My wife and I spent the morning at the Museum of Natural Science in the Houston Museum District. We ponied up the money to see the International Sherlock Holmes Exhibition. It was worth every dime!
Upon entering the exhibit a member of the museum staff provides you with a small book to record clues you come across. Be forewarned should you visit the exhibit! The minute you set foot in the exhibit, “the game is afoot!”
The exhibit begins with some history about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, his life and education, and of special importance, the medical professors who trained Doyle. Of particular interest is the photo of Dr. Joseph Bell, the man who taught Doyle how to practice the art of observation.
The display includes several of the original handwritten pages of the classic Holmes story The Hound of Baskervilles. Of the original 178 pages only 30+ pages still exist.
Also on display is a copy of The Strand
The exhibit is filled with displays of artifacts depicting the forensic and scientific knowledge of the times. A trained medical doctor, Doyle was up to date on the latest discoveries and used them to great advantage in the telling of his stories.
If you live in Houston and love detective stories, you’ll want to take in the exhibition. If not, you’ll want to visit the Exhibitions website for details of where the exhibition will appear next. In fact, I suggest visiting the website regardless. It’s filled with more interesting material for fans of the great detective!
Libraries in general do not purchase books written by indie authors. They have their reasons and like many bureaucratic institutions are slow to change. With all the changes in technology and the decline in reading among younger citizens libraries truly have their hands full.
None of this stops indie authors from wanting to get their books into local libraries.
The sale of a single copy of a novel or non-fiction book is not really the goal for most indie authors. Exposure to readers is.
One of the biggest challenges facing all authors is being discovered by readers. Throw in factors like the author’s genre might be narrow, it is a first book, and the seven million or so new books published every year and you can start to grasp the challenge.
One of the best ways for indie authors to get a foot in the door with libraries is for local patrons who frequent the library to request copies of the author’s work to be added to the collection.
Almost all of the paperback copies of my Inspector Sullivan Series that have been sold have been a result of readers asking their local library to add the book(s) to the library’s collection.
If you enjoy the Inspector Sullivan books, please consider asking your local library to add them to the library’s collection.
In fact, if you have other indie authors you enjoy, do the same for that author. We all need to be discovered!
Social media can eat up a lot of time. There aren’t too many people who would disagree with that statement. Many avid readers who enjoy social media find it necessary to choose between reading and engaging with others via social media.
Social media designed for avid readers!
There three easy methods to connect with other readers and favorite authors:
Amazon Author Central
Goodreads is essentially Facebook for readers. Fans who open accounts on Goodreads are serious about reading. There are lot of cool features for the avid reader. Here’s a few:
1) Asking the author questions: Authors have to give their consent to participate in this feature so they tend to answer.
2) Updates on the author and upcoming new work: These come in the form of an e-mail. I know, another e-mail. Having said that, the subject line informs you the e-mail is an update from a favorite author. I open these.
3) Reading groups focused on specific topics or genres: I belong to a couple of these and they’re fun. One of the groups has a monthly group read of a book the group picks. You can participate in the discussion on line. Reading groups are also a way to discover new or obscure authors.
4) Book Giveaways: Goodreads runs book giveaways. You can win Kindle or paperback copies of books directly from the authors. I’ll be honest, some of the paperback copies are likely drop shipped directly from CreateSpace or IngramSpark (POD services). But some authors sign the copy for you and mail it directly to you.
Note: You don’t provide the author any of your information to enter the Giveaway. The author is notified by GoodReads when the Giveaway is over and provided contact information to the winners.
Each Giveaway has some restrictions and there are limits to the number of winners in each Giveaway.
5) Access to reviews: GoodReads users are all avid readers. Most of them at least rate the books they read and many write detailed reviews. I find the reviews and ratings to be more just and accurate than those I find on Amazon.
6) Friends that are readers: Like Facebook, you can have friends. GoodReads will communicate updates to you if desired about what your friends are reading. These are avid readers who love books. Not just reading books but discussing them as well.
If you love an obscure author or genre, here is a way to find like minded readers!
Unlike other forms of social media I actually enjoy the time I spend on GoodReads.
The pitch: Amazon owns GoodReads and it’s slowly becoming a way for authors to connect with and find new readers. The more followers authors have, the larger an audience they can reach.
How to follow an author: It’s easy. First you have to have a Goodreads account.
If you find an author you would like to follow, search for one of the author’s books. In the image above you’ll see the listing for my own The Predator and The Prey. Beneath the title of the book you will find the author’s name listed. Place your cursor on the author’s name and click.
The gentleman depicted above is none other than the famous Ed McBain, author and creator of the 87th Precinct series of novels. Bellow the image you will see a button labeled “Follow Author.” Simply click on the button and you are now following that particular author.
Amazon Author Central is just as easy to join. You can click on the author’s name as it is listed beneath the book title. In addition to announcements and updates about the author’s books and new releases (Amazon wants to sell you books) you can keep track of all of the author’s blog posts without leaving the Amazon website.
In the image above, you’ll notice beneath the small image of the book cover a caption asking you to follow the author of the book. Usually you’ll see a tiny image of the author and a button to click labeled +Follow. Just click on the button and Amazon does the rest. You’re following the author now.
BookBub is one of the most popular places for readers to find books and learn about deals on ebooks. Like Goodreads and Amazon, you’ll need an account.
Once you have opened an account and logged in, following an author is easy. You can use the search feature to look up an author. In the example bellow, I did a search for Rex Stout, the creator of the Nero Wolfe series.
In the top right corner is the familiar Follow button. Click on it and you’re now following the author.
If you don’t know who the author is but love a particular book and want to either learn more about the author of follow the author, do a search for the book.
In the image below you’ll see the page for The League of Frightened Men by Rex Stout. In the lower right corner of the image is the Follow button.
I am working to grow my list of followers on all three of these platforms. If you already have accounts with them, please take a minute and add me to the list of authors you follow.
If you don’t utilize any of the above three, consider creating a Goodreads account. As I said before, it’s social media for avid readers.
It’s taken awhile, but finally, the first box set in the Inspector Thomas Sullivan Thriller series is available for pre-sale on Amazon. On August 2, the Box Set will go live!
From the Amazon Product Description:
Now in a single box set – the first three hard hitting and action-packed Inspector Thomas Sullivan Thrillers – Hardboiled Noir from the Future!
Fans of classic pulp detective stories from the pens of Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler will enjoy Sully’s deadpan banter and the assorted villains and corrupt officials the Inspector must contend with. Bladerunner fans will enjoy the setting in Capital City, a character itself, set on the frozen world of Beta Prime.
Follow Inspector Sullivan, a man with a harrowing past, as he struggles to clean-up the crime and corruption of Capital City.
The Predator and The Prey (Book 1)
The challenges start before Sully even sets foot on the planet Beta Prime. caught up in a conspiracy while hunting a sadistic serial killer, Sully tries to find the beautiful young woman whose presences is a haunting reminder of a past tragedy.
Last Train To Nowhere (Book 2)
A hated authority figure from Sully’s past reaches out and asks for the Inspector’s help in solving the murder of a military policeman. The enigmatic Sarah struggles with reality as the bodies began to pile up, bodies of clones that is.
Join Sully as he and his associates work to stop a cartel trafficking in human clones.
Grey Sky Blues (Book 3)
No Alliance prison is as tough as Graham Correctional located on the moon Persephone. Sent to investigate a pair of bizarre murders, Sully and friends uncover a sinister criminal enterprise within the walls of Graham. It doesn’t take long for Sully to realize nothing is as it seems.
Excerpt from The Fractured Man (prequel to The Predator and The Prey)
Six short stories
Background history and information to the Inspector Sullivan Universe
The Inspector is looking for a few good readers to join his reading group. It’s FREE, but Sully says beware, nothing is truly free.
To get your copy Kindle or ePub copy of The Predator and The Prey, along with The Inspector’s Report, you have to surrender your name and e-mail.
The Inspector’s Report will allow you to keep up with what Sully is up to along with the few friends he has on Beta Prime. Things like who is Father Nathan after now, is Sarah safe from those who hunt her and is Josephson is the dog house again.
Short stories, author interviews, back history and news on publishing dates and releases of the latest thrilling adventure of the Inspector and his team.
Thomas Sullivan has another case, this one possibly threatening the peace established by the Anti-Cloning Treaty more than thirty years ago. Forced to work with what some would call his nemesis, Sullivan is up to his eyeballs in intergalactic thrills, chills, and mayhem. Unfortunately, due to his own mistakes, he begins to alienate some of his very few friends, resulting in devastating consequences. Last Train to Nowhere by K.C. Sivils is an evolution of the classic good cop/bad cop conflict and reinvents that trope into something totally unique that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.
I had never read an Inspector Thomas Sullivan book before, but he was an interesting character and the book was a thrilling example of what a good story can be. With a mystery/crime drama mixed with science fiction and lightly coated with a noir quality edge, K.C. Sivils is a talented writer able to blend multiple genres and create a story that fans of all of the above genres will enjoy. The narrative flowed very well and it was easy to understand the plot. I felt driven by both the characters and the interwoven plot threads of the story. There were a LOT of characters, but overall the large cast added a really great sense of a bustling world. If you’re looking for something new and different, make sure to give Last Train to Nowhere a shot. I will definitely be returning to try more in the series.
It has taken me awhile to get things set-up for my author’s newsletter, The Inspector’s Report. I’m not a particularly computer savvy individual so it’s to be expected I suppose.
The Inspector’s Report will be e-mailed periodically. I promise to NEVER share anyone’s e-mail who signs up.
You can unsubscribe at anytime AND you can not feel guilty about it!
The Inspector’s Report will give updates on the availability of the latest offering in the Universe of Inspector Thomas Sullivan and his friends (enemies too). Back history for characters and places on Beta Prime will be provided to answer those nagging questions readers have about this detail or that.
Short stories will be a part of the newsletter on a semi-regular basis and will often feature supporting characters such as Ralph, Alice or Joe.
If you are a fan of science fiction and/or crime noir/mysteries, I will include my thoughts on a regular basis in the form of lists or reviews of books I have read.
I would love it if readers of The Inspector’s Report would ask questions and contribute content as well.
I was both ecstatic and surprised my novel The Predator and The Prey received a 5-Star review from The Reader's Favorite. Sending your novel off for its first editorial review is a bit like sending your child off to school for the very first time. Here's the review:
The Predator and The Prey by Kevin Sivils is a gripping story featuring police inspector Thomas Sullivan and a cast of very compelling characters. Sullivan has had a very dirty past, a past that may catch up with him any time. Now, he’s sent to a new planet to redeem his past, but things become more complicated when a mysterious young woman from that past resurfaces. Sullivan has to solve a series of crimes and his new turf is sprinkled with danger and potholes. Can he trust anyone and can he navigate the complicated setting without giving himself away?
Kevin Sivils’ writing got me hooked from the very first page. I enjoyed the intelligent dialogues, well crafted to build character and plot. The conflict is introduced from the very beginning of the story and the reader understands the dilemmas which investigators are caught up with, but as one reads on, it becomes more complex, and the author explores deeper levels of conflict, especially the psychological conflict communicated through a stream of consciousness that is as absorbing as it is entertaining. The Predator and The Prey features very compelling characters, including an ex-con who works as a cabbie, a priest who seems more corrupt than a con man, and many others.
The writing is excellent, punctuated with powerful descriptions. There is a pervading sense of suspense that makes the reader ache to know what happens next. For instance, I couldn’t help longing to find out more about the mysterious young woman and to see what would happen between her and the main protagonist. The action is intense, making it impossible to put the story aside. This is a great read for anyone looking for something entertaining and fun in the area of police investigation, crime, and redemption.