A Book PKD Could Have Written.

I am not sure how I missed this one for so long. I never expected this, but anyone who knows me knows how much it means to me. Click over to Tessa B. Dick‘s site, read the quote and follow the link to her full review. I am astonished and ecstatic by her continuing support of my work. I have no words.
http://tessadick.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-book-that-philip-k-dick-could-have.html

If you are convinced already, head directly to the Little Shop and get your copy of Meowing on the Answering Machine today!

Humor Me — Eat, Sleep, Write

The Wednesday edition of my regular blog over at Eat, Sleep Write.
http://eatsleepwrite.net/humorme

On the Air with Tessa B Dick

LISTEN NOW!

Meowing on the Radio First of all thank you to those of you who tuned in. It was a lot of fun from my end, although I did find myself more nervous than I thought I would be. 

The link at the top of the page will open the archive where you can hear the complete show. It was an honor to be on Freedomizer Radio with Tessa B. Dick. More than a straight and formal interview it was more like a conversation with a friend, a few friends at the end.

We did talk about my book but we touched on a lot of subjects as we veered through the stratosphere of available topics. I was surprised and delighted we talked as much as we did about Philip K Dick and his work, especially to hear a few new twists on the tales and aspects of the stories I hadn’t heard before, and direct from the source!

Thanks to everyone who called in, Sara your book is on its way, I do hope you enjoy! I expect a full report! And multiple thanks again to Tessa for this and all the support you have granted me in this adventure.

Purr!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/freedomizerradio/2014/03/03/ancient-of-days-no-bull-zone

Meowing Trailer #2

The second teaser trailer for Meowing on the Answering Machine…

MEOWING Trailer #2

Meowing Trailer #1

MEOWING Trailer #1

Examiner.com Indie Book Spotlight: MEOWING

examinerMEOWING ON THE ANSWERING MACHINE is today’s featured book on Examiner.com‘s Indie Book Spotlight. Read, share, post, repeat!

http://www.examiner.com/article/indie-book-spotlight-meowing-on-the-answering-machine

Judging books by their cover

catacombsI think it’s one of the most used metaphors in existence, ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover.’ And while I agree with the sentiment, in general it’s not wise to judge people or things on appearances, the truth is — at least as far as the world of book publishing — this rule just does not apply anymore.

I think the saying comes from the not too distant past, when all books had hardcovers, and the most decorative thing you could manage was splurging for the good leather.

These days the cover seems like a vitally important part of the book, I would say they are as important as cover art for albums back in the day when albums mattered.

I have seen many authors lately sharing some of their cover ideas. Some are better than others. Many authors still just do not recognize the importance of this step.

We spend countless hours writing and rewriting and then editing and re-editing, I think it is important to give the book cover the same degree of time and devotion. These are the containers we use to package our product, and they are so much a part of the product themselves. A good cover can persuade sales, and likewise a bad cover can keep a great book from being read.

I learned a lot putting together Meowing on the Answering Machine. I am glad Kat Mellon jumped in when she did, otherwise I would be on the other side of this article and probably simmering.

There was a time when book reviews in newspapers or magazines were not accompanied by a picture of the cover, because at the time it wasn’t considered important or relevant. These days are gone. It’s probably the internet to blame once again, the market is cluttered with publishers and independents fighting for a sliver of attention for their work and will use any means they have to hook a potential reader. And these days so much of our retail world and social lives are online, the chances are good that a majority of people will first encounter your book as a thumbnail.

This is important to keep in mind when you design your cover. Besides looking at how it will look when printed at say 6 by 9 in paperback format, you want to also make sure it looks good, the title and your name are legible when the image is reduced to 110 x 75 pixels.

I believe it’s important to recognize what the cover is and what its purpose is. It is meant as a representation of your product, if you are writing horror your cover should convey this. If the image and feel doesn’t complement the story, you run a risk of frustrating your readers.

When we get down to basics, your cover is the packaging of your product. Every detail should be aimed toward describing the product, as well as attracting attention and persuading people to take a chance. Your blurb should be short, direct and intriguing. Give them some mystery, a struggle or a contradiction, something to make them want to investigate further.

It was a dark and stormy night,‘ and almost any talk about the weather or the atmosphere or the ‘tension in the air’ probably should be snipped out of your sixty thousand word manuscript, descriptions such as these have absolutely no place in your two-hundred-words-or-less blurb, where they will stick out like a sore, but boring, thumb. Show us conflict and intrigue, make us want to crack the book open.

Get professional help if you can. I generally believe in the ‘you get what you pay for’ adage. But there are a ton of cover artists on the internet with a variety of different skills and a wide range of prices. Some of them are authors themselves and may be willing to help out a fellow writer, especially if they believe in your work.

But even if you do it yourself, take the time and do it right. If possible, don’t do it with the cover creator programs that createspace and lulu offer. These are functional and ‘okay,’ but do not give you many options and make it difficult to get a really professional look. I believe even using free software like GIMP, or even Paint, will let you make a more professional looking product.

But recognize what your cover is, it will be the first impression many people have of your work, and in some cases it will be the factor between tossing it in the cart or putting it back on the shelf. Make sure you honestly represent your work, and take this opportunity to hook a new reader, make it impossible for them to put that book back down.

A message to my fellow writers

GhostwriterAnd an offer to the readers…

One thing which I think is important to remember, I have to continually move this back to the forefront of my mind, and it’s probably something all my fellow writers out there can take a little comfort in, or maybe readjust our expectations.

We write, we are the writers. Our readers read, this is what they do. And while we all yearn and scratch for feedback and input and all coveted costumer review, we must remember that many who we beg for words do not feel adequately prepared or properly trained to do so. They would love to convey their opinion of our work, but if their level of confidence and intimacy with the language doesn’t match our own, they may feel intimidated to use their words to talk about ours.

To this end, I am offering a new service; especially geared toward the readers among us who would love to put their opinions into digital print if they could only find the right words. For a mere 99 cents, I will ghost write your review of my book. I will strive to put your unique take of my work into words you will be proud to paste anywhere, I will also do my best to convince you that this truly is the most important work you have ever read.

This way, we all win. The writer gets the reviews they cherish so, and the reader gets a few professionally framed paragraphs explaining their thoughts which they can paste around the internet and feel like a well-spoken, as well as obviously well-read, individual.

Act now before the inevitable laws are passed against this sort of thing!

Rave Reviews for MEOWING

MEOWthumbSome very positive reviews have been coming in for MEOWING ON THE ANSWERING MACHINE. I really want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read the book, and especially those who take the extra step and write a review. These customer reviews are more precious to we writers than almost anything else. And it’s not only a stroking-of-the-ego, so much of the average readers decision on whether to try out a new book or not can often be persuaded by the opinions of others, especially their peers; what another ‘average reader’ thinks of the book often carries more weight than the opinion of a professional critic or reviewer.

If you have read please take a few minutes and write a review for AMAZON or GOODREADS or both and others and more. I will be forever grateful!

What folks are saying:

Extraordinary wit and imagination! (5 out of 5 stars)
CRies — February 13, 2014
Highlighting a crazy cast of characters, this collection of stores emotes beautifully with a distinct twist of outrageous. At times, I found myself laughing out loud, and others, giggling at the absurdities. The authenticity of the artwork and the clarity of the writing are a reflection of both the author’s unique creative side and the gift of an extraordinary imagination. I am both enlightened and inspired! Fun read.
[amazon permalink]

5 of 5 stars
Cindy — February 05, 2014
I loved this book. All the off the wall stories reminded me of all the weird and off the wall dreams I have and wish that I could remember enough to put on paper. I am glad I won this one and will be passing it along to others to enjoy it. I hope to read more from this author.
[goodreads permalink]

Short Stories Spun Strangely/ Slightly Silly/ Spell Weaving
(5 out of 5 stars) — Sherry — January 15, 2014
This book is stuffed spine to spine with bizarre, fascinating, thought provoking and thoroughly enjoyable short stories spun strangely/slightly silly/ spell weaving. Witty+ wise and wise+cracking, Hilarious in a subtle, subversive way. There is a remote chance the author is only slightly deranged. But i make you no promises.
[amazon permalink]

Thanks Everyone!

Ten Scenes from MEOWING

OK! This is turning into a rather large project now, here are all TEN of them. I have a few more up my sleeve still, so stay tuned.

Each of these is a scene from a story from my collection, MEOWING ON THE ANSWERING MACHINE, which is available absolutely everywhere, in paperback and ebook. Folks who have read it and still maintain the ability to communicate are giving it rave reviews! Saying things like, “This looks like a real book!” and “Stay crunchy in milk!”

All the cool kids are doing it!!! Get your copy today!!!
http://irobert.me/meow

Fly

FLY

FLY

Oh, Mrs. Williams, if you could only see me now, a couple thousand feet above the east coast, swirling around, twisting in the clouds and probably about to die. I hope there’s something soft down there to land on…
~Fly, MEOWING ON THE ANSWERING MACHINE

The Clown at the Top of the Stairs

The Clown at the Top of the Stairs

The Clown at the Top of the Stairs

I closed my eyes as hard as they would go, somehow thinking it would make me quieter. I twisted the knob, deliberately and delicately, praying and hoping the door wouldn’t make any noise as I pushed it open.
I opened my eyes. A scream flew out of my throat when I saw the clown staring at me. I saw the frame and realized it was only a painting. The giant round red nose pulsated, and the clown appeared to swim flat against the wall, one eye at a time bulging. My heart was trying to break free through my throat.

~Yarn, MEOWING ON THE ANSWERING MACHINE