david

david

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The Cuckoo's Calling and Why J. K. Rowling is My Hero

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adumbI’m listening to the audiobook of J. K. Rowling’s pseudonymous mystery / thriller, The Cuckoo’s Calling – narrated by Robert Glenister and attributed to the fictional author Robert Galbraith.  I will start by saying it’s a thoroughly enjoyable book, and that I’m very pleased to have been in on the secret prior to reading it, because there are hints of Hogwarts I might have missed otherwise, like the victim – Lula Landry – can’t help but remind one of Luna Lovegood, and the accented voice of Cormoran Strike, our erstwhile detective, when performed by Robert Glenister, resonates with hints of Hagrid.  This is not a review of the book; I have other things on my mind, but I have to say, I am loving the characters, the story, and the narration, as I would expect to, the work having been created by a favorite author.

That brings me to the crux of the matter, though.  I almost didn’t get the opportunity.  The book, first released as a novel by Robert Galbraith, would likely have slipped past me unnoticed.  It received what your average novel with a slight leg up might see – came out in hardcover and got a short bit of press, and then began to fade quietly into obscurity, despite solid, positive reviews.  All of this changed, of course, when people learned that it was J. K. Rowling behind the pen, and that she’d managed to put one over on the literary world.  There are now more reviews of the audiobook on Audible.com than I have sold of my last book…and considering the low percentage of listeners who take the time to rate, or review, the numbers become staggering pretty quickly.

A couple of things occur.  I am betting that Rowling’s agent and publisher were never as enthusiastic about this as she was.  I am guessing they tried to tell her how hard such a transition to another genre was going to be.  I am also guessing it was their idea for the book to come out under a pseudonym.  I’m of two minds on this.

For one thing, I am fairly certain that it is doing as well as it is partially BECAUSE of the revealed secret.  The sad fact is that the subject of my post here (which I promise to get to eventually) is as evident in readers as it is in publishers and editors.  If this book had come out as a mystery novel by J. K. Rowling, it would have done well, but it probably would not have been the phenomenon that it is.  Many people would have nodded and smiled, but waited in hopes she’d come back with more Potter.  It’s happened to others – John Grisham, and “The Painted House” which is one of his best books, and also slowest performing.  The truth is; the “branding” everyone is so hot to create for authors is a two-edged sword, because, by definition – you are branded.

I have mentioned this before, but never attacked it head on.  Limiting an author to what an editor, an agent, or even the public expects and wants to hear from them is a horrible, soul-sucking thing.  Only at the very top end of publishing, the Kings and Koontz’s of the world, can the bonds be broken, and in most cases it’s because the author’s name has grown so powerful it’s a genre unto itself.  Anyone mid-list and below with even moderate success who comes to their agent or editor with something completely different is probably going to be ignored, harangued, or at the very best, forced into a pseudonym – where the book will be treated like any first book and forgotten, and the editor / agent will say SEE?  Of all the evils and horrors of the world of publishing as it has grown over the years, bloating, shifting control to agents (who are supposed to work FOR writers) giving marketing control over content, when marketing as often as not wouldn’t know a book if it slapped them in the face but DOES know the lowest-common-sales denominator, and, of course that’s more important than quality, the forcing of authors into “molds” is the most insidious and has probably cost us the most in terms of wonderful, forgotten books.

Writers are artists.  They perform at their optimum capability when creating what they need to create, not what someone wants to sell.  The farther you stray from this truth, the more generic and cookie-cutter the work becomes.  I have not been categorized – not really – because I’ve yet to have one of my books take off.  I am certain that if one of them does, that is what I’ll be known for, and judged against, and shelved by… and I will have to fight against that because I simply enjoy writing what excites me too much to go back to writing what someone else thinks I ought to.

J. K. Rowling is my hero because she did what she wanted to do, and then, she made it powerful.  She put herself and her name behind it and said “This is what I wanted to write,” and it is GOOD – and I love her for that.  I only wish she had not needed to prove the worth of the book by hiding it under another name, and that publishing, the reading public, and life were not so caught up in the notion that you have to buy the known quantity.  The movie with the top actor.  The book with the biggest name-brand and associated with the history of that brand.  The car some idiot drove too fast in a movie that is (in fact) nothing like the one you can buy…

You should all go and read The Cuckoo’s Calling because it’s a wonderful book, and because a talented author wrote it.  You should not read it because she wrote Harry Potter… but because you recognize and appreciate her talent.  You should not have to make that choice, but the world has put it in front of you…  How many people read 50 shades of crap, just because there was a big hoopla over it, and in SPITE of the almost absolute agreement among critics, authors, and readers that the writing wasn’t good?  How many people – also despite all of that – will go and buy the book on writing written by this person who by all accounts writes poorly – because it has her name on it? How many of you – honestly – who read or are reading The Cuckoos Calling would have done so if J. K. Rowling had been on the cover originally, and there had never been a secret, or a big deal made of the revealing of that secret?

The question is, of course – can writers make their way writing what they want to write, and can readers learn to pick books – not because of advertising hype, or “branding”  – but because of quality?  Or will publishing, despite it’s changing face, always make buying books as much like buying cereal as it is like art?

 

-DNW

The Blog Tour Comes to an End. Buy the Book Already…

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lolravenAnd so more than a month of blogging, interviewing, pimping, and otherwise striving to find ways to introduce Nevermore, A Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe to the world has reached its end.  Yesterday the final two blog posts went live – they are linked below, along with all of the other stops along the way.  More than 40,000 words written to promote a book that is about 52,000 words long…  I must be crazy.

But I love this book.  I have huge faith in the story, and the characters.  Reviews have borne this out – but no matter what I do, or say, despite a “social media reach” that should be in the ten thousand range, the book only trickles out.  Such is a writer’s life.

I’ve been buried nose deep in writing The Note Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs and The Crazy Case of Foreman James, and in marketing / formatting / proofing and editing books for Crossroad Press all along, but I’ve dedicated myself to pushing this book. I will remain so dedicated. You should go and buy it and read it.  If you are a print only person, it’s available in hardcover and trade paperback.  If you like eBooks, it’s available in every format at a cost of only $2.99 for the moment (the sale price I set it at for the promotion).  If all of that fails to move you, Gigi Shane has narrated an unabridged audiobook of the novel which is fabulous, her voice bringing things to the novel that the written word cannot.  I can’t think of a single thing to say beyond what I have said in all the posts below, and all the blog posts pointing people toward them, so I will now let this go.

Congratulations to those who have entered to win copies of the book; I will have your names / etc. soon and will have all the copies out to you.

-DNW

 

 Audible.com | Barnes & Noble | Crossroad Press

 

THE ENTIRE TOUR!  READ THEM ALL, INTERVIEWS, GUEST POSTS, CHARACTER INTERVIEWS…

Read My Post “Ancient Evil is the Best Evil” at the Sun Mountain Reviews Blog

Read about how I was Drawn to the Darkness in my writing at the Blog of A Chick Who Reads

Read My Interview with Edgar Allan Poe at the blog of Deal Sharing Aunt

Read some about the birth of the novel Nevermore at Paranormal Dimensions!

Read a Character interview with LENORE (My version) at Michelle Lee’s blog

Read my post about what influences my writing at Rinn Reads!

Read my guest post about Donovan DeChance at the Paranormal Book Club

Read the guest post about memorable characters, and Cletus J. Diggs and the review at Brooke Blogs. She liked it!

Read my post about romance in books over at Fierce Dolan’s Blog..

My post about why I’m glad Nevermore was not published traditionally – read it at the What Readers Want blog!

How personal and North Carolina history affect the novel – read at the FLYING HIGH blog!

Read about mining history for your fiction at Christine’s Words!

Read about the cover art by Lisa Snellings at Workaday Reads

Read the review of the book, and the guest post on keeping your series new

Read the interview at One More Chapter

Read my post about writers – and reading – at Janna Shay’s blog!

Read My post – Everybody Loves a Mystery – here in this blog!

Read my post “Let There be Magic” at the main Buy the Book Tour Site!

Read my post about “The Dark South” at The Open Book Society Blog…;

Read about Genres & Why I hate them : ==> AT THE AUTHOR’S CAFE

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

READ THE Guest Post about History in fiction at MELISSA’S BLOG!

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

Interview with me at the Blog of author Hywela Lin

Interview with Donovan DeChance at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Interview with Edgar Allan Poe at MJ Schiller’s Blog (join the discussion)

Get the details of the book tour – and the giveaways – at Buy the Book Tours…

BUY NEVERMORE! AT AMAZON.COM or BARNES & NOBLE or CROSSROAD PRESS

DOWNLOAD THE AUDIOBOOK FROM AUDIBLE.COM – NARRATED BY GIGI SHANE!

An Interview With Edgar Allan Poe …

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hoverkittehI hope it’s not getting monotonous, my posting the entire tour links every day.  I am hoping that people who have missed the earlier posts will still find them interesting.  Some of them, like today’s post, are unique.  When I was given the schedule for this blog tour, I was also given an “assignment” for each blog.  Some wanted interviews.  Some wanted a guest post for their blog.  Still others wanted me to interview a character.

In today’s post, I have the very odd, and distinct opportunity to interview one Edgar Allan Poe – not just the historic Poe, but the Poe of my novel.  To do so, I traveled with another character, Donovan DeChance, to what I can only describe as another dimension – to an office / library that Poe discovers during the novel.  Tricky, but fun.

I did a lot of research on Poe prior to the writing of the novel, and have continued it ever since, because I find him fascinating.  I have very, very old editions of his works.  I have one of the magazines he first appeared in…I don’t have a raven, yet, but I’m working on that…  I hope you enjoy the interview, and that it makes you curious enough to buy the book.  Nevermore is only $2.99 for the length of this tour – but the tour ends on September 2nd, where I have my last two blog stops on two separate blogs simultaneously.

Here is a snippet from my interview with Edgar:

DNW:  Today I have the distinct pleasure of interviewing one of America’s most distinguished poets and authors.  I have to thank my friend and fellow dreamer, Donovan DeChance, for the introduction, and the remarkable circumstances that have brought me to a very singular room – not quite in, or out, of my own world and time – and into the presence of a personal idol.  My guest (or rather I am his) is none other than Mr. Edgar Allan Poe.  Edgar, you have no idea what an honor this is…

 E.A.P:  The honor is mine, sir.  I have had the particular pleasure of reading your account of my adventures in the heart of The Great Dismal Swamp.  Though I believe you may have portrayed me as a bit more heroic than I felt, the details bring back so many memories.”

<a href=”http://dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/2013/08/nevermore-novel-of-love-loss-edgar.html#sthash.HkvJ6j97.dpuf”>Read the entire Interview at the blog of Deal Sharing Aunt</a>

THE TOUR SO FAR:

Read some about the birth of the novel Nevermore at Paranormal Dimensions!

Read a Character interview with LENORE (My version) at Michelle Lee’s blog

Read my post about what influences my writing at Rinn Reads!

Read my guest post about Donovan DeChance at the Paranormal Book Club

Read the guest post about memorable characters, and Cletus J. Diggs and the review at Brooke Blogs. She liked it!

Read my post about romance in books over at Fierce Dolan’s Blog..

My post about why I’m glad Nevermore was not published traditionally – read it at the What Readers Want blog!

How personal and North Carolina history affect the novel – read at the FLYING HIGH blog!

Read about mining history for your fiction at Christine’s Words!

Read about the cover art by Lisa Snellings at Workaday Reads

Read the review of the book, and the guest post on keeping your series new

Read the interview at One More Chapter

Read my post about writers – and reading – at Janna Shay’s blog!

Read My post – Everybody Loves a Mystery – here in this blog!

Read my post “Let There be Magic” at the main Buy the Book Tour Site!

Read my post about “The Dark South” at The Open Book Society Blog…;

Read about Genres & Why I hate them : ==> AT THE AUTHOR’S CAFE

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

READ THE Guest Post about History in fiction at MELISSA’S BLOG!

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

Interview with me at the Blog of author Hywela Lin

Interview with Donovan DeChance at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Interview with Edgar Allan Poe at MJ Schiller’s Blog (join the discussion)

Get the details of the book tour – and the giveaways – at Buy the Book Tours…

BUY NEVERMORE! AT AMAZON.COM or BARNES & NOBLE or CROSSROAD PRESS

DOWNLOAD THE AUDIOBOOK FROM AUDIBLE.COM – NARRATED BY GIGI SHANE!

The Birth of a Novel, and Some Comments on Commitments

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bulldogThe other day a blogger took me to task for being disappointed that one of the blogs that signed up for my tour didn’t post the guest post I gave them, or respond in any way to queries about it.  There was going to be a review at that tour stop too…something I’ve come to anticipate, as I’ve gotten only a moderate number so far on the book.  Here’s the thing.

There was a bare minimum of effort required for that blogger to meet their commitment.  I wrote the post, and I handed it in to them more than a month ahead of time.  I provided a free copy of my book and, while that blog does have a review policy that says reviews not guaranteed, they committed to the review when they chose it as an option on the blog tour AND their own policy states that if they just couldn’t finish, or whatever, that they will say so…  They said nothing.

Thankfully, the talented Michelle Lee let me borrow her blog space, and, albeit a day late, the Character Interview with LENORE is live (link below). Maybe I have unreasonable expectations, but these things have two-way commitments.  I met and exceeded mine, and it’s frustrating and off-putting to have that work ignored.  Enough on that.  I hope nothing horrible happened in the life of the blogger in question, and I wish them well, but as a cautionary note – if you set up a blog tour, vetting the blogs carefully is important, and one thing I would check is how long it’s been in operation (the blog) and how regularly it’s updated.  Also important?  Traffic, comments, and popularity.  If most of the traffic on a particular post is channeled through my own post about it on my blog, then I didn’t really need that other blog at all…the idea is to diversify and build the audience.  I hope I’m doing that.  On the up side, 287 people (or so) have signed up to win one of the prizes…

Today’s post is about the birth of Nevermore, A Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe.  It covers the pre-story in Kali’s Tale, and moves on to explain how the book came into being.  I hope you’ll enjoy it. Here’s a snippet:

“Eleven months ago, I wrote the following at the beginning of a post at my website and blog:

 “I’ve started (finally) working on the next Donovan DeChance book.  This book will follow directly on the tail of the events in Book IV, Kali’s Tale – still a stand-alone story, and still something you could read without having read the others, though I realize that as time goes on…and the series grows… this is less and less true.  It’s always best to start at the beginning.  It’s just not possible to rehash everything properly without detracting from the new story…”

THE TOUR SO FAR:

Read a Character interview with LENORE (My version) at Michelle Lee’s blog

Read my post about what influences my writing at Rinn Reads!

Read my guest post about Donovan DeChance at the Paranormal Book Club

Read the guest post about memorable characters, and Cletus J. Diggs and the review at Brooke Blogs. She liked it!

Read my post about romance in books over at Fierce Dolan’s Blog..

My post about why I’m glad Nevermore was not published traditionally – read it at the What Readers Want blog!

How personal and North Carolina history affect the novel – read at the FLYING HIGH blog!

Read about mining history for your fiction at Christine’s Words!

Read about the cover art by Lisa Snellings at Workaday Reads

Read the review of the book, and the guest post on keeping your series new

Read the interview at One More Chapter

Read my post about writers – and reading – at Janna Shay’s blog!

Read My post – Everybody Loves a Mystery – here in this blog!

Read my post “Let There be Magic” at the main Buy the Book Tour Site!

Read my post about “The Dark South” at The Open Book Society Blog…;

Read about Genres & Why I hate them : ==> AT THE AUTHOR’S CAFE

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

READ THE Guest Post about History in fiction at MELISSA’S BLOG!

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

Interview with me at the Blog of author Hywela Lin

Interview with Donovan DeChance at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Interview with Edgar Allan Poe at MJ Schiller’s Blog (join the discussion)

Get the details of the book tour – and the giveaways – at Buy the Book Tours…

BUY NEVERMORE! AT AMAZON.COM or BARNES & NOBLE or CROSSROAD PRESS

DOWNLOAD THE AUDIOBOOK FROM AUDIBLE.COM – NARRATED BY GIGI SHANE!

What Influences My Writing? Everything – Blog Tour Moves On…

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debilI suppose I’ll get back to more normal posting soon.  I have only a few more stops on the blog tour.  I’ve been steadily working on typing in the lost Cletus J. Diggs novel from my hand-written scribbles, so progress is being made.  I’m also enjoying a stint of actual editing on an original novel that Crossroad Press will be publishing…  Always working on something.  Soon I’ll share the pretty cool trailer that narrator Tom Pile made for my novel KILLER GREEN – which is due out in unabridged audio soon.

Today’s post on this never-ending gobstopper of a book tour is about influences.  I have my own views on what influences writing, and creativity – as I do on most things.  I tried to unscramble those views and compress then into a single post.  Here’s a short snippet:

“Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are very simple answers to the most common questions asked of writers. One is, of course, where do you get your ideas.  The simple answer for that is from your influences, and from your mind. It’s collaboration between your creativity and the world that makes stories possible and the stronger the connection – the more it means to you – the more powerful those stories will be.  Everything influences your work.  Everything.

My serious writing career started during my time serving in the US Navy.  I learned to write through serious distractions, friends, music, television, constant interruptions. In those early days, music was as much a part of my life as breathing.  It still is, but like everything in life, it’s aged, shifted, and changed.  I wrote very literally a half a million words on one cruise.  I worked from around 4:00 in the afternoon until midnight every night.  I had a transmitter room where I maintained UHF radio systems, and I moved my old 386 computer in there along with my Deskjet 500 printer and a case of paper.” – Read the Entire Post over at Rinn Reads!

THE TOUR SO FAR:

Read my guest post about Donovan DeChance at the Paranormal Book Club

Read the guest post about memorable characters, and Cletus J. Diggs and the review at Brooke Blogs. She liked it!

Read my post about romance in books over at Fierce Dolan’s Blog..

My post about why I’m glad Nevermore was not published traditionally – read it at the What Readers Want blog!

How personal and North Carolina history affect the novel – read at the FLYING HIGH blog!

Read about mining history for your fiction at Christine’s Words!

Read about the cover art by Lisa Snellings at Workaday Reads

Read the review of the book, and the guest post on keeping your series new

Read the interview at One More Chapter

Read my post about writers – and reading – at Janna Shay’s blog!

Read My post – Everybody Loves a Mystery – here in this blog!

Read my post “Let There be Magic” at the main Buy the Book Tour Site!

Read my post about “The Dark South” at The Open Book Society Blog…;

Read about Genres & Why I hate them : ==> AT THE AUTHOR’S CAFE

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

READ THE Guest Post about History in fiction at MELISSA’S BLOG!

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

Interview with me at the Blog of author Hywela Lin

Interview with Donovan DeChance at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Interview with Edgar Allan Poe at MJ Schiller’s Blog (join the discussion)

Get the details of the book tour – and the giveaways – at Buy the Book Tours…

BUY NEVERMORE! AT AMAZON.COM or BARNES & NOBLE or CROSSROAD PRESS

DOWNLOAD THE AUDIOBOOK FROM AUDIBLE.COM – NARRATED BY GIGI SHANE!

The Blog Tour hits the Paranormal Book Club – BUY THE BOOK

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downloadAs you can tell from the long list of posts, interviews, and reviews below, I’ve been working this blog tour for quite some time now.  In that time, according to Statpress, I’ve had about 7,000 visitors to this blog alone, and about 30,000 page views.  That seems like a lot.  Here’s the reality of it – no matter how much I write about this book, people don’t seem to be buying it.

I am not a quitter, I am a writer.  I invested nearly a month of my life writing posts for this blog tour, and I want to find a way to make it work.  If you know people or hang out in places where there are people who like Dark Fantasy, or Edgar Allan Poe, or whatever, please…take a moment or two today and pass on the link to either this blog, or one of the many below.  Sign up to win a copy, even if you don’t want it, and then give it to someone who does if you win…

Meanwhile, back near the Dismal Swamp, I am typing the long-lost Cletus J. Diggs novel “The Crazy Case of Foreman James” into the computer, and should move straight from that into “A Midnight Dreary,” Book V of the DeChance Chronicles…  The words they won’t stop rollin’, no they just slow down…

Today’s post is over at the Paranormal Book Club.  It’s not about Nevermore, per se.  It’s about Donovan DeChance, and all the characters, stories, and books that led to the writing of Nevermore.  Here’s a snippet:

“The DeChance Chronicles & Nevermore, a Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe

I’ve written a lot of guest posts on this blog tour in support of my newest novel, Nevermore, a Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe but I think it’s about time I spent a little time on the books that have come before, and the characters who made Nevermore possible.

I have written four books, so far, about a man named Donovan DeChance.  Donovan is a mage, book collector, investigator, and self-appointed guardian of the balance of power in the world.  He has a familiar, an Egyptian Mau grown at least twice as large as it should have.  Her name is Cleo.  In later books, he also has an old Crow named Asmodeus.  His partner and romantic interest is a woman named Amethyst, who is an expert in the uses of stones and crystals.

As a younger man, I wrote a lot of licensed fiction.  I did a Dark Ages vampire trilogy for White Wolf titled The Grails Covenant Trilogy, as well as several clan novels and standalone books.  All of the time I worked on those novels, I was chomping at the bit.  I pitched idea after idea, but they had a vision in mind for what their books would be, how their characters would act, etc. It was confining, and in the end, soul-sucking, and so I moved on to writing my own novels in my own worlds.”  — Read the Entire Post at The Paranormal Book Club ->
THE TOUR SO FAR:

Read the guest post about memorable characters, and Cletus J. Diggs and the review at Brooke Blogs. She liked it!

Read my post about romance in books over at Fierce Dolan’s Blog..

My post about why I’m glad Nevermore was not published traditionally – read it at the What Readers Want blog!

How personal and North Carolina history affect the novel – read at the FLYING HIGH blog!

Read about mining history for your fiction at Christine’s Words!

Read about the cover art by Lisa Snellings at Workaday Reads

Read the review of the book, and the guest post on keeping your series new

Read the interview at One More Chapter

Read my post about writers – and reading – at Janna Shay’s blog!

Read My post – Everybody Loves a Mystery – here in this blog!

Read my post “Let There be Magic” at the main Buy the Book Tour Site!

Read my post about “The Dark South” at The Open Book Society Blog…;

Read about Genres & Why I hate them : ==> AT THE AUTHOR’S CAFE

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

READ THE Guest Post about History in fiction at MELISSA’S BLOG!

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

Interview with me at the Blog of author Hywela Lin

Interview with Donovan DeChance at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Interview with Edgar Allan Poe at MJ Schiller’s Blog (join the discussion)

Get the details of the book tour – and the giveaways – at Buy the Book Tours…

BUY NEVERMORE! AT AMAZON.COM or BARNES & NOBLE or CROSSROAD PRESS

DOWNLOAD THE AUDIOBOOK FROM AUDIBLE.COM – NARRATED BY GIGI SHANE!

The Blog Tour Continues – even though I'm in Florida at a Con

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blindWe are at a convention in Pensacola, trying to sell books and hunt ghosts…so today I’ll just post about the great review I got over at “Brook Blogs” and to tell you about my guest post there about Cletus J. Diggs, and about memorable characters that aren’t your average, run-of-the-mill heroes…Read the guest post and the review here. She liked it!

 

THE TOUR SO FAR:

Read my post about romance in books over at Fierce Dolan’s Blog..

My post about why I’m glad Nevermore was not published traditionally – read it at the What Readers Want blog!

How personal and North Carolina history affect the novel – read at the FLYING HIGH blog!

Read about mining history for your fiction at Christine’s Words!

Read about the cover art by Lisa Snellings at Workaday Reads

Read the review of the book, and the guest post on keeping your series new

Read the interview at One More Chapter

Read my post about writers – and reading – at Janna Shay’s blog!

Read My post – Everybody Loves a Mystery – here in this blog!

Read my post “Let There be Magic” at the main Buy the Book Tour Site!

Read my post about “The Dark South” at The Open Book Society Blog…;

Read about Genres & Why I hate them : ==> AT THE AUTHOR’S CAFE

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

READ THE Guest Post about History in fiction at MELISSA’S BLOG!

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

Interview with me at the Blog of author Hywela Lin

Interview with Donovan DeChance at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Interview with Edgar Allan Poe at MJ Schiller’s Blog (join the discussion)

Get the details of the book tour – and the giveaways – at Buy the Book Tours…

BUY NEVERMORE! AT AMAZON.COM or BARNES & NOBLE or CROSSROAD PRESS

DOWNLOAD THE AUDIOBOOK FROM AUDIBLE.COM – NARRATED BY GIGI SHANE!

Five Ways to market your book – the good, and the bad + More Blog Tour

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extra1) FACEBOOK: Here’s the thing.  You can amass huge numbers of ‘friends’ on Facebook.  Maybe, as in my case, you have at least a vague idea why each of them is there, maybe you just clicked and clicked to get the numbers rolling.  Either way, you are not going to be able to resist trying to sell books there, so here’s a good, and a bad thing about Facebook.

GOOD – All of those with enough interest to follow you will know when you have a new book out, and some of them will read, review, and buy it.  Probably not very meany, because all 2,000 or so of THEIR ‘friends’ also have books, or etsy shops, or Kickstarters for videos of their cats with toy balloons, and they are busy marketing and socializing, just like you. (Note that tis “Good” is not all that good)

BAD – most of the people who will see your posts on Facebook already know you. They already know you write, they already know about your books, and have probably already made their decision about buying them.  Each time you tell them AGAIN, the filter around your posts grows, and you fall further into the gray area.  Facebook marketing, unless you spend a bunch of money on it, generally just markets to the same small group of folks, and in the case of authors mostly markets to other writers trying to market to you.

TWITTER: You may, like me, love the quick, witty banter of a service like Twitter.  I’ve made some long-standing friends there, and I’ve been with the service for a very long time.  Here are my good, and bad thoughts on Twitter marketing.

GOOD: – if you play your cards right, interact with a lot of people, build relationships and (holy grail of twitter) get onto the radar of people with real reach, Twitter can push the news of your new book a long way.  A single post about your book from the right celebrity can send people scurrying to see why their idol suggested it.  A simple retweet of a post asking to be retweeted has a lot less gas than one that actually originates with the celebrity  I am NOT saying you should start pummeling celebrities … just that if you can get their notice, you can sell books.

BAD – barring the time spent building relationships and the celebrity connections, if you mostly tweet over and over about your book, new reviews of your book, new places to buy your book, etc… lots of links with the words switched around?  No one is going to follow those links.  No one likes impersonal advertising, and particularly on Twitter, where interaction is the name of the game, spammy, scheduled posts about books people have already seen a hundred spammy scheduled posts about are more likely to prevent sales than to win them.

FREE GIVEAWAYS: There was a time when this was a great idea.  There have always been proponents of this method, and it doesn’t take much research to see that most of those really successful proponents were already well-known before they tried it.  Like anything else, it works better for a popular author than an unknown.

GOOD: – If you make use of the sites that will announce your book, plan ahead for your giveaway to be sure it’s promoted far and wide – plan the dates carefully and make sure the book you choose has good reviews / etc. you can really spread the word about your work.  If you are lucky enough to land a slot somewhere like Bookbub or Boookblast, the freebie can get real legs.

BAD: – Barring something amazing, follow-on sales are sketchy.  At one time Amazon counted free sales as “something” but now they have separate lists.  Once your free promotion is over, you go back to being ranked 650,000 that very second.  If you get lucky, you might coast a while on sales from the curious who found your book through a free promotion, got to it too late, and bought it anyway, but the lasting effect of free giveaways is not what it once was, and not likely to spur huge sales.  Also, if you get in the habit of doing these, interested readers just wait for each took to be free.  Also, some of the best promotions for what I will talk abut next, sale pricing, will not accept a book that has been recently free.

SALE PRICING:

THE GOOD – The .99, $1.99 and even $2.99 sale price is what the free giveaway used to be.  This method can work wonders, if you handle it correctly, and if you are patient but according to the experts in Tampa internet marketing,  you are going to need reviews.  I don’t think it’s wise to start such a promotion without 7-10 positive reviews, and it’s probably better to have more.  Plan your sale in advance.  There are services like Book Gorilla, Book Bub, Book Blast, where you can request a promotional day far in advance.  If they accept you, they cost money.  Spend that wisely.  Ranked in effectiveness, Book Bub has worked by far the best, but is the hardest to get into.  Book Blast has worked well for us, and is also much more economical than either of the others.  Book Gorilla seems not to have much affect on sales, but I have only been involved with it once, and have one friend who used it.  Sales were not affected much.  Note that Book Bub and Book Blast give you average download and sales numbers, while Book Gorilla – much like Kindle Nation Daily – only tells you how sales ranks changed, which can be accomplished with a very small number of sales.   The idea of the sale price is to get a lot of momentum, move up the sales chart, and then go back to normal price and try to sustain those sales.  The REALLY good thing about this is that whatever boost in sales rank you get – you keep it at the end of the promotion.

THE BAD – It doesn’t always work.  If you don’t promote it well, no one will see it – because no one was seeing it before the sale price.  If you try it as the sole means of promotion, you’ll just make less on the few sales you manage.  No promotion is any better than the effort put into it and the reach of its visibility.  Combining this with the first two, Facebook and Twitter, won’t help that much because – again – those people already know about your book.

BOOK BLOGS: – This is not a new thing, but it has grown into a PROLIFIC thing . A lot of people have set up shop reviewing books, talking about books, creating book clubs for group reads…here’s what I know about them.

THE GOOD – you can reach a solid network of readers if you can get your book into the right book blogs.  There are book bloggers with huge followings, not only on their blogs, but in their entire social media networks – you tube channels, Twitter, FB, Google +, etc. They can really create a buzz if your book catches their attention.

THE BAD – Just like with any good marketing source, there are a limited number of book blogs with the reach to really help sell books, and in those blogs, there are a limited number of slots for book promotion.  Most reviewers and book bloggers have policies on submission of titles, and most of the really good ones have become difficult or impossible to get into if you weren’t part of their network early on – or don’t manage to become part of their network later on.  Some have even grown into big book sites, with hundreds of thousands of followers.  Just like getting a celebrity to endorse your book – good luck getting into one of the important book blogs.  It’s not impossible, but is’t not easy.  The sad fact is that, while you might get another good Amazon review out of a blog post about your book – and that’s a valuable thing in combination with other promotions – most blogs are still fighting to find an audience.  A good gauge of how much reach you can get from a blog is to check the average number of comments they receive on posts.  I’ve been blogging here forever.  My traffic is (theoretically) pretty good.  No one ever comments.   Well, almost never.  They might today, since i’m talking about book marketing again…

When I have finished it, I will blog about my blog tour – still ongoing.  The jury is still out on this… You can be part of it by checking out all the posts, and interviews, and reviews that have accumulated this far.  Today I have a post over at FIERCE DOLAN’S blog – about romance in books, the erotic, and the subtle. You can read that post by CLICKING HERE….

ALSO – for those interested, I have posted a story here from my collection Etched Deep & Other Dark Impressions.  I wrote it when I was sort of caught up in the edges of the literary fiction scene… the poseurs and the literati, the infighting for a slot in the oh-so-posh pays not a cent hip ‘zine of the day.  It’s titled “Pretty Boys in Blue With Long Hair Dangling,” and it’s available from the Short Fiction Excerpts menu at the top of the page.

 

THE TOUR SO FAR:

My post about why I’m glad Nevermore was not published traditionally – read it at the What Readers Want blog!

How personal and North Carolina history affect the novel – read at the FLYING HIGH blog!

Read about mining history for your fiction at Christine’s Words!

Read about the cover art by Lisa Snellings at Workaday Reads

Read the review of the book, and the guest post on keeping your series new

Read the interview at One More Chapter

Read my post about writers – and reading – at Janna Shay’s blog!

Read My post – Everybody Loves a Mystery – here in this blog!

Read my post “Let There be Magic” at the main Buy the Book Tour Site!

Read my post about “The Dark South” at The Open Book Society Blog…;

Read about Genres & Why I hate them : ==> AT THE AUTHOR’S CAFE

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

READ THE Guest Post about History in fiction at MELISSA’S BLOG!

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

Interview with me at the Blog of author Hywela Lin

Interview with Donovan DeChance at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Interview with Edgar Allan Poe at MJ Schiller’s Blog (join the discussion)

Get the details of the book tour – and the giveaways – at Buy the Book Tours…

BUY NEVERMORE! AT AMAZON.COM or BARNES & NOBLE or CROSSROAD PRESS

DOWNLOAD THE AUDIOBOOK FROM AUDIBLE.COM – NARRATED BY GIGI SHANE!

Why I'm glad Nevermore Was Not Traditionally Published & Return of Blog Tour

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2chikinsSo, I’ve been conducting this blog tour for some time now.  Today I’m nearly at twenty separate posts, trying to convince you that the read you must complete this summer is Nevermore, a Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe.  I think I must not be very good at this – I’ve averaged about one sale per post…but I slog on – it’s what writers do.

On an unrelated note – while my beloved San Diego Chargers did not win their first preseason game, the “starters” were nearly unstoppable.  I am pleased.  In honor of that today’s featured image is NOT a cute cat, but my favorite football lol – a shot taken from a game between the JETS (note this – it’s important) and the Chargers a few years back.

I discovered something very cool on Friday.  I found the lost, hand-written manuscript to a novel that was well on its way to completion.  “The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & The Crazy Case of Foreman James”.  I wrote this in small bursts just before going to sleep each night.  I was well into the book when we finally sold our old historic home in Hertford, NC and moved to the new house in the county.  During that move…the notebook disappeared.  Lost.  Gone.  No sign of it, and I had (at that point) only typed out about 1,000 words of it.  NOT a good feeling, I can tell you.  On the other hand, FINDING that after all this time has been a very cool thing, and I’ve been busily typing it into the computer so that I can move on, finish the story, and get it out to the world.

While I’m working on that, though, you should all pop over to “What Reader’s Want” – where you’ll find today’s blog post on why I’m glad Nevermore did not come out from a traditional publisher…and you should get yourself a copy of the book.  It’s discounted from $4.99 to $2.99 for the length of the tour.  You can get the print editions at a bargain price at the Crossroad Press Store … the audiobook is amazing, thanks to narrator Gigi Shane…  Go have a visit with Edgar.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s post, and a link to the rest!

“I am here to talk about my new novel, Nevermore, a Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe. One of the questions I’ve been asked over and over again is – what type of book is it? What genre? Where would it be shelved? Let me tell you, this is a question I’ve come to hate – and I believe it’s probably among the most hated questions asked of most authors, because the simple fact is – it’s a novel. It has romance. It has dark fantasy. It has magic, and history, and even alternate history. It’s got action and adventure, and could probably be shelved without anyone batting an eye in the horror section, the urban fantasy section, and the paranormal romance section of a major bookstore.

The simple truth is, if my book got stuck on any of those shelves, I think a lot of people who would love it would never see it…” =>Read the entire post at the What Readers Want blog!

 

THE TOUR SO FAR:

How personal and North Carolina history affect the novel – read at the FLYING HIGH blog!

Read about mining history for your fiction at Christine’s Words!

Read about the cover art by Lisa Snellings at Workaday Reads

Read the review of the book, and the guest post on keeping your series new

Read the interview at One More Chapter

Read my post about writers – and reading – at Janna Shay’s blog!

Read My post – Everybody Loves a Mystery – here in this blog!

Read my post “Let There be Magic” at the main Buy the Book Tour Site!

Read my post about “The Dark South” at The Open Book Society Blog…;

Read about Genres & Why I hate them : ==> AT THE AUTHOR’S CAFE

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

READ THE Guest Post about History in fiction at MELISSA’S BLOG!

Listen to internet radio with BuyTheBookTours on BlogTalkRadio

Interview with me at the Blog of author Hywela Lin

Interview with Donovan DeChance at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

Interview with Edgar Allan Poe at MJ Schiller’s Blog (join the discussion)

Get the details of the book tour – and the giveaways – at Buy the Book Tours…

BUY NEVERMORE! AT AMAZON.COM or BARNES & NOBLE or CROSSROAD PRESS

DOWNLOAD THE AUDIOBOOK FROM AUDIBLE.COM – NARRATED BY GIGI SHANE!

Katmandu – Dedicated to Samuel Taylor Coleridge & Rock ‘n’ Roll

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Katmandu

by David Niall Wilson

(with a nod to Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

 

In Katmandu did Bob the Man

A Detroit Rockin’dream decree:

Where Jim the Lizard King once sang

As acid left its sizzling tang

On the tongues of a human sea.

So twice five thousand screaming fans
With flow’rd tie dye girdled round:

And there were acid trails and colored aura’s  bright,
Where swayed a score of  incense-bearing priests ;
And here were sounds as primal as the light,
Enfolding all in ethereal dreams.

But oh ! that deep and rhythmic passion pounded
Echoed deep beneath the f-holes graceful curves !
A savage sound! as holy and enchanted
As e’er from Marshall Stacks and strings incanted

By rocker screaming to his demon lover!

And from the stage with dry ice smoke clouds seething,

As if his soul leaked from his fingers, bleeding,

A haze of purple momently was forced :

Amid whose scintillating bursts

And scales that vaulted like rebounding hail

Or tasty hemp beneath the thresher’s flail :

And ‘mid these dancing rockers, once and ever

Music undulated, formed a sacred river.

Five melodies meandering with a mazy motion

Deep Purple backbeats rolled and ran,

Through deep, harmonic caverns measureless to man,

And sank in tumult to a mindless ocean :

Amid the tumult all could hear him from afar,

Jimi prophesying on guitar !

The shadow of a generation hovered,

Floating on the sound and rode the waves ;

As veils were lifted, and their minds discovered

The Song Remains the Same beyond the grave;

It was a miracle of rare device,

A pleasure dome beyond all human price !

Elvis in a pompadour

In a concert once I saw,

He was a vision burning bright,

And on that empty stage he played,

Ensconced within a holy pearly light.

Could I remember clearly

What the chemicals portrayed,

To such a high it would return me

That with music loud and strong,

I would play that holy sound

In Katmandu, with Bob the Man

That Purple Haze, That bluesy sound,

And all who heard would see them there,

And dream of Godspell, and of Hair,

Weave a circle  round them thrice,

And close your eyes, then bow your heads,

For they, on dreams and acid fed,

And climbed the stairs to Paradise.

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