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  • dannyboystories 10:25 PM on March 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    It all depends on interpretation whose ox is getting gored! 

    The instantaneous national flap over the Indiana General Assembly’s approval of a religious freedom statute (RFRA, or  Religious Freedom Restoration Act) was apparently caused single-handedly by a national gay rights group. The nasty power play by the group has caused leaders of every stripe to shudder in their collective boots.

    That is not the way it is supposed to be in this democratic republic, but has, sadly, become the norm.

    This blog is not about the ongoing Indiana RFRA situation. However, if you want to know the real truth of that matter, read this: http://dailysignal.com/2015/03/30/apple-ceo-tim-cook-is-a-hypocrite-and-wrong-about-indiana-religious-freedom/?utm_content=bufferaec87&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer .

    What really bothers me, are the nearly militant minorities and organizations who deliberately split the citizens of this nation into groups. At one time, it was a matter of personal responsibility to belong to the Lions Club, Rotary, and the like. Good things for communities still come from these and similar organizations. Now, however, there are too many new splinter organizations that have cropped up with the sole purpose to demand and force their views, however inharmonious, on others. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and the gay rights group are only two examples of organizations using every threatening means to promote their point of view.

    Even the Congress is divided into fractional groups: The Black Caucus, the Green Caucus, the Tea Party Caucus, not to mention the divisive Democrat and Republican caucuses, and others created by lobbyists to advance particular causes.

    Aided and abetted by a national press with few scruples regarding truthful reporting, these new groups use every social and public relations trick in the book to get their way. Merchants and businesses fear even a minor downturn in profits because of news reports about carefully crafted and twisted minor incidents blown out of proportion to create the desired result.

    The recent flap over the Hoosier State’s law (patterned after the federal statute signed into law in the 90’s by Bill Clinton) only demonstrates what a few folks can do to disrupt commerce and the very lifeblood of this nation. It is fearsome, and should cause every citizen to sit up and take notice what is happening. Remember the two fellows dressed in black, standing with night sticks at a polling place a few years back. They did nothing but reinforce an intimidation toward voters that worked–news media flocked to the site, headlines screamed. Half-truths, supported by a vocal protest, will work wonders on politicians seeking re-election. Tell a lie often enough and it often becomes truth in the minds of an unknowing and uninformed general public.

    Have we reached the point the loudest minority of whatever kind will dictate to the majority? I fear we have.

    In all honesty, I do not take comfort in same-sex marriages, or same-sex sex. However, I do not launch a disingenuous campaign of fear to coerce others into my way of thinking.

    Insofar as religion is concerned, I believe the area of personal faith should be totally hands off. The Constitution says government should butt out of religion. Period.That’s’ the way it should be. That’s my opinion. — D. C. ‘Dan’ LeeOxen

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  • dannyboystories 2:37 PM on March 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    MEMO TO WRITERS: Independently publishing an E-Book is not indicative of success! 

    Let’s be brutally honest, just because you independently published a digital story on Amazon does not mean you are an instant success as a writer/author. In fact, in many cases, poor writing quality results in just the opposite.

    [As a matter of full disclosure, I have more than a dozen titles published on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, Diesel, etc. (www.dannyboystories.com) Further, I spent nearly 20 of my 60 professional years as a journalist and newspaper publisher, before switching to business management where I could make significantly more money. Nevertheless, I consider myself an Old Scribe Hack. The thoughts below are my own opinions.]

    First, it is necessary to determine what constit utes success: Income or Notoriety. You will need to decide that for yourself. My personal opinion, though, is you must be making money to be successful. Many would disagree with my position: “I write for the sheer joy of it”. “I just love writing”. “I have something to say”.

    Hogwash!

    Fiction writers write because they want income or notoriety, or both. Furthermore, it is downright fun.

    Excluding non-fiction, many writers today eliminate the very important step of proper editing by a professional. Admittedly, that adds a couple thousand dollars to the cost of publishing (assuming 100,000 words) that most independent writers cannot afford. Certainly, your grandmother and aunt cannot be indicators of good writing skills. No relative is unbiased. So, how about improving the quality of the work we publish independently?

    Marketing is the bugaboo of every independent writer. Oh, we all try, but marketing is a skill requiring education and knowledge of the marketplace. There are thousands of web sites enticing independent writers to their databases, promising “untold sales”. Many are “free” sites, but they want your information to sell to other sites. Guess who is making money. Then, we have the “subscription” sites that charge a fee to post your book on the site.

    The difficulty with all “free” or “subscription” sites is these have the same problem you have selling your book: How does the ordinary book enthusiast find the web site?. The average Joe or Jane will never find your book on “Site X” because there are so many sites. The Internet is clogged with well meaning web sites.

    Marketing is the most critical problem for the independent writer!

    A couple of years ago, several writers got together (including me) and attempted to form a writer’s cooperative. The idea was to use the modest dues money ($75 each per year) to fund a major web presence, PR, and marketing campaign, much as Sunkist, Ocean Spray, Ace Hardware, and others have successfully done. More than 250 writers expressed interest. Only 37 paid dues. The corporation had to disband for lack of interest and funds.

    So, what is the answer for the independent writer? How can we sell our books? How do we improve our quality? Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

    Independent fiction writers are an unselfish bunch. Ask a question on a forum for writers, you’ll get 50 well thought out answers in a hurry. But, writers are stubbornly independent thinkers, too. I know I am. Therein is the problem trying to sell our own books. We don’t listen much to our own good advice when it comes to sales, despite the lack of marketing skills. It’s a bit like: “Physician heal thyself!”

    More than 1,000 works are added to the massive number of books on-line every day. You are in competition with a million other titles, make sure your work is the best it can be before you upload that file. – D. C. ‘Dan’ Lee

    ChickenCrossRoad JPG SML 150

     
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