Category Archives: POSTS

THE ART OF VENDING

city market

Having not posted for a while, I thought it would be fitting to keep you abreast as to why you haven’t heard much from my blog lately. It’s mainly because this is my busy time of the year as far as signings go, and this year I’ve had plenty. I won’t waste your time by telling you where they were, or how I did there, but let’s just say it’s been a rough year as far as sales go.

I’ve traveled all over the state of New York, getting gigs from Clayton and Watertown, all the way to a small town near Binghamton called Smithsville. I’ve discovered one thing about people everywhere; they are reluctant to buy anything they feel is not what they want or need, is too pricy for them, or can’t get for next to nothing.

Now I’m not trying to come down on customers; they have been friendly, complimentary, and very interested in my books and paintings. The problem is people are reluctant to buy anything they can’t get somewhere else for free. Case in point is the Kindle Unlimited Program, where readers can get almost any book for free as long as they join the program for Amazons cost. This is great for readers; as they get their cake for a one time fee, and great for Amazon because they make money as well. The writer, however, is left high and dry, with meager royalties, which amounts to half pennies on the dollar per page read.

This leaves me to sometimes hand out cards to people who will probably read my books on Kindle for next to nothing. I continue to plug on, however, because I am, after all, a writer, and have passion for my craft. Which brings me to ask the question, what are people thinking when they shop at a craft fair or festival?

A vendor next to me the other day used recycled bike parts to make lamps, tables, jewelry, and just about anything else you can think of. A lady approached him, looking at some earrings he made from chain links. She told him she knew another guy who did the same thing, but his prices were cheaper. Was this an attempt to undermine the price he had already set for this particular item? People try to look for deals, but they fail to consider the variables involved in sales; the cost of materials for the product, the time spent in preparing it, set up time, and transportation in getting to the venue.

There is a reason we set our prices they way we do. We’re not trying to rip people off, and are willing to make deals, but don’t take the shirts off our backs. Customers wouldn’t work for $5 an hour or less and neither should we, but we often do. The hours spent in writing, editing, cover design, and publishing is beyond belief. Writers spend at least a hundred or more hours for a mere $8-$20 book, which a customer wants for $5 or less.

Crafters are no different. Paintings take hours to complete, are very specialized in nature, and if you charge too much for one, people will walk away. I’ve had people walk away from a $20 painting that would fetch $100 or better in an art store. Crafts are no different; if you don’t have the item they’re looking for, they’ll walk right by your table and onto the next.

So next time you attend a craft fair, festival, book fair or signing, be gentle on your vendor. Don’t tell him or her you can find it cheaper; they spent their time and sweat creating their product, which is often unique and hard to find anywhere else. Don’t tell them their items are “very nice,” but pass them by because you really don’t want them in the first place. Compliments are nice to get, but they don’t pay the rent, so if you have no intention of buying them, keep your opinions to yourself. It’s better to say nothing than to imply you “might” buy them, and then don’t. Don’t tell them you’ll be back to buy it later, ask to hold it for you, and then disappear for the rest of the day. This is unfair to the paying customer who really does want the item.

If you’re really interested in making a deal with the vendor, negotiate. They may be willing to knock off a couple of dollars if you buy another product. I offer a special deal at my shows of $20 for my Dimension Lapse Series. That’s three books for a considerably lower price than my retail price on Amazon of $28.00.

In closing, I would like to thank those who continue to support my efforts, all those who have helped me find venues this year, and the faithful readers who have followed Jeff Walker and his adventures through space and time. I will continue to brainstorm new ideas so as to not disappoint them in any new books I write. Look for the next part of the Bargo Lynden Series in February 2018, and the next part of the Aldron series in the summer of 2018. Until next time, enjoy shopping for whatever item you’re looking for, and be kind to your vendor who brought you the product by continuing to support him wherever he or she may be.

 

 

 

 

 

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SOLAR ECLIPSE REVISITED

solar-eclipse

Did you get a chance to look at the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21st, 2017? If you live in lower North America, the chances were, yes. This was my third solar eclipse in my lifetime, but I’ve only seen one total eclipse. A solar eclipse is when the moon completely or partially covers the path the path of the sun, casting a shadow on the surface of the Earth. In the most recent eclipse, there was a thin path of totality through portions of 14 states. The longest period the moon blocks the sun is a mere two minutes and forty seconds. Remember to never look at the sun without appropriate eye protection. This should go without saying, but there have been people who have done so, and suffered permanent blindness.

eclipsesHOW

 

In ancient times, eclipses were believed to be the work of mythical creatures or angry gods, and sometimes signified the end of the world. We know today that this is nonsense, and it is a natural celestial occurrence.

eclipestages

COMING AUGUST 1ST!

THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE DIMENSION LAPSE MULTIVERSE- JOURNEY TO ALDRON

Check out this first book of the Aldron series,  in which Angelica Avery and Jeff Walker have left their former lives to chase their adversary, Varloo, into yet another universe. They must stop him from creating a race of savage hybrids, and a device capable of the manipulation of matter itself. Along with them are Major Avery’s android, Cely, and one of the Republic’s best operatives, his good friend Batar.
The party of four sets out in search of the renegade Andronian in the Matari star system, where Zacharas is located. After leaving one of its moons, Maol, they are chased by a Zacharian slave trader named Garmoto, and are forced to resolve an incident with the Zacharians by negotiation. Captain Walker seeks to forge a treaty between the Zelorions and Zacharians, but falls short when Varloo interferes with their objective, as Angelica continues to seek the truth about her own past, and her father’s connection with the future.
This next installment of the Dimension Lapse multiverse takes the wormhole travelers to a new place and time, where everything they have come to know about their own universe has changed, and the past paves the way for a new future for all races. They face new people and challenges, and an old friend as well, who unlocks the key of compassion to insure his own kind’s survival.

 

FANTASY GENRES

WHAT IS FANTASY?

As promised, in  honor of my new fantasy novel, Bargo Lynden: Adventure of A Lifetime, I’m bringing you the second half of my genre series, which relates to the field of fantasy. Fantasy is a fictional genre which is usually set in a fictitious universe, often, but not always without locations, events, or people found in the real world. Most forms of fantasy use some form of magic or supernatural powers as a main element in their plot, theme, or setting.

As there are several sub-genres, many more than science fiction, we’ll only touch base on those that are most common. If you are unfamiliar with any of the genres below, you can go to Wikipedia to look up their definitions, or to the link at the bottom of the page.

Most people are familiar with J.R.R. Tolkien, Frank Baum, C.S. Lewis, and others who paved the way for modern day fantasy. What a lot of people don’t know is that most of these classics took their background information from real places, traditions, and beliefs. The Lord of The Rings is such a series, drawing its creatures from English, Celtic, and Norse legends. Tolkien spent many years of research studying ancient legends and myths, and his son continued his work, also devoting hours of research to the subject.

Epic Fantasy

This is one of the most common, and basis for many fantasy novels. Old style weaponry, such as iron swords, and chain metal, maces, and spears are used to tell the story. Magic or supernatural forces are either used to protect the hero, or work against the hero. It is set in a totally imaginary world where our physical laws do not apply.

Low Fantasy

These stories take place in the real world, but include a factor of magic or supernatural forces brought to the surface. An example of this is the Harry Potter series.

Portal Fantasy

This is a genre where a portal helps the character(s) travel to an imaginary world through a gateway or portal from the real world. One classic example is The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis, where children travel through a closet door into the mythical world of Narnia.

Urban Fantasy

These stories are set within a city itself, and are often based on the everyday world. They deal with modern weapons, supernatural natural entities, and romance. One cinematic example of the genre would be the Underworld Series. This genre is interchangeable with contemporary fantasy and supernatural fantasy.

Young Adult Fantasy

Often aimed towards young adults, and also have young adults as main characters. An example would be Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, and Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone.

Children’s fantasy

These tales are  aimed at children, and usually have child protagonists. The typical elements of these stories can include orphans, unhappy children, cruel or absent parents, princes, princesses, monsters, fairy-tale influences, secret portals, and tests. One classic which became a popular movie is called The Never Ending Story.

Heroic Fantasy Or Sword and Sorcery

These types of stories rely heavily on swordplay, weapons, mighty heroes, battles, magic, medieval societies, romance, action and conflict. This describes my latest novel, and others, such as Conan The Barbarian.

 

Medieval fantasy deal with  settings strongly inspired by medieval society, or set during the medieval period. These stories draw heavily on myths and legends from this period of history, and often deal with the elements of royalty, arranged marriages, patriarchal societies, battles, dragons, wizards, quests, knights, and legendary swords.

Historical Fantasy

A fantasy which takes real history and blends elements such as magic, mythological beings, or influences, important battles in history, and sometimes even time travel. A classic example is the traditional A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court.

Gothic Fantasy / Dark Fantasy

A blend of the fantasy and horror/the Gothic, such as ghosts, the undead, haunted castles and monsters form the crust of the story or set its tone. It is meant to shock and scare the reader. A classic example is Brahm Stoker’s Dracula. Many of Steven King’s books fall into this category.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief fantasy sub genre post, which I hope has been useful to you. I will return next week with a new topic. Please check out my latest fantasy novel, which has a link to it on the home page. The link below is connected to a fantasy genre site.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=15&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjjx_e6ss_TAhUE3IMKHT5KADQQFghxMA4&url=https%3A%2F%2Fthoughtsonfantasy.com%2F2015%2F12%2F07%2F17-common-fantasy-sub-genres%2F&usg=AFQjCNGXBXjwv15_BGfE8bjT3SkY6OGLow

 

BARGO LYNDEN GIVEAWAY RAFFLE

Hello Fantasy and Sci fi Fans!

How would you like to win a free copy of my latest novel? All you have to do is comment below by saying “I’m going,” or “I’m there,” and you’re entered! That’s all there is to it. Drawing will be on May 14th, at 2:00 pm at City Market, in downtown Syracuse, next to the Everson Museum. Enjoy this magical story of action, faith, romance, and the struggle for good and evil!