Don’t Buy My Books

With millions of people out there urging you to buy their books, I’m going to do the opposite and tell you not to by mine. Considering the books that make it big in this anything-goes book world, chances are you won’t like my novels, anyway. Here’s the truth of it — don’t buy my books if:

You are looking for vampire, ghouls, zombies. There are no such beings in my novels, though there is a brief mention of zombies in A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and there are plenty of sub-humans, such as unscrupulous scientists and bureaucrats, but they bleed and eat the same as any human.

You are a romance junkie. Love is a theme in each of my books, but the conflicts are never romantic ones. The characters gradually fall in love as they band together against a greater villain than their own feelings could ever be.

You are a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey. There is no eroticism in my books, no women who want to be subjugated by men, no kinky sex. In fact, the only graphic sex scene is in More Deaths Than One. Each of my books had less sex in it than the previous one, so my last novel, Light Bringer, had no sex. The story did not call for it, and it never occurred to me to add a few gratuitous sex scenes to help the books sell. (Also, unlike FSofG, my books are well-written.)

You only read thrillers. Although my books all have thrilling moments, and although people often stay up late to finish reading one of my books, they are not thrillers as such. In thrillers, the reader knows who did it from the beginning and learns why from the villain since part of the book is told from the villain’s point of view. In my books, the villain’s identity is not revealed until the end, except in Light Bringer, where the villain turned out to be maybe not so villainous after all.

You want books that are the same as all the rest, only different. My books aren’t the same as all the rest. I’ve read over 15,000 works of fiction, and I made sure my books weren’t like any of them. The endings are not predictable. If by chance you do guess the ending, there will still be a bonus surprise for you.

You like stories with flawed heroes. Not one of my characters was purposely flawed to make them more interesting. They are real in their own right, struggling to survive as best as they can, learning the truth of themselves and their world, growing into who they need to become.

You like raunchy humor. There is much humor in my books, particularly Daughter Am I, but the humor comes from character interaction without a single tinge of raunch, or it comes from a sly sense of irony.

You like a particular genre. My books have no particular genre. When I was growing up, the libraries had small sections for genres such as mystery, science fiction, romance, westerns, but the rest of the books were all shelves alphabetically. That’s where my books belong — with the rest. When I have to pick a genre, I usually say the books are conspiracy fiction since they are all based on various so-called conspiracies. Some readers call Light Bringer science fiction , but to be honest, it was written as myth fiction — based on modern conspiracy myths and ancient cosmological myths.

You only “buy” free books. My books are not free, and except for rare promotions, they never will be free. You can, however, download 20-30% free at Smashwords to give you a sense of what my books are like. (You can find my Smashword’s profile here: Pat Bertram. Scroll down below the book trailers to find my books. Click on the one you’d like to download.)

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25 Responses to “Don’t Buy My Books”

  1. The Bumble Files Says:

    Sounds fabulous. I’d like to read your books. I’m especially interested in “A Spark of Heavenly Fire.” Thanks, Pat.

  2. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Well, I think you may have stopped me from buying your books, even if I did have the money to buy them.

  3. Susan Whitfield Says:

    I’m in the same group you are, Pat.

  4. joylene Says:

    I loved Daughter Am I. Now I must get crackin’ and read the others.

  5. Viola Russell Says:

    This is a great opening hook!

  6. J.P. Lane (@jpLANEauthor) Says:

    Love it! Loved “LIght Bringer” too. Even as a creative writer I’m hard put to find words to describe how sick and tired I am of promoting my book. I’m reaching the stage where I don’t care if another person ever reads it. Freedom is the one thing I value most of all. I refuse to be enslaved by a book, even if I did write it,

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I used to love the promotion aspect — I’ve met a lot of wonderful people and had some great conversations, but now I’m ready to shut off the computer and declare my freedom. I got sick of promoting my book, which is why I started to promote others on my interview blog and book blog, but now that is taking up too much time. If I ever get going on writing again, I will have to curtail a lot of my online activities.

  7. Juliet Waldron Says:

    Lo–a real maverick! And there are few worse trials to a writer than a reader who buys your book, doesn’t get it, and then writes a hostile Amazon review because it didn’t turn out to be what she/he usually reads.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Isn’t that the truth! I had someone give me a bad review because A Spark of Heavenly Fire didn’t follow the script for an apocalyptic novel, even though it was never such a story. In fact, only 10% of the people died, so that means 90% lived. Of course they would try to carry on as best as they could!

  8. ROD MARSDEN Says:

    I had to think hard about this entry of yours before replying to it. To me the genre thing has more to do with marketing and book selling than the actual business of writing. To me genres were created so that the person who owned or ran the book shop could have some idea of where to put the new novel he or she just got in.

    Should it go on this shelf or that shelf? This shelf has this heading and that shelf has a different heading. Now which shelf is the reader likely to go to in order to find this book? And if they are looking for a similar book maybe they will also buy this one or this one instead of the one they are looking for.

    Does the internet change all this? No, not really. The shelves are there but they are not made of pine or oak. They don’t smell of paper and print and, yes, dust. They are electronic but they are still there.

    I grew up in the ’60s when there there basically only two science fiction shows on television: Doctor Who and Star Trek. If we are talking genre then Westerns in the cinema and on television were much more prolific. Westerns in paperback form also outnumbered just about everything else. But I wasn’t that interested in Westerns at the time.

    I liked dark fantasy as well as science fiction and there was virtually nothing in this area worth watching or reading. There were the Doc Savage reprints in paperback form and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Warlord of Mars series.

    I grew up on American superhero comic books and there were only a few paperbacks around on the theme of superheroes and virtually nothing on television or in the cinema.

    Maybe because science fiction and dark fantasy wasn’t the go when I was growing up my generation turned to creating it out of some need to fill what might have been perceived as a black hole.

    In any event, I also grew up on Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. There was also Arthur Conan Doyle with Sherlock Holmes, also Sir Nigel and the White Company.

    There was a time when I would grab anything down from the shelf, any shelf, that looked promising. This is how I came to read The Blue Max and gain a unique perspective on the First World War and develop a love of aircraft and flying which has stuck with me.

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach was another successful experiment because I loved the photos and thought I might dig the story which I did.

    I write fantasy stories and if they slip neatly into one genre or another fair enough but catering to a genre, a particular book shelve has never been my intention and never will be.

    In Desk Job I wanted to tell a story about what life was like working in an office in Sydney in the 1990s. I wanted to tell the story in a way that someone like myself might be enticed to pick it up and enjoy reading it. As for following a trend,I have never done so.

    Mind you, sometimes you can be working on something and by the time you get it out there you have been swamped by a trend. It is unfortunate when this happens but it really can’t be helped.

    In any event, I write because I feel I have something to say. I choose the best way of saying what I wish to say. If someone has a different voice and a different approach then that is okay with me. My thoughts at any rate.

  9. Sheila Boneham Says:

    Wonderful post, Pat! I’ll still buy your books ;-)

  10. Sandy Nathan Says:

    I love this post! Yes! Yes! Yes! Very well said and right on the money as far as I’m concerned. I’m so sick of endless forums and discussions that are basically lists of people saying, “Buy my book!” “I just got a 5 star review!” “I won something!” That is a total turn-off to me. You’ve also mentioned pretty near all of the current cultural hooks. Zombies. Vampires. Fifty shades of anything. Gratuitous everything. Nope. Not for me.

    Bravo, Pat! I am buying any reading your books, by the way. I’m slow but steady, and love your writing and appreciate the services you provide to fellow authors.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      You caught all my references! Of course, I wasn’t exactly being subtle. Thank you for the compliments. I hope you like my books, even if they don’t have zombies. (Well, except for that one, but that wasn’t really a zombie.)

  11. amyshojai Says:

    Great post! I am so going to share this! (I may even “steal” your idea for a future post, only relate it to animals *s*).

  12. Michael W. Sherer Says:

    Let me know how this works for you, Pat.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      So far, it’s worked the way I wanted it to — I have a good discussion going on here. It really wasn’t supposed to be a sales gimmick. I was mostly just voicing my frustration with the whole writing business.

  13. Marie Gilbert Says:

    Great post, Pat. I didn’t understand why the promotion stopped? Did facebook make you stop??


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