Category Archives: News

Ninja Penguin Comic — Oh, Yeah. Ninja Penguins do Exist!

We are working on a side project that has grown to be something fairly large. At first, it was to be a somewhat simple iPhone multiple choice game, but it has now grown to a less-than-simple game and a paperback to boot.

Our hero, the penguin learned his ninja skills while studying under Master Namakemono (a sloth) in Okinawa. But, being a penguin, he had to leave for cooler grounds and before his training was complete. Master Namakemono gives him the final task of traveling all 47 prefectures of Japan. If he reaches Hokkaido, he will become a master ninja penguin.

Here are two over-the-top cartoons I did that will be included in both the game and paperback. The language may change and it probably is too silly, but that is the style of the book:

comic4

These two will bookend the sections for Mie and Shiga prefectures–both of which are historically rich with ninja clans.

comic7

We are having a lot of fun with this project. More comics and information to come…

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Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter Audiobook on Audible!

Tanaka and the Yakzua’s Daughter, the Audiobook

My partner and I still do not have the novel ready, but here is the short story that started (or is starting) it all.

The bullet tore flesh from his left shoulder. Akira Tanaka yelped in pain but quickly regained his focus. He had been shot before and knew he would be shot again if he didn’t keep quiet. He took a moment to control his breathing and glance at the bloody wound. It was a lucky shot; he had been out of their line of sight.

Tanaka’s daughter has been kidnapped. He must face a group of determined yakuza to save her. This fast-paced 7,500 word story is the first in a series of thrilling adventures featuring Tanaka.

“Well written and puts you into the action right away.” – Larry LaVoie, author of Leap of Faith and other suspense/thriller/mystery novels.

Click here for the ebook version at Amazon.com and at BN.com. And here is the new Audible book link.

The Temporal Novel Fourth Draft

“Mr. McGregor, I’m Agent Hearn and this is Agent Gally. Please have a seat.”

McGregor sat down and took a sip from the still hot coffee the secretary had brought him earlier. He was wearing sweatpants and an old T-shirt. His hair looked like it had never met a comb; by the stubble on his chin, it seemed he was still improving on the five o’clock shadow from the day before.

“I’m very sorry for my appearance,” McGregor said by way of introduction. “But I think you will understand why I didn’t waste any time changing my clothes when you hear what I have to say.” A theatrically nervous hand finger-combed his hair into place.

“Our associate downstairs said you have some information regarding the bombing in New Orleans. Is that correct?”

“Yes sir, but I think there are other bombs and that the one in New Orleans went off prematurely.” McGregor smiled inwardly as he noticed the two agents looking at each other with obvious surprise.

This is the bad guy leading a few good guys astray from Chapter 29 of forthcoming The Temporal.

I’m hoping to finish the current draft and print a copy from Create Space by Sunday. I may go ahead and release it to Kindle also on Sunday. I’m sure I’ll find a ton of mistakes when the printed book arrives later in the week, but I feel like it has been well edited already.

I hope to resume my weekly reports once this and the Tanaka novel (Sons of Redemption) begin selling–perhaps after another month. But as a quick catchup, Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter short story sold about 10 copies last month. Not exactly exciting, but considering we still don’t have the novel out, I’m not too upset. I was hoping Two Tocks before Midnight would do better, but it only sold a few copies.

Two Tocks Before Midnight eBook Cover

I’m about to release a 9,500 word novelette. It will also include the 500 word The Handkerchief (click to read here).

Here is the cover:

Here is my tentative product description:

 

TWO TOCKS BEFORE MIDNIGHT

The Strange Affair of October 24th, 1859

A flurry of forgeries appear in museums and among collectors. The members of the Agora, a society dedicated to the betterment of man, have taken it upon themselves to stop the rogues.

But among the forgers, there is a murderer.

I have never been fond of sentimental ramblings so I will keep this short.  Indeed, if not for the insistence of my friends, I would just as soon let the matter slip away with the sands of time.  But repeated pleas from the curious and the morbid compel me to share with you the strange affair of October 24th, 1859.

Nearly forty years after the incident, Carl Brooke recalls his part in unravelling a mystery that was for decades left unresolved.

A member of the Agora Society goes missing only to reappear months later with a stranger and an ancient parchment. The scroll is thought to be the lost Book of Jasher and dated 9th century B.C.

The Paleo-Hebrew was consistent; the gevil sheepskin scroll was as one would expect. It seemed authentic.

Then I saw something that would lead to the death of three souls…

On the night of October 24th, 1859, death, lies, and jealousies abound. Only one man, Carl Brooke, has the knowledge and expertise to stop the murderer. But will he succeed?

Something about Free Ebooks… and a Tanaka Cover

As I mentioned in the previous post, Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter was free for about two weeks. During that time, a little over 4,000 copies were downloaded. I was thrilled.  Then, the downloads slowed to a trickle so I decided to make it a .99 ebook again. (If you would like a free copy, just ask. I won’t bite, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.) Once the novel comes out, the plan is to make it free again whether through KDP Select or through Smashwords again.

But the week or two it was free has really helped sales.  Instead of 1-2 sales a month (ouch), I’m getting 1-3 sales a day.  I’m anxious to see what we can do when the novel comes out.

Speaking of which, here is the tentative cover and title:

Any thoughts or comments would be most appreciated.

CJ

Update on Tanaka Short Story and Upcoming Novel

The novel is in the final editing, smoothing out stage. We are still hoping for a January 15th-ish release.

The Short Story became free on Amazon about a month ago. It immediately shot up to #117 in all Free ebooks. Then, it dropped and dropped.

Around #2,000 I decided to try to make it not free (.99). My idea is, I can make it free again once the novel is out. The short story will have a link for readers to click on their Kindles to check out the novel after reading the short story. And if it works like before, I may get a boost in downloads and that may help with sales of the novel (probably priced at $2.99).

KDP Select is an option and would make it easier to make it free (for five days). But I suspect most people who “borrow” books will get the expensive ebooks ($9.99 and above) and buy the cheap ones. We’ll see…

Sales Report: Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter Kindle eBook

As I mentioned in my first post, I plan to be as open as I can about how my efforts help or hurt sales.  Here is the report for the first 24 hours “selling” Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter as a freebie.

Joe Lemont (a proper introduction is forthcoming) and I have been working hard on the Tanaka novel.   I had wanted the short story to be free as a way to gain readership and hopefully a few sales of the novel.  I learned the best way to make an ebook free on Amazon was to set the price to $0 on Smashwords and then report to Amazon that iBookstore or BN.com or whatever has it for a cheaper price ($0).  I also heard it could take weeks or even months for this change to take place.  Not wanting to miss our target launch date of December 15th (we’ll probably have to extend this unfortunately…), I started the process a few weeks ago.

Yesterday morning, I checked sales and saw my normal (non-fiction) titles selling one here, two there.  But there at the bottom, I saw: Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter – 180. 

Ecstatic, I jumped to the Amazon product page and saw the beautiful $0 where .99 had been the day before.  Then I jumped back to the KDP sales page and refreshed.  Two new “sales”! 

Here are the details:

The short story currently ranks in:

#149 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store) [it peaked at #134]
#3 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Short Stories  [this is the best rank]
#23 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers [this is the best rank]

Over the past 24 hours, there have been 1,022 downloads.  It appears right now you need about 1000 downloads a day to reach around #150 ranking for all free ebooks. 

My next moves: Finish the novel; upload the novel; update the short story to include a direct link to the novel (I’ll post how to do that soon); market both ebooks

Now, I have a question:

Do you have any idea why my ebook went from #2,369 (when I first spotted it) to #134 overall?  Surely, not every ebook made free does this?  Or is that the norm for the first day and I should expect it to drop to the netherworld tomorrow?

And secondly, would you be interested in reading some (or all) of the novel and give us your input?  If so, please contact me.

Updates: Tanaka and a New House

I haven’t made much progress on the novel for the past three weeks.  The reason: we are considering buying a second house as an investment.  In addition, August is the busiest for my day-job.  If we buy the house, it will take a lot of work to get it in good shape.  I should know this week and then get back to finishing that novel!

Despite my laziness, I had a Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter sale at BN.com yesterday. And although I have forgotten the sales beyond the past week or so, I remember I had one sale at Amazon Germany and one at Smashwords recently.

More to come soon, I hope.

Facebook Author Page

A friend helped create a Facebook Author Page:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/CJ-Martin/216643128363008  (Being something of an introvert, I don’t like facebook, but I’ll give it a shot!)

Two Short Stories

I’m waiting a bit longer before releasing the first short story.

I am hoping to hear from the proofreader and a friend soon with any suggestions for improvements.  Since this is my maiden voyage within the world of fiction-for-sale, I want it to be more or less perfect–more, if possible.

I may release two short stories next week.  And they couldn’t be more different.

The first one is called, “Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter.”  The title feels a little generic and it may change, but it captures the three (really four) themes in the story well.  This story is a little violent (will post snippets probably in the next post), but it is otherwise PG or PG-13.  The feel is similar to the television show, 24.

The other story concerns rats and a guy named George–yes, it really is that exciting.  This one is a little Kafka-esque full of twists and we aren’t really sure of what’s real until the end.  Again, more on this later.