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Messages - Dave Lewis

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NO.  I just tried it (yesterday).  Paid the cash, avoided all the awful ads that try to get you to part with more cash for crap, then finally clicked the link they sent and lo and behold it doesn't work :(  I'm sure it does but the Mac version they sent me to was a silly Mozilla plugin (not supported by Apple) so if you don't use that browser you'll have to tweak the software extensions etc. I'm a software engineer and it was too much hassle seeing as I wanted it to save me time!  Anyway, asked for a refund and got one straight away so no complaints there... but when I suggested to the guy that they make a more user-friendly Mac version I get a load of abuse!  Customer service obviously not their thing ;)  Hence me posting this, and will also be posting on many, many Facebook groups I run, plus my newsletter to 1500 subscribers. OK, rant over. It's a shame as I would have liked to have used it but there we go.

Writers' Cafe / Re: live what you write
« on: April 10, 2018, 02:46:15 AM »
I am curious about how many authors that frequent this forum incorporate what they do or have done for a living into what they write. My editor assumed I grew up on an agave farm after editing "Messenger's Soliloquy". I didn't but farms were all around me when I was a kid.
And I make a point of inserting stuff I am currently doing or have done into my stories. (Which may be the most boring parts of the stories) Like today I had to stop trenching a footing for a foundation after being attacked by bees swarming on a roof next door. That's going into a story at some later date. And I noticed that my kneepads are falling apart. Or getting the soles of my work boots re-glued and trading Tequila stories with the shoe repair guy. Trivial, but still details for some later character.
So what do you bring from your daily lives?

"Write what you know" - I was taught this so always write from experience.  Poetry is easy enough, my self-help book, 'Happy' is my own philosophy on life and my crime thrillers are based on real people and events, all mixed up and based in Wales and Kenya, two countries I know well.  It's usually obvious when someone is trying to write about something they know little about and the resultant book poorer for it.  Having said that a very successful writer (who has sold a million+) I know has put basic factual errors in some of his books (even me, a non-expert on his subject spotted them) but he already had a huge following so got away with it, shame really.

I've used MailChimp for years, the free version has a limit of 2000 I think it is though, so I just use two email addresses now - one I use for press releases to newspapers, media, writing groups etc. while the other one I use for the International Welsh Poetry Competition - and my self publishing business -

I think I have 700 in the press release list and 1400 in the poetry one, so OK so far :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Author profile, signature etc.
« on: April 10, 2018, 02:36:55 AM »
Thanks everyone for replies.  I'll leave them as they are I guess.

Shame no poetry board though, I've just released my 7th poetry collection.

we ask that authors not self-promote here in the Writer's Cafe -- feel free to start a thread in the Book Bazaar if you've not already done so -- KBMods

Writers' Cafe / Author profile, signature etc.
« on: April 08, 2018, 08:04:54 AM »
Hi all, hope it's ok to ask here... I've just updated my signature and stuff but it only has room for 9 books? Can I edit this to include more?

Also, is there a poetry board?

Ta :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Quality or Quantity?
« on: August 25, 2015, 08:12:14 AM »
OK, no worries, but I hardly think one Anglo-Saxon swear word is 'overtime' - the other word should not have been banned surely you have woodwork tools or children without parents here as well?

As for 'wind up' - get real. I've explained quite clearly the reason for my post and the replies highlight the sensitivity of some 'writers' who see the post as a dig at them - which it wasn't.

Anyway, I'll shut up now, as I've said good luck to all with their work.

Edited.  PM me if you have any questions.  --Betsy/KB Mod

Writers' Cafe / Re: Torn between two covers...
« on: August 25, 2015, 08:03:18 AM »
The top one is better design but the colour is better on the bottom, IMHO, and it fits in with the others better too.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Quality or Quantity?
« on: August 25, 2015, 08:01:02 AM »
Like I said, just 'some' of you.  The other sensible replies are great.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Quality or Quantity?
« on: August 25, 2015, 07:42:14 AM »
Btw, is there a Like or Don't Like button anywhere so that we can rate replies?  Some very good ones here.

Liked the vampire story, Rick.  I just read the intro :)

Edited.  PM me if you have any questions.  --Betsy/KB Mod

Writers' Cafe / Re: Quality or Quantity?
« on: August 25, 2015, 07:31:38 AM »
I only really posted the question to wind some of you up. It seemed to work judging by some of the  replies ;)  Some good answers though, although I never meant either or, it was just a thread heading. 

A friend of mine wrote one of James Patterson's books for him and she spent ages researching some Dawkins-awful town/city in the USA, he flicked through it and said 'It's OK, can you just change it to some Dawkins-awful town in England.'

It sold loads, she made loads, he made a lot more.

Research depends on what you're researching, with or without evil Google, I'll ask a question - 'Who knows the nickname of the biggest pub in Cilfynydd and why?' Well done anyone who knows btw, but my point is some things you need to live in a place to really know / feel.

I guess part of the reason for my leading question was to see if the attitudes to mass-producing the same stuff in order to make money are the same in the USA as opposed to the UK. I know there are more 'writers' in the USA (larger population) but it does seem a more capitalist arena.

I don't sell many books but I'd say 99% of them are in the UK, never really looked at the USA as a market, especially as the IRS takes 30% of my royalties (the [illegitimate persons]!). Hence my reason for coming to the board and seeing how you lot think.

All the best to everyone though, hope you get what you want. :)

Edited.  PM me if you have any questions.  --Betsy/KB Mod

Writers' Cafe / Quality or Quantity?
« on: August 25, 2015, 03:56:06 AM »
Firstly, can I say I'm not judging anyone here... but I can't help notice some authors have 'loads' of books out there. Are they any good? Maybe I'm a slow writer but I have just taken 7 years to write a trilogy. First book took me 2 yrs research, 4 weeks to write, then 6 months to edit. Second was quicker, then there was a gap while I did other stuff and then spent a year or 2 writing the 3rd one, which I've just released a week ago.

So, can I ask - do writers churn out books in the hope that one will be a best seller, or is it a numbers game where people think if they sell a few of each title they'll amass lots of sales overall?

Here in Wales, I'm seen as prolific!  Why?  Because I might produce more than one book a year!  Interesting to see what others are doing.

My Haiku book is in Top 100, although I don't think I've sold any for a while ;)

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #873,083 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#84 in Kindle Store > Books > Literature & Fiction > Poetry & Drama > Poetry > Japanese & Haiku
#284 in Books > Fiction > Poetry & Drama > Poetry > Genres > Haiku
#1675 in Kindle Store > Books > Literature & Fiction > British & Irish > Poetry

I couldn't disagree more with this statement. If you sell lots of books then you can write full time and actually make it a career, rather than just a hobby. Wanting to make money doesn't make you any less of a writer. If you don't make money from writing then you have to work at a different profession full time to pay the bills. Why wouldn't you want to make money from your writing and make writing your profession?

I couldn't disagree more with your reply because writing is not a hobby for me but a way of life. Are you saying Picasso would have given up painting if he'd not sold any? As for me I do make 'some' money from writing. As for bills, I cover them fine. I'm not rich but neither am I poor. Perhaps the question you should ask is - 'Would making enough money so that I didn't need to work at something else make me happier than I am now?'  Not sure I know the answer, but I know quite a few writers with publishing contracts that are forced to 'hurry up and finish a book' because of commercial pressures and that would really pee me off. I'd tell them to get lost if it was me, as it would mean I wasn't producing my best work.

I'll attempt to explain my philosophy to you in a different way...

'If you sold millions of books would you retire?'
My answer is no, because writing is not a job, I'll do it if I make millions and I'll do it if I make nothing.

Btw, Picasso died with a pencil in his hand.

Depends how you define 'success'?  Yes I'd love to sell a million novels or a few thousand poetry books but that would just be an awesome bonus really.  I'm already successful because I have achieved what I wanted (and hopefully continue to do so). I've been appreciated by those that count, i.e. family and friends. BUT, whilst I'd love to sell my art for lots of cash, just doing what I do is enough. It has to be.  I write, therefore I'm a writer.  I don't write for money I write for me. I write for the pleasure of it. I write to tell a story that makes others happy. I write to put my ideas down. Lots of reasons...

Of course if you write because you just want to sell loads of books and make loads of money then that's fine BUT you're not really a writer or artist then, you're a money-maker.  I've only just joined this forum and can see many who fall into this category. Not saying that's wrong, far from it, but just that there is a difference. :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you deal with burnout?
« on: August 23, 2015, 01:00:22 PM »
Best way to deal with 'burnout' is to get a job at 16 in a coal mine or steel works and work until it kills you at 60.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Did you publish any novels during August?
« on: August 23, 2015, 12:58:54 PM »

Writers' Cafe / Re: DIY Covers: Photoshop question
« on: August 23, 2015, 12:56:27 PM »
Great advice here. I just use Photoshop for mine, with my own images, but I guess you could also use Illustrator to change the look of an image you already had. P/S has loads of filters, and you can add in ones you find online as well.  I'd start by drawing what you want first, just a rough sketch, then try to work out how many layers you might need.

The Book Corner / Re: Your all time top five?
« on: August 23, 2015, 12:48:51 PM »
Top 5 is very hard but here are 5 different books that would make my Top 100:

1. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists - Robert Tressell

2. Far Bright Star - Robert Olmstead

3. When the Lions Feeds - Wilbur Smith

4. Lean on Pete - Willy Vaultin

5. Left Out in the Rain - Gary Snyder


The Book Corner / Re: Crime Fiction Recommendations?
« on: August 23, 2015, 12:45:08 PM »
<edited -- now there's even less self promotion :)>

I tend to read the usual suspects, Lee Child, Mo Hayder, Val McDermid, Katherine John etc.  90% of indie authors are just not that good... obviously there are exceptions.

Introductions & Welcomes / Hello from Wales
« on: August 22, 2015, 02:44:50 AM »
Hi all

Just found this board, looks good.  Hope to find time to contribute.  :)

Dave Lewis

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