Everywhere I turn on social media, someone’s trying to sell me their book. Are authors just greedy money-grubbers?
If you’re fortunate enough to make a living as a full-time fiction writer the average annual income is roughly $45,000 a year.
If you’re married with two kids that’s just 15 grand above the poverty line.
Still … can’t put a price on love, right?
And if writing is all you’ve ever wanted to do – you’ll have to accept that along with it, you will have to do something you probably hate.
An anathema to most introverts. Like myself.
Writers want to be read. Want to be understood. Want our plot and characters to buzz in your mind with the resonance of universal human connection.
Unfortunately, that Pollyanna Principle doesn’t exist unless your books find an audience. That means generating sales.
If you’re not Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, or James Patterson that’s not so easy.
So, for me and the many other unknowns lucky enough to get a debut novel published any time not spent researching or writing is ABC time.
ABC? Always be closing!

How Alec Baldwin berated his sad sack sales force in the film version of Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross.
First Place, Cadillac El Dorado; Second Place, Steak Knives; Third Place, You are fired!

Writers know the same fate awaits them depending on how their books sell.
Love and commerce are unfortunately bound together with the same flexi-cuffs.

While this is hardly deserving of your pity it does require your patience as writers endlessly flog their work on social media and personal blogs.
But please remember, it’s not for the Cadillac or the Steak Knives.

it’s only to avoid the dreaded Third Place. To be able to keep writing.

I have only 10 days until my debut novel The Ocean Above Me is published by Harper.

The five years and dozens of rewrites leading up to this moment feel paradoxical –a lifetime of effort that could vanish in an instant.
I know its themes, love, loss, and redemption, will strike a chord of recognition with many of you. A summer read you won’t soon forget.

But first I need to convince you it’s worth your hard-earned dollars.
So, in the ten-day countdown until its release while I’m ABC’ing you with these posts,
I’ll also try to adhere to the more palatable ABC’s as well. Always Be Cultivating.

Cultivating interest, cultivating curiosity, cultivating enjoyment.
Each post will feature:

  • Semi-Rude Q&A (a sticky question without an easy answer)
  • Bookshop Besties (proprietors of the Word who understand books and reading are a full-body experience.)

Stick with me until the end and discover ways to win a signed hard-cover copy of The Ocean Above Me or valuable, uncorrected, galley copies. Thanks for reading.

The Mysterious Book Shop
The World’s Oldest Mystery Fiction Specialty Store. Specializing in Mystery Fiction and all its subgenres, including Detective, Crime, Hardboiled, Thrillers, Espionage, and Suspense.