As reported in my last marketing update post, I had expected several more agreed upon reviews to have come in by now. For whatever the reasons, they have not. Rather than getting discouraged by dwelling on that disappointment, I prefer to reflect on the positive. The first review I received on “Odes On Ali: A Tribute to the Greatest” was from Readers’ Favorite reviewer Jack Magnus. In addition to a five star rating, he wrote a great review capped off with, “Odes On Ali: A Tribute to the Greatest is an original and most impressive book of sports writing and an outstanding collection of poetry all at once. It’s most highly recommended.” The review was thorough and highly complimentary. I could not have expected or asked for a better review. However, a few days later, I received email notification from Readers’ Favorite that I had some additional commentary from Mr. Magnus on my author page on their website. The note told me that this was not part of the formal review but I was free to use any or all of the comments for marketing purposes if I so desired. I have not shared Mr. Magnus’ additional comments to this point, but I hope he doesn’t mind that I do so now.
“And they say poetry is dead… your verses are marvelous! I spent a number of years studying the action scenes in Tennyson’s Idylls of the King and was quite impressed with how you imparted action into your verse. A modern classic! Bravo!”
If that doesn’t entice a lover of the written word to want read a copy of my book I don’t know what will. It makes me want to read it again, and I’ve already read it more times than I can remember. To have your work mentioned in a sentence alongside Tennyson is more than any writer could ever imagine. I am truly humbled and ever grateful to Mr. Magnus for his additional words. I want to thank him again for far exceeding this writer’s expectations in his review of my work.
You can read the entire review by Mr. Magnus at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/odes on ali
Next to the great one himself, I believe it’s safe to say that no one had a more vital role in the success of Ali’s ring career than trainer Angelo Dundee. After winning his pro debut, Ali signed on to be managed by a group of Louisville businessmen. They dispatched him off to Miami Beach to be trained by Dundee at the Fifth Street Gym. If not for Dundee’s composure and quick thinking on two significant occasions early on, Ali may have never been heavyweight champion of the world. The first occurred during his bout against Henry Cooper in London. While easily outpointing Cooper, the young fighter was caught flush by a looping left hook and went down hard. He managed to beat the count but Dundee could tell he was still out. He knew the one minute rest period would not be sufficient recovery time. Seeing a loose thread on the thumb of one glove, he tugged on it to expose the padding. He called the referee over and pointed to the damaged mitt. The referee was forced to send for a replacement which bought Ali ample time to recover. By the time the next round got started, he was fully recovered and proceeded to make quick work of finishing off Cooper. If Ali had lost to Cooper, his chance for a title shot would have vanished. Instead, the win led to the fight against champion Sonny Liston in which the other opportunity for Dundee to come to the rescue took place. Ali came out dancing circles around Liston for the first few rounds. His movement had the wild-swinging champ missing everything. His piston-like jab and quick combinations left Liston swollen and cut up. Whether it was the cut medicine on Sonny’s face or the liniment on his aching limbs, something found its way into Ali’s eyes. Ali was temporarily blinded and suffered severe stinging in both eyes. Dundee’s attempt to clear the eyes with water and a sponge only made it worse. The panic-stricken young fighter demanded Dundee cut off the gloves and stop the fight. Dundee knew Liston himself was on the verge of being beaten. He also knew if Ali quit, Liston wouldn’t give him another shot. So Dundee pushed Ali off the stool and told him to just move around until his eyes cleared. By the end of the round they had, and by the end of the next round Liston had quit on his stool. Seeing now how long it took him to get another title shot after losing to Frazier, it’s easy to speculate on the potential detriment to Ali’s career either loss would have had. Given his irritatingly brash braggadocio and his controversial religious and political views, he may have been frozen out of any further title contention consideration. But thanks to the calm and quick thinking Angelo Dundee, potential disaster was avoided, and the rest is history.
As mentioned in the previous post, ODES ON ALI: A Tribute To The Greatest has recently received another 5-star review on Amazon. The reviewer in part wrote:
“I loved this book and even if you aren’t interested in sports consider reading this book.”
You can the entire review on Amazon at hhtp://www.amazon.com/dp/B016VJFP76
Also Odes On Ali is being featured in this week’s Author Spotlight on publisher BookFuel’s social media sites.
You’re a great writer. You write a great book. Your subject is a universally loved figure who is the greatest boxer of all times. The book gets a few great reviews. And most who have read it thus far have had great things to say about it. It should be flying off the online shelves. The orders should be pouring in hot and heavy. Right? Well, unfortunately, it isn’t and they aren’t. Why not? What went wrong? Do you want the truth? Can you handle the truth? Well, the truth is nothing is necessarily wrong. You have just joined hundreds of thousands of other authors in vying for the attention of the book buying readers world-wide. There is a vast sea of book offerings for readers to select from. The publishing giants’ resources and bookstore shelves are mostly reserved for the serial best-sellers and celebrity affiliated offerings. Marketing a book is a full time job. And for self-published writers, it is one that is an absolute necessity. (For some reason the term necessary evil seems more appropriate.) Which is why I find myself now spending more time trying to increase my social media presence and chasing more book reviews than actually writing. Unless, of course, you count banging out these blog posts. For years, I wrote and sold articles, entered various writing contests, and published individual pieces online. But I never took the time to build a social media presence. For me, it was just sort of the old cart and horse debate. Here again, that old necessary evil adage comes to mind. So, like it or not, I’m having to play catch up now. Otherwise, how is anyone out there going to know you or your book even exist? Since my last marketing update post there’s been no activity to report from my continued efforts. A number of reviews and website mentions I had been expecting to receive didn’t come to fruition. Hopefully, some of them will come through at a later date. The good news is things appear to now be slowly taking a turn for the better. My twitter presence has steadily increased, and continues to do so. Last month, my blog was included in the sports section of the RealBrock Daily Telegram on @RealBrock. I have received a few plugs for my book from a couple of twitter followers. I recently did an interview about my book on THECRAZYMIND.COM that is being featured on twitter, facebook, tumblr, scoop.it, and stumble upon. I am also getting social media promotion for “ODES ON ALI” from SHOUT my Book on their website, twitter and facebook pages. In addition, I just received another 5 star review on Amazon. So, things are looking up. Just have to keep at it. Onward and upward!
Last week as the world was saying final good-byes the G.O.A T. Muhammad Ali, we lost another sports all-time great. The legendary Gordie Howe passed away at the age of eighty-eight. Gordie Howe was known as Mr. Hockey which clearly and simply states his place in the game’s history. The great Wayne Gretzky, whom many consider the greatest, declared Howe the greatest ever. What more needs to be said. Well, for those who may need more, let’s look at the stats. Howe played 25 yrs for the Detroit Red Wings. They won 4 Stanley Cups. Howe was the NHL’s top scorer 6 times, the 6 time MVP, and played in a record 23 All-Star games. In 1971, he retired from the Red Wings as the NHL all-time leading scorer. He returned to hockey in 1973, at the age of 45, when he signed on to play in the newly formed NHL rival WHA. He came back to play along side two of his sons, Mark and Marty. Playing for the Houston Aeros, Howe led his team to the first of 2 consecutive league championships and was named the WHA MVP. Howe returned to the NHL in 1980 to play one last season with the Hartford Whalers. At the age of 52, he scored 41 points in that final season before again retiring from hockey. Gordie Howe was not just a scoring machine. He was a tough, top-notch, all-around player who gave or asked for no quarter. The scoring of a goal, an assist, and getting into a fight in the same game is known as a Gordie Howe hat trick. Because Howe gave as good or better than he got, he only picked up 3 Gordie Howe hat tricks during his entire playing career. Clearly, the times anyone messed with Gordie Howe were few and far between. Remarkably, at the age of 69, Gordie Howe took the ice one last time with the IHL’s Detroit Vipers for a single shift. In doing so, Howe became the only player to play in six different decades. To this day, Howe remains second, behind only Gretzky, on the all-time goal scoring list. For all of the above and more, Gordie Howe is hockey’s all-time greatest player. RIP Gordie Howe.