Tag Archives: Amazon giveaway

Kind of an Odd Day

How is, or did, everyone survive without Twitter and several other forms of media? Here in Idaho, Twitter has been down all day due to a malicious hacker who decided we all have better things to do. (we probably do, but that’s not his choice to make.)

For me, it prevented some of my promotional efforts. Today was supposed to be a light day anyway, but I have a couple of things going on I’d like to spread the word about. I’ll just regroup and mention them here.

First, the Paranormal Bar & Grille is at the CBY Book Club today. This post has excerpts from all the books being promoted. I’d appreciate it if people would check it out, and Twitter isn’t available. Here is the link (LINK), maybe you’ll find your next great reading adventure.

Second, my Amazon Giveaway is still going on. It has exceeded my expectation, because I set it up to run until the 30th of this month and it’s almost over. I purchased five copies of Will O’ the Wisp to giveaway. The odd thing is that three of them went in about 30 hours, the fourth one went about ten hours later. Now it’s been seven days, and that last copy is still there. I really don’t want to run a second giveaway for one copy. Therefore; I’ll give you a little inside information.

When I set this up, I had several options. One invoved the first five contestants winning the prizes. The second one involved some kind of convoluted algebraic thing that I couldn’t make much use of. The third one is what I did. It works like this, pick a magic number and every multiple of that number wins a book until they’re all gone. I chose the magic number of 70. Someone won at 70, 140, 210, etc.

Right now the entrants are standing at 338. This means the odds of winning this thing are astronomical right now. You just have to be the one to hit 350 on the nose. If anyone is interested, Will O’ the Wisp is a great Halloween story. Here is the contest link (LINK)

Third, I’ve compared notes with some of my Story Empire compatriots, and the entrants into our various scavenger hunts have slowed down. There are ten Amazon Gift Cards you could win. You can spend these on anything you like, and aren’t limited to books. In addition, there are five ebooks being handed out. But wait, there’s more. There is also a Rafflecopter for a larger Amazon Card that doesn’t even require any thought.

The best page to link to is the Paranormal Bar & Grill homepage. Right in the middle is the path to the Rafflecopter. At the bottom are links to the individual scavenger hunts. Just pick an author’s name and have fun. Here is the link to get in on these prizes (Also a LINK)

Like I said, Twitter is a decent place to share this info, but it’s not available right now. Besides, I’d like to see one of you guys win something anyway. When my month of promotion ends, I’m going to post an assessment, but I’ll probably post it over at Story Empire. That site needs some love too.

It sounds like Old What’s Her Face and I are going out for pizza and beer tonight. That means I drink beer while she goes deeper into the Boise Townsquare Mall and spends money. At least today is payday. There is no baseball tonight, and Boise State played last night. I’ll take my phone, maybe some of you will comment here.


Filed under Writing

The Ballad of Monday

Otto wanted to get up at 5:00 this morning. I walked him, but convinced him to go back to bed for another hour or so. Sometimes it works, and I got lucky today.

I ran through my favorite blog sites, checked and answered emails by the ton, and flipped through a cool magazine my mother sent me. I may save the magazine for inclusion in a future Idea Mill post.

I started a special project with a fellow author, but it really requires a minimal effort. We're still working on it, but it won't require a ton of time.

Sean Harrington shared a book cover he made on his Deviantart site. This one is for the Zombie Zero series, and the specific title is The Zombie Killers. I want to share it here, but respect that the art doesn't belong to me. Therefore, I'm including the link. (Link)

Sean is good at his job. I love the contrasts between light and detailed vs dark and foggy. The allocation of space makes the girl feel more trapped. The thin door, the look on the character's face, it's just wonderful.

Along about mid-day, I'd played about four rounds of pumpkin ball. The bottom is nearly torn completely off. I put Otto's harness on and we both went to PetCo. It's about a 40 minute drive, and another 40 to get home again. (Depending upon the traffic.)

He really enjoyed everyone who wanted to see the bulldog, and the smells of the dog food aisle. He checked out a plush toy in one of the bins, but never got too excited … until we found the bin of pumpkin balls. This time I grabbed two, and a squeaky rat just for good measure.

I'll hold one pumpkin ball in reserve, and gave him the other one right away.

I don't know if it shows up, but there is a flashing light inside a new pumpkin ball. It activates with motion, and makes Otto pretty crazy. The old one wore out after about a week. Turns out, he really likes the rat too. He keeps bringing it to me, but doesn't seem particularly interested in fetching it. Apparently, that activity is reserved for pumpkin ball. I don't know what the rules of rat play are, but am trying to learn.

After a few more rounds of pumpkin ball, and being required to squeak the rat, I decided to check my Amazon Giveaway. I set this up to last two weeks as a way of supporting the blog tour over at The Paranormal Bar & Grille. It isn't going to work out quite that way.

As of a moment ago, I've already given out four of the five available copies, and expect them all to be gone tomorrow morning. If you want to try winning a copy of Will O' the Wisp, you'd better enter PDQ. Here is the link.

The giveaway worked better than expected. It's hard to complain when something exceeds my expectations. Five new people will get a copy of Will O' the Wisp, and the giveaway netted exposure.

So what amazing stunt can I pull to bring my promos up to Halloween? The blog tour is ongoing, and I entered a book blast on Halloween day. The blast requires a discount of some kind, so I need to figure out what I'm going to do there. I don't feel inclined to run another Amazon giveaway. It worked, and it worked out better than the 99¢ sale did.

I really don't have any Thursday guests for the immediate future of Lisa Burton Radio. I may shoehorn something together with Patty Hall just to keep the posts going, but it might spread the love for Lisa Burton Radio and for Will O' the Wisp.

One of the takeaways here is to contact me if you want to have a character interview on Lisa Burton Radio. The spots have been growing in popularity, but you have to step up.

Back to the paycheck job tomorrow. I goofed off compared to my normal weekend routine, but I managed to read some short stories and wrote one of my own. I had a lot of fun with Otto, and I worked on several Lisa Burton Radio posts for the November timeframe. Not a lot on the writing front, but I kind of needed a weekend like that.


Filed under Writing

Did some work late last night

I spent a considerable amount of time goofing off yesterday. Two baseball games, a movie with my son, and the last half of the Boise State football game. (Who tries three onsides kicks in a row? Colorado, that's who.)

I went ahead and setup the Amazon Giveaway for Will O' the Wisp. The 99¢ sale for The Playground didn't give me much confidence, but the Amazon contest might generate some interest.

This one is probably the most Halloween-like story in my catalog. That's why I waited for late in the month. I pulled out all my suspense techniques and used them here.

This is the story of a fifteen year old girl, Patty Hall, growing up in a small farming community in the 1970s. I've gotten nearly as many positive comments about the trip down memory lane as about the rest of the story. This setting resonates with a lot of people.

It's also a coming of age story. The character arc is strong in this one, and responses to this part of the tale are also positive.

Aside from the window dressing, there is a pretty good paranormal tale involving an ancient curse, and the strong possibility that Patty might not survive.

This book is not aimed at the young adult market, but it is suitable for them. It's more Goosebumps than Stephen King.

This is the book I'm pushing as part of the blog tour the Story Empire authors are going on this month.

To support all of that, I set up the Amazon Giveaway. This means I bought five copies of the book, all you have to do is enter and you might win one.

Honestly, this is more about getting the title in front of fresh eyes. My regulars already know about this one, and most of you bought it and read it. Still, contests are fun, and maybe you want to share it with someone.

This is the link to enter the Amazon Giveaway. I set the odds at one in seventy, and when I woke up one book had already been awarded.

On the other hand, maybe you don't want to delay your Halloween reading. Maybe you live outside the USA and can't participate in the contest. I published two different versions of this book, because one uses copywrite protected song lyrics. I could only obtain a license in North America. Believe me the difference is about one paragraph.

Here are the purchase links:

North American Continent http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00UPH6BNS

Rest of the world http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00UQNDT2C

That's the new event for this week. If the trend continues, I should award all five books in five days. I ran the promo until the 30th, but I may have to come up with something else if they all award this week.

The Scavenger Hunts are still going on for the Paranormal Bar & Grille promotion. There are ten Amazon gift cards and five ebooks at stake here, so get into the hunt. This is the link to the Scavenger Hunts. I have enough entrants to award all my prizes, but the odds of winning are incredible right now. Scroll to the bottom of the page and use the individual author links to enter. Enter all of them and your chances of winning go through the roof.

While you're there, the link to the tour is in the middle of the page. Click that one and scroll to the bottom. There is a rafflecopter for a $30 Amazon gift card you can enter too. This doesn't even require the effort of a scavenger hunt.

I have a new Lisa Burton Radio victim and need to start that process today. I may also check into the Steelers Game and the Cubs are playing the Dodgers today too.

Does anyone know of some additional promotion I could do for next week. I've already used free days for Panama, 99¢ sale for The Playground, the contests for Will O' the Wisp. What's new out there that I haven't tried?



Filed under Writing

Heading home, eventually

I woke up at 4:00 AM, Pacific Time today. I'm about tired of uncomfortable beds, restaurant food, conference room chairs, and all the rest. Checkout time is 11:00, my shuttle for the airport leaves at 1:00, and my plane doesn't fly out of Spokane until nearly 4:00.

It was kind of funny, yesterday. I hung around in the gathering area, and Idaho State University had something going on in one of the conference rooms. Their keynote speaker had a book signing after they broke up. This is one of those self-help/leadership type books. It looked like she moved about 20 – 25 copies. Maybe I should become a leadership guru.

I can hang around the lodge, and get some things accomplished though. After posting this, I'll probably schedule a couple of posts during the week. I'll also set up whatever kind of Amazon promo I'm doing for next week. (Watch this space.)

Panama did very well, but my experience is the first free day is the big one. It was exactly the same this time. I managed to get into the top twenty, and stayed there for a long time. The free days are over, so I'm back on the paid list. I used a Facebook boost to promote Panama, and it seems to have worked well. Yes, I paid to promote a free book. This time out, the goal wasn't actual sales, it was an attempt to land some fans. Fans come back and try other titles. Note: I have other titles.

I want to run an Amazon Giveaway again, and I want to run a 99¢ sale. Fortunately, I have enough paranormal titles to make this work during October for the lead-up to Halloween. Maybe we need a science fiction holiday somewhere. I don't think May 4th is quite there yet.

I've reached the odd point where Lisa doesn't have a guest for her radio show again this week. There are questionnaires out in various stages, and a couple of folks are waiting to get closer to release dates. I'll probably work on one of them this morning too. I don't like to hold off until the last minute. This only makes sense; since the intent is to promote the book it should post close to the release date. However; if you would like to get on Lisa Burton Radio, I have the opportunity to get you started.

It's time to get down to some serious work.


Filed under Writing

Wednesday Ramblings

Confession time; I haven’t gotten any writing done this week. I’ve been busy on the promotion front, and several things with this blog have kept me busy. This is by choice, because October has always been my best sales month. There are some big things coming up in October. There are a couple of group tours involving books with a paranormal theme. (Halloween, and all that.)

If you’re in the mood for some seasonal reading, I have three novels that might fit the bill. There are also two Notebooks with spooky stories in them.

Aside from supporting all the things I already have in motion, I want to do some individual promotions. There are a lot to choose from, but none of them seem to be a magical portal to author success. There are Kindle Countdown Deals, Amazon giveaways that are like a Rafflecopter, Kindle free days, Amazon advertisements, and even Facebook boosts. I’ll probably run all of them at one time or another.

Part of the problem I’m seeing is when the “deal” expires. Most of my heavy promotion is going to be for Will O’ the Wisp. If I run a discount during the tour, eventually the discount ends. I can’t quite see how that will influence the rest of the tour. Feel free to let me know your thoughts.

Any promotion I do for The Playground or Panama doesn’t have that problem. I’ve kind of decided to set up some free days for Panama in the first week of October. This is before the blog tours all start, and might prime the pump a bit. I may even do a small Facebook boost to go along with it. The Rave Reviews Book Club is big on supporting free and 99 cent deals, so I can leverage them a bit too.

Rumor has it that if you do a FB boost, your subsequent postings get squeezed out. Does anyone have any insight on this? I don’t want to hurt my guests for Lisa Burton Radio, or perhaps my own Halloween themed micro-fiction.

Somewhere along the way, I’ll probably do a 99 cent sale for The Playground. It absolutely has some paranormal themes, and I’m not ready to give it away yet. It’s a new book for cryin’ out loud. Maybe I could run an Amazon ad to support it while the deal is running??? Do any of you have any cautions or experience with doing both things at once?

That leaves Will O’ the Wisp as my Amazon Giveaway candidate. I could set up five free books as prizes and maybe, by then, could support it with another FB boost. The question here is if I should require following my Amazon Author page as the price of entry. It’s always been an option, but I don’t know of anyone who’s done it. In fact I’ve never seen anyone write about getting followers of their Amazon page at all. This blog feeds directly into mine, so it’s not a stagnant page. (I smell an experiment brewing. You know how I get with experiments.)

There isn’t any sense getting crazy with either Notebook. They are permanently 99 cents already. If you might like some Halloween themed short fiction, both books have some. Speaking of themed micro-fiction, Macabre Macaroni will post on Tuesdays this year. Those are free on my blog. Question for you guys: Would it be acceptable to mention whatever I currently have going on at the end of those posts? I know it’s my blog and all that, but should I just leave the stories for what they are?

I have three guest posts already scheduled, but two of them are this week. (Friday & Saturday.) I’ll reblog those and support the heck out of them. Obviously, I’ll accept all the help I can get during all these gyrations. If you have things going on, let me know and I’ll try to support back. Tuesdays and Thursdays are kind of committed on the blog though. Other forms of social media are like Jello, there’s always room for them.

In other news, I’ve been accepted into an anthology that will be coming out in October. I haven’t gotten the word to release much more than that, but I’ll be promoting it too. They were willing to accept something I’ve used before, so my inclusion is one of last year’s Macabre Macaroni stories called There’s a Cat on my Grave.

Part of the deal is that I’m supposed to do kind of a beta read before this weekend. Hahahahahahaha. (Sorry) The fact is that my wife and her sister have plans tonight. I’ll probably tackle the reading, to whatever degree I can, tonight. At least I don’t have to read my own entry. I’ll bet the other stories are good too, judging from the author names.

I’m nearly at deer-in -the-headlights mode, but not quite. All I have to do is schedule the Panama free days, and it will all break loose. Let me hear from you. Do you have insight on my questions? Have an opinion on my plans? Have a better idea that I haven’t thought of? Know any dirty jokes?


Filed under Writing

Tips, tricks, and plans

October is bearing down upon us. This has always been my favorite month of the year. I would happily trade January or August for an extra October. It's also always been my best month for sales. This is probably because I have a few paranormal titles in my catalog.

I plan to hit it hard in October. I have a few guest posts that will appear, and you may find some new blogs to follow at the host sites. I still have time to write a couple more if you know of an October event that I should participate in.

There are also a couple of blog tours via my Story Empire crowd. We'll be giving away prizes and hope to make a big splash. Follow Story Empire to keep up with what's going on over there.

I intended to make the tips & tricks part of this into a Story Empire post, but there is a five person rotation and it would be November before it posted. Over here I can weave in some of my individual plans too.

I intend to use some of the Amazon tools during October. I may run an ad campaign. I'm almost certain to have a sale, or even some free days. Keeping the October theme going, I'll probably focus on The Playground, Will O' the Wisp, and Panama. Both Experimental Notebooks fit the bill too, but since they're 99¢ I don't see how a sale would work. I may do some Facebook boosting too.

Last year, I invited people to provide artwork for Macabre Macaroni. My idea was that some budding cover artists might like a place to showcase their work. I was even happy with grandchildren who glued dried macaroni to a paper and made art. I never got a single taker, and there was no artwork last year. This year I'm taking a different approach. I commissioned a piece of art to accompany the micro-fiction. Macabre Macaroni will post every Tuesday in October.

I'm a little slow on the uptake at times, but I learned a Twitter trick. There are people out there who support me heavily. They make custom tweets about my books, or maybe a post they found entertaining. I want to reciprocate that support, and found their pinned tweets to be handy as hell. They made them, they want them shared, and they're right at the top of their timelines. There is one lady who changes her pinned tweet every day, others leave them for a week or so.

The gears move slowly, but what if I created my own pinned tweet to help them out? I've been doing this, and find it respectful of their time, and helpful to my cause. I'll probably create a graphic of some kind, like this:

In the 140 characters I can say something clever and include the Amazon link. I will try to change it up +/- weekly so it doesn't get stale. Twitter is a volume game. A million people see your tweet, and maybe one buys the book. It does produce sales though, so something that catches the eye might work.

The point is that you should be using a pinned tweet too. I've scrolled through dozens of hundreds of tweets to find something to support an author with. They probably appreciate me sharing their book tweet, but not the picture of their lunch. A pinned tweet is right on top where it's easy to find.

Moving to the next one, sharing buttons. Not everyone is using them on their blogs. I'm happy to share, but again, I may not take the time to create my own post from scratch. I'm now encouraging visitors to use mine on the Lisa Burton Radio posts. This way my guests get a bit more exposure. The sharing buttons are easy to set up through WordPress, and you may want to check them out.

While you're deep inside the guts of WordPress, are you auto-feeding your posts on other social media? I have mine set to feed right into the Entertaining Stories Facebook page, Goodreads, and to tweet the link out. Easy-peasy, and I don't have to do this individually.

This next tip might be worth the price of admission. I think there could be something to what the world is calling curated content. There are a number of apps and social media options out there. I'll even provide links, but I want to talk about them a bit first.

I started out with an extinct platform called Zite Magazine. I used it for news I couldn't get anywhere else. It provided many of the Idea Mill articles. If I liked something, I could give it a thumbs up to get more articles like it. If I gave it a thumbs down, it learned not to send me data about the Kardashians.

Unfortunately, they were absorbed by Flipboard. Flipboard promised the same experience, only better-faster-stronger, yada yada. It failed on this front, but there is a silver lining.

Flipboard will let you create your own magazine. I decided, since I was already there, to test it out. I call mine Entertaining Stories. (Branding and all that.) I selectively share my blog posts there, and occasionally share other items of interest, like when one of you has something wonderful, or Sean Harrington shares a Lisa poster on his DeviantArt site.

Most days I can see a few visitors from Flipboard. On occasion it goes absolutely crazy. I posted a bit of micro-fiction about Lisa this week that had over two-hundred visitors from Flipboard. See the image to remind you of the post.

A few months ago, I shared a post about a short story trick. It involved the twist endings I use in some of the short form. I had over 2000 visitors that found me via Flipboard. It still gets action to this day.

Here is the link for Flipboard.


We're still on curated content, but I'm drifting again. (Bear with me.) I've written before about what I call “white noise.” Feeds on all social media have become so much white noise. Twitter is the worst, and my regular feed is like a firehose of data. I scroll through until I see something that catches my eye. Catching my eye has become the new trick. Facebook is similar, and so is WordPress.

I follow a ton of blogs. I can't read them all, so something has to catch my eye in the regular stream. I have my “must read” blogs and they got on the list by engaging and by posting great content.

Re-blogging is a double edged sword. I love it when someone shares my post. I like to share the awesome stuff here too on occasion. It's hard to get much engagement on a re-blog. The original poster is the one where the interaction occurs.

There are some bloggers who share a dozen posts per day, and never seem to offer original content. One of these curated content options might be a great way for them to spread the word. Flipboard is only one, here are a few others.

I have not used these, but I might someday soon. It could be a way to extend my tentacles online without too much effort.

The first one is called paper.li It is like having your own magazine, or newspaper if you prefer. You get to share whatever you want with your subscribers. One of my author friends is testing this out right now, and I hope to learn how it works for him.

The other one is called RebelMouse. This is a similar product. I really don't know the advantages of one over the other.

It seems to me like this could be the way for me to replace the original use I had for Zite Magazine. If I could find a couple of curators who deal with macabre stuff, and some cutting edge science, it could be useful.

It also seems like a place that's ripe for mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers. Flipboard, paper.li, and RebelMouse are all doing nearly the same thing. (One sells to Microsoft, one to Apple, and one to Google.) That wasn't the point of my post though.

These sites are helpful. My content has been shared on all of them by others. I need to check out paper.li and RebelMouse, but before I dive in they have to be easy and fast. Any of us would like more exposure, but my time is limited.

In the case of Flipboard, there is an app for that. I find that to be an advantage. I did not find apps for the other sites.

In my case, all roads lead to this blog. If you find me on Twitter, Facebook, or Flipboard, even Goodreads, there is likely something that leads you back here. That's my system, but there may be others that work better. If you have a better way, share it in the comments. I'd like to know, and I'll bet my regulars would too.

Do you have any experience with RebelMouse or paper.li? I'd like to get some input on these platforms. If I take one of them on, it will probably be part of my 2017 business plan. I'm just gathering data right now.

Are you going to create a pinned tweet? I think it's a great way to let your supporters help spread the word.

Are you going to set up sharing buttons on your own blog? Feel free to test mine out.

Do you know of any October events I should be taking advantage of? Are you hosting one, and need some players?


Filed under Blogging, Writing

I need to start a list

I posted recently about having my cool new cover art, and the pending release of my book of short stories. There is a ton of work to do before this comes out.

I have one piece of Lisa Burton art on order to promote this story, and when it arrives I'll order one more.

The betas are making good progress and I'm getting reports to work on. I've decided to farm out the formatting, and with a late August release, there should be plenty of time for this.

Meanwhile, I need to start writing ideas on my legal pad. I have promotional plans for more than just this book, and maybe they can tie together somehow. It probably won't all come to me until I have it all written out.

I would like to take this book on tour, and keep it with friends and volunteers. It's going to be a 99¢ special, and spending a ton of money on it isn't realistic. I can custom write things, and make Lisa Burton available to fly around with her posters and talk about the book. More on this when I'm closer to publication.

The Rave Reviews Book Club can help me on some fronts. There is a WhatsApp room where we can promote free and 99¢ books that I can make use of. They are also doing the Back to School Book & Blog Block Party again. I chose two dates, and hope I get one of those days. If I do, I'll try to make that my release date. This is because last year I had hundreds of blog visitors on that date. Why not make the date something special.

I will probably work on some Halloween type promotions too. I've already talked to a group of authors who write similar stories and we may do some group promotion. There are Halloween themed stories in both Notebooks, but I also have Will O' the Wisp and The Playground that are suitable too. I'll have to make those decisions later on. Part of this promotional push has to involve The Playground.

Beyond that, there are Kindle Countdown Deals, free days, giveaways, and Amazon advertising to consider. I can do some of this fairly cheaply, and might be able to spread it across several books. The idea is to be everywhere for a couple of months.

If I get really lucky, maybe someone will read one of the Notebooks and take a chance on a novel.

I intend to post some more Halloween style micro-fiction in October. I call these Macabre Macaroni, and they've been pretty popular over the years. I just need to find time to write them. So far, I have one. I need about three more.

I'd really like to try BookBub at the same time, but my best chance has a limitation. Will O' the Wisp has the most positive reviews, but I published it in two versions. This is because I purchased a license to use copyright protected song lyrics, but could only get rights to North America. It's available everywhere, but the versions are slightly different.

I won't be able to do everything, but I intend to do one hell of a lot. Between September first, and October last, I want to be everywhere. It all starts with a list.

I suppose I'd better fill a fountain pen and get started. A cool pen makes it more fun.


Filed under Writing

Friday night from my easy chair

The Amazon giveaway for Will O' the Wisp ended in one day. I gave away all three copies of the book, and hope the winners enjoy it. Actually, I hope they're moved to post nice reviews. If I'm really fortunate, they'll browse my other wares too.

I mentioned there would be some re-blogging around here this week. It's the least I can do to support my hosts. They loaned me their space, and I hope they get some visitors out of the deal. I'm still surfing back through and participating in the comments.

Commenters are intrigued by The Playground, and that's awesome. I understand that not everyone will buy a copy while it's on pre-sale, but many added it to their reading lists, and I'm grateful. Some of you added it on Goodreads too, and that really helps.

Some of you tweeted my guest posts like warriors, and I'm overwhelmed. I can see how it's done now, and will step up my game when you have something to promote. A ten minute tweet is already dead, but one per hour might actually get some readers.

I did some pushing on Facebook too, but that's been lukewarm at best. Part of it is because I'm new there. I need more friends, and that takes time.

The hottest post this week was Lisa Burton Radio. Spying with Lana grabbed the most views this bit has ever had. It's been my top post for three days in a row. This is looking like a good place to promote your books, and I think it will improve over time.

That's about it for this post. My writing has been all over WordPress this week, in the form of guest posts, and other things. A couple of excerpts from The Playground gathered some good attention, and the Lisa posts are always popular.

After all that writing, I'm kind of tired. I need to get back to new fiction, but it may be another week. Right now, I'll probably tour back through my host's sites and check for comments. Have a great weekend, and if you're offline for a few days, have a Happy Easter.


Filed under Writing

It’s Wednesday, guess I’d better post something

I spent the majority of my evening researching for a future episode of Lisa Burton Radio. I have what I need now, but I kind of ran out of time to do anything about it. Maybe I'll start the process tomorrow.

Lisa has a fun show planned for tomorrow, so make sure you stop by. I have about three weeks planned, and more questionnaires out that will probably come back.

I had a couple of blog stops planned, but they'll happen later this week. There is some fun stuff on the way, including excerpts of The Playground. There will be a couple of character appearances too, and Lisa has some guest appearances herself.

It looks like Amazon shut down one of it's best features. After you published, it used to be possible to grab a Mobi file for review purposes. These were great for review sites. Now it looks like I'll have to buy copies and gift them to reviewers. If that's the case, I hope I get credit for them on my sales numbers. That also means I have to wait until it's published.

I still have more things to write upon request. I like to deliver right away when someone asks, but that isn't happening tonight. It's actually to my benefit to spread it out a bit, but I hope my hosts don't lose faith in me.

As I predicted, the Amazon giveaway croaked. It isn't all bad though. Since I bought the books, they let me have a Mulligan. I get to do the giveaway again using the same copies of the book.

Here's the deal with giveaway 2.0. I'm giving away three copies of Will O' the Wisp. This one was treated very well by the reviewers. It's a coming of age story set in the 1970s. It's also a paranormal tale that's high on suspense. Since I was kind of the Guinea pig for the Amazon giveaways, I'll share what I learned.

If you want to try an Amazon giveaways, set the odds of winning low. I set mine originally at one in five-hundred. I really don't know why, but I kind of based it upon the action a free day gets. That was the wrong idea. On the Mulligan round, I set the odds at about one in ten. I am giving these books away this time. The whole point was to get a reader or two, not to spam up social media with the giveaway.

Here is the address for the Mulligan round https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/e307c3c45b16bafb

I'm not asking anyone to follow me on Twitter, or Amazon, or anything else. Odds are low, but you've gotta play to win.

The plan for the rest of the week (outside my paycheck job) is to promote the giveaway. Write stage one of a Lisa Burton Radio show. Write a guest post about The Playground that I was asked for. Probably a few re-blogs later in the week of my promotional stops.

Hope everyone is having a good week.


Filed under Writing

A little burned out, but hopeful

This weekend was an emotional roller coaster. I watched action on the internet trickle off for a couple of weeks, knowing I had a book to release. Trepidation and nerves, but it wasn't about to stop me.

It isn't just me, I've talked with other bloggers and they've noticed it too. Traditionally, when I announce a new title, it makes it into my top ten list. It may not stay forever, because different posts bump up. That didn't happen this time, and it wasn't even close.

Today, my number one post was a guest I hosted back in September. I have no idea why, but I suspect PH Solomon got some good press somewhere and it linked to my article. I'm thrilled for him, and hope he's doing well. It's just a really old post to spike that way. I kind of expected Lisa's posters to be the top spot. Are you out there PH? Maybe you'd like to get a character on Lisa Burton Radio?

Does this indicate a larger shift in the importance of blogging? I really don't think so, but I'd like to find that next wave before it leaves me behind.

I spent all day today bouncing between various social media. This includes hunting down all the cover reveal posts and catching up with the comments. Everything has been complimentary and positive. It's just less than with previous books. I don't mean less positive, it's less volume I'm talking about.

Between bouts of social media mania, I prepared several posts for various people. I really appreciate these, because creative people asked me to be creative. Some of these ideas never occurred to me, and they were challenging. I'm really excited for them to come out in the next week or two.

I also assembled the next Lisa Burton Radio post and scheduled it for Thursday. It's a fun one, and all authors ought to check it out. Yes, I'm going to make you wait for Thursday for more information. I also exchanged the final version for the week following.

There are several questionnaires out for future radio interviews. These can get on the schedule, first come first served. I'm still looking for more authors who want their character to participate. I'm toying with putting one of my own characters on the show, but I'm not certain.

I custom wrote a couple of Lisa visits where she can hand out posters and talk about my new book. She still has some mileage in her for this release, so drop me a line if you'd like her to stop by. There are a couple of other bloggers who have teased they have interesting ideas, and I'll address those as they come in.

I have some pre-written posts that don't involve Lisa. I'm offering them to those who said they'd host a promotional post. I've been sending inquiries a couple at a time, because they are easier to keep track of. I also don't want to promise the same thing to more than one blogger. These posts are about inspiration, my style methods, and one interview with Lorelei, the Muse.

I got The Playground all fixed up on Goodreads. I'd really appreciate anyone who added it to a TBR list. This really helps, because it throws it into multiple timelines and brings awareness. Here is the link if you're so inclined https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29556732-the-playground

I also got it added to the Rave Reviews Book Club catalog. These guys can really help with promotion, and I'm looking forward to that.

This is supposed to be an exciting time, but it wasn't all fun and games. Aside from my concern about the slowdown, there were some personal issues this weekend too.

Friday night I knew we had a problem. The old pitbull didn't have that twinkle in his eyes, and really wasn't too interested in anything. He couldn't get comfortable, and moved between me and my wife all evening.

Saturday morning he wouldn't get up. He didn't need outside, and wasn't interested in his breakfast. We wound up putting him down. He's been on a downward spiral, and he's had a growing cancer for months. It hurts even writing about it. I haven't been without a dog since 1979. The place feels kind of empty now. Sometimes I had two, and at one point even had three dogs. None-at-all is a new experience for me.

We skipped date night this weekend because neither one of us felt like it. I bashed through all my promotional activities and failed to deal with it. It feels kind of like letting my old friend down, but it has to be done. The release was planned, and there are no do-overs.

I'm not seeking any sympathy here. It's just a fact of life, and those of us who love animals have all been through it. There will come a time to re-dog, but not right now.

For now, I'll console myself with the fictional dog in The Playground. I think you guys are going to get a kick out of him.

I think the Amazon giveaway was a failure. I expect an email at any time saying so. The rules are that I can do it again, since I already purchased the books. When I do, I'm going to lower the odds of winning dramatically. We will give away all the copies, I swear. Project for a different day.

For now here are the takeaways:

  • Please add The Playground on Goodreads.
  • Lisa is willing to make more visits. Let me know if you're interested.
  • I have a few prewritten, non-Lisa posts available.
  • Apologies for the Amazon giveaway. I'll probably revamp it and try again.
  • Lisa Burton Radio is a real deal. Contact me if you'd like to participate. This is your chance to promote here.
  • I'm also willing to custom write something if you have a specific idea that let's me promote my new book.
  • As we get to my guest posts expect some re-blogging around here.
  • Please consider using the social media sharing buttons for my promotional stuff.

My creativity has been a little off, but other folks have been challenging me and that's great. I haven't added a word to a short story, or The Yak Guy project for a long time. I can't honestly say I wasn't writing though. All these posts involved quite a word count if you add them all up.


I'll end with a promotional question for all of you. I believe in trying different things. I will tweet with the best of them, and hire a professional blog tour from time to time. I also want something to stand apart from the crowd. That's why I put so much effort into Lisa Burton. A mascot, or spokesmodel, has worked for Mad Magazine and Disney, why not me? It is working, and there will be more to come.


When I started off, I wanted something to brand myself. A common point that everyone could recognize. I chose Mom's old inkwell. It's cool. It's turning purple, and it's writing related. It just doesn't have the instant recognition of Lisa. Lisa has done so much more than the old inkwell ever could.


So here's the question. Should I find an image of Lisa for my Gravitar, and rework the banner at the top of my blog? The only thing holding me back is that Lisa is my character, but she isn't me. I have the image of Lisa with my bust that I used on Facebook, and it might make a good Gravitar. Then again, Mickey Mouse wasn't Walt Disney either, and that worked out okay.


Let me hear it in the comments. I'm a little tired, a little excited, a little bit more sad. It's been a long weekend, and the paycheck job is calling tomorrow.


Filed under Writing