Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Write On

Jeff Goins wrote recently of his idea on what it takes to be a real writer. His answer, is to call yourself one. I happen to agree. If you write and want to call yourself a writer, why not. I called myself a baseball player in  Little League and a football player when I played in college. Was I ready for the majors or the NFL, sadly no. I wrote my first story when I was six or seven, and a great story it was, and have been dabbling in writing, first part now full time, ever since. Over the past forty plus years I have published in newspapers, magazines, a state publication and a  travelogue, Online I have been published on cooking sites, coaching sites, western sites,  mysteries, and travel sites. How much money did I make? Not much.

I have also written nine partial books, dozens of short stories, seven complete book of which I have published four. I call myself a writer. When I am speaking to groups I tell them I am a writer but not a famous or a rich one. I also tell  people that if they want to be a writer to be rich and famous that those are the wrong reasons.

I like to write and like to read and I like to read about writing but am not a marketer. Not by any stretch of my imagination. I have very little knowledge of social media, know nothing about SEO, and am woefully behind in my ability to self-promote – not my style.

If you are interested in SEO marketing and in really getting out and selling through social media or need a lot of information on Indy writing check out Greg Strandberg, great stuff a couple of times a week and always entertaining. But for me, all of my promotion is done by word of mouth,  on twitter and Google +, not much at all.

So I continue on as a writer and a happy one, celebrating each sale as if I am James Patterson or Steven King selling another million. Don’t take this wrong, I am not complaining, I am happy with my sales, would love to sell more but I really am in it for the story. With that said I will have three books coming out in the next year. I will be doing all of my minuscule promotions right here and on Twitter.

If you write it doesn’t matter if you call yourself a writer, scribbler or author, I salute you and happy writing or write on dudes - something like that. 
Summer book presentation - that's me with the good looking legs

Friday, July 24, 2015

Post #202

Can't believe I missed celebrating my 200th post. After I made post 201 I noticed I had missed the big 200. Oh, well, its only a number like weight and age and calories and . . . . . . .

My western mystery, Commitment, is out in eBook only and not selling as well as my three print books. Not sure why. The three print books, two chapter books for kids and my nonfiction book about the, Civilian Conservation Corps and the building of Guernsey State Park, are selling a few copies each day. Not much, but to an independent writer like myself, that's a big deal. I will have, Commitment, out in soft cover in two weeks (fingers crossed) and then will see if it sells better as an E-reader book or as a paperback.

I'm a bit of an old guy,
and maybe my readers are also, we like books. But I do love my Kindle and like putting books on the cloud (not sure what type of cloud it is or where it is located) so that I can read them wherever I am. But, there's just something special about holding a real book.
Coming this fall - my next western. That is if I get the house painted soon

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Covers and Chapter Books

Looks like I need a new cover for one of my chapter books. I have read so many posts about how important a book cover is. I never really paid attention but I guess they might be right. I take no more than a passing glance at a book cover, couldn't tell you what has been on the cover of any book I have ever read. I might be able to make a guess. I look at the title, turn the book over and read the back material, if I like it I go further, if not, I put it back and pull another book. I do like titles and sometimes will pull a book from the self because I like the title, I turn it to the back and read. I must be out of the norm - far out. That probably is the case.

Not sure what to think - see all my books here.

But the second book in my kids chapter book series is selling much better than the first. And I love that first cover. Why? Well, maybe because it was my first. So, guess what, I will be changing it. I had a professional designer/artist tell me why the second cover was good and the first was lacking.
The cover to be changed - too bad for me

I do the covers myself, using simple templates, and might someday try a professional, but the cost is too much. I only make a few dollars each month from my four books and am not ready to spend several hundred on a cover or covers.
The better cover - designer liked the colors and photo better
I am taking a longer look at my eBook covers and may do more changes on them, it is much easier to do only a front. Much easier than front, back and spine.

The following book covers seemed to have passed the first look test.
My target readers, historical society and park types love this cover
My western mystery novel cover

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Crazy .99 Ghost Book - Now That's a Good Deal

I now have one of my kids chapter books up for .99 cents on
Kindle. The book, Melvin the E Street Ghost, is the first of a series that will run to five or six books, two are for sale here now.

For those of you who have been with me for a few years you already know I write historicals and for kids. Well, This one could be a bit of each. It is the story of three buddies bumbling their way through a  wonderful summer  in the 1950s. Melvin the ghost, real or not, becomes the central figure in this fun and adventuresome read. Loosly based on some of the crazy stuff kids, including myself, did back before the days of video games and too much TV.

See all four of my books here.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Where Has All My Summer Gone?

Where has the summer gone? I know, it’s not close to finished yet, but it is moving along nicely. My writing has suffered as of late, seems like distractions are the order of the day.
Distractions like talking to a young man, some kids, and a Ranger at Fort Laramie

Too many short trips, visitors and other things getting in the way, and it won’t stop for a few more weeks. Looks to me like it will be the first of August before my life returns to my normal. Somehow I have managed to keep up, kind of, with my blogs but little work on my new book.

The four books that I have out have all sold some copies which is nice. I feel like if I had the time to promote more I could sell a few more copies. By the first of august, if things do settle down a bit, I may try one of the Kindle EBook promotions for my two kid’s chapter books. Thinking about making one free for a time. I have very little knowledge of how these promotions work so will need to do more non-writing work to figure it out.

But there is always an on the other hand. For me, this summer has been warm, busy, fun and eventful. What more could an old guy hope for? Oh, yeah, I little more writing time.
I'm Always up for a good hike or picnic