Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pump Up Your Book Presents Murder Takes Time Virtual Book Publicity Tour + Win a Free iPad 3 or Kindle Fire

Join Giacomo Giammatteo as he tours the blogosphere June 18 – August 31,2012 with his mystery/suspense novel Murder Takes Time! Giacomo has agreed to give away an iPad 3, a Kindle Fire, and a $50 Gift Certificate (payable by Paypal). The iPad3 and Kindle Fire winners will be determined by Rafflecopter and the gift certificate will go to the person who comments the most during his 2 month tour.  If there is a tie, the winner will be chosen through!

I live in Texas now, but I grew up in Cleland Heights, a mixed ethnic neighborhood in Wilmington, Delaware that sat on the fringes of the Italian, Irish and Polish neighborhoods. The main characters of Murder Takes Time grew up in Cleland Heights and many of the scenes in the book were taken from real-life experiences.
Somehow I survived the transition to adulthood, but when my kids were young I left the Northeast and settled in Texas, where my wife suggested we get a few animals. I should have known better; we now have a full-blown animal sanctuary with rescues from all over. At last count we had 41 animals—12 dogs, a horse, a three-legged cat and 26 pigs.
Oh, and one crazy—and very large—wild boar, who takes walks with me every day and happens to also be my best buddy.
Since this is a bio some of you might wonder what I do. By day I am a headhunter, scouring the country for top talent to fill jobs in the biotech and medical device industry. In the evening I help my wife tend the animals, and at night—late at night—I turn into a writer.
Go check out the website: Look around, click some links, and, if you’ve got time, tell me what you think. Contact me at
A string of brutal murders has bodies piling up in Brooklyn, and Detective Frankie Donovan knows what is going on. Clues left at the crime scenes point to someone from the old neighborhood, and that isn’t good.
Frankie has taken two oaths in his life—the one he took to uphold the law when he became a cop, and the one he took with his two best friends when they were eight years old and inseparable.
Those relationships have forced Frankie into many tough decisions, but now he faces the toughest one of his life; he has five murders to solve and one of those two friends is responsible. If Frankie lets him go, he breaks the oath he took as a cop and risks losing his job. But if he tries to bring him in, he breaks the oath he kept for twenty-five years—and risks losing his life.
In the neighborhood where Frankie Donovan grew up, you never broke an oath.

Today I will be featuring a guest post by the author, and tomorrow. come back for a review!
The transformation in the publishing industry has changed a lot of things over the past several years. I should say ebooks have changed a lot of things. Every aspect of publishing has been affected, from pricing and distribution, to availability, time to market, how books are written and how books are read. E-readers have done all this and more, and it’s only going to get better—or worse—depending on how you look at it.
I resisted the change to an e-reader; in fact, I never bought a reader. My wife said she was going to surprise me with a Kindle early on and I told her not to, that I’d never read on one. Then, when Apple introduced the iPad, I bought one, but not with the intent on reading. I think you know what happened. I read a few books on it and was hooked.
Occasionally I go to my bookshelf, brush off a few cobwebs and find one I haven’t read, but for the most part, it’s digital for me.
But that’s not what has been the most significant change. The biggest change for me is not in pricing, though that is lower, and it’s not the instant availability, though I find that wonderful, and it’s not even in the ease of digital reading, or the ability to carry a mini library on my tablet; the biggest change for me is in how I shop for books.
The Digital Bookstore
I don’t mean missing the trips to the bookstore, where my wife and I would spend hours drinking coffee and mulling over which books to buy. And I don’t mean stopping at a used-book store in a strange town, or even a different part of town, to find that elusive book we’d never heard of to cap off a fun day together. What I’m talking about, is how I make the decision regarding which books to buy.
The Way it Used to Be
In the old days at the bookstore, I would go to the mystery aisle, or the fantasy aisle, or history, depending on what mood I was in, and I’d start with the usual routine. The first things that caught my eye were the books turned sideways—as they were meant to—and then the ones with the catchy titles, or nice covers. Once a book found it’s way into my hands, I’d read the jacket cover, and if still interested, I’d start into the book. If I got five pages in without the desire to drop it, or shove it back on the shelf, it went into the basket to buy.
So What Has Changed?
Amazon has changed, that’s what. When shopping online, it’s difficult to “judge the book by it’s cover” when the covers are so small. And it just isn’t the same without being able to pick those books up in my hands and skim through them, feel them, smell them.
But in a way, it’s better. What I do now is, go to whatever section I’m in the mood to shop and type that into the search bar. Let’s say it’s mystery books. I pick something more specific, hard-boiled mysteries (in Kindle), or mysteries and thrillers, or suspense (Kindle). I hit return to get the list, then— and here’s the key—I move over to the right, to the sort bar, and “sort by avg. customer review.”
The Results
What you get is the list of the top-rated books in that category. It isn’t purely top rated, but it’s close. Amazon does some massaging with their algorithms, and, from what I can tell, it’s a combination of the number of reviews combined with highest ratings. So a book with 200 reviews that averages 4.3 stars might be ahead of a book with 40 reviews that averages 4.6, but it might only take a few more 5-star reviews for that other one to overtake it.
The reason I do this is because, for me, this is the easiest and most sensible way to shop. I can skim the top 100 if I like and surely find some good buys. Otherwise I’d be skimming 50,000 or more. The trick after that is learning to read the reviews, and judging whether the book is for you or not, but that’s another post by itself.
What Next?
Once a book passes the review test, then the best part of digital comes into play—downloading a sample. Amazon allows you to download a sample that amounts to about 10% of the book. I always do this before I purchase the book. That sample provides more than enough pages for me to decide if I like the author’s style.
If you follow this method, you might still be fooled. Maybe you like the voice and style, but the plot falls apart, or there is a crappy ending. That’s a risk you’ll have to take, but the system now is far better than it’s ever been. I used to buy a lot of books I ended up not reading. Now I don’t.
What am I reading tonight? A dusty old book called the Count of Monte Cristo. I heard it’s gotten good reviews.
Ciao, and thanks for listening,

~ ~ ~ iPad 3 GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~

Pump Up Your Book and Giacomo Giammatteo are teaming up to give you a chance to win an iPad 3!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour.  If your blog isn’t set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries.
This iPad 2 promotion will run from June 18 – August 31. Winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on September 1, 2012.


Click the link above to enter the giveaway!

That same link will take you to the rest of the schedule!


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