Monday, June 27, 2011

Doylestown Book Signing Photos

Here are some photos from my book signing at the Doylestown Bookshop on Friday.  Sorry it has taken me so long to get them up here. Things have just been crazy around here lately.

The signing was great. Thanks to everyone who came out! And thanks to the Doylestown Bookshop for hosting me.

My daughter and I before the signing. She was in charge of 
keeping my supplied with books and getting underfoot. 
She did an exceptional job at both.

Signing the first book. This doesn't get old. 

Things are hoppin' at the book signing!

An adoring fan. 
Thanks for coming, sis. 

Caught in an "author pose" at the end of the signing. 

Talking with Scott and Susan Miller after the signing. 
Their son (Liam) is my motivation for donating the Eternal Knight 
profits to charity. Liam wasn't feeling well and couldn't make the event.

On July 4th I am doing another signing at Beachcomber Swim Club in Blue Bell, PA. It is actually more of a fundraiser than a signing. Unfortunately, you can only get in if you are a Beachcomber member. The good side is that I'll have a large crowd and should raise some nice money for WEOF and Cure-CMD.

I have a couple of more events waiting in the wings. I'll announce them as soon as I have hard information.

Have a good one!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Book Signing This Friday

Just a reminder that I will be signing books at the Doylestown Bookshop this Friday, June 24th. The event runs from 7-9 PM.

I am really looking forward to this event. Doylestown is my hometown (I was born in the (old) Doylestown Hospital and graduated from Central Bucks West High School). Lots of friends and family will be able to make it. Even my high school English teacher is even going to be there. This is going to be a blast!

By the way, my wife pointed out to me that Eternal Knight is the #72 Best Rated Fantasy (epic) on This is really great news for a new, self-published novel. I know a lot of you have read the novel and privately expressed how much you liked it. It would be a huge favor to me if you would take a few minutes to review it (Amazon or elsewhere). The review doesn't have to be fancy, just a short, HONEST review. Thank you.

Hope to see you on Friday!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Two Timeline

Time to get cranking on book two. Here's the timeline:
5 day to complete outlining. The process is almost done.
100 days to write the novel. The pace? I have to average 1,000 words a day for those 100 days. I don't know if I can do this. I used to come home from work and write 1,500 words an evening. That was BC (before child). I could also pound out 5,000 words in a solid day of effort--again BC.
To some of you 100 days might seem very short. But you have to remember that this is a sequel. The world (and character) building is all done. I've also been thinking about (and outlining) this story for years.
As I finish each chapter I will send it to my critique partner, Mike Shultz. He'll see the novel in rough first draft form and help me beat it into shape. Mike is great for both story and writing advice.
10 days to clean up the first draft, turning it into the second draft.
30 days with my Beta Readers. Two definite Beta Readers will be Kemp Brinson and Ann Emery. Both were invaluable in the writing of Eternal Knight.
5 days to complete Beta Edits. A lot of these edits will have already been done as Ann and Kemp worked their way through the novel.
1 day for CreateSpace formatting and upload.
10 days for CreateSpace vetting and shipping of proof copies.
20 days with Proof Readers. Five trusted proof readers will go through the novel with a fine comb. Their job isn't to critique as much as it is to find mistakes. Although their suggestions are always appreciated.
1 day for final proof corrections.
1 day for CreateSpace, Smashwords and Kindle formatting and upload. Over the next few days the novel goes live.
A grand total of 183 days. Let's add around a 10% fluff factor and we get approximately 200 days. Mid to late December.
Wow. I'd better get it in gear.
Really get it in gear.

By the way... I had a short article appear in, the online edition of several Bucks County, PA newspapers. The main point of the article was to remind everyone about my book signing event at the Doylestown Bookshop on June 24th, starting at 7PM. I hope to see you there.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

On "Cheating"

A long time ago I set out three goals for my writing. Here they are/were...

1) The novel is published by a legitimate publisher. I will not self-publish.
2) I have to do a book signing. I don't care if the only people who show up are my family members. I will do a signing.
3) I have to get a photograph of me pointing at my book on the bookshelf at a bookstore. My last name is Heppe. This lands me right between Robert Heinlein and Frank Herbert. I'll be insane with joy at the sight of Eternal Knight on a shelf between The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Dune.


Sort of.


I cheated.

1) I self published.
2) I didn't hold my book signing in a book store.
3) The photo (above) was taken in my school library.

How do I feel about cheating? GREAT!

1) I used to think self-publishing was for the riff-raff. Maybe it was. But the times are 'a changin'. "Real" authors are self publishing and the walls are crumbling. Getting published by a "legitimate" publisher was my goal because it would have meant that I had proven myself to the powers-that-be in the industry. I would have passed a test of acceptability. I didn't pass the industry test.

What is the test now? Before I truly feel that I have attained goal #1, I have to pass, not an industry test, but a reader test. Will the readers tell me that I have succeeded? Will the readers tell me that I am an author? That is the true test.

2) The book release party at Wissahickon High School was a blast. It felt real, even though it was a party I threw for myself. It was a coming out party for Eternal Knight. For the most part it was attended by people I know, all of them supporting me in my efforts. Did I attain goal two? I think the true test will be on the 24th, when I do my book signing at the Doylestown Bookshop. There will be a lot of friends, but a lot of strangers as well. And the event will be held in a real brick and mortar book store.

3) The photo. I LOVE that photo. Robert Heinlein, Matt Heppe, Frank Herbert. Soooo cool. But there is only one place in the world where that photo is legit: the Wissahickon High School Library. Will that photo ever be taken in a Barnes and Noble, or in a Borders, or in any other big bookstore? I don't know. I'd like to think so. However, I'm not so sure this goal is as important to me as it once was. More important is the feedback I get from readers who say that they have enjoyed Eternal Knight. It is hard to express how much enjoyment I get every time a reader tells me that they liked something I wrote.

Even more fun is when they ask, "When is the next one coming out?"

I'd better get to work.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Book Release Party

The Eternal Knight Book Release Party was a great success. Thanks to everyone who came out!

Me signing books. I don't see getting tired of this. 

Mike Shultz (in light blue) was instrumental in getting Eternal Knight 
into publishable form. Janis (red) and Karen (green) are two of my 
biggest word of mouth and Facebook supporters.

Because of my (former) student Claire (lt. green) I met 
her mother Ann (white). Ann's critique group (which included Lisa [in blue]
took my amateur writing, ripped it apart, and rebuilt it from the ground up. 
I can't thank them enough.

Me, speechifying about Eternal Knight.

More speechifying!

Next up: Doylestown Bookshop
Book signing event on June 24th 
starting at 7 PM.

Friday, June 3, 2011


The winner of the Eternal Knight Kindle/Nook/$100 Amazon Gift Card Contest is....

Emily Smith

Emily wrote a wonderful review of Eternal Knight on She also tweeted about the contest and the book release, for a total of four "tickets" in the raffle.

In all there were 40 raffle "tickets" generated by book reviews, tweets, and other social media. I really appreciate the efforts of everyone who entered the contest. As an independent author I face an uphill battle in my efforts to get attention for Eternal Knight. The contestants helped push me up that path.

The next big event...

Tomorrow! Book release party at Wissahickon High School.

The event will run from 2-4 PM on Saturday, June 4th. John Conahan is going to open the event with some live music. This is reason enough to come!

All profits from tomorrow's event (books, food, drinks) go to WEOF and Cure-CMD.

I hope to see you there! Spread the word!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First Month Numbers

The Eternal Knight online book release party was one month ago today. How have things gone?

The numbers:
125 paperbacks (sold by me)
28 paperbacks (sold through Amazon and CreateSpace)
15 Kindle ebooks
2 Smashwords ebooks
1 Apple ebook
1 Nook ebook

60 Book bloggers contacted.
1 blog review from a book blogger.
10 bloggers have agreed to review the novel (stretching out for the next six months).

Reader reviews (some of which were cross posted)
10 Amazon reviews
1 B+N review
1 Smashwords review
2 Goodreads reviews

One newspaper article.
One newspaper press release.

$40 donated for charity by generous readers. 

Total raised for charity over the past month: $785.

How do I feel about all of the above? FANTASTIC!

It has been a really great experience so far. I am in the red (money wise), and will be for some time. But it is hard to express the value of holding your own novel in your hands, and the feeling you get when people give you positive feedback. Creating something that other people enjoy is a wonderful feeling.

Next up...

In two and a half hours my Kindle/Nook/Amazon Gift Card contest ends. It didn't draw as much attention as I had hoped it would, but c'est la vie. The readers who posted reviews were a huge help. Pretty soon, a lucky winner will get to pick their prize!

This Saturday is my real world book release party. I was out shopping for decorations and goodies today. I am really psyched about the event. John Conahan will open up with a half hour music set while we mingle and snack. I'll follow him with a half an hour of book talk and thank you's. We'll wrap things up with a book signing and chit-chat with the author. I hope you can make the event. It will be held at Wissahickon High School and will run from 2-4 PM. Bring a friend (or three).

On June 24th I'll hold a book signing event at the Doylestown Bookshop. It will run from 7-9 PM. I've dreamed of doing an in-store book signing for ages. It is just around the corner....