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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Are You a Father or Are You a Mechanic?

As you probably already figured out, I’m a writer, not a mechanic. Yes, like so many these days, I call myself a writer and no, it isn’t because I’ve been laid off from my third job in four years. Just so you know, I’ve been writing for decades. My first full-length novel about a single father meeting the challenges of raising his son and in the process, discovering things about himself that he never knew—is finally out. It’s called, Positives & Negatives, Tricycles & Pancakes. So yes, I’m a writer and I’d be a writer whether I was stocking groceries at the local market, or mowing lawns up and down my neighborhood streets.

What I am, and what I do to keep a roof over my head, are two different things. It would be great if it didn’t have to be that way but for now, that’s the way it is. For me it’s very much like living two lives at the same time, there’s the writer life, and the everything else life. The everything else life is real and largely out of my control, the writing life is fictional and even though it only exists in thought, for me it’s no less real. The only thing the two worlds have in common is that I have no control, and I’ve become accustomed to it.

On the other hand, the differences between the two worlds are myriad, but can be summed up by two words, make believe. In the writing world, I can experience anything; life, love, hate, I can fall out of a ten-story window and I can die doing it, or more sensationally, I can survive. I can do anything, or more accurately, anything can happen to me and I don’t have to experience it in the real world. So why, when I meet a prospective reader for the first time, are the questions always the same?

“Are you a single father?”

“No.”

“Do you have a son?”

“No.”

I’ve been marketing my book for about six months and it’s always at this point that the prospective reader decides to move on. Not only do they not buy the book, but later, if someone who has tells them good things about it, their first response is, “He isn’t even a father.”

Ugh—I, for the life of me couldn’t figure it out. Why is this such a big problem? It must be a serious one but the reason continued to elude me. At first, I thought maybe if I ignored the whole thing and didn’t make it any bigger than it was, it would go away. Especially, as people read the book and then told others, you know, the power of word-of-mouth advertising. I was wrong. As more people talked about the book, more people would inquire with the same two questions. Are you a single father? Do you have a son? I’d answer no, and they’d move on.

What to do? What to do? I thought about my possible options. Morality and personal responsibility aside, I suppose I could put the cart in front of the horse and find a way to become a baby-daddy. As time rolls on I would not only establish credibility and standing as a father, but I’d have a son too, or maybe a daughter. How hard could it be? Every day, thousands of men become baby-daddies and they aren’t even trying. Of course, being a real father takes a lot more than just a pregnancy, but as I said, I didn’t see the reason why everyone thought it was necessary in the first place. Why did I actually have to be a father? Why do I actually have to have a son? I guess I was just missing it.

The following months did nothing to change anything. The same two questions were still pestering me so I decided to perform a thought experiment. I asked myself, Davyd, what if instead of writing a novel about a single father, you wrote a book about fixing cars? Would I, as a reader of auto repair books, buy it? And the first question that came to mind was, are you a mechanic? And the second, do you fix cars? I never even thought to ask if I was a writer.

The light bulb went off in my head. If I were a mechanic with 10-15 years experience fixing cars and a professional certification or two, sure, why not? I’d buy the book. But if I’m a writer who writes novels, short stories, and sometimes a novella, well . . . I don’t think so. And there it was, I saw the problem and I understood it completely.

However, in order for you to understand it the way I do, you’ll need to prepare yourself because the problem isn’t as obvious as you might think. To prove it, I’m going to tell you something that isn’t going to make any sense but nevertheless, is true. There is no problem. The fact that I wrote a book about a single father raising his son, when I am not a single father, and I never had a son, is totally and completely irrelevant. Here’s why.

Anyone who has read the book automatically and without realizing it, loses their skepticism before the end of the first chapter. In fact, most do it after just a page or two, and the reason they do, and the reason I never understood the skepticism in the first place, is this. I never set out to write a how-to book about raising a son by yourself. I don’t write non-fiction (at least not yet), so that was, and still is, the furthest thing from my mind. True, Positives & Negatives, Tricycles & Pancakes, is about a single father raising his son, but I didn’t write a book about the father that I am. I wrote the book about the father I wish I had.

You see, a long time ago I was a son, and I had a father. So yes, I do have standing and credibility regarding the subject and beyond that . . . I will say no more. If you have other questions, you’ll just have to read my book, L. Davyd Pollack’s book.

 

It’s Free

Hi all,

I know it’s been a while since I posted and there really is no legitimate excuse. The illegitimate excuse is that I’m busy. Which is true, just not a good excuse. Real life being what it is, and that includes mounting bills, I’ve had to put my dreams of writing for a living on hold and start looking for a job that pays (pretty much anything else). So if you guys hear of anything (in Florida), let me know.

In the mean time, I’m running a book promotion to coincide with a local book fair. The fair will be held on 3/28/15 from 9-5 at the Cocoa Beach Library (in Florida). This year I’ll be participating in it, so if you’re in the area, stop by and say hello. I’ll be giving away five FREE signed copies of, Positives & Negatives, Tricycles & Pancakes. If you’re not in town, not a problem, you don’t have to be present to register. Here’s a sneak preview.

Contest Rules

Win 1 of 5 free signed copies of:

Positives & Negatives, Tricycles & Pancakes

Step 1

Register your name and email either at the Book Fair or online through my website. Just ask me to add you to my mailing list. Please, one entry per name and email. Why anyone would want to enter twice is beyond me, but if I don’t say something . . . well, there’s always a smart-aleck.

Step 2

Okay, now go to my website and download: See Jane, Brothers, and In the Rough (totally free today 03/28/15 and tomorrow 03/29/15). All three are available at www.LDavydPollack.com . Don’t have a digital reader? No problem. At the bottom of my home page, you will find links to free apps that will let you read Kindle stories on your computer or smart phone.

Step 3

Now listen closely, this is crucial. Read the two short stories (See Jane, Brothers) and one novella (In the Rough). For those in Rio Linda, a novella is a really short novel, way under a hundred pages, about fifty.

Step 4

Yeah, I suppose this is crucial too. Leave a kind, original, and plot driven review for each story. It isn’t hard to do. When you finish a story, Amazon will automatically prompt you to tell everyone about it. Or, you can come back later and go to Amazon, do a separate search for each story, find the story, find the review section, and then leave a review—your option. As for the review itself, it doesn’t have to be long, two or three sentences in your own words will suffice and . . . Okay, it doesn’t even have to be kind, as long as it’s truthful, constructive, and not malicious.

Step 5

The first five people to email me through my website that their three reviews are posted, will be eligible for a free signed copy of Positives & Negatives, Tricycles & Pancakes (PNTP). I will confirm the reviews and then email you back for the delivery address. Once I have received the delivery address, I will send you, free of charge (including shipping and handling—when I say free—I mean free), one signed copy of PNTP.

This promotion is open to all registrants at the Book Fair as well as those who can’t make it but register their name and email address online. The contest begins on the 28th and ends when I have confirmed the fifth and final set of reviews.

What do you have to lose?

PNTP on Florida Book News

Last week I received an email from a friend, a writer friend named Holly Fox Vellekoop. She (like me) has a number of interesting titles and a website where you can go to find out more. But this isn’t about that, it’s about something else. Help. We authors have to stick together in our battle to break through and it was Holly who suggested that I contact Lou Belcher.

Lou Belcher runs a website called Florida Book News, dedicated to getting the word out about the latest work coming from the creative minds here in the Sunshine State. She invited me to submit “Positives & Negatives, Tricycles & Pancakes,” and viola . . . now it’s posted.

So when it’s time to take a break from all the festivities of this holiday season, take a moment to check out www.floridabooknews.com and some of the other featured authors.

Thank you Lou and Holly.

Happy New Year to all.

Davyd

One Space or Two, Too Spacey Today

I’m not sure why this is an issue but I hear other writers ask about it all the time, so here it is again. Should there be one space after a period or two? Ugh . . .

Look, years ago there used to be a thing called a typewriter. It came in two versions, manual or electric. The manual had levered keys that when pressed hard enough, would swing an arm with a letter (lowercase and uppercase) engraved at the end of it. The face of the engraving would strike an ink ribbon and then the paper, leaving a printed letter. Pressing the shift key at the same time as you pressed the letter key, gave you uppercase letters, otherwise you got lowercase. It was always the same font and always the same spacing.

Electric typewriters were a major improvement and gave you soft touch keys with no levered swing arms. There were two options that I know of, print ball or print wheel, depending on the model. The benefit here was that you could change fonts by changing the ball or wheel, but spacing was pretty much fixed.

There’s a common theme here . . . fixed spacing and it’s the reason standard practice at the time was to put two spaces after a period. It not only helped to delineate sentences, it kind of looked better too. By the way, I’d like to point out that this is all information I gleaned from the musings of ancient wordsmiths. I for one, will never admit to having seen such a device in person or god forbid, using one—eh-hem, eh-hem, eh-hem.

Okay, history lesson over. Today we use computers, laser printers, and word-processing programs that offer more fonts and spacing options than we as writers, will ever need. Double-spacing after a period in no longer required because word processors already compensate by automatically adjusting proportions. Throw in some word wrapping and justification, and Bob’s your uncle. I’ve always wanted to use that phrase, hope I did it right. Hey, does anyone out there know what the hell Bob’s your uncle really means, and where it originated?

The long and short of it is this, no double spacing after a period. Period. Don’t believe me? Just pick up a book, look inside, and see for yourself. D’oh!

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Right or Rewrite, is that the question?

When I first started out as a writer, I never thought I’d be a rewriter. In fact, twenty years ago if you had told me that I’d be a writer of anything except business letters or the occasional thank-you note, I would have laughed at you. And I’d have good reason, I was in construction, I worked with my hands, I built things, real things. I didn’t sit around writing all day.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that my experience as a contractor would be invaluable to me as a writer, check that, a rewriter. I know. On the surface, it doesn’t make sense and I’ll tell you honestly, I didn’t put the pieces together for years. It wasn’t until a friend of mine who was critiquing my work, happened to mention offhanded, that I write in layers. We were talking about writing styles and she said that mine was like layers of an onion. And then she asked me how I did it. I was truly lost for an answer because I had no idea what she was talking about—and I told her so.

At first, I think she thought I was being evasive, but the topic came up often and my answer was always the same. She wasn’t being pushy about it or anything, but her inquiries got me thinking, maybe too much. I really didn’t have an answer and . . . I don’t know if this is going to make sense to anyone, but I didn’t care that I didn’t have an answer. That’s the thing that bothered me the most, and it caused me to think even more.

You see, I’m the type of person who needs to understand how the things in my life work. The phrase “it just is” drives me up the wall; I need to know why it just is, except when it comes to my writing. Eventually, my friend got tired of asking and concluded for herself, that my style was purely an organic process. Again, a statement like that about anything else except my writing would drive me crazy. But in this case, it served as the perfect answer. To this day, I still use it and people accept it as gospel. Personally, I wouldn’t if I was the one asking about someone’s style or process, and maybe that’s why I’m writing this blog. By the way, for those who don’t know, style and process are two different things.

So, here it is for anyone who’s interested. First, I’m going to address process because it’s the easiest, the mechanics behind my style. I get up in the morning and go into my office, sit down in front of my computer, and start writing. I do this every morning. That means seven days a week. Excuses are for other things, writing in the morning comes first. Everyone who knows me knows not to try and contact me until after lunch. If they call before that, they get my voicemail. You want an example of organic? That’s it. And guess what? It’s fun.

If you write the way I do, it doesn’t take long before you have a whole bunch of shit that most people wouldn’t pay a penny to read. Think of it as a huge construction site so completely littered that you can’t take a single step without walking on something. Many of those things are hazardous, like a 2×4 with random nails sticking out of it. Ouch! Then, there’s OSHA, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Believe you me, if you let your construction site get as bad as I describe and OSHA hasn’t already written a citation, they will, and you’ll get a visitor or two, and it won’t be cheap.

So how does this all relate? Here’s a simple illustration. In construction, you go ahead and put in place policies and procedures to address the problem, and then assign people to carry them out. For our little scenario, three to five laborers and a hand full of dumpsters should suffice, when the clutter builds up, they get rid of it. Cleaning (putting refuse in the dumpster) and organizing (making sure that tools and machinery are properly secured), is what the last half hour of every workday is used for, and one of the best ways to keep OSHA at bay.

In writing, it’s the same thing, only I’m the laborer, the dumpster is my delete key, and rewriting is my procedure. It’s what has to happen before I make things right, and that’s when my writing style, the style of layers, begins to take shape. I suppose that in order to complete the analogy, I need an OSHA equivalent but fortunately for us writers of fiction, censorship is still limited. Let’s hope it stays that way.

I used to dread the thought of having to rewrite everything I already spent days, weeks, and even months writing. Now, I not only rewrite, I do it all the time. I don’t dread it; I look forward to it—making it right is fun too.

PS – I rewrite twice as much as I write. Just kidding, it’s more like four times as much—okay, five . . .

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