Archives for the month of: December, 2014

ToldTreeOrnament_07Anticlimactic.

That’s the feeling I had when I held my first-ever published “book”. It ranked right up there with New Year’s Eve.

And it got worse.

I’m referring to the proof copy of my new novel The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic, sent to me from Createspace, the traditional publishing arm of Amazon.

I chose stock cover art from the Createspace library and it was dreadful, as was the typography on the back cover. The book itself was nice – good stock, well bound, very professional.

When I began to proof read I was dismayed at how many typos and dropped words there were. This after numerous rewrites and at least two comprehensive “proofings” by myself and one by Ann Kirk, a generous and very thorough person who volunteers as my beta reader.

Apparently, it is far easier, at least for me, to pickup these errors in traditional book form than on the computer.

I also became aware of inconsistencies throughout the manuscript. Sometimes “but” was proceeded by a comma, other times not. Sometimes I used single quotes for emphasis, sometimes I used double quotes.

In addition to these obvious errors, I was disappointed in the writing.

Paragraphs of description or imagery I was particularly proud of now seemed ostentatious or smacked of author intrusion. Many neither developed character nor advanced the plot and needed to be cut or at least edited.

Some sentences seemed awkward and unnatural. It was evident I was trying too hard to use an active voice instead of a passive one, and to show rather than tell.

At times the plot seemed clumsy and convoluted.

I painstakingly corrected all the errors I could find and that had been pointed out, and rewrote such passages as was possible without having to undertake a major manuscript revision.

I scrapped the stock cover and designed my own and, though not exactly what I would have liked, the graphic was at least identifiable and somewhat representative of the story within. I reset the typography on the back cover so it flowed properly and was readable.

I uploaded these revisions to the e-book edition as well as to the book format.

I now await notification from Amazon that The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic, is available for sale to the public in book form.

Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients, will also be available in book form from my publisher in the near future.

I have spent a good deal of time this past year promoting on the internet. Here are two new sites I’ve incorporated in my book promotions you might find helpful in your quest:

Google Books

http://books.google.com/googlebooks/partners/index.html

Booklife

http://booklife.com/

Millions of people have access to my books on Amazon, Goodreads, Booklife, BookLikes, Google Books and likely a few more I’ve forgotten about it.

I’ve promoted here, and on Bublish, and Twitter exhaustively.

I’ve had some very favorable reviews.

I appear to be doing what “the experts” say you must do.

However, The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic, has still to record its first sale after five months. Sales of my other books are so low as to not make the “cut” this quarter for royalty payments.

In face of this predicament I’ve reviewed the reasons I write fiction; for enjoyment, for edification, and to influence my readers(?) with my view on issues – not for money and not for fame.

I’m still good with this and so see no reason to reconsider.

I will continue to write, but I’ve decided in 2015 to not waste my energy seeking ways to actively market my books. I mean, really, why bother?

I’ll contribute to this blog for my own sanity and update and maintain the sites I have. I will not spend money. I will not waste time. I will not get frustrated.

I will very likely not be successful.

I will, however,  be more content.

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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

Read Reviews https://readersfavorite.com:book-review:39014

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://www.devinedestinies.com/?route=product%2Fauthor&author_id=92

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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BacklitMaple111114_53 copyTo date I have sent approximately 150 personal emails with a file of my book, The Big Picture – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic attached. These are to readers who have received free copies of at least one of my other novels through giveaways on BookLikes and StoryCartel. The last of these emails was sent about a month ago. To date I have received two reviews. At least both of them have been good.

In a desperate effort to get something happening for my new novel I enlisted the services of Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews (RFBR).

Originally, I had posted all four of my novels with them for a free review. After three months and no response I figured my books were not among the 65% of free review requests selected. I opted for the $129 – 3 Express Reviews Package that features:

– Three different reviews and critiques of your book.

– 3 guaranteed reviews by 3 different reviewers completed and posted in 2-3 weeks.

– 3 months of advertising in our Featured Book rotator.

– Reviews posted on Barnes & Noble, Google Books, Facebook, Google+, Twitter & Pinterest.

– Reviews displayed on your Readers’ Favorite review page.

You can also post the review on your Amazon author page in your Editorial Reviews section.

The BIG PICTURE received two five star and one four star review. I was not impressed with the quality of the reviews but they were high marks and made for flattering quotes.

A week later my novel SPIRIT BEAR was reviewed for free and it got three stars. You can draw your own conclusions here, but I’m going to have to assume paid reviews don’t get higher ratings. I mean you got to believe some people associated with this industry have integrity – don’t you?

For more information on Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews go to http://www.readersfavorite.com

To read the reviews on The BIG PICTURE go to

https://www.readersfavorite.com/book-review/39014

RFBR said they’d post my reviews on Google Books so I registered there and, yes indeed, here is another opportunity to list your book. Go to http://www.books.google.com

I continue to Tweet even the most inconsequential developments. Twitter analysis shows this is yet another futile endeavor. Take for example the month of November: on an average my tweets earned 64 impressions a day, but so what? The engagement rate was 1.2%; link clicks 3; retweets 0; favourites 0.

Has any of this – the free books, the paid for positive reviews, the social media, made a difference.

So far, no.

After four and a half months The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic still has zero sales as an e-book despite a few flattering editorial and reader reviews.

Still I persevere. The book format is now in final proofing stages and will soon be released with Amazon’s Createspace.

With the interest in the new genre Environmental Fiction (Eco-Fiction or Eco-Fi), my publisher is now moving ahead and my novel Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients, book three in the stand-alone ECO-WARRIOR SERIES, will soon be available in book form as well.

Likely by the end of the year I’ll have two books available in print.

How do I feel at this point? Here’s a quote attributed to best-selling author, Lee Child, that sums it up:

“It’s a kind of zen question: if you write a book and no one reads it, is it really a book?”

I don’t know, is it?

30

 

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

Read Reviews https://www.readersfavorite.com:book-review:39014

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://www.devinedestinies.com/?route=product%2Fauthor&author_id=92

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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