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Cliff Burns's Blog

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I admit it:  I'm terrible when it comes to promoting my books. As an indie author/publisher, that can lead to some awkward mental exchanges: Publisher:  (plaintively) Can't we do something to raise your profile? Author:  (firmly) The work should speak for itself. Publisher:  But...
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The demise of western movies is a sad, if inevitable result of a culture that has lost contact with its past, the landscape that surrounds and defines us, and the proud, independent spirit that allowed settlers to overcome monstrous odds and forge a nation. In a recent post on my film blog I...
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I suppose it's the closest to an actual birth experience I'll ever get. Yesterday the proof of my new book arrived, a western titled The Last Hunt.  Now, this isn't the first book I've published, this is something like number ten, including chapbooks and what have you.  But I have to say...
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"The Last Hunt"
Anxious days around the Burns residence of late. Nervously awaiting the arrival of the proof of my new book, plus I've arranged for Kindle and e-book versions to be released and, naturally, there are the usual chores that accompany a pending book release, including promo, distribution, shipping,...
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I spent all morning messing around with the formatting for the first 20 pages of my novel of the Old West, The Last Hunt.  I thought it would be a simple thing to carve out a section, slap it into a Word document, save it as a PDF... Unfortunately, I'm useless with computers and ended up...
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I get a daily update on the state of the book publishing biz from "Galleycat" and quite often they include book sale figures. The news on that front is always depressing.  I think a story from yesterday's news feed indicated that mass market paperback sales are down nearly 41% from a year ago...
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I wrapped up my western novel The Last Hunt, although not without a little last minute tweaking. My perfectionism is, I think, eventually going to drive me to the looney bin and politely escort me inside. Always trying for the perfect book, right down to the last semi-colon...or maybe two dashes...
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Still experimenting with my tiny new Kodak "PlayFull" video camera. The other day I spent a few happy hours shooting footage of my bookshelves and then narrating and recording a short essay on my love of books, the crucial and, yes, life-saving role the printed word has played in my life. I've...
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My wife recently bought me a palm-sized video camera, the Kodak "PlayFull".  Her timing is impeccable--Kodak just announced they're seeking bankruptsy protection. That venerable old firm getting left in the technological dust by its competitors. Fighting for its survival.  How the mighty...
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Finally in the stretch run, nearly done my new western novel, The Last Hunt, and though I have developed a great deal of affection for the cast of characters, I have to say, once it's finished and off to the printer, I won't be shedding any tears. It's not the novel's fault--it features a genuinely...
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I can  happily say that last year I succeeded at the "100 Book Challenge", though not with the margin of error I'd expected.  Ended up reading 105 books in 2011, the last one being Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson. In 2012, I'm concentrating on BIG books:  fat, weighty tomes...
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I completely empathize with the sentiment that being a writer is great, it's the actual writing part that's a pain in the ass. In case I'm not stating the obvious, writing is hard work. It's supposed to be. It goes with the pain of giving birth to something original, something that didn't exist...
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I've co-written a song with my friend, Laird Brittin. I think I was channeling the spirit of Charlie Louvin or Johnny Cash when I scribbled this little ditty.  Then I handed the lyrics to Laird and the arrangement he came up with was nothing less than magical. I've posted the song over at my...
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That's right, a literate, original science fiction novelette (10,000 words) for less than the price of most silly apps. "Eyes in the Sky" is now available on Kindle--and you don't need one of those fancy-shmancy devices to read it.  You can also download the software free from Amazon and read...
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Every time November rolls around the pretenders and wannabe writers haul out their "Twilight" pencil cases and "Harry Potter" binders and vow to commence work on their literary masterpiece.  The one they have on their head.  The one that would be an instant bestseller...if they could just...
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