Follow me on Goodreads, and hear what other readers say about Clemens P. Suter Books

If you are already a goodreads member, this is where you can find my author page: link. Rate my work, I welcome your  comments and reviews of my work.

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Originally posted 2017-11-05 20:44:48.

The Sense and Sensibility of Goodreads – Top or Flop?

Authors are always on the look-out for the right channel to engage with their readers and fans. Twenty years ago, this was easy, as publishers used the classical print media or live events for book presentations and advertising. With the birth of the internet, social media and PoD (publishing-on-demand or print-on-demand) this has changed dramatically. Authors are forced to engage on a multitude of platforms; I am using a dozen.

One of those channels is Goodreads, where my author profile has been live since 2010. At first sight, this platform should be ideal to bring readers and authors together, as it is completely focused on books and literature. This is possibly the reason that Amazon acquired Goordreads back in 2013.

But Goodreads isn’t working for me, neither in my role as an author, nor as a reader. Why is that? As one fellow author wrote:

“Goodreads Sucks and is Not Worthwhile”

Readers aren’t given a way to judge what was wrong and writers are not given a chance to improve their work. There is no value of any kind to this method. Second, when text reviews are left, they are quite often extremely negative. Not just negative – I’ve found Goodreads reviews tend to be vicious to the extreme.

Luckily my books have been spared the more vicious attacks by readers, but I do agree with Writing King – it is easy to notice that ratings for some books may well be positive, but the reviews are in many cases written by overtly negative people, many of whom have neither little knowledge of writing good reviews – nor what makes good literature.

Looking at the site from an author AND reader perspective there are many ways the platform could be improved.

  • Although it is understandable why Amazon acquired Goodreads (to draw readers to their online bookshop), they are doing very little for the benefit of their two users. For me as a reader, I am challenged to find more books to read on Goodreads – I rather use Amazon for that (not that I much at Amazon; I simply like Amazon to identify interesting products). As an author, I have uploaded all my books – but that’s it. It is very hard to then start promotions. Amazon does promotions too, but with a high-pricetag, and like any other publisher, they have a couple of favorite authors that they promote – the rest are on their own.
  • It seems as if functionality is removed (e.g. the connector to Facebook), not added. It should be possible to do quite exciting things with such a platform, e.g. stimulate the interaction between authors and readers. As it is now, all communication is uni-directional.
  • Reviews are very easy to publish, but obviously they aren’t quality checked, which is deadly for any platform that lives on reviews.
  • The interface looks old and stuffy. Besides books, I am great fan of movies too, and IMDB looks by far better! By the way, IMDB is also owned by Amazon, you may see a pattern emerging…
  • I have been a member of several Goodreads communities, which are overall bloodless. If I have a question, I may join such a community, but I leave it quickly again once I have my answer. Far too many notifications!
  • The site is confusing, and after using it for so many years, neither purpose nor navigation is obvious to me. Is it social media? – nah not really. Is it a catalog? – nah not really.

In short: as an author I will remain present on Goodreads, but I will continue to keep a low profile. What Goodreads needs is either a dramatic make-over… by someone who knows how to make social media attractive.

Originally posted 2021-02-06 22:35:00.

Going virtual! Tips and tricks on how to sell art without a live event.

Originally I had planned an art exhibit of my work for June, and the organization of this live event was already initiated back in January, together with three other artists. But then the pandemic struck, and it became quite obvious that a live, on-site event was out of the question.

Luckily, through my previous job in business, I have experience in organizing remote events, so the decision to turn this “viral disaster” into a “virtual exhibit” was a relatively easy step to take. In the end, I managed to hand over a surprisingly high number of paintings and books through this approach. Perhaps you are interested in doing something similar, so let me share some tips and tricks on how to make this work.

Set the theme. I called my virtual event “the fundraiser against Corona” as my objective was to donate any proceeds to the WHO corona fund. This was the red tread through all communication.

Choose the timeframe. I took the month of May as the running time for the event.

Connect to your audience, I have a e-mail list with many subscribers, and emailing was centerpiece to the campaign. You can’t overwhelm people with continuous emails, so I designed just three emails: one for April with the general announcement, one for half of May, and a final closing email announcing that the event was almost over, with a final call to action.

Use a website as the central information resource. The link to that website should be simple so that it can be typed in by hand or communicated during a conversation, e.g. over the phone. Here’s mine: www.clemenssuter.com/papa.

Use all channels available. Not all people receive information through the same channel, as it turned out some customers heard about this campaign through Instagram, others through LinkedIn, and others through email. I pushed out the campaign through my website, email, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, tumblr, two sites on Facebook, YouTube… and a few others that I have in the meantime forgotten about ;-) Naturally you can also use any other way: even written letters or postcards.

Use a single, simple and unique hashtag across all social media. Check out my tag #cps_d2c. That hashtag allows all participants to find your work in their personal favorite channel, and it connects all channels.

Post and communicate continuously. Make sure to provide some piece of news every day, across many of the channels. Indicate which day it is: “today is the tenth day of the fundraiser” or “only five more days left for the fundraiser”. As an example, I shared details of a painting each day, or posted about one of my books every couple of days.

Use video. I made short movies that I posted on YouTube, telling why I was running the campaign. Even three weeks in, not all of the people that I had addressed understood what this was about, so you must keep on reiterating your goal. Vlogs are a great way to supplement blogs.

Talk about successes. If you sell your work, tell the audience about this right away. Also mention if you have successfully shipped a painting, or when it has arrived at the buyer. People will want to know that you can deliver. Also provide some guarantee that you will take the picture back if the buyer doesn’t like it. Naturally some buyers will want to look at the art too; so I organized live visits (in line with corona limitations).

Join forces with other artists. Actually, this is a call to action for YOU, if you create high quality art and literature. Imagine such a campaign with a number of artists, each with their own channels! That would lead to an impressive multiplication. If this approach interests you, contact me.

Goldfish. Painting offered during the fundraising campaign and delivered to the UK.

Find more info about my adventure books, which in 2010, predicted the corona pandemic: www.clemenssuter.com/books

Originally posted 2020-07-08 17:37:00.

Strap on your seatbelt. Sneak peek of REBOUNCE, the third part of the TWO JOURNEYS trilogy.

Exciting news about my new book. In case you have been wondering why I have written only a few blog posts over the last months… first, I was very busy with my fundraisers, which managed to raise more than 2500€ for charity through my paintings and books. Then, I was giving several interviews to newspapers about my books, which took up some time time. And next to that I am now working on my FOURTH NOVEL… which will be the final book in the TWO JOURNEYS Trilogy – the grand finale!

TWO JOURNEYS (2010), and the second novel in this series FIELDS OF FIRE (2015) deal with the aftermath of a corona pandemic; high-rated post-apocalyptic adventure novels. The third and final installment has the provisional title REBOUNCE, and I hope it will hit the (e)book stores before the end of 2021. Research has been taking up considerable time; I had to study the geography of the areas where the novel is situated, spanning two continents, as well as new technological developments – the Internet-of-Things/IoT, Artificial Intelligence, space travel, robotics, and more. In 2010, TWO JOURNEYS made a prediction about the danger of pandemics and corona virus. My new novel tackles the risk of artificial intelligence for mankind. I don’t want to give away too much at this stage, also as the plot is still developing – let’s see where it will end.

For all of you that can’t wait until the book is available, below is the first chapter & prologue. Mind, it still has to go through several rounds of editing, this is the raw initial text.

Here we go… strap on your seatbelt.

REBOUNCE / Prologue

First draft. Copyright Clemens P. Suter 2021

Every beginning has its challenges. Every ending too, but at least good endings happen quickly. I stare at the paper in front of me, the handwriting contrasting black against white. A tear, which must have fallen out of my remaining eye, has deformed a written word, like a lens enlarging a crucial yet long forgotten detail. Five pages finished. If I continue writing at this speed, I will have died long before I reach the end.

Over the years I often toyed with the idea of writing down my story, which is exciting by any man’s standards. But there were numerous reasons not to do so. For one, my life left little time for scholarly work. More cynically: an author needs an audience, and is there any audience left? Who will ever read my notes?

The darkness surrounds me like a cloak, only disturbed by the flickering of the candle. I adjust the blanket around my shoulders. A fire roars in the woodburner, but it doesn’t help against the cold. Outside, a snowstorm tears at the walls of the cabin. I tilt my head to listen for sounds. It is deep in the night, early morning almost, hardly the time for any creature to be about. Did I hear something, a distant shout? I chose this hide-out on purpose, far away from any predator’s path. My many years of experience always keep me on full alert; I’ve had too many unhappy encounters with four- or two-legged hunters. I look at the dogs at my feet, but they seem unalarmed. I shrug off any fear and try to retrace the thoughts that passed through my head a few moments ago. Why did I survive so long, while so many died? All my friends and most of my enemies – long gone. The hand that holds the pen is gnarled and covered with the spots of age. I have lost weight and muscle and the hair on my scalp. My back is stooped, my joints hurt in the morning. But I am still here, going like an old clock.

The pandemic devoured humanity, the fallout sterilized the planet: but neither managed to kill me. Was I chosen? Or was I punished? I never was a religious or superstitious man, and deep inside I know that no miracle or lucky star is needed to explain my survival: it is just freak coincidence. I am like the single bacterium that has picked up resistance against an antibiotic, the last tree that remains standing after a forest fire.

For a few moments, my thoughts continue to wander, until they uncomfortably home in on the events of that singular winter, so many years ago. They always do. With all the drama of my past life, those events stick out like a sore thumb, impossible to ignore, blotting out many other memories of my eventful life.

I stand up from my chair, shrugging the blanket from my shoulders and the bad thoughts from my mind. The dogs raise their heads towards me, their eyes gleaming in the dark. Although I feel the need to write down my story, in the hope of expelling the bad taste that it leaves in my mouth, I cannot continue.

Restlessly I pace the cabin. I tilt my head to listen. Finally, I remove the bar open the door. The storm is astonishingly strong, and snow immediately sweeps in. I feel the sting of the cold as the air hits my face. Visibility is low; at the most a few meters. I cannot even sense the valley that lies in front of the cabin. The flame of the candle is blown out, and in the semi-darkness, I see how the papers from my desk are blown out of the cabin and into the white landscape. I laugh madly. The dogs cower close to my legs, tails between their legs. Together we stare into the darkness.

I listen. The wind blows loudly, but I am now convinced that I can hear a sound, far off, irregular and organic. Something is moving out there, something or someone is shouting. Friend or foe, I cannot tell. I grab for the rifle that stands against the wall and I check that is it is loaded.

I remain in the doorframe. Closing the door and putting the bar back on isn’t an option; it never is. The enemy doesn’t rest, they never give up the chase. They continuously circle, pounce, bite and kill without mercy. Likewise, friends are unceasingly in need of help, faltering and hopeless, they lose themselves in the darkness of the night. Fear or compassion; I’m forced to confront any obstacle, to handle any challenge, swiftly and if need be mercilessly.

I slip into my coat and I put on my moth-eaten woolhat and gloves. I stuff a torch into my pocket. The wind picks up speed. The darkness is now complete; no sign of a rising sun, stars nor moon.

The snow stings in my eyes as we step from the door into the wild white vortex, gun raised, dogs barking. I feel how my teeth bare themselves in a menacing grin. No matter how old I get, no matter how much these old bones hurt, by everything holy and unholy, throw it at me, life.

Do or die. I am ready.


More info about my books.

Originally posted 2021-01-30 20:56:00.

Is the 2010 novel TWO JOURNEYS really about… a CORONA PANDEMIC?

As long back as 2015, Bill Gates gave a famous TED talk in which he predicted a pandemic to occur “in the nearby future”. Mr. Gates is getting quite some flack for that prediction; tin-foil-hat-wearers think that Bill Gates has some dark motivation, whereas the truth is far more benign: Bill Gates simply reads a lot of books and articles; all available to all of us. And if you start reading those, you will quickly realize that it isn’t such a surprise that Bill Gates arrived at his pandemic prediction. Over the years, many scientists and authors (fiction and non-fiction) have predicted that a pandemic might occur at any time. Over-population, the massacre of the environment, climate change… all of these are favorable for more pandemics to happen.

Still not convinced? As a biologist and author, I published a novel on this topic back in 2010: TWO JOURNEYS was available e.g. on iTunes or amazon.com ten years before the outbreak of Covid-19. It describes the devastating impact of a CORONA VIRUS pandemic – see TWO JOURNEYS, pages 122/123 – photo below.

There was no magic or clairvoyance involved; the SARS and MERS epidemics convinced me (as a scientist) that such a scenario was bound to happen. Sure, my prediction that the pandemic was the result of a CORONA VIRUS was surprisingly spot-on. The main reason for my selection of CORONA  was that I needed a culprit that could spread at top speed across the globe – CORONA viruses have a prominent ability to do so through both droplet and surface infection.

What makes TWO JOURNEYS truly special is the analysis of the psychological effects of a pandemic on the hero; and how populists will misuse such an outbreak for their own purposes. Several storylines in the book have now (alas) become reality.

So, 2010 novel TWO JOURNEYS (and its sequel FIELDS OF FIRE) indeed describes the aftermath of a CORONA pandemic. The rest is high speed, adventure fiction – but you will recognize several characters and occurrences again, e.g. the misuse of the pandemic by the villainous dictator Somerset may well remind you of some real-life political leaders – those that put fiction before the fact, and self-interest before empathy. I recently addressed this in a (yet again!) predictive blogpost, first published back in March 2020: The Corona Pandemic and How it Affects All of Us.

Page122and123_TwoJourneys_Corona

There it is, on page 122/123. Corona is the culprit of the pandemic that left Alan (hero of TWO JOURNEYS) stranded in Tokyo. Note the line “Corona viruses spread by droplets or surfaces” – better keep your distance, wear a mask and wash your hands.

www.clemenssuter.com/books.

Originally posted 2020-06-28 22:03:00.

Hellabeem Fundraiser Result: 1210€ raised to support physically disabled people in Sri Lanka

The count is in! I am very grateful to the people that donated money to Hellabeem and got one of my paintings for free in exchange! In addition, dozens of paperbacks and eBooks were bought between the start on November 1 and the end on December 31st – and these book revenues have also been donated to Hellabeem.

Here is the original post:

Fundraiser. Great Art & Books in Support of the Hellabeem Rehabilitation Centre in Sri Lanka. #HellabeemFundraiser

Hellabeem is an organization that is doing fantastic work in Sri Lanka: it champions the disabled and disadvantaged by offering them a chance to participate fully in society. The years these young people spend on the Hellabeem campus prepare them in many positive ways for an independent existence. More on the Hellabeem website.

 

Originally posted 2021-01-23 22:27:00.

First-class Corona Pandemic Apocalyptic Thriller (2010) “What a fantastic book!”

Here’s another five star review for TWO JOURNEYS, this one is by “St. Louis Cards”. You can find it here at amazon.com: LINK.

Here’s the full text by this reader

Book Review: Two Journeys
Author: Clemens P. Suter
Publisher: BookBuzz/CreateSpace
Publication Date: April 1, 2012 (NetGalley Archive Date: August 30, 2019)
Review Date: August 21, 2019
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.From the blurb:
“During a routine business trip to Tokyo, Alan finds himself to be the sole survivor of a global pandemic. A viral disease wipes away all of humanity… and Alan’s past life. Fearing injury, sickness and hunger, he sets out to travel back to his family in Berlin, straight across Asia and 10,000 miles of hardship and adventure.Suter combines post-apocalyptic elements with an adventurous road novel in this book about a man left alone on earth. The hardships and landscapes (the Gobi desert, Siberia) are described in all ferocity. A few other humans have survived as well, some eager to use the disaster for their own advantage. Electrifying chapters describe the encounter with Somerset, a charming yet psychotic warlord, who is assembling an army to conquer Moscow, if not the entire world.”This is a first-class apocalyptic thriller. I find most self-published books to be absolutely dreadful. The exception is often science fiction/apocalyptic thrillers and other books of this type category.Two Journeys is no exception. What a fantastic book! Better than I expected. It is written in the first person, and I often felt that I was reading a memoir of events that actually happened. Suter’s style is very easy to read; I couldn’t put the book down.

A caveat: it is a fairly long book, 551 pages. It took me 3-4 days on nonstop reading, which is much longer than it usually takes me to read a book.

The character of Alan, the protagonist, is well built, as well as the few other characters encountered during his journey. The plot is perfect; I appreciate how slowly Suter built up the story and all the details of the journey he included. The settings were well written and an important part of the book, as horrifying as they often were.

There were a few mysterious elements that added to the depth of the story.

I highly, highly recommend this book, 5 stars! The author has written a couple of sequels to this book that are available as Kindle books, for only $1.99 each, so I plan to finish out the series.

Humanity has gone a long time without a major pandemic. Outbreaks of viruses such as SARS, corona or influenza (e.g. H2N2 or the Asian Flu H3N2; or bird flu) have occurred again and again. Are we prepared? 

 

Interested in a copy? Get it here: www.clemenssuter.com/books

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Originally posted 2019-10-26 21:02:00.