Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Hickory Stick Bookshop

I'm proud and to announce that Painless is now being sold in the famed independent bookshop - The Hickory Stick Bookshop - located in Washington, Connecticut. They will be selling both the paperback and hardcopy versions, and they will be signed by the author, whoever he is. It also will be available to order through their online bookstore.

The Hickory Stick Bookshop has been a Connecticut institution for over 50-years and a haven for "local" authors ranging from Arthur Miller to Candace Bushnell of Sex in the City fame. This was recently highlighted in an article by the Danbury News Times this past Sunday about famed Roxbury writers giving back to the community, Hickory Stick playing a large role.

Even if you've already have your copy(ies) of Painless, it's still a great place to venture for any reader who is in the Connecticut area. And the independent and local bookstores can always use the help in this Amazon world we now live in. I love Borders and B&N as much as anyone else, but indie stores are the heartbeat for readers and writers in every community, and the Hickory Stick Shop is right at the top of the list.

A News-Times file photo of the late noted author and playwright Arthur Miller,of Roxbury, signing books at the Hickory Stick bookstore in Washington Depot, Ct. Photo: File Photo / The News-Times File Photo

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm going on vacation, what would you recommend for a good beach read?

Sadly(for me), I'm not

The title refers to an encounter I had in a bookstore last week with a woman - who, perhaps thinking I worked there, turned to me and said, "I'm going away for vacation, what would you recommend for a good beach read?"

Doing what any fake store employee would do - I handed her a card for Painless and whispered in between-you-and-me style, "This book is better than anything in here, you can get it from Amazon or go to the author's web site."

She appeared excited about the covert, insider trading info I hooked her up with, and enthusiastically asked, "What's it about?" When I told her, I focused on how it's a run-for-your-life page-turner filled with suspense and intrigue.

Painless is more than a traditional thriller, as it also includes a heart-warming story of redemption and inspiring characters, but I think that sometimes my promotion focuses too much on the "more than" part and gets away from the fact that at it's core, Painless is a Patterson-esque-type thriller meant to entertain. In fact, I've been told by a few readers that after reading the preview they expected a story of a personal journey, and were pleasantly surprised it turned out to be much more...

...such as a perfect beach read!

Beach read musts for me
1. Fast paced: Need to be able to start & finish it on vacay. Turn those pages!
2. Tight: I don't want to read 3 pages of poetic prose about beautiful scenery when I can just look up from the book and observe real life beautiful scenery. Get to the point!
3. Light: As in not too dark. I thought The Lovely Bones was compelling, but doesn't work for me under a palm tree sipping on a Corona.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wrapping up "National Read an Ebook Week"

My reaction to hearing this was probably the same as yours - What? For Real? - so I didn't have high expectations, to say the least, when I agreed to make Painless available for a week long promotion in which the ebook version would be downloadable at a reduced or no cost.

But then the first Purchase Notification arrived in my email
And then another.
And another.
And they kept coming until it ended this past weekend.

Not only did Painless reach a whole new audience, but made this skeptic become a believer.

When Painless was first published last fall I took a wait/see attitude with ebooks. I envisioned them playing a big role in the future (although I don't think they will ever replace the printed book), but wasn't sure the future had arrived yet. And since my family was the first on our block with a Betamax, I had learned at a young age the value of taking a patient approach in regards to trendy new technologies.

Then around Xmas time the Kindle and Nook hype began. I remained skeptical - and to prove the point, I walked a packed NYC-bound train during rush hour, searching for any sign of any E-reader device, finding none. But then this December 28th headline made me do a double-take:

One month later, Painless was published as an ebook by Smashwords. The results during the first month certainly didn't match the tantalizing headline - almost all of them were through a great program called Operation EBook Drop, which provides ebooks to soldiers overseas - so not until last week did I realize that the future is now.