Hey guys, welcome back to Bond's Blog.
I have something neat to share with you today. From this point forward, anyone who signs up for my monthly newsletter will get access to an exclusive short story written by me, of course. This story is only available through my newsletter and won't be published anywhere else. So, if you want to read it you have to sign up. And if you're already a subscriber, don't worry. I'll be sending out an email with a link to the story so you can read it as well. I hope you enjoy the story and I look forward to having you on my subscriber list!
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Something big is coming 01/01/2020. Want to know what it is? If you haven't guessed by now, allow me to tell you. My podcast Chiller Chronicles will be premiering. If you like unsolved murders, unexplained mysteries, creepy encounters, chilling tales, and audio dramas, then you'll love this show. I've been putting a lot of work into it and I hope you love it as much as I do! More details will be coming soon!
Failure. It sucks. No one likes to fail. But that's the nature of competing, isn't it? Someone has to win which means someone has to fail. Both teams can't take home the Super Bowl ring and only one candidate gets to be President. Someone always has to fail.
I recently participated in a short story contest. It was a Halloween themed contest. The stories were supposed to be scary and take a classic story or trope and give it a twist. I had a lot of fun with this idea. Here's what I came up with. A ghostly woman in white hitchhikes on the side of the road, waiting for her next victim. A man pulls over to pick her up, only for her to try and kill him. However, he's not what he appears either and the woman in white ends up becoming the hunted.
It was a classic story, woman in white, with a neat twist. I spent a lot of time writing, re-writing, editing, re-editing, proof reading, and so on. Finally, I hit submit, crossed my fingers, and hoped to win. The winner would take home $75. Money I would have used towards expensive advertising costs. Of course, if you read the title of this post you already know if I won or not.
When they announced the winners, I was obviously let down. I really loved my idea. The character was awesome. The execution of the story was well received by the few people who proofed it for me. And reading the stories that did win, I felt even worse. None of them encapsulated the nature of the contest. None really followed the guidelines of the contest. I almost felt cheated. But something happened.
If you're hoping for some twist to this story where the judges changed their mind or announced they made some mistake and I was actually the winner, sorry to disappoint. And to be honest, I'm glad they didn't. Because I learned something more valuable than the minimal prize money. I learned self appreciation. The story and the character might not have been enough for the judges but it was certainly enough for me! I loved my idea so much that I decided to give the character his very own series. And when you break down writing, whether you write for fun, you're a traditionally published author, or self-published, you should write for yourself first and an audience second. If you loved the idea and the story, that's all that matters. Meaning, don't write what you think other people will like if it's not what you like. Don't write YA novels because you think they'll sell better. Don't write non-fiction because you think it'll be easier. Always write what you love, no matter what. You like writing horror? Do it! You love writing fantasy? Do it! Your first book isn't selling well? Write another!
If you would like to read the story that I'm so proud of, there's a couple of options for you. You can head over to Patreon.com/EvanBond and become a patron. It's available exclusively for Patreon supporters for now. Or, you can wait an indeterminate amount of time for my short story collection book to come out. That's right, I will be piecing together some of my favorite short stories that I've written over the years as well as some new ones. I'll slap them together in a book and make it available. However, I don't have a release date for that yet as it's just in the planning stages. I need far more short stories in order to make it. So, you could be waiting a really long time. Why not just head over to Patreon now to read it? But, whatever you end up doing, I hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned something from it. Until next time, keep wandering. Just not alone.
November 9th, 2019. Saturday. There will be an event at the USF St. Petersburg campus. It's called the Festival of Reading. There will be several authors there headlining such as Tim Dorsey and R.L. Stine. In addition to author talks and book signings, there will be a market surrounding the event as well. It's a huge festival for my fellow book nerds! It's going to be awesome.
Of course, I will be attending and also selling my books. So, if you're in the Tampa Bay area and want to meet me (and some other authors) come say hi. I'm really excited for this event and hope to see many of you there!
Today, I have some bad news to share with you all. I've decided to scrap my blog series. That's right, the upcoming horror blog series Chiller Chronicles will not be premiering in October as previously promised because I am no longer working on the blog. If you were excited for the blog, I am sorry. However, I do have a good news to share with you so keep reading.
The reason I've scrapped the blog series is because I've got something much better in the works. While writing the stories for my blog series, I began to realize it wasn't suited for a blog. It was better suited for a podcast! That's right, Chiller Chronicles is going to be a podcast instead of a blog series!
It's going to be a fun show. You're going to love it. Here's how it's going to work. You will be fully immersed into the story as I narrate you around an old mansion in the middle of the woods. As you explore the old, creaky house, you will find doors which beg to be opened. Once inside the room, you will be greeted with memorabilia and items foreshadowing the story to come. Each room will contain an audio device which will play the stories called Chiller Chronicles. And when the story is done, I will narrate you out of the room and on to your next room and story. So, you see, it's a story within a story. I'm very excited about this concept and if you like unexplained mysteries, unsolved murders, terrifying encounters, and audio dramas then this podcast is perfect for you. Each season will feature a new location to explore. Season 1 is The House. I don't have a release date for you yet. I'm currently writing and producing episode one as a tester. A pilot episode, if you will. I have a couple people I will be sharing the first episode with for feedback. If you're interested, let me know. Either comment below of email me at BooksbyBond@gmail.com.
Of course, producing a podcast can be a lot of work and there's a little money involved so insert obligatory Patreon promotion here. You can help support the show and get it off the ground faster by supporting me over on Patreon. And if that's not enough to sign up, how about this? Chiller Chronicles will still be posted as a blog series exclusively on my Patreon page! When the podcast episode airs, the text version will be posted to Patreon as well. But I have one more surprise. I will also be adapting Chiller Chronicles as a book series. And, supporters on Patreon will get that book free. Each new book which comes out in the series will be free to Patrons of all tiers! This is my biggest project yet and I am very excited for it. I would be thankful for any help you can give.
Look forward to the Chiller Chronicles Podcast, coming soon! I'll give you more details as I get them. Until then, keep wandering. Just not alone.
Over the weekend, I got a bit of sad news. Due to Hurricane Dorian, the Space Coast Comic Con was cancelled. As you can imagine, I was pretty bummed about this. I've been looking forward to this con all year. I was excited to use what I learned a couple of weeks ago.
The good news is, the convention will be giving vendors a table at their next convention in 2020 so I at least have time to make any changes to my strategy and set up. Plus, if you think about it, it might be for the best. Even if Dorian doesn't hit the state, a lot of people may have cancelled their plans to travel to the convention because of the storm. Which means, there may have been a lot less people. So, it might work out for the best.
I'm not going to waste this trip, however. Since I already booked a hotel, which can't be cancelled now, I'm going to take my family on a vacation. My son will be excited to check out the Kennedy Space Center. Now, we just have to hope the hurricane doesn't decide to ruin more of our plans!
The 5th annual on point book fair is still happening on September 21st at 10AM. That one is in Tampa so if you're local, come check it out. It will be a Westshore Plaza in Tampa. Hope to see you there!
This past weekend, I worked my first comic convention. I met a lot of awesome people and had a lot of fun. Above all, I learned a lot. So, today I thought I would share with you what I learned in case there are other authors out there reading this and wanting to attempt to work a convention as well. Or, maybe you're just interested in what I learned. Either way, here are the 5 things I learned working my first convention.
5. Get to know your neighbors
A lot of authors are introverts and that's okay. I'm one of them. I'm not really a fan of public speaking or talking to strangers. However, conventions are long. This particular convention was only 2 days, Saturday and Sunday, but some can go from Thursday through Sunday. That's a long time to work around other people and not get talking to them. You never know what you might learn from those around you. Maybe you'll end up next to a seasoned veteran and they can give you tips to better your chances at making a sale. Plus, it's a lot more fun to chit chat with your neighbors when the con gets slow, and it will. When they did a costume contest, almost everyone cleared out and left the vendors alone. It was the perfect time to sit back and have a fun conversation with your fellow con workers.
4. Spend extra care on your booth/sales pitch
Like I mentioned above, a lot of authors are introverted. In order to sell books, you need to talk to people. You can't expect your book to sell itself, regardless of how good it might be. And I don't mean attack everyone who walks by and throw your speech at them. Not everyone is going to stop at your booth. But greet everyone who walks by. Say "Hi" or ask how they're doing. And when you do reel someone in, know what you're going to say to them. If you're selling multiple books in different genres, start by telling them what genres you write in and which one is their favorite. For example, I write mostly thriller, suspense, and horror. When someone responded that they loved thriller books, I would pick up Death Can Wait and hand it to them, explaining what the story is about. At the same time, it isn't just your sales pitch that's going to draw the crowd. You want them to notice you. Have a display that catches the eye, something different from the norm. I have the ammo crate I built and used it as the display case for my books. I received a few compliments on it saying the set up was original. If you can, go all out. Get a nice table cloth and a runner with your name on it. Get a large banner with original artwork behind you and plaster your name and website on it. You want people to see you from across the room.
3. Bring someone with you
Now, I know I told you to talk to your neighbors but you can't always rely on them. Maybe they're getting a lot of traffic and you're not. Maybe they've stepped away for a few minutes to use the bathroom and get a bite to eat. Either way, you'll want someone to talk to. If the con gets slow, it's easy to get bored. And on top of that, it's nice to have someone there to help you. Maybe you want to run around the convention hall and check out the vendors. If you leave your booth, how will you make money? What if a potential customer stops by? Will they move on and not come back? Having someone there, who has read your books and can pitch it, is essential. Make sure it's someone you can trust to help you. If your partner lets you down, it's going to be hard to recover. Especially if sales aren't going the way you planned. Which brings me to my next point.
2. Be prepared to fail
You might sell nothing the entire convention. You might sell out. There's no way to know for sure until after it's all over. But be prepared to fail and sell nothing. I won't lie, Sunday was brutal. The convention was quiet and there were hardly any patrons there. I didn't make a single sale on Sunday. The vendors around me didn't fare much better. The day was dead. And it was tough. It's too easy to give up and go home, upset that you wasted a whole day. Especially when you paid to be there. Trust me, I know because that's how I felt most of Sunday. It's heart wrenching. But you can't focus on that. You have to focus on what you learned from the experience. There's always something new to learn and things you could do better. And remember, selling might be important but so is networking. If you're not selling, hand out business cards or bookmarks or push your newsletter signup (which you should definitely have out on your table). You might not make a sale that day but someone may go home and buy your book on Nook or Kindle. And that's still a win.
1. Wear comfortable shoes
This might be obvious but wear something comfortable. Especially the shoes. You should be spending most of the day on your feet. Trust me, it helps. People find you more approachable if you're on your feet and engaging. If you're sitting there, looking bored, people won't approach you. Most conventions centers have concrete floors. So there's not a lot of support there. Your feet and your back will hurt by the end of the day. So, think carefully about what you're going to wear. I do recommend wearing cosplay which either matches the convention theme or your writing theme. It will bring people in to your booth. For example, I decked myself out with Agents of Shield items since this was a Marvel themed convention. But make sure you'll be comfortable. It's going to be a long day.
There were so many more things I learned than just these five but these are the ones most worth noting. Maybe if this blog post is well received, I'll write another one. And if you're an author who wants to sell at a convention and haven't, you should try. You won't know what will happen until you do. And if you have any questions or want any advice, feel free to reach out. I'm always happy to share whatever knowledge I have and help someone out!
A short post for you today. I wanted to let you know that I've dropped a small teaser segment of a story from my upcoming blog series Chiller Chronicles over on Patreon. The only way to read it first is to become a patron. If you want to read things like this before anyone else, please consider supporting me on Patreon. Not only do you get first looks such as this teaser but you also get free ebooks, signed copies, handwritten letters, and so much more! Be the first to read my Chiller Chronicles, coming this October. Click here to become a patron!
There's been a major update to my Patreon page and the rewards are better than ever. Not only have I changed the name of the tiers, to clever titles I might add, but I've added some rewards you're really not going to want to miss out on.
Why support me on Patreon, you might ask? Well, besides the cool rewards and exclusive content you get access to, you'll also be helping me pay for marketing, cover designs, formatting, editing, and other services. That way, I have more time to focus on writing! But what are these rewards I keep speaking of?
There's a lot going on over on Patreon and you can be a part of it! Don't miss out on these cool perks and support me in the process. Your support means the world to me and I can't do it without you. Thanks for reading and, if you do decide to become a patron, a special thank you to you!
See the gallery below for the reward tier names. I'm proud of them and the design!
As you may be aware of by now, I have a new blog series coming out this year titled Chiller Chronicles. If not, here's a quick recap. Unsolved murders, unexplained mysteries, and true encounters. Told in a fiction style, these stories are anything but. Basically, fictionalized short stories based on true life events and encounters. It's going to be a lot of fun.
But let's get to the update bit. I don't have an exact release date for you just yet. However, I do know about when it will be coming out. And it couldn't be more appropriate. Any guesses? If you guessed October, you're correct.
That's right, the month dedicated to all things spooky will be the time my horror series is released. Seems fitting, if I do say so myself. As I get more details, I will let you know a more specific time. Until then, I hope you're looking forward to the new series!
I am a self-published horror/thriller author. I love reading, writing, and taking long walks through scary parts of the forest. I'm learning new tricks everyday to become a better author and occasionally will share those tips with you. Otherwise, you can read book reviews, info about my writing, and personal stories about my adventures in nature.