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Friday, August 31, 2012

Superman Dating Wonder Woman…*BLEECH*

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Nu and allegedly improved DC Universe DC Comics announces that Superman and Wonder Woman are a Supercouple.

*FACEPALM*

It’s clear to me Goeff Johns is out of ideas. So is DC Comics.

Are these professionally crafted stories or is it just glorified fanfiction getting published these days? Does anyone know how to tell a STORY at DC Comics these days?

Superman dating Wonder Woman? Seriously?

Just 12 issues into the new DC Universe. With no buildup, no storylines. No organic progression. It just happens out of the blue. A random shock event to get people talking about comics because the shine has worn off DCnU and the sales have plummeted back to the old numbers.

A random shock event to get people talking about comics they’ll NEVER BUY because….

*Wait for Shawn’s broken record….*

THEY CAN’T FIND THE DAMN THINGS AT RETAIL OUTSIDE OF A COMIC SHOP.

Flash over substance. Complete and utter bullshit.

Because the four stooges Goeff Johns, Dan Didio, Bob Harras, and Jim Lee want it, not because it has anything to do with a long-term over-reaching story arc.

These days comic books seem to be written and drawn with no sense of storytelling craft or business planning. But this is par for the course with DC Comics. Ever since Dan Didio took charge of that publishing division it has gone straight to Hell. DC comics are now just a circle jerk for over 35 White male fanboys who project themselves into the roles of the characters, not a place where quality commercial product is produced for readers of all ages.

Superman getting with Wonder woman is just them jizzing one of their wet dreams all over the pages of a DC Comic.

Now here’s the problem with Superman dating Wonder Woman: It’s all payoff with no set-up. Shock writing and shock marketing at its finest. The audience has no reason to actively invest in the story.

Any good writer worth their salt knows you don’t payoff a story too soon. It’s bad showmanship.

A good writer teases. They leave something to the reader’s imagination. They whet their appetite for more.

In this Superman/Wonder Woman romance where’s the build-up? Where’s the HEAT? Any good soap writer or romance writer will tell you that to create a supercouple the story needs to be BUILT UP over a LONG period of time. You have to develop up the characters and their interpersonal relationships. A smile. A look. A little Flirting here. A little conversation there. You have to give the audience a REASON to BUY IN. You have to give them obstacles to overcome that allow the audience to get to know them. To relate to them. To identify with them. You have to give them a reason TO CARE.

That can’t be done in just 12 issues. Look at the great comic couples. Superman and Lois Lane. Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor. Mr. Fantastic and the Invisble Woman. Ant-Man and Wasp. Ben Grimm and Alicia Masters Johnny Storm and Crystal. Dick Grayson and Starfire. Batman and Catwoman. Batman and Talia. Cyclops and Jean Grey. Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy. Spider-Man and Black Cat. Spider-Man and Mary Jane. Tony Stark and Whitney Frost. Bruce Banner and Betty Ross. Cyclops and Emma Frost. It took YEARS to build up the romance, the chemistry and the attraction between these characters. To emotionally invest the reader in their stories. To make them CARE enough to keep buying until the story PAID OFF with that DEFINING MOMENT where they professed their love for each other.

As the writers built up the readers’ anticipation of will they/won’t they get together it got people talking. Telling their friends how great these comics were. That’s what sold comics.

Not another poorly planned event with some shock marketing wrapped around it.

And this event just makes Shawn roll his eyes.

Because it shows him that the people running DC Comics just don’t get it. Wrap the iconic characters up in new costumes and place them in a new universe, but the writing and art still is just as poorly planned and executed as Identity Crisis was in 2004.

The way Superman and Wonder Woman become a couple in DCnU isn’t something special. It’s just business as usual. Throwing shit on a wall and hoping something sticks. A desperate attempt to get people excited about comics without giving them a reason to care about them. Attention whoring masquerading as marketing.

Didio Fiddles as DC Burns. Johns is on Bass. Harras is on drums and Jim Lee is on the tambourine.

Shawn feels sorry for the next editor in chief/publisher/whoever who has to come in and clean up the shitpile at DC Comics when the four stooges finally get their walking papers. The long-term systemic damage these four idiots are doing to the DC Comics brand may be irreparable. Thanks to these guys and their mismanagement of DC Comics a generation of kids may never discover how great DC Comics and DC Comics characters are.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

LAST WEEKEND FOR SUMMER YA eBOOK EXCLUSIVES!


This is the last week for Summer YA eBook exclusives! All titles are FREE until September 1st on Smashwords: After September 1st, all the YA eBook exclusives go up to 99 cents!










And Isis: Trial of the Goddess will be leaving the KDP Select program going back into full distribution On Smashwords & Barnes & Noble September 3rd!  Nook readers get ready for the start of the Isis saga!









Also All About Nikki-Three Episodes From the Fabulous First Season has left the KDP Select program and is back in full distribution!  with Smashwords and Barnes & Noble. So Nook readers if you want to try out the Nikki scripts but don't want to commit to all 13 episodes The sample pack is here!













And September 2nd is your LAST CHANCE for a FREE copy of All About Marilyn on Kindle!  After September 2nd you'll have to pay 99 cents for the five-star screenplay!















I want to thank everyone for downloading a copy of my eBooks over the Summer and taking the time to read my work. I hope you enjoyed them.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Why Real Men avoid Single Mothers



Real men don’t date single mothers.

Why? Because dating a single mother is just a HEADACHE. Dealing with these women is a recipe for drama, drama, and more drama. Seriously, these women are just not worth the grief. They’re stranded in 18+ years of Hell and they’re looking for someone to be company to join them in their misery.

Why should a man avoid a single mother? Let me list the numerous reasons.

Never Available A single Mother’s schedule is never open. Single mothers are the kind of women to always cancel dates at the last minute. Something always gets in the way of a man spending time with her. It’s hard to have a relationship with her because she’s never there.

YOU are NOT a priority. Usually in a relationship the man winds up DEAD LAST. Behind, her kids, her job, the car, the kitchen sink, the stopped up toilet. Even the dog gets more attention and affection than a man involved with a single mother. Any man who gets involved with a single mother winds up a fifth stringer in a relationship. And he rarely ever gets called up to play.

Thinks the world revolves around HER and ONLY HER. A single mother is one of the biggest narcissists on the dating scene. She often thinks that a man has to drop everything in his life to be part of hers and her kids. They’re so selfish they don’t think a man has needs, wants or a life of his own. He’s just supposed to be there to give her everything she wants in life.

Emotionally Unavailable- Most Single mothers cannot form an intimate connection with a man because her feelings are invested in other people. Usually her primary focus is on her children.

In addition to dedicating herself to her children, most single mothers have given their hearts to someone else- their children’s father. And those feelings she still has for him will always prevent her from getting closer to you. There will always be some distance between a single mother and the new man in her life.

The ex/ Baby Daddy is ALWAYS THERE. A man just doesn’t deal with a single mother. He deals with her ex or her baby daddy as well. And this guy is always hovering around like a helicopter looking to cockblock you. Some of these guys still think they have a shot at getting back with her. Others just don’t want to see her happy. A lot of these dudes want to fight over her.

Seriously, it’s a game they’re playing with each other. And they’ll be playing that game with each other until their children turn 18 or 21. Head for the exit. It’s just not worth dealing with this fool and his insecure bullshit.

The kids are working AGAINST YOU When dealing with a single mother you also deal with Kids. Kids who still in their little heart of hearts think that Dad will come back and love them.
Seriously, GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE.
Those kids will HATE YOU. They will act out to keep you from getting closer to mommy. They will make accusations against you to get you in trouble. Again, it’s just not worth dealing with the bullshit to get with a female. There are four billion women in the world. You can find a quality female who doesn’t carry all this baggage or give you this much grief.

Entitled attitude Single mothers think because she had a baby out of wedlock the world owes her EVERYTHING. And she thinks she’s the one who deserves the best. Even though she’s usually collecting welfare, food stamps, or child support, in eyes she’s still supposed to be treated like she’s a queen because she popped a kid out of her vagina.

In their deluded distorted vision of the world Men are still supposed to take her out to the finest restaurants and buy them lots of expensive stuff. And he’s supposed to take care of her kids too, buying them whatever they want while taking a blind eye to their bad behavior.

Distorted self-image Single mothers still thinks she’s as sexy like she was before she had a baby. Only she doesn’t understand how her body has changed. In some cases for the worse.

Single mothers are the type to try to squeeze themselves into sexy outfits like low-rise jeans and cropped T-shirts to show off their belly button, not seeing the muffin top and stretch marks squeezing out over the top of their pants. They’re the type to stuff themselves into slinky spandex dresses, (not aware of that gut, and the cellulite on their asses) and head out to the club. She thinks men are supposed to run up on her offering to buy her drinks. And because a few thirsty simps step to her, she thinks she’s still got it. But the only people who wants what she has to offer are scavengers at the bottom of the social scene.

Always the victim. Single Mothers never take responsibility for their actions. The situation they’re in is always the fault of that “no good man”, “these damn kids” their mother or someone else. They never take any time to do any self-examination or make any efforts to change their lives. They’re still looking for some Rich Incredibly Handsome Man™ to put on a cape and play Captain Save-A-Hoe™, sweep her off her feet and take her out of the troubling situation she helped make.

Jekyll & Hyde Personality. A single mother will be the sweetest thing when a man first dates her, but a few months into a relationship she turns into a NUTJOB. A man will usually see glimpses of this when she chastises her kids when he first meets them. During that meeting she’ll yell at them and bully them to get them to act right while praising a man like he’s an angel.

It’s all an act. Heaven will turn into Hell around the six month mark.

Once a single mother gets a man settled into her life it’s not common for her to start verbally abusing him and mocking him as she projects all that pent-up rage from those previous failed relationships onto him. And it’s usually around this point that most men realize why this woman is single and why it’s time for him to hit the exit door.

Drama Queen. Because a single mother always sees herself as a victim of society, she’s always talking about her problems. And she always has a new trouble to bring everyone. There’s never a good day in the life of a single mother because there’s always some new crisis about to emerge in her life.

The reason single mothers need the drama is because it makes them feel important. It makes people pay attention to them. And when Captain-Save-A-Hoe™ is doting on them trying to solve their problems it makes them feel an artificial sense of value. They need that value to deflects people’s attention from how pathetic their lives actually are.

Manipulative In most cases, a single mother has no interest in a man she’s dating. In a lot of cases she’s just using a guy as a pawn.

In most cases she’s dating to make her Baby Baddy jealous. Deep down in her heart of hearts she believes that if she’s seen with someone else who sees her as valuable that he’ll see her as valuable and take her back.

In other cases when she’s not trying to get a rise out of Baby Daddy she’s playing the sympathy card™ using a guy to get gifts, free dinners and free drinks out of him. To a single mother, The men in her lives are just human ATM machines where she whispers a sweet nothing in his ear like a PIN number and money comes out of his wallet.

And because she’s a drama queen who loves to play the victim, the Single mother plays to men’s emotions to get them to react in the way she wants. It’s not common for a single mother to tell her man man about her baby daddy so he can go fight him. Or pit two baby daddies against each other. Many a man has wound up either dead or in prison because a single Mother played the victim card™.

Dishonest. A single mother is a LIAR. It’s how she gets what she wants. It’s how she manipulates people. It’s how she takes care of her kids. It’s how she survives in this world.

Single mothers lie. And they LIE ALL THE TIME. They lie to men about their age, their height, their weight, how many kids they have, the job they do.

On top of the lies they tell to others They lie to themselves. They lie about about how beautiful they are. They lie telling themselves they’re still a catch. They lie telling themselves they still have a chance with a good man. They lie telling themselves that their lives will be happily ever after one day.

The horrible truth is without those lies most of those single mothers would realize how pathetic their lives are. How they have no options in the dating scene. That they’re at the bottom of the barrel in the dating scene and the only men who want them are pathetic Manginas and thirsty Simps.

Carries Baggage, baggage and more baggage A single mother has more issues than Time and Newsweek combined. And when she’s looking for a man, she’s not looking for an equal caring partner. She’s looking for a Pullman Porter™ to take care of her kids, and clean up her messes with her childrens’ father. Brothers, don’t let yourself get sized up for the white jacket and the bow tie!

Anyway, dealing with a single mother is like walking through a minefield. After several months of being involved with her, it leaves a man anxious and tense because he doesn’t know where to step that won’t lead to an explosion that kills him.

That’s why Real Men avoid single mothers like disease.

Real men understand life is too short to put up with someone’s drama and their emotional baggage. We only have a limited time on God’s Earth and who wants to spend it being a Pullman Porter cleaning up someone else’s messes. As I stated before in a previous blog, let that woman take her run over Jimmy Choos and clean up her own mess. She made her bed, now let her lie in the wet spot.

Don’t date single mothers and don’t waste your time with them. There are four billion women in this world. If you’re patient, you’ll find a good one. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stop the Violence…No, Stop the BULLSHIT



In the wake of the numerous shootings here in New York City, community leaders are making calls to stop the violence.

Shawn says stop the bullshit.

Twenty years ago when I was a teenager in the South Bronx during the crack epidemic, there were similar calls for the violence to stop. Back then over 2,200 people were murdered and thousands more victims of gunfire that plagued New York City Streets.

After all those rallies and marches all those people had were sore feet and sore throats. The violence still continued. Because all people did was go and release some anger at the protest but made no active efforts to make changes in their communities.

Instead of making calls to stop the violence I say people should just stay angry. Maybe it’ll make them passionate enough to do something in their communities outside of paying lip service.

Instead of protesting to stop the violence How about we:

Stop promoting Thug Culture. Want to know why there are so many shootings in the inner-city? Because people in the neighborhood keep promoting Hyper-masculinized images of Thugs, gang bangers and other assorted criminals as the ideal image of manhood in the inner-city.

And because people in the community promote this image, many young boys identify with this image as to what a “real” man is. Others dress and act like this to get the attention of girls who are also misled to what a man is.

Many don’t know that this image is FAKE and MADE UP by people in Madison Avenue and Hollywood. That it’s a caricature created to sell products to them like those $200 sneakers and $50,000 Escalades. Moreover, it’s created to keep them from competing in academic circles like high school and college and making real money and building wealth that will improve the quality of life for people in the inner-cities.

I guarantee you if Brothers going to college and starting their own businesses as the ideal, many an inner-city male would stop trying to be thugs and go a different route. Maybe even the homicide rate would go down in the Black community.

Stop Supporting gangs, dope boys and other assorted thugs. Many of the very same people who are protesting the violence are covertly supporting it. They’re the ones paying lip service at the rallies and crying when their friends die, but flash gang signs any other time. The ones who cry over children who are shot but have gang members in their homes selling weed. They’re the parents who enable their kids to bully and recruit kids into gangs in local schools.

If inner-city residents really wanted to stop the violence, they’d stop enabling the criminals and the criminal activity they bring to the community. You can’t stop the violence in a community if you’re actively participating it. Moreover you can’t ask to stop the violence in a community if you’re actively enriching yourself from it.

Stop being afraid of your children. If all the parents in the community put their foot down and told their kids they weren’t going to be in a gang, there wouldn’t be any gangs in the inner-city. The reason so many kids are in gangs are because parents are afraid of them.

If enough parents in the community put their foot down and told their kids that if they joined a gang they would be put out of the house, they’d quit that gang in a minute. Those children would be so scared they’d disband that gang in an instant. After a few days on the streets with no home and no food, and no money, they wouldn’t even think of uttering the word Crip or Blood. But too many adults are too scared of their children to enforce such tough love on them to get them in line.

Personally, I believe parents are too scared of ACS and Child abuse laws. It’s time to start regulating on these kids and enforcing the strict discipline they need to become functional adults. A child isn’t a thug or a gangsta. They’re just parroting the bullshit Madison Avenue and Hollywood are telling them. They’re you’re children. Tell them something different. And if they won’t hear that, break a foot off in their ass. It’s better for you to put a shoe in their behind than have the police put a bullet in their back a few later and say it was a justified shooting.

Men need to Stop acting So Bitch-Made™. Want to know why so many innocent people get shot? Because Bitch-Made™ males get bested in a fight or laughed at and can’t take it like men. In the face of social humiliation these emotional cowards run away (sometimes crying) and go get a gun then come back and start shooting. In their attempts to get revenge innocent people wind up in the crossfire because these little baby boys can’t handle the little pressures in life. LIFE IS HARD. MAN THE FUCK UP.

Stop Trickin’. One reason why so many dudes pull out a gun in a club is because they’re fighting over a woman. Only both these fools don’t know that they’re probably being played. They’re both so thirsty for some ass they can’t see the bigger picture.

Neither man understands that both of them are going to lose. When the smoke clears, one man is dead, the other is in jail. And the chick they were both fighting over is out taking advantage of two other men. Dudes need to understand that no woman is worth fighting over. She’s not going to do your time or give you your life back.

Men need to stop being so damn Macho. Another reason why so many men pull out a gun and start shooting is because they think they’re so macho. When in actually just insecure. They can’t stand someone looking at their girl. They can’t stand someone talking to their girl. And because they have no self-confidence, they have to hide behind a fake tough guy veneer and start fights over nonsense, and pull guns on people so they can look like a badass. If these baby boys would stop being so insecure about their manhood maybe it’d save a life or two. It might even save their own.

Stop getting so emotional. On the streets people get hot because someone looked at their woman. In the club they get angry because someone bumped into them or said something they didn’t like. Some go crazy when someone just looks at them. Instead of just walking away like an adult, they let their emotions get the better of them. They lose it and in some cases they lose their lives or wind up doing prison time. People need to stop letting their emotions get the better of them. Count to ten, walk around the block. Do something before they do something they regret. It only takes a moment of anger to do something that can cost a person 10-25 years of their life in prison.

Stop drinking until you’re drunk. There’s nothing wrong with having a drink. But in a lot of cases of street violence many people are either drunk or high out of their minds. Because of this they’re not thinking straight, they make rash decisions that have lifetime ramifications for others and themselves. If people would stop drinking until they were drunk on the weekends maybe it’d save a life or two.

Stop getting high. Most of the crimes committed in the inner-city are done by individuals who are high on weed laced on cocaine, PCP or people on cocaine or other narcotic substance. If people would stop drugging then their inhibitions wouldn’t be lowered and they wouldn’t go out and commit the stick-ups, shootings and stabbings that fill police blotters on Friday and Saturday night.  

Start bringing in your kids at a reasonable hour. Many shootings happen way after midnight. And at that time I’ve seen eight and nine year old children out in the park or on the streets when they should be at home in bed. How about parents start insisting their kids come in at a reasonable hour. No child under the age of twelve should be out on the street after eight. And no teenager should be out on the streets after eleven. Maybe so many kids wouldn’t be caught in the cross-fire if people brought them in at a reasonable hour. And maybe so many kids wouldn’t get into trouble if they were at home at a reasonable hour.  

Start enforcing discipline. Want to stop kids from acting out and participating in violence? Enforce discipline on them. Impose curfews. And if you have to tear that ass up with a belt.

Start finding out what your kids are doing. Want to find all those illegal guns? Do a search of their stuff. Want to find that weed? Look around in their rooms. Or just talk to your kids. Until they turn 18, they are your responsibility. Find out what those kids are doing and what they’re involved in.

Stop with the bullshit.  We shouldn’t have to wait for someone to get shot to do something. No, stopping the violence shouldn’t be a reactive thing. Instead it should be proactive. Moreover, it should be something everyone does every day.

We don’t need poverty pimp activists to rally us or get us to march in the street. We don’t need more calls for a stronger police presence. We’ve been calling for that stuff for close to 40 years and our communities continue to get worse with each passing generation.

No, people in the inner-city need to get their stuff together and stop making excuses for their irresponsible behavior and the irresponsible behavior of their children. It’s the little things ALL of us in the ghetto do that have a big impact on the quality of life for everyone. If we all made small efforts each day towards maintaining our neighborhoods then the violence would stop.

Inner-city residents can’t ask the police or anyone else to clean up their community. No, that starts with us. We need to stop protesting for the police to give us safer streets and start making efforts to make our neighborhoods safe for ourselves.

Don’t Stop the Violence. Stop the Bullshit. Clean up your own neighborhoods. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Last Chance for Summer YA eBook exclusives and Some KDP exclusives!

This is the last week for Summer YA eBook exclusives! All titles are FREE until September 1st on Smashwords: After September 1st, all the YA eBook exclusives go up to 99 cents!










And Isis: Trial of the Goddess will be leaving the KDP Select program going back into full distribution On Smashwords & Barnes & Noble September 3rd!  Nook readers get ready for the start of the Isis saga!









Also All About Nikki-Three Episodes From the Fabulous First Season has left the KDP Select program and is back in full distribution!  with Smashwords and Barnes & Noble. So Nook readers if you want to try out the Nikki scripts but don't want to commit to all 13 episodes The sample pack is here!













And September 2nd is your LAST CHANCE for a FREE copy of All About Marilyn on Kindle!  After September 2nd you'll have to pay 99 cents for the five-star screenplay!















I want to thank everyone for downloading a copy of my eBooks over the Summer and taking the time to read my work. I hope you enjoyed them. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

What Transformers: The Movie Taught Me About Writing


 In 1986 Hasbro released Transformers: The Movie. For them it was supposed to be a place where they could retire old characters and introduce customers to new characters. Their Brilliant plan back then was to make the new characters more appealing was to show all the old beloved characters being killed off in a violent and gory fashion.

It was a DISASTER.

The movie bombed so badly it only made $5 million at the box-office.

Many kids who did pay to see the movie left the theater upset. Many were crying about the death of Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Ratchet, Prowl, and Starscream.

Older kids like myself were just apathetic. That movie gave us the incentive to grow up and move on to stuff like girls, sex and clothes.

The damage to the Transformers brand in America was so extensive that it didn’t recover for nine years. Needless to say No one cared about Rodimus Prime, Kup, Wheelie, Arcee Galvatron, Headmasters, Targetmasters, Powermasters, Action Masters or any of that crap because it shelfwarmed like no tomorrow back in the late 1980s here in the South Bronx. I still remember seeing G1 Powermaster Optimus Prime for $14.99 at Woolworth’s and Trypticon and SkyLynx at a Korean store for $20. I remember seeing action masters at Forbidden Planet for just $1. 

And these were toys that went for $50+ a retail.

Thanks to the damage the movie did the Transformers Brand fell off for close to a decade. It didn’t start rebuilding momentum until 1996 when Hasbro released the Beast Wars line with new characters and a new storyline.

The valuable lesson I learned back in 1986 after watching Transformers: The Movie is that killing off old favorites may seem shocking in the short term, but in the long-term all it does is alienate people.

What Hasbro didn’t understand back then is that viewers built a relationship with those characters over the course of two years. That they saw these characters as friends. And some identified with them and their personality traits.

To them, watching friends they had grown close to killed off so indifferently in just a few minutes time was emotionally devastating. In some ways it was like watching a loved one die right before their eyes.

Sure, it was the horrors of war, but a small child watching their friends die horrible deaths onscreen is pretty traumatizing.

And after watching a friend die on the silver screen, it’s hard to get excited about buying a bunch of new toys or watching a new cartoon based on them.

That’s why all those new and improved Transformers like Rodimus Prime did so poorly at retail.

Needless to say at the young age of thirteen I learned it wasn't smart to not kill off popular characters in such a brutal and violent fashion. 

Moreover, I learned it wasn't smart to try to push new characters on a traumatized audience. Because they're grieving the loss of their friends All they're going to do is instantly reject the new characters and the new concept.  

At 38 I’ve learned to value the relationships my audience of readers have shared with the characters I’ve created.

I still regret killing off E’steem at the end of Isis all the way in 2002. But I quickly realized the error of my actions and brought her back in The Temptation of John Haynes once I saw her potential as a character.

As I’ve grown in my craft, I’ve learned that the readers’ relationship with the characters is important. And I can’t be indifferent to the personal connection readers have formed with their characters over the course of a story or a series of stories. When the reader forms enough of an emotional connection to care about a character or a story, they tell other people about that story. They tell them where to buy the books.

That word-of-mouth can make or break a writers’ career.

It may be the writers’ right to kill off their characters, but it’s the readers’ right to stop spending their money buying that authors’ books. While it may be shocking to kill, cripple, or mutilate a popular character at first to spark slow sales and generate general interest, it’s going to cost a writer readers long-term.

If readers feel betrayed by the death of a popular character, they stop buying that writers’ books. That anger can easily cost a writer sales of a new book, especially if it’s part of a series.

Now the writer can introduce a new version of a character or a even bring the old character back in another book to remedy the situation with alienated readers, but the damage is done. Even after the "return" of  Optimus Prime, the Transformers franchise faltered in the United States for nine years. 

It’s hard to rebuild a relationship with a reader once it’s strained. Once a reader has that experience which sours them on a story or a series of stories, there’s a high chance that they walk away from a writer and their work permanently.

Moreover, they tell their friends to walk away from that writer’s work. Once a customer is lost it’s hard to get them back.

It took nine years to rebuild the Transformers brand in the United States and make it commercially viable again after the disaster of Transformers: The Movie.

Some writers never get that second chance after their first bad story.

As a writer I’ve come to understand that the readers’ time is precious. That every second they spend reading one of my stories is time they could spend doing something else. And I need to value their time by giving them the best reading experience possible.

And shocking the reader isn’t very entertaining. In fact it gets tedious when it’s overdone like in the case of the gratuitous violence in Transformers: The Movie.

Killing any character should only be used if it works towards the organic progression of the storyline. When a writer uses death as a plot device to get out of a jam it cheats it doesn’t make for compelling reading.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Self-publishing and promoting eBooks part 2


The great part about eBooks is that an author doesn’t have to spend thousands of dollars to promote their work. There are several proven free and no-cost tips authors can use towards promoting their eBooks and getting sales from customers. These approaches include:

Always offering free eBooks throughout the year. A self-published author should always offer a free eBook throughout the year. Free eBooks allow new readers an opportunity to sample an authors’ work and gives them a reason to try other titles in the authors catalog. A variety of free titles during busy periods like summer and the holidays can often lead to sales of other titles in the future.

Some authors have found success by offering one book for free in a series and then charging for subsequent volumes. Others have found success by splitting longer novels into smaller volumes and offering the first few chapters for free. When the customer is hooked, they pay to read the other parts of the novel.

Offering more than one title. An author who is self-publishing eBooks should always have more than one title in their catalog. After trying one title, some readers will want more. Give them a reason to come back for more!

Offering  titles at 99 cents. Authors can make their eBook prices anything they want. However, most self-published authors should set their price at 99 cents. While this price seems low, it’s a price where to most consumers feel comfortable enough incentive to take a risk and try an unproven authors’ work. At this price an author can build a word-of-mouth among readers. It’s usually those referrals that will get more readers to buy an author’s books on a regular basis.

Tie two books together. One of the most successful strategies I’ve had in selling eBooks is to serialize them. Readers who enjoyed the first book will probably take a chance on the second book in a series.

And serializing doesn’t have to be direct. An author can feature supporting characters from one story as main characters in another. Or lightly reference events from one story in another. Readers who loved the first story will definitely give that new title a try.

Smart authors aggressively utilize social media in promoting self-published eBooks. eBooks spread their word of mouth in cyberspace. And the way people know about new eBooks is through posting links on social media such as Twitter, Facebook YouTube, and Pinterest. A smart author self-publishing eBooks aggressively promotes their titles on all these social media forums every day.

The best time to promote an eBook on social media during the day is from 11AM-2PM when most people are at lunch. Most people visit social media websites during these breaks. At night an author can find a much larger audience of people on social media online from and 8-11PM Monday through Thursday and 10-11 PM on Fridays-Sundays.

The day after Christmas is the biggest day of the year when it comes to eBook sales. When an eBook self-publisher is planning their promotions they take a heavy focus on one date: December 26. Why? On Christmas day many people give Kindles, Nooks, Kobos ipods and ipads and other e-reading devices as Christmas gifts. Moreover, many people give gift cards to people who already own these devices so they can fill their e-readers with new titles, songs and TV shows.

From December 26 to Mid March is one of the biggest periods in the eBook market. It’s the perfect time for a self-published author to launch a new title or promote existing ones. With millions of people around the world looking to try out eBooks on their new devices it’s a great opportunity for an author to find an audience of readers for their titles.

The second biggest period for eBook sales is the summer. From late May to Early September is the summer reading season. It’s the second biggest sales period for eBooks. During this period lots of people go on vacation and are looking for beach books for their eReaders. It’s a great time for a self-published author to launch a mystery or a romance novel.

In addition, School is out and lots of kids are looking for titles to read to prepare for the next grade. So it’s a great time for an author to launch a Young adult novel (teenagers) Independent reader (ages 7-14) book or genre fiction like sci-fi or fantasy.

Leave the DRM (Digital Rights Management) off an eBook DRM is a software encryption that prevents readers from taking an eBook from one device to another. Some authors authorize this encryption to prevent people from pirating their eBooks and sharing them on a filesharing site.

Customers hate this software because it ties their eBooks to a single device. Many a sale has been lost of an eBook because a title has DRM attached to it. If an author is self-publishing eBooks they must understand that encoding an eBook with DRM could prevent them from reaching new readers who will refuse to buy the titles because they feature DRM encryption.

Most eBook readers want to be able to take their eBooks from device to device like from their laptop to e-reader to their cell phones. Moreover, they also want to share their eBooks with other readers. This sharing is how an author builds the word of mouth that allows them to build a larger audience.

In self-publishing eBooks and author doesn’t have to worry about piracy. Most customers would rather pay to own a legit copy of an eBook they got from a retailer like Amazon or itunes than a copy they got from Bittorrent or a filesharing site where they could get an eBook that may be a corrupted file that’s unreadable, or worse a file infected with a virus or malware.

In the changing publishing world, a savvy author can access the retail market by self-publishing eBooks. With a little hard work and some online marketing through social media author can establish a platform where they can build an audience that anticipates their next title.

If you liked this article and want to support me in selling my eBooks my work can be found on:

Amazon Kindle (numerous titles are Kindle exclusive!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Self-Publishing and Promoting eBooks 101 Part 1

This was an article previously published on francinecraft.com as a guestblog.

 eBooks are the fastest growing segment of the book market. And self-published authors are finding an audience of readers for their titles due to the low cost of setting up a title on an ePublishing website such as Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Pubit!, Apple’s itunes or Smashwords.

Self-publishing eBooks isn’t expensive nor is it difficult. All an author needs to create an eBook is Microsoft Word, some photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop Elements for their covers, an e-mail address and a bank account to deposit royalty payments in. Most e-Publishing websites such as Amazon or Pubit! will convert the Word Files to ePub or Mobi, the two leading formats used by the marketplace.

However, before an author self an author needs to understand that the formatting of an eBook is different from a traditional paperback or Hardcover. eBooks don’t have front matter. So they don’t require title pages or blank pages in between like paperbacks or hardcovers have.

Nor do they need multiple returns to create “white space” Since text shifts from device to device in an eBook, keep the formatting of an eBook simple. Small indentations, (0.3”) works best along two returns on the first page when a chapter starts and no spaces between the lines of a paragraph.

A PDF eBook like the Smashwords Style Guide will help an author format eBooks that will look great on any e-reader. (Available for free on Smashwords.com)

After formatting their eBooks an author has several venues they can self-publish and sell eBooks from. An author can take their work to Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Pubit! or Smashwords.

An author should use as many venues as possible to sell their work. Using all the eBook venues possible ensures an author can have maximum exposure for their titles. Plus venues like Smashwords allow an author access to popular eBook sites like Sony and Apple’s ibookstore.

The more venues a title is available at mean more places for readers to discover an author’s work at. And each eBookstore has its own niche audience and some titles in certain genres will sell better in some venues than others.

An author may think after self-publishing an eBook their work is done. It’s just started Formatting and publishing an eBook is only the first part of reaching the reading audience. In order for readers to find an author’s eBooks authors have to promote them. I'll share some tips on promotion in Part 2 of this blog.