Posted by: Sandy Graham | May 23, 2020

The Silent Eclipse

Silence – the author’s worst enemy. Months go by writing, editing, revising, editing, editing, editing until finally there’s no alternative but to release a book. With print-on-demand these days, the word publish no longer is accurate.

People who write for a living invest in marketing help: publicists, blog tours, purchased reviews, book signings, interviews, videos, anything which will grab attention. Even then, with the sea of books available, profitability is as elusive as a polar bear in a snowstorm  You know there might be something big out there but it’s lurking out of sight.

Those of us able to treat creative writing as a hobby tend to shy away from the labor of marketing. Don’t think for a moment that we lack interest in sales. We simply hope the book will sell itself with a gradually widening audience. The reward is more about the pleasure of learning others appreciate your effort than money it brings in. Of course, the money would be welcomed too if it ever showed up.

In November, I released “Eclipse of Our Soul” with hope for an enthusiastic response. It was a growing up novel that transitioned into a heart-wrenching political story. A couple of friends gave positive feedback. Beyond that, there was mostly silence. A hundred free eBook copies given away to Goodread’s readers generated two ratings (both 5 star) and no reviews. Pretty much an author’s nightmare.

What went wrong? The story evolved from an earlier book, “Ickee Mushta” which, while prophetic when released, became obsoleted by events. I was enamored with the challenges facing opposite personalities coming together so rather than make “Eclipse” a sequel, I kept the growing up part in the new novel, somewhat condensed into roughly the first sixteen chapters. Bad idea!

In the cold light of objective reflection, I’ve concluded it simply tires readers before they reach the real story. So, last week a second edition was released with sixteen fewer chapters. The first chapter sets the stage for the plot and away it goes. For those of you who trudged through Part 1 of the first edition, I beg your forgiveness. What remains is a gripping yet heart-warming piece of political fiction to be enjoyed by sane people and cursed by the Trump cult.

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