Ten Concepts a New Author Needs to Embrace by Edward Hochsmann – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Ten Concepts a New Author Needs to Embrace

Dunning-Kruger Effect. The Dunning-Kruger Effect is an established psychological principle stating that people with low ability in a given task area tend to overestimate their prowess significantly and, conversely, that people with high ability tend to underestimate their abilities dramatically. What this means to a writer: if you feel super-confident or super-pessimistic about a piece you have written, you’re probably wrong. Act accordingly.

Red-Team (a.k.a. Editors). In my day job, we submit a finished analytical report to a group of peers whose job is to pick it apart and reveal any flaw, however small. We call these people a “red team,” and going through one hurts. A lot. It is the same with editors, but something you must put yourself through. If you don’t have editors finding and pointing out faults, rest assured you’ll have readers who will, quite publicly.

Don’t Give Up Your Day Job (at least, not yet). Fact: a fiction writer is an artist. Question: What’s the difference between an artist and a large pizza? Answer: the pizza can feed a family of four.

Let’s Exchange Reviews – NOT! I made this mistake once. It’s not so much your risk of getting a bad review. It’s the risk that you are obligated to someone who has just handed you a piece of trash. Before you agree to this, at least get a sense of their quality from other works.

Causality Dilemma. This is better known as the “Chicken or the Egg?” In our context, it is the big lie that creating a significant social media presence will sell your books. In my opinion, HAVING a significant social media presence MAY help you sell a lot of books, and selling a lot of books may get you a significant social media presence. However, a plan to build a significant social media presence as a marketing strategy for your book is a sure loser. Full Disclosure: I am one of those curmudgeons who believe social media platforms are graveyards for careers, reputations, and the human mind.

Caveat Emptor. There are many people out there who are very happy to take your money, and relatively few of them deliver any value in return. The Alliance of Independent Authors has prepared a fabulous database of self-publishing services ratings here:
Before pressing the “send money” button, this should be your first stop, and the second stop should be an Internet search with the terms “[name of vendor]” and “scam.”

Return on Investment-Part 1. If you pay someone to publish a book, you are not paying them to sell your book; just put it in print to be sold. I get spammed by the same company (who shall remain nameless) every time I register a copyright who insists I would be a fool not to use their service—their intimidation line is: “you wouldn’t cut your own hair, would you?” Folks, if you can write a good novel, you have the chops to publish it FOR FREE on Amazon, Draft-2-Digital, and Ingramspark. Now, if you want to spare yourself that work, it might be worth a little investment, but don’t believe for a minute you have to pay someone to self-publish. The best advice is to roll up your sleeves, go through KDP, D2D, and Ingramspark, and save your money for advertising.

Return on Investment-Part 2. Beware of people pushing promo-stacking. It’s quite true that not investing anything in advertising will almost certainly net zero sales. Likewise, you will likely not double your reader exposure by doubling your investment (many, if not most, subscribers are probably covered by both services). I’m not saying one and done, just that there is a very steep curve of diminishing returns.

I Will Review Your Book—NOT. Again, once your name gets out there, you’ll get spammed. JUST DON’T DO IT, even if it is for free. I have a similar opinion of bookstagrammers offering paid reviews—if they stiff you, what will you do, complain? See what kind of review THAT will get you! If you want reviews, go with Netgalley, Hidden Gems, or a legitimate vendor (consult the Alliance of Independent Authors database). Then if someone offers to review, you can direct them there.

Arrrr, Mateys! Know this: if you have a book that is not trash you are offering online, it WILL get pirated, guaranteed. Your chances of preventing that or taking effective action in response are essentially zero. If you want to identify where the leak came from, hide a tracer (a different word, punctuation, phrasing, etc.) somewhere within the text that you can use to identify the specific source. If it’s from one of the bigs like Amazon, there’s a chance they might be interested in applying some of their vast resources to crush the host pour encourager les autres. Pass it to them and then let go. You are not losing sales—the scumbags who grab books off pirate sites won’t pay for a book they can’t find for free.

An aging Coast Guard patrol boat is all that stands between the world and nuclear annihilation!

The world is on the brink of war, with NATO mobilizing to counter a Russian threat to Poland and Lithuania and leaders openly discussing war options. In the midst of the crisis, a Russian bomber collides with a U.S. fighter off Florida causing the accidental launch of a nuclear-tipped hypersonic missile.

A Coast Guard cutter on a routine patrol finds a drug-laden sailboat smashed and adrift north of the Florida Keys. The boat’s damage is from a near miss by the Russian missile which has not harmlessly flown deep into the Gulf of Mexico as initially thought, but crashed somewhere in the Keys.

The Coast Guard crew is in a race against a vicious and powerful international crime syndicate to find and recover the Russian nuke before its discovery can trigger a nuclear war.

Exploring the friendship and teamwork of a typical ship’s crew, in the face of unexpected and hazardous challenges, Dagger Quest provides a fast-paced, taut story – excellent fare for both sea adventure and military thriller fans.

Mission: Five days to destroy the enemy in the Caribbean before a catastrophic weapon is unleashed—but all he can think about is the woman he left behind…

The deadliest nerve gas ever made has fallen into the hands of a murderous Caribbean drug cult. The criminal 252 Syndicate has the gas in a secret lab on an oil rig servicing ship, but the ship has been taken for ransom by the Salinas Cartel in a violent drug war. The U.S. can’t use airstrikes and calls on Coast Guard Officer Ben Wyporek to lead his crew through a risky covert raid on the Salinas cult’s fortified island base. He accepts the assignment, but remembers a previous lethal encounter with the 252s and struggles to say goodbye to the love of his life, Victoria Carpenter.

Ben and his crew aboard the stealth-equipped Cutter Kauai must sneak into the harbor and tow the ship away. But if Kauai is detected and defeated, death by gas or at the hands of vicious adversaries will follow. Now, every decision Ben makes will determine the fate of his entire crew—and the chances of reuniting with Victoria.

This second book of the series builds on the friendships and teamwork of Kauai’s crew, this time in the face of several challenging missions and one potentially lethal encounter. It is a worthy sequel to Dagger Quest that sea adventure and military thriller fans will enjoy.

Young Coast Guard Lieutenant Haley Reardon has not even gotten her feet on the ground on her new patrol boat command when she finds herself and her crew supporting a dangerous covert mission. They must insert and retrieve a Defense Intelligence Agency operations team trying to seize a transnational criminal syndicate boss from a small Caribbean island controlled by a front company of the Chinese government and protected by a superior military force.

A honeymoon period would be lovely, but, as always, the world gets a vote.

Can Haley avoid leaving the DIA team to their fate, when attempting to rescue them could destroy her crew and boat and lead to war?

This third installment of the series conveys the humor, friendships, and teamwork of Kauai’s crew from the previous books, with a new series of exciting actions from search and rescue to combat. The crew and their new skipper must come together for the toughest mission they have ever faced.

Enjoy an Excerpt from Dagger Quest

Ben had already spent one magazine and slammed another into the carbine, resuming fire. His pistol was also charged and ready. Suddenly, there was a pause in the firing, and all the targets were out of sight. Ben glanced left along the barrier and froze in shock. Bill was sprawled out face up behind Simmons, eyes open and blood leaking from a hole in his forehead.

“Eyes front!” Simmons whispered urgently.

Ben whirled back to peer at the SUVs and whispered, “What are they doing?”

“Retasking,” Simmons said, pulling a small package out of one of his pockets. “They’ll try to take us now for interrogation.”

“What do we do?”

“Don’t get taken.”


“No, I mean, whatever you have to do, DO NOT get taken by these guys.” He looked Ben in the eyes. “Nothing would be worse, believe me.”


Some activity behind his SUV attracted Ben’s attention. There was a “whump” sound, and a grapefruit-sized object sailed overhead their position.

“FACE DOWN!” Simmons shouted.

Ben turned and buried his face in the sand when a loud “pop” sounded overhead, followed by a “whir” and a stabbing pain in the back of his right leg. A severe muscle cramp-like pain spread over his body within seconds, and he could not move. He tried to shout in terror, but all he heard was, “Ahhhhhh!” He felt another prick in his neck, and the pain subsided, although he still could not seem to get his muscles to work.

“It was a micro-flechette with a tetrodotoxin derivative. I’ve given you the antidote, but it’ll be about thirty seconds before it’s fully effective,” Simmons whispered as he pulled the now empty syrette out of Ben’s neck. “Fight it! They’ll be rushing us in a few seconds—you need to be shooting.”

About the Author: Edward Hochsmann is the pen name of a retired U. S. Coast Guard search and rescue and law enforcement professional. The veteran mariner, aviator, college professor, and defense analyst has added “author” to his list of experiences. Ed likes reading, police procedurals, contemporary music on the road, and classical music in the office. After a career traveling from Australia in the west to Italy and Germany in the east, Ed has settled into a quiet life in the Florida Panhandle to focus on writing (and not shoveling snow!)

Ed has two novels published right now (plus one launching in August 2022) in the Cutter Kauai Sea Adventures series about a Coast Guard patrol boat assigned to “special” missions. Dagger Quest takes place in the Florida Keys and involves an aging Coast Guard patrol boat dragooned into a search for a lost Russian nuclear weapon in a time of international crisis. The second, Caribbean Counterstrike, features the same patrol boat and crew, now with equipment and training upgrades, sent to recover a deadly nerve gas from a murderous Caribbean drug cartel. Bravely and Faithfully has Kauai, under a new captain supporting a covert raid on a Caribbean island held by the Chinese.

Ed’s second series, C6S: Patrol Force deals with a combined defense establishment and constabulary for a galactic economic empire called the Confederation of the Six Systems (C6S). Ed has published two novellas and a novel-length collection late last year.

Website | Goodreads | Instagram | BookBub

Buy Dagger Quest, Caribbean Counterstrike, and Bravely and Faithfully on Amazon.

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  1. Hello, everybody, Ed Hochsmann here. I want to thank Long and Short Reviews for offering the opportunity to appear on the blog. My series is about an aging Coast Guard patrol boat, USCG Cutter Kauai, and her crew, taken out of the normal cycle of operations and inserted into the world of covert missions, spies, and international crime.

    These books are character-driven, based on personal experience and knowledge, with the best qualities of the many wonderful people I met in the Coast Guard woven into the stories. I aim to put you in the story alongside the characters, experiencing the excitement, fear, humor, joy, and sadness of an elite team of maritime professionals as they face extraordinary challenges. I think you will enjoy the books and if you have any questions that could remove any doubt of that, please ask—I am at your service at info@edwardhochsmann.com.

    I look forward to your comments and questions, and thank you and Long and Short Reviews again for your consideration.

  2. Thanks for hosting!

  3. I liked the excerpt.

  4. Thanks for sharing the Cutter Kauai Sea Adventures with me, Edward, I enjoyed reading about the 10 Concepts, great excerpt and I enjoyed following the tour and learning about your thrilling and exciting series! Good luck with your book and I hope the tour was a success!

    Have a terrific day!

  5. This looks like a great read.

  6. Antoinette M says

    Sounds like a great thriller series.

  7. The book sounds intiriguing. Great cover!

  8. Bea LaRocca says

    Happy Friday and Happy Veteran’s Day! I hope that you have enjoyed your book series tour as much as I have enjoyed reading about you and your work throughout this tour. And I hope that Nicole did not treat you too badly yesterday. The Cutter Kauai Sea Adventures stories sound like thrilling reads and I am looking forward to meeting all of the characters. Have a great weekend!

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