Tag Archives: #internationalcrime

…Authors… Giveaways, Freebies and Promos are all a matter of balance…

…as a writer, I’m often asked, ‘why give yer stuff away for free?’… this ol’ Jurassic Scots scribbler can be as charitable as the next man… but, with a nod to my Caledonian heritage, and to quote a famous writer of the past, “…his generosity knows bounds!…” …delving into the wunnerful WURLD of self-publishing ten years ago, heralded an entire raft of nuances and ‘tricks of the trade’ on Auntie Amazon’s Kindle… all in the quest of finding the sweet spot for broadening my readership, and seeing the sales and downloads graphs head skyward… experimentation was the order of the day, mixing and matching the various methods of tempting subscribers… Free Promo spells… auction bids… then Goodreads Giveaways, throwing as many as five or ten copies of books at a time at lucky draw winners… Facebook readers’ groups, much more satisfying, because at least the author gets to know the participants better, and usually secures longer term virtual relationships with those who win, and even those who don’t… comes now the question of where to draw the line?… how much to let go for NUTHIN?… remember, these titles are the result of months and sum’times years, of blood, sweat and tears in producing yer wee baby literary masterpieces… experience is a great teacher… it should have come as no surprise, (but did), that as the first title spawned another, and yet another and more, and more, it became apparent that one of the major benefits of having a backlist is that a single title can be offered free for a limited spell, while the balance of titles are still ‘paid’ items… the technique is simple… rotation of the titles, one at time, at decent intervals, is the optimum way of continuing to generate interest… I’m finishing one such offer at the moment, and have seen paid sales of the other tomes pick up at the same time, as well as increased usage of the Kindle Unlimited mechanism, which pays authors for every page that’s read… I hope that’s of some interest and help to my fellow quillpersons… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

20 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…the gift of sight… all too often among things I take for granted…

…as a wee lad of barely 4 years of age, this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler was already an avid reader… the local public library in Elder Park in Docklands, Govan in Glasgow, where I grew up, was an oasis in an area deprived of many things… the junior section encouraged kids like me, and my cardboard library ticket was covered in the smudgy, inked, date stamp marks in no time at all… one unwelcome side effect of this onslaught on the book world was the need for the miniature Master Gallacher to wear eyeglasses, even before school age…

…bespectacled I became for the ensuing 30 years or so, when the advent of contact lenses allowed me, partly from vanity, partly from ease of wearing, to acquire a pair, although it must be confessed, there were times when recalcitrant, prodigal lenses adorned the living room carpet and the depths of armchair folds of my home rather than my eyeballs, such was my clumsiness in handling them…

…a further 15 years elapsed and the eyes were treated to the next wave of optical miracle… laser treatment... happily, this sustained my vision for another 20 years, until a recent calamity befell… from whatever source, I know not whence, the left, upper side of my face was blitzkrieg-attacked 4 months ago by a severe bout of shingles… for a while, the resemblance to the Phantom of the Opera was remarkable, but the novelty stopped there… it was more than a tad painful affliction, and it left a nasty legacy of infections in the cornea and surrounding eye area… the infections have since been taken away, but a mistiness remains in the eye, necessitating the procurement of a pair of glasses... this time, the ‘progressive, multi-focal’ sort…

…I’d never heard of these before now, and I’m wearing them for the first time this evening typing this blog… and what a relief from the awkward visual discomfort of the last several weeks… I can actually see again… more than six decades to close the circle from the first pair to the current pair of glasses… and for the present, it’s not difficult to fathom what I’m most grateful for?… the gift of sight… all too often among things I take for granted… see yeez later (literally!)… LUV YEEZ!

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

 

15 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…a HUGE thanks to you wunnerful listeners who’ve downloaded my Audio Book…

…one of my favorite poems is Walter De La Mere’s ‘THE LISTENERS‘, published just over a hundred years ago in 1912… fast forward to the present day, and still among my favourites  is a new breed of ‘Listeners’… the good folks who’ve honoured me by downloading my maiden foray into Audio Books,  my first ever novel, the Jack Calder crime thriller, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY

…if I’ve learned anything in this WURLD it is that NUTHIN stands still… and equally so in the field of publishing… the extraordinary journey into self-publishing over the last ten years has been laden with pleasure for this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler… being (relatively) new in the Authorsphere since then, the whims and fickledom of being a writer have thrown many opportunities my way to try some of the ‘new’ stuff… the latest, and certainly not the least of these has been the attraction of Audio Books… I’m led to understand that the market for this particular medium is now well over 2 billion dollars per annum… that’s a lot of book sales, Mabel!… ergo, into the melee I tumbled… first order of priority was to find a suitable narrator… not just emb’dy who does narration, but sumb’dy whose voice and delivery suits the JONGGR I indulge — hard crime, and plenty of action, built around solid characters… I found Master Chris C. Hogan… in blunt honesty, at first hearing in the audition, I was not taken by the voice of ‘my’ characters as exposed by Chris’ s gravelly delivery… and then I realized, I’m the ONLY person who has ever heard these players ‘talk’ in my head… so I listened a bit more, and it grew on me, that his voice was absolutely perfect for the roles… his intonation captures the ‘mood’ and ‘tone’ of the book, and became an integral part of it… see, still learning, I am…  here are the links for the Audio version:

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2kaoOp0

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2iFLNbu

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2y7BdiL

Amazon Australia
https://www.amazon.com.au/Violin-Mans-Legacy-Calder-Crime/dp/B077YNY1CD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516983591&sr=8-1&keywords=B077YNY1CD

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

6 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…a few thoughts on reviews… one of the most valuable commodities for Authors…

…I’m appalled to learn from news snippets on the Web recently that the pernicious practice of false reviews being purchased on Amazon is rife… as a scribbler myself, I consider each and every review that any of my WURKS attract is a a precious commodity…

…since first dipping my authorly toe into the swirling maelstrom that is the Auntie Amazon Kindle universe ten years ago, my wee literary babies have been honoured with in excess of 500 reviews… the majority of these have been 4-star and 5-star offerings, for which, of course, I am indebted to the reviewers  for taking the time and trouble to record their opinions… but I never lose sight of the fact that they are simply that… opinions… if sumb’dy buys one of my books, then I firmly accept they are at liberty to say whatever they want, positive or negative about it…

…I recall the first time I had a negative review, with only 2 stars out of 5… the dagger to the heart felt real… however, when I checked that reviewer’s other reviews, I found he had only published one other, and given 1 star out of 5 stars for a John Grisham novel… thankfully, teaching me early in this game, to treat ALL reviews with a  pinch of salt… why?…  because I think that not too many people will be troubled to publish anything below 4 or 5 stars anyway, so the average balance in the critical mass of reviews is biased toward the positive side… also, after a while, an author’s own internal HONESTY gauge can sense when the reviews are real, which, by the way, are the only type that I wish to have… which brings me back to the dreadful trading of reviews for money… it besmirches the landscape for the vast majority of excellent writers who offer the products of their own sweat, blood, tears, and endless, sleepless nights… however, ‘fessing up, there is a pleasant frisson attached to any review which compliments my books…and I believe that the reading public are not daft… quality titles will surface regardless of the charlatans… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

22 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…the digital dumbing down of wordsmithing and numeracy… p’raps all is not yet lost…

…many of yeez of a certain age will recall the basic schooling process of the three ‘R’s Reading, (W)’Riting and (A)’Rithmetic… happily, this ol’ Scots Jurassic has always enjoyed WURDS and NUMBERS… I firmly believe that’s down to the intrigue of connectivity I found between ‘communication’ and ‘understanding’ – two quite different elements in ‘comprehension’… in primary school classes, ‘times tables’, thrust upon we infants from the age of ‘why-and a- half?’, built up an instant awareness of how numbers related to each other… the modern way of teaching children multiplication and division leaves me flabbergasted… the old adage of ‘K.I.S.S’,- ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’, seems to have been thrown into the academic garbage can… I recall from an early age having a dictionary as a constant companion, much thumbed through – always at hand when reading books…

…stories became much more vivid and alive when I knew what the nuances were… and the treasure trove that abides in any worthwhile Thesaurus is a literarist’s incredible gold mine… comes now the wave of electronic gadgetry… and the infernal scourge, textese – a condensed form of screen grunting, and a contrivance of the alphabetically-challenged  – has replaced for many the art of spelling… admittedly, I proudly hold to be an old-fashioned writer… I revel in the use of vocabulary… I still use mental arithmetic for calculations, eschewing the ‘garbage-in,-garbage-out’ handheld compoooters…

 

…it beggars belief to watch store checkout-till minders punching into a machine an amount of 5 to see how much is left from 10… however, amidst the digital dumbing down of wordsmithing and numeracy, p’raps all is not yet lost… properly used, the Google Beast gives instantaneous access to online lexicons… compendia of collated information, derived meanings, interpretational summaries et al, but I guess the trick is to ensure that the user has been trained in how to open the digital door to that knowledge… and hope that some of the wee grey cells in the brain still manage to function independently… oh, for a plethora of pre-Web, William Manchester-style authors to demonstrate the beauty that exists in the loquacious plying of the English Language (he of the fabulously crafted trilogy on the life of Sir Winston Churchill- ‘The Last Lion’ – read his WURKS, and be transported across a smorgasbord of written eloquence, so rarely found among modern scribbling giants)… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

24 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…aren’t top Literary Agents and Big Five Publishers imaginary species?…

…this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler has long since realized that any complaining or whining from me, about anything, seldom achieves positive results… and that fact pertains especially to my publishing aspirations… over the past ten years, I’ve experienced the sum’time exhilarating, sum’time depressing, pendulum familiar to many authors… when my first wee literary baby came hot onto Auntie Amazon Kindle, I savoured the high that came with a successful first book sales volume… that tome reached #3 on Amazon (all titles) at the time… subsequent titles were equally well received… from a novice self-publisher, I graduated into having an excellent, small, hybrid publisher, but amicably parted company with them after a year, as the sales were not to my expectations, dropping to levels well below those that my own marketing and promotional activities generated… in between then and now, I’ve also dabbled with a freelance agent, but equally friendly severance came after a few months… ergo, here I sit (comfortably) in the same self-publishing persona that I had when I started… my question is quite simply this (as it has been for a couple years)… aren’t top Literary Agents and Big Five Publishers imaginary species?

…I ask that in all sincerity, safe in the knowledge that my books have been downloaded on Kindle more than 100,000 times, registering me by any measure as a ‘bestseller’… so, where are the phone calls, the battering down of my front door, the pitches from the elusive top agents and international publishing houses, whom, I’m led to believe, like to have authors in their stables who produce serial titles that sell lots of books, thereby enriching their coffers as well as mine?… are there any of them lurking on Facebook? or skulking around on Twitter? or prospecting on the Blogosphere?… don’t get me wrong, I’m more than pleased with the continual offtake across my titles on a regular basis, but the dream is always there of having that big swinging hit that propels Master Gallacher (Iconic Writing Legend In His Own Lunchtime) onto the global reading market… if any of yeez are a top Agent or a Big Five Publisher, don’t be shy, I really  don’t bite… give me a call… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

27 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…manners, respect, politeness… yes, they DO exist aplenty…

…this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler is as susceptible as the next person to knee-jerk reactions to headline nonsense on the news channels, even though I watch SKYNews, coz it’s so bad it’s good, if yeez get my drift… the incendiary commentary that spews so facilely from ‘experts’ is fashioned in such a manner as to elicit emotive response from a gullible public (of which I am certainly one from time to time)… if I were dumb enuff to think that the whole WURLD is represented by the ‘truths’ disgorging from (alas) almost any of the major news disseminators, I would be a truly sorry man… happily, most of the time, I’m able to get my neck and mind above the parapet of the gutter, and to observe real people around me…

…and therein lies the proper balance… antidote to the mud-slinging politicians and self-serving spouters, antidote to the boorish personal attacks on any who disagree with their philosophies and causes… antidote to a pernicious pattern of behaviour… manners, respect, politeness… yes, they DO exist aplenty… I see and hear it daily… the baristas at my local coffee shop, always with genuine, warm smiles and greetings… taxi drivers here in the Middle East, who are happy to share a few minutes chat on the way to my various destinations… the front desk attendants in the building where I live, who have a tray of sweets on the service  counter, free to any who want them… the janitors in the various offices I go to for my day jobs, exchanging ‘Good morning, Sirs’, them to me, and me to them, in mutual respect…

…and the dross and scumbags about whom we learn too much from the headlines seem less important… because they are less important… the dignity of the human being is alive and well, and we don’t  have to search too far to find it… have a great day…. see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

16 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff