Tag Archives: Goodreads

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

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

Goodreads Book Giveaway: A Thousand Yesteryears by Mae Clair #mystery #suspense #Mothman

Hey gang, Mae Clair is releasing her book, A Thousand Yesteryears very soon. I've been excited about it for some time, because it includes the Mothman. Here is your chance to win a copy of the book by entering a Goodreads giveaway. I'll let Mae tell you about it. Just look at that wonderful cover.

A huge THANK YOU to Craig for allowing me blog space to share some exciting news. Kensington Publishing is doing a Goodreads Giveaway for a paperback copy of my upcoming release, A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS. There will be two—count ‘em two—winners. The giveaway is open now through February 29th (how cool, a leap year). If you’re interested, you can enter here: Goodreads Giveaway!

A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS is a tale of mystery and suspense centered around events that took place in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. You’ll discover a small river town plagued by tragic history and rumored sightings of the Mothman—a terrifying creature said to haunt an abandoned WWII munitions site.

The characters are everyday people facing extraordinary circumstances—secrets, betrayal, murder. I hope you find the blurb intriguing:

Behind a legend lies the truth…

As a child, Eve Parrish lost her father and her best friend, Maggie Flynn, in a tragic bridge collapse. Fifteen years later, she returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. Though much has changed about the once thriving river community, the ghost of tragedy still weighs heavily on the town, as do rumors and sightings of the Mothman, a local legend. When Eve uncovers startling information about her aunt’s death, that legend is in danger of becoming all too real…

Caden Flynn is one of the few lucky survivors of the bridge collapse, but blames himself for coercing his younger sister out that night. He’s carried that guilt for fifteen years, unaware of darker currents haunting the town. It isn’t long before Eve’s arrival unravels an old secret—one that places her and Caden in the crosshairs of a deadly killer…


A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS releases on April 26th, but the ebook version is already available from Amazon and all other major book sellers. If you’d like to pre-order you can find a complete list of links here.

In the meantime, I invite you sign up for the paperback giveaway at Goodreads and tell your friends! The Mothman Cometh!

Author bio:

Mae Clair has been chasing myth, monsters and folklore through research and reading since she was a kid. In 2013 and 2015, she journeyed to West Virginia to learn more about the legendary Mothman, a creature who factors into her latest release.

Mae pens tales of mystery and suspense with a touch of romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and numbers cats, history and exploring old graveyards among her passions.

Look for Mae Clair at the following haunts:



Twitter (@MaeClair1)


Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page



Newsletter Sign-Up




Filed under Uncategorized

Assessment, Part Three

This is the final post regarding my promotional activities for September and October. It helps me to write about it, and maybe it will improve my game in future efforts. Judging from your comments, you guys are finding it helpful too. There will be more topics in this post, and I'll try to keep each one brief.

I joined the Rave Reviews Book Club Back to School Book and Blog Block Party. (Try fitting that in a tweet.) This project ran the entire month of September, and there were generally two sites per day participating. Every host site had to offer prizes, and the club monitored the comments to hold a drawing. I participated on every site, and I won some great stuff. My stats spiked that day, and my book sales showed a bump too. There is a benefit from cruising around and being friendly too. I gained blog followers during the month.

I participated in Teri Polen's Bad Moon Rising campaign in October. This was dedicated to horror authors, but I managed to fit in anyway. This one didn't come with prizes, but was still a lot of fun. I participated on every post, and tweeted the daily posts. I gained quite a few Twitter followers as a result.

I approached multiple book reviewers going back to August, in hopes that reviews would land during my push. Most of them came through, and I'm still waiting on others. They will come through sooner or later.

I want to mention that Rosy's Book Review Team is extremely helpful. All the review sites are great, but they go the extra mile. These folks not only post to Amazon and Goodreads, they blog about the review too. Approximately a month later, Rosy posts the data on the main team blog. This generates a ton of interest, and Twitter seems to go crazy for them too. I can't recommend them highly enough. Will O' the Wisp wound up in a top ten list on Rosy's sidebar. You can bet I captured that and tweeted the heck out of it.

The reviewers sold books too. A couple of them invited me to guest post on their sites. It's kind of a neat trick to post a review, then have the author show up later. This is one of the unexpected things that happened along the way.

Unexpected benefits were the most fun part. So many people pitched in and tweeted, posted unexpected reviews, or invited me over that I can't name them all. I want to single out P H Solomon though. He really made an effort on my part, and it was completely unexpected. He still makes Goodreads recommendations for Notebook, and I know he sold some copies for me. I also want to specifically thank Charles Yallowitz. He reblogged many of the posts, and included me in one of his own posts. This involved the monsters in his Windemere world. When he posted about the cockatrice, he included a cover and link to The Cock of the South. There were several sales of this book right after that post, and they almost had to be because of him.

I can't thank everyone in a post like this, but the unexpected goodwill is overwhelming.

I was able to pull this all together by planning it as far back as July. It takes Sean Harrington time to produce the Lisa art that accompanied her guest posts. It takes time to garner a book review, because the reviewer has a list to work through. I needed to prepare all the blog tour posts, mine, Lisa's, and Lorelei the Muse even got in on the act.

This preparation allowed me to accept any invitations that came along. I did a couple of blog swaps, because I planned ahead. In many cases where an author visited my site, I appeared on theirs. I had time to custom write a few things, because the blog tour data was ready ahead of time. Macabre Macaroni was all written ahead of time.

I'm in debt to everyone that helped me along the way. I need to get reading some of their books, and will be here when they need my blog space for their promotions.

It was a combination of things that moved copies of both books. I think this is more important than any single thing. Oh how I wish there were one specific thing that would move ten thousand books. There just isn't. At the end of two months, my footprint has grown. More people know about me than did in August.

I'm tired too. The next time, I might not push two books back to back. I think this was a benefit, but it was tiring. It required special circumstances of a fresh release, plus a Halloween themed newish book. That chance doesn't come along every day.

Did I miss a trick in all this? I'm almost certain I did. Tell me about something you've done that helped grow your audience.



Filed under Writing

Would this help?

I’m trying to learn something here, so maybe you guys can help me out. I started on Goodreads back at the beginning of the year. I haven’t really done anything with it, but I made an author page and added my books.

If any of you have some Goodreads tips, I’m interested in hearing them. Today I have a specific question related to my new book.

Would it help drive pre-sales if people added it as to be read on Goodreads? I really have no idea, but I see my site showing books you are interested in. I check them out too, but I’m actually an introvert at heart and don’t do much with the site. I can do more, so teach me something. Let me hear it in the comments.

Therefore, The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack is on Goodreads. If any of you that pre-ordered think it would help, would you consider adding it as TBR?

Here is the link, just in case:  The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack


Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

Some Goodreads Success

I wound up contacting the Librarians group to solve my problem. They got everything spiffed up overnight. I now have all my books under my author profile.

If any of you are so inclined, you can copy and paste any Amazon reviews on Goodreads now.

I think this is the linkamabob : http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9841203.C_S_Boyack

I still have some quirks to figure out. I’d like to figure out why my blog isn’t updating over there. It uses the RSS feed and ought to be fine. I may have to approach the librarians once more.


Filed under Writing

Working the Plan

This weekend I read a book called Hats Off to Murder, by D. S. Nelson. She’s a blog friend, and I really enjoyed it. It’s a quick read, and I appreciate that from time to time.

I read my own work in progress, called The Playground. I even managed 1134 new words this morning. That’s pretty low by my standards, but my wife got up early. What can you do? I’m just happy to get any writing time at all.

Yesterday, I joined Goodreads. Mari Wells and Charles Yallowitz found me almost immediately. Several more of you found me during the next 24 hours. Thanks, you guys.

Im having some trouble with it. These things don’t come with an operator’s manual, and I’ve been fumbling around. I tried to copy and paste a link in this post, but there doesn’t appear to be anything unique to me. It just looks like a generic Goodreads link.

When my author’s page got approved, I excitedly dove into it. The only book it will associate with me is Panama. It is aware of Arson and Wild Concept too, but I have not been able to claim them. Someone else entered all of these books, and I think I have the issue identified. When I signed up it was as C. S. Boyack, with all the correct spacing. Arson is attributed to someone called C.S. Boyack without the space. Wild Concept appears to be in the same boat.

I managed to get this blog to post over there, so I’ve had some success. I even got my beer drinking photo in the right place.

At this time, I have been unable to convince the programming that it’s all me. I sent them an email, and maybe they’ll help me out. So far, Goodreads has no idea The Cock of the South even exists. Maybe that’s a good thing for a day or three.

Sue Coletta sent me a cool document to help me find my way around. I’ll be spending this evening plowing through that. Thanks, Sue.

I suppose I need to update my Gravitar data, email signature, and blog to include Goodreads. I just need to figure out a proper link. Maybe there is no such thing, and people just search for C. S. Boyack.

So what all can I do on Goodreads? It’s all new and shiny. I entered the last few books I read and used copy & paste to include the reviews I posted to Amazon. I also added all the books I bought as TBR.

I’m interested in your tips and tricks, or just stop by and say howdy. Once I can take posession of all my books, the next amazing stunt will be when I publish Will ‘O the Wisp. I’m sure there are tricks to that process too. What are the secrets of the Goodreads universe?


Filed under Writing

Time for my 2015 business plan

It’s time for that business plan that I’ve been hinting about. The Happy New Years, and resolutions have all faded. I waited since I didn’t want this one washed away in the stream. Warning: I’ve been trying to keep the word count down, but this is a longer post. It’s important stuff to me.

I’m going to recap 2014, briefly. My goal was to self publish four older stories. I achieved this in October. I never expected a ton of success, because I was completely unknown. Still, success was there. Outside this blog, and the Rave Reviews Book Club catalog, I didn’t do any promotion.

The unexpected things were the most fun of all. When Lisa was named best character of 2014 by Karen I about fell off my Bantha. I know how much Karen reads, and this was the highlight of my year.

I was asked to guest post on several other blogs, and these are a ton of fun. I was also asked to host a few people, and this works out well too. I’ll be doing more of this in 2015.

I was surprised by my first fan art, which involved Lisa the robot at a comics convention. Lisa also appeared in a fan fiction with my blessing. I also won a spotlight author spot with Rave Reviews Book Club. I learned a lot from this experience.

I really enjoyed loaning some of my characters out and would do so again. Appearing elsewhere in 2014 were Doubt the Raven, Lisa Burton the robot, and Lorelei my Muse.

It’s time to formulate a plan for 2015. I’m going to be informal about this, because writing is my leisure project.

I have a manuscript that’s ready to go. I want to give The Cock of the South a bit more time as the newest book, because it deserves it. It’s a good story, and it’s too close to the blog tour to cut it off at the knees. The publishing goal is late winter/early spring.

This one is a return to paranormal, and it’s called Will ‘O the Wisp. I’m not going to just plunk it on Amazon and walk away. I’ve learned some things from 2014 and want to apply them.

I’m willing to send out advance reading copies right now. All I ask is that participants have an honest review ready to go by publication date. Those reviews are uber important. If you want one, hit me up in the comments. I’m willing to reciprocate with many genres. I can forward PDF, ePub, Word, or Pages formats. Just let me know.

WOW is set in the 1970s and involves a teenage girl whose very life is in danger. She’s perfectly prepared for the wrong challenge. This involves me writing in first person from the POV of a 15 year old girl. Challenging? Yup. It may also be the best story I’ve ever written. It’s suitable for young adults.

I also have a rocking cover for this book, and will forward it to those who participate, providing you keep it top secret. I’d prefer to offer WOW to my blog followers first, but might have to approach some new people depending on numbers. I’m going to ask the cover artist to reveal it on her blog first. Then I can reblog the heck out of it.

I’m going to write a dozen or more blog posts for WOW ahead of time. That way I can take it on tour without all the deadline stress. I may hire 4Wills to handle the blog tour, I may try it myself. I’ll decide later.

I also need to sweet talk S. K. Nichols into sending me the name of that promotional company she used. I like to try new things, and she had good results with them.

I have a second story I’d like to put out in the fall. If I can get it ready, I’ll follow the same recipe as above, unless I learn something better.

I need to improve my social media approach. Social media takes a lot of time, but it must be done. I still have no interest in Facebook, but I’m going to give Goodreads a try. I’ve heard good and bad about it, but everything is that way. I’ll blog about it when I’ve done it, and am accepting all tips right now.

I also have a fun idea for promotions on my blog. I’ve already entered a contract with my Wild Concept cover artist for some custom pieces. More on this later. Maybe I can coerce him into a guest post.

This might be a guy thing, maybe not. I hate giving up the front and regrouping. I’ve learned so much since my older stories were written that I’m pretty sure I could do a better job today. The Army never goes back and puts the knickknacks back on the shelves. They keep moving forward. Should I revisit my old stories at the expense of my current work in progress? This might help me with points in the author world, but it would make me unhappy. Thoughts? Suggestions?

I think I need business cards. My wife and I go out quite a bit. Leaving a card along with the tip, could be beneficial. Pinning it to a bulletin board could also bear fruit. I’ve heard from other authors that this stuff helps. I’m open to any hints from the writing community.

There is a ton of research I intend to do. I own some valuable old hardbacks that I need to browse once more. I wrote a vignette about some people in Africa that keeps calling to me. They have everything they need except a story. Some of my books are Death in the Long Grass, Green Hell, Man-Eaters of Kumaon, Man-Eaters of Tsavo, Bell of Africa, and Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter.

Those aren’t all set in Africa, but I can snipe from them. I seem to remember one about Karamojo Bell hunting for the Battleship Konigsburg. I think that one was corrupted into The African Queen. Better re-watch that too. I should probably brush up on the Boer wars while I’m at it.

Those ought to provide my Muse with a jolt of adrenaline. Obviously, this would be an historical piece, with some of my weirdness of course. Maybe I can get some ideas for one of the other vignettes I posted about the guy with a talking yak.

Speaking of research, does anyone know of a decent book about alchemy? I don’t want an encyclopedia, more of the “for dummies” version. I think the world could use a mad science story. I don’t have a specific plan, but it can’t be all about the philosopher’s stone. It seems to me there were some Frankenstein type projects too. Send me some recommendations.

I’m bouncing back and forth between two ideas. One is a book of short stories. I could separate each story with a Macabre Macaroni type page. The other idea is to publish a bundle with one each, science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. I could let it run for 30 days at 99¢ then unpublish it. I may do both, or neither. Has anyone out there got any data on success with these methods?


I know some of you have published bundles or books of short stories. I know some of you live in Africa. Some of you are Goodreads members.

I love the comments I get on this blog, but this time I want more. I really want to hear from you guys on this post. Do you want an ARC of Will ‘O the Wisp? Do you have any Goodreads tips? Have you found a good alchemy book that can kick my Muse in the pants? Have you read any of my archaic old collectables? Would you re-edit your old stories at the expense of forward momentum? Who has experience with business cards, good or bad? Let me hear from you.


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