Sunday, November 26, 2017

John Denver's Music and My Love of the Outdoors

I grew up in a Scouting family, hearing stories from my brothers and my dad about camping and great hiking experiences, so it's no surprise that I got bit with the bug when just a little boy.

At first, I did my own adventures with my friends, riding bikes to ravines and patches of bush, where we'd play.  I joined the Wolf Cubs program of Boy Scouts of Canada when I was 10, and almost right away went on a camp in a cabin up on Mount Seymour.  Following this I did a camp at a park called Garibaldi Provincial Park. The southern part of it was separated and renamed Golden Ears Provincial Park soon after.

I"m climbing the flag pole at Camp Garibaldi - this became Golden Ears Park

At 11 years old, I did a linking camp, where older cubs like me got to join a Scout camp (with the big boys).  I went with a couple of my older friends from my pack, 1st Burnaby Southview (we met in Maywood School.)  I remember sitting on the beach on a log, and looking at those gorgeous mountains on the other side of the lake and dreaming of living up there in the trees.

Then, my family moved to Mission, BC when I was 12, late in the year. The following year, as I turned 13, I discovered that if I rode my bike up the hill, I was in those same mountains. There was a small lake that had a raft with a pole you could push it around with.  There were trails and rivers galore! I was in heaven!

About that time, an artist whose music I knew and liked, came out with an album that blew my mind.  It was a live recording of a concert, and it was called an evening with John Denver.  The songs he sang positively screamed what I felt about the mountains, and wildlife, and I fell in love with that music.  I promptly learned a bunch of songs on that album and can still play and sing them.
Me, behind Antoon and Mom in Mission - 13 years old - probably playing John Denver!
When I first went out with her, I used to serenade Loretta with some of his songs! Annie's Song, This Old Guitar, and Hey It's Good To Be Back Home Again" and many others, so these songs have another nostalgic angle for me!  I still sometimes play those songs for her, but haven't for a while...

I was saddened when I heard that he crashed his plane and died back in 1997, but I continue to enjoy his music, thankful for the joy of knowing his music, and growing up to it.


Check out my Christmas Story - an excerpt and links are available here:

Friday, November 17, 2017

Amazon Ads for My Book

Having tried out Facebook, I started reading up on Amazon.  You get a significant number of "impressions" which means your ad shows up on someones page on, but don't have to pay until they click on your link. What you pay for that suggests that you need to get a sale for every 5 clicks, based on my current price, but that's not happening for most authors.

Targeting is key, but those who do the targeting indicate it takes a long time to make it work, and it works better for a series.

So Amazon marketing is off the list for me. 

About my Story

Experience the joy and magic of the first Christmas story as experienced by two boys.  David, a young Jewish boy is living in Persia, learning to be a scribe, when the star first appears.  David had been adopted by one of the wise men, Gaspar, when his father had passed away, and goes as an interpreter for the wise men.  Thomas, a young shepherd boy, is there when the angel announces the Christ child. Almost two years later, he meets David and leads him and the wise men to the house of Joseph, Mary and Jesus in Bethlehem.  Along the way, David learns lessons about faith, and about accepting differences in all people who would worship the Christ child!

Major English-language Amazon sites:

Monday, November 13, 2017

Using Facebook Promotions to advertise an Amazon book

Well, I paid a mere $7.00 to Facebook to promote my book, to see what would happen.

I had a pretty good idea that Facebook would not do that well, especially after looking at my options:

I was not able to constrain my age range below 13 as that's the youngest that Facebook will let you manage a page or open an account.  So right there, they are wrong for my demographic.  I could only do Canada, as broadening the geographic range would make it more expensive than the experimental nature warranted, especially given the incorrect demographic, but the paperback is only printed in the US and UK so there's no free shipping, regardless how many your buy, so only the eBook is even a rough candidate.

In the end, they reached 329 people (actually pretty good reach for $7.00), of which only 8 clicked on the link (about $1.00/click) and only one shared the post.  Clicking on the link meant they clicked on the Facebook post that had further links out.

Unfortunately, I know who some of the clickers are, so they would have done so from other sources, too, so a couple of those 8 clicks can be scratched, as they are meaningless.

All in all, if I ever want to sell something compelling to the general public, 13 and older, in Canada, Facebook is a great option! For my children's Christmas story, not so much...

So, my next step is to start digging into Amazon Advertising to see what the options look like.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Experience the first Christmas through the eyes of two boys, in my new story, available on Amazon in eBook or paperback

Christmas music playlist on my SoundCloud

Major English-language Amazon sites: