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Monthly Archives: August 2014

Wearing many hats well

Many hats2We all balance a lot of identities as we make our way through an ordinary day.  I’ve managed girl, nerd, daughter, cook, wife, manager, mother, PTA  president (seriously) and irritable neighbor all in the course of single afternoon. Adding an extra persona like “writer” into my normal mix has challenged me, even more so because it seems to require several distinct pieces of head gear.

There is the wild creative hat that yields stories at traffic lights and helps me type with a manic fury when the ideas just won’t stop coming long after I should have gone to bed. I love that hat, and I wear it whenever I can.

Then there is the careful, tidy little headpiece that I wear when I proofread, edit, rewrite, add links, check everything and check it twice again. What? The font for the chapter five title is twelve not fourteen point? How did this happen? It is a nit picky little hat, but I have to admit that there is a lot of satisfaction to getting something perfect. At least I think it is perfect until the next time I proofread it.

It’s the third writer’s hat that just doesn’t seem to fit me very well. It feels to me like a loud gaudy thing and I hate to put it on. It is the hat of sales. Writers of all sorts, whether they produce self-published works, short stories, or trade novels found in the front racks of brick bookstores, all have to get out there and sell their wares. Fiction is a product. If you want to be read, and I do, then you need to convince people to read your work.

Now that d4 is off to my real editor and I have promised my family and myself that I will pause and breathe before starting the next book, I decided to play with this awkward hat for awhile. I returned to scouring writer’s forums for ideas to increase purchases and I finally let myself take a long hard look at my sales statistics. Yes, this area could use a little more work..

x0_sw final

Click to get x0 for free at Kobo

Turns out I sell books in places I have never heard of. Thanks to my opting in for everything at Smashwords, the ebook distributor I use, I can be found at a cool new online store called Inktera. You can also find me at Scribd, this great new service where for only $8.99/month you can read all the ebooks you want. I have got to get out more.

Even better, I made a list of thirteen new ideas to try to increase the visibility of my books. The first was to do an interview at Smashwords. Please check it out, I think it turned out pretty well. The second was to make my first novel free for awhile, ideally to generate sales of my other books. I decided to give this a try, and you can now grab x0 FOR FREE at Smashwords, or at another surprising site called Kobo.

How is this free thing working out for me? Well, when I posted on my Facebook page that x0 would be free for a short time, 915 people liked it. 915! That is probably a record for me for number of people ever liking anything I have ever done. However, how many have downloaded it? Zero. That’s right. Not one, so far.

As I look at this post, I think I see the problem.  If I was better at wearing that sales hat, this post would have started off with FREE BOOK in big bold letters at the top. Instead I started it out by writing what I thought was more interesting. Oh well, I’ve still got eleven more ideas to go. I’ll try to do better with the next one.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in writing, x0

 

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World Peace Update

Psychedelic 12I’ve been hearing the words to the protest song Eve of Destruction in my head a lot lately, and I don’t suppose that is a good thing. My mind likes to take the opening phrase “The Eastern World  — it is exploding” and substitute other places.You know, like Syria, Ferguson Missouri and the Gaza strip. Every day brings a sad new verse.

One theory is that I’m losing it. Another is that is world really does feel like it is exploding. Unfortunately, I’ve just found some evidence to support this second theory. According to the Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP’s) latest study, out of 165 countries right now only 11 are not involved in some sort of conflict. Eleven. That would be 93% of the world that is at war, one way or another.

Granted the study considers having a fighting presence in foreign conflicts as “being at war” (really ought to count, don’t you think), and it also acknowledges internal conflicts with clear sides and loss of life (i.e. civil war). The most disturbing fact, according to The Independent, is that from World War Two up to 2007, there was an overall growing tendency for less conflict in the world. The trend has now reversed sharply and it continues to go the wrong way. As I said, the whole freaking world, it is exploding.

There is a third reason I can’t get this song out of my head and I know what it is. As I move d4, my fun novel about the future, on to beta readers and my editor, I am letting go emotionally of beautiful Ariel and her wild adventures and turning my heart and mind to the next book, the last one in the collection. It will be about the whole Zeitman family but will feature Lola and her cadre of telepaths as they take on a type of menace that they thought could not exist.

It will all start when Lola finally writes her article Face Painting for World Peace and encounters those who want anything but a world in which people get along well with each other. I’m writing Lola’s article now and it’s got me thinking. The tools for understanding others and developing empathy have never been more available to all. How can we be fighting more wars in more places? Who stands to gain?

And where are these eleven peaceful places? Some may not be high on your list to visit, some may. Those of us who remember The Eve of Destruction being sung by Barry McGuire as a protest song against the Vietnam War will appreciate the irony that the eleven countries currently not at war are Switzerland, Japan, Qatar, Mauritius, Uruguay, Chile, Botswana, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil and  ….. drum roll please ….. Vietnam.

“Eve of Destruction” was written in 1965 by P. F. Sloan. Enjoy Barry McGuire’s recording on YouTube here.

Also please drop by the Facebook page of Psychedelic Adventure and give them a quick like for the great image above.

 

 

 

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1 Comment

Posted by on August 15, 2014 in peace, writing

 

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