As a new author of mysteries, I’m in search of feedback. I’d like to know what my readers think, even when the reviews are less than glowing (I take those with a whole lot of salt grains, especially when they’re less than constructive and just downright mean-spirited).
In learning what works and what doesn’t work in the field of ebook sales, I’ve started to promote my books across several markets, and I’m finally beginning to see a slight uptick in both my freebies and my sales stats. I’ve even tried to get the party started by offering what I think are my best mysteries free, because I want them to be read. It’s hard to squeeze my way into the different outlets — the infamous Amazon, the notorious Barnes and Noble, even Sony, Kobo, and Diesel. What will appeal? How can I break through?
I started out thirty years ago, planning to be an author and artist, but earning a living came first, and my dreams got sidelined. Now, older and wiser, I’m back where I wanted to be, but do I have the right stuff?
The other day, I got my first fan at my publisher’s site, Smashwords. Curious, I wasn’t sure which of my ebooks caught the reader’s attention, so I did a little peek on what tickled H.J.’s fancy. Lo and behold, I found a real treasure — a voracious reader!
I love to read, but I’m often pressed for time. In the summer, I use the need to exercise in the pool as an excuse to read. This summer, I’ve read three books and I’m on my fourth. With just days to go before the pool is closed up for the summer, I’m trying to squeeze in as much as I can. I envy H.J.
H.J. has a list of favorites that could choke a horse. Some people might think that means a reader without criteria, but I see something very different — a reader with a passion. When you only read sporadically, as I sometimes do, it’s easy to get caught up in the corner, facing the bookshelf in front of you and being picayune. But when you read as much as H.J. clearly does, it’s heartening for a new author like me. You see, H.J. wants to be entertained and amused. H.J. embraces the embodiment of an author’s desire for a foot in the door. I may not hit my stride every time when I write a new mystery, but I’m trying, and the fact that H.J. is willing to give me a chance is the cherry on my sundae.
Whenever I develop a character, like Suzanne in “Square Dance with a Skunk” or Bea in “Let Slip the Dogs of War”, I’m not writing to impress. I want to create female characters who hold their own with their male counterparts. I want to imbue them with a real passion for life, even when they don’t have all the answers or they make mistakes. My characters don’t have to be perfect, but I want them to strive to be more. Very often disappointed in reality, but motivated to get in there and get their hands dirty to get the job done, these are not shrinking violets. So, how does that come off for the reader?
If a tree falls in the forest, and there’s no sound, how do we know what really happened unless we schelp into the woods and take a look for ourselves? Being an author is a lot like being a tree. If no one reads your work, does it exist? That’s why I love people like H.J.
There’s a lot to admire about a hungry reader, and my hat is off to H.J. for always wanting more. It’s a real honor to be a “favorite”. This is a person who genuinely reads for pleasure, and in a world of electronic distractions, it’s refreshing to discover someone who truly loves the written word. Amen to that.