What did King Solomon and a jungle have to do to make a 73 year old first novelist dream come true? (Original post 4/14)
No, it was not a dream contract from a book publisher or an acceptance offer by a top name agent to represent my first novel. Every first author may appreciate my explanation of what they will most likely discover and experience after writing their first novel. There is a publishing world, a blogging world, and even a jungle path out there which in my case literally played the major part in making my dream come true.
After going the submission rejection route, and realizing that publishers and agents are not very interested in first time novelists, especially if they have a limited platform and are anywhere near my age because that limits the time frame of the writer to hopefully write a sequel if the novel proves to be commercially successful. Even though most submission replies were congenial and some even complementary, the book was “not for them.” Having a business background I well understood that their basic motives are profit and their decisions are based on experiences and acumen of book marketing they must ponder before they decide to invest their time and resources.
Because my motive was altruistic about the need for wisdom in our present world, I decided to self-publish the novel as an ebook, and then promote sales by blogging. If any interest developed, I would then have hard copies printed. After six months of blogging and 5000 blog hits, the novel book sales were dismal and my sales promotion plan needed change. I considered reducing the book price from $2.99 to free, but believe that a reader would value the subject of King Solomon’s wisdom more if they had to invest something of personal value. In my humble opinion and life experience, I believe most people place a higher value on something they had to pay for rather than obtain free. Besides, two dollars and ninety-nine cents is less than a cup of good coffee today.
However, another first novelist obstacle surfaced. Every novel needs a good critique endorsement from a known reputable person. For example. Bill O’Rielly’s motivational historical novels are successful big sellers because in addition to being interesting, he aggressively promotes sales on his show commentary. I no longer cared about book sales, my dream became focused on how to obtain an unbiased critique comment from someone with a credible significant platform following that did not know me personally and actually read my novel on their own volition. No family or friends critique would placate my new found quest.
I also did not want to bribe someone on Good Reads with a kindle or pay a professional to critique my novel even though that is a proven effective method to promote a book especially by a first time novelist. My dream now was to obtain a real honest to goodness unsolicited unbiased critique comment on my Amazon Author Page. That is where the literal jungle factor I referred to above finally became a factor to make my dream come true.
After a short absence from my daily blogging routine because I went out of town to visit my sister at her retirement convent for a family reunion during spring break, I came home and checked my Amazon Author Page and low and behold, a miracle comment appeared. I had received the critique comment that finally fulfilled my dream.
After my initial jubilation subsided, I decided to find out who was Pat Cegan, the benefactor of the critique. After reading her comment, I was amazed on how well she discerned to describe and summarize so briefly the main themes of my novel. Also to observe what I have come to realize after almost a half century of marriage and two daughters. This is what I surmised the Queen of Sheba may have clued King Solomon about in the novel when she stated in a disgusted tone to a King who purportedly had 700 wives and 300 concubines. “What does any man really know about a woman?”
This is the dream Amazon comment about my novel.
A Story to Love March 25, 2014
By Pat Cegan
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
“I loved many things about this book, quite clever in its approach to a Biblical story. It made the era come alive with its attention to detail of life in that time. I laughed and pondered, wondered if I could be as charming, intelligent and clever as the Queen or as wise (except in the ways of women) as the King…who had more than 200 wives and not a clue about the nature of women. A first book of many I hope for the author made me want to read more…of his books and of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.”
So who is Pat Cegan I now wondered? I googled her name and blog and found out that she lives in Brazil, and has a WordPress blog, patcegan.wordpress.com, that has accumulated almost a half million blog stat hits since 2012. This is her Smashwords bio.
“I am a US volunteer working at an ecological project in central Brazil. I have an inspirational blog with more than 3500 poems which I want to convert to ebooks to sell and use the money to help fund Safe the Floresta project which helps to preserve a beautiful floresta and game preserve at Santa Branca Faz., the ecological project where I live and work.”
Still being a skeptic, I now wondered even more. She lives and works in a Brazil jungle, did she have jungle fever when she wrote her favorable critique? Or perhaps she is now far removed from our modern present day media environment that consumes our time and interest and became interested enough from my blog posts to want to read a first novel from an unknown author. Most people today prefer to choose their reading choices and time on books listed as best sellers because they are busy working, raising kids, or exposed to media distractions in our lives.
I also came to the realization from my blogging experience that bloggers seem to prefer to read short worded blogs about the subject of wisdom rather than pondering their limited time reading and trying to discern meanings of proverbs and wise sayings. That is one of the reasons I chose to write the story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba in a contemporary form in order to combine wisdom with a story that would hopefully keep readers interested enough to remain awake reading into a dark night while pondering the heavy weighted subject of wisdom.
That is my story folks, on how King Solomon and Pat Cegan’s jungle environment all materialized to make a seventy three year old first novelist’s dream come true. One more check has now been made on my bucket list.
Thank you Pat Cegan. I do not know you personally, but will never forget your name or comment. And thank you King Solomon for asking your God to grant you His wisdom to lead, guide, and judge your people wisely. And also to find time in your busy agenda to write proverbs to help guide your subjects and me in life to perhaps realize their dreams by seeking wisdom.
Now on to my next dream. That is to prove King Solomon wrong about one of his Ecclesiastes statements. Having personally been a witness to six major wars that the USA became mired in during my lifetime, perhaps somehow I could persuade some humans and our government leaders to spend some of their time seeking wisdom. The majority of best seller novels and media content presently seems to focus us, our children, and our grandchildren on topics of war, murder, mayhem, sex, vampires, serial killers, etc. etc. “What we think about is what we do” is another wise saying we should stop and consider. King Solomon posed this thought about the future of mankind which I hope someday may prove wrong. “What will the man do who is to come after the King? What men have already done.”
Think about his prediction in comparison to the number of wars that have occurred in history since King Solomon wrote his message three thousand years ago. Then consider his two major accomplishments that resulted during his forty year reign because of his emphasis on wisdom. Peace and prosperity. Then consider my blog motto, What the World Needs Now in Addition to Love is Wisdom.
Regards and good will blogging.
Subject Novel Reference:
As A Lily Among Thorns – A Story of King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Goddess of Wisdom by Rudy U Martinka.
Available as an eBook at all sellers. Read an Amazon excerpt by clicking below