Tag Archives: Tim Baker

Get Water Hazard for FREE!

Would you like a free book?

No strings attached…nothing to buy…no signing up for anything…no leaving your email address in a form so you get bombarded with SPAM for the rest of your life…just a free book.

That’s worth repeating – just a FREE BOOK.

Here’s the story…

Back in February (2018) I decided to give away a free book every week while waiting for the release of 24 Minutes.

I did so because 24 Minutes had taken so long to come out that I wanted to make it up to my readers somehow and thank them for their patience.

Now that my next book, Doomed to Repeat, is nearing completion (it’s in the hands of my editor at the moment) I have decided to give away a free book each week until it too is released.

I have also decided that this will be an ongoing tradition…each time I send a new manuscript to the editor I will give away books until said manuscript is released.

So, to start the giving…the first book up for grabs will be Water Hazard.

 

Water Hazard was my second novel, and it still ranks up there as one of my favorites.

It’s the book that really introduces Ike – even though he was in my first book, Living the Dream, he wasn’t what you’d call a major player.

Ike, an ex-Navy SEAL, is basically minding his own business when he suddenly finds himself in some pretty hot water (no pun intended) which begins with a pair of kidnapped teenagers and nearly ends in a watery grave for Ike and his friends.

It’s a pretty fast-paced, action story that will keep you turning the pages (so I’ve been told). there’s even a little romance thrown in for good measure.

The kindle version of Water Hazard will be free from October 2, 2018 (technically as of midnight on Monday Oct 1) thru midnight October 6 (that’s midnight Saturday).

So, if you’re new to the game, here’s your chance to start catching up.

If you’ve already read it, tell your friends, family and coworkers. Share this link (Water Hazard is FREE!) with everybody!!

Enjoy

 

As always – thank you for reading

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Making Noise in the Backseat

In April, 2004 my brother-in-law and I drove from Rhode Island to Florida in a 22 hour non-stop marathon. In order to save us the trouble of thinking of stuff to talk about, we stopped at Cracker Barrel in RI and grabbed a couple of audio books to listen to. We made sure they were action-filled spy stories, hoping they’d keep us awake.

It worked…we stayed awake, listened to 2 good books and returned them to the Cracker Barrel in Florida when we arrived.

Prior to that, my only other experience with audio books was during high school English class when we had to read Shakespeare.

Our teacher was a young woman who, I believe, could still identify with our difficulty in understanding old-timey English. She mercifully allowed us to listen to a recorded version of the story (Romeo and Juliet) which made it much easier for us.

Believe it or not, I have a reason for telling you this stuff…

After six months, I am pleased to announce that my novel Backseat to Justice is finally available as an audio book.

BTJ cover

Backseat is the story of Florida Private Investigator Steve Salem who is hired to tail an unfaithful husband, only to have the husband get executed before his eyes.

Needless to say, he figures his fee is history—until the wife of the slain cheater hires him to solve the murder.

Things take off after that and just when Steve thinks he’s solved the case it takes the most bizarre twist imaginable.

That’s all I’m telling you – if you want to know what happens you’ll have to buy the book.

One more thing about this book – as with the print and e-book versions – half of all the profits are being donated to a Rhode Island based dog rescue organization called Golden Huggs Rescue.

So without further ado – here is the link

Download your copy now and please share this link with your audio-book-loving friends!

As always – Thank you for reading.

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Independent Authors Need to Think Globally & Act Locally

Think Globally – Act Locally

It’s a phrase that gets thrown about quite a bit in discussions about the environment, but I think it can be put to good use when it comes to marketing your books as well.

The phrase urges people to think about the “big picture” (global) while focusing their efforts on a small piece of it (local).

Every author who releases a book these days understands, or should understand, the value of social media. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, My Space, Goodreads, and whatever other sites you can think of, are invaluable tools in reaching people from all over the world without paying high-priced PR Firms or Marketing Consultants—but in your quest to sell books to your many fans in Australia, don’t forget about the readers in your hometown.

Even if you live in a small town, like mine, there are still thousands of potential readers who probably don’t know you exist. Try to focus at least half of your marketing efforts on them.

Half? Crazy, you say? Why spend half of my efforts focusing on ten-thousand people when I can reach millions on facebook???

Here’s why;

Don’t think about them as ten-thousand people…think of them as ten-thousand FREE marketing assistants. Each one of them has friends, relatives and coworkers. Chances are they also have facebook accounts, twitter followings and Pinterest boards. Ipso-facto…if you can reach millions with your one facebook account, imagine your reach if you get just one-thousand of your local fan base to post or tweet about you.

viral

 

Any effort you can put into having a signing at a local library, book store, bar, restaurant or laundromat is bound to pay off way beyond the fifteen or twenty books you sell.

Let me give you an example;

Last year I met another author in my town named Armand Rosamilia. We quickly became friends and soon began tossing marketing ideas around to gain support right here at home. We both write books that take place in our own community, but we thought our local “presence” could use some bolstering. One night, while enjoying a pint at a local watering hole with several friends, the idea of collaborating on a “short story” was brought up. It soon became a full blown group discussion and it was determined that we should set the story in town and use as many local people for characters as possible.

Our goal was a 10,000 word short story featuring several locals as characters with the action taking place in a well-known local setting.

What we ended up with was a 24,000 word novella. We also included preview chapters from each of our recent releases along with bios and lists of our back works.

cover2We arranged a book signing at the bar where the idea was conceived and spread the word by creating a facebook “event”. Naturally, we told all of the named characters about it and invited them to attend and guess what they did?

They came, they brought friends and relatives and they facebooked, tweeted and pinterested the crap out of it.

Both Armand and I saw immediate spikes in sales of our back catalogs and the little novella we wrote (in roughly four days) sold fifty copies at the signing in less than two hours. Our facebook and twitter followings increased greatly as well.

So when you’re working on your marketing strategy, by all means incorporate social media as much as you can, but don’t forget the power of good-old-fashioned word of mouth. Build your local following as much as possible and let them work for you as well.

Think of each local reader as “patient zero” in your efforts to go viral.

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Here’s How I Write…(Your Methods May Vary)

First and foremost – this post is not intended, in any way, shape or form, to be a “How To” on writing.

Mainly because I do not consider myself qualified to teach anybody how to write. Also because I believe that writers—like painters, musicians, tattooists, etc.—are all unique in their approach. Sure, there are basic concepts and principals all writers should be aware of—along with a decent grasp of grammar, usage, punctuation, etc.—but those things are tools. The way each writer uses his or her tools is a matter of preference.

I was asked by a reader about my process recently…we ended up having quite a lengthy conversation about it, so I thought maybe others might be curious too.

So this is how I do it…

How I Did It

Naturally, the first thing I need is an idea for a story. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, or have lots of detail…it just needs to be a place to start.

I call it the “What If” thought.

Let me use one of my recent novels as an example. The book is called Backseat to Justice.

One time, at band camp…oops sorry – habit…

BTJ cover

One time, I was watching a documentary about identity theft. The story talked mostly about the victims, but before I knew it my mind was going in another direction. Naturally, these days, identity theft is more difficult than it was thirty years ago…and I thought…What If somebody stole somebody’s identity thirty years ago and it all of a sudden comes back to haunt them?

That was it. That was the initial thought that got me started. From there I just kept adding on to it with more “What Ifs”. Eventually I had enough to start writing.

Now here’s where my methods probably vary from most writers. At this point, many writers would start an outline to map out their whole story.

Not me – I just started writing.

I knew the core concept of the story and I knew I wanted it to be about a Private Investigator. The rest I pretty much make up as I go along.

The writing progressed nicely, the story took shape and any time I got stuck I just asked myself some more “What If” questions. During this time I focus mainly on putting words on paper. Naturally I try to use the best words and combinations of words possible in order to make the story the best that it can be…but when it comes to my first draft I am more concerned with getting the story written and not so much with the exact wording.

I also don’t agonize over spelling, punctuation and such. (although auto-spellcheck helps with this). Again, the primary concern here is writing the story.

Once the first draft is written, I give copies to my beta readers. I have a group of people who graciously volunteer to read the manuscript (MS) and give me feedback (this is where my most recent work Unfinished Business is right now).

They ask “What kind of feedback do you want?” and I tell them “Whatever you want to tell me.”

If they see spelling mistakes, circle them. If they see punctuation errors, tag them. If they don’t understand a sentence, highlight it and ask me what it means. If they find inconsistencies (you said in the first chapter that so-and-so was a vegetarian – but in chapter sixteen he eats prime rib?) point them out to me.

But the biggest one of all – If something about the story bothers you – tell me.

This could be anything…were the characters believable…did the story hold your attention…was there too much action…not enough action…do you like the way it ended…it’s ALL important, because I’d rather hear it from you than from somebody who bought the book. Or worse…not hear it from somebody who bought the book and lose them as a reader.

This process usually takes a couple of weeks before all of the readers give me their feedback…in the meantime, I don’t touch the MS. I literally ignore it…I don’t put it on the back burner – I take it off the stove and put it in the refrigerator. Sometimes I’ll even start working on the next book, if I have an idea (which I usually do).

So – once I get the beta readers’ comments back I go through them all, seeing what they have to say (the MS is still in the fridge). I toss their comments around a bit, consider them, and think about which ones will help the most.

Then I take the MS out of the refrigerator and put it back on the stove.

I start from page one and go through the entire story again—this time putting much more thought into the details I took lightly in the first draft. Since, at this point, I know the whole story; I can now focus on making sure everything flows well. I can add to, or take away from it as I see fit to better enhance the narrative. I can also throw in some foreshadowing and such.

I also keep the comments from the beta readers handy to consult during the process as well.

This process can be very time consuming, because it’s mostly detail oriented. At this point I’m painting with a much finer brush than during the MS phase, when I was using a big, fat one.

Once I’ve gone through and cleaned it all up it is now ready to be sent to the editor.

I know – sounds silly…sort of like cleaning the house before the maids comes over…but there it is.

I’ve been working with the same editor since Water Hazard (my second novel) and we work very well together. She goes through the book three times, sending me her comments chapter by chapter during each phase.

The first phase is for general punctuation, grammar, spelling, sentence structure and all the stuff I should have been paying more attention to in high school.

The second pass is for story structure. More analysis of the details; Does everything fit? Is the timeline correct? Did I use a wrong name somewhere (it’s happened)?  Are there any gaping holes in the plot? You’d be surprised how many things we find during this phase.

The final pass is what I call – The Fine Tuning.

This is where she (the editor) will ask me things like; Are you sure you want to have this character do this? It seems to me that this character would /should act this way in this situation? Why did this character do that? Maybe you should give a little more background on this character.

During each of these three phases, I am going through the MS from start to finish incorporating her notes (as I see fit) and reapplying my own eyes to the story yet again. By the time I’m finished, I’ve probably read the book 6-8 times.

And we are almost done.

Now it will go to two more beta readers (ones that were not in the first group) for more feedback. When their comments come back I will sift through them and use what I think helps the most.

And that – as they say – is that.

Now (if I haven’t done it already) I commission a cover, write a synopsis and a back cover blurb and then it is off to the printer.

Let me tell you…there is no feeling in the world like getting the printed version and holding it in your hands…fanning the pages and stopping at a random point to read your work…and seeing a spelling mistake!!!

It seems impossible, but believe me…it happens.

As usual – thank you for reading.

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The World Didn’t End – Looks Like I’ll Have to Keep Writing

Another year comes to an end.

At the risk of sounding cliché – where the hell did the time go? It seems like just yesterday I was wondering what 2012 would bring.

Well – now that it’s over, let’s take a look and see.

2011 ended with the November release of the sequel to Living the Dream – No Good Deed.

When 2012 began I was working on Pump It Up, which I finished and sent off to the editor in March. The editor and I worked very hard on Pump, putting it through three solid rounds of edits. Judging by your response, the finished product was well worth the effort.

I also decided to release a print version of Backseat to Justice in 2012. It had been written in the summer of 2011 and released in e-version only, with half of the profits being donated to a dog rescue organization called Golden Huggs. I ran the book through a quick edit, commissioned a cover from the same designer who did Pump (Keri Knutson) and she came up with another beauty. The two books were released within two weeks of each other bringing my catalog up to five.

Not bad for three years. I was very pleased and thought 2012 was going to end up being a very good year.

Not so fast, it wasn’t over yet.

In April I had met Armand Rosamilia, another author living in my town. We quickly became good friends and, sometime around September, decided it would be fun to co-write a book together.

There were a couple of challenges; the first being our genres were miles apart. Armand is a horror/zombie writer and I…am not (for more information on my genre click here). The second challenge was writing this book, editing it and having it published before Christmas. We wanted to release it before Christmas hoping it would help with sales.

Long story short…we did it. We took three of my recurring characters (Ike, Brewski and Didi) and immersed them into Armand’s zombie world in Dying Days: The Siege of European Village.

cover2

The entire process was a blast and Dying Days Euro had its debut at our “End of the World Book Signing” on December 21st, selling 48 copies in two hours. A success we hadn’t imagined.

So – to sum up…2012, great year – 2 ½ books.

What’s coming in 2013 you ask?

I expect the first draft of my current work-in-progress Unfinished Business to be finished before the New Year begins. It should be released sometime in the summer of 2013.

Once Unfinished Business goes to the editor I’ll start working on my next novel. The question is – which one?

I have two works in mind…

The first I call Protect This. It will be the story of a man who feels his pathetic life can only be salvaged if he enters the witness protection program. The problem is that he hasn’t witnessed anything.

The second will be another Steve Salem novel (as in Backseat to Justice) where Steve and Val take on two unrelated cases. When things begin to heat up they have to figure out which case is the reason…and why.

There will probably be another co-writing effort with Armand, since we’ve already started talking about it.

So stick around, it looks like 2013 is going to be another busy year.

As always – thank you for reading.

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After All He’s Been Through…Kurt Deserves a Little Love

This is the story of my third release, No Good Deed.

First, here’s some background;

It started when I wrote Living the Dream…the adventures of a hapless, would-be kidnapper named Kurt.

In that book, Kurt goes through a series of hard-learned life lessons, for which he paid dearly, and in the end he rides off into a rainstorm in a stolen garbage truck.

In my mind, that was it…end of story.

Not so much…After Living the Dream – I released Water Hazard, and then I was working on the next project, Pump It Up. It was while I was writing Pump that something interesting happened. I began to receive emails from readers—all asking the same question…

“What happened to Kurt?”

It seems that even though Kurt was “the bad guy” of Living the Dream, I had inadvertently created a “loveable loser” and he had endeared himself to most of the people who read the book. Now they wanted some closure and the word sequel was being bandied about.

Now I was faced with a dilemma.

You see…I had never intended to write a sequel. I don’t even like sequels. Plus – I was in the middle of writing Pump It Up and I didn’t want to screw up my schedule (Pump was originally intended for release in the summer of 2011).

None of these things mattered. The emails continued to come in and I decided to “give the people what they want.”

Here’s a cool little backstory…since I had never contemplated a sequel to Living the Dream, I had no story idea to use. Until one rainy, Sunday afternoon—I was lying on the couch watching an old movie and I dozed off. It was one of those half-sleep things which only lasted about ten minutes or so…but in that little ten minute nap I had a dream about the story-line for No Good Deed.

This is especially fascinating considering that Living the Dream was literally the by-product of a dream. I took this as a message.

Approximately 8 months later No Good Deed was released – which brings me to the point of the story (finally).

I was very pleased with No Good Deed. I think it’s a good story, but I also think the book got the shaft, because not long after it was released I released Pump It Up and then soon after that Backseat to Justice was released. So while those two books were thrust into the spotlight, No Good Deed was sort of forgotten.

At a recent book signing, a woman picked up a copy of No Good Deed after the cover caught her eye. She read the synopsis and bought a copy – without ever having read Living the Dream (it isn’t really necessary, the story stands on its own quite well).

I thought about it later and realized that even though No Good Deed is a good story, it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. I blame it on two factors;

First, it was followed by two other books in quick succession, and

Second, it was a sequel…and many people are afraid to read sequels because, historically, sequels usually pale in comparison to their predecessors.

This is a cruel injustice and I would really like to see it rectified.

So I’m writing this post in hopes that you, the readers, will take a look at the book that has been pushed aside like the proverbial “red-headed step-child”.

No Good Deed is available (like all of my books) in paperback herekindle version here and for all other e-readers here.

So do a good deed, help feed a starving author and buy a book for the reader on your Christmas list. Remember – No good deed goes unpunished!

As always – thank you for reading.

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My Next book – I Hope it isn’t Dead to You!

Greetings,

First of all, I would like to thank each and every one of you for the support you have shown me since Living the Dream was first released way back in 2009. From the very beginning, I have felt blessed that you liked my work and I truly appreciate it more than you know. (Pardon my “Sally Fields” moment there!)

Without planning to do so – I have created a “world” within Flagler Beach with a cast of characters enjoyed by many! Rest assured – that world is alive and well and will return in two future novels (Protect This! and Liquidated Damages – A Steve Salem Novel).

In the meantime I’d like to talk to you about my next book.

Unfinished Business (available in the summer of 2013) will be a slight departure from what you have come to expect.

The idea for the story came to me when I attended the funeral of a close friend’s mother. The funeral director happened to be another friend of mine and I was fascinated by the way she handled herself in the performance of such an undesirable task.

After the service I told her that if I could follow her around for a day I could easily come up with a book.

I never did get the chance to follow her, but I thought about it constantly for several weeks. Lo and behold, an idea came to me.

I started thinking about Meg (my friend the funeral director) and how she has to deal with the dead every day. Then I thought about the dead…regardless of their situation in life…regardless of the way they died and regardless of the type of person they were, they all had one thing in common…

They all left this world with something unfinished.

Their “To Do” list was cancelled before they got a chance to cross off that final item.

This led me to thinking…what if—(I love those two words)—what if Meg was responsible for finishing that last item on their list?

The more I pondered the idea, the more I liked it and the more potential I saw for a good story.

So I started writing it…

Unfortunately my writing was delayed by the release of  No Good Deed, Pump It Up and Backseat to Justice – so the book was not released in 2011 as I had originally planned.

So here we are – a full year after I thought Unfinished Business  would be out…and I have finally gotten back into it. I’m writing away full-steam-ahead and it is almost two-thirds complete. I anticipate the first draft to be finished before Christmas.

As I started to say earlier…Unfinished Business is different from my previous five novels. It’s a bit more serious (just a bit) and only has a brief cameo appearance by Ike and Ralph. It also deals with a somewhat “supernatural” topic.

Because it’s so different I actually considered releasing it under a pen-name (I was thinking of Ty Prider), but I don’t think I will. If you don’t like it – then I’ll know it isn’t my niche…and if you do it gives me one more genre to explore.

I’m asking you to give it a chance…I think you’ll like it

I hope you enjoy it, but either way you can rest assured that Ike, Brewski and the rest of the gang will be back to maintain order in Flagler Beach before you know it!

Here is a quick update…we are over halfway through the editing process, the cover is done – here it is for those who haven’t seen it yet…

Unfinished Business will be released in June, 2013

Unfinished Business will be released in June, 2013

 

The scheduled release date is June 30 – but there is a chance it may be available sooner.

As usual – thank you for reading.

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