Can I Start Over?

Eldersleuth:  librarian or another curious person who is past the age of employment as a police detective, but who perseveres in trying to solve mysteries

Eldersleuth: librarian or another curious person who is past the age of employment as a police detective, but who perseveres in trying to solve mysteries

Five years ago I published SOPHIE REDESIGNED, the first in a planned series of six not-quite-cozy mysteries, exploring the issues of aging and featuring an female sleuth.” Brainy and bored, librarian Sophie George retired early to work for the Dorado Bay, Florida, top police detective, “Captain Sam.” A technology klutz (like many older men were even in 2010), Sam had been coming to her in the public library to help him find facts about suspicious persons using the Internet. The story had two themes common in my septagenarian age group, one, the financial dependence of women on men,  and the other, the inability of some people to let go of the lifelong desire for revenge.

My launch included two book store events, attended by friends who loyally bought my book, and with the Kindle version “up” I began to post on quite regularly, hoping to gain a following of people who enjoyed the observations of a “curmigeon” (my husband’s term for a feminine curmudgeon), and stimulate interest in SOPHIE REDESIGNED, thereby promoting sales. I had received many verbal kudos and mostly positive reviews, but one friend wrote to say the Kindle version was badly formatted. I was stymied by the prospect of how to correct it through the publisher, who had cashed my checks and then more-or-les stopped contacting me.

Also, I had trouble with the “ask” (“Will you buy my book?”) and, while I had some encouraging comments on my blogs, my followers didn’t make the connection. I had to think of something else that my shy nature could overcome to promote my writing.

Instead, like many women, I let a family tragedy and self-imposed obligation intrude on my marketing progress, and soon I stopped worrying about sales at all. I did continue to write, however. My idea has been to make five more Sophie George mysteries available on Kindle. 

Last year at this time we were in London and for six months my posts were about my adventures there, including the difficulties an older person has getting around in a big city.


Staircase at the Courtauld.

Staircase at the Courtauld.


Very old exhibit.

Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery


Natural History Museum (14)

Queuing at the Museum of Natural History.

Yesterday, our youngest grandchild asked about my book and I gave her the title. Within minutes, this ten-year-old had looked on Amazon and read my reviews, became excited about her”famous granny,” and asked if she could have an autographed copy.

That did it. Today I listened to a free webinar on promoting books by regular emails and signed up for a course. Within the next two months I shall be compiling my mailing list in anticipation of launching WINDOW ON THE POND in October, five years after SOPHIE REDESIGNED introduced my eldersleuth. She will not have aged five years, of course, just as I have not aged.

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