Produce your own Theatre – Free Scripts and Production rights

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This time of year is when theatre groups, big and small, amateur and professional, experimental or conventional unveil their new season.

I love live theatre. I was even a member of the Vancouver Playwrights Theatre Centre and under their mentorship wrote two plays.

One of the biggest thrills I ever experienced was to have professional actors perform a reading of my one-act play, Harry’s Truth. It was truly mind-blowing to witness other people interpreting my work in ways I never imagined while still staying true to the script.

To celebrate live theatre I’m offering the scripts of Harry’s Truth and End of the Rope free until December 31, 2017 to any individual, drama class, amateur or professional theatre group to read, workshop or produce. Here’s what one reviewer had to say about Harry’s Truth.

“You show the interactions between the five of them and let us have a glance at everybody’s past. A lot gets revealed in every scene. I like the detailed stage instructions and the symbolism in the last scene. One can read Harry’s Truth as if it were a short story. I’d really like to see this play on a stage someday…”

Often theatre groups are inhibited by the price of mounting a production. I will sign off on all production rights during that period and also authorize you to reproduce the copies of the script.

If you send me an email I’ll forward the website address and the coupon codes so you can download your free e-book scripts of Harry’s Truth and End of the Rope.

rod_raglin@yahoo.com

As the reviewer I quoted pointed out, these plays also make entertaining reading even if you’re not a theatre buff.

If anyone would like to take advantage of this offer I’d love to be involved as a script consultant or in any other aspect (no, I won’t pay to produce the production). Who knows maybe I’ll even come and see it.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

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Website:   http://www.rodraglin/com

Amazon Author Page:   https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00SD6LEU

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

 

 

 

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The launch of The Local Rag

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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.

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friends and family not an asset for this writer

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When it comes to my writing and friends and family I’ve established clear boundaries. Here they are:

– I don’t talk about my writing even if asked. Those enquiring are usually only doing so to be polite and aren’t really interested. In any case, listening to someone talk about their writing is profoundly boring – even for me and I’m a writer.

– I don’t solicit reviews or ratings from them. I try to avoid even the faintest hint of conflict of interest in the support and criticisms I get.

– I very rarely give them my books. If they’re interested they can buy one.

I once went to a birthday party  where a friend’s partner had rented a gallery and had a show professionally mounted of her paintings. Needless to say, most of those attending bought some of her art. She was thrilled.

This to me is not a measure of artistic merit. I didn’t buy anything,  in fact, I was surprised and not a little offended. This was hardly better than  a Tupperware party.

I don’t want to be that person.  I don’t want to take advantage of my friends and family. I don’t want to demean myself and my work.

The independent publishing industry is rife with nepotism, gimmicks, and chicanery – all geared toward reaching bestseller status. I don’t care if I’m a bestseller, but I do want to become a better writer. I think these practices prevent that from happening by creating a false sense of accomplishment.

You think you’re good, but your not. You’re delusional.

I don’t know if this stand has hurt my sales or not. If it has it hasn’t been significant because I’m just not that popular – with friends or family.

I’ve also developed guidelines for social media.

I don’t solicit followers on Twitter, don’t “friend” people on Facebook, and don’t appeal to viewers to “like” or “subscribe” to my YouTube channel.

I do encourage comments and criticisms which I faithfully respond to and hopefully learn something from.

Amazingly, some people chose to follow me which is gratifying because it definitely is not reciprocated.

I had one expert tell me “social media is not for you”. Really? Maybe just not her kind of social media, the kind where friends and followers are little more than meaningless numbers and bare no resemblance of reality.

I still believe a social media following can be built by someone who has something interesting and original to say regardless of whether he’s a friend, follower or subscriber.

Later this month I’ll be waiting with Linus in the pumpkin patch.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs

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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

 

 

 

 

 

I’m happy for your success, Tim Grahl. That’s right. Happy.

Ruby Red Horse Chestnut Tree in bloomTim Grahl

Book Marketing Legend

Internet Marketing Pioneer

Out:think Group
Dear Tim,

First, let me thank you for sending me your emails and allowing me to download your Book Launch Crash Course. I‘ve never subscribed to any of your programs, but I find the emails informative and have even used some of your ideas.

You asked me to take a minute and give you a bit of feedback so here it is– I’m afraid it’s a bit more than a bit and strays off topic – a bit.

I love writing and I don’t care too much about sales. This is a good thing considering how poor the sales of my books are. That probably makes me not an ideal candidate for your marketing strategies and most of what I’m going to say is probably just so much nonsense to a guy like you.

I was keen when you were sending emails about “facing (your) fears and moving right into uncomfortable territory” promoting your book Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book [Kindle Edition]”. Let me just say, since I don’t want you to feel bad, I never considered subscribing to your service, but the “fears” and “uncomfortable territory” intrigued me.

It was when it appeared you’d fall short of selling 10,000 copies in one year and you slashed the price and “begged” (well, that’s what it sounded like to me) your followers/friends/strangers/do-gooders/anybody receiving your emails to buy your book so you could attain your personal goal that you lost me.

Quite remarkably, you made it sound as if they were “begging” to help you and you, albeit very reluctantly, were “going to accept (their) kind offers to help”. Even now as I write this the spin you put on that desperate entreaty leaves me feeling uncomfortable.

But I guess that’s the difference between you and me, you might say between success and failure. You’re the guy who’s prepared to achieve success by whatever means necessary, and I’m, well, I’m not.

I want writing to be my one true thing and I’m just not willing to sacrifice my integrity for sales. If that sounds self-righteous let me say I realize integrity is subjective so this is my integrity we’re talking about.

I won’t guilt my family and friends into rating or buying my books, I won’t go online and beg for sales, I won’t let my personal ambition make me “insufferable” to the person most important to me.

Delusional maybe, but not insufferable.

I’m happy for your success, Tim, that’s right. Happy.

I’m happy for the other author’s you’ve helped achieve success, though I wonder, have there not been any failures? No? It’s a wonder then why you have to keep sending out all these solicitations and aren’t like, you know, overbooked by soon-to-be bestselling authors.

Anyhow, keep sending me your stuff and, as long as it’s free I’ll keep considering it and poaching any good ideas that come along.

Thanks and good luck with your new program Launch a Bestseller.

Rod

P.S. I’ve mentioned your book, your crash course and your new program and I thought you were the one who’s supposed to be “relentlessly helpful”.

P.P.S. This took more than one minute.

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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

Story Cartel – paying to give away your books

sandyhill morning copy copyYou spend two years honing a manuscript to publishing-perfect and then you have to pay someone to give it away free. And you say you want to be a novelist?

Three months ago I uploaded my novels Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients, Spirit Bear and Eagleridge Bluffs to the Story Cartel site (all relevant links are posted at the end of the blog).

All books on Story Cartel are completely free for readers to download. The hope is a reader will return this gift from the author by leaving an honest review of the book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and blogs. The reviews help authors market their books and gives them valuable feedback to improve their writing.

I like this type of concept because you’re judged on the writing not on your ability to sustain artificial on-line relationships. This does not prevent some authors manipulating the process, but that’s not me – ever.

It cost $30 to upload a book, a one time expenditure and not unreasonable. But first I had to convert my Word doc manuscript to e-pub and mobli format. This turned out to be relatively easy with a free program I downloaded called Calibre. Along with the actual book and cover file I provided a log line, book blurb and a bit of a bio.

It took about three weeks before the books went live. Then the covers appeared on the site with a pop-up log-line. More details were available by clicking on the cover. It looked slick. I was guardedly optimistic.

Story Cartel launches last four weeks, three weeks where the book is available on the site and one extra week for readers to leave their reviews.

Story Cartel provides seven launch tips to maximize response:

1. Prepare your audience that your books are going to be free via Story Cartel. Which is odd advice since I don’t have an audience. If I did I wouldn’t be paying to use this site or giving away my books.

2. Share on social media daily. So I put my book on this site and then I have to promote the site so “my audience” will know where to download my book – for free. If I have to do all the marketing I could have offered my books for free from say BookLikes and saved myself $90. Fool me once…

3. Put and announcement on my blog. Ditto my response to points one and two.

4. E-mail my fans. Ditto my response to points one, two and three.

5. Run an ad. It’s not enough I give my books away free, I have to pay for an ad to tell people?

6. Send an email announcing only one day left. I can do that, who do I send it to? Oh yeah, my non-existent audience and fans.

7. Advertise with Story Cartel. For an additional $125 I can get a Newsletter listing, for $225 they’ll do some social media sharing. Okay, now I see where we’re going with this and what I’ve gotten into.

By the end of the giveaway thirty-one people have downloaded fifty-seven copies of my books. During the course of the promotion I sent every one of them a personal email asking them to please post a review. I did the same at the end of the promotion.

In hindsight, my most notable field of vision, it was a mistake to put up all three books at once. I may have had more reviews if I had limited the choice.

I got one response – for Spirit Bear. In a well consider and articulate article, the reviewer trashed the book.

Story Cartel provided me the email of everyone that downloaded my books. I now have a list of thirty-one names, of which only one had the integrity to fulfill the commitment of free book for an honest review. Ironically, she hates my work.

The only positive thing to come out of this experience is the knowledge I gleaned regarding converting a Word manuscript into a digital file. This will come in handy for my next novel, The Big Picture, which will likely be self-publish since no agents or publishers seem to be interested in it.

Will I be offering it free? Initially, yes, but I won’t be adding insult to injury by paying someone to do it for me.

Free – does it equate to no value?

 

Story Cartel  storycartel.com

Calibre   calibre-ebook.com/download

BookLikes  booklikes.com

 

 

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://devinedestinies.com

 

Read my current work(s) in progress at

http://www.wattpad.com/story/10733158-forest-primeval

 

Read ”Bubble” excerpts of my novels at

http://bublish.com/bubble/view/2872/RodRaglin

http://bublish.com/bubble/view/2873/Rod-Raglin

http://bublish.com/bubble/view/2609/Rod-Raglin

 

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