Saturday, March 19, 2011

Geo caching, Joe's Story and long walks

"Joe's Story: The Book of a Lifetime" is filled to overflowing with anecdotes, good or bad regarding my experiences in this life with those wonderfully interesting people around me. Today I had an experience with a friend that will no doubt become another anecdote. For the very first time ever I was involved in Geo caching, a wondrously adventure of finding hidden containers that sometimes hold within them curious artifacts. Up til today, I have worked on riddles, treasure hunts, automobile rallies, geological digs and hide and seek games of all sorts. None of which used any electronic media whatsoever. This Geo caching is done with the use of a small electronic GPS unit that has the location of thousands of hidden objects. It gives you all sorts of directional information including distance. Reminiscent of the old child's game standby of "Hot & Cold." If you are close you are hot, if you are moving away you are getting cold and so on. We were wandering through a nearby park, my friend and I looking for an historically significant willow tree that I have searched out for over 50 years just to pick the first pussy-willow buds heralding in the new Spring season. "Ah, Ha," He says. "Looky here. There is a cache located just 485 feet in front and to our left." I figured why not so off we went through the woods. Climbing over, under and around trees and shrubbery. At one moment we were almost completely surrounded by a herd of foraging deer. They weren't particularly concerned about our presence and one of them looked as though she was expecting us to feed her. Then they slowly trotted away as we came just a bit too far into their comfort zone. We went further into the woods as he lined up the arrows, sidestepping mounds of leaves, dirt, rocks and uneven terrain until once again he exclaims, "Ah, ha! Here it is! Reaching into a long jagged split tree trunk and pulling out a shiny black cylinder with a removable top. Inside were a note pad and pencil for recording our discovery and a myriad of little trinkets: A plastic glove, business card, bottle cap, a shiny pebble and a couple other things. He signed and dated our achievement, resealed it and placed it there for the next adventurer. How neat is that? I just gotta get me one of those little gadgets don't you?

Have a great and wonderful day. You could add to the enjoyment by sitting down and reading a few excerpts from Joe's Story and telling everyone you know about how great a book it really is.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Groupon, consumer tip and Joe's Story

I am not going to sell "Joe's Story: The Book of a Lifetime" by using coupons any time soon.
I don't want to put it on the best seller list by losing my life savings while doing it.

I blogged a while back about my opinion of groupon and similar sites. I received a slew of comments, over 75% were negative, expressing dissatisfaction and lack of support with issues. The positive comments expressed good experiences and satisfaction. Those were concerning the coupon buyers. I also received several comments from the sellers of the coupons, none of which were totally positive. Mostly they said they didn't do their homework when it came to profitability along with the huge numbers of coupon customers. Sure, they received a good chunk of change, mostly when business was down. However, the huge sum did not come any where near covering expenses, especially when the very unprofitable coupon buyers wanted to use them when they could be dealing with profitable customers instead. One of them said that if they were to honor all the coupons in a short time they would surely have to close before they went into bankruptcy. That's a no-win situation if you ask me.

Being a coupon clipper myself I can understand the desire for a good deal. every time I save a dollar I am giving myself a raise for that moment. We can all use a little of that can't we? But, as a business man I also know first hand the need to make a profit. Nothing would bother me more than to go home at the end of a week of hard work and tell my family I worked all week and have no money for food. And that's exactly what some of those offers represent to businesses. Please let me explain.

It is my understanding the coupon offers go like this: A business offers a product or service for at least 40% off. Lets say, I will cut your lawn for a month. This service usually costs $85, the coupon offer is priced at $45 to the buyer. Good deal so far huh? Now, just in case you didn't know or care, the website receives one half of that money, $22.50 and the lawn maintenance service receives $22.50. If there are 4 weeks in a month that amounts to $5.12 a week to have your grass cut. Would you cut any ones grass for $5.12? Expenses alone would amount to that. Then there is equipment repair, travel costs and the need to make a profit. If you had to make a choice and cut someones grass for $5.12 at one place and received $22 at another place, which one would you choose? No wonder I received so many unsatisfactory comments. I don't say not to buy those wonderful coupons but I do say that you should read all the information you can so you don't wind up buying something you can't use and lose your money or walk away wishing all upset because you didn't get what you wanted. To the buyers: Buy smart! Be happy! Save lots of money! To the sellers: Don't stick your neck out and lose your business or get a black eye from a lot of unhappy customers. Bad news travels ten times as fast as good news.

That's my consumer tip for the day. I don't like to be redundant but it's a very popular subject.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book signings and speaking tours

"Joe's Story: The Book of a Lifetime" is an excellent read, mistakes and all. I felt a book signing was in order. I contacted a nationally known Book store and made the arrangements. The P.R. person was very friendly and cooperative. She described how we would go about advertising the event. I would conduct a short question and answer program concerning CO Poisoning, followed by a Meet The Author book signing with coffee and donuts. I was excited! I prepared a riddle contest, bought several hundred dollars worth of prizes, created posters, book marks and information pamphlets.

Two days before the book signing and program were scheduled I recieved a note from the Book Store P.R. person. She had decided to go on a weekend with her girlfriends to a small resort in the South. Also in her excitement she had forgotten to advertise the event anywhere, even on the stores website. I still went to the store at the agreed time, put up a small table and spoke with people as they entered the store. about a hundred or so books were sold in the five hours I sat there from people simply picking it up and reading it. I did my best to conduct the riddle contest and hand out the pamphlets about CO poisoning. Considering the circumstances I figured that was pretty good.

Sometimes we do all the right planning and make all the right arrangements but do to something out of our control it all turns to mud. That's life isn't it. We pack our stuff and move on and learn from the experience. If we don't learn from it we are doomed to repeat it. That's what I've been told. I learned fro the book signing. Joe's Story, even without a lot of hype, stands on its own merits as a good read. It's raining, that warm steady soaking Spring rain we so sorely need. Flowers to follow shortly. I'm lovin' it..............Joe

P.S. Spell check is still ot working. I'm doing my best but please forgive mistakes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book marketing, Japan's trials

I just recieved an offer to market "Joe's Story: The Book of a Lifetime" from a professional advertising firm. for a mere $2300.00 Joe's Story would be put out there for thousands of people to see. Then, when one of those thousands purchased a copy of Joe's Story the promotional folks would recieve an additional commission. There is, of course no guarantee of sales. Looks kind of good at first. I'm caught up in earning a living and have precious little time to promote and market Joe's Story, as good a book as it is. Such is life. I'd like to get the word out there. Here is the catch 22. Even if I could afford the $2300.00, the commission on each sale comes to $1.46 more than I earn per copy from my publisher. I don't think it's such a good idea after all.

I have always admired much of the Japanese culture. Their sense of determination and engenuity has brought them up to being the third largest economy in the world. And to think there are 128 million people crammed onto such a small area. What a terrible experience it must be following the earthquake and the resulting Tsunami. The devastation is unfathomable to me. I remember the awful mess when New Orleans was flooded and almost wiped off the map. I also remember the civil turmoil and subsequent raping and looting there too. Yesterday, watching the media coverage in Japan I found it interesting and inspiring that, so far in all of Japan there has not been a single account of rape or looting. The lines waiting for the meager food and water rations were quiet and orderly. I wonder if there is a lesson to be learned here. I pray for all of them.

Spring is arriving more and more each day around here. Phew! .................Have a good one.

P.S. Spell check is not working, please excuse any errors.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

3.5 million dollars free

Joe's Story: The Book of a Lifetime may be worth 3.5 million dollars......................To me.

Realiastically it will probably be a while before that becomes the case to the movie industry. I turned down the last opportunity to sell the movie rights about 4 years ago and haven't recieved any more offers since. I did get a letter that informed me I was about to be awarded 3.5 million dollars though. I thought that was pretty cool. I could probably make my own movie with 3.5 million bucks couldn't I? Even without tax breaks from the State of Michigan.

This guy that works for Duitsche Bank wrote me concerning another guy with my same last name. It seems this guy with my name died over 7 years ago without any will but with 8.5 million dollars in an account with Duitsche Bank. No next of kin anywhere either. Well, this guy from Duitsche Bank wants to tell the bank that I am a long lost nephew or something like that and deposit the money in my bank account here in the states. If I do that, all he asks is that I send him back 5 million dollars. He says, "Yes, this is illegal but if he and I don't take the money this way it will go into the government coffers and we all know the government has enough of our money already." Because this is illegal he want s me to keep it a secret and not tell anyone. So, I ask you please to honor that wish and not tell anyone either.

As much as I would like to help this guy out, I'm afraid I have to pass on the offer. For you see, I have taken an oath of poverty. I didn't know I did but what with being far removed from any large amounts of money throughout my life, that's the only reason I can think of. Not wanting all that free money to go to waste, I took the letter to the local police department in hopes they could find someone more deserving than I to collect on it. They told me that a man from the states did try to collect the money a short while back. However, it backfired and he lost everything and wound up dead when he trieds to get it back.

I guess this offer of 3.5 million dollars isn't so free after all. I guess it's back to selling Joe's Story one book at a time. You can help by telling everyone you know about it. Why would you like to help me? Because you are a nice person. Yes, a very nice person. Thanks...........Joe
P.S. Spell check did not work on this posting.
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