Thursday, May 13, 2010

Welcome Lloyd Kaneko

You are the World's LUCKIEST blog-readers... you know WHY? Bk Marketing (the sponsor of this blog tour) has sponsored a PRIZE for a randomly selected commenter on today's blog... PLUS, my GUEST is putting all commenters on his TOUR into a pot to win something from HIS book marketing (at least a book, but he talked about sweetening the pot)--so YOU have two chances to WIN stuff! (details on the BK prize at the bottom. At the MOMENT, I am thrilled to welcome Lloyd Kaneko

A Little About Me

I was born on April 11, 1951 in a quaint hospital in the Boyle Heights District of East Los Angeles but eventually spent most of my youth in the suburbs of Los Angeles in the city of Monterey Park, just nine miles east of downtown.

I attended Montebello High school where I was first exposed to creative writing and, perhaps, were I was inspired to become a writer during my sophomore year. After graduating high school, I enrolled a community college as an engineering major but had a terrible time with mathematics. So, when I transferred to California State University, Long Beach, I changed my major. In 1974, I received my bachelor of arts degree in Creative Writing, but spent most of my professional career as a technical writer in computer systems training and human resources development.

While at Cal State, I attended screenwriting classes offered by the Writers Guild of America, West.

Immediately upon graduation from college, I started a screenplay project, got writer’s block and it shelved for over 30 years. My beginnings as a writer was that of a journalist writing for special trade newspapers and travelling the country to special events. While still occasionally writing as a journalist, my technical writing skills became more in demand in industry. Eventually, I was laid off later in my career and unemployed for over four years. While health issues started to pile up, I developed a case of chronic renal failure and was placed on long-term disability. Essentially, this put me into retirement at a very young age, but allowed my creative writing opportunities to come into fruition.

I tried to resume writing the screenplay which had been collecting dust for over 30 years, but it led to a dead-end. Then, I decided to write the novel in earnest. I’d have to admit, recent historical issues and events heavily influenced the story. Much of it just didn’t exist or happen over 30 years ago – especially the stuff that dealt with politics and international relations.

After completing the book, I followed the traditional path of seeking a literary agent and a mainstream publisher. But after a while, this led to another dead-end. I decided to take the self-publishing route beginning by publishing electronically through Smashwords in September 2009. In March 2010, the book was released as a trade paperback through Wordclay.

During my most recent experiences, I have judged screenplays for the Honolulu International Film Festival, Mexico International Film Festival, Canadian International Film Fesival, and the Las Vegas International Film Festival.

About Kami Jin

Kami Jin is a tale of two worlds according to the diary of A. Gordon Sakata II of the 23rd Century. Gordon records an era of despair and misery on Earth as life in the Republic of North America includes a jobless rate of 95%. People are homeless: poverty and starvation is global and governments around the world are ineffective in solving the crisis. Corporations have taken over governments, taken away the basic rights of citizens such as freedom of speech and expression and have replaced many people with droids and robots. Citizens of nations who once lived comfortably in homes, now struggle to survive in streets lined with cardboard condos. When war breaks out, Earth finally meets its doom, but through the miracle of time travel, it is given a second chance. Gordon is saved and taken to a utopian planet mirroring Earth’s orbit. There, inhabitants are treated equally: poverty, homelessness and starvation are non-existent, and everyone is paid $25-million annually in universal life credits by the Universe, regardless of social status. The quality of health care and education is next to none. Inhabitants’ brains are so advanced that they travel by merely willing themselves to their destination, rather than using conventional vehicles, yet, they do not manufacture any weapons of any kind. The world is one planet, one nation. Gordon vows to right a sinking ship – at least provide hope for the disadvantaged of the world. He returns to Earth to fulfill his life’s promise.

How I got there?

Wasn’t easy! My path to publishing wasn’t exactly straight and narrow!

As I mentioned before, I started out going through what I thought was the traditional route. That is, seeking out and working with a literary agency. I had a rough time at first. I sent inquiry letters out and received a lot of rejections. Then I answered an advertisement on the internet from an agency which looked legitimate. So I entered into a one-year contract with the understanding that I would have my manuscript either edited by their service or that I would seek editing on my own. I opted for the later since it was the less expensive route.

I though the agent was doing a good job. They referred me to a publisher whom I later found out had a relationship with the literary agency. When I conducted a further background investigation into the agency and their affiliates, to say the least, the results of my research were not very satisfying. Not only was the agency under investigation by a state attorney general’s office, but they were also suspected of unethical practices. The publishing company was not a traditional publisher that offered an advance. No, they offered a subsidy publishing package because they felt the book suitable enough for their other publishing line. And, my portion of the investment was rather sizeable. During this process, I have been approached by several subsidy publishing houses. And they’ve run the entire spectrum. Essentially, it was very little in terms of author’s royalties, and more in terms of startup and investment costs.

After a year, I quietly let the contract expire after giving the agency a 30-day notice that I was not intending to renewing the contract agreement. This is when my entrepreneurial skills as a small business owner kicked in. I started to take on the role of agent myself.

First I wrote inquiry letters to more reputable literary agencies, but I gave them a time limit. After that time, I decided to self-publish the book. For exposure, I came across Smashwords where I was able to publish the book electronically for free. This would at least be a jump start for the book’s exposure. My only mistake was, I didn’t actively market the book myself. Sales were dismal.

My next step was to publish the book as a trade paperback. My original intent was to do this within a couple of months after publishing the e-book. I looked at Wordclay, which was recommended by Smashwords, and had uploaded my manuscript to them in September 2009 when I was approached by anther publisher that expressed interest in the book. I put that edition on hold and waited for over 6 months for a reply. I received neither a follow-up reply nor a rejection. So after deciding that the publisher was no longer interested in the book, I decided to proceed with the book through Wordclay in March 2010. I proofed the book once again and noted more things to fix. So I uploaded a new corrected manuscript to them assuming that the corrected version was going to be used as the “official” edition. After I uploaded my manuscript, I immediately placed an order for 11 copies for myself.

In April, when I received my copies, I noted that the changes that I had made to the book were not included in the book. I looked at the date of the book and September 2009 appeared – not March 2010, the most recent edition. Too late, however, books had been released to Amazon and Barnes and Noble with the September 2009 date. Wordclay never bothered to check with me which version was correct. They just went ahead and used the earlier version.

So after I brought this to their attention, they were willing to make the changes to the book. And since there were additional changes to be made, a small galley correction fee had to be paid – by me. So, one word of advice if you are thinking about self-publishing – make sure your manuscript is in pristine condition before submitting your book for publication. This will save a lot of headaches down the road.

My second advice – don’t respond to ads by literary agencies over the internet. Do your homework diligently. Seek out and work only with reputable agencies and publishers. Use common sense business practices and get recommendations and referrals. Join writers groups in your area.

Do you have any upcoming events?

If you are in the San Francisco area on Saturday, June 12, and Sunday, June 13, stop by Bastet’s Kindle at 1501 Irving Street (located between 16th Ave. and 17th Ave), San Francisco, CA 94122. I will be speaking and signing books at this unique, eclectic shop. Store hours on the weekend are from 12:00 Noon to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call (415) 731-2723.

Where may we find you at?

People may find me at my website at
I am also hosting an art contest there where participants can win prizes based on voter popularity. The contest runs through July 31.

Artists can join me on my networking site at I invite artists of all types (illustrators, singers, performing artists, screenwriters, etc.) to join us there. I also have a sister blog to that where people can follow my showcase at

Are you on Facebook, Twitter, or Myspace?

I guess you might say, I’m all over the internet:

I invite people to join my fan page on Facebook:

or become my friend at:

I’m also on Twitter as:

And, I cannot forget MySpace at:

Also, I’m also at the following other places:
Book Marketing Network:
Authors Supporting Authors:

And finally, not to forget about where to find my book:
The paperback edition may be purchased through Wordclay at:

The e-book edition may be purchased through Smashwords at:

The book is also available through:

and other international online outlets.

And About Those PRIZES...

The ONE will be awarded from Lloyd at the end of his tour and EVERYONE who comments goes into the pool.

The OTHER will be awarded to one of TODAY'S commenters if you could PLEASE also Tweet, Facebook share, or link on your blog EITHER about this post, my blog, or the blog book tour, and it totally on the honor system—I trust you. Just mention in the comment what you've done and you're IN.  And what writer geek WOULDN'T love a journal and reading/writing light?!  (for those dreams you have to get down NOW, eh?)

See... I TOLD YOU you were lucky!


Fire and Ice said...

Well, I for one would love a journal and a booklight! I will definately repost this on my Facebook!

I love when you have guest bloggers, Hart. It opens me up to other things to read! This looks very interesting and its one I would definately read.

I love hearing the stories of how other Authors came to writing, and how they worked to get published. it gives me hope for my originals.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great story! Like Fire and Ice, I like to hear stories about how other writers journeyed to publication. Thanks for sharing!

B. Miller said...

Nice! I really love the premise for this book. I wanna live in the Earthlike Utopia! It's interesting how much the blog-o-sphere has been talking about dystopias and utopias lately.

Thanks for sharing your long road to publication. I guess it just proves that we can do what we want to, with the right amount of dedication!

BTW, I'm tweeting a link to this entry on my Twitter... I'm @bmillerfiction if you'd like to verify.

Hart, thanks for hosting Lloyd today!

Hart Johnson said...

Thank you friends for stopping by. Lloyd, the book DOES sound very interesting, and your publishing story has a fair number of lessons for us (sorry you had to learn those the hard way!) but it sure helps US to know what to look for. I know ONE thing as a minimum bar, is to search under Predators and Editors to make sure you don't work with anyone on their warning list, but yes... probably agencies looking for YOU, you need to be very cautious of (though with it released online for free, I can see how they might convince you that you SOLD them on you...

Arlee Bird said...

Wow, Lloyd grew up close to where I live now.

Very interesting information about seeking representation and self-publishing--all very useful for any of us in a similar boat to know.

And the book sounds very fascinating. Quite a bleak world that sometimes seems where we might be heading. Then the time travel twist definitely catches my attention.

Good luck Lloyd and, Hart, thanks for sharing this with your readers.


LloydK said...

Thank you everybody for your comments. It was a real learning expereince for me personally. As I was writing the book, I gained a lot of valuable insights about issues that I am concerned about. Then outside of the book, I've learned my lessons on self-publishing. Would I do it agian? Without a doubt!

Arnold said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Hart Johnson said...

Lee and Lloyd --thank you! Glad you both stopped by!

And Alena-welcome! I love to hear people are reading and enjoying! I maybe should warn you my insanity is slightly contagious, but it's all good!

Sugar said...

I missed this yesterday.. I was on my death bed..ok not that bad..but it felt like it..
I'm commenting now though :)
He is so cute, he reminds me of my old gym teacher in H.s....I know..cute isn't the greatest description..but you get muh brain cells still aren't fully functioning..
*was lookin for some nakey pics..but I can wait..*