In this new, short video I talk about how my book WATCH ME DIE came about. I’m fond of all the books that I’ve written but in some ways, this may be my favorite…and it’s only 99 cents on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Google Play until 8/1.
I’ve been getting spammed with emails lately from an awful book promotion service called Booktweep.
We saw your book “The Pursuit: A Fox and O’Hare Novel” at Amazon. We would like to help you in the Promotional efforts of “The Pursuit: A Fox and O’Hare Novel” to boost the number of sales and ranking. We will act as an extra helping hand in marketing your book so that you can get more time to write your next one. You can check our website and discuss your promotion queries and your Book Sales target. For more info just visit our website and write to us. Our website is https://booktweep.com/product/signup/
So I took a look at the Booktweep website. It’s a mess. Basically, you pay them $14.99 a month and they will send out terrible twitter ads about your book. Here are three examples of their work:
I sent the promotional visionaries at Booktweep this note:
Here’s some advice for you on your promotional efforts.
1. Research the authors you are contacting. If you had looked into me, you’d know that THE PURSUIT hit #1 on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists on its debut four weeks ago and that we don’t need your tweet help.
2. Hire someone familiar with the English language to write your twitter ads. The ads you are running now humiliate you and your clients.
3. Hire someone familiar with the English language to write your website. It’s embarrassing and unprofessional to have phrases like this as subject headings on your website:
Why to choose Booktweep?
How it works?
So, why to wait ?
(FYI, the correct phrasing is: Why choose Booktweep? and How does it work? and So why wait?)
In addition to those inept headings, you have phrases like this:
5.8 Millions Tweet Impressions
15.7 Thousands Profile visits of @Ebookjunction
Million and Thousand do not need to be plural. Someone familiar with English would know better.
I could go on and on. Why would anyone pay you to promote their work when you do such an awful, sloppy job?
I was very sad to hear about Garry Marshall’s passing. I only had a brief encounter with him, but it had a big impact on me.
I moved to Los Angeles when I was 18 to attend UCLA. I was also working on a book called UNSOLD TELEVISION PILOTS that I began writing when I was nine years old. As soon as I got to L.A. I cold-called Garry Marshall for an interview. To my shock, he not only answered the phone, he immediately invited me to his office, which turned out to be an apartment in Burbank or Studio City. We spoke for several hours. I was in awe being in the same room with the legendary writer-producer…and having this opportunity to ask him not only about his unsold pilots, but also a million other questions I had about the TV business. He answered them all in wonderful detail. I couldn’t believe how friendly, funny, and open he was to me… or that he would devote so much of his valuable time to help some kid he’d never met.
A few years later, after UNSOLD TELEVISION PILOTS was published, I interviewed him for an article I was doing for Electronic Media (later renamed Television Age) and he shocked me again… this time because he not only remembered me, but told me how much he loved my book. Most people will remember him for the great TV shows and movies he did. I will remember him for being a mensch.
Today would have been my Dad’s 70-something birthday. He died too young, sitting on a couch, eating pizza. He was in the midst of his third marriage and he was broke, or close to it, yet again. He was estranged from his four children and didn’t know his grandkids, as well as his stepchildren and a child he’d adopted and hadn’t seen in years. This was his own doing, something achieved after decades of irresponsibility, spinelessness and shameful parenting. As the oldest of his four children, I was the only one in any contact with him (I was also the only one of his kids or stepchildren to attend his funeral, which should tell you something right there). Perhaps that’s because I was the child who’d had him in his life the longest as a parent. But each time I saw him in my adulthood, it wasn’t anger and frustration that I felt but crushing sadness, for him and, I guess, to some degree, for myself. My promise to myself after each depressing encounter was that I wouldn’t be anything like him… not personally, not professionally, and especially not as a father. So each fourth of July, I find myself looking inward and wondering if I’ve fullfilled that promise. I think it must be fate that my daughter was born on July 3rd, because it gives me a chance the day before to see in her a progress report of sorts. Yesterday was my daughter’s 21st birthday and we spent it together, as a family, as we always have. I felt so much love and pride for her that I can wake up this morning, look in the mirror, and say to myself with certainty, and no small measure of relief: “I’m not you, Dad.” I hope I can do the same next year.
One of best parts of beginning a new Fox & O’Hare adventure for me is traveling to the locales where the story will take place. For our new, #1 New York Times bestseller THE PURSUIT, that meant heading off to Honolulu, Antwerp, Paris, Bois-Le-Rois, and Italy’s Amalfi Coast…and also drawing upon on my past experiences in Montreal and Lohr, Germany.
The Antwerp diamond heist at the opening of THE PURSUIT is loosely based on a real incident, so I read lots of articles and books on the subject, sought the advice of the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, and visited the scene of the crime for myself. It makes it much easier for me to write about a place and make you feel like you’re there, too, if I’ve experienced it first-hand. That’s because it’s the little details that I discover, the things that stick in my memory, that make the locales come alive for me when I sit down to write..and, I hope, for you in the retelling.
For the two heists in Paris in THE PURSUIT, I scouted locations throughout the city (mostly on foot) before deciding on where all the events should take place…then took hundreds of photos, studied maps, and consulted experts, like an infamous “cataphile” who roams the city’s underground catacombs.
I also spent a lot of time in Sorrento, Capri, and Positano Italy soaking up the atmosphere (and plenty of limoncello) looking for the right location for the bad guy’s “vacation home.” I found it during a boat trip from Sorrento to Positano, then fictionalized it to suit my devious creative needs. A day trip to Capri gave me some great historical “background” for an an interesting obsession for the villain and his home. If you’ve read the book, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. I never would have stumbled on either the location or the historical nugget without making the trip.
I recently returned from a nearly month-long research trip to Australia and New Zealand for the sixth Fox & O’Hare adventure and I can’t wait to take you there on the page…