So, after having books available on Amazon since 2012, I finally figured out how to update my Amazon author’s page. Stupid me. I could’ve been using this to help me market books for seven years now.
Now, if you click on the link in the caption of the above picture, you can look at my updated author’s page with 9 of the 10 books I have already published. I couldn’t add Aeroquest because that miserable thing is now out of print, and Publish America is finally sued out of existence. But like Frankenstein, I have the means to resurrect that monster. I will now cut it up into at least three separate books and republish it on Amazon.
But that book #10 thing will have to wait. I will soon be publishing When the Captain Came Calling. I have just stupidly warned you now of an upcoming publishing event that you will probably hide from and fear because, comedy or not, there are some very sad parts in it that I have alluded to in my blog. I am a regular Tom Holland when it comes to letting cats out of bags.
I also have to figure out what to do about Magical Miss Morgan. Page Publishing sent me notice that I have to pay $50 to get them to continue offering print-on-demand copies of my book and e-book copies of my book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I don’t figure I have to pay them for continuing to do nothing but make profits from my book. My publishing contract says clearly that I only have to call them to get all my publishing rights back and put the thing on Amazon KDP. This is the course of action that I have stupidly chosen to do. I have called them seven times now, stating clearly on their answering machine that I want the rights back. They continue not to answer my calls or call me back. They also continue to offer that book without any kind of notice that I have not paid for that priviledge for the last six months.
Stupidity continues to pile up in every corner of the box I put my novel-writing in. But I continue to fight the battle. I made $1.06 as an author in July.
I recently got my very first unsolicited review on a book I had written when Mr. Ted Bun, one of the leaders of the nudist writer group on Twitter gave me a five star review on Recipes for Gingerbread Children.
I was grateful and reviewed one of his books on Twitter in return.
But it was totally unsolicited. I didn’t even know any of my book promotions had penetrated such an odd corner of the internet. The story does have nudists in it, but that is not what the book is really about. Mr. Bun acknowledged that much in his review, and still liked it and called it well-written.
My first Amazon book promotion, offering the Kindle version of Snow Babies for free, produced the same kind of fruit. I started by sending a paperback copy to the girl I grew up with that I named the main character after. Valerie read the book to her grandchildren and then sent me this message;
Valerie– Hi Michael! I wanted to let you know that I finished reading your book a couple of days ago, and that I thought it was really good! You used so many colorful descriptions of the characters, that I felt like I could really picture the whole scene! I also enjoyed how you used several people’s names and surrounding towns from our past that brought back good memories. It kept my interest and made me excited to keep reading to see how things turned out! I appreciated how you ended it, too! Thanks again, so much for sharing it with me. I plan to share it with a friend of mine to read and then return to me! Do the Rowan and Belmond libraries have copies of your books? I would be happy to talk to the Belmond library about it, if you haven’t already! I will spread the word, and keep writing! Val
Me– I donated a couple of books to Rowan and one to Belmond. But I have written a lot more since
They don’t have Snow Babies. I am so glad you liked the book. It is one of the best things I have ever written.
Valerie– You can be proud of your hard work! Next time I’m in the library, I will take Snow Babies with me and show them. I know they like to support local authors! 🙂
Me– Thank you for the help. I really appreciate it.
Then I find this tweet on Twitter from a fellow author who responded to my book promotion week.
She read Snow Babies and loved it and shared this review with me before she posted it on Amazon.
Headline: This book has a potential to become a classic
The story takes you to Norwall, a secluded midwestern town
where people are expecting a snow blizzard to arrive in couple of hours. Among
strangers coming to the town during the blizzard are four very special boys, a
hobo, a bus driver, a drunken old lady, a stupid salesman, a couple of
newly-weds and a lady following the four boys. Each of them, as well as the
local people, has their own interesting story and their stories start to intertwine
while the town gets buried in snow.
Some from the locals and the newcomers start to see white
naked kids in the snow. In the course of events, they learn that those white
kids are so called “snow babies”. According to what people say, those who see
snow babies, are supposed to die during the blizzard.
The author has a talent for depicting situations in an
impressive manner, so they can be humorous and touching at the same time. His mature narrative style enables you to learn
deeply but in a light way about individual characters and understand their
motives. Interesting are the hobo´s droppings of philosophical reflections and
life wisdoms from Walt Whitman’s book. Simultaneously, in connection with snow
babies, the author keeps you in suspense until the end. The story is not
predictable, and the ending left me smiling and absorbed in thought.
I honestly fell in love with this book from the first page. It is like a fresh breeze compared to a number of today’s books written in similar patterns.
I am amazed that people are beginning to read my books and like them… even love them. I wasn’t expecting that to happen until after I was dead. It is a good feeling that took me by surprise.
One of the things I was taught by the good people of I-Universe Publishing is that writers do Twitter. They set me up with a Twitter account that never got followed by real people and got no traction of any definable kind.
There are obviously magic spells out there somewhere that help you sell copies of your beloved first real novel if only you are willing to go on Twitter to engage… to sell yourself and your books… to trolls… and nudists and other writers and nudists who are writers… and, inexplicably, the Norwegian Branch of the Tom Hiddleston as Loki Fan Club. In order to do this I ended up having to establish my own Twitter account to handle what the I-Universe account couldn’t. What a mistake that was!
I have after six years finally gotten past the 2,000 follower mark. I have sold a precious few copies of more than one of my books. And I have learned what a horrific alternate universe Twitter actually is.
Trying to sell my books to Twitter followers who seem like the kind of person interested in reading YA novels full of humor and fantasy and goofy stuff, obviously generates more marriage proposals than sales.
Apparently, young women on Twitter are looking for husbands and lovers online. It you answer their direct messages thinking they are women interested in your writing, they will aggressively try to convince you that they have fallen in love with you, one even saying this without asking for a better picture of me than the cartoon I use to portray myself. They ignore the fact that you have been married for a quarter of a century. They ignore the protestations that you are only on Twitter to sell books, and ask you to send them money for an airplane ticket so they can come to where you live and have an affair with you… even though you protest that you are married and don’t have money for airplane tickets even if you wanted to have an affair with a young lady who could be your granddaughter age-wise. One essential function on Twitter is learning how to block someone. Ooh! That was a lifesaver. Learning who not to answer is useful too.
And women are not the only ones with dangerous schemes to take your money away from you.
I was Twitter-friended by Arab royalty. Prince Hamdan of Brunei wanted to give me money as part of his charity work to salvage the image of his royal family. He offered to put thousands of dollars of oil money in my bank account just because he liked me and felt sorry for me. All I had to do was give him my online bank account number. I may have told Arabian royalty that I had a fatal disease that made me forget all my bank account numbers and would cause me to die before he could get a reply sent back to me. I stupidly gave him no bank information what-so-ever. And my bank account audibly breathed a sigh of relief.
So, I have successfully now used Twitter to sell copies of Snow Babies and Recipes for Gingerbread Children. I have become a member of Twitter’s #writingcommunity. I have also become a member of a group called Writers Without Clothes. (#FF#naturist fiction by: @Mr_Ted_Bun, @buffprofwally, @CalowAndrew, @AuthorMatBlack, @NakedDan, @smdenham3 and @mbeyer51 (growing list!)) They offered me a chance to join their group because they liked the nudists in my book Recipes for Gingerbread Children, and because they learned I have written for nudist websites and do much of my writing in the nude. I recently also got a tweet from a fellow author who is reading Snow Babies and loves it. She says it is a well-written book, high praise from another published author.
So, I intend to keep writing… right up until the end… and maybe I can learn how to use Twitter from beyond the grave so I can keep my writing alive and my future ghost-tweets can make you all horrified enough to be compelled to buy my books. They say my books are funny, even the nudist parts, and maybe I can make more Tom Hiddleston jokes to keep that part of my Twitter following happy too.
If you are foolish enough to look for me on Twitter, you can find me at @mbeyer51.
I have a confession. I am not faring well enough to continue putting out a page of Hidden Kingdom every Saturday. I know that may sadden one or two obsessive-compulsive fans of Prince Flute psychologically torturing his adventure-mates. But there it is. Arthritis and lack of funds slow me down.
I am not saying I am giving up trying to finish the graphic novel and publish it in some form before I croak (and I don’t mean in the way a bullfrog does it), but the schedule has to accommodate even more physical challenges.
I have to spend more time driving for Uber in return for slave wages and unfair criticisms from dyspeptic passengers.
My drawing hand is letting me down with weather-related stiffness and muscle spasms.
And there are other projects that have to get some priority too.
I am re-reading Recipes for Gingerbread Children, marking up my personal copy for changes I need to make, so that I can re-publish it in better form before I try to seriously promote the hell out of it (too much Hell in anything is not a good idea, so I have to get some of it out).
I am also nearing the end of finishing When the Captain Came Calling. Soon I must think about publishing that book as well. It is turning out better than I thought it was going to be.
And I know that means leaving the poor Rascal naked in the middle of the story, but you never know, he might enjoy becoming a nudist.
I will get back to cartoon page-making as soon as possible. But for now, we are on hold.
I have started re-reading my werewolf stories again as I intend to promote the heck out of the two books pictured here in the rest of 2019.
Both books are intertwined even though they are both stand-alone novels with different genre ties and different themes. They share the same characters, many of the same scenes (though seen from different viewpoints in each novel), many of the same plot points, and the same werewolf. I like to think that reading both books together makes a better, more nuanced story as a two-book whole. But each book is also a whole in itself. And you can read them in either order.
I started by re-reading Recipes for Gingerbread Children. This book is basically a fairy-tale story-collection contrasted with a Holocaust survivor’s story. It is about how a storyteller manages to shape the world around her to help herself and others make sense out of a cruel world filled with evil and betrayal.
The Baby Werewolf is a Gothic horror tale where the real monster is hidden by deeply buried secrets, and lies have to be pierced to protect the innocent. I will re-read and promote this book second. I love both of these books with a paternal sort of overlooking-the-warts-and-birth-defects love.
So, I have a plan. A hopelessly pie-in-the-sky plan. But a plan. And hopefully at least some part of the plan will work.
I received the first copy of my book Fools and Their Toys.
It is the story of an autistic man with hidden talent for ventriloquism, an irrepressible ventriloquist’s puppet. a zebra. with a habit of insulting the right people at the wrong time, and a lurking serial killer who targets young boys for sexual torture and death.
It is in many ways a continuation of the story in Sing Sad Songs.
I have so many books published now that it is rather hard to photograph them all together in one picture. Of course, this fool feels compelled to put some of his toys in the picture.
Dawes was sad but silent as the sheriff’s deputies put him in the cell in the
county lock-up. Other men would protest
their innocence of being a serial murderer and sex offender. Murray was accused of being the infamous
“Teddy Bear Killer” who molested and murdered young boys all across the
Midwest. Murray was in fact not quite
right in the head. Something was off
enough to make him constantly silent as the stones on an Iowan hillside in
winter. But just because he was silent
and mentally unique, it didn’t explain how he could end up accused of terrible
crimes when he was totally innocent. He
had, in truth, only been guilty of rescuing the last boy-victim of the real
killer. And because he wouldn’t answer
any questions from anybody, and the boy-victim was in shock and couldn’t talk,
he stood a very real chance of taking the whole of the blame. Well, I wasn’t about to stand for it. I would find some way to tell them all the
truth. My name is Zearlop. I am Murray’s ventriloquist’s puppet. And I know the truth that’s inside his
also know you will probably say this is totally unbelievable, that an inanimate
object… or, rather, a puppet who is animated by others, cannot be the narrator
of a story. You are right, of
course. I can’t possibly be the author
of this tale. I am a modified sock
puppet of a zebra with mechanically blinking eyes and mechanically enhanced
mouth movements. My head is full of
cotton stuffing and old newspapers. But
I was cleverly put together by two geniuses, and given life by another.
have to understand; the human mind is like a great complex Labyrinth where no
man has ever mastered every single corridor.
Sometimes the most beautifully complex minds become lost or trapped in a
dead-end corridor, never to find the light outside again.
sometimes a special mind that was meant for special things is helped to find
the light again… shown a trap door or a secret exit by another who has mastered
at least a portion of the great, overly-complex dungeon.
sometimes it is possible to slip past the Minotaur who guards the secrets of
the Labyrinth and keeps us all from unlocking the magic.
My story, the story I mean to tell you even if you
don’t believe I am capable of telling it because I am a mechanical sock puppet
of a zebra, begins with a fool. The
fool’s name is Murray Dawes. That’s
right, Mumbling Murray Dawes, the feeb, the spaz, the Special-Ed idiot, son of
Elmer and Ethel Dawes, the nephew of Harker Dawes, and the only human being in
the universe who had more in common with potatoes than he did with other
people. Yes, I promise I will explain
that last one later in the story.