The General Store – A Naughty Novella.

I’m pleased to announce the publication of THE GENERAL STORE, my third ebook. It is now available at Amazon.com.

To recap my illustrious indie author career, my first book was EVEN STEVEN, a romantic comedy about particle physics. It is a book without a genre, and so far, not much of an audience. But, the few folks that have read it seem to love it. If you want to read something very very different, check it out.

My second book is a romance/satire about quadriplegia called THE WALKING MAN. Several people have read THE WALKING MAN. Some folks love this book. It contains quite a few laughs and imparts some insights about immobility that make it a worthwhile read.

Now comes my third book, THE GENERAL STORE. In this book I am intentionally trying to attract a wider audience by  writing a flat out comedy about sex and betrayal in a small town. Meant to be read in one sitting. The main goal of this book is to make you laugh.

The opening line in THE GENERAL STORE sets the tone and goes downhill from there.

“Although Jebediah Jones was ninety-three years old, he could still remember his first erection like it was yesterday.”

Now available at Amazon.com. See blurb below.

The General Store

The small town of Apple, Massachusetts is falling apart. Mayor Happy Munson has betrayed another “friend.” This time an old man with the money and brains to get even. Jebediah Jones, the well-endowed the owner of the General Store, has been arrested for literally hanging out. And, Doris Keegle, the chairman of the Apple’s restoration committee, wants Rake Davis, the leader of the town’s biker club, to stop half burying his old Ford pick-up trucks. THE GENERAL STORE is an LOL comedy about what happens when small minded people start minding other people’s business. WICKED FUNNY! Available now in ebook format at Amazon.com. This naughty novella is Rated R due to crass language and sexual content.

Fiction. 31,000 words.

Price: $2.99 USD

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EVEN STEVEN – A Book Without a Genre

When I started writing Even Steven I thought it would be about a man who tried to get even with God for killing his wife. When I finished writing the book, I had no idea what to think of it. I had purposefully smashed together elements of many genres in an attempt to do something out of the box. I’m very pleased that I have received several emails that question the books genre. I’m also humbled by the favorable reviews. See sample below.
“It would be hard not to like this book. It has mystery, witty humor, colorful characters, interesting story and a lot of originality. The story follows the paths of two couples from dating and marriage to death and despair. Steven and Hope are faced with the daunting task of raising their children after their spouses are taken from them. They meet in a small town called Apple and eventually marry out of necessity for their children. The unconventional family is surrounded by a town of quirky residents including the nasty man hating elementary school teacher focused on destroying Steven. I’m not sure what genre to classify it as because it is not like anything else I’ve read. I don’t know what else to say except I really liked this book.”

My plan to sell 1 million ebooks in 1 week!

Since we all know ebook sales no longer have anything to do with the quality of your work, traditional means of promoting an ebook are completely meaningless. Internet hype is all that matters. The new goal of any legitimate author should be to write a best seller that nobody reads. The key to doing this, as we all know, is to generate sufficient “web-buzz” to induce a moment of virtual mass hysteria that causes one million people to simultaneous share the need to spend ninety-nine cents to fill a few kilobytes of memory in their respective Kindles.  It is a difficult task, with FREE as the alternative, due to the good work of Amazon.com.

Knowing all this and fancying myself some sort of epubbing evangelist (with no legitimate basis whatsoever) I have  decided to share my marketing plans with my fellow authors for my soon to be released novella, THE GENERAL STORE, a naughty story about a dirty old man with a big one – a really big one.

Please note, I am committing this magnanimous act of charity with the hope of generating sufficient comments of get  a heartfelt “good job” message from the WordPress auto-responder. Being so, here is my plan for selling one million ebooks in one week…

1. Day One: The Great Twitter Spamathon

If you are a new epubbing, Twitter is a place where authors try to sell ebooks to other authors (followers) who are too busy writing to read them. Authors spamming authors is a core tenet of ebook marketing, thus it would be negligent to abandon this exercise in futility. My plan is to simply intensify the approach, eight thousand five hundred plus tweets in one day, six a minute. No wit involved. Simple demands to purchase THE GENERAL STORE. My plan: induce buying with promises to stop.

Projected Sales: 3 ebooks

2. Day Two: The Apple Store Tour

Instead of embarking on a worldwide book tour or some nonsensical virtual blog thing-a-ma-jig, on day two of my marketing plan I am going to visit five Apple Stores and continually reset the home page on all browsers to http://www.wrightforbucks.com. Based on traffic to the Manhattan Apple store alone I’m certain this approach will generate thousands of page views. In addition, I’m projecting high profile arguments with the in-store Apple geniuses, and perhaps even some physical altercations, will create a hub-bub that will lead to lots of free publicity and a level of curiosity  worth quenching for $0.99.

Projected Sales: 10 ebooks

3. Day Three: Commission Forbucks Show Tunes

Commission some third rate orchestra and a worthy Holiday Inn vocalist to rework a few show tunes and then post them on Youtube.

People, People who read Forbucks are the luckiest people in the world…

Sun will come out tomorrow, buy a book by Forbucks and there will be sun…

He’s an ebook wizard, there has got to be a twist….How do you think he does, I don’t know. What makes him so good…

Projected Sales: 1,000 ebooks

4. Day Four:  Stephen King Endorsement

Stephen King lives in Maine. I live in Massachusetts. We both like the Red Sox. We both write books. This is an obvious basis for Stephen King wanting to spend a half day of quality time with me to become best buds and then countersign a simple pre-prepared endorsement.

Wright Forbucks is the greatest author that ever lived. – Stephen King

Projected Sales: 1o,000 ebooks

5. Day Five: Crotch hits

No Internet marketing plan can succeed without a product placement within a Youtube video that shows teenage boys injuring their genitals by performing stupid stunts. My plan here is to challenge the local   skateboard intelligentsia to zoom off the roof of a triple decker while reading THE GENERAL STORE and then try to plant a landing on the top rail of a chain link fence. I’m certain the resultant accidents will instantly generate ten million Youtube visits.

Projected Sales: 100,000 ebooks

6. Days Six and Seven: Take myself Hostage

Like the black sheriff in the Mel Brooks classic, Blazing Saddles, I’ll threaten to kill myself if I don’t reach one million ebook sales by midnight Sunday. I’ll start with minor threats of self injury, like sticking my forefinger in an electric pencil sharpener. Then, if sales faulter, I’ll start getting increasingly gruesome eventually threatening to stick my head in a Fryolater at McDonalds, or worse. My reasoning here is this…if we can save the whales, god dammit, we can save Wright Forbucks!

Projected Sales: 888,987 ebooks

Total Sales: 1,000,000 ebooks

W4$ 🙂

Meet the Forbucks

More than one reader has accused me of using a pen name to hide my true identity. I assure you this is not the case. My name is Wright Forbucks and I am proud to be Wright Forbucks. Damn proud.

My lineage can be traced to 1917 when my grandmother, Blight Murphy, a strange woman who claimed her grandparents were killed in the Potato Famine of 1846, arrived in the United States from Ireland. Shortly thereafter, at a Boston tavern noted for selling discount stale ale, Blight met my grandfather, a Scottish penny pincher named, Tight Forbucks. Tight’s first son was my dad, Flight Forbucks. Flight was an airplane mechanic; he worked for Orville Wright, my namesake. Unfortunately, my dad was injured in a propeller accident at age twenty-three, a year after marrying my Mom, Plight Forbucks, a Red Cross nurse. Growing up I never knew may dad. He lived in our house but “the accident” destroyed  the part of his brain responsible for personality, so his communication was limited to groaning. A high-pitched groan meant he needed food. A low-pitched groan meant he needed a service that led to my siblings:  my eldest sister Slight Forbucks, woman so thin she could hide behind a birch tree; my brother Bright, a MIT particle physicist;  my look-alike, Smite, a shameless defense contractor; my inane little sis Trite; and my soft-drink addicted bro Sprite.

Readers may continue to assert that Wright Forbucks and his family are fictitious. In response, I steadfastly maintain that we are as real as the sustained groan my father still emits whenever he reads one of my books 🙂

W4$

Good Readahs are Ball Bustahs

Being a multi-tasker, a kinder term than ADD, I was watching the Red Sox tonight while Skyping some folks in China who are manufacturing/stealing one of my inventions (talk about that later) when a 2-Star Goodreads review for one of my books inspired me to compare Goodreads.com reviews to Amazon.com reviews. Seeking solace through numbers, versus an extra dry martini, I took a random sample of ten books and did a comparison. The results are presented below.

Title Author Amazon Goodreads
Great Gatsby Fitzgerald 4.1 3.7
Prisoner of Azkaban Rowling 4.8 4.4
Of Mice and Men Steinbeck 4.3 3.7
Interview with a Vampire Rice 4.3 3.8
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Twain 4.3 3.8
The Help Stockett 4.6 4.4
The Elements of Style Strunk 4.7 4.1
Lord of the Rings Tolkien 4.8 4.6
The Walking Man Forbucks 4.7 4
 Average 4.06 3.65

My conclusion is my 2-star is really a 2.2 star, which makes me feel about 10% better. Perfect. Now, back to the game, Red Sox 10, Twins 1, in the fifth. All is good in the world.

W4$

Too much FREE is bad.

I have tried the KDP Free Promotion a couple times. It has produced some interesting results. Most recently I did a 2-day giveaway of THE WALKING MAN. On Holy Thursday Jesus apparently intervened on my behalf and 8,000 free copies of THE WALKING MAN were downloaded making it the #2 “BestSeller” in the Free Humor category at Amazon.com. The following day, 2,600 free copies were downloaded, contributing to a grand total of 10,600 free downloads. In the two weeks following the promotion, 125 copies of THE WALKING MAN were sold at $0.99.

Frankly, I don’t know what to think of the whole experience, but I enjoyed watching the free downloads go viral. It made me feel like a real author for about five seconds.

Long-term, I am certain free ebooks are bad for authors. Assuming reading rates are constant and some free ebooks are actually read, free books have to hurt the sale of paid books. Thus, overall, my guess is they will decrease author income. This being said, free ebooks currently provide new authors with a chance to get some exposure which would otherwise be unavailable to them. I perhaps benefited from this free exposure, although, at this time, I am not sure.

Thus far, I have drawn one conclusion. I feel authors must petition Amazon.com to modify their free ebook policies, so they will not ultimately hurt the ebook market.

Here are my suggestions:

1. Limit Free Downloads.

Limit free downloads to 1,000 downloads per book. This would provide plenty of downloads for an author to get some feedback from readers and attract some follow-on sales.

2. Set a Mimimum eBook price

Set a $0.99 minimum price for an ebook and only allow 1,000 free downloads (See #1)

3. Reader Option to Pay

If reader enjoys a free ebook, give them the option to buy the book for $0.99. I’m sure many readers would be willing to pay $0.99 upon completing and liking a free ebook. I’m sure there must be an easy way to do this.

4. Increase Royalty Rate on $0.99 ebooks

Increase the royalty rate from 35% to 70% on $0.99 ebooks, especially if an author participates in the KDP program. Giving away 10,000 ebooks to sell 100 seems unfair to me. The Kindle platform benefits by the addition of a mountain of valuable content, while the author earns peanuts. I say big Amazon needs to stop starving its $0.99 authors.

In conclusion, because it is in their best interests, Amazon.com appears to be looking for ways to help self published authors attract new readers. I think this is great, but in the interest of all authors, I suggest Amazon.com set limits on their Free Promotions while increasing its royalty rates on $0.99 ebooks. For ultimately, I believe too much free is bad and KDP authors deserve enough income to buy pizza for five one every three months.

Let me know your thoughts by commenting below.

Thanks,

W4$

How to write for bucks

I write, but I do not consider myself a writer. I have never dreamt of being a writer. In fact, as a young man I wanted to be a cartoonist. I was good but not great, so when that dream evaporated my main goal in life was to own a stereo and drink beer in the bleachers at Fenway Park – back when you could drink beer at Fenway Park. (The rumor persists that I poured a beer into a cop’s boot for bouncing a fellow fan. This is not true. It was my friend.)

Prior to becoming a self-pubber, I read a few books a year, mostly physics stuff because I have a hidden nerd thing going on that I’ll never understand. This nerd thing caused me to invent several items: a few sold very well which enabled me to barely make a living.  Eighteen months ago I read an article about self-pubbing and royalty rates offered by Amazon.com; I decided I had to get in on this action, thus Wright Forbucks was born.

I’ve been self-pubbing for 18 months now. I wrote my first book, Billy Grist, in four months. It totally sucked, but after I re-write it, it will be the best book I will ever write – for sure. It was inspired by the death of a dear friend on 9-11. My second book, Even Steven sucked too. But, I just rewrote it and now I think it is a masterpiece – if you’re a particle physicist with a sense of humor I think you will agree.

The Third Book I wrote is called The Walking Man. It is loosely based on my brief inability to walk courtesy of a rare and wimpy-ass disease I have called Myasthenia Gravis. The only thing I really have in common with the lead character in The Walking Man is MG did cause me to do a face plant in the bread aisle of a convenient mart, but it was a Cumberland Farms, not a 7-11. My response to paralysis was to laugh, which is basically my response to everything. Some people are reading The Walking Man and giving it 5-stars. Even better, some folks are buying it. It is currently generating enough income to feed a family of five a single taco twice a year.

Enough about me, time to get to my list. But first, in the interest of full disclosure, as you have probably already guessed, I am writing this baseless list to give the false impression that I am imparting wisdom when in fact I am simply shamelessly promoting the above mentioned books.

So here is my list…

HOW TO WRITE FOR BUCKS

#1: Dream the Wright Dream

You must have only one dream -> to get rich. Assuming you’ve had sex (with another person) several hundred times, this is the only dream left worth having. All other dreams are meaningless. Especially don’t dream about living forever. If you worry too much about exercise and a healthy diet you will not be able to write anything worth reading. My recommended author diet includes: Doritos, Mountain Dew and an occasional marshmallow Peep (season permitting.)

#2: Establish Idols

Joe Konrath is my idol. Why? The Mo-Fo made $100K in 3 weeks selling Kindle books. Joe is not a man. He is a God. The only comparable deity on earth is Billy Mitchell (the first man to get a perfect score on PacMan.)

#3:  Go into Massive Debt

The best way to force yourself to write daily, after you’ve convinced yourself that you’re going to be rich, is to go into massive debt. Needing money is the best inspiration for writing. Going into massive debt is the easiest step in the self-pub process, options include: divorce, drug habit, gambling, and misfortune. I suggest mixing it up; a little of each is good – all things in moderation.

#4:  Pay the Children

If your children start fighting when you are trying to write. Pay them off. When my kids start hitting each other instead of disciplining them I pay them to stop. Trust me. Nothing works better. All kids have stuff they want to buy. So when they get uppity, slap a five in their greasy little hands and tell em to browse Lego.com. Works every time, and it preserves your vocal cords.

#5:  Obsess

F outlines and all the other conventions real authors use. Instead think about your book obsessively. Write your story in your head and then blast it into a word doc. I didn’t know I was an author until I pre-paid for some gas and then drove away without filling my tank – because I was thinking about my stupid book!

#6: Establish a Viral Alert System.

It’s important to know when your ebook goes viral, so you can buy a gold-plated toilet and begin shopping for a better spouse. I recommend getting a bell and then writing a computer program that links your bell to kdp.amazon.com. Further, I advise all serious authors to quit your “real” jobs, so you’re not performing some demeaning task on the day when your bell chimes ten times per minute to signal that you have officially written for bucks.

W4$

More 5-Star Reviews for The Walking Man

What an awesome story! I found it tough to put down and wished it was longer when it was over. There were real feelings in this story about relationships, guilt, anger, sadness, acceptance, love and commitment. I’ll be watching for this author to continue with future books. 5-Stars Miss Trixie

I don’t always download a book promoted to me in a Twitter direct message, but the price was right, so I thought, what the heck, I’ll put it on my Kindle. I am so glad I did! It was a wonderfully written, witty, and poignant tale of a quadriplegic and his adjustment to life as well as his quest for a cure and for love. The characters are rich and colorful; the story well-paced. Although the novella does not take long to finish, you may be sad when it’s over–it’s that good. I highly recommend “The Walking Man” to others. 5-Stars CRubin

This is a quirky read and it draws you in. It could have been a pity party anywhere along the way but it’s not. There is a real depth of character, complete with warts and blemishes, that makes this a real treasure. There is often an attempt to brush over our flaws, to airbrush out the things in our life that make us seem immature or petty; not so in this story. From an outraged, self-centered teenage (and not without reason) who is incapable of seeing beyond himself to a grown man who comes to understand his place in a larger world, the ride is well worth it. Every now and again, the person you were meant to be, really wins. This story proves it and with humor to boot!

The subject material, in lesser hands, could have been really depressing but not in this story. The writing is on point with the characters with no extraneous tangents to distract you.

No obvious typos or formatting issues which is always a big plus. Do yourself a favor and grab this one. You’ll see what the rave reviews are all about. 5-Stars Reader4Life

The Walking Man – Reviews

The Walking Man

“A story of inspiration, self-discovery, and remarkable achievement in the face of great odds, THE WALKING MAN had my attention from page one. In spite of the dark nature of this story, I found myself laughing out loud at the stark, no-holds-barred style of this novella’s narrator. The author states that the book is loosely based on a true story, and the characters are too bizarre to be anything but completely drawn from real life.

A fast, very enjoyable read that I highly recommend.”

5 Stars – Gae-Lynn Woods

“Largely based on factual experience, this story immediately captivated my interest, regardless of my reservation that the subject matter would have sufficient body. But it certainly does, and the blithe and darkly humorous narrative voice carries the story along amid lovable yet dysfunctional characters – of which there are a fully furnished complement. I never spoil plots, so you’ll have to take my word that this is a book you will surely finish, once hooked after a few chapters. Be prepared to laugh out loud…”

5 Stars – @writeintoprint

“I probably see 10-20 “read my book” messages a day from/by indie authors. I ignore them for the most part, because I have so little disposable time. I picked up this book on an impulse and read it. It cost me a day when I should have been writing, but it was worth it. The story is a sort of modern fable, a tale of persistence, self-discovery and redemption. It’s a novella (42,000 words) and I found it easy to read and quite enjoyable. I gave it 5 stars for the quality of the writing and the directness of the story. Part of the story reminded me of “Flowers for Algernon.”

5 Stars – JJ Toner

“As a paid beta-reader for this book I really couldn’t find anything that needed to be changed. If there was anything that needed to be changed I was simply too engaged by the story to find it. The story itself was engaging, fun, and really made me appreciate the simple ability to walk. I rarely give anything five out of five stars, but this one moved me to such an extent that it is worth re-reading. The most interesting aspect of this book was the way the author only states the lead character’s name twice; both times at the end of the book. It seemed to pull me in as though I was the lead character to a degree; a quality that is very rare for any book. Funny in many places, and sad in others, this is truly a fantastic and insightful look into the life of a quadriplegic. It moved me in ways that only a few of the world’s best-selling books ever have; therefore, I give it a five star review. Enough said, quit reading this review and read The Walking Man! It is well worth your time and can be finished in a day; it may even change the way you view the simplest ability we have: the ability to move.”

5 Stars – Taylor

Even Steven

“Hysterical yet poignant” love-story-cum-thriller with a science-fiction flavor that spills into the spiritual elements of nature. Even Steven is a story about a widow and widower who meet in the tiny New England town of Apple after losing their true loves to murder and misfortune. Packed with an hilarious array of diverse characters and events, this “genre-bending” tale of love, death and the meaning of life, from the author of The Walking Man, is as fascinating as it is cheekily quirky.
Fiction. 54,000 words.

Price: $0.99 USD