Thursday, May 31, 2012

The art of the book cover

Originally, when I first created The Judas Syndrome cover art in 2009, it was meant to portray the catalyst of the apocalypse in a more painterly style.

Then as the book became a series I realized the cover art wouldn't lend itself to  branding three books. So I came up with the stark graphic image in 2010 which lent itself perfectly to using a symbol for each book,  yet carrying over the same look and feel.

Then in 2012 I decided I'd make a compilation of all three books into one trilogy and designed the current cover.  Then decided I could use this new cover for each of the books and just replace the secondary name  and include the original symbols from the 2010 design.

I think the cover has come a long way and feel this may be its last incarnation. The point is, cover design is a tricky business. You don't want to jump into it like I did and keep changing it. I was lucky enough that the books didn't really get selling until I had my second design in place and since it pretty closely resembles the current cover art, I think people will still relate them to the series, but offers them more 'curb appeal'. After all, most people do still judge a book by its cover, and so, as indy authors, we need to step it up a notch and have professional looking cover art for our indy marketed books.

Michael Poeltl

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Post Apocalyptic Earth Blog: Revolution

Post Apocalyptic Earth Blog: Revolution: There is gonna be a new show on NBC "Revolution". "Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped...

Marketing your trilogy for the Indy author

As an independent author, I understand the limited reach I have against traditionally published books or series. So, as such, you have to think outside the box.

Have you writ en a trilogy or series? Have you created a website? Have you marketed yourself on all of the important social networks? The Facebooks and Twitters, Goodreads and linked In? Did you place your book on Amazon and Smashwords in digital formats to meet all potential e-readers like the kindle, nook, kobo, Sony and ipad? Have you joined forums like Kindle boards and mobile reads to promote your work? Have you approached bloggers and reviewers of your genre?

Good, then you have taken your future and the future of your books into your own hands. Regardless of whether you've been traditionally published or going it on your own, marketing is always going to be on you, the author.

So, you've built your name and your brand and your series. What's next? Freebies! And which book should you offer as a freebie? Think about it now... why give away book one? "Well, it's the first of the series" is your argument. But think about it. If you give away book 1 there is no guarantee they'll move on and buy book 2. You're assuming they'll love book one and have to know what happens next. But that may not be the case. So, you've potentially lost a sale for every free book you've handed out. Now, if you were to give away book 2 of the series or trilogy, then you're going to receive potential sales for book 1 right away, as many people won't want to start in the middle of a trilogy, but because the book is free, will give it a shot!

Now, you can go a little further and up the price of book one (which i didn't do) or up the price of book three (which I did do). Once you've read two of three books in a series, and even only liked them and didn't love them, you're in the author's world now, so you're likely to buy book three  - especially if left with a cliff-hanger in book two. So, are you getting my point? People love free books. People love a trilogy. People have a hard time coming into a trilogy in the middle. So people buy book one because they got book two for free. They purchase book one and read one and two, then they purchase book three. If you gave away a thousand copies of book 2, you can potentially sell 2000 more copies. Then there is word of mouth, the reviews, the tweets, the 'likes', the bloggers and the potential that someone with some real influence has now read your series and is interested in traditionally publishing it with the promise of another two or three book deal worth 7 digits.

That's pretty exciting. I know I'm excited for my own success in having recently done just that with my trilogy The Judas Syndrome. I expect within a month's time I will be very grateful for the idea and I hope I can encourage other Indy writers to do the same with their books and realize a similar success.

Michael Poeltl

Friday, May 18, 2012

FREE Kindle book May 19th - 23rd, 2012

For a very limited time Rebirth, Book two of the post-apocalyptic, dystopian trilogy The Judas Syndrome will be available FREE for your kindles on Amazon. Commencing May 19th through to the 23rd.

This second installment of the epic trilogy picks up where book one leaves off, overlapping the final scenes and giving enough background that the reader will not feel lost.

For more on the series visit

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Free ebook available featuring The Judas Syndrome characters

2012’s Revelation may have signaled an end to Michael Poeltl’s Judas Syndrome Trilogy, but Joel, Sara, Earl, Sonny, and the other characters continue to live on in the hearts of fans worldwide.

Holes in the Darkness is a collection of six short stories / book excerpts submitted by fans of the series. These pieces are dark, humourous, touching, and occasionally a hybrid of all three.

Courage. Violence. Hope. Despair. Humour. Rage. These are recurring themes in the Judas Syndrome trilogy, and they all make an appearance in this authorized anthology.

This is a free offering put together by Rose Keefe, the editor of the trilogy and authorized by author Michael Poeltl.  Each of the stories have been compiled from multiple fan fiction sites and given authorization from the individual authors to be included in this free ebook.

Poeltl says:

"I am thrilled to have this work of fan fiction based on characters from my series .... available to the public. Each story is well written and well thought out."

Monday, May 7, 2012

77 Days in September - novel by Ray Gorham

Ray Gorham was born in Calgary, Canada in 1966.  Prior to graduating college and settling in the United States in 1991, Ray had the good fortune to live in a variety of locations around the world.  Years in Australia, England, Lebanon, Japan, Canada, and the United States all helped to shape his background, worldview, and appreciation for other people and cultures.

Graduating with a degree in Accounting, he decided he couldn’t spend a future studying tax law and sitting in front of a computer all day, so he took a management position with Wal-Mart and spent the next 10 years in retail management where he had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of employees and thousands of customers on a weekly basis.  Growing tired of large corporations, Ray next tried opening and running a restaurant, but decided after a year that wasn’t for him either.  From there, he found a small log home business for sale in Montana in 2006 and settled in for what he hoped would be a long-term career.

When the construction industry slowed down in 2008, Ray knew he was going to have a lot of time on his hands, so he determined to cross off one of the items on his bucket list—writing a novel.  After thousands of hours of writing and editing he had the final draft of his first novel, a 108,000 word effort telling the story of a husband struggling to return to his family after a major terrorist attack.  While agents and publishers have passed on his efforts to this point, he has found significant success so far in digital format, selling over 10,000 copies of his work.

On a Friday afternoon before Labor Day, Americans are getting ready for the holiday weekend, completely unaware of a long-planned terrorist plot about to be launched against the country. Kyle Tait is settling in for his flight home to Montana when a single nuclear bomb is detonated 300 miles above the heart of America. The blast, an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP), destroys every electrical device in the country, and results in the crippling of the power grid, the shutting down of modern communications, and bringing to a halt most forms of transportation.
Kyle narrowly escapes when his airplane crashes on takeoff, only to find himself stranded 2,000 miles from home in a country that has been forced, from a technological standpoint, back to the 19th Century. Confused, hurt, scared, and alone, Kyle must make his way across a hostile continent to a family he’s not even sure has survived the effects of the attack. As Kyle forges his way home, his frightened family faces their own struggles for survival in a community trying to halt its slow spiral into chaos and anarchy.

77 Days in September follows Kyle and his wife, Jennifer, as they are stretched past their breaking point, but find in their devotion to each other the strength to persevere.


High above the sun-baked prairies of Lawrence, Kansas, the missile reached its target.  No one on the ground even noticed the blast.  Perhaps had someone been looking at precisely the right location, at precisely the right time, they might have noticed a tiny, momentary spark in the bright afternoon sky.  Had they seen the flash, it likely would have been attributed to the glint of sunlight reflecting off a passing airplane.  From every vantage point below the detonation, there was no sense of the destructive capacity contained in that tiny speck of light.  More than 300 miles above the earth, a nuclear explosion impacts nothing with the force of its blast.  It is merely a large bomb going off in a vacuum, creating no shockwaves, no fireballs, no radiation, not even any sound. 

Despite the lack of explosive destruction, this was now the most lethal weapon to be unleashed in the history of the world, but it was a weapon that would have had absolutely no discernable affect on mankind 200 years ago, other than creating a more colorful aurora.  Upon detonation, the bomb expelled an intense wave of gamma radiation in every direction.  The gamma rays traveling earthward interacted with the upper levels of the atmosphere and created a chain reaction of displaced electrons that rushed towards the surface of the earth at the speed of light.  Most of the these displaced electrons passed rapidly through the atmosphere and grounded themselves harmlessly in the earth. 

A small percentage, however, encountered conductive materials:  metal, antennas, copper wiring, and silicon chips.  As these conductors absorbed untold billions of free electrons, they experienced sudden surges in both voltage and current.  In simple items, like a garden rake, this surge was manifested as a harmless static electricity-like spark.  But in larger networks and sensitive objects, the consequences of the electron overload were devastating. 


They sat in silence, lost in their thoughts and watching the pandemonium.  Ed spoke after a long period of silence.  “I don’t think we’ll be flying out of here today, even if we want to.  I don’t think anyone is.  This is completely different from anything I’ve ever seen or heard of.  With all those crashed airplanes, there should be hundreds of emergency vehicles from all over the city out there, but I didn’t see a single one.  There should have been enough help for us, even with the other planes down.  I bet we’d still be waiting out by that airplane if we hadn’t come in on our own.  Something is wrong at a level I can’t fathom.”

Kyle nodded.  “I’ve been thinking the same thing.  I think everyone is.  You can see it in their faces; there’s a fear and helplessness that I’ve never seen.  Of course, how are you supposed to act when you’ve seen an airplane fall from the sky?”

“It’s not just one plane wreck, Kyle.  It’s multiple wrecks.  It’s no emergency assistance to our flight, and no response for those other planes.  It’s no power in the terminal.  It’s total confusion with the airport employees.  You saw them.  They had no idea what they should be doing.  Some of the smart ones are faking it, but most of them look like they want to cry.  And the passengers…they’re freaked out bad.  There’s a deeper fear there than just the power being out, more than a plane crash.  Have you noticed that no one is using their cell phone?  We tried mine, but it’s dead.  They’re all dead.  In a situation like this, everyone would be on their phone.  It’s like…I know this doesn’t make any sense, but it’s like we’ve been attacked.”  Ed paused a moment before continuing.  “You remember 9/11?”

Kyle nodded.  “Who doesn’t?  I’ll always remember it.  I was listening on my car radio 2,000 miles away from New York when it happened, but I’ll always remember it.”

“It feels like that, but ten times worse.  Remember how unreal everything felt that day?  How you couldn’t believe it was happening, even as you watched it on TV?  This feels the same way.  I don’t know why, but it does.”

Publisher: Self
Genre: Techno-thriller/literary fiction
Release Date:May 25, 2011

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