Friday, October 21, 2016

An example of putting yourself out there / Happenings In The Outhouse 21-Oct-2016

Let me take a small moment this Friday to brag about my son.

He's eighteen, a senior in high school, a member of both the football and golf teams, and he's light-years ahead of every single member of his class.  And I truly mean it.  Every single one.


Because he's putting out content.  On his own.  Many people talk about it.  Many of those people even study about doing it.  But they never get around to actually doing it.

My son has.

The other day, I heard rumors from my wife about his YouTube videos.  The rumor was that he had some swearing in them.  I honestly didn't care too much as I had watched the one and only video I thought he had put out there.  The swearing was minimal and done all in the nature of the content he was providing.

Then I went to his YouTube page (by the way, I was his very first subscriber) and was completely shocked to see he had over 170 videos and over 50 subscribers.  Holy cow!  So I watched a few.  Heck, he even had advertising on them, which means he's making some money from it.  A few cents here and there add up over time.

And the swearing?  In the few videos I watched, I didn't hear a single one.

Now, I will not share his YouTube name nor provide a link to it as his audience and mine do not mix.  In looking at a Venn Diagram, our two audience circles, if they were to intersect, would barely touch each other.  If at all aside from yours truly.

My son has done exactly what I told him to do.  And that is exactly what I do with indie publishing.  I'm putting myself out there.  And so is he.  While he puts out daily content, he's also studying what others in the YouTube field are doing.  But he's not just studying the how's, he's putting it into action.  That is what puts him light years above and ahead of all of his classmates.

What content have you created?  If you have, what are you waiting for?  Put it out there.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Writing is fun / Happenings In The Outhouse 14-Oct-2016

Last week, I blogged about how I thought writers block was an excuse for being lazy.

I closed with the notion that writing is fun.

It is.  For me.  If you're not having fun, don't do it.  Do something that you do enjoy.  Woodworking?  Painting?  Working on an old car?  Collecting Star Wars toys?  Volunteering at the local animal shelter?

It's not all about money, but trust me when I say money is nice to have.  Try going without and you appreciate having it.

This is why I love indie publishing.  I can write what I want.  I have four novels in a thriller series, and, instead of working on the fifth book, I published a Halloween-themed novelette titled Grave Secrets and I'm roughly 16,000 words into a Christmas-themed family drama novel.

Afterwards, I'm going to finish the Shadowkill trilogy.  I wrote the first book a few years ago, and I want to close out the series when it appears that the genre is starting to get hot.

In the end, writing is fun.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Writers block is plain laziness / Happenings In The Outhouse 07-Oct-2016

**Forgive the slight profanity in this post here.**

Let me be frank and bold: writers block is a crock of shit.

Was that too bold?  Sorry, but it had to be said.  I was listening to a podcast last week and one of the topics they discussed was writers block.  I agreed with the interviewee, who said there really wasn't such a thing as writers block.  The interview, obviously, disagreed and tried to wallow his way out of the argument, but failed.

In my opinion, writers block is just plain lazy.

Don't agree.  Let's replace writing with . . . oh, let's say exercise.  "I have exercise block," one says.  No, you're just too damn lazy to get your ass out of the chair and walk or jog or lift weights or eat right or any number of things to help lose weight.

I have "eating right" block.  This is the same thing as exercise block, except it deals with food.  One is too damn lazy to NOT pop that pizza in the oven and just open a bag of lettuce.  Oh, hell, grow a few vegetables, if you are so inclined.

I have a crab apple tree in my yard, which has been producing results for the past two years.  I get excited during the late summer, because I can pluck something from a tree in my own yard and eat it.  Now, I agree that it's not cheap and easy to buy fresh veggies and fruit all the time, but then again it's not cheap and easy to get a heart attack and die!

Okay, back to writers block.  I'm currently 12,000 words into a new novel.  It's a Christmas-themed family drama.  It's a far cry from what I normally write, but I've been having loads of fun with it.  Do I write every single day?  No.  I've been keeping track of how much I write each day on a spreadsheet, and so far I've written about 75% of the days.

Some writers have replaced writing with researching.  Sorry, not the same thing.  Write original words.  For me, I re-read the last few pages, just to get a feel of what's going on and then away I go.  I write whatever comes to mind.  No over-analyzing or agonizing.  Just plain writing, hands on the keyboard.

Try it sometime.  Don't overthink it.  Write whatever comes to mind.  There's really no trick to it.  I know, there are tons of books on writing faster.  Sorry, but I think they're all bullshit.  Not a single one has helped me.  They're too gimmicky.

Banish the thought that you ever suffer from writers block.


And, most of all, have fun doing it.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Confusion with newsletter subscribers / Happenings In The Outhouse 30-Sept-2016

A few days ago, I sent out a newsletter regarding my two new releases: Shades Of Darkness (Book 4 in the Central Division Series) and Grave Secrets: A Halloween Mystery Suspense Novelette.

Much to my surprise, I had over 600 subscribers.  For any normal person, this would cause great excitement.  Here's the problem: Mailchimp (the e-mail subscriber I use) sends me an e-mail after each subscription . . . and I know darn well that my number wasn't that high.  I won't disclose how many, but it certainly wasn't that many.

I sent the newsletter without looking at the list.

Then, I started to get unsubscribes and bounce-backs.  Bounce-backs are from e-mails that simply do not exist.

As I looked into each subscriber, many had funky names like 5764g113bn82.  Now, I know no parent would name their child this, let alone well over 550.

I then started deleting these subscribers.  Unfortunately, I think I deleted my entire list--in fact, I know I did.  I can still look over the list I sent on the last newsletter blast, which I'll probably end up doing.

Currently, I working on the first draft of a Christmas-themed novel.  I am roughly 5,500 words into it and it's going well.  I will share more when it gets closer to done, like the title, synopsis, and the cover.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Grave Secrets / Happenings In The Outhouse 23-Sept-2016

In mid-October 2015, I was thinking about writing stories geared towards the holidays, and not only did I come up with one, I came up with two.

Grave Secrets is the first one.  It's a Halloween-themed suspense mystery novelette, and it is currently available at all of your favorite e-retailers.

Here's the synopsis:

Five teenagers. In the woods. At night. On Halloween. What could possibly go wrong?

No one has seen Old Man Cronkite in two weeks. But Tim and his friends go on the Night Ride anyway, hoping the elderly hermit bachelor is planning an elaborate Halloween prank.

But the night doesn’t turn out as planned. Will they be able to keep their deep, dark secret? Will someone discover the truth behind what they did?

Now, I mentioned at the beginning that I had come up with two holiday-themed stories.  I am currently writing the second one, this one centered around Christmas.  This new one will be a departure of the majority of my stories, save for Gabriel's Hope and possibly my short story A.K.A. Anonymous.  I will share my progress, as I do all of my other novels.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Periodically Audit Your Back List / Happenings In The Outhouse 16-Sept-2016

I listened to a podcast the other day and the author talked about how they--meaning, him and his indie publishing team--would regularly audit their back list.

A back list, for those who may not know, is the entire list of your publishing works.  Everything you've written.

What do I mean by audit?

Audit is to review the product.  Is the cover okay?  How about the keywords, the synopsis/book description, and even links, etc. inside the book?  Believe it or not, what you did years ago may not be relevant anymore.  Links you had to a free book may not be the best fit anymore.  And so on.

I've been doing this a bit, from time to time, but now I have a set schedule to look at a few things on a quarterly basis.  This isn't going to require loads of time, but if I can improve a book or two by improving keywords and/or book description, or even the cover, or update links it will help down the road.

On a side note, I've been quite a busy beaver lately.  After I set Shades Of Darkness up on pre-order--the book is out now!--I wrote a Halloween-themed novella called Grave Secrets.  Then, I'm planning on a Christmas-themed novel.  This one will be quite a different story than what I normally write, but it's been in my head for close to a year and I'm itching to get it done before the holiday season.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Shades of Darkness is out today!!

Shades of Darkness, the fourth book in the Central Division Series, is out today!

Here's the synopsis:

A wife murders her husband. The prosecution calls it a slam dunk. A fiery defense attorney demands a speedy trial. So what’s the problem? Minneapolis PD investigators KOLIN RAYNES, SIMON TEMPLETON, and rookie KELLY KING trust their instincts, that not everything is as it seems.

SHADES OF DARKNESS is the fourth novel in the Central Division Series of suspenseful thriller novels. Be sure to check out the previous novels in the series BEHOLDER’S EYE, STRAIGHT RAZOR, and DISCARDED.

Shades Of Darkness is available at all of these fine e-retailing establishments:

Amazon Kindle version


Barnes and Noble Nook store

Apple iBooks

Kobo Books

Google Play

For all others in the Central Division Series, click on this link to visit my website.