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text 2016-10-20 08:13
Friends and family not an asset for this writer

When it comes to my writing and friends and family I've established clear boundaries. Here they are:


- I don’t talk about my writing even if asked. Those inquiring are usually only doing it to be polite and aren't really interested. In any case, listening to someone talk about their writing is profoundly boring – even for me and I’m a writer.

- I don’t solicit reviews or ratings from them. I try to avoid even the faintest hint of conflict of interest in the support and criticisms I get.

- I very rarely give them my books. If they’re interested they can buy one.


I once went to a birthday party where a friend’s partner had rented a gallery and had a show professionally mounted of her paintings. Needless to say, most of those attending bought some of her art. She was thrilled.


This to me was not a measure of artistic merit. I didn’t buy anything, in fact, I was surprised and not a little offended. This was hardly better than a Tupperware party.  


I don’t want to be that person.  I don’t want to take advantage of my friends and family. I don’t want to demean myself and my work.


The independent publishing industry is rife with nepotism, gimmicks, and chicanery – all geared toward reaching bestseller status. I don’t care if I’m a bestseller, but I do want to become a better writer. I think these practices prevent that from happening by creating a false sense of accomplishment.


You think you’re good, but your not. You’re delusional.  


I don’t know if this stand has hurt my sales or not. If it has it hasn’t been significant because I’m just not that popular – with friends or family.


I've also developed guidelines for social media.


I don't solicit followers on Twitter, don't "friend" people on Facebook, and don't appeal to viewers to "like" or "subscribe" to my YouTube channel.


I do encourage comments and criticisms which I faithfully respond to and hopefully learn something from.


Amazingly, some people chose to follow me which is gratifying because it definitely is not reciprocated.


I had one expert tell me "social media is not for you". Really? Maybe just not her kind of social media, the kind where friends and followers are little more than meaningless numbers and bare no resemblance of reality.


I still believe a social media following can be built by someone who has something interesting and original to say regardless of whether he's a friend, follower or subscriber.


Later this month I'll be waiting with Linus in the pumpkin patch.



Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs






Find reviews, blurbs and buy links to my seven novels and two plays at



Facebook for writing news, my experience as a writer as well as promotions, contests, giveaways and discounts regarding my books



Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH45n8K4BVmT248LBTpfARQ


Cover Art of books by self-published authors at



More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to: http://www.redbubble.com/people/rodraglin


View my flickr photostream at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78791029@N04/


Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music







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review 2014-01-17 10:58
S. - Doug Dorst,J.J. Abrams

I won’t give an overview of the plot, because I really think that the contents of this book should be experienced firsthand. I will only try to describe what I personally liked about this book (which is hard enough since this is not an ordinary novel).

So, be warned: rambling ahead! ;)

What I like best about this experiment in publishing is that the whole make up of this book is so beautiful and detailed. I love the postcards and letters and the napkin and the look and feel (and smell!) of the pages; I love how it is printed in so many different colours and that what is supposedly written with a pen actually looks like it has been written with a pen. And I still cannot get over the price of this work of art. It must have cost a lot to print and assemble the book and all its gimmicks; and still the book only cost 23€. Wow!

I also loved the way it gives insight into the world of literary studies. The way the two readers treat the text, analyse it and write down their theories reminded me a lot of the time I wrote my Master’s Thesis or any other time I wrote a paper. I wanted to communicate with Eric and Jen, tell them my own theories and compare notes with them.
And with that we’re right in the middle of plot territory. I really liked the two readers who left their notes in the margins of the main text. At times I was more interested in how their story was going to turn out than in the actual novel. I loved how these little notes showed their relationship progress and how through mere allusions you could actually make out two characters and even grow attached to them. In a way the same thing that happens between Eric and Jen happens to you as a reader, too. You start to like and care about these people even though all you have to back up that feeling is what they have written in the margins.

The other plot in this book is the actual novel „Ship of Theseus“ which is studied and discussed by Jen and Eric. That novel’s plot is creepy and weird and leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Which is a kind of narration I really like but it can leave the reader fairly unsatisfied. However, it seems like this is actually the point of „S.“. It ends and hands the solving of the puzzle over to the reader. You have to become like Jen and Eric and start your own research, maybe reread the book. For example, there is this wheel that came with the book, and it is mentioned by Jen and Eric but never used. So there must be a code I’m missing and a quick google search showed me that the people of the internet are already on it and trying to figure it out.

The book is not only an experiment in publishing and a study of the book as a medium; it also tries to make the story intermedial. It goes on in the heads of the readers and on their blogs and on message boards. You can immerse yourself in the world of „S.“. A really great idea IF we get something like a solution in the end. I really hope we won’t be left unsatisfied.

I would love to give five stars to „S.“ but the plot lacked in complexity (which is something that can still be changed if the story does go on in another medium). The reading experience was awesome and I’m looking forward to several rereads and internet research and maybe even solving the puzzle and answering the question that remain.

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