Posts Tagged ‘birthday sale’

So as you probably already know, since my birthday last Wednesday I’ve had a sale on all my books, where the paperbacks were marked down and the e-books were made free. I called it the Big Birthday Sale and it ended last night at midnight. Now, I don’t know how many of you are actually curious to ask how the big sale went. I’m sure you have better things to do with your life, especially if you have your own book out there and you’re trying to get that into people’s hands. However, I learned some very interesting things from doing this sale, the first time I’ve ever done a sale like this, and I’d like to discuss them. So if you’re not already heading to close the tab you’re reading this in, here’s how the Big Birthday Sale went.

To say the least, it was a big success. In total, I had a little under twelve-hundred books sold or downloaded over the course of five days, most of them e-books from Amazon. Not only that, but the people buying or downloading came from all over the world: the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, and even India and Japan! I’ve got readers in freaking India and Japan! I feel like JK Rowling or Stephen King, almost!

I think a big part of why I’ve gotten so many people reading was due to the Facebook ads I ran during the course of the sale. Each day I’d do a new ad, spending about ten to twenty dollars on promotional costs. This allowed me to reach a much broader and more diverse audience than I could’ve hoped on my own, and hopefully the many people who checked out my books because of the ads will be interested in finding out more about me because of the books. In fact, a good number of people already have: at the beginning of the sale, my Facebook page had 140 likes. Today, it has about 390 likes. Yeah, apparently those ads were pretty effective. Most of the people who liked my page were from India, it seems, judging by the names I keep seeing in my notifications. Interesting…maybe I’ll become one of those authors who’s really popular in another country, and I’m never quite sure why.

Anyway, I’m not sure how many of these new likes will stick around. With platforms like Facebook and Twitter, people like and unlike pages for the craziest of reasons (I once only liked a page for a soft drink so I could enter a contest. Soon as the contest ended and I lost, I unliked it faster than you can say “Sorry, please try again”), but I’m hopeful at least half of them will stick around to watch as I work on becoming a great horror author.

In the meantime, I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the Big Birthday Sale, getting books or even spreading the word by sharing my posts. It means a lot to me that you would check out my work and want to read it. And if you do end up reading my stories, please let me know what you think, whether in a comment, a blog post on your own personal blog, or a review on Amazon. Positive or negative, I appreciate feedback, and I’d love to hear yours!

Well, that’s all for now. I’ve got a few things to take care of today, and then I’m editing Video Rage so that all my Reborn City fans can get the sequel they desperately want to read. I’ll let you guys know if anything new or exciting comes up. Have a great day, my Followers of Fear!

For a while now I’ve been wanting to try Tarot. Not because I actually believe in the ability of the cards to actually tell me my future (I’m a bit more skeptical of fortune-telling than most people would think), but because as a horror writer I have a few story ideas where the Tarot is either a central part of the story or comes up once or twice, so I want to be sure I know what I’m talking about before I start writing. Plus it’s very easy to learn with the right tools, and I’ve always found Tarot to be strangely beautiful and mystical. And who knows? Tarot might actually have something to it. In which case, best I learn it well.

So, if you’re actually unfamiliar with what Tarot is, it’s a form of divination using a deck of 78 cards, each having their own special meaning. The cards, when laid out in a certain spread, can act as signposts on the journey of life when you ask them a certain question. This evening, after reading an instruction book I got online and opening my own deck, I did my own reading. My question was pretty simple, as it should be with Tarot*: since I turned 22 recently, how will the coming year go for me?

The answer, according to the cards, is that I’ll rise to megastar fame, get married and divorced, have a baby, and then die saving the world from terrorists, cementing my legacy in history. And all this before May 2016.

Done laughing yet? Yeah, I wish some of that would happen to me. And even if that were possible, Tarot is never that specific. Like I said, the cards are meant to act as signposts or guides. They hint and rarely, if ever, give the full story. Also, the whole spread has to be used in interpreting the cards, so no one card can give you full insight into the future. It’s not an easy art to learn, especially when each card can have multiple meanings. You learn through trial and error

So what actually happened is that I used a spread known as the Celtic Cross, which uses 10-14 cards to indicate the answer to your question. I looked over the spread, wrote it down in a notebook I got for the very purpose of recording my Tarot spreads, and tried to interpret that. My conclusion is that I either shuffled the deck wrong or I’m still very new to this and it’ll take a while to understand what, if anything, the cards were trying to point me to (or none of it’s real, got to stay open to the possibilities).

The Hanging Man. I might actually be in a state of suspension like it hints at.

Some of it actually did seem on the dot though. The first card was of The Hanging Man, which can literally mean being in a state of suspension, which I am at the moment, waiting for this delay to go to Germany to end. The third card, The Eight of Wands, indicates fast progress after delays and travel, which could pertain to the whole Germany thing, as well as traveling from my apartment to my dad’s house (the third position deals with the past), and the fourth position, the Knight of Wands, seems to complement this. And the fifth position points to recovery after a strain, which is interesting seeing as I strained my hamstring not too long ago and I am working to make it better.

A couple of other things were pretty on the dot, but for the most part there’s a lot of stuff I don’t understand. It’s interesting, and makes me realize how much of this art I still have to learn. Even if I’m on the fence about whether or not there’s actually anything to Tarot, my curiosity is piqued by how some of the cards did point to things I’m actually feeling or thinking about. So I’ll definitely be doing another reading one of these days, seeing what I can learn from this and maybe improve my skill before I actually write a story having to do with Tarot.

In the meantime, has anyone reading this gotten a reading or regularly done readings for themselves and/or for others reading this? If so, I’d love to get your take on this, so hit me up in the comments below.

Also, what do you, my Followers of Fear, think of Tarot and divination in general? Had any memorable readings that turned out to be strangely accurate or just plain off? Loved to hear your thoughts.

Still so much to learn here.

All for now. The Big Birthday Sale is ending in less than an hour from now, so I’ll write a post about how that went in the morning. Though if you hurry, you might still be able to get one of my books from Amazon or Smashwords marked down or for free. It’s still a good opportunity to get a good book at a great price for the next forty minutes.

Until next time!

*By the way, I know there are those who want to tell me Tarot is dangerous, that it involves devils, that I’m going to Hell for using it. I’ve heard it all, and I don’t really care. So if you’re going to comment about how I’m putting my immortal soul in danger or I’m being a bad Jew or something, please stop, because I’ll just use the opportunity to make a snarky joke about it. And trust me, you don’t want to be on the receiving end of my brand of humor. Just ask my folks, they hate it!

Well, it’s taken me…jeez, over a month to write this particular story, but I finally got it done. My latest story is called “Gynoid” (yes, that is a word) and it’s a story I’ve had a wonderful time working on. “Gynoid” is a science-fiction tale about a teenage boy who orders a robot that resembles a real girl called a gynoid (like the female equivalent to android) in order to help him become experienced in having sex. What he never expects though is to end up building a relationship with his gynoid, and that’s where his real problems begin.

For me this is an unusual story because it’s straight science fiction without any horror, thriller, fantasy, or other such elements. Still, I had a lot of fun writing this one for a number of reasons, including creating a world and a culture much more advanced than ours, making up slang terms and using the story to poke fun of certain things happening in our world today. And of course, like most science fiction stories, there are several themes running throughout the story, the main one dealing with how some guys will get caught up in fantasies of that “perfect woman” and the consequences of doing so. It’s actually quite interesting.

Of course, it’s going to take a lot of work before it’s ready for publication, even if I think it’s a very good first draft. At a little over nineteen thousand words, it’s a long novelette, and there’s a lot to be improved on. I want to make sure the characters’ personalities are consistent throughout, I would like to go a bit more in-depth with the culture and slang of the story (without trying to cram a whole mythology into the story, of course), and I’d like to brush up those rough patches. Still, once that’s done and I’ve had someone look it over, I think it could be published in a sci-fi magazine. Anything’s possible.

In the meantime, I’ll let “Gynoid” lie for a while and take a break for a day or so. After the break’s over–and I say this with all the excitement in the world–I’m going to be getting back to editing Video Rage! That’s right, I’ll be getting back to working on the sequel to Reborn City after putting it aside for so long. So fans of the first book rejoice, Rami Ungar’s back on the case and he’s hoping to get the second book out some time next year. Get excited!

In the meantime, the Big Birthday Sale is going on through the rest of today and tomorrow. So if you haven’t yet, head on over to Amazon or Smashwords, where you can get marked down or even free copies of The Quiet Game, Reborn City, and Snake. It’s the perfect time to get a good book at a great price.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. If you need me, I’m on break and loving it. Have a nice day!

It’s Friday, so it’s time for #FirstLineFriday. This is something that started out on an author’s group on Facebook I belong to and that I’m trying to start as a trend among other writers elsewhere. What you do is on Friday you post the first one or two lines of a published story, work in progress, potential story, or just something you picked right out of the air. It’s a lot of fun coming up with what to write.

This week’s selection is from what I hope will be the second draft of a story I worked on earlier this year. Still trying to figure out how exactly I’m going to edit it but I have some ideas. Enjoy:

“…and in New Orleans, a woman gunned down by police may be the person responsible for the murders of several dangerous criminals. Police say the DNA of the suspect, who at this time has not been identified, matches that found at several other crime scenes of involving the deaths of people convicted or suspected of murder, rape, arson, or drug trafficking, all who died under mysterious circumstances.”

As you can probably tell, this is the beginning of a news report and would be much longer in the opening paragraph. But what did you think? Errors? Questions? Reviews? Let me know.

And if you haven’t, check out the Big Birthday Sale going on through Sunday. All Rami Ungar titles are marked down or free of charge at Amazon or Smashwords. Head on over to those sites to get a good book at a great price.

Have a nice day!

Yesterday was my birthday, as you probably already knew. Lot of good things happened, but there’s one thing I’d like to focus on in this post. I’m on YouTube a lot (some argue it’s typical of my generation, and to some extent I agree), and yesterday Doctor Who’s official channel uploaded a short video featuring Sarah Dollard, who’s writing an episode for the upcoming season (you can watch the video here). Me being me, I comment on the video that someday I’d like to write for Doctor Who despite being an American. And that opened the commenter floodgates.

Now, YouTube has acquired a reputation where commenters can be the nastiest people around. I’ve seen this side of YouTube before. I once was called gay for commenting on a video of an old anime’s theme song that I used to love watching that show (wrong asshole, I’m bisexual. There’s a difference), one troll told me all the stuff in a video series I was watching was staged despite proof that it all actually happened (he was easy to fend off though once it was pointed out that he had only his belief to back him up), and infamously one guy joked I’d been raped by meditation music when I commented on how a meditation video really relaxed me (you can read my post condemning that joke here). With these sort of experiences, you learn to be a little guarded in what you comment. You filter yourself so that people don’t gang up on you, strangers using their anonymity to just be awful to you or take your words out of context or a hundred other nasty things.

Which is why yesterday’s experience was so heartening and uplifting. Throughout the day, I had people replying to my comment, telling me that I had to just be a very good writer and get on the DW team’s radar in order to work for them, that nationality had nothing to do with it (later I found out that Sarah Dollard is Australian, so there’s the proof right there). I replied that I was a writer, that I had a few books out and that they were on sale in honor of my birthday (and that sale’s still going on through Sunday, by the way. You should seriously check out my work on Amazon and Smashwords for marked down or even free books).

And that’s when it starts getting really awesome. People are wishing me a happy birthday, they’re wanting to know what sort of books I write, one guy even asks for the titles of my books so they can purchase them himself! All told, there were twenty-something replies to my original comment, some of them by me but others by the complete and total strangers I’d learn to be wary of over the years.

You know, the way YouTube is, they’re not very good at policing their comments sections for abuse. Believe me, Google’s tried, but the systems they use often miss the really nasty stuff and sometimes persecute commenters for relatively harmless stuff. Some content creators on YouTube even moderate each and every comment or don’t allow comments whatsoever on their channels because of these problems. And for those viewers like myself, we have to learn to cope with this, either by not commenting in fear of the replies we’ll get or just to learn to grow a thicker skin and develop tools to deal with it ourselves.

So I comment, but I sometimes wonder if on YouTube there’s only so much civility, that comments are on a spectrum from respectful and somewhat nice to just downright awful. Yesterday surprised me and made me very happy. Within those twenty-something replies was a level of kindness and support and love that I didn’t know I could experience outside of Facebook or blogging. I got to learn that people online, especially on YouTube, can still be decent human beings even with the protection of anonymity around them, so easy to abuse sometimes.

And perhaps maybe my faith in humanity was bolstered a little.

So from now when I’m on YouTube, listening to music videos or watching funny content or whatever, I might not be so jaded. I’ll remember this little birthday surprise and I’ll know that not everyone on YouTube has the potential to be a jerk. Some have the potential to be really, really awesome people (and not just because they’re probably Whovians, though that can sometimes play a factor). And I wish the best for the people who were so kind to me yesterday, because what they did was just so overwhelmingly positive and unexpected that it deserves special mention in a time when so many people are using the Internet for awful reasons.

Bravo folks. Bravo. And thanks. You made my birthday that much more special, and I appreciate the encouragement. Here’s hoping I’m writing with the BBC someday!

22 years ago, a powerful being of a higher plane burst forth out of its hellish home with the purpose of spreading terror and chaos to the world. It found a human host and came forth from her, bringing insanity wherever it went and making things interesting at parties. This being, known by a thousand names in just as many worlds and cultures, became known in this one as Rami Ungar the Writer.

At least, that’s how I like to tell the story of my birth. It’s better than the one my mother tells, anyway.

But back on point. Today’s my 22nd birthday, and I’m celebrating it by giving a gift to you, my Followers of Fear. From today, June 10th, to Sunday June 14th, all my published works–The Quiet Game, Reborn City, and Snake–will be available at marked down prices or–in the case of the e-book versions–free of charge! And you’ll be able to get them all from Amazon or Smashwords (reminder that Smashwords only does e-books).

All my books, on sale through Sunday

All my books, on sale through Sunday

In case you’re not really familiar with my works, I’ve included descriptions of each book along with the links below. I hope you like what you read and decide to check out one of my books for your reading pleasure. And if you do decide to get one or more of my published works, I hope once you read them you’ll be kind enough to let me know what you think, either in a review or just a comment on a blog post. Positive or negative, I love feedback. It helps me improve the stories I write so that more people get entertaining and thrilling books.

Well, that’s all for now everyone. I’m off to do some writing and try out a new hobby and if I get a chance later today I’ll write another post. Until then, have fun at the sale, my Followers of Fear! And happy reading!

The Quiet Game: Five Tales To Chill Your Bones
Are you ready to face your own inner demons? Or perhaps you are ready to face the dybbuk’s wrath. Maybe you’ll even jump into the lady ogre’s den. And if you’re brave enough, you may end up in the deadliest game of all, a game where if you die, no one will hear you scream. In his debut published work, Rami Ungar takes you through five terrifying tales of darkness, suspense and fear. Get ready to play The Quiet Game.
Amazon link
Smashwords link

Reborn City
When Zahara Bakur moves to the gambling town of Reborn City, she finds her life flipped upside down when her parents are killed in a hate crime and she is forced to join the interracial street gang the Hydras. From the start this gang is different. Its leaders, including the silent and stern Rip, all have powers that defy imagination. And as Zahara becomes closer to the leaders, she becomes aware of a shadowy government organization that has a sinister interest in the Hydras. It will take all that Zahara has to make sure she and her new friends make it out alive of Reborn City, and the choice she makes will affect not only her, but maybe the world itself.
Amazon link
Smashwords link

Snake
How far would you go for love and revenge? When a young man loses the love of his life and afterwards witnesses a horrific murder, he descends into insanity and decides to hunt down the men who took his lover away from him. Styling himself as the Snake, he goes after New York’s most powerful mafia family, and he won’t stop till he finds his love and makes the monsters who took her pay. Even if that means becoming a monster worse than the ones he is hunting.
Amazon link
Smashwords link

promo spread 1

The anticipation is killing me. I hope it lasts.

Well, tomorrow I turn 22 years old (lukewarm yay!) and in honor of that, I’ll be doing a tremendous sale of all my books (more enthusiastic yay!). All paperback copies of The Quiet Game, Reborn City and Snake will be marked down, and all e-books will be free to download! This will be happening from tomorrow, June 10th to Sunday, June 14th, and will be happening on Amazon and Smashwords. It’s going to be exciting.

That’s all for now. Only one more day to endure reminders, everyone…unless I decide to do reminders every day that there’s a big sale going on. Then you’ll never be free. Ha ha ha…

It goes without saying, I love villains. They’re often the most memorable part of a story or among the most memorable parts. Everyone recognizes the killer clown from Stephen King’s IT or Dr. Lecter tied up and wearing a mask in Silence of the Lambs. And in certain musicals, when they have a song about the villain, it can become the best part of the entire show. In fact, in some cases it’s the only good part of some musicals.

I guess I’m a little obsessed with villain songs, particularly “In the Dark of the Night” from the movie Anastasia (perhaps the only good part of an expensive Disney rip-off) and “Be Prepared” from The Lion King. I’ve even written my own villain song about me as a horror writer called “Eater of Fear” (boy, would I love to get that thing produced into an actual musical track) and I came up with an idea for a short story involving a villain song. And I’m not the only one. You’ll find plenty of people who like villain songs and even create lists for them (you can find examples of other people’s lists here, here, and here).

What’s with the love of villain songs? Well, I can think of several reasons. One is that everyone likes a catchy song. It’s part of the reason why we can’t get some of Taylor Swift or Carly Rae Jepsen’s songs out of our heads sometimes (I’ve been there more than once). Villain songs are among the catchiest because they are often used to explain the plans or motivations of the villains, so a lot of thought is put into making the lyrics and tune exciting while explaining these plans/motivations. It’s a lot more fun than you’re average monologue about the villain’s plans or beliefs, right? Nobody downloads those on their iPods!

Tell me you weren’t wiggling a little in your seat when Dr. Facilier started doing this fun little song and dance.

 

Another reason is that–and this is my own opinion, but I think it has merit–most people want to indulge in their dark side every now and then, they want to have a little fun being evil. How many times have we wished we could get revenge on our bosses or on that nasty kid on the playground? Probably a lot, but we don’t because most of us are good people who would never do something so horrid or we’re afraid of the consequences. A villain song is a sort of trip to the dark side. You get to indulge in being bad and have fun singing about it. And when the song is over, what’s the worst that comes back to haunt you? Maybe someone sees you singing and goes to warn somebody else, but that might be it. Usually, the song ends and we move onto the next part of the story.

In addition, villain songs are packed with dark visuals. Even non-fans of horror like the dark and the creepy every now and then, they just don’t like being assaulted with it in the books or movies or shows they read or watch. No, they prefer to dip their toes, and a villain song is a perfect way to do it. If you’ve ever watched “Hellfire” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame or “Be Prepared”, you know they’ve got some arresting visuals. The former has some freaky Gothic and hellish imagery, the latter has freaking Nazi hyenas marching in front of Fuhrer Scar. It’s kind of creepy, it stays with you, and it’s a lot of fun to watch.

Anyone who didn’t find this scene a little chilling is either lying or possibly has ties to dangerous organizations or groups.

 

These and a bunch of other reasons could be why villain songs resonate with us so much as an audience. Whether it’s because we love a villain, indulging safely in our dark side, or we just like a catchy tune, villain songs are just a ton of fun and as long as people are writing musicals, they’re bound to show up again and again in our shows and, if they’re good, in our consciousnesses.

Do you have a thing for villain songs? Which are your favorite? And why do you think they tend to stick in people’s minds so much?

Oh, just a reminder that my Big Birthday Sale is in 2 days. From June 10th to June 14th, all my titles–The Quiet Game, Reborn City, and Snake–will be marked down or, in the case of the e-books, free to download from Amazon and Smashwords. So if you’re looking for something new to read and want to get it at a good price, this might be the opportunity for you. Get excited, because it’s coming soon!

That’ll be all for now, Followers of Fear. I’ve got to go and sing some “Eater of Fear” in my head. Have a good one.

promo spread 1

Annoyed yet with these constant reminders? Well guess what? In true horror fashion, there’s more to come! Mwa ha ha!

Anyway, my birthday’s coming up on Wednesday, and in honor of this very special day, I’m giving all of you a gift! All my published titles–The Quiet Game, Reborn City and Snake–are going on sale from June 10th to June 14th on Amazon and Smashwords. Paperbacks will be marked down and e-books will be free to download. So if you’re looking for something new to read and you want to get a new story for a very good price, this will be the opportunity to do so.

Until the next time, my Followers of Fear. I’m off for another busy crazy day.

Three of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. I hear he can be a bit of a narcissist in real life though.

Three of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. I hear he can be a bit of a narcissist in real life though.

Only 5 days until my birthday and you get a special gift. All my published works–The Quiet Game, Reborn City, and Snake–will be on sale from June 10th to June 14th on Amazon and Smashwords. Paperbacks will be marked down and e-books will be free to download. If you’re looking for something new to read and do it cheaply, or you want to get a gift for both me and for yourself, this is the opportunity to do so.

That’s all for now. Hope you’re as excited as I am. I know my sister is. She shared and retweeted my Facebook and Twitter posts about this. God bless her, she loves my stories (and not just because I wrote them).

All for now. If I don’t post later today, have a great weekend, my Followers of Fear!