One year and counting. Plus, Big News.

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We are one year out from the publication of my debut novel, STILLWATER, and things are starting to get interesting. Not only am I writing the sequel, tentatively titled THE FISHER KING, but I'm researching press kits, email marketing and newsletters. In short, I'm educating myself on every possible way to get the word out about STILLWATER to as many people as possible. Blog, Facebook, Twitter, newsletters, print media, I'm going to try it all. But, probably the absolute best way to reach readers is through Goodreads and Amazon. Amazon won't help me until the book is available for preorder, which won't happen for months. But, Goodreads. That's another story.

That's a long introduction to say I am now officially a Goodreads Author.

*throws confetti*

Okay, celebration over. Back to work.

Do you remember when I announced my publishing contract I said I would need your help in the upcoming months?

I need your help.

If you're on Goodreads, you can find my author page here. Click on "Become a Fan."

Then, scroll down a bit and you will see the link for STILLWATER.

Now, this next part is very important. So important I'm giving it it's own line.

Add it to your Want to Read bookshelf.

This is critical. Why? Well, other people who are friends with you will see it on their timeline and maybe they'll add it. You can recommend it to your friends, as well. The more people who Want to Read STILLWATER the better. Why?

Interest on Goodreads and pre-orders on Amazon (when it's available; it's not yet) will give the book buzz, which can then be translated to media buzz, which will be translated to sales, which will be translated to readers, which will be translated to more sales and more readers which will be translated to a happy author!

If you aren't on Goodreads, why aren't you? You can join easily using your Facebook login. Then follow the steps above to Become a Fan and add STILLWATER to your Want to Read bookshelf.

That's it for now. We won't have a cover for a few months, at least. When we do, I'll be waving that baby all over the internet. You won't miss it.

Life is too short to read bad books.

Tuesday, Goodreads posted an infographic "The Psychology of Abandonment," detailing what books are most commonly shelved as Abandoned, Not Finished or Unfinished, as well as the reasons why. I suppose you should take the infographic with a grain of salt, especially the percentages at the bottom, since there is no explanation of their methodology or a given sample size. Were 1000 people surveyed? Ten? Twenty? Did they email the survey (I never received one) or was it stuck on a page somewhere in their somewhat un-user friendly website that could only be found by a determined search or a lucky stumble? Those questions aside, the results are interesting and somewhat telling. The most common reason books are abandoned is "Slow, Boring" coming in at 46%. The next nearest reason is "Weak Writing" at 18.8%. That's a pretty big disparity and helps to explain why so many poorly written, but fast paced books top the best seller lists year in and year out (I'm looking at you, James Patterson). It also explains that while literary fiction will get the critical praise, it won't ever get the popular acclaim, it being more thought provoking and methodical as a general rule.

I wonder if all of those series obsessed publisher's hearts dropped at seeing only 2.5% of readers are compelled to finish from a dedication to the series? A whopping 36.6% sound obsessive compulsive, "As a rule, I like to finish things" and 25% are insatiably curious, "I have to know what happens."

Nearly 40% of readers finish a book regardless. That is astounding. I decided long ago life was too short to read a book I didn't enjoy. If a book hasn't caught my interest by the first turning point (which is usually at the 1/4 mark) then it's not going to happen. Those are the well-written books. If a book is poorly written (bad dialogue, canned characters, stupid plot) I'll dump it earlier. It's extremely rare I read a whole book I thoroughly dislike, though it has happened.

I'm not surprised Fifty Shades of Grey is one of the top five abandoned, nor am I surprised about The Casual Vacancy.  I haven't read the latter, mainly because the story doesn't interest me that much, but am not surprised the shallow reason "it's not Harry Potter" was so often cited. That was rather the point of the book, wasn't it? And, as I said a month ago, I tried with Fifty Shades.

My top two reasons for dropping a book is 1) bad writing and 2) boring. What makes you abandon a book? Or, are you one of the many who must finish no matter what?