Book and Life Updates April 2017

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted updates on books, life, or anything else so I thought I’d do a short update on things then share some news about an old book.

Those wondering when my next book will come out, all I can say is soon. Very soon. I’m towards the end of my second rewrite. It’s been a slow process mostly because my free time is limited. I work on the book every day from 4:30-6:30 a.m. At that point the kids are up and life takes over. There are little kids to feed and big kids to get off to school. Then it's off to my job. Once I’m home at night there are sports practices for some kids, church activities for others, homework to do, and dinner to prepare and eat, and then it’s time to get the younger kids ready for bed. By the time everyone's in bed for the night, I’m too physically and mentally exhausted to write.

Don’t misunderstand. I’m not complaining. I have a nearly-perfect marriage, seven wonderful kids, a day job that I love, and a home to keeps everyone warm, dry, and happy. Having lost everything that mattered many, many years ago, I wouldn’t trade any of that for more writing time because books are books and families are forever.

But the books will keep coming. I promise you. They won’t stop because for some reason I can’t stop writing the stories that filter through my head. In the meantime, here’s some news about my first book.

The nice thing about owning the rights to your own book is that you can do whatever you want with them. It’s been 10 years since my first book and memoir Room for Two was published. To celebrate, I’ll be posted the entire book in my blog. Starting Monday, I’ll post Chapter One and will continue to post a chapter for the next 16 weeks until the entire book is up.

So if you haven’t read Room for Two before, now’s your chance to try it out. If you have, then you can enjoy the journey again, one chapter at a time. 

Starting Monday.

Book Reviewers Wanted

As some of you may know, I'm coming out with a new book soon and possible a second one later in the year. The first book is along the sci-fi/fantasy genre and the second is a mystery/thriller. 

If you like to read one or both of these genres or future self-help books, I’m looking for a few honest book reviewers. If you’re interested in reviewing future books of mine, fill out the form here. I’ll be in touch soon.

Thanks in advance.

Room for Two FREE on Kindle

My first book, Room for Two, is free on Kindle starting today. It will be available as a free download through Friday, September 26.

It's also available for free in the Amazon stores for CanadaUK, Australia, Japan, France, Brazil, IndiaSpain, Italy, Mexico, and Germany.

If you don't have a Kindle you can download  Kindle app for your phone, tablet, or computer for free.

Read the first three chapters of Room for Two here.

About Room for Two

"Sweetie, I'm home." I tried to put as much kindness into my voice as possible. I didn't want to have another argument - at least not right away.

Silence.

"Sweetheart?"

A gunshot echoed from our bedroom, followed by the sound of a bullet casing skipping along a wall.

Everything slowed down.

***

When a life is destroyed, when guilt says you played a role in its destruction, how do you face the days ahead?

Twenty-six-year-old Abel Keogh chooses to ignore the promptings he receives concerning his wife's mental illness, and now he feels he is to blame for her choices. If only he had listened . . .

At some point in our lives, each of us face devastating afflictions and must eventually cope with loss. Regardless of how it happens, the outcome is still the same - we are left isolated, alone, wondering what we could have done differently, and where we can turn for peace.

This is Abel's story in his own words. His search for peace and the miracle that follows is proof that love and hope can endure, despite the struggles and tragedies that shape each of our lives.

 

 

Now Available: The Ultimate Dating Guide for Widowers

The Ultimate Dating Guide for Widowers is finally here! You can now download it for KindleNook, and at Smashwords. A paperback version and other ebook formats will be available in the coming weeks. You can read the first chapter here.

About The Ultimate Guide for Widowers

Men and women grieve differently. Though both feel the pain and sorrow that come with losing a spouse, widowers start dating much sooner than widows—usually within the first year of their wife's passing. While there's nothing wrong with dating again that quickly, widowers often get into relationships before they're emotionally ready to take that step. That causes problems for them and the women they're with.

That's where The Ultimate Dating Guide for Widowers comes in. Drawing on the success stories and learning experiences of Joe Biden, Thomas Edison, Peirce Brosnan, and Paul McCartney, this book specifically addresses questions, concerns, and needs of widowers, including:>/p>

  • How to know if you're really ready to date again
  • Overcoming feelings of guilt about starting another relationship
  • Balancing your dating life with the needs and wants of your children
  • How to make room in your heart for someone else

The Ultimate Dating Guide for Widowers is the definitive guide for widowers who are looking to sort out their conflicting emotions and avoid common pitfalls that come with dating the second time around. It's a must read for any man who's looking to ease the transition from an old life to a new one.

Kindle | Nook | Smashwords | Chapter 1

Enjoy the book,

Abel

Book Update 2

Traveling for business this week so there's no Widower Wednesday column today. Instead I thought I'd give you all a quick book update:

  • Second round of edits are back. Hoping to have time tonight to go through a good chunk of them.
  • Second round of the covers are in as well. Things are defiantly going in the right direction.
  • Once edits are finalized, everything will start being prepared for layout. Looks like were (hopefully) two weeks away from having this book ready

Finally, here's a pic from dinner last night. Yes, the place has great bulbs. As a result, you can probably smell me a mile away. :)

Widower Dating Guide Book Update

I've had a couple people ask about the progress on the widower dating guide that I'm working on. The good news is that I'm wrapping it up and hope to have it available in the next 30-60 days. The content and stories that widowers have shared themselves are great! However, there's one thing I need help with in order to complete this project: I'm looking to sprinkle stories like this throughout the book of famous men or who were widowed and successfully remarried. I want stories so readers can see that there are other widowers out there (aside from me and those who have contributed stories) who have moved on. I've tracked down a handful of stories (Joe Biden, Teddy Roosevelt) but need others aside from politicians. Movie stars, sports stars, writers, artists, and other famous people. If you can think of anyone leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

Thanks for your help!

Abel

The Non-Fiction Ebook Revolution

As a writer it’s been interesting to watch the publishing industry upheaval since my first book was traditionally published in 2007. Gone are the days of physically mailing query letters to agents or small publishers and waiting weeks or months for a response—if you got one at all. Instead you can now email queries and wait weeks or months for a response—if you even get one. J

But the biggest change to the publishing world has been the proliferation of ebooks. Ebooks, which only applied to a small niche audience in the pre-Kindle days, have gone mainstream. They’ve changed the way people read and access books and empowered writers to cut out the middleman and sell their book directly to readers. All of these are positive changes in an industry that, until recently, was partying like it was 1899.

When you read about success stories like Hugh Howey and other writers who have benefited from the ebook revolution, the success stories primarily focus on fiction writers. Rarely do you hear about non-fiction authors or how readers of there are responding to ebook upheaval.

Since I primarily write non-fiction, I’ve noticed that it’s taken a little longer for my readers to embrace ebooks. My audience is primarily female between the ages of 30-60. Some of them are avid readers but most of them probably read only or two books a year. (There’s nothing wrong with that. Most people in the world don’t read more than one books in any given year.) Most of them don’t own Kindles, Nooks, or other e-readers. Yet despite this, my readers are embracing ebooks nearly as much as avid readers. It just took them a few years longer to adopt.

Here’s what I’ve observed: When I turned down a traditional publishing contract in the summer of 2011 to pursue the indie route, I knew my audience well enough to know that that most of my readers still wanted a print copy. So when I released my first relationship guide in August, I made sure a print and ebook version were both available.

It turned out to be a wise move.

From the time the book was released in August 2011 to the end of the year, about 65% of my sales were from physical books—mostly sold through Amazon.  By the time my second indie title came out in April 2012, the number of physical book sales had fallen to 55% of my total sales.

Then, that fall, something changed. September of 2012 I noticed for the first time that ebook sales had overtaken print sales. It wasn’t by a lot. In fact, total ebook copies only sold a total of five more copies then the print versions. I thought it was a fluke.

Turns out it was anything but.

After I looked at each monthly report, the number of ebook sales continued to skyrocket while the number of paper copies sold fell. When I released my latest book back in February, physical book had fallen all the way to 40% of my sales. In May, the last month of sales that are available, physical books only made up 35% of overall sales while ebooks made up 65%--an exact inverse of my sales when I started doing things on my own.

And the trend shows no sign of slowing down.

Keep in mind, the majority of my readers don’t own e-readers. The reason they’re embracing ebooks, at least what I can discern from reader feedback, is that they read them tablets like the iPad or on their smartphones. Technology has finally made it convenient for them to take advantage of the price and convenience of ebooks. In addition, they like the privacy that comes with ebooks. (Who wants to be seen in public reading a relationship guide?)

That means if you haven’t sold your stock in Barnes & Noble, now would be a great time to unload it.

In the future, there will probably always be a (small) demand for print books and I have no plans whatsoever to discontinue making print copies available for my upcoming novel and other non-fiction projects. As long as readers still what to buy them, I’ll keep producing them.

But those who say still a war between ebooks and physical books are deluding themselves. The war between print and ebooks is over. Ebooks have won—big time. All that’s left is mop-up operations.

My Quest for GWOT! Horribly Funny Hairticklers

GWOT!

Sometime during my first years of elementary school, my brother, Sean, and I came across a book in the school library titled GWOT! Horribly Funny Hairticklers by George Mendoza. The book, at least though our young minds, was anything but funny. The three or four stories the book and the creepy illustrations (by Steven Kellogg) that went along with the stories scared the hell out of us. Still, it seemed like one of us was always checking out the book and bringing it home in order to enjoy the frightening thrill ride again and again.

The book crossed my mind the other day when my older kids were clamoring for a scary bedtime story. I thought it would be fun to get a copy of that book and see if it would frighten my kids as much as it did me and my brother. So after I tucked the kids in bed for the night I went online to see if I could find a copy.

Much to my surprise the book is out of print and has been for at least 20 years. The cheapest copy I can find is a used one in “acceptable” condition for $75. Most copies are selling for three figures. All are out of my budget for one children’s book.

I’ve looked all over Internet and scoured all of the local used/rare bookstores in the Salt Lake City area for a less expensive, used copy so far with no luck. Is there anyone out there that knows where I can find one? I’d be willing to pay up to $25 for used, fully intact copy of the book. It doesn’t have to be in perfect condition. All I’m looking for is a book that I can read to my kids at night when I feel like scaring the crap out of them. J

If anyone out there happens to get a lead on this book, please shoot me an email. I’d really love to get my hands on a copy of this book again.

Available in Paperback: Life with a Widower

Life with a Widower: Overcoming Unique Challenges and Creating a Fulfilling Relationship is finally available in paperback. You can buy it at Amazon or, if you want a signed copy, order it from my store.

I apologize for the delay in getting the paperback version out. There was a technical delay with Amazon getting the book listed. That problem has, fortunately, been resolved.

If you haven't had a chance, you can read Chapter 1 of Life with a Widower here.

Links to all hard copy and eBook versions can be found below. More eBook versions will be available in the coming weeks.

***

About Life with a Widower

If you’re dating or married to a widower, you've encountered relationship issues that other couples just don’t have to deal with. Whether it’s the comments on his late wife’s Facebook page or the tattoo commemorating the love of his life, there are some situations that are unique to widower relationships.

That’s where Life with a Widower comes in. Drawing on over a decade of experience helping women in relationships with widowers, I tackle the most common, day-to-day widower relationship challenges so you can gracefully navigate and overcome them. A few of the topics include:

  • The best way to handle events held in the late wife’s memory
  • How to keep the late wife out of the bedroom
  • Tips and tricks to improve communication with your widower
  • How to forgive a widower who’s hurt you and decide whether you should give him a second chance

The book also includes over a dozen stories from women who have experienced similar challenges and tells how they overcame seemingly impossible situations.

Whether you’re married to a widower, dating one, or in a long-term relationship, Life with a Widower will help you think through these challenges to develop a successful, fulfilling relationship.

Widower Wednesday: Life with a Widower Cover

Book update: All the contributor agreements have been received. The manuscript is with the proofreader and should be back for me to review by this weekend. And the cover? You can see it below. Should have everything ready to go in about two weeks! About the book:

If you're dating or married to a widower, you've encountered relationship issues that other couples just don’t have to deal with. Whether it's the comments on his late wife's Facebook page or the tattoo commemorating the love of his life, there are some situations that are unique to widower relationships.

That’s where Life with a Widower comes in. Drawing on over a decade of experience helping women in relationships with widowers, Abel Keogh tackles the most common, day-to-day widower relationship challenges so you can gracefully navigate and overcome them. A few of the topics include:

  • The best way to handle events held in the late wife’s memory
  • How to keep the late wife out of the bedroom
  • Tips and tricks to improve communication with your widower
  • How to forgive a widower who’s hurt you and decide whether you should to give him a second chance

The book also includes over a dozen stories from women who have experienced similar challenges and tells how they overcame seemingly impossible situations.

Whether you’re married to a widower, dating one, or in a long-term relationship, Life with a Widower will help you think through these challenges to develop a successful, fulfilling relationship.

Looking for a few more Living with a Widower Stories

I sent Living with a Widower off to the editor and a beta reader over the weekend and just got feedback from both of them. Over the next few days I’ll start making changes based on their suggestions and comments. I've also been going through stories that readers sent in for the book. The good news is that I've got tons of great stories to use. (I’ll be in touch soon if your story is chosen.) The bad news is that the book has evolved since I first asked for stories last year and, as a result, have either written some chapters I didn't plan on or have some subjects that people didn't share stories.

As a result, I’m posting a list of stories that I’m in need of. If you feel like you have a story to share, send me an email with your story. If you can get the stories to be sometime before January 21, that would be great. Please keep submission to under 750 words.

  • I need 1 more story about what happened when a GOW or WOW continually permitted or made excuses for a widower’s bad actions or behavior.
  • Need 1 more story about what happened after you learned about the widower’s and late wife’s sex life.
  • Need 2 stories that address the ups and downs of participating in or volunteering for charity runs, foundations, or other events that commemorate the late wife.
  • Need 2 stories about dealing with memorial tattoos—1 positive one and one negative one.
  • Need 2 stories about how you forgave a widower who hurt you.

Thanks and let me know if you have any questions.

Update: Just got a positive tattoo story that I'll use. Keep 'em coming.

Update 2: Received two good forgiveness stories. Thank you, ladies!

Update e: Tattoo stories have been taken care of. Thanks!

Really, Really, Really Bad Book Covers

A couple years ago I stumbled across a blog dedicated to bad book covers. The blog was hilarious but, sadly, inactive soon about a year after I discovered it. Thankfully there's another site out there that's picked up where the other blog left off and is posting such cringe inducing beauties like the following.

Check out more covers at Lousy Book Covers when you get a chance.

Hat Tip: The Passive Voice.

Thanks for all the Submissions

Mega THANK YOUS to everyone who submitted stories for my upcoming (and final) widower relationship guide. I ended up with way more stories than I expected. Give me a week or two to sort through and figure out which ones will work best in the book. Hope to have this all over to my editor by the end of the month and the book available soon after. Look for more details in the weeks ahead and thanks again for all the stories!

Widower Stories Due Today!

This is the final call for stories from women who are or have been in a relationship with a widower for my final widower relationship book. I need any submissions by midnight tonight. If you haven’t sent yours in yet, you can email them to me here. If you need guidelines on what I’m looking for, you can find them here.

Thanks for your help with this important project.

Share Your Story

I’m in the midst of writing my final widower relationship guide. Tentatively titled Life with a Widower, the book will focus on the most common problems and issues not covered in my first two books. I’m hoping to have the book available before the end of the year.

And this is where I need your help.

My other two relationship books, Dating a Widower and Marrying a Widower have included wonderful stories from women who were dating or married to a widower. These stories have added insight to the chapter and helped countless others who are in a relationship with a widower. For this book I need stories from those who are or have been in a relationship with a widower. It doesn’t matter if you just dated a widower once or have been happily married to one for 30 years, if you have a story to share, send it in.

I’m looking for stories that can address the following situations:

  • How did the late wife’s Facebook page or other online memorials affect your relationship?
  • What happened when you gave your widower a second chance at the relationship?
  • How did get the strength and courage to end the relationship with a widower even though you were still in love with him?
  • If the widower told you about his sex life with the late wife, how did this impact your relationship?
  • How did memorial tattoos interfere with or enhance your relationship?
  • What are some ways you learned to better communicate with a widower?
  • How did you forgive a widower that dumped you, used you, or otherwise hurt you?
  • What did you widower do when friends and family kept trying to memorialize the late wife?
  • How did a long distance relationship with a widower work out?
  • Does your widower participate in annual events (like 5k runs) for the late wife or work in behalf of charities, foundations, or scholarships for the late wife? If yes, has that hindered or helped your relationship?

I’m looking for success stories as well as ones where things didn’t work out. Basically if you have a story that you think can help other girlfriends of widowers and wives of widowers with their current relationship I want to hear from you!

Please keep submissions between 250-750 words. You can submit more than one story but please send them in different emails. (This way I can organize them for quick reference.) Stories are due no later than Thursday, November 1, 2012. You can submit them by sending an email to writer@abelkeogh.com.

If your story is selected, you’ll receive a free copy of the new book as soon as it’s published. To protect your privacy, you can publish your story under a pen name if you wish.

Thanks for your help,

Abel

Worth Reading: Wool by Hugh Howey

Even  though I read a lot of books, it's not often I like them enough to recommend them on my blog. But when I do, I'm happy to let the world know about an awesome read.

Last week I finished a series of 5 short novels called Wool by Hugh Howey. It's the best science fiction I've read in years. Wool is about a society that lives in a giant underground silo because the outside world that can only get glimpses of is uninhabitable. The writing it stellar, the characters are real, and there's enough tension and mystery that kept me up night after night way past my bedtime. Howey has a way to draw you into his world that makes you feel like you're living in this underground world.

So if you like dystopian science fiction, I highly recommend giving Wool a shot. In fact I like it so much that four co-workers and Marathon Girl are currently reading it and all are all enjoying it. (It's all I talk about at work with some of the guys.)

If you have a Kindle and aren't sure if the book is for you, click here and download the free sample. That will take you a read of  Book 1 and partway into Book 2. And if you buy it, get the Omnibus edition which combines all the short novels and novellas into one giant book.

Happy reading!

5/5 starts for Wool by Hugh Howey.