Sometimes I could Joint the “Tea Party”

Whoa! A day that started off with a bang, exercise on the machines at the club and with the Senior Circuit semi exercise- semi gab group afterwards to get in over an hour and a half of muscle workout.  Then into the computer and answered a bunch of great emails from people connecting on LinkedIn and others sending me their snail mail addresses to get review copies of the new Civil War book, “Rough Enough” before it hits the stands all over the country in 15 days! 

Then the dog (Elliott) got into the ducks!  Boy what a quacking mess!  Jill had to catch Crazy Duck who didn’t seem to be able to find his way back through hole in the fence (I wish I’d had the video camera on for that one!). The whole troop packed off to the neighbors pond in disgust but they’ll be home tonight for food and nest boxes to lay their eggs. 

Then the real fun began!  TAXES! UGH!

I found that the IRS has now gotten the instructions and the forms so hard find, run off and print, let alone fill out, that we have reached the point of needing an all-out HUMAN rebellion against the Corporate Personhood of tax crap we have created. 

I believe in one of our founding countries, Great Britain, where they seem to govern fairly well without a constitution, there is a rule about  the laws needing to be understandable to THE MAN or WOMAN ON THE STREET!

After finding that Schedule D now requires several other forms to even complete it on the basic level (Like all I have is a bunch of losses to carry over from the Bush era stock crash and a total of 7 stock transactions and I need five forms to tell Uncle Sam that I still have a loss that will take me 20 years to deduct at $3000 per year?) Who are we kidding?

We need to get a flat tax rate for HUMANS and save all this other “crap” for the Corporate Personifications of humanity devised by lawyerhood and ratified by a Supreme Court that must have had it’s head somewhere else than on the bench when companies became people.  

Time to throw the Tea back into Boston Harbor and make it easy for Cesar to get the last Sou from my pocket without me having to take antidepressants and blood pressure medicine in order to do what the man or woman on the street should be able to do easily – Pay my taxes!

Holy-Cow! What a rant! Buy the book – See how it was truly “Rough Enough” for most people back in the 1860’s!

Reader Questions for “Rough Enough: My Ideas When Desiging the Cover

What are the ideas that come to mind when you look at the cover of “Rough Enough?”

Jot them down before you go on to read what I was thinking when I gave the artist the original design.

Now look down below the picture of the book cover and check out what I was thinking as the author.


The young man carrying the Union Flag represents Richard Clow. The road ahead and the setting sun to the west represents his future in the military on the frontier, his family and mining in Deadwood, SD. The ruffled pages at the borders represent the letters he wrote to his sisters and his diary; all are transcribed within the book.

A few Advance Reading copies are still available for reviewers on Amazon, in blogs and other publications. Send me your snail mail address and I’ll return copies until the last 12 copies run out. Enjoy!

Another Great Day in the PR of Civil War Book “Rough Enough”

Wow! There I was, pulling up my Author site on Amazon and there for the first time, they have let someone post a Review!  James R. Holland gets the kudos for fast action and superb verbiage in writing a review that really takes your breath away.

Here is a man who initially thinks he’s going to jump to the last part of the book and read about Deadwood, South Dakota in 1876, during a time when his own ancestor was setting himself up to be shot dead and enter the realm of fable. Instead, he happens to read one of Richard Clow’s (rhymes with flow) first letters home from the Civil War and takes the hook! By the time he gets to the mining at the end and the period of Wild Bill’s demise, he has filled in a lot of details about enlisted men during the Civil War, where those men came from, and where they ended up after the war if they migrated to the frontier.

Follow the link – Read the book – You’ll love it! (Also soon (March 1, 2013) to be available at Barnes and Noble and on all e-formats!)


Heron Pond: First Glass of my Viento Red

Heron Pond: First Glass of my Viento Red

Here’s the beautiful ruby red color of my just siphoned first glass of the wine made from the old Viento Grape stock which was taken from the current site of Viento State Park, Oregon back in the 1980’s. The grapes were probably planted there in the 1940’s or thereabouts when my Grandfather, Gordon G. Brown owned a truck farm on the land that was later covered by waters as the Bonneville Dam filled that section of the Columbia River Gorge. He was going broke at the truck farming and so thanked his lucky stars that the government bought him out and he was able to start a pear orchard up in Dee, just south of Hood River, Oregon. Note the Airedale dog in the background, Elliott. Very Posh! as my wife would call this big wooly of a dog.

Battlefield Journal reviews New Book “Rough Enough”

Today was a real fun day to read Kristie Poehler’s Winter Edition of “Battlefield Journal”  which has a two page spread on my new Civil and Indian War book “Rough Enough.”  Check it out at <>

Kristie highlights the section of the book dealing with Richard Clow’s (rhymes with Flow) reunion with his older brother, John, near Alexandria following the Grand Review. An interesting letter and commentary on the end of the war.

Don’t miss the full book already available at Publisher Direct Bookstore and on the full market starting March1, 2013.

More on the PR for “Rough Enough” – Sites on the Web

If I were to take a moment to think on the pattern for setting up blogs, social media and book sites, I would definitely put WordPress and Amazon at the top of my list to get built up so that people have both a place to visit to see me and a place to hear what I might have to say that is worth while about my book or publishing.  Then in order to make the professional links to groups who work in my field, write in my field and publish, I’d get my LinkedIn site set up. Then as the general knowledge that I’m out there spreads through the Ether, I’d go for the Facebook, Good Reads and Armchair General type of sites to keep people posted and give insight as to my likes, what I read, etc. Finally after these sites are all set up I’d go for the twitter.  At the moment I am having a hard time understanding the use of the Twits since when I read the latest one liner it often has no meaning for me.  Of course this is coming from a guy who had voice activated four family party line in Montana when he was growing up, (“Number Please!”  says the operator, followed by “Oh, Gladys, can you get off the linea minute so the McBee’s can call the Doctor? You know how accident prone Ricky is….”) Of course you knew that Gladys and her buddies didn’t hang up, while you called, just hung in there silently and got all the scoop so that it could be all over town in the next 20 minutes – not a whole lot unlike Twitter today).   Then we went through the use of words with numbers to make a 7 digit code (JUniper was our prefix to give JU6-2044 as the home phone number on our single party line with an actual dial on the phone. The biggest jump came in 1962 when we went to 10 digit numbers because lord knows nobody can memorize a ten digit number and 406-586-2044 became the new memory game. So now here we all are, back to the party line with computers.  Isn’t privacy a boor! It’s so much fun to know what the neighbors are doing and saying! So now I’m getting into that theme of the Web and all it’s little idiosyncratic features. But I will say this it sure beats sitting out in the central Kalahari for nearly three months with no mail, only the BBC for radio and the only time I needed a long distance phone to have the whole grid for Ngamiland go down. So let’s use this Web stuff to the best of our advantage to sell our books now because who knows we might get a sunspot storm tomorrow and I hate to think what that would bring. 

Marketing Prep for the book release -Continued

Today was another of those great February false spring days with a bit of sunshine, temperatures up in the high forty’s and no winds.  I could almost hear the buds on the grape vines and apple trees beginning to pop out.  Let’s hope they don’t because this really is a “false” Spring.  It seems to happen every year about this time and we all think that Mt Hood will be bare of snow next summer.  Then like clockwork, winter comes back in for the end of Feb. and we usually get over fifty percent of our snow pack laid down in a couple of weeks, the Cascade Concrete piles up on the ski slopes and we all know that the ski season will once again last until May first.

Oh! So what about marketing? Yes, almost got carried away with Spring!  Well it was a good day, so out I went to post a couple more advance reading copies of “Rough Enough”; pick up a couple of returns from the people who don’t know where they live and have never changed their mailing addresses on their web sites; stop in to the Hood River News to chat with Kirby, the Editor about doing a book review and an interview; stopped off at Waucoma Bookstore to see about doing a book signing and last but not least stopped by the Library to find that they are closed on Mondays.  OK, one more thing to do tomorrow in addition to putting out the rat poison under the chicken house and dropping sulfur smoke bombs down the gopher holes that are popping up all over the place now that the snow is gone and the little furry critters think that Spring has come! But it really is just a “false” Spring!>)

Oops! What did you say that Media Book Rate Was? $2.53 or $7.59?

The other day I was bragging to a friend about how mailing out the several hundred media copies of my new book, Rough Enough was only costing me $2.47 a book (now $2.53 with the new rates). Pretty good when you consider that regular post costs almost a dollar more.  Since I was emailing all the publisher information to each newspaper, magazine, etc. for free, it sounds pretty good to save 900 dollars on getting out the  review copies. 

Oops!  Nobody informed me about what happens if your book gets sent back for having the wrong address! “That will be another $2.53  in postage due please! The book or media rate only pays for the outgoing postage,” 

So those addresses better be CORRECT! Because that book has now cost you $5.06 cents and it hasn’t gone anywhere. (Well that’s not really true, a few of them went clear across the USA and back….You should see what those sorting machines do to your book envelopes (purchase “Kevlar” ones)!

So the next day as I waltz in with the correct address. You guessed it, $2.53 again please to mail it out once more.  Now we have a total of $7.59 invested in mailing, not counting the envelopes, return address labels and gasoline to run the thing back and forth three times. Hmmm…. How long does this take to eat into your savings?  Well, for the moment, I’m figuring that I won’t get back that many, so I’ll be ok, but very quickly you can see how 10 books which might have cost $25 and change can go to a cool $75.90. I don’t want to think about how I’d feel if 100 came back. 

Carry on, just around the corner is that great review from ….. who’s endorsement will ensure my six to eight figure return on the five I’ve already put out there!>))

Sun’s out! Spring is coming to Hood River!


A Fix for “Words with Friends”

Have you gotten tired of waiting for Words with Friends to fix your frozen App on your mobile?

  1. Try this, it appears to be a quick fix! 
  2. Go to your PC and go through your search engine to “Words With Friends.”
  3. Then click on the link and when the site opens up, click on the “Play with Facebook button.”
  4. It will then ask you to log on to Facebook which I did, using my email address and my Facebook password. 
  5. A pop-up will come up saying something to the effect of “Are you already Playing Words With Friends on your Mobile?”
  6. Click “Yes”
  7. It will then ask you if you want to link your mobile to your facebook games, “Click “”Yes”.”
  8. Now when the window comes up with all you mobile games on it that have “your move”, make a move or two on your PC for each of the games so that you see that they work just fine.
  9. Now close down your PC Facebook and go to your Mobile.
  10. Open up “Words with Friends”  on your Mobile again and then “Log Onto – Facebook” through that app.
  11. Now your games will appear on your Mobile with the Facebook pics of people who have their pics on FB. 
  12. Go to each game in turn and make one move (if it for some reason doesn’t work, try a “Hard Shutdown” -(That doesn’t mean the sidewalk!) and then reopen your Mobile with step  #10 above. 
  13. Most of you will have your games back up in 10 minutes 
  14. Let me know!

More PR work on “Rough Enough”

I’m beginning to understand why a lot of authors just put their book out there on the internet and hope that someone will discover them (which of course the probably won’t with 50,000 books per year being published). It’s bloody hard work to do PR for a book! In fact, the title of my book, “Rough Enough” could be used for an article on book sales and PR by beginning or lower echelon authors hoping to make good.  This hometown boy (pick Hood River, OR, or Bozeman, MT) is doing his utmost to go the second mile in order to make the grade. Here are five pointers towards the things you ought to be doing if you hope to get beyond the “just published” but “zero sales” level:

1.  Recognize that being an author is a business and unless you already know and hobnob with the in-crowd for your book publicity, it will be who you “get to know” that will determine whether you make it up the ladder.

2. Get started on the “getting to know you” while you are still finishing the final year of work on your book. Blog – Blog – Blog, work and rework your profile and contacts lists through WordPress, LinkedIn and Amazon (just 3 of the many you can be on). Make the contacts and have enough content to keep them interested in what will be coming out.

3. Decide how much money you are willing to invest in the marketing of your book. I constantly am asked the question, “Why doesn’t your publisher mail out gallery proof copies and contact all the media?”  My answer is simply, “I am still small peanuts in the publishing world which means that  publisher has been willing to carry my book through to print, and is willing to get out the word that the book exists, but they don’t have the cash to be able to float a lot of books out to prospective reviewers who may decide to not take a chance on a new author.”  So the amount of money you are going to invest in your small business venture is important! If you are going to have books available to sell and sign as you move around you community, you have to invest in inventory. If you are going to mail out media books ahead of the publication date, then you need to have more inventory. Inventory costs $$$$ even at the discount rate offered to authors. 

4. Put in your investment money and then follow up on your commitment with hard work, energy and time to build the publicity. I have it figured that with an investment of $10,000.00 dollars for publicity, mailing, printing leaflets, envelopes, gas, etc., etc., etc., I should be able to break out above the average “wait until they find me,” author. 

5. Carefully pick out the list of who to send media Gallery copies. I picked only magazines that would work with my interest area or that have book reviews for bored inflight passengers and retired folks. I picked newspapers only of larger size, but all over the US, and they always have a Sunday edition which is more likely to have some book reviews in it. I also concentrated especially on the States of VA, MA, ND, SD, MT and OR where the book is centered, and I think there will be higher sales. I picked other reviewers as persons, authors, and persons in my field who responded to my queries and who would bother to send me their mailing address (You wouldn’t believe how much work this takes!). I also selected 20 universities that have programs of history that might very well have Civil War courses and pitched them for possible use of the book as supplementary reading…..

The list goes on, but the chicken eggs are waiting to be collected down the garden so more with the next blog.

Cheers, Rick;>)





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