Friday, 12 October 2012

Another 'Ring' Giveaway

As a special weekend treat, FWB are also presenting free the first book in the ambitious, 4-part illustrated re-imagining of the epic 'Ring' Cycle, 'Of Gods and Gold'.

The free offer runs from Saturday Oct 13, 2012 to Sunday Oct 14, 2012, all inclusive.




Thursday, 11 October 2012

'Maranatha' Up for Grabs Again

Amazon's new 'up to 5 day freebie promotion' option has gone down a blast with us lately. We think it's the best thing yet devised for Amazon Kindle-based book promotion, on the grounds that our latest piece, 'Angel of Vengeance', shifted nearly a thousand units in its 5-day period and has already gone on to out-sell almost everything else in our Kindle catalogue to date in only two weeks.

A few months after we first started these promos, we'd like to offer readers another chance to snap up a free copy of the very first FWB title, 'Maranatha'. The promo starts on the 12th October and runs for 5 days inclusive thereafter.

As ever, you can get the 'Trinity Chronicles' freebie via the following links:

for Amazon US readers

for UK Kindle fans


Monday, 8 October 2012

Fenriswulf Books welcome guest blogger Jeff Swenson, who describes the trials and tribulations of being an online cartoonist. Chaz of course contributes his own weekly IT/Tech Support webcomic, Geekz, over at 2Laugh.com, which also features some of Jeff's work. But we'll stop rambling and let Jeff take over now:

"I met Chaz Wood quite awhile ago, via email since we're countries apart, and he mentioned writing an article on what it is like to be an online cartoonist, or rather what my experience has been, to post on his site. This week I read on another cartoonist's Facebook page that yet another well known editorial cartoon series was being dropped from a major publication (both online and in print) and it reminded me that maybe I should actually type something up on how hard it is to be a cartoonist. Not to complain per se, but maybe just to explore the topic.



Certainly, it is not hard to be a cartoonist if you're doing it more as a hobby. I'd like to say I'm treating it that way now as I no longer do it full time but I find that any spare time I have I'm either drawing or writing down ideas. In other words, I'm obsessed with the medium regardless if I make money or not. All I ever wanted growing up was to draw a comic strip like the ones in my local newspapers, the newspapers that have now all gone online and seem to have left the funny pages behind.

You probably have not heard of "Jeff Swenson" the cartoonist much like you have not heard of numerous other online cartoonists who I'm geeky enough to be aware of. There is, however, a good chance you have stumbled across one of my cartoons. I have several "one hit wonders" floating out there that get passed from webmaster to webmaster to social networking sites and even printed out for someone's office bulletin board.

Comic strips and one panel gag cartoons often have a life of their own once they're born. I'm betting even after I die many of my cartoons will continue to travel across multiple sites or enter the public domain and pop up in cheap Ebook collections. I'm not offended by any of this at all. It's rather amusing to find a social networking site that has grabbed a comic strip from 8 years ago and once posted there a hundreds of comments about it as if it were new. I'm also no longer surprised that credit is usually not given or the URL has been removed from the strip. Like I said, the comic strip has taken off on it's own like a rebellious teenager giving the finger to his father. It's not exactly fair to an artist, but this is how it is for a lot of cartoonists--their work can be seen by millions over time because of the Internet and yet they don't see a dime from it.

That's not to say there aren't successful online cartoonists, there are. They've created a business model around their artwork and with enough traffic they can ditch their day job...but that's actually a rare event. It used to be that all a traditional print cartoonist did was write and draw ideas--hell, they didn't even do their own coloring. Now online cartoonists literally have to know how to build a website, build traffic, set up advertising arrangements and create merchandise AND keep it all going day by day without any fatal mishaps. I applaud these people to mask my bitter jealousy (kidding) and I'm only aware of a few online cartoonists who have been successful enough at this business model to ditch their day jobs.

To have the chance to be paid to draw a daily comic strip is essentially the same as a musician getting a record contract--one shot in a million, now more than ever in a crowded market of web comics. To sustain that comic strip for a lifetime so that it pays out dividends (licensing deals) is even harder. It helps if you're good at what you do, but a lot of it has to do with timing and representation. Have you ever gone back and read the dailies of famous comic strips? A large percentage of them, while drawn well, have pretty horrible or just boring ideas. The gags are hit and miss and groaners abound (which I'm guilty of too). What keeps an audience returning is likable characters--they're willing to forgive cliches or even a lazy idea due to a deadline.

So to be be paid to do a syndicated daily comic strip is usually out of reach for most cartoonists. I spent seven years cartooning full time by freelancing for various clients and squeezing in several of my own features for a bit of ad revenue or licensing arrangement fees. Sometimes I was paid well and sometimes I was paid crap--and you'll accept crap when a bill is due! The stress of it finally got to me and I started realizing that I was drawing less of what I wanted to--it was what everyone else wanted. What's the fun in that?

When you come to that point you see that taking a steady job may make sense even though you feel like you're giving in to "adult life." After witnessing other artists around me go bankrupt or still living in their parents' basement, well, the reality is you have to find some sort of balance to being paid enough and having time to draw what you want. If I was single without a mortgage? Yeah, I might be the guy renting the run-down apartment next to the beach wearing shorts in winter and continuing to draw full time on a minimal budget. That sounds like heaven on earth to me, as twisted as it sounds to some readers I'm sure--as I said, cartooning is an obsession.

This next year I'm minimizing any freelancing opportunities and I'm moving forward with collecting my past cartoons into Ebooks and then all I want to do is write and draw new material for more Ebooks (I love doing collections and comic strip stories). I'll have to suffer for my paycheck, but on my own time I'm free to pursue the lovely art of lowbrow."

You can catch loads of Jeff's stuff online at: http://www.Swensonfunnies.com and at Freethunk. Chaz also recommends checking out some of Jeff's Kindle books, like this nifty collection of Halloween funnies on Amazon.



Underground British Metal for Discerning Listeners

Underground British Metal for Discerning Listeners
Because Chaz is a fan of these guys and their music. Help support the British metal music scene!

Guest Post Submission Guidelines

We're very happy to accept guest posts. The only requirements we have for guest posts on Fenriswulf Books' blog pages are:

1) on-topic posts only: i.e., articles relevant, and of interest, specifically to writers (especially self-published or indie authors) - ideally regarding the creative processes of producing fiction, editing, character, plotting, e-publishing, observations and opinions on the publishing industry generally, experiences of Kindle/Smashwords/Apple, traditional publishing, self-promo and marketing advice for authors (but see *2* below), inspiration & 'writers' block', cartoons/comic books, illustration & design, or creativity in general;

2) absolutely no promotion or reviews of third-party products or services: the only exceptions being other self-pubbed or indie writers that you may be enthusiastic about, or charitable websites or totally free resources online or elsewhere devoted to helping other writers, e.g via interviews, book giveaways, etc. This includes hyperlinks and images. Author book review sites are acceptable as long as they offer free reviews (whether alongside paid-for reviews or not).

3) if in doubt, just ask.

Other than that, feel free to drop us a brief summary of possible posts and we'll let you know by return.

'Sword and the Ring' Book 1

'Sword and the Ring' Book 1
Now Available...in print, or in Kindle format

'Sword and the Ring' Part 1 Book Trailer

'Malaria 9' Book Trailer

"Maranatha" video trailer - for the new 2nd edition

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