Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Book roundup

Summer Reading: Photo by Kris Molendyke, shamelessly lifted from Google+

I created a roundup of links of reviews for "Be Brave, Be Strong," mostly because I wanted to have them all in one place and a reference I can link in my sidebar. Sales were good in June and July and dropped off quite a bit in August, which I expected to happen once the "new release" wave leveled off. What's surprised me is that "Ghost Trails" sales have picked up quite a bit and the older book is now selling at nearly the level of the new book, thanks to Kindle sales. That at least has been a affirmation of so many indie authors' mantras that books are worthy projects because books are forever a source of income. The two together are at least keeping me in gas and groceries as I wrap up a few magazine articles and freelance newspaper columns that won't result in payments until months down the road.

Amid the few freelance assignments I've picked up, I have been working on a third book project. Several, actually. And I admit I've hit walls with my nonfiction projects. One needs a lot more research, and the other just isn't quite resonating with me right now. On the encouragement of a couple of online writer groups that I browse, I've very recently started dabbling in fiction. I don't have high ambitions that this will result in anything great. Honestly, fiction isn't really my thing but conceptualizing a narrative that takes place completely in my imagination has been fun. I have an idea for an adventure story set in Southeast Alaska, and visualizing the landscape has been a rewarding escape on these warm August days.

I really enjoy what I've been spending my days trying to do, but it's been challenging. Anyone who believes that freelance writing is a self-indulgent hobby of a lifestyle has never actually tried to convince people to pay them for words. I love words but even I have a hard time believing that words have the kind of worth that can be traded for gas and groceries and bicycles. So I agonize about how to convince others that they are, including you, the readers of this blog, who I am currently trying to talk into buying my books. I promise I won't start "spamming" my own blog on a regular basis, but if my Diet Pepsi fund runs particularly low, I may continue to try.

So for now, the links:

Cycling Utah published an excerpt of "Be Brave, Be Strong" in its August 2011 issue — to my surprise, the entire Great Divide Basin chapter. That's a lot of words. But I'm always happy to contribute to my first-ever freelance writing gig. I've been an occasional contributor to Cycling Utah since they "paid" me to ride the Salt Lake Century way back in 2004. The excerpt begins on page 30.

Reviews from cyclists and friends:
Bill Martin, Montana endurance mountain bike racer
Dave Chenault, 2011 Alaska Wilderness Classic finisher
Kent Peterson, 2005 Great Divide Race singlespeed finisher
Danni Coffman, super awesome chick in Montana
Jim Speakman, cyclist in Scotland

Reviews from book reviewers and readers:
Flying With Red Haircrow
Tara Chevrestt, "Book Babe"
Amazon reviews
Goodreads reviews
Smashwords reviews
Librarything reviews

Where you can buy the paperback book:
Signed copies direct from me for $15
Signed copies of both "Be Brave" and "Ghost Trails" for  $25.95
From Amazon, on sale for $12.20
From Barnes and Noble, also $12.20

Where you can buy the eBook:
For Amazon Kindle, $8.95
For Barnes and Noble Nook, $8.95
For iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, $8.95
For other e-Readers, $6.71 (files can work for all eReaders; use coupon code XF85Q to get 25% off)
PDF eBook that can be viewed on any computer, $7.16

Finally, if you're interested in previewing the book, Goodreads is offering a free preview of the first 12 chapters. That's about half of the book. My hope is that if you make it that far in, you'll want to read the rest. That preview is located here.