Friday, April 4, 2014

April is Pottery Month!

Well umm, not quite.  The fingers doth slip these days. But April is Poetry Month.  Pen a verse or read a verse just be verseable. Okay you're tired of my language and typing flubs. So Enjoy some poetry on me.  
Americana is always free at Smashwords,  iTunes, and Nook. Sorry Kindle owners you will have to pay.

Bark Too is free with a coupon code only at Smashwords. Use code CJ96S at checkout. We might extend it beyond this month. Who knows, quoth the raven.

The Last Supper is available at Smashwords, iTunes, Kindle, and Nook for the low price of $.99 Well you can pay more as much as a million dollars. I'll give you a paypal link if you wish to do so. So...
Don't be cheap
Take a peep
at verse and rhyme
Cheaper than
the cost of a lime.

Um the poems in the book are better.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Oh wait. Not so soon. The question came up in an Amazon Forum recently. It is the dream of many writers to make a living doing what we love. And let's face it, today's writer has a dung load of responsibilities.

I may make this leap myself. If I stay out of casinos and pay off more bills, I can do this for a year. In the old days when we just wrote and sent off books, or perhaps went to writing conferences, it was much easier to be a writer in my opinion. We wrote and then checked the mailbox three weeks later or stood by the phone waiting for that Editor's call. Now we must be business people. I think I could do more with more time. But then again...My book sales sure aren't saying, "Yes, do this." But I do have a lot more books in me. I would to use my 50's energy to write and do all of the "business" stuff. I work 13 hour night shifts sometimes 4 or five nights a week. Anyone who has ever worked nights can testify how energy draining that is. and most of the time, I don't work alone, so I'm always distracted. My condo is paid off, although I do have to pay a ridiculously high Maintenance fee--in my opinion, but it's still cheaper than rent. That's the practical stuff to consider.

But in making a decision like this, the first person to have a good long talk to is yourself. Am I really disciplined and dedicated? Am I going to fritter away my time playing games on the computer? Can I carve out my day and stick to my schedule of writing, editing, and promoting? Will I do more on Goodreads? Will I read more like I swear I will? How will I react while I'm just making pennies? Do I have a game plan for medical emergencies and car breakdowns. As they say "All going out and nothing coming in will break the Bank of England." Can I stick to my allotted budget? Can I stay away from shopping? 

So it's more than a dream. Know yourself first--the real you, not the you that you dream you think you are.  Think about it.

Amazon Author Page

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Why Does "Poerty" sic Not Sell

"Why does poetry not sell?" a poster wondered on a forum somewhere. I thought about the question, because I too write poetry. My answer to him applies to me also.

Poetry doesn't sell well because there simply isn't a huge demand for it. When was the last time you saw a poetry book on the front table of a bookstore? In a traditional bookstore it's normally in the back on the bottom shelf. It might get some notice in April during National Poetry month. Really, is this society demanding poetry? Will there ever be a superbowl size event featuring poets? I may be wrong, but the last hurrah for poetry might have been during the 70's or mid 80's. Sure you have spoken word events, but those focus on something else besides the poetry.
Then there is the issue of who are you? Do you hang out in poetry circles online or in the physical world? Do you attend readings where you can mention your book or books? When you're selling poetry, you need to have an audience to bring with you. Much like a hairstylist might be expected to bring clients to a new shop.
There is also the matter of taste. Some people are more into form and all of the formal constructs of a poem. Some don't like "messagy" poems. Some people don't like rhyming poetry.
And now your pricing...I might pay $6.99 for a book from a poet I know something about...Amiri Baraka, Billy Collins, Rita Dove maybe, or Allen Ginsberg. If I go to a reading and if the poet "wowed" me I might buy their book.
Maybe lower your price for the ebook and save that higher price for a paperback edition.

If you're a poet or poetry lover, share your thoughts.

Americana (free) The Last Supper  Bark Too  When Dogs Bark 2

Sunday, November 17, 2013

To Be or Not to Write-That is the Question

This post's title is a parody of Shakespeare's famous "To be or not to be" line. What brought it to mind was a question on whether one should write what they feel or write what sells.  My answer is below.

I'm not sure of the answer. If you write what's close to your heart and the stories you really want to write, you better have a way to reach like-minded readers. If you're a literary kind of writer or poet, you should hang out in those circles online. Otherwise your book will sink like a lead balloon. Whatever you write, have a nice cover. But even then I don't know. This medium doesn't support great writing that might be kind of quirky and off the beaten path. If it's free, you'll get one-star reviews generally along the lines of "huh?"
A few weeks ago I was looking at all of the hundreds of reviews averaging 4.5 of a certain genre. I got angry and decided to do a parody story. Turns out it's so much like the genre in question, I decided to do a few more during  NANOWRIMO. I'll publish them under a pen name of course.
In a way, writing is kind of like acting on paper. It's true, that you have some actors who will only do classical works of Shakespeare. While others can take on any type of Broadway and off-Broadway role. So for writing, it all depends on the voices in your head. If you do step out of your normal box, use a pen name if your story is of a different gender or ethnic group than your own. What do you think?

Find the Author on WebsiteSmashwords, and iTunes

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Book publishing is like a seesaw. Your book goes up, down, and all around.
Your love is like a seesaw, baby. I said your book is like a seesaw, baby....





Saturday, November 2, 2013

To Free or Not to Free...That is the question

A character in one of my novels, said she was taking the "free" sign off of a certain place of her body. I'm inclined to agree with her. Bye bye free.

The Self Publishing Casino

Writing has become much like gambling these days. Who are the gamblers? Those individuals slogging in the world of self publishing. In the days before Kindles and Nooks, publishers were the gamblers and risk takers. An author spent their time, but very little  money doing what they loved. When the manuscript was completed, he shopped it around until it found someone who loved it. Those were the good ol' days. The casino was small and a very private affair that included Agents, a few handful of Publishers, and of course perhaps a thousand big name authors. Oh yeah, and Bookstores.

Now self publishing has invited everyone into the casino. We're all authors now and potential marks for the system that the eReader has spawned. Thousands go into the casino, lured by the news that Joe Block self-published their book at 99 cents and became a millionaire. What lures folks to Vegas or the many copycat versions of Vegas? The pictures lining the walls in Casinos of folks holding those million dollar checks. Wow that could be me.

Now whether planned or not, the beginning of Kindle was the beginning of the huge publishing gambling empire. All were invited in. The more who came through the door, the more devices got sold. Of course the big time operators of the publishing casino don't charge you to play. No casino does that. But you and thousands of you are  invited to bring your books and leave them on the counter. At the very least, you're going to buy one and of course your dear old mom too. If you have a decent sized social circle, you can convince five of them to buy also. In the meantime, while they're checking out your book, they're seeing many more by authors whose names they know. So basically, you're good advertising.

Author sitting at the kitchen table, also heard through the grapevine that Cindy Sue got mega rich by giving some books away. So you scream for the same privilege. Now big time Casino doesn't even have to pay you if you "win" with all of those thousands of downloads. And they've got more content they can attach advertisement to. And folks are going to pay for those books "also bought" below your book priced at "$0.00". 

So far all you've spent is time chasing your dream. But then you realize the formula isn't working for you. What could be wrong? Someone hears your plea and writes a how-to book. Thousands buy seeking to crack the code. Well the answer is ... more how-to books, more book cover/graphic artists types, more "editorial" services, more formatting and proofreading services, and more folks selling advice. Oh yeah, twitter, and facebook get a lot more traffic. So they scheme to limit your reach, but will charge you for reaching all of those people whom you've convinced on your own to follow you. Money money money.

So now the advice is to gamble more--well write more. Just like that slot machine, if you run a thousand dollars through it, it's bound to pay back a million some day. It just has to. Well let's keep trying and see. I like to play slots and I love to write. It's all the same to me. But I'm not going to pay for the privilege to do either.
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