Free books

Joe Konrath is offering two free books on his blog A Newbie's Guid to Publishing. Go to his blog, scroll down and find a thumbnail of the cover for The List and Origin. You won't be sorry. Fabulous stories.

You probably know Joe and his blog. He offers common sense advice to those pursuing publication, and he doesn't pull any punches. He's a strong advocate of promoting one's book and one's name in a continuing effort to build his readership. Thus, his offering books for free is of course part of that effort.

Well, Joe. It worked. I'm hooked. I'm a new fan so I'm spreading the word.

I think it's very brave of Joe to offer two manuscripts which failed to get publishing contracts. Brave and generous because there's a lot to be learned from reading these two manuscripts. If you're a reader, don't worry about the rest of this blog. Just download the two books for a highly entertaining read.

If you're a writer, read on.

Let's talk about Origin. This was Joe's manuscript that got him his agent. When you read it, you're immediately drawn in. He does everything right to capture the reader's interest from sentence one. The story and his other free book The List are the kind of books Dean Koontz writes. They're imaginative, fast paced, and on the cutting edge of science and technology. Read Origin and you'll see why agents wanted to represent Joe.

But my favorite was The List. This was his second book I believe. You can see his growth as a writer, but what I found so shocking was that it did NOT get published. This book would have been called a "stunning debut" by critics because it's got it all - out there premise, good characterization and appealing characters, fast paced, some buddy cop humor. Wow. I started reading about eleven at night and couldn't put it down.

The next day when I walked around bleary-eyed for lack of sleep I kept wondering how such a fantastic book couldn't get published. Not just published but made into a major motion picture starring Nicholas Cage because an aspect of the book reminded me of National Treasure.

I spent a good deal of time thinking about the situation and these are the lessons I learned:

1. Good books sometimes don't get published. Go figure. Sometimes s*** happens.

2. Don't waste time revising and resubmitting ad infinitum. Accept and move on down the road. Write something else. Then when you do get published, do like Joe and offer your great stories as free Ebooks to attract readers to your work who will then rush out and buy your published books.

3. Don't agonize and beat yourself up about why you couldn't get published. Take action and write something else. Analyze the fabulous multi-rejected books and see if there is something that can be used in the next book. Joe did this. In The List, the hero's boss is Lt. Daniels who became his lead character in his next book which started a series.

4. Try to understand the vagaries of the publishing world and don't shoot yourself in the foot when trying to get published the very first time. Joe's first two books were mixed genre which, for an unpublished writer, is a very very hard sell. Dean Koontz created this kind of book, drawing from horror, mystery, suspense, and romance. Guess what? Publishers don't like to publish a first time author in a mixed genre. Why? The author is unknown so where are you going to shelve that book so that readers can discover him? In horror? Or mystery? Or romance? There is no Mixed Genre section at your local bookstore. Joe's "Jack" Daniels books aren't mixed genre.

As you can see, the bottom line is: WRITE ANOTHER BOOK. If it doesn't sell? WRITE ANOTHER.

Writers write. Wannabe writers too often whine and moan. This is a waste of energy if it goes beyond an hour's conversation with a friend and some dark chocolate and Chivas on the rocks.

Sling Words out to WRITE ANOTHER BOOK.

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