I recently received an promotional email (no personalized salutation) from an indie author saying she noticed I’d reviewed a book similar to one she had just written and if she sent me a free e-pub edition would I be interested in reviewing hers?

 

What interested me was how she went about selecting reviewers? It must be an onerous task to go through reviewers on Amazon, even after applying the appropriate filters in regards to genre, and extract their emails. And once you have them there is no guarantee they’re going to review your book, or for that matter give you a good review.

 

So I agreed to review her book on the condition she tell me how she got my email address and any other tips she might have on marketing. To sweeten the deal I even purchased her book, very uncharacteristic for me.

 

She responded favorably and has been very forthcoming. Here’s what she has undertaken so far in producing and marketing her novel.

 

She says she wrote this book, her second in a series, taking into consideration the requirements and preferences of traditional publishers because she thought she might approach agents and traditional publishers with it.

 

“In the end, after reading several articles and consulting with the other authors in my two writers’ groups, I decided that self-publishing is actually the better option. If you’re interested in my reasoning, let me know.”

 

I am interested and will be asking her why she’d turn down a traditional publisher to become a self-publisher? Her previous book was also self-published so it’s not like she switched.

 

So how did she come up with my name and email address and those of other reviewers?

 

The answer is she bought a Book Review Targeter app for $200 (lots are available on the internet).

 

It works like this – you choose as many books as you want that you feel are similar to yours and receive what’s essentially an excel list of all the people who reviewed those books. The vast majority don’t have an email address but there are plenty that do.

 

So what to do with those email addresses?

 

She down loaded an app called Group Mailer because it makes sending out group emails easy.

 

So how is she doing?

 

“In about three days I’ve had about forty-five people agree to read and review a free version of the book and an additional twenty who declined the free copy and purchased the book to review it.”

 

Now that’s impressive, not the forty-five who agreed to review it, but the twenty who declined a free review copy and bought one. Who are these people?

 

She says she has another three or four lists (from additional similar books) she has yet process.

 

She’ll be running a 99¢ campaign for the e-book edition for two days on Amazon and one day free book promotions on Pretty-Hot Books and Discountbookman, spending ten dollars for a featured promotion on bookreadermagazine and running a giveaway on Goodreads.

 

She also has had no problem asking friends, colleagues and clients to buy her book and she anticipates reviews from about twenty percent of them.

 

She’s asked the other writers in her writers’ groups to share information about her book on their Facebook pages and has started looking for blogs to ask bloggers to mention it.

 

If that isn’t enough, and it probably isn’t, she’s considering spending $720 to have BookBub promote her book. BookBub claims the campaign will sell 2700 books, and the members in her writers’ groups unanimously support these stats saying they’ve received three times the return on their investment with such a promotion.

 

There’s a caveat here – BookBub only accepts professionally produced, error free books. They seldom accept new releases, preferring you have a proven track record with reviews. If you qualify be prepared to cut your price to the bone. Even if you want to promote with BookBub you may not make the grade.

 

To produce her book she hired two beta readers at $50 each and got a book cover artist from her writers’ group to design her cover for $65. No editor was needed as she just happens to be one herself.

 

So far her hard costs have been $375. Results are pending.

 

A lot of what she’s doing I’ve done:

– I have an Advance Reading Team e-mail list of a little over 200 who receive my new books free to stimulate buzz and encourage reviews.

– I have run giveaway promotions on Goodreads, LibraryThing and BookLikes.

– I send a press release to local media offering them a book in return for a review

– I blog, and promote on Facebook and Twitter

– I have three beta readers who read my books free and are recognized on the book’s Acknowledgement Page.

– I edit my own books and design my own covers

 

Some of what she’s doing I’ll never do.

 

I have never solicited family, friends, colleagues or clients to buy my books. In my opinion it’s unprofessional. Besides I want my books to be bought because they’re well written and entertaining, not out some misguided obligation or as as way for someone to ingratiate themselves to me.

 

My hard costs on my last book were zero.

 

And so have the results.

 

Of course, there’s always the elephant in the room – the quality of the book.

 

I’m watching how this book launch does and hoping I can learn something. Maybe you will as well.

 

Speaking of book marketing…

 

CreatorCollabs Boosted Tweets

 

So out of the blue I get a promotional tweet about CreatorCollabs (CC) Boosted Tweets. Basically, post a tweet and share it on CC. Other CC users see your Tweet and share it with their online audiences. In-turn, you need to share content created by others to ensure your points stay high to continue to get access for your tweets.

 

There’s a free and paid plan. Of course, I used the free one.

 

For a week I loaded Tweets about my plays, Harry’s Truth and End of the Rope, available free on Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin until December 31, 2017. In return I retweeted content about the books of other authors.

 

They have a stats bar so you can check how many people you’re apparently reaching. Here’s the results of one of my tweets.

– The number of retweets my tweet received from my own twitter followers = 0.

– The number of retweets my tweet received through CreatorCollabs Community = 7

(increase 700%)

– Number of my followers my tweet reached = 50

– Number of followers my tweet reached through CreatorCollabs Community = 10,131

(Increase 20,262%)

 

Increase in books sales in response to this enormous increase in reach = 0

Increase in activity on my website and book sales platforms = negligible.

 

Just another case of nobody being interested in anyone (or their books) but themselves – including me.

 

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

Web addresses associated with this article:

 

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/home/overview.php

Book Reader Magazine http://bookreadermagazine.com/

Discount Book Man http://discountbookman.com/

Pretty-Hot.Com http://pretty-hot.com/

Groupmail http://group-mail.com/

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

 

30

 

Author Amazon Page

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

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013287676486 –

 

 

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1609167/a-book-launch-case-study

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I recently received an promotional email (no personalized salutation) from an indie author saying she noticed I’d reviewed a book similar to one she had just written and if she sent me a free e-pub edition would I be interested in reviewing hers?

What interested me was how she went about selecting reviewers? It must be an onerous task to go through reviewers on Amazon, even after applying the appropriate filters in regards to genre, and extract their emails. And once you have them there is no guarantee they’re going to review your book, or for that matter give you a good review.

So I agreed to review her book on the condition she tell me how she got my email address and any other tips she might have on marketing. To sweeten the deal I even purchased her book, very uncharacteristic for me.

She responded favorably and has been very forthcoming. Here’s what she has undertaken so far in producing and marketing her novel.

She says she wrote this book, her second in a series, taking into consideration the requirements and preferences of traditional publishers because she thought she might approach agents and traditional publishers with it.

“In the end, after reading several articles and consulting with the other authors in my two writers’ groups, I decided that self-publishing is actually the better option. If you’re interested in my reasoning, let me know.”

I am interested and will be asking her why she’d turn down a traditional publisher to become a self-publisher? Her previous book was also self-published so it’s not like she switched.

So how did she come up with my name and email address and those of other reviewers?

The answer is she bought a Book Review Targeter app for $200 (lots are available on the internet).

It works like this – you choose as many books as you want that you feel are similar to yours and receive what’s essentially an excel list of all the people who reviewed those books. The vast majority don’t have an email address but there are plenty that do.

So what to do with those email addresses?

She down loaded an app called Group Mailer because it makes sending out group emails easy.

So how is she doing?

“In about three days I’ve had about forty-five people agree to read and review a free version of the book and an additional twenty who declined the free copy and purchased the book to review it.”

Now that’s impressive, not the forty-five who agreed to review it, but the twenty who declined a free review copy and bought one. Who are these people?

She says she has another three or four lists (from additional similar books) she has yet process.

She’ll be running a 99¢ campaign for the e-book edition for two days on Amazon and one day free book promotions on Pretty-Hot Books and Discountbookman, spending ten dollars for a featured promotion on bookreadermagazine and running a giveaway on Goodreads.

She also has had no problem asking friends, colleagues and clients to buy her book and she anticipates reviews from about twenty percent of them.

She’s asked the other writers in her writers’ groups to share information about her book on their Facebook pages and has started looking for blogs to ask bloggers to mention it.

If that isn’t enough, and it probably isn’t, she’s considering spending $720 to have BookBub promote her book. BookBub claims the campaign will sell 2700 books, and the members in her writers’ groups unanimously support these stats saying they’ve received three times the return on their investment with such a promotion.

There’s a caveat here – BookBub only accepts professionally produced, error free books. They seldom accept new releases, preferring you have a proven track record with reviews. If you qualify be prepared to cut your price to the bone. Even if you want to promote with BookBub you may not make the grade.

To produce her book she hired two beta readers at $50 each and got a book cover artist from her writers’ group to design her cover for $65. No editor was needed as she just happens to be one herself.

So far her hard costs have been $375. Results are pending.

A lot of what she’s doing I’ve done:
– I have an Advance Reading Team e-mail list of a little over 200 who receive my new books free to stimulate buzz and encourage reviews.
– I have offered giveaway promotions on Goodreads, LibraryThing and BookLikes.
– I send a press release to local media offering them a book in return for a review
– I blog, and promote on Facebook and Twitter
– I have three beta readers who read my books free and are recognized on the book’s Acknowledgement Page.
– I edit my own books and design my own covers

Some of what she’s doing I’ll never do.

I have never solicited family, friends, colleagues or clients to buy my books. In my opinion it’s unprofessional. Besides I want my books to be bought because they’re well written and entertaining, not out some misguided obligation or as as way for someone to ingratiate themselves to me.

My hard costs on my last book were zero.

And so have the results.

Of course, there’s always the elephant in the room – the quality of the book.

I’m watching how this book launch does and hoping I can learn something. Maybe you will as well.

Speaking of book marketing…

CreatorCollabs Boosted Tweets
So out of the blue I get a promotional tweet about CreatorCollabs (CC) Boosted Tweets. Basically, post a tweet and share it on CC. Other CC users see your Tweet and share it with their online audiences. In-turn, you need to share content created by others to ensure your points stay high to continue to get access for your tweets.

There’s a free and paid plan. Of course, I used the free one.

For a week I loaded Tweets about my plays, Harry’s Truth and End of the Rope, available free on Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin until December 31, 2017. In return I retweeted content about the books of other authors.

They have a stats bar so you can check how many people you’re apparently reaching. Here’s the results of one of my tweets.
– The number of retweets my tweet received from my own twitter followers = 0.
– The number of retweets my tweet received through CreatorCollabs Community = 7
(increase 700%)
– Number of my followers my tweet reached = 50
– Number of followers my tweet reached through CreatorCollabs Community = 10,131
(Increase 20,262%)

Increase in books sales in response to this enormous increase in reach = 0
Increase in activity on my website and book sales platforms = negligible.

Just another case of nobody being interested in anyone (or their books) but themselves – including me.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

Web addresses associated with this article:

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/home/overview.php
Book Reader Magazine http://bookreadermagazine.com/
Discount Book Man http://discountbookman.com/
Pretty-Hot.Com http://pretty-hot.com/
Groupmail http://group-mail.com/

30

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

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013287676486

 

 

I appreciate the mystery genre has dozens of sub genres with sleuths whose expertise, as well as solving murders, include operating bake shops, book stores, and thrift shops just to name a few. For some the setting is equally as important as the detective with an incredible amount of murders taking place in quaint British villages, on cruise ships and in exotic locales. Still others feature cats or dogs that partner with their owners in solving the crime, and some even get help from gumshoe ghosts.

 

So I was receptive to Yoga for Detectives: Interconnected by A. E. Prero, whose protagonist practices yoga and is the owner of a yoga school in Manhattan, as well as an amateur detective.

 

The term suspension of disbelief has been defined as “a willingness to suspend one’s critical faculties and believe the unbelievable; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment.”

 

I have to admit I’m a bit of a fanatic when it comes to suspension of disbelief in any type of novel. As soon as I have one of those moments where something illogical happens that belies common sense or the protagonist does something totally out of character the story’s credibility becomes compromised. When the story is compromised so is my appreciation and enjoyment of it.

 

In Yoga for Detectives: Interconnected this began right away. I had pause with the way Jaya, the protagonist and a practitioner of a discipline that’s leads to self-discovery, self-mastery and self-realization, responded to her stepmother with insults, profanity and intense anger.

 

After beginning with the stepmother incident the real story starts when Maria, described as a friend, approaches Jaya and tells her that her brother in Lima, Peru has gone missing after finding something while cleaning out his grandmother’s apartment after her death.

 

On the strength of that Ansui, the yoga master at Jaya’s school immediately boards a jet and flies there. The next day Jaya receives an email from Ansui telling her to round up her crew and catch a flight to New Delhi.

 

Incredibly, Jaya agrees and not only that, she decides to take some young teens and their grandmother along as well. The fact the children would likely be an impediment to the investigation and might even be in danger is briefly discussed and summarily dismissed.

I can’t help but wonder who is picking up the tab to search for a young man his own sister describes as ” a troublemaker”, “unreliable”, “no stranger to the police” and “in and out of their offices many times”, but more to the point, why are they committed to look for him?

 

The why is provided by Ansui once the decision to fly everyone to Delhi has been made, which is kind backwards if you ask me – motivation usually prompts action rather than the opposite.

 

Ansui provides a recording that suggests St. Francis, yes, that St. Francis, is responsible for some dire deed that happened over four hundred and fifty years ago, though no evidence whatsoever is provided.

 

Why, this reader wondered, would Miguel, who is certainly not a religious scholar and maybe not even religious, not an archeologist, indeed he is the only one of his siblings “not to go to university”, take an interest in something that happened nearly a half century ago? Why indeed would anyone other than perhaps some academic who specializes in the field?

 

At this point the plot has lost all credibility and I’m only about five percent into the story.

 

I persevere to the end of the book but, this question, the crux of the plot, is never answered to my satisfaction and the solution to the “mystery”, seems irrelevant.

 

Prero’s characters are extremely fond of using wise sayings, adages, aphorisms, parables, riddles, axioms or whatever you want to call them. Everyone from the Yoga master to the cab driver to the children use them and for every situation. Subsequently they have no significance. Since real people don’t talk that way, at least none that I’ve met, it hurt her characterization.

 

The author interjects words and entire passages in foreign languages. I for one could not understand them, but not to worry since she usually translated them in the next paragraph. What that is about I have no idea except perhaps it’s the author trying to

appear “learned”.

 

Much of the book doesn’t advance plot or develop character, instead it is a history lesson, travelogue and a food guide. For example I would guess more than half the chapters include a meal with the menu items explained in some detail. I suppose this this could appeal to some readers but I would suggest substantial editing could have been done in these three areas.

 

The writing randomly jumps from one character’s point of view to another’s and even frequently uses third person omniscient. There’s no rule against doing this except it’s confusing for the reader and a bit of a cop out as a writer. There are also frequent dumps of unmotivated backstory as well as character description.

 

I never did understand the relationships between Jaya, Daniel, Rose, Tal, Arielle and Yardin. I imagine all these characters were all introduced in the previous novel, Yoga for Detectives Lesson One, but it might be a good idea for Prero to consider not every reader is going to read every one of her novels and if they do, maybe not in the order they were released so these relationships need to be explained in every book.

 

For this reader Yoga for Detectives: Interconnected was more disconnected than interconnected.

 

30

 

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013287676486

 

           

 

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1607749/yoga-for-detectives-interconnected-more-disconnected-than-interconnected

SummersEndBouquet_IMG_0126

This time of year is when theatre groups, big and small, amateur and professional, experimental or conventional unveil their new season.

I love live theatre. I was even a member of the Vancouver Playwrights Theatre Centre and under their mentorship wrote two plays.

One of the biggest thrills I ever experienced was to have professional actors perform a reading of my one-act play, Harry’s Truth. It was truly mind-blowing to witness other people interpreting my work in ways I never imagined while still staying true to the script.

To celebrate live theatre I’m offering the scripts of Harry’s Truth and End of the Rope free until December 31, 2017 to any individual, drama class, amateur or professional theatre group to read, workshop or produce. Here’s what one reviewer had to say about Harry’s Truth.

“You show the interactions between the five of them and let us have a glance at everybody’s past. A lot gets revealed in every scene. I like the detailed stage instructions and the symbolism in the last scene. One can read Harry’s Truth as if it were a short story. I’d really like to see this play on a stage someday…”

Often theatre groups are inhibited by the price of mounting a production. I will sign off on all production rights during that period and also authorize you to reproduce the copies of the script.

If you send me an email I’ll forward the website address and the coupon codes so you can download your free e-book scripts of Harry’s Truth and End of the Rope.

rod_raglin@yahoo.com

As the reviewer I quoted pointed out, these plays also make entertaining reading even if you’re not a theatre buff.

If anyone would like to take advantage of this offer I’d love to be involved as a script consultant or in any other aspect (no, I won’t pay to produce the production). Who knows maybe I’ll even come and see it.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

30

Website:   http://www.rodraglin/com

Amazon Author Page:   https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00SD6LEU

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

 

 

 

LeafMeld-UmbraSiennaYellow_0031.jpg

According to Michael Kozlowski, Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader, the leading news website devoted to digital publishing, e-books, and e-reader news I’m a bad writer.

How does he come to that conclusion? In his own words, You are only considered a real author if you can make your living solely from the book sales. If you can’t, you are merely a writer… the industry needs to define the good writers from the bad. The primary way we can do this is by sales figures; if authors make their living from publishing, they are often considered good writers.  Once we can define a good writer from a bad, we can start to segregate them.”

Which brings us to another of his suggestions, segregating self-published books according to sales.

“My suggestion is for all major online bookstores that take submitted indie content to create their own sections for self-published writers. These titles should not be listed side by side with the traditional press.  Indie titles should have their own dedicated sections until such time as they reach a certain threshold in sales. Once they can attain an arbitrary sales milestone, they are drafted to the big leagues and listed in the main bookstore.”

Why, you ask, does Kozlowski think this is necessary?

“There are a copious number of online self-publishing companies that promise aspiring authors the opportunity to distribute their e-book all over the world. Millions of authors publish with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Draft2Digital, Kobo Writing Life, Nook Press and Smashwords. Most “authors” who self-publish an e-book never sell more than a handful and over seventy-five percent of all authors never earn a living through their writing.”

And the result of this plethora of self-published dreck (my word) is that “We live in a world full of terrible e-book titles that ruin e-book discovery and make it difficult to find a good book. It is no small wonder why e-book sales have plummeted in recent years.”

The comments on Kozlowski’s blog https://goodereader.com/blog/author/michael-kozlowski on this topic are mostly specious in that they don’t respond to the problem he’s addressing. They range from outright denial to dismissing his ideas because there’s a typo in his text. As one who actually reads and reviews the work of unknown, randomly selected indie authors I’d have to agree with his assessment and his solution.

When I decided to write fiction about ten years ago I had about forty years of journalism as a formative base. But even though I’d written hundreds of thousands of words up to that point it, fiction was a different style of writing. To learn how to write fiction I attended writer’s groups, joined online critique sites and read dozens of books and I continue to do so.

Writing fiction is a craft and it can be learned and mastered, to some degree, by learning the fundamentals and then practicing – a lot. It’s evident that the vast majority of the indie authors I’ve read haven’t even bothered to learn the basics and have spent no where near enough time practicing.

As Kozlowski says “Indie titles have no quality and control, often they are merely submitting a Word document to Amazon and clicking publish.”

Kozlowski’s not suggesting all self-published books are crap and all traditionally published books are classics, just that “there is some expectation of quality” in reading a traditionally published book”, and that’s definitely not the case with reading a self-published work.

From the beginning of my venture into writing and publishing fiction it became apparent to me the only way to measure success was with book sales. This is an industry of illusion and delusion and the majority those involved are, as Kozlowski suggested, subject to the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

“Unskilled individuals that suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude.”

I have come to accept that I am “inept” until my book sales prove otherwise.

Accordingly, I’m prepared to have all my books segregated in “dedicated sections until such time as they reach a certain threshold in sales. Once they can attain an arbitrary sales milestone, they are drafted to the big leagues and listed in the main bookstore.”

I’m sure there will be very good books that never attain that threshold (mine?) and I’m just as sure there will be those who, rather than hone their craft to the point they can write a good book, will find ways of attaining that threshold fraudulently.

However, this is a solution I am prepared to considered in hopes “the cream might rise to the top”.

If Kozlowski’s is right that by 2020, fifty percent of all digital books will be written by indie authors and that will account for 25,000 new titles a month being submitted to online bookstores than something, indeed, has to be done.

So just how many books would you need to sell to meet the threshold and advance to “the majors”?

Amazon has author and sales ranking graphs that are updated hourly. On Sept. 5, 2017, someone purchased one (1) e-book edition of my novel Saving Spirit Bear. That single sale boosted the novel’s ranking from 8,787,432 to 201, 692 an increase of 8,585,740 points. My author ranking subsequently increased 582,673 points from 825,278 to 242,605.

What do these numbers mean? I’d say a few sales a month and an indie author would be among the top 100,000 selling authors on Amazon. Would that get you into “the majors”?

Who cares, you’d still be making peanuts.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

30

 

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

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

 

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

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013287676486&fref=comp

 

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

 

 

 

BalloonCrop

Steven Spatz is an author, marketer, and the President of BookBaby. He writes the bookbaby Blog at http://blog.bookbaby.com/

It’s a thinly veiled promotional blog that encourages self-published authors to use the services of BookBaby to prepare and publish their manuscripts. I compare it to the weekly newsletter I get from a local realtor where despite rising interest rates, falling house prices and any other economic calamity that might be happening “it’s always a good time to buy or sell property”.

Here’s my response to his most recent blog entitle “Book Reviews: The Ultimate Word Of Mouth Promotion”.

 

Hi Steven,
Let’s crunch some numbers shall we. You shouldn’t mind because they’re ones you provided.

You write in your recent BookBaby blog that book reviews are critical to promoting my book. I agree. You write ” “There are literally thousands of book reviewers and bloggers online, and most of them review books even though they aren’t paid.”

I’d be doing a little more research before making a statement like that if I were you. I’ll bet you’ll find the majority of these bloggers and reviewers though online aren’t active.

After making this unqualified claim about thousands of bloggers and reviewers who want to review my work at no charge you then “recommend the following sites:

Midwest Book Review that charges $50 a review;
The Indie Reader at $255 a review: and,
The Self-Publishing Review at $119 a review.

If I was to “purchase” one review from each site it would cost a total of $394.

What happened to the thousands of unpaid book reviewers and bloggers? Why didn’t you list a few of them?

You can purchase an e-book of mine from Amazon for $3.99 of which I get 35% royalty or $1.35. I’d need to sell about 291 books to pay for these three reviews.

And what if they’re bad reviews?

According to your 2017 Self-Publishing Survey

https://www.bookbaby.com/…/official-self-publishing-survey-…

of the 4300 authors who took part only 5%, or about 215 authors, made $5000 a year from their writing. The other category you draw comparisons from which is obviously significantly larger, is the one you call lower earning authors who earn less than $100 a year from their writing.

The inherent conflict of interest of “paid for reviews” aside, how in good conscience can you recommend to the majority of indie authors, making less than $100 a year from their writing as indicated by your own research, that they spend that kind of money on reviews?

So which is it, Steven? Are either totally out of touch with your own research and our plight, or part of the pack who prey on naive and delusional new indie authors who are prepared to throw money away chasing that elusive dream?

 

 

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1600874/bookbaby-prez-says-thousands-want-to-review-your-book-free-then-suggest-three-that-would-cost-394

 

Tree Therapy

Most days I get ahead of the morning. I’m up and busy with the mindless tasks that paradoxically fill my mind. It’s good to be engaged, interested, anticipating the challenges and rewards of the day unfolding.

 

Then there are days I awake anxious and for no particular reason. I don’t indulge these moods but despite my best efforts they prevail. I become disconcerted and irritable. Little things seem difficult, difficult things seem insurmountable.

 

On days like these I’m more keenly aware of intolerance and bigotry, of ignorance. I despair at people’s motives and am appalled by their actions. Frustration gives way to anger, gives way to cynicism, gives way to a feeling of hopelessness.

 

I’m running out of optimism. I know for a fact that everything is not going to be all right.

I would surrender, but to whom? I would retreat, but to where?

 

Nothing constructive or creative will happen until I shake this pall of despondency. I gear up and head out.

 

Even as I approached them my mood begins to lift.

 

The Maples of Kensington. Eight stately giants – so huge, so proud, so magnificently impersonal.

 

These are Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum), the largest of the Maple family perhaps 300 years old, maybe 50 metres high. Being tightly clustered they have developed a narrow crown supported by a trunk free of branches for about half its length.

 

I stand beneath them, I press my palms against their bark, I take a deep breath and listen.

 

And they speak to me.

 

High in their lofty branches the leaves rush and whisper and their sound soothes and reassures. Slowly their benign energy renews my confidence and restores my vitality. The desolation passes, and I feel unburdened, at peace and prepared.

 

 

 

 

Indian Summer

 

The summer had inhaled
And held its breath too long*

 

A strange mood ascends on me as summer slowly draws to an end.

 

The days have a listless quality, time seems suspended. There’s a feeling of deja vu – though not of an experience, rather an emotion, a dream sense, vague and inarticulate.

It’s like a lost memory – tinged with warning.

 

It’s about ending – something good, something sweet and easy. It’s about something approaching – new, different, challenging. The anticipation of change sends a ripple of foreboding, but I feel resigned, accepting.

 

One afternoon I find myself at Trout Lake, the local swimming hole.

 

When I was a kid the entire family would walk here from our home on East 4th. Sometimes I’d go with my neighbourhood buddies. It was a different world then, no structured play dates, we roamed free seeking and finding adventures. Most of these people are gone now, yet standing on the shore I can hear their happy voices, catch glimpses of them splashing into the green water.

 

This lake was witness to many rites of passage and figures prominently in my writing. The beach is small and less crowded than I remember. The raft I nearly drowned trying to swim to is not so far. Could it possibly be sixty years since I swam here?

 

Suddenly I’m enveloped in a sense of longing for a phantom life that almost was, but never will be.

 

I run across the hot sand, splash through the shallows and dive in.

 

The water is cool, slightly murky, exactly as I remember it and for brief seconds it washes the years away. I kick hard, go deeper, then roll over. Up through the depths the sun sparkles, shards of diffused light. I’m eight years old until I break the surface and look back to shore.

 

They’re gone.

 

And I’m still here.

 

 

 

*From Coming Back to Me, written by Marty Balin,
On Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow, 1967

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs

30

 

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Original post:
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MaplesSunFlare_IMG_0108

Tree Therapy

Most days I get ahead of the morning. I’m up and busy with the mindless tasks that paradoxically fill my mind. It’s good to be engaged, interested, anticipating the challenges and rewards of the day unfolding.

Then there are days I awake anxious and for no particular reason. I don’t indulge these moods but despite my best efforts they prevail. I become disconcerted and irritable. Little things seem difficult, difficult things seem insurmountable.

On days like these I’m more keenly aware of intolerance and bigotry, of ignorance. I despair at people’s motives and am appalled by their actions. Frustration gives way to anger, gives way to cynicism, gives way to a feeling of hopelessness.

I’m running out of optimism. I know for a fact that everything is not going to be all right.

I would surrender, but to whom? I would retreat, but to where?

Nothing constructive or creative will happen until I shake this pall of despondency. I gear up and head out.

Even as I approached them my mood begins to lift.

The Maples of Kensington. Eight stately giants – so huge, so proud, so magnificently impersonal.

These are Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum), the largest of the Maple family perhaps 300 years old, maybe 50 metres high. Being tightly clustered they have developed a narrow crown supported by a trunk free of branches for about half its length.

I stand beneath them, I press my palms against their bark, I take a deep breath and listen.

And they speak to me.

High in their lofty branches the leaves rush and whisper and their sound soothes and reassures. Slowly their benign energy renews my confidence and restores my vitality. The desolation passes, and I feel unburdened, at peace and prepared.

 

TroutLakeBeachIMG_0057

Indian Summer

The summer had inhaled
And held its breath too long*

A strange mood ascends on me as summer slowly draws to an end.

The days have a listless quality, time seems suspended. There’s a feeling of deja vu – though not of an experience, rather an emotion, a dream sense, vague and inarticulate.

It’s like a lost memory – tinged with warning.

It’s about ending – something good, something sweet and easy. It’s about something approaching – new, different, challenging. The anticipation of change sends a ripple of foreboding, but I feel resigned, accepting.

One afternoon I find myself at Trout Lake, the local swimming hole.

When I was a kid the entire family would walk here from our home on East 4th. Sometimes I’d go with my neighbourhood buddies. It was a different world then, no structured play dates, we roamed free seeking and finding adventures. Most of these people are gone now, yet standing on the shore I can hear their happy voices, catch glimpses of them splashing into the green water.

This lake was witness to many rites of passage and figures prominently in my writing. The beach is small and less crowded than I remember. The raft I nearly drowned trying to swim to is not so far. Could it possibly be sixty years since I swam here?

Suddenly I’m enveloped in a sense of longing for a phantom life that almost was, but never will be.

I run across the hot sand, splash through the shallows and dive in.

The water is cool, slightly murky, exactly as I remember it and for brief seconds it washes the years away. I kick hard, go deeper, then roll over. Up through the depths the sun sparkles, shards of diffused light. I’m eight years old until I break the surface and look back to shore.

They’re gone.

And I’m still here.

*From Coming Back to Me, written by Marty Balin,
On Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow, 1967

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs

30

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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:
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