Tag Archives: media

An Interstate Ghost Story: The 4 W’s of Excitement and Intrigue!

Girl on the Highway Cover

Thousands of people eagerly await the release of An Interstate Ghost Story:  The Girl on the Highway, my horror novel that has been a long time in the coming and is now only perhaps halfway through the development process.  But I simply cannot rush this one out before it is ready for ULTIMATE SUCCESS!  I’ve done it once before and was entirely unsatisfied with the result.

But what I can do is give you bits and pieces of valuable information that will surely whet your appetite as the impending day creeps forward!  In doing so, I submit to you the most revealing look at The Girl on the Highway yet:  The 5 W’s of Excitement and Intrigue!

I will blog five articles, each written on a weekly basis through the month of April.  They will be titled as follows:

  1. April 9:  Who is the Ghost, and Who Seeks Her?
  2. April 16:  What Expectations Exist from the Story of “The Girl on the Highway”?
  3. April 23:  Approximately When Will the Book Hit the Shelves?
  4. April 30:  Where in the Real World Does this Haunt Occur?

I have but three (huge, to me; small, for you) favors to ask in all of this.  Please help this most humble writer in getting the word out and creating even more excitement than I could ever hope to do on my own.  My family and I are coming to depend upon my writing more and more as my disability (degenerative disc disease in my neck) worsens, continuing to threaten my ability to work in physically-demanding environments.  There simply are not enough well-paying administrative positions available here in Alabama.  Thus, I simply ask:

  1. Please engage with your fellow friends and followers on Social Media.  If you are reading this on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, please hit the back button and send this link to your Wall, Retweet it, or Share it in whatever most creative way possible to everyone you know.  And please help me sell this novel!  Put your own spin on the excitement.  If you can do this, my family and I will be most grateful to you and very happy to see that there are still good people in the world who reach out to help others.  I also wish to thank my wife, brother, and sister for being my most engaging followers to date!
  2. Please engage with me on my own social media.  I am on Facebook:   http://tinyurl.com/zw6ubws ;  I am on  Google+:  http://tinyurl.com/jfm6hdy ;  I am on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/phil_writer ;   I am on Instagram:  http://tinyurl.com/gwlueby ;  And finally, I am on Pinterest:  http://tinyurl.com/z9p4hb9 .   Please comment too!  I am thankful for all the “Likes” and “Thumbs-Ups” I have been getting.  But sometimes it is fun to hear comments and answer questions as well.  Note:  Because WordPress obviously runs on a sub-standard engine, some of the links are not clickable above.  But feel free to right-click on them for a clickable link.
  3. Finally, please support me by buying my books, right now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and about to be released on Smashwords, Kobo, and various others.  I also occasionally mark down my work to create more of a Win-Win environment for all involved.  By keeping up with me on Social Media, you will always be the first to know of these fabulous opportunities.

Please enjoy this journalistic look at what is shaping up to be my most promising and defining literary work to date!  And God bless all of you!

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15 of the Coolest Ways to Enjoy Christmas!

santa phil

Well, Christmas is upon us!  It’s that special time of year that is both joyful and stressful.  We enjoy the festivity but sometimes get lost in the tedium of trying to get everything ready for that very special day we only celebrate once a year.  Most of the time, it is best to get started early.  Some people even shop clearance after Christmas so that they can save time, money, and trouble for the same big day the following year.

You probably don’t need some lame writer to tell you how to enjoy Christmas, but I just figured that maybe you could get some good ideas from some of these rituals that have been tried and trued by myself and many others.  These are the best ways of which I know, listed from average to best:

  1. Watch the Spending:  Everything that follows will be next to impossible to enjoy if you forecast the storm of debt coming around the corner of New Year’s Day.  If you are severely challenged in the financial department, consider looking online for gifts that can be created in crafts.  If you have a moderate income, consider one big/semi-big gift and several other small gifts (like those purchased from a dollar store) for each member of the family.
  2. Travel Safe As Necessary:  No one in your family is going to have a very merry Christmas if they are attending your funeral.  And speeding tickets and other moving violations won’t exactly help your Christmas budget.  So plan your travel wisely and put plenty of focus on preparing for the trip.  Check your oil, tires, all other fluids, and have an emergency kit handy in your vehicle (they normally have important items like bottled water, a flashlight, a blanket, and other key items of importance in the event that your car breaks down.
  3. Kindness to Others:  The best example of this can be seen in the movie “A Christmas Carol” after Scrooge’s transformation.  Simply treat people the way you like to be treated if not better.
  4. Send Out Christmas Cards or E-Mails:   If you are traditional, send out Christmas Cards.  If you are sophisticated, then e-mail them.  The important thing here is to let your friends and loved ones know that you are thinking about them this Christmas.
  5. Dine and Drink Merrily:  Cookies and Milk, Rum and Eggnog, Gingerbread Houses, Turkey and Dressing, etc.  These are only a sampling of the many holiday staples to enjoy during the Christmas season.  Enjoy them while they are here for the season.
  6. Decorate the Inside and Outside of Your House:  If you have the extra money to invest, go ahead and get a mess-load of indoor and outdoor Christmas lights.  For indoors, things like light-up Christmas villages, cinnamon brooms, and manger scenes will serve to set up the mood of Christmas.  As for outdoors, don’t forget to hang a wreath on your door (If you are monetarily challenged, then this may be good enough for the outdoor decorations).  You can also put out some really cool things like light-up reindeer, large or light-up nativity scenes, etc.
  7. Make Your Own Christmas Ornaments with Your Kids and Trim the Tree:  You can invest however much money into this project as you want.  Probably the biggest things you will need are glue and glitter.  But you can go to crafts sections of various retailers to find any other materials you may want or need.  Or you may just want to pick up some pine cones off the ground outside.  The sky’s the limit!  And you will make memories that your children will remember forever.  And when the time comes to put up the tree, do so in full festivity!  Play some Christmas music and have everyone participate equally.  Do this often with your kids, and they will do the same with theirs.
  8. Celebrate with Friends and Family:  Accept any and every invitation to party Christmas style!  My wife and I used to accept invitations to Sunday school Christmas parties where we would all have a potluck dinner and play “Dirty Santa”.  Get together with friends and/or family and have a merry blast!
  9. Enjoy Christmas Media to the Fullest:  Come November every year, I’m all about some Christmas music!  I haven’t been actively watching Christmas movies and television shows.  But I plan to be more active this year.
  10. Proudly Tell People “Merry Christmas”:  …and never mind the liberal bastards or the non-Christian immigrants that get offended because they prefer “Happy Holidays”.  Our Nation was founded on Christianity.  If they don’t like it, they can get the hell out of the USA!  And don’t cave in to employers that want you to be “politically correct”.  Some things in our culture are worth taking a stand for.
  11. Christmas Lights:  My family and I always like to drive out to the wealthy neighborhoods and see the overly-decorated yards and houses.  It is always a wonder to behold.  The wealthy have more money to spend on decorations, Christmas lights, and the electricity to run it all.  They pay for you to be able to enjoy it, so enjoy it!  And play some Christmas music while you do so.  You may even want to take some pics with your smart-phone!
  12. Build Christmas Up for the Kids:  Some people don’t play along with the “Santa” legend with their kids, because they feel as though they are “lying” if they do so.  But it is no lie.  Santa DOES exist!  He exists in the hearts and minds of those who believe in him and carry on a time-honored tradition.
  13. Bible Reading:  Many people who own Bibles do not even read them.  But Christmas is perhaps the best single time to do so if you are one of them.  The first books of the New Testament detail the birth of Jesus for whom we truly celebrate Christmas.  I personally feel it is wisest for the whole family to do so.  Some reading this article may be atheists.  But I respect your right to not believe.  But as for me and my family, we do and always will.
  14. Read The Saint Who Stole Christmas:  You’d be doing me a personal favor by purchasing and reading my Christmas short story about the world’s most famous Saint who has to decide what he is going to do to save Christmas in a bad economy.  This e-book is only $2.99 on Amazon and comes in two editions, one for adults (The Off-Color Edition) and one for kids (The Children’s Edition).  I went to great lengths to include plenty of Christmas imagery and spirit.  I’ve heard from some of those who have read it that I was successful in creating a fine Christmas setting.  You can find out more about it and read the first section totally free on my Official Website.  Christmas Teaser
  15. Always Remember the True Reason for Christmas:  Even though Jesus really was not born on Dec. 25, this is the time of the year that we celebrate His birth.  The least we can do is remind our kids that the whole point of Christmas is not about receiving gifts, but in honoring our Lord and His birth.  We need to let them know why it all is so very important.  He made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us and gave us the gift of eternal life so long as we truly believe in Him and allow ourselves to be saved by Him.

These tips may not be useful for all of you, but hopefully all of you will find something of use here in.  I also wish you all the very best this Christmas season.  I wish you a very fine and safe holiday.  God bless all of you!

New Author Lessons Recently Learned

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There are so many lessons that I learned from writing, 2018: An Uncivil War, my very first book.  So, to list all of them probably cannot be done in just one sitting as I may remember some now and then remember more later after I posted this article.  Thus, I figure the best way to do so is to take the steps of being published and then list my valuable lessons in that particular order.  So here it is!  I hope you enjoy it and may feel informed if you are writing, may write, or even may have written a book:

Before Writing the Book:

  1. Decide Why You Are Writing the Book:  I had no problems with this one.  After seeing many attacks upon the Second Amendment from ignorant people and traitorous politicians, I knew that somebody had to write it.  And hopefully I beat every other writer to the punch!  Regardless of why you are writing the book, the most important advice I can give is to be sure that you are writing it for YOU!  Sure, you also want to consider your audience.  But your material has to be something that will keep you committed the entire time it takes to write and release your novel.
  2. Spend As Much Time As Possible Working Out the Plot:  I slipped up here when I wrote my first book.  But I learned an extremely valuable lesson that I am not about to repeat from my first book.  I was so excited about getting started on 2018 that I did not scrutinize every scene in my book the way I should have.  As a result, I ended up having to make all sorts of revisions to include removing a whole section of text and replacing it with something else.  And on top of this, I had to do other revisions that were affected by this change (e.g. references to the event in question, etc.).  Unfortunately, the edit that I made somehow left the last sentence of the chapter unfinished and not punctuated.  When a reader informed me of this, I was so embarrassed!  What makes it even worse is that this very same error made it into my printed books.
  3. Take Plenty of Time to Research Your Material:  This is one that I did not do, but mainly because I had already been doing it all along.  Because I was an avid watcher of Fox News, I was well aware of all the recent events affecting the Second Amendment.  So the only research I had to do was on Drone Technical Details and Modern Weaponry.  I actually did all of this research during the writing of my book.  It would have been better to have done it prior to the writing of the story…and even better if it had been done prior to finishing my plot details.
  4. Don’t Be Shy!  Interview Key People Who Can Make the Biggest Difference:  I had no problem with this whatsoever, having been a journalist for almost five years of my life.  However, this is another thing that would be better to have done prior to writing the plot of my book.  In a sense, interviews are a type of research.  You come out of it knowing more than you did when you first went in.  Many writers are scared to step out of their comfort zone and talk to key people who can make the greatest difference by lending their authenticity to your published work.  And readers love a story that comes across as realistic!

During the Writing of the Book:

  1. Don’t Worry About Editing Your Work Until After the Book is Written:  This was a huge mistake that I made.  And I’d be a liar if I said I did not remake this mistake with my current body of work (The Girl on the Highway).  The reason why it is best to wait is because most people’s minds are easily confused when they read the same thing over and over again.  Not only that, blatant errors become engraved into your brain, making it more difficult to notice them in later edits.  Finally, it is good to allow a story to breathe awhile before going back and editing it.  By “breathe”, I mean baking away from the project for awhile and maybe concentrating on a little bit of marketing before your book is to go through its second revision.  Most importantly, it is best to approach the story a second time with a fresh mindset.  That way, it is much easier to catch mistakes than if you had done it several times already.
  2. Don’t Be Shy!  Make Any Necessary Phone Calls You May Need to Make:  This is another one that requires writers to step out of their comfort zones.  Naturally, writers sometimes realize when they start writing their story that they should have asked a particular question of one of their technical advisers that should have been asked.  Don’t worry!  Be Happy!  Call them up with a very joyful tone to hear their voice and let them know how good it is to talk to them again.  And then ask them if the time is right to ask one (or more) questions that you did not think to ask during their initial interview.  You will probably be surprised to see how enthused they may be to hear back from you!
  3. Don’t Use An Editor Until After the Book is Written:  This one walks hand-in-hand with number one listed above.  Editors edit, just as writers write.  Therefore, it goes without saying that if the writer is not supposed to edit until after the book is written, the same thing goes for the editor.
  4. Go Ahead and Start Marketing Your Book:  You cannot start marketing too early.  There’s just no way you can do this.  All marketing is beneficial.  You are really in the zone when you have various people talking to their friends about your book.  I’m not just talking about mentioning it in passing, but actually being so enthused they literally cannot wait until it comes out.  For 2018, I started my marketing on my website and on Facebook in a group I had created specifically for my novel.  However, I did learn that I should have just created my own author page instead of a group for just my first novel.  The bottom line is that it is a lot easier when you have fewer places for readers to find out about your work.  If you neglect even one of those places, then you will have already failed in marketing.  That is why it is best to limit the number of places where your readers can keep up with you and your works.  Every bit of excitement that you can create earlier on will have the potential to mean extra book sales even before the book is released in print or digitally.
  5. Don’t Be Scared of Social Media:  An author without social media is no different than a hamburger without meat.  Very few people will appreciate that author and he or she will miss out on many, many sells!  How many people do you think actually order a hamburger without meat.  (Believe it or not, I have a stepdaughter who used to order burgers this way!)
  6. Don’t Reveal Spoilers:  By revealing a spoiler while getting people excited about your book, you are doing them a severe disservice in the future, when they decide to read your book.  It’s no different than giving someone a gift, and then taking it away from them directly afterward.  Don’t do it!
  7. Don’t Worry About Putting Your Book Into Print Until the VERY END!:  One thing I found out the hard way is that many newspapers out there do not respect self-published authors.  It doesn’t matter that hugely popular authors (like Vince Flynn) were self published before they got discovered.  Not only this, but it usually takes a wealth of money to pay for having your book printed.  I used AuthorHouse only to find out after the fact that they are known for exploiting new writers.  Yes, they did a great job of putting my book in print.  But their heart simply is not in it.  I mentioned a mistake earlier that made it into print.  You cannot tell me that no one at AuthorHouse did not miss such a blatant error.  On top of that it ended up not being enough that I invested almost $1,500 into having my book put into print; they only allowed me 20 free corrections and wanted to charge me for each additional one.  They also wanted money to publicize my book on their website, when this would make them more money than it would make me.  So it is clear to see how AuthorHouse and AuthorSolutions (their brother company) exploits us new writers.  I later found out that I should have used Create-Space, Amazon’s brother company for their authors who want their e-books in print.  The reason why I say leave this for last is because you have a big enough task making sure that you are getting everything done for your e-book / rough draft.  Why add to the stress this early on?
  8. Don’t Release Your Book Until You Are SURE It is Finished:  I made a HUGE mistake with 2018!  I over-promised the release date.  I started my work on it in January and promised it would be done by July 4…therefore, I apologized to everyone on my social networks and website and set the new date for Labor Day.  Even though I finished my book by Labor Day, it was riddled with errors!  But because I promised it on that date, I refused to delay the release a second time.  Not only friends and family were excited about my book, but I was too!  So once again, impatience bred a book in dire need of a vast amount of polish.
  9. Don’t Have More Than One Draft Going at the Same Time:  I thought it would be wise to start my book on my desktop computer and keep it on my removable memory drive at the same time.  There certainly is nothing wrong with keeping a back-up of your text.  But I highly advise against trying to maintain both of them at the same time for the simple fact that I ended up getting both of them confused and forgot which one was the latest copy to be edited.  All this does is create a lot of confusion for you.  If you choose to keep a back up copy of your book elsewhere.  Make sure that you only save the original work onto this backup after you finish each COMPLETE revision!  Trust me, you will be thankful that I told you this if you follow this piece of advice.

After the Book is Written: 

  1. Focus Like CRAZY on Marketing!:  Before, you were actually working on writing your book.  So you had a valid excuse for not marketing (even though doing so was a bad decision if you will kindly read # 4 in the previous section).  But there is absolutely NO EXCUSES for not marketing your book after the writing is finished and the book is published (except maybe fore the fact that you are working with a publisher to get your book into print; but even then, you should market after both copies of the book have been published).  Every bit of marketing you do at this point should translate effectively into sells.  Eventually, your sales will stall (just as mine have recently).  It is at this point that you need to be thinking about releasing your second (or other) book (unless you have somehow decided that the effort for the first or previous book(s) was not worth all the effort it took.  
  2. Don’t Be Scared of Doing Book Signings and Public Readings:  These events are — for the writer — what manna is — for the Christian.  Even if you sell only one book during a book signing, this is one more person who may love your work enough to tell all or most of his or her friends about it!  As for book readings, this is your chance to show off samples of your greatest passages from within the pages of your literary work!  So choose wisely which scenes from your story you wish to read!
  3. While Doing All of This, Continue to Think of Concepts for Your Next Book:  For some strange reason, I had trouble with this.  Every time I narrowed down a concept, I found something wrong with it and could not commit to it.  But finally, something clicked!  And then my new concept was born as I am still working on the plot of my forthcoming horror story, The Girl on the Highway.  As far as whether or not to write a sequel, I suggest letting your book’s sales determine whether or not you should do so.  I’m not exactly happy with how well my first book has sold.  But who knows what the future holds?  Maybe my next book will garner me enough interested readers who may want to try out my first book.  After my first book catches on, then I may very well choose to do a sequel.  But in the mean time, I feel I just need to try different things in order to see what ends up clicking with readers.  You may choose to do differently, however.  
  4. Be Very Mindful and Watchful of Your Print Publisher:  AuthorHouse, the publisher who claims to help new writers, offers a much smaller royalty for their published copy of my book.  At $3.99, I will only get a 10 percent royalty for any books sold there (including e-books).  That’s only a measly 39 cents!  So I lowered the price of MY published copy of the book (under the name Phil Sanderson) to $2.99, and it is a win-win for me and my readers.  The readers pay less money, and I get more money back from my royalty (Amazon awards a 35 percent royalty to authors who publish directly through them).  $1.05 is a hell of a lot better than 35 cents!  But I’ve since lowered my price to 1.99 because I am trying to get my name out there.  I care a lot more about that than getting higher royalties at this point.  So 24 cents is not as good as 39 cents.  But I will be able to net a lot more sells than AuthorHouse!  😉   
  5. Consider Whether or Not to Seek a Traditional Publishing Deal:  Traditional publishing has certain benefits that are much better than self-publishing (different teams to help you achieve different aspects of your book simultaneously; better distribution; etc.). And there seems to be much more fame that can be had with authors who take the traditional route of publishing.  But self publishing has its own set of advantages as well (usually, higher royalties; more creative choices; etc.).  So don’t take my word for it. Do your own research to see what way is a lot easier for you.  One thing is for certain:  An author who takes the self-publishing route has far fewer bars keeping him from being published!

Anyway, these are the lessons I’ve learned from my very first self-publishing adventure.  I hope that if you are a writer, this will help you avoid a lot of the mistakes I stumbled into.  I wish you the very best of luck and fortune in any publishing endeavor in which you pursue.  Always remember, God sometimes answers prayers in ways we cannot imagine!

Social Survival on the Internet Highway!

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The internet reminds me of some of those freaky-looking dudes in the Mad Max movies who tried to kill, steal, and plunder gasoline from anyone and everyone who crossed their paths.  And, like Mad Max, we have to survive the day for a hopefully even better sequel!  All of this has to be done on a slightly different interstate:  the Internet Highway!  But instead of using guns, crossbows, spears, and all sorts of other weaponry, we have to use our personality and various social sites and various social tools along this mysterious and adventurous stretch of treacherous roadway.

My goal as a writer is to develop a social following on the internet more so than to write any certain number of books by any given certain date.  This may sound a bit off the mark, but there is a method to the madness.  

I’ve learned, after self-publishing a book, that it is not enough for an independent author to (hopelessly!) market the hell out of his book.  The author has to do everything in his power to establish a loyal following.  And for this, I am truly thankful for the opportunity to have the ear of everyone who has subscribed to me and my activities (and sometimes lack of).  

You may be asking:  “Why is this more important to you than getting a substantial amount of writing on the market?”  Saturating the market with everything Phil Sanderson is definitely important to me.  But at the same time, finding the means to accomplish it more effectively is of higher priority.  One reason is that there is no point in coming up with a large quantity of material when there is not that many people interested in doing anything with it.  Secondly, one of the main things agents look for, when trying to find a good author worth her salt to represent, is just that:  a huge following!  

Yet I am really quite surprised with how everything has turned out.  I’ve been established on Facebook now for more than five years and only just recently started getting really involved with Twitter.  But strangely enough, my success with the little tweety bird is phenomenally greater than it is with with the big-blue “F”.  I plan to break 1,000 followers next week on Twitter.  But I don’t even have anywhere near 100 likes on my personal Facebook page.  

I am also quite pleased with my success here on WordPress.  If you are receiving this article, then I largely have you to thank for this success.   I am really starting to develop quite the following on Goodreads as well.  And I’m not entirely sure why.  Maybe it is because I run my WordPress blog through Goodreads.  So, thank you all so very much.  On the other hand, I am also encountering slow starts with Google+ and Pinterest.  And I only barely exist on Authors Den.  

But I have a pretty cool strategy that I believe may help me out.  Since I’m encountering leaps and bounds on Twitter, I plan to market all my other social sites through that medium.  It’s not rocket science, just good, commonsense advertising.  And I am hoping that this article will help give you guys some ideas as to how you may be able to boost your own social campaigns (in the even that you have need to do so).  

So please remember to take a lesson from Mad Max when it comes to successfully reaching your various social media marketing destinations:  As your trucking along in your day-to-day tasks — be it creating art or music, or writing books — the most important thing to remember along the journey is to not run out of gas.  And we do this by making sure that we have an active, captivated audience who actually gives a damn about what we are doing.

Until my next article, be blessed!

Phil Sanderson’s Social Media Marketing Report — 2/23/14

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Yay!  I’ve reached and surpassed a good milestone on Twitter:  500 Follows!  All the other Social Media is lacking quite a bit, however.  I am on my way to reaching 50 likes on my Facebook page. As for my WordPress blog — by the grace of God — I have somehow acquired 16 followers, which is far better than I ever got elsewhere on other blog hosting sites.  As far as slower growth media, I’m finally  starting to get more friends on Goodreads.  But I’m still a total greenhorn on Google+ and various others on which I’m established.  I’ve yet to research more on all these other different ones.  I’m also examining some small-dollar investment opportunities to invest in paid advertising on Twitter and Facebook.

So all in all, thanks to all of you who have found an interest in me and continue to stay actively involved in my media.  You have been a true blessing from God to me.  For those of you who haven’t, if you are reading this and have a chance to support me on my various social media, I hope you will someday soon find some time to do so:

Phil Sanderson Author on Google+

Phil Sanderson’s Facebook Page

2018: An Uncivil War — Facebook Group

Phil Sanderson on Twitter

Phil Sanderson on Pinterest

Phil Sanderson on YouTube

Phil Sanderson on Goodreads

Phil Sanderson on AuthorsDen

From a Booty Call to a Felony

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I cannot believe what I just saw on the local news.  A local store just got robbed!  No, it was not a grocery store.  Neither was it a dollar store.  Shockingly enough, it was not even a convenience store!  It was an adult store known more or less affectionately in these parts as the “X-Mart”.

When adult stores start getting robbed, you suddenly realize that these are indeed strange times in which we live.  In this case, if the pervatrator ends up getting apprehended, the words stiff sentence are going to sound like more than just words that got stuck in someone’s throat!

Our local news station showed camera footage of the crime as it happened.  The cashier opened the register and stepped away from it.  And the robber reached over across the counter, grabbing the cash out of it prior to fleeing the scene.

Several things bug me about this crime.  First of all, what ended up happening to the money after the guy got it out of the register.  I think this is the first time this law-abiding citizen has ever wished for money to have become laundered after a particular robbery.  Secondly, you have probably seen similar footage where the clerk fights off the robber.  If this would have happened, what in the world would the clerk have wielded against the robber?  And is it anything that would have actually intimidated the robber instead of making him laugh his ass off as he ran to the getaway vehicle?  Then we have rights for criminals!  If the guy had bolted out of the store and slipped on a strange substance, could he turn around and sue the business for not maintaining safe conditions?  Lastly, what expression came across the faces of the officers who responded to the call.  And even more importantly, what expression came across their faces as they entered the business?

Realistically, the person who committed this crime more than likely came in at one point or another to stake out the area and plan his actions before acquiring his booty.  I’ve worked in standard retail environments where you can look for suspicious behavior from customers.  For example, if you are an employee who sees someone paying more attention to you than the products on your shelves, then there is a chance that this stranger may be waiting for you to turn your back.  I guess if the products on your shelves happen to be activated and vibrating furiously enough that they are falling off said shelves, you know you have a potential turd in the punchbowl if the fellow is still watching you!  And this is only compounded if the person’s saggy pants are vibrating and / or buzzing as he exits the business.

So I guess there was nothing to alert the employees prior to the robbery.

One thing that many business establish to deter this type of criminal activity is use of environmental measures that make robbery an unattractive option.  Anyone driving by the X-Mart at any time of day will clearly see that — judging by the outside of the store — none of these measures seem to be in place.  For example, several businesses that I managed kept all windows near the cash registers clear.  This was so that police could potentially see any robberies as they occur with no promotional items or other signage in the windows obstructing the view.  There is nothing like this for the X-Mart.  Because there are no windows allowing people on the outside to see inside the store.

So what can an adult store owner do to ensure a robber-unfriendly environment?  It’s not likely they can create and strategically place blow-up security dolls.  And if they could, wouldn’t these be distracted by the inflatable companion dolls with a permanent “O” etched upon their willing faces?  Besides, no good can possibly come from creating “Adam” for “Eve”.

All of this has to be daunting for owners of adult stores.  And my heart, in some strange way or another, goes out to them.  For I don’t know where the answer lies, when business goes from a booty call to a felony.