How would you like to help launch another author? Doesn't that sound fun?!?
I recently staged my first book-signing, and I'm very happy to announce I sold seven copies of Heart Strings! I'm well on my way to becoming a rich and famous author, and just think, you were here at the very beginning! Ha ha ha ha!
Okay, humor aside, I'd bought 30 copies of my book for the signing, and I worried I might run out. Now I get to have another signing. And perhaps another... And then one more...
I'm not discouraged at all, but I began wondering what other adoption novels are out there on the market and if anyone is reading them. It occurred to me perhaps people just don't want to read about adoptions.
So I did an adoption search on Smashwords and immediately bought three more books. I read the first one that very same day. It was interesting, but also a little weird. It definitely answered my question about what else is out there. I'd thought since the day I began "Heart Strings" back in 2002 my novel was ground-breaking because I'd never read anything else tackling adoption quite the way I did.
The first of the three stories I bought from Smashwords made me realize there is more to adoption than just childless parents adopting an unwanted child or a young, unmarried woman giving up a child because she doesn't believe she can do the parenting thing alone. There's a whole world of different adoption scenarios out there!
The second novel really hit me. The story was engaging, and the author did a great job, in my opinion. When I finished the book, I immediately logged back onto Smashwords to write a review, and I noticed for the first time, this particular book had no reviews. (Her book does have mostly favorable reviews on Barnes & Noble, but there are spoilers.)
Not only that, the author hasn't published any more books.
That made me sad because I wondered if the author decided writing just isn't worth it. It takes a lot of time to write a book, and it sometimes takes even longer to polish it. Trying to get published in the traditional way can feel as heartbreaking as being told a child or family member is not good enough. Once you've put your heart into writing, editing and trying to sell a book, the finished product feels almost like a baby or child you've created.
To self-publish such a work takes a ton of courage. When you give your book away for free, you open yourself to crackpots who just want to say something mean. You almost have to have an extensive background in marketing to know how to help people who might truly be interested in what you have to say actually find your book.
To go through either publishing process and receive no feedback can be so extremely discouraging.
So I decided to have another little giveaway to perhaps make a writer's day.
I do not know this author, and I am receiving no compensation for what I'm about to do. I'm just trying to help another writer feel good about what she's produced.
Kathy Parsons Williams has created a believable, fun, heart-rending and satisfying story about teenage sisters who discover they have an older sister just as their family is about to experience a life-changing event. Written from the viewpoint of 14-year-old Sally Robeson (a few years after the story takes place), "Are You My Sister?" delights with realistic interactions between Sally, her 12-year-old sister Holly and her best friend Jen. Not one portion of this free 46-page PDF booklet feels contrived or unplanned. I enjoyed it from cover to cover, relishing in the tears and the smiles it brought during the two to three hours it took to read it (while multi-tasking). At the end, I had to put everything else on hold because I couldn't wait to discover the conclusion and could no longer tolerate interruptions stealing my attention away from the book. The ending did not disappoint.
The book is classified as young adult fiction; it contains no offensive language, and in my opinion, it's a wonderful tale suitable for the entire family.
I don't want to reveal any spoilers, so I'm going to leave my review here at that and invite you, Dear Reader, to join me for an afternoon of warm fuzzies by downloading this free book in whatever form suits your reading style, devouring the words and then writing a review on Smashwords here. You have to join Smashwords to leave a review, but joining is free.
On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, I will give away a free autographed paperback copy of my book, "Heart Strings", to the author of a random review on "Are You My Sister?" I'll announce the winner here on my blog, and at that time, I'll ask the winner to contact me with shipping information.
I'd love to see Kathy Parsons Williams write more, but mostly, I'd love knowing you and I, together, made a day brighter for a total stranger.
Thanks for reading!