Welcome to A Novel's Perspective-The blog of Christian Fiction author Jeff W. Horton!

Christian Fiction for the Entire Family...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Work on Frontier Continues

Work on my next novel, Frontier, continues. I'm really pleased about how well the story line is coming along, and I believe readers will be as well! Frontier is the sequel to my soon-to-be-released novel, Cybersp@ce, a techno-thriller, and is likely to be the second in a trilogy, which will culminate in New Beginnings sometime next year.

I love writing these stories and consider myself blessed to have found something I enjoy so much. Perhaps, God willing, I might one day make it as as a successful, full-time novelist!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book Marketing 101 (My Experiences so Far)

Okay, for those of you who thought I would be telling you how to best market your book, guess again! To be frank, that's something I've read and thought a good bit about recently. Here are some of the things I've tried to date and what I interpret the results to be:

Book signings-I've attended somewhere around twenty-thirty book signings so far. To be frank, aside from selling a few books at some of the signings, the biggest return I found was the feelgood sensation of being a successful author. While the jury is still out on book signings (for me), I suspect it will have a much greater impact once I've gained some "traction" and really starting to sell books. I suspect it will help fan the flames of success, rather than igniting them.

Interviews- To date, I've had one television interview, and again thirty or so radio interviews (mostly Blog Talk Radio and a few radio stations in NJ and NC). I've seen some success here, and sense a much greater value here, particularly in light of the fact that many of these are posted to the Internet where they can be viewed or listened to for some time to come. I'm looking forward to national television interviews!

Movie Trailers-I've seen quite a few posts suggesting that trailers are not  that helpful to authors. I disagree. Just as movie trailers help generate excitement for films, I believe can be true, though to a lesser degree, for books as well. Readers tend to be more informed about authors and their works, and often talk about the frequently with friends and vi social media. I'm a fan of trailers. In particular I like to include voice overs, which seem to add that cinema feel to them.

Social Media- I admit that I'm no expert at taking advantage of social media. I joined some FB groups where a lot of authors (and I'm surprised at how many there are!) will support one another, and I feel this has  helped, to some degree. What authors are most interested in, however, are (go figure) selling books. So despite some support from fellow authors, which I certainly value, authors need to reach readers, the kind who will buy a book and try someone new. Conclusion? I think it definitely helps but I believe authors really should be careful not to burn too much time here when there is very little to no return/

Giveaways/Reviews-This has been yet another venue for marketing that I feel authors should take advantage of, because it helps get some exposure and who knows, perhaps if a reader is interested and doesn't win the giveaway maybe they're buy the book. I  think this has the greatest impact just before and after the book's release, particularly in the case of giveaways. With reviews, the trick is to have enough positive reviews on Amazon to help offset the inevitable negative reviews posted by competitors and detractors.

Advertising-This is an area where I feel there is the greatest opportunity. I ran a advertising campaign on Goodreads (a small one) and I have one going at this time for The Way of Nacor (again a small one). I also just started my first campaign (once again a small one!) for FB. I believe in my novels and the quality of the works and I believe if most people give them a look and like the genre, they will enjoy them. Therefore, I've set out to try and get the word out as much as possible about my novels, past, present, and future.

Conclusion: I plan to start placing more emphasis on advertising and interviews, while continuing selling my "brand", by blogging, etc.

Have your own story to tell? How about sharing your experience with the rest of us?

Here's hoping for your success in marketing your books!

Jeff W. Horton

Friday, September 21, 2012

Giveaway for THE WAY OF NACOR

The Goodreads giveaway for The Way of Nacor is over. Congratulations to Nicole Tozier for winning!

Click on the Active Giveaway Contests tab for active giveaway contests!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


I've been working on developing a story line for the sequel to my novel, Cyberspace. The tentative title will be FRONTIERS. It's looking very promising so far. I hope to have it ready for publication by February,

Look for FRONTIERS in Spring, 2013!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Professional Book Reviews

Midwest Book Review and Reader's Favorite; they are two of the many professional review organizations sought after by authors and publishers alike to present the author's work to the rest of the world as something that needs to be read.

I count myself blessed to have had three of my novels reviewed by these organizations: The Great Collapse, The Dark Age, and The Last Prophet. TLP received a five-star review; the other two received four-stars. 

Do such professional reviews carry less or more weight than  reviews by individuals? What do you think? 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Goodreads Giveaway and October Book tour for THE WAY OF NACOR!

Goodreads Giveaway
There are less than two weeks left in the Goodreads Giveaway for The Way of Nacor: Tales of Eden! Here is the link for it.

The Way of Nacor will be on tour with Orangeberry Virtual  Book Tours in October!
Also, The Way of Nacor: Tales of Eden will also be on tour in October at Orangeberry Virtual Book Tours. I hope you will stop by some great blog sites to visit, and sign up for some great giveaways!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Writing the Breakout Novel

Front Cover

Have you ever wanted to write a breakout novel? 

Perhaps you don't know what a breakout novel is. To paraphrase, a novel that sees a sharp, sudden, inexplicable rise in sales, could be considered to be a breakout novel. I feel like I'm pretty safe in saying that most authors would love to see their novels "breakout"!

Early on in my writing I did everything I could to find my way, learning about query letters for the first time, about the many specific requirements that not only publishers, but even many literary agents have and expect to be met before they will even consider an author's work.  Unfortunately the big publishing houses, like many literary agents, seem to enjoy the inherent power that comes with receiving so many requests for publication or in the case of literary agents, representation. It seems that authors, the very ones producing the product around which livelihoods are being made, are often treated with considerable disdain by those who make a living selling those products. But I digress. 

It was in the early days of my writing that I came across a book entitled Writing the Breakout Novel, by New York literary agent Donald Maass. In the novel, Mr, Maass attempts to define what he feels drives novels to suddenly "breakout", causing sales to skyrocket. In a nutshell, Mr. Maas suggests that word of mouth and what's between the two covers help drive a novel towards becoming  a breakout.  While Mr. Maass doesn't pretend to have all of the answers, he does call intention to some key plot elements that should always be present, as well as the importance of having tension on every page of a novel. He is able to draw on his considerable experience and expertise as a literary agent representing fiction writers. 

I found Writing the Breakout Novel to be a great asset in helping me to grow and improve as a novelist. If you're a novelist or if you are considering becoming one, I highly recommend Mr. Maass book and if you can get him, I suspect he'd be an excellent agent as well.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Reflections on the Publishing Industry and My Journey So Far

It's interesting how the publishing industry seems to have changed over the years. At one point, not so long ago, a writer put words to paper and a novel was born. If the novel was interesting enough, an author would simply contact an agent who would then take it to a publisher, who would then issue a large advance so the writer could work on writing the sequel. That's still the way it works today, right?

It is for some, perhaps even many, but certainly not for me. I've read articles and attended writer's conferences where I learned about how the publishing industry has changed over the years. Book stores all across the country are closing their doors now as the prices of books are being forced downward by inexpensive, often self-published eBooks. The electronic publishing of eBooks for the Kindles and the Nooks, have forced many changes in the industry. With nearly everyone owning a computer anyone who can type can crank out a novel, and many, many people have. In fact, there are so many people writing these days and so many of them are either seeking out publishers or simply self-publishing on Amazon, that it's really hard to break through the noise level and interest agents enough in my work.

I've written five novels to date and I plan to continue writing for quite a long time. I already have a publisher and have had all five novels published, one with Tate Publishing and the other four with World Castle Publishing. I would still like an agent, however, as I feel it would help me in many regards, not the least of which is getting filmmakers interested in my novels. My strategy has changed, however, from writing query letter after query letter to agents, only to receive rejections, to working hard to continually improve my craft, in the hope that if I write great books and generate enough in sales, agents will come to me. I don't know if this approach will be successful, but it's the one I'm taking!

If you are an author, I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences in the publishing industry!