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Blog by Wright Forbucks

Enter The Chipmunk Factor

TheChipmunkFactor_300I know you have been concerned. On the list of your economic priorities, somewhere between paying the mortgage and the health insurance, lies your need to purchase Wright Forbucks’ next novel. Well, I’m pleased to report your wait to address this obligation is over for your favorite author’s latest and greatest, The Awkward Detective V2: The Chipmunk Factor, is now available at Amazon.com.

The Chipmunk Factor is the second book in my Awkward Detective Series. Like all my books, I began writing this novel with a title. In this instance my title arrived after I noticed chipmunks often crossed my path when driving to work making me wonder about the chipmunk population in my home town. As always, after I get a title stuck in my brain, I come up with a matching plot over a period of months while I do other things. No heavy lifting involved.  I then write the book fast, in about 60 days working 2-3 hours a day, in the wee wee hours when no teenagers are around to disturb me. To date, this process has produced variable results, but I have no intention of changing it as I begin to ponder The God Bomb, the next novel in the Awkward Detective Series.

I have been writing novels for a few years now. Being so, I have about ten fans who semi follow me, wondering, on rare occasions,  via an email or a tweet, about my game plan. For their benefit, here it is…

I’ve decided to write two types of novels: mysteries and, as one of my reader’s coined, WTF Literature, absurd satires. Right now, I’m completing the Awkward Detective mysteries. To do this, I’m unpublishing the Awkward Detective V1: The Bone Donor to make it better. I currently plan to re-release this book in a couple months. I then plan to publish The God Bomb in 2016, to wild acclaim, no doubt. After The God Bomb, I do not plan to write another Awkward Detective book, unless the first three become slightly more popular than Star Wars. On the WTF front, I’m writing three novellas that I plan to release on the same day some time in 2017. These works will include a complete re-write of The Agitation of Renny Sneed, The Beatification of Mazolla White and The Bankruptcy of Howie Fitz. So, like Paul McCartney not being dead, I’m not going away.

Regarding The Chipmunk Factor all I will say is this…I’m intentionally trying to attract a wider audience by presenting a linear plot with lots of dialogue.   Maybe it will be a winning combination, but who knows. I had fun writing this book. If you read it and like it tell a friend. If you hate it, do me a favor. Keep your mouth shut 🙂 W4$

Now available at Amazon: The Awkward Detective V2: The Chipmunk Factor

Greed is good!

W4$ 2014 Goal: AM/FM Radio. Status = MET!

W4$ 2014 Goal: AM/FM Radio. Status = MET!

Hi all. I’m writing to update you on my authoring adventure and share some good news. Believe it or not, thanks to The Awkward Detective: The Bone Donor, now available at Amazon.com for ninety-nine cents, I have already met my 2014 financial objective of earning enough royalty income to purchase an AM/FM clock radio.

What can I tell you? Greed is good.

Yesterday, after hours of online shopping I purchased a SONY, model ICFC218.

I went with the ICFC218 because it has big numbers, which I need, for something has happened to my vision in recent years that has limited my perception of detail. In fact, without using my sense of smell, regardless of distance, I would not be able to pick Gisele Bundchen out of a police line-up that included: Peter Lorre, Elmo, a naked cowboy, and Alan Dershowitz.

My parents, god rest their souls, told me to never brag. But, it is difficult given the extent of my success. In 2013, I far exceeded my expectations by earning enough royalty income to purchase a Taco Meal for Five. And now, with almost a half a year to go, I’m  in possession have my precious AM/FM clock radio. Life is good!

If I was ever asked what has led to my astounding success, having written 6 novels in 2 years, I would be tempted to attribute my stardom to hard work, but the truth is it’s all about greed-fueled ambition – the want of material things!

W4$ 2013 Goal: Taco Meal for 5. Status= MET!

W4$ 2013 Goal: Taco Meal for 5. Status= MET!

Having made this admission, my greed is in need of a new target. Thus, the time has come for me to set my 2015 financial goal (or risk never writing another word.)

Selecting my new goal has been a difficult task, but after much thought, I’ve decided upon a theme of self-aggrandizement, a variation of self-promotion, in selecting the next object of my desire.

Originally, I was going to go with a “W4$” ass tattoo.  But I after considerable thought, I abandoned this goal for I feared  the inevitable revelation of this artwork, inch above my furry ass crack, would likely result in the total loss of my fan base.

Consequently, moving forward, I’ve decided to pursue a “W4$” Mr. T Starter Kit, to include: a W4$ diamond studded tooth grill and a gold ganstah necklace anchored by a W4$ logo, containing, at minimum, 1 troy ounce of pure gold.

W4$ 2015 Goal: The Mr. T "I pity the fool" W4$ Starter Kit

W4$ 2015 Goal: The Mr. T “I pity the fool” W4$ Starter Kit

In response to your screams of “Impossible Wright! Don’t do it! Be more realistic!” I counter with the prediction that the second installment in my Awkward Detective series,THE CHIPMUNK FACTOR, due out this Christmas, will be a hit, making my dreams of being the next Lil Wayne+ come true.

Where will all this ambition end? It’s difficult to say. But, last night I had a dream about a pretty blonde-haired lady, a pink Mercedes and a house with an ocean view…
W4$


THE AGITATION OF RENNY SNEED

W4$TheAgitationCover400Since I’m a persistent son of a gun, due to the unpopularity of my last novel, the sex comedy, THE GENERAL STORE, I’ve decided to foist another ebook upon my massive fan base. This time it’s YA fiction. The book is called THE AGITATION OF RENNY SNEED.

All my books come to me in a flash. THE AGITATION OF RENNY SNEED was no exception. I was sitting in a high school auditorium, listening to a concert, thinking about the Sandy Hook tragedy, when this book hit me, including its title. In the following days, I wrote THE AGITATION OF RENNY SNEED. I then shelved it because I wasn’t sure it was fit for publication. I was concerned about offending victims of school violence, especially since THE AGITATION OF RENNY SNEED was written for a young adult audience. But, after reading it a couple times, I think the book’s message outweighs its story. Ultimately, I’ll leave it to others to be the judge. I’d allow my teenagers to read it, but I never said I was a great parent…The good news is I’m fairly certain THE AGITATION OF RENNY SNEED is less offensive than my 5-star religious satire, BILLY GRIST, but what isn’t?

This all being said, at this exact moment, I feel my prior publication concerns are misplaced. For in the end, I figure, THE AGITATION OF RENNY SNEED is just a book. Thus, like any book, it can be put down like a rabid dog. No read. No foul.

Hopefully, all this false angst has piqued your interest. If so, read on, for below is the blurb for THE AGITATION OF RENNY SNEED, which has been written to inspire related commerce at Amazon.com. Please note when purchasing THE AGITATION OF RENNY SNEED, all income will go directly to me, an independent author seeking to fulfill his life-long dream of generating enough royalty income to purchase an AM/FM clock radio, and a cranberry leisure suit.

THE AGITATION OF RENNY SNEED

Renny Sneed is trying to survive ninth grade, but the odds are against him. He’s tiny, and he lacks social skills. Plus, he has a squeaky voice, crooked teeth, acne, and a brother who ignores him. Even worse, the Snarp twins, mindless jocks, are bullying Renny, and nobody seems to care. The situation appears to be hopeless, but then the noble son of an Iraq war veteran arrives at school, a Texan named Johnny Goldin. Johnny befriends Renny, and Renny experiences happiness for the first time in his life. But, the good times are cut short by a tragedy.

Alone and scared, Renny turns to the adults in his life, but they don’t sense his desperation. Among the clueless is Renny’s stepdad, Dewey Grint. Dewey is a doomsday prepper who is too worried about the upcoming global apocalypse to help his lost stepson. Depressed, Renny turns to his long-time imaginary friend, and X-box avatar, Sergeant Bark, for help. Ever ready and ultra-confident, the good sergeant assures Renny all his problems can be easily resolved via the liberal application of automatic weaponry. And soon thereafter, the battle begins. After watching SpongeBob, and eating a good breakfast, of course…

From the author of BILLY GRIST, THE AGITATION OF RENNY SNEED is a young adult novella. It contains 25,000 words, slightly less than THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA. It is rated PG-13.

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/

Billy Grist, Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned, Again…

BillyGrist291_437
One of the good things about being indie is you can publish whatever you want, including a book that pokes fun at the Big Guy. If you have a religion, or a nationality, you will likely be offended by BILLY GRIST, but hopefully it will also make you laugh. My intent when I started writing BILLY GRIST was to mix a 9-11 revenge fantasy with a twisted tale of creation, my point being, we’re a fundamentally clueless when it comes to the true nature of our creator. (And, we’d all be better off if we just admitted it…)

The idea for BILLY GRIST came from the loss of a friend in the 9-11 attack. My friend was a young man, a husband with a one-year-old daughter. His tragic death confirmed my long-standing belief that religious fanatics are the scourge of humanity. BILLY GRIST is my pathetic attempt to make this point. This being said, BILLY GRIST, also presents the possibility that God exists, but not in a form that is comprehensible by our ilk, or that of an Ultra Intelligent Universe Inspector…

BILLY GRIST was my first book. I wrote it a couple years ago. When done, I thought it was great. A year later, I thought it was the worst book ever written. Awful. Terrible. But, I hate not finishing things, likely due to the granite lodged in my Irish head, so I re-wrote BILLY GRIST. My beta readers now tell me that BILLY GRIST is no longer awful. But they also warn it’s not “mainstream” material, their exact words being, “only readers with significant mental health issues will enjoy this tale.”

Hmm, since we’re all crazy, I think what they’re really trying to say is BILLY GRIST is destined to be a best-seller 🙂 W4$

BILLY GRIST available 3-10-13 at Smashwords and Amazon.com

 

How to tell if your ebook sucks…

I’m back. I took a few months off from blogging to complete multiple projects including gaining ten pounds and undergoing treatment for post traumatic stress syndrome, induced by several forced visits to the state of Rhode Island. While I was gone I also completed my latest and greatest novel, BILLY GRIST, which hits the virtual stands on 3-15-13. It’s a tale that makes fun of the Big Guy, so if there is a set of pearly gates, I’m in big trouble. Very big trouble…

After completing BILLY GRIST, I was fairly certain it was a decent book. But I’m open to the possibility that it sucks. I say this because once I finish a book, I have no idea if it’s any good, all that writing and re-writing. Thus, my goal is to make sure, at minimum, my books are professionally written. I then leave it to my readers to tell me if the story is worthwhile. But even then I’ve found it’s difficult to tell if I’ve written a stinker because folks, in general, don’t like to insult an honest effort. Knowing this, having written four books now, I can finally decipher most reader comments. Thus as a service to my fellow indies, I’ve compiled a list of comments that are sure fire indications that your book sucks:

Kind indications that your book sucks:

1. “It’s not awful.”
2. “I like the title.”
3. “I found a couple typos.”
4. “Not bad for your first book?” (And it’s your fourth.)
5. “Was it originally written in another language?”

Not-so-kind indications that your book sucks:

1. After reading your ebook I dipped my Kindle in a Fryolator;
2. I printed out your ebook and used it to line my hamster’s cage.
3. Negative Five Stars.
4. My friend says you’re a talentless hack.
5. My favorite sentence was “The End.”

W4$

Ebook Death Revisited

I’m taking a leave from Indie publishing. I’ll be back in the Summer or Fall of 2013 with a new book. I leave you with my most popular blog of 2012. The Five Stages of Ebook Death.

I think it is important for us indie authors to recognize the five stages of ebook death, so we can make proper burial arrangements and then move on in life, no doubt hardened by the experience.

Regarding the burial, I suggest downloading a dead ebook on to a thumbdrive and then interring it in your garden, perhaps with along with a scoop of fresh manure. If you live in the city, I suggest a traditional toilet flush while listening to Danny Boy on your iPod, not the Johnny Cash version. Cremation followed by spreading the ashes at a Barnes and Noble is also and option, if you can find a Barnes and Noble that is still in business.

Based on my experience the death process starts with one month of no sales, and is then followed by months of anguish which can be broken into the following clearly defined stages:

Stage 1: Denial (1 month of no sales)

My book can’t really suck. I’m so smart. It took me so long to write it. Maybe nobody has bought it because they’re too busy. Yeah, that’s it. They’re too busy. I can still get a couple of positive reviews. It can still go viral. Maybe a movie star will read my book and talk about it on Oprah. Yeah, that’s my ticket, Oprah!

Stage 2: Anger (2 months of no sales)

Readers suck. They are so f’n stupid. They only read books about vampires in love and the great battles of World War 2. Amazon is a f’n monopoly that only cares about the big authors. Apple sucks. Microsoft sucks. Democrats suck. Republicans suck. In fact people suck in general.

Stage 3: Bargaining (3 months of no sales)

Dear Mr. Bezos, I’ll list my book for free on Amazon.com, if you agree to make me a best-selling author. If not, I’m off to Apple.com…Mr. Bezos, is that you laughing?

Stage 4: Depression (4 months of no sales)

I suck. I’m so f’n stupid for spending one thousand hours writing a piece of trash that nobody wants to read. How could I be such an f’n idiot. I should have listened to my wife when she told me not to write a book about the joy of refrigerator repair.

Stage 5: Acceptance (5 months of no sales)

I have a great idea for my next book!

W4$:)

Free Reviewed

A year ago I wrote a blog saying “Too Much Free is Bad.” In it I claimed free ebooks would increase supply, thus lower demand for non-free titles, thus book prices in general. I think this has happened. But now, I also think free, bad or not, is here to stay. And, I also believe free is the only way an indie author can attract a few initial readers. Being so, I’m running some trials to assess the factors that cause readers to select a free ebook. In my first test I ran three of my ebooks on Amazon.com to assess the importance of reviews in attracting an audience. I offered each ebook free for 2 days. I did no marketing, not even a single tweet. The first ebook was a 7,000 word short story called THE JESUS TWIN. It had no reviews. It attracted 1 download over a 2 day period. Awesome! Next was THE GENERAL STORE. It is a 50,000 word novel. It also had no reviews, (probably because folks are being kind). It received 110 downloads. I then offered my novel, THE WALKING MAN. It has 18 reviews, mostly five stars. It has 10 hours to go. It has received 550 downloads…

This is a small sample, but it would seem to indicate reviews are a lead factor in a free download decision. I think this means readers are not just stuffing their kindles with free ebooks just because they’re free. It appears readers are being selective, which would indicate many “buyers” intend to read their free downloads, or at least check them out. I think this is a good sign. Of course, there is Jan at Goodreads.com. She is downloading free ebooks at an amazing rate. With 7000 books on her “to-read” shelf, if Jan was welded to her reading chair today (and fed intravenously) she’d have to live to be 130 to clear out her library. God speed Jan.

Ebook Advertising for Dummies

I’m writing this blog after being awake for a 36 hours because I have to make money, which requires me to talk to people from around the world… arrogant bastards that refuse to live on USA time. So, if this blog makes no sense I apologize in advance. Hey, somewhere back in time I promised to run an ebook advertising trial and report my findings to my fellow indie authors.

Before running my test I read JA Konrath’s blog about how to sell books etc. He basically advises to avoid advertising at all cost. The only better advice I know of is not bathe with an electrical appliance.

My test indicates ebook advertising is a profound waste of money. Advertising may make you feel like an author, in much the same way that buying office furniture makes one feel like a businessman, but ultimately it will just make you poorer, which is a bad thing in countries that don’t reward profligate spending with food stamps.

I have to say on the list of wasting money Stumble Upon, in my book, is number one. Instead of spending money at Stumble Upon, I’d suggest simply tossing a handful of twenties out your car window, preferably in a the bad side of town because watching the 47%, i.e.,the rabble, scramble for free money will momentarily make you feel like Mitt Romney which is a feeling infinitely more satisfying than being molested by a Dallas Cowboy’s cheerleader, or perhaps, your favorite Sesame Street muppet – if you’re into that sort of thing. Geez, I seem to be losing my train of thought, ahhh back to ebook advertising. Yeah Stumble Upon…After you load up your Stumble Upon account with money you are asked if you want to target an audience or let the Stumble wizard do it for you. These questions are poorly worded for what Stumble Upon really meant to ask was, Would you like us to steal your money instantly or over a five minute time frame? I went with the instant option and within nanoseconds my web site was hit with a wave of traffic, none of which read a single page on my blog. I hate to think the worst of shaky entities, but I have a feeling some of my Stumble Upon visitors may have been widget-based life forms.

Although I could not ultimately determine any difference in their service second to Stumble Upon is Google and Facebook. I say Goog and Face are slightly better than Stumble Upon because they put you through an ad approval process before stealing your money, which makes you feel like less of an asshole. Google is world class at this ruse, you’ll be admonished for using capital letters in your ad and then a key word wizard will infer you’re dumber than a lamp post before suggesting a $65 per click key word to sell your $1 ebook. Facebook is based on demographics, so you can specify the group of people that will steal your money. You’ll also get a fancy bar graph that shows you that 0.003375897959% of the people that viewed your ad clicked on it, which, in case you were wondering, is the exact percent of people high on crystal meth in the USA at a given moment.

So, what’s a mother to do? If you want to sell one book and you have one hundred dollars to waste advertise on Goodreads.com. Otherwise, I suggest using social media to generate followers, which then may buy your book if you don’t spam and have something interesting or nice to say now and then. It’s not an instant process, but selling a book is not like selling car insurance, after all your not just asking people for 15 minutes of their time…

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