How much does a Hemingway?

This post has nothing to do with the title. I just liked the way it sounds. My weekend in the Great Northwoods, clearing my head and working up a new strategy for promoting The Floating Man accomplished a few things—none of them having anything to do with promoting the book. First I learned that Scotch blended whisky makes a better whisky sour than American bourbon. Something I learned only by happenstance when my bottle of Southern Comfort fell off the countertop and broke—should never attempt to mix a drink sober. I am now a Cutty Sark man, thanks to an ancient bottle my brother had stored in case our late departed Uncle John stopped by.

The second thing I learned is that my brother thinks he is a landscape artist. He is. Just not so much when he’s been drinking. Much of Sunday afternoon was spent moving large Oak tree trunks into various configurations. After each move my brother would ascend to the large deck that overlooks his property leading to lovely Lake Peppermill and survey his kingdom. Then he would make a command decision to rearrange all the fallen Oaks into yet another configuration. This process went on for much of the afternoon until mercifully, his hernia and my back started to act up.

The third thing I learned is that you can’t do everything yourself. It’s good to have friends. While nursing my back with a Cutty Sark sour I checked my email and blog comments; and there, in the musings of my friends was the key to my book promotion. Roxanne wrote that I should do some interviews at local community college radio stations and contact our former communications manager for a life after work article. Joe wants me to send copies of my book to Oprah and other celebrities. And Steve my webguy sent me links to various free sites that promote books.

So now I won’t have to chop my ear off à la Van Gogh to promote my book. Besides, that thinking outside the box strategy that everyone talks about is highly overrated. Ever notice that when anyone actually comes up with an outside the box strategy—like chopping off an ear or staging your own kidnapping—everyone unanimously agrees that it is a stupid idea?

Almost forgot. I figured out how much a Hemingways. Not nearly as much as an Oak tree.

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Sometimes you have to lose yourself before you can find yourself

Sometimes you have to lose yourself before you can find yourself.

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Sometimes you have to lose yourself before you can find yourself

As my book sales climbed towards the 100 mark I found myself in a rut. Steve, my webguy, said to start thinking outside of the box. I needed to withdraw and rethink my strategy. I didn’t even know I had one. I decided to retreat to my brother’s cottage along the beautiful shores of Lake Peppermill (it’s really just a very large pond) site of my first great triumph. Along these shores the Peppermill Lake book club discussed my book and told me my book would be a bestseller, if only my name were James Patterson, Dean Koontz, David Baldacci, etc.

I decided to do what all great writers do to clear their mind . . . get drunk.

Like Hemingway and his rum, Wolfe and his martinis, Solzhenitsyn and his gulag (isn’t that a Norwegian drink? And I thought he was Russian. Guess it was the beard that threw me).   Now add Crawford and his whiskey sours. How am I ever going to be on the level of a Hemingway drinking such a feminine drink? Not that there is anything wrong with that. In fact, I let my feminine side show frequently. Besides, didn’t “Papa” blow his brains out?

Anyway, back to clearing my mind. Just got back from a swim, or rather a float. I’m thinking I need to do something different to promote The Floating Man. Thought about chopping my ear off, but Van Gogh already tried that, and it didn’t work out so well for him. I guess from Van Gogh’s perspective I’m a rip roaring success. He never sold a single painting in his lifetime and I’m rapidly approaching the 100 milestone. 

God, I feel better already. 

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You never forget your first . . . Damyanti where are you?

Back at my favorite coffee shop. No homeless guy today—still gonna offer him a drink next time I see him. Book sales have stalled despite receiving good reviews. I think this throwing five bucks here and there on Fiverr.com to see what will stick is not working. 

Need to create more of that cross-channel marketing that Steve my webguy keeps harping on. You’ve got to drive people to Amazon and B&N. That’s easy for Steve to say, but with only four people regularly reading this blog, I can only do so much. Now if those readers would mention me on their blogs . . . that might help.

Damyanti, are you out there? Could you send a little love my way? In the form of readers?

Damyanti was my first follower. She’s from Singapore and writes a very popular blog. You can check it out here: http://damyantiwrites.wordpress.com 

You always remember your first, and I will always remember Damyanti. I wonder if she ever thinks of me, or has checked out my website: My Website

Sometimes, I imagine her siting at a table in the neighborhood food court where she likes to do her blogging, sipping tea and picking at the fruit on her plate, while I sit at my local Starbucks—half a world away. Maybe she is reading my book as I sit here typing, at this very moment.

I just Googled the time in Singapore, it’s 3:29 AM Tuesday, September 3rd.  So much for that fantasy.

Maybe she has trouble sleeping and is reading my book. I hope she doesn’t get to the part about the crazy spy—if she does, she’ll never get to sleep. It’s really creepy.  

Buy at Amazon:  http://amzn.to/13520cN

 

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Synchronicity? Fate? . . . Or just a strange coincidence?

Synchronicity? Fate? . . . Or just a strange coincidence?.

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Synchronicity? Fate? . . . Or just a strange coincidence?

We authors will cling to hope wherever we can find it.  In an effort to boost sales and soar to the top of the bestseller lists I decided I needed a little more juice. Bugging my friends and relatives to buy my book will only take you so far. And this idea of leaving my business cards—showing the cover of my book and a short teaser—at every Starbucks I visit is leaving me over caffeinated and a lot lighter in the wallet.

The other day, after an extra hot Venti Caramel Macchiato I went for a brisk walk in the balmy 94-degree weather. Caffeine will make you do that.  That’s why I prefer whiskey. Anway, I digress; I think you may have noticed I do that a lot, again it’s the caffeine. As a matter of fact, I’m drinking another Venti outside my local Starbucks as I speak, so to speak—I do most of my blogging here. Sitting across from me at this moment is an old homeless guy. It was the only spot left and I didn’t want to make him think I was shunning him.  He is babbling incessantly, I can’t understand what he is saying though, could be something profound, but probably not. Should I offer him a venti Caramel Macchiato? I’m torn. I’ve seen him before and noticed cups by his side that other customers have undoubtedly bought for him. But does he really need the caffeine? And if I buy him a decaf—

Wait a minute. He’s getting up and he just said, “Don’t, don’t, no, no . . .” And again something indecipherable. Problem solved, he’s picked up his bags and strolled away. Now I feel really bad. Could have at least offered him an iced tea. I’ll make a mental note to do that next time I see him.

Damn! There I go again with the digressing.

Back to the brisk walk and my synchronistic moment.

As I walked past the storefronts I noticed a stenciled sign in one of the windows: Internet Marketing Campaigns beginning at just $2,000.00 a month. Free 30 minute consultation

That’s what was missing . . . a campaign (have you noticed I love using those little dot, dot, dot thingies?).  For the past three weeks I had just been flailing away: a website here, Facebook page there, Twitter account and this lonely blog which is now viewed regularly by four people—not counting myself.

But $2,000.00 a month? I don’t think so. A free thirty minute consultation I could afford.

I confidently opened the door, and with my head held high, entered. Looking every bit the well-heeled businessman with my cargo shorts, flip-flops and purple tee-shirt (I only wear that one on laundry day) I surveyed the vast office space; a man sitting at one of the desks in this two-desk office jumped up and walked over with hand extended.

He asked—naturally enough—what he could do for me. I explained that I wrote a novel and I would soon be a bestselling author, so if he didn’t want to be left behind he better jump on the bandwagon before this train leaves the station. And to his incredulous and slightly bemused look I quickly added that I had been asked to join a very prestigious writing group.

Well, that stopped him dead in his tracks. His look of scorn turned instantly into one of newfound respect. He asked what the novel was about. I gave him one of those business cards that I leave at the Starbucks.

And that is when the synchronistic moment occurred.

He stared at the card and said, “Isn’t that strange? We have the same name.” And then he gave me his card: William Crawford, MBA. Under his name was one word in all caps: PRESIDENT I had gone straight to the top in this two-man office. The PRESIDENT, my namesake, said his middle name was David. I exclaimed, “Mine too!” It was a lie, but hey, you’ve gotta run with it when you have the chance.

I explained what I had been doing to promote the book, and he said I was doing everything right, just should have started my social media platform months before the book came out. Too late for that.

The good news is that since we have the same name, he took down my email and phone number and said he would brainstorm over the weekend and come up with some new wrinkles for me. He knows I can’t spend $2,000.00 a month, but again, since we have the same name he would work something out. Whatever that means.

Hopefully, you’ll be seeing a link in the next couple of blogs for his company—that means I got a real good deal.

The Floating Man-free excerpt

Buy here at Amazon

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Nothing beats the recognition from one’s peers . . . except maybe sales?

Nothing beats the recognition from one’s peers . . . except maybe sales?.

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