Posted in Thoughts

Writing is easy, What to do with what’s written is tough

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So I am about as new to the published author world as you can get. I released my first book just over two weeks ago and was ecstatic about the chance for someone else to read it. Now I’m just hoping someone else can find it.

Already in these few weeks I’ve learned that writing is the easy part. Figuring out what to do once you have finished writing is the tough and just as important part.

I guess I have been spoiled by the blogging world. Here we write a response to a prompt and bloggers from all over the world visit, read and comment making you feel as if you have accomplished a great quest. You write a short story one evening for fun and when you post it you get the likes, the comments about it being humorous, entertaining and enjoyable. You sit back and watch the little notification box light up (Okay, it used to light up. What happened to that anyway?) and everything is right with the world.

Then you make the decision to write a book. You get an idea, check into the process, write the story, have friends and family read it, edit to where you feel it’s ready then make all the arrangements and bam, it’s available to the world and on the biggest online shopping website anywhere.

Sounds like everything should be coming up roses, right? Well then you start watching for the sales to build up. Granted it’s only been a few weeks and I never expected to be on a best seller list but still you hope a few people pick your book up and read it, especially when they can do it for free with Amazon’s Unlimited program. After a couple days and an initial few purchases from family, friends and fellow bloggers the line showing sales goes flat. No borrows under the free program either. What can I do you think to yourself?

I began to read about marketing and if you want to confuse yourself you should do this. Everyone has an opinion and the majority of it involves a bit of pimping yourself out to sell your wares and by wares I mean your book. It seems today no matter how great an author you are you need to be an even better networker. This is an area where I have never been a proven asset. I mingle in the world but just to get a little wet, never enough to get soaked.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of twitter, Facebook, wordpress, instagram and the million other sites like them but days only have twenty four hours in them. After spending 10+ at work most days and 7+ hours sleeping it leaves maybe 6 for everything else. This includes time with family, time for the wife, time for the animals, time for myself and time to write. Not a whole lot extra left over to navigate the online world and press everyone I run into to take a peek at my written work.

I can’t spend my weekends at a convention showing my newest masterpiece or afford to advertise at the super bowl so how do I get people to know about it? This is what I’ve learned and done so far and I am hoping it all helps but only time will tell.

1) I created a dedicated Facebook page and blog specifically for the book series where news can be updated and book readers can go and feel comfortable or sign up for email notifications. The sites are up and likable at the moment if anyone is feeling like clicking.

New Cover Art
New Cover Art

2) Updated the cover on the first book to match up to the forthcoming second one in the series. (This was based on a suggestion from a qualified fellow author and was not something that even crossed my mind. With a series the type font and look of the covers should be as similar as possible so everything flows well and matches. People want that familiarity.)

3) Updated my keywords (This was amazing the difference a simple change could make. I originally went with what seemed most pertinent to the first title. Things like dragon, fantasy, magic etc.. Come to find out a search on Amazon’s kindle store for “dragon” finds 20,500 listing. A search for “talking dragon” however finds just 34 results and my book is second on that list. Sure not as many people will search for talking dragons but what’s the chance the ones who don’t will go through 20,000 results to find my book? Hoping a few key phrases can make a big difference!)

I am still patrolling the internet world to find more ways of improving my chance to sell my writings and seem to learn a little something new every day. The wonderful thing about it all is so far any help has been freely given and others have wanted to help. I haven’t run into any rudeness on the blogging side or the author side of my journey yet. I’m sure there is some out there but I’ve been pleased it hasn’t crossed my path.

The worst thing that happened so far to me is when, based on an article I read, I decided to stop by my hometown library and offer a donated copy of my book. The girl who helped me looked lost but accepted my book with a shrug and a confused mouthing of the word okay. Granted I didn’t expect a party, but a question or two from the local library to find out more would have made me feel a little less awkward. I think I’ll make another trip by there soon and see if someone else might be more helpful.

I am open to any additional suggestions and will try to let you know how the changes so far help things out. As a bonus for reading all the way through this bit of knowledge I just shared let me also share the first sneak peek at book two coming soon. Enjoysecretagentcover

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Posted in Thoughts

Spark says have a happy and safe 4th of July

Spark wanted me to let everyone know he is a fanatic when it comes to holidays. July 4th is one of his favorites. He loves the fireworks and the excitement that fills the air.

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He also wanted me to tell everyone to have a happy 4th but make it a safe one. Fire and fireworks are not something to play with (even though he does, but he is a dragon) so be careful out there.

Posted in Ideas, Thoughts

My crazy thoughts

By now maybe you’ve seen me talk about the book I recently finished. I’ve been working on getting it for sale on Amazon and have a proof coming tomorrow for a printed version.

It has been a fun experience and even though it has yet to actually go on sale all I can do is think about what next.

I love my blog followers but the thought of sharing my crazy thoughts with an even bigger audience is too enticing not to try. With that in mind I’ve got a plan in place for a second book in the Dragon in My Garage Series to come out within a couple months and would like to add a third filled with Halloween Hijinks for the spooky season.

Maybe I can pull this off while working a full time job, maybe not but I feel I want to try. To add even more on my plate I’ve been considering another project. I have been ignoring my hosting duties at Okay, What If? for a while now and this project would get me back to it.

The thing is on this one I may want some help.

The whole fiction writing thing with me restarted with a short story first written on Okay, What if? The idea of the what if has always been an intriguing way to explore a new world of possibilities. With that in mind I would like to collect a series of short stories into a book all written with the What if in mind.

I’m thinking about ten total stories with maybe five by me and five by contributing authors as in you possibly. Would anyone be interested in the chance? I will tell you I like the unique and odd sort of thought. One of my possible contributions is a rewrite of that first story posted on Okay , What if? called What if I Met Bigfoot and Turns out, he is a really great guy?

I’ve even worked a bit on the cover possibility.

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For now this is still just an idea in my head but I would like to know what others thought and if anyone might consider submitting a story for it. If I see the interest I will figure out a way to receive submissions and some type of guidelines.


Shameless plug time, go now and preorder my first book How I Met My Pet Dragon from Amazon. Go ahead. It’s okay to leave the blog for it. I’ll be here when you get back.

Posted in Ideas, Thoughts

Book project completed, now what?

So I am giving everyone fair warning. I will be talking a lot about a dragon from now on. Okay I admit I’ve been talking and writing a lot about this dragon for months but with the first book project completed it is probably going to start getting worse.

I'm in a book and you're not!
I’m in a book and you’re not!

I have written out my story, reread it a time or two, had my sister who has three little ones read it, had her little one look it over and give suggestions, added in my own brand of illustrations, went back in and changed all the illustrations a couple times, added an introduction and an ending exchange between the characters, made up the cover image and left a to be continued opening at the end leading into the next book.

I am stunned that I have completed a project I started and am extremely pleased with the result.

Now it’s time for the really fun part. I have to figure out how and when to release it, how to promote it without shoving it down everyone’s throats and hope others like it at least a smidge as much as I do.

My thought is since it will be the first of what I hope turns into a series and it will be geared toward the pre-teen age group but can be a fun read for any age I will release it as an eBook on Amazon under the Kindle unlimited banner at 99 cents to buy or can borrow for free. As I stated this is the first attempt at this so I’m hoping I have this thought process correct.

Future releases if the first one does anything at all I might increase the price slightly on.

I am open to any help those of you who have been through the process can give me. I also would be ecstatic if anyone wanted to praise my effort and tell me how much they are eagerly awaiting the release.

Here is one of the illustrations I used for a chapter page. Each chapter has it’s own theme and this one is from chapter six called knowledge sharing.knowledgesharingIt is one of my favorite pictures I did for the book just because it’s so simple yet tells so much. I think it could even be a good t-shirt or mug if I decided to get crazy and try a RedBubble store or similar.

As of yet no specific release date but it should be coming soon, as soon as I figure out what I’m doing and I don’t screw it up too bad.

You have been warned!!!

Posted in Thoughts

Less is More

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So if less is more

Why can no one eat just one

Why aren’t the poor in power

And why do I pay extra for more channels

If bigger is better

Why not adopt elephants for pets

Why aren’t all checks prizey super sizey

And why don’t I drive a Semi everywhere

If better late than never

Why are alarm clocks so important

Why is time never on my side

Why does my boss not give me a raise

If the early bird gets the worm

Why doesn’t the worm just stay in

Why do store have after hours sales

Why do my neighbors not like me mowing at daybreak


Coming soon

If Silence is golden

If good things come in small packages

If it’s better to give than to receive

If two heads are better than one