Authors Supporting Our Troops Update July #ASOT2015


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We’re not done yet!

While the main part of the event is over, I’m not done collecting author-signed books for the troops. I will continue to collect all year, with the following goals:

1. Beating 2014’s collection of 3,000 author-signed books

2. Getting as close to the 3,500 goal we set in the beginning of the year. As of July 1st, we have 2,667 author-signed books collected. Both goals are realistic and within reach, but I need some help…

OK, so once again let me tell you what we’re looking for…

 

Author-signed books.

YOUR books. If you’re in an anthology and want to sign your story, we’ll take it. If you put out a release, sign it and we’ll take it. We don’t want you sending us your dog-eared copies of Stephen King. We don’t want books you weren’t involved in unless you’re the publisher or collecting other author’s books to ship to us at once.

A fraction of this year's book donations.

 

Books only. 

While we know troops overseas could use new toothbrushes and soap and Dorito’s, we aren’t collecting them. Neither are we collecting eBooks and e-readers. Print books only. There are many other organizations who collect necessities for the troops, but we aren’t one of them. Our modest goal is to put 3,500+ print books into the hands of soldiers in remote areas of the world like Kuwait and Afghanistan. If a soldier is stationed in Germany or San Diego, they can easily buy a book or have access to TV, games, e-readers, etc. This event is for the men and women of the military who don’t have easy access to read. It’s something for their downtime between hostile situations.

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What genre(s) do you accept?

Everything but blatant porn. Nothing taboo or racist, nothing pushing the envelope. Anti-military books might not be so popular. Last year many authors didn’t think their romance books would fit, but they did. Soldiers will read anything if its the only book around. There are also many women in the military. They like to read a good paranormal romance, you know.

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We ship through USPS.

We have a nice and easy system setup for us through Craig and Suzanne at Change Jar Books in Flagler Beach Florida. It gives them some business and they do all of the hard work by setting the boxes with tags and mailing stickers, etc. Last year so many people tried to be helpful and let us know about alternate ways to send books. None of them were as cheap or easy as the USPS. No carrier ships boxes for free. No carrier can get close to the cost we send them through the mail for and the ease we can ship them.  For a box of books (about 50 books per box) it costs us about $25.00 to ship. Add in the ease to ship for me and there is no alternative that makes sense.

 

James graduation from boot camp

Donations are accepted and welcome.

I am not a non-profit and we are not a business. We are a couple of people who want to help soldiers. We don’t go through the USO or have contact with military groups. I’ve never served in the military but my wife Shelly (the other half of the team) has a Godson, James, who is serving. It started because she wanted to send him books. This all comes out of our pocket less donations and sales of t-shirts (which will be available again in January 2016). As an example: 3,000 books shipped means about 60 boxes. At $25.00 each to ship. So about $1,500.00 is needed. That doesn’t include buying the shipping boxes and the stickers to place on the boxes. Any monetary donation is accepted and welcomed. We really do appreciate it. That being said… with all of the generous donations we received, I humbly ask any authors to purchase more copies of their books, sign and ship them to me. I could really use the books for the troops.

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So… you never actually stopped collecting and sending?

Of course not. I like doing a major push come January 1st but I won’t stop until every soldier in a remote area has a signed book in their hands or they all come home.

Feel free to ask me any question.  I will not be putting my home address on this post or on Facebook. But I will respond as quickly as I can to any queries. if you have questions, contact me at  armandrosamilia@gmail.com

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How else can you help?

By helping spread the word about the event. Even though we hit so many authors the last time around (about 325 or so) that is such a small blip of the writers and publishers out there. If you belong to an organization, let them know about it. Ask your publisher to get in touch. Many of them sent us boxes of books, which was great.

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What branch of the military do you send to?

We’ve shipped to all of them. If a soldier is in a remote area, we want to reach out and hand him/her a book. We find one contact soldier in the unit and ask them to hand out the books when two boxes arrive. We also hope they can take time to send us pictures of the troops holding some books. That is one of the best parts to me. The smiles on their faces holding an author-signed book.

 

How do you get the soldier’s addresses?

From you. Like we said, we don’t work with a company or the military. We rely on family and friends of soldiers overseas to get in touch with them to make sure they’re interested in handing out the books. Then we need their COMPLETE address (including their name and APO/FPO) to ship to them. That’s it. The goal is 35 soldiers in 2015 or more. So far we’ve shipped to about 25 soldiers.

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What’s the Facebook address to stay in touch and see all the pictures?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ASOT2014/ and also friend me on Facebook so I can tag you in any pictures we post anywhere on Facebook, too!

Here’s hoping 3,500 books gets passed by thanks to the generosity of authors.

Armand Rosamilia

EVERY AUTHOR NEEDS TO GET AWAY FROM EVIL KINDLE UNLIMITED! (Except for me)


My, us authors are an impatient lot. Over and over.

With the new change in Kindle Unlimited, I’ve seen some horrific comments on Facebook about how Amazon is going to kill their sales, and they aren’t author-friendly, and blah blah blah…

Amazon is a business. They are in the business of making money, not pandering to an indie author making them $50 in sales a month. Get real. If you want to jump ship and never use Amazon again, so be it… but there isn’t a viable alternative. I’m sure someone will jump up and ‘brag’ they sell more on SmashWords or Kobo or some other portal, but you’re a rare author indeed. The last time someone shouted about it I found out they sold about $100 a month on Kobo and $75 on Amazon. Under $200 in sales a month is not a career to me. It’s a fun hobby and it gets you beer money. Or coffee.

Everyone calm the f**k down and let’s see how this plays out. We’re 15 hours into it and already authors are bitching. I saw a guy complain he lost $2.10 in sales from last night because it reset. Seriously? Somebody buy him a cup of coffee he lost. I really hope you don’t miss a million dollars in sales this month by those two bucks… 

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I’m in. I’m (mostly) all in. You know why? Because if it doesn’t work Amazon will tweak and change it again. And again. Until they make money, and we make a few bucks as well. Never as much as they do. What company in their right mind would? Stop being delusional and thinking Amazon is the Evil Empire and is out to crush you. Maybe Mr. Robot will end this season by trying to destroy Amazon, and then we’ll all be safe. 

And broke. 

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I don’t want to go back to a ‘real’ job. I like writing in sweatpants all day and making shit up. Amazon lets me do this, and until a competitor steps up and bumps them from the top post, you do what you have to do. I do it with a smile end of the month when Amazon dumps a chunk of money into my bank account, unlike the rest. THAT money is my coffee money, unfortunately. 

I wish all the whiners would take all of their books out of Kindle Unlimited. Please, please and thank you, go ahead. Stop complaining and just do it already. 

The split of the $11 million pot for me just went up. It might only be pennies, but there’s more for me to buy a cup of coffee. And I drink a lot of coffee every month. 

End rant. 

Armand

Armand Rosamilia Interview on “Drinking With Jason” Podcast


I had a rousingly crazy night being interviewed by Jason Brant on his excellent podcast… between his sweet tea and my coffee, it is a wonder we didn’t get arrested! 

http://www.authorjasonbrant.com/2015/05/drinking-with-jason-12-horror-author.html

Quick April Update for Authors Supporting Our Troops #ASOT2015


We’ve broken the 2,000 author-signed books in and I’m quite excited. The books themselves have been trickling in at a much slower pace. I’m confident more people will share the event page and especially the permanent page and get more authors involved. 

Remember… the event itself might technically last until May 1st but I won’t stop collecting books for the year… last year 2,500 books came in the first 4 months and another 500 the rest of the year. Great numbers. I’d still like to beat them both this year if possible. 

One great thing has already happened… with so many #ASOT2015 shirt sales and generous donations coming in, we will have more than enough money in the coffers to pay for at least 3,500 books! I want to thank everyone who has helped make this possible, and so quickly. 

Our goal is to do one more #ASOT2015 shirt the first week of May so everyone who missed out can still get one. And the money from the profits will get added in to begin the 2016 event (yes, there will be one) and in the event we get more books than we’re gauging for (which would be a cool thing). I’ll give you more details in May on the next shirt, which will be the last one for 2015. 

That being said, we are still in need of many author-signed books, so please keep spreading the word about it. Every book counts.

We are also in need of more soldiers as well. If we’re going to guess we’ll get in another 1,500 books, that means roughly 15 more soldier addresses are needed. Remember, we need soldiers in remote areas of the world with no access to the things we take for granted like game systems and e-readers. Get in touch with me at  armandrosamilia@gmail.com for more information on any of this, please and thank you!

Finally… from about April 16th until May 1st I will be out of pocket, and out of the country for some of it. I’m getting married to Special Gal on April 18th with a honeymoon to follow. This means no phone, no internet… nothing. I will truly be gone with her for awhile. 

Any books coming in will be piled up by my son but not opened. When I return I will start the task of catching up on the new arrivals with separating them into boxes to be shipped, pictures for Facebook, etc. 

Again… thank you for all the hard work and for making this possible. I wish I was allowed to share some of the latest pictures I’ve received. The faces on the men and women protecting our country is priceless. If things change for certain units in the world and they allow me to share, I will do so…

Armand Rosamilia

Arm Cast Podcast Needs Your Questions!


Arm Cast Podcast Logo

As you may or may not know, I am getting married on April 18th 2015. It is a fun but hectic time for me, and I have a lot to do both before and after the wedding. 

One of the ideas was to get a few interviews ahead with Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast, and I did… kinda. 

My damn laptop crashed and wiped out a bunch of stuff I really needed. Plus, my Skype and the program I record with will no longer work. So, instead of breaking things (and I came thisclose today to slamming the laptop on the floor), I have decided to go with Plan B, which actually was Plan A until I (foolishly) thought I had plenty of time to record an extra couple of episodes before I left. 

So, this is where you come in…

I have recorded over 40 episodes and over 80 people have been interviewed so far, with many more coming. Instead of taking a break, I’ve decided to do more of a free-for-all week or two, and I want to answer any and all of your questions. 

Do you have a question about a certain guest on the show? A future guest? Someone you would like to learn more about?

Any questions about my own work? My writing tricks or screw-ups? Just have a publishing or writing question you think I would know the answer to? Anything else you can think of?

I’d love to get a bunch of real questions in to answer them on an upcoming Arm Cast Podcast episode. I’ll give you a shout out and do my best to answer it. How does that sound?

If you’re interested, send your question(s) to me at  armandrosamilia@gmail.com with Arm Cast Qs in the subject line so I don’t miss any. I’ll let you know when I’ll be answering them and which episode!

And feel free to let everyone know what I’m doing so I can get a ton of great questions!

Armand Rosamilia

Authors Supporting Our Troops March Totals #ASOT2015


Three months in the books for Authors Supporting Our Troops! We have one more official month to collect more books to see if we can break the 3,000 received last year… remember, I won’t actually stop collecting books, so if you are an author stressing you won’t have print copies of your latest and greatest in yet, don’t worry! You can send them to me all year. Just send me an e-mail at  armandrosamilia@gmail.com and I’ll send you the mailing address and info!

Now, on to the numbers crunch…

In the month of March, we received 52 more packages for a total of 229 to date. In January we received 117 and February 60. 

In the month of March we received 462 more books for a total of 1996 to date. In January we received 947 and February 587. 

The average number of books per box sent to me went up to 8.7 on average. It was 8.6 in the two previous months.

What does all this mean? Authors are awesome and are helping the cause!

By May 15th last year (I started the event on January 15th in 2014) we had 2,446 books collected. I am hoping to beat this, but we’ll need a new surge in author-signed books coming in. Please help by spreading the word about the event. If you know an author who would be interested in helping, send them my way. I would really appreciate it, and so would the soldiers in the field. 

Armand

#ASOT2015

Con Panels Gone Good – My Opinion


Yesterday I spoke about the bad things you hear and see on panels during a convention. You can read all about it Here. Take your time. I’ll wait. I need to refill my coffee cup anyway.

Today (after better sleep and much more coffee), I am going to share with you some of the great things I have seen during panels at conventions. I’ve been going to cons on and off for the past dozen years, and have had quite a bit of fun during them. This is what I look for when either on a panel or going to a panel:

 

6. A nice mix of panelists.

As much as I love being on panels with authors I know, I’m sure it gets boring for an audience when we spend the time acting like goofballs and tossing out inside jokes here and there. Ideally, a panel of five (including me) should be two authors I’m comfortable with and two spanking brand new authors I want to meet. The same people saying the same things gets stale. A new voice is fun to add to the mix. I go through the panel list not only for subjects that interest me, but see who the panelists are as well.

 

5. Being on a panel with someone you admire.

And they don’t disappoint. At MidSouth Con my last panel of the weekend was about podcasting and not only were all the panelists cool, but Cory Doctorow was on it. While I was the moderator, I found myself throwing questions his way to start a good line of discussion because he’s been there and done that for years. The audience asked him many questions, and I tried to sit back and take it all in. I wasn’t delusional to think the room was packed because I was there. It was about Cory and he is such a great guy, he helped the panel move along and it wasn’t just about him. I have even more respect for Cory now, too.

 

4. Panelists with personality.

Obviously, I have a unhealthy liking for fellow authors Jay Wilburn, Brent Abell and Jack Wallen. Anytime I’ve been on panels with any of them it has been fun and comfortable, but at MidSouth I got to meet Sean Grigsby. Great guy, and he was enthusiastic on his panels. He also went to other panels, which was nice. And he rocked a Judas Priest shirt, so how bad can he really be? If i see someone on a panel who understands the role he/she plays (i.e. talk to the audience and drop some knowledge instead of talking about their own books on and on) I want to know what other panels they will be on over the weekend. I also remember them for future cons, too.

 

3. Don’t just go to your panels.

I love hanging out in the back row of other panels and learning something. At World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon I went to the podcasting panel and learned so much I started my own podcast a couple of months later. I enjoy learning from other authors. No one knows everything. The con experience isn’t about pumping up your own ego and making pretend people are there to see you, its about networking and learning as well. Take in the entire experience, meet new people, hear other authors talking shop, and go away refreshed. Also, eat some of the cookies in the con suite. They are always delicious. But please don’t kill any elves this year (inside joke, I swear).

 

2. Cons are for networking.

If you’re on a panel or sit in the audience on a panel with someone who made sense up there and gave you some insight, let them know. Logan L. Masterson was a moderator on a panel I really enjoyed, and I told him that. At last year’s MidSouth Con, after a bizarro panel I was on, fellow panelist John Hornor Jacobs came over and said he had a great time on the panel with me. Those moments will stick. Take away a few new friends from each con. Some of the people I talk to on a regular basis I’ve met at cons. Facebook is great for networking but that one on one actual meet and greet moves you to the next level, especially with publishers. I’ve had several sales over the years thanks to looking someone in the eye at a con and just talking to them.

 

1. People not being dicks. 

We are in this together. No reader will reader just one book this year, so there’s no reason to act like if they don’t read your book you’re screwed. Write a good book and maybe you’ll get lucky. I’ve had a ton of sales thanks to people who’ve read an author I am friends with that respects my work, and they’ve let people know about me. Not because they have to but because they want to. Because I’m not a dick. I spend most of my time pushing other authors, because that’s what sells my books. Not ‘buy my book’ posts on Facebook. Not trying to talk trash about another author because you think it will lead to sales of your own book. Cool people are who I surround myself with. I’ve dropped quite a few negative people over the years who couldn’t see they were being dicks. Or couldn’t help themselves. And I’m a better person for it. I’ve made some mistakes and learned from them. I also learn quite a bit at every con I go to, and so should you…

Armand Rosamilia