Archives for the month of: July, 2014

DaisyClusterBlog_0083 copy copyTwo weeks into my career as an “indie author” and I’ve had zero sales.

On the bright side, things can only get better – you think?

I spent the first few days after publication updating information and posting The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic on Amazon’s Authorcentral, Shelfari, Goodreads, BookLikes, and the LibraryThing. I find navigating through these sites frustrating and time consuming. I’m not even sure what the goal is – having your book listed on all these sites amounts to little more than having your book listed on all these sites.

Perhaps I’d have more success if I got “friendly” – joined groups and discussions though I’m not sure what the conversation would be about other than how your book is not selling and do you know any more stupid sites to post it on?

Something is wrong here, but until I can figure out what exactly it is I’ll continue with the status quo, which ironically, has gotten me no where with my previous books.

As you can tell, it hasn’t been a good couple of weeks

Next, I sought out opportunities to have The BIG PICTURE reviewed. There’s a bunch of sites that claim they specialize in reviewing books by self-published authors. They break down into three categories:

– those who were giving free reviews but were apparently overwhelmed and have either closed for reviews altogether or until sometime in the undisclosed, distant future.

– those who said sure we’ll review your book but if you want it reviewed quickly it will cost you – anywhere from $25 to $100. Otherwise, we’ll see what we can do, but no promises.

– those who said don’t talk to us until we see your money.

I went ahead and submitted review copies to three sites that seemed the most legitimate:

booksandpals.blogspot.com/

https://readersfavorite.com/

booklife.com

Booklife is Publishers Weekly indie site. They put you through an involved registration that even includes a self-evaluation quiz to see if you’re actually ready to self-publish. Guess what, you’re not, but if you pay to subscribe to any one or all of their programs they can help you get there.

I’m thinking a review from any of these sites is about as likely as my novel becoming a best-seller. Hey, we can only hope.

In groping around the internet I discovered a woman who had started an author’s review group on Goodreads. The moderator froze the group with 56 authors signing on, all willing to submit free books, and 5 people applying to read them. Which is just another indication of how likely one is to get that elusive review.

I then posted the first chapter on Wattpad. I’m not sure if I’m in violation of the exclusivity agreement but so far no Amazon police have come to my door, wiped out my account, or froze my computer. I posted the second chapter on July 24th. So I far I’ve recorded 26 reads.

I also tried to upload excerpts from my new novel on Bublish only to be informed that my current (free) account does not allow me to add another book. I either have to upgrade for $199 or delete an existing book. I chose to delete a book. Bublish is fun, but it doesn’t appear to be driving any sales for me, but then nothing is.

One book wasn’t enough evidently, so I deleted two. I was still getting the same message so I decided to “submit a ticket” and ask what was going on rather than delete my last book.

Bublish emailed me back and said they were looking into it. They added;

We are a marketing tool that an author uses to effectively reach, engage, and grow their audience. We believe that the tools we have created make that process easy and fun for authors. As you know, it takes time and consistency to grow an audience and that with a growth in audience size and a valuable product, sales do increase.”

The problem with all these “aids to authors” is they lack verifiable results. Without seeing any sales just how much time and money are you supposed to spend in an attempt to “grow an audience”? I thought book sales came first and an audience came after people read your book and liked it. I still do. First comes the “valuable product”, then the audience grows.

Bublish suggested a conference on Skype. I suggested we forget it, I’ll use Twitter for free, which I have been, everyday, tweeting about my new novel into the digital void.

It’s not that I wouldn’t be prepared to pay money for a program or service that could resuscitate my moribund writing career. I really don’t care to be compensated for the time spent writing my books, but I’ll be damned if I’ll go in the hole to market them.

The only bright spot in the last week week is that my personal website has clocked 138 visits. Since I’m obviously not a successful writer or (take my word for it) a popular guy, I’m attributing this increase as response to photo assignments I’ve posted on Flickr and Red Bubble.

Or, could it be, since I’ve been doing a fair bit of political agitation for my community and environmental causes, that my enemies are checking me out?

Now that would be interesting, and, I might say, a much needed distraction.

 

My new novel, The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic is now availableon Amazon at http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00LTXGD58

 

Visit my publisher’s website for excerpts from, and buy links to, my three novels, Spirit Bear, Eagleridge Bluffs, and Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients. Now all three books in the ECO-WARRIOR series available for $8.99

http://devinedestinies.com

 

Read my current work(s) in progress at

http://wattpad.com/RodRaglin

 

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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Layout 1On July 14, 2014, I self-published The Big Picture, a 76,000 word, literary/commercial novel.

I used Kindle Direct Publishing because it seemed to give me the best exposure, the policy and procedures (formatting) were relatively easy, and it was free in return for 90-day exclusivity agreement to sell and distribute the book as they see fit.

Amazon is responsible for about a third of global book sales so they must know something, right?

All others viable avenues had been pretty much exhausted or turned out to be dead ends.

This could probably (likely) mean that the book is no good, but over the last six months I’ve done a lot of research including reading quite a few independently published (self-published) books and I’ve come to the conclusion that The Big Picture though not as good as some, is better than most.

Hubris? We’ll find out.

Over the next year I will report monthly on the progress of the novel, what promotion I’ve done, what the results have been and provide an update on the number of copies sold. Unlike a zillion other authors/marketers that want you to buy this kind of information online or in book form, you can share my experience for free.

Does free equate to no value? The jury is still out on that one but you can decide from the results I achieve.

What do I expect? Here’s where we could use a benchmark.

Back in 2010 my ECO-WARRIOR series; Spirit Bear, Eagleridge Bluffs and Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients were accepted and published as e-books by Devine Destinies.

The sales results for being on their list for four years are as follows:

Spirit Bear -55 copies sold; Eagleridge Bluffs – 9 copies sold; Not Wonder More – 4 copies sold. Royalties to date $79.97

I could rationalize these results any number of ways but suffice to say I don’t have to set the bar too high to achieve better results.

The Big Picture is now available on Amazon now at

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LTXGD58

I’m a “if it don’t sell, it ain’t good” kind of guy so this could turn out to be a humbling experience.

 

 

Visit my publisher’s website for excerpts from, and buy links to, my three novels, Spirit Bear, Eagleridge Bluffs, and Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients.

http://devinedestinies.com

 

Read my current work(s) in progress at

http://wattpad.com/RodRaglin

 

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

 

 

 

misty trail copy copyWriting is sedentary. Sure, you get up to refill your coffee, but while your mind is doing jumping jacks, vigorously working out, your body is desk-bound, inactive, stationary.

The only muscles you’re using are flexors, abuctors and opponens – the muscle group in your hands and fingers, and then only if you’re on a roll. Sometimes I’m so inert I could be in a coma, maybe I am in a coma.

Why is it so exhausting?

When I’m in the company of my muse I write until she abandons me. That could be several hours after which my shoulders and neck are stiff, my back is giving me hell, even my knees ache.

The solution? Go for a run.

I’m not one of those runners decked out in spandex and primary colors. Neither do I travel to the popular haunts of runners. I simply pull on some shorts, a t-shirt and running shoes and head out from my home.

From the time I step out my door my workout has begun.

In the beginning there is pain. There is frustration. There is the specter of old age and futileness of trying to deny or delay it. But the act of running soon takes care of that. You have to be alert. I live in a big city full of inattentive drivers and uneven sidewalks. I run despite the weather, day or night. All this must be considered and adapted to, there’s no opportunity to reflect on my inadequacy as a writer, the irrationality of the undertaking, or how unlikely the chances of success.

Soon I’ve hit a rhythm. I settle into a pace, my breathing moderates and gradually, without even knowing it, the pain, the frustration, the anxiety all slips away. I’m in the moment, immediate and alive, moving through time and space and like osmosis absorbing and feeding off the experience.

I run in back lanes. They are so much more interesting than the façade of front yards. It’s here, at this time of year, I take advantage of summer’s bounty. Anything that grows on, hangs over, or is reachable from public property is fair game. Raspberries, plums, and my favorite, the ubiquitous blackberry nourish and renew my energy.

I run for about an hour. At some point during this period I’ll experience an intense feeling of wellbeing. Along the way I’ve shed frustration and disappointment, sweated out anxiety and taken on renewed purpose. I feel connected. I am happy.

I return home energized and optimistic. For a while everything is possible.

And then I go for another run.

 

Visit my publisher’s website for excerpts from, and buy links to, my three novels, Spirit Bear, Eagleridge Bluffs, and Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients. ALL THREE BOOKS – THE ECO-WARRIOR SERIES NOW JUST $8.99

http://devinedestinies.com

 

Read my current work(s) in progress at

http://wattpad.com/RodRaglin

 

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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