Posts Tagged ‘#ian1’

Independence, Author Style

So the government’s shut down, does that mean anarchy reigns? Well, I’m planning on heading into my day job in a few minutes and as far as I know, everything is business as normal. Good thing I didn’t apply for a FHA mortgage or give in when my wife suggested I treat myself to a pistol at the sporting goods store the other day – government loans and gun permits are going to be slowed down by this shutdown, among other things.

So instead the government demands our military and many civilian workers continue to work without pay. Retroactively it’ll be paid back, they say. There’s irony in the phrase, “the cost of freedom.”

So the other kind of independence I can think of is something I don’t talk about as often as I should: independent publishing. I had a few books initially that were released through a publisher, but I wasn’t keen on how that was working out for me so I decided to do my own thing. 40 books later I’m still quite happy with my decision and going strong. Along the way I’ve been helped by another source of independence though, the Independent Author Network (#ian1 for you Twitter-savvy folks).

William Potter is the man behind the machine over at the Independent Author Network. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s made his life complicated by putting out so many books, but I hit the upper threshold some time ago with having 20 books listed there. He’s offered to swap them out for me if I wanted, but so far I haven’t taken him up on that.

Still, it’s a shame since I’ve got some great new books people may not be seeing. Books like Vitalis: Provenance and the one I’m finishing up this week, Vitalis: Genesis. Or many of my newer fantasy releases in my Blades of Leander trilogy or my Order of the Dragon series. Both have done well with reviews and sales, but they could stand to do much better.

I’ve even dabbled in some espionage, to tie this back into the government overstepping its bounds. My Homeland series is about fighting terrorism and following the lives of special agents working for the Department of Homeland Defense. They’re people too, after all, and just as screwed up as the rest of us.

So, since the sky isn’t falling and your neighbors aren’t stockpiling guns, ammo, and canned goods, why not relax a little and read a book? IAN has hundreds if not thousands of great authors to check out – although I encourage you to start with me first.

To learn more about Jason Halstead visit his website to read about him, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at

What the Heck is #IAN1?

April 26, 2012 3 comments

I know the answer, don’t worry. #IAN1 is a Twitter hashtag. If you’re reading my blog and you’re not sure what Twitter is or what a hashtag is then I’m surprised. It’s not that I consider it common knowledge, it’s just that a large portion of my blog readers are pulled in from Twitter. For those of you that aren’t, let me see if I can sum it up.

A hashtag is a way to organize related tweets. Think of it as a category or even a genre. If you want to look up horror books you’d sort through a list of horror books, right? If you want to find out about tweets related to the TV show The Voice, you’d want to look up any tweets that use the hashtag #thevoice somewhere in them. Twitter was built with this in mind so people can read streams of tweets with this in mind. It’s called “trending.” Thus ends the Twitter lesson.

So back to #IAN1. That happens to be the hashtag set up for the Independent Author Network. It’s a website I joined a while back for a nominal fee to help host my books. I was searching for as many reliable and cost-effective ways to expose myself. Er, expose myself without any police involvement. Anyhow, the Independent Author Network is a resource for independent writers that are looking for fellow writers to talk shop with or just a place to put up our books and let people see them. It’s a huge benefit to readers as well, they can view (by genre) books and authors without any pressure as to whether they’re going to buy them or where they’re going to buy them at (each book has links to where it’s available at). I’ve got nineteen books on there, which is far and away one of the larger profiles.

To my fellow writers: has it helped me to have a page on the Independent Author Network? I think so. I don’t have any empirical data, you see, but I do know that my page was getting hundreds if not thousands of hits each month for a while (I haven’t seen any stats in a while but I imagine it’s gone up, not down). That doesn’t necessarily convert to a sale, but every opportunity to put my book in front of somebody increases the possibility of them buying it.

It’s not an instant guarantee of success either. As with anything, if people don’t know it exists then there’s little to no chance of them ever visiting it. That means I have to share the knowledge. I have to let people know that I have an IAN page and give them the address to it. It helps if I toss in a “please check it out,” while I’m at it.

IAN also offers up additional promo opportunities for writers from time to time. Some cost nominal fees and others are free. For example I’m involved in a “Spring Fever Promotion” that cost me nothing, it just required that I offer up a few books for display that are under $5. That’s easy for me – all my books are under $5.00! At least all of my ebooks are. Here’s the link to that page, I recommend checking it out and seeing if you can find a great price on a new favorite author (other than me, of course):

And in case you wondered nobody asked me to write this, nor am I receiving anything for it. Sure, I hope you’ll check the page out and find some use (such as buying one or more of my books), but if that’s not your thing that’s fine too. It’s also a public service message for struggling writers that are trying to find ways to get more exposure. I’m giving the place two thumbs up, I recommend you check it out.

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at