Archives for the month of: August, 2015

I’m re-issuing my first novel, Spirit Bear and I need your help on a new cover and title.

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Cover 1 – Cathedral Mountain

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Cover 2 – Renfrew Ravine

Vote for your cover preference and suggest a new title for a chance to win an E-Book edition of

THE BIG PICTURE –
A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic

or FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend

The Re-issue of Spirit Bear

Originally published January 1, 2010, Spirit Bear is being re-issued with a new cover and title December 1, 2015.

The story is a contemporary romance with a sub-plot that addresses an important environmental issue. This novel is a forerunner to the new genre, Eco-Fi and is as relevant today as it was then.
Here’s a brief preview of what the story is about.

What Price Success?

Kimberley James is hoping her new assignment will jumpstart her stalled career with a New York corporate relations firm. Her client wants to develop a mega ski resort in northern Canada. Her job is to convince the current owners of the land to sell. With millions of dollars to be made, it seems like a done deal.
Until she runs up against Jonah Baker.
Baker is part owner of a lodge on the land and an ardent environmentalist. He’s not about to permit a development that threatens ancient rainforests and the habitat of the rare and endangered Spirit Bear for any price.
Kim begrudgingly respects his principles before profit, but cannot allow a tree-hugging, bear-loving zealot to derail her fast track to success.
Jonah admires her determination and worldliness, but will fight to the end to stop a materialistic corporate climber from destroying something rare and unique.Will the mythical, white Spirit Bear survive, and what role will it play in resolving what appear to be irreconcilable differences?

NEW TITLE: Here’s some of the new titles being considered:

The Spirit Bear Sacrifice
The Spirit Bear Savior
Saving Spirit Bear
Spirit Bear – To  Save or Sacrifice?

OR?

Write your title preference below or add your own and submit it for a chance to win an E-Book edition of

THE BIG PICTURE –
A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic

or FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend.

While you’re at it don’t forget to vote for cover #1 or #2

Draw will take place September 30 , 2015

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WindGrassIMG_0225 copyIf you’ve been a writer for any length of time you’ve no doubt read many books that tell you how to write bestselling fiction. You’ve also no doubt been assailed with at least as many marketing experts telling you the best way to market your novel so it will become a bestseller.

I’ve been writing all my life. My first attempt at fiction was e-published in 2010. For five years now I’ve been actively honing my fiction writing and marketing skills in pursuit of ever elusive success. I’ve read a lot of books and investigated a lot of book marketing programs.

Here’s what I know for sure – nothing.

Most what I’ve learned is what doesn’t work. Here’s a few of them:

– social media

– giveaways

– blogs

– free books – as in zero price point

– contests

– email lists

– social media – yes, I know I’ve already mentioned it, but social media deserves to be reinforced because not only does it not sell books, but for the delusional among us (myself included) it’s seductive, addictive, and a huge time waster – time that could be better spent actually writing something worthwhile instead of responding to virtual fans in the internet void.

So how do you become a bestselling author?

You get lucky.

According to Malcom Gladwell in his book Outliers, The Story of Success, success follows a predictable pattern. It’s not the brightest who succeed, nor is it the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf.

Success is bestowed upon those who have been given opportunities – and have the strength and the presence of mind to seize them – plus accidents of time, birth and place matter greatly.

Let me repeat that; success is less about talent and more about opportunity plus it’s greatly influenced by accidents of time, birth and place.

In a word, luck.

There’s no master plan, no formula, it’s all a fluke, pure and simple serendipity.

So, is luck all it takes to be a success?

No, you also have to be prepared so if you do get lucky and get invited to the ball you actually know how to dance.

There’s this little thing about having to do 10,000 hours (ten years) of practice to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert – in anything. According to neurologist Daniel Levitin, “In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, etc., this number comes up again and again.”

Excellence at performing a complex task, like writing a good novel, requires a critical minimum level of practice and that’s all there is to it.

You first must get good, then get lucky.

So if you’re an indie author about to self-publish your first novel and you haven’t logged 10,000 hours of practice your chance at success is negligible, nil, nada.

Worse yet, if by a fluke you do get lucky without being good you’ve likely blown your big chance.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs

30

 

Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH45n8K4BVmT248LBTpfARQ

My new novels, FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend and The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic are available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU and as e-books at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin

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

Visit my publisher’s website for excerpts from, and buy links to my Eco-Fi series ECO-WARRIORS Book 3, Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients http://www.devinedestinies.com/?route=product%2Fauthor&author_id=92

ECO-WARRIORS Books 1 and 2, Spirit Bear and Eagleridge Bluffs respectively, are soon to be re-issued

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

RRCreek_IMG_0167Five years ago when my first novel, Spirit Bear, was accepted by an e-publisher, I was a happy guy. Sure, it wasn’t a traditional publisher, but it was a beginning.

The contract was for three years, included free cover art, a forty percent royalty for sales from the publisher’s site, and a complicated formula for sales by third parties.

It didn’t matter.

Within a year I had two more novels published by them: Eagleridge Bluffs and Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients. The three books comprised the stand-alone series Eco-Warriors, contemporary romances with a sub-plot that addressed important environmental issues.

Sales for these three novels have been at best very disappointing, and at worst non-existent. They’re not great books, but they deserve better.

Like everything in life (at least for me) publishing is complicated. There are a myriad of reasons why a book succeeds or fails. I can’t deal with myriads of anything so I’ve narrowed it down to two elements – success is measured in sales and sales alone, and if I don’t have sales it’s because my books aren’t good enough.

I simply have to believe that an excellent book will find an audience. I still believe this despite mounting evidence it’s just not the case. For example, I’ve discovered three stellar novels: War in a Beautiful Country, The Last Bad Job, and Not Lost for Lookin’ in e-book oblivion – for free.

If these three authors could have their work overlooked, well maybe…

My last two books, Forest – Love, Loss and Legend, and The Big Picture – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic are commercial/literary and so it seemed pointless to list them with a publisher whose site features primarily erotica, fantasy, and genre romance.

Having some expertise in publishing and graphic arts it wasn’t difficult to self-publish. And guess what? My self-published titles are outselling the books on my publisher’s site. Let me rephrase that. My two self-published books are doing no worse than the three on my publisher’s site.

So within a year I’ll have withdrawn these three books from my publisher’s site and will re-issue them as self-published titles.

Will they do better? I don’t know, but here’s what I do know:

– Right now these books are listed for $5.99 on my publisher’s website. According to Amazon and Smashwords the price is too high. As a self-published author I can control the price.

– I can also be more engaged in marketing. With my publisher it was difficult, if not in violation of our agreement, to have sales, giveaways, or other promotions.

– They’ve only agreed to convert one of my books to paperback – Not Wonder More. As an indie author it costs me nothing to have a print version as well as digital one available to my readers.

– they can’t do worse.

Self-publishing is becoming more sophisticated all the time. The ease of use, value added marketing programs, and attractive royalties make it a viable if not preferable option over contracting with an e-publisher.

E-books will continue to flourish, but not, I think, e-publishers.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs

30

Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH45n8K4BVmT248LBTpfARQ

My new novels, FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend and The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic are available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU and as e-books at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin

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

Visit my publisher’s website for excerpts from, and buy links to my Eco-Fi series ECO-WARRIORS, that includes 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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