Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Facing Reality l Karen Sue Bell @karensuebell

Facing Reality

Selling one’s art today is a hard business. Too many sites are giving away books or if not free almost free at 99 cents. And charge high prices for that privilege.  Readers have come to expect that from indie authors and from traditionally published books close to becoming remainders. Too much free stuff out there so how can one attract a paying readership? Well, first get published by Penguin et. al, be touted as a bestselling author, and get a large advance. For the unknown indie author, you become like the Maytag repairman with a big difference. The repairman doesn’t work for free but indie authors do. Oh, there are success stories about how by giving away your work as a loss leader brings a paying readership. It happens…sometimes. The internet has changed the playing field even for musicians. When I was growing up, you had to buy music at a store, buy books at a store or get one from the library. Now you can buy a song for 99 cents or stream from an internet radio station, get an eBook online delivered to your iPad. So, having a career in the arts where all your bills are paid is elusive. Musicians must tour and indie authors must hope for the one book that captures the collective imagination. Unfortunately, for me that’s become erotica bordering on porn, a genre for which I have no interest.
Also, with new technology, I’ve noticed that some indie books have thousands of reviews and even some traditionally published work have thousands of reviews. Of this I am very suspicious. I think you can buy programs or companies that create reviews with bots. But thousands of good reviews do bring some paying customers. And if you buy enough of your own books it can became a best seller. Lots of scams to fake the paying readership. The internet has created a whole new world full of scams.
So what is an indie author like me to do? Face reality. I’ve became a KDP exclusive author for two of my books so I can create promotions and giveaways. I still haven’t found out how to buy thousands of reviews and I don’t want to. That’s going too far. So I get it. I understand that making a living at your art is a crap shoot. But I’m one of the lucky one who doesn’t have to worry about that. So I write for the pure bliss of writing. Yes, I’m lucky indeed.

About the Author

When a Stranger Comes…is Ms. Bell’s third novel. Her debut, Walking with Elephants, was initially published by a small publisher who went out of business. Subsequently, she took over as an indie publisher. It went on to win the Awesome Indies Seal of Excellence and was a top-five finalist in the Kindle Book Review’s 2012 contest for the best indie books. Sunspots, her second novel, was awarded the IndiePENdents.org Seal of Approval for good writing. She holds a Master of Science in Mass Communication and for 15 years, she was an editor/copyeditor for a "Big Four" public accounting firm. Ms. Bell was also technical editor for an accounting industry magazine. 
 Here are some reviews of her previous work published in the Florida Times Union:



About the Book:

Author: Karen S. Bell
Publisher: KSB Press
Pages: 222
Genre: Thriller

Achieving what you crave can also bring the terrifying fear of losing it. For Alexa Wainwright, this truth has become her nightmare. Born Gladys Lipschitz, the daughter of an unwed Soviet-era Jewish immigrant, her debut novel, A Foregone Conclusion, soared to number one on the bestseller’s list and became an international sensation. The accompanying fame and riches were beyond her expectations. Unfortunately, her subsequent work has yet to achieve the same reception by critics and readers. Yes, they have sold well based on her name recognition, but she dreads the possibility of becoming a mid-list author forgotten and ignored. She vows to do whatever it takes to attain the heady ego-stroking success of her debut. But is she really?

Witnessing an out-of-the-blue lightning bolt whose giant tendrils spread over the blue sky and city streets below her loft window, Alexa doesn’t realize just how this vow will be tested as she’s magically transported to an alternate reality. In this universe, the characters from her books are given the breath of life and she meets publisher, King Blakemore, who just might be the Devil himself. At first, she shrugs off her doubts about this peculiar publisher and very lucrative book deal offer because the temptation of riches and refound fame is too strong. But all too soon, Alexa realizes she’s trapped in an underworld of evil from which she desperately wants to escape. For starters, she finds herself in an iron-clad book contract that changes its wording whenever she thinks of a loophole. Desperate to get her life back, she devises schemes to untether herself from this hellish existence. She’s also aided by the forces for good who attempt to help her. However, King Blakemore is cleverer and more powerful than she can begin to understand. Playfully, he decides to give Alexa a second chance to save herself from eternity with him and to be free. He offers her the prospect of a rewrite, as most authors do as part of the writing process. Given this chance, will Alexa make the same choices and the same mistakes again?

Alexa, as the MC, is relatable, likable, and vulnerable with a keen sense of humor. Her world is very small because writing is her life and so she is an easy target for entrapment. Her pact with the Devil is an allegory for the evil lurking in our midst. The social decay of modern society with its excessive greed, the ignorance of our political leaders, and our indifference toward the survival of all species from the effects of climate change, among other environmental pressures, are perhaps brought forth by the darkest forces of human nature.
When A Stranger Comes is available at Amazon.

No comments:

Follow Us @soratemplates