READERS, Don’t PAY THE PRICE

It’s the spooky season, and Covid has created a need for scary books, but holy smokes, they’re expensive. That doesn’t seem fair. So, it’s time to flip things around. For a limited time, I’m offering a few short stories and books for free, and another set at discount price. Check them out below and enjoy. Some are online magazines, others Kindle based. All are for your enjoyment. Happy Halloween!

FREE

Black Petals Horror/Science Fiction Magazine

A Horse for Us All

http://blackpetalsks.tripod.com/blackpetalsissue71/id35.html

Killian Black is a ruthless highwayman on his last shilling due to a treacherous epidemic in eighteenth century England that’s forced everyone into hiding. Luckily, he’s heard rumors of a royal convoy riding from the King’s country estates, a score that’ll replenish his pockets and pay for his many vices. The only catch, his informant can’t confirm that there’s riches in the royal carriage, so it’s up to Killian to investigate. 

Drunken Pen Writing & Podcast

Buried in the Rain

(Available 10.25.20)

https://drunkenpenwriting.com

Steve is a stuffy professor down on his luck, grading papers on a rainy night at a coffee house. His only excitement are the glances from his crush, the barista, Nikki. Then something strange happens. While Steve reads about a possible killer in the area, a teary eyed girl appears in the entrance of the lonely cafe. Steve tries to comfort her, but scares her back into the stormy street. Torn, Steve pursues her through the bleak weather, beginning a chase that takes him to a broken house in a bad side of town, and ends… in blood. 

DISCOUNTED PRICES

A Forest Only Whispers (99 cents)

DLG Publishing 

A Forest Only Whispers is a romantic witchcraft story about Melissa, a contemporary witch that lives with her mother and Nanny in a charming New England village. Years ago, her high school boyfriend, Rían, disappeared in the nearby woods, and since then Melissa has never been the same. Now a college student, Melissa spends time with her family, the O’Phelans, her coven sisters and best friend, Hellwise. While the story starts off with a simple family tradition of baking Nine Maidens Pie during the Autumn Equinox, the reader learns that Melissa is sneaking off to join her sisters in praise. As the plot continues, Melissa joins her modern day coven as they go into the legendary Limingdover Woods, where Rían disappeared.

Consumed, BLKDOG Publishing ($3.99)

Sergeant Nathaniel Brannick is trapped in Victorian London during a period of disease, crime, and insatiable vices. One night, Brannick returns from work to find an eerie messenger in his flat who warns him of dark things to come. 

When his next case involves a victim who suffered from consumption, he uncovers clues that lead him to believe the messenger’s warning. Despite his incredulity, he can’t help but wonder if the practical man he once was has been altered by an investigation encompassed in the paranormal. That is, until he meets the witch hunters, and everything takes a turn for the worse.

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Get Your Free Cooy

Get your FREE Amazon Kindle copy today through Saturday, October 10th. Join Ned, his miniature hellhounds, nerd-minions, and book-witch girlfriend, Chelsea, as they try to save Chicago from the corporate warlock. Hilarious, fun and supernatural adventure just in time for Halloween.

https://youtu.be/Lx0ihfa8e48https://youtu.be/Lx0ihfa8e48

https://www.amazon.com/Devil-Wide-City-Justin-Alcala-ebook/dp/B07TT7BNYT/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=justin+alcala&qid=1601976233&sr=8-3https://www.amazon.com/Devil-Wide-City-Justin-Alcala-ebook/dp/B07TT7BNYT/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=justin+alcala&qid=1601976233&sr=8-3

What A Spooky Year

It’s been a fantastic literary year for this nerd (amidst the real life horror). I want thank all of the great supporters including readers, interviewers and fellow bloggers. I can not, nor want to, do this without you. On that note, take a look at all the recent titles from 2020. The year has been frightening, but hopefully the books will merely give you a fictional scare.

https://www.amazon.com/Justin-Alcala/e/B00SN2VJAM?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1601474301&sr=8-1nd

Beyond the Levee and Other Ghost Stories Anthology: “It Dances Now” by Justin Alcala

Power Loss “It Snows Here” by Justin Alcala

DLG Publishing Presents: “A Forest Only Whispers” by Justin Alcala

Running Wild Anthology of Stories Volume 2: “A Blind and Terrible Thing” by Justin Alcala

101 Proof Horror “The Lantern Quietly Screams” by Justin Alcala

On Time Anthology “Time Will Tell” by Justin Alcala

Black Petals Magazine Presents “A Horse for All of Us” by Justin Alcala

On that note, please, be safe, healthy and happy. Read books and make life as cool as you deserve.

Justin Alcala

___________________________________________________________________________

Check Me Out on My Latest Podcast Interview, “Were You Still Talking?”

ADD AN EYE EDITING SERVICES

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“A Dead End Job” Will Hit the pages with the Parliament House

When you’re an author, you dream of signing w/ a publisher like The Parliament House. They have knowledgable editors, an intuitive market team and a creative process for getting your book the attention it deserves. That’s why I am excited to say that my absurdists-urban fantasy novel, “A Dead End Job,” has been deleted by this great publishing team to hit the pages between 2021-22. Stay tuned for more electrifying details about Buck, an ex-hitman interning for the Grim Reaper, soon.

“A Dead End Job” was initially proofread by the powerful “Add an Eye” editing team. If you’re working on that first great novel or need someone to edit your written presentation, look no further. I used Add an Eye services for “A Dead End Job,” and it helped make me a finalist for the Speculative Fiction Writer’s Award in 2019. Since then, I’ve never looked back. Try them today, and see where their skilled eye can help your writing. https://addaneye.com

Checkout my interview on WERE YOU STILL TALKING w/ Joel Albrecht

Checkout my interview on WERE YOU STILL TALKING w/ Joel Albrecht. We talk nerdy, discuss the great author pantheon and ponder whether Antonio Banderas can play any part without being super McSexy.

Apple Podcast:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/were-you-still-talking/id1460064725?ls=1

Google Play:

https://play.google.com/music/listen?u=0#/ps/Iwk5c5gjjrar4rvtwxu72vpcrye

Spotify:

Radio Public:

Deezer:

https://www.deezer.com/us/show/427982

For Our Heroes

You deserve a free story! Check out my short work, “The Dilemma of Old Furnaces” on Please See Me Magazine’s “Heroes” issue. The online magazine’s mission is to elevate the voices and stories of vulnerable populations, and those who care for them. At the heart of their publication is the cultivation of meaningful patient–provider partnerships in the spirit of wellness. So please, sit back and enjoy. This one is for our medical heroes, the sick but brave patients, and any other readers who just need a retreat into their imagination.

https://pleaseseeme.com

The Dilemma of Old Furnaces

Please See Me Magazine “Heroes”

Need a Scare: Check Out My latest Ghost Story

Who doesn’t love to be scared? Check out my latest short ghost story, “A Lantern Quietly Screams” in the 101 Proof Horror anthology by Czykmate Productions/Haunted MTL. There’s so many talented authors in this book of horror, it’s scary. 

“A Lantern Quietly Screams”

When four history students researching the Underground Railroad can’t find records on the old network near the Blue Ridge Mountains, they put out an ad in the paper. Luckily, an archivist, and descendent of a former slave-gone-guide, agrees to drive up to tell her grandmother’s tale. However, as the group waits along the base of the dark mountain, ghostly lanter lights flicker in the wood line. Will their source arrive before anything happens? Only time will tell.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1989225306?pf_rd_r=8C6DPNBRE1QRXN6T59Z2&pf_rd_p=edaba0ee-c2fe-4124-9f5d-b31d6b1bfbee

Need a reliable proofreader or editor for your short. Look no more. Check out Add an Eye editorial services. Their charming, elite staff are the best. I use Add an Eye for all my editorial needs.

www.addaneye

June Updates

Consumed faced off against fifty other BLKDOG Publishing titles to win Next Best in the 2020 Book of the Year Awards, losing by a mere three-percent for first place. It was a lot of fun, and thank you to everyone for the support. 

Check out my appearance on Marsha Cook’s “Michigan Avenue Media” podcast where we talk shop about writing during Covid, genres and my upcoming short story, A Forest Only Whispers.”

Finally, writers, if you’re looking for a talented set of eyes to edit your work, look no further. I’ve used Add an Eye Editorial Services for the last year, and have had four short stories published, plus one award earned, because of it. Add an Eye knows what they’re talking about and can clean up any manuscript, report or document flawlessly. Rates are extremely fair and the staff is the friendliest on the planet.
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I Need You: Help Save Consumed

Hello WordPress Community,

It pains me to ask, but my book “Consumed” is neck-and-neck in the final two for BLKDOG’s Book of the Year award. I hate to beg, but would you be so kind as to take seven seconds to vote CONSUMED as the Winner on yourTwitter account? Every vote matters in this clash of horns! No worries if you can’t. 

Just click the below link, scroll down to the survey section, and vote CONSUMED. Thank you so much.

Reading the Reader: A Guide to Figuring Out the Messy Literary Market

Open up any author’s web browser and you’ll find one heck of a history. Everything from how to kill someone with a pool noodle to how many hours would it take to ride a bicycle to Mars might show up. What you’ll also find are a dozen literary pages complete with market research and suggestive trends. That’s because, like it or not, authors do not understand what readers want. They can cater to a preferred group, take shots in the dark or be all lone wolf about it, but the truth stands on its own. Writers are at a loss to global reading habits.

In writers’ defense, not even the experts seem to know. According to Global English Editing’s The Ultimate Guide to Global Reading Habits,publishers and agents seem to be at a loss on how to follow data. For starters, the top three most literate countries, Finland, Norway and Iceland only account for approximately eleven million combined people. Even if every citizen was a reader, they’d only make up around twelve percent of ebook readers alone. Meanwhile, although twenty-six percent of Vietnam’s population don’t identify as regular readers, Asia is by far one of the top continents for book sales. In America, seventy-four percent of people have read a book in the last twelve months, yet twenty-seven percent of American adults haven’t read this year. Confused, yet?

In genres, the leader, Romance/Erotica, makes up 1.44 billion dollars per year, followed by Crime/Mystery at 728.2 million. Religious Inspiration, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Horror finish the top five genres with a combined 1.389 billion dollars. Yet, the global yearly earnings for books is near 20 billion dollars. So, what’s selling that makes up the other eighty percent of books? How does an author find out where their audience is? And why is all of the information so conflicting? 

The truth of the matter is that data is hard to rope up. For literary producers, guessing what audiences want is more alchemy than science. They follow trends rather than raw data. And trends are an ever undulating affair, like waves in an upside-down ocean. Now, before you knock book creators for being hacks that chase people rather than art, know that true artists, the lone wolves that write what they want, only sell on average two-hundred-and-fifty copies within their lifetime. That’s not nearly enough to keep any business flowing. Like it or not, there’s something to be said for understanding what’s in demand. 

So, what does this mean for writers? It means that there’s really no way to understand what a reader wants. Yes, there are trends that authors can try to chase, but they’re fickle and ever changing. Yes, you can look at last year’s sales and try to make predictions for the upcoming quarters, but the numbers are constantly contradicting themselves. No agent, publisher or researcher can guarantee an author will earn enough money to feed their family, let alone become a New York Best Seller. 

The only element the author can control is writing well. Write that perfect piece, and when you’re done, then try to take the best shot at how best to publish your work. Some of the best writers have created perfection, only to realize that their work needs to be placed into a drawer temporarily or adjusted to fit the times. Things like global pandemics, flooded markets and overdone genres all have a way of affecting the success of your latest work. 

So, if you’re writing the next great novel, and are drowning in angst because you don’t know how to sell it, let’s remember these simple steps. First, finish your story. Once you have a strong piece of work, you can decide what’s trending, who might be the best representation to support your work, and anything else that changes how you’ll present it to the world. The future is not ours to see, but having a strong piece of writing is the most vital step in reading your reader. 

Calling all writers! Check out “Add an Eye” editing and proofreading for all of your extremely affordable writing needs.

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Looking for cover art? Do you want to nail online or printed advertisements for your book, short story or novel? Look no further. Ana Cruz is the master of creating the perfect book cover, marketing art or any other contracted art you need. This talented artist works at incredibly competitive prices, and contracts all rights to the payer. How do I know? I’ve used her for both “Dim Fairy Tales” and “Consumed 2nd edition.” Get your art on the right page today!

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