March 2, 2023
I'm terribly sorry for the long interval between posts, but last year was "challenging"- on many levels - for so many of us who write. For the past two years and change, bookstores, museums, book clubs, conferences, and other popular venues for authors pretty much dried up because of the pandemic and related issues. Before the pandemic, I (and most of my friends who write) seemed to be constantly on the road to meet with readers, and those were always such special times. However, once "pandemic protocols" were put in place, the options for authors were few when it came to promoting and sharing our latest works. We had to get more creative than ever - and used Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, BlueJeans, and every other platform we could find to interact with those interested in our books. Last year, I was able to do events electronically with museums, a few organizations, and even did some "one-on-one" visits with readers, which I greatly enjoyed. Still, in my case, I missed going to the bookstores and other places I normally get to when I have a book come out. Speaking of that, my newest book, After Jackie: 15 Pioneers Who Helped Change the Face of Baseball, is still selling very well, and it appears several schools have also adopted it for special classes and reading units. I'm very pleased and proud of that.
Last year was also tough because no matter what precautions I took, I still managed to come down with Covid -- and it wasn't pretty. There are days I still feel tired and more than a tad run-down, but I consider myself very lucky to have come through it as I did. So many did not........ I hope all of you and your loved ones have managed to navigate these terrible medical times without too much difficulty.
I mentioned above that the After Jackie book is selling well, and I truly am grateful for that. I also learned something in the past year that I'd bet will continue as the years go by: More and more of my readers are choosing to purchase the e-book version instead of the paper version. I know this is a trend in the world of publishing, but I guess I never noticed before just how dramatic this shift has become. I know there are all sorts of reasons for this change in how readers are accessing their books, but I didn't expect this change to erupt so quickly. Years ago there was a dramatic shift to e-books. Then, that sort of tapered off somewhat as people chose to have the paper version. Now, however, the desire to have an e-book version is more powerful than ever, and authors better start employing new strategies to get out and interact with their readers. After all, why would, say, a bookstore set up a book reading/event if those who attend the session have purchased an e-book version elsewhere? Yes, the world of publishing -- and of being an author - is rapidly taking on a new complexion.
And speaking of "new" things, I'm now going to provide something of a "teaser" about my next book project. As most of you are aware, my last eight books have been in the Literary Nonfiction genre. However, for my next book project, I'm going to shift gears and try my hand at Historical Fiction. The two genres do share some similarities, and the research for both can run parallel, but the extra freedom a writer has in Historical Fiction is something I'm going to embrace for this next story. This book will be a combination of romance, adventure, and history. I'm really enjoying the writing, and I hope all of you will like the finished product. I'll keep you posted on my progress on this project.
I'll sign off for now. I wish all of you a healthy and prosperous 2023. Take care, everyone. And, happy reading!
P.S. I'll post a couple of pictures with this post. One shows the street in front of my home in Northern Iowa last week. This is a perfect time to hunker down and get some writing done! The other shows me doing my favorite outdoor activity, hiking and climbing in the mountains. I'm SO looking forward to doing more of that this year!