About Writers, book promotion, book sales, publishing, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

What Happened

Traditionally, publishers sold books through bookstores, book distributors, mass market retailers, book clubs, even, sometimes, to organizations wanting a promotional tool. (Wells Fargo, for example, might buy 5,000 books on stage coaches.) Sales representatives, working for publishers and independent sales groups, attended industry sales conferences and made calls on retail buyers.
Authors wrote books and received royalty payments on their book sales.

Amazon changed all that. Today, authors list their book on a website with 11 million other books in the hope that individuals will find and buy it.

We have gone from a powerful industry selling books to a website listing.

That’s what happened.

What can we do about it? Obviously, success requires more than one author selling to one reader at a time because readers only buy one book. We ain’t selling Hershey bars. Our reader won’t come back for a box of the same book.

The idea here is to build a list of businesses and organizations which have the potential to buy, or distribute for sale, many copies of the same book. Yes, we still have bookstores, book distributors, mass market retailers, book clubs, even organizations wanting a promotional tool. But without a big publisher’s clout, how does any writer market to them?
And, are there other organized groups that we can target to help sell our book?
Any ideas? Perry Palin 🙂 ? Anybody?

Flash Fiction, humor, inspiration, Magic and Science, Satire, Stories, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

Saturday, March 31, 2018


rabbitholeThat’s the deadline for submitting your short story. Details at:

Do it.
Send us your best short story, poem, flash fiction or piece of an experimental nature.

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
 – Zig Ziglar

book promotion, book sales, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

Writer Scams

Once upon a time, snake oil salesmen sold miracle elixirs by appealing to peoples’ hopes that the infirmities of living could be cured. Relief was, of course, induced by drug or alcohol. So people kept buying the elixirs, in the hope of extending the temporary relief. Some even became addicted to their magic elixir.

Today, scammers are selling writers the magical elixer of book sales. It’s easy to spot the scam: anyone who demands payment up front knows they cannot produce enough results to do the work on commission.

Before you pay anyone to sell your book, do yourself a favor by looking up the concept of “R.O.I.” and checking websites dedicated to exposing writer scams.


Rights of Writers
The Agent from Hell and the Top Six Scams Targeting Writers

What You Need to Know about Writing Scams – Marcia Yudkin

There are more. Many. More. A Google Search of the phrase, “Writer Scams” returns multiple pages.
But it doesn’t take long to recognize the signs. Snake oil salesmen and modern scammers sell the same product. They sell hope.

book promotion, book reviews, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

Time To Choose

chooseWe have had many suggested titles for our new section, wherein we allow authors, editors, publishers and professional members of the writing community at large to recommend books. There are three common threads running through the titles suggested here and on Facebook: people like clarity, catchy and enthusiasm.
For pure clarity, it’s hard to beat “Recommended Reading.”
While “Peer Picks” is short and catchy.
And “I Love This Book” is highly enthusiastic.

So, which of the three will communicate best with the widest possible audience? They’re all good.

Last chance, pick one:
1. Recommended Reading
2. Peer Picks
3. I Love This Book

Please vote in the comments section. And, thank you all for your great suggestions!
(For the record, I liked “Hey, Good Bookin'” for the grins 🙂 but it didn’t make the final cut.)

book promotion, book reviews, book sales, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

Name This!

Cool LukeWhat we have here is failure to communicate. The word “Review” communicates negative reactions to many authors. Not the least of which is the certainty that all reviews cannot be good reviews. True, that. So, after listening to the gnawback, it’s obvious that we need a better name for our new section than, “Peer Reviews.”

We need a name that says here are books well received by the authors’ peers. The purpose of the new section is to have a place for recommendations by other authors, editors, publishers and professional members of the writing community at large.

The following names have been suggested, but please use the comments section to add more names.

Books We Like
I Like This Book
I Love This Book
Insider Picks
Peers’ Picks
Recommended Reading

What’s your suggestion?

book reviews, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

Peer Review Page


whispersWhat People Think
Our “proto-work-in-progress” page is up. I posted, on Facebook, a link & invite to comment on the concept. Many think it’s a great idea, some want to contribute now, others are clearly confused by my use of the word “review” and one has a fantastic idea for anyone selling books on Amazon. Here’s a sampling of the initial reaction to the concept.

Sharon Sasaki: I think it would be good if writers review other writers with some kindness and encouragement in mind. Sometimes authors can be extremely critical of other authors.

Bill McCormick: I have a set of reviews I’ve already done that could easily be retrofitted into your format. Would you like those?
(Added as author for posting reviews.)

Mike Van Horn: Seems like a great idea in principle. But I have problems with reviewing books of people I know. What if I review your book and I don’t like it? I don’t think it merits 5 stars? Maybe 3. What if I review your book and I find typos and other glitches? All too common with self-pubs. I have an inner English teacher, and she grades down for these things. I told somebody on the Sci Fi forum yesterday she needs to hire a copy editor. Some people need critiques before they get reviews.

Carlos Morales: And make sure you sign up to be an affiliate, and use affiliate links. There isn’t much money in it, but it’s like playing the lottery. There’s a tiny chance that someone clicks on the book, then decides to buy a $900 computer with their next couple of clicks. If that happens, you pull a decent commission.
It’s happened to me once or twice. Someone bought a $175 tent, and another one bought a laptop for $600 in the same couple of hours during one of my Bargain Promos. It was a good day for revenue.

Thanks all, for the great feedback! As these samples are from a mere 24-hour posting, I think we have a concept worth pursuing. But if we want the writing community to contribute reviews of books they recommend, we may need to re-think our title for the section. Some in the community have been bitten by a “peer review” and many rightfully expect reviews to be negative as well as positive.
We will get more reviews of books recommended by the writing community if we are very clear that is what we are looking for.

Any suggestions for a better title than, “Peer Review?”

About Writers, blogging, inspiration, Research, Stories, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op, writing technique

Steep and Roll

songwriting 2This is a concept that I am gradually beginning to understand how to use. A friend once critiqued my first novel with:

“There’s so much great stuff in there it needs to slow its roll and steep a little, meaning take longer to explain things and have a nice build up.”
– Chris Gabriel, song writer

Chris explained it as a technique that professional song writers use. It made me wonder how many other song writing techniques could apply to story writing. So, I researched song writing advice and found dozens of tips. Here’s the top 6.

1. Practice. Like any other creative process such as playing guitar or programming synth sounds, lyric-writing is a skill that can be learnt and improved upon.

2. Don’t be disheartened if your lyrics aren’t perfect on the first draft. Many professional writers will rewrite a song’s lyrics dozens of times before they make it onto record.

3. Persevere. More often than not, songs aren’t born, they’re created and sculpted. Don’t expect a song to arrive fully formed; they sometimes take time and you’ll need to work at it.

4. If you can’t quite figure out how to say what you want within a particular line, jot down the gist of it and move on to another part of the song – you can come back to it later. That way, you won’t spend hours wrestling with one small line that might turn out to be insignificant in the wider context of the song.

5. Try to have a clear idea of what the song is about. You should be able to sum up the essence of the song in one sentence.

6. Analyze other songs. Try to pick out the differences in lyrics between your favorite songs and your own and apply any lyrical techniques you learn to your own work.

I think we story writers can learn a lot from song writers. Oh and, if anyone has insight into “Steep and Roll,” please post it in the comments?