Unnormal Normalcy

Just News and Ramblings From Your Average Author

Update to Review Policy

I have been getting a lot of emails lately from people who want me to review their works. This is great, I really want to help promote other writers’ books. But I’m busy with school and work and my own writing. I have one simple request:

Sell your book to me. Tell me why I should read your book. Have I read a book similar to yours? With similar themes and characters? Draw on that.

Say something like this: “I saw you enjoyed Book by Author. If you liked that book, you’ll like mine too.” And then tell me all about it.

I just don’t have time to respond to everyone who just sends me a generic email, because I don’t have time to read every book set in front of me. If you want me to read and review your work, tell me why I should.

Please please please, this will make my life so much easier. Thank you.


September 26, 2012 Posted by | Blog Tour, Promoting, Reading, Writing | Leave a comment

Soundtrack Sunday

So, maybe if I schedule this post I will actually remember it for once… I’m so terrible. Just go ahead and punch me.

Anyway, I bought the new LP CD the other day. I am totally in love with it. Their last CD can’t compare. This one is my favorite, even if they have changed.

Yes, you’re being spammed.

That last one makes me cry.

July 22, 2012 Posted by | Promoting, Soundtrack Sunday | Leave a comment

Love Conquering Hate


This went viral almost instantly, and I’m glad. What makes middle school children think it’s okay to call an old woman a “fat ass” and “bitch?” She’s just sitting there.

I can’t even put words to my feelings of rage and disgust. This video actually had me crying.

But these kids are finally going to be punished, or so the school district claims. And the world is outraged by the actions of these kids.

A fund has been set up to send Karen on vacation, but it looks like she might just be able to retire. In less than a day, a fundraiser with a goal of $5,000, has raised over $90,000. In fact, as I refresh the page right now, it is at… $95,507.

And it goes up every minute.

Sometimes love – and outrage – conquers the hate in the world.

The fundraiser for Karen: http://www.indiegogo.com/loveforkarenhklein?c=home

June 21, 2012 Posted by | Life, Promoting | Leave a comment

Oh Wow

This is something I just found out about, and I can’t not share it with you guys. I live near Rochester, NY, where the Wegman’s chain of grocery stores was started, and it’s something of a source of pride for us. Just like Kodak also was, before it started going under… Anyway, recently a group of students at Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, Massachusetts, created a musical – about Wegman’s. At first it’s almost silly to think of students performing a musical about a grocery store, but then you look at how that reflects on the store itself. Wegman’s clearly has an impact on the people in the communities it comes to. It’s impossible to go anywhere in the Rochester area without seeing a Wegman’s store, and there are many, many people who never shop anywhere else. It really is a great store, with a huge selection of EVERYTHING, and an amazingly diverse array of choices in the hot food dining area. Thinking that there are other people in the country just experiencing for the first time what I take for granted on a daily basis is just incredible. And to see people becoming this dedicated and smitten with the place, well, it makes me proud to come from the place that started it all.

May 22, 2012 Posted by | Life, Promoting, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PayPal is now in Charge of Censorship?


I think it’s pretty pathetic when a company that only exists to process payments between buyers and sellers takes advantages of the fact that people use it so widely to begin deciding what people can and can’t buy. This is what PayPal is doing to ebook vendors such as Smashwords.

Books are things that allow people to express themselves freely, whether by writing them or reading them. Censorship has always been a problem for writers. When can we write what we need to write, without having some aspect of it censored, banned, or chopped out by sensitive editors?

Now, we also have to worry about whether or not PayPal will accept it. Will PayPal – not an editor or publisher or even a reader – let us write and sell what we enjoy writing? Will PayPal allow us, as readers, to buy the books that we enjoy to read?

What PayPal is objecting to are the following types of content in erotica: incest, rape, and bestiality.

Now, I don’t write any of these things, nor do I have any desire to read such things. But, the fact is, some people do. It’s not right to stop people from reading what they choose to read.

I may not want to read the things you want to read, but I will stand behind your right to read – and to read what you want. I’ve signed the petition, have you?

March 1, 2012 Posted by | History, Life, Promoting, Reading, Writing | Leave a comment

Expenses and Revenues of Self-Publishing

Over the course of 2011 I incurred $113.94 in expenses related to my publishing. Most of that was from buying copies to sell in person.

I received $10.00 in royalties from Amazon for Kindle sales.

I also received $21.04 in royalties from CreateSpace for print book sales.

I sold books in person for a total of $60.00.

As of now, I have $1.37 in unpaid royalties from Smashwords, $4.19 in unpaid royalties from CreateSpace, and $8.24 in unpaid royalties from Amazon.

This puts me at $-22.90 for 2011. However, I have done very little in the way of promoting, and I only have two novels at the moment. This is better than I did last year with only one novel. I’m still content to continue my self-publishing adventure.

January 9, 2012 Posted by | Monday Plug, Promoting, Writing | Leave a comment

Take Action Against Plagiarism

David Boyer. Iron Dave Boyer. Dan Boyer. Doc Boyer. David Byron. Iron Dave Byron. Dan Byron. Doc Burton. David Brookes. Leo Wolfe. Jack Burnett.

Multiple names, one crook. Boyer has been stealing the work of numerous authors and promoting it as his own, and has even moved on to song lyrics recently. Unfortunately, no one has really done anything to stop his scam, despite having been outed as a thief all over the internet. People know to watch out for him, but he has yet to be stopped.

Until now. Boyer’s first victim, Ferrell Rick Moore, has managed to convince the Attorney General in Indiana (Boyer’s home state) to look at complaints about the man. Here is what Moore says on his blog:

In the past, the only recourse a writer had was to file an expensive, time consuming and ultimately unproductive lawsuit against creeps like Boyer who then claim they’re bankrupt. Help me change that. Tell the Attorney General’s office for the State of Indiana how important it is for this plagiarist publisher to be subject to the same penalties as any other crooked business. We want him pursued under Consumer Fraud regulations at their cost, not ours. He’s defrauding consumers by selling them our stuff with his name on it.

Here’s where to send your respectful but firm letters and or emails of support, and be sure to include the File Number File No. 10-CP-62157:

Tom Irons

Consumer Protection Division

Office of the Indiana Attorney General

302 W. Washington St., 5th Floor

Indianapolis, IN 46204



I plan on writing a letter, even if I haven’t been the loser’s victim. What he’s doing is breaking the law, and it’s so frustrating to see people like him getting away with stealing other people’s hard work. Let’s stop this guy before he hurts more people.

I learned about this from Writer Beware.

October 11, 2011 Posted by | Life, Promoting, Reading, Writing | Leave a comment

The Egyptian – Release Day Review

Layton Green, author of The Summoner, is celebrating the release of his second novel, The Egyptian, by offering both ebooks for just $0.99. The promotion is for this weekend only, so hurry! You can find links to purchase the books on Layton Green’s website.

Below is my review of The Egyptian.


Title: The Egyptian

Author: Layton Green

Published: August 27, 2011, First Ward

Source: author

Goodreads Description: At a mausoleum in Cairo’s most notorious cemetery, a mercenary receives a package containing a silver test tube suspended in hydraulic stasis.

An investigative reporter tracking rogue biomedical companies is terrified by the appearance of a mummified man outside her Manhattan apartment.

A Bulgarian scientist who dabbles in the occult makes a startling discovery in his underground laboratory.

These seemingly separate events collide when Dominic Grey and Viktor Radek, private investigators of cults, are hired by the CEO of an Egyptian biomedical firm to locate stolen research integral to the company’s new life extension product. However, after witnessing the slaughter of a team of scientists by the remnants of a dangerous cult thought long abandoned, Grey and Viktor turn from pursuers to pursued.

From the gleaming corridors of visionary laboratories to the cobblestone alleys of Eastern Europe to a lost oasis in the Sahara, Grey and Viktor must sift through science and myth to uncover the truth behind the Egyptian and his sinister biotech – before that truth kills them.

My Thoughts: This book was fantastic. It was full of action and mystery, science and myth. The characters were very interesting, and the plot was absorbing.

It isn’t just a standard search-for-the-fountain-of-youth story, it was actually interesting. I liked the way cults tied in, and several times I caught myself wondering if this was real. There were plenty of twists and lots of action. Even I didn’t see what was coming until it was practically happening.

I did end up with a few plot-related questions, but I don’t want to give anything away. Just know that what questions I was left with didn’t do any harm to the story at all. I just thought maybe the conclusion of the conflict happened a bit too abruptly, though I understand why. The conclusion of the story itself was perfect, I thought. I would definitely read more by this author.

Rating: 4/5

August 27, 2011 Posted by | Promoting, Reading | Leave a comment

Book Soundtracks – For Real

Fairly recently, I reviewed The Survivors by Amanda Havard for BLB Book Tours. If you remember, I absolutely adored that book and I’m dying for the next one in the series. Amanda is doing one thing with her series that I wish I could do; she’s creating a soundtrack. Not in the way many people do, where they hear a song and say “wow, that really fits this book/character.” No, she is actually writing songs that go with the books. It’s so awesome. It almost makes me want to at least try, even though I will fail.

Here is the newest song, “Breaking” performed by Jess Moskaluke.

The very first song Amanda created was “Pretty Girl” performed by Chris Mann.

August 8, 2011 Posted by | Promoting | Leave a comment

Marketing for Cheap

I’m not usually one to use business cards, but I saw that VistaPrint was doing a promotion for 250 free business cards, so I did it. They have lots of easy-to-use templates to choose from, and I’m happy with what I got.

When they sent me my order they also sent a booklet of other deals they had going on. So I caved and ordered 25 magnets, a bumper sticker, a keychain, a note pad, a tote bag, and a business card holder. The magnets I only wanted one of (for my locker at work) but I guess I will have a bunch. I’ll find something to use them for.

But here is the awesome part: I saved $41.71, and spent less than that (I still had to pay shipping on free items). Isn’t that awesome?

So, here’s a tip for everyone trying to promote themselves: if you want to use physical materials and not just online outlets, wait for sales and deals to pop up. VistaPrint has them constantly. You can also shop around the internet for competitive prices, which I highly suggest. You can find deals on just about anything with Google at your disposal!

But to save you some time, I’ve put together a list of other printing resources for you to take a look at. Compare prices and services, and see what works best for you.

July 7, 2011 Posted by | Promoting, Writing | Leave a comment