Funny about Money

Simple Living = Frugality = Peace of Mind: Personal Finance and Stress Control

October 3, 2015
by funny

It’s HERE!

Hot diggety, folks. Camptown Races’ VERY FIRST Racy Book for Racy Readers is live and online at Amazon!! WooHOO! And how silly and fun can you get?

Really, I’m pretty proud of this little gem. The story is entertaining and promises to develop into something much more entertaining as the series progresses (we have a murder…accident?…in the Bobbi’s future), the writing is better than most of my efforts (IMHO), and the characters are a hoot.

Full-size BB1 jpeg

Oh! What a hunk, eh?

One of the most prominent publishing experts in the industry looked at that image and remarked, “Excellent cover, by the way. Even if most bikers have beer bellies and b.o. It’s fantasy, right!”


So how does the Bobbi thing go?  After her car and her cell phone die in 115-degree heat, Professor Bobbi Stuart is rescued by an alarming man. Things heat up from there…

So…if you don’t mind reading erotica for the sheer joy of erotica, you really must buy this book.



October 2, 2015
by funny

Today’s the Day!

TODAY our first Racy Book for Racy Readers gets “published” at Amazon. It probably won’t be available until later in the day or tomorrow. Will let you know with a link when it’s online.

We now have four, possibly five writers working for Camptown Races Press. We have enough copy to post eight books (possibly nine) this month and that many again next month. And we’ll be working toward meeting our goal of ten a month between now and next March, when we either start to make a profit or go broke.


I just picked up three editorial projects that will stave off brokitude another month or so, plus enough money came in from the blog to cover the corporation’s September bills.

We shall soon see, then, if it’s true that erotica sells, and sells in enough quantity to support its scribblers.

Yesterday I met with a social media specialist. She likes The Girls’ Twitter page (@RacyLadies) but wasn’t so crazy about their blogsite, which we had to admit was pretty lame. (That would be why we were meeting with a social media specialist!) She had a few great suggestions, most of which will have to be implemented by our web guru, Grayson. In the interim — until he can get around to making some of her ideas happen — I adjusted the banner to echo the elements she liked on the Twitter presence. Just those small changes make a difference. But I hope Grayson will be able to improve it significantly, given the advice we received yesterday.

Funny about Money has been neglected — as has most of the rest of my life — while I struggle with the enormous workload. Starting a business is a project that sucks all the time out of a room. Incredible!

I’ve decided to break the day into four three-hour chunks: three hours on editing, three hours on social media marketing, three hours on preparing copy for press, three hours on everything else. We’ll see if that works better than the usual listing.

Lists, as usual, work for me. But there’s so damn MUCH to have to get done every day that I still find myself feeling pretty frantic. You know…that “life is totally out of control” feeling?

Ugh, I hate that sensation!

Anyway, I haven’t forgotten about Funny’s readers!

And for your delectation: it’s still not too late to get an advance copy of Billy and the Biker, since it will be half a day or more before the book goes live at Amazon. Come on over to The Ladies’ website, sign up for their newsletter, and we’ll send you a copy in .mobi and PDF forms! The link to sign up is at the VERY tip-top of the page — a little hard to see just now. That’s one of the things we have to fix. But if you can’t find it, just leave a comment to that post, and we’ll sign you up and send you a copy.

September 28, 2015
by funny

Beautiful mornings, hot days, hot stuff comin’ up

October is…what? a day and a half away and lovely uptown Phoenix is still enjoying triple-digit temps. That’s OK, though: it means the pool is still warm enough to swim in.

And still growing its favorite crop: algae. 😀

This is the time of year when I like to get out and do some gardening. Fall is Arizona’s springtime. But I’ve been too busy to mess with it, plus by the time my act is together in the morning, it’s too hot out here to accomplish much without risking a heat stroke. I did finally get around to extirpating the garden in front the one I tried to carve out of the desert landscaping. That came under the heading of “ridiculous mistake.” Or possibly you could file it under “forlorn hopes.” Nothing would grow there in spite of irrigation nozzles right on the plants. So it looks a little better out there.

I dragged off pots whose plants had died. I’d like to use them for some mâche and some red chard and another rosemary plant (the old one died of old age or hyperthermia over the summer). But again: too lazy, too preoccupied to function.

And in the preoccupation department: October is THE MONTH! Starting next week, we launch our new enterprise, Camptown Races Press, with a flourish. I’ve posted an announcement — rather too unprepossessing, IMHO — on the Press’s homepage and today must get the Ladies to chattering about it. Speaking of the whom, they’re up to 381 Twitter followers this morning.

My goal was 400 by the end of the weekend, but again…too preoccupied to fiddle with that.

I now have all but two of October’s eight completed books ready to snare ISBNs and post on Amazon. Most of the cover images are done.

We’re told that you should hire someone to do your cover images because, unless have an MFA in graphic design or some such, you’re such an amateur that your covers will look horrible.

I’m not so sure about that. Out there, you’ll hear quiet murmurs to the contrary: just yesterday I read a site where a micropublisher remarked that no credible research has been done to prove that assertion. And elsewhere, I’ve read that where p0rn is concerned, the cover is not what readers are after. One p0rn0grapher remarked that it scarcely matters what you put on the cover, and another observed that these things market themselves.

Heh. Well, we shall see.

I’ve learned that you can use PowerPoint to generate hi-res TIFFs and JPEGS, which work handsomely for Amazon’s purposes. There’s a trick to it: Save as .pptx; save as .pdf at 300 dps; convert to .tif; crop and size; save back down to .tif at 300 dps; convert to .jpg. The result is a high-resolution image in any size you please.

And you know, I’ve worked with print magazine production for a lot of years. True, I was on the editorial side, but we worked closely with the art department. As a result, I do know something about cover composition and cover lines. Let’s see if we can get WordPress to upload the latest draft effort… It still needs some work, especially with the fonts, but it’s getting there. You’ll have to click on the image to see its full glory:

cabinFevercoverLORESEven at this stage, I don’t think it looks even half terrible. Does it layer images? No. But I have  learned how to layer images and text in PowerPoint. And how to adjust levels of transparency (the lines around the font above are at about 52% transparency). It’s actually quite easy. As a matter of fact, yesterday I came up with this, by layering images:

Craig's List JanetLOWRESHeeee! Have you ever seen anything so strange in your life? The male character — who’s a genie come to answer the female protagonist’s unspoken prayers — is described as having a tattoo of an Aladdin’s lamp on his spectacular bicep.

Lo! What should I find but the very lamp itself, and smokin’ (a lot like our guy…). With a little fiddling around, we have the author’s name seeming to smoke up out of the Aladdin’s lamp.

Yes. Your Wish Is Granted!

Speaking of the which, I must fly. In an hour I have a teleconference with a book marketing agent. Then a mountain more work to do (including perfecting the Cabin Fever cover). Then Quickbooks to…uhm, quicken.

Tomorrow: another SBA seminar: Social media shortcuts.

Wednesday: an interview with a potential new editing client who may also be interested in writing for us. One more writer will do the trick, if I can find someone who can churn this stuff out the way some of the present team can do. Job description: Sense of humor required. 😀

Thursday I’m meeting with a social media expert who’s already taught me a lot of stuff (if only I could figure out how to find time to do the things she recommends).

And so…up, up, and AWAY!


September 24, 2015
by funny

Woo HOO! Celebrate Great Fire-Rider Reviews with PRICE CUT!

Hot diggety. I’ve been afraid to read the reviews for Fire-Rider, because the cookbook got royally panned over its screwed-up formatting (which I was unable to see in Amazon’s ballyhooed online quickie Kindle viewer!) and I really didn’t feel up for much more self-inflicted depression.

But mirabilis! Books I and II — A Gift for the Kubna and The Spoils of War — have received very nice reviews! Thanks for that, if they came from any of our doughty readers.

To celebrate, I’m cutting the price 66 percent, from $2.99 to $.99 — yes, ninety-nine cents!! — for the series’ first three books: Gift, Spoils, and The Journey Begins.


So, hurry on over to Amazon and grab those cheap copies while the grabbin’s good.


September 23, 2015
by funny
1 Comment

Social Media U

So today I’m going to a class on “Leveraging LinkedIn.” There’s something that’s escaped me for quite some time…like, “since I first signed up for LinkedIn.”

And Friday it’s off to another class, “Social Media Time Savers.” That, I can use!

Monday: a telecon with a local book marketer who has a pretty good reputation. Someone to take over or at least spearhead the marketing venture is much needed. But I’m afraid I won’t be able to afford her services: money is tight, everybody has a hand out, and so far not much is coming in from the FireRider opus.

However, I didn’t expect much to come in. It takes time to build readership, and really, the erotica is infinitely more salable.

Learning the intricacies of social media marketing is extremely difficult. I still haven’t figured out how to insure that a FaceBook page created for Camptown Races Press will not slop racy content over onto the page that includes a raft of my coreligionists.

I suppose I could just save a list of present FB subscribers who will not be offended by erotica and who are not part of the church’s community, then close or cancel the current Facebook page, and then create a new page, so two potentially overlapping pages don’t exist. Then re-“friend” the likeliest suspects.

Like…I don’t have enough time-suck in my life already?????????

I think a post that went up on the “secret” FB group I created for my writing team may have somehow posted itself on my regular FB page. But I can’t tell. Apparently what you see in your “timeline” or “news feed” or whatever-T-F is NOT what you actually are getting. Is there a difference between a “timeline” and a “news feed”? What is it? Why? Why should there be a difference? And why why why does FB have to be so bloody convoluted?

LinkedIn, I can tolerate. Twitter, I’m getting used to. But Facebook? I truly hate it.

At any rate, The Girls (@RacyLadies  follow them now!!) continue to make headway on Twitter. The idea of rarely planting sales pitches there but instead publishing various pleasing kitsch seems to be working. Our Racy Ladies attract about ten new followers a day. Now all I need is about five similarly successful ideas…

This is getting retweeted through the wazoo as we scribble:

The Girls @RacyLadies
How to escape the political hoo-ha: Sit back and relax with a good book of erotica. :-)


Not bad for an amateur job, eh? The image is a public-domain painting by Jules Scalbert, who did a number of very lovely nudes.

Last I looked, it had been retweeted six times in less than an hour. I may put it up again later on this week.

Stephanie and Bonnie is still under construction, I’m afraid. Between riding herd on the work that needs to be done to get this enterprise under way and undoing my own screw-ups (of which there are a-plenty), I haven’t had many minutes to do my own writing.

However, we have ten books almost ready to go. I need to format them, and will start doing that around this noon’s foray to south Phoenix and “publishing” the remaining three Fire-Rider serials at Amazon.

A-n-n-d it’s after 8:30. Other than building and posting the Scalbertized ad, posting a couple of new unillustrated tweets, retweeting a few, wrestling with the e-mail, walking the dogs, and feeding myself, I’ve gotten nothing done so far this morning.

So, to work…


September 22, 2015
by funny

Beateous Evening

Thunder grumbling in the east, and this in the evening sky:


My little camera doesn’t do it justice. It was a beautiful sky, just lovely. And now the distant showers have cooled the air into the low 80s. All the doors and windows are open, ushering in the first fresh air of the fall. At last the hot summer is over, the summer we live through by huddling inside air-conditioned boxes.

The air is very still and humid, so every fan in the house is on, trying to move thge proposed fresh air through. But that notwithstanding, it’s happy.