Saturday, June 29, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Last Blog Post...

…was about affiliate marketing as were several others before it.

   Unfortunately in my eagerness to point out ways to make money in this crumbling economy I believe I may have sounded like a shady salesman trying to sell you a shady deal.

   I assure you that is not the case.

   But I understand the wariness especially when it seems just about everyone is trying to rip you off.  I looked at my cable bill yesterday and was thoroughly ticked off when I noticed all the Add-on charges like the franchise fee and the Internet Modem lease. I paid $50.00 for just the internet each month. Shouldn’t that cover those Add-ons?

   Another point is I’m a writer, first, last and always. And I’m good at it. I have my own style and people seem to enjoy it (am closing in on my 15,000th hit so somebody is reading my stuff)

   The thing is the publishing industry is in serious trouble (Barnes and Noble are closing their NOOK business) money is tight, budgets are being cut, advances are dropping, and fewer publishing houses are willing to take a chance on new authors.

   So, these new authors are going to have to adapt if they want a career as a writer. They are going to have to self publish, promote their books online and generate name recognition until they gain a loyal following.

   That takes money.

   Actually, that takes A LOT of money!

   And who do you trust to handle that end of the business for you? When I started Ari Publishing I was amazed at the number of rip-offs associated with so-called book publishers. I saw crowds of people laying out thousands of dollars to have their books published only to wind up with a product with a common template cover, computer generated editing with cheap paper and cheap glue.

   So when I discovered affiliate marketing and saw it was a legit way of making a considerable amount of money I wanted to get the word out to my fellow writers so they could generate enough to start an advertising campaign for their novels. In addition, by learning internet marketing, they would know the best ways to advertise and the best site to advertise on.

   But the thing is, my readers are a varied group from all over the world. Frankly, I was amazed that right after the US and England, Russia has the largest reader base of my blog. and so maybe affiliate marketing isn’t something they are interested in.

   Or maybe it is I don’t know.

   However, I’ve come up with a solution.

   I am going to add 2 additional websites to address both affiliate marketing and self publishing. As for this site, I’ve decided to return to writing fun stories and giving my take on current events and social issues, because frankly, that’s what got my 14,000+ hits.

   So here’s how it will work. When I’m writing on affiliate marketing I will post on my new website ‘Czar’s Cool Stuff’ here’s the logo

   When I write about self publishing it will be on my Self-Publishing Toolbox site. Here’s the logo.

   And when you see the well that’s going to direct you right back here.

   One last note. I know how to write and I know how to self-publish and can do both well. I’m new to affiliate marketing and before I promote stuff that I believe will lead you down the road to prosperity, I want to know from my own experience that it works, its legit and can warn you of any potential pitfalls.

   For example: I decided to do a promotion of my audio book Divorce the Middle Aged Man’s Survival Guide. Here's the LINK: on Adwords. 

   It was the first time I used them so I followed the tutorial and after a misstep or two and a couple of adjustments, I got it up and running. After the first 24 hours the amount of clicks and impressions were very poor and came nowhere near my daily budget of 33 dollars a day. So following the tutorial’s instructions I scraped the non performers and increased the budget on the top performers.

   The amount of clicks and impressions increased dramatically but the conversions were lagging so more tweaking was necessary. By the sixth day I felt my budget of 33 dollars a day for 3 days should be almost spent so I went to the account site and discovered that Adwords was replenishing my account balance using my credit card.

   I called and was informed that I didn’t check the “Manually Add Money’ box and the default is replenish the account balance as needed.   

   That little error cost me $150.00.   Live and Learn.

   So there you have it. I am spending a considerable amount of time honing my affiliate marketing skills and hopefully pretty soon I’ll not only be able to create a big successful advertsing campaign for Ari Publishing books, I’ll be able to show you how to do it for yourself as well.

   Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Finding a Profitable Niche

   We’re talking money, right?

   That’s why we’re getting into affiliate marketing in the first place. You find the products people are actively looking for, provide a link to that location, they buy the product, you make money.

   Simple enough, so where are these products? That’s not a simple question. There are many types of products, from services, to software to physical objects. You know, the kind you buy and lug home.  

   Today I’m going to talk about physical products.

   But first, let’s make sure we have the basic tools to make this work. To make money at affiliate marketing you will need two things to get started 1) a business email address 2) a website.

   There is no way around this. If you’re going to make money at this you will need those two things. A business email address is simple and free.  Go to and click on gmail on the toolbar. Or  if you prefer, or  or  It doesn’t matter. They’re all Free and only take a couple of minutes to set up. You don’t have to use your name or anything, something like would be fine. So just do it and let’s get this show on the road.

   Second, a website that the inexperienced person will have no problem using. No problem there either. Go to Wealthy Affiliate look around get a feel for the place and use the new email address you just set up and join. It’s free! They walk you through the set up and you can have your own site up and running in about a half hour.

   Seriously, it’s very simple. Just follow their step-by-step instructions and you will have a functioning web business that you can market from that very day.

   Okay. Let’s move on to marketing physical products.

   Why ‘Physical Products’ you ask? Well, let me first mention that makes on average, 68 MILLION DOLLARS A DAY! EVERYDAY!

   And you can have some of that. Not very much but a piece of the pie! In fact you can have a piece of just about everybody’s pie, simply by becoming an affiliate.

   I’ll give you an example. On the top right of this page you will see an ad for Photo Shop Elements. It’s an absolute necessity if you are planning to design a book cover for your novel.

   So here’s how it works. One of my niches is self publishing. I know a lot about the topic and can teach anyone how to publish a professionally written novel with a professionally designed cover for about a quarter of what vanity presses and print on demand companies charge. But in order to save big money, some small purchases must be made. For example: You will need the Microsoft WORD program if you don’t already have it installed on your computer. You will also need Photoshop Elements. I will have both products available for purchase on my site.

   The price of both products is the same as it is at Amazon, to only difference is when you click on and purchase that Photoshop Elements from my page, I get a cut. No harm in that.

   Now the thing is as an Amazon affiliate you can feature any of their products on your site. Some people’s site have nothing but products for their niche. And people like to visit those sites because its one stop shopping for all the stuff they want.

   Here’s another advantage. Convenience. If something is difficult to get at a store, their next stop is online. Another good product to feature is one that addresses urgency. For example: What to do if … Your credit card is stolen…. A friend borrows your car and totals it while drunk… Your spouse gives you a STD. They go to Google, type in their concern and BINGO, your answer to their problem is right there for them to buy.

   Another way to get customers is to feature a product with a great sales page. Great sales pages address the customer’s needs. Is the page engaging? Does it list the advantages of buying the product, would you buy it? Does it have testimonials? Does it provide proof that it works? Does it have an ironclad money back guarantee?
Here’s an article that provides the 10 essentials for a top notch sales page

   Here’s another advantage. If you send a customer to a Amazon page and they don’t buy your featured product, you will get credit for any product they do buy! Commissions are between 4-6%.

   Here’s the thing. I send them to Amazon to buy Photoshop Elements. They don’t, instead they buy a sectional couch for a couple of grand.


   Seriously, is there any reason NOT to affiliate market?

   Plus, most big companies offer affiliate marketing commissions. Walmart does, so does Target. Just go to the main website of any company whose products you might want to feature and scroll to the bottom. Click on Affliates, sign up and they’ll give you a link to post on your site. Anytime anyone clicks that link and buys the product you get money.

   Once you get the hang of it you’ll want to create a lot of pages featuring products because the more products the more money. Then scale up the ones that are performing and drop the dead weight.

   Stop by tomorrow and find out more!

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Secret of Making Money Online

   Making money online is lucrative, but it isn’t easy. If it were easy, it would likely be a Ponzi scheme or a scam. The premise of making a living promoting products online is simple. You set up a website, find a product that people want to buy and a make it available to them.

   Sounds simple. But if it were simple we would all be wealthy and living our dreams.

   But most of us aren’t. So what’s the problem?

   The problem is we listen to people who believe they know how to make money online, but don’t, or listen to people who say you can’t make money on line when hundreds of thousands obviously have.  So who do you listen to? You listen to the people who are proven successes at online businesses and follow their lead.

   But there is a problem there as well. Each successful online business guru has his or her own style. Much like each writer has their own ‘voice’. They have created their businesses through trial and error, often lost money at first but kept at it until they found what worked for them and what didn’t. Once done, they eliminated what didn’t work and focused on improving what did.

   And that, my friends, is the secret.

   Disappointed? Expected something mind-blowing? An epiphany or magic formula perhaps?

   Sorry, but those are the tools of the Ponzi schemers, scammer and con-artists. To make real money takes real work. It also takes the right product. For example. I’ve written an ebook and audio book showing middle age men the signs of, and how to cope with, the collapse of their long term marriages. Have a look here:

   It’s selling well, but not great. I’m promoting it on Google adwords and the attention its getting is disappointing so I decided to look into why. While reviewing the key words I noticed a pattern. But not the one I wanted. People were clicking on keywords more closely related to marriage and love than separation and divorce, which is what the book is mainly about. I also noticed more women were clicking than the men, which is confusing because men are my target audience.

   I’ve received scores of emails from men telling me how much they loved the book and how much it helped, one woman reviewer noted that the book was balanced and fair and that men need guidance just as much as women when a long term marriage comes to an end.

   So what’s the problem? The book is well written, affordably priced and provides a needed service to men undergoing a very difficult patch in their lives.

   Why isn’t it selling better?

   Then it struck me. What is one of the main complaints women have about men?

   If you like, I can start the Jeopardy theme while you ponder.

   And… Times up! The complaint is ‘Men don’t ask for directions’.

   You might be saying, ‘But what does that have to do with anything?’ Well, to answer that, you take that specific personality trait and draw it out a little further. Men don’t ask for directions because men don’t ask for help. Asking for help indicates weakness. Real Men never show weakness. Showing weakness to the wife will make her question your ability to protect her, showing weakness will frighten the children, showing weakness will garner contempt from friends and associates.

   Real Men grin and bear it. Real Men tough it out. Real Men take it on the chin and never complain.  

   And apparently Real Men don’t buy books that will teach them how to safely navigate through a very difficult and emotionally devastating time. And unfortunately, too many Real Men have no one to talk to, no one to commiserate with, and no one to unburden themselves on. And having reached the end of their emotional rope they are, too often, found hanging from the end of a physical one.

   Which ironically, is why I wrote the book. Unaware that the one product they desperately needed was the one product that is so difficult for them to buy.

   But this is a fact of life when it comes to selling products and that’s why it’s important to roll out more than one because sometimes what you believe are ‘sure things’ struggle to get sales while ‘long shots’ (the pet rock, cabbage patch kids) make millions.

   So you see, the process is simple, real and profitable if you’re willing to put in the time and effort. So how do you start? You start by getting your own website. As mentioned in my previous post (below this one) you can get a professional website and set up for FREE at Wealthy Affiliate, the #1 company for people who market online. Once you join (for free) they set you up, show step-by-step videos on how to get products and sell them online. Click here:  to look it over and see what they have to offer. (note* I did, liked what I saw and joined.)

   Next step, learn from the professionals. Many of the best, Vick Strizheus, Dave Wood, Peng Joon, and Eric Holmland just to name a few have tutorials that demonstrate proven methods that make you money. One of the youngest and most successful is Peng Joon. In this video he shows you how to generate continuously increasing income online in less than a month.

   If I may, I’d like to give you the one piece of advice I’ve discovered actually works in ALL cases regardless of what business you are setting up. And that is ‘You learn by DOING’ If you are serious about becoming financially comfortable, I’ve just showed you how. It doesn’t require any financial investment or contractual obligation to get started. You simply sign up at Wealthy Affiliate: and watch the tutorials. A simple website can be set up in less than a half hour.  Then once you’ve watched the videos and realize that you can do it, you start looking for a mentor. 

   Mine is Vick Strizheus. Vick’s marketing company is extremely popular but is costly to join ($1997.00) and is not open to the public for most of the year. I’ve subscribed to his newletter however and have received several traffic obtaining tutorials that have worked wonders for my business. I’ve done the same with Eric Holmlund, who has also forwarded to me several valuable tutorials. I’ve found Peng Joon’s newletter very informative as well.

   As for me, well I’m nowhere near these guys league but have started to make some money so I’m on my way. I’m also small enough so that if you run into a problem or need to know if a product or service is worthwhile promoting or purchasing or if you just have a question, you can email me at and I’ll do what I can to help. You can also sign up for my newsletter on the upper right side of this page.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How to Start an Online Business for FREE

   Watched a show on PBS last night about how financial planners, financial advisors, stock brokers etc. all rip you off.

   But you already knew that didn’t you? You just don’t want to believe it, and I can’t say I blame you. Investing is complex and difficult to learn.

   Except it isn’t.

   John Bogle the former CEO of the Vanguard Group the largest investment group in the world gave a simple explanation regarding the difference between index investing and speculation.

   Here’s a short video of it.

   The point is anyone can invest in index funds and make a good amount of money in the long haul. According to Bogle this is how the average working person should invest. Buying and selling stocks is like gambling in Vegas. You can have a great streak for awhile but eventually you’re going to crap out.

   You may ask why I telling you this when the title of this post is about starting a business on line.

   Here’s why: The government is juggling the figures regarding unemployment. They’re counting people with part–time jobs as employed when most work less than 20 hours a week.

   The baby boomers are retiring: the financial boom over the last thirty years was generated by their spending. They’re watching their money now.

   Big Box stores are in trouble: Sears, JC Penny, Kmart, Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, Rite Aid and Office Depot are teetering on bankruptcy. Even Wal-Mart had a huge loss in their profits.

   Why? Because more and more of us are buying on line. Amazon isn’t having any trouble, in fact they’ve never been better. Purchases from online companies are growing in leaps and bounds, and why not? They can supply the same product as the brick and mortar stores at a lower price because they don’t have overhead expenses.

   Want to know who the next generation of millionaires and billionaires are going to be? Simple. The people who look around, see what happening, adapt to the changes and start their own online business.

   But like investing, people believe that’s too complex for them. They think they need a degree in business or marketing or some other such nonsense.

   It doesn’t need to be complex. The old saying ‘Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door’, is still true.

   The good part is you don’t have to build it. All you have to do is find a product, become an affiliate (that means get permission to sell that product for the owner) then set up a website, present the product for purchase and inform those people who need it that’s it’s available.

   Many of you are probably saying, “Yeah, great idea, smarty-pants except I have no clue how to set up a website and sell online. If only there was a place where a person could go to have a website created for them, have access to video tutorials that will show them EXACTLY what to do, and not charge them until they make a lot of money online.”   

   Gee, it seems to me that if someone actually created such a product, the world WOULD beat a path to his door.

   Well, someone did and they are beating a path to his door. The website is called Wealthy Affilate. They are the #1 Affiliate Marketing company in the world and I am a member. They realized early on that people couldn’t afford to buy their product until they started making money so they set up a system where people could establish their own online business and learn at their own pace.

   Like I said its free. It cost you nothing to join and you get not just one, but TWO FREE websites. They are preset so they are simple to activate. Just follow the simple step by step instructions and you can have your own functioning online business in less than a half hour.

   Tired of struggling to make ends meet? This is your first step to your financial freedom. It cost nothing to look and it might change your life.

  Here’s the link:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Man of Steel Movie Review

   Before you head out to watch this summer’s blockbuster, ‘Man Of Steel”, you should read this review all the way to the end. I just saw it in 3D and in full surround sound. You don’t need to worry about ‘Spoilers’ I won’t give anything away that hasn’t already been featured in trailers.

   For starters the actors were excellent. Harry Cavill is as good if not better than Christopher Reeve in the part and Russell Crowe is top notch as Jor-el. I’m a fan of Amy Adams portrayal of Lois Lane and as for Ma and Pa Kent, Diane Lane and Kevin Costner are believable and realistic.  

   Although it’s basically a remake of the Christopher Reeve Superman 2, the sci-fi aspect is far superior. And the reasons given for Zod’s actions are understandable. He’s not some raging nut looking for world dominance. None of that ‘Kneel before Zod’ nonsense.

   Some reviewers have complained about the number of flashbacks interwoven into the story to explain Clark’s journey into becoming Superman. I found it a little unsettling at first it did help explain how Clark became the man he is so I was fine with it.

   On the Blowing Up Stuff scale, this outdoes ‘The Avengers’. Special effects are amazing and seemless. Hans Zimmer’s score is ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ on steroids.

   Another good point about ‘Man of Steel’ is that like other recent superhero movies, it’s realistic in the way the people, the military and the government would likely react when they discover a very powerful alien is living among them.

   There is no kryptonite in this movie. It doesn’t need it. It shoots itself in the foot mid-way in.

   I’ll explain.

   I’m a writer and I’ve written an extensive tutorial on the craft called ‘How To Get Your Book Published’  And in that tutorial I warn about plot contrivances. Plot contrivances are stale, worn out plot devices used to move the story along or to get you to feel for the character. 

   Some examples: Bad guy being chased by good guy. Bad guy turns corner into blind alley. Good guy follows seconds later. Bad guy has mysteriously disappeared.

   Another example: Hero has unsolvable problem, girlfriend tells him he’s working too hard and needs to take break. He tells her he can’t, he MUST solve problem. She prattles on about something completely unrelated until she says some word or phrase that shocks the hero. He asks her to repeat it, she does and hero says “That’s it!” Then explains how he will use her word or phrase in a different context to solve the unsolvable problem. He then kisses her and tells her how wonderful she is.

   Well, there is another one I call the Popeye syndrome. In the Popeye cartoons, he has a nemesis named Bluto, who is a big brute who is always hitting on Popeye’s girl Olive Oyl. Popeye tells him to back off and Bluto wipes the floor with him. Then at the last second, Popeye opens a can of spinach, gobbles it down and proceeds to kick the crap out of Bluto.
These are plot contrivances, they are stale, out of date and should never be used by any writer worth a damn.

   In the first Tobey Maguire Spider-man movie the Popeye syndrome is obvious. Goblin nearly beats Spidey to death then mentions Mary Jane and magically, Spidey is somehow completely rejuvenated and beats the crap out of the Goblin. Another example is the Rocky movies although not as obvious.

   The Popeye Syndrome in Man of Steel goes on for about a half an hour. And NOWHERE in this movie does the Superman character come off as a force to be reckoned with. He’s a good guy, yes and we like him, yes.

   But at no point is he WINNING the fight. He is hit with almost every punch and kicked around like a hacky-sack ball while Metropolis is being destroyed. The only thing he seems capable of, is taking a beating which explains General Zod’s dismissive arrogance toward him. Tens of thousands of the people are being killed yet Superman can’t seem to find a way to turn things around.

   One last comment on this movie. They updated the Superman legend as well as the extent of his powers yet for some reason they decided to keep the eye glasses disguise after most of the world has watched him fight Zod.

   Really? In 2013 where most people wear contacts, or eliminate the need with Lasik surgery, Clark still wears glasses. I’m sure nobody will see through that.

   So if you’re expecting an Avengers or an Iron Man entertaining epic, this isn’t it. Marvel Studios understands how to make a superhero movie, just like JJ Abrams knows how to make a Star Trek movie.

   Man of Steel is more like Rocky 3

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Here’s a Very Simple Way to Make Money

      In previous posts I mentioned that I would be setting up a site that would help those who are having a hard time financially to make some money.

   The thing is, the last time a real ass-kicking money making opportunity opened up was months ago and I was still behind on the learning curve and didn’t know how to take advantage of it. Fortunately, I was smart enough to see its value and bought it.

   I’ll probably have my own version up and running in a couple of weeks and will put it on the new site once its ready. It won’t be expensive but it will take you by the hand and lead you to the financial promised land.

   Seriously, this product will change your life.

   In the meantime, another ass-kicking money making opportunity has opened up and if you want to make some real money, very simply, then click on the link and watch the video below.  

   When I was very new to affiliate marketing a mentor explained to me the importance of only selling products people want to buy. He said ‘I like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches but when I go fishing, I put worms on the hook not peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.’

   Well ladies and gentlemen, this product is a fresh can of worms and believe me the fish are biting!  

   But there IS a catch.

   This product will only be available for the next few days. It comes down June 19th 2013 and it won’t be available again. Because that's the way Eric Holmlund and his partners promote their products. They roll them out in a big way, give everyone a chance to get on board for a week to ten days, then close it down, keeping only the  support and refund sites available for contact.  

   You WILL be amazed. One product they offer that you can promoted has 2,740,000 Google searches per MONTH. Imagine the money you can make with that amount of traffic? So click on the link below and watch the video

  How do I know it won’t be available again somewhere down the road? Because once I understood how valuable the first product I bought was, I tried to market it through the Clickbank site. But the 7 days were up and the product was GONE.

   I’m still ticked at myself for missing that opportunity.

   So I emailed Eric Holmlund, the millionaire affiliate who creates these products and asked him to inform me IMMEDIATELY the minute he puts out a new product because so far every product he’s offered is AMAZING, ridiculously UNDER PRICED, GUARANTEED to work or you get a COMPLETE REFUND, no questions asked.

   Trust me on this, you can’t go wrong.

   So that’s all I’m going to say. Just click the link below, watch the video and be as freakin amazed as I was. But REMEMBER, it WILL BE GONE FOR GOOD after June 19th 2013. So take a moment to bookmark this link if you want to get your spouse’s opinion and by all means forward this link to your friends for their input. It’s a GREAT OFFER so don’t delay.   

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Future of Books!

Hi gang!
Sorry if I’ve not been blogging as regularly as usual but I am in the middle of creating an independent website that will be dedicated to helping authors get started as well as helping those already established improve their product and marketing.
If you come here and discover that the blog hasn’t been updated please be patient, I’ll resume regular postings as soon as I complete this new project.

Here’s is the name of the site and the headline picture. What do you think?
Should I go with the top one or the bottom?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Good Books and Beating Starving Artist Syndrome

   I’ve spent a good portion of my life in starving artist mode. Not that I regret any of it, as we always managed to scrape up enough to make the bills and feed and dress the kids but the annoying part was that I was almost always in the situation where I wasn’t sure where my next buck was coming from.

   As a musician I’d have gigs every night for weeks then nothing. Go on tour then, BOOM something happened and the money was gone. You spend every free minute perfecting your craft hoping that someday someone will pick you out from a crowd and launch you into a world of fame and fortune.

   And that last sentence is the reason why there are starving artists. Whether you’re a singer-songwriter or an illustrator or a novelist or a painter, or whatever form of art you practice, we’re stuck in the position of trying to get noticed and promoted by word of mouth. Why? Because if we went around telling everyone what a good singer or author or sculptor we are, we’d be dismissed out of hand because that’s considered bragging or even worse, the ravings of an egomaniac.

   Mohammed Ali once said, “It ain’t bragging if you can actually do it!”

   Maybe so, but that has never been my experience. In the many years I’ve performed before the public, I’ve learned the average person resents talented people, unless of course their circle of friends are touting you as an amazing piece of work, then you’ll be accepted because most people believe that, in order to get along, you got to go along.

   There is no middle ground, my friends. In the creative profession the people are either at your feet or at your throat.

   I remember as a kid listening to rock and roll radio in the late hours of Friday night. After each song some announcer would bellow SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY! At Motorcraft Speedway, Monster Trucks breathing fire! Featuring the ELIMINATOR! SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY! What would follow was a commercial for Denison clothing just two miles off the Jersey Turnpike, absolutely the best clothing at the best prices. The first 50 customers get free tickets to Motorcraft Speedway, SUNDAY. SUNDAY, SUNDAY!

   This kind of shameless self promotion is called advertising. It is universally accepted by nearly all cultures, and businesses that don’t advertise are companies you DON’T invest in.

   I can’t imagine Emily Dickenson shouting “SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY! I’ll be performing my poetry at the Motorcraft Speedway! Children under 12 free! The first 50 get a free 10% discount coupon for any pair of footwear at Denison’s!”

   No, seriously can’t see that happening. Primarily because she’s dead but you get the point.

   So how do we get our creative enterprises before the public without appearing as shameless self promoters with more ego than talent?

   Mostly we get other people to showcase us. Singer-song writers get featured at benefits to free the Willy’s, the Chicago sevens and the people of Tibet. 

   Writers give talks at libraries; donate books to charity and children hospitals. Artists display their art on the walls of coffee houses and underground galleries. All of them hoping their hard work will be seen and appreciated and maybe, just maybe, a buzz will be created, people will notice and your career will catch fire.

   But it doesn’t happen. Why? Because unlike others promoting their products, artist are expected to live lives of quiet desperation, in lofts and unheated flats where they suffer from some sort of respiratory ailment while they create the masterpieces that will become world famous and will fetch millions at auctions…

  Once they’re dead.

   Frankly, I’d much prefer to be loved and appreciated while I’m alive and able to spend some of the millions my work generates. So have a look at my books on the slideshow above. Click on a title and read a sample from Amazon.


   Because I’m actually very good and I need more people to know that.

   Is that so bad?

   And should you be a blog reviewer who would like a PDF of one of my books e-mail me at and I’ll send it to you   

Friday, June 7, 2013

My Wal-Mart Glimpse into the Future

   Just so you know, this post isn’t going to be a rant on Wal-Mart’s business practices, or on the people that shop there (I sometimes do myself) or that the Walton family heirs are on the top 20 richest people in the world list.

   It’s about the future.

   Recently my posts have been about how the job market has changed, how the economy has changed and how the middle class employee is being made obsolete.

   I was in Wal-Mart the other day purchasing a 6 pack of beer when I noticed that approximate 1/3 of the cashier aisles had been closed off and the machines removed.

   I asked a Wal-Mart employee about it and she explained that those manned cashier aisles were being replaced by automatic checkout machines. For those unfamiliar, they are computerized machines that you, as the purchaser, run the bar code of the product past the barcode reader, which tallies up your bill. Then you pay by inserting your card or cash into the machine.

   These eight new machines will replace 7 cashiers (one will remain to oversee the process and to punch in the code when a customer wants to buy alcohol or tobacco products.)

   How many of you remember gas station attendants? When was the last time you saw one?

   Those cashiers will be losing their jobs. (In fact, when I asked my cashier if she was concerned that her job was being phased out, she was stunned, obviously not having considered the possibility. Then she said, “Well, I’m the best cashier they have on the line, they won’t be replacing me.”

   I believe that paraphrased line was once said by one John Henry, the Steel Driving man.

   I am in the process of creating two new Ari Publishing websites. The first one will focus on supplying new authors with the knowledge, products, software and marketing tools they’ll need to get their books in the hands of new readers.

   There are too many Print on Demand and vanity press scams that con new authors into thinking that by signing with them, their novel will miraculously rocket to the top of the best seller lists.

   It won’t. In fact, in order to make any money at all the author has to sell it at an unrealistically high price. In addition the product is poorly produced, has a cookie cutter cover and ordinary graphics. At the new Ari Publishing website we’ll show them how to produce a novel they can be proud of and sell at fair market value.

   And regarding the publishing industry itself, well, the sales statistics are beyond grim; in reality you can almost hear it’s death knell. Here are some of the stats following the introduction of the electronic reader from the American Association of Publishers (AAP): 

   In February 2007 adult hardcover sales were $111.9 million. It dropped steadily over the next few years until February 2011 where it hit a record low of $46.2 million. Paperbacks have dropped as drastically from $128.8 million in 2006 to $81 million in 2011. Mass market books have plummeted 50% since 2008!

   On the other hand during the 2012 holiday season, purchases of electronic reading devices DOUBLED. Ebook sales have more than made up the difference with audio books rapidly gaining market share. In 2013 ebooks and audio books sold more copies (downloads) than hardcover, paperback and mass market books combined!

   The reasons are obvious. If you’re stuck inside on a dreary day with nothing to read, you’re out of luck. With an electronic reading device you can instantly download nearly any book you want. If the print is too small, with a book, you are again out of luck. With an ebook you simply push a button to increase print size. 

   If you have to drive somewhere, the book gets closed. With an ebook reader like Kindle you simply switch to narrate and the kindle electronic voice will read the book to you as you drive. Want to lay on the couch and read? After a few minutes your arms start giving out under the weight of that hardcover. Kindles and Nooks weight less than most paperbacks and are less than ¼ inch thick.

   My point? If you are seriously considering a career as a author, you’ll have a far better chance at breaking into the industry if you have garnered a loyal following with your inexpensive self-published ebook than you will with any POD or vanity press novel especially if you’re an unknown trying to catch a break.

   I’ll give out the link when the site opens and I hope all my writing buddies will stop by and look around.  

   The second site will be constructed to help those who have been downsized and haven’t been able to secure another well-paying steady job. There, anyone who wants to learn how to sell products over the internet can learn how. I recently did a 10 part series that was so well received, I’ve decided to make it a regular thing.

   One last note. Thanks to all of you that downloaded Storytime over the past few days. I hope you enjoy it as much as all the other readers did, and if you do, please write a quick review here:

  Talk to you soon,