Reading Uncategorized

Tyrus Books, Concord Free Press and the Gift of Reading

Gift giving is an important part of this time of year, the Christmas Season, or at least it should be. Yes, we all love receiving gifts replete with mysterious anxiety, orgasmic joy and potential disappointment. It’s a test of our mettle to see just how well we know each other.

Unfortunately for some, many in fact during our current dismal economy, gift giving isn’t as adventurous as we’d like it to be. Pockets aren’t as deep and the savings are pretty bare. So when the opportunity to give, and receive, is available it shouldn’t be squandered.

In my opinion, the best gift you can give someone is the gift of reading. This in and of itself isn’t just about giving books, but giving, passing on, the joy of reading. It can’t be a forced thing, though. Most of 1977 I was indentured to reading because my mother, an avid reader since 4 years old, thought I didn’t read enough. It didn’t take initially, but she did manage to pass the love of reading on.

Anyway, the gift of reading …

Had Tyrus Books not already been my favorite publisher of 2010, giving us books like Seth Harwood‘s YOUNG JUNIUS, Victor Gischler‘s THE DEPUTY and Reed Farrel Coleman‘s INNOCENT MONSTER, the initiative that Ben LeRoy offered pushed Tyrus Books right over the top.

This holiday season you can choose any book from the Tyrus library (if available) and Tyrus Books will send it to a recipient of your choice within the US and Canada. No strings attached. You can read it in full detail at Tyrus Books.

If you ask me, it’s really a great deal. Quality books from Tyrus library sent as a gift and all you’re out is a saw buck, if that.

Scott Phillips, no relation to myself, recently published RUT from Concord Free Press. I’ve been told this a smart, funny and sometimes horrifying book about a dystopian future. It’s gotten some great reviews and it’s on my list to buy.

But wait, you can’t buy RUT at the bookstore or from Amazon, or anywhere at all. You can’t buy RUT. It’s a free book.

Free you ask? Yes, F-R-E-E!

Concord Free Press publishes one title at a time for free. When they’re gone, they’re gone. A catch, you ask? Not really, but yes, Concord Free Press does ask something of you.

From their charity of a free book, they ask that you pass it on. Like that creepy kid from SIXTH SENSE who went on to smoke pot and wreck his care, but is now in college and doing OK. I’m sure he’ll return to acting soon enough.

So, yes, the free book isn’t exactly a free ride. They ask that you take the money, or more, that you would have spent on the book and donate it, pass it on, to a cause or charity of your choosing. When you’re done reading the book, pass that on too.

Give the gift of reading.

General Uncategorized

What the Funk?

Last week I may have mentioned something about an essay contest — one that had an actual prize. It was a spur of the moment thing and now that I think about it it probably could have used a little planning. Just a smidge. Maybe.

Seth Harwood, a San Franciscan crime writer by way of Boston, released his second book, YOUNG JUNIUS, last Monday and called out to his friends to help him rush the Amazon charts. I consider Seth a friend and I’ve been helping him promote his endeavors whenever. Helping him push YOUNG JUNIUS would be no exception, only I already had a copy for myself. Easy solution, I’ll buy a release copy and give it away. Perfect.

Then the wheels started turning. Probably could have used a little grease. I could smell burning from the friction. But the wheels they turned.

I had seen another author give away a copy of his book by getting his fans to write an essay. Twist here is I’m not the writer. I’m just a friend and a fan. So the idea came together that I would get people from my circle of influence to submit an essay on why they deserved a copy of Seth’s new book. They had to post on their blog or publicly and include links to both Seth’s site an the site of the publisher, Tyrus Books.

Crazy thought was this contest would generate enough buzz for Seth and Tyrus Books, through the links from the dozen or so submissions, that maybe both could see a sale or two extra.  A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I had the bird, I was hoping to shake that bush.

Unfortunately there wasn’t a contest. However, there was a winner.

I’m not sure what I did wrong. Was it timing? Do I have absolutely no influence? Maybe I should get that book on influencing enemies? Maybe everyone would would have wanted the book already ordered it? (if so, I’ve got a happening set of friends)

Probably a little bit of everything. I’m a writer and a programmer, not a marketing genius.

Maybe I should have consulted Matthew Funk: a social media consultant, professional marketing copywriter and writing mentor. He’s all that and a bag of chips. Matthew has been around the block as genre editor for FictionDaily and contributor to Spinetingler Magazine, as well as having contributed to just about every crime fiction website.

So Matthew knows his stuff and more than likely knew that a copy of YOUNG JUNIUS is most definitely worth 300 words.

I deserve a copy of Young Junius because I am special, just like Young Junius is—at least Dr. Rubineck told me so, before what happened to him. Dr. Rubineck would know what special is, because he used to always tell me I could trust him. After what Dr. Rubineck did to me, I suspect he was probably a special person too.

Dr. Rubineck was put in charge of special people at my school, not because of how warm his hands were, but because he was a doctor. When I was first sent to him after I broke the globe over Mrs. Beaker’s head, Dr. Rubineck told me that he got into the business of helping special people because he could not stop himself from loving us. I wanted to fit in with someone who loved me, just like Young Junius does, right from the start of the book you should give me. I fit with Dr. Rubineck really good, or so I thought.

I thought a lot of bad things, and even had bad dreams, like Marlene in the book, except that they did not come true on their own—I had to make them come true. For instance, when I had the bad dream about DeShawn kicking me in the stomach, it did not come true until after I hit him in the face. That is why I ate those mice, too. Mr. Rubineck understood. He showed me he did when he made my bad dreams about him come true in those special sessions after school. Later, I made other, worse dreams about him come true.

Young Junius is really a story about a special person making special things come true, just like me, and that is why I deserve a copy. They have me locked up in a place where they make us all wear the same jumpsuit and eat the same thing, so we forget we are special. People need to read stories like Young Junius so they will never forget how special we all are—especially me.

Good stuff Matthew. You are special and you helped me find a home for YOUNG JUNIUS.

Enjoy! And if you have any tips for future contests and challenges, shoot them my way.

Reading Uncategorized

Did you miss Cinco de Junius?

For those who missed it, yesterday was Cinco de Junius. The day where all of Seth Harwood‘s family, friends and fans could become the few and the proud to pre-order a limited edition hardbound, cloth covered, signed and numbered edition of Young Junius from crime publisher Tyrus Books. The story that takes us back to the beginning for a young Junius Ponds in 1980s Boston, the Projects. It’s a hard fast hitting story that makes no apologies. If you’ve read Seth’s freshman release Jack Wakes Up, you’re going to want this.

Use the special code to get $3.00 off: DAMAGE or ZOMBIE

Buy It! –