Posts Tagged ‘Readers Favorite’

Do Book Awards Matter?

December 1, 2016

rf2016-awardReceiving Readers’ Favorite Award, November 2016

That depends on you, your book, and what you hope to achieve from entering contests.

We know from Bookscan sales data that very few book awards actually help to sell books.

The Pulitzer does, but most others make no measurable difference.

Sadly, from experience I have to agree. I’ve written six books and collected five awards, but the world isn’t knocking down my door.

Still, awards are helpful.

They signal a book’s quality to potential readers. They add credibility that gives assurance the book is worthwhile.

You get a little touch of magic from a third party endorsement. When an authority says your work is worthy, that’s actually priceless.

If You’re an Indie Author
Here’s a list of my Top 8 book awards worthy of your consideration:

    1.Entering IndieFab Awards should definitely be on your literary to-do list. Formerly ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards.

    2.Find out how to make it on the Indie Next List to win an Indies Choice Book Award

    3.The National Indie Excellence Book Awards selects award winners and finalists based on overall excellence of presentation in dozens of categories. Created especially for indie and self-published authors.

    4.Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Here’s your chance to enter a competition exclusively for self-published books. One winning entry will receive $8,000 with nine first-place winners who’ll receive $1,000 each.

    5.Readers’ Favorite Awards receives submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants like HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times best-selling authors.

    6.The Eric Hoffer Award for independent books recognizes excellence in publishing with a $2,000 grand prize and various category honors and press type distinctions. To enter, a book must be from an academic press, small press or self-published author.

    7.Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Thousands of dollars in prize money. Finalists and Winners receive a listing in the Next Generation Indie Book Catalog distributed to thousands of book buyers, media and others. Plus the top 70 books will be reviewed by a top New York Literary agent for possible representation.

    8.Shelf Unbound Magazine’s Best Indie/Self-Published Book Competition honors more than 100 indie/self-published books. In addition to $1,500 in cash prizes, they’ll feature the winner, five finalists, and more than 100 “notable” books in the December/January issue of Shelf Unbound.

    Any independently published book in any genre in any publication year is eligible for entry.

Entering a Competition
Was it worth it for me? Definitely.

Judged by competent professionals in the publishing world and deemed to be one of the best in its category, potential readers do take notice when a book wins an award.

Did book sales for Blood Lake increase? Did I recover the costs of entering the contest? Not yet, on both counts … and certainly not when I add the cost of round-trip plane fare to Miami, car rental and reserving nights at the Regency Hotel.

However, the book, if nothing else, has gained a measure of prestige. Who knows what the long-term benefits will be?

What Do You Think?
Should you send your book off to be judged alongside others? That depends. Are you confident you have a professional product that can compete and perhaps even win?

If you think so, then go for it. As Hockey great Wayne Gretzky said “You Can’t Score Unless You Shoot!”


On December 3, 2016, I’ll be signing books from 1:00-4:00 pm at the annual “Giving Season” event at the Orion Township Public Library (825 Joslyn Rd).


My books have all garnered some terrific reviews and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. Look for them. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can find me on Goodreads, or follow
some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.


Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

Are You Writing Because You Like It?

September 1, 2016

renaissance-centerThe Renaissance Center – GM World Headquarters on the Detroit River.

Eight years and six months ago I was sitting in my cubicle by the window high in the 400 Tower of the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit, waiting for my professional writing career to begin.

In truth, it wasn’t the beginning of a career. It felt more like the end of one … and I was far from certain I was doing the right thing.

It was a chilly March morning on the river, and I had just signed the papers indicating my acceptance of an early retirement offer from General Motors, effective the first of April.

I’d originally been hired to produce the GM annual report, and that was my main responsibility for almost twenty years. It kept me busy from September to March. Days were routinely 12-16 hours long.

The rest of the year I considered peaceful … I only worked ten-hour days … producing a host of other material, from news releases to technical journals. I even produced a newspaper GM circulated to all domestic employees (at the time, that was about 800,000).

Occasionally, I was allowed to write an article for the paper. When I did, I wove storytelling elements into it. My editor didn’t care for that, but our VP liked them, which made all the difference. He didn’t allow the articles to be changed. I even got a byline.

In nearly three decades with GM I had many assignments, all dealing with communications and marketing. I even got to create and lead an early group that dealt with designing the new communications tool that appeared in the mid-90s … functional web sites.

But by then I was managing people, not creating a thing.

On my last GM assignment, I wasn’t even doing that. As Marketing Operations Manager, I was a group of one … responsible for reporting to our VP on how well brand teams used their advertising budgets.

It was not something guaranteed to make friends. In fact, except for the time I had to tell 30+ people they didn’t have a job any more, it was the most disheartening work I’d ever had to do.

That chilly March day in 2008, although there was a lot on my mind, none of it was about writing. I was tired of what I did. I wanted out.

My main concern after deciding to leave boiled down to these few words: What am I going to do with the rest of my life?

Given what’s happened since, you might think leaving to write fiction would seem like a natural choice to make. After all, I’ve enjoyed it and played around with it since I was seventeen.

But it wasn’t. A natural, I mean.

I wanted to keep working in a creative capacity for a few years … but thanks to some really bonehead moves by our President at the time (G.W. Bush), by mid-2008 our economy faced its most dangerous crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. There was no other work of any kind to be had … anywhere.

So, with nothing else to do, I wrote.

I’d written lots of stories, but the decent markets for short stories were becoming smaller by the day. I decided if I was really going to write fiction, I had to write a novel.

I took some of the earlier things I’d done and expanded them to create a novel about kids in a fictional town during the tumultuous Vietnam era, trying to capture the essence of what it felt like to grow up back then in a small, working-class community.

That’s how REICHOLD STREET was born.

Then in June 2009, right about the time GM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (making my decision to leave seem clairvoyant), I began searching for an agent, since none of the main publishing houses would even talk to me without one.

It was a decidedly painful experience.

After almost two years of getting essentially nowhere, I finally decided to produce the book myself. I thought I was getting too old to wait for the publishing gods to smile on me.

It was the right thing to do. People liked it. It won a Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal and was reviewed positively by Kirkus Reviews.

I Like What I Do
For years I had been asked to plainly state facts in a way the audience could quickly grasp. You know … the who, what, when, where and how kind of writing most journalists learn, along with the AP Stylebook.

Boring stuff. Which is why I snuck storytelling elements into as many articles as I could.

Now I get to play with ambiguity and nuance, dialogue and metaphor. If you’re a writer you know what I’m talking about … making something out of nothing … the things that make writing fiction interesting.

I’ve published six books so far, including four award winners. That includes my latest novel, BLOOD LAKE, which was just named a Bronze Medal Winner in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite competition (Young Adult Horror) … and, more importantly, I like what I do.

Funny thing is … the work part of it is a lot like the other writing I used to do … only harder. I still have to do a lot of research, but it goes far beyond who, what, when, where and how.

I have to investigate local and world history, politics and religion, semantics, period jargon and dress styles, and specific-location weather. Not to mention period music, literature, radio and television shows, period magazines, local attractions and sometimes even plant species, all to help create an accurate sense of place.

But I don’t feel like I’m wasting anyone’s time … including my own. I’m not making tons of money … but I’m enjoying myself … and I’ve decided that’s what it was always about anyway.


On Saturday, October 8, 2016, I’ll be attending the fabulous Ninth Annual Rochester Writers Conference at Oakland University.

On Sunday, October 23, 2016, I’ll be signing books from 11:00am-5:00pm at the Books & Authors Event at Leon & Lulu in Clawson, Michigan (96 W. 14 Mile).

On November 19, 2016, I’ll be in attendance at the Readers Favorite award ceremony at the Regency Hotel in Miami.

On December 3, 2016, I’ll be signing books from 1:00-4:00 pm at the annual “Giving Season” event at the Orion Township Public Library (825 Joslyn Rd).


My books have all garnered some terrific reviews and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. Look for them. Better yet, buy one and read it. You just might like it.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can find me on Goodreads, or follow
some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.
If you’ve written an interesting book too, consider submitting it to the Readers Favorite annual contest by using the banner link below.
What do you have to lose?



Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

Sharing a Story Part…

July 19, 2014


I’m recovering from surgery last Wednesday to repair a torn rotator cuff in my left shoulder. It’s fairly painful, even with meds, and you might think that would make typing a bit tough.

Actually, it does … but I wrote this a few days before the surgery, and scheduled publication for today so it would seem like things were going along just fine.

But what kind of sympathy would I get for that? 😉


bow made of pink lace

My Kirkus Review
To say I was on “pins and needles” waiting for the recent Kirkus Review for my debut novel, REICHOLD STREET, would be putting things mildly, to say the least.

Kirkus Reviews … long considered the book industry’s most ferocious trade publication … has long had a reputation for lively, unpredictable reviews that are sometimes outlandishly harsh.

However, I was delighted to get this comment from them about the book: “Skillfully written and emotionally charged.”

They also had this to say about a section that deals with Anthony, one of the minor characters:

“…told by a Reichold Street kid lured by organized crime, it makes a fine stand-alone story.”

I thought I would share a small portion of that section with you, and let you decide for yourself …


I don’t know exactly why the detective was getting paid by Sam, but I knew, like me, it probably wasn’t for something on the level. I didn’t say anything and I stayed in Sam’s good graces.

However, like I said, life can change on a dime. I’d heard that said so many times and I knew I’d hit one of those dimes. I apparently screwed up something and wasn’t getting any more assignments.

Sam was angry.

“He don’t like no wrong info, Rat,” Train told me. He looked at me like I was a fish in a bowl.

“I didn’t give him any bad information.”

“Anthony, Anthony,” Train said as he squinted at me just like Sam, “was it not you who told us Albert Parker was back in town?”

“Yeah, I guess I did.”

“And did we not try to pop the wrong mark?”

I didn’t know they had tried to kill Albert. That information scared the hell out of me. I just looked at Train without answering.

“Did you, Anthony, forget to include one important detail?”


“Like Parker was already dead.”

“How was I to know when they said Albert was back they were talking about his body being back here for his funeral?”

“It’s what Sam pays you for.”

“So I screwed up.”

“Sam don’t like screw ups,” Train said.

He put one beefy hand into the other and cracked his knuckles. He switched them around and cracked the knuckles on the other hand. The sound seemed to echo in the small room.

Beads of perspiration broke out on my forehead. “It was one time,” I said, “One time.”

“Big Sam put a lot of effort into following up on your bogus chinwag,” Train said. “A lot of money, too. He even paid you quite handsomely, remember?”

“Does he want the money back?” I asked. “I’ll give it back. I don’t want to get paid for bad information.”

“Sam don’t want no money back,” Train said. “That’s the least of his worries. He’s got a lot of heat comin’ down on him from the local Mounties because of you and your bad noise. It’s costing him big time.”

I thought of the detective Sam had been paying and imagined I understood.

“Sam don’t like that very much,” Train said.

“I didn’t mean to cause any problem.”

“He also had to crush one of his favorite rides,” Train said. “They were sweet wheels. You got no idea how much that messed with his head.” Train cracked his knuckles again. “Sam don’t like to do shit like that. Thinks it’s a waste.”

“So what’s he gonna do? Have you shoot me?”

I was really afraid of the answer. I hoped Train didn’t see me turn toward the door, although I was pretty sure it wouldn’t have made much difference if he did.

“No, fool, nothin’ as drastic as that. He got no reason to pop a cap on you…yet. You can still be valuable.”

I breathed a little easier, but only for a moment.

“He did, however, take the liberty of showing you he means business,” Train mused.

“How?” I inhaled without exhaling.

“He had me gank something important to you.”

“Like what,” I said.

Train tossed an oversized pink bow on the table and my heart must have stopped. In my memory it floated from Train’s beefy fist in a high arc toward the table. It seemed to spin when it landed for such a long time.

There was a sudden rush of air, followed by a loud noise. It took me a moment to realize it was my scream.


I fell to my knees, and started to sob like a baby.

It was Edith’s bow.


You can find my books as eBooks or paperback on Amazon, or at Barnes & Noble. You’re also invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or like my Book of Face page. You can also follow my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.


Comments posted below will be greatly appreciated.

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