Though I’ve been told that my novel Skol is the best of my books, you would never guess that from its sales.
My other novel, The Birdcatcher, has had many readers over the years, and the first edition of The Shyness Guide was once selling well enough that I was threatening to break even financially. Meanwhile, Skol has had no following at all.
If you’re acutely shy – that is, if you’re the kind of man or woman who is most drawn to my books – ask yourself these questions:
- Wouldn’t you be interested in shy 17 year-old Simon, who has never been on a planet and has no experience of people other than his father and brother on a small space-freighter, but unexpectedly gets chosen to go to an Adirondack school on Earth for rich aristocratic boys?
- Wouldn’t you be interested to see Earth in the 23rd century, emptied of people except for the few schools, all its wilderness returned?
- Wouldn’t you like to get to know a pet rat who is an accomplished space-traveller, and goes to Earth with Simon?
- Wouldn’t you be interested in the journey assigned to Simon? – walking alone through the mountains down to empty, decaying New York City.
- Wouldn’t you like to meet Simon’s first friend – C-2, the limping humanoid robot that Simon meets behind the desk of a New York hotel?
- Wouldn’t you like to know what the 500 robots in deserted New York are doing there?
- Wouldn’t you be interested in the research of AI psycho-historians into the evolutionary split between shy sensitive people and the insensitive people who dominate civilization?
- Wouldn’t you be interested in the ASIT, or all-species intelligence test developed by AI scientists, that finds most animals to be 10 times smarter than humans thought they were?
- Wouldn’t you like to be present when Simon picks up a dusty robot teddy-bear from the floor of an abandoned Brooklyn house and it starts asking questions?
- Wouldn’t you like to meet a beautiful animine robot who is indistinguishable from a human woman, except that she can make love in new and different ways?
During the years of writing Skol, whenever I bounced one of those ideas off someone, they always seemed interested. But the book has had almost no sales. Part of the problem is that I’m an independent or ‘indie’, writer, so the book is excluded from libraries and traditional bookstores. Part also is that I have little money available for advertising, so when I do have some it has to go to The Shyness Guide.
Nevertheless, Skol’s fate so far remains a mystery to me. Simon may be lost and trying to find his way home, but Skol shouldn’t be.
To see if I can turn things around, this month I’m offering the Skol ebook free at Amazon for five days – Tuesday, Sept 12 (my birthday) to Saturday, Sept 16/17. I would like to offer the paperback at a reduced price too, but, according to Createspace who provide the publishing platform, it is already selling at its minimum.
Here are some links to the ebook at some of the Amazon sites: