Places to Market eBooks

I picked up a couple of things from Writer’s Cafe’ at Kindle Boards. A lot of people talk about free promotions, where you list your ebook as free of charge for up to five days on Kindle, and as large numbers of people download it, its “fame” picks up, and the author tends to get a certain number of incidental sales after the free promotion. I was seeing figures something this: for every 5,000 copies given away, the author tended to get maybe 500-700 sales. It seemed to work for a lot of people, but a better way appears to be using sites like Bookbub to promote a discounted book, and build some real excitement and readership that way. An idea one writer mentioned was to buy the ad from Bookbub when you have two or more books on Kindle, so that your other titles get residual sales from people buying your new title. They’re there anyway, so some buy your other books. Brilliant.

One thing the Writer’s Cafe’ authors talk about at length is getting reviews. So when you read a book by an indie author, please provide them with a review on Amazon.com, Goodreads.com and/or other places where people buy indie books.

And thanks!

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Virtual Silence Character Profile: California Dream Wilson-Cox

Callie is probably the most complex character in Virtual Silence. She has to go on a long journey to find herself, to discovery who she really is. And when she comes to some conclusions about herself, she takes an even longer journey back home; gets lost, faces a monster, and gets rescued by a pistol-packing older lady.

Harry Bones thinks Callie is his girlfriend, but Callie isn’t even sure she’s straight. She mixes drinks at a sleazy bar in Oakland, but somehow feels at home there, at least temporarily.

The novel is about human beings finding their spot in a difficult world, but Callie’s story is perhaps the fractal microcosm of the bigger story. Too bad about her parents being total drug snorfs. Doink that!

Virtual Silence Character Profile: Simon DeMont

Simon was the first character I imagined for this book. In fact, the dream he has toward the end of the story is from a dream I had years ago.

Simon is the Key Screening Person (HR Director) for the Amalgamate United Corporate, which does so many things, for some many people (yada yada yada). He does the hiring, orientation, personnel reviews and firings. It’s his job to hold everyone’s professional fate in his hands and stand aloof, like he could not care less. But that’s just not his personality.

He’s also in love with Morgan Vale, but too scared to say anything, in case she thinks he’s gross or evil. Or worse, she could discover that he really does like Air Supply and Neil Diamond.

Virtual Silence Character Profile: Harry Bones

Harry Bones (pronounced Bonus) is the innocent young savage in Virtual Silence. He’s worked fast food and grocery stores. Now it’s time for a grown up job in a Brave New World, where the unemployed are shipped off to be slaves in Mexico.

The love of his life is Cally, who is far away in California now, as Harry starts his first day at work at The Amalgamate United Corporation, which does so many things, for so many people; All at Once.

Harry just wants a paycheck. And he doesn’t speak Spanish.

Someone once said that all of our fictional characters are really just small parts (or big ones) of the writer’s psyche. If so, then Harry is that part we try so hard to hide when we’re older: I was never that naive!

Yes, you were.

Virtual Silence Character Profile: Art Smith

Art is that young, single, clean-shaven, flat-topped up-and-comer with an MBA who got stuck taking notes for the wrong boss. He watches everything. He notices everyone and what they are doing. It’s not because he’s an eagle-eyed opportunist. It’s because his job is to write down everything Tim Dank says on a yellow legal pad from the moment Dank arrives in the morning until he goes home at night. It is also his job to write down everything anyone says to Dank on a yellow legal pad all day.

But at home he is an artist, a painter, a story teller. Unfortunately, his mutt dog Proletariat is his only audience.

Art has two important “Come to Jesus” moments in the book. I like him so much, I am putting him in another of my novels. But we’ll talk about that later.

Morality is About What You Do, Not Where You Sit

Recently, a person I respect, who professes a certain religious perspective, said they were tired of welfare moms and others who seemed to believe that they were entitled to certain government benefits. Ok, a lot of religious people I respect have said pretty much the same thing. And I agreed that, to some degree, government handouts, whether to individuals or to corporations, foster a sense of dependency. Look how upset business-types get when legislatures advise they are going to cut corporate tax breaks. How dare they?

Individuals on government benefits also get pretty upset when said benefits are reduced or eliminated.

I’m not advocating that we try our best to get more people on welfare (or more corporations). But I am troubled when any religious people advocate turning our community backs on people in need. I seem to recall a Jewish gentleman from  Galilee who advocated helping everyone you can, including giving them the shirt off your back. I actually do see some religious people acting and thinking that way, and I hope they know they are appreciated.

But there seems to be a sense of moral entitlement among many religious people, that says basically this: I am the moral elite because I practice this religion. My practice of said religion actually makes my choices morally elite. Therefore, whatever I choose to do, because I am a religious person, is the will of God.

No, it isn’t.

The will of God, whatever your religious proclivities, is for you to live a good life, be a positive influence to your family, your neighbors and your community, and show some appreciation and humility for your life and all the great things in it.

Maybe political parties could benefit from this thinking, too.

I bring all of this up for two reasons. One, it annoys me when people say they know their religion, but act antithetically to it. And two, this is one of the themes in my novel, Virtual Silence, which is available at amazon.com in paperback and on Kindle.

Do something good today!

Why We Blog

I think most people blog for selfish reasons. Don’t take that wrong. If no one knows you exist, then how else can you tell them? Go door to door, showing off your poems, photos, recipes, indie news reports? I don’t think I want to sell my novel that way.

But I want to sell my novel: Virtual Silence. It’s about a huge corporation taking over the world, our governments, our lives. It’s only a little far-fetched. Less and less so these days, I think.

It has romance, like Harry and Callie. Simon and Morgan have a great romance. Or they could, if one of them would just say something to the other one.  A little tap on the shoulder and say, “Hey, I think I love you.”

Garrison and Janna have a great romance, once they both get fired. And they meet Obadiah and Ruby, who have a fantastic romance, thanks to all the times they were nearly shot. And don’t forget Kitty and Ronnie. He launders money to buy American slaves back from a Mexican drug lord.

You have an evil villain, Tim Dank, who uses people and runs someone over in his Mercedes, but doesn’t stop. He’d own the whole stinking company if not for that fact that he talks about his illegal business dealing in his sleep, and Miami Anderson wrote it all down.

Everyone is trying to find their way, including the taxi driver, whose brother fell off a window washing scaffold, and yelled at the people below to get out of the way so he wouldn’t hurt them when he hit the pavement.

Maybe all of us can be heroes.