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A Plague of Dreams (Dreamwood Tales #1)
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Self-promotion > John Gregory Hancock

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message 1: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
Hi. I'll test out the self promotion folder.

My first book of short stories contains different genres, but there are several that could fit under traditional fantasy.

1. Cerberus: what happens when an accountant runs into or is run over by the guardian of the underworld? you can actually read this one for free here:

http://dreamwoodtales.wordpress.com/f...

2. True Dragon: a dragon keeps waking up as different dragons, but what does it all mean?

3. Forked: a computer game plays you

4. The Veil: paranormal fantasy adventure... where a psychic is ambushed from within by a great evil.

Science Fiction:

Amber: is the escape ship hurtling away from an imploding earth humankind's salvation or is it out of the frying pan, into the fire?


Reviewers have compared it to the old Twilight Zone series, and I intended it to be a completely different world, story to story.

Its a fun read!

You can get the ebook here, for now: http://www.amazon.com/Plague-Dreams-D...

a paperback on demand here: http://www.amazon.com/Plague-Dreams-V...

I've just entered it into the IPPY contest under "anthology" so we'll see how that turns out.

If you read it, I hope you enjoy it, and if you do, I hope you'll rate or review it.

thanks!


message 2: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
Guess who got mentioned, in nearly the same breath as Elmore Leonard?

http://whatarewritersreading.blogspot...


Whitney | 16 comments John wrote: "Guess who got mentioned, in nearly the same breath as Elmore Leonard?

http://whatarewritersreading.blogspot..."


Now that is about the coolest thing ever, sitting side-by-side with Leonard. (And Timothy Olyphant. Nothing wrong with Tim, either.)

I've read the first story in your collection, really liked it. And it's not even one that people are siting as being among the best. Have you read Robert Bloch's That Hellbound Train?


message 4: by John (last edited Mar 19, 2013 12:10PM) (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
Whitney wrote: "Have you read Robert Bloch's That Hellbound Train? "

no, I haven't, but I think I will now. sounds interesting.


Whitney | 16 comments John wrote: "Whitney wrote: "Have you read Robert Bloch's That Hellbound Train? "

no, I haven't, but I think I will now. sounds interesting."


Oops, didn't realize I was posting a link to a graphic version. I meant the original short story :-)


message 6: by Karen (last edited Mar 24, 2013 07:15PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karen (escapeartist) | 19 comments Whitney wrote: "John wrote: "Guess who got mentioned, in nearly the same breath as Elmore Leonard?

http://whatarewritersreading.blogspot..."

Now that is about the coolest thing ever, si..."
Late getting there but I read your story and got a kick out of it. It reminded me of Robert Bloch more than Elmore Leonard but they are both great with the deadpan prose. Based on your story summary I will give the ebook a try.


message 7: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
Karen wrote: "It reminded me of Robert Bloch more than Elmore Leonard"

Actually, not to be misleading, I don't think the interviewee was saying my work was similar to Leonard, only that she was reading my book at the same time, and recommending it. I was thrilled to just be mentioned in the same interview.

and btw, I just got a really nice review:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

"John Gregory Hancock is a breath of fresh air in the world of short stories."

wow. that's very hard to live up to! ;)


message 8: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
I'm humbled by all the reviews of my book, how kind and glowy they are.
I'm especially glad it's getting into the hands of people that enjoy it... that's the main thing.

I wrote the stories with the idea of writing a story that *I* would like to read. I'm glad others like them.

Now, here's the challenge: So far, this is NOT a bell curve. Everyone is liking it. On the one hand, fantastic, on the other, its not believable. So that means I need more people to review it and maybe even not like it. Otherwise, this is looking weirdly nonstatistical (no such word, I know).

SO, if any of you want a free review copy so you can add to the bell curve, and give an HONEST review, even if you don't like it, please message me and I'll get one to you somehow. I'm out of paperbacks at the moment, I need to order some more, but ebooks are easy to send out. Thanks! This doesn't mean you should TRY not to like it, it just means I want a wider statistical sample.

Or else, god forbid, I just got lucky and on my first jump out of the gate made a universally likable book (which so does not fit my usual karma, so forgive me if I'm suspicious)


ok, this is probably the weirdest request ever, but here's the deal. I'd like to get at least 10 more HONEST reviews so I personally can feel better about the sample.

I won't be ordering in more paperbacks for at least a couple of weeks due to my own logistics, but I can send ebooks in any format, .mobi, .doc, ebook, you name it. Just message me with an email to send it to you.

thanks for even considering this bizarre experiment! A Plague of Dreams (Dreamwood Tales #1) by John Gregory Hancock


Whitney | 16 comments I downloaded your book during your free giveaway. SInce I don't have a kindle, I've been reading it on my iPhone when I find myself bookless and waiting somewhere. I will write an honest review when I am done.

Unfortunately, I quite enjoyed the first two stories, but I'll keep my fingers crossed for hating the rest of them.


message 10: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
Whitney wrote: "Unfortunately, I quite enjoyed the first two stories, but I'll keep my fingers crossed for hating the rest of them. "

LOL! you don't HAVE to hate it, I just wanted to get a larger sample. :)
Just looking for honest. And, I'm ok if people don't like it.


message 11: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
Adam wrote: "I also downloaded it and will hopefully get time to read it when I catch up with my group reads."

thanks!


Karen (escapeartist) | 19 comments I liked the first story so much I bought it before your free giveaway. Then we had another cat crisis ( I have household of senior cats) and I am just now getting to it.


message 13: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
please read my blog:

ok! my bell curve is now FIXED!

Thank you so much to my most recent reviewers, who've reset my reviews to a more normal looking bell curve. MUCH appreciated.

I realize it was just happenstance, and I was NOT trying to get less than stellar reviews, necessarily, I just wanted honest ones, that hopefully spread out the stars a bit.

A weird experiment, to be sure. I'm not entirely certain anyone's ever asked that before.

As a friend suggested: be careful what you wish for!

So, just a note to anyone who reviews from now on, do not feel any pressure to overly laud or overly trash my collection of stories, just enjoy them, and if so compelled, share your reviews.

thanks!


message 14: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
Adam wrote: "An interesting experiment indeed. Do you feel that some were voting down to satisfy the need for a wider curve?"

that's a good question. Or, it could also mean that those who normally would not have reviewed because they didn't like it went ahead and reviewed it. Or, they felt more comfortable to be honest. Or they are people who want to downrate books in general. lol.

really hard to know. Of course, now that I have the curve, I'm in the stupid position of my own making where the overall rating is lower.


message 15: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
Adam wrote: "Ah well, if most readers are anything like me, the rating isn't that meaningful anyway. Just because a gazillion 12-year-old girls rate Twilight with 5 stars doesn't make it something I want to read."

that's my goal, for a gazillion 12 year old girls to like my book. Hmmm. I meant that sarcastically, but I realize that wouldn't be a BAD thing, necessarily. It would mean a lot of sold books and my estimation of 12 yr old girl reading habits would have risen dramatically.


Whitney | 16 comments John wrote: "really hard to know. Of course, now that I have the curve, I'm in the stupid position of my own making where the overall rating is lower..."

Speaking for myself, obviously, but when I see only 5 star reviews for a book written by a GR author I figure it's either their GR buddies padding the reviews or a march of the sock puppets.


message 17: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
Whitney wrote: "Speaking for myself, obviously, but when I see only 5 star reviews for a book written by a GR author I figure it's either their GR buddies padding the reviews or a march of the sock puppets. "

well, I think I've proven that's not the case here.. probably in the stupidest way possible. :)


Whitney | 16 comments 4.25 average rating getting you down? War an Peace has a lower rating ;-)


message 19: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
Whitney wrote: "4.25 average rating getting you down? War an Peace has a lower rating ;-)"

True. I don't think I meant that the rating itself was getting me down, I was mainly making fun of myself for inviting people to lower the bell curve, that the end result would be a lower overall rating, even though the bell curve would be more normal.


Whitney | 16 comments John wrote: "True. I don't think I meant that the rating itself was getting me down, I was mainly making fun of myself for inviting people to lower the bell curve, that the end result would be a lower overall rating, even though the bell curve would be more normal..."

My inner geek (who is actually pretty outer as well) really wants to talk about the bell curve concept. I realize that you're probably using it as shorthand for "a more realistic spread of reviews"; but since you probably participate in author discussions about marketing and c., I was wondering if this is one of the things that comes up.

Since a bell curve requires a fairly random sample, it would seem to me that it would be death for a new writer to actually have their reviews fall into one. After all, you're pre-selecting people disposed to like the book based on reputation / blurb /other readers' comments. And people who don't like it probably won't read very far and are presumably less likely to review it. Finally, add in the fact that people tend to rate higher than they would if they really used 3 starts as an average.


message 21: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
actually, I haven't had any author discussions about bell curves, I was reacting to someone saying they felt any book that got all 4 and 5 stars they'd refuse to read because it reflected some sort of perceived collusion or chicanery.
And you yourself said something similar up top.

since I've not employed any collusion or chicanery, I was concerned about that perception, so that's why I did this odd experiment. I all but encouraged people to rate it as low as they felt was honest (or as high as)

The bell curve is just something I recall from physics, back 40 years ago when I was in school. ;)


message 22: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
Adam wrote: "So bad grammar, romantic vampires with teenage angst despite being hundreds of years old and borderline sex are in your future?
"


well, I am getting closer to "hundreds of years old"


Whitney | 16 comments Adam wrote: "That's really sad for authors who write a genuinely good book with wide appeal..."

Possible it's out there, but very unlikely ANY book would get only honest 5 stars all around, especially a first book.


message 24: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
Whitney wrote: "Adam wrote: "That's really sad for authors who write a genuinely good book with wide appeal..."

Possible it's out there, but very unlikely ANY book would get only honest 5 stars all around, especi..."


I think this view is stifling. ALL great authors had a first book.


Whitney | 16 comments John wrote: "I think this view is stifling. ALL great authors had a first book..."

Yep. And some of there were great. Find me a single book considered a classic that has all 5 star reviews on GR.


Whitney | 16 comments Adam wrote: "Jack Dawkins is coming pretty close, and even the one 3 star glows brighter than the increasing 5 star ratings it's getting. One of them was mine..."

Only four ratings, not enough to consider it any kind of meaningful sample size, and definitely NOT a first book. The majority of first readers will be those predisposed to liking Terry Pratchett, I expect to be a five star rater myself.

I'm never said that a book that gets a lot of 5 stars must have some sort of chicanery behind it. I said that if an unknown book by a GR author has a stack of only 5 star ratings, odds are that there's some chicanery going on. Sometimes it's just other GR writers giving their compatriot higher rating than they probably would otherwise. A perfectly human action, and one of the reasons I take positive blurbs on books from other writers with a grain of salt. Sometimes, however, if you look into that stack of five star reviewers, you find a lot of people who joined GR just before rating that particular book, and who have zero to a half-dozen other books in their list.

Just like it's possible that a plastic bag in the garbage at a dog park may contain diamonds, it's possible that an unknown writer may produce that miraculous book that is beloved by all that read it. It's just very, very unlikely.


Whitney | 16 comments P.S. I am NOT saying first books are like dog poop. Only the writers who use sock puppets to artificially boost their rating are like dog poop. And since this thread is ostensibly about John's book, I will say emphatically that John's book is not like dog poop in any way. Except maybe in the dark color of the cover, which is a little like some dog poop. Especially if the dog in question has been eating a lot of dirt. But the stories are not poopy at all. At least not the first five of them, I haven't finished it yet so can not speak with certainty of the later ones.


message 28: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
Adam wrote: ""I take all comments from people I don't know with a similar grain of salt. But to steer back to John's book, I've been dipping in and enjoying some of the stories. I like Amber best so far. "

good, I'm glad! Amber was the one that gave me the hardest time to write. It had to be just the right balance between what I revealed and how it related to later events. It was the first one written for the book, not counting the two previously published stories.

I'm going to be curious how you feel about "The Veil". I think that's my favorite, next to "Panic Tower". In Panic Tower, I'm thinking of my beautiful wife's green eyes. heh.


message 29: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
Whitney wrote: "book, I will say emphatically that John's book is not like dog poop in any way. Except maybe in the dark color of the cover, which is a little like some dog poop. Especially if the dog in question has been eating a lot of dirt. But the stories are not poopy at all. At least not the first five of them, I haven't finished it yet so can not speak with certainty of the later ones."

haha. that would be a great blurb for the back of the book: "not poopy at all"

I"ve redesigned the cover and am trying to reupload the book this weekend. uploaded it once, only to realize I accidentally grabbed an earlier version which had a few typos. So I'll try to do it again.

If you want to see that the new cover looks like:

http://dreamwoodtales.wordpress.com/2...

The original cover WAS too dark, and hard to see in a thumbnail


message 30: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
From now until the end of May, if you purchase either the ebook or paperback version from Amazon of My short story anthology "A Plague of Dreams", and then send me your snailmail at my email, I will send you a signed, humorously drawn dragon (which relates to one of the stories in the book) personalized to you, on a postcard.
Proof of purchase is desired, but not required, if you tell me what day you purchased it.

Is this a good, kosher idea for a DEAL? I have no idea. someone let me know if it's not.

Add me as a friend and I'll give you my email.

For one thing, this is a nice way to get the author's signature (AND DRAWING!) even if you purchase the electronic book!


message 31: by John (new) - added it

John Hancock (johngregoryhancock) | 60 comments Mod
MAY is at its last gasp! GASP! and your last chance to get a dragon doodle! don't let this amazing opportunity to have a dragon on a postcard pass you by!


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