Tag Archives: business

Guest Post and Author In The House–Jon Thomason with Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud

21 Mar

max tour

Today I have author Jon Thomason stopping by with his newest release Max Zylander and the Island of Zumurrud. Aside from the book presentation, a short bio of Jon’s and a guest post regarding self-publishing there is a $50 gift card rafflecopter associated with his book tour. For your chance to win it please click here.

Max has anger management issues. But she has a secret, too. She can make things happen. Like magic. She almost killed a loser skate punk and nearly used it on her stuck up older sister. The question is, can she do anything other than blow things up? Can she learn to control it? And is it really possible that an obscure teenage girl is the key to keeping all of humanity safe?
Philip just got his ring back. He got it taken away for messing with his teacher’s mind so he can cheat on a test. Now that he has his ring, he thinks he should be able to use his power to make his life better. A lot better. The problem is that people want him to be responsible. But if you could do magic, wouldn’t you use it to escape work in any way possible?
Aaron wants to be a soldier. He knows there are lots of people who would try to take over, and he’s determined to stop them. The problem is that there’s this new girl. And she might be not be on the right side of things. She’s really talented and pretty, but she might be able to destroy everything he believes in. Whatever the case, he knows he needs to learn to be world class with the magic sword while he figures out what to do.
Brynn never gets out. Her grandfather won’t permit it. Her only access to the outside world are high fashion magazines, so she has an unusual idea what she should wear. She’s dying to get out and travel. And adopt animals. Any kind of animal. Is she a lonely future granny with cats or are her ridiculous clothes actually the next fashion craze? What possible role could she play in the destiny of the world?
Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud is a fast-paced fantasy adventure for all ages (10 and up)  and is the first of a planned trilogy. Fans of magic, swordplay, secret agents, and conspiracies set in a modern everyday world will not be able to put the book down. Jon Thomason is a debut author and paints a vivid world of magic right under our noses and delivers rapid-fire action that keeps the pages turning.

Author Jon Thomason

Jon Thomason lives with his family in San Diego, after many years living in the beautiful Seattle area. He has a successful career in high tech where he’s been fortunate enough to participate in many big-name industry releases.

Storytelling permeates everything he does. In the moments when Jon is not helping build the story of the tech world, he can almost always be found working on a project: writing, photography, videography, graphics design, or 3D art.

And he’s always careful to conceal his jinni magic abilities, though perhaps might slip one day and be discovered…

And now to the guest post regarding the self-publishing process.

Jon, the stage is your!

Hello Readers, my name is Jon Thomason and I’m the author of Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud.

Once upon a time (not that long ago!), a budding novelist toiled away on a manuscript, and when it was finished, sent query letters in the postal mail to agents and publishers, dreaming of someone not saying no and who wanted to read your manuscript. Once in awhile, often after much perseverance, it worked. An agent took you own or a publisher decided they had to have it. A deal was signed, and after a year or sometimes two or three, the book would show up on store shelves, and hopefully sold.
Self-publishing and particularly electronic books turned this process for many people on its head. The writer still toils over the manuscript, but instead of sending off query letters and the manuscript, the writer decides to publish it themselves. Nirvana, right? As you’ve already deduced, not exactly. Sure, there are some advantages: no one will tell you that you can’t publish it, but if you think that the second you push the publish button on Amazon.com that suddenly the world will flock to your book, you might be in for a rude awakening from that pleasant fantasy.
Let’s back up a few steps, though. Unlike working with a publisher, when you self-publish, you are responsible for several things: a camera-ready book, cover art, and your own marketing.
Producing a camera-ready book is more difficult than you might think. First, editing and proofreading are virtually impossible to do by yourself. Trust me, you really need someone else to criticize your book. It will hurt your feelings and you may even hate your editor (briefly, hopefully), but it will improve your book. And I guarantee that you cannot proofread your own book. You will not find all the typos in your own work. Depending on your available resources, you should consider hiring an editor and a proofreader. Remember: there’s no publisher and editor backstopping you. What you push publish on will go up, spelling errors, bad grammar, and all!
Designing covers can be very difficult. Some people have the graphics arts experience to do their own covers. If you do, kudos, and get to work! But even for them, it’s a time consuming piece of artwork. It does matter what your cover looks like. Again, you may need to pay for an artist to do a cover for you. Do your homework and know what aspect ratio (mine is 6″x9″) your cover is. You’re best off if you have a concept to pitch to the artist. But even if you don’t, you can hire someone to help come up with concepts. Remember that people do judge books by their covers, no matter what the aphorism says.
Finally, marketing. You’ve come up with the ultimate concept, have edited and proofread and have the perfectly crafted novel. You even have the best cover known to man. You upload your book, Amazon says, “congratulations!” And then you let it go a day or a week, and you’re surprised that there are no sales. Or maybe your Aunt Mabel took pity on you and you have one sale. I believe that a self-published author has to spend even more time promoting than they do writing. There are a dozens of things you can do, but mostly be creative, and try things nearly every day to get the word out there.
Selling on Amazon itself is a bit of a catch-22. You won’t sell until you have lots of sales. User reviews are key. Give away books to everyone you know and beg them to write a review. Do a giveaway on Goodreads.com. Approach every blogger who will answer you. Do ads on facebook and promoted posts. Do giveaways, give prizes for hitting milestones like numbers of reviews posted or referrals. Give the book to local book clubs. Talk to librarians. In short, do anything you can think of to get your book out there! Your free giveaway days on Amazon.com are valuable tools to getting your book out there.
And don’t forget to keep writing. The only way to make money self-publishing is to have an entire catalog of books. When someone reads one of your books, if they like it, they might read all of yours. With this model, whatever marketing you did to get them to read one book essentially sells all your books at once!
Unfortunately, all this marketing costs money. This is the price of entry to self-publishing. Note that it’s self-publishing, meaning that you need to do the same things the publisher would do for you. You need to sell, sell, sell, and write, write, write!
Thanks for listening, and I wish you all the best in your writing and reading, and I’d like to introduce my novel, Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud to you.
Jon Thomason 


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New York, New York–here I come!

8 Oct

Over the next few days I’ll be visiting New York. I’m so excited! I’ll be there with two of my dear friends authors Cindy C Bennett and Sherry Gammon to discuss business: the next best-seller, the next venture, the next cover, hero, plot. But not only that. We’ll roam the streets, eat delicious foods, see The Lion King musical, and of course, the mandatory shopping.

I promise to bring photos. Until then you all have a lovely week and don’t forget to smile–life is so darn good :)))))