Category Archives: ideas

10 things Indie Authors do wrong and 7 things they do right from Derek Murphy

10 Things Indie Authors do Wrong

 

I read this post over at creativindie and felt I needed to share it here because Derek shares some important knowledge here with indie authors.

Its a long post but worth the read. Enjoy!

Firstly, let’s define “wrong.”

A lot of indie authors are motivated by passion and say things like “it’s not about the money.”

But if we can’t agree on the goals of publishing, we can’t agree on the best practices.

I think, no matter what kind of book you’re writing, we should be able to agree that it would be nice to get some people to read it, and it would be even nicer to get lots of people to read it. And even if it’s not about the money, few authors would refuse it if it started pouring in.

So let’s start there: indie authors want more readers, and possibly more money, and are trying to do things that bring both. The problem is, the methods they are using do not produce the results they’re after.

So by “wrong” I mean, “inefficient” – as in, these are things indie authors do, but that they should stop doing because they don’t produce positive results (and can actually do more harm than good).

Not considering the market

Most indie authors write the books they want to write, and don’t think about reaching readers until after they’ve finished writing. That’s OK for experienced writers who are writing in popular genres. But beginner writers don’t even bother to learn what kind of stories resonate with readers, and they think they don’t need to learn.

Which means, they are producing a product that won’t be enjoyed.

And most indie authors think “fine, I don’t care, I write for myself and my enjoyment.”

But beginning from the belief is a fundamental flaw in the writing behavior of anybody who actually wants to make a living with their writing. You must consider readership if you hope to please and entertain readers. You must read in your genre to recognize what type of writing and stories are successful to readers of that genre.

And you must give a shit about being as good, or better, than those kind of stories.

If you are willing to face this idea, you can deliberately craft commercially successful books.

If you are unwilling, you’re relying on luck and chance, and frankly you don’t deserve success, because it’s nobody’s responsibility to fund your hobby.

Ineffective website

Does your website get traffic? Do people sign up or buy books? Then what’s it for? Most indie authors try to model their website after major bestselling authors. That’s a problem.

Bestselling authors are already famous. People are searching for them by name. They don’t need to worry about being found; they don’t need to use their website to sell books or build credibility. They just offer a cool space for fans to learn more about the author.

If you’re an indie author, your website needs to be a workhorse. It has to pull in the right readers with natural traffic (to reduce your marketing and advertising costs). It has to build trust, attract the right readers, and get them to sign up for a free offer or sell a book well enough to get strangers to take a chance on it (with lots of reviews, an excerpt, and amazing cover, etc).

Ugly book cover

How many indie authors have ugly covers? At least half. Probably more.

Book covers are such a trivial and silly thing: you spent a ton of time writing your book, but that simple JPG will make or break your success. People won’t read your description if your cover doesn’t hook them. The cover has to appeal to the right readers enough to get them to read the description – that means it has to convey mood and genre immediately. I understand it can be too expensive to hire a professional designer, but there are plenty of super cheap options to getting a cover design (fivver.com, wordswag, canva.com) that are still better than the majority of crappy, homemade book covers I see on Amazon.

Spamming people

If you’re not sure you’re being spammy, read this post. Lots of authors just copy what they see other indie authors doing. The majority of indie authors rely on spam, and consider it “book marketing” – which sucks because it makes us look unprofessional, desperate and annoying.

Anytime you talk about, mention, or link to your book to a stranger, you’re being spammy.

When you Tweet quotes of your book, when you share your awards, or sales, or special offers, or new reviews, you’re being spammy. It’s OK to do it to YOUR followers, if they really followed you because they liked your books, but YOU DON’T NEED TO MARKET to those people, because they’re your fans.

So just stop.

Instead you need to be building relationships with peers and fans, because it’s OK for them to share your news, but not for you to share your news.

Marketing, however, is getting NEW fans – and strangers on the internet don’t give a shit about your book.

You need to make them care first, by producing great content that gets in front of them; cool and interesting stuff that isn’t spam and gets shared. Then people come back to your website to find out about you.

Think about everything you post or share: are you giving or taking? If the purpose of what you post is to ask for a sale, you’re taking. If you don’t care anything about whoever is reading it, other than hoping they buy, it’s spam.

You need to be giving 90% of the time.

It’s OK to share a book launch, for a new book, and talk about stuff you’re doing surrounding the launch, but you shouldn’t keep talking about it for months after (you should have produced a lot of content during launch that brings in continuous traffic.

Another easy test of whether you’re being spammy: do you know who you’re talking to and what they want? Or are you just “shotgunning” the internet, hoping somebody accidentally takes notice and buys your books?

PS) On any platform that is mostly spam, your own spam will be ignored. That’s why paid Book Blasts by Twitter accounts with tons of followers won’t work, because they post that stuff all the time and people tune them out. You need to find people with a specific, tailored audience, who have readers who trust them, to share your book.

PPS) Advertising is annoying, but it isn’t spam: it’s OK to advertise your book directly to your target readers and make it look and sound good, just make sure you either put your ad on a very targeted, genre specific website, or you use Facebook advertising to narrow your audience. Don’t just advertise your book anywhere, for anyone, without knowing who is going to see it.

Being Overprotective

I get that you want to safeguard your work, and plagiarism sucks. Here’s the truth: if you make it big, sites will pirate your books. And even if you don’t make it big, some sites pretend to pirate your books so they’ll get clicks from people, even if they don’t actually have your books. And sometimes, although it’s extremely rare, some crazy author will actually just take your work and claim it as their own.

But the legal fees to correct such a thing are probably more than you’d ever earn from the book itself, and for the vast majority of authors, none of this stuff matters because your book is invisible anyway. Don’t be worried about sharing your book with editors or beta readers. They’re doing you a favor. Don’t make them sign NDAs.

Just sell so many damn books that everybody knows it’s your story.

Paying too much

Indie authors are usually overwhelmed by “publishing” and feel more comfortable signing with a small press, even if they have to pay for it, because they think it’s like being “really” published instead of self-publishing.

Vanity and small presses charge big fees for publishing packages that include doing things for you.

But to publish a book, you really only need cover design and formatting (and probably editing, but that’s your choice). Then you have to learn how to upload your files, and maybe build a website.

If you sign with a publishing house, it’s fine – you’re paying extra for hand-holding. It’s like paying for an author assistant (and if you need one of those you could probably hire one for less). It is really nice, and does save a lot of time, to have someone on call who can just answer everything and explain everything to you.

But the truth is, most of those companies selling packages outsource all the work, so the critical pieces like cover design are marginalized. They do an adequate job, which might look professional to you, but probably isn’t good enough to be successful. Most small presses (and even big companies like Createspace or Lulu) show at best very boring cover design samples, and at worst tragically ugly ones (and those are their best examples!)

If you self-publish, it means you can choose the best designer and give them the money directly, instead of paying someone else who is going to take a big chunk just for administrative work. Educate yourself, learn to self-publish on your own, and use your money economically to get the best design you can afford.

Promoting without reviews

You can’t launch your book, or do marketing or advertising, if it doesn’t have any reviews yet. I think you need at least 15 before you can even begin, so I hate seeing indie authors who have had books out for a year or two and are still struggling with marketing, and still have less than 10 reviews.

Yes, getting book reviews takes a lot of work and effort, and it kind of sucks to ask people (especially strangers) to take  chance on your book. You’ve got to suck it up and do it anyway. If you’re sending out requests and nobody will review your book, it’s probably a sign that your book cover sucks (they never even started reading) or the writing isn’t good enough. Also, read this:why people won’t review your books.

Betting the farm

Most authors go all out for their first book and spend lots of money. It’s understandable, so I’m not saying don’t do it. Just keep in mind, since you don’t know what you’re doing yet, you’ll probably waste a lot of money and not see the results you want (trust me I’ve been there).

Firstly, your first book probably isn’t your best; secondly, a profitable writing career is usually built up by launching a dozen or so books, as quickly as possible. So do the best you can on your first book, but make sure you also have ideas ready for your second, third and forth. Each book you publish will probably do a little better, because you’ll be learning and improving all the time, and growing your author platform (unless you’re one of those writers who is completely ignoring your author platform, not learning anything about marketing, and just hoping to get lucky).

Asking people to like their page

It’s cute when indie authors trade likes and all support each other by liking each other’s pages.

But it’s also pretty useless.

Yes, you need more likes on your author page. Until you have about 1000, new readers won’t take you seriously. You can get a bunch of likes quickly by running book giveaways (and you should totally do that). But you shouldn’t ask people to like your page.

Why should they?

They either like your page because they like you and your writing, or you’re asking them to lie and pretend to like your page. That’s a terrible, self-serving practice; everybody only likes your page so you’ll like their page, and nobody actually gives a shit about each other (I’m being dramatic, actually indie authors are very supportive and nice, but I’ll talk about that later).

You want to get readers of your genre to like your page.

But actually, having lots of likes is still useless, because when you post content to your page only 10% or less will actually see your content (Facebook is funny like that). Instead of scrolling through a thread and liking dozens of other author’s pages, you should be focusing on growing your email list.

EXCEPT FOR…. it’s a good idea to like the fan pages of other authors in your genre, and share all of their great content on your page. Instead of needing to think up new content ideas all the time, if you follow a hundred awesome indie authors, with or without big platforms, and reshare all their content, your own platform and followers will grow quickly and those authors are more likely to share your content out of gratitude.

So yes, liking and sharing can be smart marketing.

But don’t just ask people for likes. It’s lame. Post remarkable content. Be helpful and useful. Follow others and get on their radar by sharing their content.

Complaining that people don’t value books.

Indie authors sometimes complain about how low ebook prices are devaluing literature, but they’re really just grumpy because nobody is buying their books. But people don’t buy based on price.

Readers value books and are willing to pay for them.

They just don’t value your book yet.

Convincing them that your book is worth 2.99 or 9.99 is your job. If you can’t convince anybody to buy your book even at 99cents, then give it away for free.

But when you say “Buy my book! Support indie authors!” you’re asking for charity to support your writing habit.

7 Things Indie Authors do Right

OK, maybe that was harsh, but I’m trying to be helpful. The nice thing is, so many authors are doing so many things wrong, publishing successful is actually pretty easy when you do everything right.

Here are some of the reasons I’m proud to be in the indie publishing community.

These are really cool things that some indie authors are doing, or should be doing.

Try

Indie authors believed in their books enough to self-publish them, even ifthey tried to go traditional and couldn’t get an agent or a publisher. That takes guts. I love that we can now publish and reach our readers directly, even if the traditional industry doesn’t think our book would be profitable enough to publish.

I know authors who have a lifetime of manuscripts tucked away in a drawer and hundreds of rejection slips. Keep trying, and if nobody else will publish you, publish yourself and get it out there.

Support Each Other

Some indie authors are weird and crazy, and I think writers are naturally awkward people with poor social skills (I certainly am)… but there’s a tremendous amount of support in the indie publishing community, with organizations and watchdogs and bloggers trying to help one another.

The only danger is hearing a bunch of other authors “support” you when you’re making big mistakes (like when you ask for feedback on an ugly cover and everybody says they love it). It’s true you need a lot of support and encouragement, so it’s awesome that indie authors are so kind and friendly. But make sure you’re getting expert advice on the things that matter. Remember, only %.000625 of authors are actually making any money.

Find the ones that are making money and learn from them, or imitate what they’re doing.

Are Willing To Learn

Indie authors have a ton to learn and do the best they can. It can be really frustrating, especially if you hate computers. I had to force myself to learn ebook formatting and then InDesign when I got sick of paying others to do it for me. The more you publish, the more skills you’ll learn. The more skills you have, the cheaper and easier it will be to market your books and make a profit.

Are Grateful

I think all readers probably love their fans, but indie authors are grateful, because they’re overcoming a lengthier period of insecurity. When you’re traditionally publishing, you already know that somebody found some value in your work. It’s nice to hear from fans, but you’ve already gotten paid. For indie authors, you often have no idea whether your book sucks or not until you’ve published… so when you start getting actual feedback from strangers who enjoyed your books… it’s a powerful feeling.

Are Patient

 

If you’re self-publishing, it’s good to be patient…. as long as you’re building your platform and publishing more books. Things take time to catch on. However, don’t think, if nothing is happening and you aren’t selling, that things will just magically happen later. If you aren’t selling, you probably have a problem with your platform (either no visibility, or nobody wants it because it isn’t presented well enough). You need to be patient and think long-term. Be flexible with deadlines, and don’t freak out at your editor/formatter/designer. These things take time, and everybody is dealing with their own crises. Try to keep positive, and relax, even if things seem like the end of the world.

Are Fast

The first book might take years to write, but I have at least a dozen friends who can (and do) finish a book a month (both fiction and non-fiction). Most successful indie authors publish every three months. It’s important to keep Amazon ranks high and engage with our fans. Of course this is easier if you’re writing series and know what happens next. But if you want to make a living, you need more content, and you’ll need to be producing quickly. Traditionally published authors waste years sending out queries, waiting for answers, then trying to sell the manuscript, then preparing it for publication….it’s one way to do things, but it’s much slower.

Take responsibility

 

Taking responsibility is probably the key to success in any field. Don’t blame others. Don’t complain. Everything is under your control, but only you care enough to take action and make things happen. It’s not enough to want it really badly, you need to be willing to learn what it takes to succeed and do what’s necessary. I know a lot of authors whose only limiting beliefs about money or art are crippling their success.

You CAN do this – there are people lazier and dumber than you (not that you’re lazy or dumb) who are making money with their writing. You’re a smart, likable person (I can tell). If you want to make a living with your writing, you can do it, but it won’t be handed to you, and it doesn’t happen by luck.

Story Fix by Larry Brooks

Story Fix
Story Fix

As a writer I am always working on perfecting my ability at the craft of writing. In order to do this every crafts-person needs tools. Larry Brooks has once again provided an excellent tool to improve the craft of writing. I am currently reading Story Fix and it is indispensable in my library of writing books. This is a book I will read, reread and use often in my pursuit of excellence in my writing craft. I highly recommend this book along with Story Physics and Story Engineering also by Larry Brooks.

Here is a short synopsis of book:

Reinvigorate Your Fiction!

You’ve written the first draft of your novel or screenplay, and you’ve released it into the world: to your critique group, to your most trusted beta readers, or even to an agent or an editor. But something’s wrong. You’re not getting the glowing response you had expected, or you might have even received a rejection. Your story is getting a “Meh…” when you had hoped for an “Amazing!”

But have no fear–the piece you’ve sweated and bled over isn’t dead on arrival. It just needs fixing.

Story Fix is the answer to your revision needs. With practical techniques from critically acclaimed author and story coach Larry Brooks, you will learn how to:

  • Develop a story-fixing mind-set
  • Navigate the two essential realms of revision: story and execution
  • Evaluate your novel or screenplay against twelve crucial storytelling elements and essences.
  • Strengthen your concept and premise.
  • Punch up the dramatic tension, pacing, thematic weight, characterization, and more.
  • Align your story with proven structural principles.

Filled with candid advice on the realities of the publishing world and helpful case studies of real authors who fixed their own stories, Story Fix isn’t just about revision–it’s about resurrection. Infuse your fiction with a much-needed jolt of electricity, and bring it back to life.

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Words as Art

words are art
words are art

I have been swamped with edits and all of the other details that  involve getting a book out in the world. At times this process is equal parts exhilarating and mind numbing. There are times when I question the sanity of what I have chosen to do with all these ideas and stories inside my head. Then I remember my daughter’s words.

A while back I asked her what she thought about writing.  Not my writing specifically, just writing in general. She gave this question some serious thought. I could tell because she became quiet and sat next to me for  a short while. Then she had her answer. “Words are art,” she proclaims as if it is a self evident truth that everyone knows.  Of course I had no idea what she meant so I asked her. This is her explanation as close to verbatim as I can recall: Words are art because when you write you create pictures in your brain. These are not like the pictures you can draw with crayons or markers, but pictures in your head. That means that when you use words its just like art and that means that writers are artists.

So whenever I feel like this writing thing I’m doing  is threatening to implode the few working brain cells I have left I remember these words uttered by my sage six year old. I am an artist and I am busy creating, Sometimes that creating is hard, but most of the time its an amazing ride. Words are art.blogdragonfly

Story by McKee How Screenwriting can help you

Story by Robert McKee
Story by Robert McKee

I used to own this book as a paperback and it was a beast to carry around. I have a good friend Jean, who was just breaking into screen writing about the same time I started The Spiritual Warriors. I gave it to him as a gift thinking “Why would i need a book on screen writing when I’m going to write novels?” I have learned a bit since then.

Screenwriters hone their craft BEFORE they begin getting into their field. Unlike many of us  writers who  prefer to accumulate stacks of rejection letters as some kind of badge of honor. I never enjoyed rejection letters and I got a few before going the indie author/ authorpreneur route. I did however learn some things. I needed to get better- much better, I needed an editor and I needed to get serious about honing my skills and learning my craft before putting my books out there.

So here I am coming back full circle with this book almost four years and five books later. This time I picked it up as a kindle read (much easier to carry around). I have also learned to view film as condensed labs for my writing. Yes in some cases it has ruined movie viewing for me on so many levels. While others are just enjoying the film I’m thinking to myself “Is that the inciting incident?” “That was a great opening hook!” or “That could have been better used later in the story.” “That was definitely third act material, too early.”

The transformation of my movie going experience aside, reading about screenwriting has strengthened my writing and I recommend picking up this book or Syd Field’s Screenplay as a view into a different type of writing that can strengthen your novel writing.

However if there is only one book you can get on screenwriting and more importantly storytelling, since we are all at our cores storytellers- Get Robert McKee’s book, Story. You wont regret it.

Let me know what you think? Did you get it? Do you own it? What are your thoughts on this book? Do you have other suggestions besides this one? Drop me a line in the comments below! I enjoy hearing from you.blogdragonfly

Terry Pratchett-Thank you for sharing

 

My First Pterry book
My First Pterry book

I first met Terry in 2005.  I had never heard of him before and myamazing future wife told me I had to absolutely read him. We shared a common taste in books and I wasn’t reading anything at the time so I said sure. What could be wrong with wizards and fantasy? This is my kind of book.  The stuff  of my childhood i was familiar with. I was in for a rude surprise.

Here was a writer who took the usual tropes and turned them on their head.  In a fresh and creative way Terry  gently shoved me into Discworld.  I met characters I could relate to. Characters who were flawed but didn’t give up.  Terry and I became fast friends.  After going through my wife’s collection I hit my local bookstore and discovered that my new friend Terry had written a few more books. Over 40 more books. Terry and I were going to be amazing friends. Over the next few weeks I bought and read all of his books( this was PK-pre kindle). I had not started writing my own books yet. The idea was still far away, too large, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Then I met Terry. Out of all my influences(and there are many) Terry looms as one of the largest  because when I thought the concept of writing was too difficult, here was a writer showing me that it could be done in an intelligent, humorous and prolific way.

I cant say when it happened exactly. I know it was early 2010 when I finally chose to put words on paper. It had always been an aspiration. I do know that when I started I had two people next to me my wife and Terry. My wife( who was my first editor and transcriber) was the catalyst that spurred me in her special way. She would ask me questions or create a conversation about my writing, which back in those days I treated like a deep profound secret. She would say things like:: ” Did you write today?” or “Oh that part is great!” The words every beginning writer needs to hear, words of support and encouragement. Terry spoke to me in another way. “Did you do your research? That sentence can be tighter. That character needs to arc differently. That isn’t funny, cut it. Stop trying so hard and let it flow.”

I took my first steps in my life as a writer and haven’t looked back since. I realized something now several books later. Our words have power. I can reach countless people through my books. Writers and artists shape and influence our world and lives. I knew this on a deep level. I knew that the written word has shaped civilization since its inception, but it was something more. I now experienced it. I had people telling me that my book changed their lives. That my words impacted their life. The same way Terry’s words impacted mine.

So I wanted to take this moment to say thank you Terry. Thank you for being who you were. Thank you for taking the risk and sharing your amazing imagination with the world, with me. Thank you for showing me what was and is possible if I dared. I never met Terry personally, but through his books he and I shared many great afternoons laughing and reflecting on the state(and hilarity) of this thing we call life.

If you are reading this and wondering if you should embark on a creative pursuit, whether its writing or painting or anything that calls to you-stop aspiring and do it . Stop dreaming  about it  and take the first step, then another followed by another. I can say with certainty that your life will be transformed.

I enjoy hearing from you! Who was your inspiration? What got you started? Or why haven’t you started?

Share in the comments below!

My Terry Shelf
My Terry Shelf

 

 

 

 

 

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Music and writing

My writing headphones

When I write I listen to music. It’s just the way my brain works. I have no explanation for it except that I think it must engage one side of my brain and silence the censor that tells me I am insane for even thinking about jumping into this writing life. I have tried writing without music, and while I can do it, I feel that its an upward slog as I do it and this is on the good days. Continue reading Music and writing

My First Book Trailer

This is my first book trailer using a great program called animoto. I wanted a way to showcase the great covers on the new books.  All the covers were done by Derek Murphy over at creativindie.

Let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing your thoughts or ideas on how it could be better!  Drop me a note in the comments below and don’t forget  to join the newsletter I really appreciate it.blogdragonfly

Luther-A Flawed Hero

Luther

A few people have been telling me about this fantastic series-Luther. I held off for some time even though all I heard were good things.  Sometimes I’m slow  that way. I watched the first episode and found myself finishing all three seasons over the course of a few days.

Here is an excerpt of the description:  Meet Detective Chief Inspector John Luther. He’s a homicide detective with an extraordinary case-clearance rate. He’s obsessive, instinctive, and intense. Nobody who ever stood at his side has a bad word to say about him. And yet there are rumors that Luther is bad—not corrupt, but tormented. After years of chasing the most depraved criminals in London’s gritty underworld, he seethes with a hidden fury he can barely control, making him do things any other detective wouldn’t and shouldn’t do. Continue reading Luther-A Flawed Hero

Strong Women-Misogyny and Madness

Black widow
Black widow

I recently saw a  short Joss Whedon speech and one line ( among the many) he said resonated in a deep way.  He said “Recognizing someone elses power does not diminish your own”

You can watch Joss’s short speech here. It worth a view. Continue reading Strong Women-Misogyny and Madness

Nascent Novel & Creative Warriorship- A Blog Redux

Orlando Sanchez
Orlando Sanchez

Welcome to the Nascent  Novel redux ( I enjoy that word so this was a perfect excuse to use it).

After a snafu with my previous hosting company I discovered that my last site, nascent novels is down. As in any situation involving two or more parties there were several different versions of what happened. Let me cut to the chase, they said an email was sent notifying me of the impending closure and I said no email was sent. End result? My site is down. The bad news? Many posts are now in limbo and missing and the site has lost continuity, which I am told in this day and age of short attention spans is the death knell for a blog.

The good news? I have all my posts backed up and will over time be restoring them to this site. This was also an opportunity to take the blog in a different direction.

Initially I had three active blogs. One on martial arts, one for writing, and one for my photos and daily life observations. When I shifted my attention to my writing blog I neglected the other two.  Over time I realized that this was a mistake. I’m not only a writer or a martial artist or a person who enjoys photography. I, like each of you am an amalgam of many interests and pursuits. By trying to compartmentalize who I am, my blogging suffered. This site will address that. It is not strictly a “writing blog”. I will discuss those things which make me, me.  Some of that will resonate with you and some will not. That’s okay. I’ll do me and you will do you.

Here you will find posts about writing, books I enjoy, movies and video games. You will also find posts about martial arts and martial philosophy, being a practicing martial artist for close to three decades makes it impossible to separate this aspect of myself from everything I do. It is a filter which shapes my life and actions. You will also see pictures of things I find interesting and my family. My family and fatherhood is the source, my source of strength and my greatest adventure. The good thing is that I have many large families. I have my immediate family, blood of my blood. I also have a large dojo family which is blended with my immediate family. This is a natural progression. My other family is the writer/reader family which grows and is growing by leaps and bounds daily.

So as you can see the aspects of me are diverse and complex and exciting. I do live a blessed life. If you go back into the history of this site you will find the old posts from the other sites now comprise the body of this site. That was intentional. Take a moment to go through them and read. I am certain you will discover something fascinating or something to disagree with me about. I enjoy and invite all kinds of discussion and interaction. Leave a comment and let’s talk.

So what have I been up to? Well I’m currently in the midst of edits for my third book in the Warrior of the Way series. I had the first book edited by my excellent editor, Lorelei, (if you are a writer and need an editor go here NOW) which required her to use extensive editorial kung fu to make into a coherent story. The end result is impressive. The second book, The Ascendants, is being soft launched and I haven’t given it much publicity. It is now available on Amazon, Smashwords, and Nookpress.

I also had the covers to several of my stories redone. Here they are:

Spiritual Warriors Revised 2015
Spiritual Warriors Revised 2015
A Blur Short
A Blur Short
WOTW book 2 Digital jpeg
New Book now available!!

These great covers were done by Derek Murphy. A few things about Derek. He is a talented and gifted cover artist.  This means he is also in demand. If you want amazing covers by him be prepared to invest time and money. You can find his site here

I have been also speaking with writers, martial artists and fathers( moms too) about guest blogging here on this site. I look forward to the different voices that will be showcased here.

So why Creative Warriorship?

Throughout history warriors have always been known to be creative. I find that it is within the warrior nature to be creative. If I look at my own life and those of my fellow warriors I find this to be true. In the dojo alone we have writers, architects, graphic designers, painters, performance artists, dancers, calligraphers, musicians and singers among both the adults and the children. This is not an accident or coincidence. I truly believe that the warrior spirit is also a creative one.  Creative warriorship to me is not a dichotomy or paradox. Rather it is the expression of warriorship in its full sense. A warrior knows that life is balance, light and dark.

It is my sincere intention to make this blog a weekly event. Whether with my own posts and observations or those of others. They wont all be this long, (although I cant guarantee that) but they will all be an expression of  what I consider relevant and important to my life.

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