An Indie Author Gets by With a Little Help From His Friends

I’m trying to improve the ranking and exposure of my books within Amazon and I need your help. You don’t even have to buy one of my books, although if you did I wouldn’t mind too much. One way to help my books rank higher is to get “Likes” on my Amazon author page. It has nothing to do with Facebook, but at the top of the right sidebar of my Amazon page is a button that looks almost just like the Facebook “Like” button. If you have a minute would you mind clicking this link and then clicking the “Like” button in the top right. You might have to sign in to your Amazon to do it though. If you do it, great, thank you so much. It means a lot. If you don’t, no big deal, I know your time is valuable.


Thanks again! Have a great night! See you in the morning for my Throwback Thursdays post! ~Phil


Wordless Wednesday


I’m looking forward to the weekend.

Have a great Wednesday! ~Phil


Top Ten Tuesdays! My Top Ten Blogging Pet Peeves

Picture credit:

Picture credit:

Hi. My name is Phil and I’m a blogger.  (Everyone else in the “blogosphere” replies “Hi Phil!”)  Yes, if I’m being painfully honest with myself, I’m a blogger. I’ve been a blogger for over nine years. I took to it like a fish to water. Just because I do it doesn’t mean that I love everything about it.  Thank you to Nerd in The Brain  for the idea for today’s Top Ten list. Go visit her. She has a great blog. Without further adieu, here are my Top Ten Peeves about blogging:

10. Blog Awards: Let’s get this one right out of the way now. It’s not an award if it requires you to do anything you normally wouldn’t,  like turn around and give it to fifteen other people.  There’s no other awards in life that require you to do work. “And the Oscar for Best Actress in a Drama goes to Meryl Streep, but only if she can name fifteen other actors that deserve it!”

9.  Everything has a blog: Have you noticed that just about everything on TV claims it has a blog? Products in commercials have blogs. New programs have blogs. Every celebrity has a “blog.” Blogs aren’t blogs if a marketing department creates them and manages them.

8. Everyone can have a blog: Yeah, I know that’s kind of the point, but there’s got to be some sort of screening process.  Just because you can say something doesn’t mean that you should.

7.  Blogs that are too long: Yup, I’m well aware that we all have unique  life stories, and I want to hear yours, but not if I have to clear my plans for the evening to read your blog post. I want to hear your life story in bite sized pieces. Think of blogging like a party you go to.  Nobody likes the person who traps you in the corner near the bathroom to tell you everything about their life. In the blogosphere I like to move about the party meeting many new and interesting people.

6. Blogging terms: Blogosphere, blogiversary, blogiverse, re-blog. Are any of these real words? Are they in a real dictionary somewhere? I feel like an idiot using them, but I have to because everyone here understands them.

5. Blogs without pictures: Words are good, but c’mon, brighten that up with a little eye candy! That’s why I have that picture of me at the top left. You’re welcome.

4. Fake profile pictures: Unless you’re blogging about something super personal or “adult” why hide your identity? How am I going to stalk you in real life if I can’t recognize you?

3. Blogs about boring stuff: Hate those.Please stop writing them. No,  not you. Don’t you hate when someone boring follows you and comments on all your posts and so you feel obligated to visit and comment on their blog occasionally, but it is just the worst blog ever? Thank God this doesn’t apply to anyone I follow. You guys and gals are great as chips.

2. Blogs that don’t post their own thoughts: An inspirational picture or quote is nice now and then, but if that’s all a blog is, what’s the fun in that? I like to read little, genuine slices of people’s lives. I don’t care what Ghandi said fifty years ago. If I did I’d read his blog. Speaking of that, he hasn’t posted in a while. What’s up with that?

1.  Animated GIF’s: You know the ones, right? It’s literally a two second video clip that repeats endlessly. It’s nearly seizure inducing like a strobe light. Nothing is that funny in two seconds.

As always, everything here is meant  in good humor with no malice intended. In the comments, what are your blogging pet peeves?

As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor feel free to share by Facebook, Twitter, or re-blogging! Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

Author Interview with Sean Smithson: Being an Arse Shouldn’t Be This Much Fun

Sean Smithson pic

Sean Smithson is not really the author’s name. It’s a pen name. He says it’s far easier to pronounce than his real name. I suspect however that it may be an alias to protect his real identity just in case there are any pending warrants. Also, as you can see in his picture above, he’s wearing a mask as well. Based on his book I also believe that the glitter on his face is from strippers. Once you read his new book, How to Lose a Girl in Ten Ways you’ll understand. Truth be told, I don’t think he documents any real crimes, unless you count his crimes against good taste and common sense when pursuing the fairer sex.

How To Lose

 TPF: Hi Sean and welcome to The Phil Factor. The first and most obvious question is, do any of the women from the stories in your book know about the book and if so, what has their reaction been?

Sean: Hey Phil, thanks for having me on the ‘show’. Hmm… Well if any of them have found out about it, it certainly wouldn’t have been from me. As I’m not really on talking terms with half of them anymore. And as for the other half; it’s fair to say that we were never on talking terms in the first place.

 TPF: Fess up. Was writing a book just an elaborate ruse to score with women by saying, “Can I buy you a drink? I’m a published author.” And if so, has it worked yet?

Sean: Ha. If it was, I definitely would’ve come up with a different title. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that it’s somewhat of an anti-pick-up line. As once they’ve heard what the book’s called, the conversation usually doesn’t last much longer.

Phil 1

“Children’s books. Next time go with children’s books!”

 TPF: Considering the fact that many of your chapters involve bodily fluids, sex and a fair bit of wanking, all of which may have taken place at your parents’ home, sometimes when they were still there, do you parents know about this book? If not, do you ever plan to tell them?

Sean: They’ve always known that I was writing a book; they just didn’t know what it was about. And as much as I would’ve liked for it to stay that way, the truth eventually had to come out… I’d rather they heard it from me than read about it in the book. Or even worse, found out from my uncle; my cousin told me he ordered it from Amazon last week.

I told mum the gist of #3 (possibly my best/worst work) and after an excruciatingly long pause she responded:


“What?!? On our couch?”

 TPF: To be clear, Taylor Swift is not Sean’s mother, although she probably will date him eventually and then write an angry song about him. Sean, If you were to give one piece of advice to women when deciding whether or not they should invest their time with a guy, what would it be?

Sean: I’m not really sure. Nay. I KNOW I’m not qualified to be dishing out relationship advice, Phil.

Phil 2

 TPF: Sometimes the best mistakes are those that we learn from. Based on your experiences that are documented in your book, what is the one piece of advice you would give a guy whose goal is took hook up with a woman?

Sean: Read my book and do the exact opposite of everything I did!

TPF: Now that you’re a little older and allegedly more mature than when you lived the content of your book, has your approach to dating changed at all? If so, how?

Sean: I’m still single, Phil. Does that answer your question?

Phil 3

TPF: There you have it ladies and gentlemen; the first appearance of an animated gif on The Phil Factor. Now that Ten Ways has launched have you considered turning your website in a dating advice site where you answer readers’ questions?

Sean: I refer you back to my answers to the three previous questions…

TPF: Sean, thanks again for visiting #ThePhilFactor. For those of you that want to stalk Sean, which would be an ironic turn of events for the ladies, you can find him at his website, on Twitter, and Facebook.

You can download the eBook from Amazon, iTunes or Barnes & Noble. Or purchase the paperback from The Book Depository (free worldwide delivery).

As always, if you enjoy what you read here and want to help Sean finally find happiness, please share by hitting the reblog, Facebook, or Twitter buttons below. Have a great Monday! ~Phil


When I Get That Feeling, I Want Textual Healing

When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law. A law about texting. Not a safety law, a common sense law. The fact that right now you are reading something longer than a text tells me that you’ll probably be on board with my idea.


“Pick up milk on the way home” is something we might text someone to save time. We are right to try to save time. You only get so much of it in life. We all use our phones to text right? There is no other texting device that I know of.  You text because you want to say one brief thing and you don’t want a whole conversation, right? Have you ever felt foolish because it took you longer to text than it would have if you just made a quick phone call?  I recently discovered this app on my texting device that also let’s me make phone calls!

With my recent discovery came an idea. What if, and stick with me here because this gets a little complicated; what if when it would be faster than texting, we actually just called someone up and said what we had to say? When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I’m going to pass a law stating that if it would be quicker to call than text, you are required to do so.  You’re probably saying to yourself, But Phil, which is a strange thing to say to yourself, won’t it seem rude if I just call someone, say one thing and hang up? Through a series of educational public service ads, starring me of course, my law will make it socially acceptable to do so.

A typical exchange might go like this:

Husband: (ring ring. Wife picks up) Don’t forget I’m golfing with the guys after work and then we’ll probably stop for a few drinks. (click)

Wife: (ring, ring. Hubby picks up) Have a good game. Don’t be too late. (click)

How nice would that be right? See? I’m getting people talking again. That’s what The Phil Factor is all about, bringing people together. I’m removing one small technological barrier to healthy relationships. If we call instead of text there will be fewer misunderstandings because we wouldn’t misinterpret jokes or take things the wrong way because we didn’t hear the tone of voice.  The real fun would come when people apply my law to sexting! Picture this series of exchanges as live, quick phone calls:

Guy: (ring, ring. Girl picks up) What are you wearing? (click)

Girl: (ring, ring. Guy picks up) Absolutely nothing. (click)

Guy: (ring, ring. Girl picks up) That’s so hot! (click)

Girl: (ring, ring. Guy picks up) I’m all alone. Wish you were here. (click)

Guy: (ring, ring. Girl picks up) If I was there what would you do? (click)

(ring, ring. Guy picks up) Could you come over and snake my drain? The sink in the downstairs bathroom is really slow. (click)

Guy: (hits redial. Last caller picks up) Oh yeah baby. I’d love to snake your drain. Have I got a plunger for you! (click)

(ring, ring. Guy picks up) Jimmy! What the hell was that? Who talks to their mother like that! You are a sick, sick boy. Forget it. I’m calling a real plumber to snake my drain, if you know what I mean. (click)


Ok, so maybe my plan has a few flaws, but for other things, I think calling and talking would work just fine. As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor feel free to share by hitting the Facebook or Twitter share buttons below or by reblogging. Have a great weekend! ~Phil 


Phil Taylor:

Here is another classic story from The English Professor at Large. She is a treasure trove of great stories from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Originally posted on The English Professor at Large:

Driving down Cahuenga Blvd. the other day,I passed the block where I used to work in the 1950′s as a publicist at Motion Picture Center, home of the “I Love Lucy” show. Now, memories start.
It is January, 1956, as I pull into the small parking lot, driving up to the fiesty,elderly man who ferociously guards his territory of parking spots. “Good Morning,” I call out. He grunts in reply and points to my parking space in case I have forgotten. Not the friendliest way to start the day, but inside the studio it is a different atmosphere.
Motion Picture Center is small by studio standards, containing nine sound stages, several offices, and a commissary.
I start my day reporting to my boss,Kenny Morgan, in our small office. There are just the two of us doing publicity for Desilu on the lot every day. On my way in, Desi stops…

View original 1,118 more words

Throwback Thursdays! GPS= Giant Pain in My A$$

This was first posted on The Phil Factor on 07/20/2013.


For my job I do quite a bit of driving, so I have a GPS for my car. We’ve all seen the commercials where the guy professes his love for his GPS before regaining his senses, realizing that it is just a mechanical device. That won’t be my problem. I often do talk to my GPS as it’s talking to me, but we’re usually arguing. On a previous model I even switched the voice to that of a British woman, hoping that the accent would make it seem like much less of a nag. It doesn’t. Here are a few sample conversations between me and my GPS:

GPS: In two tenths of a mile turn right………….in one tenth of a mile turn right

Phil: I know! I can see it!

GPS:….in 200 feet turn right….

Phil: I know, I’m turning right!

GPS: Turn right

Phil: Shut up! I’m already turning. Leave me alone!

Or another example is when we disagree on directions. For instance yesterday I asked it directions to a specific restaurant and it wanted me to get on a toll road for something like a quarter mile.

GPS: Take ramp on left in 200 feet.

Phil: No. I’m not going to pay a toll just to go a half mile.

GPS: Take ramp on left

Phil: No. I’m not going to. I can see the restaurant from here.

GPS: As soon as possible make a U-turn.

Phil: No, I’m not going to go on the ramp. SHUT UP! I can see the restaurant.

GPS: Recalculating. Travel two tenths of a mile to destination on right.

Phil: See? I told you!

My relationship with my GPS has become so marital-like that just yesterday I took pleasure in sarcastically correcting it’s pronunciation of a street name.

Perhaps my terse demeanor is why my GPS sometimes gives me wrong directions and possibly tries to get me killed. It often has no regard for my safety when it directs me through crime infested, gang run neighborhoods, or down streets that are closed for construction. I think it’s out to get me. At some point I imagine myself pulling the thing off the dash and flinging it out onto the highway as I’m traveling at a very high rate of speed, laughing maniacally as it tumbles to it’s tiny electronic death still babbling at me. “Turn left in…oof…make a U-turn..oww….why Phil, why?”

If I’m ever stranded on a desert island I’m sure as hell not taking my GPS with me to keep me company. To quote the great philosopher, me, technology is the opiate of the asses.


As always, if you enjoy what you read at #ThePhilFactor please hit the Facebook, Twitter or any other share button. I just discovered yesterday that someone had recently shared one of my blog posts on Pinterest, so yeah, I’m kind of a big deal. Also, if you like my writing in small bits here you might like one of my books in the right sidebar there.

Have a great Thursday everyone! ~Phil