Pushing Books and Chasing Royalties

Over the holidays I managed to add a chapter and a half to The Lord of the Elements (the prequel to The Last Observer). To be honest, I am still trying to plan the story a bit….. I mean, I know what the plot is but it needs a few twists, turns and subplots and I am still ironing it all out so progress is slow. Meanwhile, I am starting a new business book with my colleague Patrick Reames that we hope will be out later this year. I am also preparing a new version of Poems for the Little Room that will be better suited for Amazon and Kindle…..

Of course, books need to find a market too. It would be great if my books occupied a particular niche but they don’t. I have books on hedge funds, commodity trading software, fantasy novels, poetry, esoteric philosophy, magic and so on…. That means that each book more or less has to be independently marketed. So I do apologize if you are sick of reading about my damn books…. but give me a break and a bit of leeway, I obviously want to sell them after writing them… At least, that’s the general idea I believe.

424431_480872555281660_1126294903_n

If writing and promoting wasn’t enough when you do sell a few books it seems that you have to chase the damn royalties. I realized today that I have never received a dime from Kindle so I wrote a couple of ‘where is my money’ letters to Amazon this evening. I have a publisher who is slow to report and I need to send him an email reminding him to let me know where we stand. Meanwhile, the two books on software that sell quite well, well, Amazon pays royalties every month – just not to me! (to my former employer!). Oh well. Shouldn’t moan especially so early in the new year.

The Last Observer continues to sell but more slowly than I really hoped. I keep imagining that it might take off a bit and suddenly accelerate in sales.

I read a story today on the Internet. I would link to it but I don’t think I could find it again. It was about Sting earning 2,000GBP per day in royalties! Apparently, a good proportion of this is for one song and apparently, he actually wrote it with the rest of the band but they didn’t insist on putting their names to it while he did so it is credited simply to Sting……… now, those are the kind of royalties you can only dream about (or imagine).

Advertisements

Before It Was Never the News (Or Ever Will Be)

You know, I write about things as I see them in my blogs and books. I don’t think I am a great writer but I confess to liking to write and so I do. Occasionally, I get on my high horse and have a rant about something that bothers me and I do try to be controversial from time-to-time in the hope that I find a new audience or two. I have a few folks tracking the blog and the books sell a few hundred copies over the space of a few years. I wish it were different but I am clueless as to how to build an audience beyond simply writing and hoping. I had hoped that The Last Observer would be the one that would find a broader audience but I begin to despair there as well….. fingers still crossed but more loosely than in the past.

So where am I going other than feeling a tad sorry for myself? Well, to be honest, I don’t quite understand how, writing about reality and things that are real and everyday, I can barely find an audience while writers who make up the most ludicrous, banale and idiotic nonsense enjoy huge audiences. I kid you not. There is a site called before it’s news. I occasionally post some blog articles there to drive a bit of traffic. On average, my articles get 40-80 reads. Meanwhile, one lady who delivers a constant stream of ‘The end is nigh’ stories based on absolute nonsense enjoys a readership in the tens of thousands!

nonsense

Here are some sample stories and their reads;

– Update! Proof ISON Survived & WTF Is That Giant Thing Following Behind It? (Video) – 21,188
– Swarm Of Space Bodies Following Comet ISON And The Ongoing NASA Cover-Up (Video) – 5,014
– Where Are Obama’s Daughters’ Baby Pics & Birth Records? – 17,307
– CBC: Something Very Odd Is Happening In The Pacific (Video) – 29,078

These ‘stories’ are without substance, without logic and, my guess is, totally made up fabrications in about 99% of cases. What’s even more baffling to me is that even though story after story by a particular author is almost immediately shown to be a fabrication simply as a result of the passage of time (and the predication not coming true), the very next OMG the World is Ending story by the same author is devoured by thousands as well.

You know, I just don’t understand it. Is this sort of stuff the new fiction then? I guess it must be. BTW – if you think I don’t have much writing talent, check out some of these stories. Whoever wrote them obviously has trouble stringing words together coherently!

fact

So, expect more nonsense, tripe and crap from me from now on as I search out the formula for writing success because it plainly isn’t telling a good story or writing a useful article that grabs attention and readers these days!

Saturday Night Thoughts on Promoting Books…

So its Saturday night and I find myself sat in front of the PC wondering yet again just how in thee world you actually promote a book. You see its November and believe it or not but The Last Observer hasn’t yet made any best seller lists and quiet honestly I am a tad disappointed. I reckon that by now my friends and family are sick to the back teeth of the hearing about the bloody book and probably do the internet version of crossing to the other side of the street when they see me coming! I reckon most of them that will buy it already have so I need a broader audience. But how?

I must have spent hours googling ‘how to sell my novel’ and similar search terms and I can only say that it has turned up nothing but the most turgid crap imaginable and the same old stale ideas about reviews, bloggers, press announcements, trailers, book signings etc. etc. bloody etc.

I have a problem. I don’t live in an English speaking country so book signings have very limited effect.

I’m stumped and have resorted to hiding behind lamp posts springing out on unsuspecting dog walkers clutching my business card replete with head shot photo on one side and book cover on the other. Sell more books? Hell no but it nearly got me arrested.

I have 1000 of these cards. What was I thinking? 1000! It was cheaper to print 1000 that 100 (well almost) and I can take them on business trips….

Actually, I need YOU. Word of mouth. Tell your friends and if they won’t buy it, buy it for them – for Christmas and tell them to tell their friends…

If you blog – let me send you some article that discusses the book. Actually, I have placed several of these and have a magazine article due out shortly too…. This may work.

Of course, what I really need to do is something so bizarre and so weird that it makes the news and goes viral on YouTube. What could that be though? Lady Ga Ga seems to have done everything I can think of involving nakedness and bizarre behaviour and my tongue just can’t compete with Miley’s…..

sex

Perhaps the best advice I have read – in stark contradiction to almost every other article including my own publishers advice – was forget promoting your book just get started writing the next one….. You know, that is really really good advice.

Mother Nature’s Rhyme

IMG_0002

The evening darkens
Light dying to the night
Eye of Horus horizon
Sol dies to be reborn
Rising on the horizon
In the new pinkish dawn
An eternal cycle
Of life and death
Rising and Falling
Patterns seared in time
And the certainty of
Mother Nature’s cyclic rhyme

red-sky-in-the-morning-sailors-warning-celine-pollard

If you enjoy my poetry, then please check out my poetry books on Amazon;

Astral Messages (2013)
Poems for the Little Room (2011)
Weird Tales (2007)

Writing Projects

While still hoping that The Last Observer will find its own audience and take off a bit (two more great reviews today!), I am still quiet excited about my next book – Astral Messages. Since Astral Messages is a mix of poetry and blog articles I have gone the self publishing route using the Amazon publisher. Poetry doesn’t sell much and I think this book will be more one for the connoisseur than Joe Public. What I like though is that I was able to combine a poem with an article from Asteroth’s Domain in such a way that one supported the other. These truly are messages from the astral so I think its a great title.

I am now waiting for the proof copy. It should be winging its way from wherever Amazon makes books and once I am happy with it I will hit that button and suddenly Astral Messages will be available on Amazon in paperback and kindle formats. Makes things so easy. So look out for Astral Messages coming soon.

Meanwhile, I am working on The Lord of the Elements. This is the prequel to The Last Observer and naturally features Edward. I can’t actually say much more as to do so would give too much away for readers of The Last Observer! The book will however retain the theme of magic, science and reality. I haven’t yet finished Chapter 1 and I confess as to be clueless regarding the actual plot so this may take a while to see the light of day. Of course, I left a couple of cracks open for a sequel too so this may become the Edward Bright trilogy!

magic_itemAmongst my computer files is also a few pages of something else rather promising. Its more material from Asteroth in a Mystical Hexagram vein but this one needs some research doing too and also needs me to work through the themes and explore more of the hints Asteroth gave me regarding the Tree of Life and the Fool. It is tentatively titled “The Fool’s Journey” and it may never actually see the light of day. But who knows.

Writing is fun and quite honestly, if I could make it pay just a bit, it’s something I’d like to slowly retire to. Writing, presenting and meeting people with strange ideas….

Looking for a Break is Tough Work

Writing – it’s a tough business. For small time authors such as myself, we rely on the ‘friends and family’ concept since we lack what is called a ‘platform’. Let me translate what I just said….Small time writers rely on their friends and family to purchase their books as they don’t have a brand name like say JK Rowling that will guarantee thousands of anonymous buyers for their writing product. Hopefully, friends and family will not just BUY the book but also support it by writing short reviews on Amazon or Goodreads and mentioning it to their friends. The hope is that either, one of these friends of friends and family is extremely influential and can influence the broader public to buy the book (a stroke of good luck) or, more likely, small concentric circles of friends of friends continually buy the book through time.

For the last 4+ months I have been promoting The Last Observer now published by Roundfire Books. I, like all other authors no doubt, think that this book is pretty good and deserves broader appeal. The problem is I have no platform. I can reach out to about 500 friends and family via Facebook and Linked In and hope that if 10% of them buy it, I will sell 50 copies. Maybe 10% of those will result in another sale in their group of friends making a total of 55 copies. Hardly makes for a best seller.

So how to reach a broader market? Well, the publisher is supposed to help with that and to be fair, they have, but my book isn’t likely to be a best seller statistically and so they hedge their bets and budgets and will only do a little. They will do a little more if the books sells say 500 copies. But that is it folks.

So what is required is to find a broader market and develop a platform. To do this, I heave reached out to bloggers with some success and had a hand full of posts and reviews of the book as reward for my efforts. I have also reached out to reviewers and built competitions for give aways on Goodreads and Facebook.

images

I need some luck too.

But most of all, I need my friends and family to pull through for me….. please, buy the book and post a review. Tell your friends. I would be much obliged.

Because you see here is the funny thing. I know a few celebrities. I have reached out to these people too. After all, if a celeb liked the book, tweeted about it etc. that would make a big difference don’t you think? I do. But, I have been disappointed and disillusioned here. It seems that celebs have made it and they don’t have time to help. They are too busy building on their success. I hate to say this but I have found it to be true. The more successful someone becomes the less willing they appear to be to help others perhaps, they are too busy being successful.

If I ever build a platform, I swear I will use it to also help my friends and family.

Obsession with a Symbol

The hexagram. It’s a beautiful symbol of balance used extensively around the world and in everyday life. The hexagram might be said to represent the ALL THAT IS and because of its internal symmetry, it represents the ALL THAT IS in perfect harmonious balance – pure perfection. It is a symbol of perfection but it suggests too that perfection or harmony is something very delicate, immensely fragile, and it is easily lost. It is something that must be purposely sought for.

It is the symbol of the Sun and, it is the symbol of the Son holding Tiphareth at its very center. It has a golden heart. The hexagram signifies the Great Work of Alchemy. It signifies the emanated and the source. It is the ALL and its creation or reality. As the symbol of the Sun it emphasizes this idea that all originated from the Sun or central point and all will eventually come back to the central Sun. The Hexagram represents the polar opposites that we must reconcile back to the single point. It is the six days of work using polarity and the seventh day of rest in which those polarities are reconciled.

images

The Hexagram can be used to reconcile many occult systems and in doing so it is a key to showing that each system is designed consistently and with a similar purpose. They each show us how to achieve the Great Work of alchemy. The Hexagram shows in multiple different ways that we were created to create. It also shows us that in our current state we are unable to create perfection as we should because we are unbalanced and out of harmony.

A study of the hexagram brings many thoughts and contemplations. I spent several years obsessing on this symbol and then, together with SC Vincent, wrote The Mystical Hexagram: The Seven Inner Stars of Power from which the above italicized quotes are taken. The book is available from Darura Press, Amazon and from me. You may also like the promotional video posted below….