I’ve been spending quality time viewing and listening to works by Sergei Rachmaninoff on YouTube (played by Anna Fedorova, the great Ukrainian pianist). Fantastic music, and even I can see that it is extremely challenging to play this.
Surprise, surprise: one piece sounded a bit familiar, and as it turned out, the 1975 smash hit “All by Myself,” a song by American artist Eric Carmen is based on the second movement (Adagio sostenuto) of Sergei’s Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, opus 18 (1901).
Seems Eric should have titled his song and changed the lyrics to “Not by Myself, but by Sergei” – which admittedly isn’t very catchy and might not have lead to a top 20 ranking in the hit parade.
By the way, during my exploration of Rachmaninoff’s work, I also discovered that his music is also used in the beautiful ice skating scene in Ronin; that action packed John Frankenheimer thriller with Robert DeNiro – one of my absolute favorite movies of all time.
I have been looking at a couple of articles that, although not #realnews, may be interesting for you to take a quick glance at, even if only superficial.
Stumbled across an article about a Bodybuilder from Germany, Ralf Moeller, who became quite a celebrityin Hollywood. You can read more about this 1.96cm celeb here. Ralf made quite a success of himself.
From there it was (however) only a small step to a list of the worst movies ever, some of which feature (drumroll – but no surprise whatsoever)… Adam Sandler. This depressed me no end; just imagine spending a year or more to write, act, direct, edit and market a movie; all that time & effort, to then be featured in this list as one of the worst movies ever: Life is cruel.
The discrepancy between the worst movies in that list and the movies that bomb at the box-office is intriguing. I actually kinda linked The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Blade Runner 2049, Hello Dolly and One from theHeart. But none of those made a lot of money. Sad! The audience is merciless.
Better quickly turn the page on that unsavory topic, and zoom in on some of the best movies ever made– especially the country lists contains some gems: the Dutch Turkish Delight (an early work by the famous Hollywood director Paul Verhoeven), Australia’s Picnic at Hanging Rock, and the UK’s The Third Manand Lawrence of Arabia. All absolute favorites of mine.
Before you get the impression that I am a couch potato, only watching old movies on my TV: I actually saw two movies in the cinema this week: The new Star Wars movie and The mountain between us. I enjoyed both, the former because the makers managed to reinvent the series yet again; the latter because two excellent actors excel in a very intimate what-if, end-of-world scenario. Naturally, the idea of being left on a deserted mountain is close to my heart (as reflected in my own work, see the section “books”)
Links to events and people – That I stumbled across:
Did you ever hear about Timur? His armies were […] feared throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe, sizable parts of which his campaigns laid to waste. […] his military campaigns caused the deaths of 17 million people, amounting to about 5% of the world population at the time. Amir Timur, Tamerlane, “Timur the Lame”, founder of Samarkand.
List of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction. Alas my books Two Journeys and Fields of Fire are still missing – feel free to add them to the list! (As the author I won’t do it myself; to modest!) Wikipedia
Finally, often mentioned, but what is a burqa ? A burqa is an outer garment worn by women in some Islamic traditions to cover themselves in public, which covers the body and the face.
As an author, you are probably always on the look-out for ways to get more readers of your work. There are different ways of promoting your work, and below I describe my mixed experiences with a few eBook Promotion Campaigns that I have used for my eBooks and paperbacks. Admittedly I use many methods to get into contact with (potential) readers (this blog is one of them – enjoying it so far?), so this is just a glance at the possibilities. Since I can track my eBook and paperback sales in quite some detail (minute by minute if need be, and by rough global location), I can track the success of any campaign quite well. So below a couple of ideas of what works and what doesn’t work if you are thinking about promoting your work.
Method 1. Facebook ads and promotions
It is possible to create ads on Facebook either to make your books better known throughout the community or to get more followers on your Facebook account. I have tried both. How to do this? Basically what you can do in Facebook is to create an ad with an image and an action, tailored to your audience. For my books I have for instance selected the “interest keyword” post-apocalyptic and I have also selected the regions where I would like to position my books (e.g. United States, Canada, Australia, UK or combinations). You can also select the age groups or other demographic characteristics of the people who you would like to target. Finally you can decide on the timeframe: one week or four weeks or only one day. Extremely easy to set up, even a fool can do it (of which I am living proof). The result? I have followed his approach with different variations over the last three years and the result has been disappointing in regards to increasing book sales. Although it is possible to reach thousands, if not millions of Facebook users, I have seen marginal increases in books sales at best. Urgh Yuck! I did succeed in generating a handful of followers for my Facebook page… but that is a nice to have and it is question whether this increases the book sales – not in the short run, mate. Taken together, Facebook is not ideal for eBook Promotion Campaigns.
Nothing speaks against reading paperbacks. Let me guess, the biggest challenge, however, is something called “prejudice”. Ebooks are not your type, and most probably you find them too difficult, too messy, and definitely not sweet enough?
The second approach
There are special services on offer like the one below (picture). “Shout my book” promises to reach hundreds and thousands of people through retweeting on Twitter, over a distinct period of time. For me this was an interesting experience, the provider was very kind and engaged and did more than promised actually, BUT the effect on the number of e-books sold was negligible. The number of Twitter followers did show some slight increase. In conclusion I would be hesitant to use this option again.
Option number three for eBook Promotion Campaigns
Twitter. Here a very interesting observation, as some of us (many of us?) may regard twitter as a channel where everybody is simply shouting and hoping that somebody picks up their hollering from the resulting chaos andturmoil. However, what I’ve noticed is that as my activity on Twitter decreases (e.g. if I am “out of office” for longer times) a detrimental effect on the sales of my books occurs. Aha! So continuously engaging with the audience through twitter seems to have a direct effect on sales. The tweets shouldn’t be a steady stream of ads for the books though, I notice that most people will mostly follow links to interesting blog posts. People are interested to hear about my (weird) life in general.
This is a just a small and superficial glance at some eBook Promotion Campaigns that I have run. What’s your experience?