Bookish News and Tips

First off, I want to mention that August 24th is the last day to get Evelyn Evolving for only .99 at most digital outlets. If you haven’t yet read this story of my mother’s challenging life, here’s a chance to

Get Evelyn Evolving at a deep discount.

Book Cover leaning against a gray-brick wall. Cover shows two girls walking away from us, carrying two battered suitcases. They are facing a desolate field with a tree in the far distance.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Four-year-old Evelyn Gundrum’s secure and happy world is turned upside down when she and her sister are abandoned by their mother and sent to an orphanage run by the terrifying Sister Honora. An orphanage is not an ideal place for a child to live, even in the best of times, and Evelyn is there in the worst of times, 1923 to 1933.

Evelyn grows up amidst hardship and heartbreak, plagued by unresolved emotions and trauma that follow her into adulthood as she seeks answers in a sea of questions. The most important one being, will anybody ever love her.


Evelyn Evolving is a heartfelt story of one woman’s journey through some of life’s most difficult trials, a coming-of-age that readers won’t soon forget. Maryann Miller captures the spirit of a woman who refuses to be defeated with great tenderness and, what’s more, enduring hope. — Kristy Woodson Harvey, bestselling author of The Summer of Songbirds.

Okay. End of commercial.

Newsletters pop up in my mailbox from authors, as well as from folks on the business side of this writing game. One of the people who frequently shares tips on writing-related topics is Alessandra with Inker’ Just realized in the years I’ve been receiving missives from her, I’ve never seen a last name. 🙂

Anyway, here’s something she recently wrote regarding setting your book up for preorder before publishing. She mentioned a number of pros and cons, and I found these two points most interesting:

Are you trying to hit a bestseller list?
Bestseller lists count all preorders on the day of release – if you think you’re likely to hit the USA Today or Wall Street Journal list, having weeks or months to build up sales can be the key to making that list.

Will this ebook be available on all retailers?
If your ebook is going to be published on Apple Books, your Apple Book preorders are counted toward their bestseller list on both the day of preorder and the day of release, which gives your book a fantastic chance of appearing on this list (if you have a fair amount of preorders) on release day.

I set up Brutal Season , the fourth book in the Seasons Mystery Series, for pre-order several weeks before release date, and results were minimal. I think results would’ve been better if I’d had more than just three or four weeks.

Authors, if you’ve used pre-ordering, please share your experience in a comment. It would be interesting to see how it has worked for others.

Another business professional in the writing world is Jane Friedman, who writes and lectures extensively about the business of writing. A friend alerted me to a recent blog post on Jane’s site that covers the use of AI to write books. Here’s a link to that post How AI-Generated Books Could Hurt Self-Publishing Authors.

Her post starts with information about a book Fire and Fury that was an AI-generated book based on the recent fires in Maui and issues about climate change. It was purportedly written by a person who was a scientist, but the author name was fictitious. Eventually the book was taken down from Amazon and Barnes and Noble after an article appeared in Forbes outing the author.

After that information about that book, Friedman went on to explain how AI-generated books getting published affects legitimate authors who publish their own work.

Amazon KDP – Kindle Direct Publishing – uses Ingram to distribute the books and Friedman had this caution:

If the rising tide of AI-generated material keeps producing such questionable books—along with embarrassing and unwanted publicity—one has to ask if Barnes & Noble and Bookshop might decide to stop accepting self-published books altogether from Ingram or otherwise limit their acceptance. Obviously not good news for self-published authors, or Ingram either.

I found the rest of Friedman’s article interesting and helpful and encourage my fellow authors to check it out. If you’re a person interested in this emergence of AI technology, you’ll find the article interesting.

Now a word or two from my friend Slim Randles. This essay about aching joints and walking funny after a bit of work hits pretty close to home for me. Enjoy…

Ran into Doc down at The Mule Barn the other day, so naturally we had to rid the world of about a gallon of coffee and solve the world’s problems for an hour. It is the duty of all true Americans of our age, you know.

Doc said he’d been aching a little bit lately. Joints or something. He’d been out fixing the pasture fence where the mare had been pushing on it.

The next morning it made him walk funny.

“I remember when my dad was my age,” he said. “I asked him how it felt to be this old. Well, he looked at me as though I were committing a crime by having brown hair, you know? And then he said, “To be this old? Well, I guess it beats the alternative.”

The truth is, the morning coffee drinkers of our area aren’t really old, not inside. We hurt a bit more the next day when we do things, that’s all. And having to walk funny for an hour or so is a small price to pay for our experience.

Being experienced sounds better.

“The other day,” Doc said, “I was down to the feed store, and the kid there took one look at me and carried those heavy sacks out to the truck for me. It was embarrassing, and she shouldn’t have done it.”    

Brought to you by:

The finest leatherwork items and art in the country. Check it out at


Banner with Home Country written on it. Old red pickup on the left and headshot of Slim Randles on the right. He's smiling and wearing a white cowboy hat.

Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here. There’s also the book, Home Country. Check it out.

Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top