Listen to Pilot Light

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Overlooked and unloved

I have a number of books published and I am proud of them all. Their fates are important to me.

Now writers tend to have a favorite among their literary children and I am also well aware that readers often disagree with writers concerning which is their best book. But one book of mine that I have a fondness for doesn't suffer from readers not liking it. It suffers the angst of loneliness. Although my other books do sell this one hasn't. Never.

 Here is is, just to the left. Nameless Mountain. See the book with the nice cover, with a great photo by Guy Prentice.

I think that the book's invisibility is a shame, because I honestly think it is a fun book and that readers would enjoy it and want to read my other books.

What's a kid to do?

Part of the problem is that this story doesn't fit into any genre that I am aware of; it has no home in a niche. It is just a story. It is humorous (in my dark and weird manner) but not a book to be read for laughs. The universe the characters live in is a bit off kilter, but not in a science fiction sense. It is just that it is filtered through my own perverse way of seeing things.The relationships of the characters, the narrators happiness in finding a place with no name, are factors. No one dies in the book. It lacks any exciting car chases, however there is a humor attack and sex and gambling. And lots of traveling about.

The book evolved through several incarnations. It actually first came into my life, via my computer, back in the 80s. It was rewritten, scrapped, revised, salvaged, and finally redrafted entirely. I thought I had it nailed, finally. The story that needed telling was stripped of the story that I was trying to layer on it. My efforts to be creative had been getting in the way of my being creative. That happens. So I got out of the way (stood sort of to the side--an uncomfortable posture to hold for any length of time) and let the story tell itself. Even about the brainy Vegas hooker named Denise (she's a Scorpio) and the agony of a wine snob. There is high drama when Ted pukes on a Corvette. All the ingredients are there.

But online selling hinges on categorization. And what is it? To my mind it is a story about people sorting out who they are. Sort of Kerouac with a sense of humor and a pinch of belief in the overall right working of things. In short, a novel.

Failing anything else, I have it listed under Literature & Fiction > Humor and Literature & Fiction > Literary. That last one sounds a bit snooty to me, but the books like it are listed that way, so what to do? I think most readers of literary fiction have a plateful of established authors to choose from and the discovery process for a lesser known (okay, unknown) is about like waiting for a bus in the middle of the Gobi desert. Both can happen, but what are the odds?

So categories fail me and if I can't label it, readers cannot find it. Oh me, oh my!

Then, this morning, I thought of a label that might work, at least for a time. It is accurate, to the point, motivates a buyer to consider it, and captures the mood (that I want it to be read). That label is FREE. Until July 31, the novel is free in any ebook format at Smashwords.(It is also available in paperback, not free, if you are so inclined.)

My hope is that this way it will get read. And maybe you will download a copy, read it and let me know what category you'd expect to find it in. A honest review would be appreciated too.

Happy summertime.

Traveling Ed