Tag Archives: writing

…waiting for the Godot Agent/Publisher… TBSU…

…another of my wee chestnuts to share today with yeez… I’ve blogged on this before, but it’s been a while since the last time, so time to freshen it up… I’m not 100% convinced that I’d be any better off in real terms with a formal Agent or Publisher relationship (what a strange WURD it seems to me, to use in this context, ‘relationship’…p’raps ‘arrangement’ suits better?)… however, I don’t like to give up completely on anything until I test it myself… having just bored yeez all silly with the recent five-day Amazon Kindle Promo for my most recent Jack Calder crime thriller, SAVAGE PAYBACK, it may well be worth a ponder… from a standing start, with no paid promotional activity (all my own WURK, Mabel), the downloads for the promo hit a tad above 6,000… so, comes again my perpetual question, ‘if all these good folks wanna download and read it, why isn’t it attracting the aforementioned invisible Agent/Publisher creatures?’ … let me remind yeez of my last blurb on this, coz some of yeez may be experiencing sum’thing similar… my pitch covered what I’m reliably led to understand are all the elements that these possibility extinct industry persons like to see in a potential new author signing… the blurb:

‘… yeez know me by now, I’m not one who generally wants to cause any trouble for anyone… no, seriously, I’m not… but I think I may have just had a  flash of the blindingly obvious… this ol’ Jurassic has spent approximately 88.88 % of my WURKING career in real-life business… then I allowed myself to be seduced into the hypnotic WURLD of independent self-publishing… the miracle of Amazon Kindle and the SOSYAL NETWURKIN universe still feeds that powerful growing addiction to quill-scraping and the whole nine yards of building the platform... like tons of other wannabee Steinbecks and Rowlings out there, I did the query letter/synopsis/sample-chapters/follow-the-submission-guidelines rigmarole … and as with so many other Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, that entire effort has produced from the ranks of willing Agents and Publishers precisely NUTHIN… many of yeez who honour me by reading my diatribes occasionally will know that my life-long hero is the redoubtable Sir Winston Spencer Churchill… he of the ’never, ever give up’ filosofie... now, here’s the epiphany … it’s about high bluudy time that some of the other side get taken to task on this …. if they want the business of a decent author, p’raps they should be the ones to proffer a query letter and demonstrate their credentials as to why I should give them my business… daft? … no, Mabel, I’m not so sure I am… let me list what is on offer from my side:

1. in two and a half years, from a standing start, with less than zero computer-competency, my books have now downloaded 80,000+ times (I can assure you these are not all bought by my Grannie, Aunties and Uncles…) —COMMERCIAL SALE-ABILITY

2. in the same two and a half years, from a nil-knowledge base of the SOSYAL NETWURKIN universe, I’ve created 17,500+ DIRECT contacts through Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn other channels, and this here Blog.—ROBUST PLATFORM ALREADY BUILT

3. with three Jack Calder novels under my literary belt, I’m reliably informed that I’ve now created a franchise of characters that readers LUV to see—CONTINUED POTENTIAL EARNINGS FOR AGENTS AND PUBLISHERS

4. I’ve self-published paperbacks in the country of my residence, the United Arab Emirates, (including clearing the National Media Council publishing criteria) and negotiated personally to place them in the major book distributor chains in the country —PUBLICITY DRIVE AND COMMERCIAL STAMINA

5. I personally visited and had five-star hotel lobby shops carry the paperbacks for sale— MORE PUBLICITY DRIVE

6. I continue to engage in extensive speaking engagements in readers’ book clubs, and social groups about writing and self-publishing—AUTHOR PRESENCE AND COMMITMENT

7. I’ve held well-attended book launches for each of the first two titles —EVEN MORE PUBLICITY DRIVE

…so, the question is — are any of YOU Agents and Publishers good enough to carry MY stuff?… I will wait with interest any response… but will not bate my breath in the process…

ONWARD AND UPWARD !!! NEVER, EVER GIVE UP !!!! ‘

…let’s see if the response is any different this time! …see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

wall copy 2

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…another wee glimpse of a Celtic past in the Scottish Hebrides… #TBSU…

…a couple months or so ago, I posted a blog piece about my time as a teenager, employed as a trainee banker in Tobermory, a township with less than a thousand souls, nestled at the edge of the beautiful Tobermory Bay on the Scottish Hebridean Island of Mull…

 

tobermory

 

…many of yeez have asked for a few more snippets of what it was like living there… and I must confess, when I sit back and think of these days, I yearn for them more and more… folks had time to talk with each other…emb’dy remember what that was like?… the internet and SOSYAL NETWURKIN was a thing of the far-distant future… the stuff of H.G.Wells-type novels… what sticks with me most clearly are the mem’ries of people… every one a character… every one a real personality…. Gaelic music sat at the heart of the informal house ceilidhs, or gatherings at home with neighbours and friends… from that day forward Celtic music has been tangled round my heart, it never fails to pull me toward the nostalgia of a time a mere fifty years ago… I put on here a wee while ago the beautiful ‘Ubhal As Airde’ (the Highest Apple) by Runrig… the video that comes with it is as poignantly stirring to me as the music… here it is again;

…the reason I play it again is that it reminds me so vividly of one old ‘bodeach’ (older man) singing an old gaelic tune in a house ceilidh one evening… his eyes were kinda half-closed… the voice strong for a man of such vintage… but yeez could hear and yeez could feel the timbre as he sang… his soul was singing to us… everybody present took up the chorus… half love song, half a lament for past times…haunting… it was among the most engrossing song renditions I have ever heard… if yeez click on the video, yeez’ll get some idea of what I mean… so yeez will have to forgive me if I indulge this stuff every now and then…  if we have no real sense and love of some of the beautiful things of our past, then I think we have no real future to pass on to our children, nor they to theirs… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…Authors on Kindle… to promo? or not to promo? that is the question… here’s my tuppence WURTH on it … #TBSU…

…the Sherlocks amongst yeez will prob’ly have noticed by now that I’m Scottish… as in, ‘no sh*t, Sherlock?’… by derivation, my ancestral DNA rails against giving stuff away for NUTHIN… (just try to find emb’dy out-of-doors during a street charity collection in any town North of Hadrian’s Wall)… comes then the question, ‘why would this ol’ Jurassic even think about indulging the Amazon Kindle Free Promo Program?’… handing over virtual copies of my wee crime thriller masterpiece babies for zilch, nowt, nada, rien, zero, nil?… well, as with most things, it isn’t quite as straightforward as that, Mabel… over the past few years, I’ve dabbled with the various Promo mechanisms on the Great God Amazon, and have found a rythym that suits me… let me tick off for yeez, the various points…stay awake at the back, there…

1. What are yeez actually ‘giving away’? 

virtual copies of yer WURK which would prob’ly never ever have found their way onto the freebie downloaders’ Kindle devices… so, in physical terms, NUTHIN lost… in intangible measure, p’raps… and only p’raps, lost potential money sales to the same downloaders … but I very much doubt that…

2. What do yeez get in return?

…notionally, and this is only conjecture, mind… yeez may just be planting seeds of a follower base for yer ‘back list’… the other goodies that yeez continue to produce and serve on the ‘price-tagged offerings’ lists… also, Amazon includes free downloads as part of yer ’sales’ figures… that begins to have a powerful impact when yeez get some ‘critical mass’ building up… then, if yeez are lucky (and if yer WURK merits it) some of these good downloaders may see fit to render a review on the Amazon pages… always good to have, the more the merrier…

3. Is the effort involved WURTH it?

…the answer to that is like trying to reply to, ‘how long is a piece of string?’… my take is that if yeez put NUTHIN in, yeez are likely to get precisely NUTHIN back out… I look on the mental sweat and time as investment in my business of writing… part of the bigger schematic of being present on the Literary Webo-sphere… as a side benefit for me, it gives me oodles of opportunities to interact with my fellow scribblers in the vaious SOSYAL NETWURKS I employ to propagate the stuff…

… so, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, they say (daft saying, but there yeez have it)… I can only point to the comparative success of the promos I’ve done thus far…the current one for SAVAGE PAYBACK enters its fifth and final day today, July 20… I targeted from the outset an average of 500 downloads per day, for a total of 2,500… with about 18 hours still to run, the gratifying figure is now a touch above 5,500 downloads… also, I’ve recorded readers in the UK, USA, BRAZIL, JAPAN, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, GERMANY, SPAIN and ITALY this time around… not a bad marketing/promotional reach from the comfort of my own laptop desk… and, total aggregate sales/downloads for all of my books now exceed 80,000 copiesNET total reviews across all Amazon pages and Goodreads tops 200…

…in summary, I look on the promo mechanisms not so much as a free handout, but much more of an ‘exchange’ for the intangibles outlined above… and I don’t care what emb’dy says, as an author, I’m over the moon just to know that people out there want to read what I’ve crafted…

…I trust this may be helpful to my fellow quill-scraping Lads and Lassies of Blog Land in yer deliberations whether or not to jump on the Promo Wagon… the current promo link for SAVAGE PAYBACK is clickable below… fill yer boots…see yeez later… 

http://bookShow.me/B00G00GZEO

Savage03-1

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…the Authors’ equivalent of ‘WURKING the room’… anatomy of an Amazon Kindle Free promotion…#TBSU…

…many of yeez who’ve spent any time in business where yeez were expected to attend ‘events’ will know what I’m talking about here… corporate functions… organised cocktail parties for business partners and prospective clients… sports days, with or without celebrity faces to bolster the prestige… for the invitees, a relaxed afternoon or evening enjoying corporate hospitality is the norm… on the flip side, the executives and officers of the outfit sponsoring (read ‘paying for’) this company largesse, it’s quite a different slant… they’re there to ‘WURK the room’… to ‘press the flesh’… to ‘pump the handshake line’… to exchange as many business calling cards as possible… to build potential ‘leads’… to ‘develop the relationships’…. emb’dy see any similarities there for we self-publishing quill-scrapers?… this week, my third wee Jack Calder crime thriller, SAVAGE PAYBACK graces the Amazon Kindle Free Program for the first time…

Savage03-1

http://bookShow.me/B00G00GZEO

…I’ve used the Kindle Free Program for previous titles… this time I did it without indulging paid advertisements… money’s tight enuff for we scribblers without throwing it at the ‘vanity pedlars’… so, I got stuck into my own organised program of promotional activity (by the way, Amazon does not do any of this marketing stuff for yeez other than carry the titles)… flurries on Twitter RTs… cascades of posts onto Facebook… placements on Goodreads, Stumbleupon, Pocket, Digg, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr have run their contributing course… wee tags on to my pals on LinkedIn… it’s an intense five-day action plan… and d’yeez know what?… so far it’s been just wunnerful!… my ‘business’  target was to achieve 2,000-2,500 downloads… here we sit just into the third day, and already the numbers are a gratifying 3,600+… I have to confess, I know marketing and such is not everybody’s delight, but I embrace it 1,000,000%…. this is our writing business, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… I hope this might help some others debating whether or not to go down this route… and a wee plug for my SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES won’t go amiss either ( hey! it’s my blog, what do yeez expect? :) see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

 

http://bookShow.me/B00JBL6K80

cover2

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…Awesome Amazon Australia… simply Awesome!… TBSU…

…when yeez have been at the self-publishing independent scribbler bit for a wee while, yeez kinda expect the ‘firsts’ to recede… not so, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… how unforgettable is the very first time yeez type or write the WURDS ‘The End’ on yer masterpiece… I can’t speak for emb’dy else, but it took me more than a week to come down off the pink cloud I nearly floated away on… happily, the exhilaration repeated in getting to the finales of subsequent novels… then there’s the very first sale yeez make on Amazon… it may well be yer Granny who downloaded it… but there yeez sit—a published, purchased author… grand isn’t it?… following that, the very first review that gets loaded onto yer pages on Kindle… hopefully at least a four-star, coz for the first wee while, these reviews seem to matter… until yeez learn to take the roughs with the smooths and coat them all in a healthy dose of salt… then, after a while, don’t discount the splendid feeling the very first time sumb’dy asks yeez to sign a copy of yer wee literary baby… or the very first time yeez get asked to speak in front of an audience as ‘an author’… if yeez are Kindle Select Program practitioners, the temptation prevails to launch yer first ever Kindle Free Giveaways… the freebies still count as sales by the way, and it means watching for the very first time as copies go flying off, theoretically into the hands of future readers of yer WURKS… I’ve done several of these Freebie programs now, and the excitement never palls of knowing people are downloading yer stuff… and it’s all over the WURLD and many other places… here’s another coupla firsts, this time around… I shared yesterday that Amazon Japan saw fit to house their first ever download for me… but today, more goodies… Amazon Australia seems to have found its antipodean feet… my downloads growth there is mega-multiples of their first ever time around… bring on Amazons India, Mexico and Brazil… JUST LUVVIN IT!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

http://bookShow.me/B00G00GZEO

 

Savage03-1

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE/RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…どうもありがとう… there’s me showing off now… it’s Japanese for ‘thank yeez very much’… #TBSU…

bowing

‘duomo arigato’… that’s the Anglicised version… so when yeez hear it traditionally shouted at yeez by the staff when yeez go into a Japanese restaurant, they’re not hurling Nipponese abuse yer way… far from it… genteel-mannered folks in the main they are from the land of the Rising Sun… and it behoves this ol’ Jurassic to respond in kind to the fact that my first-ever recorded download from Amazon Kindle (Japan) happened today…(triumphant blaze of klaxons, trill of trumpets, skirl or three of a bagpipe, surely, as background, p’raps, Mabel?)… on the first day of the current freebie offering of my third Jack Calder crime thriller masterpiece, SAVAGE PAYBACK, Tokyo Trumps… Osaka Oscillates, Kyoto Kracks it,  a single download, it may be…costing NUTHIN, it may be…but a first is a first… now, all we need is for Mexico, Brazil and India to step up to the Amazon plate… if yeez know emb’dy in these geographies with half an inkling for a free read, nudge them this way… see later… LUV YEEZ!

SAVAGE PAYBACK… absolutely FREE until July 20th:

http://bookShow.me/B00G00GZEO
Savage03-1

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE/RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…yer first wheeled collision should always be a memorable event… #TBSU…

superman

…there’s those who think me a tad strange that I’ve never possessed a driving licence in my life… indeed, there’s also those who deem me a tad weird for many other reasons, but that’s another story… so far, I’ve survived into that age category classified as, ‘my WURD, yeez are looking well’ without the need for a drivers docket… thinking back, I sense that my first-ever attempt to commandeer a wheeled vehicle may have had much to do with the lifelong antipathy to motorisation… as a mere sixteen-years-young lad, employed at the time in Tobermory on the beautiful Hebridean Island of Mull, my rented accommodation was with a family who lived in a croft, a small farm steading… the croft was some three or four miles out of the town, along single-track roadways, a traffic medium which I don’t think has changed much in the last hundred years… customary means of transportation each morning was a lift with the garage mechanic who lived in the same house… the desire for a bit more personal mobility enticed me to purchase a motor scooter… second-hand of course, with a massive staff loan from the bank of about thirty pounds of Her Britannic Majesty’s sterling… a further investment outlay on a ‘skid-lid’ and proper leather clothing caused a deeper bite into Master Gallacher’s non-existent savings… came the day to get on the bluudy thing and learn how to manoeuvre it… the mechanic, well-versed in such matters, took it upon himself as Chief Instructor to impart that knowledge to me… we (wisely as it turned out) chose not to go on the common roadway, but to make the maiden ride along the driveway of the house… he must have told me a hundred times the difference between the throttle handle, and the brakes… but, but, but… no sooner did I try to ‘gently’ ease the throttle, than the Vespa took a life of its own… my nervousness contributed in large part to the ensuing melee… instead of throttling ’back’, my right hand sum’how turned it to ‘full’… like a startled stallion, Vespa, Master Gallacher, crash helmet, new leathers and all, accelerated forward at the speed of a helluva sound… ground covered must have been all of seven yards… straight slap bang into a rowing boat, lying up on the grass verge…

boat

…disaster at sea for marine people is one thing… shipping collision on dry land quite sum’thing else… the impact of the machine on boat produced enough firewood to keep Guy Fawkes roasting for eons… Master Gallacher vied with Nadia Comaneci for gymnast of the month with somersaults (plural), landing miraculously feet first into a thistle bush… the Chief Instructor had metamorphosed into an imitation of the Laughing Policeman, with a lucrative tale to tell in the pub for months later… the ad appeared two days later in the Oban Times, ‘Second-Hand Vespa–Hardly Used’… see yeez later… drive carefully now,yeez hear?… LUV YEEZ!

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…my new, but already extinct language…Seumas-ese… #TBSU…

dinowaiter

…it’s quite possible that many of yeez have had the same experience in yer lives… the surprising and often unwitting discovery that yeez may have stumbled upon a brand new language… in the nature of linguistics, by definition, a ‘new’ language will be decipherable to a limited number of speakers… in this case, essentially only one speaker, in fact, who understands it… p’raps yeez’ll recognise the symptoms, here’s how I become aware of it… fr’example, I approach a gaggle of shop assistants and say in a polite, modulated tone, ‘excuse me!’… the posse behind the serving counter remain oblivious to my utterance, even when repeated two or three times… I think, apparently mistakenly, that I’m speaking in English, but the non-response leaves me to ponder otherwise… shift the scenario to any thriving coffee shop or restaurant… frequently, my attempts to catch the attention of passing waiters or waitresses results in the same forlorn negative consequence… nil reply… it gets worse… I try waving menus, and shout ’hello!’ as they scoot past my table, the 1000-yard stare fixed straight ahead, and certainly taking no heed of my exhortations for service…

waited

…it surely can’t be that people are actually ignoring me?... not I, the iconic Legend-In-His-Own-Lunchbox author… so, I surmise it’s the language thingy… Seumas-ese… soon to be offered in international Berlitz-style courses… learn in a matter of days how to speak in a tongue that no-one else on the planet will seem to comprehend… baffle yer family and friends with yer command of a new and already extinct language… if yeez WURK on this yerselves, I’m sure yeez’ll patent yer own particular dialects… go for it… but please, please, don’t ask any shop assistants or waiters to help yeez with it… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…call the asylum, Mabel… that Author lad, Gallacher’s gone crazy again… giving away ‘SAVAGE PAYBACK’… #TBSU…

STOP! HALT! DESIST! CEASE!

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BUY MY ‘JACK CALDER’ BEST-SELLER CRIME THRILLER,

‘SAVAGE PAYBACK’

Why not?

Coz, I’m putting it on the Amazon Kindle Free Promo gig starting in two days time, at break of date, July 16th, Pacific Coast time, for five days only… phew, that was close… saved another 100,000+ people from having to pay money for it in the next 48 hours… you’re welcome!

http://bookShow.me/B00G00GZEO

Savage03-1

 

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE/RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

 

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…hook, line and sinker… my twelve-minute career as a fisherman… #TBSU…

hooks

..there are many vocations and professions that I’ve aspired to follow during my time on this planet, but there’s an absolute standout not-suited-for-the-job slot … that of a fisherman… I don’t mean the banging-out-onto-torrid-oceans type of fisherman, hauling in tons o’ silver-finned darlin’s, yeez understand… heck, no… I get seasick just looking at watercolours hanging in the Art Gallery… the kind of fishing I refer to is the land-based, fishing-line or rod-in-hand from a tranquil riverbank sort of fishing… ‘angling’ to some… ‘fishing’ to most, where I come from… apparently it is by far and away the most popular sport in the United Kingdom… when this ol’ Jurassic was about nine years young, an older cousin was tasked with ‘looking after the boy’ for a day… a day when the said relative decided to take me with him on a fishing expedition… p’raps he had thoughts that I might double as decent fish bait, who knows… as all intrepid Docklands Govan fisher folks do, we jumped on a public transport bus and rode to a water reservoir on the outskirts of Glasgow… I doubt if it has featured in National Geographic’s Ten Best Fishing Spots programme… I watched in fascination as he unrolled a reel of green twine, attached a wee lead weight, and then a spiky-looking hook, attached to which was the biggest bluudy earthworm I have ever seen… with great aplomb, he lasso-twirled the thing around his head a couple of times and cast it with a satisfying  splash into the water…

fish

…after half an hour he already had about four fish beside him on the grass… he asked me, ‘do yeez wanna try?’ … my half-non-committal grunt was taken as a ‘yes’… he unfurled about ten yards of the green string, quickly had a weight, hook, and the brother of the Loch Ness Monster wriggling on the end and handed the lot to me, ‘okay, there yeez go’… I stood up, tried to emulate his Roy Rogers technique and hurled it as far as I could toward the water… the splash was exhilarating…until I saw him staring at me… ’where’s yer end of the line?’… nobody told me yeez had to hang on to one end… so, there began and ended, hook, line and sinker… my twelve-minute career as a fisherman… funny, I’ve never been fond of fish since then… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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