Monthly Archives: May 2016

…Authors–caveat emptor re book-selling websites–the final report makes for sorry reading…

…I promised yeez a round up summary of my recent dabble with book-selling websites… and the final report makes for sorry reading… let me back up and explain for emb’dy coming in fresh to this… as a self-published author, I’m always keen to find and develop non-spamming channels to help sell my wee literary  masterpieces… Aunty Internet is full of enterprising offers, at a cost, of course, with various claims of daily email shots to anywhere up to 120,000+ readers, clustered in genres, in order ‘to target and maximise your sales to these avid followers’... well, in good ol’ Scottish vernacular… BORROX!!… here’s the score:

Website ONE:

Paid US$ 15—Result 2 sales

Website TWO

Paid US$ 16—Result 2 sales

Website THREE

Paid US$ 50—Result 1 sale

…impressive, NOT… in truth, I hadn’t expected massive downloads from this, but the sheer sparseness of the returns is mind-boggling… and it raises questions in my mind… are these email lists for real? tested?…

…remember this, each of these sites demanded that my novels be offered at a significant discount, and to have had a minimum number of positive reviews already… I think that 85,000+ downloads under my own promotional activity, with in excess of 350 reviews in aggregate, the bulk of which are 4-stars and 5-stars, more than qualified… now here’s the rub… each of the sites also ‘suggested’ that I use my own SOSYAL NETWURKS to push the promo at the same time they put out their emails… again, my questioning mind would ask, ‘If their email lists were so productive and effective, and that’s what I’m supposedly paying for, why do they need my extra push?’...so, naughty quill-scraper that I am, I did not push the specific titles on the days they did… instead I ran my own parallel promos for separate titles in my back list… and guess what?… yup, every one of my own efforts produced sales in multiples of their returns (which wasn’t difficult, considering how paltry theirs turned out to be)… I’d be more than interested to hear from anyone who can share their experience with such outlets…

…I retrospectively emailed each of the sites and asked if they could tell me from their records how many sales were attributable to the promo on their page… the answers were astonishing… not one has the capacity to do that… in other WURDS... they have no idea whether their service produced none or a million sales… hmmm… again I question, so, how can they be so assured in their offer in the first place?

…let me be clear, I’ve no beef with anyone who offers a credible service to any of we authors, self-published or otherwise…we all wanna make a living… but I do have an issue with any outlet which may be seen merely to be preying on the desire of most writers to get their WURK up and running… it’s tough enuff trying to scrape a living from an occupation that takes months and years of effort to create the end product… meantime, not missing the opportunity, my books and their links are listed below… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

wallpapernew

THE VIOLIN MANS LEGACY

myBook.to/theviolinmanslegacy

VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK

myBook.to/vengeancewearsblack

SAVAGE PAYBACK

myBook.to/savagepayback

KILLER CITY

myBook.to/calderkillercity

 

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

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…thoughts on a wild thing… nostalgia’s still what it used to be…

…this ol’ Jurassic Scot needs very little (read ‘none at all’) persuasion to jump into the mem’ries of the past… but not just the immediate ten minutes ago, or even a coupla years before, nor yet a decade or two… no, Mabel, I’m casting back beyond that time scale… like fifty years or so (I’m not really that old, am I?)… to a different passage of my life… in particular, to six incredible years spent in Tobermory, (back then, total population 873) on the beautiful Scottish Hebridean Island of Mull (total population at that time, circa 2,000)…

mull

…in my mid-teens, thanks to two wonderful lady teachers from the local school, I learned to speak and sing in Gaelic... one tutored me in the language, the other in how to sing it, grace notes and all… I went on to gain medals in swatches during those times, but more importantly, it left with me an irremovable love of all things musically Celtic… but back to the ‘mem’ries’ thing-y… Tobermory’s own Mishnish Hotel was owned by one of the finest accordian players ever to grace the Scottish music scene… bobbyBobby MacLeod Snrbobby 2his famous Dance Band played all over Scotland  and many invitations to perform abroad in expatriate Caledonian company were the order of the day… in the band, the magical fiddle player, ‘Pibroch’ Mackenzie, couldn’t read a note of music, but made that instrument sing and dance with us at the local ceilidhs… long before the internet… long before the ballyhoo of the MTV channel and its imitators… long before the drugs scene and night clubs proliferated… self made, home-spun music… we danced, we sang, we laughed, we fell in love, we had our hearts broken, we recovered… until the next time… the regular weekend dances at the various village halls around Mull always rang on into the early hours, often spinning into spontaneous ceilidhs in folks’ houses and cottages… and we LUVVED IT!… here’s a wee thing I tacked together after one such village hall dance/ceilidh… walking a young lady home in the wee small hours… (take a look at the date!)… enjoy…

THOUGHTS ON A WILD THING

A kindly evening breeze

blows its welcome cool

where perspiring hotly beads

their burning course have run.

 

Mirrored with mercuric detail,

the coil of tousled hair

and cheeks

flushed with fast and furious flurry

reflect happily the history

of a hurly-burly flinging reel

and the execution quite profound

they called a strip-the-willow.

 

The same cool air

sends a shiver

through the muffled avenue

of leaf-laden birches

which dance in simulation

to an earlier pleasing version

that blessed a saintly waltz,

copied by ages through ages,

then by us.

 

The wind in spasmodic gusts

whips lightly at the branches

and a vision becomes reborn.

 

Now feel again the polka

dashing fire to the heart.

 

Thankful breath recalls how,

tempered with these,

the subdued Pride of Erin

rests its stamp.

 

Still, a daring foxtrot

leaves its poignant legacy

to a happy, tired memory

and another wild thing is dead.

Seumas Gallacher

September 1969

 

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

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…yeez are all notorious gangsters… and we know who yeez are…

…this ol’ Jurassic scribbler may unwittingly have stumbled on an eternal truth… inside every saint, there’s a sinner plotting to get out… over the last few years my Jack Calder crime thrillers have been populated with the necessary balance of good guys and bad guys… unknown to yeez loyal readers, many of the characters dancing, prancing, and romancing across the pages have names derived from actual people… no, Mabel, they don’t reflect their real life personae, just the monikers… the weirdness I’ve uncovered is that the most common thing shared with me by people I meet is that they all ‘wanna write a book’, closely followed by the desire to appear as a character in a novel… especially crime fiction… comes the next question I pitch to them, ‘do yeez wanna be a goodie, or a baddie?’… the men usually answer about 85% wanna be gangsters, evil overlords, mobsters, wreaking all manner of uncivil mayhem around them…

MALE GANGSTA

…on the other hand, of the women, astonishingly 100% wanna be baddies!… and they even give me tons of ideas of how evil they can be… man, it’s frightening… go figure… of course they’re not gonna leap out of the pages as a mass-murderer called  ‘Alec Jones’, or an international drug queen named ‘Mary Smith’

GANGSTER-FEMALE-SUIT

…but it’s truly amazing how tweaking the first names and reversing bits of surnames can produce the most sinister-sounding villains’ tags… delving deeper into their intent to be featured in Vogue For Villains, to a person, they all understand, that all things being equal, their ‘character’ is gonna meet a messy and horrible demise… and their eyes light up with glee!… whodda thunk?… so next time yeez are sitting on the train, have a wee squint right and left of yeez… that old grannie sitting knitting in the corner could be a facade for the string-puller for drug dealing across half of Europe… or that quiet bloke engrossed in his crossword may be looking for a synonym for ‘strangulation’ or ‘fire-bombing’… yeez have been warned… yeez are all notorious gangsters… and we know who yeez are… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

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…authors, the lowdown on book promo sites… honest feedback from an ol’ Jurassic Scots scribbler…

…I promised yeez a wee while ago to revert with the success or otherwise of dabbling in the ‘give-us-yer-money-and-we’ll-get-yeez-gazillions-of-sales-for-yer-masterpieces’ websites… I’m never averse to trying new (for me) channels and avenues for prospective book sales, and am currently giving this field a whirl… early returns are disappointing so far… let me recap :

All the sites require titles ALREADY to have been reasonably successful, with a certain number of reviews rating at least 4-star or above…

All the sites require a significant discount to normal pricing.

Website 1…

Paid US$ 15 for a one day exposure for one title in a list of prob’ly around 40 or 50 others, with the title remaining on their ’trailing list’ for a further unspecified period…

Email list (they claim) is 35,000

Result: Sales for the period through this channel  — 2 copies only…

Conclusion– A waste of this author’s time and money on that website…

 

Website 2…

Paid US$ 16 for a one day exposure for one title in a list of prob’ly around 50 others, with the title remaining on a ‘trailing list’ for a further unspecified period.

Email list (they claim) is 121,000

Result: Sales for period through this channel —2 copies only.

I ran a simultaneous promo for another of my titles at the same discounted pricing, same genre, but exclusively through my own normal promotional activity (with which as some of yeez will know, I am constantly active)

the result of THAT personal effort, sales : 6 copies… with no cost to me…

Conclusion… a waste of this author’s time and money on that website…

 

Website 3…

Pending toward the end of this month:

Allegedly one of the more effective websites (let’s see) with supposedly 100,000 email subscriber list…

 

Paid US$ 50 for a one day exposure for one title in a list of prob’ly around 50 others, with the title remaining on a ‘trailing list’ for a further unspecified period.

Fingers crossed, and I’ll keep yeez updated …

…here are some of my titles, and quite simply, one of the ways I market them is on here :

wallpapernew

THE VIOLIN MANS LEGACY

myBook.to/theviolinmanslegacy

VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK

myBook.to/vengeancewearsblack

SAVAGE PAYBACK

myBook.to/savagepayback

KILLER CITY

myBook.to/calderkillercity

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

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…another day… another time… another flashback image…

13234823_10209891446431121_636589458_o

…the ongoing, current ‘rummage in the attic’ adventure produces more ‘photographic blasts from the past’… and has uncovered this prize piece of ancient historical Kilt-ism… featured on the left is a great friend, Cameron Sloan, for many, many years the Secretary of the Hong Kong St. Andrew’s Society, a thankless role, but carried out with enormous diligence as with everything he tackles… on the right, weighing in at a gazillion kilos lighter than his current fighting weight is Master Gallacher… you will note the chap with the elegant sideburns in the wall portrait behind us… no prizes for guessing who he is, but I wonder how many of my non-Scottish followers will know his name?… the usual comments are expected regarding how many years have lapsed since my hirsute topping drifted into the mists of distant memory… the self same Anderson tartan Kilt is still in use, although the straps at the side which allow for ‘expandable human body content’ admittedly have since been stretched to their limits… however, I’m proud to say I can still fit into the same brogue shoes and socks sizes… the bow tie also still fits… thankful for small mercies… so there yeez are, Messrs Sloan and Gallacher, prime models for Vogue for Teuchters… wha’s like us?—damn few, an’ they’re a’ deid!… slainte mhath!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

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Mention in Dispatches – Late night phone calls, Kindle Formatting and The Blue Bird of Happiness

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

mention in dispatches

Welcome to this week’s post and also a reminder of great posts from the week that I was away in Portsmouth.. As always far too many interesting, informative and entertaining posts to share all of them but here is a small selection you will, I am sure, enjoy.

sheila of cows Pasture chronicles

Sheila from Cow Pasture Chronicles with a late night call that would terrify any parent.

Survival

Donna Parker always offers a new perspective on life.. In this post she turns her attention to blogging which she likens to a cooking and the consumption of food… Are you a spicy takeaway or perhaps a sumptious feast for the eyes and mind? Head over and see if you can identify your speciality of the day.

Through The Blog Storm

Debhead-300x281Deborah Drezen Carroll shares some great links to Between the Lines a blog series created by Katherine from Katherine’s Corner blog.

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…a wee ‘speriment in Author promotions… yeez pays yer money and yeez takes yer chances…

…I’ve no desire to upset animal LUVVERS, and ‘specially fervent feline followers, but it’s often said, ‘there’s more than one way to skin a cat’… likewise, there’s more than one avenue to promotional markets for writers and their masterpieces… the Great God Amazon’s usual suspects such as Free Promo Days, Reduced Price Countdown features, and Kindle Unlimited, are prob’ly the easiest mechanisms for self-publishers to get engaged in selling their stuff… of late, Master Gallacher has seen fit to dabble a little bit more broadly… selective, modestly-priced access (remember I AM Scottish) to websites with significant mailing list bases of potential readers have attracted my attention… but, not satisfied with merely following that trend, here’s what I’m attempting this week… a wee ‘speriment in Author promotions… yeez pays yer money and yeez takes yer chances… a parallel offering of two of my titles… both at similar discount prices of  Sterling 1.39 / US$ 1.99… the first is KILLER CITY, trumpeting that with my own SOSYAL NETWURKS as the principal means of broadcasting it, which generally finds more success in the Amazon Kindle UK market… secondly, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, running with one of these aforementioned mailshot purveyors, The Fussy Librarian, which aims mainly at the Amazon Kindle USA market… I will run them in sync and measure how each week-long event performs… either way, it’s fun, and already has drawn sales/downloads from the UK… in fairness, the second has only just launched, so it’s too early to gauge and compare… p’raps across the pond I’ll have to try for a while to wean focus away from The Donald and onto The Seumas… the click-buying links and photos of my wee babies follow:

KillerCityWeb

 

myBook.to/calderkillercity

 

Cover for Violin Man

myBook.to/theviolinmanslegacy

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

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