Saturday, December 11, 2010

Happy Holidays! Update on next book project...

2 months since my last post...yeah, sorry about that! But if it counts for anything, I have been staying busy at work. Working 11:30 to 8pm Monday through Friday can take its toll on time for other things and if you add in getting up between 6:30 and 7 am to play taxi for kids, and again from 10-11, well that doesn't leave much time for anything.

But that's about to change. I was informed yesterday that layoffs are coming at work. I work a seasonal job, so I knew this would happen. It's not like it's a total shock or anything. And in all likelihood I think I may get called back to work in mid to late January. Regardless though, I should have plenty of time for writing again during the layoff period.

1st on the agenda is my next book project. Based on true events, it's the story of how a seemingly perfect marriage can fall apart. It's got sex, violence, and betrayal. People involved in the real life events went to jail. But not for something you might think. I can't really reveal any more than that so you'll just have to check out the book when it's released in early 2011. The working title is: Anatomy of a Divorce.

Friday, October 8, 2010

For those following along...

Really, I have to get better at posting! Just a quick update this time though...

I have started working again! Since late July actually, but not with Wal-Mart. I am working with Lifetouch again and I am really enjoying it. It's a full-time schedule that unfortunately runs over a split shift. This does tend to eat into personal time, which in turn eats into writing time, but my next project is moving forward. Seriously...

As for past projects, I have received some good suggestions, so thank you to those of you who have written and offered them to me. One method I may be trying is a book purchase exchange. It will be on a trial basis because financially I can't keep doing it but in a nutshell it's like a "scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" type of thing.

Here's how it works: If you buy my book through, you will receive an automated thank you note from me. Cheesy yes, but what the hey. If you are an author with Lulu, simply reply to my automated email with the following information:
  • Tell me which of my books you bought
  • Tell me if it was a print version or download
  • Provide a link to your Lulu storefront page.
I promise to visit your storefront and consider making a comparable purchase from you, depending on the prices of your books (and the subject matter too, of course). This will obviously cost me more than the royalties I make from selling, but it may help get word of mouth out about my books. In fact, I will take this a step further - I will make at least 3 reciprocal purchases from those authors who purchase one of my books AND I will report back here in this blog which purchases I made and give a brief review. Not a bad deal in exchange for purchasing just one of my 3 works...

That's all I have time for today. In the immortal spirit of Heroes, Save the Authors, Save the World.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

So....How ya been?

Forgive me if it seems like I'm whining a little bit today. I certainly don't mean to. But sometimes people just piss me off.

Point 1: Nearly 3 weeks ago, I interviewed with and received a job offer from WalMart. I went and peed in a cup for them and was told I would be contacted soon regarding a start date. A week went by, nothing. I called them and was told they were waiting on my background check to come in. OK, fine. Another week goes by and nothing. Same story. Now it's nearly 3 weeks later and still nothing. I mean, how long should this take? Meanwhile unemployment benefits have run out as congress continues to twiddle their collective thumbs up their asses (or each others, I don't know) and I sit here broke. I interviewed with another company earlier this week and they are doing the background check before sending out for my urine. Let's hope they can move a little faster, shall we?

Point 2: No one is buying my book. GASP! OK, I don't have a professional agent and not a lot of marketing dollars, so there really is no advertising budget. Advertising on this page (below) is just one of the few easier ways I can afford (and now available on as well!). But it is a good story and those who have read it (during the proofreading and editing process) agree with me. But with a facebook fan page of over 80 people not to mention a similar number of friends on facebook, one would think that a few of those people would show some interest in at least reading it via a downloaded copy. I hear from some people "I'm broke, I can't afford to go buy your book right now." Well, I can appreciate being broke, but it's not like I'm asking anyone to fork over a ton of money. Plus broke people buy cd's, dvd's, and books all the time. So what's the difference? Honestly, I'm just trying to use my creative abilities to maintain an income, legally, without scamming anybody so I can try to stay off the welfare system. Take your pick - you can support me by ordering my books and get something in return, or you can support me with your tax money on welfare. It's up to you, America.

Point 3: I have a retirement account from my days at the University of Missouri. When you stop working for them, and if you've been there enough years to be vested in a retiremenbt plan, they tell you how much you have in your retirement account and then give you options of receiving it in a lump sum payout, leaving it invested with them until you are ready to retire, or roll it over into another IRA of some sort. Oh, but you can only receive the lump sum payout IF the amount is below a certain dollar amount. For once in my life, I actually have too much money and as a result, I can't touch it (Cue MC Hammer). At least not until I turn 55 at the earliest. Still exploring other options involving rollovers though.

OK, that's enough of that. I haven't been able to afford my diabetes meds for a few months now, and I seriously think it's starting to have an effect on my eyes, so I may need to rest them. It sucks when collecting unemployment puts you over the income requirements to qualify for medicaid but barely gives you enough to live on. But now that unemployment benefits are exhausted I might have better luck. We'll see...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Notre Dame to the Big....12???

I'll address that headline in a minute....and forgive me if you just spit up soda or coffee or whatever all over your monitor.

I got to thinking tonight about all the conference realignment going on these days and how my beloved Tigers of Missouri are affected in all this. I have to say that I am both confused, annoyed, exasperated, and curious about just what the heck is going on.

A few months ago, Missouri seemed like a logical choice for Big 10 membership, but after the events to this point, it seems less and less likely that an invite is forthcoming. All we've heard from Mizzou admins is "We are proud members of the Big 12 Conference...." yadda yadda yadda. If there was no approach from Big 10 admins, all Mizzou would have to say is there has been no approach, no application, no invite, or anything else along those lines. If Mizzou had not approached the Big 10, why can't they say so in those exact words? And why was Mizzou given an ultimatum to pledge a commitment to the Big 12 if they weren't going anywhere?

Missouri AD Mike Alden sent out a press release today how open and honest they have been throughout the process and that something big and exciting was on the horizon. So why all the secrecy? If anything I would say Mizzou admins have been less than honest when it comes to sharing information and keeping their fans calm. They preach "Stay Calm" but please, explain to us why we should?

While it's not over until it's over, I am beginning to think that Mizzou is leaning another direction. Maybe it's the lack of sleep, I don't know, but here's my thought: With Texas about to pull out of the conference as well, Mizzou, Kansas, K-State, Iowa State, and Baylor may seek to build a new conference, a new Big 12. Add a few up and comers, throw in Memphis from Conference USA and another big name or two and voila...instant rebirth.

And for the sake of argument....why not add Notre Dame? The worst that could happen is they could say no. But expansion has always been and always will be about money. So if all the teams saying sayanara to the Big 12 are paying buyout fees equal to a certain percentage of their television revenue shares; and the schools with the biggest shares are the ones who are leaving (see ya Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, etc...) then therein lies a huge chunk o' change. I'm not certain of the numbers, but there are 7 schools and counting contributing to a fund that just might be used to help persuade the Fighting Irish to consider the option and tell the Big 10 that No means No.

Hey, I never said it was a solid plan, just a possibility. And it wouldn't be the first time an administrator has had delusions of grandeur. Just don't rule it out until after the dust has settled.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Holding on Tight...

Do you ever have one of those days when you wake up in the morning feeling like P-Diddy....oh wait, wrong feeling....

The feeling I meant to portray before I distracted myself was one where you wonder just why you bother to do the things you do when most of the time it doesn't really seem to matter. This post isn't meant to be a pity-party post or anything like that, but for the sake of argument, just humor me.

I've been writing for many years. Usually just for my own entertainment and after awhile other people read them and start telling me how good the writing is and this and that and the other. It's not like I feel like I'm wasting time or anything, I enjoy writing. I like to be creative and come up with situations and scenarios that make people feel like they are right there in the middle of the action and for the most part, I feel like I have done that.

I don't expect to see my published works go flying off the bookshelves, but seriously, it would be nice if some of those same people who tell me how much they enjoy my work would actually go online and buy a copy.

Major publishing companies do not like to take chances on new authors, I understand that. The advent of the self-publishing companies and Print-on-Demand services have been a Godsend for people like me who want to get their work out there for the world to see. I've followed all of the marketing tips and advice and purchased what advertising I could actually afford; so the only thing that truly remains is word-of-mouth.

I have friends in the world. No, really, I do. Some of them I would trust with my life. But how many of them do you think have taken the time to post a little something on their websites or spaceypages and facetwits and such that someone they know has accomplished this? Not many. I have one friend in particular who will send out every single email forward she gets from anywhere in the world whether it's humorous, religious, a warning, don't buy this, don't buy that, or some sentimental sap that tells us all how much they care about us. But she wouldn't put out a little blurb to let her other friends know about what this one has done.

I need help. I can't do it alone. I never thought I could, but I did think that if I could just get the attention of the right people, then just maybe I might have the start of a new career.

How long does one wait before they realize they are wasting time? How much effort is put forth into something before someone sits up, takes notice and tells someone - hey, you should check this out!

I'm not at the point of giving up, but I am starting to wonder why I let myself listen to those who supposedly believed in me enough to encourage me. I would love to continue writing for years to come, but food still has to be put on the table.

Here's my theme song today...

If you've got a dream...hold on tight. It could be a bumpy road...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Promo and Upcoming Books

Yesterday, after some frustrating mishaps with various software applications, I produced my first video promotion for the book It's All Fun and Games Until Somebody Gets Murdered.

You can view it here:

Yesterday, a thought came to me of the video I want to create to promote the erotic anthology My Lust for Anna and Other Erotic Tales. Imagine the look on the faces of my girlfriend and my 17 year old son when I announced to them that I needed a webcam to create the video. Don't worry, it won't be too graphic. It has to be clean enough for YouTube, right?

Now I just have to get myself switched back into writing gear so I can get my next book a little further off the ground. It's already been started, so at least the framework is in order for it. And I've got the next one after that in development, so as long as I can stay focused I will have what I think will be two very good reads out and on the market within the next year.

Book number 1 has a working title: Anatomy of a Divorce. It's about a couple with a seemingly perfect marriage until several little things snowball into several big things and before the couple knows it, the proverbial rug has been pulled out from beneath their feet.

Book number 2 has no working title as of yet, but it deals with a woman who endured years of sexual abuse in her childhood and the effects such abuse has had on her life.

If you have not yet done so, I encourage you to visit by clicking on one of the book images at the bottom of this blog page and ordering a copy of any of my books. You will not be disappointed.


Monday, May 24, 2010

So Now What?

Well, today the proof copies of my 3 books arrived for my approval. They look great, and I wasted no time getting online into my lulu account to approve them.

So...where do I go from here? I've fulfilled my dream of publishing a book. 3 books, really, with 2 more in progress. But what does it mean if I can't share that dream with the world? How do I go about marketing my books in a way that does not seem intrusive? Well, advertising is an intrusive business. We are bombarded with advertisements every day - on television, the radio, in the newspaper, and on the internet. How many pop-up ads have you seen today?

As for me, I have a few vehicles for getting the word out. I have this site here at blogger. I have my facebook profile as well as a fan page also set up at facebook for the book It's All Fun and Games Until Somebody Gets Murdered. I have a myspace profile, and I have set up a promotional site at for all of my published books.

My dilemma is not so much driving traffic to my websites, but the quality of traffic to those sites. There are plenty of traffic exchange services around the internet that will get people to my pages, but I've found in the past that the traffic it generates is not the kind that translates into sales. I've tried pay per click services in the past with zero results. So perhaps the problem lies in the way my material is presented?

I am open to suggestions regarding changes to the material and finding affordable ways to make my books appeal to those who come to check it out. Perhaps creating a video advertisement for YouTube would help? But how do you create a commercial for a book? Read a passage? Find some actors and actresses to act out a scene?

Seriously, if anyone has any suggestions, I'm listening...and may I suggest reading the book might help spur the thought process? Just sayin.... :-)