New Banner for LinkedIn

Banner for LinkedIn

New Banner for LinkedIn as of August 19, 2020

I have been in the marketing/publicity mode for Shadows and Stars tonight, so in addition to my new Twitter banner, I also designed one for my LinkedIn page. I downloaded the background image from Pexels.com, where you can get high-quality, royalty/fee-free, public domain images.

New Banner for LinkedIn

Banner for LinkedIn

New Banner for LinkedIn as of August 19, 2020

I have been in the marketing/publicity mode for Shadows and Stars tonight, so in addition to my new Twitter banner, I also designed one for my LinkedIn page. I downloaded the background image from Pexels.com, where you can get high-quality, royalty/fee-free, public domain images.

Update of August 18, 2020: Second Edition of The Scent and Other Stories Coming Soon!

New cover for The Scent

The cover for the second edition of The Scent and Other Stories.

I have decided to put out a second edition of The Scent and Other Stories.

My primary reason for doing this is because I don’t like the cover any more. It is too dark and bland. When I initially created it, having been a (film) photographer at one point, I thought a black and white photo of a woman looking at the reader would be intriguing.

However, when I searched Books-a-Million to see if they carried my works (and they do), they came up with only four, of which The Scent… was one. It looked very dark and bland and ancient on their website. It was nothing to entice a viewer. Therefore, I have developed a new cover, which you can see here. It’s much more eye-catching, which is important when it’s laid out side by side with a dozen others on a computer screen.

I started thinking about a second edition some time back. I wanted to include another story entitled “Bye-Bye”, which was previously published by Fictionontheweb.co.uk. After I added the story to the current manuscript, I discovered that I had 90 pages. In the Amazon printing world, they can print the title on the spine of the book so long as the book is 100+ pages. I really want the title to be on the spine to make it more marketable in bookstores. So I have another 10+ pages to add.

I searched my electronic files and found a story entitled “American Dream” which I started a few years ago, but never got more than 40%-50% done. I calculated the number of 6×9 pages the story would be  currently to eight. So I decided to finish it and include it in the second edition. I am still working on it.  Once finished, it will probably be more like fifteen to twenty pages in length. Maybe one day, if I write more stories along this line (and I hope to), I will put out a third edition and include those.

San Antonio Riverwalk

The San Antonio Riverwalk

The story so far is that a rather wealthy and bored, young wife named Laura is waking up in her bedroom in Corpus Christi while her husband is out of town on business. She is trying to decide what to do for the day. She thinks about the nightlife she enjoys and the lovers she has had (her husband is frequently out of town) as a result.  She wants to call up her current guy on the side, Malcolm Flynn, but he is up in San Antonio for the weekend with his girlfriend. In a little while, a friend named Jill calls and asks Laura to go to San Antonio with her. She agrees thinking that San Antonio is a big town and she probably won’t run into Malcolm there. Of course, Laura and Jill spot Malcolm and his girlfriend in a cafe on the Riverwalk.

That’s as far as I have gotten. I am still toying with ideas for what happens next and how the story ends.

One side note on the story is that it includes Malcolm Flynn. Malcolm is a character in the novel I am planning to finish after Shadows and Stars: The Man Who Escaped from Hell. I also have plans to include Malcolm in some short stories. He is one of my varied alter egos that crop up in my work from time to time. Malcolm won’t be the protagonist in The Man Who Escaped from Hell (that’s Jake Brody), but he will be a close friend of his.

Let me know what you think of my plans and if you have any questions.

Don’t forget to subscribe.

Hasta Luego.

 

The Importance of a Good Title/Business Name in Marketing

Phil Slattery portrait

Phil Slattery
March, 2015

As you may know, I am exploring marketing and publicity primarily as it pertains to books. You may also know that I dabble in the stock market. Today, on Ameritrade, I found a business that demonstrates why choosing a good name for your business or a good title for your book is important. Bear in mind that I have no knowledge of this company’s products and as to whether they are good or bad. They may be top of the line and on the cutting edge of their field, but you cannot tell that by the name. The blurb below is taken from Ameritrade.

Holy Crap Brands Inc 

Based in Canada
Company profile: Holy Crap Brands Inc. is a Canada-based company that provides breakfast cereal and related food products. The Company produces and sells cereal from its Gibsons, BC facility.
Please leave comments below. Don’t forget to like and subscribe.

Lovecraft’s Lack of Publicity in His Time

H.P. Lovecraft in June, 1934. He passed away in 1937.

I have read a fair amount of Lovecraft’s works and I have been watching some animated versions on YouTube lately (see the May 9 Saturday Night Special for an example; more are forthcoming). Also, within the past few years, as a soon-to-be novelist, I am becoming familiar with how critical publicity is to the success of an author.

I suppose my subconscious has been working in the background, but a thought occurred to me this morning out of the blue. Maybe why Lovecraft was not successful in his time was because he lacked publicity, at least I am not aware of any publicity campaigns he undertook.

It has been said that Lovecraft was unappreciated in his time, because people did not recognize the quality of his writing. It seems to me that the reason that the public did not appreciate might be because they didn’t know it existed. Though I am no Lovecraft scholar, does anyone know where his work was mentioned outside of the magazine in which it was currently appearing? For that matter, does anyone know of an instance where Lovecraft submitted his work to a more highly-respected magazine than Weird Tales or other pulp fiction mills? Does anyone know of Lovecraft being interviewed on the radio or in a magazine. Maybe he did all of the above, but I never heard about it. Of course, there’s the fact that Lovecraft never wrote a full-length novel (depending on your definition of a novel, of course). Then his publisher would have had to drum up some publicity for him at least.

Instead, like any lonely geek, he stayed in his room, writing his letters and stories, submitting the latter to magazines, I suppose at every opportunity, and sending the former to his friends who were also writers.

I see this same characteristic among many other writers I have met over the years. They write quality work, but because writers frequently tend to be introverts, they either avoid publicity, because it makes them uncomfortable, or, being naturally humble, they don’t have faith in their works. They lack confidence.

I wonder how the literary world would have changed had Lovecraft taken the publicity avenues that were available to him then.

I wonder how many undiscovered Lovecrafts are living now in ignominy because of their unfamiliarity with the numerous ways to publicize themselves today or that haven’t had the confidence in themselves or their works to sally forth with a novel, which might make a world of difference to their careers and lives.

I don’t want to seem unsympathetic (being something of an introvert myself), but the problem boils down to the old military adage: “No guts, no glory”. A writer needs “glory” (of some type at least) in order to be successful.

Lovecraft is a good example of that.

Comments?

Seeking Opinions: New Collected Works Project Les Danses Macabres

Having dinner with my wife at Ray's Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

Having dinner with my wife at Ray’s Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

I am considering collecting all my short fiction published to date into one volume. This would include all the works in A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror, The Scent and Other Stories, and Click (Alien Embrace and Diablolical are already included in A Tale of Hell and Other Works).

The working title for this collection is Les Danses Macabres.  According to The Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (J.A. Cuddon, Penguin Books, 1991) the danse Macabre is:

Also known as the Dance of Death…The Dance of Death (in art and literature) depicted a procession or dance in which the dead lead the living to the grave.   It was a reminder of mortality, the ubiquity of death and of the equality of all men in that state.  It was also a reminder of the need for repentance. Apart from its moral and allegorical elements, it was very often satirical in tone…Death is, as it were, presented as a kind of sardonic joke.

Notice that the title of my planned work is Les Danses Macabres, which is the plural of danse macabre. I chose this variation for two reasons:

  1. To distinguish my book from other books and other works which have the name Danse Macabre, which is not an uncommon name. In fact, there is even a tone poem for orchestra by Camille Saint-Saens called Danse Macabre (Opus 40, 1874) and a non-fiction book by Stephen King entitled Danse Macabre.
  2. “Danse Macabre” is a single way to death . By using the plural, I am intimating that there are several ways to death (or to hell, if you prefer). I think the stories in the collection illustrate that.

I have rearranged the stories, somewhat, to start with “The Scent”, which is a very pleasant, poignant, but a little spooky story. From there the stories gradually increase in intensity until the collection ends with the intense, violent microfiction at the end of A Tale of Hell….

The total word count of the collection is over 87,300, which puts it into the same size range as a novel. This should make it more marketable as people like to buy longer works. In fact, I have read that Stephen King likes to write long works, so that his readers get something for their money. This seems to bear out in my sales, as my longest work (A Tale of Hell…) has accounted for 43% of my sales since January, 2018. it is 62,054 words in length, which puts it in the range of shorter novel. According to my research on Duotrope, most small publishers are looking for novels to be about 40,000 to 100,000 words in length with the majority being around 40,000 to 50,000.

I am designing this work initially to be marketed on Amazon Kindle, but I am also keeping it simple to make it easily converted into a hard copy book.

This planned work will include only prose. Nocturne, therefore, will not be included in this collection. However, I am planning a second edition of it that will include poems that were not included in the current edition.

.I have started designing covers for Les Danses Macabres. Here are the possibilities I have come up with so far. Let me which one you think most suitable.  For easy reference, I have put a name below each. Let me know your thoughts on my other plans too as well, if you will.

 

Dancer Cover

 

Red Skull Cover

 

Blue Skull Cover

 

Bonfire Cover

Hasta luego.

 

 

 

 

 

Seeking Opinions: New Collected Works Project Les Danses Macabres

Having dinner with my wife at Ray's Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

Having dinner with my wife at Ray’s Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

I am considering collecting all my short fiction published to date into one volume. This would include all the works in A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror, The Scent and Other Stories, and Click (Alien Embrace and Diablolical are already included in A Tale of Hell and Other Works).

The working title for this collection is Les Danses Macabres.  According to The Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (J.A. Cuddon, Penguin Books, 1991) the danse Macabre is:

Also known as the Dance of Death…The Dance of Death (in art and literature) depicted a procession or dance in which the dead lead the living to the grave.   It was a reminder of mortality, the ubiquity of death and of the equality of all men in that state.  It was also a reminder of the need for repentance. Apart from its moral and allegorical elements, it was very often satirical in tone…Death is, as it were, presented as a kind of sardonic joke.

Notice that the title of my planned work is Les Danses Macabres, which is the plural of danse macabre. I chose this variation for two reasons:

  1. To distinguish my book from other books and other works which have the name Danse Macabre, which is not an uncommon name. In fact, there is even a tone poem for orchestra by Camille Saint-Saens called Danse Macabre (Opus 40, 1874) and a non-fiction book by Stephen King entitled Danse Macabre.
  2. “Danse Macabre” is a single way to death . By using the plural, I am intimating that there are several ways to death (or to hell, if you prefer). I think the stories in the collection illustrate that.

I have rearranged the stories, somewhat, to start with “The Scent”, which is a very pleasant, poignant, but a little spooky story. From there the stories gradually increase in intensity until the collection ends with the intense, violent microfiction at the end of A Tale of Hell….

The total word count of the collection is over 87,300, which puts it into the same size range as a novel. This should make it more marketable as people like to buy longer works. In fact, I have read that Stephen King likes to write long works, so that his readers get something for their money. This seems to bear out in my sales, as my longest work (A Tale of Hell…) has accounted for 43% of my sales since January, 2018. it is 62,054 words in length, which puts it in the range of shorter novel. According to my research on Duotrope, most small publishers are looking for novels to be about 40,000 to 100,000 words in length with the majority being around 40,000 to 50,000.

I am designing this work initially to be marketed on Amazon Kindle, but I am also keeping it simple to make it easily converted into a hard copy book.

This planned work will include only prose. Nocturne, therefore, will not be included in this collection. However, I am planning a second edition of it that will include poems that were not included in the current edition.

.I have started designing covers for Les Danses Macabres. Here are the possibilities I have come up with so far. Let me which one you think most suitable.  For easy reference, I have put a name below each. Let me know your thoughts on my other plans too as well, if you will.

 

Dancer Cover

 

Red Skull Cover

 

Blue Skull Cover

 

Bonfire Cover

Hasta luego.

 

 

 

 

 

Seeking Opinions: New Collected Works Project Les Danses Macabres

Having dinner with my wife at Ray's Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

Having dinner with my wife at Ray’s Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

I am considering collecting all my short fiction published to date into one volume. This would include all the works in A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror, The Scent and Other Stories, and Click (Alien Embrace and Diablolical are already included in A Tale of Hell and Other Works).

The working title for this collection is Les Danses Macabres.  According to The Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (J.A. Cuddon, Penguin Books, 1991) the danse Macabre is:

Also known as the Dance of Death…The Dance of Death (in art and literature) depicted a procession or dance in which the dead lead the living to the grave.   It was a reminder of mortality, the ubiquity of death and of the equality of all men in that state.  It was also a reminder of the need for repentance. Apart from its moral and allegorical elements, it was very often satirical in tone…Death is, as it were, presented as a kind of sardonic joke.

Notice that the title of my planned work is Les Danses Macabres, which is the plural of danse macabre. I chose this variation for two reasons:

  1. To distinguish my book from other books and other works which have the name Danse Macabre, which is not an uncommon name. In fact, there is even a tone poem for orchestra by Camille Saint-Saens called Danse Macabre (Opus 40, 1874) and a non-fiction book by Stephen King entitled Danse Macabre.
  2. “Danse Macabre” is a single way to death . By using the plural, I am intimating that there are several ways to death (or to hell, if you prefer). I think the stories in the collection illustrate that.

I have rearranged the stories, somewhat, to start with “The Scent”, which is a very pleasant, poignant, but a little spooky story. From there the stories gradually increase in intensity until the collection ends with the intense, violent microfiction at the end of A Tale of Hell….

The total word count of the collection is over 87,300, which puts it into the same size range as a novel. This should make it more marketable as people like to buy longer works. In fact, I have read that Stephen King likes to write long works, so that his readers get something for their money. This seems to bear out in my sales, as my longest work (A Tale of Hell…) has accounted for 43% of my sales since January, 2018. it is 62,054 words in length, which puts it in the range of shorter novel. According to my research on Duotrope, most small publishers are looking for novels to be about 40,000 to 100,000 words in length with the majority being around 40,000 to 50,000.

I am designing this work initially to be marketed on Amazon Kindle, but I am also keeping it simple to make it easily converted into a hard copy book.

This planned work will include only prose. Nocturne, therefore, will not be included in this collection. However, I am planning a second edition of it that will include poems that were not included in the current edition.

.I have started designing covers for Les Danses Macabres. Here are the possibilities I have come up with so far. Let me which one you think most suitable.  For easy reference, I have put a name below each. Let me know your thoughts on my other plans too as well, if you will.

 

Dancer Cover

 

Red Skull Cover

 

Blue Skull Cover

 

Bonfire Cover

Hasta luego.

 

 

 

 

 

Seeking Opinions: New Collected Works Project Les Danses Macabres

Having dinner with my wife at Ray's Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

Having dinner with my wife at Ray’s Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

I am considering collecting all my short fiction published to date into one volume. This would include all the works in A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror, The Scent and Other Stories, and Click (Alien Embrace and Diablolical are already included in A Tale of Hell and Other Works).

The working title for this collection is Les Danses Macabres.  According to The Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (J.A. Cuddon, Penguin Books, 1991) the danse Macabre is:

Also known as the Dance of Death…The Dance of Death (in art and literature) depicted a procession or dance in which the dead lead the living to the grave.   It was a reminder of mortality, the ubiquity of death and of the equality of all men in that state.  It was also a reminder of the need for repentance. Apart from its moral and allegorical elements, it was very often satirical in tone…Death is, as it were, presented as a kind of sardonic joke.

Notice that the title of my planned work is Les Danses Macabres, which is the plural of danse macabre. I chose this variation for two reasons:

  1. To distinguish my book from other books and other works which have the name Danse Macabre, which is not an uncommon name. In fact, there is even a tone poem for orchestra by Camille Saint-Saens called Danse Macabre (Opus 40, 1874) and a non-fiction book by Stephen King entitled Danse Macabre.
  2. “Danse Macabre” is a single way to death . By using the plural, I am intimating that there are several ways to death (or to hell, if you prefer). I think the stories in the collection illustrate that.

I have rearranged the stories, somewhat, to start with “The Scent”, which is a very pleasant, poignant, but a little spooky story. From there the stories gradually increase in intensity until the collection ends with the intense, violent microfiction at the end of A Tale of Hell….

The total word count of the collection is over 87,300, which puts it into the same size range as a novel. This should make it more marketable as people like to buy longer works. In fact, I have read that Stephen King likes to write long works, so that his readers get something for their money. This seems to bear out in my sales, as my longest work (A Tale of Hell…) has accounted for 43% of my sales since January, 2018. it is 62,054 words in length, which puts it in the range of shorter novel. According to my research on Duotrope, most small publishers are looking for novels to be about 40,000 to 100,000 words in length with the majority being around 40,000 to 50,000.

I am designing this work initially to be marketed on Amazon Kindle, but I am also keeping it simple to make it easily converted into a hard copy book.

This planned work will include only prose. Nocturne, therefore, will not be included in this collection. However, I am planning a second edition of it that will include poems that were not included in the current edition.

.I have started designing covers for Les Danses Macabres. Here are the possibilities I have come up with so far. Let me which one you think most suitable.  For easy reference, I have put a name below each. Let me know your thoughts on my other plans too as well, if you will.

 

Dancer Cover

 

Red Skull Cover

 

Blue Skull Cover

 

Bonfire Cover

Hasta luego.

 

 

 

 

 

Seeking Opinions: New Collected Works Project Les Danses Macabres

Having dinner with my wife at Ray's Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

Having dinner with my wife at Ray’s Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

I am considering collecting all my short fiction published to date into one volume. This would include all the works in A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror, The Scent and Other Stories, and Click (Alien Embrace and Diablolical are already included in A Tale of Hell and Other Works).

The working title for this collection is Les Danses Macabres.  According to The Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (J.A. Cuddon, Penguin Books, 1991) the danse Macabre is:

Also known as the Dance of Death…The Dance of Death (in art and literature) depicted a procession or dance in which the dead lead the living to the grave.   It was a reminder of mortality, the ubiquity of death and of the equality of all men in that state.  It was also a reminder of the need for repentance. Apart from its moral and allegorical elements, it was very often satirical in tone…Death is, as it were, presented as a kind of sardonic joke.

Notice that the title of my planned work is Les Danses Macabres, which is the plural of danse macabre. I chose this variation for two reasons:

  1. To distinguish my book from other books and other works which have the name Danse Macabre, which is not an uncommon name. In fact, there is even a tone poem for orchestra by Camille Saint-Saens called Danse Macabre (Opus 40, 1874) and a non-fiction book by Stephen King entitled Danse Macabre.
  2. “Danse Macabre” is a single way to death . By using the plural, I am intimating that there are several ways to death (or to hell, if you prefer). I think the stories in the collection illustrate that.

I have rearranged the stories, somewhat, to start with “The Scent”, which is a very pleasant, poignant, but a little spooky story. From there the stories gradually increase in intensity until the collection ends with the intense, violent microfiction at the end of A Tale of Hell….

The total word count of the collection is over 87,300, which puts it into the same size range as a novel. This should make it more marketable as people like to buy longer works. In fact, I have read that Stephen King likes to write long works, so that his readers get something for their money. This seems to bear out in my sales, as my longest work (A Tale of Hell…) has accounted for 43% of my sales since January, 2018. it is 62,054 words in length, which puts it in the range of shorter novel. According to my research on Duotrope, most small publishers are looking for novels to be about 40,000 to 100,000 words in length with the majority being around 40,000 to 50,000.

I am designing this work initially to be marketed on Amazon Kindle, but I am also keeping it simple to make it easily converted into a hard copy book.

This planned work will include only prose. Nocturne, therefore, will not be included in this collection. However, I am planning a second edition of it that will include poems that were not included in the current edition.

.I have started designing covers for Les Danses Macabres. Here are the possibilities I have come up with so far. Let me which one you think most suitable.  For easy reference, I have put a name below each. Let me know your thoughts on my other plans too as well, if you will.

 

Dancer Cover

 

Red Skull Cover

 

Blue Skull Cover

 

Bonfire Cover

Hasta luego.

 

 

 

 

 

Seeking Opinions: New Collected Works Project Les Danses Macabres

Having dinner with my wife at Ray's Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

Having dinner with my wife at Ray’s Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

I am considering collecting all my short fiction published to date into one volume. This would include all the works in A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror, The Scent and Other Stories, and Click (Alien Embrace and Diablolical are already included in A Tale of Hell and Other Works).

The working title for this collection is Les Danses Macabres.  According to The Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (J.A. Cuddon, Penguin Books, 1991) the danse Macabre is:

Also known as the Dance of Death…The Dance of Death (in art and literature) depicted a procession or dance in which the dead lead the living to the grave.   It was a reminder of mortality, the ubiquity of death and of the equality of all men in that state.  It was also a reminder of the need for repentance. Apart from its moral and allegorical elements, it was very often satirical in tone…Death is, as it were, presented as a kind of sardonic joke.

Notice that the title of my planned work is Les Danses Macabres, which is the plural of danse macabre. I chose this variation for two reasons:

  1. To distinguish my book from other books and other works which have the name Danse Macabre, which is not an uncommon name. In fact, there is even a tone poem for orchestra by Camille Saint-Saens called Danse Macabre (Opus 40, 1874) and a non-fiction book by Stephen King entitled Danse Macabre.
  2. “Danse Macabre” is a single way to death . By using the plural, I am intimating that there are several ways to death (or to hell, if you prefer). I think the stories in the collection illustrate that.

I have rearranged the stories, somewhat, to start with “The Scent”, which is a very pleasant, poignant, but a little spooky story. From there the stories gradually increase in intensity until the collection ends with the intense, violent microfiction at the end of A Tale of Hell….

The total word count of the collection is over 87,300, which puts it into the same size range as a novel. This should make it more marketable as people like to buy longer works. In fact, I have read that Stephen King likes to write long works, so that his readers get something for their money. This seems to bear out in my sales, as my longest work (A Tale of Hell…) has accounted for 43% of my sales since January, 2018. it is 62,054 words in length, which puts it in the range of shorter novel. According to my research on Duotrope, most small publishers are looking for novels to be about 40,000 to 100,000 words in length with the majority being around 40,000 to 50,000.

I am designing this work initially to be marketed on Amazon Kindle, but I am also keeping it simple to make it easily converted into a hard copy book.

This planned work will include only prose. Nocturne, therefore, will not be included in this collection. However, I am planning a second edition of it that will include poems that were not included in the current edition.

.I have started designing covers for Les Danses Macabres. Here are the possibilities I have come up with so far. Let me which one you think most suitable.  For easy reference, I have put a name below each. Let me know your thoughts on my other plans too as well, if you will.

 

Dancer Cover

 

Red Skull Cover

 

Blue Skull Cover

 

Bonfire Cover

Hasta luego.

 

 

 

 

 

Seeking Opinions: New Collected Works Project Les Danses Macabres

Having dinner with my wife at Ray's Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

Having dinner with my wife at Ray’s Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

I would like your opinions on an idea I had last week.

I am considering collecting all my short fiction published to date into one volume. This would include all the works in A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror, The Scent and Other Stories, and Click (Alien Embrace and Diablolical are already included in A Tale of Hell and Other Works).

The working title for this collection is Les Danses Macabres.  According to The Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (J.A. Cuddon, Penguin Books, 1991) the danse Macabre is:

Also known as the Dance of Death…The Dance of Death (in art and literature) depicted a procession or dance in which the dead lead the living to the grave.   It was a reminder of mortality, the ubiquity of death and of the equality of all men in that state.  It was also a reminder of the need for repentance. Apart from its moral and allegorical elements, it was very often satirical in tone…Death is, as it were, presented as a kind of sardonic joke.

Notice that the title of my planned work is Les Danses Macabres, which is the plural of danse macabre. I chose this variation for two reasons:

  1. To distinguish my book from other books and other works which have the name Danse Macabre, which is not an uncommon name. In fact, there is even a tone poem for orchestra by Camille Saint-Saens called Danse Macabre (Opus 40, 1874) and a non-fiction book by Stephen King entitled Danse Macabre.
  2. “Danse Macabre” is a single way to death . By using the plural, I am intimating that there are several ways to death (or to hell, if you prefer). I think the stories in the collection illustrate that.

I have rearranged the stories, somewhat, to start with “The Scent”, which is a very pleasant, poignant, but a little spooky story. From there the stories gradually increase in intensity until the collection ends with the intense, violent microfiction at the end of A Tale of Hell….

The total word count of the collection is over 87,300, which puts it into the same size range as a novel. This should make it more marketable as people like to buy longer works. In fact, I have read that Stephen King likes to write long works, so that his readers get something for their money. This seems to bear out in my sales, as my longest work (A Tale of Hell…) has accounted for 43% of my sales since January, 2018. it is 62,054 words in length, which puts it in the range of shorter novel. According to my research on Duotrope, most small publishers are looking for novels to be about 40,000 to 100,000 words in length with the majority being around 40,000 to 50,000.

I am designing this work initially to be marketed on Amazon Kindle, but I am also keeping it simple to make it easily converted into a hard copy book.

This planned work will include only prose. Nocturne, therefore, will not be included in this collection. However, I am planning a second edition of it that will include poems that were not included in the current edition.

.I have started designing covers for Les Danses Macabres. Here are the possibilities I have come up with so far. Let me which one you think most suitable.  For easy reference, I have put a name below each. Let me know your thoughts on my other plans too as well, if you will.

 

Dancer Cover

 

Red Skull Cover

 

Blue Skull Cover

 

Bonfire Cover

Hasta luego.

 

 

 

 

 

Seeking Opinions: New Collected Works Project Les Danses Macabres

Having dinner with my wife at Ray's Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

Having dinner with my wife at Ray’s Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

I am considering collecting all my short fiction published to date into one volume. This would include all the works in A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror, The Scent and Other Stories, and Click (Alien Embrace and Diablolical are already included in A Tale of Hell and Other Works).

The working title for this collection is Les Danses Macabres.  According to The Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory (J.A. Cuddon, Penguin Books, 1991) the danse Macabre is:

Also known as the Dance of Death…The Dance of Death (in art and literature) depicted a procession or dance in which the dead lead the living to the grave.   It was a reminder of mortality, the ubiquity of death and of the equality of all men in that state.  It was also a reminder of the need for repentance. Apart from its moral and allegorical elements, it was very often satirical in tone…Death is, as it were, presented as a kind of sardonic joke.

Notice that the title of my planned work is Les Danses Macabres, which is the plural of danse macabre. I chose this variation for two reasons:

  1. To distinguish my book from other books and other works which have the name Danse Macabre, which is not an uncommon name. In fact, there is even a tone poem for orchestra by Camille Saint-Saens called Danse Macabre (Opus 40, 1874) and a non-fiction book by Stephen King entitled Danse Macabre.
  2. “Danse Macabre” is a single way to death . By using the plural, I am intimating that there are several ways to death (or to hell, if you prefer). I think the stories in the collection illustrate that.

I have rearranged the stories, somewhat, to start with “The Scent”, which is a very pleasant, poignant, but a little spooky story. From there the stories gradually increase in intensity until the collection ends with the intense, violent microfiction at the end of A Tale of Hell….

The total word count of the collection is over 87,300, which puts it into the same size range as a novel. This should make it more marketable as people like to buy longer works. In fact, I have read that Stephen King likes to write long works, so that his readers get something for their money. This seems to bear out in my sales, as my longest work (A Tale of Hell…) has accounted for 43% of my sales since January, 2018. it is 62,054 words in length, which puts it in the range of shorter novel. According to my research on Duotrope, most small publishers are looking for novels to be about 40,000 to 100,000 words in length with the majority being around 40,000 to 50,000.

I am designing this work initially to be marketed on Amazon Kindle, but I am also keeping it simple to make it easily converted into a hard copy book.

This planned work will include only prose. Nocturne, therefore, will not be included in this collection. However, I am planning a second edition of it that will include poems that were not included in the current edition.

.I have started designing covers for Les Danses Macabres. Here are the possibilities I have come up with so far. Let me which one you think most suitable.  For easy reference, I have put a name below each. Let me know your thoughts on my other plans too as well, if you will.

 

Dancer Cover

 

Red Skull Cover

 

Blue Skull Cover

 

Bonfire Cover

Hasta luego.

 

 

 

 

 

Update: November 18, 2019, Letter on My Marketing Strategy

Having dinner with my wife at Ray's Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

Having escargot with my wife at Ray’s Italian Bistro, Midland, TX, May, 2019

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from a gentleman in Spain. In my response, I discussed my marketing strategy a bit. I thought that it might be of interests to others, so I am posting it here, with the gentleman’s name and other data omitted, because I do not know what personal information of his I can share.

“I try to post most important articles at 0800 EST. I researched the time zones where the most people read in the US and, unsurprisingly it is the Eastern Time Zone. The Eastern Time Zone has the most universities, major cities, publishers, and greatest concentration of population. So I post things at 0800 so people will see them when they rise,arrive at work, etc, I also post things to hit other time zones across the world. A few of my posts are on this. One thing I do is what I did with offering the four books as free on the same day, which I am doing this week and next. It’s my most recent article. I post an advertisement or announcement one hour later each day for 24 days, so that I can hit all the time zones. This seems to be gradually gaining me a larger audience. For example, on November 2, I had views from the US, UK, Canada, Austria, Jamaica, the Czech Republic, Italy, Jordan, Spain, and Romania. Recently, I had views from Uruguay and Nigeria.  

“The thing about posting to the Eastern Time Zone is that because that is the seat of US government and major metropolitan areas, that’s when the rest of the world will be watching to see what is up with the US. Also, posting around the clock means that the article hits the US around the clock as one, So one day it hits New York at 0800, the next day Chicago at 0800 and New York at 0900, the following day Denver at 0800, Chicago at 0900, and New York at 1000, etc. With WordPress, I can schedule posts ahead of time, so this is easy. I often post advertising and articles weeks or months in advance.”
Hasta luego.

Arkansas County Writers Circle

I am considering starting a Writers Circle for Arkansas County in Arkansas just as I did in Farmington, NM. That group is still thriving. Here is a link to the Farmington Writers Circle, so you can see how it is doing.

Just as in Farmington, the Arkansas County Writers Circle would focus on publicity and marketing of the participants’ works. Anyone involved in writing as an art or profession or as a hobby is invited. We would welcome writers of all genres and styles from non-fiction to horror fiction to science fiction to young adult to authors of children’s books to romances to poetry to comics to journalism to whatever you can imagine.

Most writers circles focus on the art of writing,  This group is for writers who are interested in marketing or publicizing their works. Each meeting would be a round table discussion preceded by a reading of 30 minutes or less from one of the members.  The group would then offer their constructive criticism on the work read.  The meetings would last however long they last, but in general they may last up to an hour or longer depending on how many people attend.

I have not decided upon a meeting location yet, though it would probably be in Stuttgart at a coffee shop or at the Arts Center or maybe in DeWitt.  The meeting times and dates would be set at the first meeting. In New Mexico, we met on the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm for the reading followed by the discussion at 7:00.

There would be no dues or cost to participate. All you need to do is show up and join the discussion.

The group might even develop their own networking events and participate as a group in local events such as readings, book signings, etc.  We did this in Farmington and it worked well.  During one Art Walk in Farmington, our members participated with  a local art gallery and read from their works, sold some of their books, signed several books and made contacts with other writers, both amateur and professional.

If you live in Arkansas County or its environs, please let me know if you would be interested in participating.

Update: June 8, 2019, 7:27 p.m. Marketing for The Man Who…

Working on “Shadows and Stars Lying Down” with hair thinning. May 24 or 25, 2019, in IHOP, Midland, TX

One issue I have struggled with is whether to publish The Man Who Escaped from Hell as one volume with two parts or as two volumes because of a distinct story line break. Part I is where the protagonist, Jake Brody, is in Hell remembering the past and then escapes, and the second part, Jake is on Earth again with new problems to face.

Looking at word count, part I has 54,000+ words. Therefore, I am now strongly considering publishing it as the first volume to be followed at some point soon by the second part, which currently has 30,000+ words.

The advantage of the two volume strategy is that it builds suspense for the release of the second volume and will hopefully increase sales. The disadvantage, of course, is that the second volume has to be superb in order to avoid being a disappointment and damaging my long range goals.

Update: June 8, 2019, 5:59 p.m. Publicity/Marketing

April 15, 2017

The post immediately before this one, gave me an idea/revelation (remember that I am still a novice at marketing).

Advertising my upcoming novels by updating the progress on them is like a TV mystery series with a definite but unpredictable conclusion somewhere in the future. Hopefully, it will likewise draw an ever-increasing audience as a TV mystery would.

At the moment, we are watching “Good Omens” (very entertaining) on Amazon, which stars Michael Sheen and David Tennant of “Broadchurch” and “Dr. Who”.  The connection with the preceding paragraph is that the first season (at least) of “Broadchuch” is a good example of at TV mystery that intrigues the audience and draws them toward a inevitable but unpredictable conclusion.

There was another revelation associated with this, but I can’t recall it offhand. I have had little sleep over the past few days and my mind (or what’s left of it) isn’t functioning at full capacity..