Succeeding in Genre VS Literary

Let me first qualify this post by saying I definitely believe people should be writing. Lots of Genre writers are making a killing and lots of Literary writers are happily due to publications able to have careers teaching and editing manuscripts. Other people are writing and reading for free in online groups where they make friends interested in the stories they write and post on the subway on their cell phones.

Whether your writing makes money or resonates with the masses or you have the wherewithal to do a big marketing push, go for it. There are cascades of magazines and anthologies hungry for your work and the interactions with their publishers are excellent. The imaginative arts redeem humanity. Sort of. Taking the raw material of life and turning it with mad skills into something ecstatically exciting for you and your readers is exquisite. Do it.

If anything, this post is meant to comfort if you aren’t succeeding the way you expected to, not to dissuade. Let’s look at what that means.

The methods and benchmarks of “making it” are quite different in Genre and Literary fiction, though some authors merge the two styles, in spite of being warned against it by experts who say it’s a no man’s land financially. Yes, it probably is, but some of us are just like that. Stubborn. Thus, the frustration in our rants. But that juncture is still beautiful and full of promise.

Literary writers have jobs. Or at least they want them. The most common ideal is teaching in universities, which is the reward for being authors. Their writing sure as heck isn’t likely to support them directly, unless they’re the exceedingly rare breed of authors established back in the old days when the major publishing houses did marketing and spent serious money on it.

So, they’re adjuncts. And they live in a closet or an enclosed porch, perhaps. Those are always nice.

Even now big publishers have to pay huge fees to bookstores to place books in the best locations and they need a lot of faith in sales to do that. Publishers must ship 20,000 books to stores to be taken seriously, and they have to expect many returned books. A book has a fraction of a percent chance of being stocked in a book store, anyway.

So most Literary fiction is put out by the small press with no thought of stores, or even selling much. And nothing in stores. They have no budget for marketing. They’re probably losing money to put out people’s books out of generous passion. They know what it’s like because they’re authors too.

The marketing comes from a few reviewers who submit their reactions to the books to Literary magazines, usually without pay other than sometimes a free book, because they are passionate about the work. Facebook writers network by sharing links to online magazine stories their friends have published, once in awhile, if they really like them, or hope their work will also be shared due to good karma. They might make the “best” or “most anticipated” yearly lists. They might get a few reviews on Amazon if they work it.

The more avant-garde the book is, the more it’s doing well if it sells a few, usually to other experimental authors who understand the ambitious concepts and are part of the exciting dialogue of innovation. And truly, each reader who gets it is wonderful and cause for celebration. That’s success.

If it’s short stories, forget about it. Makes a good Christmas present for Mom. On the other hand, no, Mom doesn’t know what experimental short stories are, and she wants to keep it that way. No need to scare her. How about chapbooks? Hahaha! Yeah, right. What the heck are those, says everybody.

Only somewhere around five percent of book sales are Literary. Without the author having the money, personality, health, time, confidence, and skills to do the majority or the entirity of enthusiastic and energetic promotion, his books are not going to create an International sensation and they won’t be one of the twenty Literary authors who carry most of the sales in that style.

Mostly, they will give local readings if they live in that kind of place, and maybe sell a book at a small percent of those events. They might have three minutes to read, or if they score big, ten minutes. The rewards are different from money. It’s like the old tribal tradition of telling each other stories beside the caves, by the fire. It’s having the voice heard, understood, appreciated by the community, and an identity and reason for one’s obscure eccentricity established. It’s like howling at the moon.

However, they may be able to afford to apply for grants, may be able to afford to send their work to contests. Usually if they can, they don’t win, and there’s the rub. But if they do, woohoo! They still might not have many readers, but they have a good line on their resume to get the fourth adjunct job needed to survive, and maybe even a good chunk of cash to use to submit to more contests. And they can feel valued by the people who read and chose their books as worthwhile.

The thing is, the numbers of people reading any kind of books are declining. In Alabama, for example, it’s only thirty four percent. No wonder people looked at me funny when I lived there.

This quote gets its own paragraph. “Only 6.7% of American adults read poetry last year.” Let me say that again. “Only 6.7% of American adults read poetry last year.”

The number of books being written which are competing with those slots is exploding, particularly due to POD and e-book self-publishing, which is where the real money is these days for Genre and non-fiction. Lots of non-fiction and a hefty number of Genre authors are becoming millionaires,  even multimillionaires, and they are making a tons of money by telling people how they did that: what tools they used, what productivity hacking methods, what marketing ploys. That’s become the new mark of success. Some of these methods are free, but most cost money.

Who is actually making money with books? They’re young, usually Caucasian, healthy, business minded energetic men. In fact, they generally write non-fiction. No, actually, they buy PLR (written by someone else with the ability to change the author name to their own) or they outsource the writing. They’re affiliate marketers for the tools they share in their newsletters. They put on webinars which funnel into online courses, they give away free reports as lead magnets, have subscriptions, exclusive Facebook groups, become speakers at events. Because every writer wants to learn how to make more money. The books and courses that sell best are about how to make money as a writer. Often the people who have succeeded as authors did so only by writing those books. I know. Weird.

Literary books are successes depending on what the author decides feels good. That may change as he faces reality. It succeeds if it keeps his brain active rather than slipping into dementia in later years, if it transforms his painful experiences into art, if anyone reads it and likes it and even reviews it on Amazon or Goodreads or shouts out on Facebook.

It’s an expression of creativity. It’s a way of making every moment of life each finely honed sentence is written or read into something spectacular. Something exists that didn’t exist before. Maybe you pushed the concept of what can be done with literature in a new way never before seen. And it probably didn’t cost a lot of money. Time, yes, but what better way to spend it? Did you grow from it? Did you fall in love with the characters? Good.

Genre books succeed by being on the best seller lists. It’s harder to get onto the New York Times list, but even being in the Amazon top 100 is just dandy. If the book doesn’t do that, it tanks. People don’t see it. It needs good SEO to be found for popular keywords that aren’t already saturated. And authors are happy to sell you tools to do that.

With Genre, I’m sorry to say, after studying this extensively for years, success is about spending money. You might not make money. But you sure as heck spend it. Yes, there’s a lot of heck going on in the writing world.

This is the secret. Authors buy fake Twitter and Facebook followers. They buy Amazon reviews and buy reviews that demonize their competition. They have someone buy a truckload of books on launch day, to raise their ranking. They buy countless tools, endless software, much of it rather invasive and unfair. An author will pay 350,000 dollars a month in Facebook ads, month after month.

Not all of them do that. Some succeed honestly and without being rich. It takes all their time, and they’ve found just the right niche, and may be brilliant. They write a series with cliffhangers. They write Romance. They create groups of ardent passionate followers willing to review their work on launch day. They of course, like all the others, have great lead magnets to build their lists, like a free book.

How do people find the websites to know they want that free book? Because they read another of his free books on Amazon and it had a link to the splash page. The splash page is enticing because the author spent good money on it, and on tools to see how many people click the link if it has a red or an orange button, on the left or on the right, and how long people stayed on the site, what those people clicked on after they left the site, and what their social media profiles are.

Truly, people mostly find books because they belong to the humongous number of free or paid lists in which they are offered free e-books continually. They download them. They move on to the others in the list that day and the next and the next ,and the other lists. Do they have time to actually read them? How could they? But that brings the authors into the public eye briefly after the free period is done and so some people might buy them for a whopping 99 cents, of which the authors get 30 percent of the profit.

Genre authors don’t usually bother launching until they have at minimum 1000 people in their newsletter, and ideally 10,000 0 100,000 as a base number, with more obviously better. They have to give away a lot of lead magnets, run contests to give away cruises or a night in a castle, do free webinars in which they employ hard sales tactics, split test like a mofo, spend hundreds of dollars on covers even of the free books, guest post left and right and pay for the opportunity to people organizing blog tours. I haven’t begun to scratch the surface of what they pay for.

Do authors who can’t afford to do all that expensive marketing have a chance of competing for best seller status? Not really. But many authors who judiciously give away books while listing them with lots of services hit the best seller in their sub-niche for a day before sales tank. So they can claim that and get other benefits from that title.Maybe the next time they’ll be taken more seriously.

Or maybe the next series they’ll spend the money to fake it, and sell courses in how to do that and on how to make a business on the back end of book sales by selling courses on how to do that.

 

Social Engineering and Psychological Suspense

My psychological suspense series, The Agents of the Nevermind, to be published beginning in January (Insubordinate Books) consists of independent, stand-alone books, with the theme of resisting social engineering. In this series, the social engineers are the Agents.

Social engineering is a perfect topic to pair with psychological suspense, as that genre involves characters struggling to wade through terrible manipulation of their thoughts and emotions as they try to navigate the illusions they suffer from. While sometimes they are deluded because of naturally occurring amnesia from brain damage, for example, usually another force is deliberately immersing them in a false reality.

Social engineering is a ubiquitous practice in governments as a means of controlling the populace for an agenda. Counterintelligence is designed for that purpose. For example, if the military wants to hide advanced technology so their enemies don’t have a chance to prepare for it, or if they want to cover up covert testing on civilians or animals, they can create the belief that aliens are doing those things. Never mind that many materials used are easily identifiable as earthly, some even stamped with brand names.

If they want to create a gullible public willing to take the blame for creating their own reality rather than calling out perpetrators, whom they forgive because they were only playing the bad guy role they chose before incarnating, counterintelligence can orchestrate the New Age. British spies created its core, Theosophy, which, among other things, allowed their subversion of India in the 1700s, as they could produce enough opium to ruin China.

If they want to go to war with a country to take their resources and drugs and stop them from going off the dollar standard, they set off a fake terrorist attack inside their own borders and blame the other country, so people will support ruining them.

People are easily duped unless they are taught the rewards and methods of questioning everything, ideally from an early age. Countless people are waiting to gaslight whole populations and then train the ones who are successfully deluded into demonizing the people who catch on.

Psychological suspense can capture what it’s like for the characters to go through such traumas, and that encourages the readers to suspect people in their lives and study the kinds of tricks they use. Readers can vicariously go through the process of uncovering the truth, and helping others to escape the clutches of psychological manipulation.

I write in my blog, The Engineering of Society, about this topic. I hope that people who read the blog will also find the fiction interesting and vice versa. I like my antagonists to be worthwhile characters to scare people with. Tension and fear can have some tangible benefit in that case besides just adrenal over-stimulation for its own sake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psychological Suspense and Psychological Thrillers

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We open Psychological Suspense and Psychological Thrillers one layer at a time, never knowing what we’re going to get, and never getting what we were expecting. The books, (and TV shows, and movies) concentrate on the instability of the characters, and creating similar states in the audience as we wade through the rough waters, run through quicksand, or fly through virtual dream states. This post is about shared characteristics of the genres.

The narratives may be a mixture: Psychological Suspense Thrillers. They may include, or begin with Horror, Mystery, or even other elements such as Science Fiction (think virtual reality) or the Supernatural. The predominate feeling is slowly creeping and bewildering dread, with a mental puzzle the reader is driven to figure out, as is the protagonist, though if it’s Suspense, the reader usually knows more than the main character does, and wishes to warn him, but feels the frustration of watching events unfold. Still nothing is what it seems, and twists keep the reader guessing and surprised.

Anti-heroes are common, and they and all the other characters may use physical means of torment and mental ones, as well as using both elements to work their way out of the situations. The reader may feel claustrophobia, disorienting disequilibrium, or in the Gothics, a sense isolation.

Characters struggle against confusing mental traps caused by their own delusions or manipulations by the Impact Characters. They may play minds games against each other, or try to figure out social propaganda in order to reach lucidity. The action is not as overt and hard edged as in other types of thrillers, and the pace may be slower. Rather than being as plot-driven, the books may be character-driven.

Distinctions about morality are ambiguous, and we often see the world through the eyes of people who commit crimes, and we have some uneasy degree of feeling complicity. The roles of the police, church, government, Intelligence agencies, and the military are rarely as simplistically positive as they are in other genres. It’s not rogue agents who go bad, but the whole organizations are questioned in terms of shady conspiracy.

Who the protagonist is, who the good guy is — those are generally known in other genres, but may remain changing, up for debate, and unclear in Psychological ones. Sometimes the underdogs have to fight back by going against Draconian laws.

The reader can be immersed in uncertain complexity of convoluted Alice in Wonderland style strangeness, and that can feel in some ways like the Post-Modernist lack of objective truth we have grown used to, if we are honest with ourselves and don’t rely on religion or politicians to answer our questions about the nature of the world.

POV is variable, with some books being third person past, some first person present, some a combination. Most often there is more than one POV character if Suspense is emphasized, so the audience knows more than the victim does, and can feel the anxiety produced by what’s coming around the corner.

Psychological media explores mind control and manipulation, delusions, paranoia, mental illness, the effects of dishonesty, multiplicity of viewpoint even within one person and the validity or lack of validity and intersection of more than one. They are often nightmarish, sometimes involve advanced technology and can intersect with Science Fiction or Conspiracy, and often have Horror elements. Even the Literary Slipstream, which goes beyond the bounds of ordinary reality has a place, and when the Supernatural can occur, that leaves the characters even more vulnerable and the fright factor and characters’ challenges to their beliefs beyond intense.

The endings give us some degree of answer and solution, which can finish the cathartic process and make us feel somewhat stable again. But very often, there is still the haunting sense that much else is left ambiguous, that we don’t really know what happened, and that the world is not really possible to pin down and stamp: UNDERSTOOD. Therefore, these can be the best to watch with other people and discuss and argue over what the heck just happened. Maybe days, or years later, a new revelation about it will descend on you with a rush.

Profound questions and commentary regarding the nature of humanity are inherent. While the characters may be mentally ill murderers, we see the tenuous grasp we all have on our delusions that we substitute for the truth that we are in fact utterly lost in the face of our mysterious universe. Our text books leave out countless inexplicable anomalies, contradictory evidence, paranormal events, impossible odds, strange synchronicities, in order to make us feel we have a solid grasp of what the world is like. But that’s a joke.

To revel in that, read and watch Psychological Suspense and Thrillers, including their subsets such as the Gothic stories, and sit back and relax into knowing there is really no point in trying to make everything in our lives make some kind of artificial sense. We can pretend. But when playing in the theater of the Psychological, why bother? Let your strange come out. Have a hearty laugh at making sense.

Psychological Suspense as Multi-faceted, Ambiguous Complexity of Life

hairbookWe are the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves and the nature of reality, and there is never a moment in those stories we can stand on, if we are honest, and calmly survey all the rest as our Queendom, which we keep in perfect order and control, all in its place, accounted for by census. We could stand on another moment and look around at the waters we are desperately drowning in, next to the other moments we flew out of laughing.

Reading “The Stray Horse,” from Piano Stories, by Uruguayan author Felisberto Hernandez, I am reminded how much I love immersion into the Alice in Wonderland reality of a mind grappling with reality. The narrator begins by telling us in a perfectly straightforward way about his childhood as he studied piano with a teacher he was inordinately fond of as a boy.

Then, the cohesive, linear, objective story stops suddenly as his mind is no longer able to maintain that semblance of reality. “I refused to enclose my memories in a grid of space and time.” He becomes disturbed, trapped in the belief that he is being is taken over by an inchoate partner. I find this shift in the narrative, where the book unravels, as compelling as any I have ever read. Perhaps the most honest I have seen in my life.

Like Proust’s digressions on the nature of memory, Piano Stories displays the raw inability to write a true memoir, the random links between things, the subjective causality and the reasonableness of what to include, the shameful parts that are left out with the implication they never occurred. So much lives in the white space between scenes and chapters. This is where truth exists. And we can only hint at it with that silence from which the semblance of reality arises, and is shuffled, is read by the readers a bit at a time in the bath, skipped over during moments of distraction, to be read again, and marked with a pen, the pages turned down, never to be returned to.

Any time if we examine our thoughts honestly, our memories do not flow out chronologically, in perfect detail and clarity; our identity does not remain the same throughout our live, and as we look back to assess it moment by changing moment. We are unreliable narrators to ourselves and to others, as we present ourselves as we want or as we fear, depending on the patterns our varying dopamine and serotonin levels present us with.

We affirm we’ve been a mild success in our lives after enthusiastic applause at a reading, for example. Or we’ve always really been a bit of a failure, when no applause is forthcoming, our audience looking away uncomfortably and talking among themselves. We’re good looking if we drink a bottle of water — or perhaps a glass of wine. We’re flabby and pasty if we don’t. We wake up from a dream of love believing we’re still young with dewy potential. An hour later we come to terms with our permanently wrinkled isolation. In other words, put in your own version of these unsettling shifts.

Maybe one day you believe in the God of your childhood and the next day you find it no longer makes sense. Maybe you thought your child chose you to be born to because you’d been together lifetimes and the next you realize he had no choice but to be made out of biological mass and is just struck with you. You felt a sense of fairness, believing your parents supported you because of karma, and then were humiliated when you discovered the dubious origin of of the concept of karma. Maybe you grew up reading books you completely believed in and later found out were fascist. Maybe you based your belief system on events you discerned suddenly were hoaxes. These are some of the kinds of revelations characters in the novels in my Agents of the Nevermind series face, particularly in Giant Jack.

Because none of us have changeless, monolithic minds, Psychological Suspense is an honest genre to portray humanity. The protagonists of books and movies of that style stand on unstable ground, often because they were put there by someone else who wishes to keep them in a weakened state. And ultimately, our culture needs us to feel insecure, needy, and incomplete, to be lucrative consumers and voters.

Sometimes obsessed protagonists have frayed morality they can’t grab onto and do criminal things, have serious flaws, yet we bond with them, uncomfortably recognizing our own nightmares of hiding someone we’ve murdered, or becoming a zoo full of braying and roaring animals let loose on an unsuspecting landscape.

We all have a distorted world-view. Since the age of Post-modernism, we have to admit the limited and biased science of humans can’t explain everything. Scientific studies can’t be replicated, or their replications show opposite results; scientists are bought off; their biases influence the answers; the logic is outdated; the truth is covered up and people who champion it are demonized.

Yes, the quest to find better truth, a closer sense of how things are, what we don’t and don’t know is admirable, and echoed in the protagonists’ journey through Psychological Suspense. Readers who feel the intensity of such a quest within themselves, who enjoy the rush of finding out they were wrong about one thing after another, and feel compassion for others going through that process can be drawn to Psychological Suspense and Psychological Thrillers.

Why Psychological Suspense?

glossalalia coverWhy would I want to write a set of Psychological Suspense books? Maybe for some of the same reasons you like reading or writing them. Maybe you haven’t thought much about the category, and its rules; I’ll address a few in this post that may clarify your experience with that kind of book.

The focus in Psychological Suspense is on character depth and complexity rather than technology, justice, or speed of action, as it is in some types of Thrillers. Studies show when readers identify with protagonists we remain physically changed by them for a long time. We vicariously go through their experiences in an intimate way.

I want to help readers imagine what it could be like to experience the kind of bewilderment is possible in this complicated world we live in. Maybe readers who have experienced long term confusion find such books familiar, realistic, even cathartic, as the protagonist figures things out. The world making some amount of sense can be a relief by the end, yet there remains the awareness that our society runs on continual illusion, and the nature of reality and personality are not likely to ever be fully grasped completely.

My books in this set could also be considered Political Thrillers, secondarily, as the confusion happens from outside sources deliberately affecting them for a large social agenda, not just personal issues. My interest is in how social engineering for political purposes creates personal illusions deliberately — and the glory of finding lucidity.

Psychological Suspense helps us identify with the victims who may or may not turn things around and come out in one piece, maybe toward the Thriller direction of saving a large number of others as well. As I’m not a policeman, lawyer, doctor, or in the military, I don’t feel qualified to write those kinds of Thrillers. But as a citizen in a society that runs on propaganda, demonizing truth-seekers, paid trolls, corrupt politicians, toxic environment, etc. I can speak for the masses who have to find their way through the morass. And I can help create a sense of empowerment by the end, motivating people to keep pushing for fairness, standing up for themselves, and focusing on facts rather than propaganda.

Psychological Suspense must be emotional, with feelings being honored. I find pure outward, technical action less interesting that something more well-rounded, though those things are also important to me. My writing is naturally full of science and facts, as I try to point out the effects of little-known history, and draw attention to military technology that is in place. So I counterbalance that by forcing myself to also remember the readers want to feel heart-pounding fear, and not get too caught up in the cerebral. Being in touch with authentic feelings is a good part of lucidity and being able to avoid being mislead by falsehoods.

In Glossolalia, Nancy has been traumatized in a way that affects her understanding of the world, and she must come to grips with how it’s changed her. She doesn’t just get it intellectually, but the emotions have to be part of her revelation for it to work. The reader’s personal involvement with her can make that kind of trauma real, and make it matter more than just reading about such things with the distance of non-fiction about how such processes take place.

Setting Yourself Up as a Publisher

If you write Genre Fiction, as opposed to Literary Fiction, you’ve probably noticed that traditional publishing is falling out of favor more and more on a daily compared to the interest in doing it yourself. The statistics for how much money self publishers make are encouraging. Looking at the searches online, I researched “how to get published” and other variants are going down at a steady pace. The interest is instead in publishing yourself and marketing it so it ranks well in Amazon. Ranking as number one in your book’s category really is a matter of marketing, and if you don’t have a lot of money to put into it, you’re at a disadvantage, as many people are putting 250,000 into a launch. But if you give out lead magnets on your website to gain newsletter subscribers and send your books on KDP during free and discount periods every ninety days to the hoards of sites that alert their subscribers to them, you’ll have a chance to get reasonable sales for Genre fiction. I wouldn’t recommend doing that with Literary, as the people who subscribe to the free and discounted book lists are a different set overall than the Literary readers.

The sales rank of your book depends to a large degree on marketing. Many online tools, many of which are free, such as SumoMe, which brings more traffic to your publisher’s page, free trainings by webinar and email marketing are available to publicize your book, and free or inexpensive sites to submit discounted or free books to abound. Building a list of sincerely interested email subscribers to a newsletter can take time, using a Lead Magnet to make people more likely to fill out the opt in form, but once it happens, sales can follow a mention in the newsletter.

But most people discussing self publishing skip over the stage of setting up a business in their trainings, blogs, advice, and personal stories so authors can easily forget this is important. For publishing Literary Fiction it’s not necessarily a big deal to do it because sales will generally be low unless you have a large following due to a powerful position in a magazine for example. So beginning to just test the waters before taking the plunge is reasonable. Still, legally, if you decide it’s your path, beginning as soon as you can to set yourself up officially is the safest way to approach it.

Unless you publish it with your own name as the publisher, you’ll need to register a Fictitious Business Name Statement. You’ll need to fill out the name/s and pay 40.00 for the first one, and 7.00 for each one after that you’re registering at the same time. The form is simple, and you can download it from your county clerk’s website and snail mail in the original and three copies to the county clerk. I found emailing the clerk responsive to my questions.

You’ll then need to publish it for a month or more in a newspaper. Companies can help you do that, but you must wait until you file before you start, so you can give them the file number.

In the meantime, you can apply for your EIN online. Only go to the official IRS website, and do not pay any money to any site asking for it. If it does, it’s scamming you to steal your identity. This is an easy and quick process and you can print the confirmation. Getting the name the same in the different applications is the hard part. For example, one form may allow a “/” and another may not, and one has plenty of space and the other cuts it off with a limited amount of space: yet we’re supposed to write exactly the same thing.

I was never able to find the information though I asked directly and read everything I could find about registering with not only the overarching name and also sub-imprints. What I did was register them both and try combining them when necessary so I’ll see how it goes when I get the paperwork back.

You can set up a bank or credit union account for ease of tax records but it’s not required.

If you expect to buy any of your books, say from CreateSpace, and sell them to people in your state, whether in person or online, rather than directing them to Amazon, you’ll need to get a Resellers Permit. This one is much more complicated than the others, and you’ll need to know the BOE account number of CreateSpace, or wherever you’d be ordering books wholesale from to sell in your state. You can’t use the permit to buy from them if there is any question about whether you’ll resell. You need the account name that you’d be taking credit card orders with: Stripe, for example.

When I was planning to get a permit, I emailed CreateSpace asking for their BOE number to fill it in, assuming that’s how it’s done. They didn’t answer that question, but wrote back with this info:

“As you are ware, in order to enable your account for wholesale ordering; we also require a copy of your Reseller Certificate as well as a copy of our Resale Verification Form found at the link below.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/csp-mw-landing/resaleverification.pdf

Please allow one week for form processing. The reseller number you submit must be registered in the name of your business to qualify for the exemption. Please write your CreateSpace Member or Customer ID number – 285977 on all the forms you submit.

Once we have verified and processed your certificate, you will not be charged sales tax on future orders of your own titles or titles enrolled in the CreateSpace Direct program that are shipped to the state for which you hold a permit. We will email you confirmation of receipt and verification of your forms.

After the your reseller form is verified, you can follow the steps below to place a wholesale order:

1. Log in to your account at: https://www.createspace.com/Login.do
2. Click “Place Wholesale Order” on the upper-left section of your Member Dashboard
3. Enter the desired Title ID number or ISBN, and click the adjacent red dot
4. Enter the desired quantity
5. Click “Proceed to Cart” to complete checkout

You’ll receive an order number after checking out, and you can track your order in the “View My Purchases” section of your Member Account.”

For people who have taken books to local readings and hope one will sell one day, this is a lot of work, and then you’re expected to keep careful records of certificates. After filling it all out, I actually decided it may make more sense to not bother with selling books in person and letting this go, and just focusing on online sales. Book tours are outdated now, and blog tours are in. If you buy a book you’ve published POD, you pay the sales tax, which makes it prohibitive to sell to stores without doing this. But if you only might sell a few on commission some day or at one or two readings, ordering books wholesale for only those in your state wouldn’t be worth the reduction in book cost. However if you expect to buy in bulk from home and aggressively sell to people in your state, you definitely do need to get the Resellers Permit.

You’ll be asked your NAICS code, and for publishers, that’s 511130.

Some states require you set up with a Business License. You will also need to set up one in your city. Check out the SCORE (Service Corps Of Retired Executicves) chapter for help with that.

I’m excited to finally be taking the step to become a serious publisher aiming to make a profit at this point. The process isn’t particularly fun, but having it done will be.

New Science Fiction story in magazine

“Remember when the death of award-winning journalist, Claire Daleen was in the news a couple years ago? She was found decapitated, with her ears cut off. And then – nothing. There was case that just got started two years ago but was thrown out of court. There were lots of deaths at that time, but only a few rumors online about how they were all related to the court case. Then, the journalists who put those pieces up died too, and all references were scrubbed from the net.

I couldn’t let it go.

I had a suspicion.”

For now, the link is Bareknuckle Poets.

The title is Place Theory, which is based on science.

Spiral structure in Unside: A Book of Closed Time-Like Curves

Though my novel, Unside, is Science Fiction, it has some Literary elements, such as innovative structure, which I feel should still leave it accessible for genre readers. What this means is that the Plot Reversals are are so sharp, they turn in on themselves.

A Plot Reversal is a core element of plot which keeps any successful book from proceeding linearly and being boring. The protagonist’s encounter with the antagonist shows him some new insight and he reassesses and veers off in a different direction.

In Unside, these reassessments are drastic because of the nature of the illusions and deceptions the protagonist is under, as he learns things are not at all what they seem. I chose this structure partly to mimic the intensity I experience, and others like me, when we look deeply into the reality of our society. It becomes full of thrills and chills, more and more euphoric, perhaps grimly euphoric.

CounterIntelligence’s job is to fool the public, and this does not just apply to foreign countries but domestic citizens as well. For example, to protect the secrecy of military advanced technology, they created the hoax that aliens were interacting with us, to throw people off the scent in other countries, but of course, we had to believe it here too. Unside obliquely references this history at some point in the novel. As people who believed in such hoaxes try to look into them, they find layers and layers of deceit by Counter Intelligence agents who pretend to be involved. This particular hoax began in the 1940s and and is well documented.

Kenneth Arnold was a CIA disinfo agent and invented his story about a UFO for them; similarly, the Maury Island story from 1946 was is disinformation; Fred Crisman was a CIA disinformationist. The CIA promoting the lie of alien vehicles in 1952 in the mainstream press using assets like Henry Luce and Roswell was perhaps the most famous cover-story to make people look away from the reality toward the hoax that aliens had landed.

While many sitings remain mysterious and unidentified and strange things do occur, in general, UFOs have been shown to be military, based on Paperclip technology, and various countries’ Intelligence agencies fabricate hoaxes to cover up their military secrets, which only makes sense for them to do strategically. It does mess with people’s heads, though.

CounterIntelligence agents took on different roles to look like they were hiding it, were contactees, were disagreeing with other contactees over which aliens were good and which bad, etc. to make a maze for people trying to get at the truth. So, in situations like this, people who penetrate those illusions find themselves aghast which each new layer they uncover, being fooled with each layer until finally seeing past them all.

The experience of reading this novel should mimic that, as the reader realizes more deeply how the characters are being tricked. As the story progresses, it becomes more obviously Science Fiction the more the layers are revealed. That sense of realizing the deceits in our culture is tingling, scintillating, a rush, and I wanted to create that sensation in the reader with each new turn that spins the narrative around to took at itself from a completely different angle, on a deeper level.

I also chose the spiral structure to mimic the closed time-like curves, and the Lens-Thirring Effect that creates Frame Dragging. Various scientists and pseudo-scientists have proposed the energy from that — the friction created by the spinning of a body such as the Earth — can be milked as a power source, and that possibility is considered in this novel. It is not only considered in the macro sense, but also in the micro sense, in a whimsical way, and also in a sinister sense that involves the reader himself, his own experience of the spiral structure’s mind-blowing Plot Reversals being a kind of Lens-Thirring Effect in itself.

The Table of Contents reflects this spiral effect, not in its shape on the page, but numerically. As the characters begin again and encounter the realm of The Fool, it begins again, at 0. By the end, it has broken down into fractions, imaginary numbers, etc. This is the main cerebral, playful Experimental element of the novel, something to entertain my Innovative Literary Fiction audience.

In another sense, the plot is traditional, just very dramatic, as the tension arcs over the course of its 80,000 pages. I have studied and taught and edited traditional structure and know it very well. I like to venture beyond predictable formula at times, however, if there is a good reason for it, and I encourage other authors to do so too when it’s feasible and entertaining.

Science Fiction novel to be published by Driven Press in 2015

Unside: A Book of Closed Time-Like Curves will be put out in print and e-book by Driven Press. Have you ever thought you knew something, looked closer, and found out you were wrong, that something deeper was going on? And then looked closer and found out that was an illusion too, and each time you learned more, found out there were more layers of deceit? Most likely you have, if you spend any time researching the news, history, and our culture which has been molded by CounterIntelligence into what they want us to think it is.

The spiral structure of this full-length SF novel creates that same chilling sensation of getting closer and closer to the intensity of the truth. While Unside is all made up, and happens in the very near future, it sheds light on real contemporary events. So this book is like your friend, who understands what it’s like to live in this society as an aware individual searching for what’s really going on.

And it’s an entertaining friend, who likes to relax with you in a comfy chair and eat ginger truffles. There are jaunty dancing skeletons, an eccentric Japanese American protagonist who likes to conduct auras, a friendly store owner selling fascinating skeletal decorations, and a seeing-eye dog named after the remote viewer, Ingo Swann.

Sign up to know when it’s coming out if that sounds good to you, and stay tuned for more about it and the advanced technology proposals by DARPA it’s based on.