My Latest Short Story: Marina

The next installment of my The Eyes of Mictlan Origins series is now available as a free ebook at Smashwords. Additional booksellers like Apple and B&N will have it soon. As with the other ebooks in the series, this short story is excerpted from my novel, The Eyes of Mictlan.

cover_marina

Marina strolls along eerily quiet streets in the foggy slums of Whitechapel, London. Jack the Ripper has just brutally murdered her friend and lover, the latest victim during a reign of terror that has forced many of Marina’s fellow prostitutes into hiding. Any woman walking the streets of Whitechapel alone in the middle of the night is practically begging to become his next victim—which is exactly what Marina is counting on, for she is no ordinary woman, and on this night she is the predator, not the prey.

Also Available

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Old West judge Dalton Freely awakes under a scorching desert sun in a pool of blood-soaked dirt, a noose around his neck, his arms bound behind his back. He turns his gaze upward to find the bodies of his wife and children hanging from a tree. Only then does he begin to recall the horror of the previous evening when a gang of outlaws murdered his family. On the verge of death himself, Dalton desperately drags his broken body back toward civilization, a single thought on his mind: revenge.

cover_xavier

Xavier is an ancient vampire who has wandered the world for over a thousand years in search of a talisman that will give him the power to rule the land of the dead. His quest has led him into the heart of the Aztec Empire as the right-hand man of Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortés. Now in the majestic capital city of Tenochtitlan, Xavier has finally discovered the talisman’s location, but to get his hands on it he must set in motion a chain of events that will lead to the destruction of the Aztec civilization.

And Coming Soon

Caesar: A senator of the Roman Empire discovers the monstrous nature of his friend and colleague.

Jeanette: A Depression-era speakeasy singer struggles to survive the hell of a tuberculosis sanatorium.

For more information on my novels and short stories, visit my author page.

A New Short Story

The next installment of my The Eyes of Mictlan Origins series is now available as a free ebook at Smashwords. Additional booksellers like Apple and B&N will have it soon. As with the other ebooks in the series, this short story is excerpted from my novel, The Eyes of Mictlan, though this version has been slightly modified from what appears in the novel in order to make the narrative stand on its own.

cover_xavier

Xavier is an ancient vampire who has wandered the world for over a thousand years in search of a talisman that will give him the power to rule the land of the dead. His quest has led him into the heart of the Aztec Empire as the right-hand man of Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortés. Now in the majestic capital city of Tenochtitlan, Xavier has finally discovered the talisman’s location, but to get his hands on it he must set in motion a chain of events that will lead to the destruction of the Aztec civilization.

Also Available

cover_dalton

Old West judge Dalton Freely awakes under a scorching desert sun in a pool of blood-soaked dirt, a noose around his neck, his arms bound behind his back. He turns his gaze upward to find the bodies of his wife and children hanging from a tree. Only then does he begin to recall the horror of the previous evening when a gang of outlaws murdered his family. On the verge of death himself, Dalton desperately drags his broken body back toward civilization, a single thought on his mind: revenge.

And Coming Soon

Marina: A White Chapel prostitute takes extreme measures after Jack the Ripper murders her friend.

Caesar: A senator of the Roman Empire discovers the monstrous nature of his friend and colleague.

Jeanette: A Depression-era speakeasy singer struggles to survive the hell of a tuberculosis sanatorium.

For more information on my novels and short stories, visit my author page.

Story Cartel and the Search for Reviews

cover3bOne of the biggest struggles for an indie author is getting people to review your books on Amazon and other book retailers (I even have trouble getting people I know personally, and who have given my novel extremely positive feedback, to leave reviews). Without reviews (positive, negative, or indifferent), it’s nearly impossible to get strangers interested in your book because it gets lost in an endless sea of unreviewed, self-published books available to the masses.

As indie authors, we take steps to try and remedy this situation: launching giveaway contests, making our books available for free with coupon codes or by reducing the price to zero for a period of time, promoting the books on blogs and social media, and so on. For most unknown authors, I imagine the results are as middling as mine have been, so last month I decided to try something new.

My search for reviews led me to a few sites that offer authors the chance to give their books away for free in exchange for honest reviews. Some of these sites are more expensive than others and, as I was unwilling to risk spending a lot of money on something that was not guaranteed to work, I chose the site with the cheapest rate: Story Cartel.

For $25, you can post your novel on Story Cartel in various formats for three weeks. Anyone can download it during this time for free. As added incentive, those who leave reviews are entered into giveaways for prizes such as Kindle eReaders, Amazon and Barnes & Noble gift cards, and bestselling print books. I figured that for $25 I didn’t have much to lose, and if it helped me get a few reviews, all the better. After all, I’d read articles in which people had claimed to get 50+ reviews out of it.

My results, I’m afraid to say, were not quite so amazing. In fact, I’d have to label the entire experiment a failure, for in the end, I only got one solitary review for my $25. It was a very nice, 5-star review (for a total of two reviews on my novel’s Amazon page), but overall it was not worth it for me. Does that mean it won’t work for you? Perhaps, perhaps not. I think the success rate might be higher for an author with more of an established following than one like myself who is still trying to build one. The reason for this is that the onus is on you to promote the giveaway. I did my best to feature it on both social media and this blog but, again, I believe it comes down to how big (and dedicated) your following is.

As for the publishing process at Story Cartel, the interface was easy enough to use, though I would like to have seen a longer description field, as well as a place for me to enter a list of searchable tags (I feel that being limited to just two genres did not make the book searchable enough). It also might have helped if I could have made the book available for longer than three weeks.

I could have opted for Story Cartel’s more expensive option that features the book more prominently, but there’s no guarantee that would have helped get me more reviews. At least $25 wasn’t a huge amount to spend on a failed experiment–I’m just glad I didn’t try one of the more expensive sites that would have taken more than $100 out of my pocket.

I think the lesson from all this is that there is only so much you can do to drum up sales as an unknown author. A lot of it comes down to luck–you can have a great novel that never gets read by anyone, or a lousy novel that becomes a best seller [cough 50 Shades cough]. Most of us fall somewhere in between. That doesn’t mean I will stop trying (see below), it just means I’m being realistic. I was never under any illusion that I was going to become a best seller and have my novel turned into a movie. I’m just gratified that I was able to get it out in the world and that those who have read it have really enjoyed it.


In other news, you can now download the entire first half of my novel for free from Smashwords, and it’s only 99 cents to read the rest. I believe this 50% sample size may also apply to some of the other booksellers in the Smashwords distribution network, such as Barnes & NobleKobo, Oyster, Scribd, Inktera, Apple, and OverDrive (though not Amazon). I also intend to make more of my novel available for reading on this blog.

And stay tuned for a series of upcoming new releases: free short stories excerpted from my novel, which will be downloadable at booksellers and also posted here. The series of stories will live under the title, The Eyes of Mictlan: Origins. I hope you will enjoy them, and as always, I thank you for your support!

Photo of the Day: Another World

A hike through Watkins Glen State Park is like a visit to another world, where scenes like this await around every corner. It’s hard to believe that this oasis of pristine beauty is tucked inside a small town in Upstate New York.

Date: 9/11/2015
Camera: Nikon D5100
Click for larger view

You can view more featured photos at my Photo of the Day Collection.


cover3bAlso, don’t forget that the eBook version of my novel, The Eyes of Mictlan, is available for free during the entire month of November, and, if you download it through Story Cartel and write a review, you will be entered into their monthly drawing to win prizes such as Kindle eReaders, Amazon and Barnes & Noble gift cards, and bestselling print books.

There are three ways in which you can obtain a free copy:

  1. Story Cartel – For the next three weeks, you can download a FREE copy of my ‪novel from Story Cartel (registration is free) and, if you leave an honest review on your favorite book site or your blog, you will be entered into a monthly drawing to win a prize.
  2. Smashwords – You can download a free copy of my novel from Smashwords using the following coupon code: GH76V.
  3. If you do not have a Smashwords account (or do not wish to create one), you can message me on Twitter at @njrappa and I will send you a link to download a free copy in either mobi, epub, or PDF format.

There are no strings attached and the book is yours to keep, but I would be most grateful if you could take a few minutes to leave a review on your favorite book site (such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads). And as always, I thank you for your support!

Get My Novel for FREE This Month

cover3bIn honor of National Novel Writing Month, I am making the eBook version of my novel, The Eyes of Mictlan, available for free during the entire month of November, and also giving you the opportunity to be entered into a monthly drawing to win prizes.

There are three ways in which you can obtain a free copy:

  1. Story Cartel – For the next three weeks, you can download a FREE copy of my ‪novel from Story Cartel (registration is free) and, if you leave an honest review on your favorite book site or your blog, you will be entered into a monthly drawing to win a prize. I believe you also get an additional entry just for downloading the book, regardless of whether you leave a review, so a review is by no means required, but would definitely be appreciated. 🙂

    From the Story Cartel web site:
    “Every month, we give away Kindle eReaders, Amazon and Barnes & Noble gift cards, and bestselling print books to the Story Cartel community. Our giveaways are just a small way we say thank you for reading and reviewing books on Story Cartel.”

    If you do not want to register for an account at Story Cartel, you can also obtain a free copy via one of the methods below. However, only those who download the book from Story Cartel will be entered into their monthly drawing.

  2. Smashwords – You can download a free copy of my novel from Smashwords using the following coupon code: GH76V.

    You can also read a free sample without registering, which is roughly equivalent to the first seven chapters.

  3. If you do not have a Smashwords account (or do not wish to create one), you can message me on Twitter at @njrappa and I will send you a link to download a free copy in either mobi, epub, or PDF format.

There are no strings attached and the book is yours to keep, but I would be most grateful if you could take a few minutes to leave a review on your favorite book site (such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads). And as always, I thank you for your support!

More Platforms for My Novel and a New Contest

I am pleased to announce that the eBook version my novel, The Eyes of Mictlan, is now available on more platforms around the world. In addition to Amazon, you can now purchase it for $0.99 at Barnes & NobleSmashwords, Kobo, Oyster, Scribd, and Inktera. By the end of this week it should also be available at Apple, Baker & Taylor (Blio & Axis 360), txtr, OverDrive, and Flipkart.

I have also launched a new giveaway for the paperback version of The Eyes of Mictlan via Amazon. To enter, you just have to click on the link, follow me on Twitter (or confirm that you already follow me), and then you will find out instantly if you have won a copy. The contest is open all week to U.S. residents 18 and over. One note: unlike my previous contest, these copies will not be signed because Amazon is shipping them directly to the winners.

Win a Free Copy!

The Eyes of Mictlan by Michael Rappa

The Eyes of Mictlan

by Michael Rappa

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Every 600th eligible entry will win, up to 4 winners. This giveaway started September 27,2015 3:46 PM PDT and ends the earlier of October 4,2015 11:59 PM PDT or when all prizes have been awarded.

As always, I thank you for your support, and if you enter the contest, best of luck!

My first book giveaway was a success…

Nearly 600 people entered the Goodreads contest to win a signed copy of my novel. Thank you to everyone for entering, and congratulations to the two winners! I just mailed out your books today so you should be receiving them soon.

If you did not win, stay tuned, there are more giveaways (and an announcement) coming in the near future…

The Paperback
My Novel in Paperback

Four days left to win a signed copy of my novel…

The Paperback
Waiting to be signed…

My first-ever book giveaway is entering the home stretch! There are just over four days remaining to enter the contest, available to U.S. residents 18 and older. So far, 245 people have entered to win a free signed copy of my dark fantasy novel, The Eyes of Mictlan, which I will personalize for the winners.

You can enter the giveaway via the button below:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Eyes of Mictlan by Michael Rappa

The Eyes of Mictlan

by Michael Rappa

Giveaway ends August 23, 2015.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

If you don’t win but are still interested in reading the novel, I hope you will consider the eBook version, available for just $2.99–or free to Amazon Prime members (via the lending library) and Kindle Unlimited subscribers. If you do not own a Kindle, you can download free Kindle reading software for almost any computer or mobile device.

Thank you and good luck!