Tag Archives: The Hat

2018, better than last year

It’s time for my annual assessment of the past year. It was noticeably better than 2017, but it almost had to be. This isn’t to say that it was good, just better.

In 2017, I did something to my back that I still can’t figure out. I spent weeks unable to do much more than complain. My back is sore every day now, but I haven’t had any kind of relapse.

All of the pets are alive and well, unlike last year. Otto had a bad back last year too, but glucosamine and drugs seem to keep that in check. We lost a puppy last year too, and never want to repeat that process.

I released two books in 18, and am content with that schedule. As a general theme, nothing that used to work for promotional purposes seems to work any longer. I used to run the occasional Facebook push or Amazon ad, but they seem to do nothing today.

I hired a promotion company when I released The Hat. This worked extremely well, and the cherry on top was access to Net Galley. This turned out to be my most popular title, and has the most reviews too.

When it came time to release The Yak Guy Project, the promotional company was gone. I couldn’t find their website, and they never responded to emails either. Unfortunately, that seems to be a common thing in promotions too.

Both books were released with an extensive blog tour on my part, and that always helps. Still, Yak Guy did not perform as well as The Hat. Everyone who read it seems to have enjoyed it, but I’d like to have gotten it in front of more people.

As a positive sign, both books were well received. I don’t have people burning yaks in effigy or anything like that.

I blogged less in 18 than any other year, at least on Entertaining Stories. My blog stats are slightly down too. The most popular posts were all Lisa Burton Radio posts. This makes sense, because it’s a regular slot. I suspect there are people who come by only on Thursdays to check these post out.

There are a few things I’ve always done that remain moderately popular. The Idea Mill posts perform well, but not as well as I like. My October micro-fiction has its fans too. None of these are huge, but they perform well.

My stats show a good lifespan for older posts. This means some kind of Google connection exists, because people still find them. I got a great number of people coming from StumbleUpon and Flipboard in the first part of the year. StumbleUpon stopped operations earlier in 2018, and became Mix. Flipboard just stopped working for me. I smell some kind of new algorithm I haven’t figured out yet. I still share many posts to Mix, but haven’t seen a single visitor to my blog from that site. Mix is likely a waste of time, and the interface isn’t easy to use either.

My blog auto-feeds to many places. Google Plus is one of those, but they’ve announced they are stopping. I still get visitors from Twitter and Facebook, but Google Plus never did much anyway.

I didn’t post as many tales from the writing cabin. These are the ones where I interact with Lisa Burton, my assistant. Other guests are my Muse, the raven of Doubt, and occasionally characters from my books. These were always popular, and I should get back to them.

On the other hand, instead of taking the time to write about my progress in a fictional environment, I posted drips and drabs about my next book. These were popular posts, and there are people interested in reading Voyage of the Lanternfish when it comes out. (Soon.)

Is there a happy medium between writing cabin posts and just writing about it? Could there be a sweet spot where turning those same posts into a writing cabin post would have performed better? I’ll never know, but maybe I should try this. It wouldn’t have been too hard to have the writing cabin overrun by root monsters, or take a boat out looking for the gigantic jellyfish.

Some of this could be due to my participation at Story Empire. The writing cabin posts were a bit of fiction, but designed to illustrate one author’s struggles and growth. Story Empire is all about helping others, and many of my ideas go there now. Let’s face it, I only have so much to share at any given time.

In 2017, the Boyacks lost about half of our income. This was based upon a small mining royalty that is gone now. This means where we are now is the new normal. It’s been an adjustment, but one we must make. It means budgeting has to go into new Lisa Burton posters, book covers, and promotional expenses.

I’ve recycled some of the blog art this year, but let’s face it, one post a year ago shouldn’t render the posters useless. I have a bunch of them, and may do it again.

All in all, 2018 was better than 17. Two good book releases, and none of them were collections or anthologies. I’m not saying collections or anthologies are bad, I love them. I’m just saying these were more extensive works. They were both well received if not wildly successful.

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Paying the Bills, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hi everyone, and welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. Just me this week for several reasons. The main one is that I didn’t want to stick a guest during the week between the holidays.

Still, Christmas is over, and mine was wonderful. Bunny and I hung out at the writing cabin, and it was nice and quiet.

Speaking of Christmas, what did you get? I know this crowd, and every one of you got an Amazon gift card. You’re all readers and writers, don’t deny it. After you finish your purchases, there is likely to be a bit left over, and that’s what I want to talk about today.

Craig is my author. Officially, it’s C. S. Boyack, but we all just call him Craig. See, he writes books too. His are all ebooks, so you’ll need a Kindle or one of the apps to read them.

He has a lot of titles these days, so I won’t break them all down. There are novels, collections of short stories, one group of short stories that tells an over-arching tale, and even a couple of free anthologies he’s appeared in.

Craig lives in the world of speculative fiction, so you’ll find fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction among his titles. Sometimes more than one in the same book.

2018 was a fair publishing schedule. Craig released a novel and his first novella. Call it whatever you like, but it’s 50,000 words or so. We don’t like novelette or some of the other designations.

The first one is a novel called The Yak Guy Project. This one is about a rotten young man who wakes up in the desert with no idea how he got there. He’s rescued by a talking yak, and taken on an adventure that provides quite a bit of room for personal growth.

Let’s face it, the guy had a lot of room for personal growth. Know what I mean? Think of it like a coming of age story for a new generation. You can pick up your copy for $2.99. There’s bound to be that much left on your Amazon card.

This is the one that follows the Major Arcana of the Tarot if that appeals to you. You don’t have to understand it to enjoy the ride. If you do, it might be interesting to try spotting the places where a card is represented.

The next one is called The Hat. This is the shorter one I mentioned. You can actually read it in a long afternoon. It’s about a girl who crosses paths with an old hat. Only this isn’t really a hat. He’s a being from another dimension trapped in the form of a hat for all eternity.

They are worlds apart, so they argue a lot. She’s twenty-one, and he’s been in a box for twenty years. He missed cell phones, the Internet, and most of the daily technology we have today.

These guys are both pretty capable, but together they form a symbiosis that let’s them do even more. Think of them like paranormal superheroes, and they’re on the trail of some nefarious baby snatchers.

It seems like a lot of story, and it is. But you can pick up your copy for 99¢. That’s it, 99¢. Come on, you know you got free shipping on your Amazon Alexa unit. Check the reviews and I think you’ll become converts.

Oh, and I have it on good authority that Lizzie and The Hat are going to make a return engagement in 2019.

That’s it for me today. We’ll start having guests again after the new year. I usually throw in a bunch of links and stuff at this point, but you’re already here. I’ll add some cover art, make them link to the purchase site, and toss this link in for good measure.

Craig’s Amazon Author Page is https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00ILXBXUY Just in case you want one of those free anthologies or a different title.

That’s it for me, I’m outta here. Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. Craig’s done it for over a hundred episodes of Lisa Burton Radio, and he’ll do it again when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.

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Puttering about

I’m still on vacation, and don’t have to go back to work until Thursday. I expected to get a ton of writing done, but it hasn’t worked out that way. It’s more a bit here and there.

Sunday I was pretty much a vegetable. I felt bad about it, and after my ballgame ended, I decided to forge ahead reading. I’m so glad I did. This isn’t a book review blog, and never will be, but you need to read this one. I’ve always been a Mae Clair fan, but she took this one into a whole new atmosphere. It’s called Cusp of Night, and yes that is a hotlink for your convenience.

I finished it Sunday night, so I feel like I was at least productive to a degree.

Today I started out writing, but my wife is home, bulldogs had to play ball, and it was just dabbling. I’m a big believer in just pecking away at a project. Voyage of the Lanternfish is now at (checking) 66,089 words.

I can get a lot done a bit here and there.

This afternoon I had an eye appointment. There are new prescriptions, frames, and such on the way.

I also took on a small beta reading project. I messed around a bit with it today too. It isn’t long, and my goal is to turn it back before I have to go back to work.

My novel almost demands breaks at times. Now that my crew has left pseudo-China, they’ve had one success, but there is another problem to deal with. I also have to come up with another new country, but I have some ideas for it. This won’t be as big a stop, but they need to face some problems. This is where shifting into beta reading, or attending an eye appointment helps. It lets my brain work on the issues without the distraction of the keyboard.

This new country is bugging me too. I want to give it a name that will conjure an image before readers even learn about it. I’ve bastardized a name, but I don’t like it. I’m going with it for now, but intend to do a word search and change it later.

I posted over at Story Empire how I hate naming things. I offered up a few tips that worked for me, and invited others to offer some too. There are some good tips in the comments section, and I intend to try them. Oh yeah, that is a hotlink too, just in case you have a tip or want to see what others do when naming things.

I also discovered another five star review for The Hat today. Since I’m on a hotlink kick, might as well just link this one too.

None of it seems outstanding, but it all adds up. I’ve been busy, just not focused on one thing. I think I’ll just keep dabbling on this vacation.

However, my wife decided to go back to Nevada this weekend. It might only be a Saturday, but I could get a bunch done that day.

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Ready for the weekend

Today seemed like it took forever. At least I had a visitor for a little while. This little buck stopped just long enough to pose for photos.

I got a ton of things done today at the office, and I’m beat. Tonight, I’ll probably have a beer and watch a baseball game.

The free day for The Hat is going well. With Don Massenzio’s post it seemed like a good time to try it. The highest rank I caught was #32 under the superhero genre. You have until midnight to get it for free.

Okay, it’s a lousy picture, but it’s out of necessity. This data does not display on my phone. The PC doesn’t save images to my private account. Therefore, I used my phone to take a picture of my PC monitor.

It could creep a little higher with a few more downloads. The book is free until midnight. You might want to grab a copy today, and read it later.

Tomorrow I’m going to hoist the colors and get back to my manuscript. There are two interviews I need to schedule, but if I get to them Sunday that’s perfectly okay.

I’m kind of excited to get back to my pirates, monsters, and adventure. Hope all of you have fun plans and a great weekend.

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Saturday, for what it’s worth

I really slept in this morning. I mean more than ever happens. Part of this is because I stayed up watching baseball last night. In fact, I have today’s game on right now.

My wife and daughter were both off today, so productivity ended when I didn’t get up early. My only goals this weekend were to schedule a future interview, and to write shticks for two more. I never got any of it done.

I appreciate Rosie’s Book Review Team for another great review of The Hat. This one seems to be doing well with its readers. In fact someone grabbed a copy from Netgalley, and I received an additional five star review.

I never accomplished much today, but I can’t complain about the good things that happened.

Old What’s Her Face wants some sourdough rolls to go with dinner tomorrow. She bought a replacement bag of flour for me, and I just finished mixing them up. They probably won’t get really sour, but they’ll still be nice rolls.

There are a few hours left to get your copy of The Enhanced League while it’s still free. I saw it get as high as 28 on the sports stories chart. I only take photos now if something gets on a top ten list.

Those who read Enhanced League, seemed to enjoy it. You don’t have to be a baseball fan to understand the human interest stories in this collection.

Next week, my workplace is sending me to a convention in NOLA. Great place to go, but work won’t allow tons of time to have fun. I may have to write some of my shticks on the airplane, but at least I’ll have that time available.

I’ll share a photo or two if I see something cool while I’m there.

PS: Grab a copy of Enhanced League.

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Friday flex-day

I started fairly early this morning. No real reason, it was just time to wake up. I fed the dogs, and my sourdough starter, before taking on my chores. I changed a few lightbulbs and finally updated the clock in my truck while the coffee cooked.

I scheduled Lisa Burton Radio for next week, then scheduled a promotional post of my own for later in the month. I have a group post in a few weeks, and made my minor contribution to that, but it still needs some graphics.

I also went on Pixabay and found some images for my next Story Empire post. It’s a few weeks away, so I can mull the whole thing over, but the images are set aside. I also grabbed a mud image while I was there.

This is the season of mud in the American West. It might not come to pass this year, because winter didn’t amount to much, but it’s still that time of year. Sorry Easterners, I know what you’re going through. I cropped the mud photo and used it for the background image on my blog.

Then I used my feeble art skills and updated my banner. Since mud is a season of change, the banner reflects a coming change too. Lisa’s snow sculpture of The Hat is melting, but it seems to have attracted something else. Perhaps it is a coming change.

I have a gazillion interviews to work through, and I’m not going to kill myself getting to them. A posting schedule of one per week allows me to take a breather here and there.

I should dedicate some time to gearing up for my next promotional push. I’ll probably need some pre-written posts, some victims hosts to send them to, and a plan of some kind.

I’m going to use that time to play with my new project, tentatively called The Voyage of The Lanternfish.

There is a corned beef thawing in the kitchen, and if I time it right, there will be some fresh sourdough to accompany it. My theme is a little here and there this weekend.

I might not make more than an editing pass on Lanternfish. I want to go back and add some color to the cast now that I am more familiar with them. The buxom tavern girl has an embarrassing history, and the runaway slave guy needs fleshed out too.

Wouldn’t be surprised if I add new words before the weekend is over.

I wonder how I’m fixed for Irish Whisky? Maybe I’d better go check.

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The Hat strikes again

Karen O. delivered this wonderful review of The Hat today. Stop over at Karen’s place to check it out. She’s a voracious reader who reviews the books she reads. She’s absolutely someone all authors should get to know. Karen also writes, and you might want to check out In A Small Compass too.

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:      *****

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Lizzie St. Laurent is dealing with many of the struggles of young life. She lost her grandmother, and her living arrangements. Her new roommate abandoned her, and she’s working multiple jobs just to keep her head above water. Keep Reading here…

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