First and foremost, thank you to all who have read my past blog posts and my book, “Homey’s Adventures.”
As promised, I am continuing the series of all the chapters of my new book, “Homey’s Adventures Too.” I am now 71 and I decided that I did not want to spend my time haggling with editors, literary agents, and publishers. The main thing I am interested in is to write for your pleasure and mine. So, without further delay, here is Chapter 13:
Chapter 13 – Promoting My First Book
I remember seeing a quote from E.L. James, who was the author of “50 Shades of Grey”. She said that she wrote that book because of a midlife crisis. It makes me wonder if I wrote the first “Homey’s Adventures” because of a midlife crisis only 20 years after my midlife.
Homey’s Adventures started by writing simple and short fantasies to beautiful women in other countries. As a direct result of the encouragement of these beautiful women, I interwove these stories into a book. It is true that necessity is the mother of invention. I self-published the book because I was out of money, and I needed the tax write-off. In effect, by self-publishing, I became a small business owner. These sequences of events plunged me into a business that I really did not know or understand.
My self-publisher’s primary customer is the author and not the public. They earn a profit by selling services to the author. I own all copyrights to my book. If my book was published by a traditional publisher, then the publisher owns the copyrights. So, I am the person solely responsible for the promotion of the book.
I vetted the self-publisher. They had a Better Business Bureau A+ rating and the publisher I chose was the largest of its kind in the self-publishing business. I think the invention of the E-book has made traditional publishing more risk adverse. The literary agents and traditional publishers are more likely to avoid risk and stick to proven formulas. I believe that nobody has ever authored a book quite like Homey’s Adventures. The uniqueness of my book could be its saving grace.
When I recently visited a taco fast food restaurant drive, you needed to put your money on a plastic plate which was held out by the server. I did this and a big gust of wind swept that money off the plate and onto the ground. Did somebody really think that putting your money on a plastic plate would prevent virus transmission? They still had to handle the potentially infected money to get it off the plate. Other fast-food restaurants had their employees wear plastic gloves in handing the food and the money. At least plastic gloves offered some protection. I do not see how plastic plates or bar stools offered any protection. This was not only another strange example of how people dealt with Covid 19, but also symbolic of what I wanted to avoid in trying to promote my first book.
A nickname for self-publishing is vanity publishing. The obvious analogy is that people who self-publish tend to do it out of vanity. Vanity is like a gust of wind. It comes and goes. I did not publish my book out of vanity. I published it out of necessity. I more than paid for publishing my book with the tax credits. I needed to show that I was a professional publisher and then I could gain more tax credits and royalties. I had no delusions about being the next Ernst Hemingway. I was not a young man starting out. I needed to be careful with my promotion. I was not a big traditional publisher who could waste money. Continuing my fast-food metaphor, I had to begrudgingly get out of the car and pick up the few dollars of my money on the ground to pay for my taco dinner.
The basic and cheapest form of promotion is to promote it by word of mouth. I contacted all the women that I had easy cheap access to and gave them access to the website set up for me by my publisher. I wrote about some of these women in my book using nicknames. I asked them to recommend my book to all their friends. Since my book has some eroticism, I also contacted some of the women that send me hundreds of emails weekly and gave them access to my website. My efforts initially sold only two hard copies.
For the foreign women, the delivery costs of the paperback were as much as the cost of the book. So, this deterred anyone who wanted to buy my book in paperback form.
As I mentioned in my first book, the American adult websites are full of porn and con artists. I got 10 to 20 spam emails everyday asking: If you want to fuck tonight, then join our website. According to my minister, the bible says women need security more than men do and that was my experience too. I did not expect a woman to come over and fuck a stranger during Covid 19. When I did talk to some of these women, they just wanted to talk and not meet. I was still waiting for Xena and Marie. I just wanted to promote my book.
I found it interesting of how many women of all ages proposed loveless sex as a come on and show naked pictures of themselves and their pussies. I remember one woman in her mid-fifties who wanted to show me how she could smoke a cigarette by placing it inside her pussy. I learned something new every day, but I did not want to see that. Curiosity does sometimes kill the cat. I think a smoking pussy may permanently distort my appreciation of the female form.
Another downside of my word-of-mouth promotion was that Homey still had some emotional connection with some of these women. Homey wrote many fantasies about these women, and he fell in love with some of them too. I loved Xena and I made a promise to wait for her and Marie, so, I needed to find other ways to promote my book.
Since I had pictures in my first book, I wanted the E-book version to be in color and the paperback in black and white. I was interested mostly in the E-book version. My publisher said they could not do that. Both versions had to be in black and white or color. So, I opted for the color version. The color version of the paperback cost $33. The E-book cost $4 in either black and white or color. I do not regret this decision. The color version looked magnificent!
My publisher had many ways to help an author to promote a book. I kept my focus on a way to promote my E-book. My reasoning was: It does not matter how the book becomes popular. Selling the cheaper E-book version could result in an increase of sales of the paperback. Also, if I could sell a lot of copies of the E-book, I could later pay my publisher more money to publish the paperback in an optional black and white version to accommodate people who still do not like reading E-books.
I was contacted by more than one scammer who somehow learned of my book and offered to promote it. Internet search is a great tool to detect scammers. I discovered one scammer was out of the Philippines.
I heard chickens in the background as he claimed: “I am going to contact Netflix today and your book could become the next Netflix series!”
He also claimed: “I can sell the color version of your book for $9.”
The company he represented was on a lengthy list of scammer companies and I decided to leave him with his chickens.
Before I moved, I decided to buy a package of Facebook ads from my publisher. The Facebook ads were an effective way to encourage those who might buy the E-book version book. I bought 4 million ads. I was told that this number of ads, on average, netted 500 to 750 book sales. If I achieved the average, I would get my money back from royalties and this may promote more sales in the future.
After I sold my house, I had more money. I bought a book review package. I am not an established author and I needed independent verification of my credibility as an author. I bought these through my publisher, and they cost more than buying them directly from the book review companies. My publisher assured me that they could get them completed faster because they purchased the reviews on a regular basis. They also would revise the cover of my book to include any review that I wanted to include. The reviews could end up telling me that my book sucked, but I needed to know that to move forward with promoting my book.
The upside of getting the reviews is that the review companies offered awards for the best books. I asked my sister to consult with her established editor and author friends. She told me that the rewards offered by these review companies were coveted by the industry and even the first 10 runners up received some recognition by the publishing industry. So, I decided to buy the review package.
The third promotion that caught my attention was a trip to Las Vegas to meet with Hollywood executives who could make my book into a movie or TV series. My publisher would gather 8 producers at Caesar’s Palace and the authors would be allowed to pitch their book in a speed dating format. Before I did this, I wanted some validation from the book reviews. So, if I canceled a month in advance, my publisher put in writing that I could get my money back for any reason.
The person originally assigned to marketing my book left my publisher and his supervisor, Barney, made me the offer. This was the first time my publisher was willing to take a risk on my book. I looked for signs from the holy spirit to help me to know what to do.
Barney called me up in a panic and said: “Can I get your commitment on this now? My dad, Barney senior, may have Covid 19 and I need to go be with him and my mother.”
I said: “I suggest that you need to focus on your father, and this will give me time to sleep on the deal. If it’s okay with you, I will pray for you and your parents.”
A couple of days later, Barney called and said: “My father doesn’t have Covid 19, but I needed to visit them and help my mother with caring for my father. Thank you for your prayers.”
Was this my sign from the Holy Spirit?
“I’m overjoyed that your father doesn’t have Covid 19. I think we should celebrate by continuing with the Las Vegas promotion deal. This may be the sign from the Holy Spirit that I was looking for.”
He said: “I am Catholic. Does that matter?”
“It doesn’t matter to me; protestants and Catholics share the teachings of Christ, and we are all God’s children.”
“I’m excited about your book and the potential of the Hollywood promotion.”
“I am excited about your father not having Covid 19.”
So, I have learned to put God’s children first and my own ambitions second. I really did not know if my book would sell or not. I d0 believe that loving others should take priority.
End Of Chapter 13
I hope you enjoyed chapter 13. Next week, I will give you “Chapter14 – Acute Diverticulitis.” My new book has 32 chapters. So, if you want to receive all 32 chapters as soon as the post is created, then become a follower of this blog.
If you do not want to wait that long and you have not read my first book. I encourage you to go to my website, www.homeysadventures.com. You can read the first two chapters for free, and you can also purchase it. Or you can purchase it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other fine retailers. Just search for it using the words: Homey’s Adventures by Jim Wish.
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I liken myself to the Vienna Violinist described in chapter 5. I play (write) for your enjoyment and mine. God bless you all.