Weather Report, Dec. 19

Image result for lots of books free photo

Please feel free to check out our “Books by Subject” list on the Author page, then click on the name of any author whose book intrigues you.

Author Fergus MacRoich (aka Serge Lecomte) trying to give away copies of his nov… via

I think most authors have felt like poor Fergus in the video above, especially now. I know I have, and so I couldn’t resist showing it to you.

Over the next two weeks, I won’t be promoting any books in this space, because most of you will be too engaged in holiday activities to pay much attention. Which is fine — we all need a break. But I’d like to leave you with a few thoughts.

For writers, these are the best of times and the worst of times. (What? Somebody already said that?) Technology has opened the floodgates, which means that virtually anyone who wants to publish a book can now do so. The good news, however, is that technology has also given authors the tools to stand out amidst this multitude.

At the risk of sounding naive, I believe that every book — at least every book that is reasonably well written — has its audience. The trick is finding it.

Like Fergus MacRoich, I’m offering a free product. When it started out back in May of 2015, this blog had around 50 followers. Now, thanks in part to Twitter, we’re approaching 3,000.

Granted, this is puny compared to a lot of the myriad online writer “help” sites. Yet two things make Snowflakes unique — the posts go directly to potential readers one at a time, and the author gets to make his or her own pitch. Oh, and it’s free.

Still, I didn’t start this simply as a small way to help a few writers. It’s also a site for readers.

In a number of ways, publishing is beginning to remind me of politics. With the latter, a viable candidate must be either a conservative or a liberal, both of which mean checking off a standard list of required positions. Similarly, many publishers now look for “something like” books — work that is “something like” John Grisham, or Michael Connelly, or anyone else already famous. And they want the author to have a fan club already in place.

If you enjoy reading books about vampires or serial killers — or, for that matter, writing them — that’s fine. I’d just hate to think that someone would choose those subjects simply because they felt that was the only path to getting published.

For many of the books we will always remember had no definable genre — “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Color Purple,” “The Grapes of Wrath.” Did “Moby Dick” have a genre?

Every author or potential author is one of a kind, which means he or she can write a book — non-fiction or fiction — that no one else can write. That’s what I look for in Snowflakes. Not that I want to become just another gatekeeper, but I’m always rooting for writers with imagination.

Thanks for participating, and happy holidays!


Published by


Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

5 thoughts on “Weather Report, Dec. 19”

  1. Darrell,

    Happy holidays to you, and thank you for this valuable service to the ink-stained-wretch crowd. You’re not only promoting books, but providing valuable insights and thought-provoking comments.



    To see my current publications, click here. To see my previous publications, click here.



  2. Hey Darrell, thanks for all you’ve done for Snowflakes, and happy holidays!  I reduced my Think Like a Writer: How to Write the Stories You See to $3.99 for the ebook for the next couple of weeks, but I know I should have told you earlier, so no need to bother with an announcement after you’ve said you’re holding back until after Christmas. Have big fun, Tom Bentley ————————————— The Write Word Writing and Editing Services


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s