Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Why Does "Poerty" sic Not Sell

"Why does poetry not sell?" a poster wondered on a forum somewhere. I thought about the question, because I too write poetry. My answer to him applies to me also.

Poetry doesn't sell well because there simply isn't a huge demand for it. When was the last time you saw a poetry book on the front table of a bookstore? In a traditional bookstore it's normally in the back on the bottom shelf. It might get some notice in April during National Poetry month. Really, is this society demanding poetry? Will there ever be a superbowl size event featuring poets? I may be wrong, but the last hurrah for poetry might have been during the 70's or mid 80's. Sure you have spoken word events, but those focus on something else besides the poetry.
Then there is the issue of who are you? Do you hang out in poetry circles online or in the physical world? Do you attend readings where you can mention your book or books? When you're selling poetry, you need to have an audience to bring with you. Much like a hairstylist might be expected to bring clients to a new shop.
There is also the matter of taste. Some people are more into form and all of the formal constructs of a poem. Some don't like "messagy" poems. Some people don't like rhyming poetry.
And now your pricing...I might pay $6.99 for a book from a poet I know something about...Amiri Baraka, Billy Collins, Rita Dove maybe, or Allen Ginsberg. If I go to a reading and if the poet "wowed" me I might buy their book.
Maybe lower your price for the ebook and save that higher price for a paperback edition.

If you're a poet or poetry lover, share your thoughts.

Americana (free) The Last Supper  Bark Too  When Dogs Bark 2

Sunday, November 17, 2013

To Be or Not to Write-That is the Question

This post's title is a parody of Shakespeare's famous "To be or not to be" line. What brought it to mind was a question on whether one should write what they feel or write what sells.  My answer is below.

I'm not sure of the answer. If you write what's close to your heart and the stories you really want to write, you better have a way to reach like-minded readers. If you're a literary kind of writer or poet, you should hang out in those circles online. Otherwise your book will sink like a lead balloon. Whatever you write, have a nice cover. But even then I don't know. This medium doesn't support great writing that might be kind of quirky and off the beaten path. If it's free, you'll get one-star reviews generally along the lines of "huh?"
A few weeks ago I was looking at all of the hundreds of reviews averaging 4.5 of a certain genre. I got angry and decided to do a parody story. Turns out it's so much like the genre in question, I decided to do a few more during  NANOWRIMO. I'll publish them under a pen name of course.
In a way, writing is kind of like acting on paper. It's true, that you have some actors who will only do classical works of Shakespeare. While others can take on any type of Broadway and off-Broadway role. So for writing, it all depends on the voices in your head. If you do step out of your normal box, use a pen name if your story is of a different gender or ethnic group than your own. What do you think?

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Sunday, November 3, 2013


Book publishing is like a seesaw. Your book goes up, down, and all around.
Your love is like a seesaw, baby. I said your book is like a seesaw, baby....





Saturday, November 2, 2013

To Free or Not to Free...That is the question

A character in one of my novels, said she was taking the "free" sign off of a certain place of her body. I'm inclined to agree with her. Bye bye free.

The Self Publishing Casino

Writing has become much like gambling these days. Who are the gamblers? Those individuals slogging in the world of self publishing. In the days before Kindles and Nooks, publishers were the gamblers and risk takers. An author spent their time, but very little  money doing what they loved. When the manuscript was completed, he shopped it around until it found someone who loved it. Those were the good ol' days. The casino was small and a very private affair that included Agents, a few handful of Publishers, and of course perhaps a thousand big name authors. Oh yeah, and Bookstores.

Now self publishing has invited everyone into the casino. We're all authors now and potential marks for the system that the eReader has spawned. Thousands go into the casino, lured by the news that Joe Block self-published their book at 99 cents and became a millionaire. What lures folks to Vegas or the many copycat versions of Vegas? The pictures lining the walls in Casinos of folks holding those million dollar checks. Wow that could be me.

Now whether planned or not, the beginning of Kindle was the beginning of the huge publishing gambling empire. All were invited in. The more who came through the door, the more devices got sold. Of course the big time operators of the publishing casino don't charge you to play. No casino does that. But you and thousands of you are  invited to bring your books and leave them on the counter. At the very least, you're going to buy one and of course your dear old mom too. If you have a decent sized social circle, you can convince five of them to buy also. In the meantime, while they're checking out your book, they're seeing many more by authors whose names they know. So basically, you're good advertising.

Author sitting at the kitchen table, also heard through the grapevine that Cindy Sue got mega rich by giving some books away. So you scream for the same privilege. Now big time Casino doesn't even have to pay you if you "win" with all of those thousands of downloads. And they've got more content they can attach advertisement to. And folks are going to pay for those books "also bought" below your book priced at "$0.00". 

So far all you've spent is time chasing your dream. But then you realize the formula isn't working for you. What could be wrong? Someone hears your plea and writes a how-to book. Thousands buy seeking to crack the code. Well the answer is ... more how-to books, more book cover/graphic artists types, more "editorial" services, more formatting and proofreading services, and more folks selling advice. Oh yeah, twitter, and facebook get a lot more traffic. So they scheme to limit your reach, but will charge you for reaching all of those people whom you've convinced on your own to follow you. Money money money.

So now the advice is to gamble more--well write more. Just like that slot machine, if you run a thousand dollars through it, it's bound to pay back a million some day. It just has to. Well let's keep trying and see. I like to play slots and I love to write. It's all the same to me. But I'm not going to pay for the privilege to do either.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lust in the Mosque

Secrets, lies, and lust. Sister Gloria's mind was everywhere and on everything, but the message.

Little brown Sister Gloria trembled and rocked, awed by the virile velocity of Minister Q as he sprayed his words like machine gun fire over the assembly. Minister Q, the "Apostle" of the "New Nation," a spin-off from the old Nation of Islam, had a "Message for America" this morning. His epistles burst from the bulging veins in his neck and shot from his tongue like bullets of venom. His congregation craned their necks forward to catch every drop. But no one was more thirsty than Sister Gloria.
Sister Gloria absorbed every drop of sweat that trickled from Minster Q's forehead, every drop soaking his white shirt and exposing the dark muscles of his chest. Sister Gloria watched the sweat soak the waistline of Minister Q's black trousers. She imagined the oily dew making his buttocks shine like onyx. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply the musk of his dangling sex. She parted her lips...

Sister Gloria's eyes popped open and she jammed her fists into her lap. She was a pure and saved sister now. However, she couldn’t drive away the funkiness of her past life--the funk of men's unwashed bodies, dollars that reeked of cigarette smoke and sweat, and stale gin on thick lips. These odors lingered in Sister Gloria's nostrils like the stench of unwashed panties. And here the young minister was ranting against the very thing poisoning Sister Gloria's thoughts this morning: Lust and filth! Sister Gloria closed her eyes. Minister Q stood in front of her naked, erect, black and shiny. She started to weep. A Sister seated next to her offered a tissue. The congregation assumed Sister Gloria was overcome by the message instead of the messenger.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Butterfly Killer

Elliot Cross is a foul mouth Serial Killer who claims to be doing what God commands him to do. His God is a very jealous creation who doesn't like people putting themselves and and their dreams before him. Exodus: "Thou Shall have no other Gods before me." Sgt. Daniels has been given the assignment to track and arrest him. However the Sergeant has his dark side. Catching Elliot might expose him also.

The Butterfly Killer. Order on AmazonSmashwords, iBookstore, and Nook Bookstore.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Road to Astroworld - A Novel

From a dream to a nightmare...The Road to Astroworld Available on Your Favorite Reading Device. Right Now Enjoy it on Your Kindle or Kindle Reading App. Kindle Owners Click Here. Also on iBooks. Click Here!


The sinner’s chair, it ain’t no laughing matter. I was reading in the paper one day that Texas was getting rid of their newest electric chair. Actually they had stopped using both of them a long time ago when they started giving folks the needle. But they kept the old one “Old Sparky” to go into the prison museum. It had executed the most men. They didn’t want the newer one. The governor at that time wanted to sell a bunch of stuff to help the state budget. That chair was thrown in the mix along with five hundred thousand jars of government peanut butter and a truckload of canned peaches. I had closed the paper up after reading about that electric chair and went to sleep. But the lord woke me up a few minutes later and told me to buy that chair. I said, “What Lord? Buy the electric chair?” He said yes for me to buy it and put it in the center of my church. Well the next day, I borrowed my husband’s truck while he was sleep and drove over to Huntsville Texas where they was selling the chair. It was sitting in a warehouse surrounded by cases labeled Peaches and stacks of peanut butter. Plus there was a lot of odds and ends which only a man might know the meaning of. Folks looked at me strange when I said I wanted to buy the electric chair instead of some peaches. I guess they had assumed I was in the pie business. But I told them I was in the preaching business and the Lord told me to buy that chair. Well they loaded it up in the back of my truck, hogtied it real good, and I paid them one-hundred nineteen dollars and forty-seven cents in cash. They threw in two cases of peaches anyway.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Odd Voices in Love

An Excerpt from the Collection of stories, Odd Voices...in Love
When I stepped back into the bedroom, Barbara was lying across the bed.  She had stopped sobbing.  She looked at me with curious kitten eyes.  I turned the radio off, got down on the floor, and did a few pushups.  I grunted loud and made sex motions as I raised my body off the floor.  I stood in the mirror and flexed my muscles.  My chest glistened with Brut and sweat.  The towel dropped around my ankles.
“Axel, I love you,” Barbara said as she raised herself off the bed.
“Shut up!” I snapped.
“Axel, please.”  Barbara came toward me.
I picked up the phone and dialed.
“Thelma baby, what’s shaking?  Yeah it’s your ‘Axe’ talking to you.  You a

At your Favorite Retailer

Saturday, July 20, 2013

How Not to Attract Readers--Round 2

This may not be too bad. It started off okay. Although I'm not sure if conversation/dialog is the way to start. But then that searing skin sort of made me go ouch!
As my previous post stated:

I'm starting to collect and share screenshots of poor writing examples. These are not meant to embarrass anyone. But I hope they become a catalyst for me and others to improve our writing as we seek to entice readers to support us. All of the screenshots are from the "Look Inside" on Amazon.

Please feel free to comment with writing and editing tips

Author's Amazon Page

Friday, June 21, 2013

Free Stories and Books Weekend on Amazon

Hello all Fans and new readers. This weekend is the weekend for FREEBIES! The offers end Sunday night at midnight. Check Them Out. Stories and poetry with an edge.

Please go to my Amazon Author's Page and look for items that have the price set at $0.00. Pick and choose. Thanks!

 Short Story Version

New! The journey begins with The Road to Astroworld. Exclusively at Amazon.

The Road to Astroworld is a treacherous one for Promise Goodday. She was tired of going to funerals. She wants to run away and join her class on a Saturday field trip to the Astroworld amusement park. However it’s the day of her brother’s funeral. Pete Chesterfield the bus driver and a serial rapist has something else on his mind this morning.
Years later while in a mental institution for murdering her child, Promise recounts that meeting in a series of sometimes blistering, funny and poignant letters to her friend LaKeisha Ann. Will she ever escape the horrors of the hospital and find her way to Astroworld?

The Four Freebies
In Cheeseburger, Della wishes for the love of a gang member who lurks outside her mama’s fence writing gang symbols. Her love is so blind, she takes it as a rejection when the boy is accused of sexually assaulting and murdering her best friend.

Jethro confronts who he is when he meets a transvestite while on a trip to New York City with his wife. When Dogs Bark takes him on a romp through the city and his heart.

In The Last Supper, the title leads one to believe they are going to have a lift to salvation. However these poems are raw and bruising in their language and in their truth.

In The Road to Astroworld-A Short Story, Promise is trying to figure out how she will go to the Astroworld amusement park. Her uncles shuck and jive on the porch as they talk about everything from politics to the Serial rapist/killer known as Leaky Eye. Promise sees the bus that will take her on her journey. The story serves as an introduction to the longer novel of the same name--The Road to Astroworld.
The Road to Astroworld Short Story