Archives for the month of: November, 2016

maples_img_0018-2Back on November 16, 2016 I had an email from David O’Brien, the founder of Authors.me https://www.authors.me

Authors.me call their site, “The platform that connects writers, agents and publishers to find manuscripts, manage submissions and get books published.”

I imagine anyone who has uploaded work unto their site got the same email. Here’s what it said:

“We have a lot of major publishers and media companies looking at doing business with us. Every one of them has asked us, “What do your writers say about the service?” Well, I am writing to ask you to put together some honest writer quotes for a presentation I am making.

Here are the categories in my presentation under which I will need a quote. Please feel free to fill in one or more of the categories with your personal quotes (not someone else’s). Just type your quote into the space provided below and reply back to me. Be creative and succinct. I will be grateful.

INSPIRE (How AUTHORS.me inspires  you)

ENGAGE  (Your experience working the platform, i.e., easy, hard, comprehensive, etc.)

LIBERATE  (Frees you up to be yourself )

EMPOWER  (How it makes you feel more like a professional writer)

LOVE  (Why you love using AUTHORS.me )

I would also like to hear your thoughts on the new layout. Please note we are not done polishing it, but would still love to hear from you.

Thanks again for being a part of the AUTHORS.me family.

Respectfully,

David O’Brien

Founder, AUTHORS.me

david@authors.me

I have four of my novels uploaded to this site.

Initially, my understanding was agents and publishers would log on and be able to quickly see if anything caught their interest. Evidently, none of my novels did. I’ve had no action whatsoever.

After I received this email I checked my work on the site again and I see that Authors.me have found “matches” – a publisher or agent who is looking for a novel similar to mine.

Well, that’s encouraging.

A quick check and it becomes apparent this is not quite the case. Take for example, my novel Loving the Terrorist – a contemporary romance with subplot that addresses an important environmental issue (eco-fi).

Fifteen matches yield the following:

– 2 sites where “the page does not exist”, ebooks2go, Library Tales

– 2 sites that are without a doubt pay for play – called hybrid but are nothing more than vanity press. BookLogix and Lift Bridge Publishing

– 2 sites that are duplicated equaling four sites. Grand Central/Forever Yours and SkyhorseX2 – and by the way, Skyhorse is not accepting romantic fiction.

– which also goes for Lamar University Press – not accepting genre fiction

– Bound , is a company that claims “we deliver stories in an easy-to-engage format that combines prose fiction, stunning visuals, and dramatic audio.” Huh?

Sixty percent actually don’t match, don’t even exist or want me to pay to publish my book. Of the others, they’re accepting “adult romantic fiction”, not specifically my novel.

I sent these findings to David because he said said he’d love to hear from me and it would be rude not to respond to someone who considers me “part of the family”.

Just for the hell of it I hit the submit button on five “matches” that seemed legitimate. According to the tracking window of the site my work has been declined by one agent. Only one publisher has sent me an email to acknowledge that they received my submission.

So there you have it – no inspiration, no liberation, no empowerment, no love – and I might add, no respect.

Did I say no response? But then isn’t that just like family.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs

30

Find reviews, blurbs and buy links to my seven novels and two plays at

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

Facebook for writing news, my experience as a writer as well as promotions, contests, giveaways and discounts regarding his books

https://www.facebook.com/Rod-Raglin-337865049886964/

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/

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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The LOCAL RAG

All Jim Mitchell wants to do is publish an honest newspaper – and not get killed for doing it.

ENTER TO WIN 1 OF 200 LOCAL RAG E-BOOKS AT

https://www.librarything.com/er/giveaway/list

http://booklikes.com/giveaways/show/2367/the-local-rag-rod-raglin

AND 1 OF 2 LOCAL RAG PAPERBACKS AT

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/209419-the-local-rag

The LOCAL RAG (E-book) is FREE ON AMAZON

One Day Only NOVEMBER 28, 2016 go to

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

Here’s what the reader reviews are saying…

★★★★★ “A very well written media/poltical thriller book. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns and a huge set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great political thriller movie, or better yet a mini TV series. A very easy rating of 5 stars.”

★★★★★”…an engrossing and exciting story that moves quickly. The narrative comes alive because the characters are three dimensional. This is a novel well worth reading. Highly recommended.”

★★★★★ “Interesting plot, fast-moving story, well-developed characters. Not only well presented but also very realistic. A whole range of characters, with all their good and bad sides. Many twists and turns, not always with a happy ending. Rod Raglin is definitely good at writing and gripping the readers’ attention from the very first page. He managed to put so many levels in this book – corruption, drugs, murder, threats, politics. Yet, there is also place for love and friendship. He not only presents his story, he challenges his readers to get actively involved, to start asking questions and reconsidering their own life decisions.”

abandoneddreamstwittercover

How I came to write my sixth novel, Abandoned Dreams

Son or daughter, sibling, spouse, parent, employee, employer – these are just some of the roles we have either been born into, had bestowed upon by us by others or have even sought out for ourselves.

But do these roles, these facades really represent the person we are – our hopes, dreams, fears, and insecurities. In accepting these roles are we masking our real personalities – intentionally or otherwise.

Sometimes roles are thrust upon us because of circumstances or our own mistaken actions.

When I was eighteen my best friend got his girlfriend pregnant. Today you would say my best friend and his girlfriend got pregnant, but back then it was different. Quickly, and not necessarily of his own choosing he took on the roles of husband and father.

This is a theme that has haunted me for a long time and one I took on in my sixth novel Abandoned Dreams. Here’s the story:

At twenty-seven years-old, George Fairweather is “the voice of his generation”, a poet whose talent has garnered him accolades from the literary establishment and homage from the disenfranchised “hippie” youth of the late 1960’s.

George is the embodiment of the times with his long hair, rebellious attitude and regular use of mind-expanding psychedelic drugs.

Then the sudden and tragic death of Fallon, his friend, his muse and his lover shatters his world, his sanity and nearly ends his life.

Katherine is the one person who stands between George and destruction. A hanger-on, a groupie, a go-for, she’s a woman George never considered – for anything. Katherine idolizes George and makes it her personal mission to keep him alive, doing whatever it takes, twenty-four seven.

Because of Katherine’s sacrifice and devotion George slowly begins to mend his soul and rebuild a life. But guilt and gratitude make it a much different life then he’d previously led.

Thirty-seven years later, George Fairweather is a husband, father and grandfather and a successful copywriter at an advertising agency. Another death, his wife Katherine’s, is about to change his life again.

Can dreams be resurrected? Can a life abandoned be taken up again?

Will they let him? Is it worth it?

I wanted a challenge with novel. I wanted to stretch myself as a writer. Because of the nature of plot I decided that the narrative would almost entirely be told by people other than the protagonist, George Fairweather. I wanted George to be an enigma. Different characters would see him differently depending on the role they cast him in – father, grandfather, lover, friend.

In the end, his true personality would emerge – or not. I wasn’t sure.

I wanted to present a scene and then have different characters interact and reflect on it in their own voice. To achieve this I needed to develop deep character profiles apart from the novel.

The characters I created were complex and multi-dimensional as well as being different ages and genders and having different motivations.

Then I outlined the plot, dropped them in and hung on.

Abandoned Dreams apparently didn’t wake anyone up. It has garnered less response than any of my previous books – and that’s saying something.

 Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

30

 

Visit my Amazon Author Page for a list of my complete works, reviews and buy links at

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

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This is my seventh novel, you’d think I should know something about launching one by now. Right?

Because I write this blog and facilitate creative writing circles I continue to read books and participate in webinars on book marketing hoping there’ll be something new I can pass on.

There isn’t.

There’s stats, graphs, media mixes and the occasional ridiculous suggestions like:

– include the title of all your books in the header photo of your various social media sites, and

– post photos of five covers of your books on your Facebook opening page – bottom left column below your intro.

As if this preaching to the converted (since they’re already on your site) will make a difference.

Currently, the Holy Grail of social media marketeers is “the e-mail list”.

Building the email list should be the primary objective of authors and this is done through giveaways, signups for your newsletter and any other way you can get a person to divulge their email address.

Then, if done right – right timing, content and frequency, these lists can apparently be mined for gold.

Without exception these social media marketeers, authors and webinar presenters all have their own marketing company and will be happy to further enlighten you with an online course or program (for a fee).

Armed with the experience of six previous launches and now buoyed with all this new(?) marketing information I set forth on October 1, 2016 to launch my seventh novel, The LOCAL RAG.

The first thing I did was to enroll my book in Kindle Scout, Amazon’s “reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.

https://kindlescout.amazon.com

There’s a forty-five day exclusive agreement stating you’re not selling your book while it’s part of the contest.

In essence this is an electronic slush pile, but it’s free and easy though it provides little indication if your book is popular since, like most internet polls, it can be easily skewed by nominees who rabidly recruit votes from everyone they’ve ever come in contact with.

Then I sent an email with a free Advance Reading Copy e-book.

For the first time I used MailChimp. They offer a free service for lists less than two thousand subscribers. I have two hundred and thirty-five emails from people who at one time or another expressed and interest in my writing. MailChimp is worth investigating and certainly beats sending individual emails.

https://www.mailchimp.com

I enrolled the e-book edition of The LOCAL RAG in Kindle Select. For a ninety day exclusive Kindle Select offers me greater royalties, wider distribution, participation in Kindle Owner’s Lending Library and the opportunity to offer my book free on Amazon for five days during that period. I chose five individual free days more or less spaced equally apart.

I’ve used this program for some launches and not for others. The results have been the same – zero.

https://kdp.amazon.com/select?ref_=kdp_BS_TN_se

By the end of the month I had sent out two follow-up emails urging people to vote for The LOCAL RAG on Kindle Scout and read and review my book.

Once the Kindle Scout promotion had expired (results pending but not holding my breath) I scheduled a giveaway from November 7th to December 4th on Goodreads for two paperback books, and on BookLikes and LibraryThing for the same duration for one hundred ebooks each.

http://goodreads.com/

http://booklikes.com/

http://librarything.com/

I set up a pre-order on Smashwords for January 7, 2017, ninety days out and once my commitment to Kindle Select is over. I’ll likely offer it for free for a couple of weeks just for exposure. Smashwords is another non-starter, but what the hell.

https://www.smashwords.com/

I’ve joined four Goodreads groups and will endeavor to engage in meaningful and civil discussions during the next three months as well. Social media gurus insist joining and participating in online groups will increase sales – at least indirectly. This by far is the most difficult and time consuming part of the launch.

My goal is to get at least ten reviews and sell at least fifty books within six months of the launch.

With about one month down I’ve so far received three reviews (all five stars) and no sales.

I’ll keep you posted.

 

Stay calm, be brave watch for the signs.

 

30

 

Find reviews, blurbs and buy links to my seven novels and two plays at

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

Facebook for writing news, my experience as a writer as well as promotions, contests, giveaways and discounts regarding his books

https://www.facebook.com/Rod-Raglin-337865049886964/

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/

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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