Radio Check

I’ve noticed my traffic dying off big time, so I’d like to make a test.  Please give me a hand.

If you are reading this only in the email, please click the “Like” button, to let me know how much of this is being read through email, rather than coming to the page.  I’d like to think I’ve not faded totally into obscurity.  To those who visit my page, thanks for dropping by!

Thanks for helping out!

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Where did that last sock go?

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Laundry Money

That is my sales goal for now.

To make laundry money every month with my book sales.

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I have meltdowns when thinking about book marketing/advertising and everything else about promotion.  Seriously.  I freak out.  I’ve bought a few books, I’ve taken a few seminars, I’ve discovered I get very angry about then being sold to by email lists I thought were not supposed to treat me like a hick on a used car lot.  It’s really left me flustered.  Flustered?  No… not strong enough.  Discombobulated?  Sure that’s decent.  And angry, because I don’t like being discombobulated nor flummoxed or flustered.

The reason?

I’m not good at it, and if I had enjoyed it, I’d be doing it for a living elsewhere.  I hate sales.  Seriously.  It is anathema to me.  I just want to focus on putting out a good book, and let the chips fall where they may.  I’ll be honest, I have a big ole psychological block about the subject that leaves me contemptuous of the field, and jealous at those who can do it because I wish I could.

I’m a complex little pirate, ain’t I?

Anyway, In my few furative attempts at advertising and promotion, I’ve come to realize that most if not all big hits is completely out of the control of the author or publisher.  That said, I do believe that promotion is in their control, but not something I’m good at either.  The worst part is that it’s a Catch 22 in the end.  You have to promote to earn money, but if you don’t earn money you have to have money first, and if you don’t have that… ummm kinda stuck.  See, I’d rather hire someone to do this for me because of how angry/stressed/discombobulated I get.  But, that costs money on a budget I don’t have because right now… I’m covering laundry money.  That’s it for now.

I do expect in the future this to change though.  When book 2 comes out, I hope to be making GAS money every month from both books.  And then when the 3rd one comes out, I hope it’s going to cover my utilities too.  By the time the 5th book comes out, I better be making rent or I’m going to wonder what the heck is wrong with me.

Ultimately, what I realized is that this all takes time.  The get rich systems/plans is just Pirelli’s Miracle Elixir sold by street-corner mountebanks designed to separate me from my hard earned money, not help me.  I don’t think all books or seminars out there are that way, but ohhhhh 85% possibly are.  Of course, I’m biased and cranky about it, so YMMV.

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But I really would love to hire someone who both loves and is skilled at marketing/promotion.  Farm out what I suck at to someone who’s good at it.  I did it with my cover.  I don’t care what people say about doing it myself.  I cannot do it as good or as fast as a real pro, and I think it shows with my cover.  Why not do the same for marketing/promotion?  Sure, it saves me money, but… is not my time better spent doing the one thing nobody else can do, which is write my books?

Tada!

But… someday… when I make more than just laundry money.

Stupid Catch 22s.

The Gold Rush Has Ended.

pexels-photo-67009I know that several people have been wondering why I have not been blogging as much as I had been in the past. This is due to some recent events in how things have been going with my writing, and a failure on my focus to keep writing and moving forward first and foremost in my goals. I became infatuated on focusing on marketing and advertising to drive Book Sales. This is been a big mistake in many ways.

What I have come to discover, is that marketing is an attractive danger. What I mean by that, is that it has a tendency to seduce you, as a writer, to focus on things other then doing the one essential item all writers need to be doing, write the next book.

I got sucked up into the whirlwind of marketing. And I have realized that it is like a Boom Town in a collapsing Gold Rush. Right now online and independent publishing is saturated in many ways. Too many people believe that it is a get-rich-quick paradise.  They think that writing a book is simple. Something they can do in a few days, and come up with a world-class best seller. This is far from truth.

the easy profits have gone, competition is fierce, and only the established authors, like mercantile owners with radically inflated prices who sell junk easily had for free are profiting the most. Those who got in early, are cannibalizing what remains by marketing to all the greenhorns who showed up late to the boom.

I have watched several free seminars and marketing classes comma and discovered very quickly that they are the exact same thing that I experienced when people tried to sell me other network marketing systems. Although they are not having to go out and make a network per se, they are teaching you how to act like a common telemarketer or email marketer rather than a writer.

I just want to learn how to be a better writer. The area that I need assistance with comma is promoting my work so it can get in front of eyes and they know it exists. I know in many respects this is nothing more than the basics of marketing comma it differs significantly from what I keep seeing as ways these classes teach to Market your book.

In many regards this has offended me to the quick. Why would I want to use practices that I myself are offended by? What is worse, is learning that although a single author may use their email list as a great way to keep in contact with their fans, when you have several authors that you follow, that one person is now lumped in with what is now a shapeless blob of mass marketing that overwhelms your emails inbox. In my case, this has caused me to become quickly offended with all the authors that I have pitching me products to separate me from my money, that have no value to me. It’s the equivalent of getting aluminum siding or Lawn Service telemarketers when you live in an apartment. I have discovered I do not want to do this to anyone who reads my work or is interested in what I have to say.

Therefore, I am rethinking what it will take to promote my work. I am seriously reconsidering whether to even start an email list, a Facebook group, or any of the advertising efforts that I actually have tried so far. It is a lot of times or a lot of  effort stolen from that which is best spent  on completing the next story everyone wants to read.

I realized I had to make a decision. Whether to become a marketer, a job I find loathsome at the most kind or to become a writer. I know there are people out there who find the activity of marketing exciting wonderful and a benefit to mankind. I am their antithesis. If I wanted to do that kind of work, I could have easily become a telemarketer in any one of several businesses in my local area. What I do love, is telling you good stories. That is my drive and my passion. I love talking to you either through voice when I am gaming on Guild Wars 2 or through any other methods and which that I have had great conversations about my first novel. I might have to share some of the insights that I have received so far from some of these conversations. It is humbling and gratifying to talk with people around the world about my work and what they have learned or what they can teach me through the conversation. That is the real gold rush. It is personal and it feels my spirit, and hopefully the spirit of those who wish to talk with me on it.

One announcement I do want to make is that I might be getting involved in another social media project that isn’t designed to Market like these programs i juat commented on, and other services are. I am entertaining an idea out there that hopefully in the near future will come to light. We shall see but watch this space. All is not dark period all is not bad. And there is hope of a brighter future to come for me and hopefully for the future of my writing. Don’t worry, I’m not stopping anytime soon.

Self Awareness and the World

How many times have we heard this expression spoken to us”

“You are special.”

Everyone, right?

How about this one?

“You are unique, just like everybody else.”

A smartypants way of putting perspective on the fact that you are unique, but that unto itself is a paradoxical awareness that being unique makes you no longer unique.  Individual and collective truth collide and nothing happens.  The two ricochet off each other like billiard balls and carom about the pool table of life.

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The working title and the map for “A Light Rises in a Dark World”

Lately I’ve been dealing with my own narcissism and struggles with getting my book out there.  It has been good to see the impact I have had so far.  The people who have read it and spoke to me about it have had almost universal glowing responses.  They’ve all gotten something deeper out of the adventure, and that is what I hoped would happen.  I desire to make this series something more than just a popcorn nom-fest, and have things to it that stick around with you for long after.  Ideas that make you consider the world a little different, or maybe be that “Shakabuken” that changes your entire perspective on life.

What author doesn’t want that, right?  Yeah, you know it.  I see it in your face.

It’s that desire to live up to the accolade “You are special”.

But then comes the sharper edge realization as you watch your book rank drop, and you question whether or not what you wrote was any damn good.  You go through the stages of ‘poser syndrome’ just like every other artist in the world and you come to realize another universal truth out there.

“I may be special, but the world don’t care.”

There’s not much you can do to make the world care either.  Why?  Because there are almost 8 billion other people in the world wanting to declare “I am special” too, and that just means you are another spike in the static of the global zeitgeist.  Just another set of subatomic collisions producing incalculable numbers of quarks beyond that which go unnoticed

But, what we do not always know is that when we are that one particle that starts a chain reaction.  Plus, we have the benefit of being fired out of the proton gun of personal will as many times as we choose to try.  Fire.  Nothing.  Fire.  Nothing. Fire.  Something?  No nothing.  Fire again.  And again, and again, again again.

But then you hit something and the chain reaction starts.  Now the world sits up and takes notice because your idea, your creation is impacting the world in a way that cannot be ignored.  You are breaking down the status quo, releasing energy into the world and creating or destroying to bring about something new.  In a world of static, new is always good.  New means something is happening that can be interacted with.

Or perhaps you are the particle just sitting there till something hits you and how you respond to it is what does the trick.  Sometimes you are in the right place at the right time when the right particle just nails you in the keister and you light up the world around you with your reaction, be it good or bad.  Just remember, for every quark created, you could be a cute or charmed reaction.

pew pew pew.

So, be aware of these simple facts.

You are special

The world doesn’t care

But that shouldn’t stop you either.

And if you keep trying, someday, you may change the world on purpose or just by being in the way of someone else who is.

 

“A Light Rises in a Dark World” Cover Reveal

 

So I wanted to do a grand reveal of the cover, but unfortunately, WordPress takes liberties with the rights to the image if it appears on my blog, and I don’t feel like giving that to them yet.  Therefore, I have it posted elsewhere, but can’t get the link to work publicly in a way that won’t auto-post to here.  Sigh…  so here’s a small copy of the cover on my Wattpad sample.  Once the book is released I won’t care so much.  🙂

So go ahead, read, enjoy the new small sample and get ready for the book’s release in a few days (couple of weeks at the worst).

Chapter 7 of the sample is available now, here.

If all goes well, I may be able to put out the pre-order for the ebook by the end of the week. (Still scheduled to have it up by the 12th though… the 1 year anniversary.

 

Day of Reckoning

That’s right.  We have an official release date.

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“A Light Rises in a Dark World” will be available for purchase on:

February 17th, 2017

I am going to be setting up pre-orders soon.  I cannot have it set yet, since I am still waiting on the cover.  It should be done on or before the 12th, allowing at least one week for pre order through Amazon and other sites like Kobo and Smashwords.  This is only for the e-book release.  The print book release is going to be done in May.  (And if God smiles down, Book 2 will be coming out shortly after that for summer reading at the beach/cabin/pool).  So hopefully this will be a full, fun year!

To clarify, there is an importance to pre-orders, just so you know.  In fact, this is where all the importance of reviews and purchases matters.  Your decision to purchase my book over the first 24 hours can make the difference of entering the water like an Olympic diver (no splash) or your big Uncle Carl doing a belly flop off the high dive (refill the pool).  Therefore, your best support is three fold:

  1. Order/buy your book during the pre-order period, or in the first 24 hours.  This is of course the best way to support me.
  2. Leave a Review if you have been given a review copy.
  3. Tell everyone!  Spread the word on social media or if you know someone this book would be good for, let them know it’s out there.

Once I have the cover nailed down and things in place for setting the pre-order, I will know more and will continue to provide details of what’s happening.

Till then, we’re up to Chapter 4 on Wattpad for those looking for a free sample.  More chapters coming every 2-4 days till release, so keep checking!

Oh… and thank you all for your support!

Positive/Negative: Interweb games

So good news, irritating news I guess is the best way to describe it.

Good News!

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My cover is in the process of being done.  Agreed to a budget with a talented artist who has done other fantasy books, and it could be ready in as quick as a week.  Woot woot!

This also means my early deadline for the book release WILL be met if nothing goes wrong.  So I’m looking for the middle of February sometime around Valentine’s Day.

Irritating News!

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I just learned that WordPress gets rights to everything I publish, modify and more when I post here… so I won’t be putting any more writing on this blog.  I will have to link people to a place that protects my rights and property, so expect some changes to come here soon. 😦  Sorry, but I don’t feel like giving free, worldwide, non-exclusive rights to my creative stuff I am trying to sell like that.  No offense WordPress, but I feel like that needs to be a little more clear in the TOS and easier to find.  Still gonna blog though.

And that means I’m going to have to start working at getting my mailing list set up officially so I can store and control what I want to give out and to whom and who owns it.  So…. yaaaayyy!  sorta.

So on that note… I am putting up some of my book on Wattpad instead.  I’ll link it here, but that’s where you’ll find it.  I plan to release a larger portion of my novel here for free review.  Sort of the extended Amazon teaser.

https://www.wattpad.com/story/96195973-a-dark-light-rises-in-a-dark-world

 

Enjoy!

Looking for Pre-Release Reviewers

Ahoy-hoy all book review bloggers and others interested in talking about a new book!

Yes, I am finally in the last leg of the book release process, and am looking for those willing to do reviews!  I will be sending out a request to a few people willing to get a free copy for a review and a shout out on your blog if you feel it is:

a.  Appropriate
b. Something you enjoyed

(Beta Readers don’t worry, I have not forgotten you either.)

There are a few major steps left that I can forsee:

  1. Format the book for release
  2. Get the cover illustration.
  3. Set up with distribution (Currently looking at Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords and Apple iStore, and possibly Google Play Store.)
  4. Finalize plans for incorporation for my intellectual properties (Gots ta have dat legal protection, yo!)
  5. Press Launch!

I have set a new deadline, the one year anniversary of Ash Wednesday.  Therefore, any reviewer needs to be able to provide a review on or near that date.

As a reminder, this is Epic Christian Fantasy Adventure.  It is a low Fantasy/Historical fantasy setting with steampunk elements.  If this sounds like your cup o’ tea, please feel free to contact me.

<Insert witty sign off here>

Do You Wanna Build a Logo?

Yep, seriously.  Do you want to try your hand and make some money designing the logo for Akiniwazi?  If so, you can enter the contest here.  Yes, there is real money involved.  The winning design will be paid.

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Enter at 99designs
Click the link and learn what you need to do to participate!

http://99d.me/c/el7f
If the link doesn’t work.

Come on…. replace this bad boy here with something awesome!

Akiniwazi-V4e

You know you want to!

Beta! Beta! Beta!

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You talkin ta me?

Ha ha… made you say “wut”?

I’m such a weirdo.

Okay, here’s the deal.  I am looking for Beta Readers.  I have a few confirmed, but I would like a small, comfortable herd of interested parties who would be willing to read and fill out a questionnaire (plus whatever other criticism they may have) on my latest edit of Reimarsoga.  Remember, this is going to be a critical read, not just a fun read.  (well okay, it will be fun if I have my druthers.)

Details! (I will provide final instructions in the email)

  1. Start Date: No later than Oct 27th, 2016.  (Date is currently pending the completion of latest edit, finalization of the map and questionnaire.  It may come early.)
  2. End Date:  No later than Nov. 21st, 2016.  (I need time to make changes before I send it to the editor for a January release).
  3. Provided Materials:
    – 1 Copy of “Reimarsoga: Subtitle Pending” in PDF (including map and glossary)
    – 1 Questionnaire with specific questions by chapter and as a whole.
  4. Bonus Treat:  Participants who complete the beta read will be eligible for a FREE COPY once the book is released currently planned for the 1st week of January!  (I know, right?)
  5. Space is limited, so please don’t be disappointed if you do not get in… Book 2 is right around the corner!

That’s it as I see it.  If you have experience with editing, I am very interested in your input.  Enthusiastic fans of Fantasy, Steampunk, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction are strongly encouraged to apply.

To take the plunge, please reply the Contact page (extra linkypoo) and send a request through the email you wish the files to be sent to.  If you do not receive a confirmation email, you have not been selected, or I did not get it.  If that’s the case, try again before Oct 27th… cause I gotta put a hard deadline somewhere… and we’ll get it cleared up.

Once November starts, I will be focusing on my next Akiniwazi novel…la?  I’m doing NaNoWriMo, so its goal is 50k words and the faster I finish that means bonus stuff for y’all.

Thank you all for your interest!