by Mike Orenduff
Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win a signed copy of Mike’s latest book The Pot Thief who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing and a link to order it from Amazon and an indie bookstore.
Authors are an insecure bunch. And why not? More than three million books are published every year in the United States. Of course that number is inflated by self-publishing and publishers who specialize in reprinting popular books that are in the public domain. But Bowker – the ISBN agency in the U.S. – issued over 500,000 new ISBNs to traditional publishing companies last year. That’s over 800 books a day. Big name authors like John Grisham and Lee Child and celebrities like Barack Obama and Tina Fey don’t have anything to worry about. But what about the 499,950 of us who don’t fall into one of those categories? How do we get noticed? Simple – win a big prize. The Pulitzer, for example. Or the Nobel Prize for Literature won by Bob Dylan in 2016. And he never wrote a book! Okay, let’s set our sights a bit lower. If, like me, you write murder mysteries, you might aspire to win an Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, Dilys, or Lefty.
Just a few days ago, I learned that the ninth book in my Pot Thief series (The Pot Thief who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing) is a finalist for the Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery of 2020. Great news, right? But then I read the list of the other five finalists and saw one of them is Carl Hiaasen. Remember the “Big name authors like John Grisham and Lee Child” I mentioned above? Hiaasen is one of them. So I went to Amazon and looked up his latest book which is competing with mine. Never mind the other four finalists. I figure if I can beat Hiaasen, those other four don’t stand a chance. Hiaasen’s book has over 9,000 reviews. Mine has fifteen reviews. But his was published a month earlier than mine. So all I need is 300 people every day for a month to review my book on Amazon, and I’ll be neck-and-neck with him. It may be a bit difficult because I don’t know 300 people, much less 300 a day who would agree to do a review. So if you – loyal reader of Kings River Life and devoted fan of the Pot Thief books – would post a review, it would be greatly appreciated. Technically, you should have read it before reviewing it, but this is an emergency, so take my word for it. “It’s a Great read.” “I couldn’t put it down.” “A real page-turner.”
Of course the Lefty is not awarded based on Amazon reviews. It is determined by the vote of people signed up for the Left Coast Crime Convention. My wife is planning to attend that event along with me, but she is a huge Hiaasen fan. So one part of my “beat Hiaasen” plan is to slip her ballot out of her goodie bag and use it to vote for my book. So along with my own vote, that makes two that I can count on. But it gets better. The meeting will be in Albuquerque where my books are set. Hiaasen’s books are set in Florida. I may have a home field advantage. He probably won’t attend anyway; too busy trying to read all those reviews. So I need all you New Mexicans to vote for my book, the only one in which the word ‘chile’ is spelled correctly.
To enter to win a signed copy of The Pot Thief who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “pot thief,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 13, 2021. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.
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Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.