Tag Archive | book release

Halloween Food Ideas – the Party that isn’t Happening

Guacamole vomiting pumpkin

Guacamole vomiting pumpkin

One of my favorite holidays is Halloween. I’ve been waiting for my kids to get old enough to finally throw a real party. You know, the spooky kind where I transform the entire downstairs of the house into a dark nightmare with great themed music and put out crazy food. Playing a scary movie like The Purge or The Exorcist in the background. Where they can dress up and be creative. I’ve been collecting Pinterest ideas all year long and now I’m ready.

But, you know who isn’t ready? MY KIDS! My pre-teens have decided that it’s “not cool” and they don’t want me to throw a party. I’m stunned. Disappointed. Bummed. Crushed. You name it. One of the greatest joys of parenthood is the opportunity to act like a kid again. Trust me, when they wanted to play with Barbies, I was all in! When they wanted a tea party, I sat on that little chair and sipped water out of plastic cups and pretended to eat fake cake. When they wanted to play legos for hours, the real geek in me showed up and I eagerly sat on the floor with them.

beef jerky scabs

beef jerky scabs

But now this? No Halloween party? Sadly, this year, I guess not. But, for those of you who are interested, here is the link to the Pinterest Halloween Food ideas if you’re in need of your own great, disgusting and/or fun ideas. The meatloaf baby, the vomiting pumpkin, Jell-O worms made with straws and the bowl of beef jerky scabs are some of my favorites. Oooh, don’t forget using Nori sushi strips for Zombie skin, too! http://www.pinterest.com/elysesalpeter/halloween-themed-food-ideas/

So, to curb my disappointment, I’ve decided instead to decorate the entire front of my house. We do this every year and the kids “don’t seem to mind.” But, since they’re not letting me have a party, I think I’m going to take it to the next level and add some really cool sound and mist machines and really go all out. Ha! And they think they can stop me!

For those of you who love Halloween, keep your eyes out for my new horror tale, THE MANNEQUINS, which will be out this month. It’s about a film crew that gets stuck in an abandoned house and become prisoners in an alternate reality run by a madman I call the Preacher. The Mannequins Final This is a pretty cool cover and I think my cover artist did a really great job!

So, what are YOU doing for Halloween this year? I’d love to hear and live vicariously through you. My hope is that next year the kids think it will be “cooler” and then I can really party. Until then, eat lots of chocolate, scare a few kids (though not the cute little three year old princesses) and have a safe holiday!

Should You Ever Change Your Book’s Cover?

This is a very difficult question for authors, and for me specifically. I have no design eye. It’s why every wall in my house is painted “cream” or “off white” and our style of decoration is a touch above IKEA. To put some color in the house, I simply chose to add artwork, knick knacks and area rugs from the “fall hue family.” Meaning, if it’s an autumn gold, a deep green, a navy, a rustic red, or a mustard I’ve used it and hoped it all sort of meshed together.

So, when I am posed with creating a cover for my books, I’m clueless. My first published novel, FLYING TO THE LIGHT, was published by Cool Well Press. This was the cover they made for my novel about a young deaf boy who knows about the afterlife and now people are after him for the answer. It was dark, really just a few muted colors, but we loved the image of the little boy looking towards the light and the wonderful birds in the background. flyingwebresize

When that publishing company closed, I was given the book back. It was agented, but he couldn’t sell it. He suggested I change the cover and self publish it to get it back out to market. I sought out LLPix Photography and here’s what we came up with. We wanted something brighter… and to scream thriller, to show the relationship in the book between the two brothers and not just have it be about the little boy. And, to show that this book is still dark. I think the mood she created was really nice and spoke to that.
Flying to the light FINAL

I had polled a lot of readers on Facebook as to which cover they liked better. It was a very mixed review. Some folks who have already read book #1 liked that first cover, though they did feel it may have been too “religious looking.” Many new readers felt Cover #2 had a much better vibe.

My problem is that I always want too much in a cover – the entire kitchen sink, so it’s important, for me, to seek out a professional who can scale me back. But, the going consensus in the industry is that your cover is EXTREMELY important. It is the first thing a potential reader sees and if you can’t grab them immediately, you’ve already lost them. If the book isn’t selling, and you are certain it’s a good book, it doesn’t hurt to try a new cover.

So, which cover do you like? Would you pick up the blue cover or the dark cover if you saw both sitting on the shelf?

And for those interested in purchasing the novel, here is the link: http://amzn.to/1h3u6ZB
Book #2 in the series is going to be called FLYING TO THE FIRE and it’s with beta readers right now. Then back to an editor, a proofer and it will be in your hands. If you would like to get on my mailing list for announcements about new releases, please do so here (fyi – I will never give out my list to anyone or sell your name to anyone). http://www.elysesalpeter.com/contact.html

Of course, before I do anything for book #2, I first have to make the cover! Don’t get me started on what I want in THIS one!

Book Trailer for THE HUNT FOR XANADU … launching Dec 20th!

The Hunt for XanaduWe are nearing the December 20th launch for THE HUNT FOR XANADU. So excited to present my book trailer, made for me by the very talented Laura LaRoche from LLPix Photography/BZ Hercules.

“A girl, the Buddhist devil and a mystical world, tying them all together in ways unimaginable…”

Want to chat about THE HUNT FOR XANADU on Twitter? Include this hashtag in your tweet and I’ll respond: #huntforxanadu

You can also reach me on twitter at @elysesalpeter

Lastly, feel free to come on over to my newly revamped web page at http://www.elysesalpeter.com (still a work in progress but I’m learning) and follow me on FB at http://www.facebook.com/elysesalpeterauthor for updates.

Love to hear what you think of the trailer… exciting? Spooky? First impressions? Thanks so much!

Freebies – Oh, how times have changed….

The World of Karov

The World of Karov

Think back to twenty years ago. Do you remember famous authors ever giving away their books for free? I remember them occasionally writing an original short story for a magazine and it blew me away when they’d do that. I always felt like I was getting something quite special. But times have changed. The Freebie is now the norm and even famous authors are jumping on this bandwagon… You see freebie short stories on their sites, chapters of their upcoming books on their newsletters, free contests and give-aways… The question is, why?

Is it because we’re all just trying to build fan bases? Trying to eek through the clutter of the millions of books out there? Is it because the big publishing houses are making it even more difficult for new authors to make a splash in the literary world? Is it because literary agents are taking on less and less clients? I think it’s all of the above.

I love the idea of getting my new book release in the hands of readers who may never get a chance to know me because I personally don’t have $10,000+ dollars to advertise like the big houses would. What’s disappointing though is that nowadays the dream of making a living as a writer has dwindled, especially when the majority of our “sales” are “free.” I’ve heard of authors whose promotions were so successful they gave away books in the thousands. I’m not talking 1,000, or 5,000, or 45,000, but over 100,000 free copies of their novel. And these are excellent books that twenty years ago readers would have happily shelled out $25 for a hard copy and $6.99 for a soft cover paperback had it been backed by a big house. Can you imagine a publishing house’s reaction to a 100,000 book download in a single weekend? If an indie can generate that kind of success, no wonder they’re scared. How do the big houses compete and get people to pay for their books if we’re willing to give ours away for free? It’s a catch-22. Of course, we’re doing this to generate fans so that they hopefully come back and purchase our other books. Other books we’re still selling for only $2.99 or $3.99 max.

So, that said, I’m jumping in and doing another freebie (Oct 10 – Oct 13) of Book #1 in my epic Dark Fantasy series. It’s called THE WORLD OF KAROV and I’ve gotten 20 wonderful reviews and I have Book #2 in the series, THE RUBY AMULET, launching in November.

Please come on over to my author page at http://www.facebook.com/elysesalpeterauthor for updates and follow me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/elysesalpeter. And if you do download the book, I’d love it if you could give it a review on Amazon and Goodreads. The most valuable gift a reader can give a writer, besides purchasing and reading their book, is to write a review or share the book with others. You have no idea how helpful it is. It helps with analytics, google searches and enables the author to get on specific websites because their books have a certain number of reviews.

So thank you, I hope you come over and get your copy. 10/10 – 10/13 on Amazon! Here’s the trailer to learn more about it:

FLYING TO THE FIRE… it’s coming March 2013!

Well, I’m starting to get excited. FLYING TO THE LIGHT, my first YA novel with Cool Well Press, has been out for over a year and I’ve had such a great response to it. I’ve been able to visit a bunch of schools, did some library chats and was hosted on a bunch of different websites and blogs. It’s been a lot of fun.

the world of karov AaThen, I decided to self publish my dark fantasy tale, THE WORLD OF KAROV. Hey, it’s been sitting in my computer for years, the sequel is also written, so why not? I figured it would force me to really immerse myself in social media and the experience has been great. I did a free promo of the book and over 450 people downloaded it! It was very exciting.

But, the newest news is the March 2013 release of my upcoming thriller, FLYING TO THE FIRE. It is the sequel to FLYING TO THE LIGHT and takes our main character, Danny Anderson, who was only 6 in the first book, and now he’s 13. Here’s the teaser and blurb:

One looks up… and the other looks down…
An evil black mass is attacking Danny Anderson in his dreams and in his waking life. Attacks so vicious that if it weren’t for his birds, he would have died. Danny soon realizes that this monster is not coming for him, but for his little sister-because while he can see up to the place of light and peace, Katie can see down into the realm of darkness and cruelty. Danny must fight to save Katie before the creature steals her away… and she is lost to him forever.

Yep, there’s now a little sister. But don’t worry, Michael, Gary and Maddy are there too… along with a few surprises! FLYING TO THE LIGHT
If you’d like to read FLYING TO THE LIGHT, please feel free to get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Flying-to-the-Light-ebook/dp/B00666JMOM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360790495&sr=8-2&keywords=flying+to+the+light

Thanks everyone! Happy Reading!