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MF GALAXY

MF GALAXY is a weekly podcast powered by four mighty engines: * Writers on writing: the craft and the business * Pop culture including TV, movies, graphic novels, and more * Progressive politics, activism, and social enterprise * Africentric change-makers, histories, cultures, art, and more! Mixing brand-new interviews with classic conversations (from my archive of 23 years in broadcasting) with famous and dynamic figures in the arts, Hollywood, and politics, MF GALAXY will take you to places you've never been before, and deliver fresh insights on the places you've been.
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Now displaying: December, 2015
Dec 22, 2015

Last fall I was one of the guests of honour at Pure Spec, one of E-Town’s most important conventions, and because I was giving a talk, I missed a session that people were raving about. They said that an indie author who’d had major sales was handing out her success secrets for free!

Being an indie author myself and also very, very cheap, I immediately cursed myself for having missed such an excellent chance, and then remembered, Dude, you’ve got a podcast! You can ask anybody for anything!

So I asked Krista D. Ball to tell me and thus you how she went from a low-selling epic fantasy series to being able to pay her mortgage from book sales.

Krista Ball is not only a charming and delightful interviewee, she’s also the author of 13 novels and novellas including the Spirit Caller series, the Historical Writing Guides Series, First (wrong) Impressions, and Limelight.

In today’s episode of MF GALAXY, she tells us:

  • How she boosted her sales from nearly zero to clearly hero
  • The importance of starting a mailing list, and what service to run that list
  • Setting up your Author Central page on Amazon
  • The sweet spot for pricing ebooks, when to throw a discount on them, and why
  • What “supported sales” are, and why you need them
  • How and why to make boxed sets and bundles of ebooks
  • The importance of cover design and where and how to commission one, and
  • Why it pays authors to have one of their books bundled with those of six other writers even though the entire bundle will be sold for only 99 cents

Krista Ball spoke with me by Skype on November 25, 2015. During our conversation she cites E-Town author Eileen Bell, author of Seeing the Light and The First Circle, and I cite E-Town author Wayne Arthurson, author of the Leo Desroches mystery novels.

I began by asking Krista to reveal her strategies for how an indie author can sell more books.

 

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If you’re looking for awesome audiobook enjoyment, visit my Minister Faust is Creating Audiobooks page on Patreon. Tomorrow, December 23, 2015, episode 2 of The Coyote Kings, Book One: Space-Age Bachelor Pad goes live with one solid hour of entertainment, plus bonus features!

Dec 15, 2015

Political Scientist Michael Parenti is a tireless activist-academic who has taught at many colleges and universities inside and outside the United States. He is a celebrated lecturer whose humour and anecdotes have delighted audiences across the world, in person and via broadcast.

Hundreds of his articles have appeared in scholarly journals, political periodicals, and popular magazines and newspapers. Michael Parenti is author of more than 20 books on the power of media, political elites, the wealthy, and US imperialism. His writings have been translated into 17 languages and include:

  • Profit Pathologies and Other Indecencies
  • The Face of Imperialism, and
  • To Kill a Nation, The Attack on Yugoslavia

His 2003 history The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People’s History of Ancient Rome received a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize. Kirkus Reviews calls it “savagely entertaining ... history at its most provocative.”

Way back in 2003, the Parkland Institute in cooperation with the University of Alberta Students’ Union Revolutionary Speakers Series hosted Dr. Michael Parenti at the Myer Horowitz Theatre. He joined me at CJSR studios for conversation about:

  • The reasons why establishment historians have hidden the full story of Julius Caesar for more than 2000 years
  • Who the Roman population really were, regardless of the slurs cast by elite historians
  • The pro-democracy struggle of ancient Romans against the elitists who assassinated Caesar and those who provided ideological cover for it such as Cicero and Cato, and
  • The striking parallels between the political crisis of ancient Rome and the modern United States

 

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Dec 8, 2015

Janine Jackson is the program director of FAIR, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, which produces the nationally-syndicated weekly radio show CounterSpin that uncovers bias in US corporate journalism.

Her articles have appeared in sources such as In These Times, and she frequently contributes articles on media, racist coverage, and labour struggle to FAIR’s magazine Extra! She’s also testified before a US Senate subcommittee that funds the American network PBS.

In today’s episode of MF GALAXY, Jackson discusses:

  • How FAIR and CounterSpin pick the stories to investigate about where corporate media got it wrong or didn’t get it at all
  • Why the people at FAIR and CounterSpin object to being called “journalists”
  • The reasons why US media stopped reporting about the US bomber who killed Canadian troops
  • Why corporate news censors itself
  • How US corporate news made the case for torture, and
  • Why right-wing cranks dominate US talk radio and whether US radio progressives need to change their game

We spoke at the offices of FAIR in Manhattan in the summer of 2002, for an episode of my old radio show The Terrordome that ran on CJSR FM88 the following October.

A few notes: in the second half of the episode I refer to peace-keeping forces, but while asking about Canadian soldiers during Canada’s war against Afghanistan. They and the occupation troops that followed were definitely not peace-keepers on a mission, but soldiers at war.

Also, I refer to TV host Bill Maher as having lost his career. Back in 2001, Maher lost his show for disputing George W. Bush’s characterisation of the 9-11 hijackers as “cowardly,” because in Maher’s estimation, no matter how evil the attack was, a suicide bombing, unlike launching cruise missiles from more than 3000 km away, was not cowardly. Maher, of course, got another TV show, moved further right, and has enjoyed an endless stream of money ever since.

Finally, our discussion of torture took place two years before the revelations of systematic American torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

To hear the extensive archive of CounterSpin episodes, visit FAIR.org and click on the CounterSpin links, or search for the podcast on iTunes.

 

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To hear bonus content from my conversation with Janine Jackson, visit mfgalaxy.org to click on the Patreon link to become a sponsor for a dollar or more per week.

By funding MF GALAXY, you get access to all extended editions of the show, plus video excerpts from selected interviews as they become available. Today’s bonus content includes Janine Jackson discussing:

  • Michael Moore and Jim Hightower
  • Right-wing TV hosts Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, and why CounterSpin hosts seemed to take particular delight in exposing the inanities of right wing 20/20 reporter Jon Stossel
  • The effects of identity politics on left journalism years before the popularization of the term “intersectionality”
  • The revolutionary political potential of labour-owned media on the scale of a national newspaper or network
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