Thursday, November 2, 2017

Market saturation? Nonsense...Build your own tribe separate from Facebook

The writing studio in Florence where I'm currently eating, drinking, writing...
One of my best writing buddies posted on Facebook this morning about his having to burn through two years to get the rights back to one of his novels from a rather prominent publisher. Said publisher wasn't doing dick to promote the book so my bud figured (wisely) he could do a much better job of it on his own.

Go figure.

Someone in the comments mentioned the terrible saturation situation that has afflicted the fiction market (and non-fiction market, I suppose). I guess something like 1.5 million books are being published per year, indie and traditional books combined. Is that possible? Or did I dream that stat?

Whatever the case, I don't consider myself competing against 1.5 million books or a million other authors both dead and alive or those about to be born. I write, for the most part in a specific genre that sees far fewer than 1.5 mil books being published each year. I'm talking noir, hard-boiled mystery, and psychological suspense. I'm also publishing erotic noir/suspense these days (Don't tell my mother). Being that publishing isn't a zero sum game, I consider my true competition to be myself. Sort of like a marathon runner who is always trying to best the completion time of his last race.

Here's how I'm bettering myself every year and improving my chances of success.
1. I'm writing more books per year than ever (and in turn writing less journalism)
2. I've hired a professional marketing team to set up ads and provide Book Bub like promos once every couple of months (right now this "growth" program is costing me a lot of money but in the long run...it's a marathon remember...this will pay off)
3. I'm building up my subscriber list to the tune of 10-15 new readers per day (in general, every time I send out a newsletter, I lose about 10 of these subscribers, leaving me with an excellent positive net return). No longer do I rely on asking my 9K friends and fans on FB to "Buy my shit!"
4. I've hired a brand new literary agent who has a killer reputation and who will most definitely land me more traditional deals, foreign deals, and multi media deals to compliment my indie publishing.
5. I'm also toying with the idea of taking on a small number of writing students who wish to be coached on both manuscript quality and publishing direction (more on this in 2018)
 6. I've rented a new writing studio/apartment and will no longer be writing "out of the house." I've seen lulls in my career happen before (they happen to all of us), and at least two of those times can be attributed to my working "at home."

This list is by no means comprehensive or complete. In fact, it's a fluid work-in-progress. But in the end, I wouldn't be worried about how many books are being published per year. In fact, bring them on, because one, most of them are pure shit. And two, most of the authors who produce those 1.5 mil books will never ever write another book again when they realize just how difficult it is to sell even a single copy.

Now get to work...

WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM

Get THE REMAINS for just $1.99 for a limited time



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Paddock shot guard six minutes BEFORE he opened up on the crowd...



It was revealed today just how sketchy the information at the Las Vegas MPD's disposal truly is. We learned that instead of intruding upon the shooting and effectively stopping the carnage, hotel security guard Jesus Campos actually arrived on the 32nd floor shooting scene, six minutes prior to the initiation of the massacre which began at 10:05PM.

According to reports, Paddock fired around 200 rounds out into the hall at the unarmed Campos, who was checking an open door (not the door to Paddock's room), wounding him in the leg. Campos reported the situation to his people and no one was able to come to his aid, nor stop Paddock's killing spree which lasted until 10:15PM or so.



So, let me get this straight. Paddock shoots Jesus Campos in the leg at 9:59PM, then has six minutes to screw around, positioning his guns, drilling holes in the wall, setting up steel plates in areas of the stairwell, calculating complicated rifle trajectory information on a notepad (something that would challenge the most experienced of militarily trained snipers), and just generally psych himself up for a whole lot of killing. On top of six minutes, he's got another full ten minutes to unleash nearly 2K rounds into the country music crowd. But police still don't converge on the room until many minutes later when they find Paddock on the floor, his brains staining the carpet. 

Listen, I stay at a lot of hotels over the course of a year, and I can order a beer or a bottle of wine and have it delivered to my top floor room within the span of six minutes, plus or minus. Why then did it take so long for security and police to converge upon an active shooter situation?

One hotel guest who was also staying on the 32nd floor, tweeted out that he was pretty sure a terrorist event just happened right next to him. What's for sure is that a terrorist event occurred. Since we still have no CCTV footage of Paddock, nor have a true indication of who he was, or how he was able to amass an armory inside the hotel over the course of nearly a week and not be a person of suspicion, we really don't know what to believe. We have only what the media and the LVMPD is feeding us, and a call for more stringent gun control, and even a call for a ban in some circles.

It's been a week since 59 souls were killed in Las Vegas and we're no closer to the truth than we were on the night of the killing spree.

WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM

 Grab the first novel in the brand new Steve Jobz Thriller series, THE EMBALMER!

   

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Stephen Paddock blew his brains out then placed the gun two feet away...


WARNING: GRAPHIC MATERIAL!


The laws of physics dictate that when a man (or women) shoves the business end of a fully loaded firearm--in this case a high caliber revolver--up their pie hole then presses the trigger, the human body will collapse under its own sudden dead weight. The firearm in question will simply drop onto the pile of lifeless flesh, bone, and blood. For the suicide victim, life will cease to exist, sort of like turning the lights out in a windowless room.




In this newly "leaked" (there's that word again) photo, Stephen Paddock, the man presently accused of shooting to death 58 innocent souls and wounding more than 500 more at country music concert in Las Vegas this past Sunday night, is lying on his back, the victim of an apparent gunshot wound to the head (judging by the wound it looks like he ate the piece). Yet, not only is the gun placed more than two feet behind him, there are fresh rounds (caliber not known) lying in his blood pool.

I'm not sure how this could happen, unless someone else was in the room when he killed himself. Or perhaps someone else did the shooting. In my fictional stories, I've concocted situations where a man is shot by a someone else, and then the scene is manipulated to look like a suicide. But this isn't supposed to be fiction. It's supposed to be real life and death.

In this second photo, you can see Paddock lying lifeless on the floor of the hotel room. On the table sits a note and a pen. But the authorities thus far tell us there is no note. Maybe it's a laundry list.



The news of the day is all about gun control while the true identity and motives of Stephen Paddock still elude us. Like John Lennon once sang, "All I want is the truth..."

WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM

Buy the First thrilling and sexy episode of THE HANDYMAN: LUST & LETTERS





Thursday, October 5, 2017

Who is Stephen Paddock? And why won't they tell us?



Like the rest of you, I've been trying to make sense of the horrific massacre that took the lives of 59 souls and wounded many more this past Sunday at a concert outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around how a single late middle-aged man could more or less clandestinely haul a dozen or so long guns up into a 32nd floor room over the course of four days and nights, how he could carry up thousands of rounds of ammo (I own an AR-15 and possess ammo for it, and trust me, this type of hardware isn't light), how he could build shooting platforms up against two designated windows, how food could be delivered to his room, how his maid service didn't get suspicious even if he did refuse it (still sketchy on this topic), how he could set up a camera system to film himself, and more.



I've been paying close attention to the news networks and their reporting, and it seems like all that's being discussed is the weapons used in the mass murder spree, plus these so-called bump stocks which turn a semi-automatic into a fully automatic weapon. Listen, Vegas is apparently one of the most security camera filled destinations on the planet. Where's the CCTV video footage of Paddock parking his car in the garage, or his walking into the hotel with his bags? Where's the footage of him inside his room, or out in the hall, or in the lobby, or in the elevator and stairwell? What kind of info are the FBI uncovering on his laptop?

They say more than one person might have been involved. Who? Now they say he planned his own escape. So why then did he commit suicide? Or was it suicide?

One interesting theory is that this scumbag Paddock might have actually been running guns for one terrorist organization or another, and the whole thing went bad. Right now, Paddock doesn't fit the personality/profile bill as someone who would shoot all those poor people. He was however, a wealthy, professional gambler, so I think he fits the bill as someone who would willingly run guns, for say $100K that would be placed inside a Philippine bank, tax free, which is exactly what happened.



Who is the real Stephen Paddock and why won't the government tell us more? Why has this become less about madmen and/or terrorists bent on mass murder be it guns or bombs or trucks or Tylenol pill bottles, or whatever, than it has for the left (and late night talk show hosts) to call for more gun control? Why would a lawyer who works for CBS feel comfortable coming out and saying she has zero sympathy for the innocents slain since they were probably Trump supporters? Was the mass killing an act of politically motivated terrorism like the shooting spree that occurred on the Washington DC ball fields this past June specifically targeting Republicans and nearly killing Rep. Steve Scalise? Is this Civil War and no one wants to admit it? Or is this just simply the reprehensible act of one evil lone gunman? 

 Not even Paddock's girlfriend seems to know who the real Stephen Paddock is.


What happened Sunday is beyond tragic and my heart bleeds for all the victims, while my soul is heartened by all those courageous individuals who risked life and limb to save others. Kudos to Vegas Law Enforcement who willingly ran into the line of fire. I will always stand tall for you.

But who is Stephen Paddock and why won't the FBI tell us everything we deserve to know?

WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM

Grab the brand new Chase Baker adventure, CHASE BAKER AND THE SPEAR OF DESTINY

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Chase Baker is back in the thick of it...








I can still recall walking the narrow back streets and cobbled roads of Florence, Italy, racking my brain to come up with an action & adventure character who possessed all the humanness and fearlessness of Indiana Jones, but who also enjoyed the ladies, more in the vein of The Most Interesting Man in the World, as seen in the old Dos Equis commercials (one interesting factoid is my having spent an afternoon in Florence with the sister of the man who invented The Most Interesting Man in the World ad campaign).

I wanted the series to be different from my usual noir titles which are often seen as, well a bit dark, and I also wanted the series to remain fiercely independent, just like Chase himself. In other words, other than foreign and multi-media rights, I wouldn't be offering the books up to the publishers. Only I would possess the publication rights. Me, my children, and their children, and their children...in other words. 



But it wasn't until I caught a movie on You Tube starring Charleton Heston that Chase Baker came alive for me. It was called the Secret of the Incas, and it featured an adventurer and former pilot who's as tough as nails, irresistible to the ladies (in fact, he's sort of a male prostitute), and a mega treasure hunter. No doubt he was the original inspiration for Indiana Jones with his fedora and leather bomber.

The original novel I came up with remains one of my bestsellers. The Shroud Key. It's controversial in that it deals with the possibility that the mortal remains of Christ actually exist. But it's full of romance, and adventure, and exotic locales. The point of the novels is not only to entertain just like the 1930s, 40s, and 50s cliff hangar serials used to do, but I would also make them real in that I would travel to each and every destination I write about. Thus far my Chase travels have taken me to the Sahara, the Amazon, India, Nepal, Egypt, Israel, Africa, China, Russia, and many more special locales. Since I plan on writing many more Chase Bakers (the Young Chase Baker series will be launched early next year), I will no doubt, be flying to many more exotic spots on the planet.

Chase Bake and the Spear of Destiny took both on-site research and some library study. The spear that pierced Christ's side during the crucifixion and that released the holy blood and the water that would become the basis for the holy sacrament of communion in the Roman Catholic church service has always fascinated me. It's a relic that holds special powers. No wonder the Nazis wanted it so badly during WWII. Now a band of Neo-Nazis who wish to oversee the construction of a Fourth Reich want to get their hands on it again. But the only way they can manage it is to kidnap the Pope. Can Chase stop them?

Find out for yourself ...

Grab up Chase Baker and the Spear of Destiny and be thrilled...

WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM


   

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Summer 2017


Summer, 2017

Begins with Central America.
Food poisoning, blood oozing from places nature and God never intended.
TMI
Caves drowned in frigid crystal clear water, dead bodies hundreds of years old, and I'm shivering.
Tall temples devoted to the Gods, but I see aliens landing here. Everyone laughs.

Hiking in the Adirondacks.
It's a nice, warm reunion for she and me.

Back home. Reality. The daily grind.
Up early to write. 1200 to 2000 words per day.
New words.

Book sales steady. Not bad. Not great.
The valley after the peak. The cycles of life.
Making a living. No complaints.
I carry on with that negative capability they pretended to teach you in writing school.

A best friend from grade school stricken with cancer. Another good friend in NYC now fighting stage 4 lung cancer. My own lung cancer scare of a few months back proved to be just that.
I refused anymore tests.
 
It rains, and rains, and rains.
Missiles and Nuke tests in NOKO by a laughable clown of a kid.
ANTIFA smashing windows and breaking heads.
History wiped out by lefties, ISIS style.
Right wing creeps.
Civil war.

We lose Sam Shepard
I lose Sam Shepard.

Find solace in my Jeep, trout streams and lakes.
Daily two hour workouts.
My feet hurt. Feel hobbled. 
Lanies Bar.

Two kids grown up, one going back to school. One about to enter Junior High.
The time she flies.

Two father figures die unexpectedly. It upsets the balance, even if the passings are a part of that great cycle of life. Hallmark bullshit.
Other things dying.
The summer being one of them.
The summer that never was.

The cool weather arrives early.
Cold mornings, even colder nights.
Cold stares, one from the other.

Still the writing gets done.


WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM

Friday, August 25, 2017

Michael Schein's Inc. Mag publishing article is fake news

Michael Schein


This is not to shine a poor light on Inc. Magazine's Michael Schein (haha). It's merely to point out how his recent article, Why Self-Publishing Is A Terrible Idea (Here's What You Should Do Instead), is not only misguided, but sort of dangerous considering half the title is devoted to dishing out advice to would-be writers. 

Normally, I'm so busy with the daily word count, that I don't have time to respond to articles like these. After all, everyone is entitled to an opinion and we're still sort of a free country. But I actually wrote a comment and attempted to post it in the comments section of the piece, but Inc. is one of those online mags that makes you sign up or take out a subscription in order to leave a comment, so my words got lost in the ether that is the internet. 

Read the article, and you'll see why I think it's way off base if not fake news. But if I were to focus on one important aspect of the piece, it would be this. Mr. Schein speaks of the advances major publishers dole out which are supposed to help a writer really make his or her manuscript shine. This is hilarious considering the average advance these days is about $5K and even then you get maybe $2K up front. That pays for maybe a couple of weeks worth of time away from the salt mine or where ever a traditionally published author must find work these days. 

He also states that having Simon & Schuster or some other big publishing house printed on the spine will add a certain cred to the publication. Sure, I get that. Everyone wants validation, especially in this business. But Dear Mr. Schein, no one gives a shit who publishes the book, the reader only wants a good story or their needs fulfilled (as in the case of nonfiction). I've got a bunch of books with major publisher monikers on the spine and they don't do nearly as well as the books that bear the moniker of my personal indie publishing company, Bear Media.

As a hybrid author, I am now no longer at the mercy of a big publisher. Up until recently, I relied on big advances to pay my way. If I didn't get an advance, I was in trouble for the year. It's a hell of way to live, let me tell you. It's the life of a slave, or an indentured servant at base. You see, a major publisher can make or break a book. If it wants to propel it to the top of the lists, it can. But if it gets bored with a title, or the marketing team doesn't like the title, or if there's a major staff shift at the publishing house prior to publication (this has happened to me twice and in both instances the novel tanked), the title will be DOA. 

But today authors have a choice. We can publish traditionally or independently (this is not to be confused with vanity publishing which is criminal). Or, like me, we can do both. Used to be I would put out a story or a short novel via Amazon KDP and it was sort of a fun sideline that made me a few bucks per month. I was more of a traditionalist back then. But now things have been reversed. Traditional publishing has become more of the sideline, while the books published under my own label provide me a nice living. 

Come February 2018, I'll have a new hardcover thriller released to the world. Sure, I'll get the reviews, I'll be in the bookstores, I'll do the signings in NYC, and it will all be fun. I might even get a movie deal out of it. As a writer, I will be validated. Hopefully I'll earn out my advance. But like the old days, I won't lose sleep over earning it out. Financially speaking, the books I own all the rights to are doing the heavy lifting. Have I mentioned rights argument yet? I'll save that for another piece.

I imagine Mr. Schein's argument might revolve around the following: It's a terrible idea to self publish a business book. But that's not what it says in the article header. Fake news! But then, we live in an age where lies are considered truths and truths are reviled. 

For an article on why crime authors are going indie click HERE!

WWW.VINCENTZANDRI.COM