Read an E-Book Week


This is Read an E-Book Week!  To celebrate I have cancelled my KDP exclusive e-book contract on Amazon and have  published my three novels on Smashwords. They are now available in all formats for any e-reader. Better yet – they are on sale! To add to my excitement, I have launched newly designed covers created for me by Biomance Entertainment. The next printing of books will have the new  cover.

3Covers_Final copy

Click on the cover to be directed to my Smashwords Author Page. When ordering use  coupon code new25. The discount is only valid during Read an E-Book Week, March 3 – 9, 2013.

Prologue from The Life of Meyer

“Tradition tells us that forty days before a male child is conceived, the name of his bride-to-be is announced from heaven.

There is a soul mate for everyone—however, not everyone finds his or her soul mate. We can spend our lives searching for our true partner. If we are one of the lucky ones, we find the match that was made in heaven just for us, the one we are meant to be with, and we will live a long, happy, and productive life together.

Finding that perfect partner  goes beyond the coupling of two hearts destined for oneness, beyond two half-souls joined in completion.  It is our fate,  our destiny.

I’m Meyer Minkowski and this is my story of love, life, and my struggle to find my  soul mate. In order to give you the whole picture, I have to start at the beginning, when I was four years old, because that is when destiny found me, although I didn’t know it then.

Now, you have to understand, no one’s life is just a single strand of thread. On the contrary, each of our lives are a tapestry, woven intricately with the lives of those with whom we cross paths and with whom we share history, destiny. In these pages you will find the strands that make up my life’s tapestry; my history; my struggle—and the path that led me home to my soul mate.”


The “Meant to Be” series  is a family saga that explores life, love, relationships and finding that one person who we are meant to spend our lives with.

Some families are born and others are born of circumstance, but the bond of family is the same either way, for it is not about blood—it is about taking care of each other. Mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, cousins, neighbors and friends—they will all have a part to play in each other’s lives and the lives of total strangers.

These incredible families endure. With faith and family values they thrive.

Through love and laughter, tragedy and tears, they band together—it’s all meant to be.


growing_together-richard_alan copyGrowing Together, the fourth book in the “Meant to Be” series will be coming out later this month. This will be followed by writing an historical trilogy set in mid-1800 — 1900s about the previous generations of the people you have grown to love in the “Meant to Be” series; their journeys to the United States and on the Oregon Trail. It has been so much fun researching the history of that time period and visiting several places along the Oregon Trail. These were amazing people  who crossed the continent to start  new lives. I hope you will enjoy these novels as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

I hope you will check out the many authors at Smashwords (starting with me, of course) who are participating in Read an E-Book Week by discounting their e-books.  Let me know what titles or genres of books you like to read. Happy reading to all!



CONGRATULATIONS! And the winner is…

CONGRATULATIONS to Christopher Belton @ BeltonWriter for winning the signed copies of  MEANT TO BE and THE COUPLES.  Christopher, please contact me with mailing instructions (DM using Twitter).  As an added bonus all subscribers to this blog will receive a Smashwords coupon for a free download of MEANT TO BE.  Anyone signing up for the blog between now and the end of this month (February 29 – Yeah leap year) will receive the same free coupon for a MEANT TO BE download.  Sign up in the box one column over.


   Platform badge author network

Fourth Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign

I am very excited to be participating in the Fourth Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign.  It is running now until March 17.  The campaign is the brain-child of writer and blogger, Rachael Harrie.  She states in her current blog:

“My Writers’ Platform-Building Campaigns are a way to link writers, aspiring authors, beginner bloggers, industry people, and published authors together with the aim of helping to build our online platforms.

The Campaigners are all people in a similar position, who genuinely want to pay it forward, make connections and friends within the writing community, and help build each others’ online platforms while at the same time building theirs.”

This is a super idea!  For more information and to enroll, click Fourth Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign.

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I will also be participating in a Pump Up Your Book: Virtual Book Publicity Tour during the month of March.  I will be tweeting my locations on Twitter, so be sure to follow me @VillageDrummerF.  Visit Pump Up Your Book! for more information about virtual tours.

I will be blogging about both of these experiences as they take place.  Advice from anyone who has experienced these networking events is very welcome!

Happy Reading to All,

Richard Alan




My Three Newbie Mistakes and the Blogs that Helped Me Past Them

I think many of you will relate to my story.  I’m sure I’m not the only new author who has committed the mistakes that I did.  When I decided to write a novel, I only thought about what I needed to do to write a manuscript.  I asked my wife to look into how we could self-publish.  I set a goal of writing four books in one year.  I’ve always been a good story-teller and many people encouraged me to write a book.  Naively I thought:

  1. My great story would translate into a great book on the first draft.  (It took a few drafts to become the great novel it is.)
  2. My wife would only have to fix the typos and spelling errors.
  3. We would be good to go for uploading it to be published.
  4. Our friends and family would buy the book for themselves and for gifts.
  5. Word of mouth would create frenzied buying; soaring my first book onto the bestseller lists.

I did say we were naive.  My first book, Meant to Be, was published by CreateSpace, Kindle Digital Publishing (KDP), and Smashwords in June, 2011.  (Carolynn will tell you how all that went in a future blog.)  I immediately began work on the second book in the “Meant to Be” series, The Couples (published Dec, 2011).  I also was making notes for book three as ideas came to me.  This activity was taking place during the weeks that Carolynn was trying to manipulate Meant to Be into the multiple different formats each publisher required.  By the time the first book was published, the second was completed.  Carolynn went into editing and publishing mode while I wrote book three (Finding Each Other, which will be available late Spring 2012).

Meant to Be and The Couples are beautiful novels about people who are striving to find their soul-mate; their life-partner; the person they are meant to be with the rest of their lives.  We are getting great feedback on both books.  People have told us that the characters are like family; they like them and want to know what is going to happen next.   Although the books are selling, they are not selling as well as we think they should.  We needed to figure out why.

I’m sure most of you have already spotted what our near fatal mistakes were.

  • Error #1 –  We had no marketing plan in place.
  • Error #2 –  Carolynn was the only one who read and edited the first book.
  • Error #3 – We did not sign up for a Twitter account.

I’m not sure which mistake was more egregious.  I can tell you the second error was easiest to correct.  The Couples was read by multiple people who made suggestions and corrections, in addition to Carolynn’s editing.  This will continue to be our standard operating procedure until we are able to afford a professional editor.

Neither of us had any experience  with marketing.  We did create a website and a Facebook page.   After that our search for knowledge began.  Carolynn and I began to read everything we could find online, and in print, about book marketing.  There is a wealth of excellent sources available.  We were amazed at how much helpful information this community shares.  Following are some of our favorites.  I will also update the blog roll with the various blogs we enjoy following.   These are not complete lists.  They are just the ones we seem to reference the most.  I’m sure I have missed a few and will update the blog roll as I find them.  By the way, we now have a marketing plan, a blog, and a Twitter account.

The helpful blog list:

I hope you find these sites helpful.  What other blogs and websites do you like?  Please share in the comments.

Richard Alan


Village Drummer Fiction