Tag Archives: Smashwords

Reading and Heroes

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BULLETIN:  THE TYCOON is now for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. It will soon be for sale on Smashwords. The price is $4.99. It will soon be for sale also as a POD through Amazon for $12.99.

Here are the links:

AMAZON – http://www.amazon.com/Tycoon-Sons-Texas-Book-ebook/dp/B00AQS1GWC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1359084286&sr=1-1&keywords=anna+jeffrey  

BARNES & NOBLE –  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-tycoon-jeffery-mcclanahan/1114134738?ean=2940015956870&itm=6&usri=anna+jeffrey 

KOBO – http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/The-Tycoon/book-0RXXcbYIu0yogY3qWjl1gQ/page1.html?s=ypmu_kkZD0ucGBMlHO8Ipg&r=3

Today, I surfed over to a blog where someone I know was a guest and they were talking about favorite heroes and heroines from books they’ve read. And that caused me to think about that.

Many weighed in and named their faves.

Most of the posters consistently named Roark from Nora’s “In Death” books, a character that hasn’t excited me at all. I’ve tried to analyze what it is about that character that so many love, but it eludes me.

Several others names Jamie from Diana Galbaldon’s series. He didn’t do much for me either.

A few of the posters named Scarlett and Rhett. I did like those two as Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable portrayed them in the movie.

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Beautiful picture, huh?

This just goes to show you how subjective reading is. So I compiled my own list. You might notice that all of my faves are alpha males.

First, I came up with Tom Booker from “The Horse Whisperer.” Great book by a great writerly writer. I didn’t especially like Annie, but I fell in love with Tom Booker.

Then, there are Penelope Williamson’s epic books. “The Heart of the West,” with its angsty lifelong relationship between Clementine Kennicutt and Zach McQueen who was loveable in his own rough way. Also, “The Outsider” and the challenging love story between the righteous Rachel Yoder and the outsider and dark anti-hero, Cain. Who can resist an anti-hero who is basically good?

My next thought was of Kara Whittenbrook and Ben Thocco in Deborah Smith’s wonderful book, “A Gentle Rain.” Ben was so honest, so caring and so much his own man, you couldn’t help but love him. And Kara did.

A hero from a book I read more recently is Jack Travis from “Smooth Talking Stranger” by Lisa Kleypas. Her heroes are always alpha and heroic, but IMHO, she hit a homerun with Jack because she added a bit of a sense of humor to an already charming man.

What I realized from this exercise is that over the years, I’ve read a large number of books, some of them more than once or even twice, but the number of heroes and heroines I could remember was small. What does that say about writers writing and me as a reader reading?

Crafting a memorable hero is harder than it might seem. My stories emanate from the characters I create. In other words, the plot doesn’t dictate the characters that populate the story. Rather, the characters drive the plot. Thus, I devote a lot of thought to how I want a hero to be perceived by readers before I ever put a word on a page.

In many ways, the characterization is organic in that I believe it comes from something deep inside. A philosophy, more or less. A fantasy of how a hero should be and how a heroine should respond to him. And from that I make a story.

Anthropologically speaking, since the beginning of history, women have instinctively been attracted to alpha males who can provide for them and physically protect the nest. These days, the attraction has a more intellectual bent in that the method of providing and protecting is not brawn, but brains and perhaps wealth. Hence, a whole new type of attractive male has emerged.

So do women now go for the nerdy type over the alpha type and is that what they want to see in the romance novels they read?

How about you? I know all of you are readers and I’ll bet you all have favorite heroes. Are they your faves because they’re alphas or because of something else? Open up, readers. Confess who your fictional heroes are.

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THE READING REVOLUTION IS HERE….

And if I ever doubted it, I no longer do.

As some of you know, my real job is with a major retailer. For most of the holiday season, I worked in the electronics department. The number of iPads, iPods, KindleFires, Nooks and other tablet-like devices that were sold was astonishing. Amazon is already claiming sales of more than a million KindleFires.

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

And what can we do on each and every one of these electronic devices besides play games, email and surf the Net? WE CAN READ BOOKS!

Even though I wrote back in October about reading on an e-reader as opposed to having a printed book in your hands, I see the handwriting on the wall.

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Mid-list authors like me have already found a home on the Internet with Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords, which distributes e-books to e-retailers like Sony, Kobo, Diesel, Apple and others. Amazon and Barnes & Noble are paying nine times the royalty rates for e-books as the Big 6 in New York. I have a friend who has self-published 17 of her backlist books and has now sold more than a million e-books. She would never have seen the day in traditional publishing when she would be as well-paid as she is in e-publishing.

Amazon already has an apparatus in place where mid-listers can self-publish in print if they so desire. Mid-listers also now have access to editing, copyediting, cover design and even reviewing by a major reviewer. A writer who dreams of seeing his great American novel in print is no longer stymied and denigrated by the gatekeepers.

Of course, none of this is free. Authors will have an outlay of cash to make this happen. The author with business savvy will put together his or her own little organization that functions in a professional way, which will benefit both author and reader.

Barnes & Noble nook (ebook reader device)

Image via Wikipedia

It’s only a matter of time before one of the major bestselling authors will take a close look at his or her royalty statement and recognize how much money he or she is sacrificing by not being independent. And when that happens, I believe it will be like opening the floodgates. All bets are off when it comes to the future of New York print publishing and to existing online e-publishers. The ball is now in the court of authors and readers, where it should have been all along.

Like all change, on the surface, it seems as if this cataclysm has occurred overnight, but that isn’t the case. It has been evolving for at least 2 years. What will now make the difference, though, is that so many people now own e-reading devices and will now be able to buy e-books cheaper than they ever could buy new print books. So each and every one of them can fill up his e-reader with as many as 3,000 books. Even school books will be e-books.

So if you didn’t get an e-reader for Christmas, you might consider it. You can soon pay for the e-reader with what you’ll save buying books.

This is an awesome development and I’m so glad it has happened in my lifetime.

I’d love to hear your comments.

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