C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

See all my books at AllThatChazz.com.

Micro-publishing is publishing: Tools, tech and committing to change

Crack the Indie Author CodeWordPress Widget: Milestone

Your greatest tool is your mind, but your armoury doesn’t stop there. There’s that baseball bat under your driver’s seat. Oh, and glance to the left for my new deadlines, on display for Thor and everybody. I’ve struggled a bit with two works-in-progress. I had a false start and have to backtrack a bit with one (for the greater good). The other book is in revisions. It’s a huge project. It’s so secret, a team of kidnapped international scientists are working on it in a fortified base under a volcano guarded by an army of cloned ninja monkeys.

Projects need deadlines and production schedules. Successfully meeting those goals requires that I broadcast those commitment to my peers. That’s you, and that’s where the time trackers to the left come in. It’s a countdown to the launch of my metaphorical rockets. The timers are created with a WordPress widget you can use, too. On the Widgets menu of your WordPress dashboard, it’s called Milestone. Easy-peasy-here’s-a-reminder-to-stay-on-track.

Use Animoto for quick and easy video messages 

The second tool for spreading the word is Animoto. Videos get more attention than text. That’s our world. Deal with it. Many readers will click the video without reading these words. That’s okay. I just wanted to point out that a couple of months ago, I made a loud declarative statement that I would soon have all my books available everywhere. After polling a number of fellow authors and chatting with friends and allies through this blog, it’s apparent to me that I’m not ready to ditch KDP Select entirely just yet. The migration to other  platforms will be slower than I anticipated because the consensus is that exclusivity with Amazon is still the better bet overall. My forays into other platforms will be experiments, measured and evaluated.

Here’s a link to my first Animoto video.

Make a video of your own at Animoto.

Aspire to Inspire eBook JPGDitching intermediators

The beauty of micropublishing is that we can be flexible and change our minds without calling a meeting or paying extra fees for each detail. In the spirit of taking full control of my books, I’m ditching BookBaby. For my first book, Self-help for Stoners, I used their service to publish the ebook. It might even have been the right choice for me then. I was too intimidated by the details of dealing with formatting and taxes and I  wanted to get my book published faster.

Now I’ve got it together eight or so books later, it’s apparent I’ve sacrificed too much flexibility in giving up Self-help for Stoners to an intermediator. Any minor change in strategy costs more money, takes more time and, frankly, they’ve been slow to respond to my requests in the past. I like when the check arrives, but with a little more effort, I can cut costs, regain control and optimize the book. Once I withdraw it and republish, I can make those changes quickly and easily. I’ll release Self-help for Stoners as a new edition with new material. This baby’s growing up. No more hesitation or excuses, hoping things will get better. I’ll make them better.

Book category Bingo

Speaking of switching tactics easily, readers may find you by your book categories. They may not discover your awesomeness for the same reason. When is the last time you revisited your book’s categories?

I reviewed all my books’ assigned categories yesterday. For my writing and publishing guides, I changed to “Editing and proofreading” for the first book and “Authorship” for the second. You are allowed two categories per book. Choose wisely. For Bigger Than Jesus and Higher Than Jesus, I switched from “Hardboiled” to “Crime” and from “Suspense” to “Crime” respectively. I’ll give that some time and if there’s no improvement, I might try switching to “Men’s Adventure” and see how that flies. It’s free to experiment when it’s all under your direct control.

Experimentation, improvement and getting it right is fun when it’s under your control. 

Higher+than+Jesus+Front+1029~Robert Chazz Chute is that guy who thinks like a hit man but has learned to sublimate his rage with humor, usually. Hear the first chapter of Higher Than Jesus, in which his hit man, Jesus Diaz, looks for love in all the wrong places (and Vicodin and bombs in Chicago.) It’s on the All That Chazz Podcast, broadcast chapter by chapter once a week. Or just go read the book. It’s fun and funny.

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BOOM, baby! Bigger Than Jesus has arrived in handy, dead tree form!

The paperback has arrived. For $9.99. Did you hear that? Distant thunder of the Book Gods mumbling to each other. Oooh, shivers!


The witty “wickedly real and violently funny” foundation book of The Hit Man Series has arrived. So happy.

Next up: Higher Than Jesus


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Top Ten: My best fight

I’m so happy with my new fight scene from Higher Than Jesus.

Here’s why:

Check out all the books by Robert Chazz Chute here.

1. My first draft of this chapter was too easy on the protagonist. I wanted to show that Jesus had skills. He’s not a lame sad sack, though he is subject to Murphy’s Law: If something can go wrong, it will. This seems particularly true of my Cuban hit man Jesus Diaz. When I went revised, the chapter doubled in length to a much more tense and intense sequence.

2. I needed to use this scene to show that the heroine was worth fighting for. I really dislike stories where the heroine is merely an interchangeable object who, when things get dicey, can’t be depended upon. There are already too many stories out there where the guy fights the bad guy while the woman runs away, is tied up, twists an ankle, or presses herself against a wall while looking on in horror. (That’s a way too retro view of women. I like strong women.) A real man in any fight for his life will shriek, “Grab a shovel and hit this monster in the head! Don’t just stand there! He’s trying to kill me, for god’s sake!” Heroes who fight alone with an ally/romantic interest nearby aren’t heroes. They’re morons.

3. I put my protagonist through the burner. His reactions are realistic. He shakes. He trembles. He feels the euphoria of savagery and depths of fear. When bad things happen, he doesn’t just shrug it off. When somebody shoots at you, it’s totally unrealistic to react as if the shooter has offered you a sandwich of a sort you simply do not prefer.

4. The obstacles don’t stop. The guiding principle in The Hit Man Series is this: I don’t like it when the reader knows what’s coming next. Try to anticipate the unexpected. A lot of the time, I’m not sure what’s coming next, either. Expect a fast pace, twists and reversals.

5. A lot of fight scenes are dumb. This one isn’t. It means something much more to the larger story and to the characters.

6. There are long term consequences to a good fight scene. It’s not an episodic chapter of action only for action’s sake.

7. This fight scene elucidates in part how Jesus got the skills he did so what he can do doesn’t arrive out of nowhere.

8. The fight unearths something from Jesus Diaz’s personal history that overturns what readers think they know about his origin story. There was much more going on in Cuba than was revealed in the first book. I only found out when Jesus told me the other day.

9. The fight scene establishes my hit man’s amoral centre, but, because of his love for the heroine, he wants to reach higher. He wants to change. One of his challenges for the long arc of the series is, can he change? Can anyone?

10. When Higher Than Jesus comes out, you’ll see what I mean about this. No spoilers here, but I can say when the action is fast, the scene slows to take in details and make you grit your teeth. When the action slows down, the tension cranks up so there are questions that propel the story to the last word of the scene and the chapter.

This particular fight scene shows where Jesus Diaz has been and where he’s going.

The fight isn’t just with a couple of bad guys.

It’s about the fight between the two sides of Jesus’s character.

It’s about the fight we all face with the devils of our worse nature.

~ Like my flavor? Listen to the first chapter of my crime thriller, Bigger Than Jesus. I’m podcasting the book through the summer. Enjoy! (Or be a hero and just click the cover to grab it. Thanks for reading!)

UPDATE: Click here for the audio of Bigger Than Jesus, Chapter 2.

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UBC #15: What’s missing from this thriller’s back matter?

Something is missing from the following back matter from Bigger Than Jesus.

Pop quiz, hotshot! What’s missing?

About the Author

After several years working in the publishing industry, I took a long hiatus and then founded Ex Parte Press. I was a journalist and magazine columnist and now write in a lead-lined bunker full-time. I’m happily chained to my writing desk by an intravenous line feeding me espresso. My desk chair is a toilet and I’m writing as fast and as well as I can.

Thank you so much for reading Bigger Than Jesus. If you liked it, it will help Jesus Diaz and me immensely if you could please leave a happy review on Goodreads or Amazon or wherever you bought this book. Watch for the next instalment in this series: Higher Than Jesus, coming soon. Five books are planned for this series so far. If you’d like to get a glimpse of Jesus as a mature, more professional, hit man, you can find the story that started his character in my collection of short stories, Self-help for Stoners. You’ll find he’s more polished, but things still go awry. All the latest updates about my books can be found at AllThatChazz.com.

After this note I have a list of my other titles and notes on how to contact me through my websites, email, media inquiries and a note about my podcast and Twitter.


Here’s my answer about what’s missing:

In its current incarnation, I haven’t loaded up the first chapter of the follow-up book in The Hit Man Series.

Click to get Bigger Than Jesus

It’s written and I should include it. People like a sneak peek and, after spending so much time with my clever, funny and scarred protagonist, they will probably want to get a hint at where Jesus Diaz goes next. I think I really need to include a chapter from Higher Than Jesus. His story continues in unexpected ways, means and places in a plot that includes Neo-nazis, a street gang, drugs, arms, a very tall blonde and a plot to assassinate the President of the United States.

Fortunately, since I can upload at any time, it’s never too late for an afterthought, an improvement or a tweak.

Next question:

What else do you want to see in the back matter of a book you’ve enjoyed?

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Bestseller with over 1,000 reviews!
Winner of the North Street Book Prize, Reader's Favorite, the
Literary Titan Award, the Hollywood Book Festival, and the
New York Book Festival.


Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

You can pick this ebook up for free today at this link: http://bit.ly/TheNightMan

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