About Yes And

Can you please explain this to me? Can you please sit me down in a chair, one that doesn’t face the window, because I’m obviously easily distracted, and use small words, because clearly I’m a bit dim in the “I get it” department, and tell me what is going on?

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On Going Big or Going Home

When you were a little kid, remember how exciting it was to think about Christmas morning? All the commotion, the gifts, the noise, the screaming parents. Well, maybe not that one, or the barfing dog, but you understand what I’m saying – the anticipation. Oh, how great it was gonna be…

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Hey, Fred!

You’re a writer, you know how it goes. You create, create, create, and some of it’s pretty good.

I got this new idea. Actually, my wife got the idea, and I’m going along with it. Actually, I got the idea quite some time ago, and she shot it down, rediscovered the idea on her own, and, well, I’m going along with it.

Continue reading “Hey, Fred!”

Always Be Marketing


You noticed in my last post how I cleverly mentioned the name of my second novel, DROPPINGTON PLACE? Well, did you notice that I just mentioned it again? Boom. Right past you, there, huh? That, my friend, is marketing.

Well, actually, it’s not, because you are the only one reading this post. But, if I had, like, a million readers, boom… see?

Here’s another one: I put Chapter 14 on MARIGOLD’S END, my first novel, on the Pages part of this website. Huh? Did you see that? Huh? Right there.  Boom.

The theory we’re testing here is exposure. Repetition. Repeating the name over and over. If you look over my posts, you’ll see a preponderance of pirate pictures. Ah, another part of the theory.

If the theory of repetition holds true, when I finally get MARIGOLD’S END pried out of the hands of my stalled editor and published, there will be a line of people waiting to buy it. It will virtually be a line… or maybe a virtual line. Maybe a hypothetical line. Maybe a line of one. Me.

But that’s the gamble of marketing, upsides and downturns. Read the chapter. Leave a comment. Boom. You are marketed.

It’s Their Market – Let The Readers do the Work

BS at Sea 3

The most basic tenet of Gorilla Marketing is “let somebody else do the work. Do nothing and expect big results.”

In that spirit, I humbly present MARIGOLD’S END, Chapter Seven.

Aye, Chapter Seven. Taylor finds himself assigned to the galley, and Phineas discovers that Mr. Lourdburton is a…. hey, wait a minute. I see your trick. You’re trying to pry the story from me again. Well, it won’t work, me bucko!

Gorilla Marketing, Tenet One: make somebody else do the work. Playing my own game on me, were ya? Well, it won’t work. Although, I will tell you, this chapter is pretty cool.

Those of us that are newbies to this publishing game have to look at our written work a little differently than old, established hands. Our work doesn’t hold a candle to the latest piece by Rowling.

While ours might be just as good, we don’t have the name, the publicity, the chutzpah behind us. Somewhat lacking in marketing horsepower, are we.

Instead, you and I must look at our noveling efforts as an Enterprise. No book is a one-off. No road can be a simple what-if.

As I don’t have a huge number of remaining years to develop my Enterprise, I must rather compress my activities into a number of simultaneous projects.

In my Plan 2021, I’ve laid out sequels to DROPPINGTON PLACE and MARIGOLD’S END, and am putting thoughts together on a third series.

Holy Backers, Cratman, that’s a buncha novels, doncha think? Especially while you’re still learning how to write a novel in the first place? Enterprise, my friend. It’s all about the Enterprise. How many of these pieces will be written? Who knows. Maybe MARIGOLD’S END will be a runaway hit and I can find my estate in Ireland or something. Maybe a comet will hit us tomorrow and smash us all to smithereens.

Life is too short for what-ifs.

So, visit my Pages page, right now, before the comet hits, and rumble down here.

I know you’ve been keeping up – this new chapter is one sweet ride.

Publicity, One Chapter at a Time


Are you ready for the next installment of MARIGOLD’S END? I’ll bet you are – you there, my writer friend, sitting on the edge of your seat wondering, wondering, wondering whatever happens to Phineas next.

At least, I hope it’s you. Nobody else in the room, that I can see. Yep. It’s you. Try to form a line there, would you please? A line of one rather resembles a dot, doesn’t it? Well, please form an orderly dot.

Writing is a lonely business. Your garret, or office, or room, or swimming pool deck, wherever you do your writing, fills up with characters, talking, laughing, fighting, sleeping, doing whatever it is that they do. Then you turn off the word processor, and, voila, it is only you.

No one is very much interested in you while you write, because, frankly, you are uninteresting when you write. Not as a person, mind you, but as company, because you’re in the room filled with all those interesting characters. The real people around you just sort of hang in limbo until you snap off the word processor. Oh, THERE you are!

So you, my dotted friend – dotted by virtue of being a line of one – are the witness to the publicity and hoorah surrounding the release of Chapter 4. Hoorah!

Chapter 4 introduces us to the life of a sailor. Chapter 1 introduced us to Phineas, Chapter 2 to the perils of traveling by boat in the early 1700’s, and Chapter 3 to the indescribable job of seasickness. Now we’re past all that and exploring the Kathryn B, and what it means to be a sailor.

In MARIGOLD’S END, you learn about the new world into which Phineas is thrust only through his eyes – a challenge to write, but hopefully not to read. Like you, Phineas’ learning comes through total immersion. It be sink or swim in the briny deep. You’ll find it over there, on the left, under MARIGOLD’S END, the Novel. See, it sort of drops down, ready for reading’!

So you, dear dot of a writer-friend, are in for a treat.

Let me know what you think. Drop me a line, leave me a comment, send me a mental note.

If you are a new dot, please be so kind as to stand next to the other dot, thereby forming a line.

A line! They’re lining up to read my work!

I KNEW this day would come!

Now, if I can just get ‘em to pay!

Marketing Ploy: Chapter Added


Okay, no lies here. Only the straight up truth. Something inside says to publish the chapters of this book, one miserable week at at time, until the book is laid completely before you. So, submitted for your approval, MARIGOLD’S END, Chapter 3. You’ll find it over there, on the left, under the title MARIGOLD’S END, the Novel. See how it works?

So, why publish chapters of the book. Once you’ve read it, you’re not likely to buy, like, a dozen copies. Maybe you could – they make great Christmas presents and passable doorstops – but no one is holding their breath.

No, it’s something more fundamental than marketing. What is the WWW if not the marketplace of the world. What is the Internet, and the ability to publish whatever, whenever, if not a way to float ideas, to share thoughts, to trade our works of art with one another?

In Shakespeare’s time, he published his own work through a publisher, hoping that it would sell. But more than just hoping for a little quick cash, a little Elizabethan jingle-in-the-jeans, he had to write, had to publish, had to share his words.

You’re a writer, you understand. You do the blog thing as a way to express yourself.

More, this is marketing. While I want you to read this book, and  DROPPINGTON PLACE, my next book, I really want to impress in your mind that my books are good and entertaining and worth the paltry shekels one shells out for them. I’m not marketing these books, but their children.

Which, according to gorilla marketing, means I’m not marketing at all, but publicizing.  You, John or Jane Q. Public – isn’t it weird that John and Jane have the same middle initial? It must be Quincy – are not being marketed, but are reading a fine piece of publicity. No pictures, please.

So, go on over and click on MARIGOLD’S END, the Novel, and breeze through Chapter 3. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Oh, and enjoy the publicity. No pictures, please.

Marketing is a Misnomer


Earth to dummy, come in, dummy. Earth to dummy, come in, dummy…

Marketing your book…and, you’re not the dummy, by the way, it’s me…anyway, marketing your book isn’t marketing it at all. Marketing is just a term, a word, meant to scare the living pants off of the weak and timid squirrelly-minded folks not blessed with an iron resolve. I used to have an iron doorstop, but it rusted and ruined my carpet. Just like the word marketing can ruin your efforts to sell your book.

You are not a marketer. You, my friend, are a writer. And, even though there are some pretty good marketing writers, and you might be one, you are a novelist first and foremost, and through and through.

But, gee, Mr. Wizard, if I don’t market my book, however am I to sell enough copies to retire in Provence and grow grapes. Well, Skippy, I’m glad you asked.

We are not marketers, you and I. We are publicists. Publicist. Has a much more noble ring, don’t it?  We are not marketing our work, pandering to the common masses as if we were hawking corn flakes. Marketing is a highly specialized field, filled with buzzwords and jargon and MBAs. Not newbie nimrods like you and me. Well, me.

All seriousness aside, isn’t your goal to sell your book to people who want to read it? You didn’t do all that work just to sell a dust jacket, did you? To be on the close-out aisle at Barnes and Noble?

No, no, no.  That’s the province of the marketer.

You, you write your WordPress blog, you have your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+. You are spreading the word through your social media, which is good.

But, you are preaching to one hundredth of one percent of your future readers. If I sold a book to every reader of this blog the total would come to three…four if I buy one, but, really, I’ve already read it.

Your book is not its own entity. Your book is you…that must become your mantra. I am my book. My book is me.

Although it’s filled with beautiful imagery and breathtaking passages, it all comes to naught if no one knows about it. About you.

So, begone knock-kneed marketing fool, and be welcome, sophisticated publicist…

Okay, so, like, what now?

Well, what does a publicist do? Publicists bring their clients an opportunity to talk, to build interest in the book.  A publicist sails the seas of opportunity, thinking in new and different ways about how to get you noticed. The notice turns into a chance to talk, which turns into public curiosity about your book, which turns into sales, which turns into grape arbors in your front yard. See how easy it is?

So, that is the task for you and me – I include myself because you shouldn’t have to do this on your own: we will become publicists, but not for our books. For ourselves. You and I will get the world interested in us…so interested that they will clamor to buy our novels. And that clamor, my friend, might just bring you your own estate-bottled chardonnay.