“Magic,” She Gasped.

Magic She Gasped Little Black2

“Magic,” she gasped.

Say it again: “Magic,” she gasped.

Tell your friends to say it: “Magic,” she gasped.

It’s a mantra, unless that’s the bat-shaped fish. Whisper it in your sleep.

“Magic,” she gasped.

What is it? What does it mean? Why should you care?

What makes a Subaru a Subaru? Actually, Subaru puts a comma in their statement – a comma with which I have never agreed. Love, it’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru. What does that second comma do? It makes a clause out of “it’s what makes a Subaru,” which isn’t a clause at all. It equally makes a clause out of “Love a Subaru,” which is a clause, but  is so widely separated by the non-clause that you have to remove the non-clause to see it, by which time you’ve simply beaten the whole darned thing to death…and doesn’t make me what to buy the car because they have trouble with punctuation.

“Magic,” she gasped. It’s a mantra, or manta. Or Banta if you’re into Star Wars.

I was trying to come up with a way to sell my book, and the only catchphrase I could think of was “buy my book.”

Hmmm, lacks a little something.

Hailey, one of the characters in my novel, Droppington Place, has a fascination with magic – just to point out that there, right in that sentence, is the proper use of commas to separate a clause – which causes her to utter the mantra/manta/banta phrase. Several times throughout the story she gasps the word “magic,” in what I sincerely hope is a running joke.

So, you see, sometimes your characters can give you a hint on what’s special in your work.

But, here’s the dealio, the thing, the bomb, the cat’s pajamas: What happens if you Google search “murder, she gasped”? Well, probably nothing yet, because I just loaded the tags.

But eventually, my impatient friend, you’ll go to either Phineas Caswell’s home page at PhineasCaswell.com, or to his Smashwords Droppington Place page.

If you simply Google Phineas Caswell, whose name appears beneath the logo, brings you all manner of Droppington Placey options.

Is this marketing genius? Does Procter and Gamble sell soap?

Or is it simply some degree of self-delusion that I’m making progress in marketing my book? Self-delusional like a fox!!!

Already, the pieces are falling into place…bwahahahahah.

You, because you’re a friend, can actually skip all the marketing hype and get Droppington Place by simply clicking HERE. When you get there, type in this Coupon Code: NJ38D, and you can get the book for free!!!

Why, that seems almost like…

“Magic,” she gasped.





The End of an Adventure Begets Another

PC ScreenCap

Well, my friend, we’ve sailed over the horizon, haven’t we? I mean you, and me, and my novel, MARIGOLD’S END, the final chapter of which is now posted on this site, right here.

Yes, the final chapter, the au reservoir to our friend Phineas, and the Kathryn B, and all those cool nautical cats. If you’ve been keeping up, and I know you have, you’ll know we left young Phineas leaping for his life from a stricken ship, the crack of a pistol ringing out behind him. This book literally ends with a bang.

If you been keeping up with this blog,  you’ll know that this book writing business is a twofold affair: there’s the art of writing the book, and the science of getting someone to buy it. That’s probably art, too, because, in science, you’re supposed to be able to repeat experiments and get the same results. Good luck with that in marketing!

So, you ask, what’s next?

Well, I can tell you that gorilla marketing, for all its flashy allure and exciting verbiage, is a rather slow-and-go proposition, with lots of slow and very little of anything else. The line of people lined up around the block to read my book is sort of a line of one, and my feet are complaining about standing here.

In Field of Dreams the guy says “if you build it, they will come,” which is very catchy and enigmatic. He left out the time component: they will come tomorrow, or next week, or when the moon shines bright on my old Kentucky home. Or, and this is the one we all dread, they will come one at a time, quietly, unannounced, and go away. I’m a major sucker for jingoism, but I might just have to let this one go.

If you build it, and your work your keester off to grab their attention and you give them something in return for their visit, then they will come. Writing your book and telling the world about your book isn’t enough.

You got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and BELLOW to the world about your book. If you’re a good bellower, you can convince the world to bellow on your behalf, but you have to be bellower number 1.

I’m bellowing over here, with yet another of my sneaky, hey, are you trying to confuse me?, get-rich-quick, zero effort marketing schemes. It’s a site called Phineas Caswell.com – and has an interesting premise: Phineas Caswell is the author. Well, interesting to me, perhaps. You’re a writer, you now how it goes.

What if there was this curious site to which the curious reader could travel?

I agree, the site is snoresville today, but it will change, my friend. Ohhhh, yessss, changes, they are a comin’.

So, to accommodate the change in authorship, Phineas Caswell, the nautical hero in MARIGOLD’S END, has generously agreed to change his name to Benjamin Dilbeck. Not Ben, not Benny, Benjamin. Whaaaat? You cry, aghast. Trust me, Obi Wan, you’re the only one who can… it will work.

Say, this is quite the post, eh what? A chapter released over here, a new website over there… goodness, will it ever end?

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.

Avast, yon Reader!

Scary Pyrate

Nothing says nautical mayhem like the word “avast.” Right out of the box you know the words that follow are coming from seafaring devil, a maritime monster, a nautical ne’er do well. This is because good guy pirates and Navy types don’t use the word.

You’re probably one of those Navy types, or perhaps a good guy posing as a pirate in order to accomplish some secret mission – don’t worry, we won’t tell – so we must digress:  According to Merriam-Webster, avast means to stop – avast pulling on that line, mate. Avast talking like silly pirates, ye scurvy wingnut. Arrgh.

Why ever have we found the word Avast in our headline? Why, yes, you guessed it, Chapter 12 of MARIGOLD’S END, A Phineas Caswell Adventure, now has its own page. It’s over there, to port ye might say, below MARIGOLD’S END, The Novel.

In Chapter 12, Phineas is taken to The Tavern, the headquarters of Red Suarez, who is the self-proclaimed pirate king of Port Royal. While that sounds a trifle trite, the chapter itself is quite alive with daring-do and an escape that simply goes awry.

What’s going here, you ask? Well, my friend, this is Gorilla Marketing at its best, but this might be better. For a minimum of moola, youm , my writer friend,  have been marketed. Bang, just like that. Boom. You didn’t even feel it, and yet, ka-slap, you have my message in your head. What is the message?

Dude, it’s in your head, okay? Do I have to spell out e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g?

So, go tell everyone you know…we’ll wait… to hurry over to this site and read that chapter. Leave comments, praise, and oodles of cash… somehow… and have them tell their friend, who is probably you, to read it again.

Avast! Ye have been marketed, ye scurvy swab!

Here’s what’s odd: I began the tale of Phineas Caswell several years ago, in the hopes of exploring the world of merchant sailing in the year 1726. He started as a nine-year-old way back when, with the first name of Jim. Since that first version he’s changed names, aged three years while losing twenty, and finds himself with a dark and difficult past, an uncertain future, and a penchant for falling into the sea. My, how we’ve changed!

You’re a writer, you know how it goes. Your characters tell you about themselves as they progress. If you’re lucky, you have the wisdom to let them… elucidate… and not go crazy over the lack of control. The story gets out eventually, either theirs or yours. If you’re lucky, it’s theirs.

Enjoy the chapter.

Avast reading, ye swab.

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.

Book Publicity: We’re Getting Somewhere Nice

BS at Sea 1

If you’ve been reading the chapters of my book, MARIGOLD’S END, you’d know that I’m releasing it one chapter at a time onto this site. You could figure it out by reading my posts, of course, including this one, but I’m trying to make you thing “dude, I should be reading that book instead of playing Candy Crush Saga.”

Not that I have anything against Candy Crush Saga – in fact, I’ve given up all on-phone video games for Lent – or your reading habits. None of my business. Nope. Nosiree Bob.

So, there it is.   Where is this going, you wonder. And well you should, for I do, too.

Here’s where: Chapter 5 is now on the site. My boy Phineas, 12 years old in 1706, is taken to sea against his will by his seafaring Uncle Neville. He’s had a narrow escape with murder (committing it), nearly been drowned, suffered through near-terminal seasickness, and now has learned about the superstition surrounding a “Jonah.”   Ah, but the deep blue sea holds more adventure for our young man – he’s about to meet Taylor, a slightly older, terribly well educated sprout of a fellow, and Louise, the granddaughter of the King of France.

If you aren’t reading along, you’re missing out.

And don’t be expecting me to come on here and tell you the whole darned story – not going to happen, mate. Nope. There’s a big ending, but I can only hint about that.

Here’s the hint: it’s big. Another hint: it’s at the end.

You’re a writer. You know how it goes. The world doesn’t necessarily come looking for your book. You have to coax it, wheedle a little here and there, to generate interest and talk. Buzz. You gotta build the buzz. Sounds like a bumper sticker.

Your publicity should be gentle, but persistent. Nobody likes a showoff, and most people don’t appreciate self-aggrandizing fanfare. So you have to be nice, and, like me, terrifically humble. Okay, brilliant is in there, too. Did I mention brilliant?

You don’t have to read my chapter, but take a page from this forum (as you know, only the humbly brilliant refer to their soapboxes as forums) and think about being nicely, humbly persistent in publicizing your work.

Notice that the word ‘marketing’ hasn’t shown up anywhere in this…oops, there it is… because you and I, we no longer market our work. We publicize it.

Good luck in your publicizing efforts, enjoy the chapter, and be nice.


Gorilla Marketing Exposed in Book Chapter Release Scam


First, let me thank you for reading this.

I know, that seems like a really cheesy ploy to get you to read on, because now you’re guilted into it. And it would be (I wish I’d thought of it first), except that I really mean it: thank you. Now, is this “thank you” sincere, or an even cheesier ploy to guilt you into reading this post, which is really insidious (I don’t suppose it’s true that farmers live in the country, city folk live insidious. Equally not so is it that mackerels are facetious).

Sadly, this is a sincere thank you for an interest in my post. Without you, well, all my work comes to naught. So, once more, thank you.

Okay, so, now for the gorilla marketing part – are you ready? Gorilla marketing: do very little, expect very much. Make somebody else do the work. And today, YOU are that somebody else!

Chapter 4 of my novel, MARIGOLD’S END, is now on this site. Yes! Can you believe it?

Now, don’t click over there and start reading it yet…hey, you! Click back over here!

See, here’s where you do the work and I reap the marketing rewards. You read the chapter, and its predecessors, and realize that you really like this story. “Heavens,” you say to yourself, “I wonder where it will go next?”

Got that? Write it down if you have to.

Then, and this is the tricky part, you tell all your friends about how great this book is. See? I haven’t done a thing, but now MARIGOLD’S END is practically a household name in your social circle.

Ook. Ook. Pass me a banana. I’ll be lounging in the hammock if anybody needs me.

All seriousness aside, thank you for reading.