Want a free ebook?
Follow Linda Visit Linda's Goodreads Page
Follow Linda Visit Linda on FacebookVisit Linda's Goodreads Page

Linda Barrett

Linda Barrett

Linda Barrett

Starting Over ~ Life in the Day Camp–The Book Club


About a dozen women usually show up at the monthly book club meeting in my community. These women, who are becoming friends, are totally engaged in story. They are NOT shy about expressing their opinions on what they’ve read.Or on what the author was doing. Or on figuring out the answer to: What could the author have possibly been thinking? I so enjoy these discussions. After writing professionally for fifteen years, I’m finally eavesdropping on enthusiastic readers. What a treat for me! I hope, too, that I contribute something a little bit extra to the discussions.

Maggie and her Kindle

This month, we read The Ninth Wife by Amy Stolls. I’d call it a complex romance, search for love and roots. The group enjoyed the story and discussion was brisk. In our new world of publishing, I’m always curious about how people read their books–electronic vs. paper. So, for fun, I took a user-friendly survey of reading  preferences.  Of the ten women who showed up this week, four brought their eReaders with them. Two brought library copies of the book. One came with a trade paperback copy she bought on  Amazon for $6.00–new, not used. Not sure about the others. But I glommed onto the 40% statistic of eReader users.

Here’s what happened next:  We noted the book for next month (Wild Swans) and right there, my friend, Maggie and I downloaded it to our Kindle and Nook. I looked at the others and said, “You just watched me spend $12.38.”  To which Maggie replied, “And why not? It’s just like spending on a concert ticket. It’s entertainment, whether a singer or an author. And I enjoy books.”

As an author, I adore her attitude. I adore her. She spoke spontaneously and with conviction as though saying, how could you think otherwise?

I also discovered that the county library has changed its inventory. There were only two paper copies of Wild Swans – next month’s choice –  in the entire system. More and more books are to be accessed electronically. Many of the women are not happy. They want to hold a book in their hands. Frankly, there are times I want to do the same, particularly at a book club discussion. However, I love reading on my Nook and wouldn’t give it up.

I glanced down the list of forthcoming books for the club:

July – Wild Swans by Jung Chang

August – The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball

September – Family Interrupted by Linda Barrett

October – The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Whoa…whoa….back up there. Did you notice that September selection?  That will be a new experience for me. I insisted that someone else is leading the discussion while I hang around quietly, like the proverbial fly on the wall. I’ll keep my mouth shut no matter what they say…unless of course, they turn to me and ask, “Linda, whatever were you thinking?”.

WHAT ARE YOU READING NOW?  Let us know if you think it’s a good choice for a club discussion.

Leave a comment and your name will be entered into a great drawing for the month of June. Prizes are your choice of two books out of the six shown below, all written by members of On Fire Fiction. Plus a $25 gift certificate to your favorite eTailer.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by. I hope to see you for the next edition of Starting Over!


LOVE, TEXAS cover61g61GQfe9L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_51YO35nvckL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_51X0n7QeODL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_51VJ6qyXifL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-70,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_51UL1N2FFVL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-57,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_







Starting Over – Fingers on the Keyboard

hands on keyboardHARD COVERS and SOFT COVERS and E-BOOKS, OH MY!

Gutenberg  invented the printing press in approximately 1439 and changed the world forever. Gone was the dependency on hand written manuscripts as the mass production of printed books became a reality. His movable press became more efficient over time due to improved materials and tweaks, but nothing much changed for hundreds of years.

Enter the electronic revolution.

In today’s world, not only are books accessible to us, but readers have choices. What type of book do you prefer to hold in your hands? A compact well designed eReader such as a Kindle or Nook?  Or a “real” book made of paper pages sporting a rich cover? Most book lovers I speak with enjoy a combination of both, depending on the type of book. But let’s not kid ourselves, Electronic books are here to stay. The entire publishing industry has changed because of them. And authors have led the way.

Authors?. That’s right. I said authors.  But they write the books. They don’t publish the books. That’s what companies like Random House or Simon & Schuster do. Well, my friends, while that may still be true, those businesses now have new competition.

Enter the “indie” author.

The independent author has emerged as a powerful player in today’s book scene. An independent author contracts with a freelance editor, a copy editor, and a cover designer to help her produce–or continue to produce–stories that readers love. The independent author has become her own publisher.

I am one of them. After writing a dozen or so novels for a traditional publisher, I’ve decided to go out on my own.

You might have a few questions….?  Ah-h…I see a some hands up in the back of the room. Yes, Mary?

Q.  Why did you change to indie publishing?

A.  Several reasons. First, I could write more books than my publisher could schedule for release because they had other contracted authors to satisfy. Second, they sometimes turned down projects that I liked a lot and thought my readers would like too. Now I have a chance to make those stories available. And third, It was time for me to grow as a writer with bigger projects. Ergo, Family Interrupted.

Q. But don’t you have to pay those editors to help you?

A. Yes, I do. But it’s worth every cent. I would never release a book that hasn’t been thoroughly edited by professionals. It’s very difficult for me–or any author– to do a good job editing her own work because after re-reading the story a million times, you just don’t see the mistakes.

Any other questions?  I see another hand. Susie?

Q. So let’s talk about money. Doesn’t a big publisher pay you lots of money to write your books?

A.  Only the biggest names — authors who make the lists such as The New York Times or USA Today — earn “big” money.  Authors who publish regularly but have a smaller following earn far less. For most of my writing life, I’ve also worked a day job in order to pay the bills. I taught GED prep classes to homeless adults. Another challenging profession! Frankly, I loved that career, too.

Q. So, is it easier being an indie author?

A. There is no difference in the creativity and effort that goes into writing the story. It is neither easier nor harder to produce the best book possible. The extra effort for the indie author involves promoting the book. The responsibility is all mine, and I so appreciate any help I can get. If readers don’t know me or if they can’t find my books, then all my work will have been in vain. Without a reader, the art is unfinished. The circle is not closed. If I were a painter, I could hang my pictures on the walls of my house. I can’t hang a manuscript. Books are to share between writer and reader and among friends.

Q. How does a reader know if an author is indie or traditional?

A.  When you pick up a book, the publisher’s name will be in it. In my book, Family Interrupted, only my name is in it as both the copyright holder and the “permission giver” for reproducing any part of the work. Some indie authors might have incorporated themselves, and that corporate name would be on the copyright page.

Q. Are printed books available from an indie author?

A.  The author decides whether to publish her book in print. Because of the number of electronic readers out there, they often choose not to. Family Interrupted, however, is available as a trade paperback. There is no difference in the physical quality of the printed book offered by an indie author vs. a large publishing company.  When I hold a copy of Family Interrupted in my hands, the cover is strong, the colors are true, and the pages are formatted correctly. The book has weight and substance. It’s a real book! And it makes me smile.

Q.. This promo thing….if I really like an indie author, how can I help promote her?

A.  Same as you’ve always done. Tell your friends! Use Facebook, Twitter or your telephone. Post a review on the etail sites like Amazon. Your recommendation is still the very best way to spread the word. Thanks so much for asking 🙂

Any other questions out there? Just ask and I’ll answer right here in the comments section.

LEAVE A COMMENT and your name will be entered for this month’s drawing for a fabulous package of books. Five authors from OnFireFiction have put together five stories in LOVE ME SOME COWBOY. Each is a full novel from Jean Brashear, Ginger Chambers, Day Leclaire, Barbara McMahon, and Lisa Mondello.

I’m a proud member of OnFireFiction and happy to provide this prize as well as an electronic copy of FAMILY INTERRUPTED, my recently released novel of women’s fiction.  NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT FROM CreateSpace!!!

As always, thank you so much for stopping by. I hope to see you for the next edition of Starting  Over.


Love Me Some Cowboy - 5 book package