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Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Perils of Self Publishing-Part I

When I started writing my book, Double Trouble on Corned Beef Row, I had no idea that I was creating a monster. Writing and re-writing the story was the easy part. What happened when I finished it came as big surprise. The first thing I learned was that, in general, agents do not want to hear from you. They are only interested in promoting authors they already represent. Many do not even give you the courtesy of a reply to letters or emails asking them to take on your book. Most will direct you to a web page with submission requirements, and these will vary wildly. After wasting several months looking for an agent to no avail, I decided to self publish. The problem with that process is that if you don't have the money to pay for expensive services that most print on demand publishers offer, you are stuck with doing all of those things for yourself. My solution? Publish on CreateSpace.com or Lulu.com. I settled on CreateSpace, as I was only required to purchase one copy: a proof. That would solve my minimal finances problem. After going through numerous file structure changes that were necessary to upload the files, I had a real copy of my work in my hands, but it was flawed. I had somehow uploaded the same chapter twice. With the proof in hand, we, my Darling Judy and I, scoured the pages for other problems and found lots of them. Re-editing the entire book for redundancies, poorly worded passages, and grammatical errors took us to the point where we were ready to upload the changes. Confident that we had corrected all of the problems, we ordered several copies of the proof to give away. The strategy we used for doing this is in the next installment.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Status Quo: Hopeless

I have, as do most people, a "To Do" list. I have come to the conclusion it will never get finished in this lifetime. It keeps growing longer as I get older. Filled with things I want to do as well as things I need to do, I have to keep paring it down so I can keep it from getting completely out of control. Not that it really is under control. It seems to stay static at about two dozen items because when I finish one task, another quickly takes its place. Add in the things my wife wants me to do, and it grows like a sprig of ivy: climbing up, grabbing me by the throat, and squeezing it shut. Or so it seems. I looked at it this morning and realized what a mixed up mess it is. I am going to have to re-write and prioritize it. Again. Then, I am going to have to get busy doing what is on it. Does the time ever come when a person can just say, "to hell with it," and throw the damnable thing in the trash? Is there no rest for the weary? Anyone who thinks old age is the time for taking it easy and slowing down needs to take a look at my list. I didn't work this hard before I retired. Oh, well! Enough whining. Time to get to work.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Fed Up American

Like many others, I have grown to hate the federal government. It has completely lost, not only its credibility, but its purpose. It is no longer government of the people. It is an oligarchy run by the rich and powerful. Political correctness has taken the place of common sense. The government now decides who in its opinion is making too much money making it unfair to people, on the dole, who are unwilling to work,
but not unwilling to do drugs and add their illegitimate children to it. Illegal aliens are given rights that are withheld from the elderly who have paid into Social Security and their taxes all their lives. Jobs are sent overseas and Americans are put out of work for the sake of corporate profits. Young Americans are fighting and dieing for the rights of other peoples in lands whose citizens do not appreciate what they are doing. They should, instead, be protecting our homeland from those who sneak across our borders either to gain access to benefits that should be reserved for American citizens, perform terrorist acts, or to participate in the lucrative drug trade. It is a government whose priorities are convoluted. It is my belief that we need to go back to fundamentals. By that, I mean the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the constitutional amendments that guarantee the rights of American citizens. It is time to scrap the crap and start over. I see the need for American Revolution II. I love my country, and would gladly give my life for it. God bless America, but god damn its government whose leadership, the likes of Obama, Pelosi, and a plethora of career politicians, has betrayed us too many times to catalog.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Past, Present, and Future

Last Saturday was a great day for me. My wife and I went to Greetings and Readings, the largest local independent bookstore in the metropolitan area. We sold a bunch of copies of Double Trouble on Corned Beef Row, and had a lot of fun in the process. According to one of the people who works there, I sold triple the number of books sold by the average author who comes there for a book signing. Today, Judy and I went to a store called All Things Country. The owner there was a lady, who greeted us with great warmth. We dropped off some books and will be included in a multiauthor book signing on August 6. We also took a bunch of old coins to a dealer and sold them for just under $400. I had been a collecting them for many years. I have several other things on my to do list that I MUST get out of the way before I can get back to serious writing. I have eight more items on that list, and hopefully, I will be able to knock them out without too many problems. Have you ever noticed how few lives never seems to get shorter? There is always something added to its end that makes it go on and on and on and on. Ah well, such is life.