FFsunset_IMG_0015

The 9th annual Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale is drawing to an end with thousands of E-books, including mine, offered free or at deep discounts through the month of July, 2017.

You might want to take advantage of this offer and download some of my books free since I am resolved not to give anymore of my work away with the exception to my ADVANCE READING TEAM.

Why is that, you might ask? And why now?

There is a school of thought among book marketeers (no, it’s not a typo since I consider them in the same category as racketeers) that giving away your work will create readers who will write reviews that will generate book sales.

It’s a lie.

Take for example this Smashwords promotion. A total of thirty-seven copies of the five books I offered free were downloaded. My other five titles were offered for fifty-percent off. Zero were downloaded. The vast majority of the two hundred and five books that have been downloaded from Smashwords over the past five years have been free. They’ve generated zero reviews.

There are two things about offering your work free to readers:

– there’s no downside. The reader has invested nothing, so if he doesn’t read it he’s lost nothing.

– free is equated to no value. The reader thinks the work is garbage (and he might be right) and that’s why it’s free.

I think my work has value, but I’d still might consider offering it free during the launch if I thought it would generate future sales. It doesn’t so there’s no point in continuing to demean it.

The exception might be the first book in the Mattie Saunders Series I’m writing featuring an independent young woman with a social conscience and a bad attitude, who loves animals, but not so much people. There’s some good evidence that offering the first book in a series free encourages readers to buy the rest of the series. I’ll let you know once I have a few more books in the series written and published.

Members of my Advance Reading Team will continue to get free and discounted books as well as an opportunity to read new work before it’s released to the public. You can become a member by clicking this link

http://eepurl.com/cj5wjj

No spam, no tips to live by, no click bait,

Here’s a list and the link to my books, in e-book format, available free or deeply discounted for two more days during Smashwords sale.

Loving the Terrorist – Free

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/579221

 

The Rocker and Bird Girl – Free

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/727720

 

The LOCAL RAG – Free

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/671782

 

End of the Rope – Free

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/655643

 

Harry’s Truth – Free

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/649522

 

Saving Spirit Bear – 50% OFF

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/575296

 

Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients – 50% OFF

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/700967

 

FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend- 50% OFF

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/515038

 

Abandoned Dreams – 50% OFF

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/573742

 

The BIG PICTURE- A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic – 50% OFF

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/515877

 

If you’re an indie author you can check out this promotion at https://www.smashwords.com/dashboard/sitewidePromos

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

30

 

 

East Van Saturday – four short stories and a novella, has just been sent out to three more Canadian publishers.

 

The process began in November of last year when I decided that self-publishing another work (currently I’ve self-published eight novels and two plays) wasn’t going to achieve what I wanted.

 

What do I want?

Critical, serious consideration for my writing and you’re not likely going to receive that as an self-published author.

 

Why? Because it’s now dead easy to self-publish and guess what, everybody’s doing it. In 2015 alone, 625,327 ISBN numbers were issued for individual indie books.

 

In the past six months I’ve submitted to five publishers. If you think sending out submissions is easy, well, I guess it depends on what you’re comparing it to.

 

Consider:

– publishers are obsessively specific about how your manuscript should be presented: what font style, what type size, margin widths, headers, etc.

– part of the submission package is to explain why you think your work is a good fit for them,

– you must provide details on how you’re prepared to market your book,

– in most cases they will not accept simultaneous or multiple submissions,

– they won’t let you know they received your submission,

– you are under no circumstances allowed to contact them in any way,

– they won’t let you know if they reject your work, they’ll just shred it, using “a secure process”.

 

Okay, so it’s not that difficult, it’s just extremely annoying to have to deal with their arrogance – and that’s without ever having the opportunity to speak with any of them.

 

To make it even more galling, in 2014-15 these guys (and gals) received $30 million dollars in Canadian government subsidies – that’s my tax money.

 

And what exactly do they do for this money now that all the services: editing, cover design, production, marketing and distribution can be done by the author or purchased from experts relatively inexpensively?

 

One thing.

 

They’re the gatekeepers to literary acceptance. If you’re an indie author you’re a joke, if your traditionally published you’re accepted by the literati.

 

Not that I’ll make any more money. Emerging authors are lucky to receive a fifteen percent royalty on traditionally published books.

So here we go again.

 

East Van Saturday Night – four short stories and a novella, are to some degree autobiographical and impart to the reader why you can take the boy out of East Van, but you’ll never take East Van out of the boy.

Though the stories are all set in East Vancouver (with the exception of Hitchhike, which is a cross Canada misadventure during the “summer of love”), the themes have universal appeal and the music, the fashions and the culture are distinctly familiar to “boomers”.

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

Amazon Author Page   https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1580255/east-van-saturday-night-submissions-round-two

EastVanSaturdayNightE-bookcover.jpg
East Van Saturday – four short stories and a novella, has just been sent out to three more Canadian publishers.
The process began in November of last year when I decided that self-publishing another work (currently I’ve self-published eight novels and two plays) wasn’t going to achieve what I wanted.
What do I want?
Critical, serious consideration for my writing and you’re not likely going to receive that as an self-published author.
Why? Because it’s now dead easy to self-publish and guess what, everybody’s doing it. In 2015 alone, 625,327 ISBN numbers were issued for individual indie books.
In the past six months I’ve submitted to five publishers. If you think sending out submissions is easy, well, I guess it depends on what you’re comparing it to.
Consider:
– publishers are obsessively specific about how your manuscript should be presented: what font style, what type size, margin widths, headers, etc.
– part of the submission package is to explain why you think your work is a good fit for them,
– you must provide details on how you’re prepared to market your book,
– in most cases they will not accept simultaneous or multiple submissions,
– they don’t let you know they received your submission,
– you are under no circumstances allowed to contact them in any way,
– they don’t let you know if they reject your work, they’ll just shred it, using “a secure process”.
Okay, so it’s not that difficult, it’s just extremely annoying to have to deal with their arrogance – and that’s without ever having the opportunity to speak with any of them.
To make it even more galling, in 2014-15 these guys (and gals) received $30 million dollars in Canadian government subsidies – that’s my tax money.
And what exactly do they do for this money now that all the services: editing, cover design, production, marketing and distribution can be done by the author or purchased from experts relatively inexpensively?
One thing.
They’re the gatekeepers to literary acceptance. If you’re an indie author you’re a joke, if your traditionally published you’re accepted by the literati.
Not that I’ll make any more money. Emerging authors are lucky to receive a fifteen percent royalty on traditionally published books.
So here we go again.
East Van Saturday Night – four short stories and a novella, is to some degree autobiographical and impart to the reader why you can take the boy out of East Van, but you’ll never take East Van out of the boy.
 
Though the stories are all set in East Vancouver (with the exception of Hitchhike, which is a cross Canada misadventure during the “summer of love”), the themes have universal appeal and the music, the fashions and the culture are distinctly familiar to “boomers”.
Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs
Amazon Author Page  https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

DaisyTrioWind_IMG_0059

I’ve just completed comparing the results of three survey’s recently sent to me regarding self-publishing and self-published authors to see what the take away is (if there is any).

All three of these surveys were undertaken by companies that are, in the most part, dependent on authors like me who use their platform or services to self-publish their writing.

The survey sample is skewed since the respondents are, in some form or another, clients of these three enterprises. They either publish and distribute their e-books with Smashwords, advertise their e-books on one of WrittenWord Media’s four sites, or possibly are doing all the above as well as contracting editorial, graphic design and marketing services from BookBaby.

The findings provided here are likely their optimistic interpretations.

Experience counts (maybe): Successful authors (in terms of book sales) have more writing experience. They spend more time writing and subsequently have more books available in their catalogue. They also contract more professional services, particularly editors and cover designers.

This, of course doesn’t answer the question of how they became successful? Did they achieve success because of all these things (experience, time, hiring professionals), or once they achieved some success were the the able to spend the time, develop the catalogue and hire the professionals?

What to write. Fiction sells better than non-fiction and romance (especially contemporary, paranormal and erotica) sells far better than any other genre or literary writing. Under served markets include the romantic subgenres New Adult, Contemporary and YA.

How long should your book be? So much for all those pundits who claim novellas are all the rage because they can be read in one sitting or during a commute. Best sellers, again according to Smashwords, average ninety-two thousand words.

Book Marketing. Offering your e-book for free draws thirty-three times more then priced titles, but what’s the upside to offering your books free?

Okay, so money doesn’t matter to you, it’s about making that reader connection, about putting forth your view of the world. Does offering your work at no charge achieve that? How many free books actually get read?

Not very many has been my experience both as a writer and a reader.

I’ve had hundreds of my books downloaded free and it’s resulted in an insignificant number of reviews. On the other hand my ibook library is filled with books I’ve downloaded free and have yet to read.

See what I’m getting at. There’s no downside to clicking and getting a book free.

This might explain why over sixty-one percent of published authors have asked friends or family members to review their books.

However, if you’re writing a series, and series are more than likely going to generate best sellers, than offering the first book free is a good marketing ploy.

Speaking of FREE E-BOOKS. I’m participating in Smashwords Summer Sale and until July 31, 2017 my entire catalogue, eight novels and two plays are either FREE or 50% OFF. Go to https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin

What’s the right price for an e-book? So if you opt not to offer your books free how much should you charge? Interestingly, e-books priced at $3.99 and $4.99 did better than those priced less – or more, at least on Smashwords.

In the end it was a lot of reading for very little worthwhile information, most of which was self-evident if you really think about it.

Here’s how the sage folks at WrittenWord Media summed up the findings from their survey.

Indie publishing is a viable path to success. Many indie authors signed traditional publishing deals on the strength of their self-published books and many traditionally published authors are becoming indie authors because of more control and higher royalties. Hybrid publishing gives you the benefit of both paths.

This rosy prediction in light of the fact that 727,125 ISBNs were assigned to self-published titles in 2015, representing 625,327 individual indie books*.

Well, really, what did you expect them to say?

These surveys would have been more credible if they’d had similar terms of reference. WrittenWord Media considers a “successful author” as someone who makes $100,000 or more in a single year from book sales. Book sales of $500 or less categorizes you as an “emerging author”.

At BookBaby you’re a successful author if you’ve earned $5,000 or more annually from book sales. Those who earned less than $100 were labeled “lower earning authors”.

Huh?

We definitely aren’t comparing apples to apples here. How can one company consider a successful indie author as earning $5000 a year while another has it pegged at $100,000?

But it gets even weirder. Of the forty-three hundred authors who completed the BookBaby survey a little less than five percent fell into the category of the “high achieving group” earning $5000 or more.

If only about two hundred BookBaby authors earn $5000 or more how many WrittenWord Media authors earn over a hundred grand?

Or put another way, how can twenty successful BookBaby authors only be equal to one WrittenWord Media successful author?

See what I mean? It’s like they’re comparing different species.

The take away? Only that I now know how to categorize myself. I’m a “lower earning emerging author”.

And on that we all agree.

Stay calm. Be brave. Watch for the signs

30

*According to Bowker, the exclusive U.S. agent for issuing International Standard Book Numbers.

 

Smashwords   http://smashwords.com

BookBaby   https://www.bookbaby.com

WrittenWord Media   https://www.writtenwordmedia.com

 

My Amazon Author Page   https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1577656/survey-results-on-self-publishing-self-evident-self-serving

DaisyTrioWind_IMG_0059

I’ve just completed comparing the results of three survey’s recently sent to me regarding self-publishing and self-published authors to see what the take away is (if there is any).

All three of these surveys were undertaken by companies that are, in the most part,  dependent on authors like me who use their platform or services to self-publish their writing.

The survey sample is skewed since the respondents are, in some form or another, clients of these three enterprises. They either publish and distribute their e-books with Smashwords, advertise their e-books on one of WrittenWord Media’s four sites, or possibly are doing all the above as well as contracting editorial, graphic design and marketing services from BookBaby.

The findings provided here are likely their optimistic interpretations.

Experience counts (maybe): Successful authors (in terms of book sales) have more writing experience. They spend more time writing and subsequently have more books available in their catalogue.

They also contract more professional services, particularly editors and cover designers.

This, of course doesn’t answer the question of how they became successful? Did they achieve success because of all these things (experience, time, hiring professionals), or once they achieved some success were the the able to spend the time, develop the catalogue and hire the professionals?

What to write. Fiction sells better than non-fiction and romance (especially contemporary, paranormal and erotica) sells far better than any other genre or literary writing. Under served markets include the romantic subgenres New Adult and Contemporary and YA.

How long should your book be? So much for all those pundits who claim novellas are all the rage because they can be read in one sitting or during a commute. Best sellers, again according to Smashwords, average ninety-two thousand words.

Book Marketing. Offering your e-book for free draws thirty-three times more then priced titles, but what’s the upside to offering your books free?

Okay, so money doesn’t matter to you, it’s about making that reader connection, about putting forth your view of the world.

Does offering your work at no charge achieve that? How many free books actually get read?

Not very many has been my experience both as a writer and a reader.

I’ve had hundreds of my books downloaded free and it’s resulted in an insignificant number of reviews. On the other hand my ibook library is filled with books I’ve downloaded free and have yet to read.

See what I’m getting at.

There’s no downside to clicking and getting a book free.

This might explain why over sixty-one percent of published authors have asked friends or family members to review their books.

However, if you’re writing a series, and series are more than likely going to generate best sellers, than offering the first book free is a good marketing ploy.

Speaking of FREE E-BOOKS. I’m participating in Smashwords Summer Sale and until July 31, 2017 my entire catalogue, eight novels and two plays are either FREE or 50% OFF. Go to

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin 

What’s the right price for an e-book? So if you opt not to offer your books free how much should you charge? Interestingly, e-books priced at $3.99 and $4.99 did better than those priced less – or more, at least on Smashwords.

In the end it was a lot of reading for very little worthwhile information, most of which was self-evident if you really think about it.

Here’s how the sage folks at WrittenWord Media summed up the findings from their survey.

Indie publishing is a viable path to success. Many indie authors signed traditional publishing deals on the strength of their self-published books and many traditionally published authors are becoming indie authors because of more control and higher royalties. Hybrid publishing gives you the benefit of both paths.

This rosy prediction in light of the fact that 727,125 ISBNs were assigned to self-published titles in 2015, representing 625,327 individual indie books*.

Well, really, what did you expect them to say?

These surveys would have been more credible if they’d had similar terms of reference. WrittenWord Media considers a “successful author” as someone who makes $100,000 or more in a single year from book sales. Book sales of $500 or less categorizes you as an “emerging author”.

At BookBaby you’re a successful author if you’ve earned $5,000 or more annually from book sales. Those who earned less than $100 were labeled “lower earning authors”.

Huh?

We definitely aren’t comparing apples to apples here. How can one company consider a successful indie author as earning $5000 a year while another has it pegged at $100,000?

But it gets even weirder. Of the forty-three hundred authors who completed the BookBaby survey a little less than five percent fell into the category of the “high achieving group” earning $5000 or more.

If only about two hundred BookBaby authors earn $5000 or more how many WrittenWord Media authors earn over a hundred grand?

Or put another way, how can twenty successful BookBaby authors only be equal to one WrittenWord Media successful author?

See what I mean? It’s like they’re comparing different species.

The take away? Only that I now know how to categorize myself. I’m a “lower earning emerging author”.

And on that we all agree.

Stay calm. Be brave. Watch for the signs

 

*According to Bowker, the exclusive U.S. agent for issuing International Standard Book Numbers.

Smashwords   http://smashwords.com

BookBaby   https://www.bookbaby.com

WrittenWord Media  https://www.writtenwordmedia.com

My Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Characters & Viewpoint (Elements of Fiction Writing) - Orson Scott Card

There’s nothing new in books about writing fiction, only on how they’re presented.

 

Some are written by academics and you need to be one to understand them. Others are written by authors who use them as a means of self-aggrandizement constantly quoting examples from their own work. These may not necessarily be good examples of what they’re trying to demonstrate, but they’re not about to let an opportunity to promote their work slip by.

 

In Characters and Viewpoint, author Orson Scott Card uses straight forward prose and not a lot of examples from his own work and gives good insight into these two important aspects of writing fiction.

 

This is a solid book about what is stated in the title.

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1575160/goods-insights-into-two-important-aspects-of-writing-fiction

Review:

Crying for the Moon: A Novel - Mary Walsh

 

 

Maureen comes from a working class family in St John’s, Newfoundland. She’s a senior in a Catholic parochial high school.

 

Even though she can’t sing she fakes her way into the school choir so she can travel as part of the group to Montreal and perform at Expo ’67, the world’s fair taking place there in 1967.

 

As soon as she arrives, her and a girlfriend go AWOL and hit the Montreal nightlife.

 

 

Before you can say ” G’wan with cha” she gets drunk and wakes up in a strange hotel room having lost her virginity as well as her girlfriend.

Evidently not big deal.

 

She goes back to the hotel, don’t know that she ever performs at Expo, but the next night is out looking for her girlfriend in the same bars and has sex with another, more or less anonymous guy all the while not enjoying it one bit, which makes this reader wonder why she does it?

 

Not wanting to hang around with someone she hardly knows she ends up at yet another bar, gets dead drunk and has sex with an “old man”.

 

Back home and back at Catholic school in St. John’s she throws up on a nun’s habit and is announced pregnant and kicked out of school.

 

Her mother, “the Sarge” tells her she isn’t going to sit around so she gets a part time job in a discount store where all the other employees hate her.

 

There’s more, but none of it has any motivation, there’s little character development – it is just one grim situation after another.

 

Why would a “good” girl attending a Catholic school, suddenly go on a sex and drinking binge just because she’s away from home?

 

I never found out because I abandoned Crying for the Moon after three chapters. Blame it on a really unsympathetic character and an inability to suspend disbelief.

 

This is a good example of a “celebrity book”. The publisher knows the author’s fame in other endeavours, in this case author Mary Walsh being somewhat of an comic icon in Canada, will sell enough books to make a profit.

 

Maybe stick to comedy, Mary, or was this book supposed to be a joke and I just didn’t get it?

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1575158/crying-for-the-moon-a-dreary-tawdry-series-of-events-lacking-in-motivation

ButtercupFieldH_IMG_0073

The Rocker and the Bird Girl (RBG) is a novella I wrote on Inkitt, more as an experiment than a serious piece of writing. I wanted to see if I wrote something YA oriented if it would generate for me any of the response this site boasts about. I’d have been happy with comments and criticism, but wouldn’t have turned down a publishing deal.

Here’s the blurb for the story.

If someone called Mattie a bird brain she’d take it as a compliment. She loves birds, has spent her entire twenty years surrounded by them and believes they are more intelligent, loving and loyal than, well, most anything else in this world.

Mattie’s grandfather spent all his retirement, time and funds, establishing a sanctuary for homeless, imported, exotic birds. Now granddad was gone and so was the money to support the sanctuary. In her desperate search for funding to keep the refuge open

Mattie had read that lead guitarist and lyricist Bodine, of the notorious rock band, Seditious, owned a Macaw as a pet. The guy was obviously fabulously wealthy. Maybe he’d like to spend some of that money saving these beautiful, precious creatures instead of on drugs and expensive toys?

He wasn’t answering her emails so she guessed she’d have to try to get his attention at the Seditious concert that was coming to town. She’d never been to a rock concert and wasn’t looking forward to it, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

***

Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll have taken their toll on Bodine, lead guitarist and songwriter for Seditious, the chart topping, outrageous rock band. He’s just playing the part until something better comes along. The problem is what’s better than being a rich and famous rock idol? Certainly not helping some over zealous young woman save exotic birds, even if his best friend is a Blue and Gold Macaw.

 

I’d knock off a chapter about once every three days and upload it to the site then promote it on Twitter and Facebook. I kind of got caught up with the characters and the plot and before I knew it they were having their way with me.

Once completed, it’s a novella, only 20,000 words, I left it up for awhile but had become too attached to it to let it languish among all the dreck. Besides after four months it had received no comments or criticisms and accumulated only about two hundred and fifty reads and eleven downloads. I’m not sure what that means in terms of success on Inkitt, but it was obvious to me nothing was happening.

And so, more or less to keep my hand in, and as an offering to my ART members (Advance Reading Team) I’ve self-published it and even have some ideas about developing it into a series. It was fun, easy to write and I got to addressed some issues. You can become an ART member and receive a free copy of The Rocker and the Bird Girl by clicking this link http://eepurl.com/cj5wjj

I’m seriously considering turning RBG into a series. Apparently, novellas are very popular (easily read on your cell phone during a commute), and the characters and story ideas are still resonating with me.

All the while I’m still waiting for a traditional publisher to pickup East Van Saturday Night – four short stories and a novella. So far not a peep, one way or another.

When it came to self-publishing the e-book edition of RBG I went with Smashwords and Kindle Direct (Amazon) and this time added Draft2Digital (D2D), more so I could pass along the experience to you and the participants of my workshops and creative writing circles since D2D has limited distribution which is more than duplicated by the coverage Smashwords offers.

If you think making it even easier to self-publish is a good thing (I’m not sure it is) than you’ll love Draft2Digital (D2D). I found uploading my manuscript along with the pertinent details extremely user friendly. They’ll even provide front and back matter for your e-book from the information you provide.

However, after uploading RBG I received an error message via email from D2D. My book was blocked from being distributed because I inadvertently hit the public domain button when uploading my file. I followed the instructions, went back and made the correction – nothing changed. My book was still blocked.

I sent an email message explaining my dilemma on June 1. Two days later after receiving no response I tried to de-list my book. It wouldn’t go away. I then decided to reload my book making sure to not hit the public domain button and bingo it went through and got distributed.

Now two listings for The Rocker and the Bird Girl appear on my D2D dashboard – one blocked and one published. Compare this to Amazon’s Create Space and Kindle Direct who always resolve my issues within twenty-four hours.

Three things I didn’t bother with in this launch were Kindle Select, Kindle Scout, and Smashwords Pre-order. These highly touted services have generated nothing whatsoever in response for me.

My email list continues generate response and I’m getting quite creative with MailChimp about using free copies to increase the membership, like using Instafreebie’s one month free introductory offer. Make sure you click the option to have Instafreebie members “opt in” by giving up their email address for a free book.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

30

Links to websites referenced in this blog.

Link to become an ART member http://eepurl.com/cj5wjj

Draft2Digital http://draft2digital.com/

Inkitt http://inkitt.com/

Instafreebie https://www.instafreebie.com/

Mail Chimp https://mailchimp.com/

Smashwords http://smashwords.com/

Kindle Direct https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/

Create Space http://createspace.com/

 

Find reviews, blurbs and buy links to my seven novels and two plays at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Facebook for writing news, my experience as a writer as well as promotions, contests, giveaways and discounts regarding his books

https://www.facebook.com/Rod-Raglin-337865049886964/

 

Video book reviews of self-published authors now at Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH45n8K4BVmT248LBTpfARQ

 

Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

https://www.pinterest.com/rod_raglin/rod-raglins-reviews-cover-art/

More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to: http://www.redbubble.com/people/rodraglin

View my flickr photostream at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78791029@N04/

Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsQVBxJZ7eXkvZmxCm2wRYA

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1568839/experiments-in-self-publishing-with-the-rocker-and-the-bird-girl

ButtercupFieldH_IMG_0073

The Rocker and the Bird Girl (RBG) is a novella I wrote on Inkitt, more as an experiment than a serious piece of writing. I wanted to see if I wrote something YA oriented if it would generate for me any of the response this site boasts about. I’d have been happy with comments and criticism, but wouldn’t have turned down a publishing deal.

Here’s the blurb for the story.

If someone called Mattie a bird brain she’d take it as a compliment. She loves birds, has spent her entire twenty years surrounded by them and believes they are more intelligent, loving and loyal than, well, most anything else in this world.

Mattie’s grandfather spent all his retirement, time and funds, establishing a sanctuary for homeless, imported, exotic birds.

Now granddad was gone and so was the money to support the sanctuary. In her desperate search for funding to keep the refuge open Mattie had read that lead guitarist and lyricist Bodine, of the notorious rock band, Seditious, owned a Macaw as a pet.

The guy was obviously fabulously wealthy. Maybe he’d like to spend some of that money saving these beautiful, precious creatures instead of on drugs and expensive toys?

He wasn’t answering her emails so she guessed she’d have to try to get his attention at the Seditious concert that was coming to town. She’d never been to a rock concert and wasn’t looking forward to it, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

***

Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll have taken their toll on Bodine, lead guitarist and songwriter for Seditious, the chart topping, outrageous rock band. He’s just playing the part until something better comes along. The problem is what’s better than being a rich and famous rock idol? Certainly not helping some over zealous young woman save exotic birds, even if his best friend is a Blue and Gold Macaw.

I’d knock off a chapter about once every three days and upload it to the site then promote it on Twitter and Facebook. I kind of got caught up with the characters and the plot and before I knew it they were having their way with me.

Once completed, it’s a novella, only 20,000 words, I left it up for awhile but had become too attached to it to let it languish among all the dreck. Besides after four months it had received no comments or criticisms and accumulated only about two hundred and fifty reads and eleven downloads. I’m not sure what that means in terms of success on Inkitt, but it was obvious to me nothing was happening.

And so, more or less to keep my hand in, and as an offering to my ART members (Advance Reading Team) I’ve self-published it and even have some ideas about developing it into a series. It was fun, easy to write and I got to addressed some issues.

You can become an ART member and receive a free copy of The Rocker and the Bird Girl by clicking this link http://eepurl.com/cj5wjj

I’m seriously considering turning RBG into a series. Apparently, novellas are very popular (easily read on your cell phone during a commute), and the characters and story ideas are still resonating with me.

All the while I’m still waiting for a traditional publisher to pickup East Van Saturday Night – four short stories and a novella. So far not a peep, one way or another.

When it came to self-publishing the e-book edition of RBG I went with Smashwords and Kindle Direct (Amazon) and this time added Draft2Digital (D2D), more so I could pass along the experience to you and the participants of my workshops and creative writing circles since D2D has limited distribution which is more than duplicated by the coverage Smashwords offers.

If you think making it even easier to self-publish is a good thing (I’m not sure it is) than you’ll love Draft2Digital (D2D). I found uploading my manuscript along with the pertinent details extremely user friendly. They’ll even provide front and back matter for your e-book from the information you provide.

However, after uploading RBG I received an error message via email from D2D. My book was blocked from being distributed because I inadvertently hit the public domain button when uploading my file. I followed the instructions, went back and made the correction – nothing changed. My book was still blocked.

I sent an email message explaining my dilemma on June 1. Two days later after receiving no response I tried to de-list my book. It wouldn’t go away. I then decided to reload my book making sure to not hit the public domain button and bingo it went through and got distributed.

Now two listings for The Rocker and the Bird Girl appear on my D2D dashboard – one blocked and one published.

Compare this to Amazon’s Create Space and Kindle Direct who always resolve my issues within twenty-four hours.

Three things I didn’t bother with in this launch were Kindle Select, Kindle Scout, and Smashwords Pre-order. These highly touted services have generated nothing whatsoever  in response for me.

My email list continues generate response and I’m getting quite creative with MailChimp about using  free copies to increase the membership, like using Instafreebie’s one month free introductory offer. Make sure you click the option to have Instafreebie members “opt in” by giving up their email address for a free book.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

30

Websites links to sites referenced in this blog.

Link to become an ART member http://eepurl.com/cj5wjj

Draft2Digital http://draft2digital.com/

Inkitt http://inkitt.com/

Instafreebie https://www.instafreebie.com/

Mail Chimp https://mailchimp.com/

Smashwords http://smashwords.com/

Kindle Direct https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/

Create Space http://createspace.com/

Find reviews, blurbs and buy links to my seven novels and two plays at

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

Facebook for writing news, my experience as a writer as well as promotions, contests, giveaways and discounts regarding his books

https://www.facebook.com/Rod-Raglin-337865049886964/

Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH45n8K4BVmT248LBTpfARQ

Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

https://www.pinterest.com/rod_raglin/rod-raglins-reviews-cover-art/

More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to: http://www.redbubble.com/people/rodraglin

View my flickr photostream at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78791029@N04/

Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsQVBxJZ7eXkvZmxCm2wRYA

 

Reblogged from: Rod Raglin

Review:

 

In a dystopian future with civilization all but destroyed, Emperor Donovan, a wicked, evil, despot rules an area that includes London Ruins. His DRT (?) agents control the impoverished subjects with ruthless violence and the help of digital implants embedded in each person at birth (?) that identifies who they are and where they are.

 

Jacks is a homeless, pickpocket in her early teens. Her parents, branded as rebels, were murdered before her eyes when she was just a child. Her hatred for the Emperor and his agents is only slightly less than her will to survive.

 

When she is asked to see what has happened to a friend she stumbles on a roundup of subjects by DRT agents looking for rebels. To save them from execution she creates a distraction only to find she’s not the only one on a rescue mission.

 

Members of The Flames, an underground movement fighting against the tyranny of the Empire, are there as well and their members and Jacks form an uneasy alliance.

 

Gradually Jacks becomes accepted by The Flames, which consists of only five members all in their teens. However, the group’s leader, Zira, feels uneasy about the new recruit.

 

As the rebel group fights to save innocents as well as themselves from the malevolent Emperor Donovan and his henchmen, Zira’s apprehension comes to the fore as she is forced to reveal secrets of her own that involve Jacks.

 

As dystopian fiction goes Ignite is not very original but it does have potential. Unfortunately, that potential is squandered by lack of craft including amateur writing, lack of plot structure, one dimensional characterization and chapter after chapter that do little or nothing to advance the plot or develop character.

 

For example, the Emperor and his agents are without exception evil, nasty, cruel and stupid. The Flames are without exception good, nice, friendly, and exceptionally smart especially for teenagers living in a society that has collapsed.

 

They are constantly one up on the bad guys even though there are a lot more of them and they have unlimited resources including weapons.

 

Hold on, two of The Flames are from a wealthy “shiner” family. Their father was thrown into the dungeons for consorting with rebels but apparently the Emperor forgot to confiscate the family wealth and throw the wife and children into the street, so now the kids use their father’s money to undermine the Empire.

 

If you think that’s dumb, the DRT agents of the Empire are so stupid they don’t even think to have paid or coerced informants in the general population considering everyone is starving and they’d likely sell their mother not to mention The Flames, for a meal.

But no they wouldn’t because in Rogland’s dystopian future everyone poor is honest, noble and loyal to The Flames, starving or otherwise.

 

In addition to attaining more writing (and reading) experience what author Danielle Rogland desperately needs is a good editor. Someone who can tell her that using adverbs to describe the delivery of almost every sentence of dialogue she’s written is the mark of an amateur. If your dialogue needs to be described it likely is weak and needs to be rewritten using a stronger verb.

 

A good editor would cut back on the tedious descriptions of setting suggesting she leave it to the readers imagination. Most importantly, her editor would tell her to delete or significantly cut the chapters that are basically redundant chit chat and do little or nothing to advance the plot or develop character.

 

In the end, Ignite would be tight, entertaining and about two-thirds as long as it is now with all the superfluity eliminated.

 

I received this e-book free from Inkitt in return for an honest review.

 

Inkitt says its  mission is “to ensure fair publishing and objectivity for authors. Who are we or any editor in the world to judge whether your book is worth publishing? We don’t think that we or any so-called “expert” is in a position to judge your work. You write your book for your readers, and the most important factor is whether your readers like it or not. That is what we measure at Inkitt.”

 

And how do they do this?

 

“We built artificially intelligent algorithms that have the ability to analyze reading pattern data and engagement levels. This allows us to make objective and data-driven decisions regarding a novel’s potential to become a bestseller. “

 

Apparently none of the above, as copied from Inkitt’s site, has anything to do with good writing, but hey, who am I to argue with artificially intelligent algorithms, or how many people you can persuade to click on your online book and add it to their “reading list”.

 

All the same, and despite being approved by artificially intelligent algorithms, I’m giving Ignite two stars.

 

 

 

 

Source:
www.rodraglin.com

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1558412/lack-of-craft-and-editing-extinguishes-the-potential-in-ignite

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