Someone’s Reading. And That’s Pretty Special.

Authors, especially indie authors, have to fight and claw for every reader they get. It’s an incredibly crowded field in the publishing world these days. Hundreds of thousands of writers of various backgrounds, pedigrees, and experience have published their books in a myriad of places for the reach of millions of readers. The world has never had more books. The world has never had more authors. The world has never had more readers. The world has never had more opportunity.

Think about how lucky Charles Dickens was. Dickens traveled to America as a celebrity in a time there were few celebrities. He would hold readings and people would gather to listen to him recant his tales in person. But really, how much market competition did Dickens have when he’s competing against two dozen writers? (BTW: totally made up number to make a point.) Plus, Dickens didn’t have to compete with other entertainment medium. No Internet. No TV. No cinema. It was either a Dickens’ story or Uncle Jed recalling his move out west on the wagon train.

So hopefully I’ve established the fact that indie authors of 2016 have to work twice as hard to break through the noise and be noticed by readers.

That’s why it’s extra special when you know your book is being read.

I recently did my largest promotion ever. I’ll be sure to share some facts about it later. But what I have noticed is that the book I promoted is getting many reads by folks using Kindle Unlimited. I especially like to see the numbers roll in that thousands of my pages are being read, because that means that THOUSANDS OF MY PAGES ARE BEING READ. While I am writing this, someone is sitting with their Kindle and reading a novel by Mark W Sasse. That’s still the most amazing thought as a writer. My book was chosen over how many hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of other available books.

That’s pretty special. I never take it for granted, and it makes me want to work harder as a writer so I can produce more stories for more people.

Thanks for reading. Now back to my story.

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You got it wrong. Be MORE like Scrooge.

Leave it to us humans (and book readers) to always focus on the negative, because that’s what we do when we think about Charles Dickens’ famous character Ebeneezer Scrooge.

Who is Scrooge? The meanest, rudest, stingiest, Christmas hum-bug that ever lived. Every time we reference someone who’s not demonstrating the spirit of the holiday, we call them a Scrooge. We whisper a few hum-bugs in their direction and wish them a night filled with visits from strange spirits.

By doing this, we are completely missing the point of Dickens’ story. It’s a story of restitution – redemption – second chances. For while Dickens’ started his story by using Scrooge to describe the very opposite of the reason for the season, so Dickens’ also ends the story by giving us an example of the person who best demonstrated the magic and wonderment of the season. And by golly, that too was Scrooge.

Why do we remember him for his ill-manners and not for his kindness? Why do we remember Scrooge for his stinginess and not for his generosity?

Why Scrooge is really the perfect Christmas role model! He ends up blessing the person whom he used the most. (Cratchet) He rebuilds a bridge back to his broken family. How difficult is that? He was willing to admit his wrongness and humble himself back into the grace of his kin. It takes tremendous character to do something like that. He also becomes the benefactor of a young, crippled boy. (Tiny Tim) He gives us all an example of what Christmas truly is all about — showing love to others as is demonstrated by the Christmas baby in the manger.

We need more Scrooges in this world. We need people who are willing to understand their faults, right their wrongs, and give to those who need it most.

May we all find our inner Scrooge this Christmas!

Have a merry one!