Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Remember on a previous post when I wrote about wanting to write a Murder Mystery set in Elizabethan times? Well, I came up with a solid device, how women looking like the Queen were being killed all over London. The problem is I find Elizabeth's world too big for me. So, I'm taking that idea and plugging it into the fourth book in the Colin series. I thought book three would be the last, but it seems the tale has some juice left in it, as long as there's a good villain to be had.

Writing of villains, the best of which live in the stories Charles Dickens.  He knew how to play out a good tale by beating down the hero and then raising him up on the wings of moral justice. There is nothing better than a nasty villain, armed with all the tools of their trade, to beat down our hero. I have to work on making my villains more substantial.

I think it's a trend today to see blood and guts and all sorts of nasty things, but a good villain will beat all the sensationalism hands down: remember Kevin Costner's "Robin Hood?" Who was the villain that stole the show? Remember "The Princess Bride?"  It is nice to have a solid "Harry Potter" in your story, but what is Harry Potter without Lord Voldemort?  He would just be another abused orphan, and that's too real. How about Steven King's 'IT'.  A clown as a villain? Brilliant! I've never been able to look Ronald McDonald in the face again without feeling some malignant purpose lurking behind the paint.  In Shelly's "Frankenstein," there is a word that is used to its full effect, and that word is "Monstrous." There is even a trend of making villains the heroes of the tale. I can't do that. I like sweet and sour together but separate, battling each other, with of course David Copperfield and Agnus living happily ever after.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Marketing I

One of the most interesting, and one of the most frustrating things in the world is marketing.  With ebooks becoming more and more popular, the publishing industry has opened up to a more democratic process. Gone are the Media Kings (although they are still around), the self-appointed gate keepers of all things litterary.

"The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all." Mark Twain.

Expose yourself (your work) to the people and let them decide as to its entertainment worth.

So, with places like Smashwords and Amazon, the power is in the hands of the writer, but because of accessibility there is a flood of material, and unless you have a way of catching someones attention, your work, even though it's brilliant, could join the sediments at the bottom of the sea of unread words.

What is marketing? (I don't really have the answer: that's why I'm asking the question)
If I was to make a speculative guess, I would say that marketing is a wagon that passes through town, upon which everyone jumps, whether the wagon is a dilapidated piece of work or a shining example of prose.

Have you ever read a book that was a 'bestseller,' and been left feeling somewhat less for the experience? 

Right now, I'm in the process of selling my material on Amazon. I've discovered the 'gift,' function.  You would pay for advertisement and hope to increase sales. Why not just gift your work. It will only cost you a fraction of the true cost, because you'll still get your royalties.  This accomplishes two things: you sell your book and you (hopefully) get others to read it.  Presently, I'm toying with the idea of throwing a Kindle party at my local library. If you've got a Kindle come on in, give me your email and I'll gift you one of my books. If you like it maybe you'll purchase one of my other titles.

Kindle Party, anyone?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Amazon Select

I thought I would let everyone know that I've placed my books on KDP select in Amazon for a 90 day period. As a result I had to remove my titles from Smashwords. I was very happy with Smashwords, but the KDP Select on Amazon has an exclusivity clause. I'm sorry for the inconvenience this has caused anyone searching for my work through Barnes and Noble. I will, however, be launching my third book in the Colin series through Smashwords.

Thank you again to all my readers.