Listen to Pilot Light

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Holiday Madness and marketing

In the United States the holiday madness has officially begun. Christmas music started playing in stores a while back, but the real sign is the reports about black Friday. Now to me, Black Friday sounds like something that should be listed under "things to avoid" like the Black Plague and the Black Hole of Calcutta and from what I read about it, I'll stick with that assessment.

I know that as an author I am supposed to be doing great hypes for my books and spending hours in seasonal marketing, but I can't bring myself to do any of it. This is a time when I like to hunker down and, gasp, write. If I don't spend hours on social media, I might get the latest book into shape in time to release it early next year. (Not just to finish the rewriting, but for editing and proofreading, to get a cover I truly like and format the book for both ebook and print, and taking the time to ensure it is better than the last ones--always trying to improve things.)

I suppose I am a marketing failure, but then I grew up wanting to be a writer, never a book seller. I'm told (via blogs and emails) that in this day and age my approach is hopeless. I don't really care. Yes, I want to make money from my books, but more than that I want to stay focused on honing my writing and find readers that way.

Just this morning I received emails offering courses that promise me a larger readership.But for the same money I can hire a first class editor and cover designer for the current book, and that is where I'd rather put the money when I can scrape it up. An editor's feedback will teach me more than any generic class, and spending money to learn marketing techniques that I won't follow is absurd.

Yes, I know for a few hundred dollars I can buy ads that promote my free books, but the books that are permafree (I stopped doing Select freebies) are being scooped up nicely, that you very much. And I don't see that they do much for sales anyway. But I'm not worried about that. I hope that some of the people who download those do read them. If they enjoy them and that's the end of it, well good. If they do buy something, then fantastic, but it isn't as if this were part of the business plan.. No, the business plan is to write more books.

So if I fail to send you an email offering a great Christmas deal, this is why. If you need promotions before you buy things, U understand, but I price my books at the lowest price I can all of the time. Call it a year round promotion if you like.

If the holiday madness is your cup of tea (what is the attraction of standing in lines?) then enjoy it. If you enjoy the media blitz, then it is there for you. In odd moments you might spare a kind thought in passing for those of us who just write.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Music and fun

A while back John Michael Pocock and I, aka IndieKline, put up a song and video on yourtube that is closing in on 100,000 hits. It's a song John wrote about Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the USS Arizona.
There is nothing new about this now, just wanted to give it a mention along with the idea that the song is available from CD Baby.

What is new is a book that John and I put together and is now going through an Amazon countdown. It's a collection of photos and poems related to Cambodia. It's called Canadian in a Cambodian Mindfield; American with a Suitcase Full of Sutras.

This is a strange and different kind of book and the kindle version is only $2.99 for a limited time. It's also available in paperback, and is in the matchbook program, which means if you buy the paperback, the ebook is free.

Friday, November 8, 2013

"A Human Touch" continues

I'm not sure how long this novel will be when it is done. At the moment my guess is that 50,000 words won't do the trick, but whatever it is, I think the draft is moving along nicely. I've hit a few sticking points as the story develops and had to stop, think over and do some minor rewrites, but overall it seems to be going well. The characters are evolving (always a concern) and I am enjoying the process.

Given that I am working on another project at the same time this month, I am pleased with the way things are going. Now back to writing.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


This month I am busy writing a novel for the Nanowrimo competition, which is about writing a 50,000 word draft in a month. It has started well.

I am writing a novel called A HUMAN TOUCH and it would be hard to describe what it is truly about at this point, except to say that it is about a movie star, a writer, and a bit of madness, if all goes well.

Before the month started, I did a cover for inspiration. It will probably change a bit, except for the photo, taken by Frank Milan at Oros Studio in Portland Oregon.