sales on Smashwords.com until one guy wrote me a less than favorable review.  The sales literally stopped over night.  Of course seeing a poor review of my work is saddening, but I pulled through.  i was sure that there would be someone who didn't like my work going into it.  The worst part is that what the reviewer actually wrote wasn't so bad, but he only gave the book a single star.  Now, any potential reader browsing titles will immediately see that single star posted right next to the book cover possibly driving away potential buyers without a second glance.

Let me be clear; I don't blame the reviewer in the least.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of my work.  That's fine.  But how do I come back from this down turn in sales?  I don't want to be one of those writers who writes their own reviews, or pays for them.  I've tried giving away copies in turn for a review, but so far I'm only giving away copies with no results.  Any ideas?  And how do you cope with the bad reviews?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Promoting or Writing. Choose one...

How do you split the time between promoting a current book and writing the next?  That is my current dilemma.  “Becoming Mortal gods” is off to a good start on sales, but it seems that the only way to keep the sales coming is to relentlessly keep promoting.  Of course I knew going into this that promoting a self-published book was going to be a huge job for one person.  I just didn’t anticipate how much it would stall me from finishing my next book.  I’ve tried making a schedule for myself, but that failed from the start.  I write when I’m inspired to, I guess.  And it’s hard to get inspired when a schedule tells me I have too.  And don’t even get me started on that annoying day job that I can’t seem to rid myself of.  Any one else have this problem?  What do you do to get past it?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Download My Book For Only $0.99... And Some Free Copies!

For a limited time, you can download my book for only $0.99 at Smashwords.com and on the Kindle at:  Amazon.com.  Also, I'm giving away five coupons that will allow you to download the book for FREE on Smashwords!  All I ask in return is that you post an honest review of the book on Amazon.com, or Smashwords.com.  If this goes well, I may give away more!  Contact me through my website for the coupon:  http://www.mheitkemperbooks.com/ ;  First come first serve!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Need Someone To Review Your Book? So Do I...

So, having slacked quite a bit from promoting my book for the last few weeks, I'm trying to redeem myself.  I have seriously lost a lot of ground, but I'm afraid it was something that could not be helped... personal matters. 

I need to find a few good readers to write their own review of Becoming Mortal gods.  In my search, I managed to run across a pretty useful link:  http://www.onlinecollege.org/2009/09/15/100-best-blogs-for-book-reviews/   It's a list of the top 100 bloggers that review books.  I plan to submit to a few of them that fit my book.  I'm sure most if not all of you have this list already, but for those that don't, here it is.

And of course, if anyone reading this has any interest in reading my book, Becoming Mortal gods, and writing a reveiw, I will gladly send you a copy!  Just post a reply here.  Thanks.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Spartan Gold, By: Clive Cussler With Grant Blackwood

So I've found myself very busy these last few weeks; been over a month since I posted here.  So I thought I'd break the silence with a book review.  And here we go...

There are NO SPOILERS in this review.

Spartan Gold; An adventure novel from start to finish. 

In way of classic “good-guy against bad-guy” this was a truly fun book to read.  It brings to mind stories like the adventure movies National Treasure, or even Indiana Jones.  There’s plenty of adventure and almost limitless suspense all the way to the end.  The story follows a treasure hunter couple, Sam and Remi Fargo,  (who have had their fair share of adventure in the past) as they set off in search of what they believe is Napoleon’s lost wine cellar.  They are unsure of what treasure truly awaits them.  Meanwhile, a ruthless Russian millionaire/mobster is on their heels every step of the way, trying to reach the treasure first.  The Fargo’s find themselves in much tougher situations than they have ever encountered before and are pushed to their limits to find a priceless treasure.

Expertly written, I really enjoyed reading this book.  Cussler does a superb job of intertwining history and fiction.  The theme was very entertaining, and for the most part believable.  At times, I’ll admit I was lost in some of the reasoning that the Fargos placed with the clues.  I frequently asked myself, “Man, is this couple really that educated on their history?  They seem to know everything, and no resource appears to be out of their reach!  Not to mention, they can outsmart a blood thirsty Russian mobster who has managed to make himself a man feared by just about everyone over the past two decades.  The Fargos are basically Batman and Robin, without the masks and capes.”  But before you take this as a knock to the characters, let me ask you this:  What more could you really want in a hero?  The Fargos are a fun pair to root for in their quest.  And call it luck, or destiny, or straight forward skill; whatever it was, if the Fargos didn’t have it, I’m sure I’d be reading a book where the bad guys win.    

Here’s the downside of my review.  And I know I’ve already said the book was expertly written, but I have to point out one thing that frequently annoys me in many books; at times there is far too much detail.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cussler (the author) was perhaps a master chef at one point in his life.  Reason being, he spent nearly a half page describing the Fargo’s meal, not once, but twice in the book.  And I’m talking all the way down to the spices used in the marinade.  And must we not forget the way the fish was cooked.  Did I really need this information?  I get it; the Fargos know how to pick a good restaurant.  Also, I was furthermore forced to wonder; Maybe Cussler did some architecture work in the past after his stint in culinary school?  After all, he has a profound habit of describing buildings right down to their core.  I, having worked in construction for many years, followed this easily.  But I can’t help but wonder if the lesser educated in that field would have even cared? 

So there you have it, my good thoughts and my bad on Spartan Gold.  Overall, I’d give it an 8 out of 10 on a scale of my own that doesn’t actually exist.  I’ll probably be handing my copy off to one of my friends to enjoy, and I do recommend that others pick it up and enjoy it as well. 

Thanks for reading.
Review By:  Michael Heitkemper

Monday, April 4, 2011

Book Trailers: Good Promotion Device? Let's Find Out...

Since I first noticed this new strand of book promotion, I’ve been wanting to have a book trailer of my own.  To be honest, I really didn’t believe that I would ever be able to have something that looked professional without dishing out some serious money.  I’ve seen prices for a thirty second video run into the thousands of dollars.  But get this; I now have a book trailer for my novel, Becoming Mortal gods, and I didn’t pay a dime for it!  That’s right, not one red cent!  I managed to run across a guy who offered to make the trailer for the promotion of his business alone.  All he wanted was to put his logo at the end of the trailer.  I can’t believe how my luck has been running on this project!  I sincerely believe that success is just around the corner.  Oh, in case anyone is interested, here’s a link to the trailer:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=al7SVMCHNpM&feature=player_embedded
Post your comments if you like.  Thanks.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bookends And More Now Stocks My Book!

My book is now available in at least one “brick and mortar” book store.  Bookends And More in Radcliff, KY is proudly stocking my book, Becoming Mortal gods, on their shelves.  They have also posted the book information on the home page of their website:  http://www.. So if anyone lives in the area, please run by the store and pick up a copy!Bookends-and-more.com

I am extremely proud of this achievement.  As some of you may know, this is my first self-publishing venture.  From the get-go, getting the book in stores was big concern of mine.  Turns out it was pretty simple, and I believe getting other stores to follow key is going to be fairly easy also.  To all you self-published authors out there, here’s the secret:  Just talk to the owners.  Make them an offer that they can’t refuse.  That’s all that I did.   It can be a little intimidating, but just remind yourself:  What's the worst that can happen?  They can't eat you! 

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Attention Self Published Authors! Helpful Links!

To all the self published authors who may see this:  I want to recommend a couple links of interest that I've found helpful.  Some of you may have already found these, but just in case, here they are: 

Shelley Hitz has published 200+ Free Book Marketing and Author Tools.  Most of them are pretty common tools and links, but I found at least ten items I wasn't taken advantage of. 
http://www.self-publishing-coach.com/free-book-marketing.html

Also, check out the new online bookstore that is catering to self published authors.  It's easy to submit your book to their site, and it's free.  Who can say no to free advertisement?
http://www.breakthroughbookstore.com/

Any others?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Internet: The Best Friend of Writer's Block?

I have this habit when I sit down to write at my laptop; I turn on the wi-fi antenna.  The dictionary and grammar check program that I use when writing works best when it’s connected to the World Wide Web.  I’ll get comfortable, and start to write.  Suddenly, that little blue light on my keyboard becomes distracting, but not in the way that you might think.  I’m distracted by the information that that little light may be holding that very second.  The whole world is literally a single click away.  Why can’t I just ignore this info, and do my work?  Why do I constantly find myself dropping my work, for what I tell myself will only be a few minutes, to click on that lower case letter e on my desktop?  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s my constant need to check my email every half hour.  I’ve got to find out if my latest story has been accepted or rejected.  Maybe it’s because I want to read up on the latest gossip and drama that my friends on Facebook are enduring (even though I rarely post on Facebook myself at all.)  Or maybe, and most likely, I’m experiencing writer’s block and want to fill the void of absent story with the much unneeded goliath sized pile of information that is the Internet.  Yes, for certain, when I’m experiencing writer’s block, my worst enemy is the Internet.  I can write my main character into the most perilous of situations; suddenly, he has no way out.  What should I do?  I got it; I’ll Google an exit strategy.  It’s only an excuse to myself to once again merge into the information highway.  Of course, this doesn’t work.  In fact, I soon find myself watching an incredibly useless movie clip of a man drop kicking a black bear for a king salmon.  Hmm, that was helpful.  So while I’m surfing the net when I should be writing, I’m beating myself up, knowing that I’m wasting time.  Somehow, I find the self control to exit the browser and return to my work.  I’m finally making good headway.  Suddenly, my main character makes a humorous jab at someone.  It occurs to me, “Didn’t what’s his name say that in that one movie?”  Hmmm, maybe I should Google it…  Everyday, I seem to find more and more self control over this problem.  It’s a slow and difficult recovery, but I know I’m going to make it.  Eventually, my work does get done.  And after all, I have quit doing worse habits before in my life, but it’s not like quitting smoking.  You can’t just quit the Internet “cold turkey.”  Everyday, I need to use the internet for a legitimate reason.  But still I wonder, what would I write without it constantly lingering in front of me?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What I'm reading, and what I'm writing...

What am I reading?
My wife was so awesome to get two books for me on Valentines day.  The first, Spartan Gold by Clive Cussler, and the other is Broken, by Karin Slaughter.  I've started in on Spartan Gold, and it's a good read so far; lots of adventure and action.  I'll post a review when I finish it.

What am I writing?
So, I'd pretty well finished up my latest book, Becoming Mortal gods.  Just got a printed proof copy of it in the mail, and my five year old son (who is incredibly smart for his age and reads children's chapter books) picks up my book and is amazed at what his dad has done.  He starts flipping through it, showing interest in wanting to have a read.  However, because of the language, and some of the content, I tell him that he'll have to wait till he gets a little older.  He's disappointed for a bit, but then, he tells me to write something that he can read.  I've never tried to write a children's book before, so I figure it should be a good exercise.  When I asked him what type of story he'd like to read, he tells me that it needs to have dinosaurs.  I settle in, trying to come up with a plot.  About an hour later, he changes his mind, and tells me that he wants it to be about ghosts.  Hmmm...  Yet another hour passes and he comes to me with his best idea yet.  The story is going to be about dinosaur ghosts!  So that's what I'm working on.  Don't exactly have a working title yet, but it will be here when I do.

Friday, February 18, 2011

My first blog...

This is my first blog, so I guess I'll start by just telling you a bit about myself.  My name is Michael Heitkemper.  I'm some kind of writer or something.  I've written four books, a comic book series, and a bunch of short stories.  (You can guarantee that you will be hearing a bit about these works later on.)  I'm married, and I have two young boys, and my family is my whole world.

Writing started out as more of a hobby to me; I never really intended for anyone to read anything that I wrote.  But as I got better (or as I thought I got better) I started making my stuff available to others.  Writing is still more or less just a hobby to me, but I become more and more serious about it everyday.

If you have time, check out my short story, Lucid Dreams, published by Dailey Swan Publishing.  You can read if for free here:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/25247813/Lucid-Dreams 

Thanks, I hope to post again soon.

Mike
http://www.mheitkemperbooks.com/