All About Books

Good Monday morning. Today the blog will primarily be about books and a great contest. I’ll share some danish as we read along…


We writers know the tough work of the business really starts after the hard work of crafting a novel ends and we have to start the marketing. It would be so much easier if readers would magically be drawn to our books, but they have to be able to find them among the millions out there. Geesh, just thinking about it makes my head want to explode.

Most authors, especially those of us sort of in the lower middleclass segment of the great pyramid that has the best-selling authors at the top – James Patterson, Lisa Jewell, and the like – have to do our own promoting with little or no support from our  publishers. Not that top-selling authors don’t have to do some  hustling. They do. They are often out on signing tours and visiting book clubs, but those events are usually arranged and paid for by the publisher.

The rest of us do it all on our own dime, hoping we can at least break even on sales balancing out expenses.

So you can understand what a delight it is when a publisher does some promoting for us. Two of my publishers, Arcadia and Next Chapter, recently contacted me with news about some special things to gain more exposure for my books.

First, the audio version of Evelyn Evolving: A Story of Real Life published by Next Chapter Publishing has free samples available at two sites. People can take a listen and then decide if they might want to purchase the entire audio book.

The first place is YouTube and the second  is SoundCloud. and each includes links for the audiobook in the U.S. and U.K.

I hope you enjoy the samples, and I have a few codes to get the audio book free at Audible. E-mail me if you’d like one, and all I ask is that you leave a review.

If you prefer an e-book or paperback, those are available, too.

Next up is news from Arcadia Publishing, the company that published the book Images of America: Winnsboro that I wrote with Winnsboro’s Official Historian Bill Jones. Arcadia contacted me recently to let me know that my book, Images of America; Winnsboro is going to be in select Target Stores. Arcadia already has an extensive online catalog with Target, but this year they are putting a few select books in a few select brick-and-mortar stores, and one of those select books is mine and Bill’s.

Our book is going to be in the Target store in Tyler, TX, but other stores in the Dallas metro area will carry other select titles from Arcadia. They publish a wide range of books, focusing primarily on history, and I’m looking forward to seeing the displays at the various stores around Dallas.

One of the sites I use when I’m doing my own promoting is The Kindle Book Review. It’s a website that offers lots of author services, new books for readers to check out, and hosts lots of giveaways that are sponsored by authors who have a featured book. This month, the BLACK FRIDAY Giveaway is running until November 23. People can enter as many times as they want for a chance to win a $400 Amazon Gift Card to use for their holiday shopping.

I’ve sponsored with A Dead Tomato Plant & A Paycheck, and I will admit that the title is a bit odd next to the romance and mystery books, but I’m not ashamed to be a little odd. 🙂 In fact if you’ve read A Dead Tomato Plant & A Paycheck, you already have an idea of the crazy paths my mind sometimes takes. For those who’ve not yet read it, here’s a short sample:

It’s an indisputable fact that as parents our intelligence ratio is in direct proportion to the ages of our children. The younger they are, the smarter we are.

I came to this profound realization the day my oldest daughter turned sixteen and half my gray matter disintegrated. I could hardly believe that she was the same daughter who used to consider me the final authority on everything from why God made bugs to how the moon got up in the sky.

How fondly I remembered those good old days when she was four and I was smart.

She stood in awe of me because I could answer all her questions, not to mention the fact that I could actually grow a plant from her watermelon seed.

Then she grew up and it reached a point where I would give almost anything for just one brief glimmer of that old wide-eyed wonder. In fact, I would have given anything for a simple nodding acknowledgement that I might know something besides my name, address, and phone number.

That’s all for me for today folks. I hope your week is starting off well. Whatever you have on your agenda, be safe. Be happy. 

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