Category Archives: publishing

…In Place of Earning Royalties

Some writers make tons of money for sharing their made-up fantasy worlds. Steven King, JK Rowlings, and James Patterson have made it to the limelight where few authors ever stand. Some of us get by on smaller rewards.

Me, I intend to give myself some grins by sending a copy of my book Snow Babies to a girl who was in my class in grade school, and I may have had a huge crush on her at some point in that past. And because of me being a lazy writer, this post consists mostly of the letter I am sending with the book.

Dear Valerie,

Remember me?  I have lived more of my life in Texas now than I did in Iowa, but my heart is still living in Iowa.  The part of me that turns into fiction books has always been an Iowan.  You are probably wondering why I am sending you a copy of this book.  Well, to be honest, I owe it to you.  You are the person out of everyone I have ever known that the main character is named after.  This is not a best seller and may never make much money.  But this copy represents the share of this book that I owe to you.

If you are worried that I am writing stories about you, don’t be.  The character of Valerie Clarke is based on a student that I taught for two school years.  She did remind me of you in some minor ways.  But the girl in this book is really based on the story of Sofia’s girlhood as I came to know about it.  I would like to tell you a little bit about her.

Sofie was, just like the character in the book, short a parent.  It was a struggle for her to be the cheerful, aggressively positive girl that she was.  She was in my largest class of seventh graders when she was 13, a rather rowdy group of mostly Hispanic kids.  She loved almost every story we read in class.  She enjoyed every group activity and task we did in class, often leading the group she was in, and even sometimes disciplining misbehavior that I hadn’t called the student out for, simply because she felt they should be appreciating my class more.

By the time she was an eighth grader, she had developed a large crush on me.  The year before I married my wife, she actually asked me to wait for her to grow up and marry her instead.  It wasn’t the kind of love that gets a teacher fired and put in prison.  Really, she was looking at me as the father-figure she needed in her life.  Telling you that fact reveals which character in the story actually most resembles me, if you decide you actually want to read this book.

The book is a comedy about a blizzard.  But like any good comedy, it will try to make you love characters enough that parts of it will make you cry as much it makes you laugh.  It is a book I submitted to the 2014 YA Novel contest called the Rosetti Award Competition from Chaunticleer Reviews.  It didn’t win, but it was a finalist. So there is some reason to believe it is not a bad book.

Of all the people I feel compelled to share this book with, your name is at the top of the list.  Partly because I borrowed your name to write it with.  But also, because of the fact that Valerie in the book, and in other books I have written about her, is often known as, “The most beautiful girl ever born in Norwall (Rowan), Iowa.” It was something the boys in the Rowan school said about you in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades.  I don’t know if I am telling you something you didn’t already know or not, but it explains your connection to this story.  And why I felt the need to give you a copy of this book.

Read it if you want.  Share it, if you want.  Use it to put a voodoo curse on me if that’s what you want.  But I hope you enjoy it and understand that you do have some part in the fact that it now exists. 

With heartfelt gratitude,

Michael

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

Promos with Paffoonies

A Paffooney used in the act of promoting Snow Babies this week.

This week, April 1st through 5th, I created a promotion in which my novel Snow Babies is available for free in e-book format. This is supposed to put the book out there and make people want to read it. I hope I can learn how to use this promotional thingie better than I have for the first time.

I tried to get people to buy it by putting out ads like this, self-created, that had a link to the purchase page on Amazon.

Here’s the link for this post; https://www.amazon.com/Snow-Babies-Michael-Beyer-ebook/dp/B077PMQ4YF/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_2?keywords=michael+beyer+books+snow+babies&qid=1554391562&s=gateway&sr=8-2-fkmrnull

It looks better on Twitter or Facebook than it does here.

I posted it daily on Facebook, Twitter, here on WordPress, and through individual emails and direct messages. So far this week, I have given away four free copies and sold three paperbacks. The paperbacks were bought by me, two of them to give away to specific people, and one that my sister bought before I could send her one. I also intend to send one as a surprise to the girl from my grade school class that the main character on the cover is named after. I am hoping that she and her daughters and granddaughters will read it and love it rather than burn it.

I made a connection over Twitter with Prince Hamdan Mohammed of Saudi Arabia over it, a surprise to me to say the least, though I have no reason to believe that he even accepted the free copy of my book.

But that’s the sum of my promotional results it seems. I may have earned $5 in royalties this week. I may have bargained for one positive review. I have a Saudi Prince for a pen-pal. And my literary work will probably remain in obscurity until long after I am dead, if it even splashes then.

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Love Potion Number Nine

I now hold in my hands my author’s copy of Sing Sad Songs, my ninth young adult novel. It is a romantic tragedy filled with love and death, magic, clowns, and angels. It is meant to make you laugh, cry, and fall in love. It is not the first novel in my hometown series, but it is one of the best.

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Published Once More…

So, I have done it again. I published novel number nine. The first for 2019.

Here is the Amazon link;

https://www.amazon.com/Sing-Sad-Songs-Michael-Beyer/dp/1796471526/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1549816993&sr=8-1&keywords=michael+beyer+books+sing

Sing Sad Songs Amazon blurb;

Francois is now an orphan. He was in the car with his mother and father and twin sister when it went over the edge of the cliff, but somehow he survived. The only survivor. And even worse news, his only living relatives able to take him in live in Iowa in the United States, not in France, the only home he has ever known. So, what can a boy do about such a tragic situation? Well, Francois puts clown paint on his face and starts to sing. He can sing only sad songs. His heart is broken. But people hear his beautiful voice and begin falling in love with him. Soon the only one who does not love Francois is a secret serial killer who stalks young boys, leaving their poisoned bodies with a teddy bear for comfort in their coming life as a ghost. It is safe to say this is not exactly a happy comedy. But can despair be overcome by sheer beauty?

There is a certain amount of satisfaction in this publication effort. When I retired as a school teacher, I promised myself I would at least get to the publication of this book before I left this Earth and became a ghost writer… literally. So, now, if I can publish the next novel, Fools and Their Toys, it will be a step beyond my original goal. My legacy for my family will never be a monetary one, but at least I have this to leave behind.

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Videos Now? Really, Mickey?

I suppose it was inevitable, given my spectacularly bad luck at marketing. that I would have to move into new ways of self-promoting and marketing my books. So, I decided I had to move on into the realm of YouTube video blogging. I can handle this, right? It is just talking to people on video. I don’t expect to be as skilled as some of the other content creators you find there, but if I can get some people to be foolish enough to click on my videos, I might… well… you know, sell a book.

My goodness! That was certainly more difficult than I thought it would be. Of course, I only did one take. After all, as a teacher. you don’t normally get do-overs. I know some of you do videos, and you know how to do them a lot smoother than that, and time them better too. But I am trying to teach a really old dog new tricks here. (My age expressed in dog years is 434.) I will get better with practice. And since the first video is always expected to be the worst video, I anticipate having nowhere to go but up.

Well, maybe the second one is worse. I can’t help it. I am old and not exactly media savvy. I know too that video editing software is available to make things better. But I don’t really have the time and money to spare on that right now. Seriously, even five dollars is too much to spend on this blog post. But perhaps it will add to my two huge paychecks from Amazon this month, one of $0.85 and the other at $0.35, to help me afford better in the future. Creativity can help you through a lot of things. But technology you can’t afford ain’t one of them. And I hope you weren’t too badly traumatized by my hairy old face. We’ll try again next week, next Thursday most likely, and hopefully do a bit better.

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Filed under blog posting, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, goofy thoughts, humor, novel, novel writing, publishing, sharing from YouTube

Preparing to do Magic

When I am trying to organize some book magic, I tend to light the scented candles in my bedroom and get out the old sketchbook, as well as some fairly recently purchased pens and ink. Yes, I mean, I do storybook magic by drawing. This explanation comes from a teacher who no longer has any class, a nudist who never goes naked anymore, an atheist who believes in God, and a wiseguy who knows he’s really a fool. Magic is 99% hard work and 1% drawing pictures.

So, if you have drawn the proper conclusion from that first paragraph that Mickey is being a stupid old idiot again and he doesn’t really know anything about magic. I beg to differ. I started experiencing symptoms of prostate cancer and indications of another serious lung infection brewing up a couple of years ago. I decided then not to take my complaints to the doctor because I have no money left to spend on health care for myself. Either diagnosis, if it is accurate, is a death sentence for me under Trumpcare. I would rather simply drop dead unawares than have to live with an actual looming deadline that, once passed, I would truly be dead from. So, I have gone about my daily duties and flights of fancy without worry. And, miraculously, I woke up this morning still being alive and able to write. That is magic, isn’t it? I think it is.

The foolish novel notion I am working on now is what you see recent noodlings of in this post. The stitch witches you see above, Warricka and Bibby-joon, are the magical dressmakers that made an appearance in one of the fairy tale portions of Recipes for Gingerbread Children.  That book can be found at this link; https://www.amazon.com/Recipes-Gingerbread-Children-Michael-Beyer-ebook/dp/B07KQTMN7R/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546994890&sr=8-1&keywords=michael+beyer+books+recipes+for+gingerbread+children

I discovered I can put pen and ink drawings into self-published Kindle books, even the paperback versions. I tested the theory out with the candle drawing that follows. I put it on the dedication page of my novel The Baby Werewolf.  That is the companion novel to Recipes and my most recently published book. It can be found at this link; https://www.amazon.com/Baby-Werewolf-Michael-Beyer-ebook/dp/B07LFRXR3G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1546994589&sr=8-1&keywords=michael+beyer+books+the+baby+werewolf

Both books are free if you buy them through Kindle Unlimited.

My inevitable conclusion to this experimenting was that I can create a book from black and white drawings and mix in paragraphs that tell all about Tellosia, the fairy kingdom that exists within my boyhood hometown in Iowa. A sort of field guide, if you get what I’m getting at. And I could mix in the black and white graphic novel I have been working on for more than a quarter of a century, The Hidden Kingdom. It might actually attract some readers based on my artwork and its reputed popularity with people who don’t have to actually pay for it. It might be a way to actually sell some books. So, I am going to try it, and you can’t stop me.

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Filed under fairies, Hidden Kingdom, novel plans, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, pen and ink, publishing

Hot Off the Press…

Yes, I published another one within a month of its companion book. The Baby Werewolf is the other part of the story from Recipes for Gingerbread Children. I hold the first copy in my hands today. It is my 8th published novel that I am actually proud of having written.

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