Wednesday, December 14, 2016

I Have a Good Question!

With this post, 112 pages later, I see those who are beating a dead horse to a pulp,
those who are still in denial, those with what I consider to be false hopes, holding
their breath, and who knows how many ghosts this thread has, each of us trying to
survive the new reality of Amazon. The new norm.

I made it no real secret that I’m done with selling books through Amazon, and
why. But, here’s the strangest thing of all. Why are the self-published authors we
all worshiped as gods (Konrath, Howie, Eisler) . . . strangely silent?

These authors spoke for us, sometimes embarrassingly, but they always seemed
to be championing our cause by ripping into the arrogance of mainstream
publishing, and how unfairly we were being treated by the faceless, money
grabbing corporations who continue to treat all writers like shit.

Now Amazon is doing the same goddamn thing?

The proof of it all is in the thread above.

Why are they silent?

Maybe I’m the first to ask that particular question, maybe not, but I do find their
silence surreal.

In the meantime, become a follower, show your appreciation and buy me a cup of
coffee, read my stories on Wattpad, vote, leave a comment, or just buy a book.
Find out how the story ends. Read me for free (14 of my books, out of 18
published) through your Scribd subscription.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A New Launch!

I launched a new pen name, Nikki Blood, and my new line of XXX erotica, what I
consider nasty, naughty, dirty bad fun! Part Two of The Courtesan is up at
Smashwords, and once it is approved for wider distribution, you should be able to
find it a few other places like the iTunes/iBooks store, and a week from now, with
luck, Barnes & Noble.

I pumped up my samples at Smashwords to 20%, and now I need to get busy with
part three of this serial fantasy, with even more explicit boing-chika-wow-wow in
it. What to do, what to do. Yes I have a clue. I just need to get those ideas written
down, organize my thoughts, and get writing.

Now, even though I have a big beef with Amazon (and broke ties with Amazon), I
did approve these two books to be distributed to Amazon through Smashwords.
Let Amazon try to fuck over Smashwords, with Smashwords’ clout and cash for
lawyers. I dare Amazon to get caught cheating Smashwords out of their hard-
earned percentage of my book money. I dare them, because I’m sure that the fiasco
that continues to hurt indie authors (for the last seven months and counting), Mark
Coker is very much aware of the situation, and there are people on his staff that are
making sure Smashwords (and me) get every penny they (and me) deserve.

For every problem, there is a solution. Know your options.

I can say with complete confidence that right here and right now, I’ve made more
money than I did by being exclusive (this, the last year) to Amazon. One month
and counting. One fucking month, and I made more than I did this last year with

In the meantime, become a follower, show your appreciation and buy me a cup of
coffee, read my stories on Wattpad, vote, leave a comment, or just buy a book.
Find out how the story ends. Read me for free (14 of my books, out of 18
published) through your Scribd subscription.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Updates and a New Launch!

Warrior, the first revamped chapter, is up at Wattpad, with two more chapters to
go. I kept most of the verbiage, but by changing the POV (point of view) into the
second person, present tense, I basically changed the overall mood the story takes,
and it will allow me to define my own vision of what Grimdark means.

The thing about writing in the second person, it can force the writer to confront the
protagonist’s emotions. Delve a little deeper into what makes a man or woman
tick, for good or bad. Emotions, I learned many books ago, are delicate (yet
necessary) tools to weald.

Another thing I have to know is my character’s past. In each and every book I
write, each person has a past that has shaped their present lives. But, just like in
real life, you can sometimes share too much, too soon. I need to consider just how
much of their past I need to share, in order to make sense of what’s happening in
their here and now.

Baby Makes Three is coming along slower than I want to admit, being a real pain
in my ass at times, but I’ll get there. This isn’t the first time I’ve had problems like
that, and won’t be the last time. You just have to plow through it, one paragraph at
a time.

I did launch a new pen name, and my new line of XXX erotica! Nasty, naughty,
dirty bad fun!

Nikki Blood. The new me. You can read the first 10% of this serial fantasy with
lots of explicit boing-chika-wow-wow in it, with more to come, at Smashwords!
I’m working on part 2 even as I write this.

In the meantime, become a follower, show your appreciation and buy me a cup of
coffee, read my story on Wattpad, vote, leave a comment, or just buy a book. Find
out how the story ends. Read me for free (14 of my books, out of 17 published)
through your Scribd subscription.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Love Dark for Free

This is a chance to read Love Dark for free on Wattpad. The reason is simple: I need fans, and I don't write at the speed of wow. Since the novel is complete, I decided to post it chapter by chapter in the hopes of gaining readers who like my dark fantasy, my urban fantasy, and my grimdark fantasy.

Love Dark could be considered grimdark, for damn sure, when you factor in how the story is told. I didn't hold back. Actually, I never hold back when it comes to telling a story.

In the meantime, become a follower, sign up for my Rip’s Picks newsletter, show
your appreciation and buy me a cup of coffee, read my stories on Wattpad, vote,
leave a comment, or just buy a book. Read me for free (15 of my books, out of 16
published) through your Scribd subscription.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Forced Change

The deal with me opting out when it comes to Amazon still stands, which left me
reevaluating just about everything writing related. I needed a clearer picture of my
position, without my meds screwing up my ability to concentrate.

That medication thing was/is all-too-real for me, and had stalled me for the better
part of one month. Now that I seem to be firing again on all eight cylinders, I
discovered myself not in a good position. I’m not where I wanted to be. I’ve got a
lot of work to do to fix that.

With the people at Wattpad, I need to make up lost ground. I have a few followers
that might not understand why us old people can have problems, and might not get
how serious those problems can sometimes be. My meds made it almost
impossible to concentrate for any real length of time, so I did what I could,
knowing it wasn’t enough.

I am, after all, actually working on three completely different book projects, and
the storefront. Four different projects, plus wearing the marketing hat.

Baby Makes Three is my mornings, followed by business-related endeavors called,
I clear my mind by working on and marketing the storefront. However, I need to
pump up the social networking aspects when it comes to the store’s marketing.
That much I know. Only, how effective can I be in the shortest amount of time?
What are my choices, and how can I narrow those down and be more effective?

In the afternoons I work on revamping Warrior in the second person, because I
happen to love that story myself and want to see where it ends; followed by more
business endeavors. Research into what I need to do, and how to do it. Stuff like
what vendor can I use to get into the Google Play store with all my books, and
new stories. Right now I have one book up there, with fifteen more to go. I’m
waiting to see how my book two (2) epub file looks uploaded.

In the late evenings, I’ve been working on another project with another pen name,
and have about 10,000 words into it. It will be my line of hardcore XXX erotica.

Both Warrior and my line of XXX erotica will be serialized. Every 10,000 words I
hit the publish button. I’ve been designing the covers. I need to make sure when a
potential reader looks at the cover, they understand it's a serial novel. I need to
make that clear in the description and blurb. Then I need to price it right.

Here are my thoughts on all this right here and right now. Baby Makes Three needs
to be completed. I’ll decide from there if there will be a fourth book. Most of that
decision will be based on sales of the series first three books, after I do what I can
to market them. My marketing budget still sucks, but it is getting better.

I’ll see how my Bastard Black pen name does after I get Warrior up and running as
a serial. My erotica, same thing. Each 10,000 words gets packaged up, and

Right now I’m in the process of going wide again, perhaps even wider with my
distribution nodes than I ever have before, maximizing my reach. The problems I
face are many, but nothing I haven’t learned, or am learning to deal with.

Every writer out there today needs a plan, needs to know their options, and adjust
that plan at a moments notice. It’s the only way to survive and grow.

Serial stories can do well, depending on what they are. Where they are. Erotica
always does well, once there’s an actual story behind the bump and grind.

The main thing is to relax, not get stressed out over being set back, and pluck
through each and every task as the day progresses. Some days will be better than
others. The main thing is, just do it.

In the meantime, become a follower, show your appreciation and buy me a cup of
coffee, read my story on Wattpad, vote, leave a comment, or just buy a book.
out how the story ends. Read me for free (14 of my books, out of 16 published)
through your Scribd subscription.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Amazon Just Got Dumped, and Why

I’m not going to pretend I’m doing the right thing overall, but it is the right thing
for me. What I’m talking about is, walking away from

It’s one thing to sell books, but it’s another when you can’t trust, at all, the
distributor handling those sales to keep an accurate count, or to tell you the truth
on what was sold, how many people borrowed your books, and how many pages
were read, which is how us authors are paid when a book is borrowed. By the
page. $00.0046 per page per average.

It is a rather long story, and you can read all about it here.

You don’t have to join the Kindle Boards to read, the forums are public, but to post you
have to join (fake name if you so choose), and it takes a good while of reading to
get the full picture of what me and thousands of authors just like me are facing,
but the story is worth the time.

In order for me to counter this, to effectively take myself out of the picture, to
actually give me a fighting chance with my 16 e-books with the reading public,
and to get paid for all my hard work, I pulled all my books from

It will take some time to get back up and on with other online vendors, but I can
wait. In the meantime I’m back with (I can be bought right now,
today, with better prices, there.), who will then distribute me to all the online
stores around the world, including the Apple iBooks store, and Barnes & Noble.
There is another distributor for the Google Play store I’ll be using.

You might want to call it a glitch in Amazon’s reporting system, but I’ve been flat-
lined since I decided to give the (exclusive to and with Amazon) KU 2.0 program
a chance. And, I’m not joking.

Only thing is, I’ve been selling books, I have had borrows, and only discovered
through the thread link above, why I’ve been flat-lined. Oh, to be fair, I did show
some movement when Amazon adjusted things for everybody, and then I flat-lined

That movement, their adjustment, was their mistake. It gave me a glimpse of the

They proved to me I had sales, and I had page reads, and nothing before or after
their adjustment (for all authors) had shown up on my sales and read reports. I did
get that one page glitch thing associated with Pageflip.

It hard enough to make it as a writer of genre fiction, without wading waist deep in
someone else’s doodoo.

You can still read samples of each book at the store (links are up
on the books page, too), and soon to come, everywhere else. You can make up your
own mind as to purchase the book and see how the story ends.

In the meantime, I got another book to post, another to finish, more picks to get
up, and changes to make to my links. My online footprint.

I’m disappointed, more than anything else. All I wanted was a fair chance.

I do see authors like me, those with nothing to lose and everything to gain,
following in my footsteps.

It takes time to gain ground, to get your books in front of potential readers, make
no mistake about that, but going wide (again) will be worth it in the long run. I’ll
blog about this again in the near future. What steps I’m taking to introduce myself
to new readers.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Getting Up To Speed

No it's not easy. One of the hardest things to do is get back up and running the way you want, after a medical crisis. Hopefully you won't have to.

On the upside, this week will be a busy one. I've got a lot of work to do on Rip's Picks with monetizing me, two post up on that subject, with a third post to write.

I'll just have to work on my two books, Baby Makes Three, and the currently being revamped Warrior, when I can, with luck a page a day or more on each.

Become a follower here, and over at Wattpad. I need a little motivation. It's a money vs maybe money thing. I tend to pay more attention to the sure thing, with the maybe thing taking a back seat. I'm nothing if not realistic.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Medications, and How They Can . . .

With age comes wisdom, an extra layer of fat you wish would go away, the
occasional bout of constipation, and medications to screw with one’s head. I went
off my old diuretic, separate of my high blood pressure pill, and off my high blood
pressure pill, in favor of just one pill. One pill to do the work of two pills, without
either ingredient screwing with my potassium level.

Today is day four with my new medication, and I managed one full page this last
week on Baby Makes Three, and two blog posts over at Rip’s Picks. This is my
third blog post.

I’m not making any excuses, but telling you like it is. Life can and does get in the

Right now, my books are taking a back seat to what life for me is. I can’t
effectively concentrate, and I still need to get more products up over at Rip’s
Picks, the one place that makes all of this possible. I did take most of yesterday
off, and loved it.

Physically, I’m just now getting back into my exercise routine. It’s like starting
over, in some respects. Twenty-five reps of everything, instead of a hundred reps.
It takes time to get up to speed.

I’ll post again in a few days.

In the meantime, become a follower, sign up for my Rip’s Picks newsletter, show
your appreciation and buy me a cup of coffee, read my story on Wattpad, vote,
leave a comment, or just buy a book. Read me for free (15 of my books, out of 16
published) through your KindleUnlimited subscription.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Here’s How I See It

You can do things like everybody else, but that guarantees not one fucking thing.
Or, you can do things your own damn way.

Life is too short to continuously pound your head against any wall for too long,
and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

Instead of following the crowds, I write the books I want to read, and I like them. I
have original ideas, not three pages go by without some action or a revelation, and
I don’t find myself boring. Reviews, real reader reviews, when I get them, say I’m
doing a great job. Real reader reviews are also freaking hard to get, yet my ratio is
still one out of ten readers leaves a review. Damn good, considering.

The only problem I’ve discovered to date is, I can’t pay to play. I don’t have the
marketing dollars. Even if I had the cash, I couldn’t get in the biggest book-
marketing newsletters because of my lack of reviews. That translates into: I don’t

Top sellers spend an average of $1500 each and every month to stay at the top of
the charts, and that’s what I live on for two months, and that’s not counting my
food stamps.

My money can do more for me in other ways. Why spend it on book marketing
that does little or nothing? There are other ways of telling people you exist.

That’s the direction I’m going. I want to be where ordinary people are. What I can
do for myself to find these ordinary readers.

I like what I’m doing now. I stopped worrying about the pay-to-play world of
book marketing. I don’t offer freebies. I don’t do anything like I’m supposed to,
and I sold more books in the last week than I did in the last six months.

So, I’m going to continue with being me. Chapter nine of Baby Makes Three
needs to be completed, and it will take a few days. It might take a week. That’s
right, five pages might take a week, but I’ll know they’re good pages.

Warrior, I’ve decided to keep going with that book, however, I’m going to do it in
the second person Point Of View, past tense. You, instead of I (first person POV),
or he or she (third person POV). I can get darker that way.

That’s it.

In the meantime, become a follower, sign up for my Rip’s Picks newsletter, show
your appreciation and buy me a cup of coffee, read my story on Wattpad, vote,
leave a comment, or just buy a book. Read me for free (15 of my books out of 16
published) through your KindleUnlimited subscription.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

And . . .

. . . I made a new blog for store, showcased the products, provided active links,
and it took some time. Most of that time was deciding on what and how. I decided
to fight. I can’t give up. I can’t feel sorry for myself, either. I’m too damn old for
that. Bullies have to knocked down, again and again, if that’s what it takes.

I still have to run through my checklist, see what I missed, what else I need to do,
and keep on, keeping on.

In the meantime, become a follower, show your appreciation and buy me a cup of
coffee, read my story on Wattpad, vote, leave a comment, or just buy a book. Read
me for free through your KindleUnlimited subscription.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Once Again . . .

. . . I found myself having to roll with the punches. I also found that my first
Facebook password had been changed (and not by me), and had to reset it with a
stronger password. That was two weeks ago. The Facebook ban was temporary,
but the need to set up a FB business page was pointed out to me, and that’s what
I’ll have to do. My other blog (Rip’s Picks) was deleted (today, actually), no
reason given. It just isn’t there anymore, and I’m not going to fight that.

First FB, and now the old blog. What’s next?

I’m not going to fight, I’m going to change. Wipe out every trace of the old me. I
might even have to wipe out this me to become yet another new me. Do it now
before I gain real traction.

The picker side of me will need a new home geared toward that business,
everywhere I want to be. That means starting from scratch on Twitter, and other
social networking sites. I may even have to start a new store. I did close the old
store. I delivered the coffee set to a friend, so I know that sale was for real.

I deleted all the products before someone takes advantage of the cart, and then
ruins me with false claims or bad word of mouth. I can’t take the chance. Someone
out there wants to hurt me, and it’s probably someone I know. I’m not the first
person this has ever happened to, and won’t be the last. What a shame.

So, things that were once in the back of my mind when I discovered my password
had been changed, have come to the forefront. Nothing is ever as easy as you want

I am sorry, though. I had a lot of great information to share, was sharing what I
thought was helpful to all readers, and not just writers, and now it’s over before I
even began.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ask Yourself . . .

That’s right, ask yourself what I’m doing here, why I’m doing it, and how, and
then ask yourself why you come here to read each post. I’m taking little or
nothing, and I’m making something of it that works. I think you come here
because you’re in my boat, and we’re all paddling our asses off.

One thing we all realize is, the book industry isn’t going to get any easier, our
ability to market ourselves will shrink as book marketing opportunity prices climb,
and we will have to monetize our entire lives, online and off, in order to get ahead.
We’ll have to offer others something of real value.

That’s what I’m doing with each blog post. What I do has real value. So far I
talked about getting a store started, and I did that. It was free to start my store, I
can list 20 unique products, and I even sold one that first week, and I only had ten
products up at the time. I made money. I made enough to actually buy 3 Fiverr ads
promoting books, 2 ten dollar ads from a few of the cheapies promoting books, or
1 ad from one of the larger book marketing newsletters, and there’s a few.

That’s the power of what I’m doing here, and I wish you would join me.

Tonight I forego books anything and work on the store. I got a long night ahead of
me. I got pictures to take, crop, tweak, and descriptions to write out. I got an ad to
rebuild for Project Wonderful for Rip’s Picks. Project Wonderful will pay me for
ads placed on my site, and the amount depends on my actual traffic. It’s time for
me to get up and on with other social networks.

Wattpad, I’ll have to boost my reading there, and I’ve fallen behind on my writing.
Life can and does get in the way, and I got enough ideas saved up I can fly
through a few chapters. Since I’m a pantser, which means I don’t outline, the ideas
that stack up help.

I have other ideas I’m working on, and will boost my number of affiliate links.
I’ve decided I can and will do that in a way that ties into my blogging here.

In the meantime, become a follower, sign up for my Rip’s Picks newsletter, show
your appreciation and buy me a cup of coffee, read my story on Wattpad, vote,
leave a comment, or just buy a book. Read me for free through your
KindleUnlimited subscription.

Monday, September 12, 2016


A few interesting notes about the last few days. I sold the miniature stoneware coffee set! Yea me!

I also got blocked on Facebook from posting from the Rip's Picks blog. I'm left wondering why, so I sent in a report about why I thought this was a mistake. My content wasn't abusive in any way, shape, or form, so I may have to take my Rip's Picks stuff and make a different FB page. Don't know yet, but I'll find out. I talked about what I'm doing and why, but I also showcased the products in posts. No nudie anything.

I did some picking this weekend and found some great smalls I can sell for a damn good profit, and I'll get that stuff worked up today. My Rip's Picks newsletter exists for just that reason. I'll get the items photographed, write the descriptions, research and set the prices, and then build the pages on the Rip's Picks blog. But, I don't have to publish those pages, not just yet. I can send out a newsletter to subscribers that gives the rundown on each new pick, and let them know the date I'll publish those pages, giving those newsletter readers a heads-up! It's FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE, with the newsletter leading the way. That's why if you're interested in cool stuff and collectibles, you should take some time to sign up to the newsletter. The Rip's Picks blog has the signup form.

Does what happened with Facebook bother me? Not really. I can always find another way.

In the meantime, become a follower, sign up for my Rip’s Picks newsletter, buy
me a cup of coffee, read my story on Wattpad, vote, leave a comment, or just buy a
book. Read me for free through your KindleUnlimited subscription.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Twitter Pics, and Other Things

I have ten products up and on at Rip’s Picks, and I’ve Facebooked, Google+ed,
and I’ve tweeted. Both Facebook and Google+ include photos with each post, but
with Twitter, you have to do it all yourself.

600 Pixels wide or tall x 600 pixels wide or tall, one or the other as not to distort
the original image is the max photo size Twitter can safely handle, and viewers
can still see the product in one shot. Once the resized pics are ready (I set and save
at 300 dpi or dots per inch), the tweet might look like this: Rip’s Picks - Nesting,
carved wooden boxes - $50.00 USD - Order from the storefront -

I built a master file of my tweets.

Copy and paste the tweet, add the photo (a promo folder in my main pictures
folder) using the widget Twitter provides, and that’s it. They see your tweet, and
the picture is there.

You can actually tweet (the same tweet) several times a day by clearing your
cookies and cache each time, but you do have to sign into Twitter again and again.


I can leverage these three social networks, and I’ll do more to leverage Instagram,
Linkedin, and whatever else I can find and work to my advantage.

This is just for Rip’s Picks.

I’m also going to build a skyscraper ad for Rip’s Picks to put up on Project
Wonderful. I’ll get more into that with another post.

In the meantime, become a follower, sign up for my Rip’s Picks newsletter, buy
me a cup of coffee, read my story on Wattpad, vote, leave a comment, or just buy a
book. Read me for free through your KindleUnlimited subscription.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The What and The Why

Order from the storefront -

What I’m doing, and why I’m doing it.

The answer is simple. I want a better life. Others can do this same thing I’m
attempting to do with Rip’s Picks, and make it work. So can I.

I used to have a house, a yard I could mow, a garden I grew my own food in, and I
canned. I had dozens of jars filled with my own food that I grew for the winter,
and I loved it. I want that back. I’m tired of living on little, hoping my food stamps
will stretch the entire month.

I like the tiny house movement, and when you consider most apartments, that’s
akin to a tiny house. Four rooms. I can do four rooms. I just want to own all four
rooms. I’ve spent the last two years researching what it would mean to have a tiny
house. How I would build one, what it might look like, and I can see it on a few
acres, fenced in, and this is what I’m going to do.

My biggest thing is I want to sit outside first thing in the morning, cup of coffee in
hand, and have a cat or two join me. I miss sitting outside in the evenings, too,
watching the skies. You can’t do that living in an apartment.

I want cash to advertise my books. People don’t know I exist. Google, Amazon,
Facebook. I want ads running on these three sites.

I want a real life. My life. My life to be as good as I can make it.

The learning curve will be steep. I’ll make mistakes. The one thing I’ll never do is
stop trying.

In the meantime, become a follower, sign up for my Rip’s Picks newsletter, buy
me a cup of coffee, read my story on Wattpad, vote, leave a comment, or just buy a
book. Read me through your KindleUnlimited subscription.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

First Four

The first four products are ready for order on Rip’s Picks, and with luck I have the
postage rates set the way I want them. Free shipping within the Continental United
States, and International Shipping will have a flat fee of $25.00 USD.

The main photo of each product listed has an order link as the caption below, and
takes you to the storefront page for Home Decor. So, it’s a start. PayPal is my
payment option.

Tonight I hope to get six more products up. I took the pics, cropped them, wrote
the descriptions, built the pages, and saved them as drafts. Tonight I’ll work on the
storefront, and then link the blog and the storefront together. My goal is the full
twenty products up and running, and then I’ll start hitting the social networks.

I’ve been checking my prices against the Web, too. Make sure I’m priced
competitively, and I am. As for the rest . . .

I’ll post another chapter on Wattpad this weekend, and then post there once a
week from now on. I’ll need to read more stories there, but be careful of what I
say. It’s going to be tough to keep my head above water, swimming the popularity

Baby Makes Three is coming along, and I’ll be writing chapter nine this week.
Maybe I’ll get chapter ten done, too. I also have some notes I need to transfer from
notebook to laptop.

In the meantime, become a follower, sign up for my Rip’s Picks newsletter, buy
me a cup of coffee, read my story on Wattpad, vote, leave a comment, or just buy a
book. Read me through your KindleUnlimited subscription.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Moving Forward

I did get my books up on the Rip’s Picks blog, and the choice is there to buy, but
I’m not going to push my books. It’s a passive strategy in the making, based on my
new ability to reach real readers, and not writers. I also changed my newsletter
sign-up form to better reflect Rip’s Picks.

Rip’s Picks appeals to a different segment of people who don’t spend all their time
writing books that may or may not sell. These people are potential readers and
buyers. They probably read just for enjoyment. Remember when you did that?
What I have is an untapped market the size of the world.

You might ask why is that an untapped market?

The answer is this: Every single book marketing opportunity out there on the web
today, like book marketing blogs and all the book marketing newsletters, all they
do to actually market themselves to other writers, or market books for other
writers. Writers, writers, writers everywhere you look, and not an ordinary off-the-
street reader in sight.

They ignore everyone but writers when asking for subscriptions, and these other
writers (who actually subscribe), they get free and discounted e-books in their
mailbox. Or, more writers.

Writers this. Writers that.

Not one book marketing opportunity (in the world today that I know of) advertises
to John or Jane Public.

Not one ad anywhere ordinary people are. Not one ad for them to see, click on,
and subscribe. That’s a lot of readers to ignore.

I’ve seen ads for Fiverr on cable, for Christ’s sake, but not one ad for any book
marketing newsletter, anywhere at all, online or off.

Not one ad. Nothing. They just keep hustling writers for everything.

Every damn person who creates a new book marketing newsletter, the first thing
they do is ask all the writers out in the world today to subscribe to receive free
and discounted books in their email, and BTW, here’s the cost for your ad.

We have a subscription base of 10,000 other writers, JUST LIKE YOU!

Want to buy in? Advertise your books to other writers who struggle to sell their
own damn books? Only $5.00 to $150.00 USD for one ad, one day, one book.
What a great deal!

BookBub, $300.00 to $1,500 USD (more or less, but not by much), for one ad, one
day, one book! What a great deal!

That’s why the book marketing newsletters are increasingly becoming less and
less effective. That’s why most will eventually fail. I only see two to four actually
surviving the near future.

I’d hate to think I’m the only writer who gets this, but I’ve addressed this problem
before, and most of the time I get put in my place. Sit down and shut up.

Anymore, I don’t bother. I keep my thoughts to myself, but I’ll share here. That’s
what this blog is for. I get to share my thoughts.

I see what my problems are, and I address them. New eyes. That’s what I want.
Okay, I’ll have to go gather them. People who have some money to spend and can
either spend it on cool stuff from Rip’s Picks, or might want to actually buy a book
or two.

I’ll do that with my art, too. Pen and inks, some airbrush, or whatever else my
twisted mind can conceive. If you want to see some samples of my art, go to my
Ripley King Facebook page and see what I’ve sold in the past, and what’s possible
in the future, understanding I’ve barely scratched the surface.

In the meantime, become a follower, sign up for my Rip’s Picks newsletter, buy
me a cup of coffee, read my story on Wattpad, vote, leave a comment, or just buy a
book. Read me through your KindleUnlimited subscription.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Update - Me


Things are moving along, but more slowly than I want them to. Life can and does
get in the way. I went to change out the brakes on the front driver’s side of my
truck, and after breaking two socket wrenches, decided it would probably be better
to just swap out the calliper and bleed the brake after the swap. That would give
me new brakes on that side, and I’ll do the other side later. The back brakes are
good to go. Part of living on a fixed income means one wheel at a time gets done,
and I get to do all the work. Life as I know it.

I’ll have six chapters up at Wattpad for Baby Makes Three by tonight, so give it all
a read, vote, and I’ll get a few more chapters up next week with luck. I’m making
notes as I go along, making sure if I drop a thread in the story I can pick that up at
a later chapter, or in book four of the series. Note to self: Must type faster.

In the meantime, become a follower, buy me a cup of coffee, read my story on
Wattpad, vote, leave a comment, or buy a book. Read me through your
KindleUnlimited subscription.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


Taking my own photos of my own products isn’t as easy as it looks.

Rip’s Picks, the store, they allow one photo for each product listed. The thing is,
people who buy collectibles of any sort need more than one photo. They want to
see the top, all four sides, and the bottom. That’s where Rip’s Picks the blog
comes in.

Rip’s Picks, the blog, can have twenty different pages with all the photos needed
to highlight each product. I can put the product’s listing at the bottom, and link to
the store so folks can actually purchase something.

That’s where I’m at now. I’m working on the photographs for all twenty products,
working on writing the listings, which include measurements, and getting things
ready for what I would call my grand opening. As soon as I get everything
finished, hopefully without mistakes, I’m open for business.

One thing about taking the pics is, I need a different background depending on
what color the product actually is. The idea is to make the product more appealing.
My three base background colors are white (bed-sheet), red (wine-red bed sheet),
and brown (diningroom table). I can stack books under the sheets to raise things
up for a display.

Like working with a live model, I have to work the item from all angles, and play
with the lighting, which consists of two table lamps and the overhead light of my
diningroom table, and/or letting the camera do its thing with the flash.

Glass can be a bitch.

I have to take three to five photos from each angle, making subtle adjustments to
lighting and distance, and look for that one good shot from each angle. I want
people who come to buy, understand that what you see is what you get.

Nice patina or not, flawless or with flaws, dusty or dusted, what you see is what
you get.

Because this isn’t my first rodeo (I did eBay years back, and hated the auction
format. I didn’t have enough sales to open my own store, plus those outrageous
listing fees sucked all the fun out it.), I get to take my time to do things right. I
may outgrow my storefront, but it might take a year, or maybe
even two.

The whole idea behind this is to find cool products and collectibles, pay as little as
I possibly can for them, and double my money with each sale. That’s the only time
an auction format works to my advantage.

$100.00 in products, becomes $200.00 in sales. $200.00 in products becomes
$400.00 in sales. $400.00 becomes $800.00, and on and on and on and on.

If I can get a 300% return on a product, I’m going for it.

I once bought a black-leather Harley jacket, young toddler size, patched, pined,
and flagged, and it came with a set of small, black, fingerless gloves. I bought it at
a garage sale for $13.00, and I sold it for $65.00.

You can figure out the profit margin yourself. My prices will be competitive with
other products of similar quality, but now you see what’s really possible.

Imagine what’s unique to your home decor. Ireland, France, India, anywhere in the
world you live. Who out there would buy your stuff.

There are things that you could sell, things you could make and sell, or even buy
and sell other’s crafts.

If you can read these words, have a phone camera or other digital camera, products
and the funds to ship them with, by yourself or with help, you too can start a store.

What I’m doing is handing you the keys to the kingdom. Most people, even when
handed the keys to the kingdom, don’t bother to open the door. No shit. They
would rather feel sorry for themselves than open that door when real opportunity

It’s so much easier to collect a paycheck, than to make your own paycheck. With
this store type shit I’m blogging about, you can do both at the same time. It takes
work. A lot of hard work. Are you up for the challenge?

Sure, I’m a little slow getting thing up and on, but I’d rather take my time to do
things right.

Christmas is coming up, in less than four months. My shopping is already done.
That’s just me. Is your shopping done? Maybe I’ll have something you need?
Like? Or want?

My next post will be in a few days to a week, because I’ll actually be getting
things up and running. All twenty products up and on with descriptions, purchase
links included. Lots of work to do. In the meantime become a follower, buy me a
cup of coffee, read my story on Wattpad, vote, leave a comment, buy a book.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

I’m Blogging As I Do This

Or, what am I NOT doing right now!

The Buy Me a Cup of Coffee link is up, and to your right. I can now (also) do, yet another way for artists and creative people like myself to gain
income (other than being held hostage to my fixed income) we need to buy
equipment, software, ads promoting our books to readers, and for me, to help
launch Rip’s Picks more properly.

The thought never occurred to me until this morning, don’t ask me why, but
Ripley King can now vlog at YouTube, and the vlog can actually have substance. I
can vlog about what I’m doing to make Rip’s Picks a success, all the work that
goes into starting my own store, but also about Bastard Black, and what I’m doing
here. In other words, what it takes to start with virtually nothing, and work my way
up. I can also link the vlog to Patreon.

What’s a dollar now and again, if I can give you information of real substance?

How to start with jack and squat, with no direction to go but up. That’s me. What
can you do?

Become a follower. Buy me a cup of coffee. Become a patron. Follow me on
Twitter, and when I can make work Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Instagram, and
whatever else that can actually do me some real good with Rip’s Picks and
beyond, be there too.

If all else fails, buy one of my books and read it. Write an honest review. Tell
other people I exist. (I used an before the “H” in honest, because the H is silent.)

I don’t like the idea that I have to lie, cheat, and steal my way to the top. I know
what I said in an earlier post, but that’s my overall frustration talking. When you
have someone like me who is doing everything he can to get out in front of the
reading public with decent books, mind you sixteen decent books, and
continuously failing because of this pay-to-play world us indie authors seem to
live in, the frustration level can get epic.

All my reviews are organic, I never bought an award, I think my books can walk
the walk and talk the talk, and to find out if I’m right, you just have read my
samples at Amazon. Reading samples is FREE!

My problem is cash flow to buy ads for my books, and I have other dreams, too.

I want a hunk of land, a tiny house, my garden back, just like I used to have before
my life went tits up, and I thought it best to take care of my family first, and
everything else became second.

The world of the indie author can change week to week, no doubt about that. Just
ask another indie author. But, there are things that don’t change at all, not really,
and that’s the behavior of the average online consumer. If it’s cool, someone will
want it for themselves. I can sell cool.

Become a participant, not just a bystander.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

If In Doubt, Read The Instructions

Or in my case, read the instructions and then watch the videos. Up first, can I or
can I not upload a suitable picture to headline my store.

First I looked at their headers, and they were as bland as pouring ketchup into hot
water and calling it soup. Yeah, there’s flavor, but no real substance. The crackers
just end up soggy. So, it’s off to see if I can find a royalty free picture to work
with, and use that to headline my store.

I went to for a slim selection of royalty-free images I can use for
whatever I want. I downloaded three I liked, and would work, asked my wife to
pick out the image she liked, and used my own photo editing software (Corel
PhotoHouse) to add the name of the store. I cropped the image, darkened it, and
added the name. Once that was done, I uploaded that finished image to the store.
It’s okay for what I need it to do.

One of the decisions I have to make is what to do about shipping. I have to
configure the checkout price for free domestic shipping within the continental US.
That’s not a big problem. The help video is there.The problem comes with
international shipping rates. Twenty US Dollars ($20.00) isn’t out of line. That
would cover most items to most countries, more or less. It’s the “more or less” that
stumps me. Shipping is by weight, but flat rates make more sense. What I’ll have
to do is adjust that flat rate as I go along. So, I get to get messy, make mistakes,
and find a happy norm as time goes by. More later.

I’ve been live as Bastard Black for thirty days! My one-month anniversary. Now,
over the last month I’ve had 1904 hits, here, and for a brand new blog, one that
actually has something to say, and one that people can relate to and learn from
(because that’s my goal, something real, where I get to figure things out and make
mistakes so you don’t have to), that’s not bad. The US takes the biggest share,
with Germany at 271 hits, Russia at 31 hits, followed by Ireland and France at 13
and 10 hits respectively.

I did sell one book related to Baby Makes Three, when someone bought a copy of
Loney Hero Thing. I hope that they read it front to back, and are motivated to
leave an honest review.

The buyer paid $0.99 cents because I put both Lonely Hero Thing and Ancient
Evil Hungy, books one and two of The Chronicles of Ian Duncan, on sale. LHT is
book one, AEH is book two, and Baby Makes Three is the third book in the series,
and that is what I’ve been posting on Wattpad. No votes as of yet, and no
comments, but I just got started. Join Wattpad and read along as I post fresh
chapters once a week.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Word On Wearing Other’s Shoes

I did bump into a blind author (I take it she sees the difference between light and
dark, and that’s about it) the other day . . . who needed help.

She asked for ideas to make money with, while she got her first offering up and
running. She’s under the impression that pay-to-play is the only way to go. There
was, of course, a couple of condescending remarks that got immediately deleted by
the moderator (Take that! you asshole fuckers!), but I chose to read between the

I’m not blind, but I take care of a disabled person, and live well below the poverty
level for a family of two.

I know what it’s like to want help, need help, ask for help, and get nothing.

How we who have the least, get excluded from just about everything. You can’t
pay to play if you have no money to spare.

What she was really doing was asking the largest community of online writers for
real help. Someone who could help her understand formatting, and verify her
work. Maybe a beta reader or two. Someone to look over her editing choices. Real

I told it like it is. What it’s like for us to live on squat and food stamps. I didn’t
hold back.

I get ripped on for standing up for the little guy now and again, only this time I
decided to head that off at the pass. The last time I got ripped on by a pack of
millionaires, with a few hundred-thousandaires thrown into the mix, and I
reminded folks of that.

They remembered.

Needless to say, she’s getting her help. She’s getting help formatting, getting help
editing, a beta read or two, help with a cover, and help in actually making money
with real ideas that could work.

I’d like to thank those Kindle Board members, here and now. They decided they
could and would help, and are doing just that.

Part two, or the second chapter has been posted of Baby Makes Three. Read it,
vote for it, and leave a comment. The Wattpad link is to your right. You have
nothing to lose.

I’m also working on my web store today. Time to start understanding my store,
and getting my products on it, and those products offered to the public at large by
using social networking. I can now use Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, as well as
Twitter and G+ to their fullest. I can use Facebook, too. If I forgot one, I'll get to it.
I can now use social networking to its fullest.

I’ll be writing the next post as I’m working on the store. How hard or how easy my
dashboard actually is, and the results. I have to make notes, too, while I’m doing
this. It’s so easy to forget a thing or two, things that need to be done.

Friday, August 19, 2016


Signing up to was amazingly easy. The first thing I was asked
to do was pick out a look for my store. Yes, your selections are somewhat limited,
but I found one that had a simple black and gray classic design, because I thought
it would help showcase my home decor collectibles, and some of those products
are white.

Then I was asked to fill out my name, address, and input a password. I confirmed
to activate my account by email, and was brought to a page that proudly proclaimed
I’ve joined 350,000 other store owners from around the world. So, if you have a
PayPal account, have the products, and can ship your products to your customers,
you can have a store.

Now I have to answer a couple of quick questions.

The first question produced a map that let them know where I was based within
world. No secret there, I’m based in central Iowa, so I said okay. The next page
said the following:

New Designs added all the time

Optimized for Mobiles and Tablets

Full CSS Control

Customize as little or as much as you like

The next question asked me where did my store want to live, the web address and
domain name choices through them, including an option to list my own domain. I
chose their domain.

To produce a store on my own, using Weebly as an example (and I will use
Weebly when I’m able to), with my own domain and full cart service connected to
PayPal . . . that costs about $360 USD per year. I have yet to spend a dime for this

I had to confirm if my store was family friendly, so my nudie drinking glasses
from thirty years ago might need a black bar or two in all the right places, but now
I know to save those products for my proposed Weebly store, being careful to
properly word the listing (not use the word nudie), so I don’t upset PayPal’s moral whatever.

The next page took me to this, concerning Search Engine Optimizations:

For Beginners

Automated SEO

Let the experts handle your store optimization

No action required

For Advanced Users

Full control over all aspects of SEO

Custom URLs, Page Titles, Meta Keywords and Descriptions

I’ll read it, and probably let them do their thing. Hey, no action required is a good
thing. Next page.

Payment options were then flashed before my eyes, but I’ll go with PayPal. It’s
trusted and secure, people like it, I never had a problem myself, but you don’t want
to bank money with PayPal, or use their debit card option.

You have a specific PayPal account with your bank, and once money is transferred
from PayPal into that account, you then transfer that money into another account
that PayPal can’t possibly freeze (because it has nothing to do with them at all) to
safeguard your own ass, and your hard-won assets.

I’m allowed 20 products at a time, with one photo each, so the old blog will
feature all the photos I have to give buyers a good look at each product from all
sides, with descriptions.

Advertising and new opportunities in social networking will lead customers to
my old blog, and then to my free store.

That post on social networking IS coming.

I was then told my store was ready, and they had a support staff to help me every
step of the way. Okay!

Now I’m at my control panel, and will have to make that a whole ’nother post.
Lots to read, with some experimentation, mistakes to make and correct.

I don’t mind getting messy. I’m stacked, packed, and loaded for bear. I can walk
the walk, and talk the talk. So. I imagine I’ll need all the help I can get.

The good thing is they have a nice help section, with videos. In fact,
their YouTube channel  has about 70 videos that can help me understand
my new store and my dashboard interface.

Now that’s what I call sweet. I'll see you again Monday, because I want this weekend off.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bounce Baby Bounce!

Baby Makes Three - The Chronicles of Ian Duncan - Book Three, is the next
story I’m posting at Wattpad, chapter one is up, see the link to the right. It’s part of a
three or more book series, with the first two novels available for purchase for the
whole sum of $0.99 USD each, under my Ripley King pen name. I might become
Bastard Black for all my past books, just so you know.

The prices will change, just give them some time.

KindleUnlimited subscribers can download and read both books (Lonely Hero
Thing, Ancient Evil Hungry) right now, and the link to get there is
right here, right now, and you can look up for another link next to my slide show.

Lonely Hero Thing - The Chronicles of Ian Duncan - Book One by Ripley King

Urban Paranormal

Ian Duncan. Millionaire. He owns a brew pub and a restaurant.

He’s also Earth’s paladin. A man with a named sword, magical powers, and a little
voice in his head only he can hear.

Beneath the deepest roots of Des Moines, Iowa, there exists a city of the dead and
damned. In this necropolis is a little girl yet to be born. Her blood, once shed, will
open the gates of Hell.

Ancient Evil Hungry - The Chronicles of Ian Duncan - Book Two

The action never stops in this thriller second installment of The Chronicles of Ian
Duncan. Avatara. The Earth Father. An immortal soul in a mortal shell.

Old Ones have appeared in the city, Sheena is still healing, Olympian gods and
goddesses are thrown into the mix, and the baby needs a name. That’s when Fate
appears, bringing with him Pukey the cat. His daughter’s cat. It always has been,
and always will be her cat. Is there such a thing as a cat god?

Did Lovecraft have it right? Are we doomed?

I would have a blurb for Baby Makes Three, but I don’t know how the story ends
yet. Hey, it’s how I write. My characters and their actions determine the course of
the book. I’m a (seat of my) pantser. My overall reviews and ratings say I must be
doing something right.

That’s it for now. Lots of work to do.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

If It Isn't Working

My Wattpad story isn't working, even for me. That means I stop wasting my time, and I'll post something else. I need to do a little thinking. Frankly, I sounded like a pretentious twerp. To the round file!

I did sign up to the other day, and this was a (fellow KBoards member's) recommended choice, but also a limited choice. I'm allowed only so many products at one time, which doesn't really bother me, but what does, I'm limited to only one photo of the product. Twenty products, twenty photos. That's it.

My collectibles need more than one photo in order for buyers to see fully what each item is, any possible flaws, or the overall condition of the product. They'll want to see its patina.

That's why I took the Ripley King failed blog that did nothing but truly waste my time, and changed it into Rip's Picks.  My idea is to stop wasting my own time.

This blog, this is the place where I tell the truth as I see it, and I'll do my best to help find solutions to MY problems that even you can use, anywhere in the world. If you can see my words, you should be able to make things work for yourself, with a little direction.

The work never ends.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Working On Cash Flow!


Give me a week or so to pull the social networking post together, because this is
more important in the grand scheme of things, and ties into the social networking

I took the old book blog, and completely reworked it into an extension of my
coming online store. Let me tell you what I’m doing, and why.

My books need money to market them effectively. That’s it.

For all the readers I’ve had, I can safely say they’re the cheapest, and quietest pack
of people on the entire goddamn planet. I’m not selling books. I’m the best kept
secret on the web. I can be borrowed and read if you have a KindleUnlimited
subscription, and even that ain’t happening. How fucked up is that?

My so-called readers (the other blog hit almost 4000 readers per month for many
months, and you can see how many readers I’ve had the twenty or so days this
blog has been up), they came and drank every word I wrote like it was mother’s
milk, but they didn’t buy. They didn’t borrow. And if they did talk, I never saw it.
I looked.

You can’t get ahead on jack and shit.

Not that you care, or have to care, but I suffer from Fixed-income Blues, so once
the money for my entire month is gone, it’s gone. There is no more. I take care of
my wife, who is physically and mentally disabled, like a good husband should.
Married 29 years next month. None if this means a damn thing to anybody else,
but it means something to me.

It means something to me. I care.

The Internet is all I got. This is all I have to make a better life for myself and my
family. The Internet, and 16 published e-books at Amazon. I’m “all in” but one
story, so I can get the borrows and reads through KindleUnlimited on 15 of the 16.
I’ll talk about “all in” and “going wide” in another post.

I need software and hardware and capital to expand into print books and audio
books. I need to market my books in the right places. That’s the big one. Market in
the right places.

Time to do things different.

I plan on using three different ad services. I don’t need reviews, there are no
gatekeepers allowed, they’ll take my money no-questions-asked, and I’m not
really choked by other writers.

Each takes about $100/month to start, and using all three will need $300/month.

My books are not failures, people, they’re just unknown. I need readers.

I have some great reviews, great samples, you should read them, and I have
confidence in my ability to tell a good story.

The fact of the matter is simple to understand; I have to buy my discoverability.
The one wall we all must now face as indie authors. Climb it, go around it, or
smash it. The one thing you can’t do is ignore it.

Many writers do buy their discoverability each and every month, and their sales
reflect their efforts, so I’ll be in good company.

My online store also needs advertising dollars to boost its discoverability, even
though I can rely on more, and different types of social networking, with good
photos of my products to back me up. They see what I have, they think, they buy
or they don’t, but they remember, and they may come back to see what’s new, over
and over and over again.

I’ll reach a whole new and different crowd, ordinary people, not writers, with the
same basic goals. Ultimate Discoverability.

And, I’m not done yet. More to come.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Do You Know?

Not true. Most authors make less. A whole lot less. Anywhere between $100 to $1000 UDS per year. And once you get to that $1000/year, not only are you extremely grateful, you've spent most of that on ads in the hopes you can make more than that next year!

Any author would kill for 50 reviews!

Damn, people, why do you think some authors lie, cheat, and steal, just to get more than ten reviews per book. I would need 145 (give or take a few) more reviews on all my books, just to get 10 reviews per book. If I could afford to lie, cheat, and steal, I'd probably do it.

It sucks when you know for a fact you have good products, and almost zero visibility. That even when you do get a read, they don't even bother with a one word review, much less a three word review. What I wouldn't give just to get even one review from the few readers I've had this year.

KindleUnlimited Subscribers can download my books right now, read my books right now, and they have the ability to write reviews, right now, today!

For those that want to buy, go for it. People who pay for books and write reviews, tend to actually write better, more detailed reviews on the story itself. What was right, what was wrong. Characters. Dialogue. The story is everything.

A lot of authors want to pretend this is bullshit, but it's not. I'm busting my ass each day, working on books, working on my cash flow, figuring out what ads I can afford that have the most reach for my hard-won nickles and dimes.

I plan on a donate - buy me a cup of coffee - button before the next few days are up.I'll get my online store running. I'll add more to my list of things I need to get done now, just so I don't miss even one opportunity for a sale. This is the reality for most of us authors. Especially us Indie Authors. For every Writing Star you hear about, there are 100 to 300 more authors, struggling to be seen and heard. And a lot of these authors have some pretty good books.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

This Is Not News

Authors Need Publishers Less than Ever - Read the article first.

Read it? Good. To the average indie author, book distribution isn’t our main
problem. Far from it.

Between Amazon, Smashwords, Draft2Digital, CreateSpace (for paperbacks-
free), Ingram Spark (for ebooks and paperbacks - not free), and Authors Republic
(audiobooks), with other recommended (or not recommended) services, many
discussed to death and then some by KBoards (the renowned Kindle Boards)
members in the Writers’ Café, you can get all the distribution available for your
books, no matter what, and all you have to do is be careful not to overlap your
distribution nodes.

Most of these distribution services are free, but a few do charge for processing
your words and possible inclusion fees. Ingram Spark has a $49.00 processing fee
for each book, but depending on additional *services, *additional fees may apply.

You can buy content editors, line editors, have covers done, formatting done, and
whatever else you need, and that might cost around $1,500 USD or less per book,
depending. A little more than that is okay, but not a lot more. Scams are
everywhere for authors. They lurk behind every bush. You can pay a lot more, but
it still doesn’t guarantee your book will do better than other indie books.

Mainstream publishers (the Big 5) suck for the newbies, unless you’re considered
prolific and exceptional, both at the same time. Six to ten books written per year,
with a large measure of competence is what they want. There is no real reason to
turn down a contract with advance for a first novel (if you even get lucky enough
to be offered a contract), shitty as that contract may be. Not really. Some authors have
built very lucrative self-publishing careers by starting out as a mainstream
published authors, heavily marketing themselves and their mainstream published
book(s) with their own time, on their own dime. That title as a mainstream
published author can and does open doors closed to indie authors.

When you do move into an indie author career, you can take your fan base with
you, and if you keep them happy, you can make enough money to live on and then
some (or so I’ve noticed). Which reminds me, I need to get my new personal
newsletter up and running.

None of this is new news within writing circles.

Our main problem as freshly minted indie authors is DISCOVERABILITY! 


There’s nothing after that! If people don’t know you exist, and you have books for
them to buy, download and read, you might as well shove your thumb up your ass
and spin circles in your chair.

There are so many threads on the KBoards, the Writers' Café, writers helping
writers understand the process of a launch, and the marketing needed to keep your
indie career moving forward, that it would be deemed foolish not to learn from
those that came before.

Marketing can be done for free, and it can cost. Marketing can cost a lot,
depending on what you want to spend each month. There are strategies to learn,
and learn from, and yes you can expect failure.

And to drive that point in just a little deeper, my next post will delve into another
(2) online tidbits I found concerning social media, and my new yet experienced
(read more years than I care to count) thoughts on that.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Hello, Germany!

Yes, once again I seem to have German fans. Lots of them. I keep wondering if you would spread the word among your friends. Maybe ask a question or two, read my samples over at Amazon, or even participate over at Wattpad or this blog. Maybe even buy a book. I got cheapies.

Life is not a spectator sport.

Friday, August 5, 2016


I put the Wattpad (read this) widget up to the right, and of course it doesn't fit the frame, but it's there. The cover art I did as a quickie, and the title is only the working title, but it will do while I work on the actual story.  I'll post a new chapter once a week. With 17 novels under my belt, this is the first one to be crowd-sourced. I'm asking readers for insight into the monsters she'll face, and the world she'll live in.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

I Love This!

I found this at the Passive Voice, and love it! It gives new writers an idea about how to verb boldly, or edit, turning two words into one.

And for every word listed in the light blue section of this chart, there are alternatives that are more correct, depending on what you want to say. So, know your words! Know what works, and why.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Grimdark Musings

I heard about book vloggers, and decided to check out a few by name, which was
cool, but then I did something I probably shouldn’t have, and just typed Grimdark
into the YouTube search bar.

I never in my life realized how much Ponyville seems to be grimdark, setting what
I would think of as the My Little Pony world on its ear, or perhaps ass over
ears. Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie done got dipped into a vat of pure
evil, and there’s nothing like evisceration and dismemberment to brighten your
darkest day. Maggots coming out of where? Anyone?

Wow! is about the only word I can and should use at my age to describe this
phenomenon, where the distorted and rabid frolic freely on the outskirts of
Ponyville with every beloved figurine ever made.

Secret Wish Horses and Fantasy Fillies take on a whole new meaning. It’s actually
kind of cool.

Whatever happened to hardcore Smurfette porn? Maybe, 50 Shades of Smurfette?

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Slide-show, and a Working Link!

I’m not going to hide from myself as Ripley King. I did good. All you have to do
is click the words next to the slide-show box, and read all the samples your big
beating heart desires!

It’s that simple! You decide. I certainly can’t twist your arm.

KindleUnlimited subscribers can download and read fifteen (15) of my books (I’m
supposed to say FOR FREE! here, but they paid for their KindleUnlimited
subscription, so . . . I paid this much per month for my subscription -  I’ve
downloaded so many books this month = cost per book. Trust me when I say
you’re getting off cheap.), no problem. Otherwise, my prices are what they are,
and are subject to change whenever I damn well please.

Here’s the kicker. I’m not ever going to rely on writing and publishing books to be
my sole source of income, not when there are so many cool hobbies I can turn into
cash. Once you realize how and where you market your various endeavors, things
get a little easier. Don’t get me wrong, it still takes money to make money, but I got
cheap on my side.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Do I Write Martian?

Can you understand my words as you see them here?

There are times when I ask myself that question. Like people can’t comprehend
what I’m saying, in print or otherwise. You wouldn’t believe how many times I
have asked a question on a message board, only to later clarify the question in the
simplest terms possible. Or have my words mistaken as an open invitation to
possibly enlist me in a flame war.

Is America becoming as stupid as Douche-bag Donald Trump? Is that it?

I won’t get overly political, but I can't stand the man. He’s a prime example, and the
truest definition I have ever encountered of a douche bag. Period, case closed,
exclamation point.

Anyway, the idea is for me to enjoy my fresh start. So, this is me letting go,
keeping to the positive, seeing how far I can go from point “A” with my eyes wide

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Deep, Dark, Delicious

I got a follower on Wattpad, and I became a follower. Now I’m trying to wrap my
head around the site’s quirks and etiquette. I only just found out what the little star

One thing I don’t want to do is screw myself to a wall, so I’m going to go slow.
I’ve been self-publishing since 1995, and have made every mistake that could be
made online, with my books, and in dealing with other writers. Now popularity
within self-publishing comes down to how much money you can afford for your
monthly ads. Only, I’m not buying into that bullshit. For me, it still comes down to
the story.

I’m shedding my skin like a snake, becoming who I really am within the writing
world. The work is nothing. I can do the hard work.

I’ve always been a big advocate of learning from my past, and that’s where I’m
going to start. My love of the bizarre, the grotesque, and the outlandish.

At one point in time I was an avid collector of Heavy Metal magazine. I missed
the first year’s worth of issues because of my age (I was fifteen, sixteen), but
managed a small trunk full of sweet issues in the following years. It took my skills
as an illustrator up a notch or two, following artists like Enki Bilal, Philippe Caza,
Guido Crepax, Philippe Druillet, Jean-Claude Forest, Jean Giraud (aka Moebius)
and Milo Manara. The mag fed my imagination and then some, and allowed
numerous ideas to ferment into a potent mental brew.

Would hate to piss her metal ass off.

One thing, my standards will remain the same. That is to write the best story I can,
make it within a popular genre, one that I feel excited to write, and go from there.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

My Introduction

The picture says it all. What I didn't realize was that sometimes . . . the darker the

"Grimdark is a sub-genre, or a way to describe the tone, style, or setting of
speculative fiction that is markedly dystopian or amoral, or particularly graphic in
its depiction of violence (and just about everything else). In most grimdark
literature the supernatural is a passive force, controlled by humans-unlike
supernatural horror where the preternatural forces are most often an active entity
with agency. Our morally ambiguous protagonists and anti-heroes light their way
with horrible decisions, and gallows humor."

I suppose I should explain myself. I've been doing grimdark for a while now,
without even realizing it. I wrote a book called Love Dark, under a failed pen
name that never managed to find its audience, and now I know why. But first, I
want to look at the story itself.

Love Dark starts in a post-apocalyptic world, where you discover just how south
things can go. The Earth itself went tits-up a while back, and humanity was the
reason. Mother Mary explains it like this:

"You want to know why they died? Fine. Grand Central Station, where you met
the old man, used to have tens of thousands of people moving in and out of it each
day and night, like maggots through stinky dead flesh. Greater New York once had
eighteen million men, women and children in it, with their piss and sugar attitudes;
the crime, grime, wildlife and nightlife, competing for the same space at times, and
all of it is gone. That's the shame of it, child.

"I doubt if Momma Cola knew the real reasons. She only saw what was left after
the worst was over. The world and those in it could be absolutely heartless at
times, but that would have been indicative of a symptom. The world didn't die
from pestilence, even though drugs acted as a qualifier. Not from war, either,
although small skirmishes were fought every day for every dimwitted reason you
could think of. Death, he liked to vacation New York at one time, early in the fall
months, falling in love with the ambience of Central Park in the late twentieth
century, but he couldn't stop the inevitable. Earth's leaders spent too much time
frigging their privates instead of solving the problems the people faced.
Industrialists in charge of the only force in the universe more powerful than God
herself-greed-kept doing what they did best to keep the gold rolling in, and the rest
of the planet be damned. Ignorance destroyed it all, child. Ignorance. All of us
should have fought to keep our world alive. We should have given our lives to see
to it that it stayed that way. . . "

Pap, my protagonist, is young and dumb, and immensely powerful. Thing is, at
first, he doesn't have clue one. He gets thrown into a set of circumstances that
leaves him with no choice but to survive it all, if he wants to achieve his goal.

The story is deep, it's dark, it's delicious. It meets all the requirements for
grimdark. And it failed.

It seems I've been running around in all the wrong circles, but what can I say, I'm
old, and it's hard to keep up with all the changes within the publishing industry.
Love Dark has more than a few strikes against it.

First, it's a standalone novel in a world where a series, three to five books or more,
seems to be worth it's weight in gold.

There's nothing wrong with writing a standalone novel, people. A good story is
still a good story.

Second, it's deep, where the old crowd wanted shallow. Imagine paragraphs and
chapters that can convey so much information with so few carefully chosen words.
But then again, I did give you a tiny taste of that with Mother Mary's words. Me, I
come from a place in time where books did just that, all the time. A book told a
story, and the story was everything. It had to be sophisticated, layered, richly
described. The book would end when the story was told. The reader either enjoyed
themselves, lost in the world the book created, or they didn't.

People like different genres. I'm not a huge romance fan. I've read some, just like
I've read mysteries, true crime, science fiction, horror, and more. What sticks with
me, is the quality of the story. Certain writers do what they do better than others. I
like deep, dark, and delicious.

I'm about to retire the old me in favor of the new.

So, what is grimdark?

I provided what could be called the standard definition. Everybody knows
Warhammer 40,000 is where this sub-genre got its name. "In the grim darkness of
the far future, there is only war." Yet, dark fiction has been around for a long time.
These roots are based in science fiction, yet grimdark is more identifiable with
epic fantasy. However, I think the definition has been expanded upon just by
existing, and I'm just here to spread the good news.

"Grimdark is a sub-genre, or a way to describe the tone, style, or setting of
speculative fiction that is markedly dystopian or amoral, or particularly graphic in
its depiction of violence (and just about everything else). In most grimdark
literature the supernatural is a passive force, controlled by humans-unlike
supernatural horror where the preternatural forces are most often an active entity
with agency. Our morally ambiguous protagonists and anti-heroes light their way
with horrible decisions, and gallows humor."

This movie, to me, is quintessentially grimdark, no matter how it's labeled by
Wikipedia. What is the fifth item Babydoll needs? Hit the above link and find out.
You can find examples of excellent grimdark in television, graphic novels, manga
and anime, and everywhere fine imaginations are nurtured, and allowed to spew
their results for public consumption.

This is my first post, but not my last. I gots me a lot of work to do.