Wanted to announce that DROP OUT is being featured today on Kindle Books and Tips! What would you do if you knew your life was ending? http://wp.me/p2b82w-69U Please check it out. Much appreciated.
Monday, October 6, 2014
Woke up this morning to the first frost of the year. It’s winter writing time. I always look forward to the cold and snow and the isolation they bring. Though I do enjoy the sun, swimming, and warmth of summer it is not my best season for being creative. I found there’s nothing more stimulating than punching out a story while a snowstorm rages outside.
Winter is also the time when I do my best and most prolific marketing and promotion of my books. It’s always hard to spend hours plugging descriptions and links onto writer sites when it’s a balmy eighty degrees, but seeing frost on the window keeps me focused. My best sellers, DROP OUT, DEGENERATES, and FROSTPROOF were all written during the winter months. There’s just something about the grayness of the season that makes me more colorful on the page.
So, as I sit here writing this, wrapped in a sweat suit, sweatshirt, and blanket, I can’t help but wonder what creativity this winter season will bring. My latest novella AS IT IS IN HEAVEN is nearly complete and I have four months coming of chilly isolation to fill. Will I write a thriller, science fiction novel, or another literary? I guess I’ll have to see what the muse offers.
Monday, September 29, 2014
When you buy a book in a bookstore, what do you look for? Is it the cover that attracts you? The fiery description on the back? The author’s profile picture? With ebooks, consumers can’t take it off the shelf and feel its texture, skim through the pages, or get a sense of the thickness and how long it will take to read. They must rely on the ‘look inside’ feature, good unbiased reviews, a blurb that excites and entices, and the promise of a captivating story to make their decision.
Ebooks are forever. Think about this sentence for a moment. You write a novel, get it formatted, design a nice cover, obtain an ISBN, and then download it onto Kindle, or Smashwords, or any of the hundreds of ebook distributors, and it’s available globally to anyone with an ereader. Not only that, it will be available until the end of time. Fifty years from now I’ll be able to show my great grandchildren my books; they’ll type in the title or my name and poof, there they will be. Talk about immortalizing yourself for all eternity. Isn’t that what art is all about?
I am very lucky to be living in an age where I can imprint myself onto the world and be remembered forever through my books. I do feel for all the paperback writers throughout the last decades whose hard work and effort only got them a six-week shelf life for their masterpiece to hit it and if it didn’t it would disappear forever, going out of print and into the paper shredder.
With ebooks I may still be getting royalties when I’m a hundred. I can write and publish what I want and let the worldwide public decide if the book is good or deserving of the litter box. All without worry that the story is being evaluated for the amount of profit it might generate rather than the mind-blowing experience of the story, as is the case with how the big publishing houses (those that still remain) do business.
My novels won’t sit stacked on some shelf in the back of a dusty old bookstore (if bookstores exist in the future), they will always be fresh and ready for download, ready to draw new readers into noir, eccentric, and illusionary worlds. It’s an incredibly comforting thought knowing my stories will be around forever like the mythology of ancient Greece or fables and folklore of olden times. Ebooks will define me as a novelist until the end of humanity. I can live peacefully knowing my legacy.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
If you follow my blog you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been posting about many promotions these days. Except for a few websites that have posted my books without informing me first, I haven’t been too visible for a while. Here’s why.
I’ve been writing ferociously for the last 35 out of my 45 years on this planet. Yep, that officially makes me a middle-aged man. You learn a lot about yourself and your needs and what makes you happiest as you get older. Things become clearer and sharper with age. You find yourself having deep, personal self-revelations about how much time you’ve got left on this planet and what you want to accomplish.
When I was a young author, I certainly wanted to be as rich and famous as Stephen King (doesn’t every writer). I spent tens of thousands of hours alone, writing, in pursuit of that dream. When I wasn’t writing I was querying agents and promoting myself any way I could. My twenties were spent entirely on my writing career.
In my early thirties I was lucky (or talented) enough to land a powerful New York agent. My agent was so well known he had his bio written about in the WD Guide to Literary Agents. He was always in the magazines posting recent sales. I thought I had it made and was relieved of the time spent looking for an agent and now could spend nearly all my time writing. I churned out several novels in the nearly four years we were together, but alas, none of them sold and my dream agent and I parted ways.
I was shattered and thought my dreams of fame and author’s riches were over. Then a miracle in technology, Kindle Direct Publishing opened up their worldwide distribution to any author who had a properly formatted book to sell through their site. To me, this was the phoenix rising from the ashes. I hired a formatter, editor, and cover artist to turn my seven completed novels into saleable merchandise. And I did, along with another three that I’d written in the last two years.
I jumped fully into the indie publishing revolution, joined every writer’s site imaginable, spent weeks downloading my material to anyone who would feature me, and did interview after interview on blogs, in print newspapers, and in magazines. My books sold, not in the millions that I’d hoped, but enough for me to hit the Amazon bestseller lists for a few days here and there. My name gained some recognition and I was invited to participate in prestigious groups and speak at book clubs. You would think this would have made me very happy.
As I said earlier, as you get older your perspectives become clearer. I’m beginning to realize the incredible joy I get out of writing fiction is seriously negated by the toils of marketing and promoting. I now dread the hours it takes to achieve notoriety and find it almost torture to spend hours downloading files, and my biography, and my book summaries, and their links. I just want to write.
I know many of you who are reading this will simply say that’s what it takes to hit it big, you must sacrifice, and sacrifice, and if it were easy to do than everyone would be a famous author. The problem is… I don’t know if I really want that anymore. In the height of my marketing efforts I was selling a lot of books and getting a lot of great feedback. It made me feel good that so many readers liked my material and that my old high school and college friends, and family were proud of what I’d achieved. I’ve even been recognized a few times from having my picture in local media. And after all this, I’ve discovered that what still makes me the happiest is sitting alone in front of my computer and living in the worlds I create inside my mind.
In conclusion, you may not be seeing my name so much on the hundreds of new writer’s and reader’s sites that are popping up every day. I just don’t have the energy to keep up. I’m still writing feverishly, I always will, but the hours a day of marketing torture are going to slow considerably. You’ll still read about me here and there, but I refuse to be a slave to the oversaturated global promoting machine if it’s taking away my joy in creating. I just want to write.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional Story, September 14, 2014
Verified Purchase (What's this?)
This review is from: Drop Out (Kindle Edition)
This wonderful story starts out with the despair of the tragedy of 9/11. Since I was there assisting the Red Cross the day after the attack, I felt the emotional pain all over again as I read this. Nathan lost his loved ones that day, and in a sense he died, too. It takes another disaster and a wonderful woman named Miriam to show him that life didn't end on that tragic day in 2001. It's a beautiful story, and if you were moved by 9/11, it will bring memories flooding back to you, as it did me. Well worth a read. Great job.
Carole McKee, Author