Friday, April 15, 2011

Confession, Question, Promise, and a Change of Pace

First, my confession; as a promoter of my writing, I suck! There you have it in a nutshell. It seems that no matter what I do, it's either not enough, too much, or just boring as hell. Why am I in a snit? My upbringing and my training leads me to be respectful of your time and sensitivities. I don't want to offend anyone so I'm reluctant to take an 'in your face' posture in my writing. (That does not include some of my characters, who do on a regular basis things I'd die before attempting.) I just went through the release of another book and tried for six weeks to leave little snippets that would make you curious enough you'd want to check SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY out. I even offered a free book and a series of free reads. Response: Zero. I'm told that our 'new' social media is the way to go and I'd better get on Facebook, Twitter, etc. ad nauseum if I want to attract a large readership. Oh, really? Does anybody remember MySpace? When it was all the rage, the same things were said of it. Then the 'wave' moved on to each new entity as it ballyhooed its way onto the world stage. Well, I've tried some of these, and I also suck at them. Now for my question. Will somebody, anybody, please check out at least one of my books? I can't help thinking my best advertisement is my work. Read a book and tell someone about it. If you like my writing, tell your friends about it and/or write a review. If you don't like it, please use my email address or my blog address and tell me why you find fault with it. In fact, if you really don't like it, I'll refund your money, subject to my financial abilities. The promise: I will read what you tell me and, if I'm really off, I promise to heed your words. The absolute worst thing I can think of is to feel like I'm talking to myself in a closet somewhere. I want to introduce a change of pace today. Years ago, I fancied myself something of a budding poet. Most of what I put down on paper has long since (mercifully) vanished. But my love affair with words has grown through my maturity and now I write novel-length fiction. I recently pulled up a couple of my oldies, however. After dusting them off, I'd like to share them with you. The first is a poem I wrote during the era of Sputnik. Written in 1959, it foretold the demise of the Soviet Union and their early lead in the race to space.

There spins that shiny top, plaything of man’s creation. It goes unnoticed now by those who pulled the string.

They planed, they worked, the keyword was progress

Which they seemed to make with gallant stride.

But the fate that awaits those who walk, gaze held high,

Pulled them in as it lay at their stumbling feet.

Fly on, O Golden Calf, but as you sail through space,

You are but a speck, a splinter, in all the universe.

The second is an early attempt at expressing humility. Imagine my shock and surprise when a number of my peers charged that I had an overinflated ego and a lot of gall. Perhaps its my use of the word god, but please notice I spell it two ways. Could it be that I was trying to express my spiritual nature? I'll let you be the judge. Let me know what you think. Please?

CREDO Oh that it were, that the god in me, Were somewhere out in space; To be seen by those who, with searching gaze, See little of God in me.


  1. Sorry about the formatting of the poems. One more thing I suck at, I guess. Anyway, I think you can see how it's supposed to lay out. Cheers all,
    Pat Dale

  2. Hi Dale, Well I think you have worked really hard at blogging and advertising. Perhaps word of mouth is more effective than social media, but I think the more you get yourself out there (pick and choose of course) the more someone's apt to pick up your book and try it. Also, have you sent for any reviews? I think a good review can be a powerful tool to tweet, FB etc. And have you advertised in local newspapers? Maybe join Goodreads if you haven't already and join a group in your genre too. Just some other ideas.

    And I've got a whole bunch of Muse Authors on my ereader waiting to be read. I'll be buying yours too and when I read it I'll let you know what I think:)

    You don't suck at promo, your just learning like the rest of us...

  3. Actually loved the last poem. God does exist in those who believe and you've proven you're one of those by feeling unworthy of it. Trust in Him, He sees your pain. You've displayed His creative talents by writing a novel. You may be waiting on others to appreciate your talent and that will come (no doubt in my mind). Maybe God is waiting for you to appreciate His.

    I didn't believe I could like you more than I already do. You're precious. Thanks for sharing your soul.

    Love ya!

  4. Hey, Dale, I understand your frustration but, please, you are not alone. I spend hours on promo, I have won a couple of ch comps and I have received 5 star reviews for my novels but my sales do not refelect this. Bottom line - it can take years to gain name recognition. We are thousands out there. Write because you love it. The rewards may come, they may not but keep trying. Personally, I feel bad because I cannot buy the books from Muse I want. Hey - I often can't buy a bottle of milk but I know your story must be good or Muse would never have accepted it. Life is a battlefield and the pub world is no exception. Keep at it.

    Much respect


  5. Hey Dale, Publishing can be as ruthless as the writing of the book...or so I've heard. I'm still waiting on my first to come out in September so I may feel the pain right along with you soon. But don't give up. You've got your foot in the door and now you need to just keep kicking that door open. Go on Amazon and find a place to offer a snippet about your book in the discussions. Start a blog. Get on Twitter. Be on facebook and comment. One gal I listened to said social media is about 80 percent supporting others and 20 percent advertising yourself. So, don't give up. Just get out and let people get to know you. Then the sales will come. Do book fairs, library visits, etc. Anything and everything that can get your name out. Good luck!
    C.K. Volnek

  6. Well, been there and done that. One thing no one has mentioned yet, is zero response on your blogs etc, doesn't mean no one is reading them. Guilty one right here. I've read your shorts and enjoyed them, but one I took the time to read, usually in spurts between other things, when i finished, i rushed off to other things without commenting. I was going to do it on loop, and spaced that, and i'm certain i'm not alone. on my blog, I seldom get comments, but the status tells me I do get a steady viewing. so take heart. there's a lot of people like me, running and rushing that fail to show appreciation. you aren't nearly as ignored as you feel.

  7. Thanks to all of you for helping restore my faith in mankind. Or should that maybe be womankind? Sorry I had to wallow in my own little pity party. And I know lots of folk drop by when they don't have time to comment.
    Actually, I got a four star review from LASR from a reviewer who really got the essence of A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND the way I intended. It came out last summer from Whimsical Pub. in trade paperback and is available in various eBook formats. SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY is my first at Muse with four more due out over the next nine months. I'm anxious for them to be successful with such a fantastic publisher. I also have another WP print/eBook due out in May. CROSSED LINES is a real departure from my other published novels and I'm hoping folks will enjoy it; a true anti-romance! Psych-suspense with a deadly climax and a hanging curve ball at the end. For those not into baseball, just imagine what Albert Pujols would do to one of those pitches!
    Once again, I thank each and every one of you for your kind comments.

  8. I appreciated this candid article, Dale. You have told it like it is, and I don't know any authors in digital publishing who are satisfied with their sales. So we have to write for the satisfaction of telling our stories and hope that our promo efforts will pay off in the long run. And if they don't? What would you rather be doing that telling the stories that only you can write? If the answer is "nothing," then keep on and assume all things come to those who wait. Linda
    PS Very thoughtful poems, also.

  9. I liked both the poems by the way.

  10. Lately, I've had some of the same feelings myself. I've even considered not writing anymore. I'll be glad to check out your book.

  11. Pat,maybe one of the problems is that the museitup site is so hard to navigate. First I had to register before I could buy a book. Then I got to the checkout procedure where it asked me a whole lot of questions including some about my company name and address which I don't have. I tried to submit my info without the company part, but, but the site wouldn't let me. You might want to talk to them about their procedure. I'll keep watch, and as soon as your book hits Barnes and Noble I'll get it.

  12. Pat,
    I am in the same predicament as Charlie. My book doesn't come out until September. Even though that's the case, it's for YA, so I'm giving out a few free first chapters to girls I know who are in the right age group. So far one of them wanted to read the whole story. So I'm going to send it to her. She is my student's sister. So if she likes it, she might tell her friends, who will want to buy it. I'm hoping word of mouth locally will help me. Also I am on every possible promotion site I can find including having a Blog Talk Radio Show every 4th Thursday. I would love to have you on as a guest. Let's talk.:)

    I loved your first poem. Hang in there. Writing is not for the faint hearted.:)