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

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.

 

 

 

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1558403/lack-of-craft-and-editing-extinguishes-the-potential-in-ignite

TulipMeldIMG1_0029 copy

Authors.me – publishing and writing technology that fails to deliver

Back in November I wrote a blog entitled, Authors.me “matches manuscripts to non-existent pages, vanity press when I discovered that the platform that claims to “…connects writers, agents and publishers to find manuscripts, manage submissions and get books published” had connected one of my uploaded books to publishing sites that, among other inconsistencies, didn’t even exist or wanted me to pay them to publish my book. In fact, sixty percent of Author.me “matches” didn’t actually match.

Further to that, today I received an email from one of the sites that actually did “match”, Black Rose Writing, saying they “were going to pass on Loving the Terrorist (my novel) at present”, however if I decided to self-publish to consider their imprint, Bookend Design “where (you) would work directly with the Black Rose Writing Design Team.”

I’m wondering how much business Black Rose Writing gets from submissions from authors hoping for a traditional publishing contract and then redirecting them to their self-publishing imprint, Bookend Design?

Is there no end to the scams in this industry? And what about Authors.me vetting these so-called publishers for their site?

Technology to analyze manuscripts and provide actionable insights.

The latest product from Authors.me is Intelligent Editorial Analysis, “technology to analyze manuscripts and provide actionable insights.”

They offered me the opportunity to test drive this product and so I uploaded the manuscript of my novel The Big Picture, A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic.

On a scale of 1 to 100, where a 100 most resembles a commercially viable book, my manuscript scored 85.48.

My strengths included “an elevated level of craft” because of my “measured use of adjectives like “very” ” as well as “going easy on the exclamation marks”. Weaknesses were inconsistent spelling (they don’t say what), explicit language (curse words) and the use of clichés .

This last one I’d challenge but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and I don’t plan to get bent out of shape over it since it’s all grist for the mill.

If you want to try this out it will now cost you $49. Go to

https://app.authors.me/#partner/booklife-authors

InstaFreebie bolsters Advance Reading Team E-mail list

I just finished a trial offer on Instafreebie. For those of you who are not familiar with this giveaway platform here’s how it’s described on their site:

InstaFreebie was created in 2014 with a mission to accelerate great stories and big ideas. As the book world’s leading platform for exclusive access to sneak peeks, advance previews, and special giveaways, we live our mission every day and give readers a chance to SEE IT FIRST™.InstaFreebie was created in 2014 with a mission to accelerate great stories and big ideas. As the book world’s leading platform for exclusive access to sneak peeks, advance previews, and special giveaways.

Their basic program is free but I signed up for a thirty day free trial of the “Plus” program that allowed me to add subscribers to my email list. Fourteen people received an e-book edition of one of my novels and became a member of my Advance Reading Team by opting in with their email address.

A monthly subscription to this program is $20. That works out to $1.43 and e-mail.

Nope.

Here’s the site address:

https://www.instafreebie.com/plans

Deliver an hour long workshop – sell a few books

I delivered an hour long workshop on Introduction to Memoir Writing. This was in return for an opportunity to sell my books at the event. It worked, but if you factored in my time in preparation and the actual presentation I ended up subsidizing the sales.

There’s got to be easier ways to sell books. Any ideas?

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

30

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 books about how to write fiction as well as the work 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

 

 

 

I spoke for an hour – flat out. In the end there was applause and a few participants bought my books, nicely displayed on a table near the door (so they couldn’t miss them).

A lot of participants who attend the Creative Writing Circles I facilitate are writing memoirs. A lot of them don’t know where to begin, how to structure or write their stories. I thought a workshop that addressed these issues would at least get them started off right, saving them a lot of time and frustration revising.

They might even be grateful enough to buy a book. Some apparently were.

Here’s the workshop outline I distributed to those who attended. You might find this information helpful if you’re considering writing about an event in your life. If you do (and your feeling grateful) sign up for my Advance Reading Team and I’ll send you a FREE E-BOOK edition of my latest novel The LOCAL RAG.

Here’s the link. http://eepurl.com/cj5wjj

 

Introduction to Memoir Writing

Facilitator: Rod Raglin

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

Website: http://www.rodraglin.com

E-mail: rod_raglin@yahoo.com

 

This short program is designed to set you on the right path to writing a memoir.

What is a memoir?

A memoir is not the story of your life (autobiography) but rather a story of one of your life experiences. It has a distinct beginning and end.

How to plan your memoir

Your memoir should be structured like any good story. Before you begin writing you should decide the story’s Goal, Motivation and Conflict.

Goal: What did you want?

Motivation: Why did you want it?

Conflict: What was stopping you from getting it?

Be specific about your Goal

It’s best to be specific and not generalize – I wanted to be happy is a generalization. I wanted out of the marriage I was in with an alcoholic so I could be happy is specific. Rather than wanting a good job which is a generalization; write I wanted to be a neuro-surgeon.

Motivation

Dig deep to discover why you wanted what you wanted. You might think you wanted to start your own business because you hoped to make a lot of money but was there more – the prestige, the power, the independence?

Conflict

These are the challenges that are preventing you from attaining your goal. Here again dig deep. What was stopping you from writing that novel – the responsibility of a family, lack of time – or fear of failure?

Where to start

Start with the inciting incident. The moment you decided things were going to change, or the moment something happened that changed the status quo.

Don’t start with backstory – your personal history – fill that in as the story unfolds and only what is necessary for the reader to understand your motivation. Always make it minimal and relevant to this memoir.

Story structure

The story arc – begins with the inciting incident and the tension rises as you are confronted with one obstacle (conflict) after another that you have to overcome to achieve your goal. The highest point of the story arc is the climax – the final battle that will resolve whether or not you achieve your goal.

Then denouement – wrap up loose ends and finish.

Some tips about writing

Always ask Why and How – and answer these questions honestly

Evoke emotion – how did you feel about the person, the event, the award, the death? Reading is an emotional experience and if you don’t tell the reader how you felt about the events you’re writing about your memoir will be uninspiring and not entertaining. Remember the paradox of writing – the more personal you write, the more universal the appeal.

Show don’t tell

You want your reader to feel like they’re actually experiencing the event not being told what happened. One of the best way to do this is to use lots of dialogue. Dialogue is action and action is showing not telling. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember exactly what was said – this is your story.

Consider the writing technique Scene/Sequel. Write an action scene and then a sequel reflecting on the action.

Use specifics – don’t generalize

Revision

Once you’ve written your memoir you need to put it away until it’s out of your system. You need to get perspective on it. That could take anywhere from a minimum of three months to? Then take it out and re-read and revise. You’ll likely have lots of revisions.

Once you’ve done the re-write, you need to find as many “objective” people as possible to read, proof and comment on it. Try to find people who can be honest and do not have a conflict of interest.

Consider joining a local writing group or register on an online critique site. Then revise taking their comments and corrections into consideration.

Once you’ve done all the revising you can decide to self publish on Amazon – free with a 70-30% royalty split or begin the submission process to publishers.

Books that are helpful:

The Writer’s Process, Getting Your Brain in Gear by Anne Janzer

Writing MEMOIR, The Practical Guide to Writing and Publishing the Story of Your Life,

by Jerry Payne

MyBooks032017_IMG_0006 (1)

So today I participated in my first author reading.

In this group of authors there were six readers including myself. There were two professionals who had traditionally published non-fiction books, three self-published authors including myself, and a young man who performed a slam poem and had a chap book of his work for sale.

There was maybe twenty people in the audience mostly (entirely?) made of friends of the authors. I didn’t invite any of my friends and none came.

I read second. Ten minutes for reading, five for questions.

I learned two things.

  1. I presented as well or better than any of the other five authors.
  1. You can get your book published by a well respected, traditional publisher and have it short listed for literary awards and you’re still talking to a handful of people in the basement of a library.

Considering this was my first experience giving a public reading and then sitting behind a table talking to people about my books, I’d say it was pretty much what I expected, and I actually sold some books.

If this is the road to becoming a successful author it appears to be a very long and extremely boring journey. It’s hard to believe that any time soon I’ll be sitting in a fancy ballroom, among the literary and publishing elite about to accept the $50,000 Giller Prize on national television.

Never have so many (authors) given so much (hours of toil on their books) for so little (the applause and passing interest of two dozen people).

And yet we continue to storm the beaches.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs

30

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VPL - MC - New Voices - Poster - March - 2017

Further to the new direction in my writing career.

Okay, so you’re saying my writing career had no direction before so how can I have a new one?

Well, maybe having no direction is a direction.

Too Zen for you?

How about: If you write a book and nobody reads it have you really written a book? That one’s been driving me crazy since, well, since I wrote a book and nobody read it.

Before you? me? we? all of us? get too hung up (do people still say that?) on these esoteric ruminations let me continue.

All of my book marketing has been so far done online. I blog, I Tweet, I post on my Facebook page, I send out promotional newsletters to my Advance Reading Team, I review books, I’ve even gone so far as to join and contribute to online reading/writing groups.

And it’s got me_______. (You fill in the blank)

This direction(?) has been macro – my books are available through Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Library Direct, OverDrive and a few more in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Japan and India. They’re available digitally as epub, mobi, pdf, online reader and more, suitable to most reading devices including your cellphone as well as in paperback in the UK, USA and Canada.

My new direction will be micro – I’ll sell actual books to real people face to face.

My first experience with this will be on March 27, 2017 at the Vancouver Public Library where I’ll be reading my work along with five other writers in their “New Voices” series. (How after seven years, seven novels and two plays I can be considered a “new voice” says something – what I’m not sure.)

The event is from 7 to 8:30 pm and our host will even provide a table for us to display and sell our books. I don’t know about the rest of the participants, but I’m taking advantage of the table and might even break off from my reading prematurely if I see someone in the audience interested in the merchandise.

Having been a salesman all my life I’m not the least bit intimidated.

So, I’ve crunched the numbers taking into consideration the price of my books, the exchange rate, shipping and tax and if I sell a book for $15 it’s $4 less than it can be purchased from Amazon and I can still make some money.

Enough, I hope,  to at least cover the outrageous cost of parking downtown.

This is marginally better than selling my books at a flea market or garage sale, but if the world doesn’t want to buy them maybe the neighbourhood does.

I’m not afraid of taking chances, going in a new direction, and maybe, likely, failing. I never know where things will lead what’s important to me is to keep moving forward.

Well, at least to keep moving.

One thing’s for certain, if I do nothing, that’s what will happen.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

30

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

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

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This is my canned interview (you ask the questions and you answer them) on Smashwords, one of the self-publishing sites where my books are available https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin

Anyway, I finally updated it and thought you might want to take a look at it. It begins with this question:

What motivated you to become an indie author?

I became an indie author because I couldn’t get traditional publishers to publish my work.

That’s probably the reason most writers became indie authors.

I published my first novel, Saving Spirit Bear in 2010 with an E-publisher after my attempts with traditional publishing houses had failed. At that time E-Book publishers were on the rise, hungry for content and they were eager for at least two more books form me. Over the next two years they published Loving the Terrorist and Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients to complete my ECO-WARRIOR series.

Environmental fiction (Eco-fi) proved not to be a big seller with them, their catalogue being geared more to erotica, werewolves, vampires, and erotic werewolves and vampires. My stories were contemporary romances with a subplots that addressed an important environmental issue.

Since sales were not exactly stellar with my E-publisher and my contract with them was restrictive as to how I could promote these books I decided to investigate self-publishing for my next novel, The Big Picture – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic if my attempts at acquiring a traditional publisher failed.

They did, and so I became an indie author.

Since then I have self-published three more novels: Forest – Love, Loss, Legend, Abandoned Dreams and The Local Rag and two plays: Harry’s Truth and End of the Rope. When my contract ended with my E-publisher I yanked my first three novels and re-released them as self-published works. Have they done better? No, but they haven’t done worse and it’s been more fun.

WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT BEING AN INDIE AUTHOR? Glad you asked. I can offer promotions, sales, giveaways – I have total control over marketing my work. No sales, but still total control. And I like the creative aspect of publishing – the page design, the cover design, choosing fonts, all that stuff.

WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT BEING AN INDIE AUTHOR? There are now too many of us and unfortunately most of us don’t write well, and that’s putting it mildly. So for you, the reader, it’s almost impossible to tell if an indie author is worth reading or just a waste of $3.99 (the price of my e-books). I know this because I make a point of reviewing the work of indie authors (see my YouTube channel Not Your Friend, Not Your Family Book Reviews)

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

This is frustrating not only for you but for me and it’s only going to get worse. With no gatekeepers and so many sites making it easy for anyone to publish anything, self-published, indie authors have lost all credibility.

To be an indie author now is to be a joke.

This state of affairs has made me rethink my role as an author – indie or otherwise.

I love to write, I love the research that goes into developing my characters, plots and settings, but I also want to connect to readers. The likelihood of this happening, of making this connection with readers in any significant way for an indie author is virtually nil.

After seven years, and seven novels and two plays I’m going back to the old fashion way. I submitted my last manuscript, East Van Saturday Night – Four short stories and a Novella to a traditional publisher and am now waiting for a response. If I get rejected, and I likely will, I’ll send it to another one, and another one and so on.

I don’t need to self publish to enjoy the writing and the research and this method of getting my work out there is not fulfilling my other need – connecting to you, the reader, in a meaningful way.

So it’s back to the future for this author.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

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Smashwords 2017 Read an E-book Week Promotion

March 5 to 11

Thousands of free and discounted E-books

Authors and Publishers enroll now at

https://www.smashwords.com/dashboard/sitewidePromos

Promotional catalogue at

https://www.smashwords.com/books/category/1/newest/1)

My free E-book as part of the promotion, FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend

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

Other discounts from my bibliography at

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

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I want you to take a look at some research I’ve done and see if you come to the same conclusion I do.

Lets start with two novels I reviewed that are written by local Vancouver authors.

The first is The Continuation of Love by Other Means by Claudia Casper.

It has one, two-star review on Amazon.com, which I wrote, and two reviews on Amazon.ca, one of which is also mine, averaging three stars.

Lucky by Kathryn Para, the winner of the second search for the Great BC Novel, has two reviews on Amazon.ca, one mine and one that appears to be by a personal friend who “visited her at home”. The average is four stars. On Amazon.com Lucky has five reviews (including mine) for an average of four stars.

Not so stellar I’m thinking when you compare them to my latest novel, The Local Rag which has seven reviews on Amazon.com (none of which I wrote, paid for, or pleaded with friends to review) for an average of four stars, and one on Amazon.ca of five stars.

So how come both these women are getting paid reading gigs and interviews with main stream media and I’m getting nothing?

Upon further investigation I discovered local poets who are garnering the same acclaim with the local literati but zero with Amazon reviewers. Some didn’t even have their books available on Amazon or at the VPL.

I’m not disparaging these other local writers and I’m happy for their success, even though it would appear, at least on Amazon, that my latest book is more popular then theirs.

So what’s the difference between them and me?

One thing. They all have traditional publishers.

Sure, their publisher may be some small press operating from a barn just north of Nowhere, Saskatchewan, but these authors didn’t self publish. One way or another they got their manuscript accepted and published by a bona fide (?) Canadian publisher who’s likely getting significant grants from the Canadian government just for existing.

I’ve traveled the submissions route before and it’s like living in suspended animation. You send out your manuscript and wait at least six months. By then maybe you’ve heard something, maybe not. You decide to continue to wait or accept that the recipient of your work is not even gracious enough to let you know they threw your manuscript in the garbage, and you move on.

You have no idea what’s going on, you have no control over the process. You are, in a word, powerless. No wonder so many authors choose to self-publish their work.

Unfortunately, you’re very, very unlikely to receive any critical acclaim if you follow the self-publishing path and that’s because there’s a stigma attached to self-published books and regrettably it’s deserved.

With the increasing ease of self-publishing and the complete lack of gatekeepers self-published books have become an anathema to the serious writer. It’s estimated Amazon carries 37 million self-published titles, up 438% since 2008. Most of these books are terrible or mediocre at best. Finding a well written, good story among all this dreck is near impossible and every one has come to realized it including credible publishers, agents, reviewers and even readers.

For me to self-publish another novel is futile. I’ll garner a handful of positive reader reviews, fewer sales and that’s it.

So I’m going back to researching potential publishers and submitting my manuscripts, the first being East Van Saturday Night, four short stories and a novella.

It’s deja vu all over again only this time I’m older (not necessarily a plus), smarter (at least in this arena) and a far better writer.

It’s time for real critical acclaim and credibility as a writer – or not.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs

30

 

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

 

 

 

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