Category Archives: writing

Numbers

“Eins, zwei, drei, veir, funf, sechs, sieben, acht”. Not exactly the most inspiring of lyrics, but Ralf Hutter is better known for his musical skills than his wordsmithing. Not that it stopped Kraftwerk becoming one of the greatest and most influential musical groups of all time. However, it is very appropriate when it comes to my blog.

You see, I began this blog six years ago, after I moved out of my marital home prior to my divorce. Fancying myself as a writer I decided to blog about my experiences as a cheap form of self medication, and sent out invitations to those I cared about, should they want to read it. Most didn’t, yet for some reason I kept on posting. I assumed that I was merely screaming into the void, but if you have to scream, you have to scream. During a career counselling session, it was suggested to me that I take the blog public, which, much against my better instincts, I did, which is why you find me here.

I turned the first 75 posts into an e-book, available on Amazon, Songs In The Key Of Single Dad and waited for the money to roll in. I didn’t, of course, and of course, it didn’t (See “Paperback Writer”).However, about five copies did sell, which puts me ahead of most writers, seeing as about 10,000 titles are published in the U. S. every year, most of which go unread.

I picked up the occasional follower from time to time and posted inconsistently as that is how life is. However, in the past two weeks I have received several “likes” (See “Five Years” “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and “Answers”), and a few actual followers, bringing my total up to a magnificent 30. Not 30,000. Not even 300, but just 30. Enough to just about half fill a tour bus. A couple of bloggers I follow have posted recently about their following. One, Beauty Beyond Bones surpassing 50,000, which is bloody impressive.

What I’d like to know is how the bloody hell people find me in the first place. It can’t be word of mouth, because I have so few followers to begin with. I’m not tech savvy, so optimisation is not my forte, and I’m sure it can’t be the subject matter. I mean, the semi -incoherent ramblings of a middle aged white guy are not exactly the most sought after reading material, so what the hell?

I do have to give credit to Sam, whose blog Living! seems to have brought me some traffic. I’d really like to hear how Sam found my blog and why he considered it worth following, as I’m damned if I know.

Much as this may sound like a pity party, it isn’t. I’m not trying to monetise my blog, nor could I even if I wanted to, and I’m in no way seeking fame in any form, but I’d really like to know how people found my blog. I will, of course, continue to blog. I have quite a bit to blog about, including what appears to be a couple of very promising potential relationship opportunities. I  know how cold that sounds, but as things go, I can’t really say a great deal more before something happens. I’m meeting someone for a second date on Sunday, although I would argue that our 3 1/2 hour phone call last Saturday qualifies as a date de jure, if not de facto ( See future post).

There have been several occasions in the past when I’ve given serious consideration to just giving up on the whole blogging endeavor, but some spark of stubborn refusal to face facts keeps kicking in. I suspect that this is due to my being English. You see, a pig – headed refusal to face reality is what enabled us to build an empire and  survive two world wars. If my ancestors can get through that, I’m pretty sure I can keep sitting down in front of a keyboard when more than slightly drunk and pound out a few hundred words, regardless of whether any one reads them or not.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, writing

Paperback Writer.

The end of last month was marked by an experience that not many people will have undergone: you see, I received a royalty cheque. Or rather, and electronic deposit was made to my bank account. I’m pretty sure that most of you are unaware of the fact that some time ago I turned my first 75 blog posts into an e-book available from Amazon.com. It was a logical progression from taking the blog public and required remarkably little effort on my part. All I had to do was copy and paste the blogs into Word, tidy up the formatting and correct some small errors. I also added an explanatory paragraph to each post in order to provide some context for new readers, and, I have to admit, in order to increase the page count to something approaching respectability. This done, all that was required was for me to follow the instructions provided by Amazon, hit “Accept” and wait for the cash to roll in.

You may wonder what sort of life I lead as a published author. Perhaps you imagine me sitting in my leather wing-back chair in my wood paneled study typing posts as I look out across the perfectly manicured parkland that surrounds the baroque edifice that is Singledad Towers. No doubt you imagine I spend my off time playing croquet with J.K. Rowling, Toni Morrison and Salman Rushdie before retiring for drinks on the deck of a beachfront villa. Where that it were so.

You all know that I have a day job (post to come), so I ain’t fooling nobody. Much as I would love to be able to support myself purely from my ability to string words together in a coherent, um, thingy, the reality is somewhat different. You see, the royalties amounted to a whopping $1.05. Yup, you read that correctly. Not even enough to buy a cup of coffee.

I can see that none of you is even remotely surprised by this. Let’s be honest, only a few friends even know that the book exists, and most of them have absolutely no interest in buying it. The payment equates to exactly one sale, for which, lest you imagine otherwise, I am very grateful. My appreciation, to you, J.T. I hope you enjoyed getting up to speed.  I know exactly who bought the book: let me explain.

A couple of months ago a school friend moved to the area and I was one of three people who helped him unpack the van. Afterwards, as the others had prior commitments, he and I retired to a local pub in order to catch up, as we’d not seen each other for quite some time. During our chat I mentioned the e-book and he told me that as he hadn’t read my earliest posts, he would use some of the money in his Amazon account to purchase a copy. That $1.05 is  the result of his purchase.

I’m not complaining. At no point did I expect to make real money from the e-book, and seeing as most of the 10,000 books published in the U.S. every year go unread, I’m doing better than most, although when I consider the amount earned ( this isn’t my first cheque) compared to the amount of time involved compiling the book,  let alone writing the posts, the hourly rate is so low as to be invisible. I wonder if Andy Weir went through this. As you know, “The Martian” started as an episodic e-book, which through reader feedback he was able to parlay into a hard copy novel and then a movie. Bully for him. Seriously. He took a great idea, corrected the science and turned out one of the most enjoyable novels of recent years. I don’t see that happening in my case. I doubt very much if some bored producer from Netflix is going to stumble up on my e-book and decide it would be perfect material on which to base a T.V. show. Even if she or he did, would it be a comedy, a tragedy or a farce? Who knows, it could even end up as the next “Wolf Lake”.  I guess, to paraphrase Mr. Weir’s eponymous hero, ” I’m going to have to literature the shit out of this”.

Songs In The Key Of Single Dad

Leave a comment

Filed under writing