Exciting times here at Casa Batson, as the launch of the Adventures of a Space Bum Trilogy is coming up. Charlie Breakiron and Breakiron Studios designed the covers to the three books. Jon Batson wrote everything in between the covers. We've been singing "Paperback Writer" by the Beatles at every opportunity. Watch for the launch November 14th, or stop by So and So books between 2 and 5. We're serving wine at the launch so bring a friend to drive. The link to the even is on the home page - unless you are reading this long after Nov 14th, at which time it has been taken down. Sorry. But if this is still before, see you there.
The wonderful 3-D artist, Charlie Breakiron, will be doing the covers for both Adventures of a Space Bum I & II. I have gone through both books again and have made some improvements. The second book, "In Search of a Legacy" has already gotten some kind words from pre-readers. Watch this blog for upcoming news.
In other news, ALONE is entering the editing phase, as it has been signed by Red Adept Publishers, located in Cary, NC. The publisher is in Minnesota, however, as RAP is a national publishing house. The title will change and it will get a new cover. From preliminary chats with the editor, the inside will change as well.
Eileen just landed new clients and is busy, her favorite position.
There has been a resolution to the situation with Adventures of a Space Bum. The publisher has bailed and the rights have reverted to me. Instead of going through the gristmill of what passes as publishing today, I'll put it out myself. As Arlo Guthrie once said, "I ain't proud... nor tired."
I have finished Adventures of a Space Bum II and will do the same. Watch for both of these soon.
I welcome your comments.
My sci-fi epic, Adventures of a Space Bum, is in crisis. Part two may not come out at all, or may be under my own banner. Anything is possible.
My latest novel is now under contract and will be coming out early next year. Stay tuned.
I've been approached by a well-known, well-followed blogger regarding an interview and have agreed. More data as it comes in.
So, with both of my projects on bounce, in limbo, on hold, etc, I have nothing to write. I may have to actually get busy and start another book. No one said this would be so hard.
I know, I've been silent. Sorry about that. I have been writing. ALONE is complete and is being shopped. As soon as somebody makes an offer, I'll let you know.
Adventures of a Space Bum is doing well and the publisher has asked for the second in the series. Accordingly, I sat down and began to type. The first draft is now done and I am encouraged you will like it. It's called Adventures of a Space Bum: Starlost Child.
My other site, www.jonbatson.net is getting very little traffic, everyone comes here. Therefore I am letting it go. As of September, when the site runs out, there will be this site and www.midnightwhistlerpublishers.com. www.MidnightWhistler.com will still be operational and the main site for Midnight Whistler Publishers.
That's all the news that's fit to print. Don't feel bad. Imagine what my journal is saying: Hey! What's with all the blank pages?
No April Fools here! No Sirree! 2014 is off to a great start as the lecture series for the Durham Public Library comes together. Four professionals, me included, will tell you the 411 on publishing today from book design to book sales. Be prepared to take notes. See the events page for more info.
Storytellers Bookstore in Wake forest is having me next week to talk on the subject, not quite as in-depth as the Durham talks of course.
Mars Quake is doing great, as is Adventures of a Space Bum. I am working on the sequel to Adventures, taking my hero, Starwort Bacchus, to new heights and depths of danger and intrigue. Stay tuned.
Fathers are on our minds, as my own turned 90 and Eileen's father turned 92. We recently took a trip to Florida to see that Eileen's dad Len is doing well. We plan another after the Durham lectures series. We might do Orlando at the same time.
My publishing company, Midnight Whistler, has opened up its submission process and will be considering scripts. If you are thinking of sending something in, remember we are a small press. Be gentle.
2013 was a great year. Midnight Whistler Publishers put out Blue Standoff and Mars Quake. Ink Smith Publishers put out Adventures of a Space Bum, and I wrote ALONE over November. Along with being published by prestigious publisher, Ink Smith, I had a signing at the local Barnes & Noble, a milestone in any author's life.
My wife and I celebrated 19 years married, 24 actually together.
Her dad and mine are both doing great.
This year, I shed 40 lbs and took control of my nutrition. I let down my guard over Thanksgiving, but my pants are still falling off of me.
My health has never been better and I am surrounded by friends and family.
As I look forward to Christmas, I can safely say that there is not a single thing that you could buy and put in a box that I would wish for Santa to bring me. My needs are met and my desires are not tangible.
I am grateful to you, my loyal fans, friends and loved ones, for your support and caring. May we all have a safe and enjoyable holiday season and a happy and prosperous new year.
Every year as Halloween grows close, I grow very nervous. You see, for the past five years, and this year, I have begun a novel on November 1st.
The goal for me and thousands of other novelists around the world, is to write 50,000 words by the end of November. Now, I may joke about it, saying the words don't have to be in order, or that you can use only small ones, but the fact is, once I get going, I can't stop.
Here it is the 13th and I have over 54,000 words written. My story is nowhere near complete. I still have a main character to kill, a moving scene to describe and my hero to leave in a situation that touches the soul and brings a tear to the eye.
Every year I begin the same way, with some half-baked idea that I'm not really sure of, one that makes me wish I had read more books about writing, had read all those sites I bookmarked with tips about character development and plot outlining. Every year, I start each day writing 1100 words before lunch, often in my PJs. (Just kidding, I don't have any PJs.)
Every year I find myself in the pickle of sitting back, looking at the last chapter I wrote and wondering, "What in the world happens next?"
Yet, inexplicably, every year, I end up with a finished novel. I edit over December and January, have a few friends read it and do what I can to re-write it into a really good novel.
Three of those years I wrote a conspiracy theory series. The fourth year I wrote a sci-fi about a quake on Mars that reveals something in the red dirt. Last year, I had a police detective buying a DVD from the $2 bin and discovering that it was exactly like the case he was working on. That was fun to write.
This year, my book is called "Alone." It's about a woman who loses her husband and son in a car accident. Her life is shattered and on top of that she is being asked to move out of her house so that a full family can move in. (Things are different in the future.) She then gets chosen to become part of a project to start a colony on another planet. You'll have to read it to find out why and what happens after that. I wish I knew the whole story, but I haven't finished writing it yet.
Stay tuned for the exciting path this book takes. Or
It was made clear to me by a couple of friends that I had upset some people with my blog, "Why I Don't Want to Die." I apologize. My purpose was to show that the world is not yet perfect or even a great place to return to as a kid. I do believe in reincarnation so that is an option to me. If you don't, that's OK; we'll still be friends.
So I would like to now report that in the past six months, I have made some changes. My wife, Eileen, and I have given up coffee and alcohol for the most part, and went full vegan for three months. We are now adding a bit of organic chicken and ocean-caught fish, but the majority of our diet is fresh veggies, organic and mostly raw. We are also following a regimen of herbal remedies of one Doc Shillington of New Mexico to good result.
Eileen has lost a little over 30 lbs and I have lost 40 lbs, though weight loss was not the primary goal. Thought I was told I had "spots" on my very expensive PET scan, I have not had any invasive surgery, radiation or chemo. I have no symptoms and what few external signs I show have grown smaller. I feel 40 again. It turns out Cancer thrives in an Acid environment and cannot grow or exist in an Alkaline environment. So if you only eat foods that are alkaline, not acidic, you will kill whatever is eating you.
In other good news: Ink Smith Publishing has signed my book, Adventures of a Space Bum and the release is this month. Watch for it.
On top of all that: my recent release, Blue Standoff, is available and making sales. Mars Quake will be out in September. The release party will be in the Basetti Art Tile Studio in Raleigh on the first.
So you see, all is well. Thanks for bearing with me.
The innovations of the internet have made a writing career far more lucrative and valuable than it would have been about 15 years ago. With such a heavy emphasis being placed on text as a means of search engine optimization, the written word has seen a resurgence in worth due to such a high online demand.
As a result, today’s independent writer has an incredible opportunity to reach more people than ever before because of the ability to use the internet, not only as a source of employment, but as a high-traffic marketing medium.
There are more online tools and methods available to a writer than ever before, and knowing how to properly use those tools and leverage them for exposure will make a tremendous difference in the amount of eyes that see their material.
In general, writers will have two primary approaches they can utilize to self-promote their work online.
Promoting Content via Online Mediums
In this scenario, a writer will use one of the following mediums to promote content that they are working on and build a potential readership, which is invaluable for anyone looking to be published.
● Blogs -- In this case, you use your blog to promote your material; it would act as a running commentary on your book, discuss things that pertain to the same topic as that material, and allow you to connect to your audience on a personal level.
● Guest Blogging -- While you need to avoid pure marketing and salesmanship, guest blogging is a great way to at least mention and link to outside work.
● Social Media -- In this case, simple marketing and sales pitches are more acceptable; however, you still want to season it with actual value and substance.
These are all mediums you can use to freely promote and market your writing (and eventually, novel), all while generating organic awareness and interest.
Social media is a familiar part of the toolbox and it provides you with an easy way of engaging with people who are interested in what you’re writing about while also giving you the opportunity to promote your content and get more eyes on what you’re doing.
In fact, it is even possible to set up a website specifically for fielding all of your updates, which can be helpful if you have a particularly active social media presence.
Building a Freelance Writing Career
Your second approach is a bit more straightforward, in that you use the internet as a platform for freelance writing and contribution to actual blogs and websites. Instead of writing content for publication outside of those mediums, you’re writing it for them.
A lot of the methodology gets repeated here. Essentially, you are trying to build an online presence as a reputable and reliable writer.
In this vein, you become a private contractor or independent consultant of sorts, where you offer your service to blogs and websites and, with time, build a solid online resume and repertoire.
Your work will typically land in one of the following places:
● Your own blog -- Contributing material to your own blog for your loyal readers and RSS subscribers is the most basic form of freelance writing.
● Other people’s blogs -- As a guest poster, you can easily market your own name and brand by offering up valuable and informative posts for other people’s blogs. It’s a win-win for both parties.
● Business blogs and websites -- Often times, business blogs and websites will pay for content since their employees are usually busy with other work.
● Online portfolios -- Once you have a collection of work, setting up an online portfolio is a good way to showcase your work and offer people a quick solution if they want to see writing samples.
A Good Time to Start
Everyone’s online marketing strategy is unique to their situation and experience; however, while we might see variation from person to person, the overall strategy and approach remain the same, and will probably stay that way for the foreseeable future.
The internet has made it now a better time than ever to be a writer. Those who feel they have the patience and work ethic to pave their own way as an independent author and contributor have all the tools right at their fingertips.
If you’ve got the drive, now would be a great time to take advantage of it.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Los Angeles who covers everything from health & wellness to music, travel, and gaming. After promoting her work and building up her freelance career, she now specializes in social media marketing to help other writers gain exposure.
Jon Batson is an award winning songwriter and author. He has performed in Asia and Europe as well as all across the U.S. He has appeared at book signings at Barnes and Nobel as well as many local bookstores in and around his home in Raleigh, N.C.