Archives for the month of: April, 2016

TulipsHyacinth_IMG_0034Out of the blue came an email inviting me to participate in the third Thursday Self-e Twitter chat focused on international authors in indie and self-publishing.

How come I wasn’t invited to the first two? Never mind, I wouldn’t have participated anyway just as I’m not planning to participate in this one, but I am interested in indie and self-publishing and who and what is SELF-e ?

SELF-e is a discovery platform powered by Library Journal designed to expose self-published ebooks to more readers via the public library, locally or nationwide (that means the US).

Authors whose ebooks are selected by Library Journal for inclusion in SELF-e modules can use a digital badge promoting their inclusion to potential readers who may choose to purchase a copy of the title and/or to purchase other books by that author via retail channels. Ebooks that are not selected by Library Journal will still be accessible to local library patrons via state-specific modules.

Okay, what’s the catch, as in how much are they going to charge?

But wait, there is no cost to participate, and distribution via the SELF-e platform is royalty-free.

What they do ask is if your book is selected you give them a non-exclusive license to make your ebook available to public library patrons via subscribing institutions in the public library market, including subscribing public libraries in your state.

My local library is currently carrying my six novels, which they actually purchased (a thousand thank you’s), but I would have gladly donated them.

Authors and their publishing service providers/future publishers are not restricted in any manner from promoting and selling their ebooks to any market (including the public library market via other vendors).

This information comes off their website which has yet to be updated to let authors know they are now also accepting international titles.

So why is Library Journal doing this?

Forgive me if I’m skeptical but there’s an entire industry of sycophants who’s sole purpose is to rip off vulnerable, delusional, hopeful and yes, stupid new indie authors. Is LJ the exception?

Apparently.

They claim their primary directive is connecting indie books, libraries and readers.

“Libraries are driving a new era of ebook discovery for indie authors and small presses. SELF-e helps develop robust local writing communities and keeps libraries at the center of the indie book movement.”

Well, all can say to that is “hurrah!”, and what took you so long.

Visit their blog http://self-e.libraryjournal.com/blog/to see the latest SELF-e news and events.

Submit your books at self-e.libraryjournal.com

Stay Calm, Be Brave, Watch for the Signs

30

 

Book Giveaway Win a copy of

THE BIG PICTURE, FOREST or ABANDONED DREAMS

Enter at

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway

 

Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

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

 

Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

https://www.pinterest.com/rod_raglin/rod-raglins-reviews-cover-art/

 

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

 

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

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

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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I recently received an email from an indie author bookstore that wants to stock my books.

My response is not elation or gratitude, it’s suspicion.

I think this industry is making me a cynic.

Anyhow…

P.J. Boox  http://pjboox.com/  was started by “award-winning”(?) author and illustrator, Patti Brassard Jefferson in the summer of 2015. Brassard describes herself as a self-published author who released her first book with an indie publisher (how does that work?) and so on and so forth to the end that apparently she can “relate”.

Her store only accepts self-published and indie authors (are these not one and the same?), “as well, micro, small press, vanity and subsidy publishers may submit books. Traditionally published large publishing houses and imprints may not.”

Already I’m having difficulty with the pitch and wondering if Brassard wrote this how she became an award-winning author? I mean is there a difference between micro and small press? Aren’t vanity and subsidy publishers the same thing? Is a traditionally published large publishing house the same as a large publishing house or a traditional publisher? Does the writer know that saying the same thing only using different words is still being redundant?

Anyhow, let’s cut to the chase.

Brassard doesn’t want to stock my books she wants to rent me shelf space in her store.

For $80.00 and a one time set up fee of $18.00, I can rent a shelf that will fit six books max for four months. If they sell your books in the store you get 98 percent royalty. If you want them to sell them online you ante up another $15.00 set up fee and they take twenty percent.

You send them your books and every month they send you the money you earned that month.

So lets crunch some numbers, shall we?

My novel Abandoned Dreams sells for $9.99. I order six to fill the shelf and have CreateSpace ship them to PJ Boox. It costs $26.57

I add the set up charge and the shelf rental of $98.00 plus the cost of the books for a total of 124.57. If I sell all six books at $10.00 = $60.00, less 2%@ $1.20 = $58.80 net. I’m in the hole $65.77.

What about if I sell more than double that, say 13 books at $10.00 = $130.00, less 2% @$2.40 = $127.60, but printing and shipping has just jumped to $49.07, so I’m still in the red $46.04.

My brain’s getting tired but suffice to say I would need to sell about 20 books in four months to break even and just a few less in the next four month cycle to pay the shelf rental considering the setup fee is waived. I fare even worse with books sold online by PJ Boox.

Will a bookstore in a strip mall in Fort Myers, Florida sell more books (a lot more) for me than Amazon considering they have my books available in all major English speaking countries in the world.

So let’s sum up shall we? Taking advantage of the offer presented by PJ Boox means more hassle and less profit plus grinding my teeth every time I have to think, say or write that ridiculous name.

Sure I want to see my books in a bookstore, but I’m waiting until they pay me rather then the other way around.

Stay Calm, Be Brave, Watch for the Signs

 

30


Book Giveaway Win a copy of

THE BIG PICTURE, FOREST or ABANDONED DREAMS

Enter at

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway

 

 

Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

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

 

Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

https://www.pinterest.com/rod_raglin/rod-raglins-reviews-cover-art/

 

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

 

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

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

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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My first novel was published six years ago followed by five more with the most current one, Abandoned Dreams, released in March, 2016.

Over that period of time I’ve had a total of about thirty reviews – that’s for all books combined, non-duplicated. They’ve appeared and can actually be read on:

Amazon    http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

Goodreads   https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4603345.Rod_Raglin

LibraryThing  https://www.librarything.com/search.php?search=rod+raglin 

I’ve had a few other reviews on personal blogs, and there may even be more out there I’m not aware of.

I confess I actually paid for three, but never again. Despite the assurances from paid for review sites that the fee does not guarantee a positive review I can’t reconcile this practice with my own conscience.

So how does an indie author get honest reviews since reviews apparently sell books?

I say apparently because I don’t know otherwise. My experience has been a few reviews equal a few sales. Would a whole bunch of reviews translate into a whole bunch of sales? I can’t say for sure because…well, you figure it out.

As a journalist I was trained to not to assume anything and take nothing for granted. I strongly urge other indie authors to do the same. As far as unsubstantiated and exaggerated claims the charlatans in the writing/publishing industry rank right up there with those affiliated with miracle cures and get rich internet scams.

But I digress. How does an indie author get honest reviews?

I’ve tried book giveaways on sites like Booklikes http://booklikes.com/  LibraryThing, Goodreads and StoryCartel. I’ve sent hundreds of free e-books attached to personalized e-mails. I keep an up-to-date website, tweet everyday and even blog, as you are no doubt aware, though I have yet to establish any link between the last three “soft sells” and book sales, unless after reading this you decide to buy one of my books and post a review (let me know if you do).

Media reviews or other established review outlets like Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal seem reluctant to review your book unless it’s successful(?) or at least traditionally published.

In desperation I checked out a site called The Indie View http://www.theindieview.com/indie-reviewers/

If you’re inclined to read and subsequently write reviews of the work of independent authors you’re invited to add your name to their list, which is quite substantial.

If you’re an author and fishing for reviews the site provides you with the name of the reviewer, their website, their preferences, guidelines, where they post their reviews and the date this information was last refreshed.

Keeping all this in mind I sent about a dozen review requests with an e-book of Abandoned Dreams a little over two weeks ago. So far nothing.

However, here are some interesting things I discovered.

A least twenty-five percent of the reviewers listed are closed for reviews due to a backlog. I take that as not a good sign.

Quite a few reviewers state they will not post a review of a work they cannot rate as at least three stars. I imagine they do this out of consideration, however misguided, thinking a bad review can pull down an author’s average rating.

Depending on why you write, you may be of the opinion, as I am, there is no such thing as a bad review. First and foremost I want to become a better writer – money and fame, well, I’ll accept those too – if you insist. Critical reviews, especially those that are specific, point out where I’ve let the reader down and allow me to consider how to improve in those areas.

If you’re in this game for ego, if you some how think you can fool all the readers all the time than I can understand that a bad review really sucks.

But not for me.

If someone hated my book, well, that’s okay. I’m just glad they read it and took the time to review it.

Stay Calm, Be Brave, Watch for the Signs.

30

 

 

Book Giveaway Win a copy of

THE BIG PICTURE, FOREST or ABANDONED DREAMS

Enter at

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway


Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

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

Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

https://www.pinterest.com/rod_raglin/rod-raglins-reviews-cover-art/

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

 

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

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

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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I’ve finished the first draft of The Local Rag.

It’s now resting for about three months or until I’ve got it out of my system. Then I’ll do another rewrite and send it to my beta readers. They’ll come back to me in about six weeks with lots of errors and some incites.

This is my seventh novel. Why, you might ask, did I write this book when the previous six have cost me more in postage and delivery than I’ve made in royalties?

So more for myself than for you, let me review the reasons I write:

• I write because it’s fun. If you need me to explain fun, well, I’m sorry for you.

• I write because I learn stuff. All my novels are about something I want to learn more about. As the story unfolds I’m doing research and learning right along with my characters.

• I write because I hope to share my views about issues that are important to me – I’m still hoping to.

The Local Rag is about journalism, the media, publishing, and the truth.

My career in journalism, mostly as publisher and editor of my own community newspapers, has spanned nearly forty years. I’ve seen lots of changes but none so disconcerting as what I see today. I set out to learn more about the concentration of media ownership, the decline of print and the rise of online news outlets, and the role of citizen journalism (also known as public, participatory, democratic, guerrilla or street journalism) and how it affects the legitimacy of our news.

I learned a lot.

I’m sharing what I learned in the context of a novel that also includes friendship, small business, politics, murder, crime and corruption.

Have I missed anything?

Why don’t you tell me? There are never enough beta readers.

Three months from now I’ll be sending out the manuscript to beta readers. At that time the manuscript will be quite polished, but by my eyes only. I’m looking for my beta readers to find plot glitches, inconsistencies, typos, spelling mistakes – anything and everything that will make The Local Rag a better read and error free.

All beta readers are acknowledged in the front matter of the book and get a paperback edition free.

Interested? E-mail me at rod_raglin@yahoo.com

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

30

Book Giveaway – Win a copy of

THE BIG PICTURE, FOREST or ABANDONED DREAMS

Enter at

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway

 

Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

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

 

Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

https://www.pinterest.com/rod_raglin/rod-raglins-reviews-cover-art/

 

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

 

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

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

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

 

 

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Big Picture by Rod Raglin

The Big Picture

by Rod Raglin

Giveaway ends April 30, 2016.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24456462

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Abandoned Dreams by Rod Raglin

Abandoned Dreams

by Rod Raglin

Giveaway ends April 30, 2016.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29616205

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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