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If you want to write a book or have one already that isn’t selling let me give you some insight. If you are doing it to make money then I have some sage advice from Thomas Edison.

This week I received a proof of two books I published through Amazon’s CreateSpace program. I am excited about it. It looks great. It was a side project that I had to do like a drug addict needs a fix. I gave up sleep and money I didn’t have to do this. The story is one of many I have in my head that needed to get out. A really good friend of mine who is also addicted to creating helped me make this happen.

Derek is a gifted writer that works great with me. He can do what I have trouble doing. Together with the concept, composition and design we have made two short stories called Solomon Love. I didn’t plan it but would love to make this a series.

I do hope also that I can find people that want to buy the book. In my dreams this will be a successful series that becomes a movie or graphic novel like The Walking Dead or Harry Potter.   Hope unfortunately is not a good plan.

When Tower Records and Borders bookstores closed I weeped. It is said that people did more looking than buying. As a writer I thought, “there goes another instance where what I do is not esteemed in my era”. The phrase ‘starving artist’ comes to mind. If nobody is buying books why should I write them? I write because I love doing it.

This is not the way of success.

Successful writers have a sales plan. Everything is selling. Just like with any product, you need to know how to sell it before you create it.

“I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others… I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.” Thomas Edison

Here’s what I learned.

I write about what I think is interesting and hope that other people find it interesting.

If you want to make money on your book you need know five things. to:

1. Who you’re going to sell it to.

2. Who the end user is (sometimes the buyer and reader are different).

3. What price point you’re going to set it at.

4. How you’re going to distribute it.

5. What you’re going to do to promote it.

The answers to these questions will help you write a book that people want to read. If it’s not marketable, it won’t sell.

I hired a sales coach that helped/hurt my feelings with almost everything he said to me. It helped me because I learned. It hurt because it made me realize how much time and money I have lost over the years.

I have come to realize also though that everything isn’t money. Sometimes you have to do things that make you happy. Writing does that for me.

Now that you know, what are you going to do?

My short stories are about a runaway slave that is “rescued” by a supernatural entity. He becomes immortal and hides in plain sight as a blues musician. His secret is uncovered when he becomes the target of a corrupt police officer and unleashes his dark side to protect himself. It also involves others and the world that was once the thing of myth becomes reality for those who encounter Solomon Love.

I hope you will take a gander at the book now available on Amazon.com / CreateSpace.

When is the last time you thought about helmets?

It’s riding season again for me. I’ve dusted and detailed my old 2005 motorcycle and bought new tires. Riding has been therapeutic. I scanned the shops for a new helmet and was surprised as the diversity and selection. There are even more online. And some of them look awesome but I wonder about the safety and practicality of them.

Look at the variety of choices you have:

  1.  Full Face
    Dual Sport
  2. Modular
  3. Open Face / ¾’s
  4. Shorty / Half Helmets
  5. Custom

 

I personally would like to have a helmet that looked like I was a member of the Predator alien planet. It looks fierce. It looks ready for battle. I might even try to create a device that I could fit a powerful flashlight or camera on my shoulder like the movie monster. My YouTube searched uncovered this company that does something from HJC helmets. http://rezzercustom

But here’s the deal on regular helmets. You are supposed to wear one to save your life in the advent you fall or have an accident riding. The cool factor is a sidebar.

These are supposedly been tested for: :

  1. Impact—The helmet’s shock absorbing capacity.
  2. Penetration—How well the helmet withstands hitting a sharp object.
  3. Retention—How well the chin strap can stay fastened without breaking.
  4. Peripheral vision—To pass, a helmet must allow minimum side vision of 105 degrees on each side.

It is the vision issue that I see with most of the “cool” helmets. And on the safety ratings you have to trust one of the four popular markings.

You should find some ratings on the helmet. Here’s what they mean.

  1. DOT – The United States Department of Transportation sets a minimum standard level of protection for helmets.
  2. ECE22.02 – The U.N. Economic Commission for Europe sets a standard level of protection for helmets in Europe.
  3. Snell2010 – A non-profit in the United States founded after the death of Pete Snell, a sports car racer who died from head injuries.

All helmets should include four basic components that make up their protection features, including:

The outer shell. -The outer-most layer of the helmet, this is usually made of fiber-reinforced composites, which will allow the material to contract during a hard impact. That will help lessen the blow of the force before it reaches your head.

  1. Impact-absorbing liner. -Usually made of Styrofoam or similar material, this layer continues to absorb shock and deflect the power of a hard hit away from your head.
  2. Comfort padding. -This is the layer that touches your head. It helps for comfort, but also ensures the helmet fits snuggly on your head.
  3. Retention system. – Also known as a chin strap. This piece will ensure the helmet stays on your head in the event of a crash.

Helmets typically range in weight from 1400 to 1800 grams. The key to weight is a properly fitting helmet so the weight is distributed evenly around your head and shoulders. Modular helmets often weigh more than a Full Face because of the apparatus installed to flip up the visor.

How Should it Feel?

Try the helmet on before using it. The helmet should sit squarely on your head with the top of the helmet’s eye port just above your eyebrows. A properly fitted motorcycle helmet will not go on easy at first but loosen slightly as it is broken in.

If the helmet moves or your fingers fit easily between your head and the helmet you’ll likely need a smaller size. The helmet should fit snug around your head and face with no pressure points. If desired, the check pads can then be adjusted for better fitting.

To further ensure your helmet is the best fit possible, look for these things after trying it on:

  • Cheek pads—They should touch your face without pressing too hard.
  • Gaps—Make sure there aren’t any between your temples and the brow pads.
  • Neck roll—If the helmet has one, it should not push the helmet away from the back of your head.
  • Chin piece—When pressing on this with full-face helmets, your face shield should not touch your nose or chin.

I understand the cool factor or riding with a particular helmet. I don’t get the no helmet or shorty, half helmet folks nor the ones that wear the plastic Nazi looking models. We only have one head. I know it gets hot but dang!

 

What’s your take on the helmet?

 

 

Did you know that there was a tax deductible organization dedicated to riding your motorcycle? A friend of mine started it.

The 25th annual worldwide Ride to Work Day is expected to be one of the largest-ever, according to Ride to Work, the non-profit organization that coordinates this annual event.

On Ride to Work Day a much higher number of America’s 8,000,000 cycles and scooters are ridden to work. Some estimates put the numbers of added riders at over 1,000,000. Across equal distances, commuting riders can reach their destinations more quickly—in up to 20% less time than those using automobiles in some situations—and motorcycles and scooters consume less resources per person per mile, and they take up less space on roads and in parking areas.

“Many people do not always appreciate the societally positive value of transportational riding, and some don’t know there are also a few hidden deleterious ramifications from having almost everyone default to private autos. Cars are wonderful machines, and we love them, but the reasons to ride, when one can, go beyond stuff like energy or carbon footprints” states Andy Goldfine, an event organizer.

This Day is about more than traffic congestion, motorcycles and economics. Winston Churchill famously said: “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” Other thought-leaders have presented or expressed the same idea in different ways. It applies to things beyond our homes and buildings. It’s about all technologies, including our mobility tools.
That’s why riding and the annual Ride To Work Day event is important. This Day is not narrowly about encouraging the wider adoption of transportational riding…it’s about increasing the understanding of—and tolerance for—those who choose this form of mobility, and about providing support and encouragement to those who like to ride in transportation-centric ways.

Ride to Work Day was inspired by “Work to Ride – Ride to Work'” marketing materials created between 1989 and 1991 by the Aero Design and Manufacturing Company, a Minnesota based manufacturer of motorcycle riders clothing. In 1992 these items inspired motorcycle magazine editor Fred Rau to write an editorial calling for a national ride to work day.

The first annual Ride to Work Day event was proposed in Road Rider magazine (now titled Motorcycle Consumer News) in the May 1992 issue. This is an excerpt from that “Ride to Work” editorial: “You may remember several months ago when Bob Carpenter, commenting in his ‘Two Up’ column, mentioned how neat he thought it would be if there was one day a year when everyone who owned a motorcycle used it to ride to work. That comment was prompted by a T-shirt produced by Aerostich RiderWear that simply said, ‘Work To Ride, Ride To Work.’ Everyone seemed to think that a national ‘Ride To Work’ day was one heck of a good idea.”

The first Ride to Work Day event date was July 22nd, 1992. For several years various motorcycle businesses informally promoted every third Wednesday in July as Ride To Work Day. These early advocates included Road Rider Magazine, Dunlop Tires, and Aerostich/Riderwearhouse. The event continued to grow as an informal grass roots demonstration every year until 2000. That year a non-profit organization, Ride to Work was formed to help organize and promote Ride to Work Day. The first Ride to Work Day event led by this group was the third Wednesday in July of 2001. This day was the annual day until 2008, when it was changed to the Third Monday In June. This change was made to climatically better accommodate riders world-wide, and to give more riders an opportunity to participate.

Ride to Work is a 501 c4 nonprofit, all-volunteer effort. Organizers include Andy Goldfine, Lynn Wisneski and Christine Holt. The Ride to Work website includes forum areas, merchandise, information, and free promotional support materials.

I used to have a rolling podcast called Motorcycle Radio but it has since podfaded/gone flat.

 

Security officers and law enforcement personnel

Are you tired of dropping your cell phone at work? I have cracked my share of screens. I don’t know about you. I hate carrying my phone in my pocket. At times it’s the only place but it is not the best place. For a security officer that has a Sam Brown belt (gun belt) the best place for that expensive device we can’t live without is on the belt. The problem with that is that those cheap plastic clips that come with the cases we pay too much for are too small or weak to stay on the belt.

I commissioned a holster company to make one for my super large iPhone 7Plus that fits perfectly on my belt and matches my other equipment.

You can have the same thing if you want for cheaper than a case you don’t use anymore.

If you are interested in getting a 100% leather case for your phone that will fit on your gun belt like it was meant to be there, contact me now at kenn.blanchard@gmail.com and tell me the type of phone you have. I might be able to get you one for $40.

I’ve tried dozens of cases and most of the leather ones have cheap elastic on the sides and the stitching doesn’t hold up. You know the crap they sell in police shops that comes from China?

Order yours today, using the form below. It’s from a US company (Friends of ours) that I know. Or email me back with your details or if you need some more information.

I’m trying to help a friends company.


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