16th Sep2011

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews!

by Aaron

We’re just over a week out since the release of As Darkness Ends and I am humbled by the positive feedback I’ve received from readers. In addition to the great reviews on Amazon, I’ve been lucky enough to have been reviewed by Far From Reality. Jessica was gracious enough to take some time out and read the book and I suggest everyone check out her review.

Here’s what people are saying about the book:

“…it was enjoyable and the ending was pretty cool.” -Far From Reality
“To say this book left me wanting more is an understatement” -MistyReviews
“…the book grabs you from the first sentence.” -Esquire Tech

I want to take a moment to thank everyone who’s taken the time to post a review of the book and for your positive feedback. I can’t wait to get book two into everyone’s hands and work to answer some of those burning questions.

07th Sep2011

As Darkness Ends Release: The Live-Blog!

by Aaron

With today being the release of my book As Darkness Ends, I will be live-blogging the day’s events today. This post will be constantly updated today with news, stats and more! Feel free to comment here, jump onto my Facebook page or catch me on Twitter to join in the fun!

10:00 PM:

Alright, I’m wrapping it for the night. Thanks again to everyone for a great day. We’ll be back to normal blogging tomorrow!

9:35 PM:

Since I’ve talked a lot about autographs, here’s what one looks like on my Kindle within my book. I plan to have an in-depth blog post (probably with video) explaining this process and how it’s done.

9:20 PM:

The night is wrapping up. Only a few people expressed interest in me doing a signing tonight so I decided against it. I plan on having a signing / reading later on that will be more organized and have more time for people to be aware of it and plan ahead.

Right now I’m just making sure I thank everyone who’s stopped by and let everyone know how thankful I am for their support. :-)

7:45 PM:

I’m back home and working the controls! There’s been a few votes so far for a signing tonight but I’m not sure if there’s enough interest. Be sure to vote if you want there to be a signing. Right now, I’m aiming for 8:30 if enough people want to do it.

4:15 PM:

I’ll be stepping out for a couple of hours but another update!

I’m considering another book signing tonight! Head on over to my fan page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Aaron-Crocco-Writer/245641405468708 and vote! I’ll be making my decision based on the results.

4:00 PM:

I’m giving away a few free copies of the book! Come on over to Facebook, G+ or on Twitter and answer a trivia question to get your copy for free!!

1:05 PM:

Want your copy of As Darkness Ends signed? Come hang out with me on Google+ now or show me a pic of your eReader on the ‘thanks for reading’ page. I will sign a copy and email it back to you.

Need a Google+ invite? Email me at Aaron (at) AaronCrocco (dot) com and I’ll send you one.

12:30 PM:

Big announcement! I will be doing an impromptu virtual *book signing in 30-minutes!* You can get your eBook signed starting at 1:00 PM eastern time. I’ll go for at least 30-minutes but longer if enough people show up.

As a bonus, I’ll be in a Google+ Hangout the whole time. Be sure to stop in, say hello and get your copy of my book signed! If you need a Google+ invitation, tell me your email address and I’ll send one your way!

12:12 PM:

I’m going to have a big book announcement at 12:30. Be sure you have your book on-hand! Kindle: http://amzn.to/p8z6tS Nook: http://bit.ly/peussi

11:35 AM:

I don’t know if I had mentioned this before, but my GoodReads author profile was approved and updated! As Darkness Ends is on GoodReads. This website is fantastic for finding books and like-minded readers. Think of it as Facebook for bookworms. If you get a minute, click the logo above to see my book on the site and leave a review! You’ll find a lot of great book stuff there.

10:15 AM:

And we’re off!

The morning has been busy making sure all websites like Amazon and B&N are showing the book properly. A few people have already dropped in on the Facebook party.

I’m starting an album of people taking pictures of them with the book. So grab your Kindle / Nook and your camera! Snap a picture and upload it to my Facebook page. If you want to qualify for a giveaway happening in a few hours, flip to the ‘Social’ page at the end and take a picture of the page with you in it. Upload that too and you’re in!

9:00 AM:

As of right now, As Darkness Ends ranks #26 in the science fiction anthology section!

06th Sep2011

The First One Is Free

by Aaron

When it comes to books and accessibility, I’m big believer in the fact that books should not be locked down with DRM or hindered in any way. If people want to share something in a fair use fashion, they should. DRM only hurts those who try to play by the rules, stipulate that don’t own what you’ve paid for and the title can be revoked at any time.

This will not be the case with As Darkness Ends. You buy it, you own it. It’s that simple. The book has no DRM. Feel free to put it on your second Kindle / Nook or use the lending ability I’ve said yes to, to loan it to a friend. I’m even giving away the first chapter for free. Just click here to read it. That chapter is a RTF file that is universally readable and also contains no DRM.

What this means is that I am making it as easy as possible to not only get the book but enjoy it without any roadblocks. While these efforts may not be easily seen, a lack of frustration from trying to read the book will not exist and that is a good thing.

06th Sep2011

The Final Countdown

by Aaron


It’s Tuesday and to many, that means the return of the work week (yesterday being Labor Day here in the US where most people are off) and also the first day of school. That makes it a busy day, and I even saw that on my rainy commute in today. Lots of people and buses on the road. For me, it’s the last day of my work week but there’s something that’s even more important: tomorrow is the official release of As Darkness Ends.

We are down to the final hours and I’m in a whirlwind of making sure all the pieces are in place for the big day. I’m checking and double-checking Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other places constantly and I’m also making sure to keep on top of anything I think of last minute (like uploading my author’s bio to Amazon, which I almost forgot to do).

All-day tomorrow we will be celebrating the book’s release on Facebook with an event that is linked up through my page. I’m finalizing a couple of ideas to make the day more fun such as an autograph session and also some giveaways of the book. I will post details everywhere as soon as I have my ducks in a row.

The next 48-hours are going to be excellent!

02nd Sep2011

We’re on Final Approach

by Aaron

It’s Friday. For most that means it’s the end of a work week and for us in the Northeast, a hectic one where we’re still recovering from Hurricane Irene. For me, it means we are only five days away from the launch of As Darkness Ends.

My ‘weekend’ is currently Wednesday and Thursday so the past two days off were spent working on the final preparations for the book’s launch. There’s still a lot on my plate but it’s also a waiting game as each service I’m using has different times for doing things. The book has been uploaded and is ready for me to simply hit ‘publish’ on Amazon and B&N. I’ve also made sure it’s ready to go on SmashWords. Essentially, I’m “okay to go” in a staging area.

CreateSpace has been an interesting experience for the print version. After working through some design tweaks I needed for the cover, I then realized I must order a proof in order to approve it for sale. I placed an order and even paid through the nose for priority shipping but it’s the only way to make sure the print copy is ready at launch or just a day or two afterwards. I’m not expecting many print sales since the book is small, prices are inherently higher due to the cost of print-on-demand and it doesn’t deliver the instant gratification of simply downloading it to your eReader / computer.

On the audio front, I fired up my microphone and recorded the first chapter of the book. I want the audio to sound as professional as possible so I ended up recording in my bedroom closet while sitting on the floor. A tight space filled with sound-absorbing clothes makes a good recording studio and I’m impressed with how the audio came out. After some searching for suitable music, I mixed it together and posted it online for review. I need to make a few tweaks but I think my initial effort puts me at a 90-95% success rate. This is one time where my many years of podcasting is put to good use. I have a great microphone and know how to mix in GarageBand. I also have a few other tools to help tweak the recordings as needed.

In order to provide a quality audio book that will come out on a consistent basis, I have decided that the entire book will need to be recorded and produced before I release it to Podiobooks.com. For me, the most important part is to record certain segments all in one sitting. Simply getting up and coming back after a five-minute break can cause those second pieces to sound slightly different than the first. As I go further into this process, I’ll post more insight to everyone.

So that’s where we stand. I have so much going on and you can expect a deluge of blog posts leading up to launch day and the excitement to come. I look forward to sharing it with you guys.

16th Aug2011

I Have Big, Big News

by Aaron

Today is a day I’ve been waiting to blog about for over a month. I’ve moved carefully and begun laying the groundwork for this day in which I have big news: I am publishing a book…. next month!

Click the cover or here to learn more about the book

You may notice that amazing image above. That my friends is the cover to Book One of my new series: As Darkness Ends. I’ve been secretly working on this book for two months and it’s been hard to not say anything when I’m so excited. I totally want to do a happy dance right now.

As Darkness Ends is a planned 6-book series of short stories recounting the end of the world. Each book will tell the story from a different point of view, all in a different place and some will even be in a different time.

This is a project I’m very happy about and I’m excited to share it with you all. So, when can you get your hands on a copy? I’m still hammering out the details but the tentative release date is September 7th! I’m also getting things in place to perhaps get copies out sooner to a select few.

There’s a lot more to announce but I’m not going to play all my cards in one blog entry, so stay tuned!

03rd Mar2011

The Benefits of Self-Publishing

by Aaron

The writing and publishing world has blown up the past week mostly due to the break-out news of writer Amanda Hocking and her incredible publishing story. The amazing part isn’t that she got her books into the hands of millions of readers but the fact that she’s NOT published in the traditional sense. You can read more about Amanda’s story from the link above but the gist is that she went down the ‘correct’ path and after getting one-too-many rejections on her umpteenth book she decided to go the self-publishing route. She now holds multiple spots in the Amazon Kindle top 100 sales and one of her books has already been optioned for a movie. Incredible.

This of course is another wakeup call that I’ve been hearing a lot lately about self-publishing. J.A. Konrath talks a lot about self-publishing and how he makes more from eBooks than anything in print. The biggest fault people find in his argument is that he’s an established writer and he has a fan-base already in place to buy those books. This theory has been blown out of the water by Amanda’s success.

So where does this leave us? Most of us are trying very hard to get our best work written and then queried out to agents in the hopes we are picked up. There’s always the chance but we all know the reality that it’s very difficult. You also can’t just give up and place your work online for self-publishing because that is a disqualifier for most agents and publishers when looking at a book. They want work that’s never been published in any form. I would LOVE to put Spirit Hackers into Kindle and all other stores out there, podcast it via podiobooks.com and do anything else to get ‘out there’ but then I’ve shot myself in the foot on a book that’s taken me over 2-years to complete. Setting Spirit Hackers free isn’t the answer, at least not until after it’s been queried everywhere and then rejected. If I’ve explored all avenues and can’t get it sold, then I will seriously consider putting it online myself.

Can we have our cake and eat it too? That’s what I am going to try. Amanda’s story has pushed me to the realization that self-publishing CAN work if the story is good. So this is my plan to have the best of both worlds: I’m writing two books. You all know Loopback is my new WIP. That book will be written for the traditional route of writing and querying. As with Spirit Hackers, if I exhaust all publishing options I’ll consider putting it online. In addition to Loopback, I plan to develop and write books that I’ve decided will be self-published from the get-go. I don’t know if it will be a short story, novella or novel but there will be work out there and available for everyone. I’m throwing some ideas around and figuring out how to do this but it’s going to be a lot of fun. I plan on working out some of those ideas later today. In addition, if I’m able to write quick enough, I may release it chapter-by-chapter as the book is getting written to make it even more exciting.

Of course this puts a lot more on my plate but I’m focusing on the big picture: getting published one way or another while preserving certain works for a shot at the traditional market. I figure if my self-published work takes off, it may sell to a publisher anyway. It worked for Nathan Lowell, so it can work for me.

01st Jan2009

Happy 2009

by Aaron

I want to take a moment to wish everyone out there a happy new year. I hope your 2009 is great and brings you much success. This past year has been tough for a lot of people and also most Americans. I look forward to 2009 knowing we will have a new president and hopefully some light at the end of the tunnel regarding war, foreign relations and most importantly the strength of our economy & nation.

I’m keeping today’s post short for everyone. On a good note I published my third Suite101 article yesterday afternoon. I hope you guys check it out and enjoy the content. Feel free to pass along the link and information to anyone who you think could use it.

I’ll see you all tomorrow. Enjoy your time off with family & friends. Be safe.