• Old Hickory Lane 1
    OLD HICKORY LANE
    $5.99

    The story of a horse vet who's gifted with animals, but not very people savvy.
  • To Inherit a Murderer 1
    TO INHERIT A MURDERER
    $4.99

    She suspects he's a murderer ...and he is.
  • Slightly Disturbing Stories 1
    SLIGHTLY DISTURBING STORIES
    $2.99

    An illustrated collection of paranormal, dark fantasy, & urban contemporary tales.
  • A Gathering of Rebels 1
    A GATHERING OF REBELS

    Epic literary science fiction in the tradition of Frank Herbert's Dune.
    A story so big it takes 2 books to tell it.
    Both for only $7.98!
  • How to Write a Good Book in 17 Days 1
    HOW TO WRITE A GOOD BOOK IN 17 DAYS
    $3.99

    Get-it-written self-help for the serious writer.
  • Through Better & Worse 1
    THROUGH BETTER & WORSE
    $4.99

    A (real) Montana love story.
  • To Have & To Hold 1
    TO HAVE & TO HOLD
    $5.99

    The next chapter of a real Montana love story.

DLKeur, Writing Books Across the Genre Spectrum

Old Hickory Lane $5.99

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To Inherit a Murderer $4.99

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Slightly Disturbing Stories $2.99

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How to Write a Good Book in 17 Days $3.99

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Through Better & Worse $4.99

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To Have & To Hold $5.99

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A Gathering of Rebels both books for $7.98

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Surprise! The One-Liner Five.

ToInheritAMurderer_AmazonCrunchI blinked. Double blinked. Sipped coffee. Blinked again.  Decided to check….  Really?!  REALLY?!

“Yep,” said Amazon.com.

Blinked.

My sleeper…well, one of my sleepers, but I don’t much count the SF…actually garnered interest … and a five-star, one-liner review that says a LOT, coming from a pleased reader. YESTERDAY.

I’m still blinking.  And I haven’t even released this lengthy ‘thing’ I’m doing on the novel–a thing that takes a lot of work and a lot of painstaking attention to ‘where was my intent’.

To Inherit a Murderer, (Book 1: The Ward) actually garnered a five-star review. And it’s been selling copies.  Wow!  Totally WOW.

Makes me happy.  Because the book’s been sleeping for a good long time with only the most occasional of reader. The last review before yesterday’s was in the summer of 2015.

Now, I don’t get a lot of reviews from my readers. Not for OHL (Old HIckory Lane) and not for my C. J. “Country” James novels. They sell well, but their readers don’t review. To have To Inherit a Murderer garner a review, though, well, that’s like a MAJOR DEAL.  To me.

Wow.  Made my day yesterday. Unfortunately, I was so busy patching databases due to a plugin update fault that I couldn’t spend the time to gloat.  So I’m gloating today.

HAPPY!!!!


An Uncommon Market

One thing I get asked a lot via email/formmail and private message (and, now that I’ve been dragged into Quora, pestered about), concerns marketing my novels. My hand always reaches fingers through my hair at that point. Why, I wonder, are these people–people who mostly write novels that fit in popular genres that aim to fulfill the reading delights of people who prefer standard and predictable, even simple, cause and effect–ask me about this?  I write to a narrow audience and very cross-genre, mostly to people who enjoy thinking for themselves and making their own decisions about what is real, what is true, and what is significant, as well as who enjoy puzzling things out, not having it spoon-fed to them.  In essence, I write the kind of stories I prefer to read–where the questions and the answers aren’t apparent, where individualism and character, rather than accepted/acceptable norms, determine, not just actions, but results.

I write about life, not fantasy…though, admittedly, I usually stick to stories that end well, rather than tragically, but, then, what I consider ending well would be an ending like you find in The Last Samurai where most all the good guys get slaughtered, but hold onto their honor and integrity. Or, closer to what I write, where which side is actually good and which one bad gets blurred and that decision is left up to the reader, who I hope comes away with the idea that there’s no simplistic truth.  But, yes, my novels don’t resolve in tragedy. I’m an optimist, despite my droll, sometimes snarling, tongue and slightly(?!) cynical eye when it comes to politics and human antics.  I always hope for the best in life, but prepare myself to accept the worst, should it come to pass, but, honestly, in my world, the good always wins, even if and when it loses.

But I digress. Back to book, or, more specifically, novel marketing, my style.

I don’t like to be marketed to. By anyone.

I don’t like sales. I don’t bite on loss leaders that attempt to trap me into buying something else, as well.  And, in fact, I’m suspicious when something is on sale, wondering why. (What’s wrong with it?!)

If an advertiser screams ‘clearance sale’, I pointedly avoid them. And you can bet that I always avoid going anywhere near a store on infamous Black Friday…and, now, Black Thursday, too.

I believe in paying a fair price for goods and services, not taking advantage of some shop or worker because they’re desperate for enough funds to pay their overhead. And, yes, I tip. Generously.  …But neither will I pay exorbitant prices just because something’s popular or prestigious. Nope. I’ll take the unpopular and that which lacks prestige, so long as it’s high quality…which is usually the case, the prestigious actually shoddy in its quality. (A certain ‘high end’ car that wound up proving itself ‘lemon’, one and all, is an example, its warranty not honored by its manufacturer when new owners started to discover significant problems.)

Because I know how much I despise and avoid businesses that employ all those tactics that I mention, and because I know that readers of my novels feel likewise–it’s characteristic to their demographic group–I don’t ‘market’. I’ll advertise–judiciously–offering my ‘product’ honestly and very forthrightly, but I don’t pound the pavement, hawk my wares, beat on doors, or flood your mail with junk mail, not in the real world and, most importantly, not in virtual space.

Mine is an uncommon market, so I employ an uncommon strategy. If you write genre-normal, though, I suggest you use the most common schemes. Google it. It’s everywhere.

 


D. L. Keur, Author

I write books — novels and short stories, but some non-fiction, too.   The non-fiction and some of the short stories I write under my own name.   Mostly, though, especially for novels, I write under one and another pen names:   Aeros, E. J. Ruek, and C. J. “Country” James, are presently in use of my extensive list of monikers.   I even sign checks using my pen names.   That’s how seriously I had to hide my identity as a woman at the onset of my writing career.

Why?

Because, honestly, being a woman was a huge handicap unless you wrote stream of consciousness literary (while being somebody’s pet project at the Ivy League level …and it helped to live in Martha’s Vineyard or the Hampton’s).   Otherwise, you had to write childrens or YA, mysteries (mostly cozies), sword-and-sorcery, high fantasy, butterflies-in-the-tummy romance… — something “they” defined as ‘suitably female’.   If, like me, you wrote everything but, and though I felt my gender shouldn’t matter, it most definitely did.   It mattered to agents, publishers, and, especially, to readers.   So I started writing under pseudonyms and just never stopped.

Truthfully, even today gender matters …to readers. Readers of the style of work and of the genres I write tend to prefer — to trust — male authors.   Since I’m self-publishing most of my work, though, hiding my identity and gender doesn’t matter as much, because, once you read my work, you’ll either love it and be back for more, or move on.

I don’t write common fare.   Not at all.   I can …but, especially now, I don’t.   I think I do it well, but it’s nice to be recognized by gatekeepers like Folio Literary Management or top editors at Tor as well as the common reader.   (For me, the common reader’s good word means most, thanks.)   As John Ward so kindly put it: “…language is your plaything.”   High — the highest — compliment, that.   (Thanks, John!)

D. L. Keur, author and lots else






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