Friday, April 24, 2015

Best. Conspiracy Theory. Ever.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am an avid fan of conspiracy theories. I don't believe them, but I love the ingenuity that goes into developing them, especially those that are intricately detailed and distort common facts or exploit unknowns to reveal "the truth". Did Leonard Nimoy Fake His Own Death So He Could Seize Control of the Illuminati? is one of the best conceived theories yet. I love that the symbolism in Star Trek that makes us desire a Federation-style government is intended to psychologically prepare us to willingly accept a New World Order.

I can't wait to share this over beers some night with my paranoid friends.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Managing Your Expectations If You Self Publish

One of the most important lessons I learned as a branch leader in the CIA was to manage the expectations of our customers and never promise them things we could not deliver. The White House did not like it when I told them we not able to provide first-hand reporting on certain intelligence issues; however, when we did provide information they accepted it as our best unbiased assessment and realized we were not pushing an agenda.

The same can also be said about publishing, except that it is our expectations as writers that need to be managed. Although every writer or aspiring writer I've ever talked with knows the reality of the industry, we all know deep down that if we work hard we'll be the next George R.R. Martin or J.K. Rowling; we'll never be the writer who struggles for years until he/she measure their success by finally becoming a thousandaire. Yet it happens, and every writer needs to understand that the odds are greater they'll have an Amazon ranking down around 900,000 rather than being on a top ten list. It's similar to soldiers who go off to war knowing the risks involved but feeling that they will come back safely; there are numerous military cemeteries across the world testifying to the harsh reality.

I'm no different from any other writer. I'm preparing to self-publish my first novel in the next several weeks, and in the lead up to that have been reading up on the subject and taking courses to hone my marketing skills. Everything I've read or taken always touts the success stories. Which is only natural. We all want to be successful at writing. No one wants to read a blog posting that says "do this and fail anyway." Yet this creates in writers, especially aspiring writers, a sense that following these guidelines means you cannot fail. We go into our next publishing venture with high expectations of success and, if things don't pan out as planned, wind up depressed and wondering if all the effort is really worth it.

This is why I found Amazon Pays $450,000 a Year to This Self-Published Writer to be one of the best postings about the self-publishing industry I have seen in a while. As expected, the posting stresses the success of independent writers such as Mark Dawson and Mel Sherratt, but it also discusses the more realistic results achieved by writers such as Phil Harper and Jack Burroughs. I strongly urge any writer considering self-publishing to read this posting carefully, and not because it will give you any insights into how to succeed in the industry. It will accurately lay out for you what to expect, and will provide a reality check to anyone smart enough to heed it.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Apocalypse Monday

I'm having one of those weeks where I feel like nuking something to feel better.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Apocalypse Monday

Since I just finished writing an apocalyptic scene set in Moscow for Hell Gate II, I thought this would be appropriate.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Confessions of a Reviewer! Yeitso Is a "Very Enjoyable Read"

Yeitso received an excellent review from Confessions of a Reviewer! which called the book "A very easy to read story that flows extremely well across the page. Perfect pacing and great at giving you a visual impression of the scenes in your head. The horror in this book was very, very effective."

You can check out the entire review here.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Apocalypse Monday

I've decided to switch over my usual Monday morning posting from Interesting Posts From Other Websites to an Apocalypse Monday photo. I'll still be linking the other websites to my Facebook pages, especially the writing-related articles. I just thought the end of the world artwork would be more pleasing. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Dead Water Will "Change Your Life for the Better"

This morning my Google Mention led me to a website that gave away pirated e-books, including my novella Dead Water. At first I was considering going all Rick Grimes on their asses, until I read the blurb from Brimidam: "Don't be afraid to change your life for better [sic]. This book will help you."

What better praise can a writer get? When was the last time a horror writer was told their book could change people's lives? If Oprah still had her book club, I'd be pitching her producers to put me on the show an share my inspiration with the world.

So what are you waiting for? Improve your lives starting NOW! Learn the skills needed to survive a zombie apocalypse. Acquire the knowledge to handle hordes of the living dead aboard an oil rig out at sea. Develop the leadership skills to handle those the-world-has-gone-to-hell situations. Learn to write a proper sentence. You owe it to yourself to change your life and be the very best you can be. And all for only $1.99 on Amazon.

After all, if you can't trust a website that pirates e-books, who can you trust?

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This is not an April Fool's joke, although I am putting a humorous spin on the entire incident.]