Archives for the month of: March, 2016

FlagBlossom_0008 copyI continue to learn and it seems to get easier.

I have to confess this surprises me considering my brain has been, according to most scientific studies, in cognitive decline for nearly seven years now.

Why is learning getting easier or am I just imagining it?

No, it’s true. I actually figured out how to properly number my new novel Abandoned Dreams in a Word Document. And further still, I realized I could line up the front matter on facing pages by opening the menu “Layout” and pulling down “line numbers” and aligning the type by corresponding line numbers.

I think it’s because I’ve more time, which allows me to be more patient, which allows me to make mistakes, and yes, actually learn from them.

There was a time, and not so long ago, that I would be running behind as soon as I woke up. I had no time for mistakes, nor the patience it takes to learn complex new things. Okay, page numbering is maybe not that complex but you get what I’m saying.

This is a round about way of announcing that my new novel, Abandoned Dreams is now available as a paperback as well as e-book at

It actually is better formatted than my previous five novels and has the least errors. I’d like to say no errors, but I know at some later date I’ll be looking at it and for sure I’ll find one – or more.

And if you see any be sure to let me know.

Here’s another thing I’ve learned. On social media nothing is more important than content.

I learned this while trying to find something interesting to tweet to my twenty-seven followers (some are real people). My themes are the environment, writing including literacy programs, author readings, and writing projects, community affairs and events, and photography (mine). If I come up with something original I get more response, which is gratifying but, you guessed it, doesn’t translate into book sales.

So is there a way to get more content than setting up a sight that publishes creative writing? I don’t think so. Writer’s upload their work in hopes of what I’m not sure -some feedback, a connection and it becomes a self-perpetuating thing. Just imagine the numbers of hits, members, whatever, the site’s owners can show advertisers.

The best thing is it’s all free.

Throw in a contest with a small cash prize, a publishing deal (like that’s worth anything in this day of fast and easy self-publishing) and the site lights up.

What I’ve just been describing is Inkitt. These are the people who claim they have a system using “data analysis to determine and predict the success of a novel.” They claim they “are also working together with some of the world’s biggest publishing houses to publish any potential best-sellers we find.”

Considering Inkitt’s claims and after reading a few chapters of some of the stories posted on the site I was more than a bit suspect. What is actually going on here?

Recently they hosted Swoon, a contest for romance novels. Since there was no down side (fee) I entered my novel Loving the Terrorist – Beyond Eagleridge Bluffs as an experiment more than anything else.

The submission deadline was February 23rd. The voting deadline was February 29th.

There were 160 submissions. A novel, Trying to Behave got the most votes at 312. Loving the Terrorist got one vote. I wonder, does this mean I won’t win?

It is now March 22nd and the judges: agent Rebecca Friedman and romance authors Laurelin Paige and Melody Grace have yet to announce the winner.

What happened to the formula, the data analysis that could determine and predict the success of a novel? Why are we waiting for mere mortals to read all these submissions (a task I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy) to come up with a winner?

Meanwhile, Inkitt has launched another contest. The Grand Novel contest deadline is June 7th and already there are 198 entries.

Talk about content.



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Have you ever tried to make sense out of the author rankings and sales ratings on Amazon?

For example, on March 4, 2016 my Author Ranking on Amazon was 1,189,814.

On March 5 Abandoned Dreams was released as an e-book after being available for about three months as a pre-order.

There was one sale and my Author Ranking rose to 791,455, a jump of 398,359 points. My ranking as of this writing is 833,996 and dropping, but still significantly higher than in previous months and all on the strength of one sale.

On February 14th Abandoned Dreams entered Amazon’s system with a sales ranking of 167,189, that’s without a sale. On March 5 with one sale under my belt my ranking had dropped to 1,431,617.

Does any of this make sense to you?

Of course it makes less sense that I care what my ranking is considering there are hundreds of thousands of authors listed on Amazon apparently doing better than me.

While we’re on the subject of making sense, which I seldom do, here’s another enigma.

After giving two books away on Goodreads I noticed 193 people had added Loving the Terrorist (one of the books I gave away) as “want to read”, and 259 people had added Saving Spirit Bear as “want to read”.

That was two months ago and those numbers haven’t changed. Apparently, not one person has read either of my books despite “want(ing) to read” them.

I’m thinking clicking the “want to read” button is equivalent to “friending” and “following”, it signifies nothing.

And despite 1,195 people entering the contest and four actually winning books the number of reviews I’ve received on Goodreads hasn’t increased either.

To add insult to injury this month their Author Newsletter is pitching “one very simple thing you can do on Goodreads that will boost your visibility, engage your followers, and raise awareness of your book.”

The simple thing is to share your favourite books by adding them to your shelf. This will evidently “Give new readers a better understanding of where you came from by sharing what you enjoy.” It will also generate a “news feed update to your followers”.

It seems like a tremendous stretch to think a follower would read one of my books because they were interested in the books, other than my own, I recommend – and that’s not just because I have no followers.

And yet the folks at Goodreads are adamant that this works just as well as “claiming your author profile, running a giveaway, and enabling Ask the Author.”

Since I’ve tried (am currently trying) the other three suggestions and haven’t had any significant results whatsoever forgive me if I take a pass on this latest one.

I’ll be releasing Abandoned Dreams in paperback likely by the end of the month.

I’ll do it without fanfare.

I mean really, what’s the point.


Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.




Video book reviews of self-published authors now at Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews:

Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

My novels, FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend and The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic are available on Amazon and as e-books at

The ECO-WARRIORS series:

Book 1, Saving Spirit Bear – What Price Success?

Book 2, Loving the Terrorist – Beyond Eagleridge Bluffs

Book 3, Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients

are available as e-books an paperbacks at


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:

View my flickr photostream at

Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music







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