Sunday, March 17, 2013

Introducing "Hack"

Maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit on this one.


I'm pleased to announce that the first installment of Hack is now available for download for Kindle.

I know, I know, "What about the big Opening Day launch?" Well, for a variety of promotional reasons, I had to submit the book in order to get what's known as my Amazon Standard Identification Number so that I can submit it to various promotional sites for the free giveaway.

That got your attention, didn't it?

As my thank you to all of you who have supported this blog through the years, I'm going to let you in on some inside info.

Right now, "Innings 1-3" is on sale for $2.99 at Amazon, and Amazon only.

As I mentioned before, in order to be able to give the book away for free, I have to give Amazon exclusivity for three months. I don't necessarily like doing so; my Nook sales have actually been surprisingly decent as of late, but I figure part of being an indie writer is experimenting to see what works, and using the Kindle Select program is one method of discovery that I haven't tried yet.

For those folks interested in reading it without a Kindle, there's a Kindle app for most iOS and Android devices, as well as Mac--I believe you can get it that way.

The great part is, the exclusivity period should run out right around the All-Star Break, which is when I'm shooting to release the paperback "Complete Game" edition. The cover's ready to go and everything.

All of that is a long-winded way of saying "wait until sometime between March 31 and April 2 to download it for absolutely free.

No catch, no gimmick: all I ask is that if you enjoy it, please leave a review either on the book's Amazon page or Goodreads. I haven't completely cracked the Amazon rec algorithm yet, in large part because I'm terrible with computers, but I'm told that the more people who leave reviews, the more steam the book picks up in Amazon's rec engine. Same goes for Goodreads--actually, Goodreads' rec engine is potentially even more powerful than Amazon's, which quite frankly frightens me.

Just for the sake of argument, let's say you're a bit lazy on the weekend of Opening Day. It is Easter, after all, maybe you'll down fifty chocolate eggs and fall into a semi-diabetic coma for four or five days.

After that, folks, I'm going to drop the price of the first installment to $0.99.

Granted, the second and third installments will still be $2.99, but you can try out the series for less than a dollar, and see if you want to commit to the rest at a very, very minimal cost to you.

Tough to beat that, right?

It's not like I get any real benefit out of doing so: my royalties go down substantially if any of my stuff is under $2.99. But I figure if nothing else, most of the folks who enjoy this blog will likely enjoy a story about a crotchety old baseball manager with terminal cancer who comes back to manage the AA Hoplite Magpies of the Northern League for one last hurrah. It's kind of like Major League as far as being funny, only quite a bit darker, especially as the book progresses.

But I digress. There's the info. Wait to download it for free if you can. If not, wait until it's $0.99. I guess no one will stop you from buying it at $2.99, but it's in your best interests to wait and get it for free or much cheaper.

The other thing that you can do to help me out if you have a Kindle and Amazon Prime is use your free rental from the lending library on Hack. If you do so, I get some cash from Amazon's big lending fund, so it's win-win.

"Well, you gave us that one-line teaser, but what is the book actually about, maaaannn..."

Easy there, Trent Albertson!

Here's the cover:

Not bad for government work, huh? I actually did that myself (big thanks to Dean Wesley Smith's cover design workshop!), and now I'm hoping that the money I shelled out for inDesign won't be in vain.

Here's the simple blurb:

Roger “Hack” O’Callahan has a secret. All he wanted to do was to manage the AA Hoplite Magpies of the Northern League, one more year of doing what he loved before the cancer could eat him from the inside, everyone blissfully unaware as it happened.

But a funny thing happened on the way to his funeral: he discovered his players have secrets of their own that not only threaten order in his clubhouse, but also their livelihoods, and, potentially, their lives.

Major League-like in its humor but with several dark twists, Hack will push you to consider why we keep secrets, and the true consequences that can arise should those secrets get out.

So What's Next?

Hack: Innings 4-6 is currently under review by my crack team of beta readers (thank you, Sara, Chris, and Lauren--I am forever in your debt), and WILL be out by Opening Day (March 31), one way or another.  

I haven't started on the third installment, called (wait for it...) Hack: Innings 7-9 yet, but it should be out by mid-May at the absolute latest; I'm eager to get cracking on it Monday morning and should be able to finish the rough draft in 2-3 weeks. I do know exactly where it's going--the final scene is already written--and there's a lot of plot for 30-35,000 words, so it should be jam-packed with action.

After that, I think I'm going to head back to JWATT land to finish up Ricky Corcoran's addendum to Doc's manuscript, from the Commander's point of view (call it JWATT 1.5). Then, it's between really bearing down on the Debt of Souls books and getting them out, or writing Corcoran Was a Time Traveler. If anyone's read JWATT and wants to put in their two cents, let me know in the comments or via email (

Beyond that, I have a young adult sci-fi series on the horizon, as well as several ideas for novellas/novelettes (still don't know the difference between the two, other than "novelettes" sounds far more French than the spicy, hot-blooded Spanish mistress "novella"), and even a couple of non-fiction projects that I'm chipping away on a couple thousand words at a time while watching TV at night.

As I've stated before, I fully intend to have ten "works" (meaning novels or novellas/novelettes--short stories like Robo Rooter don't count) up by the end of the year. I think I'm on track to meet that goal.

Even if you don't download Hack for absolutely free, hell, even if you don't buy anything I'm selling, I sincerely do thank you for reading this blog. Especially now, when I'm pushing to get more product out, being a writer can be a fairly solitary existence, like when you spend all day Saturday and Saturday night editing a manuscript so that it's ready to go and then actually get it out there. I do take solace in the fact that folks seem to enjoy my insane ramblings here and elsewhere on the internet.

Thanks again, everyone--Happy Hack Day on March 31!
D.J. Gelner is a fiction and freelance writer from St. Louis, Missouri. His novel, Jesus Was a Time Traveler, is available on AmazonNook, Kobo, iBooks and in Paperback. Follow him on twitter (@djgelner) or facebook (here). E-mail him at

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