When I was writing Teddy’s War, I developed the authenticity of the story by using a slew of books that I had already or bought along the way. My bookcase currently holds about seventy books related to World War II, most of them nonfiction. I’m not sure how many new books I bought during my writing time, but I would guess around thirty. And I’m still buying; I’m just that interested.
I found most of the books by browsing the books listed in Amazon.com. I’d type in the subject and see what came up. There was always something that seemed interesting, but it wasn’t likely that I was finding the “best” books on the subjects. I enjoy looking at Amazon Choice books, recommended books, the “readers who chose this book also looked at these books”, “books similar to what you asked for”, or other marketing devices that Amazon has on their website that give priority to the books they want me to buy.
I have discovered a better way.
A month or so ago, I was contacted by Dan Shepherd. He is the head of a small group of people who launched a new author site in the Spring. Dan asked me to provide him a blurb on Teddy’s War, and then recommend five more books that provided material associated with it. I looked at their webpage, liked it, filled out some templates that he provided, and then gave him my blurb about the book and my list of five associated books. Dan’s group edited my words a little, but basically accepted what I had written. They adjusted everything for their website’s format.
This is the result:
I created the “topic”, chose five books I had used while writing the novel that fit the topic, and then wrote less than 110 words of why the book was significant to me. I had to swear that I’d read them all and was making honest comments.
What you see in my presentation is similar to the presentations throughout the website. It provides selections of books that have been read by and then recommended by authors writing in the field. The website provides several searchable topics that can focus what the reader is looking for. That seems more interesting and infinitely more profitable than randomly browsing Amazon.
At the end of September, I’m heading to Poland and Germany for a tour. I’ll be gone for almost three weeks. It is a tour hosted by Globus and has a World War Two focus. I’m visiting these major cities: Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, Dresden, Berlin, Weimar, Nuremberg, and Munich. Along the way, I’ll see the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial, the Auschwitz/Birkenau concentration and termination camps; Oskar Schindler’s factory; Buchenwald concentration camp, the Nuremberg Trials courtroom, the Dachau Memorial Site, and Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest. I’m staying an extra couple of days in Munich to research a few nearby sites that might have been seen by my dad. He was in the area during October, 1945.
I’ll take a lot of pictures so you can look forward to being inundated when I get back.
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Don Willerton has been a reader all his life and yearns to write words like the authors he has read. He's working hard at it and invites others to share their experiences.