Category Archives: publishing

Evaluating the Moment

After running a second free-book promotion on Snow Babies, things look as bleak as ever for my publishing goals. It started well. Seven books ordered on the first day tied the best I had ever done on a give-away. But the second day saw a new record set with only one additional order. The three days after that… nothing. I can’t even give my books away for free. If you are reading this today and want to help, click on the link above. You understand e-books. You would be helping me out even if you never read it.

But, I have no illusions. My book is good enough to make a splash if people read it, but nobody will for a variety of reasons. People who knew me growing up in Iowa would be happy to read and support me if the message could get through. But my contact with them is limited by Facebook and its algorithms. Facebook will connect any political post to those on my friends-list who will argue with me and call me a socialist libtard cuck, but even family members don’t get notified of any post that is even remotely like an ad for one of my books. I try to post that kind of thing on friends’ pages, or direct message them, and Facebook steps in to call me a spammer. It is entirely a matter of me trying to advertise without paying any ad money to the greedy bahstidds of Facebook’s data-collection empire. (And yes, I know I misspelled the word about illegitimate birthings.)

My book ads fell on mostly deaf ears (or, rather, blind eyes) on Twitter as well. The #WritingCommunity is supportive, but they are all writers like me, dedicated to getting their own books read and loved. I know that many of them see a free-book ad like mine and think, “Ah, one more hack novelist’s hack novel that takes forever to read, and if I read it, they will never read mine in return.” I know they generally think this because I have slogged through some poorly written Indie novels and left a positive review, and got not even a thank you in return. Of course, nobody there actually knows anybody else. And, like me, they can’t afford to spend money on other people’s books. Although, like me also, they do now and again find books they can’t resist and spend money they can’t afford on those. Those authors won’t read my books either though. (Except for Ted. Ted Bun reads and loves my books as often as I read and love his.)

I will continue to slog through. I will continue to write and read what others wrote. I will continue to labor at this marketing-waste-of-time-formality thing. And I will continue to be depressed about the results. Besides, how else am I to proceed? Great writers are supposed to die alone in poverty and addiction, with no friends and no money. How can I pass up a reward like that?

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Filed under novel, Paffooney, publishing, rants, self pity

Promoting Novels

Three times now I have run a promotion with my best novels (available through Amazon) and have had limited results. But I am trying again for Christmas. While most everybody I advertised to on Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress thanked me for the link, only a handful actually went to the trouble of visiting Amazon and clicking on the free e-book. Some of my Iowegian friends probably weren’t clear on the idea of e-books, especially if they didn’t personally own a Kindle or an I-pad. But I have discovered the promotion is worth doing. The first time involved Snow Babies. I went on Twitter and sent links to writer friends hoping for a hit or two. Apparently only one person got the e-book for free and went on to read it, but she loved the book, told me it should be a classic of YA Literature, and gave it a five-star review.

My second book promotion, for Recipes for Gingerbread Children, did about the same tepid amount of free-book clicks for probably the same reasons. Although you can plainly see it may not have been wise to allow some of the reviewers from the fairy world to have a say in the promotion of this book. Fairies are not wild about having their existence outed, and Iowegians and Texicans don’t really appreciate it when you use irony for stuff.

Still, because it had two nudist characters in it, I also advertised it on https://www.clothesfreelife.com/, and so it got interest from the group of naturist writers who frequent that site. A gentleman by the name of Ted Bun got a copy and reviewed it with a five-star review even though it isn’t really a book about nudism. (Yes, I know some kinds of fairies prefer not to wear clothes, but they don’t count as nudists because they are not human.)

Still, it’s a five-star review by a fellow writer, someone whose books are also very well worth reading. https://www.amazon.com/Ted-Bun/e/B01BVG6NVQ?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1575829016&sr=8-1

This past November I was able to promote another of my favorite books, Sing Sad Songs, with another Amazon free promotion.

It generated the same tepid response, even though it was free, but it got another five-star review. It was Ted again, but I have come to value his opinions looking at others of his reviews online and on https://www.goodreads.com/ . So, I have had a total of five five-star reviews on books I have written, all but one by fellow authors. Three of them came about by doing these book promotions. I only have five-star reviews on any of my books that have been reviewed. So, that’s good, right?

What does it mean? Well, nudists really seem to like my books. And nobody who read any of my books and hated it, hated it enough to write a review. And other writers of other novels seem to recognize something they really like about my work.

So, unless Amazon changes their minds about letting me use Snow Babies as a Christmas promotion, I will try again this coming week. Maybe I can get nudists to like that book too, even though there is no nudism in it… only a very cold and deadly blizzard.

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Filed under humor, novel, novel plans, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, publishing

Marketing is My Bane

It’s a good book. It is themed with an interesting idea about hopes and dreams, happiness and sorrow, and life and death. I believe people will like it if they try reading it. In fact, it could become popular if people would allow themselves to fall in love with it and promote it by word of mouth.

The problem is, of course, that even though I am a good writer and storyteller, I suck at marketing.

Seriously, I worked with editors on Catch a Falling Star who had experience with major publishing houses. They told me that my book was competent and better than a lot of very successful novels that were not written with the skill that mine was. The problem that I ran into was how expensive that method was and how little help they actually gave me with the marketing part that was theoretically supposed to make the money back. The professional editing was worth the money. The marketing investment was not.

Amazon and KDP is a free publishing service, but it is almost not worth the price either.

It comes with the stigma of being an Indie writer, so, by definition, a hack who is not very good at writing. There are literally millions of books self-published by people just like me that go a long way towards validating that assumption. So, skill at writing is something to be proven through the actual written product, which is really hard to do if nobody is willing to read your book.

Every review I have gotten on my books so far is a five-star review. Of course, that means little when there are so few reviews. All the reviewers could simply be over-enthusiastic author-likers. And the trolls and the harsh critics haven’t taken their stabs yet.

So, I am stuck trying to brainstorm promotional strategies that I am well enough and financially sound enough to carry out. And all of those my stormy brained has lightning-bolted out so far have been failures. I don’t know how to break through the ice sheet to be noticed. And not even global warming seems to be helping. Ah, well… que sera sera… what will be will be.

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Filed under feeling sorry for myself, novel writing, Paffooney, publishing

My 12 Books

Yep, I have now finished writing and publishing twelve books. I have reached a dozen. And the fascinating thing to me about my stories is that, even though they are pure fiction, they are about my life, especially my inner creative life.

All of the books have a connection to my home town. Rowan, Iowa, is portrayed in the books as Norwall (Rowan with the letters remixed and two L’s added for Love and Laughter). The two science fiction books are connected not so much by place as by characters. Stardusters and Space Lizards begins with aliens and humans fleeing the failed invasion of Earth from the site of the defeat with Norwall residents now a part of the alien space-ship crew. AeroQuest 1 has an ancestral connection through Orben Wallace, The Bicycle-Wheel Genius. His descendant is Googol Marou, the story-teller of the AeroQuest saga.

So, here’s a picture of the 12 books in time order (more or less).

And just to make matters a bit clearer, here’s the time-ordered books with approximate times indicated;

I do have more novels to write if I am given enough time and life to do them, but they will be fit into this timeline after 1974 C.E. and before 5541 C.E. That’s only a space of about 3,400 years to fill, so I will have to work hard to squeeze it all in.

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Filed under autobiography, humor, novel plans, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, publishing

Two at One Blow

I hold in my hands now, the first two printed paperbacks of my two 2019 novels… AeroQuest 1 : Stars and Stones, and When the Captain Came Calling. Both novels were not actually written in 2019, but both were finished and published this year.

Both are available on Amazon.

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The Good News

This, for me, has been a very difficult and bad week. But I will have to tell you about that in the future post after I find the funny parts hidden in the suffering. The good news for today is that I got the book I have been rewriting published.

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Impending Publishment

By the end of this week I will republish my rewritten novel AeroQuest as part one of a trilogy, or possible quadrilogy, or even, maybe, a quintology.

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