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A RELUCTANT MANIFESTO

June 25, 2013

 manifesto

I am a writer.  I AM a writer.  I am a WRITER.  Forgive my shouting.  But sometimes it needs to be said—even if I am the only audience.  I … AM … A … WRITER!

Let me define the writer:

A writer is one who never tires of stringing words, like beads, across the horizontal thread of a sentence.  Sometimes the beads are stunningly beautiful.  Sometimes they are stark and ugly.  But even the latter beads are chosen to be just what they are.  And, as a writer one takes responsibility for one’s choice of beads.

A writer anguishes over the placement of a comma, a period, a semicolon.  Is it a natural place for the reader to breathe?  Is it just to catch a quick breath?  Or a breath that’s akin to a sigh?  Does the writer want him to lope through the rest of the sentence?  Or to sprint through it?  And, from that sentence, does he want the reader to be nudged or tugged into the next.  The reader processes it automatically, but it’s the writer’s choice.  And, because it’s the writer’s choice, it’s the writer’s responsibility. 

A writer understands the overwhelming importance of the type of sentence he chooses.  Does he desire the Driving force of a Hemingway-like simple sentence: subject-verb-object; or does he opt for the more relaxed, rambling style of the compound or complex sentence.  Choice.  Responsibility.

A writer has learned to recognize the moment when he’s gathered all the juices from the idea in one grouping of sentences, and when the last sentence seems to beg transition into a new paragraph.

This is not a tutorial on the basic building blocks for writing.  There are far better ones you should go to for that.  It is a Manifesto.  And I have a reason for making it at this moment.

Put out to Pasture … or to Make Hay?  I have made no secret of my age (73), or the fact that I have been writing for more than sixty years.  Until ten years ago I was not a professional writer.  Not that I hadn’t tried.  I had.

June first, this year, I retired.  I shared it in a previous post.  I wanted to devote more time to my writing—or, rather, to writing and successfully marketing my books.

Electronic book marketing is a brand new arena.  Others have used the new technology with tremendous success.  John Locke, Claude Bouchard and Cheryl Kaye Tardif come immediately to mind.  Each was told beforehand that it wouldn’t work.  They’d go bust!

Each proved them wrong—in spades!

Jay Squires is hell-bent to join their ranks. 

The Difference Between them …

1.  John, Claude and Cheryl each had at least two books in a genre series ready to hawk, so that the successful marketing of one would, hopefully, spread to the other.  I’m not sure about John, but the other two …

2.  used free promotions for anywhere from one to five days.  Thousands upon thousands wisely picked up these free books.  Whether by word-of-mouth advertising, or rising up the Kindle ranking lists, or by—or by magic …

3.  after the promotion ended the sales continued to mount … some to staggeringly high amounts.

… and me …

As with the above three (and, I’m sure the number would go into the hundreds) I’ve been told it won’t work.  Especially in my case: 

1.  I have my novel, RSVP: Invitation to an Alchuklesh Massacre which is the first in the Noah Winter Series (with the second in the series as a WIP.).  STILL …  Of Noah Winter, Susan H. McIntyre says: [He] ” is a one-of-a-kind hero and yet a regular, fallible man. . . . He is the person every man would like to be and the man every woman would like to meet.

And, then …

2.  I have my collection of short stories, THE GREATEST short STORY[ies] [I’ve] EVER TOLD.  But, I am told that collections of short Stories, for some reason, don’t sell.  STILL … Rickter, in her Amazon review says: “The author took me on a journey that stretched my mind and exercised my emotions.”  Hamilton C Burger calls the title of his review: “The Greatest Short Stories I’ve Ever Read.

So, my mission, if I choose to take it—and I do choose to take it—is to prove the critics wrong. 

3.  My rationale for extending any hope to the above two criticproclaimed losers is that—as standalone pieces (and, here comes my manifesto—get ready!):

 

Jay’s Manifesto

 This novel and the Short Story collection represent examples of the most stunningly beautiful, as well as stark and ugly, beads I’ve ever strung across the threads of a story.

 The More the Merrier.  I crave having thousands upon thousands of people read my words for free. 

epic giveawayAnd, I’m inviting you to be among those thousands.  So keep your eyes peeled for the free promotion, beginning June 27 and concluding June 30.

Sharing the Love.  I’ve put an incredible amount of work into this free promo, so this is what I’m going to do for any of you who might even be considering a promo of your own: 

                 I’ll be monitoring the results of my free promotion hourly and checking daily whether or not the giveaways resulted in rise up the Amazon standings.  I’ll tabulate the results in a blog post daily.

Call it greed, call it stupidity, call it whatever, Jay Squires wants some of John’s, Claude’s and Cheryl’s action.  Until now, my books have been merely a quiet presence on my blog site.  Truthfully, most people never listened to the muffled whispering to them from the right-hand margin.  It’s time to briefly pull those titles out of their margin.  They’ll go back, in a few days, to being quiet sentinels.  So …

Sound the Friggin’ Trumpets!  trumpetThis blog post represents the official beginning of my campaign.  The three ways you can help me make it a success are:

1.  First of all, to get your free copy of each book. 

2.  Secondly, tell your friends and family about this blog.  Invite them to get their own free copies and to watch the stats unfold, daily, at this site. 

3.  Thirdly, tweet and retweet any mention of my promo.  Face Book, or other any other social media would make me weep with gratitude.

OMG, I love you all dearly!  [I get so sentimental when I declare a manifesto.]  But, also, I must admit, I say this because of my sudden realization that I could be setting myself up for a huge embarrassment and be forced (because I’m a gentleman) to rubbing my own nose in my humiliating stats daily.  And, if that happens, I want you to be kind to one who loves you dearly.

 Closing Prayer:

Dear God … if I truly end up standing on the stage of America’s Got Talent and my only talent is sharing my Amazon Stats on a  huge blackboard and I am stark naked … let my friends have the decency to turn their heads, or cover my nakedness!

                             Amen.

 

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26 Comments
  1. Jay has spoken…so shall it be done!

  2. Bless you, James. I’m sure you’ll hear again the dates when my books are floating freely through the Ama-zone. Hope you get one of each. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was — and how proud I was of you — to see you standing before me, right hand held high, and pledging that for each free book you would tell 1,000 friends about — what! Was that — oh how embarrassing. Was it 100? Oh, wow! 10? Okay, I’ll settle for 10, but only because I luv ya and I’m proud and thrilled to have you here!

  3. You will conquer, Jay! 😀

    • Oh, bless you, Sonia. Please stick around for the subsequent posts! It’s gonna be a grand party!

  4. Jay, I admire your courage and have no doubt you will reach your goal.
    http://www.dicymcculloughbooks.com/blog

  5. May your promos kick some royal, uh, tuckus, Jay. Honoured to be mentioned in your post. 🙂

    • Thanks, Claude! You’re one of the marketing biggies. I’d have been remiss not to mention you. Thanks for your comments, Claude.

  6. Jay’s Juggernaut Joyously Joined!

    • Thank you so much for showing up at the party, Billy Ray! It wouldn’t be the same without “alliterative Billy Ray”! Hope you catch the rest of the posts, my friend. We’re gonna test this social media thing to the hilt!

  7. Wishing you the best of luck, Jay!

  8. The best of luck. I truly hope this works out better than you hoped!!! I got your back and will give you all the support I can!!!
    😀

    • Vonda, you are sweet! Glad you have my back. Reminds me of that rap song, “My baby’s got back.” Thanks for yours, Vonda. I mean for backing me, LOLolololol

  9. I like your cautious optimism. You do write well and interestingly.

    As for sales on Amazon, I think, apart from good marketing and word-of-mouth they also depend on genre. As far as I know “Romance” junk sells best.

    Then come the thrillers, crime, mystery, fantasy, horror, sci-fi etc.

    But even if your work doesn’t correspond to these “popular” genres, I am sure good writing will always attract readers. Free giveaway is a great idea for publicity and much needed reviews.

    I look forward to your next posts. Good Luck!

    • Rajiv, thank you for your insightful commentary. Ha! Your literary prejudice shows a bit with “Romance junk sells best”. I love it! I’ve got the first four covered in RSVP and every last one of them in my short story collection. Hope you’re back for the Free Promo starting 6/27, Thurs, and by Friday you’ll be able to get both books. Help me make this a success! Again, thanks, Rajiv!

      • Sure Jay, I will look forward to getting those freebies, especially short stories, since I will have the time to sample a few.

        By the way, I have no literary prejudice against the “Romance” genre. That’s because there is nothing literary about them to begin with! ha! 🙂

  10. … Go, young Jay, Go! Yoda man! regardless of stats—- YOU ARE A WINNER… A SUCCESSFUL WRITER… YOUR STUFF IS GEM-LADEN, my friend.. let’s have some fun with the promo yee-haw !!! LUV YA…

    • Right back atcha, big man! Today’s the prelaunch (and I can’t wait for predinner — sometimes one can’t resist a pun!) You don’t know how much your support means to me, Seumas!

  11. Reblogged this on Seumas Gallacher and commented:
    …my great friend , the young Jay Squires, is about to roil the Amazon Kindle promo waters for the ensuing few days.. his excellent Manifesto here is worth a read… regardless of whatever stats his work creates, this dude can write!.. let’s get behind him with RTs, FB shares, re-blogs ,,, lend a wee bit of the Wind beneath his Wings, Lads and Lassies of the Blog Land… yeee -hawwww !!!

  12. … also re-blogged … let’s do this thing! GAME ON !!!

    • I saw the Re-blog. What wonderful preliminary comments you made on it! I’m doing my calisthenics in readiness for the day. Get the free short story collection tomorrow, Seumas and RSVP Friday. You are da bomb!

  13. … got this post out on LinkedIn as well … looking forward to starting the RTs as per your scheduling, young man :))

  14. Through you, others will learn the how to and what for of writing. You have already taken me more steps out of my own timidity into courage.

    • Martie, you are such a gifted poet, and now sharing your gifts with “Sweet William”, a book I remember loving, chapter by chapter, on FanStory and am buying today. You words above are so kind. Thank you, dear friend.

  15. Jay, congrats on getting it out there and getting it done! Looks like it was a grand success–and quite an adventure, to boot! 🙂 And I admit, it’s fun to read about something I haven’t even begun to do. Thanks for “shaking the bushes” for the rest of us. 😉

  16. How sweet it is to have you stop by, Teresa. If the reader of these posts reads all of them along with the stats and the comments I plan to leave on the next post he or she should save some time and energy not doing what I did wrong — and there were wrong things done — and doubling up on what I did right.

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