Dawn - from the From My Front Window SeriesUPDATE

The Big Picture – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic

Sales to date (7 weeks after publishing) = 0

Other numbers show lots of smoke, but no fire.

BookLife has decided not to review my book, “despite the strength of your project”, whatever that means.

I have entered The Big Picture into The Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards and already am experiencing buyer’s remorse for spending the $110 entry fee. Winners will be notified on or before Dec. 31

Amazon sale starts September 5th – price drops to 99¢; then rises to $1.99 on Sept. 8; and back up to the full price of $2.99 on Sept. 12


You can’t kid a kidder

I’ve been a salesman most of my life. I sell advertising for my newspapers. I’m good at it.

What’s this got to do with writing? Nothing specifically, it’s about all those sales pitches I receive everyday about how to be a successful writer and sell my books.

Writing is about the only thing that everyone thinks they can do – without practice or training. “One day I’ll sit down and write my life story, it will be best seller.” “I’ve got an idea for a novel and when I find the time I’ll write it. It will be a blockbuster.”

Business is a bit like that. People think they can cook so they open a restaurant. When they discover there’s a little more to it, that’s where advertising (me) steps in.

Advertising is intangible. It’s trying to find an appropriate message and medium to sell your product, yourself, to make more money, to be a success. See where I’m going with this? Not yet? Hang in there.

To be a successful salesman you have to have a bit of larceny in you, a tiny bit of the con. You learn to spin the positive, skim over the negative, emphasis the dream. At some point the buyer makes that leap of faith, they pay hard cash for a concept they “hope” will return more than the outlay.

Many times I’ve known that the campaign would fail. The product was no good, the price point was to high, the creative didn’t work. But this is what the client wanted and, what the hell, I’d take his money. Better him go broke than me.

The only way to assess if advertising has worked is results. Results are sales, always have been, still are, always will be. If the sales didn’t increase that didn’t stop me from going back to client and trying to sell him again. I have a portfolio of reasons for him to continue spending his money. Let me list some:

– you are building good public relations. People will begin to watch for your next ad and that will be the one they respond to.

– the first ad always comes up short. You have to be persistent (keep spending)

– how do you know that sales would not have been even worse without the ad

– it’s very difficult to figure out who shopped because of the ad and who didn’t

– those three people that came in with the coupon – they’ll tell all their friends about the great experience they had and your sales will grow exponentially.

– if it didn’t work how come everyone is doing it?

Do you see the parallel in what all the pitchmen are telling you about spending your money on that how-to-book, marketing seminar, conference or social media platform that well make your book a best-seller?  Are they bad people? Am I? Do they believe in what they’re selling? Sure they do in as much as if all the stars are aligned what they’re selling might work.

Should I spend money chasing a dream? Definitely. Should I be totally delusional about it? It might be easier, but no, I frankly can’t afford it. So, I try to choose wisely, if that’s possible, and ask to see results in sales not in website hits, retweets, profile views, etc. The only results that matter are sales – always have been, are now, and always will be.

When they try to tell me otherwise I tell them, “You can’t kid a kidder.”


My new novel, The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic is now available on 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. http://devinedestinies.com

Read my current work(s) in progress a 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