Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Contest -- Don't Judge a Book by its Cover

Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover
I’ve been thinking about changing the cover of Footprints of a Dancer and replacing it with one, which would more closely reflect the storyline. Don’t get me wrong. I love the artwork. However, I’ve been told by more than one reader that the cover might give potential readers the wrong impression of what to expect from the book.

Back in the day – a mere 6 years ago actually – when physical books were the reality of publishing, once a book was out it was out, and making changes was not easy. But now that the world of publishing – thanks to Amazon Kindle – has gone mostly digital books and their design and content are easily changed.

I want to take this opportunity to ask my readers for their input. If you have read Footprints of a Dancer, please let me know what you think. Do you like the cover? Do you think it is reflective of the storyline? If you were to change it, in what ways would you do so?
You are invited to respond by commenting on this post, emailing me at bob@bobavey.com or by visiting my website http://www.bobavey.com and leaving a comment on the Blog Post that matches this post.

I’m currently working on the fourth Detective Elliot novel, and if someone lends me a good idea to solve my quandary above I would, if they want me to do so, include them as a character in the future book and send them a free copy.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

It's Not Your Father's Oldsmobile

Bob’s 1st Quarter Newsletter

It’s not your father’s Oldsmobile.

Have you paused lately to consider how much things have changed in the last few years?
I’m not talking about: When I was your age, I walked five miles through the snow; but just within the last few years. Let’s take cell phones for example. Cell phones have been around longer than most people realize. In fact, cell phones were used by the military as early as the 1950’s. However, they were not used commercially until 1973, and didn’t become the rage until the 1990’s. I know that’s twenty-four years ago, but it seems like yesterday to me.

Well, you might be asking, what in the world does that have to do with writing and publishing?

When Beneath a Buried House, the second Detective Elliot novel, was released in 2010, it was still pretty much a brick-and-mortar, paperback world. By the time Footprints of a Dancer – a widely misunderstood work of art – was released in 2012, things had begun to change with the e-book quickly gaining in popularity.  And now, in 2014, the publishing world has been turned on its head with well-known authors dabbling in the previously forbidden, dark science of self-publishing: Since their large publishers still refuse to grasp reality by pricing their e-books at hardback prices while trying to pay the author a mere 15%. The revolution has also caused formerly unapproachable agents to act as friendly advocates and enablers of self-publishing.

Say it ain’t so, Joe.

On the brighter side, some things never seem to change. I was shopping in Walmegamonopoly over the weekend where I saw a display offering the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift: A pair of pink, aloe-infused socks. Nothing says I love you like a pair of socks laced with the extract of the Aloe Vera plant.

Finding the obituaries morbid and depressing, I never read them. However, I actually heard this on the radio. Some famous or at least well-known Oklahoma rancher had passed away and his family had him cremated. The ad, if you can call it that, told of the memorial service to follow, which was to be a barbeque out at the ranch. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

Like my good friend, Chuck Sasser always says, “You can’t make this stuff up.”
Stopping for a cappuccino at the intersection of Highway 51 and 81st Street – I now live in this area and you really should add visiting this intersection to your things-to-do list – I saw a girl wearing bright, pink pajamas and cowboy boots; a young mother with black clothing and chemically-black hair adorned with a red flower, pushing a baby carriage. The baby was dressed the exact same way; a heavyset man who kicked his leg in the air. He’d take several steps and kick, several more steps and do it again; and finally a man with a long, grey beard, wearing pants, which appeared to be made from the American flag. Not only was he a disgrace, but looked like Salvador Dali’s rendition of Uncle Sam.
Okay I admit to not seeing this all at the same intersection, but not to not seeing it at all.

And now for something completely different: With the ethereal mist of Footprints softly lingering, I am on the brink of solving and bringing to fruition the age-old problem and nemesis of the alchemist: How do you successfully blend the normal – if there’s such a thing – with the paranormal? Becoming impatient, Detective Elliot shook me by the collar and showed me the way. With his next book, which I’m feverishly working on – even the title is proprietary – he’ll reveal it to you as well.

I want to thank everyone who has signed up for my newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it. If you know of someone who might enjoy it, too, please email it to them. Thanks.

I also give programs for writing groups, reading groups, or any group that’s interested. If you belong to a club, which needs program speakers, keep me in mind.

You have permission to reprint, forward, or use the contents of this newsletter in your newsletter or e-zine. The only requirement is the inclusion of the following footer:

This article was written by Bob Avey, author of, Twisted Perception, Beneath a Buried House, and Footprints of a Dancer. http://www.bobavey.com.