For Conversation With A Barncat, the coupon code is ZD44F.
For Sermon At Deadman's Bend, the coupon code is GB27G.
How did I get my books published? That's the most frequently asked question.
I self publish using SmashWords and CreateSpace.
Intrested in publishing your own book? That means selling it,
also. You publish it; you sell it. Or it
doesn't sell. Still interested? Your first step is to go the the
Smashwords web site and read
the very helpful "how
to" material written by Mike Coker
Self publication is a tremendous benefit for writers. On the
downside, the fact that it is wide open tends to put a burden
on readers who must sift and sort to locate the
good books. Reading has almost always been driven by person to person recommendations. My humble contribution to that process follows:
Celebration of Discipline The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard J. Foster. Available at Amazon and many other book sellers. In a spiritual studies context, I recently asked about fasting in terms of “prayer and fasting.” My pastor graciously loaned me a book from her personal library. I found myself engrossed in a new-to-me author, Richard Foster, a Quaker theologian. To quote his Wikipedia biography, “ ... [Fosters's] writings speak to a broad Christian audience.” The book my pastor loaned me has sold more than one million copies. It's been called one of the top ten books of the twentieth century. It answered my question about fasting and introduced me to dimensions of my religious heritage that I think merit more focus.
Drawing from the Bible, venerable Christian sources, and his experiences as both a pilgrim and a pastor, Foster defines and advocates twelve practices he calls classical Christian disciplines grouped into three categories. The first category is inward disciplines, those involving a person's individual habits of solitary meditation, prayer, fasting, and study. The second category is outward disciplines that provide the framework for a Christian's relationships to other persons. These are simplicity, solitude, submission, and service. The Third category is corporate disciplines. These are confession, worship, guidance, and celebration, all practiced by Christians in company with other Christians.
The writing is impeccable. The book is precisely structured. Foster offers a spiritual rationale for each practice, gives how-to guidance, and cautions the reader regarding potential errors and missteps. He emphasizes that none of the practices should be taken as law. They are not the purpose of a Christian life. Rather they provide means to more clarity regarding the Will of God, leading a life that reflects the love of Jesus Christ, and a personal experience of the Holy Spirit.
Extract from Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven by Mark Twain. Project Gutenberg. Free, of course. I don't intend to highlight a great number of the Project Gutenberg classics. You need to browse that site on your own. But I simply cannot resist featuring this obscure little book. I found it in a Mark Twain collection when I was a young adult intent on reading everything by Mark Twain. Many years later I became interested in religion, specifically Christianity. In C. S. Lewis' The Great Divorce, I was reminded of Captain Stormfield's Visit. I don't know if Lewis ever credited Mark Twain. Perhaps Lewis was not even aware of Captain Stormfield. But the similarities in these two works are quite apparent. Both writers envision heaven as a massively huge place, populated with people we can recognize. Lewis emphases both how small a place hell is, and how large heaven. Twain's focus is the immensity of heaven.
Nigel & Jinx by Penelope Merrell. Free when I read it. Delightful illustrations. A touching story about a pet dog and cat. Short. Quick.
The Backworlds by M. Pax. A space opera. Well developed story line and characters. Well drawn setting. Strong female characters. There are three short books that form a "trilogy." That word is in quotes because it is a transparent mechanism to increase revenue by hooking a reader with the short free first volume and then selling the remaining (also short) volumes. It worked on me. Download the first volume, "The Backworlds," for free. Chances are you'll be happy to purchase the other two volumes.
Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls. (Sorry, no link. I purchased my e-book via the Barnes and Noble shop app in my Nook. It's not free; but B&N did offer a free sample.) Ms Walls wrote this in the voice of her Grandmother. It is a marvelous family history about love, hard work, family values.
Land of Desire by William Leach. (Sorry, no link. I purchased my e-book via the Barnes and Noble shop app in my Nook. It's not free; but B&N did offer a free sample.) Part an economics primer, part a social commentary. I plowed through the free sample (100 pages) and found the material timely, compelling, and instructive. In the first chapter, the author describes the stunning speed with which America migrated from rural oriented craftsmanship to urbanized industrial manufacture. The writing predates the great recession of our times.
The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond. (Sorry, no link. I purchased my e-book via the Barnes and Noble shop app in my Nook. It's not free; but B&N did offer a free sample.) Professor Diamond draws parallels and highlights contrasts between the hunter gather societies that, he argues, formed the basis our early human evolution and cultural development, and our contemporary lifestyles and cultures. An interesting factoid: In primtive societies, the greatest risk to all people, males and females of all ages, is/was warfare. Despite death tolls in the millions inflicted upon one another by 20th century nation-states, death by warfare is a minimal risk to those who sumbit to the discipline of citizenship in the nation states. Without recommending that we abandon benefits such as easy access to food and relative safety from death or mutilation in warfare, Diamond suggests that there may be lessons in areas such as diet, exercise, child rearing, care for the elderly, and language. He is especially convincing on the subject of the benefits to indiviudals from multi-lingualism.
Cick on this link to view my Smashwords page. In order to purchase e-books, you need to set up a Smashwords account.
More e-books are being published than are printed on paper. Leading booksellers have embraced the technology. But here is the cold, hard truth: Readers are the ones who "sell" e-books. If you read an e-book, you need to let your friends know that you did so and what you thought of it. This is truly a "Power to the People" technology. Most people have no idea a book exists nor what it is about unless a friend tells them. So, be a friend!