Friday, December 08, 2017

Writing: Paying For A Giveaway

I have a Goodreads account, but I don't visit there every day. I'll check it periodically, and make certain all my books are listed as they're published. My blogs are cross-posted on Goodreads, as are some comments. I haven't yet done a Goodreads giveaway, but I was considering it when I read this. Starting in January, Goodreads will charge for the privilege of giving away books. That detailed post tells you more than you might want to know, but the bottom line is that for the "special" price of $59 (until the end of January--then it goes up to $119 for the basic package) I can do a book giveaway--but I can't stipulate that entrants subscribe to my newsletter, post something about the book, review it, or anything else. I do, however, get to pay for the privilege of giving away from one to 100 copies.

Goodreads (which is owned by Amazon) has decided to monetize their service. Good for them, I suppose, but since I'm indie-published right now, that money (as well as the cost of the book and the postage) comes out of my pocket. The benefit, of course, is to get my books before a lot of readers. To put this into effect is certainly within their rights. I realize most publishers will do this for their authors (although you will note that the fee is per book, not a blanket license), but I'm not sure a lot of indie-published authors will join in.

However, in celebration of the season, I think I'll do my own giveaway (and it won't be nearly as expensive for me). Here are the rules--please read and observe all of them.

I won't require that you sign up for my newsletter--if you already are on the list, say so. If you want to sign up, go here, then tell me you've done it. And if you don't want to do anything except get your name in the hat, that's fine. Like all authors, I will appreciate it if the winner leaves a review on Amazon or Goodreads, but I won't require it.

If you've already bought (and, hopefully, read) Cardiac Event, instead of the book I'll send you an Amazon gift card for $10. If you've already left a review of the book on Amazon, I'll double the amount of the gift card. How's that for going the extra mile?

Ready to enter? Leave your email address in the comments (in this format: Dr R L Mabry at gmail dot com). Next weekend, I'll randomly select a name, contact you, and arrange to send you a print copy of my novel, Cardiac Event. 

And if you want to make a comment, feel free to do that as well.

Tweet with a single click. "A small rant about requiring authors to pay for the privilege of giving away books."

PS--My new novella, Surgeon's Choice, is nearing publication. Subscribers to my newsletter will get the details first (hint, hint). It should be available for pre-order around Christmas, and release just after the first of the year.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

December 7

Today is Pearl Harbor Day. I was too young to recognize the significance of that day when it happened, but it was made clear to me later.

John Philpot Curran, Irish politician, said, "The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance." The line is often misquoted (and sometimes attributed to Thomas Jefferson). In any case, it's true...then and now.

Please pause to remember and reflect.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Hustle and Bustle

Have you ever stopped in the middle of hurrying through your day to ask yourself, "What am I doing?" I did that just today. I started with an appointment that took an hour (about twice as long as I imagined), then went to return a defective "moisture meter" (which involved looking up an address), then fought the crowds at the Post Office, and finally about noon got home and attacked the material piling up on my desk. Happy holidays? Sometimes I wonder.

There are times (confession coming) that I am more concerned with making our celebration what's expected by others than reflecting on the reason for the holiday--the celebration of the birth of God's greatest gift to us. I suspect I'm not the only one.

Look at this list--Christmas cards, Christmas letters (if you send them), gifts for our loved ones, deciding where and when we'll get the family together for a meal, putting up the tree, decorating the house (inside and out), checking to make certain we have our favorite Christmas movies... The list seems endless.

So, despite the hustle and bustle that goes with it, let me say to all of you who read this, "Merry Christmas." May your December be full of the real spirit of this season, and may it pervade what we say and do throughout the year to come.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Writing: What's The Reason?

This is an especially busy time of year...not just for writers, but for all of us. I didn't really plan to be an author after retirement from medicine, but God apparently decided my golf game wouldn't really improve with repeated attempts. And it's been an interesting journey.

In addition to holiday activities, I've been involved with writing (just about to release my novella--Surgeon's Choice--stay tuned), editing (my next full-length novel, Guarded Prognosis), marketing (my last novel of medical mystery, Cardiac Event), and long-range planning (first halting steps in writing my novella, Emergency Case, for release next fall). The publishing houses typically slow down or grind to a halt for Christmas and New Years, but indie authors (of whom I am now one) have to keep writing. That's when many of us ask ourselves why we do this.

The old phrase, "an author writes because he/she can't NOT write," is accurate, but it doesn't tell the whole story. Some people write because they have a story to tell--often more than one story--and they want to share it with their readership. For those who are writing and waiting to get rich at it, I'm sorry to say that many writers work another job to support themselves. And there are writers who find themselves facing a contractual deadline, so they push to finish and submit their work. I don't know every reason. I just know mine.

I started out to tell the story of my life after the death of my first wife. That book is still in print, by the way, after more than a decade. And, because a couple of Christian authors challenged me to try my hand at fiction, I've been fortunate enough to have eleven novels and three novellas published. No, I didn't set out to be a writer, and once I got on that merry-go-round, it was pretty difficult to get off. But I'm glad God had other plans for me.

How about you? Why do you pursue your current occupation? What's the real reason you write...or teach...or turn out parts...or any one of a hundred other things? Let me know.

Tweet with a single click. "There are lots of reasons people write...or are engaged in any one of a hundred other pursuits."

Tuesday, November 28, 2017's December.

There was a time when a large segment of America stayed up to watch Johnny Carson's monologue. And it was always preceded by Ed McMahon's drawn-out introductory phrase: Heeeere's Johnny. Well, folks--for those who haven't been paying attention, heeere's December.

It seems that we can't possibly rush the seasons enough. The day after Thanksgiving, there were some houses in our neighborhood that had outside lights up, lighted Christmas trees in windows, and I suspect that if we lived in a more affluent suburb, there'd be a snow machine blowing white stuff around (while the ambient temperature outside was approaching 80 degrees). Hey, what's your hurry?

What do you think? Have we rushed the season too much? I recall the "old days" when Christmas merchandise didn't find its way onto the shelves until December. Have your traditions kept pace with the "new" schedule, or do you still refuse to decorate for the Christmas holidays until the last of the Thanksgiving turkey has been disposed of? I'd like to hear.

Meanwhile, excuse me while I help dig out the Christmas decorations. After all, December will be here soon.

(Note: for all those who might be interested. I'll start the final run-through on my novella, Surgeon's Choice, tomorrow. I hope to have it available for pre-order in the next few weeks. As always, subscribers to my newsletter will hear about it first.)