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The Rocker and the Bird Girl (RBG) is a novella I wrote on Inkitt, more as an experiment than a serious piece of writing. I wanted to see if I wrote something YA oriented if it would generate for me any of the response this site boasts about. I’d have been happy with comments and criticism, but wouldn’t have turned down a publishing deal.

Here’s the blurb for the story.

If someone called Mattie a bird brain she’d take it as a compliment. She loves birds, has spent her entire twenty years surrounded by them and believes they are more intelligent, loving and loyal than, well, most anything else in this world.

Mattie’s grandfather spent all his retirement, time and funds, establishing a sanctuary for homeless, imported, exotic birds.

Now granddad was gone and so was the money to support the sanctuary. In her desperate search for funding to keep the refuge open Mattie had read that lead guitarist and lyricist Bodine, of the notorious rock band, Seditious, owned a Macaw as a pet.

The guy was obviously fabulously wealthy. Maybe he’d like to spend some of that money saving these beautiful, precious creatures instead of on drugs and expensive toys?

He wasn’t answering her emails so she guessed she’d have to try to get his attention at the Seditious concert that was coming to town. She’d never been to a rock concert and wasn’t looking forward to it, but desperate times called for desperate measures.

***

Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll have taken their toll on Bodine, lead guitarist and songwriter for Seditious, the chart topping, outrageous rock band. He’s just playing the part until something better comes along. The problem is what’s better than being a rich and famous rock idol? Certainly not helping some over zealous young woman save exotic birds, even if his best friend is a Blue and Gold Macaw.

I’d knock off a chapter about once every three days and upload it to the site then promote it on Twitter and Facebook. I kind of got caught up with the characters and the plot and before I knew it they were having their way with me.

Once completed, it’s a novella, only 20,000 words, I left it up for awhile but had become too attached to it to let it languish among all the dreck. Besides after four months it had received no comments or criticisms and accumulated only about two hundred and fifty reads and eleven downloads. I’m not sure what that means in terms of success on Inkitt, but it was obvious to me nothing was happening.

And so, more or less to keep my hand in, and as an offering to my ART members (Advance Reading Team) I’ve self-published it and even have some ideas about developing it into a series. It was fun, easy to write and I got to addressed some issues.

You can become an ART member and receive a free copy of The Rocker and the Bird Girl by clicking this link http://eepurl.com/cj5wjj

I’m seriously considering turning RBG into a series. Apparently, novellas are very popular (easily read on your cell phone during a commute), and the characters and story ideas are still resonating with me.

All the while I’m still waiting for a traditional publisher to pickup East Van Saturday Night – four short stories and a novella. So far not a peep, one way or another.

When it came to self-publishing the e-book edition of RBG I went with Smashwords and Kindle Direct (Amazon) and this time added Draft2Digital (D2D), more so I could pass along the experience to you and the participants of my workshops and creative writing circles since D2D has limited distribution which is more than duplicated by the coverage Smashwords offers.

If you think making it even easier to self-publish is a good thing (I’m not sure it is) than you’ll love Draft2Digital (D2D). I found uploading my manuscript along with the pertinent details extremely user friendly. They’ll even provide front and back matter for your e-book from the information you provide.

However, after uploading RBG I received an error message via email from D2D. My book was blocked from being distributed because I inadvertently hit the public domain button when uploading my file. I followed the instructions, went back and made the correction – nothing changed. My book was still blocked.

I sent an email message explaining my dilemma on June 1. Two days later after receiving no response I tried to de-list my book. It wouldn’t go away. I then decided to reload my book making sure to not hit the public domain button and bingo it went through and got distributed.

Now two listings for The Rocker and the Bird Girl appear on my D2D dashboard – one blocked and one published.

Compare this to Amazon’s Create Space and Kindle Direct who always resolve my issues within twenty-four hours.

Three things I didn’t bother with in this launch were Kindle Select, Kindle Scout, and Smashwords Pre-order. These highly touted services have generated nothing whatsoever  in response for me.

My email list continues generate response and I’m getting quite creative with MailChimp about using  free copies to increase the membership, like using Instafreebie’s one month free introductory offer. Make sure you click the option to have Instafreebie members “opt in” by giving up their email address for a free book.

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

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Websites links to sites referenced in this blog.

Link to become an ART member http://eepurl.com/cj5wjj

Draft2Digital http://draft2digital.com/

Inkitt http://inkitt.com/

Instafreebie https://www.instafreebie.com/

Mail Chimp https://mailchimp.com/

Smashwords http://smashwords.com/

Kindle Direct https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/

Create Space http://createspace.com/

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

 

FOREST-EbookFrontPageMy latest novel, FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend, is now available on Amazon as an e-book.

I’m also giving away a limited number of the digital edition on BookLikes, http://booklikes.com/giveaways/show/1520/forest-love-loss-legend-rod-raglin from my website http://www.rodraglin.com and from this blog – just send me an email at rod_raglin@yahoo.com and I’ll send it to you in epub or mobi format.

I’ve just spent all day updating the various sites with the information about the new novel so if you want to know what it’s about click on one of the addresses at the end of this blog.

From my book page, and with a little ingenuity, you can register and establish an account to publicize your own books if you think it’s worthwhile. These sites are all free as in they don’t cost anything and deliver results accordingly.

I have to tell you, it’s a lot easier if you’ve done it before. I’m, of course, talking about self-publishing. If the success of a book is how well it’s written than the success of self-publishing it is how well the original manuscript is formatted. Adhere to the KISS principle, follow directions, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and reach out frequently to those helpful people in Mumbai.

Once you’ve done it, you’ll begin to wonder what an agent or publisher can offer you (at a price) that you can’t do yourself for just an investment of time. I’m not talking about Random House or some high powered, well-connected agent, since neither will give you the time of day, but rather those obscure publishers that are little more than a website, and

all those twenty-something, perky MFA grads.

The last publisher I sent a manuscript to said they would reply within three weeks. Four months later I got an email that asked if I was still looking for a publisher? Why not, I replied. That was a month ago.

The same goes for agents, one of whom asked if I’d consider rewriting the first five chapters of my previous book. I actually took her advice and made the changes and it greatly improved my previous novel The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic.

I resubmitted it to her personally, even followed up, and nothing.

I mean, who are these people?

I have no “writing” goals for 2015, no expectations, nothing that I am aspiring to. That kind of stuff is for the ambitious – the constantly connected, impossibly busy young(er) people. I get tired just watching them. No, I’m not satisfied, never will be, but I’m not going to sweat it.

I wrote this poem a few years ago. At the time I didn’t understand it. Now I think I do, or at least am beginning to. I entitled it, The Widower, not that I am, but in the sense that it is about moving on, stripping down, running clean, leaving behind. About discovering there is no goal, no success, no real purpose, it’s just the experience.

And it’s a mess, but you gotta love it.

Whew. I know I’m going to reread this and be embarrassed, but what the hell.

Here’s those websites and below them the poem.

http://www.amazon.com/FOREST-Love-Legend-Rod-Raglin-ebook/dp/B00SO4L080

http://booklikes.com/forest-love-loss-legend-rod-raglin/book,13016476

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24677977-forest—love-loss-legend

http://www.librarything.com/work/15678365/book/115749295

The Widower

He is not now,

nor has he ever been

the person you think

you know.

What you see is

a complex compromise of demons, dreams, desires,

the blunted spear of passion, the dull edge of intellect,

an over-talked argument, the last guest

at a weary gathering.

Extraneous stuff slips away,

the affairs of friends hold little interest

and the lack of things in common

make conversation the killer

to his preferred silence.

The focus has narrowed, the journey closes,

the lack of purpose becomes

defined.

He’s going out there now

to slough off conventions,

become what wind, sun and rain would have him be –

beyond different.

He’s taking with him

something vague and inarticulate,

less than a memory, tinged with warning.

He’ll travel with no expectations

only to be

uncomplicated, uncompromised,

unknown.

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My new novels, FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend and The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic (now in paperback) are available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

Read Reviews https://readersfavorite.com:book-review:39014

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://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

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