Jeffrey Miller

A Writer's Life

Tag: The Panama Affair

Self-Promotion: Does it Work?

Buy my bookLet’s face it, if you’re an indie author you’ve got a long, upward battle ahead of you each time you come out with a new book. That battle is the marketing and promotional battle to publicize and promote your book.

Please buy my book or I’ll end up in a van down by the river.

If you’ve been around Facebook for a while and are a writer or have a friend who is, you might have seen this posted. It’s funny. It’s cute. And as much as I admire the comic genius of the late Chris Farley, it’s a painful reminder of what all of us authors are up against when we publish. We want people to buy our books. We want people to leave reviews. We want people to tell their friends, family members, hairdressers, mechanics, clients, patients, and clergy about this amazing and wonderful book by ________________.

So, how do we self-promote effectively?

Please shut-up: Why self-promotion as an author doesn’t work.

I came across this article today and I have to admit the author makes some valid points about how some social media platforms don’t live up to the promotional expectations we might have as authors. A lot of authors bemoan the limitations of Facebook and Twitter, but that’s what you get for a free platform. I use Facebook a lot to talk about my books, but also to talk about other authors and books the same way that I would strike up a conversation with a friend and talk about a book that I am reading or have read. People will “like” it that you have a new book out or published another short story, but that doesn’t mean that person is going to buy your book or read your story, the same way that telling that person face-to-face about them. For myself, that “like” is sometimes simply a “nod” and a, “Oh, that’s nice response.”

Still, we all hope that it will work. We hope that someone will buy our books and like them so much that they will spread the word. It happens. Maybe not as much as we would like, but it still happens.

It’s tough these days promoting our books. But we still march on.

By the way, have your checked out my latest, The Panama Affair?

Just kidding. No, really. I don’t want to end up in a van down by the river.

The Panama Affair — The Soundtrack

TPA_ebook April

It’s true that when I write, I often see a movie in a mind. And if I am seeing a movie in my mind, I need some music. At the same time, music from a particular period, such as the late 60s for Ice Cream Headache, also inspires me when I write.

For The Panama Affair, which begins in 1976 and ends in 1989, I had a lot of music to choose from which also was part of my musical growth, from classic 70s rock to Punk and New Wave.

The Panama Affair Playlist

1.       Welcome to the Jungle – Guns ‘N Roses

2.       Bad Company – Bad Company

3.       Sonic Reducer– Dead Boys

4.       Psycho Killer– Talking Heads

5.       Desperado –Alice Cooper

6.       Fortunate Son– Credence Clearwater Revival

7.       I Can’t Get No Satisfaction – Devo

8.       We’re Not Going to Take it – Twisted Sister

9.       Life During Wartime – Talking Heads

10.    Hotel California – Eagles

11.    Love Hurts –Nazareth

12.    Happy Hunting Ground – Sparks

13.    Jet Airliner –Steve Miller Band

14.    Roland theHeadless Thompson Gunner – Warren Zevon

15.    Storm the Embassy– Stray Cats

16.    Refugee – TomPetty

17.    Lawyers, Guns,and Money – Warren Zevon

18.    Ballroom Blitz– Sweet

19.    Highway toHell – AC/DC

20.    Search and Destroy – The Stooges

21.    Slow Motion –Ultravox

22.    Bad Reputation- Joan Jett

23.    Mad World –Tears for Fears

24.    Let’s Have a War – Fear

25.    Hey, Hey, My My (Into the Black) – Neil Young

26.    Free Bird –Lynyrd Skynryd

27.    Wait for the Blackout – The Damned

28.    Born to Lose– Heartbreakers

29.    Highway Star –Deep Purple

30.    Paranoid –Black Sabbath

31.    Hotter thanHell – Kiss

32.    Wasted Days and Wasted Nights – Freddy Fender

33.    Dangerous Type– The Cars

34.    Come Back Jonee– Devo

35.    Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits

36.    Commando –Ramones

37.    Boys of Summer– Don Henley

38.    Livin’ Thing –ELO

39.    Blinded by theLight – Manfred Mann

40.    Fernando –ABBA

41.    Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

42.    Ghost Riders in the Sky – The Outlaws

43.    I Wanna Be Sedated – Ramones

44.    White Lines –Grandmaster Flash

45.    Surrender –Cheap Trick

46.    Bad to the Bone – George Thorogood

47.    Poor Boy (TheGreenwood) – ELO

48.    GoingUnderground – The Jam

49.    Too Old to Rock and Roll, Too Young to Die – Jethro Tull

50.    I Fought the Law – The Clash

51.    Heartbreaker –Pat Benatar

52.    Show Me the Way – Peter Frampton

53.    Dream Weaver –Gary Wright

54.    Rock and Roll– Led Zeppelin

55.    We Didn’t Start the Fire – Billy Joel

56.    Run Like Hell– Pink Floyd

57.    Running with the Devil – Van Halen

58.    Homicide – 999

59.    Gut Feeling/SlapYour Mammy – Devo

60.    Havana Affair– Ramones

61.    Cum on Feel the Noise – Slade

62.    Waterloo –ABBA

63.    Rumble in Brighton – Stray Cats

64.    They Don’t Want Me – Wall of Voodoo

65.    Let’s Lynch the Landlord – Dead Kennedys

66.    Living Next Door to Alice – Smokie

67.    La Grange – ZZTop

68.    Black Betty –Ram Jam

69.    Prisoners of Rock and Roll – Neil Young

70.    You’ve Got Another Thing Coming – Judas Priest

71.    One –Metallica

72.    Eye of Fatima –Camper Van Beethoven

73.    Shanghai’d in Shanghai – Nazareth

74.    Orange Crush– REM

75.    Beef Boloney –Fear

76.    It Takes A Worried Man – Devo

77.    The Heat is On– Glenn Frey

78.    You Got Lucky– Tom Petty

79.    Beds are Burning – Midnight Oil

80.    Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds

81.    Hang em High –Van Halen

82.    Flirtin’ With Disaster – Molly Hatchet

83.    Pretty Vacant– Sex Pistols

84.    Back in Black– AC/DC

85.    Cretin Hop –Ramones

86.    Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who

87.    No Thugs inOur House – XTC

88.    For Whom the Bell Tolls – Metallica

89.    Big Shot –Billy Joel

90.    Immigrant Song– Led Zeppelin

91.    Burning Down the House – Talking Heads

92.    Running on Empty – Jackson Browne

93.    Games Without Frontiers – Peter Gabriel

94.    Hair of the Dog – Nazareth

95.    The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum – Fun Boy Three

96.    Breaking the Law – Judas Priest

97.    I Remember Death in the Afternoon – Ultravox

98.    Generals and Majors – XTC

99.    Because the Night – Patti Smith

100.Who Are You –The Who

 

 

And so it begins

TPA_ebook AprilOn June 9, 1976, I started Air Force basic training.

On June 9, 1980, I started classes at Southern Illinois University.

On June 9, 1989, I arrived in Japan to teach English.

Today I published The Panama Affair.

Coincidence? I don’t think so.

After almost two years of writing and revising and then writing and revising more and more, my novel about Panama finally entered the world today. It was a long journey that actually began in 1980 when I first sat down and penned a screenplay about Panama (which has long since disappeared). Of all my novels, this one was the most challenging because of the twists and turns in the story but it was also my most rewarding effort (right up there with Ice Cream Headache) because of the memories I drew upon to bring this story to light.

A lot of memories in this one.

Like all my other books, I hope this one will be successful. There’s always this feeling of apprehension when you come out with a new book. After all those months of writing the story and getting yourself out of all the corners you wrote yourself in, you hope that people will be interested in what you have created. You’ve done all you could do to promote it and hope all those friends who “liked” your status on Facebook or other social networking sites when you uploaded the photo of the cover or shared a blurb with them will be interested in reading the finished product.

Hope. That’s a big word when it comes to self-publishing. It’s not easy these days when you find yourself competing with thousands of other authors who also hope their writing endeavors will also pay off. The market has become a lot more saturated than it was when I published War Remains in 2010.

Without question, it’s a nerve-wracking experience to self-publish. First, you hope that you’ve done all you could have done to tell a good story; then, you have to start marketing and promoting your book. I am at a bit of a disadvantage living in South Korea. It’s not like I can contact a local bookstore and do a signing. Sadly, and sometimes tragically, I have to rely solely on Facebook to let the world know of my literary accomplishment. I’m not alone, though. Indie authors rely on reviews and word of mouth testimonials to help promote and market your book. Those reviews and testimonials will ultimately determine if your book is successful or not.

 And so it begins again. I’ve written and published another book. It’s a good story. There will be many who will like it; others will probably say it was an okay story. Some readers will write reviews; others won’t. After eight books, I know what to expect and what not to expect, but I never give up hope, yes, there’s that word again, that this book will be the one.

In the meantime, I am working on my next book because that’s what writers do.

The End is Near

TPABookCover5_25x8After almost two years of writing, revising, editing, and doing it all over again, my latest novel, The Panama Affair will soon see the light of day.

It’s been quite the journey. In fact, this novel originally started out as a screenplay in the spring of 1980, just a few months before I got out of the United States Air Force on May 9th. Although that screenplay was lost, I recreated some scenes from it for the novel. Additionally, there were two short stories, “Love Song from the Zone” (which was part of my MA thesis) and “Pictures for Lily” which also served as an inspiration.

I had planned to publish this novel in November, but due to circumstances beyond my control, it had to be delayed. It was to be a blessing in disguise. The delay was the best thing that could have happened to the story because in that time I rewrote some major scenes and added other ones which strengthened the story. The manuscript I have now is ten times better than the one I thought was ready to publish seven months. Stephen King is right. The best thing a writer can do when they finish a novel is put it away for a couple of months. You’d be surprised how it reads, and perhaps doesn’t read, after you have put it away for a while.

And once again, my designer, Anna Takahashi, has come through in a very BIG way with her cover design. This by far is her most impressive cover design.

I can’t wait to share this book with the world. It’s been a labor of love and I have laid to rest some ghosts from my past while resurrecting others.

I’m happy with the yarn I have spun.

 

The Panama Affair — Coming Soon!

Panama Affair 1My new book, The Panama Affair will be out soon.

The manuscript is still being edited and the cover design still needs to be finished. This is a rough draft of what the final design will look like.

The genesis of this book dates back to 1980 when I was still in the Air Force stationed at George AFB outside of Victorville, California. I wrote a screenplay about the time I was stationed at Howard AFB. Although I lost that screenplay there was one scene which I recreated for The Panama Affair.

 

Picture of the Day: The Ancon Inn — El Paraiso de los Hombres Solteros

Ancon Inn 1a

The ink has faded with age, but not the memories I have of this club–the first club many service members checked out the first time they went to Panama City. I remember that there was a bus stop right in front of the door. You could hop, stagger, or stumble off the bus, right into the Ancon for a cold Atlas or Cerveza Panama or a Rum and Coke. From there it was down the street to the Ovalo or Paris. Maybe stopping off for some monkey meat along the way.

Ancon Inn 2aIn the two years I was stationed at Howard Air Force Base I checked out the Ancon a couple of times, but my favorite bar was the Ovalo and further down the street in the opposite direction, The Foxhole Bar.

Sixty beautiful hostesses? I never counted, but if the card says there were 60 of them, then there must have been. I wouldn’t have known or even bothered to have counted because I was usually pretty tanked when I went downtown with my buddies from Barracks 714.

The Ancon gets mentioned a few times in The Panama Affair and rightfully so.

© 2019 Jeffrey Miller

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑