Book Promotion and Other Odds and Ends

The most difficult part of being an indie author (if I can ever consider myself an author) is the need to get out there where people can see you — not you personally, but your books. Being your own publicist. Ugh! So with my typical penchant for doing the wrong thing, I decided that the overhaul of this blog would include dropping any mention of my published work. Not just eliminating the cover photos in the side column. Not finding a discreet way of saying, “Hey, I write and publish books.”

At least it’s a decision I could reverse, which seemed like a good idea after watching my sales go down to zero some months, and coming to view a month with two sales as a good month. So I would like to direct you to the links over there in the righthand column, where you will now find “Published Works.”  One page to rule them all. Nothing fancy, just the cover, a short summary, and the buy-links. Thank you.

Goodreads’ annual Readers’ Choice thingy is over, and no, I didn’t participate. Looking over the winners, I see that even in the genres I read regularly or intermittently, I haven’t read a single winner. In fact, most of the titles are unfamiliar. I’m hopelessly out of the swim of things, in books, as in every other aspect of internet life.

Ridiculous idea of the month. Last month, actually, and I’m surprised it has survived this long. I may write a romance, just for the challenge. No, I do not read romances. No, I don’t plan to make a fortune writing in a genre that “no self-respecting author would touch with a ten-foot pole because we all know that romance appeals to weak-minded females whose only contact with love is in books that let them fantasize.” That isn’t an actual quote, but a pretty good approximation of common attitudes.

Yes, I do think that I would make more money with one well-written romance than all my other books combined. But not a fortune. Yes, I do think the romance genre suffers its horrible reputation mostly because of the formula plots full of clichés, that are churned out by the thousands. I believe I can say that more fairly now than I could have a few weeks ago, because I’ve actually read three or four of them, in the name of research. Most were by best-selling authors, and they were pretty uniformly mediocre. I’ve also read the descriptions and samples of several dozen more, and have been hard put to find anything I’m willing to invest my money in, even for research.

But let me say this about that. The same thing is true of the mystery-thriller genre. And to a slightly lesser (barely) extent, science fiction/fantasy. I might just as well throw in historicals, which is pretty much swamped by romances that have just enough research into non-contemporary time periods to call themselves historicals.

The question is: will I or won’t I? The chances are that I won’t, simply because I have so many writing projects underway or planned that are far more important to me. But I have a plot that I think is a little offbeat and has real potential, and I’m jotting notes every now and then. Maybe next year’s NaNo would be a good time to give it a whirl.




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