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One Step Forward and Two Steps Back

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You may have noticed that I haven’t been blogging a heck of a lot lately. Or, maybe you didn’t notice… and that’s sort of the problem.   With about as much fanfare as a passing cirrus cloud, my second book, a suspense novel titled Parlor City Paradise, hit the shelves a little over four months ago. The story is set in Binghamton, New York, a once extremely affluent city which has been grabbing a lot of headlines recently thanks to a group of kids from nearby Maine-Endwell winning the Little League World Series for the first time since 1964. If I’d had the slightest inkling something like that might happen, I could have easily drawn some literary connection. Maybe Skid Row, one of the novel’s main characters, actually played on that team before dropping out of school at a young age. Sadly, though, I lacked the proper foresight and that bandwagon has long since passed me by. I can almost hear the driver, who bears a striking resemblance to Clark W. Griswold, saying,” Let’s burn some dust here. Eat my rubber!”

frontThe point is, I’ve got kind of a bad taste in my mouth because my book, which I’m really rather proud of, did not make the big splash I’d hoped for. I shouldn’t be surprised. The independent publishing revolution is both a blessing and a curse. Regardless of the quality of the work, any author can have his/her novel, memoir, poetry collection or how-to book on the best technique for screwing in a light bulb, not only published but in the marketplace within a matter of hours. You don’t have to edit, proofread, or even run a spell check. That’s the curse. The blessing is that masterpieces such as A Shot at Redemption, books that may not have made it past the gatekeepers of traditional publishing, are now available to the general public. There are, so far as I can tell, somewhere in the neighborhood of two million books currently available on Amazon. A lot of them are really great too. It’s just getting more and more difficult to find the diamonds amidst all that rough.

If I’m sounding sorry for myself, that’s really not the case. I’m just in a re-evaluation period. Perhaps re-focus is a better term. If I’m going to get my head above water, I know I need a straight and clear path to the surface. It’s simple enough in principle but involves self promotion, marketing and advertising, three things I enjoy about as much as brussel sprouts, Chlamydia and the New England Patriots, not necessarily in that order.  However, we do what we gotta do, and the main thing I gotta do is continue to write and improve on my craft. I’m well into my third novel and, although I’m not ready to share plot details, I can tell you it’s by far my most ambitious and personal endeavor. How’s that for a teaser?

Of course, I can’t just write and publish books unless I can also find some way to let you (aka the entire literate world) know I have these great things available for your reading pleasure.  Ideally, each person who does buy and read one of my books would not only enjoy the experience but post a glowing review and then rush out to tell a dozen friends. That… um… doesn’t happen so much. Plenty of folks have told me they love my books but that’s about as far as it goes. So much for getting you to do my work for me. Unlike Tom Sawyer, it appears I’ve got to paint my own damn fence.

just front coverFor now, that fence painting will mostly take the form of attempting to expand my horizons. As I’ve mentioned before, radio station owner, morning man, voice over expert and blog interview subject Mark Andrews is producing the audio book version of A Shot at Redemption. The recording work is done and the book is now in the lengthy editing phase. Once it’s ready, I will plan some sort of release event that will likely include some radio advertising and/or promotion. I’m also still figuring out what to do with my 21 Sundays of Fantastic Football Food cookbook. I think it has definite commercial appeal. I’m waiting on feedback from a couple beta readers and then I’ll decide what the next step(s) should be.

My final effort at horizon expansion is out of the literary realm altogether. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about blogging is getting the opportunity to meet and interview some really interesting people. Thus far, those people have all had some connection to writing or publishing. I guess I did make one exception when I interviewed Fantasy Football Today podcast host Adam Aizer. That was a bit of self-indulgence. I’m envious of anyone who makes a living talking about sports.  And in my next blog post, I will make an even larger exception when I interview Still: The Series creator, director and executive producer Jonathan Holbrook. What happens when an alien infection takes over a small Northwest town? You’ll have to watch the series to find out. You can, too. It’s available now on Amazon Prime . I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout makin’ no movies but I’m very much looking forward to finding out. And if you have any questions for Jonathan, please drop me a line and let me know.

 

If you like what you’ve read, please subscribe to this blog or my Turn the Page book review blog. Visit michaelsova.com, or find me on Facebook and Twitter @Micsova. My two novels, A Shot at Redemption and Parlor City Paradise, are available at Amazon and wherever e-books are sold.

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