The Baby Sausage Sell

I fathered a boy who is now ten year old. He lives in my house with me, so I call him, “son.” His brothers call him a “brat” and worse because he always get what he wants. His nickname is “Baby Sausage.” (I don’t know why.) Son One and Son Two claim Baby Sausage is my favorite, which is not true. Baby Sausage simply gets his way because he is a most persistent entity to ever roam the planet earth, and he is never without a want. Today his target was a Ninjago Lego called Garmatron.

The day started with a knock to my head. It was “the Sausage.”

“Wake up, Daddy.” Sausage says, starting out cute, which he is.

“What’s up Sausage?” I ask.

“Ninjago Lego, number 70540,” he replies. He has his piggy bank with him, which means he has sucked the house dry of coinage.

“We don’t have money for Legos today. We just bought you new lacrosse uniform. Maybe next week.” I say.

“It cost forty-five dollars, but it’s on sale at Target for $39.99,” the Sausage replies, completely ignoring my statement.

Son One chimes in. “Baby sausage. You’re not getting a Lego today.”

“Yes, I am,” Baby Sausage replies.

Son One sighs. He knows.

“Look!,” Baby Sausage says as he opens his piggy bank. “There is at least $35 bucks in here.”

Knowing he is more accurate  than a CoinStar machine I immediately abandon the money excuse and evoke executive privilege.

“Listen Sausage, you’re not getting a Lego today. I’m your Dad. You’re not getting a Lego today, and that’s it.”

Sausage leaves.

Breakfast time.

“What do you want for breakfast, Sausage.”

“A Ninjago Garmatron Lego,” he replies.

“Cut, it out,” I say. “How about a gluten free donut.” Our current theory being the Sausage is cute due to gluten, we want him to grow up.

“Listen up,” Sausage calmly states. “Every time you ask me a question I’m going to answer, ‘Ninjago Garmatron Lego,’ until you buy me a ‘Ninjago Garmatron Lego. You are going to buy me a Ninjago Garmatron Lego, and you are going to buy me a Ninjago Garmatron Lego today.”

“Okay you want to play this game,” I reply.  “I’ll play this game.”

About 3 PM, one thousand “Ninjago Garmatron Legos” later I give in. I drive Baby Sausage to Target and buy him a Ninjago Garmatron Lego. The Baby Sausage has won again.

Authors, I’m telling this story because I’m considering buying a subscription to Tweepi, so I can bombard Twitter with auto-tweets about my books. This means every fifteen seconds the Twitter universe will be reminded that BILLY GRIST is a 5-Star masterpiece that must be purchased immediately. I know this is a highly offensive tactic, but I’m certain it will work, because I know, per Baby Sausage, that human beings will eventually pay  anything to stop being annoyed, even if they know the relief is temporary, or unlikely.

So, get ready. Here it comes, two hundred tweets a day that contain every imaginable way of saying you must buy BILLY GRIST immediately.

Okay, I’m just kidding. It’s tempting, but I just can’t do it . In fact, I’ve decided to do the opposite, I’m unfollowing any authors who do more than a few promotional tweets a day, for I hate spam  more than I like selling books.

This all being said, I see nothing wrong with spam in blogs….

“Buy BILLY GRIST.”

“Buy BILLY GRIST.”

“Buy BILLY GRIST.”

“Buy BILLY GRIST.”

“Buy BILLY GRIST.”

“Buy BILLY GRIST.”

“Buy BILLY GRIST.”

 W4$

Are you following me?

I must confess, I don’t understand Twitter. I’m 50% nerd by nature, so maybe it’s a socialization issue. I say this because it’s my foremost desire to live in a cave with a high-speed internet connection so I can watch mlb.com 24-7. Given my half-assed desire to be virtually socialized, being an independent author, my basic understanding of Twitter is that it’s a network where indie authors promote their books to other indie authors, who are too busy writing to read them. So, in terms of a marketing tool, it appears to me Twitter is more time consuming and less effective than soliciting readers by sending hand-written letters to random street addresses.

This all being said, given it’s popularity, I know the real issue is me, for I’m certain Twitter is really a wonderful marketing tool that I just haven’t figured it out yet.

To date, I basically use Twitter to follow people, who I now call “my tweeps.” Some of my tweeps follow me back. My understanding is I must attract tweeps because it will eventually cause, by mysterious means, Barack Obama, Stephen King, or Shaq to become so captivated by my 140 word banter that they will follow me, read my books, and then tweet to their billion tweeps that Wright Forbucks is better than buttered toast.

Hmm, at minimum Twitter certainly adds to the folly of independent publishing… But, don’t get me wrong. I’m not giving up on Twitter; I’m just trying to find its keys. Consequently, I’m currently in refining mode, bopping around, trying to figure out who to follow, so they can follow me back and contribute to my virtual legend. Being so, using the best logic my addled brain can muster, here are my current rules for following people on Twitter:

1. I follow all followers that use animated avatars to expose one or more naughty areas of their virtual bodies. My favorite being the blinking halter top.

2. I follow all followers who poses like Rodin’s Thinker, hand to chin, like yours truly.

3. I will not follow any writer who claims to be an “aspiring author.” My advice to aspiring authors is to write a short story and publish it. And before doing so, describe yourself as a person living in the basement of your parent’s house.

4. I will not follow anybody that uses a Hello Kitty avatar. There is something demonic about Hello Kitty. I can see it in her eyes.

5. I will follow any follower from a foreign country that doesn’t tweet using the King’s English. I call this my WTF follow.

6. I will not follow any follower that claims to be a Christian Writer, for I don’t read books based upon somebody else’s faith. However I do make exception for the occasional “Christian author of low-grade erotica.”

7. I will follow any follower that describes themselves as “bookish” even though I know this also means “I’ve never been laid and I’m too cheap or too poor to buy your f’n book.”

8. I will follow any follower that claims to be a pirate, a nude hang-gliding instructor, or a serial killer of vegans.

9. I will not follow any follower that use a “auto-tweet” program to promote their book. I can’t take reading a follower’s book is FREE at Amazon one hundred times a day. That’s why I limit my spam to ninety nine tweets a day.

10. And finally, all lists needing ten entries, hating disingenuous expressions of gratitude, I immediately unfollow any follower who sends me a DM to thank me for following them unless it start with “Hey asshole!”

W4$

 

 

Of Russell Blake

Hey indies, given our challenge, when one of us succeeds it’s a cause for celebration. So, I’m pleased to report there is one among us who has deservedly become a renowned author. I’m proud of him. His name is Russell Blake. In case you haven’t heard of Russell, he  writes thrillers at a rate of one a month. I think he has written 24 books in less than 2.5 years and he recently blogged that he is now selling more than 500 books a day.

Being a nasty satirist, I don’t live to heap praise on fellow authors, especially a man who claims to be a nude ice dancing champion, a chimp activist, and clown boggarizer – whatever that means. But, Mr. Blake is truly exceptional. First off, the guy writes a book a month, and these are not short works, we’re talking well-written 70,000 word books. Plus, not a single Blake thriller has a bad rating. Personally, I’ve read several of Russell’s books and they were each great. If you have not read a Blake book grab a FREE copy of JET at Amazon.  You won’t regret it.

The fact the Mr. Blake is successful is dandy and worthy of note, but the primary reason I’m writing this blog is because of Russell Blake’s advice. Russell writes a blog that honestly presents everything you need to know about indie publishing. I’ve followed it since it began, watching Russell rise from from publishing puppy to indie superstar. The blog resides at http://www.russellblake.com. It lays out what it takes to succeed as an independent author. If you’re an indie, you have to check it out. Especially, Russell’s latest blog, Talent vs Tenacity.

Personally, I’ve asked Russell Blake for help on a few occasions and he has always responded quickly and thoroughly with dead-on advice. It was greatly appreciated and someday I hope it may help me sell a few books.  (FYI, BILLY GRIST is just $.99 at Amazon today :)) Recently, Russell has tweeted that he’s working on a movie script for JET. I’m sure it will be great, but I have a  better idea for a film, Russell Blake, the Author. Hmm, maybe it could star a computer-animated Orson Wells nude ice dancing with his favorite chimp…

W4$

The Dangerous Nature of Blind Faith

I was halfway through writing this blog when the Boston Massacre, circa 2013 happened. Since, at this point, the perpetrator is not known, I’m not sure the content of this blog applies. But, my guess is it does, “religious” terrorist(s) topping the list of the usual suspects.

I grew up in and about Boston and watched the Boston Marathon on several occasions from in and about the Pour House on Boylston Street, near the site of second explosion.  If you’ve never gone to a Boston Marathon, you must. It’s a fantastic event. I know I plan to be there next year and I hope it’s the biggest and best event ever. I’d try to run it, but some things are impossible and walking five miles is on my can’t do list, so running 26 is out.

In my blog, I planned to drop my usual wise-ass routine and promote my book, BILLY GRIST, by discussing one of its main themes, namely the dangerous nature of blind faith. I’m continually amazed how seemingly learned folks can believe complete nonsense. I recently read an article by Michael Shermer (@MichaelShermer) called Logic-Tight Compartments, http://www.ScientificAmerican.com/jan2013. This article presents information supporting the claim that the human brain is formed of conflicting compartments that compete for brain-time, like pop-up windows in a hyperactive browser,  for example the love compartment battles hate module and greed sub-routine competes with altruism.  My guess is this is an oversimplification, for I don’t think we understand much about the human brain, especially its interconnection to things other than ourselves. But, the article does present an interesting proposition by claiming some of these modules are logic-tight, meaning no level of facts can alter them. This would explain why religious zealots smart enough to make a bomb are dumb enough, and evil enough, to use it. Somewhere in their warped upbringing their tragic vision of good versus bad was established in a logic-tight compartment, never to be altered by the stubborn things called facts.

It is my hope that someday the religions and people of the world will stop to carefully consider the content of their blather and then edit all that is not consistent with the greater good of man, for many things are obvious, such as the virtue of us all getting along and the value of keeping an open mind.

W4$

With Five Questions

Below is a re-post of a blog interview with yours truly from http://withfive questions.blogspot.com/ an interesting blog that features conversations with creative professionals in the business and arts.

Wright Forbucks (also known as W4$) is a comic fiction writer. He is the author of The General StoreThe Walking ManEven Steven, and most recently, Billy Grist. He lives in Massachusetts, in a town that grows apples. He is married with children. He is also devout Red Sox fan, a graduate of an Ivy League university, and an inventor of many fun things. Learn more about the author and his bookson his website.

1. You have one of my all-time favorite author names. What’s the story behind it?

Real simple. It’s my real name 🙂

Actually, the name pokes fun at myself and Indie Publishing. I think many “writers” rushed into self publishing thinking it was a gold mine. I was one of these people. I make some decent bucks inventing things, but often I was not paid my royalties due by my broke or greedy licensees. So, I decided to write a book to see if I could cash in on some direct payments from Jeff Bezos. In all, I’ve made a few hundred bucks on book sales, so I no longer have any illusions about writing for big bucks. Instead I write because I really enjoy it. This amazes me because I never had any desire to be an author, but now I’m loaded with ideas for books and having a great time with it. I totally look forward to writing and try to put in an hour or two a day. I also discovered I have an ability to consistently write 500 words an hour and I never have a bout of writer’s block. I’m not sure this is a skill, but I can crank out books and it is a very part time thing for me.

2. When writing comic fiction, do you generally have a sense of what will read as funny to other people, or do you regularly share your work with other readers to get a feel for how it plays?

I do not test my stories to see if people think they are funny. I couldn’t care less. I just let it rip and hope for the best. My books start with a concept. I then make up a related story in my head. I then write the story down fast–very fast. I don’t use an outline. I then re-write the book a couple times to make sure the quality is good. All the funny stuff happens in the first draft. I never come up with a funny thought when I’m in editing mode. After I complete each book I’m overwhelmed by a desired to re-write the whole book again to make it better, which I’m doing toThe General Store to make it more light-hearted.

3. Who are some of your favorite writers of comic fiction, and how did you get started with your own writing?

My favorite writer of comic fiction is Kurt Vonnegut. I loved Blue BeardThe Sirens of Titan, and several of his other works. Frankly, until recently, I didn’t read many novels. I spent a good deal of time reading technical articles about physics, public health, and other things that interest me, but I only read a few novels a year. So, I don’t know my own genre. In fact, on several occasions a real writer has sent me an email saying I remind them of some famous author who I then have to google. Per above, I got started writing because I thought I could cash in on the ebook wave–maybe some day 🙂

4. What is your “day job,” and do your colleagues know about your writing career?

Nobody knows I write books, but my lawyer, and Uncle Sam. My wife and family don’t even know I write books. I am not ashamed of my work in any way, but it’s just my thing. I’m not looking for advice or acclaim. I like to keep things simple, and sometimes keeping your mouth shut helps. I received an email the other day saying it’s a damn good thing I have a pen name, because if radical Islamists read Billy Grist, they’re going to try to kill me. This is true. But, to this I say, bring it on! (You can talk tough when you have a pen name.)

I real life :), I’m a engineer and scientist. I make a living inventing things. Most of my inventions involve the manipulation of light. I have numerous patents and a couple million unit sellers on the market, so I do okay, not fantastic, but I have no boss and I usually make ends meet.

5. As a writer who values originality, what’s helped you to get your books into the hands of interested readers, outside of mainstream channels of the “big” publishers?

I have zero desire to work with a publisher. I want to do my own thing without interference. This means I have a very small following, but I’m cool with that. I’d write for ten or ten million. I started out with Twitter which led to relationships with a few authors which led to a few readers. I then did a free giveaway of The Walking Man at Amazon, and for some reason, 8000 downloads happened in a few hours. I picked up many readers after that event. In comparison, Billy Grist, a better book, only received 81 downloads over the same time period. So…I’m currently struggling to find readers. However, based upon my reviews to date, which are not from family and friends, I seem to be picking up a few readers, which is all I need. If people like reading my books, great. If not, there’s not much I can do about it because I have no desire to write a book based upon an outline with proven sales appeal, which does not mean my next book is not going to be about a voluptuous teenage-female vampire who hangs out with an orphaned wizard 🙂

Thanks, Wright!

I Caved – BILLY GRIST is FREE tomorrow.

Sorry, I know somewhere back, a month or a two ago, I tweeted that my latest undiscovered masterpiece, BILLY GRIST would never be free. I like to think, I didn’t lie, but I did. The reality is the launch of BILLY GRIST fell flat on its face, forcing me to eat crow. Maybe readers are offended by the first two sentences in the book that speak of God in most unflattering terms.  Or maybe, the Big Guy himself is spiting me for claiming he’s an F-up…

Alas, current sales of BILLY GRIST can be counted on one set of hands that have experienced a serious industrial accident. Accordingly, I’m doing the Amazon KDP thing with BILLY GRIST and posting it for FREE for the next couple days, starting tomorrow, and then again in May.

This being said, if you are one of the few readers that bought BILLY GRIST ping me at wright4bucks@gmail.com and I’ll Paypal your $3.

I don’t write mainstream books. It’s not in me. But, my works are original. well written, and too a few readers very  interesting. So, if you can spare a click download BILLY GRIST tomorrow. I promise it won’t hurt you, but prepare to be offended between laughs.

BILLY GRIST now available at Amazon, at http://www.amazon.com/Billy-Grist-ebook/dp/B00BR6RT3M/

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