Saturday, October 18, 2014

Writing Wrongs: How to Become a Famous Writer

Writings Wrongs: How to Become a Famous Writer

Because this is a blog about writing I’m often asked why I write so many posts about business and marketing. There is a good reason although it does separate my readers into two camps.

Those who believe in the integrity of the art form and those who write simply to make a buck.

You can do both. In fact it is essential that you do both and I’m going to explain why.

Those who only write for artistic reasons aren’t really writers, they are hobbyists. They have allowed their massive ego to co-opt reason to insulate themselves from the massive rejection they feel they must endure to “Pay their dues” or “Suffer for their art.” They warm themselves with the belief their work will eventually be discovered (likely after they’re dead, if at all) and their body of work will be celebrated as genius. 
This belief comforts that massive ego and shores up their “See, I told you so!” psychosis.

These people need to be smacked in the head.  As John Wayne once said “Life is hard. It’s even harder if you’re stupid.” I assume these people get some comfort in the thought of looking down from the heavens and feeling vindicated.


And the ironic part of all this is that for a long time I was one of those people!

That changed however when I met the people who write simply to make a buck and discovered that these people, who have no writing talent whatsoever are making thousands every month in royalties.


Here is the first thing I learned from them. You will ONLY get a book deal if they (publishers and agents) believe that the book you have written will appeal to a large book buying audience. Do not, I repeat, do not attempt to prove me wrong by pointing out some novel about Elbonian folk dancing that became a national best seller. That was a fluke! That would like countering my statement that you will never win the lottery, by pointing out the few people that have.

Ask yourself this question. Who is more likely to become rich? The person who saves money, makes business contacts, researches what businesses are most likely to succeed and then learns everything they can about that business and then opens that business in an area that has a lot of traffic, or the person who maxes out their credit cards and savings to open a business selling something that interests them in the empty store down the block?

Want to set a fire under your ass? Want to put a gun to the head of that insane ego of yours? Stipulate in your will that any of your work that is unpublished at the time of your death be destroyed.

As that great American philosopher Groucho Marx once said: “Posterity? What do I care about Posterity? What has posterity ever done for me?”

The second thing I learned from them is that publishers aren’t interested in writers who don’t have a strong following. If they sign you and publish your book they have to invest a considerable amount of money to publicize and promote it. They need to make money with that investment and if you don’t have a following they aren’t going to take a chance regardless of how great the book is or how enthusiastic you are.

Here’s what I did. I created a strong following through this blog and others (This blog has had over thirty thousand readers) I discovered that fiction books outsell non-fiction books but fiction requires a great deal of advertising and promotion to build a buzz and generate sales. And that costs a lot of money!

To sell non-fiction books however, all you have to do is find a topic people want to know more about and write a book on that topic. For example: Once I learned all the ins and outs of writing a book that sells and creates a loyal following, I wrote The Best Book on How to Write, Publish and Market Your Novel into a Best seller to help fellow writers who aren’t having any luck getting published, by explaining to them exactly what they need to do to turn things around. It is selling very well on all three platforms, as an e book, paperback and audiobook. You can get a copy by clicking on the picture on the right. The e book is under 5 dollars. The paperback under ten.

Seeing I was onto something, I started thinking about writing another non-fiction book. Then realized that, like me, millions were downsized during the 2009-2010 recession and as a result were floundering emotionally, physically and financially. So I wrote The Best book on How to Start Over: Rebuild your Mind, Body and Finances. And BINGO another hit on all three platforms. Again you can click on the image on the right to read a sample or buy the book.

Now here’s the thing, when writing the financial section of that book I realized that I would need to write an entire other book to properly explain how to make money online.

So I did. And the result was The Best Book on How to Make Money Online. In it I explained the most lucrative niches to get into and how to generate income from them. When researching the book what stunned me the most was how much money can be made and that the biggest hindrance to success is people spreading themselves too thin. Again another hit on all three platforms. You can get your copy by clicking on the book image on the right.

But the most successful of them all was the book that came out of the most miserable and soul-crushing experience of my life.

My divorce.

I had been married for 25 years. Thought everything was going fine. Then BOOM, it was over.

Never entered my mind to write a book about it, thought it too personal, too painful.

Like me, none of those men saw it coming. It was then I realized that I had to get the word out so guys who were going through what I went through could protect themselves and prepare for what was going to happen. So I wrote DIVORCE: The Middle-Aged Man’s Survival Guide.

I honestly believe I have written a number of great fiction books. They have all received very positive reviews, but the MOST Important Book was DIVORCE: The Middle-Aged Man’s Survival Guide. Because some men have told me that book literally saved their life.  One guy described it as a rescue boat when trapped on a desert island.

Now here’s the take away from this post. Should I wish to have my next fiction book published through a traditional publisher, I can begin my query letter by pointing out that I already have a large number of readers, have several non- fiction books that are selling very well, have great reviews and have proven that I am a prolific writer who can provide consistent high quality product AND KNOW HOW TO MARKET THEM!

And that my friends, is how you get their attention.

Monday, October 13, 2014

You are Being Lied to

You are Being Lied to.

You ARE being lied to. Every day and in every way.

Not that being lied to is always a bad thing. For example I lie for a living. I tell stories about events that never happened. People actually pay me money to lie to them.

They seem to enjoy it.

However, I’m a novelist and so people understand from the get-go that what I have written is pure fabrication, created for entertainment purposes.

No harm, no foul.

But it has gotten out of hand and it’s our own fault.

Here’s why. Our ancestors, who grew up before radio and television, learned early on exactly how life works. It is often brutal, cruel, unforgiving and vindictive. On the other hand it is also filled with love, kindness, generosity, and beauty.

Our ancestors accepted life’s harsh realities. We however have been deluded into thinking that the brutal, cruel, unforgiving and vindictive parts either doesn’t exist or if it does, can be corrected through education and dialogue.

This belief will likely to get us all killed.

Here’s where we went off the rails. We grew up listening to radio and watching television and movies. The only reason radio and television programs were created was so that businesses could sell their products through advertisement.

Again, no harm no foul.

BUT, they discovered that people DON”T LIKE HAVING THEIR BELIEFS QUESTIONED!  And they especially don’t like it when life’s realities are portrayed as they actually are. Because when people’s fairy tale view of real life is challenged, they fire off an angry email to the sponsor, and to everyone on their email list.

Here’s my experience with that fact. In one of my books I quoted some very disturbing facts regarding government expenditures from various, reliable, trusted sources. In a review one reader wrote “I wanted to give the book a full 5 star rating but I found the information regarding the government so upsetting and depressing that I will only give it a 3 and that I feel is being generous!”

And so, I was being punished for informing that person of actual, verifiable facts that apparently they did not want to know.

Over the years advertisers learned to GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT.

And when they wanted to see beautiful young people nude or semi-nude, they got it. 

And when they wanted to see beautiful young people nude, getting high and doing dangerous things to make an obscene amount of money, not only did they get to see that, they got to see those beautiful young people flaunt the law, disobey the rules AND get away with it.

And when other young people started emulating those actions, and wound up addicted to drugs, contracting STD’s, getting DWI’s, being involved in fatal car crashes and receiving lengthy jail sentences, those entertainment companies claimed “Hey! It’s not our fault. WE didn’t MAKE them do those things, we only showed people having fun.

The latest thing they are trying to sell is the belief that it is the husband’s fault if the wife cheats because the husband clearly didn’t do enough to keep her in love with him. This is the argument in movies like Stupid Crazy Love and This is Where I Leave You. I wonder how much responsibility the film makers will assume when some poor wife is beaten half to death by her husband when she tries using this as an excuse for being unfaithful.

They are selling are actions without consequences. Which violates Newton’s law of “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”

BUT they ALSO learned that another thing young, beautiful, semi-naked, getting high, flaunting the law, disobeying the rules, boys and girls do, is to pirate movies without paying for them. 

Well! That’s apparently that’s a horse of a different color! Because the entertainment industry suddenly made it VERY CLEAR THAT FLAUNTING THE LAW AND DISOBEYING THE RULES COMES WITH SOME VERY SEVERE CONSEQUENCES! And to prove their point that not only got the FBI involved, they also brought in Homeland Security.

One last thing. Have you noticed that in commercials the fathers are almost always portrayed as completely incompetent or just plain stupid? And the mothers scold the husbands as if they were disobedient children? And lately even the children are joining in the scolding?

For some reason this sells. So to sell their products, they teach our children to ignore their fathers because he’s an idiot to be ridiculed.

While researching one of my books I learned a very interesting FACT. Your brain works very much like a computer. It becomes whatever you put into it. So if you believe that you can do whatever you want without consequences, you will begin doing just that, and if you’re convinced that it’s okay to cheat on your husband because he’s not paying enough attention to you, you will cheat. And if you’re taught from childhood that all fathers are fools and incompetent then you will never feel safe and protected.

Oh, I’m sorry. Did I say lied to? I meant brainwashed.