Bio-rhythms, Editors, and Metaphors

I don't know what's wrong with me, recently. I've been short tempered, grumpy, and negative. I have some ideas, but they're kind of personal, and you don't really want to know that kind of stuff. Probably something to do with my Bio-rhythm and internal chemistry. (I don't really believe in Bio-rhythms. They were a thing in the 1980's.)

I got my manuscript of The Galactic Battle Base: Trigger Warnings back from the editor I sent it to. He obviously didn't get my vision and chopped it into pieces, deleting much of what I thought was the focus of the story.

Either, I didn't explain my story clearly enough--through dialog, description, and character conflict-- or he went into it expecting to get one thing and was confused by finding another. I imagine it is a combination of the two.

So, with my current state of mind, I was pretty much torqued. With each correction and deletion I found myself becoming angrier and angrier. I had set myself a pretty demanding goal of getting this book published by mid May, to take it with me to the LDStorymakers conference. I could see, from the amount of work he was suggesting I do and with all the other things I have going, this was either an unrealistic goal, or it was going to require a whole lot of effort.

Instead, I shifted gears. (That's a metaphor. Some say you shouldn't use them when writing science fiction because the readers will take them literally. I would have to say, "Come on. You read science fiction. You're supposed to be more intelligent than the average reader. Don't be stupid." While I have a car with a manual transmission, this doesn't mean that I actually went out and changed from fourth speed down to third. Maybe this is a worn out metaphor, which is a danger when using them, but I think it's pretty apt.)

My biggest projects at the moment are The Pariah podcast and gearing up for

With the podcast I have to get another episode recorded and in the can this month. That shouldn't be too hard, I have the next episode edited and ready to record. But I also need to edit the first five episodes and publish them as a chapter book for Kindle and Print on Demand, as I've promised my supporters. With Channillo I had said I would do chapters from the Galactic Battle Base story, "Family Ties" and publish an episode every two weeks. I've decided, instead, I will also use chapters from "Trigger Warnings" as well and change the output to ever week instead of biweekly. This will allow me to focus on that story, develop each chapter with its own story arch, and hopefully make it clearer to the reader. Once I've gone completely through the novel in this manner, I can resubmit it to an editor and see if I'm closer to publication as a separate novel.

Okay. I've gotten that off my chest. My self-doubts have been aired.  Now, if I can adjust my bio-rhythm or my internal chemistry I'll feel much more like the author I thought I was two weeks ago and get back to getting things done.

Is there value in a 'Virtual Book Tour'?

So. As my regular (imaginary) readers know, I'm trying different methods of marketing to see what will gain me traction as an author, what will "Build My Platform", find me readers to buy my books and increase the size of my audience.

Here's what happened to me. 

I paid "Free and Discount Books" $60 to promote my book launch of "Shooting Stars". Well, $30, actually. I paid them another $30 to promote my Kindle Count Down of "Flypaper Boy" which occurred at the same time. I got ZERO benefit from it. Okay, part of it was my fault. I got stupid and set my countdown deal to start at 8:00 am on that Monday. According to their site, I needed to start it 12 hours before they were supposed to begin advertising, or I would be S-O-L. Lesson learned.

For Shooting Stars I was supposed to get Tweets throughout the day from their site and their sister sites, thus going out to hundreds of thousands of "Readers". I never saw any tweets. I did twitter searches on my name, the books name, their website and found nothing to do with me or Shooting Stars.

The following day I get a Direct Message from asking me if I wanted to bring my book out of obscurity. What author would not? So I asked what guarantee they had that they would do any better for me than "Cheap and Discount" did. Her eventual response was, "Do you have any books?"

I noticed a tweet that they were looking for bloggers to participate in virtual book tours for some of their authors. I figured this would be a good way to observe someone else's success before committing my own cash. And, hey, they give you the book to read, free. So I signed up to read, "Reporting Lives." EBP asked me what day I would like to post my blog. I said either the 12th or 13th. They gave me the 12th.

The cost is $295 and EBP will provide you with five days of blog posts, interviews and reviews.

Feb 11th was a special day on this tour as the reviewer was Sam G. an "Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer" scheduled to share his or her reviewing magic. After a little research, the honor became a little dubious to me, as Sam G. writes only 5 Star reviews. and wrote three others 5 Stars on that same day. It appears that Sam G. reads 24/7 to be able to write so many reviews. Maybe he/she listens to one on audio while reading another. Maybe he/she listens to two at the same time. I was hard pressed to read the entire book in 10 days, on top of a full time job, caring for family and trying to promote my own work at the same time. Sam G.'s got the skills.

I noted the Amazon Kindle standing of "Reporting Lives" was around 300K at the beginning of the week. I'm familiar with the place. It is truly 'obscurity' and the place from which any author would want their book brought from. On the day of my blog post, I had a Kindle Unlimited Download of "Shooting Stars" and it moved from 300K to 133K (Not exactly 'out of' but definitely 'Less of' obscurity . A single download moved me almost 200K ranks. I watched "Reporting Lives" walk consistently back up the ranks to around 400K as of this writing. My guess is that the only obscurity "Reporting Lives" was brought out of was from the books "Gifted" to the people volunteering to read it for the 'Virtual Book Tour'.

I was told to make sure my post was up by 9:00 am eastern time, on the day I was scheduled. When I was sent the schedule they had put me on the 10th instead of the 12th. I was graciously moved back. I was also told that I should expect to see visits to my sight before and after the scheduled day. I did. I had several visits the three days before from three different ip addresses referred from the author's site, which were all close enough together to have been the same person. I assume this was the author, checking to see if the post was up yet. I posted my review on the afternoon of the 11th. That ip address visited once more after the post and never returned. That's cool. She wanted to see what I'd said. The day of my post, a link on the "Elite Book Promotion" site went active. I got two visits to my site on the 12th directly to the blog post, from twitter, and one today. Two came from EBP.

The EBP site is fairly unimpressive (he with a really boring site says). Every page has the same heading, a huge graphic for EBP. On my laptop, that's all I get--their emblem and links to other pages. If I didn't scroll down, I would never know I was on a different page. I would expect to see the latest and the most important information at the top of each of these pages, like, the daily promoted book, links to videos, what book is on tour, etc. Not their overly large self.

In conclusion, you may ask, "Would you pay $295 real dollars to have your book take a virtual tour?" My answer is virtually, "No way in hell." Another question is, "Was participating in the book tour beneficial?" My answer to that would be, "No and yes." While the book cost me nothing, I spent 10 hours reading it and two hours writing and editing my review, and working with it on my blog. This is all time I could have been writing, recording my podcast, or promoting myself. For my time I got, possibly, one Kindle Unlimited Download and no remarkable increase in visits to my website.

But! Learning that there is virtually no value in a virtual book tour by EBP has saved me a real $295 knowing that they will not bring my book out of obscurity. It's up to me.

I got this tweet on Twitter the other day:

@PhilipCarroll Check out Biosgraphy.."Instagram for Writers" and be part of the evolution of social media: 

I've never been on Instagram. With all the social media choices these days, I usually divide my time between Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. But, what I think Instagram is, is, you take a picture, add a little text and send it from your phone to Instagram. This does something, like, autoposting to Facebook, because I often see pictures of my grandkids on Facebook and it says it was posted to Instagram.

So, I'm going to think laterally at this. Or semi-laterally. If Instagram lets you post pictures to social media "as you take them", then lets you post your writing as you write it. Maybe?

At Biosgraphy the encourage you to get "Your Story" out there. And after two days of spending very little time there, it looks like you tell your story in several different areas which affect out lives. That's wrong. I just went back and looked at the site. When you start a new blog, you start it in one of seven areas, "My Story", "Creations", "Ideas", "Yum", "Travel", "Fab", and "Shout Out".

I've only blogged in one area, so far. I figured I would start with "My Story" and titled my blog, "Who Cares?" It's about me. I mean, there is no one I like to talk about me than myself, but I can't imagine it will be very entertaining or inspiring. But. It will have a very different tone than what I write here, on my, "I'm figuring out how to sell my books" blog. I guess I could put this blog in the "Creations" or "Ideas" blog. But, I would figure that "Creations" would have blogs about wood carving, or actual stories I've written. Idea's then. Maybe I'll see if I cross blog some of my thoughts from this blog there and see if it leads to sales of my books.

Okay. I've decided.

I'm going to blog the "expletive" out of my Biosgraphy site and see if it leads to any book sales. I'll let you know in a couple of weeks. Take a look at it yourself and see what you think. Let me know you're there, and I can follow you. We'll make it look like we're real people. Otherwise, I need to get back to working on my Podcast to give my Patreon followers something to support.


More Red Ink Blog

I haven't been to too many Cons. But being in Central California I have been to Baycon twice and when Worldcon was in Reno, NV it was close enough for me to drive to.

One speaker I have heard at each of these Cons was Marty Halpern. He's an editor with a ton of Science Fiction and Fantasy editorial experience. His blog site is at:

I was just there  to copy the link address and he had posted an open letter to Idie Author's by J. M. Gregoire. I just began to read it and as usual, the stuff on Mr. Halpern's site is worth our time to read; whether you're a writer, reader or editor.

I've found his presentations at the cons as some of the most interesting, informative and authoritative lectures I've come across since trying to join this community of writers. I'm going back to his blog to pick up the link to the rest of that open letter. You should too.