Playing For Free

The song currently haunting me is Joni Mitchell’s Real Good for Free.

A famous singer, on her way to a sold-out venue, notices a clarinetist alone on the corner.  She rolls down the window and listens. Damn, he’s playing real good, she thinks as people ignore him. They haven’t seen him on television. He doesn’t have a “name.” So, to them what he’s giving away has no value.

No one knows why some people reach the top while others never get past the bottom rung. Marketeers and motivational speakers will tell you – for a fee – that they know the answer.  But there is no one answer.  Like the tide, popular trends change with the moon. SurferWriters and artists surf on fickle seas. They may catch a wave and be able to ride it for a long, long time, or stand up briefly only to be tossed back into the sea. Or, as is the case for most of us, spend their lives on longboards watching the sun set on yet another waveless day.

Next week (Nov 8 – 14) my publisher has decided to kick off the holidays by giving away selected books, including mine. The idea is to make their own waves.


Dates are wrong above. Actual dates are November 9-14

Book giveaways I’ve been assured are quite common (even amongst the big name publishers) but I have to admit I’m scared. You know the feeling you have when planning a party and wondering if anyone will come? That’s the way I feel today.

Here are the Amazon links: Flipka, The Graduation Present and Willful Avoidance.  Grab a copy of one or all on me!


20 thoughts on “Playing For Free

  1. Channeling Joni: she’s been on my radio station a lot lately. Someone I’d love to have tea/coffee with – or at least have a front row table when she ( used to) play at a coffee house. Love your words too.

  2. I hope people download your books, Jan, because they’re really good! I feel very much the same way–and you say it perfectly: like we’re giving a party that might not include any guests–as my books are also part of the giveaway. But I’ve decided to just *hope* to find a new reader or two. ‘Cause you know, this is a tough business!

    1. It is – last night was rough. I’ve never done a giveaway (except on Goodreads) so I have no idea what to expect. Best of luck to you too – it is a tough business.

  3. Your books? Free? I’d take you up on it, if I hadn’t bought them already. Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

    (Is it gross to say I hope you give away lots of ’em? So confusing.)

  4. Guess who couldn’t resist… Your books are eagerly waiting for their turn to be read and reviewed (I need to meet some deadlines, first).
    Thank you very much for this generous offer. 🙂

  5. I’ve downloaded ‘Willful Avoidance’ Jan, thanks. The storyline looks very interesting and I’m planning on reading it as soon as I’ve finished the book I’m on now. All the best with the ‘give-away’ it should generate a bit of publicity for you. I shared it on Facebook and Twitter when I downloaded it from Amazon.

  6. Great music!
    I’ve been the winner of two recent book giveaways and now regret having missed yours 🙂
    So much of success is timing and luck and who one knows. None of these things are as predictable as one would hope!

    1. I agree. Marketeers claim that they have the formula but it is a matter of timing (unless you have psychic powers and can predict the next big trend!)

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