writer pillow

One of the common questions a writer gets is: why do you write?

It’s not just a valid question– it’s one every writer has to work out. The fact is, writing is time consuming. If you write short, nonfiction pieces, you can probably make a decent living off of doing that. “For the money” is definitely a good answer for someone doing that.

But a novelist? Unless you are famous already, your chances of making good money from it is very low. It doesn’t matter if you’re good at writing. What really matters is being good at marketing. In fact, if you’re doing it for money, people will tell you to research the markets before you even start writing, because you have to decide not what story to tell but what story will sell. Fame is at least as long a shot as money. If you want fame, you might do better creating a YouTube show because it asks people to invest less time to consume your product.

Other people will tell you it’s a compulsion. They need to put down the words to get it out of their system. It sounds good. It suggests the story is semi-autobiographical, something that has deep meaning to them and may reveal their soul. But a lot of people say it. I don’t know how common a real sense of compulsion is, and it sounds pretty awful to experience. While I am regularly drawn to write, I can easily opt to keep my ideas to myself, and, in fact, it takes discipline for me to keep up the daily effort. I can daydream in my head without anything like the time cost  of putting it into words.

So what motivates me? I want to make readers happy. Yes, they may experience some fear or have their heartstrings pulled, but overall, my novels will make you laugh, have a vicarious experience of friendship, the satisfaction of resolutions… I want people to feel good and have a chance to recover from a world that is plenty stressful.

That’s all. I’m donating books to libraries. I’m willing to give free copies to get reviews. But it’s frustrating because it is very, very hard to reach a larger audience. What would you recommend for getting the word out about my books?

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Amazon Link: Forever Haunted Amazon

Ultimate Final Cover Forevers Too Long GIMP

Amazon Link: Forevers Too Long Amazon

Everyone loves free samples

Whether it’s a pull quote, the preview feature on Amazon, or sites where you can read up to 20% of the book for free (I enabled the highest setting, because I have confidence people will want to find out what happens next), sharing is caring and I was delighted to see a reader share a bit of dialogue that caught her fancy via a Kindle feature. Go ahead and look.  Maybe share something you liked, too.

I also will be sharing samples now and then that don’t spoil the stories. Humor  in my books is one of the thing I really pride myself on and I as shocked to notice my posts so far haven’t been very specific about that. The characters both are deliberately witty, with sparkling banter or biting wit when it fits, and sometimes… well, there may be moments where Raf seems more like Buster Keaton than David Niven. Frankly, I think it makes him easy to relate to.

Buster

Hello, world…

No, I’m not coming out as a computer simulation of a writer. I just want to directly and specifically welcome people to comment or email me, with their questions, comments, etc.

I know I was very shy about writing to writers I liked. Many writers have day jobs. The ones that write for a living have deadlines, contracts, pitches to make, queries to send, and so on. I worried that asking them to take time to respond to one person was impertinent and intrusive.

Now, I’m on the other end of the pen, as it were, and I can tell you– it can feel kind of lonely! When you’re on stage before an audience, you get continuous real time feedback from multitudes. When you paint, you do art shows and get to peek at people’s reactions as they look at your work. Sometimes they come over and tell you what spoke to them, or what well-known artist’s style you’re reminding them of. But there’s a time delay with writing, almost always. I have Allan read my stuff in front of me, often, because I want to gauge his reactions. When I sent out my main draft to my beta readers, I was lucky enough to have a couple who were moved to write to me in the middle of reading it. That was quite helpful– sure, I loved my book, but it needed to be good to other people.

I’ve fixed a typo a reader spotted that slipped by proofreading, and I suspect my Spanish and Russian dialogue has flaws. If you want to give me a correction, I am likely to find it helpful.

All this is a long way of saying, I really do value my readers and welcome feedback. I’d even be glad to know who is reading my blog, even if you haven’t gone for the book. Some people just like to see how writers think and plan. Where are you from, and how is life treating you?

How can I support authors I like, you ask?

Well, maybe you don’t ask. But now you want to know, because once you fall in love with a book, you want more like it.

Review it! Many online stores and book sites allow readers to post reviews. A person is more likely to take a chance on a book that 50 people say they loved than 5 people say they do.

Recommend it! Readers have friends who read, and you likely have an idea of their tastes. A recommendation makes a person more likely to find out more about an unknown book. Some authors, such as J.K. Rowling, got further by word of mouth recommendations and kids buying it for their friends, than by traditional marketing methods.

Gift it! I’ve been running a special– the book retails at $12 each, but I’ve been running a 2 for $20 special via direct sales. It encourages people to either buy an extra as a present for a friend or talk them into buying one too and splitting the savings. And I’d never ask this, but two of my buyers spontaneously paid extra, so that someone who wanted it but couldn’t afford it could have a copy.

Speaking of buying direct– when I purchase a crate of books and sell them directly to people at list price, I get more of a share than the royalties if you buy from retailers. I imagine it works the same way for other authors. So don’t think you’re shorting us if you want a signed copy.

You’re also not wasting our time if you contact us with questions or wanting to share your thoughts. Art is about communication, and as FUN as it is for me to write Rafael Jones, I’m not just doing it for myself. Hearing from readers is very motivational. There’s a button to send me an email, or just use the comment area. I love you so much just for being interested enough in my work to come here.

5-Star Reviews for “Forever’s Too Long”…

The first installment of “The Forever Detective” series is now available in Trade Paperback and E-Book formats

And the review are just starting to come in…

5.0 out of 5 stars  “Clever writing without being campy

“This genre mashup of 1940s detective/vampire novel must have been a challenge for Helen Krummenacker to write, but she pulled it off beautfully….”
 
“Had so much fun reading this book…”
You can read the rest of the reviews by clicking on the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF