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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Quid Pro Quo: Beta Reading for Indie Writers

Editors are expensive.

At the same time, having someone edit your work is essential.  We rarely see our own mistakes.  If you doubt that, look back at your former relationships.  Have you ever been in a relationship you thought was perfect but all your friends knew was a disaster?

Maybe that's just me.

My other issue with hiring a private editor is how do you guarantee they know what they are doing?  I've worked as a copy editor and a technical writer. One of the courses I teach is a writing course. I've helped hundreds of students improve their grammar and writing style.  And still I could use an impartial eye.

I am releasing my first novel in a few months. I've already had a two "alpha readers" go through it. The questions they asked and the suggestions they made helped create a book that is much stronger than what I could have done myself.  They saw holes in my plots, weaknesses in my characters and several unanswered questions.

That is why I offer help so many writers.  In the past two months I've gone through approximately 5 novels and 3 short story collections.  I have never asked for money. I never will.  Helping other people improve their work is a win-win for everyone involved:

  1. the author gains an impartial eye to help improve their work
  2. I see ways to improve my own writing
So now a little quid pro quo.  I could use a few more people to look over my novel Council of Peacocks.  For anyone that does so I will beta read one of their novels as well.  In addition, anyone that beta reads this edition will get a free copy of the novel when it is released in April. 

I realize this means I will be beta reading several other novels.  I'm fine with that. The more I read the better writer I become.  I can promise you, as well, your book will be stronger the more feedback you get.  Much better to see the errors before the book is released.

If you are willing to do a little quid pro quo, please contact me at  I will gladly go through your work in exchange for you going through mine.

Lastly, question: if you beta read for other writers why do YOU do it?  If you don't, why not.

Links for Beta Readers:

Monday, January 28, 2013

OCD - Sometimes It Really Sucks

Source: Photo purchased from
Originally posted: Jan 28, 2013. Updated Aug 8, 2014)

I have relatively mild OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I say  relatively mild because I'm nowhere near as bad as the guy in the movie As Good As It Gets.

At least that's what I tell myself. Most of the time it is under control. For the last week it's been crazy.


According to the DSM 5, Obsessions are:
  1. Recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or impulses that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and unwanted, and that in most individuals cause marked anxiety or distress.
  2. The individual attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, urges, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action (i.e., by performing a compulsion).

Compulsions are defined by (1) and (2):

  1. Repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly.
  2. The behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing anxiety or distress, or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent, or are clearly excessive.

Source: Clinical Definition of OCD


Last week Monday I was thinking about promoting my book. I decide I should do a series of webisodes. I became so obsessed with the idea I didn't sleep. I got up and immediately started working on a screenplay. A few hours later I was buying a $3000 camera from Sony. I didn't actually sleep until 11:00 p.m. Tuesday night.

That night, I slept for a few hours when I had another thought about the series. And up I got.  The cycle repeated every night last week. It finally stopped on Sunday night when I slept for 6 hours uninterrupted.

Tonight, as I was finishing some work and getting ready to write, I realized my desk was messy. Five hours later I stopped cleaning. Only later did I realize the reason. I was filled with anxiety. My mother passed away in December. Earlier in the day I received the final closing out notice from the funeral home. I slipped out of survivor mode and, rather than deal with emotions, I succumbed to obsessive compulsive behavior.

When it hits, I knew I should stop. I know what I am doing is counter-productive. My spat of cleaning tonight was at the expense of writing and doing some promotion. But I also knew I would not be able to sleep or think of anything else until the house was spotless.  All my furniture had to be straight. I did 5 loads of laundry. Reorganized the linens in the closet in case any unexpected visitors came by and wanted to look in my linen closet. Because, you know, what sort of thing happens often.

Then I gained control and stopped there. I didn't go clean out the garage or re-arrange the fridge.

But I thought about it.

OCD can overwhelm you. It's more than just being a clean freak. But I'm not a victim.  I just have to make sure I am properly aware of my OCD-type behaviour. Many famous and successful people have OCD. In fact, it may be WHY they are famous and successful.  When I focus on writing I will write for hours without break. Once I start a novel I will finish it.

Everything is good as long as I don't notice the mess on my desk or think to much at night.

Have any of you suffered from OCD? If so, what have you done to help control it?


For the last year, I've been taking Ultimate Flora Probiotics and Valerian Root. While usually taken as a sleep aid, Valerian has also been shown to alleviate Obsessive Compulsive behavior (source: Valerian root vs. placebo in OCD: double-blind study). Whether psychosomatic or not, my symptoms have been reduced dramatically by Valerian Root.

Link: Natural Remedies for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


Amazon: M Joseph Murphy on Amazon: Paperback and ebook
Smashwords: M Joseph Murphy Author Page on Smashwords
Kobo: M Joseph Murphy Books on Kobo

Writing Lessons: It's All about the 1st and 3rd Acts

Yesterday, Sunday, I completely slacked off. I stepped away from the novel and the marketing and actually enjoyed the weekend. I watched a few movies on Netflix. The first, 2012 Ice Age is good to watch. It shows you everything NOT to do in any piece of fiction. The concept is ridiculous...and it pretty much goes down hill from there.

Then I had the pleasure to watch Three Inches.  If you've never heard of the movie, here's the teaser trailer:


Young man struck by lighting gains limited telekinetic powers. He can move any object a maximum of three inches. He joins a team of superheroes with limited powers.

It was shot as a pilot for Syfy but they chose not to pick it up. The network went with Alphas instead...a series that last only two seasons. Did they make the right choice? Not even close. Alphas was a decent show but had nowhere near the star power of this one.

Why it Works

The 1st Act is hilarious. It's beautifully written: smart, new, great dialogue. Within minutes of meeting a new character we have complete sense of who they are. You don't have to wait for 30 minutes to understand people. Specific decisions, actions, and choices define each character quickly.

Noah Reid as lead character Walter Spackman is instantly likable  His timing and choices as an actor are brilliant   Hopefully we get see much more of him in future projects because he is my new celebrity crush. Sorry Michelle Rodriguez you've been replaced.

And the first act has Andrea Martin in it repeatedly. How can anything with  Andrea Martin not be amazing?

On top of that, a quick glance at the cast shows lots of star power attached.

Why it Didn't Work

The 3rd Act. If this had been left as a movie, the 3rd act would have been more focused, condensed and satisfying  Because it was shot as a pilot, the end is left too open. We get only a hint of where it could go. If I had to guess, someone was forced to make some changes to appease the studio. Those changes took some of the fun out of the movie.

What Writers Can Learn:

I relate every movie I see and every book I read to the act of writing.  I want to know what I can learn from the piece.  How can I make my own work stronger.

Some would say the superhero genre has been done to death. I'd say the same about crime investigation shows. However, strong writing, likable characters and the right spin are more important than a cool concept. I love sharp dialogue and we definitely are reaching Buffy-level dialogue in this movie. Having said that, begin with the end in mind. Projects with a great start can be weakened by a whimpering end.

Here's another post postulating why SyFy did not pick up the show:
The Pilot That Syfy Didn't Want You to See


Amazon: M Joseph Murphy on Amazon: Paperback and ebook
Smashwords: M Joseph Murphy Author Page on Smashwords
Kobo: M Joseph Murphy Books on Kobo

Friday, January 25, 2013

Glee Steals Jonathon Coulton's Song and it is a Good Thing

Jonathon Coulton
So I watched an episode of Glee last night. They had a very memorable version of Baby Got Back.  Notice I said memorable, not good.  The song lead to #babygotback trending number one on twitter.  Half the tweets were about how hilarious or wrong the version is. The other half were talking about how Glee stole this version from Jonathon Coulton.

I'd never heard of Jonathon Coulton so I looked him up. And, yep, Glee used his interpretation of the song. It's not the first time they've used someone else's version of a song. It's actually common practice. Not just on Glee, but everywhere.  From a legal point of view, the copyright goes to the people who initially wrote Baby Got Back. From an ethical point of view...Different story.

Look, if I could speak to Mr. Coulton right now here's what I could say.  You've just been given a massive shout out by an extremely popular show. Glee has increased the record sales of Katy Perry, Rhianna, F.U.N., One Direction, etc.  You could spend your energy getting angry and fighting them OR you can spend the same amount of energy to find a way to use this.

You can't buy this amount of PR.  Glee probably did you a favour by not saying "Hey everyone, here's the Jonathon Coulton version of this song.  Just think about how many people are interested in this now because of the controversy.  Many more people know about you now than before Glee.  Most artists would kill for that level of exposure.

I understand the ego.  They took something that's yours and made it their own...which is exactly what you did with Sir Mix-a-Lot's song.  You paid money to use the lyrics. They paid by spending millions  of dollars to create a music video for your song that is airing all over the world.  People are STILL tweeting about it today, long after the show aire.

I fail to see how you lose here.

Post by Johnathon Coulton on Baby Got Back and Glee

Jonathon's Version

Glee's version

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Marketing 101 - Publicity and Public Relations


Publicity is free and uncontrollable. It is just people talking about you. If you can manage to get your name trending on twitter – jackpot. Sometimes a sex scandal can help a celebrity but I’ve never heard of one helping a writer. Yet. But hey, there’s always that first time.

Viral Marketing

Now that I'm finished with the old school 4 Ps of Marketing, my next project is a series on viral marketing. Here's a taste of what's to come:

What is viral marketing?  It can be defined as "a marketing strategy that relies on individuals rather than traditional campains to pass along a message to others" (source: WiseGeek).

In other words, rather than force commericals down someone's throat, you convince them to seek out and share your content. Youtube and twitter are powerful tools but most people don't use them properly.

Here is a good introductory video to viral marketing:

Links related to this video:


PR is something you control. Examples of public relations events include:

Press releases:

This involves doing interviews for local papers and other people’s blogs (e.g. "blog tours"). The more places someone can find your name the more likely they are to try your product.

It happened for me last year with Ed Sheeran. I heard the name so many times in so many places I finally said “Who the hell is this guy?” The technical name for this would be "push marketing".

Public events

Stop only talking to your friends and family.  They know who you are.  Get involved with your community, in your home town and the industry. For writers, get involved in chats and events on twitter. Live tweeting shows and events gets more people to know you exist. The Superbowl is coming up: plan to live tweet about the commercials AND the game

Also consider joining writers groups. However, joining is useless unless you are an active participant.  If you are on Goodreads (and if you're not, why are you not) there are ton of groups you can join. Their benefit is they have readers as well as writers.  Talk to them and start acting like the professional/expert you want people to think you are.

Investor relations

Who are your investors? The people who buy your books and the people who read your blogs. Interact with them. Stop just throwing "buy my book" comments at them. Get to know them.  Politicians have been doing this for years. Kiss some figurative babies.  Read THEIR blogs and comment on them.  Respond to their twitter and Facebook posts.

Click Here for Link to Other Marketing Posts.

Amazon: M Joseph Murphy on Amazon: Paperback and ebook
Smashwords: M Joseph Murphy Author Page on Smashwords
Kobo: M Joseph Murphy Books on Kobo

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Spur to Creativity: How Apartment 143 Inspired Me to Make Movies

Sometimes the spur to creativity is anger.

I watched this movie tonight on Netflix tonight: Apartment 143.  The tag line says:

Hired by a family to investigate supernatural activity in their apartment, a paranormal research group find themselves haunted by a malevolent force. Their investigation is derailed as the strange manifestations become gradually more violent

It actually had several good reviews. It also had Rick Gonzalez in it.  I've enjoyed his performance in many movies and TV shows. Since I'm a big horror fan I thought I would give it a try.  No more than 10 minutes in I realized it was a complete piece of junk. 

But I kept watching.

Why? Because the more I watched this piece of crap, the more I realized I could do this.  I've never made movies before but after seeing this I realized that I could. The writing is atrocious.  Nearly all the "special effects" are pieces of furniture being moved by strings.  The character motivations are completely flawed: they changed depending on the scene. In one scene, the "Doctor" talks at length about the wonders of science. He saws there is no such thing as the supernatural; that everything can be studies as part of science. In the very next scene he says "sometimes we can't look to science for the answer". Then he brings in a psychic.

Wow.  Did they bother with a script? If so, this one was in complete need of several rewrites.

And then back to my anger.  If the director Carles Torrens has the audacity to film this garbage and release it, why don't I?  The more I watched the movie the more serious I got.  No matter how bad my first movie is it HAS to be better than this.  So often creative people are worried that their work won't be good.  And maybe it won't be.  Maybe it will be absolute drivel. But you won't get better without practice. Maybe the directors' next movie will be better.  I pray it is.

So thank you Apartment 143.  Your complete lack of quality made me want to make movies. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tribulation by Phillip W Simpson - Fast-Paced, Fun Ride

Tribulation (2nd book in the Rapture Trilogy)

The second book in the Rapture series is filled with more action, more drama and more intrigue than the first book.  The stakes have really been raised...which is kind of hard to do considering the first book starts with the end of the world.


Sam is our hero. He's half-demon, half-human ( a Camion). In book one of the series he learns his father is Satan. He was trained by a master swordsman. He wields special swords (katana and wakisashi) designed to kill demons.  He's on a mission to protect the innocents left on earth after the rapture from the hordes of demons trying to drag them to hell.

The book starts full-throttle: a rescue mission to hell. From there the stakes are raised every chapter until, by the end, you are nearly as tired as Sam.


One of the best things about this book is Sam's new companion, a hell hound named Yeth.  He's a fierce fighter but, more important, a loyal friend (something Sam has been lacking).  You also have non-stop action that is more global now. We move beyond the small corner of the United States and get a glimpse of how bad things are around the world.

The plot is consistent; no gaping holes in logic or believability. The motivations of each character are understandable. And no matter how strong Sam gets he always has limitations; he never becomes a superman.  The book ends with a cliffhanger that makes it impossible to not buy the third book in the series. (due out later this year).


It's very hard for a single character to carry the whole book.  Sam is alone most of the time..which means there is very little dialogue. This leads to long sections of description.  I would have liked Sam to spend more time with someone else, either Yeth or someone else. This would have allowed more of the story to play out in dialogue and break up the large sections of prose.

Having said that, part of the theme in this book is just how alone Sam is. And despite his isolation he is still fighting for the innocents. In fact, he is doing more visible good than the angels...which I think is also part of the message. Maybe it is not the station of our birth that should define us. Maybe it is our actions.


I spent many Friday nights with a baptist youth group studying the book of revelations. In all of those meetings no one really focused on what happened AFTER the rapture because everyone seemed to think they'd ascend to heaven. My baptists days are behind me. I haven't read the book of revelations for over 20 years. Still, I remembered enough to realize that Phillip W Simpson knows his stuff.

What he does with his knowledge is the fun part.  Tribulation is a fun read and even stronger than Rapture. If you liked the first in the series, you will love this one.

Phillip W Simpson on Goodreads

Tribulation on Goodreads

Tribulation on Amazon

Tribulation on Kobo

Phillip W Simpson Blog

Friday, January 18, 2013

Liebster Award - Council of Peacocks

So I was nominated for this thing called the Liebster Award. When I was nominated, I immediately looked into what it was. I was worried it was an award for biggest idiot or most likely to say something stupid. Instead, the Liebster Award (from the German word for "dearest") is given out to up-and-coming bloggers (sorry Helen Boswell, they have to have less than 200 followers).  Typically you give it to someone you think is nice and other people should be following.

I was nominated by JLuis Licea during a conversation on twitter. To be most specific JLuis was trying to nominate Rachel Walter but she was trying to throw the nomination in my direction. In my book that means she's nicer than me but...I humbly accept my award and all the honours and duties attached to it.

Here's what you I have to do:

  • I list 11 random facts about myself.
  • I will answer the 11 questions asked of me by the person who nominated me.
  • I will then nominate my 11 picks for the award along with my 11 questions for them to answer when they post a response.
  • If you’re nominated, your name/link will appear at the bottom of this post along with your questions. Follow the same format; paste the award badge to your blog, give us 11 random facts about yourself, answer my 11 questions, and choose your nominees…but you cannot nominate the blog who nominated you.

So here are 11 random facts about me:

  1. I once sang with a Gregorian Chant choir
  2. For several years I trained to be an astrologer and considered making it my profession
  3. The year I was diagnosed with asthma I ran my first race (a mini-duathlon 5 km run, 15 km biking)
  4. I truly dislike Keanu Reeve's acting. I've wanted to slap him for most of his movies. Pretty much everything except My Own Private Idaho and Sweet November.
  5. When I was younger I wanted to write and draw comics. My brother and I created an entire universe of characters...although he lost interest in it very quickly. I still have all the notes and most of the panels were drew
  6. I constantly have nightmares about Jason Voorhees. 
  7. The novel I'm writing now, Fallen and the Towers of Graunskyeg, takes place in a place I've been world building for over 25 years. I'm nearing Tolkien-level obsession
  8. I have never seen Top Gun. 
  9. In the early 1990s I had a purple mohawk and wore lots of black make-up. Seriously.
  10. I used to alphabetize my spice collection but I'm getting my OCD under control. Mostly.
  11. I created my own role-playing gaming system based. Wrote 2 400+ pages books to support it.

Here are the 11 questions I was asked with my answers:

1. What do you think about when you hear the word 'Book'?
Magic made portable

2. In one word, describe a book you love.
Liberating (Mists of Avalon)

3. What animal do you fear the most?
Mice. Because they are cute and I know I have to kill them. Hate that.

4. Favourite time of the day to read?
Night. Anytime after 11:00 p.m.

5. Coffee person? If yes, do you drink it with milk, cream, or just plain? If not, what do you drink instead?
Trying to avoid coffee. I have zero tolerance for caffeine. It makes me stay up all night. But when I drink it, milk and 2 sweetners.

6. Have you published a book? If yes, share the name and a link! Brag! If not, are you working on one that's on its way to the sea of sharks?
Not published yet. My first book, Council of Peacocks should be available in April of this year. I'm on the second draft of the first book in another series which should be finished end of March. When that's off to beta readers I will start the second draft of the second book in that series.  I'll be busy.

7. Favorite candy and why?
Worthers. Best chocolate candy. Do not put them between me and you. You will lose a hand.

8. Tells us, what inspired you to become a writer/blogger in one or two sentences?
Writer: a teacher had faith in me and showed me I had talent
Blogger: all about promotion and getting your name into the community

9. Every beginning has an end. Do you prefer a happy ending or one that just satisfies?
Depends on the genre. I love the ending of The Notebook although its not exactly happy.  I also love The Princess Bride.  However, a happy ending in a horror film means its not a horror book/film.

10. If I pay for you to go anywhere in the world with someone, where would you go and who would you go with?
Hong Kong with my fiance (and our friend Gabriel who will translate for us)

11. What is a dream you have and always keep alive?
Seeing a film based on one of my books

EXTRA CREDIT QUESTION:  What do you dry first after you come out of the shower?

G rated answer: my face

I would nominate JLuis because he's weird and quirky; however, there's a no-nominate back clause. I'd also nominate Rachel Walter but she had THREE nominations recently and had to answer 33 questions. I'll take it easy on her. Instead here are my nominees with their questions.


Mary Jeddore Blakney (Jae)
David James
Alton Bock
Billie Thomas
Travis Luedke
Phillip W Simpson
Tammy Salyer
L. J. Kentowski
Red Tash
Steven Ramirez
Buffy Armstrong


  1. When you eat the smarties do you eat the red ones last?
  2. What writer's career would you most like to emulate (fancy word for follow)?
  3. What fantasy world would you most like to live in?
  4. Have you ever had a story/book idea so bad you decided to not write it? If so, give details.
  5. What superpower would you most like to have and why?
  6. What was the scariest nightmare you've ever had?
  7. What is your most favourite part of the writing/creative process?
  8. List five of the best books you've ever read
  9. List one of the worst books you've ever read (and why you think it was so bad).
  10. Have you spent time thinking about what you would do in a zombie invasion
  11. List your favourite toppings on a pizza

For more details on history of the Lieber Blog Awards check here for more details


Amazon: M Joseph Murphy on Amazon: Paperback and ebook
Smashwords: M Joseph Murphy Author Page on Smashwords
Kobo: M Joseph Murphy Books on Kobo

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Marketing 101 - Promotion Part 4

Now for a simple post on promotion. One I'm sure many have been waiting for. 

So how exactly can we promote ourselves? 

You probably have to do the normal things I've suggested before. Get on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads if nothing else. Mingle with publishers, agents and other authors. But everyone is doing that. How can you do what other people are not doing?

Below are some suggestions for other types of promotion:

Musical: This can be tricky but also has a shot at going completely viral. Funny and musical means tons of sharing via Facebook and twitter. Again, get amateur actors and artists from your area to portray characters from your book singing and dancing.  Do it right (or even horribly wrong) and bazinga.

Personality symbol: this could be a blog written in the voice of a character. It could be a webisode (or several webisodes) featuring a character from the universe. Lost did this well during its summer breaks.  Taking a minor character or building buzz is easier than you think.

Scientific evidence: Statistics may help. You can state awards you have won, amount of sales or amount of money you’ve made. But for most new writers this won’t be effective. Saying “I’ve sold 3 copies this week” is not going to get you anywhere.

Testimonials: this is what most people default to: reviews. This can work well; however, you have to remember, testimonials only work if potential customers relate to the reviewer. Getting a testimonial from someone with a recognizable name (e.g. a known brand) will be worth a hundred testimonials from the unknown. Get other writers to review your work. Which means, by the way, you’ll have to make yourself available to review their work. No such thing as a few lunch.

To end, here's my favourite book trailer of all time.


Amazon: M Joseph Murphy on Amazon: Paperback and ebook
Smashwords: M Joseph Murphy Author Page on Smashwords
Kobo: M Joseph Murphy Books on Kobo

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Q and A on Council of Peacocks

I've looked at tons of writer's blogs. I've never wanted to directly copy something so much as this post from Candice Lemon-Scott's blog post The Next Big Thing.

After reading it, though, I realized the format of question and answer was perfect. So, giving credit where credit is due, here is my answer to the same questions.


Council of Peacocks. Deadline for publication: April 2013 


The movie Wrong Turn. 

It's your movie about college kids trying to escape cannibalistic hill people. I only watched it for Eliza Dushku (love her!) There's a scene in that movie where the "good guys" are hiding in the home of the crazy killers. They wait until the crazy people are sleeping and then they leave.

I went nuts. I started screaming at the TV. Why would you do that? You've just seen them kill one of your friends and you're just going to walk out? You know they're going to track you down. Why wouldn't you kill them in their sleep?

And that's how Josh Wilkinson was born. I stared writing a horror novel about a college kid that was smart and fought back. Then I had to think why would he fight back. I wrote the first draft. without any outline. I didn't realize what I really wanted the book to be about until I finished the first draft.  In the first draft, I end with the Council of Peacocks winning and the character Wisdom using magic to travel back through time. And that's where my second draft stared: Wisdom travelling back through time. 


Although it began as a horror novel for mature audience, by the second draft it was an pure urban fantasy. The majority of the characters are under 20 so some may consider this YA. Heck, if Hunger Games can be considered YA so can mine.


I did not write the story with any actors in mind. Having said that, I've come up with some suggestions for some of the characters 

Josh Wilkinson - newest member of the Anomalies (Lucas Till)

Josh is the pretty boy no one suspects is dangerous.  His father works for the Canadian Secret Service. He's been trained in martial arts.  He makes the tough calls and will do whatever it takes to get his friends to safety. 

Wisdom - immortal Atlantean posing as modern business man (Peter Mensah)

Whenever this man walks on screen I get nervous. As a child, Wisdom was kidnapped by a djinn while his Atlantean parents were visiting the Egyptian embassy. He spent millennia as a slave in their home dimension. Using magic he escaped. Over the last two thousand years on Earth, he has used his powers to gain riches. But it's not enough. When you are as old as Wisdom, you need a cause. He's made the training of the half-demon children (called Anomalies) and the destruction of the Council of Peacocks his cause.

Echo - love of Wisdom's life (Emilia Clarke)

Yowza. Echo is the strongest person Wisdom has ever known. She was born before the Roman empire. For centuries Wisdom tried to break her; he was never successful. In the end, she broke him.  Wisdom does not realize how much she means to him until he loses her. Then, he tears time apart to save her.

Garnet - Head trainers of the young Anomalies

Lyndsy Fornseca as Garnet
I recently saw my first episode of Nikita. One look at Lyndsy Fornseca and I knew she should play Garnet.  She's a pyrokinetic who can also manipulate people's emotions.  She is not as strong as she'd like you to believe.

Elaine - Wisdom's head of security (Lauren Holden)

Lauren Holden as Elaine, head of security
I'm not a big fan of Andrea's decisions on The Walking Dead but I've loved Lauren Holden's work for years. She's tough as nails but still feminine.  She will shoot you dead without blinking but it doesn't take much to see her humanity. 

Propates - Leader of the Council of Peacocks (Gabriel Garko)

Gabriel Garko
Wisdom rescued Propates from a life of poverty during the height of the Roman empire. Well, he kidnapped him, slaughtered his family and saved him from poverty if we're being technical. Over the years Wisdom became less ruthless; Propates became more.


Half-demon teenagers with psionic powers fight to stop a secret organization of sorcerers from taking over the world and initiating the forced evolution of the human race. 


Self-published.  I've been sitting on Council of Peacocks for 5 years. I don't want to sit any more. 


First draft was less than 3 months. I then spent two years revising it.  


I haven't found any. That's why I wrote this book.  I wrote a book I wanted to read. Best reference I can give you: Think of Wisdom's Wolfram and Hart in the last season of Angel. They gather a group of the kids from X-Men: First Class to fight the Illuminati and their army of reptilians 


See Number 2 


Did I mention the secret group of sorcerers is allied with a shadowy wizard-type from an alien world?  He's from the same world as my epic fantasy series. Let's just say by the end of Council of Peacocks, things get complicated. As much fun as Council is, the second book in the series is bazonka-nuts fun.


Amazon: M Joseph Murphy on Amazon: Paperback and ebook
Smashwords: M Joseph Murphy Author Page on Smashwords
Kobo: M Joseph Murphy Books on Kobo

Friday, January 11, 2013

Marketing 101 - Promotion Part 3

Now for a simple post. One I'm sure many have been waiting for. So how exactly can we promote ourselves? You probably have to do the normal things I've suggested before. Get on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads if nothing else. Mingle with publishers, agents and other authors. But everyone is doing that. How can you do what other people are not doing?

Below are some suggestions for other types of promotion:

Slice of life: Show potential customers reading or talking about your book. Get your book into a book club. Think YouTube. Forget about simply Amazon or Goodreads reviews. Have fans create upload videos to YouTube. Nothing goes viral quite like great videos on YouTube. Then you can share this video on Twitter and Facebook.

Fantasy: Enact part of the book. Consider getting real actors, directors, musicians and set designers involved. It’s a win-win. They are promoting their own work will also promotion you. So what if you don’t have a big budget. They made the entire film of Paranormal Activity for $11,000.  There are great webisodes created for a heck of a lot less than that. Don’t wish for more money. Do the best with what you have.  

Mood or image: Simple streams of images to help build a mood about the project (e.g. horror, sex, romance, intrigue). This can be very inexpensive and easy to do. You may not even need any dialogue if done properly.  Remember sex sells almost anything. Except zombies. Sex and zombies together is just wrong.

I will give some other suggestion in the next article. What are thinks you've done that worked to help promote your book?


Amazon: M Joseph Murphy on Amazon: Paperback and ebook
Smashwords: M Joseph Murphy Author Page on Smashwords
Kobo: M Joseph Murphy Books on Kobo

Helping Indie Authors Find Readers - Survey

Indie Authors need all the help they can get.

Let's face it, signing with a big publishing house does have some advantages. Having a few extra helping hands is definitely the biggest advantage.

So what if there was an organization focused:
1) providing free editing advice
2) helping you find more readers.

One is starting up soon.

The guild  is hoping to focus on what indie writers need. So tell them what you need. Your participation means a more focused group, one that will truly help new indie writers and established indie authors stand out and compete.

Here's a quick survey (10 short questions).  It's completely anonymous. No contact information is required.

What Indie Authors Need: A Short Survey

Time is of the essence. Please forward this link to your other writer friends and twitter followers. We need at least 1000 responses to ensure accuracy.

Thank you for helping to support indie authors.

For more info on the organization behind the survey, check this post by Mary Jeddore Blakney:
Indie Writer Professionalism

If you want to be informed of the results, you can message me directly or leave a comment below.

For results on the survey, check back on this blog after Jan 31st. Alternatively, you can message me on twitter @windswarlock.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Marketing 101 - Promotion Part 2 Standing Out From the Competition

How to stand out from the crowd? Every indie author wants to be able to stand out from their competitors. Let's be honest: there is a lot of indie writer's out there today. Many of them are very talented writers.  So how do you get readers to choose your product?

There are two things your advertising must do:
  1. Encourage (the target audience) to engage in it, and 
  2. reward them when they do". 
Ken Krimstein states "Most ads try to spoon feed people. But nobody past the age of 6 months wants spoon-feeding". Instead, he suggests to stand out from the crowd, tell a story. To get the audiences attention you need to be:
  1. meaningful.
  2. believable.
  3. distinctive. 
I also love this video by MarieForleo.

One of the key points she makes is that if you are looking to stand out from the crowd, don't do what that crowd is doing. Instead of doing what every other indie author is doing, start looking at what people are doing in other industries.  Every indie author is on twitter. Most have blogs and most do book trailers. So what do indie authors NOT do?

Here's one thing I'll be working on for a writer's guild I'm part of: a reward program.

It's something that many other industries.  A reward program is an incentive to keep doing business with a particular business. What are other indie writers doing to reward their readers?

Think about how many ads for other industries we are bombarded with every day. Most we tune out.

Start focusing on the ones that do stand out. Analyse why their method of promotion works and copy them.

Photo from:
Here are some great articles on how to stand out:

Ken Krimstein Linked In page



Amazon: M Joseph Murphy on Amazon: Paperback and ebook
Smashwords: M Joseph Murphy Author Page on Smashwords
Kobo: M Joseph Murphy Books on Kobo
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