The speaker at our local writers' group last Sunday said all authors have to be entrepreneurs, and the author/entrepreneur's life goes in three-month cycles. For weeks you'll be over the moon because your book's been released and it's selling and good reviews are coming in. Then comes that one week when you sell nothing and the world comes crashing down...
She's obviously a much more established author/entrepreneur than I am. If I sell a single book in a week I'm more than overjoyed. And if I sell more... Is that even possible?
Yesterday I found I'd been paid by Smashwords. I sold, on average, a book a month in six months of 2013. Which is one a month more than I sold in 2012 with them. But does a book a month make me an author, or just an aspiring writer with dreams too far above her station?
Still, whether writer or author or dreamer or something in between, I got paid real money and now I can afford three cups of coffee! So grab your coffee cup and enjoy these book reviews and coffee recommendations--short books this time, nicely designed for coffee-break, lunch, or a leisurely summer afternoon.
Starting with a lovely illustrated children's book, The Book of Ruth by Nancy Radke and Alison Miller, is part of the show and tell picture Bible. The pictures are bright and inviting, the text nice and clear, and the story's well-told. Drink a bright lively 2-star coffee then read with your kids (or grandkids) at bedtime.
Next is a book for teens. Choke, by S. R. Johannes, is the second book in her Breathless series. The author's deft hand with minimal backstory means you can read this easily without reading volume 1 (Suffocate), and the first line "Whether I'm real or not, the sun still burns my skin" is almost guaranteed to draw you in. Eria always thought she was normal. Now she might be a machine. Meanwhile the world and all its creatures seem out to get her. Enjoy with a bright lively 2-star coffee and hope book 3 comes out soon.
Cross Words, by Steve Forman, is a short scary tale of love and betrayal set at a somewhat surprising time of life. No one really knows what happened when elderly Jessica's husband disappeared, but now she's happily married again, and her husband's doing crosswords and playing scrabble... and the letters are talking to him. Enjoy this short tale with a 5-star dark intense coffee.
The Surrogate’s Secret, by Mimi Barbour, is an enjoyable romantic tale with exotic locations, big-city power, secrets, spies and lies, plus surrogate motherhood and genuine affection. A fun romp, best enjoyed with a lively easy-drinking 2-star coffee.
For readers wanting more than one short story at once,Twisted Shorties II, a Gather publication, offers a wealth of poems, flash fiction, short stories, novel excerps and more in a single e-volume. You'll need several cups of coffee as you read this eclectic collection, from mild light 1-star cups through to 5-stars, bold dark and intense. Enjoy.
And finally, since I really do want to write better and sell more books, what better book would there be for me than a whole writers' workshop in one volume. I was lucky enough to be given a free ecopy of Writing Fantasy Heroes; powerful advice from the pros, which really is just as valuable for any writer as writers of pure fantasy. Don't we all have action scenes where we stumble over describing every blow. Don't we all create "tomes" then worry in case we've just drawn a cliche? And isn't
exposition vs dramatisation" a much better way of looking at show and tell? There's enough for several weeks-worth of reading in here, and it's all well worth the time, so load up the coffee-maker with 4-star elegant coffee and read on...