Saturday, December 1, 2012

No Comprendo Spain

I have just released my latest book - sort of. 

Part one is out and should be available for free.

However, Amazon only allows a book to be free for five days. 

How can I offer my book for free?

By publishing it again and again and continually using the promotion to allow it to be free for five days.

Today is Dec 1st.  This verison, No Comprendo Spain Part One, will be free until Dec 5th.  On Dec 6th, I will release the same book but call it No Comprendo Spain Part I.  Notice how I changed the "One" to "I".

Then on Jan 1, 2013, I will release No Comprendo Spain Part Two for $2.99.  Or the whole book for 4.99.  Of course Part One, Part I, P 1, etc. will also be available for 2.99.

Name Change

Saint Peter Killed God turns people off.  It sounds....too harsh. 

I've decided change the name of my book to something that sounds more pleasant.  Something that noone would be embarrassed to read.  Well, plenty would, but it does sound more innocent.  I've changed the name to If Jesus was Alive Today. 

I don't love it, but it's less of a turn off.

The problem is I've had trouble find my original verison.  I've changed the title on the book, but official, I cannot change the title without republishing the book.  And now the book is really confused: SPKG is the title it's listed under.  The cover says it's IJWAT and the pages list it as SPKG. 

Oh well.  My apologies for my lack of professionalism.  I'll change it soon.  But with two babies, papers to grade, and a missing flash drive, it may take longer than I want.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Now Out in Print Form

Saint Peter Killed God is finally available in paperback at Amazon and in 6 weeks elsewhere.  It's a long time coming and it's good just to get the book out there.  BTW, what do you think of the new cover?  Does it look like it was done by an amateur or does it look professional or somewhere in between?

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Reaction to My First One-Star Review

I knew it would happen eventually – a one-star review for Saint Peter Killed God on Amazon.

I’ve been begging Christians to give me low reviews saying things like, “I just don’t agree with the premise that Christianity must change.”  I must have asked a dozen people, but they were all too polite.  So when the reviewer said that obviously my friends had stacked the reviews in my favor, I saw his point.  My book needs some balance in its reviews.  Having ten nice reviews to one bad one, well, that’s pretty good odds and I deserved to be called on it.

Most of the review I can live with.  Skipping pages to get to what was happening in the psych hospital, etc. – all fine.  The one thing that got me was the claim of grammatical mistakes.

I recently got into an argument with a blogger.  He asked for my permission to post a review blasting my book for its horrible punctuation.  He didn’t know the rule about speeches.  It’s kind of an odd grammatical rule.  If you have one person speaking for more than one paragraph, there are no end quotes at the end of the paragraph but new quotes at the beginning of the next one.  I remember learning about that rule when I read To Kill a Mockingbird.  Atticus Finch closing remarks are punctuated that way. 

I wonder how many people even know that rule.

The blogger finally figured it out and apologized.

And I wonder if that’s why the reviewer gave me one star.  Did he not know the rule?  I say that because he blasted my book – and yes, I’m sure there might be errors within the book.  But nothing that warrants such criticism (I did panic when it was first published and my wife caught more than a dozen errors – after it was edited twice professionally).   And while this review doesn’t make me panic, it does frustrate me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Saint Peter Killed God - Update

First - thanks to Daily Cheap Reads for promoting my book here:

Also, Saint Peter Killed God will be available as a paperback book by March 1st.  It really should have been much faster.

Nothing major to report - sales are up and down. Thinking about offering SPKG for free for five days to promote it...

On the home front, Xavier keeps growing.  And I am thinking about writing another book - Living in Spain Without Speaking the Language.  Of course a dozen or so ideas have popped into my head and haven't seen the light of day - I'm hoping this one does.

Thanks for visiting and say hello in the comments and I'll try to pop by your blog sooner or later,

Friday, October 14, 2011

Verizon Can Kiss My...

I opened my Verizon bill and fell on the floor.  How the hell did I owe $265.52?  I checked to see if I paid last month’s bill.  Yep, all 76.01.  How could my bill increase almost 200 dollars in a single month?

First, the 83 dollar call.  That’s right, one call, 19 minutes, 83 bucks.  That’s over 4.35 cents a minute.  Yes, it was an international call.  My wife usually uses those calling cards that you buy in gas stations where you only have to pay ten cents a minute. She ran out of minutes and thought, what the hell, I’ll make one call to my parents in Spain.  We didn’t think 19 minutes would cost more than say 19 dollars.  Wrong.  We’ll never make that mistake again.

We also had our phone line suspended while we were in Spain.  When we came back, we no longer had caller ID or voice mail.  I asked to have them reinstated.  Cost to have them added - $44.99.  Just to add what was on my phone before I left.  I never asked to have caller ID or voice mail removed. 

Add to that a new rate – instead of 76 bucks a month, we now owe 105.  That’s an extra 29 bucks just to have caller ID, voice mail, and the ability to make long distance calls if need be.  Wait, make that 139 dollars – I forgot to add the taxes.  I still can’t figure out why it jumped more than 40 dollars since before I left for Spain when we have the same plan.  That’s right, the same plan – and three months later it’s 40 plus more dollars!

How much of this bill is just foolishness intended to rob naïve costumers like myself?  

And as I simmer, I think about all the other bills that come up that my parents never had to pay.  Cell phones, data plans, cable bills, internet, satellite radio, not to mention daycare.  Ah, what happened to the stay at home moms - when both parents didn't need to work to pay for their phone bills. Most of these bills aren't  necessary, but it seems like everyone considers most of them vital.   

I’m going to look into Vonage – I need to drop Verizon.  Maybe I’ll drop the cable and pick up NetFlicks.  Here I am saving nickels and dimes by cutting coupons for the groceries only to spend dollars on a stupid fricken call.  I wish I could drop all of them and just live off the grid.

I'm sure I'm not the only one with billing nightmare stories.  Add yours here - it'd be nice to know that I'm not alone.

Friday, October 7, 2011

How Should I Respond to Good and Bad Reviews?

It’s great to read good reviews after years of working on a book.  It puts me in a better mood as I start to think of news ways of promoting my book.  I find these reviews scattered about.  I have more than a half dozen on Amazon and six more at  I have a couple on and  At times I’m tempted to thank the review and even beg to post it in more spots, but I don’t want to burden a reviewer who has been so nice to suddenly go around the internet posting reviews.

And just like a good review can cheer me up, a bad review can bring me down.  I’m lucky; I’ve only had one so far (I’m sure that will change).  And the reviewer gave me three out of five stars (I know eventually I’ll see one-star reviews, but lucky for me, most have been five stars).  Three stars isn’t bad, but the review wasn’t.  I saw what the reviewer was getting at and felt like shutting it down.  I no longer wanted to promote it and wondered if I was wasting my time.  Then I saw some other authors tweeting about their bad reviews.  I’m not sure what the point was, but it elicited sympathy.  “Oh, that reviewer is terrible and so wrong…”, “I’ve had bad reviews too, don’t worry about it,” etc.  In one case I saw a author responding to a negative review.

I imagined myself contacting the reviewer and explaining myself.  “You’ve missed the point,” I imagined myself writing.  But then wouldn’t I have missed the point of the review?

When I was a kid, I remember teammates crying when they struck out.  I cried about a lot of things, but I don’t remember crying when I struck out.  I also remember teammates jumping up and down and practically peeing in their pants when they got a homerun and teasing the other team as they rounded the bases.  My dad told me, “KJ, act like you’ve been there before.  No need to cry or taunt the other team.”  So when I struck out or hit a homerun, I tried to remain stoic.

And that’s how I try to deal with reviews.  Even though I’m tempted to do otherwise.