Relationship Advice – 5 Wise Answers to the Question: What is love?

Just after Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for this discussion while some of you are still basking in the afterglow.

People are so lost in, and confused by, what they consider to be love these days; it is time we sorted this out once and for all, and set the record straight.

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Photo by Adam Kontor on Pexels.com

These might be the wisest words I have ever written:

Only fools believe sex and love are related!

Sex and its effects are temporary while “true love” lasts your entire life no matter what transpires.

Love is built or destroyed by the qualities of a person’s character.

Empathy, compassion, morals, scruples, intelligence, and integrity are reasons to fall for someone possessing most or ideally all six of these character traits.

Physical appearance, voice, scent, taste, and a knowing touch are reasons to have sex, but they ARE NOT legitimate reasons for thinking we are in love.

For far too many people, their idea of love speaks of “loving feelings” which are usually strongest after sex but weaken again with time. How many times have we seen or heard the words:

“I am SO in love right now!”

This is NOT love. If you need further clarification, my book offers science-based explanations of sex and its effects, as well as the biological imperatives which drive us to partner up. Don’t worry, it’s a light-ish read.

Just because you choose to be in a committed relationship, DOES NOT mean you are in love.

You cannot force love into a sexual relationship even if it comes with the added perks of companionship, convenience,  and security. You may “love” being in a relationship, but this IS NOT the same as being “in love”.

If you ever experience true love, you will find it is a CONSTANT CONDITION that can only be altered by changes in your partner’s character.

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Relationship Advice – Today’s Word is Feckless

feck·less – [ˈfekləs] – ADJECTIVE – lacking initiative or strength of character; irresponsible.

I must thank Shelby Kent Stewart {A great writer, author, and blogger. Find her and follow her.} for adding this new word to my vocabulary. Honestly, I don’t know how I missed this one as it is “right up my alley”, so to speak.

silhouette of girl during evening
Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

Shelby has read and reviewed Ms. Creant–thanks for that, by the way– and queried, perhaps rhetorically, ‘Why are feckless women so drawn to me?’, which, after looking up the meaning, I pondered for some time. I came up with nothing concrete. To be conscious, you must be self-aware, and to be self-aware, you must self-examine. I flipped the question to read:

Why am I so drawn to feckless women?

And presto, answers began to emerge.

I have been saving, or attempting to save, damsels in distress for as long as I can remember. I always fall for the classic femme fatale types, and the results are ALWAYS the same.

femme fa·tale – [fem fəˈtäl]-  NOUN – an attractive and seductive woman, especially one who will ultimately bring disaster to a man who becomes involved with her.

You save them by whisking them away from their troubles, whether real or imagined, to a place of relative safety–usually your place–where you begin to explore all their damage so you might set about repairing them. At first they are grateful, and they show their gratitude by rewarding you with sex. This keeps you motivated to continue to care for them even though there is a voice inside you screaming: This is NOT the type of woman you want! You ignore the screams because you are busy with your new repair project. Before you know it, a year of honeymoon bliss has gone by, and somewhere along the way you uttered the words: “I love you.”, usually in reply to their having said it first. It is here where you have committed yourself, but the screaming persists.

They absolutely smother you with love and affection on a level you never imagined possible.

BINGO! There it is!

Once the fog of sex begins to lift as the honeymoon period ends, you begin to see how your repair work is coming along. You got them the help they needed to change their lives. You cared for them in every way you could think of. You encouraged them to get a job while building a career for themselves, so they would never be reliant on men again. You dropped everything important in your life, that you should have been focusing on, to assist them in rising like a phoenix from the ashes of their former selves. You are proud of yourself for your altruism. You consistently promote the idea that through awareness, growth, and change, they could leave their past behind to become someone truly fantastic–someone who could even silence the screaming voice within you. You want what is best for them, but in truth you are selfishly attempting to build what you have been unable to find.

Here, Shelby, is the revelatory bit.

What happens when you are working harder on them than they are on themselves?

Enter their fecklessness.

You notice only a minimal effort being applied to their life-building so you create a plan for them to follow, but because ‘Organization is hard.’, you end up doing most of it. They mask their lack of initiative with the cries of the consummate damsel in distress:

HELP ME! HELP ME!

SAVE ME! SAVE ME!

I’M SO VULNERABLE!

You discover their lack of character when they freely tell you how this man or that man is doing stuff FOR THEM in answer to their pleas for help. It is as though they think you might rush to join the herd competing for her affection. You point out this backsliding, as well as the list of previous mistakes they have made in similar situations , but it falls on deaf ears. Their irresponsibility is evident as they would much rather be cultivating and shopping the numerous offers they receive from men on the Internet, than focusing on the work you have been pushing them to complete. You are no longer a part of an easy solution; YOU are now the problem. The guys on the web are quick to reinforce this idea–manipulating easy prey–by telling them: ‘How different things would be if only. . . ‘

It should be noted how quickly feckless women fall in and out of love based on their “What have you done for me lately?” mindset. You and YOUR plan to make them someone worth knowing is abandoned in favor of immediate gratification.

 

Author Truths for Beginners (Part 9)

And the winner is . . .

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NOT YOU!

Indie-authors cannot hang out with the cool kids.

Back in Part 7, I covered the book awards available to indie-authors, but there are other concerns about self-publishing which you should consider before investing in this game.

I was SO naïve going into this, I actually believed success would be about carefully edited quality words being packaged in a book worth keeping in a library. While all the these are important, the truth is self-publishing takes you out of the game. There are a number of mostly invisible barriers to keep pesky new authors out of the gated community of the mainstream publishing world.

They have carefully barricaded themselves in.

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They are fearful, so they created an uneven playing field to keep us out:

  • If you want to make any royalties at all, your self-published print-on-demand paperback or hardcover will be priced higher than similar offerings coming out of Ingram, even though you published with Ingram Spark. Being “a little pricey” is enough for many bookstores and libraries to look to lower cost books from better known traditionally published authors.
  • Many mainstream publications will not review indie releases.
  • Some mainstream publications will not review foreign releases.
  • Legitimate literary awards will not consider indie releases because they did not go through an editorial selection process.
  • Libraries tend to favor homegrown authors when selecting books and they often are influenced by opinions from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, or Booklist—most of which pay little attention to indie-releases.
  • If you publish using an AMAZONIAN COMPANY to produce your POD books, it is doubtful you will ever make a sale in a non-Amazonian brick and mortar bookstore. I begged two different neighborhood bookstores to order a friend’s book for me but they refused. They would rather pass on a sale than support the entity that is crushing them. The hostility level is that high.

Sad indeed.

© 2018 E. A. Barker

Who is E. A. Barker?

‘I am a just a boy…
Standing in front of a bookstore…
Asking them to love me.’

All kidding aside, I am an occasionally serious researcher who wrote a book about life with women, without having much of the needed foreknowledge of the book biz I shared with you here. Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond my control, I also did not have the working capital necessary to execute the most basic of marketing strategies like the ones outlined in this blog series. Now, I try to help others avoid the mistakes I made. My book echoes that goal as well.

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers! is an entertaining non-fiction book chronicling everything we are not taught, but need to know.

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The large print 8×10 paperback and hardcover versions of Ms. Creant are available through bookstores and libraries around the globe from Ingram Spark.

ISBNs
978-1-77302-134-8 (Hardcover)
978-1-77302-132-4 (Paperback)
978-1-77302-133-1 (e Book)

The e-book options are many, and all can be viewed at:

http://mscreant.eabarker.com

My website is also the place to find the most comprehensive list of reviews.

Author Truths for Beginners (Part 8)

Welcome to BOOK MARKETING FOR BEGINNERS with E. A.

Where all your dreams can come true . . .

but probably won’t due to limited budgets or effort.

pexels-photo-459971.jpegRule 1:
Neither you nor your book is worthless.

I hope you are taking notes because you will be tested on this. There are a huge number of people who will tell you this, usually so they can make a buck from you. If you have to give your work away online, as SO many people claim, then maybe the online marketplace is not where we should be trying to sell our books. My hardcover goes for $39.99 and it continues to sell here and there with me doing next to nothing these days to encourage those sales. My big large-print paperback still pulls in $24.99. So, how is it that we must entertain 99¢ or even free e-books?

I have a theory.

pexels-photo-288477.jpegImagine the aforementioned rich publishing executive sitting in their corner office high atop one of the BIG 5 publishing houses. Both they and their stockholders are worried by the ever-increasing number of indie-author e-book offerings that are priced roughly 66% lower than what the BIG 5 would like to be selling their e-books for. Pictures begin to coalesce in their mind . . .

They must go.

There are too many of them to kill . . . unless we could get them all in one place . . . Nah, we’d never get away with it, and the hit-squad required would make the venture cost prohibitive.
What if we created sites to take a pile of money from indie-authors using our industry people? Then, what if our people were somehow able to convince them that making NO money from publishing was a step in the right direction for their careers?
If they were all disheartened and broke, would they quit?
“Jane, get in here. I need you to take a memo.”

pexels-photo-206527.jpegYou may want to sit down and be drunk, or high, or both for these next few facts . . . this from a guy whose book takes a tough stance on escapism. What a fracking hypocrite!

According to statistics:

  • The average book will sell less than 250 copies. As soon as mine hits 251, I’m outa-here. I will be able to hold my head high and be able to boastfully state: I was an above average success as an indie-author. Whoever I am bragging to does not need to know the truth of it.
  • Each year there are more than 600,000 new books published to help to bury yours.
  • Each year the aging segment of the populace that still buys and reads full-length books shrinks a little more. Even novellas are a bit long for some younger readers. Enter the novelette.

The wealthy retired baby-boomers won’t last forever so if you are going publish a meaningful book, you had better hurry.

pexels-photo-221164.jpeg“What about groups and events on social media sites?
Won’t they help us reach readers?”

I would be lying if I said no, but we must put a VALUE on each of those based on our time spent preparing as well as the time spent on the activity. It goes to optimizing your time and the most PROFITABLE use of your time. If you won’t work for under $10.00 per hour anywhere else, why would you on social media?

In marketing:
COST vs. RETURN = VALUE

  • COST: whether expressed as hours devoted or in dollars, quatloos, whatever.
  • RETURN: your royalties.
  • VALUE: a measure of effectiveness expressed in PROFITS after deducting costs.

Yes, you read that right.

Your investment in marketing is supposed to sell at least enough of a product at a high enough gross profit to cover costs. Crazy, right? Would you stay with a Real-estate Agent who keeps telling you to lower your asking price until it’s lower than what you paid for your house? Sadly, some people will listen to so-called experts, but you are an author, ergo you is smart.

“But isn’t marketing expensive?”

So is that designer coffee you are drinking.

For about what you spend in a year on designer coffee (or tea or smoothies) from specialty shops, (+/- $5000.00) you can have a pretty solid book marketing plan that will not only begin to pay for your coffees again, but could do much more. It will depend on your reviews once the book is off and running.

If you self-publish or are published by a small press, make sure you have a marketing budget, however small, to get things rolling. Be aware, you must commit to your marketing plan for up to one year after your release, depending on whether your reviews warrant continuing.