OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “STRAYS,” BY JENNIFER CALOYERAS, “FAITHFULLY YOURS,” BY PEGGY FREZON AND “FLOYD THE DOG,” BY DONALD G. FORD, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST.
For the first time since the end of May, we won’t be featuring any new books this week. That’s because I’m afraid that potential readers and book buyers will be so distracted by the final headlong dash to Christmas that they might not even think to check their e-mail. At least, that grave danger does exist.
Therefore, rather than asking three authors to risk being upstaged by the Three Wise Men and that fat guy in red, I’d like use this space to take a look back on the first six months of the “Snowflakes in a Blizzard” project and where it may be going in 2016.
Since its inception, Snowflakes has featured 90 books — 64 novels, five memoirs, three collections of stories and 18 general works of non-fiction. Beyond that, we’re booked up almost into March.
While most of our authors have come from the U.S., we’ve also included work from Canada, France, Spain, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Israel.
How successful has this been in terms of selling books? That’s hard to say. The point is, all of these authors have had the opportunity to make a one-on-one pitch to our blog followers and anyone else who might be drawn here through social media or word-of-mouse. These are baby steps, aimed at circumventing the current randomness of book marketing, but important ones.
On the flip side, Snowflakes also gives readers an opportunity to hear about books they may never have realized existed. Every week, I’ve tried to find fresh writing that goes beyond the latest fads.
Toward that end, our authors have varied widely, from self-published newbies to successful veterans trying to resuscitate one particular book out of many. I welcome books from outside the U.S., and those published long enough ago to have been pushed out of view, despite being still relevant.
Every once in awhile, I will include a piece of work with some rough edges, but one that I think shows promise or offers a new and compelling viewpoint. That, to me, is also part of our mission.
Publishers used to base their decisions on whether a submitted work was well-written and broke new ground. Now, all too often, it’s only about “Will it sell?” even if that means embracing copycats wrapped in a popular genre. This makes it especially hard for first-time authors who have yet to build a following.
I believe that the natural allies in our efforts are small publishers and independent bookstores, and next year I’m going to intensify our efforts at finding common ground and collaborative projects with them.
And now, since its the end of our first year, I’d like to list the books that we highlighted in 2015. All of them, in their own way, were special. The cast, in order of appearance:
“Betrayal,” by Sharon Brownlie, June 16.
“How Not to Avoid Jet Lag,” by Joshua Brown, June 19.
“Thirty Perfect Days” by Claudia Taller, June 26.
“Downfall,” by Deborah Teller Scott, June 30.
“The Secret Corps,” by Peter Telep, July 3.
“When Clouds Gather,” by Ryan Jo Summers, July 7.
“Beneath the Stones,” by Susan Coryell, July 10.
“Collision Course,” by Joe Broadmeadow, July 14.
“Mercedes Wore Black,” by Andrea Brunais, July 24.
“The Burgundy Briefcase,” by Roberta Burton, Sept. 8.
“Waving Backwards,” by V.L. Brunskill, Sept. 15.
“The Rivergrass Legacy,” by John Chaplick, Sept. 18.
“The Juno Letters,” by Larry Hewitt, Sept. 25.
“Discernment,” by Lacy Sereduk, Sept. 29.
“Patchwork Man,” by Debrah Martin, Oct. 2.
“The Big Wheel,” by Scott Archer Jones. Oct. 9.
“Enchanting the Swan,” by John Schwartz, Oct. 13.
“The Shark Curtain,” by Chris Scofield, Oct. 16.
“The Hysterectomy Waltz,” by Merrill Joan Gerber, Nov. 3.
“The Festival of Earthly Delights,” by Matt Dojny, Dec. 8.
“Strays,” by Jennifer Caloyeras, Dec. 15.