Little Help Please

Hello Everybody,

As you probably know, self-published authors have a huge mountain to climb when it comes to breaking through the barriers setup by mega-publishers wanting to keep us at bay. Their collective attitude boils down to this. If you aren’t a previously published bestseller, don’t call us because we will never call you.

Okay. I’m a big boy in more ways than one and I understand that the game is rigged from the start. But miracles do happen and I refuse to give up on my dream. No, that doesn’t mean being a bestselling author; I don’t need riches or fame. All I need is enough to pay the bills and maybe take the family out once a month to a sit-down dinner.

Still, I refuse to give up but I’m not beyond asking for help. So here it is. I’m creating a video to promote PNTP and the production company wants me to get as many fresh reviews as possible. In the past, I’ve been remiss in asking for reviews because it’s hard for me to do. I don’t know why. I guess it’s just me. So anyway, now I’m asking. If you’ve already read PNTP please go to

https://www.amazon.com/Positives-Negatives-Tricycles-Pancakes-Pollack-ebook/dp/B00MZD3A98?ie=UTF8&keywords=L.%20Davyd%20Pollack&qid=1465056786&ref_=sr_1_4&sr=8-4

and tell me what you think.

If you haven’t read PNTP go to www.LDavydPollack.com . All my eBooks are priced at $1 including PNTP. You simply can’t beat the price. And just to show you that I’m not in it for the money; I’ll be willing to trade a free copy of any eBook for a review. All you have to do is go to my website contact page and ask me for one.

Thanks in advance for all your help,

Davyd

 

 

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Pray for the Homeless

This morning while I was eating my breakfast I turned on the morning news. There’s nothing unique about that; it’s my routine. However, there was something coincidental. It has everything to do with breaking routine. You see, every morning the news for the most part, is the same. And it’s bad. Crimes committed against the vulnerable, crooked politicians, wild-fires out of control—you name it, it happens.

But this morning one of the first stories reported was about a photograph. It was taken by someone who was in the right place at the right time. The picture was of a teenager kneeling at the foot of a sleeping homeless man. The teenager wasn’t there to beat the defenseless stranger, or to steal whatever small valuables he might have, or to just be cruel and divvy out more bad luck to someone with clearly an abundance. No, he was there to pray for the man.

The story touched me because just the day before, I was on the road running from one sales appointment to another and needing a pit-stop in between. My head was full of the things that people like me would consider important. How am I going to pay my bills this month? My leads suck. My closing ratio is down this week. I just had a huge fight with my girlfriend. My cat may have cancer. My this, my that, my everything.

Notice how many “my’s” there are?

Okay, back to what happened. As I said, I needed a pit-stop so I turned in to a Bee-Back service station at the corner. By the way, not the cleanest I’ve seen. Anyway, as I walked in I passed a homeless guy. He wasn’t headed out of the store; he was just walking by. To describe him would be redundant, other than to say, he looked truly down on his luck and . . . he was shoeless. As I walked past him he didn’t acknowledge me and I returned the gesture.

Fully relieved and fully engrossed in my personal issues again, I got in my company car and headed to my next sales call. On the way out of the parking lot, I saw the same homeless guy sitting on the ground around the corner of the store, his back against the building for support.

I drove right passed.

Then, this morning I saw a photograph of a teenager bowing his head in prayer at the foot of a homeless man sleeping on the street. It made me wish I could do something; it made me wish I had done something.

I think . . .

Is this my prayer?

 

Davyd

 

 

P.S. – Maybe we should all carry a spare pair of flip-flops.

 

 

Trump and Bush, Pot and Kettle – 2

So why does Jeb Bush reek of hypocrisy when he accuses Mr. Trump of using eminent domain for his own benefit? Here it is. But first, I need to set another scene for you and I’ll do it by telling you something you probably already know. Two of the largest industries in Florida are tourism and citrus. Today we’re going to talk about the citrus industry and the very special way they have of pissing people off—thanks to Jeb. I’ll leave my opinion on tourists for a future post.

Okay, setting the scene down and dirty without a lot of poetic waxing. Big citrus was a big donor to Jeb Bush and his gubernatorial career. Yet during his first term he didn’t do too badly when it came to giving in to the special interest groups interested in him. It was one of the reasons I voted for him twice. However, with nothing to lose after being reelected, Jeb used his second term to pay back those he owed and he owed Big Citrus, big time.

Big Citrus had a big problem in Florida and it had to do with competition. Florida has the perfect agricultural environment for growing citrus trees, in particular, juicing citrus trees. Florida citrus isn’t the best for eating but it’s great for juicing. That’s why Florida has so many huge and lush citrus groves; each and every one of them full of juice. And all those groves are owned by Big Citrus. At first glance, competition doesn’t seem like much of a problem right? Well it is, or maybe I should say, it was.

Part of the problem Big Citrus had was that the same soil conditions and environment that made their groves so productive, also made privately owned trees in backyards across the state, very productive. Personally, I had an orange tree, a grapefruit tree, and a key lime tree. All three were mature and fruit producing. By the way, the fruit was absolutely the best juicing fruit ever . . . period . . . bar none.

I always had fresh squeezed orange and/or grapefruit juice whenever I wanted. The fruit juicer was a fixture on my kitchen counter. Two grapefruit cut in half made a full glass of juice, three oranges cut in half did the same. It was the best juice ever and I had more of it than my family could drink.

Now, for the conflict of interest:

If you’re in the business of selling OJ to the masses, there is only so much money that you can ask for a glass of juice. Let’s keep the math simple and say that the most you can sell a glass of OJ for is $1.00. After that, the demand starts to decrease and it doesn’t matter if you sell that juice in Illinois or Oklahoma, you still only get a dollar. From that dollar you have to deduct all your costs of which shipping and storage is a big part. Add in everything else that it takes to get a glass of OJ to Chicago or Tulsa and you have a lot less profit than if you sold that same glass of OJ in say, Fort Lauderdale or Orlando.

As for me and a lot of people like me, Big Citrus never sold us anything because we had plenty of our own. Yet pound for pound, or more accurately fluid once for fluid once, Floridians represented the most lucrative citrus market of all. Shipping and storage cost were all but nothing. However, private tree owners like me weren’t buying juice. If anything, we were selling it or worse yet, giving it away. Big Citrus had a big problem but what could they possibly do? Step in Jeb and his government authorized tree stealing company, Asplundh.

The Asplundh tree removal service arrived at my door three separate times. The first time I answered the door wearing my sidearm. The crew leader and his cohorts didn’t look overly impressed with the gesture, probably because it wasn’t the first time it happened. But they got the message and turned back, got into their trucks, and drove away. Here’s an interesting fun fact. Have you ever seen an Asplundh truck? They’re orange! The irony was cruel. In all honesty, it didn’t go quite as smoothly as the Reader’s Digest version might imply, but at the end of the day, I made sure that my poor trees would live to see another sunrise.

A week or so later I received a letter explaining how illegal it was to hinder a government contractor in the process of executing its contractual duties. About a week after that they arrived again. This time I answered the door with my sidearm drawn, but pointing down. I didn’t have to say a word. The orange trucks left. Two days later, the orange trucks were back but this time there was another vehicle leading the way, a BSO (Broward Sheriff’s Office) cruiser. They stopped in front of my house and the Sheriff got out; the tree thieves stayed in their orange trucks.

At the time I was living in Broward County hence the BSO officer walking up to my front door. I knew he was there, I knew the tree thieves were there, but I waited until he knocked and announced himself before I answered the door. I used the time to decide whether or not to arm myself. I wisely decided not to. The officer and I had a long discussion and to his credit, he was very polite, sympathetic, and maybe even empathetic, but the law is the law, and Jeb Bush’s debt to Big Citrus was going to be paid off in part, with my trees.

By now you’re probably wondering how Jeb Bush was able to justify coming into my backyard and stealing $15,000.00 worth of citrus trees. Furthermore, he did it with the BSO’s blessing. Hell, I couldn’t even call the police to report a robbery; the police were already assisting in the crime. There had to be a perfectly logical reason for this travesty of justice, something for the greater good, something justifiable, something other than . . . politics.

Well, there was. It’s called Citrus Canker. Big Citrus and therefore, Jeb Bush, said that in order to protect the commercial groves from canker, they had to eradicate the infected trees in the surrounding area. So they drew circles on a map and said any trees that were infected within those circles had to be removed. Why circles and not squares or triangles? Beats-the-shit-out-of-me. Following their logic, any shape would have worked.

After drawing their circles and settling on a pattern, it was time to send out the inspectors. Sure enough, all the trees growing within these circles were found to be sick and had to be destroyed. Also birds, bugs, and other tree dwelling species could pick up the canker and spread it, so just to be safe they had to draw more circles. Then, just to be sure they didn’t miss anything; they drew more circles around those. It was like giant sunflowers were springing up all over the map of Florida and these horrific flowers had only one purpose, to devour every privately owned citrus tree they could find.

If even just one sick tree was found in a circle, all the trees in that circle had to be removed. And then they would draw more circles around that to continue the process. I guess things weren’t going fast enough for Big Citrus so they started drawing circles in areas where no canker was found. Regardless of whether a tree was sick or not, if it was within two circles of a sick tree, it was removed. How big was a circle? It was as big as it had to be in order to contain an infected tree. The circles got bigger and more numerous by the day. I’ll bet that there was an official state certified Office of Circle Drawing in charge of the process, because Jeb was determined to pay back his debt as soon as possible. Technically, that’s an honorable personality trait to have, except when through eminent domain, you steal other people’s property to do it.

It took a few years but eventually, the privately owned trees were gone. My trees were not sick, nor were they lucky. In the end, there was nothing I could do to save them. A circle was drawn and they had to go. It was a sad day. I never tasted fruit juice like that again, and I probably never will. But that isn’t even the worst part. The worst part was the slap in the face Jeb gave me after he stole my trees. My payment for $15,000.00 worth of fruit trees was a Wal-Mart gift card for $100.00 which came with a stipulation; it could not be used to buy another citrus tree.

The story goes on and there is more to tell. Like the fact that most of the people who could afford to defend their trees in court were successful. In fact, if you did sue, the state would usually back off, but you had to have the money to go forward with a real legal challenge. Why did the state back down? Because a lot of these challenges were bring hidden truths to light like the fact that the source of the canker was the groves and not the surrounding privately owned trees. And the fact that canker does absolutely nothing to harm the tree or the fruit, it’s simply cosmetic and the juice is fine. I ask you, when if ever, have you taken a look at the orange that went into your Tropicana? If you did, I’ll bet it still has some black spots on it. That’s the citrus canker.

The bottom line for us average Joes and Josephines was simple. We got a big FU from Brother Jeb, and $100.00 Wal-Mart gift card for taking it with a smile. Oh, and in case you were wondering, that wasn’t one gift card per tree, it was one card per property containing trees. Add to that a life-long tariff of having to pay retail premiums for over processed Shit Orange Juice and you have a pretty good reason not to vote for Jeb.

Just between me and you, sometimes I wish I never owned those trees; you can’t miss what you never knew. So take it from someone who really knows, and still remembers, store bought OJ or grapefruit juice really is shit. You might as well save your money and drink Tang. I do.

Go get’em Trump . . . and FU-Jeb!

 

Why I’m Glad January is Over

There are more than just one or two reasons why I’m glad January is over, but there is only one I’m willing to talk about today. As a writer of contemporary fiction, I’m always trying to find new and better ways to promote my work. Part of that includes enlisting the help of paid consultants, whose advice (since I paid for it), holds a lot of weight. By the way, so do I: this will be clear in a moment.

One of the things we writers have to do is internet marketing through blog posts. Personally, I like blogging, except when I’m told that I have to do it. Which is also why I like being an indy writer. There’s no publisher, agent, or editor hounding me about deadlines. I write what I want, when I want. It’s great for the creative mind; not so much for the creative wallet.

Anyway, my internet marketing consultant suggested that I write one blog post per week. I countered with one per month citing my full-time job as the excuse for not having time for more. Eventually, we settled on two per month and that really is a reasonable expectation.

As it is, January came and was more than three weeks old with no blog posts by yours truly. My marketing guy noticed the deficiency and in an entirely professional manner, meant only as a well meaning suggestion, sent me an email with ideas for a blog post. He said January is an awareness month and that I should consider this list as possible topics.

 

Weight Loss Awareness Month [1]

National Codependency Awareness Month [2]

National Mentoring Month (United States)

Stalking Awareness Month (United States)[3]

Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month (United States)[4]

Healthy Weight Week (United States)[5]

 

Okay. I get the main idea of an awareness month designation is to bring difficult issues that may go unnoticed into the public eye. But . . . for those of you who have never met me, I’m about 5-7 and 235 lbs. And in case you haven’t already noticed, January, the month after all the gluttonous holidays are over—begins and ends with weight loss.

Bahhhhh – Humbug!

I know that treadmill is under this pile of clothes somewhere.

 

Books Be That . . . My Child

Let’s see.

Where do I start?

I wish this subject were something

near and dear to my heart.

 All rhyming aside, it really would make my life as an author a whole lot more convenient. But then, I wouldn’t be a writer, I’d be a marketing manager or more specifically, a book marketing manager working on ways to market my books. That’s what I want to talk about today, book marketing. And yes, it’s an absurd subject for anyone who considers themselves a real novelist. Here’s why.

 I’m going to assume that any adult reading this will be able to empathize with the following scenario regardless of their parental status. And to broaden the range, if you aren’t a parent but do consider your pet(s) as part of the family, that will do nicely. OK, back to being an author who is expected to be able to make a living from selling his or her books.

 Selling your own book should be an almost impossible task, and if it isn’t, I personally think there is something seriously wrong with you. Picture yourself standing behind a table with portraits of your children, and /or pets displayed proudly. Don’t worry; you’re not the only one. It’s a big room (as in book fair), and there are a hundred other people doing the exact same thing.

 

Suddenly, a stranger who you’ve never seen before and probably will never see again, walks up to your table, picks up the picture of your first-born son and says, “How much for this one?”

You smile with glee and pride, “$14.95.”

Remember, you are not selling portraits; you are selling your heart and soul. As far as you’re concerned, it’s a steal at twice the price. But your customer says, “Oh, I didn’t realize he was that expensive. How much for that one?” The customer points to the picture of a much smaller child, your first-born daughter.

“$8.95.”

The customer doesn’t even touch your daughter’s picture. Instead, she starts to back away.

 You think fast and before you have a chance to rationalize the consequences, you shout, “I’m running a special for today only. Both children for $19.95, while they last.”

 A second smile appears, but this one is on the face of your customer. She isn’t smiling because she just bought two brand new and beautiful children: children, both of whom represent the best of your being. No. She’s smiling because she just bought them for a discount.

Davyd

 

2015 (fall) Meet The Authors Book Fair

So here I am, back after an eight-month hiatus from blogging. Why so long and why am I back now? Well, first and foremost, I have something interesting to talk about. However, it isn’t writer related. Rather, its publisher related and for once, it’s good news. BTW, in case you don’t already know, I’m self-published.

 

That said, here we go. November 21st & 22nd was the weekend of the Fall Meet The Authors Book Fair sponsored by Authors For Authors. You can visit them at www.authorsforauthors.com to find out more about what they do. Anyway, as for the book fair, it was my first time participating in the Fall Extravaganza and I had high hopes for a glorious triumph in sales. There was just one problem . . . it rained on Saturday and then, it rained on Sunday. Yeah, you guessed it. Traffic was slow and just to illustrate how slow, many of my fellow authors wrote off the entry fee and packed up early due to a lack of sales.

 

Fortunately for me, I have some retail experience so I know that sometimes you get sales just because you’re the only one left with something to sell. This was the thought that kept me, along with my outstanding sales crew (Miranda and the kids), going through those long and rainy days.

 

It was a good thing too because at about 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, L. Davyd Pollack sold out. Yes, for the first time ever, I sold out. Yep, did I mention the fact that I sold out? That’s right—I sold out. And . . . yeah, I sold out . . . Okay, Okay, I won’t bore you with any more bragging about how I went to a book fair on Saturday with two big boxes of books and when I left the book fair on Sunday, those big boxes were empty. Why? Because I sold out.

 

But the truth is; I couldn’t have done any of it without the help of everyone who got up from the couch, got in their cars, braved the ugly skies, and came out to the Meet The Authors Book Fair. Even if you didn’t buy a book, I want to thank you. And for those of you who did buy, I sincerely hope you enjoy your new read. You have purchased a small treasure written by an author with a fresh voice, that hasn’t been homogenized into the reprocessed regurgitations of commercial writers with big brand names and little else. Every self-published author has poured their heart and soul into the book you are about to read and all that work was done for free (no million-dollar advances here). So keep an open mind and a forgiving heart when you come across something that isn’t quite right.

 

As for those of you who bought a book from me, I just have two things left to say. Thank you and . . . uh—all sales are final.

 

 

After the Book Fair, 3-28-15

So this past weekend was my first book fair, but before I tell you how it went, let me tell you how I thought it had a real possibility of going. When it comes to work or business, I worry about the things that can go bad and let the things that go good, care for themselves. It’s a habit. For me it’s a way of making sure that everything goes as well as it should, but also, it lends itself to a sense of negativity that can be perceived by those around me as a downer. Truth be told, it isn’t a downer, it’s paranoia, and my greatest fear was that I wouldn’t sell a single book.

Now for the update. The morning drive to the venue couldn’t be better, weather-wise. It’s Florida, in March, need I say more? But for me none of that mattered, the car could breakdown, there could be a traffic accident, there could be an overzealous highway patrolman, or a simple flat tire. Any one, or combination of all, could and probably would, cause my first public appearance as a published author, to be ruined.

The forty-five minute journey took over an hour due to the fact that on a Saturday morning, when traffic should be light, it wasn’t. Good thing I thought about that and left a few minutes early. Unfortunately, each and every traffic signal along the way had a fully functional L. Davyd Pollack approach detector, which timed the switch from green to red in a perfectly choreographed display of delay. Fortunately, I worried about that too and my early departure time accounted for it. The entire trip was long and excruciating, and made even longer by the longest train on record that reached the railroad crossing just in time to light the flashing stop signals, and drop the barricade bars right in front of me. I did not account for that but alas; we arrived right on time, maybe five minutes later than planned but as they say, good enough for government work.

Then it was time for us to set up the display table and it all went very smoothly, which should have been a hint of impending doom. With a place for everything and everything in its place, the display table looked great, inviting, but not intimidating. When I looked at it from the front, I thought to myself, this is a table I would buy a book from. I was relieved—but my relief was fleeting. When I originally registered for the book fair, I specifically inquired about access to electric. Part of my presentation was to have my Kindle ready and waiting to show off my website/blog, and how easy it is to buy my books online. I was assured that there would be access to power and to my great surprise, there was. Only one problem, the access was twenty feet away and the extension cord that I brought just in case access to electric wasn’t as accessible as advertized, was only fifteen feet long. And the downward spiral begins.

However, defeat was not to be snatched from victory so easily. Thanks to the help of fellow author, R. L. Austin and his six-foot multiple-plug extension cord, my power problem evaporated. Thank you R. L.

There I was, front and center sitting behind my first book fair display ever, ready to take the ultimate insult, the biggest slap in the face an author can experience. That being, not selling even one copy of the marvelous book I poured my heart and soul into for the past ten years. The fair opened at 10:00 a.m. and at first nothing, but what do you know, a few minutes later a customer approached. I was nervous, real nervous and my presentation was a little stilted, and then, the customer nodded and moved on. It was okay though, first time jitters and all. Being in sales (one of my real life jobs), I knew there would be more chances to screw up and moments later, there were.

Shortly after, another potential fan walked up and heard a more polished version of my spiel, then pulled out his wallet and bought. I don’t know for sure, and of course, I can’t prove it, but I think there’s an excellent chance that I made the first sale of the book fair. My greatest fear evaporated just as easily as my power problem. A few minutes after that, I think I may have made the second sale of the book fair. And guess what. I sold the second book to that poor gentleman who had to endure my stumbling and stilted first pitch. He walked around to all the tables and after giving everyone a once over, came back to me. All I can say is WOW.

At this time, it should be pointed out that I’ve said us and we, not just me. This isn’t a mistake. My girlfriend Miranda, along with her son and daughter, joined me for this momentous opportunity to fail. The kids are still too young to stay home alone. Though I was fully aware that witnesses to my potential failure could only serve to make the experience worse, it was a good thing they were there. First and foremost, I wouldn’t be alone should I totally embarrass myself, and second, they were a great help. Her son took it upon himself to make sure that the sales force had all the promotional supplies they needed, and her daughter (the aforementioned sales force), used those supplies to the best of her ability. Thanks again guys.

In sales, there’s a saying and it goes something like this. He/she can sell ice to an Eskimo. Having been in sales, I knew many people who claimed they could. I never actually met anyone who had a snowball’s chance in H—Florida of doing so. That is, until yesterday. After watching Miranda’s daughter work, all I have to say is Eskimos, beware . . . and don’t forget to hide your wallets. By the way, it won’t do you any good. You’re going to buy the ice, but if you make it too easy, the poor child gets bored.

Suffice it to say that halfway through the fair, when many of my co-authors had already packed it in for the day, L. Davyd Pollack and his dedicated sales force (headed by mom Miranda, an excellent networker), were still closing deals and moving books. All in all, it was an outstanding success for me as a new author/publisher.

Now, to put things in perspective, I didn’t sell out. At the end of the day, I still had a box of books about two thirds of the way full, which I gladly had to load back into the car. Why gladly? Because, when I arrived that morning to set up the display table, I brought in two boxes, both full.

Thanks to everyone, especially all my new fans. I couldn’t have done it without you.