BillBelew.com
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Are there any bloggers that can help me out?2275

Member PatMolina private msg quote post Address this user
Are there any bloggers out there that would be willing to help me out and show my book on their blog. I would be grateful for any assistance. I'm just a guy chasing my own dreams as a writer, and hoping to inspire others to have the courage to go after theirs.

I am the writer of the book "The Miracle: Life, the journey through my eyes." My book The Miracle deals with things that I have gone through in my life, such as depression and cancer. It is meant to inspire hope in people, and teach people the importance of gratitude. You see, I never understood the importance of gratitude, and I feel my story can show people why it's important.

I would be very thankful to anyone who is willing to help me out.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@PatMolina

Why should anyone help you out?

What's in it for them?
Post 2 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@PatMolina

$16.50 for a 27-page book?

How did you come up with that price?
Post 3 • IP   flag post
Member PatMolina private msg quote post Address this user
There are people out there who do help others without any expectation, or who ask "what's in it for me"...
Post 4 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@PatMolina

Agreed. But why? And why you?
Post 5 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
"Hey! All you nice people. Will you please help me sell my really good book?"

Do you think that will really work?
Post 6 • IP   flag post
Member PatMolina private msg quote post Address this user
Like I said, I believe in the kindness people.
Post 7 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@PatMolina

So do I. However, depending on random kindness for auccess ia a poor marketing plan.

I sincerely wish you to prove me wrong.

Answer the why, build relationships and kindness becomes much more available.
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
@PatMolina

I'm afraid I have to agree. (Don't let it go to your head, Bill!) Do you even know where you are, Pat? You have here, right in front of you, a brain trust of some of the best, most willing to share, online marketers around and, instead of asking to learn, you start off asking for a favor.

Look, we all need favors from time to time. We all have tough times. I just came through a big one and now, today, I find myself facing yet another. Life happens.

You know what they say about finding yourself with an abundance of lemons... well, you have an abundance of marketing experts within hailing range. Ask for help, not a handout. Ask for ideas, the process of creating a plan, ask what your next step should be.

Or is that all too much like work?
Post 9 • IP   flag post
Member PatMolina private msg quote post Address this user
Rev, you have no idea how hard I have been working. For one thing, I do not have a publication company out there pushing my book for me. I am in very essence doing all of my own leg work. I've been contacting many people for help, because of the fact I am need of it. Now, in my heart I know I've been putting every ounce of my energy in time, into talking with people, establishing a following and trying my very best to market it on my own. So, please, before you say I'm not working...think again...I put all that I have in my work. I don't have very much money to my name, and I'm doing all that I can, with what I have available to me, so if you're trying to tell me about tough times, I'm living them, and have lived many tough times in my years.
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Member eddievelez private msg quote post Address this user
@PatMolina

First, Pat, my hat's off to you for being willing to do what few people will do -- author a book. However, there are some stark realities many new authors don't grasp until it's too late. So please take the following as a consultation to help you focus for your next book, if you have another in you.

A 27-page book is considered a pamphlet, not a book. I would consider lowering the price to $2.99 and you may move more books. Moreover, packaging is crucial. Your cover needs impact. However, for a pamphlet, the question is, is it worth having a professional cover done?

While I understand your plea, as I work with many authors and many make the mistake of thinking that writing the book is the hardest part, only to find marketing is; when you ask as you did, you cheapen the value of your book. The impression it gives is that it's not very good, hence I need to beg for sales.

Again, please don't take this as an attack; it's the reality of a consultation. Until you know the truth, you don't have no idea what to fix. For you to succeed, you have to repair the image of the book and price it accordingly. Supply and demand. If there's no demand, the price drops precipitously. I hope this helps.
Post 11 • IP   flag post
Member eddievelez private msg quote post Address this user
@PatMolina

Pat, even if you had a publishing company behind you, unless they gave you a sizeable advance, they do not market books. They are PUBlishers, not PUBlicists.

As many authors learn, whether self-publishing or going through a traditional publisher, marketing and PR is still on you. You must create your own website, do your own social media, find your own media opportunities and book signings.

The only things having a publisher does for you is that they will edit the book for you, put their logo on it, and if a book store orders your book and can't sell it, they offer to buy it back. You pay huge for this. Which is why I am a big proponent of self-publishing. If you have to market the book yourself anyway, why let them take more in royalties?
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Member JWP private msg quote post Address this user
@PatMolina

I would be interested in you directly addressing/answering Bill's question:

"$16.50 for a 27 page book? How did you come up with that?" (and it's an e-book!)

I have stumbled into an avocation (in my early 60's): I carefully read and critically review American & English literature and essays. Over the last several years I have posted over 80 reviews/essays of classic (eg. Melville, Trollope, Marquand and Conrad) and contemporary (eg. Mcinnerney, Ellis, Vidal, Dubus) authors. I have a following of nearly 900 folks. It's not a big deal nor a business for me. That's not my point.

Every month I get 3-6 works submitted to me (unsolicited) with the hope that I will carefully read and review them. I can only read & review four or five a year. (Remember, my interest is spending my limited time with proven masters and their classic works.) The thought that I would pay for a book (under the conditions I outline) is laughable.

I carefully read your Amazon page. It does awaken interest and an openness to helping. But your pricing seems off the wall.

You may, indeed, have great story to tell and insight about life to share. But, as I type, I can go to Amazon and buy (for 99 cents) the entirety of the Conrad canon (over 2,800 pages) and learn more about life, suffering and redemption than either you or I will likely ever experience or otherwise know.

My bottom line: Even if I were to read your work (for free) and think it a gem.....You've overpriced it...And that is always a part of a review (is the offering a good value?)...(Trust me....I know what I'm talking about....)

But for me, it's often not about the money....it's about time....I've found that I could always hustle money....But not time.....

JWP
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Member philipwatling private msg quote post Address this user
My book, Flight of a Lifetime, is 258 pages long and marketed at $13.95. The ebook is half that price. I think it is worth more, but I go with the price recommended. What would I now about pricing?

@JWP , I did not sign in for this reason, but if you wanted to review my book I can send you a (free!) review copy

Philip
Post 14 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@JWP great pointers for @PatMolina

Will Rogers - it's not what you can ask, it's what you can get.

$16.95 for a 27-page eBook. Not happening on my watch.

How did you get interested in you avocation? If you don't mind me asking.
Post 15 • IP   flag post
Member JWP private msg quote post Address this user
@PatMolina:

Check out Philip's book's amazon page. Not only are the price(s) as he outlines, those amazon customers with "kindle unlimited" can access the book for free; a great way to generate reviews. And reviews will generate further interest & sales of a book. (There's also an interesting anecdote regarding the introduction to his book being written by the chief of the medical helicopter service.)

@philipwatling:

Yours sounds like a worthwhile book. My main area of interest is literary fiction and, to a lesser degree, public affairs non fiction/essays. A book of 250+ pages would take me a couple of weeks to read (usually twice), take notes, etc. and review. (A couple of drafts, proof reading, etc.) I would suggest that your book is best appreciated and promoted by those with an interest in emergency medicine, recovery and rehabilitation from trauma or serious injury and what I call the "positive thinking" fraternity.

But they are out there. Why not look at successful books similar to yours in subject matter and reach out to positive reviewers with the same offer you made me?
Post 16 • IP   flag post
Member JWP private msg quote post Address this user
@Belew

I do not remember ever not knowing how to read. I probably learned from my grandmother, a librarian. And I spent a lot of time reading as a boy. The education system was a very different thing and the USA was a very different place in the 50's and early 60's.

As I reflect on your question, there were/are a few things that happened. I was sick a couple of times as a kid and mentally survived by "communing" with the Hardy Boys, Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson. More even than what I may have learned by that reading was the realization that literature had the capacity to create a world within a reader (me).

Then....(and here I hesitate)....I found myself again "incapacitated" (i.e., imprisoned)....I quickly threw myself into the classics (esp. the Russians) and easily mentally not only survived, but thrived. (One of the reasons I was released early was the very frustrating realization that I really wasn't being punished....I was thriving....And not just intellectually, I was physically healthier than ever...)

Finally, over the years I unconsciously resorted to reading whenever my life was drifting or I was suffering from boredom/depression. For me, the best antidote to depression is a Sherlock Holmes story or Agatha Christie novel.

Now that I've rounded third base, I spend 8-12 hours a week reading the great works of literature with the goal of displaying my mastery with a well crafted review or piece of criticism. I preform the (small) service of providing unfamiliar potential readers with a (contemporary) view of a classic work/author. And I get a great sense of satisfaction and achievement from it.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@JWP

Your story fascinates me.

I reckon you and I are abt the same age.

I was born in '54.

I wish i had learned the joy of reading earlier.

I was very late to the party.

I am now an avid reader though not at your level. I feel more the burn to let things out than take more in = i have a book inside wanting out.

How abt you? Do you have a book you want to write?
Post 18 • IP   flag post
Member JWP private msg quote post Address this user
OK,

If one wants to write, I assume one wants to write well. And the only way to do that is to write....regularly....as in every day. Some folks are lucky in that their jobs require them to, as a matter of course, write regularly.

This was my experience. I was rigorously educated, in the classical fashion, by French nuns and Jesuits. Part of that experience was being required to write several daily (brief, but daily) essays. It also consisted regular reading of the best writers.

I had a facility with numbers and mathematics and in my 20's was working as an auditor for a large CPA firm. Within weeks I found myself secluded in a large closet doing nothing but rewriting the memos of other auditors and CPA's....for months this went on. It was boring to me...simple, but boring. And I didn't realize it, but I was very, very good at it.

After eight months, the managing partner took me to lunch. It was awkward, but interesting. Looking back, I'm sure he was just trying to figure me out. He finally explained that while the accountants were talented with numbers, they were utterly inept in documenting and explaining what the numbers meant, what they (the auditors) did and (most important) what conclusions and judgments they arrived at from their work.

The result: years later when the client suffered financial reversals, defaulted on loans or were discovered to have engaged in illegal activities, the audit records and memos were unable to document that the auditors had done their job in reviewing the client books. And the real result: the audit firms and their insurers were on the hook for $million$ in damages and losses.

All that I was doing was writing memos that clearly expressed and documented what others were doing but unable to explain.

Where did I learn how to do this (without even knowing what I was learning)?: From years of immersion in great writing and the my own daily practice of writing.

(Aside: I'm always amazed that folks intuitively understand that it is obviously good to monitor what we put in our bodies in the form of organic food and drink....But don't realized the same is true in what we read or listen to and watch on TV.)

My experience is in expository, professional writing. It is not the effort and hard work for me that I sense it is for others.

Creative writing is a very, very different ballgame. Fiction involves attempting to search for and express (spiritual or artistic) truth. Non fiction writing (journalism, essays) is about facts. And facts often have little to do with truth. That, in essence, is the difference between the two different art forms. And why fiction is so much more difficult.

As for me, i've got a couple of notebooks full of fictional fragments. They're virtually all based on real, lived experiences. But they are expressed from points of view or full of observations that are not at all "journalistic" or like a police report.

I've never attempted a book, but do have one outlined. It's based an a mutually owned bank in a small American town that's been controlled by one family since the mid 19th century. Economic, demographic, social and regulatory forces have forced the bank board and family consider converting the mutual charter to stock ownership. There are community, financial, family and personal ramifications involved in the struggle and decision making process. And there are the age old moral issues of loyalty, temptation, greed, power, etc.

But it would take a couple of years of full time work....And I'm from a time and place that would want a traditional editor/publisher....And they've gone the way of the dinosaur.
Post 19 • IP   flag post
Member Lenderman33 private msg quote post Address this user
Hi @JWP,

What is your website? I am interested in learning more about your background.

Erik
Post 20 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@JWP I taught at a vocational college for several years here in the Bay Area.

They were IT specialists, designers (graphic and fashion) and other such types.

I taught the general education classes - essay writing, speech, psychology and other such animals.

I usually opened up my speech and writing classes with some version of "Who is the best artist? Who is the most capable designer?"

They would generally conclude that there ** be one stand out but for the most part, by the time they finished their studies most of them would be on equal footing.

I then went on to say, "When you finish your studies, you are supposed to be an expert in your field, whatever that field is. What will differentiate your from your classmates is whether or not you can write. Can you talk, express what you are able to bring to a client verbally AND in writing?"

You are supposed to know how to draw, or connect cables ... the guy or girl who will get the job is the one who can articulate themselves ... in writing and in speech.
Post 21 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@JWP

Quote:
Originally Posted by JWP
And I'm from a time and place that would want a traditional editor/publisher....And they've gone the way of the dinosaur.


Curious to know how you came to this conclusion. Do you have some firsthand experience you can share?

The reason I ask is that I meet weekly with a friend and we discuss this topic to death. If the traditional publisher isn't dead, I am sure I have killed it ... though she hangs on for dear life.

Where do your convictions come from?
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Member philipwatling private msg quote post Address this user
Hmm Following my head injury I am not very articulate in speech and though I can 'write' I cannot touch-type or even 'scribe' - with a pen!
Post 23 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@philipwatling

I have no excuse for my incompetence.

Sorry to hear abt your injury.
Post 24 • IP   flag post
Member philipwatling private msg quote post Address this user
I just floated my fingers over the keyboard, @JWP; my book pretty much wrote itself
Post 25 • IP   flag post
Member JWP private msg quote post Address this user
I won't be able to cover all of this tonight, but will try to respond to most of it over time.

Erik,

I don't have a website. I have had some reviews and lengthy criticism published is several obscure regional or special interest publications. But the bulk of my stuff consists of dozens of apparently standard Amazon book reviews of classic American and English texts. Amazon has a way of allowing their users to view an aggregation of posts by a particular reviewer (assuming that reviewer is of interest) and to be notified when a critic has posted a new review. I have no interaction or any type of relationship with anyone who is interested in my reviews.

I honestly think the only reason Amazon allows its users to do this is to make it easier for authors & publishers to do what Philip is ably trying to do: solicit reviews from able critics/reviewers.

In any event, you'd learn nothing about me from my criticism/reviews. They are laser focused on the work and author.

It is interesting you'd want to know more about "my background" (or me) based merely on the little bit posted here. I hope if what I wrote moved you in some way, it would motivate you follow through on what I suggest:

Make reading good books a large part of your daily life. And then make writing a part of each day.

Addendum: Erik's inquiry causes me to reflect and realize that my reading and critical reviews are not driven by a need or desire to convince the public of anything or promote either a particular viewpoint or myself.

As I stated above, my entire motivation has been very personal: the desire to read, master and enjoy a selection of the great works of American & English literature. For me, the sole way to prove (to myself) that mastery is to display it via written criticism.

There is a Russian term (which simply does not translate into English) which is best expressed as "writing for the drawer". Totalitarian Russian governments over the centuries prioritized control and censorship of literary artists. (Older folks with recall Slozhenitsyn.) My guess is that the Russian term evolved to describe a wide spread Russian practice of oppressed folks expressing themselves in writing....never expecting to ever be published. They sat at their tables at night, pouring out their souls. At the end of their efforts, they filed the papers in the bottom of a drawer.

For years, that's what I've done with most of what I've written. But/And I admit that the existence of the amazon "review" system has provided me with the reinforcement that what I was doing was valid and worthwhile.

But....I do not need the reinforcement or gratification of publication or public approbation. (But it is nice to hear every now & again...)
Post 26 • IP   flag post
Member Lenderman33 private msg quote post Address this user
A pleasure to meet you!

: )

Erik
Post 27 • IP   flag post
Member philipwatling private msg quote post Address this user
@JWP Thank you, some good advice there. I have had a couple of people review the book in such a way, most notably a brain and spinal cord charity - my book was in their newsletter - and The EY Foundation where I was a speaker at their event in London a few years back. Of course I have lost my review copy!

@Belew Chill, my friend; we can all be a bit stupid at times As for my accident: it made me who I am now - and wrote me a book!
Post 28 • IP   flag post
Member KathrynLang private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddievelez
I work with many authors and many make the mistake of thinking that writing the book is the hardest part


I was LITERALLY talking about this very thing at a conference this weekend. I had the opportunity to speak at the Mid-Winter Writers Conference in Pell City, Alabama about blogging and about writing a million words in a year - but my theme for both was similar . . . if you want to be a professional then you have to treat it professionally. That means treating it like a business (including having a business plan with SMART goals and a SWOT analysis) AND working it like you would for another employer.

The easy part is writing a book - which is what makes pursuing writing so scary

This is true no matter how or where you publish. You are going to have to make the connections with the target market and then be relentlessly helpful with those people to grow the relationships . . . selling comes from that relationship.
Post 29 • IP   flag post
Member KathrynLang private msg quote post Address this user
@Belew @jwp - I'm interested in the root of the idea of traditional publishing going to the wayside as well. I was reading last night in an article on Author Earnings that print is making a comeback (particularly in non-fiction) and that's just in "traditionally" published markets.

Looking forward to following this discussion.
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