Archives for posts with tag: East Van Saturday Night
East Van Saturday – four short stories and a novella, has just been sent out to three more Canadian publishers.
The process began in November of last year when I decided that self-publishing another work (currently I’ve self-published eight novels and two plays) wasn’t going to achieve what I wanted.
What do I want?
Critical, serious consideration for my writing and you’re not likely going to receive that as an self-published author.
Why? Because it’s now dead easy to self-publish and guess what, everybody’s doing it. In 2015 alone, 625,327 ISBN numbers were issued for individual indie books.
In the past six months I’ve submitted to five publishers. If you think sending out submissions is easy, well, I guess it depends on what you’re comparing it to.
– publishers are obsessively specific about how your manuscript should be presented: what font style, what type size, margin widths, headers, etc.
– part of the submission package is to explain why you think your work is a good fit for them,
– you must provide details on how you’re prepared to market your book,
– in most cases they will not accept simultaneous or multiple submissions,
– they don’t let you know they received your submission,
– you are under no circumstances allowed to contact them in any way,
– they don’t let you know if they reject your work, they’ll just shred it, using “a secure process”.
Okay, so it’s not that difficult, it’s just extremely annoying to have to deal with their arrogance – and that’s without ever having the opportunity to speak with any of them.
To make it even more galling, in 2014-15 these guys (and gals) received $30 million dollars in Canadian government subsidies – that’s my tax money.
And what exactly do they do for this money now that all the services: editing, cover design, production, marketing and distribution can be done by the author or purchased from experts relatively inexpensively?
One thing.
They’re the gatekeepers to literary acceptance. If you’re an indie author you’re a joke, if your traditionally published you’re accepted by the literati.
Not that I’ll make any more money. Emerging authors are lucky to receive a fifteen percent royalty on traditionally published books.
So here we go again.
East Van Saturday Night – four short stories and a novella, is to some degree autobiographical and impart to the reader why you can take the boy out of East Van, but you’ll never take East Van out of the boy.
Though the stories are all set in East Vancouver (with the exception of Hitchhike, which is a cross Canada misadventure during the “summer of love”), the themes have universal appeal and the music, the fashions and the culture are distinctly familiar to “boomers”.
Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs
Amazon Author Page


So how was your year in writing? Mine was, as always, interesting though not commercially successful.

I’ll list my publishing credits for 2016 at the end of this blog that way you can skip them if you like.

I’d rather talk about what worked and more often what didn’t. I want to tell you what I learned and how I feel about it. Perhaps by the end of this accounting a way to move forward will become evident – a more positive, less frustrating one.

To complete and self publish two novels, as well as resurrecting and self-publishing two plays means, if nothing else, that I’ve been busy. I’ve also tried to keep up to date with the latest trends in the industry including the new publishing platforms and book marketing techniques.

After the launch of The Local Rag in October, I once again revisited that dark place, the one where I feel the only way I’ll achieve publishing success is by divine intervention and how likely is that for someone as undeserving as me?

I had used every iota of publishing savvy I had gleaned from a myriad of sources and, though more successful than previous launches, it came up short – way short.

To continue what I was doing and expecting a different result, well, that’s a definition of insanity, or at least severe delusion.

The only thing I had yet to attempt that is highly touted by the book marketing gurus is the internet connection – becoming chummy with groups of writers and readers online. The theory is if you’re sincere and share something of yourself a relationship will bloom and from relationships evolve all good things, right? Anyhow,  you get the picture.

What did I have to lose? Say again, what did I have to lose?

Nothing. All, right maybe dignity, but how bad could it be?

Goodreads is a big proponent of the benefit of participating in groups. I joined three; two were dead and the few active members of the one that was functioning were so ostentatious I couldn’t stand it.

Internet group snobs – who’d have known.

I registered with Amazon’s Write on, “a place for all the people who make great writing happen. Here, you can get support and provide feedback at every stage of the creative process.

Very quickly it becomes apparent this site is populated primarily by new writers – very new writers, many whom have no desire to go further. They write their stories, post them on the site and receive positive, if specious, comments that feed their delusion.

Go deeper into the site and there are some very toxic groups – interesting but not illuminating.

Then there’s Wattpad and Inkitt.

Both these sites are primarily populated by teenagers – seriously. However, moving forward with the “what have I got to lose” attitude I decided to participate.

I began writing a story for the target audience just to see what kind of response I’d get. It’s actually been fun, submitting chapters and seeing how many hits you get – not many. Here’s the link to The Rocker and the Bird Girl.

I also contributed mini reviews for a number of works posted on Inkitt. It’s safe to say very few writers on this site understand the basic structure of a story – though some have been less hostile than others in regards to learning about it.

This sojourn into internet socialization has been exhausting and fruitless. My time is better spent trying to sustain my Advance Reading Team e-mail list which seems to diminish with every campaign I send out – a disturbing trend.

You can help bolster it by signing up if you like and get free e-books, discounts and interesting links to other writing stuff from time to time. Click here to sign up.

In 2017 I’ll focus on East Van Saturday Night – four short stories and a novella, currently being considered by a traditional publisher, and re-releasing under my own name Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients, the third book in the Eco-Warrior Series, when my publisher finally relinquishes the rights.

I currently have two works in progress that are introducing me to fascinating characters including an asexual politician, a passionate ornithology student and a ass-kicking rock guitarist who studied at Juilliard. I’m learning new things and visiting exotic places.

And they say a writer’s life is lonely.

Achievements (?) in 2016

Self-published Abandoned Dreams (March 22)

Resurrected and self-published two plays, Harry’s Truth (July 15) and End of The Rope (August 16)

Self-published The Local Rag (October 8)

Read and reviewed 12 books

Wrote and posted 34 blogs


Stay Calm, Be Brave, Watch for the Signs



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The byzantine behavior of author services sites continues to intrigue and repulse.

Intrigue because of creative ways they come up with to be disingenuous; repluse because they take advantage, both emotionally and financially, of the newly naive and eternally hopeful.

These services can provide manuscript assessment, developmental editing (?) formatting, design, distribution book launch, marketing, PR, social media management – in other words they can do everything for a price except guarantee the success they insinuate or imply.

What’s disconcerting is many of these services are unnecessary and those that are necessary can be accomplished by the author at no charge except in time and patience.

I suppose when you’re chasing a dream, time and patience are not something you’re considering and that’s too bad, because that’s what these services are counting on.

I recently investigated one such service to see what they could offer by way of book distribution.

Not surprising it was less than what I have achieved through my own initiatives and with the considerable assistance of Amazon, Smashwords and Google.

For their distribution service they were asking a ninety-nine dollar membership fee and fifteen percent of royalties from sales generated from Amazon and any other sites. This for something any author can plug into free.

I can understand why these services might intrigue a new, self-published author. Why not to let someone else do the publishing and distribution while they focus on writing best sellers. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely the new author will sell enough books to recover his costs, which to me has always been like adding insult to injury.

Giveaways generate little meaningful response

While we’re on the topic – that being insult to injury, let’s revisit Goodreads site that claims 40,000 of their members enter giveaway contests everyday.

For the month of April I ran a giveaway for one paperback edition of my novels Abandoned Dreams, The Big Picture and Forest. Here’s the results

Abandoned Dreams: 422 requests, 160 added it “to read”

The Big Picture: 381 requests, 129 added it “to read”

Forest: 437 requests, 171 added it “to read”

At the time of writing this, 923 people “want to read” at least one of the six books I have on Goodreads and yet I’m still stuck at twenty-four reviews since March 2016. These people are awfully slow readers. I’m still hopeful that at least the people who won the books will review them.

I gave away forty-six e-books of Forest on LibraryThing month as well but at least it didn’t cost me anything.

New multiple query site draws a blank

Despite claiming to be “the easiest, smartest and most rewarding way for writers, agents and publishers to connect” has yet to make a connection for my books after being on their site a month now.

Inkitt’s offer so simple it’s suspicious

Inkitt in my in-box asking if I was “Interested in having your novel in the spotlight.”

The email went on to say, “We’re featuring six of your novels in upcoming editions of Inkitt’s newsletter to help promote your work and recommend some great summer reads!”

All I have to do is “Send a 200-character catchy teaser and the link to your story”.

The loglines have been sent and I’ll let you know what happens since I’ve only uploaded one of my novels to their site.

The Local Rag up next

My new novel, The Local Rag, a story about what it’s like to be the publisher and editor of a community newspaper in these changing times, of which I know a fair bit, was completed April 9 and is now resting. I plan to resurrect it mid-July for rewrites, beta readers and formatting. The plot also includes infidelity, murder and drug smuggling for good measure.

WIP East Van Saturday Night – anthology of short storys plus a novella

I’m currently doing a rewrite of Hitchhike, a 30,000 word novella and part of a book that includes an additional five short stories. The stories all have the same main character and are a chronological accounting of major life events from the age of five to nineteen. The title of this compilation is East Van Saturday Night, taken from one of the stories.

Stay Calm, Be Brave, Watch for the Signs




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