Blarney Rubble: Cover reveal!

Cover reveal! I had hoped to release it today, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, but the cover will have to do (courtesy of Mike Sottong). With a little “luck,” the book will be available very soon. If you’d like an Advance Reader Copy to review, let me know and I’ll add you to the list!

Blarney Rubble: Humorous Suspense from Bill Cokas

Can he keep quiet enough to hear destiny calling?

For a local politician in the North Carolina mountains, Frank McCarthy has been remarkably good at keeping his mouth shut. His soft-spoken ways got him elected to the school board and helped him overturn a longstanding zoning policy. At home, though, his wife yearns for more conversation, compliments and compassion.  Read More…

Selling my soul might actually be easier.

I have been doing a TON of reading, research and “gathering of best practices” lately, including poring through blogs and absorbing hours upon hours of podcasts. Of particular help are Joanna Penn’s podcast (The Creative Penn) and the Sell More Books Show. I’ve also listed to quite a few Author Hangout episodes and Rocking Self-Publishing. The prevailing wisdom is to start marketing your books (or at least your “brand”) long before their release, so in a sense, my marketing efforts should always be “on.”

What I haven’t been doing a lot of is writing. But there’s a good reason–after hearing Shawn Coyne interviewed by Joanna Penn, I picked up his book The Story Grid and thought I might be able to figure out where the missteps are in my WIP. It has changed my thinking–it’s really inspired me to go back and re-map out the entire novel (word-count-wise, I’m about 2/3 through, but in reality, I’d say only about 50%). Yes, it’s more work, but I will feel so much more confident when it’s done. I’m out outliner anyway, so I always like to know “where I’m going,” even if my characters pull me off that path now and again. Read More…

When everyone is super, no one will be.

I listen to Joanna Penn’s podcast regularly. She’s a certifiable success and role model when it comes to indie publishing and attracts high-level talent for her interviews. I’ve broadened my network and likely improved my craft just in the short time since I discovered her.

In one of her recent episodes, she interviewed the designer of her fiction book covers, Derek Murphy. By all accounts, Derek seems like a very nice guy and is indisputably talented. He’s designed hundreds (thousands?) of covers in the past few years and has no doubt enhanced the appeal of books that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. Read More…

Podcast with Wattpad!

I’ve done announcer-type work and voiceovers for years as kind of a side job, but I still don’t love listening to myself. You, however, are welcome to. This is an interview I did last week with the exceedingly nice Pam from Wattpad, a very popular site for writers to post their work and gain free exposure. I’m bound to Amazon to keep “Ring of Fire” there exclusively for another few weeks, but I posted “Battle Axe” on Wattpad back in March and it’s already received over 100,000 “reads.” Pam asks me about my background in fiction, cartooning, advertising and whatever else we can think of. Listen to it here.

Choose Your Friends Carefully

What I mean by that is, if at all possible, during your formative years, become friends with someone who, a few decades later will offer to design your ebook cover as a personal favor. Make sure this person is someone who displays very little aptitude or passion for graphic design at the time, but through hard work and dedication miraculously transforms into a visionary artist and Photoshopper par excellence. Well, that’s what I did, anyway, and look what it got me. I’m posting a larger cover of my debut novel Ring of Fire here, mainly to give it a place to live so I can send out links. My designer–the multi-talented Mike Sottong–worked with my crude notions of a concept Read More…