Friday, July 21, 2017

Writing: Juggling All The Balls

When a writer completes a book, he/she feels like throwing their hat in the air and shouting, "I've finished." But in actuality, the fun's not over by any means. At this point, depending on whether the book is published by a traditional company or self-published, the author must assist with (or take charge of) making sure others read what they've produced.

I've self-published three novellas, so I already knew what was involved for the author in the continuing process. Not only had I been  responsible for cover design and manuscript editing, but I also had to be in charge of marketing the book. Otherwise, it was sort of like yelling in the forest with no one around to hear.

So, with the publication of my novel, Cardiac Event, I had to get the word out about it. I've arranged a number of appearances on other blogs, and since a chance to win a free book seems to draw people, I'll be giving away a copy of the book with each appearance. I'll try to mention each of these interviews or guest appearances on this blog before they take place. And, if you have already bought the book yet win one from me, I'll send you an Amazon gift card instead. How's that?

Fortunately, I've already had one review by Romantic Times Book Reviews, and I was thrilled at their remarks and their calling the novel a Top Pick. Other reviews will come from readers after the book is released. I hope they like it.

And, of course, during all this I'm working on more writing. I have two novellas and a novel almost ready for release, so stay tuned.

For those who haven't yet taken advantage of the pre-publication price of Cardiac Event, you have one more week to do so before it goes up to the regular price. For those who like to read a physical book, a print version will also be available. (Just click the Cardiac Event cover in the sidebar to order now). Oh, and the Kindle format of Doctor's Dilemma will be marked down to $2.99 until July 28 as well.

So that's where I am--busy, but not (yet) overwhelmed. I'll see you in a few days. In the meantime, enjoy the weekend.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Using Your Head

I haven't practiced medicine for about a decade and a half (that's 15 years for those of you who are numbers-challenged), yet I continue to read the journals and maintain my CME. I don't do this because I plan to go back to work as a physician (although that avenue is always open, I guess), but rather I do it to keep my mind sharp. I enjoy using my head.

I may not know about every bit of the new technology, but I can still do what Sir William Osler said: "Listen to the patient. He's telling you the diagnosis." We have some wonderful tests (and I marvel as each new one is unveiled), but a great deal of any diagnosis depends on an accurate history.

I was reminded of this when I had my own annual physical recently. The doctor asked all the right questions, but I had to think to make sure my answers were truthful, not just pro forma. For my age, I seem to be doing fine, but she knew this before she ever laid a stethoscope on me. Because she listened to what I was saying.

Conversely, if a doctor--or mechanic or CPA plumber or anyone else--gets inaccurate information, their conclusion and subsequent actions are going to be skewed in the wrong direction. When your car is going chug-a, chug-a, chug-a, you don't tell the mechanic what's wrong or what to do. You describe the symptoms as accurately as possible, and depend on the professional to make a diagnosis.

And notice, I said "professional." I wouldn't take my car to a plumber for help with a problem, nor do I think it's appropriate to ask medical questions on Facebook. But that's a sermon for another day.

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Note: My novel, Cardiac Event, will be released by Amazon in ten days. Until then, the Kindle version is available for a pre-publication price of $2.99--that's 60% of the regular price for the e-book.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Writing: Endorsements

A recent communication from a friend and fellow author about possible endorsement made me think it's time for me to talk a bit about those things. We've all seen them on the cover of a book or in conjunction with an advertisement, but did you ever think how they came about?

I've preached steadily about making connections and meeting people at writing conferences--not because they might be useful someday (although the friendship might), but because they're your colleagues. In my case, these are the people I approach first for "blurbs" (i.e., brief endorsements) if they either write in the same genre as me or if they're really big fans (and fortunately I have several of those--people who don't write in my genre but have followings of their own). And I never ask them for a blurb. I ask if they'd be willing to read "in view of an endorsement." Most say "yes," but if the answer is "no"--no matter the reason--that's okay. A few even say to ask them again, and I do. If they don't, I cross them off as potential endorsers, but the friendship remains intact.

What about if you're on the other end? What do I do if someone asks me to endorse a novel? I've formulated these rules from what other authors have suggested, and they've served me well over the years. I'll read in view of an endorsement (I never promise one) if: 1) I know the person or I've been recommended by a mutual friend, 2) the novel is in the genre in which I write, and 3) I either have read some of the individual's writing or I am pretty sure it will be good. After that, the book makes the decision. And, yes, I read the whole thing.

Are endorsements important for you, either as a writer or a reader? Let me know.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What's Your Opinion On Free Stuff?

The statue a left is from Waikiki, and depicts Duke Kahanamoku, virtually a legend in the Islands. Duke was an olympic surfer, as well as  a law enforcement officer, an actor, a beach volleyball player and businessman. I recall Arthur Godfrey (yes, I'm that old) quoting these words from Duke Kahanamoku: "For free, take. For buy, waste time." I

Do you think of this when you hear a voice on the phone or a person at the door telling you they're with such-and-such company, and they already have a crew working in your area? so they'd be happy to give you a free estimate/inspection/etc? Right after a hail-storm in our area, the offers come pouring in from roofing companies, ready to offer their services with a "free estimate." And today's mail just brought a booklet full of coupons offering discounts and deals from a variety of vendors, from restaurants to car repair shops. Do you use these or toss them?

As a participant in the writing world, I note more and more of my colleagues offering their work at discounted prices, some even at no charge, in order to get more sales for their work . Is this a good thing or a bad thing? What's your feeling about free estimates, no-obligation evaluations, and free or low cost e-books? Does all this come under Duke's rule? Or is it something that ends up saving you money and introducing you to a company (or author) you eventually stick with?

That having been said, I'll remind you that I've chosen to offer the ebook version of my next novel, Cardiac Event, for a discounted pre-publication price. I'll await your comments as to what you think of this offer and all the others.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Writing: Announcement

I'd already written the post for today, but had to postpone that until next week to share this with readers of this blog. My novel, Cardiac Event, is now available in Kindle format from Amazon, at a discounted price. The pre-order price is $2.99, which goes up to $4.99 when the book officially releases on July 18. The print version should be out by then or shortly thereafter.

Thanks for your patience. I hope it was worth the wait.

Be sure to post your reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites after you've read it. Enjoy

PS--Almost forgot. Happy birthday to me.